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With growing demand for better fuel economy for automobiles, multimaterial solutions are increasingly being utilized in the automotive industry for reducing weight in the vehicle body structure. This poses challenges in terms of joining dissimilar metals, especially those with vastly different properties such as aluminum to steel joining. General Motors has developed a new resistance spot-welding technique for dissimilar materials using a multi-ring domed (MRD) electrode and multiple solidification weld schedules to address this challenge. Originally developed for aluminum to aluminum resistance spot welding, this technology is being deployed as the mainstream aluminum joining solution to leverage existing infrastructure and workforce competency in resistance spot welding. With the recent expansion of MRD technology to aluminum to steel resistance spot welding, there is an ever-greater need to experimentally verify the quality of each aluminum to steel resistance spot-weld application with limited time and resources. Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) would enable the transfer of resistance spot-welding technology to dissimilar aluminum to steel joints. This article describes the current state of the art of aluminum to steel resistance spot welding and the challenges in developing a robust NDE process for this technology.
Electrospun coaxial fibers are used to create core/sheath fiber structures to act as growth-promoting scaffolds for in vitro dorsal root ganglia (DRG) cell cultures. The core was a conducting polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and the sheath was poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which created coaxial fibers with a conductive core and an insulating sheath. SEM analysis confirmed the conductivity of the core and insulation of the sheath. Several coaxial spinneret designs were tested with the best results obtained by using various annular spinning needle combinations. Using a 22G/16G and 22G/17G combination, fibers with diameters of 6.1 ± 2.4 µm and 3.3 ± 0.9 µm were spun, respectively. The fibers showed a Young’s modulus and hardness of 0.16 ± 0.13 and 0.02 ± 0.01 GPa for the larger diameters, and 0.7 ± 0.4 and 0.03 ± 0.03 GPa for the smaller diameter fibers. In vitro test cultures showed the fibers successfully directed chick DRG axonal outgrowth with low biotoxicity.
The aim of this investigation was the establishment of a quantitative link between micro and macrodeformation and kinetic recovery of nickel-base Alloy 600 as well as the early detection of microcracks in this alloy when exposed to stress corrosion. To reach these objectives, X-ray rocking-curve measurements were carried out using the method known by its acronym CARCA (computer-aided rocking-curve analysis). Supported by transmission electron microscopy, a calibration curve was established relating dislocation density, X-ray rocking-curve halfwidth and strain. Applying CARCA, deformation levels and work-hardening characteristics of the alloys were measured by quantitative characterization of the induced defect structure. By correlating the analysis of the defect structure to the kinetic recovery of the alloys, including determination of the activation energies, it was possible to infer from the thermal stability of the alloys the dislocation obstacles responsible for hardening at different strain levels. It was shown that the recovery of the alloys was conditioned by their low stackingfault energy and that it depended on the strain level. Rapid recovery associated with grain boundary diffusion occurred at very small plastic strains up to about 0.7% with measured activation energies of recovery of about 25.6 Kcal/mol. At higher strains bulk diffusion was necessary to overcome the obstacles by dislocation climb with Q — 67 kcal/mol, The CARCA method proved itself to be a valuable research tool for assessing quantitatively the defect density and the mechanically and thermally induced changes. Relaxation effects, recorded by CARCA in the apex region of stressed C-rings exposed to a caustic medium, may open a path for early nondestructive detection of microcracks in stress-corrosion cracking.
We show that chief executive officers (CEOs) exhibit a hometown bias in acquisitions. Firms are over twice as likely to acquire targets located in the states of their CEOs’ childhood homes than similar targets domiciled elsewhere. Small, private home-state deals underperform other small, private deals, and the bias is stronger when acquirer governance is lax, suggesting that CEOs acquire private home-state targets for their own benefits. In contrast, large, public home-state acquisitions are value enhancing. CEOs create value in public home-state acquisitions by avoiding extremely poor deals and through deals with higher synergies. Thus, both agency issues and hometown advantages drive home-state acquisitions.
Sodium bismuth titanate (NBT) and its solid solutions with other ABO3 perovskites are of great interest for lead-free ferroelectric and piezoelectric applications. In this article, we provide an introduction to the complex structure of NBT, including atomic displacements and nanoscale defects. We also review poling effects and properties as well as NBT-ABO3 phase equilibria. The interesting relaxor properties, frequency dispersion in dielectric permittivity, and field-induced structural phase transitions of these systems are discussed. Finally, we describe other functional, mechanical, and electrical properties of NBT.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We report the discovery in the Greenland ice sheet of a discrete layer of free nanodiamonds (NDs) in very high abundances, implying most likely either an unprecedented influx of extraterrestrial (ET) material or a cosmic impact event that occurred after the last glacial episode. From that layer, we extracted n-diamonds and hexagonal diamonds (lonsdaleite), an accepted ET impact indicator, at abundances of up to about 5×106 times background levels in adjacent younger and older ice. The NDs in the concentrated layer are rounded, suggesting they most likely formed during a cosmic impact through some process similar to carbon-vapor deposition or high-explosive detonation. This morphology has not been reported previously in cosmic material, but has been observed in terrestrial impact material. This is the first highly enriched, discrete layer of NDs observed in glacial ice anywhere, and its presence indicates that ice caps are important archives of ET events of varying magnitudes. Using a preliminary ice chronology based on oxygen isotopes and dust stratigraphy, the ND-rich layer appears to be coeval with ND abundance peaks reported at numerous North American sites in a sedimentary layer, the Younger Dryas boundary layer (YDB), dating to 12.9 ± 0.1 ka. However, more investigation is needed to confirm this association.
