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Pneumococcal serotype replacement is an important issue after the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children. After the introduction of 13-valent PCV, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 12F (Sp12F) have increased in some countries; however, an outbreak of Sp12F has not reported in the post-13-valent PCV era. We experienced a local outbreak of Sp12F during March through May 2016 in Tsuruoka city, Japan after the introduction of 13-valent PCV in 2013. The IPD patients were two children and seven adults, three of whom died with a rapid disease progress. Although the clear transmission route was not determined, eight of the nine patients (89%) had close contact with children, which suggests that transmitted colonisation of Sp12F among children and adults might be the source of transmission. Continuous monitoring of IPDs, along with the determination of pneumococcal serotypes, is warranted in the post–13-valent PCV era. New IPD control strategies may be needed if this fatal outbreak continues to occur.
Recently, the issue of sustainable resource management has been increasingly recognized.
Economic growth of human activity is associated with a rapid rise in the use of resources
in our economy, and society has a potential environmental impact. The UNEP International
Resource Panel (IRP) pointed out the importance of decoupling resource use and negative
environmental impacts from economic activity (UNEP IRP 2011). In order to
optimize the material cycles and increase resource efficiency, material flow analysis
(MFA) is a powerful tool to understand the resource consumption and material cycle in the
national economy. In this study, we present the results of global material flow analysis
of nickel, which is one of the important resources for reducing energy use and
CO2 emission in
our society, and discuss the importance and possibility of controlling its resource
logistics. This study also introduces the challenge of identifying the land-use changes in
nickel mining sites by a remote-sensing technique, and knowledge to increase the resource
efficiency in metal recycling based on the metallurgical thermodynamic approach. The
results indicated the importance of recovery of nickel in recycling policies for
end-of-life (EoL) vehicles and constructions. Improvement in EoL sorting technologies and
implementation of designs for recycling/disassembly at the manufacturing phase are needed.
Possible solutions include development of sorting processes for steel scrap and
introduction of easier methods for identifying the composition of secondary resources.
Recovery of steel scrap with a high alloy content will reduce primary inputs of alloying
elements and contribute to more efficient resource use.
Exposure to environmental toxicants or exogenous oestrogen increases the risk of cancer. Some toxicants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) undergo biotransformation to become genotoxic agents. Cytochrome p450 (CYP) 1B1 is an enzyme catalysing this transformation. Consumption of fruit and vegetables is considered to be protective against carcinogenesis, and naringenin can be found abundantly in citrus fruits. In the present study, the effect of naringenin on the regulation of CYP1B1 was investigated in MCF-7 cells. Enzyme inhibition assays revealed that naringenin inhibited CYP1B1 at or above 5 μm but not CYP1A1 activity. Quantitative PCR analysis also demonstrated that 1 μm-naringenin reduced CYP1B1 mRNA expression induced by 7,12-dimethylbenz(α)anthracene (DMBA). Further study illustrated that the suppression was at the transcriptional level. Since previous studies have shown that oestrogen response element (ERE) and xenobiotic-responsive element (XRE) are functional binding sequences in the promoter region of CYP1B1, interference of DNA binding on these two elements was pursued. Employing reporter gene assays as well as the electromobility shift assay, we verified that naringenin counteracted DMBA-induced XRE binding at − 1675. These results supported the notion that fruit consumption could be a protective measure against PAH biotransformation.
Preparation of the CaTiO3:Pr (CTO:Pr) phosphor thin film on PET substrate was investigated by using the excimer laser-assisted metal organic decomposition(ELAMOD) and photo reaction of nano-particles (PRNP) process. The effects of the substrate material, starting materials, and UV sources on photoluminescence (PL) were investigated. By using the BaTiO3(BTO) nano-particles buffer layer and the CTO: Pr nano-particles as a starting material, CTO: Pr thin film on the PET substrate was successfully obtained by using the KrF laser and excimer lamp irradiation at 25°C. It was found that excimer lamp irradiation is effective for improving the PL of the films.
