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In this study, we evaluated brain perfusion in patients with first-episode medicated schizophrenia using the new analytical method, statistical parametric mapping (SPM) applied to single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
We performed SPECT with 99-Tc-ethyl cysteinate dimer (99mTc-ECD) of the brain and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with schizophrenia (n = 30) and control subjects matched for age and gender (n = 37). A voxel-by-voxel group analysis was performed using SPM2 (Z > 3.0, P < 0.001, uncorrected for multiple comparisons).
In comparison with control subjects, the volumes of the bilateral frontal areas were found to be decreased on MRI. Blood flow was found to be reduced in the bilateral temporal areas in the patients with schizophrenia on SPECT.
In this study, patients with first-episode schizophrenia appeared to have significant bilateral temporal hypoperfusion, although temporal volumes were not significantly decreased in comparison with control subjects. Abnormality of temporal lobe blood flow in schizophrenia may show that functional changes occur earlier than structural changes, and may assist in the diagnosis of schizophrenia.
N-acetylaspartate (NAA) levels and serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. In addition, plasma levels of homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) were compared between the two groups.
Eighteen patients (nine males, nine females; age range: 13–52 years) were enrolled in the study, and 18 volunteers (nine males, nine females; age range: 15–49 years) with no current or past psychiatric history were also studied by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) as sex- and age-matched controls.
Levels of NAA/Cr in the left basal ganglia (p = 0.0065) and parieto-occipital lobe (p = 0.00498), but not in the frontal lobe, were significantly lower in patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis than in control subjects. No difference was observed between the serum BDNF levels of patients with first-episode schizophrenia psychosis and control subjects. In regard to the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, plasma MHPG, but not HVA, was significantly lower in the patients with first-episode psychosis than in control subjects. In addition, a significantly positive correlation was observed between the levels of NAA/Cr of the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG in all subjects.
These results suggest that brain NAA levels in the left basal ganglia and plasma MHPG levels were significantly reduced at the first episode of schizophrenia psychosis, indicating that neurodegeneration via noradrenergic neurons might be associated with the initial progression of the disease.
Japanese universities are required to improve both international and Japanese students' mental health, because the number of international students increases annually. Moreover, mental health data for graduate school students in Japan are lacking. Therefore, the present study attempted to examine differences in graduate school students' mental health according to major, grade, and nationality.
A total of 587 students from a Japanese university, which only offers graduate school education, completed the Japanese version of Kessler 6 (K6) as part of their regular health assessments; 542 students agreed to the use of their data for research purposes.
The K6 scores were analyzed using a 3-way (major × grade × nationality) between-subjects ANOVA, and a significant second-order interaction (F(6, 518) = 2.68, p < .05) was observed. As a subsequent 2-way (major × nationality) ANOVA, performed according to grade, only showed an interaction for first-grade master's degree students (M1; F(2, 167) = 7.88, p < .01), comparisons between Japanese and international students were made according to major. For one major, Japanese students' K6 scores tended to be higher relative to those observed in international students (t(36) = 1.98, p < .10). In contrast, international students' K6 scores for another major were significantly higher than were those of Japanese students (t(86) = 3.31, p < .01).
Japanese and international M1 students' K6 scores differed significantly. University staff should take these differences into account and examine ways to support students.
This paper presents schematic review for the smart agricultural model in Japan using data-on-demand information exchange based on smart agricultural machinery systems (SAMS). Four machines were developed in this study, namely Smart rice trans-planter with on-the-go soil sensor; Smart 2nd fertilizer applicator based on CropSpecTM; Yield monitor combine harvester with on-the-go lodging analysis system; and Farm Activity Record Management System (FARMS). The study obtained 450,000 datasets of topsoil accompanied by 65,000 datasets of crop status and 1 million images of lodging information from 50 ha of rice fields, taken in 2016. The results conclude that the field mapping using FARMS was available not only for manager’s decision on fertilizer application, but also for information sharing between employees. A two year feasibility study showed improvement of 20% fertilizer reduction and 30% harvest efficiency than conventional management. The study suggests that SAMS would play an important role for technology succession in the near future.
