Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Kanade Shimizu

23 Pyramidal Lucas-Kanade Optical Flow Based Moving Object Detection in Dynamic Scenes

Authors: Hyojin Lim, Cuong Nguyen Khac, Yeongyu Choi, Ho-Youl Jung

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose a simple moving object detection, which is based on motion vectors obtained from pyramidal Lucas-Kanade optical flow. The proposed method detects moving objects such as pedestrians, the other vehicles and some obstacles at the front-side of the host vehicle, and it can provide the warning to the driver. Motion vectors are obtained by using pyramidal Lucas-Kanade optical flow, and some outliers are eliminated by comparing the amplitude of each vector with the pre-defined threshold value. The background model is obtained by calculating the mean and the variance of the amplitude of recent motion vectors in the rectangular shaped local region called the cell. The model is applied as the reference to classify motion vectors of moving objects and those of background. Motion vectors are clustered to rectangular regions by using the unsupervised clustering K-means algorithm. Labeling method is applied to label groups which is close to each other, using by distance between each center points of rectangular. Through the simulations tested on four kinds of scenarios such as approaching motorbike, vehicle, and pedestrians to host vehicle, we prove that the proposed is simple but efficient for moving object detection in parking lots.

Keywords: moving object detection, dynamic scene, optical flow, pyramidal optical flow

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22 Adaptive Motion Compensated Spatial Temporal Filter of Colonoscopy Video

Authors: Nidhal Azawi

Abstract:

Colonoscopy procedure is widely used in the world to detect an abnormality. Early diagnosis can help to heal many patients. Because of the unavoidable artifacts that exist in colon images, doctors cannot detect a colon surface precisely. The purpose of this work is to improve the visual quality of colonoscopy videos to provide better information for physicians by removing some artifacts. This work complements a series of work consisting of three previously published papers. In this paper, Optic flow is used for motion compensation, and then consecutive images are aligned/registered to integrate some information to create a new image that has or reveals more information than the original one. Colon images have been classified into informative and noninformative images by using a deep neural network. Then, two different strategies were used to treat informative and noninformative images. Informative images were treated by using Lucas Kanade (LK) with an adaptive temporal mean/median filter, whereas noninformative images are treated by using Lucas Kanade with a derivative of Gaussian (LKDOG) with adaptive temporal median images. A comparison result showed that this work achieved better results than that results in the state- of- the- art strategies for the same degraded colon images data set, which consists of 1000 images. The new proposed algorithm reduced the error alignment by about a factor of 0.3 with a 100% successfully image alignment ratio. In conclusion, this algorithm achieved better results than the state-of-the-art approaches in case of enhancing the informative images as shown in the results section; also, it succeeded to convert the non-informative images that have very few details/no details because of the blurriness/out of focus or because of the specular highlight dominate significant amount of an image to informative images.

Keywords: optic flow, colonoscopy, artifacts, spatial temporal filter

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21 Analyzing Students’ Preferences for Academic Advising: Cases of Two Institutions in Greater Tokyo in Japan

Authors: Megumi Yamasaki, Eiko Shimizu

Abstract:

The term academic advisor system first appeared in 2012 in Japan. After ten years, it is not yet functioning. One of Japanese college students’ characteristics is that they choose an institution but may not be interested in a major and want to earn a degree for a career. When the university encourages students to develop competencies as well as students to set personal goals during college life, it is critical to support students develop self-directed attitudes and advocacy skills. This paper will analyze the students’ current stage and how academic advising supports their development.

Keywords: academic advising, student development, self-directed, self-advocacy

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20 A Geometric Based Hybrid Approach for Facial Feature Localization

Authors: Priya Saha, Sourav Dey Roy Jr., Debotosh Bhattacharjee, Mita Nasipuri, Barin Kumar De, Mrinal Kanti Bhowmik

Abstract:

Biometric face recognition technology (FRT) has gained a lot of attention due to its extensive variety of applications in both security and non-security perspectives. It has come into view to provide a secure solution in identification and verification of person identity. Although other biometric based methods like fingerprint scans, iris scans are available, FRT is verified as an efficient technology for its user-friendliness and contact freeness. Accurate facial feature localization plays an important role for many facial analysis applications including biometrics and emotion recognition. But, there are certain factors, which make facial feature localization a challenging task. On human face, expressions can be seen from the subtle movements of facial muscles and influenced by internal emotional states. These non-rigid facial movements cause noticeable alterations in locations of facial landmarks, their usual shapes, which sometimes create occlusions in facial feature areas making face recognition as a difficult problem. The paper proposes a new hybrid based technique for automatic landmark detection in both neutral and expressive frontal and near frontal face images. The method uses the concept of thresholding, sequential searching and other image processing techniques for locating the landmark points on the face. Also, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based software is designed that could automatically detect 16 landmark points around eyes, nose and mouth that are mostly affected by the changes in facial muscles. The proposed system has been tested on widely used JAFFE and Cohn Kanade database. Also, the system is tested on DeitY-TU face database which is created in the Biometrics Laboratory of Tripura University under the research project funded by Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Govt. of India. The performance of the proposed method has been done in terms of error measure and accuracy. The method has detection rate of 98.82% on JAFFE database, 91.27% on Cohn Kanade database and 93.05% on DeitY-TU database. Also, we have done comparative study of our proposed method with other techniques developed by other researchers. This paper will put into focus emotion-oriented systems through AU detection in future based on the located features.

