Fukuoka, Japan
Fukuoka, Japan

Kyushu University , abbreviated to Kyudai , is a Japanese public university located in Fukuoka, Kyushu. It is one of Japan's National Seven Universities . The history of Kyushu University can be traced by medical schools of the feudal domains built in 1867, and is the largest public university in Kyushu.There are 1,292 foreign students enrolled in the University. It was chosen for the Global 30 university program, and has been selected to the top 13 global university project. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Kyushu University and Nippon Chemiphar Co. | Date: 2016-10-28

A P2X_(4 )receptor antagonist such as paroxetine, a diazepinedione derivative having the following formula (IX) is used as an agent for preventing or treating neuropathic pain associated with Guillain-Barr syndrome: wherein R^(1 )is hydrogen, a C_(1-8 )alkyl group, or the like;


Patent
Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. and Kyushu University | Date: 2016-12-09

Disclosed are an anti-human TIM-3 antibody having high ADCC activity or antibody fragment thereof by screening a monoclonal antibody or antibody fragment thereof which binds to the amino acid sequence of the extracellular region of TIM-3 or its three-dimensional structure and exhibits ADCC activity; a hybridoma which produces the antibody; a DNA encoding the antibody; a vector comprising the DNA; a transformant which is obtainable by introducing the vector; a method for producing the antibody or the antibody fragment thereof which comprises using the hybridoma or the transformant; and a therapeutic agent and a diagnostic agent comprising the antibody or the antibody fragment thereof as an active ingredient.


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-01-29

An adhesive composition that is capable of functioning alone as an adhesive component without using a curable resin, and adhering to integrate an inorganic material and an organic material, and a composite material using the same. The adhesive composition contains an adduct containing an acidic phosphate ester comprising one or more kinds of compounds represented by General Formulae (1) and (2), and a metal. The composite material includes one material, the other material, and an adhesive composition disposed between the materials to adhere to the materials, the one material and the other material being integrated by the adhesive composition. P(O)(OR_(1))(OH)_(2 ). . . (1), and P(O)(OR_(1))_(2)(OH) . . . (2), where R_(1 )represents an aliphatic hydrocarbon group having 4 to 30 carbon atoms, and has one or more branched chain structures, or one or more carbon-carbon double bond structures.


Patent
Kyushu University and Shin - Etsu Chemical Co. | Date: 2015-03-03

A neutral or cationic mononuclear ruthenium divalent complex represented by formula (1) can actualize exceptional catalytic activity in at least one reaction among a hydrosilylation reaction, hydrogenation reaction, and carbonyl compound reduction reaction. (In the formula, R^(1)-R^(6 )each independently represent a hydrogen atom or an alkyl group, aryl group, aralkyl group, organooxy group, monoorganoamino group, diorganoamino group, monoorganophosphino group, diorganophosphino group, monoorganosilyl group, diorganosilyl group, triorganosilyl group, or organothio group optionally substituted by X; at least one pair comprising any of R^(1)-R^(3 )and any of R^(4)-R^(6 )together represents a crosslinkable substituent; X represents a halogen atom, organooxy group, monoorganoamino group, diorganoamino group, or organothio group; L each independently represent a two-electron ligand other than CO and thiourea ligands; two L may bond to each other; and m represents an integer of 3 or 4.)


Patent
Nippon Chemiphar Co. and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-07-11

The present invention relates to a compound represented by the following general formula (I), which has a P2X4 receptor antagonistic activity (in the formula, R^(1), R^(2 )and R^(3 )represent hydrogen atom, an alkyl group having 1 to 8 carbon atoms, an alkoxy group having 1 to 8 carbon atoms, a halogen atom, and the like, X represents C or N, Y represents N or C(O), provided that when X is C, Y represents N, and when X is N, Y represents C(O), the double line consisting of the solid line and the broken line represents a single bond or double bond, n represents an integer of 0 to 6, Z represents O, S, or an atomic bond, and A represents benzene ring, pyridine ring, and the like).


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-01-29

A composition for a metal surface coating that does not require a posttreatment such as heating, has flexibility to be able to follow deformation of a member to be coated, hardly peels off from a metal surface, and can be used for the purpose of corrosion protection, and a terminal-equipped covered electric wire using the same. The composition contains an adduct and a base oil. The adduct contains an acidic phosphate ester consisting of one or more kinds of compounds represented by General Formulae (1) and (2), and a metal, P(O)(OR_(1))(OH)_(2 ). . . (1), P(O)(OR_(1))_(2)(OH) . . . (2), where R_(1 )represents a hydrocarbon group having 4 to 30 carbon atoms.


Patent
Kyushu University and Shin - Etsu Chemical Co. | Date: 2017-01-18

A neutral or cationic mononuclear ruthenium divalent complex represented by formula (1) can actualize exceptional catalytic activity in at least one reaction among a hydrosilylation reaction, hydrogenation reaction, and carbonyl compound reduction reaction.^(1)-R^(6) each independently represent a hydrogen atom or an alkyl group, aryl group, aralkyl group, organooxy group, monoorganoamino group, diorganoamino group, monoorganophosphino group, diorganophosphino group, monoorganosilyl group, diorganosilyl group, triorganosilyl group, or organothio group optionally substituted by X; at least one pair comprising any of R^(1)-R^(3) and any of R^(4)-R^(6) together represents a crosslinkable substituent; X represents a halogen atom, organooxy group, monoorganoamino group, diorganoamino group, or organothio group; L each independently represent a two-electron ligand other than CO and thiourea ligands; two L may bond to each other; and m represents an integer of 3 or 4.)


Provided is a redox catalyst wherein a catalytically active component is supported on carbon nanotubes whose average diameter (Av) and standard deviation () of diameters satisfy the condition 0.60>3/Av>0.20, and at least a part of a surface of the carbon nanotubes, including a part on which the catalytically active component is supported, is covered with porous inorganic material.


Patent
Kyushu University and Nippon Chemiphar Co. | Date: 2017-02-22

A P2X_(4) receptor antagonist such as paroxetine, a diazepinedione derivative having the following formula (IX) is used as an agent for preventing or treating zoster-associated pain in acute phase:^(1) is hydrogen, a C_(1-8) alkyl group, or the like;each of R^(2) and R^(3) is hydrogen, a C_(1-8) alkyl group, or the like;each of R^(4) and R^(5) is hydrogen or the like; andW is a five-membered or six-membered heterocyclic ring optionally having one or more substituents and comprising one to four nitrogen atoms as the members of the ring.


Patent
Nippon Paper Industries Co. and Kyushu University | Date: 2017-03-01

An object of the present invention is to find a component that is safe and is capable of effectively exerting various effects such as prevention or amelioration of diabetes, prevention or amelioration of metabolic syndrome, amelioration of insulin resistance, inhibition of an increase in a postprandial blood sugar level, and inhibition of -glucosidase activity. The present invention provides agents for preventing or ameliorating diabetes or the like, the agents including a component of a hybrid plant of Camellia sinensis and Camellia taliensis as an active ingredient. The hybrid plant is preferably Sun Rouge, and each of the agents preferably includes a tea leaf extract of the hybrid plant.


Patent
University of Tokyo, Kyushu University and NH Foods Ltd. | Date: 2017-02-01

An anti-aging agent derived from a natural product is provided. The agent uses at least one selected from the group consisting of an imidazole dipeptide and a metabolite thereof as an active ingredient. The present invention also provides an agent for improving a neuropsychologic function, which contains at least one selected from the group consisting of an imidazole dipeptide and a metabolite thereof as an active ingredient. The present invention also provides an agent for changing expression of a transporter such as SLC23A2, which contains at least one selected from the group consisting of an imidazole dipeptide and a metabolite thereof, and an agent for controlling blood concentration of a cytokine such as IP-10, which contains at least one selected from the group consisting of an imidazole dipeptide and a metabolite thereof, as well as an expression analysis method for detecting improvement or degradation of a neuropsychologic function, and a kit for detecting improvement or degradation of a neuropsychologic function.


Patent
Kyushu University | Date: 2017-02-01

Provided is a catalyst for transesterification reactions, which contains an iron salen complex. Also provided is a method for producing an ester compound, which is characterized by carrying out a transesterification reaction between a starting material ester and a starting material alcohol with use of the catalyst.


A self-contained energy supply facility can supply an automotive hydrogen fuel that has been produced by utilizing solar energy, and can also supply electrical energy for an electric vehicle that has been produced by utilizing solar energy. The self-contained energy supply facility is characterized in that a concentrator panel for solar energy that includes a solar tracker is installed on a roof or the like within the energy supply facility, the concentrator panel separately concentrates infrared light whereby the solar energy can be easily converted into heat, and visible light whereby the solar energy can be easily converted into electricity, the infrared light is removed in the form of heat, introduced into a medium-temperature steam electrolyzer to produce hydrogen, the hydrogen is supplied to a hydrogen-fueled vehicle that uses hydrogen as a fuel through an automotive hydrogen fuel supply unit, and the visible light is converted into electricity using a concentrator cell of the concentrator panel, and supplied to an electric vehicle.


Patent
Kyushu University and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. | Date: 2017-04-19

Provided is a system for efficiently recovering trace metal from a large amount of a raw material, such as when trace metal is recovered from nickel oxide ore. This ion exchange resin has, on a carrier, an amide derivative represented by the following general formula. In the formula, R1 and R2 represent the same or different alkyl groups, R3 represents a hydrogen atom or an alkyl group, and R4 represents a hydrogen atom or an arbitrary group, other than an amino group, bonded to carbon as an amino acid. The amide derivative is preferably a glycineamide derivative. The carrier preferably includes a primary amine and/or a secondary amine.


Ishihara T.,Kyushu University
Journal of the Korean Ceramic Society | Year: 2016

The application of nanomaterials for electrodes of intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) is introduced. In conventional SOFCs, the operating temperature is higher than 1073 K, and so application of nanomaterials is not suitable because of the high degradation rate that results from sintering, aggregation, or reactions. However, by allowing a decrease of the operating temperature, nanomaterials are attracting much interest. In this review, nanocomposite films with columnar morphology, called double columnar or vertically aligned nanocomposites and prepared by pulsed laser ablation method, are introduced. For anodes, metal nano particles prepared by exsolution from perovskite lattice are also applied. By using dissolution and exsolution into and from the perovskite matrix, performed by changing Po2 in the gas phase at each interval, recovery of the power density can be achieved by keeping the metal particle size small. Therefore, it is expected that the application of nanomaterials will become more popular in future SOFC development.


OVOL1 and OVOL2 are ubiquitously conserved genes encoding C2H2 zinc-finger transcription factors in mammals. They promote epithelial cell proliferation, differentiation, and mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition, coordinately mediated via the Wnt signaling pathway. We previously reported that human OVOL1 and OVOL2 were preferentially expressed in the normal epidermis and hair follicles as well as their tumors, and found that OVOL1 is upregulated in Bowen’s disease and downregulated in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The aims of this study were to elucidate the potential role of the OVOL1–OVOL2 axis in Bowen’s disease and squamous cell carcinoma, and to reveal the relationship between OVOL and c-Myc, a proto-oncogene that plays a pivotal role in the malignancy of epithelial tumors. We investigated 20 Bowen’s disease and 20 squamous cell carcinoma clinical samples and a human squamous cell carcinoma cell line (A431) using immunohistochemical staining and molecular biological approaches. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that OVOL1 was upregulated in Bowen’s disease and markedly downregulated in squamous cell carcinoma; conversely, c-Myc was downregulated in Bowen’s disease and upregulated in squamous cell carcinoma. OVOL2 was markedly upregulated in the nucleus of Bowen’s disease cells, but the distribution of OVOL2 expression in squamous cell carcinoma varied widely; OVOL2 was typically expressed in the cytoplasm, but only sporadically in the nucleus. Furthermore, knockdown of OVOL1 using a specific small interfering RNA increased the mRNA and protein levels of c-Myc and OVOL2. Knockdown of OVOL2 did not significantly affect the mRNA and protein levels of either c-Myc or OVOL1. These results suggest that OVOL1 is an upstream suppressor of c-Myc and OVOL2, and the OVOL1–OVOL2 axis is a modulator of c-Myc, coordinately regulating the invasiveness of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Taken together, this study suggests that the OVOL1–OVOL2 axis is a key modulator of c-Myc expression in the shift from in situ epidermal malignancy (Bowen’s disease) to invasive squamous cell carcinoma.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 24 March 2017; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2016.169. © 2017 United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology


PURPOSE:: To examine retinal changes after vitrectomy with internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling, we used 3-dimensional optical coherence tomography (3D-OCT) in rhegmatogenous retinal detachment cases. METHODS:: The 68 eyes from 67 patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment were studied, including 35 detached macula cases (51%) and 33 attached macula cases. Internal limiting membrane peeling was performed with fine forceps after brilliant blue G staining. The 3D-OCT images were obtained with volume-rendering technologies from cross-sectional OCT images. RESULTS:: The 3D-OCT detected 45 eyes (66%) with ILM peeling-dependent retinal changes, including dissociated optic nerve fiber layer appearance, dimple sign, temporal macular thinning, ILM peeling area thinning, or forceps-related retinal thinning. The ILM peeled area was detectable in only 9 eyes with 3D-OCT, whereas it was undetectable in other 59 eyes. The dissociated optic nerve fiber layer appearance was detected in 8 of the total cases (12%), and dimple signs were observed in 14 cases (21%). Forceps-related thinning was also noted in eight cases (24%) of attached macula cases and in four cases (11%) of detached macula cases. No postoperative macular pucker was noted in the observational period. CONCLUSION:: The 3D-OCT clearly revealed spatial and time-dependent retinal changes after ILM peeling. The changes occurred in 2 months and remained thereafter. © 2017 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.


The fourth edition of the World Health Organization classification set up new entities of endocervical adenocarcinoma (ECA), namely the “usual type” and “gastric type.” These 2 types are considered to be distinct histogenetically because of their differing immunophenotypes, human papillomavirus (HPV) status, and prognoses. Usual-type ECAs (U-ECAs) are virtually always associated with high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection. Gastric-type ECAs (G-ECAs) are believed not to be associated with HR-HPV infection. Morphologically, U-ECA cells are characterized by mucin-poor and eosinophilic cytoplasm, resembling endometrioid carcinoma (a pseudoendometrioid feature). G-ECA cells are characterized by abundant clear or pale, mucinous cytoplasm and distinct cell borders. However, in routine practice we noticed that some ECAs contain morphologically usual type–like components and gastric type–like components in a single tumor; we have named these “G+U” ECAs. The histogenesis of such tumors has not been investigated. We conducted the present study to clarify the clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical features and HPV status of G+U ECAs, and to determine whether G+U ECAs are genuine G-ECAs mimicking U-ECAs or genuine U-ECAs with gastric type–like morphology. We retrospectively analyzed a series of 70 consecutive cases of ECA diagnosed as mucinous ECA, endocervical type, and we reclassified them on the basis of the latest World Health Organization classification. We identified 48 (69%) pure U-ECAs, 9 pure G-ECAs, and 13 G+U ECAs. Ten of the 13 G+U ECAs (77%) showed no HR-HPV infection by in situ hybridization (HPV-unrelated G+U ECAs) and showed frequent HIK1083 expression and aberrant p53 expression in both usual type–like and gastric type–like components. The other 3 G+U ECAs showed HR-HPV infection (HPV-related G+U EACs) and frequent p16+/p53−/HIK1083− immunophenotype in both usual type–like and gastric type–like components. The U-ECAs were characterized by HR-HPV infection detected by in situ hybridization and frequent p16+/p53−/HIK1083− immunophenotype, similar to that of the HPV-related G+U ECAs. In contrast, the pure G-ECAs were characterized by the absence of HPV infection and frequent HIK1083 expression and aberrant p53 expression, similar to that of HPV-unrelated G+U ECAs. G+U ECAs thus represent a heterogenous group composed of genuine G-ECAs and genuine U-ECAs. Most of the G+U ECAs we examined were genuine HPV-unrelated G-ECAs with usual type–like components showing mucin-poor, eosinophilic cytoplasm (pseudoendometrioid morphology). A small population of G+U ECAs was genuine HPV-related U-ECAs with gastric type–like components showing mucin-rich, voluminous cytoplasm. Thus, both types of ECAs can occasionally display patterns of differentiation suggesting a component of the other type but true mixed tumors do not appear to exist. Ancillary techniques (immunohistochemical analysis of p16, p53, and HPV DNA detection assays) should be used to assure proper classification of tumors with mixed morphologic features. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Gaina D.,Kyushu University
Formal Aspects of Computing | Year: 2017

We develop an abstract proof calculus for hybrid logics whose sentences are (hybrid) Horn clauses, and we prove a Birkhoff completeness theorem for hybrid logics in the general setting provided by the institution theory. This result is then applied to particular cases of hybrid logics with user-defined sharing, where the first-order variables in quantified sentences are interpreted uniformly across worlds. © 2017 British Computer Society


Arai F.,Kyushu University
[Rinsho ketsueki] The Japanese journal of clinical hematology | Year: 2016

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are characterized by their ability to self-renew and differentiate into all blood lineage cells. The fate decisions of HSCs (self-renewal versus differentiation) are made through the process of cell division and are often compared to "birth" and "death". Stem cells give rise to undifferentiated stem cells (birth) or differentiate into progenitor cells (death). This process is regulated by asymmetric/symmetric divisions of HSCs. It has been proposed that fate determination occurs as a stochastic process and that individual stem cell dynamics are randomly regulated. The behavior of HSCs is known to be regulated by the cell intrinsic factor and extrinsic (microenvironmental) stimuli. Therefore, it is possible that the signals from a specific microenvironment (niche) have the potential to control or modulate stem cell dynamics. This review focuses on the functions of the HSC niche and the application of single cell analysis for understanding the mechanisms underlying the HSC decision-making process.


Ohga S.,Kyushu University
[Rinsho ketsueki] The Japanese journal of clinical hematology | Year: 2016

Congenital hemolytic anemia is a group of monogenic diseases presenting with anemia due to increased destruction of circulating erythrocytes. The etiology of inherited anemia accounts for germline mutations of the responsible genes coding for the structural components of erythrocytes and extra-erythrocytes. The erythrocyte abnormalities are classified into three major disorders of red cell membrane defects, hemoglobinopathies, and red cell enzymopathies. The extra-erythrocyte abnormalities, typified by consumption coagulopathy and intravascular hemolysis, include Upshaw-Schulman syndrome and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. The clinical manifestations of congenital hemolytic anemia are anemia, jaundice, cholelithiasis and splenomegaly, while the onset mode and severity are both variable. Genetic overlapping of red cell membrane protein disorders, and distinct frequency and mutation spectra differing among races make it difficult to understand this disease entity. On the other hand, genetic modifiers for the phenotype of β-globin diseases provide useful information for selecting the optimal treatment and for long-term management. Recently, next generation sequencing techniques have enabled us to determine the novel causative genes in patients with undiagnosed hemolytic anemias. We herein review the concept and strategy for genetic diagnosis of inherited hemolytic anemias.


Takenaka K.,Kyushu University
[Rinsho ketsueki] The Japanese journal of clinical hematology | Year: 2016

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are chronic hematopoietic stem cell disorders, including polycythemia vera, essential thrombocytosis, and primary myelofibrosis. The JAK2V617F mutation was identified in 2005, followed by the discovery of the JAK2 exon12, MPNW515 mutation, and CALR mutation. About 90% of patients with BCR/ABL negative MPNs have been shown to have one of these driver mutations. In addition, mutations in epigenetic regulators and RNA splicing genes were found to co-exist with driver mutations and to play critical roles in the disease progression of MPNs. Currently, evaluations of these gene mutations are essential for the diagnosis of MPNs, and are also necessary for estimating the clinical course and the risk of disease progression. Guidelines for the management of MPNs were based on the results of large clinical trials. Furthermore, recent advancements in understanding the pathogenesis of MPNs are anticipated to promote the development of MPN-targeted therapies such as JAK2 inhibitors. Clinical trials for patients with PMF and PV have confirmed the efficacies of JAK2 inhibitors.


Park I.S.,Kyushu University | Komiyama H.,Kyushu University | Yasuda T.,Kyushu University
Chemical Science | Year: 2017

Deep-blue emitters that can harvest both singlet and triplet excited states to give high electron-to-photon conversion efficiencies are highly desired for applications in full-color displays and white lighting devices based on organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) molecules based on highly twisted donor-acceptor (D-A) configurations are promising emitting dopants for the construction of efficient deep-blue OLEDs. In this study, a simple and versatile D-A system combining acridan-based donors and pyrimidine-based acceptors has been developed as a new platform for high-efficiency deep-blue TADF emitters. The designed pre-twisted acridan-pyrimidine D-A molecules exhibit small singlet-triplet energy splitting and high photoluminescence quantum yields, functioning as efficient deep-blue TADF emitters. The OLEDs utilizing these TADF emitters display bright blue electroluminescence with external quantum efficiencies of up to 20.4%, maximum current efficiencies of 41.7 cd A-1, maximum power efficiencies of 37.2 lm W-1, and color coordinates of (0.16, 0.23). The design strategy featuring such acridan-pyrimidine D-A motifs can offer great prospects for further developing high-performance deep-blue TADF emitters and TADF-OLEDs. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Koshiba K.,Kyushu University | Yamauchi K.,Kyushu University | Sakai K.,Kyushu University
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2017

A nickel pyrazinedithiolate ([Ni(dcpdt)2]2−; dcpdt=5,6-dicyanopyrazine-2,3-dithiolate), bearing a NiS4 core similar to the active center of [NiFe] hydrogenase, is shown to serve as an efficient molecular catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). This catalyst shows effectively low overpotentials for HER (330–400 mV at pH 4–6). Moreover, the turnover number of catalysis reaches 20 000 over the 24 h electrolysis with a high Faradaic efficiency, 92–100 %. The electrochemical and DFT studies reveal that diprotonated one-electron-reduced species (i.e., [NiII(dcpdt)(dcpdtH2)]− or [NiII(dcpdtH)2]−) forms at pH<6.4 via ligand-based proton-coupled electron-transfer (PCET) pathways, leading to electrocatalytic HER without applying the highly negative potential required to generate low-valent nickel intermediates. This is the first example of catalysts exhibiting such behavior. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Sunagawa K.,Kyushu University
Journal of Physiological Sciences | Year: 2017

Guyton’s most significant contributions are the exploration into the development of venous return and circulatory equilibrium. Recently, several physiologists challenged the validity of venous return as a function of venous pressure. Guyton’s experiment in effect controlled venous pressure by changing cardiac output. Thus, critics claimed that cardiac output is the determinant of venous return. This claim is true, but in the presence of constant stressed volume, venous return and venous pressure have a fixed reciprocal relationship. Thus, it is meaningless to argue which one is the independent variable. We fully support Guyton’s venous return and in particular circulatory equilibrium. Guyton’s framework should be taught at medical schools worldwide. © 2017 The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer Japan


This study analyzed the impact on the life-cycle CO2 emissions derived from a specific durable good (i.e., household air conditioners in this study) of industrial technology changes, product lifetime changes, and energy efficiency improvements. I proposed a comprehensive structural decomposition analysis including two factors of average lifetime and energy efficiency trend of household air conditioners and applied the decomposition method to the Japanese environmental input-output tables of 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. The empirical results show that “Household air-conditioner sector” itself contributed to reducing life-cycle CO2 emissions derived from household air conditioners, while other sectors such as “On-site power generation sector” and “Retail trade sector” contributed to increasing life-cycle CO2 emissions derived from household air conditioners. I also conducted combined scenario analysis about reduction potential of product lifetime and energy efficiency of air conditioners and the results showed the reduction rate of energy efficiency necessary for maintain CO2 emissions in 2005 at 1990 level on each average lifetime scenario. (e.g. if average lifetime of air conditioners is shortened by 1 year, energy efficiency of air conditioners have to be further improved by 20.6% from current level. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Koyama M.,Kyushu University | Zhang Z.,Kyushu University | Wang M.,Max Planck Institute Für Eisenforschung | Wang M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Science | Year: 2017

Fatigue failures create enormous risks for all engineered structures, as well as for human lives, motivating large safety factors in design and, thus, inefficient use of resources. Inspired by the excellent fracture toughness of bone, we explored the fatigue resistance in metastability-assisted multiphase steels. We show here that when steel microstructures are hierarchical and laminated, similar to the substructure of bone, superior crack resistance can be realized. Our results reveal that tuning the interface structure, distribution, and phase stability to simultaneously activate multiple micromechanisms that resist crack propagation is key for the observed leap in mechanical response. The exceptional properties enabled by this strategy provide guidance for all fatigue-resistant alloy design efforts. © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.


Recently, control of mechanobiologic response of cells has been a strong attractive issue for biomaterials sciences in relation to the requirements for optimization of cell-materials interactions. In this mini-review, we survey the typical parameters for designing the biomaterials to manipulate cell mechanobiology, i.e., mechanobio-materials. In addition, from the view of regenerative biomedical engineering, we introduce our recent approaches on the development of mechanobio-materials for stem cell manipulation that ensures the high-qualified stemness.


Wnt/β-catenin signaling is activated repeatedly during an animal's lifespan, and it controls gene expression through its essential nuclear effector, β-catenin, to regulate embryogenesis, organogenesis, and adult homeosta-sis. Although the β-catenin transcriptional complex has the ability to induce the expression of many genes to exert its diverse roles, it chooses and transactivates a specific gene set from among its numerous target genes depending on the context. For example, the β-catenin transcriptional complex stimulates the expression of cell cycle-related genes and consequent cell proliferation in neural progenitor cells, while it promotes the expression of neural differentiation-related genes in differentiating neurons. Recent studies using animal and cell culture models have gradually improved our understanding of the molecular basis underlying such context-dependent actions of the β-catenin transcriptional complex. Here, we describe eight mechanisms that support β-catenin-mediated context-dependent gene regulation, and their spatio-temporal regulation during vertebrate development. In addition, we discuss their contribution to the diverse functions of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Japanese Biochemical Society. All rights reserved.


