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In a quiet environment, even a small noise attracts the attention of the people around. In order to reduce the stress of speakers, listeners, and other people around them, we devised a tool to support conversation by converting voice into ultrasonic waves and outputting them from parametric speakers to deliver the sound to the conversation partner. Since light materials can be used for soundproofing ultrasonic waves, we used cardboard and newspaper as soundproofing materials. We confirmed that the sound converted by the tool can be used for conversation and soundproofed.
Previous studies have shown that the function of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is involved in the characterization of personality traits. FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51 or FKBP5) is a co-chaperone of heat-shock protein 90, and plays an important role in the negative feedback regulation of HPA axis function. It has been reported that a C/T single nucleotide polymorphism in the intron 2 of FKBP5 gene (rs1360780) affects FKBP5 protein levels and cortisol response to dexamethasone and psychological stress tests. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the FKBP5 polymorphism affects personality traits. In the present study, we studied the association between this polymorphism and personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects were 826 Japanese healthy volunteers. Personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and the FKBP5 genotype was detected by a real-time PCR and cycling probe technology for SNP typing.
In total subjects, the group with the T allele predictive of impaired negative feedback regulation of the HPA axis had higher scores of harm avoidance (p = 0.043) and lower scores of cooperativeness (p = 0.019) compared to that without the T allele. The T allele was associated with higher scores of harm avoidance in females (p = 0.020) and lower scores of cooperativeness in males (p = 0.015).
The present study thus suggests that the FKBP5 polymorphism affects harm avoidance and cooperativeness in healthy subjects, with gender specificity.
Dopamine and norepinephrine are implicated in the characterization of personality traits. Dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) is the enzyme responsible for conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. Previous studies have shown that the -1021C/T polymorphism of the DBH gene promoter influences plasma DBH activity. Few studies investigated the association between this polymorphism and personality traits.
To examine the association between the -1021C/T DBH polymorphism and personality traits in healthy volunteers.
The participants were 627 Japanese unrelated volunteers. The subjects with present psychiatric disorders or past history of psychiatric disorders according to the DSM-IV were excluded. The DBH genotypes were identified by a PCR-RFLP method, and personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Yamagata University School of Medicine, and all subjects provided written informed consent to participate.
In the two-factor analysis of covariance with the DBH genotype and sex as factors and with age as a covariate, there was no main effect of the DBH genotype on any TCI score, while the interaction between the factors was significant in harm avoidance. In the post-hoc analysis, the group with the T allele predictive of lower DBH activity had higher scores of harm avoidance than that without the T allele in females (p=0.006), but not in males.
The present study suggests that the -1021C/T DBH polymorphism affects the personality trait of harm avoidance in healthy females.
Previous studies have shown that the function of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is involved in the characterization of personality traits. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is the most important regulator of the HPA axis negative feedback system, and several polymorphisms of the GR gene are associated with altered glucocorticoid sensitivity. In the present study, we examined the associations between the GR polymorphisms and personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects were 880 Japanese healthy volunteers. Personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Two polymorphisms of the GR gene, i.e., G/C SNP in the intron 2 (BcII polymorphism, rs41423247) and A/G SNP in the exon 9β (9β polymorphism, rs6198), were detected by a real-time PCR and cycling probe technology for SNP typing.
The genotype distributions were G/G = 614, G/C = 240, and C/C = 26 for the BcII polymorphism, and A/A = 879 and A/G = 1 for the 9β polymorphism, respectively. There were no significant associations between the BcII genotype groups in any TCI dimension score.
The present study suggests that these two GR polymorphisms (BcII and 9β polymorphism) are not involved in the characterization of personality traits in healthy subjects.
Neurocognitive and functional neuroimaging studies point to frontal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia. Molecular and behavioural genetic studies suggest that the frontal lobe is under significant genetic influence. We carried out structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the frontal lobe in monozygotic (MZ) twins concordant or discordant for schizophrenia and healthy MZ control twins.
The sample comprised 21 concordant pairs, 17 discordant affected and 18 discordant unaffected twins from 19 discordant pairs, and 27 control pairs. Groups were matched on sociodemographic variables. Patient groups (concordant, discordant affected) did not differ on clinical variables. Volumes of superior, middle, inferior and orbital frontal gyri were calculated using the Cavalieri principle on the basis of manual tracing of anatomic boundaries. Group differences were investigated covarying for whole-brain volume, gender and age.
Results for superior frontal gyrus showed that twins with schizophrenia (i.e. concordant twins and discordant affected twins) had reduced volume compared to twins without schizophrenia (i.e. discordant unaffected and control twins), indicating an effect of illness. For middle and orbital frontal gyrus, concordant (but not discordant affected) twins differed from non-schizophrenic twins. There were no group differences in inferior frontal gyrus volume.
These findings suggest that volume reductions in the superior frontal gyrus are associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (in the presence or absence of a co-twin with schizophrenia). On the other hand, volume reductions in middle and orbital frontal gyri are seen only in concordant pairs, perhaps reflecting the increased genetic vulnerability in this group.
