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Lifetech Konar-multifunctional occluder is a novel device which is primarily used for the closure of ventricular septal defects. Being “multifunctional”, the occluder has the potential to be useful in various structural cardiac defects.
Materials and methods:
We share our retrospective review from two centres regarding non-conventional usage of multifunctional occluders in CHD. Eight patients who underwent interventions using multifunctional occluders for lesions other than ventricular septal defects between March 2019 to September 2019 were included in the study. The patients were analysed based on demography, the size and type of lesion, procedural success, and development of complications. All patients were followed up in the outpatient department for a minimum period of 6 months.
The median age and weight of the cohort were 3.2 years and 9 kg, respectively. Six patients had patent ductus arteriosus, while one patient had aorto-pulmonary window and one had a coronary arterio-venous fistula. The sizing of the occluders and the procedural approach were based on the underlying pathology. The most commonly used occluder was 6 × 4 mm variant. One patient had successful implantation but had significant intra-device residual flow and was thus replaced by a different occluder. There were no major complications, nor any incidences of device embolisation or malposition. On follow-up, all patients had uneventful course.
Konar-multifunctional occluder can be safely used in lesions other than ventricular septal defects, when needed under specific circumstances. Its unique characteristics make it a versatile choice in a variety of cardiac lesions.
Here we present direct dates of food grains and insights into agricultural strategies adopted by Harappans from a newly excavated Indus site 4MSR (Binjor) in northwestern India. The site revealed Early and Mature Harappan phases delimited by a Transitional phase based on ceramics and archaeological artifacts. The macro-botanical remains revealed that the site was occupied by an agricultural society during the Early phase (~2900−2600 BCE), whereas diversification of the economy including more craft specialization, along with an agricultural advancement was witnessed during the Mature phase (~2500−1800 BCE). The advent of summer crops during the Transitional phase (~2600−2500 BCE) indicates climate amelioration attributed to inception of strong Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). By the end of Mature phase, millet was recorded due to a change in climatic (relatively lower moisture) conditions or drying of the river channel, which forced the settlers to shift the cropping (agricultural) strategy in the region. Plausibly, this unavailability of water during the end of Mature phase led the settlers to abandon the site in order to migrate somewhere else. The subsistence pattern indicates continuity and change in temporal domain likely owing to changing climatic/environmental conditions, resources and knowledge gained by exchange/trade of cultures over a time period between ~2900 BCE to 1800 BCE.
In this paper, an electromagnetic band gap (EBG) metasurface (MS) superstrate-based circularly polarized antenna for the WiMAX (3.5 GHz) band is proposed. The proposed structure comprises a 2 × 2 slot-loaded rectangular patch MS array that can be perceived as a polarization-dependent EBG MS superstrate. Furthermore, to achieve circular polarization, the proposed antenna has an inclined coupling slot onto the ground with a conventional coplanar waveguide feed line. The proposed antenna has a compact structure with a low profile of 0.037λ0 (λ0 stands for the free-space wavelength at 3.48 GHz) and a ground size of 30 × 30 mm2. The measured results show that the −10 dB impedance bandwidth for the proposed antenna is 34.6% and the 3-dB axial ratio (AR) bandwidth is 6.8% with a peak gain of 3.91 dBi in the desired operating band. Good agreement between the simulated and the measured results verifies the performance of the proposed antenna.
The intensity of turbidite sedimentation over long timescales is driven by sea-level change, tectonically driven rock uplift and climatically modulated sediment delivery rates. This study focuses on understanding the effect of sea-level fluctuations and climatic variability on grain-size variations. The grain size and environmental magnetic parameters of Arabian Sea sediments have been documented using 203 samples, spanning the last 200 ka, obtained from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site U1457. Grain-size end-member modelling suggests that between ~200 and 130 ka there was an increase in the coarse silt fraction caused by sediment transport following reworking of the Indus Fan and development of deep-sea canyons. The sediment size and enhanced magnetic susceptibility indicate a dominant flux of terrestrial sediments. Sedimentation in the distal Indus Fan at c. 200–130 ka was driven by a drop in sea level that lowered the base level in the Indus and Narmada river systems. The low sea-stand caused incision in the Indus delta, canyons and fan area, which resulted in the transportation of coarser sediment at the drilling site. Magnetic susceptibility and other associated magnetic parameters suggest a large fraction of the sediment was supplied by the Narmada River during ~200–130 ka. Since ~130 ka, clay-dominated sedimentation is attributed to the rise in sea level due to warm and wet climate.
