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This study investigated the effect of the flavonoid-based compound isorhamnetin (ISO) on maturation and developmental competence in oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes in vitro. Treatment with 2 μM ISO (2 ISO) increases the developmental rate of oxidative stress-exposed porcine oocytes during in vitro maturation (IVM). The glutathione level and mRNA expression of antioxidant-related genes (NFE2L2 and SOD2) were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group, whereas the reactive oxygen species level was decreased. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of a cumulus cell expansion-related gene (SHAS2) and improved chromosomal alignment. mRNA expression of maternal genes (CCNB1, MOS, BMP15 and GDF9) and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity were increased in the 2 ISO-treated group. The total cell number per blastocyst and percentage of apoptotic cells were increased and decreased in the 2 ISO-treated group, respectively. Treatment with 2 ISO increased mRNA expression of development-related genes (SOX2, NANOG, and POU5F1) and anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5) and decreased that of pro-apoptotic genes (CASP3 and FAS). These results demonstrate that 2 ISO improves the quality of porcine oocytes by protecting them against oxidative stress during IVM and enhances subsequent embryo development in vitro. Therefore, we propose that ISO is a useful supplement for IVM of porcine oocytes.
Our previous studies have already revealed that β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), hesperetin (HES), and icariin (ICA) antioxidants are effective for in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes. In this study, we investigated which of BCX, HES, or ICA was more effective for IVM of porcine oocytes. The antioxidant properties were assessed with aged porcine oocytes and embryos by comparing 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power, and H2O2 scavenging activity assays. The chemical assay results demonstrated that BCX had a greater DPPH scavenging activity and reducing power than HES and ICA, compared with controls. However, the H2O2 scavenging activity of the antioxidants was similar when tested at the optimal concentrations of 1 μM BCX (BCX-1), 100 μM HES (HES-100), and 5 μM ICA (ICA-5). The biological assay results showed that BCX-1 treatment was more effective in inducing a significant reduction in reactive oxygen species (ROS), improving glutathione levels, and increasing the expression of antioxidant genes. In addition, BCX-1 inhibited apoptosis by increasing the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and decreasing pro-apoptotic genes in porcine parthenogenetic blastocysts. BCX-1 also significantly increased the blastocyst formation rate compared with the ageing control group, HES-100 and ICA-5. This study demonstrates that damage from ROS produced during oocyte ageing can be prevented by supplementing antioxidants into the IVM medium, and BCX may be a potential candidate to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
Network approach has been applied to a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. The aim of the present study was to identify network structures of remitters and non-remitters in patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) at baseline and the 6-month follow-up.
Participants (n = 252) from the Korean Early Psychosis Study (KEPS) were enrolled. They were classified as remitters or non-remitters using Andreasen's criteria. We estimated network structure with 10 symptoms (three symptoms from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, one depressive symptom, and six symptoms related to schema and rumination) as nodes using a Gaussian graphical model. Global and local network metrics were compared within and between the networks over time.
Global network metrics did not differ between the remitters and non-remitters at baseline or 6 months. However, the network structure and nodal strengths associated with positive-self and positive-others scores changed significantly in the remitters over time. Unique central symptoms for remitters and non-remitters were cognitive brooding and negative-self, respectively. The correlation stability coefficients for nodal strength were within the acceptable range.
Our findings indicate that network structure and some nodal strengths were more flexible in remitters. Negative-self could be an important target for therapeutic intervention.
Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show a different stress-related cognitive style compared with healthy controls (HC). The FK506 binding protein 5 gene (FKBP5), one of the PTSD known risk factors, is involved in the stress response through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain volumetric alterations. The present study aimed to uncover the neural correlates of stress-related cognitive styles through the analysis of the regional brain volumes and FKBP5 genotype in patients with PTSD compared with HC.
In this study, 51 patients with PTSD and 94 HC were assessed for stress-related cognitive styles, PTSD symptoms severity, and genotype of FKBP5 single nucleotide polymorphisms, and underwent T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging. Diagnosis-by-genotype interaction for regional brain volumes was examined in 16 brain regions of interest.
Patients with PTSD showed significantly higher levels of catastrophizing, ruminative response, and repression, and reduced distress aversion and positive reappraisal compared with HC (p < 0.001). Significant diagnosis-by-genotype interactions for regional brain volumes were observed for bilateral hippocampi and left frontal operculum. A significant positive correlation between the severity of the repression and left hippocampal volume was found in a subgroup of patients with PTSD with FKBP5 rs3800373 (AA genotype) or rs1360780 (CC genotype).
