Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 391

Search results for: Ching-Yuan Huang

181 Childhood Respiratory Diseases Related to Indoor and Outdoor Air Temperature in Shanghai, China

Authors: Chanjuan Sun, Shijie Hong, Jialing Zhang, Yuchao Guo, Zhijun Zou, Chen Huang


Background: Studies on associations between air temperature and childhood respiratory diseases are lack in China. Objectives: We aim to analyze the relationship between air temperature and childhood respiratory diseases. Methods: We conducted the on-site inspection into 454 residences and questionnaires survey. Indoor air temperature were from field inspection and outdoor air temperature were from website. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the associations. Results: Indoor extreme hot air temperature was positively correlated with duration of a common cold (>=2 weeks), and outdoor extreme hot air temperature was also positively related with pneumonia among children. Indoor and outdoor extreme cold air temperature was a risk factor for rhinitis among children. The biggest indoor air temperature difference (indoor maximum air temperature minus indoor minimum air temperature) (Imax minus Imin) (the 4th quartile, >4 oC) and outdoor air temperature difference (outdoor maximum air temperature minus outdoor minimum air temperature) (Omax minus Omin) (the 4th quartile, >8oC) were positively related to pneumonia among children. Meanwhile, indoor air temperature difference (Imax minus Imin) (the 4th quartile, >4 oC) was positively correlated with diagnosed asthma among children. Air temperature difference between indoor and outdoor was negatively related with the most childhood respiratory diseases. This may be partly related to the avoidance behavior. Conclusions: Improper air temperature may affect the respiratory diseases among children.


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180 A New Family of Integration Methods for Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis

Authors: Shuenn-Yih Chang, Chiu-Li Huang, Ngoc-Cuong Tran


A new family of structure-dependent integration methods, whose coefficients of the difference equation for displacement increment are functions of the initial structural properties and the step size for time integration, is proposed in this work. This family method can simultaneously integrate the controllable numerical dissipation, explicit formulation and unconditional stability together. In general, its numerical dissipation can be continuously controlled by a parameter and it is possible to achieve zero damping. In addition, it can have high-frequency damping to suppress or even remove the spurious oscillations high frequency modes. Whereas, the low frequency modes can be very accurately integrated due to the almost zero damping for these low frequency modes. It is shown herein that the proposed family method can have exactly the same numerical properties as those of HHT-α method for linear elastic systems. In addition, it still preserves the most important property of a structure-dependent integration method, which is an explicit formulation for each time step. Consequently, it can save a huge computational efforts in solving inertial problems when compared to the HHT-α method. In fact, it is revealed by numerical experiments that the CPU time consumed by the proposed family method is only about 1.6% of that consumed by the HHT-α method for the 125-DOF system while it reduces to be 0.16% for the 1000-DOF system. Apparently, the saving of computational efforts is very significant.

Keywords: Accuracy, nonlinear dynamic analysis, structure-dependent integration method, unconditional stability, numerical dissipation

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179 Surface Pressure Distributions for a Forebody Using Pressure Sensitive Paint

Authors: Yi-Xuan Huang, Kung-Ming Chung, Ping-Han Chung


Pressure sensitive paint (PSP), which relies on the oxygen quenching of a luminescent molecule, is an optical technique used in wind-tunnel models. A full-field pressure pattern with low aerodynamic interference can be obtained, and it is becoming an alternative to pressure measurements using pressure taps. In this study, a polymer-ceramic PSP was used, using toluene as a solvent. The porous particle and polymer were silica gel (SiO₂) and RTV-118 (3g:7g), respectively. The compound was sprayed onto the model surface using a spray gun. The absorption and emission spectra for Ru(dpp) as a luminophore were respectively 441-467 nm and 597 nm. A Revox SLG-55 light source with a short-pass filter (550 nm) and a 14-bit CCD camera with a long-pass (600 nm) filter were used to illuminate PSP and to capture images. This study determines surface pressure patterns for a forebody of an AGARD B model in a compressible flow. Since there is no experimental data for surface pressure distributions available, numerical simulation is conducted using ANSYS Fluent. The lift and drag coefficients are calculated and in comparison with the data in the open literature. The experiments were conducted using a transonic wind tunnel at the Aerospace Science and Research Center, National Cheng Kung University. The freestream Mach numbers were 0.83, and the angle of attack ranged from -4 to 8 degree. Deviation between PSP and numerical simulation is within 5%. However, the effect of the setup of the light source should be taken into account to address the relative error.

Keywords: surface pressure, compressible flow, pressure sensitive paint, forebody

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178 Effect of Far Infrared and Endothelial Cell Growth Supplement on Human Umbilical Vascular Endothelial Cells

Authors: Jui-Ting Hsu, Ming-Tzu Tsai, Chia-Chieh Lin, Feng-Tsai Chiang, Cheng-Chin Huang


Far infrared (FIR), an invisible and short electromagnetic waves ranges from 6-14 μm also defines as the “growth ray.” Although the mechanism of FIR is still unknown, most data have suggested that FIR could accelerate the skin microcirculation by elevating the blood flow and nitric-oxide (NO) synthesis. In this present work, the effect of FIR irradiation and endothelial cell growth supplement (ECGS) on human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) was evaluated. To understand whether the cell viability and NO production of HUVECs affected by NO, cells with/without ECGS were treated in the presence or absence of L-NAME, an eNOS inhibitor. For FIR exposure, FIR-emitted ceramic powders consisted of a variety of well-mixed metal oxides were developed. The results showed that L-NAME did had a strong effect on the inhibition of NO production, especially in the ECGS-treated group. However, the cell viability of each group was rarely affected in the presence of L-NAME. Cells with the incubation of ECGS showed much higher cell viability compared to the control. Moreover, NO production of HUVECs exposed to FIR irradiation was significantly inhibited in the presence of L-NAME. It suggested that NO could play a role modulating the downstream signals of HUVECs during FIR exposure.

