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Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on the dietary habits of the Japanese population have shown that an effect rs671 allele was inversely associated with fish consumption, whereas it was directly associated with coffee consumption. Although meat is a major source of protein and fat in the diet, whether genetic factors that influence meat-eating habits in healthy populations are unknown. This study aimed to conduct a GWAS to find genetic variations that affect meat consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data using 14 076 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) study. We used a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with total meat consumption per 1000 kcal energy was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, and principal component analysis components 1–10. We found that no genetic variant, including rs671, was associated with meat consumption. The previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with meat consumption in samples of European ancestry could not be replicated in our J-MICC data. In conclusion, significant genetic factors that affect meat consumption were not observed in a Japanese population.
Differences in individual eating habits may be influenced by genetic factors, in addition to cultural, social or environmental factors. Previous studies suggested that genetic variants within sweet taste receptor genes family were associated with sweet taste perception and the intake of sweet foods. The aim of this study was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to find genetic variations that affect confection consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data on confection consumption using 14 073 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort study. We used a semi-quantitative FFQ to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with confection consumption was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, total energy intake and principal component analysis components 1–3. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated adjusting for alcohol intake (g/d) in addition to the above-described variables. We found 418 SNP located in 12q24 that were associated with confection consumption. SNP with the ten lowest P-values were located on nine genes including at the BRAP, ACAD10 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 regions on 12q24.12-13. After adjustment for alcohol intake, no variant was associated with confections intake with genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we found a significant number of SNP located on 12q24 genes that were associated with confections intake before adjustment for alcohol intake. However, all of them lost statistical significance after adjustment for alcohol intake.
Long-term safety of consuming low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) in Asian populations, whose carbohydrate intake is relatively high, is not known. In the present study, the association of LCD with CVD and total mortality was assessed using data obtained in the NIPPON DATA80 (National Integrated Project for Prospective Observation of Non-communicable Disease and Its Trends in the Aged 1980) during 29 years of follow-up. At baseline in 1980, data were collected from study participants aged ≥ 30 years from randomly selected areas in Japan. LCD scores were calculated based on the percentage of energy as carbohydrate, fat and protein, estimated by 3 d weighed food records. A total of 9200 participants (56 % women, mean age 51 years) were followed up. During the follow-up, 1171 CVD deaths (52 % in women) and 3443 total deaths (48 % in women) occurred. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for CVD mortality using the Cox model comparing the highest v. lowest deciles of LCD score was 0·60 (95 % CI 0·38, 0·94; Ptrend= 0·021) for women and 0·78 (95 % CI 0·58, 1·05; Ptrend= 0·079) for women and men combined; the HR for total mortality was 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·95; Ptrend= 0·029) for women and 0·87 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·02; Ptrend= 0·090) for women and men combined. None of the associations was statistically significant in men. No differential effects of animal-based and plant–fish-based LCD were observed. In conclusions, moderate diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and fat are significantly inversely associated with CVD and total mortality in women.
During a rainfall event in early September 2006, the transport behavior of particulate organic carbon (POC) in a small river (Teshio River, northern Japan) with alluvial plain and forest characteristics was investigated chiefly with carbon isotopes. The radiocarbon (Δ14C value) of POC varied widely from –56%‰ at the beginning of the rain event to –10%‰ at peak rainfall. The Δ14C values have a positive correlation with C/N ratios and a negative correlation with Δ13C values except for the data from when both turbidity and water level were at their maximums due to rainfall. These results indicate that the sources of organic matter in the river come from the surface layer of soil as the water level rises during a rainfall event.
Cu-In-S nanocrystals were developed as a low toxic fluorescent. The stoichiometric CuInS2 nanocrystals were synthesized facilely by heating a solution of metal complexes. The fluorescence would be originated from the crystal defect. We intentionally introduced the crystal defects related to Cu deficiency in nanocrystal with the prospect that the fluorescence intensity would be increased. The nanocrystals have many defects without phase separation as observed in bulk material. Consequently, the fluorescence quantum yield achieved to c.a. 6%. Moreover, the fluorescence quantum yield was increased up to 15% by the ZnS-coating.
Few studies have examined the association between Japanese diet and mortality outcomes. We analysed the relationship between a healthy Japanese diet and all-cause and cause-specific mortality using the database from the National Integrated Project for Prospective Observation of Non-Communicable Diseases and its Trends in the Aged, 1980. At baseline in 1980, data were collected on study participants aged ≧30 years from randomly selected areas in Japan. We defined a measure of a healthy reduced-salt Japanese diet based on seven components from FFQ. The total score ranged from 0 to 7, with 0 being least healthy and 7 being most healthy. Participants were divided into approximate tertiles of dietary scores (0–2, 3 and 4–7 scores). After excluding participants with co-morbidities, we followed 9086 participants (44 % men) for 19 years. There were 1823 all-cause and 654 cardiovascular deaths during the follow-up. With the dietary score group 0–2 serving as a reference, the Cox multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios for groups with scores 3 and 4–7 were 0·92 (95 % CI 0·83, 1·04) and 0·78 (95 % CI 0·70, 0·88) for all-cause mortality (trend P < 0·0001), and 0·91 (95 % CI 0·75, 1·10) and 0·80 (95 % CI 0·66, 0·97) for cardiovascular mortality (trend P = 0·022). Adherence to a healthy reduced-salt Japanese diet was associated with an approximate 20 % lower rate of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.
