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Drawing on the new institutional theory and the resources based view of the firm (RBV), this study tries to shed light upon the idea that isomorphic organizational changes seek legitimacy over efficiency. Using data from 102 Spanish companies and employing partial least squares, a variance-based structural equation modeling technique, this study concludes that both objectives are achievable simultaneously when firms implement total quality management (TQM) as an integrative stream of both theories. Furthermore, empirical results reveal that: (i) institutional pressures (IP) condition significantly the implementation of TQM, (ii) TQM exerts a double mediating role in the IP-legitimacy and IP-efficiency relationships, and (iii) both efficiency and legitimacy objectives are achieved by means of TQM. However, we observe a dual phenomenon: (i) while we find a significant positive effect of TQM on overall performance (OP) via efficiency and (ii) we failed to find support for the TQM-OP link via legitimacy.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
Two metal fillers with TiC nanoparticles (TiC NPs) of less than 100 nm for the overlay process is an alternative to hardfacing for treating surfaces subjected to severe wear. In this work, the effect of tribological behavior for TiC NPs addition on two Co-based filler materials, as well as the dilutions, was studied. Mixtures of Co-based filler metals without and with 0.5% and 2% TiC NPs were deposited onto D2 steel plates using PTA (Plasma Transferred Arc). The BET surface area was 0.17 m2 g-1 and 0.31 m2 g-1, respectively, for Stellite 6 and 12. The distribution of ca 23% macroporous for Stellite 6 was sufficient to get inside the TiC NPs, as well as in the case of Stellite 12, with a pore distribution of ca 13%. Stellite 12 has an increase in the dilutions (70%) and enthalpies showed endothermic reactions. Stellite 6 with NPs was determined to be most effective in increasing the wear resistance.
Laser welding processes offer significant advantages such as high welding speed, narrow heat affected zone and quality of the welding joint. In this study, the process parameters of laser power and welding speed were modified for AISI 1018 steel plates of 8 mm thickness and compared using finite element method. The results of cross-section microstructure, heat affected zone and fusion zone were characterized. The grain refinement was affected as the parameters were modified. Tensile and microhardness tests were performed to determine the mechanical properties of the welding joints. Microhardness increased in fusion zone and decreased in heat affected zone. Tensile test showed ductile fracture in heat affected zone of the welding joints. The simulated profiles were compared with the experimental observations showing a reasonable agreement.
This review examines the relative bioefficacy of 2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoic acid (HMTBA) and DL-methionine (DL-Met) which includes chemical, metabolic, nutritional, and statistical aspects of its bioefficacy. The chemical, enzymatic and biological differences and similarities between these two products are explained and the evidence and reasons for HMTBA relative bioefficacy to DL-Met in monogastric animals are discussed. In addition, appropriate statistical methods for comparing the bioefficacy of these two products for successful use of each product are provided. HMTBA is an organic acid precursor of L-Met. The chemical structure differences between HMTBA and DL-Met leads to differences in how and where the two materials are absorbed, enzymatically converted to L-Met and used by the animal. Because of these differences, when the two compounds are supplemented into animal feeds in graded doses, they do not produce dose response curves of the same form due in part to differences in intake and metabolism at the extremes of the dose response curves. At deficient levels of the response curve, HMTBA fed animals may exhibit lower feed consumption and growth than DL-Met while at requirement levels they may have greater feed consumption and growth. This review provides biological evidence for why these differences in growth response occur and demonstrates that lower growth, whether for DL-Met or HMTBA, does not mean that either product is being converted to methionine inefficiently. Since the two products have different dose response curves, statistically valid methods are provided for unbiased determination of relative bioefficacy across tested dose ranges. Field nutritionists typically feed commercial doses of HMTBA or DL-Met at a total sulphur amino acid dietary level capable of achieving maximum performance. At these commercial levels, and based on the evidence, the full relative bioefficacy of HMTBA relative to DL-Met is discussed.
The improvement in porcine embryo preservation and non-surgical embryo transfer (ET) procedures achieved in recent years represents essential progress for the practical use of ET in the pig industry. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of parity, weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI) and season on reproductive and embryonic parameters at day 6 after insemination of donor sows superovulated after weaning. The selection of donor sows was based on their reproductive history, body condition and parity. The effects of parity at weaning (2 to 3, 4 to 5 or 6 to 7 litters), season (fall, winter and spring), and WEI (estrus within 3 to 4 days), and their interactions on the number of corpus luteum, cysts in sows with cysts, number and quality of viable and transferable embryos, embryo developmental stage and recovery and fertilization rates were evaluated using linear mixed effects models. The analyses showed a lack of significant effects of parity, season, WEI or their interactions on any of the reproductive and embryonic parameters examined. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that fertilization rates and numbers of viable and transferable embryos collected at day 6 of the cycle from superovulated donor sows are not affected by their parity, regardless of the time of the year (from fall to spring) and WEI (3 or 4 days).
