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Support vector machines (SVMs) based on brain-wise functional connectivity (FC) have been widely adopted for single-subject prediction of patients with schizophrenia, but most of them had small sample size. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of SVMs based on a large single-site dataset and investigate the effects of demographic homogeneity and training sample size on classification accuracy.
The resting functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) dataset comprised 220 patients with schizophrenia and 220 healthy controls. Brain-wise FCs was calculated for each participant and linear SVMs were developed for automatic classification of patients and controls. First, we evaluated the SVMs based on all participants and homogeneous subsamples of men, women, younger (18–30 years), and older (31–50 years) participants by 10-fold nested cross-validation. Then, we hold out a fixed test set of 40 participants (20 patients and 20 controls) and evaluated the SVMs based on incremental training sample sizes (N = 40, 80, …, 400).
We found that the SVMs based on all participants had accuracy of 85.05%. The SVMs based on male, female, young, and older participants yielded accuracy of 84.66, 81.56, 80.50, and 86.13%, respectively. Although the SVMs based on older subsamples had better performance than those based on all participants, they generalized poorly to younger participants (77.24%). For incremental training sizes, the classification accuracy increased stepwise from 72.6 to 83.3%, with >80% accuracy achieved with sample size >240.
The findings indicate that SVMs based on a large dataset yield high classification accuracy and establish models using a large sample size with heterogeneous properties are recommended for single subject prediction of schizophrenia.
While a significant amount of literature has been published on the theoretical and empirical basis of task-based language teaching (TBLT) as an educational framework for teaching second and foreign languages, few studies have described entire task-based programs. This chapter reports on a case study in which we describe the inception, design, implementation and evaluation of a task-based, Spanish foreign language program at Qingdao University in China. The program is the result of an international partnership between an American university and a Chinese university, whereby Chinese students receive a dual degree in Spanish as a foreign language. A detailed needs analysis was conducted and informed the design of the program, which includes the application process, tasks, and several community-based initiatives. We also report on how we do teacher-training and professional development collaboration, our challenges, and how we have worked to overcome those challenges. All in all, teacher and student satisfaction, student job placement, and community engagement indicate that the program is meeting students’ real-world needs for Spanish and is serving the Qingdao community. We conclude by discussing implications for implementing a fully task-based program in China, the nation’s first university-level TBLT program for Spanish foreign language learning and teaching.
Noncompressible torso hemorrhage (NCTH) is a major challenge in prehospital bleeding control and is associated with high mortality. This study was performed to estimate medical knowledge and the perceived barriers to information acquisition among health-care workers (HCWs) regarding NCTH in China.
A self-administered and validated questionnaire was distributed among 11 WeChat groups consisting of HCWs engaged in trauma, emergency, and disaster rescue.
A total of 575 HCWs participated in this study. In the knowledge section, the majority (87.1%) denied that successful hemostasis could be obtained by external compression. Regarding attitudes, the vast majority of HCWs exhibited positive attitudes toward the important role of NCTH in reducing prehospital preventable death (90.4%) and enthusiasm for continuous learning (99.7%). For practice, fewer than half of HCWs (45.7%) had heard of NCTH beforehand, only a minority (14.3%) confirmed they had attended relevant continuing education, and 16.3% HCWs had no access to updated medical information. The most predominant barrier to information acquisition was the lack of continuing training (79.8%).
Knowledge and practice deficiencies do exist among HCWs. Obstacles to update medical information warrant further attention. Furthermore, education program redesign is also needed.
Understanding factors associated with post-discharge sleep quality among COVID-19 survivors is important for intervention development.
This study investigated sleep quality and its correlates among COVID-19 patients 6 months after their most recent hospital discharge.
Healthcare providers at hospitals located in five different Chinese cities contacted adult COVID-19 patients discharged between 1 February and 30 March 2020. A total of 199 eligible patients provided verbal informed consent and completed the interview. Using score on the single-item Sleep Quality Scale as the dependent variable, multiple linear regression models were fitted.
Among all participants, 10.1% reported terrible or poor sleep quality, and 26.6% reported fair sleep quality, 26.1% reported worse sleep quality when comparing their current status with the time before COVID-19, and 33.7% were bothered by a sleeping disorder in the past 2 weeks. After adjusting for significant background characteristics, factors associated with sleep quality included witnessing the suffering (adjusted B = −1.15, 95% CI = −1.70, −0.33) or death (adjusted B = −1.55, 95% CI = −2.62, −0.49) of other COVID-19 patients during hospital stay, depressive symptoms (adjusted B = −0.26, 95% CI = −0.31, −0.20), anxiety symptoms (adjusted B = −0.25, 95% CI = −0.33, −0.17), post-traumatic stress disorders (adjusted B = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.22, −0.10) and social support (adjusted B = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.04, 0.10).
