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Spray-painting equipments are important for the automatic spraying of long conical objects such as rocket fairing. This paper proposes a spray-painting equipment that consists of a feed worktable, a gantry frame and two serial–parallel mechanisms and investigates the optimal design of PRR–PRR parallel manipulator in serial–parallel mechanisms. Based on the kinematic model of the parallel manipulator, the conditioning performance, workspace and accuracy performance indices are defined. The dynamic model is derived using virtual work principle and dynamic evaluation index is defined. The conditioning performance, workspace, accuracy performance and dynamic performance are involved in multi-objective optimization design to determine the optimal geometrical parameters of the parallel manipulator. Furthermore, the geometrical parameters of the gantry frame are optimized. An example is given to show how to determine these parameters by taking a long object with conical surface as painted object.
Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
A seismic change in the residential pattern is emerging in rural China today: traditional rural houses have been rapidly erased from the face of the countryside with large numbers of peasants being relocated to modern high-rise buildings. This process of “peasant elevation” has had a monumental impact on rural China. It redefines the entitlement to land use by the rural citizenry and negotiations for a new regime of property rights concerning land administration, while, most importantly, it undermines the position of the local state in rural China, whose authority is an aggregation of three distinctive elements: coercive power inherent in the state apparatus, control over economic resources, and resonance with local morality. Based on original data collected in Chongqing, Nantong and Dezhou, this paper argues that the comprehensive uprooting of the Chinese peasantry from the land and the resulting complications have caused moral disorientation among the relocated peasants and fragmentation of local authority. The difficulty in establishing community identity in the new setting has further undermined local governance. This may in turn trigger a wave of social and political tensions that may eventually turn out to be a major political challenge to the regime for years to come.
Radiation exposure during paediatric cardiac catheterisation procedures should be minimised to “as low as reasonably achievable”. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified radiation safety protocol in reducing patient dose during paediatric interventional cardiac catheterisation.
Radiation dose data were retrospectively extracted from January 2014 to December 2015 (Standard group) and prospectively collected from January 2016 to December 2017 (Low-dose group) after implementation of a modified radiation safety protocol. Both groups included five most common procedures: atrial septal defect closure, patent ductus arteriosus closure, perimembranous ventricular septal defect closure, pulmonary valvuloplasty, and supraventricular tachycardia ablation.
Median air Kerma was 48.4, 50.5, 29.75, 149, 218, and 12.9 mGy for atrial septal defect closure, pulmonary valvuloplasty, patent ductus arteriosus closure <20 kg, ventricular septal defect closure <20 kg, ventricular septal defect closure ≧20 kg, and supraventricular tachycardia ablation in Standard group, respectively, which significantly decreased to 18.75, 20.7, 11.5, 41.9, 117, and 3.3 mGy in Low-dose group (p < 0.05). This represents a reduction in dose to each patient between 46 and 74%. Among five procedural types in Low-dose group, dose of ventricular septal defect closure was the highest with median air Kerma of 62.5 mGy, dose area product of 364.7 μGy.m2, and dose area product per body weight of 21.5 μGy.m2/kg, respectively, along with the longest fluoroscopy time of 9.9 minutes.
We provided a feasible radiation safety protocol with specific settings on a case-by-case basis. Increasing awareness and adequate training of a practical radiation dose reduction program are essential to improve radiation protection for children.
Challenges remain in the judgement of pathological murmurs in newborns at maternity hospitals, and there are still many simple major CHD patients in developing countries who are not diagnosed in a timely fashion. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of cardiac auscultation on neonatal CHD by general paediatricians.
We conducted a prospective study at three hospitals. All asymptomatic newborns underwent auscultation, pulse oximetry monitoring, and echocardiography. Major CHD was classified and confirmed through follow-up. We evaluated the accuracy of various degrees of murmurs for detecting major CHD to determine the most appropriate standards and time of auscultation.
A total of 6750 newborns were included. The median age of auscultation was 43 hours. Cardiac murmurs were identified in 6.6% of newborns. For all CHD, 44.4% had varying degrees of murmurs. A murmur of grade ≥2 used as a reference standard for major CHD had a sensitivity of 89.58%. The false positive rate of murmurs of grade ≥2 for detecting major CHD was significantly negatively related to auscultation time, with 84.4% of false positives requiring follow-up for non-major CHD cardiac issues. Auscultation after 27 hours of life could reduce the false positive rate of major CHD from 2.7 to 0.9%.
