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To investigate the association between the Metabolic Score for Visceral Fat (METS-VF) and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and compare the predictive value of the METS-VF for T2DM incidence with other obesity indices in Chinese people. A total of 12,237 non-T2DM participants aged over 18 from the Rural Chinese Cohort Study of 2007-2008 were included at baseline and followed up during 2013-2014. The cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between baseline METS-VF and T2DM risk. Restricted cubic splines were used to model the association between METS-VF and T2DM risk. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis was used to evaluate the ability of METS-VF to predict T2DM incidence. During a median follow-up of 6.01 (5.09-6.06) years, 837 cases developed T2DM. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the adjusted HR (95% CI) for the highest versus lowest METS-VF quartile was 5.97 (4.28-8.32), with a per 1-standard deviation increase in METS-VF positively associated with T2DM risk. Positive associations were also found in the sensitivity and subgroup analyses, respectively. A significant nonlinear dose–response association was observed between METS-VF and T2DM risk for all participants (Pnonlinearity = 0.0347). Finally, the AUC value of METS-VF for predicting T2DM was largest among six indices. The METS-VF may be a reliable and applicable predictor of T2DM incidence in Chinese people regardless of sex, age, or body mass index.
With the rise of a new generation of investment policies, the modernisation or upgrading of existing bilateral investment treaties ('BITs') is of significant interest to States. China has upgraded 28% of its investment treaties in various ways. Two investment arbitration tribunals and one highest court at the seat of arbitration have recently rendered decisions favouring the application of old Chinese BITs over the upgraded ones. China’s experience with upgrading BITs may provide general policy discourse and direction for other countries planning to upgrade their BITs. Using China’s experience, this paper categorises a typology of upgrading BITs into the Co-existence Model (parties to an old BIT join existing or new FTAs or a regional investment agreement), the Replacement Model (replace an old BIT with a new one), the Amendment Model (amend an old BIT by a protocol) and the Joint Interpretation Model (issue a diplomatic announcement to interpret a BIT). This paper also discusses the benefits and challenges of each Model and concludes with possible directions for future BIT upgrading.
With the increasing demand for a personalized product and rapid market response, many companies expect to explore online user-generated content (UGC) for intelligent customer hearing and product redesign strategy. UGC has the advantages of being more unbiased than traditional interviews, yielding in-time response, and widely accessible with a sheer volume. From online resources, customers’ preferences toward various aspects of the product can be exploited by promising sentiment analysis methods. However, due to the complexity of language, state-of-the-art sentiment analysis methods are still not accurate for practice use in product redesign. To tackle this problem, we propose an integrated customer hearing and product redesign system, which combines the robust use of sentiment analysis for customer hearing and coordinated redesign mechanisms. Ontology and expert knowledges are involved to promote the accuracy. Specifically, a fuzzy product ontology that contains domain knowledges is first learned in a semi-supervised way. Then, UGC is exploited with a novel ontology-based fine-grained sentiment analysis approach. Extracted customer preference statistics are transformed into multilevels, for the automatic establishment of opportunity landscapes and house of quality table. Besides, customer preference statistics are interactively visualized, through which representative customer feedbacks are concurrently generated. Through a case study of smartphone, the effectiveness of the proposed system is validated, and applicable redesign strategies for a case product are provided. With this system, information including customer preferences, user experiences, using habits and conditions can be exploited together for reliable product redesign strategy elicitation.
Sarcopenic obesity is regarded as a risk factor for the progression and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Since male sex is a risk factor for NAFLD and skeletal muscle mass markedly varies between the sexes, we examined whether sex influences the association between appendicular skeletal muscle mass to visceral fat area ratio (SVR), that is, an index of skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity, and the histological severity of NAFLD. The SVR was measured by bioelectrical impedance in a cohort of 613 (M/F = 443/170) Chinese middle-aged individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Multivariable logistic regression and subgroup analyses were used to test the association between SVR and the severity of NAFLD (i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or NASH with the presence of any stage of liver fibrosis). NASH was identified by a NAFLD activity score ≥5, with a minimum score of 1 for each of its categories. The presence of fibrosis was classified as having a histological stage ≥1. The SVR was inversely associated with NASH in men (adjusted OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·92, P = 0·017 for NASH, adjusted OR 0·65; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·99, P = 0·043 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis), but not in women (1·47 (95 % CI 0·76, 2·83), P = 0·25 for NASH, and 1·45 (95 % CI 0·74, 2·83), P = 0·28 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). There was a significant interaction for sex and SVR (Pinteraction = 0·017 for NASH and Pinteraction = 0·033 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). Our findings show that lower skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity is strongly associated with the presence of NASH only in men.
