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This study investigated the relationships of three major aquatic assemblages (diatom, macroinvertebrate, and fish) and environmental variables, including sub-basin, hydrology, land cover, and water quality variables on multiple scales. Samples were collected at 720 sampling sites on the Korean nationwide scale. Geological variables, including altitude and slope, showed a strong positive correlation with proportions of forest in land cover types and cobbles in substrates, while they were negatively correlated with water quality variables, including conductivity and total phosphorus. Considering the concordance of the different assemblages, species richness of fish and macroinvertebrates displayed significant correlation, and diatoms were significantly correlated with fish. However, diatoms did not show significant correlation with macroinvertebrates. Altitude and slope showed significant correlation with all biological variables of the three assemblages. Macroinvertebrates and fish showed positive relations with large substrate sizes. Indices of diatoms and macroinvertebrates well reflected the perturbation of water quality variables. However, fish indices showed a relatively low association with water quality variables, compared with those of diatoms and macroinvertebrates. These patterns were also confirmed by the ordination and prediction of biological indices with environmental variables through the learning process of a self-organizing map as well as random forest. Overall, our study supports the concept of multi-scale habitat filters and functional organization in streams, and is consistent with the recommended use of multiple biological indices with more than one assemblage for the assessment of the biotic integrity of aquatic ecosystems.
The sap of Acer mono has been called ‘bone-benefit-water’ in Korea because of its mineral and sugar content. In particular, the calcium concentration of the sap of A. mono is 37·5 times higher than commercial spring water. In the current study, we examined whether A. mono sap could improve or prevent osteoporosis-like symptoms in a mouse model. Male mice (3 weeks old) were fed a low-calcium diet supplemented with 25, 50 or 100 % A. mono sap, commercial spring water or a high calcium-containing solution as a beverage for 7 weeks. There were no differences in weekly weight gain and food intake among all the groups. Mice that were given a low-calcium diet supplemented with commercial spring water developed osteoporosis-like symptoms. To assess the effect of sap on osteoporosis-like symptoms, we examined serum calcium concentration, and femur density and length, and carried out a histological examination. Serum calcium levels were significantly lower in mice that received a low-calcium diet supplemented with commercial spring water (the negative control group), and in the 25 % sap group compared to mice fed a normal diet, but were normal in the 50 and 100 % sap and high-calcium solution groups. Femur density and length were significantly reduced in the negative control and 25 % sap groups. These results indicate that a 50 % sap solution can mitigate osteoporosis-like symptoms induced by a low-calcium diet. We also examined the regulation of expression of calcium-processing genes in the duodenum and kidney. Duodenal TRPV6 and renal calbindin-D9k were up-regulated dose-dependently by sap, and the levels of these factors were higher than those attained in the spring water-treated control. The results demonstrate that the sap of A. mono ameliorates the low bone density induced by a low-calcium diet, most likely by increasing calcium ion absorption.
Oxidative modification of LDL is causally involved in the development of atherosclerosis and occurs in vivo in the blood as well as within the vascular wall. The present study attempted to explore whether polyphenolic flavonoids influence monocyte-endothelium interaction and lectin-like oxidised LDL receptor 1 (LOX-1) expression involved in the early development of atherosclerosis. The flavones luteolin and apigenin inhibited THP-1 cell adhesion onto oxidised LDL-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), while the flavanols of ( − )epigallocatechin gallate and (+)catechin, the flavonols of quercetin and rutin, and the flavanones of naringin, naringenin, hesperidin and hesperetin did not have such effects. Consistently, Western blot analysis revealed that the flavones at 25 μm dramatically and significantly abolished HUVEC expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin evidently enhanced by oxidised LDL; these inhibitory effects were exerted by drastically down regulating mRNA levels of these cell adhesion molecules. In addition, quercetin and luteolin significantly attenuated expression of LOX-1 protein up regulated in oxidised LDL-activated HUVEC with a fall in transcriptional mRNA levels of LOX-1. In addition, quercetin and luteolin clearly blunted oxidised LDL uptake by HUVEC treated with oxidised LDL. The results demonstrate that the flavones luteolin and apigenin as well as quercetin were effective in the different initial steps of atherosclerosis process by inhibiting oxidised LDL-induced endothelial monocyte adhesion and/or oxidised LDL uptake. Therefore, certain flavonoids qualify as anti-atherogenic agents in LDL systems, which may have implications for strategies attenuating endothelial dysfunction-related atherosclerosis.
An optimized process of Pb(Zr,Ti)O3(PZT) ferroelectric capacitor has been investigated in order to develop a highly scaleable 1T/1C ferroelectric random access memory. The PZT ferroelectric capacitor, Pt/PZT/Pt stack, was formed on the TiO2/SiO2/Si substrate. The PZT thin films were prepared by conventional sol-gel multi-coating method. Physical and electrical properties of the PZT ferroelectric capacitors were characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM and RT6000S, respectively.
It was revealed that the microstructure of PZT thin film is strongly influenced by sol-gel coating process, especially depending on coating methods of the first PZT layer. The second phase was observed in the PZT thin films, which is found to be pyrochlore phase. The size and density of pyrochlore phase were significantly reduced by modifying the coating methods of first PZT layer. Microstructure of PZT thin film capacitors was evaluated in detail along with electrical properties such as remnant polarization, coercive electric field, and dielectric leakage. The sensing Pr window was also introduced for proper sensing margin in IT/1C ferroelectric random access memory. This concept is well verified by 64Kb 1T/1C ferroelectric random access memory.
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