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The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between students’ perceptions of their school policies and environments (i.e. sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) free policy, plain water drinking, vegetables and fruit eating campaign, outdoor physical activity initiative, and the SH150 programme (exercise 150 min/week at school)) and their dietary behaviours and physical activity.
Primary, middle and high schools in Taiwan.
A nationally representative sample of 2433 primary school (5th–6th grade) students, 3212 middle school students and 2829 high school students completed the online survey in 2018.
Multivariate analysis results showed that after controlling for school level, gender and age, the students’ perceptions of school sugar-free policies were negatively associated with the consumption of SSB and positively associated with consumption of plain water. Schools’ campaigns promoting the eating of vegetables and fruit were positively associated with students’ consumption of vegetables. In addition, schools’ initiatives promoting outdoor physical activity and the SH150 programme were positively associated with students’ engagement in outdoor physical activities and daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
Students’ perceptions of healthy school policies and environments promote healthy eating and an increase in physical activity for students.
In this paper, we present a new nonparametric method for estimating a conditional quantile function and develop its weak convergence theory. The proposed estimator is computationally easy to implement and automatically ensures quantile monotonicity by construction. For inference, we propose to use a residual bootstrap method. Our Monte Carlo simulations show that this new estimator compares well with the check-function-based estimator in terms of estimation mean squared error. The bootstrap confidence bands yield adequate coverage probabilities. An empirical example uses a dataset of Canadian high school graduate earnings, illustrating the usefulness of the proposed method in applications.
To investigate the effects of culture media with different lactate concentrations on early embryonic development, data collected from our patients undergoing preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) were assessed using the EmbryoScope™ time-lapse culturing system. After intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), sibling oocytes were cultured in the same EmbryoScope (Vitrolife) slides including two different commercially available media. The patients with fewer than five mature oocytes were not included in the analyses. All embryos were hatched on day 3, and trophectoderm biopsies (n = 212) were performed accordingly. PGT for aneuploidy (PGT-A) on biopsied materials was carried out using next generation sequencing. Morphokinetic parameters, fertilization, irregular division, degeneration, blastulation, euploidy, and pregnancy rates of embryos cultured in LifeGlobal Global Total medium (LGGT) and Continuous Single Culture-NX Complete medium (CSCM-NXC) were compared. There were no differences observed in time to pronuclear fade, or in time spent as 2-cell (cc2) and 3-cell (s2), to 4-cell, 5-cell, morula and blastocyst stages (P > 0.05). Embryos reached the 2-cell (t2) and 3-cell (t3) stages significantly faster in LGGT (P < 0.05), whereas embryos grown in CSCM-NXC with lower lactate reached starting blastulation significantly sooner (P = 0.026). However, there were no statistical differences observed in fertilization, blastulation, degeneration, irregular division euploidy, and pregnancy rates between the two groups (P > 0.05). Even though pregnancy and fertilization rates did not indicate statistical differences, results are significant to provide better insight on potential roles of lactate in embryo development. These finding will advance the fundamental knowledge of human embryo development and assisted reproductive technologies.
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) elicits a range of different responses in patients and can manifest into mild to very severe cases in different individuals, depending on many factors. We aimed to establish a prediction model of severe risk in COVID-19 patients, to help clinicians achieve early prevention, intervention and aid them in choosing effective therapeutic strategy. We selected confirmed COVID-19 patients who were admitted to First Hospital of Changsha city between 29 January and 15 February 2020 and collected their clinical data. Multivariate logical regression was used to identify the factors associated with severe risk. These factors were incorporated into the nomogram to establish the model. The ROC curve, calibration plot and decision curve were used to assess the performance of the model. A total of 228 patients were enrolled and 33 (14.47%) patients developed severe pneumonia. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that shortness of breath, fatigue, creatine kinase, lymphocytes and h CRP were independent factors for severe risk in COVID-19 patients. Incorporating age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and these factors, the nomogram achieved good concordance indexes of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.832–0.949] and well-fitted calibration plot curves (Hosmer–Lemeshow test: P = 0.97). The model provided superior net benefit when clinical decision thresholds were between 15% and 85% predicted risk. Using the model, clinicians can intervene early, improve therapeutic effects and reduce the severity of COVID-19, thus ensuring more targeted and efficient use of medical resources.
