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Although chronic pain (CP) is classified as inflammatory or non-inflammatory, the involvement of fatty acid intake in this process has not yet been examined in detail. Therefore, the present study investigated whether the relationship between CP and fatty acid intake differs between high and low C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in middle-aged and elderly individuals in the Shika study. One-thousand and seven males and 1216 females with mean ages of 68⋅78 and 69⋅65 years, respectively, participated in the present study. CRP was quantified by blood sampling from participants who responded to a CP questionnaire. The brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ) was used to assess fatty acid intake. Interactions were observed between CP and CRP on monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and eicosadienoic acid in a two-way analysis of covariance adjusted for sex, age, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, current smoking and drinking status, and BMI. MUFA (OR 1⋅359) and eicosadienoic acid (OR 1⋅072) were identified as significant independent variables for CP in a multiple logistic regression analysis, but only in the low CRP group. Only a high intake of MUFA and eicosadienoic acid was associated with chronic neck/shoulder/upper limb pain without elevated CRP. In psychogenic and neuropathic pain without elevated CRP, an increased intake of MUFA and eicosadienoic acid, a family member of n-6 fatty acids, appears to affect CP. Further longitudinal studies are needed to elucidate this relationship.
It has been indicated that the health impact of COVID-19 is potentially greater in individuals from lower socioeconomic status than in the overall population.
To examine how the spread of COVID-19 has altered the general public's mental health, and whether such changes differ in relation to individual income.
An online longitudinal survey was conducted at three different time periods during the pandemic. We recruited 1993 people aged 20–70 years, living in the Tokyo metropolitan area in Japan. Participants’ mental health was measured with the six-item version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale; the existence of severe psychological distress was ascertained through the cut-off data. Multiple logistic and mixed-model ordinal logistic regression analyses were performed, with income as the independent variable.
Of the participants, 985 were male, with a mean age of 50.5 (±15.8) years. Severe psychological distress percentages for each tested period were 9.3%, 11.2% and 10.7% for phases 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Between phases 1 and 2 or phases 2 and 3, the group that earned <£15 000 had significantly higher propensity to develop severe psychological distress than the group that earned ≥£45 000 (odds ratio 2.09, 95% CI 0.95–4.56 between phases 1 and 2; odds ratio 3.00, 95% CI 1.01–9.58 between phases 2 and 3).
Although there has been significant deterioration in mental health among citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, this was more significant among those with lower income. Therefore, mental health measures that focus on low socioeconomic groups may be necessary.
Dietary intake modification is important for the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD); however, little is known about the association between dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins and kidney function based on gender difference. We examined the relationship of dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins with decreased kidney function according to gender in Japanese subjects. This population-based, cross-sectional study included 936 Japanese participants with the age of 40 years or older. A validated brief self-administered diet history questionnaire was used to measure dietary intakes of vitamin E and its four isoforms, vitamin A and vitamin C. Decreased kidney function was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min/1·73 m2. A total of 498 (53·2 %) of the study participants were women. Mean age was 62·4 ± 11·3 years. Overall, 157 subjects met the criteria of decreased kidney function. In the fully adjusted model, a high vitamin E intake is inversely associated with decreased kidney function in women (odds ratio, 0·886; 95 % confidence interval, 0·786–0·998), whereas vitamin E intake was not associated with decreased kidney function (odds ratio, 0·931; 95 % confidence interval, 0·811–1·069) in men. No significant association between dietary intake of vitamins A and C and decreased kidney function was observed in women and men. Higher dietary intake of vitamin E was inversely associated with decreased kidney function in middle-aged and older women, and the result may provide insight into the more tailored dietary approaches to prevent CKD.
Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, for the first time, describes how disaster affects the health of people. Japan is prone to natural hazards, but at the same time, Japan has achieved one of the highest life expectancies (LE) in the world. After experiencing many disasters, Japan seems to have achieved resilience against disasters. Thus, we tested a hypothesis that high LE correlates with low disaster risk.
We compared LE from the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Health Observatory and the Index for Risk Management’s (INFORM) disaster risk index, or World Risk Index (WRI), of each country using JMP software. INFORM risk index varies from 0-10, while WRI varies from 0-1, where a higher value means higher disaster risk in both systems. INFORM risk index considers hazard and exposure, vulnerability, lack of coping capacity, and lack of reliability. WRI considers exposure, susceptibility, lack of coping capacity, and lack of adaptive capacity, including logarithmized LE as a part of adaptive capacity.
