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We have developed new flexible dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) comprising organic dye (JH-1), cobalt redox electrolyte and hierarchically structured TiO2 (HS-TiO2) photoelectrode prepared using an electrostatic spray method. The performance of JH-1 sensitized flexible DSSC with a cobalt redox electrolyte was compared with those of N719-based DSSC and DSSC with I-/ I3- redox electrolyte. As a result, JH-1 sensitized flexible DSSC with [Co(Ⅲ/Ⅱ)(bpy-pz)3](PF6)3/2 redox system exhibited a high photocurrent density of 9.17 mA cm-2, an open circuit voltage of 0.953 V, a fill factor of 0.70, and a power conversion efficiency of 6.12% under 1 sun illumination (100 mW cm-2). The incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency was measured to explain the photocurrent generation difference by different dyes and electrolytes. The electron recombination lifetime of cells was measured by intensity-modulated photovoltage spectroscopy. Mass transport in DSSCs employing cobalt redox electrolytes was also investigated by the photocurrent transient measurements and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis.
Cronobacter sakazakii is a life-threatening foodborne pathogen found in powdered infant formula and dairy products. Kefir is a dairy probiotic product and its antimicrobial activity against C. sakazakii was reported in our previous study. To identify key microorganisms that mediate growth suppression, we tested the antimicrobial activity of culture supernatants derived from lactic acid bacteria found in kefir. Lactobacillus kefiri DH5, L. kefiranofaciens DH101, and Bifidobacterium longum 720 (a commercial probiotic strain that served as a positive control) all significantly inhibited the growth of C. sakazakii ATCC 29544, delaying the initiation of exponential growth from 3 to 9 h in the nutrient broth. Among them, L. kefiri DH5 exerted the strongest antimicrobial effects against C. sakazakii, showing bactericidal effect at the addition of 300 µl of supernatant in 1 ml of nutrient broth. Interestingly, the supernatant of L. kefiri DH5 has higher pH and lower titrable acidity than that of L. kefiranofaciens DH101, suggesting metabolites produced by heterofermentation of L. kefiri acted more effectively to antagonise the growth of C. sakazakii. In addition, the supernatant of L. kefiri DH5 induced the leakage of cytoplasmic materials including nucleic acid and proteins, suggesting L. kefiri DH5 disrupted the cellular membrane integrity of C. sakazakii. Considering that pH neutralisation reduced the L. kefiri-dependent growth suppression, it is inferred that this activity is mainly due to organic acids produced during the fermentation process.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
Ambidexterity organization, which is defined as the ability of an organization to simultaneously pursues exploration and exploitation, has received attention by researchers who have examined its beneficial effect on organizational performance and success. This study attempted to examine the positive effect of ambidextrous organization culture (AOC), which is regarded as the core characteristic of ambidextrous organizations by using a multilevel model. Specifically, this study examined the effects of AOC on members’ job performance and the mediating role of psychological capital in the relationship between AOC and job performance. The results indicated that AOC had a significantly positive relationship with job performance even after controlling various organizational and individual variables. Moreover, we found that psychological capital fully mediated the relationship between AOC and members’ job performance. This study provides theoretical contributions by empirically examining the positive effect and mechanism of AOC. Furthermore, this study offers practical implications in how practitioners can manage their organizational culture, by helping shape the direction of organizational culture management.
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.
This paper reports the results of tree-ring dating and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) wiggle-matching for wooden Buddhist statues stored at the Eungjindang Hall of Neunggasa Temple, South Korea. Among 23 statues, 10 were successfully dated by tree rings. The cutting date of logs used for the statues was determined as some time between late fall 1684 and early spring 1685 when the bark ring (AD 1684) completed latewood formation. The 95.4% confidence interval of a radiocarbon date (cal AD 1688–1713, 2 σ), which was obtained by wiggle-matching 7 samples of a statue, is similar to the dendro-date (AD 1684). A historical document recorded that the statues in the Eungjindang of Neunggasa were dedicated in July 1685. The dendro-date and written record indicate that Eungjindang statues were made within 3–8 months after log cutting. This seems rather short if we consider the period required for natural drying to avoid defects such as cracking and crooking.
We study star formation occurring in nuclear rings of barred-spiral galaxies by using hydrodynamic simulations with the prescriptions of star formation and feedback included. In models without spiral arms, the star formation rate (SFR) in a ring exhibits a strong primary burst at early time and declines to small values at late time. The early burst is caused by a rapid gas infall due to the bar growth, consuming most of the gas inside the bar regions. On the other hand, models with spiral arms show multiple starburst activities at late time caused by arm-induced gas inflows, provided that the arm pattern speed is slower than that of the bar. The SFR in models with spirals is larger by a factor of ~ 1.4–4.0 than that in the bar-only models, with larger values corresponding to stronger and slower arms. In all models, young star clusters in nuclear ring show an azimuthal age gradient only when the SFR is small, such that younger clusters tend to locate closer to the contact points between the ring and dust lanes.
We investigated the effects of varying the multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) contents, as well as the additional use of drawing and poling on the polymorphic behavior and electroactive (piezoelectric) properties of the cast poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)/MWCNT membranes. Dramatic changes occurred in the polar β-phase crystal contents with the MWCNT loading. An optimum concentration of MWCNT exists for PVDF film polarization. On the other hand, films prepared by electrospinning process exhibited almost constant amount of β-phase with the MWCNT concentration. In this process, polymer fibers with diameters down to the nanometer range, or nanofibers, are formed by subjecting a fluid jet to a high electric field. The remanent polarization and piezoelectric response increased with the β-phase crystals. Cell adhesion and proliferation measured with MTT (Methylthiazolyl diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) assay coincidentally responded to the polarized PVDF films (β-phase amount).
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
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.
To modify the rigid structure of alginate, polyvinyl alcohol was mixed. Rheological properties and viscoelastic properties of the polymer blend solution were investigated. Complex and shear viscosity and tangent delta of the solution were obtained to find optimum condition of spinning dope. Effect of blend ratio on morphology and property change was investigated.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
An indexed offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet ⩾8 mm/m2 is a quantitative criterion for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of this criterion for the discrimination of Ebstein’s anomaly from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum in neonatal patients. A total of 122 neonatal patients, 56 with Ebstein’s anomaly and 66 with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, were enrolled. Diagnosis of each anomaly was based on typical morphologic features. Echocardiographic variables, including the offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet, were measured via an offline analysis of images recorded before 1 month of age. The offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet was indexed by the body surface area, and the indexed offset distances in the Ebstein’s anomaly and pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum groups were 34.2 mm/m2 (7.1–119.1 mm/m2) and 7.2 mm/m2 (0.0–25.6 mm/m2), respectively. The indexed offset distance was ⩾8 mm/m2 in 29 (43.9%) of the patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum; clinical and echocardiographic characteristics were comparable between these 29 patients and the remaining 37 patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. When an indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 was applied as a cut-off for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly, the sensitivity was 0.963 and the specificity was 0.561. In conclusion, indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 cannot be used as a cut-off for the diagnosis of complicated Ebstein’s anomaly in neonatal patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum.