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We investigate the dynamic evolution of the price discovery function in Chinese agricultural futures markets using a newly developed rolling window cointegration approach. The results show that, compared with wheat and rice, the futures-spot cointegration relationship in the soybean and corn markets tends to be more durable and frequent. Dynamic cointegration analysis indicates that the recent market-oriented reforms in China have boosted the price discovery function of soybean and corn futures markets, whereas price stabilization policies tend to weaken the price discovery function of futures markets. The difference in price discovery function is attributed to differences in market mechanisms and Chinese agricultural policies.
Image stitching is important for the perception and manipulation of undersea robots. In spite of a well-developed technique, it is still challenging for undersea images because of their inevitable appearance ambiguity caused by the limited light in the undersea environment, and local disturbance caused by moving objects, ocean current, etc. To get a clean and stable background panorama in the undersea environment, this paper proposes an undersea image-stitching method by introducing graph-based registration and blending procedures. Specifically, in the registration procedure, matching the features in each undersea image pair is formulated and solved by graph matching, to incorporate the structural information between features. In the blending procedure, an energy function on the indirect graph Markov random field is proposed, which takes both image consistency and neighboring consistency into consideration. Coincidentally, both graph matching and energy minimization can be mathematically formulated by integer quadratic programming problems with different constraints; the recently proposed graduated nonconvexity and concavity procedure is used to optimize both problems. Experiments on both synthetic images and real-world undersea images witness the effectiveness of the proposed method.
There is little evidence in China regarding the cost-effectiveness of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for Down syndrome (DS). This study aims to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of NIPT and provide evidence to inform decision-making.
To determine the cost-effectiveness of NIPT for DS, a decision-analytic model was developed using the TreeAge Pro software from a societal perspective in a simulated cohort of 10 000 pregnant women. Main indicators were based on field surveys from sampled hospitals in four locations in China and a literature review.
The conventional maternal serum screening (CMSS) strategy, contingent screening strategy (NIPT delivered to high risk pregnant women after CMSS), and universal screening strategy could prevent 3.02, 7.53, and 9.97 DS births, respectively. NIPT would decrease unnecessary invasive procedures, resulting in fewer procedure-related miscarriages. The cost-effectiveness ratio of the contingent screening strategy was the lowest. When compared with the CMSS strategy, the incremental cost per DS birth averted by the contingent screening strategy and universal screening strategy were USD 20,160 and 352,388, respectively. One-way sensitivity analysis showed that, if the cost of NIPT could be decreased to USD 76.92, the cost-effectiveness ratio of the universal screening strategy would be lower than the CMSS strategy.
Although NIPT has the merits of greater effectiveness and safety, CMSS is unlikely to be replaced by NIPT at this time because of NIPT's higher cost. Contingent screening may be an appropriate strategy to balance the effectiveness and cost factors of the new genetic testing technology.
Ceramics are strong but brittle. According to the classical theories, ceramics are brittle mainly because dislocations are suppressed by cracks. Here, the authors report the combined elastic and plastic deformation measurements of nanoceramics, in which dislocation-mediated stiff and ductile behaviors were detected at room temperature. In the synchrotron-based deformation experiments, a marked slope change is observed in the stress–strain relationship of MgAl2O4 nanoceramics at high pressures, indicating that a deformation mechanism shift occurs in the compression and that the nanoceramics sample is elastically stiffer than its bulk counterpart. The bulk-sized MgAl2O4 shows no texturing at pressures up to 37 GPa, which is compatible with the brittle behaviors of ceramics. Surprisingly, substantial texturing is seen in nanoceramic MgAl2O4 at pressures above 4 GPa. The observed stiffening and texturing indicate that dislocation-mediated mechanisms, usually suppressed in bulk-sized ceramics at low temperature, become operative in nanoceramics. This makes nanoceramics stiff and ductile.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
High-peak-power transform-limited narrow-linewidth nanosecond all-fiber lasers are desired in a range of applications. However, their linewidths will be broadened by self-phase modulation (SPM). We propose a novel concept that generates transform-limited laser pulses by temporally shaping the pulse seed. The impact of the pulse shape on SPM-induced spectral broadening was studied numerically and experimentally. It was found theoretically that the square-shape pulsed laser is immune to SPM-induced spectral broadening. Based on this principle, we built a high-peak-power, linearly polarized, square-shape nanosecond all-fiber laser in a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) configuration. Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) limited peak powers of 4.02 kW, 5.06 kW, 6.52 kW and 9.30 kW were obtained at pulse widths of 8 ns, 7 ns, 6 ns and 5 ns. Thanks to the square-shape pulsed seed, the linewidths at maximum peak power remained at 129.5 MHz, 137.6 MHz, 156.2 MHz and 200.1 MHz, respectively, close to the transform-limited values of 110.8 MHz, 126.6 MHz, 147.7 MHz and 177.3 MHz.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Nutrition therapy is considered an important treatment of burn patients. The aim of the study was to delineate the nutritional support in severe burn patients and to investigate association between nutritional practice and clinical outcomes. Severe burn patients were enrolled (n 100). In 90 % of the cases, the burn injury covered above 70 % of the total body surface area. Mean interval from injury to nutrition start was 2·4 (sd 1·1) d. Sixty-seven patients were initiated with enteral nutrition (EN) with a median time of 1 d from injury to first feed. Twenty-two patients began with parenteral nutrition (PN). During the study, thirty-two patients developed EN intolerance. Patients received an average of about 70 % of prescribed energy and protein. Patients with EN providing <30 % energy had significantly higher 28- d and in-hospital mortality than patients with EN providing more than 30 % of energy. Mortality at 28 d was 11 % and in-hospital mortality was 45 %. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that EN providing <30 % energy and septic shock were independent risk factors for 28- d prognosis. EN could be initiated early in severe burn patients. Majority patients needed PN supplementation for energy requirement and EN feeding intolerance. Post-pyloric feeding is more efficient than gastric feeding in EN tolerance and energy supplement. It is difficult for severe burn patients to obtain enough feeding, especially in the early stage of the disease. More than 2 weeks of underfeeding is harmful to recovery.