Limited egg consumption is often recommended to reduce serum cholesterol concentration for the prevention of CHD. We examined the association of egg consumption and total cholesterol concentration with the risk of CHD. A total of 90 735 subjects (19 856 men and 21 408 women, aged 40–59 years in cohort I; 23 463 men and 26 008 women, aged 40–69 years in cohort II) were followed from 1990–4 to the end of 2001 under the Japan Public Health Center-based prospective study. Total cholesterol was obtained in 36 % of the subjects. Men and women were combined for the analyses. The subjects were categorised into four groups according to egg consumption. Subjects with total cholesterol ≥2200 mg/l were less frequent in frequent egg consumption groups in both cohorts (trend P<0·0001). Subjects with <1 d/week of egg consumption were more likely to avoid a cholesterol-rich diet. Egg consumption was not associated with the risk of CHD, although total cholesterol was significantly related to the risk of CHD. The multivariate hazard ratio of CHD in subjects with total cholesterol ≥2400 v. <1800 mg/l was 2·17 (95 % CI 1·22, 3·85; trend P=0·0018). In conclusion, eating eggs more frequently, up to almost daily, was not associated with an increase in CHD incidence for middle-aged Japanese men and women. Subjects with hypercholesterolaemia were less frequently in frequent egg consumption groups, probably because they avoided eating eggs.
The reasons why the open circuit voltage (Voc) of high-x CuIn1-xGaxSe2 (CIGS)/ZnO solar cells remain low are discussed. Here it is shown that the Voc ceiling can be interpreted simply on the basis of a model that the valence-band energy (Ev) of CIGS is almost immovable irrespective of x. When the conduction-band energy (Ec) of ZnO is lower than that of high-x CIGS (DEc<0), the built-in potential (Vbi) of a CIGS/ZnO junction is equivalent to the flat-band potential (Vbi) that arises from the separation between the Fermi energies of the two materials. If the Ev (and therefore the Fermi energy) of p-type CIGS is constant with increasing x, the Vbi and Voc that follows the Vbi remain unchanged since the Fermi energy of ZnO is constant. This unchangeable Voc reduces the conversion efficiency of high-x CIGS cells in cooperation with reduced photocurrents due to a larger bandgap. A positive offset, ΔEc>o gives rise to a photoelectrons barrier in the conduction-band that partially cancels Voc, thus the Voc of a low-x CIGS cell is governed by the Ec of CIGS. Based upon this concept, a material selection guideline is given for the windows and transparent electrodes appropriate for high-x CIGS absorbers-based solar cells.
Using EBIC and EDX measurements, CIGS solar cells prepared under several different conditions were observed and characterized. The results of EBIC and EDX measurements suggest that Cd plays an important role in the forming of a buried pn-junction in the CIGS layer via diffusion, and de-emphasize the possibility of the formation of the hetero pn-junction at the CdS/CIGS heterointerface. The correlation of the extent of the space charge region and the observed shift in the pn-junction location with the diffusion of the constituent elements in CIGS was investigated.
We have fabricated CIGS:Fe polycrystalline thin films using a standard three-stage method, and investigated the effects of Fe doping on cell performances. The Ga / (In+Ga) ratio was varied between 0.3 ˜ 1.0 (= CGS), and the Fe concentration was varied between 0.0 ˜ 1.2 mol%. The films were characterized by various means, including the cell performance. Increment of the grain size with higher Fe content was observed. Redshift with higher Fe content was observed in the absorbance spectra. The spectral response of the fabricated solar cells deteriorated with higher Fe content, from the long wavelength side.
Variable-emittance radiators based on the metal-insulator transition of (La,Sr)MnO3 have been developed. The emittance property of the material was evaluated from infrared reflectance spectra; that is, (La,Sr)MnO3 shows low emittance at low temperature but high emittance at high temperature. Moreover, the emittance property significantly changes at the metal-insulator transition temperature, where the material changes from a highly reflective (i.e., low emissivity) metal to a less reflective (i.e., high emissivity) insulator. The (La,Sr)MnO3 thin-films fitted on a spacecraft surface can, therefore, be used to automatically control the emmisive heat transfer from the spacecraft without the need for electrical power. The developed (La,Sr)MnO3 thin-film radiator also greatly reduces the weight and production cost of the thermal control devices.
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