Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Masanori Nakano

19 CO2 Gas Solubility and Foam Generation

Authors: Chanmoly Or, Kyuro Sasaki, Yuichi Sugai, Masanori Nakano, Motonao Imai

Abstract:

Cold drainage mechanism of oil production is a complicated process which involves with solubility and foaming processes. Laboratory experiments were carried out to investigate the CO2 gas solubility in hexadecane (as light oil) and the effect of depressurization processes on microbubble generation. The experimental study of sensitivity parameters of temperature and pressure on CO2 gas solubility in hexadecane was conducted at temperature of 20 °C and 50 °C and pressure ranged 2.0–7.0 MPa by using PVT (RUSKA Model 2370) apparatus. The experiments of foamy hexadecane were also prepared by depressurizing from saturated pressure of 6.4 MPa and temperature of 50 °C. The experimental results show the CO2 gas solubility in hexadecane linearly increases with increasing pressure. At pressure 4.5 MPa, CO2 gas dissolved in hexadecane 2.5 mmol.g-1 for temperature of 50 °C and 3.5 mmol.g-1 for temperature of 20 °C. The bubbles of foamy hexadecane were observed that most of large bubbles were coalesced shortly whereas the small one keeps presence. The experimental result of foamy hexadecane indicated large depressurization step (∆P) produces high quality of foam with high microbubble distribution.

Keywords: CO2 gas solubility, depressurization process, foamy hexadecane, microbubble distribution

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18 BECOME: Body Experience-Based Co-Operation between Juveniles through Mutually Excited Team Gameplay

Authors: Tsugunosuke Sakai, Haruya Tamaki, Ryuichi Yoshida, Ryohei Egusa, Etsuji Yamaguchi, Shigenori Inagaki, Fusako Kusunoki, Miki Namatame, Masanori Sugimoto, Hiroshi Mizoguchi

Abstract:

We aim to develop a full-body interaction game that could let children cooperate and interact with other children in small groups. As the first step for our aim, the objective of the full-body interaction game developed in this study is to make interaction between children. The game requires two children to jump together with the same timing. We let children experience the game and answer the questionnaires. The children using several strategies to coordinate the timing of their jumps were observed. These included shouting time, watching each other, and jumping in a constant rhythm as if they were skipping rope. In this manner, we observed the children playing the game while cooperating with each other. The results of a questionnaire to evaluate the proposed interactive game indicate that the jumping game was a very enjoyable experience in which the participants could immerse themselves. Therefore, the game enabled children to experience cooperation with others by using body movements.

Keywords: children, cooperation, full-body interaction game, kinect sensor

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17 The Role of the Founding Ideals of a University in Higher Education

Authors: Masanori Kimura

Abstract:

The “founding spirit” of a Japanese university is similar to the mission statement of a Western university, but the difference between the two is that the former more closely reflects the founder’s inner world because it usually originates from the strong personal beliefs that the founder held when establishing the university. To find how much this ideology actually valued in today’s higher education, this paper surveys 2091 job openings for foreign language full-time faculty positions, posted by Japanese private universities from 2012 to 2016. The results suggest that women’s universities and universities with religious affiliations have a tendency to request that successful candidates observe their founding spirit, or at least demonstrate some understanding of the ideology after being hired. On the other hand, co-ed universities and universities with no religious affiliations do not show such a distinct tendency. A chi-square test revealed that this difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p<.01). Furthermore, the paper argues that it is not always appropriate for universities to evaluate themselves based on a single evaluation scale such as university rankings, and that both faculty and staff members need to be more aware of the founding spirit to improve the quality of the education the university provides.

