Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 208 in total

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  1. Zhu JJ, Liu Z
    J Environ Public Health, 2023;2023:6739550.
    PMID: 36824232 DOI: 10.1155/2023/6739550
    This article considers and adds empirical nuances to the recent conceptualization of pro-poor water management. Using the concept of pro-poor hydraulic governmentality along the Vietnam-Cambodia border of Thường Phước commune, we argue that water management is linked to local rural livelihoods in a complex and dynamic pro-poor mechanism. While certain policies organize local populations according to cost-effectiveness ignoring local customs, the practicalities of dealing with such constraints are much more ambivalent. This article demonstrates the structural pro-poor complexity among sand excavation, riverbank landslides, water management, local livelihoods, and populace resettlement. The government's resettlement plans and the perceptions of residents of these plans are intertwined with a wider political, economic, social, and cultural significance in the context of strong institutional power in Vietnam. Limitations and future research agenda are also indicated in the discussion and conclusion section.
  2. Zhang C, Tang L, Liu Z
    BMC Psychol, 2023 Sep 22;11(1):286.
    PMID: 37737198 DOI: 10.1186/s40359-023-01311-2
    BACKGROUND: A growing body of literature demonstrates that social media usage has witnessed a rapid increase in higher education and is almost ubiquitous among young people. The underlying mechanisms as to how social media usage by university students affects their well-being are unclear. Moreover, current research has produced conflicting evidence concerning the potential effects of social media on individuals' overall well-being with some reporting negative outcomes while others revealing beneficial results.

    METHODS: To address the research gap, the present research made an attempt to investigate the crucial role of social media in affecting students' psychological (PWB) and subjective well-being (SWB) by testing the mediating role of self-esteem and online social support and the moderation effect of cyberbullying. The data in the study were obtained from a sample of 1,004 college students (483 females and 521 males, Mage = 23.78, SD = 4.06) enrolled at 135 Chinese universities. AMOS 26.0 and SPSS 26.0 as well as the Process macro were utilized for analyzing data and testing the moderated mediation model.

    RESULTS: Findings revealed that social media usage by university students was positively associated with their PWB and SWB through self-esteem and online social support, and cyberbullying played a moderating role in the first phase of the mediation process such that the indirect associations were weak with cyberbullying reaching high levels.

    CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the importance of discerning the mechanisms moderating the mediated paths linking social media usage by young adults to their PWB and SWB. The results also underline the importance of implementing measures and interventions to alleviate the detrimental impacts of cyberbullying on young adults' PWB and SWB.

