National Taiwan University
Recent publications
Headlines play a crucial role in attracting reader attention and encouraging visitors to click. This study used 2,623 WeChat article headlines on the Chengdu school food safety event and employed quantitative content analysis to explore the dynamic relationship of headline strategy (i.e. headline style and headline frame) and news source with user clicks at distinct phases of the issue–attention cycle. The results first revealed that various types of headline styles affect the number of user clicks based on the issue–attention phase, but no single type dominates public attention at any phase. Second, reader attention could be attracted using the information with the singleton detection mode. However, the feature search mode could filter official-oriented discourse. Third, the ‘treatment recommendation’ headline frame, which clearly summarises the core of texts, generally lacked executability and had a poor effect on audience mobilisation. Fourth, readers depended on certain media channels under low-choice media environment, and information issued by administrative sources was not widely spread because of the limitation on their functions and specific targets. Finally, news from traditional mainstream media, online communities, and independent sources were more click-attractive news than the news from other sources, thus demonstrating a complementary relationship between official reports and social media discourses.
Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient which plays pivotal roles as electron donor and catalyst across organisms. In plants, variable, often insufficient Fe supply necessitates mechanisms that constantly attune Fe uptake rates and recalibrate cellular Fe homoeostasis. Here, we show that short-term (0.5, 6, and 12 h) exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to Fe deficiency triggered massive changes in gene activity governed by transcription and alternative splicing (AS), regulatory layers that were to a large extent mutually exclusive. Such preclusion was not observed for genes that are directly involved in the acquisition of Fe, which appears to be concordantly regulated by both expression and AS. Generally, genes with lower splice site strengths and higher intron numbers were more likely to be regulated by AS, no dependence on gene architecture was observed for transcriptionally controlled genes. Conspicuously, specific processes were associated with particular genomic features and biased towards either regulatory mode, suggesting that genomic hardwiring is functionally biased. Early changes in splicing patterns were, in many cases, congruent with later changes in transcript or protein abundance, thus contributing to the pronounced transcriptome-proteome discordance observed in plants.
The functional interleukin 6 (IL-6) signaling complex is a hexameric structure composed of IL-6, IL-6Rα, and the signaling receptor gp130. There are three different modes of IL-6 signaling, classic signaling, trans-signaling, and trans-presentation, which are not functionally redundant and mediate pleiotropic effects on both physiological and pathophysiological states. Monoclonal antibodies against IL-6 or IL-6Rα have been successfully developed for clinical application. However, designing therapeutic interventions that block specific modes of IL-6 signaling in a pathologically relevant manner remains a great challenge. Here, we constructed a fusion protein Hyper-IL-6 (HyIL-6) composed of human IL-6 and IL-6Rα to develop specific blocking antibodies against the IL-6/IL-6Rα complex. We successfully screened the monoclonal antibody C14mab, which can bind to HyIL-6 with the binding constant 2.86 × 10-10 and significantly inhibit IL-6/IL-6Rα/gp130 complex formation. In vitro, C14mab effectively inhibited HyIL-6-stimulated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation and related vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induction. Moreover, C14mab efficaciously suppressed HyIL-6-induced acute phase response in vivo. Our data from hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry demonstrate that C14mab mainly binds to site IIIa of IL-6 and blocks the final step in the interaction between gp130 and IL-6/IL-6Rα complex. Additionally, data from enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and kinetics assays indicate that C14mab interacts simultaneously with IL-6 and IL-6Rα, while it does not interact with IL-6Rα alone. The unique features of C14mab may offer a novel alternative for IL-6 blockade and illuminate a better therapeutic intervention targeting IL-6.
This paper presents the fabrication of a prototype with unique functionalities for monitoring human heart rate via simple insertion of fingertip on an infrared based sensor. The variation in the absorbance caused by the repeated pumping of oxygenated blood to various tissues within the body leads to distinct peaks and dips corresponding to the signal from the detector. Further, a MATLAB based Graphical User Interface (GUI) is developed to visualize this heart-beat signal as well as count the heart rate. In addition, the oxygen concentration can also be deciphered from the reported sensing scheme. The developed prototype seems to be in excellent match with standard heartrate monitoring device. It is believed that this multimodal prototype will pave way for more investigation towards development of sophisticated AI based analysis.
