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Calcified cyanobacteria are of considerable research value for reconstructing the ecology of Paleozoic and Mesozoic benthic communities on carbonate platforms due to their ability to produce oxygen and fix nitrogen and CO2. The diversity and abundance of calcified cyanobacteria was initially suggested to have declined in the Middle and Late Ordovician, although more recent work suggests that complex and diverse assemblages persisted throughout the Ordovician. Here, calcified cyanobacteria and associated microfossil flora from the Middle and Late Ordovician of the Ordos Basin, North China Block, are systematically described for the first time based on 1330 thin sections from seven outcrop profiles and four drill cores. In total, there are 18 species belonging to 16 genera, including a new species, Proaulopora ordosia n. sp. Girvanella, Subtifloria, Acuasiphonoria, Xianella, and Oscillatoriaceae gen. indet. are assigned to Osillatoriales of cyanobacteria; Ortonella, Hedstroemia, Cayeuxia, Zonotrichites, Proaulopora, and Phacelophyton are assigned to Nostocales of cyanobacteria; and Garwoodia, Renalcis, Izhella, Rothpletzella, and Wetheredella are assigned to calcified Microproblematica. A literature survey of Ordovician microfloral assemblages shows that cyanobacteria and associated microfossils occur in reef, open platform, lagoon, and tidal facies. Most genera occur on at least two independent blocks, and many have a cosmopolitan distribution in similar sedimentary facies. Our research suggests that calcified cyanobacteria and associated microfossils formed complex ecosystems and played greater ecological roles on carbonate platforms during the late Middle and Late Ordovician than was previously thought.
Few studies have suggested that long-term adherence to low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) may affect maternal glucose metabolism in western countries. We aimed to investigate the association between LCD during pregnancy and glucose metabolism in Chinese population. A total of 1,018 women in mid-pregnancy were recruited in 2017-2018. Participants underwent a 75g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Daily dietary intakes over the past month were accessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. The overall, animal, and vegetable LCD scores which represent adherence to different low-carbohydrate dietary patterns were calculated. Mixed linear regression and generalized linear mixed regression were conducted to evaluate the associations between LCD scores and maternal glucose metabolism. Of the 1,018 subjects, 194 (19.1%) was diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The overall LCD score (β: 0.024, standard error (SE): 0.008, PFDR=0.02) and animal LCD score (β: 0.023, SE: 0.008, PFDR=0.02) was positively associated with OGTT 1-h glucose. No significant associations were found between the three different LCD scores with fasting plasma glucose (FPG), OGTT 2-h glucose, or insulin resistance, respectively. Compared with the lowest quartile, the crude odds ratios of GDM for the highest quartile were 1.84 (95% CI: 1.14, 2.95) for overall LCD score (P for trend = 0.02) and 1.56 (1.00, 2.45) for animal LCD score (P for trend = 0.02). However, these associations became nonsignificant after adjustment for covariates. In conclusion, a low-carbohydrate dietary pattern with high animal protein and fat is associated with higher postprandial 1-h glucose levels in Chinese pregnant women.
A novel, broadband, nonlinear behavioral model, based on support vector regression (SVR) is presented in this paper. The proposed model, distinct from existing SVR-based models, incorporates frequency information into its formalism, allowing the model to perform accurate prediction across a wide frequency band. The basic theory of the proposed model, along with model implementation and the model extraction procedure for radio frequency transistor devices is provided. The model is verified through comparisons with the simulation of an equivalent circuit model, as well as experimental measurements of a 10 W Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistor. It is seen that the efficiency prediction throughout the Smith chart, for varying fundamental and second harmonic loads, across a wideband frequency range, show excellent fidelity to the measured results. Device dc self-biasing is also modelled to allow prediction of power amplifier (PA) efficiency, which is shown to be highly accurate when compared with corresponding measured data. Finally, a class-J PA is constructed and measured across the frequency with a large-signal input tone. The resulting measured and modelled values of key PA performance figures are shown to be in excellent agreement, indicating the model is suitable for broadband PA design.
