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We studied a suitable procedure for preparing of water samples used in radiocarbon intercomparisons involving dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The water samples must have inter-batch consistency and stable 14C concentrations and no sterilizing agent (e.g., HgCl2) should be added, in order to avoid the production of hazardous material. Six water samples, containing widely different amounts and types of salts, DIC, and 14C concentrations (1–100 pMC), were prepared in order to assess the procedure. Sample consistency was investigated through δ13C and chemical compositions; their low variabilities indicate that our procedure can be applied to radiocarbon intercomparison. A specific sample preparation protocol was developed for this kind of applications.
Water-splitting by using electric power produced by solar cells is promising system to produce hydrogen without fossil fuels. Oxygen evolving catalyst is, however, major problem to prevent using this system widely because precious materials are used in the catalyst. Considering from the photosynthesis II of plants, the compound of Ca-Mn-O is one of the candidates for the oxygen evolving catalyst. In this study, the synthesis condition and the oxygen evolving electrocatalytic activity of CaMn2O4•xH2O are investigated. The overpotential at 0.1 mA/cm2 was 0.28 V when using the electrode of carbon paste and CaMn2O4•H2O with the weight ratio of 3:1.
Cysticercosis caused by infection with the larval stage of Taenia solium is an important cause of neurological disease worldwide and immunodiagnosis is important for the control and elimination of cysticercosis. In the present study, we established a simple and reliable preparation of immunodiagnostic low-molecular-weight antigens (LMWAgs) from T. solium cyst fluids by a cation-exchange chromatography (CEC). Banding patterns of LMWAgs on SDS-PAGE were different between isolates from Ecuador and China. All cysticercosis patient sera and some echinococcosis patient sera recognized both LMWAgs by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), but sera from healthy persons were not positive. There was no statistical difference in immunodiagnostic performance of LMWAgs prepared from different geographical isolates. These results indicated that these novel immunodiagnostic antigen preparations could contribute the control and prevention of cysticercosis in endemic areas, especially developing countries.
We investigated the relationships between conception rates (CRs) at first service in Japanese Holstein heifers (i.e. animals that had not yet had their first calf) and cows and their test-day (TD) milk yields. Data included records of artificial insemination (AI) for heifers and cows that had calved for the first time between 2000 and 2008 and their TD milk yields at 6 through 305 days in milk (DIM) from first through third lactations. CR was defined as a binary trait for which first AI was a failure or success. A threshold-linear animal model was applied to estimate genetic correlations between CRs of heifers or cows and TD milk yield at various lactation stages. Two-trait genetic analyses were performed for every combination of CR and TD milk yield by using the Bayesian method with Gibbs sampling. The posterior means of the heritabilities of CR were 0.031 for heifers, 0.034 for first-lactation cows and 0.028 for second-lactation cows. Heritabilities for TD milk yield increased from 0.324 to 0.433 with increasing DIM but decreased slightly after 210 DIM during first lactation. These heritabilities from the second and third lactations were higher during late stages of lactation than during early stages. Posterior means of the genetic correlations between heifer CR and all TD yields were positive (range, 0.082 to 0.287), but those between CR of cows and milk yields during first or second lactation were negative (range, −0.121 to −0.250). Therefore, during every stage of lactation, selection in the direction of increasing milk yield may reduce CR in cows. The genetic relationships between CR and lactation curve shape were quite weak, because the genetic correlations between CR and TD milk yield were constant during the lactation period.
Mucosal mast cells (MMC) play a crucial role in the expulsion of Strongyloides ratti adults from the small intestine of mice. We reported the large intestinal parasitism of S. ratti in rats, and there has been no report on MMC in the large intestine of the natural host. We studied kinetics of MMC, together with eosinophils, in the upper and lower small intestines, caecum and colon of infected rats. Two distinct phases of mastocytosis were revealed: one in the upper small intestine triggered by stimulation of ‘ordinary’ adults, and the other in the colon stimulated by ‘immune-resistant’ adults that started parasitizing the colon around 19 days post-infection. In all 4 intestinal sites, the MMC peaks were observed 5–7 days after the number of adult worms became the maximum and the height of MMC peaks appeared to be dependent on the number of parasitic adults, suggesting an important role played by worms themselves in the MMC buildup.