Earthquake-triggered landslides are common disasters of active mountain belts. Due to the lack of earthquake-triggered landslide inventory in Taiwan, it is not intuitive to observe spatial relationships and discover unique patterns between landslides and essential triggers. We examined strong earthquake events in Taiwan after the 1999 M w 7.6 Chi-Chi earthquake and targeted the 2013 M L 6.5 Nantou earthquake to create the landslide inventory. We adopted two Landsat-8 satellite images before and after the event to detect landslides, and incorporated a 20-m DEM and rock type data of Taiwan to represent key factors triggering earthquake-induced landslides such as peak ground acceleration (PGA), lithology, slope roughness, slope, and aspect. Based on the analysis of the density of landslides, there are strong correlations between the landslide occurrence and seismic and geomorphic factors. Furthermore, we noticed that the landslide aspects have a systematic tendency towards the northeast, which is not correlated with the dip directions and wave propagation directions. Instead, we found that the northeastward landslide aspect is more associated with the westward–southwestward surface movement at the landslides. We found that the included angles between the landslide aspects and the displacement directions for all the landslides are ~ 100°–180°. The relationship indicated that the coseismic deformation of the Nantou earthquake may play a role in the landslide distribution. Graphical Abstract
Recycling of waste printed circuit boards (PCBs) has attracted increasing attention because of its high annually produced amount and high content of gold. In this study, gold recovery from waste PCBs was carried out by using the processes including microwave pyrolysis, acid leaching, solvent extraction and oxidative precipitation. The leaching efficiency of copper was approximately 95% when using a lixiviant composed of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, and the leaching efficiencies of gold were approximately 59, 95 and 95% by using thiourea, thiosulfate and aqua regia, respectively. The gold ions contained in the leachate previously produced by the leaching processes were not satisfactorily extracted by using organic solvents including di-(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid, tributyl phosphate, dibutyl carbitol and trioctylamine, so the leachate was decided to bypass solvent extraction and directly apply to the oxidative precipitation process. By using the oxidants of hydrogen peroxide and perchloric acid, the precipitation efficiencies of gold were approximately 95 and 99%, and the final recovery rates were approximately 90 and 93%, respectively. The high recovery rates of gold can be attributable to the use of microwave pyrolysis that prevents the loss of gold caused by shredding and grinding processes. In addition, perchloric acid can provide higher selectivity for gold recovery than hydrogen peroxide. The maximum processing capacity of microwave pyrolysis of waste PCBs would be approximately 1.23 kg. The gold recovered from 1 t of waste PCBs can be sold for approximately USD 10,000, and thus the return on investment can be as high as approximately 1400%.
Obesity is an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). However, ‘obesity paradox’ is observed in patients with coronary artery disease while defining obesity by body mass index (BMI). The purpose of this study is to identify a better anthropometric parameter to predict cardiovascular events in patients with ASCVD. The study was conducted using the Taiwanese Secondary Prevention for patients with AtheRosCLErotic disease (T-SPARCLE) Registry. A total of 6,920 adult patients with stable ASCVD, enrolled from January 2010 to November 2014, were included, with a mean age of 65.9 years, 73.9% males, and a mean BMI of 26.3 kg/m ² at baseline. These patients were followed up for a median of 2.5 years. The study endpoint was the composite major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE), defined as cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke, or cardiac arrest with resuscitation. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression showed a significant positive association between waist-to-BMI ratio and MACE (adjusted hazard ratio 1.69 per cm‧m ² /kg increase in waist-to-BMI ratio, 95% CI 1.12–2.49, p = 0.01) after adjusting for potential risk factors and confounders. Traditional anthropometric parameters, such as BMI, weight, waist and waist-hip ratio, or newer waist-based indices, such as body roundness index and a body shape index, did not show any significant linear associations ( p = 0.09, 0.30, 0.89, 0.54, 0.79 and 0.06, respectively). In the restricted cubic spline regression analysis, the positive dose–response association between waist-to-BMI ratio and MACE persisted across all the range of waist-to-BMI ratio. The positive dose–response association was non-linear with a much steeper increase in the risk of MACE for waist-to-BMI ratio > 3.6 cm‧m ² /kg. In conclusion, waist-to-BMI ratio may function as a positive predictor for the risk of MACE in established ASCVD patients.
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at higher risk of stroke. This study aimed to investigate the clinical factors of stroke risk in COPD and allied conditions patients and associations between medications for treating COPD and allied conditions. The population-based study cohort comprised 24,173 patients diagnosed with COPD and allied conditions between 2000 and 2013, and 24,170 selected matched patients without COPD comprised the comparison cohort from a nationwide database. Cox-proportional hazard regression was performed to determine the impact of medical therapies, comorbidities, and other clinical factors on stroke risk. Of the 48,343 included patients, 1394 (2.9%) experienced stroke during follow-up, with a significant difference between COPD and allied conditions cohort (1003/4.2%) and comparison cohort (391/1.6%) (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 2.72, p < 0.001). Cox-regression analysis revealed that COPD and allied conditions patients who were older (>65 years) (HR: 1.06); male (HR: 1.39); with hypertension (HR: 1.46), diabetes mellitus (HR: 1.33) and atrial fibrillation (HR: 1.63) had increased stroke risk. Mucolytics (HR: 0.44) and combination therapy with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting β2-agonists (LABA) (HR: 0.75) were associated with decreased stroke risk in COPD and allied conditions patients. Among COPD and allied conditions patients, major comorbidities increase risk of stroke. Therapy with mucolytic agents and combination ICS/LABA is associated with risk reduction.
Caspase-mediated cleavage of PARP1 is a surrogate marker for apoptosis. However, the biological significance of PARP1 cleavage during apoptosis is still unclear. Here, using unbiased protein affinity purification, we show that truncated PARP1 (tPARP1) recognizes the RNA polymerase III (Pol III) complex in the cytosol. tPARP1 mono-ADP-ribosylates RNA Pol III in vitro and mediates ADP-ribosylation of RNA Pol III during poly(dA-dT)-stimulated apoptosis in cells. tPARP1-mediated activation of RNA Pol III facilitates IFN-β production and apoptosis. In contrast, suppression of PARP1 or expressing the non-cleavable form of PARP1 impairs these molecular events. Taken together, these studies reveal a novel biological role of tPARP1 during cytosolic DNA-induced apoptosis.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is strongly associated with the gut microbiota and its metabolites, including trimethylamine- N -oxide (TMAO), formed from metaorganismal metabolism of ʟ-carnitine. Raw garlic juice, with allicin as its primary compound, exhibits considerable effects on the gut microbiota. This study validated the benefits of raw garlic juice against CVD risk via modulation of the gut microbiota and its metabolites. Allicin supplementation significantly decreased serum TMAO in ʟ-carnitine-fed C57BL/6 J mice, reduced aortic lesions, and altered the fecal microbiota in carnitine-induced, atherosclerosis-prone, apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE −/− ) mice. In human subjects exhibiting high-TMAO production, raw garlic juice intake for a week reduced TMAO formation, improved gut microbial diversity, and increased the relative abundances of beneficial bacteria. In in vitro and ex vivo studies, raw garlic juice and allicin inhibited γ-butyrobetaine (γBB) and trimethylamine production by the gut microbiota. Thus, raw garlic juice and allicin can potentially prevent cardiovascular disease by decreasing TMAO production via gut microbiota modulation.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely investigated for applications in photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in wastewater. Despite the advantages of robust ZnO material, its photocatalytic activity is greatly affected by environmental factors. Halogen ions are commonly found in wastewater, which directly affect the pollutant aggregation and sedimentation, therefore it is necessary to discuss their effect on the photocatalytic degradation. The current study assesses the halogen ions effect on the photocatalytic degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) using different dosage of sodium chloride (NaCl) and sodium bromide (NaBr). The microstructural characterization of ZnO NPs was conducted by transmission electron microscopy and hydrodynamic size was analyzed through dynamic light scattering. The effective BPA degradation with ZnO NPs was observed and pseudo-first-order kinetics was calculated. The increase of ZnO NPs dosage from 10 to 100 mg L − 1 enhanced the degradation rate constant of BPA up to 0.089 min − 1 (14.8 folds). In order to evaluate the role halogen ions to degrade BPA, NaBr and NaCl were used. The degradation rate was reduced to 0.0034 min − 1 after the addition of NaBr due to the increase in hydrodynamic particle size, thereby restricting the light adsorption capacity. Noteworthy, upon addition of NaCl up to 500 mM concentration, only a slight decrease on BPA degradation rate was observed. Therefore, this study unveils the role of chloride ions as an effective medium for BPA degradation by ZnO NPs, without aggregation, and provides a novel platform for the treatment of organic pollutants in saline water.