Keywords: founding spirit, higher education, university administrative management, university evaluation

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16 Hypoglycemic Coma in Elderly Patients with Diabetes mellitus

Authors: D. Furuya, H. Ryujin, S. Takahira, Y. Sekine, Y. Oya, K. Sonoda, H. Ogawa, Y. Nomura, R. Maruyama, H. Kim, T. Kudo, A. Nakano, T. Saruta, S. Sugita, M. Nemoto, N. Tanahashi

Abstract:

Purpose: To study the clinical characteristics of hypoglycemic coma in adult patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: Participants in this retrospective study comprised 91 patients (54 men, 37 women; mean age ± standard deviation, 71.5 ± 12.6 years; range, 42-97 years) brought to our emergency department by ambulance with disturbance of consciousness in the 7 years from April 2007 to March 2014. Patients with hypoglycemia caused by alcoholic ketoacidosis, nutrition disorder, malignancies and psychological disorder were excluded. Results: Patients with type 1 (8 of 91) or type 2 DM (83 of 91) were analyzed. Mean blood sugar level was 31.6 ± 10.4 in all patients. A sulfonylurea (SU) was more commonly used in elderly (>75 years old; n=44)(70.5%) than in younger patients (36.2%, p < 0.05). Cases showing prolonged unconsciousness (range, 1 hour to 21 days; n=30) included many (p < 0.05) patients with dementia (13.3%; 0.5% without dementia) and fewer (p < 0.05) patients with type 1 DM (0%; 13.1% in type 2 DM). Specialists for DM (n=33) used SU less often (24.2%) than general physicians (69.0%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: In cases of hypoglycemic coma, SU was frequently used in elderly patients with DM.

Keywords: hypoglycemic coma, Diabetes mellitus, unconsciousness, elderly patients

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15 Fast High Voltage Solid State Switch Using Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor for Discharge-Pumped Lasers

Authors: Nur Syarafina Binti Othman, Tsubasa Jindo, Makato Yamada, Miho Tsuyama, Hitoshi Nakano

Abstract:

A novel method to produce a fast high voltage solid states switch using Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) is presented for discharge-pumped gas lasers. The IGBTs are connected in series to achieve a high voltage rating. An avalanche transistor is used as the gate driver. The fast pulse generated by the avalanche transistor quickly charges the large input capacitance of the IGBT, resulting in a switch out of a fast high-voltage pulse. The switching characteristic of fast-high voltage solid state switch has been estimated in the multi-stage series-connected IGBT with the applied voltage of several tens of kV. Electrical circuit diagram and the mythology of fast-high voltage solid state switch as well as experimental results obtained are presented.

Keywords: high voltage, IGBT, solid state switch, bipolar transistor

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14 CMOS Positive and Negative Resistors Based on Complementary Regulated Cascode Topology with Cross-Coupled Regulated Transistors

Authors: Kittipong Tripetch, Nobuhiko Nakano

Abstract:

Two types of floating active resistors based on a complementary regulated cascode topology with cross-coupled regulated transistors are presented in this paper. The first topology is a high swing complementary regulated cascode active resistor. The second topology is a complementary common gate with a regulated cross coupled transistor. The small-signal input resistances of the floating resistors are derived. Three graphs of the input current versus the input voltage for different aspect ratios are designed and plotted using the Cadence Spectre 0.18-µm Rohm Semiconductor process. The total harmonic distortion graphs are plotted for three different aspect ratios with different input-voltage amplitudes and different input frequencies. From the simulation results, it is observed that a resistance of approximately 8.52 MΩ can be obtained from supply voltage at  ±0.9 V.

