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This study compares the investigated water vapor diffusion coefficient in the neat polyurethane (PU) membrane, the silica–PU nanocomposite membrane, and two surface-modified silica–PU nanocomposite membranes. The silane first surface modifier is with an amine functional group known as N-[3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl]ethylenediamine, while the second one is with an aniline functional group known as N-[3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl]aniline. The enhancement of water vapor diffusivity values through the polymer nanocomposite is desirable for the membrane air dehumidification application. The diffusivities were calculated via molecular dynamics simulations at the temperature of 298.15 K. The Einstein's relationship known as the mean square displacement method was used to obtain the diffusivity for the membranes. The results showed a significant effect on the diffusivity of water vapor for the surface-modified silica–PU nanocomposite membrane as compared with the neat PU and the unmodified silica–PU nanocomposite membranes. For the amine-modified silica, the diffusion coefficient increased by 80.3% compared with the unmodified silica–PU nanocomposite membrane. On the other hand, the aniline-modified silica outperformed the amine-modified one in terms of the diffusion coefficient by 22.4%.
To determine the level of vitamin D and to identify the association between vitamin D and depressive symptoms in apparently healthy Korean male adults.
A retrospective study design. Among 43 513 participants between 1 March and 30 November 2018, after eliminating participants with a history of depression or vitamin D deficiency, 9058 were included. To determine the level of vitamin D, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was measured. To assess the level of depression, the Korean version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) was used.
Male adults who underwent routine health check-ups.
The average vitamin D level was 22·31 ± 7·09 ng/ml as 25(OH)D, while the number of subjects in the vitamin D insufficiency group with a finding of <20 ng/ml was 3783 (41·8 %). The mean CES-D score in all subjects was 8·31 ± 5·97 points, and the proportion of the depressive symptoms group with a score of ≥16 was 8·71 %. The OR of patients in the depressive symptoms group also being in the insufficiency group was found to be 1·49 (95 % CI 1·12, 2·00).
A total of 41·8 % of apparently healthy male adults had vitamin D levels <20 ng/ml. We identified an association between vitamin D insufficiency and depressive symptoms in apparently healthy Korean male adults.
A certain degree of pulmonary stenosis after total correction of tetralogy of Fallot has been considered acceptable. But the long-term outcomes are not well understood. We observed the natural course of immediate pulmonary stenosis and investigated related factors for progression.
Fifty-two patients with acceptable pulmonary stenosis immediately after operation were enrolled. Acceptable pulmonary stenosis was defined as peak pressure gradient between 15 and 45 mmHg by Doppler echocardiography. Latent class linear mixed model was used to differentiate patients with progressed pulmonary stenosis, and the factors related to progression were analysed.
Pulmonary stenosis progressed in 14 patients (27%). Between the progression group and no progression group, there were no significant differences in operative age, sex, and the use of the transannular patch technique. However, immediate gradient was higher in the progression group (32.1 mmHg versus 25.7 mmHg, p = 0.009), and the cut-off value was 26.8 mmHg (sensitivity = 65.3%, specificity = 65.8%). Main stenosis at the sub-valve was observed more frequently in the progression group (85.7% versus 52.6%, p = 0.027). Despite no difference in the preoperative pulmonary valve z value, the last follow-up pulmonary valve z value was significantly lower in the progression group (−1.15 versus 0.35, p = 0.002).
Pulmonary stenosis immediately after tetralogy of Fallot total correction might progress in patients with immediate pulmonary stenosis higher than ≥26.8 mmHg and the main site was sub-valve area.
