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Psychological health is an important issue after disasters. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of psychological symptoms among 993 residents of Taean District in South Korea after the Hebei Spirit oil spill and to examine determinants of vulnerability in residents’ psychological symptoms.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS), depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety were assessed by questionnaires, and the responses were analyzed by using the survey analysis considering the sampling frame.
Among the study subjects, the symptom prevalences of PTS, depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety were 19.5%, 22.0%, 2.3%, and 4.2%, respectively, and symptoms were higher in people who were female, were older, were less educated, and had lower family income. People with fishery or related occupations compared to those with unrelated livelihoods and people residing in the vicinity of the oil band in the contaminated coastline showed additively increased symptom risks of PTS. Risk of suicidal ideation was predominantly increased in people with fishery or related occupations compared with those with unrelated livelihoods.
Social supports, including compensation for income loss and community mental health programs, and longer follow-up studies are needed for residents in the communities affected by the Hebei Spirit oil spill. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:51-58)
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
There is increasing evidence of a relationship between underweight or obesity and dementia risk. Several studies have investigated the relationship between body weight and brain atrophy, a pathological change preceding dementia, but their results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cortical atrophy among cognitively normal participants.
We recruited cognitively normal participants (n = 1,111) who underwent medical checkups and detailed neurologic screening, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the health screening visits between September 2008 and December 2011. The main outcome was cortical thickness measured using MRI. The number of subjects with five BMI groups in men/women was 9/9, 148/258, 185/128, 149/111, and 64/50 in underweight, normal, overweight, mild obesity, and moderate to severe obesity, respectively. Linear and non-linear relationships between BMI and cortical thickness were examined using multiple linear regression analysis and generalized additive models after adjustment for potential confounders.
Among men, underweight participants showed significant cortical thinning in the frontal and temporal regions compared to normal weight participants, while overweight and mildly obese participants had greater cortical thicknesses in the frontal region and the frontal, temporal, and occipital regions, respectively. However, cortical thickness in each brain region was not significantly different in normal weight and moderate to severe obesity groups. Among women, the association between BMI and cortical thickness was not statistically significant.
Our findings suggested that underweight might be an important risk factor for pathological changes in the brain, while overweight or mild obesity may be inversely associated with cortical atrophy in cognitively normal elderly males.
Epidemiological studies have reported that higher education (HE) is associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, after the clinical onset of AD, patients with HE levels show more rapid cognitive decline than patients with lower education (LE) levels. Although education level and cognition have been linked, there have been few longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between education level and cortical decline in patients with AD. The aim of this study was to compare the topography of cortical atrophy longitudinally between AD patients with HE (HE-AD) and AD patients with LE (LE-AD).
We prospectively recruited 36 patients with early-stage AD and 14 normal controls. The patients were classified into two groups according to educational level, 23 HE-AD (>9 years) and 13 LE-AD (≤9 years).
As AD progressed over the 5-year longitudinal follow-ups, the HE-AD showed a significant group-by-time interaction in the right dorsolateral frontal and precuneus, and the left parahippocampal regions compared to the LE-AD.
Our study reveals that the preliminary longitudinal effect of HE accelerates cortical atrophy in AD patients over time, which underlines the importance of education level for predicting prognosis.
The effects of polymer substrates on the interfacial structure and the thermal stability of Ga-doped ZnO (GZO) thin films were investigated. The GZO thin films were deposited on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrates by rf-magnetron sputtering at room temperature, and thermal stability tests of the GZO thin films on the polymer substrates were performed at 150°C up to 8 h in air. Electrical and structural characterizations of the GZO thin films on the PET and the PEN substrates were carried out, and the origins of the stable interfacial structure and the improved thermal stability of the GZO thin film on the PEN substrate were discussed.
We have propsed MgO/AZO bi-layer transparent conducting oxide (TCO) for thin film solar cells. From XRD analysis, it was observed that the full width at half maximum of AZO decreased when it was grown on MgO precursor. The Hall mobility of MgO/AZO bi-layer was 17.5cm2/Vs, whereas that of AZO was 20.8cm2/Vs. These indicated that the crystallinity of AZO decreased by employing MgO precursor. However, the haze (=total diffusive transmittance/total transmittance) characteristics of highly crystalline AZO was significantly improved by MgO precursor. The average haze in the visible region increased from 14.3 to 48.2%, and that in the NIR region increased from 6.3 to 18.9%. The reflectance of microcrystalline silicon solar cell was decreased and external quantum efficiency was significantly improved by applying MgO/AZO bi-layer TCO. The efficiency of microcrystalline silicon solar cell with MgO/AZO bi-layer front TCO was 6.66%, whereas the efficiency of one with AZO single TCO was 5.19%.
