Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: Kensaku Takara

5 Idealization of Licca-Chan and Barbie: Comparison of Two Dolls across the Pacific

Authors: Miho Tsukamoto


Since the initial creation of the Barbie doll in 1959, it became a symbol of US society. Likewise, the Licca-chan, a Japanese doll created in 1967, also became a Japanese symbolic doll of Japanese society. Prior to the introduction of Licca-chan, Barbie was already marketed in Japan but their sales were dismal. Licca-chan (an actual name: Kayama Licca) is a plastic doll with a variety of sizes ranging from 21.0 cm to 29.0 cm which many Japanese girls dream of having. For over 35 years, the manufacturer, Takara Co., Ltd. has sold over 48 million dolls and has produced doll houses, accessories, clothes, and Licca-chan video games for the Nintendo DS. Many First-generation Licca-chan consumers still are enamored with Licca-chan, and go to Licca-chan House, in an amusement park with their daughters. These people are called Licca-chan maniacs, as they enjoy touring the Licca-chan’s factory in Tohoku or purchase various Licca-chan accessories. After the successful launch of Licca-chan into the Japanese market, a mixed-like doll from the US and Japan, a doll, JeNny, was later sold in the same Japanese market by Takara Co., Ltd. in 1982. Comparison of these cultural iconic dolls, Barbie and Licca-chan, are analyzed in this paper. In fact, these dolls have concepts of girls’ dreams. By using concepts of mythology of Jean Baudrillard, these dolls can be represented idealized images of figures in the products for consumers, but at the same time, consumers can see products with different perspectives, which can cause controversy.

Keywords: Barbie, dolls, JeNny, idealization, Licca-chan

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4 Anti-Obesity Effects of Pteryxin in Peucedanum japonicum Thunb Leaves through Different Pathways of Adipogenesis In-Vitro

Authors: Ruwani N. Nugara, Masashi Inafuku, Kensaku Takara, Hironori Iwasaki, Hirosuke Oku


Pteryxin from the partially purified hexane phase (HP) of Peucedanum japonicum Thunb (PJT) was identified as the active compound related to anti-obesity. Thus, in this study we investigated the mechanisms related to anti-obesity activity in-vitro. The HP was fractionated, and effect on the triglyceride (TG) content was evaluated in 3T3-L1 and HepG2 cells. Comprehensive spectroscopic analyses were used to identify the structure of the active compound. The dose dependent effect of active constituent on the TG content, and the gene expressions related to adipogenesis, fatty acid catabolism, energy expenditure, lipolysis and lipogenesis (20 μg/mL) were examined in-vitro. Furthermore, higher dosage of pteryxin (50μg/mL) was tested against 20μg/mL in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The mRNA were subjected to SOLiD next generation sequencer and the obtained data were analyzed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). The active constituent was identified as pteryxin, a known compound in PJT. However, its biological activities against obesity have not been reported previously. Pteryxin dose dependently suppressed TG content in both 3T3-L1 adipocytes and HepG2 hepatocytes (P < 0.05). Sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1 c), Fatty acid synthase (FASN), and acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1) were downregulated in pteryxin-treated adipocytes (by 18.0, 36.1 and 38.2%; P < 0.05, respectively) and hepatocytes (by 72.3, 62.9 and 38.8%, respectively; P < 0.05) indicating its suppressive effects on fatty acid synthesis. The hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), a lipid catabolising gene was upregulated (by 15.1%; P < 0.05) in pteryxin-treated adipocytes suggesting improved lipolysis. Concordantly, the adipocyte size marker gene, paternally expressed gene1/mesoderm specific transcript (MEST) was downregulated (by 42.8%; P < 0.05), further accelerating the lipolytic activity. The upregulated trend of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2; by 77.5%; P < 0.05) reflected the improved energy expenditure due to pteryxin. The 50μg/mL dosage of pteryxin completely suppressed PPARγ, MEST, SREBP 1C, HSL, Adiponectin, Fatty Acid Binding Protein (FABP) 4, and UCP’s in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The IPA suggested that pteryxin at 20μg/mL and 50μg/mL suppress obesity in two different pathways, whereas the WNT signaling pathway play a key role in the higher dose of pteryxin in preadipocyte stage. Pteryxin in PJT play the key role in regulating lipid metabolism related gene network and improving energy production in vitro. Thus, the results suggests pteryxin as a new natural compound to be used as an anti-obesity drug in pharmaceutical industry.

