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Kinetics of acid-induced chlorophyll demetallation was recorded in microdroplets by fusing a stream of microdroplets containing 40 µM chlorophyll a or b dissolved in methanol with a stream of aqueous microdroplets containing 35 mM hydrochloric acid (pH = 1·46). The kinetics of the demetallation of chlorophyll in the fused microdroplets (14 ± 6 µm diameter; 84 ± 18 m s−1 velocity) was recorded by controlling the traveling distance of the fused microdroplets between the fusion region and the inlet of a mass spectrometer. The rate of acid-induced chlorophyll demetallation was about 960 ± 120 times faster in the charged microdroplets compared with that reported in bulk solution. If no voltage was applied to the sprayed microdroplets, then the acceleration factor was about 580 ± 90, suggesting that the applied voltage is not a major factor determining the acceleration. Chlorophyll a was more rapidly demetallated than chlorophyll b by a factor of ~26 in bulk solution and ~5 in charged microdroplets. The demetallation kinetics was second order in the H+ concentration, but the acceleration factor of microdroplets compared with bulk solution appeared to be unchanged in going from pH = 1·3 to 7·0. The water:methanol ratio of the fused microdroplets was varied from 7:3 to 3:7 causing an increase in the reaction rate of chlorophyll a demetallation by 20%. This observation demonstrates that the solvent composition, which has different evaporation rates, does not significantly affect the acceleration. We believe that a major portion of the acceleration can be attributed to confinement effects involving surface reactions rather than either to evaporation of solvents or to the introduction of charges to the microdroplets.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we have studied the synthesis of isoquinoline in a charged electrospray droplet and the complexation between cytochrome c and maltose in a fused droplet to investigate the feasibility of droplets to drive reactions (both covalent and noncovalent interactions) at a faster rate than that observed in conventional bulk solution. In both the cases we found marked acceleration of reaction, by a factor of a million or more in the former and a factor of a thousand or more in the latter. We believe that carrying out reactions in microdroplets (about 1–15 μm in diameter corresponding to 0·5 pl – 2 nl) is a general method for increasing reaction rates. The mechanism is not presently established but droplet evaporation and droplet confinement of reagents appear to be two important factors among others. In the case of fused water droplets, evaporation has been shown to be almost negligible during the flight time from where droplet fusion occurs and the droplets enter the heated capillary inlet of the mass spectrometer. This suggests that (1) evaporation is not responsible for the acceleration process in aqueous droplet fusion and (2) the droplet–air interface may play a significant role in accelerating the reaction. We argue that this ‘microdroplet chemistry’ could be a remarkable alternative to accelerate slow and difficult reactions, and in conjunction with mass spectrometry, it may provide a new arena to study chemical and biochemical reactions in a confined environment.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
To investigate whether low vitamin D status was related to insulin resistance (IR) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in Korean adolescents, after adjusting for total body fat mass (FM).
A cross-sectional study.
Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNAHNES) 2009–2010.
In total, 1466 participants (769 males) aged 10–19 years were assessed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, for FM by whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and for IR by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) after an 8 h fast.
Age-, sex-, season- and physical-activity-adjusted regression models showed that serum 25(OH)D levels were significantly related to markers of adiposity (P = 0·016 for FM (g), P = 0·023 for FM (%) and P = 0·035 for fat mass index). When the participants were stratified into three 25(OH)D categories (<37·5 nmol/l (n 553), 37·5 to < 50 nmol/l (n 543) and ≥ 50 nmol/l (n 370)), significantly decreasing trends were observed for fasting insulin (all P < 0·001), HOMA-IR (all P < 0·001) and the odds ratios for IFG (all P for trend < 0·05) from the lowest to the highest 25(OH)D category, after adjustments for age, sex, physical activity and all markers of adiposity. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the likelihood of participants in the lowest serum 25(OH)D category having IFG was 2·96–3·15 compared with those in the highest 25(OH)D category (all P < 0·05).
There was a significant inverse relationship between vitamin D status and IR and the risk of IFG, independent of adiposity, in Korean adolescents.
