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The Monte Carlo simulation method that has been previously developed and demonstrated for EDXRF analysis with annular radioisotope excitation sources is extended to systems using secondary fluorescer X-ray machines for excitation. Comparisons of the Monte Carlo predictions with experimental results indicate that the modification is valid.
Inherent in the use of radioisotope sources with secondary fluorescers is the background produced by scattering of the source photons from the exciter system. A Monte Carlo program has been developed that is capable of simulating the backscattered photon spectrum as a function of the system geometry, including shielding and collimation variations. This computer program generates the scattered photon spectrum incident on both the sample and detector. The program is applied to a commercially available exciter system to study the effect of specific geometric design changes on the scattered spectrum.
Composition imaging of industrial samples has been reported using dual energy and multiple energy transmission computed tomography [1,2]. The simplest approach utilizes monoenergetic sources to obtain tomographs of a sample at two different energies. Each tomograph represents the linear attenuation coefficient distribution of the sample at the given source energy.
The error introduced by sample scattering in EDXRF analysis is evaluated by Monte Carlo simulation. This is accomplished by deriving a Monte Carlo model capable of simulating single Compton and Rayleigh scatters from the exciting photon source and from fluorescent X rays in homogeneous samples. The model also includes primary, secondary, and tertiary fluorescence events. (1) Results are given for Ni-Fe-Cr ternary samples for various exciting energies with and without scattering and indicate that errors as large as 2% can be attributed to this effect.
A review of the application of the Monte Carlo, fundamental parameters method to XRF fluorescence analysis for the reduction of matrix effects is made. The analytical solutions arising from theoretical equations are given along with the restrictive assumptions that are necessary to this approach. The extensions of the fundamental parameters method by the Monte Carlo simulation to practical situations that require much less restrictive assumptions are outlined. The average angle approach to the use of the analytical solutions is investigated by comparison with the Monte Carlo method. Future extensions of the fundamental parameters method by the Monte Carlo approach are discussed.
The Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading scheme has the ability to predict beef eating quality for each ‘cut×cooking method combination’ from animal and carcass traits such as sex, age, breed, marbling, hot carcass weight and fatness, ageing time, etc. Following MSA testing protocols, a total of 22 different muscles, cooked by four different cooking methods and to three different degrees of doneness, were tasted by over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia. Consumers scored the sensory characteristics (tenderness, flavor liking, juiciness and overall liking) and then allocated samples to one of four quality grades: unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day and premium. We observed that 26% of the beef was unsatisfactory. As previously reported, 68% of samples were allocated to the correct quality grades using the MSA grading scheme. Furthermore, only 7% of the beef unsatisfactory to consumers was misclassified as acceptable. Overall, we concluded that an MSA-like grading scheme could be used to predict beef eating quality and hence underpin commercial brands or labels in a number of European countries, and possibly the whole of Europe. In addition, such an eating quality guarantee system may allow the implementation of an MSA genetic index to improve eating quality through genetics as well as through management. Finally, such an eating quality guarantee system is likely to generate economic benefits to be shared along the beef supply chain from farmers to retailors, as consumers are willing to pay more for a better quality product.
Accurately quantifying a consumer’s willingness to pay (WTP) for beef of different eating qualities is intrinsically linked to the development of eating-quality-based meat grading systems, and therefore the delivery of consistent, quality beef to the consumer. Following Australian MSA (Meat Standards Australia) testing protocols, over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia were asked to detail their willingness to pay for beef from one of four categories that best described the sample; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day or premium quality. These figures were subsequently converted to a proportion relative to the good-every-day category (P-WTP) to allow comparison between different currencies and time periods. Consumers also answered a short demographic questionnaire. Consumer P-WTP was found to be remarkably consistent between different demographic groups. After quality grade, by far the greatest influence on P-WTP was country of origin. This difference was unable to be explained by the other demographic factors examined in this study, such as occupation, gender, frequency of consumption and the importance of beef in the diet. Therefore, we can conclude that the P-WTP for beef is highly transferrable between different consumer groups, but not countries.
To describe the feasibility and assess the safety of using an ultrasonic bone aspirator in endoscopic ear surgery.
Five temporal bones were dissected via endoscopic ear surgery using a Sonopet ultrasonic bone aspirator. Atticoantrostomy was undertaken. Another four bones were dissected using routine endoscopic equipment and standard bone curettes in a similar manner. Feasibility and safety were assessed in terms of: dissection time, atticoantrostomy adequacy, tympanomeatal flap damage, chorda tympani nerve injury, ossicular injury, ossicular chain disruption, facial nerve exposure and dural injury.