Enhancement of the quality of laser wake-field accelerated (LWFA) electron beams implies the improvement and controllability of the properties of the wake waves generated by ultra-short pulse lasers in underdense plasmas. In this work we present a compendium of useful formulas giving relations between the laser and plasma target parameters allowing one to obtain basic dependences, e.g. the energy scaling of the electrons accelerated by the wake field excited in inhomogeneous media including multi-stage LWFA accelerators. Consideration of the effects of using the chirped laser pulse driver allows us to find the regimes where the chirp enhances the wake field amplitude. We present an analysis of the three-dimensional effects on the electron beam loading and on the unlimited LWFA acceleration in inhomogeneous plasmas. Using the conditions of electron trapping to the wake-field acceleration phase we analyse the multi-equal stage and multiuneven stage LWFA configurations. In the first configuration the energy of fast electrons is a linear function of the number of stages, and in the second case, the accelerated electron energy grows exponentially with the number of stages. The results of the two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations presented here show the high quality electron acceleration in the triple stage injection–acceleration configuration.
We have conducted 1.1 mm ALMA observations of a contiguous 105” × 50” or 1.5 arcmin2 window in the SXDF-UDS-CANDELS. We achieved a 5σ sensitivity of 0.28 mJy, giving a flat sensus of dusty star-forming galaxies with LIR ~6×1011L⊙ (if Tdust=40K) up to z ~ 10 thanks to the negative K-correction at this wavelength. We detected 5 brightest sources (S/N>6) and 18 low-significant sources (5>S/N>4; they may contain spurious detections, though). One of the 5 brightest ALMA sources (S1.1mm = 0.84 ± 0.09 mJy) is extremely faint in the WFC3 and VLT/HAWK-I images, demonstrating that a contiguous ALMA imaging survey uncovers a faint dust-obscured population invisible in the deep optical/near-infrared surveys. We find a possible [CII]-line emitter at z=5.955 or a low-z CO emitting galaxy within the field, allowing us to constrain the [CII] and/or CO luminosity functions across the history of the universe.
Butoxybutyl alcohol (BBA) is a possible growth promoter contained in the fermentation and distillation by-products of a traditional Japanese spirit, shochu. In the present study, BBA was synthesized and its chemical structure was confirmed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Then, two studies were conducted to investigate the effects of feeding the synthesized BBA on the growth and skeletal muscle proteolysis of broiler chickens. Ross male broiler chickens were divided into two groups, control (basal diet: 219 g crude protein/kg and 12·66 MJ metabolizable energy/kg) and BBA diet (30 mg BBA/kg basal diet), with the experimental diets being provided from 15 to 27 days and 0 to 27 days of age, for Studies 1 and 2, respectively. Butoxybutyl alcohol supplementation increased final body weight in both studies, whereas feed intake was unchanged, thereby indicating significantly increased feed efficiency. Furthermore, the synthesized BBA increased the weights of the pectoralis superficialis and profundus muscles, and the leg. The BBA decreased the Nτ-methylhistidine concentration in the excrement and plasma, which are indices of the rate of skeletal muscle protein degradation. It also decreased the mRNA levels of μ-calpain large subunit, atrogin-1/muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx), ubiquitin and 20S proteasome C2 subunit. These suggest that growth promotion due to the feeding of synthesized BBA is caused by the suppression of skeletal muscle protein degradation, which is related to a decrease in gene expression in the calpain and ubiquitin–proteasome systems.
We have investigated an influence of positive polarization charges generated at an interface between GaN barrier/p-AlGaN EB (Electron Blocking) layer in a blue-LED. Simulation results suggested that such polarization charges caused an electron overflow from QWs. The simulation results also indicated that sufficient acceptor doping at the interface could neutralize the positive polarization charges and suppress the electron overflow. We then demonstrated the electron overflow caused by the positive polarization charges and its suppression with sufficient Mg doping at the interface by monitoring emissions from an additional second QW inserted between the p-EB layer and the p-GaN layer. Finally we conclude that the contribution of the electron overflow is not significant for the efficiency droop in blue-LEDs.
