Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 841

Search results for: Yunzi Wang

61 Using the Micro Computed Tomography to Study the Corrosion Behavior of Magnesium Alloy at Different pH Values

Authors: Chia-Jung Chang, Chih-Han Chang, Sheng-Che Chen, Ming-Long Yeh, Chih-Wei Wang

Abstract:

Introduction and Motivation: In recent years, magnesium alloy is used to be a kind of medical biodegradable materials. Magnesium is an essential element in the body and is efficiently excreted by the kidneys. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of magnesium alloy is closest to human bone. However, in some cases magnesium alloy corrodes so quickly that it would release hydrogen on surface of implant. The other product is hydroxide ion, it can significantly increase the local pH value. The above situations may have adverse effects on local cell functions. On the other hand, nowadays magnesium alloy corrode too fast to maintain the function of implant until the healing of tissue. Therefore, much recent research about magnesium alloy has focused on controlling the corrosion rate. The in vitro corrosion behavior of magnesium alloys is affected by many factors, and pH value is one of factors. In this study, we will study on the influence of pH value on the corrosion behavior of magnesium alloy by the Micro-CT (micro computed tomography) and other instruments.Material and methods: In the first step, we make some guiding plates for specimens of magnesium alloy AZ91 by Rapid Prototyping. The guiding plates are able to be a standard for the degradation of specimen, so that we can use it to make sure the position of specimens in the CT image. We can also simplify the conditions of degradation by the guiding plates.In the next step, we prepare the solution with different pH value. And then we put the specimens into the solution to start the corrosion test. The CT image, surface photographs and weigh are measured on every twelve hours. Results: In the primary results of the test, we make sure that CT image can be a way to quantify the corrosion behavior of magnesium alloy. Moreover we can observe the phenomenon that corrosion always start from some erosion point. It’s possibly based on some defect like dislocations and the voids with high strain energy in the materials. We will deal with the raw data into Mass Loss (ML) and corrosion rate by CT image, surface photographs and weigh in the near future. Having a simple prediction, the pH value and degradation rate will be negatively correlated. And we want to find out the equation of the pH value and corrosion rate. We also have a simple test to simulate the change of the pH value in the local region. In this test the pH value will rise to 10 in a short time. Conclusion: As a biodegradable implant for the area with stagnating body fluid flow in the human body, magnesium alloy can cause the increase of local pH values and release the hydrogen. Those may damage the human cell. The purpose of this study is finding out the equation of the pH value and corrosion rate. After that we will try to find the ways to overcome the limitations of medical magnesium alloy.

Keywords: Corrosion, Biodegradable Materials, Magnesium Alloy, micro-CT

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60 Studying Second Language Learners' Language Behavior from Conversation Analysis Perspective

Authors: Yanyan Wang

Abstract:

This paper on second language teaching and learning uses conversation analysis (CA) approach and focuses on how second language learners of Chinese do repair when making clarification requests. In order to demonstrate their behavior in interaction, a comparison was made to study the differences between native speakers of Chinese with non-native speakers of Chinese. The significance of the research is to make second language teachers and learners aware of repair and how to seek clarification. Utilizing the methodology of CA, the research involved two sets of naturally occurring recordings, one of native speaker students and the other of non-native speaker students. Both sets of recording were telephone talks between students and teachers. There were 50 native speaker students and 50 non-native speaker students. From multiple listening to the recordings, the parts with repairs for clarification were selected for analysis which included the moments in the talk when students had problems in understanding or hearing the speaker and had to seek clarification. For example, ‘Sorry, I do not understand ‘and ‘Can you repeat the question? ‘were the parts as repair to make clarification requests. In the data, there were 43 such cases from native speaker students and 88 cases from non-native speaker students. The non-native speaker students were more likely to use repair to seek clarification. Analysis on how the students make clarification requests during their conversation was carried out by investigating how the students initiated problems and how the teachers repaired the problems. In CA term, it is called other-initiated self-repair (OISR), which refers to student-initiated teacher-repair in this research. The findings show that, in initiating repair, native speaker students pay more attention to mutual understanding (inter-subjectivity) while non-native speaker students, due to their lack of language proficiency, pay more attention to their status of knowledge (epistemic) switch. There are three major differences: 1, native Chinese students more often initiate closed-class OISR (seeking specific information in the request) such as repeating a word or phrases from the previous turn while non-native students more frequently initiate open-class OISR (not specifying clarification) such as ‘sorry, I don’t understand ‘. 2, native speakers’ clarification requests are treated by the teacher as understanding of the content while non-native learners’ clarification requests are treated by teacher as language proficiency problem. 3, native speakers don’t see repair as knowledge issue and there is no third position in the repair sequences to close repair while non-native learners take repair sequence as a time to adjust their knowledge. There is clear closing third position token such as ‘oh ‘ to close repair sequence so that the topic can go back. In conclusion, this paper uses conversation analysis approach to compare differences between native Chinese speakers and non-native Chinese learners in their ways of conducting repair when making clarification requests. The findings are useful in future Chinese language teaching and learning, especially in teaching pragmatics such as requests.

Keywords: conversation analysis (CA), clarification request, second language (L2), teaching implication

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59 Biomechanical Evaluation for Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression: Unilateral Versus Bilateral Approaches

Authors: Chih-Han Chang, Chih-Wei Wang, Yi-Hung Ho, Chih-Hsien Chen

Abstract:

Unilateral laminotomy and bilateral laminotomies were successful decompressions methods for managing spinal stenosis that numerous studies have reported. Thus, unilateral laminotomy was rated technically much more demanding than bilateral laminotomies, whereas the bilateral laminotomies were associated with a positive benefit to reduce more complications. There were including incidental durotomy, increased radicular deficit, and epidural hematoma. However, no relative biomechanical analysis for evaluating spinal instability treated with unilateral and bilateral laminotomies. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes of different decompressions methods by experimental and finite element analysis. Three porcine lumbar spines were biomechanically evaluated for their range of motion, and the results were compared following unilateral or bilateral laminotomies. The experimental protocol included flexion and extension in the following procedures: intact, unilateral, and bilateral laminotomies (L2–L5). The specimens in this study were tested in flexion (8 Nm) and extension (6 Nm) of pure moment. Spinal segment kinematic data was captured by using the motion tracking system. A 3D finite element lumbar spine model (L1-S1) containing vertebral body, discs, and ligaments were constructed. This model was used to simulate the situation of treating unilateral and bilateral laminotomies at L3-L4 and L4-L5. The bottom surface of S1 vertebral body was fully geometrically constrained in this study. A 10 Nm pure moment also applied on the top surface of L1 vertebral body to drive lumbar doing different motion, such as flexion and extension. The experimental results showed that in the flexion, the ROMs (±standard deviation) of L3–L4 were 1.35±0.23, 1.34±0.67, and 1.66±0.07 degrees of the intact, unilateral, and bilateral laminotomies, respectively. The ROMs of L4–L5 were 4.35±0.29, 4.06±0.87, and 4.2±0.32 degrees, respectively. No statistical significance was observed in these three groups (P>0.05). In the extension, the ROMs of L3–L4 were 0.89±0.16, 1.69±0.08, and 1.73±0.13 degrees, respectively. In the L4-L5, the ROMs were 1.4±0.12, 2.44±0.26, and 2.5±0.29 degrees, respectively. Significant differences were observed among all trials, except between the unilateral and bilateral laminotomy groups. At the simulation results portion, the similar results were discovered with the experiment. No significant differences were found at L4-L5 both flexion and extension in each group. Only 0.02 and 0.04 degrees variation were observed during flexion and extension between the unilateral and bilateral laminotomy groups. In conclusions, the present results by finite element analysis and experimental reveal that no significant differences were observed during flexion and extension between unilateral and bilateral laminotomies in short-term follow-up. From a biomechanical point of view, bilateral laminotomies seem to exhibit a similar stability as unilateral laminotomy. In clinical practice, the bilateral laminotomies are likely to reduce technical difficulties and prevent perioperative complications; this study proved this benefit through biomechanical analysis. The results may provide some recommendations for surgeons to make the final decision.

Keywords: Finite Element Analysis, unilateral laminotomy, bilateral laminotomies, spinal stenosis

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58 Kinematical Analysis of Tai Chi Chuan Players during Gait and Balance Test and Implication in Rehabilitation Exercise

Authors: Bijad Alqahtani, Graham Arnold, Weijie Wang

Abstract:

Background—Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a type of traditional Chinese martial art and is considered a benefiting physical fitness. Advanced techniques of motion analysis have been routinely used in the clinical assessment. However, so far, little research has been done on the biomechanical assessment of TCC players in terms of gait and balance using motion analysis. Objectives—The aim of this study was to investigate whether TCC improves the lower limb conditions and balance ability using the state of the art motion analysis technologies, i.e. motion capture system, electromyography and force platform. Methods—Twenty TCC (9 male, 11 female) with age between (42-77) years old and weight (56.2-119 Kg), and eighteen Non-TCC participants (7 male, 11 female), weight (50-110 Kg) with age (43- 78) years old at the matched age as a control group were recruited in this study. Their gait and balance were collected using Vicon Nexus® to obtain the gait parameters, and kinematic parameters of hip, knee, and ankle joints in three planes of both limbs. Participants stood on force platforms to perform a single leg balance test. Then, they were asked to walk along a 10 m walkway at their comfortable speed. Participants performed 5 trials of single-leg balance for the dominant side. Also, the participants performed 3 trials of four square step balance and 10 trials of walking. From the recorded trials, three good ones were analyzed using the Vicon Plug-in-Gait model to obtain gait parameters, e.g. walking speed, cadence, stride length, and joint parameters, e.g. joint angle, force, moments, etc. Result— The temporal-spatial variables of TCC subjects were compared with the Non-TCC subjects, it was found that there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the groups. Moreover, it was observed that participants of TCC have significant differences in ankle, hip, and knee joints’ kinematics in the sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes such as ankle angle (19.90±19.54 deg) for TCC while (15.34±6.50 deg) for Non-TCC, and knee angle (14.96±6.40 deg) for TCC while (17.63±5.79 deg) for Non-TCC in the transverse plane. Also, the result showed that there was a significant difference between groups in the single-leg balance test, e.g. maintaining single leg stance time in the TCC participants showed longer duration (20.85±10.53 s) in compared to Non-TCC people group (13.39±8.78 s). While the result showed that there was no significant difference between groups in the four square step balance. Conclusion—Our result showed that there are significant differences between Tai Chi Chuan and Non-Tai Chi Chuan participants in the various aspects of gait analysis and balance test, as a consequence of these findings some of biomechanical parameters such as joints kinematics, gait parameters and single leg stance balance test, the Tai Chi Chuan could improve the lower limb conditions and could reduce a risk of fall for the elderly with ageing.

Keywords: Kinematics, Gait Analysis, single leg stance, Tai Chi Chuan

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57 The Effect of Metal-Organic Framework Pore Size to Hydrogen Generation of Ammonia Borane via Nanoconfinement

Authors: Cheng-Yu Wang, Jing Li, Jing-Yang Chung, Chi-Wei Liao, Bor Kae Chang

Abstract:

Chemical hydride ammonia borane (AB, NH3BH3) draws attentions to hydrogen energy researches for its high theoretical gravimetrical capacity (19.6 wt%). Nevertheless, the elevated AB decomposition temperatures (Td) and unwanted byproducts are main hurdles in practical application. It was reported that the byproducts and Td can be reduced with nanoconfinement technique, in which AB molecules are confined in porous materials, such as porous carbon, zeolite, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), etc. Although nanoconfinement empirically shows effectiveness on hydrogen generation temperature reduction in AB, the theoretical mechanism is debatable. Low Td was reported in [email protected] (Zn4O(BDC)3, BDC = benzenedicarboxylate), where Zn atoms form closed metal clusters secondary building unit (SBU) with no exposed active sites. Other than nanosized hydride, it was also observed that catalyst addition facilitates AB decomposition in the composite of Li-catalyzed carbon CMK-3, MOF JUC-32-Y with exposed Y3+, etc. It is believed that nanosized AB is critical for lowering Td, while active sites eliminate byproducts. Nonetheless, some researchers claimed that it is the catalytic sites that are the critical factor to reduce Td, instead of the hydride size. The group physically ground AB with ZIF-8 (zeolitic imidazolate frameworks, (Zn(2-methylimidazolate)2)), and found similar reduced Td phenomenon, even though AB molecules were not ‘confined’ or forming nanoparticles by physical hand grinding. It shows the catalytic reaction, not nanoconfinement, leads to AB dehydrogenation promotion. In this research, we explored the possible criteria of hydrogen production temperature from nanoconfined AB in MOFs with different pore sizes and active sites. MOFs with metal SBU such as Zn (IRMOF), Zr (UiO), and Al (MIL-53), accompanying with various organic ligands (BDC and BPDC; BPDC = biphenyldicarboxylate) were modified with AB. Excess MOFs were used for AB size constrained in micropores estimated by revisiting Horvath-Kawazoe model. AB dissolved in methanol was added to MOFs crystalline with MOF pore volume to AB ratio 4:1, and the slurry was dried under vacuum to collect [email protected] powders. With TPD-MS (temperature programmed desorption with mass spectroscopy), we observed Td was reduced with smaller MOF pores. For example, it was reduced from 100°C to 64°C when MOF micropore ~1 nm, while ~90°C with pore size up to 5 nm. The behavior of Td as a function of AB crystalline radius obeys thermodynamics when the Gibbs free energy of AB decomposition is zero, and no obvious correlation with metal type was observed. In conclusion, we discovered Td of AB is proportional to the reciprocal of MOF pore size, possibly stronger than the effect of active sites.

Keywords: Nanoconfinement, ammonia borane, chemical hydride, metal-organic framework

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56 Inter-Personal and Inter-Organizational Relationships in Supply Chain Integration: A Resource Orchestration Perspective

Authors: Bill Wang, Paul Childerhouse, Yuanfei Kang

Abstract:

Purpose: The research is to extend resource orchestration theory (ROT) into supply chain management (SCM) area to investigate the dyadic relationships at both individual and organizational levels in supply chain integration (SCI). Also, we try to explore the interaction mechanism between inter-personal relationships (IPRs) and inter-organizational (IORs) during the whole SCI process. Methodology/approach: The research employed an exploratory multiple case study approach of four New Zealand companies. The data was collected via semi-structured interviews with top, middle, and lower level managers and operators from different departments of both suppliers and customers triangulated with company archival data. Findings: The research highlights the important role of both IPRs and IORs in the whole SCI process. Both IPRs and IORs are valuable, inimitable resources but IORs are formal and exterior while IPRs are informal and subordinated. In the initial stage of SCI process, IPRs are seen as key resources antecedents to IOR building while three IPRs dimensions work differently: personal credibility acts as an icebreaker to strengthen the confidence forming IORs, and personal affection acts as a gatekeeper, whilst personal communication expedites the IORs process. In the maintenance and development stage, IORs and IPRs interact each other continuously: good interaction between IPRs and IORs can facilitate SCI process while the bad interaction between IPRs can damage the SCI process. On the other hand, during the life-cycle of SCI process, IPRs can facilitate the formation, development of IORs while IORs development can cultivate the ties of IPRs. Out of the three dimensions of IPRs, Personal communication plays a more important role to develop IORs than personal credibility and personal affection. Originality/value: This research contributes to ROT in supply chain management literature by highlighting the interaction of IPRs and IORs in SCI. The intangible resources and capabilities of three dimensions of IPRs need to be orchestrated and nurtured to achieve efficient and effective IORs in SCI. Also, IPRs and IORs need to be orchestrated in terms of breadth, depth, and life-cycle of whole SCI process. Our study provides further insight into the rarely explored inter-personal level of SCI. Managerial implications: Our research provides top management with further evidence of the significance roles of IPRs at different levels when working with trading partners. This highlights the need to actively manage and develop these soft IPRs skills as an intangible competitive resource. Further, the research identifies when staff with specific skills and connections should be utilized during the different stages of building and maintaining inter-organizational ties. More importantly, top management needs to orchestrate and balance the resources of IPRs and IORs.

Keywords: Supply Chain Integration, Case study, inter-organizational relationships, inter-personal relationships, resource orchestration

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55 A Markov Model for the Elderly Disability Transition and Related Factors in China

Authors: Jing Wang, Huimin Liu, Li Xiang, Yue Liu

Abstract:

Background: As one of typical case for the developing countries who are stepping into the aging times globally, more and more older people in China might face the problem of which they could not maintain normal life due to the functional disability. While the government take efforts to build long-term care system and further carry out related policies for the core concept, there is still lack of strong evidence to evaluating the profile of disability states in the elderly population and its transition rate. It has been proved that disability is a dynamic condition of the person rather than irreversible so it means possible to intervene timely on them who might be in a risk of severe disability. Objective: The aim of this study was to depict the picture of the disability transferring status of the older people in China, and then find out individual characteristics that change the state of disability to provide theory basis for disability prevention and early intervention among elderly people. Methods: Data for this study came from the 2011 baseline survey and the 2013 follow-up survey of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Normal ADL function, 1~2 ADLs disability,3 or above ADLs disability and death were defined from state 1 to state 4. Multi-state Markov model was applied and the four-state homogeneous model with discrete states and discrete times from two visits follow-up data was constructed to explore factors for various progressive stages. We modeled the effect of explanatory variables on the rates of transition by using a proportional intensities model with covariate, such as gender. Result: In the total sample, state 2 constituent ratio is nearly about 17.0%, while state 3 proportion is blow the former, accounting for 8.5%. Moreover, ADL disability statistics difference is not obvious between two years. About half of the state 2 in 2011 improved to become normal in 2013 even though they get elder. However, state 3 transferred into the proportion of death increased obviously, closed to the proportion back to state 2 or normal functions. From the estimated intensities, we see the older people are eleven times as likely to develop at 1~2 ADLs disability than dying. After disability onset (state 2), progression to state 3 is 30% more likely than recovery. Once in state 3, a mean of 0.76 years is spent before death or recovery. In this model, a typical person in state 2 has a probability of 0.5 of disability-free one year from now while the moderate disabled or above has a probability of 0.14 being dead. Conclusion: On the long-term care cost considerations, preventive programs for delay the disability progression of the elderly could be adopted based on the current disabled state and main factors of each stage. And in general terms, those focusing elderly individuals who are moderate or above disabled should go first.

