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Combinational creativity can play a significant role in supporting designers to produce creative ideas during the early stages of new product development. This paper explores conceptual distances in combinational creativity from computational perspectives. A study conducted indicates that different computational measurements show different conceptual distance results. However, the study suggests far-related ideas could lead to outcomes that are more creative than closely-related ones. This paper provides useful insights into exploring future computational design support tools.
Combinational creativity is a significant element of design in supporting designers to generate creative ideas during the early phases of design. There exists three driven approaches to combinational creativity: problem-, similarity- and inspiration-driven. This study provides further insights into the three combinational creativity driven approaches, exploring which approach could lead to ideas that are more creative in the context of practical product design. The results from a case study reveal that the problem- driven approach could lead to more creative and novel ideas or products compared with the similarity- and inspiration-driven approach. Products originating from the similarity- and inspiration-driven approach are at comparable levels. This study provides better understanding of combinational creativity in practical design. It also delivers benefits to designers in improving creative idea generation, and supports design researchers in exploring future ideation methods and design support tools employing the concept of 'combination'.
In this study, we sought to evaluate the performance of the Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid) assay for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex DNA on fresh and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens from oncology patients in an area with a low prevalence of tuberculosis. We also aimed to retrospectively assess the potential impact of Xpert MTB/RIF on the duration of airborne infection isolation (AII).
A 473-bed, tertiary-care cancer center in New York City.
A total of 203 tissue samples (101 FFPE and 102 fresh) were tested using Xpert MTB/RIF, including 133 pulmonary tissue samples (65.5%) and 70 extrapulmonary tissue samples (34.5%). Acid-fast bacilli (AFB) culture was used as the diagnostic gold standard. The limit of detection (LOD) and reproducibility were also evaluated for both samples types using contrived specimens. The potential impact of the Xpert MTB PCR assay on tissue samples from AII patients on AII duration was retrospectively assessed.
Using the Xpert MTB/RIF for fresh tissue specimens, the sensitivity was 50% (95% CI, 1.3%–98.7%) and the specificity was 99% (95% CI, 94.5%–99.9%). For FFPE tissue specimens, the sensitivity was 100% (95% CI, 63.1%–100%) and the specificity was 98.3% (95% CI, 95.5%–100%. The LOD was 103 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL for both fresh and FFPE tissue specimens, and the Xpert MTB/RIF was 100% reproducible at concentrations 10 times that of the LOD. With an expected turnaround time of 24 hours, the Xpert MTB PCR could decrease the duration of AII from a median of 8 days to a median of 1 day.
The Xpert MTB/RIF assay offers a valid option for ruling out Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) on tissue samples from oncology patients and for minimizing AII resource utilization.
We present possible conceptual designs of a laser system for driving table-top free-electron lasers based on terahertz acceleration. After discussing the achievable performances of laser amplifiers with Yb:YAG at cryogenic and room temperature and Yb:YLF at cryogenic temperature, we present amplification modules with available results and concepts of amplifier chains based on these laser media. Their performances are discussed in light of the specifications for the tasks within the table-top light source. Technical and engineering challenges, such as cooling, control, synchronization and diagnostics, are outlined. Three concepts for the laser layout feeding the accelerator are eventually derived and presented.
The pressure oscillation and terminal shock motion in a two dimensional inlet, which was designed for tandem configuration turbine-based combined cycle propulsion systems was investigated experimentally and numerically, respectively. The inlet was characterised by a bleed cavity upstream the inlet throat, an S-shape rectangular-to-circular diffuser and flowpaths for a turbine and a ramjet engine. The terminal shock motion was calculated through a second-order unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes scheme. The pressure and the terminal shock were unsteady when the combined cycle inlet operated at different conditions. With the terminal shock located in the throat and at the shoulder of the third ramp of the TBCC inlet, the pressure oscillation was significant and the shock exhibited unsteady streamwise motion with an oscillatory pattern. The amplitude of shock oscillation at these two conditions was 6mm and 12mm, respectively. When the shock was located downstream of the throat and upstream of the cowl lip, it oscillated in a small range. We defined this motion as the “shake” of the shock. This unsteady behaviour of the shock was caused by flow separation in the combined cycle inlet diffuser.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Ground-state OH masers identified in the Southern Parkes Large-Area Survey in Hydroxyl were observed with the Australia Telescope Compact Array to obtain positions with high accuracy (~1 arcsec). We classified these OH masers into evolved star OH maser sites, star formation OH maser sites, supernova remnant OH maser sites, planetary nebula OH maser sites and unknown maser sites using their accurate positions. Evolved star and star formation OH maser sites in the Galactic Centre region (between Galactic longitudes of −5° to +5° and Galactic latitudes of −2° and +2°) were studied in detail to understand their distributions.
