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Large herbivores can disperse seeds over long distances through endozoochory. The Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus), an internationally vulnerable species but locally considered a vermin, is a potential endozoochorous seed dispersal vector. In this study, feeding experiments were conducted to test the efficiency of seed dispersal through gut ingestion by the Korean water deer, its temporal pattern and the effect of gut passage on seed recovery and germination rate. Eight plant species, including species that formerly germinated from its faeces, were used to feed three Korean water deer. Once the deer had consumed all the provided seeds, their faeces were collected after 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. The collected faeces were air-dried, and the number of seeds retrieved from the faeces was counted every 24 h (0–24, 24–48, 48–72 and 72–96 h). Among the eight plant species, six species were retrieved with intact seeds. Panicum bisulcatum had the highest recovery rate of 33.7%, followed by Amaranthus mangostanus (24.5%) and Chenopodium album (14.4%). Most of the seeds were recovered within the 24–48 h time interval. Germination tests were conducted on the ingested and uningested seeds for the four species which had a sufficient recovery rate. The effects of gut passage on seed germination differed according to plant species. The germination rate substantially decreased after gut passage. The results suggest that the Korean water deer can disperse seeds, potentially over long distances albeit at a high cost of low seed recovery and germination rate.
There is limited evidence on the interaction by alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH1B) (rs1229984) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) (rs671) regarding the associations of alcohol and a methyl diet (low folate and high alcohol intake) with cancer risk, partly because of rare polymorphisms in Western populations.
In a case–control study, we estimated the ORs and 95 % CIs to evaluate the associations of ADH1B and ALDH2 genotypes with colorectal cancer (CRC) and the joint association between methyl diets and ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphisms with CRC risk using logistic regression models.
A hospital-based case–control study.
In total, 1001 CRC cases and 899 cancer-free controls admitted to two university hospitals.
We found that alcohol intake increased the risk of CRC; OR (95 % CI) was 2·02 (1·41, 2·87) for ≥60 g/d drinkers compared with non-drinkers (Ptrend < 0·001). The associations for two polymorphisms with CRC were not statistically significant. However, we found a potential interaction of ALDH2 with methyl diets and CRC. We observed a 9·08-fold (95 % CI 1·93, 42·60) higher risk of CRC for low-methyl diets compared with high-methyl diets among individuals with an A allele of ALDH2, but the association was not apparent among those with ALDH2 GG (Pinteraction = 0·02).
Our data support the evidence that gene–methyl diet interactions may be involved in CRC risk in East Asian populations, showing that a low-methyl diet increased the risk of CRC among individuals with an A allele of ALDH2.
To propose a new anthropometric index that can be employed to better predict percent body fat (PBF) among young adults and to compare with current anthropometric indices.
All measurements were taken in a controlled laboratory setting in Seoul (South Korea), between 1 December 2015 and 30 June 2016.
Eighty-seven young adults (18–35 years) who underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were used for analysis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to develop a body fat index (BFI) using simple demographic and anthropometric information. Correlations of DXA measured PBF (DXA_PBF) with previously developed anthropometric indices and the BFI were analysed. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were conducted to compare the ability of anthropometric indices to identify obese individuals.
BFI showed a strong correlation with DXA_PBF (r = 0·84), which was higher than the correlations of DXA_PBF with the traditional (waist circumference, r = 0·49; waist to height ratio, r = 0·68; BMI, r = 0·36) and alternate anthropometric indices (a body shape index, r = 0·47; body roundness index, r = 0·68; body adiposity index, r = 0·70). Moreover, the BFI showed higher accuracy at identifying obese individuals (area under the curve (AUC) = 0·91), compared with the other anthropometric indices (AUC = 0·71–0·86).
The BFI can accurately predict DXA_PBF in young adults, using simple demographic and anthropometric information that are commonly available in research and clinical settings. However, larger representative studies are required to build on our findings.
Due to the lack of an effective prophylactic intervention and diagnosis, human liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis continues to afflict a large human population, causing a chronic inflammatory bile duct disease. With an aim to identify target antigens for sensitive serodiagnosis, adenylate kinase 3 of C. sinensis (CsAK3) was successfully expressed in soluble form in Escherichia coli by fusion to an RNA-interacting domain derived from human Lys-tRNA synthetase and purified by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Anti-CsAK3 serum was raised by immunization of mice, and Western blotting confirmed that CsAK3 was expressed in adult-stage C. sinensis. Histochemical analysis showed that CsAK3 was localized to the subtegumental tissue of C. sinensis and was excreted into the bile duct of the host. When tested against sera from various parasite-infected patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the recombinant CsAK3 elicited a specific response to C. sinensis-infected sera. The results suggest that CsAK3, either alone or in combination with other antigens, could be used for improving the clinical diagnosis of clonorchiasis.
