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This study investigated the effect of the flavonoid-based compound isorhamnetin (ISO) on maturation and developmental competence in oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes in vitro. Treatment with 2 μM ISO (2 ISO) increases the developmental rate of oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM). The glutathione level and mRNA expression of antioxidant-related genes (NFE2L2 and SOD2) were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group, whereas the reactive oxygen species level was decreased. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of a cumulus cell expansion-related gene (SHAS2) and improved chromosomal alignment. mRNA expression of maternal genes (CCNB1, MOS, BMP15 and GDF9) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group. The total cell number per blastocyst and percentage of apoptotic cells were increased and decreased in the 2 ISO-treated group, respectively. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of development-related genes (SOX2, NANOG, and POU5F1) and anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5) and decreased that of pro-apoptotic genes (CASP3 and FAS). These results demonstrate that 2 ISO improves the quality of porcine oocytes by protecting them against oxidative stress during IVM and enhances subsequent embryo development in vitro. Therefore, we propose that ISO is a useful supplement for IVM of porcine oocytes.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 among immunocompromised hosts can have a serious impact on COVID-19 severity, underlying disease progression and SARS-CoV-2 transmission to other patients and healthcare workers within hospitals. We experienced a nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 in the setting of a daycare unit for paediatric and young adult cancer patients. Between 9 and 18 November 2020, 473 individuals (181 patients, 247 caregivers/siblings and 45 staff members) were exposed to the index case, who was a nursing staff. Among them, three patients and four caregivers were infected. Two 5-year-old cancer patients with COVID-19 were not severely ill, but a 25-year-old cancer patient showed prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for at least 12 weeks, which probably infected his mother at home approximately 7–8 weeks after the initial diagnosis. Except for this case, no secondary transmission was observed from the confirmed cases in either the hospital or the community. To conclude, in the day care setting of immunocompromised children and young adults, the rate of in-hospital transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was 1.6% when applying the stringent policy of infection prevention and control, including universal mask application and rapid and extensive contact investigation. Severely immunocompromised children/young adults with COVID-19 would have to be carefully managed after the mandatory isolation period while keeping the possibility of prolonged shedding of live virus in mind.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Improved root architecture of cultivated barley can improve crop performance in drought-prone areas. In this study, seedlings of 315 wild barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum) accessions from the Wild Barley Diversity Collection (WBDC) were grown under hydroponic conditions for 8 d after germination and then root characteristics were analysed. Significant differences were observed among the accessions with regard to seminal root number (SRN), root length (RL), specific root length (SRL), root fresh weight and root dry weight (RDW). Principal component analysis explained about 81% of the total variation for ten traits. Principal component (PC) 1, PC2 and PC3 explained about 38, 30 and 13% of the total variation among the accessions. The two most prominent contributors in each PC were RL and SRL, RDW and SRN, and the longitude and latitude of the collection sites, respectively. Accessions WBDC266, WBDC302, WBDC286 and WBDC011 had the longest RL and the highest RDW, specific dry root weight and SRL, respectively. These accessions may be useful genetic resources for the improvement of these root traits in cultivated barley.
To compare the characteristics and risk factors for surgical site infections (SSIs) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a nationwide survey, using shared case detection and recording systems.
Retrospective cohort study.
Twenty-six hospitals participating in the Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS).
From 2006 to 2009, all patients undergoing THA and TKA in KONIS were enrolled.
SSI occurred in 161 (2.35%) of 6,848 cases (3,422 THAs and 3,426 TKAs). Pooled mean SSI rates were 1.69% and 2.82% for THA and TKA, respectively. Of the cases we examined, 42 (26%) were superficial-incisional SSIs and 119 (74%) were “severe” SSIs; of the latter, 24 (15%) were deep-incisional SSIs and 95 (59%) were organ/space SSIs. In multivariate analysis, a duration of preoperative hospital stay of greater than 3 days was a risk factor for total SSI after both THA and TKA. Diabetes mellitus, revision surgery, prolonged duration of surgery (above the 75th percentile), and the need for surgery due to trauma were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after THA, while male sex and an operating room without artificial ventilation were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after TKA. A large volume of surgeries (more than 10 procedures per month) protected against total and severe SSI, but only in patients who underwent TKA.
Risk factors for SSI after arthroplasty differ according to the site of the arthroplasty. Therefore, clinicians should take into account the site of arthroplasty in the analysis of SSI and the development of strategies for reducing SSI.
To evaluate the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after gastric surgery in patients in Korea.
A nationwide prospective multicenter study.
Twenty university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
The Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), a Web-based system, was developed. Patients in 20 Korean hospitals from 2007 to 2009 were prospectively monitored for SSI for up to 30 days after gastric surgery. Demographic data, hospital characteristics, and potential perioperative risk factors were collected and analyzed, using multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 4,238 case patients monitored, 64.9% (2,752) were male, and mean age (±SD) was 58.8 (±12.3) years. The SSI rates were 2.92, 6.45, and 10.87 per 100 operations for the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system risk index categories of 0, 1, and 2 or 3, respectively. The majority (69.4%) of the SSIs observed were organ or space SSIs. The most frequently isolated microorganisms were Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.58]), increased operation time (1.20 [1.07–1.34] per 1-hour increase), reoperation (7.27 [3.68–14.38]), combined multiple procedures (1.79 [1.13–2.83]), prophylactic administration of the first antibiotic dose after skin incision (3.00 [1.09–8.23]), and prolonged duration (≥7 days) of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP; 2.70 [1.26–5.64]) were independently associated with increased risk of SSI.
Male sex, inappropriate SAP, and operation-related variables are independent risk factors for SSI after gastric surgery.