This study aimed to explore adenoid regrowth after transoral power-assisted adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascial surface.
Transoral adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascia surface was performed on 39 patients under endoscopic guidance, using a power-assisted system. The operation time, amount of blood loss and iatrogenic injury, presence of complications, and success and regrowth rates were recorded to assess the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of our surgical technique.
In this adenoidectomy procedure, the pharyngobasilar fascia was left intact. The estimated blood loss was 5–50 ml (mean 15 ml), and the success rate was 97.3 per cent. Early complications occurred in 2.3 per cent of patients, while no long-term complications occurred in the cohort. No regrowth was found in the follow-up assessments, which were performed for 18–36 months after surgery.
Adenoid regrowth was rare after adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascial surface. The pharyngobasilar fascia can therefore be considered a surgical boundary for adenoidectomy.
Little is known about HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) in newly diagnosed HIV-infected adults in eastern China where the HIV epidemic is spreading predominantly through sexual contact. During 2008–2011, newly HIV-diagnosed adults in Taizhou prefecture, Zhejiang province in eastern China were examined for HIVDR by amplifying and sequencing the HIV-1 pol gene. Of 447 genotyped participants, 53·7% were infected with CRF01_AE, 20·1% with CRF07_BC, 12·5% with subtype B, and 11·6% with CRF08_BC. Most of the participants had one or more minor genetic mutations in the pol gene that are associated with HIVDR. Twelve (2·7%) participants met the standard guidelines of having low to high HIVDR, suggesting that the prevalence of HIVDR in newly HIV-diagnosed adults was low in the study area and current antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens are likely to remain effective. However, given high frequency of minor HIVDR in HIV patients and the scaling up of ART programmes in China, larger HIVDR surveillance programmes are needed.
The ability of silver (Ag)-containing borate bioactive glass (BG) coatings to improve the biocompatibility and antibacterial properties of titanium (Ti) implants was investigated in vitro and in vivo in a rabbit tibial fracture model. Dense coatings of borate BG (thickness ≈ 20 μm) containing 0, 0.75, and 1.0 wt% Ag2O were prepared by depositing a layer of particles on Ti plates, followed by sintering at 900 °C. The as-prepared coatings had an adhesive strength of 10 ± 1 MPa, and when immersed in an aqueous phosphate (K2HPO4) solution, the coatings converted to hydroxyapatite, releasing Ag+ ions continuously for over 4 wk. After implantation of BG-coated Ti constructs in a rabbit tibial fracture model and of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-induced osteomyelitis, the BG coating doped with 1.0 wt% Ag2O was most effective for the simultaneous eradication of the infection and fracture fixation. Implants coated with Ag-containing BG coatings could provide an approach for reducing implant-related bone infection.
As a newly described member of the apolipoprotein gene family, apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5) has been suggested to play a key role in the triglyceride metabolism in both human and mice. The aim of this study was to identify the porcine (Sus scrofa) APOA5 gene, determine its mRNA and its mutations that are associated with lipid accumulation. The porcine APOA5 cDNA was amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction using the information of the mouse or other mammals. It had been determined that the open reading frame of the porcine APOA5 gene consists of 1092 bp, which encodes a predicted protein composed of 363 amino acids with a similarity to bovine (80.43%) and to human (78.47%). The expression analysis indicated that the porcine APOA5 gene was expressed in hypophysis, fat and liver. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 4 SNPs in the 5′ end, 1 SNP in second intron, 1 SNP in third exon and 6 SNPs in the 3′ end, were identified in the porcine APOA5 gene and genotyped on the Jinhua × Pietrain F2 reference population, it had revealed that the SNP of C1834T was significantly associated with average backfat thickness and leaf fat weight (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). In conclusion, this study has got basic information of the porcine APOA5 gene and provides evidence that the APOA5 gene could be a potential candidate gene for fat deposition.