Mach reflection subjected to the influence of an upstream shock wave from the same side is studied here. This situation occurs when two incident shock waves induced by a double wedge reflect at the same point of the reflecting surface and when the downstream incident shock wave is stronger than the upstream one. A shock polar analysis is used to show that this configuration produces an inverted Mach stem and a type IV shock interference between the Mach stem and the upstream shock wave. This shock interference produces a jet that divides the flow stream downstream of the Mach stem into two ducts with different sonic throats, thus complicating the mechanism by which the Mach stem size is determined. A transition analysis shows that the Mach reflection of the downstream shock wave is promoted by the upstream one. Computational fluid dynamics is used to assess the flow pattern anticipated by shock polar analysis and demonstrates how the heights of Mach stem and jet depend on the inflow Mach number and wedge turning angle.
The effects of trace Ca and Sr addition on dynamic precipitates, dynamic recrystallization (DRX) behavior, and texture evolution of Mg–5Zn alloy sheets fabricated by high strain rate rolling (HSRR) were investigated by electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The Zn-rich precipitates formed with plate shapes, short-rod shapes, and near-spherical shapes, indicating that the most important function of adding Ca and Sr is to promote the precipitation process. The precipitate density increases, but the precipitate size and DRX volume fraction decrease with the addition of the alloying elements. It is concluded that the effects of combined Ca/Sr addition on promoting precipitation and refining precipitate size are more effective than that of single Ca addition, and the reduction in DRX volume fraction can be attributed to the inhibition of fine precipitation on the nucleation and growth of DRX. Moreover, the macro-texture intensity is mainly related to DRX as the DRX grains are much more randomly oriented than deformed grains. In addition, the texture intensity in DRX regions is primarily associated with the precipitates, which can inhibit DRX grain rotation due to their pinning effect on the grain boundaries.
The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) differs between countries and regions. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of imported and second-generation cases in Shaanxi. This study included 134 COVID-19 cases in Shaanxi outside Wuhan. Clinical data were compared between severe and non-severe cases. We further profiled the dynamic laboratory findings of some patients. In total, 34.3% of the 134 patients were severe cases, 11.2% had complications. As of 7 March 2020, 91.8% patients were discharged and one patient (0.7%) died. Age, lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, direct bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase showed difference between severe and no-severe cases (all P < 0.05). Baseline lymphocyte count was higher in survived patients than in non-survivor case, and it increased as the condition improved, but declined sharply when death occurred. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) level displayed a downtrend in survivors, but rose very high in the death case. Pulmonary fibrosis was found on later chest computed tomography images in 51.5% of the pneumonia cases. Imported and second-generation cases outside Wuhan had a better prognosis than initial cases in Wuhan. Lymphocyte count and IL-6 level could be used for evaluating prognosis. Pulmonary fibrosis as the sequelae of COVID-19 should be taken into account.
The northern Alxa orogenic belt, located in the middle segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, is a junction between the North China Craton, Tarim Craton and Mongolian microcontinents. However, its Permo-Carboniferous tectono-palaeogeographic evolution has not been well established. In this study, new zircon U–Pb–Hf isotopic data for the Permo-Carboniferous clastic rocks were used to address the above issue. Based on our dating work and fossil assemblages, we confirmed that the Amushan, Maihanhada, Aqide and Haersuhai formations were formed in the late Carboniferous to early Permian, early to middle Permian, middle Permian and late Permian periods, respectively. The Amushan Formation sandstone in the Zhusileng area contains abundant Palaeozoic zircons (with age peaks at 440 Ma, 475 Ma and 539 Ma) and some Precambrian zircons. These zircon ages and the southeast transgressive direction suggest the provenance to be the local Zhusileng–Hangwula block and the nearby Yagan continental margin. The zircon age pattern with a high proportion of detrital zircons much older than the depositional time and no detrital zircons close to the depositional time suggest an extensional basin depositional setting. The clastic rocks of the Maihanhada, Aqide and Haersuhai formations inherited the source for the Amushan Formation, with a greatly increased input of Permo-Carboniferous volcanic rocks with post-collision or intraplate chemical affinity. Accordingly, a Permo-Carboniferous extensional stage was suggested. Finally, a tectono-palaeogeographic model was reconstructed for the northern Alxa orogenic belt, evolving from a late Carboniferous transgression with crustal extension to early to middle Permian rapid basin filling and a late Permian marine regression.
