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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
We have demonstrated the high yield (∼900 μm) and highly single-wall selective (>95%) growth of carbon nanotube (CNT) forest using aluminium nitride (AlN) as a catalyst underlayer. Such high efficiency and single-wall selectivity have not been previously reported using this underlayer system. Evaluation with transmission electron microscopy showed that the average diameter of the grown carbon nanotubes was ∼3.0 nm, which is similar to those grown on alumina underlayers. In addition, characterization of the catalyst/underlayer system using atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy suggests that neither Ostwald ripening along the surface nor catalyst subsurface diffusion into the AlN underlayer are severely occurring at the growth temperature, leading to the creation of the stable and dense small nanoparticle array to achieve an efficient growth of single-wall CNTs.
We investigate the two-photon absorption characteristics of hemicyanine dyes that exhibit a one-photon absorption at around 500 nm. The dyes exhibited two-photon-induced fluorescence upon irradiation with an Yb-doped femtosecond fiber laser operating at 1030 nm. Among the dyes, 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate exhibited the most efficient two-photon-induced fluorescence at 1030 nm. Since these dyes possess cationic moiety, the dyes accumulated in the mitochondria of a living cell. Two-photon images of mitochondria were obtained by staining living HEK293 cells with these dyes. When 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate was employed, a two-photon-induced fluorescence image could be obtained even when a 3 mW fiber laser beam was used as the excitation source.
We present observational results of the submillimeter H2O and SiO lines toward a candidate high-mass young stellar object Orion Source I using ALMA. The spatial structures of the high excitation lines at lower-state energies of >2500 K show compact structures consistent with the circumstellar disk and/or base of the northeast-southwest bipolar outflow with a 100 au scale. The highest excitation transition, the SiO (v=4) line at band 8, has the most compact structure. In contrast, lower-excitation transitions are more extended than 200 au tracing the outflow. Almost all the line show velocity gradients perpendicular to the outflow axis suggesting rotation motions of the circumstellar disk and outflow. While some of the detected lines show broad line profiles and spatially extended emission components indicative of thermal excitation, the strong H2O lines at 321 GHz, 474 GHz, and 658 GHz with brightness temperatures of >1000 K show clear signatures of maser action.
We initiated a long-term and highly frequent monitoring project toward 442 methanol masers at 6.7 GHz (Dec >−30 deg) using the Hitachi 32-m radio telescope in December 2012. The observations have been carried out daily, monitoring a spectrum of each source with intervals of 9–10 days. In September 2015, the number of the target sources and intervals were redesigned into 143 and 4–5 days, respectively. This monitoring provides us complete information on how many sources show periodic flux variations in high-mass star-forming regions, which have been detected in 20 sources with periods of 29.5–668 days so far (e.g., Goedhart et al. 2004). We have already obtained new detections of periodic flux variations in 31 methanol sources with periods of 22–409 days. These periodic flux variations must be a unique tool to investigate high-mass protostars themselves and their circumstellar structure on a very tiny spatial scale of 0.1–1 au.
By performing a global magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) simulation for the Milky Way with an axisymmetric gravitational potential, we propose that spatially dependent amplification of magnetic fields possibly explains the observed noncircular motion of the gas in the Galactic centre (GC) region. The radial distribution of the rotation frequency in the bulge region is not monotonic in general. The amplification of the magnetic field is enhanced in regions with stronger differential rotation, because magnetorotational instability and field-line stretching are more effective. The strength of the amplified magnetic field reaches ≳ 0.5 mG, and radial flows of the gas are excited by the inhomogeneous transport of angular momentum through turbulent magnetic field that is amplified in a spatially dependent manner. As a result, the simulated position-velocity diagram exhibits a time-dependent asymmetric parallelogram-shape owing to the intermittency of the magnetic turbulence; the present model provides a viable alternative to the bar-potential-driven model for the parallelogram shape of the central molecular zone. In addition, Parker instability (magnetic buoyancy) creates vertical magnetic structure, which would correspond to observed molecular loops, and frequently excited vertical flows. Furthermore, the time-averaged net gas flow is directed outward, whereas the flows are highly time dependent, which would contribute to the outflow from the bulge.
