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The 14C peak in AD 775 (M12) has been measured and confirmed globally in several studies since it was first measured in annual tree rings by Miyake et al. (2012). However, M12 data measurements in early- and latewood are limited. This paper presents the Δ14C values in early- and latewood from AD 762–776 Zelkova serrata tree rings from Bangu-dong, Ulsan, South Korea (35°33′N, 129°20′E). The results indicate no early rise in Δ14C values in the latewood of AD 774 in this sample located at mid-latitude. A comparison of the results of this and previous studies suggests latitude dependence (Büntgen et al. 2018); that is, the early rise of Δ14C in AD 774 was not observed at mid-latitudes in South Korea but was observed at high latitudes in Finland. The half-oxidation time of 14C was estimated from a detailed analysis of a small bomb peak in AD 1962. Based on the half-oxidation time, the Δ14C rise in the latewood, but not in the earlywood, of AD 774 in Finland, and the absence of a Δ14C rise in both the early- and latewood of AD 774 in South Korea, the 14C spike was estimated to have been produced from late April to mid-June in AD 774.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) consist of highly preserved stress proteins that are expressed in response to stress. Two studies were carried out to investigate whether HSP genes in hair follicles from beef calves can be suggested as indicators of heat stress (HS). In study 1, hair follicles were harvested from three male Hanwoo calves (aged 172.2 ± 7.20 days) on six dates over the period of 10 April to 9 August 2017. These days provided varying temperature–humidity indices (THIs). In study 2, 16 Hanwoo male calves (aged 169.6 ± 4.60 days, with a BW of 136.9 ± 6.23 kg) were maintained (4 calves per experiment) in environmentally controlled chambers. A completely randomized design with a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement involving two periods (thermoneutral: TN; HS) and four THI treatment groups (threshold: THI = 68 to 70; mild: THI = 74 to 76; moderate THI = 81 to 83; severe: THI = 88 to 90). The calves in the different group were subjected to ambient temperature (22°C) for 7 days (TN) and subsequently to the temperature and humidity corresponding to the target THI level for 21 days (HS). Every three days (at 1400 h) during both the TN and HS periods, the heart rate (HR) and rectal temperature (RT) of each individual were measured, and hair follicles were subsequently collected from the tails of each individual. In study 1, the high variation (P < 0.0001) in THI indicated that the external environment influenced the HS to different extents. The expression levels of the HSP70 and HSP90 genes at the high-THI level were higher (P = 0.0120, P = 0.0002) than those at the low-THI level. In study 2, no differences in the THI (P = 0.2638), HR (P = 0.2181) or RT (P = 0.3846) were found among the groups during the TN period, whereas differences in these indices (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively) were observed during the HS period. The expression levels of the HSP70 (P = 0.0010, moderate; P = 0.0065, severe) and HSP90 (P = 0.0040, severe) genes were increased after rapid exposure to heat-stress conditions (moderate and severe levels). We conclude that HSP gene expression in hair follicles provides precise and accurate data for evaluating HS and can be considered a novel indicator of HS in Hanwoo calves maintained in both external and climatic chambers.
Whereas genetic susceptibility increases the risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), non-genetic protective factors may mitigate this risk. In a large-scale prospective study of US Army soldiers, we examined whether trait resilience and/or unit cohesion could protect against the onset of MDD following combat deployment, even in soldiers at high polygenic risk.
Data were analyzed from 3079 soldiers of European ancestry assessed before and after their deployment to Afghanistan. Incident MDD was defined as no MDD episode at pre-deployment, followed by a MDD episode following deployment. Polygenic risk scores were constructed from a large-scale genome-wide association study of major depression. We first examined the main effects of the MDD PRS and each protective factor on incident MDD. We then tested the effects of each protective factor on incident MDD across strata of polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk showed a dose–response relationship to depression, such that soldiers at high polygenic risk had greatest odds for incident MDD. Both unit cohesion and trait resilience were prospectively associated with reduced risk for incident MDD. Notably, the protective effect of unit cohesion persisted even in soldiers at highest polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk was associated with new-onset MDD in deployed soldiers. However, unit cohesion – an index of perceived support and morale – was protective against incident MDD even among those at highest genetic risk, and may represent a potent target for promoting resilience in vulnerable soldiers. Findings illustrate the value of combining genomic and environmental data in a prospective design to identify robust protective factors for mental health.
