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Photonic crystal surfaces represent a class of resonant optical structures that are capable of supporting high intensity electromagnetic standing waves with near-field and far-field properties that can be exploited for high sensitivity detection of biomolecules and cells. While modulation of the resonant wavelength of a photonic crystal by the dielectric permittivity of adsorbed biomaterials enables label-free detection, the resonance can also be tuned to coincide with the excitation wavelength of common fluorescent tags - including organic molecules and semiconductor quantum dots. Photonic crystals are also capable of efficiently channeling fluorescent emission into a preferred direction for enhanced extraction efficiency. Photonic crystals can be designed to support multiple resonant modes that can perform label free detection, enhanced fluorescence excitation, and enhanced fluorescence extraction simultaneously on the same device. Because photonic crystal surfaces may be inexpensively produced over large surface areas by nanoreplica molding processes, they can be incorporated into disposable labware for applications such as pharmaceutical high throughput screening. In this talk, the optical properties of surface photonic crystals will be reviewed and several applications will be described, including results from screening a 200,000-member chemical compound library for inhibitors of protein-DNA interactions, gene expression microarrays, and high sensitivity of protein biomarkers.
Detection of important biological molecules using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has become widely used because of the highly sensitive and label free approach offered by SERS as well as the low cytotoxic response from some SERS substrates. Gold nanoparticles are commonly used in SERS studies; however, the inherent instability of these metal nanostructures in solution adversely influences the reproducibility and quantitative nature of these measurements. Furthermore, the metal surface often denatures biomolecules upon their direct interaction. To combat this incompatibility and improve optical stability, gold nanoparticles have been encapsulated in silica shells. These Au@SiO2 nanostructures have been used extensively in cellular studies, but their SERS capabilities are generally limited to uses that include silica-entrapped SERS reporter molecules rather than direct SERS detection. This work focuses on combating these limitations via the fabrication of Au@SiO2 nanoparticles with porous silica membranes for the direct detection of target molecules in solution. Gold nanoparticles have been designed and coated with a variety of silica morphologies and subsequently interrogated using extinction spectroscopy and SERS. It will be revealed that these gold nanoparticles entrapped in silica membranes serve as optically stable substrates for the quantitative and direct detection of target molecules. These advances in nanomaterial fabrication are envisioned to impact both fundamental and applied studies in a variety of research areas including catalysis, separations, and spectroscopy.
Combining optics and microfluidics to create a portable optofluidic photonic crystal (PhC) biosensor is an approach with promising applications in the fields of counter-terrorism, agricultural sciences, and health sciences. Presented here are fabrication processes of a gallium nitride (GaN)-based PhC biosensor with a resonance-enhanced fluorescence detection mechanism that shows potential for meeting the single molecule detection requirements of these application areas. GaN is being targeted as the photonic crystal slab material for two main reasons: its transparency in the visible spectral range, within which the excitation and emission wavelengths of the commercial fluorescent-labeling dyes fall, and its intrinsic thermal stability which provides an increased flexibility of operating in different environments. Optical modeling efforts indicate a 25-fold enhancement of the fluorescent emission in this portable fluorescentbased PhC biosensor.
Infrared absorption spectroscopy is a powerful tool for structural and functional studies of biomolecules. The technique enables direct access to the vibrational fingerprints of molecular bonds in the mid-infrared spectral region (3-20μm). Although intrinsic absorption cross-sections are nearly ten orders of magnitude greater than corresponding Raman cross-sections, they are still small in comparison with those of fluorescent molecules. Sensitivity improvements are therefore required for the method to be applicable to single molecule / molecular layer studies. In this work, we demonstrate the use of lithographically patterned arrays of nanoantennas to enhance the absorption signature of the protein amide-I and II backbone vibrations. Strong absorption signals from monolayer thickness films are obtained. By arranging ensembles of tailored antennas in specific lattices, higher quality factor resonances and increased near-field intensities are possible. These features are leveraged to obtain 104-105 fold signal enhancements and the direct measurement of vibrational spectra of proteins at zepto-mole sensitivity levels.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
Cultures obtained from pre-operative middle-ear swabs from patients with chronic otitis media have traditionally been used to guide antibiotic selection. This study investigated changes in the bacterial strains of the middle ear during chronic otitis media surgery.
Pre-operative bacterial cultures of otorrhoea, and peri-operative cultures of the granulation tissue in either the middle ear or mastoid cavity, were obtained. Post-operative cultures were selectively obtained when otorrhoea developed after surgery.
Bacterial growth was observed in 45.5 per cent of pre-operative cultures, 13.5 per cent of peri-operative cultures and 4.5 per cent of post-operative cultures. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was identified as the most common bacteria in all pre-operative (32.4 per cent), peri-operative (52.4 per cent) and post-operative (71.4 per cent) tests, and the percentage of Methicillin-resistant S aureus increased from the pre- to the post-operative period.
