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As a wide-reaching institutional reform, China's fiscal decentralization was launched in the early 1980s to encourage provincial economic growth by granting more financial autonomy to provincial governments. In this paper, the impact of fiscal decentralization on China's environmental quality is investigated both theoretically and empirically. A neoclassical model is developed based on the primary characteristics of China's fiscal decentralization. Using provincial panel data for the period 1995-2015, a two-equation regression model is employed to empirically verify the three propositions of the theoretical model: (1) there exists an inverted-U shaped relationship between fiscal decentralization and GDP per capita; (2) fiscal decentralization is positively related to GDP per capita at the steady state; (3) there is an inverted-U shaped Environmental Kuznets Curve relationship between pollution emissions and economic growth.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
In this paper, an ultra-wideband (UWB) filter with a notch band using T-shaped step impedance resonator loaded with cross-shaped open stubs has been presented. The notch band is formed by utilizing intrinsic zero. The characteristics of the new quad-mode resonator have been analyzed using odd-even mode analysis method. It can be shown that it is the intrinsic zero that generates the notch band. In addition, wide tunable notch band form 5–9.3 GHz can be achieved. A UWB filter with a notch band centered at 6.25 GHz using the proposed quad-mode resonator has been designed, fabricated, and tested. Experiment results show that the attenuation in notch frequency is >22 dB while the return loss of the simulation and measurement results are 22 dB/20 dB and 14.5 dB/11.2 dB in the lower and upper passband, respectively, which illustrate that the simulation and measurement results are in agreement.
A novel radio frequency identification tag antenna is composed of a resonant open-slot exciter and a dipole-type ground radiator. For a conjugate match to the Alien Higgs-4 chip impedance of 8−j149 Ω at 925 MHz, a quarter wavelength open-slot resonator embedded at the center of the dipole-type ground plane (130 × 18 mm2) was investigated and fabricated. Simple size adjustments and various loaded inductor of the open-slot resonator allow for easy control of the tag antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement can be easily obtained. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a foam in the free space can reach more than 9 m, which has been tested for a radio frequency identification reader with 4.0-W of effective isotropic radiated power. Measurement data are in good agreement with simulation results.
Many studies have suggested that folate-related one-carbon metabolism-related nutrients may play a role in certain cancer risks, but few studies have assessed their associations with the risk for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). In this study, we investigated the association between four folate-related one-carbon metabolism-related nutrients (folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine) and NPC risk in Chinese adults. A total of 600 patients newly diagnosed (within 3 months) with NPC were individually matched with 600 hospital-based controls by age, sex and household type (urban v. rural). Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and methionine intakes were measured using a validated seventy-eight-item FFQ. A higher dietary folate or vitamin B6 intake was associated with a lower NPC risk after adjusting for potential confounders. The adjusted OR of NPC for quartiles 2–4 (v. 1) were 0·66 (95 % CI 0·48, 0·91), 0·52 (95 % CI 0·37, 0·74) and 0·34 (95 % CI 0·23, 0·50) (Ptrend<0·001) for folate and 0·72 (95 % CI 0·52, 1·00), 0·55 (95 % CI 0·39, 0·78) and 0·44 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·63) (Ptrend<0·001) for vitamin B6. No significant association with NPC risk was observed for dietary vitamin B12 or methionine intake. The risk for NPC with dietary folate intake was more evident in the participants who were not exposed to toxic substances than in those who were exposed (Pinteraction=0·014). This study suggests that dietary folate and vitamin B6 may be protective for NPC in a high-risk population.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
Few studies have explored the relationship between dietary patterns and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Evidence from non-Western areas is particularly lacking. In the present study, we aimed to examine the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of GDM in a Chinese population. A total of 3063 pregnant Chinese women from an ongoing prospective cohort study were included. Data on dietary intake were collected using a FFQ at 24–27 weeks of gestation. GDM was diagnosed using a 75 g, 2 h oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary patterns were determined by principal components factor analysis. A log-binomial regression model was used to examine the associations between dietary pattern and the risk of GDM. The analysis identified four dietary patterns: vegetable pattern; protein-rich pattern; prudent pattern; sweets and seafood pattern. Multivariate analysis showed that the highest tertile of the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM (relative risk (RR) 0·79, 95 % CI 0·64, 0·97), compared with the lowest tertile, whereas the highest tertile of the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM (RR 1·23, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·49). No significant association was found for either the protein-rich or the prudent pattern. The protective effect of a high vegetable pattern score was more evident among women who had a family history of diabetes (P for interaction = 0·022). These findings suggest that the vegetable pattern was associated with a decreased risk of GDM, while the sweets and seafood pattern was associated with an increased risk of GDM. These findings may be useful in dietary counselling during pregnancy.
