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English as a lingua franca (ELF) refers to ‘any use of English among speakers of different first languages for whom English is the communicative medium of choice, and often the only option’ (Seidlhofer, 2011, p. 7*). ELF research started relatively recently. It was only discussed occasionally in the last century. Landmark changes were the publications of Jenkins (2000*) and Seidlhofer (2001*). These works inspired more research into ELF, as witnessed by a dramatically increased interest in ELF since then, resulting in a large number of journal articles, monographs, edited books (e.g. Mauranen & Ranta, 2009*) and large corpora (e.g. the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English, the Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings, and the Asian Corpus of English). In addition, ELF researchers have launched the annual conference series (International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca), the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, and the De Gruyter book series Developments in English as a Lingua Franca. These publications move from an initial understanding of ELF as a ‘variety’ or ‘varieties’ to a later conceptualisation of ELF as a dynamic, fluid and variable phenomenon. ELF has become a major focus of discussions and activities among both applied linguists and English language teaching professionals (Jenkins, Cogo, & Dewey, 2011).
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.
Late-life depression has become an important public health problem. Available evidence suggests that late-life depression is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among older adults living in the community, although the associations have not been comprehensively reviewed and quantified.
To estimate the pooled association of late-life depression with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among community-dwelling older adults.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies that examine the associations of late-life depression with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in community settings.
A total of 61 prospective cohort studies from 53 cohorts with 198 589 participants were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. A total of 49 cohorts reported all-cause mortality and 15 cohorts reported cardiovascular mortality. Late-life depression was associated with increased risk of all-cause (risk ratio 1.34; 95% CI 1.27, 1.42) and cardiovascular mortality (risk ratio 1.31; 95% CI 1.20, 1.43). There was heterogeneity in results across studies and the magnitude of associations differed by age, gender, study location, follow-up duration and methods used to assess depression. The associations existed in different subgroups by age, gender, regions of studies, follow-up periods and assessment methods of late-life depression.
Late-life depression is associated with higher risk of both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among community-dwelling elderly people. Future studies need to test the effectiveness of preventing depression among older adults as a way of reducing mortality in this population. Optimal treatment of late-life depression and its impact on mortality require further investigation.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
This paper presents a control strategy for solving the cable pseudo-drag problem of cable-driven parallel camera robots at high speeds. The control strategy belongs to a hybrid position/tension control method based on cable tension optimization. The cable catenary model and cable pseudo-drag problem are considered firstly. Then, the dynamic model of the cable-driven parallel camera robot is established. The cable tension optimization is proposed. And then a control strategy is put forward and its stability is proved. Simulation results of a four-cable camera robot are presented and discussed.
There has been widespread recent interest in self-assembly and synthesis of porphyrin and its derivatives-based ordered arrays aiming to emulate natural light-harvesting processes and energy storage. However, technologies that leverage the structural advantages of individual porphyrins have not been fully realized and have been limited by available synthesis methods. This article provides general perspectives on porphyrin and derivative chemistry, and discussions on surfactant-assisted cooperative self-assembly using amphiphilic surfactants and functional porphyrins and derivatives. The cooperative self-assembly amplifies the intrinsic advantages of individual porphyrins by engineering them into well-defined one-dimensional–three-dimensional (1D–3D) nanostructures. Surfactant-assisted self-assembly of amphiphilic surfactants and porphyrins has been utilized to form well-defined “micelle-like” nanostructures. Driven by intermolecular interactions, subsequent nucleation and growth confined within these nanostructures lead to the formation of 1D–3D ordered optically and electrically active nanomaterials with structure and function on multiple length scales.