Among cancer immunotherapies, granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) gene-transduced tumor cell vaccine (GVAX) therapies appear promising and have been shown to be safe and effective in multiple clinical trials. However, the antitumor efficacies of GVAX therapy alone are in some cases limited. Here we showed that GVAX therapy targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) substantially suppressed tumor development in syngeneic immunocompetent mice recapitulating normal immune systems. CSCs were isolated as side population (SP) cells from 4T1 murine breast carcinoma cell line and transduced with GM-CSF gene delivered by non-transmissible Sendai virus (4T1-SP/GM). Impaired tumorigenicity of subcutaneously injected 4T1-SP/GM depended on CD8+ T cells in concert with CD4+ T cells and natural killer cells. Mice therapeutically vaccinated with irradiated 4T1-SP/GM cells had markedly suppressed tumor development of subcutaneously transplanted 4T1-SP cells compared with those treated with irradiated cells of non-transduced 4T1-SP cells or non-SP (4T1-NSP/GM) cells. Tumor suppression was accompanied by the robust accumulation of mature dendritic cells at vaccination sites and T-helper type 1-skewed systemic cellular immunity. Our results suggested that CSC cell-based GVAX immunotherapy might be clinically useful for inducing potent tumor-specific antitumor immunity.Cancer Gene Therapy advance online publication, 13 January 2017; doi:10.1038/cgt.2016.80. © 2017 Nature America, Inc., part of Springer Nature.


Terrestrial green plants absorb photosynthetically active radiation (PAR; 400–700 nm) but do not absorb photons evenly across the PAR waveband. The spectral absorbance of photosystems and chloroplasts is lowest for green light, which occurs within the highest irradiance waveband of direct solar radiation. We demonstrate a close relationship between this phenomenon and the safe and efficient utilization of direct solar radiation in simple biophysiological models. The effects of spectral absorptance on the photon and irradiance absorption processes are evaluated using the spectra of direct and diffuse solar radiation. The radiation absorption of a leaf arises as a consequence of the absorption of chloroplasts. The photon absorption of chloroplasts is strongly dependent on the distribution of pigment concentrations and their absorbance spectra. While chloroplast movements in response to light are important mechanisms controlling PAR absorption, they are not effective for green light because chloroplasts have the lowest spectral absorptance in the waveband. With the development of palisade tissue, the incident photons per total palisade cell surface area and the absorbed photons per chloroplast decrease. The spectral absorbance of carotenoids is effective in eliminating shortwave PAR (<520 nm), which contains much of the surplus energy that is not used for photosynthesis and is dissipated as heat. The PAR absorptance of a whole leaf shows no substantial difference based on the spectra of direct or diffuse solar radiation. However, most of the near infrared radiation is unabsorbed and heat stress is greatly reduced. The incident solar radiation is too strong to be utilized for photosynthesis under the current CO2 concentration in the terrestrial environment. Therefore, the photon absorption of a whole leaf is efficiently regulated by photosynthetic pigments with low spectral absorptance in the highest irradiance waveband and through a combination of pigment density distribution and leaf anatomical structures. © 2017 The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan


Oxyporinae is a distinct staphylinid subfamily characterized by a large body, remarkably long and projecting mandibles, and large, crescent-shaped terminal labial palpomeres. Previously, only three compression fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation in China were known for the subfamily from the Mesozoic Era. This study describes a remarkable new species, Oxyporus cretaceous sp. nov., based on a single specimen in Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber. This finding is the earliest record of Oxyporinae preserved as amber inclusion. The well preserved mouthparts suggest that mycophagous feeding habits had already been acquired by the mid-Cretaceous. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Yasuda M.,Kyushu University
Information Security Journal | Year: 2017

With widespread development of biometrics, concerns about security and privacy are rapidly increasing. Homomorphic encryption enables us to operate on encrypted data without decryption, and it can be applied to construct a privacy-preserving biometric system. In this article, we apply two homomorphic encryption schemes based on ideal-lattice and ring-LWE (Learning with Errors), which both have homomorphic correctness over the ring of integers of a cyclotomic field. We compare the two schemes in applying them to privacy-preserving biometrics. In biometrics, the Hamming distance is used as a metric to compare two biometric feature vectors for authentication. We propose an efficient method for secure Hamming distance. Our method can pack a biometric feature vector into a single ciphertext, and it enables efficient computation of secure Hamming distance over our packed ciphertexts. © 2017 Taylor & Francis


Iwatani M.,Kyushu University | Kikuuwe R.,Kyushu University
2016 14th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, ICARCV 2016 | Year: 2016

This paper proposes an external force estimator including an elastoplastic friction model with improved static friction behavior. Hayward and Armstrong's elastoplastic friction model is one of the simplest model representing friction phenomena with compliance. This model however produces non-zero output force in the static friction state, which results in steady-state error in external force estimation. This paper improves the estimation accuracy by applying a friction model with the output force being reduced in the static friction state. The proposed estimator was validated through experiments with an actuator system comprised of a ball screw and a timing belt. The experimental result shows that the estimation accuracy is improved by the proposed estimator. © 2016 IEEE.


To analyze enzymatic reactions energetically for comparison with non-enzymatic reactions (first order) under the same dimension, a method to derive valid momentary first-order rate constants for enzymatic reactions was developed. The momentary first-order rate constant, kenz0 = kcat[E'S']e,0/[S]0, was derived for an enzymatic reaction under a certain condition. It was shown that this rate constant is applicable for a wide range of enzymatic reactions. Utilizing this constant, one can conduct reliable kinetic and energetic analyses of enzymatic reactions. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Japanese Biochemical Society. All rights reserved.


Uehara M.,Kyushu University
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: Oral cancer, especially that originates in the maxillary tuberosity, buccal mucosa, and maxillary alveolus, is apt to invade the pterygopalatine fossa, where an intraoral approach is nearly impossible. There are 2 main types of extraoral approach to the pterygopalatine fossa; the anterior approach and the lateral approach. Although the lateral approach has an advantage compared with the anterior approach in terms of cosmetics, after the operation numbness of the lower lip occurs due to the sacrifice of the mental nerve. In the conventional lateral approach, a vertical incision is made in the center of the lower lip; a lateral flap is then elevated with the sacrifice of the mental nerve. The authors introduce here a new lateral approach to the pterygopalatine fossa with preservation of the mental nerve. In the present technique, a vertical incision was made in the corner of the mouth, and a lateral flap was then elevated with preservation of the mental nerve. This technique could also preserve the marginal mandibular branch of facial nerve in patients without a large metastasis in the submandibular lymph nodes. Additionally, expedient mandibular osteotomy, which is applied in the conventional lateral approach, could be omitted in the present technique, thus helping to prevent postoperative infection. The present approach was applied to 5 patients with oral cancer invading the pterygopalatine fossa. The postoperative numbness of the lower lip was estimated using the current perception threshold. The lesions were successfully resected with little numbness of the lower lip, and no postoperative infection occurred in any of the patients. This technique is available as an approach to the pterygopalatine fossa that preserves the mental nerve and can prevent postoperative infection. © 2017 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: news.mit.edu

Metal fatigue can lead to abrupt and sometimes catastrophic failures in parts that undergo repeated loading, or stress. It’s a major cause of failure in structural components of everything from aircraft and spacecraft to bridges and powerplants. As a result, such structures are typically built with wide safety margins that add to costs. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and in Japan and Germany has found a way to greatly reduce the effects of fatigue by incorporating a laminated nanostructure into the steel. The layered structuring gives the steel a kind of bone-like resilience, allowing it to deform without allowing the spread of microcracks that can lead to fatigue failure. The findings are described in a paper in the journal Science by C. Cem Tasan, the Thomas B. King Career Development Professor of Metallurgy at MIT; Meimei Wang, a postdoc in his group; and six others at Kyushu University in Japan and the Max Planck Institute in Germany. “Loads on structural components tend to be cyclic,” Tasan says. For example, an airplane goes through repeated pressurization changes during every flight, and components of many devices repeatedly expand and contract due to heating and cooling cycles. While such effects typically are far below the kinds of loads that would cause metals to change shape permanently or fail immediately, they can cause the formation of microcracks, which over repeated cycles of stress spread a bit further and wider, ultimately creating enough of a weak area that the whole piece can fracture suddenly. “A majority of unexpected failures [of structural metal parts] are due to fatigue,” Tasan says. For this reason, large safety factors are used in component design, leading to increased costs during production and component life. Tasan and his team were inspired by the way nature addresses the same kind of problem, making bones lightweight but very resistant to crack propagation. A major factor in bone’s fracture resistance is its hierarchical mechanical structure, so the team investigated microstructures that would mimic this in a metal alloy. The question was, he says, “Can we design a material with a microstructure that makes it most difficult for cracks to propagate, even if they nucleate?” Bone provided a clue to how to do that, through its hierarchical microstructure — that is, the way its internal structures have different patterns of voids and connections at many different length scales, with a lattice-like internal structure — that combines strength with light weight. The team developed a kind of steel that has three key characteristics, which combine to limit the spread of cracks that do form. Besides having a layered structure that tends to keep cracks from spreading beyond the layers where they start, the material has microstructural phases with different degrees of hardness, which complement each other, so when a crack starts to form, “every time it wants to propagate further, it needs to follow an energy-intensive path,” and the result is a great reduction in such spreading. Also, the material has a metastable composition; tiny areas within it are poised between different stable states, some more flexible than others, and their phase transitions can help absorb the energy of spreading cracks and even lead the cracks to close back up. To further understand the relative roles of these three characteristics, the team compared steels each with a combination of two out of the three key properties. None of these worked as well as the three-way combination, he says. “This showed us that our modification has better fatigue resistance than any of these.” The testing of such materials under realistic conditions is difficult to do, Tasan explains, partly because of “the extreme sensitivity of these materials to surface defects. If you scratch it, it’s going to fail much faster.” So meticulous preparation and inspection of test samples is essential. This finding is just a first step, Tasan says, and it remains to be seen what would be needed to scale up the material to quantities that could be commercialized, and what applications would benefit most. “Economics always comes into it,” he says. “I’m a metallurgist, and this is a new material that has interesting properties. Large industries such as automotive or aerospace are very careful about making changes in materials, as it brings extra effort and costs.” But there are likely to be several uses where the material would be a significant advantage. “For critical applications, [the benefits] are so critical that change is worth the extra trouble” about the cost, he says. “This is an alloy that would be more expensive than a basic low-carbon steel, but the property benefits have been shown to be quite exceptional, and it’s with much lower amounts of alloying metals (and hence, costs) than other proposed materials.” The research was supported by the European Research Council and MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The team included Motomichi Koyama, Zhao Zhang, Kaneaki Tsuzaki, and Hiroshi Noguchi of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, and Dirk Ponge, and Dierk Raabe of the Max Planck Institute in Dusseldorf, Germany.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

New research could make lasers emitting a wide range of colors more accessible and open new applications from communications and sensing to displays. Researchers at Kyushu University's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA) reported an optically pumped organic thin-film laser that can continuously emit light for 30 ms, which is more than 100 times longer than previous devices. Unlike the inorganic lasers commonly found in CD drives and laser pointers, organic thin-film lasers use a thin layer of organic molecules as the laser medium, which is the material in the device that actually produces lasing by emitting and amplifying light when excited with an energy source. In this case, the energy source was intense ultraviolet light from an inorganic laser. A very promising feature of organic thin-film lasers is the possibility to more easily achieve colors that are difficult with inorganic lasers. By designing and synthesizing molecules with new structures, emission of any color of the rainbow is possible. "People have been studying organic thin-film lasers for a long time, but degradation and loss processes have greatly limited the duration of emission," says Atula S. D. Sandanayaka, lead author of the paper in Science Advances reporting the new results. The researchers were able to reduce these problems and extend the duration of the lasing by combining three strategies. To reduce major losses originating from the absorption of laser emission by packets of energy - called triplet excitons - that build up in the organic laser medium during operation, the researchers found an organic laser medium with triplet excitons that absorb a different color of light than that emitted by the laser. Thermal degradation caused by heating of the lasers during operation was reduced by building the devices on a crystalline silicon wafer and gluing a piece of sapphire glass on top of the organic laser medium with a special polymer. The silicon and sapphire, which are good heat conductors, help to quickly remove heat from the devices while at the same time encapsulating them. Finally, through optimization of a frequently used grating structure - called a mixed-order distributed feedback structure - placed under the organic laser medium to provide optical feedback, the input energy needed to operate the lasers was reduced to new lows, further lessening the heating. "These devices really operate at the extreme, so we have to keep finding new tricks to eliminate any inefficiencies and prevent the devices from burning themselves out," says Professor Chihaya Adachi, director of OPERA. Using these simple devices in conjunction with inorganic lasers is promising for more easily achieving colors that are difficult to produce using common lasers, with applications in spectroscopy, communications, displays, and sensors. Development is still ongoing to sustain the emission for even longer durations, but as for what is next? "Our ultimate goal is realizing organic thin-film lasers that directly use electricity as the energy source, and this is an important step in that direction," says Adachi.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: phys.org

Researchers at Kyushu University's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA) reported an optically pumped organic thin-film laser that can continuously emit light for 30 ms, which is more than 100 times longer than previous devices. Unlike the inorganic lasers commonly found in CD drives and laser pointers, organic thin-film lasers use a thin layer of organic molecules as the laser medium, which is the material in the device that actually produces lasing by emitting and amplifying light when excited with an energy source. In this case, the energy source was intense ultraviolet light from an inorganic laser. A very promising feature of organic thin-film lasers is the possibility to more easily achieve colors that are difficult with inorganic lasers. By designing and synthesizing molecules with new structures, emission of any color of the rainbow is possible. "People have been studying organic thin-film lasers for a long time, but degradation and loss processes have greatly limited the duration of emission," says Atula S. D. Sandanayaka, lead author of the paper in Science Advances reporting the new results. The researchers were able to reduce these problems and extend the duration of the lasing by combining three strategies. To reduce major losses originating from the absorption of laser emission by packets of energy - called triplet excitons - that build up in the organic laser medium during operation, the researchers found an organic laser medium with triplet excitons that absorb a different color of light than that emitted by the laser. Thermal degradation caused by heating of the lasers during operation was reduced by building the devices on a crystalline silicon wafer and gluing a piece of sapphire glass on top of the organic laser medium with a special polymer. The silicon and sapphire, which are good heat conductors, help to quickly remove heat from the devices while at the same time encapsulating them. Finally, through optimization of a frequently used grating structure - called a mixed-order distributed feedback structure - placed under the organic laser medium to provide optical feedback, the input energy needed to operate the lasers was reduced to new lows, further lessening the heating. "These devices really operate at the extreme, so we have to keep finding new tricks to eliminate any inefficiencies and prevent the devices from burning themselves out," says Professor Chihaya Adachi, director of OPERA. Using these simple devices in conjunction with inorganic lasers is promising for more easily achieving colors that are difficult to produce using common lasers, with applications in spectroscopy, communications, displays, and sensors. Development is still ongoing to sustain the emission for even longer durations, but as for what is next? "Our ultimate goal is realizing organic thin-film lasers that directly use electricity as the energy source, and this is an important step in that direction," says Adachi. Explore further: Researchers present new solution for miniaturized organic lasers More information: "Towards continuous-wave operation of organic semiconductor lasers," Atula S. D. Sandanayaka et al., Science Advances 3, e1602570 (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602570


Skarstad K.,University of Oslo | Katayama T.,Kyushu University
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2013

The replication origin and the initiator protein DnaA are the main targets for regulation of chromosome replication in bacteria. The origin bears multiple DnaA binding sites, while DnaA contains ATP/ADP-binding and DNA-binding domains. When enough ATP-DnaA has accumulated in the cell, an active initiation complex can be formed at the origin resulting in strand opening and recruitment of the replicative helicase. In Escherichia coli, oriC activity is directly regulated by DNA methylation and specific oriC-binding proteins. DnaA activity is regulated by proteins that stimulate ATP-DnaA hydrolysis, yielding inactive ADP-DnaA in a replication-coupled negative-feedback manner, and by DnaA-binding DNA elements that control the subcellular localization of DnaA or stimulate the ADP-to-ATP exchange of the DnaA-bound nucleotide. Regulation of dnaA gene expression is also important for initiation. The principle of replication-coupled negative regulation of DnaA found in E. coli is conserved in eukaryotes as well as in bacteria. Regulations by oriC-binding proteins and dnaA gene expression are also conserved in bacteria. © 2013 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.


Sindoro M.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Yanai N.,Kyushu University | Granick S.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

Colloidal metal-organic frameworks (CMOFs), nanoporous colloidal-sized crystals that are uniform in both size and polyhedral shape, are crystals composed of metal ions and organic bridging ligands, which can be used as building blocks for self-assembly in organic and aqueous liquids. They stand in contrast to conventional metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which scientists normally study in the form of bulk crystalline powders. However, powder MOFs generally have random crystal size and shape and therefore do not possess either a definite mutual arrangement with adjacent particles or uniformity. CMOFs do have this quality, which can be important in vital uptake and release kinetics.In this Account, we present the diverse methods of synthesis, pore chemistry control, surface modification, and assembly techniques of CMOFs. In addition, we survey recent achievements and future applications in this emerging field. There is potential for a paradigm shift, away from using just bulk crystalline powders, towards using particles whose size and shape are regulated. The concept of colloidal MOFs takes into account that nanoporous MOFs, conventionally prepared in the form of bulk crystalline powders with random crystal size, shape, and orientation, may also form colloidal-sized objects with uniform size and morphology. Furthermore, the traditional MOF functions that depend on porosity present additional control over those MOF functions that depend on pore interactions. They also can enable controlled spatial arrangements between neighboring particles.To begin, we discuss progress regarding synthesis of MOF nano- and microcrystals whose crystal size and shape are well regulated. Next, we review the methods to modify the surfaces with dye molecules and polymers. Dyes are useful when seeking to observe nonluminescent CMOFs in situ by optical microscopy, while polymers are useful to tune their interparticle interactions. Third, we discuss criteria to assess the stability of CMOFs for various applications. In another section of this Account, we give examples of supracrystal assembly in liquid, on substrates, at interfaces, and under external electric fields. We end this Account with discussion of possible future developments, both conceptual and technological. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Borgel J.,Montpellier University | Guibert S.,Montpellier University | Li Y.,Montpellier University | Li Y.,Kyushu University | And 5 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2010

DNA methylation is extensively reprogrammed during the early phases of mammalian development, yet genomic targets of this process are largely unknown. We optimized methylated DNA immunoprecipitation for low numbers of cells and profiled DNA methylation during early development of the mouse embryonic lineage in vivo. We observed a major epigenetic switch during implantation at the transition from the blastocyst to the postimplantation epiblast. During this period, DNA methylation is primarily targeted to repress the germline expression program. DNA methylation in the epiblast is also targeted to promoters of lineage-specific genes such as hematopoietic genes, which are subsequently demethylated during terminal differentiation. De novo methylation during early embryogenesis is catalyzed by Dnmt3b, and absence of DNA methylation leads to ectopic gene activation in the embryo. Finally, we identify nonimprinted genes that inherit promoter DNA methylation from parental gametes, suggesting that escape of post-fertilization DNA methylation reprogramming is prevalent in the mouse genome. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Koyanagi A.,Hatsuishi Hospital | Zhang J.,Xinhua Hospital | Dagvadorj A.,University of Tokyo | Hirayama F.,Kyushu University | Shibuya K.,University of Tokyo
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Background: Macrosomia is a risk factor for adverse delivery outcomes. We investigated the prevalence, risk factors, and delivery outcomes of babies with macrosomia in 23 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Methods: We analysed data from WHO's Global Survey on Maternal and Perinatal Health, which was a facility-based cross-sectional study that obtained data for women giving birth in 373 health facilities in 24 countries in Africa and Latin America in 2004-05, and in Asia in 2007-08. Facilities were selected by stratified multistage cluster sampling and women were recruited at admission for delivery. We extracted data from the medical records with a standardised questionnaire. We used logistic regression with random effects to assess the risk factors for macrosomia and the risks for caesarean section and adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes (assessed by a composite score) in babies with the disorder. Findings: Of 290 610 deliveries, we analysed data for 276 436 singleton livebirths or fresh stillbirths. Higher maternal age (20-34 years), height, parity, body-mass index, and presence of diabetes, post-term pregnancy, and male fetal sex were associated with a significantly increased risk of macrosomia. Macrosomia was associated with an increased risk of caesarean section because of obstructed labour and post-term pregnancy in all regions. Additionally, macrosomia was associated with an increased risk of adverse maternal birth outcomes in all regions, and of adverse perinatal outcomes only in Africa. Interpretation: Increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity in women of reproductive age in developing countries could be associated with a parallel increase in macrosomic births. The effect and feasibility of control of diabetes and preconception weight on macrosomia should be investigated in these settings. Furthermore, increased institutional delivery in countries where rates are low could be crucial to reduce macrosomia-associated morbidity and mortality. Funding: None. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Tanaka S.,Kyushu University | Morita K.,Kyushu University | Hibino H.,Nippon Telegraph and Telephone
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

Epitaxial graphene is formed on vicinal SiC(0001) surfaces via high temperature annealing in vacuum. Steps act as a significant "kicker" of graphene nucleation to feed C atoms. At elevated temperatures, graphene growth is controlled by the decomposition of Si-C bonds at step edges, Si desorption, and C diffusion on the surface. The limited Si desorption is due to the dependence of the growth rate on the thickness of graphene layers. The fabricated graphene layer(s) acts as a Si-diffusion barrier, which in turn induces local thermal equilibrium between the graphene layer and the SiC surface. C atoms preferentially diffuse along the steps, resulting in anisotropic layer-by-layer growth, which is characteristic in this system. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-08-09

Presented is a (meth)acrylate composition that can be cured even in an unirradiated portion that is not reached by light. The (meth)acrylate composition contains a compound having one or more vinyl groups in a molecular structure thereof. The compound has a ratio of a molecular weight thereof to a number of the vinyl groups of 300 or lower. The composition generates a heat of reaction during photopolymerization thereof, and the heat of reaction causes thermal polymerization of the composition.


Patent
Kyushu University and Lintec Corporation | Date: 2013-02-19

The present invention provides a thermoelectric conversion material having a low thermal conductivity and having an improved figure of merit, and a method for producing it. The thermoelectric conversion material has, as formed on a substrate having a nano-level microporous nanostructure, a thermoelectric semiconductor layer prepared by forming a thermoelectric semiconductor material into a film, wherein the substrate is a block copolymer substrate formed of a block copolymer that comprises a polymethyl methacrylate unit and a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-containing polymethacrylate unit, and the thermoelectric semiconductor material is a p-type bismuth telluride or an n-type bismuth telluride. The production method comprises a substrate formation step of forming the nanostructure-having block copolymer substrate, and a film formation step of forming a p-type bismuth telluride or an n-type bismuth telluride into a film to thereby provide a thermoelectric semiconductor layer.


Patent
Kyushu University and Lintec Corporation | Date: 2015-01-07

The present invention provides a thermoelectric conversion material having a low thermal conductivity and having an improved figure of merit, and a method for producing it. The thermoelectric conversion material has, as formed on a substrate having a nano-level microporous nanostructure, a thermoelectric semiconductor layer prepared by forming a thermoelectric semiconductor material into a film, wherein the substrate is a block copolymer substrate formed of a block copolymer that comprises a polymethyl methacrylate unit and a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-containing polymethacrylate unit, and the thermoelectric semiconductor material is a p-type bismuth telluride or an n-type bismuth telluride. The production method comprises a substrate formation step of forming the nanostructure-having block copolymer substrate, and a film formation step of forming a p-type bismuth telluride or an n-type bismuth telluride into a film to thereby provide a thermoelectric semiconductor layer.


Patent
Kyushu University and Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. | Date: 2013-06-05

The objective of the present invention is to provide a mattress including a plurality of cells provided on a body pressure working surface of a substrate that supports a human body, and a pressure control means that changes a setting of a height of each cell by adjusting a pressure in a fluid chamber formed within the cell. An elastic cushion layer is provided on a body pressure working surface of the cells, and a constricted portion is formed in a middle in the height of the each cell so that the body pressure working surface of the cell is allowed to tilt following deformation of the cushion layer as a result of the cells precession-deformation at the constricted portion.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-05-22

A curable sensitizer that exhibits a radical-polymerization sensitizing ability that conventional sensitizers do not have in a polymerization reaction using radicals, and is easily available at a low cost, a photocurable material containing the sensitizer, a cured product of the photocurable material, and a material for a wiring harness containing the photocurable material. The curable sensitizer contains an alcohol (meth)acrylate synthesized from an alcohol having one or more hydroxy groups and two or more oxygen atoms in a molecule and a (meth)acrylate ingredient selected from a (meth)acrylic acid and a derivative thereof. An ester bond is formed between one of the hydroxy groups of the alcohol and the (meth)acrylate ingredient. The sensitizer is capable of increasing curability of a curable material when mixed in the material. The photocurable material contains the curable sensitizer and a photoinitiator. The material for the wiring harness contains the photocurable material.


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-08-12

Disclosed is a (meth)acrylate composition that can be cured even in an unirradiated portion that is not reached by light. The (meth)acrylate composition contains a compound having one or more vinyl groups in a molecular structure thereof. The compound has a ratio of a molecular weight thereof to a number of the vinyl groups of 300 or lower. The composition generates a heat of reaction during photopolymerization thereof, and the heat of reaction causes thermal polymerization of the composition.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-09-29

An electrical connection structure includes: a first metal member including copper or a copper alloy, a plated tin layer being formed on at least a portion of the first metal member; a second metal member that is electrically connected or connectable to the first metal member; and a surface treating layer formed on the surface of the first metal member. The surface treating layer is formed by applying a surface treating agent containing base oil and a metal affinity compound having a lipophilic group and an affinity group that has an affinity for metal. The metal affinity compound contains an adduct between an acidic alkyl phosphate ester and an azole compound and an adduct between an acidic alkyl phosphate ester and a metal and/or an organic amine compound.


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2016-01-06

To provide a photocurable material that allows dark portion curing even if the form of a material to be cured is complicated and the length of an unirradiated portion is long. The photocurable material has both of radical curability and anionic curability, is a photocurable liquid composition curable by irradiation of light, and contains (meth)acrylate and a chain transfer agent, wherein the chain transfer agent is a compound containing one or more of at least one kind selected from a urethane bond, a urea bond, and an isocyanate group, and one or more alkoxysilyl groups. The photocurable material is capable of curing even a portion that irradiation light does not reach.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-05-09

A photosensitive thermoplastic resin composition that can be melt-molded to provide a molded product and can be crosslinked by irradiation of the molded product with light, and a molded product made of the same. The photosensitive thermoplastic resin composition contains a thermoplastic polymer and a photocrosslinking agent compatible with the thermoplastic polymer. The composition is melt-moldable, and a melt-molded product of the composition is crosslinkable by irradiation of light. The composition is melt-molded into a given shape to provide a molded product, and the molded product is photocrosslinked by irradiation of light.


