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This study presents a simple switched-band impedance transformer using microstrip lines. The proposed circuit is suitable for loads with frequency-dependent complex impedances at two arbitrary operating frequencies. The transformer comprises two cascaded microstrip lines and two detachable shunt stepped-impedance stubs, which are separately connected to the main line via switching diodes such that provide good matching at one of the two operating frequencies and suppress unwanted signal at the other frequencies. The structure contains several user-set parameters such that designers can create a smaller circuit. The circuit parameters, except the user-set ones, are obtained using the derived design formula. The numerical simulations and experimental results agree well such that validate the proposed structure and the design formula.
Little is known about methylphenidate (MPH) use and mortality outcomes.
To investigate the association between MPH use and mortality among children with an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis.
This population-based cohort study analysed data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). A total of 68 096 children and adolescents aged 4–17 years with an ADHD diagnosis and prescribed MPH between 2000 and 2010 were compared with 68 096 without an MPH prescription, matched on age, gender and year of first ADHD diagnosis. All participants were followed to death, migration, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance programme or 31 December 2013. MPH prescriptions were measured on a yearly basis during the study period, and the association between MPH use and mortality was analysed using a repeated-measures time-dependent Cox regression model. The outcome measures included all-cause, unnatural-cause (including suicide, accident and homicide) and natural-cause mortality, obtained from linkage to the National Mortality Register in Taiwan.
The MPH group had lower unadjusted all-cause, natural-, unnatural- and accident-cause mortality than the comparison group. After controlling for potential confounders, MPH use was associated with a significantly lower all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio AHR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.67–0.98, P = 0.027), delayed use of MPH was associated with higher mortality (AHR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.09) and longer MPH use was associated with lower mortality (AHR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.70–0.98).
MPH use is associated with a reduced overall mortality in children with ADHD in this cohort study, but unmeasured confounding cannot be excluded absolutely.
A Fast Ice Prediction System (FIPS) was constructed and is the first regional land-fast sea-ice forecasting system for the Antarctic. FIPS had two components: (1) near-real-time information on the ice-covered area from MODIS and SAR imagery that revealed, tidal cracks, ridged and rafted ice regions; (2) a high-resolution 1-D thermodynamic snow and ice model (HIGHTSI) that was extended to perform a 2-D simulation on snow and ice evolution using atmospheric forcing from ECMWF: either using ERA-Interim reanalysis (in hindcast mode) or HERS operational 10-day predictions (in forecast mode). A hindcast experiment for the 2015 season was in good agreement with field observations, with a mean bias of 0.14 ± 0.07 m and a correlation coefficient of 0.98 for modeled ice thickness. The errors are largely caused by a cold bias in the atmospheric forcing. The thick snow cover during the 2015 season led to modeled formation of extensive snow ice and superimposed ice. The first FIPS operational service was performed during the 2017/18 season. The system predicted a realistic ice thickness and onset of snow surface melt as well as the area of internal ice melt. The model results on the snow and ice properties were considered by the captain of R/V Xuelong when optimizing a low-risk route for on-ice transportation through fast ice to the coastal Zhongshan Station.
Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne outbreaks in Taiwan. On 27 April 2018, a salmonellosis outbreak among customers of a restaurant was reported to the Taiwan CDC. We investigated the outbreak to identify infection sources and prevent further transmission. We interviewed ill customers and their dining companions. We conducted a case-control study to identify foods associated with the illness. Case-patients were those who had diarrhoea within 72 h after eating at the restaurant during 16–27 April 2018. Specimens, food samples and environmental samples were collected and tested for enteric pathogens. Salmonella isolates were analysed with pulse-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing. We inspected the restaurant sanitation and reviewed kitchen surveillance camera recordings. We identified 47 case-patients, including one decedent. Compared with 44 controls, case-patients were more likely to have had a French toast sandwich (OR: 102.4; 95% CI: 18.7–952.3). Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from 16 case-patients shared an indistinguishable genotype. Camera recordings revealed eggshell contamination, long holding time at room temperature and use of leftovers during implicated food preparation. Recommendations for restaurant egg-containing food preparation are to use pasteurised egg products and ensure a high enough cooking temperature and long enough cooking time to prevent Salmonella contamination.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
To investigate the spatial distribution of self-harm incidence rates, their socioeconomic correlates and sex/age differences using data on self-harm presentations to emergency departments from The Manchester Self-Harm Project (2003–2013).
Smoothed standardised incidence ratios for index self-harm episodes (n = 14 771) and their associations with area-level socioeconomic factors across 258 small areas (median population size = 1470) in the City of Manchester municipality were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models.
