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Population decline among Asian horseshoe crabs in Asia is increasingly reported, but knowledge of their population and ecological status in China is limited. We conducted community interviews in 30 fishing villages around Beibu Gulf in Guangxi, China, to collect distribution information about the potential spawning/nursery grounds of Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, and any imminent threats to their populations. Based on the results from 400 respondents we identified 45 potential spawning/nursery grounds distributed widely along the shores of Beibu Gulf. We visited 10 of these sites and verified the presence of juvenile horseshoe crabs by field surveys. Nearly all respondents reported an overall depletion in horseshoe crab populations from these 45 sites, which they attributed mainly to unsustainable fishing practices. Respondents who reported having seen horseshoe crab mating pairs on shores were mostly older people, which may suggest a considerable reduction in horseshoe crabs coming to the shores to spawn in recent years. The mean daily harvest of adult T. tridentatus offshore, as indicated by fishers, has declined from c. 50–1,000 in the 1990s to 0–30 individuals during 2011–2016. Our Wisdom of Crowds approach, supported by confirmatory field surveys, is a cost-effective method for assessing the population status of horseshoe crabs, and the level of threat they face. Similar approaches with other species are likely to be particularly valuable in the Asia–Pacific region, where well-structured population monitoring is largely unaffordable.
Anxiety disorders are prevalent yet under-recognized in late life. We examined the prevalence of anxiety disorders in a representative sample of community dwelling older adults in Hong Kong.
Data on 1,158 non-demented respondents aged 60–75 years were extracted from the Hong Kong Mental Morbidity survey (HKMMS). Anxiety was assessed with the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R).
One hundred and thirty-seven respondents (11.9%, 95% CI = 10–13.7%) had common mental disorders with a CIS-R score of 12 or above. 8% (95% CI = 6.5–9.6%) had anxiety, 2.2% (95% CI = 1.3–3%) had an anxiety disorder comorbid with depressive disorder, and 1.7% (95% CI = 1–2.5%) had depression. Anxious individuals were more likely to be females (χ2 = 25.3, p < 0.001), had higher chronic physical burden (t = −9.3, p < 0.001), lower SF-12 physical functioning score (t = 9.2, p < 0.001), and poorer delayed recall (t = 2.3, p = 0.022). The risk of anxiety was higher for females (OR 2.8, 95% C.I. 1.7–4.6, p < 0.001) and those with physical illnesses (OR 1.4, 95% C.I. 1.3–1.6, p < 0.001). The risk of anxiety disorders increased in those with disorders of cardiovascular (OR 1.9, 95% C.I. 1.2–2.9, p = 0.003), musculoskeletal (OR 2.0, 95% C.I. 1.5–2.7, p < 0.001), and genitourinary system (OR 2.0, 95% C.I. 1.3–3.2, p = 0.002).
The prevalence of anxiety disorders in Hong Kong older population was 8%. Female gender and those with poor physical health were at a greater risk of developing anxiety disorders. Our findings also suggested potential risk for early sign of memory impairment in cognitively healthy individuals with anxiety disorders.
The sense of calling has emerged as a burgeoning research interest for the past decade due to its close connection to the meaningfulness of work. However, the effects of a sense of calling and how it functions in the workplace remain unclear. This study aims at enhancing the concept of calling and understanding its application in organizations. Therefore, a cross-level model was proposed according to data collected from 24 organizations in Taiwan. As a result, our study demonstrated that sense of calling is positively related to individual performance, and the supportive organizational climate also plays an important role in the relationship between sense of calling and contextual performance. Consequently, by incorporating factors at both the organizational and individual levels into the mechanism of calling, a valuable insight into and application of an individual’s sense of calling in the work context has been established, and management implications were also provided.
Hypoxia is the primary stimulus for the production of erythropoietin (EPO) in both fetal and adult life. Here, we investigated fetal plasma EPO concentrations in monochorionic (MC) twin pregnancies with selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR) and abnormal umbilical artery (UA) Doppler. We diagnosed sIUGR in presence of (1) birth-weight discordance >20% and (2) either twin with a birth weight <10th percentile. An abnormal UA Doppler was defined as a persistent absent-reverse end diastolic flow (AREDF). The intertwin EPO ratio was calculated as the plasma EPO level of the smaller (or small-for-gestational-age) twin divided by the EPO concentration of the larger (or appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA)) twin. Thirty-two MC twin pairs were included. Of these, 17 pairs were normal twins (Group 1), seven pairs were twins with sIUGR without UA Doppler abnormalities (Group 2), and eight pairs were twins with sIUGR and UA Doppler abnormalities (Group 3). The highest EPO ratio was identified in Group 3 (p < .001) but no significant differences were observed between Groups 1 and 2. Fetal hemoglobin levels did not differ significantly in the three groups, and fetal EPO concentration did not correlate with gestational age at birth. We conclude that fetal plasma EPO concentrations are selectively increased in MC twin pregnancies with sIUGR and abnormal UA Doppler, possibly as a result of uncompensated hypoxia.
