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Purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.) is a globally distributed noxious weed that poses a significant challenge for control due to its fast and efficient propagation through the tuber, which is the primary reproductive organ. Gibberellic acid (GA3) has proven to be crucial for tuberization in tuberous plants. Therefore, understanding the relationship between GA3 and tuber development and propagation of C. rotundus will provide valuable information for controlling this weed. This study shows that the GA3 content decreases with tuber development, which corresponds to lower expression of bioactive GA3 synthesis genes (CrGA20ox, two CrGA3ox genes) and two upregulated GA3 catabolism genes (CrGA2ox genes), indicating that GA3 is involved in tuber development. Simultaneously, the expression of two CrDELLA genes and CrGID1 declines with tuber growth and decreased GA3, and yeast two-hybrid assays confirm that the GA3 signaling is DELLA-dependent. Furthermore, exogenous application of GA3 markedly reduces the number and the width of tubers and represses the growth of the tuber chain, further confirming the negative impact that GA3 has on tuber development and propagation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that GA3 is involved in tuber development and regulated by the DELLA-dependent pathway in C. rotundus and plays a negative role in tuber development and propagation.
We aimed to investigate child mortality, perinatal morbidities and congenital anomalies born by women with substance misuse during or before pregnancy (DP or BP).
Taiwan Birth Registration from 2004 to 2014 linking Integrated Illicit Drug Databases used to include substance misuse participates. Children born by mothers convicted of substance misuse DP or BP were the substance-exposed cohort. Two substance-unexposed comparison cohorts were established: one comparison cohort selected newborns from the rest of the population on a ratio of 1:1 and exact matched by the child’s gender, child’s birth year, mother’s birth year and child’s first use of the health insurance card; another comparison cohort matched newborns from exposed and unexposed mothers by their propensity scores calculated from logistic regression.
The exposure group included 1776 DP, 1776 BP and 3552 unexposed individuals in exact-matched cohorts. A fourfold increased risk of deaths in children born by mothers exposed to substance during pregnancy was found compared to unexposed group (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.54, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.07–9.97]. Further multivariate Cox regression models with adjustments and propensity matching substantially attenuated HRs on mortality in the substance-exposed cohort (aHR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.10–2.39). Raised risks of perinatal morbidities and congenital anomalies were also found.
Increased risks of child mortality, perinatal morbidities or congenital anomalies were found in women with substance use during pregnancy. From estimates before and after adjustments, our results showed that having outpatient visits or medical utilizations during pregnancy were associated with substantially attenuated HRs on mortality in the substance-exposed cohort. Therefore, the excess mortality risk might be partially explained by the lack of relevant antenatal clinical care. Our finding may suggest that the importance of early identification, specific abstinence program and access to appropriate antenatal care might be helpful in reducing newborn mortality. Adequate prevention policies may be formulated.
Individuals who self-harm have increased suicide rates. Brief interventions are associated with reduced repeated suicide attempts. However, very few previous studies investigated the acceptability of brief interventions before implementing new trials.
We aimed to explore the perceptions of individuals who self-harm toward a brief intervention, the Chinese version of the volitional help sheet (VHS-C), which encourages people to link a critical situation with an appropriate response.
Fourteen participants who presented to hospitals with self-harm were interviewed about their perspectives regarding the acceptability of the paper- and web-based VHS-C. Data were analysed with the framework method.
The participants could understand the intended goal of the VHS-C by reading the written instructions, but indicated that having verbal instructions would also help. They shared the reasons why they felt the VHS-C was helpful (e.g. relatable contents, useful coping strategies and appropriate instructions that made them feel understood) or unhelpful (e.g., being not specific enough, not useful during the crisis and triggering negative emotional responses). Some indicated that the VHS-C might not be applicable to people experiencing ongoing distress in emergency departments. Most participants preferred the web-based to the paper-based VHS-C, and suggested that the format and frequency of follow-up reminders could leave the patient to decide.
The contents of the VHS-C were acceptable for people who presented to hospitals with self-harm. The VHS-C may be more helpful before individuals encounter suicidal thoughts than when they have an ongoing crisis.
Suicidal acts may cluster in time and space and lead to community concerns about further imitative suicidal episodes. Although suicide clusters have been researched in previous studies, less is known about the clustering of non-fatal suicidal behaviour (self-harm). Furthermore, most previous studies used crude temporal and spatial information, e.g., numbers aggregated by month and residence area, for cluster detection analysis. This study aimed to (i) identify space–time clusters of self-harm and suicide using daily incidence data and exact address and (ii) investigate the characteristics of cluster-related suicidal acts.
