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Various nanoparticles are produced with development of nanotechnology; however, the safety is not confirmed precisely at present. Influence on brain of offspring that exposed to various nanoparticles (titanium dioxide; TiO2, carbon black, carbon nanotube, fullerene; C60 and nanoparticles from diesel engine; DEP) in fetal period was examined pathologically.
Brains from ICR mice born from each nanoparticle-exposed and normal mothers were examined under light and electron microscope. To detect apoptosis, immunohistochemical staining for caspase-3 was performed, and to detect metal particle (TiO2) transferred from mother to the fetus, brains of offspring were observed by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The storage of abnormal structures (amyloid β and phosphorylayed tau), which are characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases, was detected with immunohistochemical staining.
All mice with nanoparticles exposure showed swelling of astrocytes' endfoot, apoptosis of endothelial cells. In brain of TiO2-exposed groups, EDS detected TiO2. Many apoptosis and storage of abnormal structures were showed in characteristic parts of brain. Some capillaries were stenosis and the neighboring parenchyma had degenerative changes.
These findings indicate that nanoparticles transferred from pregnant mice has a severe impact on fetal brain, carries the multiple infarctions and atrophy, a great risk of dementia in offspring. Moreover, appearance of apoptosis and abnormal structures may relate to some mental neurological disorders. Our result should be a grave warning that nonparticles exposure is one of risk factors on neurological diseases, in which various psychic symptoms occur.
Pregnancy and calving are elements indispensable for dairy production, but the daily milk yield of cows decline as pregnancy progresses, especially during the late stages. Therefore, the effect of stage of pregnancy on daily milk yield must be clarified to accurately estimate the breeding values and lifetime productivity of cows. To improve the genetic evaluation model for daily milk yield and determine the effect of the timing of pregnancy on productivity, we used a test-day model to assess the effects of stage of pregnancy on variance component estimates, daily milk yields and 305-day milk yield during the first three lactations of Holstein cows. Data were 10 646 333 test-day records for the first lactation; 8 222 661 records for the second; and 5 513 039 records for the third. The data were analyzed within each lactation by using three single-trait random regression animal models: one model that did not account for the stage of pregnancy effect and two models that did. The effect of stage of pregnancy on test-day milk yield was included in the model by applying a regression on days pregnant or fitting a separate lactation curve for each days open (days from calving to pregnancy) class (eight levels). Stage of pregnancy did not affect the heritability estimates of daily milk yield, although the additive genetic and permanent environmental variances in late lactation were decreased by accounting for the stage of pregnancy effect. The effects of days pregnant on daily milk yield during late lactation were larger in the second and third lactations than in the first lactation. The rates of reduction of the 305-day milk yield of cows that conceived fewer than 90 days after the second or third calving were significantly (P<0.05) greater than that after the first calving. Therefore, we conclude that differences between the negative effects of early pregnancy in the first, compared with later, lactations should be included when determining the optimal number of days open to maximize lifetime productivity in dairy cows.
Progress and challenges for chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) of GaN are discussed in detail by focusing on the importance of GaN surface oxidation during CMP. We report on the significant difference in the removal rates between Ga2O3 and GaN, suggesting that the surface oxidation reaction is the rate-limiting step for CMP of Ga-faced GaN. This is actually proved by the fact that ex-situ surface oxidation by annealing in air prior to CMP exhibits a marked reduction in the required CMP time to produce a damage-free surface. As a future challenge, we outline two of our recent developments, ultraviolet-assisted CMP and atmosphere-controlled CMP, that enable in-situ oxidation, since ex-situ oxidation must be modified to in-situ to further advance CMP.
We report on our growth of superconducting SmFeAs(O,F) films by F diffusion. In our process, F-free SmFeAsO films were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) first, and subsequently F was introduced into the films via F diffusion from an overlayer of SmF3. We performed a detailed comparison of the growth conditions and also the properties of resultant films for fluoride and oxide substrates. The best films on CaF2 exhibited a high transition temperature, Tcon (Tcend) = 57.8 K (56.4 K) at highest, which may exceed the highest Tc ever reported for bulk samples. Furthermore the films on CaF2 also showed high critical current density over 1 MA/cm2 in self-field at 5 K.
