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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.
In most of video coding standards such as high efficiency video coding (HEVC), I-frame assignment is periodic even when the content change is minor, which degrades the coding efficiency. This paper proposes an I-frame assignment method based on Nash bargaining solution (NBS) in game theory to solve this problem. The encoded sequence is divided into several subsequences. Each subsequence is regarded as a game. All group of picture (GOP) in a subsequence is further divided into several sets of GOP. Each set of GOP is regarded as a player and compete for the number of I-frames. The optimal I-frame assignment is determined based on the generalized NBS. Experimental results show the proposed method outperforms HEVC by 5.21% bitrate saving.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
The pathophysiology of cognitive impairment in patients with the major depressive disorder (MDD) may involve neuroinflammation mediated by cytokines.
The aim of this study was to examine the serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, sustained attention, and their association in patients with MDD.
Thirty patients with MDD and 30 healthy controls were enrolled in this case-control study. Sustained attention was measured using the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) task in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. The serum IL-6 levels of all subjects were assessed by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
There were significant differences in the log10RVP total hits, log10RVP total misses, and log10RVP mean latency between patients with MDD and healthy controls (F = 6.04, p = 0.017; F = 19.77, p < 0.0001; F = 14.42, p < 0.0001, respectively). The serum levels of Log10IL-6 were significantly higher in patients with MDD than in healthy controls (F = 192.27, p < 0.0001). The log10IL-6 levels were also positively correlated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (r = 0.45, p = 0.013). A further stepwise multivariate regression analysis indicated that the log10IL-6 levels were significantly associated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (β = 0.31, t = 2.41, p = 0.025).
Our data suggested that increased IL-6 levels were associated with the psychopathology of MDD, and that abnormal IL-6 levels were implicated in the impairment of sustained attention in patients with MDD.
Isolation of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) from patients in the community has been increasingly observed. A prediction model for MDR-GNB colonization and infection risk stratification on hospital admission is needed to improve patient care.
A 2-stage, prospective study was performed with 995 and 998 emergency department patients enrolled, respectively. MDR-GNB colonization was defined as isolates resistant to 3 or more classes of antibiotics, identified in either the surveillance or early (≤48 hours) clinical cultures.
A score-assigned MDR-GNB colonization prediction model was developed and validated using clinical and microbiological data from 995 patients enrolled in the first stage of the study; 122 of these patients (12.3%) were MDR-GNB colonized. We identified 5 independent predictors: age>70 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.84 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06–3.17]; 1 point), assigned point value in the model), residence in a long-term-care facility (OR, 3.64 [95% CI, 1.57–8.43); 3 points), history of cerebrovascular accidents (OR, 2.23 [95% CI, 1.24–4.01]; 2 points), hospitalization within 1 month (OR, 2.63 [95% CI, 1.39–4.96]; 2 points), and recent antibiotic exposure (OR, 2.18 [95% CI, 1.16–4.11]; 2 points). The model displayed good discrimination in the derivation and validation sets (area under ROC curve, 0.75 and 0.80, respectively) with the best cutoffs of<4 and ≥4 points for low- and high-risk MDR-GNB colonization, respectively. When applied to 998 patients in the second stage of the study, the model successfully stratified the risk of MDR-GNB infection during hospitalization between low- and high-risk groups (probability, 0.02 vs 0.12, respectively; log-rank test, P<.001).
A model was developed to optimize both the decision to initiate antimicrobial therapy and the infection control interventions to mitigate threats from MDR-GNB.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Ralstonia pickettii has caused contamination of pharmaceutical solutions in many countries, resulting in healthcare infections or outbreak events. We determined the source of the outbreak of R. pickettii bloodstream infection (BSI).
This study was conducted in a 3,000-bed tertiary referral medical center in Taiwan with >8,500 admissions during May 2015. Patients had been treated in the injection room or chemotherapy room at outpatient departments, emergency department, or hospital wards. All patients who were culture positive for R. pickettii from May 3 to June 11, 2015, were eligible for the study. The aim of the survey was to conduct clinical epidemiological and microbiological investigations to identify possible sources of infection.