Emerging research in the idiosyncratic deals literature is to examine its negative effects. Thus far, much remains unknown about how and when idiosyncratic deals are associated with employee creative process engagement. Invoking fairness heuristic theory and trait activation theory, we propose and test a model that coworker's idiosyncratic deals have a negative association with witness's creative process engagement through psychological contract violation. Furthermore, we theorize and test the combination of the responsibility for change and perceived exploitative leadership as important boundary conditions, associate interact with coworker's idiosyncratic deals to strengthen the positive impact on psychological contract violation, thereby reducing witness's creative process engagement. We use two time-lagged studies to provide support for these mediation and moderation effects, and also discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.
The aim of this study was to present the clinical characteristics and dynamic changes in laboratory parameters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Guangzhou, and explore the probable early warning indicators of disease progression.
We enrolled all the patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital. The patients’ demographic and epidemiologic data were collected, including chief complaints, lab results, and imaging examination findings.
The characteristics of the patients in Guangzhou are different from those in Wuhan. The patients were younger in age, predominately female, and their condition was not commonly combined with other diseases. A total of 75% of patients suffered fever on admission, followed by cough occurring in 62% patients. Comparing the mild/normal and severe/critical patients, being male, of older age, combined with hypertension, abnormal blood routine test results, raised creatine kinase, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time, and positive proteinuria were early warning indicators of severe disease.
The patients outside epidemic areas showed different characteristics from those in Wuhan. The abnormal laboratory parameters were markedly changed 4 weeks after admission, and also were different between the mild and severe patients. More evidence is needed to confirm highly specific and sensitive potential early warning indicators of severe disease.
Automatic generation of high-quality meshes is a base of CAD/CAE systems. The element extraction is a major mesh generation method for its capabilities to generate high-quality meshes around the domain boundary and to control local mesh densities. However, its widespread applications have been inhibited by the difficulties in generating satisfactory meshes in the interior of a domain or even in generating a complete mesh. The element extraction method's primary challenge is to define element extraction rules for achieving high-quality meshes in both the boundary and the interior of a geometric domain with complex shapes. This paper presents a self-learning element extraction system, FreeMesh-S, that can automatically acquire robust and high-quality element extraction rules. Two central components enable the FreeMesh-S: (1) three primitive structures of element extraction rules, which are constructed according to boundary patterns of any geometric boundary shapes; (2) a novel self-learning schema, which is used to automatically define and refine the relationships between the parameters included in the element extraction rules, by combining an Advantage Actor-Critic (A2C) reinforcement learning network and a Feedforward Neural Network (FNN). The A2C network learns the mesh generation process through random mesh element extraction actions using element quality as a reward signal and produces high-quality elements over time. The FNN takes the mesh generated from the A2C as samples to train itself for the fast generation of high-quality elements. FreeMesh-S is demonstrated by its application to two-dimensional quad mesh generation. The meshing performance of FreeMesh-S is compared with three existing popular approaches on ten pre-defined domain boundaries. The experimental results show that even with much less domain knowledge required to develop the algorithm, FreeMesh-S outperforms those three approaches in essential indices. FreeMesh-S significantly reduces the time and expertise needed to create high-quality mesh generation algorithms.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association between daily Se intake and postpartum weight retention (PPWR) among Chinese lactating women, and the impact of their Se nutritional status on infants’ physical development. Se contents in breast milk and plasma collected from 264 lactating Chinese women at the 42nd day postpartum were analysed with inductively coupled plasma MS. Daily Se intake was calculated based on plasma Se concentration. The dietary data of 24-h records on three consecutive days were collected. Infant growth status was evaluated with WHO standards by Z-scores. Linear regression analyses and multinomial logistic regression were conducted to examine the impact of Se disequilibrium (including other factors) on PPWR and growth of infants, respectively. The results indicated that: (1) the daily Se intake of the subjects was negatively associated with their PPWR (B = −0·002, 95 % CI − 0·003, 0·000, P = 0·039); (2) both insufficient Se daily intake (B = −0·001, OR 0·999, 95 % CI 0·998, 1·000, P = 0·014) and low level of Se in milk (B = −0·025, OR 0·975, 95 % CI 0·951, 0·999, P = 0·021) had potential associations with their infants’ wasting, and low level of Se in milk (B = −0·159, OR 0·853, 95 % CI 0·743, 0·980, P = 0·024) had a significant association with their infants’ overweight. In conclusion, the insufficient Se nutritional status of lactating Chinese women was first found as one possible influencing factor of their PPWR as well as low physical development of their offspring.