The present study showed the influences of FKBP5 genotype on the distorted cognitive styles in PTSD by measuring the volumetric alteration of hippocampal regions, providing a possible role of the hippocampus and left frontal operculum as significant neurobiological correlates of PTSD.
In this paper, the electrical properties of bottom-gate (BG) polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin-film transistors (TFTs) by NiSi2 seed-induced lateral crystallization (SILC) and its applications are presented. Sequential lateral solidification (SLS), which is one of crystallization methods, is known to have poor electrical properties of TFTs with BG structures due to problems induced by laser. Therefore, the laser method cannot be used to well-developed production line of amorphous-Si (a-Si) TFT, resulting in large initial investment cost to change fabrication procedures. On the other hand, the BG poly-Si TFT by SILC (SILC-BGPS TFT) has basically compatible process flows with that of the a-Si TFT. The SILC-BGPS TFT exhibited threshold voltage of -3.9 V, steep subthreshold slope of 130 mV/dec, a high field-effect mobility of 129 cm2/Vs , and Ion/Ioff ratio of ∼106.
This paper presents an improved Rao-Blackwellized particle filtering framework with consideration of the particle swarm characteristics in FastSLAM, called Relational FastSLAM or R-FastSLAM. The R-FastSLAM seeks to cope with the inherent problems of FastSLAM, i.e., a particle depletion problem and an error accumulation problem in large environments. The R-FastSLAM uses the particle swarm characteristics in calculating the importance weight and maintaining a particle formation. We assign more accurate weights to particles by clustering them using the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm according to an adaptive weight compensation scheme. In addition, particles constitute an adaptive triangular mesh formation to maintain multiple data association hypotheses without any resampling step. Its outstanding accomplishments are verified on simulations and a test using the Victoria Park dataset by comparing the standard FastSLAM 2.0 with the particle swarm optimization based FastSLAM.
The neurobiological mechanism of auditory hallucination (AH) in schizophrenia remains elusive, but AH can be caused by the abnormality in the speech perception system based on the speech perception neural network model.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether schizophrenic patients with AH have the speech processing impairment as compared with schizophrenic patients without AH, and whether the speech perception ability could be improved after AH had subsided.
Twenty-four schizophrenic patients with AH were compared with 25 schizophrenic patients without AH. Narrative speech perception was assessed using a masked speech tracking (MST) task with three levels of superimposed phonetic noise. Sentence repetition task (SRT) and auditory continuous performance task (CPT) were used to assess grammar-dependent verbal working memory and non-language attention, respectively. These tests were measured before and after treatment in both groups.
Before treatment, schizophrenic patients with AH showed significant impairments in MST compared with those without AH. There were no significant differences in SRT and CPT correct (CPT-C) rates between both groups, but CPT incorrect (CPT-I) rate showed a significant difference. The low-score CPI-I group showed a significant difference in MST performance between the two groups, while the high-score CPI-I group did not. After treatment (after AH subsided), the hallucinating schizophrenic patients still had significant impairment in MST performance compared with non-hallucinating schizophrenic patients.
Our results support the claim that schizophrenic patients with AH are likely to have a disturbance of the speech perception system. Moreover, our data suggest that non-language attention might be a key factor influencing speech perception ability and that speech perception dysfunction might be a trait marker in schizophrenia with AH.
Vitamin D insufficiency is known to be related to cardiometabolic disorders; however, the associations among serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration and metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents have not yet been clearly delineated. For this reason, we investigated the relationship among serum 25(OH)D concentration and metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk factors among Korean adolescents.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis and used hierarchical multivariate logistic regression analysis models to adjust for confounding variables.
We used the data gathered during the 2008–2009 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
Our subjects included 1504 Korean adolescents aged 12–18 years who participated in the KNHANES.
Vitamin D insufficiency, defined as 25(OH)D concentration <50 nmol/l, was found in 75·3 % of Korean adolescents and was associated with an increased risk of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Waist circumference and BMI were the most closely correlated cardiometabolic components of metabolic syndrome according to serum 25(OH)D status, but no significant relationship was found between serum 25(OH)D concentration and insulin resistance or for the risks for high blood pressure, hyperglycaemia, reduced HDL-cholesterol or hypertriacylglycerolaemia, with or without adjustment for confounding variables.
Low serum 25(OH)D concentration appears to be associated with several cardiometabolic risk factors and an increased risk of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korean adolescents.
