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.
volatile organic compounds; tedlar bag; sampling bias; polar; nonpolar
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.
volatile organic compounds (VOCs); total volatile organic compound (TVOC); furniture products; chamber test; emission rate; health hazard
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.
A hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine has been developed using a new adjuvant and HBV surface antigens produced from a CHO cell line. The purified HBV surface antigens are composed of L protein, M protein, and S protein in a mixture of 20- and 40-nm-diameter particles and filamentous forms. This HBV surface antigen, formulated with L-pampo, a proprietary adjuvant, induced 10 times more antibody than the same antigen with alum and was capable of inducing strong immune responses in three different HBV transgenic mice. In spite of the presence of a large amount of HBV antigen in the blood, no antibody against HBV surface antigen was normally detected in these transgenic mice. After immunization, the HBV antigen was also cleared from the blood.
Background: Numerous studies have linked fine particles [≤ 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5)] and health. Most studies focused on the total mass of the particles, although the chemical composition of the particles varies substantially. Which chemical components of fine particles that are the most harmful is not well understood, and research on the chemical composition of PM2.5 and the components that are the most harmful is particularly limited in Asia.
Objectives: We characterized PM2.5 chemical composition and estimated the effects of cause-specific mortality of PM2.5 mass and constituents in Seoul, Korea. We compared the chemical composition of particles to those of the eastern and western United States.
Methods: We examined temporal variability of PM2.5 mass and its composition using hourly data. We applied an overdispersed Poisson generalized linear model, adjusting for time, day of week, temperature, and relative humidity to investigate the association between risk of mortality and PM2.5 mass and its constituents in Seoul, Korea, for August 2008 through October 2009.
Results: PM2.5 and chemical components exhibited temporal patterns by time of day and season. The chemical characteristics of Seoul’s PM2.5 were more similar to PM2.5 found in the western United States than in the eastern United States. Seoul’s PM2.5 had lower sulfate (SO4) contributions and higher nitrate (NO3) contributions than that of the eastern United States, although overall PM2.5 levels in Seoul were higher than in the United States. An interquartile range (IQR) increase in magnesium (Mg) (0.05 μg/m3) was associated with a 1.4% increase (95% confidence interval: 0.2%, 2.6%) in total mortality on the following day. Several components that were among the largest contributors to PM2.5 total mass—NO3, SO4, and ammonium (NH4)—were moderately associated with same-day cardiovascular mortality at the p < 0.10 level. Other components with smaller mass contributions [Mg and chlorine (Cl)] exhibited moderate associations with respiratory mortality on the following day (p < 0.10).
Conclusions: Our findings link PM2.5 constituents with mortality and have implications for policy making on sources of PM2.5 and on the relevance of PM2.5 health studies from other areas to this region.
chemical constituents; mortality; PM2.5; time-series
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.
Commercial standard gas generators are often complex and expensive devices. The objective of this research was to assess the performance of a simplified glass impinger system for standard gas generation from a permeation tube (PT) device. The performance of the impinger standard gas generation system was assessed for four aromatic VOCs (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and m-xylene; BTEX) at varying flow rates (FR) of 50 to 800 mL·min−1. Because actual permeation rate (APR) values deviated from those computed by the manufacturer's formula (MPR), new empirical relationships were developed to derive the predicted PR (PPR) of the target components. Experimental results corrected by such a formula indicate that the compatibility between the APR and MPR generally increased with low FR, while the reproducibility was generally reduced with decreasing flow rate. Although compatibility between different PRs is at a relatively small and narrow FR range, the use of correction formula is recommendable for the accurate use of PT.
impinge; permeation; benzene; toluene; ethylbenzene; xylene
To learn more about the effects of mixing different odorants, a series of air dilution sensory (ADS) tests were conducted using four reduced sulfur compounds [RSC: hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methanethiol (CH3SH), dimethylsulfide (DMS), and dimethyldisulfide (DMDS)] at varying concentration levels. The tests were initially conducted by analyzing samples containing single individual RSCs at a wide range of concentrations. The resulting data were then evaluated to define the empirical relationship for each RSC between the dilution-to-threshold (D/T) ratio and odor intensity (OI) scaling. Based on the relationships defined for each individual RSC, the D/T ratios were estimated for a synthetic mixture of four RSCs. The effect of mixing was then examined by assessing the relative contribution of each RSC to those estimates with the aid of the actually measured D/T values. This stepwise test confirmed that the odor intensity of the synthetic mixture is not governed by the common theoretical basis (e.g., rule of additivity, synergism, or a stronger component model) but is best represented by the averaged contribution of all RSC components. The overall results of this study thus suggest that the mixing phenomenon between odorants with similar chemical properties (like RSC family) can be characterized by the averaging effect of all participants.
