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Considering the influence of body’s growth and development on thyroid volume (TVOL), whether five existed corrected methods could be applied to correct TVOL remains unclear, in terms of Chinese children’s increased growth and development trends. This study aimed to compare the applicability of five correction methods: Body Surface Area corrected Volume (BSAV), Body Mass Indicator corrected Volume (BMIV), Weight and Height corrected Volume Indicator (WHVI), Height corrected Volume Indicator 1 (HVI1) and Height corrected Volume Indicator 2 (HVI2) and to establish the reference values for correction methods. The data of Iodine Nutrition and Thyroid Function Survey were used to analyse the differences in TVOL between normal and abnormal thyroid function children. Data of National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Survey were used to compare five correction methods and to establish their reference values. The median urinary iodine concentrations of children surveyed were 256·1 μg/l in 2009 and 192·6 μg/l in 2019. No significant difference was found in TVOL and thyroid goitre rate between children with normal and abnormal thyroid function. In the determination of goitre, HVI1, HVI2, BSAV and BMIV all showed high agreement with TVOL, while the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of WHVI was relatively low for children aged 8 (AUC = 0·8993) and 9 (AUC = 0·8866) years. Most differences of TVOL between light and heavy weight, short and tall height children can be eliminated by BSAV. BSAV was the best corrected method in this research. Reference values were established for corrected TVOL in Chinese children aged 8–10 years by sex.
Excessive iodine can lead to goiters. However, the relationship between the water iodine concentration (WIC) and goiter rate (GR) is unclear. This study aims to explore the factors that influence children’s GR in areas with high WIC and analyse the threshold value of the GR increase associated with the WIC. According to the monitoring of the areas with high WIC in China in 2018–2020, a total of 54 050 children in eight high water iodine provinces were chosen. Drinking water, urine and edible salt samples of children were collected. The thyroid volume (Tvol) was measured. A generalised additive model (GAM) was used to analyse the relationship between the WIC and GR in children. Among the 54 050 children in areas with high WIC, the overall GR was 3·34 %, the median of water iodine concentration was 127·0 µg/l, the median of urinary iodine concentration was 318 µg/l and the non-iodised salt coverage rate (NISCR) was 63·51 %. According to the GAM analysis results, water iodine and urinary iodine are factors that influence the Tvol and GR, while the NISCR affects only the GR. When the WIC was more than 420 µg/l or the urinary iodine concentration was more than 800 µg/l, the GR increased rapidly. When the NISCR reached more than 85 %, the GR was the lowest. Thus, in areas with high WIC, WIC more than 420 µg/l may increase the risk of goiter, and the NISCR should be increased to over 85 % to avoid goiters in children.
The policy of Universal Salt Iodisation (USI) could reduce population’s thyroid volume (TVOL) in iodine deficiency areas. Conversely, the improved growth and developmental status of children might increase the TVOL accordingly. Whether the decreased TVOL by USI conceals the increase effect of height and weight on TVOL is unclear. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between height, weight, iodine supplementation and TVOL. Five national Iodine Deficiency Disorder surveys were matched into four pairs according to the purpose of analysis. County-level data of both detected by paired surveys were incorporated; 1:1 random pairing method was used to match counties or individuals. The difference of TVOL between different height, weight, different iodine supplementation measures groups and the association between TVOL and them were studied. The mean height and weight of children aged 8–10 years increased from 129·9 cm and 26·9 kg in 2002 to 136·2 cm and 32·1 kg in 2019, while the median TVOL decreased from 3·10 ml to 2·61 ml. Iodine supplementation measures can affect TVOL; after excluding iodine effects, the median TVOL was increased with the height and weight. On the other side, after excluding the influence of height and weight, the median TVOL remained decreased. Only age, weight and salt iodine were significantly associated with TVOL in multiple linear models. Development of height and weight in children is the evidence of improved nutrition. The decreased TVOL caused by iodised salt measures conceals the increase effect of height and weight on TVOL. Age, weight and salt iodine affect TVOL significantly.
