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Gosan-ri-type pottery (GTP) is a unique plant-fiber-tempered pottery from Korea and has only been found in Early Neolithic sites on Jeju Island. In this study, we conducted radiocarbon (14C) dating for one GTP sample and 10 charcoal samples collected from archaeological structures in which GTP was found in 2012. The measurement conditions, the internal quality assurance test, and the reliability test indicate that each 14C date is very reliable. However, the 14C dates of the charcoal samples were more accurate than that of the GTP sample due to contamination from younger humic acids. From the summary of all 14C dates of charcoal samples using the KDE model, we finally conclude that GTP was manufactured and utilized throughout the period 9610–9490 cal BP (7670–7550 BC) with 95.4% confidence level. This age corroborates the inference that GTP is the oldest known Korean Neolithic pottery.
The experiments reported in this research paper aimed to determine the effect of supplementing different forms of L-methionine (L-Met) and acetate on protein synthesis in immortalized bovine mammary epithelial cell line (MAC-T cells). Treatments were Control, L-Met, conjugated L-Met and acetate (CMA), and non-conjugated L-Met and Acetate (NMA). Protein synthesis mechanism was determined by omics method. NMA group had the highest protein content in the media and CSN2 mRNA expression levels (P < 0.05). The number of upregulated and downregulated proteins observed were 39 and 77 in L-Met group, 62 and 80 in CMA group and 50 and 81 in NMA group from 448 proteins, respectively (P < 0.05). L-Met, NMA and CMA treatments stimulated pathways related to protein and energy metabolism (P < 0.05). Metabolomic analysis also revealed that L-Met, CMA and NMA treatments resulted in increases of several metabolites (P < 0.05). In conclusion, NMA treatment increased protein concentration and expression level of CSN2 mRNA in MAC-T cells compared to control as well as L-Met and CMA treatments through increased expression of milk protein synthesis-related genes and production of the proteins and metabolites involved in energy and protein synthesis pathways.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
This research investigated patients who underwent surgery for a dilated aorta associated with a connective tissue disease or inflammatory vasculitis in children and adolescents.
Materials and Methods:
The medical records of 11 patients who underwent aortic surgery for dilatation resulting from a connective tissue disease or inflammatory vasculitis between 2000 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed.
The median age and body weight of the patients were 9.6 years (range 5.4 months–15.5 years) and 25.8 kg (range 6.8–81.5), respectively. The associated diseases were Marfan syndrome (n = 3), Loeys-Dietz syndrome (n = 3), Kawasaki disease (n = 1), Takayasu arteritis (n = 1), PHACE syndrome (n = 1), tuberous sclerosis (n = 1), and unknown (n = 1). The most common initially affected area was the ascending aorta. During the 66.4 ± 35.9 months of follow-up, two Marfan syndrome patients died, and four patients (one Marfan syndrome and three Loeys-Dietz syndrome) had repeated aortic operation. Except for one patient, the functional class was well maintained in all patients who were followed up.
Cases of surgical treatment for a dilated aorta associated with a connective tissue disease and inflammatory vasculitis are rare in children and adolescents at our institution. Most of the patients in this study showed a tolerable postoperative course. However, the aorta showed progressive dilation over time even after surgical treatment, especially in patients with Loeys-Dietz syndrome. In these patients, close and more frequent regular follow-up is required.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
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
Visual hallucination (VH) is a common psychotic symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and may be a significant predictor of cognitive impairment (CI) in such patients.
This study aimed to investigate the pattern of glucose metabolism of VH and the relationship between VH and CI in PD.
We studied 28 PD patients, including 15 with VH (PD-VH) and 13 without VH (PD-NVH). Of the 15 PD-VH patients, 8 patients had cognitive impairment (PD-VHCI) whereas 7 did not (PD-VHNCI). All patients underwent [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F] FDG PET) followed by statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analyses.
Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHNCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the inferior and middle temporal cortices, fusiform gyri, and frontal areas, suggesting the involvement of the ventral visual pathway. Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the temporoparietal association cortices with scattered frontal areas.
