Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32

Search results for: Satoshi Imai

32 Utility Analysis of API Economy Based on Multi-Sided Platform Markets Model

Authors: Mami Sugiura, Shinichi Arakawa, Masayuki Murata, Satoshi Imai, Toru Katagiri, Motoyoshi Sekiya


API (Application Programming Interface) economy, where many participants join/interact and form the economy, is expected to increase collaboration between information services through API, and thereby, it is expected to increase market value from the service collaborations. In this paper, we introduce API evaluators, which are the activator of API economy by reviewing and/or evaluating APIs, and develop a multi-sided API economy model that formulates interactions among platform provider, API developers, consumers, and API evaluators. By obtaining the equilibrium that maximizes utility of all participants, the impact of API evaluators on the utility of participants in the API economy is revealed. Numerical results show that, with the existence of API evaluators, the number of developers and consumers increase by 1.5% and the utility of platformer increases by 2.3%. We also discuss the strategies of platform provider to maximize its utility under the existence of API evaluators.

Keywords: API economy, multi-sided markets, API evaluator, platform, platform provider

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31 Metal Berthelot Tubes with Windows for Observing Cavitation under Static Negative Pressure

Authors: K. Hiro, Y. Imai, T. Sasayama


Cavitation under static negative pressure is not revealed well. The Berthelot method to generate such negative pressure can be a means to study cavitation inception. In this study, metal Berthelot tubes built in observation windows are newly developed and are checked whether high static negative pressure is generated or not. Negative pressure in the tube with a pair of a corundum plate and an aluminum gasket increased with temperature cycles. The trend was similar to that as reported before.

Keywords: Berthelot method, cavitation, negative pressure, observation

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30 Social Innovation, Change and the Future of Resilient Communities in Tokyo

Authors: Heide Imai


The paper will introduce and discuss specific examples of urban practices which take place within the dynamic urban landscape of contemporary Tokyo. The rising interest and importance of derelict places as resilient and creative clusters will be analysed, before relating this to the rediscovery of small urban niches and the emergence of different forms of social entrepreneurs. Secondly, two different case study areas will be introduced before discussing different forms of hybrid lifestyles, social micro scale enterprises and social innovations, understanding the concept of ‘small places of resilience’ as zones of human interaction, desire and care in which spontaneous practices take place.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, social innovation, Tokyo, urban regeneration

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29 Negative Pressures of Ca. -20 MPA for Water Enclosed into a Metal Berthelot Tube under a Vacuum Condition

Authors: K. Hiro, Y. Imai, M. Tanji, H. Deguchi, K. Hatari


Negative pressures of liquids have been expected to contribute many kinds of technology. Nevertheless, experiments for subjecting liquids which have not too small volumes to negative pressures are difficult even now. The reason of the difficulties is because the liquids tend to generate cavities easily. In order to remove cavitation nuclei, an apparatus for enclosing water into a metal Berthelot tube under vacuum conditions was developed. By using the apparatus, negative pressures for water rose to ca. -20 MPa. This is the highest value for water in metal Berthelot tubes. Results were explained by a traditional crevice model. Keywords

Keywords: Berthelot method, negative pressure, cavitation nuclei, water

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28 Cell-Cell Interactions in Diseased Conditions Revealed by Three Dimensional and Intravital Two Photon Microscope: From Visualization to Quantification

Authors: Satoshi Nishimura


Although much information has been garnered from the genomes of humans and mice, it remains difficult to extend that information to explain physiological and pathological phenomena. This is because the processes underlying life are by nature stochastic and fluctuate with time. Thus, we developed novel "in vivo molecular imaging" method based on single and two-photon microscopy. We visualized and analyzed many life phenomena, including common adult diseases. We integrated the knowledge obtained, and established new models that will serve as the basis for new minimally invasive therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: two photon microscope, intravital visualization, thrombus, artery

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27 Recurrence of Papillary Thyroid Cancer with an Interval of 40 Years. Report of an Autopsy Case

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi


A 75-year-old woman took thyroidectomy forty years previously. Enlarged masses were seen at autopsy just above and below the left clavicle. We proved the diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) and lung metastasis by histological examinations. The prognosis of PTC is excellent; the 10-year survival rate ranges between 85 and 99%. Lung metastases may be found in 10% of the patients with PTC. We report an unusual case of recurrence of PTC with metastasis to the lung.

Keywords: papillary thyroid cancer, lung metastasis, autopsy, histopathological findings

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26 Free to Select vTuber Avatar eLearning Video for University Ray Tracing Course

Authors: Rex Hsieh, Kosei Yamamura, Satoshi Cho, Hisashi Sato


This project took place in the fall semester of 2019 from September 2019 to February 2020. It improves upon the design of a previous vTuber based eLearning video system by correcting criticisms from students and enhancing the positive aspects of the previous system. The transformed audio which has proven to be ineffective in previous experiments was not used in this experiment. The result is videos featuring 3 avatars covering different Ray Tracing subject matters being released weekly. Students are free to pick which videos they want to watch and can also re-watch any videos they want. The students' subjective impressions of each video is recorded and analysed to help further improve the system.