The time taken to perform atticoantrostomy was significantly less with the use of the ultrasonic bone aspirator as compared to conventional bone curettes.
The ultrasonic bone aspirator is a feasible option in endoscopic ear surgery. It enables easy bone removal, with no additional complications and greater efficacy than traditional bone curettes. It should be a part of the armamentarium for transcanal endoscopic ear surgery.
We present deep galaxy number counts and colours of K – band selected galaxy surveys. We argue that primeval galaxies are present within the survey data, but have remained unidentified. There are few objects with the colours of an L∗ elliptical galaxy at a redshift of z ≈ 1, in contradiction to standard luminosity evolution models. We present K – band photometry of the objects in a spectroscopic redshift survey selected at 21 < B < 22.5. The absolute K magnitudes of the galaxies are consistent with the no-evolution or pure luminosity evolution models. The excess faint blue galaxies seen in the B – band number counts at intermediate magnitudes are a result of a low normalization, and do not dominate the population until B ≈ 25. Extreme merging or excess dwarf models are not needed at z < 1.
H2CO and OH masers in the H II-region/molecular-cloud complex Sgr B2 have been observed with the VLA and combined with other observations of OH and H2O masers. It is found that groups of the masers and compact continuum components are located along a north-south line extending across the complex. The overall alignment suggests that star formation is being triggered by a single large-scale event such as an interaction between molecular clouds.
This study examined the response of forage crops to composted dairy waste (compost) applied at low rates and investigated effects on soil health. The evenness of spreading compost by commercial machinery was also assessed. An experiment was established on a commercial dairy farm with target rates of compost up to 5 t ha−1 applied to a field containing millet [Echinochloa esculenta (A. Braun) H. Scholz] and Pasja leafy turnip (Brassica hybrid). A pot experiment was also conducted to monitor the response of a legume forage crop (vetch; Vicia sativa L.) on three soils with equivalent rates of compost up to 20 t ha−1 with and without ‘additive blends’ comprising gypsum, lime or other soil treatments. Few significant increases in forage biomass were observed with the application of low rates of compost in either the field or pot experiment. In the field experiment, compost had little impact on crop herbage mineral composition, soil chemical attributes or soil fungal and bacterial biomass. However, small but significant increases were observed in gravimetric water content resulting in up to 22.4 mm of additional plant available water calculated in the surface 0.45 m of soil, 2 years after compost was applied in the field at 6 t ha−1 dried (7.2 t ha−1 undried), compared with the nil control. In the pot experiment, where the soil was homogenized and compost incorporated into the soil prior to sowing, there were significant differences in mineral composition in herbage and in soil. A response in biomass yield to compost was only observed on the sandier and lower fertility soil type, and yields only exceeded that of the conventional fertilizer treatment where rates equivalent to 20 t ha−1 were applied. With few yield responses observed, the justification for applying low rates of compost to forage crops and pastures seems uncertain. Our collective experience from the field and the glasshouse suggests that farmers might increase the response to compost by: (i) increasing compost application rates; (ii) applying it prior to sowing a crop; (iii) incorporating the compost into the soil; (iv) applying only to responsive soil types; (v) growing only responsive crops; and (vi) reducing weed burdens in crops following application. Commercial machinery incorporating a centrifugal twin disc mechanism was shown to deliver double the quantity of compost in the area immediately behind the spreader compared with the edges of the spreading swathe. Spatial variability in the delivery of compost could be reduced but not eliminated by increased overlapping, but this might represent a potential 20% increase in spreading costs.
