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In this review, we introduce our recent applications of deep learning to solar and space weather data. We have successfully applied novel deep learning methods to the following applications: (1) generation of solar farside/backside magnetograms and global field extrapolation based on them, (2) generation of solar UV/EUV images from other UV/EUV images and magnetograms, (3) denoising solar magnetograms using supervised learning, (4) generation of UV/EUV images and magnetograms from Galileo sunspot drawings, (5) improvement of global IRI TEC maps using IGS TEC ones, (6) one-day forecasting of global TEC maps through image translation, (7) generation of high-resolution magnetograms from Ca II K images, (8) super-resolution of solar magnetograms, (9) flare classification by CNN and visual explanation by attribution methods, and (10) forecasting GOES solar X-ray profiles. We present major results and discuss them. We also present future plans for integrated space weather models based on deep learning.
It has been suggested that psychosocial factors are related to survival time of inpatients with cancer. However, there are not many studies examining the relationship between spiritual well-being (SWB) and survival time among countries. This study investigated the relationship between SWB and survival time among three East Asian countries.
This international multicenter cohort study is a secondary analysis involving newly admitted inpatients with advanced cancer in palliative care units in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. SWB was measured using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS) at admission. We performed multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model to identify independent prognostic factors.
A total of 2,638 patients treated at 37 palliative care units from January 2017 to September 2018 were analyzed. The median survival time was 18.0 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 16.5–19.5) in Japan, 23.0 days (95% CI 19.9–26.1) in Korea, and 15.0 days (95% CI 13.0–17.0) in Taiwan. SWB was a significant factor correlated with survival in Taiwan (hazard ratio [HR] 1.27; 95% CI 1.01–1.59; p = 0.04), while it was insignificant in Japan (HR 1.10; 95% CI 1.00–1.22; p = 0.06), and Korea (HR 1.02; 95% CI 0.77–1.35; p = 0.89).
Significance of results
SWB on admission was associated with survival in patients with advanced cancer in Taiwan but not Japan or Korea. The findings suggest the possibility of a positive relationship between spiritual care and survival time in patients with far advanced cancer.
Accurate prognostication is important for patients and their families to prepare for the end of life. Objective Prognostic Score (OPS) is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the clinicians’ prediction of survival (CPS), whereas Palliative Prognostic Score (PaP) needs CPS. Thus, inexperienced clinicians may hesitate to use PaP. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of OPS compared with PaP in inpatients in palliative care units (PCUs) in three East Asian countries.
This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-cultural, multicenter cohort study. We enrolled inpatients with far-advanced cancer in PCUs in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from 2017 to 2018. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve to compare the accuracy of OPS and PaP.
A total of 1,628 inpatients in 33 PCUs in Japan and Korea were analyzed. OPS and PaP were calculated in 71.7% of the Japanese patients and 80.0% of the Korean patients. In Taiwan, PaP was calculated for 81.6% of the patients. The AUROC for 3-week survival was 0.74 for OPS in Japan, 0.68 for OPS in Korea, 0.80 for PaP in Japan, and 0.73 for PaP in Korea. The AUROC for 30-day survival was 0.70 for OPS in Japan, 0.71 for OPS in Korea, 0.79 for PaP in Japan, and 0.74 for PaP in Korea.
Significance of results
Both OPS and PaP showed good performance in Japan and Korea. Compared with PaP, OPS could be more useful for inexperienced physicians who hesitate to estimate CPS.
The accurate estimation of expected survival in terminal cancer patients is important. The palliative performance scale (PPS) is an important factor in predicting survival of hospice patients. The purpose of this study was to examine how initial status of PPS and changes in PPS affect the survival of hospice patients in Korea.
We retrospectively examined 315 patients who were admitted to our hospice unit between January 2017 and December 2018. The patients were divided based on the PPS of ≥50% (group A) and ≤40% (group B). We performed survival analysis for factors associated with the length of survival (LOS) in group A. Based on the hospice team's weekly evaluation of PPS, we examined the effect of initial levels and changes in group A on the prognosis of patients who survived for 2 weeks or more.
At the time of admission to hospice, 265 (84.1%) patients were PPS ≥50%, and 50 (15.9%) were PPS ≤40%. The median LOS of PPS ≥50% and PPS ≤40% were 15 (2–158 days) and 9 (2–43 days), respectively. Male, gastrointestinal cancer, and lower initial PPS all predicted poor prognosis in group A. Male, gastrointestinal cancer, and a PPS change of 10% or greater, compared with initial status 1 week and 2 weeks of hospitalization, were all predictors of poor prognosis in group A patients who survived for 2 weeks or longer.
