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It can be challenging for a democratic government to effectively make policies that address crucial national problems. While a bulk of literature reports that many democracies have overcome this challenge through centralization of legislative organization, few studies have explained why legislative decentralization that allegedly impairs policymaking performance would take place. Drawing on Taiwan's experience and over 13,000 legislative bills proposed in Taiwan's parliament between 1993 and 2012, this article demonstrates that the legislative decentralization during the onset of Taiwan's democratization slightly revived the policymaking performance of a near-paralysed parliament. Like drinking poison to quench the thirst, myopic politicians may opt for legislative decentralization as an instant remedy to ease severe legislative obstruction, despite the unfavourable consequences that the resulting decentralized legislative organization may eventually bring about. These findings shed new light on the evolution of legislative organization and account for the difficulties in policymaking facing developing democracies.
The Arctic winter seasonal sea ice (WSSI) concentration from 1979 to 2019 is derived from passive microwave data. Based on Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis, the WSSI time series includes regionally different trends, abrupt shifts and interannual variations. The time series of the first EOF mode (PC1) mainly represents the WSSI trend, which is characterized by an increase, particularly in the Pacific sector. PC1 confirms two abrupt shifts in WSSI in 1989 and 2007, with a variance of 31%. After 2007, the large-scale atmospheric circulation anomaly shows a strengthened wavenumber 3 structure at high latitudes associated with a mid-tropospheric low-pressure anomaly in central and western Siberia and a high-pressure anomaly in eastern Siberia in summer and autumn. These patterns have promoted the increased transport of moist static energy to the central Arctic and contributed to increased near-surface air temperatures that may enhance ice melting in summer and reduce ice growth in autumn and winter. The changes in ice melt and growth have had opposite effects in the Pacific and Atlantic sectors: WSSI has increased in the Pacific sector due to the replacement of multi-year ice by WSSI, and decreased in the Atlantic sector due to the replacement of WSSI by open water.
We present a 3D reconstruction method using brightness and camera motion estimation for registering local colon structure in colonoscopy. The proposed method is based on reverse projection from 2D fold contours to 3D space, motion estimation from 3D reconstructed points between neighboring frames, and model registration to reconstruct the fold structure. On the synthetic colon, the average percentages of the reconstructed depth error and circumference error are about 14.2% and 15.2%, respectively. The accuracy is enough for the navigation and control in capsule robot. This work demonstrates that the proposed method is superior to the methods using single-frame-based brightness intensity.
Phase-resolved wave simulation and direct numerical simulation of turbulence are performed to investigate the surface wave effects on the energy transfer in overlying turbulent flow. The JONSWAP spectrum is used to initialize a broadband wave field. The nonlinear wave field is simulated using a high-order spectral method, and the resultant wave surface provides the bottom boundary conditions for direct numerical simulation of the overlying turbulent flow. Two wave ages of
and 25 are considered, corresponding to slow and fast wave fields, respectively, where
denotes the celerity of the peak wave and
denotes the friction velocity. The energy transfer of turbulent motions in the presence of surface waves is investigated through the spectral analysis of the two-point correlation transport equation. It is found that the production term has an extra peak at the dominant wavelength scale in the vicinity of the surface, and the energy transported to the surface via viscous and spatial turbulent transport is enhanced in the region of
. The presence of surface waves results in an inverse turbulent energy cascade in the near-surface region, where small-scale wave-related motions transfer energy back to the dominant wavelength scale. Pressure-related terms reflecting the spatial and inter-component energy transfer are strongly dependent on the wave age. Furthermore, triadic interaction analysis reveals that the energy influx at the dominant wavelength scale is due to the contribution of the neighbouring streamwise turbulent motions, and those at the harmonic wavelength scales contribute the most.