With appropriate training, maternity hospital’s paediatricians can detect major CHD with high detection rates with an acceptable false positive rate.
In 2007, Taiwan began conducting health technology assessments (HTA) to support the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) in its reimbursement decisions for drugs, medical devices, and medical services.
In this study, the development, missions, and procedures of the implementation of HTA in Taiwan are briefly introduced. Moreover, the value of HTA is examined by reviewing the outcomes and impacts of recent HTA-related research projects, which are classified into five categories: (i) pharmaceutical products, (ii) medical procedures, (iii) medical devices, (iv) health policy, and (v) social care.
Overall, the 10-year implementation of HTA has not only supported the government's decision making but also enhanced patient care. Furthermore, patient evidence has been highlighted, and patient care pathways have been transformed through patient involvement in HTA.
In conclusion, HTA's value has been determined by both government and social aspects in Taiwan.
Conotruncal heart defects are considered to be one of the most common types of birth defect worldwide. Genetic disturbances in folate metabolism such as Thymidylate synthase may increase risk for conotruncal heart defects. We evaluated two common Thymidylate synthase polymorphisms, including the 28 bp tandem repeat in the promoter enhancer region of the 5′-untranslated region and the 6 bp deletion in the 3′-untranslated region, as risk factors of conotruncal heart defects including various subtypes of malformations, in a total of 193 mothers with conotruncal heart defect in offspring and 234 healthy controls in the Chinese population. Logistic regression analyses revealed that mothers who were homozygotes with deletion (−/−) had a 1.8-fold (odds ratio: 1.8; 95% confidence interval: 1.0–3.0, p = 0.040) increased risk for conotruncal heart defect in offspring, respectively, when compared with mothers carrying the wild type (+/+) genotype. Consistently, individuals carrying the genotype −/− of the Thymidylate synthase 6 bp deletion also had higher plasma homocysteine levels compared to the mothers carrying the genotype +/+ in the control and conotruncal heart defect groups (p = 0.006 and p = 0.004, respectively). However, our results showed that Thymidylate synthase 28 bp tandem repeat polymorphism was not associated with risk for conotruncal heart defect and plasma homocysteine level. In conclusion, our data suggest that the maternal Thymidylate synthase 6 bp deletion polymorphism might be associated with plasma homocysteine level and risk for conotruncal heart defect in offspring.
In this study, we investigate a new simple scheme using a planar undulator (PU) together with a properly dispersed electron beam (
beam) with a large energy spread (
) to enhance the free-electron laser (FEL) gain. For a dispersed
beam in a PU, the resonant condition is satisfied for the center electrons, while the frequency detuning increases for the off-center electrons, inhibiting the growth of the radiation. The PU can act as a filter for selecting the electrons near the beam center to achieve the radiation. Although only the center electrons contribute, the radiation can be enhanced significantly owing to the high-peak current of the beam. Theoretical analysis and simulation results indicate that this method can be used for the improvement of the radiation performance, which has great significance for short-wavelength FEL applications.
Field bindweed, a member of the Convolvulaceae family, is a problematic perennial weed in cotton fields and orchards in northwest China. The species exhibits strong seed dormancy, causing delayed germination. A clear understanding of the mechanisms involved in alleviating seed dormancy is important for effective plant propagation and successful management of field bindweed. Experiments were conducted to investigate seed germination and radicle growth of field bindweed by breaking seed dormancy using mechanical scarification, sulfuric acid, hot-water scarification, cold stratification, and chemical treatment. Chemical treatments (gibberellic acid or potassium nitrate) had no effect on breaking seed dormancy, whereas mechanical scarification (sandpaper and blade) resulted in 92% to 98% seed germination, indicating that seed dormancy of field bindweed was mainly due to the presence of a hard seed coat. Seeds pretreated with 80% sulfuric acid for 15 to 60 min or 98% sulfuric acid for 15 to 30 min had germination rates above 80%, and soaking seeds in 70 C water for 4 to 16 min or in boiling water for 5 to 20s were effective in breaking seed dormancy but had no effect on the radicle growth of field bindweed. Cold stratification at 5 C for 2 to 8wk partially accelerated seed dormancy release, resulting in 53% to 67% seed germination. Results indicated that field bindweed could potentially form a persistent soil seed bank with physically dormant seed; therefore, strategies for eliminating seed production should be adopted.