Poly-Si Thin-Film Transistors (TFTs) are currently used in commercial active-matrix displays. They provide superior performance with respect to their amorphous silicon counterparts and allow integration of driving electronics directly on the display glass plates.
For several applications, it can be desirable to have active-matrix displays made on flexible substrates. However, a direct application of a standard TFT process to plastic substrates is not in general possible, mostly because of temperature limits and related dimensional stability issues. In addition, standard flat-panel manufacturing tools are not capable of automatically handling non-rigid floppy substrates.
Therefore, a new process has to be developed, compatible with a suitable way of handling plastic substrates. A process was developed in which plastic sheets are laminated on glass carrier wafers and run through all the automated tools. A low-temperature process using excimer laser annealing is developed and optimized. High-quality TFT backplanes are manufactured with a pixel layout designed for active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays. Field-effect mobility in excess of 70 cm2Vs on p-channel TFTs are achieved, together with leakage currents lower than 2 pA per micron gate width.
Challenges include low-temperature gate dielectric development, reduction of intrinsic film stress, protection of plastic from laser damage, and contact formation. Solutions to these challenges are discussed and TFT transfer characteristics on glass and plastic substrates are presented. Finally, images from prototype monochrome AMOLED displays are presented, with 64 × 64 pixels and 80-dpi resolution.
Ni/Al nanostructured multilayer foils were machined with femtosecond pulse-length laser irradiation at various fluences. Scanning electron microscopy, back-scattered electron detection, and atomic force microscopy were used to characterize the resulting laser modified regions. We show that material removal at the micron scale is possible with no ignition of a self-propagation reaction emanating from the irradiated areas, a danger minimized by the fact that the extremely short time duration of the pulse produces negligible heat dissipation into the multilayer system. Nevertheless, initial AFM and BSE results give indication that multilayers may be intermixing and reacting locally in areas smaller than the laser beam diameter, though the exact ignition mechanism is still to be determined.
This study was designed to examine the effects of extracellular reduced glutathione on development of pig embryos, produced by in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), in a chemically defined North Carolina State University (NCSU) 23 medium or in NCSU 23 medium with bovine serum albumin (BSA). Microfilament distribution, as a marker of embryo quality, was also examined by immunocytochemical staining and confocal microscopy. When the inseminated oocytes were cultured in the defined medium containing 0-0.5 mM glutathione, blastocyst formation as observed only in the media with glutathione (8.5-16.0%). Increased numbers of blastomeres were observed in the blastocysts as the concentration of glutathione was increased (18.8±7.2 to 31.0±8.6). In NCSU 23 medium with 4 mg BSA/ml, addition of glutathione at concentrations of 0.125-0.5 mM significantly increased the proportions of oocytes that developed to blastocysts (39.2-52.5%) compared with the control (29.5%). However, no difference was observed in the average cell number in the blastocysts (41.9±15.6 to 49.1±15.5). There were no significant differences in the microfilament distribution in the embryos produced in the defined medium and in the BSA-containing medium. These results indicate that pig embryos produced by IVM/IVF can develop to the blastocyst stage in a defined medium. BSA and glutathione have a synergistic effect on pig embryo development.