Keywords: Disability, Markov Model, elderly people, transition intensity

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54 The Potential of Edaphic Algae for Bioremediation of the Diesel-Contaminated Soil

Authors: C. S. Chen, C. J. Tien, S. F. Huang, Z. X. Wang

Abstract:

Algae in soil ecosystems can produce organic matters and oxygen by photosynthesis. Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria can fix nitrogen to increase soil nitrogen contents. Secretion of mucilage by some algae increases the soil water content and soil aggregation. These actions will improve soil quality and fertility, and further increase abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. In addition, some mixotrophic and heterotrophic algae are able to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to analyze the effects of algal addition on the degradation of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), diversity and activity of bacteria and algae in the diesel-contaminated soil under different nutrient contents and frequency of plowing and irrigation in order to assess the potential bioremediation technique using edaphic algae. The known amount of diesel was added into the farmland soil. This diesel-contaminated soil was subject to five settings, experiment-1 with algal addition by plowing and irrigation every two weeks, experiment-2 with algal addition by plowing and irrigation every four weeks, experiment-3 with algal and nutrient addition by plowing and irrigation every two weeks, experiment-4 with algal and nutrient addition by plowing and irrigation every four weeks, and the control without algal addition. Soil samples were taken every two weeks to analyze TPH concentrations, diversity of bacteria and algae, and catabolic genes encoding functional degrading enzymes. The results show that the TPH removal rates of five settings after the two-month experimental period were in the order: experiment-2 > expermient-4 > experiment-3 > experiment-1 > control. It indicated that algal addition enhanced the degradation of TPH in the diesel-contaminated soil, but not for nutrient addition. Plowing and irrigation every four weeks resulted in more TPH removal than that every two weeks. The banding patterns of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) revealed an increase in diversity of bacteria and algae after algal addition. Three petroleum hydrocarbon-degrading algae (Anabaena sp., Oscillatoria sp. and Nostoc sp.) and two added algal strains (Leptolyngbya sp. and Synechococcus sp.) were sequenced from DGGE prominent bands. The four hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria Gordonia sp., Mycobacterium sp., Rodococcus sp. and Alcanivorax sp. were abundant in the treated soils. These results suggested that growth of indigenous bacteria and algae were improved after adding edaphic algae. Real-time polymerase chain reaction results showed that relative amounts of four catabolic genes encoding catechol 2, 3-dioxygenase, toluene monooxygenase, xylene monooxygenase and phenol monooxygenase were appeared and expressed in the treated soil. The addition of algae increased the expression of these genes at the end of experiments to biodegrade petroleum hydrocarbons. This study demonstrated that edaphic algae were suitable biomaterials for bioremediating diesel-contaminated soils with plowing and irrigation every four weeks.

Keywords: Diversity, diesel, catabolic gene, edaphic algae

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53 Organizational Ideologies and Their Embeddedness in Fashion Show Productions in Shanghai and London Fashion Week: International-Based-Chinese Independent Designers' Participatory Behaviors in Different Fashion Cities

Authors: Zhe Wang

Abstract:

The fashion week, as a critical international fashion event in shaping world fashion cities, is one of the most significant world events that serves as the core medium for designers to stage new collections. However, its role in bringing about and shaping design ideologies of major fashion cities have long been neglected from a fashion ecosystem perspective. With the expanding scale of international fashion weeks in terms of culture and commerce, the organizational structures of these fashion weeks are becoming more complex. In the emerging fashion city, typified by Shanghai, a newly-formed 'hodgepodge' transforming the current global fashion ecosystem. A city’s legitimate fashion institutions, typically the organizers of international fashion weeks, have cultivated various cultural characteristics via rules and regulations pertaining to international fashion weeks. Under these circumstances, designers’ participatory behaviors, specifically show design and production, are influenced by the cultural ideologies of official organizers and institutions. This research compares international based Chinese (IBC) independent designers’ participatory behavior in London and Shanghai Fashion Weeks: specifically, the way designers present their clothing and show production. both of which are found to be profoundly influenced by cultural and design ideologies of fashion weeks. They are, to a large degree, manipulated by domestic institutions and organizers. Shanghai fashion week has given rise to a multiple, mass-ended entertainment carnival design and cultural ideology in Shanghai, thereby impacting the explicit cultural codes or intangible rules that IBC designers must adhere to when designing and producing fashion shows. Therefore, influenced by various cultural characteristics in the two cities, IBC designers’ show design and productions, in turn, play an increasingly vital role in shaping the design characteristic of an international fashion week. Through researching the organizational systems and design preferences of organizers of London and Shanghai fashion weeks, this paper demonstrates the embeddedness of design systems in the forming of design ideologies under various cultural and institutional contexts. The core methodology utilized in this research is ethnography. As a crucial part of a Ph.D. project on innovations in fashion shows under a cross-cultural context run by Edinburgh College of Art, School of Design, the fashion week’s organizational culture in various cultural contexts is investigated in London and Shanghai for approximately six months respectively. Two IBC designers, Angel Chen and Xuzhi Chen were followed during their participation of London and Shanghai Fashion Weeks from September 2016 to June 2017, during which two consecutive seasons were researched in order to verify the consistency of design ideologies’ associations with organizational system and culture.

Keywords: institutional ideologies, international fashion weeks, IBC independent designers; fashion show

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52 Analyzing the Construction of Collective Memories by History Movies/TV Programs: Case Study of Masters in the Forbidden City

Authors: Yongjun Xu, Lulu Wang, Xiaoyang Qiao

Abstract:

The Forbidden City is well known for being full of Chinese cultural and historical relics. However, the Masters in the Forbidden City, a documentary film, doesn’t just dwell on the stories of the past. Instead, it focuses on ordinary people—the restorers of the relics and antiquities, which has caught the sight of Chinese audiences. From this popular documentary film, a new way can be considered, that is to show the relics, antiquities and painting with a character of modern humanities by films and TV programs. Of course, it can’t just like a simple explanation from tour guides in museums. It should be a perfect combination of scenes, heritages, stories, storytellers and background music. All we want to do is trying to dig up the humanity behind the heritages and then create a virtual scene for the audience to have emotional resonance from the humanity. It is believed that there are two problems. One is that compared with the entertainment shows, why people prefer to see the boring restoration work. The other is that what the interaction is between those history documentary films, the heritages, the audiences and collective memory. This paper mainly used the methods of text analysis and data analysis. The audiences’ comment texts were collected from all kinds of popular video sites. Through analyzing those texts, there was a word cloud chart about people preferring to use what kind of words to comment the film. Then the usage rate of all comments words was calculated. After that, there was a Radar Chart to show the rank results. Eventually, each of them was given an emotional value classification according their comment tone and content. Based on the above analysis results, an interaction model among the audience, history films/TV programs and the collective memory can be summarized. According to the word cloud chart, people prefer to use such words to comment, including moving, history, love, family, celebrity, tone... From those emotional words, we can see Chinese audience felt so proud and shared the sense of Collective Identity, so they leave such comments: To our great motherland! Chinese traditional culture is really profound! It is found that in the construction of collective memory symbology, the films formed an imaginary system by organizing a ‘personalized audience’. The audience is not just a recipient of information, but a participant of the documentary films and a cooperator of collective memory. At the same time, it is believed that the traditional background music, the spectacular present scenes and the tone of the storytellers/hosts are also important, so it is suggested that the museums could try to cooperate with the producers of movie and TV program to create a vivid scene for the people. Maybe it’s a more artistic way for heritages to be open to all the world.

Keywords: audience, heritages, history movies, TV programs

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51 Damage-Based Seismic Design and Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Bridges

Authors: Kuo-Chun Chang, Ping-Hsiung Wang

Abstract:

There has been a common trend worldwide in the seismic design and evaluation of bridges towards the performance-based method where the lateral displacement or the displacement ductility of bridge column is regarded as an important indicator for performance assessment. However, the seismic response of a bridge to an earthquake is a combined result of cyclic displacements and accumulated energy dissipation, causing damage to the bridge, and hence the lateral displacement (ductility) alone is insufficient to tell its actual seismic performance. This study aims to propose a damage-based seismic design and evaluation method for reinforced concrete bridges on the basis of the newly developed capacity-based inelastic displacement spectra. The capacity-based inelastic displacement spectra that comprise an inelastic displacement ratio spectrum and a corresponding damage state spectrum was constructed by using a series of nonlinear time history analyses and a versatile, smooth hysteresis model. The smooth model could take into account the effects of various design parameters of RC bridge columns and correlates the column’s strength deterioration with the Park and Ang’s damage index. It was proved that the damage index not only can be used to accurately predict the onset of strength deterioration, but also can be a good indicator for assessing the actual visible damage condition of column regardless of its loading history (i.e., similar damage index corresponds to similar actual damage condition for the same designed columns subjected to very different cyclic loading protocols as well as earthquake loading), providing a better insight into the seismic performance of bridges. Besides, the computed spectra show that the inelastic displacement ratio for far-field ground motions approximately conforms to the equal displacement rule when structural period is larger than around 0.8 s, but that for near-fault ground motions departs from the rule in the whole considered spectral regions. Furthermore, the near-fault ground motions would lead to significantly greater inelastic displacement ratio and damage index than far-field ground motions and most of the practical design scenarios cannot survive the considered near-fault ground motion when the strength reduction factor of bridge is not less than 5.0. Finally, the spectrum formula is presented as a function of structural period, strength reduction factor, and various column design parameters for far-field and near-fault ground motions by means of the regression analysis of the computed spectra. And based on the developed spectrum formula, a design example of a bridge is presented to illustrate the proposed damage-based seismic design and evaluation method where the damage state of the bridge is used as the performance objective.

