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A reduction in the carbon monoxide content of domestic gas and car exhaust gas has been associated with a decrease in gassing suicides in many western countries. In Japan, a reduction in the carbon monoxide content of domestic gas supply began in the early 1970s, and carbon monoxide emissions standards of new passenger cars were significantly strengthened in 1978. However, little is known about the impact of detoxification of these gases on gassing-related suicides in Japan. Therefore, we examined the changing patterns of suicide due to domestic gas or car exhaust gas inhalation by gender and age in Japan between 1968 and 1994.
Suicide mortality data were obtained from the Vital Statistics of Japan. In this study, age was divided into four groups: 15–24, 25–44, 45–64 and 65+ years. Method of suicide was divided into three groups: domestic gas, car exhaust gas and non-gases. We calculated method-specific age-standardised suicide rates by gender within each of the four age groups. We applied joinpoint regression to the data and quantified the observed changes.
Suicide rates by domestic gas, regardless of gender and age, increased from 1968 to the mid-1970s and then decreased sharply. The proportion of all suicides accounted for by domestic gas was comparatively high in the mid-1970s among females aged 15–24 and 25–44 years, while for other gender-age-groups the proportion of domestic gas suicides remained small, even at the peak. For females aged 15–44 years, the decrease in domestic gas suicides appeared to cause a substantial decrease in overall suicides in this gender/age group. Car exhaust gas was a more common method for males, particularly those aged 25–64 years. Car exhaust gas suicide rates for males aged 25–64 years peaked in the mid-1980s, followed by a sharp decrease.
A reduction in the carbon monoxide content of the domestic gas, which began in the early 1970s in Japan, was associated with a decrease in domestic gas suicides for both genders of all ages. Concerning females aged 15–44 years, a decrease in domestic gas suicides caused a substantial decrease in overall suicides in this gender/age group since the proportion of domestic gas suicides among all suicides combined was comparatively large. However, it remains uncertain whether the introduction of catalytic converters in the 1970s in Japan resulted in a reduction of suicides from car exhaust gas inhalation.
Little is known about whether particular suicide methods have contributed differently to the recent unfavourable suicide mortality trends in Japan. Analysing such trends may shed light on the effect of potentially preventable factors, such as the impact of restricting access to certain popular suicide methods, on overall rates. Therefore, we assessed recent trends in method-specific suicide by gender and age in Japan.
Suicide mortality and population data between 1990 and 2011 were obtained from the Vital Statistics of Japan and used to calculate method-specific mortality rates. Suicide methods were divided into seven groups: overdose, gases, hanging, drowning, cutting, jumping and other means. Age was divided into four groups: 15–24, 25–44, 45–64 and 65+ years. We applied joinpoint regression to the data and quantified the observed changes.
The results of the joinpoint regression analyses showed a sharp increase in overall suicide rates for males and females of all ages until the late 1990s. Suicide from hanging and jumping, in particular, contributed to this increase. After 2000, an increasing trend in overall suicide rates in both males and females aged 15–24 and 25–44 years was observed, with overdose, gases and hanging contributing to this increasing trend.
Our findings revealed that different suicide methods varied in their contribution to the recent overall suicide transition in Japan. Regarding factors associated with the recent increase in suicides by overdose, gases, hanging and jumping, further research is needed in order to promote and implement effective means restriction strategies.
We study sub-critical fracture driven by thermally activated crack nucleation in the framework of a fiber bundle model. Based on analytic calculations and computer simulations we show that in the presence of stress inhomogeneities, thermally activated cracking results in an anomalous size effect, i.e. the average lifetime of the system decreases as a power law of the system size, where the exponent depends on the external load and on the temperature. We propose a modified form of the Arrhenius law which provides a comprehensive description of the load, temperature, and size dependence of the lifetime of the system. On the micro-level, thermal fluctuations trigger bursts of breaking events which form a stochastic time series as the system evolves towards failure. Numerical and analytical calculations revealed that both the size of bursts and the waiting times between consecutive events have power law distributions, however, the exponents depend on the load and temperature. Analyzing the structural entropy and the location of consecutive bursts we show that in the presence of stress concentration the acceleration of the rupture process close to failure is the consequence of damage localization.
The Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) is composed of
many Filamentary Discharges (FDs), and it can be applied to ozone
generation, gaseous pollution control, etc. In our laboratory, we
investigated efficient cleaning methods of diesel exhaust gas by DBD. From
the results of numerical simulation of chemical reactions, a homogeneous DBD
was expected to improve the efficiency of pollution control and also the
ozone yield. Recently, we found that a DBD device using alumina as barrier
material can generate an Atmospheric Pressure Townsend Discharge (APTD) in
air. In this research, we setup two ozonizers with different discharge modes
of FD and APTD, and compared the ozone yield. The experimental results
showed that the ozone yield was higher by the FD mode than by the APTD mode
in lower Specific Input Energy (SIE) region. However in the region that the
SIE is larger than 420J/L, the APTD mode showed higher ozone yield than FD
Kyushu University has installed the hard X-ray beamline, BL06, at bending magnet source of SAGA Light Source in Japan. It is designed for X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments. The X-ray energy covered by the beamline ranges from 2.1 to 23 keV using a Si(111) flat double-crystal monochromator. Two bent cylindrical-type focusing mirrors are used, each with a different focal point. They are set in the optics section and can be used independently. One of the mirrors has a focal distance of 6 m, which corresponds to the sample stage for XAFS experiments, while the second mirror focuses at 10 m, corresponding to the detector for the SAXS experiments. The photon flux measured by the ion chamber at mirror focal point is 1010 phs/s. The experimental hutch houses the detection equipment for both XAFS and SAXS. For XAFS studies, a set of ion chambers for transmission mode and a Lytle detector and a Si drift detector for fluorescence yield mode are available. For SAXS studies, the camera pass length can be chosen from 0.5 to 2.5 m with 0.5 m increments in between, and an image plate is operated as signal detector. The beamline will be opened for user operation around summer 2010.
