The wind blowing over sea surface generates tiny wind waves. They develop with time and space absorbing wind energy, and become huge wind waves usually referred to ocean surface waves. The wind waves cause not only serious sea disasters but also take important roles in the local and global climate changes by affecting the fluxes of momentum, heat and gases (e.g. CO2) through the air-sea boundary. The present paper reviews the selected studies on wind waves conducted by our group in the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics (RIAM), Kyushu University. The themes discussed are interactions between water waves and winds, the energy spectrum of wind waves, nonlinear properties of wind waves, and the effects of surfactant on some air-sea interaction phenomena.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a familiar toxic gas that smells of rotten eggs. After the identification of endogenous H2S in the mammalian brain two decades ago, studies of this molecule uncovered physiological roles in processes such as neuromodulation, vascular tone regulation, cytoprotection against oxidative stress, angiogenesis, anti-inflammation, and oxygen sensing. Enzymes that produce H2S, such as cystathionine β-synthase, cystathionine γ-lyase, and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase have been studied intensively and well characterized. Polysulfides, which have a higher number of inner sulfur atoms than that in H2S, were recently identified as potential signaling molecules that can activate ion channels, transcription factors, and tumor suppressors with greater potency than that of H2S. This article focuses on our contribution to the discovery of these molecules and their metabolic pathways and mechanisms of action.
Six months after the explosion of TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, radioactive silver (110mAg), was detected in concentrations of 3754 Bq/kg in Nephila clavata (the orb-web spider; Joro-gumo in Japanese) collected at Nimaibashi, Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture, whereas 110mAg in the soil was 43.1 Bq/kg. A survey of 35 faunal species in the terrestrial environment during the 3.5 years after the accident showed that most of Anthropoda had two orders higher 110mAg in their tissues than soils, although silver is not an essential element for their life. However, tracing of the activity of 110mAg detected in spider Atypus karschi collected regularly at a fixed location showed that it declined much faster than the physical half-life. These results suggest that 110mAg was at once biologically concentrated by faunal species, especially Arthropoda, through food chain. The factors affecting the subsequent rapid decline of 110mAg concentration in faunal species are discussed.
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