This study investigated how corporate social responsibility, adherence to social missions, organisation–public relationships outcomes, and corporate reputation influence the purchase intentions for social enterprises’ products. Through a survey of Taiwanese consumers (N = 507) in online channels, results suggested that corporate social responsibility and adherence to social missions indirectly influenced purchase intentions through organisation−public relationships and corporate reputation. However, the direct effect of corporate social responsibility on organisation–public relationship outcomes was nonsignificant. Adherence to social missions acted as a more important factor than corporate social responsibility in generating purchase intentions, indicating the importance of social missions in the social enterprise context.
The Taiwan orogenic belt is formed by the strong convergence between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The detailed mountain building process is still under debated largely due to the poor constraint of deep crustal structures, particularly the geometry at the Moho-depth. Here the Moho-refracted P waves are identified from the seismic data recorded by a dense seismic array (Formosa Array) in northern Taiwan. Although the refracted seismic energy is often weak at each individual station, the waveform similarity recorded at the nearby stations provides a reliable constraint for estimating the apparent velocity recorded by the dense seismic array. The forward modeling of the observed Moho-refracted P waves shows a larger crustal thickness (~ 52 km) beneath the Backbone Ranges than beneath the adjacent Hsuehshan Ranges (~ 36 km). Such a result is not only confirming the Moho variations along a few of the NW-SE profiles from the previous studies, but also showing the strong Moho variation is well extended along the NE-SW direction. The large change in the crustal thickness across the Taiwan orogeny strongly indicate that the orogenic deformation in Taiwan might extend beyond the shallow crust, possibly involving in the deep crust and upper mantle. The Taiwan orogeny may not be reaching to the isostatic equilibrium yet.
Sixth-generation (6G) wireless communication networks will provide larger coverage and capacity with lower energy consumption and hardware costs than 5G. Intelligent reflecting surface (IRS)-aided millimeter-wave massive MIMO OFDM communication is a new technology that intelligently manipulates electromagnetic waves. This has recently attracted much attention given its potential to manage the wireless propagation environment at low hardware costs and with minimal energy usage. However, channel prediction is complicated by the fact that IRS is rarely equipped with power amplifiers, various radio frequency chains, or a significant number of reflecting components. In this paper, we propose a convolutional denoising autoencoder model and investigate a joint attention mechanism for channel prediction. Then, we employ the attention mechanism to identify features of channel subcarrier interference to improve the channel prediction performance. Long-range dependent specificity is captured through the attention mechanism to generate useful features from the input signal. The encoder-decoder design of the autoencoder serves as a dimensionality reduction method that enables the autoencoder to predict the spatial and temporal distribution features of continuous signals by exploiting the extraction of sequence features from the model. Numerical results show that the proposed algorithm significantly improves the performance of IRS-aided millimeter-wave massive MIMO OFDM communication systems compared with previous methods.
Big data applications, such as recommendation system and social network, often generate a huge number of fine-grained reads to the storage. Block-oriented storage devices upon the traditional storage system rely on the paging mechanism to migrate pages to the host DRAM, tending to suffer from these fine-grained read operations in terms of I/O traffic as well as performance. Motivated by this challenge, an efficient fine-grained read framework, Pipette, is proposed in this paper as an extension to the traditional I/O framework. With adaptive design for caching, merging and scheduling, Pipette explores locality and acceleration for fine-grained read requests to establish an efficient byte-granular read path upon the dedicated byte-addressable interface. When the Pipette prototype on an SSD runs popular workloads, we measured throughput gains by up to 50% and 54% with traffic reduction in the range of 41.3× and 56.5×.
With the strong demand for stable and great quality of service in many network and multimedia services, flash-memory storage systems have been widely adopted in the storage I/O stack in servers and data centers to provide greater access performance. In these services, a huge-size storage system is essential. However, the huge-size flash storage system is very expensive. Flash storage vendors gradually adopt the high-density, low-reliability, and cost-efficient MLC NAND flash memory chip as the major storage medium. Unfortunately, MLC NAND flash memory also brings about the critical issue of the high raw bit error rate. To resolve this issue, vendors adopt the more complex error correction code (such as LDPC). However, LDPC also results in significant read performance degradation due to its multiple read-retry sensing and decoding steps. To resolve this issue, we proposed a retention-aware read acceleration design (referred to as RRA) for the LDPC-based flash storage system to maintain stable and great read performance without significantly affecting the lifetime. Without significantly modifying the existing FTL design, we proposed a retention-aware management module to the existing FTL design. This module can efficiently identify and predict the data access characteristics and precisely allocate the suitable blocks for different data. The proposed design was evaluated with a series of experiments. The experiment results demonstrate that it could effectively reduce average read response time without significantly increasing the number of total live-page copying compared to the typical wear-leveling strategy.
Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are efficient computational intelligence (CI) techniques for solving complex optimization problems in different areas. Explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) has recently emerged as a popular research topic as people are increasingly attempting to know the manner in which AI algorithms attain results. In this context, understanding and analyzing the optimization processes of EAs to effectively enhance their performance are crucial and challenging tasks. Most traditional visualization methods focus on dimensionality reduction, visualization of the fitness landscape and the optimization process for a particular algorithm. This study represents the first attempt at establishing a comprehensive dynamic visualization tool, Evo-Panel, that can directly and flexibly illustrate the detailed procedures of different optimization algorithms in solving numerical benchmark functions. The objective is to help users identify the influence of the design formulas, operations, and parameters on the capabilities and performances of the algorithms. Using Evo-Panel, users can trace each movement, observe the process in an intuitive manner, and interpret the processes related to EAs, which are important to XAI. Moreover, Evo-Panel can be used to perform a comparative analysis to illustrate the differences between algorithms. Results of case studies demonstrate that the use of Evo-Panel can allow professors to explain optimization algorithms in a visually interesting manner and facilitate the students' understanding of EAs. The tool can promote CI-related education from teaching and learning perspectives. Furthermore, researchers can use it to obtain information for analysis, facilitate debugging, verify design ideas, gain insights into the process, and enhance the design of EAs.
A new voltage sensing method, named Information Acquisition of Pulsating Voltage (IAPV), is proposed in this paper to improve the accuracy of voltage measurement for the electric motor emulator (EME). In the EME, the widely used conventional voltage sensing (CVS) method with low-pass filters and analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) in digital signal processors (DSP) is susceptible to phase delay and noise. To deal with the disadvantage of the CVS method, the IAPV method is introduced with the pulsating voltage signal digitally transmitted and directly processed by the DSP. Simulations and hardware experiments are performed to validate the proposed IAPV method. Based on the experimental results, the proposed IAPV method can achieve smaller errors by comparing it to the CVS method. It is also applicable in the EME to obtain accurate voltage information.
This paper presents an on-chipSynchronous Inversion and Change Extraction (SICE) interface circuit, which combines the advantages of both the Synchronous Switch Harvesting on Inductor (SSHI) and Synchronous Electric Charge Extraction (SECE) interface circuits while utilizing a shared inductor. The SICE employs a bias-flip operation, similar to the SSHI, by inverting the piezoelectric voltage at each extremum multiple times to achieve higher power gain. Subsequently, SICE transfers all energy in Piezoelectric Harvester to the output capacitor, similar to the harvesting operation used in an SECE, thereby making the transferred energy independent of the loading impedance. A prototype AC-DC converter with the proposed SICE interface circuit was fabricated in a TSMC 0.25-μm process. Experimental results demonstrate an output power (POUT) of 130μW when the piezoelectric voltage (VPZ) is 10V. The SICE interface circuit has been theoretically and experimentally shown to harvest more than 624% compared to the conventional full-bridge rectifier, validating its superior performance.
This paper presents an overview of privacy protection, with a focus on differential privacy (DP), from the perspective of edge computing. It explores the application of DP in various associative analysis techniques, including heavy hitter mining, frequent itemset mining, and association rules mining, within the context of edge computing. The paper also highlights the current challenges and future research directions in this area, including differentially private hybrid models and federated learning. By examining the intersection of privacy protection and edge computing, this paper provides insights into the application of DP and its potential for preserving privacy in associative analysis tasks within edge computing environments.
Miniaturized computational spectrometers are opto-electronic instruments that can measure the intensity of light as a function of its wavelength, providing valuable information for applications such as material analysis, environmental monitoring, and medical diagnostics. In recent years, advances in nanotechnology, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and computational algorithms have allowed significant miniaturization of spectrometers, vastly reducing their footprint, weight, and cost compared with traditional benchtop instruments. Despite these advances, several challenges still remain in the development and widespread adoption of miniaturized computational spectrometers. In this article, we begin by providing an overview of the benefits and potential applications of miniaturized computational spectrometers. Following that, we delve into detailed discussion on the materials utilized and the underlying physical mechanisms at play within these devices. We then review the computational algorithms employed for spectrum reconstruction. Lastly, we attempt to shed light on the outstanding challenges faced in this field.
The U.S.-China trade conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic have been straining the global semiconductor value chains, causing technological fragmentation and severe chain disruptions. As an essential part of the complex global semiconductor ecosystem, Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain has become a geopolitical focal point and has been caught between the global superpowers’ tensions. This chapter attempts to give fresh quantitative evidence of supply chain disruptions, short-chain issues, restructuring plans, challenges, opportunities, and strategies in Taiwan’s manufacturing and semiconductor supply chain in the face of geopolitical and pandemic uncertainties. By adopting the questionnaire survey method with stratified sampling and in-depth interviews with firms’ executives, we collected semi-annual primary data from a representative and persistent sample of Taiwan’s manufacturing and semiconductor firms from 2018 to 2022. The results show that Taiwan’s manufacturers are still driven by low-cost competition, while the supply-chain risk management has become a top priority for Taiwan semiconductors following the U.S.-China trade war. Despite the “de-Sinicization” movement of Taiwan’s manufacturing sector, Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain still intends to expand production in China and bring the capacity closer to market demand by moving to the U.S., Japan, ASEAN, and Europe. Without Taiwan’s closely-knit semiconductor ecosystem, balancing resilience with cost reduction challenges most of Taiwan’s semiconductor firms. This chapter also provides relevant information for the Taiwan authorities and the global superpowers for conducting economic diplomacy. To mitigate supply chain disruptions and guarantee economic and national security, foreign governments’ initial funding and subsidies may be inadequate to court investment by Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturers. Forming joint ventures with the local supply chain and entering the new product market may be more critical to Taiwan’s overseas semiconductor investment.
To evaluate the real-world efficacy of aflibercept using the treat-and-extend (TnE) regimen in treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), and to analyze biomarkers using optical coherence tomography (OCT) to predict treatment outcomes. Patients diagnosed with nAMD or PCV who received an intravitreal injection of aflibercept following the TnE regimen for ≥ 2 years were retrospectively reviewed. Data on best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), number of injections, treatment interval, and OCT biomarkers, including central macular thickness, presence of subretinal fluid (SRF), and serous pigmented epithelial detachment, were collected at baseline and at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the first injection. A total of 43 patients were enrolled in this study, 24 of whom were diagnosed with nAMD and 19 with PCV. The BCVA in logMAR (mean ± standard deviation) improved from 0.75 ± 0.41 (baseline) to 0.60 ± 0.41 (P = 0.002) at 3 months after treatment initiation, and further improved to 0.66 ± 0.46 at 24 months (P = 0.137). The number of injections (mean ± standard deviation) within the 2-year treatment course was 10.95 ± 3.65. At month 24 of the TnE regimen, the treatment interval was extended to ≥ 16 weeks in 60.5% of all cases and to 78.9% of the PCV cases. After three loading injections, persistent subretinal fluid and intraretinal fluid were predictive of more frequent injections (P = 0.026) and poorer visual outcomes (P = 0.050), respectively. Aflibercept combined with a TnE regimen was effective in treating nAMD and PCV in a real-world setting. The treatment interval could be extended to ≥ 16 weeks in 60.5% of the cases after a 2-year treatment regimen. OCT can be used to predict the treatment course and visual outcomes.
