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2.  The Reproducibility of Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) Measurement: A Test Case for the Measurement of Key Air Pollutants from the Pan Frying of Fish Samples 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:236501.
To assess the robustness of various indoor air quality (IAQ) indices, we explored the possible role of reproducibility-induced variability in the measurements of different pollutants under similar sampling and emissions conditions. Polluted indoor conditions were generated by pan frying fish samples in a closed room. A total of 11 experiments were carried out to measure a list of key variables commonly used to represent indoor air pollution (IAP) indicators such as particulate matter (PM: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, and TSP) and a set of individual volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with some odor markers. The cooking activity conducted as part of our experiments was successful to consistently generate significant pollution levels (mean PM10: 7110 μg m−3 and mean total VOC (TVOC): 1400 μg m−3, resp.). Then, relative standard error (RSE) was computed to assess the reproducibility between different IAP paramters measured across the repeated experiments. If the results were evaluated by an arbitrary criterion of 10%, the patterns were divided into two data groups (e.g., <10% for benzene and some aldehydes and >10% for the remainders). Most noticeably, TVOC had the most repeatable results with a reproducibility (RSE) value of 3.2% (n = 11).
PMCID: PMC4099225  PMID: 25054167
3.  An Exploration on the Suitability of Airborne Carbonyl Compounds Analysis in relation to Differences in Instrumentation (GC-MS versus HPLC-UV) and Standard Phases (Gas versus Liquid) 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:308405.
The relative performance figure of merits was investigated for the two most common analytical methods employed for carbonyl compounds (CC), for example, between high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-UV detector (with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) derivatization) and thermal desorption (TD)-gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometry (MS) (without derivatization). To this end, the suitability of each method is assessed by computing the relative recovery (RR) between the gas- and liquid-phase standards containing a suite of CC such as formaldehyde (FA), acetaldehyde (AA), propionaldehyde (PA), butyraldehyde (BA), isovaleraldehyde (IA), and valeraldehyde (VA) along with benzene (B) as a recovery reference for the GC method. The results confirm that a TD-GC-MS is advantageous to attain the maximum recovery for the heavier CCs (i.e., with molecular weights (MW) above BA−MW ≥ 74). On the other hand, the HPLC-UV is favorable for the lighter CCs (like FA and AA) with the least bias. Such compound-specific responses for each platform are validated by relative ordering of CCs as a function of response factor (RF), method detection limit (MDL), and recovery pattern. It is thus desirable to understand the advantages and limitations of each method to attain the CC data with the least experimental bias.
PMCID: PMC3956549  PMID: 24719571
4.  A Simple Approach for Measuring Emission Patterns of Vapor Phase Mercury under Temperature-Controlled Conditions from Soil 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:940413.
In an effort to study the possible effects of climate change on the behavior of atmospheric mercury (Hg), we built a temperature–controlled microchamber system to measure its emission from top soils. To this end, mercury vapour emission rates were investigated in the laboratory using top soil samples collected from an urban area. The emissions of Hg, when measured as a function of soil temperature (from ambient levels up to 70°C at increments of 10°C), showed a positive correlation with rising temperature. According to the continuous analyses of the Hg vapor given off by the identical soil samples, evasion rate diminished noticeably with increasing number of repetitions. The experimental results, if examined in terms of activation energy (Ea), showed highly contrasting patterns between the single and repetitive runs. Although the results of the former exhibited Ea values smaller than the vaporization energy of Hg (i.e., <14 Kcal mol−1), those of the latter increased systematically with increasing number of repetitions. As such, it is proposed that changes in the magnitude of Ea values can be used as a highly sensitive criterion to discriminate the important role of vaporization from other diverse (biotic/abiotic) processes occurring in the soil layer.
PMCID: PMC3425804  PMID: 22927791
5.  A Statistical Estimation Approach for Quantitative Concentrations of Compounds Lacking Authentic Standards/Surrogates Based on Linear Correlations between Directly Measured Detector Responses and Carbon Number of Different Functional Groups 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:241585.