Keywords: floating active resistor, complementary common gate, complementary regulated cascode, current mirror

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13 CT-Scan Transition of Pulmonary Edema Due to Water-Soluble Paint Inhalation

Authors: Masashi Kanazawa, Takaaki Nakano, Masaaki Takemoto, Tomonori Imamura, Mamiko Sugimura, Toshitaka Ito

Abstract:

Introduction: We experienced a massive disaster due to inhalation of water-soluble paint. Sixteen patients were brought to our emergency room, and pulmonary edema was revealed on the CT images of 12 cases. Purpose: Transition of chest CT-scan findings in cases with pulmonary edema was examined. Method: CT-scans were performed on the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 19th days after the inhalation event. Patients whose pulmonary edema showed amelioration or exacerbation were classified into the improvement or the exacerbation group, respectively. Those with lung edema findings appearing at different sites after the second day were classified into the changing group. Results: Eight, one and three patients were in the improvement, exacerbation and changing groups, respectively. In all cases, the pulmonary edema had disappeared from CT images on the 19th day after the inhalation event. Conclusion: Inhalation of water-soluble paints is considered to be relatively safe. However, our observations in these emergency cases suggest that, even if pulmonary edema is not severe immediately after the exposure, new lesions may appear later and existing lesions may worsen. Follow-up imaging is thus necessary for about two weeks.

Keywords: CT scan, intoxication, pulmonary edema, water-soluble paint

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12 Theoretical and Numerical Investigation of a Tri-Stable Nonlinear Energy Harvesting System in Rotational Motion for Low Frequency Environment

Authors: Mei Xutao, Nakano Kimihiko

Abstract:

In order to enhance the energy harvesting efficiency, this paper presents a novel tri-stable energy harvesting system (TEHS), which is realized by the effect of magnetic force, in rotational motion to scavenge vibration energy. The device is meant to provide the power supply for wireless autonomous systems in low-frequency environment. The nonlinear TEHS is composed of the cantilever beam which is mounted on a rotating hub and partially covered by piezoelectric patch, a tip mass magnet in the end and two fixed magnets. A theoretical investigation using the Lagrangian formulation is derived to describe the motion of the energy harvesting system and the output voltage. Additionally, several numerical simulations were carried out to characterize the system under different external excitations and to validate its performance. The results demonstrated that TEHS owns a wide range of frequency of snap-through and high output voltage compared with the bi-stable energy harvesting system (BEHS). Moreover, some sets of experimental validations will be performed in the future work because the experimental setup is in the configuration now.

Keywords: piezoelectric beam, rotational motion, snap-through, tri-stable energy harvester

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11 Development of Electroencephalograph Collection System in Language-Learning Self-Study System That Can Detect Learning State of the Learner

Authors: Katsuyuki Umezawa, Makoto Nakazawa, Manabu Kobayashi, Yutaka Ishii, Michiko Nakano, Shigeichi Hirasawa

Abstract:

This research aims to develop a self-study system equipped with an artificial teacher who gives advice to students by detecting the learners and to evaluate language learning in a unified framework. 'Detecting the learners' means that the system understands the learners' learning conditions, such as each learner’s degree of understanding, the difference in each learner’s thinking process, the degree of concentration or boredom in learning, and problem solving for each learner, which can be interpreted from learning behavior. In this paper, we propose a system to efficiently collect brain waves from learners by focusing on only the brain waves among the biological information for 'detecting the learners'. The conventional Electroencephalograph (EEG) measurement method during learning using a simple EEG has the following disadvantages. (1) The start and end of EEG measurement must be done manually by the experiment participant or staff. (2) Even when the EEG signal is weak, it may not be noticed, and the data may not be obtained. (3) Since the acquired EEG data is stored in each PC, there is a possibility that the time of data acquisition will be different in each PC. This time, we developed a system to collect brain wave data on the server side. This system overcame the above disadvantages.