  3. Wang N, Dang M, Zhang W, Lei Y, Liu Z
    Scand J Immunol, 2020 May;91(5):e12826.
    PMID: 31514240 DOI: 10.1111/sji.12826
    Heart failure (HF) is a serious disease syndrome characterized by elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines and inflammatory mediators presume to have significant contribution on disease progression. Galectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins responsible of various physiological functions. Role of galectins in heart failure has been ill-defined. In the present case-controls study, 136 patients clinically diagnosed with heart failure and 125 healthy Chinese controls were recruited. Levels of galectins (Gal-1, 3 and 9) and cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-17A, IL-4 and TGF-β) were quantified by ELISA. Increased levels of galectin-1 and 3 was observed in HF patients and associated with clinical severity. In addition, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ and IL-17A were increased in patients whereas, anti-inflammatory TGFβ was decreased. Galectin-3 was positively correlated with IFN-γ, IL-17A and inversely with TGF-β. Furthermore, ROC curve analysis suggested galectin-3 as a promising biomarker for diagnosis and HF and clinical severity. Interestingly, a two-year follow-up indicated significant association of elevated galectin-3 with mortality due to HF. In conclusion, galectin-3 associated with HF and clinical manifestations possibly by inducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and could be a possible biomarker of HF and severe clinical conditions.
  4. Ashraf MA, Liu Z, Peng W, Parsaee Z
    Anal Chim Acta, 2019 Mar 21;1051:120-128.
    PMID: 30661608 DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.11.014
    The ultrasound wave assisted synthesis of a novel ZnWO3/rGO hybrid nono composition (ZnWO3/rGO HNC) as a high performance sensor for formaldehyde (FA) has been reported. Different techniques of analysis such as XRD, FE-SEM, TGA, XPS, HRTEM and BET were applied for morphological and spectroscopic characterization of the ZnWO3/rGO HNC. The sensing evaluation of the constructed sensor showed high selectivity, sensitivity and a linear correlation between achieved responses and concentration of target gas (1-10 ppm) with R2 = 0.993 at temperature of 95 °C. The determination of FA was validated and performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry combined by solid phase micro-extraction after derivatization with O-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluoro-benzyl)-hydroxylamine hydrochloride. Validation was carried out in terms of limit of detection linearity, precision, and recovery. The mechanistic evaluation of sensing behavior of the ZnWO3/rGO HNC was interpreted based on large specific surface area (SSA) to volume, mesoporous structure and the heterojunction between rGO and ZnWO3 at the interface between the rGO and ZnWO3.
  5. Li Y, Wang Y, Liu Z, Zainal Abidin IM, Chen Z
    Sensors (Basel), 2019 Sep 23;19(19).
    PMID: 31547499 DOI: 10.3390/s19194102
    The cladded conductor is broadly utilized in engineering fields, such as aerospace, energy, and petrochemical; however, it is vulnerable to thickness loss occurring in the clad layer and nonconductive protection coating due to abrasive and corrosive environments. Such a flaw severely undermines the integrity and safety of the mechanical structures. Therefore, evaluating the thickness loss hidden inside cladded conductors via reliable nondestructive evaluation techniques is imperative. This paper intensively investigates the pulse-modulation eddy current technique (PMEC) for the assessment of thickness loss in a cladded conductor. An analytical model of the ferrite-cored probe is established for analyzing PMEC signals and characteristics of lift-off intersection (LOI) in testing signals. Experiments are conducted for evaluation of the thickness loss in cladded conductors. An inverse scheme based on LOI for estimation of the thickness-loss depth is proposed and further verified. Through simulations and experiments, it is found that the influences of the thickness loss in the clad layer and protective coating on the PMEC signals can be decoupled in virtue of the LOI characteristics. Based on LOI, the hidden thickness loss can be efficiently evaluated without much of a reduction in accuracy by using the PMEC probe for dedicated inspection of the cladded conductor.
  6. Jing H, Liu Z, Kuan SH, Chieng S, Ho CL
    Molecules, 2021 May 21;26(11).
    PMID: 34064160 DOI: 10.3390/molecules26113084