A statistical approach was investigated to estimate the concentration of compounds lacking authentic standards/surrogates (CLASS). As a means to assess the reliability of this approach, the response factor (RF) of CLASS is derived by predictive equations based on a linear regression (LR) analysis between the actual RF (by external calibration) of 18 reference volatile organic compounds (VOCs) consisting of six original functional groups and their physicochemical parameters ((1) carbon number (CN), (2) molecular weight (MW), and (3) boiling point (BP)). If the experimental bias is estimated in terms of percent difference (PD) between the actual and projected RF, the least bias for 18 VOCs is found from CN (17.9 ± 19.0%). In contrast, the PD values against MW and BP are 40.6% and 81.5%, respectively. Predictive equations were hence derived via an LR analysis between the actual RF and CN for 29 groups: (1) one group consisting of all 18 reference VOCs, (2) three out of six original functional groups, and (3) 25 groups formed randomly from the six functional groups. The applicability of this method was tested by fitting these 29 equations into each of the six original functional groups. According to this approach, the mean PD for 18 compounds dropped as low as 5.60 ± 5.63%. This approach can thus be used as a practical tool to assess the quantitative data for CLASS.
PMCID: PMC3671284  PMID: 23766682
6.  Evaluation of the Memory Effect on Gold-Coated Silica Adsorption Tubes Used for the Analysis of Gaseous Mercury by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:763893.
In an effort to reduce the experimental bias involved in the analysis of gaseous elemental mercury (Hgo), the blank response from gold-coated adsorption tubes has been investigated using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS). Our study has been compared with our recent investigation on memory effect in a cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CVAFS). The pattern of blank responses was quantified after loading different amounts of mercury and after different time intervals of 1, 14, and 45 days. In case of the one day interval, the result of five to six instant blank heating cycles confirmed successful liberation of mercury following the second and third blank heating cycles. The results of 14 or 45 days generally suggest that liberation of excess mercury is affected by both the initial loading amount and the length of storage time prior to analysis. We have demonstrated a possibly effective way to reduce memory effects. Some similarities of these results with those from CVAFS experiment suggests that the blank response is caused by a combination of mercury absorbed within the bulk gold and micro- and nanoparticles liberated during heating and not from coabsorbing interfering gaseous species.
PMCID: PMC3621292  PMID: 23589708
7.  Current Status of Trace Metal Pollution in Soils Affected by Industrial Activities 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:916705.
There is a growing public concern over the potential accumulation of heavy metals in soil, owing to rapid industrial development. In an effort to describe the status of the pollutions of soil by industrial activities, relevant data sets reported by many studies were surveyed and reviewed. The results of our analysis indicate that soils were polluted most significantly by metals such as lead, zinc, copper, and cadmium. If the dominant species are evaluated by the highest mean concentration observed for different industry types, the results were grouped into Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu, Fe, and As in smelting and metal production industries, Mn and Cd in the textile industry, and Cr in the leather industry. In most cases, metal levels in the studied areas were found to exceed the common regulation guideline levels enforced by many countries. The geoaccumulation index (Igeo), calculated to estimate the enrichment of metal concentrations in soil, showed that the level of metal pollution in most surveyed areas is significant, especially for Pb and Cd. It is thus important to keep systematic and continuous monitoring of heavy metals and their derivatives to manage and suppress such pollution.
PMCID: PMC3356731  PMID: 22645468
8.  Some Insights into Analytical Bias Involved in the Application of Grab Sampling for Volatile Organic Compounds: A Case Study against Used Tedlar Bags 
TheScientificWorldJournal  2011;11:2160-2177.
In this study, we have examined the patterns of VOCs released from used Tedlar bags that were once used for the collection under strong source activities. In this way, we attempted to account for the possible bias associated with the repetitive use of Tedlar bags. To this end, we selected the bags that were never heated. All of these target bags were used in ambient temperature (typically at or below 30°C). These bags were also dealt carefully to avoid any mechanical abrasion. This study will provide the essential information regarding the interaction between VOCs and Tedlar bag materials as a potential source of bias in bag sampling approaches.
PMCID: PMC3251819  PMID: 22235175
volatile organic compounds; tedlar bag; sampling bias; polar; nonpolar
9.  Emission Rates of Volatile Organic Compounds Released from Newly Produced Household Furniture Products Using a Large-Scale Chamber Testing Method 
TheScientificWorldJournal  2011;11:1597-1622.