Significance of results
Our research demonstrates the significance of PPS change at 1 week and 2 weeks, suggesting the importance of evaluating not only initial PPS but also change in PPS.
Recent hospital fire incidents in South Korea have heightened the importance of patient evacuation. Moving patients from an intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency department (ED) setting is a challenge due to the complexity of moving acutely unwell patients who are reliant on invasive monitoring and organ support. Despite the importance of patient evacuation, the readiness of ICU and ED for urgent evacuation has not been assessed.
To enhance the readiness and competencies of workers from ICU and ED in the evacuation of patients during a simulated tabletop fire exercise.
A tabletop simulation exercise was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research referencing the fire evacuation manual developed by the hospital’s ICU and ED. The scenario consisted of evacuating patients horizontally and vertically from each department. The participants’ actions were assessed using a checklist. A debriefing was completed after the exercise to discuss the gaps observed. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the exercise and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 22 and 29 people participated in the exercise from ICU and ED, respectively. Knowledge and confidence improved post-exercise for both ICU and ED scenarios (p<0.05). Course satisfaction was 7.9 and 8.7, respectively for ICU and ED exercise. Correct performance rates for ICU and ED were 59% and 58%, respectively. Common gaps noted for both ICU and ED were wearing protective masks, patient hand-over communication, and preparation for resources.
There need to be exercises to recognize system gaps in place for hospital fire evacuation preparedness. Tabletop simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was a short 90-minute exercise, this increased familiarity with the evacuation plan, tested the plan, and allowed for identification of gaps.
South Korea experienced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. To mitigate the threat posed by MERS, the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control designated hospitals to be responsible for managing any suspected or confirmed infectious patient. These hospitals receive mandatory training in managing infectious patients, but many of the trainings lack practical skills practice and pandemic preparedness exercise.
To develop and evaluate a training course designed to train healthcare providers from designated hospitals to enhance their competencies in managing emerging infectious diseases and potential outbreaks.
A two-day course was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research in collaboration with the Korea Health Promotion Institute using Kern’s 6-step approach. The course consisted of didactic lectures, technical skills training, tabletop simulation, and scenario-based simulation. Table-top simulation exercises consisted of cases involving a single infectious patient detected in the outpatient clinic and outbreak in the emergency department. Scenario-based simulation exercises involved managing a critically ill infectious patient in an isolated ward. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the course and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 121 healthcare providers participated in three separate courses. The competencies for pandemic preparedness knowledge, skills, and attitude improved from pre- to post-course. The differences were all statistically significant (p<0.05). Overall course satisfaction in average for expectation, time, delivery method, and contents were 9.5, 9.2, 9.4, and 9.2, respectively.
There needs to be tests and exercises to recognize gaps of systems in place for pandemic preparedness. Simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was only a two-day intensive course, this increased familiarity with workflows, tested the coordination of workflows between different disciplines and allowed the identification of gaps.
