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Over the past 20 years, research on quality of experience (QoE) has been actively expanded even to cover aesthetic, emotional and psychological experiences. QoE has been an important research topic in determining the perceptual factors that are essential to users in keeping with the emergence of new display technologies. In this paper, we provide in-depth reviews of recent assessment studies in this field. Compared to previous reviews, our research examines the human factors observed over various recent displays and their associated assessment methods. In this study, we first provide a comprehensive QoE analysis on 2D display including image/video quality assessment (I/VQA), visual preference, and human visual system-related studies. Second, we analyze stereoscopic 3D (S3D) QoE research on the topics of I/VQA and visual discomfort from the human perception point of view on S3D display. Third, we investigate QoE in a head-mounted display-based virtual reality (VR) environment, and deal with VR sickness and 360 I/VQA with their individual approach. All of our reviews are analyzed through comparison of benchmark models. Furthermore, we layout QoE works on future display and modern deep-learning applications.
Expanded vermiculite with excellent thermal and chemical stability was investigated as a reliable sorbent for hazardous liquid spillages, including those leading to fire and explosion risks. Many expanded samples were prepared by rapid heating using both different temperatures and dissimilar vermiculite dimensions. Their capabilities for hazard clean-up were correlated with the structural characteristics of expanded vermiculite with slit-shaped porosity. When using optimized vermiculite, the moderate sorption capacities of 1.5–3.0 g g−1 were obtained for various hazardous chemicals, including hydrophilic/hydrophobic organic chemicals and strongly acidic/basic solutions. The sorption capacities depended more strongly on physical properties, such as the pore volume of the sorbent and the density of the absorbed liquid, rather than the vermiculite's chemical composition. The void space interconnected by interparticle/intraparticle pores worked as imbibing pathways due to their capillarity, resulting in the rapid, spontaneous sorption of hazardous chemicals. The hazardous chemicals may be removed from a testing vessel via sorption with an efficiency of >94 wt.% for 10 min. These results demonstrate that the expanded vermiculite may be a potential candidate as a reliable general-purpose sorbent for hazardous materials clean-up under harsh conditions.
During the course of development, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seen as the cornerstone of a national economy and significant contributors to the prosperity of a country. SMEs play an important role in a wide spectrum of industries in a country. The number of SMEs dominates that of large and very large enterprises. They contribute significantly to a country's economic growth and employment creation of most countries. Most governments view the SME sector as a key engine of the economy and a source of employment creation (Harvie 2010).
The role of SMEs, however, was not recognized until the mid-1970s. Before that concentration and centralization of economic activities were seen as the main evidence of a firm's competitiveness and large firms received much attention. SMEs’ contributions to economic activity only began to be a priority after the Bolton Report in the UK (1971) and the Wiltshire Report in Australia (1971) on the role of SMEs in the economies of the UK and Australia, respectively were published (Al-Qirim 2004).
In Europe, two-thirds of all new jobs are created by SMEs and more than 99 per cent of all enterprises are SMEs. In the United States, more than 99 per cent of all independent enterprises employ fewer than 500 employees, which is the definition of an SME in the United States. These SMEs employ 52 per cent of all U.S. workers (Devos et al. 2014).
In Australia, SMEs is a substantial sector, making up 95 per cent of all enterprises (Chau and Turner 2004). These enterprises contribute A$530 billion to the economy in 2010–11, more than half of private sector economic activities, and employed over 7 million people, generating more than two thirds of private sector employment (Deloitte 2013).
In East Asia, SMEs account for about 98 per cent of all enterprises, equivalent to between 20 and 30 million businesses. In the three largest economies of East Asia — Japan, China and Korea — SMEs account for 70 per cent of enterprises in the region (China: 8 million; Japan: 5 million; and Korea: 2.6 million). The intensity ratio of SMEs is only 20 people per SME in developed countries.
To identify, review, and critically appraise model-based economic evaluations of all types of interventions for people with dementia and their carers.
A systematic literature search was undertaken to identify model-based evaluations of dementia interventions. A critical appraisal of included studies was carried out using guidance on good practice methods for decision-analytic models in health technology assessment, with a focus on model structure, data, and model consistency.
Interventions for people with dementia and their carers, across prevention, diagnostic, treatment, and disease management.
We identified 67 studies, with 43 evaluating pharmacological products, 19 covering prevention or diagnostic strategies, and 5 studies reporting non-pharmacological interventions. The majority of studies use Markov models with a simple structure to represent dementia symptoms and disease progression. Half of all studies reported taking a societal perspective, with the other half adopting a third-party payer perspective. Most studies follow good practices in modeling, particularly related to the decision problem description, perspective, model structure, and data inputs. Many studies perform poorly in areas related to the reporting of pre-modeling analyses, justifying data inputs, evaluating data quality, considering alternative modeling options, validating models, and assessing uncertainty.
