University of Tsukuba
  • Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Recent publications
Middle meningeal arteriovenous fistula (MMAVF) is a shunt between the middle meningeal artery and the vein surrounding the artery. We report an extremely rare case of spontaneous MMAVF; then, we evaluated the effectiveness of trans-arterial embolization for spontaneous MMAVF and the possible cause of spontaneous MMAVF. A 42-year-old man with tinnitus, a left temporal headache, and pain surrounding the left mandibular joint was diagnosed with MMAVF on digital subtraction angiography. Trans-arterial embolization with detachable coils was conducted, which resulted in a fistula closure and symptoms' diminishment. The cause of MMAVF was thought to be the rupture of the middle meningeal artery aneurysm. A middle meningeal artery aneurysm can be a cause of spontaneous MMAVF, and trans-arterial embolization might be an optimal treatment. Fullsize Image
Both chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) and spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) cause headaches. However, the etiologies are different: SIH headache is caused by decreased intracranial pressure (ICP), whereas CSDH headache results from increased ICP. Moreover, CSDH is treated by hematoma drainage, while SIH is treated by epidural blood patch (EBP). Treatment for the cases of combined SIH and CSDH is not well-established. Herein, we report two cases wherein ICP was monitored and safely controlled by EBP after hematoma drainage. Case 1: A 55-year-old man with progressive consciousness disturbance was diagnosed with bilateral CSDH. He underwent bilateral hematoma drainage; however, the headache became apparent during standing. We diagnosed SIH by diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement on brain MRI and epidural contrast medium leakage on CT myelography. Due to the re-enlargement of bilateral CSDH, we performed EBP after hematoma drainage and ICP monitor insertion. Finally, the headache and bilateral CSDH were resolved. Case 2: A 54-year-old man with persistent headache was diagnosed with bilateral CSDH. He underwent multiple hematoma drainage sessions. However, headache on standing persisted. We diagnosed SIH by diffuse pachymeningeal enhancement on brain MRI and epidural contrast medium leakage on CT myelography. Due to the re-enlargement of the left CSDH, we performed EBP after left hematoma drainage and ICP monitor insertion. Finally, the headache and bilateral CSDH were resolved. EBP after hematoma drainage and ICP monitoring was useful for SIH with bilateral CSDH. By monitoring ICP before EBP, the ICP was safely controlled and CSDH was resolved. Fullsize Image
Humans perform complex tasks involving force interactions daily. Learning from demonstration, a method for transferring such human manipulation skills to robots, requires techniques for segmenting the demonstrations into movement primitives. Therefore, we propose an unsupervised motion segmentation method that utilizes small characteristic fluctuations of 6-axis force/torque signals as features for motion segmentation. This method includes a feature extraction using a time derivative process and detects segmentation points based on the time derivative of 6-axis force/torque signals obtained during the task demonstrations. The segmentation method was evaluated using a peg-in-hole task and bottle-lid opening task. The experimental results demonstrate the validity of using time derivative of forces and torques for motion segmentation.
It has been reported that using of the spine mat increases chest expansion, inspiratory capacity (IC) and maximum inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax). However, no changes were observed in other respiratory functions and the respiratory muscle strength. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of pursed-lip breathing lying on the spine mat to the respiratory function and respiratory muscle strength. Forty-two adult male participants were assigned to two groups; an intervention group (IG group) of 21 participants who performed pursed-lip breathing on top of a spine mat and a control group (CG group) of 21 participants who performed pursed-lip breathing only. The intervention period was 5 days, and the respiratory features evaluated were chest expansion, respiratory function, respiratory muscle strength, and spinal alignment. A significant increase between the Pretest and the Posttest in chest expansion at the circumference of the axilla level, of the xiphoid process level and of the 10th rib level was observed only in IG group. For the respiratory function and the respiratory muscle strength, intervention group showed significant increases in percentage of vital capacity (%VC), tidal volume (TV), PImax, and maximum expiratory mouth pressure (PEmax). In the control group, only the TV indicated a significant increase. Regarding changes before and after the intervention, the intervention group showed significantly higher PImax and PEmax than the control group. No significant difference in spinal alignment was observed between the two groups. These results showed that pursed-lip breathing lying on the spine mat would increase the PImax, PEmax and the chest expansion.
