3,989 research outputs found

    Evolution and Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Clade 2.3.4.4b Virus in Wild Birds, South Korea, 2022–2023

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    During October 2022–March 2023, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) clade 2.3.4.4b virus caused outbreaks in South Korea, including 174 cases in wild birds. To understand the origin and role of wild birds in the evolution and spread of HPAI viruses, we sequenced 113 HPAI isolates from wild birds and performed phylogenetic analysis. We identified 16 different genotypes, indicating extensive genetic reassortment with viruses in wild birds. Phylodynamic analysis showed that the viruses were most likely introduced to the southern Gyeonggi-do/northern Chungcheongnam-do area through whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) and spread southward. Cross-species transmission occurred between various wild bird species, including waterfowl and raptors, resulting in the persistence of HPAI in wild bird populations and further geographic spread as these birds migrated throughout South Korea. Enhanced genomic surveillance was an integral part of the HPAI outbreak response, aiding in timely understanding of the origin, evolution, and spread of the virus

    Additional file 1 of Smartphone usage and overdependence risk among middle-aged and older adults: a cross-sectional study

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    Additional file 1. Digital literacy, psychosocial characteristics, and smartphone dependence based on the age group, detailed. In the main text, the scores of digital literacy, social relations, life satisfaction, and the Smartphone Overdependence Scale are presented as categorical scores. However, this file indicates which item belonged to which category, the score for each item, and the age-group-based differences in each item

    Millet seed oil activates β–catenin signaling and promotes hair growth

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    Alopecia, regardless of gender, exacerbates psychological stress in those affected. The rising prevalence of alopecia has fueled a research interest in preventing hair loss. This study investigates the potential of millet seed oil (MSO) in promoting the proliferation of hair follicle dermal papilla cells (HFDPC) and stimulating hair growth in animals with testosterone-dependent hair growth inhibition as part of a study on dietary treatments to improve hair growth. MSO-treated HFDPC significantly increased cell proliferation and phosphorylation of AKT, S6K1, and GSK3β proteins. This induces β-catenin, a downstream transcription factor, to translocate to the nucleus and increase the expression of factors related to cell growth. In a C57BL/6 mice model in which hair growth was inhibited by subcutaneous testosterone injection after shaving the dorsal skin, oral administration of MSO stimulated hair growth in the subject mice by increasing the size and number of hair follicles. These results suggest that MSO is a potent agent that may help prevent or treat androgenetic alopecia by promoting hair growth

    Structural safety inspection of reinforced concrete structures considering failure probabilities of structural members

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    Regular safety inspections of existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures are required according to the regulations and criteria set by each country. In South Korea, the safety inspection regulations provided by the Korea Infrastructure Safety and Technology Corporation (KISTEC) are followed. These regulations were developed based on fuzzy theory to avoid subjective decisions, and provide standardized deterioration grades for member types, floors, and the entire structure. However, the safety inspection regulation by the KISTEC often provides unconservative evaluation results. In particular, as the importance factors of beam and slab members are set lower than those of other members, there are cases in which deteriorations occurring in beams and slabs are not properly reflected in the floor level evaluation. In this study, to overcome such limitations, case studies were carried out and modified importance factors for structural member types were proposed considering the failure probabilities of each member type based on the reliability theory. The importance modification factor was calculated based on the strength ratio of structural members so that the more dangerous the members are, the more impact they give on the evaluation. Overall, compared to the KISTEC method, the proposed method provided conservative but practical assessment results, and it was found that the proposed importance factors can be very useful to properly reflect the effects of damaged members on the deterioration status evaluation of the floors and the entire structure

    Novel Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Clade 2.3.4.4b Virus in Wild Birds, South Korea

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    We isolated 5 highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) clade 2.3.4.4.b viruses from wild waterfowl feces in South Korea during November 2022. Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed novel genotypes produced by reassortment with Eurasian low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses. Enhanced surveillance will be required to improve prevention and control strategies

    Diagnostic proficiency test using digital cytopathology and comparative assessment of whole slide images of cytologic samples for quality assurance program in Korea

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    Background The Korean Society for Cytopathology introduced a digital proficiency test (PT) in 2021. However, many doubtful opinions remain on whether digitally scanned images can satisfactorily present subtle differences in the nuclear features and chromatin patterns of cytological samples. Methods We prepared 30 whole-slide images (WSIs) from the conventional PT archive by a selection process for digital PT. Digital and conventional PT were performed in parallel for volunteer institutes, and the results were compared using feedback. To assess the quality of cytological assessment WSIs, 12 slides were collected and scanned using five different scanners, with four cytopathologists evaluating image quality through a questionnaire. Results Among the 215 institutes, 108 and 107 participated in glass and digital PT, respectively. No significant difference was noted in category C (major discordance), although the number of discordant cases was slightly higher in the digital PT group. Leica, 3DHistech Pannoramic 250 Flash, and Hamamatsu NanoZoomer 360 systems showed comparable results in terms of image quality, feature presentation, and error rates for most cytological samples. Overall satisfaction was observed with the general convenience and image quality of digital PT. Conclusions As three-dimensional clusters are common and nuclear/chromatin features are critical for cytological interpretation, careful selection of scanners and optimal conditions are mandatory for the successful establishment of digital quality assurance programs in cytology

    Comparison of the end-of-life decisions of patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia after the enforcement of the life-sustaining treatment decision act in Korea

