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We investigate incumbent brands’ response to entry and increased competition in a large retail setting. We extend the nonprice competition and manufacturer stocking literatures by examining if incumbent brands increase quality, specifically increasing the number of varieties (product-line length), in response to entry of a new local brand in the ice cream market. We use the entry of a new, local, super-premium ice cream brand in a large supermarket chain as a quasi-natural experiment and empirically examine if incumbent ice cream brands increased the product-line length in stores carrying the new brand. Using Poisson difference-in-differences estimators, we find that incumbent brands increased the number of varieties offered by 0.9 (3 percent) after the new brand's entry, with most of the responses coming from super-premium ice cream, which increased the number of varieties offered by 2.9 (12 percent) product choices. These findings contribute new insights into quality changes, manufacturer stocking decisions, and nonprice competition associated with entry of a local brand into the food retail sector.
How well do vignette designs capture actual behaviour in the real world? This study employs original survey data featuring both hypothetical vignettes and behavioural questions in order to assess the external validity of descriptive and causal inferences in survey experiments. The survey was conducted in a three-province, probability-proportional-to-size sample of 1,897 rural residents in China and focuses on the legal mobilization of citizens in response to grievances involving land rights. In terms of descriptive inference, we find that relative to the behavioural benchmark, hypothetical vignettes significantly over-estimate legal mobilization in response to a grievance, particularly for higher-cost actions like petitioning the government and litigating in court. We find that data from hypothetical vignettes affect causal inference as well, producing significantly different results regarding the effect of political connections and legal knowledge on legal mobilization. The study makes a contribution by identifying conditions under which hypothetical vignettes are less likely to produce valid inference. It engages a rich literature on disputing and legal mobilization in the field of Chinese politics and helps to resolve debates over the role of political connections and legal knowledge.
The aim of this study was to clarify effects of Clozapine and its metabolites on insulin resection and expression of glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) located in cell membrane of isolated rat's islets.
The cells of isolated rat's islets were prepared by a modified collagenase digestion methods. At 5.5 mmol/L glucose, the cells of islets was treated with 1mmol/L clozapine, desmethyl-clozapine(DCLO), clozapine N-oxide(CNO), respectively, blank control group was also set.
1. After incubation 48h, the insulin in supernatant was assayed by radioimmunoassay.
2. The cells of isolated rat's islets in each group were detected GLUT2 mRNA level with RT-PCR and its protein expression with Western-blot.
1. Compared to control group, clozapine significantly inhibited insulin secretion (P=0.007< 0.01); DCLO has a tendency to inhibit insulin secretion after 48h of incubation, but no significant difference was found (P=0.154>0.05). There was no difference of insulin secretion between CNO group and the control group after 48h of incubation (P>0.05).
2. The mRNA and protein expression of GLUT2 located in cell membrane of slets: clozapine group was significantly lower than control group (P=0.017< 0.05, P=0.035< 0.05), DCLO group was also lower than control group, but no significant difference was found (P>0.05), and no significant difference between CNO group and control group (P>0.05).
Clozapine can inhibit GLUT2 expression of cells of islets, and then hamper glucose transport through cell membrane, which was one of mechanisms to explain the effect of clozapine on insulin secretion.
The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy and the safety of venlafaxine and fluoxetine in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
One hundred and Eight inpatients who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the Forth Edition(DSM-IV) for OCD were involved in this study. The subjects were randomly divided into venlafaxine group or fluoxetine group. Efficacy of venlafaxine and fluoxetine in treatment of OCD were assessed with Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and Clinical Global Impression-Severity(CGI-S), the side effects were evaluated with Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (TESS).
The therapeutic efficacy in venlafaxine group was similar to that in fluoxetine (70.36%vs68.29%, P>0.05) after eight weeks’ therapy. The improve-rates of Y-BOCS after 2 weeks’ therapy of venlafaxine were significant higher than those of baseline, while the improve-rates of Y-BOCS after 4 weeks’ therapy of fluoxetine were significant higher than those of baseline(P< 0.05). The side effects of venlafaxine group were similar to fluoxetine group (P>0.05).