Dysfunction of ventral visual pathway involving the temporal lobe may play a key role in VH development in PD patients. The evolving distribution from the ventral visual pathway to more extensive posterior cortices in PD-VHCI patients suggests that VH may be a prodromal symptom occurring prior to CI in PD patients.
We previously demonstrated that the chronic consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) promotes lung and liver metastases of 4T1 mammary carcinoma cells in obesity-resistant BALB/c mice. To examine early transcriptional responses to tumour progression in the liver and lungs of HFD-fed mice, 4-week-old female BALB/c mice were divided into four groups: sham-injected, control diet (CD)-fed; sham-injected, HFD-fed (SH); 4T1 cell-injected, CD-fed (TC); 4T1 cell-injected, HFD-fed (TH). Following 16 weeks of either a CD or HFD, 4T1 cells were injected into the mammary fat pads of mice in the TC and TH groups and all mice were continuously fed identical diets. At 14 d post-injection, RNA was isolated from hepatic and pulmonary tissues for microarray analysis of mRNA expression. Functional annotation and core network analyses were conducted for the TH/SH Unique gene set. Inflammation in hepatic tissues and cell mitosis in pulmonary tissues were the most significant biological functions in the TH/SH Unique gene set. The biological core networks of the hepatic TH/SH Unique gene set were characterised as those genes involved in the activation of acute inflammatory responses (Orm1, Lbp, Hp and Cfb), disordered lipid metabolism and deregulated cell cycle progression. Networks of the pulmonary Unique gene set displayed the deregulation of cell cycle progression (Cdc20, Cdk1 and Bub1b). These HFD-influenced alterations may have led to favourable conditions for the formation of both pro-inflammatory and pro-mitotic microenvironments in the target organs that promote immune cell infiltration and differentiation, as well as the infiltration and proliferation of metastatic tumour cells.
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronically relapsing inflammatory disorders of the intestine. Although some therapeutic agents, including steroids, are available for the treatment of IBD, these agents have limited use. Therefore, dietary supplements have emerged as possible interventions for IBD. Japanese honeysuckle flower, the flower of Lonicera japonica, is a well-known dietary supplement and has been used to prevent or treat various inflammatory diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effects of L. japonica on experimental murine colitis. Colitis was induced by 5 % dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) in Balb/c mice. The water extract of L. japonica (LJE) at doses of 20, 100 or 500 mg/kg was orally administered to mice twice per day for 7 d. Body weight, colon length and a histological damage score were assessed to determine the effects on colitis. Cytokine profiles were assessed to examine the effects on helper T (Th) cell-related immunological responses. In addition, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+T cells were analysed in vivo and in vitro for investigating the effects on regulatory T (Treg) cells. LJE showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects against colon shortening, weight loss and histological damage. LJE down-regulated IL-1β, TNF-α, interferon-γ, IL-6, IL-12 and IL-17. However, LJE did not show any significant effects on IL-10, IL-23, transforming growth factor-β1 and Treg cell populations. In conclusion, LJE showed protective effects against DSS-induced colitis via the Th1/Th17 pathway and not via Treg cell-related mechanisms.
The effect of wet chemical treatment on the magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) was examined. The tunneling magneto-resistance (TMR) increased and the resistance of anti-parallel state and parallel state decreased when a wet cleaning treatment was carried out after a reactive ion etching process. Furthermore, the exfoliation between the capping layer and Inter layer Dielectric (ILD) was prevented. Presumably, these were due to the elimination of the damaged layer and the residues. This investigation showed that the wet treatment after the MTJ patterning using RIE process could improve the MTJ properties without degradation of Hc, such as TMR and Rlow.
