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Cold atmospheric pressure plasma has been intensively studied due to growing interest in biomedical applications. For example, it has been revealed that the plasma-irradiated cell culture medium (PAM: Plasma Activated Medium) shows antitumor effect as well as the direct plasma treatment. Long-lived reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), nitrite (NO2-), and nitrate (NO3-), are considered as a main product in PAM. Therefore, investigation of the production characteristics of RONS in PAM with different experimental parameters is important. Here, we focused on humidification of feed gas (argon or helium) and effect of gap between the nozzle of the plasma jet and liquid surface. As a result, H2O2 concentration was increased by humidification of both feed gases. However, the concentration of NO2- and NO3- was decreased by the humidification of helium. In addition, the remarkable effect of the humidification on H2O2 production was observed when the plasma jet was in contact with the liquid surface.
Recent studies suggest that the ability to produce equol, a metabolite of the soya isoflavone daidzein, is beneficial to coronary health. Equol, generated by bacterial action on isoflavones in the human gut, is biologically more potent than dietary sources of isoflavones. Not all humans are equol producers. We investigated whether equol-producing status is favourably associated with risk factors for CHD following an intervention by dietary soya isoflavones. We systematically reviewed randomised controlled trials (RCT) that evaluated the effect of soya isoflavones on risk factors for CHD and that reported equol-producing status. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid Medline and the Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials published up to April 2015 and hand-searched bibliographies to identify the RCT. Characteristics of participants and outcomes measurements were extracted and qualitatively analysed. From a total of 1671 studies, we identified forty-two articles that satisfied our search criteria. The effects of equol on risk factors for CHD were mainly based on secondary analyses in these studies, thus with inadequate statistical power. Although fourteen out of the forty-two studies found that equol production after a soya isoflavone intervention significantly improved a range of risk factors including cholesterol and other lipids, inflammation and blood pressure variables, these results need further verification by sufficiently powered studies. The other twenty-eight studies primarily reported null results. RCT of equol, which has recently become available as a dietary supplement, on CHD and its risk factors are awaited.
The electronic properties of the interface between Rh clusters and CeO2 (111), (110) and (100) surfaces were studied using an isothermal-isobaric (NPT) ensemble at 773 K and 101.343 kPa using the tight binding-quantum chemical molecular dynamics (TB-QCMD) method. The amount of electronic exchange by interaction at the interface between the supported Rh55 clusters and each CeO2 surface was investigated quantitatively. A comparison of the mean square displacement (MSD) showed that the topmost oxygens on the Rh-supporting CeO2 surface exhibited higher mobility than those of the bare CeO2 surface. Although the mobility of the topmost oxygens on the bare CeO2 surface was in the order (100) > (110) > (111), this sequence was altered by the presence of Rh, so that the oxygen mobility for the more open (110) surface was the largest. The amount of electron exchange that occurred between Rh and the CeO2 (110) surface was also larger than for the (111) or (100) surface. The Ce 4f orbitals on the CeO2 (110) surface exhibited the strongest mixing with Rh 4d orbitals, which simultaneously caused restructuring and instability of the topmost Ce-O bonds. This enhancement of oxygen migration in the presence of Rh was occurred together with an increase in the number of oxygen vacancies on the ceria surface. This was because the topmost oxygens was shifted to have a stronger affinity with Rh and thus formed stronger bonds with Rh than with Ce.
Retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) is a plasma protein involved in retinol transportation, and recent evidence in rodents suggests that RBP4 is also a metabolic regulator that modifies insulin sensitivity. To assess how RBP4 levels are regulated in ruminants, we determined the RBP4 concentrations in bovine plasma and milk using Western blot analysis. Plasma RBP4 levels in non-pregnant non-lactating (control) cows were around 45 μg/ml, which were sustained during 60-h fasting, but decreased significantly 4 h after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration. Basal plasma retinol concentration was around 30 μg/dl, but this decreased to approximately one-third and one-half of these values during fasting and 8 h after LPS challenge, respectively. Plasma RBP4 and retinol levels in cows 3–6 d before parturition were comparable to those of the controls. However, on the day of parturition both were significantly decreased and had returned to basal levels by two weeks after calving. Interestingly, RBP4 was clearly detected in colostrum (16·4±5·6 μg/ml) but was only faintly detected in milk from cows at 7 d and 15 d after calving. Retinol concentrations in colostrum were almost 10-fold higher than those in plasma, while those in milk were comparable to those in plasma. These results suggest that RBP4 and retinol levels are independently regulated under physiological and pathophysiological conditions and that RBP4, like retinol, is transferred from maternal stores to calves through colostrum.
