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As a wide-reaching institutional reform, China's fiscal decentralization was launched in the early 1980s to encourage provincial economic growth by granting more financial autonomy to provincial governments. In this paper, the impact of fiscal decentralization on China's environmental quality is investigated both theoretically and empirically. A neoclassical model is developed based on the primary characteristics of China's fiscal decentralization. Using provincial panel data for the period 1995-2015, a two-equation regression model is employed to empirically verify the three propositions of the theoretical model: (1) there exists an inverted-U shaped relationship between fiscal decentralization and GDP per capita; (2) fiscal decentralization is positively related to GDP per capita at the steady state; (3) there is an inverted-U shaped Environmental Kuznets Curve relationship between pollution emissions and economic growth.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum has useful traits for bread wheat improvement. The synthesis of Triticum turgidum–T. monococcum amphiploids is an essential step for transferring genes from T. monococcum into bread wheat. In this study, 264 wide hybridization combinations were done by crossing 60 T. turgidum lines belonging to five subspecies with 83 T. monococcum accessions. Without embryo rescue and hormone treatment, from the 10,810 florets pollinated, 1983 seeds were obtained, with a mean crossability of 18.34% (range 0–89.29%). Many hybrid seeds (90.73%, 923/1017) could germinate and produce plants. A total of 56 new amphiploids (AABBAmAm) were produced by colchicine treatment of T. turgidum × T. monococcum F1 hybrids. The chromosome constitution of amphiploids was characterized by fluorescence in situ hybridization using oligonucleotides probes with different chromosome and sub-chromosome specificities. Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis indicated that the Glu-A1m-b, Glu-A1m-c, Glu-A1m-d and Glu-A1m-h proteins of T. monococcum were expressed in some amphiploids. Despite resistance reduction in several cases, 45 out of 56 amphiploids exhibited resistance to the current predominant Chinese stripe rust races at both the seedling and adult plant stage. These novel amphiploids provide new germplasm for the potential improvement of bread wheat quality and stripe rust resistance.
Forty-eight different Ag–Al–Zr ternary alloys were prepared in various compositions to determine the metallic glass region in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system. Experimental results indicated that the metallic glass region in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system is Ag20–30Al10–30Zr50–60. The Ag20Al30Zr50 and Ag30Al20Zr50 alloys are supposed to have the best glass-forming ability in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system. The phase equilibria of the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system at 773 K (500 °C) were investigated and compared with the metallic glass region results in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system. Ternary isothermal sections of the Ag–Al–Zr system at 773 K (500 °C) were established and two ternary intermetallic phases were observed in this isothermal section.
In this paper, we introduce a lower extremity exoskeleton CUHK-EXO that is developed to help paraplegic patients, who have lost the motor and sensory functions of their lower limbs to perform basic daily life motions. Since the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit (STS) motion is the first step for paraplegic patients toward walking, analysis of the exoskeleton's applicability to the STS motion assistance is performed. First, the human-exoskeleton system (HES) is modeled as a five-link model during the STS motion, and the center of pressure (COP) on the ground and center of gravity of the whole system are calculated. Then, a description of the CUHK-EXO hardware design is presented, including the mechatronics design and actuator selection. The COP position is an important factor indicating system balance and wearer's comfort. Based on the COP position, a trajectory online modification algorithm (TOMA) is proposed for CUHK-EXO to counteract disturbances, stabilize system balance, and improve the wearer's comfort in the STS motion. The results of STS motion tests conducted with a paraplegic patient demonstrate that CUHK-EXO can provide a normal reference pattern and proper assistive torque to support the patient's STS motion. In addition, a pilot study is conducted with a healthy subject to verify the effectiveness of the proposed TOMA under external disturbances before future clinical trials. The testing results verify that CUHK-EXO can counteract disturbances, and help the wearer perform the STS motion safely and comfortably.