Background Current pharmacologic prophylactic strategies for migraine have exhibited limited efficacy, with response rates as low as 40%–50%. In addition to the limited efficacy, the acceptability of those pharmacologic prophylactic strategies were unacceptable. Although noninvasive brain/nerve stimulation strategies may be effective, the evidence has been inconsistent. The aim of this network meta-analysis (NMA) was to compare strategies of noninvasive brain/nerve stimulation for migraine prophylaxis with respect to their effectiveness and acceptability. Methods The PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, ProQuest, ClinicalTrials.gov , ClinicalKey, Cochrane CENTRAL, Web of Science, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were systematically searched to date of June 4th, 2021 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Patients with diagnosis of migraine, either episodic migraine or chronic migraine, were included. All NMA procedures were conducted under the frequentist model. Results Nineteen RCTs were included ( N = 1493; mean age = 38.2 years; 82.0% women). We determined that the high frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over C3 yielded the most decreased monthly migraine days among all the interventions [mean difference = − 8.70 days, 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs): − 14.45 to − 2.95 compared to sham/control groups]. Only alternating frequency (2/100 Hz) transcutaneous occipital nerve stimulation (tONS) over the Oz (RR = 0.36, 95%CIs: 0.16 to 0.82) yielded a significantly lower drop-out rate than the sham/control groups did. Conclusions The current study provided a new direction for the design of more methodologically robust and larger RCTs based on the findings of the potentially beneficial effect on migraine prophylaxis in participants with migraine by different noninvasive brain/nerve stimulation, especially the application of rTMS and tONS. Trial registration CRD42021252638. The current study had been approval by the Institutional Review Board of the Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center (TSGHIRB No. B-109-29).
An inter-decadal increase (1990–2009) in the western North Pacific (WNP) tropical cyclone (TC) genesis frequency in May has recently been reported. The TC decadal changes was attributed to an advanced monsoon onset over the Asian Summer Monsoon region, particularly over the South China Sea (SCS) in May. In the present study, we used 60 years (1961–2020) of TC data and 40 years (1981–2020) of the global reanalysis data to investigate the unique changes of the SCS TC activity during May and the associated large-scale environment. We find that the increasing trend was weakened during the most recent decade (2011–2020), and the advanced monsoon onset was not discernable. The period of 2011–2020 was identified as a decade of the minimum TC genesis frequency over the SCS in May since 1961. The extremely inactive TC genesis was attributed to the weak low-level cross equatorial monsoonal flow over the Indo-Pacific warm pool and the weak westerly monsoon (easterly anomalies) north of equator from the western Pacific through the Philippine Sea and the SCS to the Bay of Bengal. The weak tropical monsoon was associated with subtropical anticyclonic and suppressed convection north of the equator and the opposite wind and convection south of the equator. The anticyclonic circulation over the SCS was particularly strong that inhibited TC genesis during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Taiwania ( Taiwania cryptomerioides ) is a valuable raw material in the wood products industry in Taiwan. An empirical study of the physiological and psychological effects of smelling Taiwania contributes to an understanding of the properties of interior wood that could potentially promote the use of wood materials in a healthy living environment. Prior studies have indicated that pre-knowledge of odors can cause cognitive bias and different responses in subjects. Designed to disclose the therapeutic effects of Taiwania’s scent and its extension to environmental health promotions, this study aimed to (1) investigate its effects on human health responses by stimulating olfaction, and (2) explore the role of cognitive bias in exposure to the scent of Taiwania. The results showed Taiwania’s volatiles had a relaxation effect in reducing the heart rates of participants. Some negative mood states, such as confusion, fatigue, and depression were suppressed. Regarding sensory perceptions, participants reported Taiwania’s scent induced greater affective scores of stimulation, excitement, firmness, distinctiveness, activity, and denseness, but a lower feeling of pleasantness. There were significant effects of positive cognitive bias on reducing the anger-hostility feeling of participants, but no effects on physiological responses. Moreover, the positive information bias alleviated the unpleasantness toward the smell.
