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Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
Giardia duodenalis is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the USA, but the risk factors for sporadic (non-outbreak) giardiasis are not well described. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado and Minnesota public health departments conducted a case-control study to assess risk factors for sporadic giardiasis in the USA. Cases (N = 199) were patients with non-outbreak-associated laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection in Colorado and Minnesota, and controls (N = 381) were matched by age and site. Identified risk factors included international travel (aOR = 13.9; 95% CI 4.9–39.8), drinking water from a river, lake, stream, or spring (aOR = 6.5; 95% CI 2.0–20.6), swimming in a natural body of water (aOR = 3.3; 95% CI 1.5–7.0), male–male sexual behaviour (aOR = 45.7; 95% CI 5.8–362.0), having contact with children in diapers (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.01–2.6), taking antibiotics (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2–5.0) and having a chronic gastrointestinal condition (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–3.0). Eating raw produce was inversely associated with infection (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1–0.7). Our results highlight the diversity of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and the importance of non-international-travel-associated risk factors, particularly those involving person-to-person transmission. Prevention measures should focus on reducing risks associated with diaper handling, sexual contact, swimming in untreated water, and drinking untreated water.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The current experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different dietary protein levels and rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) supplementation on ruminal fermentation, microbial enzyme activity, bacterial populations and urinary excretion of purine derivatives (PD) in growing beef steers. Low-protein (LP) or high-protein (HP) diets were fed to eight ruminally cannulated first-generation cross-bred (Blonde d'Aquitaine × Simmental) beef steers with or without RPFA supplementation. Steers were fed a total mixed ration, and dietary concentrate to maize silage ratio was 50 : 50 (dry matter (DM) basis). No interaction between dietary crude protein (CP) levels and RPFA supplementation was observed during the experiment. Ruminal pH was unaffected by RPFA supplementation, but decreased with increasing dietary CP levels. Ruminal total volatile fatty acid concentration increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. Molar proportion of acetate increased with RPFA supplementation, but tended to decrease with increasing dietary CP levels. The proportion of propionate decreased with RPFA supplementation, but was unaffected by dietary CP levels. As a result, the acetate to propionate ratio increased with RPFA supplementation, but tended to be lower for the HP diets than the LP diets. Ammonia-nitrogen content decreased with RPFA supplementation, but increased with increasing dietary CP levels. In situ ruminal degradability of maize straw and concentrate increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. Microbial enzyme (carboxymethyl-cellulase, cellobiase, xylanase, pectinase, α-amylase and protease) activity, bacterial populations (Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminobacter amylophilus) and urinary PD excretion increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. The current study showed that increasing dietary CP levels from 109·1 to 130·7 g/kg DM or supplementing 75 mg RPFA improved ruminal fermentation and microbial protein synthesis by increasing bacterial population and microbial enzyme activity.
A new approach for the analysis of stress intensity factors (SIFs) for cracked plane plate is proposed based on the wavelet finite element method using the scaling functions of B-spline wavelet on the interval (BSWI). The performance of the method is investigated through the comparison of the results with the available numerical examples in the literate. It is shown that the solution quality is much better than that of the traditional adaptive finite element method. Though the method is applied to plane structures in this paper, it can be extended to solving problems for other classes of structures.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
Radio-glaciological parameters from the Moore’s Bay region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, have been measured. The thickness of the ice shelf in Moore’s Bay was measured from reflection times of radio-frequency pulses propagating vertically through the shelf and reflecting from the ocean, and is found to be 576 ± 8 m. Introducing a baseline of 543 ± 7m between radio transmitter and receiver allowed the computation of the basal reflection coefficient, R, separately from englacial loss. The depth-averaged attenuation length of the ice column, 〈L〉 is shown to depend linearly on frequency. The best fit (95% confidence level) is 〈L(ν)〉= (460±20) − (180±40)ν m (20 dB km−1), for the frequencies ν = [0.100–0.850] GHz, assuming no reflection loss. The mean electric-field reflection coefficient is (1.7 dB reflection loss) across [0.100–0.850] GHz, and is used to correct the attenuation length. Finally, the reflected power rotated into the orthogonal antenna polarization is <5% below 0.400 GHz, compatible with air propagation. The results imply that Moore’s Bay serves as an appropriate medium for the ARIANNA high-energy neutrino detector.