Various observations show peculiar features in the Galactic Center region, such as loops and filamentary structure. It is still unclear how such characteristic features are formed. Magnetic field is believed to play very important roles in the dynamics of gas in the Galaxy Center. Suzuki et al. (2015) performed a global magneto-hydrodynamical simulation focusing on the Galactic Center with an axisymmetric gravitational potential and claimed that non-radial motion is excited by magnetic activity. We further analyzed their simulation data and found that vertical motion is also excited by magnetic activity. In particular, fast down flows with speed of ~100 km/s are triggered near the footpoint of magnetic loops that are buoyantly risen by Parker instability. These downward flows are accelerated by the vertical component of the gravity, falling along inclined field lines. As a result, the azimuthal and radial components of the velocity are also excited, which are observed as high velocity features in a simulated position-velocity diagram. Depending on the viewing angle, these fast flows will show a huge variety of characteristic features in the position-velocity diagram.
It is crucially important to observe dense cores in order to investigate the initial condition of star formation since protostars are formed via dynamical collapse of dense cores, inhering the physical properties from their natal dense cores. Here we present the results of ALMA Cycle 0 and Cycle 1 observations of dust continuum emission and molecular rotational lines toward a dense core, MC27 (aka L1521F), which is considered to be very close to the first protostellar core phase. We revealed the spatial/velocity structures of the core are very complex and and suggest that the star formation is highly dynamical.
Bone contouring is currently the best treatment for fibro-osseous lesions after bone growth arrest. Navigation systems available for this surgery allow intra-operative visualisation with improved cosmetic outcomes. However, conventional navigation systems using superficial skin registration cannot prevent subtle discrepancies.
To address this problem, we used a non-invasive cranial bone registration that uses patient-specific dental templates to maintain exact registration. We created the preset goal using the mirror image of the unaffected side for unilateral lesions, and using images obtained before the onset of symptoms for bilateral lesions. This system achieved precise pre-operative simulation. A sound aid in the navigation system provided information regarding proximity to critical structures and to the preset goal.
We used this system to contour fibro-osseous lesions in three patients. All patients achieved good facial contours and improvement in symptoms.
This method offers a safe, rapid surgical aid in treating orbital fibro-osseous lesions.
To investigate the characteristic physical properties of the oscillating system in the intact middle ear using a high-speed camera.
We analysed the oscillation of the guinea pig stapes using a high-speed camera. The specimens were prepared so that the middle-ear structures were intact. Tones of various frequencies were delivered into the external auditory canal.
We found that the stapes showed a damped oscillation after the sound stimulation had stopped. The damped oscillation after the sound stimulation showed a specimen-specific frequency that was independent of the frequency of the stimulating sound. An injury to the bony labyrinth, which removed most of the mass from the oscillating system, attenuated the damped oscillation. Therefore, this damped oscillation is likely a passive motion, rather than a reverberation of the stimulating sound.
Analysing the passive damped oscillation may reveal the characteristic physical properties of the oscillating system in the near-intact middle ear. Further refinement of this simple and straightforward system may enhance basic and clinical research on the middle ear in a more intuitive way.
We investigated the ossicular movement in the near-intact middle ear in response to acoustic stimulation using a high-speed video camera and video analysis software program.
We have designed a good visual access to the middle ear of the guinea pig by opening the ventral wall of the otic capsule, without injuring the sound-conducting structures, from the external auditory canal to the oval window. The high-speed video camera could record analysable ossicular motion up to 4000 frames per second.
The stapes showed reciprocal movement in the same frequency as the stimulating tone, and with an amplitude proportional to the stimulating sound intensity. Injury to the tympanic membrane attenuated the stapedial motion, which was recovered to that of the control level by patch repair of the perforation.
Our experimental set-up was capable of evaluating the conductive hearing, regardless of the status of the animal's sensorineural hearing or even life. Such a video analysis may provide a powerful tool to investigate the physiology of the middle ear.
We show that high-efficiency and low-degradation hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) p-i-n solar cells can be obtained by depositing absorber layers in a triode-type plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process. Although the deposition rate is relatively low (0.01-0.03 nm/s) compared to the conventional diode-type PECVD process (∼0.2 nm/s), the light-induced degradation in conversion efficiency of single-junction solar cell is substantially reduced (Δη/ηini∼10%) due to the suppression of light-induced metastable defects in the a-Si:H absorber layer. So far, we have attained an independently-confirmed stabilized efficiency of 10.11% for a 220-nm-thick a-Si:H solar cell which was light soaked under 1 sun illumination for 1000 hours at cell temperature of 50°C. We further demonstrate that stabilized efficiencies as high as 10% can be maintained even when the solar cell is thickened to >300 nm.
