373 research outputs found

    Inside out: rethinking contemporary Chinese art and global creative economy

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    This thesis is to destabilize the Western dominant understanding of contemporary Chinese art when it circulates on the global art market, such as the all-to-common narratives only celebrating Chinese artists who are politically criticizing or resist the Chinese authority. Meanwhile, I also question the authority control inside of China, especially the mainstream criteria of aesthetics and art. Cultural anthropologist Aihwa Ong observes that some Western scholars believe contemporary Chinese art to be “crass opportunism with reduced aesthetic value.”Chinese American artist and art critic Chen Danqing criticizes contemporary Chinese art from the last ten years as too utilitarian: “During the Cultural Revolution, all [Chinese] artists worried about their artworks not being ‘revolutionary’; today, I see they only worry about their ‘tricks’ are not ‘contemporary’ enough.” He critically argued that Chinese art today is a consequence of learning Western art due to a lack of cultural confidence. I argue that contemporary Chinese art is not market-driven or simply copy Western arts. It has been shaped by the context of its particular socio-political and economic condition since the middle of the twentieth century. I also emphasize the specialness of “contemporaneity” in contemporary Chinese art

    A Screening Strategy for Structured Optimization Involving Nonconvex q,p\ell_{q,p} Regularization

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    In this paper, we develop a simple yet effective screening rule strategy to improve the computational efficiency in solving structured optimization involving nonconvex q,p\ell_{q,p} regularization. Based on an iteratively reweighted 1\ell_1 (IRL1) framework, the proposed screening rule works like a preprocessing module that potentially removes the inactive groups before starting the subproblem solver, thereby reducing the computational time in total. This is mainly achieved by heuristically exploiting the dual subproblem information during each iteration.Moreover, we prove that our screening rule can remove all inactive variables in a finite number of iterations of the IRL1 method. Numerical experiments illustrate the efficiency of our screening rule strategy compared with several state-of-the-art algorithms

    Improving Learning Engagement Among Ethnic Minority High School Students in China Through School-Based Social Support: An Intervention Study

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    The study aimed to examine the effect of school-based social support, specifically the integrated peer and teacher support on the learning engagement of ethnic minority high school students in China. Researchers designed a customized reading program to incorporate peer and teacher support through collaborative learning and dual-teacher classroom mechanisms. The intervention groups involve 192 first year high school students in an underdeveloped area in Yunnan province. Learning engagement was measured using a self-report interview and observation field note during the intervention. Results showed that the school-based social support has effectively promoted the student’s self-confidence, learning motivation, self-identity, and develop a positive learning environment. These findings suggest that school-based social support can be a productive way to improve learning engagement among ethnic minority high school students in China. Implications for education practice and future research are discussed

    Multi-Agent Robust Control Synthesis from Global Temporal Logic Tasks

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    This paper focuses on the heterogeneous multi-agent control problem under global temporal logic tasks. We define a specification language, called extended capacity temporal logic (ECaTL), to describe the required global tasks, including the number of times that a local or coupled signal temporal logic (STL) task needs to be satisfied and the synchronous requirements on task satisfaction. The robustness measure for ECaTL is formally designed. In particular, the robustness for synchronous tasks is evaluated from both the temporal and spatial perspectives. Mixed-integer linear constraints are designed to encode ECaTL specifications, and a two-step optimization framework is further proposed to realize task-satisfied motion planning with high spatial robustness and synchronicity. Simulations are conducted to demonstrate the expressivity of ECaTL and the efficiency of the proposed control synthesis approach.Comment: 7 pages, 3 figure

    Lack of sexual behavior disclosure may distort STI testing outcomes.

