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This paper presents a modularized autonomous pipeline inspection robot called MRINSPECT VII+, which we recently developed. MRINSPECT VII+ is aimed at inspect in-service urban gas pipelines with a diameter of 200 mm. The robot consists of five basic modules: driving, sensing, joint, and battery modules. For nondestructive testing (NDT), an NDT module can be added to the system. The driving module uses a multiaxial differential gear mechanism to provide traction forces to the robot. The sensor module recognizes the pipeline element using position-sensitive detector (PSD) sensors and a CCD camera. The control module contains a computing unit and manages the robot’s autonomous navigation. The battery module supplies power to the system. Each module is connected via backdrivable active joint modules, which provide flexibility while moving inside narrow pipelines. Additionally, the wireless communication module helps the system communicate with the ground station. We tested MRINSPECT VII+ in real pipeline environments and validated its feasibility successfully.
It has been well known that air pollution and sleep deprivation individually have impacts on human health; however, the association between the two has not been well researched. The aim of this study was to investigate this relationship at a community level.
We collected sleep outcomes from the Korean Community Health Survey between years of 2008 and 2016. The data contained 1 130 080 selected adults aged ⩾ 19 years, from 141 communities. As sleep outcomes, annual chronic sleep deprivation (% of people who sleep ⩽ 5 h per day on average) and average values of daily mean sleep duration were used. Community-specific annual averages of particulate matter with a diameter ⩽ 10 μm (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) were collected and then applied to a linear mixed effects model to estimate the association between air pollution over the past 4 years and sleep outcomes. Population density, green space, health behaviour, and gross regional domestic product per capita variables were considered as confounders in all mixed effect models.
From the linear mixed effect models, we found that the chronic sleep deprivation % was positively associated with PM10 (0.33% increase with 95% CI 0.05–0.60; per 10 μg/m3) and NO2 (0.68% with 95% CI 0.44–0.92; per 10 ppm). Higher PM10 and NO2 were also associated with shorter sleep duration, with a reduction of 0.37 min (95% CI −0.33 to 1.07 min; per 10 μg/m3) and 2.09 min (95% CI 1.50–2.68 min; per 10 ppm), respectively. The associations between PM10 and sleep outcomes were higher in females than males and in the older age groups (⩾ 60-years) than in younger age groups (19–39 and 40–59 years). However, the association between NO2 and sleep outcomes were more higher in males than in females and in the younger age groups (19–39 years) than other age groups.
Our findings provide epidemiological evidence that long-term interventions to reduce air pollutions are anticipated to provide improvements in sleep deficiency.
In this study, we used a data-mining approach to identify hidden groups in a corpus-based second-language (L2) vocabulary experiment. After a vocabulary pre-test, a total of 132 participants performed three online reading tasks (in random orders) equipped with the following glossary types: (1) concordance lines and definitions of target lexical items, (2) concordance lines of target lexical items, and (3) no glossary information. Although the results of a previous study based on variable-centred analysis (i.e. multiple regression analysis) revealed that more glossary information could lead to better learning outcomes (Lee, Warschauer & Lee, 2017), using a model-based clustering technique in the present study allowed us to unearth learner types not identified in the previous analysis. Instead of the performance pattern found in the previous study (more glossary led to higher gains), we identified one learner group who exhibited their ability to make successful use of concordance lines (and thus are optimized for data-driven learning, or DDL; Johns, 1991), and another group who showed limited L2 vocabulary learning when exposed to concordance lines only. Further, our results revealed that L2 proficiency intersects with vocabulary gains of different learner types in complex ways. Therefore, using this technique in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research to understand differential effects of accommodations can help us better identify hidden learner types and provide personalized CALL instruction.
Stable carbon isotope ratios were measured on the alpha-cellulose in tree rings of a pine tree (Pinus densiflora) from Yeongwol, Korea. We developed an annual-resolution δ13C series (1835–1905) by correcting the measured data for changes in δ13C of air to minimize non-climatic influences. To investigate the climatic signal in the δ13C series, we performed correlation analysis between δ13C and the Cheugugi climate data. The Cheugugi precipitation data were first recorded by King Sejong (1397–1450) of the Joseon Dynasty. However, the longest set of precipitation data available is the one collected in Seoul (1776–1907). Although many studies support the reliability of the Cheugugi data, no previous studies have investigated the potential of the δ13C signal in tree rings as paleoclimate proxy using the Cheugugi data. Recent precipitation trends in Yeongwol are quite similar to that of Seoul, and we found significant correlations between the Cheugugi data and the δ13C series. We suggest further studies to replicate these results and confirm whether comparing δ13C variations in tree rings and Cheugugi data is a useful method of investigating the potential of the δ13C signal as a paleoclimate proxy in or near the Korean peninsula.