Keywords: vTuber, eLearning, Ray Tracing, Avatar

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25 CO2 Gas Solubility and Foam Generation

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


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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24 Difference in the Expression of CIRBP, RBM3 and HSP70 in the Myocardium and Cerebellum after Death by Hypothermi a and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Lisa Wingenfeld, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi


We studied the expression of hypoxia-related antigens (e.g., cold-inducible antigens and apoptotic antigens) in the myocardium and the cerebellumthat were obtained from individuals after death by carbon monoxide or hypothermia. The immunohistochemistry results revealed that expression of cold-inducible RNA binding protein (CIRBP) and RNA-binding protein 3 (RBM3) may be associated with hpyothermic and the hypoxic conditions. The expression of CIRBP and RBM3 in the myocardium was different from their expression in the cerebellum, especially in the Purkinje cells. The results indicate that agonal duration influences antigen expression. In the hypothermic condition, the myocardium uses more ATP since the force of the excitation-contraction coupling of the myocardium increases by more than 400% when the experimental temperature is reduced from 35°C to 25°C. The results obtained in this study indicate that physicians should pay attention to the myocardium when cooling the patient’s body to protect the brain.

Keywords: carbon monoxide death, cerebellum, CIRBP, hypothermic death, myocardium, RBM3

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23 An Autopsy Case of Blunt Chest Trauma from a Traffic Accident Complicated by Chest Compression Due to Resuscitation Attempts

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi


Coronary artery dissection leading to acute myocardial infarction after blunt chest trauma is extremely rare. A 67-year-old woman suffered blunt chest trauma following a traffic accident. The electrocardiogram revealed acute posterior ST-segment elevation and myocardial infarction and coronary angiography demonstrated acute right coronary artery dissection. Following the death of the victim an autopsy was performed after cardiopulmonary support had been carried out. In this case report, we describe the case of a woman with blunt chest trauma, who developed an acute myocardial infarction secondary to right coronary artery dissection. Although there was additional the blunt chest trauma due to chest compression, we confirmed the injury at autopsy and by histological findings.

Keywords: blunt chest trauma, right coronary artery dissection, coronary angiography, autopsy, histological examination

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22 High Efficient Biohydrogen Production from Cassava Starch Processing Wastewater by Two Stage Thermophilic Fermentation and Electrohydrogenesis

Authors: Peerawat Khongkliang, Prawit Kongjan, Tsuyoshi Imai, Poonsuk Prasertsan, Sompong O-Thong


A two-stage thermophilic fermentation and electrohydrogenesis process was used to convert cassava starch processing wastewater into hydrogen gas. Maximum hydrogen yield from fermentation stage by Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum PSU-2 was 248 mL H2/g-COD at optimal pH of 6.5. Optimum hydrogen production rate of 820 mL/L/d and yield of 200 mL/g COD was obtained at HRT of 2 days in fermentation stage. Cassava starch processing wastewater fermentation effluent consisted of acetic acid, butyric acid and propionic acid. The effluent from fermentation stage was used as feedstock to generate hydrogen production by microbial electrolysis cell (MECs) at an applied voltage of 0.6 V in second stage with additional 657 mL H2/g-COD was produced. Energy efficiencies based on electricity needed for the MEC were 330 % with COD removals of 95 %. The overall hydrogen yield was 800-900 mL H2/g-COD. Microbial community analysis of electrohydrogenesis by DGGE shows that exoelectrogens belong to Acidiphilium sp., Geobacter sulfurreducens and Thermincola sp. were dominated at anode. These results show two-stage thermophilic fermentation, and electrohydrogenesis process improved hydrogen production performance with high hydrogen yields, high gas production rates and high COD removal efficiency.

Keywords: cassava starch processing wastewater, biohydrogen, thermophilic fermentation, microbial electrolysis cell

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21 The Role of Initiator in the Synthesis of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)-Layered Silicate Nanocomposites through Bulk Polymerization

Authors: Tsung-Yen Tsai, Naveen Bunekar, Ming Hsuan Chang, Wen-Kuang Wang, Satoshi Onda


The structure-property relationship and initiator effect on bulk polymerized poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)–oragnomodified layered silicate nanocomposites was investigated. In this study, we used 2, 2'-azobis (4-methoxy-2,4-dimethyl valeronitrile and benzoyl peroxide initiators for bulk polymerization. The bulk polymerized nanocomposites’ morphology was investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The type of initiator strongly influences the physiochemical properties of the polymer nanocomposite. The thermal degradation of PMMA in the presence of nanofiller was studied. 5 wt% weight loss temperature (T5d) increased as compared to pure PMMA. The peak degradation temperature increased for the nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis were performed to investigate the glass transition temperature and the nature of the constrained region as the reinforcement mechanism respectively. Furthermore, the optical properties such as UV-Vis and Total Luminous Transmission of nanocomposites are examined.

