Tokyo Metropolitan University is a public university in Japan. It is often referred to as TMU. Tokyo Metropolitan University ranks 239th in the ”Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015, which was released on October 1, 2014. The ranking among Japan’s 781 universities is 7th, behind the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Osaka University, Tohoku University and Nagoya University. Wikipedia.
News Article | September 28, 2016
Christopher J. Kiely calls the 1982 discovery by Masatake Haruta that gold (Au) possessed a high level of catalytic activity for carbon monoxide (CO) oxidation when deposited on a metal-oxide “a remarkable turn of events in nanotechnology” — remarkable because gold had long been assumed to be inert for catalysis. Haruta showed that gold dispersed on iron oxide effectively catalyzed the conversion of harmful carbon monoxide into more benign carbon dioxide (CO ) at room temperatures — a reaction that is critical for the construction of fire fighters’ breathing masks and for removal of CO from hydrogen feeds for fuel cells. In fact, today gold catalysts are being exploited in a major way for the greening of many important reactions in the chemical industry, because they can lead to cleaner, more efficient reactions with fewer by-products. Haruta and Graham J. Hutchings, who co-discovered the use of gold as a catalyst for different reactions, are noted as Thompson Reuters Citation Laureates and appear annually on the ScienceWatch Nobel Prize prediction list. Their pioneering work opened up a new area of scientific inquiry and kicked off a decades-long debate about which type of supported gold species are most effective for the CO oxidation reaction. In 2008, using electron microscopy technology that was not yet available in the 1980s and 1990s, Hutchings, the director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute at Cardiff University worked with Kiely, the Harold B. Chambers Senior Professor Materials Science and Engineering at Lehigh, examined the structure of supported gold at the nanoscale. One nanometer (nm) is equal to one one-billionth of a meter or about the diameter of five atoms. Using what was then a rare piece of equipment — Lehigh’s aberration-corrected JEOL 2200 FS scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) — the team identified the co-existence of three distinct gold species: facetted nanoparticles larger than one nanometer in size, sub-clusters containing less than 20 atoms and individual gold atoms strewn over the support. Because only the larger gold nanoparticles had previously been detected, this created debate as to which of these species were responsible for the good catalytic behavior. Haruta, professor of applied chemistry at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hutchings, and Kiely have been working collaboratively on this problem over recent years and are now the first to demonstrate conclusively that it is not the particles or the individual atoms or the clusters which are solely responsible for the catalysis — but that they all contribute to different degrees. Their results have been published in an article in Nature Communications titled “Population and hierarchy of active species in gold iron oxide catalysts for carbon monoxide oxidation.” “All of the species tend to co-exist in conventionally prepared catalysts and show some level of activity,” says Kiely. “They all do something — but some less efficiently than others.” Their research revealed the sub-nanometer clusters and 1 to 3nm nanoparticles to be the most efficient for catalyzing this CO oxidation reaction, while larger particles were less so and the atoms even less. Nevertheless, Kiely cautions, all the species present need to be considered to fully explain the overall measured activity of the catalyst. Among the team’s other key findings: the measured activity of gold on iron oxide catalysts is exquisitely dependent on exactly how the material is prepared. Very small changes in synthesis parameters influence the relative proportion and spatial distribution of these various Au species on the support material and thus have a big impact on its overall catalytic performance. Building on their earlier work (published in a 2008 Science article), the team sought to find a robust way to quantitatively analyze the relative population distributions of nanoparticles of various sizes, sub-nm clusters and highly dispersed atoms in a given gold on iron oxide sample. By correlating this information with catalytic performance measurements, they then hoped to determine which species distribution would be optimal to produce the most efficient catalyst, in order to utilize the precious gold component in the most cost effective way. Ultimately, it was a catalyst synthesis problem the team faced that offered them a golden opportunity to do just that. During the collaboration, Haruta’s and Hutchings’ teams each prepared gold on iron oxide samples in their home labs in Tokyo and Cardiff. Even though both groups nominally utilized the same “co-precipitation” synthesis method, it turned out that a final