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The present study aimed to compare the anti-biofilm activities of four commonly available antiseptic eardrops against biofilms from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and quinolone-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro.
The anti-biofilm activities of 50 per cent Burow's solution, vinegar with water (1:1), 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and 4 per cent boric acid solution were evaluated using biofilm assays. Additionally, the anti-biofilm activities of the four antiseptic solutions against tympanostomy tube biofilms were compared using a scanning electron microscope.
The inhibition of biofilm formation from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa occurred after treatment with 4 per cent boric acid solution, 2 per cent acetic acid solution, and vinegar with water (1:1). However, 50 per cent Burow's solution did not exhibit effective anti-biofilm activity.
The results indicate that 4 per cent boric acid solution and vinegar with water (1:1) are potent inhibitors of biofilms from methicillin-resistant S aureus and quinolone-resistant P aeruginosa, and provide safe pH levels for avoiding ototoxicity.
We report on the astrometric registration of VLBI images of the SiO and H2O masers in OH 231.8+4.2, the iconic Proto-Planetary Nebula also known as the Calabash nebula, using the KVN and Source/Frequency Phase Referencing. This, for the first time, robustly confirms the alignment of the SiO masers, close to the AGB star, which drives the bi-lobe structure with the water masers in the out-flow.
In South Korea, the resurgence of mumps was noted primarily among school-aged children and adolescents since 2000. We analyzed spatial patterns in mumps incidence to give an indication to the geographical risk. We used National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System data from 2001 to 2015, classifying into three periods according to the level of endemicity. A geographic-weighted regression analysis was performed to find demographic predictors of mumps incidence according to district level. We assessed the association between the total population size, population density, percentage of children (age 0–19 years), timely vaccination rate of measles–mumps–rubella vaccines and the higher incidence rate of mumps. During low endemic periods, there were sporadic regional distributions of outbreak in the central and northern part of the country. During intermediate endemic periods, the increase of incidence was noted across the country. During high endemic period, a nationwide high incidence of mumps was noted especially concentrated in southwestern regions. A clear pattern for the mumps cluster shown through global spatial autocorrelation analysis from 2004 to 2015. The ‘non-timely vaccination coverage’ (P = 0·002), and ‘proportion of children population’ (P < 0·001) were the predictors for high mumps incidence in district levels. Our study indicates that the rate of mumps incidence according to geographic regions vary by population proportion and neighboring regions, and timeliness of vaccination, suggesting the importance of community-level surveillance and improving of timely vaccination.
High-grade gliomas are deadly cancers, and current standard-of-care has demonstrated limited success. The ability to specifically target glioma cells can allow for the development of improved theranostic agents leading to better detection methods, as well as safer anti-cancer therapies. Brevican (Bcan), a CNS-specific protein is upregulated in glioma cells and correlates with tumor progression. Particularly, a Bcan isoform lacking normal glycosylation, called B/bDg is a unique glioma marker and is not expressed in non-cancerous tissues. Therefore, B/bDg represents a valuable target for anti-cancer strategies. We describe here the discovery of novel high-affinity B/bDg-targeted peptides using rapid combinatorial library screening approaches and a microfluidic sorting device of our own design. Briefly, a one-bead-one-compound (OBOC) peptide library was screened against small magnetic particles decorated with B/bDg. Positive “hit” beads labeled with magnetic particles were isolated using an inexpensive but yet, accurate and high-throughput in-house microfluidic magnetic-activated sorter. These hits were exposed to cells expressing B/bDg, and beads with the highest cell association were isolated and sequenced. Seven novel peptides were identified. Cell uptake analyses and blocking studies revealed that 5 of these peptides displayed specific uptake in B/bDg-overexpressing cells. These candidates displayed nano-/micromolar binding affinity for recombinant B/bDg protein. Further analyses of these candidates using confocal microscopy revealed increased peptide binding/uptake in patient-derived glioma stem cells (GSCs) compared with primary human astrocytes. We plan to incorporate these onto multi-functional BBB-penetrating nanoparticles loaded with imaging agents or a drug payload to translate them into highly selective and efficacious brain cancer theranostic agents.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
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.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with abnormal cognitive and emotional functions and these dysfunctions may be dependent on the disruption of dynamic interactions within neuronal circuits associated with emotion regulation. Although several studies have shown the aberrant cognitive–affective processing in OCD patients, little is known about how to characterize effective connectivity of the disrupted neural interactions. In the present study, we applied effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling to explore the disturbed neural interactions in OCD patients.
A total of 20 patients and 21 matched healthy controls performed a delayed-response working memory task under emotional or non-emotional distraction while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
During the delay interval under negative emotional distraction, both groups showed similar patterns of activations in the amygdala. However, under negative emotional distraction, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) exhibited significant differences between groups. Bayesian model averaging indicated that the connection from the DLPFC to the OFC was negatively modulated by negative emotional distraction in patients, when compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected).
Exaggerated recruitment of the DLPFC may induce the reduction of top-down prefrontal control input over the OFC, leading to abnormal cortico-cortical interaction. This disrupted cortico-cortical interaction under negative emotional distraction may be responsible for dysfunctions of cognitive and emotional processing in OCD patients and may be a component of the pathophysiology associated with OCD.
