Pheromonal communications are heavily dependent on the stereochemistry of pheromones. Their enantioselective syntheses could establish the absolute configuration of the naturally occurring pheromones, and clarified the unique relationships between absolute configuration and bioactivity. For example, neither the (R)- nor (S)-enantiomer of sulcatol, the aggregation pheromone of an ambrosia beetle, is behaviorally active, while their mixture is bioactive. Recent results as summarized in the present review further illustrate the unique and diverse relationships between stereochemistry and bioactivity of pheromones.
Myeloid malignancies consist of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). The latter two diseases have preleukemic features and frequently evolve to AML. As with solid tumors, multiple mutations are required for leukemogenesis. A decade ago, these gene alterations were subdivided into two categories: class I mutations stimulating cell growth or inhibiting apoptosis; and class II mutations that hamper differentiation of hematopoietic cells. In mouse models, class I mutations such as the Bcr-Abl fusion kinase induce MPN by themselves and some class II mutations such as Runx1 mutations induce MDS. Combinations of class I and class II mutations induce AML in a variety of mouse models. Thus, it was postulated that hematopoietic cells whose differentiation is blocked by class II mutations would autonomously proliferate with class I mutations leading to the development of leukemia. Recent progress in high-speed sequencing has enabled efficient identification of novel mutations in a variety of molecules including epigenetic factors, splicing factors, signaling molecules and proteins in the cohesin complex; most of these are not categorized as either class I or class II mutations. The functional consequences of these mutations are now being extensively investigated. In this article, we will review the molecular basis of hematological malignancies, focusing on mouse models and the interfaces between these models and clinical findings, and revisit the classical class I/II hypothesis.
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine (OPLL) is a common disease after the middle age. OPLL frequently causes serious neurological problems due to compression of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. OPLL occurs in patients with monogenic metabolic diseases including rickets/osteomalacia and hypoparathyroidism; however most of OPLL is idiopathic and is considered as a multi-factorial (polygenic) disease influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Genomic studies for the genetic factors of OPLL have been conducted, mainly in Japan, including linkage and association studies. This paper reviews the recent progress in the genomic study of OPLL and comments on its future direction.
In order to establish a self-sufficient supply of 99mTc, we studied feasibilities to produce its parent nucleus, 99Mo, using Japanese accelerators. The daughter nucleus, 99mTc, is indispensable for medical diagnosis. 99Mo has so far been imported from abroad, which is separated from fission products generated in nuclear reactors using enriched 235U fuel. We investigated 99mTc production possibilities based on the following three scenarios: (1) 99Mo production by the (n, 2n) reaction by spallation neutrons at the J-PARC injector, LINAC; (2) 99Mo production by the (p, pn) reaction at Ep = 50–80 MeV proton at the RCNP cyclotron; (3) 99mTc direct production with a 20 MeV proton beam from the PET cyclotron. Among these three scenarios, scenario (1) is for a scheme on a global scale, scenario (2) works in a local area, and both cases take a long time for negotiations. Scenario (3) is attractive because we can use nearly 50 PET cyclotrons in Japan for 99mTc production. We here consider both the advantages and disadvantages among the three scenarios by taking account of the Japanese accelerator situation.
After reviewing the standard hypothesis test and the matched filter technique to identify gravitational waves under Gaussian noises, we introduce two methods to deal with non-Gaussian stationary noises. We formulate the likelihood ratio function under weakly non-Gaussian noises through the Edgeworth expansion and strongly non-Gaussian noises in terms of a new method we call Gaussian mapping where the observed marginal distribution and the two-body correlation function are fully taken into account. We then apply these two approaches to Student’s t-distribution which has a larger tails than Gaussian. It is shown that while both methods work well in the case the non-Gaussianity is small, only the latter method works well for highly non-Gaussian case.