The overall INFORM risk index was negatively correlated with LE (p<0:0001). Although natural hazard did not correlate with LE (p=0.7), the human hazard, vulnerability, and lack of coping capacity negatively correlated with LE (p<0.0001, respectively). Health-related indicators, which confirm the vulnerability and lack of coping capacity, were negatively correlated with LE. Cluster analysis of LE and INFORM risk of six categories resulted in four clusters of countries, suggesting that health development and disaster risk reduction are independent determinants. WRI also correlated with LE, but there are many outliers compared to the INFORM risk index.
High LE can be a good complementary indicator of low disaster risk. Strategies to achieve better health that contribute to high LE are also effective and important strategies for disaster risk reduction.
This study establishes the chronological framework of the sedimentary sequence deposited Dead Sea, ICDP 5017-1, Radiocarbon chronology during the past 50 ka at the deepest part of the Dead Sea (the ICDP 5017-1 site), which was recovered by the Dead Sea Deep Drilling Project (DSDDP) under the auspices of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). The age-depth model is constructed using 38 14C dates of terrestrial plant remains in a composite 150-m-long profile, generated by anchoring 32 marker layers identified in five cores. The sedimentary records at the ICDP 5017-1 site fills gaps in those obtained from the exposed sections at the high margins of the lake, particularly in times of lake-level retreat, and allows for a high-resolution comparison between the lake’s margins and deepest floor.
Charcoal is widely used for radiocarbon dating in archaeological and paleoenvironmental studies. Reliable 14C dating requires appropriate chemical treatment to remove postdeposition contamination from the charcoal samples. This study assesses two pretreatments: acid-base-acid (ABA) and acid-base-oxidation with stepped combustion (ABOx-SC). In addition to 14C, the effects of the treatments on the chemical structure and composition of charcoal were studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and C/H/O elemental analysis. Samples of pine wood charred in the laboratory at 270, 300, 400, 500, and 600°C, and environmental samples of charred pine wood from pyroclastic flow deposits in southern Kyushu, Japan, were tested. The laboratory-charred samples showed that NaOH treatment removed highly hydrophilic organic components derived from endogenous and exogenous organic materials in the samples and that oxidation treatment caused the oxidative degradation of molecules in samples starting from its edges. The ABA-treated environmental charcoal yielded younger 14C dates than the ABOx-treated samples, probably owing to the effects of remaining organic contaminants bound to the edges of the aromatic molecular structures produced by the original pyrolysis. Meanwhile, it was found that ABA-SC treatment can reduce contaminants as effectively as ABOx-SC treatment. This implies that the stepped combustion (SC), not the chemical oxidation, is the key to reduce contaminant residue left after ABA and ABOx treatments. The results in this study indicate that the investigation of the structural and compositional changes of charcoal during its pretreatment is useful for assessment of the reliability of the 14C ages.
The aim of the study was to develop the Japanese versions of Executive Interview (J-EXIT25) and Executive Clock Drawing Task (J-CLOX) and to evaluate the aspects of executive function that these two tests will be examining.
The concurrent validity and reliability of J-EXIT25 and J-CLOX were first examined in all participants (n = 201). Next, the relationship between the two tests was examined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC), correlation, and regression analyses in healthy participants (n = 45) and participants with mild cognitive impairment (n = 36) and dementia (n = 95).
Satisfactory concurrent validity and reliability of J-EXIT25 and J-CLOX were shown. ROC analysis indicated that J-EXIT25 and J-CLOX1 were superior to the Frontal Assessment Battery, but inferior to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), in discriminating between non-dementia and dementia. J-EXIT25, J-CLOX1, and J-CLOX2 scores were significantly correlated with age, scores on the MMSE, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and Physical Self-Maintenance Scale (PSMS), and care level. In stepwise regression analyses of IADL scores, MMSE and J-EXIT25 were significantly independent predictors in men, and MMSE, age, and J-CLOX1 were significantly independent predictors in women. J-EXIT25, MMSE, and J-CLOX1 were significantly independent predictors in stepwise regression analysis of PSMS scores, and J-EXIT25 was the only significantly independent predictor in stepwise regression analysis of care level.