The emission rates of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured to investigate the emission characteristics of five types of common furniture products using a 5 m3 size chamber at 25°C and 50% humidity. The results indicated that toluene and α-pinene are the most dominant components. The emission rates of individual components decreased constantly through time, approaching the equilibrium emission level. The relative ordering of their emission rates, if assessed in terms of total VOC (TVOC), can be arranged as follows: dining table > sofa > desk chair > bedside table > cabinet. If the emission rates of VOCs are examined between different chemical groups, they can also be arranged in the following order: aromatic (AR) > terpenes (TER) > carbonyl (CBN) > others > paraffin (PR) > olefin (HOL) > halogenated paraffin (HPR). In addition, if emission strengths are compared between coated and uncoated furniture, there is no significant difference in terms of emission magnitude. Our results indicate that the emission characteristics of VOC are greatly distinguished between different furniture products in terms of relative dominance between different chemicals.
PMCID: PMC3201684  PMID: 22125421
volatile organic compounds (VOCs); total volatile organic compound (TVOC); furniture products; chamber test; emission rate; health hazard
10.  CCN1 induces hepatic ductular reaction through integrin αvβ5–mediated activation of NF-κB 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2015;125(5):1886-1900.
Liver cholestatic diseases, which stem from diverse etiologies, result in liver toxicity and fibrosis and may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. We show that CCN1 (also known as CYR61), a matricellular protein that dampens and resolves liver fibrosis, also mediates cholangiocyte proliferation and ductular reaction, which are repair responses to cholestatic injury. In cholangiocytes, CCN1 activated NF-κB through integrin αvβ5/αvβ3, leading to Jag1 expression, JAG1/NOTCH signaling, and cholangiocyte proliferation. CCN1 also induced Jag1 expression in hepatic stellate cells, whereupon they interacted with hepatic progenitor cells to promote their differentiation into cholangiocytes. Administration of CCN1 protein or soluble JAG1 induced cholangiocyte proliferation in mice, which was blocked by inhibitors of NF-κB or NOTCH signaling. Knock-in mice expressing a CCN1 mutant that is unable to bind αvβ5/αvβ3 were impaired in ductular reaction, leading to massive hepatic necrosis and mortality after bile duct ligation (BDL), whereas treatment of these mice with soluble JAG1 rescued ductular reaction and reduced hepatic necrosis and mortality. Blockade of integrin αvβ5/αvβ3, NF-κB, or NOTCH signaling in WT mice also resulted in defective ductular reaction after BDL. These findings demonstrate that CCN1 induces cholangiocyte proliferation and ductular reaction and identify CCN1/αvβ5/NF-κB/JAG1 as a critical axis for biliary injury repair.
PMCID: PMC4463205  PMID: 25822023
Hepatology; Inflammation
11.  A simple methodological validation of the gas/particle fractionation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11679.
The analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in ambient air requires the tedious experimental steps of both sampling and pretreatment (e.g., extraction or clean-up). To replace pre-existing conventional methods, a simple, rapid, and novel technique was developed to measure gas-particle fractionation of PAH in ambient air based on ‘sorbent tube-thermal desorption-gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (ST-TD-GC-MS)’. The separate collection and analysis of ambient PAHs were achieved independently by two serially connected STs. The basic quality assurance confirmed good linearity, precision, and high sensitivity to eliminate the need for complicated pretreatment procedures with the detection limit (16 PAHs: 13.1 ± 7.04 pg). The analysis of real ambient PAH samples showed a clear fractionation between gas (two-three ringed PAHs) and particulate phases (five-six ringed PAHs). In contrast, for intermediate (four ringed) PAHs (fluoranthene, pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, and chrysene), a highly systematic/gradual fractionation was established. It thus suggests a promising role of ST-TD-GC-MS as measurement system in acquiring a reliable database of airborne PAH.
PMCID: PMC4486962  PMID: 26126962
12.  Phenolic Compounds from the Leaves of Stewartia pseudocamellia Maxim. and their Whitening Activities 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2015;23(3):283-289.
The half-dried leaves of Stewartia. pseudocamellia were extracted with hot water (SPE) and partitioned with n-hexane (SPEH), dichloromethane (SPED), and ethyl acetate (SPEE) successively. SPE and SPEE showed significant inhibitory effects against melanogenesis and tyrosinase activities. By bioassay-guided isolation, ten phenolic compounds were isolated by column chromatography from SPEE. The whitening effect of the isolated compounds from SPEE were tested for the inhibitory activities against melanogenesis using B16 melanoma cells, in vitro inhibition of tyrosinase, and L-3,4-dihydorxy-indole-2-carboxylic acid (L-DOPA) auto-oxidation assay. A cytotoxic activity assay was done to examine the cellular toxicity in Raw 264.7 macrophage cells. Of the compounds isolated, gallic acid and quercetin revealed significant inhibitory activities against melanogenesis compared to arbutin. In particular, quercetin exhibited similar inhibitory activities against tyrosinase and L-DOPA oxidation without cytotoxicity. These results suggested that SPE could be used as a potential source of natural skin-whitening material in cosmetics as well as in food products.