Keywords: initiator, bulk polymerization, layered silicates, methyl methacrylate

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20 Instability of H2-O2-CO2 Premixed Flames on Flat Burner

Authors: Kaewpradap Amornrat, Endo Takahiro, Kadowaki Satoshi


The combustion of hydrogen-oxygen (H2-O2) mixtures was investigated to consider the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) as the greenhouse emission. Normally, the flame speed of combustion H2-O2 mixtures are very fast thus it is necessary to control the limit of mixtures with CO2 addition as H2-O2-CO2 combustion. The limit of hydrogen was set and replaced by CO2 with O2:CO2 ratio as 1:3.76, 1:4 and 1:5 for this study. In this study, the combustion of H2-O2 -CO2 on flat burner at equivalence ratio =0.5 was investigated for 10, 15 and 20 L/min of flow rate mixtures. When the ratio of CO2 increases, the power spectral density is lower, the size of attractor and cellular flame become larger because the decrease of hydrogen replaced by CO2 affects the diffusive-thermal instability. Moreover, the flow rate mixtures increases, the power spectral density increases, the size of reconstructed attractor and cell size become smaller due to decreasing of instability. The results show that the variation of CO2 and mixture flow rate affects the instability of cellular premixed flames on flat burner.

Keywords: instability, H2-O2-CO2 combustion, flat burner, diffusive-thermal instability

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19 Genetic Characteristics of Chicken Anemia Virus Circulating in Northern Vietnam

Authors: Hieu Van Dong, Giang Thi Huong Tran, Giap Van Nguyen, Tung Duy Dao, Vuong Nghia Bui, Le Thi My Huynh, Yohei Takeda, Haruko Ogawa, Kunitoshi Imai


Chicken anemia virus (CAV) has a ubiquitous and worldwide distribution in chicken production. Our group previously reported high seroprevalence of CAV in chickens in northern Vietnam. In the present study, 330 tissue samples collected from commercial and breeder chicken farms in eleven provinces in northern Vietnam were tested for the CAV infection. We found that 157 out of 330 (47.58%) chickens were positive with CAV genes by real-time PCR method. Nine CAV strains obtained from the different location and time were forwarded to the full-length sequence of CAV VP1 gene. Phylogenetic analysis of the Vietnamese CAV vp1 gene indicated that the CAVs circulating in northern Vietnam were divided into three distinct genotypes, II, III, and V, but not clustered with the vaccine strains. Among the three genotypes, genotype III was the major one widely spread in Vietnam, and that included three sub-genotypes, IIIa, IIIb, and IIIc. The Vietnamese CAV strains were closely related to the Chinese, Taiwanese, and USA strains. All the CAV isolates had glutamine at amino acid position 394 in the VP1 gene, suggesting that they might be highly pathogenic strains. One strain was defined to be genotype V, which had not been reported for Vietnamese CAVs. Additional studies are required to further evaluate the pathogenicity of CAV strains circulating in Vietnam.

Keywords: chicken anemia virus, genotype, genetic characteristics, Vietnam

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18 Effect of Chromium Behavior on Mechanical and Electrical Properties Of P/M Copper-Chromium Alloy Dispersed with VGCF

Authors: Hisashi Imai, Kuan-Yu Chen, Katsuyoshi Kondoh, Hung-Yin Tsai, Junko Umeda


Microstructural and electrical properties of copper-chromium alloy (Cu-Cr) dispersed with vapor-grown carbon fiber (VGCF) prepared by powder metallurgy (P/M) process have been investigated. Cu-0.7 mass% Cr pre-alloyed powder (Cu-Cr) made by water atomization process was used as raw materials, which contained solid solute Cr elements in Cu matrix. The alloy powder coated with un-bundled VGCF by using oil coating process was consolidated at 1223 K in vacuum by spark plasma sintering, and then extruded at 1073 K. The extruded Cu-Cr alloy (monolithic alloy) had 209.3 MPa YS and 80.4 IACS% conductivity. The extruded Cu-Cr with 0.1 mass% VGCF composites revealed a small decrease of YS compared to the monolithic Cu-Cr alloy. On the other hand, the composite had a higher electrical conductivity than that of the monolithic alloy. For example, Cu-Cr with 0.1 mass% VGCF composite sintered for 5 h showed 182.7 MPa YS and 89.7 IACS% conductivity. In the case of Cu-Cr with VGCFs composites, the Cr concentration was observed around VGCF by SEM-EDS analysis, where Cr23C6 compounds were detected by TEM observation. The amount of Cr solid solution in the matrix of the Cu-Cr composites alloy was about 50% compared to the monolithic Cu-Cr sintered alloy, and resulted in the remarkable increment of the electrical conductivity.