COVID-19 survivors reported poor sleep quality. Interventions and support services to improve sleep quality should be provided to COVID-19 survivors during their hospital stay and after hospital discharge.
Several Drosophila species (Diptera: Drosophilidae) have become serious economic pests of berry and soft-skinned stone fruits around the world. Prominent examples are Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), D. melanogaster (Meigen), D. hydei (Sturtevant), and D. immigrans (Sturtevant). Information on the biology and ecology of Drosophila is important for a better understanding of these important fruit pests and, ultimately, for fruit protection. In this study, the gut bacteriomes of these four Drosophila species were surveyed and the differences among bacterial communities were characterised. The 16S rRNA genes of gut microbes were sequenced by Illumina MiSeq technology (Illumina, San Diego, California, United States of America), followed by α-diversity and β-diversity analyses. The results show that bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae (Kluyvera and Providencia; phylum Proteobacteria) dominated all four Drosophila species. Specific dominant gut bacterial communities were found in each Drosophila species. The dominant families in D. melanogaster and D. suzukii were Enterobacteriaceae, Comamonadaceae, and Acetobacteraceae. In the intestine of D. hydei, Enterobacteriaceae had a proportion of 56.99%, followed by Acetobacteraceae, Spiroplasmataceae, and Bacillales Incertae Sedis XII. In D. immigrans, besides Enterobacteriaceae, Alcaligenaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, Comamonadaceae, and Sphingobacteriaceae also had high relative abundance. These data expand current knowledge about the putative function related to gut microbes – for example, the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, inorganic ions, lipids, and secondary metabolites. This knowledge provides a basis for further metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic investigations.
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.
This paper quantitatively examines the macroeconomic and welfare effects of macroprudential policies in open economies. We develop a small open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model, where banks choose their funding sources (domestic vs. foreign deposits) and are subject to financial constraints. Our model predicts that banks reduce leverage in response to a macroprudential policy tightening, but increasingly rely on foreign funding. This endogenous shifts of funding composition significantly undermine the stabilizing effect and welfare gains of macroprudential policies. Our results also suggest macroprudential policies are less effective in financially more open economies, and optimal policy should take capital flows into consideration. Finally, we find empirical support for the model predictions in a group of developing and emerging economies.
Nutritional Risk Screening index is a standard tool to assess nutritional risk, but epidemiological data are scarce on controlling nutritional status (CONUT) as a prognostic marker in acute haemorrhagic stroke (AHS). We aimed to explore whether the CONUT may predict a 3-month functional outcome in AHS. In total, 349 Chinese patients with incident AHS were consecutively recruited, and their malnutrition risks were determined using a high CONUT score of ≥ 2. The cohort patients were divided into high-CONUT (≥ 2) and low-CONUT (< 2) groups, and primary outcomes were a poor functional prognosis defined as the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of ≥ 3 at post-discharge for 3 months. Odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the poor functional prognosis at post-discharge were estimated by using a logistic analysis with additional adjustments for unbalanced variables between the high-CONUT and low-CONUT groups. A total of 328 patients (60·38 ± 12·83 years; 66·77 % male) completed the mRS assessment at post-discharge for 3 months, with 172 patients at malnutrition risk at admission and 104 patients with a poor prognosis. The levels of total cholesterol and total lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in high-CONUT patients than low-CONUT patients (P = 0·012 and < 0·001, respectively). At 3-month post discharge, there was a greater risk for the poor outcome in the high-CONUT compared with the low-CONUT patients at admission (OR: 2·32, 95 % CI: 1·28, 4·17). High-CONUT scores independently predict a 3-month poor prognosis in AHS, which helps to identify those who need additional nutritional managements.
