Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: Tomoko Ehara

12 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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11 Power Generation from Sewage by a Micro-Hydraulic Turbine

Authors: Tomomi Uchiyama, Tomoko Okayama, Yukio Ide


This study is concerned with the development of a micro-hydraulic turbine for power generation installed in sewer pipes. The runner has a circular hollow around the central (rotating) axis so that solid materials included in water can be easily flow through the runner without blocking the turbine. The laboratory experiments are also conducted. The hollow is very effective to make polyester fibers pass through the turbine. The guide vane is useful to heighten the turbine performance. But it is easily blocked by the fibers, making the turbine lose the function.

Keywords: micro-hydraulic turbine, power generation, sewage, sewer pipe

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10 Preparation of CuAlO2 Thin Films on Si or Sapphire Substrate by Sol-Gel Method Using Metal Acetate or Nitrate

Authors: Takashi Ehara, Takayoshi Nakanishi, Kohei Sasaki, Marina Abe, Hiroshi Abe, Kiyoaki Abe, Ryo Iizaka, Takuya Sato


CuAlO2 thin films are prepared on Si or sapphire substrate by sol-gel method using two kinds of sols. One is combination of Cu acetate and Al acetate basic, and the other is Cu nitrate and Al nitrate. In the case of acetate sol, XRD peaks of CuAlO2 observed at annealing temperature of 800-950 ºC on both Si and sapphire substrates. In contrast, in the case of the films prepared using nitrate on Si substrate, XRD peaks of CuAlO2 have been observed only at the annealing temperature of 800-850 ºC. At annealing temperature of 850ºC, peaks of other species have been observed beside the CuAlO2 peaks, then, the CuAlO2 peaks disappeared at annealing temperature of 900 °C with increasing in intensity of the other peaks. Intensity of the other peaks decreased at annealing temperature of 950 ºC with appearance of broad SiO2 peak. In the present, we ascribe these peaks as metal silicide.

Keywords: CuAlO2, silicide, thin Films, transparent conducting oxide

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9 Temporal Axis in Japanese: The Paradox of a Metaphorical Orientation in Time

Authors: Tomoko Usui


In the field of linguistics, it has been said that concepts associated with space and motion systematically contribute structure to the temporal concept. This is the conceptual metaphor theory. conceptual metaphors typically employ a more abstract concept (time) as their target and a more concrete or physical concept as their source (space). This paper will examine two major temporal conceptual metaphors: Ego-centered Moving Time Metaphor and Time-RP Metaphor. Moving time generally receives a front-back orientation, however, Japanese shows a different orientation given to time. By means of Ego perspective, this paper will illustrate the paradox of a metaphorical orientation in time.

Keywords: Ego-centered Moving Time Metaphor, Japanese saki, temporal metaphors, Time RP Metaphor

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8 The Images of Japan and the Japanese People: A Case of Japanese as a Foreign Language Students in Portugal

Authors: Tomoko Yaginuma, Rosa Cabecinhas


Recently, the studies of the images about Japan and/or the Japanese people have been done in a Japanese language education context since the number of the students of Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFL) has been increasing worldwide, including in Portugal. It has been claimed that one of the reasons for this increase is the current popularity of Japanese pop-culture, namely anime (Japanese animations) and manga (Japanese visual novels), among young students. In the present study, the images about Japan and the Japanese held by JFL students in Portugal were examined by a questionnaire survey. The JFL students in higher education in Portugal (N=296) were asked to answer, among the other questions, their degree of agreement (using a Likert scale) with 24 pre-defined descriptions about the Japanese, which appear as relevant in a qualitative pilot study conducted before. The results show that the image of Japanese people by Portuguese JFL students is stressed around four dimensions: 1) diligence, 2) kindness, 3) conservativeness and 4) innovativeness. The students considered anime was the main source of information about the Japanese people and culture and anime was also strongly associated with the students’ interests in learning Japanese language.

Keywords: anime, cultural studies, images about Japan and Japanese people, Portugal

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7 Study of the Antimicrobial Activity of Aminoreductone against Pathogenic Bacteria in Comparison with Other Antibiotics

Authors: Vu Thu Trang, Lam Xuan Thanh, Samira Sarter, Tomoko Shimamura, Hiroaki Takeuchi  


Antimicrobial activities of aminoreductone (AR), a product formed in the initial stage of Maillard reaction, were screened against pathogenic bacteria. A significant growth inhibition of AR against all 7 isolates (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC® 25923™, Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC® 14028™, Bacillus cereus ATCC® 13061™, Bacillus subtilis ATCC® 11774™, Escherichia coli ATCC® 25922™, Enterococcus faecalis ATCC® 29212™, Listeria innocua ATCC® 33090™) were observed by the standard disc diffusion methods. The inhibition zone for each isolate by AR (2.5 mg) ranged from 15±0 mm to 28.3±0.4 mm in diameter. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of AR ranging from 20 mM to 26 mM was proven in the seven isolates tested. AR also showed the similar effect of growth inhibition in comparison with antibiotics frequently used for the treatment of infections bacteria, such as amikacin, ciprofloxacin, meropennem, and levofloxacin. The results indicated that foods containing AR are valuable sources of bioactive compounds towards pathogenic bacteria.