The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is currently the most common ectoparasite affecting egg-laying hens. Since continuous culture of D. gallinae on birds is a biologically and economically costly endeavour, storage techniques for mites are urgently needed. Effects of temperature on adult and nymph survival were first studied to optimize storage conditions. Then, fecundity of D. gallinae was studied after mites were stored at optimal storage conditions. Results showed the survival rates of protonymphs (42.11%), deutonymphs (8.19%) and females (19.78%) at 5°C after 84 days were higher than those at 0, 25 and 30°C. Thereafter the fecundity and the capability of re-establishing colonies of D. gallinae were evaluated after they were stored for 40 and 80 days at 5°C. After storage, the mean number of eggs showed no statistical difference between treated (5°C for 40 or 80 days) and control groups (25°C for 7 days), while the hatching rates of eggs were in all cases above 97%. The dynamic changes of mite populations and egg numbers showed similar trends to the control group after the stored adult or nymph mites were fed on chicks. Dermanyssus gallinae can be successfully stored at 5°C for 80 days with no interference with the fecundity of mites, and the stored mites could re-establish colonies successfully. Adults and nymphs were two main stages with capability for low temperature storage. These results suggest that low temperature storage is a viable option for colony maintenance of D. gallinae under laboratory conditions.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease for dementia in adults. The main pathological alterations are extracellular senile plaque deposits, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and neuronal apoptosis. Recent researches indicated that T2D is closely with AD by insulin resistance in central nerves system progression. Nevertheless, the pathological mechanism remains unclear and treatment is limited. β-glucan extracted from yeast, as a dietary fiber with high bioactivity, edible, good taste and easy-obtainable, have been showed abilities such as anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic. Based on this, β-glucan can reduce insulin resistance and maintain gut microbiota thereby alleviating lesions of early AD.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, we used 36 male wild-type C57BL/6J mice were divided to 3 groups (control (C) mice injected i.c.v. with 0.9% saline as a vehicle, mice injected i.c.v. with Aβ1–42 (Aβ1–42 group), mice injected with Aβ1–42 and soluble yeast β-glucan 100 mg/kg body weight by oral gavage daily (o.g.) for 5 wks (Aβ1–42 + Glu)). H&E method was detected for structure of hippocampus. Morris water maze test was performed to assess the cognitive performance of Aβ-infusion mice. The microbiota composition was analyzed by 16sRNA sequencing. The levels of inflammatory were measured in hippocampal and plasma by Meso-scale Discovery (MSD). Western blot was performed to detect the level of protein in insulin signaling pathway. One-way ANNOVA with Student-Newman-Keuls was applied for the data analysis through SPSS software version 22.0.
As demonstrated by H&E sections, β-glucan reduced neuron damage in AD mice hippocampus. Decreased the levels of Aβ and phosphorylation of Tau protein expression in hippocampus (P < 0.05) and ameliorated insulin resistance (p-IRS-1) in hippocampus (P < 0.05). According by results from MSD and Western-blot that showed TNF-α (P < 0.05), phosphorylated JNK (P < 0.01) and Tau were up-regulated in AD but β-glucan group decreased. In addition, the abundance of beneficial bacteria in β-glucan mice is increased (g_Alistipes, g_Rikeenella and g_Saccharibecteria genera incerae sedies).
Summary, this study illustrated that β-glucan regulated insulin signaling for ameliorating learning and memory deficit in AD. Due to β-glucan can not pass Blood-Brain-Barrier, we hypothesized that β-glucan could regulates gut microbiota by metabolites for ameliorating neuron damage. Our study provides new ideas for the prevention of AD.
The polymerization of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) onto nanosilica (SiO2) was synthesized in this study by using supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2). With the addition of dopants of p-toluenesulfonic acid (p-TSA) or decylbenzene sulfonic acid (DBSA), the PEDOT/SiO2 composite became conductive. The product was characterized by FTIR spectroscopy and the core-shell structure was confirmed through the TEM images. The electrical properties were analyzed by UV-vis absorbance and four-point probe measurement. DBSA is shown as the better dopants with the molar ratio (DBSA/EDOT) of 0.2 at the reaction time of 48 hours. The maximum coating percentage is 63 wt% under the optimal operation conditions at 40oC and 280 bar. The conductivity is tuned up to 6.6×10-2 S/cm after the coating process.
We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
As rarely large flake graphite (9 mesh) was recently exploited in China, it was innovatively developed as the raw material to prepare a novel wound dressing based on large expanded graphite (EG) in this work. The EG worms were prepared in an easy oxidative intercalation and thermal expansion method. Afterward, chitosan was grafted onto the surface of EG by chemical modification, forming CS-EG worms. CS-EG sponge dressings were then obtained by pressing a number of CS-EG worms together by external force. Due to the porous structure and large specific surface area, the produced CS-EG sponges exhibited outstanding adsorption capacity for wound exudate. They could also promote blood coagulation by adsorbing the blood cells and proteins quickly and effectively, showing excellent hemostatic performance. The eminent performances and the simple preparation process ensure the great application potential of CS-EG as a dressing material. This is also the first time to report the application of the traditional carbon material, EG, to act as a dressing material after chemical modification.