The prevalence of house dust mite (HDM) allergy, especially in Asian countries with rapid urbanization, has been increasing. House dust mites thrive in places with relatively high humidity. With the combination of climate change, naturally high humidity, and urbanization, tropical countries like Malaysia are becoming a hotspot for HDM allergy fast. With a previously reported sensitization rate of between 60 and 80%, it is a worrying trend for Malaysia. However, due to incomplete and out-of-date data, as seen by the limited study coverage in the past, these numbers do not paint a complete picture of the true HDM allergy scene in Malaysia. This review briefly discusses the HDM fauna, the HDM sensitization rate, the common diagnosis and therapeutic tools for HDM allergy in Malaysia, and makes suggestions for possible improvements in the future. This review also highlights the need of more comprehensive population-based prevalence studies to be done in Malaysia, encompassing the three main HDMs—Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and Blomia tropicalis—as the lack of up-to-date studies failed to give a clearer picture on the current scenario of HDM allergy in Malaysia. Future studies will be beneficial to the nation in preparing a better blueprint for the management and treatment of HDM allergy.
Mycotoxin citrinin (CTN), commonly found in food and health supplements, may induce chromosomal instability. In this study, human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (hRPTECs) that were exposed to CTN (10 and 20 μM) over 3 days exhibited numerical chromosomal aberrations. Short-term (3 days) and long-term (30 days) exposures to CTN significantly promoted mitotic spindle abnormalities, wound healing, cell migration, and anchorage-independent growth in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. Short-term exposure to 10 and 20 μM CTN increased the number of migrated cells on day 10 by 1.7 and 1.9 times, respectively. The number of anchorage-independent colonies increased from 2.2 ± 1.3 to 7.8 ± 0.6 after short-term exposure to 20 μM CTN and from 2.0 ± 1.0 to 12.0 ± 1.2 after long-term exposure. The transcriptomic profiles of CTN-treated HEK293 were subjected to over-representative analysis (ORA), gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), and Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA). Short-term exposure to CTN promoted the RTK/KRAS/RAF/MAPK cascade, while long-term exposure altered the extracellular matrix organization. Both short- and long-term CTN exposure activated cancer and cell cycle-related signaling pathways. These results demonstrate the carcinogenic potential of CTN in human cells and provide valuable insights into the cancer risk associated with CTN.
Sustained pharyngeal inflation (SPI) with pharyngeal oxygen flow and nasal closure (PhO 2 -NC) technique create positive inflation pressure in the airway. This study measured the peak inflation pressure (PIP) levels and image changes with SPI-assisted flexible bronchoscopy (SPI-FB) and compared the effects in the pharyngeal space and mid-tracheal lumen. This prospective study enrolled 20 participants aged 6 months to 3 years. Each participant underwent sequential SPI-FB of four different durations (0, 1s, 3s, and 5s) for three cycles. We used a 3.8 mm OD flexible bronchoscope to measure and analyze PIP levels, images, and lumen dimension scores. A total of 480 data were collected. The mean (SD) age and body weight were 12.0 (11.5) months and 7.8 (7.5) kg, respectively. The mean (IQR) PIPs were 4.2 (2.0), 18.5 (6.1), 30.6 (13.5), and 46.1 (25.0) cmH 2 O in the pharynx and 5.0 (1.6), 17.5 (6.5), 28.0 (12.3), 46.0 (28.5) cmH 2 O in the mid-trachea at SPI durations of 0, 1s, 3s, and 5s, respectively. The PIP levels had a positive correlation (p <0.001) with different SPI durations in both pharynx and trachea, and were nearly identical ( p = 0.695, 0.787, and 0.725 at 1s, 3s, and 5s, respectively) at the same duration except the 0 s ( p = 0.015). Lumen dimension scores also significantly increased with increasing SPI durations ( p <0.05) in both locations. The identified lesions significantly increased as PIP levels increased ( p <0.001). Conclusion: SPI-FB using PhO 2 -NC with durations up to 3s is safe and informative technique that provides controllable PIP, dilates airway lumens, and benefits lesion detection in the pharyngeal space and mid-tracheal lumen.
