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A novel radio frequency identification tag antenna is composed of a resonant open-slot exciter and a dipole-type ground radiator. For a conjugate match to the Alien Higgs-4 chip impedance of 8−j149 Ω at 925 MHz, a quarter wavelength open-slot resonator embedded at the center of the dipole-type ground plane (130 × 18 mm2) was investigated and fabricated. Simple size adjustments and various loaded inductor of the open-slot resonator allow for easy control of the tag antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement can be easily obtained. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a foam in the free space can reach more than 9 m, which has been tested for a radio frequency identification reader with 4.0-W of effective isotropic radiated power. Measurement data are in good agreement with simulation results.
It is common for patients to experience positive and negative psychological changes (e.g., posttraumatic growth or demoralization) after being diagnosed with cancer. Although demoralization and posttraumatic growth are both related to meaning-making, little attention has been paid to the associations among these concepts. The current study investigated the relationship between demoralization, posttraumatic growth, and meaning-making (focusing on sense-making and benefit-finding during the experience of illness) in cancer patients.
Some 200 cancer patients (with lung cancer, lymphoma, or leukemia) at the MacKay Memorial Hospital in New Taipei completed the Demoralization Scale–Mandarin Version (DS–MV), the Chinese Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (CPTGI), and a self-designed questionnaire for assessing sense-making and benefit-finding.
Demoralization was negatively correlated with posttraumatic growth, sense-making, benefit-finding, and time-since-diagnosis. Multiple regression analysis showed that meaning-making had different effects on demoralization and posttraumatic growth. The interactions of sense-making with either benefit-finding or time-since-diagnosis significantly predicted demoralization. Individuals with relatively higher sense-making and benefit-finding or shorter time-since-diagnosis experienced less demoralization.
Significance of Results:
The suffering of cancer may turn on the psychological process of demoralization, posttraumatic growth, and meaning-making in patients. Cancer patients who evidenced higher posttraumatic growth experienced less demoralization. Trying to identify positive changes in the experience of cancer may be a powerful way to increase posttraumatic growth. As time goes by, patients experienced less demoralization. Facilitating sense-making can have similar effects. Cancer patients with less benefit-finding experience higher demoralization, but sense-making buffers this effect.
Unawareness of deficits is common and is associated with poor outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, little is known about correlated neurobiochemical changes.
Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine neurobiochemical correlates of unawareness of deficits as assessed by the Dementia Deficit Scale in 36 patients with AD. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy spectra were acquired from the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. Concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), total creatine, and other neurometabolites were calculated.
Nineteen (52.8%) participants had relative unawareness of deficits. This condition was negatively correlated with NAA/creatine in the anterior cingulate area (β = −0.36, p = 0.025) and positively correlated with NAA/creatine in the right orbitofrontal area (β = 0.41, p = 0.009) after controlling for dementia severity.
These findings suggest unawareness of deficits in AD was associated with the altered neurochemical metabolites in the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. However, the two areas might have opposite neuronal functions in unawareness of deficits.
Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) with a size in the range of 10 – 100 nm have been produced by ion irradiation and annealing, and isolated by differential centrifugation. Single particle spectroscopic characterization with confocal fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy indicates that they are photostable and useful as an alternative to far-red fluorescent proteins for bioimaging applications. We demonstrate the application by performing in vivo imaging of bare and bioconjugated FND particles (100 nm in diameter) in C. elegans and zebrafishes and exploring the interactions between this novel nanomaterial and the model organisms. Our results indicate that FNDs can be delivered to the embryos of both organisms by microinjection and eventually into the hatched larvae in the next generation. No deleterious effects have been observed for the carbon-based nanoparticles in vivo. The high fluorescence brightness, excellent photostability, and nontoxic nature of the nanomaterial have allowed long-term imaging and tracking of embryogenesis in the organisms.
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.
