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Silver nanowire (AgNW) diameters are typically characterized by manual measurement from high magnification electron microscope images. Measurement is monotonous and has potential ergonomic hazards. Because of this, statistics regarding wire diameter distribution can be poor, costly, and low-throughput. In addition, manual measurements are of unknown uncertainty and operator bias. In this paper we report an improved microscopy method for diameter and yield measurement of nanowires in terms of speed/automation and reduction of analyst variability. Each step in the process to generate these measurements was analyzed and optimized: microscope imaging conditions, sample preparation for imaging, image acquisition, image analysis, and data processing. With the resulting method, average diameter differences between samples of just a few nanometers can be confidently and statistically distinguished, allowing the identification of subtle incremental improvements in reactor processing conditions, and insight into nucleation and growth kinetics of AgNWs.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) goosegrass [Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.] was recently identified in Brazil, but its resistance mechanism was unknown. This study elucidated the resistance mechanism in this species and developed a molecular marker for rapid detection of this target-site resistance trait. The resistance factor for the resistant biotype was 4.4-fold compared with the glyphosate-susceptible (GS) in greenhouse dose–response experiments. This was accompanied by a similar (4-fold) difference in the levels of in vitro and in planta shikimate accumulation in these biotypes. However, there was no difference in uptake, translocation, or metabolism of glyphosate between the GS and GR biotypes. Moreover, both biotypes showed similar values for 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) copy number and transcription. Sequencing of a 330-bp fragment of the EPSPS gene identified a single-nucleotide polymorphism that led to a Pro-106-Ser amino acid substitution in the enzyme from the GR biotype. This mutation imparted a 3.8-fold increase in the amount of glyphosate required to inhibit 50% of EPSPS activity, confirming the role of this amino acid substitution in resistance to glyphosate. A quantitative PCR–based genotyping assay was developed for the rapid detection of resistant plants containing this Pro-106-Ser mutation.
Household surveys are one of the most commonly used tools for generating insight into rural communities. Despite their prevalence, few studies comprehensively evaluate the quality of data derived from farm household surveys. We critically evaluated a series of standard reported values and indicators that are captured in multiple farm household surveys, and then quantified their credibility, consistency and, thus, their reliability. Surprisingly, even variables which might be considered ‘easy to estimate’ had instances of non-credible observations. In addition, measurements of maize yields and land owned were found to be less reliable than other stationary variables. This lack of reliability has implications for monitoring food security status, poverty status and the land productivity of households. Despite this rather bleak picture, our analysis also shows that if the same farm households are followed over time, the sample sizes needed to detect substantial changes are in the order of hundreds of surveys, and not in the thousands. Our research highlights the value of targeted and systematised household surveys and the importance of ongoing efforts to improve data quality. Improvements must be based on the foundations of robust survey design, transparency of experimental design and effective training. The quality and usability of such data can be further enhanced by improving coordination between agencies, incorporating mixed modes of data collection and continuing systematic validation programmes.
Let f(x1, … , xn) be a positive definite quadratic form of determinant Δ; let M be its minimum value for integers x1, … , xn not all zero; and let 2s be the number of times this minimum is attained, i.e., the number of solutions of the Diophantine equation
A new method of image texture analysis is presented, based on the mean and standard deviation of gray levels within domains in an image. The calculations are performed recursively on domains of various sizes within the images. These gray level calculations are used as the input matrix for principal component analysis. The technique analyzes the entire image as a whole and is not for image segmentation. The analysis routine operates across all distances, frequencies and directions in the image, and is not computationally burdensome. The method was applied to scanning electron microscope images of reverse osmosis membranes on domains from 23 nm to 3 µm. The texture analysis technique performed well in identifying the surface morphology and, once calibrated, in predicting the surface roughness as measured by atomic force microscopy.
Modern high-throughput molecular and analytical tools offer exciting opportunities to gain a mechanistic understanding of unique traits of weeds. During the past decade, tremendous progress has been made within the weed science discipline using genomic techniques to gain deeper insights into weedy traits such as invasiveness, hybridization, and herbicide resistance. Though the adoption of newer “omics” techniques such as proteomics, metabolomics, and physionomics has been slow, applications of these omics platforms to study plants, especially agriculturally important crops and weeds, have been increasing over the years. In weed science, these platforms are now used more frequently to understand mechanisms of herbicide resistance, weed resistance evolution, and crop–weed interactions. Use of these techniques could help weed scientists to further reduce the knowledge gaps in understanding weedy traits. Although these techniques can provide robust insights about the molecular functioning of plants, employing a single omics platform can rarely elucidate the gene-level regulation and the associated real-time expression of weedy traits due to the complex and overlapping nature of biological interactions. Therefore, it is desirable to integrate the different omics technologies to give a better understanding of molecular functioning of biological systems. This multidimensional integrated approach can therefore offer new avenues for better understanding of questions of interest to weed scientists. This review offers a retrospective and prospective examination of omics platforms employed to investigate weed physiology and novel approaches and new technologies that can provide holistic and knowledge-based weed management strategies for future.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Thermal resistance across the interface between touching surfaces is critical for many industrial applications. We developed a network model to predict the macroscopic thermal resistance of mechanically contacting surfaces. Contacting interfaces are fractally rough, with small islands of locally intimate contact separated by regions with a wider gas filled boundary gap. Heat flow across the interface is therefore heterogeneous and thus the contact model is based on a network of thermal resistors representing boundary resistance at local contacts and the access resistance for lateral transport to contacts. Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed to characterize boundary resistance of Silicon Alumina interfaces for testing the sensitivity of thermal resistance to contact opening. Boltzmann transport simulations of access resistance in Si are conducted in the ballistic transport regime.