Parkinson's disease (PD), one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, is characterised by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) to the striatum (ST), and involves oxidative stress. Mulberry fruit from Morus alba L. (Moraceae) is commonly eaten, and has long been used in traditional oriental medicine. It contains well-known antioxidant agents such as anthocyanins. The present study examined the protective effects of 70 % ethanol extract of mulberry fruit (ME) against neurotoxicity in in vitro and in vivo PD models. In SH-SY5Y cells stressed with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), ME significantly protected the cells from neurotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner. Other assays demonstrated that the protective effect of ME was mediated by its antioxidant and anti-apoptotic effects, regulating reactive oxygen species and NO generation, Bcl-2 and Bax proteins, mitochondrial membrane depolarisation and caspase-3 activation. In mesencephalic primary cells stressed with 6-OHDA or 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), pre-treatment with ME also protected dopamine neurons, showing a wide range of effective concentrations in MPP+-induced toxicity. In the sub-acute mouse PD model induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), ME showed a preventative effect against PD-like symptoms (bradykinesia) in the behavioural test and prevented MPTP-induced dopaminergic neuronal damage in an immunocytochemical analysis of the SNpc and ST. These results indicate that ME has neuroprotective effects in in vitro and in vivo PD models, and that it may be useful in preventing or treating PD.
Various types of chemical doping have been reported as very effective methods to improve the superconducting properties of MgB2 superconductor. Specially, carbon doping via liquid type of carbon-containing compounds have been shown better superconducting properties. In this work, the liquid type of glycerin (C3H8O3) was used as a carbon dopant in MgB2 synthesis. The glycerin was mixed with a liquid media at a different ratio and then pretreated with refined boron powder. Then carbon doped MgB2 superconductor was synthesized through subsequent heat treatment of the pretreated boron powder with magnesium powder. Variation of the amount of carbon dopants and viscosity of the liquid media was correlated with critical current densities and other superconducting properties of MgB2 bulk. The effects of liquid carbon dopants on the superconducting properties also compared with those of solid dopants.
Ferromagnetic Cu-doped GaN film was grown on a GaN-buffered sapphire (0001) substrate by a hybrid physical-chemical-vapor-deposition method (HPCVD). The GaCuN film (Cu: 3.6 at.%) has a highly c-axis-oriented hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure, which is similar to GaN buffer but without any secondary phases such as metallic Cu, CuxNy, and CuxGay compounds. Two weak near-band edge (NBE) emissions at 3.38 eV and donor-acceptor-pair (DAP) transition at 3.2 eV with a typical strong broad yellow emission were observed in photoluminescence spectra for GaN buffer. In contrast, the yellow emission was completely quenched in GaCuN film because Ga vacancies causing the observed yellow emission in undoped GaN were substituted by Cu atoms. In addition, GaCuN film exhibits a blue shift of NBE emission, which could be explained with the +2 oxidation state of Cu ions, replacing +3 Ga ions resulting in band gap increment. The valance sate of Cu in GaCuN film was also confirmed by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. The GaCuN film shows ferromagnetic ordering and possesses a residual magnetization of 0.12 emu/cm3 and a coercive field of 264 Oe at room temperature. The unpaired spins in Cu2+ ions (d9) are most likely to be responsible for the observed ferromagnetism in GaCuN.
Rapid thermal annealing (RTA) processing under N2 and O2 ambient is suggested and characterized in this work for improvement of SiCOH ultra-low-k (k = 2.4) film properties. Low-k film was deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) with decamethylcyclopentasiloxane and cyclohexane precursors. The PECVD films were treated by RTA processing in N2 and O2 environments at 550 °C for 5 min, and k values of 1.85 and 2.15 were achieved in N2 and O2 environments, respectively. Changes in the k value were correlated with the chemical composition of C–Hx and Si–O related groups determined from the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis. As the treatment temperature was increased from 300 to 550 °C, the signal intensities of both the CHx and Si–CH3 peaks were markedly decreased. The hardness and modulus of the film processed by RTA have been determined as 0.44 and 3.95 GPa, respectively. Hardness and modulus of RTA-treated films were correlated with D-group [O2Si–(CH3)2] and T-group [O3Si–(CH3)] fractions determined from the FTIR Si–CH3 bending peak. The hardness and modulus improvement in this work is attributed to the increase of oxygen content in (O)x–Si–(CH3)y by rearrangement.
CMP(Chemical Mechanical Planarization) process is widely used to reduce step height in semiconductor fabrication processes. As a design rule shrinks, a highly planar surface becomes inevitable within wafer scales. In order to get a high degree of a planarization, self-stopping characteristics of a ceria-based slurry should be studied and used in semiconductor process. In this study, threshold polishing pressure for a self-stopping characteristics was obtained by optimizing down pressure, pad conditioning, and mixing ratio of ceria abrasive and additive. A series of experiments were made to optimize the threshold polishing pressure in variable line & space patterns that consist of 0.8um step height and unit oxide film. As a result, self-stopping cmp process is twice batter than conventional silica-based process with respect to planarity and WIWNU. In addition, WIWNU and step height was dramatically decreased to less than 1000Å when applying to real fabrication devices over 2um step height.
Prior to growth of polyoxide, amorphous-Si with a cap of low temperature oxide was annealed to improve the dielectric property of polyoxide. Current-electric field, critical electric field, critical electric field histogram, and Fowler-Nordheim conduction plot were evaluated. The interface of polyoxide and poly-Si was observed with a transmission electron microscope. The annealing of the amorphous-Si prior to oxidation was effective to improve the dielectric property of the polyoxide.
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