There is a growing literature on the model-based evaluations of interventions for dementia. The literature predominantly reports on pharmaceutical interventions for Alzheimer's disease, but there is a growing literature for dementia prevention and non-pharmacological interventions. Our findings demonstrate that decision-makers need to critically appraise and understand the model-based evaluations and their limitations to ensure they are used, interpreted, and applied appropriately.
Pneumocystis organisms are airborne-transmitted fungal parasites that infect the lungs of numerous mammalian species with strong host specificity. In this study, we investigated the genetic diversity and host specificity of Pneumocystis organisms infecting Southeast Asian murid rodents through PCR amplification of two mitochondrial genes and tested the co-phylogeny hypothesis among these fungi and their rodent hosts. Pneumocystis DNA was detected in 215 of 445 wild rodents belonging to 18 Southeast Asian murid species. Three of the Pneumocystis lineages retrieved in our phylogenetic trees correspond to known Pneumocystis species, but some of the remaining lineages may correspond to new undescribed species. Most of these Pneumocystis species infect several rodent species or genera and some sequence types are shared among several host species and genera. These results indicated a weaker host specificity of Pneumocystis species infecting rodents than previously thought. Our co-phylogenetic analyses revealed a complex evolutionary history among Pneumocystis and their rodent hosts. Even if a significant global signal of co-speciation has been detected, co-speciation alone is not sufficient to explain the observed co-phylogenetic pattern and several host switches are inferred. These findings conflict with the traditional view of a prolonged process of co-evolution and co-speciation of Pneumocystis and their hosts.
We compared the impact of a commercial chlorination product (brand name Air RahMat) in stored drinking water to traditional boiling practices in Indonesia. We conducted a baseline survey of all households with children <5 years in four communities, made 11 subsequent weekly home visits to assess acceptability and use of water treatment methods, measured Escherichia coli concentration in stored water, and determined diarrhoea prevalence among children <5 years. Of 281 households surveyed, boiling (83%) and Air RahMat (7%) were the principal water treatment methods. Multivariable log-binomial regression analyses showed lower risk of E. coli in stored water treated with Air RahMat than boiling (risk ratio (RR) 0·75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·56–1·00). The risk of diarrhoea in children <5 years was lower among households using Air RahMat (RR 0·43, 95% CI 0·19–0·97) than boiling, and higher in households with E. coli concentrations of 1–1000 MPN/100 ml (RR 1·54, 95% CI 1·04–2·28) or >1000 MPN/100 ml (RR 1·86, 95% CI 1·09–3·19) in stored water than in households without detectable E. coli. Although results suggested that Air RahMat water treatment was associated with lower E. coli contamination and diarrhoeal rates among children <5 years than water treatment by boiling, Air RahMat use remained low.
The discovery of a small portable grinding stone at Rach Nui in southern Vietnam provides significant new insights into regional Neolithic trade networks and ground stone technologies. Previous research held that the manufacture of stone tools took place near stone sources in the interior, along the Dong Nai and Be River basins, but the Rach Nui grinding stone comes from a Neolithic site in the Mekong Delta, approximately 80km to the south-east. This suggests that some manufacturing occurred away from raw material sources. Technological analysis indicates that the artefact was a portable tool for the polishing, maintenance and repair of ground stone adzes. Its discovery at Rach Nui may indicate the presence of specialist tool makers or itinerant traders. This research illustrates the complexity of Neolithic trading networks, and highlights the technological expertise that circulated alongside finished and incomplete objects.
We sought to comprehensively assess the prevalence and outcomes of complications associated with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) in children. Secondarily, prevalence of methicillin resistance and outcomes of complications from methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) vs. methicillin-susceptible S. aureus SAB were assessed. This is a single-center cross-sectional study of 376 patients ⩽18 years old with SAB in 1990–2014. Overall, 197 (52%) patients experienced complications, the most common being osteomyelitis (33%), skin and soft tissue infection (31%), and pneumonia (25%). Patients with complications were older (median 3 vs. 0·7 years, P = 0·05) and more had community-associated SAB (66% vs. 34%, P = 0·001). Fewer patients with complications had a SAB-related emergency department or hospital readmission (10% vs. 19%, P = 0·014). Prevalence of methicillin resistance increased from 1990–1999 to 2000–2009, but decreased in 2010–2014. Complicated MRSA bacteremia resulted in more intensive care unit admissions (66% vs. 47%, P = 0·03) and led to increased likelihood of having ⩾2 foci (58% vs. 26%, P < 0·001). From multivariate analysis, community-associated SAB increased risk and concurrent infections decreased risk of complications (odds ratio (OR) 1·82 (1·1–3·02), P = 0·021) and (OR 0·58 (0·34–0·97), P = 0·038), respectively. In conclusion, children with SAB should be carefully evaluated for complications. Methicillin resistance remains associated with poor outcomes but have decreased in overall prevalence.
miRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that play critical roles in various cellular processes. Although there are several algorithms that can predict the potential candidate genes that are regulated by a miRNA, these algorithms require further experimental validation in order to demonstrate genuine targets of miRNAs. Moreover, most algorithms predict hundreds to thousands of putative target genes for each miRNA, and it is difficult to validate all candidates using the whole 3′-untranslated region (UTR) reporter assay. We report a fast, simple and efficient experimental approach to screening miRNA candidate targets using a 3′-UTR linker assay. Critically, the linker has only a short miRNA regulatory element sequence of approximately 22 base pairs in length and can provide a benefit for screening strong miRNA candidates for further validation using the whole 3′-UTR sequence. Our technique will provide a simplified platform for the high-throughput screening of miRNA target gene validation.
A Repetitively Enhanced Neural Networks (RENN) method is developed and presented for complex and implicit engineering design problems. The enhanced neural networks module constructs an accurate surrogate model and avoids over-fitting during neural networks training from supervised learning data. The optimiser is executed by the enhanced neural networks models to seek a tentative optimum point. It is repetitively added into the supervised learning data set to refine the surfaces until the RENN tolerance is reached. The RENN method demonstrates the effectiveness and feasibility for a 2D highly non-linear numerical example and the structure design of a two-member frame reaching a convergent solution at 10 and 15 iterations at the maximum error of 1% when compared with the exact solution. Then, the RENN method is applied for a long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aerofoil design optimisation. A Class/Shape function transformation (CST) geometry parameterisation method represents an accurate UAV aerofoil with ten geometry design variables. The high-fidelity analysis solver with structured mesh is used for a UAV aerofoil design problem. Using the RENN method, an optimal UAV aerofoil is obtained using 88 high fidelity evaluations at an error of 1·24%. The process reduces the computational time by 81·2% compared with the full high fidelity model. The optimal aerofoil shows a drag reduction of 10·8% in the cruise condition and an improvement in the maximum lift coefficient and stall angle-of-attack when compared with the baseline AG24 aerofoil.
To determine the source and identify control measures of an outbreak of Tsukamurella species bloodstream infections at an outpatient oncology facility.
Epidemiologic investigation of the outbreak with a case-control study.
A case was an infection in which Tsukamurella species was isolated from a blood or catheter tip culture during the period January 2011 through June 2012 from a patient of the oncology clinic. Laboratory records of area hospitals and patient charts were reviewed. A case-control study was conducted among clinic patients to identify risk factors for Tsukamurella species bloodstream infection. Clinic staff were interviewed, and infection control practices were assessed.
Fifteen cases of Tsukamurella (Tsukamurella pulmonis or Tsukamurella tyrosinosolvens) bloodstream infection were identified, all in patients with underlying malignancy and indwelling central lines. The median age of case patients was 68 years; 47% were male. The only significant risk factor for infection was receipt of saline flush from the clinic during the period September–October 2011 (P = .03), when the clinic had been preparing saline flush from a common-source bag of saline. Other infection control deficiencies that were identified at the clinic included suboptimal procedures for central line access and preparation of chemotherapy.
Although multiple infection control lapses were identified, the outbreak was likely caused by improper preparation of saline flush syringes by the clinic. The outbreak demonstrates that bloodstream infections among oncology patients can result from improper infection control practices and highlights the critical need for increased attention to and oversight of infection control in outpatient oncology settings.
We investigated the electrical conduction and resistance switching mechanisms of TiOx thin films grown on three kinds of bottom electrode at room temperature (an inert Pt, an active Ti and fluorine tin oxide FTO electrodes). The bottom electrode materials strongly affect the I-V characteristics and switching parameters. The I-V characteristic is explained through the presence of interface states in the metal electrode devices (Pt and Ti) and the work function in the metal oxide device (FTO). The Pt device has the smallest VSET and largest switching ratio, while the Ti device shows the largest VSET and smallest switching ratio. XPS data shows non-lattice oxygen in TiOx films. Therefore, the proposed bipolar resistance switching arises from formation and rupture of filament paths, generated by the movement of oxygen vacancies. All devices depict the same electrical conductions, trap-controlled space-charge-limited, FN tunneling and Ohmic conductions for a high resistance state and a low resistance state, respectively. In this study, the rarely reported FN tunneling conduction in published TiOx-based ReRAM device was found, which can be attributed to an influence of the bottom electrode on the electronic distribution in devices.
To explore the perceptions of educators from the Western Cape Province about the feasibility of implementing South African food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) in the national curriculum of primary schools.
