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This paper presents results of a search and analysis of research projects on animal welfare registered in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database in the period 1996–2019, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of developments in animal welfare science in China. The title-abstract search of publications in this database resulted in over 260 articles that could be linked to 200 research projects with an animal welfare component. These projects were analysed for: (a) involved academic disciplines; (b) studied animal species; (c) contexts of animal use; (d) concepts of animal welfare; and (e) attention to ethical dimensions of animal welfare. The analysis shows an increased attention to animal welfare science, with a particular focus on farm and laboratory animals. We observed an increase in the number of studies and of animal species studied. The majority of research projects start in or include a view of animal welfare that is close to Fraser’s ‘biological function’ view. We conclude that the increased attention to animal welfare in science reflects recent developments in China in terms of public concern about animal use, academic debate about the importance of animal welfare, and animal-related political and economic developments linked to China’s ambitions to be a global player in science and food production. For the further development of animal welfare science in China stable funding and more interdisciplinary collaboration are necessary to study and publish on fundamental aspects of animal welfare, on issues not directly related to applied problems, and on the ethical dimensions of animal welfare.
This paper analyzes the training process of generative adversarial networks (GANs) via stochastic differential equations (SDEs). It first establishes SDE approximations for the training of GANs under stochastic gradient algorithms, with precise error bound analysis. It then describes the long-run behavior of GAN training via the invariant measures of its SDE approximations under proper conditions. This work builds a theoretical foundation for GAN training and provides analytical tools to study its evolution and stability.
Ankle rehabilitation robots are widely used due to nerve injuries and sports injuries leading to decreased mobility of the ankle joint. However, the motion of most ankle rehabilitation robots has distinctions with human ankle physiological structure. In order to achieve more accurate rehabilitation training of the ankle joint, this paper proposes a novel 3-UPU parallel rehabilitation mechanism. In a certain range, the mechanism can perform rotation around any axis within the midplane, which means that the mechanism can achieve non-fixed-point rotation around the instantaneous axis of the ankle joint. The mechanism has three degrees of freedom and can perform ankle pronation/supination and inversion/eversion movements. Taking into account the structural differences of different human bodies, the rotating axis of the mechanism can be adjusted in both height and angle. Then, the workspace of the mechanism was solved, and the size parameters of the mechanism are analyzed based on the characteristics of the size parameters of the mechanism and the motion range of the ankle. A genetic algorithm was employed to optimize the mechanism’s parameters. Next, the motion trajectory of the mechanism was planned, and the length change of the mechanism driving pair during the motion planning of the angle was obtained through kinematics simulation. Finally, experimental verification of the above rehabilitation training methods indicates that the mechanism meets the requirements of ankle rehabilitation.
Improving existing products plays a vital role in enhancing customer satisfaction and coping with changes in the market. Analyzing user experience (UX) to find the deficiencies of existing products and establishing improved schemes is the key to UX-driven product improvement, especially at the conceptual design stage. Although some tools used in conceptual design, such as requirements analysis and knowledge reasoning, have advanced recently, they lack targeted goals and sufficient efficiency in identifying insufficient product attributes and improving existing functions and structures. The challenge lies in considering the influence imposed on design activities by the original product features (including attributes, functions, and structure). In this study, a knowledge-enabled approach and framework that integrates the conceptual design process, online reviews for UX, and knowledge is proposed to support product improvement. Specifically, a decision-making algorithm based on UX analysis is proposed to identify to-be-improved product attributes. Then, through optimizing the previous knowledge application model from knowledge requirement transformation, knowledge modeling, and knowledge reasoning, a smart knowledge reasoning model is established to push knowledge for functional solving of the to-be-improved attributes. A knowledge configuration method is used to modify product features to generate an improved scheme. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach, a case study of improving an agricultural sprayer is conducted. Through discussion, this study can help to regulate design activities for product improvement, enhance data and knowledge application, and promote divergent thinking during scheme modification.