Patent
Kyushu University and Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. | Date: 2014-06-16

Provided is a joint movement aid, which has a simple structure and is lightweight and which a user can easily put on and take off, and which has a novel structure capable of safely supporting a walking without impeding a users autonomous fall-preventing movement even in a case of a disturbance such as external force on the user in a transverse direction. The walking movement aid includes a right and left pair of assisting units provided with drive sources, which exert a pulling force on flexible auxiliary force transmission parts, and a control member for controlling the respective drive sources of the assisting units corresponding to changes in a joint angle with users hip joints.


Provided are an organic luminescent material exhibiting excellent horizontal orientation or the like when produced into a film, an efficient method for producing such an organic luminescent material, and an organic light emitting element using such an organic luminescent material. This organic luminescent material or the like is used as a host material and is represented by the following general formula (1), having a donor-acceptor-type molecular structure containing an electron acceptor-like tetrafluoroarylene structure in its central part and a diphenylamine structure linked to each of the two ends of the tetrafluoroarylene structure through an electron donor-like arylene group;^(1) to R^(4) and a to h each independently represent a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group having 1 to 20 carbon atoms, a substituted alkyl group having 1 to 20 carbon atoms, an aryl group having 6 to 20 carbon atoms, a substituted aryl group having 6 to 20 carbon atoms, or an amino group.


Patent
National Institute Of Information And Communications Technology, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2016-07-13

Problem to Be Solved: to provide a chromophore having a far superior nonlinear optical activity to conventional chromophores and to provide a nonlinear optical element comprising said chromophore. Solution: a chromophore comprising a donor structure D, a -conjugated bridge structure B, and an acceptor structure A, the donor structure D comprising an aryl group substituted with a substituted oxy group; and a nonlinear optical element comprising said chromophore.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-01-28

An electric connection structure includes a copper member including copper or a copper alloy; a metal member connected to the copper member and including a metal having an ionization tendency greater than that of copper; and a surface treatment layer at least in a portion of the copper member that is different from a connection part connected to the metal member. The surface treatment layer includes a surface treating agent having a hydrophobic part and a chelate group in the molecular structure. Thus, the occurrence of electric erosion can be suppressed in the electric connection structure in which different kinds of metals are connected.


Provided are an organic luminescent material exhibiting excellent horizontal orientation or the like when produced into a film, an efficient method for producing such an organic luminescent material, and an organic light emitting element using such an organic luminescent material. This organic luminescent material or the like is used as a host material and is represented by the following general formula (1), having a donor-acceptor-type molecular structure containing an electron acceptor-like tetrafluoroarylene structure in its central part and a diphenylamine structure linked to each of the two ends of the tetrafluoroarylene structure through an electron donor-like arylene group; in the general formula (1), the substituents R^(1 )to R^(4 )and a to h each independently represent a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group having 1 to 20 carbon atoms, a substituted alkyl group having 1 to 20 carbon atoms, an aryl group having 6 to 20 carbon atoms, a substituted aryl group having 6 to 20 carbon atoms, or an amino group.


Patent
Kyushu University and IHI Corporation | Date: 2011-09-08

A method of detecting space debris includes: generating a virtual space debris in accordance with the law of conservation of mass by applying a debris breakup model to an object of breakup origin; calculating an orbit of each virtual space debris based on a debris orbit propagation model; and generating appearance frequency distribution of a motion vector of each virtual space debris on the celestial sphere based on the orbit calculation. The above operations are executed multiple times. The method further includes setting a search range vector based on a motion vector having a high level of the appearance frequency distribution of the motion vector, and applying a stacking method to regions in images captured at time intervals during the fixed point observation, the regions being shifted along the search range vector sequentially in the order of capture, thereby detecting space debris appearing on the images.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-09-24

A curing material, having a solubility parameter of 9.4 or more, contains at least a chain transfer agent that contains a compound containing a polyether structure and two or more urethane bonds or two or more urea bonds in a molecule, and a metal-containing compound. A wire harness is manufactured by supplying the curing material to a conductor exposed portion of a wire bundle including a plurality of bundled insulated wires each having a conductor covered with a covering material made of an insulating body, the conductor exposed portion being formed by removing a part of the covering material of the wire bundle to expose the conductor inside; and curing the curing material by irradiating light in a state in which a surface of the curing material is covered with a protective member formed from a resin containing a plasticizer and having light transmissivity, thereby forming a waterproof portion.


Patent
Kyushu University and Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. | Date: 2013-10-16

Provided is a device having a novel configuration and adapted to assist joint exercise. A device for assisting joint exercise (10) that assists bending and extending of a joint including: a flexible assist force transmission section (12); a first mounting section (14) and a second mounting section (16), which are provided at both end portions of the assist force transmission section (12), the first mounting section (14) adapted to be mounted on one site and the second mounting section (16) adapted to be mounted on another site sandwiching a users joint; a drive source (40) provided that exerts tensile force between the first mounting section (14) and the second mounting section (16) through the assist force transmission section (12), wherein at least a portion of the assist force transmission section (12) is elastically deformable in an acting direction of the tensile force by the drive source (40).


Patent
Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-07-01

Provided is a device having a novel configuration and adapted to assist joint exercise. A device for assisting joint exercise that assists bending and extending of a joint including: a flexible assist force transmission section; a first mounting section and a second mounting section, which are provided at both end portions of the assist force transmission section, the first mounting section adapted to be mounted on one site and the second mounting section adapted to be mounted on another site sandwiching a users joint; a drive source provided that exerts tensile force between the first mounting section and the second mounting section through the assist force transmission section, wherein at least a portion of the assist force transmission section is elastically deformable in an acting direction of the tensile force by the drive source.


Patent
IHI Corporation and Kyushu University | Date: 2012-10-10

Disclosed is a method for clearing space debris in geocentric orbit, wherein, in geocentric orbit, a spatial region having a greater resistive force than atmosphere in the geocentric orbit is provided, space debris passing through the spatial region is decelerated by the resistive force, and the decelerated space debris is dropped from the geocentric orbit.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Kyushu University, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd. | Date: 2010-10-13

To provide a modified recycled polyester resin that has stable moldability, is capable of producing as a by-product only a small amount of gel-like material during the process of modification to allow stable cross-linking reaction, and can prevent the possibility of recleavage, and to provide a molded article using the same. The modified recycled polyester resin contains a recycled PET resin having a carboxyl group, and a modifying agent having an epoxy group and an oxazoline group, ends of the carboxyl group of the recycled PET resin being modified with the modifying agent, wherein a mole ratio between the oxazoline group and the epoxy group is within a range of 100:90 to 100:0.01, and an additive amount of the modifying agent is 0.001 to 15 parts by mass with respect to 100 parts by mass of the recycled PET resin.


Patent
Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-02-18

A swinging leg pendulum movement aid for walking including a pair of assisting units for a left leg and a right leg each having a drive source for applying a pulling force to an auxiliary force transmission part, a joint angle sensor for detecting a joint angle of users hip joints, and a control member for driving the drive sources of the respective assisting units corresponding to changes in the joint angle and applying an assistance force in a forward swinging direction to the swinging leg that kicked off a ground so as to aid a pendulum movement of the swinging leg.


Patent
Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-06-16

A reactive ionic liquid to be used as an ionic component that is contained in an ion-containing layer in a transducer arranged in contact with a high-resistance layer as a dielectric layer of the transducer, and is restrained from migrating from the ion-containing layer to the high-resistance layer on application of a voltage is provided. The reactive ionic liquid comprises an ion pair that consists of an anion and a cation. In the reactive ionic liquid, (a) the anion comprises (a1) a reactive group that consists of an alkoxysilyl group and (a2) an anionic group consisting of a carboxylate (COO^()) group or a sulfonate (SO_(3)^()) group. (b) The cation (b1) consists of an imidazolium, ammonium, pyrrolidinium, morpholinium, or phosphonium cation, and (b2) does not comprise an NH group or a PH group.


Patent
Kyushu University, Lintec Corporation and Panasonic | Date: 2012-03-05

Provided are a phosphorescent material which is excellent in horizontal orientation and the like when a thin film is formed, a process for efficiently producing the phosphorescent material, and a light emitting element using the phosphorescent material. The present invention provides a phosphorescent material represented by the following general formula (1), a process for producing the phosphorescent material, and a light emitting element using the phosphorescent material, wherein the phosphorescent material has a straight-chain conjugated structure, a 2-phenylpyridine ligand, a central metal and a -diketone-type ligand, In the general formula (1), end substituents R^(1 )and R^(2 )each is a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group having 1 to 20 carbon atoms, or the like, substituents a to l and o to s each is a hydrogen atom or the like, the central metal M is platinum or the like, and repetition numbers m and n each is an integer of 0 to 4.


Patent
Ayabo Corporation, Kyushu University and Oita University | Date: 2015-11-18

A guide portion arrangement structure and a guide portion arrangement method arrange a third guide portion in a predetermined position of a drill head for cutting work, thereby stably maintaining an orientation of the drill head and straight movement action of a tip during the cutting. Thus, a favorable surface state of an inner surface of a processed hole can be obtained. The third guide portion is arranged in a position where the effect can be obtained stably and the degree of freedom is high. In a guide portion arrangement structure of a drill head used for cutting work while being supplied with cutting oil, the guide portion contacting an inner surface of a hole of a work piece at an outer periphery of the drill head and receiving a cutting force of a blade portion while maintaining a clearance for passing the cutting oil therethrough, the guide portion includes first to third guide portions arranged on the outer periphery of the drill head. As for a portion of each guide portion that is farthest in a radial direction from the center of rotation of the drill head, it is positioned in an angular range of 80 degrees to 100 degrees about the first guide portion, it is positioned in an angular range of 170 degrees to 190 degrees about the second guide portion, and it is positioned in at least one of an angular range of 1 degree to 34 degrees, an angular range of 146 degrees to 179 degrees and an angular range of 326 degrees to 359 degrees about the third guide portion, on a delay side of the blade portion in the direction of the rotation when a position of a cutting edge of the blade portion is at 0 degree.


Patent
Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-09-25

The objective of the present invention is to provide a mattress (10) including a plurality of cells (16) provided on a body pressure working surface of a substrate (20) that supports a human body, and a pressure control means (54) that changes a setting of a height of each cell (16) by adjusting a pressure in a fluid chamber (40) formed within the cell (16). An elastic cushion layer (22) is provided on a body pressure working surface of the cells (16), and a constricted portion (44) is formed in a middle in the height of the each cell (16) so that the body pressure working surface of the cell (16) is allowed to tilt following deformation of the cushion layer (22) as a result of the cells precession-deformation at the constricted portion (44).


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2011-06-15

A rust inhibitor usable for metal surface coating includes, as an effective component, a compound containing a chelate group, and a long chain alkyl group and/or a cyclic alkyl group, which are bonded by an ester bond or other bonds. The compound is obtained by reacting a chelate ligand having the chelate group, such as aminocarbonic acid, acetoacetic acid, acetoacetic ester, and hydroxycarbonic acid, with a compound having the long chain alkyl group and/or the cyclic alkyl group, such as long chain (cyclic) alkyl carbonic acid and long chain (cyclic) alkyl alcohol.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-07-08

A terminated electric wire includes an electric wire that includes a core wire including a metal having an ionization tendency larger than that of copper and being exposed from an end portion of the electric wire, and a terminal that includes copper or a copper alloy and is connected to the exposed core wire. A surface treating layer includes a surface treating agent that is in liquid form or in paste form and whose molecular structure contains an affinity group having an affinity for the terminal and a hydrophobic group having hydrophobicity, and is formed on a surface of the terminal. As a result, the electrolytic corrosion resistance of the terminated electric wire is improved.


Patent
Kyushu University and IHI Corporation | Date: 2010-12-03

Disclosed is a method for clearing space debris in geocentric orbit, wherein, in geocentric orbit, a spatial region having a greater resistive force than atmosphere in the geocentric orbit is provided, space debris passing through the spatial region is decelerated by the resistive force, and the decelerated space debris is dropped from the geocentric orbit.


Patent
Kyushu University and LINTEC Corporation | Date: 2014-01-15

Provided are a phosphorescent material which is excellent in horizontal orientation and the like when a thin film is formed, a process for efficiently producing the phosphorescent material, and a light emitting element using the phosphorescent material. The present invention provides a phosphorescent material represented by the following general formula (1), a process for producing the phosphorescent material, and a light emitting element using the phosphorescent material, wherein the phosphorescent material has a straight-chain conjugated structure, a 2-phenylpyridine ligand, a central metal and a -diketone-type ligand, In the general formula (1), end substituents R^(1) and R^(2) each is a hydrogen atom, an alkyl group having 1 to 20 carbon atoms, or the like, substituents a to l and o to s each is a hydrogen atom or the like, the central metal M is platinum or the like, and repetition numbers m and n each is an integer of 0 to 4.


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-12-30

Provided is a (meth)acrylate and a radical curable material with which the sensitivity can be enhanced to improve the curability, the increase in viscosity can be suppressed due to good compatibility with various acrylate compounds, and there is no risk that the physical properties of the curable material are deteriorated. The (meth)acrylate has one or more structures represented by Formula 1 in the molecule, and when the (meth)acrylate is used for radical curing, the sensitivity is enhanced. In Formula 1, R_(1) is a hydrogen atom or a methyl group, R_(2) is a C_(1)-C_(10) alkyl chain, R_(3) is either Formula 2 or 3, and R_(4) is an alkyl chain constituted by carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms.


Patent
National Institute Of Information And Communications Technology, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-06-27

Problem to Be Solved: to provide a chromophore having a far superior nonlinear optical activity to conventional chromophores and to provide a nonlinear optical element comprising said chromophore. Solution: a chromophore comprising a donor structure D, a -conjugated bridge structure B, and an acceptor structure A, the donor structure D comprising an aryl group substituted with a substituted oxy group; and a nonlinear optical element comprising said chromophore.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-08-09

Provided is a (meth)acrylate and a radical curable material with which the sensitivity can be enhanced to improve the curability, the increase in viscosity can be suppressed due to good compatibility with various acrylate compounds, and there is no risk that the physical properties of the curable material are deteriorated. The (meth)acrylate has one or more structures represented by Formula 1 in the molecule, and when the (meth)acrylate is used for radical curing, the sensitivity is enhanced. In Formula 1, R_(1 )is a hydrogen atom or a methyl group, R_(2 )is a C_(1)-C_(10 )alkyl chain, R_(3 )is either Formula 2 or 3, and R_(4 )is an alkyl chain constituted by carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms.


Patent
Kyushu University and Kyushu Electric Power | Date: 2012-03-15

Most of the abundant naturally occurring low rank coal, which has a high moisture content and a high oxygen content, is transported with poor efficiency; utilized for heating with degraded thermal efficiency because of the loss of heat due to sensible heat for heating moisture and latent heat for vaporizing moisture; and utilized in existing coal combustion facilities with difficulty due to a high volatile component content. A complex system of the present invention for utilizing coal for manufacture of char and raw material gas and electric power generation is adopted to include: a drying unit for drying low rank coal of a high moisture content; a reformer for reforming the low rank coal that has been dried in the drying unit; a fluidized bed combustor for employing, as a fuel, the reformed coal obtained in the reformer; a producer gas supply pipe for supplying a combustion exhaust gas from the fluidized bed combustor as a pyrolytic and gasifying agent to the reformer; and a catalyst reforming unit for reforming a volatile component and the producer gas obtained from the low rank coal reformed in the reformer.


Patent
Panasonic, Lintec Corporation and Kyushu University | Date: 2012-03-13

An organic EL element comprises: a substrate; a first electrode formed at one surface side of the substrate; a second electrode opposing the first electrode; and an organic EL layer located between the first and second electrodes. In the organic EL element, the second electrode is a transparent electrode, and the first electrode is a reflecting electrode. The organic EL element is a top-emission type. The first electrode comprises a plurality of nanometer-size (nanometer-order) columnar structures formed on the above-mentioned one surface of the substrate, and each of the plurality of columnar structures has a metallic surface as the outermost surface.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-09-26

A composition having an oil film retention function which an oil film can be stably retained on surfaces of various metals, an anticorrosive agent using same, and insulated terminated electric wire. A composition having oil film retention function for being added to base oil to be applied onto a metal surface and retaining base oil on metal surface, and composition contains a component that is an adduct of an azole compound and acidic alkyl phosphate ester including one or more compounds represented by General Formulae (1) (Chemical Formula 1) P(O)(OR_(1))(OH) _(2 ). . . (1) or General Formula (2) (Chemical Formula 2) P(O)(OR_(1))_(2)(OH) . . . (2) where R_(1 )represents an organic group having four or more carbon atoms, and component that is an adduct of a metal and/or organic amine compound and acidic alkyl phosphate ester including one or more compounds represented by General Formulae (1) or (2).


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2016-02-03

Provided are a composition having an oil film retention function with which an oil film can be stably retained on the surfaces of various metals, an anticorrosive agent using the same, and an insulated terminated electric wire. The present invention is directed to a composition having an oil film retention function for being added to base oil to be applied onto a metal surface and retaining the base oil on the metal surface, and the composition contains a component (a) that is an adduct of an azole compound and an acidic alkyl phosphate ester including one or more compounds represented by General Formulae (1) (Chemical Formula 1) P(=O)(-OR_(1))(-OH)_(2) ...(1) or General Formula (2) (Chemical Formula 2) P(=O)(-OR_(1))_(2)(-OH) ...(2) where R_(1) represents an organic group having four or more carbon atoms, and a component (b) that is an adduct of a metal and/or an organic amine compound and an acidic alkyl phosphate ester including one or more compounds represented by General Formulae (1) or (2).


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-04-15

A curable sensitizer that exhibits a radical-polymerization sensitizing ability that conventional sensitizers do not have in a polymerization reaction using radicals, and is easily available at a low cost, a photocurable material containing the sensitizer, a cured product of the photocurable material, and a material for a wiring harness containing the photocurable material. The curable sensitizer contains an alcohol (meth)acrylate synthesized from an alcohol having one or more hydroxy groups and two or more oxygen atoms in a molecule and a (meth) acrylate ingredient selected from a (meth)acrylic acid and a derivative thereof. An ester bond is formed between one of the hydroxy groups of the alcohol and the (meth)acrylate ingredient. The sensitizer is capable of increasing curability of a curable material when mixed in the material. The photocurable material contains the curable sensitizer andaphotoinitiator. The material for the wiring harness contains the photocurable material.


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd, Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-08-09

A photocurable material that allows dark portion curing even if the form of a material to be cured is complicated and the length of an unirradiated portion is long. The photocurable material has both of radical curability and anionic curability, is a photocurable liquid composition curable by irradiation of light, and contains (meth)acrylate and a chain transfer agent, wherein the chain transfer agent is a compound containing one or more of at least one kind selected from a urethane bond, a urea bond, and an isocyanate group, and one or more alkoxysilyl groups. The photocurable material is capable of curing even a portion that irradiation light does not reach.


Patent
Kyushu University and Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. | Date: 2014-06-18

Provided is a walking movement aid based on a novel technical concept focusing on a swinging leg, which is used by a person with decreased walking ability or the like, and promotes walking movement using his own muscle strength by supporting walking movement with a small force. A swinging leg pendulum movement aid for walking (10) includes a pair of assisting units for a left leg and a right leg each having a drive source (40) for applying a pulling force to an auxiliary force transmission part (12), a joint angle sensor (32) for detecting a joint angle of users hip joints, and a control means (50) for driving the drive sources (40) of the respective assisting units corresponding to changes in the joint angle and applying an assistance force in a forward swinging direction to the swinging leg that kicked off a ground so as to aid a pendulum movement of the swinging leg.


Patent
AutoNetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-12-04

There are provided a photosensitive composition, and a cured product of the photosensitive composition, the photosensitive composition being an ultraviolet curable composition that is curable in a short time while a portion of the photosensitive composition such as a dark potion where radicals are not generated at all is curable. A cured product is obtained by curing a photosensitive composition by ultraviolet irradiation, the photosensitive composition containing an ultraviolet curable material, and a chain transfer agent that contains an ingredient (a) that is a compound containing at least one kind selected from the group consisting of a urethane bond, a urea bond and an isocyanate group, and an ingredient (b) that is a metal-containing compound, wherein a portion of the composition where irradiation light does not reach is curable.


Patent
IHI Corporation and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-07-17

A method of detecting space debris includes generating a virtual space debris piece in accordance with the law of conservation of mass by applying a debris breakup model to an obj ect of breakup origin which is likely to have broken up on a geocentric orbit in the past (steps 1 and 3), calculating an orbit of each virtual space debris piece during fixed point observation by applying a debris orbit propagation model to the virtual space debris piece (step S5), and generating appearance frequency distribution of a motion vector of each virtual space debris piece on the celestial sphere on the basis of a result of the orbit calculation (step S13). The series of the above steps are executed multiple times (step S9, step S11). The method further includes setting a search range vector on the basis of a motion vector having a high level of the appearance frequency distribution of the motion vector, and applying a stacking method to regions in images captured at time intervals during the fixed point observation, the regions being shifted along the search range vector sequentially in the order of capture, thereby detecting space debris appearing on the images (steps S17 to S21).


Patent
Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Kyushu University, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd. | Date: 2012-01-25

There are provided a photosensitive composition, and a cured product of the photosensitive composition, the photosensitive composition being an ultraviolet curable composition that is curable in a short time while a portion of the photosensitive composition such as a dark portion where radicals are not generated at all is curable. A cured product is obtained by curing a photosensitive composition by ultraviolet irradiation, the photosensitive composition containing an ultraviolet curable material, and a chain transfer agent that contains an ingredient (a) that is a compound containing at least one kind selected from the group consisting of a urethane bond, a urea bond and an isocyanate group, and an ingredient (b) that is a metal-containing compound, wherein a portion of the composition where irradiation light does not reach is curable.


News Article | March 15, 2016
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« Kyushu University research group develops new method for creating highly efficient gold nanoparticle catalysts for fuel cells | Main | IEEE approves 802.3bw Ethernet; 100 Mb/s over single twisted-pair driven by needs of automotive industry » Lyft and General Motors launched of their Express Drive short-term rental program exclusive to the Lyft platform. The program will make cars available to Lyft drivers at affordable rates with insurance and maintenance included. Express Drive begins later this month in Chicago and will soon roll out to additional cities including Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore and others. The launch of Express Drive comes two months after GM entered into a strategic alliance with Lyft to develop an integrated on-demand network of autonomous vehicles. (Earlier post.) With Express Drive, the more you drive, the less you pay. Express Drive will start at US$99 per week including insurance and maintenance making Express Drive the most flexible and affordable option. When drivers complete 65 rides a week in Chicago, drivers will be able to access a vehicle at no weekly rental cost. In addition to affordability, Express Drive offers flexible terms for drivers who can rent cars on a weekly basis for up to eight weeks at a time. In Chicago alone, there were 60,000 people who applied to drive on the Lyft platform, but did not have a car that qualified. Express Drive directly addresses this need for millions of Americans who do not have access to a qualifying vehicle. In Chicago, Express Drive will provide access to Chevrolet Equinox crossovers equipped with OnStar, additional connectivity features as well as ample cargo space and flexible seating for up to five.


News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Fukuoka, Japan - A potential solution for addressing climate change is to securely store carbon dioxide underground in reservoirs from which oil was previously extracted, an approach known as carbon sequestration. This is expensive, but the costs can be reduced by extracting any remaining oil from these reservoirs at the same time as introducing the carbon dioxide. However, it has been difficult to determine the most appropriate sites in terms of retaining the carbon dioxide for a long time as well as maximizing the recovery of oil. Research from the International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) at Japan's Kyushu University has now developed a method of simulating a high-pressure mixture of oil, carbon dioxide, and water underground and the extent that it permeates rock, based on images of the rock structure taken at the microscopic level. This approach should help in identifying appropriate sites for applying this technology, thereby increasing the amount of carbon dioxide that can be sequestered and helping impede climate change. For carbon sequestration at sites of spent oil reservoirs, carbon dioxide is injected at such a high pressure that it adopts a fluid-like form called supercritical fluid. There are thus three "fluids": carbon dioxide, water, and oil, at these underground sites, so it is difficult to model their complex behavior. In their study, the researchers used a model called the three-phase lattice-Boltzmann model to predict what will happen to these liquids during carbon sequestration, considering factors such as the size and shapes of empty "pores" within the rock and the levels of saturation of these fluids in the rock. This approach further provides the three-phase relative permeability of natural rocks, although laboratory measurements of this are extremely complicated, costly, and time-consuming. "In carbon sequestration, we can redirect carbon dioxide from sites of major production such as power plants to underground reservoirs, where it should remain for thousands of years," study coauthor Takeshi Tsuji says. "Our method can tell us which storage sites would be best for this. It does this by revealing how much carbon dioxide and oil will pass through the rock at a particular site." Tsuji and author Fei Jiang confirmed the accuracy of this method by testing it with a 3D image of the microstructure of sandstone. The simulation involved setting initial conditions with oil and water present at different levels in the rock, followed by the injection of carbon dioxide at high pressure, after which the changes in the distributions of these three components were predicted. Previous studies were unable to perform such three-phase fluid flow simulation in 3D natural sandstone; therefore this successful simulation in natural rock is an exciting achievement. "The accuracy of the results of our method is very important," Jiang says. "If carbon sequestration practitioners make wrong calculations and choose inappropriate sites, carbon dioxide cannot pass through the rock, and fractures could appear in the rock after the high-pressure injection, which might lead to dangerous emissions at the surface or trigger earthquakes." By improving the efficiency of oil extraction and thus increasing the profitability of this form of carbon sequestration, this method should enable this form of carbon capture to be performed more widely. The article "Estimation of three-phase relative permeability by simulating fluid dynamics directly on rock-microstructure images" was published in Water Resources Research at DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019098.


News Article | March 4, 2016
Site: cen.acs.org

The enzyme MTH1 is a hot cancer drug target. Spurred in part by a pair of 2014 Nature papers that reported MTH1 inhibitors can kill cancer cells (C&EN, April 7, 2014, page 9), more than 20 industry and academic groups have started programs to develop small molecules to shut down the enzyme. In those 2014 papers, the research teams—one led by Thomas Helleday of the Karolinska Institute and the other by Giulio Superti-Furga of CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences—showed that MTH1 inhibitors attack cancer cells by blocking a process that protects the cells from the effects of oxidative stress (Nature 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nature13181and 10.1038/nature13194). Cancer cells operate under oxidative stress, which can kill the cells by damaging their DNA bases. MTH1 prevents the incorporation of bases damaged by oxidation into the DNA replication process, permitting cancer cells to proliferate and thrive. However, new research suggests that blocking MTH1 may not be a deathblow to cancer cells and that the cancer-killing abilities of reported MTH1 inhibitors may not be due to shutting down the enzyme. At an American Association for Cancer Research conference last November and in a follow-up paper (Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2016.02.026), Alessia Petrocchi and coworkers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report a compound that potently inhibits MTH1 activity in cancer cells but doesn’t actually kill the cells. Jason G. Kettle and coworkers at Astra­Zeneca also identified small molecules that block MTH1’s enzymatic action but have limited or zero anticancer activity. When they do kill cancer cells, it’s through “off-target, nonspecific, and MTH1-independent effects on cell growth,” the researchers report (J. Med. Chem. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01760). Furthermore, the team showed that cancer cells remained viable after silencing the MTH1 gene using siRNA or CRISPR. MTH1 inhibitors still killed these cells, further supporting the conclusion that other mechanisms besides MTH1 inhibition are at play. Kettle notes that an additional unpublished study by a “leading U.K. organization also fails to validate the MTH1 mechanism.” The AstraZeneca group concludes that the enzyme’s role in cancer cells and the usefulness of inhibiting it remain uncertain. On the basis of the new findings, more careful study is now needed on MTH1’s role as a cancer drug target, says MTH1 specialist Yusaku Nakabeppu of Kyushu University. Chuan He, an expert on nucleic acid modifications at the University of Chicago, calls the siRNA knockdown and CRISPR knockout data “quite convincing” and agrees that “more work is required to assess the role of MTH1 in cancer cell survival.” But not all researchers in the field are ready to abandon MTH1 just yet. Oxidative stress expert Priyamvada Rai of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine says, “Our independent research consistently supports MTH1 as a valid target in cancer cells that sustain oxidative stress.” Also, the anticancer abilities of molecules cannot always be investigated effectively with cell studies such as those used in the two new papers, says Jessica Martinsson, head of medicinal chemistry at Sweden’s Sprint Bioscience, which has worked on MTH1 inhibitors. Helleday and Superti-Furga still think MTH1 inhibition plays a key role in their compounds’ abilities to attack cancer. Superti-Furga wonders whether the discrepancies between the 2014 papers and the recent reports are due to intricacies in the regulation of the MTH1 pathway, which isn’t well understood. He adds that if MTH1 inhibitors do have effects in the absence of MTH1, then it will be important to find out what the additional targets are. Helleday points out that the new findings are reminiscent of recent developments on another cancer drug target, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). There isn’t a detailed understanding of how inhibiting the enzyme kills cancer cells, he says, but this hasn’t stopped a PARP inhibitor—AstraZeneca’s Lynparza (olaparib)—from being approved by the Food & Drug Administration for treatment of ovarian cancer and getting expedited review status for treatment of prostate cancer. “The underlying MTH1 biology is much more complex than PARP biology,” Helleday says, “so we cannot exclude as-yet-unknown interactions that could act synergistically to produce the impressive cell-killing effects we observe with our compounds. I am convinced that connecting scientists across the world using open innovation, we can solve this complex puzzle together, in time.”


News Article | January 14, 2016
Site: phys.org

A research team led by Takashi Sekiguchi, a leader of the Nano Device Characterization Group, Nano-Electronic Materials Unit, International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan, and Koichi Kakimoto, a professor at the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Japan, has developed a new method to grow high-quality mono silicon at low cost. The research resulted in the invention of a new casting method called a single-seed cast method. It dramatically improved the quality of crystals created compared to conventional casting methods, which potentially leads to the development of more efficient silicon solar cells. As the current conversion efficiency of mainstream silicon-type solar cells has already reached 20%, it is required in future development to increase conversion efficiency even more to add higher value to the cell products. However, this goal is not achievable using conventionally cast polycrystalline silicon. In addition, there is demand for the development of a new silicon material to replace polycrystalline silicon and single-crystal silicon for semiconductors, because dislocation-free single crystal silicon for semiconductors is not adequately competitive pricewise. To address this issue, the research team developed a single-seed cast method, a new silicon casting method using a seed crystal, and succeeded in growing a high-quality single-crystal silicon (mono silicon) ingot with low impurity. In the new casting method, silicon is melted in a crucible, and a single crystal is grown from a small seed crystal. This method is less expensive than the method to create single crystal silicon for semiconductors due to reduced raw material use and manufacturing costs. Moreover, the conversion efficiency of a solar cell prototype created using the crystal grown by this method was as high as 18.7%. This efficiency was very close to the efficiency of dislocation-free single-crystal silicon (Czochralski (Cz) silicon) wafers for semiconductors (18.9%), which were evaluated concurrently. In future studies, the conversion efficiency of mono silicon may exceed that of Cz silicon by further reducing crystal defects and the impact of impurities. It is also feasible to grow an ingot as large as a 50-cm cube using the current facility. As such, the facility is compatible with and can be integrated into the existing production line. In the future, it may be possible to make the solar cell industry market competitive again by transferring this new technology and other technologies derived from it to solar cell manufacturers in Japan. This research was conducted as a part of the NEDO project titled "Development of next-generation high-performance technology for photovoltaic power generation system." This study has been published in the 9-20-2015 issue (Vol. 242) of Solid State Phenomena, and presented at the FY2015 NEDO new energy research report meeting on October 28. Explore further: Team develops new technique for growing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells More information: Takashi Sekiguchi et al. 50 cm Size Seed Cast Si Ingot Growth and its Characterization, Solid State Phenomena (2015). DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/SSP.242.30


Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and colleagues from three other institutions, the technique provides a new way of inducing p-type electrical doping in organic semiconductor films. The process involves briefly immersing the films in a solution at room temperature, and would replace a more complex technique that requires vacuum processing. "Our hope is that this will be a game-changer for organic photovoltaics by further simplifying the process for fabricating polymer-based solar cells," said Bernard Kippelen, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics and a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We believe this technique is likely to impact many other device platforms in areas such as organic printed electronics, sensors, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes." Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the work was reported December 5 in the journal Nature Materials. The research also involved scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kyushu University in Japan, and the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands. The technique consists of immersing thin films of organic semiconductors and their blends in polyoxometalate (PMA and PTA) solutions in nitromethane for a brief time—on the order of minutes. The diffusion of the dopant molecules into the films during immersion leads to efficient p-type electrical doping over a limited depth of 10 to 20 nanometers from the surface of the film. The p-doped regions show increased electrical conductivity and high work function, reduced solubility in the processing solvent, and improved photo-oxidation stability in air. This new method provides a simpler alternative to air-sensitive molybdenum oxide layers used in the most efficient polymer solar cells that are generally processed using expensive vacuum equipment. When applied to polymer solar cells, the new doping method provided efficient hole collection. For the first time, single-layer polymer solar cells were demonstrated by combining this new method with spontaneous vertical phase separation of amine-containing polymers that leads to efficient electron collection at the opposing electrode. The geometry of these new devices is unique as the functions of hole and electron collection are built into the light-absorbing active layer, resulting in the simplest single-layer geometry with few interfaces. "The realization of single-layer photovoltaics with our approach enables both electrodes in the device to be made out of low-cost conductive materials," said Canek Fuentes-Hernandez, a senior research scientist in Kippelen's research group. "This offers a dramatic simplification of a device geometry, and it improves the photo-oxidation stability of the donor polymer. Although lifetime and cost analysis studies are needed to assess the full impact of these innovations, they are certainly very exciting developments on the road to transform organic photovoltaics into a commercial technology." By simplifying the production of organic solar cells, the new processing technique could allow fabrication of solar cells in areas of Africa and Latin America that lack capital-intensive manufacturing capabilities, said Felipe Larrain, a Ph.D. student in Kippelen's lab. "Our goal is to further simplify the fabrication of organic solar cells to the point at which every material required to fabricate them may be included in a single kit that is offered to the public," Larrain said. "The solar cell product may be different if you are able to provide people with a solution that would allow them to make their own solar cells. It could one day enable people to power themselves and be independent of the grid." Organic solar cells have been studied in many academic and industrial laboratories for several decades, and have experienced a continuous and steady improvement in their power conversion efficiency with laboratory values reaching 13 percent - compared to around 20 percent for commercial silicon-based cells. Though polymer-based cells are currently less efficient, they require less energy to produce than silicon cells and can be more easily recycled at the end of their lifetime. "Being able to process solar cells entirely at room temperature using this simple solution-based technique could pave the way for a scalable and vacuum-free method of device fabrication, while significantly reducing the time and cost associated with it," said Vladimir Kolesov, a Ph.D. researcher and the paper's lead author. Beyond solar cells, the doping technique could be more broadly used in other areas of organic electronics, noted Ph.D. researcher Wen-Fang Chou. "With its simplicity, this is truly a promising technology offering adjustable conductivity of semiconductors that could be applied to various organic electronics, and could have huge impact on the industry for mass production." Also at Georgia Tech, the research involved professors Samuel Graham and Seth Marder, both from the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics. Beyond Georgia Tech, the project also involved Naoya Aizawa from Kyushu University; Ming Wang, Guillermo Bazan and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen from the University of California Santa Barbara, and Alberto Perrotta from Eindhoven University of Technology, Explore further: Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells More information: Vladimir A. Kolesov et al. Solution-based electrical doping of semiconducting polymer films over a limited depth, Nature Materials (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nmat4818


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Sending stuffed animals for a sleepover at the library encourages children to read with them, even long after the sleepover took place, say researchers in a new study in Heliyon. For the first time, the study proves stuffed animal sleepovers are an effective way to get children to read. The results also suggest that stuffed animal sleepover programs may help develop children's prosocial behavior by encouraging them to read the books the stuffed animals had chosen during their sleepover. The researchers behind the new study, from Okayama University, Kanazawa University, Osaka Institute of Technology and Kyushu University in Japan, say they hope their results support the global spread of this approach, which has a positive effect on children's reading habits. Stuffed animal sleepover programs are designed to get children interested in picture books. Children take their toys to a library for the night, where the animals search for books they want to read. (At this point, staff and volunteers take photos of the animals exploring the library and reading together.) The next day, the children collect their stuffed animals and the photos of what they did during the night. They're also given the books their animals chose to read. These programs are run all around the world, but until now there was no scientific evidence that they have an impact on reading. The new study reveals for the first time that children who take part in stuffed animal sleepover programs read picture books to their stuffed animals significantly more. "We wanted to know if there really was an effect, and if so, how long it lasts," said lead author Dr. Yoshihiro Okazaki of Okayama University. "Surprisingly, not only did the children show interest in the picture books, but they also began to read to their stuffed animals. This means that a new behavior pattern emerged that the children had not exhibited before; we did not expect anything like this." Reading is important for the development of children's language skills and imagination. When parents read to their children, it is a passive form of reading for the child. But when children read to their stuffed animals, it is a more spontaneous, self-directed form of reading, helping them develop into more active readers. The team organized a "book-night party" - a typical stuffed animal sleepover program - for 42 preschool children. The researchers looked at the children's beh-avior that day, after three days and after one month, to determine the effect and how long it lasts. Before the sleepover the children did not spend time looking at the books in their play area at preschool. Immediately after the sleepover, the number of children who read to the stuffed animals was significantly higher than the number who did not, but after three days the effect had worn off. The researchers also tested an approach for sustaining the effect: they reminded the children of the sleepover a month later, by hiding the stuffed animals and showing them the photos again the next day. This simple method led to a significant increase in the number of children reading to their stuffed animals. "The photographs captured the children's imagination - many children believed the stuffed animals really found the books," said Dr. Okazaki. "But not every child who participated in the program began reading to the stuffed animals. There were individual differences in the results of this program. Because early childhood is the period when children begin to distinguish between fantasy and reality, their tendency to fantasize would be one factor that determines the effect of the stuffed animal sleepover." Article: "The Stuffed Animal Sleepover: Enhancement of Reading and the Duration of the Effect," by Yoshihiro S. Okazaki et al. The article appears in Heliyon (February 2016), published by Elsevier. Heliyon is an online only, fully open access journal from Elsevier publishing quality original research across all disciplines. All Heliyon papers are freely available on both Heliyon.com and ScienceDirect. Heliyon is also indexed on Scopus and PubMed Central, ensuring it reaches the widest possible relevant audience.


News Article | December 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BOSTON - Scientific research over the past decade has concentrated almost exclusively on the 2 percent of the genome's protein coding regions, virtually ignoring the other 98 percent, a vast universe of non-coding genetic material previously dismissed as nothing more than 'junk.' Now, a team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) reveals that one type -- called long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) -- may be critically important for controlling cellular components in a tissue-specific manner. Published online today in the journal Nature, the new research points to an lncRNA's key role in helping control processes related to muscle regeneration and cancer. Long non-coding RNAs appear to be transcribed from our DNA in a similar manner to coding messenger RNAs but are not translated into proteins. While lncRNA molecules do not produce correspondingly lengthy proteins, researchers have wondered whether some of these molecules may contain segments of sequences that can code for very short proteins, or polypeptides. "Whether such small, hidden polypeptides are actually functional, or represent 'translational noise' within the cell is still relatively unclear," said senior author Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, Director of the Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute at BIDMC. "Our team set about trying to understand to what extent lncRNA molecules might actually encode functional polypeptides, and how important such peptides might be." The investigators used computational analyses to predict potential polypeptides that could be encoded by known lncRNA molecules, and then they used mass spectrometry to determine if these putative polypeptides were actually expressed. "With this approach we actually identified many expressed hidden polypeptides and went on to characterize one in particular," Pandolfi explained. This specific lncRNA molecule is termed LINC00961 and encodes a 90 amino acid polypeptide. A variety of molecular and biochemical experiments revealed that the LINC00961 encoded polypeptide played an important role in modulating the activity of the mTORC1 protein complex, which is a critical sensor of nutrient availability within cells. The complex also regulates a variety of cellular processes including translation, metabolism, cell growth, and proliferation, and alterations in its function can lead to diseases such as cancer. Because the LINC00961 polypeptide appeared to specifically block mTORC1's ability to sense stimulation with amino acids, the investigators named the peptide encoded by the lncRNA SPAR (Small regulatory Polypeptide of Amino acid Response). Pandolfi and his team found that the SPAR encoding lncRNA is highly expressed in a number of tissue types, including muscle. Experiments conducted in mice demonstrated that through its effects on mTORC1, the SPAR polypeptide helps regulate the muscle's ability to regenerate and repair after injury. Specifically, expression of LINC00961 is blocked following muscle injury in mice, leading to reduced levels of SPAR and maximal mTORC1 activity to promote tissue regeneration. "The experimental approach we used allowed us to eliminate expression of the SPAR polypeptide, while maintaining expression of the host lncRNA," said lead author Akinobu Matsumoto, PhD, research fellow at the Cancer Center at BIDMC and lead author of the study. "We are able to ascribe this function to the coding function of the lncRNA rather than any non-coding function it may also have." The findings suggest that therapeutic strategies that restrict expression of SPAR in injured muscle may promote a more rapid regeneration of tissue. The results suggest that lncRNAs may have diverse roles and functions. Although they may not code for large proteins, lncRNAs may produce small polypeptides that can fine tune the activity of critical cellular components. The findings also expand the repertoire of peptide-coding genes in the human genome that should be studied and annotated. The study also provides insights on how mTORC1 activity may be attuned to meet the distinct needs of a specific tissue. "An ability to target such modulators could be of great advantage from a therapeutic perspective, allowing for control of mTORC1 activity in cells or tissues that express such modulators while not affecting its activity and function in other tissue and cell types," explained co-author John Clohessy, PhD, Instructor in Medicine at BIDMC and a senior member of Pandolfi's research team. Indeed, a key feature of many lncRNAs is that their expression is often highly tissue-specific. Thus, targeting small polypeptides encoded by lncRNA molecules may provide the key to regulating common cellular components in a tissue-specific manner. Because the mTORC1 complex is frequently deregulated in conditions such as cancer, the research team is now seeking to determine if SPAR can influence additional cellular functions of mTORC1 that might be involved in different diseases. "We are very excited about this discovery," said Pandolfi. "It represents a new and startling mechanism by which important sensory pathways can be regulated within cells, and we believe it will have important implications for how we approach the design of therapies and treatments in the future." Study coauthors include BIDMC investigators Akinobu Matsumoto, Alessandra Pasut, Jacqueline Fung, Emanuele Monteleone, and John G. Clohessy. Other co-investigators include Masaki Matsumoto and Keiichi I. Nakayama of Kyushu University, Riu Yamashita of Tohoku University, and Alan Saghatelian of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health grants R01 CA082328 and R35 CA197529. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding. BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit http://www. .


« Extremely selective and productive catalyst to produce isobutanol from methanol-ethanol mixtures | Main | Lyft and GM launch “Express Drive” short-term rental program in Chicago » A team of researchers at Kyushu University’s International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) reports devising a method for using a new type of catalyst support for highly active gold nanoparticle catalysts for fuel cells. An open access paper on the work is published in Scientific Reports. In the search for non-platinum electrocatalysts for fuel cells, gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) have attracted a great deal of interest due to their very high catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), despite the inertness of bulk gold. Further, small-sized Au-NPs have been shown to have excellent tolerance to methanol oxidation—meaning that methanol poisoning can be ignored, an ideal attribute for practical applications, especially in the cathode in the direct methanol alkaline fuel cells. However, actually creating uniformly sized gold nanoparticle catalysts has proven problematic. Previous fabrication methods have produced catalysts with nanoparticle sizes that were too large or too widely distributed for practical use. Meanwhile, efforts to regulate the particle size tended to restrict the gold’s activity or make less-stable catalysts. The researchers wrapped a graphene support in a specially prepared polymer to provide an ideal foundation for making uniform, highly active gold nanoparticle catalysts. The team also tested the performance of these novel catalyst structures. Their catalysts had the lowest overpotential ever reported for this type of reaction. The overpotential is a bit like the size of the spark you need to start a fire. Although we’re obviously pleased with the catalysts’ uniformity, the performance results show this really could be a leap forward for the ORR reaction and maybe fuel cells as well. Although novel in its own right, this recent publication is the latest in a chain of developments that the interdisciplinary teams at I2CNER have been carrying out to develop fuel cells and other clean technologies. The array of technologies that ICNER’s research aims to enable includes Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Polymer Membrane based fuel cells, biomimetic and other novel catalyst concepts, and production, storage, and utilization of hydrogen as a fuel.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

A detailed protocol for oocyte production from pluripotent stem cells is available on the Nature Protocol Exchange at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/protex.2016.065. No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size. The experiments were not randomized. The investigators were not blinded to allocation during experiments and outcome assessment. All animal experiments were performed under the ethical guidelines of Kyushu University (the approval numbers A26-260-0 and A28-109-0). ICR, C57Bl/6J and 129X1/svj mice were purchased from Japan SLC. 129X1/svj females were mated with C57Bl/6J males to obtain hybrid mice (129X1/svj × C57Bl/6J). Pregnant females were killed by cervical dislocation to obtain E12.5 embryos. From female embryos, the gonads were isolated and then dissociated for rOvary formation20. Two independent ESC lines bearing the BVSC reporter constructs, BVSCH18 and BVSCH14, were used in this study. Both ESC lines were established in our laboratory from the blastocysts collected from independent pairs of 129+Ter/svj (agouti) females and C57BL/6 BVSC males8. These ESC lines were maintained under a 2i+LIF condition without feeders17. For generation of iPSCs, MEFs and TTFs were obtained from E12.5 female embryos and 10-week-old female mice, respectively. Both embryos and mice were derived from mating between 129X1/svj (chinchilla) female and C57BL/6 BVSC males. Preparation of MEFs and TTFs and establishment of iPSCs in our laboratory were performed as described previously21, 22 with slight modifications. Briefly, for MEF preparation, the embryos were minced, digested by trypsin-EDTA (Invitrogen), and then cultured in DMEM containing 10% FBS supplemented with 2 mM glutamine and 1× penicillin/streptomycin (MEF medium). For TTF preparation, the tails were cut, their epidermises were removed and the remaining tails were minced into about 1 cm pieces. They were then cultured with MF-start medium (Toyobo) for 5 days. The cells migrating out from the tail were cultured in MEF medium. MEFs and TTFs were reprogrammed to iPSCs by introducing retroviral vectors containing the four genes (pMXs-Pou5f1, pMXs-Sox2, pMXs-Klf4 and pMXs-c-Myc). MEFs and TTFs were cultured in MEF medium for four days and then were reseeded on STO feeder cells. One day after the reseed, the medium was changed to Knockout DMEM (Invitrogen) supplemented with 15% KnockOut Serum Replacement (KSR; Invitrogen), 2 mM glutamine, 1 mM non-essential amino acids, 55 μM 2-mercaptoethanol, 103 U ml−1 leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF), and 1× penicillin/streptomycin. The medium was changed every other day. When ES-like colonies emerged, which usually took more than 14 days after infection, the medium was changed to 2i+LIF. ES-like colonies were picked up and propagated in 2i+LIF. These iPSC lines were maintained under a 2i+LIF condition without feeders. The ESC and iPSC lines in this study have not been tested for mycoplasma contamination. PGCLCs were differentiated from ESCs or iPSCs as described previously20, purified by FACSAria II (BD Bioscience) and aggregated with E12.5 female gonadal somatic cells in a low-binding U-bottom 96-well plate (NUNC) for 2 days of culture in GK15 supplemented with 1 μM retinoic acid. To strictly remove residual PGCs from dissociated gonadal cells, both SSEA1 and CD31 antibodies (Miltenyi Biotech) were used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 5,000 PGCLCs were cultured with 50,000 gonadal somatic cells to produce one reconstituted ovary. Reconstituted ovaries were placed on Transwell-COL membranes (Coaster) soaked in αMEM-based IVDi medium: αMEM supplemented with 2% FCS, 150 μM ascorbic acid (Sigma), 1× Glutamax, 1× penicillin/streptomycin and 55 μM 2-mercaptoethanol (Life Technologies). At 4 days of culture, the culture medium was changed to StemPro-34-based IVDi medium: StemPro-34 SFM (Life Technologies) supplemented with 10% FCS, 150 μM ascorbic acid, 1× Glutamax, 1× penicillin/streptomycin and 55 μM 2-mercaptoethanol. From 7 days to 10 days of culture, 500 nM ICI182780 was added to the StemPro-34-based IVDi medium. At 21 days of culture, individual 2FLs were manually dissociated using sharpened tungsten needles. Electrically sharpened tungsten needles were used for the isolation of individual 2FLs. Interstitial cells between 2FLs were carefully removed. The 2FLs were separated from the rOvary and placed at largely regular intervals. The single 2FLs on the Transwell-COL membranes were soaked in IVG-αMEM medium: αMEM supplemented with 5% FCS, 2% polyvinylpyrrolidone (Sigma), 150 μM ascorbic acid, 1× Glutamax, 1× penicillin/streptomycin, 100 μM 2-mercaptoethanol, 55 μg ml−1 sodium pyruvate (Nacalai Tesque), 0.1 IU ml−1 follicule-stimulating hormone (Follistim; MSD), 15 ng ml−1 BMP15 and 15 ng ml−1 GDF9 (R&D Systems). At 2 days of culture, BMP15 and GDF9 were withdrawn from the medium and then follicles were incubated in 0.1% TypeIV Collagenase (MP Biomedicals). After washing with αMEM supplemented with 5% FCS several times, the follicles were cultured in IVG-αMEM without BMP15 and GDF9. At 11 days of culture, cumulus–oocyte complexes grown on the membrane were picked up by a fine glass capillary. Cumulus–oocyte complexes were transferred to IVM medium: αMEM supplemented with 5% FCS, 25 μg ml−1 sodium pyruvate, 1× penicillin/streptomycin, 0.1 IU ml−1 follicular-stimulating hormone, 4 ng ml−1 EGF, and 1.2 IU ml−1 hCG (gonadotropin; ASKA). At 16 h of culture, swollen cumulus cells were stripped from the oocytes by treating with hyaluronidase (Sigma), and then MII oocytes were determined by 1st polar body extrusion. Due to concerns of damages from a short-wavelength light (405 nm) for detection of SC, a small number of SC-negative oocytes (an estimated 5% of total oocytes) were not removed but subjected simultaneously to the following IVF experiments. For experiments that need to purify SC-positive oocytes, such as analyses of the diameters, imprinting gene loci, the chromosome number and transcriptome, SC-positive oocytes were carefully collected under a fluorescent microscopy with the short-wavelength light. The contamination rate of the endogenous ICR MII oocytes resulted from the selection in these experiments. MII oocytes were subjected to IVF as described previously and then fertilized eggs were cultured in HTF medium (ARK Resource). 2-cell embryos were transferred into the oviduct of 0.5 days post coitum (d.p.c.) pseudopregnant ICR females. Some of the 2-cell embryos were cultured in KSOM (ARK Resource) for 4 days until the blastocyst stage. Newborns were delivered from the mother by Caesarean section and nursed by surrogate ICR mothers. A directional RNA-seq library was constructed as described previously23. Briefly, poly(A)+ RNAs were purified from 100–15,000 cells or oocytes (ESCs, 10,000–13,200; PGCLC-d6, 10,000; PGCLC-agg3, 5,300–15,000; vitro-2nd and vivo-2nd: 337–12; vitro-MII and vivo-MII: 99-134), using a Dynabeads mRNA DIRECT Micro Kit (Invitrogen). For vitro-2nd and vitro-MII, SC-positive oocytes were collected under a fluorescence microscopy. Biologically triplicated samples were prepared in each stage. Purified RNAs were subjected to library construction using a NEBNext Ultra Directional RNA Library Prep Kit for Illumina (NEB). cDNAs were enriched by 12-cycle PCR. Sequencing of the libraries was performed with HiSeq2000 (Illumina). Obtained reads were processed with the FASTX tool kit24 to remove short (<20 bp) and low quality (quality score <20) reads, followed by trimming of the adaptor sequence. Processed reads were mapped to the mouse mm10 genome using TopHat2/Bowtie225. Cuffdiff26, a program in the Cufflinks software, and QuasR27, a Bioconductor package, were used for the differential gene and repetitive sequence expression analyses. Hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis were performed with R, based on RefSeq gene expression levels. Derivation of rESCs was performed using 2i+LIF17 medium. Briefly, fertilized eggs derived from in-vitro-generated oocytes were cultured in KSOM until the blastocyst stage. The blastocysts were placed on MMC-treated mouse embryonic fibroblasts and cultured in 2i+LIF. After 5 to 7 days of culture, colonies were picked up and passaged several times to establish rESCs. During establishment, rESCs were passaged on a culture plate coated with 300 ng ml−1 laminin (BD Bioscience) to remove mouse embryonic fibroblasts. rESCs were injected into the wild-type blastocysts. The blastocysts were transferred into the uterus of 2.5 d.p.c. pseudopregnant females and the embryos were collected at 10 days after transplantation. The embryos and their gonads were observed under a fluorescent microscope (SZX16; Olympus). For analysis of the contribution of rESCs to various tissues, the neural tube, lung, heart, liver, intestine and tail were collected and subjected to PCR analyses. Genomic DNAs isolated from the tails of offspring, rESC lines and fetal tissues were subjected to PCR amplification using the primers (Supplementary Table 2). For sexing, PCR reaction amplified a 253 bp fragment from the X chromosome and 355 bp and 399 bp fragments from the Y chromosome. PCR products were resolved through electrophoresis in agarose gels and illuminated by ethidium bromide (EtBr). Genomic DNAs were isolated from more than 200 SC-positive MII oocytes generated in vitro and wild-type MII oocytes in vivo, and from tails of offspring from in-vitro-derived oocytes and wild-type mice. Bisulfite reactions were performed using a Methylamp DNA Modification Kit (Epigentek). For COBRA analysis, the DMRs of H19, Igf2r, Peg3 and Snrpn were amplified with specific primers (Supplementary Table 2), as described previously28, 29. The amplified DNA was digested with the following restriction enzymes (NEB): PvuI-HF for H19, HpyCH4IV for Igf2r and Peg3, and AciI for Snrpn. The digested samples were resolved through electrophoresis in 2% or 3% agarose gels and illuminated by EtBr. The PCR products were subcloned into the pGEM-T Easy vector (Promega) and were sequenced. For bisulfite sequencing of genomic DNA from oocytes, PCR amplification of the DMRs of H19 and Igf2r was carried out as described previously13. The PCR products were subcloned into the pGEM-T Easy vector (Promega) and were sequenced. The sequences were analysed and aligned by QUMA software30. For whole-mount immunofluorescence analysis, rOvaries were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for 1 h at room temperature, washed three times in PBST (PBS containing 0.2% Triton X-100), soaked in blocking buffer (PBS containing 0.1% BSA and 0.3% Triton X-100) overnight at 4 °C, and then incubated with primary antibodies (anti-GFP rat monoclonal antibody (mAb) (Nakalai 04404-84) cross-reactive to BV and SC, and anti-Foxl2 goat polyclonal antibody (pAb) (Novus Biologicals NB100-1277) or anti-laminin rabbit pAb (Abcam ab11575)) in the blocking buffer overnight at 4 °C. After washing five times in PBST, the rOvaries were incubated with secondary antibodies (anti-rat IgG donkey pAb Alexa488 and anti-goat IgG donkey pAb Alexa568 or anti-rabbit IgG donkey pAb Alexa568) and DAPI in the blocking buffer overnight at 4 °C. The rOvaries were washed five times in PBST and mounted in Fluo-KEEPER antifade reagent (Nakalai). Immunofluorescence of the chromosome in meiotic prophase I was performed as described previously31 with slight modifications. Briefly, for the chromosome in meiotic prophase I, rOvaries were dissociated by incubation in CTK (0.1 mg ml−1 collagenase IV, 0.25% Trypsin, 20% KSR and 1 mM CaCl in PBS) for 30 min at 37 °C, followed by Accutase (Nakalai) for 5 min at 37 °C. Dissociated single cells were suspended in hypotonic buffer and placed on glass slides. Slides were washed three times in PBS, soaked in blocking buffer (PBS containing 10% FBS) for 1 h at room temperature and then incubated with primary antibodies (anti-SCP1 rabbit pAb (Novus Biologicals NB300-ss9) and anti-SCP3 mouse mAb (Abcam ab97672)) overnight at 4 °C. After washing three times in PBS containing 0.05% Tween20, the slides were incubated with secondary antibodies (anti-rabbit IgG goat pAb Alexa568 and anti-mouse IgG donkey pAb Alexa647), washed three times in PBS containing 0.05% Tween20, and then incubated with anti-γH2AXSer139 mouse mAb directly conjugated with FITC (Millipore 16-202A) and DAPI. The slides were washed three times in PBS containing 0.05% Tween20 and mounted in Fluo-KEEPER antifade reagent (Nakalai). Immunofluorescence of the chromosome in MII oocytes was performed as described previously32. The primary antibodies used were anti-centromere human pAb (Antibodies Incorporated 15-235-001) and anti-H3K9me3 rabbit pAb (Millipore 07-442). The secondary antibodies used were anti-human IgG donkey pAb Alexa488 and anti-rabbit IgG goat pAb Alexa568. All immunofluorescence samples were analysed by a confocal microscope (Zeiss LSM700).


