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In this study, we evaluated brain perfusion in patients with first-episode medicated schizophrenia using the new analytical method, statistical parametric mapping (SPM) applied to single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
We performed SPECT with 99-Tc-ethyl cysteinate dimer (99mTc-ECD) of the brain and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with schizophrenia (n = 30) and control subjects matched for age and gender (n = 37). A voxel-by-voxel group analysis was performed using SPM2 (Z > 3.0, P < 0.001, uncorrected for multiple comparisons).
In comparison with control subjects, the volumes of the bilateral frontal areas were found to be decreased on MRI. Blood flow was found to be reduced in the bilateral temporal areas in the patients with schizophrenia on SPECT.
In this study, patients with first-episode schizophrenia appeared to have significant bilateral temporal hypoperfusion, although temporal volumes were not significantly decreased in comparison with control subjects. Abnormality of temporal lobe blood flow in schizophrenia may show that functional changes occur earlier than structural changes, and may assist in the diagnosis of schizophrenia.
N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. In addition, plasma levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) were compared between the two groups.
Eighteen patients (nine males, nine females; age range: 13–52 years) were enrolled in the study, and 18 volunteers (nine males, nine females; age range: 15–49 years) with no current or past psychiatric history were also studied by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as sex- and age-matched controls.
Levels of NAA/Cr in the left basal ganglia (p = 0.0065) and parieto-occipital lobe (p = 0.00498), but not in the frontal lobe, were significantly lower in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis than in control subjects. No difference was observed between the serum BDNF levels of patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and control subjects. In regard to the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, plasma MHPG, but not HVA, was significantly lower in the patients with first-episode psychosis than in control subjects. In addition, a significantly positive correlation was observed between the levels of NAA/Cr of the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG in all subjects.
These results suggest that brain NAA levels in the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG levels were significantly reduced at the first episode of schizophrenia psychosis, indicating that neurodegeneration via noradrenergic neurons might be associated with the initial progression of the disease.
Enhancement of the quality of laser wake-field accelerated (LWFA) electron beams implies the improvement and controllability of the properties of the wake waves generated by ultra-short pulse lasers in underdense plasmas. In this work we present a compendium of useful formulas giving relations between the laser and plasma target parameters allowing one to obtain basic dependences, e.g. the energy scaling of the electrons accelerated by the wake field excited in inhomogeneous media including multi-stage LWFA accelerators. Consideration of the effects of using the chirped laser pulse driver allows us to find the regimes where the chirp enhances the wake field amplitude. We present an analysis of the three-dimensional effects on the electron beam loading and on the unlimited LWFA acceleration in inhomogeneous plasmas. Using the conditions of electron trapping to the wake-field acceleration phase we analyse the multi-equal stage and multiuneven stage LWFA configurations. In the first configuration the energy of fast electrons is a linear function of the number of stages, and in the second case, the accelerated electron energy grows exponentially with the number of stages. The results of the two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations presented here show the high quality electron acceleration in the triple stage injection–acceleration configuration.
We have conducted 1.1 mm ALMA observations of a contiguous 105” × 50” or 1.5 arcmin2 window in the SXDF-UDS-CANDELS. We achieved a 5σ sensitivity of 0.28 mJy, giving a flat sensus of dusty star-forming galaxies with LIR ~6×1011L⊙ (if Tdust=40K) up to z ~ 10 thanks to the negative K-correction at this wavelength. We detected 5 brightest sources (S/N>6) and 18 low-significant sources (5>S/N>4; they may contain spurious detections, though). One of the 5 brightest ALMA sources (S1.1mm = 0.84 ± 0.09 mJy) is extremely faint in the WFC3 and VLT/HAWK-I images, demonstrating that a contiguous ALMA imaging survey uncovers a faint dust-obscured population invisible in the deep optical/near-infrared surveys. We find a possible [CII]-line emitter at z=5.955 or a low-z CO emitting galaxy within the field, allowing us to constrain the [CII] and/or CO luminosity functions across the history of the universe.
