The severe accident that broke out at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power stations on March 11, 2011, caused seemingly infinite damage to the daily life of residents. Serious and wide-spread contamination of the environment occurred due to radioactive materials discharged from nuclear power stations (NPSs). At the same time, many issues were highlighted concerning countermeasures to severe nuclear accidents. The accident is outlined, and lessons learned are extracted with respect to the safety of NPSs, as well as radiation protection of residents under the emergency involving the accident. The materials of the current paper are those released by governmental agencies, academic societies, interim reports of committees under the government, and others.
After determination of the whole genome sequence, the research frontier of bacterial molecular genetics has shifted to reveal the genome regulation under stressful conditions in nature. The gene selectivity of RNA polymerase is modulated after interaction with two groups of regulatory proteins, 7 sigma factors and 300 transcription factors. For identification of regulation targets of transcription factors in Escherichia coli, we have developed Genomic SELEX system and subjected to screening the binding sites of these factors on the genome. The number of regulation targets by a single transcription factor was more than those hitherto recognized, ranging up to hundreds of promoters. The number of transcription factors involved in regulation of a single promoter also increased to as many as 30 regulators. The multi-target transcription factors and the multi-factor promoters were assembled into complex networks of transcription regulation. The most complex network was identified in the regulation cascades of transcription of two master regulators for planktonic growth and biofilm formation.
A novel group of glycosphingolipids was identified in the nervous tissue and skin of the mollusc, Aplysia kurodai, which lacks gangliosides. More than 30 glycolipids were detected on HPTLC plates and the structures of 9 major glycolipids were determined. They were pentaosylglycosphingolipids and their common core structure was GalNAcα1→3Galβ1→4Glcβ1→1ceramide, except for one glycolipid in which Galβ of the core structure was replaced by Galα. 3-O-MeGalβ or 4-O-MeGlcNAcα or 3,4-O-carboxyethylideneGalβ was at their non-reducing ends. Galα or Fucα binds to Gal of the core structure at 2C as a side chain sugar. One to three 2-aminoethylphosphonic acids and/or phosphoethanolamine link to the glycolipids. Immunohistochemically, glycolipids having carboxyethylideneGal at their non-reducing ends were localized exclusively in nerve bundles. Glycolipids activated cAMP-dependent protein kinase in the rat brain and may directly activate cAMP-dependent protein kinase in a manner similar, but not identical, to that of cAMP. The biological functions of glycolipids may share neurobiological functions proposed for gangliosides in vertebrates.