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Combining optics and microfluidics to create a portable optofluidic photonic crystal (PhC) biosensor is an approach with promising applications in the fields of counter-terrorism, agricultural sciences, and health sciences. Presented here are fabrication processes of a gallium nitride (GaN)-based PhC biosensor with a resonance-enhanced fluorescence detection mechanism that shows potential for meeting the single molecule detection requirements of these application areas. GaN is being targeted as the photonic crystal slab material for two main reasons: its transparency in the visible spectral range, within which the excitation and emission wavelengths of the commercial fluorescent-labeling dyes fall, and its intrinsic thermal stability which provides an increased flexibility of operating in different environments. Optical modeling efforts indicate a 25-fold enhancement of the fluorescent emission in this portable fluorescentbased PhC biosensor.
The Life Cycle Energy Optimisation (LCEO) methodology aims at finding a design solution that uses a minimum amount of cumulative energy demand over the different phases of the vehicle's life cycle, while complying with a set of functional constraints. This effectively balances trade-offs, and therewith avoids sub-optimal shifting between the energy demand for the cradle-to-production of materials, operation of the vehicle, and end-of-life phases. The present work describes the extension of the LCEO methodology to perform holistic product system optimisation. The constrained design of an automotive component and the design of a subset of the processes which are applied to it during its life cycle are simultaneously optimised to achieve a minimal product system life cycle energy. A subset of the processes of the end-of-life phase of a vehicle's roof are modeled through a continuous formulation. The roof is modeled as a sandwich structure with its design variables being the material compositions and the thicknesses of the different layers. The results show the applicability of the LCEO methodology to product system design and the use of penalization to ensure solution feasibility.
Diagnostic and interventional catheter angiography of the heart is frequently used in paediatric cardiology. It is also possible to detect urinary system anomalies with cineurography images that may be obtained during angiocardiography. In this study, the aim was to determine the frequency, distribution, and properties of urinary system anomalies accompanying heart diseases, and to find out the effectiveness of cineurographic images in detecting the urinary system anomalies.
The cineurographic images of 2022 children who had undergone angiocardiography between 1995 and 2015 were retrospectively examined.
Urinary system anomalies were detected in 261 of the 2022 cases (12.9%). Of these 261 cases, 148 were males (56.7%), whereas 113 were females (43.3%). Among the heart diseases, the group most accompanied by urinary system anomalies was the non-cyanotic left-to-right shunted heart diseases, which was detected in 120 (39.1%) patients. Pelvicalyceal ectasia was the most common urinary system anomaly encountered and was detected in 89 patients (34.1%). Of the urinary system anomalies cases, 94 detected by cineurography were determined to be clinically severe. When the effectiveness of the cineurography was evaluated using the ultrasonography records of the patients, it was found to have 63.8% accuracy.
Many of the patients with CHDs concomitantly have urinary system anomalies. It is possible to determine asymptomatic urinary system anomalies using cineurographic imaging during angiocardiography. This may lead to earlier treatments and improved prognosis for the patients, thus making it possible to prevent potential future problems.
Differential tree seedling recruitment across forest-savanna ecotones is poorly understood, but hypothesized to be influenced by vegetation cover and associated factors. In a 3-y-long field transplant experiment in the forest-savanna ecotone of Ghana, we assessed performance and root allocation of 864 seedlings for two forest (Khaya ivorensis and Terminalia superba) and two savanna (Khaya senegalensis and Terminalia macroptera) species in savanna woodland, closed-woodland and forest. Herbaceous vegetation biomass was significantly higher in savanna woodland (1.0 ± 0.4 kg m−2 vs 0.2 ± 0.1 kg m−2 in forest) and hence expected fire intensities, while some soil properties were improved in forest. Regardless, seedling survival declined significantly in the first-year dry-season for all species with huge declines for the forest species (50% vs 6% for Khaya and 16% vs 2% for Terminalia) by year 2. After 3 y, only savanna species survived in savanna woodland. However, best performance for savanna Khaya was in forest, but in savanna woodland for savanna Terminalia which also had the highest biomass fraction (0.8 ± 0.1 g g−1 vs 0.6 ± 0.1 g g−1 and 0.4 ± 0.1 g g−1) and starch concentration (27% ± 10% vs 15% ± 7% and 10% ± 4%) in roots relative to savanna and forest Khaya respectively. Our results demonstrate that tree cover variation has species-specific effects on tree seedling recruitment which is related to root storage functions.
The effect of small noise in a smooth dynamical system is negligible on any finite time interval; in this paper we study situations where the effect persists on intervals increasing to ∞. Such an asymptotic regime occurs when the system starts from an initial condition that is sufficiently close to an unstable fixed point. In this case, under appropriate scaling, the trajectory converges to a solution of the unperturbed system started from a certain random initial condition. In this paper we consider the case of one-dimensional diffusions on the positive half-line; this case often arises as a scaling limit in population dynamics.