Keywords: biometrics, face recognition, facial landmarks, image processing

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19 Optical Flow Direction Determination for Railway Crossing Occupancy Monitoring

Authors: Zdenek Silar, Martin Dobrovolny

Abstract:

This article deals with the obstacle detection on a railway crossing (clearance detection). Detection is based on the optical flow estimation and classification of the flow vectors by K-means clustering algorithm. For classification of passing vehicles is used optical flow direction determination. The optical flow estimation is based on a modified Lucas-Kanade method.

Keywords: background estimation, direction of optical flow, K-means clustering, objects detection, railway crossing monitoring, velocity vectors

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18 Membrane Permeability of Middle Molecules: A Computational Chemistry Approach

Authors: Sundaram Arulmozhiraja, Kanade Shimizu, Yuta Yamamoto, Satoshi Ichikawa, Maenaka Katsumi, Hiroaki Tokiwa

Abstract:

Drug discovery is shifting from small molecule based drugs targeting local active site to middle molecules (MM) targeting large, flat, and groove-shaped binding sites, for example, protein-protein interface because at least half of all targets assumed to be involved in human disease have been classified as “difficult to drug” with traditional small molecules. Hence, MMs such as peptides, natural products, glycans, nucleic acids with various high potent bioactivities become important targets for drug discovery programs in the recent years as they could be used for ‘undruggable” intracellular targets. Cell membrane permeability is one of the key properties of pharmacodynamically active MM drug compounds and so evaluating this property for the potential MMs is crucial. Computational prediction for cell membrane permeability of molecules is very challenging; however, recent advancement in the molecular dynamics simulations help to solve this issue partially. It is expected that MMs with high membrane permeability will enable drug discovery research to expand its borders towards intracellular targets. Further to understand the chemistry behind the permeability of MMs, it is necessary to investigate their conformational changes during the permeation through membrane and for that their interactions with the membrane field should be studied reliably because these interactions involve various non-bonding interactions such as hydrogen bonding, -stacking, charge-transfer, polarization dispersion, and non-classical weak hydrogen bonding. Therefore, parameters-based classical mechanics calculations are hardly sufficient to investigate these interactions rather, quantum mechanical (QM) calculations are essential. Fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method could be used for such purpose as it performs ab initio QM calculations by dividing the system into fragments. The present work is aimed to study the cell permeability of middle molecules using molecular dynamics simulations and FMO-QM calculations. For this purpose, a natural compound syringolin and its analogues were considered in this study. Molecular simulations were performed using NAMD and Gromacs programs with CHARMM force field. FMO calculations were performed using the PAICS program at the correlated Resolution-of-Identity second-order Moller Plesset (RI-MP2) level with the cc-pVDZ basis set. The simulations clearly show that while syringolin could not permeate the membrane, its selected analogues go through the medium in nano second scale. These correlates well with the existing experimental evidences that these syringolin analogues are membrane-permeable compounds. Further analyses indicate that intramolecular -stacking interactions in the syringolin analogues influenced their permeability positively. These intramolecular interactions reduce the polarity of these analogues so that they could permeate the lipophilic cell membrane. Conclusively, the cell membrane permeability of various middle molecules with potent bioactivities is efficiently studied using molecular dynamics simulations. Insight of this behavior is thoroughly investigated using FMO-QM calculations. Results obtained in the present study indicate that non-bonding intramolecular interactions such as hydrogen-bonding and -stacking along with the conformational flexibility of MMs are essential for amicable membrane permeation. These results are interesting and are nice example for this theoretical calculation approach that could be used to study the permeability of other middle molecules. This work was supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) under Grant Number 18ae0101047.

