The geometric structures, energetic and electronic properties of global minima of the AlBen (n = 1–12) clusters have been systemically studied by using the hybrid density functional theory [B3LYP] and coupled cluster [CCSD(T)] methods. It is found that the impurity Al atom is externally bound to the host Ben framework and its maximum coordination number is six. Besides, the geometries of AlBen bear close resemblance to either local or global minimum structures of Ben+1. The AlBe3 and AlBe8 clusters exhibit high relative stability among the AlBen clusters, which is reflected by the evolutions of average atomic binding energy, dissociation energy, second difference in energy, adsorption energy of Al, and HOMO-LUMO gap with cluster size. In comparison to the pure Ben+1 clusters, AlBen exhibit larger binding energy values, whereas they are more polarizable.
The application of cement in various fields of construction makes it a very important engineering material. However, it is very expensive and releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. Therefore, it is crucial to find cheap and environmentally friendly alternatives to cement. Waste paper pulp ash (WPPA) was found to be one of the most mature cement substitute materials. In this work, the physical and mechanical properties of cement mortar with WPPA as partial replacement of cement were experimentally studied to ensure that the resulting mixes has appropriate mechanical properties. Cement mixes containing various percentage replacements of WPPA (5%, 10%, 15% and 20%) were prepared, and basic properties such as compressive strength, flexural strength, shear bond strength, efflorescence and water absorption were determined and compared with the control mix (0%). The basic mechanical properties of cement mortar containing WPPA are enhanced until the percentage of WPPA reaches 10%. However, a further percentage of WPPA substitution causes the mechanical strength of the mortar to decrease. It is found that the optimal level of WPPA as a cement substitute is 5%. Although the physical properties of WPPA blended paste are improved with the increase of WPPA percentage. Our research provides a typical example of how the use of cement mortar containing WPPA can aid to the development of building materials. In addition to having better mechanical strength, cement-WPPA mixed mortar is a cost effective and environmentally friendly material.
Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) can be a severe and debilitating disease associated with significant morbidity, complete anosmia, sinus pressure, and asthma exacerbations. Eosinophils play a role in the majority (85%) of patients. Benralizumab, an afucosylated monoclonal antibody directed against the IL-5 receptor has powerful apoptotic effects on eosinophils. Objective: We sought to investigate the therapeutic benefit of inhibiting the IL-5 receptor using benralizumab to treat severe nasal polyposis. Methods: Twenty-four patients (n = 24) with severe NP (grade 5 or more out of 8) with elevated eosinophils and a history of previous polypectomy were randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive 30mg benralizumab SC or placebo. Endoscopic NP score was assessed at baseline and at treatment week 20. CT scan, SNOT-22 survey, and UPSIT smell test score changes were also evaluated from baseline. Results: Compared to baseline, 8 out 12 patients receiving benralizumab had a significantly improved NP score versus 4 out of 12 placebo. 5 of 12 benralizumab treated patients had improvements in all major outcomes (polyp score, CT, SNOT-22 and smell test) versus 2 out of 12 placebo. The ratio of blood eosinophil count to allergen skin test positivity correlated with polyp reduction. Conclusion: Compared to baseline, benralizumab achieved a statistically significant reduction in polyp size by endoscopy and CT scan and was associated with both less symptoms and improved sensation of smell for most patients (10 of 12).
Background and Aim: Interrupted aortic arch (IAA) is defined as a complete interruption of aortic lumen between the ascending and descending aorta. It is an uncommon and complicated congenital heart disease with high mortality in infants. It is rare for patients with isolated IAA to survive to adulthood without operation unless the extensive collateral vessels joining the descending aorta. Here we present three unique cases with isolated IAA together with a review of the literature. Methods: case presentation: We retrospectively searched the hospital patient databases for patients (>14 years) with IAA diagnosed at the Wuhan Union Hospital over the past 10 years and excluded the patients with other cardiac malformations. Three patients were identified. Two were referred to us for hypertension management and were diagnosed with IAA at our hospital. They both declined surgical treatments and underwent conservative therapy including management of their hypertension. One patient was referred to our hospital for further treatment options after the patient was diagnosed with IAA at another hospital. This patient received an extra-anatomic bypass surgery from ascending aorta to descending aorta. His high blood pressure did not resolve and was subsequently managed by anti-hypertensives medications after the surgery. Discussion and conclusions: Adult patients with isolated IAA usually have extensive collateral vessels joining the descending aorta. Surgical intervention may not be necessary for these patients if the patients have no symptoms except hypertension. Anti-hypertensives medical management with long term follow-up appears to be a reasonable treatment option for these patients.