Keywords: nitric oxide (NO), far-infrared irradiation (FIR), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), endothelial cell growth supplement (ECGS)

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177 A Corpus-Based Analysis on Code-Mixing Features in Mandarin-English Bilingual Children in Singapore

Authors: Xunan Huang, Caicai Zhang


This paper investigated the code-mixing features in Mandarin-English bilingual children in Singapore. First, it examined whether the code-mixing rate was different in Mandarin Chinese and English contexts. Second, it explored the syntactic categories of code-mixing in Singapore bilingual children. Moreover, this study investigated whether morphological information was preserved when inserting syntactic components into the matrix language. Data are derived from the Singapore Bilingual Corpus, in which the recordings and transcriptions of sixty English-Mandarin 5-to-6-year-old children were preserved for analysis. Results indicated that the rate of code-mixing was asymmetrical in the two language contexts, with the rate being significantly higher in the Mandarin context than that in the English context. The asymmetry is related to language dominance in that children are more likely to code-mix when using their nondominant language. Concerning the syntactic categories of code-mixing words in the Singaporean bilingual children, we found that noun-mixing, verb-mixing, and adjective-mixing are the three most frequently used categories in code-mixing in the Mandarin context. This pattern mirrors the syntactic categories of code-mixing in the Cantonese context in Cantonese-English bilingual children, and the general trend observed in lexical borrowing. Third, our results also indicated that English vocabularies that carry morphological information are embedded in bare forms in the Mandarin context. These findings shed light upon how bilingual children take advantage of the two languages in mixed utterances in a bilingual environment.

Keywords: English, code-mixing, Mandarin Chinese, bilingual children

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176 Valuation of Cultural Heritage: A Hedonic Pricing Analysis of Housing via GIS-based Data

Authors: Yun-Yao Chi, Dai-Ling Li, Jung-Fa Cheng, Min-Lang Huang


The hedonic pricing model has been popularly applied to describe the economic value of environmental amenities in urban housing, but the results for cultural heritage variables remain relatively ambiguous. In this paper, integrated variables extending by GIS-based data and an existing typology of communities used to examine how cultural heritage and environmental amenities and disamenities affect housing prices across urban communities in Tainan, Taiwan. The developed models suggest that, although a sophisticated variable for central services is selected, the centrality of location is not fully controlled in the price models and thus picked up by correlated peripheral and central amenities such as cultural heritage, open space or parks. Analysis of these correlations permits us to qualify results and present a revised set of relatively reliable estimates. Positive effects on housing prices are identified for views, various types of recreational infrastructure and vicinity of nationally cultural sites and significant landscapes. Negative effects are found for several disamenities including wasteyards, refuse incinerators, petrol stations and industries. The results suggest that systematic hypothesis testing and reporting of correlations may contribute to consistent explanatory patterns in hedonic pricing estimates for cultural heritage and landscape amenities in urban.

Keywords: Housing, Cultural Heritage, hedonic pricing model, landscape amenities

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175 To Investigate Quality of Life in Elderly Persons with Dementia Residing in Assisting Living Facility

Authors: Ya-Chuan Hsu, Wen-Chen Ouyang, Wei-Siang Huang


Problem/Background: With constantly increasing aged populations, quality of life (QOL) in persons with dementia has become a significant research concern. The Alzheimer’s Related Quality of Life (ADRQL) is a high-validated, theory-derived, and multidimensional instrument. It has widely utilized in many countries, except in Taiwan. However, diverse results of quality of life from different countries by using the same measurement can provide the potential to help understand the impact of cultural contributor on QOL. Objective: To investigate the extent to which quality of life on older adults with dementia in Taiwan. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive study conducted in an assisting living facility affiliated with a daycare center in southern Taiwan. A purposeful sample of 34 participants was recruited. Inclusion criteria included those who were at least 65 years old, able to communicate, and diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia. The QOL was measured by Chinese version ADRQL. This observational instrument consists of 30 items that is divided into five subscales with the full range of each subscale scores from 0 to 100.0. Higher scores indicate better QOL. Results: The means for subscale of the Social Interaction, Awareness of Self, Feelings and Mood, Enjoyment of Activities, and Response to Surroundings were 87.9, 74.7, 91.3, 64.5, and 90.3, respectively. The overall mean for the ADQOL was 0.83. Conclusion: Findings suggest that the level of Enjoyment of Activities is the lowest and may convey information about a need of evaluation on arrangement of facility’s activities.

Keywords: Dementia, Quality of Life, elders, Alzheimer’s related quality of life

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174 Multi-Level Air Quality Classification in China Using Information Gain and Support Vector Machine

Authors: Pei-Chann Chang, Bingchun Liu, Natasha Huang, Dun Li


Machine Learning and Data Mining are the two important tools for extracting useful information and knowledge from large datasets. In machine learning, classification is a wildly used technique to predict qualitative variables and is generally preferred over regression from an operational point of view. Due to the enormous increase in air pollution in various countries especially China, Air Quality Classification has become one of the most important topics in air quality research and modelling. This study aims at introducing a hybrid classification model based on information theory and Support Vector Machine (SVM) using the air quality data of four cities in China namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin from Jan 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has classified the daily air quality into 6 levels namely Serious Pollution, Severe Pollution, Moderate Pollution, Light Pollution, Good and Excellent based on their respective Air Quality Index (AQI) values. Using the information theory, information gain (IG) is calculated and feature selection is done for both categorical features and continuous numeric features. Then SVM Machine Learning algorithm is implemented on the selected features with cross-validation. The final evaluation reveals that the IG and SVM hybrid model performs better than SVM (alone), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and K-Nearest Neighbours (KNN) models in terms of accuracy as well as complexity.

