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Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
The Far-ultraviolet IMaging Spectrograph (FIMS) is a small spectrograph optimized for the observations of diffuse hot interstellar medium in far-ultraviolet wavebands (900–1150Å and 1335–1750Å). The instrument is expected to be sensitive to emission line fluxes an order of magnitude fainter than any previous missions. FIMS is currently under development and is scheduled for launch in 2002.
FFQ comprising food items, intake frequency categories and portion sizes have been used in large-scale observational studies to assess long-term dietary exposure. Although gender is an important influence on food choice and portion size, gender differences are not often analysed during FFQ development. This study investigated whether gender differences were considered sufficiently when developing FFQ, which affects the results of validation studies. A PubMed search using combinations of ‘FFQ’, ‘Food Frequency Questionnaire’, ‘Validation’ and ‘Validity’ identified 246 validation studies available in English, published between January 1983 and May 2014, which included healthy male and female adults. The development process of the 196 FFQ used in the 246 validation studies was examined. Of these, twenty-one FFQ (10·7 %) considered gender during item selection or portion size determination, and were therefore classified as gender specific (GS), but 175 (89·3 %) did not consider gender, and were classified as ‘not gender specific (NGS)’. When the ratios between intake levels obtained using the FFQ and a reference method for energy and seven nutrients were compared between the GS group and the NGS group, more significant differences were observed in women than in men (four v. one nutrient). Intake of three nutrients was significantly underestimated in both sexes in the GS group. In the NGS group, nutrient intakes were significantly overestimated more often in women than in men (four v. one). These results indicate that not considering gender in FFQ development causes greater inaccuracy in dietary intake assessment in women than in men. Results of nutritional epidemiological studies should be re-evaluated for their validity, especially if the studies used NGS-FFQ.
The junction resistance control of conducting networks is a crucial factor for high performance of the network-structured conducting film. Here, we show that silver nanowire (AgNW) networks can be stabilized by using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) which were functionalized with 2-ureido-4[1H]pyrimidinone (UHP) moieties. UHP-modified SWCNTs allowed us to fabricate AgNW suspension containing SWCNTs without adding additional dispersant molecules. The stabilization of AgNW networks was achieved by minimizing the joule heating at the NW-NW junction assisted by in-situ interconnection with the work function modulated SWCNTs. We propose that the electrical transportation pathway was modulated by the SWCNTs through the SWCNT-AgNW junctions, which results in a relatively lower junction resistance than the NW-NW junction in the network film.
Many transgenic domestic animals have been developed to produce therapeutic proteins in the mammary gland, and this approach is one of the most important methods for agricultural and biomedical applications. However, expression and secretion of a protein varies because transgenes are integrated at random sites in the genome. In addition, distal enhancers are very important for transcriptional gene regulation and tissue-specific gene expression. Development of a vector system regulated accurately in the genome is needed to improve production of therapeutic proteins. The objective of this study was to develop a knock-in system for expression of human fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) in the bovine β-casein gene locus. The F2A sequence was fused to the human FGF2 gene and inserted into exon 3 of the β-casein gene. We detected expression of human FGF2 mRNA in the HC11 mouse mammary epithelial cells by RT-PCR and human FGF2 protein in the culture media using western blot analysis when the knock-in vector was introduced. We transfected the knock-in vector into bovine ear fibroblasts and produced knock-in fibroblasts using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system. Moreover, the CRISPR/Cas9 system was more efficient than conventional methods. In addition, we produced knock-in blastocysts by somatic cell nuclear transfer using the knock-in fibroblasts. Our knock-in fibroblasts may help to create cloned embryos for development of transgenic dairy cattle expressing human FGF2 protein in the mammary gland via the expression system of the bovine β-casein gene.
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
To determine the influence of early pain relief for patients with suspected appendicitis on the diagnostic performance of surgical residents.
A prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted for patients with suspected appendicitis. The patients were randomized to receive placebo (normal saline intravenous [IV]) infusions over 5 minutes or the study drug (morphine 5 mg IV). All of the clinical evaluations by surgical residents were performed 30 minutes after administration of the study drug or placebo. After obtaining the clinical probability of appendicitis, as determined by the surgical residents, abdominal computed tomography was performed. The primary objective was to compare the influence of IV morphine on the ability of surgical residents to diagnose appendicitis.
A total of 213 patients with suspected appendicitis were enrolled. Of these patients, 107 patients received morphine, and 106 patients received placebo saline. The negative appendectomy percentages in each group were similar (3.8% in the placebo group and 3.2% in the pain control group, p=0.62). The perforation rates in each group were also similar (18.9% in the placebo group and 14.3% in the pain control group, p=0.75). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the overall diagnostic accuracy in each group was similar (the area under the curve of the placebo group and the pain control group was 0.63 v. 0.61, respectively, p=0.81).
Early pain control in patients with suspected appendicitis does not affect the diagnostic performance of surgical residents.
There is increasing evidence of a relationship between underweight or obesity and dementia risk. Several studies have investigated the relationship between body weight and brain atrophy, a pathological change preceding dementia, but their results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cortical atrophy among cognitively normal participants.