human sensing; odor mixing; threshold; hydrogen sulfide; methanethiol; dilution-to-threshold (D/T) ratio
The forkhead box M1b (FoxM1b) transcription factor is over-expressed in human cancers, and its expression often correlates with poor prognosis. Previously, using conditional knockout strains, we showed that FoxM1b is essential for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. However, over-expression of FoxM1b had only marginal effects on HCC progression. Here we investigated the effect of FoxM1b expression in the absence of its inhibitor Arf. We show that transgenic expression of FoxM1b in an Arf-null background drives hepatic fibrosis and metastasis of HCC. We identify novel mechanisms of FoxM1b that are involved in epithelial–mesenchymal transition, cell motility, invasion and a pre-metastatic niche formation. FoxM1b activates the Akt-Snail1 pathway and stimulates expression of Stathmin, lysyl oxidase, lysyl oxidase like-2 and several other genes involved in metastasis. Furthermore, we show that an Arf-derived peptide, which inhibits FoxM1b, impedes metastasis of the FoxM1b-expressing HCC cells. The observations indicate that FoxM1b is a potent activator of tumour metastasis and that the Arf-mediated inhibition of FoxM1b is a critical mechanism for suppression of tumour metastasis.
Arf; FoxM1; metastasis
To simulate the occurrence of masking phenomena with the aid of an air dilution sensory (ADS) test, two types of odorant mixtures were prepared: (1) M2 with two individual odorants [H2S and acetaldehyde (AA)] and (2) M6 with six individual odorants (H2S and five aldehydes). The test results derived for samples containing single individual odorants at a wide range of concentrations are initially used to define the empirical relationship between the dilution-to-threshold (D/T) ratio and odor intensity (OI) scaling. Based on these relationships, the D/T ratios were estimated for each odorant with the same intensity as the synthetic mixture. The relative contribution of each odorant to such mixture is then assessed by comparing the estimated and measured D/T values. This stepwise test confirmed the dominance of certain compounds at a given OI rating. In the case of M2, H2S showed sensitive detection at high OI range, while AA did so at low end. The pattern of a competing relationship is also seen consistently from M6 between AA (low) and iso-valeraldehyde (IA: high OI range). The overall results thus suggest that the masking phenomena between strong odorants should proceed under competing relationships, if released at the same time.
human sensing; odor masking; threshold; hydrogen sulfide; acetaldehyde; dilution-to-threshold (D/T) ratio
β-Thalassemia is a genetic disorder caused by mutations in the β-globin gene. Triplex-forming oligonucleotides and triplex-forming peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) have been shown to stimulate recombination in mammalian cells via site-specific binding and creation of altered helical structures that provoke DNA repair. However, the use of these molecules for gene targeting requires homopurine tracts to facilitate triple helix formation. Alternatively, to achieve binding to mixed-sequence target sites for the induced gene correction, we have used pseudo-complementary PNAs (pcPNAs). Due to steric hindrance, pcPNAs are unable to form pcPNA–pcPNA duplexes but can bind to complementary DNA sequences via double duplex-invasion complexes. We demonstrate here that pcPNAs, when co-transfected with donor DNA fragments, can promote single base pair modification at the start of the second intron of the beta-globin gene. This was detected by the restoration of proper splicing of transcripts produced from a green fluorescent protein-beta globin fusion gene. We also demonstrate that pcPNAs are effective in stimulating recombination in human fibroblast cells in a manner dependent on the nucleotide excision repair factor, XPA. These results suggest that pcPNAs can be effective tools to induce heritable, site-specific modification of disease-related genes in human cells without purine sequence restriction.
Cardiovascular mortality is associated with vascular calcification (VC) in hemodialysis (HD) patients. The present study was designed to find factors related with medial artery calcification on the plain radiography of feet by comparing C-reactive protein (CRP), plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) and lipid profile including oxidized low density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and to elucidate associations among these factors in HD patients. Forty-eight HD patients were recruited for this study. VC in the feet was detected in 18 patients (37.5%) among total patients and 12 patients (85.7%) among diabetic patients. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), pulse pressure, ox-LDL/LDL were higher and high density lipoprotein (HDL) was lower in patients with VC than in patients without VC. Negative associations were found between HDL and CRP, PAI-1. PAI-1 had positive association with ox-LDL/LDL. History of CVD was the only determinant of vascular calcification on the plain radiography of feet. Ox-LDL/LDL, HDL, CRP, and PAI-1 were closely related with one another in HD patients. History of CVD is the most important factor associated with the presence of VC and low HDL and relatively high oxidized LDL/LDL ratio may affect VC formation on the plain radiography in the feet of HD patients.
Vascular Calcification; Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein; High Density Lipoproteins; Hemodialysis
Leucine-rich Repeat Containing protein 10 (LRRC10) has recently been identified as a cardiac-specific factor in mice. However, the function of this factor remains to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the developmental roles of Lrrc10 using zebrafish as an animal model. Knockdown of Lrrc10 in zebrafish embryos (morphants) using morpholinos caused severe cardiac morphogenic defects including a cardiac looping failure accompanied by a large pericardial edema, and embryonic lethality between day 6 and 7 post fertilization. The Lrrc10 morphants exhibited cardiac functional defects as evidenced by a decrease in ejection fraction and cardiac output. Further investigations into the underlying mechanisms of the cardiac defects revealed that the number of cardiomyocyte was reduced in the morphants. Expression of two cardiac genes was deregulated in the morphants including an increase in atrial natriuretic factor, a hallmark for cardiac hypertrophy and failure, and a decrease in cardiac myosin light chain 2, an essential protein for cardiac contractility in zebrafish. Moreover, a reduced fluorescence intensity from NADH in the morphant heart was observed in live zebrafish embryos as compared to control. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that Lrrc10 is necessary for normal cardiac development and cardiac function in zebrafish embryos, which will enhance our understanding of congenital heart defects and heart disease.