Breast cancer is a high-risk disease with a high mortality rate among women. Chemotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of breast cancer. However, chemotherapy eventually results in tumours that are resistant to drugs. In recent years, many studies have revealed that the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling is crucial for the emergence and growth of breast tumours as well as the development of drug resistance. Additionally, drugs that target this pathway can reverse drug resistance in breast cancer therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine has the properties of multi-target and tenderness. Therefore, integrating traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine into chemotherapy provides a new strategy for reversing the drug resistance of breast tumours. This paper mainly reviews the possible mechanism of Wnt/β-catenin in promoting the process of breast tumour drug resistance, and the progress of alkaloids extracted from traditional Chinese medicine in the targeting of this pathway in order to reverse the drug resistance of breast cancer.
Endothelial dysfunction is a marked feature of Kawasaki disease during convalescence, but its pathogenesis is currently unclear. Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are associated with the progression of Kawasaki disease. However, the role and mechanism of circulating miRNAs in endothelial dysfunction are largely unknown. Kawasaki disease patients were found to have a unique circulating miRNA profile, including upregulation of miRNA-210-3p, miR-184 and miR-19a-3p, compared to non-Kawasaki disease febrile controls. This study aimed to investigate the effects of these three miRNAs on endothelial function.
Overexpression of miRNAs in human umbilical vein endothelial cells was done by transfection of miRNA mimics. The tube formation assay was used to evaluate the function of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The potential binding sites of miRNAs on 3’untranslated regions were predicted by using TargetScan database and validated by dual luciferase reporter assay. The protein expression of AGO2, PTEN and VEGF in human umbilical vein endothelial cells was detected by Western blot. Overexpression of AGO2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells was done by transfection of AGO2 expression plasmids.
Overexpression of miRNA-184 and miRNA-19a-3p, but not miR-210-3p, impaired the function of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Mechanistically, miR-184 and miR-19a-3p could target the 3’untranslated regions of AGO2 mRNA to downregulate its expression and subsequently impede the AGO2/PTEN/VEGF axis. To be noted, the rescue of the expression of AGO2 remarkably recovered the function that was impaired by overexpression of miRNA-184 and miRNA-19a-3p.
This study suggested that miR-184 and miR-19a-3p could target AGO2/PTEN/VEGF axis to induce endothelial dysfunction in Kawasaki disease.
In this paper, a broadband, low insertion loss, and compact folded substrate integrated waveguide (FSIW) phase shifter is proposed for the first time. By loading the complementary split-ring resonators (CSRRs) on the middle metal layer of the FSIW, a closed-type slow-wave transmission line (TL) is obtained, which can provide a wideband phase shift (39%) compared with the equal-length fast-wave one. The enclosed structure of the CSRR-loaded FSIW prevents the CSRRs from radiation as suffered in the previous reported CSRR-loaded TLs, resulting in a low insertion loss. This feature greatly reduces the amplitude imbalance between the main line and the reference line of the phase shifter. In addition, no transition structure is required between the FSIWs with and without CSRRs for broadband impedance matching, which makes the phase shifter more compact and easier to integrate with other FSIW devices. To validate the performance of the proposed phase shifter and to illustrate its ease integration, a novel FSIW 180° directional coupler that consists of an FSIW 90° coupler and an FSIW 90° phase shifter is designed, fabricated, and measured. The measured results agree well with the simulated data.
Due to the lack of research between the inner layers in the structure of colonic mucous and the metabolism of fatty acid in the constipation model, we aim to determine the changes in the mucous phenotype of the colonic glycocalyx and the microbial community structure following treatment with Rhubarb extract in our research. The constipation and treatment models are generated using adult male C57BL/6N mice. We perform light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to detect a Muc2-rich inner mucus layer attached to mice colon under different conditions. In addition, 16S rDNA sequencing is performed to examine the intestinal flora. According to TEM images, we demonstrate that Rhubarb can promote mucin secretion and find direct evidence of dendritic structure-linked mucus structures with its assembly into a lamellar network in a pore size distribution in the isolated colon section. Moreover, the diversity of intestinal flora has noticeable changes in constipated mice. The present study characterizes a dendritic structure and persistent cross-links have significant changes accompanied by the alteration of intestinal flora in feces in models of constipation and pretreatment with Rhubarb extract.
