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The impacts of training image sizes and optimizers on deep convolutional neural networks for weed detection in alfalfa have not been well explored. In this research, AlexNet, GoogLeNet, VGGNet, and ResNet were trained with various sizes of input images, including 200 × 200, 400 × 400, 600 × 600, and 800 × 800 pixels, and deep learning optimizers including Adagrad, AdaDelta, Adaptive Moment Estimation (Adam) and Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD). Increasing input image sizes reduced the classification accuracy of all neural networks. The neural networks trained with the input images of 200 × 200 pixels resulted in better classification accuracy than the other image sizes investigated here. The optimizers affected the performance of the neural networks for weed detection. AlexNet and GoogLeNet trained with AdaDelta and SGD outperformed Adagrad and Adam; VGGNet trained with AdaDelta outperformed Adagrad, Adam, and SGD; and ResNet trained with AdaDelta and Adagrad outperformed the Adam and SGD. When the neural networks were trained with the best-performed input image size (200 × 200 pixels) and the deep learning optimizer, VGGNet was the most effective neural network with high precision and recall values (≥0.99) in the validation and testing datasets. At the same time, ResNet was the least effective neural network for classifying images containing weeds. However, the detection accuracy did not differ between broadleaf and grass weeds for the different neural networks studied here. The developed neural networks can be used for scouting weed infestations in alfalfa and further integrated into the machine vision subsystem of smart sprayers for site-specific weed control.
To bolster its legitimacy, China's authoritarian regime has launched numerous anticorruption campaigns. Many of these anticorruption campaigns seemed tainted by intra-elite competition and only effective at deterring low- and mid-level cadres (i.e., ‘flies’). Yet, Xi's campaign differs notably from previous ones in his targeting of senior officials (i.e., ‘tigers’) and introduction of institutional changes. By integrating anti-corruption data with three waves of nationwide surveys conducted in 36 major cities in China (2011, 2012, and 2015), we explore and compare the impacts of anti-corruption campaigns on popular political support under Hu and Xi. Our analysis shows that the overall popular support has declined steadily overtime, despite the positive effects of Xi's anti-corruption campaign. Specifically, ordinary Chinese did react positively to Xi's anticorruption campaign. Xi's campaign, particularly his crackdown on ‘tigers,’ increased people's trust in the central government. However, the campaign fell short in restoring the decline of central and local government legitimacy.
Evaluating the association of water intake and hydration status with nephrolithiasis risk at the population level.
It is a cross-sectional study in which daily total plain water intake and total fluid intake were estimated together with blood osmolality, urine creatinine, urine osmolality, urine flow rate (UFR), free water clearance (FWC) and urine/blood osmolality ratio (Uosm:Bosm). The associations of fluid intake and hydration markers with nephrolithiasis were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression.
General US population.
A total of 8195 adults aged 20 years or older from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2009–2012 cycles.
The population medians (interquartile ranges, IQR) for daily total plain water intake and total fluid intake were 807 (336–1481) and 2761 (2107–3577) ml/d, respectively. The adjusted OR (95 % CI) of nephrolithiasis for each IQR increase in total plain water intake and total fluid intake were 0·92 (95 % CI 0·79, 1·06) and 0·84 (95 % CI 0·72, 0·97), respectively. The corresponding OR of nephrolithiasis for UFR, blood osmolality, Uosm:Bosm and urine creatinine were 0·87 (95 % CI 0·76, 0·99), 1·18 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·32), 1·38 (95 % CI 1·17, 1·63) and 1·27 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·45), respectively. A linear protective relationship of fluid intake, UFR and FWC with nephrolithiasis risk was observed. Similarly, positive dose–response associations of nephrolithiasis risk with markers of insufficient hydration were identified. Encouraging a daily water intake of >2500 ml/d and maintaining a urine output of 2 l/d was associated with a lower prevalence of nephrolithiasis.
This study verified the beneficial role of general water intake recommendations in nephrolithiasis prevention in the general US population.
To investigate the effect of maternal hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carrier status during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes in a population of patients in Hangzhou, China. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to analyse data from 20 753 pregnant women who delivered at Hangzhou Women's Hospital between January 2015 and March 2020. Of these, 18 693 were normal pregnant women (the non-exposed group) and 735 were HBsAg carriers (the exposed group). We then analysed by binary multivariate logistic regression to determine the association between maternal HBsAg-positive and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The prevalence of HBsAg carriers was 3.78% and the odds ratio (OR) for maternal age in the exposed group was 1.081. Pregnant women who are HBsAg-positive in Hangzhou, China, are at higher risk of a range of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) (adjusted OR (aOR) 3.169), low birth weight (aOR 2.337), thrombocytopenia (aOR 2.226), fallopian cysts (aOR 1.610), caesarean scar pregnancy (aOR 1.283), foetal distress (aOR 1.414). Therefore, the obstetricians should pay particular attention to ICP, low birth weight, thrombocytopenia, fallopian cysts, caesarean scar, foetal distress in HBsAg-positive pregnant women.