The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) 5-minute neuropsychology protocol consists of only verbal tasks, and is proposed as a brief screening method for vascular cognitive impairment. We evaluated its feasibility within two weeks after stroke and ability to predict the development of post-stroke dementia (PSD) at 3 months after stroke.
We prospectively enrolled subjects with ischemic stroke within seven days of symptom onset who were consecutively admitted to 12 university hospitals. Neuropsychological assessments using the NINDS-CSN 5-minute and 60-minute neuropsychology protocols were administered within two weeks and at 3 months after stroke onset, respectively. PSD was diagnosed with reference to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement, requiring deficits in at least two cognitive domains.
Of 620 patients, 512 (82.6%) were feasible for the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol within two weeks after stroke. The incidence of PSD was 16.2% in 308 subjects who had completed follow-up at 3 months after stroke onset. The total score of the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol differed significantly between those with and without PSD (4.0 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.7, respectively; p < 0.01). A cut-off value of 6/7 showed reasonable discriminative power (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.67, AUC 0.74). The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol score was a significant predictor for PSD (adjusted odds ratio 6.32, 95% CI 2.65–15.05).
The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol is feasible to evaluate cognitive functions in patients with acute ischemic stroke. It might be a useful screening method for early identification of high-risk groups for PSD.
Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) is a critical molecule for the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Recent reports have shown that Oct4 also controls cell-cycle progression and enhances the proliferation of various types of cells. As the high proliferation of donor fibroblasts is critical to the production of transgenic pigs, using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique, we analysed the effect of Oct4 overexpression on the proliferation of porcine fibroblasts and embryos. Porcine endogenous Oct4 cDNA was cloned, sequenced and inserted into an expression vector. The vector was transfected into porcine fibroblasts, and a stable Oct4-overexpressed cell line was established by antibiotic selection. Oct4 expression was validated by the immunostaining of Oct4. Cell morphology was changed to sharp, and both proliferation and migration abilities were enhanced in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Real-time RT-PCR results showed that p16, Bcl2 and Myc were upregulated in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Somatic cell nuclear transfer was performed using Oct4-overexpressed cells, and the development of Oct4 embryos was compared with that of wild-type cloned embryos. The cleavage and blastocyst formation rates were improved in the Oct4 embryos. Interestingly, blastocyst formation of the Oct4 embryos was observed as early as day 5 in culture, while blastocysts were observed from day 6 in wild-type cloned embryos. In conclusion, the overexpression of Oct4 enhanced the proliferation of both porcine fibroblasts and embryos.
In this paper, human viscosity perception in haptic teleoperation systems is thoroughly analyzed. An accurate perception of viscoelastic environmental properties such as viscosity is a critical ability in several contexts, such as telesurgery, telerehabilitation, telemedicine, and soft-tissue interaction. We study and compare the ability to perceive viscosity from the standpoint of detection and discrimination using several relevant control methods for the teleoperator. The perception-based method, which was proposed by the authors to enhance the operator's kinesthetic perception, is compared with the conventional transparency-based control method for the teleoperation system. The fidelity-based method, which is a primary method among perception-centered control schemes in teleoperation, is also studied. We also examine the necessity and impact of the remote-site force information for each of the methods. The comparison is based on a series of psychophysical experiments measuring absolute threshold and just noticeable difference for all conditions. The results clearly show that the perception-based method enhances both detection and discrimination abilities compare with other control methods. The results further show that the fidelity-based method confers a better discrimination ability than the transparency-based method, although this is not true with respect to detection ability. In addition, we show that force information improves viscosity detection for all control methods, as predicted from previous theoretical analysis, but improves the discrimination threshold only for the perception-based method.
