The Global Methane Pledge declared at the 2021 United Nations climate change conference (COP26) marked the world’s commitment to eradicate methane emissions. Most of these emissions are generated by the oil-gas industry, waste landfills, and agriculture sectors, and are lean in composition. This work explores the use of an intensified reactor that implements the chemical looping principle to handle lean methane emissions. A model-based framework is used to showcase the baseline performance of the proposed reactor in converting methane emissions using nickel-based oxygen carriers. Then, sensitivity analysis of the reactor performance with respect to operating conditions is performed. The reactor is subsequently optimized to minimize the methane emitted, using a dynamic program with safety and operability constraints for the alternating redox process. With the optimal cycle strategy, we demonstrate that near-complete methane conversion can be achieved by the reactor without external heating.
Aims Increased LV wall thickness is frequently encountered in transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). While accurate and early diagnosis is clinically important, given the differences in available therapeutic options and prognosis, an extensive workup is often required to establish the diagnosis. We propose the first echo-based, automated deep learning model with a fusion architecture to facilitate the evaluation and diagnosis of increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness. Methods and Results Patients with an established diagnosis of increased LV wall thickness (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), cardiac amyloidosis (CA), and hypertensive heart disease (HTN)/others) between 1/2015 to 11/2019 at Mayo Clinic Arizona were identified. The cohort was divided into 80%/10%/10% for training, validation, and testing sets, respectively. Six baseline TTE views were used to optimize a pre-trained InceptionResnetV2 model. Each model output was used to train a meta-learner under a fusion architecture. Model performance was assessed by multiclass area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC). A total of 586 patients were used for the final analysis (194 HCM, 201 CA, and 191 HTN/others). The mean age was 55.0 years, and 57.8% were male. Among the individual view-dependent models, the apical 4 chamber model had the best performance (AUROC: HCM: 0.94, CA: 0.73, and HTN/other: 0.87). The final fusion model outperformed all the view-dependent models (AUROC: CA: 0.90, HCM: 0.93, and HTN/other: 0.92). Conclusion The echo-based InceptionResnetV2 fusion model can accurately classify the main etiologies of increased LV wall thickness and can facilitate the process of diagnosis and workup.
Left atrium myxomas are the most frequent heart tumors. Assessment of this phenomenon is largely echocardiographic, since both TTE and TEE provide information on size, shape, and hemodynamic consequences of the tumor. In this publication, we bring forward the similarities between morphological assessment through transillumination echocardiography and pathologic anatomy, highlighting a possible study field for the future.
Wildfires are an increasingly alarming phenomenon that affects forests and agro-ecosystems, generating several cascade effects among which soil erosion is one of the most deleterious. A robust body of data-based evidence on post-fire soil erosion and sediment yield at watershed scale is thus required, especially dealing with areas where wildfires are particularly frequent, such as the Mediterranean Basin. This study analyses the impact of the first rains after a large wildfire in terms of soil erosion and sediment yield at watershed scale in a Mediterranean area, the Pisan Mountains, Central Italy. Here about 1,000 ha of olive groves, maquis, maritime pine and chestnut forests burned. Fire severity was mapped by remote sensing and checked by a field survey. Sediment yield was assessed by sampling the earthy material deposited upstream a check dam at the outlet of the watershed. Finally, a hydrological model was developed in HEC-HMS environment for exploring the relationship between the erosion-deposition events observed in the watershed and the rainfall-induced hydrological processes. The first two post-fire rainy events relocated a high amount of sediments, mostly non-organic, perhaps already in the stream before the fire, while the subsequent four rains deposited materials rich in pyrogenic organic matter. Overall, the soil erosion caused by such six main post-fire rains – the larger of which had a return time of one year – was estimated to amount to 7.85 t ha -1, corresponding to 42% of the watershed average annual potential erosion rate in normal conditions. This value is lower than expected and, overall, moderate if compared to other Mediterranean case studies, possibly because of the nature of soils in the studied watershed, i.e. shallow and quite stony, thus poor in fines prone to erosion.
One of the core challenges to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) is to spatially identify, and strategically prioritise, the areas to implement actions to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation. To achieve this, a tool for a participatory and data-driven assessment considering both the biophysical, and socio-economic dimensions of land degradation across scales was developed for Ecuador. In this paper, we present the methodology and results obtained, including the spatially explicit interactive tool developed to integrate indicators that support the scaling-up of sustainable land management (SLM). The process involved specialists from various national and international institutions, as well as decision makers from the public sector and other relevant stakeholders. Cloud computing allowed the integration of five main sources of data: (1) the results of a participatory land degradation assessment based on an expert knowledge questionnaire following the Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) and World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) methodology; (2) the Hand-in-Hand Initiative Ecuador typology maps based on poverty maps and estimated agricultural potential and efficiency scores using household surveys on agricultural production; (3) National data sets on land cover and land use, soil properties, and hydro climatic indicators; (4) global satellite-derived LDN indicators, such as Land Productivity Dynamics; and (5) Documented SLM practices from WOCAT Global SLM Database. The tool is based on a Google Earth Engine application and allows decision makers to easily compare results and obtain statistics at different spatial scales and landscapes, including 647 Land Use Systems delimited by experts. It also includes a multi-criteria module to identify areas with specific characteristics to prioritise different types of interventions to achieve the country´s LDN targets. Convergence of local and global evidence allowed the identification of hotspots of degradation as well as areas of false positives/negatives - if only global or remote sensing indicators were considered. The participatory process contributed to strengthening multi-sector cooperation mechanisms and to guaranteeing ownership of the tool and the results. The system will support Ecuador’s efforts to monitor and report progress towards LDN to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The system´s code is shared as a repository at Earth Engine and can be adapted to and used by other countries and regions.
