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The starfish is an advantageous organism in which to investigate developmental modes. It is widely known that maternal substances accumulated in the course of oogenesis affect various developmental phenomena. Vitellogen is the most abundant maternal substance in the egg and has been studied in various species including sea urchins. Vitellogen and the vitellogenin gene have been analysed with regard to their relevance to developmental modes in two Heliocidaris species (Byrne et al., 1999) and Japanese sea urchins (Yokota & Amemiya, 1998). In starfish, however, relatively little is known about the yolk and yolk protein.
Animals, including arthropods, are one health threat that can be affected by disasters. This institution-based study aimed to assess trends in Hymenoptera stings following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
We reviewed the medical records of patients with hymenopteran stings who visited Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital, located 23 km from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, from March 2005 to March 2016. Patient and sting characteristics of post-disaster patients were examined, and the annual incidence of hospital visits for hymenopteran stings was compared with the pre-disaster baseline, calculating an incidence rate ratio (IRR) for each year.
We identified 152 pre-disaster patients (2005-2011) and 222 post-disaster patients (2011-2016). In the post-disaster period, 160 males (72.1%) were identified, with a median age of 59 years (range: 2-89 years). A total of 45 patients (20.3%) were decontamination workers. Post-disaster increases were found in the IRR for hymenopteran stings, peaking first in 2011 (IRR: 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9-4.2) and later in 2014 (IRR: 3.2; 95% CI: 2.4-4.3) and 2015 (IRR 3.3; 95% CI: 2.5-4.4).
Long-term increases were found in the IRR of hospital visits for hymenopteran stings in an institution affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Decontamination workers appear to have been particularly affected by this phenomenon. Better disaster field worker monitoring and education about potential environmental health hazards may help to identify and prevent worker exposure to insect stings and other vectors in these settings. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:545–551)
The extracellular matrix of the sea urchin involves a protein with a molecular weight of 180 kDa (sea urchin fibronectin), which corresponds to mammalian fibronectin, and a nectin specific to Echinoidea with a molecular weight of 105–115 kDa (sea urchin nectin). Sea urchin fibronectin and sea urchin nectin have cell adhesion protein properties. They are, however, different from each other in biochemical properties, biological functions and intraembryonic distribution. Sea urchin fibronectin isolated from the sea urchin ovary accelerates scattering of micromere-derived cells and promotes spicule formation of micromeres in vitro. Sea urchin nectins identified so far in Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck), Temnopleurus hardwicki (Gray) and Pseudocentrotus depressus (A. Agassiz) are presumably homologous molecules displayed in different species. They seem to be secreted into the hyaline layer as its constituents, and to play some role in morphogenesis of the embryo.
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