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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.
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.
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.
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.
Facilitated by recent establishment of terrestrial networks and satellite constellations of Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers, ship trajectories are becoming increasingly available and the size of recorded trajectories is getting larger. Large sets of trajectories create problems of storing, transmitting and processing data. Using appropriate methods, an accurate representation of the original trajectories can be obtained by compressing redundant information, while maintaining the main characteristic elements. In this paper, a new scheme and the implementation of the Douglas-Peucker (DP) algorithm are presented, which can simplify AIS trajectories by extracting characteristic points. As for the simplification threshold, the solo parameter of the DP algorithm, a new AIS-based minimum ship domain evaluation method is proposed and acts as criteria for simplification threshold determination. Finally, a validation is made to examine the effectiveness of the DP simplification algorithm and the rationality of the simplification threshold. The result indicates that the DP algorithm can simplify AIS trajectories effectively; the simplification threshold is scientific and reasonable.
Recent empirical work on globalization and inflation analyzes multicountry data sets in panel and/or cross-section frameworks and reaches inconclusive results. This paper highlights their shortcomings and reexamines the issue utilizing heterogeneous panel cointegration techniques that allow for cross-section heterogeneity and dependence. It finds that in a sample of developing countries globalization of both trade and finance, on the average, exerts a significant and positive effect on inflation, whereas in a sample of developed countries there is, on the average, no significant impact of openness. Neither type of openness disciplines inflationary policy. Despite this, there are large variations in the effect across countries, due possibly to differences in the quality of political institutions, central bank independence, the exchange-rate regimes, financial development, and/or legal traditions.
To estimate the incidence of tympanogenic labyrinthitis ossificans.
The records of patients treated with mastoidectomy for various tympanogenic aetiologies from January 2007 to December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients whose high-resolution computed tomography scans showed evidence of labyrinthine calcification of the temporal bone were enrolled. Patients with a history of head and neck cancer, meningitis, and otosclerosis, and patients with cochlear implants, were excluded from this study.
A total of 195 patients were enrolled in this study; 4 of the patients presented with calcification in the inner ear. Therefore, the incidence of tympanogenic labyrinthitis ossification was 2 per cent. The computed tomography findings revealed: (1) cochlear calcifications of the basal and middle turn in two patients; and (2) vestibular, superior semicircular canal, posterior semicircular canal and lateral semicircular canal calcification in one, four, three and two patients, respectively.
The incidence of tympanogenic labyrinthitis ossification in patients who had undergone a mastoidectomy was 2 per cent.
Schwarz waveform relaxation (SWR) algorithm has been investigated deeply and widely for regular time dependent problems. But for time delay problems, complete analysis of the algorithm is rare. In this paper, by using the reaction diffusion equations with a constant discrete delay as the underlying model problem, we investigate the convergence behavior of the overlapping SWR algorithm with Robin transmission condition. The key point of using this transmission condition is to determine a free parameter as better as possible and it is shown that the best choice of the parameter is determined by the solution of a min-max problem, which is more complex than the one arising for regular problems without delay. We propose new notion to solve the min-max problem and obtain a quasi-optimized choice of the parameter, which is shown efficient to accelerate the convergence of the SWR algorithm. Numerical results are provided to validate the theoretical conclusions.
It is well known that extracellular signal-regulated kinase 8 (ERK8) plays pivotal roles in various mitotic events. But its physiological roles in oocyte meiotic maturation remain unclear. In this study, we found that although no specific ERK8 signal was detected in oocyte at the germinal vesicle stage, ERK8 began to migrate to the periphery of chromosomes shortly after germinal vesicle breakdown. At prometaphase I, metaphase I (MI), anaphase I, telophase I, and metaphase II (MII) stages, ERK8 was stably detected at the spindles. By taxol treatment, we clarified that the ERK8 signal was stained on the spindle fibers as well as microtubule asters in MI and MII oocytes. In fertilized eggs, the ERK8 signal was not observed in the two pronuclei stages. At prometaphase, metaphase, and anaphase of the first mitosis, ERK8 was detected on the mitotic spindle. ERK8 knock down by antibody microinjection and specific siRNA caused abnormal spindles, failed chromosome congression, and decreased first polar body extrusion. Taken together, our results suggest that ERK8 plays an important role in spindle organization during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo cleavage.
