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We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
Prior research and theories established the link between care environments and apathy. Yet, empirical evidence on how environmental stimulation impacts apathy is lacking. This study examined the association between environmental stimulation and apathy in nursing home residents with dementia.
This repeated-measure study analyzed 104 video observations of staff caregiver–resident interactions.
12 nursing homes.
63 unique staff caregiver–resident dyads that involved 42 caregivers and 44 residents with moderate to severe dementia.
Second-by-second behavioral coding using Noldus Observer software was conducted to assess apathy and environmental stimulation, using the Person-Environment Apathy Rating scale. The environment subscale includes six items: stimulation clarity, stimulation strength, stimulation specificity, interaction involvement, physical accessibility, and environmental feedback. The apathy subscale includes six items: facial expression, eye contact, physical engagement, purposeful activity, verbal tone, and verbal expression. Multilevel linear models were used for analysis.
Results showed that apathy was not associated with the overall quality of environmental stimulation but was significantly associated with stimulation specificity (coefficient = −2.23, p = 0.049). However, the association was not significant after controlling for resident characteristics (p = 0.082). In addition, higher levels of environmental feedback were associated with lower apathy levels (coefficient = −2.14, p = 0.001). The association remained significant after controlling for resident characteristics (coefficient = −1.65, p = 0.014).
Findings reveal that when environmental stimulation is individually tailored and prompts engagement, residents are less apathetic. This study highlights the effect of environmental stimulation on apathy. Future research should explore interventions that modify environmental stimulation to reduce apathy and improve dementia care.
Biochar conversion from corn stover was evaluated under various process conditions, and the absorption capacity of biochar was investigated for the removal of oxytetracycline in wastewater. Biochar was prepared at lower carbonization temperatures (200–500 °C) and was used in three different concentrations of chemical oxygen wastewater. The results showed that the biochar prepared at the temperature range of 200–500 °C had a faster sorption rate and shorter sorption equilibrium time compared to biochar produced at higher temperatures. The longest time to reach sorption equilibrium was 9 h for biochar obtained at 200 °C. However, the biochar prepared at 500 °C required only 0.5 h to reach the sorption equilibrium. The corn stover-biochar had the highest sorption capacity of 246.3 mg/g for oxytetracycline at 30 °C. The adsorption kinetics was consistent with pseudo–second-order kinetics. This study provides a theoretical basis for the conversion of corn stover into biochar as efficient sorbents.
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.
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.
The antibacterial hydrogels can be widely used in the biomedical area owing to their excellent properties. The main limitation of antibacterial hydrogels is their poor mechanical strength. In this study, the novel hydrogels were fabricated with a mixture of silk fibroin (SF), chitosan (CH), agarose (AG), and silver nanoparticles (SNPs) via facile reaction condition without inorganic substances. The mechanical property of these fabricated hydrogels can be modulated by the concentration of SF or AG. The rheological studies demonstrated enhanced elasticity of CH-doped hydrogels. Because of the presence of CH and Ag in hydrogels, the antimicrobial property against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria was exhibited. Cytocompatibility test proved the very low toxic nature of the hydrogels. In addition, these composite hydrogels have a smaller porosity, higher swelling ratio, and good compatibility, indicating their great potential for biomedical application.
As a benchmark mortality model in forecasting future mortality rates and hedging longevity risk, the widely employed Lee–Carter model (Lee, R.D. and Carter, L.R. (1992) Modeling and forecasting U.S. mortality. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 87, 659–671.) suffers from a restrictive constraint on the unobserved mortality index for ensuring model’s identification and a possible inconsistent inference. Recently, a modified Lee–Carter model (Liu, Q., Ling, C. and Peng, L. (2018) Statistical inference for Lee–Carter mortality model and corresponding forecasts. North American Actuarial Journal, to appear.) removes this constraint and a simple least squares estimation is consistent with a normal limit when the mortality index follows from a unit root or near unit root AR(1) model with a nonzero intercept. This paper proposes a bias-corrected estimator for this modified Lee–Carter model, which is consistent and has a normal limit regardless of the mortality index being a stationary or near unit root or unit root AR(1) process with a nonzero intercept. Applications to the US mortality rates and a simulation study are provided as well.
