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Cosmopolitan habitat-forming taxa of algae such as the genus Corallina provide an opportunity to compare patterns of biodiversity over wide geographic scales. Nematode assemblages inhabiting Corallina turves were compared between the south coasts of the British Isles and South Korea. A fully nested design was used with three regions in each country, two shores in each region and replicate samples taken from three patches on each shore to compare differences in the taxonomic and biological trait composition of nematode assemblages across scales. A biological traits approach, based on functional diversity of nematodes, was used to make comparisons between countries, among regions, between shores and among patches. The taxonomic and biological trait compositions of nematode assemblages were significantly different across all spatial scales (patches, shores, regions and countries). There is greater variation amongst nematode assemblages at the scale of shore than at other spatial scales. Nematode assemblage structure and functional traits are influenced by the local environmental factors on each shore including sea-surface temperature, the amount of sediment trapped in Corallina spp. and tidal range. The sea-surface temperature and the amount of sediment trapped in Corallina spp. were the predominant factors determining nematode abundance and composition of assemblages and their functional diversity.
South Korea experienced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. To mitigate the threat posed by MERS, the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control designated hospitals to be responsible for managing any suspected or confirmed infectious patient. These hospitals receive mandatory training in managing infectious patients, but many of the trainings lack practical skills practice and pandemic preparedness exercise.
To develop and evaluate a training course designed to train healthcare providers from designated hospitals to enhance their competencies in managing emerging infectious diseases and potential outbreaks.
A two-day course was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research in collaboration with the Korea Health Promotion Institute using Kern’s 6-step approach. The course consisted of didactic lectures, technical skills training, tabletop simulation, and scenario-based simulation. Table-top simulation exercises consisted of cases involving a single infectious patient detected in the outpatient clinic and outbreak in the emergency department. Scenario-based simulation exercises involved managing a critically ill infectious patient in an isolated ward. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the course and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 121 healthcare providers participated in three separate courses. The competencies for pandemic preparedness knowledge, skills, and attitude improved from pre- to post-course. The differences were all statistically significant (p<0.05). Overall course satisfaction in average for expectation, time, delivery method, and contents were 9.5, 9.2, 9.4, and 9.2, respectively.
There needs to be tests and exercises to recognize gaps of systems in place for pandemic preparedness. Simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was only a two-day intensive course, this increased familiarity with workflows, tested the coordination of workflows between different disciplines and allowed the identification of gaps.
Recent hospital fire incidents in South Korea have heightened the importance of patient evacuation. Moving patients from an intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency department (ED) setting is a challenge due to the complexity of moving acutely unwell patients who are reliant on invasive monitoring and organ support. Despite the importance of patient evacuation, the readiness of ICU and ED for urgent evacuation has not been assessed.
To enhance the readiness and competencies of workers from ICU and ED in the evacuation of patients during a simulated tabletop fire exercise.
A tabletop simulation exercise was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research referencing the fire evacuation manual developed by the hospital’s ICU and ED. The scenario consisted of evacuating patients horizontally and vertically from each department. The participants’ actions were assessed using a checklist. A debriefing was completed after the exercise to discuss the gaps observed. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the exercise and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 22 and 29 people participated in the exercise from ICU and ED, respectively. Knowledge and confidence improved post-exercise for both ICU and ED scenarios (p<0.05). Course satisfaction was 7.9 and 8.7, respectively for ICU and ED exercise. Correct performance rates for ICU and ED were 59% and 58%, respectively. Common gaps noted for both ICU and ED were wearing protective masks, patient hand-over communication, and preparation for resources.
There need to be exercises to recognize system gaps in place for hospital fire evacuation preparedness. Tabletop simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was a short 90-minute exercise, this increased familiarity with the evacuation plan, tested the plan, and allowed for identification of gaps.
Hospital workers are critical for a successful response to an infectious disease outbreak and for preventing disease transmission to the community. Therefore, hospital crisis management should implement efforts to improve hospital workers’ preparedness in responding to public health emergencies caused by infectious diseases. Traditionally, preparedness and skill of hospital workers have been emphasized, but awareness of the importance of the emotional mindset of hospital workers in dealing with disease outbreaks has only recently increased; therefore, empirical approaches to examining emotional responses of hospital workers has been limited. This study analyzed qualitative data of the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak in South Korea. In particular, negative emotions and stress experienced by hospital workers who treated patients were characterized, as were the events that triggered such experiences. These events were categorized into four themes (eg, Mistake, Missing, Delay Due to Communication Failure). Identifying events that trigger negative emotions in hospital workers has important implications for hospitals’ management guidance in relation to an infectious disease outbreak. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:504-510)
A sediment core (14DH-C01) obtained from the mouth of Gomso Bay, on the west coast of South Korea, was used to obtain high-resolution palynomorph, grain-size, and 14C age data to investigate the Holocene sedimentary environment. The results indicated a transgressive depositional process with four stages controlled by sea-level change, as follows: river-dominated fluvial deposition from the early Holocene to 8.48 cal ka BP; tide-dominated tidal channel fill transgression from 8.48 to 8.08 cal ka BP; tide- to wave-dominated tidal channel fill transgression from 8.08 to 6.98 cal ka BP; and wave-dominated marine transgression from 6.98 cal ka BP to the present. Tidal channel filling was the primary mid-Holocene depositional process, accounting for the high sedimentation rate observed. The different hydrodynamics of the river-dominated, tide-dominated, tide- to wave-dominated, and wave-dominated processes following the changes in sea level may have controlled the transgressive depositional process. This transgressive sedimentary model differs from those of other large river mouth areas (e.g., the Changjiang River) since the mid-Holocene, perhaps resulting from the limited sediment supply in the study area.