In order to clarify fine structures of the hypothetical meridian conduits of Chinese traditional medicine (CTM) in the skin, the present study used light and transmission electron microscopy to examine fasciae in different vertebrate species. Collagen fiber bundles and layers were arranged in a crisscross pattern, which developed into a special tissue micro-channel (TMC) network, in a manner that was analogs to the proposed skin meridian conduits. It was further revealed that tissue fluid in lateral TMC branches drained into wide longitudinal channels, which were distinctly different from lymphatic capillary. Mast cells, macrophages, and extracellular vesicles such as ectosomes and exosomes were distributed around telocytes (TCs) and their long processes (Telopodes, Tps) within the TMC. Cell junctions between TCs developed, which could enable the communication between contiguous but distant Tps. On the other hand, winding free Tps without cell junctions were also uncovered inside the TMC. Tissue fluid, cell junctions of TCs, mast cells, macrophages, and extracellular vesicles within the TMC corresponded to the circulating “气血” (“Qi-Xue”, i.e., information, message, and energy) of meridian conduits at the cytological level. These results could provide morphological evidence for the hypothesis that “meridians are the conduit for Qi-Xue circulation” in CTM.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected public health and wellbeing. In response to the pandemic threat of the coronavirus epidemic, several countries, including China, adopted lockdown and quarantine policies, which may cause psychological distress. This study aimed to explore the psychological impact of province-wide lockdown and personal quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak in China as well as the corresponding risk factors and protective factors.
We examined the immediate (2-week) and delayed (2-month) impact of province-wide lockdown and personal quarantine on psychological distress in a national sample of 1390 Chinese residents.
No immediate impact of province-wide lockdown on psychological distress was observed, whereas personal quarantine increased individuals’ anxiety, fear, and anger. Despite the lack of initial association, psychological distress increased among those in province-wide lockdown. Self-stigma and personal control both significantly moderated the association between lockdown and psychological distress, but in different directions. Those with higher self-stigma and lower personal control were more impacted by the lockdown. Government support moderated the impact of quarantine on psychological distress, but not that of lockdown.
The delayed effects of lockdown and quarantine on psychological distress were observed, and self-stigma, social support, and perceived control moderate the relationships. This study is the first to demonstrate the psychological costs of province-wide lockdowns on individuals’ mental health, providing evidence of the need for mitigation strategies and timely public mental health preparedness in countries with recent outbreaks of COVID-19.
This study aimed to evaluate associations between toxoplasmosis and psychiatric disorders in Taiwan based on the National Health Insurance Research Database, Taiwan (1997–2013). Patients newly diagnosed with toxoplasmosis formed the case group (n = 259), and the control group included propensity-score matched patients without toxoplasmosis (n = 1036). The primary outcome was incidence of psychiatric disorders. Cox proportional hazards regression and stratified analyses were performed to examine risk of developing specific psychiatric disorders between patients with and without toxoplasmosis. Patients with toxoplasmosis had significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders than those without toxoplasmosis (P = 0.016). A significant difference was found in numbers of psychiatric disorders between the two groups during 14 years of follow-up (log-rank P < 0.001). Those with toxoplasmosis had significantly higher risk of bipolar disorder [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR = 3.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.07, 7.26), depression (aHR = 4.94, 95% CI = 2.15, 11.80) and anxiety (aHR = 5.36, 95% CI = 2.98, 25.88), but no significant between-group differences were found for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. In conclusion, the present nationwide population-based analysis revealed that Toxoplasma gondii infection in Taiwan significantly increases the risk for developing bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, but not for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.
Flavonoid-rich foods have shown a beneficial effect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in short-term randomised trials. It is uncertain whether the usual dietary intake of flavonoids may benefit patients with NAFLD. The present study evaluated the association between the usual intake of flavonoids and the risk of progression in NAFLD. The prospective study included 2694 adults from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study. Face-to-face interviews using a seventy-nine-item FFQ were administered to assess habitual dietary flavonoid intake, while abdominal ultrasonography was conducted to evaluate the presence and degree of NAFLD, with measurements conducted 3 years apart. After adjustment for potential confounders, higher flavonoid intakes were gradely associated with reduced risks of worsen NAFLD status. The relative risks of worsening (v. non-worsening) NAFLD in the highest (v. lowest) quintile were 0·71 (95 % CI 0·54, 0·93) for total flavonoids, 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·95) for flavanones, 0·74 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·96) for flavan-3-ols, 0·90 (95 % CI 0·68, 1·18) for flavonols, 0·73 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·93) for flavones, 0·79 (95 % CI 0·61, 1·02) for isoflavones and 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·96) for anthocyanins. An L-shaped relationship was observed between total flavonoid intake and the risk of NAFLD progression. Path analyses showed that the association between flavonoids and NAFLD progression was mediated by decreases in serum cholesterol and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. This prospective study showed that higher flavonoid intake was associated with a lower risk of NAFLD progression in the elderly overweight/obese Chinese population.
