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To characterise the dissemination patterns of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in a community, we conducted a study utilising molecular and fundamental descriptive epidemiology. The subjects, consisted of women having community-acquired acute urinary tract infection (UTI), were enrolled in the study from 2011 to 2012. UPEC isolates were subjected to antibacterial-susceptibility testing, O serogrouping, phylotyping, multilocus-sequence typing with phylogenetic-tree analysis and pulsed-field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). From the 209 unique positive urinary samples 166 UPEC were isolated, of which 129 were fully susceptible to the tested antibiotics. Of the 53 sequence types (STs), the four most prevalent STs (ST95, ST131, ST73 and ST357) accounted for 60% of all UPEC strains. Antimicrobial resistance was less frequently observed for ST95 and ST73 than for the others. A majority of rare STs and a few common STs constituted the diversity pattern within the population structure, which was composed of the two phylogenetically distinct clades. Eleven genetically closely related groups were determined by PFGE, which accounted for 42 of the 166 UPEC isolates, without overt geo-temporal clustering. Our results indicate that a few major lineages of UPEC, selected by unidentified factors, are disseminated in this community and contribute to a large fraction of acute UTIs.
We report progresses of a joint project on searching for extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars based on LAMOST survey and Subaru follow-up observation. Follow-up high-resolution snapshot spectra have been obtained for 70 objects, resulting in 42 EMP stars. A number of chemically interesting objects have already been identified, including (1) Two UMP (ultra metal-poor) stars with [Fe/H] ~ −4.0. One of them is the second UMP turnoff star with Li detection. (2) A super Li-rich (A(Li) ~ 3.1) EMP giant. This is the most metal-poor and extreme example of Li enhancement in giants known to date, and will shed light on Li production during the evolution of red giants. (3) A few EMP stars showing extreme overabundance in heavy elements. Detailed abundances of these extreme objects and statistics obtained by the large sample of EMP stars will provide important constraints on the Galactic halo formation.
A dominant astrophysical site for r-process, which is responsible for producing heavy neutron-capture elements, is unknown. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies around the Milky Way halo provide ideal laboratories to investigate the origin and evolution of r-process elements. We carried out high-resolution spectroscopic observations of three giant stars in the Draco dwarf spheroidal galaxy to estimate their europium abundances. We found that the upper-limits of [Eu/H] are very low in the range [Fe/H] < −2, while this ratio is nearly constant at higher metallicities. This trend is not well reproduced with models which assume that Eu is produced together with Fe by SNe, and may suggest the contribution from other objects such as neutron-star mergers.
Large surveys and follow-up spectroscopic studies in the past few decades have been providing chemical abundance data for a growing number of very metal-poor ([Fe/H] <−2) stars. Most of them are red giants or main-sequence turn-off stars having masses near 0.8 solar masses. Lower mass stars with extremely low metallicity ([Fe/H] <−3) are yet to be explored. Our high-resolution spectroscopic study for very metal-poor stars found with SDSS has identified four cool main-sequence stars with [Fe/H] <−2.5 among 137 objects (Aoki et al. 2013). The effective temperatures of these stars are 4500–5000 K, corresponding to a mass of around 0.5 solar masses. Our standard analysis of the high-resolution spectra based on 1D-LTE model atmospheres has obtained self-consistent chemical abundances for these objects, assuming small values of micro-turbulent velocities compared with giants and turn-off stars. The low temperature of the atmospheres of these objects enables us to measure their detailed chemical abundances. Interestingly, two of the four stars have extreme chemical-abundance patterns: one has the largest excesses of heavy neutron-capture elements associated with the r-process abundance pattern known to date (Aoki et al. 2010), and the other exhibits low abundances of the α-elements and odd-Z elements, suggested to be signatures of the yields of very massive stars (> 100 solar masses; Aoki et al. 2014). Although the sample size is still small, these results indicate the potential of very low-mass stars as probes to study the early stages of the Milky Way's halo formation.