Propofol is reported to have protective effects on cerebral ischaemia-induced neuronal death. The aim of this study was to explore whether propofol and halothane can protect hippocampal neuronal function from ischaemic injury during general anaesthesia in rats.
Rats were divided into 2-vessel occlusion (incomplete cerebral ischaemia) and 4-vessel occlusion (complete cerebral ischaemia) groups consisting of three subgroups each (sham-operated, propofol and halothane groups). One hour after starting propofol 1 mg kg−1 min−1 with 30% O2 and N2 or halothane 0.8% in 30% O2 and N2 rats with or without bilateral vertebral artery occlusion had bilateral common carotid arteries occluded by vessel clips for 10 min. Anaesthesia was maintained for another 1 h. Seven days after ischaemia–reperfusion, hippocampal long-term potentiation in the perforant path–dentate gyrus synapse was determined as an index of cerebral outcome.
In the propofol groups, the formation of long-term potentiation was significantly impaired in the 2-vessel and 4-vessel occlusion groups compared to the respective sham-operated groups (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). Impaired formation of long-term potentiation in propofol groups was comparable to that in halothane groups. The formation of long-team potentiation in the propofol and halothane 2-vessel group was not significantly different from that in the awake 2-vessel group.
Propofol and halothane administered during ischaemia do not possess protective effects against hippocampal neuronal dysfunction induced by cerebral ischaemia–reperfusion as evaluated by our transient ischaemic rat models.
We discuss paleoenvironmental changes at the Dae-Am San high moor, located near the Demilitarized Zone at 38°N. This area has been reported to be the only high moor in the Korean peninsula. The 14C age of the bottom sediment (75–80 cm in depth) at this site is about 1900 BP. Since the radiocarbon ages for the intervals at 50–55 cm and 75–80 cm were almost the same, we conclude that the deep layers (55–80 cm) in the high moor were all part of the original soil. Low organic C and N contents in the deeper layers support this inference. The 50–55-cm layer consists of sandy material with very low organic content, suggesting erosion from the surrounding area. The surface layer (0–5 cm) was measured as 190 BP, and the middle layer (30–35 cm) was 870 BP. The bulk sedimentation rate was estimated to be about 0.4 mm yr−1 for the 0–30-cm interval. The δ13C value of organic carbon in the sediments fluctuated with depth. The δ13C profile of the Dae-Am San high moor may be explained by climatic changes which occurred during the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period.
The development of linear position-sensitive detectors (PSD) has resulted in a large reduction of data acquisition times in the field of x-ray stress analysis. However, we also require two-dimensional (2-D) diffraction patterns for material evaluation. Especially, the microbeam x-ray diffraction technique gives valuable information on the structure of crystalline materials and this technique has been applied to fracture analysis by x-rays. Many kinds of 2-D PSD have been developed that have insufficient spatial resolution. So x-ray film has still been used as a 2-D detector, but it requires relatively long exposure times and then the process after exposure is very troublesome.
The breaking up of a native oxide layer of a LPCVD amorphous Si/single crystal n+Si substrate interface by a rapid-thermal annealing was studied from the point of view of oxygen movement and morphological change. Oxygen atoms began to move at 1025 °C. After annealing at 1115 °C for 30sec, the quantity of oxygen atoms near the interface decreased dramatically and a silicon implant near the interface could enhance the decrease. More detailed observation was carried out by cross-section high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. After annealing at 940 °C for 30sec, the native oxide layer was continuous. On the qther hand, with a silicon implant near the interface, it changed into small oxide balls and an epitaxial growth occurred in the LPCVD layer with twins caused by these oxide balls. After annealing at 1115°C for 30sec, even without the silicon implant, a complete epitaxial growth occurred but it seemed that some SiOx particles dissolved into a single crystal Si layer near the interface.
The residual stress produced by surface and cylindrical grinding was measured by a position sensitive proportional counter. In medium carbon steels the residual stress depends largely on the grinding conditions. For a gentle cylindrical grinding compressive stress was observed, but for a rough grinding tensile stress was present in the workpiece.
Most position sensitive proportional counters (PSPCs) currently used in X-ray diffraction experiments have a dead time longer than 5 μs. Though such PSPCs are useful in measuring weak diffraction diagrams, a faster counter is needed to detect strong X-ray diagrams produced with synchrotron radiation sources. The long dead time of PSPCs using a charge division position read-out is due to the slow analog division circuit plus analog-to-digital converter employed in the present system. A fast processor can be built utilising two high-speed ADCs to digitize voltage signals from the detector, followed by a digital divider to compute position of detected photons. The present paper describes the design of such a processor and some preliminary testings of its performances.
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