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Oxidative stress causes several diseases and dysfunctions in cells, including oocytes. Clearly, oxidative stress influences oocyte quality during in vitro maturation and fertilization. Here we tested the ability of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and improve mouse oocyte quality during in vitro culture. Treatment with 50 μM CoQ10 efficiently reduced ROS levels in oocytes cultured in vitro. The fertilizable form of an oocyte usually contains a cortical granule-free domain (CGFD). CoQ10 enhanced the ratio of CGFD–oocytes from 35% to 45%. However, the hardening of the zona pellucida in oocytes was not affected by CoQ10 treatment. The in vitro maturation capacity of oocytes, which was determined by the first polar body extrusion, was enhanced from 48.9% to 75.7% by the addition of CoQ10 to the culture medium. During the parthenogenesis process, the number of two-cell embryos was increased by CoQ10 from 43.5% to 67.3%. Additionally, treatment with CoQ10 increased the expression of Bcl2 and Sirt1 in cumulus cells. These results suggested that CoQ10 had a positive effect on ROS reduction, maturation rate and two-cell embryo formation in mouse oocyte culture.
We quantitatively assessed the fit failure rate of N95 respirators according to the number of donning/doffing and hours worn.
A tertiary-care referral center in South Korea.
In total, 10 infection control practitioners participated in the fit test.
The first experiment comprised 4 consecutive 1-hour donnings and fit tests between each donning. The second experiment comprised 2 consecutive 3-hour donnings and fit tests between each donning. The final experiment comprised fit tests after an 1-hour donning or a 2-hour donning.
For 1-hour donnings, 60%, 70%, and 90% of the participants had fit failures after 2, 3, and 4 consecutive donnings, respectively. For 3-hour donnings, 50% had fit failure after the first donning and 70% had failures after 2 consecutive donnings. All participants passed the fit test after refitting whenever fit failure occurred. The final experiment showed that 50% had fit failure after a single use of 1 hour, and 30% had fit failure after a single use of 2 hours.
High fit-failure rates were recorded after repeated donning and extended use of N95 respirators. Caution is needed for reuse (≥1 time) and extended use (≥1 hour) of N95 respirators in high-risk settings such as those involving aerosol-generating procedures. Although adequate refitting may recover the fit factor, the use of clean gloves and strict hand hygiene afterward should be ensured when touching the outer surfaces of N95 respirators for refitting.
This research examined gender variations in depressive mood for high school students affected by emotional upset and how such depressive mood affect their sleep quality.
Research was conducted from September 2015 to October 2015. Both males and females were divided into normal group and depressive group by Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (ZSDS). Each group adopted the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to measure sleep quality.
Analysis was made on a total of 155 students, which were 83 male students and 72 female. The average ZSDS for all high school students was 43.38 and the average PSQI was 5.39. The number of male students in the normal and depressive group who were diagnosed with sleep disorder were 2 (3.8%) and 9 (29.0%), respectively (P < 0.05). But the number of female students in the normal and depressive group who were diagnosed with sleep disorder were 11 (32.4%) and 33 (86.8%), respectively (P < 0.05). Both males and females shared a meaningful result over sleep latency, sleep disturbance, use of sleep medication, and daytime functional disturbance among 7 items of PSQI for sleep quality, and female students had a significantly meaningful result over sleep duration, habitual sleep effects (P < 0.05).
This research showed that sleep quality of all high school students was not too bad but it can be problematic for those with depressive mood. Especially, female students were diagnosed with sleep disorder more than male students.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A scalable battery recycling strategy to recover and regenerate solid electrolytes and cathode materials in spent all solid-state batteries, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.