Prolonged sitting in a fixed or constrained position exposes aircraft passengers to long-term static loading of their bodies, which has deleterious effects on passengers’ comfort throughout the duration of the flight. The previous studies focused primarily on office and driving sitting postures and few studies, however, focused on the sitting postures of passengers in aircraft. Consequently, the aim of the present study is to detect and recognize the sitting postures of aircraft passengers in relation to sitting discomfort. A total of 24 subjects were recruited for the experiment, which lasted for 2 h. Furthermore, a total of 489 sitting postures were extracted and the pressure data between subjects and seat was collected from the experiment. After the detection of sitting postures, eight types of sitting postures were classified based on key parts (trunk, back, and legs) of the human bodies. Thereafter, the eight types of sitting postures were recognized with the aid of pressure data of seat pan and backrest employing several machine learning methods. The best classification rate of 89.26% was obtained from the support vector machine (SVM) with radial basis function (RBF) kernel. The detection and recognition of the eight types of sitting postures of aircraft passengers in this study provided an insight into aircraft passengers’ discomfort and seat design.
A large body of literature on state–business relations in China has examined the political role of capitalists and collusion between the state and the private sector. This paper contributes to that literature and understanding of the internal differentiation among China's business elites by documenting the emergence of a particular kind of large, non-state business group that we argue is more akin to a mafia system than any standard definition of a firm. Drawing on large-N descriptive data as well as deep ethnographic and documentary research, we argue that mafia-like business systems share organizational principles (plunder and obfuscation) and means of growth and survival (relations of mutual endangerment and manipulation of the financial system). Understanding the particular moral economy that underlies mafia-like business systems and their interactions with the state challenges methodological foundations of research on China's political economy and helps to explain recent conflict between high-profile business people and the state.
Despite the fact that social deficits among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are lifelong and impact many aspects of personal functioning, evidence-based programs for social skills training were not available until recently. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) has been shown to effectively improve social skills for adolescents on the spectrum across different social cultures. However, the effectiveness for young adults beyond North America has yet to be examined. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the PEERS intervention in Taiwanese young adults with ASD, and examine its durability and clinical correlates.
We recruited 82 cognitively-able young adults with ASD, randomized to the PEERS treatment or treatment-as-usual.
Following treatment, significant improvement was found in aspects of social deficits, autism severity, social interaction anxiety, empathy, and social skills knowledge either by self-report or coach-report. Additionally, communicative behaviors rated by observers improved throughout the sessions, showing a trend toward more appropriate eye contact, gestures, facial expression during conversation, and appropriate maintenance of conversation and reciprocity. Most effects maintained at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. The improvement of social deficits was positively correlated with baseline severity, while gains in social skills knowledge were positively correlated with IQ. The improvement of social deficits, autism severity, and empathy were positively correlated with each other.
Overall, the PEERS intervention appears to effectively improve social functioning in Taiwanese young adults with ASD. Improvement of social response and knowledge may be predicted by baseline severity and intelligence respectively.
Previous studies have yielded mixed findings regarding the effect of familiar and novel L2 graphemes on learners’ phonological encoding. The current study investigated this topic by comparing the effect of Pinyin and Chinese characters on English speakers’ Mandarin word learning. Different from previous research, this study examined both segmental and tonal encoding and compared participants from different Mandarin proficiency levels. Seventeen Advanced learners, 29 Intermediate learners, and 21 Naïve English speakers participated in a word-learning experiment in which half of the participants were exposed to the Pinyin spelling of the target words while the other half to characters. After the learning phase, they did a meaning – auditory stimulus matching task. Half of the stimuli were complete matches, while in the other half the stimulus mismatched the target either in segments or tones. The results revealed that at the Advanced level, the Character group was more accurate than the Pinyin group in rejecting tonal mismatches to the target words, while the opposite tendency was observed at the Naïve level. This study suggests that novel graphemes facilitate advanced L2 learners’ tonal encoding more than familiar graphemes, which is probably due to the unique nature of Chinese characters.
To improve Antarctic sea-ice simulations and estimations, an ensemble-based Data Assimilation System for the Southern Ocean (DASSO) was developed based on a regional sea ice–ocean coupled model, which assimilates sea-ice thickness (SIT) together with sea-ice concentration (SIC) derived from satellites. To validate the performance of DASSO, experiments were conducted from 15 April to 14 October 2016. Generally, assimilating SIC and SIT can suppress the overestimation of sea ice in the model-free run. Besides considering uncertainties in the operational atmospheric forcing data, a covariance inflation procedure in data assimilation further improves the simulation of Antarctic sea ice, especially SIT. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of assimilating sea-ice observations in reconstructing the state of Antarctic sea ice, but also highlight the necessity of more reasonable error estimation for the background as well as the observation.