    Recently, microbial-based iron reduction has been considered as a viable alternative to typical chemical-based treatments. The iron reduction is an important process in kaolin refining, where iron-bearing impurities in kaolin clay affects the whiteness, refractory properties, and its commercial value. In recent years, Gram-negative bacteria has been in the center stage of iron reduction research, whereas little is known about the potential use of Gram-positive bacteria to refine kaolin clay. In this study, we investigated the ferric reducing capabilities of five microbes by manipulating the microbial growth conditions. Out of the five, we discovered that Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus outperformed the other microbes under nitrogen-rich media. Through the biochemical changes and the microbial behavior, we mapped the hypothetical pathway leading to the iron reduction cellular properties, and found that the iron reduction properties of these Gram-positive bacteria rely heavily on the media composition. The media composition results in increased basification of the media that is a prerequisite for the cellular reduction of ferric ions. Further, these changes impact the formation of biofilm, suggesting that the cellular interaction for the iron(III)oxide reduction is not solely reliant on the formation of biofilms. This article reveals the potential development of Gram-positive microbes in facilitating the microbial-based removal of metal contaminants from clays or ores. Further studies to elucidate the corresponding pathways would be crucial for the further development of the field.
  7. Gorman K, Liu Z, Denholm I, Brüggen KU, Nauen R
    Pest Manag Sci, 2008 Nov;64(11):1122-5.
    PMID: 18803175 DOI: 10.1002/ps.1635
    Rice brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens Stål, is a primary insect pest of cultivated rice, and effective control is essential for economical crop production. Resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular imidacloprid, has been reported as an increasing constraint in recent years. In order to investigate the extent of resistance, 24 samples of N. lugens were collected from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam during 2005 and 2006. Their responses to two diagnostic doses of imidacloprid (corresponding approximately to the LC(95) and 5 x LC(95) of a susceptible strain) were examined.
  8. Liu Z, Lan J, Chien F, Sadiq M, Nawaz MA
    J Environ Manage, 2022 Feb 01;303:114078.
    PMID: 34838384 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.114078
    Globally, the interaction and vulnerability of tourism and climate change have recently been in focus. This study examines how carbon dioxide emissions respond to changes in the tourism development. Panel data from 2000 to 2017 for 70 countries are analyzed using spatial econometric method to investigate the spatial spillover effect of tourism development on environmental pollution. The direct, indirect, and overall impact of tourism on environmental pollution are estimated after the selection of the most appropriate GNS method. The findings reveal that tourism has a positive direct effect and a negative indirect effect; both are significant at the 1 % level. The negative indirect effect of tourism is greater than its direct positive effect, implying an overall significantly negative impact. Further, the outcome of financial development and carbon emissions have an inverted U-shaped and U-shaped relationship in direct and indirect impacts. Population density, trade openness and economic growth significantly influence on environmental pollution through spatial spill over. In addition, education expenditure and infrastructure play a significant moderating role in the relationship among tourism development and environmental pollution. The results have important policy implications as they establish an inverted-U-shaped relationship among tourism and environmental pollution and indicate that while a country's emissions initially rise with the tourism industry's growth, they begin declining after a limit.
  9. Shi Q, Wang Y, Xu J, Liu Z, Chin CY
    PMID: 35129118 DOI: 10.1107/S2052520621012749
    Understanding crystallization behaviors is of utmost importance for developing robust amorphous pharmaceutical solids. Herein, the crystal growth behaviors of amorphous anti-inflammatory drug nimesulide (NIME) are systemically investigated in the glassy and supercooled liquid state as a function of temperature. A sudden over-tenfold increase is observed in the bulk crystal growth of NIME on cooling below its glass transition temperature (Tg). This fast growth behavior is known as a glass-to-crystal (GC) mode and has been reported in some molecular glasses. Fast surface crystal growth of NIME can persist up to Tg + 57°C with a weak jump in its growth rates at 30-40°C. In addition, surface crystal growth and GC growth of NIME exhibit an almost identical temperature dependence, supporting the view that GC growth is indeed a surface-facilitated process. Moreover, the bubble-induced fast crystal growth of NIME is observed in the interior of its supercooled liquid with approximately the same growth kinetics as surface crystal growth. These findings are relevant for a full understanding of the surface-related crystallization behaviors and physical stability of amorphous pharmaceutical formulations.
  10. Zhang B, Rahmatullah B, Wang SL, Liu Z
    Multimed Tools Appl, 2023;82(10):15735-15762.
    PMID: 36185323 DOI: 10.1007/s11042-022-13744-9
