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Total reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF) has been applied to the detection and quantification of metal contamination on the surface and near-surface regions of silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry The need for improving the sensitivity and detection limit of the TXRF technique is driven by the progress in producing thinner films and finer features in the development of larger Mbit DRAMS.
Unusual mafic rock fragments deposited in Plio-Pleistocene-aged marine sediments were recorded at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1359, in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica. These fragments were identified from sediment layers deposited between c. 3 and 1.2 Ma, indicating a sustained supply during this time interval. Clinopyroxenes in these basalts are Al–Ti diopside–hedenbergite, uncommon in terrestrial magmatic rocks. A single strong peak in the Raman spectra of a phosphate-bearing mineral at 963 cm-1 supports the presence of merrillite. Although not conclusive, petrological traits and oxygen isotopic compositions also suggest that the fragments may be extra-terrestrial fragments affected by shock metamorphism. Nevertheless, it is concluded that the basaltic fragments incorporated in marine sediments at Site U1359 represent ice-rafted material supplied to the continental rise of East Antarctica, probably from the bedrocks near the proximal Ninnis Glacier. Further studies on Plio-Pleistocene sediments near Site U1359 are required to characterize the unusual mafic rocks described.
Rinodina is a widespread, polyphyletic genus of crustose Physciaceae with c. 300 species worldwide. A major missing link in understanding its global biogeography has been eastern Asia where the genus has never been systematically revised. Here we review specimen and literature records for Rinodina for north-eastern Asia (Russian Far East, Japan and the Korean Peninsula) and recognize 43 species. We describe two species, R. hypobadia and R. orientalis, as new to science. Rinodina hypobadia is distinguished by its pigmented hypothecium, Dirinaria-type ascospores and pannarin in both thallus and epihymenium. Rinodina orientalis is characterized by its erumpent apothecia that remain broadly attached, with discs sometimes becoming convex and excluding the thalline margins, ascospores belonging to the Physcia-type and secondary metabolites absent. Nine other species are reported from the region for the first time. These include R. dolichospora, R. freyi, R. metaboliza, R. sicula, R. subminuta and R. willeyi. Of particular biogeographical interest are three additional new records that have western North American–eastern Asian distributions: the corticolous species R. endospora, R. macrospora and R. megistospora. Six species have the better known eastern North American–eastern Asian distributions: R. ascociscana (syn. R. akagiensis, R. melancholica), R. buckii, R. chrysidiata, R. subminuta, R. tenuis (syn. R. adirondackii) and R. willeyi, and two have eastern North American–eastern Asian–European distributions: R. excrescens and R. moziana (syn. R. destituta, R. vezdae). Our study begins to close one of the largest gaps in our knowledge of circumboreal species distributions in Rinodina and, together with previous studies in North America and Europe, provides new insights into circumboreal crustose lichen biogeography. Rinodina cinereovirens (syn. R. turfacea var. cinereovirens) is also reported as new to North America.
Several studies have reported association of altered levels of lipids and some trace elements with risk factors for cardiovascular disease development in adulthood. Accordingly, the present study aimed to determine the relationship among the serum levels of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in preterm infants through an assessment of atherogenic indices shortly after birth. Blood samples were collected within 20 min of birth from 45 preterm infants with gestational ages ranging from 32 to 35 weeks. Serum Cu, Zn, total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), apolipoprotein-A1 (apoA1) and apolipoprotein-B (apoB) levels were measured, and the TC/HDLc, LDLc/HDLc and apoB/apoA1 ratios were calculated. Upon determining the correlation between the levels of Cu, Zn and these indices of lipid metabolism, triglyceride (TG) and Cu were found to correlate negatively with birth weight (BW) and the standard deviation (s.d.) score for body weight. Furthermore, Cu levels correlated positively with the TG level and TC/HDLc, LDLc/HDLc and apoB/apoA1 ratios and negatively with the HDLc level and HDLc/apoA1 ratios. However, a stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated that the s.d. score for BW and TG level were significant independent determinants of the Cu level. In contrast, Zn did not correlate with any of these indices. In conclusion, intrauterine growth restriction and the TG level at birth influence Cu levels in preterm infants, whereas atherogenic indices do not affect this parameter.
The Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Plant workers experienced multiple stressors as both victims and onsite workers after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent nuclear accidents. Previous studies found that disaster-related exposures, including discrimination/slurs, were associated with their mental health. Their long-term impact has yet to be investigated.
