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Neural electrodes have been widely used to monitor neural signals and/or deliver electrical stimulation in the brain. Currently, biodegradable and biocompatible materials have been actively investigated to create temporary electrodes that could degrade after serving their functions for neural recording and stimulation from days to months. The new class of biodegradable electrodes eliminate the necessity of secondary surgery for electrode removal. In this study, we created biodegradable, biocompatible, and implantable magnesium (Mg)-based microelectrodes for in vivo neural recording for the first time. Specifically, conductive poly-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT) was first deposited onto Mg microwire substrates by electrochemical deposition, and a biodegradable insulating polymer was subsequently sprayed onto the surface of electrodes. The tip of electrodes was designed to be conductive for neural recording and stimulation, while the rest of electrodes was insulated with a polymer that is biocompatible with neural tissue. The impedance of Mg-based microelectrodes and their performance during neural recording in the auditory cortex of a mouse were studied. The results first demonstrated the capability of Mg-based microelectrodes for in vivo recording of multi-unit stimulus-evoked activity in the brain.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
Prior research and theories established the link between care environments and apathy. Yet, empirical evidence on how environmental stimulation impacts apathy is lacking. This study examined the association between environmental stimulation and apathy in nursing home residents with dementia.
This repeated-measure study analyzed 104 video observations of staff caregiver–resident interactions.
12 nursing homes.
63 unique staff caregiver–resident dyads that involved 42 caregivers and 44 residents with moderate to severe dementia.
Second-by-second behavioral coding using Noldus Observer software was conducted to assess apathy and environmental stimulation, using the Person-Environment Apathy Rating scale. The environment subscale includes six items: stimulation clarity, stimulation strength, stimulation specificity, interaction involvement, physical accessibility, and environmental feedback. The apathy subscale includes six items: facial expression, eye contact, physical engagement, purposeful activity, verbal tone, and verbal expression. Multilevel linear models were used for analysis.
Results showed that apathy was not associated with the overall quality of environmental stimulation but was significantly associated with stimulation specificity (coefficient = −2.23, p = 0.049). However, the association was not significant after controlling for resident characteristics (p = 0.082). In addition, higher levels of environmental feedback were associated with lower apathy levels (coefficient = −2.14, p = 0.001). The association remained significant after controlling for resident characteristics (coefficient = −1.65, p = 0.014).
Findings reveal that when environmental stimulation is individually tailored and prompts engagement, residents are less apathetic. This study highlights the effect of environmental stimulation on apathy. Future research should explore interventions that modify environmental stimulation to reduce apathy and improve dementia care.
Nakayama automorphisms play an important role in the fields of noncommutative algebraic geometry and noncommutative invariant theory. However, their computations are not easy in general. We compute the Nakayama automorphism ν of an Ore extension R[x; σ, δ] over a polynomial algebra R in n variables for an arbitrary n. The formula of ν is obtained explicitly. When σ is not the identity map, the invariant EG is also investigated in terms of Zhang’s twist, where G is a cyclic group sharing the same order with σ.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disorder, which could be caused by traumatic events. The prevalence of PTSD among survivors after a typhoon or hurricane varied widely. Therefore, this study aimed to determine a combined prevalence of PTSD among survivors after a typhoon or hurricane. A systematic search of literature was performed in the 3 English databases: PubMed (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD), ISI Web of Science (Thomson Reuters, New York, NY), and Embase (Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands). Also, a similar search was performed in the 2 Chinese databases such as Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure and WanFang. Loney et al.’s criteria were used to evaluate the quality of the selected articles for this study. The combined prevalence of PTSD among the study population was estimated using the Freeman–Tukey double arcsine transformation method. Subgroup analyses and a meta-regression analysis were carried out to explore the origin of heterogeneity. Thirty-nine eligible articles were included in this study. They comprised 43 123 typhoon and hurricane survivors of which 9373 were diagnosed with PTSD. The combined prevalence of PTSD among this population was 17.81%. Subgroup analyses revealed that the combined prevalence of PTSD related to typhoon and hurricane Categories 5, 4, and 2 showing a corresponding decreasing tendency. About 18% of people who experienced a severe typhoon or hurricane develop PTSD with the prevalence decreasing with reduced severity of the typhoon or hurricane.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.
