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In this paper, a robust geometric navigation algorithm, designed on the special Euclidean group SE(3), of a quadrotor is proposed. The equations of motion for the quadrotor are obtained using the Newton–Euler formulation. The geometric navigation considers a guidance frame which is designed to perform autonomous flights with a convergence to the contour of the task with small normal velocity. For this purpose, a super twisting algorithm controls the nonlinear rotational and translational dynamics as a cascade structure in order to establish the fast and yet smooth tracking with the typical robustness of sliding modes. In this sense, the controller provides robustness against parameter uncertainty, disturbances, convergence to the sliding manifold in finite time, and asymptotic convergence of the trajectory tracking. The algorithm validation is presented through experimental results showing the feasibility of the proposed approach and illustrating that the tracking errors converge asymptotically to the origin.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Cystic echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus is a major zoonosis of public health significance in the Patagonian region of Argentina. This investigation sought to test the hypothesis that the persistence and dispersion of the parasite eggs can be explained by physical and meteorological parameters along with final host infection and behaviour. This observational study was carried out over a five-year period within an enclosure where two dogs harbouring a worm burden ranging from 100 to 1000 mature adult E. granulosus, as well as two uninfected dogs, had previously been kept for six months. Environmental canine faeces, topsoil, pond water, and sediment samples were examined to control for the presence of eggs and coproantigens of the parasite using microscope-based techniques and copro-ELISA plus copro-Western Blot tests. The parasite eggs were detected up to 41 months later in faeces from infected dogs, soil and sediment, and coproantigen tests remained positive for up to 70 months in faeces. Overall, parasite eggs were found within a maximum distance of 115 m from the contaminated dog faeces deposition site. Our findings indicate that under Patagonian environmental conditions, egg persistence and dispersion seem to be related to the worm burden and habits of the infected dog, to prevailing wind direction and to the existence of low bushes as well as natural bodies of water. The present study is the first to provide direct evidence of interaction between bioclimatic conditions and E. granulosus egg dispersion under Patagonian field conditions.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
Upgraded metallurgical-grade silicon (UMG Si) solar cells with different ranges of efficiencies were characterized through electroluminescence imaging (ELi) and light-beam induced current (LBIC) measurements. The results showed a good correlation between the EL intensity and the efficiency of the solar cells. ELi images gave a bright contrast at the defects, grain boundaries and intragrain defects, and dark contrast inside the grain bodies. Metallic impurities are much more present in some cells due to the directional solidification of the Si ingot. Local short-circuit current mapping with LBIC measurements revealed a bright zone in the neighborhoods of the defects due to the depletion of impurities. Internal quantum efficiencies (IQE) and effective diffusion lengths (Leff) were calculated using different excitation wavelengths. High resolution LBIC measurements revealed micrometric clusters of impurities around intragrain defects.
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
The objective of this work was to determine the rumen degradation characteristics over the growing season of maize stover in two contrasting zones in the central highlands of Mexico. Twenty four maize plots were selected, three harvest periods P1, P2, and P3 were established in order to evaluate degradation characteristics at different development stages, for ‘criollo’ maize varieties of three grain colours (white, yellow and black) representing different cultivation practices given their different growing cycles. In vitro gas production (GP) incubations were carried out, and cumulative gas volumes were fitted to the Krishnamoorthy, Soller, Steingass and Menke (1991) model. The results indicate that more research is needed to evaluate why maize degradability and fermentation characteristics as exemplified by this work are not greatly affected by time.
The study of the chemical stability of solar selective coatings (SSC) for concentrated solar power (CSP) becomes essential for their use at high temperatures. In this paper, the short range order around Mo in Mo-Si3N4 cermets is studied for the first time by X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The information obtained by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopies gives new insights of the origin of the optical behavior of the cermets cermets after vacuum and air annealing treatments. The established optical and structural correlation becomes of great importance for the design and optimization of SSC for practical applications.
ZnO1-xTex thin films were deposited by DC reactive magnetron co-sputtering using pure Zn and Te targets. Te atomic concentration in the films ranged from x=0 to 0.33 by adjusting the applied power on the targets or varying the cathode-substrate distance. Chemical composition and crystalline structure were determined by RBS experiments and X-ray Diffraction, respectively. For low Te atomic concentrations (x≤0.04) the deposited ZnO1-xTex films showed a crystalline structure ZnO wurtzite type however, for increasing Te concentration significant broadening and decreasing intensities of the main peaks belonging to pure ZnO films together with some weak peaks characteristic of crystalline Trizinc Tellurate salt have appeared. For the highest x values some non-identified weak peaks beside to some others peaks corresponding to the crystalline phases mentioned above as well as, a broad band probably associated to amorphous TeO2 phase were observed. A preliminary optical characterization of the samples point out the possibility of different electronic transitions within the ZnO band gap.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
In regions where Chagas disease is endemic, canine Trypanosoma cruzi infection is highly correlated with the risk of transmission of the parasite to humans. Herein we evaluated the novel TcTASV protein family (subfamilies A, B, C), differentially expressed in bloodstream trypomastigotes, for the detection of naturally infected dogs. A gene of each TcTASV subfamily was cloned and expressed. Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were developed using recombinant antigens individually or mixed together. Our results showed that dogs with active T. cruzi infection differentially reacted against the TcTASV-C subfamily. The use of both TcTASV-C plus TcTASV-A proteins (Mix A+C-ELISA) enhanced the reactivity of sera from dogs with active infection, detecting 94% of the evaluated samples. These findings agree with our previous observations, where the infected animals exhibited a quick anti-TcTASV-C antibody response, coincident with the beginning of parasitaemia, in a murine model of the disease. Results obtained in the present work prove that the Mix A+C-ELISA is a specific, simple and cheap technique to be applied in endemic areas in screening studies. The Mix A+C-ELISA could help to differentially detect canine hosts with active infection and therefore with high impact in the risk of transmission to humans.