Demodex infestation and density changes remain one of the main challenges in some clinical settings. Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitors have been recommended as a first-line treatment for ankylosing spondylitis (AS). However, there have been no studies investigating the impact of TNF-α inhibitor adalimumab on changes in the Demodex density in patients with AS. The aim of this study was to investigate Demodex density changes before and after adalimumab treatment and analyse the relationship between the Demodex density and clinical characteristics in AS. It was found that the Demodex density was positively correlated with age and C-reactive protein levels and the number of Demodex mites could increase after adalimumab treatment in AS.
To explore the diagnostic value of anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio for predicting thyroid cancer.
A total of 2306 nodules were divided into 5 groups according to their size. The ability of the anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio to predict thyroid cancer was analysed in each group on the basis of the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and Youden index.
The median anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio was 0.83, with an interquartile range of 0.28. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.709 (p < 0.001). When the diameter of a thyroid nodule was less than 1.5 cm, an anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio of more than 0.9 was associated with higher sensitivity, accuracy and Youden index, compared with an anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio of greater than 1.0, but the specificity was lower. When the diameter of a thyroid nodule was 1.5 cm or more, an anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio of greater than 0.9 was associated with higher sensitivity and Youden index, compared with an anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio of greater than 1.0, but specificity and accuracy were lower.
The anteroposterior-to-transverse ratio was a meaningful indicator of thyroid cancer, and its predictive effectiveness could be influenced by nodule size.
To compare the prevalence of overweight or obesity (ow/ob) with WHO BMI cut-off points, International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) cut-off points and Chinese BMI criteria and examine its potential factors among preschool children in Hunan Province.
A cross-sectional survey including anthropometric measurements and questionnaires about children’s information, caregivers’ socio-demographic characteristics and maternal characteristics. χ2 tests and univariate and multivariate binary logistic regression were performed to evaluate the possible factors of ow/ob.
Hunan, China, from September to October 2019.
In total, 7664 children 2 to 6 years of age.
According to Chinese BMI criteria, about 1 in 7–8 children aged 2–6 years had ow/ob in Hunan, China. The overall estimated prevalence of ow/ob among 2- to 6-year-old children was significantly higher when based on the Chinese BMI criteria compared with the WHO BMI cut-off points and IOTF cut-off points. According to Chinese BMI criteria, ow/ob was associated with residing in urban areas, older age, male sex, eating snacking food more frequently, macrosomia delivery, caesarean birth, heavier maternal prepregnancy weight and pre-delivery weight.
The prevalence of ow/ob in preschool children in Hunan Province remains high. More ow/ob children could be screened out according to Chinese BMI cut-offs compared with WHO and IOTF BMI criteria. In the future, targeted intervention studies with matched controls will be needed to assess the long-term effects of intervention measures to provide more information for childhood obesity prevention and treatment.
