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Smoking rates in schizotypic individuals are shown to be elevated, as in patients with schizophrenia, although findings on the association of smoking with different symptomatology of schizotypy have been mixed. Moreover, possible moderating effects of schizotypy on the relationship between smoking and cognition have not been well documented.
Subjects and methods
The Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) and the full version of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) were administered to 501 healthy adults. Subjects were divided into smokers (n = 85) and non-smokers (n = 416) based on the presence/absence of current smoking.
The analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) on the three factor scores as well as the total score of the SPQ, controlling for age and gender, revealed that cognitive-perceptual factor was significantly associated with an increased rate of smoking (P = 0.048). The ANCOVA on the WMS-R indices, with smoking group as a fixed factor and age, gender and total SPQ score as covariates, revealed that the schizotypy-by-smoking interaction was significant for attention/working memory (P = 0.029).
Discussion and conclusion
Positive schizotypy may be associated with more smoking. Schizotypy and smoking could interact with each other to negatively affect attention/working memory.
Altered levels of phenylalanine and its metabolites in blood and cerebrospinal fluid have previously been reported in schizophrenia. This study attempted to examine whether phenylalanine kinetics is altered in schizophrenia using the 13C-phenylalanine breath test (13C-PBT).
Subjects were 20 patients with schizophrenia and the same number of controls. 13C-phenylalanine was administered and then 13CO2 concentration in breath was monitored for 120 minutes. The Δ 13CO2 at each collecting time, the maximal Δ 13CO2 (Cmax), the time to reach Cmax (Tmax), the area under the curve of time course of Δ13CO2 (AUC), the cumulative recovery rate (CRR) at each collecting time of the 13C-PBT were calculated for each subject.
Body weight (BW) and diagnostic status were significant predictors for Cmax. BW, age and diagnostic status were significant predictors for AUC and CRR at 120 minutes (CRR0-120). A repeated measures ANCOVA controlling for age and BW revealed a different pattern of change in CRR over time between the patients and controls and that Δ13CO2 in schizophrenia were lower than that in healthy control at all sampling point during 120 min, with an overall significant differences between healthy control and schizophrenia. The ANCOVA controlling for age and BW, showed that Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 were significantly lower in schizophrenics than in controls.
Our data indicate the different change of Δ13CO2 and CRR over time and the decreased Cmax, AUC and CRR0-120 of 13C-PBT in schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls, suggesting the altered phenylalanine kinetics in schizophrenia.
It has been reported that cognitive functioning in major depressive disorder (MDD) can be affected by various factors, such as symptom severity, personality dimensions and stress hormone activity. However, the relative role of each is largely unknown.
Seventy-six non-remitted patients with MDD were recruited. Symptomatology was assessed by the 21-item version of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL). Personality was assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Neurocognitive functions, including verbal and visual memory, delayed recall and attention/working memory were measured by the full version of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Neuroendocrine function was determined by the reactivity of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS) to the combined dexamethasone/corticotropin releasing hormone test. To quantify cognitive impairments in patients, age-, sex- and education- matched 187 healthy controls were also recruited and administered the same neuropsychological test.
MDD patients performed significantly worse than controls on visual memory and delayed recall. A stepwise multiple regression analysis predicting performance of each cognitive domain from five HSCL dimensions, seven TCI dimensions and hormonal variables, controlling for age, gender and education, revealed that higher cooperativeness was the only significant predictor towards better verbal memory, that less somatization symptoms and lower self-directedness were significant predictors towards better visual memory, and that lower age, less anxiety symptoms and lower DHEAS levels after dexamethasone administration were significant predictors towards better delayed recall.
Besides symptomatology, some personality dimensions and neuroendocrine function may, at least partly independently, contribute to memory impairment in MDD.