To determine if specific dietary patterns are associated with breast cancer (BC) risk in Chinese women.
Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify generic dietary patterns based on daily food-frequency data.
The Chinese Wuxi Exposure and Breast Cancer Study (2013–2014).
A population-based case–control study (695 cases, 804 controls).
Four dietary patterns were identified, Prudent, Chinese traditional, Western and Picky; the proportion in the controls and cases was 0·30/0·32/0·16/0·23 and 0·29/0·26/0·11/0·33, respectively. Women in Picky class were characterised by higher extreme probabilities of non-consumption of specific foods, the highest probabilities of consumption of pickled foods and the lowest probabilities of consumption of cereals, soya foods and nuts. Compared with Prudent class, Picky class was associated with a higher risk (OR = 1·42, 95 % CI 1·06, 1·90), while the relevant association was only in post- (OR = 1·44, 95 % CI 1·01, 2·05) but not in premenopausal women. The Western class characterised by high-protein, high-fat and high-sugar foods, and the Chinese traditional class characterised by typical consumption of soya foods and white meat over red meat, both of them showed no difference in BC risk compared with Prudent class did.
LCA captures the heterogeneity of individuals embedded in the population and could be a useful approach in the study of dietary pattern and disease. Our results indicated that the Picky class might have a positive association with the risk of BC.
Following the proliferation of private standards in the global supply chain trade, it has become clear that these can have adverse effects on international commerce and world welfare in the same way that government-imposed mandatory regulations do. However, the scope of the obligation of WTO Members in relation to the regulation of private standards remains vague and open to divergent interpretations under WTO law. This article starts from the premise that the debate should move beyond the search for a reasonable interpretation of relevant WTO disciplines and instead begin to consider normative questions concerning the legitimacy and accountability of transnational private regulation in global governance and the potential role of the WTO in regulating such private authority. The article explores what justifies the role of the WTO, a multilateral intergovernmental organization, in regulating transnational private standards and how a regulatory mechanism might be designed and implemented in practice.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
High-quality carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) have unique one- and two-dimensional structures made up of sp2-hybridized carbon atoms and excellent physical and chemical properties. They have shown potential for use in electronics, optoelectronics, energy-storage devices, composites, and sensors. In this article, we review important milestones in these uses of CNTs and graphene produced by CVD, with special emphasis on the latest advances and remaining challenges. The key characteristics and advantages of CNTs and graphene synthesized by CVD for different applications are compared, and future trends in the use of these nanocarbons are discussed.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite of phylum Apicomplexa. To facilitate high-efficiency invasion of host cells, T. gondii secretes various proteins related to the moving junction (MJ) complex from rhoptries and micronemes into the interface between the parasite and host. AMA1/RON2/4/5/8 is an important MJ complex, but its mechanism of assembly remains unclear. In this study, we used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to generate a derivative of T. gondii strain RH with a null mutation in TgRON4, thought to be an essential MJ component. Deficiency of TgRON4 moderately decreased invasion ability relative to that of the wild-type parasite. In addition, expression of the endogenous N-terminal fragment of RON5 decreased in the mutant. Together, the results improve our understanding of the assembly mechanism of the MJ complex of T. gondii and raise the possibility of developing new therapeutic drugs that target this complex.
Choline and betaine are essential nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism and have been hypothesised to affect breast cancer risk. Functional polymorphisms in genes encoding choline-related one-carbon metabolism enzymes, including phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) and betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), have important roles in choline metabolism and may thus interact with dietary choline and betaine intake to modify breast cancer risk. This study aimed to investigate the interactive effect of polymorphisms in PEMT, BHMT and CHDH genes with choline/betaine intake on breast cancer risk among Chinese women. This hospital-based case–control study consecutively recruited 570 cases with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 576 age-matched (5-year interval) controls. Choline and betaine intakes were assessed by a validated FFQ, and genotyping was conducted for PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890. OR and 95 % CI were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Compared with the highest quartile of choline intake, the lowest intake quartile showed a significant increased risk of breast cancer. The SNP PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890 had no overall association with breast cancer, but a significant risk reduction was observed among postmenopausal women with AA genotype of BHMT rs3733890 (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·25, 0·98). Significant interactions were observed between choline intake and SNP PEMT rs7946 (Pinteraction=0·029) and BHMT rs3733890 (Pinteraction=0·006) in relation to breast cancer risk. Our results suggest that SNP PEMT rs7946 and BHMT rs3733890 may interact with choline intake on breast cancer risk.