Insufficient physical function is strongly associated with decreased activity of daily living and health-related quality of life in middle-aged and older women. YOSAKOI Soran is one of the traditional Japanese dances to have naruko (wooden hand clappers) in their hands as they dance and incorporate the phrase from the Soran Bushi in their song. YOSAKOI Soran festivals can be seen being held in various places across the country, proving its growing popularity with residents as a celebration regardless of age or occupation. The purpose of this study was to examine the cross-sectional associations between YOSAKOI Soran and the physical functions of middle-aged and older women. A total of 30 middle-aged and older women practicing YOSAKOI Soran (YOSAKOI group) and 163 middle-aged and older women who had not practiced YOSAKOI Soran (control group) participated in this cross-sectional study. Handgrip strength, 30-second chair stand performance, and flexibility were used to measure physical functions. Handgrip strength was not significantly differed between the YOSAKOI group and the control group (P = 0.79). 30-second chair stand performance and flexibility were significantly higher in the YOSAKOI group than in the control group (both P < 0.05). These results remained significant after adjusting for age and body mass index (both P < 0.05). The present results suggest that practicing YOSAKOI Soran may increase lower extremity function and flexibility in middle-aged and older women.
Novel Ni–Ti–Zr–Hf–Nb and Ni–Ti–Zr–Hf–Ta high temperature shape memory alloys with multi-principal elements were developed, and differences in the effects of Nb and Ta on cold workability and shape memory properties were investigated. Constituent phases, microstructure, cold workability, transformation temperatures, shape memory properties were investigated in (Ni50Ti30Zr10Hf10)100−xNbx (x = 5, 10, 15) alloys and (Ni50Ti30Zr10Hf10)100−yTay (y = 5, 10, 15) alloys. Although both of Nb and Ta were effective to improve cold workability of Ni50Ti30Zr10Hf10 alloy by forming a ductile β phase with a disordered body-centered cubic structure, it was found that Ta was more effective than Nb in improving cold workability. The addition of Ta was also effective to suppress the formation of Ti2Ni-type intermetallic compound. Transformation temperatures were not significantly affected by the addition of Nb, while the transformation temperatures increased by the addition of Ta. According to thermal cycling tests, the (Ni50Ti30Zr10Hf10)85Nb15, (Ni50Ti30Zr10Hf10)90Ta10 and (Ni50Ti30Zr10Hf10)85Ta15 alloys exhibited almost full shape recovery under 200 MPa. These alloys are suggested as promising candidates for practical high temperature shape memory alloys that can be worked at room temperature. Cold-worked Ti–Zr–Hf–Ni–(Nb, Ta) alloys and strain–temperature curves under thermal cycling. Fullsize Image
Building a large-scale training dataset is an essential problem in the development of medical image recognition systems. Visual grounding techniques, which automatically associate objects in images with corresponding descriptions, can facilitate labeling of large number of images. However, visual grounding of radiology reports for CT images remains challenging, because so many kinds of anomalies are detectable via CT imaging, and resulting report descriptions are long and complex. In this paper, we present the first visual grounding framework designed for CT image and report pairs covering various body parts and diverse anomaly types. Our framework combines two components of 1) anatomical segmentation of images, and 2) report structuring. The anatomical segmentation provides multiple organ masks of given CT images, and helps the grounding model recognize detailed anatomies. The report structuring helps to accurately extract information regarding the presence, location, and type of each anomaly described in corresponding reports. Given the two additional image/report features, the grounding model can achieve better localization. In the verification process, we constructed a large-scale dataset with region-description correspondence annotations for 10,410 studies of 7,321 unique patients. We evaluated our framework using grounding accuracy, the percentage of correctly localized anomalies, as a metric and demonstrated that the combination of the anatomical segmentation and the report structuring improves the performance with a large margin over the baseline model (66.0% vs 77.8%). Comparison with the prior techniques also showed higher performance of our method.
