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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The oxidation behavior of the selective laser melting (SLM)–fabricated Inconel 718 was investigated through isothermal oxidation testing at 650 °C for 500 h and compared with that of the as-cast and as-forged specimens at the same testing conditions. The effect of microstructure and surface roughness on the oxidation behavior of the SLM-fabricated, as-cast, and as-forged Inconel 718 specimens was examined. The result shows that Inconel 718 fabricated by SLM with the unique layer structure exhibited a better resistance to the 500 h oxidation at 650 °C compared with as-cast and as-forged 718 with coarse dendritic structure and uniform equiaxed grain microstructure, respectively. The influence of the surface roughness on the long-time oxidation resistance of SLM specimens is not pronounced compared with that of as-cast and as-forged specimens. The tiny dendrites instead of grain boundaries are a major influencing factor for the oxidation process of SLM specimens. The surface roughness has more evident influence on the oxidation resistance of as-forged specimens than that of the as-cast ones subjected to the 500 h oxidation at 650 °C.
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.
Dietary salt intake may vary depending on different lifestyles. We aimed to estimate the different salt intakes and evaluate the knowledge and self-awareness about salt among people speaking the Teochew, Teochew–Hakka and Hakka dialects in the Chaoshan region of southern China.
The study followed a cluster sampling of residents in Chaoshan region. General characteristics, lifestyles, health status as well as knowledge and self-awareness related to salt intake were investigated using a questionnaire. Anthropometric variables as well as Na and K excretion in a 24-h urine collection were measured.
Chaoshan region of China.
Four hundred fifteen adults who spoke only one of these three dialects.
The salt intake of adults who spoke the Teochew, Teochew–Hakka and Hakka dialects was 7·19 (interquartile range (IQR) 5·29–10·17), 9·03 (IQR 6·62–11·54) and 10·12 (IQR 7·61–12·82) g/d, respectively, with significant differences between Teochew and Teochew–Hakka speakers and between Teochew and Hakka speakers (both P < 0·05). The Na:K ratio for adults who spoke the three dialects was 3·00 (IQR 2·00–4·11), 3·50 (IQR 2·64–4·82) and 4·52 (IQR 3·35–5·97), respectively, and differed significantly among the groups (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed increased Na:K ratio associated with hypertension (β = 0·71, P = 0·043) in Hakka speakers. Knowledge and self-awareness about salt intake were poor in this population.
Salt intake was closely related to lifestyles and was higher than the upper limit (5 g/d) recommended by the WHO in adults of Chaoshan, especially those speaking the Hakka dialect.
The condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.
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.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of suicidal behaviours through psychiatric comorbidities; however, a significant direct association has not been observed between ADHD and suicide attempts.
To evaluate the risk of suicide attempt in adolescents and young adults with ADHD.
Using a nationwide, population-based insurance claims database, this longitudinal cohort study enrolled 20 574 adolescents and young adults with ADHD and 61 722 age- and gender-matched controls between 2001 and 2009. Any suicide attempt was identified from enrolment to 31 December 2011. The association between ADHD medications and the likelihood of suicide attempt was assessed.
ADHD was an independent risk factor for any suicide attempt (hazard ratio = 3.84, 95% CI = 3.19–4.62) and repeated suicide attempts (hazard ratio = 6.52, 95% CI = 4.46–9.53). Subgroup analyses of men, women, adolescents and young adults demonstrated the same trend. Methylphenidate or atomoxetine treatment did not increase the risk of suicide attempt or repeated suicide attempts. Long-term methylphenidate treatment was associated with a significantly decreased risk of repeated suicide attempts in men (hazard ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.97).
ADHD was a risk factor for suicide attempt and a stronger predictor of repeated suicide attempts, independent of comorbidities. Further investigation is warranted to explore the mechanism underlying the association between ADHD and suicidal behaviours.
Dementia screening is a public health priority in Taiwan, where the prevalence of dementia is increasing because of an aging population. However, the reasons affect community-dwelling people to accept a referral to memory specialist clinic after dementia screening was still unclear. To investigate the feasibility, acceptability, sensitivity, and specificity of the ascertain dementia 8-item informant questionnaire (AD8) to screen for patients with cognitive impairments in Taiwan's primary healthcare system.