The results indicate that both venlafaxine and fluoxetine is effective in the treatment of OCD, but venlafaxine work faster than fluoxutine.
Childhood trauma is known to predispose to a variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, mood, and substance use. However, the relationship between childhood trauma and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has not been well studied. The aim of the present study is to compare childhood trauma experience between OCD and controls, and explore its impact on symptoms of OCD.
One hundred eighty-five outpatients who met DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD and 132 gender- age- matched controls were included in this study. The Early Trauma Inventory Self Report-Short Form (ETISR-SF) was administered to all participants to evaluate 4 types (general, physical, emotional and sexual) of trauma and its severity. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was used to measure the severity of symptoms of OCD patients.
OCD patients showed a significantly greater severity in all four types of trauma when compare with controls. 77% of OCD patients reported at least one type of childhood trauma experience, and 18% reported sexual trauma. Sexual trauma experience is significantly associated with obsessive but not compulsive symptoms of OCD patients. When compared to female OCD patients, male patients reported significantly higher scores on general trauma, physical abuse and emotional abuse; but lower of sexual abuse.
The present study revealed the high prevalence of childhood trauma among OCD patients, which is consistent with evidence from previous studies suggesting that childhood trauma may play a role in the development of mental disorders. It may be important to consider the impact of childhood trauma in OCD clinical management.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has an important role in learning, motivation and regulation of mood. A body of research indicates that dysregulation of BDNF is found in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of this study was to investigate the association of baseline plasma BDNF and follow-up PTSD symptoms in Chinese motor vehicle accident survivors.
Motor vehicle accident (MVA) survivors were recruited from one Emergency Room of Shanghai. BDNF plasma levels were measured in 24 hours after motor vehicle accident. The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) was used to evaluated PTSD symptoms one month after accident. Totally, 60 MVA survivors participated in this study and 49 of them completed follow-up evaluation.
In the one month follow-up interview, 14 of the MVA survivors met the PTSD diagnosis. The PTSD MVA survivors shown lower baseline BDNF plasma level when compare with non-PTSD participants (p < 0.05).
People who show lower plasma BDNF after traumatic event may be more susceptible to PTSD, and plasma BDNF could be a predictor of PTSD.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
Suicide attempt is an important indicator of suicide and potential future mortality. However, the prevalence of suicide attempts has been inconsistent across studies. This meta-analysis aimed to examine the prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with schizophrenia and associated correlates.
Relevant publications in Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of science and Cochrane were systematically searched. Data on the prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with schizophrenia were pooled using a random-effects model.
Thirty-five studies with 16 747 individuals with schizophrenia were included. The pooled lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was 26.8% (95% CI 22.1–31.9%; I2 = 97.0%), while the 1-year prevalence, 1-month prevalence and the prevalence of suicide attempts from illness onset were 3.0% (95% CI 2.3–3.7%; I2 = 95.6%), 2.7% (95% CI 2.1–3.4%; I2 = 78.5%) and 45.9% (95% CI 42.1–49.9%; I2 = 0), respectively. Earlier age of onset (Q = 4.38, p = 0.04), high-income countries (Q = 53.29, p < 0.001), North America and Europe and Central Asia (Q = 32.83, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of suicide attempts.
Suicide attempts are common in individuals with schizophrenia, especially those with an early age of onset and living in high-income countries and regions. Regular screening and effective preventive measures should be implemented as part of the clinical care.
Clozapine treatment increases the risk of agranulocytosis, but findings on the epidemiology of agranulocytosis have been inconsistent. This meta-analysis examined the prevalence of agranulocytosis and related death in clozapine-treated patients.
A literature search in the international (PubMed, PsycINFO, and EMBASE) and Chinese (WanFang, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Sinomed) databases was conducted. Prevalence estimates of agranulocytosis and related death in clozapine-treated patients were synthesized with the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis program using the random-effects model.
