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The current study investigated associations between variation in the bovine perilipin-2 gene (PLIN2) and milk traits (milk fat content, milk protein content, milk yield and milk fatty acid (FA) component levels) in 409 New Zealand pasture-grazed Holstein-Friesian × Jersey-cross (HF × J-cross or Kiwicross™) cows. Five nucleotide sequence variants were found in three regions of the gene, including c.17C>T in exon 2, c.53A>G in exon 3, c.595+23G>A and c.595+104_595+108del in intron 5, and c.*302T>C in the 3′-untranslated region. The c.*302T>C substitution produces two nucleotide sequence variants (A5 and B5), and this variation was associated with variation in milk protein content and milkfat composition for C10:0, C11:0, C12:0, C13:0 and C16:0 FA and medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) and long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) groups. After correcting for the effect of variation in the diacylglycerol acyl-CoA acyltransferase 1 gene (DGAT1) that results in the amino acid substitution p.K232A, variation in the FA binding protein 4 gene (FABP4) and variation in the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (Δ-9-desaturase) gene (SCD) that results in the amino acids substitution p.A293V, significant differences between A5A5 and B5B5 cows were found for C10:0, C11:0, C12:0, C13:0, C16:0, and the MCFA, LCFA, total saturated FA and C10:1 index groups. This suggests that nucleotide sequence variation in PLIN2 may be affecting milk FA component levels.
Is noun dominance in early lexical acquisition a widespread or a language-specific phenomenon? Thirty Singaporean bilingual English–Mandarin learning toddlers and their mothers were observed in a mother-child play interaction. For both English and Mandarin, toddlers’ speech and reported vocabulary contained more nouns than verbs across book reading and toy playing. In contrast, their mothers’ speech contained more verbs than nouns in both English and Mandarin but differed depending on the context of the interaction. Although toddlers demonstrated a noun bias for both languages, the noun bias was more pronounced in English than in Mandarin. Together, these findings support early noun dominance as a widespread phenomenon in the lexical acquisition debate but also provide evidence that language specificity also plays a minor role in children's early lexical development.
Extreme wave runup around a simplified representative floating production, storage and offloading vessel hull with a vertical bow is studied using computational fluid dynamics, complemented by experimental and diffraction analysis. This is a highly nonlinear system involving large vessel motions and extreme surface waves, and the behaviour is important for offshore design and operations. A separation method based on phase manipulation is carried out to facilitate the extraction of harmonics associated with the Stokes expansion of nonlinear waves. The separation method is applied to numerical and experimental data, and found to work well even for a highly nonlinear wave field scattered from a freely floating ship-shaped body. It is found that both low- and high-frequency second harmonic components can lead to wave runup at significantly higher levels than predicted by a linear analysis, while the vessel motions are very close to linear. The nonlinearity in the local wave field rather than vessel motion is key for the excitation of nonlinear extreme runup.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to COVID-19 with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplemental materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
To understand hospital policies and practices as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) conducted a survey through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). The survey assessed policies and practices around the optimization of personal protection equipment (PPE), testing, healthcare personnel policies, visitors of COVID-19 patients in relation to procedures, and types of patients. Overall, 69 individual healthcare facilities responded in the United States and internationally, for a 73% response rate.
Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
The volume of evidence from scientific research and wider observation is greater than ever before, but much is inconsistent and scattered in fragments over increasingly diverse sources, making it hard for decision-makers to find, access and interpret all the relevant information on a particular topic, resolve seemingly contradictory results or simply identify where there is a lack of evidence. Evidence synthesis is the process of searching for and summarising a body of research on a specific topic in order to inform decisions, but is often poorly conducted and susceptible to bias. In response to these problems, more rigorous methodologies have been developed and subsequently made available to the conservation and environmental management community by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. We explain when and why these methods are appropriate, and how evidence can be synthesised, shared, used as a public good and benefit wider society. We discuss new developments with potential to address barriers to evidence synthesis and communication and how these practices might be mainstreamed in the process of decision-making in conservation.
To describe the infection control preparedness measures undertaken for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus) in the first 42 days after announcement of a cluster of pneumonia in China, on December 31, 2019 (day 1) in Hong Kong.
A bundled approach of active and enhanced laboratory surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and contact tracing for healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure in the hospitals was implemented. Epidemiological characteristics of confirmed cases, environmental samples, and air samples were collected and analyzed.
From day 1 to day 42, 42 of 1,275 patients (3.3%) fulfilling active (n = 29) and enhanced laboratory surveillance (n = 13) were confirmed to have the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The number of locally acquired case significantly increased from 1 of 13 confirmed cases (7.7%, day 22 to day 32) to 27 of 29 confirmed cases (93.1%, day 33 to day 42; P < .001). Among them, 28 patients (66.6%) came from 8 family clusters. Of 413 HCWs caring for these confirmed cases, 11 (2.7%) had unprotected exposure requiring quarantine for 14 days. None of these was infected, and nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was not observed. Environmental surveillance was performed in the room of a patient with viral load of 3.3 × 106 copies/mL (pooled nasopharyngeal and throat swabs) and 5.9 × 106 copies/mL (saliva), respectively. SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 1 of 13 environmental samples (7.7%) but not in 8 air samples collected at a distance of 10 cm from the patient’s chin with or without wearing a surgical mask.