A study of small-amplitude shape oscillations of a viscous compound droplet suspended in a viscous host fluid is performed. A generalized eigenvalue problem is formulated and is solved by using the spectral method. The effects of the relevant non-dimensional parameters are examined for three cases, i.e. a liquid shell in a vacuum and a compound droplet in a vacuum or in a host fluid. The fundamental mode $l=2$ is found to be dominant. There exist two oscillatory modes: the in phase and the out of phase. In most situations, the interfaces oscillate in phase rather than out of phase. For the in-phase mode, in the absence of the host, as the viscosity of the core or the shell increases, the damping rate increases whereas the oscillation frequency decreases; when the viscosity exceeds a critical value, the mode becomes aperiodic with the damping rate bifurcating into two branches. In addition, when the tension of the inner interface becomes smaller than some value, the in-phase mode turns aperiodic. In the presence of the unbounded host fluid, there exists a continuous spectrum. The viscosity of the host may decrease or increase the damping rate of the in-phase mode. The mechanism behind it is discussed. The density contrasts between fluids affect oscillations of the droplet in a complicated way. Particularly, sufficiently large densities of the core or the host lead to the disappearance of the out-of-phase mode. The thin shell approximation predicts well the oscillation of the compound droplet when the shell is thin.
During the late Palaeozoic Era, a series of related marine strata dominated by multi-layer limestones were deposited in the southern North China Craton. In order to gain new insights into the systematic geochemistry of the carbonate succession of the representative formation (Taiyuan Formation), we examined 59 limestone samples collected from the Huaibei Coal Basin (HCB), with a view towards quantitatively determining the major and trace elements and stable isotope compositions. The data obtained can provide essential evidence for reconstruction of the depositional palaeo-environment and tectonic setting of the Taiyuan Formation. Both X-ray diffraction analyses and palaeoredox proxies (e.g. V/Cr, V/(V + Ni) and authigenic U) indicated that the limestone layers were deposited in an oxic–dysoxic zone, with calcite as the main component. Moreover, palaeomagnetic evidence provided support for the conclusion that these limestones were laid down within an epicontinental sea depositional environment under a warm or hot palaeoclimate during the transition between late Carboniferous and early Permian time. Additionally, evidence obtained from our analyses of trace and rare earth elements revealed that the tectonic setting of the Taiyuan Formation (L1–L5) in the HCB transited from an open ocean to a passive continental margin, thereby indicating that this transformation stemmed from the subduction closure of the northeastern Palaeotethys Ocean. The findings of this study would be of interest to those working on the upper Palaeozoic marine strata in the southern North China Craton.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0·80 (95 % CI, 0·75, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
A viscoelastic thread in vacuum is known to evolve into a beads-on-a-string structure at large deformations. If the thread is immersed in another fluid, the surrounding medium may influence the topological structure of it, which remains unexplored. To get some insights into the nonlinear behaviour of a viscoelastic thread in a two-phase flow system, a one-dimensional model is developed under the slender body approximation, in which the thread of a highly viscoelastic fluid described by the Oldroyd-B or Giesekus constitutive equation is immersed in a Newtonian viscous fluid of much smaller density and viscosity inside a cylindrical tube. The effect of the outer viscous fluid layer and the confinement of the tube is examined. It is found that the outer fluid may change substantially the beads-on-a-string structure of the viscoelastic thread. Particularly, it may induce the formation of secondary droplets on the filament between adjacent primary droplets, even for large wavenumbers. The outer fluid exerts a resistance force on the extensional flow in the filament, but the necking of the thread is slightly accelerated, due to the redistribution of capillary and elastic forces along the filament accompanied by the formation of secondary droplets. Decreasing the tube radius leads to an increase in secondary droplet size but affects little the morphology of the thread. The non-uniformity of the filament between droplets is more pronounced for a Giesekus viscoelastic thread, and pinch-off of a Giesekus thread always occurs in the neck region connecting the filament to the primary droplet in the presence of the outer viscous fluid.
