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In this article we examine whether and how changes in personal bankruptcy laws, viewed as a shock to employees’ expected personal wealth, affect corporate policies. Following a reform in personal bankruptcy laws that limits individuals’ access to bankruptcy protection, firms more affected by this regulation reform increase labor costs, reduce investment, and engage in less risk taking. The effects are stronger when employees have more bargaining power. Furthermore, firms in industries characterized by high unemployment risk reduce leverage. These results support the view that firms choose more conservative policies to mitigate employees’ expected welfare losses.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the antiparasitic activity of extracellular products of Streptomyces albus. Bioactivity-guided isolation of chloroform extracts affording a compound showing potent activity. The structure of the compound was elucidated as salinomycin (SAL) by EI-MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. In vitro test showed that SAL has potent anti-parasitic efficacy against theronts of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 10 min, 1, 2, 3 and 4 h (effective concentration) EC50 (95% confidence intervals) of 2.12 (2.22–2.02), 1.93 (1.98–1.88), 1.42 (1.47–1.37), 1.35 (1.41–1.31) and 1.11 (1.21–1.01) mg L−1. In vitro antiparasitic assays revealed that SAL could be 100% effective against I. multifiliis encysted tomonts at a concentration of 8.0 mg L−1. In vivo test demonstrated that the number of I. multifiliis trophonts on Erythroculter ilishaeformis treated with SAL was markedly lower than that of control group at 10 days after exposed to theronts (P < 0.05). In the control group, 80% mortality was observed owing to heavy I. multifiliis infection at 10 days. On the other hand, only 30.0% mortality was recorded in the group treated with 8.0 mg L−1 SAL. The median lethal dose (LD50) of SAL for E. ilishaeformis was 32.9 mg L−1.
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.
In this study, AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) with a two-dimensional hole gas (2DHG) were investigated. In addition to a two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) formed at the interface of the AlGaN and GaN layers for being a channel, a 2DHG was designed and formed underneath the channel to be the back gate. The simulated results showed the operation of device can be depletion-mode and enhancement-mode by adjusting the back gate bias. The fabricated devices showed the feasibility of 2DHG back gate control.
To develop a theoretical model explaining the longitudinal changes in the caregiving process for family caregivers of persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Taiwan.
A longitudinal, grounded theory approach using in-depth face-to-face interviews and an open-ended interview guide. We conducted 42 interviews over a two-year period; each participant was interviewed at least once every six months. All participants were interviewed in their home. The participants total of 13 family caregivers of persons with MCI.
One core theme emerged: “protective preparation.” This reflected the family caregiving process of preparation for a further decline in cognitive function, and protection from the impact of low self-esteem, accidents, and symptoms of comorbidities for the family member with MCI. Protective preparation contained three components: ambivalent normalization, vigilant preparation, and protective management.
Interventions to help family caregivers manage the changes in persons with MCI can reduce caregiver burden. Our findings could provide a knowledge base for use by healthcare providers to develop and implement strategies to reduce caregiver burden for family caregivers of persons with MCI.
To investigate the reciprocal relationship between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms from childhood to adolescence.
Unhealthy eating behaviours were measured by the frequencies of eating foods with excess salt, sugar or fat in the past week. Depressive symptoms in the past two weeks were measured using a seven-item scale. Hierarchical linear growth models were used to analyse longitudinal associations between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms. Time-fixed variables (sex, parents’ education level and household monthly income) and time-varying variables (parents’ marital status, family activities, body weight, vegetable or fruit consumption, exercising and smoking) were controlled for.
The Child and Adolescent Behaviors in Long-Term Evolution study, which commenced in 2001 and has annual follow-up.
Students (n 2630) followed from 2nd grade (8 years old in 2002) to 11th grade.
The frequency of unhealthy eating behaviours in the previous year and the difference between the frequency in the previous and successive year were positively associated with the initiation and growth rate of depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms in the previous year and the difference in depressive symptoms between the previous and successive year were positively associated with the initial state and growth rate of unhealthy eating behaviours.
Our results suggest a reciprocal relationship between depressive symptoms and unhealthy eating behaviours. This relationship should be considered when developing programmes targeting depressive symptoms and unhealthy diet in children and adolescents.
A photoactivated ZnO nanomesh with precisely controlled dimensions and geometries is fabricated by using nanosphere lithography process. The nanomesh structures effectively increase the surface-to-volume ratio to improve the sensing response under the same testing gas. And the periodical nanostructures also increase the effective light path and lead to more efficient light activation for gas sensing. With the increase of the photoinduced oxygen ions by UV illumination, a distinguished sensing response is observed at room temperature. In the optimized case, the sensing response (△R/R0) of the ZnO nanomesh at the butanol concentration of 500 ppm is 97.5%, which is 4.54 times higher than the unpatterned one.