Since January 2006, the use of antibiotics for domestic animals as feed additives has been banned within the European Union, influenced by the consumers’ demands for products free of antimicrobial residues. As an alternative, probiotics in animal nutrition have attracted attention for their potential roles as growth promoters as well as antibiotics. Recently, much research data has been gathered and suggests a potential role for probiotics from fungi as natural growth promoters in broiler nutrition. One such fungi, Aspergillus awamori, has been shown to improve the growth performance and meat quality of broiler chickens. This review examines the current scientific data on the use of A. awamori as a probiotic in broiler nutrition. From the available literature, it can be concluded that A. awamori may provide an effective alternative to antibiotics in the production of broilers.
Carbon fine particles including single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were synthesized by hot-filament and plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition. Specific surface area was evaluated for carbon fine particles synthesized under optimized conditions along with purified SWNTs and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) for comparison. The value of specific surface area for the synthesized carbon fine particles was smaller than the SWNTs, but larger than the MWNTs. Pore size distribution was analyzed with desorption isotherms by the DH method. Although smaller pores are included in the purified SWNTs than the synthesized carbon fine particles, pores of size larger than several nm were included more in the synthesized carbon fine particles.
To increase X-ray photon number generated by laser-cluster interaction, it is important to understand the dependence of X-ray generation on cluster size. We carried out Xe K-shell X-ray generation using a conical nozzle with Xe clusters, the radius of which was controllable by adjusting the backing pressure. The experiment clarifies the result that the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number increases with increasing cluster radius from 8 to 12 nm, and saturates at the radius between 12 and 17 nm. We also investigated the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number dependence on laser intensity, and found that the threshold laser intensity of the Xe K-shell X-ray generation exists between 2 × 1017 and 5 × 1018 W/cm2.
Sunspot observations inspired solar dynamo theory and continue to do so. Simply counting them established the sunspot cycle and its period. Latitudinal distributions introduced the tough constraint that the source of sunspots moves equator-ward as the cycle progresses. Observations of Hale's polarity law mandated hemispheric asymmetry. How much more can sunspots tell us about the solar dynamo? We draw attention to a few outstanding questions raised by inherent sunspot properties. Namely, how to explain sunspot rotation rates, the incoherence of follower spots, the longitudinal spacing of sunspot groups, and brightness trends within a given sunspot cycle. After reviewing the first several topics, we then present new results on the brightness of sunspots in Cycle 24 as observed with the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI). We compare these results to the sunspot brightness observed in Cycle 23 with the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI). Next, we compare the minimum intensities of five sunspots simultaneously observed by the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope Spectropolarimeter (SOT-SP) and HMI to verify that the minimum brightness of sunspot umbrae correlates well to the maximum field strength. We then examine 90 and 52 sunspots in the north and south hemisphere, respectively, from 2010 - 2012. Finally, we conclude that the average maximum field strengths of umbra 40 Carrington Rotations into Cycle 24 are 2690 Gauss, virtually indistinguishable from the 2660 Gauss value observed at a similar time in Cycle 23 with MDI.
The current trends in stimulated Brillouin scattering and optical phase conjugation are overviewed. This report is formed by the selected papers presented in the “Fifth International Workshop on stimulated Brillouin scattering and phase conjugation 2010” in Japan. The nonlinear properties of phase conjugation based on stimulated Brillouin scattering and photo-refraction can compensate phase distortions in the high power laser systems, and they will also open up potentially novel laser technologies, e.g., phase stabilization, beam combination, pulse compression, ultrafast pulse shaping, and arbitrary waveform generation.