The association between serum carotenoids and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) remains uncertain, and little is known about this relationship in the Chinese population. The present study examined the association between serum carotenoid concentrations and the MetS in Chinese adults. We conducted a community-based cross-sectional study in which 2148 subjects (1547 women and 601 men) aged 50–75 years were recruited in urban Guangzhou, China. Dietary data and other covariates were collected during face-to-face interviews. Blood pressure, waist circumference, blood lipids, glucose and serum carotenoids (α-, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin) were examined. We found dose–response inverse relationships between individual serum carotenoid concentrations and total carotenoids and the prevalence of the MetS after adjusting for potential confounders (P for trend < 0·001). The OR of the MetS for the highest (v. lowest) quartile were 0·31 (95 % CI 0·20, 0·47) for α-carotene, 0·23 (95 % CI 0·15, 0·36) for β-carotene, 0·44 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·67) for β-cryptoxanthin, 0·39 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·58) for lycopene, 0·28 (95 % CI 0·18, 0·44) for lutein+zeaxanthin and 0·19 (95 % CI 0·12, 0·30) for total carotenoids. Higher concentrations of each individual carotenoid and total carotenoids were significantly associated with a decrease in the number of abnormal MetS components (P for trend < 0·001–0·023). Higher serum carotenoid levels were associated with a lower prevalence of the MetS and fewer abnormal MetS components in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults.
The role of oxidative stress in skeletal health is unclear. The present study investigated whether a high dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients (vitamins C and E, β-carotene, animal-derived vitamin A, retinol equivalents, Zn and Se) is associated with a reduced risk of hip fracture in elderly Chinese. This 1:1 matched case–control study involved 726 elderly Chinese with hip fracture and 726 control subjects, recruited between June 2009 and May 2013. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to determine habitual dietary intakes of the above-mentioned seven nutrients based on a seventy-nine-item FFQ and information on various covariates, and an antioxidant score was calculated. After adjustment for potential covariates, dose-dependent inverse associations were observed between the dietary intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, β-carotene, and Se and antioxidant score and the risk of hip fracture (P for trend ≤ 0·005). The OR of hip fracture for the highest (v. lowest) quartile of intake were 0·39 (95 % CI 0·28, 0·56) for vitamin C, 0·23 (95 % CI 0·16, 0·33) for vitamin E, 0·51 (95 % CI 0·36, 0·73) for β-carotene, 0·43 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·70) for Se and 0·24 (95 % CI 0·17, 0·36) for the antioxidant score. A moderate-to-high dietary intake of retinol equivalents in quartiles 2–4 (v. 1) was found to be associated with a lower risk of hip fracture (OR range: 0·51–0·63, P< 0·05). No significant association was observed between dietary Zn or animal-derived vitamin A intake and hip fracture risk (P for trend >0·20). In conclusion, a higher dietary intake of vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and Se and a moderate-to-high dietary intake of retinol equivalents are associated with a lower risk of hip fracture in elderly Chinese.
A new ultra-high frequency radio frequency identification (RFID) tag antenna, which is comprised a U-shaped tuning stub and a dipole radiator for different permittivity surfaces is investigated, fabricated, and measured. For a conjugate match to the NXP G2XM chip impedance of 29–j137 at 915 MHz, a dipole tag antenna with U-shaped stubconnected to dipole arms was designed. Simple size adjustments of the U-shaped tuning stub and dipole radiator of the antenna allow for easy control of the antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement may be readily satisfied. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a different permittivity surfaces (εr = 1–4) can reach more than 4.5 m, which has been tested for an RFID reader with 4.0 W of effective isotropic radiated power. The antenna structure consists of two dipole load bars and two loop electrically connected. The design offers more choice of freedom to tune the input impedance of the proposed antenna. Measurement data are presented which are in good agreement with simulation results. The design is suitable for mounting on all kinds of objects. The fabricated tag sensitivity of −3 dBm, read range of 7 m on the x–z and y–z planes, and the measured orientation radiation patterns were obtained in the desired frequency band.
The mesoporous and nanorods SnO2 are synthesized by controlling the state of SnCl2·2H2O precursor with SBA-15 as hard template, and the possible formation mechanisms at different assembling modes inside the ordered mesoporous silica templates are proposed. In addition, SnO2 nanoparticles are synthesized by hydrolysis depositing method. The electrochemical tests of as-prepared samples indicate that the reticular stacking structure of the nanorods would limit the Li+ ions to intercalate, but the effect of volume expansion in this case upon cycling is insignificant. The mesostructure SnO2 tends to be stable after partial structural collapse at first few cycles. And the Li+ ions can readily intercalate and de-intercalate into/from its ordered channels structure, which provides a high capacity and an improved cycle property. Although SnO2 nanoparticles deliver high capacity at an early stage, the agglomeration may induce the capacity to drop rapidly after a certain number of cycles.
Investigation of customer participation in new product development (NPD) performance has yielded conflicting results. This study explores the idea that intensive customer participation is not always better. Instead, the usefulness of customer participation in NPD is determined by the fit between product innovativeness and customer participation as information providers and as co-developers. An empirical study of 196 NPD projects of Taiwanese high-tech firms is analyzed by structural equation modeling. The findings show that product innovativeness negatively moderates the impact of customer participation as information providers on NPD outcome. Thus, the greater the involvement of customer participation as information providers in radical innovation projects, the lower the NPD outcome. Moreover, our results also indicate that product innovativeness positively affects the relationship between customer participation as a co-developer and NPD outcome, which suggest that the more customer participation as a co-developer in a radical innovation project, the better the NPD outcome.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.
Understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to measures of brain structure such as surface area and cortical thickness is important for a better understanding of the nature of brain-behavior relationships and changes due to development or disease. Continuous spatial maps of genetic influences on these structural features can contribute to our understanding of regional patterns of heritability, since it remains to be seen whether genetic contributions to brain structure respect the boundaries of any traditional parcellation approaches. Using data from magnetic resonance imaging scans collected on a large sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, we created maps of the heritability of areal expansion (a vertex-based area measure) and cortical thickness and examined the degree to which these maps were affected by adjustment for total surface area and mean cortical thickness. We also compared the approach of estimating regional heritability based on the average heritability of vertices within the region to the more traditional region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. The results suggested high heritability across the cortex for areal expansion and, to a slightly lesser degree, for cortical thickness. There was a great deal of genetic overlap between global and regional measures for surface area, so maps of region-specific genetic influences on surface area revealed more modest heritabilities. There was greater inter-regional variability in heritabilities when calculated using the traditional ROI-based approach compared to summarizing vertex-by-vertex heritabilities within regions. Discrepancies between the approaches were greatest in small regions and tended to be larger for surface area than for cortical thickness measures. Implications regarding brain phenotypes for future genetic association studies are discussed.
Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is implicated in the negative regulation of the insulin signalling pathway by dephosphorylating the insulin receptor (IR) and IR substrates. Ganodermalucidum has traditionally been used for the treatment of diabetes in Chinese medicine; however, its anti-diabetic potency and mechanism in vivo is still unclear. Our previously published study reported a novel proteoglycan PTP1B inhibitor, named Fudan-Yueyang-Ganoderma lucidum (FYGL) from G. lucidum, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 5·12 (sem 0·05) μg/ml, a protein:polyglycan ratio of 17:77 and 78 % glucose in polysaccharide, and dominant amino acid residues of aspartic acid, glycine, glutamic acid, alanine, serine and threonine in protein. FYGL is capable of decreasing plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice with a high safety of median lethal dose (LD50) of 6 g/kg. In the present study, C57BL/6 db/db diabetic mice were trialed further using FYGL as well as metformin for comparison. Oral treatment with FYGL in db/db diabetic mice for 4 weeks significantly (P < 0·01 or 0·05) decreased the fasting plasma glucose level, serum insulin concentration and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. FYGL also controlled the biochemistry indices relative to type 2 diabetes-accompanied lipidaemic disorders. Pharmacology research suggests that FYGL decreases the plasma glucose level by the mechanism of inhibiting PTP1B expression and activity, consequently, regulating the tyrosine phosphorylation level of the IR β-subunit and the level of hepatic glycogen, thus resulting in the improvement of insulin sensitivity. Therefore, FYGL is promising as an insulin sensitiser for the therapy of type 2 diabetes and accompanied dyslipidaemia.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of osteopontin neutralization treatment on schistosome-induced liver injury in BALB/C mice. We randomly divided 100 BALB/C mice into groups A, B, C, D and group E. Mice in all groups except group A were abdominally infected with schistosomal cercariae to induce a schistosomal hepatopathological model. Mice in group C, D and group E were respectively administered with praziquantel, praziquantel plus colchicine and praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody. We extracted mouse liver tissues at 3 and 9 weeks after the ‘stool-eggs-positive’ day, observed liver histopathological changes by haematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining and detected the expression of osteopontin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) by immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blot. We found that praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody treatment significantly decreased the granuloma dimension, the percentage of collagen and the expression of osteopontin, α-SMA and TGF-β1 compared to praziquantel plus colchicine treatment in both the acute and chronic stage of schistosomal liver damage (P<0·05). So we believe that the combined regimen of osteopontin immunoneutralization and anti-helminthic treatment can reduce the granulomatous response and liver fibrosis during the schistosomal hepatopathologic course.
Few studies have evaluated the relationship between the consumption of dietary folate and one-carbon metabolism-related nutrients and breast cancer risk defined by oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status. The objective of the present study was to examine the associations between dietary folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and methionine intake and the risk of breast cancer by ER and PR status among Chinese women in Guangdong. A hospital-based case–control study was conducted from June 2007 to August 2008, with 438 cases and 438 age (5-year interval)- and residence (rural/urban)-matched controls. Dietary intake information was assessed using a validated FFQ administered through a face-to-face interview. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate multivariate-adjusted OR and 95 % CI. A significant inverse association was found between dietary folate and vitamin B6 intake and breast cancer risk. The adjusted OR of the highest v. the lowest quartile were 0·32 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·49; Ptrend < 0·001) for dietary folate and 0·46 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·69; Ptrend < 0·001) for vitamin B6. No associations were observed for vitamin B12 and methionine intake. A significant inverse association between dietary folate intake and breast cancer risk was observed in all subtypes of ER and PR status. These findings suggest that dietary folate and vitamin B6 intakes were inversely associated with breast cancer risk. The inverse association did not differ by ER and/or PR status.