Keywords: near-fault, damage index, far-field, reinforced concrete bridge, seismic design and evaluation

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50 Computerized Adaptive Testing for Ipsative Tests with Multidimensional Pairwise-Comparison Items

Authors: Wen-Chung Wang, Xue-Lan Qiu

Abstract:

Ipsative tests have been widely used in vocational and career counseling (e.g., the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey). Pairwise-comparison items are a typical item format of ipsative tests. When the two statements in a pairwise-comparison item measure two different constructs, the item is referred to as a multidimensional pairwise-comparison (MPC) item. A typical MPC item would be: Which activity do you prefer? (A) playing with young children, or (B) working with tools and machines. These two statements aim at the constructs of social interest and investigative interest, respectively. Recently, new item response theory (IRT) models for ipsative tests with MPC items have been developed. Among them, the Rasch ipsative model (RIM) deserves special attention because it has good measurement properties, in which the log-odds of preferring statement A to statement B are defined as a competition between two parts: the sum of a person’s latent trait to which statement A is measuring and statement A’s utility, and the sum of a person’s latent trait to which statement B is measuring and statement B’s utility. The RIM has been extended to polytomous responses, such as preferring statement A strongly, preferring statement A, preferring statement B, and preferring statement B strongly. To promote the new initiatives, in this study we developed computerized adaptive testing algorithms for MFC items and evaluated their performance using simulations and two real tests. Both the RIM and its polytomous extension are multidimensional, which calls for multidimensional computerized adaptive testing (MCAT). A particular issue in MCAT for MPC items is the within-person statement exposure (WPSE); that is, a respondent may keep seeing the same statement (e.g., my life is empty) for many times, which is certainly annoying. In this study, we implemented two methods to control the WPSE rate. In the first control method, items would be frozen when their statements had been administered more than a prespecified times. In the second control method, a random component was added to control the contribution of the information at different stages of MCAT. The second control method was found to outperform the first control method in our simulation studies. In addition, we investigated four item selection methods: (a) random selection (as a baseline), (b) maximum Fisher information method without WPSE control, (c) maximum Fisher information method with the first control method, and (d) maximum Fisher information method with the second control method. These four methods were applied to two real tests: one was a work survey with dichotomous MPC items and the other is a career interests survey with polytomous MPC items. There were three dependent variables: the bias and root mean square error across person measures, and measurement efficiency which was defined as the number of items needed to achieve the same degree of test reliability. Both applications indicated that the proposed MCAT algorithms were successful and there was no loss in measurement proficiency when the control methods were implemented, and among the four methods, the last method performed the best.

Keywords: item response theory, pairwise comparison, computerized adaptive testing, ipsative tests

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49 The Biomechanical Assessment of Balance and Gait for Stroke Patients and the Implications in the Diagnosis and Rehabilitation

Authors: W. Wang, A. Alzahrani, G. Arnold

Abstract:

Background: Stroke commonly occurs in middle-aged and elderly populations, and the diagnosis of early stroke is still difficult. Patients who have suffered a stroke have different balance and gait patterns from healthy people. Advanced techniques of motion analysis have been routinely used in the clinical assessment of cerebral palsy. However, so far, little research has been done on the direct diagnosis of early stroke patients using motion analysis. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether patients with stroke have different balance and gait from healthy people and which biomechanical parameters could be used to predict and diagnose potential patients who are at a potential risk to stroke. Methods: Thirteen patients with stroke were recruited as subjects whose gait and balance was analysed. Twenty normal subjects at the matched age participated in this study as a control group. All subjects’ gait and balance were collected using Vicon Nexus® to obtain the gait parameters, kinetic, and kinematic parameters of the hip, knee, and ankle joints in three planes of both limbs. Participants stood on force platforms to perform a single leg balance test. Then, they were asked to walk along a 10 m walkway at their comfortable speed. Participants performed 6 trials of single-leg balance for each side and 10 trials of walking. From the recorded trials, three good ones were analysed using the Vicon Plug-in-Gait model to obtain gait parameters, e.g., walking speed, cadence, stride length, and joint parameters, e.g., joint angle, force, moments, etc. Result: The temporal-spatial variables of Stroke subjects were compared with the healthy subjects; it was found that there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the groups. The step length, speed, cadence were lower in stroke subjects as compared to the healthy groups. The stroke patients group showed significantly decreased in gait speed (mean and SD: 0.85 ± 0.33 m/s), cadence ( 96.71 ± 16.14 step/min), and step length (0.509 ± 017 m) in compared to healthy people group whereas the gait speed was 1.2 ± 0.11 m/s, cadence 112 ± 8.33 step/min, and step length 0.648 ± 0.43 m. Moreover, it was observed that patients with stroke have significant differences in the ankle, hip, and knee joints’ kinematics in the sagittal and coronal planes. Also, the result showed that there was a significant difference between groups in the single-leg balance test, e.g., maintaining single-leg stance time in the stroke patients showed shorter duration (5.97 ± 6.36 s) in compared to healthy people group (14.36 ± 10.20 s). Conclusion: Our result showed that there are significantly differences between stroke patients and healthy subjects in the various aspects of gait analysis and balance test, as a consequences of these findings some of the biomechanical parameters such as joints kinematics, gait parameters, and single-leg stance balance test could be used in clinical practice to predict and diagnose potential patients who are at a high risk of further stroke.

Keywords: Kinetics, Kinematics, Stroke, Gait Analysis, single-leg stance

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48 Comparison Conventional with Microwave-Assisted Drying Method on the Physicochemical Characteristics of Rice Bran Noodle

Authors: Chiun-C.R. Wang, Chien-Chun Huang, Yi-U Chiou

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For longer shelf life of noodles, air-dried method is the traditional way for the noodle preparation. Microwave drying has the specific advantage of rapid and uniform heating due to the penetration of microwaves into the body of the product. Microwave-assisted facility offers a quick and energy saving method during food dehydration as compares to the conventional air-dried method. Recently, numerous studies in the rheological characteristics of pasta or spaghetti were carried out with microwave–assisted air driers and many agricultural products were dried successfully. There are few researches about the evaluation of physicochemical characteristics and cooking quality of microwave-assisted air dried salted noodles. The purposes of this study were to compare the difference between conventional and microwave-assisted drying method on the physicochemical properties and eating quality of rice bran noodles. Three different microwave power including 0.5 KW, 0.75 KW and 1.0 KW installing with 50℃ hot air were applied for dehydration of rice bran noodles in this study. Three proportion of rice bran ranging in 0-20% were incorporated into salted noodles processing. The appearance, optimum cooking time, cooking yield and losses, textural profiles analysis, sensory evaluation of rice bran noodles were measured in this study. The results indicated that high power (1.0 KW) microwave facility caused partially burnt and porous on the surface of rice bran noodles. However, no characteristic of noodle was appeared on the surface of noodles preparing by low power (0.5 KW) microwave facility. The optimum cooking time of noodles was decreased as higher power microwave or higher proportion of rice bran was incorporated into noodles preparation. The higher proportion of rice bran (20%) or higher power of microwave-assisted dried noodles obtained the higher color intensity and the higher cooking losses as compared with conventional air dried noodles. The firmness of cooked rice bran noodles slightly decreased in the cooked noodles which were dried by high power microwave-assisted method. The shearing force, tensile strength, elasticity and texture profiles of cooked rice noodles decreased with the progress of the proportion of rice bran. The results of sensory evaluation indicated conventional dried noodles obtained the higher springiness, cohesiveness and acceptability of cooked noodles than high power (1.0 KW) microwave-assisted dried noodles. However, low power (0.5 KW) microwave-assisted dried noodles showed the comparable sensory attributes and acceptability with conventional dried noodles. Moreover, the sensory attributes including firmness, springiness, cohesiveness decreased, but stickiness increased, with the increases of rice bran proportion. These results inferred that incorporation of lower proportion of rice bran and lower power microwave-assisted dried noodles processing could produce faster cooking time and acceptable quality of cooked noodles as compared to conventional dried noodles.

Keywords: sensory evaluation, physicochemical characteristics, microwave-assisted drying method, rice bran noodles

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47 A Versatile Data Processing Package for Ground-Based Synthetic Aperture Radar Deformation Monitoring

Authors: Zheng Wang, Zhenhong Li, Jon Mills

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Ground-based synthetic aperture radar (GBSAR) represents a powerful remote sensing tool for deformation monitoring towards various geohazards, e.g. landslides, mudflows, avalanches, infrastructure failures, and the subsidence of residential areas. Unlike spaceborne SAR with a fixed revisit period, GBSAR data can be acquired with an adjustable temporal resolution through either continuous or discontinuous operation. However, challenges arise from processing high temporal-resolution continuous GBSAR data, including the extreme cost of computational random-access-memory (RAM), the delay of displacement maps, and the loss of temporal evolution. Moreover, repositioning errors between discontinuous campaigns impede the accurate measurement of surface displacements. Therefore, a versatile package with two complete chains is developed in this study in order to process both continuous and discontinuous GBSAR data and address the aforementioned issues. The first chain is based on a small-baseline subset concept and it processes continuous GBSAR images unit by unit. Images within a window form a basic unit. By taking this strategy, the RAM requirement is reduced to only one unit of images and the chain can theoretically process an infinite number of images. The evolution of surface displacements can be detected as it keeps temporarily-coherent pixels which are present only in some certain units but not in the whole observation period. The chain supports real-time processing of the continuous data and the delay of creating displacement maps can be shortened without waiting for the entire dataset. The other chain aims to measure deformation between discontinuous campaigns. Temporal averaging is carried out on a stack of images in a single campaign in order to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of discontinuous data and minimise the loss of coherence. The temporal-averaged images are then processed by a particular interferometry procedure integrated with advanced interferometric SAR algorithms such as robust coherence estimation, non-local filtering, and selection of partially-coherent pixels. Experiments are conducted using both synthetic and real-world GBSAR data. Displacement time series at the level of a few sub-millimetres are achieved in several applications (e.g. a coastal cliff, a sand dune, a bridge, and a residential area), indicating the feasibility of the developed GBSAR data processing package for deformation monitoring of a wide range of scientific and practical applications.