Background Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a worldwide cancer with rising annual incidence. New medications for patients with CRC are still needed. Recently, fluorescent chemical probes have been developed for cancer imaging and therapy. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) has complex functions in tumorigenesis and its role in CRC still needs further investigation. Methods RNA sequencing datasets in the NCBI GEO repository were analyzed to investigate the expression of STAT1 in patients with CRC. Xenograft mouse models, tail vein injection mouse models, and azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate (AOM/DSS) mouse models were generated to study the roles of STAT1 in CRC. A ligand-based high-throughput virtual screening approach combined with SWEETLEAD chemical database analysis was used to discover new STAT1 inhibitors. A newly designed and synthesized fluorescently labeled 4’,5,7-trihydroxyisoflavone (THIF) probe (BODIPY-THIF) elucidated the mechanistic actions of STAT1 and THIF in vitro and in vivo. Colonosphere formation assay and chick chorioallantoic membrane assay were used to evaluate stemness and angiogenesis, respectively. Results Upregulation of STAT1 was observed in patients with CRC and in mouse models of AOM/DSS-induced CRC and metastatic CRC. Knockout of STAT1 in CRC cells reduced tumor growth in vivo. We then combined a high-throughput virtual screening approach and analysis of the SWEETLEAD chemical database and found that THIF, a flavonoid abundant in soybeans, was a novel STAT1 inhibitor. THIF inhibited STAT1 phosphorylation and might bind to the STAT1 SH2 domain, leading to blockade of STAT1-STAT1 dimerization. The results of in vitro and in vivo binding studies of THIF and STAT1 were validated. The pharmacological treatment with BODIPY-THIF or ablation of STAT1 via a CRISPR/Cas9-based strategy abolished stemness and angiogenesis in CRC. Oral administration of BODIPY-THIF attenuated colitis symptoms and tumor growth in the mouse model of AOM/DSS-induced CRC. Conclusions This study demonstrates that STAT1 plays an oncogenic role in CRC. BODIPY-THIF is a new chemical probe inhibitor of STAT1 that reduces stemness and angiogenesis in CRC. BODIPY-THIF can be a potential tool for CRC therapy as well as cancer cell imaging.
A rapid and high-performance sensor for lard adulterant in edible oil was developed using the tapered plastic optical fiber (POF) coated with graphene and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The coating material was deposited onto a tapered POF with a taper waist diameter and a taper length of 0.45 mm and 1 cm, respectively. The addition of the coating material was used to increase the sensitivity and selectivity coefficient of the tapered POF toward the lard substance. The sensing mechanism is based on a simultaneous interaction of lard substance and an evanescent wave of tapered POF with the coating layers. The results showed that graphene coating on the tapered POF increased the selectivity coefficient of the tapered POF towards lard substance from 33.54 to 324.19, and it gave a sensitivity of 0.427 dBm/%. In comparison, multi-walled carbon nanotubes coating increased the selectivity coefficient to 71.65 and increased its sensitivity to 1.189dBm/%. Thus, the proposed configuration of the tapered POF with the coating material offered a simple configuration for a rapid, high sensitivity and selectivity detection of lard adulterant in edible oils.
Quantitative horizontal displacement in the landslide potential area is necessary for mitigating casualties, property damage, and economic loss. Focusing on a sliding within a deep-seated landslide potential area located in Guanghua area in northern Taiwan, this study employed an unmanned aerial system (UAS) to capture and produce seven high-precision orthomosaics from February 23 to March 26, 2021. Through particle image velocimetry (PIV) method, these orthomosaics were used to assess the two-dimensional land surface displacement in the sliding-movement region. The results revealed substantial displacement in the study region within the monitoring period. The direction of displacement was consistent with the slope aspect in the region. To evaluate the suitability of the proposed model, the coefficient of efficiency was chosen to determine the goodness-of-fit between the observed and calculated two-dimensional displacement in situ land surface displacement extensometer. The result showed that coefficient of efficiency was up to 0.998. In addition, the greatest displacement was observed in the vegetated section located at the bottom of the sliding-movement region. This section also had the highest slope, and its maximum tree-crow displacement exceeded 9 m. PIV facilitated easy identification of the range and boundaries of the sliding area. This noncontact monitoring technique overcame the limitations of single-point displacement assessment, obviating the time-consuming, costly processes involved in conventional monitoring methods. The achieved results obtained by proposed method gave a worthy support for an accurate understanding and evaluation of the landslide processes in the watershed. The technique can also be applied to other critical infrastructure sites, allowing hazard risk reduction.
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20,946 members
Chein-Wei Chang
  • Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (University Hospital)
Fang-Chia Chang
  • Department and Graduate Institute of Veterinary Medicine
Vianney Denis
  • Institute of Oceanography
Shinn Chih Wu
  • Department of Animal Science and Technology
Chih-Kang Chiang
  • Graduate Institute of Toxicology
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