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Concerns over food safety in China not only direct public attention to negative
incidents, but also trigger the government's scrutiny of implicated
firms, particularly MNCs. The question of how to repair legitimacy after media
coverage of negative incidents has become a critical issue for MNCs. Although
the factors for MNCs’ public crises have been identified, how local
contexts and mechanisms shape repair approaches remain unclear. To address this
research gap, we conducted a study of Walmart China's approaches
associated with two negative incidents across two regions. We found that the
negative incidents can be framed differently depending on the local
environment's unfavorability for MNCs. Specifically, the negative
framing gave rise to varying degrees of legitimacy loss and offered different
leeway for MNCs to repair their legitimacy. We also identified the varied
outcomes of different repair approaches. By revealing the linkages among local
context, framing, legitimacy repair, and its outcomes, our study contributes to
research on MNCs’ legitimacy management under institutional
complexity and underscores the China context for legitimacy maintenance. We also
offer insights that advance the institutional approach to legitimacy repair in
this context. Last, we reflect on the techniques for conducting qualitative
research in China.
This paper presents a low insertion loss low-pass filter based on the spoof surface plasmon polariton (SSPP) with single comb-shape. Compared with traditional ones, the proposed filter provides lower insertion loss and return loss by optimizing the structural parameters of the mode conversion and SSPP parts. According to the measurement results, the average insertion loss of the fabricated filter is 0.41 dB and the return loss of which at the near-zero-hertz band is <−25.9 dB. The S parameter comparison result between the unoptimized and optimized filters demonstrates that the optimized filter provides lower insertion loss and return loss, smaller size, and better out-of-band rejection. The dispersion comparison result reveals the reasons behind the improved performances. The better performances of the optimized filter proves that breaking the regularity of traditional SSPP filters is beneficial to the filter's performances.
A dualband rejection filter and a triband rejection filter are proposed in this letter, both of which are implemented by cascading spoof surface plasmon polaritons (SSPPs) of the same structure but with diverse rejection bands. Compared with traditional ones, the proposed filters provide more compact structures, wider rejection bands, and better independent tunability. In the proposed filters, the rejection bandwidth, the center frequency of the rejection band and the filter's cutoff frequency can be adjusted independently. And the different rejection bands in the same filter also can be independently controlled. Agreements between the dispersion of SSPP units and the S21 of filters are also presented. Measurement results demonstrate that both filters load multiple rejection bands on the 27.7 GHz wide low-pass band and all the rejection bands locate in Ku and K bands. The average rejection bandwidth and the average rejection depth of the two filters are 1.49 GHz and 42.1 dB, respectively.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
We hypothesize that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) may play a role in disturbing the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on the striatal connectivity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
We performed a longitudinal observation by combining resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and biochemical analyses to identify the abnormal striatal connectivity in MDD patients, and to evaluate the effect of TNF-α level on these abnormal connectivities during SSRI treatment. Eighty-five rs-fMRI scans were collected from 25 MDD patients and 35 healthy controls, and the scans were repeated for all the patients before and after a 6-week SSRI treatment. Whole-brain voxel-wise functional connectivity (FC) was calculated by correlating the rs-fMRI time courses between each voxel and the striatal seeds (i.e. spherical regions placed at the striatums). The level of TNF-α in serum was evaluated by Milliplex assay. Factorial analysis was performed to assess the interaction effects of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ in the regions with between-group FC difference.
Compared with controls, MDD patients showed significantly higher striatal FC in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and bilateral middle/superior temporal cortices before SSRI treatment (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Moreover, a significant interaction effect of ‘TNF-α × treatment’ was found in MPFC-striatum FC in MDD patients (p = 0.002), and the significance remained after adjusted for age, gender, head motion, and episode of disease.
These findings provide evidence that treatment-related brain connectivity change is dependent on the TNF-α level in MDD patients, and the MPFC-striatum connectivities possibly serve as an important target in the brain.
