Kobe University
  • Kobe, Japan
Recent publications
Using global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data to detect millimeter-order signals of short-term slow slip events (S-SSEs) and to estimate their source parameters, especially duration, is challenging because of low signal-to-noise ratio. Although the duration of S-SSEs in the Nankai subduction zone has been estimated using tiltmeters, its regional variation has never been quantitatively studied. We developed an S-SSE detection method to estimate both the fault model and duration with their errors based on the detection methods developed by previous studies and applied it to a 23-year period of GNSS data in the Nankai subduction zone. We extracted S-SSE signals by calculating correlation coefficients between the GNSS time series and a synthetic template representing the time evolution of an S-SSE and by computing the average of correlation coefficients weighted by the predicted S-SSE signals. We enhanced the signals for duration estimation by stacking GNSS time series weighted by displacements calculated from the estimated fault model. By applying the developed method, we detected 284 S-SSEs from 1997 to 2020 in the Nankai subduction zone from Tokai to Kyushu and discussed their regional characteristics. The results include some newly detected S-SSEs, including events accompanying very low-frequency earthquakes and repeating earthquakes in offshore Kyushu. Our study provides the first geodetic evidence for synchronization of S-SSEs and other seismic phenomena in offshore Kyushu. We estimated the cumulative slip and duration, and their error carefully. We also estimated the average slip rate by dividing the cumulative slip by the cumulative duration. This study clarified that the average slip rate in western Shikoku was approximately twice as that in eastern Shikoku and Kyushu. These regional differences were statistically significant at the 95% confidence interval. Multiple factors can influence the regional characteristics of S-SSEs, and we speculate that the subducting plate interface geometry is one of the dominant factors. Graphical Abstract
The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hard scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy.
Background PedsQL Infant Scales (PedsQL-I) are used to assess parent-reported health-related quality of life for children younger than 2 years. We determined the feasibility, reliability, and validity of the Japanese version of the PedsQL-I. Methods A total of 183 participants (parents) with infants aged 1–30 months were recruited from 8 day care centers and one pediatric clinic. Participants completed the PedsQL-I (infants aged 1–18 months), the PedsQL-I and the PedsQL-Toddler version (infants aged 19–30 months), and the Kessler-6 psychological distress scale (all participants). We determined feasibility, internal consistency, test–retest reliability, concurrent validity, convergent and discriminant validity, known-groups validity with regard to acute and chronic illness, and relative and transitional validity with PedsQL-Toddler for the use in infants aged 25–30 months. Results All subscales were internally consistent (Cronbach’s alpha for 1–12 months: 0.88–0.98 and for 13–24 months: 0.85–0.97); test–retest reliability was acceptable (intra-class correlation coefficients > 0.40); and all scales were concurrently valid with the PedsQL-Toddler version (Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient for the total score = 0.74). The scales’ convergent and discriminant validity were acceptable (scaling success rate > 80%). Validation for known-groups showed that the Physical Health Summary score was sensitive to acute and chronic disease, the Psychosocial Health Summary score was sensitive to neither acute nor chronic disease, and the total score was sensitive to acute disease. Relative validity showed a ratio of 1.74 for the squared t values for the total score. Conclusions The PedsQL-I is suitable for assessing health-related quality of life in infants aged 1–24 months in prospective studies.
Phenotypic differences among breeding lines that introduce the same superior gene allele can be a barrier to effective development of cultivars with desirable traits in some crop species. For example, a deficient mutation of the Protein Disulfide Isomerase Like 1–1 ( PDIL1-1 ) gene can cause accumulation of glutelin seed storage protein precursors in rice endosperm, and improves rice flour characteristics and food processing properties. However, the gene must be expressed to be useful. A deficient mutant allele of PDIL1-1 was introduced into two rice cultivars with different genetic backgrounds (Koshihikari and Oonari). The grain components, agronomic traits, and rice flour and food processing properties of the resulting lines were evaluated. The two breeding lines had similar seed storage protein accumulation, amylose content, and low-molecular-weight metabolites. However, only the Koshihikari breeding line had high flour quality and was highly suitable for rice bread, noodles, and sponge cake, evidence of the formation of high-molecular-weight protein complexes in the endosperm. Transcriptome analysis revealed that mRNA levels of fourteen PDI , Ero1 , and BiP genes were increased in the Koshihikari breeding line, whereas this change was not observed in the Oonari breeding line. We elucidated part of the molecular basis of the phenotypic differences between two breeding lines possessing the same mutant allele in different genetic backgrounds. The results suggest that certain genetic backgrounds can negate the beneficial effect of the PDIL1-1 mutant allele. Better understanding of the molecular basis for such interactions may accelerate future breeding of novel rice cultivars to meet the strong demand for gluten-free foods.