We recruited cognitively normal participants (n = 1,111) who underwent medical checkups and detailed neurologic screening, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the health screening visits between September 2008 and December 2011. The main outcome was cortical thickness measured using MRI. The number of subjects with five BMI groups in men/women was 9/9, 148/258, 185/128, 149/111, and 64/50 in underweight, normal, overweight, mild obesity, and moderate to severe obesity, respectively. Linear and non-linear relationships between BMI and cortical thickness were examined using multiple linear regression analysis and generalized additive models after adjustment for potential confounders.
Among men, underweight participants showed significant cortical thinning in the frontal and temporal regions compared to normal weight participants, while overweight and mildly obese participants had greater cortical thicknesses in the frontal region and the frontal, temporal, and occipital regions, respectively. However, cortical thickness in each brain region was not significantly different in normal weight and moderate to severe obesity groups. Among women, the association between BMI and cortical thickness was not statistically significant.
Our findings suggested that underweight might be an important risk factor for pathological changes in the brain, while overweight or mild obesity may be inversely associated with cortical atrophy in cognitively normal elderly males.
Epidemiological studies have reported that higher education (HE) is associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, after the clinical onset of AD, patients with HE levels show more rapid cognitive decline than patients with lower education (LE) levels. Although education level and cognition have been linked, there have been few longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between education level and cortical decline in patients with AD. The aim of this study was to compare the topography of cortical atrophy longitudinally between AD patients with HE (HE-AD) and AD patients with LE (LE-AD).
We prospectively recruited 36 patients with early-stage AD and 14 normal controls. The patients were classified into two groups according to educational level, 23 HE-AD (>9 years) and 13 LE-AD (≤9 years).
As AD progressed over the 5-year longitudinal follow-ups, the HE-AD showed a significant group-by-time interaction in the right dorsolateral frontal and precuneus, and the left parahippocampal regions compared to the LE-AD.
Our study reveals that the preliminary longitudinal effect of HE accelerates cortical atrophy in AD patients over time, which underlines the importance of education level for predicting prognosis.
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.
Cancer is a leading cause of death, and the dietary pattern in Korea is changing rapidly from a traditional Korean diet to a Westernised diet. In the present study, we investigated the effects of dietary factors on cancer risk with a prospective cohort study. Among 26 815 individuals who participated in cancer screening examinations from September 2004 to December 2008, 8024 subjects who completed a self-administered questionnaire concerning demographic and lifestyle factors, and a 3 d food record were selected. As of September 2013, 387 cancer cases were identified from the National Cancer Registry System, and the remaining individuals were included in the control group. The hazard ratio (HR) of cancer for the subjects older than or equal to 50 years of age was higher (HR 1·80, 95 % CI 1·41, 2·31; P< 0·0001) than that for the other subjects. Red meat consumption, Na intake and obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) were positively associated with overall cancer incidence in men (HR 1·41, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·94; P= 0·0382), gastric cancer (HR 2·34, 95 % CI 1·06, 5·19; P= 0·0365) and thyroid cancer (HR 1·56, 95 % CI 1·05, 2·31; P= 0·0270), respectively. Participants who had at least three dietary risk factors among the high intakes of red meat and Na, low intakes of vegetables and fruits, and obesity suggested by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research at baseline tended to have a higher risk of cancer than the others (HR 1·26, 95 % CI 0·99, 1·60; P= 0·0653). In summary, high intakes of red meat and Na were significant risk factors of cancer among Koreans.
Low temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are a promising solution to revolutionize stationary, transportation, and personal power energy conversion efficiency. Through investigation of fundamental conduction mechanisms, we have developed the highest conductivity solid electrolyte, stabilized bismuth oxide (Dy0.08W0.04Bi0.88O0.36). To overcome its inherent thermodynamic instability in the anode environment, we invented a functionally graded bismuth oxide/ceria bilayered electrolyte. For compatibility with this bilayared electrolyte, we developed high performance bismuth ruthenate–bismuth oxide composite cathodes. Finally, these components were integrated into an anode-supported cell with an anode functional layer, resulting in an exceptionally high power density of ∼2 W/cm2 at moderate temperatures (650 °C) and sufficient power down to 300–400 °C for most applications. Moreover, because SOFCs can operate on conventional fuels, these low temperature SOFCs provide one of the most efficient energy conversion technologies available without relying on a hydrogen infrastructure.
By chemical vapor deposition, aligned single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and a network of SWNTs are simultaneously grown as the channel and the source–drain electrodes of thin film transistors (TFTs). The increase of aligned SWNTs increases the channel conductance without changing the contact resistance. However, the increase of network-type SWNTs from 19 to 32.5 (SWNTs/μm) decreases the contact resistance fivefold. The contact resistance of all-SWNT TFT is three times lower compared with that of an SWNT TFT using metal electrodes. The all-SWNT TFTs transferred on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) show a transparency of >80% in the visible range of wavelengths.