Data on emergency department presentations for self-harm and suicide deaths in Taipei City and New Taipei City, Taiwan, were used in this study. In all-age and age-specific analyses, self-harm and suicide clusters were identified using space–time permutation scan statistics. A cut-off of 0.10 for the p value was used to identify possible clusters. Logistic regression was used to investigate the characteristics associated with cluster-related episodes.
A total of 5,291 self-harm episodes and 1,406 suicides in Taipei City (2004–2006) and 20,531 self-harm episodes and 2,329 suicides in New Taipei City (2012–2016) were included in the analysis. In the two cities, two self-harm clusters (n [number of self-harm episodes or suicide deaths in the cluster] = 4 and 8 in Taipei City), four suicide clusters (n = 3 in Taipei City and n = 4, 11 and 4 in New Taipei City) and two self-harm and suicide combined clusters (n = 4 in Taipei City and n = 8 in New Taipei City) were identified. Space–time clusters of self-harm, suicide, and self-harm and suicide combined accounted for 0.05%, 0.59%, and 0.08% of the respective groups of suicidal acts. Cluster-related episodes of self-harm and suicide were more likely to be male (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26, 3.89) and young people aged 10–29 years (aOR = 2.72, 95% CI 1.43, 5.21) than their cluster-unrelated counterparts.
Space–time clusters of self-harm, suicide, and self-harm and suicide combined accounted for a relatively small proportion of suicidal acts and were associated with some sex/age characteristics. Focusing on suicide deaths alone may underestimate the size of some clusters and/or lead to some clusters being overlooked. Future research could consider combining self-harm and suicide data and use social connection information to investigate possible clusters of suicidal acts.
The study aimed to present a dual-band 5G multi-input multi-output monopole dual-antenna system, which was configured on the upper edge of the display ground plane for laptops. The dual-antenna unit is a 29 × 2 × 3 mm3 three-dimensional structure with two antennas of the same structure and size, consisting of a fed monopole antenna and a shorted monopole antenna. The antennas are arranged 4 mm apart, side by side in the same direction, to form a dual-antenna unit. Such a configuration allows the feeding points of the two antennas to be separated by the shorting point of the shorted monopole antenna, and the shorting point of the low-frequency resonant path (the shorted monopole antenna) of the two antennas to be larger than a quarter of the wavelength of the low frequency with appropriate bending. The strong current will be concentrated near the shorting point of the shorted monopole antenna when the low-frequency mode is excited, and the current flow from the ground to the feeding point of the other antenna will be reduced, achieving the isolation which is better than 10 dB in measurement between the two antennas without adopting any isolation element. The envelope correlation coefficients calculated from the measured complex E-field radiation patterns are all smaller than 0.12, which can cover the 5G dual-band operations of 3300–3600 and 4800–5000 MHz, and the measured antenna efficiencies can reach more than 40%, which are well suited for multiple antenna applications.
This study evaluated the association between inflammatory diets as measured by the Dietary Inflammatory index (DII), inflammation biomarkers and the development of preeclampsia among the Chinese population. We followed the reporting guidelines of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology statement for observational studies. A total of 466 preeclampsia cases aged over 18 years were recruited between March 2016 and June 2019, and 466 healthy controls were 1:1 ratio matched by age (±3 years), week of gestation (±1 week) and gestational diabetes mellitus. The energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a seventy-nine item semiquantitative FFQ. Inflammatory biomarkers were analysed by ELISA kits. The mean E-DII scores were −0·65 ± 1·58 for cases and −1·19 ± 1·47 for controls (P value < 0·001). E-DII scores positively correlated with interferon-γ (rs = 0·194, P value = 0·001) and IL-4 (rs = 0·135, P value = 0·021). After multivariable adjustment, E-DII scores were positively related to preeclampsia risk (Ptrend < 0·001). The highest tertile of E-DII was 2·18 times the lowest tertiles (95 % CI = 1·52, 3·13). The odds of preeclampsia increased by 30 % (95 % CI = 18 %, 43 %, P value < 0·001) for each E-DII score increase. The preeclampsia risk was positively associated with IL-2 (OR = 1·07, 95 % CI = 1·03, 1·11), IL-4 (OR = 1·26, 95 % CI = 1·03, 1·54) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) (OR = 1·17, 95 % CI = 1·06, 1·29). Therefore, proinflammatory diets, corresponding to higher IL-2, IL-4 and TGF-β levels, were associated with increased preeclampsia risk.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disorder that leads to severe joint deformities, negatively affecting the patient's quality of life. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), which include exosomes and ectosomes, act as intercellular communication mediators in several physiological and pathological processes in various diseases including RA. In contrast, EVs secreted by mesenchymal stem cells perform an immunomodulatory function and stimulate cartilage repair, showing promising therapeutic results in animal models of RA. EVs from other sources, including dendritic cells, neutrophils and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, also influence the biological function of immune and joint cells. This review describes the role of EVs in the pathogenesis of RA and presents evidence supporting future studies on the therapeutic potential of EVs from different sources. This information will contribute to a better understanding of RA development, as well as a starting point for exploring cell-free-based therapies for RA.