At the Seoul National University accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory, we are planning to develop an automated sample preparation system for higher throughput of radiocarbon dating. This system will consist of several sections, including a combustion line, CO2 trap, graphitization system, and so on. We usually collect CO2 by cryogenic trapping. However, since handling liquid nitrogen is expected to be rather difficult, we are interested in replacing the cryogenic method with the molecular sieve method for the collection of CO2. In this study, we compare the performance of the cryogenic trapping method and molecular sieve method. Zeolite 13X is used as a molecular sieve, and as test samples we use the oxalic acid standard (NIST SRM 4990C), high-purity graphite powder, and archaeological charcoals. The pMC values and the radiocarbon ages (BP) obtained from samples prepared by the above 2 methods are very similar. We especially focused on the memory effect of the molecular sieve, meaning the CO2 contamination from a previous sample, which can cause errors in age determination. To reduce this effect, we flowed He gas through a zeolite container for several minutes at a high temperature before the CO2 was introduced. By the adding this step, we have obtained more reliable results.
In this study, we investigated the effect of two oxygen concentrations (5 and 20%) during in vitro maturation (IVM) and during in vitro culture (IVC) on porcine embryo development and analysed differences in gene expression between cumulus–oocyte complexes matured under 5 or 20% oxygen and the resulting blastocysts cultured under 5% or 20% oxygen following parthenogenetic activation. There was no significant difference in oocyte maturation rate. However, the numbers of resulting blastocysts were significantly increased in the 5% IVC group compared with the 20% IVC group. Moreover, the M20C5 treatment group (23.01%) supported greater blastocyst development compared with the M5C5 (14.32%), M5C20 (10.30%), and M20C20 (17.88%) groups. However, total cell numbers were not significantly different among groups. According to mRNA abundance data of multiple genes, each treatment altered the expression of genes in different patterns. GLUT1, G6PD and LDHA were up-regulated in cumulus cells that had been matured in low oxygen, suggesting a higher glucose uptake and an increase in anaerobic glycolysis, whereas cyclin B1 (CCNB) and MnSOD (Mn-superoxide dismutase) were upregulated in cumulus cells that had been matured in high oxygen, which suggests a higher activity of mitosis-promoting factor and antioxidant response. In spite of these differential effects on cumulus cells, oocytes could mature normally regardless of different oxygen concentrations. Therefore, it can be concluded that high oxygen concentration during in vitro maturation and low oxygen during in vitro culture may alter the expression of multiple genes related to oocyte competence and significantly improves embryo development (p < 0.05) but not blastocyst quality.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate fish guild compositions and national river health using a multi-metric model of the Korean index of biological integrity using fishes (K-IBIF) in four major Korean watersheds along with water chemistry and habitat quality. Tolerant and omnivore fish species dominated all the watersheds, and the proportions of tolerance guilds and trophic guilds reflected water chemistry and habitat quality. The number of sensitive species and insectivore species had negative correlations (r < −0.42, P < 0.01) with chemical water quality (biological oxygen demand (BOD)), while tolerant species and omnivore species had positive correlation (r > 0.27, P < 0.05) with BOD values. Physical habit conditions, based on qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI) model, indicated a “good” condition (mean = 68.9; range = 45–105) in three watersheds, except for the Yeongsan River watershed. Values of QHEI were significantly correlated (R2 > 0.4, P < 0.01) with nitrogen and phosphorus levels in all watersheds, suggesting that habitat degradation is associated with eutrophication. Model values of K-IBIF in the watersheds averaged 18.2, indicating a “fair” condition, and about 37% of all observations in K-IBIF model values were judged as a “poor” health condition, indicating severe health impairment. Overall, our data suggest that degradation of the river health was due to a combined effect of chemical pollution and physical habitat modifications. This research provides valuable information on Korean river conservation and restoration in the future.
To determine the effectiveness of infection control strategies to reduce transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), a cohort study was performed in a university hospital. Contact precautions alone were not effective in reducing transmission of VRE. Strict isolation of affected patients in private rooms, in addition to use of contact precautions, showed a significantly improved reduction in the transmission of VRE.
System in package (SiP) is a superb candidate to enhance the area efficiency and performance of electronic packaging. Here, recent work on stacked chip type 3D SiP with vertically interconnected through hole vias are reported. The process includes; formation of 50um-diameter via holes, conformal deposition of SiO2 dielectric layer, deposition of Ta and Cu barrier layers, via filling by Cu electroplating, Cu/Sn bump formation for multi-chip stacking, and finally chip-to-PCB bonding using Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu solder and ENIG pad. A prototype 3D SiP stacked up to 10 layers was successfully fabricated.
