The identification of hormones and their receptors in multicellular organisms is one of the most exciting research areas and has lead to breakthroughs in understanding how their growth and development are regulated. In particular, peptide hormones offer advantages as cell-to-cell signals in that they can be synthesized rapidly and have the greatest diversity in their structure and function. Peptides often undergo post-translational modifications and proteolytic processing to generate small oligopeptide hormones. In plants, such small post-translationally modified peptides constitute the largest group of peptide hormones. We initially explored this type of peptide hormone using bioassay-guided fractionation and later by in silico gene screening coupled with biochemical peptide detection, which led to the identification of four types of novel peptide hormones in plants. We also identified specific receptors for these peptides and transferases required for their post-translational modification. This review summarizes how we discovered these peptide hormone–receptor pairs and post-translational modification enzymes, and how these molecules function in plant growth, development and environmental adaptation.
Scintillation materials and detectors that are used in many applications, such as medical imaging, security, oil-logging, high energy physics and non-destructive inspection, are reviewed. The fundamental physics understood today is explained, and common scintillators and scintillation detectors are introduced. The properties explained here are light yield, energy non-proportionality, emission wavelength, energy resolution, decay time, effective atomic number and timing resolution. For further understanding, the emission mechanisms of scintillator materials are also introduced. Furthermore, unresolved problems in scintillation phenomenon are considered, and my recent interpretations are discussed. These topics include positive hysteresis, the co-doping of non-luminescent ions, the introduction of an aimed impurity phase, the excitation density effect and the complementary relationship between scintillators and storage phosphors.
The vibration-based monitoring of flexible civil structures and performance evaluation from this monitoring are reviewed, with an emphasis on research and practice in Japan and the author’s experiences. Some new findings and unexpected vibrations from the monitoring of real bridges and buildings are reported to emphasize the importance of monitoring. Future developments and applications of vibration-based monitoring to civil infrastructure management are also described. Many examples are taken from the author’s past 30 years’ experience of research on bridge dynamics.
Strength, functionality and beauty are the three qualities identifying well-designed architecture. For buildings in earthquake-prone countries such as Japan, emphasis on seismic safety frequently leads to the sacrifice of functionality and beauty. Therefore, it is important to develop new structural technologies that can ensure the seismic performance of a building without hampering the pursuit of functionality and beauty. The moment-resisting frame structures widely used for buildings in Japan are likely to experience weak-story collapse. Pin-supported walls, which can effectively enhance the structural story-by-story integrity of a building, were introduced to prevent such an unfavorable failure pattern in the seismic retrofit of an eleven-story building on a university campus in Tokyo, while also greatly aesthetically enhancing the façade of the building. The slight damage observed and monitoring records of the retrofitted building during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan demonstrate that the pin-supported walls worked as intended, protecting the building and guaranteeing the safety of its occupants during the earthquake.