Effects of varying volume fractions of SiC nanoparticle (SiCNP) reinforcement on microstructure and mechanical properties of dissimilar AA2024-T351 and AA7075-T651 joints by friction stir welding (FSW) have been investigated experimentally. A rectangular section edge groove was prepared at the adjoining surfaces of the two plates with the butt configuration before FSW. Initially, four fractional volumes with 0, 5, 8, and 13% of SiCNP are reinforced into the grooves of width, 0, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5 mm and the FSW was performed with the first and second pass to obtain metal matrix nanocomposite (MMNC) at the weld nugget zone (WNZ). The characterization of microstructure specimens was investigated using optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction technique (XRD). The FSW joint specimen produced with 5 vol% fraction of SiCNP for second pass processing observes a defect-free, homogeneous distribution of SiCNP with a mean grain size of about 2–3 µm at the WNZ and weld joints higher in tensile strength, 411 MPa, yield strength, 252 MPa, and percentage elongation, 14.3. The result shows that varying volume fractions (5, 8, 13%) of the SiCNP after the FSW second pass led to significant grain refinement at the WNZ and higher mechanical properties compared with FSW specimens prepared without SiCNP. Higher hardness of 150 Hv was observed in the WNZ for specimen produced with 13 vol% fraction SiCNP.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is widely used for the treatment of stage-I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patient-specific motion correlated with 4DCT could be essential for hypofractionated SBRT. All patients undergoing SBRT do not require motion management during the dose delivery. The objective of this study was to evaluate which patient may benefit from Gated SBRT.
Materials and methods
Treatment planning of 20 patients of stage-I NSCLC was analysed. Conventional and 4DCT scans were taken. Internal target volume as well as planning target volume (ITV and PTV) were determined in the CT data sets. PTVall phases created using 4DCT data sets and PTV15mm created using conventional CT data were compared. Also, ITVall phases were compared with ITV created from maximum intensity projections (ITVMIP). Suitability of patients for motion management-based treatment delivery was also evaluated.
The average ITVMIP to ITVall phases ratio is 1·06 indicating good agreement between them. Based on the ratio of intensity projections, 9 out of 17 patients were found suitable for our existing gated treatment.
4D CT is the main requirement in SBRT to identify the patients who can benefit from motion management during the dose delivery.
Thin films of insulating Ti1−xNixO2 (x = 0.00, 0.05, 0.10, and 0.15) are synthesized by the spray pyrolysis technique. All the films are seen to crystallize into polycrystalline anatase phase of TiO2. However, weak signature of the NiTiO3 phase is also observed for the films having higher Ni ion concentration. Optical absorption analysis suggests nonmonotonous band gap decrease from 3.67 to 3.59 eV with respect to added concentration of Ni ions unto ‘x’ = 0.10 in the TiO2 matrix. The presence of ferromagnetic ordering at room temperature in Ni incorporated TiO2 films is revealed by M–H measurements. Calculated values of saturation magnetization indicate that the observed ferromagnetism is not due to the presence of Ni clusters or segregation of other ferromagnetic phase. Electrically insulating nature of the films suggests that the observed FM ordering is most probably due to the ferromagnetic interaction between bound magnetic polarons which formed due to the creation of oxygen vacancies or defects.
