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Iksookimia longicorpa and Cobitis hankugensis are two species of fish distributed only on the Korean Peninsula. They have a unique reproductive ecology that naturally hybridizes into three widely known unisexual types, maintaining populations of almost all females. In this study, the fine structure of the micropyles of I. longicorpa, C. hankugensis and their hybrids was analyzed to find out how egg–sperm interaction, a common interspecies isolation mechanism, is possible between heterogeneous species. Analysis of 30 eggs from five females of each species revealed that all had one funnel-shaped micropylar region and a manhole-shaped micropyle canal. With the exception of C. hankugensis, which had no spiral grooves or ridges, the rest had counterclockwise spiral grooves and ridges on the micropylar region. All five species, however, showed identical groove patterns for the micropyle canal. The egg size was the largest in HL (one from the C. hankugensis locus with one from the I. longicorpa locus) and the smallest in C. hankugensis. In the hybrids, the HL type had the largest egg and HHL (two from the C. hankugensis locus with one from the I. longicorpa locus) type the smallest. For the diameter of the micropylar region and micropyle canal, the diploid I. longicorpa, C. hankugensis and HL were smaller than those of the triploid. In addition, as the ratio of the canal diameter to the eggs was lower in I. longicorpa than in C. hankugensis, it was confirmed that I. longicorpa has a relatively small micropyle canal compared with C. hankugensis.
The risk factors of environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 are largely unknown. We analyzed 1,320 environmental samples obtained from COVID-19 patients over 1 year. The risk factors for contamination of COVID-19 patients’ surrounding environment were higher viral load in the respiratory tract and shorter duration from symptom onset to sample collection.
This study aimed to determine the effect of donor-transmitted atherosclerosis on the late aggravation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy in paediatric heart recipients aged ≥7 years.
In total, 48 patients were included and 23 had donor-transmitted atherosclerosis (baseline maximal intimal thickness of >0.5 mm on intravascular ultrasonography). Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors for donor-transmitted atherosclerosis. Rates of survival free from the late aggravation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (new or worsening cardiac allograft vasculopathy on following angiograms, starting 1 year after transplantation) in each patient group were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. The effect of the results of intravascular ultrasonography at 1 year after transplantation on the late aggravation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy, correcting for possible covariates including donor-transmitted atherosclerosis, was examined using the Cox proportional hazards model.
The mean follow-up duration after transplantation was 5.97 ± 3.58 years. The log-rank test showed that patients with donor-transmitted atherosclerosis had worse survival outcomes than those without (p = 0.008). Per the multivariate model considering the difference of maximal intimal thickness between baseline and 1 year following transplantation (hazard ratio, 22.985; 95% confidence interval, 1.948–271.250; p = 0.013), donor-transmitted atherosclerosis was a significant covariate (hazard ratio, 4.013; 95% confidence interval, 1.047–15.376; p = 0.043).
Paediatric heart transplantation recipients with donor-transmitted atherosclerosis aged ≥7 years had worse late cardiac allograft vasculopathy aggravation-free survival outcomes.
Researchers argue that social investment policies contribute not only to equal opportunity and human capital development, but also to the sustainability of welfare states. In that respect, these policies are regarded as the new vanguard of the welfare state (Morel et al, 2012). Yet, in the west, many criticise the role of social investment policies, as they tend to place too much focus on the (re)commodification of labour and are unable to cope with increasing inequality. In fact, scholars suspect social investment policies create a Matthew effect (Bonoli et al, 2017). However, many commentators note that East Asian welfare regimes do not need social investment policies to enhance human capital, as these countries are well-known for highly commodified labour and high rankings in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
However, these commentators seem to largely neglect the social outcomes of education policies in East Asian countries. Behind the scenes of their remarkable educational achievements, these countries seem to suffer from decreasing social mobility. For example, in South Korea (hereafter Korea), once praised for its active upward social mobility, the media has frequently referred to the country's increasing social inequality and reduced social mobility using the terms ‘gold spoon’ and ‘dirt spoon’. Unlike decreasing social mobility, overall education expenditure in Korea is 8 per cent of GDP, and public expenditure has increased from 3 per cent in 2000 to more than 5 per cent in 2015 (World Bank, 2018). This could mean that the education policy and expenditure has not been able to reverse the labour market dualisation and has failed to secure an equitable outcome. Therefore, it is still important to look at education policy from the perspective of social investment.
This chapter aims to explore the role of education and social investment, with special attention on the effects of shadow education on social mobility in Korea. There has been much social and political discussion about social mobility, but few empirical studies have been conducted. This study analyses how family background and shadow education influence educational attainment and, subsequently, how educational attainment affects incomes, using data from the Korea Education and Employment Panel (KEEP).
