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To trace past changes in flooding frequency, we investigated fluvial sediments in the middle reach of the Nakdong River, South Korea. Sediments with larger grain size, lower total organic carbon percentage, and depleted δ13C values in the recovered sediment cores were interpreted as periods of more frequent flooding. Patterns of decreased long-term flooding frequency and vegetation changes during the early to late Holocene were similar to the decreasing regional summer monsoon intensity. Multicentennial frequent flooding periods in the study area (2900–3400 cal yr BP, 3600–3900 cal yr BP, 4600–5300 cal yr BP, and 5800–6400 cal yr BP) corresponded to stronger El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity periods. Based on previous studies showing that high-frequency tropical typhoon-driven coastal inundation along the western coast of Japan during the middle to late Holocene was coupled with stronger ENSO activity, it is likely that the observed centennial-to-millennial-scale flood frequency change in South Korea was influenced mainly by changes in the genesis and tracks of tropical typhoons at centennial-to-millennial time scales. This suggests that the centennial-to-millennial-scale hydrologic changes in East Asia were linked to the remote atmospheric-oceanic circulation changes represented by an ENSO-like pattern.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Devastating disasters around the world directly contribute to significant increases in human mortality and economic costs. The objective of this study was to examine the current state of the Korea Disaster Relief Team that participated in an international training module.
The whole training period was videotaped in order to observe and evaluate the respondents. The survey was carried out after completion of the 3-day training, and the scores were reported by use of a 5-point Likert scale.
A total of 43 respondents were interviewed for the survey, and the results showed that the overall preparedness score for international disasters was 3.4±1.6 (mean±SD). The awareness of the Incident Command System for international disasters was shown to be low (3.5±1.1). Higher scores were given to personnel who took on leadership roles in the team and who answered “I knew my duty” (4.4±0.6) in the survey, as well as to the training participants who answered “I clearly knew my duty” (4.5±0.5).
The preparedness level of the Korea Disaster Relief Team was shown to be insufficient, whereas understanding of the roles of leaders and training participants in the rescue team was found to be high. It is assumed that the preparedness level for disaster relief must be improved through continued training. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;1–5)
After Super Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 tropical cyclone, insufficient resources were available for medical management. Many patients in the Philippines were wounded as a result of the disaster. We examined the prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of disaster-related wounds and wound infection in the post-disaster period.
We performed a retrospective review of consecutive patients admitted to a Korean Disaster Relief Team clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, Tacloban City, Republic of Philippines, between December 9 and 13, 2013. Traumatic injury patients were included; patients not exhibiting a wound were excluded.
Of the 160 patients enrolled in the study, 71 (44.4%) had infected wounds. There were no significant differences in the age, sex, past medical history, wound site, wound depth, injury mechanism, or inducer of injury between the uninfected and infected groups. In the univariate analysis, a foreign-body-contaminated wound, a chronic wound, elapsed time from injury to medical contact, an inadequately cared for wound, and need for subsequent wound management were associated with wound infection (P<0.05). The multivariate analysis revealed that foreign body contamination and having an inadequately cared for wound were associated with wound infection (odds ratio [OR]: 10.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.59-28.56; OR: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.07-11.51, respectively).
In the post-disaster situation, many wound infections required definitive care. Wound infection was associated with inadequately cared for wounds and foreign-body-contaminated wounds. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:28–33)
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.
The mitochondrial genome is maternally inherited in animals, despite the fact that paternal mitochondria enter oocytes during fertilization. Autophagy and ubiquitin-mediated degradation are responsible for the elimination of paternal mitochondria in Caenorhabditis elegans; however, the involvement of these two processes in the degradation of paternal mitochondria in mammals is not well understood. We investigated the localization patterns of light chain 3 (LC3) and ubiquitin in mouse and porcine embryos during preimplantation development. We found that LC3 and ubiquitin localized to the spermatozoon midpiece at 3 h post-fertilization, and that both proteins were colocalized with paternal mitochondria and removed upon fertilization during the 4-cell stage in mouse and the zygote stage in porcine embryos. Sporadic paternal mitochondria were present beyond the morula stage in the mouse, and paternal mitochondria were restricted to one blastomere of 4-cell embryos. An autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), did not affect the distribution of paternal mitochondria compared with the positive control, while an autophagy inducer, rapamycin, accelerated the removal of paternal mitochondria compared with the control. After the intracytoplasmic injection of intact spermatozoon into mouse oocytes, LC3 and ubiquitin localized to the spermatozoon midpiece, but remnants of undegraded paternal mitochondria were retained until the blastocyst stage. Our results show that paternal mitochondria colocalize with autophagy receptors and ubiquitin and are removed after in vitro fertilization, but some remnants of sperm mitochondrial sheath may persist up to morula stage after intracytoplasmic spermatozoon injection (ICSI).
This study examined changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality of care (QoC) as perceived by terminally ill cancer patients and a stratified set of HRQoL or QoC factors that are most likely to influence survival at the end of life (EoL).
We administered questionnaires to 619 consecutive patients immediately after they were diagnosed with terminal cancer by physicians at 11 university hospitals and at the National Cancer Center in Korea. Subjects were followed up over 161.2 person-years until their deaths. We measured HRQoL using the core 30-item European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, and QoC using the Quality Care Questionnaire–End of Life (QCQ–EoL). We evaluated changes in HRQoL and QoC issues during the first three months after enrollment, performing sensitivity analysis by using data generated via four methods (complete case analysis, available case analysis, the last observation carried forward, and multiple imputation).
Emotional and cognitive functioning decreased significantly over time, while dyspnea, constipation, and pain increased significantly. Dignity-conserving care, care by healthcare professionals, family relationships, and QCQ–EoL total score decreased significantly. Global QoL, appetite loss, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG–PS) scores were significantly associated with survival.
Significance of results:
Future standardization of palliative care should be focused on assessment of these deteriorated types of quality. Accurate estimates of the length of life remaining for terminally ill cancer patients by such EoL-enhancing factors as global QoL, appetite loss, and ECOG–PS are needed to help patients experience a dignified and comfortable death.
Direct heteroarylation polymerization was employed to synthesize a novel low bandgap polymer, used as a p-type material of polymer photovoltaic cells. To achieve low bandgap of conjugated polymers, electron donor-acceptor (D-A) alternating strategy was used. The electron-donating 3-alkylthiophene and electron-withdrawing cyanothiophene were coupled to be polymerized via direct heteroarylation polymerization. The cyano moiety of the polymer backbone allowed a strong intermolecular interaction between neighboring chains and improved the structural perfection of the crystal structure on the substrate. The solar cell devices of ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PCBM/LiF/Al were fabricated on ITO-coated glass substrate.
Dynamic recrystallization (DRX) of 99.9999% aluminum single crystal at room temperature was examined under frictionless deformation mode. To exclude the self-heating of the specimen due to applied high strain, a microcrack that localizes the stress at a very small region was intentionally introduced by controlled local necking. For the in situ observation of DRX, a specially designed in situ microdeformation device was positioned inside an electron backscattered diffraction system chamber. Recrystallized grains showed relatively random texture and preferred growth direction. The subgrains with low-angle grain boundaries formed by dynamic recovery transformed into small grains with high-angle grain boundaries, acting as nuclei for discontinuous dynamic recrystallization and growing by further deformation. The DRX in pure aluminum can take place under frictionless tensile deformation conditions at room temperature, and the stress localization and high purity are key issues for the DRX of aluminum at room temperature.
To evaluate the microstructures and mechanical properties in cross-roll rolled pure copper, comparing with conventionally rolled materials, this work was carried out. Pure copper (99.99 mass%) sheets with thickness of 5 mm were cold rolled to 90% thickness reduction by cross-roll rolling (CRR) and subsequently annealed at 400 °C for 30 min. Also, to analyze the grain boundary character distributions (GBCDs), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique was employed. As a result, the cold rolled and annealed materials consisted of significantly refined grains than that of the initial material (100 μm). Especially, the CRR processed material showed more refined grain size (6.5 μm) in average than that (9.8 μm) of conventional rolling (CR). These grain refinements directly affected an increase in mechanical properties. Furthermore, the texture development in CRR processed material, in which <112> grains were densely distributed in the normal direction (ND), was more effective to enhance the yield strength.
The present study was carried out to evaluate the microstructures and mechanical properties of severely deformed Ni-30Cr alloy. Cross-roll rolling (CRR) as severe plastic deformation (SPD) process was introduced and Ni-30Cr alloy sheets were cold rolled to a 90% thickness reduction and subsequently annealed at 700 °C for 30 min so as to obtain the recrystallized microstructure. For the analysis of grain boundary character distributions (GBCDs), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique was introduced. CRR on Ni-30Cr alloy was effective to enhance the grain refinement through heat treatment; consequently, average grain size was significantly reduced from 33 μm in initial material to 0.6 μm in CRR processed material. This grain refinement directly affected the mechanical properties improvement, in which yield and tensile strengths were significantly increased than those of initial material. In this study, we systematically discussed the grain refinement, accompanying with increase in mechanical properties, in terms of the effective strain imposed by CRR, comparing with conventional rolling (CR).
Learning to read and to write influences not only verbal skills but also global cognitive performance. Our study aimed to compare the visuoconstructional abilities of elderly illiterates with those of elderly literates. A total of 125 healthy subjects over 65 years old were recruited. Korean version of Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog) constructional praxis examination were used. We divided subjects into three groups (educated literate n = 53, uneducated literate n = 36 and uneducated illiterate n = 36). Interlocking pentagons drawing, a part of the K-MMSE, was scored using the 6-point hierarchical scale. The uneducated-illiterate group obtained significantly lower scores than did the other two groups. Scores on the ADAS-cog constructional praxis test were highest in the educated-literate group and those in the uneducated-illiterate group obtained the lowest scores. We demonstrated that illiteracy influences not only language performance but also visuoconstructional functioning. (JINS, 2011, 17, 934–939)
In order to investigate the formation of precipitates such as MC carbides and intermetallic compounds in the friction stir welded and post-heat-treated Inconel 718 alloy, this work was carried out. Furthermore, the microstructural and mechanical properties of welds and post-heat-treated material were evaluated to identify the effect on precipitates formed during post-heat-treatment. Friction stir welding (FSW) was performed at a rotation speed of 200 rpm and welding speed of 150 mm/min; heat treatment was performed after welding at 720 °C for 8 hours in vacuum. As a result, the grain size due to FSW was notably refined from 5–20 μm in the base material to 1–3 μm in the stir zone; this was accompanied by dynamic recrystallization, which resulted in enhancements in the mechanical properties as compared to the base material. In particular, applying heat treatment after FSW led to improvements in the mechanical properties of the welds—the microhardness and tensile strength increased by more than 50% and 40% in fraction, respectively, as compared to FSW alone.