In this work, atomic layer deposition (ALD), as a novel strategy, has been applied to deposit MgO on nano-sized porous Si (pSi) dendrites obtained by etching Al–Si alloy for LIBs. The reversible specific capacity of pSi@MgO electrode is 969.4 mA h/g after 100 cycles at 100 mA/g between 0.01 and 1.5 V, and it presents the discharge specific capacities of 1253.0, 885.5, 642.4, 366.2, and 101.4 mA h/g at 100, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 mA/g, respectively. What is more, it delivers a high reversible capacity of 765.1 mA h/g even at 500 mA/g after 200 cycles. The performance improvement can be attributed to the protection of the MgO layer and built-in space of porous Si for volume expansion upon cycling. These results illustrate that ALD derived coating is a powerful strategy to enhance electrical properties of anode materials with huge volume change for lithium-ion batteries.
Shin-Horng Chen, Director, International Division, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research,
Pei-Chang Wen, Research Fellow, International Division, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research,
Meng-Chun Liu, Deputy, Director, International Division, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research
As neighbouring countries, economic relationships between ASEAN and Taiwan have been intensified primarily through de facto economic integration of trade and investment, instead of de jure integration, such as free trade agreements (FTAs). Not until in 2013 when Taiwan signed its FTA with Singapore (known as ASTEP) — its very first trade agreement ever with an ASEAN member. However, long before that, trade and direct investment between the two sides have intertwined to enhance mutual economic relationships. Particularly, it was direct investment in ASEAN made by numerous Taiwanese SMEs starting from the mid-1980s that triggered and pushed forward this economic integration (CIER 1995). In Taiwan, many tend to refer to this integration as the “investment-induced trade”. However, it can involve a process of “deep integration” (WTO 2011; Baldwin 2013a, p. 26) in a crossborder manner.
In addition, global value chains (GVCs) (Gereffi and Frederick 2010; Gereffi, Humphrey and Sturgeon 2005; Gereffi and Memedovic 2003) and otherwise known as global production networks (GPNs) (Chen 2002; Coe et al. 2004; Ernst 2005, 2006; Sturgeon and Lee 2005; UNCTAD 2005) are keys to such integration. It is well-documented that in East Asia, SMEs have made significant contribution to de facto regional economic integration via their participation in GVCs and/ or GPNs (ESCAP 2009; Lim and Kimura 2009; Harvie 2010; Chen 2002; OECD 2007), which in turn has become an important source of national economic growth. A typical example at issue refers to the GPNs, led by a few brand marketers in ICT (information and communications technology) hardware and software (Chen 2002; Yang and Coe 2009), involving such countries as Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, China, India and the Philippines. Furthermore, the WTO (2011) and a few scholars (Baldwin 2013a, 2013b; Low 2013) have suggested that GVCs/GPNs and FTAs often lead to “deep integration”, through intertwining relationships among trade, investment, service and intellectual property; a phenomenon termed the “trade-investmentservice- intellectual property (IP) nexus” (Baldwin 2013a, p. 26).
Set against the above context, this study sets out to examine the evolution of Taiwan's economic links with ASEAN. Indeed, GVCs/ GPNs are major elements underlying the economic links between ASEAN and Taiwan. To discuss this issue, we examine the macro data of direct investment and bilateral trade, from the Taiwanese perspective.
