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Background: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are congenital structural abnormalities of the brain, and represent the most common cause of medication-resistant focal epilepsy in children and adults. Recent studies have shown that somatic mutations (i.e. mutations arising in the embryo) in mTOR pathway genes underlie some FCD cases. Specific therapies targeting the mTOR pathway are available. However, testing for somatic mTOR pathway mutations in FCD tissue is not performed on a clinical basis, and the contribution of such mutations to the pathogenesis of FCD remains unknown. Aim: To investigate the feasibility of screening for somatic mutations in resected FCD tissue and determine the proportion and spatial distribution of FCDs which are due to low-level somatic mTOR pathway mutations. Methods: We performed ultra-deep sequencing of 13 mTOR pathway genes using a custom HaloPlexHS target enrichment kit (Agilent Technologies) in 16 resected histologically-confirmed FCD specimens. Results: We identified causal variants in 62.5% (10/16) of patients at an alternate allele frequency of 0.75–33.7%. The spatial mutation frequency correlated with the FCD lesion’s size and severity. Conclusions: Screening FCD tissue using a custom panel results in a high yield, and should be considered clinically given the important potential implications regarding surgical resection, medical management and genetic counselling.
A computerized systetn, consisting of a fluorescence x-ray source (Philips), an Si (Li) detector (Ortec), and a mini Computer (Xerox) is currentiy in operation at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Experimentel Pathology Section, for the analysis of trace elements in biological specimens. The elements of interest are Fe, Cu, and Zn for possible significance in the detection and study of cancer. The detection system is being used for comparatively routine analysis of these elements, which are present in blood serum in the ppM range. With appropriate sample preparation techniques, using 1 ml of serum, the limit of detectability for these elements is estimated to be 100 ppB (1 in 107). Further refinement is possible, and research in this direction continues.
Although the registration of a robot is crucial in order to identify its pose with respect to a tracking system, there is no reported solution to address this issue for a hybrid robot. Different from classical registration, the registration of a hybrid robot requires the need to solve an equation with three unknowns where two of these unknowns are coupled together. This property makes it difficult to obtain a closed-form solution. This paper is a first attempt to solve the registration of a hybrid robot. The Degradation-Kronecker (D-K) method is proposed as an optimal closed-form solution for the registration of a hybrid robot in this paper. Since closed-form methods generally suffer from limited accuracy, a purely nonlinear (PN) method is proposed to complement the D-K method. With simulation and experiment results, it has been found that both methods are robust. The PN method is more accurate but slower as compared to the D-K method. The fast computation property of the D-K method makes it appropriate to be applied in real-time circumstances, while the PN method is suitable to be applied where good accuracy is preferred.
This paper presents a novel method to determine the workspace of parallel manipulators using a variant of the Firefly Algorithm, which is one of the emerging techniques in swarm artificial intelligence. The workspace is defined as a set of all the coordinates in the search space that are accessible by the parallel manipulator end effector. The workspace formulation of the parallel manipulator considered in this paper has actuated and passive joint displacements which values are limited by their physical constraints. A special fitness function that discriminates between accessible and inaccessible coordinates is formulated based on the joint limitations. By finding these coordinates using the proposed Firefly Algorithm, the workspace of the manipulator can be constructed. The proposed method is an easy-to-implement alternative solution to the current numerical methods for workspace determination. The method consists of two stages of operation. The first stage maps the workspace to find the initial results with a space filling approach, in which a number of coordinates in the workspace are identified. The second stage refines the results with a boundary detection approach which focuses on the mapping of the boundaries of the workspace. The method is illustrated by its application to determine the 2D, 3D, and 6D workspaces of a Gough--Stewart Platform manipulator. Furthermore, the method is compared with a more rigorous interval analysis method in terms of computational cost and accuracy.
In this paper the Weyl limit-point and limit-circle theory of second-order differential equations is extended to the case that the weight function is allowed to take on both positive and negative values—the polar case. This extension is achieved using Weyl's limit circle method.