The operation of an economy is supported by the stock of materials in the form of durables and infrastructure such as machinery, equipment, buildings, and structures. The amount of durables and infrastructure or “capital stock” in the economy is of great interest in the literature of economics, and is usually measured in monetary terms based on the data on capital expenditure. In spite of its wide use by economists, this measure of “capital stock” is of very limited use for sustainable management of material stock because of its neglect of physical properties such as the mass and material composition. This paper proposes a new method of measuring the stock of long-lived durables and infrastructure in terms of the mass of its materials. This method is based on the WIO-MFA method [S. Nakamura et al. J. Ind. Ecol. 11 (2007) 50-63] and the capital formation matrix that is one of the supplementary tables of the input-output table. The method is applied to the Japanese input-output data with 400 sectors, with 9 types of metals (iron, ferroalloy, copper, zinc, lead, tin, aluminum, silver, and gold) and 8 types of plastics (thermo-setting resins, PE (low), PE (high), PS, PP, PVC, high-performance resins, and other resins) occurring as materials. It was found that substantial variations exist among sectors while fixed capital formation in the year 2000 weighs 518 kg per million Japanese yen on average in metals and plastics.
Hexagonal ZnO was grown on hexagonal (001) sapphire substrate, then cubic La(Sr)MnO3(LSMO) was grown on ZnO underlayer by ion beam sputtering at substrate temperatures of 550-750°C to obtain double-layer of LSMO/ZnO. Out-of-plane (001) oriented ZnO was grown with in-plane orientation of [10-10](0001)ZnO//[11-20](0001)sapphire. Mixed phase of LSMO with out-of-plane (001), (110) and (111) orientations was grown on (001) ZnO usually. However each single phase of LSMO could be grown by controlling deposition conditions. The LSMO grains have their in-plane orientations of (110)LSMO //[10-10](0001)ZnO and (111)LSMO//[11-20](0001)ZnO.
The stability of elongated single- and multi-layered graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are investigated by molecular-dynamics simulation. In order that GNRs are to be modeled as nanobridges connecting two terminals of electronic devices, the short edges of the GNRs are constrained. The distances between the two constrained edges are gradually increased, and the GNRs are uniaxially strained. The energies and out-of-plane deformations of such uniaxially strained GNRs are examined. The energies of multi-layered GNRs will be lower than those of isolated GNRs because the surface areas of multi-layered GNRs are smaller than the total area of the isolated GNRs. Understanding the relationship between the out-of-plane deformations and strain will lead to the control of the ripple structures of GNRs.
The material properties of two ultra low-k organic polymers are characterized for copper interconnect integration. The k-values are 2.2-2.3 for both. Compared to OSG materials of similar k-values, these polymers have lower porosity and smaller pore size, achieved using selfassembled chemistry. Both materials demonstrate excellent resistance to plasma damage: no water uptake was detected after exposure to selected etching plasmas. This characteristic, combined with the small pore size and low porosity, results in the successful integration of the organic low-ks in 80 nm spacing with no significant increase in the integrated k-values.
It is found that higher open porosity in polymer A is accompanied by higher leakage current, which is not however linked to lower dielectric breakdown lifetimes.
The nucleotide sequences of the haemagglutinin (HA) genes of influenza A (H3N2) isolates from the 1985–6 season in Japan along with those of several viruses isolated between 1982–5 from other countries were analyzed to determine the origin of the 1985–6 Japanese strains. The HA genes of these viruses consisted of 1762 nucleotides and had a three-nucleotide deletion downstream from the stop codon when compared to the sequences of earlier Hong Kong H3N2 viruses. An evolutionary tree of the HA genes of these viruses was drawn using the A/Bangkok/1/79 sequence as the starting point. Eight strains isolated from Asian and Pacific regions including Japan in the 1985–6 season (one in May) had the HA genes located closely on the evolutionary tree but away from those of the isolates in North America and Europe during the 1984–5 season, and a common ancestry for these viruses was suggested.
