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We seek the best stroke sequences of a finite-size swimming predator chasing a non-motile point or finite-size prey at low Reynolds number. We use optimal control to seek the globally optimal solutions for the former and reinforcement learning (RL) for general situations. The predator is represented by a squirmer model that can translate forward and laterally, rotate and generate a stresslet flow. We identify the predator's best squirming sequences to achieve the time-optimal (TO) and efficiency-optimal (EO) predation. For a point prey, the TO squirmer executing translational motions favours a two-fold $L$-shaped trajectory that enables it to exploit the disturbance flow for accelerated predation; using a stresslet mode expedites significantly the EO predation, allowing the predator to catch the prey faster yet with lower energy consumption and higher predatory efficiency; the predator can harness its stresslet disturbance flow to suck the prey towards itself; compared to a translating predator, its compeer combining translation and rotation is less time-efficient, and the latter occasionally achieves the TO predation via retreating in order to advance. We also adopt RL to reproduce the globally optimal predatory strategy of chasing a point prey, qualitatively capturing the crucial two-fold attribute of a TO path. Using a numerically emulated RL environment, we explore the dependence of the optimal predatory path on the size of prey. Our results might provide useful information that help in the design of synthetic microswimmers such as in vivo medical microrobots capable of capturing and approaching objects in viscous flows.
This study evaluated the association between inflammatory diets as measured by the dietary inflammatory index (DII), and inflammation biomarkers, and the development of preeclampsia among the Chinese population. We followed the reporting guidelines of the STROBE 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 79-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed 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 IFN-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 (P trend <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 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.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0·80 (95 % CI, 0·75, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors and psychological stress of health-care workers (HCWs) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a nonfrontline clinical department.
Data of 2 source patients and all HCWs with infection risk were obtained in a department in Wuhan from January to February 2020. A questionnaire was designed to evaluate psychological stress of COVID-19 on HCWs.
The overall infection rate was 4.8% in HCWs. Ten of 25 HCWs who contacted with 2 source patients were diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19 (8/10) and suspected COVID-19 (2/10). Other 2 HCWs were transmitted by other patients or colleagues. Close care behaviors included physical examination (6/12), life nursing (4/12), ward rounds (4/12), endoscopic examination (2/12). Contacts fluctuated from 1 to 24 times and each contact was short (8.1 min ± 5.6 min). HCWs wore surgical masks (11/12), gloves (7/12), and isolation clothing (3/12) when providing medical care. Most HCWs experienced a mild course with 2 asymptomatic infections, taking 9.8 d and 20.9 d to obtain viral shedding and clinical cure, respectively. Psychological stress included worry (58.3%), anxiety (83.3%), depression (58.3%), and insomnia (58.3%).
Close contact with COVID-19 patients and insufficient protection were key risk factors. Precaution measures and psychological support on COVID-19 is urgently required for HCWs.
Multiple neurotrophic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor(IGF)-1, have been shown to play important roles in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, insufficient clinical data supporting the importance of these neurotrophic factors in mood disorders, especially manic episode, have made inconclusive to make a connection between these factors and the disorder.
This study intended to investigate possible peripheral biomarkers in serum of manic episode of bipolar disorder.
We aimed to investigate whether or not serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 varied in manic state.
Serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were examined in 70 drug-naïve patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder (BM) as well as 50 healthy controls, using an ELISA method.
The mean serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were 168.13±225.61pg/ml, 279.09±378.62pg/ml, 61.38±171.67pg/ml and 162.01±72.00ng/ml in BM patients, and 140.80±143.71pg/ml, 275.46±235.29pg/ml, 36.34±15.14pg/ml and 138.90±80.11ng/ml in healthy controls, respectively. Serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (Z=−2.896, P=0.004; Z=− 2.050, P=0.040; Z=−2.188, P=0.029; respectively), although there was no statistical difference in the serum levels of VEGF between two groups (Z=-0.468, P=0.639). Moreover, serum levels of NGF in patients correlated with the duration of disorder (rs=−0.241, P=0.044).
The increase in serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in manic state may reflect a neuroprotective role for these factors, and these factors may be considered biological markers for manic episode.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
The head-on collision between two dust-acoustic solitary waves in a non-magnetized, collisionless and strongly coupled dust plasma has been studied. The application scope of the analytical solution of the head-on collision is given in the present paper by using the particle-in-cell simulation method. It is noted that the analytical results are valid if the amplitudes of both of the solitary waves are small enough. The effects of the coupling parameters on both the head-on collision and the waveform are also studied in the present paper.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.
Novel NiMoO4-integrated electrode materials were successfully prepared by solvothermal method using Na2MoO4·2H2O and NiSO4·6H2O as main raw materials, water, and ethanol as solvents. The morphology, phase, and structure of the as-prepared materials were characterized by SEM, XRD, Raman, and FT-IR. The electrochemical properties of the materials in supercapacitors were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, constant current charge–discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques. The effects of volume ratio of water to ethanol (W/E) in solvent on the properties of the product were studied. The results show that the pure phase monoclinic crystal NiMoO4 product can be obtained when the W/E is 2:1. The diameter and length are 0.1–0.3 µm and approximately 3 µm, respectively. As an active material for supercapacitor, the NiMoO4 nanorods material delivered a discharge specific capacitance of 672, 498, and 396 F/g at a current density of 4, 7, and 10 A/g, respectively. The discharge specific capacitance slightly decreased from 815 to 588 F/g with a retention of 72% after 1000 cycles at a current density of 1 A/g. With these superior capacitance properties, the novel NiMoO4 integrated electrode materials could be considered as promising material for supercapacitors.
