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Birds in flight are prone to collide with various transparent or reflective structures. While bird–window collision has been recognised as a critical conservation issue, collision with other transparent structures has been less understood. Noise barriers made of transparent materials are considered critical hazards for birds; however, little is known about the bird mortality they cause. We conducted the first nationwide-scale estimates of bird-collision mortality caused by transparent noise barriers (TNBs) along roads in the Republic of Korea. The total length of existing roadside transparent noise barriers was estimated at 1,416 km nationwide (as of 2018), and it had been increasing exponentially. Based on carcass surveys at 25 sites, daily mortality at the observed barriers was 0.335 ± 1.132 birds/km on average, and no difference in observed mortality was detected between both sides of a single barrier and between road types (i.e. local roads and motorways). Finally, we estimated that approximately 186,000 birds (95% confidence interval: 162,465–204,812 birds) are killed annually by collisions with roadside TNBs. As privately installed barriers were not considered in this study, the actual mortality is likely be higher than our estimates. Thus, collision with TNBs could become an emerging threat to avian conservation, especially in developing and urbanising regions around the world. As such structures are not formally recognised as conservation issues of importance, more systematic surveys aided by citizen science, both for the status of TNBs and bird-collision mortality, are needed in addition to management and mitigation policies.
The aim of this study is to develop predictive models to predict organ at risk (OAR) complication level, classification of OAR dose-volume and combination of this function with our in-house developed treatment decision support system.
Materials and methods
We analysed the support vector machine and decision tree algorithm for predicting OAR complication level and toxicity in order to integrate this function into our in-house radiation treatment planning decision support system. A total of 12 TomoTherapyTM treatment plans for prostate cancer were established, and a hundred modelled plans were generated to analyse the toxicity prediction for bladder and rectum.
The toxicity prediction algorithm analysis showed 91·0% accuracy in the training process. A scatter plot for bladder and rectum was obtained by 100 modelled plans and classification result derived. OAR complication level was analysed and risk factor for 25% bladder and 50% rectum was detected by decision tree. Therefore, it was shown that complication prediction of patients using big data-based clinical information is possible.
We verified the accuracy of the tested algorithm using prostate cancer cases. Side effects can be minimised by applying this predictive modelling algorithm with the planning decision support system for patient-specific radiotherapy planning.
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.
For the first time, we estimated the population sizes of two swan species and four goose species from observations during the non-breeding period in East Asia. Based on combined counts from South Korea, Japan and China, we estimated the total abundance of these species as follows: 42,000–47,000 Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus; 99,000–141,000 Tundra Swans C. columbianus bewickii; 56,000–98,000 Swan Geese Anser cygnoides; 157,000–194,000 Bean Geese A. fabalis; 231,000–283,000 Greater White-fronted Geese A. albifrons; and 14,000–19,000 Lesser White-fronted Geese A. erythropus. While the count data from Korea and Japan provide a good reflection of numbers present, there remain gaps in the coverage in China, which particularly affect the precision of the estimates for Bean, Greater and Lesser White-fronted Geese as well as Tundra Swans. Lack of subspecies distinction of Bean Geese in China until recently also limits our ability to determine the true status of A. f. middendorffii there, but all indications suggest this population numbers around 18,000 individuals and is in need of urgent attention. The small, highly concentrated and declining numbers of Lesser White-fronted Geese give concern for this species, as do the major declines in Greater White-fronted Geese in China (in contrast to numbers in Japan and Korea, considered to be a separate flyway). In the absence of any demographic data, it is impossible to interpret the causes of these changes in abundance. Improved monitoring, including demographic and tracking studies are required to provide the necessary information to retain populations in favourable conservation status.
Populations of several long-distance migratory songbirds in Eurasia are in peril, drastically illustrated by the recent range-wide population collapse in the Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola. There are signals of a strong decline also in the Rustic Bunting E. rustica, but no range-wide assessment of population trends in this superabundant and widespread bunting species has yet been undertaken. The conservation status of Rustic Bunting is ‘Least Concern’ on the global IUCN Red List, but it has recently been upgraded to ‘Vulnerable’ on the European Red List. To assess the Rustic Bunting’s global conservation status we compiled, for the first time, population data across its breeding and wintering ranges. The analysis reveals a 75–87% decline in overall population size over the last 30 years and a 32–91% decline over the last 10 years. The trend estimates indicate that the long-term (30-year) range-wide population decline in the Rustic Bunting is of similar magnitude to two well-known examples of declining species within the same genus, the Yellow-breasted Bunting and the Ortolan Bunting E. hortulana. The magnitude of the range-wide population decline over the last 10 years suggests that the Rustic Bunting could be upgraded from ‘Least Concern’ to ‘Vulnerable’ or ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN global Red List. Agricultural intensification in the wintering range and intensified levels of disturbance, including logging and fire, in the breeding range could be important drivers of the range-wide population decline, and persecution could also contribute. Untangling threat factors and their interactions on Rustic Bunting is necessary for conservation, but hampered by our currently limited understanding of the relationships between population dynamics and different threats.