The late Palaeozoic Yong’an–Meizhou depression belt is an important iron (Fe) and polymetallic metallogenic belt in southern China. It has undergone a transformation from Tethys to the circum-Pacific tectonic domain. The Luoyang deposit is one of the typical Fe skarn deposits in the Yong’an–Meizhou depression belt of eastern China. Garnet is a characteristic mineral in the deposit. Two generations of garnets are detected in the deposit based on their textural characteristics and trace-element contents, and are represented by Fe-enriched andradite. The first generation of garnets (Grt1) have two types of garnets (Grt1-A and Grt1-B). Type A garnets of the first generation (Grt1-A) (Adr80-88) replaced by massive diopside-magnetite assemblage exhibit distinct oscillatory zonings and display patterns of enriched light rare earth elements (LREE) to weak heavy rare earth elements (HREE), with weak negative to positive Eu anomalies, and highest U, ΣREE and Sn contents. Type B garnets of the first generation (Grt1-B) are irregular zones (Adr94-96) coexisting with magnetite, in which Grt1-A is generally dissolved, and have obviously LREE-enriched and HREE-depleted patterns, with weak negative to positive Eu anomalies, and moderate U, ΣREE and Zn contents. Garnets of the second generation (Grt2) (Adr96-99) that replaced massive magnetite together with sphalerite show unzoned patterns, with a flat REE pattern and pronounced negative Eu anomalies as well as contents of lowest U and ΣREE, and highest W. The substitution of REEs in garnets occurs as [X2+]VIII –1[REE3+]VIII +1[Si4+]IV –1[Z3+]IV +1in an Al-enriched environment. Luoyang hydrothermal fluids shifted from reducing conditions with relatively high-U and -ΣREE characteristics to oxidizing conditions with relatively low-U and -ΣREE characteristics. The reduced siderophile elements and increased fO2 in fluid during Grt1-B formation caused magnetite mineralization and reduced Zn contents during Grt2 formation, causing the deposition of sphalerite. All garnets formed from magmatic fluid and were controlled by infiltrative metasomatism in an opened system.
The present study evaluated whether fat mass assessment using the triceps skinfold (TSF) thickness provides additional prognostic value to the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) framework in patients with lung cancer (LC). We performed an observational cohort study including 2672 LC patients in China. Comprehensive demographic, disease and nutritional characteristics were collected. Malnutrition was retrospectively defined using the GLIM criteria, and optimal stratification was used to determine the best thresholds for the TSF. The associations of malnutrition and TSF categories with survival were estimated independently and jointly by calculating multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR). Malnutrition was identified in 808 (30·2 %) patients, and the best TSF thresholds were 9·5 mm in men and 12 mm in women. Accordingly, 496 (18·6 %) patients were identified as having a low TSF. Patients with concurrent malnutrition and a low TSF had a 54 % (HR = 1·54, 95 % CI = 1·25, 1·88) greater death hazard compared with well-nourished individuals, which was also greater compared with malnourished patients with a normal TSF (HR = 1·23, 95 % CI = 1·06, 1·43) or malnourished patients without TSF assessment (HR = 1·31, 95 % CI = 1·14, 1·50). These associations were concentrated among those patients with adequate muscle mass (as indicated by the calf circumference). Additional fat mass assessment using the TSF enhances the prognostic value of the GLIM criteria. Using the population-derived thresholds for the TSF may provide significant prognostic value when used in combination with the GLIM criteria to guide strategies to optimise the long-term outcomes in patients with LC.
This paper considers risk-sensitive average optimization for denumerable continuous-time Markov decision processes (CTMDPs), in which the transition and cost rates are allowed to be unbounded, and the policies can be randomized history dependent. We first derive the multiplicative dynamic programming principle and some new facts for risk-sensitive finite-horizon CTMDPs. Then, we establish the existence and uniqueness of a solution to the risk-sensitive average optimality equation (RS-AOE) through the results for risk-sensitive finite-horizon CTMDPs developed here, and also prove the existence of an optimal stationary policy via the RS-AOE. Furthermore, for the case of finite actions available at each state, we construct a sequence of models of finite-state CTMDPs with optimal stationary policies which can be obtained by a policy iteration algorithm in a finite number of iterations, and prove that an average optimal policy for the case of infinitely countable states can be approximated by those of the finite-state models. Finally, we illustrate the conditions and the iteration algorithm with an example.
We consider a gradual-impulse control problem of continuous-time Markov decision processes, where the system performance is measured by the expectation of the exponential utility of the total cost. We show, under natural conditions on the system primitives, the existence of a deterministic stationary optimal policy out of a more general class of policies that allow multiple simultaneous impulses, randomized selection of impulses with random effects, and accumulation of jumps. After characterizing the value function using the optimality equation, we reduce the gradual-impulse control problem to an equivalent simple discrete-time Markov decision process, whose action space is the union of the sets of gradual and impulsive actions.