Contact tracing, which uses smartphones to track the behavioral history of device owners, is used for infection control and crime control. On the other hand, contact tracing collects personal information, such as location data, which raises privacy issues. Actually, in the case of centralized systems, what data is collected is a black box. Against this background, there are many studies on contact tracing combined with a decentralized manageable blockchain. However, many studies need to consider the forgery of data before it is stored in the blockchain (i.e., blockchain oracle problem). Lv et al. consider such data forgery, but their approach requires users to manage many private keys. In this study, we propose a contact tracing method that prevents the forgery of data before it is stored in the blockchain and protects user privacy by encrypting location data. We implement our method using a smart contract and a smartphone to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method. The proposed method has lower key management costs than the existing method of Lv et al.
Intraoperative fluoroscopy is a frequently used modality in minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. Aligning the intraoperatively acquired X-ray image with the preoperatively acquired 3D model of a computed tomography (CT) scan reduces the mental burden on surgeons induced by the overlapping anatomical structures in the acquired images. This paper proposes a fully automatic registration method that is robust to extreme viewpoints and does not require manual annotation of landmark points during training. It is based on a fully convolutional neural network (CNN) that regresses the scene coordinates for a given X-ray image. The scene coordinates are defined as the intersection of the back-projected rays from a pixel toward the 3D model. Training data for a patient-specific model were generated through a realistic simulation of a C-arm device using preoperative CT scans. In contrast, intraoperative registration was achieved by solving the perspective-n-point (PnP) problem with a random sample and consensus (RANSAC) algorithm. Experiments were conducted using a pelvic CT dataset that included several real fluoroscopic (X-ray) images with ground truth annotations. The proposed method achieved an average mean target registration error (mTRE) of 3.79+/1.67 mm in the 50th percentile of the simulated test dataset and projected mTRE of 9.65+/−4.07 mm in the 50th percentile of real fluoroscopic images for pelvis registration. The code is available at
Athletes who train and compete despite health problems are frequently found in competitive sports. In recent years, this phenomenon has been associated with presenteeism that has been studied mainly in occupational health. The research subject is a laborer. Recently, Meyer and Thiel (2018, pp.51-52) applied the concept of presenteeism to athletes as “sickness presenteeism,” which is defined as in the sports context “as training or competing despite having a health problem.” Sickness presenteeism possibly leads to mental illness, burnout, and exacerbation of illnesses and injuries of athletes. Although there are many studies on presenteeism in occupational health, very little exist in sports science. Therefore, this study reviews the literature to investigate presenteeism and its research potential with athletes by examining eight published studies; five by Mayer and his research group. This review focuses on the model of presenteeism created by Mayer and introduces the measurement methods, factors, and influences of presenteeism. The influences of presenteeism can be both negative and positive; therefore, athletes are conflicted about competing while having health problems. Finally, we described the possibilities and prospects for presenteeism research with athletes in Japan.
To further the computational design of polymer foaming, this work investigated the interactions between polymer and nucleating agents by evaluating the removal forces needed to remove the polymer from the nucleating agent using molecular dynamics simulations. Silica nanoparticles modified with different organic groups and different surface modification ratios represented model nucleating agents and poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA), a model polymer. Modified organic groups with a certain length and flexibility grafted sparsely on the silica surface, creating a “savanna‐like” structure, increased the interaction between PMMA and the silica nanoparticle. The simulation results predicted the effects of the modified organic group and surface modification ratio R of the silica nanoparticle seen in actual batch foaming experiments using CO 2 and PMMA with modified silica nanoparticles. Cell size shows a minimum and cell nucleation density a maximum in the foamed polymer under certain conditions, which correlate with the simulation results for the interactions between the polymer and nucleating agent. Based on the correspondence between the simulation and the experimental results, the effectiveness of such simulations for the design of nucleation agents appeared promising. Highlights Computational design of nucleating agents for microcellular foams. Evaluation of the interaction of polymers with various nucleating agents. Large interactions due to the “savanna‐like” structure of nucleating agents. Demonstration of polymer foaming with designed nucleating agents.