The bacterial culture results for post-operative otorrhoea showed low agreement with those for pre-operative or peri-operative culture, and strain re-identification was required.
Schistosomiasis in China has been substantially reduced due to an effective control programme employing various measures including bovine and human chemotherapy, and the removal of bovines from endemic areas. To fulfil elimination targets, it will be necessary to identify other possible reservoir hosts for Schistosoma japonicum and include them in future control efforts. This study determined the infection prevalence of S. japonicum in rodents (0–9·21%), dogs (0–18·37%) and goats (6·9–46·4%) from the Dongting Lake area of Hunan province, using a combination of traditional coproparasitological techniques (miracidial hatching technique and Kato-Katz thick smear technique) and molecular methods [quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR)]. We found a much higher prevalence in goats than previously recorded in this setting. Cattle and water buffalo were also examined using the same procedures and all were found to be infected, emphasising the occurrence of active transmission. qPCR and ddPCR were much more sensitive than the coproparasitological procedures with both KK and MHT considerably underestimating the true prevalence in all animals surveyed. The high level of S. japonicum prevalence in goats indicates that they are likely important reservoirs in schistosomiasis transmission, necessitating their inclusion as targets of control, if the goal of elimination is to be achieved in China.
Thermal plasma wind tunnels with power of 0.4 MW and 2.4 MW have been constructed at Chonbuk National University (CBNU) in Korea. This facility is capable of producing a heat flux greater than 10 MW/m2, a level that is relevant for testing thermal protection materials that are used for re-entry vehicles in space transportation. A segmented arc plasma torch was adopted as a plasma source; this was designed to have high thermal efficiency and long life, and to produce a supersonic plasma flow with enthalpy greater than 10 MJ/kg. We investigated the characteristics of the supersonic plasma flow using intrusive and non-intrusive diagnostic systems. Ablation characteristics of potential thermal protection materials such as carbon/carbon composites and graphite were investigated with the plasma wind tunnel. Cracks and pores in the materials accelerated the erosion. For carbon/carbon composites, the pores grew and the cracks which occurred at the interfaces between the carbon fibres and the matrix propagated, while for the graphite, the erosion started at the pores and peeled off the surface.
Field surveys indicate that host population size, rather than density, is the most important determinant of monogenean infection dynamics. To verify this prediction, epidemic parameters were monitored for 70 days at five host population sizes held at constant density using a goldfish – Gyrodactylus kobayashii laboratory model. During the first 20 days, the rate of increase of prevalence and mean abundance was faster in small host populations. Total mean prevalence and total mean abundance throughout the experiment were not significantly affected by host population sizes. Higher transmission rates were detected in larger host populations. However, there were no significant differences in effective contact rates among the five host populations on each sampling day during the first 20 days, implying that contact rates may be saturated at a sufficiently high host density. These results demonstrate that the epidemic occurs more quickly in smaller host populations at the beginning of the experiment. However, the epidemic is independent of the host population size due to the similar effective contact rates in the five population sizes. Significant negative influence of the initial body condition (Kn) of uninfected goldfish on total mean abundance of parasites suggests that susceptibility of hosts is also a determinant of parasite transmission.
A radiocarbon (14C) dating technique with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was applied to estimate the year of death and the year of birth of unidentified human remains. Because many of the samples have been preserved in formaldehyde, it was necessary to evaluate the influence of formaldehyde on carbon ages. Samples intentionally preserved in formaldehyde during the known period were measured, and their Δ14C values were compared with results obtained from fresh samples. The influence of formaldehyde on soft tissue was 14 times larger than that on cortical bone. Unfortunately, an effective method for removing the influence of formaldehyde has not yet been found. 14C ages could be obtained only from the samples not preserved in formaldehyde. The years of birth were determined by the ages of the dentin samples, while the years of death were determined by the ages of the bone and soft tissue samples. Multiple sampling from a body provides an advantage in determination of one of two possible ages of a sample obtained using the bomb peak. Victims of the Korean War were ascertained by the year of death. The year of death and the age at death of unidentified bodies were also determined for forensic investigation.
The relationship between temperature and time required for collagenization using modern bone samples was investigated. Gelatinized samples of bone collagen were filtered to selectively collect different molecular weight fractions. The results of this study suggest that heating to 70 ° for a duration of 12 hr provides the optimal conditions for gelatinization.