PMCID: PMC4428722  PMID: 25995828
Stewartia pseudocamellia Maxim.; Quercetin; Melanogenesis; Tyrosinase; Skin whitening
13.  The effect of weight-bearing exercise and non-weight-bearing exercise on gait in rats with sciatic nerve crush injury 
Journal of Physical Therapy Science  2015;27(4):1177-1179.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to access the effect of weight bearing exercise (treadmill exercise) and non-weight-bearing exercise (swimming exercise) on gait in the recovery process after a sciatic nerve crush injury. [Subjects and Methods] Rats were randomly divided into a swimming group (n=3) with non-weight-bearing exercise after a sciatic nerve crush and a treadmill group (n=3) with weight bearing exercise after a sciatic nerve crush. Dartfish is a program that can analyze and interpret motion through video images. The knee lateral epicondyle, lateral malleolus, and metatarsophalangeal joint of the fifth toe were marked by black dots before recording. [Results] There were significant differences in TOK (knee angle toe off) and ICK (knee angle at initial contact) in the swimming group and in TOK, ICA (ankle angle at initial contact), and ICK in the treadmill group. In comparison between groups, there were significant differences in TOA (ankle angle in toe off) and ICA at the 7th day. [Conclusion] There was no difference between weight bearing and non-weight-bearing exercise in sciatic nerve damage, and both exercises accelerated the recovery process in this study.
PMCID: PMC4434004  PMID: 25995583
Sciatic nerve crush injury; Weight-bearing exercise; Gait
14.  The effects of horse-riding simulator exercise and Kendall exercise on the forward head posture 
Journal of Physical Therapy Science  2015;27(4):1125-1127.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to examine the effects of horse-riding simulator exercise and Kendall exercise on forward head posture. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty elderly college students with a forward head posture were randomly divided into two groups for 15 persons each, a horse-riding simulator group and Kendall exercise group, and performed exercise for eight weeks. [Results] The horse-riding simulator group and Kendall exercise group showed significant differences after the intervention in New York state posture rating, craniovertebral angle, and cranial rotation angle. The horse-riding simulator group showed a significantly smaller value than the Kendall exercise group for New York state posture rating evaluation after the intervention. [Conclusion] The results of this study indicate that horse-riding simulator exercise is more effective on forward head posture than Kendall exercise. Therefore, horse-riding simulator exercise can be used as a new simple treatment method for the ever-growing forward head posture.
PMCID: PMC4433992  PMID: 25995571
Neck pain; Posture; Horse-riding simulator
15.  Odor and VOC Emissions from Pan Frying of Mackerel at Three Stages: Raw, Well-Done, and Charred 
Many classes of odorants and volatile organic compounds that are deleterious to our wellbeing can be emitted from diverse cooking activities. Once emitted, they can persist in our living space for varying durations. In this study, various volatile organic compounds released prior to and during the pan frying of fish (mackerel) were analyzed at three different cooking stages (stage 1 = raw (R), stage 2 = well-done (W), and stage 3 = overcooked/charred (O)). Generally, most volatile organic compounds recorded their highest concentration levels at stage 3 (O), e.g., 465 (trimethylamine) and 106 ppb (acetic acid). In contrast, at stage 2 (W), the lowest volatile organic compounds emissions were observed. The overall results of this study confirm that trimethylamine is identified as the strongest odorous compound, especially prior to cooking (stage 1 (R)) and during overcooking leading to charring (stage 3 (O)). As there is a paucity of research effort to measure odor intensities from pan frying of mackerel, this study will provide valuable information regarding the management of indoor air quality.
PMCID: PMC4245642  PMID: 25405596
mackerel; odorant; volatile organic compounds (VOC); sorbent tube; GC-MS
16.  Monoterpenes Released from Fruit, Plant, and Vegetable Systems 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(10):18286-18301.