The fundamental cause for the statically indeterminate problem in the force analysis of overconstrained parallel mechanisms (PMs) is found to be the presence of the linearly dependent overconstrained wrenches. Based on the fundamental cause, a unified expression of the solution for the magnitudes of the constraint wrenches of both the limb stiffness decoupled and limb stiffness coupled overconstrained PMs is derived. When the weight of each link is considered, depending on whether additional component forces are generated along the axes of the overconstrained wrenches, two different situations should be considered. One situation is that no additional component force is generated along the axes of the overconstrained wrenches under the weight of the links in the corresponding limb. In this case, the added constraint wrenches at the limb’s end can be calculated directly, and used as a part of the generalized external wrench. The other situation is that additional component forces are generated. In this case, the elastic deformations in the axes of the overconstrained wrenches generated by those component forces should be considered, and the deformation compatibility equations between the overconstrained wrenches are reformulated.
We introduce the concept of a
-Rota–Baxter operator, as a twisted version of a Rota–Baxter operator of weight zero. We show how to obtain a certain
-Rota–Baxter operator from a solution of the associative (Bi)Hom-Yang–Baxter equation, and, in a compatible way, a Hom-pre-Lie algebra from an infinitesimal Hom-bialgebra.
Silk and carbon nanomaterials, such as graphene oxide, graphene, and carbon nanotubes, have complementary mechanical properties that feature superior toughness and strength, respectively. Different strategies have been devoted to developing silk/carbon nanocomposites, but challenges remain to fully integrate the mechanical advantages of these two components into one synergistic material system. In this article, we provide a critical summary of structure–mechanics relationships in silk/carbon nanocomposites and highlight the impact of the interaction between silk and carbon nanomaterials on mechanical properties of the hybrid materials. We describe the challenges involved and directions for future designs of silk/carbon nanocomposites.
Mastery of strengthening strategies to achieve high-capacity anodes for lithium-ion batteries can shed light on understanding the nature of diffusion-induced stress and offer an approach to use submicro-sized materials with an ultrahigh capacity for large-scale batteries. Here, we report solute strengthening in a series of silicon (Si)–germanium (Ge) alloys. When the larger solute atom (Ge) is added to the solvent atoms (Si), a compressive stress is generated in the vicinity of Ge atoms. This local stress field interacts with resident dislocations and subsequently impedes their motion to increase the yield stress in the alloys. The addition of Ge into Si substantially improves the capacity retention, particularly in Si0.50Ge0.50, aligning with literature reports that the Si/Ge alloy showed a maximum yield stress in Si0.50Ge0.50. In situ X-ray diffraction studies on the Si0.50Ge0.50 electrode show that the phase change undergoes three subsequent steps during the lithiation process: removal of surface oxide layer, formation of cluster-size Lix(Si,Ge), and formation of crystalline Li15(Si,Ge)4. Furthermore, the lithiation process starts from higher index facets, i.e., (220) and (311), then through the low index facet (111), suggesting the orientation-dependence of the lithiation process in the Si0.50Ge0.50 electrode.
While studies suggest that nutritional supplementation may reduce aggressive behavior in children, few have examined their effects on specific forms of aggression. This study tests the primary hypothesis that omega-3 (ω-3), both alone and in conjunction with social skills training, will have particular post-treatment efficacy for reducing childhood reactive aggression relative to baseline.
In this randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, factorial trial, a clinical sample of 282 children with externalizing behavior aged 7–16 years was randomized into ω-3 only, social skills only, ω-3 + social skills, and placebo control groups. Treatment duration was 6 months. The primary outcome measure was reactive aggression collected at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, with antisocial behavior as a secondary outcome.
