Earthquakes exhibit diverse characteristics. Most shallow earthquakes are "brittle" in the sense that they excite seismic waves efficiently. However, some earthquakes are slow, as characterized by tsunami earthquakes and even slower events without any obvious seismic radiation. Also, some earthquakes, like the 1994 Bolivian deep earthquake, involved a large amount of fracture and thermal energy and may be more appropriately called a thermal event, rather than an earthquake. Some earthquakes are caused by processes other than faulting, such as landslides. This diversity can be best understood in terms of the difference in the partition of the released potential energy to radiated, fracture, and thermal energies during an earthquake. This approach requires detailed studies on quantification of earthquakes and estimation of various kinds of energies involved in earthquake processes. This paper reviews the progress in this field from historical and personal points of view and discusses its implications for earthquake damage mitigation.
In-situ observations of Si crystal growth and melting have been carried out by live X-ray diffraction topography. Superheated solid states beyond the melting point was observed for dislocation-free crystals with melting in their inside. Dislocations were found to impede superheat and to melt the crystal without an appreciable superheating. A slightly superheated state accompanying melting removes all dislocations including immobile ones by their climb motion. It is proposed that self-interstitials needed for the volume change by melting are supplied by climb of dislocations, in contrast to dislocation-free crystals creating the interstitials thermally. In real crystal growth, remelting occurs naturally by melt convection and acts to make the growing crystal dislocation-free.
In attempt to clarify the significance of interspecific interactions in evolutionary ecology, the growth characteristics of bacterial populations sampled from ecological microcosms which act as fairly realistic models of natural ecosystems were investigated, with a particular emphasis on the ability of a system to remain reasonably stable in the genetic composition in spite of the occurrences of various mutants from native strains. Newly-emerged mutants in a community are inhibited in their multiplication, or excluded by a network of many elementary interactions between the different species of the populations, thus preserving the traits of the parental strains in a community. The interactions in the form of a network may be viewed as evidence for a maintenance of stability in a community.
To elucidate the physiological role of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), we studied the levels of PARP mRNA and protein during the developmental stages of Sarcophaga peregrina. PARP mRNA expression changed remarkably throughout the developmental stages. The level of PARP mRNA (the molecular ratio of PARP mRNA to the total RNA) was highest in unfertilized eggs and that of PARP protein (the molecular ratio of PARP protein to the total protein of the crude extract) was high in unfertilized and fertilized eggs and in 1st instar larvae. During the embryogenesis period, the levels of PARP mRNA and protein gradually decreased. The levels of PARP mRNA during larval and pupal periods became less than about 5% of that in unfertilized eggs. After the emergence of adult flies, the levels of PARP mRNA and protein increased both in female and male flies. PARP activity normalized with the total amount of protein in the crude extract changed in parallel to the level of PARP protein throughout the developmental stages. The biological significance of the drastic change of mRNA and protein levels of PARP still remains to be clarified.
It is well-recognized that DNA methylation and histone modifications play critical roles in epigenetic regulation of gene activity through the alteration of chromatin structure. Recent studies have shown that in a subset of cancer cells, the silencing of the human E-cadherin (CDH1) gene is associated with hypermethylation of the CpG island. However, the associated molecular mechanism remains unclear. To understand the mechanism, we have investigated the alteration of CpG island methylation and histone modifications during the reactivation of the CDH1 gene by treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC). Although the CDH1 gene expression was recovered by treatment with 5-aza-dC in a liver cancer cell line Li21, the methylation status of the entire CpG island and acetylation and methylation status of associated histones were not significantly altered. These results demonstrate that the silenced CDH1 gene can be reactivated without apparent alteration of histone modification or CpG island methylation.