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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Introduction: Geriatric patients commonly present to the emergency department (ED) after a fall. Unfortunately, recent evidence suggests that ED physicians are poorly adherent to published ED-specific geriatric falls guidelines. This study applied a theoretical domains framework (TDF)-driven approach to systematically investigate barriers and enablers in the provision of guideline-based care to older patients presenting to the ED with a fall. Methods: From June to September 2017, semi-structured interviews of staff ED physicians practicing in Ontario, Canada were conducted and analyzed. An interview guide based on the TDF was used to capture 14 domains that may influence provision of guideline-based care. Interview transcripts were analyzed, and specific beliefs were generated by grouping similar responses. Relevant domains were identified based on frequencies of beliefs, existence of conflicting beliefs, and evidence of strong beliefs that would influence provision of guideline-based care. Results: Eleven interviews were conducted with practicing ED physicians. Thirty specific belief statements across 13 different TDF domains (all except Optimism) were identified as relevant. Overall, Ontario ED physicians are supportive of providing guideline-based care and believe it would lead to better outcomes for geriatric falls patients. Important barriers include knowledge, skills, time and workload constraints, and inconsistent allied health support. Conclusion: This study identified important barriers and enablers to provision of guideline-based care in geriatric ED falls patients. These results will help guide implementation of guidelines nationally and internationally, with a focus on improved knowledge dissemination, implementation of training interventions, and improvements in allied health coverage and supports.
During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
Human bocaviruses (HBoVs) have been detected in human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. In 2005, HBoV was also discovered in infants and children with infections of the lower respiratory tract. Recently, several genotypes of this parvovirus, including HBoV genotype 2 (HBoV2), genotype 3 (HBoV3) and genotype 4 (HBoV4), were discovered and found to be closely related to HBoV. HBoV2 was first detected in stool samples from children in Pakistan, followed by detection in other countries. HBoV3 was detected in Australia and HBoV4 was identified in stool samples from Nigeria, Tunisia and the USA. Recently, HBoV infection has been on the rise throughout the world, particularly in countries neighbouring South Korea; however, there have been very few studies on Korean strains. In this study, we characterised the whole genome and determined the phylogenetic position of CUK-BC20, a new clinical HBoV strain isolated in South Korea. The CUK-BC20 genome of 5184 nucleotides (nt) contains three open-reading frames (ORFs). The genotype of CUK-BC20 is HBoV2, and 98.77% of its nt sequence is identical with those of other HBoVs, namely Rus-Nsc10-N386. Especially, the ORF3 amino acid sequences from positions 212–213 and 454 corresponding to a variable region (VR)1 and VR5, respectively, showed genotype-specific substitutions that distinguished the four HBoV genotypes. As the first whole-genome sequence analysis of HBoV in South Korea, this information will provide a valuable reference for the detection of recombination, tracking of epidemics and development of diagnosis methods for HBoV.
This study aimed to identify the effect of lateral neck dissection on voice change in thyroidectomised patients.
Medical records from 264 patients who underwent thyroidectomy with (n = 65) or without (n = 199) lateral neck dissection were reviewed. Clinical and voice evaluation data were compared between the two groups.
Patients who underwent surgery that included lateral neck dissection had lower fundamental frequencies and speaking fundamental frequencies. They also had a higher incidence of asymmetric mucosal wave and vocal fold oedema on videostroboscopy during the first month after surgery, with the incidence of vocal fold oedema remaining significantly higher at three months. Self-assessed voice quality scores were significantly higher in lateral neck dissection patients at both one and three months after surgery.
In thyroidectomised patients, lateral neck dissection lowers the vocal pitch in the initial period after surgery and induces vocal fold oedema that persists for several months. Although most objective parameters improved within a month, subjective symptoms lasted for longer.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at the Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) was completed in December 1998 and a report was presented at the Vienna AMS conference in September 1999. At the conference, we described the basic components of our accelerator system and reported the results of the performance test. Since then, extensive testing of the accuracy and reproducibility of the system has been carried out, and about 200 unknown samples have been measured so far. We obtained a precision of 4‰ for modern samples, and an accuracy of approximately 40 yr was demonstrated by analyzing samples that were previously dated with a conventional technique and by other AMS laboratories. We present these results here, together with detailed descriptions of our data-taking and analysis procedures.
