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Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
We conducted a survey of 16,914 patients to determine the point prevalence of healthcare-associated catheter-associated urinary tract infection (HA-CAUTI) and urinary catheter care in public hospitals in Hong Kong. Overall HA-CAUTI prevalence was 0.27%. Compliance was generally good, except for documenting the date of planned removal and securing the catheter properly.
This article discusses some of the current research on technology in relation to learner autonomy, outlining major findings on the relationship between technology and learner autonomy in formal and informal learning contexts. Extant literature has discussed both teacher-initiated technology-enhanced formal learning environments and learner-constructed self-directed learning experience in informal learning contexts. Although valuable in the insights it provides into how technology aids learner autonomy, the two bodies of literature have largely been independent from each other, which may constrain our understanding.
To determine the efficacy of 2 types of antimicrobial privacy curtains in clinical settings and the costs involved in replacing standard curtains with antimicrobial curtains.
A prospective, open-labeled, multicenter study with a follow-up duration of 6 months.
This study included 12 rooms of patients with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) (668 patient bed days) and 10 cubicles (8,839 patient bed days) in the medical, surgical, neurosurgical, orthopedics, and rehabilitation units of 10 hospitals.
Culture samples were collected from curtain surfaces twice a week for 2 weeks, followed by weekly intervals.
With a median hanging time of 173 days, antimicrobial curtain B (quaternary ammonium chlorides [QAC] plus polyorganosiloxane) was highly effective in reducing the bioburden (colony-forming units/100 cm2, 1 vs 57; P < .001) compared with the standard curtain. The percentages of MDRO contamination were also significantly lower on antimicrobial curtain B than the standard curtain: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, 0.5% vs 24% (P < .001); carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp, 0.2% vs 22.1% (P < .001); multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter spp, 0% vs 13.2% (P < .001). Notably, the median time to first contamination by MDROs was 27.6 times longer for antimicrobial curtain B than for the standard curtain (138 days vs 5 days; P = .001).
Antimicrobial curtain B (QAC plus polyorganosiloxane) but not antimicrobial curtain A (built-in silver) effectively reduced the microbial burden and MDRO contamination compared with the standard curtain, even after extended use in an active clinical setting. The antimicrobial curtain provided an opportunity to avert indirect costs related to curtain changing and laundering in addition to improving patient safety.
Image processing and analysis is an effective tool for monitoring and fault diagnosis of activated sludge (AS) wastewater treatment plants. The AS image comprise of flocs (microbial aggregates) and filamentous bacteria. In this paper, nine different approaches are proposed for image segmentation of phase-contrast microscopic (PCM) images of AS samples. The proposed strategies are assessed for their effectiveness from the perspective of microscopic artifacts associated with PCM. The first approach uses an algorithm that is based on the idea that different color space representation of images other than red-green-blue may have better contrast. The second uses an edge detection approach. The third strategy, employs a clustering algorithm for the segmentation and the fourth applies local adaptive thresholding. The fifth technique is based on texture-based segmentation and the sixth uses watershed algorithm. The seventh adopts a split-and-merge approach. The eighth employs Kittler’s thresholding. Finally, the ninth uses a top-hat and bottom-hat filtering-based technique. The approaches are assessed, and analyzed critically with reference to the artifacts of PCM. Gold approximations of ground truth images are prepared to assess the segmentations. Overall, the edge detection-based approach exhibits the best results in terms of accuracy, and the texture-based algorithm in terms of false negative ratio. The respective scenarios are explained for suitability of edge detection and texture-based algorithms.
In this paper, we introduce a lower extremity exoskeleton CUHK-EXO that is developed to help paraplegic patients, who have lost the motor and sensory functions of their lower limbs to perform basic daily life motions. Since the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit (STS) motion is the first step for paraplegic patients toward walking, analysis of the exoskeleton's applicability to the STS motion assistance is performed. First, the human-exoskeleton system (HES) is modeled as a five-link model during the STS motion, and the center of pressure (COP) on the ground and center of gravity of the whole system are calculated. Then, a description of the CUHK-EXO hardware design is presented, including the mechatronics design and actuator selection. The COP position is an important factor indicating system balance and wearer's comfort. Based on the COP position, a trajectory online modification algorithm (TOMA) is proposed for CUHK-EXO to counteract disturbances, stabilize system balance, and improve the wearer's comfort in the STS motion. The results of STS motion tests conducted with a paraplegic patient demonstrate that CUHK-EXO can provide a normal reference pattern and proper assistive torque to support the patient's STS motion. In addition, a pilot study is conducted with a healthy subject to verify the effectiveness of the proposed TOMA under external disturbances before future clinical trials. The testing results verify that CUHK-EXO can counteract disturbances, and help the wearer perform the STS motion safely and comfortably.