Using immunostaining methodology, we traced the axonal projection of FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2)-like immunoreactive (LI) medial neurosecretory cells (MNCs) and lateral neurosecretory cells (LNCs) from the brain into the ventral nerve cord (VNC) and retrocerebral complex in Bombyx mori (L.) (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae). Of the seven pairs of FMRFamide-LI MNCs, one pair extended its axons from the brain pars intercerebralis into the VNC ipsilateral connective where they appeared to terminate. The axons of the remaining MNCs ran through decussation in the brain median region and contralateral nervi corporis cardiaci (NCC) I out of the brain, and eventually innervated the contralateral corpus cardiacum (CC). Axons from the single pair of FMRFamide-LI LNCs projected into the ipsilateral NCC II fused with NCC I without decussation in the brain, and finally terminated in the CC. These results suggest that transport of the FMRFamide-like neuropeptide from may be related to the modulation of functions such as gut contraction in MNCs terminating in the VNC, and regulation of production and/or secretion of specific hormones such as juvenile hormone in MNCs and LNCs terminating in the CC.
Maslinic acid is found in various natural sources, most notably in pomace olive oil, and exerts pro-apoptotic activities in various cancer cells in vitro. In the present study, DU145 human prostate cancer cells were cultured with 0–25 μm-maslinic acid to examine the effects of maslinic acid on the metastatic capacity of prostate cancer cells. Maslinic acid significantly (P <0·05) inhibited the basal and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced migration (27–64 %), invasion (23–60 %) and adhesion (8–40 %) of DU145 cells. Maslinic acid significantly (P <0·05) down-regulated both basal and EGF-stimulated secretion of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 (25–67 %), MMP-2 (50–86 %), urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA, about 100 %), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, 98–100 %) and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1, as well as expression of uPA receptor (uPAR), intercellular adhesion molecules (22–33 %), vascular cell adhesion molecules (23–46 %) and E-cadherin, whereas it increased TIMP-2 secretion. Maslinic acid dramatically reduced the levels of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) protein and mRNA; the reduction was accompanied by reduced stability, nuclear levels and transcriptional activity of HIF-1α. The levels of phospho-Akt and phospho-extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) were reduced in cells treated with maslinic acid, and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 and the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor PD98059 reduced HIF-1α levels and VEGF secretion. The results show that maslinic acid markedly inhibited the migration, invasion and adhesion of DU145 prostate cancer cells. Suppressing HIF-1α activation by inhibiting Akt and ERK activation may be part of the mechanism by which maslinic acid inhibited uPAR, E-cadherin, VEGF and MMP expression in DU145 cells.
We investigated the pressure dependence of the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) oxidation on the electrical characteristics of the thin oxide films. Activation energies and electron temperatures with different pressures were estimated. To demonstrate the pressure effect on the plasma oxide quality, simple N type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistors were fabricated and investigated in a few electrical properties. At higher pressure than 200mTorr, plasma oxide has a slightly higher on-current and a lower interfacial trap density. The on-current gain seems to be related to the field mobility increase and the lower defective interface to the electron temperature during oxidation.
RF MEMS(Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System) switch technology is one of powerful solution for future RF systems. This technology provides low insertion loss, High linearity and broad bandwidth. Wide driving membrane used MEMS switch can reduce driving voltage but it is easy to bend because of the stress gradient. In order to solve this problem we fabricated Au cantilever in various sputtering condition and various substrate materials. As a result of this experiment, we fabricated cantilever which was bent within 1 um, with 2 um thickness and 340 um length. We applied this condition to RF MEMS switch and we fabricated switch membrane within 1 um bend, under 10MPa stress gradient.
Cellulose electro-active paper (EAPap) has attracted much attention as a new smart electronic material to be utilized as mechanical sensors, bio compatible applications and wireless communications. The thin EAPap film has many advantages such as lightweight, flexible, dryness, biodegradable, easy to chemically modify, cheap and abundance. Also EAPap film has a good reversibility for mechanical performance, such as bending movement, under electric field. The main actuation mechanism governed by piezoelectric property can be modulated by material direction and stretching ratio during process. In this paper we present the overview as well as fabrication process of cellulose EAPap as a novel smart material. Also we propose the method to enhance the piezoelectricity, its mechanical and electromechanical properties. In addition, the fabrication of high quality metal patterns with Schottky diode on the cellulose surface is an initiating stage for the integration of the EAPap actuator and electronic components. The integration of flexible actuator and electronic elements has huge potential application including flying magic carpets, microwave driven flying insets and micro-robots and smart wall papers.
Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) capacitors were fabricated in a coplanar waveguide type using the Al2O3 thin film. The Al2O3 film was grown by atomic layer deposition(ALD) using Methyl-Pyrolidine-Tri-Methyl-Aluminum (MPTMA) and H2O on Ti. The capacitance per unit area of the fabricated MIM capacitor was 0.229 μF/cm2. And it had lower voltage coefficient of capacitance (VCC) and lower leakage current than that of Al2O3 MIM capacitor prepared by Al oxidation and Si3N4 MIM capacitor prepared by PECVD respectively. The fabricated Al2O3 MIM capacitors prepared by ALD exhibited low VCC, low leakage current, small frequency-dependent capacitance reduction, low temperature coefficient of capacitance (TCC) and good reliability. The characteristics of the device were suitable for RF ICs and DRAM.