Appropriate hospital infection control measures was able to prevent nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Uranium–35 wt.% zirconium (U–35 wt.% Zr) alloy was annealed for 1 h and 24 h at 650 °C and characterized to understand the early-stage microstructure evolution. Dendritic microstructure with fine (∼300 nm in length) α-U precipitates clustered between dendrite branches were observed in the 1-h annealed sample. After 24-h annealing at 650 °C, the α-U precipitates coarsened, and the dendritic microstructure disappeared because of microstructure homogenization. Furthermore, microchemical homogenization observed with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis suggests that α-U precipitates are approaching thermodynamic equilibrium in the 24-h annealed sample. The findings from this study have potential impacts on the manufacturing and computer modeling of metallic nuclear fuel.
Previous chapters in this book have focused on domestic (or municipal) law within Hong Kong. This chapter examines the interface between Hong Kong law and international law and Chinese law (PRC law). It looks at the distinct international legal personality that Hong Kong possesses, Hong Kong’s engagement with international entities and the application of international law in Hong Kong. Previous chapters have discussed certain aspects of the interface between Hong Kong and the PRC legal system, and this chapter builds on this by focusing on mutual legal assistance between the two legal systems, access to the Mainland market for legal services from Hong Kong and cross-border crime.
With the increasing popularity of alternative methods of resolving disputes to lessen the burden on courts, a separate chapter must be dedicated to this topic. One may not typically think of alternative methods of resolving disputes as part of the legal system, but this chapter shows otherwise. Particularly with the Civil Justice Reform, alternative dispute resolution has played and will continue to play an even larger role in solving legal disputes in Hong Kong. The two main methods of alternative dispute resolution, namely mediation and arbitration, are examined.
This chapter looks at law at an abstract level and the fundamental questions of ‘What is law?’ and ‘Why have laws?’ are explored by discussing the functions and concepts of law. This chapter examines the macro and micro functions of law, as well as the major perspectives of law including natural law, legal positivism, sociology of law and critical legal theory. It concludes by exploring various classifications of legal systems and the way in which the law is divided within them, such as the difference between the common law and civil law systems, national and international law, substantive and procedural law, and public and private law.
While legislation is enacted by the Legislative Council (or under its authority), the courts have a role in the interpretation of legislation. This chapter discusses the various common law approaches to statutory interpretation that are likely to be adopted by Hong Kong courts. Moreover, this chapter goes through the aids to interpretation within an ordinance, external aids to interpretation, presumptions which protect basic values, interpretation of the Basic Law and resolving conflicts found in bilingual legislation. A case study is used to illustrate how the courts balance different interpretive considerations. Recognising how judges interpret laws will help hone the skills of legal reasoning (thinking like a judge).
Where do lawyers look to when they wish to ascertain what the law is on a particular matter? This chapter goes over the various sources of law in Hong Kong. It starts at the top with the Basic Law, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘mini-constitution’ of Hong Kong. It covers the five interpretations of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress (NPCSC). It then takes readers through legislation, including primary and secondary legislation, and through the different parts of a statue. Case law is then examined, along with the different parts of a reported case, highlighting the parts of a judgment that constitute law. Lastly, Chinese customary law and national laws of the People’s Republic of China that are applied in Hong Kong are discussed.
This chapter outlines the system and structure of the courts in Hong Kong and discusses the concept of judicial precedent. It leads readers through the hierarchical structure of the courts and its historical development during the pre- and post-1997 periods. The different levels of the courts are examined including the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), the High Court, the District Court and Magistrates’ Courts. Different tribunals that exercise judicial power are also reviewed. The second section of this chapter deals with judicial precedents, an essential feature of the common law. The doctrine of precedent as it applies in Hong Kong is detailed, taking readers through vertical and horizontal stare decisis for each level of the courts. The status of English and overseas decisions, including Privy Council decisions in present-day Hong Kong, is discussed.
This chapter provides a general picture of the criminal justice system in Hong Kong. It highlights the roles and powers of key criminal justice agencies including the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the prosecution. It includes discussion of police powers and prosecutorial decision-making. This chapter also goes through the criminal procedure, drawing attention to key decision points such as bail, court venue, the plea and the standard of proof. It concludes by looking at the various sentencing options at the court’s disposal.
This chapter provides an overview of the system of governance in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). It introduces readers to the fundamental concepts of ‘one country, two systems’ and ‘high degree of autonomy’ under the Basic Law, which provide the framework for the allocation and exercise of responsibilities over Hong Kong by the central authorities and the Hong Kong government. Within the sphere of Hong Kong’s autonomy, the Basic Law provides for the exercise of governmental powers by three arms of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The powers and functions of these three arms are outlined in this chapter, together with discussion of the doctrine of ‘separation of powers’.