This paper presents a robust reliability analysis method for systems of multimodular redundant (MMR) controllers using the method of partitioning and parallel processing of a Markov chain (PPMC). A Markov chain is formulated to represent the N distinct states of the MMR controllers. Such a Markov chain has N2 directed edges, and each edge corresponds to a transition probability between a pair of start and end states. Because N can be easily increased substantially, the system reliability analysis may require large computational resources, such as the central processing unit usage and memory occupation. By the PPMC, a Markov chain's transition probability matrix can be partitioned and reordered, such that the system reliability can be evaluated through only the diagonal submatrices of the transition probability matrix. In addition, calculations regarding the submatrices are independent of each other and thus can be conducted in parallel to assure the efficiency. The simulation results show that, compared with the sequential method applied to an intact Markov chain, the proposed PPMC can improve the performance and produce allowable accuracy for the reliability analysis on large-scale systems of MMR controllers.
The present study assessed the effects of vegetarian and omnivorous diets on HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), TAG and the ratio of HDL-C to total cholesterol (TC) by gender.
HDL-C, LDL-C, TAG and HDL-C:TC were compared among three diet groups (vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian and omnivorous). Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to examine factors significantly and independently associated with vegetarian status and to estimate the β value of lipid profiles for the diet groups.
A cross-sectional study. Data were obtained from the Taiwanese Survey on the Prevalence of Hyperglycemia, Hyperlipidemia and Hypertension (TwSHHH).
The study comprised included 3257 men and 3551 women.
After adjusting for confounders, vegan and ovo-lacto vegetarian diets lowered LDL-C levels (β=−10·98, P=0·005 and β=−7·12, P=0·025, respectively) in men compared with omnivorous diet. There was a significant association between HDL-C and vegan diet (β=−6·53, P=0·004). In females, the β values of HDL-C, TAG and HDL-C:TC were −5·72 (P<0·0001), 16·51 (P=0·011) and −0·02 (P=0·012) for vegan diet, and −4·86 (P=0·002), 15·09 (P=0·008) and −0·01 (P=0·026) for ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, when compared with omnivorous diet.
Vegan diet was associated with lower HDL-C concentrations in both males and females. Because the ovo-lacto vegetarian diet was effective in lowering LDL-C, it may be more appropriate for males.
Optical control is a reversible and convenient technology, able to be measured in real-time, which makes it excellent for application to microfluidic, biomechanical, and electro-mechanical devices. These advantages are especially attractive for photo-responsive materials. In this study, we developed a new photo-responsive, electrostrictive material from a composite material made by mixing a dielectric polymer P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) and an organic photoconductive material TiOPc. The photo-responsibility of the material has been validated by corresponding actuators. We found that under white light illumination, deformation will increase which can be attributed to a decrease in the TiOPc impedance. We identified that the optimal TiOPc concentration for actuator applications is 10% P(VDF-TrFE-CFE)/TiOPc. Moreover, controlling the fluid flow within the capillary tube through light illumination also validated the photo-responsive actuator. Our results show that the mechanism and the photo-responsive material can be used to pursue further study on light controlling microfluidic, and related electro-mechanical devices.
To compare potential risk factors for complications and recurrence after radiofrequency catheter ablation in symptomatic atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia in children and adolescents.
We retrospectively reviewed the data of 213 consecutive patients with symptomatic atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia who underwent both electrophysiological study and radiofrequency catheter ablation, divided these patients into two groups, children (age <12 years) and adolescents (12 ≤ age < 18 years), and compared the location of the accessory pathway, success rate, recurrence rate, complications, presence of congenital heart disease, presence of intermittent ventricular pre-excitation, and presence of Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome in the two groups.
The position of the accessory pathway was mostly right sided in children (61.3%) and left sided in adolescents (61.5%). Children had significantly more congenital heart disease than adolescents (6.4% versus 0.8%). Univariate analysis showed children or adolescents with right-sided accessory pathways to be 6.84 times and those with accessory pathways on both sides of the septum 25 times more likely to relapse than those with a single accessory pathway. Multivariate analysis indicated that children or adolescents with two accessory pathways were six times, and those with intermittent ventricular pre-excitation nine times more at risk of relapsing following radiofrequency ablation than those with single accessory pathways. All five complications occurred in children.
The findings suggest that the position and number of accessory pathways and presence of intermittent ventricular pre-excitation are related to risks of recurrence of atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia in children and adolescents.
