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It is important to maintain the psychological well-being of front-line healthcare staff during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
To examine COVID-19-related stress and its immediate psychological impact on healthcare staff.
All healthcare staff working in the fever clinic, from 20 January 2020 to 26 March 2020, of a tertiary general hospital were enrolled. Stress management procedures were in place to alleviate concerns about the respondents’ own health and the health of their families, to help them adjust their work and to provide psychological support via a hotline. Qualitative interviews were undertaken and the Sources of Distress and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) were administered.
Among the 102 participants (25 males; median age 30 years, interquartile range (IQR) = 27–36), the median IES-R total score was 3 (IQR = 0–8), and 6 participants (6.0%) scored above the cut-off on the IES-R (≥20). Safety and security were acceptable or better for 92 (90.2%) participants. The top four sources of distress were worry about the health of one's family/others at 0.88 (IQR = 0.25–1.25), worry about the virus spread at 0.50 (IQR = 0.00–1.00), worry about changes in work at 0.50 (IQR = 0.00–1.00) and worry about one's own health at 0.25 (IQR = 0.25–0.75). There was a moderate correlation between the IES-R score and the Sources of Distress score (rho = 0.501, P = 0.001).
The stress levels of healthcare staff in the fever clinic during the COVID-19 epidemic were not elevated. Physio-psychosocial interventions, including fulfilment of basic needs, activation of self-efficacy and psychological support, are helpful and worth recommending in fighting COVID-19.
Classification of wines with a large number of correlated covariates may lead to classification results that are difficult to interpret. In this study, we use a publicly available dataset on wines from three known cultivars, where there are 13 highly correlated variables measuring chemical compounds of wines. The goal is to produce an efficient classifier with straightforward interpretation to shed light on the important features of wines in the classification. To achieve the goal, we incorporate principal component analysis (PCA) in the k-nearest neighbor (kNN) classification to deal with the serious multicollinearity among the explanatory variables. PCA can identify the underlying dominant features and provide a more succinct and straightforward summary over the correlated covariates. The study shows that kNN combined with PCA yields a much simpler and interpretable classifier that has comparable performance with kNN based on all the 13 variables. The appropriate number of principal components is chosen to strike a balance between predictive accuracy and simplicity of interpretation. Our final classifier is based on only two principal components, which can be interpreted as the strength of taste and level of alcohol and fermentation in wines, respectively. (JEL Classifications: C10, Cl4, D83)
Global warming will directly influence agricultural production and present new challenges for food security in semiarid regions of China. A warming experiment was conducted in Guyuan, China using infrared ray radiators to study the impact of warming on crop growth, yield and quality of a potato–broad bean–winter wheat crop rotation system. Warming significantly affected the crop photosynthesis rates of the potato–broad bean–winter wheat rotation system. In the podding stage of broad bean and the heading, blooming and booting stages of winter wheat, the photosynthesis rate was significantly decreased when the temperature increased by 0.5–2.0°C. The growing period of the potato–broad bean–winter wheat rotation system was shortened by 20–40 days per 3-year-period, and the fallow period was prolonged by 4–13 days per 3-year-period. The water use efficiency of the potato–broad bean–winter wheat rotation decreased by 8.6% when the temperature increased by 1.02.0°C. The yield of the potato–broad bean–winter wheat rotation increased by 6.1–7.7% when the temperature increased by 0.5–1.0°C. However, yield decreased 12.9–13.4% when temperature increased by 1.0–2.0°C. Potato protein significantly decreased by 9.3–17.6% and the winter wheat fat significantly decreased by 6.7% when the temperature increased by 0.5–2.0°C. The results indicate that global warming could seriously affect the crop growth, yield and water use of the potato–broad bean–winter wheat rotation in semiarid regions of China.