The sustainability and resilience of agrifood systems are key concepts to ensure environmental standards in agriculture and food security. Recently, global food security have been seriously affected by the pandemics, geopolitical issues, and conflicts, and climate change factors has become a significant concern to scientists together with farmers, consumers, and citizens. To face those challenges, a systemic resilience in sustainable agriculture is pivotal. The research papers published in the special section of the Agronomy Journal, entitled, “Agricultural and Biological Sciences: Plant, Soil, Animal and Environment” consider the role of sustainability in building greater resilience to current pivotal, diverse problems encountered in agricultural systems. The special section is a collection of coherent research studies that used a multidisciplinary approach. A total of 52 papers were submitted of which 12 were accepted for publication following a double‐blind reviewing process. The purposes of the present paper were to identify the role of sustainability in the resilience of agricultural systems and to discuss the main results of these published articles. Results suggested that specific issues relevant to forests, crops, horticulture systems and animal production could be improved and made more resilient by applying modern agricultural tools, efficient use of natural resources and smart device technology. A sustainable intensification in a changing environment will require resilience at many levels. Key strategies identified included: i) improvement of resource efficiency; ii) adoption of techniques that generate landscape‐scale resilience; iii) combination of different strategies in evaluation and planning across scales to advance the knowledge of crop and livestock interactions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Mechanical metamaterials are meticulously designed structures with exceptional mechanical properties determined by their microstructures and constituent materials. Tailoring their material and geometric distribution unlocks the potential to achieve unprecedented bulk properties and functions. However, current mechanical metamaterial design considerably relies on experienced designers' inspiration through trial and error, while investigating their mechanical properties and responses entails time‐consuming mechanical testing or computationally expensive simulations. Nevertheless, recent advancements in deep learning have revolutionized the design process of mechanical metamaterials, enabling property prediction and geometry generation without prior knowledge. Furthermore, deep generative models can transform conventional forward design into inverse design. Many recent studies on the implementation of deep learning in mechanical metamaterials are highly specialized, and their pros and cons may not be immediately evident. This critical review provides a comprehensive overview of the capabilities of deep learning in property prediction, geometry generation, and inverse design of mechanical metamaterials. Additionally, this review highlights the potential of leveraging deep learning to create universally applicable datasets, intelligently designed metamaterials, and material intelligence. This article is expected to be valuable not only to researchers working on mechanical metamaterials but also those in the field of materials informatics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
The ability of transcription factors to discriminate between different classes of binding sites associated with specific biological functions underpins effective gene regulation in development and homeostasis. How this is achieved is poorly understood. The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor MITF is a lineage-survival oncogene that plays a crucial role in melanocyte development and melanoma. MITF suppresses invasion, reprograms metabolism and promotes both proliferation and differentiation. How MITF distinguishes between differentiation and proliferation-associated targets is unknown. Here we show that compared to many transcription factors MITF exhibits a very long residence time which is reduced by p300/CBP-mediated MITF acetylation at K206. While K206 acetylation also decreases genome-wide MITF DNA-binding affinity, it preferentially directs DNA binding away from differentiation-associated CATGTG motifs toward CACGTG elements. The results reveal an acetylation-mediated switch that suppresses differentiation and provides a mechanistic explanation of why a human K206Q MITF mutation is associated with Waardenburg syndrome.
Many insects are dependent on microbial mutualists, which are often harbored in specialized symbiotic organs. Upon metamorphosis, insect organs are drastically reorganized. What mechanism regulates the remodeling of the symbiotic organ upon metamorphosis? How does it affect the microbial symbiont therein? Here, we addressed these fundamental issues of symbiosis by experimentally manipulating insect metamorphosis. The stinkbug Plautia stali possesses a midgut symbiotic organ wherein an essential bacterial symbiont resides. By RNAi of master regulator genes for metamorphosis, Kr-h1 over nymphal traits and E93 over adult traits, we generated precocious adults and supernumerary nymphs of P. stali , thereby disentangling the effects of metamorphosis, growth level, developmental stage, and other factors on the symbiotic system. Upon metamorphosis, the symbiotic organ of P. stali was transformed from nymph type to adult type. The supernumerary nymphs and the precocious adults, respectively, developed nymph-type and adult-type symbiotic organs not only morphologically but also transcriptomically, uncovering that metamorphic remodeling of the symbiotic organ is under the control of the MEKRE93 pathway. Transcriptomic, cytological, and biochemical analyses unveiled that the structural and transcriptomic remodeling of the symbiotic organ toward adult emergence underpins its functional extension to food digestion in addition to the original role of symbiont retention for essential nutrient production. Notably, we found that the symbiotic bacteria in the adult-type symbiotic organ up-regulated genes for production of sulfur-containing essential amino acids, methionine and cysteine, that are rich in eggs and sperm, uncovering adult-specific symbiont functioning for host reproduction and highlighting intricate host–symbiont interactions associated with insect metamorphosis.