heat treatment step was beneficial to the catalytic performance for one set of materials but detrimental to the other. This observation provided a fascinating scientific conundrum that detailed electron microscopy studies performed by Qian He, one of Kiely’s PhD students at the time, was key to solving. Qian He is now a University Research Fellow at Cardiff University leading their electron microscopy effort. “In the end, there were subtle differences in the order and speed in which each group added in their ingredients while preparing the material,” explains He. “When examined under the electron microscope, it was clear that the two slightly different methods produced quite different distributions of particles, clusters and dispersed atoms on the support.” “Very small variations in the preparation route or thermal history of the sample can alter the relative balance of supported gold nanoparticles-to-clusters-to-atoms in the material and this manifests itself in the measured catalytic activity,” adds Kiely. The group was able to compare this set of materials and correlate the Au species distributions with catalytic performance measurements, ultimately identifying the species distribution that was associated with greater catalytic efficiency. Now that the team has identified the catalytic activity hierarchy associated with these supported gold species, the next step, says Kiely, will be to modify the synthesis method to positively influence that distribution to optimize the catalyst performance while making the most efficient use of the precious gold metal content. “As a next stage to this study we would like to be able to observe gold on iron oxide materials in-situ within the electron microscope while the reaction is happening,” says Kiely. Once again, it is next generation microscopy facilities that may hold the key to fulfilling gold’s promise as a pivotal player in green technology.
News Article | August 22, 2016
"Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s 'frozen wall of earth' has failed to prevent groundwater from entering the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and the utility needs a new plan to address the problem, experts said. An expert panel with the Nuclear Regulation Authority received a report from TEPCO on the current state of the project on Aug. 18. The experts said the ice wall project, almost in its fifth month, has shown little or no success. 'The plan to block groundwater with a frozen wall of earth is failing,' said panel member Yoshinori Kitsutaka, a professor of engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University. 'They need to come up with another solution, even if they keep going forward with the plan.'"
News Article | March 23, 2016
A research team has released a new version of MEGA (Molecular Evolutionary Genomics Analysis) software, one of the most highly downloaded and widely used tools used by scientists worldwide to harness large-scale DNA sets for comparative studies. At its core, MEGA is a powerful bioinformatics tool designed to help researchers identify key patterns among the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, and unravel the mysteries of human evolution, health and disease coded within the genome. The MEGA7 edition, developed by Temple University professor Sudhir Kumar, Glen Stecher and Tokyo Metropolitan University professor Koichiro Tamura, represents the most sophisticated, powerful and advanced version yet, designed to extend its use to ever more complex and large DNA analysis datasets. "We've done a significant upgrade of MEGA, which was necessary to speed up the data-crunching time and memory usage with 64 bit processors, and much larger memory space to handle gigabytes of data, so now people can analyze an ever larger amount of sequences," said Kumar, who directs the Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine at Temple. For Kumar, making the software freely available to the scientific community is a key to propelling worldwide evolutionary discoveries. "MEGA has been freely available for over 20 years for any use, spanning research, teaching and industry. We enable people throughout the world, including developing nations, to use fundamental technologies that are needed to address these burgeoning sequence databases. "Everyone in the world should be able to use evolutionary and genomics tools to analyze the wealth of information that is being produced relating the genomes of humans to pathogens, to disease to traits, to uncover our similarities and differences. It will take all of our global efforts to do so. The most important thing is to develop user-friendly, sophisticated software for use by all." MEGA has one of the largest user-bases, and has been downloaded more than 1.1 million times across 184 countries. The latest improvements are only likely to increase its usage in the scientific community, MEGA is cited in more than 10,000 publications annually, making it one of the most cited bioinformatics tools in teaching and research for those uncovering the secrets of the complex, four-billion-year evolutionary history of life on Earth.