The breakup process of a charged, leaky-dielectric jet subjected to an axial perturbation is computationally analysed from the perspectives of linear and nonlinear dynamics using the arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian technique. The linear dynamics of the leaky-dielectric jet is quantitatively predicted by the dispersion relation from the linear stability analysis. Regarding the nonlinear dynamics, it is found that the charge relaxation is responsible for the radial compression of satellite droplets, which is validated by experiments. Two types of charge relaxations, namely, ohmic conduction and surface charge convection, define the pinching process into three breakup modes, i.e. ligament pinching, end pinching and transition pinching. In the ligament-pinching mode, the ohmic conduction dominates the jet breakup since the charge relaxes to the jet ligament instantaneously. In contrast, the surface charge convection takes effect in the end-pinching mode since the surface charge is convected to the jet end via fluid flow. When the ohmic conduction is comparable to the surface charge convection, the breakup occurs simultaneously at the end and the ligament. Finally, the influences of the perturbed wavenumber, the electric field intensity and the viscosity on the breakup mode and the local dynamics at pinch-off are comprehensively discussed.
Inflammation is a central mechanism in metabolic disorders associated with morbidity and mortality and dietary factors can modulate inflammation. We aimed to prospectively investigate the association between an empirically developed, food-based dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) score and the risk of overall and cause-specific mortality, using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2014. EDIP score was derived by entering thirty-nine predefined commonly consumed food groups into the reduced rank regression models followed by stepwise linear regression, which was most predictive of two plasma inflammation biomarkers including C-reactive protein and leucocyte count among 25 500 US adults. This score was further validated in a testing set of 9466 adults. Deaths from baseline until 31 December 2015 were identified through record linkage to the National Death Index. During a median follow-up of 7·8 years among 40 074 participants, we documented 4904 deaths. Compared with participants in the lowest quintile of EDIP score, those in the highest quintile had a higher risk of overall death (hazard ratio (HR) = 1·19, 95 % CI 1·08, 1·32, Ptrend = 0·002), and deaths from cancer (HR = 1·41, 95 % CI 1·14, 1·74, Ptrend = 0·017) and CVD (HR = 1·22, 95 % CI 0·98, 1·53, Ptrend = 0·211). When stratified by age, the association of EDIP with overall mortality was stronger among individuals under 65 years of age (Pinteraction = 0·001). Diets with a higher inflammatory potential were associated with increased risk of overall and cancer-specific mortality. Interventions to reduce the adverse effect of pro-inflammatory diets may potentially promote health and longevity.
This article uses Taiwan as an example to examine how families manage work and care when the government and workplace provide limited support. Many Taiwanese households employ live-in migrant care workers to negotiate care responsibilities and adults’ paid jobs. Based on interviews with employers of live-in migrant care workers and workers, the findings demonstrate that daughters-in-law and occasionally daughters and sons become employers of live-in migrant care workers because of the limitation of public care services and lack of support they receive in seeking to combine paid work and family care responsibility. Even after employing migrant workers, women retain greater care responsibility in daily practices than their husbands. Hiring live-in migrant care workers also imposes risks to all parties involved in the processes of organising, coordinating, and providing care due to the uncertainty of care quality and the nature of care work.