Mg-Si thin films were systematically studied using combinatorial approach by co-sputtering with Mg and Si targets. Single phase of Mg2Si appeared around the stoichiometric composition region, and in Mg-rich region (Mg/Si>4) Mg2Si and Mg phases coexisted. The transition of electrical conduction type from n-type to p-type occurred near the stoichiometric composition region where the strongest peak of Mg2Si appeared in the XRD patterns and the Raman scattering spectra. The p-type conduction was observed in Mg-poor region near the stoichiometric composition region. The results of first principle calculation suggest that Mg vacancy may cause p-type conduction.
Carbon fine particles including single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were synthesized by hot-filament and plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition. Specific surface area was evaluated for carbon fine particles synthesized under optimized conditions along with purified SWNTs and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) for comparison. The value of specific surface area for the synthesized carbon fine particles was smaller than the SWNTs, but larger than the MWNTs. Pore size distribution was analyzed with desorption isotherms by the DH method. Although smaller pores are included in the purified SWNTs than the synthesized carbon fine particles, pores of size larger than several nm were included more in the synthesized carbon fine particles.
To increase X-ray photon number generated by laser-cluster interaction, it is important to understand the dependence of X-ray generation on cluster size. We carried out Xe K-shell X-ray generation using a conical nozzle with Xe clusters, the radius of which was controllable by adjusting the backing pressure. The experiment clarifies the result that the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number increases with increasing cluster radius from 8 to 12 nm, and saturates at the radius between 12 and 17 nm. We also investigated the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number dependence on laser intensity, and found that the threshold laser intensity of the Xe K-shell X-ray generation exists between 2 × 1017 and 5 × 1018 W/cm2.
Sunspot observations inspired solar dynamo theory and continue to do so. Simply counting them established the sunspot cycle and its period. Latitudinal distributions introduced the tough constraint that the source of sunspots moves equator-ward as the cycle progresses. Observations of Hale's polarity law mandated hemispheric asymmetry. How much more can sunspots tell us about the solar dynamo? We draw attention to a few outstanding questions raised by inherent sunspot properties. Namely, how to explain sunspot rotation rates, the incoherence of follower spots, the longitudinal spacing of sunspot groups, and brightness trends within a given sunspot cycle. After reviewing the first several topics, we then present new results on the brightness of sunspots in Cycle 24 as observed with the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI). We compare these results to the sunspot brightness observed in Cycle 23 with the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI). Next, we compare the minimum intensities of five sunspots simultaneously observed by the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope Spectropolarimeter (SOT-SP) and HMI to verify that the minimum brightness of sunspot umbrae correlates well to the maximum field strength. We then examine 90 and 52 sunspots in the north and south hemisphere, respectively, from 2010 - 2012. Finally, we conclude that the average maximum field strengths of umbra 40 Carrington Rotations into Cycle 24 are 2690 Gauss, virtually indistinguishable from the 2660 Gauss value observed at a similar time in Cycle 23 with MDI.
It is shown that various spectroscopic methods based on measurements of X-ray spectra radiated from cluster targets can be used for estimation of the destruction degree of clusters by laser prepulses. These methods allow insight to be gained regarding the important issue of preservation of the dense cluster core at the moment of the arrival of the main laser pulse. In addition, they can be used for quantitative estimation of the size of the undestroyed parts of the clusters and also for measuring the temperature and density of the preplasmas produced by the laser prepulses.
The current trends in stimulated Brillouin scattering and optical phase conjugation are overviewed. This report is formed by the selected papers presented in the “Fifth International Workshop on stimulated Brillouin scattering and phase conjugation 2010” in Japan. The nonlinear properties of phase conjugation based on stimulated Brillouin scattering and photo-refraction can compensate phase distortions in the high power laser systems, and they will also open up potentially novel laser technologies, e.g., phase stabilization, beam combination, pulse compression, ultrafast pulse shaping, and arbitrary waveform generation.
Using a N2 gas plasma apparatus (BLP-TES, NGK Insulators, Ltd), we showed that N2 gas plasma treatment of influenza A virus caused degradation of viral nucleoproteins. These findings suggest that N2 gas plasma treatment may contribute to infection prevention control for influenza.