Optimization of production factors plays a central role in efficient milk production operations. Causal relationships between production parameters (health, fertility, feeding, performance and farm size) on the one hand and efficiency parameters on the other have been identified in several studies. In recent years, structural equation modelling (SEM) has not only gained importance in agriculture but also in milk production, providing the opportunity to investigate multilateral relationships. Additionally, SEM enables an estimation of parameters which are not themselves measurable, the so-called latent variables. The current study was based on the data of 943 branch settlements (including the years 2012 and 2013) of dairy farms keeping German Holstein cows in Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany) which provided a combination of the structural parameters, economic parameters and biological performance of the farms. An SEM using this combined data was applied to investigate the complexity of influences on efficiency parameters in milk production. Efficiency was sub-divided into and evaluated by two effect variables (economic efficiency and biological efficiency). Economic efficiency was defined as a conventional efficiency assessment criterion from full-cost accounting, whereas biological efficiency was used to evaluate the quality of herd management. Performance was identified as the key parameter for independent evaluation of efficiency by assessing biological (γ41 = 0.644) or economic efficiency (γ42 = 0.266). The SEM explained more than three times higher proportion of the variance in biological efficiency than in economic efficiency. The investigation proved the eligibility of partial least squares SEM for the evaluation of efficiency in milk production.
Invasive parasites can spill over to new hosts in invaded ecosystems with often unpredictable trophic relationships in the newly arising parasite-host interactions. In European seas, the intestinal copepod Mytilicola orientalis was co-introduced with Pacific oysters (Magallana gigas) and spilled over to native blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), with negative impacts on the condition of infected mussels. However, whether the parasite feeds on host tissue and/or stomach contents is yet unknown. To answer this question, we performed a stable isotope analysis in which we included mussel host tissue and the primary food sources of the mussels, microphytobenthos (MPB) and particulate organic matter (POM). The copepods were slightly enriched in δ15N (mean Δ15N ± s.d.; 1·22 ± 0·58‰) and δ13C (Δ13C 0·25 ± 0·32‰) with respect to their host. Stable isotope mixing models using a range of trophic fractionation factors indicated that host tissue was the main food resource with consistent additional contributions of MPB and POM. These results suggest that the trophic relationship of the invasive copepod with its mussel host is parasitic as well as commensalistic. Stable isotope studies such as this one may be a useful tool to unravel trophic relationships in new parasite-host associations in the course of invasions.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
A considerable proportion of people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders do not take antipsychotic medication but seem to be functioning well. However, little is known about this group. To test the assumption that absence of medication is compensated for by more effective coping and increased social support, this study compared symptoms, functioning, coping strategies and social support in non-medicated and medicated individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
In all, 48 participants with a DSM-IV schizophrenia spectrum disorder who were taking (n = 25) or not taking antipsychotic medication (n = 23) were included. Assessment consisted of self-ratings of symptoms, symptom-related distress and social support combined with a semi-structured interview that assessed general and social functioning, subjective evaluation of symptoms and coping strategies.
Symptom severity and distress did not differ between the groups. However, the non-medicated participants had significantly higher levels of general functioning than medicated participants and a longer duration of being non-medicated was significantly associated with a higher level of general functioning. In contrast to the hypotheses, not taking medication was not associated with more effective coping strategies or with higher levels of social support. Medicated participants more frequently reported the use of professional help as a coping strategy.
Our results corroborate previous studies finding improved functioning in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who do not take medication compared with those who take medication, but do not support the notion that this difference is explicable by better coping or higher levels of social support. Alternative explanations and avenues for research are discussed.
Camera-based systems in dairy cattle were intensively studied over the last years. Different from this study, single camera systems with a limited range of applications were presented, mostly using 2D cameras. This study presents current steps in the development of a camera system comprising multiple 3D cameras (six Microsoft Kinect cameras) for monitoring purposes in dairy cows. An early prototype was constructed, and alpha versions of software for recording, synchronizing, sorting and segmenting images and transforming the 3D data in a joint coordinate system have already been implemented. This study introduced the application of two-dimensional wavelet transforms as method for object recognition and surface analyses. The method was explained in detail, and four differently shaped wavelets were tested with respect to their reconstruction error concerning Kinect recorded depth maps from different camera positions. The images’ high frequency parts reconstructed from wavelet decompositions using the haar and the biorthogonal 1.5 wavelet were statistically analyzed with regard to the effects of image fore- or background and of cows’ or persons’ surface. Furthermore, binary classifiers based on the local high frequencies have been implemented to decide whether a pixel belongs to the image foreground and if it was located on a cow or a person. Classifiers distinguishing between image regions showed high (⩾0.8) values of Area Under reciever operation characteristic Curve (AUC). The classifications due to species showed maximal AUC values of 0.69.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with abnormal cognitive and emotional functions and these dysfunctions may be dependent on the disruption of dynamic interactions within neuronal circuits associated with emotion regulation. Although several studies have shown the aberrant cognitive–affective processing in OCD patients, little is known about how to characterize effective connectivity of the disrupted neural interactions. In the present study, we applied effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling to explore the disturbed neural interactions in OCD patients.