The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider has a broad physics programme ranging from precision measurements to direct searches for new particles and new interactions, requiring ever larger and ever more accurate datasets of simulated Monte Carlo events. Detector simulation with Geant4 is accurate but requires significant CPU resources. Over the past decade, ATLAS has developed and utilized tools that replace the most CPU-intensive component of the simulation—the calorimeter shower simulation—with faster simulation methods. Here, AtlFast3, the next generation of high-accuracy fast simulation in ATLAS, is introduced. AtlFast3 combines parameterized approaches with machine-learning techniques and is deployed to meet current and future computing challenges, and simulation needs of the ATLAS experiment. With highly accurate performance and significantly improved modelling of substructure within jets, AtlFast3 can simulate large numbers of events for a wide range of physics processes.
Background: Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and polypharmacy in older adults lead to increase the risk of adverse drug events. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of pharmacist intervention combining the criteria for detecting PIMs with the deprescribing algorithm on correcting PIMs, reducing the number of medications, and readmissions. Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted at a Japanese University Hospital enrolling new inpatients aged ≥65 years prescribed ≥1 daily medication. Pharmacists detected PIMs based on the criteria combined the screening tool of older persons' potentially inappropriate prescriptions criteria version 2 with the screening tool for older persons' appropriate prescriptions for Japanese, examined changes using the deprescribing algorithm, and suggested changes to the physician. The proportion of patients whose number of medications was reduced at discharge and the rate of readmissions within 30 and 90 days were compared between patients without PIMs (without PIMs group), patients who were not suggested to change PIMs (no suggestions group), and patients who were suggested to change PIMs (suggested group). Results: The study enrolled 544 patients (median age 75.0 years, 54.4% males, median number of medications 6.0/patient). The number of patients with PIMs was 240 (44.1%), and 304 patients had no PIMs (without PIMs group). Among the patients with PIMs, 125 (52.1%) patients received pharmacist suggestions to change ≥1 PIMs (suggested group), and 115 patients received no suggestions for change (no suggestions group). The total number of PIMs was 432, of which changes were suggested for 189 (43.8%). Of these 189 cases, 172 (91.0%) were changed. The proportion of patients whose number of medications was reduced was significantly higher in the suggested group than in the without PIMs group and the no suggestions group [56.8% (71/125) vs. 26.6% (81/304) and 19.1% (22/115), respectively; P < 0.001 in both comparisons]. There were no significant differences in the rates of readmissions within 30 and 90 days among the three groups. Conclusions: Pharmacist intervention combining the criteria for detecting PIMs with the deprescribing algorithm was effective for correcting PIMs and may be associated with a reduction in the number of medications.