Keywords: powder metallurgy Cu-Cr alloy powder, vapor-grown carbon fiber, electrical conductivity

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17 Phylogenetic Analyses of Newcastle Disease Virus Isolated from Unvaccinated Chicken Flocks in Kyrgyzstan from 2015 to 2016

Authors: Giang Tran Thi Huong, Hieu Dong Van, Tung Dao Duy, Saadanov Iskender, Isakeev Mairambek, Tsutomu Omatsu, Yukie Katayama, Tetsuya Mizutani, Yuki Ozeki, Yohei Takeda, Haruko Ogawa, Kunitoshi Imai


Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a contagious viral disease of the poultry industry and other birds throughout the world. At present, very little is known about molecular epidemiological data regarding the causes of ND outbreak in commercial poultry farms in Kyrgyzstan. In the current study, the NDV isolated from the one out of three samples from the unvaccinated flock was confirmed as NDV. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that this NDV strain is clustered in the Class II subgenotype VIId, and closely related to the Chinese NDV isolate. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolated NDV strain has an origin different from the 4 NDV strains previously identified in Kyrgyzstan. According to the mean death time (MDT: 61.1 h) and a multibasic amino acid (aa) sequence at the F0 proteolytic cleavage site (¹¹²R-R-Q-K-R-F¹¹⁷), the NDV isolate was determined as mesogenic strain. Several mutations in the neutralizing epitopes (notably, ³⁴⁷E→K) and the global head were observed in the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of the current isolate. The present study represents the molecular characterization of the coding gene region of NDV in Kyrgyzstan. Additionally, further study will be investigated on the antigenic characterization using monoclonal antibody.

Keywords: Kyrgyzstan, Newcastle disease, genotype, genome characterization

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16 Changes of pH and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Growth in Liquid Media

Authors: Sayaka Ono, Ryutaro Imai, Tomoko Ehara, Tetsuya Matsumoto, Hajime Matsumura


Background: Wound pH affects a number of important factors in wound healing. We previously measured the pH value of the exudates collected from second-degree burns and found that the increase in pH was observed in the burn wounds in which colonized by Staphylococcus spp., and the increase in pH was evident prior to the clinical findings of local infection. To investigate the relationship between the changes of pH value and bacterial growth, we performed in vitro study using Pseudomonas aeruginosa and liquid medium as a locally infected wound equivalent model. Methods: Pseudomonas aeruginosa standard strain (ATCCR 10145TM) was cultured at 37 °C environment in Luria Broth Miller medium. The absorbance rate which means the amount of bacteria was measured by a microplate reader 2300EnSpireTM). The pH was measured using pH-indicator strips (MColorpHastTM). The statistical analysis was performed using the product-moment correlation coefficient of Pearson's. Results: The absorbance rate and pH value were increased along with culture period. There was a positive correlation between pH value and absorbance rate (n = 27, Pearson's r = 0.985). Moreover, there was a positive correlation between pH value and the culture period (n = 18, Pearson's r = 0.901). The bacteria was well growth in the media from pH 6.6 to pH 8.0 and the pH of culture media converged at 8 -9 along with the bacterial growth. Conclusion: From these results, we conclude that pH value of the wound is correlated with the number of viable bacteria and bacterial growth periods.

Keywords: colonization, potential of hydrogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, wound

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15 Situated Urban Rituals: Rethinking the Meaning and Practice of Micro Culture in Cities in East Asia

Authors: Heide Imai


Contemporary cities, especially in Japan, have reached an indescribable complexity and excessive, global investments blur formal, rooted structures. Modern urban agglomerations blindly trust a macro understanding, whereas everyday activities which portray the human degree of living space are being suppressed and erased. The paper will draw upon the approach ‘Micro-Urbanism’ which focus on the sensitive and indigenous side of contemporary cities, which in fact can hold the authentic qualities of a city. Related to this approach is the term ‘Micro-Culture’ which is used to clarify the inner realities of the everyday living space on the example of the Japanese urban backstreet. The paper identifies an example of a ‘micro-zone’ in terms of ‘street space’, originally embedded in the landscape of the Japanese city. And although the approach ‘Micro-Urbanism’ is more complex, the understanding of the term can be tackled by a social analysis of the street, as shown on the backstreet called roji and closely linked examples of ‘situated’ urban rituals like (1) urban festivities, (2) local markets/ street vendors and (3) artistic, intellectual tactics. Likewise, the paper offers insights in a ‘community of streets’ which boundaries are specially shaped by cultural activity and social networks.

Keywords: urban rituals, community, streets as micro-zone, everyday space

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14 Survey of Epidemiology and Mechanisms of Badminton Injury Using Medical Check-Up and Questionnaire of School Age Badminton Players

Authors: Xiao Zhou, Kazuhiro Imai, Xiaoxuan Liu


Badminton is one type of racket sports that requires repetitive overhead motion, with the shoulder in abduction/external rotation and requires players to perform jumps, lunges, and quick directional changes. These characteristics could be stressful for body regions that may cause badminton injuries. Regarding racket players including badminton players, there have not been any studies that have utilized medical check-up to evaluate epidemiology and mechanism of injuries. In addition, epidemiology of badminton injury in school age badminton players is unknown. The first purpose of this study was to investigate the badminton injuries, physical fitness parameters, and intensity of shoulder pain using medical check-up so that the mechanisms of shoulder injuries might be revealed. The second purpose of this study was to survey the distribution of badminton injuries in elementary school age players so that injury prevention can be implemented as early as possible. The results of this study revealed that shoulder pain occurred in all players, and present shoulder pain players had smaller weight, greater shoulder external rotation (ER) gain, significantly thinner circumference of upper limbs and greater trunk extension. Identifying players with specific of these factors may enhance the prevention of badminton injury. This study also shows that there are high incidences of knee, ankle, plantar, and shoulder injury or pain in elementary school age badminton players. Injury prevention program might be implemented for elementary school age players.