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    Abstract Background Although the Life-Sustaining Treatment (LST) Decision Act was enforced in 2018 in Korea, data on whether it is well established in actual clinical settings are limited. Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is a common nosocomial infection with high mortality. However, there are limited data on the end-of-life (EOL) decision of patients with HAP. Therefore, we aimed to examine clinical characteristics and outcomes according to the EOL decision for patients with HAP. Methods This multicenter study enrolled patients with HAP at 16 referral hospitals retrospectively from January to December 2019. EOL decisions included do-not-resuscitate (DNR), withholding of LST, and withdrawal of LST. Descriptive and Kaplan–Meier curve analyses for survival were performed. Results Of 1,131 patients with HAP, 283 deceased patients with EOL decisions (105 cases of DNR, 108 cases of withholding of LST, and 70 cases of withdrawal of LST) were analyzed. The median age was 74 (IQR 63–81) years. The prevalence of solid malignant tumors was high (32.4% vs. 46.3% vs. 54.3%, P = 0.011), and the ICU admission rate was lower (42.9% vs. 35.2% vs. 24.3%, P = 0.042) in the withdrawal group. The prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogens, impaired consciousness, and cough was significantly lower in the withdrawal group. Kaplan–Meier curve analysis revealed that 30-day and 60-day survival rates were higher in the withdrawal group than in the DNR and withholding groups (log-rank P = 0.021 and 0.018). The survival of the withdrawal group was markedly decreased after 40 days; thus, the withdrawal decision was made around this time. Among patients aged below 80 years, the rates of EOL decisions were not different (P = 0.430); however, mong patients aged over 80 years, the rate of withdrawal was significantly lower than that of DNR and withholding (P = 0.001). Conclusions After the LST Decision Act was enforced in Korea, a DNR order was still common in EOL decisions. Baseline characteristics and outcomes were similar between the DNR and withholding groups; however, differences were observed in the withdrawal group. Withdrawal decisions seemed to be made at the late stage of dying. Therefore, advance care planning for patients with HAP is needed

    Techno-Economic Assessment of Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plants with Carbon Capture and Utilization

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    Carbon utilization in natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants has attracted great attention due to necessary carbon reduction demands. In this study, NGCC power plants integrated with the carbon capture and utilization process (CCU) were developed: Case 2 (NGCC power plant with CO2 conversion on precarbon capture) and case 3 (NGCC power plant with CO2 conversion on postcarbon capture). Integrated process configurations were evaluated and compared with case 1 (NGCC power plant only with postcombustion carbon capture) in terms of technical (net power generation, natural gas consumption rate, syngas production rate, CO2 quantity released into the environment) and economic (total capital cost, total annual revenue, return on investment, payback period, and cash flow) performance. Here, case 2 represented the most environmentally friendly option with the lowest CO2 released. Besides, case 3 generated the highest amount of electricity due to a lower compression pressure demand for CO2 utilization than storage in case 1. The economic analysis indicated that the payback periods of cases 1, 2, and 3 were 9.2, 17.18, and 6.9, respectively. Case 3 was the best option under the least capital expenditure, operating expenditure, and the highest annual revenue. Additionally, case 2 was competitive in terms of low total capital cost as compared to case 1. Therefore, the suggested NGCC power plant processes with CCU are viable options for reducing CO2 emissions and improving the economics of NGCC power plants. In addition, the process may be used as a model for further CO2 utilization from flue gas released by gas power plants

    Mefenamic Acid-Upregulated Nrf2/SQSTM1 Protects Hepatocytes against Oxidative Stress-Induced Cell Damage

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    Mefenamic acid (MFA) is a commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. MFA is known to have potent antioxidant properties and a neuroprotective effect against oxidative stress. However, its impact on the liver is unclear. This study aimed to elucidate the antioxidative effects of MFA and their underlying mechanisms. We observed that MFA treatment upregulated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway. Treatment with various anthranilic acid derivative-class NSAIDs, including MFA, increased the expression of sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) in HepG2 cells. MFA disrupted the interaction between Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) and Nrf2, activating the Nrf2 signaling pathway. SQTM1 knockdown experiments revealed that the effect of MFA on the Nrf2 pathway was masked in the absence of SQSTM1. To assess the cytoprotective effect of MFA, we employed tert-Butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP) as a ROS inducer. Notably, MFA exhibited a protective effect against tBHP-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. This cytoprotective effect was abolished when SQSTM1 was knocked down, suggesting the involvement of SQSTM1 in mediating the protective effect of MFA against tBHP-induced toxicity. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that MFA exhibits cytoprotective effects by upregulating SQSTM1 and activating the Nrf2 pathway. These findings improve our understanding of the pharmacological actions of MFA and highlight its potential as a therapeutic agent for oxidative stress-related conditions

    The Kaplan-Meier survival curves of cancer-specific survival (CSS) in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) in various age at diagnosis groups.

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    Each Kaplan-Meier survival curves represents cancer-specific survival of different age at diagnosis (AAD) groups in total patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), mutant TERT (M-TERT), and wild-type TERT (WT-TERT). (A) Kaplan-Meier survival curves of total patients with DTC, (B) Kaplan-Meier survival curves of M-TERT, and (C) Kaplan-Meier survival curves of WT-TERT stratified into four AAD groups: TERT, and (F) Kaplan-Meier survival curves of WT-TERT stratified into two AAD groups: <55 and ≥55.</p
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