In this study, the mechanical properties of human dental structures have been investigated by using instrumented nanoindentation. Immersion in solutions containing Streptococcus mutans, which is the principal cause of dental caries, was applied to tooth specimens to clarify its effect on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the dental structures. With an extended time of up to 16 h, the pH value of the S. mutans solutions dropped from 7.3 to 5.8. Therefore, after immersion in the S. mutans solutions for 16 h, slight erosions of the dental structures began; after 64 h, severe tooth decay occurred with obviously etched dental features. After 128 h, the elastic modulus of enamel and dentine dropped to 85 and 67%, respectively, of the original values of untreated specimens, and the hardness dropped to 88 and 55%, respectively.
To evaluate the effect on decrease in blood pressure of modifying risk factors for stroke, such as blood lipid profiles, diet habits and indices of body weight, through a family-based nutrition health education programme among hypertensive patients and pre-hypertensive subjects without taking any antihypertensive drugs.
Design and setting
This was a community-based prospective study. The study population was randomly selected from communities in Taipei; potential subjects were invited by telephone to participate.
After excluding subjects whose blood pressure was normal and those using antihypertensive drugs, there were 390 participants included in the study. Subjects in the intervention group (n 293) received nutrition health education on blood pressure control and stroke-related risk factor modification at each visit. Non-intervention subjects (n 97) only acquired a general education sheet available in clinics. The blood pressure of study subjects was measured at baseline and 6-month follow-up to evaluate the intervention’s effect on decrease in blood pressure.
Significant decreases of 2·0 mmHg and 5·9 mmHg in systolic blood pressure were observed both in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive subjects in the intervention group. Additionally, intervention subjects with improvement of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, decrease in indices of body weight and increase in consumption of fruit and vegetables also had significant lowering of blood pressure.
The present study provided evidence that the blood pressure of pre-hypertensive and hypertensive subjects could decrease significantly, without taking antihypertensive drugs, after modifying blood lipid profiles and waist by dietary habits changed through a family-based nutrition heath education programme, resulting in a significant effect on stroke risk reduction.
Little is known about the biological effect of folate in the protection against mitochondrial (mt) oxidative decay. The objective of the present study was to examine the consequence of folate deprivation on mt oxidative degeneration, and the mechanistic link underlying the relationship. Male Wistar rats were fed with an amino acid-defined diet containing either 8 (control) or 0 (folate-deficient, FD) mg folic acid/kg diet. After a 4-week FD feeding period, significant elevation in oxidative stress was observed inside the liver mitochondria with a 77 % decrease in mt folate level (P < 0·001), a 28 % reduction in glutathione peroxidase activity (P = 0·0333), a 1·2-fold increase of mt protein carbonyls (P = 0·0278) and an accumulated 4834 bp large-scale deletion in mtDNA. The elicited oxidative injuries in FD liver mitochondria were associated with 30 % reduction of cytochrome c oxidase (CcOX) activity (P = 0·0264). The defective CcOX activity in FD hepatocytes coincided with mt membrane potential dissipation and intracellular superoxide elevation. Exposure of FD hepatocytes to pro-oxidant challenge (32 μm-copper sulphate for 48 h) led to a further loss in CcOX activity and mt membrane potential with a simultaneous increase in superoxide production. Preincubation of pro-oxidant-treated FD hepatocytes with supplemental folic acid (10–1000 μm) reversed the mt oxidative defects described earlier and diminished superoxide overproduction. Increased supplemented levels of folic acid strongly correlated with decreased lipid peroxidation (γ − 0·824, P = 0·0001) and protein oxidative injuries (γ − 0·865, P = 0·0001) in pro-oxidant-challenged FD liver mitochondria. Taken together, the results demonstrated that folate deprivation induces oxidative stress in liver mitochondria, which is associated with CcOX dysfunction, membrane depolarization and superoxide overproduction. The antioxidant activity of supplemental folic acid may partially, if not fully, contribute to the amelioration of pro-oxidant-elicited mt oxidative decay.
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