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    BACKGROUND: Men who have sex with men (MSM) globally have a high burden of curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs). MSM do not frequently receive rectal STI testing because of several barriers, such as not being out (disclosure of sexual behavior). We evaluate whether Chinese MSM select an STI test (rectal vs urethral) appropriate for their sexual behavior (insertive and/or receptive), and the interactions with being out. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of data from a cross sectional MSM survey conducted at a multisite randomized controlled trial (RCT) (December 2018 to January 2019) around uptake of gonorrhea and chlamydia testing among Chinese MSM (N = 431). We collected socio demographics, relevant medical and sexual history, and disclosure of sexual behavior (outness). We estimated the decision to test and test choice, and the extent to which disclosure plays a role in decision making. RESULTS: Among 431 MSM, mean age was 28 years (SD = 7.10) and 65% were out to someone. MSM who indicated versatile sexual behavior and were out to someone had a 26.8% (95%CI = 6.1, 47.5) increased likelihood for selecting the rectal test vs the ure thral test, compared to those versatile and not out. Versatile MSM out to their health provider outside of the study context had a 29.4% (95%CI = 6.3, 52.6) greater likelihood for selecting the rectal STI test vs the urethral test, compared to versatile MSM not out to their health provider. CONCLUSIONS: Sexual behavior and outness may affect gonorrhea and chlamydia testing provision. Apart from clinicians, community based efforts may reduce stigma based barriers to testing

    Psoralen-loaded lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles enhance doxorubicin efficacy in multidrug-resistant HepG2 cells

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    Background: Psoralen (PSO), a major active component of Psoralea corylifolia, has been shown to overcome multidrug resistance in cancer. A drug carrier comprising a lipid-monolayer shell and a biodegradable polymer core for sustained delivery and improved efficacy of drug have exhibited great potential in efficient treatment of cancers. Methods: The PSO-loaded lipid polymer hybrid nanoparticles were prepared and characterized. In vitro cytotoxicity assay, cellular uptake, cell cycle analysis, detection of ROS level and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and western blot were performed. Results: The P-LPNs enhanced the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin (DOX) 17-fold compared to free DOX in multidrug resistant HepG2/ADR cells. Moreover, P-LPNs displayed pro-apoptotic activity, increased levels of ROS and depolarization of ΔΨm. In addition, there were no significant effects on cellular uptake of DOX, cell cycle arrest, or the expression of P-glycoprotein. Mechanistic studies suggested that P-LPNs enhanced DOX cytotoxicity by increased release of cytochrome c and enhanced caspase3 cleavage, causing apoptosis in HepG2/ADR cells. Conclusion: The lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles can be considered a powerful and promising drug delivery system for effective cancer chemotherapy. Keywords: lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles, psoralen, drug delivery, HepG2, ADR cells, apoptosis.This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81273707), the Ministry of Education in the New Century Excellent Talents (NECT-12-0677), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong (S2013010012880, 2016A030311037), the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou (2014J4500005, 201704030141), the Science Program of the Department of Education of Guangdong (2013KJCX0021, 2015KGJHZ012), the Science and Technology Program of Guangdong (2015A050502027), and the Special Project of International Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Guangzhou Development District (2017GH16)

    Social innovation in sexual health: a scoping review towards ending the HIV epidemic.

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    As donor financial support decreases, ending the HIV epidemic in Asia will require novel and sustainable approaches. Social innovation, a community-engaged process that links social change and health improvement, may be useful for helping to end the HIV epidemic in Asia. A scoping review to examine social innovation strategies in sexual health for the Asian region was conducted. The research identified focused on three types of social innovation: (1) microfinance; (2) social entrepreneurship; and (3) social enterprise. Microfinance provides financial opportunities (e.g. banking services, job opportunities) to spur local entrepreneurship and healthier behaviours. Social entrepreneurship uses business principles and tools (e.g. crowdsourcing, human-centred design) to improve health. Social enterprise is a business with a social mission. Further research is needed to measure the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of social innovation strategies in improving HIV services

    Case Studies of Environmental Visualization

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    The performance gap between simulation and reality has been identified as a major challenge to achieving sustainability in the Built Environment. While Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) surveys are an integral part of better understanding building performance, and thus addressing this issue, the importance of POE remains relatively unacknowledged within the wider Built Environment community. A possible reason that has been highlighted is that POE survey data is not easily understood and utilizable by non-expert stakeholders, including designers. A potential method by which to address this is the visualization method, which has well established benefits for communication of big datasets. This paper presents two case studies where EnViz (short for “Environmental Visualization”), a prototype software application developed for research purposes, was utilized and its effectiveness tested via a range of analysis tasks. The results are discussed and compared with those of previous work that utilized variations of the methods presented here. The paper concludes by presenting the lessons drawn from the five-year period of EnViz, emphasizing the potential of environmental visualization for decision support in environmental design and engineering for the built environment, and suggests directions for future development

