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Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
Refugees commonly experience difficulties with emotional processing, such as alexithymia, due to stressful or traumatic experiences. However, the functional connectivity of the amygdala, which is central to emotional processing, has yet to be assessed in refugees. Thus, the present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala and its association with emotional processing in North Korean (NK) refugees.
This study included 45 NK refugees and 40 native South Koreans (SK). All participants were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinician-administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and differences between NK refugees and native SK in terms of resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala were assessed. Additionally, the association between the strength of amygdala connectivity and the TAS score was examined.
Resting-state connectivity values from the left amygdala to the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) were higher in NK refugees than in native SK. Additionally, the strength of connectivity between the left amygdala and right dlPFC was positively associated with TAS score after controlling for the number of traumatic experiences and BDI and CAPS scores.
The present study found that NK refugees exhibited heightened frontal–amygdala connectivity, and that this connectivity was correlated with alexithymia. The present results suggest that increased frontal–amygdala connectivity in refugees may represent frontal down-regulation of the amygdala, which in turn may produce alexithymia.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an important medicinal herb and has long been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of several diseases worldwide. Understanding the genetic diversity within Glycyrrhiza species is important for the efficient conservation of these medicinal herbs. In this study, we have developed 20 polymorphic chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) markers using the chloroplast genome of G. lepidota. The cpSSR markers were tested on a total of 27 Glycyrrhiza individual plants. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to eight among the Glycyrrhiza accessions. Overall, the Shannon index (I) for each cpSSR ranged from 0.315 to 1.694, the diversity indices (h) were 0.140–0.793 and the unbiased diversity indices (uh) were 0.145–0.825. In addition, the cpSSR markers were successfully divided and classified the 27 Glycyrrhiza individuals into four groups. The cpSSR markers developed in this study could be used in the assessment of genetic diversity and rapid identification of Glycyrrhiza species.
The development of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from large animal species has become an important model for therapeutic cloning using ESCs derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). However, poor embryo quality and blastocyst formation have been major limitations for derivation of cloned ESCs (ntESCs). In this study, we have tried to overcome these problems by treating these cells with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and aggregating porcine embryos. First, cloned embryos were treated with Scriptaid to confirm the effect of HDACi on cloned embryo quality. The Scriptaid-treated blastocysts showed significantly higher total cell numbers (29.50 ± 2.10) than non-treated blastocysts (22.29 ± 1.50, P < 0.05). Next, cloned embryo quality and blastocyst formation were analyzed in aggregates. Three zona-free, reconstructed, four-cell-stage SCNT embryos were injected into the empty zona of hatched parthenogenetic (PA) blastocysts. Blastocyst formation and total cell number of cloned blastocysts increased significantly for all aggregates (76.4% and 83.18 ± 8.33) compared with non-aggregates (25.5% and 27.11 ± 1.67, P < 0.05). Finally, aggregated blastocysts were cultured on a feeder layer to examine the efficiency of porcine ES-like cell derivation. Aggregated blastocysts showed a higher primary colony formation rate than non-aggregated cloned blastocysts (17.6 ± 12.3% vs. 2.2 ± 1.35%, respectively, P < 0.05). In addition, derived ES-like cells showed typical characters of ESCs. In conclusion, the aggregation of porcine SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage could be a useful technique for improving the development rate and quality of porcine-cloned blastocysts and the derivation efficiency of porcine ntESCs.
A total of 27 accessions from ten Vicia species were investigated for flavonoid contents, total polyphenol contents, and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS [2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline 6-sulfonic acid)] free radical-scavenging activities. The results revealed that NAC17 (V. monantha) and NAC14 (V. hyrcanica) had the highest total flavonoid content (1.42 ± 0.09 mg/g) and total polyphenol content [124.2 ± 0.5 μg/gallic acid equivalents (GAE) mg], respectively. Among four flavonoids, naringenin was detected at high concentrations in Vicia species. The DPPH and ABTS assays showed values in the range of 57.2 (IC50) (NAC13, V. faba) to 6530.0 (IC50) (NAC24, V. sativa subsp. nigra) and 19.1 μg/Trolox mg (NAC7, V. cracca) to 253.4 μg/Trolox mg (NAC13, V. faba), respectively. Among ten Vicia species, V. monantha and V. hyrcanica had the highest flavonoid content (1.31 ± 0.09 mg/g) and total polyphenol content (116.5 ± 2.0 μg/GAE mg), respectively. The highest antioxidant activity was detected in V. faba. These results will expand the flavonoid database and provide valuable information on Vicia species for the development of functional foods or feed-additive resources.