In South Korea, injury is a public health problem due to its high incidence and high mortality. To improve emergency medical systems, the government announced plans to increase the emergency medical resources for each region. This study investigated the association between regional emergency medical resources and mortality during hospitalization in severely injured inpatients.
To analyse mortality for severely injured inpatients, we used the Korean National Hospital Discharge In-depth Survey data, consisting of 18,621 hospitalizations from 2005-2012. Generalized estimating equations were analysed to examine the association between mortality during hospitalization and both individual and regional variables.
Mortality during hospitalization occurred in 913 (4.9%) cases. Patients in regions with a higher number of emergency departments (odds ratio [OR]=0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.91-0.98), a higher number of ambulances (OR=0.99, 95% CI: 0.98-0.99), and a higher number of registered nurses per emergency department (OR=0.88, 95% CI: 0.83-0.94) had a lower risk of mortality during hospitalization.
Our findings suggest that regional emergency medical resources are associated with a lower risk of mortality during hospitalization in severely injured patients. Thus, health care policymakers need to determine the proper distribution of emergency medical resources for each region and the function of emergency departments to provide a superior quality of emergency medical services to patients.
To examine the association of food insufficiency with dietary intake and eating and health behaviours.
A cross-sectional study.
Data were obtained from a secondary source, the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2010–2012).
The sample size consisted of 15 603 adults over 19 years of age (8898 households).
Significant differences in socio-economic factors were observed according to food insufficiency level (P<0·05), but BMI was similar among groups. Regarding macronutrients, lower protein intake and higher carbohydrate intake were found in the severely food-insufficient group, but we found no association with fat intake. Regarding micronutrients, Ca, Fe, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin niacin and vitamin C intakes were negatively associated with food insufficiency level (Ptrend<0·05). Consumption of different food groups, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans, vegetables and fruits, was significantly lower as food insufficiency level decreased after controlling for all possible variables; food group consumption also differed by sex. Overall eating and health behaviours were poorer in the mildly and severely food-insufficient groups, who received more food assistance but less nutritional education.
Our results showed that dietary intake as well as eating and health behaviours are adversely associated with food insufficiency. These findings suggest that specific strategies to help food-insufficient individuals should be developed in order to improve their dietary quality and health status.
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.
The present study was performed to investigate whether breast-feeding is associated with early pubertal development among children 7–9 years old in Korea.
Children were divided into those who did and did not receive breast-feeding for 6 months or longer in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO. Pubertal status was determined by clinical examination using Tanner staging.
Prospective observational study.
We conducted a follow-up study of children aged 7–9 years in 2011 who had taken part in the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort study.
Fifty (22·8 %) of the total of 219 children were in early puberty, with the proportion being slightly higher for girls (24·1 %) than boys (21·4 %). Children who had entered early puberty were taller, weighed more and had a higher concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Moreover, the change in weight Z-score from birth to follow-up was significantly lower in children who were breast-fed than in those who were not (weight Z-score change: 0·32 (sd 1·59) v. 0·77 (sd 1·61), respectively, P=0·04). Comparison of breast-feeding by puberty status indicated a preventive association with early puberty in children who were breast-fed for 6 months or longer (OR=0·37; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·74). This association remained significant after adjustment for relevant covariates.
These results demonstrate a beneficial association between breast-feeding and early pubertal development, especially in those breast-fed for 6 months or longer. The study suggests that interventions would need to start early in life to prevent early pubertal development.
The crystallization of amorphous silicon thin films by electron beam exposure was studied. Amorphous silicon and silicon dioxide layers were deposited on glass substrate by PECVD at 360 °C. The optimization to crystallize 300 nm thick amorphous silicon film was carried out at a RF power of 300 W, DC voltage of 1500 V, Argon gas flow rate of 3 sccm and a distance between electron beam mesh and sample of 40 mm. High quality nano-crystalline silicon films with an activation energy of 0.47 eV from conductivity, a grain size of 15–45 nm from SEM and Raman crystalline volume fraction of 93.1% were fabricated. We expect that e-beam exposure will be applied to crystallization of amorphous silicon films.