For individual cultures, findings on regulating embryo density by changing the microdrop volume are contradictory. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between embryo density and the developmental outcome of day 3 embryos after adjusting covariates. In total, 1196 embryos from 206 couples who had undergone in vitro fertilization treatment were analyzed retrospectively. Three embryo densities were used routinely, i.e. one embryo in a drop (30 μl/embryo), two embryos in a drop (15 μl/embryo) and three embryos in a drop (10 μl/embryo). Embryo quality on day 3 was evaluated, both the cell number of day 3 embryos and the proportion of successful implantations served as endpoints. Maternal age, paternal age, antral follicles and level of anti-Müllerian hormone, type of infertility, controlled ovarian stimulation protocol, length of stimulation, number of retrieved oocytes, number of zygotes (two pronuclei) and insemination type were covariates and adjusted. After adjusting fully for all covariates, the cell number of day 3 embryos was significantly increased by 0.40 (95% CI 0.00, 0.79; P = 0.048) and 0.78 (95% CI 0.02, 1.54; P = 0.044) in the 15 μl/embryo and 10 μl/embryo group separately, compared with the 30 μl/embryo group. The proportions of implanted embryos were 42.1%, 48.7% and 0.0% in the 30 μl/embryo, 15 μl/embryo and 10 μl/embryo groups respectively. There was no statistical significance (P = 0.22) between the 30 μl/embryo group and the 15 μl/embryo group. After adjusting for confounders that were significant in univariate analysis, embryo density was still not associated with day 3 embryo implantation potential (P > 0.05). In a 30-μl microdrop, culturing embryos with an embryo density of both 15 and 10 μl/embryo increased the cell number of day 3 embryos, which did not benefit embryo implanting potential, compared with individual culture of 30 μl/embryo.
We synthetically create option contracts on a corporate bond index using CDX swaptions, overcoming the limitations that stem from the lack of traded corporate bond options. Our approach allows us to estimate forward-looking moments concerning the corporate bond market in a model-free manner. By constructing an aggregate volatility measure and the associated variance risk premium, we examine the role of volatility risk in the corporate bond market. We highlight that the ex ante conditional second and higher moments we estimate from synthetic corporate bond options carry important implications for credit risk models, providing an extra basis for testing their validity.
In the presence of frictions, the existing literature shows that currency substitution is detrimental for domestic aggregate stability. This paper singles out the role of currency substitution and shows that diversified currency holdings operate as an automatic stabilizer that mitigates belief-driven cyclical fluctuations in Farmer’s (1997) indeterminate monetary economy. When the foreign inflation rate is lower than the domestic inflation rate, the model’s steady state always displays saddle-path stability. Hence, equilibrium indeterminacy originally present in the domestic country is entirely removed in the presence of diversified currency holdings. When the foreign inflation rate is higher than the domestic inflation rate, then depending on the degrees of currency substitution and relative risk aversion, indeterminacy is either impossible or the requisite level of the foreign inflation rate for indeterminacy is too high to square with data. The stabilizing effect of diversified currency holdings on domestic aggregate stability is robust to whether domestic and foreign currencies display as Edgeworth substitutes or complements, or are additively separable in the household’s preferences.