Flower-like AgI/Bi5O7I hybrid photocatalysts were fabricated via a hydrothermal method and the subsequent heating process with AgI/Bi4O5I2 as the intermediate. X-ray powder diffraction, Raman, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, diffuse reflectance spectra, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, photoluminescence, and electrochemical methods were used to reveal the structure, elemental content, morphology, and charge separation capabilities of the as-prepared samples. The photocatalytic test showed that the AgI/Bi5O7I composites own much higher photoactivity than pure AgI and Bi5O7I. Based on the result of XPS analysis, the composite is believed to be the Ag/AgI/Bi5O7I system. Due to the suitable band potentials of AgI and Bi5O7I, the ternary system can form a heterojunction structure which works in a Z-scheme mechanism with Ag nanoparticles as the transfer media. The guided charge transfer in the composite prolongs the life time of charge carriers and eventually leads to the high photocatalytic activity of AgI/Bi5O7I. Additionally, the flower-like structure of the composite also contributes to the photocatalytic reaction.
While moving towards unified social health insurance (SHI) is often a politically popular policy reform in countries where rapid expansion in health insurance coverage has given rise to the segmentation of SHI systems as different SHI schemes were rolled out to serve different populations, the potential impacts of reform on service utilisation and health costs have not been systematically studied. Using data from the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), we compared the mean costs incurred for both inpatient and outpatient care under different health insurance schemes, and the impact of different SHI schemes on treatment utilisation and health care costs using a two-part model. Our results show that Urban Employee Medical Insurance, which offers the most generous benefits, incurs the highest total costs prior to reimbursement when compared to other SHI schemes. Our analysis also shows that utilisation of SHI did not show significant reduction in out-of-pocket payments for outpatients. We argue that, unless effective measures are introduced to deal with perverse provider payment incentives, the move towards a unified system with more generous benefits may usher in a new wave of cost escalation for health care systems in China.
We propose a new multi-factor model for international stock returns that includes size, value, and momentum factor portfolios and that builds them in a partial-segmentation capital market framework. Accounting for externalities driven by the incomplete accessibility to stocks and stock markets, our model not only captures strong common variation in international stock returns but also achieves low pricing errors and rejection rates relative to pure segmentation and pure integration models. This partial-segmentation approach is evaluated using monthly returns for over 37,000 stocks from 46 developed and emerging market countries over 2 decades and for a wide variety of test assets.
Enterovirus A-71 (EV-A71) may be fatal, but the natural history, symptoms, and signs are poorly understood. This study aimed to examine the natural history of fatal EV-A71 infection and to identify the symptoms and signs of early warning of deterioration. This was a clinical observational study of fatal cases of EV-A71 infection treated at five Chinese hospitals between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012. We recorded and analysed 91 manifestations of EV-A71 infection in order to identify early prognosis indicators. There were 54 fatal cases. Median age was 21.5 months (Q1−Q3: 12–36). The median duration from onset to death was 78.5 h (range, 6 to 432). The multilayer perceptron analysis showed that ataxia respiratory, ultrahyperpyrexia, excessive tachycardia, refractory shock, absent pharyngeal reflex, irregular respiratory rhythm, hyperventilation, deep coma, pulmonary oedema and/or haemorrhage, excessive hypertension, tachycardia, somnolence, CRT extension, fatigue or sleepiness and age were associated with death. Autopsy findings (n = 2) showed neuronal necrosis, softening, perivascular cuffing, colloid and neuronophagia phenomenon in the brainstem. The fatal cases of enterovirus A71 had neurologic involvement, even at the early stage. Direct virus invasion through the neural pathway and subsequent brainstem damage might explain the rapid progression to death.