Keywords: Deformation Monitoring, Interferometry, ground-based synthetic aperture radar, small baseline subset algorithm

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46 Analyzing Social Media Discourses of Domestic Violence in Promoting Awareness and Support Seeking: An Exploratory Study

Authors: Hua Wang, Sudha Subramani

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Domestic Violence (DV) against women is now recognized to be a serious and widespread problem worldwide. There is a growing concern that violence against women has a global public health impact, as well as a violation of human rights. From the existing statistical surveys, it is revealed that there exists a strong relationship between DV and health issues of women like bruising, lacerations, depression, anxiety, flashbacks, sleep disturbances, hyper-arousal, emotional distress, sexually transmitted diseases and so on. This social problem is still considered as behind the closed doors issue and stigmatized topic. Women conceal their sufferings from family and friends, as they experience a lack of trust in others, feelings of shame and embarrassment among the society. Hence, women survivors of DV experience some barriers in seeking the support of specialized services such as health care access, crisis support, and legal guidance. Fortunately, with the popularity of social media like Facebook and Twitter, people share their opinions and emotional feelings to seek the social and emotional support, for sympathetic encouragement, to show compassion and empathy among the public. Considering the DV, social media plays a predominant role in creating the awareness and promoting the support services to the public, as we live in the golden era of social media. The various professional people like the public health researchers, clinicians, psychologists, social workers, national family health organizations, lawyers, and victims or their family and friends share the unprecedentedly valuable information (personal opinions and experiences) in a single platform to improve the social welfare of the community. Though each tweet or post contains a less informational value, the consolidation of millions of messages can generate actionable knowledge and provide valuable insights about the public opinion in general. Hence, this paper reports on an exploratory analysis of the effectiveness of social media for unobtrusive assessment of attitudes and awareness towards DV. In this paper, mixed methods such as qualitative analysis and text mining approaches are used to understand the social media disclosures of DV through the lenses of opinion sharing, anonymity, and support seeking. The results of this study could be helpful to avoid the cost of wide scale surveys, while still maintaining appropriate research conditions is to leverage the abundance of data publicly available on the web. Also, this analysis with data enrichment and consolidation would be useful in assisting advocacy and national family health organizations to provide information about resources and support, raise awareness and counter common stigmatizing attitudes about DV.

Keywords: Social Media, Domestic Violence, Women Health, social stigma and support

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45 Research on the Updating Strategy of Public Space in Small Towns in Zhejiang Province under the Background of New-Style Urbanization

Authors: Chen Yao, Wang Ke

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Small towns are the most basic administrative institutions in our country, which are connected with cities and rural areas. Small towns play an important role in promoting local urban and rural economic development, providing the main public services and maintaining social stability in social governance. With the vigorous development of small towns and the transformation of industrial structure, the changes of social structure, spatial structure, and lifestyle are lagging behind, causing that the spatial form and landscape style do not belong to both cities and rural areas, and seriously affecting the quality of people’s life space and environment. The rural economy in Zhejiang Province has started, the society and the population are also developing in relative stability. In September 2016, Zhejiang Province set out the 'Technical Guidelines for Comprehensive Environmental Remediation of Small Towns in Zhejiang Province,' so as to comprehensively implement the small town comprehensive environmental remediation with the main content of strengthening the plan and design leading, regulating environmental sanitation, urban order and town appearance. In November 2016, Huzhou City started the comprehensive environmental improvement of small towns, strived to use three years to significantly improve the 115 small towns, as well as to create a number of high quality, distinctive and beautiful towns with features of 'clean and livable, rational layout, industrial development, poetry and painting style'. This paper takes Meixi Town, Zhangwu Town and Sanchuan Village in Huzhou City as the empirical cases, analyzes the small town public space by applying the relative theory of actor-network and space syntax. This paper also analyzes the spatial composition in actor and social structure elements, as well as explores the relationship of actor’s spatial practice and public open space by combining with actor-network theory. This paper introduces the relevant theories and methods of spatial syntax, carries out research analysis and design planning analysis of small town spaces from the perspective of quantitative analysis. And then, this paper proposes the effective updating strategy for the existing problems in public space. Through the planning and design in the building level, the dissonant factors produced by various spatial combination of factors and between landscape design and urban texture during small town development will be solved, inhabitant quality of life will be promoted, and town development vitality will be increased.

Keywords: Urbanization, Public space, small towns, updating

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44 Fast and Non-Invasive Patient-Specific Optimization of Left Ventricle Assist Device Implantation

Authors: Huidan Yu, Anurag Deb, Rou Chen, I-Wen Wang

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The use of left ventricle assist devices (LVADs) in patients with heart failure has been a proven and effective therapy for patients with severe end-stage heart failure. Due to the limited availability of suitable donor hearts, LVADs will probably become the alternative solution for patient with heart failure in the near future. While the LVAD is being continuously improved toward enhanced performance, increased device durability, reduced size, a better understanding of implantation management becomes critical in order to achieve better long-term blood supplies and less post-surgical complications such as thrombi generation. Important issues related to the LVAD implantation include the location of outflow grafting (OG), the angle of the OG, the combination between LVAD and native heart pumping, uniform or pulsatile flow at OG, etc. We have hypothesized that an optimal implantation of LVAD is patient specific. To test this hypothesis, we employ a novel in-house computational modeling technique, named InVascular, to conduct a systematic evaluation of cardiac output at aortic arch together with other pertinent hemodynamic quantities for each patient under various implantation scenarios aiming to get an optimal implantation strategy. InVacular is a powerful computational modeling technique that integrates unified mesoscale modeling for both image segmentation and fluid dynamics with the cutting-edge GPU parallel computing. It first segments the aortic artery from patient’s CT image, then seamlessly feeds extracted morphology, together with the velocity wave from Echo Ultrasound image of the same patient, to the computation model to quantify 4-D (time+space) velocity and pressure fields. Using one NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU card, InVascular completes a computation from CT image to 4-D hemodynamics within 30 minutes. Thus it has the great potential to conduct massive numerical simulation and analysis. The systematic evaluation for one patient includes three OG anastomosis (ascending aorta, descending thoracic aorta, and subclavian artery), three combinations of LVAD and native heart pumping (1:1, 1:2, and 1:3), three angles of OG anastomosis (inclined upward, perpendicular, and inclined downward), and two LVAD inflow conditions (uniform and pulsatile). The optimal LVAD implantation is suggested through a comprehensive analysis of the cardiac output and related hemodynamics from the simulations over the fifty-four scenarios. To confirm the hypothesis, 5 random patient cases will be evaluated.

Keywords: graphic processing unit (GPU) parallel computing, left ventricle assist device (LVAD), lumped-parameter model, patient-specific computational hemodynamics

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43 Family Carers' Experiences in Striving for Medical Care and Finding Their Solutions for Family Members with Mental Illnesses

Authors: Yu-Yu Wang, Shih-Hua Hsieh, Ru-Shian Hsieh

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Wishes and choices being respected, and the right to be supported rather than coerced, have been internationally recognized as the human rights of persons with mental illness. In Taiwan, ‘coerced hospitalization’ has become difficult since the revision of the mental health legislation in 2007. Despite trend towards human rights, the real problem families face when their family members are in mental health crisis is the lack of alternative services. This study aims to explore: 1) When is hospitalization seen as the only solution by family members? 2) What are the barriers for arranging hospitalization, and how are they managed? 3) What have family carers learned, in their experiences of caring for their family members with mental illness? To answer these questions, qualitative approach was adopted, and focus group interviews were taken to collect data. This study includes 24 family carers. The main findings of this research include: First, hospital is the last resort for carers in helplessness. Family carers tend to do everything they could to provide care at home for their family members with mental illness. Carers seek hospitalization only when a patient’s behavior is too violent, weird, and/or abnormal, and beyond their ability to manage. Hospitalization, nevertheless, is never an easy choice. Obstacles emanate from the attitudes of the medical doctors, the restricted areas of ambulance service, and insufficient information from the carers’ part. On the other hand, with some professionals’ proactive assistance, access to medical care while in crisis becomes possible. Some family carers obtained help from the medical doctor, nurse, therapist and social workers. Some experienced good help from policemen, taxi drivers, and security guards at the hospital. The difficulty in accessing medical care prompts carers to work harder on assisting their family members with mental illness to stay in stable states. Carers found different ways of helping the ‘person’ to get along with the ‘illness’ and have better quality of life. Taking back ‘the right to control’ in utilizing medication, from passiveness to negotiating with medical doctors and seeking alternative therapies, are seen in many carers’ efforts. Besides, trying to maintain regular activities in daily life and play normal family roles are also experienced as important. Furthermore, talking with the patient as a person is also important. The authors conclude that in order to protect the human rights of persons with mental illness, it is crucial to make the medical care system more flexible and to make the services more humane: sufficient information should be provided and communicated, and efforts should be made to maintain the person’s social roles and to support the family.

