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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.
In the previous work, it is reported that the Spin-Seebeck effect (SSE), which refer to the generation of a spin current from a temperature gradient, can be enhanced by Fe interface treatment. Here, we investigated the Fe thickness (dFe) dependency of spin-Seebeck voltage (VSSE) and mixing conductance (gr) in Pt/Fe/Bi:YIG/SGGG system. As a result, magnitude of VSSE had a peak at dFe ≓ 1 ML (monolayer , ≓ 0.3 mm), and also increase of gr was saturated at this point. It suggests that VSSE increase with increasing gr when dFe is smaller than 1.0 ML. For the case in which dFe is larger than 1.0ML, however, VSSE decreases due to a spin current decay in Fe layer with a constant gr. These experimental results are consistent with previous theoretical works.
Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections usually cause haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) equally in male and female children. This study investigated the localization of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in human brain and kidney tissues removed from forensic autopsy cases in Japan. A fatal case was used as a positive control in an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease caused by STEC O157:H7 in a kindergarten in Urawa in 1990. Positive immunodetection of Gb3 was significantly more frequent in female than in male distal and collecting renal tubules. To correlate this finding with a clinical outcome, a retrospective analysis of the predictors of renal failure in the 162 patients of two outbreaks in Japan was performed: one in Tochigi in 2002 and the other in Kagawa Prefecture in 2005. This study concludes renal failure, including HUS, was significantly associated with female sex, and the odds ratio was 4·06 compared to male patients in the two outbreaks. From 2006 to 2009 in Japan, the risk factor of HUS associated with STEC infection was analysed. The number of males and females and the proportion of females who developed HUS were calculated by age and year from 2006 to 2009. In 2006, 2007 and 2009 in adults aged >20 years, adult women were significantly more at risk of developing HUS in Japan.
In 2013, an unusual increase of paratyphoid fever cases in travellers returning from Cambodia was reported in Japan. From December 2012 to September 2013, 18 cases of Salmonella Paratyphi A infection were identified. Microbiological analyses revealed that most isolates had the same clonal identity, although the epidemiological link between these cases remains unclear. It was inferred that the outbreak was caused by a common and persistent source in Cambodia that was likely to have continued during 2014. The information of surveillance and laboratory data from cases arising in travellers from countries with limited surveillance systems should be timely shared with the country of origin.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a well-known energy source for muscle contraction. In this study, to visualize localization of ATP, a luciferin-luciferase reaction (LLR) was performed in mouse skeletal muscle with an “in vivo cryotechnique” (IVCT). First, to confirm if ATP molecules could be trapped and detected after glutaraldehyde (GA) treatment, ATP was directly attached to glass slides with GA, and LLR was performed. The LLR was clearly detected as an intentional design of the ATP attachment. The intensity of the light unit by LLR was correlated with the concentration of the GA-treated ATP in vitro. Next, LLR was evaluated in mouse skeletal muscles with IVCT followed by freeze-substitution fixation (FS) in acetone-containing GA. In such tissue sections the histological structure was well maintained, and the intensity of LLR in areas between muscle fibers and connective tissues was different. Moreover, differences in LLR among muscle fibers were also detected. For the IVCT-FS tissue sections, diaminobenzidine (DAB) reactions were clearly detected in type I muscle fibers and erythrocytes in capillaries, which demonstrated flow shape. Thus, it became possible to perform microscopic evaluation of the numbers of ATP molecules in the mouse skeletal muscles with IVCT, which mostly reflect living states.
We show that the dispersion in the Schmidt-Kennicutt (SK) law in galaxies is affected significantly by the evolutionary stage of star forming molecular gas, using narrow band Paα imaging of Taffy I, an interacting pair of galaxies. Star forming regions in the system show very uniform ages except for the bridge region, and the SK law of regions at the same age show a exceptionally tight SK law.
We present a patient with mitochondrial hearing loss and a novel mitochondrial DNA transition, who underwent successful cochlear implantation.
An 11-year-old girl showed epilepsy and progressive hearing loss. Despite the use of hearing aids, she gradually lost her remaining hearing ability. Laboratory data revealed elevated lactate levels, indicating mitochondrial dysfunction. Magnetic resonance imaging showed diffuse, mild brain atrophy. Cochlear implantation was performed, and the patient's hearing ability was markedly improved. Whole mitochondrial DNA genome analysis revealed a novel heteroplasmic mitochondrial 625G>A transition in the transfer RNA gene for phenylalanine. This transition was not detected in blood DNA from the patient's mother and healthy controls. Mitochondrial respiratory chain activities in muscle were predominantly decreased in complex III.