Response inhibition, a crucial factor of executive function, involves the ability to suppress irrelevant or interfering information and impulses. Clinical evidence suggests that Sex addicts have impairment of response inhibition as measured by behavioral task of response inhibition (Go-No go task) and a self report questionnaire (BIS-2 scale). To date, almost no studies have been conducted using functional imaging techniques to directly compare inhibitory control between Sex Addicts and controls. The present study examined neural substrates of response inhibition in Sex Addicts. Ten male with Sexual Addiction (20-35 age), age and intelligence quotient matched healthy controls were imaged using fMRI while performing Go-No go task. The results indicate that Sex Addicts find it difficult to inhibit their own actions (t = 2.72, p < 0.01). There were no differences in the neural substrates during Go trials between the groups. However, the controls were significantly hyperactive during No go trials in the right superior medial frontal gyrus (BA 6), left middle frontal gyrus (BA 46). Our result suggest that the frontal cortex may be involved in the circuit modulating inhibitory control, and its impaired function may relate to pathologic sexuality in Sex Addicts (i.e. an inability to control one's sexual behavior, thought, fantasy). These results also reveal a neurofunctional basis for this dysexecutive factor to Sexual Addiction.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to determine the effect of supplementing different forms of L-methionine (L-Met) and acetate on protein synthesis in immortalized bovine mammary epithelial cell line (MAC-T cells). Treatments were Control, L-Met, conjugated L-Met and acetate (CMA), and non-conjugated L-Met and Acetate (NMA). Protein synthesis mechanism was determined by omics method. NMA group had the highest protein content in the media and CSN2 mRNA expression levels (P < 0.05). The number of upregulated and downregulated proteins observed were 39 and 77 in L-Met group, 62 and 80 in CMA group and 50 and 81 in NMA group from 448 proteins, respectively (P < 0.05). L-Met, NMA and CMA treatments stimulated pathways related to protein and energy metabolism (P < 0.05). Metabolomic analysis also revealed that L-Met, CMA and NMA treatments resulted in increases of several metabolites (P < 0.05). In conclusion, NMA treatment increased protein concentration and expression level of CSN2 mRNA in MAC-T cells compared to control as well as L-Met and CMA treatments through increased expression of milk protein synthesis-related genes and production of the proteins and metabolites involved in energy and protein synthesis pathways.
Dietary fibre is believed to provide important health benefits including protection from colorectal cancer. However, the evidence on the relationships with different dietary fibre sources is mixed and little is known about which fibre source provides the greatest benefits. We conducted a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohorts to summarise the relationships of different fibre sources with colorectal cancer and adenoma risks. Analyses were restricted to publications that reported all fibre sources (cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes) to increase comparability between results. PubMed and Embase were searched through August 2018 to identify relevant studies. The summary relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI were estimated using a random-effects model. This analysis included a total of ten prospective studies. The summary RR of colorectal cancer associated with each 10 g/d increase in fibre intake were 0·91 (95 % CI 0·82, 1·00; I2 = 0 %) for cereal fibre, 0·95 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·03, I2 = 0 %) for vegetable fibre, 0·91 (95 % CI 0·78, 1·06, I2 = 43 %) for fruit fibre and 0·84 (95 % CI 0·63, 1·13, I2 = 45 %) for legume fibre. For cereal fibre, the association with colorectal cancer risk remained statistically significant after adjustment for folate intake (RR 0·89, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·99, I2 = 2 %). For vegetable and fruit fibres, the dose–response curve suggested evidence of non-linearity. All fibre sources were inversely associated with incident adenoma (per 10 g/d increase: RR 0·81 (95 % CI 0·54, 1·21) cereals, 0·84 (95 % CI 0·71, 0·98) for vegetables, 0·78 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·93) for fruits) but not associated with recurrent adenoma. Our data suggest that, although all fibre sources may provide some benefits, the evidence for colorectal cancer prevention is strongest for fibre from cereals/grains.
We investigated potential nosocomial aerosol transmission of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) with droplet precautions. During aerosol generating procedures, SFTSV was be transmitted from person to person through aerosols. Thus, airborne precautions should be added to standard precautions to avoid direct contact and droplet transmission.
The status of Asian populations of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra is largely unknown. Since its designation as a Natural Monument (in 1983) and as Endangered (in 1997) in South Korea the authorities there have been trying to conserve and recover the species. We conducted a national otter survey by standard methods in 2017 and compared the current otter distribution to those recorded in a previous survey (2010). We found otter signs in 84.5% of 1,105 10 × 10 km grid cells, with the highest sprainting intensity in the south-west in the Yeongsan River Basin and on the south coast, where we recorded 7.05 and 6.26 spraints/site, respectively. Despite relatively low spraint densities, the otter has expanded its range since 2010 by colonizing urban areas. This trend suggests that South Korea could be a source area for the recovery of the Eurasian otter in East Asia.
Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis), a trematode parasite that invades the hypoxic hepatobiliary tract of vertebrate hosts requires a considerable amount of oxygen for its sexual reproduction and energy metabolism. However, little is known regarding the molecular mechanism of C. sinensis involved in the adaptation to the hypoxic environments. In this study, we investigated the molecular structures and induction patterns of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and other basic helix–loop–helix and Per–Arnt–Sim (bHLH–PAS) domain-containing proteins such as HIF-1β, single-minded protein and aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which might prompt adaptive response to hypoxia, in C. sinensis. These proteins possessed various bHLH–PAS family-specific domains. Expression of C. sinensis HIF-1α (CsHIF-1α) was highly induced in worms which were either exposed to a hypoxic condition or co-incubated with human cholangiocytes. In addition to oxygen, nitric oxide and nitrite affected the CsHIF-1α expression depending on the surrounding oxygen concentration. Treatment using a prolyl hydroxylase-domain protein inhibitor under 20%-oxygen condition resulted in an increase in the CsHIF-1α level. Conversely, the other bHLH–PAS genes were less responsive to these exogenous stimuli. We suggest that nitrite and nitric oxide, as well as oxygen, coordinately involve in the regulation of HIF-1α expression to adapt to the hypoxic host environments in C. sinensis.