Identifying the relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O at a regional scale is critical for quantifying the impacts of human activities on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission under changing environments. In this study we used a regional dataset from China including 197 soil samples and six land-use types to evaluate the main predictors (land use, heavy metals, soil pH, soil moisture, substrate availability, functional and broad microbial abundances) of potential denitrification using multivariate and pathway analysis. Our results provide empirical evidence that soils on farms have the greatest potential denitrifying ability (PDA) (10.92±6.08ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1) followed by urban soil (6.80±5.35ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1). Our models indicate that land use (low vs. high human activity), followed by total nitrogen (TN) and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) was the most important driver of PDA. In addition, our path analysis suggests that at least part of the impacts of land use on potential denitrification were mediated via microbial abundance, soil pH and substrates including TN, dissolved organic carbon and nitrate. This study identifies the main predictors of denitrification at a regional scale which is needed to quantify the impact of human activities on ecosystem functionality under changing conditions.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) publish recommendations for cancer prevention. The present study aimed to estimate the association between adherence to these cancer-specific prevention recommendations and subsequent development of cancer in a prospective cohort.
A composite adherence score was constructed based on questionnaire data to reflect overall adherence to WCRF/AICR lifestyle-related recommendations on body fatness, physical activity, diet and alcoholic drinks. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to assess the association (hazard ratio; 95 % CI) between the adherence score and risk of developing cancer.
Alberta’s Tomorrow Project, a prospective cohort study.
Men and women (n 25 100, mean age at enrolment 50·5 years) recruited between 2001 and 2009 with no previous cancer diagnosis were included in analyses.
Cancer cases (n 2066) were identified during a mean follow-up of 11·7 years. Participants who were most adherent to the selected WCRF/AICR recommendations (composite score: 4–6) were 13 % (0·87; 0·78, 0·98) less likely to develop cancer compared with those who were least adherent (composite score: 0–2). Each additional recommendation met corresponded to a 5 % (0·95; 0·91, 0·99) reduction in risk of developing cancer. When stratified by sex, the associations remained significant for women, but not for men.
Adherence to lifestyle-related cancer prevention recommendations was associated with reduced risk of developing cancer over the follow-up term in this Canadian cohort.
This paper reports the design, analysis, and control of a miniature vibration-driven planar locomotion robot called Shell. A vibration-driven system is able to achieve locomotion based on internal oscillations and anisotropic friction forces. In this robot design, two parallel oscillators are employed to provide propelling forces, and a blade-like support is designed to generate anisotropic frictional contact with the ground. If the two parallel oscillators are of different frequencies and amplitudes, two-dimensional locomotion of the robot can be achieved. To predict the robot's planar locomotion, a dynamic model is developed. Controlling the robot's locomotion and especially, the locomotion modes can be achieved by adjusting the vibration frequencies of the two internal oscillators. Experimental results show that Shell can be controlled to move rectilinearly and along circles with certain curvatures. In addition, by combining these basic trajectories, Shell can move freely on a horizontal plane.
To produce pulses with good flat-top quality, pulse-forming lines (PFLs) have been widely used in the field of Tesla-type pulse generators. To shorten the physical length of the PFL, a double-width PFL (DWPFL) is proposed that doubles the output pulse width while maintaining flat-top quality. A repetitively 10 GW Tesla-type long-pulse generator producing pulses with flat-top width of about 110 ns was developed with a coaxial DWPFL to produce high-current electron beams. Electron beams of about 10 GW with flat-top widths of about 110 ns were obtained on a planar vacuum diode load. With this pulse generator and a C-band high-power microwave system, microwaves of ~2.2 GW power and full-width at half-maximum of 101 ns were generated. The experiment demonstrates the feasibility and ideal output waveform quality of the DWPFL.