There is emerging evidence that glycaemic variability (GV) plays an important role in the development of diabetic complications. The current study aimed to compare the effects of lifestyle intervention (LI) with and without partial meal replacement (MR) on GV. A total of 123 patients with newly diagnosed and untreated type 2 diabetes (T2D) were randomised to receive either LI together with breakfast replacement with a liquid formula (LI+MR) (n 62) or LI alone (n 61) for 4 weeks and completed the study. Each participant was instructed to have three main meals per d and underwent 72-h continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) both before and after intervention. Measures of GV assessed by CGM included the incremental AUC of postprandial blood glucose (AUCpp), standard deviation of blood glucose (SDBG), glucose CV and mean amplitude of glycaemic excursions (MAGE). After a 4-week intervention, the improvements in systolic blood pressure (P=0·046) and time in range (P=0·033) were more pronounced in the LI+MR group than in the LI group. Furthermore, LI+MR caused significantly greater improvements in all GV metrics including SDBG (P=0·005), CV (P=0·002), MAGE (P=0·016) and AUCpp (P<0·001) than did LI. LI+MR (v. LI) was independently associated with improvements in GV after adjustment of covariates (all P<0·05). Our study showed that LI+MR led to significantly greater improvements in GV compared with LI, suggesting that LI+MR could be an effective treatment to alleviate glucose excursions.
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.
Monosized spherical Cu–20% Sn (wt%) alloy particles with diameter ranging from 70.6 to 334.0 μm were prepared by the pulsated orifice ejection method (termed “POEM”). Fully dense without pores and bulk inclusions, the cross-sectional micrographs of the spherical alloy particles indicate an even distribution of Cu and Sn. These spherical Cu–Sn alloy particles exhibit a good spherical shape and a narrow size distribution, suggesting that the liquid Cu–Sn alloy can completely break the balance between the surface tension and the liquid static pressure in the crucible micropores and accurately control the volume of the droplets. Furthermore, the cooling rate of spherical Cu–20% Sn alloy particles is estimated by a Newton’s cooling model. The cooling rate of the Cu–20% Sn alloy particle decreases gradually with the particle diameter increasing. Smaller particles have higher cooling rates and when the particle diameter is less than 70 μm, the cooling rate of particles can reach more than 3.3 × 104 K/s. The secondary dendrite arm spacing has strong dependence on particle diameter which increases gradually with the increase of particle diameter. The results demonstrate that POEM is an effective route for fabrication of high-quality monosized Cu–20% Sn alloy particles.
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.
This research paper addresses the hypothesis that RagD is a key signalling factor that regulates amino acid (AA) mediated-casein synthesis and cell proliferation in cow mammary epithelial cells (CMECs). The expression of RagD was analysed at different times during pregnancy and lactation in bovine mammary tissue from dairy cows. We showed that expression of RagD at lactation period was higher (P < 0·05) than that at pregnancy period. When CMECs were treated with methionine (Met) or lysine (Lys), expression of RagD, β-casein (CSN2), mTOR and p-mTOR, and cell proliferation were increased. Further, when CMECs were treated to overexpress RagD, expression of CSN2, mTOR and p-mTOR, and cell proliferation were up-regulated. Furthermore, the increase in expression of CSN2, mTOR and p-mTOR, and cell proliferation in response to Met or Lys supply was inhibited by inhibiting RagD, and those effects were reversed in the overexpression model. When CMECs were treated with RagD overexpression together with mTOR inhibition or conversely with RagD inhibition together with mTOR overexpression, results showed that the increase in expression of CSN2 and cell proliferation in response to RagD overexpression was prevented by inhibiting mTOR, and those effects were reversed by overexpressing mTOR. The interaction of RagD with subunit proteins of mTORC1 was analysed, and the result showed that RagD interacted with Raptor. CMECs were treated with Raptor inhibition, and the result showed that the increase in expression of mTOR and p-mTOR in response to RagD overexpression was inhibited by inhibiting Raptor.
In conclusion, our study showed that RagD is an important activation factor of mTORC1 in CMECs, activating AA-mediated casein synthesis and cell proliferation, potentially acting via Raptor.
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.