Keywords: family carers, independent living, mental health crisis, persons with mental illness

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42 Interfacial Instability and Mixing Behavior between Two Liquid Layers Bounded in Finite Volumes

Authors: Lei Li, Ming M. Chai, Xiao X. Lu, Jia W. Wang

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The mixing process of two liquid layers in a cylindrical container includes the upper liquid with higher density rushing into the lower liquid with lighter density, the lower liquid rising into the upper liquid, meanwhile the two liquid layers having interactions with each other, forming vortices, spreading or dispersing in others, entraining or mixing with others. It is a complex process constituted of flow instability, turbulent mixing and other multiscale physical phenomena and having a fast evolution velocity. In order to explore the mechanism of the process and make further investigations, some experiments about the interfacial instability and mixing behavior between two liquid layers bounded in different volumes are carried out, applying the planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) and the high speed camera (HSC) techniques. According to the results, the evolution of interfacial instability between immiscible liquid develops faster than theoretical rate given by the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability (RTI) theory. It is reasonable to conjecture that some mechanisms except the RTI play key roles in the mixture process of two liquid layers. From the results, it is shown that the invading velocity of the upper liquid into the lower liquid does not depend on the upper liquid's volume (height). Comparing to the cases that the upper and lower containers are of identical diameter, in the case that the lower liquid volume increases to larger geometric space, the upper liquid spreads and expands into the lower liquid more quickly during the evolution of interfacial instability, indicating that the container wall has important influence on the mixing process. In the experiments of miscible liquid layers’ mixing, the diffusion time and pattern of the liquid interfacial mixing also does not depend on the upper liquid's volumes, and when the lower liquid volume increases to larger geometric space, the action of the bounded wall on the liquid falling and rising flow will decrease, and the liquid interfacial mixing effects will also attenuate. Therefore, it is also concluded that the volume weight of upper heavier liquid is not the reason of the fast interfacial instability evolution between the two liquid layers and the bounded wall action is limited to the unstable and mixing flow. The numerical simulations of the immiscible liquid layers’ interfacial instability flow using the VOF method show the typical flow pattern agree with the experiments. However the calculated instability development is much slower than the experimental measurement. The numerical simulation of the miscible liquids’ mixing, which applying Fick’s diffusion law to the components’ transport equation, shows a much faster mixing rate than the experiments on the liquids’ interface at the initial stage. It can be presumed that the interfacial tension plays an important role in the interfacial instability between the two liquid layers bounded in finite volume.

Keywords: interfacial instability and mixing, two liquid layers, Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF), High Speed Camera (HSC), interfacial energy and tension, Cahn-Hilliard Navier-Stokes (CHNS) equations

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41 Encounter, Dialogue and Presence in Doris Salcedo's Works

Authors: Wen-Shu Lai, Yi-Ting Wang

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The purpose of this paper is to discuss and clarify what are the essences of Colombian-born sculptor Doris Salcedo’s works. Under the frameworks of Buber’s dialogical philosophy of the “I-Thou relation” and Zurmuehlen’s philosophy of “Art as Presence” within the context of art praxis, Salcedo’s selected works are analyzed and interpreted. Salcedo’s sculptures and installations have expressed her concerns of the collective and personal memories within the context of Colombia’s violent, historical and political conflicts, especially the trauma inscribed onto her fellow people. Salcedo tried to rescue that memory though her work does not directly represent the violent incidents happened in Colombia. They are indirect portraits of the disappeared, the victims, and the lack of identity. What the viewers see is something in between vanishing and emergence, personal and collective. The work, the artist and the viewer are witnesses and also survivors of Columbia’s violent incidents. On the site, the work, the disappeared and the witness-survivors encounter each other, then mourning, memory and dialogue are unfolded, brought to present. Firstly, it is the power of encounter that allows the viewer-witness to recognize the effaced victims, repressive violence, and the profound mourning for the loss, then restore their existence through dialogues and bring them to present. In her sculptures and installations, the displacement of the fragments and the incoherent sites make these daily household objects become unfamiliar, arose feelings of uncanniness of the viewer. The feelings of alienation, confusion, displacement bring the viewer to here and now. The more one studies these objects and sites, the more hidden details begin to appear. And the more one looks at the details, the more absent memories or stories reveals themselves and becomes present. Salcedo’s work is about loss, displacement and alienation caused by violence. She expressed that words are no longer possible when one deals with violence. However, her installation translates the violence, memory, and loss of beloved ones into a place of dialogue, in which the visitors can immerse themselves in a twilight zone between knowing and not knowing, remembering and forgetting. The spaces are the sites or non-sites inhabited by the remains or traces of the victims, the wonders of the survivor-witnesses where they join together through encounter, remain present to others through genuine dialogue. In the moment, the past memory and the ongoing life merge, accept each other, and reconcile. Salcedo reconfigures the silent violence and repressive history in Colombia and transforms them into sites and installations. The victims, the viewer and the artist join together while contemplating and sharing the human situation of silent repression. In the moment of contemplating, a dialogue, spoken or not, occurs in the specific sites. People have become aware and present, and mutual understanding has achieved. This research concludes that encounter, presence and dialogue are the three essences embedded in Salcedo’s works.

Keywords: Dialogue, presence, Doris Salcedo, encounter

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40 The Role of Macroeconomic Condition and Volatility in Credit Risk: An Empirical Analysis of Credit Default Swap Index Spread on Structural Models in U.S. Market during Post-Crisis Period

Authors: Xu Wang

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This research builds linear regressions of U.S. macroeconomic condition and volatility measures in the investment grade and high yield Credit Default Swap index spreads using monthly data from March 2009 to July 2016, to study the relationship between different dimensions of macroeconomy and overall credit risk quality. The most significant contribution of this research is systematically examining individual and joint effects of macroeconomic condition and volatility on CDX spreads by including macroeconomic time series that captures different dimensions of the U.S. economy. The industrial production index growth, non-farm payroll growth, consumer price index growth, 3-month treasury rate and consumer sentiment are introduced to capture the condition of real economic activity, employment, inflation, monetary policy and risk aversion respectively. The conditional variance of the macroeconomic series is constructed using ARMA-GARCH model and is used to measure macroeconomic volatility. The linear regression model is conducted to capture relationships between monthly average CDX spreads and macroeconomic variables. The Newey–West estimator is used to control for autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity in error terms. Furthermore, the sensitivity factor analysis and standardized coefficients analysis are conducted to compare the sensitivity of CDX spreads to different macroeconomic variables and to compare relative effects of macroeconomic condition versus macroeconomic uncertainty respectively. This research shows that macroeconomic condition can have a negative effect on CDX spread while macroeconomic volatility has a positive effect on determining CDX spread. Macroeconomic condition and volatility variables can jointly explain more than 70% of the whole variation of the CDX spread. In addition, sensitivity factor analysis shows that the CDX spread is the most sensitive to Consumer Sentiment index. Finally, the standardized coefficients analysis shows that both macroeconomic condition and volatility variables are important in determining CDX spread but macroeconomic condition category of variables have more relative importance in determining CDX spread than macroeconomic volatility category of variables. This research shows that the CDX spread can reflect the individual and joint effects of macroeconomic condition and volatility, which suggests that individual investors or government should carefully regard CDX spread as a measure of overall credit risk because the CDX spread is influenced by macroeconomy. In addition, the significance of macroeconomic condition and volatility variables, such as Non-farm Payroll growth rate and Industrial Production Index growth volatility suggests that the government, should pay more attention to the overall credit quality in the market when macroecnomy is low or volatile.

Keywords: autoregressive moving average model, credit spread puzzle, credit default swap spread, generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity model, macroeconomic conditions, macroeconomic uncertainty

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39 Determinants of Walking among Middle-Aged and Older Overweight and Obese Adults: Demographic, Health, and Socio-Environmental Factors

Authors: Samuel N. Forjuoh, Marcia G. Ory, Jaewoong Won, Samuel D. Towne, Suojin Wang, Chanam Lee

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The public health burden of obesity is well established as is the influence of physical activity (PA) on the health and wellness of individuals who are obese. This study examined the influence of selected demographic, health, and socioenvironmental factors on the walking behaviors of middle-aged and older overweight and obese adults. Online and paper surveys were administered to community-dwelling overweight and obese adults aged ≥ 50 years residing in four cities in central Texas and seen by a family physician in the primary care clinic from October 2013 to June 2014. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize participants’ anthropometric and demographic data as well as their health conditions and walking, socioenvironmental, and more broadly defined PA behaviors. Then Pearson chi-square tests were used to assess differences between participants who reported walking the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose in a typical week as a proxy to meeting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s PA guidelines and those who did not. Finally, logistic regression was used to predict walking the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose, controlling for covariates. The analysis was conducted in 2016. Of the total sample (n=253, survey response rate of 6.8%), the majority were non-Hispanic white (81.7%), married (74.5%), male (53.5%), and reported an annual household income of ≥ $50,000 (65.7%). Approximately, half were employed (49.6%), or had at least a college degree (51.8%). Slightly more than 1 in 5 (n=57, 22.5%) reported walking the recommended ≥150 minutes for any purpose in a typical week. The strongest predictors of walking the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose in a typical week in adjusted analysis were related to education and a high favorable perception of the neighborhood environment. Compared to those with a high school diploma or some college, participants with at least a college degree were five times as likely to walk the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose (OR=5.55, 95% CI=1.79-17.25). Walking the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose was significantly associated with participants who disagreed that there were many distracted drivers (e.g., on the cell phone while driving) in their neighborhood (OR=4.08, 95% CI=1.47-11.36) and those who agreed that there are sidewalks or protected walkways (e.g., walking trails) in their neighborhood (OR=3.55, 95% CI=1.10-11.49). Those employed were less likely to walk the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose compared to those unemployed (OR=0.31, 95% CI=0.11-0.85) as were those who reported some difficulty walking for a quarter of a mile (OR=0.19, 95% CI=0.05-0.77). Other socio-environmental factors such as having care-giver responsibilities for elders, someone to walk with, or a dog in the household as well as Walk Score™ were not significantly associated with walking the recommended ≥ 150 minutes for any purpose in a typical week. Neighborhood perception appears to be an important factor associated with the walking behaviors of middle-aged and older overweight and obese individuals. Enhancing the neighborhood environment (e.g., providing walking trails) may promote walking among these individuals.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Obesity, Older Adults, determinants of walking