At present, the frontier-based exploration has been one of the mainstream methods in autonomous robot exploration. Among the frontier-based algorithms, the method of searching frontiers based on rapidly exploring random trees consumes less computing resources with higher efficiency and performs well in full-perceptual scenarios. However, in the partially perceptual cases, namely when the environmental structure is beyond the perception range of robot sensors, the robot often lingers in a restricted area, and the exploration efficiency is reduced. In this article, we propose a decision-making method for robot exploration by integrating the estimated path information gain and the frontier information. The proposed method includes the topological structure information of the environment on the path to the candidate frontier in the frontier selection process, guiding the robot to select a frontier with rich environmental information to reduce perceptual uncertainty. Experiments are carried out in different environments with the state-of-the-art RRT-exploration method as a reference. Experimental results show that with the proposed strategy, the efficiency of robot exploration has been improved obviously.
Diarrhea caused by pathogens such as enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is a serious threat to the health of young animals and human infants. Here, we investigated the protective effect of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) on the intestinal epithelium with ETEC-challenge in a weaned piglet model. Twenty-four weaned piglets were randomly divided into three groups: (1) non-ETEC-challenged control (CON), (2) ETEC-challenged control (ECON), and (3) ETEC challenge + 2.5 g/kg FOS (EFOS). On day 19, the CON pigs were orally infused with sterile culture, while the ECON and EFOS pigs were orally infused with active ETEC (2.5 × 109 colony-forming units). On day 21, pigs were slaughtered to collect venous blood and small intestine. Result showed that the pre-treatment of FOS improved the antioxidant capacity and the integrity of intestinal barrier in the ETEC-challenged pigs without affecting their growth performance. Specifically, comparing with ECON pigs, the level of GSH-Px (glutathione peroxidase) and CAT (catalase) in the plasma and intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs was increased (P<0.05), and the intestinal barrier marked by ZO-1 and plasmatic DAO was also improved in EFOS pigs. A lower level (P<0.05) of inflammatory cytokines in the intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs might be involved in the inhibition of TLR4/MYD88/NF-κB pathway. The apoptosis of jejunal cells in EFOS pigs was also lower than that in ECON pigs (P<0.05). Our findings provide convincing evidence of possible prebiotic and protective effect of FOS on the maintenance of intestinal epithelial function under the attack of pathogens.
During the late Palaeozoic Era, a series of related marine strata dominated by multi-layer limestones were deposited in the southern North China Craton. In order to gain new insights into the systematic geochemistry of the carbonate succession of the representative formation (Taiyuan Formation), we examined 59 limestone samples collected from the Huaibei Coal Basin (HCB), with a view towards quantitatively determining the major and trace elements and stable isotope compositions. The data obtained can provide essential evidence for reconstruction of the depositional palaeo-environment and tectonic setting of the Taiyuan Formation. Both X-ray diffraction analyses and palaeoredox proxies (e.g. V/Cr, V/(V + Ni) and authigenic U) indicated that the limestone layers were deposited in an oxic–dysoxic zone, with calcite as the main component. Moreover, palaeomagnetic evidence provided support for the conclusion that these limestones were laid down within an epicontinental sea depositional environment under a warm or hot palaeoclimate during the transition between late Carboniferous and early Permian time. Additionally, evidence obtained from our analyses of trace and rare earth elements revealed that the tectonic setting of the Taiyuan Formation (L1–L5) in the HCB transited from an open ocean to a passive continental margin, thereby indicating that this transformation stemmed from the subduction closure of the northeastern Palaeotethys Ocean. The findings of this study would be of interest to those working on the upper Palaeozoic marine strata in the southern North China Craton.
Schistosomiasis has been subjected to extensive control efforts in the People's Republic of China (China) which aims to eliminate the disease by 2030. We describe baseline results of a longitudinal cohort study undertaken in the Dongting and Poyang lakes areas of central China designed to determine the prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum in humans, animals (goats and bovines) and Oncomelania snails utilizing molecular diagnostics procedures. Data from the Chinese National Schistosomiasis Control Programme (CNSCP) were compared with the molecular results obtained.
Sixteen villages from Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were surveyed; animals were only found in Hunan. The prevalence of schistosomiasis in humans was 1.8% in Jiangxi and 8.0% in Hunan determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while 18.3% of animals were positive by digital droplet PCR. The CNSCP data indicated that all villages harboured S. japonicum-infected individuals, detected serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA), but very few, if any, of these were subsequently positive by Kato-Katz (KK).