This article presents results from the first 3 rounds of an international intercomparison of measurements of Δ14CO2 in liter-scale samples of whole air by groups using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The ultimate goal of the intercomparison is to allow the merging of Δ14CO2 data from different groups, with the confidence that differences in the data are geophysical gradients and not artifacts of calibration. Eight groups have participated in at least 1 round of the intercomparison, which has so far included 3 rounds of air distribution between 2007 and 2010. The comparison is intended to be ongoing, so that: a) the community obtains a regular assessment of differences between laboratories; and b) individual laboratories can begin to assess the long-term repeatability of their measurements of the same source air. Air used in the intercomparison was compressed into 2 high-pressure cylinders in 2005 and 2006 at Niwot Ridge, Colorado (USA), with one of the tanks “spiked” with fossil CO2, so that the 2 tanks span the range of Δ14CO2 typically encountered when measuring air from both remote background locations and polluted urban ones. Three groups show interlaboratory comparability within l% for ambient level Δ14CO2. For high CO2/low Δ14CO2 air, 4 laboratories showed comparability within 2%. This approaches the goals set out by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) CO2 Measurements Experts Group in 2005. One important observation is that single-sample precisions typically reported by the AMS community cannot always explain the observed differences within and between laboratories. This emphasizes the need to use long-term repeatability as a metric for measurement precision, especially in the context of long-term atmospheric monitoring.
In vitro chemotactic responses of infective third-stage larvae (L3) of Brugia pahangi to NaCl, Na2HPO4, KCl, K2HPO4, MgCl2 and CaCl2 were assessed. Compared to deionized water as a control, 200 mm NaCl and 100 mm Na2HPO4 significantly attracted L3 (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01), whereas L3 were likely to avoid 200 mm KCl and 100 mm K2HPO4 (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05). L3 showed no significant tendency to avoid or to be attracted to 200 mm CaCl2 and 200 mm MgCl2. Furthermore, NaCl exhibited a significant chemoattractant activity for L3 at a low concentration of 100 mm.
The significance of the potential impacts of microbial activity on the transport properties of host rocks for geological repositories is an area of active research. Most recent work has focused on granitic environments. This paper describes pilot studies investigating changes in transport properties that are produced by microbial activity in sedimentary rock environments in northern Japan. For the first time, these short experiments (39 days maximum) have shown that the denitrifying bacteria, Pseudomonas denitrificans, can survive and thrive when injected into flow-through column experiments containing fractured diatomaceous mudstone and synthetic groundwater under pressurized conditions. Although there were few significant changes in the fluid chemistry, changes in the permeability of the biotic column, which can be explained by the observed biofilm formation, were quantitatively monitored. These same methodologies could also be adapted to obtain information from cores originating from a variety of geological environments including oil reservoirs, aquifers and toxic waste disposal sites to provide an understanding of the impact of microbial activity on the transport of a range of solutes, such as groundwater contaminants and gases (e.g. injected carbon dioxide).
In order to apply P(VDF-TeFE) piezoelectric polymer to micro-generator as a membrane, the polymer is deposited on a substrate by spin-coating method. Since a solvent affects the film properties and surface stability, we have carried out the thermal process at a temperature higher than melting point. In the annealing process of a P(VDF-TeFE) thin film, electrical properties of the film was improved by an application of an electric field. The established study was the investigation of variations in characteristics by an application of a certain electric field. We have attempted to measure about the critical intensity of an electric field and investigate what the influences of the application is caused using a XPS spectrum in this study. Moreover, in order to control the intrusion of impurities, we have used the vacuum chamber to carry out the annealing process in it.
Probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria directly influence the host’s health and have beneficial effects such as decreasing the number of enteric pathogens, regulating intestinal immune responses and preventing diseases. Among domestic animals, probiotics have been expected to be an alternative to antibiotics added in the diet; and fermented liquid diet (FLD) containing probiotics has great potential as a diet for reducing the use of antibiotics. In this study, we evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of FLD, prepared using Lactobacillus plantarum LQ80 (LQ80), on the immune response of weaning pigs. Ten weaning piglets were divided into two groups and were fed the FLD (n = 5) or a non-fermented liquid diet (NFLD) (n = 5) for 28 days. At the end of the experiment, the total immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels in the sera of the FLD-fed piglets were significantly higher than those of the NFLD-fed piglets (P < 0.05). In contrast, the total immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels in the feces and saliva were not significantly affected by FLD feeding. However, the mean fecal IgA levels of FLD-fed piglets at day 28 were higher than those at 14 and 21 days (P < 0.05). Blood cells from the FLD-fed piglets showed a low level of interferon-γ secretion and mitogen-induced proliferation compared to that of the NFLD-fed piglets. Furthermore, the levels of interluekin-8 and tumor necrosis factor-α, which are proinflammatory cytokines, in the blood cells of the FLD-fed piglets were lower than those of the NFLD-fed piglets (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the FLD used in this study could alter the immune responses of weaning piglets by stimulation of the systemic or mucosal antibody response, without unnecessary inflammatory reactions. This indicates, that the FLD feed prepared with the use of LQ80 may be a candidate feed, with regard to enhancing immune responses and preventing diseases in weaning piglets.