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38 Probing Mechanical Mechanism of Three-Hinge Formation on a Growing Brain: A Numerical and Experimental Study

Authors: Mir Jalil Razavi, Tianming Liu, Xianqiao Wang

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Cortical folding, characterized by convex gyri and concave sulci, has an intrinsic relationship to the brain’s functional organization. Understanding the mechanism of the brain’s convoluted patterns can provide useful clues into normal and pathological brain function. During the development, the cerebral cortex experiences a noticeable expansion in volume and surface area accompanied by tremendous tissue folding which may be attributed to many possible factors. Despite decades of endeavors, the fundamental mechanism and key regulators of this crucial process remain incompletely understood. Therefore, to taking even a small role in unraveling of brain folding mystery, we present a mechanical model to find mechanism of 3-hinges formation in a growing brain that it has not been addressed before. A 3-hinge is defined as a gyral region where three gyral crests (hinge-lines) join. The reasons that how and why brain prefers to develop 3-hinges have not been answered very well. Therefore, we offer a theoretical and computational explanation to mechanism of 3-hinges formation in a growing brain and validate it by experimental observations. In theoretical approach, the dynamic behavior of brain tissue is examined and described with the aid of a large strain and nonlinear constitutive model. Derived constitute model is used in the computational model to define material behavior. Since the theoretical approach cannot predict the evolution of cortical complex convolution after instability, non-linear finite element models are employed to study the 3-hinges formation and secondary morphological folds of the developing brain. Three-dimensional (3D) finite element analyses on a multi-layer soft tissue model which mimics a small piece of the brain are performed to investigate the fundamental mechanism of consistent hinge formation in the cortical folding. Results show that after certain amount growth of cortex, mechanical model starts to be unstable and then by formation of creases enters to a new configuration with lower strain energy. By further growth of the model, formed shallow creases start to form convoluted patterns and then develop 3-hinge patterns. Simulation results related to 3-hinges in models show good agreement with experimental observations from macaque, chimpanzee and human brain images. These results have great potential to reveal fundamental principles of brain architecture and to produce a unified theoretical framework that convincingly explains the intrinsic relationship between cortical folding and 3-hinges formation. This achieved fundamental understanding of the intrinsic relationship between cortical folding and 3-hinges formation would potentially shed new insights into the diagnosis of many brain disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, lissencephaly and polymicrogyria.

Keywords: Brain, finite element, cortical folding, three hinge

Procedia PDF Downloads 117
37 Facial Recognition and Landmark Detection in Fitness Assessment and Performance Improvement

Authors: Ying Wang, Brittany Richardson

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For physical therapy, exercise prescription, athlete training, and regular fitness training, it is crucial to perform health assessments or fitness assessments periodically. An accurate assessment is propitious for tracking recovery progress, preventing potential injury and making long-range training plans. Assessments include necessary measurements, height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, body fat, etc. and advanced evaluation, muscle group strength, stability-mobility, and movement evaluation, etc. In the current standard assessment procedures, the accuracy of assessments, especially advanced evaluations, largely depends on the experience of physicians, coaches, and personal trainers. And it is challenging to track clients’ progress in the current assessment. Unlike the tradition assessment, in this paper, we present a deep learning based face recognition algorithm for accurate, comprehensive and trackable assessment. Based on the result from our assessment, physicians, coaches, and personal trainers are able to adjust the training targets and methods. The system categorizes the difficulty levels of the current activity for the client or user, furthermore make more comprehensive assessments based on tracking muscle group over time using a designed landmark detection method. The system also includes the function of grading and correcting the form of the clients during exercise. Experienced coaches and personal trainer can tell the clients' limit based on their facial expression and muscle group movements, even during the first several sessions. Similar to this, using a convolution neural network, the system is trained with people’s facial expression to differentiate challenge levels for clients. It uses landmark detection for subtle changes in muscle groups movements. It measures the proximal mobility of the hips and thoracic spine, the proximal stability of the scapulothoracic region and distal mobility of the glenohumeral joint, as well as distal mobility, and its effect on the kinetic chain. This system integrates data from other fitness assistant devices, including but not limited to Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc. for a improved training and testing performance. The system itself doesn’t require history data for an individual client, but the history data of a client can be used to create a more effective exercise plan. In order to validate the performance of the proposed work, an experimental design is presented. The results show that the proposed work contributes towards improving the quality of exercise plan, execution, progress tracking, and performance.

Keywords: Exercise Prescription, Facial Recognition, landmark detection, fitness assessments

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36 Thermo-Economic Evaluation of Sustainable Biogas Upgrading via Solid-Oxide Electrolysis

Authors: Ligang Wang, Theodoros Damartzis, Stefan Diethelm, Jan Van Herle, François Marechal

Abstract:

Biogas production from anaerobic digestion of organic sludge from wastewater treatment as well as various urban and agricultural organic wastes is of great significance to achieve a sustainable society. Two upgrading approaches for cleaned biogas can be considered: (1) direct H₂ injection for catalytic CO₂ methanation and (2) CO₂ separation from biogas. The first approach usually employs electrolysis technologies to generate hydrogen and increases the biogas production rate; while the second one usually applies commercially-available highly-selective membrane technologies to efficiently extract CO₂ from the biogas with the latter being then sent afterward for compression and storage for further use. A straightforward way of utilizing the captured CO₂ is on-site catalytic CO₂ methanation. From the perspective of system complexity, the second approach may be questioned, since it introduces an additional expensive membrane component for producing the same amount of methane. However, given the circumstance that the sustainability of the produced biogas should be retained after biogas upgrading, renewable electricity should be supplied to drive the electrolyzer. Therefore, considering the intermittent nature and seasonal variation of renewable electricity supply, the second approach offers high operational flexibility. This indicates that these two approaches should be compared based on the availability and scale of the local renewable power supply and not only the technical systems themselves. Solid-oxide electrolysis generally offers high overall system efficiency, and more importantly, it can achieve simultaneous electrolysis of CO₂ and H₂O (namely, co-electrolysis), which may bring significant benefits for the case of CO₂ separation from the produced biogas. When taking co-electrolysis into account, two additional upgrading approaches can be proposed: (1) direct steam injection into the biogas with the mixture going through the SOE, and (2) CO₂ separation from biogas which can be used later for co-electrolysis. The case study of integrating SOE to a wastewater treatment plant is investigated with wind power as the renewable power. The dynamic production of biogas is provided on an hourly basis with the corresponding oxygen and heating requirements. All four approaches mentioned above are investigated and compared thermo-economically: (a) steam-electrolysis with grid power, as the base case for steam electrolysis, (b) CO₂ separation and co-electrolysis with grid power, as the base case for co-electrolysis, (c) steam-electrolysis and CO₂ separation (and storage) with wind power, and (d) co-electrolysis and CO₂ separation (and storage) with wind power. The influence of the scale of wind power supply is investigated by a sensitivity analysis. The results derived provide general understanding on the economic competitiveness of SOE for sustainable biogas upgrading, thus assisting the decision making for biogas production sites. The research leading to the presented work is funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 under grant agreements n° 699892 (ECo, topic H2020-JTI-FCH-2015-1) and SCCER BIOSWEET.

Keywords: energy storage, co2 utilization, biogas upgrading, solid-oxide electrolyzer, co-electrolysis

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35 Effect of Different By-Products on Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics and Serum Parameters of Growing Simmental Crossbred Cattle

Authors: Fei Wang, Jie Meng, Qingxiang Meng

Abstract:

China is rich in straw and by-product resources, whose utilization has always been a hot topic. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding soybean straw and wine distiller’s grain as a replacement for corn stover on performance of beef cattle. Sixty Simmental×local crossbred bulls averaging 12 months old and 335.7 ± 39.1 kg of body weight (BW) were randomly assigned into four groups (15 animals per group) and allocated to a diet with 40% maize stover (MSD), a diet with 40% wrapping package maize silage (PMSD), a diet with 12% soybean straw plus 28% maize stover (SSD) and a diet with 12% wine distiller’s grain plus 28% maize stover (WDD). Bulls were fed ad libitum an TMR consisting of 36.0% maize, 12.5% of DDGS, 5.0% of cottonseed meal, 4.0% of soybean meal and 40.0% of by-product as described above. Treatment period lasted for 22 weeks, consisting of 1 week of dietary adaptation. The results showed that dry matter intake (DMI) was significantly higher (P < 0.01) for PMSD group than MSD and SSD groups during 0-7 week and 8-14week, and PMSD and WDD groups had higher (P < 0.05) DMI values than MSD and SSD groups during the whole period. Average daily gain (ADG) values were 1.56, 1.72, 1.68 and 1.58 kg for MSD, PMSD, SSD and WDD groups respectively, although the differences were not significant (P > 0.05). The value of blood sugar concentration was significantly higher (P < 0.01) for MSD group than WDD group, and the blood urea nitrogen concentration of SSD group was lower (P < 0.05) than MSD and WDD groups. No significant difference (P > 0.05) of serum total cholesterol, triglycerides or total protein content was observed among the different groups. Ten bulls with similar body weight were selected at the end of feeding trial and slaughtered for measurement of slaughtering performance, carcass quality and meat chemical composition. SSD group had significantly lower (P < 0.05) shear force value and cooking loss than MSD and PMSD groups. The pH values of MSD and SSD groups were lower (P < 0.05) than PMSD and WDD groups. WDD group had a higher fat color brightness (L*) value than PMSD and SSD groups. There were no significant differences in dressing percentage, meat percentage, top grade meat weight, ribeye area, marbling score, meat color and meat chemical compositions among different dietary treatments. Based on these results, the packed maize stover silage showed a potential of improving the average daily gain and feed intake of beef cattle. Soybean straw had a significant effect on improving the tenderness and reducing cooking loss of beef. In general, soybean straw and packed maize stover silage would be beneficial to nitrogen deposition and showed a potential to substitute maize stover in beef cattle diets.