Keywords: artificial teacher, e-learning, self-study system, simple EEG

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10 Effect of Sensory Manipulations on Human Joint Stiffness Strategy and Its Adaptation for Human Dynamic Stability

Authors: Aizreena Azaman, Mai Ishibashi, Masanori Ishizawa, Shin-Ichiroh Yamamoto

Abstract:

Sensory input plays an important role to human posture control system to initiate strategy in order to counterpart any unbalance condition and thus, prevent fall. In previous study, joint stiffness was observed able to describe certain issues regarding to movement performance. But, correlation between balance ability and joint stiffness is still remains unknown. In this study, joint stiffening strategy at ankle and hip were observed under different sensory manipulations and its correlation with conventional clinical test (Functional Reach Test) for balance ability was investigated. In order to create unstable condition, two different surface perturbations (tilt up-tilt (TT) down and forward-backward (FB)) at four different frequencies (0.2, 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 Hz) were introduced. Furthermore, four different sensory manipulation conditions (include vision and vestibular system) were applied to the subject and they were asked to maintain their position as possible. The results suggested that joint stiffness were high during difficult balance situation. Less balance people generated high average joint stiffness compared to balance people. Besides, adaptation of posture control system under repetitive external perturbation also suggested less during sensory limited condition. Overall, analysis of joint stiffening response possible to predict unbalance situation faced by human.

Keywords: balance ability, joint stiffness, sensory, adaptation, dynamic

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9 2 Stage CMOS Regulated Cascode Distributed Amplifier Design Based On Inductive Coupling Technique in Submicron CMOS Process

Authors: Kittipong Tripetch, Nobuhiko Nakano

Abstract:

This paper proposes one stage and two stage CMOS Complementary Regulated Cascode Distributed Amplifier (CRCDA) design based on Inductive and Transformer coupling techniques. Usually, Distributed amplifier is based on inductor coupling between gate and gate of MOSFET and between drain and drain of MOSFET. But this paper propose some new idea, by coupling with differential primary windings of transformer between gate and gate of MOSFET first stage and second stage of regulated cascade amplifier and by coupling with differential secondary windings transformer of MOSFET between drain and drain of MOSFET first stage and second stage of regulated cascade amplifier. This paper also proposes polynomial modeling of Silicon Transformer passive equivalent circuit from Nanyang Technological University which is used to extract frequency response of transformer. Cadence simulation results are used to verify validity of transformer polynomial modeling which can be used to design distributed amplifier without Cadence. 4 parameters of scattering matrix of 2 port of the propose circuit is derived as a function of 4 parameters of impedance matrix.

Keywords: CMOS regulated cascode distributed amplifier, silicon transformer modeling with polynomial, low power consumption, distribute amplification technique

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8 Feasibility Study on the Use of HEMS for Thermal Comfort and Energy Saving in Japanese Residential Buildings

Authors: K. C. Rajan, H. B. Rijal, Kazui Yoshida, Masanori Shukuya

Abstract:

The electricity consumption in the Japanese household sector has increased with higher rate than that of other sectors. This may be because of aging and information oriented society that requires more electrical appliances to make the life better and easier, under this circumstances, energy saving is one of the essential necessity in Japanese society. To understand the way of energy use and demand response of the residential occupants, it is important to understand the structure of energy used. Home Energy Management System (HEMS) may be used for understanding the pattern and the structure of energy used. HEMS is a visualization system of the energy usage by connecting the electrical equipment in the home and thereby automatically control the energy use in each device, so that the energy saving is achieved. Therefore, the HEMS can provide with the easiest way to understand the structure of energy use. The HEMS has entered the mainstream of the Japanese market. The objective of this study is to understand the pattern of energy saving and cost saving in different regions including Japan during HEMS use. To observe thermal comfort level of HEMS managed residential buildings in Japan, the field survey was made and altogether, 1534 votes from 37 occupants related to thermal comfort, occupants’ behaviors and clothing insulation were collected and analyzed. According to the result obtained, approximately 17.9% energy saving and 8.9% cost saving is possible if HEMS is applied effectively. We found the thermal sensation and overall comfort level of the occupants is high in the studied buildings. The occupants residing in those HEMS buildings are satisfied with the thermal environment and they have accepted it. Our study concluded that the significant reduction in Japanese residential energy use can be achieved by the proper utilization of the HEMS. Better thermal comfort is also possible with the use of HEMS if energy use is managed in a rationally effective manner.