    Modern medical examinations have produced a large number of medical images. It is a great challenge to transmit and store them quickly and securely. Existing solutions mainly use medical image encryption algorithms, but these encryption algorithms, which were developed for ordinary images, are time-consuming and must cope with insufficient security considerations when encrypting medical images. Compared with ordinary images, medical images can be divided into the region of interest and the region of background. In this paper, based on this characteristic, a plain-image correlative semi-selective medical image encryption algorithm using the enhanced two dimensional Logistic map was proposed. First, the region of interest of a plain medical image is permuted at the pixel level, then for the whole medical image, substitution is performed pixel by pixel. An ideal compromise between encryption speed and security can be achieved by full-encrypting the region of interest and semi-encrypting the region of background. Several main types of medical images and some normal images were selected as the samples for simulation, and main image cryptanalysis methods were used to analyze the results. The results showed that the cipher-images have a good visual quality, high information entropy, low correlation between adjacent pixels, as well as uniformly distribute histogram. The algorithm is sensitive to the initial key and plain-image, and has a large keyspace and low time complexity. The time complexity is lower when compared with the current medical image full encryption algorithm, and the security performance is better when compared with the current medical image selective encryption algorithm.
  11. Zhu JJ, Liu Z, Huang T, Guo XS
    PLoS One, 2023;18(6):e0287439.
    PMID: 37390063 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0287439
    This study aims to give a comprehensive analysis of customers' acceptance and use of AI gadgets and its relevant ethical issues in the tourism and hospitality business in the era of the Internet of Things. Adopting a PRISMA methodology for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, the present research reviews how tourism and hospitality scholars have conducted research on AI technology in the field of tourism and the hospitality industry. Most of the journal articles related to AI issues published in Web of Science, ScienceDirect.com and the journal websites were considered in this review. The results of this research offer a better understanding of AI implementation with roboethics to investigate AI-related issues in the tourism and hospitality industry. In addition, it provides decision-makers in the hotel industry with practical references on service innovation, participation in the design of AI devices and AI device applications, meeting customer needs, and optimising customer experience. The theoretical implications and practical interpretations are further identified.
  12. Nuge T, Liu X, Tshai KY, Lim SS, Nordin N, Hoque ME, et al.
    PMID: 33826152 DOI: 10.1002/bab.2162
    Despite a lot of intensive research on cells-scaffolds interaction, focused are mainly on the capacity of construct scaffolds to regulate cell mobility, migration and cytotoxicity. The effect of the scaffold's topographical and material properties on the expression of biologically active compounds from stem cells is not well understood. In this study, the influence of cellulose acetate (CA) on the electrospinnability of gelatin and the roles of gelatin-cellulose acetate (Ge-CA) on modulating the release of biologically active compounds from amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) is emphasized. It was found that the presence of a small amount of CA could provide a better microenvironment that mimics AFSCs' niche. However, a large amount of CA exhibited no significant effect on AFSCs migration and infiltration. Further study on the effect of surface topography and mechanical properties on AFSCs showed that the tailored microenvironment provided by the Ge-CA scaffolds had transduced physical cues to biomolecules released into the culture media. It was found that the AFSCs seeded on electrospun scaffolds with less CA proportions has profound effects on the secretion of metabolic compounds compared to those with higher CA contained and gelatin coating. The enhanced secretion of biologically active molecules by the AFSCs on the electrospun scaffolds was proven by the accelerated wound closure on the injured human dermal fibroblast (HDF) model. The rapid HDF cell migration could be anticipated due to a higher level of paracrine factors in AFSCs media. Our study demonstrates that the fibrous topography and mechanical properties of the scaffold is a key material property that modulates the high expression of biologically active compounds from the AFSCs. The discovery elucidates a new aspect of material functions and scaffolds material-AFSCs interaction for regulating biomolecules release to promote tissue regeneration/repair. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing the scaffolds material-AFSCs interaction and the efficacy of scratch assays on quantifying the cell migration in response to the AFSCs metabolic products. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  13. Huh JW, Maeda K, Liu Z, Wang X, Roslani AC, Lee WY
    Ann Coloproctol, 2020 Apr;36(2):70-77.
    PMID: 32054250 DOI: 10.3393/ac.2020.01.19
    PURPOSE: Current acceptance of the watch-and-wait (W&W) approach by surgeons in Asia-Pacific countries is unknown. An international survey was performed to determine status of the W&W approach on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Federation of Coloproctology (APFCP).