The mass-balance of Muztag Ata No. 15 (MZ15) glacier in the eastern Pamir is reconstructed between 1980 and 2012 using an energy-based mass-balance model. The results show that this glacier has been characterized by obvious interannual mass-balance changes during 1980–2012 with a slightly positive mass balance during 1998–2012. Precipitation in the ablation season is a primary driver of these mass-balance fluctuations. Distinct changes in the mass-balance of MZ15 glacier between 1980–1997 and 1998–2012 are thought to be associated with changes in the regionally averaged meridional wind speed and corresponding precipitation in the ablation season. The negative and positive mass-balance phases during 1980–1997 and 1998–2012, respectively, were associated with northerly and southerly wind anomalies in the eastern Pamir and their corresponding decreasing and increasing precipitation. These changes in circulation appear to be linked to the mid-latitude climate. Finally, contrary to the variation of most glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, glaciers in the Karakoram-western Kunlun-eastern Pamir appear to have retreated more slowly over the past 10 years than during the 1970s-2000. This contrasting trend may be caused by different changes in snowfall and different topography factors in different regions under warming and increased precipitation.
This research was designed for the first time to investigate the photocatalytic activities of MoO3/g-C3N4 composite in converting CO2 to fuels under simulated sunlight irradiation. The composite was synthesized using a simple impregnation-heating method and MoO3 nanoparticles was in situ decorated on the g-C3N4 sheet. Characterization results indicated that the introduction of MoO3 nanoparticles into g-C3N4 fabricated a direct Z-scheme heterojunction structure. The effective interfacial charge-transfer across the heterojunction significantly promoted the separation efficiency of charge carriers. The optimal CO2 conversion rate of the composite reached 25.6 μmol/(h gcat), which was 2.7 times higher than that of g-C3N4. Additionally, the synthesized MoO3/g-C3N4 also presented excellent photoactivity in RhB degradation under visible-light irradiation.
The on-site hydrogen supply is a key issue for the commercialization of the fuel cells, which is one of the important ways for realizing a hydrogen-economy society. Composite NaNH2–NaBH4 is regarded as a promising high-capacity hydrogen storage material. In this paper, the composite NaNH2–NaBH4 (2/1) was synthesized via a solid-state ball milling method. To improve the hydrogen generation kinetics, a multiplex metal boride Mg–Co–B was selected as the catalyst. It was found that Na3BN2 and metal Na were byproducts in the thermal decomposed sample by X-ray diffraction analysis. Thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis indicated that the main decomposition stages of the catalyst promoted NaNH2–NaBH4 material were split into three stages. The activation energy of the Mg–Co–B promoted NaNH2–NaBH4 (2/1) material below 300 °C was 76.4 KJ/mol, which is only 47.9% of that of the pristine NaNH2–NaBH4 (2/1), and implying much better hydrogen generation kinetics.
Visible-light responsive plasmonic Ag2O/Ag/g-C3N4 nanosheets (NS) were successfully prepared by a simple and green photodeposition method. The obtained composites were characterized by XRD, Fourier transform infrared, transmission electron microscopy, UV-vis, and the photoluminescence (PL) results indicated that the Ag2O/Ag/g-C3N4 NS composites showed better photoabsorption performance than g-C3N4 due to the surface plasmon resonance effect of Ag nanoparticles. Meanwhile, the composite exhibited excellent photocatalytic activities, which was ∼3.8 and ∼3.0 times higher than those of bulk g-C3N4 and pure g-C3N4 NS, respectively. Moreover, the as-prepared composites showed a high structural stability in the photodegradation of Rhodamine B. A possible photocatalytic and charge separation mechanism was suggested based on the PL spectra and the active species trapping experiment.
In this present study, the influence of different casting processes on high cycle fatigue behavior of Mg–10Gd–3Y–0.5Zr magnesium alloy was investigated by using porosity-free low-pressure sand-casting (LPS) bars and gravity permanent mold casting (GPM) ingots. The results show that the fatigue properties of both LPS and GPM Mg–10Gd–3Y–0.5Zr alloy in as-cast condition are determined by Mg matrix and eutectic phase. However, the fatigue property improvement for LPS alloy by T6 heat treatment is significantly superior to that of GPM alloy. The different degree of enhancement of fatigue properties for two conditions of the alloy is related to different crack initiation mechanism. The fatigue crack of the LPS alloy initiates from the free surface of the sample, while the crack of the GPM alloy initiates from porosities or inclusions near the surface of the sample. Meanwhile, the crack of slip band has a crucial effect on the fatigue crack initiation of both as-cast and T6 conditions for LPS alloy.