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There is limited data on the dietary patterns of 5-year-old children in Asia. The study examined childhood dietary patterns and their maternal and child correlates in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort. Based on caregiver-reported one-month quantitative food frequency questionnaires of 777 children from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort, cluster analysis identified two mutually exclusive clusters. Children in the “Unhealthy” cluster (43.9%) consumed more fries, processed meat, biscuits and ice cream, and less fish, fruits and vegetables compared to those in the “Healthy” cluster (56.1%). Children with mothers of lower educational attainment had twice the odds of being assigned to the “Unhealthy” cluster (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 2.19 (1.49-3.24)). Children of Malay and Indian ethnicities had higher odds of being assigned to the “Unhealthy” cluster (adjusted OR = 25.46 (15.40-42.10) and 4.03 (2.68-6.06)) respectively, relative to Chinese ethnicity. In conclusion, this study identified two dietary patterns in children, labelled as the “Unhealthy” and “Healthy” clusters. Mothers’ educational attainment and ethnicity were two correlates that were associated with the children’s assignments to the clusters. These findings can assist in informing health promotion programmes targeted at Asian children.
To identify a posteriori dietary patterns among women planning pregnancy and assess the reproducibility of these patterns in a subsample using two dietary assessment methods.
A semi-quantitative FFQ was administered to women enrolled in the Singapore PREconception Study of long-Term maternal and child Outcomes study. Dietary patterns from the FFQ were identified using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). In a subsample of women (n 289), 3-d food diaries (3DFD) were also completed and analysed. Reproducibility of the identified patterns was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the subsample, and goodness of fit of the CFA models was examined using several fit indices. Subsequently, EFA was conducted in the subsample and dietary patterns of the FFQ and the 3DFD were compared.
1007 women planning pregnancy (18–45 years).
Three dietary patterns were identified from the FFQ: the ‘Fish, Poultry/Meat and Noodles’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of fish, poultry/meat and noodles in soup; ‘Fast Food and Sweetened Beverages’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of fast food, sweetened beverages and fried snacks; ‘Bread, Legumes and Dairy’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of buns/ethnic breads, nuts/legumes and dairy products. The comparative fit indices from the CFA models were 0·79 and 0·34 for the FFQ and 3DFD of the subsample, respectively. In the subsample, three similar patterns were identified in the FFQ while only two for the 3DFD.
Dietary patterns from the FFQ are reproducible within this cohort, providing a basis for future investigations on diet and health outcomes.
In 1988, Malaysia’s Constitution was amended to separate the Syariah and civil jurisdictions of the courts. Henceforth, matters involving Syariah (Islamic religious law) would only be litigated in the Syariah courts and not the civil courts. This move proved problematic especially since the Federal Constitution regulates all fundamental rights and liberties – including the right to religious freedom – while religion is regulated by the constituent states. State legislatures are thus empowered to create and punish offences against precepts of Islam. This chapter analyses how common law principles of administrative law have been applied and developed in Malaysia by studying their interaction with the administration of Syariah law. More specifically, it asks: How do the civil courts exercise its powers of judicial review in cases involving Syariah and the exercise of powers by both secular and religious authorities in such cases? It traces the patterns of judicial application and assessment of key administrative law principles such as natural justice, reasonableness, and proportionality and argues that while English precedents continue to be cited, these same precedents are often jettisoned and modified when it conflicts with the political power and primacy of Islamic law.
It is important to understand the temporal trend of the paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load to estimate the transmission potential of children in schools and communities. We determined the differences in SARS-CoV-2 viral load dynamics between nasopharyngeal samples of infected asymptomatic and symptomatic children. Serial cycle threshold values of SARS-CoV-2 from the nasopharynx of a cohort of infected children were collected for analysis. Among 17 infected children, 10 (58.8%) were symptomatic. Symptomatic children, when compared to asymptomatic children, had higher viral loads (mean cycle threshold on day 7 of illness 28.6 vs. 36.7, P = 0.02). Peak SARS-CoV-2 viral loads occurred around day 2 of illness in infected children. Although we were unable to directly demonstrate infectivity, the detection of significant amount of virus in the upper airway of asymptomatic children suggest that they have the potential to shed and transmit SARS-CoV-2. Our study highlights the importance of contact tracing and screening for SARS-CoV-2 in children with epidemiological risk factors regardless of their symptom status, in order to improve containment of the virus in the community, including educational settings.
