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Environmental degradation in China has not only brought a wider range of diseases and other health consequences than previously understood, it has also taken a heavy toll on Chinese society, the economy, and the legitimacy of the party-state. In Toxic Politics, Yanzhong Huang presents new evidence of China's deepening health crisis and challenges the widespread view that China is winning the war on pollution. Although government leaders are learning, stricter and more centralized policy enforcement measures have not been able to substantially reduce pollution or improve public health. Huang connects this failure to pathologies inherent in the institutional structure of the Chinese party-state, which embeds conflicting incentives for officials and limits the capacity of the state to deliver public goods. Toxic Politics reveals a political system that is remarkably resilient but fundamentally flawed. Huang examines the implications for China's future, both domestically and internationally.
The clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 were analysed to determine the factors influencing the prognosis and virus shedding time to facilitate early detection of disease progression. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore the relationships among prognosis, clinical characteristics and laboratory indexes. The predictive value of this model was assessed with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, calibration and internal validation. The viral shedding duration was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and the prognostic factors were analysed by univariate log-rank analysis and the Cox proportional hazards model. A retrospective study was carried out with patients with COVID-19 in Tianjin, China. A total of 185 patients were included, 27 (14.59%) of whom were severely ill at the time of discharge and three (1.6%) of whom died. Our findings demonstrate that patients with an advanced age, diabetes, a low PaO2/FiO2 value and delayed treatment should be carefully monitored for disease progression to reduce the incidence of severe disease. Hypoproteinaemia and the fever duration warrant special attention. Timely interventions in symptomatic patients and a time from symptom onset to treatment <4 days can shorten the duration of viral shedding.
To compare the sugar content of items at four multinational fast-food chains, across three countries.
Total sugar (g)/per serving was extracted from online nutrition information, and sugar/100 g serving was calculated. Foods were categorised as: breakfast sandwiches, burgers, sandwiches, desserts and condiments. Beverages were categorised as fountain, frozen or pre-packaged. Sugar (g) was compared across countries using linear mixed-effects models. Pairwise comparisons were performed with Tukey–Kramer adjustments.
USA, Germany and Australia.
Burger King™ (Hungry Jack’s™), Kentucky Fried Chicken™, McDonald’s™ and Subway™.
Differences in total sugar/100 g or ml were observed across countries for burgers (n 104), desserts (n 110), sandwiches (n 178), pre-packaged beverages (n 36) and frozen beverages (n 72). Comparing identical items across countries (e.g. BigMacTM from McDonalds in USA, Germany and Australia), burgers (n 10 available in all three countries) had lower sugar content in Australia (3·4 g/100 g) compared with the USA (4·7 g/100 g, P = 0·02) or Germany (4·6 g/100 g, P = 0·04), yet no differences were observed in other food categories. Comparing the same beverages across countries (e.g. chocolate shake from Burger King), frozen beverages (n 4 available in all three countries) had lower sugar content in Australia (14·2 g/100 ml), compared with the USA (20·3 g/100 ml, P = 0·0005) or Germany (17·8 g/100 ml, P = 0·0148), yet no differences were observed in other beverage categories.
Heterogeneity in fast-food sugar content across countries suggests that reductions are possible and should be implemented to reduce health risks associated with excess added sugar intake.
To assess the prevalence of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in adults hospitalized for a respiratory infection in the winter months and to evaluate the impact of a viral diagnosis on empirical antimicrobial management (antibiotics and antivirals).
Observational cohort study.
Acute-care university hospital.
The study included 963 adult patients hospitalized over a 4-year surveillance period.
Annual surveillance timelines were defined according to epidemiological criteria related to the circulation of RSV and influenza viruses in the general population. Patients were screened following a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) case definition at the emergency department and were enrolled for molecular assay targeting influenza/RSV viruses after oral informed consent. Epidemiological and clinical data were recorded prospectively, microbiological investigations, antimicrobial management, and outcome data were reviewed retrospectively.
An influenza or RSV virus was documented in 316 of 963 patients (33%). Optimization of antimicrobial management (AM) was achieved in 162 of 265 patients (61%) with a positive viral diagnosis and no bacterial infection at admission (AM treatment not initiated, n = 111; discontinued, n = 51). In contrast, only 128 of 462 patients (28%) with negative microbiological investigations did not have AM treatment initiated (n = 116) or had such treatment discontinued (n = 12). Early, targeted antiviral treatment was prescribed in 235 of 253 patients (93%) confirmed with influenza. Epidemiological, clinical, and outcome data were similar in both groups.
Epidemiological surveillance associated with influenza/RSV molecular diagnosis in adults hospitalized for severe winter respiratory infections dramatically enhanced antimicrobial management.