Children in the ω-3-only group showed a short-term reduction (at 3 and 6 months) in self-report reactive aggression, and also a short-term reduction in overall antisocial behavior. Sensitivity analyses and a robustness check replicated significant interaction effects. Effect sizes (d) were small, ranging from 0.17 to 0.31.
Findings provide some initial support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing reactive aggression over and above standard care (medication and parent training), but yield only preliminary and limited support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing overall externalizing behavior in children. Future studies could test further whether ω-3 shows promise in reducing more reactive, impulsive forms of aggression.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
To examine and quantify the potential dose–response relationship between green tea intake and the risk of gastric cancer.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, CBM, CNKI and VIP up to December 2015 without language restrictions.
A systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis of observational studies.
Five cohort studies and eight case–control studies.
Compared with the lowest level of green tea intake, the pooled relative risk (95 % CI) of gastric cancer was 1·05 (0·90, 1·21, I2=20·3 %) for the cohort studies and the pooled OR (95 % CI) was 0·84 (0·74, 0·95, I2=48·3 %) for the case–control studies. The pooled relative risk of gastric cancer was 0·79 (0·63, 0·97, I2=63·8 %) for intake of 6 cups green tea/d, 0·59 (0·42, 0·82, I2=1·0 %) for 25 years of green tea intake and 7·60 (1·67, 34·60, I2=86·5 %) for drinking very hot green tea.
Drinking green tea has a certain preventive effect on reducing the risk of gastric cancer, particularly for long-term and high-dose consumption. Drinking too high-temperature green tea may increase the risk of gastric cancer, but it is still unclear whether high-temperature green tea is a risk factor for gastric cancer. Further studies should be performed to obtain more detailed results, including other gastric cancer risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption and the dose of the effective components in green tea, to provide more reliable evidence-based medical references for the relationship between green tea and gastric cancer.
In this paper we consider the algorithm for recovering sparse orthogonal polynomials using stochastic collocation via ℓq minimization. The main results include: 1) By using the norm inequality between ℓq and ℓ2 and the square root lifting inequality, we present several theoretical estimates regarding the recoverability for both sparse and non-sparse signals via ℓq minimization; 2) We then combine this method with the stochastic collocation to identify the coefficients of sparse orthogonal polynomial expansions, stemming from the field of uncertainty quantification. We obtain recoverability results for both sparse polynomial functions and general non-sparse functions. We also present various numerical experiments to show the performance of the ℓq algorithm. We first present some benchmark tests to demonstrate the ability of ℓq minimization to recover exactly sparse signals, and then consider three classical analytical functions to show the advantage of this method over the standard ℓ1 and reweighted ℓ1 minimization. All the numerical results indicate that the ℓq method performs better than standard ℓ1 and reweighted ℓ1 minimization.
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of dietary threonine on intestinal immunity and inflammation in juvenile grass carp. Six iso-nitrogenous semi-purified diets containing graded levels of threonine (3·99–21·66 g threonine/kg) were formulated and fed to fishes for 8 weeks, and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. Results showed that, compared with optimum threonine supplementation, threonine deficiency (1) decreased the ability of fish against enteritis, intestinal lysozyme activities (except in the distal intestine), acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3) and C4 contents and IgM contents (except in the proximal intestine (PI)), and it down-regulated the transcript abundances of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, hepcidin, IgZ, IgM and β-defensin1 (except in the PI) (P<0·05); (2) could up-regulate intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17D mRNA levels partly related to NF-κB signalling; (3) could down-regulate intestinal anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B) and IL-10 mRNA levels partly by target of rapamycin signalling. Finally, on the basis of the specific growth rate, against the enteritis morbidity and IgM contents, the optimum threonine requirements were estimated to be 14·53 g threonine/kg diet (4·48 g threonine/100 g protein), 15.05 g threonine/kg diet (4·64 g threonine/100 g protein) and 15·17 g threonine/kg diet (4·68 g threonine/100 g protein), respectively.