This paper investigates the cyclic deformation behaviour of S355 G10+M steel which is predominantly used in offshore wind applications. The thick weldments were identified as regions prone to fatigue crack initiation due to stress concentration at weld toe as well as weld residual stress fields. The monopile structure was modelled using a global-local finite element (FE) method and the weld geometry was adopted from circumferential weld joints used in offshore wind turbine monopile foundations. Realistic service loads collected using SCADA and wave buoy techniques were used in the FE model. A non-linear isotropic-kinematic hardening model was calibrated using the strain controlled cyclic deformation results obtained from base metal as well as cross-weld specimen tests. The tests revealed that the S355 G10+M base metal and weld metal undergo continuous cyclic stress relaxation. Fatigue damage over a period of 20 years of operation was predicted using the total elastic-plastic strain energy accumulated at the root of the weldments as the life limiting criterion. This study helps in quantifying the level of conservatism in the current monopile design approaches and has implications towards making wind energy more economic.
Air-gap insulated exhaust manifolds are mainly stressed by thermo-mechanical loads (TMF). To calculate the components with regard to their durability, a material model was created using a nonlinear kinematic model of strain hardening based on Low-Cycle-Fatique-(LCF)-tests and multi-level creep tests. On this basis, an energy-based model for life estimation was developed. The simulation of the LCF tests showed a good correlation. The model was validated on the hot gas test rig using a bended pipe. Furthermore, a model was developed to calculate welds. LCF tests with welded specimens were carried out and based on these tests, the material model of the basic material was modified for the welded areas.
Acetic acid and furfural are the two prevalent inhibitors coexisting with glucose and xylose in lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The transcriptional regulations of S. cerevisiae in response to acetic acid (Aa), furfural (Fur), and the mixture of acetic acid and furfural (Aa_Fur) while fermenting with glucose and xylose were revealed. The pathways classified as carbohydrate metabolism were significantly enriched in response to Aa, while the pathways belonged to xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism were significantly enriched in response to Fur. In addition to these pathways, some new pathways were activated in response to Aa_Fur, i.e., cofactors and vitamins metabolism, and lipid metabolism. Overexpression of Haa1p or Tye7p improved xylose consumption rate by nearly 50%, while the ethanol yield enhanced by nearly 8%. Further co-overexpression of Haa1p and Tye7 resulted in 59% increase in xylose consumption rate and 12% increase in ethanol yield, revealing the beneficial effects of Haa1p and Tye7p on improving the tolerance of yeast to mixed fermentation inhibitors.
Nanotechnology plays a promising role in biomedical applications, particularly tissue engineering. Recently, the application of magnetic scaffolds and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) exposure has been considered in bone tissue regeneration. In this study, 3rd generation dendrimer-modified superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (G3-SPIONs) are synthesized comprehensively characterized. Magnetic polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers are prepared by incorporating G3-SPIONs within the electrospinning process ,and physicochemical characteristics ,as well as cytocompatibility and cell attachment are assessed. Eventually, the osteogenic differentiation ability of adipocyte-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs) cultured on the magnetic scaffold with and without PEMF exposure was investigated by measurement of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium content. The expression of specific bone markers was studied using the Real-time PCR method. According to the results, G3-SPIONs with mean size and zeta potential of 17.95 ± 3.57 nm and 22.7 mV, respectively, show a high saturation magnetization (57.75 emu/g). Adding G3-SPIONs to PCL significantly decrease nanofibers size to 495±144 nm and improves cell attachment and growth. The ADMSCs cultured on the G3-SPION-PCL scaffold in the presence of osteogenic media (OM) and exposure to PEMF expressed the highest Osteocalcin and Runx2 and showed higher calcium content as well as ALP activity. It can be concluded that the synthesized G3-SPION incorporated PCL nanofibers serve as a promising magnetic scaffold for bone regeneration. Also, utilizing the magnetic scaffold in the presence of OM and PEMF provides a synergistic effect toward osteogenic differentiation of ADMSCs. Key Words: Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, Dendrimer, Polycaprolactone, Pulsed electromagnetic field, Bone tissue engineering
Convex functions have played a major role in the field of Mathematical inequalities. In this paper, we introduce a new concept related to convexity, which proves better estimates when the function is somehow more convex than another.\\ In particular, we define what we called $g-$convexity as a generalization of $\log-$convexity. Then we prove that $g-$convex functions have better estimates in certain known inequalities like the Hermite-Hadard inequality, super additivity of convex functions, the Majorization inequality and some means inequalities.\\ Strongly related to this, we define the index of convexity as a measure of “how much the function is convex”.\\ Applications including Hilbert space operators, matrices and entropies will be presented in the end.