    METHODS: Surgeons in the APFCP completed an Institutional Review Board-approved anonymous e-survey and/or printed letters (for China) containing 19 questions regarding nonsurgical close observation in patients who achieved clinical complete response (cCR) to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT).

    RESULTS: Of the 417 responses, 80.8% (n = 337) supported the W&W approach and 65.5% (n = 273) treated patients who achieved cCR after nCRT. Importantly, 78% of participants (n = 326) preferred a selective W&W approach in patients with old age and medical comorbidities who achieved cCR. In regard to restaging methods after nCRT, the majority of respondents based their decision to use W&W on a combination of magnetic resonance imaging results (94.5%, n = 394) with other test results. For interval between nCRT completion and tumor response assessment, most participants used 8 weeks (n = 154, 36.9%), followed by 6 weeks (n = 127, 30.5%) and 4 weeks (n = 102, 24.5%). In response to the question of how often responders followed-up after W&W, the predominant period was every 3 months (209 participants, 50.1%) followed by every 2 months (75 participants, 18.0%). If local regrowth was found during follow-up, most participants (79.9%, n = 333) recommended radical surgery as an initial management.

    CONCLUSION: The W&W approach is supported by 80% of Asia-Pacific surgeons and is practiced at 65%, although heterogeneous hospital or society protocols are also observed. These results inform oncologists of future clinical study participation.

  14. Zheng K, Liu Z, Jiang Y, Guo P, Li H, Zeng C, et al.
    Dalton Trans, 2018 Nov 29.
    PMID: 30488066 DOI: 10.1039/c8dt03832e
    The investigation and development of advanced multifunctional and sensitive sensors with high luminescent quantum yield and the capability of detecting different analytes, such as metal ions, is imperative. Due to its inherent properties the lanthanide coordination complex is one candidate for sensing applications, particularly for multifunctional sensors. Herein, we present two series of alkali ion decorated lanthanide coordination polymers (Ln-CPs), which show ultrahigh luminescence quantum yields (QYs) of 77% (1a) and 92% (2a). To the best of our knowledge, 1a represents the first trifunctional lanthanide complex sensor that can simultaneous detect and discriminate three different analytes, namely H+/Cd2+/Cr3+ through a multimode optical response. Furthermore, the limit of detection (LOD) for Cr3+ is an ultralow value of 2.0 × 10-9 M with a sensing time of 2 h, which is comparable to the most sensitive Cr3+ chemosensor. More interestingly, 92% (2a) is an unprecedented luminescence QY among the reported lanthanide coordination complexes.
  15. Liu Z, Gopinath SCB, Wang Z, Li Y, Anbu P, Zhang W
    Mikrochim Acta, 2021 05 15;188(6):187.
    PMID: 33990848 DOI: 10.1007/s00604-021-04834-w
    A new zeolite-iron oxide nanocomposite (ZEO-IO) was extracted from waste fly ash of a thermal power plant and utilized for capturing aptamers used to quantify the myocardial infarction (MI) biomarker N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-ProBNP); this was used in a probe with an integrated microelectrode sensor. High-resolution microscopy revealed that ZEO-IO displayed a clubbell structure and a particle size range of 100-200 nm. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of Si, Al, Fe, and O in the synthesized ZEO-IO. The limit of detection for NT-ProBNP was 1-2 pg/mL (0.1-0.2 pM) when the aptamer was sandwiched with antibody and showed the doubled current response even at a low NT-ProBNP abundance. A dose-dependent interaction was identified for this sandwich with a linear plot in the concentration range 1 to 32 pg/mL (0.1-3.2 pM) with a determination coefficient R2 = 0.9884; y = 0.8425x-0.5771. Without  sandwich, the detection limit was 2-4 pg/mL (0.2-0.4 pM) and the determination coefficient was R2 = 0.9854; y = 1.0996x-1.4729. Stability and nonfouling assays in the presence of bovine serum albumin, cardiac troponin I, and myoglobin revealed that the aptamer-modified surface is stable and specific for NT-Pro-BNP. Moreover, NT-ProBNP-spiked human serum exhibited selective detection. This new nanocomposite-modified surface helps in detecting NT-Pro-BNP and diagnosing MI at stages of low expression.
  16. Liu Z, Li H, Gao D, Su J, Su Y, Ma Z, et al.
    Open Life Sci, 2022;17(1):1629-1640.
    PMID: 36567720 DOI: 10.1515/biol-2022-0516