Higher numbers and rates of self-harm were found in the north, east and far southern zones of the city, in contrast to below average rates in the city centre and the inner city zone to the south of the centre. Males and females aged 10–24, 25–44 and 45–64 years showed similar geographical patterning of self-harm. In contrast, there was no clear pattern in the group aged 65 years and older. Fully adjusted analyses showed a positive association of self-harm rates with the percentage of the unemployed population, households privately renting, population with limiting long-term illness and lone-parent households, and a negative association with the percentage of ethnicity other than White British and travel distance to the nearest hospital emergency department. The area-level characteristics investigated explained a large proportion (four-fifths) of the variability in area self-harm rates. Most associations were restricted to those aged under 65 years and some associations (e.g. with unemployment) were present only in the youngest age group.
The findings have implications for allocating prevention and intervention resources targeted at high-risk groups in high incidence areas. Targets for area-based interventions might include tackling the causes and consequences of joblessness, better treatment of long-term illness and consideration of the accessibility of health services.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Choices between options represented in a multidimensional space, in which each dimension signifies a distinct attribute describing the objects, are presumably guided by the principle of value maximization. However, the current study assumes that in a real-world setting, those who are able to imagine things that do not actually exist could modify the multidimensional space by self-generating an unoffered but fictional dimension. We define the utility (Uv) assigned by the decision makers to the options on the offered/given dimension as value (v[x]) and the utility (Uw) on the self-generated/fictional dimension as worth (w[xc]). Our series of experiments demonstrated that an option with a greater value established strictly on that given set of dimensions might not necessarily be chosen (which contradicted the principle of value maximization). Choosing an option with less value (i.e. giving away the bigger pear) behavior can be described and explained by the “worth-based choice” approach, as people behave to select the option with the highest worth rather than that with the highest value. We are optimistic that the resulting findings will facilitate our understanding of the beauty of such a “one step further” choice and assist us in understanding the following: the ability to further generate a fictional dimension and to assign a delayed utility (worth) to the options on the fictional dimension, and to make a worth-based choice, which could eventually be taken as the operational definition to measure the degree of “fiction-generating ability”, as proposed by Harari (2014).
In this work, corrosion-resistant fluoridated Ca–Mg–P composite coatings were prepared on magnesium alloys via a hydrothermal assisted sol–gel process. All these coatings derived from Coating Sols with different F− concentrations are composed of fluoridated hydroxyapatite, magnesium hydroxide, and dittmarite. When F− concentration of Coating Sol is 0.03 M, the coating exhibited uniform and dense surface, and its thickness reached 32 μm, thus possessing a high charge transfer resistance of 312 ± 12.69 kΩ cm2 in simulated body fluid (SBF). Immersion test in SBF showed that this coating could quickly induce the formation of the mineralized layer, implying relatively high bioactivity. After 49 days of immersion, the original composite coating and newly formed mineralized layer reached 60 μm in thickness, providing effective long-term protection for magnesium alloys. These attractive results indicate that this fluoridated Ca–Mg–P composite coating is a promising protective coating on biodegradable magnesium and magnesium alloy implants for orthopaedic applications.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The serotonin receptor 6 (5-HT6) is a potential therapeutic target given its distribution in brain regions that are important in depression, anxiety, and cognition. This study sought to investigate the effects of age on 5-HT6 receptor availability using 11C GSK215083, a PET ligand with affinity for 5-HT6 in the striatum and 5-HT2A in the cortex. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 28 healthy male subjects (age range: 23–52 years) were scanned with 11C-GSK215083 on the HR+PET scanner. Time-activity curves in regions-of-interest were fitted with multilinear analysis-1 method. Binding potentials (BPND) were calculated using cerebellum as the reference region and corrected for partial volume effects. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: In 5-HT6 rich areas, regional 11C-GSK215083 displayed a negative correlation between BPND and age in the caudate (r=−0.41, p=0.03) (14% change per decade), and putamen (r=−0.30, p=0.04) (11% change per decade), but not in the ventral striatum and pallidum. Negative correlation with age was also seen in cortical regions (r=−0.41, p=0.03) (7% change per decade), consistent with the literature on 5-HT2A availability. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This is the first in vivo study in humans to examine the effect of age on 5-HT6 receptor availability. The study demonstrated a significant age-related decline in 5-HT6 availability (BPND) in the caudate and putamen.
Background: Among patients with schizophrenia, there is evidence of a negative association between self-stigma and subjective quality of life (SQoL), and self-esteem was an important mediator in the association. We attempted to use a longitudinal study to investigate the aforementioned mediation on a sample with schizophrenia. Methods: We used longitudinal data retrieved from medical records of a psychiatric centre between June 2014 and December 2015. In the data, we retrieved information of self-stigma using the Self-Stigma Scale — Short; SQoL, using the WHO questionnaire on the Quality of Life — Short Form; and self-esteem, using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. All the measures were evaluated five times. Linear mixed-effect models accompanied by Sobel tests were used to tackle the mediating effects. Results: Data from 74 patients (57 males) with schizophrenia were eligible for analysis; their mean (SD) age was 39.53 (10.67); mean age of onset was 22.95 (8.38). Self-esteem was a mediator for patients in physical (p = .039), psychological (p = .003), and social SQoL (p = .004), but not in environment SQoL (p = .051). Conclusion: Based on our findings, mental health professionals could tailor different programs to patients with schizophrenia, such as self-stigma reduction and self-esteem improvement programs. However, treatment as a whole should be sensitive to both self-stigma and self-esteem. Also, we should consider individuals’ health and wellbeing from social perspectives of disability rather than the medical model of disability emphasising symptoms and medications.