Optical and near-infrared observations of novae give us useful information for understanding the diversity of nova eruptions. Classical nova V1723 Aql was discovered by F. Kabashima and K. Nishiyama on 2010 September 11. We have conducted photometric and spectroscopic observations of V1723 Aql in both optical and near-infrared (NIR) wavelength regions since its discovery. The V-band decline time by 2 mag after the maximum, t2, was ~12 d. The apparent Fe II emission lines were also seen in the optical spectra. The Rc- and Ic-band light curves exhibited rapid declines (0.16 mag d−1 in Rc) 20 days after the visual maximum, while the NIR (J, H, and Ks) showed slow decline rates (~0.07 mag d−1). This rapid reddening suggests that dust particles formed during the very early phase of the expansion in V1723 Aql.
Results of our experimental investigation on the ozone zero phenomenon
suggested us the importance of the electrode surface condition. This means
that the main cause of the phenomenon, that is, temporal decrease of ozone
concentration at the outlet of DBD type ozone generator and the recovery
characteristics from the phenomenon are considered as the surface reaction
process, which are influenced strongly by the surface condition. The surface
condition is never constant during the ozone generation and varies gradually
or remarkably with time depending on the experimental conditions. Therefore
we have been continued to make clear the cause of the phenomenon, for
example, the reproducibility of the phenomenon, using new electrodes and
together with the surface analysis technique etc. In this paper, we describe
on the above results and discussion.
Strongyloides ratti (Nagoya strain) is unique in that a portion of adults parasitizing the small intestine withstands ‘worm expulsion’, which starts at around day 8 post-infection (p.i.) by host immunity, and establishes in the large intestine after day 19 p.i. To investigate the mechanism, adults obtained from the small intestine at day 7 or 19 p.i. were transplanted into the colon of infection-primed immune rats. Adults obtained at day 7 p.i. were rejected quickly, whereas those obtained at day 19 p.i. could establish infection. Moreover, the body length and the number of intrauterine eggs increased in the large intestine. In a separate experiment, large intestinal parasitism was abolished by the treatment of host rats with an anti-oxidant, butylated hydroxyanisole. These results indicate that small intestinal adults between days 7 and 19 p.i. acquired the ability to parasitize the large intestine of immune rats, and that free radicals produced by the host may have played a significant role in the process.
Maternal food restriction is known to cause developmental hypertension in offspring. We have previously shown that maternal high-protein diet can reverse fetal programming of hypertension and that branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) concentrations in maternal and fetal plasma were increased by maternal high-protein intake. Then, we hypothesized that isocaloric supplementation with BCAA to a maternal food restriction can reverse the adverse outcome. Pregnant rats were divided into four groups at 7.5 days postcoitum: normally nourished (NN) and 70% undernourished (UN) groups with and without BCAA supplementation (NN–standard diet (SD), NN–BCAA, UN–SD and UN–BCAA groups). Compared with pups in the NN groups, those in the UN–SD group had significantly increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) at 8 and 16 weeks of age (P < 0.05). However, the elevation of SBP was not observed in offspring in the UN–BCAA group. Offspring glomeruli number of the UN groups was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than that of the NN groups, independent of BCAA supplementation. Angiotensin II receptor type 2 (ATR2) mRNA and protein expression in the kidney was significantly augmented in the UN–BCAA group at 30 weeks of age. In conclusion, BCAA supplementation during maternal food restriction prevents developmental hypertension together with increased ATR2 expression in adult offspring kidney.
Influence of the linear energy-momentum relationship in graphene on conductance and magnetoresistance (MR) in ferromagnetic metal (FM)/graphene/FM lateral junctions is studied in a numerical simulation formulated using the Kubo formula and recursive Green’s function method in a tight-binding model. It is shown that the contribution of electron tunneling through graphene should be considered in the electronic transport in metal/graphene/metal junctions, and that the Dirac point (DP) is effectively shifted by the band mixing between graphene and metal electrodes. It is shown that MR appears due to spin-dependent shift of DP or spin-dependent change in the electronic states at DPs. It is shown that the MR ratio caused by the latter mechanism can be very high when certain transition metal alloys are used for electrodes. These results do not essentially depend on the shape of the junction structure. However, to obtain high MR ratios, the effects of roughness should be small.