Nearby disc stars in Gaia DR1 (TGAS) and RAVE DR5 show a bimodal velocity distribution in the metal-rich region (characterized by the Hercules stream) and mono-modal velocity distribution in the metal-poor region. We investigate the origin of this [Fe/H] dependence of the local velocity distribution by using 2D test particle simulations. We found that this [Fe/H] dependence can be well reproduced if we assume fast rotating bar models with Ωbar ≃ 52 km s−1 kpc−1. A possible explanation for this result is that the metal-rich, relatively young stars are more likely to be affected by bar's outer Lindblad resonance due to their relatively cold kinematics. We also found that slowly rotating bar models with Ωbar ≃ 39 km s−1 kpc−1 can not reproduce the observed data. Interestingly, when we additionally consider spiral arms, some models can reproduce the observed velocity distribution even when the bar is slowly rotating.
Dengue fever (DF) and leptospirosis are serious public problems in tropical regions, especially in Manila, the Philippines. In attempting to understand the causes of DF and leptospirosis seasonality, meteorological factors have been suspected, but quantitative correlation between seasonality and meteorological factors has not been fully investigated. In this study, we investigated correlation of temporal patterns of reported numbers of laboratory-confirmed cases of both DF and leptospirosis with meteorological conditions (temperature, relative humidity, rainfall) in Manila. We used time-series analysis combined with spectral analysis and the least squares method. A 1-year cycle explained underlying variations of DF, leptospirosis and meteorological data. There was a peak of the 1-year cycle in temperature during May, followed by maxima in rainfall, relative humidity and number of laboratory-confirmed DF and leptospirosis cases. This result suggests that DF and leptospirosis epidemics are correlated not only with rainfall but also relative humidity and temperature in the Philippines. Quantifying the correlation of DF and leptospirosis infections with meteorological conditions may prove useful in predicting DF and leptospirosis epidemics, and health services should plan accordingly.
A super-Chandrasekhar (SC) supernova (SN) has an extremely high luminosity and a slow decline rate of the light curve in the early-phase. We present late-phase observations of the SC SN 2009dc. We find that the optical luminosity a year after maximum is much fainter than that expected from its early luminosity. We attempt to fit the analytic light curve model to the observations using Arnett's rule. The model successfully explains the light curves until 120 days. This suggests that the extremely high luminosity originates from the 56Ni decay. We suggest that the late-phase decline would be caused by dust formation. The existence of strong carbon features in early-phase spectra would support this scenario. We also find a blend of [Ca ii] and [Ni ii] in its late-phase spectrum. This indicates that the calcium is distributed in the inner layer along with nickel and iron. We conclude that the mixing may occur in the inner parts of the ejecta.
We successfully obtained the first optical spectra of the faint light echoes around Cassiopeia A and Tycho Brahe's supernova remnants (SNRs) with FOCAS and the Subaru Telescope. We conclude that Cas A and Tycho's SN 1572 belong to the Type IIb and normal Type Ia supernovae, respectively. Light echo spectra are important in order to obtain further insight into the supernova explosion mechanism of Tycho's SN 1572: how the Type Ia explosion actually proceeds, and whether accretion occurs from a companion or by the merging of two white dwarfs. The proximity of the SN 1572 remnant has allowed detailed studies, such as the possible identification of the binary companion, and provides a unique opportunity to test theories of the explosion mechanism and the nature of the progenitor. Future light-echo spectra, obtained in different spatial directions of SN 1572, will enable to construct a three-dimensional spectroscopic view of the explosion.
Directional information should play a significant role
for a firm detection of the galactic dark matter.
We developed a prototype three-dimensional gaseous tracking device
for a direction-sensitive dark matter direct detection.
We investigated the performance of the prototype detector and demonstrated
a direction-sensitive dark matter search experiment in a
We set the first limit
on the spin-dependent WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles)-proton cross s
ection by a direction-sensitive method.
