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Blood carotenoid concentration measurement is considered the gold standard for fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake estimation; however, this method is invasive and expensive. Recently, skin carotenoid status (SCS) measured by optical sensors has been evaluated as a promising parameter for F&V intake estimation. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to validate the utility of resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS)-assessed SCS as a biomarker of F&V intake in Korean adults. We used data from 108 participants aged 20–69 years who completed SCS measurements, blood collection and 3-d dietary recordings. Serum carotenoid concentrations were quantified using HPLC, and dietary carotenoid and F&V intakes were estimated via 3-d dietary records using a carotenoid database for common Korean foods. The correlations of the SCS with serum carotenoid concentrations, dietary carotenoid intake and F&V intake were examined to assess SCS validity. SCS was positively correlated with total serum carotenoid concentration (r = 0·52, 95 % CI = 0·36, 0·64, P < 0·001), serum β-carotene concentration (r = 0·60, 95 % CI = 0·47, 0·71, P < 0·001), total carotenoid intake (r = 0·20, 95 % CI = 0·01, 0·37, P = 0·04), β-carotene intake (r = 0·30, 95 % CI = 0·11, 0·46, P = 0·002) and F&V intake (r = 0·40, 95 % CI = 0·23, 0·55, P < 0·001). These results suggest that SCS can be a valid biomarker of F&V intake in Korean adults.
A disaster in the hospital is particularly serious and quite different from other ordinary disasters. This study aimed at analyzing the activity outcomes of a disaster medical assistance team (DMAT) for a fire disaster at the hospital.
The data which was documented by a DMAT and emergent medical technicians of a fire department contained information about the patient’s characteristics, medical records, triage results, and the hospital which the patient was transferred from. Patients were categorized into four groups according to results of field triage using the simple triage and rapid treatment method.
DMAT arrived on the scene in 37 minutes. One hundred and thirty eight (138) patients were evacuated from the disaster scene. There were 25 patients (18.1%) in the Red group, 96 patients (69.6%) in the Yellow group, and 1 patient (0.7%) in the Green group. One patient died. There were 16 (11.6%) medical staff and hospital employees. The injury of the caregiver or the medical staff was more severe compared to the family protector.
For an effective disaster-response system in hospital disasters, it is important to secure the safety of medical staff, to utilize available medical resources, to secure patients’ medical records, and to reorganize the DMAT dispatch system.
The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) 5-minute neuropsychology protocol consists of only verbal tasks, and is proposed as a brief screening method for vascular cognitive impairment. We evaluated its feasibility within two weeks after stroke and ability to predict the development of post-stroke dementia (PSD) at 3 months after stroke.
We prospectively enrolled subjects with ischemic stroke within seven days of symptom onset who were consecutively admitted to 12 university hospitals. Neuropsychological assessments using the NINDS-CSN 5-minute and 60-minute neuropsychology protocols were administered within two weeks and at 3 months after stroke onset, respectively. PSD was diagnosed with reference to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement, requiring deficits in at least two cognitive domains.
Of 620 patients, 512 (82.6%) were feasible for the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol within two weeks after stroke. The incidence of PSD was 16.2% in 308 subjects who had completed follow-up at 3 months after stroke onset. The total score of the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol differed significantly between those with and without PSD (4.0 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.7, respectively; p < 0.01). A cut-off value of 6/7 showed reasonable discriminative power (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.67, AUC 0.74). The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol score was a significant predictor for PSD (adjusted odds ratio 6.32, 95% CI 2.65–15.05).
The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol is feasible to evaluate cognitive functions in patients with acute ischemic stroke. It might be a useful screening method for early identification of high-risk groups for PSD.
Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) is a critical molecule for the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Recent reports have shown that Oct4 also controls cell-cycle progression and enhances the proliferation of various types of cells. As the high proliferation of donor fibroblasts is critical to the production of transgenic pigs, using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique, we analysed the effect of Oct4 overexpression on the proliferation of porcine fibroblasts and embryos. Porcine endogenous Oct4 cDNA was cloned, sequenced and inserted into an expression vector. The vector was transfected into porcine fibroblasts, and a stable Oct4-overexpressed cell line was established by antibiotic selection. Oct4 expression was validated by the immunostaining of Oct4. Cell morphology was changed to sharp, and both proliferation and migration abilities were enhanced in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Real-time RT-PCR results showed that p16, Bcl2 and Myc were upregulated in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Somatic cell nuclear transfer was performed using Oct4-overexpressed cells, and the development of Oct4 embryos was compared with that of wild-type cloned embryos. The cleavage and blastocyst formation rates were improved in the Oct4 embryos. Interestingly, blastocyst formation of the Oct4 embryos was observed as early as day 5 in culture, while blastocysts were observed from day 6 in wild-type cloned embryos. In conclusion, the overexpression of Oct4 enhanced the proliferation of both porcine fibroblasts and embryos.
The lower dielectric constant (k) insulator is required for faster, smaller, and higher performance integrated circuit of the microprocessor and other advanced semiconductor devices that are so important to modern electronics and information technologies. Aromatic polyimides are among the candidate materials of low k due to their high thermal stability, mechanical strength and chemical resistance.
In this work, we show an 2,6-di-tert-butyl-9,10-diphenylanthracene core based novel polyimide which has been designed to have the lower polar imide concentration compared to that of conventional polyimides as well as the synthesis and characterization of its constitutional units, diamine and dianhydride.
In this study, we investigated the effect of two oxygen concentrations (5 and 20%) during in vitro maturation (IVM) and during in vitro culture (IVC) on porcine embryo development and analysed differences in gene expression between cumulus–oocyte complexes matured under 5 or 20% oxygen and the resulting blastocysts cultured under 5% or 20% oxygen following parthenogenetic activation. There was no significant difference in oocyte maturation rate. However, the numbers of resulting blastocysts were significantly increased in the 5% IVC group compared with the 20% IVC group. Moreover, the M20C5 treatment group (23.01%) supported greater blastocyst development compared with the M5C5 (14.32%), M5C20 (10.30%), and M20C20 (17.88%) groups. However, total cell numbers were not significantly different among groups. According to mRNA abundance data of multiple genes, each treatment altered the expression of genes in different patterns. GLUT1, G6PD and LDHA were up-regulated in cumulus cells that had been matured in low oxygen, suggesting a higher glucose uptake and an increase in anaerobic glycolysis, whereas cyclin B1 (CCNB) and MnSOD (Mn-superoxide dismutase) were upregulated in cumulus cells that had been matured in high oxygen, which suggests a higher activity of mitosis-promoting factor and antioxidant response. In spite of these differential effects on cumulus cells, oocytes could mature normally regardless of different oxygen concentrations. Therefore, it can be concluded that high oxygen concentration during in vitro maturation and low oxygen during in vitro culture may alter the expression of multiple genes related to oocyte competence and significantly improves embryo development (p < 0.05) but not blastocyst quality.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate fish guild compositions and national river health using a multi-metric model of the Korean index of biological integrity using fishes (K-IBIF) in four major Korean watersheds along with water chemistry and habitat quality. Tolerant and omnivore fish species dominated all the watersheds, and the proportions of tolerance guilds and trophic guilds reflected water chemistry and habitat quality. The number of sensitive species and insectivore species had negative correlations (r < −0.42, P < 0.01) with chemical water quality (biological oxygen demand (BOD)), while tolerant species and omnivore species had positive correlation (r > 0.27, P < 0.05) with BOD values. Physical habit conditions, based on qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI) model, indicated a “good” condition (mean = 68.9; range = 45–105) in three watersheds, except for the Yeongsan River watershed. Values of QHEI were significantly correlated (R2 > 0.4, P < 0.01) with nitrogen and phosphorus levels in all watersheds, suggesting that habitat degradation is associated with eutrophication. Model values of K-IBIF in the watersheds averaged 18.2, indicating a “fair” condition, and about 37% of all observations in K-IBIF model values were judged as a “poor” health condition, indicating severe health impairment. Overall, our data suggest that degradation of the river health was due to a combined effect of chemical pollution and physical habitat modifications. This research provides valuable information on Korean river conservation and restoration in the future.