Two phases of diabase-sill-forming magmatism are recorded within the Badu anticline where magmas were emplaced into upper Palaeozoic carbonates and clastic rocks of the Youjiang fold-and-thrust belt in the SW South China Block, China. Zircons from these diabase units yield weighted mean U–Pb ages of 249.2±2.0 Ma and 187.1±3.3 Ma, and magmatic oxygen fugacity values from ‒20 to ‒6 (average of ‒12, equating to FMQ +5) and ‒20 to ‒10 (average of ‒15, equating to FMQ +2), respectively. These data indicate that the sills were emplaced during Early Triassic and Early Jurassic times. The discovery of c. 250 Ma mafic magmatism in this area was probably related to post-flood-basalt extension associated with the Emeishan mantle plume or rollback of the subducting Palaeo-Tethys slab. The c. 190 Ma diabase sills indicate that the southwestern South China Block records Early Jurassic mafic magmatism and lithospheric extension that was likely associated with a transition from post-collisional to within-plate tectonic regimes. The emplacement of diabase intrusions at depth may have driven hydrothermal systems, enabling the mobilization of elements from sedimentary rocks and causing the formation of a giant epigenetic metallogenic domain. The results indicate that high-oxygen-fugacity materials within basement rocks caused crustal contamination of the magmas, contributing to the wide range of oxygen fugacity conditions recorded by the Au-bearing Badu diabase. In addition, data from inherited xenocrystic zircons within the Badu diabase and detrital zircons from basement rocks suggest that the Neoproterozoic Jiangshao suture extends to the south of the Badu anticline.
A coplanar waveguide slot antenna is herein presented. A rectangular slot is excited by a Y-shaped monopole etched on a single FR4 substrate. This structure exhibits two resonances due to the presence of the slot and the central monopole which can be used to design a dual-band or a wideband antenna. A parametric analysis is presented to describe the impedance matching mechanism for the two impedance bandwidths (BWs), as well as for the wideband antenna. The latter is fabricated and provides a measured impedance BW from 2.28 to 3.6 GHz, and gain larger than 2 dBi, yielding an outstanding BW/size trade-off. Finally, a 60 mm × 60 mm back metallic reflector is used to achieve a directive antenna with 6 dBi of measured gain, and an impedance BW from 2.16 to 3.59 GHz.
This paper develops an analytically tractable, two-country, two-traded-good dynamic general-equilibrium model of money to examine the long-run and short-run effects of a temporary change in the domestic inflation target on the trade pattern, the terms of trade, the foreign exchange rate, and the capital accumulation of each country and of the world economy. We find that such a temporary monetary innovation can generate permanent effects on the world distribution of capital and the pattern of trade, resulting in nonneutrality in an otherwise money-neutral cash-in-advance setting. This change also leads to very rich transitional dynamics that we fully characterize analytically. In particular, endogenous responses in transition can be monotone or nonmonotone and can exhibit over-shooting. Our analytic findings and quantitative results help explain some noticeable changes in the capital accumulation, output, and bilateral trade of several countries adopting inflation targeting. Since the permanent effects of a temporary change in the domestic inflation target on the pattern of international trade and the performance of the macroeconomy are driven by a new channel through the world distribution of capital, we add new insights to the literature.
Aiming for hepatitis C elimination by 2030, Taiwan has set up a mid-term goal of “over 50 percent of patients treated by 2025.” Among various aspects of evidence that are needed, the target number to be treated is difficult to estimate with certainty due to great geographical heterogeneity of hepatitis C prevalence, and the absence of a nation-wide large scale prevalence survey.
A broad estimate of the number of patients to be treated with high uncertainty was calculated, and reimbursement criteria were set for year 2017 given limited data and treatment budget. In the meanwhile, various sources and approaches to estimate the target number to be treated, and to identify the high prevalence areas, were collected and synthesized for future planning through a systematic review of published data and consulting experts for unpublished data. An expert panel was consulted for the level of confidence and completeness of the evidence. A plan for using real-world data to reduce the uncertainty after initial actions of national program was also in place.
Eight thousand patients who fulfilled the reimbursement criteria were treated in 2017 as planned. Strategic steps were identified based on the collected data, and the treatment target, namely 200,000 patients to be treated during 2018 to 2025, was then set for appropriate action plans. National registry infrastructure is planned for supporting future policy modification.
Hepatitis C elimination is an important public health task and it requires immediate actions. The expected expenses are high, yet the number of patients is difficult to estimate with precision. How to deal with this uncertainty (financially and in care program design) will be the most challenging part. An adaptive approach (“evidence”-”action”-”more evidence”-”modified action”) could be the pragmatic way to move forward without sacrificing the quality of decision-making.
A Position and Orientation System (POS) integrating an Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a key component of remote sensing motion compensation. It can provide reliable and high-frequency high-precision motion information using a Kalman Filter (KF) during GPS availability. However, the performance of a POS significantly degrades during GPS outages. To maintain reliable POS outputs, this paper proposes a new hybrid predictor based on modelling the nonlinear time-series data-driven INS-errors using Noisy Input Gaussian Process Regression (NIGPR), which takes the input noise into account. The proposed approach is used to learn the nonlinear INS-errors model when GPS signals are available. When GPS outages occur, it starts to predict the observation measurement, and then feeds it to a KF as a virtual update to estimate all the INS errors. The proposed approach is verified in a real airplane, which combines a POS and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Experimental results show that the proposed approach significantly improves the performance of the POS, with improvements more than 90% better than a KF and 10% better than a Gaussian Process Regression (GPR/KF) combination during various GPS outages.