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The present study aims to verify the impact of dynamic aids on learning L2 prepositions in relation to individual learner variables. Situated within the cognitive linguistics (CL) framework and differing from previous research, the present study hypothesizes that dynamic (animated) aids are not equally effective for all learners; rather, their effectiveness differs according to learners’ first languages (L1s) (Chinese or Japanese) and information-processing styles (verbalizers or imagers). To verify this hypothesis, we utilized learning materials comprised of static and dynamic images for three English spatial prepositions (above, on, over). After conducting a Style of Processing questionnaire, we administered three cloze tests (pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest) of target words to Taiwanese and Japanese participants (N = 109), whose L1s differed in terms of their linguistic proximity to English. Although no significant differences were found between the treatment groups in tests for all participants, the results were differentiated by individual factors. In results of a two-way ANOVA, Taiwanese participants showed significantly greater improvement from the pretest to posttest than Japanese participants when the participants used dynamic images, whereas the Japanese group made more learning gains from the posttest to the delayed posttest test. Moreover, imagers obtained more benefits from the visual aids, whether static or dynamic, than verbalizers. Our findings indicate that CL-based visual aids are beneficial and that individual factors, especially learners’ L1, may produce different learning effects, especially in multimedia environments.
To adequately capture the market structure of vegetables in Japan, it is necessary to develop an oligopolistic model due to the potential market power of producers vs. retailers. We first estimate the market power between producers and retailers by extending the bilateral oligopoly model. Next, we evaluate the role of the wholesale market and its effect on economic welfare. Our results indicate that the wholesale market benefits both producers and consumers through a reduction in retail margins. This study contributes to the industrial organization literature by developing a bilateral oligopoly model and empirically measuring the wholesale market system in Japan.
The duognathous haemadipsid leeches of the genus Chtonobdella show a trans-oceanic distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Although passive long-distance dispersal (LDD) of Chtonobdella leeches by birds has been suggested, little is known about the host–parasite relationships between avian hosts and Chtonobdella leeches. In the current study, we investigated Chtonobdella leech infestations of the eyes and other mucus membranes of migratory procellariiform seabirds, Pterodroma hypoleuca and Oceanodroma tristrami, captured at six locations in the Bonin Islands, Honshu and Okinawa Island, Japan. Analyses of the partial sequences of 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and morphological examination of the specimens demonstrated that the Chtonobdella leeches belonged to Chtonobdella palmyrae, which is indigenous to Palmyra Atoll in the Northern Line Islands. A dominant COI sequence type was observed in samples from all six sites; therefore, C. palmyrae almost surely dispersed approximately 1000 km by infesting the eyes and mucus membranes of procellariiform seabirds. The host–parasite relationships between procellariiform seabirds and C. palmyrae provide explicit evidence of the LDD of duognathous haemadipsid leeches. The taxonomic status of Haemadipsa zeylanica ivosimae from the Volcano Islands is also briefly discussed.
The Palaeolithic–Neolithic transition in East Asia is characterised by the transformation of mobile hunter-gatherer groups into sedentary communities. The existence of ‘ice-age’ pottery in the Japanese archipelago, however, is inconsistent with claims that directly link climatic warming with sedentism and the development of ceramics. Here, the authors reconsider the chronology and palaeoenvironment of the Maedakochi site in Tokyo. New AMS dating and environmental data suggest that intensified inland fishing in cold environments, immediately prior to the Late Glacial warm period, created conditions conducive to sedentism and the development of subsistence-related pottery.
Single photon sources (SPS) are an important building block for realizing quantum technologies for computing, communication, and sensing. For industrialization, electrically controllable color centers acting as SPS are required. We have demonstrated the creation of electrically controllable silicon vacancies (VSis) in the SiC pn junction diode fabricated by proton beam writing (PBW). PBW was successfully used to introduce electrically controllable VSi without degradation of the diode performance. The dependence of the electroluminescence (EL) and photoluminescence (PL) intensities from VSi on H+ fluence revealed that the emission efficiency of EL is less than that of PL. For EL, the supply of carriers (electrons and/or holes) was restricted due to the resistive region around each VSi introduced by PBW. The results suggest that further improvement in the VSi creation process without defects acting as majority carrier removal centers (highly resistive region) and nonradiative centers by optimization of PBW conditions are key points to realize highly sensitive quantum sensors using VSi.