Exchange coupling observed recently in Fe/ Fe3O4 (001) junctions shows comparable intensity to that in Co/Ru/Co trilayers, and has potential applicability to spintronics devices. To clarify the mechanism of the exchange coupling, electronic and magnetic states of Fe/ Fe3O4 junctions are calculated in the first principles method by assuming four junction structures of bcc Fe and Fe3O4 layers. It is shown that the local moments of bcc Fe atoms at the interface increase, but those of Fe ions at the interface of Fe3O4 layer decrease. The total energy of the junctions is plotted as a function of distance between Fe and Fe3O4 layers. Calculated results of the coupling energy between Fe and Fe3O4 layers, however, are larger than experimental ones by two orders of magnitude, and they correspond to inter-atomic exchange interactions at the interface. In order to explain the experimental results, we propose a mechanism of exchange coupling mediated by impurity-like states of interfacial Fe atoms which possess reversed magnetic moments in bcc Fe layer. Frustration effects in exchange coupling between Fe and Fe3O4 layers are also discussed.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are life-long neurodevelopmental conditions. The pathophysiology is poorly understood, and the clinical diagnosis can only be made through behavioural assessments. The prevalence of ASD has increased eight-fold over the last three decades. Paralleling this rise, research interest in the disorder has been accumulating, centering on two aspects: risk factors that would explain the increase in prevalence, and precursors that could predict an emergence of ASD prior to 2 years of age. As regard factors responsible for the increased prevalence, an increasing trend of low birthweight (4.2% in 1980 v. 9.6% in 2006 at Japan) and advanced paternal age at birth are potentially implicated. To explore these issues, and to yield an early diagnostic algorithm for ASD, the authors initiated the ongoing Hamamatsu Birth Cohort for Mothers and Children (HBC) in 2007. The strengths of the HBC include frequent, direct face-to-face assessments of all the participating mothers and children during the first 4 years of life (12 assessments); this depth of assessments will disclose subtle changes in the developmental domains of individuals with ASD, which might otherwise be overlooked.
A total of 1200 pregnant women are to be recruited by the end of 2010. Assembled information comprises a range of variables related to the mother’s characteristics and child development. The comprehensiveness of the HBC will provide an informative data source that will elucidate early trajectories of children with ASD in addition to revealing detailed, developmental properties of typically developing children.
An experimental study is carried out to clarify the mechanism of the ozone zero phenomenon. Temporal variations of both the discharge characteristics and the metallic electrode surface in the ozone generator are investigated by the Lissajous figure method and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), respectively. The AES results suggest that a number of oxygen atoms penetrate into the stainless-steel electrode owing to the exposure to ozone. Such a surface change would result in the temporal variation of the discharge characteristics of the generator.
Propagation of electrostatic electron waves whose frequency is smaller than the electron plasma frequency in a large unmagnetized plasma is investigated both experimentally and theoretically. When a receiver is close to a transmitter, free-streaming electrons are detected owing to their large capacity for excitation. When the distance between the receiver and the transmitter becomes large, the third-order Landau mode is observed due to its smaller damping than that of free-streaming electrons. Finally, a dip in amplitude of the wave, caused by interference by the higher-order Landau modes, is seen. The results are in reasonable agreement with numerical calculation assuming a dipole excitation for the wave.
A thin-amorphous MnOx layer using self-forming barrier process with a Cu-Mn alloy shows good adhesion and diffusion barrier properties between copper and dielectric layer, resulting in excellent reliability for stress and electromigration. Meanwhile, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) can be employed for conformal deposition of the barrier layer in narrow trenches and vias for future technology node. In our previous research, a thin and uniform amorphous MnOx layer could be formed on TEOS-oxide by thermal metal-organic CVD (MOCVD), showing a good diffusion barrier property. In addition, a good adhesion strength is necessary between a Cu line and a dielectric layer not only to ensure good SM and EM resistance but also to prevent film delamination under mechanical or thermal stress conditions during fabrication process such as chemical mechanical polishing or high temperature annealing. To date, no information is available with regard to the adhesion property of CVD-MnOx. In this work, we report diffusion barrier property in further detail and adhesion property in PVD-Cu/CVD-MnOx/SiO2/Si. The temperature dependence of the adhesion property is correlated with the chemical composition and valence state of Mn investigated with SIMS and Raman spectroscopy.