The development of free-stream disturbances in flow over a vertically vibrating flat plate with a slender leading edge is investigated. The evolution of the optimal inflow perturbation that results in the maximum amplification is computed to investigate the effect of the plate vibration on the development of free-stream disturbance, secondary instability of streaks and subsequently the bypass transition to turbulence. It is observed that the plate vibration leads to periodic change of the angle of attack, shifting the free-stream disturbance to the upper or lower side of the plate. Therefore, the development of steady inflow perturbations, which receive the largest amplification, is interrupted by the vibration, and the perturbation amplification via the lift-up mechanism is weakened. The vibration brings a second peak of perturbation growth at the vibration frequency, leading to high-frequency free-stream perturbations penetrating into the base boundary layer, which is not observed in flow over a stationary plate owing to the sheltering mechanism. This resonance of the flow perturbation and the vibrating plate is explained by the staggering effect of the leading edge. Further, the direct numerical simulations with the optimal inflow perturbation imposed on the inflow boundary show that the vertical vibration of the plate leads to streamwise periodic vorticity near the edge of the boundary layer. This inhomogeneity of the streamwise vorticity brings about streamwisely localized distortion of the low-speed streaks and, thus, an intermittent secondary instability. Therefore, before the streaks break down to turbulence, they undergo several rounds of secondary instabilities, resulting in an elongated bypass transition process.
To explore the effect of manno-oligosaccharide (MOS) on intestinal health in weaned pigs upon enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC) challenge, thirty-two male weaned pigs were randomly assigned into four groups. Pigs fed with a basal diet or basal diet containing MOS (0·6 g/kg) were orally infused with ETEC or culture medium. Results showed that MOS significantly elevated the digestibility of crude protein and gross energy in both ETEC-challenged and non-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS also elevated serum concentrations of IgA and IgM (P < 0·05), but decreased serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (P < 0·05) in ETEC-challenged pigs. Interestingly, MOS increased villus height and the ratio of villus height:crypt depth in duodenum and ileum (P < 0·05). MOS also increased duodenal sucrase and ileal lactase activity in ETEC-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS decreased the abundance of E. coli, but increased the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, MOS not only elevated the expression levels of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), claudin-1 and GLUT-2 in duodenum (P < 0·05) but also elevated the expression levels of ZO-1, GLUT-2 and L-type amino acid transporter-1 in ileum (P < 0·05) upon ETEC challenge. These results suggested that MOS can alleviate inflammation and intestinal injury in weaned pigs upon ETEC challenge, which was associated with suppressed secretion of inflammatory cytokines and elevated serum Ig, as well as improved intestinal epithelium functions and microbiota.
Sugarcane brown rust, caused by Puccinia melanocephala, is one of the main diseases of sugarcane in China. The identification and discovery of new resistance genes have important theoretical and practical significance for preventing outbreaks of brown rust and ensuring the sustainable production of sugarcane. To screen for polymorphic simple-sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers for localization of brown rust resistance genes, we used two populations that are suitable for genetic linkage map construction and mapping of new resistance genes to construct resistant and susceptible genetic pools. We then screened 449 pairs of primers to identify polymorphic SSR markers in the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools. The results showed that 25 pairs of primers directed amplification of polymorphic DNA fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’, and 16 pairs of primers amplified polymorphic fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Liucheng 03-1137’ × ‘Dezhe 93-88’. Four pairs of primers (SMC236CG, SCESSR0928, SCESSR0636 and SCESSR2551) amplified polymorphic DNA fragments between the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools in ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’. The results of this study will establish a solid foundation for the mapping of new brown rust resistance genes, genetic linkage map construction and the development of closely-associated molecular markers in sugarcane.
