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In this study, we built on our previous research that discovered that autophagy activated the metaphase I stage during porcine oocytes in vitro maturation. We investigated the relationship between autophagy and oocyte maturation. First, we confirmed whether autophagy was activated differently by different media (TCM199 and NCSU-23) during maturation. Then, we investigated whether oocyte maturation affected autophagic activation. In addition, we examined whether the inhibition of autophagy affected the nuclear maturation rate of porcine oocytes. As for the main experiment, we measured LC3-II levels using western blotting after inhibition of nuclear maturation via cAMP treatment in an in vitro culture to clarify whether nuclear maturation affected autophagy. After autophagy inhibition, we also counted matured oocytes by treating them with wortmannin or a E64d and pepstatin A mixture. Both groups, which had different treatment times of cAMP, showed the same levels of LC3-II, while the maturation rates were about four times higher after cAMP 22 h treatment than that of the 42 h treatment group. This indicated that neither cAMP nor nuclear status affected autophagy. Autophagy inhibition during in vitro oocyte maturation with wortmannin treatment reduced oocyte maturation rates by about half, while autophagy inhibition by the E64d and pepstatin A mixture treatment did not significantly affect the oocyte maturation. Therefore, wortmannin itself, or the autophagy induction step, but not the degradation step, is involved in the oocyte maturation of porcine oocytes. Overall, we propose that oocyte maturation does not stand upstream of autophagy activation, but autophagy may exist upstream of oocyte maturation.
Cable-driven parallel robots (CDPRs) possess a lot of advantages over conventional parallel manipulators and link-based robot manipulators in terms of acceleration due to their low inertia. This paper deals with under-constrained CDPRs, which manipulate the end-effector to carrying the payload by using a number of cables less than six, often used preferably owing to their simple structures. Since a smaller number of cables than six are used, the end-effector of CDPR has uncontrollable degrees of freedom and that causes swaying motion and oscillations. In this paper, a scheme to curb on the unwanted oscillation of the end-effector of the CDPR with three cables is proposed based on multimode input shaping. The precise dynamic model of the under-constrained CDPR is obtained to find natural frequencies, which depends on the position of the end-effector. The advantage of the proposed method is that it is practicable to generate the trajectories for vibration suppression based on multi-mode input-shaping scheme in spite of the complexity in the dynamics and the difficulty in computing the natural frequencies of the CDPR, which are required in any input-shaping scheme. To prove the effectiveness of the proposed method, computer simulations and experiments were carried out by using 3-D motion for CDPR with three cables.
Yarn-type supercapacitors should have high energy density in small given spaces, and the one attempt among many is to comprise the electrodes asymmetrically. However, the low capacitance of conventional materials causes the widened operating voltage useless. In this study, we have utilized a novel material MXene with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to make highly loaded MXene/CNT yarn electrodes, which exhibited a remarkable areal capacitance. With MnO2/CNT biscrolled cathode and PVA/LiCl gel electrolyte, the plied asymmetric yarn supercapacitor had energy density of 100 µWh/cm2. The yarn supercapacitor could operate under mechanical deformations without performance degradation.
Cronobacter sakazakii is a life-threatening foodborne pathogen found in powdered infant formula and dairy products. Kefir is a dairy probiotic product and its antimicrobial activity against C. sakazakii was reported in our previous study. To identify key microorganisms that mediate growth suppression, we tested the antimicrobial activity of culture supernatants derived from lactic acid bacteria found in kefir. Lactobacillus kefiri DH5, L. kefiranofaciens DH101, and Bifidobacterium longum 720 (a commercial probiotic strain that served as a positive control) all significantly inhibited the growth of C. sakazakii ATCC 29544, delaying the initiation of exponential growth from 3 to 9 h in the nutrient broth. Among them, L. kefiri DH5 exerted the strongest antimicrobial effects against C. sakazakii, showing bactericidal effect at the addition of 300 µl of supernatant in 1 ml of nutrient broth. Interestingly, the supernatant of L. kefiri DH5 has higher pH and lower titrable acidity than that of L. kefiranofaciens DH101, suggesting metabolites produced by heterofermentation of L. kefiri acted more effectively to antagonise the growth of C. sakazakii. In addition, the supernatant of L. kefiri DH5 induced the leakage of cytoplasmic materials including nucleic acid and proteins, suggesting L. kefiri DH5 disrupted the cellular membrane integrity of C. sakazakii. Considering that pH neutralisation reduced the L. kefiri-dependent growth suppression, it is inferred that this activity is mainly due to organic acids produced during the fermentation process.
Spirituality is what gives people meaning and purpose in life, and it has been recognized as a critical factor in patients’ well-being, particularly at the ends of their lives. Studies have demonstrated relationships between spirituality and patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life and mental health. Although a number of studies have suggested that spiritual belief can be associated with mortality, the results are inconsistent. We aimed to determine whether spirituality was related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea.
For this multicenter study, we recruited adult advanced cancer inpatients who had been admitted to seven palliative care units with estimated survival of <3 months. We measured spirituality at admission using the Korean version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-sp), which comprises two subscales: meaning/peace and faith. We calculated a Kaplan-Meier curve for spirituality, dichotomized at the predefined cutoffs and medians for the total scale and each of the two subscales, and performed univariate regression with a Cox proportional hazard model.