The electrode materials for VRFB should possess higher electric conductivity, corrosion resistance and hydrophilic properties in sulfuric acid. The characteristics of the electrode materials affect the stability and the energy efficiency of VRFB. Carbon materials are the best suited for VRFB applications. In this study, the calcined treatment, acid treatment and ozone treatment were used to modify the surface of carbon papers. The redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+ on the modified carbon papers was evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The surface compositions of carbon materials were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectrometry (XPS). The experimental results reveal that three oxidative methods enhance the redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+. The calcined treatments and acid treatments also enhanced hydrolysis reaction. The mole ratio of O/C apparently increased, but the binding energy of C1s and O1s were not chemically shifted in the acid treatment. The intensity of binding energy of O1s, between 532 eV and 534 eV, apparently increased in the ozone and calcined treatments. The Ox treated samples were more hydrophilic than the Oz treated samples. In the Ox treated samples, the decrease of Rct value indicates that was contributed from the redox reaction of [VO]2+/[VO2]+ and hydrolysis reaction. It does not completely benefit the energy efficiency of VRFB. The 5 x 5 cm2 modified carbon papers were used as electrode materials in the VRFB. The voltage efficiency, coulomb efficiency and energy efficiency reached 93 %, 90 % and 83 %, respectively, at a current density of 12 mA．cm-2 at 0.8-1.8 V.
The stability of the negative electrode electrolyte affects the efficiency and capacity of energy storage in the vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) system. To explore the stability of vanadium electrolytes, the study prepared five types of V(II) electrolytes that were exposed to air in a fixed open area and monitored the charge state of vanadium ions over time by UV/Visible spectrophotometer. This study succeeded in preparing pure V(II) electrolytes. Five characteristics are found in the UV/Visible spectra, respectively, during the oxidation process from V(II) electrolytes to V(III) electrolytes and V(III) electrolytes to V(IV) electrolytes. The experimental results show that the oxidation rate of a solution of 1 M V(II) electrolytes to V(III) electrolytes and 1 M V(III) electrolytes to V(IV) electrolytes under an atmosphere of air is 4.79 and 0.0089 mol/h per square meter. The oxidation rates of 0.05-1 M V(II) electrolytes to V(III) electrolytes are approximately 96-538 times than that of V(III) electrolytes to V(IV) electrolytes.
The system of accretion disk and black hole is usually considered as the central engine of Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs). It is usually thought that the disk in the central engine of GRBs is the advection-dominated accretion disk, which is developed from a massive (mass Mdisk) torus at radius rdisk. We find a positive correlation between the isotropic gamma-ray energy Eiso and duration (so-called T90) for GRBs. We interpret this correlation within the advection-dominated accretion disk model, associating Eiso and T90 with Mdisk and viscous timescale respectively.
Light effects on the performance of the a-Si:H PIN photodiode has been studied. The leakage current-voltage and capacitance-voltage curves under the red, green and blue light illuminations were measured. The apparent charge storage density in the negative voltage range was quantified from the capacitance-voltage curve; charges in the positive voltage range were estimated from the leakage current-voltage curve. A comparison of charge storage capacities of diodes with different intrinsic layer thicknesses is also presented. The diode under the long wavelength light illumination condition stored more charges than that under the short wavelength light illumination condition because the former could penetrate the intrinsic a-Si:H layer deeper than the latter could. The leakage current and charge storage capacity of the diode are determined by the generation of electron-hole pairs, the depletion of charges in the intrinsic layer, and the supply of charges from the electrodes. The number of incident photons is critical to the process.
P doped, intrinsic, and n doped microcrystalline silicon (μc-Si) thin films were successfully synthesized on 10×10 cm2 transparent conductive oxide (TCO) /glass substrate by using a Very High Frequency Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (VHF-PECVD, 80MHz) single chamber system. The crystal fraction of p and n type μc-Si:H with a thickness of 100nm was over 70% and 80%, respectively. Intrinsic μc-Si:H was deposited at a substrate temperature of 250°C with a high deposition rate over 1 nm/s. Photo-current/dark-current ratio of intrinsic μc-Si:H was higher than 102. The optimum cell initial efficiency of μc-Si:H single junction solar cell had been achieved 7.03 % so far.
In this paper, an integrated multifunctional biochip detection system, which we call “OBMorph“, are presented. This unique system integrates several optoelectronic-based biological diagnostic tools such as an ellipsometer, a laser Doppler vibrometer/interferometer, a SPR (surface plasmon resonance) analyzer, an interference microscope, a photon tunneling microscope, an optical coherence tomography unit and a confocal scanning microscope. This OBMorph system, useful as a powerful optical metrology diagnostic tool, can be used at the beginning of sensor chip fabrication, on to signal detecting and monitoring, and to the final biological analysis. The principles and experimental results of this multifunctional biochip detection OBMorph system are presented.
In addition, an innovative SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus denaturing chemical compound that was derived using the OBMorph system to study biolinker fabrication in biochips, are discussed. Several testing strategies are presented herein which proves the effectiveness of the new chemical compound, biochip technology in denaturing the SARS virus. Analysis under an atomic force microscope confirms the actual breaking down of the virus treated by the chemical compound. The fundamentals of how the chemical compound denatures the virus and renders it toxicity useless, is based on principles of nanotechnology and bio-mechanics. Results from preliminary studies show that this denaturing principle can be also effective against other deadly viruses and even bacteria. Some design strategies and innovative working mechanisms derived from study of this chemical compound which can denature the SARS-CoV, are also discussed.