To quantify the emission rate of monoterpenes (MTs) from diverse natural sources, the sorbent tube (ST)-thermal desorption (TD) method was employed to conduct the collection and subsequent detection of MTs by gas chromatography. The calibration of MTs, when made by both mass spectrometric (MS) and flame ionization detector (FID), consistently exhibited high coefficient of determination values (R2 > 0.99). This approach was employed to measure their emission rate from different fruit/plant/vegetable (F/P/V) samples with the aid of an impinger-based dynamic headspace sampling system. The results obtained from 10 samples (consisting of carrot, pine needle (P. sylvestris), tangerine, tangerine peel, strawberry, sepals of strawberry, plum, apple, apple peel, and orange juice) marked α-pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, α-terpinene, R-limonene, γ-terpinene, and p-cymene as the most common MTs. R-limonene was the major species emitted from citrus fruits and beverages with its abundance exceeding 90%. In contrast, α-pinene was the most abundant MT (37%) for carrot, while it was myrcene (31%) for pine needle. The overall results for F/P/V samples confirmed α-pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, α-terpinene, and γ-terpinene as common MTs. Nonetheless, the types and magnitude of MTs released from fruits were distinguished from those of vegetables and plants.
PMCID: PMC4239866  PMID: 25268921
monoterpene; thermal desorption; impinger; 3-bed sorbent tube; emission
17.  Risk Factors for Developing Hyponatremia in Thyroid Cancer Patients Undergoing Radioactive Iodine Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e106840.
Due to the alarming increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer worldwide, more patients are receiving postoperative radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy and these patients are given a low-iodine diet along with levothyroxine withdrawal to induce a hypothyroid state to maximize the uptake of RAI by thyroid tissues. Recently, the reported cases of patients suffering from life-threatening severe hyponatremia following postoperative RAI therapy have increased. This study aimed to systematically assess risk factors for developing hyponatremia following RAI therapy in post-thyroidectomy patients.
We reviewed the medical records of all thyroid cancer patients who underwent thyroidectomy and postoperative RAI therapy from July 2009 to February 2012. Demographic and biochemical parameters including serum sodium and thyroid function tests were assessed along with medication history.
A total of 2229 patients (47.0±11.0 years, female 76.3%) were enrolled in the analysis. Three hundred seven patients (13.8%) of all patients developed hyponatremia; 44 patients (2.0%) developed moderate to severe hyponatremia (serum Na+≤130 mEq/L) and another 263 (11.8%) patients showed mild hyponatremia (130 mEq/L
Our data suggest that age greater than 60 years, female sex, use of thiazide, and hyponatremia at the initiation of RAI therapy are important risk factors for developing hyponatremia following RAI therapy in post-thyroidectomy patients.
PMCID: PMC4149575  PMID: 25170831
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(4):6567-6570.
PMCID: PMC4029657  PMID: 24721770
Journal of Cancer Prevention  2014;19(1):68-73.
This study was conducted to compare localization of transformed or differentiated cells after injection into developing chick embryos. Mesoderm-derived chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEFs), retrieved from normal tissues and artificially transformed human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells, were injected into the dorsal aorta of stage 17 embryos, incubated for 60 h, and post-injection survival and tissue localization after injection were monitored. Overall survival rates were 43% to 57%, and there was no significant difference between the two cell types (P=0.4453). Migration into various tissues was observed after injection of the HEK 293 cells, and this was greatly reduced after CEF transfer (P<0.0127). Tumorigenic activity was detected in the HEK 293 transferred cells and the major organ colonized was the highly vascularized yolk sac. From these results, we suggest that cell transformation alters post-injected migration activity of cells at organogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4189472  PMID: 25337574
Animal cancer model; Chicken embryo; Tumorigenesis; Differentiation
Diagnosis of the neglected tropical disease, Buruli ulcer, can be made by acid-fast smear microscopy, specimen culture on mycobacterial growth media, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and/or histopathology. All have drawbacks, including non-specificity and requirements for prolonged culture at 32°C, relatively sophisticated laboratory facilities, and expertise, respectively. The causative organism, Mycobacterium ulcerans, produces a unique toxin, mycolactone A/B (ML) that can be detected by thin layer chromatography (TLC) or mass spectrometric analysis. Detection by the latter technique requires sophisticated facilities. TLC is relatively simple but can be complicated by the presence of other lipids in the specimen. A method using a boronate-assisted fluorogenic chemosensor in TLC can overcome this challenge by selectively detecting ML when visualized with UV light. This report describes modifications in the fluorescent TLC (F-TLC) procedure and its application to the mouse footpad model of M. ulcerans disease to determine the kinetics of mycolactone production and its correlation with footpad swelling and the number of colony forming units in the footpad. The response of all three parameters to treatment with the current standard regimen of rifampin (RIF) and streptomycin (STR) or a proposed oral regimen of RIF and clarithromycin (CLR) was also assessed. ML was detectable before the onset of footpad swelling when there were <105 CFU per footpad. Swelling occurred when there were >105 CFU per footpad. Mycolactone concentrations increased as swelling increased whereas CFU levels reached a plateau. Treatment with either RIF+STR or RIF+CLR resulted in comparable reductions of mycolactone, footpad swelling, and CFU burden. Storage in absolute ethanol appears critical to successful detection of ML in footpads and would be practical for storage of clinical samples. F-TLC may offer a new tool for confirmation of suspected clinical lesions and be more specific than smear microscopy, much faster than culture, and simpler than PCR.