Thirty-six studies with 260 948 clozapine-treated patients published between 1984 and 2018 were included in the meta-analysis. The overall prevalence of agranulocytosis and death caused by agranulocytosis were 0.4% (95% CI 0.3–0.6%) and 0.05% (95% CI 0.03–0.09%), respectively. The prevalence of agranulocytosis was moderated by sample size, study quality, year of publication, and that of data collection.
The prevalence of clozapine-associated agranulocytosis is low. Agranulocytosis-related death appears rare.
Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei is the largest urban agglomeration in northern China, but the spatiotemporal patterns and risk factors concerning hepatitis B virus (HBV) incidence in this area have been unclear. The present study aimed to reveal the spatiotemporal epidemiological features of HBV infection and quantify the association between HBV infection and socio-economic risk factors. The data on HBV cases in Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei from 2007 to 2012 was collected for each county. The Bayesian space–time hierarchy model and the GeoDetector method were used to reveal spatiotemporal patterns and detect risk factors. High-risk regions were mainly distributed in the underdeveloped rural areas in the north and mid-south of the study region, while low-risk regions were mainly distributed in the urban and western areas. The HBV annual incidence rate decreased substantially over the 6-year period, dropping from 7.34/105 to 5.51/105. Compared with this overall trend, 38.5% of high-risk counties showed a faster decrease, and 35.9% of high-risk counties exhibited a slower decrease. Meanwhile, 29.7% of low-risk counties had a faster decrease, and 44.6% of low-risk counties exhibited a slower decrease. Socio-economic factors were strongly associated with the spatiotemporal patterns and variation. The population density and gross domestic product per capita were negatively associated with HBV transmission, with determinant powers of 0.17 and 0.12, respectively. The proportion of primary industry and the number of healthcare workers were positively associated with the disease incidence, with determinant powers of 0.11 and 0.8, respectively. The interactive effect between population density and the other factors exerted a greater influence on HBV transmission than that of these factors measured independently.
This study investigated Echinococcus genotypes in patients with hydatidosis that reside in Inner Mongolia, Tibet or Qinghai Province by partially sequencing the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and NADH dehydrogenase 1 (nad1) genes. Cyst fluids were collected from 23 patients with hydatidosis and DNA was extracted. Portions of the cox1 and nad1 genes were amplified and subsequently sequenced. Sequencing analysis determined that one of the isolates contained Echinococcus multilocularis, and the other 22 isolates contained E. granulosus sensu lato. The isolates were then further classified based on genotype, and E. granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) G1 (n = 20), E. granulosus s.s. G3 (n = 1) and E. canadensis G6/7 (n = 1) were identified. Additionally, the sequences were concatenated (pcox1 + pnad1) and 11 haplotypes were identified among the E. granulosus s.s. isolates (G1 and G3), with a shared common haplotype (H1) identified. Overall, these findings provide further understanding of the genetic patterns of Echinococcus in western and northern China.
Suicide attempt (SA), which is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) but its prevalence across epidemiological studies has been mixed. The aim of this comprehensive meta-analysis was to examine the pooled prevalence of SA in individuals with MDD.
A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Cochrane Library from their commencement date until 27 December 2017. Original studies containing data on prevalence of SA in individuals with MDD were analyzed.
In all, 65 studies with a total of 27 340 individuals with MDD were included. Using the random effects model, the pooled lifetime prevalence of SA was 31% [95% confidence interval (CI) 27–34%], 1-year prevalence was 8% (95% CI 3–14%) and 1-month prevalence was 24% (95% CI 15–34%). Subgroup analyses revealed that the lifetime prevalence of SA was significantly associated with the patient setting, study region and income level, while the 1-month prevalence of SA was associated with only the patient setting.