There is a growing body of data suggesting the gene-environment interaction in the characterization of personality traits, but variation in ordinary parental rearing among environmental factors has not been focused yet. We examined the effects of the interaction between the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and parental rearing on personality traits.
Subjects were 710 Japanese healthy volunteers. Perceived parental rearing was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), which consists of the care and protection factors. Personality assessment was performed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), which has 7 dimensions, i.e., novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was detected by the PCR-RFLP method.
Parental rearing has significant main effects on all TCI dimensions except novelty seeking, while no significant main effects of the BDNF genotype on the TCI scores were found. The interaction between the BDNF genotype and maternal care of the PBI had significant effects on harm avoidance and self-directedness of the TCI. Post-hoc analyses showed that decreased maternal care was correlated with increased harm avoidance and decreased self-directedness in most of the genotype groups, and for both personality traits the correlation was highest in the Met/Met genotype and lowest in the Val/Val genotype and that for the Val/Met genotype was in between the two values.
The present study suggests that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism moderates the effects of parenting rearing, especially maternal care, on harm avoidance and self-directedness in healthy subjects.
It has been reported that certain personality traits are related to mortality and disease morbidity, but the biological mechanism linking them remains unclear. Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at the ends of chromosomes, and shorter telomere length is a predictor of mortality and late-life disease morbidity. Thus, it is possible that personality traits influence telomere length. In the present study, we examined the relationship of leukocyte telomere length with personality traits in healthy subjects. The subjects were 209 unrelated physically healthy Japanese who were recruited from medical students at 4th-5th grade. None had psychiatric disorders. 128 subjects were males, and 81 were females. The mean±SD (range) of age was 23.3±1.7 (20-30) years. Personality traits were assessed by the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Leukocyte relative telomere length was determined by a quantitative real-time PCR method for a ratio of telomere/single copy gene. In the stepwise multiple regression analysis, shorter telomere length was related to lower scores of Neuroticism (β=0.208, p< 0.01) and Conscientiousness (β=0.146, p< 0.05) of the NEO-PI-R, and lower scores of Harm avoidance (β=0.144, p< 0.05) and Reward dependence (β=0.170, p< 0.05) of the TCI. The present study suggests that leukocyte telomere length is associated with some personality traits, and this association may be implicated in the relationship between personality traits and mortality.
It has been shown that certain personality traits are related to mortality and disease morbidity, but the biological mechanism linking them remains unclear. Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at the ends of chromosomes, and shorter telomere length is a predictor of mortality and late-life disease morbidity. Thus, it is possible that personality traits influence telomere length. In the present study, we examined the relationship of leukocyte telomere length with personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects and methods:
The subjects were 209 unrelated healthy Japanese who were recruited from medical students at 4th–5th grade. Assessment of personality traits was performed by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Leukocyte relative telomere length was determined by a quantitative real-time PCR method for a ratio of telomere/single copy gene.
In the stepwise multiple regression analysis, shorter telomere length was related to lower scores of neuroticism (P < 0.01) and conscientiousness (P < 0.05) of the NEO-PI-R, and lower scores of harm avoidance (P < 0.05) and reward dependence (P < 0.05) of the TCI.
The present study suggests that leukocyte telomere length is associated with some personality traits, and this association may be implicated in the relationship between personality traits and mortality.
Interpersonal sensitivity is defined as undue and excessive awareness of, and sensitivity to, the behavior and feelings of others and is one of the vulnerable factors to depression. In a twin study, it was suggested that this personality trait was characterized by both genetic and environmental factors. In the present study, we examined the effects of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and parental rearing on interpersonal sensitivity. The subjects were 725 unrelated healthy Japanese volunteers (mean age±SD=27.1±8.5, 405 males and 320 females). Assessment of interpersonal sensitivity was performed by the Japanese version of the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM). Perceived parental rearing was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), which consists of the care and protection factors. The BDNF polymorphism was detected by the PCR-RFLP method. There was no main effect of the BDNF genotype on the IPSM score, while the PBI factors except maternal care had significant main effect on the IPSM score. There was significant interaction effect between the BDNF genotype and maternal care of the PBI on the IPSM score. Post-hoc analysis of simple slopes showed that the negative relationship between the IPSM score and maternal care was strongest and significant in the Met/Met genotype group, intermediate in the Val/Met genotype group, and weakest in the Val/Val genotype group. The present study suggests that the interaction between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and parental rearing, especially maternal care, influences interpersonal sensitivity in healthy subjects.