A high frequency electrical model of the through hole via was proposed and the model parameters were extracted from measured S-parameters. The proposed model was verified by TDR/TDT (time domain reflectometry/time domain transmission) and eye-diagram measurement. Contact resistances of Cu via and bump joint were presented.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how constituents of the diet interact with genes, and their products, to alter phenotype and, conversely, how genes and their products metabolise these constituents into nutrients, antinutrients, and bioactive compounds. Results from molecular and genetic epidemiological studies indicate that dietary unbalance can alter gene–nutrient interactions in ways that increase the risk of developing chronic disease. The interplay of human genetic variation and environmental factors will make identifying causative genes and nutrients a formidable, but not intractable, challenge. We provide specific recommendations for how to best meet this challenge and discuss the need for new methodologies and the use of comprehensive analyses of nutrient–genotype interactions involving large and diverse populations. The objective of the present paper is to stimulate discourse and collaboration among nutrigenomic researchers and stakeholders, a process that will lead to an increase in global health and wellness by reducing health disparities in developed and developing countries.
We report the discovery of three new star clusters in the halo of the Local Group dwarf irregular galaxy NGC 6822. These clusters were found in the deep images taken with the MegaPrime at the CFHT covering a total field of 2 deg $\times$ 2 deg. The most remote cluster is found to be located as far as 79 arcmin away from the center of NGC 6822. This distance is several times larger than the size of the region in NGC 6822 where star clusters were previously found. Morphological structures of the clusters and color-magnitude diagrams of the resolved stars in the clusters show that at least two of these clusters are proabably old globular clusters.
Porcelain (veneer layer)/alumina (core layer) is a typical dental crown structure. Due to its high incidence of failure, a new porcelain/mullite (buffer layer)/alumina trilayer structure is designed, fabricated, and evaluated. Alumina green bodies were prepared by gel-casting process, and then calcined at 900 and 1100°C to infiltrate mullite precursor slurry of silica-rich (Al2O3·2SiO2) composition into the bodies. Porosity in the bodies is not dependent on calcination temperature, resulting in a similar infiltration depth. Porcelain was coated on the alumina sintered at 1600°C with and without mullite buffer layer. There are no delamination or cracks observed after firing the layered materials. Rod type microstructure and continuous composition are indicated at the interface in the case of the layered structure with mullite buffer layer. To investigate the cracking resistance behavior for this new structure, Vickers indentation and Hertzian contact fatigue tests were conducted. Cracks do not penetrate the interface with mullite buffer layer into the porcelain, showing a reversal case for the layered structure without mullite buffer layer. The layered structure with mullite buffer layer shows higher critical load for fracture than that without mullite buffer layer. Fracture mode of the layered structures in cyclic fatigue shows a top layer (porcelain) fracture at relatively low load (P = 250 N) and higher cycles (n = 106), and a bottom layer (alumina) fracture at higher load (P = 300 N) and relatively low cycles (n = 105).
Korea Astronomy Observatory (KAO) is working to rebuild a 1.0-m robotic telescope in collaboration with a company (Astronomical Consultants & Equipment, Inc. or ACE). The telescope is being totally refurbished to make a fully automatic telescope which can operate in both interactive an fully autonomous robotic modes. This paper describes the design concepts and the work completed. The telescope is an f/7.5 Ritchey-Chretien system mounted on an equatorial fork with friction drives capable of high slewing (5°/s2) and high resolution tracking. The control software manages the entire telescope, instruments and observatory. In interactive local and remote modes the observer can manually enter coordinates or retrieve them from a database. In robotic mode the telescope controller downloads requests from users and creates a schedule. The telescope will be equipped with a CCD camera and will be available over the internet.
The Far-ultraviolet IMaging Spectrograph (FIMS) is a small spectrograph optimized for the observations of diffuse hot interstellar medium in far-ultraviolet wavebands (900–1150Å and 1335–1750Å). The instrument is expected to be sensitive to emission line fluxes an order of magnitude fainter than any previous missions. FIMS is currently under development and is scheduled for launch in 2002.
Surface pretreatment using Cl2 plasma was applied to n-type GaN and Ti/Al ohmic contacts with resistivity of ~ 10−6 Ω cm2, realized without annealing. Using synchrotron radiation photoemission spectroscopy, it was observed that the Fermi level moved by 0.5 eV toward the conduction band edge and the atomic ratio of Ga/N was increased by the treatment. This suggests that a number of N vacancies were produced at the treated surface and the Fermi level was pinned at the energy level of N vacancies near the conduction band. The N vacancies acting as donors for electrons produced a number of electrons, resulting in the near surface region to be in the degenerate state. Both the shift of Fermi level and the production of electrons at the treated surface lead to the reduction in contact resistivity through the decrease of the effective Schottky barrier for conduction of electrons.