The present study examined the effect of low culture temperature during in vitro maturation (IVM) of pig oocytes on their nuclear maturation, fertilisation and subsequent embryo development. In experiment 1, oocytes were cultured at 35 or 39 °C for 44 h in modified tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor, 0.57 mM cysteine, 75 μg/ml potassium penicillin G, 50 μg/ml streptomycin sulphate, 0.5 μg/ml LH and 0.5 μg/ml FSH to examine the nuclear maturation status. In experiment 2, oocytes were cultured at 35 °C for 44 or 68 h and nuclear maturation was examined. In experiment 3, oocytes matured for 44 or 68 h at 39 °C and for 68 h at 35 °C were co-incubated with frozen-thawed spermatozoa for 5-6 h. Putative embryos were transferred into North Carolina State University (NCSU) 23 medium containing 0.4% bovine serum albumin. At 12 h after insemination, some oocytes were fixed to examine the fertilisation rate and the remaining embryos were examined at 48 and 144 h for cleavage and blastocyst formation rate, respectively. Compared with 39 °C, culture of oocytes at 35 °C for 44 h significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the metaphase II (M II) rate (79% vs 12%). However, extension of culture time to 68 h at 35 °C significantly increased (p < 0.05) the M II rate (7% vs 58%). In experiment 3, compared with other groups, fewer (p < 0.05) oocytes reached M II when cultured at 35 °C for 68 h (69-81% vs 49%). Extension of culture duration to 68 h at 39 °C stimulated spontaneous activation (28%) of oocytes. No difference in cleavage rates was observed among different groups. Compared with oocytes matured for 44 h at 39 °C (31%), the proportion of blastocysts obtained was low (p < 0.05) for oocytes matured at 35 °C (13%) or 39 °C (3%) for 68 h. The results indicate that lower culture temperature can delay nuclear maturation of pig oocytes. However, extension of culture time can stimulate nuclear maturation and these oocytes are capable of fertilisation and development to the blastocyst stage at moderate rates.
Actin filaments play an important role in cell division. The present study was designed to examine the relationship between actin filament distribution and pig embryo development. When in vivo matured and fertilised pig oocytes were cultured in TCM 199 or NCSU 23, in various proportions, 45–65% of inseminated oocytes developed to the 2- to 4-cell stages but blastocyst development was observed only in NCSU 23 (34%) or NCSU 23 containing 10% TCM 199 (7%). Supplementation of NCSU 23 medium with 20% or more TCM 199 resulted in no blastocyst formation. Examination of actin filaments indicated that microfilaments were distributed in the cortex, at the junction of blastomeres and in the perinuclear area in the embryos cultured in NCSU 23, but perinuclear actin filaments were not observed in embryos cultured in TCM 199. When 2- to 4-cell stage embryos obtained from TCM 199 were transferred to NCSU 23 medium at 36 h after in vivo fertilisation, 57% of the cleaved embryos developed to blastocysts, which was no different from the proportion obtained after culture in NCSU 23 alone (56%). In addition, when 2- to 4-cell stage embryos obtained from TCM 199 were transferred to NCSU 23, most embryos showed perinuclear actin filaments within 6 h. The results indicate that the composition of the culture medium plays an important role in the polymerisation of actin filaments, which in turn influences embryo development. It is possible that pig embryo development was blocked by some components in TCM 199 which prevented actin filament polymerisation.
High saturation magnetization soft magnetic materials are required for future high-density recording heads as well as high frequency inductors. In this work, (Fe0.7Co0.3)1−xNx (or in short FeCoN) alloy films were synthesized with a high saturation magnetization of 24.5 kG, a hard axis coercivity of 5 Oe, an easy axis coercivity of 18 Oe, and a resistivity of 55 μΩcm. The FeCoN film sandwiched between two permalloy layers (5 nm) shows very good magnetic softness, a low hard axis coercivity of 0.6 Oe, an easy axis coercivity of 7.8 Oe, an excellent in-plane uniaxial anisotropy with an anisotropy of about 20 Oe, an initial permeability of 1000, and a roll-off frequency of 1.5 GHz. In order to understand the effect of the permalloy layers on the FeCoN layer, we fabricated four film structures: single layer FeCoN film; FeCoN film sandwiched between two permalloy layers on both sides; FeCoN film with one permalloy layer as the underlayer; and FeCoN film with one permalloy layer as caplayer. All these film structures were both magnetically and structurally characterized and compared. Structural characterization shows that there is no significant difference in the grain size of the FeCoN single layer and the FeCoN layer sandwiched between two permalloy layers. The four film structures have almost the same amount of compressive stress, about −300 MPa; and their saturation magnetostriction constants are also very close, in the range of 39.6×10−6 to 44.3×10−6. Difference in the crystallographic textures was observed in the pole figures for the FeCoN single layer and FeCoN film with permalloy underlayer.