Author Summary
The diagnosis of Buruli ulcer, caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans, is complicated by its resemblance to other diseases that may also cause ulcers in the skin. Clinical diagnosis can be supported by microscopic detection of acid-fast bacilli in the skin, by prolonged culture of at least 8 weeks, in a dedicated incubator set at 32°C, or by the polymerase chain reaction in a well-equipped laboratory usually far from the clinic where the patient comes for treatment. The treatment involves taking two drugs, one requiring injections, every day for two months, a burden for patients and their families. Since all drugs may have side effects, it is important that the treatment be appropriate for the patient's disease. We describe a new technique to rapidly and inexpensively detect the presence of the unique toxin produced by M. ulcerans in the mouse footpad model of Buruli ulcer. We show that the toxin can be detected in footpads before the development of signs of the disease, that more toxin is produced as the disease progresses, and that toxin levels decline in mice treated with either the current standard regimen of rifampin and streptomycin or a proposed all-oral drug regimen of rifampin and clarithromycin.
PMCID: PMC3879254  PMID: 24392174
Environmental Engineering Science  2012;29(11):1008-1019.
Soil samples were collected over a year-long period along a background–urban–rural transect in Delhi, India for the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), black carbon (BC), and total organic carbon (TOC) in five grain size fractions, x, in μm of 0≤x<53 (I), 53≤x<250 (II), 250≤x<500 (III), 500≤x<2000 (IV), and their sum (total: T). Maximum concentrations of PAH, BC, and TOC were observed in the smallest fraction (I) comprising silt and clay, irrespective of site or season. Results of the molecular diagnostic ratios and principal component analysis (PCA) identified coal, wood, biomass burning, and vehicular emissions as major sources of PAHs at all the three sites, while BC/TOC ratios pointed toward biomass combustion as the chief source of carbonaceous species. This work presents the first such rural-urban transect study considering PAH, BC, and TOC in soil.
PMCID: PMC3486424  PMID: 23133309
black carbon (BC); grain size; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); soil; source apportionment; transect
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(10):2078-2090.
Liver fibrosis occurs as a wound-healing response to chronic hepatic injuries irrespective of the underlying etiology and may progress to life-threatening cirrhosis. Here we show that CCN1, a matricellular protein of the CCN (CYR61/CTGF/NOV) family, is accumulated in hepatocytes of human cirrhotic livers. CCN1 is not required for liver development or regeneration, since these processes are normal in mice with hepatocyte-specific Ccn1 deletion. However, Ccn1 expression is upregulated upon liver injuries and functions to inhibit liver fibrogenesis induced by either carbon tetrachloride intoxication or bile duct ligation and promote fibrosis regression. CCN1 acts by triggering cellular senescence in activated hepatic stellate cells and portal fibroblasts by engaging integrin α6β1 to induce reactive oxygen species accumulation through the RAC1-NADPH oxidase 1 enzyme complex, whereupon the senescent cells express an antifibrosis genetic program. Mice with hepatocyte-specific Ccn1 deletion suffer exacerbated fibrosis with a concomitant deficit in cellular senescence, whereas overexpression of hepatic Ccn1 reduces liver fibrosis with enhanced senescence. Furthermore, tail vein delivery of purified CCN1 protein accelerates fibrosis regression in mice with established fibrosis. These findings reveal a novel integrin-dependent mechanism of fibrosis resolution in chronic liver injury and identify the CCN1 signaling pathway as a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC3647960  PMID: 23508104
Environmental Engineering Science  2012;29(9):875-889.
