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Clinical trials show that protein supplement increases infant size in malnourished populations; however, epidemiological studies in high-income countries have reported mixed results. Although these findings suggest a non-linear relationship between maternal macronutrient intake and fetal growth, this relationship has not been closely examined. We assessed the association between maternal protein intake and fetal growth among 91 637 Japanese women with singletons in a nation-wide cohort study using validated FFQ. The respondents answered the FFQ twice, once during early pregnancy (FFQ1; 16·3 (sd 6·0) weeks), and second during mid-pregnancy (FFQ2, 28·1 (sd 4·1) weeks). Daily energy intake and percentage energy from protein, fats and carbohydrates were 7477 (sd 2577) kJ and 13·5 (sd 2·0), 29·5 (sd 6·5) and 55·3 (sd 7·8) %, respectively, for FFQ1, and 7184 (sd 2506) kJ and 13·6 (sd 2·1), 29·8 (sd 6·6) and 55·3 (sd 7·9) %, respectively, for FFQ2. The average birth weight was 3028 (sd 406) g, and 6350 infants (6·9 %) were small for gestational age (SGA). In both phases of the survey, birth weight was highest and the risk of SGA was lowest when the percentage energy from protein was 12 %, regardless of whether isoenergetic replacement was with fat or carbohydrates. Furthermore, when protein density in the maternal diet was held constant, birth weight was highest when 25 % of energy intake came from fat and 61 % came from carbohydrates during early pregnancy. We found maternal protein intake to have an inverse U-curve relationship with fetal growth. Our results strongly suggest that the effect of protein on birth weight is non-linear, and that a balanced diet fulfilling the minimum requirement for all macronutrients was ideal for avoiding fetal growth restriction.
The starfish is an advantageous organism in which to investigate developmental modes. It is widely known that maternal substances accumulated in the course of oogenesis affect various developmental phenomena. Vitellogen is the most abundant maternal substance in the egg and has been studied in various species including sea urchins. Vitellogen and the vitellogenin gene have been analysed with regard to their relevance to developmental modes in two Heliocidaris species (Byrne et al., 1999) and Japanese sea urchins (Yokota & Amemiya, 1998). In starfish, however, relatively little is known about the yolk and yolk protein.
A novel and fundamental method was reported to judge states of lithium ion batteries (LIBs) using the capacitance and the voltage of the cells that were estimated from the real-time currents and voltage characteristics of the cells. We measured the differential capacitance, that is, dQ/dV or delta Q/ delta V that is equal to the currents (I) divided by differential voltages (dV/dt) calculated from the current and the voltage characteristics of the cell during the charging/ discharging, where Q is the charge that flows through the cell, V is the voltage of the cell and t is time. It is thought that the capacitance decrease with the degradation of the cell because the effective area of the electrodes is decreasing due to formation of undesirable compounds. The differential capacitance in some specific voltage range for the LIBs was approximately directly proportional to the state of the degradation of the cell. Therefore, it is concluded that the novel method is very useful to judge the state of the LIBs.
The Keio Twin Research Center has conducted two longitudinal twin cohort projects and has collected three independent and anonymous twin data sets for studies of phenotypes related to psychological, socio-economic, and mental health factors. The Keio Twin Study has examined adolescent and adult cohorts, with a total of over 2,400 pairs of twins and their parents. DNA samples are available for approximately 600 of these twin pairs. The Tokyo Twin Cohort Project has followed a total of 1,600 twin pairs from infancy to early childhood. The large-scale cross-sectional twin study (CROSS) has collected data from over 4,000 twin pairs, from 3 to 26 years of age, and from two high school twin cohorts containing a total of 1,000 pairs of twins. These data sets of anonymous twin studies have mainly targeted academic performance, attitude, and social environment. The present article introduces the research designs and major findings of our center, such as genetic structures of cognitive abilities, personality traits, and academic performances, developmental effects of genes and environment on attitude, socio-cognitive ability and parenting, genes x environment interaction on attitude and conduct problem, and statistical methodological challenges and so on. We discuss the challenges in conducting twin research in Japan.