The development of radiocarbon dating for degraded bone samples collected at Korean archaeological sites has been successful through the characterization of raw bone C/N ratios and application of an ultrafiltration method. It was found that the C/N ratios of raw bone samples are inversely proportional to the carbon content and residue amount after gelatinization. We have examined a few dozen Korean archaeological bone samples for this study. Well-preserved bone samples are found to be physically dense. The range of C/N ratios of Korean raw bone samples ranged from 3.4 to 74. We found that the C/N ratios of degraded raw bone samples can be used to determine whether 14C samples are acceptable for normal pretreatment processing and eventual dating. The results of this study support that even if the C/N ratio of a degraded raw bone sample is 11, extraction of collagen for bone dating is feasible by a carefully designed ultrafiltration process. Our preliminary 14C dating results of a depth profile of Gunang-gul Cave, an archaeological site in Danyang, Korea, indicate that this site has been either geologically or anthropologically disturbed in the past, with 14C ages ranging from 28,910 ± 200 to 48,090 ± 1050 yr BP. The C/N ratios of the collagen samples of Gunang-gul were determined to be 3.2–3.6. Our study establishes a new guide for the pretreatment of degraded bone samples such as those collected in Korea for 14C dating.
Salience network (SN) dysconnectivity has been hypothesized to contribute to schizophrenia. Nevertheless, little is known about the functional and structural dysconnectivity of SN in subjects at risk for psychosis. We hypothesized that SN functional and structural connectivity would be disrupted in subjects with At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) and would be associated with symptom severity and disease progression.
We examined 87 ARMS and 37 healthy participants using both resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging. Group differences in SN functional and structural connectivity were examined using a seed-based approach and tract-based spatial statistics. Subject-level functional connectivity measures and diffusion indices of disrupted regions were correlated with CAARMS scores and compared between ARMS with and without transition to psychosis.
ARMS subjects exhibited reduced functional connectivity between the left ventral anterior insula and other SN regions. Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial diffusivity were also found along white-matter tracts in close proximity to regions of disrupted functional connectivity, including frontal-striatal-thalamic circuits and the cingulum. FA measures extracted from these disrupted white-matter regions correlated with individual symptom severity in the ARMS group. Furthermore, functional connectivity between the bilateral insula and FA at the forceps minor were further reduced in subjects who transitioned to psychosis after 2 years.
Our findings support the insular dysconnectivity of the proximal SN hypothesis in the early stages of psychosis. Further developed, the combined structural and functional SN assays may inform the prognosis of persons at-risk for psychosis.
Various carbon structures, including carbon nanofilament (CNF), single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT), multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT), and pyrolytic graphite sheet (PGS), were exposed in air to determine how they vary according to carbon structure and air temperature. CNF is the carbon structure used in accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating (Santos et al. 2007). When CNF and MWCNT were exposed in cold air (3 or −18 °C) for longer than 6 hr, their 14C/12C ratio increased (>5 × 10–14). When heated in an oven (200 or 250 °C) for longer than 12 hr, their 14C/12C ratio decreased. However, when SWCNT and PGS were exposed in air cooled to 3 °C for 12 hr, their 14C/12C ratio did not increase. This phenomenon is very curious, and is useful for the development of a storage method for carbon samples made by reduction reactions of CO2.
Δ14C values of leaves of deciduous trees provide a means to map the regional-scale fossil fuel ratio in the atmosphere. We collected a batch of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba Linnaeus, a deciduous tree) leaf samples from across Korea in the month of July in both 2010 and 2011 to obtain the regional distribution of Δ14C. The Δ14C values of the samples were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM). The average of the Δ14C values from clean air sites in Korea in 2011 measured slightly lower than the average of Δ14C values in 2010. Distribution maps of Δ14C of 2011 and 2010 in Korea were made based on a series of Δ14C values of ginkgo leaf samples from Korea using the Geostatistical and Spatial analyst tools in ESRI's ArcMap software. The distribution maps of Δ14C showed that Δ14C values in the western part of Korea are lower than those in the eastern part of Korea. This is because the western part of Korea is densely populated and contains many industrial complexes, and also because westerly winds from China, containing CO2 from fossil fuel use, blow into Korea. We compared the distribution maps of 2010 and 2011 and tried to find traces of the Fukushima power plant accident in Japan.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
A calculation model is put forward to analyze the interfacial response of an elastic frictionless punch, pressed normally into a half-plane, and subject to bending moment throughout this paper to observe the important effect that different normal loads and bending moments on the contact pressure distribution and contact deformation. Results for the detailed considerations have been given to the specific different cases of ηc. A characteristic response of the punch to a surplus bending moment has been found. The small differences can be observed between both methods show characteristic features of the FEM model and the theoretical model. The presented numerical results illustrate the influences of the normal load and bending moment on the contact stresses. The results obtained can be used to analyze the crack nucleation in fretting when the punch is acted upon by the normal force and the bending moment.