We collected 57 R. pickettii–positive specimens from 30 case patients. We performed 24 blood cultures; 14 of these revealed >2 specimens and 6 used fluid withdrawn from Port-a-Cath implantable venous access devices. All patients received an injection of 20 mL 0.9% normal saline via catheter flushing. In addition, 2 unopened ampules of normal saline solution (20 mL) were confirmed positive for R. pickettii. The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed sampling and testing of the same manufactured batch and identified the same strain of R. pickettii. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis tests revealed that all clinical isolates had similarity of >90%, validating the outbreak of the same clone of R. pickettii.
R. pickettii can grow in saline solutions and cause bloodstream infections. Hospital monitoring mechanisms are extremely important measures in identifying and ending such outbreaks.
The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is
To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients
with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being
All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin,
Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123
572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.
The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who
received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were
significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher
rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living
alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and
complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher
than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the
never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status,
being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.
Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic
medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that
outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental
healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for
earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.
This study investigated the influences of neighborhood factors (residential stability and neighborhood disadvantage) and variants of the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotype on the development of substance use among African American children aged 10–24 years. To accomplish this, a harmonized data set of five longitudinal studies was created via pooling overlapping age cohorts to establish a database with 2,689 children and 12,474 data points to span ages 10–24 years. A description of steps used in the development of the harmonized data set is provided, including how issues such as the measurement equivalence of constructs were addressed. A sequence of multilevel models was specified to evaluate Gene × Environment effects on growth of substance use across time. Findings indicated that residential instability was associated with higher levels and a steeper gradient of growth in substance use across time. The inclusion of the 5-HTTLPR genotype provided greater precision to the relationships in that higher residential instability, in conjunction with the risk variant of 5-HTTLPR (i.e., the short allele), was associated with the highest level and steepest gradient of growth in substance use across ages 10–24 years. The findings demonstrated how the creation of a harmonized data set increased statistical power to test Gene × Environment interactions for an under studied sample.
This paper proposes planar antennas with quadri-polarization diversity using a pair of orthogonal linear polarizations and a pair of orthogonal circular polarizations (CP). A novel feeding network with four input ports and four output ports is presented, allowing antenna polarization diversity by selecting different input ports, which can generate right-handed CP, left-handed CP, horizontal linear polarization, and vertical linear polarization. The first design uses two square patch resonators to synthesize the four polarizations; the second design comprises four circularly polarized patches to synthesize the four polarizations with an improved axial-ratio (the ratio of orthogonal components of an E-field) bandwidth. The proposed designs do not require for embedding PIN diodes and DC-biasing circuits, making them suitable for use in higher-frequency applications where using lump elements would be difficult. The novel antennas provide potential polarization diversity features which can be used for many applications. Details of the antenna design are shown, and the measurement and simulation results are also provided to validate the proposed concept.
Recent studies have shown that chemical immiscibility is important to achieve enhanced radiation tolerance in metallic multilayers as immiscible layer interfaces are more stable against radiation induced mixing than miscible interfaces. However, as most of these immiscible systems have incoherent interfaces, the influence of coherency on radiation resistance of immiscible systems remains poorly understood. Here, we report on radiation response of immiscible Cu/Fe multilayers, with individual layer thickness h varying from 0.75 to 100 nm, subjected to He ion irradiation. When interface is incoherent, the peak bubble density decreases with decreasing h and reaches a minimum when h is 5 nm. At even smaller h when interface is increasingly coherent, the peak bubble density increases again. However, void swelling in coherent multilayers with smaller h remains less than those in incoherent multilayers. Our study suggests that the coherent immiscible interface is also effective to alleviate radiation induced damage.
Biped walking can be regarded as a global limit cycle whose stability is difficult to verify by only local sensory feedback. This paper presents a control strategy combining global sensory reflex and leg synchronization. The inverted pendulum angle is utilized as global motion feedback to ensure global stability, and joint synchronization between legs is designed to stabilize bifurcations. The proposed strategy can achieve a stable gait and stabilize bifurcations. The robustness of this approach was evaluated against external disturbances. Walking experiments of a biped actuated by pneumatic muscles were conducted to confirm the validity of the proposed method. Instead of tracking predetermined trajectories, this method uses sensory reflexes to activate motor neurons and coincides with the biological idea wherein inessential degrees-of-freedom are barely controlled rather than strictly controlled.
