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Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Most vibration-based energy harvesters, including piezoelectric harvester system, perform efficiently at only its resonant frequency as linear resonators, usually at very high frequency which are out of the range of frequency of interest. In real life applications, these linear resonators are impractical since real ambient vibrations are simply having varying lower frequencies. Hence, design a tuneable vibration energy harvester at a lower and useful frequency range of interest are essential in allowing promising energy output to meet intended power input at a more practical approach. In this paper, the piezoelectric voltage energy harvester (PVEH) was designed with a flexible fixture with the aim to reduce its first fundamental natural frequency. Two thickness of elastic fixtures were applied to generate power on PVEH. Three experimental techniques were used to measure the vibration characteristics of PVEH. First, the full-field optical technique, amplitude-fluctuation electronic speckle pattern interferometry (AF-ESPI) measured simultaneously the resonant frequencies and mode shapes. This is followed by the pointwise measurement system, laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) in which the resonant frequencies were measured by dynamic signal swept-sine analysis. The resonant frequencies and anti-resonant frequencies were also obtained by impedance analysis. The results obtained from experimental measurements were compared with finite element numerical calculation. It is found that the boundary conditions under the elastic fixtures can effectively reduce the resonant frequency of the PVEH with a reasonable voltage output. The fundamental natural frequency of PVEH with the thickness of 0.58-mm elastic fixture is reduced to 37 Hz maintaining at 7.1 volts (1.2 mW), in comparison with the natural frequency on cantilevered PVEH at 78 Hz that produces 7.7 volts (6.5 mW).
The cyclic oxidation experiment of yttria-stabilized zirconia coatings deposited on NiCoCrAlYHf alloys by air plasma spraying was investigated at 1050 °C in air and in air containing water vapor. The results revealed that water vapor has a great influence on the oxidation resistance of the thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). Compared with the samples oxidized in air atmosphere, TBCs oxidized in air containing water vapor had a longer lifetime. It was also found that different atmospheres could lead to different HfO2 formation positions, which could decrease the rumpling in the oxide layer. In particular, after the coatings on Hf-doped NiCoCrAlY were first pretreated in air containing water vapor for 24 h at 1050 °C, the lifetime of the pretreated coating was doubled compared to the coating in laboratory air only. The water vapor pretreatment of the coatings could be an important method for optimizing the lifetime of TBCs.
A series of metal oxides (MnFeOx, MnCrOx, MnTiOx, and MnFeTiOx) supported on attapulgite (ATP) were synthesized by coprecipitation for the low-temperature selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx with NH3. Then, they were subjected to appropriate characterizations for their properties (XRD, TEM, BET, XPS, etc.). The catalytic activity of MnFeTiOx/ATP catalyst was over 95% NOx conversion within a wide temperature window between of 175 and 300 °C, and 88% N2 selectivity. Moreover, MnFeTiOx/ATP presented excellent potassium resistance relative to the traditional V–W–Ti catalyst, and its denitration performance was significantly improved. The NOx conversion rate could be restored to nearly 90% at 210 °C after removing potassium via washing of K–MnFeTiOx/ATP. In addition, the MnFeTiOx/ATP showed better SO2 resistance and stability than the traditional V–W–Ti catalyst. Therefore, the MnFeTiOx/ATP catalyst has been proved to have broad prospects in NH3-SCR.
Novel cerium-loaded MnTiOx/attapulgite (Ce/MnTiOx/ATP) and cerium-doped MnTiOx/attapulgite (Ce–MnTiOx/ATP) catalysts for low-temperature selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) with ammonia (NH3-SCR) were synthesized by co-precipitation methods. The results of catalytic activity testing for the as-prepared Ce–MnTiOx/ATP and Ce/MnTiOx/ATP indicated that the Ce–MnTiOx/ATP catalyst exhibited better catalytic performance with over 80% NOx conversion within a wide temperature window between 170 and 350°, and the highest NOx conversion attained for the Ce–MnTiOx/ATP catalyst was 97.5%. A series of characterization illustrated that the Ce–MnTiOx/ATP catalyst exhibited a higher specific surface area, oxygen vacancy, redox ability, and acid site as compared to that of the Ce/MnTiOx/ATP catalyst. The performance tests showed that the Ce–MnTiOx/ATP catalyst exhibited not only better SO2 & H2O resistance but also higher N2 selectivity and good stability. Therefore, the Ce–MnTiOx/ATP catalyst was testified to be a promising catalyst for NH3-SCR.