The effects of macronutrient intake on obesity are controversial. This research aims to investigate the associations between macronutrient intake and new-onset overweight/obesity. The relationship between the consumption of carbohydrate and total fat and obesity was assessed by the multivariable Cox model in this 11-year cohort, which included 6612 adults (3291 men and 3321 women) who were free of overweight and obesity at baseline. The dietary intake was recorded using a 24-h recall method for three consecutive days. Moreover, substitution models were developed to distinguish the effects of macronutrient composition alteration from energy intake modification. During 7·5 person years (interquartile range 4·3, 10·8) of follow-up, 1807 participants became overweight or obese. After adjusting for risk factors, the hazard ratio (HR) of overweight/obesity in extreme quintiles of fat was 1·48 (quintile 5 v. quintile 1, 95 % CI 1·16, 1·89; Ptrend = 0·02) in women. Additionally, replacing 5 % of energy from carbohydrate with equivalent energy from fat was associated with an estimated 4·3 % (HR 1·043, 95 % CI 1·007, 1·081) increase in overweight/obesity in women. Moreover, dietary carbohydrate was inversely associated with overweight/obesity (quintile 5 v. quintile 1, HR 0·70, 95 % CI 0·55, 0·89; Ptrend = 0·02) in women. Total fat was related to a higher risk of overweight/obesity, whereas high carbohydrate intake was related to a lower risk of overweight/obesity in women, which was not observed in men.
The performance of immune system is vital for defending the body from pathogens, and it plays a crucial role in health homoeostasis. In a previous study, we have shown that LFP-20, a twenty-amino acid antimicrobial peptide in the N terminus of porcine lactoferrin, modulated inflammatory response in colitis. Here, we further investigated the effects of LFP-20 on immune homoeostasis to elucidate the mechanism of its anti-inflammation action. A lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-triggered systemic inflammatory response mice model was established. On the basis of observed mucosal lesions and apoptosis in small intestine, we found increased macrophage and neutrophil infiltration in ileum after LPS stimulation. Expectedly, LFP-20 pre-treatment attenuated the LPS-mediated immune disorders in ileum. Moreover, the flow cytometry results indicated pre-treatment with LFP-20 sustained the balance of CD3+CD8+ T cells, B cells and natural killer cells in LPS-triggered immune disturbance. Simultaneously, we demonstrated LFP-20 modulated the secretion of both activated Th1-related IL-12p70, interferon-γ, TNF-α and Th2-related IL-4, IL-5 and IL-6. Furthermore, we found LFP-20 facilitated a balanced Th1 and Th2 response, which triggered cellular defence mechanisms and induced B cells to produce opsonising antibodies belonging to certain IgG subclasses to defend against LPS stimulation. Collectively, our study indicated pre-treatment with LFP-20 could defend against LPS-triggered systemic inflammatory response in mice via modulating immune homoeostasis.
The collimated electron jets ejected from cylindrical plasma are produced in particle-in-cell simulation under the applied longitudinal magnetostatic field and radial electrostatic field, which is a process that can be conveniently performed in a laboratory. We find that the applied magnetostatic field contributes significantly to the jet collimation, whereas the applied electrostatic field plays a vital role in the jet formation. The generation mechanism of collimated jets can be well understood through energy gain of the tagged electrons, and we conclude that the longitudinal momentum of the electrons is converted from the transverse momentum via the transverse-induced magnetic field. It has been found that the ejecting velocity of the jets is close to the speed of light when the applied electrostatic field reaches 3 × 1010 V/m. The present scheme may also give us an insight into the formation of astrophysical jets in celestial bodies.
The animal gut effectively prevents the entry of hazardous substances and microbes while permitting the transfer of nutrients, such as water, electrolytes, vitamins, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals and microbial metabolites, which are intimately associated with intestinal homoeostasis. The gut maintains biological functions through its nutrient-sensing receptors, including the Ca-sensing receptor (CaSR), which activates a variety of signalling pathways, depending on cellular context. CaSR coordinates food digestion and nutrient absorption, promotes cell proliferation and differentiation, regulates energy metabolism and immune response, stimulates hormone secretion, mitigates secretory diarrhoea and enhances intestinal barrier function. Thus, CaSR is crucial to the maintenance of gut homoeostasis and protection of intestinal health. In this review, we focused on the emerging roles of CaSR in the modulation of intestinal homoeostasis including related underlying mechanisms. By elucidating the relationship between CaSR and animal gut homoeostasis, effective and inexpensive methods for treating intestinal health imbalance through nutritional manipulation can be developed. This article is expected to provide experimental data of the effects of CaSR on animal or human health.