We have observed A14C concentrations in the northern hemisphere temperate region in the bomb pulse period, using cross-dated tree ring samples. The tree-ring samples were taken from one 70-year-old and two 50-year-old red pines (Pinus densiflora) on Mt Chiak, Korea and from a 50-year-old red pine (Pinus densiflora) on Mt Kyeryong, Korea. Twenty-two tree-ring samples from four red pines ranging from 1950 to 2000 AD were pretreated to obtain holo-cellulose, combusted to CO2 by an element analyzer (EA) and converted to graphite for δ14C measurement using the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility at Seoul National University. Our results for δ14C showed good agreement with those measured by other researchers at similar latitudes. The observed steady decrease of δ14C from 1965 to 2000 AD is described by a single exponential function with a lifetime τ = 15.99 ± 0.43 yr. This lifetime is similar to that of the high-latitude region in Europe.
The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) began functioning in December 1998 and was first reported at the Vienna AMS conference in October 1999 and at the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference in Israel in June 2000. At the Vienna conference, we reported our accelerator system (Kim et al. 2000) and details of the basic sample preparation system (Lee et al. 2000), such as the combustion line to produce CO2; the catalytic reduction line for the graphitization of CO2; and the pretreatment procedures for wood, charcoal, and peat samples. The recent progress of the AMS facility (Kim et al. 2001) and the extension of the sample pretreatment system to iron and bone samples were reported at the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference (Cheoun et al. 2001). In the meantime, extensive testing of accuracy and reproducibility has been carried out, and ∼1000 unknown archaeological and geological samples have been measured every year. In this report, the archaeological, geological, and environmental data carried out in 1999 are presented in terms of yr BP.
The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) began functioning in December 1998 and was first reported at the Vienna AMS conference in October 1999 and at the 17th Radiocarbon Conference in Israel in June 2000. At the Vienna conference, we reported our accelerator system (Kim et al. 2000) and the basic sample preparation system (Lee et al. 2000), including the combustion line to produce CO2; the catalytic reduction line for the graphitization of CO2; and also pretreatment procedures for wood, charcoal, and peat samples. Recent progress of the AMS facility (Kim et al. 2001) and extension of the sample pretreatment system to iron and bone samples were reported at the 17th Radiocarbon Conference (Cheoun et al. 2001). In the meantime, extensive testing of accuracy and reproducibility has been carried out, and ∼1000 unknown archaeological and geological samples have been measured every year. A report of data carried out in 1999 is presented by Kim et al. (this issue). In this report, the archaeological, geological, and environmental data carried out in 2000 are presented in terms of yr BP.
We present the current status of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of iron artifacts at Seoul National University (SNU). In ancient iron production, charcoal was widely used as carbon for the smelting process, whereas coal is used in modern times. If reliable data could be obtained from carbon by using AMS, ancient iron artifacts could be traced to their production age. In normal acid treatment, it is not easy to extract carbon due to its colloidal property. The negative charge property of the carbon colloid, however, makes it possible for it to be precipitated with positive ions by dissolving the iron chemically. An extraction yield of the carbon incorporated in modern cast iron of about 70% is attained. More refined methods to increase the extraction rate are under progress for archaeological applications.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
We report on the results of CCD photometric observations of the open cluster NGC 2539. Eight new variable stars have been found in the observed field of this cluster. However, no γ Doradus-type variability was found among the member stars.
A time-series CCD photometric survey of variable stars in open clusters has been in progress using 1.8-m telescope at the Bohyunsan Optical Astronomy Observatory (BOAO) in Korea. We present preliminary results of time series photometry for the intermediate-age open cluster NGC 2301.
To identify clinical factors that can explain the differences in treatment outcome, and examine the value of human papillomavirus infection as a prognostic biomarker in stage IVa tonsillar carcinomas.