Keywords: Machine Learning, support vector machine, cross-validation, air quality index, information gain, air quality classification

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173 Flame Volume Prediction and Validation for Lean Blowout of Gas Turbine Combustor

Authors: Ejaz Ahmed, Huang Yong


The operation of aero engines has a critical importance in the vicinity of lean blowout (LBO) limits. Lefebvre’s model of LBO based on empirical correlation has been extended to flame volume concept by the authors. The flame volume takes into account the effects of geometric configuration, the complex spatial interaction of mixing, turbulence, heat transfer and combustion processes inside the gas turbine combustion chamber. For these reasons, flame volume based LBO predictions are more accurate. Although LBO prediction accuracy has improved, it poses a challenge associated with Vf estimation in real gas turbine combustors. This work extends the approach of flame volume prediction previously based on fuel iterative approximation with cold flow simulations to reactive flow simulations. Flame volume for 11 combustor configurations has been simulated and validated against experimental data. To make prediction methodology robust as required in the preliminary design stage, reactive flow simulations were carried out with the combination of probability density function (PDF) and discrete phase model (DPM) in FLUENT 15.0. The criterion for flame identification was defined. Two important parameters i.e. critical injection diameter (Dp,crit) and critical temperature (Tcrit) were identified, and their influence on reactive flow simulation was studied for Vf estimation. Obtained results exhibit ±15% error in Vf estimation with experimental data.

Keywords: Combustion, CFD, gas turbine combustor, lean blowout

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172 TCTN2 Maintains the Transition Zone Stability and Controls the Entrance of the Ciliary Membrane Protein into Primary Cilia

Authors: Rueyhung Weng, Chia-En Huang, Jung-Chi-Liao


The transition zone (TZ) serves as a diffusion barrier to regulate the ins and outs of the proteins recruited to the primary cilia. TCTN2 is one of the TZ proteins and its mutation causes Joubert syndrome, a serious multi-organ disease. Despite its important medical relevance, the functions of TCTN2 remain elusive. Here we created a TCTN2 gene deleted retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE1) using CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing technique and used this knockout line to reveal roles of TCTN2. TCTN2 knockout RPE1 cells displayed a significantly reduced ciliogenesis or a shortened primary cilium length in the cilium-remaining population. Intraflagellar transport protein IFT88 aberrantly accumulated at the tip of TCTN2 deficient cells. Guanine nucleotide exchange factor Arl13B was mostly absent from the ciliary compartment, with a small population localizing at the ciliary tip. The deficient TZ was corroborated with the mislocalization of two other TZ proteins TMEM67 and MKS1. In addition, TCTN2 deficiency induced TZ impairment led to the suppression of Sonic hedgehog signaling in response to Smoothened (Smo) agonist. Together, depletion of TCTN2 destabilizes other TZ proteins and considerably alters the localization of key transport and signaling-associated proteins, including IFT88, Arl13B, and Smo.

Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9, primary cilia, Sonic hedgehog signaling, transition zone

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171 Effect of Experience on Evacuation of Mice in Emergency Conditions

Authors: Gang Xu, Shouxiang Lu, Xuelin Zhang, Teng Zhang, Shenshi Huang


With the acceleration of urbanization and the increasing of the population in the city, the evacuation of pedestrians suffering from disaster environments such as fire in a room or other limited space becomes a vital issue in modern society. Mice have been used in experimental crowd evacuation in recent years for its good similarities to human in physical structure and stress reaction. In this study, the effect of experience or memory on the collective behavior of mice was explored. To help mice familiarize themselves with the design of the space and the stimulus caused by smoke, we trained them repeatedly for 2 days so that they can escape from the emergency conditions as soon as possible. The escape pattern, trajectories, walking speed, turning angle and mean individual escape time of mice in each training trail were analyzed. We found that mice can build memory quickly after the first trial on the first day. On the second day, the evacuation of mice was maintained in a stable and efficient state. Meanwhile, the group with size of 30 (G30) had a shorter mean individual escape time compared with G12. Furthermore, we tested the experience of evacuation skill of mice after several days. The results showed that the mice can hold the experience or memory over 3 weeks. We proposed the importance of experience of evacuation skill and the research of training methods in experimental evacuation of mice. The results can deepen our understanding of collective behavior of mice and conduce to the establishment of animal models in the study of pedestrian crowd dynamics in emergency conditions.

Keywords: Experience, Behavior, mice, Evacuation, group size

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170 The Effects of Mirror Therapy on Clinical Improvement in Hemiplegic Lower Extremity Rehabilitation in Subjects with Chronic Stroke

Authors: Hassan Abo-Salem, Huang Xiaolin


Background and Purpose: The effectiveness of mirror therapy (MT) has been investigated in acute hemiplegia. The present study examines whether MT, given during chronic stroke, was more effective in promoting motor recovery of the lower extremity and walking speed than standard rehabilitation alone. Methods: The study enrolled 30 patients with chronic stroke. Fifteen patients each were assigned to the treatment group and the control group. All patients received a conventional rehabilitation program for a 4-week period. In addition to this rehabilitation program, patients in the treatment group received mirror therapy for 4 weeks, 5 days a week. Main measures: Passive ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion, gait speed, Brunnstrom stages of motor recovery, plantarflexor muscle tone by Modified Ashworth Scale. Results: Results: No significant difference was found in the outcome measures among groups before treatment. When compared with standard rehabilitation, mirror therapy improved Ankle ROM, Brunnstrom stages and waking speed (p < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences between two groups on MAS (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Mirror therapy combined with a conventional stroke rehabilitation program enhances lower-extremity motor recovery and walking speed in chronic stroke patients.