Keywords: badminton injury, epidemiology, medical check-up, school age players

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13 A Method for Consensus Building between Teachers and Learners in a Value Co-Creative Learning Service

Authors: Ryota Sugino, Satoshi Mizoguchi, Koji Kimita, Keiichi Muramatsu, Tatsunori Matsui, Yoshiki Shimomura


Improving added value and productivity of services entails improving both value-in-exchange and value-in-use. Value-in-use is realized by value co-creation, where providers and receivers create value together. In higher education services, value-in-use comes from learners achieving learning outcomes (e.g., knowledge and skills) that are consistent with their learning goals. To enhance the learning outcomes of a learner, it is necessary to enhance and utilize the abilities of the teacher along with the abilities of the learner. To do this, however, the learner and the teacher need to build a consensus about their respective roles. Teachers need to provide effective learning content; learners need to choose the appropriate learning strategies by using the learning content through consensus building. This makes consensus building an important factor in value co-creation. However, methods to build a consensus about their respective roles may not be clearly established, making such consensus difficult. In this paper, we propose some strategies for consensus building between a teacher and a learner in value co-creation. We focus on a teacher and learner co-design and propose an analysis method to clarify a collaborative design process to realize value co-creation. We then analyze some counseling data obtained from a university class. This counseling aimed to build a consensus for value-in-use, learning outcomes, and learning strategies between the teacher and the learner.

Keywords: consensus building, value co-creation, higher education, learning service

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12 Autopsy-Based Study of Abdominal Traffic Trauma Death after Emergency Room Arrival

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi


We experience the autopsy cases that the deceased was alive in emergency room on arrival. Bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death after injury. This retrospective study aimed to characterize opportunities for performance improvement identified in patients who died from traffic trauma and were considered by the quality improvement of education system. The Japan Advanced Trauma Evaluation and Care (JATEC) education program was introduced in 2002. We focused the abdominal traffic trauma injury. An autopsy-based cross-sectional study conducted. A purposive sampling technique was applied to select the study sample of 41 post-mortems of road traffic accident between April 1999 and March 2014 subjected to medico-legal autopsy at the department of Forensic Medicine, Shiga University of Medical Science. 16 patients (39.0%) were abdominal trauma injury. The mean period of survival after meet with accident was 13.5 hours, compared abdominal trauma death was 27.4 hours longer. In road traffic accidents, the most injured abdominal organs were liver followed by mesentery. We thought delayed treatment was associated with immediate diagnostic imaging, and so expected to expand trauma management examination.

Keywords: abdominal traffic trauma, preventable death, autopsy, emergency medicine

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11 Developing Value Chain of Synthetic Methane for Net-zero Carbon City Gas Supply in Japan

Authors: Ryota Kuzuki, Mitsuhiro Kohara, Noboru Kizuki, Satoshi Yoshida, Hidetaka Hirai, Yuta Nezasa


About fifty years have passed since Japan's gas supply industry became the first in the world to switch from coal and oil to LNG as a city gas feedstock. Since the Japanese government target of net-zero carbon emission in 2050 was announced in October 2020, it has now entered a new era of challenges to commit to the requirement for decarbonization. This paper describes the situation that synthetic methane, produced from renewable energy-derived hydrogen and recycled carbon, is a promising national policy of transition toward net-zero society. In November 2020, the Japan Gas Association announced the 'Carbon Neutral Challenge 2050' as a vision to contribute to the decarbonization of society by converting the city gas supply to carbon neutral. The key technologies is methanation. This paper shows that methanation is a realistic solution to contribute to the decarbonization of the whole country at a lower social cost, utilizing the supply chain that already exists, from LNG plants to burner chips. The challenges during the transition period (2030-2050), as CO2 captured from exhaust of thermal power plants and industrial factories are expected to be used, it is proposed that a system of guarantee of origin (GO) for H2 and CO2 should be established and harmonize international rules for calculating and allocating greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain, a platform is also needed to manage tracking information on certified environmental values.