News Article | December 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Reproducibility is a necessity for science but has often eluded researchers studying the lifetime of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Recent research from Japan sheds new light on why: impurities present in the vacuum chamber during fabrication but in amounts so small that they are easily overlooked. Organic light-emitting diodes use a stack of organic layers to convert electricity into light, and these organic layers are most commonly fabricated by heating source materials in vacuum to evaporate and deposit them onto a lower temperature substrate. While issues affecting the efficiency of OLEDs are already well understood, a complete picture of exactly how and why OLEDs degrade and lose brightness over time is still missing. Complicating matters is that devices fabricated with seemingly the same procedures and conditions but by different research groups often degrade at vastly different rates even when the initial performance is the same. Unable to attribute these reproducibility issues to known sources such as the amount of residual water in the chamber and the purity of the starting materials, a report published online in Scientific Reports on December 13, 2016, adds a new piece to the puzzle by focusing on the analysis of the environment in the vacuum chamber. "Although we often idealize vacuums as being clean environments, we detected many impurities floating in the vacuum even when the deposition chamber is at room temperature," says lead author Hiroshi Fujimoto, chief researcher at Fukuoka i3-Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (i3-OPERA) and visiting associate professor of Kyushu University. Because of these impurities in the deposition chamber, the researchers found that the time until an OLED under operation dims by a given amount because of degradation, known as the lifetime, sharply increased for OLEDs that spent a shorter time in the deposition chamber during fabrication. This trend remained even after considering changes in residual water and source material purity, indicating the importance of controlling and minimizing the device fabrication time, a rarely discussed parameter. Research partners at Sumika Chemical Analysis Service Ltd. (SCAS) confirmed an increase of accumulated impurities with time by analyzing the materials that deposited on extremely clean silicon wafers that were stored in the deposition chamber when OLED materials were not being evaporated. Using a technique called liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, the researchers found that many of the impurities could be traced to previously deposited materials and plasticizers from the vacuum chamber components. "Really small amounts of these impurities get incorporated into the fabricated devices and are causing large changes in the lifetime," says Professor Chihaya Adachi, director of Kyushu University's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA), which also took part in the study. In fact, the new results suggest that the impurities amount to less than even a single molecular layer. To improve lifetime reproducibility, a practice often adopted in industry is the use of dedicated deposition chambers for specific materials, but this can be difficult in academic labs, where often only a limited number of deposition systems are available for testing a wide variety of new materials. In these cases, deposition chamber design and cleaning in addition to control of the deposition time are especially important. "This is an excellent reminder of just how careful we need to be to do good, reproducible science," comments Professor Adachi. For more information, see "Influence of vacuum chamber impurities on the lifetime of organic light-emitting diodes," Scientific Reports 6, 38482 (2016); doi: 10.1038/srep38482. This work was performed by research groups at Kyushu University's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA), the Fukuoka i3-Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (i3-OPERA), and the Institute of System, Information Technology and Nanotechnology (ISIT) in cooperation with Sumika Chemical Analysis Service Ltd. (SCAS). This research is ongoing in part under the Adachi Molecular Exciton Engineering Project funded by the Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) program of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).


News Article | September 28, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size. Experiments were not randomized, and investigators were not blinded to allocation during experiments and outcome assessment. The 5′ and 3′ regions of homology in the targeting vector for Chd8 consisted of a 5.5-kb fragment spanning introns 4 and 10 and a 1.2-kb fragment of intron 13 and exon 14, respectively. The neomycin-resistance gene (neo) flanked by loxP sites was isolated from the plasmid pL2-Neo(2) (provided by D. R. Littman)31 and inserted downstream of exon 13 of Chd8. A loxP site was also inserted upstream of exon 11. Embryonic stem cell clones that had undergone homologous recombination were transfected with pMC-Cre (provided by D. R. Littman) to excise the loxP-neo cassette and target region. Mutant cells were then microinjected into C57BL/6 blastocysts, and the resulting chimaeras were mated with C57BL/6 mice. Offspring were backcrossed onto the C57BL/6J line for at least nine generations. Most experiments were performed with male littermates produced by WT × heterozygote (Chd8+/∆SL or Chd8+/∆L) crosses. All animals were maintained under specific pathogen–free conditions, and all experiments were approved by the animal ethics committee of Kyushu University. Complementary DNAs encoding human CHD8 and FOXP1, each tagged with the Flag epitope at its NH -terminus, were subcloned into pcDNA3 (Invitrogen). Rabbit polyclonal antibodies to pan-CHD8 were generated in-house and used for immunoblot analysis, and a rat monoclonal antibody to CHD8 was used for ChIP, immunoblot and immunoprecipitation. Anti-CHD8 monoclonal antibody was generated by the lymph-node method32 with the use of a fusion protein of mouse CHD8 and glutathione S-transferase (GST) synthesized in Escherichia coli strain BL21(DE3)pLys(S) (Novagen). Antibodies to CHD8 (A301-224A and A301-225A) were obtained from Bethyl Laboratories, those to REST (07-579 and 17-641) were from Merck Millipore, those to Flag (F3165) were from Sigma–Aldrich, and those to Hsp90 (610419, loading control) were from BD Biosciences. The specificity of in-house CHD8 antibodies was verified in this study, and that of other antibodies was verified in 1DegreeBio (http://1degreebio.org/) or our previous studies12, 13. HEK293T cells (human embryonic kidney cell line) were cultured under an atmosphere of 5% CO at 37 °C in DMEM (Invitrogen) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (Invitrogen). The cells were transfected with vectors with the use of FuGENE6 (Roche). Cell lysis, immunoprecipitation and immunoblot analysis were performed as described previously33. Immunoblot signals were quantified with the use of ImageQuant TL software (GE Healthcare Life Sciences). Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were treated with cycloheximide (100 μg ml−1) to inhibit protein synthesis and harvested at the indicated times thereafter for immunoblot analysis. Total RNA (1 μg) isolated from mouse brain tissue with the use of Isogen (Nippon Gene) was subjected to reverse transcription (RT) with a QuantiTect Reverse Transcription Kit (Qiagen), and the resulting cDNA was subjected to quantitative PCR analysis with the use of SYBR Green PCR Master Mix and specific primers in a StepOnePlus Real-Time PCR System (Applied Biosystems). PCR primer sequences (sense and antisense, respectively) were as follows: Chd8 , 5′-CAGATGAGACACTTCTTTCATGAA-3′ and 5′-TTCTCCGCGCCCAACTCAC-3′; Chd8 , 5′-TCCCTTTTTGGTCATTGCTC-3′ and 5′-TTCAGCCTATGGGCTTCATC-3′; Rest, 5′-ACCGGGTCAGGATCTTCTCA-3′ and 5′-GCCCTGTTAGGGAAACCTCC-3′; and Rplp0, 5′-GGACCCGAGAAGACCTCCTT-3′ and 5′-GCACATCACTCAGAATTTCAATGG-3′. The amount of Chd8 or Rest mRNA was normalized to that of Rplp0 mRNA. Computed tomography was performed with the use of a Latheta LCT-100 machine (ALOKA). The adult male mouse brain at 9 weeks of age was scanned at 0.5-mm intervals. Brain volume was measured with the use of Latheta software (version 3.00, ALOKA). A gastrointestinal transit test was performed essentially as described previously34. Adult male mice at 9 weeks of age were deprived of food for 12 h with free access to water, after which 200 μl of a charcoal marker (10% charcoal, 5% gum arabic) was administered by oral gavage. Mice were killed 30 min later, and the intestine from the region of the pyloric sphincter to the ileo-caecal junction was removed for measurement (without stretching) of the length of the intestine and distance travelled by the marker. Chd8 mutant or wild-type mice were group-housed (three or four animals per cage) in a room with a 12-h-light, 12-h-dark cycle (lights on at 7:00) and with access to food and water ad libitum. Behavioural tests were performed with male mice at 12–50 weeks of age between 9:00 and 18:00 as described previously35, 36, 37, unless indicated otherwise. Each apparatus was cleaned with dilute sodium hypochlorite solution before testing of each animal to prevent bias due to olfactory cues. A wire-hang test apparatus (O’Hara & Co.) was used to assess balance and grip strength. The apparatus consists of a box (21.5 × 22 × 23 cm) with a wire-mesh grid (10 × 10 cm) on top that can be inverted. The male mice at 12–50 weeks of age were placed on the wire mesh, which was then inverted, causing the animal to grip the wire. The latency to the mouse falling was recorded, with a 60-s cutoff time. Motor coordination and balance were tested with the rotarod test. The mouse was placed on a rotating drum with a diameter of 3 cm (Accelerating Rotarod; UGO Basile), and the time that each animal was able to maintain its balance on the rod during its acceleration from 4 to 40 r.p.m. over 5 min was measured. The hot-plate test was used to evaluate sensitivity to a painful stimulus. The male mice at 13–16 weeks of age were placed on a hot plate at 55.0° ± 0.3 °C (Columbus Instruments), and the latency to the first hind-paw response (foot shake or paw lick) was recorded, with a cutoff time of 15 s. Each male mouse at 12–16 weeks of age was placed in the corner of an open-field apparatus (40 × 40 × 30 cm; Accuscan Instruments), which was illuminated at 100 lx. Total distance travelled, vertical activity (rearing, measured by counting the number of photobeam interruptions), and time spent in the central area (20 × 20 cm) were recorded over 120 min. The apparatus for the light-dark transition test consisted of a cage (21 × 42 × 25 cm) that was divided into two sections of equal size by a partition with a door (O’Hara & Co.). One chamber was made of white plastic and brightly illuminated, whereas the other was black and dark. The male mice at 12–15 weeks of age were placed in the dark side and allowed to move freely between the two chambers with the door open for 10 min. The number of transitions between the two compartments, latency to first entry into the light chamber, distance travelled, and time spent in each chamber were recorded with the use of ImageLD software (see ‘Data analysis’ below). The apparatus consisted of two open arms (25 × 5 cm) and two enclosed arms of the same size with 15-cm-high transparent walls (O’Hara & Co.). The arms and central square were made of white plastic plates and were elevated to a height of 55 cm above the floor. The likelihood of animals falling from the apparatus was minimized by attachment of 3-mm-high plastic ledges to the open arms. Arms of the same type were arranged on opposite sides. Each male mouse at 13–16 weeks of age was placed in the central square of the maze (5 × 5 cm) facing one of the closed arms, and its behaviour was recorded over 10 min. The number of entries into and the time spent in the open and enclosed arms were measured with the use of ImageEP software (see ‘Data analysis’). A startle-reflex measurement system (O’Hara & Co.) was used to measure startle response and prepulse inhibition (PPI). Each male mouse at 16–19 weeks of age was placed in a Plexiglas cylinder and left undisturbed for 10 min. White noise (40 ms) was used as the startle stimulus for all trial types. The startle response was recorded for 400 ms (with measurement of the response every 1 ms) starting with the onset of the startle stimulus. The background noise level in the chamber was 70 dB. The peak startle amplitude recorded during the 140-ms sampling window was measured. A test session consisted of six trial types (two types for startle stimulus–only trials and four types for PPI trials). The intensity of the startle stimulus was 110 or 120 dB. The prepulse sound (74 or 78 dB) was presented 100 ms before the startle stimulus. Four combinations of prepulse and startle stimuli (74 and 110, 78 and 110, 74 and 120, and 78 and 120 dB) were applied. Six blocks of the six trial types were presented in pseudorandom order such that each trial type was presented once within a block. The average intertrial interval was 15 s (range, 10 to 20 s). The forced-alternation task was performed with an automatic T-maze38 constructed of white plastic runways with walls 25 cm in height. The maze is partitioned into six areas by sliding doors that open downward. The stem of the T comprises area S2 (13 × 24 cm), and the arms of the T comprise areas A1 and A2 (11.5 × 20.5 cm). Areas P1 and P2 are connecting passageways from each arm (A1 or A2) to the starting compartment (area S1). The end of each arm is equipped with a pellet dispenser for provision of a food reward. Pellet sensors automatically record pellet intake by the mouse. One week before pretraining, the male mice at 42–46 weeks of age were deprived of food until its body weight was reduced to 80 to 85% of the initial value. It was then fed a maintenance diet throughout the course of all T-maze experiments. Before the first trial, the animal was subjected to a 30-min habituation session, during which it was allowed to freely explore the T-maze with all doors open and both arms baited with food. Beginning 1 day after habituation, the animal was subjected to daily pretraining. With all the doors closed and a pellet deposited in the food tray, the mouse was placed in area A1. After it had consumed the pellet or after 5 min had elapsed without pellet consumption, the mouse was transferred to area A2 and the process was repeated. Such pretraining was repeated five times a day and continued until the animal consumed more than 80% of the pellets provided during a day. Beginning on the day after completion of pretraining, the mouse was subjected to a forced-alternation protocol for 8 days (one session consisting of 10 pairs of training trials per day, with a cutoff time of 50 min). For the first (sample) trial of each pair, the mouse was forced to choose one of the arms of the T (A1 or A2) and received a reward at the end of the arm. After the mouse had consumed the pellet or it had stayed for >10 s without consuming the pellet, the door separating the arm (A1 or A2) and connecting passageway (P1 or P2) was opened to allow the mouse to return to the starting compartment (S1). The mouse was then given a 3-s delay followed by a free choice between the two T arms and was rewarded for choosing the arm that was not selected for the first trial of the pair. Choosing the incorrect arm resulted in no reward and confinement to the arm for 10 s. The location of the sample arm (left or right) was varied in a pseudorandom manner across trials with the use of a Gellermann schedule so that each mouse received equal numbers of left and right presentations. Various fixed extramaze cues surrounded the apparatus. On days 6–8, a delay (3, 10, 30 or 60 s) was applied between the forced- and free-choice trials of each pair. Data acquisition and analysis were performed automatically with ImageTM software (see ‘Data analysis’). The left–right discrimination task was performed with an automatic T-maze38 and after food deprivation as described above for the forced-alternation task. On the day after completion of the forced-alternation task, male mice at 44–48 weeks of age were subjected to the left-right discrimination task for 16 days (one session consisting of 10 trials, two sessions per day, with a cutoff time of 50 min). The animal was able to freely choose either the right or left arm of the T-maze (A1 or A2), with the correct arm being randomly assigned to each mouse. If it chose the correct arm, it received a reward at the end of the arm. Selection of the incorrect arm resulted in no reward and confinement to the arm for 10 s. After the mouse had consumed the pellet or stayed in the arm for >30 s without consuming the pellet, the door that separated the arm (A1 or A2) and connecting passageway (P1 or P2) was opened to allow the mouse to return to the starting compartment (S1). On the day 12, the correct arm was changed for reversal learning. A variety of fixed extramaze clues surrounded the apparatus. Data acquisition and analysis were performed automatically with ImageTM software (see ‘Data analysis’). In the social-interaction test, two male mice at 13–17 weeks of age of identical genotypes that were previously housed in different cages were placed together in a box (40 × 40 × 30 cm) and allowed to explore freely for 10 min. Analysis was performed automatically with the use of ImageSI software (see ‘Data analysis’). The total number of contacts, total contact duration, mean duration per contact, and total duration of active contacts were measured. Images were captured at a rate of three frames per second, and the distance travelled between two successive frames was determined for each mouse. If the two mice contacted each other and the distance travelled by either mouse was >10 cm, then the behaviour was considered an active contact. Active contacts included sniffing and following behaviour. The testing apparatus consisted of a rectangular, three-chambered box with a lid fitted with an infrared video camera (O’Hara & Co.). Each chamber measured 20 × 40 × 22 cm, and the dividing walls were made from clear Plexiglas, with small rectangular openings (5 × 3 cm) allowing access into each chamber. An unfamiliar male mouse (stranger 1) that had had no prior contact with the subject mouse was placed in one of the side chambers. The location of stranger 1 in the left versus right side chamber was systematically alternated between trials. The stranger mouse was enclosed in a small, round wire cage that allowed nose contact between the bars but prevented fighting. The cage was 11 cm in height, with a bottom diameter of 9 cm and vertical bars 0.5 cm apart. The subject mouse was first placed in the middle chamber and allowed to explore the entire test box for 10 min. The amount of time spent around the cage was measured with the aid of the camera fitted on top of the box in order to quantify social preference for stranger 1. A second unfamiliar male mouse (stranger 2) enclosed in an identical small wire cage was then placed in the chamber that had been empty during the first session. The test mouse thus had a choice between the first, already-investigated unfamiliar mouse (stranger 1) and the novel unfamiliar mouse (stranger 2). The amount of time spent around each cage during a second 10-min session was measured as before. All the mice used in this test were at 14–19 weeks of age. Data acquisition and analysis were performed automatically with the use of ImageCSI software (see ‘Data analysis’). This test was conducted in a manner similar to that for the sociability and social-novelty preference test. An unfamiliar male mouse (stranger) that had had no prior contact with the subject mouse as well as a cagemate of the subject mouse were placed in the side chambers. The test mouse thus had a choice between an unfamiliar mouse (stranger) and a familiar mouse (cagemate). All the mice used in this test were at 47–50 weeks of age. The Barnes maze test was performed on ‘dry land’, a white circular surface, 1.0 m in diameter, with 12 holes equally spaced around the perimeter (O’Hara & Co.). The circular open field was elevated 75 cm from the floor. A black Plexiglas escape box (17 × 13 × 7 cm) containing paper cage-bedding on its floor was located under one of the holes. The hole above the escape box represented the target, analogous to the hidden platform in the Morris task. The location of the target was consistent for a given mouse but was randomized across mice. The maze was rotated daily, with the spatial location of the target unchanged with respect to visual room cues, to prevent bias based on olfactory or proximal cues within the maze. Three trials per day were conducted. A probe trial was performed without the escape box at 24 h after the last training session to confirm that this spatial task was dependent on navigation based on distal environmental cues in the room. The location of the target for each mouse was then shifted to the opposite side of the circular surface, and the same protocol for training and probe trials was followed. All the mice used in this test were male at 17–21 weeks of age. Latency to reach the target hole, number of errors, and the time spent around each hole were recorded with the use of ImageBM software (see ‘Data analysis’). The grooming test was performed as previously described16. Each male mouse at 14–17 weeks of age was placed individually into a new standard cage. After a 10-min habituation period, the animal was videotaped for a 10-min test period and the time spent engaged in grooming behaviour (paw licking, body grooming or scratching, and head, hind leg or genital washing) was determined. Each male mouse at 17–20 weeks of age was housed individually in cages containing paper-chip bedding and one square of pressed cotton (Nestlet; Ancare). No other nesting material was present. After 1 h, manipulation of the Nestlet and the constitution of the built nest were assessed according to a five-point scale as described previously39: (1) Nestlet not noticeably touched; (2) Nestlet partially torn; (3) Nestlet mostly shredded but with no identifiable nest site; (4) an identifiable but flat nest; and (5) a (near) perfect nest. The apparatus consisted of four Plexiglas cylinders (20 cm in height and 10 cm in diameter) that were filled with dilute sodium hypochlorite solution at 23 °C up to a height of 7.5 cm. Each male mouse at 16–20 weeks of age was placed in the cylinders, and immobility time was recorded over a 10-min test period. Images were captured at a rate of two frames per second. For each pair of successive frames, the area (number of pixels) within which the mouse moved was measured. When this area was below a certain threshold, the mouse was judged to be immobile. When the area equalled or exceeded the threshold, the mouse was considered to be moving. The optimal threshold was determined by adjustment based on the degree of immobility measured by human observation. Immobility lasting <2 s was not included in the analysis. Data acquisition and analysis were performed automatically with the use of an ImageTS/PS software (see ‘Data analysis’). ChIP was performed essentially as described previously40. MEFs or nuclear extracts of male mouse brain at 13 weeks of age were fixed with a final concentration of 0.5% paraformaldehyde, suspended in ChIP buffer (5 mM HEPES-KOH (pH 8.0), 200 mM KCl, 1 mM CaCl , 1.5 mM MgCl , 5% sucrose, 0.5% Nonidet P-40, aprotinin (10 μg ml−1), leupeptin (10 μg ml−1), 1 mM phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride), incubated for 10 min on ice, subjected to ultrasonic treatment with the use of a Diagenode Bioruptor, and digested with micrococcal nuclease (New England Biolabs) for 40 min at 30 °C. After the addition of EDTA to a final concentration of 0.1 mM, the digested sample was centrifuged at 15,000g for 10 min at 4 °C, and the resulting supernatant was incubated with rotation overnight at 4 °C with antibodies conjugated to magnetic beads. Bound proteins were eluted from the beads, and cross-links were reversed by incubation overnight at 65 °C with 1% SDS in Tris-EDTA buffer. After washing twice both with ChIP buffer and with Tris-EDTA buffer, DNA was purified with the use of a Qiaquick PCR Purification kit (Qiagen) and subjected to real-time PCR analysis as described above. PCR primers (sense and antisense, respectively) were as follows: Pten, 5′-GTGAGGGGGAGAGGTGTG-3′ and 5′-TGGATCGCACTAGCTGACC-3′; Nras, 5′-TGTATCACGGGAACGGATTGG-3′ and 5′-ACCCCTGAGCTGACCCTTGTC-3′; and Rac1, 5′-TCATACCGTCGTGAGGTTC-3′ and 5′-CCTGGTGGCTCACCTGTAATC-3′. ChIP–seq was performed essentially as described previously40. The whole brain was rapidly dissected from E14.5 or adult (13 weeks of age) male mice and homogenized with the use of a Potter homogenizer in a solution containing 10 mM HEPES-NaOH (pH 7.4), 1.5 mM MgCl , 10 mM KCl, 1 mM dithiothreitol, aprotinin (10 μg ml−1), leupeptin (10 μg ml−1), and 1 mM phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride. The homogenate was centrifuged at 800g for 5 min at 4 °C, and the resulting pellet was suspended in homogenization buffer containing 0.6% Nonidet P-40, incubated for 10 min at 4 °C, and then centrifuged again at 800g for 5 min at 4 °C. The new pellet was subjected to ChIP with anti-CHD8 monoclonal antibody or antibodies to REST (17-641) as described above, and the precipitated and purified DNA was sequenced with a HiSeq 1500 system (Illumina). The reads were uniquely mapped to the mouse (mm9) genome with the use of Bowtie software (version 2.2.5), and duplicated reads were removed with samtools (version 0.1.19-44428cd). The mapped read counts were calculated for 200-bp intervals (bins) of the genome and then normalized as FPKM (fragments per kilobase of transcript per million reads)41. The ChIP–seq signal intensities were calculated as the FPKM difference between ChIP and input DNA for each bin. Markedly enriched regions of the genome were identified with the use of the MACS peak caller (version 2.1.0.20140616, with the option ‘-gsize mm-nomodel-extsize 160-broad-to-large-pvalue 1e-3’) and additional filtering based on a more stringent cutoff for the data from adult (P < 1 × 10−30) or E14.5 (P < 1 × 10−6) mouse brain. All RNA-seq and ChIP–seq analyses were performed with biological triplicates for each experimental time point in this study. CHD8 binding peaks were classified as active promoters, enhancers, or inactive regions according to the pattern of histone modification within the region spanning 2 kb upstream and 2 kb downstream of each peak. ChIP-seq data for histone modification in whole brain of E14.5 mouse were obtained from ENCODE at UCSC (https://genome.ucsc.edu/ENCODE). Total RNA was extracted from the whole brain of a male mouse at 13 weeks of age with the use of a TRIzol Plus RNA Purification Kit (Life Technologies). RNA-seq was performed as described previously40. Complementary DNA was sequenced with a HiSeq 1500 system (Illumina). The total amount of each transcript was calculated with the use of a series of programs including TopHat (version 2.0.10, with the option ‘-library-type fr-secondstrand’) and Cufflinks (version 2.1.1, with the option ‘-u -G-library-type fr-secondstrand’). RNA-seq reads were mapped against the mouse (mm9) genome. GSEA is a computational method that determines whether an a-priori-defined set of genes shows statistically significant, concordant differences between two biological states42. The primary result of GSEA is the enrichment score (ES), which reflects the degree to which a gene set is overrepresented at the top or bottom of a ranked list of genes. The top portion of a GSEA plot (represented by a green line) shows the running ES for the gene set as the analysis moves down the ranked list. The score at the peak of the plot (the score farthest from 0) is the ES for the gene set. The normalized enrichment score (NES) represents this ES value normalized by mean ES for all permutations of the data set and takes into account differences in gene set size. The NES value represents the degree of expression skew. The bottom portion of the plot shows where the members of the gene set (indicated by black bars) appear in the ranked list of genes. If most of the black bars are gathered to the left side (or right side), then most of the genes in the gene set are upregulated in the sample named at the lower left (or lower right). GSEA was performed as described previously42 with the use of GSEA v.2.0.1 (http://www.broadinstitute.org/gsea). The gene set collections H (Hallmark gene sets; 50 gene sets), C2 (curated; 4,725 gene sets), and C3.tft (motif gene sets, transcription factor targets; 615 gene sets) were obtained from Molecular Signature Database (MSigDB version 5.0; Broad Institute, http://www.broadinstitute.org/gsea/msigdb). H gene sets are recommended by the developer of GSEA for initial analysis as a starting point, and they include gene collections sorted according to biological states and processes. To identify gene sets affected by CHD8 haploinsufficiency in a comprehensive manner, we examined C2 gene sets, which comprise collections of genes represented in online pathway databases and publications in the PubMed database. The C3.tft gene sets comprise collections of genes harbouring the same cis-regulatory motif, and we used these sets to identify targets of transcription factors that are affected by CHD8 haploinsufficiency. Gene sets for differentially expressed genes in the frontal cortex (GSE28521)22 between ASD patients (aged 5–51 years, 12 males and 4 females) and healthy subjects (aged 16–56 years, 15 males and 1 female) were obtained from the bioinformatics platform NextBio. Neural development–related gene sets (early-fetal genes and mid-fetal genes) were defined by comparison of gene expression patterns in the human brain between developmental periods 2–3 (early-fetal) and 4–6 (mid-fetal)25. Human genes were converted to mouse orthologues with the use of BioMart (http://www.biomart.org). The 500 most upregulated genes at early-fetal and mid-fetal stages were selected for analysis. To compare with the significant gene sets (‘ASD-related gene set’ and ‘V$NRSF_01 gene set’) by GSEA, random gene sets were created from all annotated genes using ‘runif’ function, which generates random numbers from the uniform distribution, in the ‘stats’ package of R language (http://www.r-project.org/). The same number of genes in each significant gene set was randomly selected without duplication, and this procedure was independently iterated 1,000 times. The applications for behavioural studies (ImageLD, ImageEP, ImageTM, ImageSI, ImageCSI, ImageBM, ImageTS) were developed by T.M. and are based on ImageJ (http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/). Statistical analysis according to Student’s t-test, or two-way repeated-measures ANOVA was performed with the use of StatView 5.0.1 software (SAS Institute), and Wilcoxon rank-sum test, hypergeometric test, or Welch’s t-test was performed with the use of R language. Two-way ANOVA was applied to comparisons in behavioural tests, and individual P values for strain, genotype (or cage side), and their interaction (S × G or S × C)43 are presented. To control for type I errors due to multiple-hypothesis testing, we calculated the FDR by the Benjamini–Hochberg method44.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A simple solution-based electrical doping technique could help reduce the cost of polymer solar cells and organic electronic devices, potentially expanding the applications for these technologies. By enabling production of efficient single-layer solar cells, the new process could help move organic photovoltaics into a new generation of wearable devices and enable small-scale distributed power generation. Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and colleagues from three other institutions, the technique provides a new way of inducing p-type electrical doping in organic semiconductor films. The process involves briefly immersing the films in a solution at room temperature, and would replace a more complex technique that requires vacuum processing. "Our hope is that this will be a game-changer for organic photovoltaics by further simplifying the process for fabricating polymer-based solar cells," said Bernard Kippelen, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics and a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We believe this technique is likely to impact many other device platforms in areas such as organic printed electronics, sensors, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes." Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the work was reported December 5 in the journal Nature Materials. The research also involved scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kyushu University in Japan, and the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands. The technique consists of immersing thin films of organic semiconductors and their blends in polyoxometalate (PMA and PTA) solutions in nitromethane for a brief time -- on the order of minutes. The diffusion of the dopant molecules into the films during immersion leads to efficient p-type electrical doping over a limited depth of 10 to 20 nanometers from the surface of the film. The p-doped regions show increased electrical conductivity and high work function, reduced solubility in the processing solvent, and improved photo-oxidation stability in air. This new method provides a simpler alternative to air-sensitive molybdenum oxide layers used in the most efficient polymer solar cells that are generally processed using expensive vacuum equipment. When applied to polymer solar cells, the new doping method provided efficient hole collection. For the first time, single-layer polymer solar cells were demonstrated by combining this new method with spontaneous vertical phase separation of amine-containing polymers that leads to efficient electron collection at the opposing electrode. The geometry of these new devices is unique as the functions of hole and electron collection are built into the light-absorbing active layer, resulting in the simplest single-layer geometry with few interfaces. "The realization of single-layer photovoltaics with our approach enables both electrodes in the device to be made out of low-cost conductive materials," said Canek Fuentes-Hernandez, a senior research scientist in Kippelen's research group. "This offers a dramatic simplification of a device geometry, and it improves the photo-oxidation stability of the donor polymer. Although lifetime and cost analysis studies are needed to assess the full impact of these innovations, they are certainly very exciting developments on the road to transform organic photovoltaics into a commercial technology." By simplifying the production of organic solar cells, the new processing technique could allow fabrication of solar cells in areas of Africa and Latin America that lack capital-intensive manufacturing capabilities, said Felipe Larrain, a Ph.D. student in Kippelen's lab. "Our goal is to further simplify the fabrication of organic solar cells to the point at which every material required to fabricate them may be included in a single kit that is offered to the public," Larrain said. "The solar cell product may be different if you are able to provide people with a solution that would allow them to make their own solar cells. It could one day enable people to power themselves and be independent of the grid." Organic solar cells have been studied in many academic and industrial laboratories for several decades, and have experienced a continuous and steady improvement in their power conversion efficiency with laboratory values reaching 13 percent - compared to around 20 percent for commercial silicon-based cells. Though polymer-based cells are currently less efficient, they require less energy to produce than silicon cells and can be more easily recycled at the end of their lifetime. "Being able to process solar cells entirely at room temperature using this simple solution-based technique could pave the way for a scalable and vacuum-free method of device fabrication, while significantly reducing the time and cost associated with it," said Vladimir Kolesov, a Ph.D. researcher and the paper's lead author. Beyond solar cells, the doping technique could be more broadly used in other areas of organic electronics, noted Ph.D. researcher Wen-Fang Chou. "With its simplicity, this is truly a promising technology offering adjustable conductivity of semiconductors that could be applied to various organic electronics, and could have huge impact on the industry for mass production." Also at Georgia Tech, the research involved professors Samuel Graham and Seth Marder, both from the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics. Beyond Georgia Tech, the project also involved Naoya Aizawa from Kyushu University; Ming Wang, Guillermo Bazan and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen from the University of California Santa Barbara, and Alberto Perrotta from Eindhoven University of Technology, This work was funded in part by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research Award No. N00014-14-1-0580 and N00014-16-1-2520, through the MURI Center CAOP, Office of Naval Research Award N00014-04-1-0313 and by the Department of Energy through the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium under Award Number DE-EE0004946. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. CITATION: Vladimir A. Kolesov, et al., "Solution-based electrical doping of semiconducting polymer films over a limited depth," (Nature Materials, 2016). http://dx.