The Sun’s activity has been evolving in the ascending phase of Solar Cycle 23 since 1996. Similarly, the research on solar activity is also in the ascending phase of a new active period. Numerous new results have been obtained from a large amount of space and ground observations covering a wide spectral range. In particular, observations with YOHKOH, SOHO, and TRACE have revealed a multitude of phenomena and processes in the solar atmosphere which provide us a new picture of the Sun.
High-resolution pollen, dinocyst and isotopie profiles covering the marine isotope stage 5 (MIS 5) are presented from core MD952042 (Tagus abyssal plain, 37°47'N, 10°09'W). Both marine and terrestrial proxies indicate the occurrence of a Bølling-Allerød-Younger Dryas-like event at the beginning of MI substage 5e. The terrestrial Eemian stage coincides with both the lightest oxygen isotope values of substage 5e and the heavier ones approaching the 5e/5d transition. Accordingly, the Eemian is not equivalent to MI substage 5e, as the Holocene is not equivalent to MIS 1.
Remarkably, both pollen and dinocyst data reflect the same climatic pattern on land and ocean, and they evidence a succession of climatic events that the isotope signal does not identify. The Eemian began with a Mediterranean vegetation that was gradually replaced by Eurosiberian formations indicating a change from Mediterranean to oceanic climates. In the middle of the Eemian, warming conditions were interrupted by an event corresponding to a slight cooling resulting from an increase in precipitation over land and ocean. Finally, a warming trend characterised the last phase of the Eemian. The occurrence of small climatic changes during this interglacial is inconsistent with the dramatic variability suggested by the GRIP ice-core record.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Transparent conducting thin-films of SnO2: F were grown on preheated glass, Al2O3 coated glass, and quartz substrates by Streaming Process for Electrodeless Electrochemical Deposition (SPEED). Stannic chloride (SnCl4) and ammonium fluoride (NH4F) dissolved in a mixture of deionized water and organic solvents were used as precursors. The preheated substrate temperature was varied between 440 and 500 °C. High quality SnO2:F films were grown at all the substrate temperatures studied. The resulting typical film thickness was 250 nm. X-ray diffraction shows that the grown films are polycrystalline SnO2 with a tetragonal crystal structure. The average optical transmission of the films was around 93% throughout the wavelength range 400 to 1000 nm. The lowest electrical resistivity achieved was 6 × 10-4 Ω-cm. The Hall measurements showed that the film is an n-type semiconductor, with carrier mobility of 8.3 cm2/V-s, and carrier concentration of 1 × 1021 cm-3. The direct bandgap was determined to be 4.0 eV from the transmittance spectrum.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
The objective of this study was to determine whether rabbits fed in a restricted regimen (75%) showed increased competition for feeding, drinking and use of specific areas of the cages as compared with those provided feed ad libitum. This evaluation was carried out by measuring their space utilisation in the cage, the incidence of agonistic behaviour and rates of mortality. In total, 504 rabbits between 31 and 66 days of age were used in this study. A total of 200 heavy-weight rabbits and 56 light-weight rabbits were randomly housed in 32 cages, each cage containing eight rabbits: 25 cages housing heavy rabbits and seven cages housing the light-weight ones. They were all fed ad libitum (AD). In addition, a total of 208 heavy-weight rabbits and 40 light-weight rabbits were randomly housed in 31 cages, each of them containing eight rabbits: 26 cages housing heavy weight rabbits and five cages housing light-weight ones. They were all fed a restricted diet (R) regimen. The restriction was calculated to be 75% of the feed consumed by the AD group. The total space available in the cage was 3252 cm2, with a stocking density of 24.6 animals/m2. Animals between 32 and 60 days of age from 20 different cages were observed nine times per week (morning or afternoon) by means of scan and focal sampling by one observer. During each period, cages were assessed for 5 min, registering every minute the position of all the animals in relation to Area A (feeder), Area B (central part) or Area C (back and drinker area). The incidence of agonistic behaviour such as displacement, biting and jumping on each other was also assessed. Performance variables such as daily gain and feed conversion ratio, in addition to general health status and mortality rates, were recorded for all rabbits. When the rabbits were under restricted feeding, the competition for feed and drink increased with clear signs of agonistic behaviour such as biting, displacement and animals jumping on top of each other. Although this competition was maintained during the entire growing period, the BW homogeneity between animals in the same cage was similar in both cases, suggesting that all animals could consume similar quantities of feed. The possible advantages of a restricted diet, such as better feed conversion ratio, were observed in this study only in the last few weeks of the growing period.