Network approach has been applied to a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. The aim of the present study was to identify network structures of remitters and non-remitters in patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) at baseline and the 6-month follow-up.
Participants (n = 252) from the Korean Early Psychosis Study (KEPS) were enrolled. They were classified as remitters or non-remitters using Andreasen's criteria. We estimated network structure with 10 symptoms (three symptoms from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, one depressive symptom, and six symptoms related to schema and rumination) as nodes using a Gaussian graphical model. Global and local network metrics were compared within and between the networks over time.
Global network metrics did not differ between the remitters and non-remitters at baseline or 6 months. However, the network structure and nodal strengths associated with positive-self and positive-others scores changed significantly in the remitters over time. Unique central symptoms for remitters and non-remitters were cognitive brooding and negative-self, respectively. The correlation stability coefficients for nodal strength were within the acceptable range.
Our findings indicate that network structure and some nodal strengths were more flexible in remitters. Negative-self could be an important target for therapeutic intervention.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Patient online portal (POP) allows patients to access electronic health records (EHRs) and have efficient communication with their clinicians. We assessed disparities in access to POP by families with different SES and its impact on asthma research which is little known in the literature. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: A randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of an EHRs-based clinical decision support (CDS) system was conducted at a pediatric primary care setting of Mayo Clinic. Asthma Control Test (ACT) questionnaire was administered to parents every 3 months through phone or email for this study after consenting, and reminders were sent to unanswered subjects through the POP. SES was measured by HOUSES (in quartiles), a validated individual-level SES index based on housing features (the higher HOUSES, the higher SES).The association of HOUSES with availability of POP access and missing ACT score rate was assessed. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The mean age of 184 participants was 9.0 years (57% male) and parents of 152 (83%) children had POP. Only 68% of children from lowest HOUSES (Q1) had access to POP (vs. 74% (Q2), 88% (Q3), and 92% (Q4; highest SES); p = .02). ACT score was completed by 144 (78%), 150 (82%), 171 (94%), and 164 (95%) at each intervention conducted every 3 months with a total of 61 (33%) missing at least once. Overall, children whose parents had access to POP had a lower missing rate in ACT score at all interventions during the study; 16% (those with access to POP) vs. 47% (those without), 13% vs. 44%, 3% vs. 16%, and 1% vs. 23% for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th intervention, respectively (p < .007 for all). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: There are significant disparities in access to POP by SES defined by HOUSES which impact availability of ACT score resulting in a systematic bias in asthma research and potentially widening disparities in asthma care. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DESCRIPTION: NA.
For decades, fructose intake has been recognised as an environmental risk for metabolic syndromes and diseases. Here we comprehensively examined the effects of fructose intake on mice liver transcriptomes. Fructose-supplemented water (34 %; w/v) was fed to both male and female C57BL/6N mice at their free will for 6 weeks, followed by hepatic transcriptomics analysis. Based on our criteria, differentially expressed genes (DEG) were selected and subjected to further computational analyses to predict key pathways and upstream regulator(s). Subsequently, predicted genes and pathways from the transcriptomics dataset were validated via quantitative RT-PCR analyses. As a result, we identified eighty-nine down-regulated and eighty-eight up-regulated mRNA in fructose-fed mice livers. These DEG were subjected to bioinformatics analysis tools in which DEG were mainly enriched in xenobiotic metabolic processes; further, in the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, it was suggested that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an upstream regulator governing overall changes, while fructose suppresses the AhR signalling pathway. In our quantitative RT-PCR validation, we confirmed that fructose suppressed AhR signalling through modulating expressions of transcription factor (AhR nuclear translocator; Arnt) and upstream regulators (Ncor2, and Rb1). Altogether, we demonstrated that ad libitum fructose intake suppresses the canonical AhR signalling pathway in C57BL/6N mice liver. Based on our current observations, further studies are warranted, especially with regard to the effects of co-exposure to fructose on (1) other types of carcinogens and (2) inflammation-inducing agents (or even diets such as a high-fat diet), to find implications of fructose-induced AhR suppression.
This study aimed to investigate associations among spirituality, coping strategies, quality of life (QOL), and the effects of depression and anxiety thereon in cancer patients.
In total, 237 cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology clinic at a university hospital in Korea were enrolled. After identifying predictors of patient QOL in a stepwise regression model, we developed a hypothetical path model wherein interpersonal coping was considered as a mediating variable between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL and wherein depression and anxiety affected each of these three variables.
