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Concept: Taiwan


The Asian cycads are mostly allopatric, distributed in small population sizes. Hybridization between allopatric species provides clues in determining the mechanism of species divergence. Horticultural introduction provides the chance of interspecific gene flow between allopatric species. Two allopatrically eastern Asian Cycas sect. Asiorientales species, C. revoluta and C. taitungensis, which are widely distributed in Ryukyus and Fujian Province and endemic to Taiwan, respectively, were planted in eastern Taiwan for horticultural reason. Higher degrees of genetic admixture in cultivated samples than wild populations in both cycad species were detected based on multilocus scans by neutral AFLP markers. Furthermore, bidirectional but asymmetric introgression by horticultural introduction of C. revoluta is evidenced by the reanalyses of species associated loci, which are assumed to be diverged after species divergence. Partial loci introgressed from native cycad to the invaders were also detected at the loci of strong species association. Consistent results tested by all neutral loci, and the species-associated loci, specify the recent introgression from the paradox of sharing of ancestral polymorphisms. Phenomenon of introgression of cultivated cycads implies niche conservation among two geographic-isolated cycads, even though the habitats of the extant wild populations of two species are distinct.

Concepts: Biology, Taiwan, Gene flow, Cycad, Cycas, Cycas revoluta


Quaternary climatic cycles have influenced marine organisms' spatial distribution and population dynamics. This study aimed to elucidate the evolutionary influences of contemporary and glacial physical barriers on the population structure, demography and colonization history of the mudskipper (Periophthalmus modestus) based on a mitochondrial gene segment (ND5) from 131 individual fish sampled in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The current Kuroshio Current and the glacial exposure of the Taiwan Strait appeared to have restricted migration among the South China Sea, coastal East China and Japan. However, genetic homogeneity (Nm>1) also suggested contemporary larval transportation by sea circulation between the East China Sea and the South China Sea or historical dispersal along the glacial exposed shoreline among China, Japan and the Ryukyu Islands. Evolutionary signals of the strengthened East Asian Summer Monsoon in the mid-Pleistocene and regional difference in intertidal primary productions were indicated by a late-Pleistocene population expansion of P. modestus with a higher effective population size in the South China Sea than in the East China Sea. Furthermore, a potential colonization origin from the South China Sea was consistently inferred by different clues, including the populations' coalescence times, the ancestral haplotype distribution, the number of private haplotypes and species/genetic diversity.

Concepts: Population, Population ecology, Japan, Population genetics, Pacific Ocean, Taiwan, South China Sea, East China Sea


Vegetarian diets are inversely associated with diabetes in Westerners but their impact on Asians-whose pathophysiology differ from Westerners-is unknown. We aim to investigate the association between a vegetarian diet, change in dietary patterns and diabetes risk in a Taiwanese Buddhist population.

Concepts: Nutrition, Diabetic diet, Taiwan, Buddhism, Diets, Vegetarianism, Jainism, Hinduism


Cross-cultural psychologists have mostly contrasted East Asia with the West. However, this study shows that there are major psychological differences within China. We propose that a history of farming rice makes cultures more interdependent, whereas farming wheat makes cultures more independent, and these agricultural legacies continue to affect people in the modern world. We tested 1162 Han Chinese participants in six sites and found that rice-growing southern China is more interdependent and holistic-thinking than the wheat-growing north. To control for confounds like climate, we tested people from neighboring counties along the rice-wheat border and found differences that were just as large. We also find that modernization and pathogen prevalence theories do not fit the data.

Concepts: China, Han Chinese, People's Republic of China, East Asia, Taiwan, Chinese language, Central Asia, Confucianism


This study simultaneously models crash severity of both parties in two-vehicle accidents at signalized intersections in Taipei City, Taiwan, using a novel bivariate generalized ordered probit (BGOP) model. Estimation results show that the BGOP model performs better than the conventional bivariate ordered probit (BOP) model in terms of goodness-of-fit indices and prediction accuracy and provides a better approach to identify the factors contributing to different severity levels. According to estimated parameters in latent propensity functions and elasticity effects, several key risk factors are identified-driver type (age>65), vehicle type (motorcycle), violation type (alcohol use), intersection type (three-leg and multiple-leg), collision type (rear ended), and lighting conditions (night and night without illumination). Corresponding countermeasures for these risk factors are proposed.

