Using electrophysiology, we have examined two questions in relation to musical training – namely, whether it enhances sensory encoding of the human voice and whether it improves the ability to ignore irrelevant auditory change. Participants performed an auditory distraction task, in which they identified each sound as either short (350 ms) or long (550 ms) and ignored a change in sounds’ timbre. Sounds consisted of a male and a female voice saying a neutral sound [a], and of a cello and a French Horn playing an F3 note. In some blocks, musical sounds occurred on 80% of trials, while voice sounds on 20% of trials. In other blocks, the reverse was true. Participants heard naturally recorded sounds in half of experimental blocks and their spectrally-rotated versions in the other half. Regarding voice perception, we found that musicians had a larger N1 ERP component not only to vocal sounds but also to their never before heard spectrally-rotated versions. We, therefore, conclude that musical training is associated with a general improvement in the early neural encoding of complex sounds. Regarding the ability to ignore irrelevant auditory change, musicians’ accuracy tended to suffer less from the change in sounds’ timbre, especially when deviants were musical notes. This behavioral finding was accompanied by a marginally larger re-orienting negativity in musicians, suggesting that their advantage may lie in a more efficient disengagement of attention from the distracting auditory dimension.
musical training; auditory perception in musicians; timbre perception; auditory change; auditory distraction
There are scanty epidemiologic data on the prevalence of food allergy (FA) among preschool children in Asia. We performed this study to determine the prevalence and causative foods of immediate-type FA in early childhood in Korea.
A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study was performed between September and October 2011. Children aged 0-6 years were recruited from 301 public child care centers in Seoul. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on FA. Children with FA were classified into "perceived FA, ever," "immediate-type FA, ever," and "immediate-type FA, current" according to the algorithm.
A total of 16,749 children were included in this study. The prevalence of "perceived FA, ever," "immediate-type FA, ever," and "immediate-type FA, current" was 15.1%, 7.0%, and 3.7%, respectively. "Immediate-type FA, current" was reported by 182 (4.9%) out of 3,738 children aged ≤2 years, 262 (3.4%) of 7,648 children aged 3-4 years, and 177 (3.3%) of 5,363 children aged 5-6 years. Hen's egg (126/621) was the most frequent cause as the individual food item, followed by cow's milk (82/621) and peanut (58/621). Among the food groups, fruits (114/621), tree nuts (90/621) and crustaceans (85/621) were the most common offending foods. The three leading causes of food-induced anaphylaxis were hen's egg (22/47), cow's milk (15/47), and peanut (14/47).
The prevalence of immediate-type FA in early childhood is 3.7%, and is higher in younger children. The most common offending foods differed with age.
Immediate hypersensitivity; child; food allergy; prevalence
The inhibitory effects of perilla oil on the platelet aggregation in vitro and thrombosis in vivo were investigated in comparison with aspirin, a well-known blood flow enhancer. Rabbit platelet-rich plasma was incubated with perilla oil and aggregation inducers collagen or thrombin, and the platelet aggregation rate was analyzed. Perilla oil significantly inhibited both the collagen- and thrombin-induced platelet aggregations, in which the thromboxane B2 formation from collagen-activated platelets were reduced in a concentration-dependent manner. Rats were administered once daily by gavage with perilla oil for 1 week, carotid arterial thrombosis was induced by applying 35% FeCl3-soaked filter paper for 10 min, and the blood flow was monitored with a laser Doppler probe. Perilla oil delayed the FeCl3-induced arterial occlusion in a dose-dependent manner, doubling the occlusion time at 0.5 mL/kg. In addition, a high dose (2 mL/kg) of perilla oil greatly prevented the occlusion, comparable to the effect of aspirin (30 mg/kg). The results indicate that perilla oil inhibit platelet aggregation by blocking thromboxane formation, and thereby delay thrombosis following oxidative arterial wall injury. Therefore, it is proposed that perilla oil could be a good candidate without adverse effects for the improvement of blood flow.