Trace elements in oil may be determined by adsorption of the oil sample onto maguesium oxide followed by thermal degradation of the organic material. The resulting powder is easily pressed into a pellet suitable for X-ray spectrometric analysis. The lower limit of detection depends upon the trace impurities in the MgO and is a few parts per million for most elements determined.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
The Zhenzhu Spring, located in the Tengchong volcanic field, Yunnan, China, is an acid hot spring with high SO42− concentrations and intense acid aerosol generation. In order to understand the formation mechanism of sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring and provide a better insight into the sulfur isotope geochemistry of the associated Rehai hydrothermal system, we investigated the spring water hydrochemistry, mineralogy and major-element geochemistry of sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring together with the sulfur-oxygen isotope geochemistry of sulfur-containing materials at the Rehai geothermal field and compared the isotope results with those in other steam-heated environments. Subaerial minerals include a wide variety of sulfate minerals (gypsum, alunogen, pickeringite, tamarugite, magnesiovoltaite and a minor Mg–S–O phase) and amorphous SiO2. The δ34S values of the subaerial sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring varied subtly from –0.33 to 1.88‰ and were almost consistent with the δ34S values of local H2S (–2.6 to 0.6‰) and dissolved SO42− (–0.2 to 5.8‰), while the δ18O values (–8.94 to 20.1‰) were between that of the spring waters (–10.19 to –6.7‰) and atmospheric O2 (~23.88‰). The results suggest that most of the sulfate minerals are derived from the oxidation of H2S, similar to many sulfate minerals from modern steam-heated environments. However, the rapid environmental change (different ratio of atmospheric and water oxygen) at the Zhenzhu Spring accounts for the large variation of δ18O. The formation of subaerial sulfate minerals around the Zhenzhu Spring is related to acid aerosols (vapour and acid water droplets). The intense activity of spring water around vents supply the aerosol with H2SO4 (H2S oxidation and acid water droplets formed by bubble bursting) and few cations. Deposition of the acid sulfate aerosol forms the acid condensate, which attacks the underlying rocks and releases many cations and anions to form subaerial sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring.
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 Hmu language is spoken by approximately 1,250,000 people who reside in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture (黔东南苗族侗族自治州), Guizhou Province (贵州省), the People's Republic of China (Wang & Mao 1995: 3–4; Lewis, Simons & Fenning 2016).
A nonlinear station-keeping control method for a multi-vectored propeller airship under unknown wind field with thrust saturation is developed, which is composed of three modules: nonlinear model predictive controller (NMPC), disturbance observer (DOB) and tracking differentiator (TD). The nonlinear kinematics and dynamics models are introduced, and the wind effect is considered by the wind-induced aerodynamic force. Based on both models, an explicit NMPC is designed. Then a nonlinear DOB is introduced to estimate the wind disturbance. A TD, showing the relationship between the maximum propulsion force and the maximum flight acceleration, is proposed to handle the thrusts’ amplitude saturation. Stability analysis shows that the closed-loop system is globally asymptotically stable. Simulations for a multi-vectored propeller airship are conducted to demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of the proposed method.
This paper introduces a novel 2R1T parallel manipulator redundantly actuated by pneumatic muscles for lower-limb rehabilitation. First, the conceptual design of the proposed 3-DOF parallel mechanism is presented. Then, the inverse kinematics and the generalized Jacobian analysis are carried out. Based on the generalized Jacobian and the constraint characteristics of the mechanism, the force/motion transmissibility of the redundantly actuated parallel mechanism is investigated via four individual cases without actuation redundancy, leading to a suitable local transmission index for the evaluation of kinematic performance of the proposed mechanism. Finally, the design variables are optimized by maximizing the mean value of the local transmission index with the aid of genetic algorithm. The numerical result shows that the proposed parallel mechanism can achieve a good kinematic performance in its task workspace.
