Posts Categorized: Archives (2014-2016)

Novel scissor-like bridge structure for use during emergencies

Novel scissor-like bridge structure for use during emergencies

  A test of the Mobile Bridge® Version 4.0 (MB4.0) over a real river demonstrated its viability for practical use. During the test, the bridge was set up without any foundation work, and a vehicle could easily travel across it. This was achieved safely with very few people and without any problems. The MB4.0 viability test results were presented at a symposium of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) on June 23, 2015, by Dr. Ichiro Ario, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Engineering, Hiroshima University. Background of developing MB: Natural disasters include earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and landslides. They can occur anywhere in the world. The damage caused by… Read more

New molecular mechanism of neuropathic pain in mice

New molecular mechanism of neuropathic pain in mice

  The downregulation of spinal astrocyte connexin43 (Cx43) expression causes sustained neuropathic pain following peripheral nerve injury. The inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) mediates the downregulation of Cx43 expression, which leads to decreased expression of the glutamate transporter GLT-1 and enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission. Targeting the recovery of Cx43 function using pharmacological approaches or gene therapy might serve as novel therapeutic strategies ameliorate neurological disorders in general and neuropathic pain in particular. Spinal cord astrocytes are critical in the maintenance of neuropathic pain. Cx43 expressed on spinal dorsal horn astrocytes modulates synaptic neurotransmission, but its role in nociceptive transduction has yet to be fully elaborated. Several types of Cx have… Read more

New understanding of genetic susceptibility to infections by Candida and Mycobacterium

New understanding of genetic susceptibility to infections by Candida and Mycobacterium

  The discovery of bi-allelic mutations in RORC in patients with candidiasis and mycobacteriosis revealed the pivotal role of RORC in mucocutaneous immunity to Candida and in systemic immunity to Mycobacterium in humans. Inborn errors of human IL-17 immunity underlie chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), which is characterized by chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, nails, and oral and genital mucosae by Candida albicans, and inborn errors of human IFN-γ immunity underlie Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD), a rare congenital disorder characterized by susceptibility to infections by poorly virulent intracellular pathogens such as non-tuberculosis Mycobacterium. Five genetic etiologies of CMC and eighteen genetic etiologies of MSMD have been reported so far. Only a few patients… Read more

Ultra-thin, all-inorganic molecular nanowires successfully compounded

Ultra-thin, all-inorganic molecular nanowires successfully compounded

  Nanowires are wired-shaped materials with diameters that are tens of nanometers or less. There are many types of nanowires, including semiconducting composite nanowires, metal oxide composite nanowires, and organic polymer nanowires, and they are typically used in functional materials and devices used as sensors, transistors, semiconductors, photonics devices, and solar cells. Molecular wires composed of only inorganic materials have attracted significant attention due to their stable structures, tunable chemical compositions, and tunable properties. However, there have only been a few reports regarding the development of all-inorganic molecular nanowires. Dr. Zhenxin Zhang and Prof. Wataru Ueda at the Catalysis Research Center at Hokkaido University (Prof. Ueda is currently working for… Read more

The new detection method for a key drug resistant hepatitis C virus mutation

The new detection method for a key drug resistant hepatitis C virus mutation

A rapid, sensitive, and accurate method to detect drug resistant hepatitis C virus (HCV) mutants has been developed. Researchers at Hiroshima University established a system to rapidly and accurately measure the presence of HCV Y93H drug resistant mutant strains, and evaluate the proportion of patients harboring this mutation prior to treatment. Even in serum samples with low HCV titers, Y93H drug resistant mutation could be successfully detected in more than half of the samples. This new system for detecting mutant strains may provide important pre-treatment information valuable not only for treatment decisions but also for prediction of disease progression in HCV genotype 1b patients. HCV is a major cause of… Read more

A fuse of cardiovascular diseases

A fuse of cardiovascular diseases

  A promising biomarker for the severity of age-related white matter changes (ARWMCs) and endothelial function was evaluated at Hiroshima University, Japan. The relationship between this biomarker, the telomeric 3′-overhang (G-tail) length, and cardiovascular risk in humans is unclear so far. The researchers at Hiroshima University investigated the association between the telomere G-tail length of leukocytes and vascular risk, ARWMCs, and endothelial function. They suggested that the telomere G-tail might be a useful marker of endothelial dysfunction, as well as stroke and dementia. Telomeres are the structures that cap each end of a chromatid, at the extreme end of the chromosomal DNA. Telomeres are composed of double-stranded DNA with terminal… Read more