28 research outputs found

    Indoor temperature, humidity, and microorganisms in traditional and modern houses in Japan

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    Microorganisms in our living environment may affect human health. Microbial suppression by air cleaners and disinfecting agents may provide protection from pathogenic materials. However, excessive microbial suppression can negatively affect human health; thus, an appropriate level of microbiome control is beneficial. It is not well understood how physical environmental conditions, such as temperature and relative humidity, and human lifestyles and behaviors affect indoor microorganisms. To understand the relationship between physical environmental conditions and microbial communities in the human living environment, we measured temperature and relative humidity and collected microbial samples in modern and traditional Japanese houses. In this study, bacteria and fungi were the target microorganisms. In both houses, the DNA concentration of microorganisms on floor surfaces was high when the average relative humidity of the room was high. The same tendency was observed for the beam and pillar surfaces in the traditional house. Although more careful consideration is needed for some indoor surfaces, such as storage ceilings and air conditioner outlets, seasonal changes in relative humidity and DNA concentrations of microorganisms on indoor surfaces exhibit some correlation

    Cellular Profiles of Prodynorphin and Preproenkephalin mRNA-Expressing Neurons in the Anterior Olfactory Tubercle of Mice

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    The olfactory tubercle (OT) is a striatal region that receives olfactory inputs. mRNAs of prodynorphin (Pdyn) and preproenkephalin (Penk), precursors of dynorphins and enkephalins, respectively, are strongly expressed in the striatum. Both produce opioid peptides with various physiological effects such as pain relief and euphoria. Recent studies have revealed that OT has anatomical and cytoarchitectonic domains that play different roles in odor-induced motivated behavior. Neuronal subtypes of the OT can be distinguished by their expression of the dopamine receptors D1 (Drd1) and D2 (Drd2). Here, we addressed whether and which type of opioid peptide precursors the D1- and D2-expressing neurons in the OT express. We used multiple fluorescence in situ hybridization for mRNAs of the opioid precursors and dopamine receptors to characterize mouse OT neurons. Pdyn was mainly expressed by Drd1-expressing cells in the dense cell layer (DCL) of the OT, whereas Penk was expressed primarily by Drd2-expressing cells in the DCL. We also confirmed the presence of a larger population of Pdyn-Penk-Drd1 co-expressing cells in the DCL of the anteromedial OT compared with the anterolateral OT. These observations will help understand whether and how dynorphins and enkephalins in the OT are involved in diverse odor-induced motivated behaviors

    Field research on cyclone damage and housing reconstruction in Fijian Village—Case study of Navala Village after tropical cyclone Winston

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    Abstract The Republic of Fiji was hit by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, and housing reconstruction was enabled through government support. This study was aimed at observing the impact on housing in a rural village consisting of both modern and traditional housing types, as well as identifying the reconstruction process. The results show that the distribution of materials was delayed, and housing quality depended on local carpenters. We concluded that there was a need to train carpenters, and the reconstruction of traditional houses should be considered. This is to reflect the natural environment in tropical islands and enhance traditional building knowledge

    Relationship between the Microbiome and Indoor Temperature/Humidity in a Traditional Japanese House with a Thatched Roof in Kyoto, Japan

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    In our living environment, there are various microorganisms that are thought to affect human health. It is expected that excessive microbial suppression can have a negative effect on human health and that the appropriate control of the microbiome is beneficial to health. To understand how the physical environment, such as temperature and relative humidity, or housing itself affects the microbiome in a rural house, we measured temperature and humidity and collected microbial samples in a traditional Japanese house with a thatched roof. The relative humidity of outdoor air was over 60% most of the day throughout the year. Indoor and outdoor air temperature and humidity were closer to each other in summer than in winter. The DNA concentration of indoor surfaces correlated with the relative humidity, especially with the lowest annual relative humidity. In the thatched roof, outside surface relative humidity often reached 100%, and the occurrence of condensation can affect the DNA concentrations. A high percentage of archaea were detected in the house, which is not a common characteristic in houses. In addition, the microbial community was similar outdoors and indoors or in each room. These characteristics reflect the occupants’ behaviour, including opening the windows and partitions in summer. In the future, it will be necessary to conduct continuous surveys in various houses, including traditional and modern houses, in Japan

    Phenyl sulfate, indoxyl sulfate and p-cresyl sulfate decrease glutathione level to render cells vulnerable to oxidative stress in renal tubular cells.

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    In chronic kidney disease patients, oxidative stress is generally associated with disease progression and pathogenesis of its comorbidities. Phenyl sulfate is a protein-bound uremic solute, which accumulates in chronic kidney disease patients, but little is known about its nature. Although many reports revealed that protein-bound uremic solutes induce reactive oxygen species production, the effects of these solutes on anti-oxidant level have not been well studied. Therefore, we examined the effects of protein-bound uremic solutes on glutathione levels. As a result, indoxyl sulfate, phenyl sulfate, and p-cresyl sulfate decreased glutathione levels in porcine renal tubular cells. Next we examined whether phenyl sulfate-treated cells becomes vulnerable to oxidative stress. In phenyl sulfate-treated cells, hydrogen peroxide induced higher rates of cell death than in control cells. Buthionine sulfoximine, which is known to decrease glutathione level, well mimicked the effect of phenyl sulfate. Finally, we evaluated a mixture of indoxyl sulfate, phenyl sulfate, and p-cresyl sulfate at concentrations comparable to the serum concentrations of hemodialysis patients, and we confirmed its decreasing effect on glutathione level. In conclusion, indoxyl sulfate, phenyl sulfate, and p-cresyl sulfate decrease glutathione levels, rendering the cells vulnerable to oxidative stress

    Ultracompact Compton Camera for Innovative Gamma-ray Imaging

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    A multipixel photon counter (MPPC) features excellent photon-counting capability as a radiation detector. In particular, a two-plane Compton camera consisting of Ce:GAGG scintillators coupled with MPPC arrays has significant application potential owing to its compact size and low weight. For example, the camera can be easily mounted on a commercial drone to identify radiation hot spots from the sky. In Fukushima, we demonstrated that a Cs-137 distribution within a 100 m diameter can be mapped correctly within a couple of tens of minutes. The advanced use of the Compton camera is also anticipated in the field of proton therapy. We evaluated an image of 511 keV annihilation gamma-rays emitted from a PMMA phantom irradiated by 200 MeV protons to mimic an in-beam monitor for proton therapy. Finally, we developed an ultracompact Compton camera (weight = 580 g), for 3-D multicolor molecular imaging. In order to demonstrate the performance capabilities of the device, I-131 (365 keV) , Sr-85 (SrCl2, 514 keV), and Zn-65 (ZnCl2, 1116 keV) were injected into a living mouse and the data were taken from 12 angles with a total acquisition time of 2 h. We confirmed that all tracers had accumulated on the target organs of the thyroid, bone, and liver, and that the obtained 3-D image was quantitatively correct with an accuracy of ±20%

    Building Disaster Resilience with Indigenous Knowledge in Rural Fiji

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    Pacific islands are widely recognized to be vulnerable to natural hazards due to its location and characteristics as small island states. Despite this, the communities have survived the recurrent natural hazards and have accumulated the extensive knowledge and experience to cope with them. Although the benefits of indigenous knowledge within disaster risk reduction are begun to be recognized, only a few researches is available. This paper takes up the issue of housings which are frequently damaged or destroyed by the seasonal cyclones and understand the indigenous knowledge associated with them in rural Fiji in a holistic way
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