The study investigated whether dietary methionine (Met) affects egg weight and antioxidant status through regulating gene expression of ovalbumin (OVAL), nuclear factor erythroid 2 like 2 (Nrf2) and haem oxygenase 1 (HO-1) in laying duck breeders. Longyan duck breeders (n 540, 19 weeks) were randomly assigned to six treatments with six replicates of fifteen birds each. Breeders were fed diets with six Met levels (2·00, 2·75, 3·50, 4·25, 5·00 and 5·75 g/kg) for 24 weeks. The egg weight (g), egg mass (g/d), feed conversion ratio, hatchability, 1-d duckling weight, albumen weight, albumen proportion and OVAL mRNA level improved with dietary Met levels, whereas yolk proportion decreased (P<0·05). The weight of total large yellow follicles increased linearly (P<0·001) and quadratically (P<0·05) with dietary Met concentration, and their weight relative to ovarian weight showed a linear (P<0·05) effect. Dietary Met level had a linear (P<0·05) and quadratic (P<0·001) effect on the gene expression of glutathione peroxidase (GPX1), HO-1 and Nrf2, and quadratically (P<0·05) increased contents of GPX and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in liver of duck breeders. In addition, maternal dietary Met enhanced gene expression of GPX1, HO-1 and Nrf2, increased contents of GPX and T-AOC and reduced carbonylated protein in the brains of hatchlings. Overall, dietary Met concentration affected egg weight and albumen weight in laying duck breeders, which was partly due to gene expression of OVAL in oviduct magnum. A diet containing 4·0 g Met/kg would achieve optimal hepatic GPX1 and Nrf2 expression, maximise the activity of GPX and minimise lipid peroxidation.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
Based on recent studies on sea ice and newly developed technologies, this paper examines the requirements and environmental factors for exploitation of sea ice as a freshwater resource. Considering the ‘mining’ of sea ice, the suitability of locations in the Bohai Sea, China, for exploitation was analysed and evaluated using GIS technology. The ice must be >10 cm thick, the intertidal zone must be narrow and the ‘mining’ area must have a water depth of at least 2 m. The sea areas with feasible resources are located mainly in the nearshore area of northern Liaodong Bay and in a narrow and long area along the coast of Bohai Bay. Most coastal areas of northern Liaodong Bay have favourable conditions, while Bohai Bay is widely constrained by unsuitable conditions. According to the status of the resources and the coastal environment conditions, the eastern and western coasts of northern Liaodong Bay are the most suitable areas for exploitation at the current technological level.
We report on the radiative transfer process and optical properties of sea ice in the thermal infrared (TIR) band, presenting two new linear kernel driver models (Relative Emissivity Distribution Function, REDF) that describe TIR emission characteristics of smooth and rough ice. In order to test the models and determine the necessary coefficients, in situ measurements from the Bohai Sea were carried out during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 boreal winters. The results show that the relative emissivity of smooth sea ice decreases along with increasing viewing zenith angle, and the shape of the relative emissivity curve is similar to that of an ideal plane. Affected by parameters such as roughness and surface temperature distribution, the anisotropy of relative emissivity of sea ice with a high degree of roughness is stronger relative to the cosine emitter. The model coefficients were also obtained using a robust regression method based on the measured data. The presented models are more practical than the numerical radiative transfer model and can be used for multi-angular TIR remote sensing.
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.
Defects arise when nematic liquid crystals are under topological constraints at the boundary. Recently the study of defects has drawn a lot of attention because of the growing theoretical and practical significance. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between two-dimensional defects and three-dimensional defects within nematic liquid crystals confined in a shell. A highly accurate spectral method is used to solve the Landau-de Gennes model to get the detailed static structures of defects. Interestingly, the solution is radial-invariant when the thickness of the shell is sufficiently small. As the shell thickness increases, the solution undergoes symmetry break to reconfigure the disclination lines. We study this three-dimensional reconfiguration of disclination lines in detail under different boundary conditions. In particular, we find that the temperature plays an important role in deciding whether the transition between two-dimensional defects and three-dimensional defects is continuous or discontinuous for the shell with planar anchoring condition on both inner and outer surfaces. We also discuss the characterization of defects in two- and three-dimensional spaces within the tensor model.
SiO2-MgF2/TiO2 double-layer films with antireflective, self-cleaning and adherent properties were prepared by spin-coating SiO2-MgF2 and TiO2 sol on glass substrate successively and subsequently being calcined at 250°C. The optical and structural properties of films have been investigated by visible spectrophotometer and field emission scanning electron microscope, respectively. At the same time, self-cleaning property generated from superhydrophilicity and photocatalysis was obtained. The results indicated that the as-prepared SiO2-MgF2/TiO2 double-layer films show a maximum increase in transmittance near 520 nm wavelength of 2.8% and photocatalytic property with the R value of 4.7(JIS R 1703–2).It has been demonstrated that high transmittance, self-cleaning and adherent composite has been obtained by a simple sol–gel route presenting good potential to be applied on photovoltaics systems.