A 92-year-old small-framed man developed torsade de pointes during pacemaker-generator exchange. His family physician prescribed bepridil 200 mg/day. High bepridil concentration of 1409 ng/mL was revealed. Electrophysiologists at pacemaker clinic should pay attention to arrhythmia management including bepridil concentration when the family physician prescribes bepridil to a pacemaker patient.
The heat tolerance of photosystem II (PSII) may promote carbon assimilation at higher temperatures and may help explain plant responses to climate change. PSII heat tolerance could lead to 1) increases in the high temperature compensation point (Tmax); 2) increases in the thermal breadth of photosynthesis (i.e. the photosynthetic Ω parameter) to promote a thermal generalist strategy of carbon assimilation; 3) increases in the optimum rate of carbon assimilation Popt and promote faster carbon assimilation; and/or 4) increases in the optimum temperature for photosynthesis (Topt). To address these hypotheses, we tested if the Tcrit, T50 and T95 metrics of PSII heat tolerance were correlated with each carbon assimilation parameter for 21 species. Hypothesis 1 was not supported, but we observed that T50 may estimate the upper thermal limit for Tmax at the species-level, and that community mean Tcrit may be useful for approximating Tmax. The T50 and T95 heat tolerance metrics were positively correlated with Ω in support of hypothesis 2. We found no support for hypotheses 3 or 4. Our study shows that high PSII heat tolerance is unlikely to improve carbon assimilation at higher temperatures, but may characterize thermal generalists with slow resource acquisition strategies.
The Shenandoah Watershed Study (established in 1979) and the Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study (established in 1987) serve to increase understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical changes in western Virginia mountain streams that occur in response to acidic deposition and other ecosystem stressors. The SWAS-VTSSS program has evolved over its 40+ year history to consist of a temporally robust and spatially stratified monitoring framework. Currently stream water is sampled bi-hourly during high-flow events at 3 sites and weekly at 4 sites within Shenandoah National Park (SHEN), and quarterly at 72 sites and on an approximately decadal frequency at ~ 450 sites within the wider western Virginia Appalachian region. Stream water is evaluated for pH, acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), base cations (calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium ion), acid anions (sulfate, nitrate and chloride), silica and ammonium, with a subset of samples evaluated for monomeric aluminum and dissolved organic carbon. Hourly stream discharge (4 sites) and in-situ measurements of conductivity, water and air temperature (3 sites) are also measured within SHEN. Here we provide an overview and timeline of the SWAS-VTSSS stream water monitoring program, summarize the field and laboratory methods, describe the water chemistry and hydrologic data sets, and document major watershed disturbances that have occurred during the program history. Website links and instructions are provided to access the stream chemistry and time-series monitoring data in open-access federal databases. The purpose of this publication is to promote awareness of these unique, long-term data sets for wider use in catchment studies. The water chemistry and hydrologic data can be used to investigate a wide range of biogeochemical research questions and provide key inputs for models of these headwater stream ecosystems. SWAS-VTSSS is an ongoing program and quality assured data sets are uploaded to the databases annually.
Background and Purpose: Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most common complications that is related to high morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetic patients. We investigated ability of a novel dual modulator, PTUPB that concurrently acts as a soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitor and as a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor against diabetic nephropathy. Experimental Approach: Sixteen-week-old type 2 diabetic and proteinuric obese ZSF1 rats were orally treated with vehicle, PTUPB, or enalapril for 8 weeks. Key Results: PTUPB alleviated diabetic nephropathy in obese ZSF1 rats by reducing albuminuria by 50%, renal tubular cast formation by 60-70%, renal fibrosis by 40-50%, glomerular injury by 55% and preserved glomerular nephrin expression. Enalapril demonstrated comparable effects and alleviated diabetic nephropathy in obese ZSF1 rats by reducing all kidney injury parameters by 30 to 50%. Diabetic renal injury in obese ZSF1 rats was accompanied by renal inflammation with 6-7-fold higher urinary MCP-1 level and renal infiltration of CD-68 positive cells. PTUPB and enalapril reduced renal inflammation but PTUPB demonstrated superior anti-inflammatory actions than enalapril. Obese ZSF1 rats were also hypertensive, hyperlipidemic, and exhibited liver injury. Interestingly, PTUPB but not enalapril decreased hyperlipidemia and liver injury in Obese ZSF1 rats. Conclusion and Implication: Overall, we demonstrate that a dual modulator PTUPB does not treat hyperglycemia, but can effectively alleviate hypertension, diabetic nephropathy, hyperlipidemia, and liver injury in type 2 diabetic rats. Therefore, we suggest that PTUPB has promising potential to be developed as a novel therapy for type 2 diabetic nephropathy and other complications.