The Arctic winter seasonal sea ice (WSSI) concentration from 1979 to 2019 is derived from passive microwave data. Based on Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis, the WSSI time series includes regionally different trends, abrupt shifts and interannual variations. The time series of the first EOF mode (PC1) mainly represents the WSSI trend, which is characterized by an increase, particularly in the Pacific sector. PC1 confirms two abrupt shifts in WSSI in 1989 and 2007, with a variance of 31%. After 2007, the large-scale atmospheric circulation anomaly shows a strengthened wavenumber 3 structure at high latitudes associated with a mid-tropospheric low-pressure anomaly in central and western Siberia and a high-pressure anomaly in eastern Siberia in summer and autumn. These patterns have promoted the increased transport of moist static energy to the central Arctic and contributed to increased near-surface air temperatures that may enhance ice melting in summer and reduce ice growth in autumn and winter. The changes in ice melt and growth have had opposite effects in the Pacific and Atlantic sectors: WSSI has increased in the Pacific sector due to the replacement of multi-year ice by WSSI, and decreased in the Atlantic sector due to the replacement of WSSI by open water.
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has pushed the tension of protecting personal data in a transnational context to an apex. Using a real case where the personal data of an international traveler was illegally released by Chinese media, this Article identifies three trends that have emerged at each stage of conflict-of-laws analysis for lex causae: (1) The EU, the US, and China characterize the right to personal data differently; (2) the spread-out unilateral applicable law approach comes from the fact that all three jurisdictions either consider the law for personal data protection as a mandatory law or adopt connecting factors leading to the law of the forum; and (3) the EU and China strongly advocate deAmericanization of substantive data protection laws. The trends and their dynamics provide valuable implications for developing the choice of laws for transnational personal data. First, this finding informs parties that jurisdiction is a predominant issue in data breach cases because courts and regulators would apply the law of the forum. Second, currently, there is no international treaty or model law on choice-of-law issues for transnational personal data. International harmonization efforts will be a long and difficult journey considering how the trends demonstrate not only the states’ irreconcilable interests but also how states may consider these interests as their fundamental values that they do not want to trade off. Therefore, for states and international organizations, a feasible priority is to achieve regional coordination or interoperation among states with similar values on personal data protection.
This paper focuses on Internet intermediaries’ civil liabilities for contents produced by third parties. By comparing Chinese law with the laws of the US and EU, it argues that the US law grants broad civil immunity to Internet intermediaries, and the EU and China restrict civil immunity to intermediaries but in different ways. This is on account of how, in the US, Internet intermediaries enjoy civil immunity as long as they do not become content providers. In the EU, aside from mere conduit intermediaries, all other intermediaries are subject to the notice-and-take-down mechanism before enjoying civil immunity. In contrast, in China, even after an intermediary properly follows the notice-and-take-down mechanism, it may still be subject to civil liability under the Chinese Consumer Law. Further, this paper argues that the policy priority for the law for Internet intermediaries varies fundamentally in the three jurisdictions. The US law for intermediaries’ liability focuses on protecting freedom of speech. The EU emphasizes the protection of personal information as a fundamental human right. Contrastingly, Chinese policy priority is unclear. Consumer protection has boomed in public popularity and increasingly attracted the attentions of the legislature and judiciary in China. However, it is doubtable that the protection of consumers can provide a prevailing policy support for Chinese law in the same way as freedom of speech and the protection of personal information do under the laws of the US and the EU, respectively.
Here, we explored the influences of dietary inulin (INU) supplementation on growth performance and intestinal health in a porcine model. Thirty-two male weaned pigs (with an average body weight of 7·10 (sd 0·20) kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments and fed with a basal diet (BD) or BD containing 2·5, 5·0 and 10·0 g/kg INU. After a 21-d trial, pigs were killed for collection of serum and intestinal tissues. We show that INU supplementation had no significant influence on the growth performance in weaned pigs. INU significantly elevated serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration but decreased diamine oxidase concentration (P < 0·05). Interestingly, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation significantly elevated the villus height in jejunum and ileum (P < 0·05). Moreover, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation also elevated the villus height to crypt depth (V:C) in the duodenum and ileum and improved the distribution and abundance of tight-junction protein zonula occludens-1 in duodenum and ileum epithelium. INU supplementation at 10·0 g/kg significantly elevated the sucrase activity in the ileum mucosa (P < 0·05). INU supplementation decreased the expression level of TNF-α but elevated the expression level of GLUT 2 and divalent metal transporter 1 in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0·05). Moreover, INU increased acetic and butyric acid concentrations in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, INU elevated the Lactobacillus population but decreased the Escherichia coli population in the caecum (P < 0·05). These results not only indicate a beneficial effect of INU on growth performance and intestinal barrier functions but also offer potential mechanisms behind the dietary fibre-regulated intestinal health.
