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The Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of many animal species classified as alien under the biosecurity system in New Zealand. However, it is against the possums that a relentless campaign is perpetrated. This article attempts to explain some of the many reasons behind such intense negativity, and in doing so, show a link between the management of invasive species as a biosecurity risk and young people’s nativist views. A qualitative, interpretive mode of inquiry was used to analyse data that showed a link between the management of invasive species as a biosecurity risk and young people’s controversial views. An educational program that presents an objective view of invasive species is recommended.
The inclusion of a spinel structure in the layered-layered composite cathode material is currently explored to enhance the cycling stability and electrochemical properties of lithium ion batteries. Li2MnO3 based composite cathodes are one of the most widely investigated positive electrodes due to their high discharge capacity and rate capability. In our studies, we have synthesized the cobalt-free layered-layered-spinel composite cathode material, 0.5Li2MnO3-0.25LiMn2O4-0.25LiNi0.5Mn0.5O2 (LLNMO), via the sol-gel method. The structure of the composition was characterized using XRD and Raman Spectroscopy in which peaks corresponding to the layered and spinel structures were identified. The morphology along with the elemental analysis were studied with SEM/EDX. The SEM images exhibited agglomerates with particle size in the nano range and the EDX analysis confirmed the presence of manganese, nickel and oxygen in the structure. The electrochemical performance was analyzed by charge/discharge studies (CD) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The composite cathode material showed high capacity retention and good cycle stability with a coulombic efficiency of 98%. The discussed results demonstrated that LLNMO is a promising cathode material for the next generation of Li-ion batteries.
Caseinophosphopeptides (CPPs) are multifunctional bioactive peptides containing phosphorylated seryl residues in their sequence. In the present study, method for the production of CPPs from buffalo milk casein was optimised and characterised for their sequence, calcium solubilising and calcium binding activities. Response surface methodology was used to optimise the conditions for hydrolysis of buffalo casein by trypsin to obtain maximum yield of CPPs. The optimum hydrolysis conditions were as follows: hydrolysis pH 7·5, temperature 37 °C, hydrolysis time 7·0 h. Under these conditions, the experimental yield obtained was 10·04±0·24%, which is slightly lower than value predicted by the model. These CPPs were able to solubilise 1·03±0·08 mg la/mg CPPs in presence of excess phosphate and bind 0·935 mg of Ca/mg of CPPs. Eight phosphopeptides i.e. αs1-CN f (37-58) 2P; αs1-CN f (37-58) 3P; αs1-CN f (35-58) 2P; αs1-CN f (35-58) 3P; αs2-CN f (2-21) 4P; αs2-CN f (138-149) 1P; β-CN f (2-28) 4P and β-CN f (33-48) 1P were identified by LC-MS/MS which contained motif for binding of divalent minerals. The sequences of these CPPs differed from that of derived from bovine casein.
Nonvolatile unipolar resistive switching has been observed in Sm doped BFO thin films in Pt/Sm: BFO/SRO stack geometry. The initial forming voltage was found to be ∼ 11 V. After the forming process repeatable switching of the resistance of Sm:BFO film was obtained between low and high resistance states with nearly constant resistance ratio ∼ 105 and non overlapping switching voltages in the range of 0.7-1 V and 4-6 V respectively. The temperature dependent measurements of the resistance of the device indicated metallic and semiconducting conduction behavior in low and high resistance states respectively. The current conduction mechanism of the Pt/Sm:BFO/SRO device in low resistance states was found to be dominated by the Ohmic behavior while in case of high resistance state and at high voltages it deviated significantly from normal Ohmic behavior and was found to correspond the Pool-Frankel (PF) emission. The Pt/Sm:BFO/SRO structure also showed efficient photo-response in high and low resistance states with increase in photocurrent which was significantly higher in low resistance state when illuminated with white light.
Trials in farmers' field(s) were conducted to study the usefulness of vermicompost (VC) produced from distillation waste of menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L. cv. Kushal) using earthworms (Eisenia foetida) in reducing the inputs of chemical fertilizers and improving soil health in menthol mint-based cropping systems. Results of the first trial conducted on menthol mint (sole crop) in the fields of 45 farmers clearly indicated that 75% of the chemical fertilizer inputs can be reduced by supplementing the fields with 5tha−1 of menthol mint VC leading to higher levels of profits to the farmers by significantly improving herb and oil yield (6.7 and 8.4%, respectively) compared to the full recommended dose of chemical fertilizers (NPK 75:60:60kgha−1). The second trial was conducted in the fields of six farmers adopting a menthol mint cropping system (mint–rice–wheat–mint) where significantly higher yields were recorded in plots supplemented with 5tha−1 of menthol mint VC+25% of the recommended dose of chemical fertilizers; an increase of 5.6–7.2% in mint oil and 6.6% in wheat yield over the plots receiving the full recommended dose of chemical fertilizers (NPK 75:60:60kgha−1). However, in the case of rice, the highest grain yield was observed within plots receiving the full recommended dose of chemical fertilizers. Data obtained on soil properties clearly showed that apart from enhancing the yields of crops, the integration of VC with chemical fertilizers considerably improved the soil fertility/sustainability status in terms of organic carbon, available N, P and K.
Bat-pollinated (chiropterophilous) flowers are characterized by a wide-throated corolla, foetid odour, production of a copious amount of pollen and nectar, and most importantly nocturnal blooming (Faegri & van der Pijl 1979). In India, out of the 28 chiropterophilous plants reported (Subramanya & Radhamani 1993) only Ceiba pentandra (Bombacaceae) has been investigated in some detail (Nathan et al. 2005).
Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are being considered for a broad range of aerospace applications that include various structural components for the aircraft engine and the space shuttle main engine. Use of silicon-based CMCs which have high thermal conductivity, allows for improvements in fuel efficiency due to increased engine temperatures and pressures, which in turn generate more power and thrust. Furthermore, CMCs offer significant potential for raising the thrust-to-weight of gas turbine engines by tailoring directions of high specific reliability using design-based fiber architecture. One of the low-cost processing techniques for the silicon-based CMCs is the reactive melt infiltration  of silicon into the preform of carbon-coated silicon carbide fiber. However, fabrication of high performance SiC/SiC composites requires a deeper understanding of the infiltration kinetics such that fibers are protected from adverse reaction with the molten metal, that the preform is thoroughly infiltrated, and that there is no residual silicon left unreacted.
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