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Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on the dietary habits of the Japanese population have shown that an effect rs671 allele was inversely associated with fish consumption, whereas it was directly associated with coffee consumption. Although meat is a major source of protein and fat in the diet, whether genetic factors that influence meat-eating habits in healthy populations are unknown. This study aimed to conduct a GWAS to find genetic variations that affect meat consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data using 14 076 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) study. We used a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with total meat consumption per 1000 kcal energy was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, and principal component analysis components 1–10. We found that no genetic variant, including rs671, was associated with meat consumption. The previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with meat consumption in samples of European ancestry could not be replicated in our J-MICC data. In conclusion, significant genetic factors that affect meat consumption were not observed in a Japanese population.
Differences in individual eating habits may be influenced by genetic factors, in addition to cultural, social or environmental factors. Previous studies suggested that genetic variants within sweet taste receptor genes family were associated with sweet taste perception and the intake of sweet foods. The aim of this study was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to find genetic variations that affect confection consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data on confection consumption using 14 073 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort study. We used a semi-quantitative FFQ to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with confection consumption was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, total energy intake and principal component analysis components 1–3. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated adjusting for alcohol intake (g/d) in addition to the above-described variables. We found 418 SNP located in 12q24 that were associated with confection consumption. SNP with the ten lowest P-values were located on nine genes including at the BRAP, ACAD10 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 regions on 12q24.12-13. After adjustment for alcohol intake, no variant was associated with confections intake with genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we found a significant number of SNP located on 12q24 genes that were associated with confections intake before adjustment for alcohol intake. However, all of them lost statistical significance after adjustment for alcohol intake.
The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of organic photovoltaic (OPV) modules with 9.5% (25 cm2) and 8.7% (802 cm2) have been demonstrated. This PCE of the module exceeded our previous world records of 8.5% (25 cm2) and 6.8% (396 cm2) that were listed in the latest Solar Cell Efficiency Tables ver.43 . Both module design and coating/patterning technique were consistently studied for module development. In order to achieve highly efficient modules, we increased the ratio of photo-active area to designated illumination area to 94% without any scribing process and placed insulating layers in order to decrease the leakage current. The meniscus coating method was used for the fabrication of both buffer and photoactive layers. This technique ensures the fabrication of uniform and nanometer order thickness layers with thickness variation less than 3%. Furthermore, the PCE of the OPV under indoor illumination was found to be higher than that of the conventional Si type solar cells. This indicates that OPVs are promising as electrical power supplies for indoor applications. Therefore, we have also developed several prototypes for electronics integrated photovoltaics (EIPV) such as electrical shelf labels and wireless sensors embedded with our OPV modules, which can be operated by indoor lights.
Eucommia leaves (Eucommia ulmoides Oliver) contain chlorogenic acid (a caffeic acid derivative) and geniposidic acid and asperuloside (ASP), iridoid glucosides used in beverages. We used a metabolic syndrome rat model, produced by feeding a 35 % high-fat diet (HFD), to examine potential anti-obesity and anti-metabolic syndrome effects and mechanisms of chronic administration of ASP. These effects were compared with Eucommia leaf extract (ELE), the positive control, which exhibits anti-obesity effects. A total of six rats were studied for 3 months in five groups. ASP suppressed body weight, visceral fat weight, food intake and circulating levels of glucose, insulin and lipids, and increased the plasma adiponectin level in rats on a HFD. These effects are similar to those of ELE, except for the influence on the plasma glucose level. RT–PCR studies showed that ASP (like ELE with known anti-obesity effects) diminished isocitrate dehydrogenase 3α, NADH dehydrogenase flavoprotein 1 (Comp I) mRNA and fatty acid synthase levels (white adipose tissue), increased carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1α and acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, very-long-chain mRNA levels (liver), and increased Glut4, citrate synthase, isocitrate dehydrogenase 3α, succinyl CoA synthase, peroxisomal 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase, dihydrolipoamide succinyl transferase and succinate dehydrogenase mRNA levels (skeletal muscle) under HFD conditions. Interestingly, ASP administration resulted in significantly increased mRNA levels of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in the brown adipose tissue of HFD-fed rats; ELE did not affect the expression of UCP1. The increased expression of UCP1 may be negated by many ingredients other than ASP in the ELE. These findings suggest that chronic administration of ASP stimulates anti-obesity and anti-metabolic syndrome activity in HFD-fed rats across several organs, similar to ELE administration; thus, ASP may be an important ingredient of ELE.
We have obtained the x-ray phase contrast images of the activated carbon/carbon (AC/C) composite used as electrodes in an electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC). To improve the spatial resolution, the beam size of x-ray transmitted from a sample were expanded by using asymmetric Bragg diffraction (asymmetric factor b) of analyzer crystal. Since the analyzer crystals were placed in (+, -) arrangements in both vertical and horizontal directions, the total magnification factor was 1/b2 for each direction. By using the 511 asymmetric Bragg diffraction of Si (100) analyzer with an asymmetric factor of 0.207, we could obtain the magnification factor of about 23.3. We applied this optical system to the AC/C composite. The phase contrast image corresponding to the carbon particles with the diameter of about 10 μm could be detected with the spatial resolution of 5 μm. Furthermore, we also obtained realtime images of bubble formation and movement during the overcharging of an EDLC with the time resolution of 30 frames number per second.
Brief reviews on corrosion and coercivity mechanisms of sintered Nd-Fe-B magnets are given. Results of recently undertaken transmission electron microscopic study of Nd15 - Fe78-xCoxB7 sintered magnets (x = 3, 6 and 10) are presented. Micro-beam electron diffraction patterns obtained from Nd-Co phases in these magnets could be indexed according only to an orthorhombic cell of Nd3 Co among the binary Nd-Co compounds for x = 3 to 10. Relations of coercivity and magnetizability of this type of magnets to their microstructure are discussed in connection to the effects of V or Mo addition which are to enhance coercivity and to improve magnetizability. It is suggested that a decrease in the local demagnetization effects resulting from a decrease in the width of the grain size distribution due to these-additives is the origin of the enhancement of coercivity and the improvement of magnetizability.
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