Keywords: pathogenic bacteria, aminoreductone, Maillard reaction, antimicrobial activity

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6 Attitudes toward Work-Life Balance among Japanese Youth

Authors: Tomoko Adachi


Although, thirty years have passed since the enactment of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, contemporary Japanese citizens still have difficulties in balancing work and life responsibilities. Not a few women give up their professional career after childbirth, meanwhile, men spend longer hours at work and have minimal time for their families. One of the reasons should be attributed to the traditional gender role ideas which have been entrenched even among younger generations. In an attempt to explore the psychological factors which enable work-life balance, the current study investigated attitudes of Japanese youth toward work-life balance and their relationships with gender role attitudes. Participants were 948 Japanese (165 men and 783 women) with the average age of 19.60 (SD=1.18). As for measure, a scale developed and modified by the author was used to assess attitudes toward work-life balance and Short form of the Scale of Egalitarian Sex Role Attitudes (SESRA-S) was used to assess traditional vs. egalitarian gender role attitudes. The results showed clear gender differences as follows. First, examination of attitudes toward work-life balance showed that more than 90% of men preferred to continue their work without child care interruption. Meanwhile, women showed various attitudes, with around 50% wanted to have child care interruption, 40% wanted to continue working without it, while, 10% wanted to work until childbirth. Secondly, gender comparison of egalitarian gender role attitudes showed that women possessed equal ideas on gender roles than men. Thirdly, relationships between gender role attitudes and attitudes for work-life balance were examined. No significant relationship between the two was found among men, which implies that regardless of the gender role attitudes, most of the men thought that continuing work without child care interruption was the ideal path for them. On the other hand, the effects of gender role attitudes were apparent among women, showing that women with egalitarian attitudes preferred to continue their professional career even after childbirth. The present study revealed gender difference in the idea about work-life balance with men possessing traditional ideas of 'men should be a bread winner'. Implications for support on young adults to reconcile work and family responsibilities were discussed.

Keywords: career path, gender role attitudes, work-life balance, youth

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5 Physiological and Psychological Influence on Office Workers during Demand Response

Authors: Megumi Nishida, Naoya Motegi, Takurou Kikuchi, Tomoko Tokumura


In recent years, power system has been changed and flexible power pricing system such as demand response has been sought in Japan. The demand response system is simple in the household sector and the owner, decision-maker, can gain the benefits of power saving. On the other hand, the execution of the demand response in the office building is more complex than household because various people such as owners, building administrators and occupants are involved in making decisions. While the owners benefit from the demand saving, the occupants are forced to be exposed to demand-saved environment certain benefits. One of the reasons is that building systems are usually centralized control and each occupant cannot choose either participate demand response event or not, and contribution of each occupant to demand response is unclear to provide incentives. However, the recent development of IT and building systems enables the personalized control of office environment where each occupant can control the lighting level or temperature around him or herself. Therefore, it can be possible to have a system which each occupant can make a decision of demand response participation in office building. This study investigates the personal behavior upon demand response requests, under the condition where each occupant can adjust their brightness individually in their workspace. Once workers participate in the demand response, their task lights are automatically turned off. The participation rates in the demand response events are compared between four groups which are divided by different motivation, the presence or absence of incentives and the way of participation. The result shows that there are the significant differences of participation rates in demand response event between four groups. The way of participation has a large effect on the participation rate. ‘Opt-out’ group, where the occupants are automatically enrolled in a demand response event if they don't express non-participation, will have the highest participation rate in the four groups. The incentive has also an effect on the participation rate. This study also reports that the impact of low illumination office environment on the occupants, such as stress or fatigue. The electrocardiogram and the questionnaire are used to investigate the autonomic nervous activity and subjective symptoms about the fatigue of the occupants. There is no big difference between dim workspace during demand response event and bright workspace in autonomic nervous activity and fatigue.

