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Differences in individual eating habits may be influenced by genetic factors, in addition to cultural, social or environmental factors. Previous studies suggested that genetic variants within sweet taste receptor genes family were associated with sweet taste perception and the intake of sweet foods. The aim of this study was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to find genetic variations that affect confection consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data on confection consumption using 14 073 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort study. We used a semi-quantitative FFQ to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with confection consumption was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, total energy intake and principal component analysis components 1–3. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated adjusting for alcohol intake (g/d) in addition to the above-described variables. We found 418 SNP located in 12q24 that were associated with confection consumption. SNP with the ten lowest P-values were located on nine genes including at the BRAP, ACAD10 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 regions on 12q24.12-13. After adjustment for alcohol intake, no variant was associated with confections intake with genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we found a significant number of SNP located on 12q24 genes that were associated with confections intake before adjustment for alcohol intake. However, all of them lost statistical significance after adjustment for alcohol intake.
With the development of high-speed computers, networks, and huge storage, researchers can utilize a large volume and wide variety of materials data generated by experimental facilities and computations. The emergence of these big data and advanced analytical techniques has opened unprecedented opportunities for materials research. The discovery of many kinds of materials, such as energy-harvesting materials, structural materials, catalysts, optoelectronic materials, and magnetic materials, have been greatly accelerated through high-throughput screening. The utility of data-centric science for materials research is likely to grow significantly in the future. Unraveling the complexities inherent in big data could lead to novel design rules as well as new materials and functionalities.
We have fabricated high-efficiency a-Si/µc-Si tandem solar cells and modules with a very high µc-Si deposition rate using Localized Plasma Confinement CVD to give very high-rate deposition (>2.0 nm/s) of device-grade µc-Si layers. For further progress in productive plasma-CVD techniques, we have studied plasma phenomena by combining newly developed plasma simulation and plasma diagnosis techniques that reveal the importance of non-emissive atomic hydrogen. We also have proposed a model of defective µc-Si formation on highly textured substrates in which the atomic H in plasma is assumed to play an important role. We are also developing a non-vacuum deposition technique that we term “Liquid Si Printing.” A new record conversion efficiency for HIT solar cells of 24.7% has been achieved using a very thin c-Si wafer (Thickness: 98 µm, Area: 102 cm2).
A fabrication technology for high-quality, device-grade microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) thin film with a higher deposition rate has been required to reduce the production cost of amorphous silicon (a-Si)/μc-Si tandem modules. Localized Plasma Confinement CVD (LPC-CVD) has been proposed as one solution to this problem. It was found that this CVD is suitable for the deposition of high crystalline fractions and (220) orientation in the development of small-to-medium-size substrates. Since then, we have been developing high-rate deposition technology for production-size substrates by using the essence of LPC-CVD and evaluation techniques for μc-Si materials and plasma. A stabilized module efficiency of 11.1% was reported with a very high deposition rate on a production-size substrate. To improve conversion efficiency, we have been focusing on elemental technologies as well as high-rate deposition technology. Stabilized conversion efficiency of 12.2% for small-size cells (1 cm2) and stabilized module conversion efficiency of 10.7% for production-size substrates were achieved.
Mn-doped γ-Ga2O3 thin films with a defective spinel structure have been epitaxially grown on spinel (100) substrates using pulsed laser deposition. The crystal quality of the films is strongly dependent on preparation conditions, particularly substrate temperature and laser energy density, as well as Mn concentration. In the 7 cation% Mn-doped film grown under the optimized conditions, the full width at half maximum in the x-ray diffraction rocking curve for the (400) plane is 117 arcsec and the root-mean-square roughness of the surface is approximately 0.4 nm. These values are comparable to those of the spinel substrate. The film shows a uniform tetragonal distortion with a tetragonality of 1.05.
The effect of fatty acids was studied on the developmental direction of Strongyloides ratti first-stage larvae (L1). The proportion of third-stage infective larvae increased markedly when L1 were cultured in faeces with added fatty acids such as palmitic (C16), stearic (C18), oleic (C18:1) and linoleic (C18:2) acids. Unsaturated fatty acids were more effective than saturated ones. Moreover, the proportion of infective larvae increased with quantity of linoleic acid but the triacylglycerols of any fatty acid had no effect. These results suggest that these free fatty acids cause physiological changes that determine the developmental course of L1 of S. ratti in nature.
The Eu ion was implanted at an energy of 300keV with a dose of 1×1015cm-2 at room temperature. Photoluminescence (PL) and PL lifetime were characterized and studied on thermal quenching process. We calculated the activation energy (E1) of temperature dependent PL and the value of E1 was 5.68meV. E1 was affected the luminescence intensity in the temperature range from 15K to 70K. The activation energy (Ea) of PL lifetime was calculated and the value of Ea was 8.5meV. The non-radiative recombination in the transition from the 5D0 to 7F2 of Eu was dominated in the temperature range from 15K to 100K. We found that the thermal quenching occurred in both the electron emission from RE-trap and the non-radiative recombination in the transition on Eu in the temperature range from 15K to 70K.