Desertification threatens food security and human nutrition through its impacts on agricultural productivity. The damage caused by desertification includes both direct, on-site impacts and wide-ranging indirect, off-site effects. In this study, we applied a multi-region input-output framework to estimate the direct and indirect consequences of desertification in China, and associated impacts on macronutrient intake. We found that desertification causes macronutrient loss and significant losses in employment, income, and value added throughout upstream supply chains. Our results indicate that desertification affected around 2.1 million jobs, resulted in income loss of about US$ 17.3 billion, and a loss in value added of about US$ 28.6 billion in year 2017. In terms of sub-national regions within China, macronutrient losses are highest in Inner Mongolia, with the population facing a 24% reduction in energy, 21% reduction in protein, 33% reduction in fat, and 26% in carbohydrates. The findings of our study suggest the importance of combating desertification, which is also indicated as a priority in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
Biofilms can increase pathogenic contamination of drinking water, cause biofilm-related diseases, alter the sediment erosion rate, and degrade contaminants in wastewater. Compared with mature biofilms, biofilms in the early-stage have been shown to be more susceptible to antimicrobials and easier to remove. Mechanistic understanding of physical factors controlling early-stage biofilm growth is critical to predict and control biofilm development, yet such understanding is currently incomplete. Here, we revealed the impacts of hydrodynamic conditions and surface roughness on the development of early-stage Pseudomonas putida biofilm through a combination of microfluidic experiments, numerical simulations, and fluid mechanics theories. We demonstrated that early-stage biofilm growth is suppressed under high flow conditions and that the critical local velocity for early-stage P. putida biofilms to develop is about 50 μm/s. We further illustrated that micron-scale surface roughness promotes the growth of early-stage biofilm by increasing the area of the low-flow region. Furthermore, we showed that the critical average shear stress, above which early-stage biofilms cease to form, is 0.9 Pa for rough surfaces and 0.3 Pa for flat or smooth surfaces. The important control of flow conditions and surface roughness on early-stage biofilm development, characterized in this study, will facilitate future predictions and control of biofilm development on the surfaces of drinking water pipelines, blood vessels, and sediments.
Background and Purpose: Among different routes of estrogen formulations, the transdermal route has obtained popularity in recent years for endometrial preparation in HRT FET cycles .However, no clear evidence is available regarding safety and efficacy of the transdermal route. This meta-analysis investigated the safety and efficacy of oral (tablets) vs transdermal (gel/patches) estrogen formulations. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed for all published articles before May 30, 2022, in electronic databases, including PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, CINAHL, Trip Database, Worldwide Science and Google Scholar. Outcomes, including endometrial thickness, implantation rate (IR), miscarriage rate (MR), clinical pregnancy rate (CPR), and live birth rate (LBR), were measured using pooled Odds/Risk ratios (OR/RR) or standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs). Results: Eight studies involving a total of 1,198 IVF patients were included in the meta-analysis. In a pooled analysis, a trend for a higher risk of miscarriage was observed in the transdermal group compared to the oral estrogen group (RR=1.18; 95% CI= 0.84 to 1.67). However, no significant association for IR (OR=0.93; 95% CI= 0.67 to 1.29), CPR (OR=0.97; 95% CI= 0.80 to 1.19), LBR (OR=0.77; 95% CI= 0.46 to 1.29) was found between the oral vs. the transdermal estrogen groups. Conclusions: In HRT-FET cycles using oral or transdermal estrogen, no significant difference was seen regarding endometrial thickness, IR, CPR, and LBR rates; however, a trend for a higher MR was noted in the transdermal group.