Benthic microalgal communities usually make a major contribution to the primary production of estuaries and shallow seas. Pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometry was used to investigate the contribution of benthic microalgae to the primary production of the Okhotsk Sea coast and Saroma Ko Lagoon in northern Hokkaido. In general the benthic communities had a relatively high biomass but low photosynthetic activity. This led to estimates of 29·2% and 64·5% for the benthic contributions for the 9 m and 3 m depth sites at Mombetsu and 13·1% for Saroma Ko. Sea ice algae provided the greatest contribution at Saroma Ko.
Chromite occurs together with olivine as phenocrysts in basalts of the Kanakasu greenstone body. Chromite forms inclusions within olivine phenocrysts; it also constitutes discrete phenocrystic grains scattered in the groundmass. The Cr and Ni contents of chromite-bearing olivine basalts are unusually high relative to the MgO content. This is probably due to the presence of phenocrystic chromite and olivine. The mineralogy suggests that the groundmass of the basalts is hawaiitic in composition. Chromite, generally, is unlikely to crystallize from differentiated magma such as hawaiite melt. The chromite and associated olivine phenocrysts are probably xenocrysts. Discrete chromite commonly shows compositional zoning that resulted from reaction with host magma; some chromite evidently changed in composition. Chromite embedded in olivine was shielded from reaction with host magma, and has preserved the original chemical composition. The composition of embedded chromite ranges: Mg/(Mg+Fe2+) 0.37–0.58, Cr/(Cr+Al) 0.47–0.64, Fe3+ 0.16–0.47 p.f.u., and Ti 0.034–0.13 p.f.u. The relatively high Ti and Al contents suggest that chromite crystallized from an alkalic basalt magma. The Cr/(Cr+Al) ratio is relatively high when compared to those of chromite in mid-oceanic ridge and island-arc alkalic basalts; the Kanakasu embedded chromite is chemically identical to chromite from Hawaiian alkalic basalts. The Kanakasu chromite was probably formed in an intraplate oceanic island.
A new efficient injection method from a laser ion source to
a Radio Frequency Quadropole (RFQ) was proposed and is being
tested in RIKEN, Japan. A laser plasma is induced just before
the entrance of the RFQ and is injected directly into the RFQ
channel. Using an existing RFQ, first verification tests have
been completed successfully. Finally, the preliminary
specifications for the first RFQ dedicated to the new injection
scheme are presented.
We have evaluated the hardness and elastic properties of thin films by using a simple procedure to calibrate the tip shape effect of the nano-indentation data. For the simplification, a truncated-shape approximation and linear fit are used to estimate the tip-shape and contact stiffness, respectively, substituting for polynomial area-function and power-law fit. The parameters used in the correction were determined by a fused silica and a single crystal silicon (100) surface. Different film/substrate systems are designed in order to assess these fitted parameters used in the correction. The transition behavior observed from the film to the substrate is well coincide with the other film thickness results, where the indentation depth above 50nm.
Variability of the light curves of the short-period eclipsing binary system GR Tau (, almost-contact binary) is studied. It is found that GR Tau experienced both the state which is characterized by asymmetric light curves and the state characterized by symmetrical light curves.
The amorphous/polycrystalline Si3N4/CrN and Si3N4/TiN nano-structured multilayer films have been fabricated by RF reactive magnetron sputtering. The microstructure and properties of these films were measured by XRD, HRTEM and nano-indenter There is no superhardness effect in the Si3N4/CrN multilayers. The hardness values of Si3N4/CrN multilayers are between those of the constituent CrN and Si3N4 films at a substrate temperature of 20∼C, and are a little higher than those of Si3N4 films at a deposition temperature of 500°C. However, the superhardness effect was found in Si3N4/ TiN multilayers. The hardness of Si3N4/ TiN multilayers is affected not only by modulation periods, but also by layer thickness ratio and deposition temperature. The maximum hardness value is about 40% higher than the value calculated from the rule of mixtures at a deposition temperature of 500°C and a layer thickness ratio (lSi3N4/ lTiN) of 3 / 1. Based on experimental results, the hardening mechanisms in these multilayers have been discussed.