Cocoa polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that has a vital role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases such as cancer and psoriasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression is associated with tumorigenesis, CVD, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. We tested whether cocoa polyphenol extract (CPE) inhibited TNF-α-induced VEGF expression in promotion-sensitive JB6 mouse epidermal cells. CPE significantly inhibited TNF-α-induced up-regulation of VEGF via reducing TNF-α-induced activation of the nuclear transcription factors activator protein-1 (AP-1) and NF-κB, which are key regulators of VEGF expression. CPE also inhibited TNF-α-induced phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. CPE blocked activation of their downstream kinases, p70 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase and p90 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase. CPE suppressed phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity via binding PI3K directly. CPE did not affect TNF-α-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1 (MEK1) but suppressed TNF-α-induced MEK1 activity. Collectively, these results indicate that CPE reduced TNF-α-induced up-regulation of VEGF by directly inhibiting PI3K and MEK1 activities, which may contribute to its chemopreventive potential.
We evaluated the effects of the two main kiwifruit cultivars (gold kiwifruit (GOK) and green kiwifruit (GRK)) and their active phenolic compound, quercetin, on H2O2-induced inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells. We found that both GOK and GRK protect WB-F344 cells from H2O2-induced inhibition of GJIC. The extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)–connexin 43 (Cx43) signalling pathway is crucial for the regulation of GJIC, and both GOK and GRK blocked the H2O2-induced phosphorylation of Cx43 and ERK1/2 in WB-F344 cells. Quercetin alone attenuated the H2O2-mediated ERK1/2–Cx43 signalling pathway and consequently reversed H2O2-mediated inhibition of GJIC in WB-F344 cells. A free radical-scavenging assay using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl showed that the scavenging activity of quercetin was higher than that of a synthetic antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene, per mol, suggesting that the chemopreventive effect of quercetin on H2O2-mediated inhibition of ERK1/2–Cx43 signalling and GJIC may be mediated through its free radical-scavenging activity. Since the carcinogenicity of reactive oxygen species such as H2O2 is attributable to the inhibition of GJIC, GOK, GRK and quercetin may have chemopreventive potential by preventing the inhibition of GJIC.
To control an outbreak of Shewanella algae and S. putrefaciens infections by identifying the risk factors for infection and transmission.
Matched case-control study.
A university-affiliated tertiary acute care hospital in Seoul, Republic of Korea, with approximately 1,600 beds.
From June 20, 2003, to January 16, 2004, a total of 31 case patients with Shewanella colonization or infection and 62 control patients were enrolled in the study.
Requirement to use single-use measuring cups and standard precautions (including hand washing before and after patient care and use of gloves).
S. algae or S. putrefaciens was isolated from blood, for 9 (29.0%) of 31 patients who acquired one of the organisms; from bile, for 8 (25.8%), and from ascitic fluid, for 8 (25.8%). The attack rate of this outbreak was 5.8% (31 patients infected or colonized, of 534 potentially exposed on ward A) and the pathogenicity of the two species together was 77.4% (24 patients infected, of 31 who acquired the pathogens). The estimated incubation period for Shewanella acquisition was 3–49 days. Using logistic analysis, we identified the following risk factors: presence of external drainage catheters in the hepatobiliary system (odds ratio [OR], 20; P < .001), presence of hepatobiliary disease (OR, 6.4; P < .001), admission to the emergency department of the hospital (OR, 2.9; P = .039), wound classification of “contaminated” or “dirty or infected” (OR, 16.5; P = .012), an American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 3 or higher (OR, 8.0; P = .006), duration of stay in ward A (OR, 1.1; P < .001), and, for women, an age of 60–69 years (OR, 13.3; P = .028). A Shewanella isolate was recovered from the surface of a shared measuring cup, and 12 isolates of S. algae showed the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis pattern.
This Shewanella outbreak had a single-source origin and spread by contact transmission via a contaminated measuring cup. Shewanella species are emerging as potentially serious human pathogens in hospitals and could be included in hospital infection surveillance systems.