Keywords: fragment molecular orbital theory, membrane permeability, middle molecules, molecular dynamics simulation

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17 An Efficient Fundamental Matrix Estimation for Moving Object Detection

Authors: Yeongyu Choi, Ju H. Park, S. M. Lee, Ho-Youl Jung

Abstract:

In this paper, an improved method for estimating fundamental matrix is proposed. The method is applied effectively to monocular camera based moving object detection. The method consists of corner points detection, moving object’s motion estimation and fundamental matrix calculation. The corner points are obtained by using Harris corner detector, motions of moving objects is calculated from pyramidal Lucas-Kanade optical flow algorithm. Through epipolar geometry analysis using RANSAC, the fundamental matrix is calculated. In this method, we have improved the performances of moving object detection by using two threshold values that determine inlier or outlier. Through the simulations, we compare the performances with varying the two threshold values.

Keywords: corner detection, optical flow, epipolar geometry, RANSAC

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16 Model Predictive Control Using Thermal Inputs for Crystal Growth Dynamics

Authors: Takashi Shimizu, Tomoaki Hashimoto

Abstract:

Recently, crystal growth technologies have made progress by the requirement for the high quality of crystal materials. To control the crystal growth dynamics actively by external forces is useuful for reducing composition non-uniformity. In this study, a control method based on model predictive control using thermal inputs is proposed for crystal growth dynamics of semiconductor materials. The control system of crystal growth dynamics considered here is governed by the continuity, momentum, energy, and mass transport equations. To establish the control method for such thermal fluid systems, we adopt model predictive control known as a kind of optimal feedback control in which the control performance over a finite future is optimized with a performance index that has a moving initial time and terminal time. The objective of this study is to establish a model predictive control method for crystal growth dynamics of semiconductor materials.

Keywords: model predictive control, optimal control, process control, crystal growth

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15 Non-Contact Measurement of Soil Deformation in a Cyclic Triaxial Test

Authors: Erica Elice Uy, Toshihiro Noda, Kentaro Nakai, Jonathan Dungca

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Deformation in a conventional cyclic triaxial test is normally measured by using point-wise measuring device. In this study, non-contact measurement technique was applied to be able to monitor and measure the occurrence of non-homogeneous behavior of the soil under cyclic loading. Non-contact measurement is executed through image processing. Two-dimensional measurements were performed using Lucas and Kanade optical flow algorithm and it was implemented Labview. In this technique, the non-homogeneous deformation was monitored using a mirrorless camera. A mirrorless camera was used because it is economical and it has the capacity to take pictures at a fast rate. The camera was first calibrated to remove the distortion brought about the lens and the testing environment as well. Calibration was divided into 2 phases. The first phase was the calibration of the camera parameters and distortion caused by the lens. The second phase was to for eliminating the distortion brought about the triaxial plexiglass. A correction factor was established from this phase. A series of consolidated undrained cyclic triaxial test was performed using a coarse soil. The results from the non-contact measurement technique were compared to the measured deformation from the linear variable displacement transducer. It was observed that deformation was higher at the area where failure occurs.

Keywords: cyclic loading, non-contact measurement, non-homogeneous, optical flow

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14 Prediction of Malawi Rainfall from Global Sea Surface Temperature Using a Simple Multiple Regression Model

Authors: Chisomo Patrick Kumbuyo, Katsuyuki Shimizu, Hiroshi Yasuda, Yoshinobu Kitamura

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This study deals with a way of predicting Malawi rainfall from global sea surface temperature (SST) using a simple multiple regression model. Monthly rainfall data from nine stations in Malawi grouped into two zones on the basis of inter-station rainfall correlations were used in the study. Zone 1 consisted of Karonga and Nkhatabay stations, located in northern Malawi; and Zone 2 consisted of Bolero, located in northern Malawi; Kasungu, Dedza, Salima, located in central Malawi; Mangochi, Makoka and Ngabu stations located in southern Malawi. Links between Malawi rainfall and SST based on statistical correlations were evaluated and significant results selected as predictors for the regression models. The predictors for Zone 1 model were identified from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans while those for Zone 2 were identified from the Pacific Ocean. The correlation between the fit of predicted and observed rainfall values of the models were satisfactory with r=0.81 and 0.54 for Zone 1 and 2 respectively (significant at less than 99.99%). The results of the models are in agreement with other findings that suggest that SST anomalies in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans have an influence on the rainfall patterns of Southern Africa.

Keywords: Malawi rainfall, forecast model, predictors, SST

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13 Model Predictive Control with Unscented Kalman Filter for Nonlinear Implicit Systems

Authors: Takashi Shimizu, Tomoaki Hashimoto

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A class of implicit systems is known as a more generalized class of systems than a class of explicit systems. To establish a control method for such a generalized class of systems, we adopt model predictive control method which is a kind of optimal feedback control with a performance index that has a moving initial time and terminal time. However, model predictive control method is inapplicable to systems whose all state variables are not exactly known. In other words, model predictive control method is inapplicable to systems with limited measurable states. In fact, it is usual that the state variables of systems are measured through outputs, hence, only limited parts of them can be used directly. It is also usual that output signals are disturbed by process and sensor noises. Hence, it is important to establish a state estimation method for nonlinear implicit systems with taking the process noise and sensor noise into consideration. To this purpose, we apply the model predictive control method and unscented Kalman filter for solving the optimization and estimation problems of nonlinear implicit systems, respectively. The objective of this study is to establish a model predictive control with unscented Kalman filter for nonlinear implicit systems.