Many populations of long-distance migrant shorebirds are declining rapidly. Since the 1970s, the Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) has experienced a pronounced reduction in abundance of ~63%. The potential causes of the species’ decline are complex and interrelated yet understanding the timing of migration and seasonal routes used by this species will aid in directing conservation planning to address potential threats. During 2018–2021, we tracked 118 adult Lesser Yellowlegs using GPS satellite tags deployed on birds from five breeding and two migratory stopover locations spanning the boreal forest of North America from Alaska to eastern Canada. Our objectives were to quantify migratory connectivity and identify key stopover and non-breeding locations. Individuals tagged in Alaska and central Canada followed similar southbound migratory routes through the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, whereas birds tagged in eastern Canada completed multi-day transoceanic flights covering distances of >4,000 km across the Atlantic between North and South America. Upon reaching their non-breeding locations, Lesser Yellowlegs populations overlapped, resulting in weak migratory connectivity. Lastly, freshwater and agricultural habitats of the Prairie Pothole region supported the highest proportion of Lesser Yellowlegs during southbound migration. Our findings suggest that while Lesser Yellowlegs travel long distances and traverse numerous political boundaries each year, the breeding population from which an individual originates likely has the greatest influence on which threats birds experience during migration. Further, the species’ dependence on wetlands in agricultural landscapes during migration may make them vulnerable to threats related to agricultural practices, such as pesticide exposure.
Several rare mutations associated with familial lone atrial fibrillation (AF) have been identified; however, the phenotypes are varied and poorly elucidated.Here, we report a 29-year-old woman with AF refractory to anti-arrhythmic drugs. Her family history revealed early-onset and persistent AF in her father and brother as well. Genetic analysis subsequently demonstrated a c.421G>A mutation in the KCNQ1 gene. Unique phenotypes including absence of both atrial appendages, extremely high atrial frequencies, and refractoriness to both ablative and pharmacological therapy were observed. Our study suggests the need for further exploration of the function of KCNQ1 and the mechanism of AF.
The vapor/liquid interface plays an important role in the distillation of azeotropic mixture. The understanding of interfacial structure will allow us to improve the separation of azeotropic mixture in a rational way. Herein, we use sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG-VS) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to study how the interfacial molecular structure of the mixture of 1,2-butanediol and ethylene glycol depends on concentration and temperature. At 64 ℃, an obvious decline is observed in the SFG-VS intensity of this system contrast to the strong signal yield by 1,2-butanediol at 22 ℃. MD simulation results show that bulk concentration would not significantly affect the molecular orientation. But a temperature rise would make 1,2-butanediol gradually twist around its C2-O2 bond and turn to a lying orientation. This work explores the structure of azeotrope from molecular level and carves the path for the further study on the vapor/liquid interface affected by temperature.
Neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) is an unusual and acquired immune-mediated disease. Although cases of NLE among siblings have been reported, they all have the same or similar manifestations. We first report 2 cases of presentation of cutaneous NLE to occur in two siblings with significantly different cutaneous manifestations.
Rupture of ovarian dermoid-cyst is rare case. We report the case of a woman admitted for acute post-traumatic abdominal pain due to ruptured ovarian cyst. The patient was operated and we found a very abundant peritoneal effusion with left ovarian cyst which was broken. we performed a left adnexectomy.
Sneddon syndrome (SS) is a clinical entity corresponding to a non-inflammatory thrombotic vasculopathy that includes livedo reticularis (typical skin lesions) and cerebrovascular lesions. We present here a case of autoimmune SS with dementia and psychosis as the main features that revealed the disease, in a 45-year-old Tunisian man
Background Optimal occlusion of pulmonary vein (PV) is essential for atrial fibrillation (AF) cryoballoon ablation (CBA). The aim of the study was to investigate the performance of two different tools for the assessment of PV occlusion with a novel navigation system in CBA procedure. Methods In consecutive patients with paroxysmal AF who underwent CBA procedure with the guidance of the novel 3-dimentional mapping system, the baseline tool, injection tool and pulmonary venography were all employed to assess the degree of PV occlusion, and the corresponding cryoablation parameters were recorded. Results In 23 patients (mean age 60.0 + 13.9 years, 56.5% male), a total of 149 attempts of occlusion and 122 cryoablations in 92 PVs were performed. Using pulmonary venography as the gold standard, the overall sensitivity, specificity of the baseline tool was 96.7% (95% CI 90.0% - 99.1%), and 40.5% (95% CI 26.0% - 56.7%), respectively, while the corresponding value of the injection tool was 69.6% (95% CI 59.7% - 78.1%), and 100.0% (95% CI 90.6% - 100.0%), respectively. Cryoablation with optimal occlusion showed lower nadir temperature (baseline tool: -44.3 + 8.4 ℃ vs -35.1 + 6.5 ℃, p < 0.001; injection tool: -46.7 + 6.4 ℃ vs -38.3 + 9.2 ℃, p < 0.001) and longer total thaw time (baseline tool: 53.3 + 17.0 s vs 38.2 + 14.9 s, p = 0.003; injection tool: 58.5 + 15.5 s vs 41.7 + 15.2 s, p < 0.001) compared with those without. Conclusions Both tools were able to accurately assess the degree of PV occlusion and predict the acute cryoablation effect, with the baseline tool being more sensitive and the injection tool more specific.
Previous reports of clinical course of Angelman syndrome (AS) described typical histories of choking, dysphagia, and severe pneumonia, but there were few bedridden cases or none requiring laryngotracheal separation surgery (LTS) were existed. We report a severe bedridden case of AS requiring LTS involving a 19.3 Mb deletion on 15q11.2–q14.