In the foreland area of western Taiwan, some of the pre-orogenic basement-involved normal faults were reactivated during the subsequent compressional tectonics. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the role played by the pre-existing normal faults in the recent tectonics of western Taiwan. In NW Taiwan, reactivated normal faults with a strike-slip component have developed by linkage of reactivated single pre-existing normal faults in the foreland basin and acted as transverse structures for low-angle thrusts in the outer fold-and-thrust belt. In the later stage of their development, the transverse structures were thrusted and appear underneath the low-angle thrusts or became tear faults in the inner fold-and-thrust belt. In SW Taiwan, where the foreland basin is lacking normal fault reactivation, the pre-existing normal faults passively acted as ramp for the low-angle thrusts in the inner fold-and-thrust belt. Some of the active faults in western Taiwan may also be related to reactivated normal faults with right-lateral slip component. Some main earthquake shocks related to either strike-slip or thrust fault plane solution occurred on reactivated normal faults, implying a relationship between the pre-existing normal fault and the triggering of the recent major earthquakes. Along-strike contrast in structural style of normal fault reactivation gives rise to different characteristics of the deformation front for different parts of the foreland area in western Taiwan. Variations in the degree of normal fault reactivation also provide some insights into the way the crust embedding the pre-existing normal faults deformed in response to orogenic contraction.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
In recent years, the surge in China's CO2 emissions has caused increasing international concern. In this paper, we investigate whether and when the turning point in China's CO2 emissions would occur. A simple yet powerful neoclassical Green Solow model (GSM) is utilized herein as the main forecasting tool. To verify the capability of this framework to address China's economy, a key prediction of the GSM – the convergence in per capita CO2 emissions across Chinese provinces – is empirically verified. By assigning reasonable values to the GSM's key parameters, the trajectories of total CO2 emissions are projected for the three regions of China and the whole country. The forecast results show that, under the benchmark scenario, China's total CO2 emissions would peak around the year 2047. According to the sensitivity analysis, carbon efficiency is the most important determining factor for whether a turning point in total CO2 emissions may occur.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
High-resolution SIMS U–Pb dating of metamorphic zircons of the TTG gneisses, gneissic granitoid and amphibolites of the Lushan terrane, Taihua metamorphic complex, suggests that the metamorphism had taken place at least as early as ~1.96–1.86 Ga. These new dates, along with reference data, demonstrate that the southern and middle terranes of the Trans-North China Orogen had been involved in the continent–continent collision between the Western Block and the Eastern Block of the North China Craton. This orogenic process started as early as 1.96 Ga and lasted as late as 1.80 Ga.
This study was designed to determine the effect of melatonin on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine oocytes denuded of the cumulus oophorus (DOs). DOs were cultured alone (DOs) or with 10−9 M melatonin (DOs + MT), cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured without melatonin as the control. After IVM, meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, apoptotic rates and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression of ATP synthase F0 Subunit 6 and 8 (ATP6 and ATP8), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) mRNA in MII oocytes and IFN-tau (IFN-τ), Na+/K+-ATPase, catenin-beta like 1 (CTNNBL1) and AQP3 mRNA in parthenogenetic blastocysts were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results showed that: (1) melatonin significantly increased the MII rate of DOs (65.67 ± 3.59 % vs. 82.29 ± 3.92%; P < 0.05), decreased the ROS level (4.83 ± 0.42 counts per second (c.p.s) vs. 3.78 ± 0.29 c.p.s; P < 0.05) and apoptotic rate (36.99 ± 3.62 % vs. 21.88 ± 2.08 %; P < 0.05) and moderated the reduction of relative mRNA levels of ATP6, ATP8, BMP-15 and GDF-9 caused by oocyte denudation; (2) melatonin significantly increased the developmental rate (24.17 ± 3.54 % vs. 35.26 ± 4.87%; P < 0.05), and expression levels of IFN-τ, Na+/K+-ATPase, CTNNBL1 and AQP3 mRNA of blastocyst. These results indicated that melatonin significantly improved the IVM quality of DOs, leading to an increased parthenogenetic blastocyst formation rate and quality.
Amphibolites and metapelites exposed in the Zanhuang metamorphic complex situated in the south-middle section of the Trans-North China Orogen (TNCO) underwent upper-amphibolite-facies metamorphism and record clockwise P–T paths including retrograde isothermal decompression. High-resolution zircon U–Pb geochronological analyses indicate that the metamorphic peak occurred during ~ 1840–1860 Ma, which is in accordance with the ubiquitous metamorphic ages of ~ 1850 Ma retrieved by miscellaneous geochronologic methods throughout the metamorphic terranes of the northern TNCO, confirming that the south-middle section of the TNCO was involved in the amalgamation of the Eastern and Western Blocks of the North China Craton during the Palaeoproterozoic.