Combined quantitative and qualitative methods. We report on the quantitative component.
Twelve public primary schools of different socio-economic status in three education districts of the Western Cape: Metro Central, Metro East and Cape Winelands.
Educators (n 256) participated in the self-completed questionnaire survey.
Educators assessed that FBDG were appropriate to South African schoolchildren (94%), could be used as an education tool (97%) and fill gaps in the current curriculum about healthy dietary habits (91%). Besides Life Orientation, FBDG could be taught in other learning areas from grades 3 to 7 (9–13 years old). Important barriers to implementing FBDG in the curriculum were educators’ workload (61%), insufficient time (46%), learners’ disadvantaged background (43%) and educators’ lack of knowledge (33%). Other approaches to teach children about FBDG included linking these to the National School Nutrition Programme (82%), school tuck shops (79%), parent meetings (75%), school nutrition policy (73%) and school assembly (57%). Educators in high-income schools perceived that learners’ lifestyle was significantly worse (P < 0·001) and that tuck shops and the school assembly were the best means to teach pupils about FBDG (P < 0·001 and P < 0·05).
Implementing FBDG in the national school curriculum is seen as important together with optimizing the school physical environment. Key factors required for successful implementation in the curriculum are sufficient educational materials, adequate time allocation and appropriate educator training.
Indium phosphide semiconductor materials (InP) have various applications in the field of semiconductor optoelectronics because of its advantages. But the making of this material is difficult due to the very weak chemical activity of In element. In this report we present a simple method to synthesize InP nanocrystals from inorganic precursors such as indium chloride (InCl3), yellow phosphorus (P4), reduction agent NaBH4 at low temperature with the aid of ultrasound. Structural, morphological and optical properties of the formed InP nanocrystals were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersed X-ray analysis (EDS), Raman scattering, absorption and photoluminscence (PL) spectroscopy. After the surface treatment of InP nanocrystals with liquid hydrofluoric (HF) acid, the luminescence spectra have an enhanced intensity and consist of the peaks in the region from 500 nm to 700 nm. The intensity of these peaks strongly depends on the concentration and etching time of HF.
The present study aimed (a) to determine whether the bilingual advantage in false-belief (FB) understanding is replicated when considering socio-economic status and (b) to assess whether conflict inhibition and/or working memory underpin the advantage, if there is one. Monolingual preschoolers (24 English monolinguals and 24 French monolinguals) and 24 English–French bilingual counterparts received FB, conflict inhibition, working memory, and verbal ability tests. Monolingual and bilingual groups were equivalent on parental income and education, measured through a parental questionnaire. Results indicated that bilinguals significantly outperformed monolinguals on FB, but only after statistically controlling for language proficiency and age. Working memory likely compensated for the potential negative impact of bilinguals’ low language proficiency on FB.
Emerging as a major driver of regional growth, China is currently presenting Vietnam with enormous business opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, rapid expansion of China's industries, exports and consumer goods markets has led to a surge in demand for raw materials, energy, intermediate products, manufactured goods and services. On the other, China and Vietnam are said to be competing in their domestic and the third country markets, particularly with regard to labour-intensive products.
Vietnam, over the last few decades, has made remarkable improvements in enhancing per capita income and in reducing poverty. Poverty and hunger incidence in the country has been significantly reduced (Table 5.1). In comparison with the standard poverty measurement of US$1 per capita per day, Vietnam has well exceeded the millennium development goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than US$1 a day by 2015. This proportion was cut eightfold from 39.9 per cent in 1993 to 4.9 per cent in 2006. Poverty incidence as measured by the standard food poverty of Vietnam also declined sharply from 24.9 per cent in 1993 to 10.9 per cent in 2002, 7.4 per cent in 2004 and 6.7 per cent in 2006.
With a view to achieving the standards set by other developing countries in the region, the prime minister issued Decision No. 170/QĐ-TTg dated 8 April 2005, promulgating updated national standards for a new period of development. Measured by the new poverty line, approximately 3.9 million households were still living in poverty in 2005, accounting for 20.2 per cent of total households. The rate then reduced to 15.5 per cent in 2006 and to 14.8 per cent in 2007. At the same time, GDP per capita, measured based on purchasing power parity (PPP), increased from US$402 in 2001 to US$492 in 2003, US$553 in 2004, US$639 in 2005, US$723 in 2006 and to US$834 in 2007.
We calculated hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HO-MRSA) rates for Orange County, California, hospitals using survey and state data. Numerators were variably defined as HO-MRSA occurring more than 48 hours (37%), more than 2 days (30%), and more than 3 days (33%) postadmission. Survey-reported denominators differed from state-reported patient-days. Numerator and denominator choices substantially impacted HO-MRSA rates.