Multiwavelength and multitechnique observations towards NGC 6309 are presented. The data consist of λ3.6-cm continuum, ground- and space-based imaging, and high and low-dispersion longslit spectra. The structure of the central region seems to be a distorted, ring of 20″ in diameter. The lack of [N II] emission is conspicuous, as revealed by imaging and low dispersion spectra. Notably, the kinematics of the point-symmetric (PS) structures of NGC 6309 indicates the presence of lobes or cavities as those generally found in bipolar nebulae. The results lead to conclude that the origin of this peculiar morphology is not related to BRETs, but rather to that of a bipolar PN with PS structures in its lobes.
Long-slit optical spectroscopy and VLA-B radio continuum (λ = 3.6 cm) observations toward the compact planetary nebulae Cn 3-1 and M 3-27 are presented. Optical spectra were taken at different position angles (PAs) with the 2.2 m telescope at Calar Alto (Spain), covering the range from 6549 to 6751 Å. The radio and optical data show that the ionized shell of Cn 3-1 is an ellipsoid (size ≃ 6″ × 5″, PA ≃ 72°) containing a bright ring-like equatorial zone (size ≃ 2″.6, expansion velocity ≃ 14 km s–1) and two bright point-symmetric arcs, extending from the equator towards the polar regions of the ellipsoid (Fig. 1). These arcs seem to be filamentary structures embedded in the ellipsoid. An ionized stellar wind has been detected through faint extended wings in the Hα (≃ 660 km s–1) and [N II] (≃ 460 km s–1) emission lines. M 3-27 is unresolved at 3.6 cm (size ≤ 0″6). The detected [N II] and [S II] emission lines arise in a compact (≤ 1″4) probably non-spherical region which is identified with the ionized shell of M 3-27. The Hα emission from M 3-27 is dominated by strong emission from an ionized stellar wind and exhibits a Type III P Cygni profile with very extended wings (≃ 3000 km s–1). The estimated kinematic age and ionized mass of Cn 3-1 (≃ 1300 yr, 4 × 10–2 M⊙) and M 3-27 (≤ 530 yr, ≃ 3 × 10–4 M⊙) indicate that both objects are young planetary nebulae. Extended halos (size ≃ 36″ in Cn 3-1, ≃ 24″ in M 3-27) have been spectroscopically detected in both objects. An analysis of the kinematic and emission properties shows that both halos are reflection nebulosities and suggests that the distribution of neutral material in them probably is largely isotropic. The results suggest that the halos correspond to isotropic mass ejections occurred in the last ≃ 2 × 104 yr of the AGB phase of the Cn 3-1 and M 3-27 progenitors.
Meningococcal serogroup W strains have been emerging throughout the current century with most of the isolates belonging to the sequence type (ST11)/electrophoretic type (ET37) clonal complex (ST11/E37 CC), particularly since the international outbreak following Hajj 2000. That outbreak appears to have triggered off that trend, contributing to the spread of W ST11/ET37 CC strains globally; however, local strains could be also responsible for increases in the percentage and/or incidence rates of this serogroup in some countries. More recently, unexpected increases in the percentage and incidence rate of W has been noticed in different countries located in the South Cone in Latin America, and W ST11/ET37 CC strains now appear as endemic in the region and an extensive immunization programme with tetravalent conjugate vaccine (covering serogroups A, C, Y and W) has been recently implemented in Chile. It is difficult to ascertain whether we are observing the emergence of W ST11 CC strains in different geographical areas or whether the Hajj 2000 strain is still spreading globally. Several aspects of the evolution of that situation are analysed in this paper, reviewing also the implications in immunization programmes. Closely related with the analysis of this potential evolution, it will be very interesting to monitor the evolution of serogroup W in the African meningitis belt after implementation of the extensive immunization programme with serogroup A conjugate vaccine that is currently underway. More data about carriers, transmission, clonal lineages, etc. are needed for taking decisions (target groups, outbreak control, defining the extent, etc.) to adapt the response strategy with potential interventions with broad coverage vaccines against the emergent serogroup W.
