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The electricity sector is in the midst of a structural change driven by new technologies. In Brazil, the electricity sector regulation has mechanisms to foster innovation, including investments in R&D. Recently, the regulatory agency and the industry have been calling for approaches to increase the rate at which R&D departments generate solutions that end up being adopted. As a result, novel approaches to R&D project management have entered the agenda. In this context, the objective of this paper is to characterise Agile Product Development and its application in a highly regulated sector. The paper presents a systematic literature review with the debates about Agile and new product development. Then, a case study exploring an early adoption of the Agile approach in R&D project management in the Brazilian electricity sector is presented. Results include the identification of the Agile features most frequently mentioned in the literature. Moreover, the case study explores the Agile features that were more easily absorbed in early adoption, such as iterative patterns, and discusses implementation challenges in team structure, feedback loops, and communication.
Indium oxide (InOx) and indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited on glass substrates by plasma enhanced reactive thermal evaporation (PERTE) at different substrate temperatures. The films were then submitted to two etching solutions with different chemical reactivity: i) HNO3 (6%), at room temperature; ii) HCl (35%): (40 °Bé) FeCl3 (1:1), at 40 °C. The dependence of the etchability of the films on the structural and deposition conditions is discussed. Previously to etching, structural characterization was made. X-ray diffraction showed the appearance of a peak around 2θ=31° as the deposition temperature increases from room temperature to 190 °C, both for ITO and InOx. AFM surface topography and SEM micrographs of the deposited films are consistent with the structural properties suggested by X-ray spectra: as the deposition temperature increases, the surface changes from a finely grained structure to a material with a larger-sized grain or/and agglomerate structure of the order of 250-300 nm. The roughness Rq varies from 0.74 nm for the amorphous tissue to a maximum of 10.83 nm for the sample with the biggest crystalline grains. Raman spectra are also presented.
Due to the lack of reliable yield monitor for sugarcane, production factors which impact and limit stalk yield within fields are not well-known. Thus, this study aims to evaluate whether canopy sensor technology is able to identify sugarcane biomass variability and whether obtaining other agronomic variable data can assist on biomass quantification. For that, forty targeted plots were allocated within two sugarcane-producing fields and data consisted on manual biometric evaluation, aboveground biomass measurement and canopy reflectance. As an ongoing experiment, only two evaluations were addressed (~0.3 and 0.5 m stalk height). On the earliest stage, canopy sensor readings were correlated to sugarcane biomass and their sensitivity to biomass variability was high. Further, data collected on the first evaluation was efficient in predicting biomass amount after 30 days. On the second, canopy sensor readings effectiveness to predict biomass was reduced. These findings suggest that crop canopy reflectance sensing is a useful approach to investigate sugarcane biomass spatial-variability within fields on early stages.
Different volume fractions (0.5–4.5 vol%) of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were used to reinforce a binary Fe50Co soft magnetic alloy. The first method for dispersion involved dry mixing and ball milling of the powder, while the second included wet mixing in dimethylformamide under ultrasonic agitation, drying and then dry ball milling. The powders were consolidated using spark plasma sintering. Tensile test and SEM analyses were performed to characterize the mechanical properties and the fracture surface of the sintered materials. The best magnetic and mechanical properties were achieved using the first method. A maximum enhancement in tensile strength of around 20% was observed in the 0.5 vol% CNT composite with improved elongation compared to the monolithic Fe50Co alloy. In addition, the magnetic properties were enhanced by adding CNTs up to 1 vol%, and an improvement in densification was observed in composites up to 1.5 vol% CNT with respect to monolithic Fe50Co alloy.
An anecdotal increase in C. perfringens outbreaks was observed in the North East of England during 2012–2014. We describe findings of investigations in order to further understanding of the epidemiology of these outbreaks and inform control measures. All culture-positive (>105 c.f.u./g) outbreaks reported to the North East Health Protection Team from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014 were included. Epidemiological (attack rate, symptom profile and positive associations with a suspected vehicle of infection), environmental (deficiencies in food preparation or hygiene practices and suspected vehicle of infection) and microbiological investigations are described. Forty-six outbreaks were included (83% reported from care homes). Enterotoxin (cpe) gene-bearer C. perfringens were detected by PCR in 20/46 (43%) and enterotoxin (by ELISA) and/or enterotoxigenic faecal/food isolates with indistinguishable molecular profiles in 12/46 (26%) outbreaks. Concerns about temperature control of foods were documented in 20/46 (43%) outbreaks. A suspected vehicle of infection was documented in 21/46 (46%) of outbreaks (meat-containing vehicle in 20/21). In 15/21 (71%) identification of the suspected vehicle was based on descriptive evidence alone, in 5/21 (24%) with supporting evidence from an epidemiological study and in 2/21 (10%) with supporting microbiological evidence. C. perfringens-associated illness is preventable and although identification of foodborne outbreaks is challenging, a risk mitigation approach should be taken, particularly in vulnerable populations such as care homes for the elderly.