Schlacher K.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Schlacher K.,University of California at Los Angeles | Christ N.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Siaud N.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | And 5 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2011

Breast cancer suppressor BRCA2 is critical for maintenance of genomic integrity and resistance to agents that damage DNA or collapse replication forks, presumably through homology-directed repair of double-strand breaks (HDR). Using single-molecule DNA fiber analysis, we show here that nascent replication tracts created before fork stalling with hydroxyurea are degraded in the absence of BRCA2 but are stable in wild-type cells. BRCA2 mutational analysis reveals that a conserved C-terminal site involved in stabilizing RAD51 filaments, but not in loading RAD51 onto DNA, is essential for this fork protection but dispensable for HDR. RAD51 filament disruption in wild-type cells phenocopies BRCA2 deficiency. BRCA2 prevents chromosomal aberrations on replication stalling, which are alleviated by inhibition of MRE11, the nuclease responsible for this form of fork instability. Thus, BRCA2 prevents rather than repairs nucleolytic lesions at stalled replication forks to maintain genomic integrity and hence likely suppresses tumorigenesis through this replication-specific function. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Toyoda K.,Japan National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute | Ninomiya T.,Kyushu University
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2014

Chronic kidney disease, defined as a reduced glomerular filtration rate or increased urinary albumin excretion, is recognised as a rapidly growing global health burden, and increasing evidence suggests that it contributes to the risk and severity of cerebrovascular diseases. In particular, chronic kidney disease is an established risk factor for stroke and is also strongly associated with subclinical cerebrovascular abnormalities and cognitive impairment, partly because it shares several traditional and non-traditional risk factors, and sometimes uraemia-related and dialysis-related factors, with cerebrovascular diseases. The effect of chronic kidney disease on incident stroke differs among regions and races and is greater in Asian than in non-Asian people. Chronic kidney disease seems to be predictive of severe neurological deficits and poor vital and functional outcomes after both ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes, which is partly due to the limitations of pharmacotherapies, including limited use and effects of novel oral anticoagulants, other antithrombotic treatments, and reperfusion treatment for hyperacute ischaemic stroke. In view of the strong two-way association between stroke and kidney disease, the pathophysiological interactions between the brain and kidney should be the subject of intensive study. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Patent
Kyushu University and Kowa Company | Date: 2014-09-09

Disclosed herein is a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for ocular fundus disease, especially diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. The prophylactic or therapeutic agent for ocular fundus disease comprising: (S)-()-1-(4-fluoro-5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methyl-1,4-homopiperazine, a salt thereof, or a solvate thereof, as an active ingredient.


Patent
Kyushu University and Kowa Co. | Date: 2010-01-06

To provide a pulmonary disease therapeutic drug exhibiting high efficacy and reduced side effects. The pulmonary disease therapeutic drug of the invention for intratracheal administration contains biocompatible polymer nanoparticles including an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor.


Patent
Kyushu University and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical Co. | Date: 2014-07-29

A compound represented by the general formula (1) is useful as a light emitting material. In the general formula (1), Ar^(1 )to Ar^(3 )represent an aryl group, provided that Ar^(2 )and Ar^(3 )are the same as each other, and at least one of Ar^(1 )to Ar^(3 )represents an aryl group substituted with a group represented by the general formula (2). In the general formula (2), R^(1 )to R^(8 )represent a hydrogen atom or a substituent; Z represents O, S, R^(9)N, (R^(10)) (R^(11)) C, or (R^(12)) (R^(13))Si; and R^(9 )to R^(13 )each independently represent a hydrogen atom or a substituent.


There is provided a negative-electrode material for rechargeable batteries with a nonaqueous electrolyte which have a high charge/discharge capacity and excellent rate characteristics. The negative-electrode material for rechargeable batteries with a nonaqueous electrolyte comprises: carbon material having a carbon atom content of not less than 98.0% in terms of mass and a lattice spacing (d_(002)) of not more than 3.370 angstroms in the C-axis direction; and a boron compound represented by general formula H_(x)BO_(y) wherein x represents a real number of 0 to 1.0; and y represents a real number of 1.5 to 3.0, wherein the boron compound is bonded to a portion of the carbon atoms of the carbon material.


Patent
Kyushu University and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical Co. | Date: 2016-06-08

A compound represented by the general formula (1) is useful as a light emitting material. In the general formula (1), Ar^(1) to Ar^(3) represent an aryl group, provided that Ar^(2) and Ar^(3) are the same as each other, and at least one of Ar^(1) to Ar^(3) represents an aryl group substituted with a group represented by the general formula (2). In the general formula (2), R^(1) to R^(8) represent a hydrogen atom or a substituent; Z represents O, S, R^(9)-N, (R^(10)) (R^(11))C, or (R^(12)) (R^(13))Si; and R^(9) to R^(13) each independently represent a hydrogen atom or a substituent.


Patent
Kyushu University and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical Co. | Date: 2016-05-25

A compound represented by A-D-A is useful as a light emitting material used in an organic electroluminescent device and others.


Patent
Mitsubishi Group, Hisayama Research Institute For Lifestyle Diseases and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-05-16

A test method for diagnosing cerebral infarction, a test method for diagnosing the disease type of cerebral infarction, and a test method for predicting prognosis of cerebral infarction in a subject animal, which test methods comprise the step of measuring the amount of cartilage acidic protein 1 in a blood sample collected from the animal.


Patent
Kyushu University and Kowa Company | Date: 2016-03-02

Disclosed herein is a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for ocular fundus disease, especially diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. The prophylactic or therapeutic agent for ocular fundus disease comprising: (S)-(-)-1-(4-fluoro-5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methyl-1,4-homopiperazine, a salt thereof, or a solvate thereof, as an active ingredient.


Patent
Mitsubishi Group, Kyushu University and Hisayama Research Institute For Lifestyle Diseases | Date: 2013-09-25

A test method for diagnosing cerebral infarction, a test method for diagnosing the disease type of cerebral infarction, and a test method for predicting prognosis of cerebral infarction in a subject animal, which test methods comprise the step of measuring the amount of cartilage acidic protein 1 in a blood sample collected from the animal.


Patent
Kyushu University, Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical Co. and Dyden Co | Date: 2016-06-15

An organic metal complex represented by the following general formula is useful as a light emitting material for an organic electroluminescent device and others. X represents O, S or -N(R^(7))-; Y represents O, S or -N(-SO_(2)-R^(8))-; R^(1) to R^(8) represent H, an alkyl group or an aryl group; at least one of Z^(1) and Z^(2) represents a phenoxazin-10-yl group, a phenothiazin-10-yl group, a phenazin-10-yl group, etc.; M represents an element of the group 1 except for hydrogen, the group 2, the group 11, the group 12, or the group 13 of the periodic table; L represents a ligand; n is 1 to 3; and m is 0 to 2:


Patent
Kyushu University and Kowa Company | Date: 2014-03-03

Disclosed herein is a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for ocular fundus disease, especially diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration. The prophylactic or therapeutic agent for ocular fundus disease comprising: (S)-()-1-(4-fluoro-5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methyl-1,4-homopiperazine, a salt thereof, or a solvate thereof, as an active ingredient.


There is provided a negative-electrode material for rechargeable batteries with a nonaqueous electrolyte which have a high charge/discharge capacity and excellent rate characteristics. The negative-electrode material for rechargeable batteries with a nonaqueous electrolyte comprises: carbon material having a carbon atom content of not less than 98.0% in terms of mass and a lattice spacing (d_(002)) of not more than 3.370 angstroms in the C-axis direction; and a boron compound represented by general formula H_(x)BO_(y )wherein x represents a real number of 0 to 1.0; and y represents a real number of 1.5 to 3.0, wherein the boron compound is bonded to a portion of the carbon atoms of the carbon material.


Patent
Kyushu University and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Chemical Co. | Date: 2014-02-14

A compound represented by D-A-D is useful as a light emitter for an organic electroluminescent device:


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

Graphene quantum dots may offer a simple way to recycle waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel rather than release it into the atmosphere or bury it underground, according to Rice University scientists. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) are an efficient electrocatalyst to make complex hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide, according to the research team led by Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan. Using electrocatalysis, his lab has demonstrated the conversion of the greenhouse gas into small batches of ethylene and ethanol. Though they don’t entirely understand the mechanism, the researchers found NGQDs worked nearly as efficiently as copper, which is also being tested as a catalyst to reduce carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and chemicals. And NGQDs keep their catalytic activity for a long time, they reported. “It is surprising because people have tried all different kinds of catalysts. And there are only a few real choices such as copper,” Ajayan says. “I think what we found is fundamentally interesting, because it provides an efficient pathway to screen new types of catalysts to convert carbon dioxide to higher-value products.” Those problems are hardly a secret. Atmospheric carbon dioxide rose above 400 parts per million earlier this year, the highest it’s been in at least 800,000 years, as measured through ice-core analysis. “If we can convert a sizable fraction of the carbon dioxide that is emitted, we could curb the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which have been linked to climate change,” said co-author Paul Kenis of the University of Illinois. In lab tests, NGQDs proved able to reduce carbon dioxide by up to 90 percent and convert 45 percent into either ethylene or alcohol, comparable to copper electrocatalysts. Graphene quantum dots are atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms that have been split into particles about a nanometer thick and just a few nanometers wide. The addition of nitrogen atoms to the dots enables varying chemical reactions when an electric current is applied and a feedstock like carbon dioxide is introduced. “Carbon is typically not a catalyst,” Ajayan says. “One of our questions is why this doping is so effective. When nitrogen is inserted into the hexagonal graphitic lattice, there are multiple positions it can take. Each of these positions, depending on where nitrogen sits, should have different catalytic activity. So it’s been a puzzle, and though people have written a lot of papers in the last five to 10 years on doped and defective carbon being catalytic, the puzzle is not really solved.” “Our findings suggest that the pyridinic nitrogen (a basic organic compound) sitting at the edge of graphene quantum dots leads the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons,” says Rice postdoctoral researcher Jingjie Wu, co-lead author of the paper. “The next task is further increasing nitrogen concentration to help increase the yield of hydrocarbons.” Ajayan notes that while electrocatalysis is effective at lab scales for now, industry relies on scalable thermal catalysis to produce fuels and chemicals. “For that reason, companies probably won’t use it any time soon for large-scale production. But electrocatalysis can be easily done in the lab, and we showed it will be useful in the development of new catalysts.” Co-lead authors of the paper are Sichao Ma of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, and Jing Sun of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Co-authors are Jake Gold, Lingyang Zhu, Aaron Yu and Raymond Luo of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Chandra Sekhar Tiwary of Rice; Byoungsu Kim of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kyushu University; Nitin Chopra and Ihab Odeh of SABIC Americas, Inc., Sugar Land, Texas; Robert Vajtai, a senior faculty fellow in materials science and nanoengineering at Rice; Jun Lou, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice; and Guqiao Ding of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Kenis is the William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor and head of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an appointment at Kyushu University. Ajayan is chair of Rice’s Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry.


News Article | January 12, 2016
Site: phys.org

Figure 1: On the left are fluctuation signals that were discovered in this experiment, and on the right is a reproduction based upon the simulation in the theoretical model that has been developed. Credit: National Institutes of Natural Sciences At the National Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Fusion Science, researchers have developed the high-energy heavy ion beam probe, in order to perform potential measurement inside a high-temperature plasma that was generated in the Institute's Large Helical Device (LHD). Engaging in collaborative research with Kyushu University's Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, they have discovered the new phenomenon of abrupt excitation of fluctuations and have clarified the mechanism of this phenomenon. Two successive research papers that summarize these research results were published in Physical Review Letters, the journal of the American Institute of Physics, on January 8, 2016. Seeking to achieve nuclear fusion, research on the high-temperature plasma of more than 100,000,000 degrees Celsius is being conducted around the world. In a magnetically confined plasma, sometimes there abruptly occurs the excitation of fluctuations with large amplitude, which leads to a possible plasma loss. Such a phenomenon influences the performance of the nuclear fusion reactor. Because there is the possibility of damage to the surrounding construction material, clarifying the mechanisms that lead to excitation, predicting excitation, and avoiding excitation are important issues. On the other hand, in cosmic plasma, too, similar abrupt phenomena occur, and among them the appearance of solar flares is well known. However, in either case, why large events abruptly occur is not well understood. At present, this is an unsolved problem. The research group of Dr. Takeshi Ido, of the National Institute for Fusion Science, in order to observe the plasma potential inside a high-temperature plasma produced in the LHD and that exceeds one hundred of millions of degrees Celsius, has developed a diagnostic device (the heavy ion beam probe). Using that device, when measuring fluctuations in a plasma, his research group discovered a new phenomenon in which fluctuations typically thought to be stable did grow abruptly, accompanied by a large oscillation amplitude. (See Figure 1.) Examining the experimental data in detail, they achieved the result in which before the excitation of this abrupt fluctuations occurred there was generated a separate fluctuation. That precedent fluctuation triggered the process, and a result which indicates abrupt large amplitude fluctuations had been obtained. Through collaborative research with the research group of Dr. Sanae-I. Itoh, of Kyushu University's Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, the researchers constructed a new theoretical model for explaining this phenomenon. When they conducted confirmations through numerical simulations they successfully reproduced the experimental results. (See Figure 1, right.) From this, they were able to discover the heretofore unknown phenomenon of abrupt excitation of fluctuations, to clarify the mechanism, and to predict excitation. The important points of these research results are that they proved that when the stimulus from outside is beyond a certain level, the physical mechanism exists in a high-temperature plasma that excites abrupt and large amplitude fluctuations, and they clarified the conditions necessary for excitation. Phenomena that possess this type of quality are called subcritical instability. (See Figure 2.) As an example of the phenomenon in which large amplitude fluctuations abruptly is excited, in a magnetically confinement plasma, there are collapse phenomena such as sawtooth oscillation and disruption which degrades plasma performance, and in cosmic plasma there is the abrupt occurrence of solar flares. The generation mechanisms for these abrupt phenomena are unresolved questions that have long been debated. As candidates for causing these abrupt phenomena, the existence of subcritical instability was indicated theoretically. Through this research, it has been proven for the first time that such an instability exists in geodesic acoustic waves, which are in a plasma, and we successfully predicted the occurrence of this phenomenon. These results are expected to be indicators in addition to advancing our understanding of numerous abrupt phenomena that are widely observed. The abrupt excitation of fluctuations that has been discovered gives indications of the possibility of plasma heating that these fluctuations contribute to. Moreover, research in a confined plasma that can clarify the occurrence mechanism of abrupt phenomena and predict occurrence will contribute greatly to future nuclear fusion research and the development of science and technology, such as avoiding damage to the nuclear fusion reactor and suppressing damage from magnetic storms. More information: T. Ido, K. Itoh, M. Osakabe, M. Lesur, A. Shimizu, K. Ogawa, K. Toi, M. Nishiura, S. Kato, M. Sasaki, K. Ida, S. Inagaki, S.-I. Itoh, and the LHD Experiment Group "Strong destabilization of stable modes with a half-frequency associated with chirping geodesic acoustic modes in the Large Helical Device" M. Lesur, K. Itoh, T. Ido, M. Osakabe, K. Ogawa, A. Shimizu, M. Sasaki, K. Ida, S. Inagaki, S.-I. Itoh, and the LHD Experiment Group "Nonlinear excitation of subcritical instabilities in a toroidal plasma"


News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

HOUSTON - (Dec. 16, 2016) - Graphene quantum dots may offer a simple way to recycle waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel rather than release it into the atmosphere or bury it underground, according to Rice University scientists. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) are an efficient electrocatalyst to make complex hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide, according to the research team led by Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan. Using electrocatalysis, his lab has demonstrated the conversion of the greenhouse gas into small batches of ethylene and ethanol. The research is detailed this week in Nature Communications. Though they don't entirely understand the mechanism, the researchers found NGQDs worked nearly as efficiently as copper, which is also being tested as a catalyst to reduce carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and chemicals. And NGQDs keep their catalytic activity for a long time, they reported. "It is surprising because people have tried all different kinds of catalysts. And there are only a few real choices such as copper," Ajayan said. "I think what we found is fundamentally interesting, because it provides an efficient pathway to screen new types of catalysts to convert carbon dioxide to higher-value products." Those problems are hardly a secret. Atmospheric carbon dioxide rose above 400 parts per million earlier this year, the highest it's been in at least 800,000 years, as measured through ice-core analysis. "If we can convert a sizable fraction of the carbon dioxide that is emitted, we could curb the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which have been linked to climate change," said co-author Paul Kenis of the University of Illinois. In lab tests, NGQDs proved able to reduce carbon dioxide by up to 90 percent and convert 45 percent into either ethylene or alcohol, comparable to copper electrocatalysts. Graphene quantum dots are atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms that have been split into particles about a nanometer thick and just a few nanometers wide. The addition of nitrogen atoms to the dots enables varying chemical reactions when an electric current is applied and a feedstock like carbon dioxide is introduced. "Carbon is typically not a catalyst," Ajayan said. "One of our questions is why this doping is so effective. When nitrogen is inserted into the hexagonal graphitic lattice, there are multiple positions it can take. Each of these positions, depending on where nitrogen sits, should have different catalytic activity. So it's been a puzzle, and though people have written a lot of papers in the last five to 10 years on doped and defective carbon being catalytic, the puzzle is not really solved." "Our findings suggest that the pyridinic nitrogen (a basic organic compound) sitting at the edge of graphene quantum dots leads the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons," said Rice postdoctoral researcher Jingjie Wu, co-lead author of the paper. "The next task is further increasing nitrogen concentration to help increase the yield of hydrocarbons." Ajayan noted that while electrocatalysis is effective at lab scales for now, industry relies on scalable thermal catalysis to produce fuels and chemicals. "For that reason, companies probably won't use it any time soon for large-scale production. But electrocatalysis can be easily done in the lab, and we showed it will be useful in the development of new catalysts." Co-lead authors of the paper are Sichao Ma of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, and Jing Sun of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Co-authors are Jake Gold, Lingyang Zhu, Aaron Yu and Raymond Luo of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Chandra Sekhar Tiwary of Rice; Byoungsu Kim of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kyushu University; Nitin Chopra and Ihab Odeh of SABIC Americas, Inc., Sugar Land, Texas; Robert Vajtai, a senior faculty fellow in materials science and nanoengineering at Rice; Jun Lou, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice; and Guqiao Ding of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Kenis is the William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor and head of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an appointment at Kyushu University. Ajayan is chair of Rice's Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry. This news release can be found online at http://news. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots, like the ones in this transmission electron microscope image, proved adept at catalyzing carbon dioxide into complex hydrocarbons, according to Rice University scientists. (Credit: Ajayan Group/Rice University) Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots stand out from a substrate in a transmission electron microscope image. The dots are effective electrocatalysts that can reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to valuable hydrocarbons like ethylene and ethanol. (Credit: Ajayan Group/Rice University) An illustration of a nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dot like those being tested at Rice University for use as catalysts to reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into valuable hydrocarbons. (Credit: Ajayan Group/Rice University) Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl. .