Platelet aggregation; thromboxane B2; thrombosis; perilla oil
Effects of FEMY-R7, composed of fucoidan and evening primrose extract, on the bacterial growth and intragastric infection of Helicobacter pylori as well as gastric secretion were investigated in comparison with a proton-pump inhibitor pantoprazole. For in vitro anti-bacterial activity test, H. pylori (1×108 CFU/mL) was incubated with a serially-diluted FEMY-R7 for 3 days. As a result, FEMY-R7 fully inhibited the bacterial growth at 100 µg/mL, which was determined to be a minimal inhibitory concentration. In addition, 6-hour incubation with H. pylori, FEMY-R7 inhibited urease activity in a concentration-dependent manner, showing a median inhibitory concentration of 1,500 µg/mL. In vivo elimination study, male C57BL/6 mice were infected with the bacteria by intragastric inoculation (5×109 CFU/mouse) 3 times at 2-day intervals, and simultaneously, orally treated twice a day with 10, 30 or 100 mg/kg FEMY-R7 for 7 days. In Campylobcter-like organism-detection test and bacterial identification, FEMY-R7 exerted a high bacteria-eliminating capacity at 30-100 mg/kg, comparably to 30 mg/kg pantoprazole. In contrast to a strong antacid activity of pantoprazole in a pylorus-ligation study, FEMY-R7 did not significantly affect gastric pH, free HCl, and total acidity, although it significantly decreased fluid volume at a low dose (10 mg/kg). The results indicate that FEMY-R7 eliminate H. pylori from gastric mucosa by directly killing the bacteria and preventing their adhesion and invasion, rather than by inhibiting gastric secretion or mucosal damage.
Helicobacter pylori; FEMY-R7; fucoidan; evening primrose extract; minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC); CLO test; gastric secretion
CHARGE syndrome has been estimated to occur in 1:10,000 births worldwide and shows various clinical manifestations. It is a genetic disorder characterized by a specific and a recognizable pattern of anomalies. The major clinical features are ocular coloboma, heart malformations, atresia of the choanae, growth retardation, genital hypoplasia, and ear abnormalities. The chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 7 (CHD7) gene, located on chromosome 8q12.1, causes CHARGE syndrome. The CHD7 protein is an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent chromatin remodeling protein. A total of 67% of patients clinically diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome have CHD7 mutations. Five hundred twenty-eight pathogenic and unique CHD7 alterations have been identified so far. We describe a patient with a CHARGE syndrome diagnosis who carried a novel de novo mutation, a c.3896T>C (p. leu1299Pro) missense mutation, in the CHD7 gene. This finding will provide more information for genetic counseling and expand our understanding of the pathogenesis and development of CHARGE syndrome.
CHARGE syndrome; CHD7; Mutation
The effects of nattokinase on the in vitro platelet aggregation and in vivo thrombosis were investigated in comparison with aspirin. Rabbit platelet-rich plasma was incubated with nattokinase and aggregation inducers collagen and thrombin, and the platelet aggregation rate was analyzed. Nattokinase significantly inhibited both the collagen- and thrombin-induced platelet aggregations. Nattokinase also reduced thromboxane B2 formation from collagen-activated platelets in a concentration-dependent manner. Rats were orally administered with nattokinase for 1 week, and their carotid arteries were exposed. Arterial thrombosis was induced by applying 35% FeCl3-soaked filter paper for 10 min, and the blood flow was monitored with a laser Doppler probe. Nattokinase delayed the FeCl3-induced arterial occlusion in a dose-dependent manner, doubling the occlusion time at 160 mg/kg. In addition, a high dose (500 mg/kg) of nattokinase fully prevented the occlusion, as achieved with aspirin (30 mg/kg). The results indicate that nattokinase extracted from fermented soybean inhibit platelet aggregation by blocking thromboxane formation, and thereby delay thrombosis following oxidative arterial wall injury. Therefore, it is suggested that nattokinase could be a good candidate without adverse effects for the improvement of blood flow.
Platelet aggregation; thromboxane B2; thrombosis; nattokinase
The effects of a β-dunnione compound MB12662 on the gastric secretion and ulcers were investigated in rats. In order to assess the effects of MB12662 on the gastric secretion and acidity, rats were subjected to pylorus ligation operation, and 6 hours later, gastric fluid was collected. Treatment with MB12662 reduced the gastric fluid volume to 47.3% of control level and increased pH. In an alcohol-induced ulcer model, rats were orally administered 3 mL/kg of ethanol, and 1 hour later, the ulcer lesions ware measured under a stereomicroscope. MB12662 reduced ulcer index in a dose-dependent manner which was much stronger than a proton-pump inhibitor pantoprazole. In a stress-induced ulcer model, rats were subjected to water-immersion restraint stress, and 5 hours later, the ulcer lesions ware examined. MB12662 also attenuated the stress-induced gastric lesions, although the efficacy of MB12662 was lower than that of pantoprazole. Therefore, it is suggested that MB12662 could be a candidate compound for the prevention or treatment of gastric ulcers induced by gastric over-secretion and alcoholic hangover.