The crystal structure of ribosomal protein L5 from Thermus
thermophilus complexed with a 34-nt fragment comprising
helix III and loop C of Escherichia coli 5S rRNA has
been determined at 2.5 Å resolution. The protein specifically
interacts with the bulged nucleotides at the top of loop C of
5S rRNA. The rRNA and protein contact surfaces are strongly
stabilized by intramolecular interactions. Charged and polar
atoms forming the network of conserved intermolecular hydrogen
bonds are located in two narrow planar parallel layers belonging
to the protein and rRNA, respectively. The regions, including
these atoms conserved in Bacteria and Archaea, can be considered
an RNA–protein recognition module. Comparison of the T.
thermophilus L5 structure in the RNA-bound form with the
isolated Bacillus stearothermophilus L5 structure shows
that the RNA-recognition module on the protein surface does
not undergo significant changes upon RNA binding. In the crystal
of the complex, the protein interacts with another RNA molecule
in the asymmetric unit through the β-sheet concave surface.
This protein/RNA interface simulates the interaction of L5 with
23S rRNA observed in the Haloarcula marismortui 50S
Erbium (Er) ions were co-implanted with ytterbium (Yb) into Al0.70Ga0.30As substrates and we realized an increase in the intensity of Er intra-4f-shell luminescence. The photoluminescence (PL) intensity of Er-related dominant peak (1538.2nm) was enhanced by co-implanted Yb. The thermal quenching was improved. PL intensity of Yb-related emission was decreased. We studied the transfer energy and the optical sensitization of Yb ions co-implanted with Er ions in Al0.70Ga0.30As. Energy transfers from 2F5/2 (the first excited state) → 2F7/2 (the ground state) of Yb3+ to 4I13/2 (the first excited state) → 4I15/2 (the ground state) of Er3+ were observed by PL excitation (PLE) and selectively excited PL (SPL).
Ribosomal protein L5 is a 5S rRNA binding protein in
the large subunit and plays an essential role in the promotion
of a particular conformation of 5S rRNA. The crystal structure
of the ribosomal protein L5 from Bacillus stearothermophilus
has been determined at 1.8 Å resolution. The molecule
consists of a five-stranded antiparallel β-sheet and
four α-helices, which fold in a way that is topologically
similar to the ribonucleoprotein (RNP) domain. The molecular
shape and electrostatic representation suggest that the
concave surface and loop regions are involved in 5S rRNA
binding. To identify amino acid residues responsible for
5S rRNA binding, we made use of Ala-scanning mutagenesis
of evolutionarily conserved amino acids occurring in the
β-strands and loop regions. The mutations of Asn37
at the β1-strand and Gln63 at the loop between helix
2 and β3-strand as well as that of Phe77 at the tip
of the loop structure between the β2- and β3-strands
caused a significant reduction in 5S rRNA binding. In addition,
the mutations of Thr90 on the β3-strand and Ile141
and Asp144 at the loop between β4- and β5-strands
moderately reduced the 5S rRNA-binding affinity. Comparison
of these results with the more recently analyzed structure
of the 50S subunit from Haloarcula marismortui
suggests that there are significant differences in the
structure at N- and C-terminal regions and probably in
the 5S rRNA binding.
The formation energies and electronic structure of zinc vacancies and oxygen interstitials at a tilt boundary of ZnO were investigated by a combination of static lattice and first-principles molecular orbital methods. For both of the defect species, the formation energies were lower than those of the bulk defects at certain sites in the grain boundary. The defects with low formation energies formed electronic states close to the top of the valence band. The interfacial electronic states observed experimentally in ZnO varistors cannot be explained solely by the point defects associated with the oxygen excess: the effects of impurities should be significant for the states.
We have investigated the atomic and electronic structure of symmetric tilt boundaries in ZnO by a first-principles plane-wave pseudopotential method. Equilibrium boundary geometries with distorted- and dangling-bonds are obtained. Localized electronic states form mainly at the lower valence band and the bottom of the upper valence band owing to the bond disorder. However, the electronic states near the band gap are not significantly affected; deep states are not generated in the band gap. The small effects of the bond disorder on the electronic structure can be attributed to the band structure characteristic of ZnO.
Two recently published but independently derived
structures, namely the X-ray crystallographic structure
of ribosomal protein S7 and the “binding pocket”
for this protein in a three-dimensional model of the 16S
rRNA, have been correlated with one another. The known
rRNA–protein interactions for S7 include a minimum
binding site, a number of footprint sites, and two RNA–protein
crosslink sites on the 16S rRNA, all of which form a compact
group in the published 16S rRNA model (despite the fact
that these interactions were not used as primary modeling
contraints in building that model). The amino acids in
protein S7 that are involved in the two crosslinks to 16S
rRNA have also been determined in previous studies, and
here we have used these sites to orient the crystallographic
structure of S7 relative to its rRNA binding pocket. Some
minor alterations were made to the rRNA model to improve
the fit. In the resulting structure, the principal positively
charged surface of the protein is in contact with the 16S
rRNA, and all of the RNA–protein interaction data
are satisfied. The quality of the fit gives added confidence
as to the validity of the 16S rRNA model. Protein S7 is
furthermore known to be crosslinked both to P site-bound
tRNA and to mRNA at positions upstream of the P site codon;
the matched S7-16S rRNA structure makes a prediction as
to the location of this crosslink site within the protein
High quality large single crystals of La2−xSrxCuO4 were grown by the traveling solvent floating zone method(TSFZ method). The crystals up to about 6 mm diameter and 40 mm length were obtained. The composition of the grown crystals was uniform and was determined to be La1.86Sr0.14Cu0.97O3.89. The single crystals were superconductors with Tc=37.5K and δ Tc=1.1K, and had a significant anisotropy of the electrical resistivities at the non-superconducting state.
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