Substrates were p-type Si wafers having a plasma-TEOS oxide of 100nm in thickness. CVD was carried out in a deposition chamber. A manganese precursor was vaporized and introduced into the deposition chamber with H2 carrier gas. After the CVD, a Cu overlayer was deposited on some samples using a sputtering system in load lock chamber of the CVD machine. The diffusion barrier property of the MnOx film was investigated in annealed samples at 400 oC for 100 hours in a vacuum of better than 1.0×10-5 Pa. The Adhesion property of Mn oxide was investigated by Scotch tape test in the as-deposited and in the annealed Cu/CVD-MnOx/TEOS samples. The obtained samples were analyzed for thickness and microstructure with TEM, chemical bonding states of the MnOx layer with XPS, and composition of each layer with SIMS.
In the CVD deposition below 300 °C, no Cu delamination was observed both in the as-deposited and in the annealed Cu/CVD-MnOx/SiO2 samples. On the other hand, in the CVD deposition at 400 °C, the Cu films were delaminated from the CVD-MnOx/TEOS substrates. The XPS peak position of Mn 2p and Mn 3s spectra indicated that the valence state of Mn in the as-deposited barrier layer below 400 °C was 2+. Composition analysis with SIMS as well as Raman also indicated the presence of a larger amount of carbon at 400 °C than at less than 300 °C. The good adhesion between Cu and MnO could be attributed to an amount of carbon inclusion in the CVD barrier layer.
We study spin injection from an in-plane magnetized Fe thin layer into a GaAs/AlGaAs quantum well (QW) in low magnetic fields of ±0.37 T using oblique Hanle effect. An oblique low magnetic field induces the precession of electron spins in the GaAs QW, allowing us to detect the spin polarization of electrons injected across the Fe/AlGaAs interface. Our analysis of the circular polarization of light emitted in the electron-hole recombination process in the QW gives an estimate of the lower bounds of the spin polarization to be 4.0%. Also, a spin lifetime of 140 psec is obtained in this analysis, indicating that spin depolarization at the Fe/AlGaAs interface is more predominant rather than spin relaxation in the QW region.
We have recently identified 2 surface proteins in Entamoeba histolytica as intermediate subunits of galactose- and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine-inhibitable lectin (EhIgl1 and EhIgl2); these proteins both contain multiple CXXC motifs. Here, we report the molecular characterization of the corresponding proteins in Entamoeba dispar, which is neither pathogenic nor invasive. Two Igl genes encoding 1110 and 1106 amino acids (EdIgl1 and EdIgl2) were cloned from 2 strains of E. dispar. The amino acid sequence identities were 79% between EdIgl1 and EdIgl2, 75–76% between EdIgl1 and EhIgl1, and 73–74% between EdIgl2 and EhIgl2. However, all the CXXC motifs were conserved in the EdIgl proteins, suggesting that the fold conferred by this motif is important for function. Comparison of the expression level of the Igl genes by real-time RT-PCR showed 3–5 times higher expression of EdIgl1 compared to EdIgl2. Most EdIgl1 and EdIgl2 proteins were co-localized on the surface and in the cytoplasm of trophozoites, based on confocal microscopy. However, a different localization of EdIgl1 and EdIgl2 in intracellular vacuoles and a different level of phenotypic expression of the two Igls were also observed. These results demonstrate that Igls are important proteins even in non-pathogenic amoeba and that Igl1 and Igl2 may possess different functions.
Nanoscience: an area that promises new understanding of nature with the aid of rapid progress of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology: the use of nanoscience to build new technologies that will change the world. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology have captured the attention of the public, government, and corporations. How they will influence our lives depend on how we prepare ourselves, and our successors. Here we present a brief outline of the efforts being taken at Osaka University since 2004, in order to prepare our future scientists, engineers, and leaders in the rapidly flourishing trans-/multi-disciplinary field of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.