A total of 968 plant workers (Daiichi, n = 571; Daini, n = 397) completed self-written questionnaires 2–3 months (time 1) and 14–15 months (time 2) after the disaster (response rate 55.0%). Sociodemographics, disaster-related experiences, and peritraumatic distress were assessed at time 1. At time 1 and time 2, general psychological distress (GPD) and post-traumatic stress response (PTSR) were measured, respectively, using the K6 scale and Impact of Event Scale Revised. We examined multivariate covariates of time 2 GPD and PTSR, adjusting for autocorrelations in the hierarchical multiple regression analyses.
Higher GPD at time 2 was predicted by higher GPD at time 1 (β = 0.491, p < 0.001) and discrimination/slurs experiences at time 1 (β = 0.065, p = 0.025, adjusted R2 = 0.24). Higher PTSR at time 2 was predicted with higher PTSR at time 1 (β = 0.548, p < 0.001), higher age (β = 0.085, p = 0.005), and discrimination/slurs experiences at time 1 (β = 0.079, p = 0.003, adjusted R2 = 0.36).
Higher GPD at time 2 was predicted by higher GPD and discrimination/slurs experience at time 1. Higher PTSR at time 2 was predicted by higher PTSR, higher age, and discrimination/slurs experience at time 1.
Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are the incretin hormones secreted from the intestine in response to enteral feeding to stimulate insulin secretion. We investigated the relationship serum GIP and GLP-1 levels with gestational age, and insulin secretion in preterm infants. Serum GIP and GLP-1 levels were measured at birth and at 1, 2 and 4 weeks after birth in 30 infants, including 12 born before 30th week of gestation (early group) and 18 born after 30th week of gestation (late group). Blood glucose and serum insulin levels were measured, and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) was also calculated. The levels of GLP-1 at 2 and 4 weeks were significantly higher in the early group than those in the late group. The levels of GIP were not significantly different between two groups. At 4 weeks, serum insulin level was significantly higher and QUICKI was significantly lower in the early group. Furthermore, GLP-1 levels were significantly correlated with QUICKI and the serum insulin levels in all infants at 4 weeks. In preterm infants, enteral feeding to premature intestine may be associated with GLP-1 secretion. GLP-1 is also related to stimulated insulin secretion in early postnatal period.
To determine the characteristics of acute phase nystagmus in patients with cerebellar lesions, and to identify a useful indicator for differentiating central lesions from peripheral lesions.
Acute phase nystagmus and the appearance of neurological symptoms were retrospectively investigated in 11 patients with cerebellar stroke.
At the initial visit, there were no patients with vertical nystagmus, direction-changing gaze evoked nystagmus or pure rotatory nystagmus. There were four cases with no nystagmus and seven cases with horizontal nystagmus at the initial visit. There were no neurological symptoms, except for vertigo and hearing loss, in any cases at the initial visit. The direction and type of nystagmus changed with time, and neurological symptoms other than vertigo appeared subsequently to admission.
It is important to observe the changes in nystagmus and other neurological findings for the differential diagnosis of central lesions.
Time series of SXT (Soft X-ray Telescope) images have revealed many jet-like features in the solar corona. Typical size of the “jet” is 5 × 103 – 4 × 105 km, the typical projected velocity is 30 – 300 km/s, and the kinetic energy estimated to be 1025 – 1028 erg. Many of the jets are associated with flare-like bright points or sub-flares. Three typical examples are discussed, including an X-ray jet identified with an Hα surge. It is suggested that magnetic reconnection is one of the possible mechanisms to produce these X-ray jets.
We developed a slit-scanning type 3D-spectroscopic system named as Spectronebulagraph (hereafter SNG; Kosugi et al. 1994) at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory. A detailed description about SNG is presented by Ohtani et al. elsewhere in this colloquium. We present here the results of the 3D-spectroscopy of four nearby active galaxies by using SNG.
This nearby (at distance of 5.4 Mpc) Magellanic irregular galaxy has many H II regions in its main body suggesting violent star-formation activity. We performed tridimensional observations of NGC 4449 using SNG in order to obtain detailed kinematic structure and then to investigate the star-formation mechanism of NGC 4449. Hα intensity map, Hα velocity field are shown in figure 1. As is obvious in lower panel of figure 1, no global rotational motion was detected. Most impressive feature of the velocity field is kpc-scale mosaic structure of low velocity and high velocity components. Also, many filamentary components were newly found in 3D-datacube of the SNG observation.