Grewia tenax locally known as ‘Gangerun’, is an important multipurpose underutilized shrub and potentially threaten species of the Thar Desert of India. Owing to its importance, naturally available germplasm was collected and evaluated for its sustainable utilization in future. Data on individual mother plant, seed characters and soil profile were investigated. Habitat occurrence of G. tenax was found in patches with dominant association of Euphorbia caducifolia across the four districts of western Rajasthan. Individual plant on unprotected area portrayed far lower average height (0.95 m) and canopy area (1.75 m2) than protected area (2.63 m and 13.89 m2) signifying level of browsing pressure on this species in Jaisalmer. Soil samples belonging to Pali region have high organic carbon and low electrical conductivity content than Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. The statistical analysis of seed characters revealed the presence of high coefficient of variation (%) in 100-seed weight (HSW; 27.36) followed by seed length (SL; 8.06) and least in seed breadth (SB; 5.85). The range and mean values of HSW, SL, SB and length:breadth ratio (LBR) were (2.02–7.00 and 3.34 g), (4.36–6.15 and 5.36 mm), (3.73–4.68 and 4.25 mm) and (1.11–1.44 and 1.27), respectively. Significantly positive correlation was observed between SL and LBR (0.73) followed by HSW and SL (0.66). Along with these findings, its economic importance, utilization and conservation are detailed in this paper as to hasten further research on its various aspects for its successful conservation and utilization.
This paper presents the design, analysis, and experimental validation of a miniature modular inchworm robot (MMIR). Inchworm robots are capable of maneuvering in confined spaces due to their small size, a desirable characteristic for surveillance, exploration and search and rescue operations. This paper presents two generations of the MMIR (Version 1—V1 and Version 2—V2) that utilize anisotropic friction skin and an undulatory rectilinear gait to produce locomotion. This paper highlights design improvements and a multi-body dynamics approach to model and simulate the system. The MMIR V2 incorporates a slider-crank four-bar mechanism and a relative body revolute joint to produce high-frequency relative translation and rotation to increase forward velocity and enable turning capabilities. Friction analysis and locomotion experiments were conducted to assess the systems performance on various surfaces, validate the dynamic model and simulation results, and measure the maximum forward velocity. The MMIR V1 and V2 were able to achieve maximum forward velocities of 12.7 mm/s and 137.9 mm/s, respectively. These results are compared to reported results of similar robots published in the literature.
This paper presents a compact microstrip antenna using FR-4 substrate for dual band circularly polarized operation using a modified square ring slot in the ground plane with microstrip line feed. Simulation of the impedance characteristic and radiation characteristic for the proposed antenna is carried out using commercially available HFSS software. The simulated data validate measured results and shows good agreement. Proposed antenna shows an impedance bandwidth (return loss >10 dB) of 50.88% at 5.9 GHz of center frequency and 29.92% at 12.8 GHz of center frequency for lower and upper band, respectively. The 3 dB axial ratio bandwidth for lower and upper band is 26.4 and 3.0%, respectively and measured peak gain for the lower and upper band is found as 3.2 and 3.4 dBic, respectively. The proposed antenna can be suitable for wireless communication in C and Ku bands.
We use variation in real estate prices as exogenous shocks to firms’ debt capacity to study the causal effect of financial flexibility on payout policy. We show that an increase in financial flexibility results in higher dividends, share repurchases, and payout flexibility. We find that a 1-standard-deviation increase in a firms’ collateral value results in 0.26- and 0.55-percentage-point increases in nondiscretionary and discretionary payouts, respectively. This effect is stronger for firms with few investment opportunities. Moreover, highly leveraged firms are more likely to cut dividends in response to a sharp decrease in their financial flexibility.
In this work, the deformation mechanisms underlying the room temperature deformation of the pseudomorphic body centered cubic (BCC) Mg phase in Mg/Nb nanolayered composites are studied. Nanolayered composites comprised of 50% volume fraction of Mg and Nb were synthesized using physical vapor deposition with the individual layer thicknesses h of 5, 6.7, and 50 nm. At the lower layer thicknesses of h = 5 and 6.7 nm, Mg has undergone a phase transition from HCP to BCC such that it formed a coherent interface with the adjoining Nb phase. Micropillar compression testing normal and parallel to the interface plane shows that the BCC Mg nanolayered composite is much stronger and can sustain higher strains to failure than the HCP Mg nanolayered composite. A crystal plasticity model incorporating confined layer slip is presented and applied to link the observed anisotropy and hardening in the deformation response to the underlying slip mechanisms.