Based on the outcome of the IHA and KK results, the CNSCP incorporates targeted human praziquantel chemotherapy but this approach can miss some infections as evidenced by the results reported here. Sensitive molecular diagnostics can play a key role in the elimination of schistosomiasis in China and inform control measures allowing for a more systematic approach to treatment.
This study investigates the mechanism by which maternal protein restriction induces hepatic autophagy-related gene expression in the offspring of rats. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a control diet (C, 18 % energy from protein) or a low-protein diet (LP, 8·5 % energy from protein) during gestation, followed by the control diet during lactation and post-weaning. Liver tissue was collected from the offspring at postnatal day 38 and divided into four groups according to sex and maternal diet (F-C, F-LP, M-C and M-LP) for further analysis. Autophagy-related mRNA and protein levels were determined by real-time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. In addition, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) was performed to investigate the interactions between transcription factors and autophagy-related genes. Protein levels of p- eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2a and activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) were increased only in the female offspring born to dams fed the LP diet. Correlatively, the mRNA expression of hepatic autophagy-related genes including Map1lc3b, P62/Sqstm1, Becn1, Atg3, Atg7 and Atg10 was significantly greater in the F-LP group than in the F-C group. Furthermore, ChIP results showed greater ATF4 and C/EBP homology protein (CHOP) binding at the regions of a set of autophagy-related genes in the F-LP group than in the F-C group. Our data demonstrated that a maternal LP diet transcriptionally programmed hepatic autophagy-related gene expression only in female rat offspring. This transcriptional programme involved the activation of the eIF2α/ATF4 pathway and intricate regulation by transcription factors ATF4 and CHOP.
This study investigates how venture capital firms (VCs) choose syndication partners. Exponential random graph models of Chinese VC syndication networks from 2006 to 2013 show that the homophily mechanism does not always determine VCs’ partner selection. In selecting partners, VCs have to strike a balance between reducing uncertainty and mobilizing heterogeneous resources. Therefore, decisions about partners depend on institutional uncertainty and VCs’ investment preferences. While VCs that focus on traditional business in an immature market are more likely to form homogeneous syndications, their peers that prefer to invest in innovative companies and that can rely on a stable market tend to syndicate with heterogeneous partners.
This study aims to investigate women’s psychological health, family function, and social support during the third trimester within the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic.
From January 30, 2020, to February 26, 2020, a total of 177 pregnant women during their third trimester (mean gestation time was 37.05 ± 4.06 wk) in a maternal and children’s hospital were investigated using the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the Family APGAR Index, and the Perceived Social Support Scale. Nonparametric tests were conducted in the study. The statistical significance was set as P < 0.05.
The incidence rate of the participants’ anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 epidemic was 19.21% and 24.29%, respectively. The participants’ greatest concerns in the previous week were the risk of virus transmission (79.66%), and the prenatal examination and fetal growth (70.62%). The SAS ranks were higher in the participants who were concerned about the prenatal examination and fetal growth and work-related affairs.
The participants’ psychological health was indirectly affected by the epidemic through the supply of medical resources and work-related factors. The medical staff should employ family support and social resources to guarantee the accessibility of medical services and living materials to decrease the pregnant women’s stress and further improve their psychological health.
The present study evaluated whether fat mass assessment using the triceps skinfold (TSF) thickness provides additional prognostic value to the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) framework in patients with lung cancer (LC). We performed an observational cohort study including 2672 LC patients in China. Comprehensive demographic, disease and nutritional characteristics were collected. Malnutrition was retrospectively defined using the GLIM criteria, and optimal stratification was used to determine the best thresholds for the TSF. The associations of malnutrition and TSF categories with survival were estimated independently and jointly by calculating multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR). Malnutrition was identified in 808 (30·2 %) patients, and the best TSF thresholds were 9·5 mm in men and 12 mm in women. Accordingly, 496 (18·6 %) patients were identified as having a low TSF. Patients with concurrent malnutrition and a low TSF had a 54 % (HR = 1·54, 95 % CI = 1·25, 1·88) greater death hazard compared with well-nourished individuals, which was also greater compared with malnourished patients with a normal TSF (HR = 1·23, 95 % CI = 1·06, 1·43) or malnourished patients without TSF assessment (HR = 1·31, 95 % CI = 1·14, 1·50). These associations were concentrated among those patients with adequate muscle mass (as indicated by the calf circumference). Additional fat mass assessment using the TSF enhances the prognostic value of the GLIM criteria. Using the population-derived thresholds for the TSF may provide significant prognostic value when used in combination with the GLIM criteria to guide strategies to optimise the long-term outcomes in patients with LC.