Keywords: Stroke, MAS, mirror therapy, walking speed

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169 Estimation of Normalized Glandular Doses Using a Three-Layer Mammographic Phantom

Authors: Fang-Yi Lin, Jay Wu, Kuan-Jen Lai, Shang-Rong Huang, Yun-Zheng Zeng, Po-Chieh Hsu


The normalized glandular dose (DgN) estimates the energy deposition of mammography in clinical practice. The Monte Carlo simulations frequently use uniformly mixed phantom for calculating the conversion factor. However, breast tissues are not uniformly distributed, leading to errors of conversion factor estimation. This study constructed a three-layer phantom to estimated more accurate of normalized glandular dose. In this study, MCNP code (Monte Carlo N-Particles code) was used to create the geometric structure. We simulated three types of target/filter combinations (Mo/Mo, Mo/Rh, Rh/Rh), six voltages (25 ~ 35 kVp), six HVL parameters and nine breast phantom thicknesses (2 ~ 10 cm) for the three-layer mammographic phantom. The conversion factor for 25%, 50% and 75% glandularity was calculated. The error of conversion factors compared with the results of the American College of Radiology (ACR) was within 6%. For Rh/Rh, the difference was within 9%. The difference between the 50% average glandularity and the uniform phantom was 7.1% ~ -6.7% for the Mo/Mo combination, voltage of 27 kVp, half value layer of 0.34 mmAl, and breast thickness of 4 cm. According to the simulation results, the regression analysis found that the three-layer mammographic phantom at 0% ~ 100% glandularity can be used to accurately calculate the conversion factors. The difference in glandular tissue distribution leads to errors of conversion factor calculation. The three-layer mammographic phantom can provide accurate estimates of glandular dose in clinical practice.

Keywords: Mammography, Monte Carlo Simulation, glandularity, normalized glandular dose

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168 Adsorption Mechanism of Heavy Metals and Organic Pesticide on Industrial Construction and Demolition Waste and Its Runoff Behaviors

Authors: Xin Zhao, Tao Zhou, Sheng Huang, Xiaofeng Gao, Shijin Dai, Youcai Zhao


Adsorption of heavy metal pollutants (Zn, Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu) and organic pesticide (phorate, dithiophosphate diethyl, triethyl phosphorothioate), along with their multi-contamination on the surface of industrial construction & demolition waste (C&D waste) was investigated. Brick powder was selected as the appropriate waste while its maximum equilibrium adsorption amount of heavy metal under single controlled contamination matrix reached 5.41, 0.81, 0.45, 1.13 and 0.97 mg/g, respectively. Effects of pH and spiking dose of ICDW was also investigated. Equilibrium adsorption amount of organic pesticide varied from 0.02 to 0.97 mg/g, which was negatively correlated to the size distribution and hydrophilism. Existence of organic pesticide on surface of ICDW caused various effects on the heavy metal adsorption, mainly due to combination of metal ions and the floccule formation along with wrapping behaviors by pesticide pollutants. Adsorption of Zn was sharply decreased from 7.1 to 0.15 mg/g compared with clean ICDW and phorate contaminated ICDW, while that of Pb, Cr and Cd experienced an increase- then decrease procedure. On the other hand, runoff of pesticide contaminants was investigated under 25 mm/h simulated rainfall. Results showed that the cumulative runoff amount fitted well with curve obtained from a power function, of which r2=0.95 and 0.91 for 1DAA (1 day between contamination and runoff) and 7DAA, respectively. This study helps provide evaluation of industrial construction and demolition waste contamination into aquatic systems.

Keywords: Metals, Pesticide, runoff, adsorption mechanism, industrial construction waste

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167 A Study of the Effects of Nurse Innovation on Service Quality and Service Experience

Authors: Rhay-Hung Weng, Ching-Yuan Huang, Wan-Ping Chen


Recently, many hospitals have put much emphasis upon the development of nurse innovation. The present study aimed to clarify how nurse innovation is related to medical service quality and medical service experience. This study adopted questionnaire-survey method with nurses and customers of the inpatient wards from three Taiwanese hospitals as the research subjects. After pairing, there were 294 valid questionnaires. Hierarchical regression analysis was utilized to test the possible impact of nurse innovation on medical service quality and experience. In terms of the dimensions of nurse innovation, “innovation behavior” ranked the highest (3.24), followed by knowledge creation and innovation diffusion; in terms of the degree of the medical service quality, 'reliability' ranked the highest (4.35). As for the degree of the medical service experience, 'feel experience' ranked the highest (4.44). All dimensions of nurse innovation have no significant effects on medical service quality and medical service experience. Of these three dimensions of nurse innovation, the level of innovation behavior was perceived by the nurses as the highest. The study found that nurse innovation has no significant effects on medical service quality and medical service experience. Managers shall provide sufficient resources and budget for fostering innovation development and encourage their nurses to develop nursing innovation for patents. The education and training courses on “patient-centered ” shall be enhanced among hospital nurses. Health care managers shall also explore the difficulties about innovation diffusion and find the solutions for nurses.