Bone contouring is currently the best treatment for fibro-osseous lesions after bone growth arrest. Navigation systems available for this surgery allow intra-operative visualisation with improved cosmetic outcomes. However, conventional navigation systems using superficial skin registration cannot prevent subtle discrepancies.
To address this problem, we used a non-invasive cranial bone registration that uses patient-specific dental templates to maintain exact registration. We created the preset goal using the mirror image of the unaffected side for unilateral lesions, and using images obtained before the onset of symptoms for bilateral lesions. This system achieved precise pre-operative simulation. A sound aid in the navigation system provided information regarding proximity to critical structures and to the preset goal.
We used this system to contour fibro-osseous lesions in three patients. All patients achieved good facial contours and improvement in symptoms.
This method offers a safe, rapid surgical aid in treating orbital fibro-osseous lesions.
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.
We have systematically studied the influence of Si doping on the optical characteristics of InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) using photoluminescence (PL), PL excitation (PLE), and time-resolved PL spectroscopy combined with studies of optically pumped stimulated emission and structural properties from these materials. The MQWs were grown on 1.8-μm-thick GaN layers on c-plane sapphire films by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. The structures consisted of 12 MQWs with 3-nm-thick InGaN wells, 4.5-nm-thick GaN barriers, and a 0.1-μm-thick Al0.07Ga0.93N capping layer. The Si doping level in the GaN barriers was varied from 1 × 1017 to 3 × 1019 cm−3. PL and PLE measurements show a decrease in the Stokes shift with increasing Si doping concentration. The 10 K radiative recombination lifetime was observed to decrease with increasing Si doping concentration (n), from ∼ 30 ns (for n < 1 × 1017 cm−3) to ∼ 4 ns (for n = 3 × 1019 cm−3). To elucidate whether non-radiative recombination processes affect the measured lifetime, the temperature-dependence of the measured lifetime was investigated. The reduced Stokes shift, the decrease in radiative recombination lifetime, and the increase in structural and interface quality with increasing Si doping indicate that the incorporation of Si in the GaN barriers results in a decrease in carrier localization at potential fluctuations in the InGaN active regions and the interfaces.
A GaN/AlGaN heterojunction bipolar transistor has been fabricated using Cl2/Ar dry etching for mesa formation. As the hole concentration increases due to more efficient ionization of the Mg acceptors at elevated temperatures (> 250°C), the device shows improved gain. Future efforts should focus on methods for reducing base resistance, which are briefly summarized.
Temperature-dependent photoluminescence (PL) studies have been performed on InGaN epilayers and InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. We observed anomalous temperature dependent emission behavior (specifically an S-shaped decrease-increase-decrease) of the peak energy (EPL) of the InGaN-related PL emission with increasing temperature. In the case of the InGaN epilayer, EPL decreases in the temperature range of 10 – 50 K, increases for 50 – 110 K, and decreases again for 110 – 300 K with increasing temperature. For the InGaN/GaN MQWs, EPL decreases from 10 – 70 K, increases from 70 – 150 K, then decreases again for 150 – 300 K. The actual temperature dependence of the PL emission was estimated with respect to the bandgap energy determined by photoreflectance spectra. We observed that the PL peak emission shift has an excellent correlation with a change in carrier lifetime with temperature. We demonstrate that the temperature-induced S-shaped PL shift is caused by the change in carrier recombination dynamics with increasing temperature due to inhomogeneities in the InGaN structures.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of post-operative voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal.
The study retrospectively enrolled 55 consecutive patients who had undergone voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal occurring between June 2010 and June 2011. A historical group of 63 similar patients not receiving voice therapy was used as an external control. We compared voice analysis parameters and Voice Handicap Index scores for the two groups.
Most objective and subjective voice outcome parameters were significantly improved after surgical treatment. Although the study and control groups showed no significant difference regarding objective parameters (using acoustic and aerodynamic analysis) or the subjective parameters assessed using the grade-roughness-breathiness-asthenia-strain scale, the study group had significantly better final Voice Handicap Index scores.
Following surgery for vocal polyps, post-operative voice therapy can improve patients' vocal discomfort, emotional responses and everyday self-perception.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is now recognized as a common cause of foodborne outbreaks. This study aimed to describe the first ETEC O169 outbreak identified in Korea. In this outbreak, we identified 1642 cases from seven schools. Retrospective cohort studies were performed in two schools; and case-control studies were conducted in five schools. In two schools, radish kimchi was associated with illness; and in five other schools, radish or cabbage kimchi was found to have a higher risk among food items. Adjusted relative risk of kimchi was 5·87–7·21 in schools that underwent cohort studies; and adjusted odds ratio was 4·52–12·37 in schools that underwent case-control studies. ETEC O169 was isolated from 230 affected students, and was indistinguishable from the isolates detected from the kimchi product distributed by company X, a food company that produced and distributed kimchi to all seven schools. In this outbreak, we found that the risk of a kimchi-borne outbreak of ETEC O169 infection is present in Korea. We recommend continued monitoring regarding food safety in Korea, and strengthening surveillance regarding ETEC O169 infection through implementation of active laboratory surveillance to confirm its infection.