Visual hallucination (VH) is a common psychotic symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and may be a significant predictor of cognitive impairment (CI) in such patients.
This study aimed to investigate the pattern of glucose metabolism of VH and the relationship between VH and CI in PD.
We studied 28 PD patients, including 15 with VH (PD-VH) and 13 without VH (PD-NVH). Of the 15 PD-VH patients, 8 patients had cognitive impairment (PD-VHCI) whereas 7 did not (PD-VHNCI). All patients underwent [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F] FDG PET) followed by statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analyses.
Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHNCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the inferior and middle temporal cortices, fusiform gyri, and frontal areas, suggesting the involvement of the ventral visual pathway. Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the temporoparietal association cortices with scattered frontal areas.
Dysfunction of ventral visual pathway involving the temporal lobe may play a key role in VH development in PD patients. The evolving distribution from the ventral visual pathway to more extensive posterior cortices in PD-VHCI patients suggests that VH may be a prodromal symptom occurring prior to CI in PD patients.
We previously demonstrated that the chronic consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) promotes lung and liver metastases of 4T1 mammary carcinoma cells in obesity-resistant BALB/c mice. To examine early transcriptional responses to tumour progression in the liver and lungs of HFD-fed mice, 4-week-old female BALB/c mice were divided into four groups: sham-injected, control diet (CD)-fed; sham-injected, HFD-fed (SH); 4T1 cell-injected, CD-fed (TC); 4T1 cell-injected, HFD-fed (TH). Following 16 weeks of either a CD or HFD, 4T1 cells were injected into the mammary fat pads of mice in the TC and TH groups and all mice were continuously fed identical diets. At 14 d post-injection, RNA was isolated from hepatic and pulmonary tissues for microarray analysis of mRNA expression. Functional annotation and core network analyses were conducted for the TH/SH Unique gene set. Inflammation in hepatic tissues and cell mitosis in pulmonary tissues were the most significant biological functions in the TH/SH Unique gene set. The biological core networks of the hepatic TH/SH Unique gene set were characterised as those genes involved in the activation of acute inflammatory responses (Orm1, Lbp, Hp and Cfb), disordered lipid metabolism and deregulated cell cycle progression. Networks of the pulmonary Unique gene set displayed the deregulation of cell cycle progression (Cdc20, Cdk1 and Bub1b). These HFD-influenced alterations may have led to favourable conditions for the formation of both pro-inflammatory and pro-mitotic microenvironments in the target organs that promote immune cell infiltration and differentiation, as well as the infiltration and proliferation of metastatic tumour cells.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
The effect of wet chemical treatment on the magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) was examined. The tunneling magneto-resistance (TMR) increased and the resistance of anti-parallel state and parallel state decreased when a wet cleaning treatment was carried out after a reactive ion etching process. Furthermore, the exfoliation between the capping layer and Inter layer Dielectric (ILD) was prevented. Presumably, these were due to the elimination of the damaged layer and the residues. This investigation showed that the wet treatment after the MTJ patterning using RIE process could improve the MTJ properties without degradation of Hc, such as TMR and Rlow.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronically relapsing inflammatory disorders of the intestine. Although some therapeutic agents, including steroids, are available for the treatment of IBD, these agents have limited use. Therefore, dietary supplements have emerged as possible interventions for IBD. Japanese honeysuckle flower, the flower of Lonicera japonica, is a well-known dietary supplement and has been used to prevent or treat various inflammatory diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effects of L. japonica on experimental murine colitis. Colitis was induced by 5 % dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) in Balb/c mice. The water extract of L. japonica (LJE) at doses of 20, 100 or 500 mg/kg was orally administered to mice twice per day for 7 d. Body weight, colon length and a histological damage score were assessed to determine the effects on colitis. Cytokine profiles were assessed to examine the effects on helper T (Th) cell-related immunological responses. In addition, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T cells were analysed in vivo and in vitro for investigating the effects on regulatory T (Treg) cells. LJE showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects against colon shortening, weight loss and histological damage. LJE down-regulated IL-1β, TNF-α, interferon-γ, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-17. However, LJE did not show any significant effects on IL-10, IL-23, transforming growth factor-β1 and Treg cell populations. In conclusion, LJE showed protective effects against DSS-induced colitis via the Th1/Th17 pathway and not via Treg cell-related mechanisms.