A quantitative analysis of In concentration in InGaN/GaN multiquantum wells in light-emitting diodes was carried out using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and high-angle annual dark-field scanning TEM (HAADF-STEM). The In composition in InGaN was evaluated by the precise measurement of c-lattice parameters in the HRTEM micrographs, which increase with increasing In composition. The reliability of the results was confirmed by high-resolution x-ray diffraction measurements and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. Quantitative In compositions can, therefore, be determined using HRTEM. We tried to determine the quantitative In compositions in InGaN by analyzing the intensity profiles of the HAADF-STEM images. However, several problems were encountered, such as differences in the thickness of the region observed, carbon contamination, and ion beam damage during specimen preparation. Therefore, relative differences in composition were observed in the HAADF-STEM images.
We report on the formation of highly flexible and transparent TiO2/Ag/ITO multilayer films deposited on polyethylene terephthalate substrates. The optical and electrical properties of the multilayer films were investigated as a function of oxide thickness. The transmission window gradually shifted toward lower energies with increasing oxide thickness. The TiO2 (40 nm)/Ag (18 nm)/ITO (40 nm) films gave the transmittance of 93.1% at 560 nm. The relationship between transmittance and oxide thickness was simulated using the scattering matrix method to understand high transmittance. As the oxide thickness increased from 20 to 50 nm, the carrier concentration gradually decreased from 1.08 × 1022 to 6.66 × 1021 cm−3, while the sheet resistance varied from 5.8 to 6.1 Ω/sq. Haacke's figure of merit reached a maximum at 40 nm and then decreased with increasing oxide thickness. The change in resistance for the 60 nm-thick ITO single film rapidly increased with increasing bending cycles, while that of the TiO2/Ag/ITO (40 nm/18 nm/40 nm) film remained virtually unchanged during the bending test.
Mutation breeding techniques have been used to induce new genetic variations and improve agronomic traits in soybean. In Korea, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has unique radiation facilities to induce plant mutations and has been conducting soybean mutation breeding programmes since the mid-1960s. Until now, the KAERI has developed five soybean mutant cultivars exhibiting early maturity, high yield and seed-coat colour change. In this paper, we review these five mutant cultivars in terms of how to successfully induce unique agronomic characteristics through mutation breeding programmes. A number of induced mutants exhibiting null lipoxygenase enzymes, altered protein patterns or Kunitz trypsin inhibitor activity could serve as genetic resources for the genetic analysis of target genes, and one mutant population has been developed for a reverse genetic study.