News Article | March 22, 2016
At its core, MEGA is a powerful bioinformatics tool designed to help researchers identify key patterns among the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, and unravel the mysteries of human evolution, health and disease coded within the genome. The MEGA7 edition, developed by Temple University professor Sudhir Kumar, Glen Stecher and Tokyo Metropolitan University professor Koichiro Tamura, represents the most sophisticated, powerful and advanced version yet, designed to extend its use to ever more complex and large DNA analysis datasets. "We've done a significant upgrade of MEGA, which was necessary to speed up the data-crunching time and memory usage with 64 bit processors, and much larger memory space to handle gigabytes of data, so now people can analyze an ever larger amount of sequences," said Kumar, who directs the Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine at Temple. For Kumar, making the software freely available to the scientific community is a key to propelling worldwide evolutionary discoveries. "MEGA has been freely available for over 20 years for any use, spanning research, teaching and industry. We enable people throughout the world, including developing nations, to use fundamental technologies that are needed to address these burgeoning sequence databases. "Everyone in the world should be able to use evolutionary and genomics tools to analyze the wealth of information that is being produced relating the genomes of humans to pathogens, to disease to traits, to uncover our similarities and differences. It will take all of our global efforts to do so. The most important thing is to develop user-friendly, sophisticated software for use by all." MEGA has one of the largest user-bases, and has been downloaded more than 1.1 million times across 184 countries. The latest improvements are only likely to increase its usage in the scientific community, MEGA is cited in more than 10,000 publications annually, making it one of the most cited bioinformatics tools in teaching and research for those uncovering the secrets of the complex, 4 billion year evolutionary history of life on Earth. Explore further: Professor uses evolution, informatics to uncover secrets of the genome
Kim M.,Tokyo Metropolitan University |
Kim H.,Tokyo Metropolitan University
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2013
Background/objective: We aimed to examine the accuracy of segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (SMF-BIA) for the assessment of whole-body and appendicular fat mass (FM) and lean soft tissue mass (LM) in frail older women, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as a reference method. Subjects/Methods: All 129 community-dwelling Japanese frail older women with a mean age of 80.9 years (range, 75-89 years) from the Frailty Intervention Trial were recruited. The agreements between SMF-BIA and DXA for whole-body and appendicular body composition were assessed using simple linear regression and Bland-Altman analysis.RESULTS:High coefficients of determination (R 2) for whole-body FM (R 2 =0.94, s.e. of estimate (SEE)=1.2 kg), whole-body LM (R 2 =0.85, SEE=1.4 kg), and appendicular FM (R 2 =0.82, SEE=1.1 kg) were observed between SMF-BIA and DXA. The R 2 coefficient for appendicular LM was moderate (R 2 =0.76, SEE=0.8 kg). Bland-Altman plots demonstrated that there was systematic (constant) bias (that is, DXA minus SMF-BIA) with overestimation of whole-body FM (bias=-1.2 kg, 95% confidence interval (CI)=-1.5 to-0.1) and underestimation of whole-body LM (bias=2.1 kg, 95% CI=1.8-2.3) by SMF-BIA. Similar, the appendicular measurements also demonstrated systematic bias with overestimation of appendicular FM (bias=-0.3 kg, 95% CI=-0.5 to-0.1) and underestimation of whole-body LM (bias=1.5 kg, 95% CI=1.4-1.7) by SMF-BIA. In addition, the individual level accuracy demonstrated a non-proportional bias for whole-body LM (r=0.08, P=0.338) and appendicular FM (r=0.07, P=0.413).CONCLUSIONS:SMF-BIA had acceptable accuracy for the estimation of whole-body and appendicular FM and LM in frail older women, although SMF-BIA underestimated LM and overestimated FM relative to DXA. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Younes M.,Baylor College of Medicine |