Positive attitudes and appropriate knowledge about dementia are essential for the provision of suitable dementia care. Children as future voters may take on a critical role to increase community awareness and knowledge about dementia. Guided by Chinese filial piety cultural virtues, Taiwanese children are taught to respect and care for family seniors and extend this respect to other seniors. Accordingly, young children are considered part of family dementia caregiving system, despite children rarely assume formal caregiver role and not directly provide care work. However, Taiwanese children may possess stigmatized attitudes toward dementia due to a lack of proper dementia knowledge.
This study aims to survey Taiwanese children age 9-11 years old attitudes and knowledge to the concepts of dementia.
A total of 312 Taiwanese children from 8 elementary schools in the south Taiwan, aged 9-11 years old, were surveyed to assess their knowledge and attitudes toward dementia. Participants completed The Kids Insight into Dementia (KIDS), which is a 5-scale questionnaire containing three factors, “Personhood”, “Stigma”, and “Dementia Understanding”. The data was analyzed using quantitative method.
The results show that Taiwanese children are unfamiliar with dementia as related to brain disease (M= 3.94, SD=2.91), Taiwanese children are unfamiliar about nursing home provision of care (M=3.97, SD=2.17), Taiwanese children do not know the course of dementia disease (M=3.34, SD-1.39). Participants scored high on the question of “people with dementia have hobbies and interests” (M=4.15, SD=1.22); Participants reported that they agreed less often with stigma attached to the people with dementia, including items of “I would feel a bit scared if I met someone dementia in the street” (M=2.70, SD=1.79), ”people with dementia can be creepy” (M=2.18, SD=1.71), “It would be annoying of frustrating to spend time with someone with dementia” (M=2.15, SD=1.17), “It is unlikely that I would meet someone with dementia” (M=2.36, SD=1.27).
Our findings suggest that Taiwanese children may express less stigmatized attitudes toward people with dementia and yet they report less understanding of concepts of personhood of people with dementia. Therefore, dementia education is necessary to increase dementia knowledge among school age children in Taiwan.
In this work, we investigated the labeling efficiency of hydrophilic (DAPI) and hydrophobic (Nile Red) fluorescent probes using uni- and bi-directional diffusion on porcine liver tissue sections on the order of a few hundred microns in thickness. Bi-directional diffusion significantly enhanced the penetration of probes. Although diffusion most accurately describes the labeling process, we found that after removal of the labeling molecules residual probe molecules in the tissue sections continued to be transported deeper into the tissue resulting in additional tissue constituents being labeled. Our study shows that bi-directional labeling can significantly enhance the labeling of thick tissues for applications in which structural information in three dimensions is needed.
NaY zeolite was synthesized from kaolin/dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) intercalation composites using an in situ crystallization technique. The effects of the intercalation ratios and the amounts of the kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite on the synthesis of an NaY zeolite molecular sieve were studied. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, differential thermal analysis, N2 adsorption–desorption and scanning electron microscopy. In the in situ synthesis system, when the kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite was added, pure NaY zeolite was formed. By increasing the amount of kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite added, the crystallinity of the samples increased, and after reaching the maximum amount of kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite added, the crystallinity decreased with further increases of the amount of kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite added. To higher intercalation ratio, the crystallinity can be greatly improved at the lower addition content. At an intercalation ratio of 84%, the added amount of kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite was 2.5% and the crystallinity of the NaY zeolite molecular sieve reached a maximum value of 45%. At intercalation ratios of 55% and 22%, the amount of kaolin/DMSO intercalation composite added was 15% and the crystallinities of the NaY zeolite molecular sieves were 44% and 47%, respectively. The NaY zeolite has good thermal stability and a particle diameter of ~0.5 μm. The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) specific surface area and pore volume of the sample were 519 m2 g–1 and 0.355 cm3 g–1, respectively.
To investigate the safety and feasibility of midazolam for conscious sedation in transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defects guided solely by transthoracic echocardiography.
A retrospective analysis was performed on 55 patients who underwent transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defects from October, 2019 to May, 2020. All patients received intravenous midazolam and local anesthesia with lidocaine to maintain sedation. A group of previous patients with unpublished data who underwent the same procedure with general anesthesia was set as the control group. The relevant clinical parameters, the Ramsay sedation scores, the numerical rating scale, and the post-operative satisfaction questionnaire were recorded and analyzed.
In the midazolam group, the success rate of atrial septal defect closure was 98.2%. Hemodynamic stability was observed during the procedure. None of the patients needed additional endotracheal intubation for general anesthesia. Compared with the control group, the midazolam group had no statistically significant differences in the Ramsay sedation score and numerical rating scale scores. Patients in the midazolam group experienced more post-operative satisfaction than those in the control group.