The oocyte is known from recent studies in the mouse, cow, sheep and human to be a central regulator of follicular cell function. However, in the pig, little information is known about the regulation of cumulus expansion by oocyte-secreted factors and oocyte quality. We investigated the possible effects of oocyte-secreted factors during in vitro maturation on cumulus expansion and on porcine oocytes as judged by subsequent embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) from antral follicles of pig ovaries collected from a local abattoir were divided into control and treatment groups and were cultured in tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with follicle-stimulating hormone. Treatment groups consisted of increasing numbers of denuded oocytes (DO) co-cultured with COC (at ratios of COC to DO of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5). After incubation for 44 h, cumulus expansion and maturation rates were assessed and oocytes were activated parthenogenetically. Cumulus expansion in the 1 COC:4 DO and 1 COC:5 DO groups was low and altered because full dispersion of the outer layer did not occur. Cell viability was not affected, as measured by the automated cell counter, but scanning electron microscopy revealed only a scanty extracellular matrix. Blastocyst rate was significantly higher in the 1 COC:4 DO (34.4%) and in the 1 COC:5 DO (34.9%) groups (p < 0.05) when compared with other groups. Maturation rate, cleavage rate and total cell number showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. Amplification by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed up-regulation of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in the cumulus cells in the 1 COC:4 DO group at 44 h. We conclude that denuded porcine oocytes could improve the maturation of COC as evidenced by increased blastocyst development in the 1 COC:4 DO, even though cumulus expansion was poor. This improvement could be a result of the GDF9 up-regulation.
Intra-uterine growth retardation has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes in later life. Mitochondrial changes have been suggested as a link between fetal malnutrition and adult insulin resistance. Taurine has been implicated in this process. We investigated whether protein malnutrition in early life alters mitochondria of the pancreatic islets in adulthood, and whether taurine supplementation restores these changes. Male offspring of rats fed a control diet, a low-protein diet or a low-protein diet supplemented with taurine during pregnancy and lactation were weaned onto the control diet. In each group, at 20 weeks of age, intravenous glucose tolerance tests, euglycaemic–hyperinsulinaemic clamp studies, morphometric analysis of the pancreatic islets and ultra-structural analysis of the mitochondria of the β-cells were performed. The expressions of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) I and mitochondrial respiratory chain complex II were also measured. Fetal protein-malnourished rats showed decreased pancreatic islet mass and reduced insulin-secretory responses to a glucose load. These rats also showed reduced mitochondrial DNA-encoded COX I gene expression in the islets. Electron microscopic examination showed abnormal mitochondrial shapes in the β-cells of fetal protein-malnourished rats. Taurine supplementation to the low-protein diet restored all these changes. Our findings indicate that a maternal protein-restriction diet causes long-lasting mitochondrial changes that may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes later in life. The lack of taurine may be a key causative factor for these dysfunctional mitochondrial changes.
In this study, the quality of thin film diode (TFD) as a switching device for active-matrix liquid-crystal-displays (AM-LCDs) was enhanced by low temperature annealing conditions with high reliability and good electrical properties. Device was composed with Ta as bottom electrode, anodic Ta2O5 as insulator layer and top electrode. Two types of material such as Ti and Cr were evaluated as a top electrode of the TFD device to optimize the symmetry of current-voltage characteristic curve, respectively. The annealing was done at low temperature conditions below 350°C. The low temperature annealing improved the TFD device with nearly perfect symmetry under high electric field.
A new excimer laser annealing method is proposed in order to produce the poly-Si film with low defect density and large grain, by combining the selective Si ionimplantation and excimer laser annealing. Selective Si ion-implantation is employed to form artificial nucleation seeds in a-Si film prior to excimer laser annealing in order to increase the nucleation probability. The grain boundary location in poly-Si film has been controlled through implantation mask, and the grain size around micrometer order is obtained without any other process. TEM result shows that grain boundary is controlled according to mask pattern and the crystallinity of the poly-Si film is improved.