Keywords: synthetic methane, recycled carbon fuels, methanation, transition period, environmental value transfer platform

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10 Effects of Forest Bathing on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Parameters in Middle-Aged Males

Authors: Qing Li, Maiko Kobayashi, Shigeyoshi Kumeda, Hiroko Ochiai, Toshiya Ochiai, Takashi Miura, Takahide Kagawa, Michiko Imai, Toshiaki Otsuka, Tomoyuki Kawada


In the present study, we investigated the effects of a forest bathing program on cardiovascular and metabolic parameters. Nineteen healthy male subjects (mean age: 51.3 ± 8.8 years) were selected after obtaining informed consent. These subjects took day trips to a forest park named Akasawa Shizen Kyuyourin, Agematsu, Nagano Prefecture (situated in central Japan), and to an urban area of Nagano Prefecture as a control in August 2015. On both trips, they walked 2.6 km for 80 min each in the morning and afternoon on Saturdays. Blood and urine were sampled in the morning before and after each trip. Cardiovascular and metabolic parameters were measured. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured by an ambulatory automatic blood pressure monitor. The Japanese version of the profile of mood states (POMS) test was conducted before, during and after the trips. Ambient temperature and humidity were monitoring during the trips. The forest bathing program significantly reduced pulse rate, and significantly increased the score for vigor and decreased the scores for depression, fatigue, and confusion in the POMS test. The levels of urinary noradrenaline and dopamine after forest bathing were significantly lower than those after urban area walking, suggesting the relaxing effect of the forest bathing program. The level of adiponectin in serum after the forest bathing program was significantly greater than that after urban area walking. There was no significant difference in blood pressure between forest and urban area trips during the trips.

Keywords: ambient temperature, blood pressure, forest bathing, forest therapy, human health, POMS, pulse rate

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9 Path-Tracking Controller for Tracked Mobile Robot on Rough Terrain

Authors: Toshifumi Hiramatsu, Satoshi Morita, Manuel Pencelli, Marta Niccolini, Matteo Ragaglia, Alfredo Argiolas


Automation technologies for agriculture field are needed to promote labor-saving. One of the most relevant problems in automated agriculture is represented by controlling the robot along a predetermined path in presence of rough terrain or incline ground. Unfortunately, disturbances originating from interaction with the ground, such as slipping, make it quite difficult to achieve the required accuracy. In general, it is required to move within 5-10 cm accuracy with respect to the predetermined path. Moreover, lateral velocity caused by gravity on the incline field also affects slipping. In this paper, a path-tracking controller for tracked mobile robots moving on rough terrains of incline field such as vineyard is presented. The controller is composed of a disturbance observer and an adaptive controller based on the kinematic model of the robot. The disturbance observer measures the difference between the measured and the reference yaw rate and linear velocity in order to estimate slip. Then, the adaptive controller adapts “virtual” parameter of the kinematics model: Instantaneous Centers of Rotation (ICRs). Finally, target angular velocity reference is computed according to the adapted parameter. This solution allows estimating the effects of slip without making the model too complex. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed solution is tested in a simulation environment.

Keywords: the agricultural robot, autonomous control, path-tracking control, tracked mobile robot

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8 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


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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7 Control of Biofilm Formation and Inorganic Particle Accumulation on Reverse Osmosis Membrane by Hypochlorite Washing

Authors: Masaki Ohno, Cervinia Manalo, Tetsuji Okuda, Satoshi Nakai, Wataru Nishijima


Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been widely used for desalination to purify water for drinking and other purposes. Although at present most RO membranes have no resistance to chlorine, chlorine-resistant membranes are being developed. Therefore, direct chlorine treatment or chlorine washing will be an option in preventing biofouling on chlorine-resistant membranes. Furthermore, if particle accumulation control is possible by using chlorine washing, expensive pretreatment for particle removal can be removed or simplified. The objective of this study was to determine the effective hypochlorite washing condition required for controlling biofilm formation and inorganic particle accumulation on RO membrane in a continuous flow channel with RO membrane and spacer. In this study, direct chlorine washing was done by soaking fouled RO membranes in hypochlorite solution and fluorescence intensity was used to quantify biofilm on the membrane surface. After 48 h of soaking the membranes in high fouling potential waters, the fluorescence intensity decreased to 0 from 470 using the following washing conditions: 10 mg/L chlorine concentration, 2 times/d washing interval, and 30 min washing time. The chlorine concentration required to control biofilm formation decreased as the chlorine concentration (0.5–10 mg/L), the washing interval (1–4 times/d), or the washing time (1–30 min) increased. For the sample solutions used in the study, 10 mg/L chlorine concentration with 2 times/d interval, and 5 min washing time was required for biofilm control. The optimum chlorine washing conditions obtained from soaking experiments proved to be applicable also in controlling biofilm formation in continuous flow experiments. Moreover, chlorine washing employed in controlling biofilm with suspended particles resulted in lower amounts of organic (0.03 mg/cm2) and inorganic (0.14 mg/cm2) deposits on the membrane than that for sample water without chlorine washing (0.14 mg/cm2 and 0.33 mg/cm2, respectively). The amount of biofilm formed was 79% controlled by continuous washing with 10 mg/L of free chlorine concentration, and the inorganic accumulation amount decreased by 58% to levels similar to that of pure water with kaolin (0.17 mg/cm2) as feed water. These results confirmed the acceleration of particle accumulation due to biofilm formation, and that the inhibition of biofilm growth can almost completely reduce further particle accumulation. In addition, effective hypochlorite washing condition which can control both biofilm formation and particle accumulation could be achieved.

