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We develop a physical and computational model for performing fully coupled, grain-resolved direct numerical simulations of cohesive sediment, based on the immersed boundary method. The model distributes the cohesive forces over a thin shell surrounding each particle, thereby allowing for the spatial and temporal resolution of the cohesive forces during particle–particle interactions. The influence of the cohesive forces is captured by a single dimensionless parameter in the form of a cohesion number, which represents the ratio of cohesive and gravitational forces acting on a particle. We test and validate the cohesive force model for binary particle interactions in the drafting–kissing–tumbling (DKT) configuration. Cohesive sediment grains can remain attached to each other during the tumbling phase following the initial collision, thereby giving rise to the formation of flocs. The DKT simulations demonstrate that cohesive particle pairs settle in a preferred orientation, with particles of very different sizes preferentially aligning themselves in the vertical direction, so that the smaller particle is drafted in the wake of the larger one. This preferred orientation of cohesive particle pairs is found to remain influential for systems of higher complexity. To this end, we perform large simulations of 1261 polydisperse settling particles starting from rest. These simulations reproduce several earlier experimental observations by other authors, such as the accelerated settling of sand and silt particles due to particle bonding, the stratification of cohesive sediment deposits, and the consolidation process of the deposit. They identify three characteristic phases of the polydisperse settling process, viz. (i) initial stir-up phase with limited flocculation, (ii) enhanced settling phase characterized by increased flocculation, and (iii) consolidation phase. The simulations demonstrate that cohesive forces accelerate the overall settling process primarily because smaller grains attach to larger ones and settle in their wakes. For the present cohesive number values, we observe that settling can be accelerated by up to 29 %. We propose physically based parametrization of classical hindered settling functions introduced by earlier authors, in order to account for cohesive forces. An investigation of the energy budget shows that, even though the work of the collision forces is much smaller than that of the hydrodynamic drag forces, it can substantially modify the relevant energy conversion processes.
The effect of transportation and lairage on the faecal shedding and post-slaughter contamination of carcasses with Escherichia coli O157 and O26 in young calves (4–7-day-old) was assessed in a cohort study at a regional calf-processing plant in the North Island of New Zealand, following 60 calves as cohorts from six dairy farms to slaughter. Multiple samples from each animal at pre-slaughter (recto-anal mucosal swab) and carcass at post-slaughter (sponge swab) were collected and screened using real-time PCR and culture isolation methods for the presence of E. coli O157 and O26 (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and non-STEC). Genotype analysis of E. coli O157 and O26 isolates provided little evidence of faecal–oral transmission of infection between calves during transportation and lairage. Increased cross-contamination of hides and carcasses with E. coli O157 and O26 between co-transported calves was confirmed at pre-hide removal and post-evisceration stages but not at pre-boning (at the end of dressing prior to chilling), indicating that good hygiene practices and application of an approved intervention effectively controlled carcass contamination. This study was the first of its kind to assess the impact of transportation and lairage on the faecal carriage and post-harvest contamination of carcasses with E. coli O157 and O26 in very young calves.
X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) is a technique which can obtain three-dimensional images of a sample, including its internal structure, without the need for destructive sectioning. Here, we review the capability of the technique and examine its potential to provide novel insights into the lifestyles of parasites embedded within host tissue. The current capabilities and limitations of the technology in producing contrast in soft tissues are discussed, as well as the potential solutions for parasitologists looking to apply this technique. We present example images of the mouse whipworm Trichuris muris and discuss the application of μCT to provide unique insights into parasite behaviour and pathology, which are inaccessible to other imaging modalities.
This paper reviews the literature examining the relationship between women’s empowerment and contraceptive use, unmet need for contraception and related family planning topics in developing countries. Searches were conducted using PubMed, Popline and Web of Science search engines in May 2013 to examine literature published between January 1990 and December 2012. Among the 46 articles included in the review, the majority were conducted in South Asia (n=24). Household decision-making (n=21) and mobility (n=17) were the most commonly examined domains of women’s empowerment. Findings show that the relationship between empowerment and family planning is complex, with mixed positive and null associations. Consistently positive associations between empowerment and family planning outcomes were found for most family planning outcomes but those investigations represented fewer than two-fifths of the analyses. Current use of contraception was the most commonly studied family planning outcome, examined in more than half the analyses, but reviewed articles showed inconsistent findings. This review provides the first critical synthesis of the literature and assesses existing evidence between women’s empowerment and family planning use.
Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars’ atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather ‘storms’ caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.
The intricate hierarchical microstructures typical of biological materials give rise to fascinating combinations of anisotropic mechanical properties that can surpass those of man-made materials. The linking together of three-dimensional (3D) imaging techniques has the potential to reveal these structures in unprecedented detail. However, a complete understanding can only be reached if the relationship between structure and mechanical properties can be elucidated. X-ray-computed tomography (CT) is uniquely placed to image such structures across a wide range of length scales. We review recent technical advances that are leading to improved contrast and spatial resolution. We highlight how time-lapse CT 3D studies can track the response of hierarchical microstructures to mechanical loading.
Recent studies suggest that sand can serve as a vehicle for exposure of humans to pathogens at beach sites, resulting in increased health risks. Sampling for microorganisms in sand should therefore be considered for inclusion in regulatory programmes aimed at protecting recreational beach users from infectious disease. Here, we review the literature on pathogen levels in beach sand, and their potential for affecting human health. In an effort to provide specific recommendations for sand sampling programmes, we outline published guidelines for beach monitoring programmes, which are currently focused exclusively on measuring microbial levels in water. We also provide background on spatial distribution and temporal characteristics of microbes in sand, as these factors influence sampling programmes. First steps toward establishing a sand sampling programme include identifying appropriate beach sites and use of initial sanitary assessments to refine site selection. A tiered approach is recommended for monitoring. This approach would include the analysis of samples from many sites for faecal indicator organisms and other conventional analytes, while testing for specific pathogens and unconventional indicators is reserved for high-risk sites. Given the diversity of microbes found in sand, studies are urgently needed to identify the most significant aetiological agent of disease and to relate microbial measurements in sand to human health risk.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited childhood-onset life-shortening disease. It is characterized by increased respiratory production, leading to airway obstruction, chronic lung infection and inflammatory reactions. The most common bacteria causing persisting infections in people with CF is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Superparamagnetic Fe3O4 iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) conjugated to the antibiotic (tobramycin), guided by a gradient of the magnetic field or subjected to an oscillating magnetic field, show promise in improving the drug delivery across the mucus and P. aeruginosa biofilm to the bacteria. The question remains whether tobramycin needs to be released from the NPs after the penetration of the mucus barrier in order to act upon the pathogenic bacteria. We used a zero-length 1-ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl] carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) crosslinking agent to couple tobramycin, via its amine groups, to the carboxyl groups on Fe3O4 NPs capped with citric acid. The therapeutic efficiency of Fe3O4 NPs attached to the drug versus that of the free drug was investigated in P. aeruginosa culture.