The direct effect of spirituality (meaning/peace) on QOL was 36.7%. In an indirect model, interpersonal coping significantly mediated the relationship between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL. Depression exerted the largest negative effect on spirituality (meaning/peace), interpersonal coping, and QOL. Anxiety had negative effects on spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL, but a positive effect on interpersonal coping.
Significance of results
Interpersonal coping strategies work as a partial mediator of the relationship between meaning/peace subscales of spirituality and QOL. Effective management of depression may help in achieving better outcomes associated therewith. Greater attention and efforts to improve social connectedness and meaning of life in spiritual well-being may improve the QOL of cancer patients.
Allicin (AL) regulates the cellular redox, proliferation, viability, and cell cycle of different cells against extracellular-derived stress. This study investigated the effects of allicin treatment on porcine oocyte maturation and developmental competence. Porcine oocytes were cultured in medium supplemented with 0 (control), 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 μM AL, respectively, during in vitro maturation (IVM). The rate of polar body emission was higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group (74.5% ± 2.3%) than in the control (68.0% ± 2.6%) (P < 0.1). After parthenogenetic activation, the rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation were significantly higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control (P < 0.05). The reactive oxygen species level at metaphase II did not significantly differ among all groups. In matured oocytes, the expression of both BAK and CASP3, and BIRC5 was significantly lower and higher, respectively, in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control. Similarly, the expression of BMP15 and CCNB1, and the activity of phospho-p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), significantly increased. These results indicate that supplementation of oocyte maturation medium with allicin during IVM improves the maturation of oocytes and the subsequent developmental competence of porcine oocytes.
Technologies for detecting and analyzing a single molecule help us understand and engineer numerous phenomena observed in nature. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are highly efficient molecular conduits due to their atomically smooth surface. Because of their small diameters, comparable to the size of a single molecule, even a single blocking molecule can obstruct CNT fluidic channels. Analyzing these pore-blocking events in CNTs therefore enables single-molecule studies. The high-aspect ratios of CNT channels, which extend the time scale of transport, allow for studying molecular transport that is too fast to record in other systems. Both theoretical studies and ensemble experimental measurements have verified the enhanced flow of various ions and molecular species in CNTs. Experimental measurements of a single-CNT fluidic channel, however, have only recently begun, demonstrating the detection of individual DNA, polymer, and alkali-metal ions. This article reviews recent advances in single-nanotube fluidic channels with a focus on experimental measurements.
Advancements in medical and surgical treatment have increased the life expectancy of patients with CHD. Many patients with CHD, however, struggle with the medical, psychosocial, and behavioural challenges as they transition from childhood to adulthood. Specifically, the environmental and lifestyle challenges in school are very important factors that affect children and adolescents with CHD. This study aimed to evaluate school-related adjustments depending on school level and disclosure of disease in children and adolescents with CHD. This was a descriptive and exploratory study with 205 children and adolescents, aged 7–18 years, who were recruited from two congenital heart clinics from 5 January to 27 February, 2015. Data were analysed using the Student’s t-test, analysis of variance, and a univariate general linear model. School-related adjustment scores were significantly different according to school level and disclosure of disease (p<0.001) when age, religion, experience being bullied, and parents’ educational levels were assigned as covariates. The school-related adjustment score of patients who did not disclose their disease dropped significantly in high school. This indicated that it is important for healthcare providers to plan developmentally appropriate educational transition programmes for middle-school students with CHD in order for students to prepare themselves before entering high school.
Subjective memory impairment (SMI) is common among older adults. Increasing evidence suggests that SMI is a risk factor for future cognitive decline, as well as for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Medial temporal lobe structures, including the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, are affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The current study examined the gray matter (GM) volume and microstructural changes of hippocampal and entorhinal regions in individuals with SMI, compared with elderly control participants without memory complaints.
A total of 45 participants (mean age: 70.31 ± 6.07 years) took part in the study, including 18 participants with SMI and 27 elderly controls without memory complaints. We compared the GM volume and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures in the hippocampal and entorhinal regions between SMI and control groups.
Individuals with SMI had lower entorhinal cortical volumes than control participants, but no differences in hippocampal volume were found between groups. In addition, SMI patients exhibited DTI changes (lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher mean diffusivity in SMI) in the hippocampal body and entorhinal white matter compared with controls. Combining entorhinal cortical volume and FA in the hippocampal body improved the accuracy of classification between SMI and control groups.
These findings suggest that the entorhinal region exhibits macrostructural as well as microstructural changes in individuals with SMI, whereas the hippocampus exhibits only microstructural alterations.