The essence of mobile learning is learners’ agentic use of mobile
devices to create learning experiences across time and space. Thus,
understanding learners’ perceptions and preferred use of mobile
devices for learning are critical to realizing the educational potentials of
mobile learning. This study explored language learners’ self-directed
use of mobile devices beyond the classroom through a survey and interview study
with foreign language learners at a university in Hong Kong. A total of 256
learners were surveyed and 18 were interviewed to understand the nature of
mobile language learning experiences that these learners engaged in autonomously
beyond the classroom. Exploratory factor analysis yielded three dimensions of
self-directed out-of-class mobile learning experience. Among the three
dimensions, learners were found to use mobile devices more for facilitating the
personalization of learning than for enhancing the authenticity and social
connection in learning. This study further revealed that selective use was an
outcome of the interaction between learner-defined affordances of the devices,
their culturally informed and habitual use of the devices, their perceptions of
the nature of the learning tasks, and the tempo-spatial circumstances of task
implementation. The findings suggest that these factors need to be considered
when designing mobile learning activities and educational interventions that
promote mobile learning beyond the classroom.
Research suggests that an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
(MBCT) course may be effective for generalised anxiety disorder
To compare changes in anxiety levels among participants with GAD randomly
assigned to MBCT, cognitive–behavioural therapy-based psychoeducation and
In total, 182 participants with GAD were recruited (trial registration
number: CUHK_CCT00267) and assigned to the three groups and followed for
5 months after baseline assessment with the two intervention groups
followed for an additional 6 months. Primary outcomes were anxiety and
Linear mixed models demonstrated significant group × time interaction
(F(4,148) = 5.10, P = 0.001) effects
for decreased anxiety for both the intervention groups relative to usual
care. Significant group × time interaction effects were observed for
worry and depressive symptoms and mental health-related quality of life
for the psychoeducation group only.
These results suggest that both of the interventions appear to be
superior to usual care for the reduction of anxiety symptoms.
To determine the prevalence, risk factors, and molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization at the time of admission to acute medical units and to develop a cost-effective screening strategy.
Nasal and groin screening cultures were performed for patients at admission to 15 acute medical units in all 7 catchment regions in Hong Kong. All MRSA isolates were subjected to spa typing.
The overall carriage rate of MRSA was 14.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.5–15.1). MRSA history within the past 12 months (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.60 [95% CI, 3.28–6.44]), old age home residence (adjusted OR, 3.32 [95% CI, 2.78–3.98]), and bedbound state (adjusted OR, 2.19 [95% CI, 1.75–2.74]) were risk factors selected as MRSA screening criteria that provided reasonable sensitivity (67.4%) and specificity (81.8%), with an affordable burden (25.2%). spa typing showed that 89.5% (848/948) of the isolates were clustered into the 4 spa clonal complexes (CCs): spa CC1081, spa CC032, spa CC002, and spa CC4677. Patients colonized with MRSA spa types t1081 (OR, 1.77 [95% CI, 1.49–2.09]) and t4677 (OR, 3.09 [95% CI, 1.54–6.02]) were more likely to be old age home residents.
MRSA carriage at admission to acute medical units was prevalent in Hong Kong. Our results suggest that targeted screening is a pragmatic approach to increase the detection of the MRSA reservoir. Molecular typing suggests that old age homes are epicenters in amplifying the MRSA burden in acute hospitals. Enhancement of infection control measures in old age homes is important for the control of MRSA in hospitals.
This study investigated how cross-functional teams can influence their business model innovation and firm performance through team learning, consisting of multiple modes of within-team, cross-team, and market learning. Using a matched dyadic data set from a study of 330 cross-functional team members and their supervisors sampled from 165 electronics and information industries in China, the empirical results clearly indicate that within-team, cross-team, and market learning can improve business model innovation and firm performance. The results of the mediating model show how the business model innovation mediates the relationship between team learning and firm performance.
The spectral set conjecture, also known as the Fuglede conjecture, asserts that every bounded spectral set is a tile and vice versa. While this conjecture remains open on
, there are many results in the literature that discuss the relations among various forms of the Fuglede conjecture on
and also the seemingly stronger universal tiling (spectrum) conjectures on the respective groups. In this paper, we clarify the equivalences between these statements in dimension one. In addition, we show that if the Fuglede conjecture on
is true, then every spectral set with rational measure must have a rational spectrum. We then investigate the Coven–Meyerowitz property for finite sets of integers, introduced in , and we show that if the spectral sets and the tiles in
satisfy the Coven–Meyerowitz property, then both sides of the Fuglede conjecture on
Drynaria fortunei (Kunze) J. Sm. (DF), a Chinese herb commonly used for the treatment of bone fracture, was previously shown to exert anabolic effects on bone. However, its active ingredients as well as the mechanisms of action are far from clear. The present study aimed to characterise the bone anabolic effects of DF flavonoid fraction (DFTF) in ovariectomised (OVX) mice and to determine if DFTF and its isolated compounds exert oestrogen-like effects in rat osteoblast-like UMR-106 cells. Young OVX C57/BL6J mice were treated orally with DFTF (0·087, 0·173 or 0·346 mg/g per d), 17β-oestradiol (2 μg/g per d) or its vehicle for 6 weeks. Serum and urine samples were collected for biochemical marker analysis. Bones were collected for computed tomography analysis. UMR-106 cells were treated with DFTF and isolated compounds naringin, (2S)-5,7,3′,5′-tetrahydroxy-flavonone 7-O-neohesperidoside (compound 1) and 5,7-dihydroxychromone 7-O-neohesperidoside (compound 2). DFTF exerted dose-dependent effects in improving bone mineral densities as well as bone strength at the femur, tibia and lumbar spine L1 in OVX mice. DFTF and the three isolated compounds stimulated osteoblastic cell proliferation and alkaline phosphatase activities in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, they stimulated the ratio of osteoprotegrin and receptor-activator NF-κB ligand mRNA expression, suggesting their involvement in inhibiting osteoclastogenesis. These stimulatory effects on osteoblastic functions were abolished in the presence of oestrogen receptor (ER) antagonist, ICI 182780. The present results suggested that DFTF is effective in protecting against OVX-induced bone loss in mice, and its actions in regulating osteoblastic activities appear to be mediated by ER.
