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The Keio Twin Research Center (KoTReC) was established in 2009 at Keio University to combine two longitudinal cohort projects — the Keio Twin Study (KTS) for adolescence and adulthood and the Tokyo Twin Cohort Project (ToTCoP) for infancy and childhood. KoTReC also conducted a two-time panel study of self-control and psychopathology in twin adolescence in 2012 and 2013 and three independent anonymous cross-sectional twin surveys (ToTcross) before 2012 — the ToTCross, the Junior and Senior High School Survey and the High School Survey. This article introduces the recent research designs of KoTReC and its publications.
To investigate the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor in the matrix of human acquired cholesteatoma compared to the deep meatal skin. This topic does not appear to have been fully investigated before.
An immunochemical study was conducted. Cholesteatoma tissues from adult patients were collected during surgery (n = 19). Control specimens were taken from the deep meatal skin (n = 8) and compared.
A highly significant difference in basic fibroblast growth factor expression was identified between cholesteatoma and skin (mean ± standard error = 58.53 ± 3.6 per cent in cholesteatoma vs 40.6 ± 3.5 per cent in skin; p = 0.005). Both basal and parabasal keratinocytes were stained positive with basic fibroblast growth factor. Additionally, there was specific staining in the basal columnar middle-ear epithelium and mast cell membrane.
Basic fibroblast growth factor plays an active role in proliferative activity of cholesteatoma through its overexpression in basal and parabasal layers of cholesteatoma matrix. Moreover, its expression in the mast cell membrane supports its role in bone resorption activity.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Because of a lack of gold standard diagnostics, a combination of multiple diagnostic tests, or composite diagnostic standard, has been used to measure pneumococcal pneumonia (PP) in pneumococcal vaccine trials. We estimated the accuracy of composite diagnostic standards for PP used in previous randomised controlled trials by simple formulas. A systematic literature review identified five eligible trials and all trials had used different combinations of diagnostic tests for PP. The estimated values of sensitivity and minimum specificity of composite diagnostic standards varied substantially between trials: 48.4% to 98.1% and 71.0% to 97.3%, respectively. Without standardizing the outcome measurements, pneumococcal vaccine efficacy estimates against PP are not comparable between trials and their pooled estimates are biased.
In this work we have conducted a study on the radiative and spectroscopic properties of the radiative precursor and the post-shock region from experiments with radiative shocks in xenon performed at the Orion laser facility. The study is based on post-processing of radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of the experiment. In particular, we have analyzed the thermodynamic regime of the plasma, the charge state distributions, the monochromatic opacities and emissivities, and the specific intensities for plasma conditions of both regions. The study of the intensities is a useful tool to estimate ranges of electron temperatures present in the xenon plasma in these experiments and the analysis performed of the microscopic properties commented above helps to better understand the intensity spectra. Finally, a theoretical analysis of the possibility of the onset of isobaric thermal instabilities in the post-shock has been made, concluding that the instabilities obtained in the radiative-hydrodynamic simulations could be thermal ones due to strong radiative cooling.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
This paper describes the design and fabrication of a range of ‘gas cell’ microtargets produced by the Target Fabrication Group in the Central Laser Facility (CLF) for academic access experiments on the Orion laser facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The experiments were carried out by an academic consortium led by Imperial College London. The underlying target methodology was an evolution of a range of targets used for experiments on radiative shocks and involved the fabrication of a precision machined cell containing a number of apertures for interaction foils or diagnostic windows. The interior of the cell was gas-filled before laser irradiation. This paper details the assembly processes, thin film requirements and micro-machining processes needed to produce the targets. Also described is the implementation of a gas-fill system to produce targets that are filled to a pressure of 0.1–1 bar. The paper discusses the challenges that are posed by such a target.