Codonopsimyzus sasammi, gen.nov., sp.nov., and Aulacorthum ligularicola, sp.nov., are described from specimens collected in South Korea on Codonopsis lanceolata Trautv. (Campanulaceae) and Ligularia fischeri Tucz. (Asteraceae), respectively. Both species are illustrated with the biométrie data for apterous viviparous females and alate viviparous females. The host plants and a brief description of the biology are also provided for each species. A revised key to the species of the genus Aulacorthum Mordvilko in Korea and a key to Korean genera of macrosiphine aphids related to Codonopsimyzus, sp.nov., are presented.
This paper addresses the map merging problem, which is the most important issue in multi-robot simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) using the Rao–Blackwellized particle filter (RBPF-SLAM) with unknown initial poses. The map merging is performed using the map transformation matrix and the pair of map merging bases (MMBs) of the robots. However, it is difficult to find appropriate MMBs because each robot pose is estimated under multi-hypothesis in the RBPF-SLAM. In this paper, probabilistic map merging (PMM) using the Gaussian process is proposed to solve the problem. The performance of PMM was verified by reducing errors in the merged map with computer simulations and real experiments.
We have propsed MgO/AZO bi-layer transparent conducting oxide (TCO) for thin film solar cells. From XRD analysis, it was observed that the full width at half maximum of AZO decreased when it was grown on MgO precursor. The Hall mobility of MgO/AZO bi-layer was 17.5cm2/Vs, whereas that of AZO was 20.8cm2/Vs. These indicated that the crystallinity of AZO decreased by employing MgO precursor. However, the haze (=total diffusive transmittance/total transmittance) characteristics of highly crystalline AZO was significantly improved by MgO precursor. The average haze in the visible region increased from 14.3 to 48.2%, and that in the NIR region increased from 6.3 to 18.9%. The reflectance of microcrystalline silicon solar cell was decreased and external quantum efficiency was significantly improved by applying MgO/AZO bi-layer TCO. The efficiency of microcrystalline silicon solar cell with MgO/AZO bi-layer front TCO was 6.66%, whereas the efficiency of one with AZO single TCO was 5.19%.
To enhance the lifetime of large-sized active matrix organic light emitting
diodes (AMOLEDs), we developed a liquid desiccant for encapsulation. The
liquid desiccant was prepared by mixing nano-sized calcium oxide (CaO)
powders and silicone binder including polyalkylalkenylsiloxane,
polyalkylhydrogensiloxane and platinum compound. It was confirmed that
liquid desiccant had an effect on absorption of penetrated moisture and
oxygen through calcium tests. Also, the test cells encapsulated with only
epoxy sealant dispensed at the edge of the cell developed dark spots within
100 hrs, which grew larger with time at 85 oC and 85 % R.H. On the other hand, the test cell sealed with epoxy
sealant and liquid desiccant showed no dark spots and retained 97% of its
initial luminance even after being stored for 800 hrs at 85 oC and 85 % R.H. Furthermore, the accelerating storage lifetimes of
31-inch bottom-emitting AMOLEDs with epoxy sealant and liquid desiccant
showed about 1000 hrs. These results suggest that the liquid desiccant can
be applied to encapsulation of large-sized AMOLEDs.
Background: Extrapyramidal signs (EPSs), which are important characteristics of Parkinson's disease (PD), occur frequently in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although AD and PD share common clinical features such as EPSs, these diseases vary with respect to vascular risk factors. The presence of vascular risk factors increases the risk of AD; however, these factors have been known to be inversely associated with PD. We aimed to assess the effect of vascular risk factors and white matter lesions (WMLs) on EPSs in AD.
Methods: We recruited 1,187 AD patients and 333 controls with neither cognitive impairment nor EPSs. All participants underwent detailed clinical evaluations which included assessments of vascular risk factors, cognitive function, and EPSs, as well as WMLs on brain MRIs. EPS subtypes were classified into tremor-dominant, postural instability gait difficulty, or indeterminate; WMLs subtypes were classified into periventricular WML (pvWML) or deep WML (dWML).
Results: EPSs were present in 17.9% of subjects with AD and were significantly associated with vascular risk factors such as age, male gender, diabetes mellitus, and WMLs. Additionally, a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that EPSs in AD were associated with pvWML (odds ratio (OR), 1.61–2.52), not with dWML. With respect to EPS subtypes, the majority (78.4%) of EPSs in AD were postural instability gait difficulty, which was also associated with WMLs (OR 1.84–2.41), pvWML (OR 2.09–3.14), and dWML (OR 1.83–3.42).