The deformation of the Solonker Belt and nearby regions is helpful for understanding the tectonic evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. This study carried out structural analysis in the Mandula and Ganqi areas of western Inner Mongolia, including the Solonker Belt, the Southern Orogenic Belt and the northern Yinshan Belt (Langshan range). Our results reveal that the Solonker Belt, the Southern Orogenic Belt and the northern Yinshan Belt underwent two stages (D1 and D2) of deformation during the Mesozoic period. The D1 stage produced the NNE-directed thrusts and asymmetric folds, indicating a NNE–SSW contraction. The northern Yinshan Belt, the Southern Orogenic Belt and the Solonker Belt formed as a series of NNE-verging tectonic nappes. The D2 stage developed the NE-trending folds and the SE- or NW-directed thrusts that cross-cut the D1 structures. The two events of nearly orthogonal or oblique shortening gave rise to the superimposed structures (e.g. fold interference patterns). The quartz veins that filled the fractures of the D1 deformation contain zircons of Middle Triassic U–Pb ages. The new dating data, along with the regional sedimentary hiatus, led us to infer that the D1 stage of deformation occurred in Middle Triassic time and the D2 stage occurred in Late Jurassic time. We consider that the D1 stage of deformation resulted from a convergent event, which might be related to the closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean or limited, narrow ocean basins; and the D2 stage of deformation was the far-field result of subduction of the Palaeo-Pacific Ocean and the closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean.
Sedative–hypnotic medication use has been related to severe adverse events and risks. This study investigated the prevalence of and characteristics associated with the use of sedatives and hypnotics among community-dwelling elderly persons aged 65 years and over in Taiwan.
A representative sample of community-dwelling adults was recruited. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected for assessing physical, mental, and cognitive functioning and disorders. Sedatives and hypnotics use was determined via both self-reporting and prescription records. Logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate associations between sedative–hypnotic use and demographic and health status.
Among the 3,978 participants aged 65 years and over, the rate of sedative–hypnotic use was 19.7% (n = 785). 4.5% (n = 35) of users reported sedative–hypnotic use without a doctor's prescription. Several sociodemographic characteristics were positively associated with sedative and hypnotic use, including older age, female gender, higher education level, married status, unemployment, and current alcohol consumption. Comorbid chronic and cardiovascular diseases, mental illness, depression, pain, and sleep problems also increased the likelihood of sedative–hypnotic use.
This study is one of the largest pioneer studies to date to survey sedatives–hypnotics use among community-dwelling elderly. One in five community-dwelling older adults reported sedative–hypnotic drugs use in Taiwan, and about 5% of sedative and/or hypnotics usage was without a doctor's prescription. Findings could be helpful for drug-use safety interventions to identify target geriatric patients who are in general at higher risk of downstream harm associated with sedative–hypnotic use in geriatric patients.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
A high power laser system was used to drive the ignition of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), of which the high energy, the uniform focal spot, the accurate laser waveform, and the synchronization between the laser beams are key parameters. To accomplish this, global laser characteristics control should be assured, which was the main purpose of the injection laser system. In this paper, the key technological progress involved in the improvement of the performance of the injection laser of SG-II is reported, including frequency domain control, time domain control, near-field spatial shaping, pre-amplifier technology, and the optical parametric chirped pulse amplification pump source.
The present study analysed data derived from the 2004–2008 Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, to understand the relationship among eating-out behaviour, related non-nutritional factors and osteopenia in the Taiwanese population.
Data of 1140 adults who had been evaluated with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in June 2007 were included. The data were analysed through descriptive and inferential statistics to determine the association of osteopenia with the frequency of eating out, demographic variables (i.e. age, sex, level of education, marital status and place of birth), BMI, waist circumference and food consumption.