Reproductive characteristics of poorly studied hyperiid amphipods, especially Phronimella elongata, are described. Among nine species of hand-collected phronimids, females of Phronimella elongata, Phronima dunbari and Phronima sedentaria cohabited with their young in a ‘barrel' derived from gelatinous zooplankton. Five growth stages of young were identified in Phronimella elongata: young of stages I–IV were found with the mother in the barrel, but stage-V young clinged to the mother retaining no barrel. The cohabiting young in Phronimella elongata and Phronima sedentaria always consisted of single growth stage. In a single female of Phronima dunbari, however, two different stages of young coexisted in a barrel. In Phronimella elongata, the mother size significantly correlated with the number of brooded eggs or cohabiting young regardless of growth stages of young. Considerable variation in the number of eggs or young per female among phronimid species may attribute to the differences in the volumes of the brood pouches.
We have fabricated high-efficiency a-Si/µc-Si tandem solar cells and modules with a very high µc-Si deposition rate using Localized Plasma Confinement CVD to give very high-rate deposition (>2.0 nm/s) of device-grade µc-Si layers. For further progress in productive plasma-CVD techniques, we have studied plasma phenomena by combining newly developed plasma simulation and plasma diagnosis techniques that reveal the importance of non-emissive atomic hydrogen. We also have proposed a model of defective µc-Si formation on highly textured substrates in which the atomic H in plasma is assumed to play an important role. We are also developing a non-vacuum deposition technique that we term “Liquid Si Printing.” A new record conversion efficiency for HIT solar cells of 24.7% has been achieved using a very thin c-Si wafer (Thickness: 98 µm, Area: 102 cm2).
Medium scale integrated circuits with 108 CNT-TFTs have been fabricated using CNTs grown by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) which has the advantage of preferential growth of CNTs with semiconducting behavior in the FET current–voltage characteristics. High-speed operation with a switching time of 0.51 μs/gate, which is highest in the CNT-TFT integrated circuits to our knowledge, was demonstrated by a 53-stage ring oscillator. Characterization of CNT-TFTs using scanning probe microscopy has also been performed. The island-like structure in the electrical properties of the CNT network was observed even in a high-density CNT network in the subthreshold regime. This was explained by the decrease of the effective number of CNTs which contribute the electrical conduction.
In order to find an efficient method to etch nano-carbon materials by hydrogenation in a controlled manner, we have studied hydrogen-atom adsorption on various deformed nanotubes using computer simulations based on the density-functional theory. The nanotube with an atomic lack is compared to a deformed tube with the Stone-Wales defect and a twisted tube wall. Similar to the known experimental etching condition for graphene, an atomic lack is effective to accumulate hydrogen atoms around the defect. Compared to the flat graphene, however, nanotube walls with curvature allow on-top adsorption of a hydrogen atom and selectivity in the hydrogenated site becomes worse. To achieve a controlled etching process, usage of a tungsten tip which realizes focused hydrogenation is proposed for natotubes and curved graphene.
The potential of chemically derived graphene as a solution-processable transparent conductive film has been explored. Synthesis of amine-functionalized graphene oxide was intended for its utilization in layer-by-layer assembly. Layer-by-layer assembly of graphene oxide was utilized to fabricate graphene based thin film in a scalable and highly reproducible way. It was found that optical transmittance and sheet resistance of the film decreases with an increase in number of LBL cycles in a reproducible way. The sheet resistance of LBL-assembled GO film improves by an order of magnitude at the same optical transparency due to more homogeneous coverage and better stacking of graphene flakes. Furthermore, we demonstrated the potential for a large-scale deposition of chemically derived graphene.
A thin film consisting of boron, carbon, and nitrogen (BCN) was grown on a polycrystalline Ni substrate by thermal chemical vapor deposition. The local elemental composition of the BCN film was analyzed by scanning Auger electron spectroscopy. The film is elementally highly inhomogeneous and consists of domains with a typical size of 1-10 μm and irregular shapes. The domain structure is strongly related to the structure of the grains of the polycrystalline Ni film beneath the domain. A thick domain is often formed on a small Ni grain. On a large and flat Ni grain, the film thickness is relatively small, and both the boron and nitrogen contents are often below the detection limit, indicating that it is a graphene domain. Boron and nitrogen contents are highly correlated, which is consistent with formation of hexagonal boron nitride. However, unbalanced boron and nitrogen contents are observed from thick domains.