The production of aluminum nitride (AlN) from aluminum metal was investigated in this study. The nitridation of Al (in rod, powder, and thin-plate forms) was facilitated by dissolving the Al2O3 thin films formed on the Al samples with a molten fluoride mixture (KF–45 mol% AlF3, KF, or LiF–50 mol% KF). AlN was formed when NH3 gas was supplied to the Al sample (in both solid and liquid forms) wetted by molten fluoride mixture. The lowest temperature at which AlN was successfully produced was 773 K. No AlN was formed when N2 or H2–25% N2 gas was supplied to the Al sample, even when a molten fluoride mixture was used. The reaction rate for the nitridation of Al powder increased with the temperature and reached 99% after 3 h at 1173 K. AlN thin films of 2–5 μm thickness were formed on Al thin plates (0.075–1.0 mm thick) at 873 K.
High-throughput immuno-electron microscopy is required to capture the protein–protein interactions realizing physiological functions. Atmospheric scanning electron microscopy (ASEM) allows in situ correlative light and electron microscopy of samples in liquid in an open atmospheric environment. Cells are cultured in a few milliliters of medium directly in the ASEM dish, which can be coated and transferred to an incubator as required. Here, cells were imaged by optical or fluorescence microscopy, and at high resolution by gold-labeled immuno-ASEM, sometimes with additional metal staining. Axonal partitioning of neurons was correlated with specific cytoskeletal structures, including microtubules, using primary-culture neurons from wild type Drosophila, and the involvement of ankyrin in the formation of the intra-axonal segmentation boundary was studied using neurons from an ankyrin-deficient mutant. Rubella virus replication producing anti-double-stranded RNA was captured at the host cell’s plasma membrane. Fas receptosome formation was associated with clathrin internalization near the surface of primitive endoderm cells. Positively charged Nanogold clearly revealed the cell outlines of primitive endoderm cells, and the cell division of lactic acid bacteria. Based on these experiments, ASEM promises to allow the study of protein interactions in various complexes in a natural environment of aqueous liquid in the near future.
Our study aims to optimize a multimedia application for vocabulary learning for English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Our study is based on the concept that difficulty in reading a text in a second language is due to the need for more working memory for word decoding skills, although the working memory must also be used for text comprehension skills. This implies that the automatization of word decoding to free the working memory is indispensable. Therefore, developing a multimedia application for vocabulary learning with a time-control function, our study hypothesizes that vocabulary learning with this function brings about the automatization of word decoding or faster recall of the meanings, and, as a result of freeing more working memory, better comprehension of text. According to our research, multimedia application users not only retained more words and recalled their meanings more quickly but also obtained higher scores on reading comprehension tests that contained the words learned through the application. From this result, we conclude that multimedia vocabulary learning with a time-control function can automatize word decoding skills and therefore free more working memory, thereby leading to better comprehension of the text.
Galactic-scale studies of γ-rays and sub-mm radiation suggest that a significant amount of neutral interstellar medium is not detectable either in CO or HI (Grenier et al. 2005; Ade et al. 2011). This component is called “dark gas”. Here we argue that cool and dense atomic gas without molecules is responsible for the dark gas. This interpretation is supported by a recent finding of cool HI gas corresponding to the TeV γ-ray shell in the SNR RX J1713.7-3946 (Fukui et al. 2011). Such HI gas is not recognized under a usual assumption of optically thin HI emission but is identified by a careful analysis considering optically thick HI. The typical column density of such HI gas is a few times 1021 cm−2 and is also identified as visual extinction.
To investigate long-term trends in dietary intakes of vitamins A, C and E in Japanese adults.
Time series by community-based nutrition survey.
Two rural communities (Ikawa and Kyowa) between 1974 and 2001 in Japan.
A total of 3713 men and 3726 women aged 40–69 years.
Dietary intake data were collected by the 24 h dietary recall.
In Ikawa, mean intake of vitamin A (β-carotene and retinol) increased by 13–40 %; vitamins C and E increased by approximately 23–33 % among men and women from 1974–1977 to 1998–2000. In Kyowa, mean intake of vitamin A, primarily retinol, increased by 13–21 % among men and women; vitamin C from fruits decreased by 16 % among men; and vitamin E increased by 29 % among women from 1982–1986 to 1998–2001. Mean intake of vitamin E in the latest survey period was lower than the Adequate Intake among men and women in both communities. Generally, there were increased intakes of β-carotene and vitamin C from green/yellow and other vegetables; increased retinol intake from fish/shellfish, eggs, milk/dairy products and fats/oils; and increased vitamin E intake from green/yellow and other vegetables, fish/shellfish, eggs, milk/dairy products and fats/oils.