Revising the diffusionist view of current scholarship on the Pasteur Institutes in China, this paper demonstrates the ways in which local networks and circumstances informed the circulation and construction of knowledge and practices relating to smallpox prophylaxis in the Southwest of China during the early twentieth century. I argue that the Pasteur Institute of Chengdu did not operate in a natural continuity with the preceding local French medical institutions, but rather presented an intentional break from them. This Institute, as the first established by the French in China, strove for political and administrative independence both from the Chinese authority and from the Catholic Church. Yet, its operation realized political independence only partially. The founding of this Institute was also an attempt to satisfy the medical demand for local vaccine production. However, even though the Institute succeeded at producing the Jennerian vaccine locally, its production needed to accommodate local conditions pertaining to the climate, vaccine strains, and animals. Furthermore, vaccination had to conform to Chinese variolation, including its social and medical practices, in order to achieve the collaboration of local Chinese traditional practitioners with French colonial physicians, who were Pastorian-trained and worked at the Pasteur Institute of Chengdu. Thus the nature of the Pastorian work in Chengdu was not an imposition of foreign standards and practices, but rather a mutual compromise and collaboration between the French and the Chinese.
The purpose of the present study was to do a psychometric evaluation of the somatic and psychological health report (SPHERE) among Chinese adolescents. Our participants were 116 twins (50 females). Psychometric evaluation indicated that the reliability and validity of this scale were good. The internal consistencies and split-half reliabilities of all subscales were above 0.80. Furthermore, the item-total correlations were acceptable for all the subscales (all the values were higher than 0.20). The present findings suggest that the SPHERE can be well used to measure Chinese adolescents’ somatic and psychological health.
In this paper we consider a system of reaction–diffusion–advection equations with a free boundary, which arises in a competition ecological model in heterogeneous environment. The evolution of the free-boundary problem is discussed, which is an extension of the results of Du and Lin (Discrete Contin. Dynam. Syst. B19 (2014), 3105–3132). Precisely, when u is an inferior competitor, we prove that (u, v) → (0, V) as t→∞. When u is a superior competitor, we prove that a spreading–vanishing dichotomy holds, namely, as t→∞, either h(t)→∞ and (u, v) → (U, 0), or limt→∞h(t) < ∞ and (u, v) → (0, V). Moreover, in a weak competition case, we prove that two competing species coexist in the long run, while in a strong competition case, two species spatially segregate as the competition rates become large. Furthermore, when spreading occurs, we obtain some rough estimates of the asymptotic spreading speed.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary vitamin A on immune function in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish were fed graded levels of dietary vitamin A for 10 weeks, and then a challenge test using an injection of Aeromonas hydrophila was conducted for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the optimum vitamin A level, vitamin A deficiency significantly decreased fish growth performance, increased enteritis morbidity, decreased intestinal innate humoral immune response and aggravated intestinal inflammation. However, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2A/B mRNA in the DI and IL-6, IL-17D, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA in the PI were not affected by vitamin A levels. Meanwhile, vitamin A deficiency disturbed inflammatory cytokines in the PI, MI and DI, which might be partly linked to p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signalling and NF-κB canonical signalling pathway (IκB kinase β (IKKβ), IKKγ, inhibitor of κBα, NF-κB p65 and c-Rel) rather than NF-κB non-canonical signalling pathway (NF-κB p52 and IKKα). However, the signalling molecules NF-κB p65 and p38MAPK did not participate in regulating cytokines in the PI. These results suggested that vitamin A deficiency decreased fish growth and impaired intestinal immune function, and that different immune responses in the PI, MI and DI were mediated partly by NF-κB canonical signalling and p38MAPK signalling pathways. On the basis of percentage of weight gain, to protect fish against enteritis morbidity and acid phosphatase activity, the optimum dietary vitamin A levels were estimated to be 0·664, 0·707 and 0·722 mg /kg, respectively.