Star clusters are among the fundamental astrophysical objects used in setting the local distance scale. Despite its crucial importance, the accurate determination of the distances to the Magellanic Clouds (SMC/LMC) remains a fuzzy step in the cosmological distance ladder. The exquisite astrometry of the recently launched ESA Gaia mission is expected to deliver extremely accurate statistical parallaxes, and thus distances, to the SMC/LMC. However, an independent SMC/LMC distance determination via main sequence fitting of star clusters provides an important validation check point for the Gaia distances. This has been a valuable lesson learnt from the famous Hipparcos Pleiades distance discrepancy problem. Current observations will allow hundreds of LMC/SMC clusters to be analyzed in this light.
Today, the most common approach for star cluster main sequence fitting is still by eye. The process is intrinsically subjective and affected by large uncertainties, especially when applied to poorly populated clusters. It is also, clearly, not an efficient route for addressing the analysis of hundreds, or thousands, of star clusters. These concerns, together with a new attitude towards advanced statistical techniques in astronomy and the availability of powerful computers, have led to the emergence of software packages designed for analyzing star cluster photometry. With a few rare exceptions, those packages are not publicly available.
Here we present OCAAT (Open Cluster Automated Analysis Tool), a suite of publicly available open source tools that fully automatises cluster isochrone fitting. The code will be applied to a large set of hundreds of open clusters observed in the Washington system, located in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. This will allow us to generate an objective and homogeneous catalog of distances up to ~ 60 kpc along with its associated reddening, ages and metallicities and uncertainty estimates.
The success of many cosmological surveys in the near future is highly grounded on the quality of their photometry. The Javalambre-PAU Astrophysical Survey (J-PAS) will image more than 8500 deg2 of the Northern Sky Hemisphere in 54 narrow + 2 medium/broad optical bands plus Sloan u, g and r bands. The main goal of J-PAS is to provide the best constrains on the cosmological parameters before the arrival of projects like Euclid or LSST. To achieve this goal the uncertainty in photo-z cannot be larger than 0.3% for several millions of galaxies and this is highly dependent on the photometric accuracy.
The photometric calibration of J-PAS will imply the intensive use of huge amounts of data and the use of statistical tools is unavoidable. Here, we present some of the key steps in the photometric calibration of J-PAS that will demand a suitable statistical approach.
To investigate the genetic diversity and structure of Jatropha curcas L. oilseed plant, in this study, native populations from Chiapas, Mexico, were evaluated, using microsatellite DNA markers. A total of 93 representative samples were selected from seven sites in two regions in the state of Chiapas grouped by geographical proximity, where leaf samples were collected to isolate the genomic DNA. Individual polymerase chain reactions were carried out with ten pairs of specific oligonucleotides for the microsatellites of J. curcas, separating the products of amplification by acrylamide electrophoresis. Twenty-seven fragments were detected (77% polymorphic) with which heterozygous individuals were distinguished. The most informative microsatellite was Jcps20 (nine alleles, polymorphic index content 0.354). The average polymorphism per population was 58%. The Hardy–Weinberg tests revealed a reproductive pattern of non-random mating. The diversity descriptors and the analysis of molecular variance revealed that the populations were structured and moderately differentiated (FST 0.087) and that this differentiation was not due to isolation by distance, as the Mantel test was not significant (P= 0.137), but rather due to allopatry. Bayesian analysis revealed that the accessions belonged to only four genetic groups and confirmed the differentiation between the regions. Because some loci were in Hardy–Weinberg disequilibrium, it is proposed that differentiation is due to the clonal reproduction of J. curcas practised by farmers in Chiapas, along with the anthropogenic dispersion at regional levels. The results of this study reveal that J. curcas in Chiapas has genetic diversity that is greater than that reported in other parts of the world, which represents a potential germplasm pool for the selection of genotypes.
Silicon nanoparticles of 100 nm obtained by high-energy ball milling were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). Results show dark areas due to a staking of defects. On the other hand, brighter areas exhibit a combination of small crystalline and amorphous zones. To fulfill and cover the micro-cracking and micro-pores generated during the welding process of 304 stainless steels joined by brazing, these nanoparticles were deposited directly in the fracture. The amorphous silicon drove the Transient Liquid Phase (TLP) at 1000°C for 20 min. This amorphous silicon decreases the energies of reaction between the substrate and melting filler. TLP increases the wettability and capillary forces between micro-cracking and micro-pores; due to that, the eutectic phase contained by the melting filler forms a liquid. Moreover, the weld beads were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to analyze the effect of silicon nanoparticles on the weld beads. These results showed that the interaction of the Si nanoparticles with metallic filler in the melting zone decreases the size and change the morphology of the present phases as well as the zone of isothermic growth.