Mean intakes of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E increased among middle-aged Japanese men and women between the 1970s and the 1990s except for decreased vitamin C among Kyowa men. The lower mean intake of vitamin E than the Adequate Intake should be considered a potential public health issue for the prevention of CVD.
We have demonstrated previously that a diet containing skimmed milk (SM) fermented by Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LGSP) reduces adipocyte size in Sprague–Dawley rats. Two experiments were conducted to extend these observations in order to elucidate the mechanism involved. In experiment 1, lean and obese Zucker rats were fed a diet containing SM or LGSP for 4 weeks. The LGSP diet, compared with the SM diet, resulted in lowering of the mesenteric adipose tissue weight (23 %; P < 0·05), adipocyte sizes (28 %; P < 0·001) and serum leptin concentration (36 %; P < 0·05) in lean rats. Obese Zucker rats did not display such dietary effects. Only the number of smaller adipocytes was increased (P < 0·05) by the LGSP diet in the subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese rats. The LGSP diet significantly reduced the serum and hepatic cholesterol in rats. In addition, the LGSP diet led to an increased excretion of faecal fatty acids and total neutral faecal sterols in both rat strains. In experiment 2, Sprague–Dawley rats with permanent cannulation of the thoracic duct were fed either the SM or LGSP diets and their lymph was collected. The LGSP diet lowered the maximum transport rate of TAG and phospholipids. These results indicate that fermented milk regulates adipose tissue growth through inhibition at the stage of dietary fat absorption in lean Zucker rats.
Despite adequate scientific evidence of the potential benefits of probiotics to human health or disease prevention, their contribution to the growth of adipose tissue remains to be established. Four-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a diet containing skim milk (control diet) or skim milk fermented by Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 (LGSP diet) for 4 weeks. Their body weight gain, adipose tissue weight, adipocyte size distribution profile, blood and hepatic lipids, and serum leptin, glucose and adiponectin levels were determined. There was a significant reduction in average adipocyte size in mesenteric white adipose tissue (P = 0·004). Moreover, the rats fed the LGSP diet displayed greater numbers of small adipocytes from mesenteric and retroperitoneal adipose tissues than did those on the control diet. Whereas adiponectin concentrations did not differ between the groups, serum leptin concentrations were decreased to 32 % in the LGSP diet group compared with the control group. Concentrations of serum glucose and lipids, and liver lipids, except for the liver TAG level, were similar in the two groups. These results indicate a possible role for a fermented milk product in the regulation of adipose tissue growth.
We present results of astrometric observations of S269 H2O maser performed with VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry). We have monitored the positions of S269 H2O masers for 1 year and successfully detected its parallax to be 189±8 micro-arcsecond. This corresponds to a source distance of 5.28+0.24−0.22 kpc, and is the smallest parallax (and thus the largest distance) that has ever been measured by means of annual parallax. Proper motions of S269 H2O maser were also measured and used to determine the Galactic rotation velocity at the position of S269. Our measurements show that the Galactic rotation velocity at S269 is the same to that at the Sun within 3%, indicating that the Galactic rotation curve is flat out to R~13 kpc.
We have carried out multi-epoch VLBI observations of the H2O maser sources associated with young stellar objects (YSOs) in nearby molecular clouds with VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry), which is a newly constructed VLBI network in Japan (Kobayashi et al. 2003). The main goal of our study is to measure the absolute proper motions and distances to nearby molecular clouds within 1 kpc from the Sun, to reveal their 3-dimensional structures and dynamical properties. Using the VERA dual-beam receiving system (Honma et al. 2003), we have carried out phase-referencing VLBI observations and measured annual parallaxes and absolute proper motions of the H2O maser features with respect to the extragalactic radio sources. We have successfully detected the annual parallax of one of the H2O maser features in Orion KL to be 2.29±0.10 mas, corresponding to the distance of 437±19 pc from the Sun (Hirota et al. 2007). In addition, the annual parallax of SVS13 in NGC 1333 is also determined to be4.10±0.17 mas, corresponding to the distance of 244±10 pc from the Sun, although the life time of the maser features are only 6 months. The absolute proper motions of the H2O maser features associated with Orion KL and NGC 1333 are derived, possibly indicating the outflow motions from the YSOs as well as the systemic motions of the powering sources.