We confirmed that GaN photocatalyst with NiO cocatalyst (GaN-NiO) continuously produced hydrogen from water for 500 hours without any extra bias. The GaN-NiO photocatalyst was hardly etched and 184-mL hydrogen gas was produced from the electric charge of 1612 coulombs, the Faradic efficiency of which was 89.2%. The conversion efficiency from incident light energy to hydrogen chemical energy was 0.98% in average for 500 h. The incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) was 50% at 300 nm and 35% at 350 nm after the experiment, which was much higher than those of other semiconductor-based photocatalysts.
A hospital disaster drill is commonly carried out based on the activities assigned beforehand by the occupational description. However, it is difficult for each staff the role is fixing to understand the global image of a disaster correspondence in a hospital disaster when their role is assigned and fixed. We have developed the understandable drill about the whole practice at each hospital in disaster. We keenly realized the necessity of a standard disaster medicine. Therefore we have developed the disaster drill which can be held per hospital. As a goal of a course, each hospital personnel could understand the global image of the disaster, and aimed at the daily course which can master necessary minimum skill to correspond a disaster in each hospital. From the reasons above, we created the course which consisted of a lecture, individual skill training, and a gross training. As essential skill, it starts with (1) management of disaster countermeasures office (2) management of triage post (3) treatment at room (4) support of conveyance between hospitals (5) information control. In order to employ these individual skill booths efficiently we divided attendances into five groups. Five hospitals started from 2008, were carried out 11 times, and about 500 persons took this disaster drill on a course. We expect that cost to bellower, the course to be simpler, and the quality of training will improve by holding this course repeatedly.
The effect of Nb addition on phase equilibria among Ni (A1), Ni3Al (L12) and Ni3V (D022) phases was investigated in the Ni-rich Ni-Al-V ternary system. The addition of Nb to the Ni-Al-V ternary system shifts the three-phase coexisting region of A1 + L12 + D022 towards the Ni-rich side at 950 ºC. Nb is partitioned into the D022 phase more strongly than the A1 and L12 phases. These results suggest that the addition of Nb stabilizes the D022 phase against the A1 and L12 phases in the systems. The alloying element raises the temperature of a eutectoid-like reaction (A1→L12+D022) by ~30 ºC in the vertical section of Ni-Al-V ternary system at 75 at. % Ni.
The Bi-based oxide superconducting wire is one of the most promising materials for practical uses such as electric power transmission, electromagnets and so on. For the higher performances required in these applications, it is necessary to increase the critical current (Ic). We have carried out synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction analysis to improve our manufacturing processes and thus to achieve higher Ic. We have performed in situ X-ray diffraction measurements during the sintering and cooling processes, and observed the decrease of Bi-2223(=(Bi,Pb)2Sr2Ca2Cu3Ox) phase during the cooling process. We have also evaluated the distribution of the crystal orientation in whole wire thickness, by measuring the rocking curves. We have observed that the distribution of the crystal orientation is improved by a refinement of the process conditions.
A histopathological study was performed to clarify the characteristics of granuloma formation and liver fibrosis in Schistosoma mekongi infection in comparison with S. japonicum infection. Mice were exposed to S. mekongi (Laotian strain) and S. japonicum (Japanese strain) cercariae, and were dissected at 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks post-exposure. In the liver, granulomas in S. mekongi infection were cellular, initially organized with foam cells, and continuously appeared in the intralobular area, while granulomas in S. japonicum infection were fibrous and did not continuously appear in the intralobular area. Portal fibrosis was not seen in S. mekongi infection, but was commonly seen in S. japonicum infection in the later weeks. Granulomas in the small intestine were seen mainly in the submucosa with foam cells in S. mekongi infection and without foam cells in S. japonicum infection. The lung granulomas contained mainly histiocytes in both S. mekongi and S. japonicum infection. The absence of portal fibrosis in S. mekongi infection allows schistosome eggs to infiltrate into the intralobular area continuously, which can be what lies behind the ultrasonographic differences; the echogenic network pattern as was seen in S. japonicum infection, has not been noted in S. mekongi infection.