In order to decarbonize the energy-supply system, policies have been introduced to stimulate an increase in the amount of energy we use from clean and renewable energy systems. With the progressive increase in the quantities of clean and renewable energy-supply systems being commissioned, there comes a point where due to the intermittency and unpredictability of renewables it is difficult to maintain a demand–supply balance. In such circumstances, the traditional control theories of energy supply being demand following cannot be enacted. In order to maintain the integrity of the demand–supply match, the onus of control needs to shift from the supply side to the demand side. Ideally, we would like to have flexibility and infinite control over each load so that control can be enacted which enables the energy demand to become supply following. The control being enacted on each load type would be such that the functionality or comfort levels each individual load is satisfying would not be compromised. Thus, this level of discrete control would result in the building occupant/user being unaware of control measures being enacted. In practice, however, this may not be feasible. Therefore the purpose of this chapter is to explore how we may achieve increased levels of control over individual loads, the impact this will have on introducing flexibility into the demand side, and how this could be implemented at a practical level.
Drivers for DSM and control within buildings
A number of drivers exist to influence and accelerate the penetration of demand-side management (DSM) within the built environment, specifically within the domestic sector. These drivers include evolving energy policy, improved energy efficiency through the use of more efficient appliances, the increased uptake and technological advancements in the microgeneration system, and the development and application of information and communication technologies to control and optimize the energy supply–demand match, while being sympathetic to the building environmental conditions being attained.
The EU has promoted energy efficiency in the built environment through policy and legislation such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) (EU, 2002) and also through funded research projects including several focused on the definition, validation and dissemination of the EU Passive House standard for new and renovated buildings. The UK and its devolved parliaments have developed their own policy and legislation aimed at reducing energy use and carbon emissions associated with the built environment largely in synergy with the EU. In this chapter we review a selection of the EU and UK legislative approaches.
Building on this review, the types of new and renovated buildings that these policy initiatives will tend to promote are illustrated; and an analysis of some of these probable future buildings is undertaken to illustrate the likely changes in energy demands that will result. Some key factors which have large future uncertainties are identified and potential consequences of these uncertainties projected. Finally we discuss the potential increased use of heat pumps for heating and cooling and the increased deployment of photovoltaic and CHP (combined heat and power) generation systems and discuss some of the potential challenges for the generation, grid and distribution network.
The oocyte is known from recent studies in the mouse, cow, sheep and human to be a central regulator of follicular cell function. However, in the pig, little information is known about the regulation of cumulus expansion by oocyte-secreted factors and oocyte quality. We investigated the possible effects of oocyte-secreted factors during in vitro maturation on cumulus expansion and on porcine oocytes as judged by subsequent embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) from antral follicles of pig ovaries collected from a local abattoir were divided into control and treatment groups and were cultured in tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with follicle-stimulating hormone. Treatment groups consisted of increasing numbers of denuded oocytes (DO) co-cultured with COC (at ratios of COC to DO of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5). After incubation for 44 h, cumulus expansion and maturation rates were assessed and oocytes were activated parthenogenetically. Cumulus expansion in the 1 COC:4 DO and 1 COC:5 DO groups was low and altered because full dispersion of the outer layer did not occur. Cell viability was not affected, as measured by the automated cell counter, but scanning electron microscopy revealed only a scanty extracellular matrix. Blastocyst rate was significantly higher in the 1 COC:4 DO (34.4%) and in the 1 COC:5 DO (34.9%) groups (p < 0.05) when compared with other groups. Maturation rate, cleavage rate and total cell number showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. Amplification by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed up-regulation of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in the cumulus cells in the 1 COC:4 DO group at 44 h. We conclude that denuded porcine oocytes could improve the maturation of COC as evidenced by increased blastocyst development in the 1 COC:4 DO, even though cumulus expansion was poor. This improvement could be a result of the GDF9 up-regulation.