We describe two cases of infant botulism due to Clostridium butyricum producing botulinum type E neurotoxin (BoNT/E) and a previously unreported environmental source. The infants presented at age 11 days with poor feeding and lethargy, hypotonia, dilated pupils and absent reflexes. Faecal samples were positive for C. butyricum BoNT/E. The infants recovered after treatment including botulism immune globulin intravenous (BIG-IV). C. butyricum BoNT/E was isolated from water from tanks housing pet ‘yellow-bellied’ terrapins (Trachemys scripta scripta): in case A the terrapins were in the infant's home; in case B a relative fed the terrapin prior to holding and feeding the infant when both visited another relative. C. butyricum isolates from the infants and the respective terrapin tank waters were indistinguishable by molecular typing. Review of a case of C. butyricum BoNT/E botulism in the UK found that there was a pet terrapin where the infant was living. It is concluded that the C. butyricum-producing BoNT type E in these cases of infant botulism most likely originated from pet terrapins. These findings reinforce public health advice that reptiles, including terrapins, are not suitable pets for children aged <5 years, and highlight the importance of hand washing after handling these pets.
Listeriosis is a rare but severe foodborne disease with low morbidity and high case-fatality rates. Pregnant women, unborn and newborn babies are among the high-risk groups for listeriosis. We examined listeriosis cases reported to the enhanced surveillance system in England and Wales from 1990 to 2010 to identify risk factors influencing outcome. Cases were defined as pregnancy-associated if Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from a pregnant woman or newborn infants aged <28 days. Of the 3088 cases reported, pregnancy-associated listeriosis accounted for 462 (15%) cases and 315 cases resulted in a live birth. Several factors were identified as affecting the severity and outcome of listeriosis in pregnancy in both mother and child including: presence or absence of maternal symptoms, gestational age at onset of symptoms, and clinical presentation in the infant (meningitis or septicaemia). Deprivation, ethnicity and molecular serotype had no effect on outcome.
Lung cancer is the leading global cause of cancer-related mortality. Inter-individual variability in treatment response and prognosis has been associated with genetic polymorphisms in specific genes: EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PTEN and TTF-1. Somatic mutations in EGFR and KRAS genes are reported at rates of 15–40% in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in ethnically diverse populations. BRAF and PTEN are commonly mutated genes in various cancer types, including NSCLC, with PTEN mutations exerting an effect on the therapeutic response of EGFR/AKT/PI3K pathway inhibitors. TTF-1 is expressed in approximately 80% of lung adenocarcinomas and its positivity correlates with higher prevalence of EGFR mutation in this cancer type. To determine molecular markers for lung cancer in Brazilian patients, the rate of the predominant EGFR, KRAS, BRAF and PTEN mutations, as well as TTF-1 expression, was assessed in 88 Brazilian NSCLC patients. EGFR exon 19 deletions (del746–750) were detected in 3/88 (3·4%) patients. Activating KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 61 were noted in five (5·7%) and two (2·3%) patients, respectively. None of the common somatic mutations were detected in either the BRAF or PTEN genes. TTF-1 was overexpressed in 40·7% of squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC). Our findings add to a growing body of data that highlights the genetic heterogeneity of the abnormal EGFR pathway in lung cancer among ethnically diverse populations.
Territory occupancy, distribution and density of the isolated Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis population in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains of southern Africa were assessed between two time periods - former (1960–1999) and current (2000–2012) - to identify population trends. Overall, 190 territories were recorded of which 109 are currently occupied. The number of occupied breeding territories decreased by a minimum of 32% and a maximum of 51% over the past five decades. Territories located on the periphery of the breeding range were more likely to be abandoned than those in the core. The current population is estimated at a minimum of 352 and a maximum of 390 individuals. The breeding range decreased by 27%, restricting the birds to an estimated area of occupancy of 28,125 km2. Breeding densities also decreased by 20%, declining from 4.9 to 3.9 pairs/1,000 km2. In both periods, higher densities were recorded in the core of the range. Nests were located about 9.0 km apart, a slight increase from the 7.7 km recorded formerly. Inter-nest distances increased with distance from the core range. Further studies are required to ascertain whether productivity or survival is limiting population growth, and whether anthropogenic influences are resulting in the abandonment of territories in the periphery of the range and the subsequent decline in numbers.