Exact analysis of displacements and stresses in 2-D orthotopic laminates under extension is conducted. On the basis of the Hamiltonian state space approach and the transfer matrix method, a complete solution, in the context of generalized strain, which exactly satisfies the state space equation, the traction-free BC on the top and bottom surfaces of the rectangular section, the interfacial continuity conditions in multi-layered laminates, and the end conditions on free edges, is obtained by combing the eigensolutions and the particular solution. Evaluating of the stresses in the boundary layer for verification shows that the stress decay in laminates under uniform extension may be slow and the edge effects may be pronounced.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The Beijing/W lineage strains are the major prevalent strains in China. The prevalence, mortality and drug-resistant rates of tuberculosis in Xinjiang, Northwestern China are higher than in other parts of the country. Our previous study results showed that the dominant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) were ‘Beijing/W lineage’ MTB in Xinjiang; those strains had no significant correlation with drug resistance. We investigated whether the prevalence of ‘Beijing/W lineage’ sublineage strains was associated with drug resistance. We collected 478 sputum specimens from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Beijing/W strains and their sublineages were identified by distinguishing five specific large sequence polymorphisms, using polymerase chain reaction. All strains were subjected to a drug susceptibility test using the proportion method on Löwenstein–Jensen culture medium. In total, 379 clinical isolates of MTB were isolated and identified, 57·26% of these isolates were identified as Beijing/W strains, of which 11·06% isolates were in sublineage 105, 14·74% isolates in sublineage 207, 69·59% isolates in sublineage 181, and 4·61% isolates in sublineage 150. None of the isolates was in sublineage 142. Our data showed there were four sublineages of Beijing/W isolates in Xinjiang province, China. However, there were no correlations between drug resistance and the sublineages of Beijing/W strains.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
In this paper an explicit finite-difference time-domain scheme for solving the Maxwell’s equations in non-staggered grids is presented. The proposed scheme for solving the Faraday’s and Ampere’s equations in a theoretical manner is aimed to preserve discrete zero-divergence for the electric and magnetic fields. The inherent local conservation laws in Maxwell’s equations are also preserved discretely all the time using the explicit second-order accurate symplectic partitioned Runge-Kutta scheme. The remaining spatial derivative terms in the semi-discretized Faraday’s and Ampere’s equations are then discretized to provide an accurate mathematical dispersion relation equation that governs the numerical angular frequency and the wavenumbers in two space dimensions. To achieve the goal of getting the best dispersive characteristics, we propose a fourth-order accurate space centered scheme which minimizes the difference between the exact and numerical dispersion relation equations. Through the computational exercises, the proposed dual-preserving solver is computationally demonstrated to be efficient for use to predict the long-term accurate Maxwell’s solutions.
The clinical urination assist measures are usually taken to overcome the neurogenic bladder difficult to cure, but easily cause patients bladder stones, urinary system infection and other complications. To solve the problem of the urination assist of neurogenic bladder, a bladder power pump (BPP) driven by external electromagnet was proposed in this study according to the structure and micturition mechanism of human urinary bladder. The mathematic models of the BPP were established based on the theories of electromagnetics and fluid dynamics. A simulated experiment system with a bladder physical model for simulating human urinary system was designed according to the similarity criterion of fluid dynamincs. The micturition performance of the BPP was investigated by simulation and experiment. The results showed that the intravesical pressure and urine flow rate of the bladder physical model can be controlled by adjusting electromagnet exciting current. The micturition performance of the BPP is basically accordant with that of human urinary bladder detrusor. The established mathematic models are simple and practicable, which can provide the theoretical guidance for the performance analysis and structural optimization design of the BPP.
We derive the optical afterglow luminosity distributions at different epoches for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) from a sample of 146 GRBs that have a well-sampled optical afterglow lightcurve, then explore the luminosity function of GRB optical afterglows using the Monte Carlo simulation. We show that an intrinsic broken power-law luminosity function can well reproduced the observed magnitude distributions.
To investigate the missing compact star of Supernova 1987A, we analyzed the cooling and heating processes of a possible compact star based on the upper limit of observational X-ray luminosity. From the cooling process, we found that a solid quark-cluster star (SQS), having a stiffer equation of state than that of a conventional liquid quark star, has a heat capacity much smaller than a neutron star. The SQS can cool down quickly, naturally explaining the non-detection of a point source in X-ray wavelengths. On the other hand, we considered the heating processes due to magnetospheric activity and possible accretion and obtained some constraints on the parameters of a possible pulsar. Therefore, we concluded that a SQS can explain the observational limit in a confident parameter space. As a possible central compact object, the pulsar parameter constraints can be tested for SN1987A with advanced, future facilities.
GRBs are the most luminous events in the Universe. They are detectable from local to high-z universe and may serve as probes for high-z galaxies (e.g., Savaglio et al. 2009; Kewley & Dopita 2002). We compile the observations for 61 GRB host galaxies from literature. Their redshifts range from 0.0085 to 6.295. We present the statistical properties of the GRB host galaxies, including the stellar mass (M*), star-forming rate (SFR), metallicity (Z), extinction (AV), and neutral hydrogen column density (NH). We explore possible correlations among the properties of gamma-ray burst host galaxies and their cosmic evolution with observations of 61 GRB host galaxies. Our results are shown in Figure 1. A clear Z-M* relation is found in our sample, which is Z ~ M0.4. The host galaxies of local GRBs with detection of accompanied supernovae also share the same relation with high-z GRB host galaxies. A trend that a more massive host galaxy tends to have a higher star-formation rate is found. The best linear fit gives a tentative relation, i.e, SFR ~ M0.75. No any correlation is found between AV and NH. A GRB host galaxy at a higher redshift also tends to have a higher SFR. Even in the same redshift, the SFR may vary over three orders of magnitude. The metallicity of the GRB host galaxies is statistically higher than that of the QSO DLAs. The full version of our results please refer to Chen et al. (2012).