The beef industry must become more responsive to the changing market place and consumer demands. An essential part of this is quantifying a consumer’s perception of the eating quality of beef and their willingness to pay for that quality, across a broad range of demographics. Over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland and France each tasted seven beef samples and scored them for tenderness, juiciness, flavour liking and overall liking. These scores were weighted and combined to create a fifth score, termed the Meat Quality 4 score (MQ4) (0.3×tenderness, 0.1×juiciness, 0.3×flavour liking and 0.3×overall liking). They also allocated the beef samples into one of four quality grades that best described the sample; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day or premium. After the completion of the tasting panel, consumers were then asked to detail, in their own currency, their willingness to pay for these four categories which was subsequently converted to a proportion relative to the good-every-day category (P-WTP). Consumers also answered a short demographic questionnaire. The four sensory scores, the MQ4 score and the P-WTP were analysed separately, as dependant variables in linear mixed effects models. The answers from the demographic questionnaire were included in the model as fixed effects. Overall, there were only small differences in consumer scores and P-WTP between demographic groups. Consumers who preferred their beef cooked medium or well-done scored beef higher, except in Poland, where the opposite trend was found. This may be because Polish consumers were more likely to prefer their beef cooked well-done, but samples were cooked medium for this group. There was a small positive relationship with the importance of beef in the diet, increasing sensory scores by about 4% in Poland and Northern Ireland. Men also scored beef about 2% higher than women for most sensory scores in most countries. In most countries, consumers were willing to pay between 150 and 200% more for premium beef, and there was a 50% penalty in value for unsatisfactory beef. After quality grade, by far the greatest influence on P-WTP was country of origin. Consumer age also had a small negative relationship with P-WTP. The results indicate that a single quality score could reliably describe the eating quality experienced by all consumers. In addition, if reliable quality information is delivered to consumers they will pay more for better quality beef, which would add value to the beef industry and encourage improvements in quality.
Quantifying consumer responses to beef across a broad range of demographics, nationalities and cooking methods is vitally important for any system evaluating beef eating quality. On the basis of previous work, it was expected that consumer scores would be highly accurate in determining quality grades for beef, thereby providing evidence that such a technique could be used to form the basis of and eating quality grading system for beef. Following the Australian MSA (Meat Standards Australia) testing protocols, over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia tasted cooked beef samples, then allocated them to a quality grade; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day and premium. The consumers also scored beef samples for tenderness, juiciness, flavour-liking and overall-liking. The beef was sourced from all countries involved in the study and cooked by four different cooking methods and to three different degrees of doneness, with each experimental group in the study consisting of a single cooking doneness within a cooking method for each country. For each experimental group, and for the data set as a whole, a linear discriminant function was calculated, using the four sensory scores which were used to predict the quality grade. This process was repeated using two conglomerate scores which are derived from weighting and combining the consumer sensory scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavour-liking and overall-liking, the original meat quality 4 score (oMQ4) (0.4, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) and current meat quality 4 score (cMQ4) (0.3, 0.1, 0.3, 0.3). From the results of these analyses, the optimal weightings of the sensory scores to generate an ‘ideal meat quality 4 score (MQ4)’ for each country were calculated, and the MQ4 values that reflected the boundaries between the four quality grades were determined. The oMQ4 weightings were far more accurate in categorising European meat samples than the cMQ4 weightings, highlighting that tenderness is more important than flavour to the consumer when determining quality. The accuracy of the discriminant analysis to predict the consumer scored quality grades was similar across all consumer groups, 68%, and similar to previously reported values. These results demonstrate that this technique, as used in the MSA system, could be used to predict consumer assessment of beef eating quality and therefore to underpin a commercial eating quality guarantee for all European consumers.
In 1985 we began a search for OH/IR objects in the Magellanic Clouds. The first detection was reported by Wood, Bessell & Whiteoak (1986). Subsequent searches have yielded several of these objects and other highly-evolved stars obscured by thick circumstellar shells.
The 1612-MHz OH observations were made using the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. Most of the observations utilized a dual-channel cryogenic receiver providing a system temperature of around 38 K on cold sky. The OH spectra were obtained with the Parkes digital correlator split into 512-channel segments. Bandwidths of 2 MHz provided a resolution of 7.8 kHz (equivalent to 1.5 km s−1 in radial velocity) after Hanning smoothing. The mode of observation has been described by Whiteoak and Gardner (1976). Typically, an integration period of 60 minutes was used; this yielded a detection limit (3a) of around 50 mJy for an OH feature. Detected emission was reobserved with a 1-MHz bandwidth. A search was also made for 1665-MHz OH emission.
We report the first results of the ongoing survey using HST/WFPC2 (F300W) in parallel with ACS within the Chandra Deep Field South. A sample of 34 objects were identified in the WFPC2 images and their counterparts were found in the ACS images taken by the GOODS team; 6 of them are stars. Galaxies were classified as early-, late-types, and starbursts by template fitting which was also used to determine their photometric redshifts (z< 1). Analysis of the light concentration, asymmetry and clumpiness shows that this sample is a mixed bag, containing dwarf ellipticals, early- and late-spirals, and peculiar objects which resemble mergers in progress. This result has important implications for galaxy evolution since the intermediate redshifts are the epoch when the rise in the volume-averaged star formation rate occurs.