Holland's RIASEC vocational interest typology may not be fully applicable to Chinese populations, and adapting models from Western cultures directly may fail to address important constructs specifically tied to the Chinese cultural background. This study made an exploration into Chinese college students’ vocational interests and built a new self-report vocational interests scale based on Chinese university student samples. In study 1, researchers constructed a self-report vocational interests inventory developed from an item pool based on open-ended questionnaires and previous scales. Nine dimensions were identified through exploratory factor analysis: Artistic, Biotic, Conventional, Expressive, Investigative, Operational, Social, Enterprising, and Adventurous. In study 2, confirmatory factor analysis was employed to test its construct validity, and the indexes indicated good fit. Empirical evidence proved adequate homogeneity reliability and test–retest reliability, as well as sufficient concurrent validity with the Self-Directed Search. Thus, evidence lent support for the psychometrical properties of this scale. This exploratory research may expand our view of cross-cultural, vocational interest theories.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary live yeast (LY) supplementation on growth, intestinal permeability and immunological parameters of piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). Piglets weaned at 21 d were allocated into three treatments with six pens and six piglets per pen, receiving the control diet (CON), diets supplemented with antibiotics plus zinc oxide (ANT–ZnO) and LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CNCM I-4407), respectively, for a period of 2 weeks. On day 8, thirty-six piglets were selected as control without ETEC (CON), CON–ETEC, ANT–ZnO–ETEC and LY–ETEC groups challenged with ETEC until day 10 for sample collections. Piglets fed ANT–ZnO diet had the highest average daily gain and average daily feed intake (P<0·05) during the 1st week, but ADG of piglets fed the ANT–ZnO diet was similar as piglets fed LY diet during the second week. Piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC had markedly lower diarrhoea score (P<0·05) than piglets with CON–ETEC during the 24 h after ETEC challenge. Relative to piglets with CON, the counts of E. coli, urinary ratio of lactulose to mannitol, plasma IL-6 concentration, mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes in ileum and mesenteric lymph node tissues were increased (P<0·05), whereas the villous height of jejunum and relative protein expression of ileum claudin-1 were decreased (P<0·05) in piglets with CON–ETEC; however, these parameters did not markedly change in piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC. In summary, dietary LY supplementation could alleviate the severity of diarrhoea in piglets with ETEC, which may be associated with the improved permeability, innate immunity and bacterial profile.
A novel scheme for power-combined frequency tripler adopting 2N diodes is proposed in this work. Even mode coupled suspended substrate stripline is used to divide and recombine the input and output power. The circuits of the tripler are printed on both sides of the substrate, with N diodes on the front side and the other N diodes on the back side. The front diodes and back diodes are in anti-parallel connection, and DC biased separately to increase the bandwidth and power capacity. Three Q-band prototypes with two, four, and six diodes are fabricated and tested. The output compression powers at output frequency of 43.5 GHz for two/four/six-diode tripler are 9.2, 11, and 12 dBm, respectively. Power capacity is improved with the proposed tripler. Optimum DC bias is also discussed in this work, and it is found that it first increases with drive power, and then drops when large drive power applied because of the increased series resistance of the diode due to high junction temperature.
To explore cross-sectional adherence to cancer prevention recommendations by adults enrolled in a prospective cohort in Alberta, Canada.
Questionnaire data were used to construct a composite cancer prevention adherence score for each participant, based on selected personal recommendations published by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007). Data were self-reported on health and lifestyle, past-year physical activity and past-year FFQ. The scores accounted for physical activity, dietary supplement use, body size, and intakes of alcohol, fruit, vegetables and red meat. Tobacco exposure was also included. Scores ranged from 0 (least adherent) to 7 (most adherent).
Alberta’s Tomorrow Project; a research platform based on a prospective cohort.
Adult men and women (n 24 988) aged 35–69 years recruited by random digit dialling and enrolled in Alberta’s Tomorrow Project between 2001 and 2009.
Of the cohort, 14 % achieved adherence scores ≥5 and 60 % had scores ≤3. Overall adherence scores were higher in women (mean (sd): 3·4 (1·1)) than in men (3·0 (1·2)). The extent of overall adherence was also associated with level of education, employment status, annual household income, personal history of chronic disease, family history of chronic disease and age.
Reported adherence to selected personal recommendations for cancer prevention was low in this cohort of adults. In the short to medium term, these results suggest that more work is required to identify behaviours to target with cancer prevention strategies at a population level. Future work will explore the associations between adherence scores and cancer risk in this cohort.
Semi-Lagrangian (S-L) methods have no CFL stability constraint, and are more stable than the Eulerian methods. In the literature, the S-L method for the level-set re-initialization equation was complicated, which may be unnecessary. Since the re-initialization procedure is auxiliary, we propose to use the first-order S-L scheme coupled with a projection technique to improve the accuracy at the grid points just adjacent to the interface. Standard second-order S-L method is used for evolving the level-set convection equation. The implementation is simple, including on the block-structured adaptive mesh. The efficiency of the S-L method is demonstrated by extensive numerical examples including passive convection of interfaces with corners/kinks/large deformation under given velocity fields, a geometrical flow with topological changes, simulations of bubble/ droplet dynamics in incompressible two-phase flows. In terms of accuracy it is comparable to the other existing methods.