Iodine release from silver iodide (AgI) to water was evaluated under reducing conditions in the presence of iron-bearing minerals, goethite (FeOOH), magnetite (Fe3O4) and Wüstite (FeO). The release tests were performed in a glove box purged with gas mixture (Ar+5%H2), and the concentrations of dissolved iodine, silver and iron were measured. The apparent equilibrium concentration of dissolved iodine was 4.0 ×10−8, 4.3×10−8 mol/l for the tests with FeOOH and Fe3O4, respectively. The values were almost the same as in the test without minerals. For the test with FeO, the concentration of dissolved iodine was 5.4×10−3 mol/l, which is five orders of magnitude higher than for the other tests. Solid phase analyses by using XRD and SEM/EDS indicated that metallic silver precipitated on the surface of the original AgI for the test with FeO and on the surface of Fe3O4 for the test with Fe3O4, but not for that with FeOOH. These results showed that only FeO could reduce AgI effectively to increase iodine release. The amount of dissolved Fe(II) was a key factor affecting AgI reduction instead of redox potential of solution. Kinetic processes may also play an important role in AgI reduction and associated iodine release under reducing condition.
Sound pressure fields generated by coaxial collisions of two vortex rings with
equal/unequal strengths are simulated numerically. The axisymmetric, unsteady, compressible
Navier–Stokes equations are solved by a finite difference method, not only
for a near field but also for a far field. The sixth-order-accurate compact Padé scheme
is used for spatial derivatives, together with the fourth-order-accurate Runge–Kutta
scheme for time integration. The results show that the generation of sound is closely
related to the change of direction of the vortex ring motion induced by the mutual interaction
of the two vortex rings. For the case of equal strength (head-on collision), the
change of direction is associated with stretching of the vortex rings. Generated sound
waves consist of compression parts and rarefaction parts, and have a quadrupolar
nature. For the case of unequal strengths, the two vortex rings pass through each
other; the weaker vortex ring moves outside the stronger vortex ring which shows a
loop motion. The number of generated waves depends on the relative strength of the
two vortex rings. The sound pressure includes dipolar and octupolar components, in
addition to monopolar and quadrupolar components which are observed for the case
of a head-on collision.
The genetic variation of Armillaria mellea sensu stricto was studied within and among non-heterothallic populations from Japan and
Africa, and heterothallic populations from Europe and North America, using somatic incompatibility tests and RAPD analysis. Non-heterothallic isolates from Japan and Africa were divided into four somatic compatibility (SI) groups (A, B, C and D). SI group A
contained half of all Japanese isolates and all African isolates. SI groups B and C each contained four Japanese isolates and D
contained one isolate. All European and North American isolates were clearly separated from each other by somatic incompatibility
tests. From the RAPD analysis, three distinct groups were separated (non-heterothallic, European and North American groups).
The non-heterothallic group was divided into three subgroups (Ia, Ib and Ic). Subgroup Ia and Ib corresponded to SI groups A
and B, however, Ic contained SI groups C and D. Subgroup Ia, in which 12 of 14 isolates had the same haplotype, showed a little
variation. Non-heterothallic populations were less variable than heterothallic populations. The distribution of the isolates belonging
to each SI group overlapped within Japan.
The time-dependent dielectric breakdown of MOS capacitors with ultra-thin gate oxide layers is investigated. After the occurrence of soft breakdown, the gate current increases by 3 to 4 orders of magnitudes and behaves like a power law of the applied gate voltage. It is shown that this behavior can be explained by assuming that a percolation path is formed between the electron traps generated in the gate oxide layer during electrical stress of the capacitors. The time dependence of the gate voltage signal after soft breakdown is next analysed. It is shown that the fluctuations in the gate voltage are non-gaussian as well as that long-range correlations exist in the system after soft breakdown. These results can be explained by a dynamic percolation model, taking into account the trapping-detrapping of charges within the percolation cluster formed at soft breakdown.