Keywords: Innovation, Service Experience, Service Quality, employee innovative behavior

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166 A Learning Effects Research Applied a Mobile Guide System with Augmented Reality for Education Center

Authors: Y. H. Huang, Y. L. Chang


This study designed a mobile guide system that integrates the design principles of guidance and interpretation with augmented reality (AR) as an auxiliary tool for National Taiwan Science Education Center guidance and explored the learning performance of participants who were divided into two visiting groups: AR-guided mode and non-guided mode (without carrying any auxiliary devices). The study included 96 college students as participants and employed a quasi-experimental research design. This study evaluated the learning performance of education center students aided with different guided modes, including their flow experience, activity involvement, learning effects, as well as their attitude and acceptance of using the guide systems. The results showed that (a) the AR guide promoted visitors’ flow experience; (b) the AR-guidance activity involvement and flow experience having a significant positive effect; (c) most of the visitors of mobile guide system with AR elicited a positive response and acceptance attitude. These results confirm the necessity of human–computer–context interaction. Future research can continue exploring the advantages of enhanced learning effectiveness, activity involvement, and flow experience through application of the results of this study.

Keywords: Augmented Reality, Informal learning, flow experience, mobile guide system, activity involvement

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165 Administration of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 Improves Animal Behavior and Monoamine Neurotransmission in Germ-Free Mice

Authors: Liu Wei-Hsien, Chuang Hsiao-Li, Huang Yen-Te, Wu Chien-Chen, Chou Geng-Ting, Tsai Ying-Chieh


Intestinal microflora play an important role in communication along the gut-brain axis. Probiotics, defined as live bacteria or bacterial products, confer a significant health benefit to the host. Here we administered Lactobacillus plantarum PS128 (PS128) to the germ-free (GF) mouse to investigate the impact of the gut-brain axis on emotional behavior. Administration of live PS128 significantly increased the total distance traveled in the open field test; it decreased the time spent in the closed arm and increased the time spent and total entries into the open arm in the elevated plus maze. In contrast, heat-killed PS128 caused no significant changes in the GF mice. Treatment with live PS128 significantly increased levels of both serotonin and dopamine in the striatum, but not in the prefrontal cortex or hippocampus. However, live PS128 did not alter pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokine production by mitogen-stimulated splenocytes. The above data indicate that the normalization of emotional behavior correlated with monoamine neurotransmission, but not with immune activity. Our findings suggest that daily intake of the probiotic PS128 could ameliorate neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety and excessive psychological stress.

Keywords: Serotonin, Dopamine, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, intestinal microflora

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164 NprRX Regulation on Surface Spreading Motility in Bacillus cereus

Authors: Yi-Huang Hsueh, Yan-Shiang Chiou


Bacillus cereus is a foodborne pathogen that causes two types of foodborne illness, the emetic and diarrheal syndromes. B. cereus consistently ranks among the top three among bacterial foodborne outbreaks in the ten years of 2001 to 2010 in Taiwan. Foodborne outbreak caused by B. cereus has been increased, and recently it ranks second foodborne pathogen after Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This pathogen is difficult to control due to its ubiquitousness in the environment, the psychrotrophic nature of many strains, and the heat resistance of their spores. Because complete elimination of biofilms is difficult, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of biofilm formation by B. cereus will help to develop better strategies to control this pathogen. Surface translocation can be an important factor in biofilm formation. In B. cereus, NprR is a quorum sensor, and its apo NprR is a dimer and changes to a tetramer in the presence of NprX. The small peptide NprX may induce conformational change allowing the apo dimer to switch to an active tetramer specifically recognizing target DNA sequences. Our result showed that mutation of nprRX causes surface spreading deficiency. Mutation of flagella, pili and surfactant genes (flgAB, bcpAB, krsABC), did not abolish spreading motility. Under nprRX mutant, mutation of spo0A restored the spreading deficiency. This suggests that spreading motility is not related surfactant, pili and flagella but other unknown mechanism and Spo0A, a sporulation initiation protein, inhibits spreading motility.

Keywords: bacillus cereus, nprRX, spo0A, spreading motility

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163 Development of Fault Diagnosis Technology for Power System Based on Smart Meter

Authors: Chih-Chieh Yang, Chung-Neng Huang


In power system, how to improve the fault diagnosis technology of transmission line has always been the primary goal of power grid operators. In recent years, due to the rise of green energy, the addition of all kinds of distributed power also has an impact on the stability of the power system. Because the smart meters are with the function of data recording and bidirectional transmission, the adaptive Fuzzy Neural inference system, ANFIS, as well as the artificial intelligence that has the characteristics of learning and estimation in artificial intelligence. For transmission network, in order to avoid misjudgment of the fault type and location due to the input of these unstable power sources, combined with the above advantages of smart meter and ANFIS, a method for identifying fault types and location of faults is proposed in this study. In ANFIS training, the bus voltage and current information collected by smart meters can be trained through the ANFIS tool in MATLAB to generate fault codes to identify different types of faults and the location of faults. In addition, due to the uncertainty of distributed generation, a wind power system is added to the transmission network to verify the diagnosis correctness of the study. Simulation results show that the method proposed in this study can correctly identify the fault type and location of fault with more efficiency, and can deal with the interference caused by the addition of unstable power sources.