Honma N.,Tokyo Metropolitan University
Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2011
Context.-A new class of estrogen receptors was discovered in 1996 and named estrogen receptor β (ER-B); the traditional estrogen receptor, which until a little more than 10 years ago was thought of as the only estrogen receptor in existence, is now called estrogen receptor α. Estrogen receptor β has at least 5 isoforms, which may have different functions and have different tissue distribution. The significance of ER-B expression in tumors was first demonstrated in breast cancer, with several studies demonstrating that women with ER-B-positive breast cancers treated with adjuvant tamoxifen have better survival, independent of estrogen receptor a expression. Pathologists need to be more aware of this increasingly important protein, as it will soon find its way into routine clinical practice. Objective.-To provide pathologists with a concise review of ER-B, with special emphasis on current and potential clinical relevance. Data Sources.-A search of the English literature in PubMed (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland) for articles with titles including "estrogen receptor beta," with emphasis on "immunohistochemistry. " Abstracts were reviewed, and selected articles were used as the basis for writing this review, mostly based on their relevance to pathology. Conclusions.-Estrogen receptor β and its isoforms have wider tissue distribution, including the gastrointestinal tract, lung, and brain, than the traditional estrogen receptor, now called estrogen receptor α. Estrogen receptor β expression in breast cancer is associated with favorable outcome in women treated with adjuvant tamoxifen, even in tumors negative for estrogen receptor α. The clinical significance of ER-B expression in tumors other than breast is currently under investigation.
Shephard R.J.,University of Toronto |
Aoyagi Y.,Tokyo Metropolitan University
European Journal of Applied Physiology | Year: 2012
Over the years, techniques for the study of human movement have ranged in complexity and precision from direct observation of the subject through activity diaries, questionnaires, and recordings of body movement, to the measurement of physiological responses, studies of metabolism and indirect and direct calorimetry. This article reviews developments in each of these domains. Particular reference is made to their impact upon the continuing search for valid field estimates of activity patterns and energy expenditures, as required by the applied physiologist, ergonomist, sports scientist, nutritionist and epidemiologist. Early observers sought to improve productivity in demanding employment. Direct observation and filming of workers were supplemented by monitoring of heart rates, ventilation and oxygen consumption. Such methods still find application in ergonomics and sport, but many investigators are now interested in relationships between habitual physical activity and chronic disease. Even sophisticated questionnaires still do not provide valid information on the absolute energy expenditures associated with good health. Emphasis has thus shifted to use of sophisticated pedometer/accelerometers, sometimes combining their output with GPS and other data. Some modern pedometer/accelerometers perform well in the laboratory, but show substantial systematic errors relative to laboratory reference criteria such as the metabolism of doubly labeled water when assessing the varied activities of daily life. The challenge remains to develop activity monitors that are sufficiently inexpensive for field use, yet meet required accuracy standards. Possibly, measurements of oxygen consumption by portable respirometers may soon satisfy part of this need, although a need for valid longer term monitoring will remain. © Springer-Verlag 2011.