Fat metabolism is an important and complex biochemical reaction in vivo and is regulated by many factors. Recently, the findings on high expression of fibroblast growth factor-16 (FGF16) in brown adipose tissue have led to an interest in exploring its role in lipogenesis and lipid metabolism. The study cloned the goat’s FGF16 gene 624 bp long, including the complete open reading frame that encodes 207 amino acids. We found that FGF16 expression is highest in goat kidneys and hearts, followed by subcutaneous fat and triceps. Moreover, the expression of FGF16 reached its peak on the 2nd day of adipocyte differentiation (P < 0.01) and then decreased significantly. We used overexpression and interference to study the function of FGF16 gene in goat intramuscular preadipocytes. Silencing of FGF16 decreased adipocytes lipid droplet aggregation and triglyceride synthesis. This is in contrast to the situation where FGF16 is overexpressed. Furthermore, knockdown of FGF16 also caused down-regulated expression of genes associated with adipocyte differentiation including CCAAT enhancer-binding protein beta (P < 0.01), fatty acid-binding protein-2 (P < 0.01) and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (P < 0.05), but the preadipocyte factor-1 was up-regulated. At the same time, the genes adipose triglyceride lipase (P < 0.01) and hormone-sensitive lipase (P < 0.05) associated with triglyceride breakdown were highly expressed. Next, we locked the fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (FGFR4) through the protein interaction network and interfering with FGF16 to significantly reduce FGFR4 expression. It was found that the expression profile of FGFR4 in adipocyte differentiation was highly similar to that of FGF16. Overexpression and interference methods confirmed that FGFR4 and FGF16 have the same promoting function in adipocyte differentiation. Finally, using co-transfection technology, pc-FGF16 and siRNA-FGFR4, siRNA2-FGF16 and siRNA-FGFR4 were combined to treat adipocytes separately. It was found that in the case of overexpression of FGF16, cell lipid secretion and triglyceride synthesis showed a trend of first increase and then decrease with increasing interference concentration. In the case of interference with FGF16, lipid secretion and triglyceride synthesis showed a downward trend with the increase of interference concentration. These findings illustrated that FGF16 mediates adipocyte differentiation via receptor FGFR4 expression and contributed to further study of the functional role of FGF16 in goat fat formation.
Within the scope of Design for Sustainable Behaviour, the connection between behavioural change strategies and design idea generation has received limited attention. This paper highlights metaphorical thinking in product design to stimulate sustainable behaviour. In particular, the current study proposes a metaphor-based design method to guide designers on how to associate product features with behavioural and experiential cues through metaphors. We next report two design cases to evaluate this method. In the end, the shortcomings of current research and future developments are also discussed.
Daytime sleepiness is associated with multiple negative outcomes in older adults receiving long-term services and supports (LTSS) including reduced cognitive performance, need for greater assistance with activities of daily living and decreased social engagement. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of change in subjective daytime sleepiness among older adults during their first 2 years of receiving LTSS.
Design and Setting:
Secondary analysis of data from a prospective longitudinal study of older adults who received LTSS in their homes, assisted living communities or nursing homes interviewed at baseline and every 3 months for 24 months.
470 older adults (60 years and older) newly enrolled in LTSS (mean = 81, SD = 8.7; range 60–98; 71% women).
Subjective daytime sleepiness was assessed every 3 months through 2 years using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Multiple validated measures were used to capture health-related quality of life characteristics of enrollees and their environment, including symptom status (Symptom Bother Scale), cognition (Mini Mental Status Exam), physical function (Basic Activities of Daily Living), physical and mental general health, quality of life (Dementia Quality of Life, D-QoL), depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale) and social support (Medical Outcomes Survey-Social Support).
Longitudinal mixed effects modeling was used to examine the relationship between independent variables and continuous measure of daytime sleepiness. Increased feelings of belonging, subscale of the D-QoL (effect size = −0.006, 95% CI: −0.013 to −0.0001, p = 0.045) and higher number of depressive symptoms (effect size = −0.002, 95% CI: −0.004 to −0.001, p = 0.001) at baseline were associated with slower rates of increase in daytime sleepiness over time.
Comprehensive baseline and longitudinal screening for changes in daytime sleepiness along with depression and perceived quality of life should be used to inform interventions aimed at reducing daytime sleepiness among older adults receiving LTSS.
To assess the utility of an automated, statistically-based outbreak detection system to identify clusters of hospital-acquired microorganisms.
Multicenter retrospective cohort study.
The study included 43 hospitals using a common infection prevention surveillance system.
A space–time permutation scan statistic was applied to hospital microbiology, admission, discharge, and transfer data to identify clustering of microorganisms within hospital locations and services. Infection preventionists were asked to rate the importance of each cluster. A convenience sample of 10 hospitals also provided information about clusters previously identified through their usual surveillance methods.
