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Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
To describe the frequency of antibiotic prescriptions in patients with known viral respiratory infections (VRIs) diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 3 emergency departments (EDs) and to identify patient characteristics that influence the prescribing of antibiotics by ED physicians despite PCR confirmation of viral cause.
Retrospective, observational analysis of patients with PCR-diagnosed VRI discharged from 3 acute-care hospital EDs within 1 health system.
In total, 323 patients were discharged from the ED with a VRI diagnosis, of whom 68 were prescribed antibiotics (21.1%). These patients were older (median, 59.5 vs 43 years; P = .04), experienced symptoms longer (median, 4 vs 2 days; P = .002), were more likely to have received antibiotics in the preceding 7 days (27.9% vs 9.8%; P < .001), and had higher proportions of abnormal chest X-rays (64.5% vs 28.4%; P < .001). Patients were more likely to receive antibiotics for a diagnosis of pneumonia (39.7% vs 1.6%; P < .001) or otitis media (7.4% vs 0.4%; P = .002), and were less likely with diagnosis of upper respiratory infection (2.9% vs 13.7%; P = .02) or influenza (20.6% vs 44.3%; P < .001).
Despite a diagnosis of VRI, one-fifth of ED patients were prescribed antibiotics. Patient characteristics including age, duration of symptoms, abnormal chest X-rays, and specific diagnosis may increase provider concern for concurrent bacterial infections. Opportunities exist for antimicrobial stewardship strategies to incorporate rapid diagnostics in promoting judicious antibiotic usage in the ED.
We are developing the novel αIIbβ3 antagonist, RUC-4, for subcutaneously (SC)-administered first-point-of-medical-contact treatment for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
We studied the (1) pharmacokinetics (PK) of RUC-4 at 1.0, 1.93, and 3.86 mg/kg intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and SC in non-human primates (NHPs); (2) impact of aspirin on RUC-4 IC50 in human platelet-rich plasma (PRP); (3) effect of different anticoagulants on the RUC-4 IC50 in human PRP; and (4) relationship between αIIbβ3 receptor blockade by RUC-4 and inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation.
(1) All doses of RUC-4 were well tolerated, but animals demonstrated variable temporary bruising. IM and SC RUC-4 reached dose-dependent peak levels within 5–15 minutes, with T1/2 s between 0.28 and 0.56 hours. Platelet aggregation studies in NHPs receiving IM RUC-4 demonstrated >80% inhibition of the initial slope of ADP-induced aggregation with all three doses 30 minutes post-dosing, with subsequent dose-dependent loss of inhibition over 4–5 hours. (2) The RUC-4 IC50 for ADP-induced platelet aggregation was unaffected by aspirin treatment (40±9 nM vs 37±5 nM; p = 0.39). (3) The RUC-4 IC50 was significantly higher in PRP prepared from D-phenylalanyl-prolyl-arginyl chloromethyl ketone (PPACK)-anticoagulated blood compared to citrate-anticoagulated blood using either thrombin receptor activating peptide (TRAP) (122±17 vs 66±25 nM; p = 0.05; n = 4) or ADP (102±22 vs 54±13; p<0.001; n = 5). (4) There was a close correspondence between receptor blockade and inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation, with aggregation inhibition beginning with ~40% receptor blockade and becoming nearly complete at >80% receptor blockade.
Based on these results and others, RUC-4 has now progressed to formal preclinical toxicology studies.
Norovirus, a major cause of gastroenteritis in people of all ages worldwide, was first reported in South Korea in 1999. The most common causal agents of pediatric acute gastroenteritis are norovirus and rotavirus. While vaccination has reduced the pediatric rotavirus infection rate, norovirus vaccines have not been developed. Therefore, prediction and prevention of norovirus are very important. Norovirus is divided into genogroups GI–GVII, with GII.4 being the most prevalent. However, in 2012–2013, GII.17 showed a higher incidence than GII.4 and a novel variant, GII.P17-GII.17, appeared. In this study, 204 stool samples collected in 2013–2014 were screened by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; 11 GI (5.39%) and 45 GII (22.06%) noroviruses were identified. GI.4, GI.5, GII.4, GII.6 and GII.17 were detected. The whole genomes of the three norovirus GII.17 were sequenced. The whole genome of GII.17 consists of three open reading frames of 5109, 1623 and 780 bp. Compared with 20 GII.17 strains isolated in other countries, we observed numerous changes in the protruding P2 domain of VP1 in the Korean GII.17 viruses. Our study provided genome information that might aid in epidemic prevention, epidemiology studies and vaccine development.