The durations (T90) of 315 GRBs detected with Fermi/GBM (8-1000 keV) by 2011 September are calculated using the Bayesian Block method. We compare the T90 distributions between this sample and that observed with previous/current GRB missions. We show that T90 is energy-band dependent and the observed bimodal T90 distribution would be due to the instrumental selection effect.
Annual H3N2 subtype influenza outbreaks in Guangdong, China are a severe public health issue and require ongoing monitoring of emerging viral variants. The variation and evolution of haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of influenza isolates from Guangdong during 2007–2011 and others from GenBank were analysed using Lasergene 7.1 and MEGA 5.05, and serological analysis of antigens was determined by haemagglutination inhibition (HI). Susceptibility to antiviral drugs was correlated with genetic mutations. Phylogenetic analysis and alignment of HA and NA genes were performed on 18 Guangdong isolates and 26 global reference strains. The non-synonymous (dN) evolutionary rate of HA1 was 3·13 times that of HA2. Compared with the A/Perth/16/2009 vaccine HA gene, homologies of Guangdong isolates were between 98·8–99·7% and 98·0–98·4% in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Amino-acid substitutions were found in five epitopes of HA1 from Guangdong isolates between 2007 and 2011, especially in epitopes B (N160K) and D (K174R/N). The K189E/N/Q and T228A mutations in the receptor-binding site (RBS) occurred in the 2010 strains, which affected the antigenicity of HA1. The antigenicity of the epidemic H3N2 isolates in 2010 was somewhat different from that of A/Perth/16/2009. The Guangdong H3N2 isolates were determined to be oseltamivir-resistant with IC50 of 0·396±0·085 nmol/l (n=17) and zanamivir-resistant with IC50 of 0·477±0·149 nmol/l (n=18). Variations were present in epitopes B and D, two sites in the RBS and two glycosylation sites in the Guangdong H3N2 HA1 gene. The majority of the Guangdong H3N2 isolates were sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir. Compared to the World Health Organization 2012 vaccine strains, Guangdong H3N2 strains varied genetically and antigenically to some degree.
A thermally-activated micelle consisting of a crystallizable poly(caprolactone), PCL, core and a poly(ethylene glycol), PEG, corona was developed to contain magnetic nanoparticles and anti-cancer agent doxorubicin as well as display a targeting RGD peptide. This system has the potential to target cancer cells, deliver combination hyperthermia and chemotherapy, and offer magnetic resonance imaging contrast. The micelles self-assemble in aqueous solutions and form a crystalline core with a melting transition ranging from 40 to 50 °C, depending on the length of the PCL blocks, with dynamic light scattering showing micelle sizes typically ranging from 20 to 100 nm, depending on block lengths and added drug or nanoparticles. The micelles become unstable as they are heated above their melting point, creating a thermally-activated drug release mechanism. By adding magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles into the PCL core, the micelles can be heated using an externally applied AC magnetic field to induce hyperthermia in combination with the thermally-activated drug release. The polymers and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized and characterized in our laboratories. The melting transitions of the PCL micelle cores were investigated using microcalorimetry. The heating of nanoparticles and magnetomicelles was conducted using a custom-built hyperthermia coil capable of generating fields of several hundred Oersteds at frequencies ranging from 50 to 450 kHz. Heating of MNPs was maximized at high field intensities. RGD peptides were attached to the PEG corona using maleimide chemistry, and the ability of the RGD-derivatized micelles to target integrin-expressing cells was investigated using fluorescent dye PKH26 to identify the localization of micelles in cultured human kidney (293) cells in vitro. The crystallizable (and meltable) cores in these micelles were designed to overcome drug leakage common in liposome systems and release the drug on demand after a period of time for localization to integrin receptors.
Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) possess unique structural and functional properties. Their ability to be functionalized with different biomolecules makes them excellent candidates for biomedical applications like targeted drug delivery and cancer diagnostics. However, prior to use in therapeutic applications, biocompatibility of SWNTs needs to be thoroughly investigated. Blood is a living tissue and contains cells which can potentially interact with SWNTs during the drug delivery process. The interaction of leukocytes in blood with the SWNTs can provide information regarding the immune response of the host to the nanotubes. Here, we evaluated the acute immune response of leukocytes in blood to SWNTs via (a) direct interaction, due to the presence of SWNTs in circulation and (b) indirect interaction, due to the presentation of SWNTs to leukocytes via antigen presenting cells. These SWNTs were non-covalently functionalized with single stranded DNA (ss-DNA) that acts as a surfactant for suspending SWNTs in aqueous solutions and also serves as a backbone for attaching and transporting different biomolecules. Isolation of cells from blood was done using density gradient centrifugation. Early activation markers were used to study the activation of different leukocyte subpopulations and any activation results in changes of these markers. Flow cytometry was done to analyze the different subpopulations. Results of our study demonstrated that ss-DNA functionalized SWNTs do not elicit an immune response from leukocytes in blood via direct or indirect interaction. This intensive study demonstrates the biocompatibility of single walled carbon nanotubes and paves the way for their safe use in drug delivery and cancer therapeutics without cytotoxicity.