We identified 230 clusters in 43 hospitals involving Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and fungi. Half of the clusters progressed after initial detection, suggesting that early detection could trigger interventions to curtail further spread. Infection preventionists reported that they would have wanted to be alerted about 81% of these clusters. Factors associated with clusters judged to be moderately or highly concerning included high statistical significance, large size, and clusters involving Clostridioides difficile or multidrug-resistant organisms. Based on comparison data provided by the convenience sample of hospitals, only 9 (18%) of 51 clusters detected by usual surveillance met statistical significance, and of the 70 clusters not previously detected, 58 (83%) involved organisms not routinely targeted by the hospitals’ surveillance programs. All infection prevention programs felt that an automated outbreak detection tool would improve their ability to detect outbreaks and streamline their work.
Automated, statistically-based outbreak detection can increase the consistency, scope, and comprehensiveness of detecting hospital-associated transmission.
Mobile payment generally refers to transactions made through the applications of a portable electronic gadget without the transfer of cash. As one of the most disruptive technologies for finance, mobile payment has been rapidly transforming the traditional financial industry. While it brings important benefits, there are also various risks, in terms of liquidity, security, and data privacy, that call for adequate regulatory responses. As a global financial centre, Hong Kong has gradually established a regulatory framework for mobile payment, addressing the relevant risks with rules on payment and privacy. However, there is still room for further improvement, in terms of measures to deal with cybersecurity issues and strengthen the protection of personal data. The Hong Kong experiences suggest that, to regulate a new and fast-growing industry such as mobile payment, the regulatory regime needs to be improved continuously to alleviate the risk concerns, so as to enhance the protection of financial consumers and society at large.
Major depressive disorder is characterized by a high risk of relapse. We aimed to compare the prophylactic effects of different antidepressant medicines (ADMs).
PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase and the Web of Science were searched on 4 July 2019. A pooled analysis of parametric survival curves was performed using a Bayesian framework. The main outcomes were hazard ratios (HRs), relapse-free survival and mean relapse-free months.
Forty randomized controlled trials were included. The 1-year relapse-free survival for ADM (76%) was significantly better than that for placebo (56%). Most of the relapse difference (86.5%) occurred in the first 6 months. Most HRs were not constant over time. Proof of benefit after 6 months of follow-up was not established partially because of small differences between the drug and placebo after 6 months. Almost all studies used an ‘enriched’ randomized discontinuation design, which may explain the high relapse rates in the first 6 months after randomization.
The superiority of ADM v. placebo was mainly attributed to the difference in relapse rates that occurred in the first 6 months. Our analysis provided evidence that the prophylactic efficacy was not constant over time. A beneficial effect was observed, but the prevention of new episodes after 6 months was questionable. These findings may have implications for clinical practice.
Additive manufacturing has enabled the development of lightweight lattice structures, which are widely used in orthopedic implant, aerospace and filtration fields. The traditional method of optimizing part build orientation has been unable to meet the demand for lightweight lattice parts. This paper proposes a novel method to obtain an optimum build orientation for lightweight lattice parts based on selective laser melting by considering two factors at a time, namely processability of lattice structures and the surface quality of functional features. First, the overhang structure area model for the evaluation of the processability of lattice structures is established; then, mesh segmentation and feature level classification of the lightweight part frame are carried out. On this basis, the adaptive feature roughness model for the evaluation of the surface quality of functional features is established; finally, a multicriteria genetic algorithm is used to solve the build orientation optimization problem of lightweight lattice parts to obtain a Pareto optimal set.
Here the authors report on a project that aims to understand zinc-production technologies at the earliest zinc-smelting site in China. Excavations at the site of Linjiangerdui, south of the Yangtze River, have provided a chronological sequence for smelting sites and revealed new evidence for methods of production.
From the prevention of natural disasters such as landslide and avalanches, to the enhancement of energy efficiencies in chemical and civil engineering industries, understanding the collective dynamics of granular materials is a fundamental question that are closely related to our daily lives. Using a recently developed multi-static radar system operating at 10 GHz (X-band), we explore the possibility of tracking a projectile moving inside a granular medium, focusing on possible sources of uncertainties in the detection and reconstruction processes. On the one hand, particle tracking with continuous-wave radar provides an extremely high temporal resolution. On the other hand, there are still challenges in obtaining tracer trajectories accurately. We show that some of the challenges can be resolved through a correction of the IQ mismatch in the raw signals obtained. Consequently, the tracer trajectories can be obtained with sub-millimeter spatial resolution. Such an advance can not only shed light on radar particle tracking, but also on a wide range of scenarios where issues relevant to IQ mismatch arise.