Family study can provide estimates of overall genetic influences on a particular trait because family relationships provide accurate measures of average genetic sharing. However, evidence of genetic contributions to skin phenotypes is limited, which may preclude genetic studies to identify genetic variants or to understand underlying molecular biology of skin traits. This study aimed to estimate genetic and environmental contributions to selected dermatologic phenotypes, that is, to melanin index, sebum secretion, and skin humidity level in a Korean twin-family cohort. We investigated more than 2,000 individuals from 486 families, including 388 monozygotic twin pairs and 82 dizygotic twin pairs. Variance component method was used to estimate genetic influences in terms of heritability. Heritability of skin melanin index, sebum secretion, and skin humidity (arm and cheek) were estimated to be 0.44 [95% CI 0.38–0.49], 0.21 [95% CI 0.16–0.26], 0.13 [95% CI 0.07–0.18], and 0.11 [95% CI 0.06–0.16] respectively, after adjusting for confounding factors. Our findings suggest that genetics play a major role on skin melanin index, but only mild roles on sebum secretion and humidity. Sebum secretion and skin humidity are controlled predominantly by environmental factors notably on shared environments among family members. We expect that our findings add insight to determinants of common dermatologic traits, and serve as a reference for biologic studies.
Existing literature suggests that mental health literacy is positively associated with mental health services utilization. Despite an aging population that faces significant mental health concerns in Korea, the role of mental health literacy on mental health services utilization is not known among older adults in Korea. This study aimed to (1) identify whether mental health literacy mediates the association between population characteristics and mental health services utilization and (2) identify an optimal path model for mental health services utilization among Korean older adults.
Using a cross-sectional survey with a quota sampling strategy, we collected and analyzed responses from 596 community-dwelling individuals ages 65 years and older. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to estimate the effect of mental health literacy as a mediator.
When controlling for other relevant covariates in the optimal path model, mental health literacy mediated the relationships between three socio-demographic factors (education, general literacy, and health status) and mental health services utilization. The model fit index shows that the SEM fits very well (CFI = 0.92, NFI = 0.90, RMSEA = 0.07).
Efforts to improve mental health literacy through community-based education programs may need to particularly target Korean older adults with the relevant socio-demographic characteristics to enhance their utilization of appropriate mental health services.
Among domesticated traits, pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) caused by the early breakage of dormancy leads to severe economic losses. Therefore, regulating PHS is important for cereal crop improvement against changes in climate. In this study, we surveyed naturally occurring variations in seed germination in diverse rice germplasm for the available resources of this trait, and investigated the changes of abscisic acid (ABA) levels during grain development by the distinguished PHS-resistant groups. We discovered wide variations in germination among the 205 rice accessions examined and found that 90 accessions are resistant (germination <20%) to PHS. Tropical and subtropical accessions, which are subjected to long wet periods, are more resistant to PHS than the other accessions. We detected an increase in germination of detached seeds from the panicle compared with intact seeds in panicle at harvesting time. This might be attributed to a weakening of the mechanical barrier that prevents water imbibition and radical emergence. ABA levels were maximal at 10 d after flowering and decreased thereafter. Interestingly, PHS-susceptible accessions maintained higher or similar ABA levels compared with PHS-resistant accessions, suggesting that the key factors for seed dormancy and its breakage are ABA perception and signal transduction rather than total ABA content. The diversity of germination ability detected in this study could be sustainably used for crop improvement and to help unveil the genetic and physiological basis of this quantitative trait.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are common dietary exposures that cross the human placenta and are classified as a probable human carcinogen. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential impact of exposure to PAH-containing meat consumed during pregnancy on birth outcomes.
Prospective birth cohort study. Only non-smoking women with singleton pregnancies, who were free from chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension, were included in the study. Maternal consumption of PAH-rich meat was estimated through FFQ. Multiple linear regression was used to assess factors related to higher intake and the association between dietary PAH and birth outcomes.
Republic of Korea, 2006–2011.
Pregnant women (n 778) at 12–28 weeks of gestation enrolled in the Mothers and Children’s Environmental Health (MOCEH) study.
The multivariable regression model showed a significant reduction in birth weight associated with higher consumption level of foods rich in PAH, such as grilled or roasted meat, during pregnancy (β=−17·48 g, P<0·05 for every 1 point higher in meat score). Further adjusting for biomarkers of airborne PAH did not alter this association. There was no evidence that higher consumption level of PAH-rich meat shortens the duration of gestation (P=0·561). Regression models performed for birth length and head circumference produced negative effects that were not statistically significant.
Consumption of higher levels of barbecued, fried, roasted and smoked meats during pregnancy was associated with reduced birth weight. Dietary risk of PAH exposure in Korean women is of concern.