Sufficient amino acid (AA) transport is essential to ensure the normal physiological function and growth of growing animals. The processes of AA sensing and transport in humans and murine animals, but rarely in goats, have been arousing great interest recently. This study was conducted to investigate the messenger RNA expression patterns of lysophosphatidic acid receptor 5 (LPAR5), guanine nucleotide-binding protein α-transducing 3 (GNAT3) and important partial AA transporters in digestive tracts, metabolic organs and muscles of growing goats. The results showed that these genes were widely expressed in goats, and had different expression patterns. LPAR5, GNAT3, solute carrier (SLC38A2), SLC7A7, SLC7A1 and SLC3A1 were rarely expressed in the rumen, but were highly expressed in the abomasum and intestine which are the main sites of AA absorption. GNAT3, SLC38A1, SLC38A2, SLC6A19, SLC7A7 and SLC7A1 showed comparatively high expression in the pancreas and the vital digestive glands, and the relatively high expression of these nine genes were noted in the tibialis posterior, the active muscle in energy metabolism. The correlation analysis showed that there were certain positive correlation among most genes. The current results indicate that the AA sensing and transport occur extensively in the abomasum and small intestine, metabolic organs and muscle tissues of ruminants, and that related genes have tissue specificity.
Human bocaviruses (HBoVs) have been detected in human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. In 2005, HBoV was also discovered in infants and children with infections of the lower respiratory tract. Recently, several genotypes of this parvovirus, including HBoV genotype 2 (HBoV2), genotype 3 (HBoV3) and genotype 4 (HBoV4), were discovered and found to be closely related to HBoV. HBoV2 was first detected in stool samples from children in Pakistan, followed by detection in other countries. HBoV3 was detected in Australia and HBoV4 was identified in stool samples from Nigeria, Tunisia and the USA. Recently, HBoV infection has been on the rise throughout the world, particularly in countries neighbouring South Korea; however, there have been very few studies on Korean strains. In this study, we characterised the whole genome and determined the phylogenetic position of CUK-BC20, a new clinical HBoV strain isolated in South Korea. The CUK-BC20 genome of 5184 nucleotides (nt) contains three open-reading frames (ORFs). The genotype of CUK-BC20 is HBoV2, and 98.77% of its nt sequence is identical with those of other HBoVs, namely Rus-Nsc10-N386. Especially, the ORF3 amino acid sequences from positions 212–213 and 454 corresponding to a variable region (VR)1 and VR5, respectively, showed genotype-specific substitutions that distinguished the four HBoV genotypes. As the first whole-genome sequence analysis of HBoV in South Korea, this information will provide a valuable reference for the detection of recombination, tracking of epidemics and development of diagnosis methods for HBoV.
Improving understanding of the pathogen-specific seasonality of enteric infections is critical to informing policy on the timing of preventive measures and to forecast trends in the burden of diarrhoeal disease. Data obtained from active surveillance of cohorts can capture the underlying infection status as transmission occurs in the community. The purpose of this study was to characterise rotavirus seasonality in eight different locations while adjusting for age, calendar time and within-subject clustering of episodes by applying an adapted Serfling model approach to data from a multi-site cohort study. In the Bangladesh and Peru sites, within-subject clustering was high, with more than half of infants who experienced one rotavirus infection going on to experience a second and more than 20% experiencing a third. In the five sites that are in countries that had not introduced the rotavirus vaccine, the model predicted a primary peak in prevalence during the dry season and, in three of these, a secondary peak during the rainy season. The patterns predicted by this approach are broadly congruent with several emerging hypotheses about rotavirus transmission and are consistent for both symptomatic and asymptomatic rotavirus episodes. These findings have practical implications for programme design, but caution should be exercised in deriving inferences about the underlying pathways driving these trends, particularly when extending the approach to other pathogens.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
Radiocarbon (14C) is a radionuclide generated mainly through neutron-induced reactions in all types of nuclear reactors. Since most of the 14C released into the environment is in the form of gaseous emissions (CO2 and hydrocarbons), terrestrial plants are the primary indicators of increased 14C levels near nuclear power plants (NPPs). In 2013–2014, we collected samples of silver grasses (including common reed) and pine needles within 3 km of four South Korean NPP centers and measured 14C activities using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at Seoul National University. The highest 14C activities were observed, respectively, in Wolsong>Hanul>Kori>Hanbit [220, 143, 127, and 123% modern carbon (pMC)].
Robust time-averaged molecular dynamics has been developed to calculate finite-temperature elastic constants of a single crystal. We find that when the averaging time exceeds a certain threshold, the statistical errors in the calculated elastic constants become very small. We applied this method to compare the elastic constants of Pd and PdH0.6 at representative low (10 K) and high (500 K) temperatures. The values predicted for Pd match reasonably well with ultrasonic experimental data at both temperatures. In contrast, the predicted elastic constants for PdH0.6 only match well with ultrasonic data at 10 K; whereas, at 500 K, the predicted values are significantly lower. We hypothesize that at 500 K, the facile hydrogen diffusion in PdH0.6 alters the speed of sound, resulting in significantly reduced values of predicted elastic constants as compared to the ultrasonic experimental data. Literature mechanical testing experiments seem to support this hypothesis.
This study aimed to test the expression of maspin in invasive fungal rhinosinusitis and explore its value in diagnosing invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.
Forty-two fungal rhinosinusitis cases (12 invasive and 30 non-invasive) were selected as the experimental group, and 30 chronic rhinosinusitis cases comprised the control group. Maspin expression was assessed in nasal mucous membrane specimens by immunohistochemical staining.