Keywords: optimal control, nonlinear systems, state estimation, Kalman filter

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12 Dynamic Gabor Filter Facial Features-Based Recognition of Emotion in Video Sequences

Authors: T. Hari Prasath, P. Ithaya Rani

Abstract:

In the world of visual technology, recognizing emotions from the face images is a challenging task. Several related methods have not utilized the dynamic facial features effectively for high performance. This paper proposes a method for emotions recognition using dynamic facial features with high performance. Initially, local features are captured by Gabor filter with different scale and orientations in each frame for finding the position and scale of face part from different backgrounds. The Gabor features are sent to the ensemble classifier for detecting Gabor facial features. The region of dynamic features is captured from the Gabor facial features in the consecutive frames which represent the dynamic variations of facial appearances. In each region of dynamic features is normalized using Z-score normalization method which is further encoded into binary pattern features with the help of threshold values. The binary features are passed to Multi-class AdaBoost classifier algorithm with the well-trained database contain happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, and neutral expressions to classify the discriminative dynamic features for emotions recognition. The developed method is deployed on the Ryerson Multimedia Research Lab and Cohn-Kanade databases and they show significant performance improvement owing to their dynamic features when compared with the existing methods.

Keywords: detecting face, Gabor filter, multi-class AdaBoost classifier, Z-score normalization

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11 Health Promotion Programs for Fifteen Years Decreased Loneliness and Increased Happiness for Elementary School Children in Yuzawa Town, Japan

Authors: Takeo Shibata, Arihito Endo, Chika Hiraga, Akemi Kunimatsu, Yoko Shimizu

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Introduction: A health promotion program, Yuzawa family health plan, was initiated in 2002. It has been held for fifteen years. Yuzawa Town is famous with hot springs and ski resorts. We evaluated the changes in mental status in elementary school children. Methods: questionnaires survey had been held every five years. 196 questionnaires were corrected (94 boys and 102 girls). Changes for their anxieties, loneliness, confiding, problem-solving, risk breaching, communications, happiness, and life satisfaction were evaluated by chi-square test. Results: The rate of loneliness and life dissatisfactions decreased. The rates of happiness, confiding in grandparents, and risk breaching, increased. Especially, happiness rates increased for boys, loneliness rate decreased for girls, confiding in grandparents and risk breaching rate increased for girls. Conclusion: Our health promotion programs could increase mental health status in elementary school children.

Keywords: health promotion, mental status, elementary school, loneliness, happiness

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10 Full-Field Estimation of Cyclic Threshold Shear Strain

Authors: E. E. S. Uy, T. Noda, K. Nakai, J. R. Dungca

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Cyclic threshold shear strain is the cyclic shear strain amplitude that serves as the indicator of the development of pore water pressure. The parameter can be obtained by performing either cyclic triaxial test, shaking table test, cyclic simple shear or resonant column. In a cyclic triaxial test, other researchers install measuring devices in close proximity of the soil to measure the parameter. In this study, an attempt was made to estimate the cyclic threshold shear strain parameter using full-field measurement technique. The technique uses a camera to monitor and measure the movement of the soil. For this study, the technique was incorporated in a strain-controlled consolidated undrained cyclic triaxial test. Calibration of the camera was first performed to ensure that the camera can properly measure the deformation under cyclic loading. Its capacity to measure deformation was also investigated using a cylindrical rubber dummy. Two-dimensional image processing was implemented. Lucas and Kanade optical flow algorithm was applied to track the movement of the soil particles. Results from the full-field measurement technique were compared with the results from the linear variable displacement transducer. A range of values was determined from the estimation. This was due to the nonhomogeneous deformation of the soil observed during the cyclic loading. The minimum values were in the order of 10-2% in some areas of the specimen.