Background Despite recent advances in radiotherapy, radioresistance in patients with pancreatic cancer remains a crucial dilemma for clinical treatment. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a major factor in radioresistance. Developing a potent radiosensitizer may be a novel candidate for the eradication of pancreatic CSCs. Methods CSCs were isolated from MIA PaCa-2 and PANC1 human pancreatic cancer cell lines. Titanium peroxide nanoparticles (TiOxNPs) were synthesized from titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO 2 NPs) and utilized as radiosensitizers when added one hour prior to radiation exposure. The antitumor activity of this novel therapeutic strategy was evaluated against well-established pancreatic CSCs model both in vitro and in vivo. Results It is shown that TiOxNPs combined with ionizing radiation exhibit anti-cancer effects on radioresistant CSCs both in vitro and in vivo. TiOxNPs exhibited a synergistic effect with radiation on pancreatic CSC-enriched spheres by downregulating self-renewal regulatory factors and CSC surface markers. Moreover, combined treatment suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition, migration, and invasion properties in primary and aggressive pancreatic cancer cells by reducing the expression of proteins relevant to these processes. Notably, radiosensitizing TiOxNPs suppressed the growth of pancreatic xenografts following primary or dissociating sphere MIA PaCa-2 cell implantation. It is inferred that synergy is formed by generating intolerable levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inactivating the AKT signaling pathway. Conclusions Our data suggested the use of TiOxNPs in combination with radiation may be considered an attractive therapeutic strategy to eliminate pancreatic CSCs.
Background In Japan, height and weight measurements, taken for all children at birth and 1.5- and 3-year health checks, are recorded in the Mother and Child Health (MCH) Handbook, as required by the law. The present population-based retrospective cohort study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of height and weight records in the Handbook for predicting excessive adiposity in adolescents. Methods The source population consisted of 8th grade students (800 students aged 14 years) registered at two public junior high schools. Of these, we excluded students who were born at a gestational age < 37 weeks or > 42 weeks. The present analyses included 435 participants who provided complete information. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using height and weight records. Body fat mass at 14 years of age was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Diagnostic performance of BMI calculated from the MCH Handbook records to discriminate between the presence and absence of excessive adiposity at 14 years of age was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was used to quantify the diagnostic accuracy of BMI. Results With regard to the prediction of excessive fat at 14 years of age, AUCs and 95% confidence intervals for BMI at 1.5 and 3 years of age were greater than 0.5. Meanwhile, the AUC of BMI at birth was not significantly greater than 0.5. Conclusion The present study findings indicate that BMI values calculated using MCH Handbook data have potential ability to distinguish between the presence and absence of excessive fat at 14 years of age.
Background Underage smoking and drinking are public health issues in Vanuatu. This study aims to describe the behavior, knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of parents, siblings, and peers regarding smoking and drinking among urban and rural public-school students in Vanuatu. Methods This cross-sectional study included 358 students (urban, 217; rural, 141; aged 12–14 years) from the public schools in Efate Island, Vanuatu. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Chi-square and Mann–Whitney U tests were used to determine the rural–urban differences. Results Urban students showed a higher prevalence of ever smoking (13.5%), ever drinking (16.9%), intention to smoke (11.1%), and intention to drink (14.0%) compared to rural students (10.3%, 8.3%, 5.8%, and 9.5%, respectively); although a significant difference was only observed in the prevalence of ever drinking. Urban students were more likely to be aware of the health hazards of substance use and showed higher self-efficacy to refuse tobacco and alcohol compared to rural students. Parents in rural areas were less likely to talk about the health hazards of substance use with their children and were more likely to offer tobacco or alcohol to them compared to parents in urban areas. Conclusions The results provide evidence of rural–urban differences in the behavior, attitude, knowledge, and perceptions of parental behavior regarding smoking and drinking. The findings suggest that issues related to underage smoking and drinking differ between urban and rural students. Future intervention programs for reducing underage smoking and drinking should be adapted in recognition of urban and rural differences.
Transaction cost and internalization theory offers that firm-specific transaction-cost factors determine firm-specific optimal levels of multinationality. Decision makers should prefer alignment with optimal levels of multinationality. Yet, some firms continuously misalign with their optimal levels of multinationality. We argue that having multiple preferences may explain these ‘misfit’ firms. Specifically, firms with international experience may develop an inertial preference for further international growth, along with their preference for efficiency/optimization. Hence, more internationally experienced firms with insufficient multinationality will increase their levels of multinationality in subsequent time periods to satisfy both preferences. However, growth preferences in more internationally experienced firms with excess multinationality will counter optimization preferences, reducing the likelihood of decreases to levels of multinationality in subsequent periods. We find support for these ideas in the context of 242 Japanese electrical appliance firms between 2011 and 2019 (1401 firm-year observations).