A new excimer laser recrystallization method of amorphous silicon is proposed to increase the grain size and control the grain boundary locations in polycrystalline silicon films. The proposed method is based on the lateral grain growth which occurs at the interface between molten and unmolten regions. To obtain selectively molten regions, the proposed method employs aluminum patterns on amorphous silicon. The aluminum patterns act as the beam shield during the laser irradiation as well as the lateral heat sink during the solidification period. The high reflectance of aluminum at the wavelength of XeCl excimer laser offers stable beam shielding property, and the high thermal conductivity enhances the lateral heat flow by the quick draining of laterally propagated heat. TEM observation has revealed that the well arranged large grains were successfully obtained.
The advanced electrodes for detecting organophosphate pesticides were prepared by modification of the gold (Au) electrode with the reduced graphene oxide/ionic liquid (RGO/IL) nanohybrids. Due to the cationic and anionic parts, the ILs on RGO sheets provide the amount of functional groups for dispersion of hybrids and immobilization of organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) enzymes. After the immobilization of OPH on the RGO/IL-modified Au electrodes, the modified electrodes represent faster electron transfer than that of Au electrode, resulting in high performance of biosensor with response time (~ 10 s) and sensitivity (4.56 nA μM−1). In addition, the OPH/RGO/IL-modified Au electrode displayed good stability and reproducibility.
Heterostructural properties of pseudomorphic (AlGaAs/GaAs), partially strained (GaInAs/GaAs), and highly strained (GaAs/Si) semiconductor systems have been studied using High Resolution Double-Crystal X-ray Diffraction (DXRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Using the high resolution DXRD with CuKα1 and two-reflection Si (220) monochromator, we obtained (004) symmetric and (115) or (224) asymmetric reflection rocking curves for samples grown by molecular beam epitaxy. With 0.5 μm thick samples, perpendicular and in-plane lattice mismatches were calculated using elastic theory and compared with each other. The different degree of relaxation for these samples was observed and correlated with the lattice mismatch, X-ray layer peak broadening (i.e., full width at half maximum), and SEM surface morphology. For a GaInAs/GaAs sample, the strain relaxation along one of the <110> directions was more than the other direction, that is, the strain relaxation is not isotrophic. Also we observed that the lines were mainly parallel in one direction, i.e., they did not form a cross-hatch pattern. TEM images from both cross-sectional and planar views of the samples will be presented.
A novel method to control the recrystallization depth of amorphous silicon (a-Si) film during the excimer laser annealing (ELA) is proposed in order to preserve a-Si that is useful for fabrication of poly-Si TFT with a-Si offset in the channel. A XeCl excimer laser beam is irradiated on a triple film structure of a-Si thin native silicon oxide (~20Å)/thick a-Si layer. Only the upper a-Si film is recrystallized by the laser beam irradiation, whereas the lower thick a-Si film remains amorphous because the thin native silicon oxide layer stops the grain growth of the poly-crystalline silicon (poly-Si). So that the thin oxide film sharply divides the upper poly-Si from the lower a-Si.
We have studied the growth of undoped and n+ μc-Si:H (:CI) films by Remote Plasma CVD using SiH4/SiH2Cl2/H2/He mixtures. It was found that the μc-Si film can be fabricated by increasing flow rate of SiH2Cl2 and/or H2. The deposited undoped μc-Si film exhibited a maximum crystalline volume fraction of 85 %, obtained from Raman spectroscopy. The n-type μc-Si film, deposited with SiH4/SiH2Cl2/H2/PH3/He mixtures, shows a room temperature conductivity of 2 S/cm, conductivity activation energy of 29.8 meV and optical band gap of-2.0 eV. The optical band gap of n-type μc-S1 deposited using SiH2Cl2 is much higher compared to conventional μc-Si film.