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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. The present study explored genetic risk scores (GRS) of genetic variants that influence the MetS and the effect of interactions between GRS and nutrient intake on MetS risk. The genetic variants that influence MetS risk were selected by genome-wide association study after adjusting for age, sex, area of residence and BMI in 8840 middle-aged adults. GRS were calculated by summing the risk alleles of the selected SNP and divided into low (0–1), medium (2–3) and high (4–7) risk groups, and the relationships between the MetS and GRS were determined by logistic regression after adjusting covariates involved in MetS risk. We also analysed the interaction between GRS and lifestyles. Four genetic variants (APOA5_rs651821, EFCAB4B_rs4766165, ZNF259_rs2160669 and APOBEC1_rs10845640) were selected because they increased MetS risk after adjusting for covariates. Individuals with medium-GRS and high-GRS alleles had a higher MetS risk by 1·48- and 2·23-fold, respectively, compared with those with low-GRS after adjusting for covariates. The increase in MetS risk was mainly related to serum TAG and HDL-cholesterol concentrations. The GRS had an interaction with carbohydrate (CHO) and Na intakes and daily physical activities for MetS risk. In conclusion, Asian middle-aged adults with high-GRS alleles were at increased MetS risk mainly due to dyslipidaemia. High daily physical activity (≥1 h moderate activity per d) reduced the MetS risk but a low-CHO diet (<65 % of total energy intake) increased the risk in carriers with high-GRS alleles. Low Na intake (<1·6 g Na intake/4 MJ) did not decrease its risk.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
Because it is inevitable to lose some information in the process of one dimensional luminosity profile extraction, we developed a two dimensional luminosity decomposition method in order to examine the structure of galaxy such as bulge, bar and spiral arms.
A total of 27 accessions from ten Vicia species were investigated for flavonoid contents, total polyphenol contents, and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS [2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline 6-sulfonic acid)] free radical-scavenging activities. The results revealed that NAC17 (V. monantha) and NAC14 (V. hyrcanica) had the highest total flavonoid content (1.42 ± 0.09 mg/g) and total polyphenol content [124.2 ± 0.5 μg/gallic acid equivalents (GAE) mg], respectively. Among four flavonoids, naringenin was detected at high concentrations in Vicia species. The DPPH and ABTS assays showed values in the range of 57.2 (IC50) (NAC13, V. faba) to 6530.0 (IC50) (NAC24, V. sativa subsp. nigra) and 19.1 μg/Trolox mg (NAC7, V. cracca) to 253.4 μg/Trolox mg (NAC13, V. faba), respectively. Among ten Vicia species, V. monantha and V. hyrcanica had the highest flavonoid content (1.31 ± 0.09 mg/g) and total polyphenol content (116.5 ± 2.0 μg/GAE mg), respectively. The highest antioxidant activity was detected in V. faba. These results will expand the flavonoid database and provide valuable information on Vicia species for the development of functional foods or feed-additive resources.
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) successfully completed the development of Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet, Park et al. 2012) in mid-2015, following which it conducted test runs for several months. ‘DEep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern sky’ (DEEP-South, Moon et al. 2015), which will be used for asteroid and comet studies, will not only characterize targeted asteroids, carrying out blind surveys toward the sweet spots, but will also mine the data of such bodies using the KMTNet archive. We report preliminary lightcurves of four Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) from test runs at KMTNet-CTIO in the February - May 2015 period.
We started ‘DEep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern sky’ (DEEP-South, DS) (Moon et al. 2015) in late 2012, and conducted test runs with the first Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) (Park et al. 2012), a 1.6 m telescope with 18k x 18k CCD stationed at CTIO in early 2015. While the primary objective of DEEP-South is the physical characterization of small Solar System bodies, it is also expected to discover a large number of such bodies, many of them previously unknown. An automated observation scheduling, data reduction and analysis software subsystem called ‘DEEP-South Scheduling and Data reduction System’ (DS SDS) is thus being designed and implemented to enable observation planning, data reduction and analysis with minimal human intervention.
Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) which consists of three identical 1.6 m wide-field telescopes with 18k × 18k CCDs, is the first optical survey system of its kind. The combination of fast optics and the mosaic CCD delivers seeing limited images over a 4 square degrees field of view. The main science goal of KMTNet is the discovery and characterization of exoplanets, yet it also offers various other science applications including DEep Ecliptic Patrol of SOUTHern sky (DEEP-South). The aim of DEEP-South is to discover and characterize asteroids and comets, including Near Earth Objects (NEOs). We started test runs last February after commissioning, and will return to normal operations in October 2015. A summary of early results from the test runs will be presented.
A quantitative analysis of In concentration in InGaN/GaN multiquantum wells in light-emitting diodes was carried out using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and high-angle annual dark-field scanning TEM (HAADF-STEM). The In composition in InGaN was evaluated by the precise measurement of c-lattice parameters in the HRTEM micrographs, which increase with increasing In composition. The reliability of the results was confirmed by high-resolution x-ray diffraction measurements and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. Quantitative In compositions can, therefore, be determined using HRTEM. We tried to determine the quantitative In compositions in InGaN by analyzing the intensity profiles of the HAADF-STEM images. However, several problems were encountered, such as differences in the thickness of the region observed, carbon contamination, and ion beam damage during specimen preparation. Therefore, relative differences in composition were observed in the HAADF-STEM images.
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).
We assessed eight-year mortality rates and predictors in a rural cohort of elderly individuals with cognitive impairment.
A total of 1,035 individuals, including 155 (15.0%) individuals with cognitive impairment, no dementia (CIND), and 69 (6.7%) individuals with clinically diagnosed dementia were followed for eight years from 1997. The initial assessment involved a two-step diagnostic procedure performed during a door-to-door survey, and mortality data were obtained from the Korean National Statistical Office (KNSO). The relationship between clinical diagnosis and risk of death was examined using the Cox proportional hazards model after adjusting for age, sex, and education.
During follow-up, 392 individuals died (37.9%). Compared to persons without cognitive impairment, mortality risk was nearly double among those with CIND (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.92 [1.46–2.54]), and this increased more than three-fold among those with dementia (3.20 [2.30–4.44]). Old age and high scores on the behavioral changes scale at diagnosis were two common predictors of mortality among those with CIND and dementia. Among the items on the behavioral changes scale, low sociability, less spontaneity, and poor hygiene were associated with increased mortality in individuals with CIND. Conversely, low sociability, excessive emotionality, and irritability were associated with increased mortality in patients with dementia.
Both dementia and CIND increased mortality risk compared with normal cognition in this community cohort. It is important to identify and manage early behavioral changes to reduce mortality in individuals with CIND and dementia.
The catalytic activity of Pt nanoparticles (NPs) significantly influences the electrochemical performance of direct methanol fuel cells. Information about the factors that influence the electrochemical activity of the catalyst themselves is scarce; hence, guidelines for the preparation of Pt NPs that yields the best performances are lacking. With consideration for this situation, we systematically investigated the relationship(s) between the characteristics of Pt NPs and their electrochemical performance. The general characteristics of Pt NPs, such as the average size, loading density, and dispersion status on the support, were varied in the presence of poly(acrylic acid)-wrapped multiwalled carbon nanotubes by controlling the preparation conditions, including the pH of the aqueous solution, the reaction temperature, and the reaction time. The enhanced catalytic activity is attributable to higher degree of dispersion, specific surface area, and electrochemically active surface area of Pt NPs. The optimized catalyst exhibits a ∼165% higher catalytic activity toward methanol oxidation than the commercial E-TEK.