This study examined surface modification of solder resist and dry film resist using 60 Hz nonequilibrium atmospheric pressure plasma with O2/N2 mixing gas. Results show that the plasma discharge condition at O2/N2 mixing ratio of 0.1% was the best for surface modification for both materials, and the surfaces were modified sufficiently at 0.45 m/min package substrate transportation speed. From the plasma diagnostics by Vacuum Ultraviolet Absorption Spectroscopy (VUVAS) and Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES), it was found that the behaviors of the oxygen radical density and NO-γ emission intensity correlate strongly with surface modification. The extremely high oxygen radical density around 4.7 × 1013 cm-3 was obtained at O2/N2 mixing ratio of 0.1%. The electron density was 2.5 × 1015 cm-3 that is two digits more than that of the conventional atmospheric pressure plasma such as Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD). The solder resist surface with the plasma treatment was analyzed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), and it was clarified that material surface was modified by hydrophilic group generation owing polymer chain oxidation with oxygen radical.
Single-crystalline films of superconducting Sr1-xKxFe2As and Ba1-xKxFe2As2 were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). The most crucial problem in MBE growth of these compounds is the high volatility of elemental K. The key to incorporating K into films is low-temperature growth (≤ 350 ºC) in reduced As flux. We performed a systematic study of the doping dependence of Tc in Ba1-xKxFe2As2 for x = 0.0 to 1.0. The highest Tcon (Tcend) so far attained for Ba1-xKxFe2As2 is 38.3 K (35.5 K) at x ~ 0.3.
NEWAGE is a direction-sensitive dark matter search experiment with a gaseous
time-projection chamber. We improved the direction-sensitive dark matter limits by our
underground measurement. In this paper, R&D activities sinse the first underground
measurement are described.
Major earthquakes with a magnitude of 7-8 are anticipated to occur in the next 30 years at a 60 percent chance on the southern coast of Mie, Japan. Since the most part of the Mie Prefecture, Japan, is likely to be damaged by tsunami and landslides, residents are expected to take self-reliant approach on the initial several days after the earthquake.
Developing disaster support system in including community based medical disaster preparedness in the region.
We have been providing knowledge and techniques to cope with the earthquake cooperated with experts of earthquake engineering. Basic and advanced life support educational programs for acute illness and trauma that may occur in earthquake and/or tsunami as well as during the evacuation and sheltering have been developed for public, local medical associations and the main hospital in the region. Moreover, we have started a new community continuous educational course to promote the public disaster preparedness. We teach introduction of emergency and disaster medicine to enhance knowledge of natural and social science on disaster preparedness.
Local residents including public and medical personnel started to acquire a general idea of disaster and emergency medicine. The educational programs seemed to motivate local residents and healthcare professions.
Acute diarrhoea remains a major public health challenge in developing countries. We examined the role of a probiotic in the prevention of acute diarrhoea to discover if there was an effect directed towards a specific aetiology. A double-blind, randomized, controlled field trial involving 3758 children aged 1–5 years was conducted in an urban slum community in Kolkata, India. Participants were given either a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota or a nutrient drink daily for 12 weeks. They were followed up for another 12 weeks. The primary outcome of this study was the occurrence of first episodes of diarrhoea. We assessed this during 12 weeks of intake of study agent and also for 12 weeks of follow-up. There were 608 subjects with diarrhoea in the probiotic group and 674 subjects in the nutrient group during the study period of 24 weeks. The level of protective efficacy for the probiotic was 14% (95% confidence interval 4–23, P<0·01 in adjusted model). The reduced occurrence of acute diarrhoea in the probiotic group compared to nutrient group was not associated with any specific aetiology. No adverse event was observed in children of either probiotic or nutrient groups. The study suggests that daily intake of a probiotic drink can play a role in prevention of acute diarrhoea in young children in a community setting of a developing country.
Previous studies have shown that host immunity regulates the fecundity of nematodes. The present study was aimed at clarifying the reversible nature of fecundity in response to changes of immunological status and to determine which effector cells are responsible for compromising fecundity in Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Enhanced fecundity was observed in immunocompromised SCID and nu/nu mice compared to those in the corresponding wild-type mice, with significantly fewer numbers of intrauterine eggs produced in the wild-type than in the immunodeficient mice. When 14-day-old adult worms from BALB/c mice were transplanted into naïve BALB/c mice, their fecundity increased significantly as early as 24 h post-transplantation, but not when they were transferred into immune mice, suggesting the plastic and reversible nature of fecundity in response to changes in host immunological status. In mast cell-deficient W/Wv mice, nematode fecundity was significantly higher than in mast cell-reconstituted W/Wv or +/+ mice. The serum levels of the mast-cell protease mMCP1 were markedly increased in the wild-type as well as the mast cell-reconstituted W/Wv, but not in the W/Wv, SCID, or nu/nu mice during infection. These findings raise the interesting possibility that certain activities of mast cells, either directly or indirectly, regulate parasite fecundity during infection.