This study analyzed the effects of the day of trophectoderm (TE) biopsy and blastocyst grade on clinical and neonatal outcomes. The results showed that the implantation and live birth rates of day 5 (D5) TE biopsy were significantly higher compared with those of D6 TE biopsy. The miscarriage rate of the former was lower than that of the latter, but there was no statistically significant difference. Higher quality blastocysts can achieve better implantation and live birth rates. Among good quality blastocysts, the implantation and live birth rates of D5 and D6 TE biopsy were not significantly different. Among fair quality and poor quality blastocysts, the implantation and live birth rates of D5 TE biopsy were significantly higher compared with those of D6 TE biopsy. Neither blastocyst grade nor the day of TE biopsy significantly affected the miscarriage rate. Neonatal outcomes, including newborn sex, gestational age, preterm birth, birth weight and low birth weight in the D5 and D6 TE biopsies were not significantly different. Both blastocyst grade and the day of TE biopsy must be considered at the same time when performing preimplantation genetic testing–frozen embryo transfer.
Urinary Na excretion is a potential risk factor for CVD. However, the underlying biological mechanisms and effects of salt sensitivity are unclear. The purpose of this study was to characterise the relative contribution of biological factors to the Na–CVD association. A total of 2112 participants were enrolled in this study. Structured questionnaires and blood and urine samples were obtained. Twenty-four-hour Na excretion was estimated using a single overnight urine sample. Hypertension, the metabolic syndrome and overweight status were considered to indicate salt sensitivity. Cox proportional hazard models were used to investigate the effects of salt sensitivity on urinary Na excretion and CVD risk. The traditional mediation approach was used to calculate the proportion of mediation. The mean age (sd) of the 2112 participants was 54·5 (sd 12·2) years, and they were followed up for a mean of 14·1 (sd 8·1) years. Compared with those in the lowest quartile, the highest baseline urinary Na excretion (>4·2 g/24 h) was associated with a 43 % higher CVD risk (hazard ratio, 1·43; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·99). Participants with high urinary Na excretion, hypertension or the metabolic syndrome had a significantly high risk of CVD. The carotid intima-media thickness had the largest mediating effect (accounting for 35 % of the Na–CVD association), followed by systolic blood pressure (BP) (33 %), left ventricular mass (28 %) and diastolic BP (14 %). Higher urinary Na excretion increased the risk of CVD, which was explained largely by carotid media-thickness and systolic BP.
The aim of this study was to present the clinical characteristics and dynamic changes in laboratory parameters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Guangzhou, and explore the probable early warning indicators of disease progression.
We enrolled all the patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital. The patients’ demographic and epidemiologic data were collected, including chief complaints, lab results, and imaging examination findings.
The characteristics of the patients in Guangzhou are different from those in Wuhan. The patients were younger in age, predominately female, and their condition was not commonly combined with other diseases. A total of 75% of patients suffered fever on admission, followed by cough occurring in 62% patients. Comparing the mild/normal and severe/critical patients, being male, of older age, combined with hypertension, abnormal blood routine test results, raised creatine kinase, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time, and positive proteinuria were early warning indicators of severe disease.
The patients outside epidemic areas showed different characteristics from those in Wuhan. The abnormal laboratory parameters were markedly changed 4 weeks after admission, and also were different between the mild and severe patients. More evidence is needed to confirm highly specific and sensitive potential early warning indicators of severe disease.
Alligatorweed [Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.] is an invasive semiaquatic weed that poses a serious threat to agricultural production and ecological balance worldwide. However, information about genetic factors associated with the adaptation and invasion mechanisms of this species is limited. Screening for appropriate reference genes is important for gene expression and functional analysis research in A. philoxeroides. In this study, 30 candidate genes that showed stable expression in different A. philoxeroides tissues under various treatments in RNA-seq data were chosen to design quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) primers. After the amplification specificity validation, 25 candidates were selected and further evaluated in a diverse set of A. philoxeroides samples, including leaf, stem, and root tissues under drought, salinity, heat, chilling, five herbicides, and corresponding untreated controls using qRT-PCR. The delta-CT method, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder algorithms were used to identify stable reference genes from A. philoxeroides samples. Overall, CoA, RFI2, Tubby, SRP19, and V-ATPase were the top five ideal reference genes in all organs and conditions. Tubby and CoA were the most stable reference genes in the leaf/stem; and RFI2, ERprr, and SPR19 were suitable reference genes for the roots. This work provided a foundation for exploring gene expression profiling of A. philoxeroides, especially those adaptation- and invasion-related genes, which may help in management of this invasive weed.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.