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 investigated the pressure dependence of the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) oxidation on the electrical characteristics of the thin oxide films. Activation energies and electron temperatures with different pressures were estimated. To demonstrate the pressure effect on the plasma oxide quality, simple N type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistors were fabricated and investigated in a few electrical properties. At higher pressure than 200mTorr, plasma oxide has a slightly higher on-current and a lower interfacial trap density. The on-current gain seems to be related to the field mobility increase and the lower defective interface to the electron temperature during oxidation.
Senescence-accelerated mouse prone/8 (SAMP8), a murine model of accelerated senescence, shows age-related deficits in learning and memory. We investigated the effect of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (oligomers) on memory impairment using the SAMP8 model involving the oral administration of oligomers for 5 weeks. To analyse memory improvement in SAMP8, we performed Morris water maze, object location and object recognition tests. The oral administration of oligomers improved spatial and object recognition impairment in SAMP8. Expressions of phosphorylated neurofilament-H (P-NF-H, axon marker), microtubule-associated proteins (MAP) 2a and 2b (MAP2; dendrite marker) and synaptophysin were increased in the brains of SAMP8-administered oligomers. In particular, the expression of P-NF-H was significantly elevated in the hippocampal CA1. This indicates that oligomers result in an increase in the densities of axons, dendrites and synapses. To investigate the protective mechanisms of oligomers against brain dysfunction with ageing, we carried out a receptor tyrosine kinase phosphorylation antibody array, and clarified that the administration of oligomers led to an increase in the phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2, suggesting the neuroprotective role of oligomers. The phosphorylation of VEGFR-2 was more greatly increased in the hypothalamus and choroid plexus than in other brain regions of SAMP8. Memory in oligomer-treated mice was impaired by SU1498, a VEGFR-2-specific antagonist. Elucidating the relationship between memory impairment with ageing and VEGFR-2 signalling may provide new suggestions for protection against memory deficit in the ageing brain.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling via tyrosine kinase B receptors may play an important role in ovarian development and function. It has been reported that metformin elevates the activity of Tyrosine kinase receptors and may amplify BDNF signalling. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of BDNF during in vitro maturation (IVM) and/or in vitro culture (IVC) (Experiment 1), and to evaluate the collaborative effect of BDNF and metformin treatment on the developmental competence of bovine in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, BDNF, which was added to our previously established IVM systems, significantly increased the proportions of MII oocytes at both 10 ng/ml (86.7%) and 100 ng/ml (85.4%) compared with the control (64.0%). However, there was no statistically significant difference in blastocyst development between the control or BDNF-supplemented groups. In Experiment 2, in order to investigate the effect of BDNF (10 ng/ml) and/or metformin (10−5 M) per se, TCM-199 without serum and hormones was used as the control IVM medium. The BDNF (48.3%) and BDNF plus metformin (56.5%) significantly enhanced the proportions of MII oocytes compared with the control (34.4%). Although, BDNF or metformin alone had no effect in embryo development, BDNF plus metformin significantly improved early embryo development to the 8–16-cell stage compared with the control (16.5 vs. 5.5%). In conclusion, the combination of BDNF and metformin may have a collaborative effect during the IVM period. These results could further contribute to the establishment of a more efficient bovine in vitro embryo production system.
We have fabricated the nano-floating gate memory with the TiSi2 and WSi2 nanocrystals embedded in the dielectrics. The TiSi2 and WSi2 nanocrystals were created by using sputtering and rapidly thermal annealing system, and then their morphologies were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. These nanocrystals have a spherical shape with an average diameter of 2-5 nm. The electrical properties of the nano-floating gate memory with TiSi2 and WSi2 nanocrystals were characterized by capacitance-voltage (C-V) hysteresis curve, memory speed and retention. The flat-band voltage shifts of the TiSi2 and WSi2 nanocrystals capacitors obtained appeared up to 4.23 V and 4.37 V, respectively. Their flat-band voltage shifts were maintained up to 1.6 V and 1 V after 1 hr.