Keywords: reverse osmosis, washing condition optimization, hypochlorous acid, biofouling control

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6 Challenges for Competency-Based Learning Design in Primary School Mathematics in Mozambique

Authors: Satoshi Kusaka


The term ‘competency’ is attracting considerable scholarly attention worldwide with the advance of globalization in the 21st century and with the arrival of a knowledge-based society. In the current world environment, familiarity with varied disciplines is regarded to be vital for personal success. The idea of a competency-based educational system was mooted by the ‘Definition and Selection of Competencies (DeSeCo)’ project that was conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Further, attention to this topic is not limited to developed countries; it can also be observed in developing countries. For instance, the importance of a competency-based curriculum was mentioned in the ‘2013 Harmonized Curriculum Framework for the East African Community’, which recommends key competencies that should be developed in primary schools. The introduction of such curricula and the reviews of programs are actively being executed, primarily in the East African Community but also in neighboring nations. Taking Mozambique as a case in point, the present paper examines the conception of ‘competency’ as a target of frontline education in developing countries. It also aims to discover the manner in which the syllabus, textbooks and lessons, among other things, in primary-level math education are developed and to determine the challenges faced in the process. This study employs the perspective of competency-based education design to analyze how the term ‘competency’ is defined in the primary-level math syllabus, how it is reflected in the textbooks, and how the lessons are actually developed. ‘Practical competency’ is mentioned in the syllabus, and the description of the term lays emphasis on learners' ability to interactively apply socio-cultural and technical tools, which is one of the key competencies that are advocated in OECD's ‘Definition and Selection of Competencies’ project. However, most of the content of the textbooks pertains to ‘basic academic ability’, and in actual classroom practice, teachers often impart lessons straight from the textbooks. It is clear that the aptitude of teachers and their classroom routines are greatly dependent on the cultivation of their own ‘practical competency’ as it is defined in the syllabus. In other words, there is great divergence between the ‘syllabus’, which is the intended curriculum, and the content of the ‘textbooks’. In fact, the material in the textbooks should serve as the bridge between the syllabus, which forms the guideline, and the lessons, which represent the ‘implemented curriculum’. Moreover, the results obtained from this investigation reveal that the problem can only be resolved through the cultivation of ‘practical competency’ in teachers, which is currently not sufficient.

Keywords: competency, curriculum, mathematics education, Mozambique

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5 Organic Permeation Properties of Hydrophobic Silica Membranes with Different Functional Groups

Authors: Sadao Araki, Daisuke Gondo, Satoshi Imasaka, Hideki Yamamoto


The separation of organic compounds from aqueous solutions is a key technology for recycling valuable organic compounds and for the treatment of wastewater. The wastewater from chemical plants often contains organic compounds such as ethyl acetate (EA), methylethyl ketone (MEK) and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). In this study, we prepared hydrophobic silica membranes by a sol-gel method. We used phenyltrimethoxysilane (PhTMS), ethyltrimethoxysilan (ETMS), Propyltrimethoxysilane (PrTMS), N-butyltrimethoxysilane (BTMS), N-Hexyltrimethoxysilane (HTMS) as silica sources to introduce each functional groups on the membrane surface. Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) was used as a molecular template to create suitable pore that enable the permeation of organic compounds. These membranes with five different functional groups were characterized by SEM, FT-IR, and permporometry. Thicknesses and pore diameters of silica layer for all membrane were about 1.0 μm and about 1 nm, respectively. In other words, functional groups had an insignificant effect on the membrane thicknesses and the formation of the pore by CTAB. We confirmed the effect of functional groups on the flux and separation factor for ethyl acetate (EA), methyl ethyl ketone, acetone and 1-butanol (1-BtOH) /water mixtures. All membranes showed a high flux for ethyl acetate compared with other compounds. In particular, the hydrophobic silica membrane prepared by using BTMS showed 0.75 kg m-2 h-1 of flux for EA. For all membranes, the fluxes of organic compounds showed the large values in the order corresponding to EA > MEK > acetone > 1-BtOH. On the other hand, carbon chain length of functional groups among ETMS, PrTMS, BTMS, PrTMS and HTMS did not have a major effect on the organic flux. Although we confirmed the relationship between organic fluxes and organic molecular diameters or fugacity of organic compounds, these factors had a low correlation with organic fluxes. It is considered that these factors affect the diffusivity. Generally, permeation through membranes is based on the diffusivity and solubility. Therefore, it is deemed that organic fluxes through these hydrophobic membranes are strongly influenced by solubility. We tried to estimate the organic fluxes by Hansen solubility parameter (HSP). HSP, which is based on the cohesion energy per molar volume and is composed of dispersion forces (δd), intermolecular dipole interactions (δp), and hydrogen-bonding interactions (δh), has recently attracted attention as a means for evaluating the resolution and aggregation behavior. Evaluation of solubility for two substances can be represented by using the Ra [(MPa)1/2] value, meaning the distance of HSPs for both of substances. A smaller Ra value means a higher solubility for each substance. On the other hand, it can be estimated that the substances with large Ra value show low solubility. We established the correlation equation, which was based on Ra, of organic flux at low concentrations of organic compounds and at 295-325 K.