The overuse of antibiotics and the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance prompted the launch of an antimicrobial stewardship programme in 2011. This study aimed to investigate the trends and correlations between antibiotic consumption and resistance of Staphylococcus aureus in a tertiary hospital of northwest China from 2010 to 2016. Trends were analysed by linear regression, and correlations were assessed by an autoregressive integrated moving average model. The total consumption of antibiotics halved during the 7-year study period, while the rates of resistance of S. aureus decreased significantly or remained stable; methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) declined markedly, from 73.3% at the beginning of the study to 41.4% by the end. This latter decrease was significantly correlated with the consumption of several classes of antibiotics. In conclusion, reduction in antibiotic use impacted significantly on resistance rates and contributed to a decline in MRSA prevalence.
A Pneumatic Muscle Actuator (PMA) is a new pneumatic component sharing similar characteristics with biological muscles, and the flexible manipulator actuated by PMAs can better reflect the flexibility of the mechanism. First and foremost, based on the study of the characteristics of human shoulder joints, the configuration design of the flexible manipulator is analyzed, and its kinematics and dynamics models are established. Furthermore, with regard to the nonlinearity, time-invariance and uncertainty of the control system, three aspects of improvement are proposed, which are based on the Radial Basis Function (RBF) network torque control algorithm. The Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the initial values of RBF network parameters; RBF network parameters are adjusted dynamically by using the additional momentum method; the Levenberg--Marquardt (LM) algorithm, instead of the gradient descent method, is adopted to adjust Proportion Integration Differentiation (PID) parameters online in real time. At last, to test the effects that the improved algorithm exerts on the flexible manipulator control system, some physical platform experiments are carried out. It turns out that the control accuracy and robustness of the improved algorithm are well improved, and the mechanism can be controlled better to track the circular arc trajectory. It lays fundamental importance to the practical application for the working environment.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
Familial monozygotic (MZ) twinning reports are rare around the world, and we report a four-generation pedigree with seven recorded pairs of female MZ twins. Whole-genome sequencing of seven family members was performed to explore the featured genetic factors in MZ twins. For variations specific to MZ twins, five novel variants were observed in the X chromosome. These candidates were used to explain the seemingly X-linked dominant inheritance pattern, and only one variant was exonic, located at the 5′UTR region of ZCCHC12 (chrX: 117958597, G > A). Besides, consistent mitochondrial DNA composition in the maternal linage precluded roles of mitochondria for this trait. In this pedigree, autosomes also contain diverse variations specific to MZ twins. Pathway analysis revealed a significant enrichment of genes carrying novel SNVs in the epithelial adherens junction-signaling pathway (p = .011), contributed by FGFR1, TUBB6, and MYH7B. Meanwhile, TBC1D22A, TRIOBP, and TUBB6, also carrying similar SNVs, were involved in the GTPase family-mediated signal pathway. Furthermore, gene-set enrichment analysis for 533 genes covered by copy number variations specific to MZ twins illustrated that the tight junction-signaling pathway was significantly enriched (p < .001). Therefore, the novel changes in the X chromosome and the provided candidate variants across autosomes may be responsible for MZ twinning, giving clues to increase our understanding about the underlying mechanism.
In this work, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to characterize and analyze the precipitation/dissolution kinetics of second phase particles during the cooling/reheating process in a vanadium microalloyed steel. The results indicated that three obvious exothermic peaks were detected on the cooling DSC curve. Furthermore, three corresponding endothermic peaks were also detected on the heating DSC curve. Combined with thermodynamic calculation and transmission electron microscopy analysis, these three exothermic peaks along cooling DSC curve were defined as the precipitation reaction of V(CN), the reaction of austenite transformation into ferrite and the precipitation reaction of VC, respectively. Meanwhile, three corresponding reverse reactions for cooling were also defined along the reheating DSC curve. The linear regression result revealed that the precipitation activation energies for V(CN) and VC were identified as 311.2 kJ/mol and 167.6 kJ/mol, respectively. The dissolution activation energies for VC and V(CN) were identified as 255.4 kJ/mol and 592.6 kJ/mol, respectively.