With the rapidly increasing ubiquity of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), sustainable battery recycling is a matter of growing urgency. The major challenge faced in LIB sustainability lies with the fact that the current LIBs are not designed for recycling, making it difficult to engineer recycling approaches that avoid breaking batteries down into their raw materials. Thus, it is prudent to explore new approaches to both fabricate and recycle next-generation batteries before they enter the market. Here, we developed a sustainable design and scalable recycling strategy for next-generation all solid-state batteries (ASSBs). We use the EverBatt model to analyze the relative energy consumption and environmental impact compared to conventional recycling methods. We demonstrate efficient separation and recovery of spent solid electrolytes and electrodes from a lithium metal ASSB and directly regenerate them into usable formats without damaging their core chemical structure. The recycled materials are then reconstituted to fabricate new batteries, achieving similar performance as pristine ASSBs, completing the cycle. This work demonstrates the first fully recycled ASSB and provides critical design consideration for future sustainable batteries.
To secure the reliability of flexible electronics, the effect of multicomponent stress on the device properties during complex mechanical deformation needs to be thoroughly understood. The electrical resistances of metal interconnects are investigated by in situ monitoring at different twisting angles and with different pattern positions. As the twisting angle increased, the electrical resistance increased earlier. Furthermore, in the line pattern located far from the central axis, severe electrical degradation and fatigue damage formation were observed. Multicomponent stress evolution during twisting was analyzed by the finite-element simulation method. For easy practical application for estimating the representative twisting strain, an analytic solution of twisting deformation was formulated and compared with the simulation. Using the equivalent strain, the fatigue lifetime was fitted, and the exponents were obtained for lifetime expectation. This systematic study provides the guidelines for highly reliable flexible devices and the tools for determining the expected fatigue lifetime.
The preparation of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) samples from powders is quite difficult and challenging. For powders with particles in the 1–5 μm size range, it is especially difficult to select an adequate sample preparation technique. Epoxy is commonly used to bind powder, but drawbacks, such as differential milling originating from unequal milling rates between the epoxy and powder, remain. We propose a new, simple method for preparing TEM samples. This method is especially useful for powders with particles in the 1–5 μm size range that are vulnerable to oxidation. The method uses solder as an embedding agent together with focused ion beam (FIB) milling. The powder was embedded in low-temperature solder using a conventional hot-mounting instrument. Subsequently, FIB was used to fabricate thin TEM samples via the lift-out technique. The solder proved to be more effective than epoxy in producing thin TEM samples with large areas. The problem of differential milling was mitigated, and the solder binder was more stable than epoxy under an electron beam. This methodology can be applied for preparing TEM samples from various powders that are either vulnerable to oxidation or composed of high atomic number elements.
To date, there have been a number of research proposals to explore the newly emerging wireless charging technologies based on radio-frequency (RF) signals, ambient or dedicated. In particular, research efforts towards achieving the goal of transmitting information and energy at the same time have been rapidly expanding, but the feasibility of this goal has not been fully addressed. Moreover, the respective coverage areas of transmitting information and energy are wildly different, the latter being considerably smaller than the former. This is because the receiver sensitivities are very different, namely -60 dBm for an information receiver and -10 dBm for an energy receiver [1, 2].
Owing to this limitation, recently a commercial implementation of RF energy transfer has been restricted to lower-power sensor nodes with dedicated RF energy transmitters, such as the Powercast wireless rechargeable sensor system  and the Cota system .
In this chapter, we discuss the implementation of long- and short-range RF energy harvesting systems, where the former is to provide far-field-based RF energy transfer over long distances with a 4 × 4 phased antenna array and the latter to provide biosensors with RF energy over short distances. An overall circuit design for these RF energy harvesting systems is described in detail, along with the measurement results to validate the feasibility of far-field-based RF energy transfer. We illustrate the designed test-beds which will be applied to develop sophisticated energy beamforming algorithms to increase the transmission range. Finally, a new research framework is developed through the cross-layer design of the RF energy harvesting system, which is intended to power a low-power sensor node, like the Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor node. To this end, we present a circuit-layer stored energy evolution model based on the measurements which will be used in designing the upper-layer energy management algorithm for efficient control of the stored energy at the sensor node. The new framework will be useful because the existing works on RF energy harvesting do not explicitly take into account a realistic temporal evolution model of the stored energy in the energy storage device, like such as a supercapacitor.