Discrimination, which arose during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, is a global public health issue. This study aimed to provide fundamental knowledge in proposing control measures to mitigate discrimination. We focused on two psychological variables: belief in just deserts (BJD, i.e. , the belief that the infected individual deserves to be infected), a psychological factor that potentially promotes discrimination and prejudice, and human rights restrictions (HRR; i.e. , the degree of individuals’ agreement with government restrictions on citizens’ behavior during emergencies). Differences in these items, as well as their annual trends from 2020 to 2022, were examined in Japan, the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Italy, and China. In addition, the associations between BJD and HRR by country and year and the direction of the associations between them in Japan and Italy were analyzed. Online surveys were conducted annually, with 392–518 participants per country and year. The BJD was higher in Japan and lower in the UK. BJD increased significantly from 2020 to 2021 in all countries, except in China. Meanwhile, HRR was higher in China and lower in Japan. The HRR decreased from 2020 to 2021 in Japan and decreased from 2020 to 2022 in the US, the UK, and Italy. There were significant positive associations between BJD and HRR in Japan and Italy. Cross-lagged panel models revealed positive bidirectional associations between BJD and HRR in Japan and Italy, respectively, indicating that the HRR declined among those with weak BJD and that the BJD increased among those with high HRR. In Japan and Italy, the dissemination of public messages targeting those with a high HRR in the early stages of an infectious disease outbreak could potentially mitigate the adverse impact of the BJD, eventually reducing discrimination, especially when the infection is not attributed to the fault of the infected individuals.
Action-related KnowledGe (AKG) is important for facilitating deeper understanding of people’s life patterns, objectives and motivations. In this study, we present a novel framework for automatically predicting missing human biography records in Wikipedia by generating such knowledge. The generation method, which is based on a neural network matrix factorization model, is capable of encoding action semantics from diverse perspectives and discovering latent inter-action relations. By correctly predicting missing information and correcting errors, our work can effectively improve the quality of data about the behavioral records of historical figures in the knowledge base (e.g., biographies in Wikipedia), thus contributing to the understanding and study of human actions by the general public on the one hand, and can be considered as a new paradigm for managing action-related knowledge in digital libraries on the other. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the AKG we generate can capture well missing or “forgotten” human biography related information in Wikipedia.
We give a lattice theoretical interpretation of generalized deep holes of the Leech lattice VOA $V_\Lambda $. We show that a generalized deep hole defines a ‘true’ automorphism invariant deep hole of the Leech lattice. We also show that there is a correspondence between the set of isomorphism classes of holomorphic VOA V of central charge $24$ having non-abelian $V_1$ and the set of equivalence classes of pairs $(\tau , \tilde {\beta })$ satisfying certain conditions, where $\tau \in Co.0$ and $\tilde {\beta }$ is a $\tau $-invariant deep hole of squared length $2$. It provides a new combinatorial approach towards the classification of holomorphic VOAs of central charge $24$. In particular, we give an explanation for an observation of G. Höhn, which relates the weight one Lie algebras of holomorphic VOAs of central charge $24$ to certain codewords associated with the glue codes of Niemeier lattices.
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6,059 members
Hiromi Yanagisawa
  • Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance (TARA Center)
Yasuteru Shigeta
  • Centre for Computational Sciences
Makoto Satoh
  • International Insititute for Integrative Sleep Medicine
Hirofumi Matsui
  • Department of Gastroenterology
Shingo Takano
  • Department of Neurosurgery
Tennodai 1-1-1, 305-8571, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan