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[en] Positive correlation between caseload and outcome has previously been validated for several procedures and cancer treatments. However, there is no information linking caseload and outcome of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treatment. We used nationwide population-based data to examine the association between physician case volume and survival rates of patients with NPC. Between 1998 and 2000, a total of 1225 patients were identified from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Survival analysis, the Cox proportional hazards model, and propensity score were used to assess the relationship between 10-year survival rates and physician caseloads. As the caseload of individual physicians increased, unadjusted 10-year survival rates increased (p < 0.001). Using a Cox proportional hazard model, patients with NPC treated by high-volume physicians (caseload ≥ 35) had better survival rates (p = 0.001) after adjusting for comorbidities, hospital, and treatment modality. When analyzed by propensity score, the adjusted 10-year survival rate differed significantly between patients treated by high-volume physicians and patients treated by low/medium-volume physicians (75% vs. 61%; p < 0.001). Our data confirm a positive volume-outcome relationship for NPC. After adjusting for differences in the case mix, our analysis found treatment of NPC by high-volume physicians improved 10-year survival rate
[en] Antecedent rainfall plays an important role in rainfall-induced mass movements. However, it is difficult to define the appropriate period of antecedent rainfall for mass movement assessment. To solve this problem, this study provides a simple approach that combines calibrated antecedent rainfall (CAR) and 24-h rainfall for 283 mass movements that occurred in Taiwan from 2006 to 2013. The 24-h rainfall at the time of each mass movement was compared with the total cumulative rainfall for various periods preceding the event. The lowest correlation was found for the total cumulative rainfall from 15 to 20 days before a mass movement day. The 24-h rainfall was compared with the cumulative CAR values for various days of antecedent rainfall. The effect of cumulative CAR on mass movements increased from 22.0 to 39.7% when the number of days considered was increased from 3 to 30 days. However, the increase became gradual after 15–18 days. In addition, the critical antecedent rainfall conditions occurred within 18 days before mass movements in all cases. These results suggest that the antecedent rainfall of 15–18 days is useful for mass movement assessment in Taiwan. This study also established a critical antecedent rainfall threshold for mass movements in Taiwan that is useful for early warnings: Ia = 28.7 Da−1.24, where Ia is critical mean rainfall intensity during the antecedent rainfall period up to 18 days (mm/day) and Da is the length of the antecedent rainfall period. According to the relationship between 24-h rainfall and the critical antecedent rainfall conditions, low antecedent rainfall intensity that continues for a long time leads to a gradual increase in soil moisture such that a small amount of 24-h rainfall can trigger mass movements. On the other hand, high antecedent rainfall intensity for a short time is not enough to increase soil moisture, and a large amount of 24-h rainfall is needed to flush surface materials and cause mass movements.
[en] Contrary to the normally observed increase in groundwater radon that occurs prior to earthquakes, we have measured anomalous decreases in radon concentration prior to the 2003 MW = 6.8 Chengkung and 2006 MW = 6.1 Taitung earthquakes that occurred within a 55 km radius from the Antung D1 monitoring well in eastern Taiwan. The v-shaped pattern of radon anomalies recognized at Antung is valuable for detecting the aseismic strain precursory to potentially disastrous earthquakes in a fractured aquifer surrounded by ductile aquitard in seismotectonic environments in this area.
[en] Nanotechnology is projected to be a very promising field, and the impact of nanotechnology on society is increasingly significant as the research funding and manufactured goods increase exponentially. A clearer picture of Taiwan's current and future nanotechnology industry is an essential component for future planning. Therefore, this investigation studies the progress of industrializing nanotechnology in Taiwan by surveying 150 companies. Along with understanding Taiwan's current nanotechnology industrialization, this paper also suggests ways to promote Taiwan's nanotechnology. The survey results are summarized and serve as the basis for planning a nanotechnology industrialization strategy
[en] Complete text of publication follows. We modeled the source field of the 1999 Taiwan Chi-Chi earthquake (MW7.6) using the geomagnetic data at Lunping (LNP), Taiwan, Geomagnetic Observatory situated 100 km from the epicenter. This large inland thrust earthquake produced a surface break more than 80 km long along the Chelungpu fault. First, we developed a 3D model consistent with the surface rupture and the focal depth data. Next, we applied the finite difference method for the 3-D case to construct the theoretic induction arrows. The forward results were compared to the observed one at LNP station. The optimum model was set finally when the variance between the theoretic and observed data is small enough. We find that the source dimension is about 30 x 30 x 80 km3.
[en] The hourly rainfall at 21 ground stations in Taiwan is used to investigate changes in the frequency, intensity, and duration of rainfall, which can be divided into typhoon and non-typhoon rainfall, in the period of 1970–2010. As a whole, the frequency of rainfall shows a decreasing trend for lighter rain and an increasing trend for heavier rain. Also, the typhoon rainfall shows a significant increase for all intensities, while the non-typhoon rainfall exhibits a general trend of decreasing, particularly for lighter rain. In rainfall intensity, both typhoon and non-typhoon rainfall extremes become more intense, with an increased rate much greater than the Clausius–Clapeyron thermal scaling. Moreover, rainfall extremes associated with typhoons have tended to affect Taiwan rainfall for longer in recent decades. The more frequent, intense and long-lasting typhoon rainfall is mainly induced by the slower translation speed of the typhoons over the neighborhood of Taiwan, which could be associated with a weakening of steering flow in the western North Pacific and the northern South China Sea. (letter)