Compared with the control group, maspin expression was down-regulated in the fungal rhinosinusitis group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the staining score for maspin was lowest in the invasive fungal rhinosinusitis group, as compared with both the non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis group and the control group (p < 0.05). A maspin staining score of 5.70 was the critical value for diagnosis of invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, with sensitivity and specificity of 91.7 per cent and 88.3 per cent, respectively.
The results of this study suggest that the maspin staining score may be a biomarker for effective and rapid diagnosis of invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
This research analyses the effects of the knowledge overlap between acquirer and target firms on the performance of technological mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Extending previous research that has focused on the quantitative characteristics of knowledge, this research introduces a framework capturing the effects of both the quantity and quality of knowledge in overlapped and nonoverlapped parts of the knowledge base on subsequent innovation performance. Analyzing a data set of 192 technological M&As of 162 high-technology firms from 2001 to 2009, the results show that a high quality of overlapped knowledge has a positive effect on subsequent innovation performance, while the effect is negative for nonoverlapped knowledge quality. In addition, this research investigates the influence of the knowledge quantity on subsequent innovation performance. The implication of this research is that the knowledge overlap in technological M&As is essential for acquiring high-quality knowledge from the target firm and for improving innovation performance.
This study aimed to review available disaster training options for health care providers, and to provide specific recommendations for developing and delivering a disaster-response-training program for non-disaster-trained emergency physicians, residents, and trainees prior to acute deployment.
A comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature of the existing training options for health care providers was conducted to provide specific recommendations.
A comprehensive search of the Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane databases was performed to identify publications related to courses for disaster preparedness and response training for health care professionals. This search revealed 7,681 unique titles, of which 53 articles were included in the full review. A total of 384 courses were found through the grey literature search, and many of these were available online for no charge and could be completed in less than six hours. The majority of courses focused on management and disaster planning; few focused on clinical care and acute response.
There is need for a course that is targeted toward emergency physicians and trainees without formal disaster training. This course should be available online and should utilize a mix of educational modalities, including lectures, scenarios, and virtual simulations. An ideal course should focus on disaster preparedness, and the clinical and non-clinical aspects of response, with a focus on an all-hazards approach, including both terrorism-related and environmental disasters.
HansotiB, KelloggDS, AberleSJ, BroccoliMC, FedenJ, FrenchA, LittleCM, MooreB, SabatoJJr., SheetsT, WeinbergR, ElmesP, KangC. Preparing Emergency Physicians for Acute Disaster Response: A Review of Current Training Opportunities in the US. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(6):643–647.
We discuss paleoenvironmental changes at the Dae-Am San high moor, located near the Demilitarized Zone at 38°N. This area has been reported to be the only high moor in the Korean peninsula. The 14C age of the bottom sediment (75–80 cm in depth) at this site is about 1900 BP. Since the radiocarbon ages for the intervals at 50–55 cm and 75–80 cm were almost the same, we conclude that the deep layers (55–80 cm) in the high moor were all part of the original soil. Low organic C and N contents in the deeper layers support this inference. The 50–55-cm layer consists of sandy material with very low organic content, suggesting erosion from the surrounding area. The surface layer (0–5 cm) was measured as 190 BP, and the middle layer (30–35 cm) was 870 BP. The bulk sedimentation rate was estimated to be about 0.4 mm yr−1 for the 0–30-cm interval. The δ13C value of organic carbon in the sediments fluctuated with depth. The δ13C profile of the Dae-Am San high moor may be explained by climatic changes which occurred during the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period.
It has been reported that the characteristics of a very old wood charcoal sample are different from those of modern wood charcoal according to its state of preservation (Cohen-Ofri et al. 2006; Rebollo et al. 2008). It can be assumed that these differences may lead to some difficulties when radiocarbon dating very old wood charcoal samples. To investigate this problem, we studied a carbonized trunk of Prunus pendula for. acendens tree buried in lava and found at the Hantan River lava plateau on the Korean Peninsula. The 14C date of this sample was previously measured as >30,000 BP. However, separate 14C results of its outer crust and inner wood showed a considerable difference, exceeding the estimated age differences by tree-ring counting. To study the reason for this discrepancy, optical microscopy and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) were performed to examine the differences in the structural and chemical states of the samples. For reference data and to expand our understanding of very old wood charcoal, we applied the same analysis tools (AMS, FTIR, FE-SEM, EDS, and optical microscopy) to a variety of wood charcoals and original wood. From these analyses, we noticed considerable chemical changes in the outer crust sample, and this might explain the age discrepancy. Although it seems that the age difference might be due to the digestion of 14C-free CO2 from a volcanic environment, this explanation would not account for such a large value in the age difference.
Two cases of hospital-acquired listeriosis were linked to a commercially produced, pasteurized ice cream mix. Manufacturers should implement safety measures from the Food Safety Modernization Act to minimize the risk of Listeria contamination. Dietary guidelines for persons at high risk of listeriosis may need revision to recognize the potential risk from pasteurized products.