Introduction: Burnout rates for emergency physicians (EP) continue to be amongst the highest in medicine. One of the commonly cited sources of stress contributing to disillusionment is bureaucratic tasks that distract EPs from direct patient care in the emergency department (ED). The novel position of Physician Navigator was created to help EPs decrease their non-clinical workload during shifts, and improve productivity. Physician Navigators are non-licensed healthcare team members that assist in activities which are often clerical in nature, but directly impact patient care. This program was implemented at no net-cost to the hospital or healthcare system. Methods: In this retrospective study, 6845 clinical shifts worked by 20 EPs over 39 months from January 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015 were evaluated. The program was implemented on April 1, 2013. The primary objective was to quantify the effect of Physician Navigators on measures of EP productivity: patient seen per hour (Pt/hr), and turn-around-time (TAT) to discharge. Secondary objectives included examining the impact of Physician Navigators on measures of ED throughput for non-resuscitative patients: emergency department length of stay (LOS), physician-initial-assessment times (PIA), and left-without-being-seen rates (LWBS). A mixed linear model was used to evaluate changes in productivity measures between shifts with and without Physician Navigators in a clustered design, by EP. Autoregressive modelling was performed to compare ED throughput metrics before and after the implementation of Physician Navigators for non-resuscitative patients. Results: Across 20 EPs, 2469 shifts before, and 4376 shifts after April 1, 2013 were analyzed. Daily patient volumes increased 8.7% during the period with Physician Navigators. For the EPs who used Physician Navigators, Pt/hr increased by 1.07 patients per hour (0.98 to 1.16, p<0.001), and TAT to discharge decreased by 10.6 minutes (-13.2 to -8.0, p<0.001). After the implementation of the Physician Navigators, overall LOS for non-resuscitative patients decreased by 2.6 minutes (1.0%, p=0.007), and average PIA decreased by 7.4 minutes (12.0%, p<0.001). LBWS rates decreased by 43.9% (0.50% of daily patient volume, p<0.001). Conclusion: The use of a Physician Navigator was associated with increased EP productivity as measured by Pt/hr, and TAT to discharge, and reductions in ED throughput metrics for non-resuscitative patients.
We solve the problem of concept learning using a semi-tensor product method. All possible hypotheses are expressed under the framework of a semi-tensor product. An algorithm is raised to derive the version space. In some cases, the new approach improves the efficiency compared to the previous approach.
Imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) are sensitive to rare gamma-ray photons, buried in the background of charged cosmic-ray (CR) particles, the flux of which is several orders of magnitude greater. The ability to separate gamma rays from CR particles is important, as it is directly related to the sensitivity of the instrument. This gamma-ray/CR-particle classification problem in IACT data analysis can be treated with the rapidly-advancing machine learning algorithms, which have the potential to outperform the traditional box-cut methods on image parameters. We present preliminary results of a precise classification of a small set of muon events using a convolutional neural networks model with the raw images as input features. We also show the possibility of using the convolutional neural networks model for regression problems, such as the radius and brightness measurement of muon events, which can be used to calibrate the throughput efficiency of IACTs.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Controlled amounts of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs), electrochemically pre-synthesized, were directly deposited on MWCNTs sensor devices by electrophoresis. Pristine and Au-functionalized MWCNT networked films were tested as active layers in resistive gas sensors for detection of pollutant gases. Au-modified CNT-chemiresistor demonstrated higher sensitivity to NO2 detecting up to sub-ppm level compared to pristine one. The investigation of the cross-sensitivity towards other pollutant gases revealed the decrease of the sensitivity to NO2 with the increase of Au content, and, on the other side, the increase of that to H2S; therefore the fine tune of the metal loading on CNTs has allowed to control not only the gas sensitivity but also the selectivity towards a specific gaseous analyte. Finally, the sensing properties of Au-decorated CNT sensor seem to be promising in environmental and automotive gas sensing applications, based on low power consumption and moderate operating temperature.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
Nanoparticles (NPs) of Indium Antimonide (InSb) were synthesized using a vapor phase synthesis technique known as Inert Gas Condensation. NPs were directly deposited, at room temperature and under high vacuum, on glass cover slides, TEM grid, 1 inch-square (111) p-type Silicon wafer and Sodium Chloride substrates. XRD study revealed the crystalline behavior of these NPs exhibiting a cubic symmetry with preferred growth direction of (111). The average grain size of the NPs obtained using XRD results and the Debye-Scherrer formula was 25.62 nm. TEM studies showed a bimodal distribution of NPs with average NPs size of 13.70 and 33.20 nm. These values are consistent with the value obtained using XRD. 1:1 composition ratio of In:Sb was confirmed by the Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy studies. The band gap of the NPs obtained using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was 0.413 eV at 300 K, which indicates quantum confinement in the band structure of these NPs.
Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas that is a bi-product of industrial approaches to energy production. Forests and nonagricultural lands act as a natural sink for CO2 removal from the atmosphere; however, the amount of emitted CO2 is significantly larger than the capacity of these natural sinks. This is particularly problematic as two cornerstones of our modern world, electricity generation and transportation, hold the largest share in greenhouse gas (such as CO2) emission. This leads to malignant impacts on the natural environment and human life, such as global warming. The obvious approach to reduce the amount of generated CO2 is to limit the use of fossil fuels. However, coal-fired power plants remain the largest source of electricity generation in 2014 and an equally potent and financially reasonable source is yet to be fully developed. Hence, new systems and strategies are crucial for the remediation of CO2. In this work, we present novel TiO2 nanoparticles, synthesized via a facile solution-phase method, which show a significant visible light absorption. The synthesized nanoparticles can be applied towards photoreduction of CO2 for hydrocarbon solar fuels production. A thorough photoemission spectroscopy analysis outlined the energy structure of the materials which uncovered a sub-bandgap absorption in the visible range due to the presence of intragap states. The origins of intragap states were investigated in greater detail using various characterization techniques. An in-depth chemical composition study of the developed material using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the synthesized material is considerably un-doped. Further structural analysis using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that distances between visible lattice fringes are matched with ordered crystalline phases of TiO2. The core emission study using XPS revealed that the oxygen vacancy defects in the structure--i.e. likely due the synthesis--are responsible for intragap states formation. Charge dynamics were investigated using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were dominated by signals from oxygen-centered surface hole trapping sites with principle g values [2.003, 2.010, 2.023]--i.e. Ti4+ ˗ O2- on anatase. A faint signal was also observed as a function of visible light illumination at 5 K with principle g value of 1.975 that is suggestive of Ti3+ in rutile, a typical product of UV light exposure. In general, this study demonstrates the potential of a relatively inexpensive material for photoreduction of CO2 and generation of solar fuels.
Nanomedicine is fostering significant advances in the development of platforms for early detection and treatment of diseases. Nanoparticles (NPs) like quantum dots (QDs) exhibit size-dependent optical properties for light-driven technologies, which might become important in bio-imaging, sensing and photo-dynamic therapy (PDT) applications. The present research addresses the synthesis of water-stable Cd-based QDs via a Microwave-Assisted synthesis approach using cadmium sulfate salt, and thioglycolic acid as Cd- and S-precursors, respectively. Selenide ions were available by reductive leaching of metallic Selenium in Sodium bisulfite solution. The size control and the tunability of the optical properties were achieved by a suitable control of the reaction temperature (in the 140°C- 190°C range) and reaction time (10 minutes-40 minutes). X-ray diffraction analyses suggested the development of a CdSe,S face cubic centered structure; the broadening of the diffraction peaks indicated the presence of very small nanocrystals in the samples. The average crystallite size was estimated at 5.50 nm ± 1.17nm and 3.72 nm ± 0.04 nm, for nanoparticles synthesized at 180°C after 40 minutes or 10 minutes of reaction, respectively. HRTEM images confirmed the crystalline nature and the small size of the synthesized nanocrystals. In turn, the exciton was red-shifted from 461nm to 549 nm when the reaction temperature was prolonged from 140°C to 190 °C, suggesting the crystal growth. The corresponding band gap values were approximately 2.2 eV, confirming the quantum confinement effect (bulk value 1.74eV). This red shift was also evidenced in PL measurements where the main emission peak was shifted from 507 nm to 564 nm when the samples were excited at 420 nm. A narrow size-tunable emission also was supported by the full width at half maximum (∼ 45 nm) for the synthesized nanocrystals. The reactive oxygen species generation capability of as-synthesized QDs was also investigated. The correlation between the particle size and the generation of (ROS) by the degradation of methylene blue was evident with a reduction of MB concentration from 10μM to 7.5μM and 6.7μM after 15 minutes of UV irradiation for reaction time of 10 min. and 40 min. respectively. No additional degradation was noticed after 60 minutes of irradiation.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.