This study aims to ascertain the long-term epidemic trends of malaria and evaluates the probability of achieving the eradication goal by 2020 in China. Data on malaria incidence and deaths were extracted from the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention. The epidemic trends by sex, age and spatial distribution and predictions of malaria were estimated by using Joinpoint and Poisson regressions. From 1950 to 2016, 227 668 374 malaria cases were reported in China, with an annualised average incidence of 337.02 (336.98–337.07, 95% confidence interval (CI)) per 100 000 population. The incidence decreased with an average annual per cent change (AAPC) of −11.4% (−16.6 to −6.0). There were 36 085 malaria deaths, with an annualised average mortality of 0.534 (0.529–0.540) per 1 000 000 population. The mortality decreased with an AAPC of −8.7% (−13.7 to −3.4). The predicted number of malaria cases and deaths for 2020 is 2 562 and 10, respectively, and zero for indigenous cases. The disease burden of malaria dramatically decreased in China. Though, the goal of malaria elimination is realistic by 2020 in China, routine clinical and entomological surveillance should be continually conducted, especially for the cross-border areas and imported malaria cases.
Exosomes derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells are nanovesicles and are involved in the occurrence and development of HCC, they also serve as important carriers and drug targets of nanodrug delivery systems. The external shape and internal structure of exosomes are important indexes of identification, and isolated intact morphology is crucial to biological function integrity. However, given their susceptibility to various influencing factors, the external shape and internal structure of exosomes derived from HCC cells remain incompletely studied. In this study, exosomes purified from HCC cells were isolated at different centrifugation speeds and examined via multiple electron microscopy (EM) techniques. The results demonstrate that exosomes possess a nearly spherical shape and bilipid membranous vesicle with a concave cavity structure containing electron-dense and coated vesicles, suggesting the possible existence of subpopulations of exosomes with specific functions. The exosomes isolated at ultracentrifugation (UC) speed (≥110,000×g) presented irregular and diverse external morphologies, indicating the effect on the integrity of the exosomes. Transforming growth factor signaling bioactive substances (TGF-β1, S100A8, and S100A9) can be found in exosomes by performing Western blotting, showing that the internal content is associated with metastasis of HCC. These findings show that EMelectron microscopy and UC speed can affect exosome characteristics, including external shape, internal structure, and content of bioactive substances. The electron-dense and coated vesicles that had been discovered in exosomes might become new additional morphological features, which could help to improve the interpretation of experimental results and widen our understanding of exosome morphology.
We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
The aim of the study was to investigate how maternal dietary patterns and maternal/fetal cytokines are associated with birth weight and whether cytokines mediate the association. A total of 469 pregnant women and their children were recruited for this prospective study. Dietary patterns in pregnancy were identified using factor analysis of data from three consecutive 24 h dietary recalls. Maternal and umbilical blood serum cytokines (adiponectin (APN), IL-6 and interferon-γ) were measured via ELISA. Path analysis was used to explore the relationships between maternal diet, cytokines and birth weight. Four dietary patterns were identified: a mainly fruit, dairy products and poultry diet (FDP); a mainly vegetables, beans and pork diet (VBP); a mainly fish, shrimp and soup diet (FS) and a mainly tuber and egg diet (TE). Path analysis showed the order of effects of dietary patterns on birth weight was FS>FDP>TE>VBP (β=0·130, 0·109, –0·094 and 0·046, respectively). Only the TE pattern’s effect was negative. Maternal and fetal APN were positively associated with birth weight (β=0·045 and 0·226, respectively), and they mediated the association between the TE pattern and birth weight (indirect effect was 5·3 %). Maternal IL-6 was negatively associated with birth weight (β=–0·067) and mediated the association between maternal FDP and VBP patterns and birth weight (indirect effects were 10·1 and 100·0 %, respectively). All variables in the path explained 33·6 % of variation. These results suggested that maternal dietary patterns in pregnancy are associated with birth weight and mediated directly and indirectly through some maternal/fetal serum cytokines.