To investigate the environmental behavior of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urban areas, their concentrations were measured at four urban monitoring sites (namely, N, S, E, and W) in Seoul, Korea (February to December 2009). A total of 27 compounds were quantified that consist of four chemical groups: aromatic (AR), halogenated aromatic, halogenated paraffin, and halogenated olefin. Results were evaluated by focusing on these four functional groups just mentioned and their summation term as total VOC (TVOC) along with several individual species (mainly AR species, that is, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene). The highest concentration of chemical groups was found from AR (71.1±42.1 ppbC), while that for individual species confirmed the dominance of toluene (7.48±3.88 ppb). The analysis of spatial distribution indicated that high TVOC levels were recorded at sites N and W, while it was not so significant such as S and E in terms of TVOC budget. Seasonal variation of these VOCs was characterized by the peak values in December to reflect the combined effects of pronounced source activities and meteorological conditions. Analysis of spatial variations in VOC levels between the four urban sites indicated that their distributions are tightly affected by local source processes in each area.
PMCID: PMC3430000  PMID: 22969269
volatile organic compounds (VOCs); total volatile organic compound (TVOC); spatial; seasonal; urban area; Seoul
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(7):8523-8533.
In this study, volatile urinary components were collected using three different types of samples from patients suffering from urinary incontinence (UI): (1) urine (A); (2) urine + non-used pad (B); and (3) urine + used pad (C). In addition, urine + non-used pad (D) samples from non-patients were also collected as a reference. The collection of urinary volatiles was conducted with the aid of a glass impinger-based mini-chamber method. Each of the four sample types (A through D) was placed in a glass impinger and incubated for 4 hours at 37 °C. Ultra pure air was then passed through the chamber, and volatile urine gas components were collected into Tedlar bags at the other end. These bag samples were then analyzed for a wide range of VOCs and major offensive odorants (e.g., reduced sulfur compounds (RSCs), carbonyls, trimethylamine (TMA), ammonia, etc.). Among the various odorants, sulfur compounds (methanethiol and hydrogen sulfide) and aldehydes (acetaldehyde, butylaldehyde, and isovaleraldehyde) were detected above odor threshold and predicted to contribute most effectively to odor intensity of urine incontinence.
PMCID: PMC3758608  PMID: 23823973
incontinence; urinary; volatiles; GC; HPLC; incontinence pads; sample collection; glass impinger
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(6):7939-7978.
The classes and concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) released from fresh and decaying strawberries were investigated and compared. In this study, a total of 147 strawberry volatiles were quantified before and after nine days of storage to explore differences in the aroma profile between fresh strawberries (storage days (SRD) of 0, 1, and 3) and those that had started to decay (SRD = 6 and 9). In terms of concentration, seven compounds dominated the aroma profile of fresh strawberries (relative composition (RC) up to 97.4% by mass, sum concentration): (1) ethyl acetate = 518 mg·m−3, (2) methyl acetate = 239 mg·m−3, (3) ethyl butyrate = 13.5 mg·m−3, (4) methyl butyrate = 11.1 mg·m−3, (5) acetaldehyde = 24.9 mg·m−3, (6) acetic acid = 15.2 mg·m−3, and (7) acetone = 13.9 mg·m−3. In contrast, two alcohols dominated the aroma profile of decayed samples (RC up to 98.6%): (1) ethyl alcohol = 94.2 mg·m−3 and (2) isobutyl alcohol = 289 mg·m−3. Alternatively; if the aroma profiles are re-evaluated by summing odor activity values (ΣOAV); four ester compounds ((1) ethyl butyrate (6,160); (2) ethyl hexanoate (3,608); (3) ethyl isovalerate (1,592); and (4) ethyl 2-methylbutyrate (942)) were identified as the key constituents of fresh strawberry aroma (SRD-0). As the strawberries began to decay; isobutyl alcohol recorded the maximum OAV of 114 (relative proportion (RP) (SRD = 6) = 58.3%). However, as the decay process continued, the total OAV dropped further by 3 to 4 orders of magnitude—decreasing to 196 on SRD = 6 to 7.37 on SRD = 9. The overall results of this study confirm dramatic changes in the aroma profile of strawberries over time, especially with the onset of decay.
PMCID: PMC3715231  PMID: 23787728
fresh and decaying strawberry; strawberry fragrances; mass concentration; threshold; odor activity value (OAV)

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