Density functional theory and molecular dynamics were used to study the generation of hydrogen peroxide around a nickel atom anchored on a pyridine-like nitrogen-doped graphene (PNG) layer. First, we found that two hydrogen molecules are adsorbed around the nickel atom, with adsorption energy 0.95 eV/molecule. Then we studied the interaction of oxygen molecules with this system at atmospheric pressure and 300 K. It is found that two hydrogen peroxide molecules are formed. However, at 700 K, one hydrogen peroxide molecule, and one water molecule are desorbed. One oxygen atom stays bound to the nickel atom.
We study the existence and uniqueness of non-negative solutions of the nonlinear parabolic equation
posed in Q = RN × (0, ∞) with general initial data u(x, 0) = u0(x) ≧ 0. We find optimal exponential growth conditions for existence of solutions. Similar conditions apply for uniqueness, but the growth rate is different. Such conditions strongly depart from the linear case m = 1, ut = Δu – u, and also from the purely diffusive case ut = Δum.
FEBEX (Full-scale Engineered Barrier EXperiment) is a demonstration and research project dealing with the bentonite engineered barrier designed for sealing and containment of waste in a high level radioactive waste repository (HLWR). It includes two main experiments: an situ full-scale test performed at Grimsel (GTS) and a mock-up test operating since February 1997 at CIEMAT facilities in Madrid (Spain) [1,2,3]. One of the objectives of FEBEX is the development and testing of conceptual and numerical models for the thermal, hydrodynamic, and geochemical (THG) processes expected to take place in engineered clay barriers. A significant improvement in coupled THG modeling of the clay barrier has been achieved both in terms of a better understanding of THG processes and more sophisticated THG computer codes. The ability of these models to reproduce the observed THG patterns in a wide range of THG conditions enhances the confidence in their prediction capabilities. Numerical THG models of heating and hydration experiments performed on small-scale lab cells provide excellent results for temperatures, water inflow and final water content in the cells . Calculated concentrations at the end of the experiments reproduce most of the patterns of measured data. In general, the fit of concentrations of dissolved species is better than that of exchanged cations. These models were later used to simulate the evolution of the large-scale experiments (in situ and mock-up). Some thermo-hydrodynamic hypotheses and bentonite parameters were slightly revised during TH calibration of the mock-up test. The results of the reference model reproduce simultaneously the observed water inflows and bentonite temperatures and relative humidities. Although the model is highly sensitive to one-at-a-time variations in model parameters, the possibility of parameter combinations leading to similar fits cannot be precluded. The TH model of the “in situ” test is based on the same bentonite TH parameters and assumptions as for the “mock-up” test. Granite parameters were slightly modified during the calibration process in order to reproduce the observed thermal and hydrodynamic evolution. The reference model captures properly relative humidities and temperatures in the bentonite . It also reproduces the observed spatial distribution of water pressures and temperatures in the granite. Once calibrated the TH aspects of the model, predictions of the THG evolution of both tests were performed. Data from the dismantling of the in situ test, which is planned for the summer of 2001, will provide a unique opportunity to test and validate current THG models of the EBS.
This paper reports on the structures and properties of Y1Ba2Cu3O9−x samples prepared in precisely controlled oxygen environments using a solid-state ionic technique. By titrating out oxygen at low temperatures, orthorhombic Y1Ba2Cu3O9−x samples were prepared with oxygen contents below 6.50. Resistivity and magnetometry studies indicated that these reduced, orthorhombic samples were marginally superconducting, with their superconductivity probably arising from local regions of higher oxygen content.
In the past years artificially-structured materials have been grown with an increasing degree of sophistication due to steady progress in our ability to control growth processes down to the atomic level. These materials have yielded new physical properties due to the confinement of electrons in less than three dimensions. Thus, the confinement of electrons in two-dimensional (2D) metallic superlattices has resulted in oscillatory magnetic coupling with an associated oscillatory giant magnetoresistance (GMR). New properties are expected when the electrons are further confined to one dimension (1D) of free motion in the structures known as quantum wires. In this report we briefly describe two recent examples of atomic-scale engineering of materials. In the first case a surfactant is used to purposely modify the structure of magnetic/non magnetic superlattices. The second example illustrates a further reduction in dimensionality obtained by modifying the substrate onto which the growth takes place: the fabrication of 1D magnetic quantum wires on vicinal surfaces.