    Ghee is a traditional Tibetan dairy product with high-fat content, low yield, plasticity, caseation, and rich nutrition. In this study, we analyzed the diversity of microbial communities in yak milk and ghee samples at high and low altitudes, especially the Lactobacillus genus, and further used metabolomic techniques to compare the differences in metabolites in yak ghee at different altitudes. The results showed that the increase in altitude had a significant and generally inhibitory effect on the microbial community diversity in milk ghee, and yak milk at high altitude was abundant in nutrients, which could antagonize the negative impact of increased altitude. Using non-targeted metabolomics, we infer the composition of flavor compounds in ghee: nine kinds of carboxylic acids, 11 kinds of esters, six kinds of ketones, two kinds of alcohols, and four kinds of alkene compounds, among which the key flavor compounds are dl-2-(acetylamino)-3-phenylephrine acid, 1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-propanone, sebacic acid, Lysope 18:1, and uracil 1-beta-d-arabinofuranoside. These flavor substances are found in Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus. With the participation of Lactobacillus, it is synthesized through biosynthesis of alkaloids derived from ornithine, lysine, and nicotine acid and glyoxylate and decarboxylate metabolism, among which Lactococcus plays a key role. In this study, a variety of lactic acid bacteria related to ghee fermentation were screened out, revealing the composition of volatile flavor compounds in Gannan yak milk ghee in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and providing a reference for further key volatile flavor compounds and the formation mechanism of flavor compounds.
  17. Zhang B, Rahmatullah B, Wang SL, Almutairi HM, Xiao Y, Liu X, et al.
    Med Biol Eng Comput, 2023 Nov;61(11):2971-3002.
    PMID: 37542682 DOI: 10.1007/s11517-023-02874-3
    Since the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine or non-face-to-face medicine has increased significantly. In practice, various types of medical images are essential to achieve effective telemedicine. Medical image encryption algorithms play an irreplaceable role in the fast and secure transmission and storage of these medical images. However, most of the existing medical image encryption algorithms are full encryption algorithms, which are inefficient and time-consuming, so they are not suitable for emergency medical scenarios. To improve the efficiency of encryption, a small number of works have focused on partial or selective encryption algorithms for medical images, in which different levels of encryption strategies were adopted for different information content regions of medical images. However, these encryption algorithms have inadequate security more or less. In this paper, based on the Logistic map, we designed an improved variable dimension map. Then, an encryption algorithm for medical images was proposed based on it. This algorithm has two modes: (1) full encryption mode and (2) semi-full encryption mode, which can better adapt to different medical scenarios, respectively. In full encryption mode, all pixels of medical images are encrypted by using the confusion-diffusion structure. In semi-full encryption mode, the region of interest of medical images is extracted. The confusion was first adopted to encrypt the region of interest, and then, the diffusion was adopted to encrypt the entire image. In addition, no matter which encryption mode is used, the algorithm provides the function of medical image integrity verification. The proposed algorithm was simulated and analyzed to evaluate its effectiveness. The results show that in semi-full encryption mode, the algorithm has good security performance and lower time consumption; while in full encryption mode, the algorithm has better security performance and is acceptable in time.
  18. Luo W, Zhou Y, Liu Z, Kang W, He S, Zhu R, et al.
    Health Place, 2023 Mar 13;81:103000.
    PMID: 37011444 DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2023.103000
    BACKGROUND: In response to COVID-19, Southeast Asian (SEA) countries had imposed stringent lockdowns and restrictions to mitigate the pandemic ever since 2019. Because of a gradually boosting vaccination rate along with a strong demand for economic recovery, many governments have shifted the intervention strategy from restrictions to "Living with COVID-19" where people gradually resumed their normal activities since the second half of the year 2021. Noticeably, timelines for enacting the loosened strategy varied across Southeast Asian countries, which resulted in different patterns of human mobility across space and time. This thus presents an opportunity to study the relationship between mobility and the number of infection cases across regions, which could provide support for ongoing interventions in terms of effectiveness.