Hyperlipidaemia is a major cause of atherosclerosis and related CVD and can be prevented with natural substances. Previously, we reported that a novel Bacillus-fermented green tea (FGT) exerts anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects. This study further investigated the hypotriglyceridaemic and anti-obesogenic effects of FGT and its underlying mechanisms. FGT effectively inhibited pancreatic lipase activity in vitro (IC50, 0·48 mg/ml) and ameliorated postprandial lipaemia in rats (26 % reduction with 500 mg/kg FGT). In hypertriglyceridaemic hamsters, FGT administration significantly reduced plasma TAG levels. In mice, FGT administration (500 mg/kg) for 2 weeks augmented energy expenditure by 22 % through the induction of plasma serotonin, a neurotransmitter that modulates energy expenditure and mRNA expressions of lipid metabolism genes in peripheral tissues. Analysis of the gut microbiota showed that FGT reduced the proportion of the phylum Firmicutes in hamsters, which could further contribute to its anti-obesity effects. Collectively, these data demonstrate that FGT decreases plasma TAG levels via multiple mechanisms including inhibition of pancreatic lipase, augmentation of energy expenditure, induction of serotonin secretion and alteration of gut microbiota. These results suggest that FGT may be a useful natural agent for preventing hypertriglyceridaemia and obesity.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
The HoDoo English game was developed to take advantage of the benefits attributed to on-line games while teaching English to native Korean speakers. We expected to see that the improvements in the subjects’ English language abilities after playing the HoDoo English game would be associated with increased brain functional connectivity in the areas of the brain involved in the language production (Broca’s area) and the understanding (Wernicke’s area) networks. Twelve children, aged nine and ten, were asked to play the on-line English education game for 50 minutes per day, five days per week for twelve weeks. At baseline, and again at the end of twelve weeks of game play, each child’s English language ability was assessed and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan was conducted. The on-line English education game play effectively improved English language skills, especially in terms of non-verbal pragmatic skills. Following twelve weeks of on-line English education game play, the children showed positive connectivity between Broca’s area and the left frontal cortex as well as between Wernicke’s area and the left parahippocampal gyrus and the right medial frontal gyrus. Changes in pragmatic scores were positively correlated with average peak brain activity in the left parahippocampal gyrus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report an improvement in English ability and changes in brain activity within language areas after on-line language education game play.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
We investigated the structural complexity and texture of the cytoskeleton and nucleus in human mesenchymal stem cells during early phase differentiation into osteoblasts according to the differentiation–induction method: mechanical and/or chemical stimuli. For this, fractal dimension and a number of parameters utilizing the gray-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) were calculated based on single-cell images after confirmation of differentiation by immunofluorescence staining. The F-actin and nuclear fractal dimensions were greater in both stimulus groups compared with the control group. The GLCM values for energy and homogeneity were lower in fibers of the F-actin cytoskeleton, indicating a dispersed F-actin arrangement during differentiation. In the nuclei of both stimulus groups, higher values for energy and homogeneity were calculated, indicating that the chromatin arrangement was chaotic during the early phase of differentiation. It was shown and confirmed that combined stimulation with mechanical and chemical factors accelerated differentiation, even in the early phase. Fractal dimension analysis and GLCM methods have the potential to provide a framework for further investigation of stem cell differentiation.
To evaluate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and predictors for low vitamin D status in Korean adolescents living between latitudes 33° and 39°N.
A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2009.
A total of 1510 healthy adolescents aged 12–18 years (806 male, mean age 14·7 years) participated. Possible predictors for low vitamin D status (log-transformed 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations) were evaluated.
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D<20 ng/ml) was 89·1 % in spring, 53·7 % in summer, 63·9 % in autumn and 90·5 % in winter. Winter season, older age, higher education level reached, being female, being obese, a lack of vitamin D supplementation, lower milk consumption (0–<200 ml/d) and a lack of physical activity were unadjusted predictors (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that winter season (P < 0·001), higher education level (P < 0·001) and a lack of vitamin D supplementation (P = 0·012) were independent predictors for low vitamin D status. The modifying effect of season on the association between vitamin D supplement use and vitamin D status was significant (P < 0·001).
Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Korean adolescents, especially those in higher school grades. Vitamin D supplementation may contribute to maintain a better vitamin D status with lower seasonal variation. Further studies are required to determine optimal vitamin D intakes to maintain sufficient vitamin D status for Korean adolescents.
Klotho protein is involved in insulin-signalling and ageing. Klotho mutation causes premature ageing and significantly shortens the lifespan. The anti-neoplastic drug cisplatin promotes ototoxicity at higher doses by inducing apoptosis. This study aimed to clarify the effect of klotho expression on cisplatin ototoxicity, using an auditory cell line.
Materials and methods:
Expressions of klotho messenger RNA and protein were analysed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. Auditory cells (HEI-OC1 line) were pretreated with 2 nM klotho protein for 2 hours; 15 µM cisplatin was then applied. After 48 hours incubation, assessment of cell viability (via 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide assay), apoptosis (via Hoechst 33258 staining) and reactive oxygen species was performed.
Klotho protein expression increased in cisplatin-treated auditory cells. Cells treated with both klotho protein and cisplatin showed a viability of 67.7 per cent, versus 59.4 per cent in cisplatin-treated cells. Klotho significantly attenuated the cisplatin-induced increase in reactive oxygen species, and increased the viability of cells with cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity.
Klotho protein is protective against cisplatin-induced auditory cell cytotoxicity; inhibition of reactive oxygen species may be the main mechanism.