The current research was carried out to evaluate the use of crude protein and fibre components in faeces for estimating intake and digestibility in sheep fed with pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke). The equations were developed from four trials in metabolism cages with 16 sheep in each trial. Each animal received a different quantity of millet leaves in the diet: 0·015, 0·020 and 0·025 dry matter (DM) as a proportion of live weight (LW) and ad libitum with at least 0·2 of daily feed refusals. Organic matter intake (OMI, g/day) was measured, through the difference between offer and refusals; total faeces were collected for 5 days, which was used to determine faecal crude protein (CPf, g/day and g/kg of organic matter (OM)), faecal neutral detergent fibre (NDFf, g/day and g/kg OM), faecal acid detergent fibre (ADFf, g/day and g/kg OM) and OM digestibility (OMD). Linear regression equations were calculated to determine the relationship between OMI and CPf (P<0·001, R2=0·90, relative prediction error (RPE=14·02%). A multiple linear equation was generated for OMI including CPf and NDFf (P<0·001, R2=0·94; RPE=9·25%). Hyperbolic (single and multiple) and exponential models were tested to estimate OMD, where the hyperbolic multiple model including CPf and NDFf showed lower RPE (3·90%). These equations for estimating OMI and OMD were evaluated on sheep grazing P. americanum fertilized with increasing levels of nitrogen (N) (50, 100, 200 and 400 kg N/ha), comparing measured and estimated OMI. The intake estimated by multiple regression (CP and NDFf) showed a higher R2 (0·98) and lower RPE (5·25%) than the simple (CPf only) linear equation (R2=0·94; RPE=20·45%). The results demonstrated the feasibility of using the faecal index generated in metabolism cages for estimating intake and digestibility in sheep grazing P. americanum.
Fluid dynamics instabilities are usually investigated in two types of situations, either confined in cells with fixed boundaries, or free to grow in open space. In this article we study the Faraday instability triggered in a floating liquid lens. This is an intermediate situation in which a hydrodynamical instability develops in a domain with flexible boundaries. The instability is observed to be initially disordered with fluctuations of both the wave field and the lens boundaries. However, a slow dynamics takes place, leading to a mutual adaptation so that a steady regime is reached with a stable wave field in a stable lens contour. The most recurrent equilibrium lens shape is elongated with the Faraday wave vector along the main axis. In this self-organized situation an equilibrium is reached between the radiation pressure exerted by Faraday waves on the borders and their capillary response. The elongated shape is obtained theoretically as the exact solution of a Riccati equation with a unique control parameter and compared with the experiment.
Magnetic fields arise from many parts of the body and are produced by two distinct types of sources–ionic currents and magnetic tissues. Although most of the body is weakly diamagnetic, the magnetic tissues of greatest interest are paramagnetic or ferromagnetic. The major source of paramagnetism in the body is the liver, which contains iron compounds . The strongest sources of ferromagnetism in the body are ingested or inhaled ferromagnetic substances, which can be detected even in trace amounts .
Like other electrical currents, ionic currents generated by nerve and muscle tissue produce magnetic fields and potential differences, which can be detected at the body surface or even outside the body. The ionic current has two components – a “primary” current and a “volume” current  (Fig. 16.1). Primary currents result directly from physiological activity and are confined largely within the electrically excited cells. Volume currents are passive return currents that extend far into the surrounding medium in response to the electromotive forces that drive the primary currents. Bioelectric signals are conducted to the body surface by volume currents and are the main source of electroencephalographic (EEG) and electrocardiographic (ECG) signals. Bioelectric signals are strongly influenced by the highly inhomogeneous electrical conductivity of the body. In contrast, biomagnetic signals arise predominantly from primary currents and are affected to a much lesser extent. This accounts for a key advantage of biomagnetic versus bioelectric fields – their simpler signal-transmission properties – which enables a more accurate determination of source location.
Erythropoietin (EPO) gene therapy can be used for several purposes; however, its effects on reproductive performance are unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxicological effects of non-viral (EPO) gene transfer on sperm motility, viability, morphology and concentration. Rabbit EPO cDNA was cloned into a pTarget mammalian expression vector. Rabbits were administered with: (1) pTarget/EPO vector, (2) recombinant human EPO (rHuEpo) and (3) saline (control). Both pTarget/EPO and rHuEpo significantly increased (P < 0.05) hematocrit levels 1 week after injection and they remained significantly higher than the control for up to 5 weeks (P < 0.05), showing that both EPO treatments were effective in stimulating the production of red blood cells in rabbits. The EPO gene transfer or rHuEPO administration had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on sperm motility, vigor, viability, concentration or morphology in the testis.