Vitamin C deficiency has been a historical disease rarely seen nowadays. We illustrate a case of a boy with autism presenting with severe pulmonary hypertension and refusal to walk secondary to vitamin C deficiency. Initiating treatment with high-dose vitamin C reversed his symptoms and he regained full power of his lower limbs with total normalisation of his pulmonary pressures.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
This study estimates the incubation period of COVID-19 among locally transmitted cases, and its association with age to better inform public health measures in containing COVID-19. Epidemiological data of all PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases from all restructured hospitals in Singapore were collected between 23 January 2020 and 2 April 2020. Activity mapping and detailed epidemiological investigation were conducted by trained personnel. Positive cases without clear exposure to another positive case were excluded from the analysis. One hundred and sixty-four cases (15.6% of patients) met the inclusion criteria during the defined period. The crude median incubation period was 5 days (range 1–12 days) and median age was 42 years (range 5–79 years). The median incubation period among those 70 years and older was significantly longer than those younger than 70 years (8 vis-à-vis 5 days, P = 0.040). Incubation period was negatively correlated with day of illness in both groups. These findings support current policies of 14-day quarantine periods for close contacts of confirmed cases and 28 days for monitoring infections in known clusters. An elderly person who may have a longer incubation period than a younger counterpart may benefit from earlier and proactive testing, especially after exposure to a positive case.
Scholars studying Singapore have given it many labels ranging from a dictatorship and one-party state to an illiberal democracy. In 2015, Mark Tushnet, in a much-discussed article published in the Cornell Law Review, used Singapore as the quintessential prototype of what he calls “authoritarian constitutionalism.” This chapter critically examines and unpacks Tushnet’s model of “authoritarian constitutionalism” and argues that this categorization is neither accurate nor useful. The author argues that Tushnet’s construction of this model is based on flawed premises and variables and that from the perspective of comparative constitutional law, this kind of model-making is unhelpful for scholars seeking to understand the true nature of how constitutions work in different societies.
A new developed spatially targeted mollusciciding technology for snail control was utilised in a research site. This study aims to analyse whether this technology can achieve rational effectiveness compared with the routine method. Snail density was monitored every spring and autumn from 2010 to 2017 at the research site and routine mollusciciding for snail control was then performed. After snail density monitoring in spring 2018, spatially targeted mollusciciding technology was adopted. Log-linear regression and nonlinear regression models were used for snail density prediction in autumn 2018 and the predicted value was compared with the actual snail density in autumn 2018 to verify the effectiveness of the spatially targeted mollusciciding. Monitoring results showed that overall snail density in the research site decreased from 2010 to 2018. The monitored snail density in autumn 2018 was 0.014/0.1 m2. Predicted by the log-linear regression model, the snail density in autumn 2018 would be 0.028 (95% CI 0.11–0.072)/0.1 m2. Predicted by the nonlinear regression model, the snail density growth in autumn 2018 in contrast to spring 2018 would be 79.79% (95% CI 54.81%–104.77%) and the actual value was 55.56%. Therefore, the effectiveness of the first application of spatially targeted mollusciciding was acceptable. However, the validation of its sustainable effectiveness still needs a replicated study comparing areas where targeted and untargeted methods are applied simultaneously and both snail abundance and human infection are monitored.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Electromagnetic scattering from the sea surface is of great significance in radar detection, target recognition, ocean remote sensing, etc. By introducing the action spectrum, the modified spatio-temporal variation wave spectrum is used to establish a nonlinear sea surface with currents in this paper. Traditional capillary wave modification facet scattering model (CWMFSM) can only calculate the backscattering from the wind-driven sea surface. By using the new spatio-temporal variation wave spectrum to modify the scattering amplitude of every facet, the new CWMFSM can be used to calculate the nonlinear sea surface scattering with surface currents. Therefore, the model simultaneously considers the modulation of sea surface wind and currents to the radar back echo. The dependence of backscattering coefficient from nonlinear sea surface on the incident angle and the polarization are discussed. The results verify that the nonlinear model is more consistent with the measurement data. This paper also investigates the Doppler spectrum characteristics of the sea with currents. It is found that the effect of wave–current interaction on Doppler spectra is weaker than that of wave–wave interaction. The SAR images of nonlinear sea surfaces are also simulated and different bands, polarizations, and baseline length effects on sea current detection performance of along-track interference SAR are analyzed.
Prion diseases, or Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs), are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders associated with a conformational transformation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a self-feplicating and proteinase K (PK)-resistant conformer, scrapie PrP (PrPSc). Aggregates of PrPSc around neurons lead to neuropathologyical change including neuronal loss, astrogliosis, spongiform degeneration and deposition of amyloid plaques. Currently no effective treatment for prion disease exists. The development of novel therapeutic strategies against prion diseases has become a priority. Several reports have demonstrated that passive and active immune-based therapy can significantly prolong the incubation period of prionoses in vivo, and also some anti-PrP monoclonal can prevent PrP peptide toxicity in vitro. In this study, we have first time identified and purified anti-PrP antibodies from human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) by using PrP peptide affinity chromatography column. The ratio of anti-PrP antibody and IVIG is about 1:1200. In vitro study indicates these anti-PrP antibodies strongly block PrP A117V peptide fibril formation and disrupt formation of fibrillar structures. Furthermore, these antibodies almost completely prevented neurotoxicity of PrP A117V peptide in cultured rat cerebellar granule neuron cultures (CGN). In contrast, immunoglobulins depleted of anti-PrP antibodies had little effect on PrP fibril formation or protection of neuronal cells. Our study suggests that human anti-PrP antibodies may interfere with the pathogenesis of prion disease and these purified antibodies may be a potential therapeutic agent to prevent or slow prion disease progression.
