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There are growing concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of older adults. We examined the effect of the pandemic on the risk of depression in older adults.
We analyzed data from the prospective cohort study of Korean older adults, which has been followed every 2 years. Among the 2308 participants who completed both the third and the fourth follow-up assessments, 58.4% completed their fourth follow-up before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rest completed it during the pandemic. We conducted face-to-face diagnostic interviews using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and used Geriatric Depression Scale. We performed generalized estimating equations and logistic regression analyses.
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increased depressive symptoms in older adults [b (standard error) = 0.42 (0.20), p = 0.040] and a doubling of the risk for incident depressive disorder even in euthymic older adults without a history of depression (odds ratio = 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.18–5.02, p = 0.016). Less social activities, which was associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic. However, less family gatherings, which was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was associated with the doubled risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influences the risk of late-life depression in the community. Older adults with a lack of family gatherings may be particularly vulnerable.
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.
Background: The influences of demographics, culture, language, and environmental changes on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores are considerable.
Methods: Using a sample of 7452 healthy, community-dwelling elderly Koreans, aged 55 to 94 years, who participated in the four ongoing geriatric cohorts in Korea, we investigated demographic influences on MMSE scores and derived normative data for this population. Geropsychiatrists strictly excluded subjects with cognitive disorders according to the protocol of the Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet (CERAD-K) Clinical Assessment Battery (CERAD-K-C).
Results: Education (standardized β = 0.463), age (standardized β = −0.303), and gender (standardized β = −0.057) had significant effects on MMSE scores (p < 0.001). The score of MMSE increase 0.379 point per 1-year education, decrease 0.188 per 1-year older, and decrease 0.491 in women compared to men. Education explained 30.4% of the scores’ total variance, which was much larger than the variances explained by age (8.4%) or gender (0.3%). Accordingly, we present normative data for the MMSE stratified by education (0, 1–3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–12, and ≥ 13 years), age (60–69, 70–79, and 80–89 years), and gender.
Conclusions: We provide contemporary education-, age-, and gender-stratified norms for the MMSE, derived from a large, community-dwelling elderly Korean population sample, which could be useful in evaluating individual MMSE scores.
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.
We fabricated quantum dot arrays using anodic alumina mask. We grew an alumina template on Si wafers by two-step anodization. The porous alumina template thus grown is used as a mask for metal deposition. After thermal evaporation and removal of the mask, we fabricated the quantum dot arrarys on a Si substrate. Using this template-assisted method we obtained a high density array of quantum dots in a large scale. These quantum dots have a narrow size distribution which can be easily controlled by a pore widening of templates from 20 to 60 nm.
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