Coincidence site lattice (CSL) grain boundaries (GBs) are believed to be low-energy, resistant to intergranular fracture, as well as to hydrogen embrittlement. Nevertheless, the behavior of CSL-GBs are generally confused with their angular deviations. In the current study, the effect of angular deviation from the perfect
$\Sigma 3(111)[1\bar 10]$
GBs in α-iron on the hydrogen diffusion and the susceptibility of the GB to hydrogen embrittlement is investigated through molecular static and dynamics simulations. By utilizing Rice–Wang model, it is shown that the ideal GB shows the highest resistance to decohesion below the hydrogen saturation limit. Finally, the hydrogen diffusivity along the ideal GB is observed to be the highest.
Co-circulation of Chikungunya and Dengue viral infections (CHIKV and DENV) have been reported mainly due to transmission by common Aedes vector. The purpose of the study was to identify and characterise the circulating strains of CHIKV and DENV in DENV endemic region of New Delhi during 2016. CHIKV and DENV were identified in the blood samples (n = 130) collected from suspected patients by RT-PCR. CHIKV was identified in 26 of 65 samples (40%). Similarly, DENV was detected in 48 of 120 samples (40%). Co-infection with both the viruses was identified in five (9%) of the samples. Interestingly, concurrent infection with DENV, CHIKV and Plasmodium vivax was detected in two samples. CHIKV strains (n = 11) belonged to the ECSA genotype whereas DENV-3 sequences (n = eight) clustered in Genotype III by phylogenetic analysis. Selection pressure of E1 protein of CHIKV and CprM protein of DENV-3 revealed purifying selection with four and two positive sites, respectively. Four amino acids of the CHIKV were positively selected and had high entropy suggesting probable variations. Co-circulation of both viruses in DENV endemic regions warrants effective monitoring of these emerging pathogens via comprehensive surveillance for implementation of effective control measures.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the detailed angularly dependent attenuation characteristics of three different commercial couch-tops: Varian IGRT, Qfix kVue Standard and Qfix kVue Dose Max couch-tops used in radiation therapy.
Materials and methods
The attenuation of photon beams by the treatment couch-tops was measured using a farmer chamber inserted at the centre of a 16 cm diameter cylindrical acrylic phantom for five different photon energies: 6 MV, 6FFF MV, 10 MV, 10FFF MV and 15 MV photon beams. The Varian IGRT couch-top has three different thicknesses thus attenuation measurements were done at the three different longitudinal locations. Measurements were made with the sliding support rails of the Qfix kVue Standard and Qfix kVue Dose Max couch-tops at both ‘rails-in’ and ‘rails-out’ positions. All measurements were taken for several projections through 360° movement of the gantry and for two different field sizes; 5×5 cm2 and 10×10 cm2.
Results and findings
The results indicate that the maximum attenuation of the Varian IGRT couch-top at the thin, medium and thick portions are 5·1, 5·7 and 8·9%, respectively, the Qfix kVue Standard couch with the rails-in and rails-out are 11·2 and 13·7%, respectively, and Qfix kVue Dose Max couch-top with rails-in and rails-out are 9·7 and 13·8%, respectively. The results from this study can be used to account for the couch-top attenuation during radiation treatment planning of patients treated with these couch-tops.
Three different hydrothermally grown carbonaceous materials and their molybdenum chalcogenides derived from glucose (HTC, HTC–MoO2, HTC–MoS2) were investigated to evaluate their potential as Li-ion battery anodes. All tested materials exhibited good cycling performance at a current density of 100 mA/g and showed high coulombic efficiency, >98%, after the 50th cycle. Reversible charge capacities of HTC, HTC–MoO2, and HTC–MoS2 were 296, 266, and 484 mAh/g, respectively, after 50 successive cycles. This study demonstrated that the HTC–MoS2 showed the highest reversible charge capacity which promises to be a good candidate for an environmentally friendly anode material for Li-ion batteries.
Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis (AE), one of the most threatening zoonoses in Eurasia. Human AE is widespread in the Erzurum region of Turkey, but the situation of the disease in intermediate and definitive hosts is unknown. A Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) was killed in a traffic accident in the north of Erzurum, and was taken to our laboratory. Sedimentation and counting technique (SCT), DNA isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis were performed. The SCT results showed that the lynx was infected with E. multilocularis with a medium (745 worms) worm burden. The DNA of adult worms obtained from the lynx was analyzed with a species-specific PCR, and the worms were confirmed to be E. multilocularis by 12S rRNA gene sequence analysis. This is the first report of E. multilocularis from Eurasian lynx in Turkey.
Self-assembled TiO2 films deposited by aqueous-spray deposition were investigated to evaluate morphology, crystalline phase, and infrared optical constants. The Anatase nano-crystalline film had ∼10 nm characteristic surface roughness sparsely punctuated by defects of not more than 200 nm amplitude. The film is highly transparent throughout the visible to wavelengths of 12 μm. The indirect band gap was determined to be 3.2 eV. Important for long-wave infrared applications is that dispersion in this region is weak compared with the more commonly used dielectric SiO2 for planar structures. An example application to a metal-insulator-metal resonant absorber is presented. The low-cost, large-area, atmospheric-pressure, chemical spray deposition method allows conformal fabrication on flexible substrates for long-wave infrared photonics.