Stream development can generate environmental changes that impact fish communities. In temperate streams, the distribution of fish species is associated with environmental gradients. To analyze the relevant factors, large-scale exploration is required. Thus, to evaluate the distribution patterns of fish in Korea, sampling was conducted on a national scale at 720 sites over a 6-week period in 2009. A total of 124 fish species in 27 families were identified; Zacco platypus and Zacco koreanus of the Cyprinidae were the dominant and subdominant species, respectively. Of the species found, 46 (37.1%) were endemic and 4 (3.2%) exotic; of the latter, Micropterus salmoides and Lepomis macrochirus were widely distributed. Upon canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), both altitude and biological oxygen demand (BOD) were highly correlated with CCA axes 1 and 2, respectively. This explained 62.5% of the species–environment relationship. Altitude and stream order were longitudinally related to species distribution. The numbers of both total and endemic species gradually increased as streams grew in size to the fourth–fifth-order, and decreased in sixth-order, streams. Overall, fish communities were stable throughout the entire watershed, whereas some species showed site-specific occurrence patterns due to the paleogeomorphological characteristics of Korean peninsula. However, various anthropogenic activities may negatively affect fish communities. Therefore, both short- and long-term sustainable management strategies are required to conserve native fish fauna.
This article, focusing on the “revive the northeast” programme, examines four questions: why was the northeast region selected as yet another macro-site for Beijing-endorsed scheme of regional development; how does it differ from the “develop the west” scheme; what does the “revive the northeast” scheme entail in concrete policy terms; and how can we assess the impact of this scheme on the region's economic development? While it offers a relatively positive assessment of the programme's impact in facilitating a faster growth during 2004–06, future challenges are also noted for a sustainable development of the northeast region as a whole.
To determine the effectiveness of infection control strategies to reduce transmission of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), a cohort study was performed in a university hospital. Contact precautions alone were not effective in reducing transmission of VRE. Strict isolation of affected patients in private rooms, in addition to use of contact precautions, showed a significantly improved reduction in the transmission of VRE.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how constituents of the diet interact with genes, and their products, to alter phenotype and, conversely, how genes and their products metabolise these constituents into nutrients, antinutrients, and bioactive compounds. Results from molecular and genetic epidemiological studies indicate that dietary unbalance can alter gene–nutrient interactions in ways that increase the risk of developing chronic disease. The interplay of human genetic variation and environmental factors will make identifying causative genes and nutrients a formidable, but not intractable, challenge. We provide specific recommendations for how to best meet this challenge and discuss the need for new methodologies and the use of comprehensive analyses of nutrient–genotype interactions involving large and diverse populations. The objective of the present paper is to stimulate discourse and collaboration among nutrigenomic researchers and stakeholders, a process that will lead to an increase in global health and wellness by reducing health disparities in developed and developing countries.
Recently, inorganic/inorganic and organic/inorganic heterostructured materials have attracted considerable research interest, due to their unusual physicochemical properties, which cannot be achieved by conventional solid-state reactions. In order to develop new hybrid materials, various synthetic approaches, such as vacuum deposition, Langmuir–Blodgett films, selfassembly, and intercalation techniques, have been explored. Among them, the intercalation reaction technique—that is, the reversible insertion of guest species into the two-dimensional host lattice—is expected to be one of the most effective tools for preparing new layered heterostructures because this process can provide a soft chemical way of hybridizing inorganic/inorganic, organic/inorganic, or biological/inorganic compounds. In fact, the intercalation/deintercalation process allows us to design high-performance materials in a solution at ambient temperature and pressure, just as “soft solution processing” provides a simple and economical route for advanced inorganic materials by means of an environmentally benign, lowenergy method. These unique advantages of the intercalation technique have led to its wide application to diverse fields of the solid-state sciences, namely, secondary (rechargeable) batteries, electrochromic systems, oxidation–reduction catalysts, separating agents, sorbents, and so on. Through these extensive studies, many kinds of low-dimensional compounds have been developed as host materials for the intercalation reaction, including graphite, transition-metal chalcogenides, transitionmetal oxides, aluminosilicates, metal phosphates, metal chalcogenohalides, and so on. Recently, the area of intercalation chemistry has been extended to high-Tc superconducting copper oxides, resulting in remarkable structural anisotropy.