As mentioned by several authors of this book, one of the factors that contributed to the unexpected opposition win during the 12th Malaysian general election was the role of the mass media (Weiss 2008; Welsh 2008). The new communication technology, through online news sites, sociopolitical blogs, and emails, is said to have played a significant role in disseminating plural and dissenting views in a highly controlled media environment. Although the new media made their beginning during the 1999 general election, their impact was most felt during the 2008 general election. Then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak acknowledged that the new communication technology was “one of the factors that led [to] us having a worse than expected performance” (New Straits Times, 28 May 2008). In an election post-mortem, Welsh said that people were disillusioned with the usual biased reporting of the mainstream media, preferring instead to search the Internet for alternative views (Malaysiakini, 12 March 2008). This chapter will compare the news coverage of the 12th general election by both the Chinese mainstream and online press to show the inclusion and exclusion of certain groups and individuals, reflecting the power structures within which the media operate. To contextualize the study, the chapter will analyse the Malaysian Chinese newspapers taking into account increasing state control and media concentration as well as the emergence of online news websites in response to the repressive media situation and social demand for greater political openness.
DIRECT STATE INTERVENTION
After Independence, two events that have had major impacts on the contemporary structure of the mass media are the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, and the May 13 riots in 1969. In 1965, with the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, the Malaysian authorities decreed that all foreign publications had to obtain prior permission before being circulated in Malaysia. This cumbersome arrangement affected all the major newspapers that were based in Singapore, namely, the Straits Times, Berita Harian, Nanyang Siang Pau, Sin Chew Jit Poh, and Shin Min Daily. These papers had no choice but to set up new entities in Malaysia, a move which laid the groundwork for direct state control of the newspapers.
In this paper, we deal with the global existence and blow-up of solutions to a doubly degenerative parabolic system with nonlinear boundary conditions. By constructing various kinds of sub- and super-solutions and using the basic properties of M-matrix, we give the necessary and sufficient conditions for global existence of non-negative solutions, which extend the recent results of Zheng, Song and Jiang (S. N. Zheng, X. F. Song and Z. X. Jiang, Critical Fujita exponents for degenerate parabolic equations coupled via nonlinear boundary flux, J. Math. Anal. Appl. 298 (2004), 308–324), Xiang, Chen and Mu (Z. Y. Xiang, Q. Chen, C. L. Mu, Critical curves for degenerate parabolic equations coupled via nonlinear boundary flux, Appl. Math. Comput. 189 (2007), 549–559) and Zhou and Mu (J. Zhou and C. L Mu, On critical Fujita exponents for degenerate parabolic system coupled via nonlinear boundary flux, Pro. Edinb. Math. Soc. 51 (2008), 785–805) to more general equations.
In this paper, we report the characterization of vertically aligned ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays synthesized by metal-catalyzed chemical vapor deposition. The growth mechanism of ZnO NWs may be related to vapor-solid-nucleation. Morphological, structural, optical and field emission characteristics can be modified by varying the growth time. For growth time reaches 120 min, the length and the diameter of ZnO NWs are 1.5 μm and 350 nm, and they also show preferential growth orientation along the c-axis. Moreover, strong alignment and uniform distribution of ZnO NWs can effectively enhance the antireflection to reach the average reflectance of 5.7% in the visible region as well. Field emission measurement indicated that the growth time play an important role in density- and morphology-controlled ZnO NWs, and thus ZnO NWs are expected to be used in versatile optoelectronic devices.
CALLING ON CALL: FROM THEORY AND RESEARCH TO NEW DIRECTIONS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING.Lara Ducate and Nike Arnold (Eds.). San Marcos, TX: Calico, 2006. Pp. 351. $24.95 paper.
So far, language educators and researchers have proposed quite a few theoretical conceptualizations of the potential of technology in language education and have conducted empirical studies exploring the affordance and constraints of technology in language education. The large number and variety of publications on this topic is informative but might also be overwhelming to language teachers, and many teachers are at a loss as to how exactly to incorporate technologies into their daily practice despite being intrigued by all of these claims and findings on the promise of technology. This volume, edited by Ducate and Arnold, provides timely support to language teachers. This practice-oriented volume not only gives language teachers broad perspectives on the status quo of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) but also provides specific guidelines on how to incorporate technologies in specific language teaching areas.