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the association between human mobility and COVID-19 infections across space and time during the transition period of shifting strategies from restrictions to normal living in Southeast Asia. Our research results have significant implications for evidence-based policymaking at the present of the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health issues.

    METHODS: We aggregated weekly average human mobility data derived from the Facebook origin and destination Movement dataset. and weekly average new cases of COVID-19 at the district level from 01-Jun-2021 to 26-Dec-2021 (a total of 30 weeks). We mapped the spatiotemporal dynamics of human mobility and COVID-19 cases across countries in SEA. We further adopted the Geographically and Temporally Weighted Regression model to identify the spatiotemporal variations of the association between human mobility and COVID-19 infections over 30 weeks. Our model also controls for socioeconomic status, vaccination, and stringency of intervention to better identify the impact of human mobility on COVID-19 spread.

    RESULTS: The percentage of districts that presented a statistically significant association between human mobility and COVID-19 infections generally decreased from 96.15% in week 1 to 90.38% in week 30, indicating a gradual disconnection between human mobility and COVID-19 spread. Over the study period, the average coefficients in 7 SEA countries increased, decreased, and finally kept stable. The association between human mobility and COVID-19 spread also presents spatial heterogeneity where higher coefficients were mainly concentrated in districts of Indonesia from week 1 to week 10 (ranging from 0.336 to 0.826), while lower coefficients were mainly located in districts of Vietnam (ranging from 0.044 to 0.130). From week 10 to week 25, higher coefficients were mainly observed in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, north Indonesia, and several districts of the Philippines. Despite the association showing a general weakening trend over time, significant positive coefficients were observed in Singapore, Malaysia, western Indonesia, and the Philippines, with the relatively highest coefficients observed in the Philippines in week 30 (ranging from 0.101 to 0.139).

    CONCLUSIONS: The loosening interventions in response to COVID-19 in SEA countries during the second half of 2021 led to diverse changes in human mobility over time, which may result in the COVID-19 infection dynamics. This study investigated the association between mobility and infections at the regional level during the special transitional period. Our study has important implications for public policy interventions, especially at the later stage of a public health crisis.

  19. Cai Z, Guo Y, Zheng Q, Liu Z, Zhong G, Zeng L, et al.
    J Dairy Sci, 2023 Dec 20.
    PMID: 38135047 DOI: 10.3168/jds.2023-24113
    This study aims to identify lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates possessing physiological characteristics suitable for use as probiotics in yogurt fermentation. Following acid and bile salt tolerance tests, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (NUC08 and NUC101), Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus (NUC55 and NUC201), and Lacticaseibacillus paracasei (NUC159, NUC216 and NUC351) were shortlisted based on intraspecies distribution for further evaluation. Their physiological probiotic properties, including transit tolerance, adhesion, auto-aggregation, surface hydrophobicity, biofilm formation, and antibacterial activity, were assessed. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) indicated that L. plantarum NUC08 was the preferred choice among the evaluated strains. Subsequent investigations revealed that co-culturing L. plantarum NUC08 with 2 yogurt starter strains resulted in a cooperative and synergistic effect, enhancing the growth of mixed strains and increasing their tolerance to simulated gastric and intestinal conditions. Additionally, when Vibrio harveyi bioluminescent reporter strain was used, the 3 cocultured strains cooperated to induce the activity of a quorum sensing (QS) molecule AI-2, hinting a potential connection between phenotypic traits and QS in the cocultured strains. Importantly, LAB viable counts were significantly higher in yogurt co-fermented with L. plantarum NUC08, consistently throughout the storage period. In conclusion, the study demonstrates that the probiotic strain L. plantarum NUC08 can be employed in synergy with yogurt starter strains, affirming its potential for use in the development of functional fermented dairy products.
  20. Yao L, Zhou K, Zhou Y, Kueh YC, Liu H, Liu Z, et al.
    BMC Public Health, 2024 Jan 10;24(1):151.
    PMID: 38200518 DOI: 10.1186/s12889-023-17596-2
    BACKGROUND: Self-efficacy has been recognized as a critical component in people's participation and maintenance of physical activity. This study aims to validate the Chinese version of the Exercise Self-Efficacy Scale (ESE) among Chinese children and adolescents using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on two primary and two secondary schools in central China. The ESE scale was translated into Chinese (ESE-C) using the standard forward-backward translation method. Data were analyzed using Mplus 8 for the CFA.

    RESULTS: The final model showed a satisfactory level of goodness-of-fit (CFI = 0.918; TLI = 0.905; SRMR = 0.043; RMSEA = 0.066), indicating a good construct validity of the ESE-C for children and adolescents in mainland China. Furthermore, the final ESE-C model achieved composite reliability values of 0.963 and average variance extraction values of 0.597, indicating sufficient convergent and discriminant validity. Besides, the Cronbach's alpha value was 0.964, demonstrating excellent internal consistency of the ESE-C scale.

    CONCLUSION: The ESE-C scale is a valid instrument for assessing exercise self-efficacy among children and adolescents in mainland China.

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