Keywords: hydrophobic, membrane, Hansen solubility parameter, functional group

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4 An Empirical Analysis of Farmers Field Schools and Effect on Tomato Productivity in District Malakand Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan

Authors: Mahmood Iqbal, Khalid Nawab, Tachibana Satoshi


Farmer Field School (FFS) is constantly aims to assist farmers to determine and learn about field ecology and integrated crop management. The study was conducted to examine the change in productivity of tomato crop in the study area; to determine increase in per acre yield of the crop, and find out reduction in per acre input cost. A study of tomato crop was conducted in ten villages namely Jabban, Bijligar Colony, Palonow, Heroshah, Zara Maira, Deghar Ghar, Sidra Jour, Anar Thangi, Miangano Korona and Wartair of district Malakand. From each village 15 respondents were selected randomly on the basis of identical allocation making sample size of 150 respondents. The research was based on primary as well as secondary data. Primary data was collected from farmers while secondary data were taken from Agriculture Extension Department Dargai, District Malakand. Interview schedule was planned and each farmer was interviewed personally. The study was based on comparison of cost, yield and income of tomato before and after FFS. Paired t-test and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis; outcome of the study show that integrated pest management project has brought a positive change in the attitude of farmers of the project area through FFS approach. In district Malakand 66.0% of the respondents were between the age group of 31-50 years, 11.3% of respondents had primary level of education, 12.7% of middle level, 28.7% metric level, 3.3% of intermediate level and 2.0% of graduate level of education while 42.0% of respondents were illiterate and have no education. Average land holding size of farmers was 6.47 acres, cost of seed, crop protection from insect pest and crop protection from diseases was reduced by Rs. 210.67, Rs. 2584.43 and Rs. 3044.16 respectively, the cost of fertilizers and cost of farm yard manure was increased by Rs.1548.87 and Rs. 1151.40 respectively while tomato yield was increased by 1585.03 kg/acre from 7663.87 to 9248.90 kg/acre. The role of FFS initiate by integrated pest management project through department of agriculture extension for the development of agriculture was worth mentioning. It has brought enhancement in crop yield of tomato and their income through FFS approach. On the basis of results of the research studies, integrated pest management project should spread their developmental activities for maximum participation of the complete rural masses through participatory FFS approach.

Keywords: agriculture, Farmers field schools, extension education, tomato

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3 A High-Throughput Enzyme Screening Method Using Broadband Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Spectroscopy

Authors: Ruolan Zhang, Ryo Imai, Naoko Senda, Tomoyuki Sakai


Enzymes have attracted increasing attentions in industrial manufacturing for their applicability in catalyzing complex chemical reactions under mild conditions. Directed evolution has become a powerful approach to optimize enzymes and exploit their full potentials under the circumstance of insufficient structure-function knowledge. With the incorporation of cell-free synthetic biotechnology, rapid enzyme synthesis can be realized because no cloning procedure such as transfection is needed. Its open environment also enables direct enzyme measurement. These properties of cell-free biotechnology lead to excellent throughput of enzymes generation. However, the capabilities of current screening methods have limitations. Fluorescence-based assay needs applicable fluorescent label, and the reliability of acquired enzymatic activity is influenced by fluorescent label’s binding affinity and photostability. To acquire the natural activity of an enzyme, another method is to combine pre-screening step and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) measurement. But its throughput is limited by necessary time investment. Hundreds of variants are selected from libraries, and their enzymatic activities are then identified one by one by HPLC. The turn-around-time is 30 minutes for one sample by HPLC, which limits the acquirable enzyme improvement within reasonable time. To achieve the real high-throughput enzyme screening, i.e., obtain reliable enzyme improvement within reasonable time, a widely applicable high-throughput measurement of enzymatic reactions is highly demanded. Here, a high-throughput screening method using broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) was proposed. CARS is one of coherent Raman spectroscopy, which can identify label-free chemical components specifically from their inherent molecular vibration. These characteristic vibrational signals are generated from different vibrational modes of chemical bonds. With the broadband CARS, chemicals in one sample can be identified from their signals in one broadband CARS spectrum. Moreover, it can magnify the signal levels to several orders of magnitude greater than spontaneous Raman systems, and therefore has the potential to evaluate chemical's concentration rapidly. As a demonstration of screening with CARS, alcohol dehydrogenase, which converts ethanol and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide oxidized form (NAD+) to acetaldehyde and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced form (NADH), was used. The signal of NADH at 1660 cm⁻¹, which is generated from nicotinamide in NADH, was utilized to measure the concentration of it. The evaluation time for CARS signal of NADH was determined to be as short as 0.33 seconds while having a system sensitivity of 2.5 mM. The time course of alcohol dehydrogenase reaction was successfully measured from increasing signal intensity of NADH. This measurement result of CARS was consistent with the result of a conventional method, UV-Vis. CARS is expected to have application in high-throughput enzyme screening and realize more reliable enzyme improvement within reasonable time.

Keywords: Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy, CARS, directed evolution, enzyme screening, Raman spectroscopy

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