China has made great achievements in health insurance coverage and healthcare financing. Nonetheless, the rate of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) in China was 13 percent in 2008, which is higher than in some other countries. There are differences among the provinces in China in terms of the lifestyles, customs, prevalent medical conditions, and health consciousness of their populations. This study aimed to compare the proportion of households with CHE and the factors influencing this expenditure between the Zhejiang and Qinghai province in China.
Data were derived from household surveys conducted in Zhejiang and Qinghai. Sampling was based on a multi-stage, stratified random cluster method. Households with CHE were defined as those with an out-of-pocket payment for health care that was at least 40 percent of the household income. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify the factors associated with CHE.
A total of 1,598 households were included: 995 in Zhejiang and 603 in Qinghai. The average rates of CHE in Zhejiang and Qinghai were 10 percent and 31 percent, respectively. The economic status of a household influenced the likelihood of experiencing CHE; households headed by an employed person were less likely to experience CHE. In contrast, households that included outpatients or individuals with chronic diseases had a higher risk of experiencing CHE across the two provinces. Poorer or uninsured households in Zhejiang were more likely to experience CHE, as were households in Qinghai that included outpatients or were headed by a person from a minority nationality.
This study highlighted the importance of promoting economic development, expanding employment, and adjusting policies to better protect individuals with chronic diseases and outpatients from the risk of CHE. The Chinese government should pay more attention to actual conditions in different provinces to ensure that policy decisions incorporate local knowledge.
To revise an abbreviated version of the Silhouettes subtest of the Visual Object and Space Perception (VOSP) battery in order to recognize mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determine the optimal cutoffs to differentiate among cognitively normal controls (NC), MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese elderly.
A cross-sectional validation study.
Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
A total of 591 participants: Individuals with MCI (n = 211), AD (n = 139) and NC (n = 241) were recruited from the Memory Clinic, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Baseline neuropsychological battery (including VOSP) scores were collected from firsthand data. An abbreviated version of silhouettes test (Silhouettes-A) was revised from the original English version more suitable for the elderly, including eight silhouettes of animals and seven silhouettes of inanimate objects, with a score ranging from 0 to 15.
Silhouettes-A was an effective test to screen MCI in the Chinese elderly with good sensitivity and specificity, similar to the Montreal cognitive assessment and superior to other single tests reflecting language, spatial, or executive function. However, it had no advantage in distinguishing MCI from AD. The corresponding optimal cutoff scores of Silhouettes-A were 10 for screening MCI and 8 for AD.
Silhouettes-A is a quick, simple, sensitive, and dependable cognitive test to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD patients.
The immobilization of cytochrome c (cyt c) on tea polyphenol functionalized and reduced graphene oxide (TPG) was carried out by a simple adsorption process. Intriguingly, TPG with large surface area exhibited excellent adsorption behaviors and good biocompatibility. The adsorbed materials were characterized by various methods including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). And the effects of adsorption behavior of cyt c were discussed in detail. The results showed the adsorption behavior was dependent on the pH value and showed a high adsorption capacity as high as 1.414 × 104 mg/g and was friendly to normal cells (mouse fibroblast cell line, L929). In conclusion, we proposed the introduction of TPG as novel material and used the adsorption method to immobilize cyt c, which would provide a novel material and simple method for the enrichment of protein.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a serious heart disorder that may induce sudden cardiac death and heart failure. Significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of dilated cardiomyopathy. In previous studies, mutations in more than fifty genes have been identified in dilated cardiomyopathy patients. The purpose of this study was to detect the genetic lesion in a family from the central south of China affected by severe dilated cardiomyopathy.
Whole-exome sequencing combined with cardiomyopathy-related genes list were used to analyse the mutations of the proband. Co-segregation analysis was performed by Sanger sequencing.