Keywords: obesity, peucedanum japonicum thunb, pteryxin, food science

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3 Enhanced Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production on TiO2 by Using Carbon Materials

Authors: Bashir Ahmmad, Kensaku Kanomata, Fumihiko Hirose


The effect of carbon materials on TiO2 for the photocatalytic hydrogen gas production from water/alcohol mixtures was investigated. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), carbon nanofiber (CNF), fullerene (FLN), graphite (GP), and graphite silica (GS) were used as co-catalysts by directly mixing with TiO2. Drastic synergy effects were found with increase in the amount of hydrogen gas by a factor of ca. 150 and 100 for SWNTs and GS with TiO2, repectively. The order of H2 gas production for these carbon materials was SWNTs > GS >> MWNTs > FLN > CNF > GP. To maximize the hydrogen production from SWNTs/TiO2, various parameters of experimental conditions were changed. Also, a comparison between Pt/TiO2, WNTs/TiO2 and GS/TiO2 was made for the amount of H2 gas production. Finally, the recyclability of SWNTs/TiO2 and GS/TiO2 were tested.

Keywords: photocatalysis, carbon materials, alcohol reforming, hydrogen production, titanium oxide

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2 Tamper Resistance Evaluation Tests with Noise Resources

Authors: Masaya Yoshikawa, Toshiya Asai, Ryoma Matsuhisa, Yusuke Nozaki, Kensaku Asahi


Recently, side-channel attacks, which estimate secret keys using side-channel information such as power consumption and compromising emanations of cryptography circuits embedded in hardware, have become a serious problem. In particular, electromagnetic analysis attacks against cryptographic circuits between information processing and electromagnetic fields, which are related to secret keys in cryptography circuits, are the most threatening side-channel attacks. Therefore, it is important to evaluate tamper resistance against electromagnetic analysis attacks for cryptography circuits. The present study performs basic examination of the tamper resistance of cryptography circuits using electromagnetic analysis attacks with noise resources.

Keywords: tamper resistance, cryptographic circuit, hardware security evaluation, noise resources

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1 DNA Hypomethylating Agents Induced Histone Acetylation Changes in Leukemia

Authors: Tamer E. Fandy, Sridhar A. Malkaram


Purpose: 5-Azacytidine (5AC) and decitabine (DC) are DNA hypomethylating agents. We recently demonstrated that both drugs increase the enzymatic activity of the histone deacetylase enzyme SIRT6. Accordingly, we are comparing the changes H3K9 acetylation changes in the whole genome induced by both drugs using leukemia cells. Description of Methods and Materials: Mononuclear cells from the bone marrow of six de-identified naive acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients were cultured with either 500 nM of DC or 5AC for 72 h followed by ChIP-Seq analysis using a ChIP-validated acetylated-H3K9 (H3K9ac) antibody. Chip-Seq libraries were prepared from treated and untreated cells using the SMARTer ThruPLEX DNA-seq kit (Takara Bio, USA) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Libraries were purified and size-selected with AMPure XP beads at a 1:1 (v/v) ratio. All libraries were pooled prior to sequencing on an Illumina HiSeq 1500. The dual-indexed single-read Rapid Run was performed with 1x120 cycles at a 5 pM final concentration of the library pool. Sequence reads with average Phred quality < 20, with length < 35bp, PCR duplicates and those aligning to blacklisted regions of the genome were filtered out using Trim Galore v0.4.4 and cutadapt v1.18. Reads were aligned to the reference human genome (hg38) using Bowtie v2.3.4.1 in end-to-end alignment mode. H3K9ac enriched (peak) regions were identified using diffReps v1.55.4 software using input samples for background correction. Statistical significance of differential peak counts was assessed using a negative binomial test using all individuals as replicates. Data and Results: The data from the six patients showed significant (Padj<0.05) acetylation changes at 925 loci after 5AC treatment versus 182 loci after DC treatment. Both drugs induced H3K9 acetylation changes at different chromosomal regions, including promoters, coding exons, introns and distal intergenic regions. Ten common genes showed H3K9 acetylation changes by both drugs. Approximately 84% of the genes showed H3K9 acetylation decrease by 5AC versus 54% only by DC. Results show the heatmaps for the top 100 genes and the 99 genes showing H3K9 acetylation decrease after 5AC treatment and DC treatment, respectively. Conclusion: Despite the similarity in hypomethylating activity and chemical structure, the effect of both drugs on H3K9 acetylation change was significantly different. More changes in H3K9 acetylation were observed after 5 AC treatments compared to DC. The impact of these changes on gene expression and the clinical efficacy of these drugs requires further investigation.

Keywords: DNA methylation, leukemia, decitabine, 5-Azacytidine, epigenetics

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