A total of 20 patients and 21 matched healthy controls performed a delayed-response working memory task under emotional or non-emotional distraction while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
During the delay interval under negative emotional distraction, both groups showed similar patterns of activations in the amygdala. However, under negative emotional distraction, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) exhibited significant differences between groups. Bayesian model averaging indicated that the connection from the DLPFC to the OFC was negatively modulated by negative emotional distraction in patients, when compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected).
Exaggerated recruitment of the DLPFC may induce the reduction of top-down prefrontal control input over the OFC, leading to abnormal cortico-cortical interaction. This disrupted cortico-cortical interaction under negative emotional distraction may be responsible for dysfunctions of cognitive and emotional processing in OCD patients and may be a component of the pathophysiology associated with OCD.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
To identify clinical factors that can explain the differences in treatment outcome, and examine the value of human papillomavirus infection as a prognostic biomarker in stage IVa tonsillar carcinomas.
Fifty-nine patients with tonsillar carcinoma classified as stage IVa were retrospectively analysed for survival outcomes according to various clinical factors. Human papillomavirus infection was evaluated using a human papillomavirus DNA chip test and immunohistochemical staining for p16 and p53.
Lower disease-free survival rates were associated with increasing local invasiveness and nodal status. Although human papillomavirus positivity and p16 expression was more common in locally advanced tonsillar carcinomas with advanced nodal status, the overall survival rate was better for patients with human papillomavirus positive, p16-positive tumours.
The disease-free survival rate may differ according to local tumour invasiveness and nodal status, even for stage IVa tonsillar cancers. Human papillomavirus infection may be a useful biomarker for predicting treatment outcomes for stage VIa tumours.
There is increasing evidence of a relationship between underweight or obesity and dementia risk. Several studies have investigated the relationship between body weight and brain atrophy, a pathological change preceding dementia, but their results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cortical atrophy among cognitively normal participants.
We recruited cognitively normal participants (n = 1,111) who underwent medical checkups and detailed neurologic screening, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the health screening visits between September 2008 and December 2011. The main outcome was cortical thickness measured using MRI. The number of subjects with five BMI groups in men/women was 9/9, 148/258, 185/128, 149/111, and 64/50 in underweight, normal, overweight, mild obesity, and moderate to severe obesity, respectively. Linear and non-linear relationships between BMI and cortical thickness were examined using multiple linear regression analysis and generalized additive models after adjustment for potential confounders.
Among men, underweight participants showed significant cortical thinning in the frontal and temporal regions compared to normal weight participants, while overweight and mildly obese participants had greater cortical thicknesses in the frontal region and the frontal, temporal, and occipital regions, respectively. However, cortical thickness in each brain region was not significantly different in normal weight and moderate to severe obesity groups. Among women, the association between BMI and cortical thickness was not statistically significant.
Our findings suggested that underweight might be an important risk factor for pathological changes in the brain, while overweight or mild obesity may be inversely associated with cortical atrophy in cognitively normal elderly males.
Epidemiological studies have reported that higher education (HE) is associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, after the clinical onset of AD, patients with HE levels show more rapid cognitive decline than patients with lower education (LE) levels. Although education level and cognition have been linked, there have been few longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between education level and cortical decline in patients with AD. The aim of this study was to compare the topography of cortical atrophy longitudinally between AD patients with HE (HE-AD) and AD patients with LE (LE-AD).
We prospectively recruited 36 patients with early-stage AD and 14 normal controls. The patients were classified into two groups according to educational level, 23 HE-AD (>9 years) and 13 LE-AD (≤9 years).
As AD progressed over the 5-year longitudinal follow-ups, the HE-AD showed a significant group-by-time interaction in the right dorsolateral frontal and precuneus, and the left parahippocampal regions compared to the LE-AD.