Background: Cardiac rhabdomyomas associated with tuberous sclerosis induce various abnormalities in the electrocardiogram. Electrocardiographic evidence of ventricular hypertrophy may appear if the tumour is electrically active. To our knowledge, electrocardiographic evidence of ventricular hypertrophy has been reported only in association with congestive heart failure. Follow-up studies of changes in electrocardiographic findings are also lacking. Methods: We studied 21 consecutive patients with cardiac rhabdomyoma associated with tuberous sclerosis, 10 males and 11 females, aged from the date of birth to 9 years at diagnosis. The mean period of follow-up was 53 months. None of the patients developed congestive heart failure. We evaluated the electrocardiographic changes during the follow-up, and their association with echocardiographic findings. Results: Of the 21 patients, 12 showed one or more abnormalities on the electrocardiogram at presentation, with five demonstrating right or left ventricular hypertrophy. In all of these five cases, the tumours were mainly located in the respective ventricular cavity. In one patient with a giant tumour expanding exteriorly, there was marked left ventricular hypertrophy on the electrocardiogram. Followup studies showed spontaneous regression of the tumours in 12 of 19 patients, with abnormalities still present in only 7 patients. A gradual disappearance of left ventricular hypertrophy as seen on the electrocardiogram was noted in the patient with marked left ventricular hypertrophy at presentation in parallel with regression of the tumour. Conclusions: The presence of cardiac rhabdomyomas in patients with tuberous sclerosis might explain the ventricular hypertrophy seen on the electrocardiogram through its electrically active tissue without ventricular pressure overload or ventricular enlargement, although pre-excitation might affect the amplitude of the QRS complex. Even in cases with large tumours, nonetheless, the electric potential might not alter the surface electrocardiogram if the direction of growth of the tumour is towards the ventricular cavity. In many cases, electrocardiographic abnormalities tend to disappear, concomitant with regression of the tumours.
To better understand how ice fabric evolves in polar ice sheets, we use X-ray diffraction to measure ice crystal orientations. X-ray measurement equipment which can measure the orientation of the c axis and a axis of each crystal in a thin section with high measurement accuracy was developed. In this study, we present a-axes orientation distribution of the deep part of the GRIP (Greenland summit) ice core. At some depths, we find an anisotropic distribution of a-axes orientation. Long-term uniaxial compression tests are also carried out on the GRIP ice core to investigate the ice fabric evolution process. The c-axis orientation distribution develops into a stronger single maximum as the strain increases up to about 20% strain. We find that the a axes of each grain also tend to cluster close to nearly a mutual direction. We discuss the development process of ice fabrics, taking into consideration the distribution of the a-axis orientations. It is suggested that these fabrics may be attributed to a local simple shear deformation in the deep part of an ice sheet.
The prospect of lattice structure and ferroelectricity of SnTiO3 have been studied by first-principles calculations within local density approximation. The results showed that the SnTiO3 has the minimum total energy within almost tetragonal perovskite structure of a=b=3.80 Å, c=4.09 Å. The calculated electronic structure of SnTiO3 resembles that of PbTiO3 because the Ti 3d states, Sn 5s and 5p states hybridize with the O 2p orbitals. The moment of spontaneous polarization of SnTiO3 was estimated as 73 μ C/cm2, which is as large as that of PbTiO3.
A series of thin films composed of liquid crystalline polymer (LCP) and low molecular weight liquid crystal (LMWLC) was prepared by a solventcasting method or by a bar—coating method. LCPs were of mesogenic side chain type with strong or weak polar terminalgroups in the side chain portion. A mixture of smectic LCP (LCP with side chain of strong polar end) and nematic LMWLC formed a smectic phase in a LCP weight fraction range above 50 %. Also, a mixture of nematic LCP (LCP with side chain of weak polar end) and nematic LMWLC with strong polar group induced a new smectic phase in a LCP molar fraction range of 20–80 %. Reversible and bistable electro-optical effects based on light scattering were recognized for a smectic phase of a binary composite composed of LCP and LMWLC. A light scattering state caused by many fragmented smectic lamellae appeared in the case of application of an a.c. electric field below a threshold frequency (∼l Hz). Furthermore, application of a 100 Vp—p a.c. field of 1 kHz made the transmission light intensity increased to 94 % within a few seconds. The optical heterogeneity in asmectic layer composed of the side chain group of LCP was caused by the difference of twoforces based on both dielectric anisotropy of the side chain and electrohydrodynamic motion of the main chain. Since application of a low frequency electric field causes an ioniccurrent throughout the mixture film, it is reasonable to consider that an induced turbulent flow of main chains by an ionic current collapsed a fairly well organized large smectic layer into many small fragments, resulting in an increase in light scattering. The response speed of LCP upon application of an electric field increased remarkably by mixingLMWLC. In the case of a smectic mesophase, turbid and transparent states remained unchanged as it was, even though after removing an electric field.1
Such abistable and reversiblelight switching driven by two different frequencies of electric field could be newly realized by both characteristics of turbulent effect of a wellorganized large smectic layer of LCP and rapid response of LMWLC. We believe that the LCP/LMWLC mixture system is promissing as a novel type of “light valve” exhibiting memory effect (bistable light switching).
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