Concepts: Mathematics, Model, Lighting, Taiwan, Republic of China, Taipei, Aircraft, Ordered pair


Hope theory identifies goal, pathway, and agency as essential elements of hope that promote and maximize the effectiveness of treatment. Much significant evidence has indicated that hope is a strong predictor of substance involvement recovery. This study aimed to test the effectiveness of choice-based reality therapy in strengthening hope in recovery for women convicted of drug offences in Taiwan. The participants in the substance involvement treatment program were 44 incarcerated women convicted of drug offences, who were randomly selected and randomly assigned to equal-sized experimental and control groups. The results of the study, obtained by ANCOVA analysis, showed significant differences between the two groups in the posttest scores for sense of hope as measured in the subscales of goal setting and pursuing, adequate energy, and controlling pathway. The effect size values of the three variables suggested a moderate practical significance. The evidence provided in the present study indicates that, upon completion of the choice-based reality therapy for substance involvement, when compared with those who had not yet attended the program, Taiwanese women convicted of drug offences reported a significantly higher level of hope. Hope was measured by their ability in setting goals and overcoming obstacles and persistence in pursuing the goals they had set up, energy for recovery, and their capacity to set up pathways based on their goals. The findings highlight the value of choice-based reality therapy in enhancing hope of recovery for women convicted of drug offences.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Effectiveness, Sociology, Effect size, Taiwan, Goal, Hope, Goal setting


Recent studies of an increasing number of hominin fossils highlight regional and chronological diversities of archaic Homo in the Pleistocene of eastern Asia. However, such a realization is still based on limited geographical occurrences mainly from Indonesia, China and Russian Altai. Here we describe a newly discovered archaic Homo mandible from Taiwan (Penghu 1), which further increases the diversity of Pleistocene Asian hominins. Penghu 1 revealed an unexpectedly late survival (younger than 450 but most likely 190-10 thousand years ago) of robust, apparently primitive dentognathic morphology in the periphery of the continent, which is unknown among the penecontemporaneous fossil records from other regions of Asia except for the mid-Middle Pleistocene Homo from Hexian, Eastern China. Such patterns of geographic trait distribution cannot be simply explained by clinal geographic variation of Homo erectus between northern China and Java, and suggests survival of multiple evolutionary lineages among archaic hominins before the arrival of modern humans in the region.

Concepts: Human, Japan, Asia, Taiwan, Fossil, Republic of China, Human evolution, Humans


Japanese encephalitis (JE) is very prevalent in China, but the incidence of JE among children has been greatly reduced by extensive promotion of vaccinations. The incidence of JE among adults, however, has increased in some parts of China.

Concepts: Incidence, Taiwan, Mainland, Mainland China


Vegetarian diets have been shown to improve glucose metabolism and reduce risk for diabetes in Westerners but whether Chinese vegetarian diets have the same benefits is unknown.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Enzyme, Insulin, Cellular respiration, Blood sugar, Taiwan, Diets


The peopling of Remote Oceanic islands by Austronesian speakers is a fascinating and yet contentious part of human prehistory. Linguistic, archaeological, and genetic studies have shown the complex nature of the process in which different components that helped to shape Lapita culture in Near Oceania each have their own unique history. Important evidence points to Taiwan as an Austronesian ancestral homeland with a more distant origin in South China, whereas alternative models favor South China to North Vietnam or a Southeast Asian origin. We test these propositions by studying phylogeography of paper mulberry, a common East Asian tree species introduced and clonally propagated since prehistoric times across the Pacific for making barkcloth, a practical and symbolic component of Austronesian cultures. Using the hypervariable chloroplast ndhF-rpl32 sequences of 604 samples collected from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceanic islands (including 19 historical herbarium specimens from Near and Remote Oceania), 48 haplotypes are detected and haplotype cp-17 is predominant in both Near and Remote Oceania. Because cp-17 has an unambiguous Taiwanese origin and cp-17-carrying Oceanic paper mulberries are clonally propagated, our data concur with expectations of Taiwan as the Austronesian homeland, providing circumstantial support for the “out of Taiwan” hypothesis. Our data also provide insights into the dispersal of paper mulberry from South China “into North Taiwan,” the “out of South China-Indochina” expansion to New Guinea, and the geographic origins of post-European introductions of paper mulberry into Oceania.

Concepts: Southeast Asia, China, Asia, Pacific Ocean, East Asia, Taiwan, Polynesia, Prehistory