Australian tea tree oil (TTO) and its extract terpinen-4-ol (T4O) are found to be effective in moderating demodex-related diseases. Their possible effects are lowering the mite counts, relieving the demodex-related symptoms and modulating the immune system especially the inflammatory response. This review summarizes the topical treatments of TTO and T4O in human demodicosis, their possible mechanism of actions, side-effects and potential resistance in treating this condition. Although current treatments other than TTO and T4O are relatively effective in controlling the demodex mite population and the related symptoms, more research on the efficacy and drug delivery technology is needed in order to assess its potential as an alternative treatment with minimal side-effect profile, low toxicity and low risk of demodex resistance.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of suicidal behaviours through psychiatric comorbidities; however, a significant direct association has not been observed between ADHD and suicide attempts.
To evaluate the risk of suicide attempt in adolescents and young adults with ADHD.
Using a nationwide, population-based insurance claims database, this longitudinal cohort study enrolled 20 574 adolescents and young adults with ADHD and 61 722 age- and gender-matched controls between 2001 and 2009. Any suicide attempt was identified from enrolment to 31 December 2011. The association between ADHD medications and the likelihood of suicide attempt was assessed.
ADHD was an independent risk factor for any suicide attempt (hazard ratio = 3.84, 95% CI = 3.19–4.62) and repeated suicide attempts (hazard ratio = 6.52, 95% CI = 4.46–9.53). Subgroup analyses of men, women, adolescents and young adults demonstrated the same trend. Methylphenidate or atomoxetine treatment did not increase the risk of suicide attempt or repeated suicide attempts. Long-term methylphenidate treatment was associated with a significantly decreased risk of repeated suicide attempts in men (hazard ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.97).
ADHD was a risk factor for suicide attempt and a stronger predictor of repeated suicide attempts, independent of comorbidities. Further investigation is warranted to explore the mechanism underlying the association between ADHD and suicidal behaviours.
In this paper, we introduce a lower extremity exoskeleton CUHK-EXO that is developed to help paraplegic patients, who have lost the motor and sensory functions of their lower limbs to perform basic daily life motions. Since the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit (STS) motion is the first step for paraplegic patients toward walking, analysis of the exoskeleton's applicability to the STS motion assistance is performed. First, the human-exoskeleton system (HES) is modeled as a five-link model during the STS motion, and the center of pressure (COP) on the ground and center of gravity of the whole system are calculated. Then, a description of the CUHK-EXO hardware design is presented, including the mechatronics design and actuator selection. The COP position is an important factor indicating system balance and wearer's comfort. Based on the COP position, a trajectory online modification algorithm (TOMA) is proposed for CUHK-EXO to counteract disturbances, stabilize system balance, and improve the wearer's comfort in the STS motion. The results of STS motion tests conducted with a paraplegic patient demonstrate that CUHK-EXO can provide a normal reference pattern and proper assistive torque to support the patient's STS motion. In addition, a pilot study is conducted with a healthy subject to verify the effectiveness of the proposed TOMA under external disturbances before future clinical trials. The testing results verify that CUHK-EXO can counteract disturbances, and help the wearer perform the STS motion safely and comfortably.
By considering a simple model of slowly rotating neutron stars (for which the Schwartzschild metric could be used properly) whose emission is confined to circular antipolar caps, Pechenick, Ftaclas and Cohen (1983) studied the gravitational effects on the light curves. They found that for typical neutron star parameters, the light curves flattened out due to the bending of light in the neutron stellar gravity.
The surfacing welding has been widely utilized in the industrial equipment manufacturing and repairs. The wear properties of surfacing alloys have an important effect on the whole performance of repaired components. The solution treatment (T4) and solution treatment followed by aging (T6) effects on the dry sliding wear behavior of surfacing AZ91 magnesium alloys with tungsten inert gas welding were investigated in this work. The results demonstrated that the surfacing alloy without treatment exhibited poor wear resistance, due to the massive intermetallic β-phases (Mg17Al12). These phases were believed to produce stress concentrations in the particle-to-matrix interface and tended to generate cracks during friction. The T4 alloy had more improved wear resistance than the as-received alloy. The T6 treatment improved the wear resistance further, resulting from the high density dispersed fine β-phase precipitation in the α-Mg matrix, which enhanced the alloy strength and hardness and decreased the subsurface metal deformation degree caused by friction.