Variation in thermal conductivity of Ag-based composites by introduction of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was investigated. The Ag/MWCNT nanocomposite powder was successfully prepared when appropriate surfactants were used via a sonoprocess. The nanocomposite powder was subsequently cured at 280-300 ºC in air. After curing, the thermal conductivity of the nanocomposites was compared with the electronic contribution to thermal conductivity that was estimated from experimental values of the electrical conductivity. The thermal conductivity of Ag/MWCNT nanocomposites was much higher than the electronic contribution. Therefore, the increase in thermal conductivity of the Ag-based nanocomposites is attributed to phonon transfer along the percolation network of MWCNTs.
Supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy is an organ-preserving procedure used to treat laryngeal cancer. However, the post-operative neoglottis tends to be variable in form and difficult to predict.
We retrospectively analysed three-dimensional images reconstructed from multidetector-row computed tomography data for 21 patients, assessing arytenoid motion and minimum neoglottic gap cross-sectional area.
While mean transverse and coronal motion was similar for bilateral and unilateral arytenoids, movement along the sagittal axis was greater for unilateral than bilateral arytenoids. The neoglottic gap during respiration was wider in patients with bilateral arytenoids, but both groups had a similar neoglottic gap during phonation.
Anterior shifting of the unilateral arytenoid plays an important role in compensating for the inability to achieve neoglottic closure. These two results demonstrate that the unilateral arytenoid alone is capable of achieving sufficient neoglottic narrowing to compensate for the resected arytenoid. Three-dimensional analysis was useful to evaluate the physiological status of the neoglottis after supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy.
Utilization of Hot Burnt Gas for Better Control of Combustion and Emissions
Recirculated hot burned gas has long been used to stabilize flames in continuous flow combustion systems, such as furnaces, boilers, gas turbines, and afterburners in jet engines . The recirculation is created by employing swirl vanes, bluff bodies, or baffle plates. The heat and radicals in the hot combustion products act as the ignition source for fresh mixtures of fuel and air flowing into the flame-stabilization region.
In the late 20th Century, air pollution by combustion-generated smoke, partially burned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitric oxides, NOx, became a public concern. With the increasing stringency of the regulations for NOx emissions, recirculation of combustion products or exhaust-gas came to be used as one of the measures for controlling NOx formation. Exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR), for example, is extensively used in reciprocating engines for automobiles , where the engine exhaust gas is recirculated into the intake manifold in order to mix with fresh air. Another example is recirculation of combustion products in furnaces and boilers, which is sometimes called internal EGR. Most of the reduction of NOx emissions achieved by EGR is attributed to reduced peak flame temperatures that are due to increased specific heat capacity of the diluted mixtures, though some of the reduction is attributed to resulting slower NO formation that are due to reduced oxygen concentrations and increased carbon dioxide and water vapor concentrations.
Supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy is an organ-preserving surgical technique used to treat laryngeal cancer. This procedure resects the vocal folds; however, it is unclear how the sound source and airway morphology are involved in phonation through the post-operative neoglottis.
Multidetector helical computed tomography scanning was performed on two patients who had undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy. The cricoid and arytenoid cartilages and the airway were visualised using three-dimensional images.
The mobility of the arytenoid cartilages was well preserved in the one patient with bilateral arytenoids, and in the other patient with only one arytenoid remaining. Two types of airway configuration were observed during phonation: one patient had a single stream airway, while the other had a combination of several streams.
In the patient with only one arytenoid remaining, the preserved arytenoid tended to be rotated excessively inward. Therefore, phonation may have also occurred in various airways followed by mucosal vibration, which may be a sound source.