Fifty-nine patients with tonsillar carcinoma classified as stage IVa were retrospectively analysed for survival outcomes according to various clinical factors. Human papillomavirus infection was evaluated using a human papillomavirus DNA chip test and immunohistochemical staining for p16 and p53.
Lower disease-free survival rates were associated with increasing local invasiveness and nodal status. Although human papillomavirus positivity and p16 expression was more common in locally advanced tonsillar carcinomas with advanced nodal status, the overall survival rate was better for patients with human papillomavirus positive, p16-positive tumours.
The disease-free survival rate may differ according to local tumour invasiveness and nodal status, even for stage IVa tonsillar cancers. Human papillomavirus infection may be a useful biomarker for predicting treatment outcomes for stage VIa tumours.
In February 2012, an outbreak of gastroenteritis was reported in school A; a successive outbreak was reported at school B. A retrospective cohort study conducted in school A showed that seasoned green seaweed with radishes (relative risk 7·9, 95% confidence interval 1·1–56·2) was significantly associated with illness. Similarly, a case-control study of students at school B showed that cases were 5·1 (95% confidence interval 1·1–24·8) times more likely to have eaten seasoned green seaweed with pears. Multiple norovirus genotypes were detected in samples from students in schools A and B. Norovirus GII.6 isolated from schools A and B were phylogenetically indistinguishable. Green seaweed was supplied by company X, and norovirus GII.4 was isolated from samples of green seaweed. Green seaweed was assumed to be linked to these outbreaks. To our knowledge, this is the first reported norovirus outbreak associated with green seaweed.
Ototoxicity due to cisplatin therapy interferes with treatment and often forces a reduction in the dosage, duration and frequency of the cisplatin therapy. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is known to have the highest antioxidant potency among all tea catechins. This study aimed to investigate the effect of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on cisplatin ototoxicity in an auditory cell line: House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cells.
Cultured House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cells were exposed to cisplatin with or without pre-treatment with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Cell viability was evaluated using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Hoechst 33258 staining was used to identify cells undergoing apoptosis. Western blot analysis was conducted to determine whether (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibited cisplatin-induced caspase activation. Intracellular reactive oxygen species production was examined to investigate whether (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate was capable of scavenging cisplatin-induced reactive oxygen species accumulation.
Cell viability significantly increased in cells pre-treated with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate compared with cells exposed to cisplatin alone. Cisplatin increased cleaved caspase-3 on Western blot analysis; however, pre-treatment with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibited the expression of caspase-3. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate attenuated reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis in House Ear Institute-Organ of Corti 1 cells.
(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate protected against cisplatin cytotoxicity through anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidative effects. Therefore, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate could play a preventive role in cisplatin-induced ototoxicity.
The Arabidopsis gene AVP1 encodes a vacuolar H+-translocating inorganic pyrophosphatase (enzyme classification (EC) 220.127.116.11) that functions as an electronic proton pump in the vacuolar membrane and affects growth development and the stress response in plants. The current study was conducted to evaluate the molecular properties of the Arabidopsis thaliana vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase (AVP1) gene in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Incorporation and expression of the transgene was confirmed by semi-quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR. Expression of the AVP1 gene in transgenic rice plants (TRP1 and TRP2) resulted in a significantly enhanced tolerance to 5·8 g/l NaCl under greenhouse conditions when compared with the control wild-type (WT) rice plants. Augmented AVP1 expression in the transgenic rice plants (TRP) also affected total biomass and improved ion homoeostasis through increased accumulation of Na+ ions in whole tissues when compared with control WT rice plants under high salinity conditions. The photochemical yield (Fv/Fm) values of TRP were higher than those of the WT rice plants, even though the values decreased over time in both the WT and transgenic (TRP1 to TRP8) rice plants. Furthermore, rice grain yield and biomass of the TRP were at least 15% higher based on culm and root weights, and panicle and spikelet numbers when compared with those of the WT rice plants during the 2010 and 2010 growing seasons in South Korea. Thus, these results suggest that ectopic AVP1 expression conferred tolerance and stress resistance to genetically modified transgenic crop plants by improving cellular ion homoeostasis in response to saline conditions, which enhanced rice yield and biomass under natural conditions in paddy fields.