Endozoicomonas are often predominant bacteria and prominently important in coral health. Their role in dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) degradation has been a subject of discussion for over a decade. A previous study found that Endozoicomonas degraded DMSP through the dddD pathway. This process releases dimethyl sulfide, which is vital for corals coping with thermal stress. However, little is known about the related gene regulation and metabolic abilities of DMSP metabolism in Endozoicomonadaceae . In this study, we isolated a novel Endozoicomonas DMSP degrader and observed a distinct DMSP metabolic trend in two phylogenetically close dddD -harboring Endozoicomonas species, confirmed genetically by comparative transcriptomic profiling and visualization of the change of DMSP stable isotopes in bacterial cells using nanoscale secondary ion spectrometry. Furthermore, we found that DMSP cleavage enzymes are ubiquitous in coral Endozoicomonas with a preference for having DddD lyase. We speculate that harboring DMSP degrading genes enables Endozoicomonas to successfully colonize various coral species across the globe.
Background Despite initial response to platinum-based chemotherapy and PARP inhibitor therapy (PARPi), nearly all recurrent high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) will acquire lethal drug resistance; indeed, ~15% of individuals have de novo platinum-refractory disease. Objectives To determine the potential of anti-microtubule agent (AMA) therapy (paclitaxel, vinorelbine and eribulin) in platinum-resistant or refractory (PRR) HGSC by assessing response in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of HGSC. Design and methods Of 13 PRR HGSC PDX, six were primary PRR, derived from chemotherapy-naïve samples (one was BRCA2 mutant) and seven were from samples obtained following chemotherapy treatment in the clinic (five were mutant for either BRCA1 or BRCA2 ( BRCA1/2), four with prior PARPi exposure), recapitulating the population of individuals with aggressive treatment-resistant HGSC in the clinic. Molecular analyses and in vivo treatment studies were undertaken. Results Seven out of thirteen PRR PDX (54%) were sensitive to treatment with the AMA, eribulin (time to progressive disease (PD) ⩾100 days from the start of treatment) and 11 out of 13 PDX (85%) derived significant benefit from eribulin [time to harvest (TTH) for each PDX with p < 0.002]. In 5 out of 10 platinum-refractory HGSC PDX (50%) and one out of three platinum-resistant PDX (33%), eribulin was more efficacious than was cisplatin, with longer time to PD and significantly extended TTH (each PDX p < 0.02). Furthermore, four of these models were extremely sensitive to all three AMA tested, maintaining response until the end of the experiment (120d post-treatment start). Despite harbouring secondary BRCA2 mutations, two BRCA2-mutant PDX models derived from heavily pre-treated individuals were sensitive to AMA. PRR HGSC PDX models showing greater sensitivity to AMA had high proliferative indices and oncogene expression. Two PDX models, both with prior chemotherapy and/or PARPi exposure, were refractory to all AMA, one of which harboured the SLC25A40-ABCB1 fusion, known to upregulate drug efflux via MDR1. Conclusion The efficacy observed for eribulin in PRR HGSC PDX was similar to that observed for paclitaxel, which transformed ovarian cancer clinical practice. Eribulin is therefore worthy of further consideration in clinical trials, particularly in ovarian carcinoma with early failure of carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy.
The electrical detection of spin and orbital angular momentum usually requires the utilization of a ferromagnetic metal (FM). When an angular momentum is generated in a light metal (LM), for example, through the orbital Hall effect, a bilayer system that consists of the LM/FM is commonly used to study the effect. In this work, by studying the magnetoresistance in the zirconium/nickel bilayer, a typical LM/FM bilayer structure, we observe a negative angular dependent magnetoresistance (ADMR) in the β scan direction. Through analysis, we exclude the contributions from the bulk effects and their combinations, such as the spin Hall effect and orbital Hall effect in zirconium, and the anomalous Hall effect in nickel. Instead, we attribute the negative ADMR to the interfacial spin-orbit coupling, which is caused by the imbalanced spin transmission and reflection at the interface. Our observation highlights the nontrivial contribution from the spin transport at the interface, which has often been overlooked in the study of the bulk effects in LM/FM bilayers.
A new thioxanthone-based photocatalyst with a [2.2]paracyclophane skeleton and planar chirality has been developed. The catalyst has been successfully applied in the visible light-mediated enantioselective aza Paternò–Büchi reactions of quinoxalinone...
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