Keywords: demand response, illumination, questionnaire, electrocardiogram

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4 Effects of a Head Mounted Display Adaptation on Reaching Behaviour: Implications for a Therapeutic Approach in Unilateral Neglect

Authors: Taku Numao, Kazu Amimoto, Tomoko Shimada, Kyohei Ichikawa


Background: Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) is a common syndrome following damage to one hemisphere of the brain (usually the right side), in which a patient fails to report or respond to stimulation from the contralesional side. These symptoms are not due to primary sensory or motor deficits, but instead, reflect an inability to process input from that side of their environment. Prism adaptation (PA) is a therapeutic treatment for USN, wherein a patient’s visual field is artificially shifted laterally, resulting in a sensory-motor adaptation. However, patients with USN also tend to perceive a left-leaning subjective vertical in the frontal plane. The traditional PA cannot be used to correct a tilt in the subjective vertical, because a prism can only polarize, not twist, the surroundings. However, this can be accomplished using a head mounted display (HMD) and a web-camera. Therefore, this study investigated whether an HMD system could be used to correct the spatial perception of USN patients in the frontal as well as the horizontal plane. We recruited healthy subjects in order to collect data for the refinement of USN patient therapy. Methods: Eight healthy subjects sat on a chair wearing a HMD (Oculus rift DK2), with a web-camera (Ovrvision) displaying a 10 degree leftward rotation and a 10 degree counter-clockwise rotation along the frontal plane. Subjects attempted to point a finger at one of four targets, assigned randomly, a total of 48 times. Before and after the intervention, each subject’s body-centre judgment (BCJ) was tested by asking them to point a finger at a touch panel straight in front of their xiphisternum, 10 times sight unseen. Results: Intervention caused the location pointed to during the BCJ to shift 35 ± 17 mm (Ave ± SD) leftward in the horizontal plane, and 46 ± 29 mm downward in the frontal plane. The results in both planes were significant by paired-t-test (p<.01). Conclusions: The results in the horizontal plane are consistent with those observed following PA. Furthermore, the HMD and web-camera were able to elicit 3D effects, including in both the horizontal and frontal planes. Future work will focus on applying this method to patients with and without USN, and investigating whether subject posture is also affected by the HMD system.

Keywords: head mounted display, posture, prism adaptation, unilateral spatial neglect

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3 Managers' Awareness of Employees' Mental Health in Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Underpopulated Mountainous Areas

Authors: Susumu Fukita, Hiromi Kawasaki, Satoko Yamasaki, Kotomi Yamashita, Tomoko Iki


The increase in the number of workers with mental health problems has become an issue. Many workers work in small- and medium-sized enterprises, which often support local employment and economy, especially in underpopulated mountainous areas. It is important for managers to take mental health measures for employees since there is no budget to hire health staff in small- and medium-sized enterprises. It is necessary to understand the manager's attitude toward the mental health of employees and to publicly support the manager in promoting mental health measures for employees. The purpose of this study was to study the awareness of managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises regarding the mental health of employees and to consider support for managers to take measures for the mental health of employees. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises in underpopulated mountainous areas in November 2019. Managers were asked about their awareness of the mental health of their employees. Qualitative descriptive analysis was used, and subcategories and categories were extracted. Four categories emerged. Regarding the mental health of employees, the managers acknowledged that if the appearance and behavior of the employees do not interfere with their lives, the manager judges that the employees’ mental health is normal. It was also found that the managers acknowledged that there is a comfortable working environment due to the characteristics of the underpopulated mountainous area. On the other hand, the managers acknowledged that employees are dissatisfied with salaries and management systems. In addition, it was found the manager acknowledged that some employees retire due to mental health problems. Although managers recognized that employees may be dissatisfied with salaries, they also recognized that there was a comfortable working environment due to the characteristics of the areas, with good interpersonal relationships. Economic challenges are difficult to solve in underpopulated mountainous areas. It is useful to consider measures that take advantage of the characteristics of the areas where it is easy to work because of good relations with each other, for example, to create a family-like workplace culture where managers and employees can engage in daily conversation. The managers judged that the employees were in good health if there was no interference with their lives. However, it is too late to take measures at the stage when it becomes an obstacle to life. Therefore, it is necessary to provide training for managers to learn observation techniques by which they quickly notice changes in the situation of employees and give appropriate responses; and to set up a contact point for managers to consult. Local governments should actively provide public support such as training for managers and establishing consultation desks to maintain valuable employment and local economics in underpopulated mountainous areas.