One important issue arising from EC–Seal Products is what constitutes a technical regulation in the TBT Agreement. This article argues that the Appellate Body's analytical approach to this issue has led to an arbitrary conclusion in EC–Seal Products. The article further examines to what extent PPMs, especially Non–product–related PPMs, are covered by the TBT Agreement. The article concludes that an important question to be answered is what special characteristics of a technical regulation distinguish it from other regulations and make it subject to more detailed obligations in the TBT Agreement.
The national treatment (NT) obligation embodied in Article III:4 of the GATT 1994 has been long marked by legal indeterminacy. Recently, the WTO Appellate Body has shed some fresh light on how the NT obligation should be interpreted in EC–Seal Products. The Appellate Body's report on EC–Seal Products and other recent developments in WTO case law have fundamentally reshaped our collective understanding of the NT obligation. The purpose of this article is to take stock of what we have known about the NT obligation in GATT Article III:4 after EC–Seal Products, as well as identifying some lingering uncertainties. This paper argues that the boundary of the NT obligation in GATT Article III:4 will be largely determined by how the Appellate Body deals with three big issues identified in this article in future disputes.
This study was designed to determine the effect of melatonin on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine oocytes denuded of the cumulus oophorus (DOs). DOs were cultured alone (DOs) or with 10−9 M melatonin (DOs + MT), cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured without melatonin as the control. After IVM, meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, apoptotic rates and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression of ATP synthase F0 Subunit 6 and 8 (ATP6 and ATP8), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) mRNA in MII oocytes and IFN-tau (IFN-τ), Na+/K+-ATPase, catenin-beta like 1 (CTNNBL1) and AQP3 mRNA in parthenogenetic blastocysts were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results showed that: (1) melatonin significantly increased the MII rate of DOs (65.67 ± 3.59 % vs. 82.29 ± 3.92%; P < 0.05), decreased the ROS level (4.83 ± 0.42 counts per second (c.p.s) vs. 3.78 ± 0.29 c.p.s; P < 0.05) and apoptotic rate (36.99 ± 3.62 % vs. 21.88 ± 2.08 %; P < 0.05) and moderated the reduction of relative mRNA levels of ATP6, ATP8, BMP-15 and GDF-9 caused by oocyte denudation; (2) melatonin significantly increased the developmental rate (24.17 ± 3.54 % vs. 35.26 ± 4.87%; P < 0.05), and expression levels of IFN-τ, Na+/K+-ATPase, CTNNBL1 and AQP3 mRNA of blastocyst. These results indicated that melatonin significantly improved the IVM quality of DOs, leading to an increased parthenogenetic blastocyst formation rate and quality.
Melding the power of the state with the power of capitalism, state-owned and state-controlled enterprises continue to control the commanding heights of the Chinese economy even though market-oriented reforms have led to a rapid expansion of the private sector in China. This article reflects on how China's practice of state capitalism challenges the world trading system and how WTO law, as interpreted by WTO Panels and the WTO Appellate Body (AB), addresses these challenges. The article concludes that the WTO Agreement on Subsides and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) has been interpreted in such a manner that many key features of China's state capitalism could easily be challenged by its trading partners in a WTO-consistent manner. This finding has profound implications for China's domestic economic reforms, especially China's ongoing reforms of its state-owned enterprises and commercial banks.