The luminosity function of galaxies is central to many problems in cosmology, including the interpretation of faint number counts. The near-infrared provides several advantages over the optical for statistical studies of galaxies, including smooth and well-understood K-corrections and expected luminosity evolution. The K–band is dominated by near-solar mass stars which make up the bulk of the galaxy. The absolute K magnitude is a measure of the visible mass in a galaxy, and thus the K–band luminosity function is an observational counterpart of the mass function of galaxies.
European conformation and fat grades are a major factor determining carcass value throughout Europe. The relationships between these scores and sensory scores were investigated. A total of 3786 French, Polish and Irish consumers evaluated steaks, grilled to a medium doneness, according to protocols of the ‘Meat Standards Australia’ system, from 18 muscles representing 455 local, commercial cattle from commercial abattoirs. A mixed linear effects model was used for the analysis. There was a negative relationship between juiciness and European conformation score. For the other sensory scores, a maximum of three muscles out of a possible 18 demonstrated negative effects of conformation score on sensory scores. There was a positive effect of European fat score on three individual muscles. However, this was accounted for by marbling score. Thus, while the European carcass classification system may indicate yield, it has no consistent relationship with sensory scores at a carcass level that is suitable for use in a commercial system. The industry should consider using an additional system related to eating quality to aid in the determination of the monetary value of carcasses, rewarding eating quality in addition to yield.
Delivering beef of consistent quality to the consumer is vital for consumer satisfaction and will help to ensure demand and therefore profitability within the beef industry. In Australia, this is being tackled with Meat Standards Australia (MSA), which uses carcass traits and processing factors to deliver an individual eating quality guarantee to the consumer for 135 different ‘cut by cooking methods’ from each carcass. The carcass traits used in the MSA model, such as ossification score, carcass weight and marbling explain the majority of the differences between breeds and sexes. Therefore, it was expected that the model would predict with eating quality of bulls and dairy breeds with good accuracy. In total, 8128 muscle samples from 482 carcasses from France, Poland, Ireland and Northern Ireland were MSA graded at slaughter then evaluated for tenderness, juiciness, flavour liking and overall liking by untrained consumers, according to MSA protocols. The scores were weighted (0.3, 0.1, 0.3, 0.3) and combined to form a global eating quality (meat quality (MQ4)) score. The carcasses were grouped into one of the three breed categories: beef breeds, dairy breeds and crosses. The difference between the actual and the MSA-predicted MQ4 scores were analysed using a linear mixed effects model including fixed effects for carcass hang method, cook type, muscle type, sex, country, breed category and postmortem ageing period, and random terms for animal identification, consumer country and kill group. Bulls had lower MQ4 scores than steers and females and were predicted less accurately by the MSA model. Beef breeds had lower eating quality scores than dairy breeds and crosses for five out of the 16 muscles tested. Beef breeds were also over predicted in comparison with the cross and dairy breeds for six out of the 16 muscles tested. Therefore, even after accounting for differences in carcass traits, bulls still differ in eating quality when compared with females and steers. Breed also influenced eating quality beyond differences in carcass traits. However, in this case, it was only for certain muscles. This should be taken into account when estimating the eating quality of meat. In addition, the coefficients used by the Australian MSA model for some muscles, marbling score and ultimate pH do not exactly reflect the influence of these factors on eating quality in this data set, and if this system was to be applied to Europe then the coefficients for these muscles and covariates would need further investigation.
Ossification score and animal age are both used as proxies for maturity-related collagen crosslinking and consequently decreases in beef tenderness. Ossification score is strongly influenced by the hormonal status of the animal and may therefore better reflect physiological maturity and consequently eating quality. As part of a broader cross-European study, local consumers scored 18 different muscle types cooked in three ways from 482 carcasses with ages ranging from 590 to 6135 days and ossification scores ranging from 110 to 590. The data were studied across three different maturity ranges; the complete range of maturities, a lesser range and a more mature range. The lesser maturity group consisted of carcasses having either an ossification score of 200 or less or an age of 987 days or less with the remainder in the greater maturity group. The three different maturity ranges were analysed separately with a linear mixed effects model. Across all the data, and for the greater maturity group, animal age had a greater magnitude of effect on eating quality than ossification score. This is likely due to a loss of sensitivity in mature carcasses where ossification approached and even reached the maximum value. In contrast, age had no relationship with eating quality for the lesser maturity group, leaving ossification score as the more appropriate measure. Therefore ossification score is more appropriate for most commercial beef carcasses, however it is inadequate for carcasses with greater maturity such as cull cows. Both measures may therefore be required in models to predict eating quality over populations with a wide range in maturity.