A one-dimensional steady-state model for stimulated Raman backscatter (SRS) and stimulated Brillouin backscatter (SBS) processes in laser-irradiated plasmas is presented. Based on a novel “predictor-corrector” method, the model is capable to deal with broadband scattered light and inhomogeneous plasmas, exhibiting robustness and high efficiency. Influences of the electron density and temperature on the linear gains of both SRS and SBS are investigated, which indicates that the SRS gain is more sensitive to the electron density and temperature than that of the SBS. For the low-density case, the SBS dominates the scattering process, while the SRS exhibits much higher reflectivity in the high-density case. The nonlinear saturation mechanisms and competition between SRS and SBS are included in our model by a phenomenological method. The typical anti-correlation between SRS and SBS versus electron density is reproduced in the model. Calculations of the reflectivities are qualitatively in agreement with the typical results of experiments and simulations.
Despite high altitude was implicated in adverse birth outcomes, there remained a paucity of evidence on low-to-medium altitude effect. This study aimed to explore the association of low-to-medium altitude with birth outcomes. A population-based cross-sectional survey was performed using a stratified multistage random sampling method among women with their infants born during 2010–2013 in Northwestern China. Altitude was determined in meters based on the village or community of the mother’s living areas. Birth outcomes involved birth weight, gestational age, and small for gestational age (SGA). Generalized linear models were fitted to investigate the association of altitude with birth outcomes. Moreover, the dose–response relationship between altitude and birth outcomes was evaluated with a restricted cubic spline function. A total of 27 801 women with their infants were included. After adjusting for potential confounders, every 100-m increase in the altitude was associated with reduced birth weight by 6.4 (95% CI −8.1, −4.6) g, the slight increase of gestational age by 0.015 (95% CI 0.010, 0.020) week, and an increased risk of SGA birth (odds ratio 1.03, 95% CI 1.02, 1.04). Moreover, there was an inversely linear relationship between altitude and birth weight (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.312), and a positive linear relationship between altitude and SGA (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.194). However, a nonlinear relationship was observed between altitude and gestational age (P for overall < 0.001 and P for nonlinear = 0.010). The present results suggest that low-to-medium altitude is possibly associated with adverse birth outcomes.
Little is known about methylphenidate (MPH) use and mortality outcomes.
To investigate the association between MPH use and mortality among children with an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis.
This population-based cohort study analysed data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). A total of 68 096 children and adolescents aged 4–17 years with an ADHD diagnosis and prescribed MPH between 2000 and 2010 were compared with 68 096 without an MPH prescription, matched on age, gender and year of first ADHD diagnosis. All participants were followed to death, migration, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance programme or 31 December 2013. MPH prescriptions were measured on a yearly basis during the study period, and the association between MPH use and mortality was analysed using a repeated-measures time-dependent Cox regression model. The outcome measures included all-cause, unnatural-cause (including suicide, accident and homicide) and natural-cause mortality, obtained from linkage to the National Mortality Register in Taiwan.
The MPH group had lower unadjusted all-cause, natural-, unnatural- and accident-cause mortality than the comparison group. After controlling for potential confounders, MPH use was associated with a significantly lower all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio AHR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.67–0.98, P = 0.027), delayed use of MPH was associated with higher mortality (AHR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.09) and longer MPH use was associated with lower mortality (AHR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.70–0.98).
MPH use is associated with a reduced overall mortality in children with ADHD in this cohort study, but unmeasured confounding cannot be excluded absolutely.
An edge-coloured graph
is called properly connected if any two vertices are connected by a properly coloured path. The proper connection number,
, of a graph
, is the smallest number of colours that are needed to colour
such that it is properly connected. Let
denote the minimum value such that
for any 2-connected incomplete graph
with minimum degree at least
. Brause et al. [‘Minimum degree conditions for the proper connection number of graphs’, Graphs Combin.33 (2017), 833–843] showed that
. In this note, we show that