The effect of artesunate (ART) on the survival time of adult worm pairs of Schistosoma mansoni and on their egg output during in vitro culture was assessed. ART significantly decreased the survival time of both paired male and female worms at concentrations of 5, 10, 20 and 40 mg l− 1 during in vitro cultivation. An inhibitory effect of ART on the daily egg output of paired female worms during in vitro cultivation was also observed.
Tb-doped AlBNO (AlBNO:Tb) films with various composition ratios are investigated for luminescence layers of inorganic electroluminescence(EL) devices. Luminescence layers with a wide bandgap and a low dielectric constant are required to realize high performance of EL devices. The ultraviolet-visible radiation absorption measurement and capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurement show that the AlBNO:Tb films have wider bandgap and lower dielectric constant than ZnS which is put to practical use as the host material of the luminescence layer. Photoluminescence (PL) measurement indicates that PL intensity increases with increasing B composition ratio in the range of 5 % - 10 %. Moreover, the suppression factor of the PL intensity can be understood through the annealing experiment. The PL intensity of the film with 800 °C annealing is about 10 times larger than that of the film without annealing. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurement suggests that Tb4+ ions decrease compared with Tb3+ ions after annealing treatment. O atoms in the AlBNO:Tb film are dissociated from Tb and bonded to B atoms by annealing treatment. This suggests that decrease of Tb4+ ions is related to increase of the PL intensity.
We propose a parallel resistance model (PRM) in which total resistance (Rtotal) is given by the parallel connection of resistance of a filament (Rfila) and that of a film excluding the filament (Rexcl)—that is, 1/Rtotal = 1/Rfila + 1/Rexcl—to understand direct current (dc) electric properties of resistive random-access memory (ReRAM). To prove the validity of this model, the dependence of the resistance on temperature, R(T), and the relative standard deviation (RSD) of RHRS of Pt/NiO/Pt on the area of a top electrode, S, are investigated. It is clarified that both the R(T) and RSD depended on S, and all such dependencies can be explained by the PRM. The fact that Rtotal is decided by the magnitude relation between Rfila and Rexcl makes transport properties S-dependent and hinders the correct understanding of ReRAM. Smaller S is essential to observe the intrinsic transport properties of ReRAM filaments.
The transition from a differentiated germ cell into a totipotent zygote during oogenesis and preimplantation development is critical to the creation of a new organism. During this period, cell characteristics change dynamically, suggesting that a global alteration of gene expression patterns occurs, which is regulated by global changes in various epigenetic factors. Among these, transcription factors (TFs) are essential in the direct regulation of transcription and also play important roles in determining cell characteristics. However, no comprehensive analysis of TFs from germ cells to embryos had been undertaken. We used mRNA amplification systems and microarrays to conduct a genomewide analysis of TFs at various stages of oogenesis and preimplantation development. The greatest alteration in TFs occurred between the 1- and 2-cell stages, at which time zygotic genome activation (ZGA) occurs. Our analysis of TFs classified by structure and function revealed several specific patterns of change. Basic transcription factors, which are the general components of transcription, increased transiently at the 2-cell stage, while homeodomain (HD) TFs were expressed specifically in the oocyte. TFs containing the Rel homology region (RHR) and Ets domains were expressed at a high level in 2-cell and blastocyst embryos. Thus, the global TF dynamics that occur during oogenesis and preimplantation development seem to regulate the transition from germ-cell-type to embryo-type gene expression.
The development of large ground-based telescopes and sensitive large format detectors, as well as the develepment of various techniques for the selection of high-z galaxies enabled us to construct large samples of galaxies in the early universe, as reported in the many contributions in this proceedings. The next major step for the comprehensive understanding of the galaxy evolution would be to explore the relationship of galaxies selected with different criteria at different epochs and find links between them. In this contribution we present the properties of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) at z ~ 5 obtained by deep and wide blank field surveys, and through the comparison with samples at lower redshift ranges we discuss the evolution of star-forming galaxies in the early universe.