A monodisperse spherical Y2O3:Eu3+ phosphor was prepared by a homogeneous precipitation method. The mean size of the phosphor particles (MSPP) was successfully controlled by changing the volume ratio of normal alcohol (RA) (propanol) in the solvents mixed between deionized water and normal propanol. When the RA was increased from 0 to 0.7, the MSPP decreased while maintaining a high yield of >95%. Although the prepared phosphor samples were fired at the same temperature, the thermal energy was delivered more efficiently into the inner side of the phosphor particles with the decrease of the MSPP. Therefore, the crystallinity and also the photoluminescence (PL) intensity of the phosphor increased with the decrease in the MSPP. In addition, because the numbers of Eu3+ ions located near the particle surfaces increased with the decrease of particle size, the ratio of PL intensity caused by the 5D0–7F2 transition to that caused by 5D0–7F1 transition increased from 10.8 to 12.7 with the decrease in MSPP.
We optimized synthesis conditions of blue-emitting CaMgSi2O6:Eu2+ (CMS:Eu2+) with conventional solid-state reaction and successfully determined structure parameters by Rietveld refinement method with neutron powder diffraction data. The final weighted R-factor Rwp was 6.42% and the goodness-of-fit indicator S (= Rwp/Re) was 1.34. The refined lattice parameters of CMS:Eu2+ were a = 9.7472(3) Å, b = 8.9394(2) Å, and c = 5.2484(1) Å. The β angle was 105.87(1)°. The concentration quenching process was observed, and the critical quenching concentration of Eu2+ in CMS:Eu2+ was about 0.01 mol and critical transfer distance was calculated as 12 Å. With the help of the Rietveld refinement and Dexter theory, the critical transfer distance was also calculated as 27 Å. In addition, the dominant multipolar interaction of CMS:Eu2+ was investigated from the relationship between the emission intensity per activator concentration and activator concentration. The dipole–dipole interaction was a dominant energy transfer mechanism of electric multipolar character of CMS:Eu2+.
Hydride-Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (H-MOVPE) was used to grow a series of films on c-Al2O3 substrates. Depending on the growth temperature and HCl/TMIn molar ratio, InN deposited as a continuous film or a collection of micro or nanorods, or no InN growth was observed. A chemical equilibrium analysis of the In-N-H-Cl system predicts both InN growth and etching regimes with the nanorod growth observed near the growth-etching transition. All InN rod structures demonstrated well faceted hexagonal structure with a near random orientation of the rods, while the films were polycrystalline.
The Far-ultraviolet IMaging Spectrograph (FIMS) is a small spectrograph optimized for the observations of diffuse hot interstellar medium in far-ultraviolet wavebands (900–1150Å and 1335–1750Å). The instrument is expected to be sensitive to emission line fluxes an order of magnitude fainter than any previous missions. FIMS is currently under development and is scheduled for launch in 2002.
The YSTAR program is a general sky survey looking for variability. The main equipments are three 0.5-m telescopes. These telescopes have fast F/2 optics covering nearly 3.5 square degree field onto a 2K CCD. They also have very fast slew capability, which exceeds 10 degrees per second. These two factors make them most suitable for rapid target acquisition and wide-field surveys of various kinds. Our primary objective is to identify and monitor variable stars down to 18th R-magnitude, and our observing mode allows the same data set to be also useful in identifying asteroids. Our first telescope has just begun regular automated operation, and the second telescope will be installed in South Africa within this year to provide coverage of the southern sky.
TiN films were deposited onto stellite 6B alloy (Co base) by the reactive magnetron sputter ion plating. As the substrate bias increases, TiN film changes from columnar structure to dense structure with great hardness and smooth surface due to densification and resputtering by ion bombardment. The content of oxygen and carbon impurities in the TiN film decreases greatly when the substrate bias is applied. The preferred orientation of the TiN films changes from (200) to (111) with decreasing N2/Ar ratio and from (200) to (111) and then (220) with increasing the substrate bias. The change of the preferred orientation is discussed in terms of surface energy and strain energy which are related to the impurity contents and the ion bombardment damage. The hardness of the TiN film increases with increasing compressive stress generated in the film by virtue of ion bombardment. It becomes as high as up to 3500 kgf/mm2 when an appropriate substrate bias is applied.
A new annealing method, a combination of rapid thermal annealing (RTA) and furnace annealing, has been developed to obtain a high quality poly-Si from a-Si deposited by LPCVD. This method produces a large grain poly-Si with good uniformity, which may result from the growth of relatively defect-free nucleus generated at a high temperature by RTA. Poly-Si thin film transistors fabricated by this new annealing method have higher field effect mobility and better uniformity compared with those by the conventional furnace annealing.
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