478 research outputs found

    Implement Innovative Proactive-Service-Center to Enhance Service Performance in Customer Site

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    How to more efficiently and effectively enhance service performance is an on-going challenge to any service team. A new service model, Proactive-Service-Center (P-S-C), is developed since Feb’01. As a result, the service performance results are improved in terms of same day issue closure rate, issue response time and system uptime. The P-S-C is not only an innovative way to enhance service performance but also a systematic way to build-up engineers\u27 trouble-shooting capability. In the old service situation, the information flows randomly among customer engineers, customer section managers, AMT engineers, and AMT site managers. The average time spent is around two hours from Issue Happened to Dedicated Engineer on site. Customer and AMT engineers are running around like a chicken without head. The information flows inefficiently and ineffectively among customer engineers, section managers, AMT engineers and site managers. The detailed solutions are not documented and remained in the engineers\u27 heads. In the PSC model, the information flows automatically from the system which is down to the customer Server then to the PSC Server and the dedicated AMT engineer is automatically informed. The information flows efficiently and effectively. The actions done are then systematically entered and documented in PSC and a monthly analysis report is generated and provided to customers. The cost savings of PSC can be estimated indirectly. The issue response time is reduced from 2 hours to 58 minutes (reduced by 62 minutes). This translates to the increase of system uptime by 62 minutes. This will bring cost savings. In addition, the issue closure rate is improved from 50% to 85% (improved by 35%). This also translates to the increase of system uptime. The system uptime enhancement is cost savings. Three areas which need improvement are identified to be Technology, People and Process. Technology: Internet is used and many auto functions (for example, reminding, reporting) are built-in to enhance the capability. People: Dedicated Engineer Matrix is built-in PSC and the right engineer can be reached at the right time in the most efficient manner. Process: Process is real time and systematic with clear R&R defined to ensure efficiency and experience build-up in the future

    The Role of Final State Interactions in Quasielastic 56^{56}Fe(e,e)(e,e') Reactions at large q|\vec q|

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    A relativistic finite nucleus calculation using a Dirac optical potential is used to investigate the importance of final state interactions [FSI] at large momentum transfers in inclusive quasielastic electronuclear reactions. The optical potential is derived from first-order multiple scattering theory and then is used to calculate the FSI in a nonspectral Green's function doorway approach. At intermediate momentum transfers excellent predictions of the quasielastic 56^{56}Fe(e,e)(e,e') experimental data for the longitudinal response function are obtained. In comparisons with recent measurements at q=1.14|{\vec q|}=1.14~GeV/c the theoretical calculations of RLR_L give good agreement for the quasielastic peak shape and amplitude, but place the position of the peak at an energy transfer of about 4040~MeV higher than the data.Comment: 13 pages typeset using revtex 3.0 with 6 postscript figures in accompanying uuencoded file; submitted to Phys. Rev.

    Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a Rural Community, Arkansas, 1945–2000

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    A cluster of tuberculosis cases in a rural community in Arkansas persisted from 1991 to 1999. The cluster had 13 members, 11 linked epidemiologically. Old records identified 24 additional patients for 40 linked case-patients during a 54-year period. Residents of this neighborhood represent a population at high risk who should be considered for tuberculin testing and treatment for latent tuberculosis infection

    Structure of a Chaperone-Usher Pilus reveals the molecular basis of rod uncoiling

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    Types 1 and P pili are prototypical bacterial cell-surface appendages playing essential roles in mediating adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract. These pili, assembled by the chaperone-usher pathway, are polymers of pilus subunits assembling into two parts: a thin, short tip fibrillum at the top, mounted on a long pilus rod. The rod adopts a helical quaternary structure and is thought to play essential roles: its formation may drive pilus extrusion by preventing backsliding of the nascent growing pilus within the secretion pore; the rod also has striking spring-like properties, being able to uncoil and recoil depending on the intensity of shear forces generated by urine flow. Here, we present an atomic model of the P pilus generated from a 3.8 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction. This structure provides the molecular basis for the rod’s remarkable mechanical properties and illuminates its role in pilus secretion

    Ovine pedomics : the first study of the ovine foot 16S rRNA-based microbiome

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    We report the first study of the bacterial microbiome of ovine interdigital skin based on 16S rRNA by pyrosequencing and conventional cloning with Sanger-sequencing. Three flocks were selected, one a flock with no signs of footrot or interdigital dermatitis, a second flock with interdigital dermatitis alone and a third flock with both interdigital dermatitis and footrot. The sheep were classified as having either healthy interdigital skin (H), interdigital dermatitis (ID) or virulent footrot (VFR). The ovine interdigital skin bacterial community varied significantly by flock and clinical condition. The diversity and richness of operational taxonomic units was greater in tissue from sheep with ID than H or VFR affected sheep. Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were the most abundant phyla comprising 25 genera. Peptostreptococcus, Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus were associated with H, ID and VFR respectively. Sequences of Dichelobacter nodosus, the causal agent of ovine footrot, were not amplified due to mismatches in the 16S rRNA universal forward primer (27F). A specific real time PCR assay was used to demonstrate the presence of D. nodosus which was detected in all samples including the flock with no signs of ID or VFR. Sheep with ID had significantly higher numbers of D. nodosus (104-109 cells/g tissue) than those with H or VFR feet