Asians and Pacific Islanders have higher circulating serum ferritin (SF) compared with Caucasians but the clinical significance of this is unclear. There is a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Taiwanese Indigenous than Han Chinese. Genetically, Indigenous are related to Austronesians and account for 2 % of Taiwan's population. We tested the hypothesis that accumulation of Fe in the body contributes to the ethnic/racial disparities in MetS in Taiwan.
A population-based, cross-sectional study.
National Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan and Penghu Island.
A total of 2638 healthy adults aged ≥19 years. Three ethnic groups were included.
Han Chinese and Indigenous people had comparable levels of SF. Austronesia origin was independently associated with MetS (OR = 2·61, 95 % CI 2·02, 3·36). After multiple adjustments, the odds for MetS (OR = 2·49, 95 % CI 1·15, 5·28) was significantly higher among Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Hakka and Penghu Islanders yielded the lowest risks (OR = 1·08, 95 % CI 0·44, 2·65 and OR = 1·21, 95 % CI 0·52, 2·78, respectively). Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile had increased risk for abnormal levels of fasting glucose (OR = 2·34, 95 % CI 1·27, 4·29), TAG (OR = 1·94, 95 % CI 1·11, 3·39) and HDL-cholesterol (OR = 2·10, 95 % CI 1·18, 3·73) than those in the lowest SF tertile.
Our results raise the possibility that ethnic/racial differences in body Fe store susceptibility may contribute to racial and geographic disparities in MetS.
Neurosyphilis (NS) may present with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive impairment, personality disorders, and confusion, among others. Very few studies have focused on neuropsychiatric disorders secondary to NS in elderly people.
A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the psychiatric findings, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results of ten elderly inpatients with NS.
In these ten patients, the most common presenting symptoms included a wide variety of psychiatric manifestations. The serum rapid plasma regain (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) of the ten patients were positive, with positive CSF TPPA and RPR rates of 100% and 60%, respectively. In addition, 90% of the patients demonstrated abnormal imaging, including cerebral atrophy, infarct ischemic stroke, and hydrocephalus.
Our findings support the importance of serological tests for syphilis as a routine component of the evaluation of patients with clinically evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. If the serology is positive, all of the patients should be examined with a lumbar puncture. Moreover, psychiatric illnesses secondary to NS in the elderly also deserve medical attention.
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.
Whether traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an independent risk factor for the subsequent development of schizophrenia has evoked considerable controversy. No evidence has been previously reported from Asia. This study estimated the risk of schizophrenia during a 5-year period following hospital admission for TBI relative to a comparison group of non-TBI patients during the same period in Taiwan.
Two datasets were linked: the Traumatic Brain Injury Registry and the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Dataset. A total of 3495 patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of TBI from 2001 to 2002 were included, together with 17 475 non-TBI patients as the comparison group, matched on sex, age, and year of TBI hospitalization. Each individual was followed for 5 years to identify any later diagnosis of schizophrenia. Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed for analysis.
During the 5-year follow-up period, patients who had suffered TBI were independently associated with a 1.99-fold (95% confidence interval 1.28–3.08) increased risk of subsequent schizophrenia, after adjusting for monthly income and residential geographical location. The severity and type of TBI was not associated with the subsequent development of schizophrenia.
Our findings add important evidence from Asia and suggest a potential link between TBI and schizophrenia. Our study suggests that clinicians and family members should be alert to possible neuropsychiatric conditions following TBI.
The aim of this study was to determine potential risk factors for mortality in patients with nosocomial Stenotrophomonas maltophilia pneumonia.
A retrospective, single-center, observational study.
A 2400-bed tertiary teaching hospital in southern Taiwan.
Patients and Methods.
This retrospective study evaluated patients (age, at least 18 years) with nosocomial pneumonia (S. maltophilia isolated from respiratory culture) who were seen at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital over a 3-year period. A total of 406 patients (64% male, mean age ± standard deviation, 69.6 ± 14.93 years; mean duration of hospital stay ± standard deviation, 57.5 ± 39.47 days) were included.
Most index isolates (53.9%) were from the first sample cultured. Polymicrobial isolates were cultured from samples from 177 (43.6%) of the 406 study patients. The most common copathogen was Pseudomonas aeruginosa (53.11% of isolates). The all-cause hospital mortality rate was 42.6% (173 deaths among 406 patients). Survivors had a shorter time from admission to a positive index culture result than did nonsurvivors (26.1 vs 31.7 days; P = .04). Mortality was significantly higher among patients with malignancy (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52–4.07; P < .001 ), renal disease (AOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.51–4.47; P = .001), intensive care unit stay (AOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.1–2.7; P = .018), and inadequate initial empirical antibiotic therapy (AOR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.4–3.38; P = .001).