Rationale, Aims and Objectives Hospitals are complex organizations with a high potential for medical errors that can be influenced by safety culture, a central aspect in research and practice to increase patient safety. Safety climate as a measurable element of safety culture, illustrates the perception of safety-relevant aspects of health care staff at a certain time. The Safety Climate Survey (SCS) is applied internationally to measure safety climate. However, psychometrics for the German SCS have yet not been evaluated. Aim of this study is to explore the factor structure, reliability, and potential usefulness of the German SCS in Austrian acute care. Methods Cross-sectional online-surveys of physicians, therapists and nurses/midwives from eight hospitals from one hospital operator were implemented. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was carried out, both, for the total sample and also split by two select professions (physicians, nurses/midwives). After deriving a factor structure for both professions, internal consistency and scale means were calculated for the subscales. Finally, mean subscale differences between physicians and nurses/midwives were tested. Results In summary, 933 respondents out of 5,160 eligible staff participated, reaching a response rate of 18.1%. A six-factor solution explaining 59.1% of total variance was identified in the total sample. Comparison by profession illustrated that the factor structures and item loading patterns differ between physicians (n=124) and nurses/midwives (n=713). To achieve an overarching solution, five items were excluded from consecutive subscale measures due to cross-loadings and contradictory factor loadings. Subscales demonstrated good to low internal consistency (α=0.794 to 0.535). Significant mean differences between subscales of professions were found relating to three factors. Conclusions The German SCS measures safety climate multi- rather than unidimensional, demonstrated limitations in factor structures and item loadings but overall satisfactory reliability of the subscales. When assessing safety climate, a multi-dimensional and profession-related approach must be explicitly considered.
Understanding the demographic context for population divergence and speciation in the sea often requires distinguishing the contributions of mutation, isolation, and gene flow on temporal or geographical scales where those diverse processes may not achieve equilibrium conditions. Coalescent isolation-with-migration (IM) models can meet this need for non-equilibrium modelling of genetic variation, but the quality of IM model parameter estimation depends on the breadth of genome sampling. Here, we describe three improvements in IM parameter estimates based on hundreds of loci from RNA-seq assemblies relative to previously published results based on few loci in two sea star study systems that differ in the tempo of population divergence. (1) Precision of all model parameter value estimates (with narrow posterior distributions) was vastly better in both study systems and resolved uncertainty around one key parameter in each. (2) Maximum likelihood estimates of some model parameters were broadly similar to previously published estimates, but with greater precision we obtained more realistic values for some parameters that were consistent with expectations based on the biogeography of the organisms. (3) We found non-zero but demographically trivial gene flow in one study system where we previously estimated gene flow to be zero, and modest symmetrical gene flow (2Nm<1) in a second study system where we previously estimated gene flow to be massive (2Nm~10) and asymmetrical. Improved understanding through judicious application of genome-wide sampling in replication studies as shown here may improve the information needed for biodiversity management and conservation.
Most of the real life problems embroil uncertainties, imprecision and vagueness. Fuzzy multisets and Pythagorean fuzzy sets, initially suggested by Yager, are significant mathematical models to handle such real world problems. By combining these two notions, a new kind of hybrid mathematical model is exists: Pythagorean fuzzy multisets. In this study, Pythagorean fuzzy multisets approach is applied to a multi-robot system to achieve better results using less effort and less time.
As a microbial host for cellulosic biofuel production, Saccharomyces cerevisiae needs to be engineered to express a heterologous xylose pathway. However, it has been challenging to optimize the engineered strain for efficient and rapid fermentation of xylose. Deletion of PHO13 (pho13) has been reported to be a crucial genetic perturbation for improving xylose fermentation. A confirmed mechanism of the pho13-positive effect on xylose fermentation is that the deletion of PHO13 transcriptionally activates the genes in the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). In the present study, we reported that a pho13-positive effect was not observed from a couple of engineered strains, among the many others we have examined. To extend our knowledge of pho13-mediated metabolic regulation, we performed genome sequencing of pho13-negative strains. We identified a loss-of-function mutation in GCR2 responsible for the pho13-negative phenotype. Gcr2 is a transcriptional activator of the lower glycolytic pathway. Thus, the deletion of GCR2 (gcr2) led to deactivation of lower glycolysis as confirmed by RNA-seq. Also, gcr2 resulted in the up-regulation of PPP genes, which explains the improved xylose fermentation of gcr2 mutants. As pho13 and gcr2 cause similar transcriptional changes with PPP genes, there was no synergistic effect between pho13 and gcr2 for improving xylose fermentation. The present study identified GCR2 as a new knockout target to improve xylose fermentation and cellulosic biofuel production.