We perform a theoretical evaluation of the strain field in a p-channel transistor with silicongermanium (Si1−yGey) stressors in the source and drain regions. The strain field comprises a lateral compressive strain component and a vertical tensile strain component. The lateral strain component is larger in magnitude and more uniformly distributed as compared to the vertical strain component. The impact of transistor design parameters, such as the Ge mole fraction y in the stressors, the spacing L between stressors, the stressor depth, and the raised stressor height, on the strain field are investigated. Hole mobility enhancement larger than 30% is achievable wth L = 50 nm and y = 0.15. More aggressive mobility enhancement targets may be achievable by reducing the stressor spacing and employing a stressor with a larger lattice mismatch with the Si channel.
Magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles are prime candidates for biomedical applications due to their biocompatibility and good magnetic properties. However, magnetite is highly susceptible to oxidation when exposed to the atmosphere. In order to preserve their properties, it is important for the particles to maintain their magnetite phase. In this study, magnetite nanoparticles were prepared using the conventional co3precipitation of ferrous (Fe2+) and ferric (Fe3+) chloride salt solutions with sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was subsequently carried out to identify the transition temperatures. Energy Dispersive X3Ray (EDX) spectrum shows the presence of impurities, such as sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions in the as3synthesized magnetite nanoparticles. The as3synthesized samples were then calcined in a chamber furnace according to TGA data. The calcined samples were next characterised by X3ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM) to determine the changes in phase and magnetic properties of the nanoparticles as a function of different calcination temperatures.
In present report, we have studied the initial stage of the growth of crystalline yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) films on the natively oxidized Si (100) wafer by pulsed-laser deposition. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high-resoluti on transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) show that, for the first few monolayers of crystalline YSZ deposited on Si (100), the dynamic processes appear to be the decomposition of SiO2 to SiO, the formation of ZrO2, and the desorption of SiO. The native amorphous silicon oxide layer is removed completely with the continued deposition of YSZ and the oxygen in this layer is used as oxygen source for forming stable crystalline oxide film. XPS depth profile and HRTEM investigation showed that the interface of crystalline YSZ film in contact with silicon was found to be atomically sharp and commensurately crystallized without an amorphous layer. The interface structure is suggested to have a sequence of-Si-O-Zr-O-. For the film with electrical equivalent oxide thickness 1.46 nm, the leakage current is about 1.1×10-3 A/cm2 at 1 V bias voltage. The hysteresis and interface state density in this film are measured to be less than 10 mV and 2.0×1011eV-1cm-2.
In present report, we have studied the initial stage of the growth of crystalline yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) films on the natively oxidized Si (100) wafer by pulsed-laser deposition. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high-resoluti on transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) show that, for the first few monolayers of crystalline YSZ deposited on Si (100), the dynamic processes appear to be the decomposition of SiO2 to SiO, the formation of ZrO2, and the desorption of SiO. The native amorphous silicon oxide layer is removed completely with the continued deposition of YSZ and the oxygen in this layer is used as oxygen source for forming stable crystalline oxide film. XPS depth profile and HRTEM investigation showed that the interface of crystalline YSZ film in contact with silicon was found to be atomically sharp and commensurately crystallized without an amorphous layer. The interface structure is suggested to have a sequence of-Si-O-Zr-O-. For the film with electrical equivalent oxide thickness 1.46 nm, the leakage current is about 1.1×10- A/cm2 at 1 V bias voltage. The hysteresis and interface state density in this film are measured to be less than 10 mV and 2.0×1011eV-1cm-2.
ZnO films with orientations of (001), (110), and (100) were fabricated on silicon by different substrate biases at low temperature. Dynamic cathodoluminescence (CL) dependence on electron bombardment revealed unstable Zn-N bonding if N2 was used as a predecessor. CL under various accelerated voltages showed the possible energies of Zn-N. N-related photoluminescence (PL) at low temperature confirmed that nitrogen was released after annealing. These N-doping behaviors agreed to the theoretical calculation.