S. maltophilia pneumonia is associated with a high mortality rate and is commonly associated with concomitant polymicrobial colonization or infection. Underlying comorbidities and inadequate initial empirical antibiotic therapy substantially account for increased mortality rates.
Here we developed a new method to prepare the liquid crystal particles by first synthesizing the monodisperse hollow inorganic spheres and then allowing the liquid crystals to infiltrate into the hollow spheres. The resulting liquid crystal colloidal particles have a diameter of 285nm with a low polydispersity of 0.03. DSC thermograms showed a clear peak at around 30 degree, indicating the isotropic-nematic transition of liquid crystals encapsulated in the silica shells. The inorganic shells can prevent liquid crystals inside from leaking out and also hold the spherical shape of colloidal particles after the evaporation of the dispersant. A thin film assembled by the liquid crystal colloidal particles was also prepared in this report.
A novel vapor-transport-assisted wet chemistry process was developed to fabricate oxide nanodot arrays from soft polymer templates. The feasibility and wide applicability of the proposed process was demonstrated with creation of high-density oxide nanodot arrays of TiO2, ZnO, and Co3O4. The present process not only avoids the over-growth problem inevitable in wet chemistry processes but also enables formation of oxide nanodots at low temperatures. The process can be readily extended to other compound systems in which the products can be formed through reactions of two reactants, one in liquid phase and the other in vapor phase.
Total body fat mass (TBFM) and total body lean mass (TBLM) are the major components of the human body. Although these highly correlated phenotypic traits are frequently used to characterize obesity, the specific shared genetic factors that influence both traits remain largely unknown. Our study was aimed at identifying common quantitative trait loci (QTLs) contributing to both TBFM and TBLM. We performed a whole genome-linkage scan study in a large sample of 3255 subjects from 420 Caucasian pedigrees. Bivariate linkage analysis was carried out in both the entire sample and gender-specific subsamples. Several potentially important genomic regions that may harbour QTLs important for TBFM and TBLM were identified. For example, 20p12-11 achieved a LOD score of 2·04 in the entire sample and, in the male subsample, two genomic regions, 20p12 (LOD=2·08) and 3p26-25 (LOD=1·92), showed suggestive linkage. In addition, two-point linkage analyses for chromosome X showed suggestive linkages on Xp22 in the entire sample (LOD=2·14) and significant linkage on Xp22 in the female subsample (LOD=3·05). Complete pleiotropy was suggested for 20p12 and 3p26-25 in males. Our results suggest that QTLs on chromosomes 20p12, 3p26-25 and Xp22 may jointly influence TBFM and TBLM. Further fine mapping and gene identification studies for these pleiotropic effects are needed.
Genetic diversity and genetic variation of 240 adult plants of four tea populations in Hunan – Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, C. sinensis var. assamica cv. Duntsa, C. ptilophylla and C. sinensis var. assamica cv. Jianghua – were studied by rapid amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. The results showed 226 loci using 21 random primers (10 bp), of which 201 (88.9%) were polymorphic. The genetic diversity analysis indicated that Shannon's index was 0.43; 74.7% of which was within-population genetic diversity while 25.3% was among-population variation. The gene diversity indexes of total populations (HT), within populations (HS) and among populations (HST) were, respectively, 0.37, 0.28 and 0.09. The coefficient of gene differentiation (GST) among populations was 0.23, indicating a 76.7% variation within populations and 23.3% among populations. These results displayed a rich within-population genetic variation, as in Shannon's diversity index. Interpopulation gene flow (Nm) was 0.74, which indicates the limited genetic exchange between populations.
The genetic diversity of 43 male sterile and low fertility Citrus accessions, as well as 13 fertile ones, were assessed using simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs). Thirty-five polymorphic alleles were generated from eight primers (on average 4.4 alleles per primer). Cluster analysis was performed via unweighted pair group method analysis (UPGMA) using the NTSYS-pc version 2.10. The results showed that the accessions could be classified into three groups: cultivars of mandarin were classified into group 1; those of sweet orange, grapefruit, ponkan or tangor into group 2; and Microcitrus with male sterile cytoplasm into group 3. Cluster analysis also revealed that Satsuma mandarin was more closely related to Bendiguangju mandarin than to Zaoju, Mankieh or Huangyan Bendizao tangerine. The present study on genetic diversity of male sterile and low fertility Citrus will provide useful information for further collection, preservation and utilization of this plant.