Research on psychostimulants, analysis of animal models and genetic association studies all suggest that the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF) may be a good candidate for pharmacogenetic studies of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Yet to date there have been no pharmacogenetic studies of BDNF in ADHD. A total of 102 drug-naive ADHD children (8.7±2.1 yr) were treated with osmotic release oral system-methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) for 12 wk, and four kinds of response criteria were applied, based first, on a combined threshold of the ADHD Rating Scale – IV (ARS) and the Clinical Global Impression – Improvement scale (CGI-I); second, on scores of 1 or 2 vs. 3–7 on the CGI – Severity scale; third, on a >50% reduction in ARS scores; and fourth, on satisfaction of all of the aforementioned criteria. The Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF and six single nucleotide polymorphisms from the SLC6A2, ADRA2A and NTF-3 genes were tested for association with each criterion. Relative to other genotypes, homozygosity for the Val allele of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was associated with a greater relative frequency of good response under all four response criteria (after controlling for baseline ARS score, age, gender, final dose (mg/kg) of OROS-MPH at 12 wk, and level of academic functioning). This association was significant at the uncorrected level for the first and third response criteria (p=0.013 and p=0.018, respectively) and significant at a Bonferroni-corrected level for the second and fourth response criteria (p=0.0002, p=0.0003, respectively). Our findings support an association between homozygosity for the Val allele of BDNF and better response to OROS-MPH in Korean ADHD children as assessed by four different response criteria.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has emerged as an important tool for producing transgenic animals and deriving transgenic embryonic stem cells. The process of SCNT involves fusion of in vitro matured oocytes with somatic cells to make embryos that are transgenic when the nuclear donor somatic cells carry ‘foreign’ DNA and are clones when all the donor cells are genetically identical. However, in canines, it is difficult to obtain enough mature oocytes for successful SCNT due to the very low efficiency of in vitro oocyte maturation in this species that hinders canine transgenic cloning. One solution is to use oocytes from a different species or even a different genus, such as bovine oocytes, that can be matured easily in vitro. Accordingly, the aim of this study was: (1) to establish a canine fetal fibroblast line transfected with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene; and (2) to investigate in vitro embryonic development of canine cloned embryos derived from transgenic and non-transgenic cell lines using bovine in vitro matured oocytes. Canine fetal fibroblasts were transfected with constructs containing the GFP and puromycin resistance genes using FuGENE 6®. Viability levels of these cells were determined by the MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide] assay. Interspecies SCNT (iSCNT) embryos from normal or transfected cells were produced and cultured in vitro. The MTT measurement of GFP-transfected fetal fibroblasts (mean OD = 0.25) was not significantly different from non-transfected fetal fibroblasts (mean OD = 0.35). There was no difference between transgenic iSCNT versus non-transgenic iSCNT embryos in terms of fusion rates (73.1% and 75.7%, respectively), cleavage rates (69.7% vs. 73.8%) and development to the 8–16-cell stage (40.1% vs. 42.7%). Embryos derived from the transfected cells completely expressed GFP at the 2-cell, 4-cell, and 8–16-cell stages without mosaicism. In summary, our results demonstrated that, following successful isolation of canine transgenic cells, iSCNT embryos developed to early pre-implantation stages in vitro, showing stable GFP expression. These canine–bovine iSCNT embryos can be used for further in vitro analysis of canine transgenic cells and will contribute to the production of various transgenic dogs for use as specific human disease models.
We present a versatile and facile route for highly sensitive detection of
analytes through coupling the enlargement of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs)
with fluorescence decrease. The fluorescence intensity of dye molecules
(e.g., fluorescein or rhodamine B) significantly decreased with the
increasing concentration of reducing agents, such as hydrogen peroxide and
hydroquinone. The sensitivity for the detection of reducing agents was much
higher than other detection methods based on the absorbance measurement of
enlarged gold nanoparticles or quantum dot-enzyme hybridization. We could
successfully detect acetylthiocholine with the detection limit of several nM
orders, using an enzymatic reaction by acetylcholinesterase, a key route for
the detection of toxic organophosphate compounds. The fluorescence
decreasing approach described in this work requires only a simple addition
of fluorescence dye to the reaction solution without any chemical
modification. The strategy of fluorescence decrease coupled with
nanoparticle growth will be applied on the fluorescent substrate to develop
detection templates for highly sensitive optical biosensor.