This paper examines the relationships of income with education and health using heterogeneous panel cointegration techniques to account for the potential cross-country heterogeneity in the effects of education and health. Our main results are: (i) education and health are, on average, income-enhancing; (ii) for different schooling levels, although primary education lowers income, both secondary and tertiary education raise income with larger impacts for the former than the latter, on average; (iii) there is considerable heterogeneity in the effects of education and health on income across countries; and (iv) the effect of education (health) on income tends to be greater (smaller) in countries with higher levels of development, greater (less) trade openness, less abundant natural resources, less corruption, higher levels of democracy, and a more homogeneous society.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a public health concern that frequently occurs in pregnant mammals and neonatal offspring. Ferrous N-carbamylglycinate chelate (Fe-CGly) is a newly designed iron fortifier with proven effects in iron-deficient rats and weanling piglets. However, the effects of this new compound on pregnant mammals are unknown. Therefore, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Fe-CGly on sow reproductive performance and iron status of both sows and neonatal piglets. A total of 40 large-white sows after second parity were randomly assigned to two groups (n=20). They were receiving a diet including 80 mg Fe/kg as FeSO4 or Fe-CGly, respectively, from day 85 of gestation to parturition. The serum (day 110 of pregnancy) and placentas of sows were sampled. Litter size, mean weight of live born piglets, birth (live) litter weight, number of live born piglets, and the number of still-born piglets, mummies, and weak-born piglets were recorded. Once delivered, eight litters were randomly selected from the 20 litters per treatment, and one new-born male piglet (1.503±0.142 kg) from each selected litter was slaughtered within 3 h after birth from the selected litters, without colostrum ingestion. The serum, longissimus muscle, liver and kidneys of the piglets were collected. The iron status of the serum samples and the messenger RNA level of iron-related genes in the placenta, liver and kidney were analyzed. The results showed that litter weight of live born piglets was higher (P=0.030) in the Fe-CGly group (19.86 kg) than in the FeSO4 group (17.34 kg). Fe-CGly significantly increased placental iron concentration (P<0.05) of sows. It also significantly increased iron saturation and reduced the total iron-binding capacity of piglets (P<0.05) at birth. However, the results revealed that supplementation of Fe-CGly in sows reduced liver and kidney iron concentration of neonatal piglets (P<0.05), indicating decreased iron storage. In addition, the concentration of iron in the colostrum was not significantly changed. Therefore, the present results suggested that replacement of maternal FeSO4 supplement with Fe-CGly in the late-gestating period for sows could improve litter birth weight, probably via enhanced iron transportation in the placenta.
In this chapter, we present an algebraic construction of a special type of LDPC code whose Tanner graph has a very specific structure. For an LDPC code of this type, its Tanner graph is locally connected. Every VN is only connected to the CNs that are confined to a (small) span of ρcol consecutive locations and every CN is only connected to VNs that are confined to a (small) span of ρrow consecutive locations. We call such constraints on the connections between VNs and CNs of a Tanner graph (ρcol,ρrow)-span-constraints. With this span-constraint, the Tanner graph of such an LDPC code is actually a chain of small Tanner graphs in which each graph is connected to its adjacent graphs on either side of it, except the first and the last ones. An LDPC code of this type is called a span-constrained LDPC code. The SC-LDPC code investigated in [59, 60, 22, 86] is a type of span-constrained LDPC code.
An SC-LDPC code is an LDPC convolutional (LDPC-C) code viewed from a graphical point of view (or a spatial coupling point of view) [49, 104, 66, 67, 92]. An LDPC-C code [49, 104] is specified by a bi-infinite parity-check matrix whose nonzero entries are confined to a diagonal band of a certain width ρrow and a certain depth ρcol. The nonzero entries in every row are confined to a span of ρrow consecutive locations and the nonzero entries in every column are confined to a span of ρcol consecutive locations. With these constraints on the locations of the nonzero entries of the parity-check matrix of an LDPC-C code, every VN in its Tanner graph is only connected to the CNs that are confined to a span of ρcol consecutive locations and every CN is only connected to VNs that are confined to a span of ρrow consecutive locations. These constraints on the locations of the nonzero entries of the parity-check matrix of an LDPC-C code lead to the graphical (ρcol,ρrow)-span-constraint as mentioned above. Hence, an LDPC-C code is a span-constrained LDPC code, an SC-LDPC code.