Keywords: Growth Performance, by-products, beef cattle, carcass quality

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34 Existential Affordances and Psychopathology: A Gibsonian Analysis of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Authors: S. Alina Wang

Abstract:

A Gibsonian approach is used to understand the existential dimensions of the human ecological niche. Then, this existential-Gibsonian framework is applied to rethinking Hacking’s historical analysis of multiple personality disorder. This research culminates in a generalized account of psychiatric illness from an enactivist lens. In conclusion, reflections on the implications of this account on approaches to psychiatric treatment are mentioned. J.J. Gibson’s theory of affordances centered on affordances of sensorimotor varieties, which guide basic behaviors relative to organisms’ vital needs and physiological capacities (1979). Later theorists, notably Neisser (1988) and Rietveld (2014), expanded on the theory of affordances to account for uniquely human activities relative to the emotional, intersubjective, cultural, and narrative aspects of the human ecological niche. This research shows that these affordances are structured by what Haugeland (1998) calls existential commitments, which draws on Heidegger’s notion of dasein (1927) and Merleau-Ponty’s account of existential freedom (1945). These commitments organize the existential affordances that fill an individual’s environment and guide their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This system of a priori existential commitments and a posteriori affordances is called existential enactivism. For humans, affordances do not only elicit motor responses and appear as objects with instrumental significance. Affordances also, and possibly primarily, determine so-called affective and cognitive activities and structure the wide range of kinds (e.g., instrumental, aesthetic, ethical) of significances of objects found in the world. Then existential enactivism is applied to understanding the psychiatric phenomenon of multiple personality disorder (precursor of the current diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder). A reinterpretation of Hacking’s (1998) insights into the history of this particular disorder and his generalizations on the constructed nature of most psychiatric illness is taken on. Enactivist approaches sensitive to existential phenomenology can provide a deeper understanding of these matters. Conceptualizing psychiatric illness as strictly a disorder in the head (whether parsed as a disorder of brain chemicals or meaning-making capacities encoded in psychological modules) is incomplete. Rather, psychiatric illness must also be understood as a disorder in the world, or in the interconnected networks of existential affordances that regulate one’s emotional, intersubjective, and narrative capacities. All of this suggests that an adequate account of psychiatric illness must involve (1) the affordances that are the sources of existential hindrance, (2) the existential commitments structuring these affordances, and (3) the conditions of these existential commitments. Approaches to treatment of psychiatric illness would be more effective by centering on the interruption of normalized behaviors corresponding to affordances targeted as sources of hindrance, the development of new existential commitments, and the practice of new behaviors that erect affordances relative to these reformed commitments.

Keywords: Psychiatry, phenomenology, Psychopathology, Affordance, enaction

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33 A Density Function Theory Based Comparative Study of Trans and Cis - Resveratrol

Authors: Feng Wang, Subhojyoti Chatterjee, Peter J. Mahon

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Resveratrol (RvL), a phenolic compound, is a key ingredient in wine and tomatoes that has been studied over the years because of its important bioactivities such as anti-oxidant, anti-aging and antimicrobial properties. Out of the two isomeric forms of resveratrol i.e. trans and cis, the health benefit is primarily associated with the trans form. Thus, studying the structural properties of the isomers will not only provide an insight into understanding the RvL isomers, but will also help in designing parameters for differentiation in order to achieve 99.9% purity of trans-RvL. In the present study, density function theory (DFT) study is conducted, using the B3LYP/6-311++G** model to explore the through bond and through space intramolecular interactions. Properties such as vibrational spectroscopy (IR and Raman), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra, excess orbital energy spectrum (EOES), energy based decomposition analyses (EDA) and Fukui function are calculated. It is discovered that the structure of trans-RvL, although it is C1 non-planar, the backbone non-H atoms are nearly in the same plane; whereas the cis-RvL consists of two major planes of R1 and R2 that are not in the same plane. The absence of planarity gives rise to a H-bond of 2.67Å in cis-RvL. Rotation of the C(5)-C(8) single bond in trans-RvL produces higher energy barriers since it may break the (planar) entire conjugated structure; while such rotation in cis-RvL produces multiple minima and maxima depending on the positions of the rings. The calculated FT-IR spectrum shows very different spectral features for trans and cis-RvL in the region 900 – 1500 cm-1, where the spectral peaks at 1138-1158 cm-1 are split in cis-RvL compared to a single peak at 1165 cm-1 in trans-RvL. In the Raman spectra, there is significant enhancement of cis-RvL in the region above 3000cm-1. Further, the carbon chemical environment (13C NMR) of the RvL molecule exhibit a larger chemical shift for cis-RvL compared to trans-RvL (Δδ = 8.18 ppm) for the carbon atom C(11), indicating that the chemical environment of the C group in cis-RvL is more diverse than its other isomer. The energy gap between highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and the lowest occupied molecular orbital (LUMO) is 3.95 eV for trans and 4.35 eV for cis-RvL. A more detailed inspection using the recently developed EOES revealed that most of the large energy differences i.e. Δεcis-trans > ±0.30 eV, in their orbitals are contributed from the outer valence shell. They are MO60 (HOMO), MO52-55 and MO46. The active sites that has been captured by Fukui function (f + > 0.08) are associated with the stilbene C=C bond of RvL and cis-RvL is more active at these sites than in trans-RvL, as cis orientation breaks the large conjugation of trans-RvL so that the hydroxyl oxygen’s are more active in cis-RvL. Finally, EDA highlights the interaction energy (ΔEInt) of the phenolic compound, where trans is preferred over the cis-RvL (ΔΔEi = -4.35 kcal.mol-1) isomer. Thus, these quantum mechanics results could help in unwinding the diversified beneficial activities associated with resveratrol.

Keywords: NMR, Resveratrol, FT-IR, Raman, Fukui function, excess orbital energy spectrum, energy decomposition analysis

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32 Prevalent Features of Human Infections with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, China, 2017

Authors: Qun Li, Chao Li, Lei Zhou, Ruiqi Ren, Dan Li, Yali Wang, Daxin Ni, Zijian Feng, Timothy M. Uyeki

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Since the first human infections with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were identified in early 2013, 1533 cases of laboratory-confirmed A(H7N9) virus infections were reported and confirmed as of September 13, 2017. The fifth epidemic was defined as starting from September 1, 2016, and the number of A(H7N9) cases has surged since the end of December in 2016. On February 18, 2017, the A(H7N9) cases who were infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus was reported from Southern China. The HPAI A(H7N9) cases were identified and then an investigation and analyses were conducted to assess whether disease severity in humans has changed with HPAI A(H7N9) compared with low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) A(H7N9) virus infection. Methods: All confirmed cases with A(H7N9) virus infections reported throughout mainland China from September 1, 2016, to September 13, 2017, were included. Cases' information was extracted from field investigation reports and the notifiable infectious surveillance system to describe the demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics. Descriptive statistics were used to compare HPAI A(H7N9) cases with all LPAI A(H7N9) cases reported during the fifth epidemic. Results: A total of 27 cases of HPAI A(H7N9) virus were identified infection from five provinces, including Guangxi (44%), Guangdong (33%), Hunan (15%), Hebei (4%) and Shangxi (4%). The median age of cases of HPAI A(H7N9) virus infection was 60 years (range, 15 to 80) and most of them were male (59%) and lived in rural areas (78%). All 27 cases had live poultry related exposures within 10 days before their illness onset. In comparison with LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients, HPAI A(H7N9) case-patients were significantly more likely to live in rural areas (78% vs. 51%; p = 0.006), have exposure to the sick or dead poultry (56% vs. 19%; p = 0.000), and be hospitalized earlier (median 3 vs. 4 days; p = 0.007). No significant differences were observed in median age, sex, prevalence of underlying chronic medical conditions, median time from illness onset to first medical service seeking, starting antiviral treatment, and diagnosis. Although the median time from illness onset to death (9 vs. 13 days) was shorter and the overall case-fatality proportion (48% vs. 38%) was higher for HPAI A(H7N9) case-patients than for LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients, these differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that HPAI A(H7N9) virus infection was associated with exposure to sick and dead poultry in rural areas when visited live poultry market or in the backyard. In the fifth epidemic in mainland China, HPAI A (H7N9) case-patients were hospitalized earlier than LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients. Although the difference was not statistically significant, the mortality of HPAI A (H7N9) case-patients was obviously higher than that of LPAI A(H7N9) case-patients, indicating a potential severity change of HPAI A(H7N9) virus infection.

Keywords: Poultry, Avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), case-patients

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