We present a 3D reconstruction method using brightness and camera motion estimation for registering local colon structure in colonoscopy. The proposed method is based on reverse projection from 2D fold contours to 3D space, motion estimation from 3D reconstructed points between neighboring frames, and model registration to reconstruct the fold structure. On the synthetic colon, the average percentages of the reconstructed depth error and circumference error are about 14.2% and 15.2%, respectively. The accuracy is enough for the navigation and control in capsule robot. This work demonstrates that the proposed method is superior to the methods using single-frame-based brightness intensity.
A dynamic collision avoidance algorithm via layered artificial potential field with collision cone (LAPF-CC) is proposed to overcome the shortcomings of the traditional artificial potential field method in dynamic collision avoidance. In order to reduce invalid actions for collision avoidance, the potential field is divided into four layers, and a collision cone with risk detection function is introduced. Relative distance and relative velocity are used as variables to establish the risk of collision, and a torque named ‘speed torque’ is constructed. Speed torque, attractive force and repulsive force work together to change the speed and heading of the unmanned surface vehicle (USV). Driving force and torque are controlled separately, which makes it possible for the LAPF-CC algorithm to be used for real-time collision avoidance control of underactuated USVs. Simulation results show that the LAPF-CC algorithm performs well in dynamic collision avoidance.
Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis) is one of the most serious food-borne parasites, which can lead to liver fibrosis or cholangiocarcinoma. Effective measures for clonorchiasis prevention are still urgently needed. Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) is an effective antigen delivery platform for oral vaccines. Chonorchis sinensis serpin (CsSerpin) was proved to be potential vaccine candidates. In this study, CsSerpin3 was displayed on the surface of B. subtilis spore and recombinant spores were orally administrated to BALB/C mice. CsSerpin3-specific IgA levels in faecal, bile and intestinal mucous increased at 4–8 weeks after the first administration compared with those in control groups. The mucus production and the number of goblet cells in intestinal mucosa elevated in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 (CotC, coat protein of B. subtilis spore) spores treated group compared to those in blank control. No significant difference in the activities of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase/ alanine aminotransferase and glutamic oxalacetic transaminase/aspartate aminotransferase were observed between groups. There was no side effect inflammation and observable pathological damage in the liver tissue of mice after administration. Moreover, collagen deposition and Ishak score were statistically reduced in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 spores treated mice. In conclusion, B. subtilis spores displaying CsSerpin3 could be investigated further as an oral vaccine against clonorchiasis.
Surface waves called meniscus waves often appear in systems that are close to the capillary length scale. Since the meniscus shape determines the form of the meniscus waves, the resulting streaming circulation has features distinct from those caused by other capillary–gravity waves recently reported in the literature. In the present study, we produce symmetric and antisymmetric meniscus shapes by controlling boundary wettability and excite meniscus waves by oscillating the meniscus vertically. The symmetric and antisymmetric configurations produce different surface capillary–gravity wave modes and streaming flow structures. The root-mean-square speed of the streaming circulation increases with the second power of the forcing amplitude in both configurations. The flow symmetry of streaming circulation is retained under the symmetric meniscus, while it is lost under the antisymmetric meniscus. The streaming circulation pattern beneath the meniscus observed in our experiments is qualitatively explained using the method introduced by Nicolás & Vega (Fluid Dyn. Res., vol. 32 (4), 2003, pp. 119–139) and Gordillo & Mujica (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 754, 2014, pp. 590–604).
The time to positivity (TTP) of blood cultures has been considered a predictor of clinical outcomes for bacteremia. This retrospective study aimed to determine the clinical value of TTP for the prognostic assessment of patients with Escherichia coli bacteremia. A total of 167 adult patients with E.coli bacteremia identified over a 22-month period in a 3500-bed university teaching hospital in China were studied. The standard cut-off TTP was 11 h in the patient cohort. The septic shock occurred in 27.9% of patients with early TTP (⩽11 h) and in 7.1% of those with a prolonged TTP (>11 h) (P = 0.003). The mortality rate was significantly higher for patients in the early than in the late group (17.7% vs. 4.0%, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that an early TTP (OR 4.50, 95% CI 1.70–11.93), intensive care unit admission (OR 8.39, 95% CI 2.01–35.14) and neutropenia (OR 4.20, 95% CI 1.55–11.40) were independently associated with septic shock. Likewise, the independent risk factors for mortality of patients were an early TTP (OR 3.80, 95% CI 1.04–12.90), intensive care unit admission (OR 6.45; 95% CI 1.14–36.53), a Pittsburgh bacteremia score ⩾2 (OR 4.34, 95% CI 1.22–15.47) and a Charlson Comorbidity Index ⩾3 (OR 11.29, 95% CI 2.81–45.39). Overall, a TTP for blood cultures within 11 h appears to be associated with worse outcomes for patients with E.coli bacteremia.