The driving mechanism of solar flares and coronal mass ejections is a topic of ongoing debate, apart from the consensus that magnetic reconnection plays a key role during the impulsive process. While present solar research mostly depends on observations and theoretical models, laboratory experiments based on high-energy density facilities provide the third method for quantitatively comparing astrophysical observations and models with data achieved in experimental settings. In this article, we show laboratory modeling of solar flares and coronal mass ejections by constructing the magnetic reconnection system with two mutually approaching laser-produced plasmas circumfused of self-generated megagauss magnetic fields. Due to the Euler similarity between the laboratory and solar plasma systems, the present experiments demonstrate the morphological reproduction of flares and coronal mass ejections in solar observations in a scaled sense, and confirm the theory and model predictions about the current-sheet-born anomalous plasmoid as the initial stage of coronal mass ejections, and the behavior of moving-away plasmoid stretching the primary reconnected field lines into a secondary current sheet conjoined with two bright ridges identified as solar flares.
We investigated the effect mouse cumulus cells (mCCs) on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine denuded germinal vesicle oocytes (DOs). Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs), DOs and DOs cocultured with either mCCs (DOs + mCCs) or bovine cumulus cells (bCCs; DOs + bCCs) were subjected to IVM. The meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, glutathione (GSH) contents, zona pellucida (ZP) hardening and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression levels of bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) in MII oocytes were measured using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). mCCs significantly increased the MII rate of DOs from 53.5 ± 3.58% to 69.67 ± 4.72% (p < 0.05) but had no effect on the GSH content (2.17 ± 0.31 pmol/oocyte with mCCs, 2.14 ± 0.53 pmol/oocyte without mCCs). For the DOs + mCCs group, the BMP-15 and GDF-9 expression levels were significantly higher and the ZP dissolution time was significantly lower (162.49 ± 12.51 s) than that of the DOs group (213.95 ± 18.87 s; p < 0.05). The blastocyst rate of the DOs + mCCs group (32.56 ± 4.94%) was similar to that of the DOs group (31.75 ± 3.65%) but was significantly lower than that of the COCs group (43.52 ± 5.37%; p < 0.05). In conclusion, mCCs increased the MII rate of DOs and expression of certain genes in MII oocytes, and decreased the ZP hardening of MII oocytes, but could not improve their GSH content or developmental potential.
Multicamera networks are becoming increasingly common in surveillance applications given their ability to provide persistent sensing over a large area. Opportunistic sensing and nonintrusive acquisition of biometrics, which are useful in many applications, come into play. However, opportunistic sensing invariably comes with a price, namely, a wide range of potential nuisance factors that alter and degrade the biometric signatures of interest. Typical nuisance factors include pose, illumination, defocus blur, motion blur, occlusion, and weather effects. Having multiple views of a person is critical for mitigating some of these degradations.
In particular, having multiple viewpoints helps build more robust signatures because the system has access to more information. For face recognition, having multiple views increases the chances of the person being in a favorable frontal pose. However, to use the multiview information reliably, we need to estimate the pose of the person's head. This could be done explicitly by computing the actual pose of the person to a reasonable approximation, or implicitly by using a view selection algorithm. Solving for the pose of a person's head presents a difficult problem, especially when images have poor resolution and the calibration of cameras (both external and internal) is not sufficiently precise to allow robust multiview fusion. This holds especially true in surveillance applications when the subjects under surveillance often appear in the far- field of the camera.
Crystal structure of a new compound
KBaB5O9 has been investigated from X-ray powder diffraction data. This compound is isostructural with
KSrB5O9 and crystallizes in the monoclinic system with space group P21/c. Unit-cell parameters are a=6.7200(2) Å, b=8.3256(2) Å, c=14.3674(4) Å, and β=92.6103(3) deg. Its structure contains both
B3O8 rings, which share a common B atom to form a complex two dimensional network constituting the basic
B5O9 unit in the formula. Adjacent networks are bound together by Ba and K atoms, which have eight- and nine-coordinate sites, respectively. In addition, DTA and TGA curves reveal that
KBaB5O9 decomposes at 798 °C. Photoluminescence (PL) characteristics of
KBaB5O9:Eu3+ have been studied. The PL spectra show the strongest emission at 618 nm and the quench concentration of Eu3+ is 4 at. %.