From January 1985 to May 1991, herald strains of influenza B virus were isolated in 1987 and 1989 in Japan. In both cases, influenza epidemics caused by the same type followed in the next winter season. The HA gene sequences of the influenza B viruses isolated in Japan from 1987–91, which covers two herald waves of influenza B viruses, were analysed and located on the phylogenetic tree for influenza B viruses after the B/Singapore/64 strain. Co-circulation of at least two evolutionary lineages of the HA genes existed for influenza B viruses in Japan during the period of this study. The herald viruses in one wave (1987) were genetically close to the winter isolates and were considered to be the parental viruses for the following influenza season, while in the other wave (1989) winter isolates belonged to another lineage on which one of the herald viruses was located, but they were genetically and antigenically different from the herald viruses.
Influenza B virus reinfection in Japanese children was studied epidemi-ologically during 1979–91 and virologically during 1985–91. During this investigation, there were four epidemics caused by influenza B viruses, each of which accompanied antigenic drift. Between the epidemics in 1987/88 and 1989/90, the viruses changed drastically, both genetically and antigenically. The minimum rate of reinfection with influenza B virus during the whole period was 3–25% depending on the influenza seasons. The antigens of primary and reinfection strains of influenza B virus isolated from 18 children during 1985–90, which covered three epidemic periods, were studied by haemagglutination inhibition tests. The results showed that the viruses isolated in the 1984/85 and 1987/88 influenza seasons, which belonged to the same lineage, were antigenically close, and reinfection occurred with these viruses. The results of amino-acid analysis of the HA1 polypeptide of these viruses corresponded with those of antigenic analysis. There were no specific amino-acid changes shared by the primary infection and reinfection influenza B viruses; the patients were infected with the viruses epidemic at that time.
The epidemiology of influenza A in Japan was studied during 1979–91 and viruses isolated from reinfections during 1983–91 were analysed, Of 2963 influenza viruses isolated during this period, 922 and 1006 were influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) viruses respectively; the others were influenza B viruses. Influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) caused 5 and 6 epidemics respectively, most accompanied by antigenic drift. Seventeen reinfections with H1N1 and 17 with H3N2 were detected during our study. The primary and reinfection strains isolated from 7 H1N1 and 10 H3N2 cases were studied by haemagglutination-inhibition, and amino acid and nucleotide sequences of the HA1 region of the haemagglutinin. Most of the primary and reinfection strains were antigenically and genetically similar to the epidemic viruses circulating at that time. However, in 4 out of 10 cases of reinfection with influenza H3N2 virus, reinfection strains were genetically different from the epidemic viruses.
From January 1985 to March 1989, off-season viruses of H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes of influenza A viruses were isolated on five occasions in Japan. The HA gene sequences of the influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) viruses isolated in Japan from 1985–9 were analysed and the phylogenetic tree for each subtype virus was constructed to determine any genetic relationship between viruses isolated in off-seasons and the epidemic viruses of the following influenza seasons. In one instance with H1N1 viruses in 1986 and in two instances with H3N2 viruses in 1985 and 1987, the spring isolates were genetically close to some of the winter isolates and were considered to be the parental viruses of the following influenza seasons. However, even in these cases, influenza viruses of the same subtype with different lineages co-circulated in Japan.
We determined the nucleotide sequences of Norwalk-like viruses in 10 PCR products from stool or oyster specimens obtained from four outbreaks of gastroenteritis in which shellfish was suspected as the cause in Shizuoka prefecture in Japan between 1987–94. The sequences were determined from nucleotide positions 4561–852 (292 bp) in the polymerase region. Two types of sequences were detected. One (genotype 1) had 87% sequence homology with the prototype Norwalk virus, and the other (genotype 2) had 59 % sequence homology. The sequences from isolates belonging to the same genotype were almost the same regardless of the year of isolation. Because sequences of 2 genotypes were detected in 2 of the 4 outbreaks, nested PCR was performed with genotype-specific primers to detect the presence of 2 genotypes in the same specimen. In 5 of 10 specimens, PCR bands were detected with both genotype-specific primers, indicating the coexistence of 2 genotypes in 1 specimen. We also detected two genotypes of Norwalk-like virus in an oyster from a sample implicated in one of the outbreaks which may provide direct evidence of oysters as the cause of the gastroenteritis.