Keywords: cyclic loading, cyclic threshold shear strain, full-field measurement, optical flow

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9 State Estimation Based on Unscented Kalman Filter for Burgers’ Equation

Authors: Takashi Shimizu, Tomoaki Hashimoto

Abstract:

Controlling the flow of fluids is a challenging problem that arises in many fields. Burgers’ equation is a fundamental equation for several flow phenomena such as traffic, shock waves, and turbulence. The optimal feedback control method, so-called model predictive control, has been proposed for Burgers’ equation. However, the model predictive control method is inapplicable to systems whose all state variables are not exactly known. In practical point of view, it is unusual that all the state variables of systems are exactly known, because the state variables of systems are measured through output sensors and limited parts of them can be only available. In fact, it is usual that flow velocities of fluid systems cannot be measured for all spatial domains. Hence, any practical feedback controller for fluid systems must incorporate some type of state estimator. To apply the model predictive control to the fluid systems described by Burgers’ equation, it is needed to establish a state estimation method for Burgers’ equation with limited measurable state variables. To this purpose, we apply unscented Kalman filter for estimating the state variables of fluid systems described by Burgers’ equation. The objective of this study is to establish a state estimation method based on unscented Kalman filter for Burgers’ equation. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by numerical simulations.

Keywords: observer systems, unscented Kalman filter, nonlinear systems, Burgers' equation

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8 A Robust Spatial Feature Extraction Method for Facial Expression Recognition

Authors: H. G. C. P. Dinesh, G. Tharshini, M. P. B. Ekanayake, G. M. R. I. Godaliyadda

Abstract:

This paper presents a new spatial feature extraction method based on principle component analysis (PCA) and Fisher Discernment Analysis (FDA) for facial expression recognition. It not only extracts reliable features for classification, but also reduces the feature space dimensions of pattern samples. In this method, first each gray scale image is considered in its entirety as the measurement matrix. Then, principle components (PCs) of row vectors of this matrix and variance of these row vectors along PCs are estimated. Therefore, this method would ensure the preservation of spatial information of the facial image. Afterwards, by incorporating the spectral information of the eigen-filters derived from the PCs, a feature vector was constructed, for a given image. Finally, FDA was used to define a set of basis in a reduced dimension subspace such that the optimal clustering is achieved. The method of FDA defines an inter-class scatter matrix and intra-class scatter matrix to enhance the compactness of each cluster while maximizing the distance between cluster marginal points. In order to matching the test image with the training set, a cosine similarity based Bayesian classification was used. The proposed method was tested on the Cohn-Kanade database and JAFFE database. It was observed that the proposed method which incorporates spatial information to construct an optimal feature space outperforms the standard PCA and FDA based methods.

Keywords: facial expression recognition, principle component analysis (PCA), fisher discernment analysis (FDA), eigen-filter, cosine similarity, bayesian classifier, f-measure

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7 Analyzing Habits of Brushing Teeth in Yuzawa Town, Japan

Authors: Takeo Shibata, Arihito Endo, Akemi Kunimatsu, Chika Hiraga, Yoko Shimizu

Abstract:

Introduction: Yuzawa Town, located in the Niigata prefecture of Japan, is famous for its hot springs. A health promotion program, Yuzawa family health plan, was initiated in 2002. It has been held for fifteen years. We evaluated the profiles of brushing teeth in adults. Subjects: 368 questionnaires were corrected from people who live in Yuzawa town. The range of age was between nineteen and sixty-four years old. Methods: Mann-Whitney’s U test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to evaluate significant differences in frequencies of brushing teeth per a day. Chi-square test and the adjusted residuals were used to evaluate when they brush their teeth. Results: Women showed greater frequencies of brushing teeth per a day than men. No difference was shown by age. Construction workers showed fewer frequencies of brushing teeth. Specialized technicians, clerical workers, and housewives showed greater frequencies. People who know Yuzawa family health plan, take a regular life, or take a breakfast every day showed greater frequencies. People who think not healthy, don’t care a balance of foods, don’t take yearly health check-up, or smoke showed fewer frequencies. After breakfast, women and specialized technicians showed greater frequencies, and construction workers and self-employed workers showed fewer frequencies. After lunch, clerical workers and specialized technicians showed greater frequencies. There was no significant difference at after waking up, after dinner, and before going to bed. Construction workers showed a lower rate of having a marital partner and having information of health. Conclusion: Gender and occupational differences were shown in frequencies of brushing teeth per a day. A promotion of teeth brushing for male, especially construction workers and self-employed workers, is needed.

Keywords: health promotion, Yuzawa family health plan, brushing teeth, occupational difference

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6 Effect of Retention Time on Kitchen Wastewater Treatment Using Mixed Algal-Bacterial Consortia

Authors: Keerthi Katam, Abhinav B. Tirunaghari, Vinod Vadithya, Toshiyuki Shimizu, Satoshi Soda, Debraj Bhattacharyya