This meta-analysis confirmed that SA was common in individuals with MDD across the world. Careful screening and appropriate interventions should be implemented for SA in the MDD population.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
A systematic review was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of fibroblast growth factor-2 on the regeneration of tympanic membrane perforation.
The PubMed database was searched for relevant studies. Experimental studies, human randomised controlled trials, prospective single-arm studies and retrospective studies reporting acute and chronic tympanic membrane perforations in relation to two healing outcomes (success rate and closure time), were selected.
All 11 clinical studies investigating the effect of fibroblast growth factor-2 on traumatic tympanic membrane perforations in humans reported a success rate of 89.3–100 per cent, with a closure time of around 2 weeks. Three studies of fibroblast growth factor-2 combined with Gelfoam showed that the success rate of chronic tympanic membrane perforation was 83–98.1 per cent in the fibroblast growth factor-2 group, but 10 per cent in the gelatine sponge groups.
Fibroblast growth factor-2 with or without biological material patching promotes regeneration in cases of acute and chronic tympanic membrane perforation, and is safe and efficient. However, the best dosage, application time and administration pathway of fibroblast growth factor-2 are still to be elucidated.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.
Plant height and lodging resistance can affect rice yield significantly, but these traits have always conflicted in crop cultivation and breeding. The current study aimed to establish a rapid and accurate plant type evaluation mechanism to provide a basis for breeding tall but lodging-resistant super rice varieties. A comprehensive approach integrating plant anatomy and histochemistry was used to investigate variations in flexural strength (a material property, defined as the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test) of the rice stem and the lodging index of 15 rice accessions at different growth stages to understand trends in these parameters and the potential factors influencing them. Rice stem anatomical structure was observed and the lignin content the cell wall was determined at different developmental stages. Three rice lodging evaluation models were established using correlation analysis, multivariate regression and artificial radial basis function (RBF) neural network analysis, and the results were compared to identify the most suitable model for predicting optimal rice plant types. Among the three evaluation methods, the mean residual and relative prediction errors were lowest using the RBF network, indicating that it was highly accurate and robust and could be used to establish a mathematical model of the morphological characteristics and lodging resistance of rice to identify optimal varieties.
It was reported that high blood cholesterol levels increased the susceptibility to mitochondrial dysfunction. This study hypothesized that the gestational hypercholesterolemia (HC) could induce the mitochondrial dysfunction in term human placenta. The eligible pregnant women were recruited from Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing during their first prenatal visit (before their 10th week of pregnancy). In total, 19 pregnant women whose serum total cholesterol levels were higher than 7.25 mm at third trimester (measured at 36–38 weeks) were selected as gestational HC. Other 19 pregnant women with normal cholesterol level matched with age, pre-gestational body mass index, and the neonatal gender were included as the control group. Full-term placenta samples were collected. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, adenosine triphosphate monophosphatase 6 (ATP6ase), citrate synthase, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) co-activator 1α, PPARγ co-activator 1β and estrogen-related receptor-α, and the activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme complex were measured. Pregnancy outcomes were obtained by extraction from medical records and the labor ward register. The results showed that only placental mtDNA copy number and mRNA expression of ATP6ase were significantly decreased in HC group. No significant differences were detected of other measurements between the two groups. These findings indicated that gestational HC might not induce the damage of placental function seriously.
This paper reports the measurement of the energy loss of protons at the energy of 100 keV penetrating a partially ionized hydrogen plasma. The plasma of ne ≈ 1015–16 cm−3; Te ≈ 1–2 eV and lifetime of about 8 µs is created by the hydrogen gas discharge. The experimental results show an increase of a factor of 2.8 in the energy loss, which are in good agreement with the Bethe, Standard Stopping Model, Li–Petrasso and Vlasov models’ predictions within the error limit. The Bethe–Bloch Coulomb logarithm term is found to increase by a factor of 4.0 for free electrons as compared with the situation where bound electrons prevail. The potential application of protons energy loss for diagnosing the electron density in plasma is proposed too.