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
The formation and morphological evolution of germanides formed in a ternary Ni/Ta-interlayer/Ge system were examined by ex situ and in situ annealing experiments. The Ni germanide film formed in the Ni/Ta-interlayer/Ge system maintained continuity up to 550°C, whereas agglomeration of the Ni germanide occurred in the Ni/Ge system without Ta-interlayer. Through microstructural and chemical analysis of the Ni/Ta-interlayer/Ge system during and after in situ annealing in a transmission electron microscope, it was confirmed that the Ta atoms remained uniformly on the top of the newly formed Ni germanide layer during the diffusion reaction. Consequently, the agglomeration of the Ni germanide film was retarded and the thermal stability was improved by the Ta incorporation.
The oxidation mechanism and thermal stability of nickel oxide (NiO)/carbon nanotube (CNT) composites were investigated by examining composites with different NiO contents by thermogravimetric analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). NiO acts as a catalyst in the oxidation of CNT in the composite. CNTs can be oxidized, even in a vacuum, by reducing NiO to nickel at temperatures lower than the normal oxidation temperature of CNTs. This phase transition was confirmed directly by in situ heating TEM observations. In air, reduction by CNT occurs simultaneously with reoxidation by gaseous O2 molecules, and NiO maintains its phase. The thermal stability decreased with increasing NiO content because of defects in the CNT generated by the NiO loading.
Thiazolidinediones, such as rosiglitazone or pioglitazone, are anti-diabetic agents that have been expected to show a beneficial effect in Alzheimer's disease (AD) because of their anti-inflammatory effect. However, these agents have failed to show a significant beneficial effect on AD in recent clinical trials. Here, we suggest that low-dose rosiglitazone treatment, and not the conventional doses, has an amyloid β (Aβ)-clearing effect by increasing LRP1, an Aβ outward transporter in the blood–brain barrier. Rosiglitazone up-regulated LRP1 mRNA and protein expression and LRP1 promoter activity in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). Aβ uptake through LRP1 in HBMECs was also increased by rosiglitazone. This increase in LRP1 and Aβ uptake was observed in up to 10 nm rosiglitazone concentration. At concentrations above 20 nm rosiglitazone, the LRP1 expression and Aβ uptake in HBMECs were not altered. The possible mechanism of this unusual dose response is discussed. This study suggests a new therapeutic application of thiazolidinediones for AD at a much lower dose than the doses used for diabetes treatment.
Stream development can generate environmental changes that impact fish communities. In temperate streams, the distribution of fish species is associated with environmental gradients. To analyze the relevant factors, large-scale exploration is required. Thus, to evaluate the distribution patterns of fish in Korea, sampling was conducted on a national scale at 720 sites over a 6-week period in 2009. A total of 124 fish species in 27 families were identified; Zacco platypus and Zacco koreanus of the Cyprinidae were the dominant and subdominant species, respectively. Of the species found, 46 (37.1%) were endemic and 4 (3.2%) exotic; of the latter, Micropterus salmoides and Lepomis macrochirus were widely distributed. Upon canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), both altitude and biological oxygen demand (BOD) were highly correlated with CCA axes 1 and 2, respectively. This explained 62.5% of the species–environment relationship. Altitude and stream order were longitudinally related to species distribution. The numbers of both total and endemic species gradually increased as streams grew in size to the fourth–fifth-order, and decreased in sixth-order, streams. Overall, fish communities were stable throughout the entire watershed, whereas some species showed site-specific occurrence patterns due to the paleogeomorphological characteristics of Korean peninsula. However, various anthropogenic activities may negatively affect fish communities. Therefore, both short- and long-term sustainable management strategies are required to conserve native fish fauna.
An organic/inorganic hybrid-type nonvolatile memory TFT was proposed as a core device for the future flexible electronics. The structural feature of this memory TFT was that a ferroelectric copolymer and an oxide semiconductor layers were employed as a gate insulator and an active channel, respectively. The memory TFT with the structure of Au/poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene)/Al2O3/ZnO/Ti/Au/Ti/poly(ethylene naphthalate) could be successfully fabricated at the process temperature of below 150°C. It was confirmed that the TFT well operated as a memory device even under the bending situations.