Gender, age, education level, personal income and waist circumference were all factors found to be significantly associated with eating-out frequency and the incidence of osteopenia. Eating-out frequency was negatively associated with the incidence of osteopenia. Individuals with BMI>27 kg/m2 had a lower frequency of eating out and a lower incidence of osteopenia. Individuals with a lower monthly income had a significantly greater chance of developing osteopenia. Men living without spouses had significantly higher chances of osteopenia. Ca intake was negatively associated with breakfast eating-out frequency.
Eating-out frequency was not associated with an increasing incidence of osteopenia, but affected the Ca intake in the Taiwanese population. Having a balanced selection of food is crucial to reduce the incidence of osteopenia. Improving nutritional knowledge for those under higher risk of osteopenia is necessary to prevent osteopenia and Ca deficiency.
A series of self-assembled WO3–BiVO4 nanostructured thin films with 17, 25, 50, 67, and 100 mol% WO3 were grown on the (001) yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) substrate by pulsed laser deposition method. The microstructures including crystalline phases, epitaxial relationship, interface structures, and chemical composition distributions were investigated by a combination of various electron microscopy techniques including scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy. The monoclinic BiVO4 formed the matrix, in which WO3 nanopillars were embedded with specific epitaxial relationships. In BiVO4-rich sample, orthorhombic Bi2WO6 was formed. However, metastable hexagonal WO3 phase and orthorhombic WO3 phase coexisted in other composite samples. The thin amorphous layer at the film/substrate interface indicated that the mismatch strain between films and substrate is released. The hydrostatic tensile strain due to thermal expansion mismatch between BiVO4 and WO3 as well as the diffusion of Bi into the WO3 stabilized the metastable h-WO3. A WO3–BiVO4 pseudobinary phase diagram was proposed based on the magnitude of the thermal expansion mismatch and the distance of Bi diffusion, which can be applied to design the microstructures of WO3–BiVO4 heterojunctions and optimize their photoelectrochemical properties.
With the rapid development of electronic information and technology, especially the explosive advance of novel electronic devices, ultra-wideband radar detector and satellite communication, the elimination of adverse electromagnetic waves (EWs) effectively is very necessary both for electronic safety and national defense security. As one of the important material basis for controlling adverse EW pollution, compatibility, shielding, and stealth capability of weaponry, microwave absorbing materials has long been an area of intense research activity. Graphene-based materials have attracted great interests for microwave absorption in recent years due to the unique structure and physicochemical properties of graphene, such as high specific surface area, ultrathin thickness, large interface, optical transmittance, and tunable conductive properties, etc. In this paper, the properties and absorption behavior of different kinds of microwave absorbing materials based on graphene were reviewed and discussed in detail. In addition, the perspective of the current challenges and key issues for achieving better microwave absorption performance of the graphene-based materials are provided.
A need exists for public health strategies regarding extreme weather disasters, which in recent years have become more frequent. This study aimed to understand the public’s perception of extreme cold and its related health risks, which may provide detailed information for public health preparedness during an extreme cold weather event.
To evaluate public perceptions of cold-related health risk and to identify vulnerable groups, we collected responses from 891 participants in a face-to-face survey in Harbin, China. Public perception was measured by calculating the score for each perception question.
Locals perceived that extreme cold weather and related health risks were serious, but thought they could not avoid these risks. The significant difference in perceived acceptance level between age groups suggested that the elderly are a “high health risk, low risk perception” group, meaning that they are relatively more vulnerable owing to their high susceptibility and low awareness of the health risks associated with extreme cold weather.