GLP-1 (abnormal germline proliferation) is a Notch-like receptor protein that plays an essential role in pharyngeal development. In this study, an orthologue of Caenorhabditis elegans glp-1 was identified in Meloidogyne incognita. A computational analysis revealed that the orthologue contained almost all the domains present in the C. elegans gene: specifically, the LIN-12/Notch repeat, the ankyrin repeat, a transmembrane domain and different ligand-binding motifs were present in orthologue, but the epidermal growth factor-like motif was not observed. An expression analysis showed differential expression of glp-1 throughout the life cycle of M. incognita, with relatively higher expression in the egg stage. To evaluate the silencing efficacy of Mi-glp-1, transgenic Arabidopsis plants carrying double-stranded RNA constructs of glp-1 were generated, and infection of these plants with M. incognita resulted in a 47–50% reduction in the numbers of galls, females and egg masses. Females obtained from the transgenic RNAi lines exhibited 40–60% reductions in the transcript levels of the targeted glp-1 gene compared with females isolated from the control plants. Second-generation juveniles (J2s), which were descendants of the infected females from the transgenic lines, showed aberrant phenotypes. These J2s exhibited a significant decrease in the overall distance from the stylet to the metacorpus region, and this effect was accompanied by disruption around the metacorporeal bulb of the pharynx. The present study suggests a role for this gene in organ (pharynx) development during embryogenesis in M. incognita and its potential use as a target in the management of nematode infestations in plants.
In the present study a combination of BLAST mediated homology search and 3′ RACE was utilized to isolate the full-length gene of Eleusine coracana alpha prolamin (Ec-α-prolamin) from finger millet. Phylogenetic analysis of Ec-α-prolamin along with related prolamin genes of different cereals and millets shows the clustering of Ec-α-prolamin in a separate group. Secondary structure prediction reveals 59.4% alpha helix structure, a structural hallmark of Ec-α-prolamin. Besides this, the protein also possesses a balanced proportion of all essential amino acids. Expression analysis based on qPCR shows increased accumulation of α-prolamin transcripts in developing grains of finger millet until attainment of seed maturity. Western blotting, using a monospecific anti-α-prolamin antibody, further confirmed the expression of a 22 kDa band in the S3 and S4 stages of developing spikes. The heterologous expression of isolated full-length Ec-α-prolamin could be potentially harnessed for making nutritionally enhanced functional food products and value-added industrial products.
The geomorphic evolution of the upper Indus River that traverses across the southwest (SW) edge of Tibet, and the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, was examined along a ~350-km-long stretch of its reaches. Based on the longitudinal river profile, stream length gradient index, and river/strath terraces, this stretch of the river is divided into four segments. Valley fill river terraces are ubiquitous, and strath terraces occur in the lower reaches where the Indus River cuts through deformed Indus Molasse. Optically stimulated luminescence ages of river/strath terraces suggest that valley aggradation occurred in three pulses, at ~52, ~28, and ~16 ka, and that these broadly coincide with periods of stronger SW Indian summer monsoon. Reconstructed longitudinal river profiles using strath terraces provide an upper limit on the bedrock and provide incision rates ranging from 1.0±0.3 to 2.2±0.9 mm/a. These results suggested that rapid uplift of the western syntaxes aided by uplift along the local faults led to the formation of strath terraces and increased fluvial incision rates along this stretch of the river.