Donepezil is a reversible, centrally-acting acetylcholinesterase inhibitor used in the treatment of mild to moderate symptoms of dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease. in recent years, there has been emerging evidence of its use in other conditions, such as Lewy Body dementia and autism. However, there have been few reports of the use of Donepezil to treat depression in the absence of cognitive impairment.
This is a case report of a 62-year old female with a long-standing history of major depressive disorder with no history of cognitive impairment, who failed to respond to antidepressants with augmentation therapy including antipsychotics, lithium and methylphenidate; but eventually improved on Donepezil.
A then-56-year old Chinese lady diagnosed with major depressive disorder, was treated with several antidepressants with poor response. Despite augmentation with dual antidepressants, antipsychotics, methylphenidate and lithium, her symptoms of avolition, depressed mood and irritability persisted. After 4 years of antidepressant treatment, she was started on donepezil 5 mg. Within a month of augmentation, significant improvement in symptoms were reported, notably in mood and volition, and the patient was able to engage in an active and meaningful lifestyle of semblance to her pre-morbid mental state.
This case highlights the possibility of Donepezil being used as an adjunctive therapy in major depressive disorder, even in the absence of cognitive impairment. Future studies to investigate the use of Donepezil may therefore be worthwhile to explore its use in this population of patients.
Childhoods in urban or rural environments may differentially affect risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we leveraged on dramatic urbanization and rural-urban migration since the 1980s in China to explore the hypothesis that rural or urban childhoods may differentially influence memory processing and neural responses to neutral and aversive stimuli.
Explore the underlying mechanisms of childhood environment effect on brain function and neuropsychiatric risk.
We examined 420 adult subjects with similar current socioeconomic status and living in Beijing, China, but with differing rural (n = 227) or urban (n = 193) childhoods. In an episodic memory paradigm scanned in a 3 T GE MRI, subjects viewed blocks of neutral or aversive pictures in the encoding and retrieval sessions.
Episodic memory accuracy for neutral stimuli was less than for aversive stimuli (P < 0.001). However, subjects with rural childhoods apparently performed less accurately for memory of aversive but not neutral stimuli (P < 0.01). In subjects with rural childhoods, there was relatively increased engagement of bilateral striatum at encoding, increased engagement of bilateral hippocampus at retrieval of neutral and aversive stimuli, and increased engagement of amygdala at aversive retrieval (P < 0.05 FDR corrected, cluster size > 50).
Rural or urban childhoods appear associated with physiological and behavioural differences, particularly in the neural processing of aversive episodic memory at medial temporal and striatal brain regions. It remains to be explored the extent to which these effects relate to individual risk for neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Understanding the pattern of middle-ear cholesteatoma becomes pertinent with the rise of endoscopic surgery as surgeons decide on the optimal approach to visualise and extirpate disease. With modifications to the Telmesani attic–tympanum–mastoid staging system, this study aimed to evaluate the commonest patterns of middle-ear cholesteatoma and their implications for surgical approach.
A retrospective study was conducted in a single tertiary institution in Singapore. All patients undergoing cholesteatoma surgery between January 2012 and June 2015 were included. Staging of cholesteatoma was based on clinical assessment corroborated by radiological findings.
Out of the 55 ears included, 98.2 per cent had cholesteatoma involving the attic. The disease extended into the mastoid antrum and beyond in 43 cases (78.2 per cent). The facial recess and/or sinus tympanum was affected in 26 cases (47.3 per cent).
The majority of cholesteatoma cases present with extensive attic disease and significant mastoid involvement. In these cases, endoscopes may be best suited to adjunctive rather than exclusive use in surgery.
Sparganosis is an important foodborne parasitic zoonosis; however, few reports on the prevalence of snake-infecting plerocercoids from Hunan province in China are available. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of spargana infection in wild snakes from this region in 2018, and identified an astonishing prevalence rate of 91.7% (344/375). Spargana parasites were found in 99.1% of Zaocys dhumnades, 94.1% of Elaphe carinata and 86.7% of Elaphe taeniura. Parasites exhibited various distributions: 50% were located in muscular tissue, 32.1% in subcutaneous tissue and 17.9% in the coelomic cavity. To identify the specific status of spargana collected from wild snakes, partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene sequences were amplified, sequenced and analysed. Sequence variations for cox1 among all the examined plerocercoids ranged between 0.0 and 2.9%, with 21 variable sites identified (4.71%, 21/446). Phylogenetic analyses identified that all plerocercoids isolated from Hunan province were Spirometra erinaceieuropaei. This is the first report of S. erinaceieuropaei infection in snakes in Hunan province. The risks and harms of sparganosis should be publicized, and illegal wildlife trade should be controlled.