We previously reported an association between human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) and epidemic myalgia with myositis in adults during summers in which an HPeV3 outbreak occurred in children. However, this disease association has not yet been reported elsewhere. We have since continued our surveillance to accumulate data on this disease association and to confirm whether myalgia occurs in children as well as adults. Between June and August 2014, we collected 380 specimens from children with infectious diseases. We also collected clinical specimens from two adult and three paediatric patients suspected of myalgia. We then performed virus isolation and reverse-transcription–PCR using the collected specimens. We detected HPeV3 in 26 children with infectious diseases, which we regarded as indicating an outbreak. We also confirmed HPeV3 infection in all patients suspected of myalgia. In particular the symptoms in two boys, complaining of myalgia and fever, closely matched the criteria for adult myalgia. Based on our findings from 2008, 2011 and 2014, we again urge that clinical consideration be given to the relationship between myalgia and HPeV3 infections during HPeV3 outbreaks in children. Furthermore, our observations from 2014 suggest that epidemic myalgia and myositis occur not only in adults but also in children.
Molecular epidemiology and clinical impact of human rhinovirus (HRV) are not well documented in tropical regions. This study compared the clinical characteristics of HRV to other common viral infections and investigated the molecular epidemiology of HRV in hospitalized children with acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in Vietnam. From April 2010 to May 2011, 1082 nasopharyngeal swabs were screened for respiratory viruses by PCR. VP4/VP2 sequences of HRV were further characterized. HRV was the most commonly detected virus (30%), in which 70% were diagnosed as either pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Children with single HRV infections presented with significantly higher rate of hypoxia than those infected with respiratory syncytial virus or parainfluenza virus (PIV)-3 (12·4% vs. 3·8% and 0%, respectively, P < 0·05), higher rate of chest retraction than PIV-1 (57·3% vs. 34·5%, P = 0·028), higher rate of wheezing than influenza A (63·2% vs. 42·3%, P = 0·038). HRV-C did not differ to HRV-A clinically. The genetic diversity and changes of types over time were observed and may explain the year-round circulation of HRV. One novel HRV-A type was discovered which circulated locally for several years. In conclusion, HRV showed high genetic diversity and was associated with significant morbidity and severe ARIs in hospitalized children.
We succeeded in photovoltaic power generation of p-i-n solar cells utilizing epitaxial ZnInON film with a wide band gap of 3.1 eV as the intrinsic layer, suitable for a top cell of tandem solar cells. The solar cell shows a high open circuit voltage (Voc) of 1.68 V under solar simulator light irradiation of 3.2 mW/cm2. The solar cell performance becomes worse under 100 mW/cm2, which is mainly attributed to the leakage current caused by crystal defects and grain boundaries. X-ray diffraction analysis reveals that the ZnInON film has rather large tilt and twist angles and a high dislocation density of 7.62×1010 cm-2. Such low crystallinity is a bottleneck for high performance of the solar cells. Our results demonstrate a potential of epitaxial ZnInON films as an intrinsic layer of wide band gap p-i-n solar cells with a high Voc.
Effects of surface morphology of buffer layers on ZnO/sapphire heteroepitaxial growth have been investigated by means of “nitrogen mediated crystallization (NMC) method”, where the crystal nucleation and growth are controlled by absorbed nitrogen atoms. We found a strong correlation between the height distribution profile of NMC-ZnO buffer layers and the crystal quality of ZnO films. On the buffer layer with a sharp peak in height distribution, a single-crystalline ZnO film with atomically-flat surface was grown. Our results indicate that homogeneous and high-density nucleation at the initial growth stages is critical in heteroepitaxy of ZnO on lattice mismatched substrates.
To evaluate the effectiveness of tympanostomy tube placement in controlling symptoms of intractable Ménière's disease.
Fifteen patients with intractable Ménière's disease underwent tympanostomy tube placement in the affected ear. Post-operative changes in vertigo attacks and hearing level were recorded, and were evaluated according to American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery criteria.
At 12 months after treatment, 3 patients (20 per cent) showed complete control of vertigo, 7 (47 per cent) showed substantial control and 2 (13 per cent) showed limited control; 3 patients (20 per cent) required other treatment. At 24 months after treatment, 7 patients (47 per cent) showed complete control of vertigo, 3 (20 per cent) showed substantial control and 1 (7 per cent) showed limited control; 1 patient required other treatment 15 months after tympanostomy tube placement.
There is no definite pathophysiological explanation for the effect of tympanostomy tube placement in reducing vertigo attacks. This treatment is not effective for all patients with intractable Ménière's disease. However, tympanostomy tube placement might be an additional surgical therapeutic option to consider prior to contemplating other, more invasive treatments.