Climate change, by its influence on the ecology of vectors might affect the occurrence of vector-borne diseases. This study examines the effects of meteorological factors in Japan on the occurrence of scrub typhus, a mite-borne zoonosis caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Using negative binomial regression, we analysed the relationships between meteorological factors (including temperature, rainfall, snowfall) and spring–early summer cases of scrub typhus in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, during 1984–2014. The average temperature in July and August of the previous year, cumulative rainfall in September of the previous year, snowfall throughout the winter, and maximum depth of snow cover in January and February were positively correlated with the number of scrub typhus cases. By contrast, cumulative rainfall in July of the previous year showed a negative relationship to the number of cases. These associations can be explained by the life-cycle of Leptotrombidium pallidum, a predominant vector of spring–early summer cases of scrub typhus in northern Japan. Our findings show that several meteorological factors are useful to estimate the number of scrub typhus cases before the endemic period. They are applicable to establish an early warning system for scrub typhus in northern Japan.
Norovirus (NoV) epidemics normally peak in December in Japan; however, the peak in the 2009–2010 season was delayed until the fourth week of January 2010. We suspected intensive hand hygiene that was conducted for a previous pandemic influenza in 2009 as the cause of this delay. We analysed the NoV epidemic trend, based on national surveillance data, and its associations with monthly output data for hand hygiene products, including alcohol-based skin antiseptics and hand soap. The delayed peak in the NoV incidence in the 2009–2010 season had the lowest number of recorded cases of the five seasons studied (2006–2007 to 2010–2011). GII.4 was the most commonly occurring genotype. The monthly relative risk of NoV and monthly output of both alcohol-based skin antiseptics and hand soap were significantly and negatively correlated. Our findings suggest an association between hand hygiene using these products and prevention of NoV transmission.
It has generally been accepted that moving type IV bursts are generated as synchrotron radiation from energetic electrons high in the solar corona (Boischot and Denisse 1957). At 80 MHz the peak brightness temperature is usually ~ 108 K and the radiation becomes highly circularly polarized as the burst decays. This has led several authors (Kai 1969; Dulk 1970, 1973; Schmahl 1972; Robinson 1974, 1977; Nelson 1977) to the conclusion that the radiation comes from mildly relativistic (~ 100 keV) electrons and occurs at low harmonics of the gyro-frequency (gyro-synchrotron radiation). We present evidence of moving type IV bursts at 43, 80 and 160 MHz with brightness temperatures of ~ 109 K, and one at 43 MHz as high as 1010 K. The number (~ 1033) of energetic (≥ 1 MeV) electrons which is required in order to explain such high brightness temperatures by incoherent gyro-synchrotron emission is very large and near the upper limit for the number of fast electrons accelerated in the second phase of a solar flare. If amplification takes place a smaller number of electrons with energies ~ 100 keV would be required.
We highlight the recent experimental results on laser-driven radiative shock waves of astrophysical interests using kJ PALS laser facility. The generated shock is probed instantaneously by X-ray laser (λ = 21.2 nm) showing an unambiguous shock structure that includes both the post-shock and the precursor.
A gas-filled cylindrical liner z-pinch configuration has been used to drive convergent radiative shock waves into different gases at velocities of 20–50 km s−1. On application of the 1.4 MA, 240 ns rise-time current pulse produced by the Magpie generator at Imperial College London, a series of cylindrically convergent shock waves are sequentially launched into the gas-fill from the inner wall of the liner. This occurs without any bulk motion of the liner wall itself. The timing and trajectories of the shocks are used as a diagnostic tool for understanding the response of the liner z-pinch wall to a large pulsed current. This analysis provides useful data on the liner resistivity, and a means to test equation of state (EOS) and material strength models within MHD simulation codes. In addition to providing information on liner response, the convergent shocks are interesting to study in their own right. The shocks are strong enough for radiation transport to influence the shock wave structure. In particular, we see evidence for both radiative preheating of material ahead of the shockwaves and radiative cooling instabilities in the shocked gas. Some preliminary results from initial gas-filled liner experiments with an applied axial magnetic field are also discussed.