In this study, we aimed to develop a forward osmosis (FO) thin film composite (TFC) membrane which could retain NH4⁺ from wastewater. The conventional TFC membrane has a microporous polymer support and a selective layer for salt rejection; however, the polyamide selective layer is known to not be able to reject NH4⁺. Our strategy was to develop tris(2-aminoethyl)amine (TAEA)-modified TFC membranes via secondary interfacial polymerization, and the modification factors were optimized. The NH4⁺ rejection of the optimized membrane significantly increased from 64.9 % (pristine TFC) to 94.7 %. TAEA modification resulted in a smoother surface and thinner polyamide selective layers. The mechanism of NH4⁺ rejection during FO operation was investigated and was found to be influenced by membrane surface carboxylic group density and the polyamide crosslinking, cation exchange between the draw and feed solutions, and size sieving. In conclusion, the TAEA-modified membrane showed high selectivity against NH4⁺ and applicability for NH4⁺ recovery. In the future, the TAEA-modified membrane may be applied for NH4⁺ enrichment and recovery from real wastewater systems.
This study aimed to investigate the clinical effectiveness of nurse-led cognitive/behavioral therapy (CBT) in Japanese routine outpatient care. We retrospectively collected data from 100 cases with mental disorders who had received nurse-led CBT. Results demonstrated that CBT provided by nurses led to significant improvements in quality of life and other clinical outcomes during the intervention period (all p < 0.001). Among participants who received optional follow-up, these improvements were well-maintained. This real-world evidence of nurse-led CBT bridges the research-practice gap, and will encourage frontline nurses and motivate institutional/organizational leaders, academic/professional societies, and policymakers to employ empirically-supported psychotherapeutic techniques in routine nursing care.
We show that a certain simply-stated notion of “analytic completeness” of the image of a real analytic map implies the map admits no analytic extension. We also give a useful criterion for that notion of analytic completeness by defining arc-properness of continuous maps, which can be considered as a very weak version of properness. As an application, we judge the analytic completeness of a certain class of constant mean curvature surfaces (the so-called “G-catenoids”) or their analytic extensions in the de Sitter 3-space.
Forward osmosis (FO) is promising as an alternative to conventional pressure-driven membrane processes for water separation. Ideally, the draw solution (DS) for the FO process should have high osmotic pressure, easy reusability, and low reverse solute flux. In this study, novel CO2/temperature dual-responsive dendrimers were prepared, and their performance as DSs were evaluated. Aqueous solutions of the synthesized dendrimers showed the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) type phase separation at moderate temperature. Therefore, the dendrimers could be easily recovered from the aqueous solution and reused as DS. Moreover, the dendrimer solutions showed high osmotic pressure after CO2 absorption owing to the tertiary amine groups of the dendrimer, which could generate bicarbonate ions via neutralization reaction. Additionally, the dendrimer solution showed a low reverse solute flux through the FO membrane because of the branched structure of the dendrimers. Owing to the preferable properties of the CO2/temperature dual-responsive dendrimers as the DS, the aqueous solution of the dendrimer showed high DS performance. This study demonstrated that CO2/temperature dual-responsive dendrimers are potential candidates for constituting high-performance DSs.
The phonetic structures of dysarthric speech are more difficult to discriminate than those of normal speech. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel voice conversion framework for dysarthric speech by learning disentangled audio-transcription representations. The novelty of this method is that it simultaneously takes both audio and its corresponding transcription as training inputs. We constrain the extracted linguistic representation from the audio input to be close to the linguistic representation from the transcription input, forcing them to share the same distribution. Furthermore, the proposed model can generate appropriate linguistic representations without any transcripts during the testing stage. The results of objective and subjective evaluations showed that the proposed method exhibits higher intelligibility and better speaker similarity of the converted speech than those of the baseline approaches.