The present study examined the effect of different concentrations of cysteine in the presence of a thiol compound, β-mercaptoethanol (BME), during in vitro maturation (IVM) of pig oocytes on cumulus expansion, nuclear maturation, intracellular glutathione (GSH) level and subsequent embryonic development after in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In experiment 1, oocytes were matured in NCSU 23 medium containing 10% porcine follicular fluid, 25 μM BME, 0.5 μg/ml LH, 0.5 μg/ml FSH and 0, 0.1, 0.2 or 0.4 mg/ml cysteine for 20–22 h and then without hormonal supplements for an additional 20–22 h. After culture, cumulus cells were removed and a proportion of oocytes fixed to examine the rate of nuclear maturation. The remaining oocytes were co-incubated with spermatozoa for 5–6 h and putative zygotes were transferred to NCSU 23 medium containing 0.4% bovine serum albumin for 144 h. A proportion of putative zygotes were fixed 12 h after insemination to examine fertilisation parameters. In experiment 2, oocytes were matured as in experiment 1 and the GSH content was measured by a DTNB-GSSG reductase recycling assay. No mean differences among treatments were observed in nuclear maturation (78–89%). The mean differences in penetration rate (69–77%), polyspermy rate (31–40%), male pronuclear formation rate (93–96%) or mean number of sperm per oocyte (1.5-1.8) were not affected by the presence or absence of cysteine during oocyte maturation. Also no difference was observed in cleavage rates 48 h after insemination. However, compared with no addition (19%), the presence of 0.1-0.4 mg/ml cysteine during IVM increased (p < 0.001) the proportion of blastocysts (32–39%) at 144 h. In comparison with controls (5.6 pmol/oocyte), the GSH content of oocytes matured in the presence of cysteine was significantly (p < 0.001) higher (13–15 pmol/oocyte) with no mean differences among different cysteine concentrations. The results indicate that in the presence of a thiol compound, supplementation of IVM medium with cysteine can increase the GSH level and improve the developmental competence of pig oocytes following fertilisation. Further, no effect on either GSH level or embryo development was observed by increasing the levels of cysteine supplementation from 0.1 to 0.4 mg/ml.
Our previous study indicated that thimerosal is one of the most effective artificial activators to mimic sperm-induced increases in the intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and other activation events in pig oocytes (Macháty et al., 1997). The present study was conducted to examine the temporal relationship between intracellular calcium transients, cortical granule (CG) exocytosis and the zona reaction induced by thimerosal. When pig oocytes matured in vitro were exposed to 200 μM thimerosal the first intracellular calcium transient, with a mean peak ratio of 4.97 ± 1.14, was observed 509.64 ± 122.03 s after addition of thimerosal. The density of CGs fell significantly from 63.3 ± 11.7 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex in control oocytes to 25.7 ± 19.2 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex (59.4% release) at 2 min after the first intracellular calcium transient. At 5 min after the calcium transient the residual CG density had been reduced to 10.7 ± 10.4 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex (83.1% release). This degree of CG exocytosis was the same as that in oocytes penetrated by sperm (9.5 ± 5.1 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex). No further decrease in residual CG density was observed at 10 min (10.3 ± 14.8 CGs/100 μm2 of cortex). Whereas 77.4% (120/155) of control oocytes were penetrated by spermatozoa only 1.4% (2/144) of thimerosal-treated oocytes were penetrated. Further experimental results obtained by in vitro fertilisation of oocytes with preincubated (capacitated) spermatozoa suggested that the zona block to sperm penetration in thimerosal-treated oocytes occurred within 35 min after CG exocytosis and 40 min after the first calcium transient. These results indicate that polyspermic penetration of pig oocytes inseminated in vitro is not due to delayed or incomplete CG exocytosis but more likely to a delayed zona reaction and/or simultaneous sperm penetration.