We enrolled a total of 204 adults (mean age: 64.5 ± 13.0; 48.5% female) in the study. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were lung (21.6%), colorectal (18.6%), and liver/biliary tract (13.0%). Median survival was 19.5 days (95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 23.5, 30.6). Total FACIT-sp score was not related to survival time (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.981, CI95% = 0.957, 1.007), and neither were the scores for its two subscales, meaning/peace (HR = 0.969, CI95% = 0.932, 1.008) and faith (HR = 0.981, CI95% = 0.938, 1.026).
Significance of results
Spirituality was not related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea. Plausible mechanisms merit further investigation.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
We demonstrate the tungsten disulfide (WS2) thin film catalysts prepared by the sulfurization of vacuum deposited WO3 thin films for efficient hydrogen production with over 90% Faradaic efficiency. The 23-nm-thick WS2 thin film catalyst heterojunction with p-type silicon photocathode could exhibit a photocurrent density of 8.3 mA/cm2 at 0 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), a low onset potential of 0.2 V versus RHE when photocurrent density reaches −1 mA/cm2 and long-term stability over 10 h. The enhanced catalytic activities of WS2/p-Si photocathodes compared with the bare p-Si photocathode originate from a number of edge sites in the synthesized polycrystalline thin films, which could act as hydrogen evolution catalyst.
In this study, the ternary Ge–Sb–Se chalcogenide glass was fabricated by a standard melt-quenching technique for flexible infrared lenses. Chalcogenide glass should have unique thermal and mechanical properties to be applied to precision glass molding (PGM) process. Therefore, the relations between thermal properties and the moldability were investigated for (35–20)Ge–(5–20)Sb–60Se glass systems. The thermal and thermos-mechanical properties were characterized by the differential scanning calorimeter and thermos-mechanical analysis, respectively. Preceding experiments using a pressing tester were conducted before PGM process to evaluate the moldability. The surface condition of both chalcogenide glass disks and Tungsten Carbide (WC) molds were characterized by using an optical microscopy and an interferometer. The preferential compositions in (35–20)Ge–(5–20)Sb–60Se glass systems were selected to produce molded lenses. Finally, the molded chalcogenide lens was successfully fabricated using the preferential compositions and the processing conditions from the preceding experiments using a pressing tester.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
Social support programs for dementia caregivers were widely used in order to reduce care burden. We investigated which types of social supports can reduce psychological and non-psychological burdens of dementia caregivers, and explored the mechanism of those social supports.
We evaluated 731 community-dwelling dementia patients and their caregivers from the National Survey of Dementia Care in South Korea. We investigated the five types of social supports (emotional support, informational support, tangible support, positive social interaction, affectionate support) using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey in each caregiver. The mechanisms of specific types of social support on psychological/non-psychological burden were examined using path analysis.
Positive social interaction and affectionate support reduced psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Tangible support reduced the non-psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Informational support and emotional support were not helpful for reducing psychological or non-psychological burden. A maximum of 20% of psychological burden could be relieved by positive social interaction and 10.3% of that could be reduced by affectionate support. Tangible support was associated with a 15.1% maximal improvement in non-psychological burden.
In order to reduce caregiver burden in dementia effectively, psychosocial interventions should be tailored to target type of caregiver burden.
Copper–zinc alloy (Cu/Zn) powders with different Zn to Cu molar ratios were prepared by the combustion synthesis technique using a CuO + 0.15(C2H4)n + kZn (0.2 ≤ k ≤ 1.6 mol) reactive mixture. Depending on the Zn concentration, the combustion wave developed a temperature between 950 and 1040 °C and passed through the sample with a speed of 0.04–0.08 cm/s, resulting in almost single-stage temperature distributions. Cu/Zn alloy powders with Zn concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 45 wt% were obtained. It was shown that alloy particles become spherical and well dispersed with increasing Zn concentration. Inert dilution test with KCl salt was also performed to determine the influence of temperature degradation in the combustion wave on the morphology and composition of alloy powders.
In order to apply P(VDF-TeFE) piezoelectric polymer to micro-generator as a membrane, the polymer is deposited on a substrate by spin-coating method. Since a solvent affects the film properties and surface stability, we have carried out the thermal process at a temperature higher than melting point. In the annealing process of a P(VDF-TeFE) thin film, electrical properties of the film was improved by an application of an electric field. The established study was the investigation of variations in characteristics by an application of a certain electric field. We have attempted to measure about the critical intensity of an electric field and investigate what the influences of the application is caused using a XPS spectrum in this study. Moreover, in order to control the intrusion of impurities, we have used the vacuum chamber to carry out the annealing process in it.
In order to apply P(VDF-TeFE) piezoelectric polymer to micro-generator as a membrane, the polymer is deposited on a substrate by spin-coating method. In this process, some changes of properties and quality of the film are caused by a solvent which was used to dissolve the polymer granule. Since a solvent affects the film properties and surface stability, we have carried out the thermal process at a temperature higher than melting point. However, this thermal process due to a temperature higher than Curie point of the polymer causes a falling-off in electrical properties. In this paper, we have studied a method to prevent a falling-off in electric properties of P(VDF-TeFE) film even though the film is annealed at a temperature higher than Curie point.