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Researchers worldwide are increasingly focusing on the removal of carbon and nutrient from wastewater using algal-bacterial hybrid systems. Algae produce oxygen during photosynthesis, which is taken up by heterotrophic bacteria for mineralizing organic carbon to carbon dioxide. This phenomenon reduces the net mechanical aeration requirement of aerobic biological wastewater treatment processes. Consequently, the treatment cost is also reduced. Microalgae also participate in the treatment process by taking up nutrient (N, P) from wastewater. Algal biomass, if harvested, can generate value-added by-products. The aim of the present study was to compare the performance of two systems - System A (mixed microalgae and bacteria) and System B (diatoms and bacteria) in treating kitchen wastewater (KWW). The test reactors were operated at five different solid retention times (SRTs) -2, 4, 6, 8, and 10-days in draw-and-fill mode. The KWW was collected daily from the dining hall-kitchen area of the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. The influent and effluent samples were analyzed for total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) using TOC-L analyzer. A colorimetric method was used to analyze anionic surfactant. Phosphorus (P) and chlorophyll were measured by following standard methods. The TOC, TN, and P of KWW were in the range of 113.5 to 740 mg/L, 2 to 22.8 mg/L, and 1 to 4.5 mg/L, respectively. Both the systems gave similar results with 85% of TOC removal and 60% of TN removal at 10-d SRT. However, the anionic surfactant removal in System A was 99% and 60% in System B. The chlorophyll concentration increased with an increase in SRT in both the systems. At 2-d SRT, no chlorophyll was observed in System B, whereas 0.5 mg/L was observed in System A. At 10-d SRT, the chlorophyll concentration in System A was 7.5 mg/L, whereas it was 4.5 mg/L in System B. Although both the systems showed similar performance in treatment, the increase in chlorophyll concentration suggests that System A demonstrated a better algal-bacterial symbiotic relationship in treating KWW than System B.

Keywords: diatoms, microalgae, retention time, wastewater treatment

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5 Effects of Lateness Gene on Yield and Related Traits in Indica Rice

Authors: B. B. Rana, M. Yokota, Y. Shimizu, Y. Koide, I. Takamure, T. Kawano, M. Murai

Abstract:

Various genes which control or affect heading time have been found in rice. Out of them, Se1 and E1 loci play important roles in determining heading time by controlling photosensitivity. An isogenic-line pair of late and early lines were developed from progenies of the F1 from Suweon 258 × 36U. A lateness gene tentatively designated as “Ex” was found to control the difference in heading time between the early and late lines mentioned above. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of Ex on yield and related traits. Indica-type variety Suweon 258 was crossed with 36U, which is an Ur1 (Undulate rachis-1) isogenic line of IR36. In the F2 population, comparatively early-heading, late-heading and intermediate-heading plants were segregated. Segregation similar to that by the three types of heading was observed in the F3 and later generations. A late-heading plant and an early-heading plant were selected in the F8 population from an intermediate-heading F7 plant, for developing L and E of the isogenic-line pair, respectively. Experiments for L and E were conducted by randomized block design with three replications. Transplanting was conducted on May 3 at a planting distance of 30 cm × 15 cm with two seedlings per hill to an experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University. Chemical fertilizers containing N, P2O5 and K2O were applied at the nitrogen levels of 4 g/m2, 9 g/m2 and 18 g/m2 in total being denoted by "N4", "N9" and "N18", respectively. Yield, yield components and other traits were measured. Ex delayed 80%-heading by 17 or 18 days in L as compared with E. In total brown rice yield (g/m2), L was 635, 606 and 590, and E was 577, 548 and 501, respectively, at N18, N9 and N4, indicating that Ex increased this trait by 10% to 18%. Ex increased yield-1.5 mm sieve (g/m2) b 9% to 15% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex increased the spikelet number per panicle by 16% to 22%. As a result, the spikelet number per m2 was increased by 11% to 18% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex decreased 1000-grain weight (g) by 2 to 4%. L was not significantly different from E in ripened-grain percentage, fertilized-spikelet percentage and percentage of ripened grains to fertilized spikelets. Hence, it is inferred that Ex increased yield by increasing spikelet number per panicle. Hence, Ex could be utilized to develop high yielding varieties for warmer districts.

Keywords: heading time, lateness gene, photosensitivity, yield, yield components

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4 Proposed Design of an Optimized Transient Cavity Picosecond Ultraviolet Laser

Authors: Marilou Cadatal-Raduban, Minh Hong Pham, Duong Van Pham, Tu Nguyen Xuan, Mui Viet Luong, Kohei Yamanoi, Toshihiko Shimizu, Nobuhiko Sarukura, Hung Dai Nguyen

Abstract:

There is a great deal of interest in developing all-solid-state tunable ultrashort pulsed lasers emitting in the ultraviolet (UV) region for applications such as micromachining, investigation of charge carrier relaxation in conductors, and probing of ultrafast chemical processes. However, direct short-pulse generation is not as straight forward in solid-state gain media as it is for near-IR tunable solid-state lasers such as Ti:sapphire due to the difficulty of obtaining continuous wave laser operation, which is required for Kerr lens mode-locking schemes utilizing spatial or temporal Kerr type nonlinearity. In this work, the transient cavity method, which was reported to generate ultrashort laser pulses in dye lasers, is extended to a solid-state gain medium. Ce:LiCAF was chosen among the rare-earth-doped fluoride laser crystals emitting in the UV region because of its broad tunability (from 280 to 325 nm) and enough bandwidth to generate 3-fs pulses, sufficiently large effective gain cross section (6.0 x10⁻¹⁸ cm²) favorable for oscillators, and a high saturation fluence (115 mJ/cm²). Numerical simulations are performed to investigate the spectro-temporal evolution of the broadband UV laser emission from Ce:LiCAF, represented as a system of two homogeneous broadened singlet states, by solving the rate equations extended to multiple wavelengths. The goal is to find the appropriate cavity length and Q-factor to achieve the optimal photon cavity decay time and pumping energy for resonator transients that will lead to ps UV laser emission from a Ce:LiCAF crystal pumped by the fourth harmonics (266nm) of a Nd:YAG laser. Results show that a single ps pulse can be generated from a 1-mm, 1 mol% Ce³⁺-doped LiCAF crystal using an output coupler with 10% reflectivity (low-Q) and an oscillator cavity that is 2-mm long (short cavity). This technique can be extended to other fluoride-based solid-state laser gain media.

Keywords: rare-earth-doped fluoride gain medium, transient cavity, ultrashort laser, ultraviolet laser

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3 The Role of Cognitive Control and Social Camouflage Associated with Social Anxiety Autism Spectrum Conditions

Authors: Siqing Guan, Fumiyo Oshima, Eiji Shimizu, Nozomi Tomita, Toru Takahashi, Hiroaki Kumano

Abstract:

Risk factors for social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions involve executive attention, emotion regulation, and thought regulation as processes of cognitive dysregulation. Social camouflaging behaviors as strategies used to mask and/or compensate for autism characteristics during social interactions in autism spectrum conditions have also been emphasized. However, the role of cognitive dysregulation and social camouflaging related to social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions has not been clarified. Whether these factors are specific to social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions or common to social anxiety independent of autism spectrum conditions needs to be clarified. Here, we explored risk factors specific to social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions and general risk factors for social anxiety independent of autism spectrum conditions. From the Japanese participants in early adulthood (age=18~39) of the online survey in Japan, those who exceeded the Japanese version Autism-Spectrum Quotient cutoff (33 points or more )were divided into the autism spectrum conditions group (ASC; N=255, mean age=32.08, SD age=5.16)and those who did not exceed the cutoff were divided into the non-autism spectrum conditions group (Non-ASC; N=255, mean age=31.70, SD age=5.09). Using the Japanese versions of the Social Phobia Scale, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, and the Short Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, a composite score for social anxiety was calculated using a method of principal. We also measured emotional control difficulties using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, executive attention using the Effortful Control Scale for Adults, rumination using the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire, and worry using the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. This study was passed through the review of the Ethics Committee. No conflicts of interest. Multiple regression analysis with forced entry method was used to predict social anxiety in the ASC and non-ASC groups separately, based on executive attention, emotion dysregulation, worry, rumination, and social camouflage. In the ASC group, emotion dysregulation (β=.277, p<.001), worry (β=.162, p<.05), assimilation (β=.308, p<.001) and masking (β=.275, p<.001) were significant predictors of social anxiety (F (7,247) = 45.791, p <.001, R2=.565). In the non-ASC groups,emotion dysregulation (β=.171, p<.05), worry (β=.344,p <.001), assimilation (β=.366,p <.001) and executive attention (β=-.132,p <.05) were significant predictors of social anxiety (F (7,207) =47.333, p <.001, R2=.615).The findings suggest that masking was shown to be a risk factor for social anxiety specific to autism spectrum conditions, while emotion dysregulation, worry, and assimilation were shown to be common risk factors for social anxiety, regardless of autism spectrum conditions. In addition, executive attention is a risk factor for social anxiety without autism spectrum conditions.

Keywords: autism spectrum, cognitive control, social anxiety, social camouflaging

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2 Comparison between Conventional Bacterial and Algal-Bacterial Aerobic Granular Sludge Systems in the Treatment of Saline Wastewater

Authors: Philip Semaha, Zhongfang Lei, Ziwen Zhao, Sen Liu, Zhenya Zhang, Kazuya Shimizu

Abstract:

The increasing generation of saline wastewater through various industrial activities is becoming a global concern for activated sludge (AS) based biological treatment which is widely applied in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As for the AS process, an increase in wastewater salinity has negative impact on its overall performance. The advent of conventional aerobic granular sludge (AGS) or bacterial AGS biotechnology has gained much attention because of its superior performance. The development of algal-bacterial AGS could enhance better nutrients removal, potentially reduce aeration cost through symbiotic algae-bacterial activity, and thus, can also reduce overall treatment cost. Nonetheless, the potential of salt stress to decrease biomass growth, microbial activity and nutrient removal exist. Up to the present, little information is available on saline wastewater treatment by algal-bacterial AGS. To the authors’ best knowledge, a comparison of the two AGS systems has not been done to evaluate nutrients removal capacity in the context of salinity increase. This study sought to figure out the impact of salinity on the algal-bacterial AGS system in comparison to bacterial AGS one, contributing to the application of AGS technology in the real world of saline wastewater treatment. In this study, the salt concentrations tested were 0 g/L, 1 g/L, 5 g/L, 10 g/L and 15 g/L of NaCl with 24-hr artificial illuminance of approximately 97.2 µmol m¯²s¯¹, and mature bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS were used for the operation of two identical sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with a working volume of 0.9 L each, respectively. The results showed that salinity increase caused no apparent change in the color of bacterial AGS; while for algal-bacterial AGS, its color was progressively changed from green to dark green. A consequent increase in granule diameter and fluffiness was observed in the bacterial AGS reactor with the increase of salinity in comparison to a decrease in algal-bacterial AGS diameter. However, nitrite accumulation peaked from 1.0 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L at 1 g/L NaCl in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems, respectively to 9.8 mg/L in both systems when NaCl concentration varied from 5 g/L to 15 g/L. Almost no ammonia nitrogen was detected in the effluent except at 10 g/L NaCl concentration, where it averaged 4.2 mg/L and 2.4 mg/L, respectively, in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems. Nutrients removal in the algal-bacterial system was relatively higher than the bacterial AGS in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus removals. Nonetheless, the nutrient removal rate was almost 50% or lower. Results show that algal-bacterial AGS is more adaptable to salinity increase and could be more suitable for saline wastewater treatment. Optimization of operation conditions for algal-bacterial AGS system would be important to ensure its stably high efficiency in practice.

Keywords: algal-bacterial aerobic granular sludge, bacterial aerobic granular sludge, Nutrients removal, saline wastewater, sequencing batch reactor

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1 Sugar-Induced Stabilization Effect of Protein Structure

Authors: Mitsuhiro Hirai, Satoshi Ajito, Nobutaka Shimizu, Noriyuki Igarashi, Hiroki Iwase, Shinichi Takata

Abstract:

Sugars and polyols are known to be bioprotectants preventing such as protein denaturation and enzyme deactivation and widely used as a nontoxic additive in various industrial and medical products. The mechanism of their protective actions has been explained by specific bindings between biological components and additives, changes in solvent viscosities, and surface tension and free energy changes upon transfer of those components into additive solutions. On the other hand, some organisms having tolerances against extreme environment produce stress proteins and/or accumulate sugars in cells, which is called cryptobiosis. In particular, trehalose has been drawing attention relevant to cryptobiosis under external stress such as high or low temperature, drying, osmotic pressure, and so on. The function of cryptobiosis by trehalose has been explained relevant to the restriction of the intra-and/or-inter-molecular movement by vitrification or from the replacement of water molecule by trehalose. Previous results suggest that the structure and interaction between sugar and water are a key determinant for understanding cryptobiosis. Recently, we have shown direct evidence that the protein hydration (solvation) and structural stability against chemical and thermal denaturation significantly depend on sugar species and glycerol. Sugar and glycerol molecules tend to be preferentially or weakly excluded from the protein surface and preserved the native protein hydration shell. Due to the protective action of the protein hydration shell by those molecules, the protein structure is stabilized against chemical (guanidinium chloride) and thermal denaturation. The protective action depends on sugar species. To understand the above trend and difference in detail, it is essentially important to clarify the characteristics of solutions containing those additives. In this study, by using wide-angle X-ray scattering technique covering a wide spatial region (~3-120 Å), we have clarified structures of sugar solutions with the concentration from 5% w/w to 65% w/w. The sugars measured in the present study were monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, mannose) and disaccharides (sucrose, trehalose, maltose). Due to observed scattering data with a wide spatial resolution, we have succeeded in obtaining information on the internal structure of individual sugar molecules and on the correlation between them. Every sugar gradually shortened the average inter-molecular distance as the concentration increased. The inter-molecular interaction between sugar molecules was essentially showed an exclusive tendency for every sugar, which appeared as the presence of a repulsive correlation hole. This trend was more weakly seen for trehalose compared to other sugars. The intermolecular distance and spread of individual molecule clearly showed the dependence of sugar species. We will discuss the relation between the characteristic of sugar solution and its protective action of biological materials.

Keywords: hydration, protein, sugar, X-ray scattering

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