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The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which is the total radiation arriving at Earth's atmosphere from the Sun, is one of the most important forcing of the Earths climate. Measurements of the TSI have been made employing instruments on board several space-based platforms during the last four solar cycles. However, combining these measurements is still challenging due to the degradation of the sensor elements and the long-term stability of the electronics. Here we describe the preliminary efforts to design an absolute radiometer based on the principle of electrical substitution that is under development at Brazilian's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
The enzymatic activities of NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase are important to regulate the concentration of adenine nucleotides, known molecules involved in many physiological functions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the activity of NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase in serum and liver tissue of rats infected by Fasciola hepatica. Rats were divided into two groups: uninfected control and infected. NTPDase activity for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and ADP substrates in the liver was higher compared with the control group at 15 days post-infection (PI), while seric activity was lower. In addition, seric and hepatic samples did not show changes for 5′nucleotidase activity at this time. On the other hand, either NTPDase or 5′nucleotidase activities in liver homogenate and serum were higher at 87 days PI. Early in the infection, low NTPDase activity maintains an increase of ATP in the bloodstream in order to activate host immune response, while in hepatic tissue it decreases extracellular ATP to maintain a low inflammatory response in the tissue. As stated, higher NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase activities 87 days after infection in serum and tissue, probably results on an increased concentration of adenosine molecule which stimulates a Th2 immune response. Thus, it is possible to conclude that F. hepatica infections lead to different levels of nucleotide degradation when considering the two stages of infection studied, which influences the inflammatory and pathological processes developed by the purinergic system.
To report a case of successful bone-anchored hearing aid implantation in an adult patient with type III osteogenesis imperfecta, which is commonly regarded as a contraindication to this procedure.
A 45-year-old man with type III osteogenesis imperfecta presented with mixed hearing loss. There was a mild sensorineural component in both ears, with an air–bone gap between 45 and 50 dB HL. He was implanted with a bone-anchored hearing aid. The audiological outcome was good, with no complications and good implant stability (as measured by resonance frequency analysis).
To our knowledge, this is the first recorded case of bone-anchored hearing aid implantation in a patient with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnOx:Al) films have been deposited on a moving glass substrate by a high throughput metalorganic chemical vapor deposition process at atmospheric pressure. Thin (< 250 nm) ZnOx:Al films have a poor crystalline quality, due to a small grain size and the presence of different crystallographic orientations. The crystalline quality improves with increasing film thickness (from 50 nm to 1000 nm), resulting in a lower value of resistivity (from 100 Ohm cm to 1·10-3 Ohm cm, respectively). We have investigated the variation in the films’ conductivity and transparency induced by a post-deposition exposure to a He/H2 atmospheric plasma. The resistivity of thin (< 250 nm) films is found to decreased sharply from 100 Ohm cm to about 4·10-3 Ohm cm by a short (∼ seconds) plasma exposure, while the resistivity of thicker films remains unaffected.
The solar cells employed in low to medium (50 to 200 suns) concentration photovoltaic (CPV) are usually mono-crystalline silicon. Laser Groove Buried Contacts (LGBC) are preferred to screen printing in these cells due to the high currents generated in the system. In this paper, we report on the use of Coherence Correlation Interferometry (CCI) to accurately measure the width and depth of the laser-ablated grooves. In addition, the technique is also used to measure the surface roughness at the bottom of the trenches, since this can determine the success of the subsequent plating process, and at the top surface to optimize the debris control and obtain clean surfaces and well-shaped groove edges. The laser ablation process was also optimized to obtain the groove aspect ratio and surface quality required. Process parameters to be controlled include laser power, pulse energy, stage speed and focal length. The CCI technique is capable of providing all the groove and surface metrology required for this process optimization.
We present the results of a multiwavelength campaign searching for young objects in the intragroup medium of seven compact groups of galaxies: HCG 2, 7, 22, 23, 92, 100 and NGC 92. We used Fabry-Perot velocity fields and rotation curves together with GALEX NUV and FUV images, optical R-band and HI maps to evaluate the stage of interaction of each group. We conclude that groups (i) HCG 7 and HCG 23 are in an early stage of interaction, (ii) HCG 2 and HCG 22 are mildly interacting, and (iii) HCG 92, HCG 100 and NGC 92 are in a late stage of evolution. Evolved groups have a population of young objects in their intragroup medium while no such population is found within the less evolved groups. We also report the discovery of a tidal dwarf galaxy candidate in the tail of NGC 92. These three groups, besides containing galaxies which have peculiar velocity fields, also show extended HI tails. Our results indicate that the advanced stage of evolution of a group together with the presence of intragroup HI clouds may lead to star formation in the intragroup medium.
The studies developed at CST sinter plant in order to point out any factor that may have an effect on plume visibility are reported. Specific software and indexes have been developed. The approach included a retrospective analysis followed by further industrial tests at the sinter plant with different material input (fuels and raw materials). The results are discussed with reference to potential effects on the plume visibility. Further steps are considered to progress the stack plume project.
Raw material yard management and the feeding of the blast furnaces
are essential processes for an integrated steelwork, and for CST
in particular as the Company plans to raise their annual output from
5 to 7.5 Mt. Accordingly, CST has developed a model of raw material
supply that takes into account every step of the cycle. The model
includes two complementary modules, one for supply and
consumption of the raw materials and the other one for raw materials
transport. The model has revealed the need for a significant
increase of the conveyor capacity and has made it possible to define
more appropriate priority rules.
Thin film nanogranular composites of cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) dispersed in a barium titanate (BaTiO3) matrix were deposited by laser ablation with different cobalt ferrite concentrations (x). The films were polycrystalline and composed by a mixture of tetragonal-BaTiO3 and CoFe2O4 with the cubic spinnel structure. A slight (111) barium titanate phase orientation and (311) CoFe2O4 phase orientation was observed. As the concentration of the cobalt ferrite increased, the grain size of the BaTiO3 phase decreased, from 91nm to 30nm, up to 50% CoFe2O4 concentration, beyond which the BaTiO3 grain size take values in the range 30-35nm. On the other hand the cobalt ferrite grain size did not show a clear trend with increasing cobalt ferrite concentration, fluctuating in the range 25nm to 30nm. The lattice parameter of the CoFe2O4 phase increased with increasing x. However, it was always smaller than the bulk value indicating that, in the films, the cobalt ferrite was under compressive stress that was progressively relaxed with increasing CoFe2O4 concentration. The magnetic measurements showed a decrease of coercive field with increasing x, which was attributed to the relaxation of the stress in the films and to the increase of particle agglomeration in bigger polycrystalline clusters with increasing cobalt ferrite concentration.
Strontium barium niobate (SBN) thin films were crystallized by conventional electric furnace annealing and by rapid-thermal annealing (RTA) at different temperatures. The average grain size of films was 70 nm and thickness around 500 nm. Using x-ray diffraction, we identified the presence of polycrystalline SBN phase for films annealed from 500 to 700 °C in both cases. Phases such as SrNb2O6 and BaNb2O6 were predominantly crystallized in films annealed at 500 °C, disappearing at higher temperatures. Dielectric and ferroelectric parameters obtained from films crystallized by conventional furnace and RTA presented essentially the same values.