Keywords: Power System, Fault diagnosis, Smart Meter, ANFIS

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162 Using Atomic Force Microscope to Investigate the Influence of UVA Radiation and HA on Cell Behaviour and Elasticity of Dermal Fibroblasts

Authors: Pei-Hsiu Chiang, Ling Hong Huang, Hsin-I Chang


In this research, we used UVA irradiation, which can penetrate into dermis and fibroblasts, the most abundant cells in dermis, to investigate the effect of UV light on dermis, such as inflammation, ECM degradation and elasticity loss. Moreover, this research is focused on the influence of hyaluronic acid (HA) on UVA treated dermal fibroblasts. We aim to establish whether HA can effectively relief ECM degradation, and restore the elasticity of UVA-damaged fibroblasts. Prolonged exposure to UVA radiation can damage fibroblasts and led variation in cell morphology and reduction in cell viability. Besides, UVA radiation can induce IL-1β expression on fibroblasts and then promote MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression, which can accelerate ECM degradation. On the other hand, prolonged exposure to UVA radiation reduced collagen and elastin synthesis on fibroblasts. Due to the acceleration of ECM degradation and the reduction of ECM synthesis, Atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to analyze the elasticity reduction on UVA-damaged fibroblasts. UVA irradiation causes photoaging on fibroblasts. UVA damaged fibroblasts with HA treatment can down-regulate the gene expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and then slow down ECM degradation. On the other hand, HA may restore elastin and collagen synthesis in UV-damaged fibroblasts. Based on the slowdown of ECM degradation, UVA-damaged fibroblast elasticity can be effectively restored by HA treatment. In summary, HA can relief the photoaging conditions on fibroblasts, but may not be able to return fibroblasts to normal, healthy state. Although HA cannot fully recover UVA-damaged fibroblasts, HA is still potential for repairing photoaging skin.

Keywords: atomic force microscope, hyaluronic acid, UVA radiation, dermal fibroblasts

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161 Drug-Drug Plasma Protein Binding Interactions of Ivacaftor

Authors: Elena K. Schneider, Johnny X. Huang, Vincenzo Carbone, Mark Baker, Mohammad A. K. Azad, Matthew A. Cooper, Jian Li, Tony Velkov


Ivacaftor is a novel CF trans-membrane conductance regulator (CFTR) potentiator that improves the pulmonary function for cystic fibrosis patients bearing a G551D CFTR-protein mutation. Because ivacaftor is highly bound (>97%) to plasma proteins, there is the strong possibility that co-administered CF drugs that compete for the same plasma protein binding sites and impact the free drug concentration. This in turn could lead to drastic changes in the in vivo efficacy of ivacaftor and therapeutic outcomes. This study compares the binding affinity of ivacaftor and co-administered CF drugs for human serum albumin (HSA) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) using surface plasmon resonance and fluorimetric binding assays that measure the displacement of site selective probes. Due to their high plasma protein binding affinities, drug-drug interactions between ivacaftor are to be expected with ducosate, montelukast, ibuprofen, dicloxacillin, omeprazole and loratadine. The significance of these drug-drug interactions is interpreted in terms of the pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic parameters and molecular docking simulations. The translational outcomes of the data are presented as recommendations for a staggered treatment regimen for future clinical trials which aims to maximize the effective free drug concentration and clinical efficacy of ivacaftor.

Keywords: Cystic Fibrosis, human serum albumin, human α-1-acid glycoprotein, binding affinity, ivacaftor

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160 Micro/Nano-Sized Emulsions Exhibit Antifungal Activity against Cucumber Downy Mildew

Authors: Kai-Fen Tu, Jenn-Wen Huang, Yao-Tung Lin


Cucumber is a major economic crop in the world. The global production of cucumber in 2017 was more than 71 million tonnes. Nonetheless, downy mildew, caused by Pseudoperonospora cubensis, is a devastating and common disease on cucumber in around 80 countries and causes severe economic losses. The long-term usage of fungicide also leads to the occurrence of fungicide resistance and decreases host resistance. In this study, six types of oil (neem oil, moringa oil, soybean oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, and camellia oil) were selected to synthesize micro/nano-sized emulsions, and the disease control efficacy of micro/nano-sized emulsions were evaluated. Moreover, oil concentrations (0.125% - 1%) and droplet size of emulsion were studied. Results showed cinnamon-type emulsion had the best efficacy among these oils. The disease control efficacy of these emulsions increased as the oil concentration increased. Both disease incidence and disease severity were measured by detached leaf and pot experiment, respectively. For the droplet size effect, results showed that the 114 nm of droplet size synthesized by 0.25% cinnamon oil emulsion had the lowest disease incidence (6.67%) and lowest disease severity (33.33%). The release of zoospore was inhibited (5.33%), and the sporangia germination was damaged. These results suggest that cinnamon oil emulsion will be a valuable and environmentally friendly alternative to control cucumber downy mildew. The economic loss caused by plant disease could also be reduced.

Keywords: emulsion, downy mildew, oil droplet size, plant protectant

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159 Personalized Social Resource Recommender Systems on Interest-Based Social Networks

Authors: C. L. Huang, J. J. Sia


The interest-based social networks, also known as social bookmark sharing systems, are useful platforms for people to conveniently read and collect internet resources. These platforms also providing function of social networks, and users can share and explore internet resources from the social networks. Providing personalized internet resources to users is an important issue on these platforms. This study uses two types of relationship on the social networks—following and follower and proposes a collaborative recommender system, consisting of two main steps. First, this study calculates the relationship strength between the target user and the target user's followings and followers to find top-N similar neighbors. Second, from the top-N similar neighbors, the articles (internet resources) that may interest the target user are recommended to the target user. In this system, users can efficiently obtain recent, related and diverse internet resources (knowledge) from the interest-based social network. This study collected the experimental dataset from Diigo, which is a famous bookmark sharing system. The experimental results show that the proposed recommendation model is more accurate than two traditional baseline recommendation models but slightly lower than the cosine model in accuracy. However, in the metrics of the diversity and executing time, our proposed model outperforms the cosine model.