The elderly should be a priority in risk communication and health protective interventions. This study demonstrated that introducing risk perception into the public health field can identify vulnerable groups with greater needs, which may improve the decision-making of public health intervention strategies. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:417–421)
We present two isotopic (δ18O and δ13C) sequences of a twin-stalagmite from Zhuliuping Cave, southwestern China, with 230Th dates from 14.6 to 4.6 ka. The stalagmite δ18O record characterizes orbital- to decadal-scale variability of Asian summer monsoon (ASM) intensity, with the Holocene optimum period (HOP) between 9.8 and 6.8 ka BP which is reinforced by its co-varying δ13C data. The large multi-decadal scale amplitude of the cave δ18O indicates its high sensitivity to climate change. Four centennial-scale weak ASM events during the early Holocene are centered at 11.2, 10.8, 9.1 and 8.2 ka. They can be correlated to cold periods in the northern high latitudes, possibly resulting from rapid dynamics of atmospheric circulation associated with North Atlantic cooling. The 8.2 ka event has an amplitude more than two-thirds that of the Younger Dryas (YD), and is significantly stronger than other cave records in the Asia monsoon region, likely indicating a more severe dry climate condition at the cave site. At the end of the YD event, the δ13C record lags the δ18O record by 300–500 yr, suggesting a multi-centennial slow response of vegetation and soil processes to monsoon enhancement.
C3N4/Bi2WO6 heterojunction photocatalysts were successfully synthesized using consecutive hydrothermal and calcination processes. These photocatalysts were characterized using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and photoluminescence measurements. The results of these measurements indicated that the Bi2WO6 nanoparticles were approximately 30–50 nm and uniformly distributed on the surface of C3N4 lamellar structures. The 20% C3N4/Bi2WO6 displayed enhanced visible-light absorption from 432 nm to 468 nm. Photocatalytic tests also revealed that the 20% C3N4/Bi2WO6 photocatalyst exhibited significantly enhanced photocatalytic activity compared to that of pure C3N4 and Bi2WO6 under irradiation by visible light (λ > 420 nm). Furthermore, the excellent photocatalytic efficiency of the 20% C3N4/Bi2WO6 photocatalyst was determined to be related to the formation of C3N4/Bi2WO6 heterojunctions, and their presence was found to be generally beneficial for the separation of photogenerated electron–hole pairs.
We study the optimal proportional reinsurance and investment problem in a general jump-diffusion financial market. Assuming that the insurer’s surplus process follows a jump-diffusion process, the insurer can purchase proportional reinsurance from the reinsurer and invest in a risk-free asset and a risky asset, whose price is modelled by a general jump-diffusion process. The insurance company wishes to maximize the expected exponential utility of the terminal wealth. By using techniques of stochastic control theory, closed-form expressions for the value function and optimal strategy are obtained. A Monte Carlo simulation is conducted to illustrate that the closed-form expressions we derived are indeed the optimal strategies, and some numerical examples are presented to analyse the impact of model parameters on the optimal strategies.
We present experimental evidence that a minute amount of polymer additives can significantly enhance heat transport in the bulk region of turbulent thermal convection. The effects of polymer additives are found to be the enhancement of coherent heat fluxes and suppression of incoherent heat fluxes. The enhanced heat transport is associated with the increased coherency of thermal plumes, as a result of the suppression of small-scale turbulent fluctuations by polymers. The incoherent heat flux, arising from turbulent background fluctuations, makes no net contribution to heat transport. The fact that polymer additives can increase the coherency of thermal plumes is supported by the measurements of a number of local quantities, such as the extracted plume amplitude and width, the velocity autocorrelation functions and the velocity–temperature cross-correlation coefficient. The results from local measurements also suggest the existence of a threshold value for the polymer concentration, only above which significant modification of the plume coherent properties and enhancement of the local heat flux can be observed. Estimation of the plume emission rate suggests a stabilization of the thermal boundary layer by polymer additives.
We investigated the effect of focused ion beam (FIB) imaging on the crystallinity of InAs using Raman scattering. A spatial correlation model was used to fit the broad band induced by FIB imaging. The fitting gives a correlation length of ~42 Å for the noisiest image condition (with an ion fluence of 7.4×1010 cm−2), implying severe damage in the surface layer of InAs. However, further increasing the fluence by several orders of magnitude only decreases the correlation length from 42 to 35 Å. We attribute the severe damage to the high beam current density and the low scanning speed of the FIB imaging process. These process conditions, along with low InAs thermal conductivity, also leads to a high local temperature in the exposed region that largely annihilated the defects and resulted in the nearly fluence-independent behavior.