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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.
It is now firmly established that a small anisotropy of the galactic cosmic rays exists, observable from Earth as a variation of intensity in sidereal time. The problem now is to determine more clearly the characteristics of the anisotropy and, in particular, its detailed spatial structure and how it depends upon the energy and composition of the cosmic rays. This is a very difficult task and, in the final analysis, may not be fully achievable from Earth-based observations. The purpose of the present paper is to describe briefly an installation now operating in Tasmania to provide further information on the spatial structure of the anisotropy.
The phase equilibrium and oxidation behavior of the disilicides that form in the Nb-Cr-Si ternary system have been investigated. Although NbSi2 and CrSi2 both exhibit a C40 crystal structure, they form separate ranges of compositional homogeneity in the ternary system. Their phase boundaries at 1300 °C have been experimentally determined in this study. The binary NbSi2 exhibited poor oxidation resistance, showing pest-like behavior during oxidation at temperature above 800 °C. In contrast, the alloys containing Cr showed much better oxidation resistance up to 1200 °C.
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.
Treatment of [Li+@C60](PF6–) with 30% fuming sulfuric acid and subsequent hydrolysis gave hydroxylated derivative Li+@C60O–(OH)7. Its structure was deduced by IR, NMR, MALDI-TOF/FAB MS, and elemental analysis. Notably, the reaction of [Li+@C60](PF6–) was site-selective, giving a single major isomer (ca. 70%) with two minor isomers, in marked contrast to the case of empty C60. Furthermore, the results clearly indicate that the internal Li cation was strongly shielded by the surface dipolar hydroxyl groups, and thus it appears that the properties of endohedral fullerenes can be controlled by the external modification of the fullerene cage. Whereas Li+@C60 is relatively insoluble, Li+@C60O–(OH)7 was found to be highly soluble in polar solvents such as DMSO and DMF. The increased solubility is especially desirable for biological/medicinal assays and applications in such research fields.
Structure-related ionization energy (IE) of vacuum-deposited titanyl-phthalocyanine (OTiPc) thin films was investigated by using in situ ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and X-ray diffractometry. Distinct molecular orientations (i.e. lying-flat and standing-up orientation) in different polymorphous (i.e. monoclinic β-phase and triclinic α-phase) were observed on a surface of polycrystalline (poly-) Au and octadecyltrichlorosilane-self assembled monolayer (OTS-SAM). For the two structures IE of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) of OTiPc thin films altered significantly by 0.55 eV. The different IE was attributed to surface dipole potential and strong intermolecular interaction.
We have developed a facile synthetic method for highly water-soluble, hollow carbon nanoparticles with a diameter of ∼1 nm, as a so-called fullerenol. The method was extended to fullerene soot to obtain the corresponding hydrophilic carbon materials, and the products were subjected to IR and elemental analysis. Particle size analysis demonstrated the relatively high dispersion of particles with diameters of ∼70 nm, in water. The surface analysis using FE-SEM showed the difference in morphology between fullerene soot and activated carbon as well as between before and after hydrophilic treatment of the soot with hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, this hydrophilic fullerene soot exhibited high antioxidant activity as compared with fullerenol and C60.
Japanese weather data for areas that produced Campylobacter spp.-positive chicken products were compared with those for areas producing negative samples. Regarding samples produced during the period of rising temperature (spring and summer), the mean weekly air temperatures for Campylobacter-positive samples were higher than those for negative samples for the period of the week in which the samples were purchased (18·7°C vs. 13·1°C, P=0·006) to a 12-week lag (12 weeks before purchasing samples; 7·9°C vs. 3·4°C, P=0·009). Significant differences in weekly mean minimum humidity and sunshine duration per day were also observed for 1- and 2-week lag periods. We postulated that the high air temperature, high humidity and short duration of sunshine for the chicken-rearing period increased Campylobacter colonization in chickens during the period of rising temperature. Consequently, the number of Campylobacter-contaminated chicken products on the market in Japan may fluctuate because of the climatic conditions to which reared chickens are exposed.
In December 2006, an outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred involving 372 guests and 72 employees at a hotel after a guest vomited in corridors on the third (F3) and 25th (F25) floors. Norovirus with identical genotype was confirmed by real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction in faecal samples from guest cases and employees. Spread of the outbreak on F25 was compared with that on F3. The attack rate in the guests who visited F25 alone (15·0%, 106/708 guests) was significantly higher than in those who visited F3 alone (3·5%, 163/4710 guests) (relative risk 4·3, 95% confidence interval 3·4–5·5, P<0·001). The outbreak on F3 ended within 2 days, while that on F25 extended over 7 days. The environmental ratios of F3 to F25 were 7·4 for volume, 6·9 for floor area and 7·6 for ventilation rate. This outbreak suggests that environmental differences can affect the propagation and persistence of a norovirus outbreak following environmental contamination.
Directional information should play a significant role
for a firm detection of the galactic dark matter.
We developed a prototype three-dimensional gaseous tracking device
for a direction-sensitive dark matter direct detection.
We investigated the performance of the prototype detector and demonstrated
a direction-sensitive dark matter search experiment in a
We set the first limit
on the spin-dependent WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles)-proton cross s
ection by a direction-sensitive method.