The East Asian-Australasian Flyway supports the greatest diversity and populations of migratory birds globally, as well as the highest number of threatened migratory species of any flyway, including passerines (15 species). However it is also one of the most poorly understood migration systems, and little is known about the populations and ecology of the passerine migrants that breed, stop over and winter in the habitats along this flyway. We provide the first flyway-wide review of diversity, ecology, and conservation issues relating to 170 species of long-distance and over 80 short-distance migrants from 32 families. Recent studies of songbird migration movements and ecology is limited, and is skewed towards East Asia, particularly Mainland China, Taiwan, Russia, Japan and South Korea. Strong evidence of declines exists for some species, e.g. Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola, but tends to be fragmentary, localised or anecdotal for many others. More species have small breeding ranges (< 250,000 km2) and/or are dependent on tropical forests as wintering habitat than those in any other Eurasian migratory system, and are thus more vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation throughout their ranges. Poorly regulated hunting for food and the pet trade, invasive species and collisions with man-made structures further threaten migratory songbirds at a number of stop-over or wintering sites, while climate change and habitat loss may be of increasing concern in the breeding ranges. A key conservation priority is to carry out intensive field surveys across the region while simultaneously tapping into citizen science datasets, to identify important stop-over and wintering sites, particularly for poorly-known or globally threatened species across South-East Asia and southern China for targeted conservation actions. Additionally, the advent of miniaturised tracking technology, molecular and isotopic techniques can provide novel insights into migration connectivity, paths and ecology for species in this migration system, complementing data from banding exercises and observation-based surveys, and could prove useful in informing conservation priorities. However, until most states along the East Asian-Australasian flyway ratify the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and other cross-boundary treaties, the relative lack of cross-boundary cooperation, coordination and information sharing in the region will continue to present a stumbling block for effective conservation of migratory passerines.
This study aimed to investigate whether aquaporin 3 (Aqp3) mRNAs are expressed in immature oocytes and altered during in vitro maturation process. Five- to 6-week-old female ICR mice were primed by gonadotropin for 24 and 48 h. Immature oocytes obtained 48 h after priming were also matured in vitro for 17 to 18 h. In vivo matured oocytes were obtained after 48 h priming followed by hCG injection. Total RNAs were extracted from 80 to 150 oocytes in each experimental group, and the levels of Aqp3 mRNA were quantified by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The experiments were repeated twice using different oocytes. The Aqp3 mRNA was expressed in immature oocytes, as well as in in vitro and in vivo matured oocytes. The expression level was higher in immature oocytes obtained 48 h after priming (17.2 ± 8.6, mean ± SD) than those with no priming (5.7 ± 0.8) or obtained 24 h after priming (2.5 ± 0.8). The expression of Aqp3 mRNA decreased after in vitro maturation (1.2 ± 0.5), which was similar to in vivo matured oocytes (1.0 ± 0.0). Our work demonstrated that Aqp3 mRNA expression increased during the development of immature oocyte but decreased after completion of in vitro maturation. The results indicate that AQP3 is certainly needed for the acquisition of immature oocytes’ full growing potential within antral follicles.
To describe the incidence of recovery of both vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from culture of a single clinical specimen, to describe the clinical characteristics of patients from whom these specimens were recovered, and to identify the risk factors of these patients.
A retrospective cohort and case-control study.
A tertiary care university hospital and referral center in Seoul, Korea.
We identified 61 case patients for whom a single clinical specimen yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and 122 control patients for whom any clinical specimen yielded only VRE on culture. The control patients were selected by matching 2 :1 with the case patients for age, sex, and first date of sampling that led to isolation of VRE or both VRE and MRSA among 1,536 VRE-colonized patients from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. To identify patient risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen, we performed univariate comparisons between the 2 groups and then multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The incidence of recovery of both VRE and MRSA from culture of a single clinical specimen was 3.97% (for 61 of 1,536 VRE-colonized patients) over 4 years. Among these 82 single clinical specimens, the most common type was wound specimens (26.8%), followed by lower respiratory tract specimens (18.3%), urine specimens (17.1%), and catheter tips (15.9%). Of the 61 case patients, 14 (23.0%) had 2 or more single clinical specimens that yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and the longest interval from the first sampling that yielded both organisms to the last sampling that yielded both was 174 days. Independent patient risk factors for the presence of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen were chronic renal disease (odds ratio [OR], 7.00; P = .012), urinary catheterization (OR, 3.36; P = .026), and longer total cumulative duration of hospital stay within the previous year (OR, 1.03; P < .001).
We confirmed that the recovery of VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen occurs continually. Because prolonged cell-to-cell contact can facilitate transfer of vanA, close observation and surveillance for vancomycin-resistant S. aureus, especially among patients with risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen, should be continued.
A novel route to organic-inorganic composites was described based on biomineralization of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels. The 3-dimensional hydrogels were synthesized by radical crosslinking polymerization of poly(ethylene glycol fumarate) (PEGF) in the presence of ethylene glycol methacrylate phosphate (EGMP) as an apatite-nuclating monomer, acrylamide (AAm) as a composition-modulating comonomer, and potassium persulfate (PPS) as a radical initiator. We used the urea-mediated solution precipitation technique for biomineralization of hydrogels. The apatite grown on the surface and interior of the hydrogel was similar to biological apatites in the composition and crystalline structure. Powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the calcium phosphate crystalline platelets on hydrogels are preferentially aligned along the crystallographic c-axis direction. Inductively-coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) analysis showed that the Ca/P molar ratio of apatites grown on the hydrogel template was found to be 1.60, which is identical to that of natural bones. In vitro cell experiments showed that the cell adhesion/proliferation on the mineralized hydrogel was more pronounced than on the pure polymer hydrogel.
Silicon carbide (SiC) microtubes were synthesized and characterized via a vapor–solid (VS) reaction of carbon fiber (Csolid) and SiO(gas). The synthesis mechanisms were investigated. The precursor led complete conversion of [SiO(gas) + C(solid)] into [SiC(solid) + CO(gas)] through overall reaction under inert gas flow at and above 1350 °C. Carbon fibers with small surface area (0.7–2.0 m2 g−1) were gradually converted to SiC microtubes with large specific surface area (45–63 m2 g−1). Inner surface of SiC microtubes indicated a villus-like morphology, which consisted of submicron-sized SiC villi. The outer surface of the SiC microtubes was smooth. Inner surface morphology of SiC microtubes was dependent upon synthesizing temperature. Thickness of villus-like layer in SiC microtubes increased with increasing synthesizing temperature, showing 0.25 and 0.5 at 1350 and 1400 °C, respectively. Both VS and gas–liquid–solid (VLS) growth mechanisms were investigated in synthesis of SiC fiber as a reaction byproduct, and the reaction was governed by both growth mechanisms.
The structural properties of GaN epitaxial layers grown on patterned sapphire substrates by MOCVD have been investigated using HRXRD(high-resolution X-ray diffraction), GIXRD(grazing incidence X-ray diffraction) and PL(photoluminescence). For X-ray characterizations rocking curves for GaN (10·5), (00·2), (11·4) and (11·0) reflections for which incidence angles of X-rays are 32.0°, 17.3°, 11.0° and 0.34°, respectively, were measured. For (10·5), (00·2) and (11·4) reflections FWHMs of the rocking curves for a patterned substrate were broader than those for a unpatterned substrate, for (11·0) reflection, however, FWHM for a patterned substrate was much narrower than that for a unpatterned substrate. The normalized FWHM for all reflections decreases as the incidence angle of X-ray decreases. The results indicate that the crystalline quality in the surface region of the epilayer on a patterned substrate was especially improved because the penetration depth of X-ray depends on the incidence angle. The intensity of PL peak of the epilayer for a patterned substrate increased compared to that for a unpatterned substrate, and the increase in PL intensity is attributed to the reduction in dislocation density at the surface region revealed the by X-ray results.
Pb(Zr0.52Ti0.48)O3 (PZT) thin film on Pt/RuO2 double electrode was successfully prepared by using a new alkoxide-alkanolamine, sol-gel method. It was observed that the use of Pt/RuO2 double electrode reduced leakage current, resulting in a marked improvement in the leakage characteristics and more reliable capacitors. Typical P-E hysteresis behavior was observed even at low applied voltage of 5 V, manifesting greatly improved remanence and coercivity. Fatigue and breakdown characteristics, measured at 5 V, showed stable behavior, and no degradation in polarization was observed up to 1011 cycles.
Microwave heating was utilized for the first time for solid phase crystallization of amorphous silicon films. Microwave heating lowered annealing temperature and reduced the annealing time for complete crystallization. For example, the amorphous silicon film deposited at 400 °C was fully crystallized in 3 h at 550 °C below which glass is available as a substrate. On microwave heating, the hydrogen in the amorphous films diffused out very quickly, but there was no change in structural disorder following hydrogen evolution. The lower temperature crystallization of a-Si films compared to conventional furnace annealing is due to the interaction between microwave and silicon atoms. The grain size of the crystallized silicon films was in the range of 0.55 to 0.78 μm, depending on the deposition temperature. These grain sizes are not so small comparing those of Si films by conventional furnace heating, while the crystallization processing time is much shorter.
An amorphized tungsten nitride diffusion barrier is compared with that of polycrystalline tungsten nitride preventing the diffusion of copper into Si during post annealing processes at 600 – 800 °C for 30 min. Experimental evidence such as RBS, TEM, XRD measurements shows that the amorphized tungsten nitride layer perfectly blocks the expeditious diffusion of the Cu film due to the amorphous grain boundaries stuffed with N impurities.
We present a new analytical model of amorphous silicon thin-film transistor (a-Si TFT) suitable for circuit simulators such as SPICE. The effects of localized gap state distributions of a-Si as well as temperatures on the a-Si TFT performances have been fully considered in the presented model. The parameters used in SPICE, such as transconductance, channel-length modulation, and power factor of source-drain current, are evaluated from the measured current-voltage and capacitance-voltage characteristics by employing the proposed extraction method. It has been found out that the analytical model is in good agreement with experimental data at both room temperature and elevated temperature and successfully implemented in a widely used circuit simulator.
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