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Due to the lack of an effective prophylactic intervention and diagnosis, human liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis continues to afflict a large human population, causing a chronic inflammatory bile duct disease. With an aim to identify target antigens for sensitive serodiagnosis, adenylate kinase 3 of C. sinensis (CsAK3) was successfully expressed in soluble form in Escherichia coli by fusion to an RNA-interacting domain derived from human Lys-tRNA synthetase and purified by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Anti-CsAK3 serum was raised by immunization of mice, and Western blotting confirmed that CsAK3 was expressed in adult-stage C. sinensis. Histochemical analysis showed that CsAK3 was localized to the subtegumental tissue of C. sinensis and was excreted into the bile duct of the host. When tested against sera from various parasite-infected patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the recombinant CsAK3 elicited a specific response to C. sinensis-infected sera. The results suggest that CsAK3, either alone or in combination with other antigens, could be used for improving the clinical diagnosis of clonorchiasis.
Postural instability is one of the most disabling features of Parkinson's disease, usually occurring in late and advanced stages. The aim of this study was to investigate the postural performance of early-stage de novo Parkinson's disease patients with no clinical postural instability using computerized dynamic posturography. We sought to understand the relationship between postural sway and disease severity and the relationship between postural instability quantitatively measured by computerized dynamic posturography and cognitive impairment in early-stage Parkinson's disease patients.
Thirty-one subjects with Parkinson's disease and 20 healthy controls were assessed by the computerized dynamic posturography protocol using the sensory organization test and the motor control test. A neuropsychological assessment was also administered.
The mean equilibrium score for sensory organization test and the vestibular input ratio were significantly correlated with Hoehn-Yahr stage. No associations between motor latency for any motor control test condition and Hoehn-Yahr stage were found. The equilibrium score for sensory organization test correlated with the mini-mental status examination scores. There was a significant correlation between motor latency for large backward translation and mini-mental status examination scores. There were significant correlations between visual perception/construction/ memory of the neuropsychological battery test and the equilibrium score for sensory organization test and between verbal word learning test, controlled word association test and motor latency for large backward translation.
These findings showed the postural instability present in early-stage (Hoehn-Yahr stage 2-2.5) Parkinson's disease. We also found a close relationship between postural instability and cognitive function in Parkinson's disease patients.
Background: A fall experienced by an elderly person is of special note because it appears to hold a reciprocal causal association with the fear of falling. This study attempts to determine the temporal relationship between the fear of falling and falling among community-dwelling elderly.
Methods: Data on falls experienced during the previous three years were obtained from 732 community-dwelling elderly people. Participants were also asked to provide detailed information about their most recent fall, including the date, time of day, place, circumstances, consequences of the fall, fear of falling, and activity limitations due to fear of falling.
Results: Those who had fallen within the past six months had over four times greater odds of a fear of falling and approximately five times greater odds of activity restriction, compared with those who had not fallen. The association decreased linearly over time, and became nonsignificant for those who had not fallen during the past 25–36 months.
Conclusions: The experience of a fall is strongly associated with an increased fear of falling, and the association appears to persist for at least two years. An elderly person who has experienced a fall requires continuous attention to prevent the development of fear as another problem, together with early intervention to counter the fear of falling.
We present accurate BV light curves and continuum energy curves of the EROS eclipsing binaries in the Large Magellanic Cloud to find accurate binary parameters as well as their distances. The observations have been carried out using the 2.1 meter telescope in CASLEO Argentina during Feb. 1-10, 2003. We have concentrated CCD direct observations upon EROS field 1 and 2 to improve the accuracy of light curves of eclipsing binaries in the fields. The spectroscopic observations have been also carried out using the simple dispersion method to get continuum energy curves between wavelengths of 4000-8000 Å for several EROS eclipsing binaries. At first, we determined a combined temperature of both components of each binary system using the continuum. Then, the combined temperature was resolved using the first estimation of the light curve solution. Finally, we determined the photometric solutions of several binaries in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Hardness and elastic modulus can be derived from instrumented sharp indentation curves by considering the effects of materials pile-up and sink-in and tip blunting. In particular, this study quantifies pile-up or sink-in effects in determining contact area based on indentation-curve analysis. Two approaches, finite-element simulation and theoretical modeling, were used to describe the detailed contact morphologies. The ratio of contact depth to maximum indentation depth was proposed as a key indentation parameter and was found to be a material constant independent of indentation load. In addition, this parameter can be determined strictly in terms of indentation-curve parameters, such as loading and unloading slopes at maximum depth and indentation energy ratio. This curve-analysis method was verified by finite-element simulations and nanoindentation experiments.
The nanoindentation technique has great promise in evaluating mechanical properties such as nanohardness and elastic modulus at micrometer or nanometer scales, since sample preparation and testing procedures are very easy. However, the nanohardness and elastic modulus cannot be directly related to basic material flow properties. Here a novel and simple experimental/computational method is proposed to extract stress-strain curves based on finite-element modeling (FEM) of nanoindentation. This method was verified for bulk Al by comparing the stress-strain curves extracted with those obtained from tensile testing, and was applied to Al thin films (0.5 μm and 1 μm) deposited on a Si substrate.
Korea Astronomy Observatory (KAO) is working to rebuild a 1.0-m robotic telescope in collaboration with a company (Astronomical Consultants & Equipment, Inc. or ACE). The telescope is being totally refurbished to make a fully automatic telescope which can operate in both interactive an fully autonomous robotic modes. This paper describes the design concepts and the work completed. The telescope is an f/7.5 Ritchey-Chretien system mounted on an equatorial fork with friction drives capable of high slewing (5°/s2) and high resolution tracking. The control software manages the entire telescope, instruments and observatory. In interactive local and remote modes the observer can manually enter coordinates or retrieve them from a database. In robotic mode the telescope controller downloads requests from users and creates a schedule. The telescope will be equipped with a CCD camera and will be available over the internet.
The Far-ultraviolet IMaging Spectrograph (FIMS) is a small spectrograph optimized for the observations of diffuse hot interstellar medium in far-ultraviolet wavebands (900–1150Å and 1335–1750Å). The instrument is expected to be sensitive to emission line fluxes an order of magnitude fainter than any previous missions. FIMS is currently under development and is scheduled for launch in 2002.
The BVR CCD observations of W UMa-type eclipsing binary SS Arietis were made for ten nights from November 1996 to December 1996 at the Sobaeksan Astronomy Observatory. From the observed light curves, nine new times of minimum lights were derived from the Kwee and van Woerden’s method. Improved light elements for this system were determined from these minimum lights with all the published minima. The analysis of the times of minima of SS Ari confirms that the orbital period of SS Ari has been suffering from a sinusoidal variation as the suggestions of other previous investigators (Kaluzny & Pojmanski 1984, Demircan & Selam 1993). The calculation shows that the cyclic period change has a period of about 56.3yrs with an amplitude of about 0.d052. The period variation has been discussed in terms of two potential mechanisms: 1) the light-time effect due to a hypothetical third body and 2) deformations in the convective envelope of a magnetically active component. The BVR light curves of SS Ari observed for about one month showed the existence of cycle to cycle light variations. Long-term light changes of SS Ari are discussed in terms of the period variation of the binary system.
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