Our study reveals that the preliminary longitudinal effect of HE accelerates cortical atrophy in AD patients over time, which underlines the importance of education level for predicting prognosis.
Recently, small-sized compact electric vehicles have been in demand for short-distance travel in urban areas, although battery charging in electric vehicles present in the market is still problematic. Borrowing from the concept of a mobile inverted pendulum system, in this paper, a two-wheel robotic vehicle system is implemented and controlled as the future personal transportation device called the TransBOT. The TransBOT has two driving modes: a regular vehicle mode, where stable contact on the ground is maintained by two wheels and two casters, and the balancing mode, which maintains the stable posture with two wheels on the ground. The two-wheel balancing mechanism can be used as a transportation vehicle in narrow and busy urban areas. Gain scheduling control methods based on linear controllers are used for different drivers. In addition, desired balancing angles are specified for the different sizes of drivers in order to have a stable balancing control performance. These desired balancing angle values have been found by empirical studies. Experimental studies with drivers of different weights, as well as indoor and outdoor driving tasks, were conducted to ensure the feasibility of TransBOT.
This study compared the molecular characteristics of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) isolates recovered from 20 non-tertiary-care hospitals (36 isolates) and three tertiary-care hospitals (26 isolates) in diverse geographical areas of Korea from October 2010 to April 2011. All isolates carried the vanA gene only, but 42% and 73% of non-tertiary and tertiary-care isolates expressed the VanB phenotype (teicoplanin minimum inhibitory concentration ⩽16 μg/ml). All isolates harboured insertion sequences, IS1542 and IS1216V, within Tn1546. The isolates from tertiary-care hospitals tended to have reduced Tn1546 lengths by deletion of sequences adjacent to IS elements. Multilocus sequence typing revealed eight sequence types within clonal complex 17 (CC17), but DNA fingerprinting by rep-PCR did not show clonal relatedness between the intra- and inter-hospital isolates. These results suggest that vanA, which has prevailed in tertiary-care hospitals of Korea since the 1990s, had been transferred horizontally to non-tertiary-care hospitals while the genetic rearrangement driven by evolutionary adaptation to adverse environments may have occurred in tertiary-care hospitals.
There is a general need for higher objectivity and accuracy in describing the physiological fertility performance of dairy cows. To develop the alternative meaningful starting points for the selection of genetically superior dairy cows, this study focused on the detection of low progesterone concentrations, which are indicative of estrus events. Three mathematical approaches were used: one based on the exponentially weighted moving average control chart, and two threshold methods, which were developed in-house. Data were collected from one data set that included 97 insemination data of first-lactating Holstein dairy cows, and a second set that included 160 inseminations of primiparous and multiparous Holstein dairy cows. On the basis of these 2 data sets, and using a threshold of 1.2 ng progesterone/ml skimmed milk, the sensitivity of the 3 models was high and ranged between 100% and 93.13%, with an error rate between 4% and 22.17%. The specificity varied between 97.92% and 99.93%. The average concentration levels of true-positive–detected progesterone measures were low and ranged between 0.18 and 0.28 ng progesterone/ml skimmed milk (first data set) and 0.21 to 0.26 ng progesterone/ml skimmed milk (second data set). False-positive–detected low progesterone concentrations during estrus events were closely related to progesterone values around the 1.2 ng progesterone/ml skimmed milk threshold and the detecting rules of the control chart. Thus, we suggest that a threshold of 0.8 ng progesterone/ml skimmed milk is indicative for luteal activity in defatted foremilk. By means of the three methods used, the detection of low progesterone concentrations was possible and it can be assumed that this is a good starting point for further studies (such as interval calculation) in this area.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of post-operative voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal.
The study retrospectively enrolled 55 consecutive patients who had undergone voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal occurring between June 2010 and June 2011. A historical group of 63 similar patients not receiving voice therapy was used as an external control. We compared voice analysis parameters and Voice Handicap Index scores for the two groups.
Most objective and subjective voice outcome parameters were significantly improved after surgical treatment. Although the study and control groups showed no significant difference regarding objective parameters (using acoustic and aerodynamic analysis) or the subjective parameters assessed using the grade-roughness-breathiness-asthenia-strain scale, the study group had significantly better final Voice Handicap Index scores.
Following surgery for vocal polyps, post-operative voice therapy can improve patients' vocal discomfort, emotional responses and everyday self-perception.