Sixty-nine strains of Vibrio cholerae 01 isolated at different times were analysed to investigate if there were any differences among the 01 strains isolated before, during and after the advent of the O139 serogroup. Of the 69 01 strains examined, 68 belonged to the Ogawa serotype while one belonged to the Inaba serotype. With the exception of one strain all other strains of V. cholerae 01 belonged to the eltor biotype. A single O1 strain isolated before the emergence of the O139 serogroup could not be classified as either eltor or classical biotype because it was resistant to both classical and eltor specific bacteriophages. Marked variations in the susceptibility to antibiotics of V. cholerae O1 isolated during the different periods were observed. In addition, strains of V. cholerae isolated after the epidemic of serogroup O139 in Calcutta showed an expanding R-type with resistance to a variety of drugs as compared to the 01 strains isolated before the advent of the O139 serogroup. From this study, it is clear that there is a substantial mobility in genetic elements of V. cholerae Ol which necessitates a continuous monitoring to keep abreast of the changing traits of the etiologic agent of cholera.
The distribution and virulence of Vibrio cholerae serogroups other than O1 and O139 in India before, during and after the advent of O139 serogroup was investigated. A total of 68 strains belonging to 31 different ‘O’ serogroups were identified during the study period. With the exception of O53, there was no spatial or temporal clustering of any particular non-O1 non-O139 serogroup at any given place. Two of the 68 strains examined produced cholera toxin (CT) which could only be partially absorbed with anti-CT immunoglobulin G. Tissue culture assay revealed that some of the non-O1 non-O139 strains produced factors which evoked either a cell rounding or cell elongation response depending upon the medium used. This study indicates that serogroups other than O1 and O139 should also be continuously monitored.
Legionnaires' disease (LD) is a major cause of severe community-acquired pneumonia but the source and mode of transmission are not always apparent, especially in sporadic cases. We hypothesized that LD can be acquired from the air-conditioning systems of motor cars. Swabs were taken from the evaporator compartments of the air-conditioning system of scrapped cars. Healthy subjects who were mainly employees of regional transportation companies were tested for antibody to Legionella pneumophila serogroups 1–6; they also completed a questionnaire. Legionella species were detected in 11/22 scrapped cars by the loop-mediated isothermal amplification method. The prevalence of microplate agglutination titres ⩾1:32 was significantly higher in subjects who sometimes used car air-conditioning systems. Although we did not prove a direct link between Legionella spp. in the car evaporator and LD, our findings point to a potential risk of car air-conditioning systems in LD, which needs further investigation.
This paper summarizes research activities in National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) for evaluation of the radiation effects on selected terrestrial and aquatic organisms as well as the ecosystems. Seven organisms, conifers, fungi, earthworms, springtails, algae, daphnia and Medaka are presently selected to study. For the estimation of possible radiation dose, transfers of radionuclides and related elements from medium to organisms are evaluated. Dose-effect relationships of acute gamma radiation on the survival, growth, and reproduction of selected organisms have been studied. Studies on the effect of chronic gamma radiation at low dose rate were also started. In order to understand the mechanism of radiation effects and to find possible indicators of the effects, information of genome- and metagenome-wide gene expression has been collected. Evaluation of ecological effects of radiation is more challenging task. Study methods by using three-species microcosm were established, and an index for the holistic evaluation of effects on various ecological parameters was proposed. The microcosm has been simulated as a computer simulation code. Developments of more complicated and practical model ecosystems have been started. The Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) has been applied on soil bacterial community in order to evaluate the radiation effects on soil ecosystems.
It is important to quantitatively measure the adhesion strength at the interface in a small area of electronics devices to ensure their reliability. In this study, a simple technique for measuring the adhesion using the nanoindentation method by considering the energy balance during the indentation process was proposed and applied to measure the adhesion of three kinds of UV-cured SiOC films with a thickness of 500 nm on a Si substrate.
The discontinuous points of approximately 300 nm in depth appeared in all the indentation curves with a high reproducibility, and it was confirmed that these points reflect the occurrence of an interfacial delamination. The total dissipated energies calculated from the load vs. indentation depth curves indicate a good correlation with the indentation load. The delamination energies can be estimated using this relationship. The energy release rates at the interface of the UV-cured SiOC films calculated from the energy balance increases with the increasing UV curing time.
From these result, we can confirm the technique proposed in this study is quite useful to simply and quantitatively measure the adhesion, especially against a thin film or the small area, even if the film is ductile.