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    Local Citizens' Preferences for Offshore Wind Turbine Development: An Empirical Evidence from Four Prospective Prefectures in Japan

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate local citizens' recognition of offshore wind power and to evaluate their preferences for offshore wind turbines in four prefectures in Japan, namely, Akita, Chiba, Fukuoka, and Nagasaki, where is promoted areas of offshore wind power. Although the development of offshore wind power is an important measure for Japan to achieve a decarbonized society by 2050, local opposition is one of the main barriers to promoting offshore wind power. This study conducts an online survey and choice experiment with 2400 respondents from the four prefectures. The survey reveals that 55% of respondents agree with the promotion of offshore wind power. Those who opposes the offshore wind power concerns about the durability of turbines and future removal plans. Moreover, the mixed logit model shows that people prefer a greater distance from turbines, a larger number of turbines but not too many, and less impact on marine ecosystems. The model also shows the heterogeneous preferences among individuals and prefectures. Furthermore, the ordered logit model demonstrates that those who recognize the possible contributions of offshore wind turbines are likely to accept the development of offshore wind turbines while those who are concerned about the negative impact of turbines on the marine landscape and removal plans seem to oppose the turbines. The study highlights the importance of tailoring offshore wind farm strategies to local concerns to effectively build consensus among stakeholders

    KUS121, a VCP modulator, has an ameliorating effect on acute and chronic heart failure without calcium loading via maintenance of intracellular ATP levels

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    KUS121は新規の心不全治療薬となる --Ca2+負荷なしに血行動態を改善--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2023-12-15.[Aims] As heart failure (HF) progresses, ATP levels in myocardial cells decrease, and myocardial contractility also decreases. Inotropic drugs improve myocardial contractility but increase ATP consumption, leading to poor prognosis. Kyoto University Substance 121 (KUS121) is known to selectively inhibit the ATPase activity of valosin-containing protein, maintain cellular ATP levels, and manifest cytoprotective effects in several pathological conditions. The aim of this study is to determine the therapeutic effect of KUS121 on HF models. [Methods and results] Cultured cell, mouse, and canine models of HF were used to examine the therapeutic effects of KUS121. The mechanism of action of KUS121 was also examined. Administration of KUS121 to a transverse aortic constriction (TAC)-induced mouse model of HF rapidly improved the left ventricular ejection fraction and improved the creatine phosphate/ATP ratio. In a canine model of high frequency-paced HF, administration of KUS121 also improved left ventricular contractility and decreased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure without increasing the heart rate. Long-term administration of KUS121 to a TAC-induced mouse model of HF suppressed cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. In H9C2 cells, KUS121 reduced ER stress. Finally, in experiments using primary cultured cardiomyocytes, KUS121 improved contractility and diastolic capacity without changing peak Ca²⁺ levels or contraction time. These effects were not accompanied by an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate or phosphorylation of phospholamban and ryanodine receptors. [Conclusions] KUS121 ameliorated HF by a mechanism totally different from that of conventional catecholamines. We propose that KUS121 is a promising new option for the treatment of HF

    BPG4 regulates chloroplast development and homeostasis by suppressing GLK transcription factors and involving light and brassinosteroid signaling

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    葉緑体の発達を適正に制御する新しい因子を発見. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-23.Chloroplast development adapts to the environment for performing suitable photosynthesis. Brassinosteroids (BRs), plant steroid hormones, have crucial effects on not only plant growth but also chloroplast development. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms of BR signaling in chloroplast development remain unclear. Here, we identify a regulator of chloroplast development, BPG4, involved in light and BR signaling. BPG4 interacts with GOLDEN2-LIKE (GLK) transcription factors that promote the expression of photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes (PhANGs), and suppresses their activities, thereby causing a decrease in the amounts of chlorophylls and the size of light-harvesting complexes. BPG4 expression is induced by BR deficiency and light, and is regulated by the circadian rhythm. BPG4 deficiency causes increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and damage to photosynthetic activity under excessive high-light conditions. Our findings suggest that BPG4 acts as a chloroplast homeostasis factor by fine-tuning the expression of PhANGs, optimizing chloroplast development, and avoiding ROS generation

    Fission yeast Wee1 is required for stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment

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    Wee1キナーゼの新たなる機能の発見 --抗癌剤治療の新基軸の提言--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-12.Wee1 is a cell cycle regulator that phosphorylates Cdk1/Cdc2 and inhibits G2/M transition. Loss of Wee1 in fission yeast results in an early onset of mitosis. Interestingly, we found that cells lacking Wee1 require the functional spindle checkpoint for their viability. Genetic analysis indicated that the requirement is not attributable to the early onset of mitosis. Live-cell imaging revealed that some kinetochores are not attached or bioriented in the wee1 mutant. Furthermore, Mad2, a component of the spindle checkpoint known to recognize unattached kinetochores, accumulates in the vicinity of the spindle, representing activation of the spindle checkpoint in the mutant. It appears that the wee1 mutant cannot maintain stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment, and relies on the delay imposed by the spindle checkpoint for establishing biorientation of kinetochores. This study revealed a role of Wee1 in ensuring accurate segregation of chromosomes during mitosis, and thus provided a basis for a new principle of cancer treatment with Wee1 inhibitors

    Non-invasive age estimation based on faecal DNA using methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting for Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins

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    野生イルカのうんちから年齢を推定 --野生水生動物の糞から抽出したDNAのエピジェネティッククロックを用いた年齢推定に世界で初めて成功--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2023-12-18.Age is necessary information for the study of life history of wild animals. A general method to estimate the age of odontocetes is counting dental growth layer groups (GLGs). However, this method is highly invasive as it requires the capture and handling of individuals to collect their teeth. Recently, the development of DNA-based age estimation methods has been actively studied as an alternative to such invasive methods, of which many have relied on used biopsy samples. However, if DNA-based age estimation can be developed from faecal samples, age estimation can be performed entirely non-invasively. We developed an age estimation model using the methylation rate of two gene regions, GRIA2 and CDKN2A, measured through methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting (MS-HRM) from faecal samples of wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). The age of individuals was known through conducting longitudinal individual identification surveys underwater. Methylation rates were quantified from 36 samples collected from 30 individuals. Both gene regions showed a significant correlation between age and methylation rate. The age estimation model was constructed based on the methylation rates of both genes which achieved sufficient accuracy (after LOOCV: MAE = 5.08, R² = 0.33) for the ecological studies of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, with a lifespan of 40–50 years. This is the first study to report the use of non-invasive faecal samples to estimate the age of marine mammals

    Regulation of lymphoid-myeloid lineage bias through Regnase-1/3-mediated control of Nfkbiz

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    造血幹細胞の分化方向性を制御する分子機構 --mRNA分解機構が司る新たな細胞運命決定機構の発見--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2023-11-09.Regulation of lineage biases in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) is pivotal for balanced hematopoietic output. However, little is known about the mechanism behind lineage choice in HSPCs. Here, we show that mRNA decay factors Regnase-1 (Reg1; Zc3h12a) and Regnase-3 (Reg3; Zc3h12c) are essential for determining lymphoid fate and restricting myeloid differentiation in HSPCs. Loss of Reg1 and Reg3 resulted in severe impairment of lymphopoiesis and a mild increase in myelopoiesis in the BM. single cell RNA sequencing analysis (scRNA-seq) revealed that Reg1 and Reg3 regulate lineage directions in HSPCs via the control of a set of myeloid-related genes. Reg1- and Reg3-mediated control of mRNA encoding Nfkbiz, a transcriptional and epigenetic regulator, was essential for balancing lymphoid/myeloid lineage output in HSPCs in vivo. Furthermore, single cell-assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing (scATAC-seq) analysis revealed that Reg1 and Reg3 control the epigenetic landscape on myeloid-related gene loci in early-stage HSPCs via Nfkbiz. Consistently, an antisense oligonucleotide designed to inhibit Reg1- and Reg3-mediated Nfkbiz mRNA degradation primed HSCs toward myeloid lineages by enhancing Nfkbiz expression. Collectively, the collaboration between post-transcriptional control and chromatin remodeling by the Reg1/Reg3-Nfkbiz axis governs HSPC lineage biases, ultimately dictating the fate of lymphoid versus myeloid differentiation