An efficient flexible top-emitting organic light-emitting device (OLED) was fabricated on an aluminum-laminated polyethylene terephthalate substrate. A spin-coated light-emitting polymer layer was sandwiched between a silver anode and a multi-layered semitransparent cathode. The performance of polymer OLEDs was analyzed and compared with that of the devices having a conventional structure. An optical microcavity formed in the device enables to tune the emission color by varying the thickness of the active polymer layer. The OLEDs having a 110-nm-thick active polymer layer exhibited superior electroluminescence performance, with a turn-on voltage of 2.5V and a luminance efficiency of 4.56 cd/A at an operating voltage of 10V.
This chapter focuses on the fabrication and characterization of a microcage for biopsy applications. A microcage based on a free-standing film could be opened/closed through substrate heating with a maximum temperature of 90 °C, or Joule heating with a power less than 5 mW and a maximum response frequency of 300 Hz. A TiNi/diamond-like-carbon (DLC) microcage has been designed, analyzed, fabricated and characterized. The bimorph structure is composed of a top layer of TiNi film and a bottom layer of highly compressively stressed DLC for upward bending once it is released from the substrate. The fingers of the microcage quickly close through the shape memory effect once the temperature reaches the austenite transformation point to execute the gripping action. Opening of the microcage is realized by either decreasing the temperature to make use of the martensitic transformation or further increasing the temperature to use the bimorph thermal effect. The biocompatibility of both the TiNi and DLC films has been investigated using a cell-culture method.
The wireless capsule endoscope (WCE) is a new diagnostic tool for searching for the cause of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding. A WCE contains video imaging, self-illumination, image transmission modules and a battery [1, 2]. The indwelling camera takes images and uses wireless radio transmission to send the images to a receiving recorder device that the patient wears around the waist. However, there are two drawbacks for the current WCE: (1) lack of ability for biopsy; and (2) difficulty in identifying the precise location of the pathology. Without tissue diagnosis, it is often difficult to differentiate inflammatory lesions from tumour infiltration.
Forest disturbance, conversion and recovery
J. S. Wallace, CSIRO Land and Water, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia,
A. Young, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK,
C. K. Ong, Regional Land Management Unit, RELMA, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, Nairobi, Kenya
Improving the efficiency of land and water resource use
Much of the future increase in food and wood production in the humid tropics (and elsewhere), necessary to meet the needs of increasing populations and to reduce hunger and poverty, will have to be achieved from land and water resources already in use. Field observation shows that the extent of the ‘land balance’ – land that could be used for productive purposes but is not currently in use – is very limited. Estimates by FAO and associated organisations appear to show substantial areas which are cultivable but not presently cultivated (Alexandratos, 1995; Bot et al., 2000). However, the validity of these estimates has recently been challenged, suggesting that the ‘land balance’ may be 50% or less of that in the official estimates (Young, 1998; 2000). Moreover, a large proportion of the ‘land balance’ is under forest, for example in Brazil, Congo Democratic Republic (formerly Zaire), Indonesia, Peru and Venezuela, clearance of which is strongly opposed for reasons of environment and biodiversity (Alexandratos, 1995).
The above ‘land balance’ issue focuses the associated research agenda on the challenge of improving the efficiency with which existing land and water resources are used. Over the past half-century, great progress has been achieved in this respect. In agriculture, this has been through the advances generally referred to as the green revolution; in forestry, it has been brought about through a variety of improvements in forest management systems, including fast-growing, high-yielding plantations, and by means of genetic improvement.
Interactions between upland rice and three phenologically distinct pigeonpea cultivars were examined on a medium deep Vertisol. The productivity of each intercrop component and its respective sole crop was determined in terms of a crop performance ratio (CPR). The extra-early pigeonpea cultivar recorded the largest partial CPR of grain followed by early and medium genotypes. Spreading genotypes had a larger partial CPR than semi-compact genotypes. However, the CPR of intercropped rice was less (0.65–0.69) with spreading pigeonpeas but exceeded unity with compact types. The canopy structure of pigeonpea appeared to be more important than differences in phenology. A large range of light transmission coefficients (K) existed in pigeonpea (from 0.45 to 0.78) but it is argued that a further reduction in K may not be necessary since intercropped rice yield was unaffected even with a K of 0.64. The relative height of intercropped pigeonpea and upland rice may also determine competitive ability since rice is very sensitive to low light and shading, particularly during the reproductive phase.