Mori S.,Tokyo Metropolitan University |
Shigemoto K.,Tokyo Metropolitan University
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2013
The presence of autoantibodies against muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) results in myasthenia gravis (MG). MuSK antibody-associated MG (MuSK MG) patients often have severe symptoms, including bulbar dysfunction, respiratory insufficiency and atrophy of the facial and tongue muscles. MuSK antibodies in MG patients predominantly belong to the IgG4 subclass, and the unique properties of IgG4 antibodies are directly associated with the pathogenic mechanisms of MuSK MG. Histopathological studies in animal models of MuSK MG have revealed that anti-MuSK antibodies cause contraction of motor terminals, significant loss of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) expression, and a reduction in synaptic folds at the postsynaptic membrane in the absence of complement involvement. Failure of neuromuscular transmission at pre- and postsynaptic membranes of the NMJs has been observed in both patients and animal models of MuSK MG. A murine model of MuSK-MG revealed the mechanisms underlying cholinergic hypersensitivity after administration of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which has also been observed in MuSK-MG patients. Further studies of this model have provided evidence suggesting that 3,4-diaminopyridine may be effective as a symptomatic therapy for MuSK MG. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Honda Y.,Tokyo Metropolitan University |
Tanaka M.,Tokyo Metropolitan University |
Honda S.,Tokyo Metropolitan University
Aging Cell | Year: 2010
Trehalose is a disaccharide of glucose found in diverse organisms and is suggested to act as a stress protectant against heat, cold, desiccation, anoxia, and oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that treatment of Caenorhabditis elegans with trehalose starting from the young-adult stage extended the mean life span by over 30% without any side effects. Surprisingly, trehalose treatment starting even from the old-adult stage shortly thereafter retarded the age-associated decline in survivorship and extended the remaining life span by 60%. Demographic analyses of age-specific mortality rates revealed that trehalose extended the life span by lowering age-independent vulnerability. Moreover, trehalose increased the reproductive span and retarded the age-associated decrease in pharyngeal-pumping rate and the accumulation of lipofuscin autofluorescence. Trehalose also enhanced thermotolerance and reduced polyglutamine aggregation. These results suggest that trehalose suppressed aging by counteracting internal or external stresses that disrupt protein homeostasis. On the other hand, the life span-extending effect of trehalose was abolished in long-lived insulin/IGF-1-like receptor (daf-2) mutants. RNA interference-mediated inactivation of the trehalosebiosynthesis genes trehalose-6-phosphate synthase-1 (tps-1) and tps-2, which are known to be up-regulated in daf-2 mutants, decreased the daf-2 life span. These findings indicate that a reduction in insulin/IGF-1-like signaling extends life span, at least in part, through the aging-suppressor function of trehalose. Trehalose may be a lead compound for potential nutraceutical intervention of the aging process.
Shinkai S.,Tokyo Metropolitan University
[Nihon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health | Year: 2013
A frailty index for Japanese older people is not yet available. This study examined the validity of "Kaigo-Yobo Check-List" (CL) as a frailty index. The study site was Kusatsu town, Gunma prefecture. Out of 612 older persons aged 65 years and over who undertook a comprehensive geriatric assessment in 2007, results from 526 who had no missing data were used to examine the cross-sectional relationship between frailty as defined by Fried's criteria (= external criteria) and CL scores in order to evaluate concurrent and construct validity. Further, 916 older individuals aged 70 years and over who responded to the baseline survey in 2001 were followed for the subsequent 4 years and 4 months regarding the onset of ADL disability, service use under the Long Term Care Insurance program, and mortality. We examined the predictive validity of the CL for such adverse outcomes after adjustment for gender, age, and comorbidity. The CL (cut-off point = 3/4) discriminated frailty from non-frailty at the sensitivity of 70.0% and specificity of 89.3%. The higher the CL score, the higher the prevalence of frailty; the trend was highly significant (P < 0.001). The Multitrail Multimethod Model showed that there were significant associations among three components of CL (homeboundness, falling, and lower nutrition) and four out of five components of Fried's frailty criteria (shrinking, exhaustion, low activity, and slowness), whereas those components of the CL did not have an association with the weakness component of Fried's frailty criteria. As compared with older persons who had CL scores of 3 points or below, those who had CL scores of 4 or more points had a significantly higher risk for developing adverse outcomes. Multivariate-adjusted odds ratios for ADL disability at 2 and 4 years after baseline were 5.25 (95% confidence interval, 2.79-9.89) and 3.42 (1.79-6.54), respectively. Likewise, multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios for the onset of service use under the Long Term Care Insurance program and mortality during the follow-up period of 4 years and 4 months were 3.50 (2.41-5.07) and 2.43 (1.70-3.47), respectively. Although the construct validity remained inconclusive, the "Kaigo-Yobo Check-List" showed good concurrent and predictive validity as a frailty index. Since it comprises 15 easy-to-answer questions, it could be widely used for research on frailty and its preventive intervention.