Keywords: employer, mental health, small- and medium- sized enterprises, underpopulated areas

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2 Nondestructive Electrochemical Testing Method for Prestressed Concrete Structures

Authors: Tomoko Fukuyama, Osamu Senbu


Prestressed concrete is used a lot in infrastructures such as roads or bridges. However, poor grout filling and PC steel corrosion are currently major issues of prestressed concrete structures. One of the problems with nondestructive corrosion detection of PC steel is a plastic pipe which covers PC steel. The insulative property of pipe makes a nondestructive diagnosis difficult; therefore a practical technology to detect these defects is necessary for the maintenance of infrastructures. The goal of the research is a development of an electrochemical technique which enables to detect internal defects from the surface of prestressed concrete nondestructively. Ideally, the measurements should be conducted from the surface of structural members to diagnose non-destructively. In the present experiment, a prestressed concrete member is simplified as a layered specimen to simulate a current path between an input and an output electrode on a member surface. The specimens which are layered by mortar and the prestressed concrete constitution materials (steel, polyethylene, stainless steel, or galvanized steel plates) were provided to the alternating current impedance measurement. The magnitude of an applied electric field was 0.01-volt or 1-volt, and the frequency range was from 106 Hz to 10-2 Hz. The frequency spectrums of impedance, which relate to charge reactions activated by an electric field, were measured to clarify the effects of the material configurations or the properties. In the civil engineering field, the Nyquist diagram is popular to analyze impedance and it is a good way to grasp electric relaxation using a shape of the plot. However, it is slightly not suitable to figure out an influence of a measurement frequency which is reciprocal of reaction time. Hence, Bode diagram is also applied to describe charge reactions in the present paper. From the experiment results, the alternating current impedance method looks to be applicable to the insulative material measurement and eventually prestressed concrete diagnosis. At the same time, the frequency spectrums of impedance show the difference of the material configuration. This is because the charge mobility reflects the variety of substances and also the measuring frequency of the electric field determines migration length of charges which are under the influence of the electric field. However, it could not distinguish the differences of the material thickness and is inferred the difficulties of prestressed concrete diagnosis to identify the amount of an air void or a layer of corrosion product by the technique.

Keywords: capacitance, conductance, prestressed concrete, susceptance

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1 The Effect of Environmental Assessment Learning in Evacuation Centers on the COVID-19 Situation

Authors: Hiromi Kawasaki, Satoko Yamasaki, Mika Iwasa, Tomoko Iki, Akiko Takaki


In basic nursing, the conditions necessary for maintaining human health -temperature, humidity, illumination, distance from others, noise, moisture, meals, and excretion- were explained. Nursing students often think of these conditions in the context of a hospital room. In order to make students think of these conditions in terms of an environment necessary for maintaining health and preventing illness for residents, in the third year of community health nursing, students learned how to assess and improve the environment -particularly via the case of shelters in the event of a disaster. The importance of environmental management has increased in 2020 as a preventive measure against COVID-19 infection. We verified the effect of the lessons, which was decided to be conducted through distance learning. Sixty third-year nursing college students consented to participate in this study. Environmental standard knowledge for conducting environmental assessment was examined before and after class, and the percentage of correct answers was compared. The χ² test was used for the test, with a 5% significance level employed. Measures were evaluated via a report submitted by the students after class. Student descriptions were analyzed both qualitatively and descriptively with respect to expected health problems and suggestions for improvement. Students have already learned about the environment in terms of basic nursing in their second year. The correct answers for external environmental values concerning interpersonal distance, illumination, noise, and room temperature (p < 0.001) increased significantly after taking the class. Humidity was registered 83.3% before class and 93.3% after class (p = 0.077). Regarding the body, the percentage of students who answered correctly was 70% or more, both before and after the class. The students’ reports included overcrowding, high humidity/high temperature, and the number of toilets as health hazards. Health disorders to be prevented were heat stroke, infectious diseases, and economy class syndrome; improvement methods were recommended for hyperventilation, stretching, hydration, and waiting at home. After the public health nursing class, the students were able to not only propose environmental management of a hospital room but also had an understanding of the environment in terms of the lives of individuals, environmental assessment, and solutions to health problems. The response rate for basic items learned in the second year was already high before and after class, and interpersonal distance and ventilation were described by students. Students were able to use what they learned in basic nursing about the standards of the human mind and body. In the external environment, the memory of specific numerical values was ambiguous. The environment of the hospital room is controlled, and interest in numerical values may decrease. Nursing staff needs to maintain and improve human health as well as hospital rooms. With COVID-19, it was thought that students would continue to not only consider this point in reference to hospital rooms but also in regard to places where people gather. Even in distance learning, students were able to learn the important issues and lessons.

Keywords: environmental assessment, evacuation center, nursing education, nursing students

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