With the characteristics of full autonomy and no accumulated errors, polarisation navigation shows tremendous prospects in underwater scenarios. In this paper, inspired by the polarisation vision of aquatic organisms, a novel point-source polarisation sensor with high spectral adaptability (400 nm–760 nm) is designed for underwater orientation. To enhance the environmental applicability of the underwater polarisation sensor, a novel sensor model based on the underwater light intensity attenuation coefficient and optical coupling coefficient is established. In addition, concerned with the influence of light intensity uncertainty on sensor performance underwater, an antagonistic polarisation algorithm is adopted for the first time, to improve the accuracy of angle of polarisation and degree of polarisation in the low signal-to-noise ratio environment underwater. Finally, indoor and outdoor experiments are carried out to evaluate the performance of the designed polarisation sensor. The results show that the designed point-source polarisation sensor can acquire polarised light and be used for heading determination underwater.
The TanDEM-X DEM is a valuable data source for estimating glacier mass balance. However, the accuracy of TanDEM-X elevation over glaciers can be affected by microwave penetration and phase decorrelation. To investigate the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, these DEMs were subtracted from SPOT-6 DEMs obtained around the same time at two study sites. The average bias over the studied glacier areas in West Kunlun (175.0 km2) was 2.106 ± 0.012 m in April 2014, and it was 1.523 ± 0.011 m in Geladandong (228.8 km2) in October 2013. By combining backscatter coefficients and interferometric coherence maps, we found surface decorrelation and baseline decorrelation can cause obvious bias in addition to microwave penetration. If the optical/laser data and winter TanDEM-X data were used as new and historic elevation sources for mass-balance measurements over an arbitrary observation period of 10 years, the glacier mass loss rates in West Kunlun and Geladandong would be potentially underestimated by 0.218 ± 0.016 and 0.158 ± 0.011 m w.e. a−1, respectively. The impact is therefore significant, and users should carefully treat the bias of TanDEM-X DEMs when retrieving a geodetic glacier mass balance.
Aiming at 3SPS+1PS parallel hip joint simulator, the maximum stress of branched chains under the suggested trajectory is obtained by elastodynamic analysis. Based on Corten-Dolan fatigue damage theory and Rain-flow counting method, the dynamic stress of each branched chain is statistically analyzed. The fatigue life prediction shows that branched-chain A2P2C2 is the weakest component for the simulator. Finally, the fatigue reliability is analyzed and the fatigue life and reliability under different structural parameters are discussed. The study shows that the fatigue life of each branched chain can be increased or balanced by increasing structural parameters or exchanging initial motion parameters.
This study aimed to explore the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health status in general population in different affected areas in China.
This was a comparative study including two groups of participants: (1) general population in an online survey in Ya'an and Jingzhou cities during the COVID-19 outbreak from 10–20 February 2020; and (2) matching general population selected from the mental health survey in Ya'an in 2019 (from January to May 2019). General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used.
There were 1775 participants (Ya'an in 2019 and 2020: 537 respectively; Jingzhou in 2020: 701). Participants in Ya'an had a significantly higher rate of general health problems (GHQ scores ⩾3) in 2020 (14.7%) than in 2019 (5.2%) (p < 0.001). Compared with Ya'an (8.0%), participants in Jingzhou in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of anxiety (SAS scores ⩾50, 24.1%) (p < 0.001). Participants in Ya'an in 2020 had a significantly higher rate of depression (SDS scores ⩾53, 55.3%) than in Jingzhou (16.3%) (p < 0.001). The risk factors of anxiety symptoms included female, number of family members (⩾6 persons), and frequent outdoor activities. The risk factors of depression symptoms included participants in Ya'an and uptake self-protective measures.
The prevalence of psychological symptoms has increased sharply in general population during the COVID-19 outbreak. People in COVID-19 severely affected areas may have higher scores of GHQ and anxiety symptoms. Culture-specific and individual-based psychosocial interventions should be developed for those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.