The island-size distribution scaling function fi (u) corresponding to submonolayer epitaxial growth with critical island size i is studied via kinetic Monte Carlo simulations for i = 0, 1, 2, and 3. An analytic form for fi (u) based on a conjecture for the small-u behavior is also presented. For i = 1, the scaled island-size distribution is found to depend on island morphology. In particular, for fractal islands with i = 1 there is excellent agreement with our analytical form as well as with experiments on low temperature Fe/Fe(100) deposition. However, for compact islands with i = 1, the scaled distribution is found to deviate slightly at small u. We also find excellent agreement between our analytical form, simulations, and experiment for i =- 2 and i = 3. Good agreement between our simulation results for i = 0 and recent experiments on Fe/Cu(100) deposition is also found. Results for the scaling of the island-density as well as crossover scaling forms for the transition from i = 1 to i = 2 and from i = 1 to i = 3 are also presented and used to determine the one-bond activation energy and critical island size transition temperature for Fe/Fe(100). The morphology of fractal islands for i = 2 is also studied and compared with experiments on Au/Ru(0001).
The present study was undertaken to examine whether the presence of antral follicles (AFs) affects the survival, growth and steroidogenesis of preantral follicles (PFs) and compare the maturation and developmental competence of buffalo oocytes derived from in vivo developed and in vitro cultured AFs. Two experiments were carried out. In experiment I, PFs (200–250 μm) were isolated and cultured with or without AFs (3–5 mm) in TCM-199 medium that contained 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 1% insulin transferin selenium (ITS), 20 ng/ml epidermal growth factor (EGF), 0.5 μg/ml follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and 100 ng/ml insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I. In experiment II, in vitro developmental competence was compared for the cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) recovered from in vivo developed and in vitro cultured AFs. Survival, growth, development of antrum, accumulation of estradiol and progesterone was (P < 0.05) higher when PFs were co-cultured with AFs. Developmental competence of both types of follicular oocytes did not differ significantly in terms of maturation and cleavage rate, but morula and blastocyst production rate were (P < 0.05) higher with in vivo developed AFs as compared with the in vitro cultured antral follicular oocytes. In conclusion, co-culture of PFs with AFs supports long-term survival and growth of buffalo PFs and this co-culture system plays a dual role for in vitro production of embryos as well as understanding the relationship between developing PFs and AFs.
The nanoindentation behavior of DC magnetron sputtered 10 nm Cu and 10 nm Cu/2 nm Cr thin films deposited on Si (100) has been studied using a Hysitron nanomechanical system. X- ray diffraction and X-ray reflectivity were used to measure the film structure and film thickness, respectively. The grain size and orientation of Cu and Cu/Cr thin films were measured by TEM. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to evaluate the surface morphology and roughness. At the same load, the nanoindentaion displacement of Cu/Cr is smaller than that for Cu, i.e., the 2nm thick Cr underlayer enhances the hardness of Cu. X-ray, TEM, and AFM results show that the grain size of Cu/Cr (< 15 nm) is actually larger than Cu (∼ 3 nm) indicating that the inverse Hall-Petch relationship may be operative.
The thickness of the Al2O3 layer used in the magnetic tunneling junctions FM1/Al2O3/FM2 is less than 2 nm, here FM1 is for the ferromagnetic layer 1 and FM2 is for ferromagnetic layer 2. In order to obtain ultra-thin Al2O3 layer with higher breakdown voltage and pinhole free, extremely smooth surface roughness of this layer is required. The influence of the sputtering gas pressure, DC pulsed frequency, DC pulsed power, substrate bias and buffer layer on surface roughness and properties of Al thin films were studied. The single layer Al films are usually amorphous, texture (111) Al films can be obtained while using thin Ta 5 nm or Ta5/NiFe2 as underlayer. Very smooth Al thin film can be sputtered on Si/SiO2 (100) wafer with Ta/NiFe buffer layer at f=15 kHz (DC pulsed frequency) and with RF substrate biasing (Vpp is about 21 V). High quality MTJs with high MR ratio up to 44.6% and high field sensitivity up to 19.3%/Oe were finally demonstrated after optimization of thin film deposition process.
Tin oxide has been proposed as a promising alternative anode material for microbatteries. It has been reported that its theoretical volumetric capacity is four times larger than that of carbon-based materials, while its gravimetric capacity is twice as large. In this experiment, optimal Si and Bi doped SnO2 films were prepared with e-beam evaporation to improve both the cycle performance and the reversible capacity. The films with addition of Si only exhibited reductions in aggregation of tin particles and formation of micro-cracks. However, there still remained cracks, which induce capacity loss during cycling. To improve capacity retention, Bi was added with Si to SnO2 films, which exhibited the highest reversible capacity of 200µAh/cm2-µm at 200th cycle. The films doped with Bi and Si were found to be ill-defined and featureless without noticeable particle aggregation and cracks. However, the films that underwent cycling tests showed again aggregated tin particles and formation of cracks, which would induce cell failure during cycling. We believe that some types of Li-Bi phases as mixed-conductor matrices have improved the cycle life.