Home > Press > Carbon dots dash toward 'green' recycling role: Rice scientists, colleagues use doped graphene quantum dots to reduce carbon dioxide to fuel Abstract: Graphene quantum dots may offer a simple way to recycle waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel rather than release it into the atmosphere or bury it underground, according to Rice University scientists. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) are an efficient electrocatalyst to make complex hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide, according to the research team led by Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan. Using electrocatalysis, his lab has demonstrated the conversion of the greenhouse gas into small batches of ethylene and ethanol. The research is detailed this week in Nature Communications. Though they don't entirely understand the mechanism, the researchers found NGQDs worked nearly as efficiently as copper, which is also being tested as a catalyst to reduce carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and chemicals. And NGQDs keep their catalytic activity for a long time, they reported. "It is surprising because people have tried all different kinds of catalysts. And there are only a few real choices such as copper," Ajayan said. "I think what we found is fundamentally interesting, because it provides an efficient pathway to screen new types of catalysts to convert carbon dioxide to higher-value products." Those problems are hardly a secret. Atmospheric carbon dioxide rose above 400 parts per million earlier this year, the highest it's been in at least 800,000 years, as measured through ice-core analysis. "If we can convert a sizable fraction of the carbon dioxide that is emitted, we could curb the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which have been linked to climate change," said co-author Paul Kenis of the University of Illinois. In lab tests, NGQDs proved able to reduce carbon dioxide by up to 90 percent and convert 45 percent into either ethylene or alcohol, comparable to copper electrocatalysts. Graphene quantum dots are atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms that have been split into particles about a nanometer thick and just a few nanometers wide. The addition of nitrogen atoms to the dots enables varying chemical reactions when an electric current is applied and a feedstock like carbon dioxide is introduced. "Carbon is typically not a catalyst," Ajayan said. "One of our questions is why this doping is so effective. When nitrogen is inserted into the hexagonal graphitic lattice, there are multiple positions it can take. Each of these positions, depending on where nitrogen sits, should have different catalytic activity. So it's been a puzzle, and though people have written a lot of papers in the last five to 10 years on doped and defective carbon being catalytic, the puzzle is not really solved." "Our findings suggest that the pyridinic nitrogen (a basic organic compound) sitting at the edge of graphene quantum dots leads the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons," said Rice postdoctoral researcher Jingjie Wu, co-lead author of the paper. "The next task is further increasing nitrogen concentration to help increase the yield of hydrocarbons." Ajayan noted that while electrocatalysis is effective at lab scales for now, industry relies on scalable thermal catalysis to produce fuels and chemicals. "For that reason, companies probably won't use it any time soon for large-scale production. But electrocatalysis can be easily done in the lab, and we showed it will be useful in the development of new catalysts." ### Co-lead authors of the paper are Sichao Ma of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, and Jing Sun of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Co-authors are Jake Gold, Lingyang Zhu, Aaron Yu and Raymond Luo of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Chandra Sekhar Tiwary of Rice; Byoungsu Kim of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kyushu University; Nitin Chopra and Ihab Odeh of SABIC Americas, Inc., Sugar Land, Texas; Robert Vajtai, a senior faculty fellow in materials science and nanoengineering at Rice; Jun Lou, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice; and Guqiao Ding of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Kenis is the William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor and head of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an appointment at Kyushu University. Ajayan is chair of Rice's Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry. SABIC Global Technologies, B.V. supported the research. About Rice University Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview . Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Nakamura S.,Kyushu University | Matsumoto T.,Iwate Medical University
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Recent progress in the research regarding the molecular pathogenesis and management of gastric mucosaassociated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is reviewed. In approximately 90% of cases, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection plays the causative role in the pathogenesis, and H. pylori eradication is nowadays the first-line treatment for this disease, which leads to complete disease remission in 50%-90% of cases. In H. pylori -dependent cases, microbe-generated immune responses, including interaction between B and T cells involving CD40 and CD40L co-stimulatory molecules, are considered to induce the development of MALT lymphoma. In H. pylori -independent cases, activation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway by oncogenic products of specific chromosomal translocations such as t(11;18)/API2-MALT1, or inactivation of tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3 (A20) are considered to contribute to the lymphomagenesis. Recently, a largescale Japanese multicenter study confirmed that the long-term clinical outcome of gastric MALT lymphoma after H. pylori eradication is excellent. Treatment modalities for patients not responding to H. pylori eradication include a "watch and wait" strategy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, rituximab immunotherapy, and a combination of these. Because of the indolent behavior of MALT lymphoma, second-line treatment should be tailored in consideration of the clinical stage and extent of the disease in each patient. © 2013 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.


Hagihara A.,Kyushu University | Hasegawa M.,Teikyo Heisei University | Abe T.,Kyushu University | Nagata T.,Kyushu University | And 2 more authors.
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2012

Context: Epinephrine is widely used in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). However, the effectiveness of epinephrine use before hospital arrival has not been established. Objective: To evaluate the association between epinephrine use before hospital arrival and short- and long-term mortality in patients with cardiac arrest. Design, Setting, and Participants: Prospective, nonrandomized, observational propensity analysis of data from 417 188 OHCAs occurring in 2005-2008 in Japan in which patients aged 18 years or older had anOHCAbefore arrival of emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, were treated by EMS personnel, and were transported to the hospital. Main Outcome Measures: Return of spontaneous circulation before hospital arrival, survival at 1 month after cardiac arrest, survival with good or moderate cerebral performance (Cerebral Performance Category [CPC] 1 or 2), and survival with no, mild, or moderate neurological disability (Overall Performance Category [OPC] 1 or 2). Results: Return of spontaneous circulation before hospital arrival was observed in 2786 of 15 030 patients (18.5%) in the epinephrine group and 23 042 of 402 158 patients (5.7%) in the no-epinephrine group (P < .001); it was observed in 2446 (18.3%) and 1400 (10.5%) of 13 401 propensity-matched patients, respectively (P < .001). In the total sample, the numbers of patients with 1-month survival and survival with CPC 1 or 2 and OPC 1 or 2, respectively, were 805 (5.4%), 205 (1.4%), and 211 (1.4%) with epinephrine and 18 906 (4.7%), 8903 (2.2%), and 8831 (2.2%) without epinephrine (all P < .001). Corresponding numbers in propensity-matched patients were 687 (5.1%), 173 (1.3%), and 178 (1.3%) with epinephrine and 944 (7.0%), 413 (3.1%), and 410 (3.1%) without epinephrine (all P < .001). In all patients, a positive association was observed between prehospital epinephrine and return of spontaneous circulation before hospital arrival (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.36; 95% CI, 2.22-2.50; P < .001). In propensity-matched patients, a positive association was also observed (adjusted OR, 2.51; 95% CI, 2.24-2.80; P < .001). In contrast, among all patients, negative associations were observed between prehospital epinephrine and long-term outcome measures (adjusted ORs: 1-month survival, 0.46 [95% CI, 0.42-0.51]; CPC 1-2, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.26-0.36]; and OPC 1-2, 0.32 [95% CI, 0.27-0.38]; all P < .001). Similar negative associations were observed among propensity-matched patients (adjusted ORs: 1-month survival, 0.54 [95% CI, 0.43-0.68]; CPC 1-2, 0.21 [95% CI, 0.10-0.44]; and OPC 1-2, 0.23 [95% CI, 0.11-0.45]; all P < .001). Conclusion: Among patients with OHCA in Japan, use of prehospital epinephrine was significantly associated with increased chance of return of spontaneous circulation before hospital arrival but decreased chance of survival and good functional outcomes 1 month after the event. ©2012 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Patent
A Gas Inc. and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-08-02

An object of the present invention is to provide a novel method for producing hydrogen peroxide by direct synthesis that is capable of taking the place of the conventional anthraquinone process, and to provide a catalyst used in the production method. The present invention is a metal complex represented by the following general formula (1), (2), (3) or (4).


Patent
Osaka University, Kyushu University and Chugai Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha | Date: 2016-07-28

The present invention relates to therapeutic and/or prophylactic agents for ocular inflammatory disease, which comprise an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor as an active ingredient.


Patent
A Gas Inc. and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-07-29

An object of the present invention is to provide a novel method for producing hydrogen peroxide by direct synthesis that is capable of taking the place of the conventional anthraquinone process, and to provide a catalyst used in the production method. The present invention is a metal complex represented by the following general formula (1), (2), (3) or (4).


Patent
A Gas Inc. and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-05-20

An object of the present invention is to provide a method by which hydrogen peroxide can be produced at a satisfactory level from an industrial and economical viewpoint without causing the load of purification to be large and without needing too large facilities for production. The present invention is directed to a method for producing hydrogen peroxide, which comprises reacting hydrogen and oxygen in a reaction medium in the presence of a noble metal catalyst and a radical scavenger.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-02-2016 | Award Amount: 7.69M | Year: 2017

The main objective of this proposal is to develop reliable GaN-based power devices and systems for high and medium power electronics targeting industrial and automotive applications and bringing the GaN power devices another step towards the wide usability in the energy saving environment to further tap the full potential which this new material brings along. This proposal addresses two subjects, one of which is medium power (till 10kW) GaN-on-Si based lateral HEMT structures, with special focus on high reliability, which is still a major blocking item to allow wide-spread market adoption. Hence, the impact of the GaN material quality, in combination with the device layout in view of long-term reliability will be addressed. The project aims an in-depth reliability study and qualification strategy development whereby the study of the impact of dislocations and other structural disturbances inside the materials on the long term device reliability will be specifically addressed. In addition, this proposal aims to demonstrate new device concepts with increased robustness and reliability, which will be realized, evaluated and tested thoroughly. This will demonstrate how it is possible to overcome the known limitations of the GaN on Silicon technology, like e.g. the vertical leakage, trapping phenomena and/or breakdown of lateral HEMTs. The current proposal also contains the development of novel device architecture (dual channel, substrate removal, e-mode), as well as the exploration of new material systems (Aluminum Nitride (Al-based) devices) which can also largely contribute to overcome drawbacks of the GaN on Si technology. The applicability of the novel GaN-on-Si concepts in form of an industrial inverter will be demonstrated finally, with the development of an innovative low inductance packaging system for power devices, making full benefits of the fast switching capability of GaN-based power devices.


Patent
Osaka University, Kyushu University and Chugai Seiyaku Kabushiki Kaisha | Date: 2010-04-14

The present invention relates to therapeutic and/or prophylactic agents for ocular inflammatory disease, which comprise an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor inhibitor as an active ingredient.


Patent
Japan Vilene Company, Fukuoka Prefectural Government and Kyushu University | Date: 2011-10-26

An inorganic fiber structure comprising inorganic nanofibers having an average fiber diameter of 3 m or less, in which an entirety including the inside thereof is adhered with an inorganic adhesive, and the porosity thereof is 90 % or more, is disclosed. Furthermore, a process for producing an inorganic fiber structure is disclosed, which includes (i) a step of spinning inorganic fibers by an electrospinning method, from a spinning inorganic sol solution containing a compound mainly composed of an inorganic component; (ii) a step of forming an inorganic fiber aggregate by irradiating the inorganic fibers with ions having a polarity opposite to that of the inorganic fibers to accumulate the inorganic fibers; and (iii) a step of forming an inorganic fiber structure adhering to the inorganic fiber aggregate with an inorganic adhesive in an entirety including the inside thereof, in which an adhering inorganic sol solution containing a compound mainly composed of an inorganic component is imparted to an entirety including the inside of the inorganic fiber aggregate, and an excess adhering inorganic sol solution is removed by gas-through.


Patent
A Gas Inc. and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-06-17

An object of the present invention is to provide a method by which hydrogen peroxide can be produced at a satisfactory level from an industrial and economical viewpoint without causing the load of purification to be large and without needing too large facilities for production. The present invention is directed to a method for producing hydrogen peroxide, which comprises reacting hydrogen and oxygen in a reaction medium in the presence of a noble metal catalyst and a radical scavenger.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

Starting with skin cells rather than egg cells, Japanese researchers say they have generated eggs that led to healthy mouse pups capable of living normal lives and reproducing. Mammals, of course, have always reproduced via the sperm of one animal combining with the egg cell of another. But the new research started instead with a skin cell from a mouse’s tail and transformed it into egg cells, then matured those eggs in a laboratory dish and finally fertilized them and implanted them into a female mouse. Although only 1 percent of the cells led to live births, the animals that were born alive were healthy, fertile, and lived a normal lifespan, says Katsuhiko Hayashi, a stem cell biologist at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, and the senior author of a paper on the research, published Monday in Nature. Although this process likely remains decades away from a stage at which it could work in people, the research suggests it may someday be possible for women who lack eggs, or for men without sperm, to get replacement cells made from their own skin. If that becomes possible it could extend the age of human fertility by decades, help preserve endangered animal species and someday perhaps allow same-sex couples to have their own genetic children. In the meantime, several experts say they are highly impressed by the new study. “This is quite an amazing piece of research,” says Azim Surani at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, UK. He was not involved in the latest work, but he supervised Hayashi’s postdoctoral fellowship there. “People might have thought this was science fiction, but it does work,” Surani adds. In an earlier study published in Cell, Hayashi and his colleagues had shown that they could generate healthy mouse pups by maturing skin-cell-derived eggs inside the mouse mother. In the new work the maturation took place entirely in a lab dish, making it much closer to a process that could one day be used in people. “That’s quite a remarkable feat, actually,” Surani says. Shinya Yamanaka won a 2012 Nobel Prize for his 2006 work transforming skin cells into stem cells that are theoretically capable of becoming any cells in the body. But Hayashi is one of just a few scientists worldwide trying to make germline cells from these so-called induced pluripotent stem (or iPS) cells. To transform a stem cell into a primordial egg cell, the researchers had to design an environment that recapitulated cell signaling and promoted development through several stages, says Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive and developmental biologist at Oregon Health & Science University, who was not involved in the study. “This is a tremendous amount of work. I have to congratulate the team. It’s such a huge accomplishment,” Mitalipov says. Hayashi says his next step will be to try to repeat this process in a non-human primate, which will be much more complicated. To help mature the mouse egg cells he simply took supporting cells from the mother's ovaries. In a primate he will first need to generate these supportive cells from stem cells—something that has never been done before. Hayashi says the mouse research has taken him four years, and he expects it would take at least twice that long to achieve the same results in people. It is far too early to try that, he says. “At the moment I must say that this kind of system should not be used for the human, because there are big risks,” he warns, adding that the process might lead to abnormal or seriously ill offspring. It may be possible to eventually make it safer by using a combination of technical improvements and advances in genetic analyses of embryos, he says. In a mouse it is ethically allowable to examine a large number of the embryos generated by research, and to accept the possibility—though not yet seen—that the pups might have genetic defects. Similar studies would not be possible in human research. “In mice we can also work directly on the organism itself. We can look at events in vivo, introduce mutations and see what happens,” Surani says. “In humans we need a culture system to study the germ line, because we can’t do the kinds of experiments we can do in mice.” Surani admits there will be challenges to getting this type of reproduction to work in people, and suspects the process could take a long time—possibly one to two decades. But Hayashi’s achievements so far make him confident of eventual success. “Sometimes when you know something is possible, it takes off the mental barriers you might have. You start being more optimistic,” he explains. “I wouldn’t say it’s impossible. I think it is possible.”


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

The next crop of organic solar cells could be lighter, cheaper, more durable and more efficient thanks to the powerful fuel nitromethane. A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has discovered that a quick bath in nitromethane provides organic solar cells with increased electrical conductivity and improved stability, too. Also behind the new breakthrough is funding from the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research, which has been vying with the US Air Force for the title of top in the solar research field. The new GIT research represents a step up from the use of molybdenum oxide layers as a solar efficiency booster. Researchers are beginning to deploy various forms of molybdenum in clean tech fields including energy storage and water-splitting. The problem is that molybdenum oxide is air-sensitive. When used in high-efficiency solar cells, it is applied in layers and requires a high cost vacuum environment. The GIT researchers found that just a few minutes of “doping” a thin film solar material in nitromethane yields effective results and does away with the need for expensive vacuum-based processing, too: The diffusion of the dopant molecules into the films during immersion leads to efficient p-type electrical doping over a limited depth of 10 to 20 nanometers from the surface of the film. Given the quantity and quality of the research field these days, breakthroughs are a dime a dozen. The GIT solution provides a good example. The new technique represents a first for the semi-spontaneous fabrication of single-layer polymer (aka organic or plastic) thin film solar cells, at room temperature no less. Saving costs on the fabrication end is just part of the achievement. According to Canek Fuentes-Hernandez, a senior researcher on the GIT team, the simplified device enables the use of low-cost conductive materials, too. The research team is especially excited about the potential for producing their low-cost solar cells at commercial scale in parts of the world that don’t have the kind of mature manufacturing infrastructure required for vacuum-based processing. Our goal is to further simplify the fabrication of organic solar cells to the point at which every material required to fabricate them may be included in a single kit that is offered to the public…It could one day enable people to power themselves and be independent of the grid.” Wait — what? ExxonMobil and other global petroleum giants have been counting on a growing market for diesel fuel in Africa and other parts of the world to stay afloat in an environment of shrinking demand for oil. Fighting “energy poverty” is the phrase that ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has deployed to make the case for diesel, but that’s going to be a tough row to hoe moving forward. The GIT team notes that research into low cost organic PV (photovoltaic) cells has been progressing for a generation, and thin film is closing in on its more expensive silicon cousins for commercial viability. The next steps include conducting lifecycle and full cost analyses of the solar cells produced through the new method. If you’d like to check out the full study, you can find it at the journal Nature Materials under the title, “Solution-based electrical doping of semiconducting polymer films over a limited depth.“ The multi-national effort included researchers from the University of California – Santa Barbara, Japan’s Kyushu University, and the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands. As for why the US Navy would be interested in bringing low cost renewable energy to Africa and elsewhere, CleanTechnica has covered that angle many times over the past few years (too many to link here — just Google it). The US Department of Defense has identified climate change as a national security threat, and the Navy is on the front lines — literally — when it comes to dealing with rising sea levels, extreme weather events, population displacement, and other impacts of global warming. The US Navy has been calling out climate change deniers and warning about the dangers of petroleum dependency energetically throughout the Obama Administration. On the other hand, throughout the 2016 election cycle, President-elect Donald Trump has been promising to revive the US fossil fuel industry at the expense of renewable energy. If daughter-in-chief Ivanka Trump is serious about promoting effective action on climate change as a matter of US policy, it looks like she’s got her work cut out for her. Follow me on Twitter and Google+. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


News Article | March 28, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

The MPIF will announce Hideshi Miura, professor, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, and Cesar Molins, director general, AMES SA, Barcelona, Spain, as APMI Fellows during the POWDERMET2016 annual conference in Boston, USA on 6 June 2016. The APMI Fellow Award recognizes APMI members for their significant contributions to the society and high level of expertise in the technology of powder metallurgy, practice, or business of the PM industry. Hideshi Miura is considered one of the leading Japanese academics in powder metallurgy (PM) and is widely recognized by significant awards, including the Japan Institute of Metals Distinguished Achievement Award, and has contributed over 300 publications. As a member of APMI for over 25 years, Miura currently serves on the APMI International Liaison Committee. He is a past president of the Japan Society of Powder and Powder Metallurgy and was co-chair of the 2012 PM World Congress in Yokohama. Miura serves on several editorial boards and has headed significant developments in ferrous press-and-sinter technology, including fatigue analysis, metal powder injection molding and the evolution of heterogeneous high-strength microstructures, and recently developed laser-based additive manufacturing for titanium and super alloys. Cesar Molins has actively promoted the PM industry for more than three decades. His deep understanding of the technology, and of how to best utilize the advantages of PM versus other manufacturing technologies, has contributed substantially to market growth for PM manufacturers globally. Molins has supported PM as an active member of the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) for over 20 years, with two terms as president. During his presidency, he was instrumental in promoting cooperation between EPMA, MPIF, and JPMA to advance PM technology globally, and spearheaded the cooperative Global PM Property Database project. Molins has been a member of APMI for over 30 years and serves on the APMI International Liaison Committee. This story uses material from the MPIF, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

With a new technique for manufacturing single-layer organic polymer solar cells, scientists at UC Santa Barbara and three other universities might very well move organic photovoltaics into a whole new generation of wearable devices and enable small-scale distributed power generation. The simple doping solution-based process involves briefly immersing organic semiconductor films in a solution at room temperature. This technique, which could replace a more complex approach that requires vacuum processing, has the potential to affect many device platforms, including organic printed electronics, sensors, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes. The researchers’ findings appear in the journal Nature Materials. “Because the new process is simple to use, general in terms of applicability and should be configurable into mass productions, it has the potential to greatly accelerate the widespread implementation of plastic electronics, of which solar cells are one example,” says co-author Guillermo Bazan, director of UCSB’s Center for Polymers and Organic Solids. “One can see impacts in technologies ranging from light-emitting devices to transistors to transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into building design or greenhouses.” Studied in many academic and industrial laboratories for two decades, organic solar cells have experienced a continuous and steady improvement in their power conversion efficiency with laboratory values reaching 13 percent compared to around 20 percent for commercial silicon-based cells. Though polymer-based cells are currently less efficient, they require less energy to produce than silicon cells and can be more easily recycled at the end of their lifetimes. This new method, which provides a way of inducing p-type electrical doping in organic semiconductor films, offers a simpler alternative to the air-sensitive molybdenum oxide layers used in the most efficient polymer solar cells. Thin films of organic semiconductors and their blends are immersed in polyoxometalate solutions in nitromethane for a brief time — on the order of minutes. The geometry of these new devices is unique as the functions of hole and electron collection are built into the light-absorbing active layer, resulting in the simplest single-layer geometry with few interfaces. “High-performing organic solar cells require a multiple layer device structure,” says co-author Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The realization of single-layer photovoltaics with our approach will simplify the device fabrication process and therefore should reduce the cost. The initial lifetime testing of these single layer devices is promising. This exciting development will help transform organic photovoltaics into a commercial technology.” Organic solar cells are unique within the context of providing transparent, flexible and easy-to-fabricate energy-producing devices. These could result in a host of novel applications, such as energy-harvesting windows and films that enable zero-cost farming by creating greenhouses that support crops and produce energy at the same time. Additional contributors to the research include Ming Wang of UCSB; Samuel Graham, Bernard Kippelen and Seth Marder of the Georgia Institute of Technology; Naoya Aizawa of Kyushu University in Japan; and Alberto Perrotta of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. The work was funded in part by a Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research Award, through the MURI Center CAOP, Office of Naval Research Award, and by the Department of Energy through the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

With a new technique for manufacturing single-layer organic polymer solar cells, scientists at UC Santa Barbara and three other universities might very well move organic photovoltaics into a whole new generation of wearable devices and enable small-scale distributed power generation. The simple doping solution-based process involves briefly immersing organic semiconductor films in a solution at room temperature. This technique, which could replace a more complex approach that requires vacuum processing, has the potential to affect many device platforms, including organic printed electronics, sensors, photodetectors and light-emitting diodes. The researchers' findings appear in the journal Nature Materials. "Because the new process is simple to use, general in terms of applicability and should be configurable into mass productions, it has the potential to greatly accelerate the widespread implementation of plastic electronics, of which solar cells are one example," said co-author Guillermo Bazan, director of UCSB's Center for Polymers and Organic Solids. "One can see impacts in technologies ranging from light-emitting devices to transistors to transparent solar cells that can be incorporated into building design or greenhouses." Studied in many academic and industrial laboratories for two decades, organic solar cells have experienced a continuous and steady improvement in their power conversion efficiency with laboratory values reaching 13 percent compared to around 20 percent for commercial silicon-based cells. Though polymer-based cells are currently less efficient, they require less energy to produce than silicon cells and can be more easily recycled at the end of their lifetimes. This new method, which provides a way of inducing p-type electrical doping in organic semiconductor films, offers a simpler alternative to the air-sensitive molybdenum oxide layers used in the most efficient polymer solar cells. Thin films of organic semiconductors and their blends are immersed in polyoxometalate solutions in nitromethane for a brief time -- on the order of minutes. The geometry of these new devices is unique as the functions of hole and electron collection are built into the light-absorbing active layer, resulting in the simplest single-layer geometry with few interfaces. "High-performing organic solar cells require a multiple layer device structure," said co-author Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, a professor in UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "The realization of single-layer photovoltaics with our approach will simplify the device fabrication process and therefore should reduce the cost. The initial lifetime testing of these single layer devices is promising. This exciting development will help transform organic photovoltaics into a commercial technology." Organic solar cells are unique within the context of providing transparent, flexible and easy-to-fabricate energy-producing devices. These could result in a host of novel applications, such as energy-harvesting windows and films that enable zero-cost farming by creating greenhouses that support crops and produce energy at the same time. Additional contributors to the research include Ming Wang of UCSB; Samuel Graham, Bernard Kippelen and Seth Marder of the Georgia Institute of Technology; Naoya Aizawa of Kyushu University in Japan; and Alberto Perrotta of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. The work was funded in part by a Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research Award, through the MURI Center CAOP, Office of Naval Research Award and by the Department of Energy through the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium.