The laser annealing effects on the TEOS (Tetra-Ethyl-Ortho-Silicate) oxide of MOS (Al/TEOS/n+ Silicon ) structures was investigated with different initial oxide conditions, such as breakdown field. The breakdown field increased upto the 170 mJ/cm2 with increasing laser energy density and decreased at 220 mJ/cm2. It is considered that the increase of breakdown field is originated from the restore of strains which exist mainly at the metal/oxide interface.
The material properties of laser-annealed a-Si:Nx films were investigated. The a-Si:Nx films for laser-annealing were deposited by rf plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) with NH3 and SiH4 gas mixtures. At the 0.35 of NH3/SiH4 ratio, the optical band-gap was abruptly increased to 2.82 eV from 2.05 eV by laser-annealing which indicates that Si-N bonding comes to be notable at that ratio. The electrical conductivity showed the maximum value of 4× 10-6 S/cm at the 0.11 of NH3/SiH4 ratio where the grain growth and the increase of Si-N bonding are optimized for the enhancement of electrical conductivity. The σP/σD ratio which is related to the defects states for photo generation centers was decreased with increasing NH 3/SiH 4 ratio. Our experimental data showed that the optical band gap and electrical conductivity of laserannealed a-Si:Nx films were dominantly affected by the NH3/SiH4 ratio at the 250 mJ/cm2 of laser-annealing energy density.
The laser annealing effects on the TEOS (Tetra-Ethyl-Ortho-Silicate) oxide of MOS (AI/TEOS/n+ Silicon ) structures was investigated with different initial oxide conditions, such as breakdown field. The breakdown field increased upto the 170 mJ/cm2 with increasing laser energy density and decreased at 220 mJ/cm2. It is considered that the increase of breakdown field is originated from the restore of strains which exist mainly at the metal/oxide interface.
We have studied the growth of undoped and n+ μc-Si:H (:CI) films by Remote Plasma CVD using SiH4/SiH2Cl2/H2/He mixtures. It was found that the μc-Si film can be fabricated by increasing flow rate of SiH2Cl2 and/or H2. The deposited undoped μc-Si film exhibited a maximum crystalline volume fraction of 85 %, obtained from Raman spectroscopy. The n-type μc-Si film, deposited with SiH4/SiH2Cl2/H2/PH3/He mixtures, shows a room temperature conductivity of 2 S/cm, conductivity activation energy of 29.8 meV and optical band gap of-2.0 eV. The optical band gap of n-type μc-S1 deposited using SiH2Cl2 is much higher compared to conventional μc-Si film.
We investigated the temperature dependent characteristics of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin film transistors (TFT's) at temperatures down to 20 K. With decreasing temperature, the threshold voltage increased, the field effect mobility and the on-current decreased. The measured on-currents versus inverse temperature above 80 K are represented as the sum of two exponentially varied currents. It is concluded that on-current is nearest-neighbour hopping between 120 K and 80 K. Below this temperature, the temperature dependence of on-current is explained by variable range hopping and below about 30 K on-current becomes nearly independent of temperature. At very low temperature hopping probability may be governed not by temperature but by temperature independent tunneling, depending on the overlap of the wave function. The explanation of threshold voltage increase at low temperature is given.
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