Keywords: Social Networks, Knowledge Management, tagging, Recommender systems, bookmark sharing systems, collaborative recommender systems

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158 Analysis of Accurate Direct-Estimation of the Maximum Power Point and Thermal Characteristics of High Concentration Photovoltaic Modules

Authors: Chen-Kang Huang, Joe-Air Jiang, Jen-Cheng Wang, Yan-Wen Wang, Min-Sheng Liao, Chu-Yang Chou, Hsuan-Hsiang Hsu, Cheng-Ying Chou, Kun-Chang Kuo


Performance-related parameters of high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) modules (e.g. current and voltage) are required when estimating the maximum power point using numerical and approximation methods. The maximum power point on the characteristic curve for a photovoltaic module varies when temperature or solar radiation is different. It is also difficult to estimate the output performance and maximum power point (MPP) due to the special characteristics of HCPV modules. Based on the p-n junction semiconductor theory, a brand new and simple method is presented in this study to directly evaluate the MPP of HCPV modules. The MPP of HCPV modules can be determined from an irradiated I-V characteristic curve, because there is a non-linear relationship between the temperature of a solar cell and solar radiation. Numerical simulations and field tests are conducted to examine the characteristics of HCPV modules during maximum output power tracking. The performance of the presented method is evaluated by examining the dependence of temperature and irradiation intensity on the MPP characteristics of HCPV modules. These results show that the presented method allows HCPV modules to achieve their maximum power and perform power tracking under various operation conditions. A 0.1% error is found between the estimated and the real maximum power point.

Keywords: Energy Performance, maximum power point, high concentrated photovoltaic, p-n junction semiconductor

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157 Regression Approach for Optimal Purchase of Hosts Cluster in Fixed Fund for Hadoop Big Data Platform

Authors: Xintong Wang, Haitao Yang, Jianming Lv, Fei Xu, Yilin Huang, Lanting Xia, Xuewu Zhu


Given a fixed fund, purchasing fewer hosts of higher capability or inversely more of lower capability is a must-be-made trade-off in practices for building a Hadoop big data platform. An exploratory study is presented for a Housing Big Data Platform project (HBDP), where typical big data computing is with SQL queries of aggregate, join, and space-time condition selections executed upon massive data from more than 10 million housing units. In HBDP, an empirical formula was introduced to predict the performance of host clusters potential for the intended typical big data computing, and it was shaped via a regression approach. With this empirical formula, it is easy to suggest an optimal cluster configuration. The investigation was based on a typical Hadoop computing ecosystem HDFS+Hive+Spark. A proper metric was raised to measure the performance of Hadoop clusters in HBDP, which was tested and compared with its predicted counterpart, on executing three kinds of typical SQL query tasks. Tests were conducted with respect to factors of CPU benchmark, memory size, virtual host division, and the number of element physical host in cluster. The research has been applied to practical cluster procurement for housing big data computing.

Keywords: Hadoop platform planning, optimal cluster scheme at fixed-fund, performance predicting formula, typical SQL query tasks

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156 Dehydration of Glycerol to Acrolein with Solid Acid Catalysts

Authors: Bo Wang, Lin Huang, Armando Borgna


Dehydration of glycerol to acrolein was conducted with solid acid catalysts in liquid phase in a batch reactor and in gas phase in a fix-bed reactor, respectively. In the liquid-phase reaction, ZSM-5, H3PO4-modified ZSM-5 and heteropolyacids including H3PW12O40•xH2O (HPW) and Cs2.5H0.5PW12O40 (CsPW) were studied as catalysts. High temperatures and high boiling point solvents such as sulfolane improved the selectivity to acrolein through suppressing the formation of polyglycerols and coke. Catalytic results and temperature-programmed desorption of ammonia showed that the yield of acrolein increased with increasing catalyst acidity within the range of weak acid strength. Weak acid sites favored the selectivity to acrolein whereas strong acid sites promoted the formation of coke. ZSM-5 possessing only acid sites led to a high acrolein yield, while heteropolyacid catalysts with strong acid sites produced a low acrolein yield. In the gas-phase reaction, HPW and CsPW supported on metal oxides such as SiO2, γ-Al2O3, SiO2-Al2O3, ZrO2 and silicate TUD-1 were studied as catalysts. HPW/TUD-1 was most active for the production of acrolein, followed by HPW/SiO2. An acrolein yield of 61 % was obtained over HPW/TUD-1. X-ray diffraction study suggested that HPW and CsPW were stable and more dispersed on SiO2, silicate TUD-1 and SiO2-Al2O3. It was found that the structures of HPW and CsPW were destroyed by interaction with γ-Al2O3 and ZrO2. Compared to CsPW/TUD-1, the higher acrolein yield with HPW/TUD-1 may be attributed to more Brønsted acid sites on HPW/TUD-1, based on preliminary pyridine adsorption IR study.

Keywords: glycerol, dehydration, acrolein, solid acid catalysts, gas-phase, liquid-phase

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155 Alleviation of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Mosquito Cells to Survive Dengue 2 Virus Infection

Authors: Jiun-Nan Hou, Tien-Huang Chen, Wei-June Chen


Dengue viruses (DENVs) are naturally transmitted between humans by mosquito vectors. Mosquito cells usually survive DENV infection, allowing infected mosquitoes to retain an active status for virus transmission. In this study, we found that DENV2 virus infection in mosquito cells causes the unfolded protein response (UPR) that activates the protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) signal pathway, leading to shutdown of global protein translation in infected cells which was apparently regulated by the PERK signal pathway. According to observation in this study, the PERK signal pathway in DENV2-infected C6/36 cells alleviates ER stress, and reduces initiator and effector caspases, as well as the apoptosis rate via shutdown of cellular proteins. In fact, phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2ɑ (eIF2ɑ) by the PERK signal pathway may impair recruitment of ribosomes that bind to the mRNA 5’-cap structure, resulting in an inhibitory effect on canonical cap-dependent cellular protein translation. The resultant pro-survival “byproduct” of infected mosquito cells is undoubtedly advantageous for viral replication. This finding provides insights into elucidating the PERK-mediated modulating web that is actively involved in dynamic protein synthesis, cell survival, and viral replication in mosquito cells.