For straw incorporation, three crucial factors affect the soil microbial community and various enzyme activities: straw length, amount and burial depth. To analyse the individual and interactive effects of these three factors on the soil microbial community and various enzyme activities, 23 treatments with five levels of the three variables (straw length, amount and burial depth) were applied in a quadratic orthogonal rotation combination design. A comprehensive indicator was constructed that could represent soil microbial functional diversity and enzyme activity by determining the weights of measured indicators and using Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The results indicated that the soil microbiological indicators have a higher criteria weight than soil enzyme activity indicators. The final weight orders of indicators were as follows: Shannon–Weaver > invertase > Shannon evenness > urease > catalase > McIntosh index > Simpson diversity > phosphatase. The soil comprehensive values constructed by the TOPSIS method are reliable. The optimal combination for the improvement of soil microbial functional diversity and enzyme activity was a straw length of 13–24 cm, burial depth of 10–17 cm and straw amount of 370–650 g/m2.
Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technology has become increasingly available
and has been widely used to screen for trisomies 21, 18, and 13 in singleton
pregnancies. This study assessed the performance of MPS testing of cell-free
fetal DNA (cffDNA) from maternal plasma for trisomies 21, 18, and 13 in twin
pregnancies. Ninety-two women with twin pregnancies were recruited. The results
were identified through karyotypes of amniocentesis or clinical examination and
follow-up of the neonates. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization was used to examine
the placentas postnatally in cases of false-positive results. The fetuses with
autosomal trisomy 21 (n = 2) and trisomy 15 (n
= 1) were successfully detected via MPS testing of cffDNA. There was one
false-positive for trisomy 13 (n = 1), and fluorescence in-situ
hybridization (FISH) identified confined placental mosaicism in this case. For
twin pregnancies undergoing second-trimester screening for trisomy, MPS testing
of cffDNA is feasible and can enhance the diagnostic spectrum of non-invasive
prenatal testing, which could effectively reduce invasive prenatal diagnostic
methods. In addition to screening for trisomy 21, 18, and 13 by cffDNA, MPS can
detect fetal additional autosomal trisomy. False-positive results cannot
completely exclude confined placental mosaicism.
In this paper, we compare three ranking methods in wine tasting in terms of their respective accuracy levels. The first two are the original-score average and rank average, which are conventional methods in practice. The third is a relatively new ranking method called Shapley ranking. It is a game-theory-based ranking method, whereby judges are required not to rank order or score all the wines but only to choose a subset that they find meritorious. A simulation study is designed, wherein the data-generating scheme mimics how the real wine-tasting data are produced. We also consider two criteria in the comparison: the squared-error loss, which is a suitable measure when accurate ranking of all wines is of interest; and the percentile loss, which only considers whether the wines are correctly put in a certain subset. The main conclusion from our study is that the ranking based on score average is generally more accurate than that based on rank average. Shapley ranking, with the consideration that it puts less burden on judges in wine tasting, may outperform the other methods in certain conditions. (JEL Classifications: C11, C15, D72, D81)
We studied the evolution, genotypes, and the molecular clock of dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV-1), between 2001 and 2014 in Guangzhou, China. The analysis of the envelope (E) gene sequences of 67 DENV-1 strains isolated in Guangzhou, together with 58 representative sequences downloaded from NCBI, have shown shifts in viral genotypes. The genotype changed several times, from genotype I to IV in 2002, from IV to I in 2005, and from I to V in 2014. These genotype shifts may be the cause of DENV outbreaks. The diversity of genotypes and clades demonstrates a high risk of future outbreaks in Guangzhou. The mean rate of virus nucleotide substitution in Guangzhou was determined to be 7·77 × 10−4 per site per year, which represents a medium substitution rate compared to two other countries. Our research can point to different ancestors of the isolated strains, which may further reveal the different origins and transmission of DENV-1 strains in Guangzhou.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a tutorial of data analysis methods for answering questions that arise in analyzing data from wine-tasting events: (i) measuring agreement of two judges and its extension to m judges; (ii) making comparisons of judges across years; (iii) comparing two wines; (iv) designing tasting procedures to reduce burden of multiple tastings; (v) ranking of judges; and (vi) assessing causes of disagreement. In each case we describe one or more analyses and make recommendations on the conditions of use for each. (JEL Classifications: C10, C12, C13, C59, C90)