    Nitrogen-origin-determination in NOᵪformation under ammonia/methane/air co-combustion using a nitrogen-tagged reaction model

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    This paper proposes a chemical reaction mechanism using the nitrogen element-tracking method for ammonia combustion to obtain the fuel-origin nitric oxides formation characteristics under the co-combustion of ammonia/methane/air diffusion flames. The proposed mechanism was verified by comparing the reaction rates of nitric oxide, nitrous oxide of the element-tracking method with those of the original reaction mechanism (non-tracking). Subsequently, the effects of the mole fraction of ammonia, strain rate of the flow, and preheating temperature of the oxidizer on the emission characteristics of nitric oxides in co-combustion of ammonia/methane/air diffusion flame were investigated. The results showed that the emission index of fuel-originated nitric oxide (N⁕O) increased slightly, whereas that of oxidizer-originated nitric oxide (NO) decreased with an increase in the ammonia content in the fuel. The emission index of N⁕O overcame that of NO with an increase in the ammonia concentration in the fuel, and N⁕O became the dominant molecule in the emission of ammonia/methane co-combustion. Additionally, the reaction path analysis highlighted that a decrease in flame temperature under high strain rate conditions causes an increase in N⁕O formation as well as the suppression of N⁕₂O decomposition

    Effect of fluorine substitution on the electronic states and conductance of CuPc on Cu(100)

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    The electronic states and conductance of CuPc, F₈CuPc, and F₁₆CuPc on Cu(100) were studied by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and the density functional theory (DFT) calculations. For all molecules, the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) was observed around the Fermi level (E_F), regardless of the difference in the original LUMO levels of the free molecules. This indicates that the strong interaction causes the pinning of E_F at LUMO levels. Meanwhile, the differential conductance at E_F is drastically affected by the substitution: it increases and decreases for CuPc and F₁₆CuPc, respectively, suggesting that the Fano effect plays a major role in the conductance. This finding provides a new strategy for the control of molecular conductance by chemical substitution

    Unusual flexibility of transparent poly(methylsilsesquioxane) aerogels by surfactant-induced mesoscopic fiber-like assembly

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    ガラスのように透明で曲げられるエアロゲル --高性能透明断熱材として期待--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-19.High-performance thermal insulators represented by aerogels are regarded as one of the most promising materials for energy savings. However, significantly low mechanical strength has been a barrier for aerogels to be utilized in various social domains such as houses, buildings, and industrial plants. Here, we report a synthetic strategy to realize highly transparent aerogels with unusually high bending flexibility based on poly(methylsilsesquioxane) (PMSQ) network. We have constructed mesoscopic fine fiber-like structures of various sizes in PMSQ gels by the combination of phase separation suppression by tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAOH) and mesoscopic fiber-like assembly by nonionic poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(propylene oxide)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-b-PPO-b-PEO) type surfactant. The optimized mesoscale structures of PMSQ gels have realized highly transparent and resilient monolithic aerogels with much high bendability compared to those reported in previous works. This work will provide a way to highly insulating materials with glasslike transparency and high mechanical flexibility

    The multilevel society of proboscis monkeys with a possible patrilineal basis

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    テングザルの重層社会の解明 --父系的重層社会の可能性--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-09.Multilevel societies (MLS), which are characterized by two or more levels of social organization, are among the most complex primate social systems. MLS have only been recorded in a limited number of primates, including humans. The aim of this study was to investigate whether proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) form MLS in Sabah, Malaysia, and to genetically characterize their dispersal patterns. Association data were obtained through direct observation (35 months) and kinship data through genetic analysis, based on feces collected from ~ 200 individuals. The results strongly suggest that proboscis monkeys exhibit a form of MLS, with several core reproductive units and a bachelor group woven together into a higher-level band. Genetic analysis revealed that the females migrated randomly over short and long distances; however, the males tended to migrate relatively shorter distances than females. Furthermore, male-male dyads showed a slightly higher average relatedness than female-female dyads. Combined with the results of direct observations, we conclude that proboscis monkeys form MLS with at least two layers and a patrilineal basis. Since patrilineal MLS have been identified as an important step in the evolution of human societies, their convergent appearance in proboscis monkeys may help us understand the drivers of human social evolution

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