Nowadays, automated essay evaluation (AEE) systems play an important role in evaluating essays and have been successfully used in large-scale writing assessments. However, existing AEE systems mostly focus on grammar or shallow content measurements rather than higher-order traits such as ideas. This paper proposes a new formulation of graph-based features for concept maps using word embeddings to evaluate the quality of ideas for Chinese compositions. The concept map derived from the student’s composition is composed of the concepts appearing in the essay and the co-occurrence relationship between the concepts. By utilizing real compositions written by eighth-grade students from a large-scale assessment, the scoring accuracy of the computer evaluation system (named AECC-I: Automated Evaluation for Chinese Compositions—Ideas) is higher than the baselines. The results indicate that the proposed method deepens the construct-relevant coverage of automatic ideas evaluation in compositions and that it can provide constructive feedback for students.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
A closed Quaternary saline paleolake, currently still a lake and named Dalangtan after one of its largest sub-basins, has widely distributed sediments in the western Qaidam Basin, NE Tibetan Plateau. Lacustrine salt minerals and fine sediments from this paleolake provide an environmental record for investigating paleoclimatic evolution in the Asian interior. However, detailed continuous Pliocene–Quaternary paleoclimatic records are broadly lacking from the NE Tibetan Plateau owing to poor exposure of the outcrops in section. For this study, we performed a detailed magnetostratigraphic dating and rock magnetic analysis on a 590-m-long core from the SG-5 borehole in the western Qaidam Basin. The results demonstrate that the lacustrine sediments in the SG-5 borehole were deposited more than ~3.0 Ma. Saline minerals began to increase at 1.2 Ma, and the magnetic susceptibility (χ) also changed at that time; the percentage frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility was relatively low and uniform throughout the whole core. These observations, combined with the χ, pollen, salt ion, and grain-size records from other boreholes, indicate that the western Qaidam Basin and the greater Asian interior had a significant climate transition at 1.2 Ma during an extreme drought.
The present study attempted to analyse human papillomavirus (HPV) genotype distribution and its association with cervical cytology results in women in western China. The present retrospective analysis was performed in 1089 female outpatients with a positive HPV test result who had undergone a cervical cytology test at the gynaecological clinic, West China Second Hospital, Sichuan University, China, between January 2014 and December 2016. Of the 1089 patients with HPV infection, multiple HPV genotypes were detected in 220 patients (20.20%). Among the 1368 HPV genotypes detected, 1145 (83.70%) were high-risk subtypes. The most common genotypes were HPV-52 (18.64%), HPV-16 (16.59%), HPV-58 (13.23%), HPV-18 (6.80%), HPV-56 (5.56%) and HPV-59 (5.56%). Cervical cytology revealed abnormal cells in 430 (39.49%) patients. The most common diagnoses were atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US; 236 cases, 54.88%), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL; 151 cases, 35.12%), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL; 63 cases, 14.65%) and atypical glandular cells (AGC; 21 cases, 4.88%). HPV-66 was significantly associated (P = 0.037) with ASC; HPV-52 and HPV-56 were significantly associated with LSIL (P = 0.009 and 0.026, respectively); HPV-16 (P < 0.001), HPV-33 (P = 0.014) and HPV-58 (P = 0.003) were significantly associated with HSIL; and HPV-16 (P = 0.005) was significantly associated with AGC. HPV-16, HPV-52 and HPV-58 are associated with different diagnoses in patients with positive cervical cytological findings.
Salicylic acid (SA), a phytohormone, has been considered to be a key regulator mediating plant defence against pathogens. It is still vague how SA activates plant defence against herbivores such as chewing and sucking pests. Here, we used an aphid-susceptible wheat variety to investigate Sitobion avenae response to SA-induced wheat plants, and the effects of exogenous SA on some defence enzymes and phenolics in the plant immune system. In SA-treated wheat seedlings, intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), fecundity and apterous rate of S. avenae were 0.25, 31.4 nymphs/female and 64.4%, respectively, and significantly lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05). Moreover, the increased activities of phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase in the SA-induced seedlings obviously depended on the sampling time, whereas activities of catalase and 4-coumarate:CoA ligase were suppressed significantly at 24, 48 and 72 h in comparison with the control. Dynamic levels of p-coumaric acid at 96 h, caffeic acid at 24 and 72 h and chlorogenic acid at 24, 48 and 96 h in wheat plants were significantly upregulated by exogenous SA application. Nevertheless, only caffeic acid content was positively correlated with PPO activity in SA-treated wheat seedlings (P = 0.031). These findings indicate that exogenous SA significantly enhanced the defence of aphid-susceptible wheat variety against aphids by regulating the plant immune system, and may prove a potential application of SA in aphid control.