Keywords: dengue virus, cap-dependent protein translation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mosquito cells, PERK signal pathway

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154 Inhibitory Effect of Lactic Acid Bacteria on Uropathogenic Escherichia coli-Induced Urinary Tract Infections

Authors: Cheng-Chih Tsai, Yu-Hsuan Liu, Cheng-Ying Ho, Chun-Chin Huang


The aim of this study evaluated the in vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity of selected lactic acid bacteria (LAB) against Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) for prevention and amelioration of UTIs. We screened LAB strains with antimicrobial effects on UPEC using a well-diffusion assay, bacterial adherence to the uroepithelium cell line SV-HUC-1 (BCRC 60358), and a coculture inhibition assay. The results showed that the 7 LAB strains (Lactobacillus paracasei, L. salivarius, two Pediococcus pentosaceus strains, two L. plantarum strains, and L. crispatus) and the fermented probiotic products produced by these multi-LAB strains exhibited potent zones of inhibition against UPEC. Moreover, the LAB strains and probiotic products adhered strongly to the uroepithelium SV-HUC-1 cell line. The growth of UPEC strains was also markedly inhibited after co-culture with the LAB strains and probiotic products in human urine. In addition, the enhanced levels of IL-6, IL-8 and lactic acid dehydrogenase were significantly decreased by treatments with the LAB strains and probiotic products in UPEC-induced SV-HUC-1 cells. Furthermore, oral administration of probiotic products reduced the number of viable UPEC in the urine of UPEC-challenged BALB/c mice. Taken together, this study demonstrates that probiotic supplementation may be useful as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of bacterial-induced urinary tract infections.

Keywords: Urinary tract infection, lactic acid bacterium, SV-HUC-1 uroepithelium, uropathogenic Escherichia coli, BALB/c mice

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153 The Imminent Other in Anna Deavere Smith’s Performance

Authors: Joy Shihyi Huang


This paper discusses the concept of community in Anna Deavere Smith’s performance, one that challenges and explores existing notions of justice and the other. In contrast to unwavering assumptions of essentialism that have helped to propel a discourse on moral agency within the black community, Smith employs postmodern ideas in which the theatrical attributes of doubling and repetition are conceptualized as part of what Marvin Carlson coined as a ‘memory machine.’ Her dismissal of the need for linear time, such as that regulated by Aristotle’s The Poetics and its concomitant ethics, values, and emotions as a primary ontological and epistemological construct produced by the existing African American historiography, demonstrates an urgency to produce an alternative communal self to override metanarratives in which the African Americans’ lives are contained and sublated by specific historical confines. Drawing on Emmanuel Levinas’ theories in ethics, specifically his notion of ‘proximity’ and ‘the third,’ the paper argues that Smith enacts a new model of ethics by launching an acting method that eliminates the boundary of self and other. Defying psychological realism, Smith conceptualizes an approach to acting that surpasses the mere mimetic value of invoking a ‘likeness’ of an actor to a character, which as such, resembles the mere attribution of various racial or sexual attributes in identity politics. Such acting, she contends, reduces the other to a representation of, at best, an ultimate rendering of me/my experience. She instead appreciates ‘unlikeness,’ recognizes the unavoidable actor/character gap as a power that humbles the self, whose irreversible journey to the other carves out its own image.

Keywords: Performance, other, Anna Deavere Smith, Emmanuel Levinas

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152 The Effects of Time and Cyclic Loading to the Axial Capacity for Offshore Pile in Shallow Gas

Authors: Christian H. Girsang, M. Razi B. Mansoor, Noorizal N. Huang


An offshore platform was installed in 1977 at about 260km offshore West Malaysia at the water depth of 73.6m. Twelve (12) piles were installed with four (4) are skirt piles. The piles have 1.219m outside diameter and wall thickness of 31mm and were driven to 109m below seabed. Deterministic analyses of the pile capacity under axial loading were conducted using the current API (American Petroleum Institute) method and the four (4) CPT-based methods: the ICP (Imperial College Pile)-method, the NGI (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute)-Method, the UWA (University of Western Australia)-method and the Fugro-method. A statistical analysis of the model uncertainty associated with each pile capacity method was performed. There were two (2) piles analysed: Pile 1 and piles other than Pile 1, where Pile 1 is the pile that was most affected by shallow gas problems. Using the mean estimate of soil properties, the five (5) methods used for deterministic estimation of axial pile capacity in compression predict an axial capacity from 28 to 42MN for Pile 1 and 32 to 49MN for piles other than Pile 1. These values refer to the static capacity shortly after pile installation. They do not include the effects of cyclic loading during the design storm or time after installation on the axial pile capacity. On average, the axial pile capacity is expected to have increased by about 40% because of ageing since the installation of the platform in 1977. On the other hand, the cyclic loading effects during the design storm may reduce the axial capacity of the piles by around 25%. The study concluded that all piles have sufficient safety factor when the pile aging and cyclic loading effect are considered, as all safety factors are above 2.0 for maximum operating and storm loads.

Keywords: cyclic loading, axial capacity, shallow gas, pile ageing

Procedia PDF Downloads 196