    Phenotypic differences between dermal fibroblasts from different body sites determine their responses to tension and TGFβ1

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    BACKGROUND: Wounds in the nonglabrous skin of keloid-prone individuals tend to cause large disordered accumulations of collagen which extend beyond the original margins of the wound. In addition to abnormalities in keloid fibroblasts, comparison of dermal fibroblasts derived from nonwounded glabrous or nonglabrous skin revealed differences that may account for the observed location of keloids. METHODS: Fibroblast apoptosis and the cellular content of α-smooth-muscle actin, TGFβ1 receptorII and ED-A fibronectin were estimated by FACS analysis. The effects of TGFβ1 and serum were examined. RESULTS: In monolayer cultures non-glabrous fibroblasts were slower growing, had higher granularity and accumulated more α-smooth-muscle actin than fibroblasts from glabrous tissues. Keloid fibroblasts had the highest level of α-smooth-muscle actin in parallel with their expression level of ED-A fibronectin. TGFβ1 positively regulated α-smooth-muscle actin expression in all fibroblast cultures, although its effects on apoptosis in fibroblasts from glabrous and non-glabrous tissues were found to differ. The presence of collagen I in the ECM resulted in reduction of α-smooth-muscle actin. A considerable percentage of the apoptotic fibroblasts in attached gels were α-smooth-muscle actin positive. The extent of apoptosis correlated positively with increased cell and matrix relaxation. TGFβ1 was unable to overcome this apoptotic effect of matrix relaxation. CONCLUSION: The presence of myofibroblasts and the apoptosis level can be regulated by both TGFβ1 and by the extracellular matrix. However, reduction of tension in the matrix is the critical determinant. This predicts that the tension in the wound bed determines the type of scar at different body sites

    Disparities and risks of sexually transmissible infections among men who have sex with men in China: a meta-analysis and data synthesis.

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    BACKGROUND: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including Hepatitis B and C virus, are emerging public health risks in China, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM). This study aims to assess the magnitude and risks of STIs among Chinese MSM. METHODS: Chinese and English peer-reviewed articles were searched in five electronic databases from January 2000 to February 2013. Pooled prevalence estimates for each STI infection were calculated using meta-analysis. Infection risks of STIs in MSM, HIV-positive MSM and male sex workers (MSW) were obtained. This review followed the PRISMA guidelines and was registered in PROSPERO. RESULTS: Eighty-eight articles (11 in English and 77 in Chinese) investigating 35,203 MSM in 28 provinces were included in this review. The prevalence levels of STIs among MSM were 6.3% (95% CI: 3.5-11.0%) for chlamydia, 1.5% (0.7-2.9%) for genital wart, 1.9% (1.3-2.7%) for gonorrhoea, 8.9% (7.8-10.2%) for hepatitis B (HBV), 1.2% (1.0-1.6%) for hepatitis C (HCV), 66.3% (57.4-74.1%) for human papillomavirus (HPV), 10.6% (6.2-17.6%) for herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) and 4.3% (3.2-5.8%) for Ureaplasma urealyticum. HIV-positive MSM have consistently higher odds of all these infections than the broader MSM population. As a subgroup of MSM, MSW were 2.5 (1.4-4.7), 5.7 (2.7-12.3), and 2.2 (1.4-3.7) times more likely to be infected with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HCV than the broader MSM population, respectively. CONCLUSION: Prevalence levels of STIs among MSW were significantly higher than the broader MSM population. Co-infection of HIV and STIs were prevalent among Chinese MSM. Integration of HIV and STIs healthcare and surveillance systems is essential in providing effective HIV/STIs preventive measures and treatments. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO NO: CRD42013003721

    Regional actorness and interregional relations:ASEAN, the EU and Mercosur

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    The European Union (EU) has a long tradition of interregional dialogue mechanisms with other regional organisations and is using these relations to project its own model of institutionalised actorness. This is partly motivated by the emerging actorness of the EU itself, which benefits from fostering capable regional counterparts in other parts of the world. This article advances the argument that actorness, which we conceptualise in terms of institutions, recognition and identity, is a relational concept, dependent on context and perception. Taking the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and their relations with the EU as case studies, this article demonstrates that the actorness capabilities of all three organisations have been enhanced as result of ASEAN-EU and Mercosur-EU relations. However, there are clear limits to the development of the three components of regional actorness and to the interregional relations themselves. These limits stem both from the type of interregionalism at play and from the different regional models the actors incorporate. While there is evidence of institutional enhancement in ASEAN and Mercosur, these formal changes have been grafted on top of firmly entrenched normative underpinnings. Within the regional organisations, interactions with the EU generate centrifugal forces concerning the model to pursue, thus limiting their institutional cohesion and capacity. In addition, group-to-group relations have reinforced ASEAN and Mercosur identities in contrast to the EU. The formation of such differences has narrowed the scope of EU interregionalism despite the initial success of improved regional actorness
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