The aim of this article was to investigate the mechanism of appetite suppression induced by high-fat diets (HFD) in blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala). Fish (average initial weight 40·0 (sem 0·35) g) were fed diets with two fat levels (6 and 11 %) with four replicates. HFD feeding for 30 d could significantly increase the weight gain rate, but feeding for 60 d cannot. Food intake of M. amblycephala began to decline significantly in fish fed the HFD for 48 d. HFD feeding for 60 d significantly reduced the expression of neuropeptide Y and elevated the expression of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), actions both in favour of suppression of appetite. The activation of fatty acid sensing was partly responsible for the weakened appetite. In addition, inflammatory factors induced by the HFD may be involved in the regulation of appetite by increasing the secretion of leptin and then activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 2·0 mg/kg of fish weight) was administered to induce inflammation, and sampling was performed after 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 48 h of LPS injection. Within 6–24 h of LPS injection, the food intake and appetite of M. amblycephala decreased significantly, whereas the mRNA expression of leptin and mTOR increased significantly. Our results indicate that inflammatory cytokines may be the cause of appetite suppression in M. amblycephala fed a HFD.
Combining density functional theory calculations and temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments, the adsorption behavior of various sulfur containing compounds, including C2H5SH, CH3SCH3, tetrahydrothiophene, thiophene, benzothiophene, dibenzothiophene, and their derivatives on the coordinately unsaturated sites of Mo27Sx model nanoparticles, are studied systematically. Sulfur molecules with aromaticity prefer flat adsorption than perpendicular adsorption. The adsorption of nonaromatic molecules is stronger than the perpendicular adsorption of aromatic molecules, but weaker than the flat adsorption of them. With gradual hydrogenation (HYD), the binding affinity in the perpendicular adsorption modes increases, while in flat adsorption modes it increases first, then decreases. Significant steric effects on the adsorption of dimethyldibenzothiophene were revealed in perpendicular adsorption modes. The steric effect, besides weakening adsorption, could also activate the S–C bonds through a compensation effect. Finally, by comparing the theoretical adsorption energies with the TPD results, we suggest that HYD and direct-desulfurization path may happen simultaneously, but on different active sites.
It appears that nationalism has been on the rise in China in recent years, particularly among online communities. Scholars agree that the Chinese government is facing pressure from online nationalistic and pro-democracy forces; however, it is believed that of the two, nationalistic views are the more dominant. Online nationalism is believed to have pushed the Chinese government to be more aggressive in diplomacy. This study challenges this conventional wisdom by finding that online political discourse is not dominated by nationalistic views, but rather by anti-regime sentiments. Even when there is an outpouring of nationalist sentiment, it may be accompanied by pro-democracy views that criticize the government. By analysing more than 6,000 tweets from 146 Chinese opinion leaders on Weibo, and by decomposing nationalistic discussion by specific topic, this study shows that rather than being monolithically xenophobic, nationalists may have differing sets of views regarding China's supposed rivals. Rather than being supportive of the regime, nationalists may incorporate liberal values to challenge the government. Nonetheless, this liberal dominance appears to provoke a backlash of nationalism among certain groups.
The antennal sensilla of female Quadrastichus mendeli Kim & La Salle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae) were observed with scanning and transmission electron microscopy in this study. The antenna of Q. mendeli was geniculate, and the flagellum was composed of seven subsegments. Six distinct types of sensory receptors were observed, including sensilla basiconic capitate peg, sensilla böhm, sensilla chaetica, sensilla campaniformia, sensilla placodea and sensilla trichodea. Sensilla basiconic capitate pegs were found on the flagellomeres, and Böhm sensilla were found on the basal part of scape and the pedicel. Two morphological subtypes of sensilla chaetica were found on the antennae, and sensilla campaniformia were only found on the pedicel. Sensilla placodea were divided into two morphological subtypes that were found on the flagellomeres. Sensilla trichodea were found on the 2nd–6th flagellomere. By comparison to existing antennal sensilla, it was found that sensilla basiconic capitate peg, sensilla chaetica, sensilla placodea and sensilla trichodea were the most common sensilla of the parasitoids of Eulophidae. The external and internal morphology, types, number, distribution, length, and width of these sensilla were described, and their possible functions are discussed in conjunction with the host-detection behavior. Future studies on the host location mechanisms in Q. mendeli will be facilitated by these observations.