Nakagawa T.,Kyushu University | Ku S.-Y.,National Taiwan University | Wong K.-T.,National Taiwan University | Adachi C.,Kyushu University
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

An organic light emitting diode based on thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) has been produced using a spirobifluorene derivative (Spiro-CN) having the donor-acceptor moieties as an emitter. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


To elucidate the conduit processes controlling the amplitude of air pressure waves (Apw) from vulcanian eruptions at the Sakurajima volcano, Japan, we examine ash particles emitted by eruptions preceded by swarms of low-frequency B-type earthquakes (BL-swarms). We measure the water content of glassy ash, an indicator of shallow magma storage pressure, and vesicle textures, such as vesicle number density (VND). These data allow us to reconstruct the shallow conduit by comparing vesicularity with inferred pressure, and therefore depth, of magma storage. The results show that VND increases with depth, implying formation of a dense, outgassed magma cap underlain by more-vesicular, less-outgassed, magma. The VND and water content in the glassy ash positively correlate with the duration of BL-swarms, suggesting that such seismic signals reflect upward migration of deep gas- and vesicle-rich magma. Finally, it is determined that Apw positively correlates with VND, suggesting that the amplitude of the air pressure waves is controlled by the amount of accumulated gas- and bubble-rich magma below the dense magma cap. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Araki K.,Kyoto Sangyo University | Inaba K.,Kyushu University
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling | Year: 2012

Significance: Disulfide bond formation is an essential reaction involved in the folding and maturation of many secreted and membrane proteins. Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells utilize various disulfide oxidoreductases and redox-active cofactors to accelerate this oxidative reaction, and higher eukaryotes have diversified and refined these disulfide-introducing cascades over the course of evolution. Recent Advances: In the past decade, atomic resolution structures have been solved for an increasing number of disulfide oxidoreductases, thereby revealing the structural and mechanistic basis of cellular disulfide bond formation systems. Critical Issues: In this review, we focus on the evolution, structure, and regulatory mechanisms of endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin 1 (Ero1) family enzymes, the primary disulfide bond-generating catalysts in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Detailed comparison of Ero1 with other oxidoreductases, such as Prx4, QSOX, Erv1/2, and disulfide bond protein B (DsbB), provides important insight into how this ER-resident flavoenzyme acts in a regulated and specific manner to maintain redox and protein homeostasis in eukaryotic cells. Future Directions: Currently, it is presumed that multiple pathways in addition to that mediated by Ero1 cooperate to achieve oxidative folding of many secretory and membrane proteins in mammalian cells. The important open question is how each oxidative pathway works distinctly or redundantly in response to various cellular conditions. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 16, 790-799. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.


Bissett M.A.,Kyushu University | Izumida W.,Tohoku University | Saito R.,Tohoku University | Ago H.,Kyushu University
ACS Nano | Year: 2012

We investigate the effect of mechanical strain on graphene synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) transferred onto flexible polymer substrates by observing the change in the Raman spectrum and then compare this to the behavior of exfoliated graphene. Previous studies into the effect of strain on graphene have focused on mechanically exfoliated graphene, which consists of large single domains. However, for wide scale applications CVD produced films are more applicable, and these differ in morphology, instead consisting of a patchwork of smaller domains separated by domain boundaries. We find that under strain the Raman spectra of CVD graphene transferred onto a silicone elastomer exhibits unusual behavior, with the G and 2D band frequencies decreasing and increasing respectively with applied strain. This unusual Raman behavior is attributed to the presence of domain boundaries in polycrystalline graphene causing unexpected shifts in the electronic structure. This was confirmed by the lack of such behavior in mechanically exfoliated large domain graphene and also in large single-crystal graphene domains grown by CVD. Theoretical calculation of G band for a given large shear strain may explain the unexpected shifts while the shift of the Dirac points from the K point explain the conventional behavior of a 2D band under the strain. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Fujiwara K.,Tohoku University | Katayama T.,Kyushu University | Nomura S.-I.M.,Tohoku University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

Replication of all living cells relies on the multirounds flow of the central dogma. Especially, expression of DNA replication proteins is a key step to circulate the processes of the central dogma. Here we achieved the entire sequential transcription-translation-replication process by autonomous expression of chromosomal DNA replication machineries from a reconstituted transcription-translation system (PURE system). We found that low temperature is essential to express a complex protein, DNA polymerase III, in a single tube using the PURE system. Addition of the 13 genes, encoding initiator, DNA helicase, helicase loader, RNA primase and DNA polymerase III to the PURE system gave rise to a DNA replication system by a coupling manner. An artificial genetic circuit demonstrated that the DNA produced as a result of the replication is able to provide genetic information for proteins, indicating the in vitro central dogma can sequentially undergo two rounds. © The Author(s) 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.


Patent
Ricoh Company and Kyushu University | Date: 2014-07-16

To provide a nonaqueous electrolyte secondary battery, containing: a positive electrode, which contains a positive electrode active material capable of inserting and detaching anions; a negative electrode, which contains a negative electrode active material capable of accumulating and releasing metal lithium, or lithium ions, or both thereof; and a nonaqueous electrolyte formed by dissolving a lithium salt in a nonaqueous solvent, wherein the nonaqueous electrolyte secondary battery contains a solid lithium salt at 25C, and discharge voltage of 4.0 V.


Patent
Ricoh Company and Kyushu University | Date: 2016-03-03

To provide an organic compound represented by the following general formula (1): where R_(1 )is a C2-C6 alkyl group or a hydrogen atom, R_(2 )and R_(3), which may be identical or different, are each a C2-C12 alkyl group, and R_(4 )and R_(5), which may be identical or different, are each a C6-C12 alkyl group that may be a branched chain or a straight chain.


A novel nucleoside triphosphate derivative, a nucleic acid probe, and a multilabeled nucleic acid probe that can detect a target nucleic acid conveniently and with high sensitivity, as well as a method for producing the multilabeled nucleic acid probe, and a method for detecting a target nucleic acid using the multilabeled nucleic acid probe or the nucleic acid probe. A target nucleic acid can be detected conveniently and with high sensitivity by using a transglutaminase (TGase), and by using a multilabeled nucleic acid probe in which a plurality of labeling portions have been introduced in advance by covalent binding, or by introducing a plurality of labeling portions by covalent binding into a nucleic acid probe that has been hybridized with the target nucleic acid.


Patent
Ricoh Company and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-03-26

An organic material represented by the following General Formula (1):


Patent
Kyushu University and Kyocera Corporation | Date: 2013-12-27

There is provided a sensor and the like which can detect a first substance with high accuracy. A sensor for detecting whether an analyte contains a first substance, includes a base and a detection section including a second substance immobilized on a surface of the base. The second substance includes an amino acid, a bond which can be cleaved by a reaction with an enzyme, and a first compound which is bonded to the amino acid by the bond and includes a first group capable of bonding to other substances, and the analyte is configured to be introduced to the detection section by being contacted with a third substance which generates the enzyme by a reaction with the first substance.


Patent
Kyushu University and Dnavec Corporation | Date: 2010-01-13

An objective of the present invention is to provide safe viral vectors for gene therapy that can be introduced by a simple technique and sufficiently express genes of interest in vivo. The present inventors demonstrated that anti-tumor effect can be produced when a heparin-binding cytokine such as granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and a chemokine such as TARC or RANTES are expressed in vivo using a viral vector based on a negative-strand RNA virus. The present inventors also demonstrated that the protective effect of the vector is superior to that of conventional adenovirus vectors. Thus, the present invention relates to negative-strand RNA viral vectors comprising a cytokine gene and a chemokine gene. The viral vectors are suitable for treatment of cancers, in particular, metastatic cancers. The present invention also provides compositions comprising such viral vectors, and gene therapy methods using them.


Patent
Kyushu University, Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. | Date: 2012-10-17

The present invention provides an abrasive treatment technique capable of planarizing at an extremely high rate silicon carbide, which is thermally and chemically extremely stable and for which it is extremely difficult to efficiently perform an abrasive treatment. The present invention is a polishing slurry for silicon carbide wherein the polishing slurry includes a suspension liquid in which the pH thereof is 6.5 or more and manganese dioxide particles are suspended. The polishing slurry for silicon carbide is preferably a suspension in which manganese dioxide particles are suspended in an aqueous solution allowed to have a redox potential falling in a range enabling manganese to be present as manganese dioxide. The redox potential V of the polishing slurry preferably falls within the range specified by the following formula representing a relation between V and pH, pH being a variable:


Patent
Ricoh Company and Kyushu University | Date: 2011-09-07

To provide an organic semiconductor element, containing: a source electrode containing a first organic compound layer and a second organic compound layer, at least one of the layers having an organic semiconductor active region; and a drain electrode containing the first organic compound layer and the second organic compound layer, as well as providing an organic electrode, containing: a laminated film, in which a layer of a tetrathiafulvalene derivative expressed by the following general formula I and a layer of an electron-accepting compound are laminated:


Patent
Kyocera Corporation and Kyushu University | Date: 2012-06-26

A sensor determines whether a specimen includes a first substance. In an exemplary embodiment, the sensor includes a base. In an exemplary embodiment, the sensor is configured to determine whether the specimen includes the first substance and further includes, on the base, a detection unit on which a second substance is immobilized. The second substance includes a bond that is cleft by the reaction with hydrogen peroxide. In an exemplary embodiment, the specimen that is brought in contact with an enzyme that generates the hydrogen peroxide by the reaction with the first substance is introduced to the detection unit in the sensor configured to determine whether the specimen includes the first substance.


Patent
Ricoh Company and Kyushu University | Date: 2013-11-11

To provide a nonaqueous electrolytic capacitor element, which contains: a positive electrode containing a positive electrode active material capable of intercalating or deintercalating anions; a negative electrode containing a negative electrode active material; and a nonaqueous electrolyte, which contains a nonaqueous solvent, an electrolyte salt containing a halogen atom, and a compound having a site capable of bonding to an anion containing a halogen atom.


Patent
Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki and Kyushu University | Date: 2015-03-06

A force sensor according to embodiments includes a light-emitting unit, a pair of first light detectors, a reflector, and a first frame. The light-emitting unit emits diffuse light. The first light detectors are arranged in a first direction with the light-emitting unit interposed therebetween. The reflector is arranged to face the light-emitting unit on an optical axis of the light-emitting unit and reflects the diffuse light emitted from the light-emitting unit toward the first light detectors. The first frame is deformed in the first direction so that a reflection range of the diffuse light reflected by the reflector is displaced in the first direction.


Patent
Kyushu University and Kyocera Corporation | Date: 2013-03-29

In an aspect, a sensor includes a combining portion that combines with a second substance having a molecular weight larger than a molecular weight of a first substance. Further, in an aspect, the sensor includes a substrate including a surface on which the combining portion is disposed. The combining portion detects whether or not the first substance is included in an analyte that has come into contact with both an aptamer and the second substance. The aptamer includes a first combining part for the first substance and a second combining part for the second substance and is combined with either of the first substance and the second substance.


Home > Press > Oxford Instruments announces winner of the 2015 Sir Martin Wood Prize for leading young Japanese researchers Abstract: Oxford Instruments is delighted to announce Dr Takuya Satoh, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science of Kyushu University as the winner of the 2015 Sir Martin Wood Prize. Dr Satoh was awarded the prize for his work involving the generation and control of magnetic excitations by polarised light in anti-ferromagnets and ferrimagnets. Dr Satoh was awarded with the medal, certificate and a total cash prize of ¥500,000 at the British Embassy in Tokyo by Mr. Tim Hitchens, the British Ambassador on Wednesday, 11th November 2015. He also delivered a lecture presenting his work at the 2015 Millennium Science Forum held at the Embassy, organised by Oxford Instruments and chaired by Professor Noboru Miura of Tokyo University. Among the guest speakers at the event were Professor Masaki Takata from Tohoku University and Professor Kevin O’Grady from the University of York. "It truly is an honour to be the recipient of this prestigious prize and I am grateful to Oxford Instruments and the Sir Martin Wood Prize Committee for recognising my work", commented the winner. The Millennium Science Forum was established in 1998 to promote scientific exchange between Britain and Japan and award the Sir Martin Wood Prize to a young researcher from a Japanese University or research institute who has performed outstanding research in the area of condensed matter science. The prize is named after Sir Martin Wood, Founder and Honorary President of Oxford Instruments plc. Recent winners of the Sir Martin Wood Prize for Japan include – Dr Masamitsu Hayashi of NIMS (2014) Dr Naoya Shibata, the University of Tokyo (2013) Dr Daichi Chiba, Kyoto University (2012) The Sir Martin Wood Prize selection committee consists of eight senior professors from Japanese Universities and is chaired by Professor Hidetoshi Fukuyama from Tokyo University of Science. The Sir Martin Wood Prize winner receives ¥500,000 in cash and the opportunity to give a series of lectures in British Universities, including the University of Oxford. Further details of the Sir Martin Wood Prize and nomination procedures can be obtained from the Secretariat at www.msforum.jp or email to . More information on all the Science Prizes sponsored by Oxford Instruments can be found at: www.oxford-instruments.com/scienceprize About Oxford Instruments NanoScience Oxford Instruments NanoScience designs, supplies and supports market-leading research tools that enable quantum technologies, new materials and device development in the physical sciences. Our tools support research down to the atomic scale through creation of high performance, cryogen free low temperature and magnetic environments, based upon our core technologies in low and ultra low temperatures, high magnetic fields and system integration, with ever-increasing levels of experimental and measurement readiness. Oxford Instruments NanoScience is a part of the Oxford Instruments plc group. About Oxford Instruments plc Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion. The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors with a focus on nanotechnology. Its key market sectors include nano-fabrication and nano-materials. The company’s strategy is to expand the business into the life sciences arena, where nanotechnology and biotechnology intersect. This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature, high magnetic field and ultra high vacuum environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; X-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; advanced growth, deposition and etching. Oxford Instruments aims to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of our world through science and technology. Its products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: phys.org

'Mutant morning glories' illustrated in Ukiyoe (wood-block printing from the Edo period), by Utagawa Hiroshige II (Reprinted from the National Diet Library Digital Collections) Credit: The National Diet Library Digital Collections Researchers in Japan have successfully decoded the entire Japanese morning glory genome. Japanese morning glories (Ipomoea nil) are traditional garden plants that are popular in Japan. You can see the flower in many Japanese gardens in the summer. Further, mutants are known to frequently appear in morning glories due to the actions of "jumping genes", called transposons. From the Edo period (about 200 years ago), morning glories with strange shaped flowers and leaves have been bred and appreciated, and this has developed into a unique gardening culture in Japan. Because of the popularity of these "mutant morning glories", a lot of natural mutants have been collected. In modern times, by analyzing these mutants in detail, researchers have found a number of genes that determine flower and leaf shapes as well as flower colors and patterns. The research group has deciphered the entire genome of the Japanese morning glory standard line. One of the research leaders, Professor Yasubumi Sakakibara of Keio University, who was in charge of assembly and bioinformatics analysis of the genome in the present study said that "A high-quality nearly complete genome sequence was obtained, leading to identification of the coding sequences of the approximately forty three thousand morning glory genes, as well as the number and distribution of the transposons which produce the stunning variety of morning glory colors and shapes." The research group used the entire genome sequence to characterize the mutants showing dwarfism with dark-green, thick and wrinkled leaves. They identified a gene for plant hormone biosynthesis that is disrupted by the transposons in the mutants. Kyushu University Lecturer Eiji Nitasaka, stock manager of the National BioResourse Project (NBRP) Morning Glory, said "With the decoding of the genome the value of using Japanese morning glory as a model organism has increased dramatically. I hope Japanese morning glories and their mutants will be used by many researchers around the world." One of the leaders of this study, Assistant Professor Atsushi Hoshino of the National Institute for Basic Biology, said, "The genome sequence of the Japanese morning glory will not only aid in understanding of the morning glory itself, it will also be utilized in research of closely related crops such as sweet potatoes." The research has been published in Nature Communications. The variety of Japanese morning glory colors and shapes. Credit: Kyushu University More information: Atsushi Hoshino et al, Genome sequence and analysis of the Japanese morning glory Ipomoea nil, Nature Communications (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13295


Wakano J.Y.,Meiji University | Wakano J.Y.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | Iwasa Y.,Kyushu University
Genetics | Year: 2013

Adaptive dynamics formalism demonstrates that, in a constant environment, a continuous trait may first converge to a singular point followed by spontaneous transition from a unimodal trait distribution into a bimodal one, which is called "evolutionary branching." Most previous analyses of evolutionary branching have been conducted in an infinitely large population. Here, we study the effect of stochasticity caused by the finiteness of the population size on evolutionary branching. By analyzing the dynamics of trait variance, we obtain the condition for evolutionary branching as the one under which trait variance explodes. Genetic drift reduces the trait variance and causes stochastic fluctuation. In a very small population, evolutionary branching does not occur. In larger populations, evolutionary branching may occur, but it occurs in two different manners: in deterministic branching, branching occurs quickly when the population reaches the singular point, while in stochastic branching, the population stays at singularity for a period before branching out. The conditions for these cases and the mean branching-out times are calculated in terms of population size, mutational effects, and selection intensity and are confirmed by direct computer simulations of the individual-based model. © 2013 by the Genetics Society of America.


Goldstein S.,Rutgers University | Hara T.,Kyushu University | Tasaki H.,Gakushuin University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We prove two theorems concerning the time evolution in general isolated quantum systems. The theorems are relevant to the issue of the time scale in the approach to equilibrium. The first theorem shows that there can be pathological situations in which the relaxation takes an extraordinarily long time, while the second theorem shows that one can always choose an equilibrium subspace, the relaxation to which requires only a short time for any initial state. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Sonoyama N.,Idemitsu Kosan Co. | Hayashi J.-I.,Kyushu University
Fuel | Year: 2013

We performed pyrolysis analyses of various biomasses and biomass-derived materials using a thermo gravimetry device and a wire-mesh reactor. Kinetic parameters, which were a frequency factor and an activation energy, were derived based on a distributed activation energy model. We validated the prediction of thermogravimetric curves calculated using the kinetic parameters in the case of rapid pyrolysis of biomass having the least interaction between particles and volatiles. Unlike coal, the kinetic parameters of the samples changed markedly with progression of pyrolysis. We estimated that the low activation energy in the initial step was caused by hydration and the volatilisation of lighter components. Some biomass samples showed a decrease in both the frequency factor and activation energy during pyrolysis. Changes in the chemical structures of xylan and cellulose from cyclic aliphatic units to aromatic units, accompanying amorphism, softening, or melting of part of the solid phase in some cases, caused a decrease in kinetic parameters during pyrolysis. Both the frequency factor and activation energy of all biomass samples increased in the final stages, which was considered to be the result of char forming by carbonisation. Analysing in detail the changes in kinetic parameters provided information on the behaviour of the volatilisation, the change in solid state, and the extent of char structural development. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Otera H.,Kyushu University | Ishihara N.,Kurume University | Mihara K.,Kyushu University | Mihara K.,Kurume University
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research | Year: 2013

Mitochondrial morphology changes dynamically by coordinated fusion and fission and cytoskeleton-based transport. Cycles of outer and inner membrane fusion and fission are required for the exchange of damaged mitochondrial genome DNA, proteins, and lipids with those of healthy mitochondria to maintain robust mitochondrial structure and function. These dynamics are crucial for cellular life and death, because they are essential for cellular development and homeostasis, as well as apoptosis. Disruption of these functions leads to cellular dysfunction, resulting in neurologic disorders and metabolic diseases. The cytoplasmic dynamin-related GTPase Drp1 plays a key role in mitochondrial fission, while Mfn1, Mfn2 and Opa1 are involved in fusion reaction. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the regulation and physiologic relevance of Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission: the initial recruitment and assembly of Drp1 on the mitochondrial fission foci, regulation of Drp1 activity by post-translational modifications, and the role of mitochondrial fission in cell pathophysiology. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Goldstein S.,Rutgers University | Hara T.,Kyushu University | Tasaki H.,Gakushuin University
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2015

The fact that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium may seem puzzling, for example, because it may seem to conflict with the time-reversibility of the microscopic dynamics. We here prove that in a macroscopic quantum system for a typical choice of 'nonequilibrium subspace', any initial state indeed thermalizes, and in fact does so very quickly, on the order of the Boltzmann time τB :=h/ (kBT). Therefore what needs to be explained is, not that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium, but that they do so slowly. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Patent
Kyushu University and Hiroshima University | Date: 2014-04-22

The object of the present invention is to, by analyzing PPR proteins that act to bind to DNA with a prediction that RNA recognition rules of PPR motifs can also be used for recognition of DNA, find a PPR protein showing such a characteristic. According to the present invention, it was revealed that, with a protein that can bind in a DNA base-selective manner or a DNA base sequence-specific manner, which contains one or more, preferably 2 to 30, more preferably 5 to 25, most preferably 9 to 15, of PPR motifs having a structure of the following formula 1 (wherein, in the formula 1, Helix A is a part that can form an -helix structure; X does not exist, or is a part consisting of 1 to 9 amino acids; Helix B is a part that can form an -helix structure; and L is a part consisting of 2 to 7 amino acids), and having a specific combination of amino acids corresponding to a DNA base or DNA base sequence as amino acids of three positions of No. 1 A.A., No. 4 A.A., in Helix A of the formula 1 and No. ii (-2) A.A. contained in L of the formula 1, the aforementioned object could be achieved. (Helix A)-X-(Helix B)-L(Formula 1)


Patent
SO Pharmaceutical Corporation and Kyushu University | Date: 2011-04-06

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a non-invasive transdermal immunizing technology by which inflammation and lump do not appear at the skin unlike conventional transdermal immunizing methods with subcutaneous administration and the development amount of antibody in serum is increased. The S/O type transdermal immunizing agent according to the present invention comprises an antigen-surfactant complex and an oil phase; wherein the antigen is covered with the surfactant in the complex; the complex is in a solid state; and the complex is dissolved or dispersed in the oil phase.


Patent
Kyushu University and Hiroshima University | Date: 2016-05-18

The object of the present invention is to, by analyzing PPR proteins that act to bind to DNA with a prediction that RNA recognition rules of PPR motifs can also be used for recognition of DNA, find a PPR protein showing such a characteristic. According to the present invention, it was revealed that, with a protein that can bind in a DNA base-selective manner or a DNA base sequence-specific manner, which contains one or more, preferably 2 to 30, more preferably 5 to 25, most preferably 9 to 15, of PPR motifs having a structure of the following formula 1 (wherein, in the formula 1, Helix A is a part that can form an -helix structure; X does not exist, or is a part consisting of 1 to 9 amino acids; Helix B is a part that can form an -helix structure; and L is a part consisting of 2 to 7 amino acids), and having a specific combination of amino acids corresponding to a DNA base or DNA base sequence as amino acids of three positions of No. 1 A.A., No. 4 A.A., in Helix A of the formula 1 and No. ii (-2) A.A. contained in L of the formula 1, the aforementioned object could be achieved.


Patent
Kurume University, Kyushu University and Kurume Research Park Co. | Date: 2013-05-08

Provided is a gene set which is useful for predicting the therapeutic effect of an immunotherapy on a cancer patient. Also provided is a method for examining whether an immunotherapy is efficacious or not, said method comprising quantifying the expression amount of each of the genes constituting the aforesaid gene set. This examination method is useful for determining a therapeutic strategy for the cancer patient.


Patent
Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Kyushu University and Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd. | Date: 2014-12-11

The present invention provides an electro-optic element including an optical waveguide that is constituted of a core layer made of an inorganic compound and a first clad layer and a second clad layer which are laminated so as to sandwich the core layer therebetween and are made of a dielectric material, and a first electrode layer and a second electrode layer that are formed so as to sandwich the core layer therebetween, the first clad layer, and the second clad layer, in which at least one of the first clad layer and the second clad layer contains an organic dielectric material having an electro-optic effect, and refractive indices of the first clad layer and the second clad layer are lower than a refractive index of the core layer.

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