It has been shown that certain personality traits are related to mortality and disease morbidity, but the biological mechanism linking them remains unclear. Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at the ends of chromosomes, and shorter telomere length is a predictor of mortality and late-life disease morbidity. Thus, it is possible that personality traits influence telomere length. In the present study, we examined the relationship of leukocyte telomere length with personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects and methods:
The subjects were 209 unrelated healthy Japanese who were recruited from medical students at 4th–5th grade. Assessment of personality traits was performed by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Leukocyte relative telomere length was determined by a quantitative real-time PCR method for a ratio of telomere/single copy gene.
In the stepwise multiple regression analysis, shorter telomere length was related to lower scores of neuroticism (P < 0.01) and conscientiousness (P < 0.05) of the NEO-PI-R, and lower scores of harm avoidance (P < 0.05) and reward dependence (P < 0.05) of the TCI.
The present study suggests that leukocyte telomere length is associated with some personality traits, and this association may be implicated in the relationship between personality traits and mortality.
In this study, we conducted the in-situ observations of the magnetic domain structure change in Nd2Fe14B magnets at elevated temperature by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) / Lorentz microscopy. The in-situ observations in Nd2Fe14B magnets revealed that the magnetization reversal easily occurred at the elevated temperature. At more than 180°C, the magnetic domain wall motion could be observed by applying the magnetic field of less than 20 mT. The motion of the magnetic domain wall was discontinuous and the domain wall jumped to one grain boundary to the neighboring grain boundary at 180°C. On the other hand, the continuous domain wall motion within grain interior as well as discontinuous domain wall motion was observed at 225°C, and some grain boundaries showed still strong pinning effect even at 225°C. The temperature dependence of the pinning effect of grain boundaries would not uniform.
We examined the spatial and temporal variations of coastal and oceanic epipelagic copepods (rainy–dry seasons of 2009) in a tropical area of the south-west Atlantic. Zooplankton samples were obtained at 48 stations along six transects perpendicular to the coast, in the subsurface water between the 25 and 3000 m isobaths, by horizontal hauls using a Multinet. Abundance (42–64,753 ind. m−3), biomass (0.08–113 mg C m−3) and daily copepod production (0.17–163.20 mg C m−3 d−1) showed longitudinal and latitudinal variability. The highest values were observed over the southern continental shelf during the dry season. Temoridae, Undinula vulgaris and Paracalanus quasimodo dominated the biomass and daily copepod production during the rainy season; while Calanoides carinatus, Calanopia americana, Clausocalanidae, Temoridae, Paracalanidae and Subeucalanidae dominated during the dry season. The copepod assemblages formed four different groups: rainy season–continental shelf (1), dry season–continental shelf (2), rainy season–continental slope (3) and dry season–continental slope (4). Temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a and suspended particulate matter explained 45% of the productivity distribution of the dominant copepod species. This study is the first attempt to examine the biomass and daily copepod production in oceanic waters in the south-west Atlantic Ocean, and it showed that copepod biomass and production in a tropical region can be relatively high compared with other regions of the world's oceans.
The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Indonesia is controversial. We examined the H. pylori infection rate in 78 patients in a hospital in Surabaya using five different tests, including culture, histology, immunohistochemistry, rapid urease test, and urine antibody test. Furthermore, we analysed virulence factors in H. pylori strains from Indonesia. The H. pylori infection rate was only 11·5% in all patients studied, and 2·3% of Javanese patients and 18·0% of Chinese patients were infected (P = 0·01). Although severe gastritis was not observed, activity and inflammation were significantly higher in patients positive for H. pylori than in patients negative for H. pylori. Among genotypes identified from five isolated strains, cagA was found in four; two were vacA s1m1. All cagA-positive strains were oipA ‘on’ and iceA1 positive. We confirmed both a low H. pylori infection rate and a low prevalence of precancerous lesions in dyspeptic patients in a Surabaya hospital, which may contribute to the low incidence of gastric cancer in Indonesia.