Anthropogenic land use within watersheds has substantial effects on aquatic habitats and biological communities. From September 2006 to December 2008, we investigated the effects of land use on benthic macroinvertebrate communities by comparing Song Stream and Odae Stream, two adjacent mountain streams in Korea whose watersheds have different land use patterns. Song Stream is significantly disturbed by agricultural activities in the watershed, whereas Odae Stream is relatively undisturbed and is surrounded by a well-conserved forest area. Song Stream had significantly higher levels of all nutrients and sediment-related factors due to the adjacent agricultural area. As a result, Song Stream had markedly lower species community indices, such as taxa richness and abundance. In Song Stream, macroinvertebrate scrapers and predators were most adversely affected, whereas collector-gatherers became a dominant group. Based on correlation and multivariate analyses, total dissolved solids had the strongest negative relationship with macroinvertebrate assemblages, followed by electrical conductivity, total nitrogen, and pH. The proportion of cobble in stream substrate was positively related to the richness and abundance of macroinvertebrates. Our results indicate that disturbances caused by agricultural land use, particularly sand deposition, had significant adverse effects on macroinvertebrate habitats and on the biotic integrity of benthic macroinvertebrate communities.
A systematic study of photoluminescence (PL) and time-resolved PL spectra from In0.15Ga0.85N/In0.015Ga0.985N quantum wells (QWs) with different Si doping concentration in the barriers has been carried out. As the Si doping concentration increases, the PL emission intensity was increased and the PL peak energy was blueshifted. The energy separation between the spontaneous emission (SPE) and stimulated emission (SE) peaks decrease with increasing Si doping concentration. We also observed that the slow decay time τ2 in the QWs decreases with increasing Si doping concentration, from ∼ 130 ns for [Si] = 2 × 1018 cm−3 to ∼ 30 ns for [Si] = 1 × 1019 cm−3. The PL emission peak shifts to lower energies with delay time after a pulsed excitation and this shift decreases with increasing Si doping concentration. The increased recombination rate, the decrease of peak shift with delay time, and the reduced separation between the SPE and SE peaks with increasing Si doping concentration are attributed to the screening of piezoelectric field by carriers originated from Si doped barriers.
Our study describes a convenient one-step synthesis of ZnSe and ZnTe nanocrystals (NC) whose sizes and shapes are precisely tuned by varing the growth temperature or stabilizing surfactants. We utilized molecular precursors, bis(phenylselenolate or phenyltellurolato)zinc -N,N,N',N'-tetramethylethylenediamine (TMEDA), which effectively produce 0-dimensional sphere or 1-dimensional nanorods of ZnSe or ZnTe, respectively. Nanocrystals are highly monodispersed and luminescent; the emission wavelength varies over a wide range depending on the particle size. This study constitutes a nice demonstration of direct size and shape controlled synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals and this method can be extended to the synthesis of nanocrystals of other materials.
A direct synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on substrates by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is one of highly probable routes to reach their application to field emission displays. Several stringent requirements are prerequisite for this purpose, including low temperature growth below 600°C to engage glass substrates and large area deposition for practical use. This study carried out synthesis of CNTs by thermal CVD on glass substrates at temperatures as low as 500~550°C. CNTs were grown by thermal decomposition of CO and H2 gases at an atmospheric pressure for different thickness of Invar (an Fe-Ni-Co alloy ) catalytic layers. The growth of CNTs was strongly correlated with preparation of catalytic layers. The diameters and heights of as-grown CNTs increased as the catalytic layers became thicker from 2nm to 30nm. Measurements of the field emission properties of CNTs showed that the threshold electric fields were lowered with increasing thickness of catalytic layers. A uniform electron emission was observed over a large area of 150 × 150mm2, with high emission currents and high brightness.
We have studied the growth of microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) and amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by layer by layer deposition technique, where the deposition and the radical exposure are done alternatively. He or hydrogen plasma exposure gives rise to the etching effect of both μc-Si and a-Si:H even though the etch rate by He plasma is much smaller. The long exposure of hydrogen radical on a-Si:H gives rise to the formation of μc-Si at low substrate temperature (Ts), whereas the hydrogen content decreases at high Ts. The growth mechanism of the crystallite is proposed on the basis of experimental results.