We prepare Nd-Bi codoped zeolites by a method consisting of a simple ion-exchange process and subsequent high-temperature annealing. The emission covers the range of 970∼1450 nm, corresponding to the electronic transitions of Nd3+ ions and Bi-related active centers (BiRAC), respectively. The introduction of Bi distinctly broadens the excitation band of Nd3+ in the visible region, and the lifetime of Nd3+ reaches as long as 354 μs. In the zeolite matrix, Bi ions exist as BiRAC and Bi oxide agglomerates. The former one act as a sensitizer of Nd3+ ions, and the latter one act as a blockage to avoid the quenching effect of coordinated water, which enable Nd3+ ions to show efficient near-infrared (NIR) emission even the zeolites contain large amount of coordinated water. The excellent optical and structural properties make these NIR emitting nanoparticles promising in application as laser materials and biological probes.
The Bi-based oxide superconducting wire is one of the most promising materials for practical uses such as electric power transmission, electromagnets and so on. For the higher performances required in these applications, it is necessary to increase the critical current (Ic). We have carried out synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction analysis to improve our manufacturing processes and thus to achieve higher Ic. We have performed in situ X-ray diffraction measurements during the sintering and cooling processes, and observed the decrease of Bi-2223(=(Bi,Pb)2Sr2Ca2Cu3Ox) phase during the cooling process. We have also evaluated the distribution of the crystal orientation in whole wire thickness, by measuring the rocking curves. We have observed that the distribution of the crystal orientation is improved by a refinement of the process conditions.
A histopathological study was performed to clarify the characteristics of granuloma formation and liver fibrosis in Schistosoma mekongi infection in comparison with S. japonicum infection. Mice were exposed to S. mekongi (Laotian strain) and S. japonicum (Japanese strain) cercariae, and were dissected at 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks post-exposure. In the liver, granulomas in S. mekongi infection were cellular, initially organized with foam cells, and continuously appeared in the intralobular area, while granulomas in S. japonicum infection were fibrous and did not continuously appear in the intralobular area. Portal fibrosis was not seen in S. mekongi infection, but was commonly seen in S. japonicum infection in the later weeks. Granulomas in the small intestine were seen mainly in the submucosa with foam cells in S. mekongi infection and without foam cells in S. japonicum infection. The lung granulomas contained mainly histiocytes in both S. mekongi and S. japonicum infection. The absence of portal fibrosis in S. mekongi infection allows schistosome eggs to infiltrate into the intralobular area continuously, which can be what lies behind the ultrasonographic differences; the echogenic network pattern as was seen in S. japonicum infection, has not been noted in S. mekongi infection.
This study aimed to analyse vocal performance and to investigate the nature of the neoglottal sound source in patients who had undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy, using a high-speed digital imaging system.
High-speed digital imaging analysis of neoglottal kinetics was performed in two patients who had undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy; laryngotopography, inverse filtering analysis and multiline kymography were also undertaken.
In case one, laryngotopography demonstrated two vibrating areas: one matched with the primary (i.e. fundamental) frequency (75 Hz) and the other with the secondary frequency (150 Hz) at the neoglottis. In case two, laryngotopography showed two vibrating areas matched with the fundamental frequency (172 Hz) at the neoglottis. The interaction between the two areas was considered to be the sound source in both patients. The waveform of the estimated volume flow at the neoglottis, obtained by inverse filtering analysis, corresponded well to the neoglottal vibration patterns derived by multiline kymography. These findings indicated that the specific sites identified at the neoglottis by the present method were likely to be the sound source in each patient.
High-speed digital imaging analysis is effective in locating the sites responsible for voice production in patients who have undergone supracricoid laryngectomy with cricohyoidoepiglottopexy. This is the first study to clearly identify the neoglottal sound source in such patients, using a high-speed digital imaging system.
Olivine (LiFePO4)-carbon nanofibre composites were synthesized through a combination of electrospinning and solvothermal methods. Morphology, distribution and crystal structure of these composites were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Electrochemical properties of synthesized LiFePO4-carbon fibre composite cathodes have been studied in litium ion coin cells by means of galvanostatic cycling and cyclic voltammetry. As compared to pristine LiFePO4, there was significant improvement in the specific capacity (˜25% at 0.1C rate) of LiFePO4 - ECNF owing to the improved conductivity.