Gastric secretion; ulcer; alcohol; stress; β-dunnione; MB12662
Burkholderia pyrrocinia CH-67 was isolated from forest soil as a biocontrol agent to be utilized in agriculture. Here, we report the 8.05-Mb draft genome sequence of this bacterium. Its genome contains genes involved in biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and plant growth promotion, which may contribute to probiotic effects on plants.
Here, we present the high-quality draft genome sequence of the agar-degrading marine gammaproteobacterium Alteromonadaceae sp. strain G7, which was isolated from coastal seawater to be utilized as a bioresource for production of agar-derived biofuels. The 3.91-Mb genome contains a number of genes encoding algal polysaccharide-degrading enzymes such as agarases and sulfatases.
Kluyveromyces marxianus is a thermotolerant yeast that has been explored for potential use in biotechnological applications, such as production of biofuels, single-cell proteins, enzymes, and other heterologous proteins. Here, we present the high-quality draft of the 10.9-Mb genome of K. marxianus var. marxianus KCTC 17555 (= CBS 6556 = ATCC 26548).
Bifidobacterium bifidum, a common endosymbiotic inhabitant of the human gut, is considered a prominent probiotic microorganism that may promote health. We completely decrypted the 2.2-Mb genome sequence of B. bifidum BGN4, a strain that had been isolated from the fecal sample of a healthy breast-fed infant, and annotated 1,835 coding sequences.
Efficient genetic modification of herpesviruses such as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has come to rely on bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) technology. In order to facilitate this approach, we generated a new KSHV BAC clone, called BAC16, derived from the rKSHV.219 virus, which stems from KSHV and Epstein-Barr virus-coinfected JSC1 primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cells. Restriction enzyme and complete sequencing data demonstrate that the KSHV of JSC1 PEL cells showed a minimal level of sequence variation across the entire viral genome compared to the complete genomic sequence of other KSHV strains. BAC16 not only stably propagated in both Escherichia coli and mammalian cells without apparent genetic rearrangements, but also was capable of robustly producing infectious virions (∼5 × 107/ml). We also demonstrated the utility of BAC16 by generating deletion mutants of either the K3 or K5 genes, whose products are E3 ligases of the membrane-associated RING-CH (MARCH) family. While previous studies have shown that individual expression of either K3 or K5 results in efficient downregulation of the surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules, we found that K5, but not K3, was the primary factor critical for the downregulation of MHC-I surface expression during KSHV lytic reactivation or following de novo infection. The data presented here demonstrate the utility of BAC16 for the generation and characterization of KSHV knockout and mutant recombinants and further emphasize the importance of functional analysis of viral genes in the context of the KSHV genome besides the study of individual gene expression.
Fusidic acid is a bacteriostatic antibiotic that is effective primarily on gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Corynebacterium species. It is often topically applied to the skin, but is also given systemically as a tablet or injection. Allergic contact dermatitis, or urticaria, has been reported as a side effect of fusidic acid treatment, whereas anaphylaxis to topically administered fusidic acid has not been reported previously. A 16-year-old boy visited an outpatient clinic for further evaluation of anaphylaxis. He suffered abrasions on his arms during exercise, which were treated with a topical ointment containing sodium fusidate. Within 30 minutes, he developed urticaria and eyelid swelling, followed by a cough and respiratory difficulty. His symptoms were relieved by emergency treatment in a nearby hospital. To investigate the etiology, oral provocation with fusidate was performed. After 125 mg (1/2 tablet) of sodium fusidate was administered, he developed a cough and itching of the throat within 30 minutes, which was followed by chest discomfort and urticaria. Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) dropped from 4.09 L at baseline to 3.50 L after challenge, although wheezing was not heard in his chest. After management with an inhaled bronchodilator using a nebulizer, chest discomfort was relieved and FEV1 rose to 3.86 L. The patient was directed not to use fusidate, especially on abrasions. Here we report the first case of anaphylaxis resulting from topical fusidic acid application to abrasions.