Flaxseed lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) has been reported to prevent and alleviate lifestyle-related diseases including diabetes and hypercholesterolaemic atherosclerosis. This study assesses the effect of SDG on the development of diet-induced obesity in mice and the effect of the SDG metabolite enterodiol (END) on adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We compared body weight, visceral fat weight, liver fat content, serum parameters, mRNA levels of lipid metabolism-related enzymes and adiponectin in mice fed either a low-fat diet (5 % TAG), high-fat diet (30 % TAG) or high-fat diet containing 0·5 and 1·0 % (w/w) SDG for 4 weeks. Administration of SDG to mice significantly reduced high-fat diet-induced visceral and liver fat accumulation, hyperlipaemia, hypercholesterolaemia, hyperinsulinaemia and hyperleptinaemia. SDG also suppressed sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c mRNA level in the liver and induced increases in the adiponectin mRNA level in the white adipose tissue and carnitine palmitoyltransferase I mRNA level in the skeletal muscle. Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with 0, 5, 10 and 20 μmol/l END and then assayed for mRNA expression of adipogenesis-related genes and DNA binding activity of PPARγ to the PPAR response element consensus sequence. END induced adipogenesis-related gene mRNA expression including adiponectin, leptin, glucose transporter 4 and PPARγ, and induced PPARγ DNA binding activity in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In conclusion, SDG induced adiponectin mRNA expression and showed beneficial effects on lipid metabolism in diet-induced obesity in mice. Flaxseed lignans are suggested to regulate adipogenesis-related gene expressions through an increase in PPARγ DNA binding activity.
A three-dimensional finite element method is applied to
model a magnetic force control device. This device is based on the use of a
magnetostrictive rod in order to control the magnetic force applied to a
movable yoke. The paper introduces an original approach to model
magnetostrictive phenomena and presents comparisons between numerical and
Shell-like supernova remnants (SNRs) are primary candidates for the origin of Galactic cosmic rays. However, among the known SNRs (about 220), only a small fraction has been known to exhibit the synchrotron X-ray spectrum, that is considered to be a piece of evidence for high energy particle acceleration. Synchrotron X-ray emitting SNRs are known to be systematically radio-quiet compared to the SNRs that do not emit synchrotron X-rays. Therefore, most synchrotron X-ray emitting SNR candidates may have escaped detection in the previous systematic radio surveys. On the other hand, hard X-ray surveys are effective to search for synchrotron X-ray emitting SNRs, because of its penetration power. Thus we have searched for SNRs in the ASCA Galactic Plane Survey data, the first Galactic imaging survey in $>$2 keV, and discovered 14 candidates. Deep follow-up observations with ASCA, XMM, or Chandra on 5 of them revealed 2 sources to be synchrotron X-ray emitting SNRs. Furthermore we confirmed non-thermal X-ray spectra from the other 3 sources, though the origin is yet unknown. We report the observational results and discuss the X-ray origin.
Shredder residue is an unavoidable by-product of the treatment of end of life vehicles
and household appliances. NKK has developed a new post-treatment process in which the
residue is introduced in a bath of solvent made of hot tar and gives an overflow of plastics
and metallic sediments. The recovered plastics can be injected into the blast furnace and
the metallic parts recycled in the steel shop. This new process allows a high recycling
rate of treated materials.
Magnetic films for miniaturization of planar inductors operating at GHz frequencies require high resistivity and high ferro-magnetic resonance frequency. Y type magnetoplumbite Ba2Co2Fe12O22(Co2Y) is a candidate material to meet such requirements because it has about 10 &m resistivity and resonance frequency higher than 2 GHz. Recently we succeeded in the fabrication of Co2Y epitaxial thin film on MgAl2O4 substrate by combinatorial pulsed laser deposition technique . Here, we report on the magnetic and dielectric properties of this film. The DC resistivity of the film was 7.5 &m. The dielectric constant at 1.25 GHz was measured by a microwave microscope to be 11.0. An easy axis coercive force and saturation magnetization were about 145 Oe and 2000 Gauss respectively, being close to those of bulk sample. Furthermore, the magnetic micro domain structures of Co2Y epitaxial thin films were observed by a scanning SQUID microscope.
We have developed and tested a new near infrared camera equipped with a 512 × 512 PtSi CCD and cooled by two independent Stirling Cycle refrigerators. The camera, installed on the 60 cm reflector telescope of the Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory (NHAO) since April 2000, has begun regular observations toward infrared objects. Since the reasonable cost and lower maintenance needs of the camera make it more attractive, we introduce it as an alternative to robotic telescopes.
Thin films of Y-type magnetoplumbite (Ba2Co2Fe12O22: Co2Y) with such a huge unit cell length as 43.5 Å has been successfully fabricated for the first time with the aid of combinatorial optimization of pulsed laser deposition process. Planning a thickness gradient CoO buffer layer on MgAl2O4(111) substrate was very effective for prevent the phase separation of Co deficient impurity (BaFe2O4) to reside in the formation of desired Co2Y phase.From the TEM analysis, the CoO buffer layer of optimum thickness was incorporated into the Co2Y film to make theinterface with the make an atomically sharp.
In order to reduce specific contact resistance at via/interconnect interface and to avoid device degradation with Cu diffusion into dielectrics, via cleaning technology is a critical issue for a scaled down Cu multilevel metallization. Effects of cleaning processes are investigated for CHF3 plasma-etched SiO2/SiN/Cu via-structures. Effects of dilute HF (DHF) cleaning, hydrogen plasma cleaning, oxygen plasma cleaning, hexafluoroacetylacetone (H(hfac)) vapor cleaning, and vacuum anneal cleaning are investigated using an angle-resolved x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Cu contamination removal using dilute oxalic acid (DOA) is investigated using total reflection xray fluorescence analysis (TRXRF). Based on the results, we developed an optimized cleaning sequence which consists of a brief oxygen plasma exposure, DHF dipping, followed by exposure to H(hfac) vapors. The cleaning sequence is effective in obtaining a clean dielectric surface and an oxide-free Cu surface at via bottom. Direct-contacted via structures were fabricated by a dualdamascene process using the cleaning sequence. The specific contact resistance reduces to 20% of the reported values. We expect that the via resistance is low enough to be used in 0.13 µm generation and beyond.