This study intends to reliably estimate the general status of the benthic and the epiphytic foraminifera community related to each studied seagrass ecosystem (Posidonia oceanica, Cymodocea nodosa and Halophila stipulacea) distributed in different shallow sites in the coastal archipelago of Kerkennah (Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia) during winter. We were able to first sort and subsequently identify some characteristics conditioning their behaviour. Twenty-four species of foraminifera were encountered. Among them, three epiphytic species identified on these seagrass leaves had a much lower abundance than those in the sediment. We were interested in highlighting the foraminiferal community related to Halophila stipulacea, since this seagrass species is newly introduced into the Mediterranean sea. Thanks to the statistical study, we were able to identify the favourable habitat for epiphytic and benthic foraminifera among the three seagrass ecosystems. A correlation between the identified foraminifera species and some environmental parameters was addressed using a variety of software.
To assess the safety against failure of rock slopes in cold regions, such as high mountain areas, where stability is potentially maintained by ice in rock discontinuities, the shear strength of ice-filled rock joints was investigated in a series of direct shear-box tests. To permit control and repeatability, the experiments were conducted using simulated rock specimens. These were cast in the laboratory using high-strength concrete. Laboratory measurements showed that at a constant rate of shearing, the interface shear strength between ice and a joint surface of repeatable roughness is a function of both temperature and normal stress.
Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. Large parts of Turkey are considered as endemic for E. multilocularis. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of metacestode of E. multilocularis in wild rodents in Erzurum, an endemic region for human AE in Turkey. During the sampling period, a total of 498 rodents were trapped in twenty counties of Erzurum Province. Suspected lesions were observed on the livers of 48 rodents, and then partial fragment of mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene was PCR-amplified. Five liver samples exhibited E. multilocularis infection. The prevalence of E. multilocularis for Microtus spp. was 1·3%. All of the infected rodents had fertile metacestodes. Infected rodents were morphologically and molecularly analysed and were confirmed to be Microtus irani by the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence analysis. This is the first report of the presence of E. multilocularis in rodent intermediate hosts in Turkey. Our findings of infected M. irani with protoscoleces show that this rodent can act as suitable intermediate host for E. multilocularis’ life cycle in Turkey. However, there was a complete lack of data on the infection of carnivores from the country. An extensive survey is recommended to determine the prevalence of E. multilocularis in definitive hosts in this endemic region.
Bangladesh, one of the world's largest Muslim countries, is generally viewed as a success story with a strong tradition of secular democracy. Unfortunately, this assertion rests on a weak empirical foundation. Since becoming independent from Pakistan in 1971, democracy and secularism have been consistently undermined. Moreover, since 2000 Bangladesh has experienced more than 100 incidents of Islamist terrorism. More recently, the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent have assaulted religious and ethnic minorities as well as secular and liberal activists. While these turns of events are alarming, Islamist militancy in Bangladesh remains understudied. In this article, we address this lacuna by undertaking regression analysis of recent Pew Research Center survey data to exposit the determinants of popular support of Islamist terrorism. With this study, we hope other scholars will be motivated to turn their attention to this increasingly important state.
This paper considers the problem of a lifelong health insurance cover where medical inflation is not sufficiently incorporated in the level premium determined at policy issue. We focus on the setting where changes in health benefits, driven by medical inflation, are accounted for by an appropriate update or indexation of the level premium, the policy value, or both premium and policy value, during the term of the contract. Such an updating mechanism is necessary to restore the actuarial equivalence between future health benefits and surrender values on the one hand, and available policy values and future premiums on the other hand. We extend existing literature (Vercruysse et al., 2013; Denuit et al., 2017) by developing updating mechanisms in a discrete-time framework, where medical inflation is only taken into account ex-post as it emerges over time and where surrender values are allowed for. We propose and design two types of surrender values: based on the ageing provision on the one hand and based directly on the premiums paid until surrender on the other hand. We illustrate our updating strategy with numerical examples, using Belgian data, and investigate the sensitivity of our findings with respect to elements from the technical basis (in particular: the lapse rates) used in the actuarial calculations. Our updating mechanism is generic and useful for a wide range of products in life and health insurance, where some elements of the technical basis are guaranteed while others are subject to revision according to policy conditions.
A nonrandomized, retrospective comparison of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia between an academic hospital setting (n=53) and a community hospital setting (n=245) within a single healthcare system was performed. Despite infectious disease consultations, S. aureus bacteremia management recommendations based on Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines were not followed as closely in the community hospital setting. The community hospital setting requires management standardization for patients with S. aureus bacteremia.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.