A nonvolatile memory device with the multi-layered SiC nanocrystals embedded in the SiO2 dielectrics for long-term data storage was fabricated and its electrical properties were evaluated. The SiC nanocrystals were formed by using post thermal annealing process. The transmission electron microscope analysis showed the multi-layered SiC nanocrystals between the tunnel and the control oxide layers. The average size and density of the SiC nanocrystals were approximately 5 nm and 2×1012 cm-2, respectively. The memory window of nonvolatile memory devices with the multi-layered of SiC nanocrystals was about 2.7 V during the operations at ±10 V for 700 ms, and then it was maintained around at 1.1 V after 105 sec.
Whereas there are numerous reports in the literature relating the impact of maternal nutritional status on subsequent birth outcome, much less is known about the long-term impact on infant growth after birth. Therefore, we conducted a prospective cohort study to investigate the association of maternal micronutrient status (vitamins A, C and E, folate) and oxidative stress status in pregnancy with infant growth during the first year of life.
Prospective cohort study.
Outpatient clinic of obstetrics, Ewha Womans University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Subjects and methods
Two groups were constructed for this study – the Ewha pregnancy cohort (n = 677) and the infant growth cohort comprising follow-up live newborns of all the recruited pregnant women (n = 317). Maternal serum vitamin and urinary oxidative stress levels were collected and infant weights and heights were measured at birth and at 6 and 12 months after birth.
Division of the subjects into folate-deficient and normal groups revealed that infant weight and height at 0, 6 and 12 months were adversely affected by folate deficiency. High maternal vitamin C was associated with increased infant weight and height at birth and after birth.
Our findings indicate the importance of preventing folate deficiency and supplementing vitamin C during pregnancy.
The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of computed tomography (CT) images in determining the anatomy and topographic relationship between various important structures. Using 40 ears from 20 patients with various otological diseases, a 3D reconstruction based on the image data from spiral high-resolution CT was performed by segmentation, volume-rendering and surface-rendering algorithms on a personal computer. The 3D display of the middle and inner ear structures was demonstrated in detail. Computer-assisted measurements, many of which could not be easily measured in vivo, of the reconstructed structures provided accurate anatomic details that improved the surgeon’s understanding of spatial relationships. A 3D reconstruction of temporal bone CT might be useful for education and increasing understanding of the anatomical structures of the temporal bone. However, it will be necessary to confirm the correlation between the 3D reconstructed images and histological sections through a validation study.
The present study was designed to define how dietary fat type regulates body adiposity in dietary obesity-susceptible (DOS) Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats. Eighty-three SD rats received a purified diet containing 50 g maize oil (MO)/kg for 3 weeks and then thirty-nine of the rats, designated as the DOS rats, were allotted to diets containing 160 g MO (DOS-MO), beef tallow (DOS-BT) or fish oil (DOS-FO)/kg for 9 weeks. As a result of the experiment, the DOS-FO rats had significantly (P<0·05) reduced weight gain and abdominal and epididymal fat-pad mass than the DOS-MO and DOS-BT rats. Serum leptin level was also significantly (P<0·05) lower in the DOS-FO rats; however, hypothalamic leptin receptor (a and b) mRNA and neuropeptide Y expressions were not altered by dietary fat sources. A lower acetyl-CoA carboxylase mRNA expression in the liver was observed in the DOS-FO group, whereas hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ mRNA and protein expressions were markedly elevated in the DOS-FO group compared with those in the other groups. We did not observe differences in acetyl-CoA carboxylase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ expressions in epididymal fat of the DOS rats consuming MO, BT or FO. It is concluded from our present observations that dietary fat type, especially that rich in FO, plays a potential role in down-regulation of adiposity by altering hepatic lipogenic genes, rather than feeding behaviour, in the DOS-SD rats.
The correlation of surface morphology with strain relaxation in the In0.15Ga0.85As epilayer on GaAs(100) grown by chemical beam epitaxy using unprecracked monoethylarsine has been investigated. The surface morphology of InGaAs was analyzed by atomic force microscopy as the epilayer thickness was increased from 0.025 to 1.668 μm. The changes in the surface morphology indicated that surface roughening is related to the process of strain relaxation in the film. The strain-induced shifts in the GaAs-like longitudinal optical phonon in the Raman spectrum also indicated that the strains in the InGaAs epilayer relax via step-wise process with increasing the film thickness beyond the critical thickness, which agrees well with the changes of surface mophology.
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