Multiple pregnancies are thought to be associated with a high incidence of perinatal complications such as preterm labor, preeclampsia and low birth weight. But the true mechanisms of these obstetric complications are still uncertain. The components of amniotic fluid reflect the pathophysiology features of the fetus. Amniotic fluid soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1(sFLT1), soluble endoglin (sENG), and adiponectin reflect the oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory status and are associated with preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. We prospectively collected amniotic fluids during amniocentesis from singleton and twin pregnancies. Samples were analyzed for levels of sFLT1, sENG, and adiponectin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The levels of sENG and sFLT1 were significantly increased in twin pregnancies. Adiponectin was not significantly different between the two groups. These findings would suggest that twin fetuses suffer from more oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory status from the early trimesters.
Sallow-skin horseshoe crabs (late juvenile Tachypleus tridentatus) from 30‰ salinity seawater were subjected to salinities ranging from 0‰ to 70‰ at 5‰ intervals for 7 days. They were returned to 30‰ salinity for 3 days for recovery. During this period, the survival rate, feeding rate, and body mass of the horseshoe crabs were measured. The sallow-skin horseshoe crabs survived well at 15‰–60‰ salinity, fed well at 30‰–55‰ salinity, gained mass at 0‰–25‰ salinity, lost mass at 45‰–70‰ salinity, and maintained mass at 30‰–40‰ salinity during salinity challenge. During the recovery period, the dehydrated (mass lost) horseshoe crabs rapidly gained mass, whereas the water-retaining (mass gained) horseshoe crabs rapidly lost mass. These results indicate that the sallow-skin T. tridentatus horseshoe crabs are osmoconformers and can tolerate a wide range of salinity changes, adapting gradually from inshore low salinity to offshore high salinity.
Variable temperature electrical measurement is well-established and used for determining the conduction mechanism in semiconductors. There is a Meyer¡VNeldel relationship between the activation energy and the prefactor with a Meyer¡VNeldel energy of 30.03 meV, which corresponds well with the isokinetic temperature of about 350 K. Therefore, the multiple trapping and release model is properly used to explain the thermally activated phenomenon. By the method, an exponential distribution of traps is assumed to be a better representation of trap states in band tail. Samples with higher temperature during measurement are observed to show better mobility, higher on-current and lower resistance, which agree well with the multiple trapping and release model proposed to explain the conduction mechanism in pentacene-based OTFTs.
To describe the epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in a university hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.
Retrospective review over a 27-month period, from March 1996 to May 1998.
A tertiary-care teaching hospital in Taiwan.
Patients with VRE isolated from any body site.
Patients were identified through hospital microbiology and infection control records. Patient charts were reviewed for clinical and epidemiology data, including age, gender, previous hospital admissions, underlying diseases, types of infection, and recent antibiotic use. VRE isolates were characterized by their typical biochemical reactions, cellular fatty acid profiles, and the presence of van genes. Antibiotypes using the E-test and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) patterns of these isolates were used to determine the clonality.
Twenty-five isolates of VRE recovered from 12 patients were identified. One patient with a perianal abscess had 12 isolates of VRE (4 Enterococcus faecalis, 7 Enterococcus faecium, and 1 Enterococcus casseliflavus) recovered from perianal lesions. Among 3 patients who were hospitalized in the same room, 1 had a community-acquired cellulitis over the left leg caused by E faecalis, and the other 2 patients both had anal colonization with 2 isolates of E faecalis. The other 8 patients had 1 E faecalis isolate each from various clinical specimens. All isolates possessed vanA resistance phenotype and vanA genes. Different antibiotypes and RAPD patterns of the isolates from different patients excluded the possibility of nosocomial spread at the hospital.
Multiple species of VRE (E faecalis, E faecium, and E casseliflavus) and multiple clones of E faecium could colonize or infect hospitalized patients. In addition, clones of VRE can persist long-term in patients' lower gastrointestinal tracts. These results extend our knowledge of the coexistence and the persistence of multiple species and multiple clones of VRE in hospitalized patients.
To identify the risk factors associated with an unexpected outbreak of malaria that occurred among seven patients in a general teaching hospital in Taipei in October 1995.
A three-stage case-control study was conducted to identify risk factors.
We identified all 7 patients who were diagnosed as malaria cases and 69 controls from those undergoing computed tomography (CT) examination.
Malaria was diagnosed by demonstrating the presence of Plasmodium falciparum on either thick or thin blood smears. Clinical characteristics and exposure information were collected from medical records and patient interviews.
The index case was infected by malaria when he visited Nigeria in early September and was diagnosed when he was hospitalized in hospital A in October. Among 10 patients examined with the Imatron scanner after the index case, all 6 who were injected with contrast medium were infected, but none of 4 examined without contrast medium were infected (P=.005).
This nosocomial outbreak of malaria was most likely due to transmission via a contaminated catheter and contrast medium used for CT scanning. Use of disposable catheters may avoid such nosocomial outbreaks in the future.
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