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    Brachytherapy in Japan

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    This study aimed to assess the current state of brachytherapy (BT) resources, practices and resident education in Japan. A nationwide survey was undertaken encompassing 177 establishments facilitating BT in 2022. Questionnaires were disseminated to each BT center, and feedback through online channels or postal correspondence was obtained. The questionnaire response rate was 90% (159/177), and every prefecture had a response in at least one center. The number of centers in each prefecture ranged from 0.6 to 3.6 (median: 1.3) per million population. The annual number of patients in each center ranged from 0 to 272 (median: 31). While most prefectures provided intracavitary (IC) BT for gynecological cancers and interstitial (IS) BT for prostate cancer, only one-third of the prefectures provided IS BT for cancer sites other than the prostate. The institutional image-guided BT implementation rate was 71%. IC and IS BT was performed for 15.4% of IC BT cases of gynecological cancer. Only 47% of the BT training centers answered that they could provide adequate training in BT for residents. The most common reason for this finding was the insufficient number of patients in each center. The results show that, although BT has achieved uniformity in terms of facility penetration, new technologies are not yet widespread enough. Furthermore, IS BT, which requires advanced skills, is limited to a few BT centers, and considerable number of BT training centers do not have sufficient caseloads to provide the necessary experience for their residents


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    In the present study, we developed a technology for concentrating and recovering phosphorus from slag-like phosphorus-containing unused resources and applied it to slag discharged during the latest steelmaking process, that is, double-slag refining process (DRP). The technology we developed consists of the following four processes: Process (1) is the initial acid elution; Process (2) involves alkali precipitation; Process (3) is the second acid elution; and, Process (4) utilizes ion-exchange. In Process (1), the addition of DPR slag to 0.5 M of a nitric acid solution for 24 min resulted in sufficient phosphorus dissolution. In Process (2), ammonia was added to the dissolved solution, and phosphorus was precipitated with high efficiency. The timing of the addition of ammonia significantly influenced the removal of silicon and iron, which would have been inconvenient to accomplish in subsequent processes. In Process (3), the precipitation obtained in Process (2) was re-dissolved in a nitric acid solution. The dissolution of phosphorus together with other elements progressed sufficiently, and we confirmed that silicon could be completely separated as silica by using high-concentration nitric acid at this stage. The fact that silicon could be removed during Process (3) was an important finding, since silicon could not have been separated in the Process (4). In Process (4), by passing the phosphorus-containing solution obtained in Process (3) through an ion exchange resin, elements other than phosphorus and silicon could be removed, which confirms that the range of applications for this technology could be expanded

    Determination of trace perchlorate in river water by ion chromatography with online matrix removal and sample concentration

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    This paper proposes a simple ion chromatographic approach to determine trace amounts of perchlorate in river water samples. Determination of the trace perchlorate by ion chromatography typically faces two challenges: interference by matrix ions such as chloride, nitrate, and sulfate in the samples and insufficient detection sensitivity. In the present study, online pretreatment of the samples with an OnGuard II Ba/Ag/H disposable sample pretreatment cartridge prevented the sulfate peak tailing from overlapping with the perchlorate peak on the chromatogram. In addition, the matrix removal enabled as large as 10 mL of sample to be loaded into a high exchange capacity anion concentrator, significantly improving perchlorate's detection sensitivity. The proposed approach achieved a detection limit (S/N = 3) of 0.046 µg L-1 without using a costly mass spectrometer and successfully determined sub µg L-1 levels of perchlorate in river water


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    Cisplatin treatment is effective against several types of carcinomas. However, it frequently leads to kidney injury, which warrants effective prevention methods. Sodium valproic acid is a prophylactic drug candidate with a high potential for clinical application against cisplatin-induced kidney injury. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism underlying the prophylactic effect of valproic acid on cisplatin-induced kidney injury in a mouse model and HK2 and PODO cells with cisplatin-induced toxicity. In the mouse model of cisplatin-induced kidney injury, various renal function parameters and tubular damage scores were worsened by cisplatin, but they were significantly improved upon combination with valproic acid. No difference was observed in cisplatin accumulation between the cisplatin-treated and valproic acid-treated groups in whole blood and the kidneys. The mRNA expression levels of proximal tubular damage markers, apoptosis markers, and inflammatory cytokines significantly increased in the cisplatin group 72 h after cisplatin administration but significantly decreased upon combination with valproic acid. In HK2 cells, a human proximal tubular cell line, the cisplatin-induced decrease in cell viability was significantly suppressed by co-treatment with valproic acid. Valproic acid may inhibit cisplatin-induced kidney injury by suppressing apoptosis, inflammatory responses, and glomerular damage throughout the kidneys by suppressing proximal tubular cell damage. However, prospective controlled trials need to evaluate these findings before their practical application

    Development and Practice of Assignments Through the Creation of Infographics : Integrating Course Content Understanding and Information Literacy