This study investigates the relationship between insomnia and cognitive dysfunctions including, subjective memory impairment (SMI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia, by considering depression in a community sample of elderly individuals.
Data for 1,740 elderly individuals aged 65 years and over were obtained from a nationwide dementia epidemiological study conducted in South Korea. Cognitive functional status was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet Clinical Assessment Battery. Insomnia was defined as the presence of at least one of the four sleep complaints (difficulty in initiating sleep, difficulty in maintaining sleep, early morning awakening, and non-restorative sleep), accompanied by moderate to severe daytime consequences. Depression was evaluated using the Geriatric Depression Scale.
The prevalence of insomnia in the patients with SMI, MCI, and dementia was found to be 23.2%, 19.6%, and 31.0%, respectively. The patients with SMI, MCI, and dementia were significantly more likely to have insomnia and the four sleep complaints than the normal comparison patients. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, the significant relationships between cognitive dysfunctional status and insomnia remained. However, after adjusting for sociodemographic factors and depression, no significant relationships with any of the sleep complaints or insomnia remained.
Insomnia is a very common complaint in the elderly with SMI, MCI, and dementia. Depression might play an important factor in the relationship between insomnia and cognitive dysfunctional status in the elderly.
Echinochloa species are among the most troublesome weeds in
rice cultivation, and grow in a broad habitat range in Korea. Although
various ecotypes of Echinochloa have been collected as
germplasm for future studies, it has been difficult to classify them due to
their high level of morphological similarity. This study was thus conducted
to develop and investigate the phylogenetic relationships between 77
Echinochloa accessions with the use of 23 simple
sequence repeat (SSR) markers and 24 morphological traits. Of 77
Echinochloa accessions, including 57 accessions from
Korea and 5 reference species, late watergrass was clearly clustered as a
distinctive group from barnyardgrass and other Echinochloa
species. In this analysis, we also identified core genetic and morphological
markers that can be used for the future identification and classification of
Echinochloa species. Five out of 23 SSR makers produced
distinctive bands that discriminate late watergrass from barnyardgrass and
other Echinochloa species. Four morphological traits of the
reproductive organs were the most influential contributors for classifying
Echinochloa species. Although there was no clear
consensus generated in this study between SSR markers and morphological
trait analyses, our results support the potential use of the selected SSR
markers and morphological traits in future studies of
To examine the hypothesis that the association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms is dependent upon total cholesterol level in a representative national sample of the South Korean population.
This was a population-based cross-sectional study.
The Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V, 2010–2012).
We included 7198 adults aged 20–88 years.
The incidence of depressive symptoms in individuals with vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D<20 ng/ml) was 1·54-fold (95 % CI 1·20, 1·98) greater than in individuals without vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≥20 ng/ml). The relationship was stronger in individuals with normal-to-borderline serum total cholesterol (serum total cholesterol<240 mg/dl; OR=1·60; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·08) and non-significant in individuals with high serum total cholesterol (OR=0·97; 95 % CI 0·52, 1·81) after adjustment for confounding variables (age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking status, regular exercise, income level, education level, marital status, changes in body weight, perceived body shape, season of examination date and cholesterol profiles).
The association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms was weakened by high serum total cholesterol status. These findings suggest that both vitamin D and total cholesterol are important targets for the prevention and treatment of depression.