Keywords: energy reduction, thermal comfort, HEMS utility, thermal environment

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7 Comparison of the Indocyanine Green Dye Method versus the Combined Method of Indigo Carmine Blue Dye with Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Imaging for Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Breast Conservative Therapy for Early Breast Cancer

Authors: Nobuyuki Takemoto, Ai Koyanagi, Masanori Yasuda, Hiroshi Yamamoto

Abstract:

Background: Fluorescence imaging (FI) is one of the methods to identify sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs). However, the procedure is technically complicated and requires procedural skills, as SLN biopsy must be conducted in dim light conditions. As an improved version of this method, we introduced a combined method (Combined mixed dye and fluorescence; CMF) consisting of indigo carmine blue dye and FI. The direct visualization of SLNs under shadowless surgical light conditions is facilitated by the addition of the blue dye. We compared the SLN detection rates of CMF with that of the indocyanine green (ICG) dye method (ICG-D). Methods: A total of 202 patients with stage ≤ IIA breast cancer who underwent breast conservative therapy with separate incision from January 2004 to February 2017 were reviewed. Details of the two methods are as follows: (1) ICG-D: 2ml of ICG (10mg) was used and the green-stained SLNs were resected via a 3-4cm axillary incision; (2) CMF: A combination of 1ml of ICG (5mg) and 1-3ml of indigo carmine (4-12mg) was used. Using Photodynamic Eye (PDE), a 1.5-2 cm incision was made near the point of disappearance of the fluorescence and SLNs with intermediate color of blue and green were resected. Results: There were 92 ICG-D and 110 CMF cases. CMF resulted in a significantly higher detection rate than ICG-D (96.4% vs. 83.7%; p=0.003). This difference was particularly notable in those aged ≥ 60 years (98.3% vs. 74.3%) and individuals with BMI ≥ 25kg/m2 (90.3% vs. 58.3%). Conclusion: CMF is an effective method to identify SLNs which is safe, efficient, and cost-effective. Furthermore, radiation exposure can be avoided, and it can be performed in institutes without nuclear medicine facilities. CMF achieves a high SLN identification rate, and most of this procedure is feasible under shadowless surgical light conditions. CMF can reliably perform SLN biopsy even in those aged ≥ 60 years and individuals with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2.

Keywords: sentinel lymph node biopsy, identification rate, indocyanine green (ICG), indigocarmine, fluorescence

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6 Gene Expression Analysis for Corals / Zooxanthellae under High Seawater Temperature Stress

Authors: Haruka Ito, Toru Maruyama, Michihiro Ito, Chuya Shinzato, Hiroyuki Fujimura, Yoshikatsu Nakano, Shoichiro Suda, Sachiyo Aburatani, Haruko Takeyama

Abstract:

Clarifying symbiotic relationships is one of the most important theme for understanding the marine eco-system. Coral reef has been regarded as an important environmental resource. Coral holobiont composed by coral, symbiotic microalgae zooxanthellae, and bacteria have complexed relationship. Zooxanthellae mainly supply organic matter to the host corals through their photosynthetic activity. The symbiotic relationship is indispensable for corals but may easily collapses due to the rise of seawater temperature. However, the molecular mechanism how seawater temperature influences their relationships still remain unclear. In this study, the transcriptomic analysis has applied to elucidate the coral-zooxanthellae relationships under high seawater temperature stress. To observe reactions of corals and zooxanthellae against the rise of seawater temperature, meta-gene expression in coral have been analyzed. The branches from six different colonies of a stony coral, Acropora tenuis, were sampled at nine times by 2016 at two locations, Ishikawabaru and South of Sesoko Island, Okinawa, Japan. The mRNAs extracted from the branches including zooxanthellae were sequenced by illumina HiSeq. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) based on hyper geometric distribution was performed. The seawater temperature at 2016 summer was unusually high, which was caused by El Niño event, and the number of zooxanthellae in coral was decreased in August. GSEA derived the several specific genes expressed in A. tenuis under heat stress conditions. The upregulated genes under heat stress highly related with infection immunity. The downregulated genes significantly contained cell cycle related genes. Thu, it is considered that heat stress cause disorder in cell metabolism of A. tenuis, resulting in serious influence to coral holobiont.