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    情報を探索・評価・活用・発信する能力である情報リテラシーは,大学においては各授業科目を通じて育成される必要がある.そのためには,授業内容の理解と情報リテラシーを同時に身につけられる学習活動が求められる.加えて,現在では影響力が増している画像情報の適切な扱い方についても習得する必要がある.このような授業内容の理解と画像を含めた情報を扱う能力の習得を同時に達成できる学習活動として,インフォグラフィックスの作成が挙げられる.そこで,本研究では授業内容に関する理解および情報リテラシーの習得を統合的に達成することを目的に,「対話型論証モデル」にもとづいた「アイデア出しワークシート」を用いてインフォグラフィックスを作成する課題を開発し,授業での実践を行った. この課題について,ルーブリックによる成果物の評価と学生の自由記述による振り返りを分析し学習成果の検証を行った.その結果,学生は,授業内容や情報リテラシーの一部の側面について,事実的な知識や個別的スキルの理解や習得にとどまっていた.以上の結果から課題の改善の必要性を示すと同時に,インフォグラフィックスを用いた課題の可能性について論じた.In this study, information literacy is defined as the ability to search, evaluate, utilize, and disseminate information effectively. In university education, information literacy should be developed in a specific discipline in each class with specific subject content. This is because information literacy is more effectively acquired through the experience of using information in specific contexts, for example, searching and evaluating information which relates to the subject content, or processing, using, and expressing the content in course assignments. Therefore, learning activities in class should enable students to acquire both an understanding of course content and information literacy simultaneously. Recently, image information has become more influential and it is necessary for students to learn how to properly handle this information. One such activity that is designed to acquire both the understanding of course content and information literacy including images simultaneously is the creation of infographics by students. The infographic creation process should use theme-specific information effectively and contain all aspects of information literacy defined above. With this background, this study developed and practiced assignments to create infographics in a consumer education university class, with the aim of integrating the achievement of course content understanding and acquisition of information literacy. In addition, to facilitate the infographics creation process, we developed an “idea-generation worksheet” based on the “dialogical arguments model” and included it in the assignment. We examined the learning outcomes of this assignment by analyzing the evaluation of products using a four-level assessment rubric and the studentsʼ reflections on the assignment through open-ended writing questions. As a result of the rubric assessment, most students were at the lower level of criteria (understanding content, information searching, information evaluation, information using, and information dissemination). In the coding and analyses of the studentsʼ reflections, it was revealed that their information literacy was limited to understanding factual knowledge of course content, and acquiring specific skills (e.g. internet searching, operating computer applications). Despite these results, students indicated that they organize their self-generated ideas and put them into clear words in order to clarify what themes and content should be included in the infographics they would create. From the above results, we concluded that the assignment needs to be improved to facilitate deeper engagement with the subject content and information among the students. However, we found that the assignments using the creation of infographics may facilitate students clarify their ideas or thoughts through idea-gathering and verbalization

    Augmentation Index in CAD

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    Background: Augmentation index (AI) has been used as a clinical index of arterial stiffness and has been reported to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular events, but some investigators have reported that AI is not a useful marker to identify coronary artery disease (CAD) in elderly patients. The majority of CAD patients are elderly people, therefore the aim of this study was to examine whether AI is a useful marker to identify the risk of CAD. Methods and Results: A total of 120 patients (69±10 years of age; 83 male) who underwent cardiac catheterization for suspected CAD were enrolled. Invasive central blood pressure (BP) was measured using a fluid-filled catheter. Non-invasive AI was calculated by the SphygmoCor (AtCor Medical) system at the end of catheterization. Subjects consisted of 99 patients with CAD and 21 patients without CAD. There was no significant difference in AI between the CAD and the non-CAD groups (24±10 vs. 24±14%). Non-invasive systolic central BP was lower than the invasive systolic central BP (115±18 vs. 130±23 mmHg, P<0.001) in all patients. Non-invasive diastolic central BP was greater than the invasive diastolic central BP (67±10 vs. 63±10 mmHg, P<0.001). Conclusions: In elderly patients, AI may not be a useful marker to identify CAD

    Experimental estimation of the Lorenz number and scattering parameter for p-type bismuth antimony telluride via multiple doping under constant temperature conditions

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    The effects of the addition of lead as one of the multiple dopants in p-type Bi0.3−xSb1.7Te3.0+0.01Pbx (x = 0, 0.001, 0.002, 0.003) fabricated by mechanical alloying followed by hot pressing were investigated. Measurements by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential thermal analysis (DTA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the same matrix morphology. The second phase by doped elements was not confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). By using the lead addition results and previously studied tellurium doping effects, the Lorenz number L was evaluated to be 0.73–1.18 × 10−8 W S−1 K−2. The scattering parameter γ and reduced Fermi energy η were estimated by using expressions on the basis of a one-electron approximation, measured Seebeck coefficients, and the estimated L at room temperature. The γ ranged approximately from −1.06 to −0.60 and showed a mutual effect of acoustic and optical phonon scattering. The relationship between a dimensionless figure of merit ZT and η was clarified. The optimum η was determined as −1.25 at ZT = 1.26. From these results, multi-doped Bi0.3Sb1.7Te3.0 could be applied to evaluate L, γ, and η at a constant temperature

    クモマクカ シュッケツ ニ ゾクハツ シタ ジュウショウ ノ Neurogenic stress cardiomyopathy ノ ケントウ

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    Neurogenic stress cardiomyopathy(NSC)is caused by catecholamine excess and/or sympathetic nerve activation, presented as a transient cardiac wall motion abnormality. It is reported to occur in 4‐15% of patients suffering from subarachnoid hemorrhage(SAH). Of particular concern, severe NSC leading to cardiac dysfunction is especially important to consider when treating SAH patients in the acute stage because it could affect the prognosis of SAH and the timing of surgery. Currently, the incidence of severe NSC and risk factors are not well characterized. In the present study, we reviewed the medical records of85patients(20men,65women)who were admitted and treated for ruptured cerebral aneurysms at Tokushima University Hospital during the period from January 2010 to May 2012. NSC occurred in five patients(5.9%), and three of those patients(3.5%)showed severe NSC with cardiac dysfunction. NSC was observed only in patients with poor SAH-grade, and those resulting in severe cardiac dysfunction were all in women. Notably, the incidence of severe NSC was particularly high in female patients with poor SAH-grades (17.6%). We reported the morbidity of severe NSC in patients with SAH. It is important to pay special attention to severe NSC in female patients, particular those with poor SAH-grades


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