J-EXIT25 and J-CLOX are valid and reliable instruments for assessment of executive function in older people. The present results suggest that these tests have common and distinct psychometric properties in the assessment of executive function.
We present results of first-principles non-equilibrium Green’s function calculations for current-voltage (IV) characteristics of the electrode/HfO2/electrode model systems. In order to investigate the effect of the electrode materials on the IV characteristics, we considered two transition metals for electrode, Ta and W, which are both body-centered-cubic elemental metals but have different valence numbers. We simulated the ON state by placing oxygen vacancies in the HfO2 layer while the OFF state was modeled with HfO2 without oxygen vacancies. At the OFF state, no electric current flowed for -1 V up to +1 V, as expected. At the ON state, however, we found that the absolute current for the Ta electrode was twice as large as that for the W electrode. The analysis of the IV characteristics shows that the electronic coupling between Ta and HfO2 is substantially stronger than that between W and HfO2. Our study demonstrates the importance of the matching between electrode and insulator materials to achieve a high ON- to OFF-current ratio in ReRAMs at a low bias.
Two independent ovarian cancer cell lines and fibroblast controls were treated with nonequilibrium atmospheric pressure plasma (NEAPP). Most ovarian cancer cells were detached from the culture dish by continuous plasma treatment to a single spot on the dish. Next, the plasma source was applied over the whole dish using a robot arm. In vitro cell proliferation assays showed that plasma treatments significantly decreased proliferation rates of ovarian cancer cells compared to fibroblast cells. FACS and Western blot analysis showed that plasma treatment of ovarian cancer cells induced apoptosis. NEAPP could be a promising tool for therapy for ovarian cancers.
We synthesized ZnS nanocrystals from identical raw material solution by the thermal decomposition of an amine complex. The shapes of products were changed by simply varying heating rate. At higher heating rate, we obtained the isotropic zincblende nanocrystals. At the lower heating rate, the nanorods were formed and the length was increased with the decrease of heating rate. The nanorods had wurtzite structure below 175 °C, and consequently transformed to zincblende phase during a temperature rise to 200 °C. These particle shapes and phases were related to the adsorption properties of amine ligands. Additionally, the synthesized ZnS nanodots and nanorods exhibited predominantly band-edge emission in fluorescence spectra.
A magnetic refrigeration test was performed using a test device filled with spherical GdN material synthesized by the hot isostatic pressing (HIP) method. Refrigeration with an active magnetic regenerator cycle was tested in the temperature range between 48 and 66 K, with the field changing from 1.2 to 3.7 T and 2.0 to 4.0 T at upper and lower sides of the regenerator bed filled with the GdN spheres, respectively. Temperature spans about of 2 K were obtained at both sides, and the total temperature span in each cycle attained about 5 K. The specific heat of the material was measured to calculate the magnetic entropy change ΔS and the adiabatic temperature change ΔT induced by the magnetic field change ΔH. It was suggested that for a given ΔH, larger ΔS and ΔT can be exploited when demagnetized to lower H, especially, to zero field.
We investigated whether the small litter size in the 129 inbred mouse strain results from a reduction in oocyte fertilizability. Sensitivity of the zona pellucida to α-chymotrypsin was examined for oocytes collected at 14 h (shortly after ovulation), 17 h, and 20 h after hCG injection. Passage of spermatozoa through the zona pellucida (using an in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique) and the density of cortical granules were examined for oocytes collected at 14 and 17 h after hCG injection. The capability of the oolemma to fuse with the sperm plasma membrane was also evaluated by IVF using zona-free eggs. The zona pellucida became markedly resistant to the enzyme 17 h after hCG injection. IVF rates significantly decreased at this time. In addition, there was a significant reduction in the density of cortical granules. When zona-free oocytes were inseminated, high fertilization rates were obtained at both 17 and 14 h after hCG injection. These results indicate that accelerated modification of the zona pellucida primarily causes a decreased fertilizability of oocytes in 129 mice, resulting in the low reproductive performance of this strain.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) established the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Project at Horonobe, in Hokkaido, Japan to enhance reliability of nuclear waste disposal technologies to be developed in deep sedimentary environments. JAEA has undertaken a number of in-situ experiments to determine changes in the properties of the host rock and the extent of the excavation disturbed zone (EDZ) created by the excavation of underground galleries for the disposal of radioactive waste. This paper reports a seismic tomography survey (using a hammer seismic source) of the “140m Gallery” at a depth of 140m below the surface of the Horonobe URL. The observation area was 3m square on the horizontal plane along the sidewall of the 140m Gallery. The measurement was repeated with the progress of excavation of a tunnel. In this experiment, the distribution of seismic velocity in the rock around the new tunnel and its decrease as the tunnel was dug, were observed using a simple small-scale seismic tomography system. The data collected show that this system can be used to capture the EDZ around tunnels.
Microfluidic mixing was applied to conventional acid pasting process to re-crystallize organic nanocrystals of Titanyl phthalocyanine (TiOPc). TiOPc nanocrystals were re-crystallized in a two step process. Seed particles were prepared by mixing TiOPc, dissolved in concentrated sulfuric acid with deionized water using high speed microchannel mixers. Seed particles were then subjected to post-precipitation treatment to achieve final crystalline product. Effects of seed preparation conditions, such as mixing efficiency (mixer type) and mixing temperature on the structure of final product were studied. Time evolution of optical absorption spectra was examined with a view to elucidate structure evolution during early stages of seed formation process.
Although the inverse association between coffee consumption and risk of diabetes has been reported numerous times, the role of caffeine intake in this association has remained unclear. We evaluated the consumption of coffee and other beverages and food containing caffeine in relation to the incidence of diabetes. The study participants were 5897 men and 7643 women in a community-based cohort in Takayama, Japan. Consumption of coffee, green tea, oolong tea, black tea and chocolate snacks were measured with a semi-quantitative FFQ in 1992. At the follow-up survey in 2002, the development of diabetes and the time of diagnosis were reported. To assess the association, age, smoking status, BMI, physical activity, education in years, alcohol consumption, total energy intake, fat intake and women's menopausal status were adjusted. Among men who consumed one cup per month to six cups per week and among those who consumed one cup per d or more, the associated hazard ratios were 0·69 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·97) and 0·69 (95 % CI 0·49, 0·98) compared with those who drank little to no coffee, with a P value for trend of 0·32. The hazard ratios for women with the same coffee consumption patterns were 1·08 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·60) and 0·70 (95 % CI 0·44, 1·12), with a P value for trend of 0·03. The association between estimated total caffeine intake and risk of diabetes was insignificant both among men and among women. The results imply that coffee consumption decreased the risk of developing diabetes. The protective effect may exist aside from the influence of caffeine intake.
Cu-In-S nanocrystals were developed as a low toxic fluorescent. The stoichiometric CuInS2 nanocrystals were synthesized facilely by heating a solution of metal complexes. The fluorescence would be originated from the crystal defect. We intentionally introduced the crystal defects related to Cu deficiency in nanocrystal with the prospect that the fluorescence intensity would be increased. The nanocrystals have many defects without phase separation as observed in bulk material. Consequently, the fluorescence quantum yield achieved to c.a. 6%. Moreover, the fluorescence quantum yield was increased up to 15% by the ZnS-coating.
The magnetic characteristics of the dilute magnetic system GaGdN are investigated by mainly soft-X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) in energy range of 1160 – 1240 eV. The strong MCD signals up to 30 % at 15K are observed. The temperature dependence of its intensity is not on simple Curie-Weiss curve and depicts three-step curve. A step around 40 – 100K suggests a new magnetic phase. The luminescence spectrum of GaGdN at low temperature is divided into three parts consisting of two broad bands around 432 nm and 503 nm and a sharp peak at 652 nm. This sharp line is assigned to the intra-transition of f – f orbital owing to the weak temperature dependence of the intensity and peak position. AlGdN grown by molecular beam epitaxy produces luminescence at 318.5 nm. X-ray absorption fine structure is examined to survey the occupancy of the Gd ion in the grown specimens.
Face centered cubic (FCC) single crystal silver nanoparticles(NPs) of nearly monodispersed particle size of 12nm were prepared by simple ripening multi-twined particles (MTP). The product yield was nearly 100% and growth mechanism was considered to be similar to Ostwald ripening but utilize chemical potential difference between MTP and FCC NPs. Controlling the ratio between defectless and defective particles before ripening by controlling kinetics of particle generation stage, it was possible to control the final defectless particle size from 7-18 nm maintaining almost 100% product yield.