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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.
An attempt was made to trace the antiquity of custard apple in India on the basis of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and liquid scintillation counting (LSC) radiocarbon dates. Recently, seed remains of custard apple (Annona squamosa L.) in association with wood charcoals were encountered from the Neolithic archaeological site of Tokwa at the confluence of the Belan and Adwa rivers, Mirzapur District, in the Vidhyan Plateau region of north-central India. The wood charcoal sample was dated at the 14C laboratory of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP), Lucknow, by conventional LSC 14C dating. The sample dated to 1740 cal BC (BS-2054). A seed sample of custard apple was dated by AMS at the Institute of Physics 14C laboratory, Bhubaneswar, India (3MV tandem Pelletron accelerator). Interestingly, the AMS date was given as 1520 cal BC (IOPAMS-10), showing a reasonable agreement with the LSC date carried out at BSIP. On botanical grounds, the custard apple is native to South America and the West Indies and was supposed to have been introduced in India by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The present 14C dates of the samples pushes back the antiquity of custard apple on Indian soil to the 2nd millennium BC, favoring a group of specialists proposing diverse arguments for Asian-American transoceanic contacts before the discovery of America by Columbus in AD 1492.
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.
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.
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.
A new species of polychaete, Armandia sampadae was collected from shallow sandy sediments off Rutland Island (57 m depth) and off North Andaman (52 m depth) during a benthic survey along the continental shelf of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The major character which distinguishes this species from other members of the genus Armandia is the presence of a pair of large, flattened, rounded, stalked, pigmented, leaf-shaped ventral papillae at the ventral base of the ringed anal funnel and the occurrence of a pair of sub-triangular black pigmented spots in the basal portion of the ventral papillae.
To report the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium surveillance data from 40 hospitals (20 cities) in India 2004–2013.
Surveillance using US National Healthcare Safety Network’s criteria and definitions, and International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium methodology.
We collected data from 236,700 ICU patients for 970,713 bed-days
Pooled device-associated healthcare-associated infection rates for adult and pediatric ICUs were 5.1 central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)/1,000 central line–days, 9.4 cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAPs)/1,000 mechanical ventilator–days, and 2.1 catheter-associated urinary tract infections/1,000 urinary catheter–days
In neonatal ICUs (NICUs) pooled rates were 36.2 CLABSIs/1,000 central line–days and 1.9 VAPs/1,000 mechanical ventilator–days
Extra length of stay in adult and pediatric ICUs was 9.5 for CLABSI, 9.1 for VAP, and 10.0 for catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Extra length of stay in NICUs was 14.7 for CLABSI and 38.7 for VAP
Crude extra mortality was 16.3% for CLABSI, 22.7% for VAP, and 6.6% for catheter-associated urinary tract infections in adult and pediatric ICUs, and 1.2% for CLABSI and 8.3% for VAP in NICUs
Pooled device use ratios were 0.21 for mechanical ventilator, 0.39 for central line, and 0.53 for urinary catheter in adult and pediatric ICUs; and 0.07 for mechanical ventilator and 0.06 for central line in NICUs.
Despite a lower device use ratio in our ICUs, our device-associated healthcare-associated infection rates are higher than National Healthcare Safety Network, but lower than International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium Report.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):172–181