Objectives: Recent concerns have been raised for the safety after drug-eluting stents (DES) implantation compared with the use of bare-metal stents (BMS) in patients with ST-elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI). The objective of this study was to estimate the relative impact of DES versus BMS on mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), target vessel revascularization (TVR), and stent thrombosis (ST) in STEMI patients by performing comprehensive meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies.
Methods: We performed an electronic search and manual search of studies presented through September 2009, without language restrictions. An approach of “using systematic reviews” was used. Two independent reviewers extracted prespecified data from each study. A random-effects model was used to combine trials and to perform stratified analyses based on study designs and the duration of follow-up.
Results: Fourteen RCTs were identified (N = 7,654). Compared with BMS, DES significantly reduced TVR (risk ratio [RR], 0.48; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.41–0.56) and MI (RR, 0.77; 95 percent CI, 0.61–0.97), without increasing mortality (RR, 0.88; 95 percent CI, 0.70–1.10) and ST (RR, 0.93; 95 percent CI, 0.72–1.21). Among 35 observational studies (N = 44,849), the use of DES was associated with a significant reduction in mortality (RR, 0.85; 95 percent CI, 0.79–0.91) and TVR (RR, 0.61; 95 percent CI, 0.48–0.77). MI and ST were significantly lower in the DES group within 1-year follow-up, but there were no differences within 2 years of follow-up. There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity and publication bias.
Conclusions: These data in aggregate suggest that using DES in STEMI patients is safe and efficacious, but there are differences between RCT and observational data comparing DES and BMS.
Human complement regulatory protein hCD46 may reduce the hyperacute rejection (HAR) in pig-to-human xenotransplantation. In this study, an hCD46 gene was introduced into porcine embryonic germ (EG) cells. Treatment of human serum did not affect the survival of hCD46-transgenic EG cells, whereas the treatment significantly reduced the survival of non-transgenic EG cells (p < 0.01). The transgenic EG cells presumably capable of alleviating HAR were transferred into enucleated oocytes. Among 235 reconstituted oocytes, 35 (14.9%) developed to the blastocyst stage. Analysis of individual embryos indicated that 80.0% (28/35) of embryos contained the transgene hCD46. The result of the present study demonstrates resistance of hCD46-transgenic EG cells against HAR, and the usefulness of the transgenic approach may be predicted by this cytolytic assessment prior to actual production of transgenic pigs. Subsequently performed EG cell nuclear transfer gave rise to hCD46-transgenic embryos. Further study on the transfer of these embryos to recipients may produce hCD46-transgenic pigs.
There has been a significant effort to create spiral sensors by changing either the periodic d-spacing of the structure or the dielectric constants of the materials by combining the multi-faceted environmental responsiveness of polymer hydrogels with dielectrical structures.1 Reversible spiral switches with dimensional functionalities that respond to chemical environment were constructed. When the spiral photonic actuator was swollen in hydrophilic acetic acid, right-handed spiral structures are formed, while the spiral photonic actuator was swollen in hydrophobic hexane, left-handed spiral structures are formed. All actuators returned back to the transparent planar state after deswelling processes. These reversible spiral photonic actuators can be applied in the application of mechanical actuators, electrical devices, and optical components.
The low frequency noise of individual ZnO nanowire (NW) field effect transistors (FETs) exposed to air is systematically characterized. The measured noise power spectrum shows a classical 1/f type. The noise amplitude is independent of source-drain current and inversely proportional to gate voltage. The extracted Hooge's constant of ZnO NW is found to be 6.52×10−3. In addition, the low frequency noise of ZnO NW according to NW resistance and contact property are investigated. The noise amplitude is proportional to the square of ZnO NW resistance. If a sample shows a nonlinear current-voltage (I-V) characteristic due to a poor electrical contact, the noise power spectrum is proportional to the third power of current instead of the square of current.
Field effect transistors(FETs) made of ZnO nanowires are very sensitive to the gas environment, so that the passivation can be a good way to get reliable nanowire FETs with longer lifetime and the better mobility. The studies on the passivation effects with the positive electron-beam resist was investigated by selectively covering the part of nanowire devices between the electrodes. Reproducible electrical characteristics were recorded, reflecting the stable electrical properties by the passivation which deters the degradation of a device. Considering the defect states of oxide nanowires dominate the charge states, the pre-state just before the passivation process will be crucial to understand the reproducible and controllable device characteristics of nanowire devices.