Conscious sedation using midazolam is a safe and effective anesthetic technique for transcatheter device closure of atrial septal defects guided solely by transthoracic echocardiography.
It has been shown that progressive income taxation may stabilize an otherwise standard representative-agent real business cycle model with an indeterminate steady state against aggregate fluctuations caused by agents’ animal spirits. By contrast, within an identical model that allows for sustained economic growth, progressive taxation could lead to equilibrium indeterminacy and sunspot-driven fluctuations. In the context of household heterogeneity that gives rise to income and asset inequality, the fiscal authority has (at least) two options of setting the baseline level of taxable income: (i) the economy-wide average level of income and (ii) the economy’s steady-state level of per capita income. I show that the adoption of a fiscal rule (i) invalidates the effects that a progressive tax can exert on the model’s local stability properties. Progressive income taxation thus no longer operates as an automatic stabilizer that mitigates belief-driven cyclical fluctuations in a no-growth economy, nor as an automatic destabilizer that leads to local indeterminacy in a sustained-growth economy. If a tax policy rule (ii) is instead adopted, then the existing literature’s findings of the (de)stabilizing roles of progressive taxation are robust to the inclusion of household heterogeneity.
This paper systematically examines the interrelations between equilibrium indeterminacy, endogenous entry and exit of intermediate input firms, and increasing returns to specialization within two versions of a parsimonious one-sector monopolistically competitive RBC model. The technology for producing an intermediate good is postulated to display internal increasing returns to scale in our benchmark framework, whereas positive productive externalities are considered in the alternative setting. We analytically show that either formulation will exhibit belief-driven cyclical fluctuations provided the equilibrium wage-hours locus is positively sloped and steeper than the household’s labor supply curve. We also find that ceteris paribus our alternative macroeconomy is more susceptible to indeterminacy and sunspots than the baseline counterpart.
Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.
Tonal carryover assimilation, whereby a tone is assimilated to the preceding one, is conditioned by prosodic boundaries in a way suggesting that its presence may signal continuity or lack of a boundary. Its possibility as a speech segmentation cue was investigated in two artificial language (AL) learning experiments. Mandarin-speaking listeners identified the “words” of a three-tone AL (e.g., [pé.tī.kù]) after listening to six long speech streams in which the words were repeated continuously without pauses. The first experiment revealed that segmentation was disrupted in an “incongruent-cues” condition where tonal carryover assimilation occurred across AL word boundaries and conflicted with statistical regularities in the speech streams. Segmentation was neither facilitated nor inhibited in a “congruent-cues” condition where tonal carryover assimilation occurred only within the AL words in 27% of the repetitions and never across word boundaries. A null effect was again found for the congruent-cues condition of the second experiment, where all AL word repetitions carried tonal carryover assimilation. These findings show that tonal carryover assimilation is exploited to resolve segmentation problems when cues conflict. Its null effect in the congruent-cues conditions might be linked to cue redundancy and suggest that it is weighted low in the segmentation cue hierarchy.
Little is known about methylphenidate (MPH) use and mortality outcomes.
To investigate the association between MPH use and mortality among children with an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis.
This population-based cohort study analysed data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). A total of 68 096 children and adolescents aged 4–17 years with an ADHD diagnosis and prescribed MPH between 2000 and 2010 were compared with 68 096 without an MPH prescription, matched on age, gender and year of first ADHD diagnosis. All participants were followed to death, migration, withdrawal from the National Health Insurance programme or 31 December 2013. MPH prescriptions were measured on a yearly basis during the study period, and the association between MPH use and mortality was analysed using a repeated-measures time-dependent Cox regression model. The outcome measures included all-cause, unnatural-cause (including suicide, accident and homicide) and natural-cause mortality, obtained from linkage to the National Mortality Register in Taiwan.
The MPH group had lower unadjusted all-cause, natural-, unnatural- and accident-cause mortality than the comparison group. After controlling for potential confounders, MPH use was associated with a significantly lower all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio AHR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.67–0.98, P = 0.027), delayed use of MPH was associated with higher mortality (AHR = 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.09) and longer MPH use was associated with lower mortality (AHR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.70–0.98).
MPH use is associated with a reduced overall mortality in children with ADHD in this cohort study, but unmeasured confounding cannot be excluded absolutely.