Natural convection heat transfer from a vertical single-cylinder with eccentric grid spacer in liquid sodium was numerically analyzed on the following seven effects, the influences of grid spacer, surface heat flux, the gap between grid spacer and heated cylinder surface, grid spacer thickness, height, eccentricity, and material on heat transfer. The unsteady laminar three-dimensional basic equations for natural convection heat transfer caused by a step heat flux were numerically solved until the numerical solution reaches a steady state. The PHOENICS code was used for the calculation considering the temperature dependence of thermo-physical properties concerned. The heated cylinder for diameter (D = 7.6 mm), heated length (L = 200 mm) and L/d (= 26.32), and the round cell type grid spacers for gaps (0.05 to 0.5 mm), inner diameters (di = 7.7 to 8.6 mm), thickness (w = 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 mm), outer diameters (do = 8.1 to 9.2 mm), heights (h = 10, 30 and 50 mm), eccentricity (B = 0, 0.3333, 0.6667 and 0.8333: s = 0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.25 mm) and materials (SUS304, SUS316, Hastelloy X and Adiabatic) were used in this work. The surface heat fluxes for each cylinder with eccentric grid spacer were equally given for a modified Rayleigh number, (Raf,L)g-s, ranging from 3.057 × 10⁴ to 3.171 × 10⁷ (q = 1 × 10⁴ to 7 × 10⁶ W/m²) in liquid temperature (TL = 673.15 K). The values of gap were given 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 mm at w = 0.2 mm, h = 30 mm, B = 0 and SUS316, those of thickness were given 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 mm at a gap of 0.3 mm, h = 30 mm, B = 0 and SUS316, those of height were given 20, 30 and 50 mm at a gap of 0.3 mm, w = 0.2 mm, B = 0 and SUS316, those of eccentricity were given 0, 0.3333, 0.6667 and 0.8333 at a gap of 0.3 mm, w = 0.2 mm, h = 30 mm and SUS316, and those of material were given SUS304, SUS316, Hastelloy X and Adiabatic at a gap of 0.3 mm, w = 0.2 mm, h = 30 mm and B = 0 on each cylinder with eccentric grid spacer. The spatial distributions of local and average Nusselt numbers, (Nuθ,z)g-s and (Nuav)g-s, on vertical single-cylinder with eccentric grid spacer, were clarified. The values of average Nusselt number, (Nuav)g-s, for a vertical single-cylinder with eccentric grid spacer were calculated to examine the effects of grid spacer, (Raf,L)g-s, gap, thickness, height, eccentricity, and material on heat transfer. The correlation for (Nuav)g-s for a vertical single-cylinder with eccentric grid spacer above mentioned, including the effects of grid spacer, (Raf,L)g-s, gap, thickness, height, eccentricity, and the material was developed. The correlation can describe the theoretical values of (Nuav)g-s for a vertical single-cylinder with eccentric grid spacer within -1.897 to 1.432% differences.
Policymakers grappling with how to meet EPA water quality standards within the Chesapeake Bay must weigh the cost of water quality restoration against the benefits accrued to nearby homeowners. Missing from this analysis are the benefits homeowners receive from increased home liquidity – or how quickly a home is sold once listed. In this paper, we exploit variation in water clarity data to examine its relationship with prices and liquidity using real estate data (2008–2015) from the Baltimore region. We find a one-foot improvement in Secchi depth, needed to meet the total maximum daily load recommendation for the central and northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay, increases housing prices by $9600, decreases time on market by 19.7 days, and reduces seller holding costs by $1280. This cost-savings is welfare-enhancing for many home sellers, especially absentee homeowners who are likely to net an additional 13.3% in water quality benefits when liquidity changes are considered alongside property value increases. Not accounting for the additional benefits and losses accrued through home liquidity suggests water quality restoration projects and damages from impairment will be undervalued.
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2,782 members
Yoichi Uozumi
  • Department of Neurosurgery
Makio Takeda
  • Department of Agrobioscience
Sudheesh K Rajput
  • Graduate School of System Informatics
Hiroyuki Ohsaki
  • Health Sciences
Atushi Ushimaru
  • Graduate School of Human Developement and Environment
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