Evidence suggests that breastfeeding during infancy lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome (MS) and its attendant risk factors in adult life. To investigate the influence of feeding type on the risk factors of MS, we assessed insulin sensitivity and lipid and apolipoprotein metabolism in preterm infants. Blood samples were collected from preterm infants at the time of discharge. Infants were separated into two groups: a breast milk (BM) group receiving ⩾90% of their intake from BM, and a mixed-fed (MF) group receiving ⩾50% of their intake from formula. The following indices were then compared between the two groups. Blood glucose and serum insulin levels were used to calculate the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI). We also measured serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), apolipoprotein-A1 (apoA1) and apolipoprotein-B (apoB) levels, and the ratios of TC/HDLc, LDLc/HDLc and apoB/apoA1. The mean gestational age was 32.9 weeks at birth, and blood samples were collected at a mean corrected age of 37.4 weeks. There were 22 infants in the BM group and 19 in the MF group. QUICKI was significantly higher in the BM group. TC, HDLc and apoA1 were not significantly different between the groups, but LDLc and apoB levels were significantly higher in the BM group. The TC/HDLc, LDLc/HDLc and apoB/apoA1 ratios were significantly higher in the BM group. In preterm infants, the type of feeding exposure in the early postnatal period may influence glucose, lipid and apolipoprotein metabolism, and affect markers of MS.
InGaN films have been grown on GaN and AlGaN epitaxial layers by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy. The “composition pulling effect” during the initial InGaN growth stages has been studied as a function of the lattice mismatch between the InGaN and the underlying epitaxial layer. The crystalline quality of the InGaN is good near the InGaN/GaN interface and the composition is close to that of GaN. However, with increasing InGaN film thickness, the crystal quality deteriorates and the indium mole fraction increases. The composition pulling effect becomes stronger with increasing lattice mismatch. It is suggested that indium atoms are excluded from the InGaN lattice during the early growth stages to reduce the deformation energy from the lattice mismatch. TEM observations of the InGaN/GaN structure reveal that the degradation of the crystalline quality of InGaN films grown on GaN is caused by pit formation which arises from edge dislocations propagating through the InGaN film from the underlying GaN.
To examine the clinical features, age and gender distribution of patients, treatment methods, and outcomes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
This paper reports a review of 357 patients treated for this condition at a single institution over a duration of 5 years. Patients with posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo were divided into two groups: one group underwent the Epley manoeuvre and the other received medication. The lateral canal canalolithiasis patients were also divided into two groups: one underwent the Lempert manoeuvre and the other received medication. Lastly, the lateral canal cupulolithiasis patients were treated with medication and non-specific physical techniques.
Results and conclusion:
For patients with posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, resolution time was significantly shorter in the Epley manoeuvre group than in the medication group. For the lateral canal canalolithiasis patients, resolution time was significantly shorter in the Lempert manoeuvre group than in the medication group. Resolution time was significantly longer in the lateral canal cupulolithiasis patients than in the other patients. The average age of patients increased with the number of recurrences, as did predominance in females. Average age and rate of sensorineural hearing loss were significantly higher in patients with intractable benign paroxysmal positional vertigo compared with those in the curable benign paroxysmal positional vertigo group.
To investigate what kinds of stimuli are effective in detaching otoconia from the cupula in three experimental models of cupulolithiasis.
Three experimental models of cupulolithiasis were prepared using bullfrog labyrinths. Three kinds of stimuli were applied to the experimental models. In experiment one (gravity), the labyrinth preparation was placed so that the cupula-to-crista axis was in the horizontal plane with the canal side in the downward position. In experiment two (sinusoidal oscillation), the labyrinth preparation was placed 3 cm from the rotational centre of a turntable, which was sinusoidally rotated with a rotational cycle of 1 Hz and a rotational angle of 30°. In experiment three (vibration), mechanical vibration was applied to the surface of the bony capsule around the labyrinth using a surgical drill.
In experiments one, two and three, the otoconial mass was respectively detached in 2 out of 10 labyrinth preparations, none of the labyrinth preparations, and all of the labyrinth preparations.
Vibration was the most effective stimulus for detaching the otoconia from the cupula in these experimental models of cupulolithiasis.
To examine the prevalence of human pathogens carried by rats in urban areas in Hanoi and Hai Phong, Vietnam, we live-trapped 100 rats in January 2011 and screened them for a panel of bacteria and viruses. Antibodies against Leptospira interrogans (22·0%), Seoul virus (14·0%) and rat hepatitis E virus (23·0%) were detected in rats, but antibodies against Yersinia pestis were not detected. Antibodies against L. interrogans and Seoul virus were found only in adult rats. In contrast, antibodies to rat hepatitis E virus were also found in juvenile and sub-adult rats, indicating that the transmission mode of rat hepatitis E virus is different from that of L. interrogans and Seoul virus. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of the S and M segments of Seoul viruses found in Rattus norvegicus showed that Seoul viruses from Hai Phong and Hanoi formed different clades. Human exposure to these pathogens has become a significant public health concern.