The aim was to estimate the incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection in health-care workers (HCWs) in Japan. We repeated cross-sectional surveys of HCWs with QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT-G) in 2003, 2005 and 2007 at a hospital with tuberculosis (TB) wards, and 311 HCWs who underwent QFT-G testing two or three times were included in the study. Five HCWs (1·8%) converted from negative to positive. Incidence of new TB infection was estimated to be 0·6/100 person-years by the CDC's definition. Thirteen positive persons (41%) reverted from positive to negative. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified a significant association between QFT-G conversion and working in TB wards. The IFN-γ levels of all but two subjects with reverting or converting QFT-G results were close to the test's cut-off. The incidence of Mtb infection in HCWs at our hospital was higher than that estimated for the general population in Japan. Criteria for defining QFT-G conversion and reversion need further investigation considering the high proportion of reversion, as the incidence of infection would have changed if we had applied other definitions.
In order to restrain global warming and to realize a sustainable global energy system, further enhancements in energy efficiency are required. One reliable technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of fossil fuel is thermoelectric technology, which can directly convert heat into electricity and consequently increases the energy conversion efficiency of power generation by combustion. Magnesium silicide (Mg2Si) is a promising candidate for a thermal-to-electric energy-conversion material at operating temperatures ranging from 500 to 800 K. Mg2Si exhibits many promising characteristics, such as the abundance of its constituent elements in the earth’s crust and the non-toxicity of its processing by-products, resulting in freedom from concerns regarding prospective extended restrictions on hazardous substances.
The efficiency of a thermoelectric device is characterized by the dimensionless figure of merit, ZT. It is well known that several kinds of dopants are effective in improving the thermoelectric performance of n-type Mg2Si. With Bi-doped n-type Mg2Si, we have achieved a maximum value of the dimensionless figure-of-merit ZT of ˜1.0 at ˜ 850 K. However, the correlation between the ZT values and the power generation characteristics, which is essential to understand in order to design a structure for a TE power generation module, has not been sufficiently investigated. In order to design a structure for a thermoelectric module using Mg2Si, we examined the correlation between the ZT values and the power-output of a single element using Mg2Si (ZT = 0.6) and Mg2Si doped with donor impurities such as Al and/or Bi (ZT = 0.65˜0.77). The measured single element was 2×2 mm2 in section and 10 mm long. Additionally, we developed and evaluated a new architecture based on a ‘unileg’ structure Mg2Si TE power generation module, which can improve the module lifetime and simplify its manufacture. As a starting material for the fabrication of the single element and the TE modules, pre-synthesized polycrystalline Mg2Si, fabricated by UNION MATERIAL was used. The material was sintered using a plasma-activated sintering (PAS) technique, and, at the same time, Ni electrodes were formed on the Mg2Si by employing of a monobloc PAS technique. The thermoelectric power-outputs were measured under a temperature difference, ΔT, ranging from 100-to-500 K by using UNION MATERIAL UMTE-1000M.
The observed power-output for single element of Mg2Si (ZT = 0.6), 2 at % Bi-doped Mg2Si (ZT = 0.65) and 1at % Bi + 1at % Al-doped Mg2Si (ZT = 0.77) were 23.2 mW, 13.6 mW and 19.4 mW respectively at ΔT = 500 K (between 873 K and 373 K). For the new architecture based on the unileg structure thermoelectric module, the observed value for power-output-per-unit-area was 12 mW/mm2 at ΔT = 500 K.
Three-dimensional electron motion in a linearly polarized tightly focused laser field is numerically calculated. A high-intensity laser pulse focused on the free electrons in vacuum generates relativistic electron bunches whose length is shorter than the laser wavelength. The extremely short electron bunches with low-energy spread less than 1% are generated for a wide range of the laser parameters.