P-glycoprotein, which is encoded by the multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene, serves as a barrier to entry and as an active elimination for xenobiotics and cellular metabolites including cortisol, which is implicated in multiple brain functions. Meanwhile, previous studies suggested that genetic factors and cortisol are involved in formation of interpersonal sensitivity, a personality trait predisposing to depression. In the present study, we examined the effects of the C3435T MDR1 polymorphism on interpersonal sensitivity. The subjects were 842 healthy Japanese volunteers. The mean age ±SD of the subjects was 26.7±8.1 (490 males and 352 females). The C3435T polymorphism of MDR1 gene was detected by a PCR method, and interpersonal sensitivity was assessed by the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM). In total subjects, the C allele of the C3435T MDR1 polymorphism was associated with higher scores of the IPSM. In females the C/C genotype group had higher IPSM scores than the C/T genotype group and the T/T genotype group, and the C/T genotype group had higher IPSM scores than the T/T genotype group. In males no significant association was found between the MDR1 genotype and the IPSM scores. The present study suggests that the C3435T polymorphism of the MDR1 gene affects formation of a depression-prone personality trait in Japanese females.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
We have demonstrated the high yield (∼900 μm) and highly single-wall selective (>95%) growth of carbon nanotube (CNT) forest using aluminium nitride (AlN) as a catalyst underlayer. Such high efficiency and single-wall selectivity have not been previously reported using this underlayer system. Evaluation with transmission electron microscopy showed that the average diameter of the grown carbon nanotubes was ∼3.0 nm, which is similar to those grown on alumina underlayers. In addition, characterization of the catalyst/underlayer system using atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy suggests that neither Ostwald ripening along the surface nor catalyst subsurface diffusion into the AlN underlayer are severely occurring at the growth temperature, leading to the creation of the stable and dense small nanoparticle array to achieve an efficient growth of single-wall CNTs.
We investigate the two-photon absorption characteristics of hemicyanine dyes that exhibit a one-photon absorption at around 500 nm. The dyes exhibited two-photon-induced fluorescence upon irradiation with an Yb-doped femtosecond fiber laser operating at 1030 nm. Among the dyes, 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate exhibited the most efficient two-photon-induced fluorescence at 1030 nm. Since these dyes possess cationic moiety, the dyes accumulated in the mitochondria of a living cell. Two-photon images of mitochondria were obtained by staining living HEK293 cells with these dyes. When 4-[4-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-1,3-butadienyl]-1-ethyl-pyridinium perchlorate was employed, a two-photon-induced fluorescence image could be obtained even when a 3 mW fiber laser beam was used as the excitation source.
We present observational results of the submillimeter H2O and SiO lines toward a candidate high-mass young stellar object Orion Source I using ALMA. The spatial structures of the high excitation lines at lower-state energies of >2500 K show compact structures consistent with the circumstellar disk and/or base of the northeast-southwest bipolar outflow with a 100 au scale. The highest excitation transition, the SiO (v=4) line at band 8, has the most compact structure. In contrast, lower-excitation transitions are more extended than 200 au tracing the outflow. Almost all the line show velocity gradients perpendicular to the outflow axis suggesting rotation motions of the circumstellar disk and outflow. While some of the detected lines show broad line profiles and spatially extended emission components indicative of thermal excitation, the strong H2O lines at 321 GHz, 474 GHz, and 658 GHz with brightness temperatures of >1000 K show clear signatures of maser action.
We initiated a long-term and highly frequent monitoring project toward 442 methanol masers at 6.7 GHz (Dec >−30 deg) using the Hitachi 32-m radio telescope in December 2012. The observations have been carried out daily, monitoring a spectrum of each source with intervals of 9–10 days. In September 2015, the number of the target sources and intervals were redesigned into 143 and 4–5 days, respectively. This monitoring provides us complete information on how many sources show periodic flux variations in high-mass star-forming regions, which have been detected in 20 sources with periods of 29.5–668 days so far (e.g., Goedhart et al. 2004). We have already obtained new detections of periodic flux variations in 31 methanol sources with periods of 22–409 days. These periodic flux variations must be a unique tool to investigate high-mass protostars themselves and their circumstellar structure on a very tiny spatial scale of 0.1–1 au.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
It is crucially important to observe dense cores in order to investigate the initial condition of star formation since protostars are formed via dynamical collapse of dense cores, inhering the physical properties from their natal dense cores. Here we present the results of ALMA Cycle 0 and Cycle 1 observations of dust continuum emission and molecular rotational lines toward a dense core, MC27 (aka L1521F), which is considered to be very close to the first protostellar core phase. We revealed the spatial/velocity structures of the core are very complex and and suggest that the star formation is highly dynamical.
Bone contouring is currently the best treatment for fibro-osseous lesions after bone growth arrest. Navigation systems available for this surgery allow intra-operative visualisation with improved cosmetic outcomes. However, conventional navigation systems using superficial skin registration cannot prevent subtle discrepancies.
To address this problem, we used a non-invasive cranial bone registration that uses patient-specific dental templates to maintain exact registration. We created the preset goal using the mirror image of the unaffected side for unilateral lesions, and using images obtained before the onset of symptoms for bilateral lesions. This system achieved precise pre-operative simulation. A sound aid in the navigation system provided information regarding proximity to critical structures and to the preset goal.
We used this system to contour fibro-osseous lesions in three patients. All patients achieved good facial contours and improvement in symptoms.
This method offers a safe, rapid surgical aid in treating orbital fibro-osseous lesions.