We aimed to investigate the factors associated with a positive intake of folic acid (FA) during the periconceptional period among Korean women.
In a cross-sectional study of demographic, obstetric and socio-economic data, history of periconceptional intake of FA and awareness of the benefits of FA supplementation in pregnancy were obtained and analysed using the χ2 test, followed by multiple logistic regression analysis.
The Maternity School, Cheil General Hospital and Women’s Healthcare Center, Seoul, South Korea, between October 2005 and March 2006.
In total 1313 pregnant women participating in a two-day training course available every month.
After excluding subjects with incomplete or inconsistent data, there were 1277 women included in the analysis. Participants were aged 29·4 (sd 2·9) years and had a mean gestational age of 27·9 (sd 7·1) weeks. Only 131 (10·3 %) women took FA during the periconceptional period. According to multiple logistic regression analyses, the adjusted OR for FA supplementation was 1·79 (95 % CI 1·10, 2·91) in women who had previous spontaneous abortions, 4·10 (95 % CI 2·43, 6·78) in women who planned their pregnancy and 6·63 (95 % CI 2·08, 21·12) in those who were aware of the protective effects of FA.
Periconceptional intake of FA was more likely among Korean women with a history of previous spontaneous abortion, who planned their pregnancy or who were aware of the protective effects of FA during pregnancy. However, the proportion of women who took FA in the periconceptional period was low.
The role of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in
depression is not clear.
To investigate cross-sectional and prospective associations between
folate, B12 and homocysteine levels and late-life
A total of 732 Korean people aged 65 years or over were evaluated at
baseline. Of the 631 persons who were not depressed, 521 (83%) were
followed over a period of 2–3 years and incident depression was
ascertained with the Geriatric Mental State schedule. Serum folate, serum
vitamin B12 and plasma homocysteine levels were assayed at
both baseline and follow-up.
Lower levels of folate and vitamin B12 and higher homocysteine
levels at baseline were associated with a higher risk of incident
depression at follow-up. Incident depression was associated with a
decline in vitamin B12 and an increase in homocysteine levels
over the follow-up period.
Lower folate, lower vitamin B12 and raised homocysteine levels
may be risk factors for late-life depression.
Cellulose electro-active paper (EAPap) has attracted much attention as a new smart electronic material to be utilized as mechanical sensors, bio compatible applications and wireless communications. The thin EAPap film has many advantages such as lightweight, flexible, dryness, biodegradable, easy to chemically modify, cheap and abundance. Also EAPap film has a good reversibility for mechanical performance, such as bending movement, under electric field. The main actuation mechanism governed by piezoelectric property can be modulated by material direction and stretching ratio during process. In this paper we present the overview as well as fabrication process of cellulose EAPap as a novel smart material. Also we propose the method to enhance the piezoelectricity, its mechanical and electromechanical properties. In addition, the fabrication of high quality metal patterns with Schottky diode on the cellulose surface is an initiating stage for the integration of the EAPap actuator and electronic components. The integration of flexible actuator and electronic elements has huge potential application including flying magic carpets, microwave driven flying insets and micro-robots and smart wall papers.
Causal relationships between vascular factors and late-life depression are controversial.
To investigate prospective associations between risk factors for vascular disease and incidence of late-life depression.
Of 661 community participants aged 65 years or over, without depression at baseline, 521 (79%) were re-evaluated 2 years later. At baseline and follow-up, a diagnostic interview for depression was carried out and information on vascular status, disability and cognitive function was gathered.
Pre-existing heart disease, incident stroke and lower baseline high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level were significantly associated with incidence of late-life depression, independently of disability and cognitive function.
These results provide some support for a vascular aetiology of late-life depression. However, important risk factors for cerebrovascular disease such as hypertension and diabetes were not implicated, and the associations with lipid levels might still be explained by affective states earlier in life.