We investigated the effect mouse cumulus cells (mCCs) on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine denuded germinal vesicle oocytes (DOs). Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs), DOs and DOs cocultured with either mCCs (DOs + mCCs) or bovine cumulus cells (bCCs; DOs + bCCs) were subjected to IVM. The meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, glutathione (GSH) contents, zona pellucida (ZP) hardening and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression levels of bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) in MII oocytes were measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). mCCs significantly increased the MII rate of DOs from 53.5 ± 3.58% to 69.67 ± 4.72% (p < 0.05) but had no effect on the GSH content (2.17 ± 0.31 pmol/oocyte with mCCs, 2.14 ± 0.53 pmol/oocyte without mCCs). For the DOs + mCCs group, the BMP-15 and GDF-9 expression levels were significantly higher and the ZP dissolution time was significantly lower (162.49 ± 12.51 s) than that of the DOs group (213.95 ± 18.87 s; p < 0.05). The blastocyst rate of the DOs + mCCs group (32.56 ± 4.94%) was similar to that of the DOs group (31.75 ± 3.65%) but was significantly lower than that of the COCs group (43.52 ± 5.37%; p < 0.05). In conclusion, mCCs increased the MII rate of DOs and expression of certain genes in MII oocytes, and decreased the ZP hardening of MII oocytes, but could not improve their GSH content or developmental potential.
The long-lived radioisotope 59Ni is of interest in various research fields including neutron dosimetry, radioactive waste management, and astrophysics. In order to achieve the sensitivity required for such applications, the technique of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 59Ni measurement has been developed at the AMS facility at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Based on the AE-Q3D detection system in the CIAE AMS facility, the interference in 59Ni counting from the isobar 59Co has been reduced by a factor of 8 × 106. A series of laboratory reference samples and a blank sample were measured to check the performance of 59Ni measurement. A detection sensitivity of about 5 × 10−13 (59Ni/Ni) has been obtained.
We studied the polarization-dependent photoluminescence (PL) of a-plane GaN /AlGaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) grown on r-plane sapphire substrate with the various well width from 1.5 to 7.33 nm. To clarify the reasons of light emission polarization properties, we applied the 6×6 k‧p model to simulate the E-k dispersion relation and the wave functions to obtain the polarization optical transitions. According to the experimental result, the PL emission peak position exhibits a red-shifted with increasing well width, due to the reduction of the quantum confinement effect. The polarization ratio of a-plane GaN/AlGaN MQWs increased from 0.236 to 0.274 with increasing the quantum well width. This phenomenon is believed to be that y-polarized light emission gradually dominates the PL spectrum and thus enhances the polarization ratio.
Signal-In-Space Error (SISE) is important for the system integrity of GNSS. Real-time monitoring SISE has been one of the effective solutions used for improving GNSS system-level integrity. As one of the typical solutions, the Galileo integrity concept uses Signal-In-Space Accuracy (SISA) and Signal-In-Space Monitoring Accuracy (SISMA) respectively to transmit the quality of SIS and the integrity alarming information to users. As an important component of the Galileo Integrity Concept, Worst User Location (WUL) is of great importance for the computation of SISA and SISMA. An improved WUL algorithm based on a geometrical model is given in this paper, which needs no iterative search and is simple when compared with the existing models. The WUL accuracy requirement is discussed based on an analysis of the magnitude of the orbit errors and SIS ranging resolution and error. The conclusion is that, considering the metre-level orbital error observed in the orbit determination process, as long as the orientation error of the WUL is less than three degrees, the projection error of SISE can be kept to centimetre levels. This will satisfy the requirements of most users. The algorithm is further optimised to omit the non-linear iterative parts based on the above assumption. The optimisation reduces computation load and enhances the real-time capability. GPS raw measurements are used to validate the correctness and reliability of the algorithms.
Objective: The association between metabolic syndrome (MS) and the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia remains unclear. In this article, we systematically review studies on the risk of cognitive disorders in patients with MS to determine the strength of the association between MS and cognitive decline.
Methods: Electronic databases through December 2009 were searched to identify prospective population-based studies that examined the association between MS and risk of cognitive disorders. Two reviewers used a standardised form to collect data and assess eligibility. The quality of study was assessed by the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale.
Results: We found nine eligible studies that involve 19 876 participants. All studies but two indicate that MS is associated with cognitive decline (from one-fold to more than two-fold increase in risk). It seems that MS may be associated with cognitive impairment (positive results in three of five) and vascular dementia (positive results in two of three), whereas three studies involving patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) did not find the association between MS and AD. When examining the association of the individual risk factors of the MS and cognition in seven eligible studies, glucose (three studies) and hypertension (three studies) showed positive results associated with cognitive decline.
Conclusion: The MS may be associated with cognitive impairment and vascular dementia but not for AD, which need to be further investigated with high-quality studies.