Conclusions: EPSs in AD are associated with selected vascular risk factors as well as WMLs.
This article reports on low (below 800 °C) melting temperature characteristics of a Zr-Ti-Ni-Cu alloy system, designed by adding a small amount of Cu to a Zr-Ti-Ni eutectic alloy system in the Zr-rich corner of the Zr-Ti-Ni system. A series of Zr-Ti-Ni-Cu-based alloy buttons of varying Cu content was fabricated by an arc melting machine. The melting temperature ranges of the quaternary alloys were systematically examined by differential thermal analysis (DTA). As a result, a quaternary eutectic alloy of composition Zr54Ti22Ni16Cu8 with a low melting temperature range from 774 °C to 783 °C was found. In addition, structural and chemical analysis results for the slowly solidified, quaternary eutectic alloy sample revealed equivalent quaternary eutectic structure and phases to those of the ternary eutectic Zr50Ti26Ni24 alloy, except for a small amount of Cu dissolved in individual constituent phases. The wetting angle tested at 800 °C for 60 s on the commercially pure titanium was about 25°.
Analytical electron microscopy (AEM) was used to examine the initial interfacial reaction layers between a eutectic Sn–3.5Ag solder and an electroless nickel-immersion gold-plated (ENIG) Cu substrate during reflow at 255 °C for 1 s. AEM confirmed that a thick upper (Au,Ni)Sn2 layer and a thin Ni3Sn4 layer had formed through the reaction between the solder and ENIG. The amorphous electroless Ni(P) plated layer transformed into two P-rich Ni layers. One is a crystallized P-rich Ni layer, and the other is an intermediate state P-rich Ni layer before the crystallization. The crystallized P-rich layer consisted of Ni2P and Ni12P5. A thin Ni2P layer had formed underneath the Ni3Sn4 layer and is believed to be a predecessor of the Ni2SnP ternary phase. A Ni12P5 phase was observed beneath the Ni2P thin layer. In addition, nanocrystalline Ni was found to coexist with the amorphous Ni(P) phase in the intermediate state P-rich Ni layer.
The effect of changes in poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) conformation on removal of Si3N4 film was investigated. PAA was used as a passivation agent by adsorption on an Si3N4 film in shallow-trench isolation chemical–mechanical planarization (STI CMP). Adsorption behavior of PAA on the Si3N4 film and the conformation transition were determined by adsorption isotherms and force measurements using atomic force microscopy (AFM) as a function of ionic strength. AFM results revealed that, as ionic strength increases, the repulsive force between the negatively charged carboxylate groups along the backbone of PAA is reduced due to counterion screening and to the changes of PAA conformation from a stretched to a coiled configuration. At high ionic strength, the coiled conformation of PAA formed a dense passivation layer on the Si3N4 film, which led to suppression of the removal rate of Si3N4 film from 72 to 61 Å/min in the STI CMP process.
Core–shell microspheres of monodispersed SiO2 coated with rare-earth ion doped CeO2 (Eu3+ Sm3+ Dy3+) were prepared through a sol-gel method and followed by heat treatment at 800 °C for 4 h. XRD patterns revealed the crystal structures of the doped CeO2 coated on amorphous SiO2 sphere as a shell subsequent to heat treatment at 800 °C. SEM and TEM analysis indicated the microstructures of the coating and uniform size distributions of microspheres. Photoluminescence studies showed that the luminescent property had significant influence depending on different dopant ions and the thickness of the shell coated on SiO2 spheres.
Ceria doped-yttrium aluminum garnet (Y3Al5O12:Ce3+, YAG:Ce), which is known as an efficient phosphor, have been widely used in optical display and lighting applications. Improved wet chemical method, sol-gel, has been studied, since conventional solid-state reaction requires a high-temperature and prolonged heating to obtain the pure phase. However, there has been little information, such as on pre-firing temperature, concerning high-quality powder formed by the wet chemical process. In this work, YAG:Ce was synthesized with a salted sol-gel process in which a water solution of inorganic salt with citric acid as additive. Transparent starting sol was pre-fired at 200 ˜ 300°C for 2 hrs in air and final annealing to obtain phase-pure YAG:Ce particles was performed at 1100°C for 2 hrs in argon. The effects of pre-firing temperatures on the crystal structure, morphology and luminescence were investigated. Effects of residual organics in the pre-fired gel on the properties of finally annealed phosphors will be fully discussed on the basis of the results of thermal analysis and chemical structure.