Anaphylaxis; fusidic acid; ointment
According to a high anti-osteoporotic efficacy of Sigma Anti-bonding Molecule Calcium Carbonate (SAC), repeated-dose toxicities of SAC were investigated to assess its feasibility as drug or functional food ingredient. Male ICR mice were given drinking water containing 0.006, 0.02 or 0.06% SAC for 4 weeks. SAC feeding decreased the body weights and feed and water consumptions of mice in a dose-dependent manner, especially, leading to severe emaciation and 70% death in 3 weeks in the high-dose (0.06%) group. Not only kidney and heart weights, but also the levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate transaminase, and creatine phospokinase significantly increased after SAC administration, indicative of nephrotoxicity and cardiotoxicity. Such renal and cardiac toxicities were also confirmed by microscopic findings, exhibiting renal crystals and cardiac fibrosis, which may be due to the insoluble crystal formation and calcium overload, respectively. In conclusion, it is suggested that no observed adverse effect level of SAC is lower than 0.006% in mice, and that a long-term intake may cause serious adverse effects on renal and cardiac functions.
BT-CAL®; Sigma Anti-bonding Molecule Calcium Carbonate; nephrotoxicity; cardiotoxicity
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) functions as a ubiquitous intracellular messenger besides as an oxidative stress molecule. This dual role is based on the distinct cellular responses against different concentrations of H2O2. Previously, we demonstrated that both low (> 1 mM) and high (4–10 mM) doses of exogenous H2O2 induce filamentous growth with distinct cell morphology and growth rate in Candida albicans, suggesting the different transcription response. In this study, we revealed that the sub-toxic and toxic levels of H2O2 indeed induced pseudohyphae, but not true hyphae. Supporting this, several hyphae-specific genes that are expressed in true hyphae induced by serum were not detected in either sub-toxic or toxic H2O2 condition. A DNA microarray analysis was conducted to reveal the transcription profiles in cells treated with sub-toxic and toxic conditions of H2O2. Under the sub-toxic condition, a small number of genes involved in cell proliferation and metabolism were up-regulated, whereas a large number of genes were up-regulated in the toxic condition where the genes required for growth and proliferation were selectively restricted. For pseudohyphal induction by sub-toxic H2O2, Cek1 MAPK activating the transcription factor Cph1 was shown to be important. The absence of expression of several hyphae-specific genes known to be downstream targets of Cph1-signaling pathway for true hyphae formation suggests that the Cek1-mediated signaling pathway is not solely responsible for pseudohyphal formation by subtoxic H2O2 and, but instead, complex networking pathway may exists by the activation of different regulators.
Candida albicans; H2O2; intracellular messenger; signaling pathway; transcription profiling
Endophytes live inside plant tissues without causing any harm and may even benefit plants. Here, we provide the high-quality genome sequence of Burkholderia sp. strain KJ006, an endophytic bacterium of rice with antifungal activity. The 6.6-Mb genome, consisting of three chromosomes and a single plasmid, contains genes related to plant growth promotion or degradation of aromatic compounds.
Rhodopsin-containing marine microbes such as those in the class Flavobacteriia play a pivotal role in the biogeochemical cycle of the euphotic zone (Fuhrman JA, Schwalbach MS, Stingl U. 2008. Proteorhodopsins: an array of physiological roles? Nat Rev Microbiol. 6:488–494). Deciphering the genome information of flavobacteria and accessing the diversity and ecological impact of microbial rhodopsins are important in understanding and preserving the global ecosystems. The genome sequence of the orange-pigmented marine flavobacterium Nonlabens dokdonensis (basonym: Donghaeana dokdonensis) DSW-6 was determined. As a marine photoheterotroph, DSW-6 has written in its genome physiological features that allow survival in the oligotrophic environments. The sequence analysis also uncovered a gene encoding an unexpected type of microbial rhodopsin containing a unique motif in addition to a proteorhodopsin gene and a number of photolyase or cryptochrome genes. Homologs of the novel rhodopsin gene were found in other flavobacteria, alphaproteobacteria, a species of Cytophagia, a deinococcus, and even a eukaryote diatom. They all contain the characteristic NQ motif and form a phylogenetically distinct group. Expression analysis of this rhodopsin gene in DSW-6 indicated that it is induced at high NaCl concentrations, as well as in the presence of light and the absence of nutrients. Genomic and metagenomic surveys demonstrate the diversity of the NQ rhodopsins in nature and the prevalent occurrence of the encoding genes among microbial communities inhabiting hypersaline niches, suggesting its involvement in sodium metabolism and the sodium-adapted lifestyle.
heterotrophic picoplankton; Bacteroidetes; bacteriorhodopsin; xanthorhodopsin; sodium pump; metagenome
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli causes bloody diarrhea and hemolytic-uremic syndrome and serious outbreaks worldwide. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of E. coli NCCP15657 isolated from a patient. The genome has virulence genes, many in the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) island, encoding a metalloprotease, the Shiga toxin, and constituents of type III secretion.