This case indicates that cochlear implantation can be a valuable therapeutic option for patients with mitochondrial syndromic hearing loss.
Ion implantation experiments were carried out on a single grain Al-Pd-Mn icosahedral quasicrystal. The influence of Re or Au dopant on the thermopower and the electrical resistivity has been measured. Comparison with ternary and quaternary alloys produced by usual metallurgical techniques is made. The results indicate that the efficiency of this quasicrystalline alloy as a thermoelectric material can be improved by adjusting composition and structural quality, as well as by the addition of a small amount of Re, whereas Au implantation is inefficient in that respect.
It is shown how the history of the growth of an icosahedral Zn-Mg-Y single grain can be determined by measuring the yttrium distribution. The growth mechanism and the stabilization of the icosahedral Zn-Mg-Y, RE (RE = rare earth: Ho, Er, Dy, Gd, Tb) quasicrystals are discussed with respect to structural investigations on related crystalline phases. We also show results of optical and ultrasonic investigations on icosahedral Zn-Mg-Y single crystals. They fit well to the discussed growth and stabilization mechanism.
Electron transport properties in the Al0.15Ga0.85N/GaN heterostructure field effect transistors (HFETs) have been examined from room temperature up to 400°C. The temperature dependencies of the two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) mobility have been systematically measured for the samples with different 2DEG densities. The 2DEG mobility has decreased with increasing the temperature, however, its decrease ratio has been no longer large above 300°C. Moreover, the 2DEG mobility has found to be less dependent on the 2DEG density at higher temperatures. These observed features indicate that the 2DEG mobility above room temperature is limited by longitudinal optical (LO) phonon scattering, as is expected by theoretical prediction. The observed 2DEG mobilities at 400°C were as high as from 100 to 120 cm2/Vs, directly providing the evidence for suitability of the HFET of this material system for high-temperature applications. The temperature dependence of the transconductance (gm) of a HFET device has also been examined up to 400°C. It has been revealed that the temperature dependence of gm has basically the same features as those of the 2DEG mobility in the corresponding temperature region.
Defects and stress are the most serious issues for growth of AlGaN. Low-temperature deposited (LT -) AlN interlayer between AlGaN and GaN is found to reduce tensile stress during growth, and at the same time suppress the propagation of dislocations having screw components, by which UV-photodetector showing very-low-dark current has been successfully fabricated. However, additional pure-edge dislocations are generated at the LT -interlayer, which resulted in the poor emission property. In addition to the LT -interlayer, lateral growth at the trenched structure was used, thereby achieving crack-free AlGaN and reduction of the density of all types of dislocations in the AlGaN layer. UV light emitting diodes having AlGaN/GaN multi-quantum well active layer was fabricated on the low dislocation density AlGaN. The LED shows strong and sharp UV-emission from GaN-wells.
Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) has been widely used for planarization of ILD, STI, plug and wiring processes. In post metal CMP cleaning processes, there are still many problems to be solved. There are several surfaces of materials, such as wiring materials, barrier materials, dielectric materials etc., on the wafer that must be cleaned at the same time,. It is also important to clean these different surfaces without any chemical or mechanical damage. We have confirmed that the Electrolyzed D.I.water is effective in post CMP cleaning for controlling the surface condition during cleaning and leaving a robust surface after CMP. We describe the Electrolyzed D.I.water system and present some results on the cleaning capability and control of the metal surface for application to cleaning after a metal CMP process.
Beam induced lateral epitaxy (BILE) on truncated ridges was applied to the heteroepitaxial growth of GaAs on a Si substrate. A GaAs buffer layer was formed on the Si substrate, and then this GaAs/Si template was used as a substrate for the BILE process. As a result, overgrown regions of GaAs of widths as large as 6.5 μm were grown laterally from the sides of the truncated ridges. The growth regions had a flat, smooth top surface consisting of a (111) facet. Although stacking faults from the GaAs/Si template remained in the growth region, which are unfavorable for device applications, the lateral grown region has no dislocations. Thus, the BILE method is useful for reducing dislocations in heteroepitaxy.