Leucine-rich Repeat Containing protein 10; Heart development; Cardiac function; Zebrafish embryos; Cardiac looping defects; Pericardial edema
This study is to identify the spectrum of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive lymphoproliferative diseases (LPD) and relationships between these diseases in Korea. The EBV status and clinicopathology of 764 patients, including acute EBV-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (EBV-HLH), chronic active EBV (CAEBV) infections, B-LPD arising in chronic latent EBV infection, T & natural killer (NK) cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), B-NHLs, and Hodgkin's lymphomas (HD), were analyzed. T or NK cell NHLs were the most common forms of EBV-positive NHLs (107/167, 64%); among these, nasal-type NK/T cell lymphomas were the most common (89/107, 83%). According to the age, Burkitt's lymphoma was the most common in early childhood; in teenagers, chronic (active) EBV infection-associated LPD was the most common type. The incidence of NK/T cell lymphoma began to increase from the twenties and formed the major type of EBV-associated tumor throughout life. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma formed the major type in the sixties and seventies. In conclusion, primary infections in early childhood are complicated by the development of CAEBV infections that are main predisposing factors for EBV-associated T or NK cell malignancies in young adults. In old patients, decreased immunity associated with old age and environmental cofactors may provoke the development of peripheral T cell lymphoma, unspecified, and diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Lymphoma; Epstein-Barr Virus; Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic
To reduce beam hardening artifacts caused by the shoulder joint, we explored new and unique methods to improve the quality of images, such as varying the injection site and changing the position of patients (swimmers position).
Materials and Methods
Fifth-four patients underwent neck CT examinations performed in routine and swimmers position and with a 64-slice MDCT scanner in spiral scanning. To examine the difference due to the injection sites of contrast material, subjects were divided into right- and left-side groups. For the evaluation of images, we carried out a subjective and objective assessment based on radiologists' ratings and noise measurement.
Images of the lower neck in the swimmers position exhibited less hardening and streak artifacts. The subjective and objective evaluations showed that the swimmers position received higher rating by radiologists and had lower noise level than that of routine position. The swimmers position was the most effective for the diagnosis of the cervico-thoracic junction area. As for the injection site, we obtained better images by an injection of contrast material in the right arm than in the left.
CT examination of the lower neck in the swimmers position may improve the quality of image and the effectiveness of diagnosis. The injection of a contrast material to the right side rather than the left side reduced foreign body artifacts.
Cervico-thoracic junction; computed tomography; artifacts; swimmers position
Sequence-specific DNA-binding molecules such as triple helix-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) provide a means for inducing site-specific mutagenesis and recombination at chromosomal sites in mammalian cells. However, the utility of TFOs is limited by the requirement for homopurine stretches in the target duplex DNA. Here, we report the use of pseudo-complementary peptide nucleic acids (pcPNAs) for intracellular gene targeting at mixed sequence sites. Due to steric hindrance, pcPNAs are unable to form pcPNA–pcPNA duplexes but can bind to complementary DNA sequences by Watson–Crick pairing via double duplex-invasion complex formation. We show that psoralen-conjugated pcPNAs can deliver site-specific photoadducts and mediate targeted gene modification within both episomal and chromosomal DNA in mammalian cells without detectable off-target effects. Most of the induced psoralen-pcPNA mutations were single-base substitutions and deletions at the predicted pcPNA-binding sites. The pcPNA-directed mutagenesis was found to be dependent on PNA concentration and UVA dose and required matched pairs of pcPNAs. Neither of the individual pcPNAs alone had any effect nor did complementary PNA pairs of the same sequence. These results identify pcPNAs as new tools for site-specific gene modification in mammalian cells without purine sequence restriction, thereby providing a general strategy for designing gene targeting molecules.
Leucine-rich repeat containing protein 10 (LRRC10) is a heart-specific factor whose function remains unknown. Examination of the intracellular location of the gene products is a critical step in determining the biological functions of the protein. Our expression analyses in mice indicate that LRRC10 is exclusively expressed from the precardiac region in early embryos to the adult heart. LRRC10 expression is markedly elevated upon birth, suggesting its role in the embryonic as well as adult hearts. Of interest, LRRC10 exhibits dynamic intracellular expression patterns in cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes from embryos and newborns show diffuse cytoplasmic and nuclear staining of LRRC10. In contrast, striking striations are observed in adult cardiomyocytes, which are colocalized with the markers for the Z-line, sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), and transverse (T)-tubule by double immunostaining. Further investigation by electron micrographs places LRRC10 in a diad region where the SR interacts with the T-tubule that locates along the Z-line.
leucine-rich repeat containing protein 10; LRRC10; cardiac-specific gene; heart development; subcellular localization; striations in cardiomyocytes