A total of forty weaned pigs ((Landrace×Yorkshire)×Duroc) were used to evaluate the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus on inflammatory activity after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Experimental treatments were as follows: (T1) control diet+saline challenge; (T2) control diet with 0·1 % L. acidophilus+saline challenge; (T3) control diet+LPS challenge; and (T4) control diet with 0·1 % L. acidophilus+LPS challenge. On d-14, piglets were challenged with saline (T1 and T2) or LPS (T3 and T4). Blood samples were obtained at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 12 h after being challenged and analysed for immune cell cytokine production and gene expression pattern. The L. acidophilus treatment increased the average daily weight gain (ADWG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) compared with the control diet. With the control diet, the LPS challenge (T3) increased the number of immune cells and expression of TNF-α and IL-6 compared with the saline challenge (T1). Whereas with the saline challenge L. acidophilus treatment (T2) increased the number of leucocytes and CD4 compared with the control diet (T1), with the LPS challenge L. acidophilus treatment (T4) decreased the number of leucocytes, lymphocytes, CD4+ and CD8+ and expression of TNF-α and IL-6 compared with the control diet (T3). L. acidophilus treatment decreased the expression of TRL4 and NF-κB in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) after LPS challenge, which leads to inhibition of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8 and IL1B1 and to induction of IL-4 and IL-10. We suggested that L. acidophilus improved ADWG and ADFI and protected against LPS-induced inflammatory responses by regulating TLR4 and NF-κB expression in porcine PBMC.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
Whether an association exists between cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and functional recovery after ischemic stroke is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the association between CMBs and functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
Consecutive patients with acute stroke were enrolled, and all patients were stratified into good and poor functional outcome groups at discharge and 6 months after ischemic stroke by using a modified Rankin Scale score. Cardiovascular risk factors, CMBs, and white matter hyperintensities were compared between these two outcome groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the risk of poor functional outcomes.
A total of 225 patients were enrolled, 121 of whom were classified as having a good functional outcome at discharge and 142 as having a good 6-month functional outcome. The presence of CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge [CMBs (+) patients in poor vs. good functional group; 48.1% vs. 30.6%; p=0.007] and 6 months [53.0% vs. 30.3%; p=0.001]. After adjustment for confounding factors, only the presence of infratentorial CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge and 6 months. The poor functional outcome group had more CMBs than the good outcome group at 6 months.
Infratentorial cerebral microbleeds were significantly associated with worse functional outcomes not only in the early phase of ischemic stroke but also in the chronic phase. These findings suggest that the presence of infratentorial CMBs can predict poor functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Miscanthus is a promising bioenergy crop due to its high productivity and broad environmental adaptability to tropical and temperate climates. As important Miscanthus species such as M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus are native to East Asia, implying more diverse Miscanthus genetic resources in this region, in this study, we collected about 300 Miscanthus accessions from East Asia, mainly in Korea. From the whole collections, 66 Miscanthus accessions representing geographical location and latitude were selected and tested through a 3-year field trial to investigate genetic diversity in their agronomic traits. Five agronomic traits associated with biomass production were assessed to investigate the relationships of agronomic traits with biomass yield and latitudes of locations where Miscanthus accessions were collected. Plant height, stem diameter, stem dry weight and heading date exhibited a significantly positive correlation with biomass yield with r= 0.465, 0.780, 0.817 and 0.450, respectively. Stem diameter (r= − 0.495), stem dry weight (r= − 0.393), heading date (r= − 0.914) and estimated yield (r= − 0.425) exhibited a significantly negative correlation with latitudes of the collection sites. The results of the study revealed the existence of considerable genetic diversity in agronomic traits in the Miscanthus accessions collected. The presence of a significant relationship between latitudes and agronomic traits suggests that accessions collected from different geographical latitudes will provide more genetically diverse materials for breeding. Therefore, the results of the present study can provide useful information and materials for Miscanthus breeding programmes.
This study aimed to determine the potential impact of an oil spill on intertidal meiofauna at a clean, sandy beach in Korea. This objective was accomplished by examining changes in the structure of meiofaunal assemblages after a controlled oil spill of different concentrations on the beach. The concentration of total petroleum hydrocabon (TPH) in the experimental plots after oil application was expectedly higher for the first 4 d compared to before oil application. The TPH concentrations decreased at a faster rate in the first 4 d, and then progressively. The sharp decline in meiofaunal density in the experimental plots during the first 4 d after the spill might be attributed to the short-term toxic effects of the oil. This suggestion is supported by a significant negative interaction of the TPH on meiofaunal density during the study period. The period of low density of meiofauna also coincided with the maximum concentration of TPH in the sediment. The multivariate indices proved to be highly efficient, showing that samples contaminated with oil had high TPH concentrations, and were partially separated in terms of meiofaunal communities from samples before oil application or samples with low TPH concentrations. The structure of the meiofaunal communities in the experimental plots was similar before and 1 month after oil application. However, the density of meiofauna sharply decreased immediately after oil application in the experiment plots. Furthermore, the meiofaunal density recovered slowly as time passed.
ZK60 (Mg–Zn–Zr) alloys exhibited a variation in precipitates with aging, and their mechanical properties also changed. Microindentation tests were carried out on two types of ZK60 alloys of solid solution (T4) and peak aging (T6). Microstructure and texture evolution during indentation was investigated using electron backscatter diffraction. Twinning occurred near the indentation marks in most grains. It was found that tensile twinning was dominant, and two twin variants were usually observed. Texture and microstructure evolution by twinning and slip activation was further examined by uniaxial compression test with strain. The initial random orientation gradually changed into basal fibers with strain. Some grains with nonbasal orientations aligned with the loading direction easily underwent twinning followed by slip deformation. Other grains near basal orientations revealed only slip deformation.