This study was designed to examine the prospective relations of life stress and genetic status with increases in drug use. African Americans (N = 399) in rural Georgia (Wave 1 mean age = 17 years) provided three waves of data across 27.5 months and a saliva sample from which the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene was genotyped. Multilevel growth curve modeling analysis indicated that emerging adults manifested the highest escalations in drug use when they reported high life stress and carried an allele of DRD4 with 7 or more repeats (7 + R allele). In addition, emerging adults who reported high life stress and carried the 7 + R allele evinced the largest increases in two proximal risk factors for drug use: affiliations with drug-using companions and drug use vulnerability cognitions. Furthermore, when the Gene × Environment interaction effects on the increases in affiliations with drug-using companions and vulnerability cognitions were entered into the model forecasting drug use, the Life Stress × DRD4 Status interaction on drug use became nonsignificant in the presence of the risk mechanisms. This finding provides an example of “second generation” Gene × Environment interaction research in which the interaction's effects on proximal risk mechanisms account for its effects on outcomes.
Nanofluidic behavior has been an active area of research for the past decade. In addition to modifying nanopore size and surface properties, another important way to adjust system performance is to control the liquid composition. In the current study, we investigate the influence of electrolyte concentration on the infiltration behavior, as well as its dependence on temperature. A hydrophilic zeolite Y can be soaked in pure water, while with the addition of an electrolyte it can’t be soaked spontaneously. It is noticed that the effective solid–liquid interfacial tension in nanopores is highly sensitive to the electrolyte concentration, which may be related to the unique confinement environment in nanoporous material. As a result, with the electrolyte concentration varying, the effective interfacial tension changes rapidly. This phenomenon can be attributed to the amplification effect of nanopore surfaces on the solid–liquid interaction. It provides a scientific basis for developing smart liquids for various temperature and pressure ranges.
Few studies have evaluated the relationship between the consumption of dietary folate and one-carbon metabolism-related nutrients and breast cancer risk defined by oestrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status. The objective of the present study was to examine the associations between dietary folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and methionine intake and the risk of breast cancer by ER and PR status among Chinese women in Guangdong. A hospital-based case–control study was conducted from June 2007 to August 2008, with 438 cases and 438 age (5-year interval)- and residence (rural/urban)-matched controls. Dietary intake information was assessed using a validated FFQ administered through a face-to-face interview. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate multivariate-adjusted OR and 95 % CI. A significant inverse association was found between dietary folate and vitamin B6 intake and breast cancer risk. The adjusted OR of the highest v. the lowest quartile were 0·32 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·49; Ptrend < 0·001) for dietary folate and 0·46 (95 % CI 0·30, 0·69; Ptrend < 0·001) for vitamin B6. No associations were observed for vitamin B12 and methionine intake. A significant inverse association between dietary folate intake and breast cancer risk was observed in all subtypes of ER and PR status. These findings suggest that dietary folate and vitamin B6 intakes were inversely associated with breast cancer risk. The inverse association did not differ by ER and/or PR status.
Selective tungsten chemical vapor deposition (W-CVD) is one of the most attractive technique for filling deep submicron contact hole and via hole for the ULSI application. In this work, we firstly find out the anomalous selective W growth for the contact hole. The tungsten only nucleates from the side ring of the contact hole bottom. Several predeposition treatments prior to W growth can improve this anomalous feature and excellently selective W growth can be achieved. Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) is utilized to investigate the interface of Si/W. A model has been proposed to explain this anomalous selective tungsten growth.
In this work, we study the thermal stability and interaction between SiOF and Cu. Blanket SiOF films with various F concentration were deposited by PE-CVD. A dielectric constant as low as 3.2 was obtained. Copper were deposited on these SiOF and a series of post-deposition anneal were performed. Dielectric constant of SiOF was measured after deposition and again after anneal. AES and SIMS depth profile are utilized to determine the interdiffusion between Cu and SiOF under different annealing conditions. Breakdown voltage and dielectric constant were determined form C-V and I-V measurement using a MIS ( Cu/ SiOF/ p-Si) diode. This results of leakage current measurement and flat band shift measurement suggest that the fluorine in the SiOF film will retard the cu diffusion.