The aim of this study was to present the clinical characteristics and dynamic changes in laboratory parameters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Guangzhou, and explore the probable early warning indicators of disease progression.
We enrolled all the patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital. The patients’ demographic and epidemiologic data were collected, including chief complaints, lab results, and imaging examination findings.
The characteristics of the patients in Guangzhou are different from those in Wuhan. The patients were younger in age, predominately female, and their condition was not commonly combined with other diseases. A total of 75% of patients suffered fever on admission, followed by cough occurring in 62% patients. Comparing the mild/normal and severe/critical patients, being male, of older age, combined with hypertension, abnormal blood routine test results, raised creatine kinase, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time, and positive proteinuria were early warning indicators of severe disease.
The patients outside epidemic areas showed different characteristics from those in Wuhan. The abnormal laboratory parameters were markedly changed 4 weeks after admission, and also were different between the mild and severe patients. More evidence is needed to confirm highly specific and sensitive potential early warning indicators of severe disease.
The debate about extending working lives in response to population ageing often overlooks the lack of employment opportunity for older adults with disabilities. Without work, their living standards depend heavily on government transfers. This study contributes to the literature on health inequalities by analysing the sources of income and poverty outcomes for people aged 50 to 64 in two liberal democratic countries yet with contrasting disability benefit contexts – Canada and the United Kingdom. This choice of countries offers the opportunity to assess whether the design of benefit systems has led the most disadvantaged groups to fare differently between countries. Overall, disabled older persons without work faced a markedly higher risk of poverty in Canada than in the UK. Public transfers played a much greater role in the UK, accounting for two-thirds of household income among low-educated groups, compared with one-third in Canada. The average benefit amount received was similar in both countries, but the coverage of disabled people was much lower in Canada than in the UK, leading to a high poverty risk among disabled people out of work. Our findings highlight the importance of income support systems in preventing the widening of the poverty-disability gap at older ages.
Fast and accurate unveiling of power-line outages is of paramount importance not only for preventing faults that may lead to blackouts but also for routine monitoring and control tasks of the smart grid. This chapter presents a sparse overcomplete model to represent the effects of (potentially multiple) power line outages on synchronized bus voltage angle measurements. Based on this model, efficient compressive sensing algorithms can be adopted to identify outaged lines at linear complexity of the total number of lines. Furthermore, the effects of uncertainty in synchronized measurements will be analyzed, along with the optimal placement of measurement units.
We investigate the dynamics of a self-rewetting drop placed on a substrate with a constant temperature gradient via three-dimensional numerical simulations using a conservative level-set approach to track the interface of the drop. The surface tension of a so-called self-rewetting fluid exhibits a parabolic dependence on temperature with a well-defined minimum. Two distinct drop behaviours, namely deformation and elongation, are observed when it is placed at the location of the minimum surface tension. The drop spreads slightly and reaches a pseudo-steady state in the deformation regime, while it continuously spreads until breakup in the elongation regime. Theoretical models based on the forces exerted on the drop have been developed to predict the critical condition at which the drop undergoes the transition between the two regimes, and the predictions are in good agreement with the numerical results. We also investigate the effect of the initial position of the drop with respect to the location of the minimum surface tension on the spreading and migration dynamics. It is found that, at early times, the migration of the drop obeys an exponential function with time, but it diverges at the later stage due to an increase in the drop deformation.
The Dayao Paleolithic site, located in Inner Mongolia on the eastern margin of China's vast northwestern drylands, was a lithic quarry-workshop utilized by Pleistocene human migrants through the region. Determining the age of this activity has previously yielded controversial results. Our magnetostratigraphic and OSL dating results suggest the two artifact-bearing paleosols are correlated with MIS 5 and 7, respectively. Correlating paleoclimatic data with marine δ18O records leads us to conclude that two sandy gravel layers containing many artifacts in the lower part of the Dayao sequence were formed during MIS 9 and 11, if not earlier. Our results reveal that the earliest human occupation at the Dayao site occurred before ca. 400 ka during a relatively warm and moist interglacial period, similar to several subsequent occupations, documenting the earliest and northernmost archaeological assemblage yet reported in China's arid northwest. We conclude that the northward and southward displacements of the East Asian summer monsoon rain belt during past interglacial-glacial cycles were responsible for the discontinuous human occupation detected at the Dayao site. The penetration of this precipitation regime into dryland ecologies via the Huanghe (Yellow River) Valley effectively created a corridor for hominin migration into China's arid northwest.