Results and conclusions
Two novel heterozygous mutations – Myosin Binding Protein C: p.L1014RfsX6 and Titin: p.R9793X – were identified in the proband. The deletion mutation c.3041delT/p.L1014RfsX6 caused a premature stop codon at position 1020 in exon 28 of the Myosin Binding Protein C. The nonsense mutation, c.29377 C>T/ p. R9793X, of Titin was located in the highly evolutionarily conserved domain, resulting in truncation of the Titin protein as well. Co-segregation analysis further revealed that the Myosin Binding Protein C mutation came from his mother and the Titin mutation came from his father. Both mutations are reported in dilated cardiomyopathy patients for the first time. Our study not only provides a unique example of the genes and molecular mechanisms involved in dilated cardiomyopathy but also expands the spectrum of Myosin Binding Protein C and Titin mutations and contributes to the genetic diagnosis and counselling of dilated cardiomyopathy patients.
Environmental characteristics (for example, temperature, photoperiod) as seasonal cues can affect the offspring sex ratio and reproductive tactics of many hymenopteran insects. Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle is the most critical invasive insect pest of Eucalyptus spp. in the world and displays thelytokous reproduction. In the current study, we studied the effects of temperature and photoperiod on offspring sex ratio and reproductive tactics in L. invasa. Results show that sex ratio (female: male) of L. invasa was under 15, 25 and 35 °C with both L 12: D 12 and L 16: D 8, and cold and thermal acclimation were 74.5:1, 71.0:1, 59.0:0, 17.3:1, 53.0:0, 64.0:0, 47.0:1 and 56.0:0, respectively, which was highly significantly female biased and with no significant difference due to temperature or photoperiod. Offspring virgin females oviposited and induced the bump-shaped galls on plants under the same conditions as described above. Constant temperature, photoperiod and their interaction, and cold and thermal acclimation had no significant effect on the infestation rates of Eucalyptus branches induced by offspring virgin females. Thus, temperature, photoperiod and cold and thermal acclimation did not influence female-biased sex ratio and tactics with thelytokous reproduction of offspring females in L. invasa.
Propofol is a intravenous anaesthetic most commonly used in ultrasound oocyte retrieval. We studied if the use of propofol had an effect on mouse oocyte maturation, pregnancy, childbirth and progeny and investigated the correlation between propofol side effects and reproductive performance in mice. There was no statistical difference in mating, pregnancy, childbirth, litter size, the number of stillbirths and survival between each group (P>0.05). Propofol also had no effect on polar body extrusion in oocyte maturation as well as on pronucleus formation and, subsequently, early embryo development (P>0.05). An increased concentration of propofol had no effect on this result, although propofol at more than 0.01 mg/ml reduced polar body extrusion. Different concentrations of propofol had no effect on oocyte culture in vitro, pronucleus formation and early embryo development.
To investigate the impact of viral and bacterial co-infection in hospitalised children with Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (RMPP). Retrospective analysis of 396 children with RMPP in our hospital admitted between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2016 was performed. Nasal aspirate samples were collected for pathogen detection and clinical data were collected. We analysed clinical characteristics, lung imaging characteristics and pathogenic species among these children. Of the 396 RMPP cases, 107 (27.02%) had co-infection with other pathogen, with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus being the most common bacteria of infection and human bocavirus (HBoV), human rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus being the most common viruses of infection. Children with co-infection were younger than that with single infection (P = 0.010). Children with both virus and bacteria co-infection had been the youngest (P = 0.040). Children with co-infection had a longer fever process, higher leukocyte count, higher C-reactive protein compared with single infection (P < 0.05). Children with co-infection had a higher percentage of pnemothorax and diffuse large area of inflammation in chest X-ray manifestation compared with children with single infection (P < 0.05). S. pneumonia and HBoV was the leading cause of co-infection in RMPP. Co-infections led to more disease severity in children with RMPP compared with single infections.
Although the importance of public satisfaction is well documented, few studies have been conducted on the diversity of citizens’ evaluations of the various levels of government. This study explored hierarchical government satisfaction among the public in two culturally Chinese societies, namely China and Taiwan. Basing the analysis on the perspective of responsibility attribution, this paper proposes that the two publics’ distinctive perceptions, which are shaped by different information flows, lead hierarchical government satisfaction in the two societies in separate directions. This argument is supported by the empirical findings from the sixth wave of the World Values Survey. The findings confirm that personal evaluations, including household economic satisfaction, democratic evaluation, and public service confidence, exert more influence over local government satisfaction in China, but conversely have a greater impact on central government satisfaction in Taiwan. Moreover, these evaluations are shown to affect hierarchical government satisfaction differently in the two societies. The evidence reveals that the two publics attribute blame for problems to different administrative objects: Chinese citizens tend to blame local governments, whereas Taiwanese citizens are inclined to criticize the central government.