Background: Although the clinical importance of chorionicity in twin pregnancies has been studied widely, the significance of perinatal determination of zygosity using molecular genetic analyses remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency and clinical significance of twin gestations according to zygosity and chorionicity in a Korean population. Methods: We enrolled 569 women who delivered twin newborns (> 24 weeks) at Seoul National University Hospital between 1999 and 2008. Chorionicity was established by histologic examination of placentae. Zygosity was determined with sex of neonates, chorionicity, and DNA analysis of umbilical cord blood. Results: The frequency of dizygotic (DZ) twins was 71.0% (404/569 pairs) based on the opposite sex (238/404 [58.9%]) and DNA analyses (166/404 [41.1%]); that of monozygotic (MZ) twins was 29.0% (165/569), including monochorionic (MC) (72.1% [119/165]) and dichorionic (DC) twins (27.9% [46/165]), which was confirmed by DNA analyses. Among spontaneously conceived twins, the frequency of MZ twins was more than twice that of DZ twins. The risk of low birth weight was 1.8-fold higher among MZDC twins and 1.9-fold higher among MZMC twins than among DZDC twins (p < .05). Bronchopulmonary dysplasia occurred more frequently among MZMC twins than among DZDC twins (adjusted OR 8.42, 95% CI 1.82–39.08, p < .01). However, the frequencies of other neonatal morbidities were not significantly higher in the MZMC group than in the MZDC and DZDC groups. The perinatal mortality rate was 15 per 1000 total births in the DZDC twins, 20 per 1000 total births in the MZDC and 56 per 1000 total births in the MZMC (p < .01). Conclusions: Although monozygosity was shown to be a risk factor for perinatal death and accurate determination of zygosity plays a great role in the future consideration of organ transplantation and twin studies, the value of zygosity determination along with chorionicity in relation to overall neonatal morbidity was not definite.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate fish guild compositions and national river health using a multi-metric model of the Korean index of biological integrity using fishes (K-IBIF) in four major Korean watersheds along with water chemistry and habitat quality. Tolerant and omnivore fish species dominated all the watersheds, and the proportions of tolerance guilds and trophic guilds reflected water chemistry and habitat quality. The number of sensitive species and insectivore species had negative correlations (r < −0.42, P < 0.01) with chemical water quality (biological oxygen demand (BOD)), while tolerant species and omnivore species had positive correlation (r > 0.27, P < 0.05) with BOD values. Physical habit conditions, based on qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI) model, indicated a “good” condition (mean = 68.9; range = 45–105) in three watersheds, except for the Yeongsan River watershed. Values of QHEI were significantly correlated (R2 > 0.4, P < 0.01) with nitrogen and phosphorus levels in all watersheds, suggesting that habitat degradation is associated with eutrophication. Model values of K-IBIF in the watersheds averaged 18.2, indicating a “fair” condition, and about 37% of all observations in K-IBIF model values were judged as a “poor” health condition, indicating severe health impairment. Overall, our data suggest that degradation of the river health was due to a combined effect of chemical pollution and physical habitat modifications. This research provides valuable information on Korean river conservation and restoration in the future.
To describe the incidence of recovery of both vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from culture of a single clinical specimen, to describe the clinical characteristics of patients from whom these specimens were recovered, and to identify the risk factors of these patients.
A retrospective cohort and case-control study.
A tertiary care university hospital and referral center in Seoul, Korea.
We identified 61 case patients for whom a single clinical specimen yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and 122 control patients for whom any clinical specimen yielded only VRE on culture. The control patients were selected by matching 2 :1 with the case patients for age, sex, and first date of sampling that led to isolation of VRE or both VRE and MRSA among 1,536 VRE-colonized patients from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. To identify patient risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen, we performed univariate comparisons between the 2 groups and then multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The incidence of recovery of both VRE and MRSA from culture of a single clinical specimen was 3.97% (for 61 of 1,536 VRE-colonized patients) over 4 years. Among these 82 single clinical specimens, the most common type was wound specimens (26.8%), followed by lower respiratory tract specimens (18.3%), urine specimens (17.1%), and catheter tips (15.9%). Of the 61 case patients, 14 (23.0%) had 2 or more single clinical specimens that yielded both VRE and MRSA on culture, and the longest interval from the first sampling that yielded both organisms to the last sampling that yielded both was 174 days. Independent patient risk factors for the presence of both VRE and MRSA in a single clinical specimen were chronic renal disease (odds ratio [OR], 7.00; P = .012), urinary catheterization (OR, 3.36; P = .026), and longer total cumulative duration of hospital stay within the previous year (OR, 1.03; P < .001).
We confirmed that the recovery of VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen occurs continually. Because prolonged cell-to-cell contact can facilitate transfer of vanA, close observation and surveillance for vancomycin-resistant S. aureus, especially among patients with risk factors for the recovery of both VRE and MRSA from a single clinical specimen, should be continued.