Spirituality is what gives people meaning and purpose in life, and it has been recognized as a critical factor in patients’ well-being, particularly at the ends of their lives. Studies have demonstrated relationships between spirituality and patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life and mental health. Although a number of studies have suggested that spiritual belief can be associated with mortality, the results are inconsistent. We aimed to determine whether spirituality was related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea.
For this multicenter study, we recruited adult advanced cancer inpatients who had been admitted to seven palliative care units with estimated survival of <3 months. We measured spirituality at admission using the Korean version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-sp), which comprises two subscales: meaning/peace and faith. We calculated a Kaplan-Meier curve for spirituality, dichotomized at the predefined cutoffs and medians for the total scale and each of the two subscales, and performed univariate regression with a Cox proportional hazard model.
We enrolled a total of 204 adults (mean age: 64.5 ± 13.0; 48.5% female) in the study. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were lung (21.6%), colorectal (18.6%), and liver/biliary tract (13.0%). Median survival was 19.5 days (95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 23.5, 30.6). Total FACIT-sp score was not related to survival time (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.981, CI95% = 0.957, 1.007), and neither were the scores for its two subscales, meaning/peace (HR = 0.969, CI95% = 0.932, 1.008) and faith (HR = 0.981, CI95% = 0.938, 1.026).
Significance of results
Spirituality was not related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea. Plausible mechanisms merit further investigation.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
Lack of understanding the effects of single- and multiple-weed interference on soybean yield has led to inadequate weed management in Primorsky Krai, resulting in much lower average yield than neighboring regions. A 2 yr field experiment was conducted in a soybean field located in Bogatyrka (43.82°N, 131.6°E), Primorsky Krai, Russia, in 2013 and 2014 to investigate the effects of single and multiple interference caused by naturally established weeds on soybean yield and to model these effects. Aboveground dry weight was negatively affected the most by weed interference, followed by number of pods and seeds. Soybean yield under single-weed interference was best demonstrated by a rectangular hyperbolic model, showing that common ragweed and barnyardgrass were the most competitive weed species, followed by annual sowthistle, American sloughgrass, and common lambsquarters. In the case of multiple-weed interference, soybean yield loss was accurately described by a multivariate rectangular hyperbolic model, with total density equivalent as the independent variable. Parameter estimates indicated that weed-free soybean yields were similar in 2013 and 2014, i.e., estimated as 1.72 t and 1.75 t ha−1, respectively, and competitiveness of each weed species was not significantly different between the two years. Economic thresholds for single-weed interference were 0.74, 0.66, 1.15, 1.23, and 1.45 plants m−2 for common ragweed, barnyardgrass, annual sowthistle, American sloughgrass, and common lambsquarters, respectively. The economic threshold for multiple-weed interference was 0.70 density equivalent m−2. These results, including the model, thus can be applied to a decision support system for weed management in soybean cultivation under single and multiple-weed interference in Primorsky Krai and its neighboring regions of Russia.
Hyperlipidaemia is a major cause of atherosclerosis and related CVD and can be prevented with natural substances. Previously, we reported that a novel Bacillus-fermented green tea (FGT) exerts anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects. This study further investigated the hypotriglyceridaemic and anti-obesogenic effects of FGT and its underlying mechanisms. FGT effectively inhibited pancreatic lipase activity in vitro (IC50, 0·48 mg/ml) and ameliorated postprandial lipaemia in rats (26 % reduction with 500 mg/kg FGT). In hypertriglyceridaemic hamsters, FGT administration significantly reduced plasma TAG levels. In mice, FGT administration (500 mg/kg) for 2 weeks augmented energy expenditure by 22 % through the induction of plasma serotonin, a neurotransmitter that modulates energy expenditure and mRNA expressions of lipid metabolism genes in peripheral tissues. Analysis of the gut microbiota showed that FGT reduced the proportion of the phylum Firmicutes in hamsters, which could further contribute to its anti-obesity effects. Collectively, these data demonstrate that FGT decreases plasma TAG levels via multiple mechanisms including inhibition of pancreatic lipase, augmentation of energy expenditure, induction of serotonin secretion and alteration of gut microbiota. These results suggest that FGT may be a useful natural agent for preventing hypertriglyceridaemia and obesity.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.