We studied the spatial trend of norovirus (NoV) epidemics using sentinel gastroenteritis surveillance data for patients aged <15 years (n = 140) in the Tokyo area for the 2006–2007 to 2008–2009 seasons utilizing the kriging method of geographical information system (GIS). This is the first study of the spreading pattern of NoV epidemics using sentinel surveillance data. Correlations of sentinel cases between the seasons and with demographic data were examined to identify the trend and related factors. A similar pattern of diffusion was observed over the seasons, and its mean correlation between seasons was significantly high. A higher number of cases were found in the peripheral area, which surrounds the most populated central area, and showed a correlation with the ratio of the children population (r = 0·321, P < 0·01) and the ratio of residents in larger families (r = 0·263, P < 0·01). While NoV susceptibility remained, the results suggest a transmission route in the local community as a possible epidemic factor. Prevention with focus on the peripheral area is desirable.
An observational study was conducted to describe the epidemiology of bacteriuria and candiduria in the intensive care unit (ICU), and the occurrence of blood stream infection (BSI) associated with ICU-acquired positive urine culture. Between 2006 and 2011, 444 episodes of either bacteriuria or candiduria defined by positive urine culture (microorganisms ⩾105 c.f.u./ml) occurred in 406 patients. Three hundred and seventy-seven (85%) were hospital-acquired including 221 which were ICU-acquired (6·4 ± 0·8 episodes/1000 ICU days). Escherichia coli was the most common bacteria of both community- and ICU-acquired bacteriuria/candiduria (49·2% and 29%, respectively). Candida spp. represented 55% (129/236) of pathogens responsible for ICU-acquired positive urine cultures. Patients with ICU-acquired candiduria had greater illness severity at ICU admission than those with ICU-acquired bacteriuria (APACHE III score 79 ± 25 vs. 66 ± 31, P = 0·0015). BSI associated with ICU-acquired positive urine culture occurred in 0·15/1000 ICU days and was more often due to Candida. In this study, Candida was the most common pathogen responsible for ICU-acquired positive urine cultures and illness severity was a risk factor for candiduria in the study population.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a brief suicide management training programme for Japanese medical residents compared with the usual lecture on suicidality.
In this multi-center, clustered randomized controlled trial, the intervention group attended a structured suicide management programme and the control group, the usual lecture on depression and suicidality. The primary outcome was the difference in residents' cumulative competency score to manage suicidal persons from baseline (T0) to 1 month after the intervention (T2), determined using the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI-1) score, at individual level.
Analysis of 114 residents (intervention group n = 65, control group n = 49) assigned to two clusters in each group revealed no change in SIRI-1 score from T0 to T2 or immediately after the intervention (T1) between the two groups. As a secondary analysis, discrepancy in judgement between the participants and Japanese suicidologists was examined immediately after the intervention in the adjusted model, with a mean difference in score of 9.98 (95% confidence interval: 4.39–15.56; p = 0.001).
The structured programme was not proven to improve competency in suicide management when measured by the SIRI-1 score. Further elaboration of the programme and valid measurement of its outcome would be needed to show the program's effectiveness.
During the installation of the buffer in a deposition hole of an HLW repository, it is necessary to control water flow from the fractured rock into the deposition hole. Water flow with inflow rate greater than 0.001 l/min may cause piping and erosion of the buffer, and may trigger mass redistribution of the buffer, sedimentation and material separation of bentonite materials. This paper describes the condition of parameters which cause piping and erosion; revised conditions which keep advection, inflow rate, buffer component, gap between buffer materials, gap between outside wall and buffer block, and type of water. The results from the experiment show the condition of the self-sealing function of bentonite materials, formation of piping, allowable limit of inflow rate in the case of an Na type bentonite block of 70 wt.% Kunigel V1 and 30 wt.% silica sand, or a pellet of 100 wt.% Kunigel V1. Piping and erosion continue until the engineered barrier (EB) is filled with water, and then the hydraulic gradient becomes small. Piping may lead to erosion and redistribution of material which needs to be taken into account in the long-term performance assessment.