Keywords: coral, symbiosis, thermal stress response, transcriptome analysis

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5 UKIYO-E: User Knowledge Improvement Based on Youth Oriented Entertainment, Art Appreciation Support by Interacting with Picture

Authors: Haruya Tamaki, Tsugunosuke Sakai, Ryuichi Yoshida, Ryohei Egusa, Shigenori Inagaki, Etsuji Yamaguchi, Fusako Kusunoki, Miki Namatame, Masanori Sugimoto, Hiroshi Mizoguchi

Abstract:

Art appreciation is important as part of children education. Art appreciation can enrich sensibility and creativity. To enrich sensibility and creativity, the children have to learning knowledge of picture such as social and historical backgrounds and author intention. High learning effect can acquire by actively learning. In short, it is important that encourage learning of the knowledge about pictures actively. It is necessary that children feel like interest to encourage learning of the knowledge about pictures actively. In a general art museum, comments on pictures are done through writing. Thus, we expect that this method cannot arouse the interest of the children in pictures, because children feel like boring. In brief, learning about the picture information is difficult. Therefore, we are developing an art-appreciation support system that will encourage learning of the knowledge about pictures actively by children feel like interest. This system uses that Interacting with Pictures to learning of the knowledge about pictures. To Interacting with Pictures, children have to utterance by themselves. We expect that will encourage learning of the knowledge about pictures actively by Interacting with Pictures. To more actively learning, children can choose who talking with by information that location and movement of the children. This system must be able to acquire real-time knowledge of the location, movement, and voice of the children. We utilize the Microsoft’s Kinect v2 sensor and its library, namely, Kinect for Windows SDK and Speech Platform SDK v11 for this purpose. By using these sensor and library, we can determine the location, movement, and voice of the children. As the first step of this system, we developed ukiyo-e game that use ukiyo-e to appreciation object. Ukiyo-e is a traditional Japanese graphic art that has influenced the western society. Therefore, we believe that the ukiyo-e game will be appreciated. In this study, we applied talking to pictures to learn information about the pictures because we believe that learning information about the pictures by talking to the pictures is more interesting than commenting on the pictures using only texts. However, we cannot confirm if talking to the pictures is more interesting than commenting using texts only. Thus, we evaluated through EDA measurement whether the user develops an interest in the pictures while talking to them using voice recognition or by commenting on the pictures using texts only. Hence, we evaluated that children have interest to picture while talking to them using voice recognition through EDA measurement. In addition, we quantitatively evaluate that enjoyed this game or not and learning information about the pictures for primary schoolchildren. In this paper, we summarize these two evaluation results.

Keywords: actively learning, art appreciation, EDA, Kinect V2

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4 The Risk of Prioritizing Management over Education at Japanese Universities

Authors: Masanori Kimura

Abstract:

Due to the decline of the 18-year-old population, Japanese universities have a tendency to convert their form of employment from tenured positions to fixed-term positions for newly hired teachers. The advantage of this is that universities can be more flexible in their employment plans in case they fail to fill the enrollment of quotas of prospective students or they need to supplement teachers who can engage in other academic fields or research areas where new demand is expected. The most serious disadvantage of this, however, is that if secure positions cannot be provided to faculty members, there is the possibility that coherence of education and continuity of research supported by the university cannot be achieved. Therefore, the question of this presentation is as follows: Are universities aiming to give first priority to management, or are they trying to prioritize educational and research rather than management? To answer this question, the author examined the number of job offerings for college foreign language teachers posted on the JREC-IN (Japan Research Career Information Network, which is run by Japan Science and Technology Agency) website from April 2012 to October 2015. The results show that there were 1,002 and 1,056 job offerings for tenured positions and fixed-term contracts respectively, suggesting that, overall, today’s Japanese universities show a tendency to give first priority to management. More detailed examinations of the data, however, show that the tendency slightly varies depending on the types of universities. National universities which are supported by the central government and state universities which are supported by local governments posted more job offerings for tenured positions than for fixed-term contracts: national universities posted 285 and 257 job offerings for tenured positions and fixed-term contracts respectively, and state universities posted 106 and 86 job offerings for tenured positions and fixed-term contracts respectively. Yet the difference in number between the two types of employment status at national and state universities is marginal. As for private universities, they posted 713 job offerings for fixed-term contracts and 616 offerings for tenured positions. Moreover, 73% of the fixed-term contracts were offered for low rank positions including associate professors, lectures, and so forth. Generally speaking, those positions are offered to younger teachers. Therefore, this result indicates that private universities attempt to cut their budgets yet expect the same educational effect by hiring younger teachers. Although the results have shown that there are some differences in personal strategies among the three types of universities, the author argues that all three types of universities may lose important human resources that will take a pivotal role at their universities in the future unless they urgently review their employment strategies.

Keywords: higher education, management, employment status, foreign language education

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3 Spectrophotometric Detection of Histidine Using Enzyme Reaction and Examination of Reaction Conditions

Authors: Akimitsu Kugimiya, Kouhei Iwato, Toru Saito, Jiro Kohda, Yasuhisa Nakano, Yu Takano

Abstract:

The measurement of amino acid content is reported to be useful for the diagnosis of several types of diseases, including lung cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes. The conventional detection methods for amino acid are high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), but they have several drawbacks as the equipment is cumbersome and the techniques are costly in terms of time and costs. In contrast, biosensors and biosensing methods provide more rapid and facile detection strategies that use simple equipment. The authors have reported a novel approach for the detection of each amino acid that involved the use of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS) as a molecular recognition element because aaRS is expected to a selective binding ability for corresponding amino acid. The consecutive enzymatic reactions used in this study are as follows: aaRS binds to its cognate amino acid and releases inorganic pyrophosphate. Hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) was produced by the enzyme reactions of inorganic pyrophosphatase and pyruvate oxidase. The Trinder’s reagent was added into the reaction mixture, and the absorbance change at 556 nm was measured using a microplate reader. In this study, an amino acid-sensing method using histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS; histidine-specific aaRS) as molecular recognition element in combination with the Trinder’s reagent spectrophotometric method was developed. The quantitative performance and selectivity of the method were evaluated, and the optimal enzyme reaction and detection conditions were determined. The authors developed a simple and rapid method for detecting histidine with a combination of enzymatic reaction and spectrophotometric detection. In this study, HisRS was used to detect histidine, and the reaction and detection conditions were optimized for quantitation of these amino acids in the ranges of 1–100 µM histidine. The detection limits are sufficient to analyze these amino acids in biological fluids. This work was partly supported by Hiroshima City University Grant for Special Academic Research (General Studies).

Keywords: amino acid, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, biosensing, enzyme reaction

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2 Network Analysis to Reveal Microbial Community Dynamics in the Coral Reef Ocean

Authors: Keigo Ide, Toru Maruyama, Michihiro Ito, Hiroyuki Fujimura, Yoshikatu Nakano, Shoichiro Suda, Sachiyo Aburatani, Haruko Takeyama

Abstract:

Understanding environmental system is one of the important tasks. In recent years, conservation of coral environments has been focused for biodiversity issues. The damage of coral reef under environmental impacts has been observed worldwide. However, the casual relationship between damage of coral and environmental impacts has not been clearly understood. On the other hand, structure/diversity of marine bacterial community may be relatively robust under the certain strength of environmental impact. To evaluate the coral environment conditions, it is necessary to investigate relationship between marine bacterial composition in coral reef and environmental factors. In this study, the Time Scale Network Analysis was developed and applied to analyze the marine environmental data for investigating the relationship among coral, bacterial community compositions and environmental factors. Seawater samples were collected fifteen times from November 2014 to May 2016 at two locations, Ishikawabaru and South of Sesoko in Sesoko Island, Okinawa. The physicochemical factors such as temperature, photosynthetic active radiation, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved organic matter and depth were measured at the coral reef area. Metagenome and metatranscriptome in seawater of coral reef were analyzed as the biological factors. Metagenome data was used to clarify marine bacterial community composition. In addition, functional gene composition was estimated from metatranscriptome. For speculating the relationships between physicochemical and biological factors, cross-correlation analysis was applied to time scale data. Even though cross-correlation coefficients usually include the time precedence information, it also included indirect interactions between the variables. To elucidate the direct regulations between both factors, partial correlation coefficients were combined with cross correlation. This analysis was performed against all parameters such as the bacterial composition, the functional gene composition and the physicochemical factors. As the results, time scale network analysis revealed the direct regulation of seawater temperature by photosynthetic active radiation. In addition, concentration of dissolved oxygen regulated the value of chlorophyll. Some reasonable regulatory relationships between environmental factors indicate some part of mechanisms in coral reef area.

Keywords: coral environment, marine microbiology, network analysis, omics data analysis

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1 Evaluation Method for Fouling Risk Using Quartz Crystal Microbalance

Authors: Natsuki Kishizawa, Keiko Nakano, Hussam Organji, Amer Shaiban, Mohammad Albeirutty

Abstract:

One of the most important tasks in operating desalination plants using a reverse osmosis (RO) method is preventing RO membrane fouling caused by foulants found in seawater. Optimal design of the pre-treatment process of RO process for plants enables the reduction of foulants. Therefore, a quantitative evaluation of the fouling risk in pre-treated water, which is fed to RO, is required for optimal design. Some measurement methods for water quality such as silt density index (SDI) and total organic carbon (TOC) have been conservatively applied for evaluations. However, these methods have not been effective in some situations for evaluating the fouling risk of RO feed water. Furthermore, stable management of plants will be possible by alerts and appropriate control of the pre-treatment process by using the method if it can be applied to the inline monitoring system for the fouling risk of RO feed water. The purpose of this study is to develop a method to evaluate the fouling risk of RO feed water. We applied a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) to measure the amount of foulants found in seawater using a sensor whose surface is coated with polyamide thin film, which is the main material of a RO membrane. The increase of the weight of the sensor after a certain length of time in which the sample water passes indicates the fouling risk of the sample directly. We classified the values as “FP: Fouling Potential”. The characteristics of the method are to measure the very small amount of substances in seawater in a short time: < 2h, and from a small volume of the sample water: < 50mL. Using some RO cell filtration units, a higher correlation between the pressure increase given by RO fouling and the FP from the method than SDI and TOC was confirmed in the laboratory-scale test. Then, to establish the correlation in the actual bench-scale RO membrane module, and to confirm the feasibility of the monitoring system as a control tool for the pre-treatment process, we have started a long-term test at an experimental desalination site by the Red Sea in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Implementing inline equipment for the method made it possible to measure FP intermittently (4 times per day) and automatically. Moreover, for two 3-month long operations, the RO operation pressure among feed water samples of different qualities was compared. The pressure increase through a RO membrane module was observed at a high FP RO unit in which feed water was treated by a cartridge filter only. On the other hand, the pressure increase was not observed at a low FP RO unit in which feed water was treated by an ultra-filter during the operation. Therefore, the correlation in an actual scale RO membrane was established in two runs of two types of feed water. The result suggested that the FP method enables the evaluation of the fouling risk of RO feed water.

Keywords: fouling, monitoring, QCM, water quality

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