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[en] A method is described for the assay of sulfotransferases, which transfer sulfate from 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) to glycosaminoglycan acceptors. Following the sulfation reactions, the [35S]sulfate-labeled products are precipitated and then separated from a sulfate donor ([35S]PAPS) and its degradation products by a paper disk method, and then the radioactivity remaining on the paper disk is subsequently determined by liquid scintillation counting. The rapidity and simplicity of the method are advantageous for multiple assays and have allowed us to establish assay conditions for serum sulfotransferases which introduce sulfate at position 6 of the internal N-acetylgalactosamine units of chondroitin, position 2 (amino group) of the glucosamine units of heparan sulfate and sugar units of keratan sulfate, respectively. The assay method will be applicable with modification to the assay of other glycosaminoglycan sulfotransferases and glycoprotein sulfotransferases
[en] Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Natsusairaku 3) seedlings were grown in a growth cabinet under UV-B (290–320 nm) irradiation (equivalent to the UV-B radiation normally incident at Tokyo, 36°N latitude, during clear sky conditions in mid-april on a weighted daily fluence basis) and a UV-B-free control condition. UV-B irradiation inhibited the growth of the cotyledons, i.e. the increase in area, and increase in fresh and dry weights of the cotyledons. The greatest inhibition rate was observed in the increase in area, causing a significant increase in specific leaf weight (the ratio of weight to area). UV-B irradiation had no significant effect on DNA and RNA contents in the cotyledons, but decreased protein content slightly. In contrast, the irradiation reduced the amounts of organic acids and soluble sugars, indicating that primary carbon metabolism was very sensitive to UV-B radiation. UV-B irradiation lowered the photosynthetic activity in the cotyledons without any effect on chlorophyll content and respiratory activity. These results indicate that UV-B radiation at the ambient level may act as a physiological stress in some UV-sensitive plants. (author)
[en] The generation of hydrogen gas from metallic waste in corrosive disposal environment is an important issue for the safety analysis of low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities in Japan. In particular iron and aluminum are the possibly important elements regarding the gas generation. However, the corrosion behavior of these metals has not been sufficiently investigated under the highly alkaline non-oxidizing disposal conditions yet. The authors studied the corrosion behavior of iron and aluminum under simulated disposal environments. The quantity of hydrogen gas generated from iron was measured in a closed cell under highly alkaline non-oxidizing conditions. The observed corrosion rate of iron in the initial period of immersion was 4 nm/year at 15 C, 20 nm/year at 30 C, and 200 nm/year at 45 C. The activation energy was found to be 100 kJ/mol from Arrhenius plotting of the above corrosion rates. The corrosion behavior of aluminum was studied under an environment simulating conditions in which aluminum was solidified with mortar. In the initial period aluminum corroded rapidly with a corrosion rate of 20 mm/year. However, the corrosion rate decreased with time, and after 1,000 hours the rate reached 0.001 to 0.01 mm/year. Thus the authors obtained data on hydrogen gas generation from iron and aluminum under the disposal environment relevant to the safety analysis of low-level radioactive disposal facilities in Japan
[en] Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is usually verified with a dynamic phantom or solid phantom, but there is a demand for phantoms that can accurately simulate tumor dynamics within an individual that would allow customized validation in every patient. We developed a new 4D dynamic target phantom (multi-cell 4D phantom) that allows simulation of tumor movement in patients. The basic quality and dynamic reproducibility of this new phantom was verified in this investigation. The newly developed multi-cell 4D phantom comprises four main components: soft tissue, bones, lungs, and tumor (target). The phantom structure was based on computed tomography (CT) data of a male. In this study, we investigated the basic performance of a multi-cell 4D phantom. All the CT numbers of the phantom were very close to those of human data. The geometric maximum amplitudes were 4.57 mm in the lateral direction, 4.59 mm in the ventrodorsal direction, and 3.68 mm in the cranio-caudal direction. Geometric errors were 0.84, 0.58, and 0.40 mm, respectively. Movements of the abdominal surface were stable for 60 s. Repeated measurements show no actual differences in target movements between multiple measurements and indicated high reproducibility (r > 0.97). End-to-end tests using Gafchromic film revealed a gamma pass rate of 98% or above (2 mm/3%). Although our phantom performed limited reproducibility in the movement of the patient tumor at present, a satisfactory level of precision was confirmed in general. This is a very promising device for use in the verification of radiation therapy for moving targets. (paper)
[en] Alternating phase focusing (APF) is known as a beam focusing method; it was applied to an interdigital H-mode structure and successfully accelerated high current proton beams up to the desired energy for a medical synchrotron injector. A high-current APF linac was achieved by the optimal design of the cavity and the drift tubes themselves, as well as drift tube arrangement based on the co-iteration of a precise electromagnetic field and space charge beam dynamics. A proton injector for a medical accelerator complex was fabricated with the newly developed APF linac. The injector consists of an electron cyclotron resonance ion source, a radio-frequency quadrupole linac and the APF linac. The experimental results showed that over 10 mA proton beams were accelerated up to 7.4 MeV.
[en] A persistent hole-burning is observed in β-perylene microcrystallites, which were embedded in poly-vinyl alcohol. By laser light excitation at 22,535 cm-1 and at 10 K, the hole is found at the excitation photon energy. The mechanism of the persistent hole-burning is interpreted in terms of the resolution of microcrystallites into smaller microcrystallites. This is a novel observation of the persistent hole-burning in aromatic microcrystallites. When the specimen, which includes a hole, is annealed at high temperatures, the resolved microcrystallites restore back to the old position as had been. The β-perylene microcrystallite specimen that we have grown was as small as 1.5 nm in average diameter. They are one order smaller in number of molecules included, compared to those that have been reported on aromatic microcrystallites, anthracene for example. Due to this, we were able to observe the 0-0 transition energy, which varied according as the number of molecules involved in the microcrystallites. We also observed the 0-0 absorption (excitation) spectrum, which depends on the molecular arrays in the microcrystallites. The 0-0 transition of a single molecule in poly-vinyl alcohol matrix is anticipated to be located at 22,885 cm-1.