Bioclastic carbonate deposits that formed because of a combination of nearshore marine, fluvial, and aeolian processes, occur along the Saurashtra coast and in the adjacent interior regions of western India. Whether these carbonates formed by marine or aeolian processes has been debated for many decades. The presence of these deposits inland poses questions as to whether they are climate controlled or attributable to postdepositional tectonic uplift. In particular, the debate centres on chronologic issues including (1) appropriate sampling strategies and (2) the use of 230Th/234U and 14C ages on the bulk carbonates. Using traces (<1%) of quartz grains trapped in carbonate matrices, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz grains, deposited along with the carbonate grains, provides ages for the most recent deposition events. The OSL ages range from >165 to 44 ka for the shell limestones, 75–17 ka for the fluvially reworked sheet deposits, and 80–11 ka for miliolites deposited by aeolian processes. These are younger than the 230Th/234U and 14C ages and suggest that the inland carbonate deposits were reworked from older carbonate sediments that were transported during more arid phases.
Southeast Asia remains a notorious hotbed for human trafficking. The seriousness of the problem has led to the emergence of various initiatives to combat human trafficking. This paper seeks to address why human trafficking in Southeast Asia remains a contentious issue despite the various initiatives put in place for its eradication. ASEAN Member States, including Singapore, can only resolve the current inertia when it comes to combatting trafficking-in-persons (TIP) by adopting a multidimensional, and multistakeholder approach to the problem. Within Singapore, it is recommended that the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act should be amended such that it provides greater protection for all types of trafficking victims. At the regional level, there is a need for greater collaboration and co-ordination amongst ASEAN bodies in tackling human trafficking, which must be accompanied by comprehensive monitoring, compliance, and enforcement mechanisms.
A microstrip transmission line fed fork-shaped planar antenna is proposed for Bluetooth, WLAN, and WiMAX applications. The antenna made of a microstrip feed line, fork-shape patch on one side and defected ground plane on the other side of dielectric substrate. A fork-shape is formed by two side circular arms and a rectangular central arm. The inverted T-shaped ground plane with a rectangular slot in the center arm is used to increase the bandwidth with better impedance matching of the lower band. The antenna is practically fabricated to validate the design. The antenna resonate dual band to cover an entire the WLAN and WiMAX bands. The antenna shows the measured bandwidth of 410 MHz (2.26–2.67) and 3.78 GHz (3.0–6.78 GHz) at lower and upper bands, respectively.
The grey wolf Canis lupus lupus is Critically Endangered in Nepal, and is a protected species there. Understanding the species’ status and distribution is critical for its conservation in the Nepalese Himalaya. We assessed the distribution of the grey wolf in the Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan regions using data from faecal and camera trap surveys and published data sources. We recorded 40 instances of wolf presence. Using these data we estimated a distribution of 28,553 km2, which includes potential as well as known habitat and comprises 73% of the Nepalese Himalaya. There is evidence of recovery of the grey wolf population in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in the eastern portion of the species’ range. A livestock insurance scheme has been shown to be a viable option to reduce retaliatory killing of wolves as a result of livestock depredation. The wolf plays an important ecological role in the Himalaya, and its conservation should not be delayed by the ongoing taxonomic debate about its subspecific status.
Radio-echo sounding techniques are very useful for fast profiling of seasonal snowpack. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is used widely for various cryospheric applications, such as snow/glacier depth estimation, snow layer identification and snow water equivalent assessment. The dielectric constant of snow is an important input parameter for the acquisition and interpretation of GPR data from the snowpack. In this study, snow dielectric constant was measured along with physical properties of snow using a snow fork operating at 1 GHz frequency. Experiments were conducted at field observatories of the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment located in different Himalayan ranges: Patseo (Greater Himalayan range), Dhundhi and Solang (Pir Panjal range). Interseasonal spatial and temporal variations in snow dielectric constant and associated snowpack properties were analysed for five winter seasons (2010-14). The mean seasonal snow dielectric constant is higher at Dhundhi (1.82 ±0.02) than at Patseo (1.69 ±0.02). The measured snow dielectric constant was used to derive snow density and liquid-water content (LWC). A better correlation between snow dielectric constant and LWC is observed for high-density snow (>300kgm-3; R2 = 0.95) than for low-density snow (<200kgm-3; R2 = 0.73). Snow-fork-derived snow density was in good agreement with manually measured values. The snow dielectric constant database generated during this study can be used as a reference for various field applications of GPR in snow-related studies.