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) causes a disease involving diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Here we present the draft genome sequence of NCCP15647, an EHEC isolate from an HUS patient. Its genome exhibits features of EHEC, such as genes for verotoxins, a type III secretion system, and prophages.
Thermococcus zilligii, a thermophilic anaerobe in freshwater, is useful for physiological research and biotechnological applications. Here we report the high-quality draft genome sequence of T. zilligii AN1T. The genome contains a number of genes for an immune system and adaptation to a microbial biomass-rich environment as well as hydrogenase genes.
Plant growth-promoting bacteria colonize various habitats, including the phyllosphere. Here, we present the high-quality draft genome sequence of Bacillus sp. strain 5B6, which was isolated from the leaf of a cherry tree. The 3.9-Mb genome uncovers its potential for understanding the nature of leaf colonization as well as antibiosis against plant pathogens.
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli causes severe food-borne disease in the guts of humans and animals. Here, we report the high-quality draft genome sequence of E. coli NCCP15658 isolated from a patient in the Republic of Korea. Its genome size was determined to be 5.46 Mb, and its genomic features, including genes encoding virulence factors, were analyzed.
Volatile and nonvolatile compounds emitted from the plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Bacillus sp. strain JS enhance the growth of tobacco and lettuce. Here, we report the high-quality genome sequence of this bacterium. Its 4.1-Mb genome reveals a number of genes whose products are possibly involved in promotion of plant growth or antibiosis.
Behçet's disease (BD) theoretically affects all sizes and types of blood vessels and results in multi-organ involvement. However, renal BD has not been fully characterized, though the kidneys are histologically rich in blood vessels.
Materials and Methods
A total of 2007 patients who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for BD were enrolled in this study. We reviewed the medical records and test results of the BD patients and used univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to determine the clinical significance of renal involvement in BD.
Among the 2007 BD patients, we noted hematuria in 412 (20.5%) and proteinuria in 29 (1.4%). Univariate analysis showed that the BD patients with hematuria were predominantly female and older, had higher erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESRs), and more frequently presented with genital ulcerations. BD patients with proteinuria had higher ESR levels compared to BD patients without proteinuria. In the multivariate analysis, age, sex, and ESR were found to be significantly associated with hematuria in BD patients, whereas only ESR was associated with proteinuria in BD patients. We also found that IgA nephropathy was the most common pathologic diagnosis in 12 renal BD patients who underwent renal biopsies.
We suggest that routine urinalysis and serum renal function tests be performed for the early detection of renal BD, especially in older female BD patients with recurrent hematuria, high ESR levels, and frequent genital ulcers, as well as in BD patients with proteinuria and high ESR levels.
Behçet's disease; renal involvement; hematuria; proteinuria; IgA nephropathy
We attempted to investigate the correlation between the severity of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children and the indoor level of house dust mite (HDM) allergens. Ninety-five patients (31.1 ± 19.5 months of age) with AD were enrolled in this study, and serum specific IgE against Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and D. farinae was measured. The severity of AD was assessed using the visual analogue scale on the same day of house dust collection. Living rooms and mattresses where the child usually slept were vacuumed for 2 minutes and concentrations of Der f 1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The skin symptoms were more severe in patients with Der f 1 concentrations in living room > 2 µg/g dust than ≤ 2 µg/g dust (P = 0.018). This difference was noted in AD patients without sensitization to HDM (P = 0.004), but not in patients with sensitization. There was no difference in symptom severity according to Der f 1 concentrations in mattresses (P = 0.062). The severity of skin symptoms is associated with indoor concentrations of HDM in children with AD, and it is likely to act as nonspecific irritants as well as allergens in AD skin lesions.
Atopic Dermatitis; Allergens; House Dust Mite