The Tokyo Twin Cohort Project (ToTCoP) is a large-scale longitudinal study of 5 years based on 1619 pairs of infant twins reared together. The purpose of the study is to construct a population-based twin registry in Japan and to investigate human growth and development and twin themselves. It covers behavioral, neurological, physical and environmental variables measured by questionnaire, home visiting and brain imaging technology. The full registry contains over 47,000 multiple births collected from the Basic Resident Register, and the targeted population is 3070 probable twins of 0 to 2 years old. Preliminary analysis of the entry questionnaire data showed no serious sampling biases. Descriptive statistics of parental characteristics (parental age, gestation age, parity and placentation, maternal weight, parenting stress) and children's characteristics (body size at birth, 4 and 10 months of age, milk consumption, and sleeping and social behavior) and their correlations, genetic and environmental contributions and correlations are reported.
In the trend of scaling down metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs), reduction of contact resistance at the silicide/silicon (Si) interface will be essential for higher performance. Nickel silicide (NiSi) is considered as a substi-tute for a present electrode material in MOSFETs, cobalt silicide (CoSi2), because silicidation temperature can be reduced as compared with the case of the conventional CoSi2. Hence, we have focused on the NiSi/Si Schottky interface. An ordinary method to increase the dopant concentration at the interface is ion implantation before silicidation process. The dopant atoms are consequently condensed around the interface by snowplow effect, leading to the effective lowering of the Schottky bar-rier height (SBH) because of the band bending enhancement of the Si layer. However, this band bending technique does not reduce the SBH in further scaled MOSFETs. In this context, we studied another possibility of SBH modulation technique, based on the first-principles calculations. Throughout our calculations, we found that a large atomic-scale dipole between impurity and silicide atoms is generated across the interface. Impurity atoms are expected to be condensed because of a large energy gain at the interfaces, leading to the dramatic reduction of the SBH. Based on these results, we proposed a novel di-pole comforting Schottky (DCS) junction. We have also found that the thickness of the Si layer interfacing with the NiSi layer can be 1nm or less. In the present work, we applied this idea to the actual process through experimental techniques. The calculated results suggest that B implantation after silicidation leads to larger B concentration at the interface than that before silicidation, and thereby larger SBH modulation due to interface dipoles can be produced. Then, the NiSi/Si Schottky diodes were formed by ion implantation after silicidation process for dopants (As, B). We evaluated the interface dipoles contribution to the measured SBH reduction. As a result, the dopant atoms were found to be condensed beyond solubility limits on the interface Si side and we confirmed the generated interface dipoles actually reduces the SBT. Furthermore, we explored the other possibility of another type of impurity atoms applicable to the DCS junction. Among some other impurity atoms (Al, In, Mg), the calculated SBH modulation due to dipoles generated around these impurity atoms were found to be further enhanced in some cases. Based on these understandings, we propose a principle for choosing dopants towards ulti-mate lowering of the contact resistance in ultimately scaled MOSFETs.
MgO thin films as a protective layer in plasma display panels (PDPs) were
deposited by an advanced ion-plating (AIP) apparatus that we had developed.
The AIP method enables plasma operation at low-pressures of 10−3
Pa. The MgO thin films were mainly (111) oriented with a small amount of
randomly oriented textures. The preferred orientation of the films was
dependent on deposition conditions; oxygen content and substrate
temperature. Fine columnar structures grew with sharp apexes at the film
surface. Secondary electron emission coefficient from a film deposited by
the AIP method was higher than that by a conventional electron beam
evaporation method. The MgO protective layer could be expected to improve
PDPs by our AIP deposition.
Recent progress of SOI growth by electron beam recrystallization is described. Transient temperature profile on the recrystallizing sample surface was analyzed experimentally by direct observation with a thermovision, which is essential for the understanding of crystal growith mechanism. SOI growth was performed by a spot beam annealing and a pseudo-line shaped beam annealing. The line shaped electron beam has been proved to be useful for large area crystallization.
Emphasis was placed on lateral seeded recrystallization of silicon layer evaporated in an ultra high vacuum. Silicon layers with the seed area grown epitaxially during the evaporation and above 1 μm thickness were successfully recrystallized, resulting in reproducible lateral epitaxiy. The pseudo-line shaped electron beam formed by very high frequency oscillation enabled dimensional enlargement of lateral epitaxial growth. crystalline properties were characterized by analyses of Rutherford backscattering and electron channeling pattern.
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