Calcification within breast cancer is a diagnostically significant radiological feature that generally consists of hydroxylapatite. Samples from 30 cases of breast carcinoma with calcification were investigated using optical microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, transmission-electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence. Under optical microscopy, the calcifications were found to consist of either irregular aggregates with widths > 200 μm or spherical aggregates similar to psammoma bodies with an average diameter of 30 μm. Transmission-electron microscopy showed that short columnar or dumbbell-shaped crystals with widths of 10–15 nm and lengths of 20–50 nm were the most common morphology; spherical aggregates (~1 μm in diameter) with amorphous coatings of fibrous nanocrystals were also observed. Results indicated that hydroxylapatite was the dominant mineral phase in the calcifications, and both CO32– and cation substitutions (Na, Mg, Zn, Fe, Sr, Cu and Mn) were present in the hydroxylapatite structure. Fourier-transform infrared spectra show peaks at 872 and 880 cm–1 indicating that CO32– substituted both the OH– (A type) and PO43– (B type) sites of hydroxylapatite, making it an A and B mixed type. The ratio of B- to A-type substitution was estimated in the range of 1.1–18.7 from the ratio of peak intensities (I872/I880), accompanied with CO32– contents from 1.1% to 14.5%. Trace arsenic, detected in situ by synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence was found to be distributed uniformly in the calcifications in the form of AsO43– substituting for PO43–. It is therefore proposed that identifying these trace elements in breast cancer calcifications may be promising for future clinical diagnostics.
The current study evaluated the associations between different forms and sources of Fe and breast cancer risk in Southern Chinese women.
Case–control study. We collected data on the consumption of Fe from different forms and food sources by using a validated FFQ. Multivariable logistic regression and restricted cubic spline (RCS) analysis was used to reveal potential associations between Fe intake and breast cancer risk.
A case-control study of women at three major hospitals in Guangzhou, China.
From June 2007 to March 2019, 1591 breast cancer cases and 1622 age-matched controls were recruited.
In quartile analyses, Fe from plants and Fe from white meat intake were inversely associated with breast cancer risk, with OR of 0·65 (95 % CI 0·47, 0·89, Ptrend = 0·006) and 0·76 (95 % CI 0·61, 0·96, Ptrend = 0·014), respectively, comparing the highest with the lowest quartile. No associations were observed between total dietary Fe, heme or non-heme Fe, Fe from meat or red meat and breast cancer risk. RCS analysis demonstrated J-shaped associations between total dietary Fe, non-heme Fe and breast cancer, and reverse L-shaped associations between heme Fe, Fe from meat and Fe from red meat and breast cancer.
Fe from plants and white meat were inversely associated with breast cancer risk. Significant non-linear J-shaped associations were found between total dietary Fe, non-heme Fe and breast cancer risk, and reverse L-shaped associations were found between heme Fe, Fe from meat or red meat and breast cancer risk.
A southern population (S) from Xiushui County (29°1′N, 114°4′E) and a northern population (N) from Shenyang city (41°48′N, 123°23′E) of the cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi vary greatly in their life-history traits, and may serve as an excellent model with which to study the inheritance of life-history traits. In the present study, we performed intraspecific hybridization using the two populations, comparing the key life-history traits (fecundity, development time, body weight, growth rate, and sexual size dimorphism (SDD)) between the two populations (S♀ × S♂ and N♀ × N♂) and their two hybrid populations (S♀ × N♂ and N♀ × S♂ populations) at 19, 22, 25, and 28°C. Our results showed that there were significant differences in life-history traits between the two parental populations, with the S population having a significantly higher fecundity, shorter larval development time, larger body weight, higher growth rate, and greater weight loss during metamorphosis than the N population at almost all temperatures. However, these life-history traits in the two hybrid populations were intermediate between those of their parents. The life-history traits in the S × N and N × S populations more closely resembled those of the maternal S population and N population, respectively, showing maternal effects. Weight loss for both sexes was highest in the S population, followed by the S × N, N × S, and N populations at all temperatures, suggesting that larger pupae lost more weight during metamorphosis. The changes in SSD with temperature were similar between the S and the S × N populations and between the N and the N × S populations, also suggesting a maternal effect. Overall, our results showed no drastic effect of hybridization on C. bowringi, being neither negative (hybrid inferiority) nor positive (heterosis). Rather, the phenotypes of hybrids were intermediate between the phenotypes of their parents.