A systematic study on the effect of sputtering deposition parameters on material properties of Al doped ZnO (ZnO:Al) films prepared by an in-line rf magnetron sputtering and on surface morphology of the films after wet etching process was carried out. For application to silicon thin film solar cells as a front electrode, the as-deposited films were surface-textured by a dilute HCl solution to improve the light scattering properties such as haze and angle resolved distribution of scattered light on the film surfaces. The microstructure of as-deposited films is affected significantly by the working pressure and film compactness decreases with increasing working pressure from 1.5 mTorr to 10 mTorr. High quality ZnO:Al films with electrical resistivity of 4.25 × 10-4 Ω cm and optical transmittance of 80% in a visible range are obtained at low working pressure of 1.5 mTorr and substrate temperature of 100℃. Crater-like surface morphologies are observed on the textured ZnO:Al films after wet etching. The size and shape of craters are closely dependent on the microstructure and film compactness of as-deposited films. Haze values of the textured ZnO:Al films are improved in a whole wavelength of 300 – 1100 nm compared to commercial SnO2:F films (Asahi U type) and incident light on the textured films is scattered effectively with 30° angle.
In this study, we assess the neuropsychological profiles of both early
and late symptom-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. The
early and late-onset OCD patients are compared to the control group with a
series of neuropsychological measurements. The late-onset OCD patients
exhibited impaired performance on the immediate and the delayed recall
conditions of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) and the letter
and category fluency of the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWA),
compared to the normal controls and the early-onset OCD patients. The
controls and early-onset OCD patients did not differ on any of the
neuropsychological measurements taken in this study. These results suggest
that different neurophysiological mechanisms are in play in early and
late-onset OCD patients, and age of onset can serve as a potential marker
for the subtyping of OCD. (JINS, 2007, 13,
The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of technetium-99m methoxyisobutylisonitrile (99mTc-MIBI) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and computed tomography (CT) in evaluating cervical lymph node metastasis of head and neck cancer. Histopathologic results of 166 cervical lymph node levels in 31 neck-dissected patients were compared with pre-operative CT and 99mTc-MIBI SPECT findings about cervical lymph node metastasis, retrospectively. Sensitivity, specificity and predictability of CT and 99mTc-MIBI SPECT were 68.2, 93.1 and 89.8 per cent and 59.1, 87.5 and 83.7 per cent, respectively. When analysing CT and99mTc-MIBI SPECT together, sensitivity and specificity were 86.4 and 99.3 per cent, respectively. The combined use of 99mTc-MIBI SPECT and CT could increase the accuracy of cervical lymph node metastases detection, compared with separate use of either 99mTc-MIBI SPECT or CT.
We have studied the growth of undoped and n+ μc-Si:H (:CI) films by Remote Plasma CVD using SiH4/SiH2Cl2/H2/He mixtures. It was found that the μc-Si film can be fabricated by increasing flow rate of SiH2Cl2 and/or H2. The deposited undoped μc-Si film exhibited a maximum crystalline volume fraction of 85 %, obtained from Raman spectroscopy. The n-type μc-Si film, deposited with SiH4/SiH2Cl2/H2/PH3/He mixtures, shows a room temperature conductivity of 2 S/cm, conductivity activation energy of 29.8 meV and optical band gap of-2.0 eV. The optical band gap of n-type μc-S1 deposited using SiH2Cl2 is much higher compared to conventional μc-Si film.
We have studied the growth of microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) and amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) by layer by layer deposition technique, where the deposition and the radical exposure are done alternatively. He or hydrogen plasma exposure gives rise to the etching effect of both μc-Si and a-Si:H even though the etch rate by He plasma is much smaller. The long exposure of hydrogen radical on a-Si:H gives rise to the formation of μc-Si at low substrate temperature (Ts), whereas the hydrogen content decreases at high Ts. The growth mechanism of the crystallite is proposed on the basis of experimental results.
We have studied the improvement of the quality of undoped a-Si:H deposited by remote-plasma chemical vapour deposition. The effects of reactant gas concentration, rf power, substrate bias voltage on the electrical and optical properties have been investigated. Some hydrogen dilution of si lane improves the photoeletric property and a high rf power gives rise to the defect creation due to the ion bombardment on the growing surface. The positive substrate bias improves the quality of undoped a-Si:H.
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