Researchers invited community-dwelling people whose age was above 50-year-old to attend the Memory Screening Project. AD8 was used to perform the informant interview with adult patients who were attending the Memory Screening Project in Taiwan. Individuals who scored ≥2 on the AD8 was suggested to accept referral for further cognitive performance evaluation tests, which included three validated dementia tests, i.e. the Mini-Mental Screening Examination (MMSE), the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR).
Of the 102 participants who scored ≥2 on the AD8, only 25.5% attended the referral appointment. In participants who had achieved six or more years of education, AD8 scores were not significantly different between groups and could not differentiate between the non-dementia and patients with dementia in the receiver-operator characteristics curve analysis. In contrast, in those participants who had received less than six years of education, the AD8 scores significantly differentiated between non-dementia and patients with dementia (p = 0.03).
There was a low rate of attendance at a specialist memory clinic following referral after the AD8 interview. Higher levels of education facilitated individuals to make a decision to accept the recommended referral appointment, while the AD8 showed a higher rate of differentiation between individuals who had received an education of less than six years.
Isolation of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) from patients in the community has been increasingly observed. A prediction model for MDR-GNB colonization and infection risk stratification on hospital admission is needed to improve patient care.
A 2-stage, prospective study was performed with 995 and 998 emergency department patients enrolled, respectively. MDR-GNB colonization was defined as isolates resistant to 3 or more classes of antibiotics, identified in either the surveillance or early (≤48 hours) clinical cultures.
A score-assigned MDR-GNB colonization prediction model was developed and validated using clinical and microbiological data from 995 patients enrolled in the first stage of the study; 122 of these patients (12.3%) were MDR-GNB colonized. We identified 5 independent predictors: age>70 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.84 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06–3.17]; 1 point), assigned point value in the model), residence in a long-term-care facility (OR, 3.64 [95% CI, 1.57–8.43); 3 points), history of cerebrovascular accidents (OR, 2.23 [95% CI, 1.24–4.01]; 2 points), hospitalization within 1 month (OR, 2.63 [95% CI, 1.39–4.96]; 2 points), and recent antibiotic exposure (OR, 2.18 [95% CI, 1.16–4.11]; 2 points). The model displayed good discrimination in the derivation and validation sets (area under ROC curve, 0.75 and 0.80, respectively) with the best cutoffs of<4 and ≥4 points for low- and high-risk MDR-GNB colonization, respectively. When applied to 998 patients in the second stage of the study, the model successfully stratified the risk of MDR-GNB infection during hospitalization between low- and high-risk groups (probability, 0.02 vs 0.12, respectively; log-rank test, P<.001).
A model was developed to optimize both the decision to initiate antimicrobial therapy and the infection control interventions to mitigate threats from MDR-GNB.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 8-week green tea extract (GTE) supplementation on promoting postexercise muscle glycogen resynthesis and systemic energy substrate utilisation in young college students. A total of eight healthy male participants (age: 22·0 (se 1·0) years, BMI: 24·2 (se 0·7) kg/m2, VO2max: 43·2 (se 2·4) ml/kg per min) participated in this study. GTE (500 mg/d for 8 weeks) was compared with placebo in participants in a double-blind/placebo-controlled and crossover study design with an 8-week washout period. Thereafter, all participants performed a 60-min cycling exercise (75 % VO2max) and consumed a carbohydrate-enriched meal immediately after exercise. Vastus lateralis muscle samples were collected immediately (0 h) and 3 h after exercise, and blood and gaseous samples were collected during the 3-h postexercise recovery period. An 8-week oral GTE supplementation had no effects on further promoting muscle glycogen resynthesis in exercised human skeletal muscle, but the exercise-induced muscle GLUT type 4 (GLUT4) protein content was greater in the GTE supplementation trial (P<0·05). We observed that, during the postexercise recovery period, GTE supplementation elicited an increase in energy reliance on fat oxidation compared with the placebo trial (P<0·05), although there were no differences in blood glucose and insulin responses between the two trials. In summary, 8-week oral GTE supplementation increases postexercise systemic fat oxidation and exercise-induced muscle GLUT4 protein content in response to an acute bout of endurance exercise. However, GTE supplementation has no further benefit on promoting muscle glycogen resynthesis during the postexercise period.
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.