    Identification of sugar transporter genes and their roles in the pathogenicity of Verticillium dahliae on cotton

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    IntroductionVerticillium wilt (VW) caused by Verticillium dahliae is a soil-borne vascular fungal disease that severely affects cotton yield and fiber quality. Sugar metabolism plays an important role in the growth and pathogenicity of V. dahliae. However, limited information is known about the sugar transporter genes and their roles in the growth and pathogenicity of V. dahliae.MethodIn this study, genome-wide identification of sugar transporter genes in V. dahliae was conducted and the expression profiles of these genes in response to root exudates from cotton varieties susceptible or resistant to V. dahliae were investigated based on RNA-seq data. Tobacco Rattle Virus-based host-induced gene silencing (TRV-based HIGS) and artificial small interfering RNAs (asiRNAs) were applied to investigate the function of candidate genes involved in the growth and pathogenic process of V. dahliae.ResultsA total of 65 putative sugar transporter genes were identified and clustered into 8 Clades. Of the 65 sugar transporter genes, 9 were found to be induced only by root exudates from the susceptible variety, including VdST3 and VdST12 that were selected for further functional study. Silencing of VdST3 or VdST12 in host plants by TRV-based HIGS reduced fungal biomass and enhanced cotton resistance against V. dahliae. Additionally, silencing of VdST12 and VdST3 by feeding asiRNAs targeting VdST12 (asiR815 or asiR1436) and VdST3 (asiR201 or asiR1238) inhibited fungal growth, exhibiting significant reduction in hyphae and colony diameter, with a more significant effect observed for the asiRNAs targeting VdST12. The inhibitory effect of asiRNAs on the growth of V. dahliae was enhanced with the increasing concentration of asiRNAs. Silencing of VdST12 by feeding asiR815+asiR1436 significantly decreased the pathogenicity of V. dahliae.DiscussionThe results suggest that VdST3 and VdST12 are sugar transporter genes required for growth and pathogenicity of V. dahliae and that asiRNA is a valuable tool for functional characterization of V. dahliae genes

    Pay-it-forward gonorrhea and chlamydia testing among men who have sex with men in China:a study protocol for a three-arm cluster randomized controlled trial

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    BACKGROUND: Gonorrhea and chlamydia testing rates are poor among Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM). A quasi-experimental study suggested that a pay-it-forward strategy increased dual gonorrhea/chlamydia testing among MSM. Pay-it-forward offers an individual a gift (e.g., a free test) and then asks the same person if they would like to give a gift to another person. This article reports the protocol of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate dual gonorrhea/chlamydia test uptake and other outcomes among MSM in three arms - a pay-it-forward arm, a pay-what-you-want arm, and a standard of care arm. METHODS: Three hundred MSM will be recruited at three HIV testing sites in Guangzhou and Beijing. Testing sites include two hospital-based MSM sexually transmitted diseases clinics and one MSM community-based organization. Eligible participants will be born biologically male, aged 16 years or older, reporting previous anal sex with another man, having never participated in the pay-it-forward program, without previous gonorrhea and chlamydia testing in the past 12 months, and residing in China. Following a cluster randomized design, every cluster of ten participants will be randomly allocated into one of three arms: (1) a pay-it-forward arm in which men are offered free gonorrhea and chlamydia testing and then asked whether they would like to donate ("pay it forward") toward testing for future testers; (2) a pay-what-you-want arm in which men are offered free testing and told to decide how much to pay after receiving the test; (3) a standard of care arm in which men can pay the full price for dual gonorrhoea and chlamydia testing. The primary outcome is dual gonorrhoea/chlamydia testing as verified by administrative records. Secondary outcomes include incremental cost per test, incremental cost per diagnosis, community connectedness, and social cohesion. Primary outcome will be calculated for each arm using intention-to-treat and compared using one-sided 95% confidence intervals with a margin of 20% increase defined as superiority. DISCUSSION: This study will examine the pay-it-forward strategy in comparison to the standard of care in improving test uptake for gonorrhea and chlamydia. We will leverage the cluster randomized controlled trial to provide scientific evidence on the potential effect of pay-it-forward. Findings from this study will shed light on novel intervention methods for increasing preventive health service utilization and innovate ways to finance it among communities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03741725 . Registered on 12 November 2018
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