Palmer amaranth, a dioecious summer annual weed species, is the most troublesome weed in agronomic crop production systems in the United States. Palmer amaranth resistant to photosystem (PS) II- and 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) inhibitors is of particular concern in south central Nebraska. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of PRE followed by POST herbicide programs on PS II- and HPPD-inhibitor-resistant Palmer amaranth control, crop yield, and net economic return in conventional corn. A field study was conducted in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in a grower’s field infested with PS II- and HPPD-inhibitor-resistant Palmer amaranth near Shickley in Fillmore County, Nebraska. A contrast analysis suggested that mesotrione+S-metolachlor+atrazine applied PRE provided 83% Palmer amaranth control at 21 d after application compared to 78 and 72% control with pyroxasulfone+fluthiacet-ethyl+atrazine and saflufenacil+dimethenamid-P, respectively. Most of the PRE followed by POST herbicide programs provided ≥85% Palmer amaranth control. Based on contrast analysis, POST application of dicamba+diflufenzopyr provided 93% Palmer amaranth control compared to 87, 79, and 42% control with dicamba, dicamba+halosulfuron, and acetochlor, respectively, at 28 d after POST. All PRE followed by POST herbicide programs, aside from mesotrione+S-metolachlor+atrazine followed by acetochlor (2,530 to 7,809 kg ha−1), provided 9,550 to 10,500 kg ha−1 corn yield compared with 2,713 to 6,110 kg ha−1 from nontreated control. Similarly, PRE followed by POST herbicide programs, except for mesotrione+S-metolachlor+atrazine followed by acetochlor ($191 and $897 ha−1), provided similar net return of $427 to $707 ha−1 and $1,127 to $1,727 ha−1 in 2014 and 2015-16, respectively. It is concluded that herbicide programs based on multiple sites of action are available for control of PS II- and HPPD-inhibitor-resistant Palmer amaranth in conventional corn.
To identify predominant dietary patterns in four African populations and examine their association with obesity.
We used data from the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) pilot study established to investigate the feasibility of a multi-country longitudinal study of non-communicable chronic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. We applied principal component analysis to dietary intake data collected from an FFQ developed for PaCT to ascertain dietary patterns in Tanzania, South Africa, and peri-urban and rural Uganda. The sample consisted of 444 women and 294 men.
We identified two dietary patterns: the Mixed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fresh fish, but also cold cuts and refined grains; and the Processed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of salad dressing, cold cuts and sweets. Women in the highest tertile of the Processed Diet pattern score were 3·00 times more likely to be overweight (95 % CI 1·66, 5·45; prevalence=74 %) and 4·24 times more likely to be obese (95 % CI 2·23, 8·05; prevalence=44 %) than women in this pattern’s lowest tertile (both P<0·0001; prevalence=47 and 14 %, respectively). We found similarly strong associations in men. There was no association between the Mixed Diet pattern and overweight or obesity.
We identified two major dietary patterns in several African populations, a Mixed Diet pattern and a Processed Diet pattern. The Processed Diet pattern was associated with obesity.
A unique class of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells in mammalian retinae has been recently discovered and characterized. These neurons can generate visual signals in the absence of inputs from rods and cones, the conventional photoreceptors in the visual system. These light sensitive ganglion cells (mRGCs) express the non-rod, non-cone photopigment melanopsin and play well documented roles in modulating pupil responses to light, photoentrainment of circadian rhythms, mood, sleep and other adaptive light functions. While most research efforts in mammals have focused on mRGCs in retina, recent studies reveal that melanopsin is expressed in non-retinal tissues. For example, light-evoked melanopsin activation in extra retinal tissue regulates pupil constriction in the iris and vasodilation in the vasculature of the heart and tail. As another example of nonretinal melanopsin expression we report here the previously unrecognized localization of this photopigment in nerve fibers within the cornea. Surprisingly, we were unable to detect light responses in the melanopsin-expressing corneal fibers in spite of our histological evidence based on genetically driven markers and antibody staining. We tested further for melanopsin localization in cell bodies of the trigeminal ganglia (TG), the principal nuclei of the peripheral nervous system that project sensory fibers to the cornea, and found expression of melanopsin mRNA in a subset of TG neurons. However, neither electrophysiological recordings nor calcium imaging revealed any light responsiveness in the melanopsin positive TG neurons. Given that we found no light-evoked activation of melanopsin-expressing fibers in cornea or in cell bodies in the TG, we propose that melanopsin protein might serve other sensory functions in the cornea. One justification for this idea is that melanopsin expressed in Drosophila photoreceptors can serve as a temperature sensor.
Direct ink writing of silicone elastomers enables printing with precise control of porosity and mechanical properties of ordered cellular solids, suitable for shock absorption and stress mitigation applications. With the ability to manipulate structure and feedstock stiffness, the design space becomes challenging to parse to obtain a solution producing a desired mechanical response. Here, we derive an analytical design approach for a specific architecture. Results from finite element simulations and quasi-static mechanical tests of two different parallel strand architectures were analyzed to understand the structure-property relationships under uniaxial compression. Combining effective stiffness-density scaling with least squares optimization of the stress responses yielded general response curves parameterized by resin modulus and strand spacing. An analytical expression of these curves serves as a reduced order model, which, when optimized, provides a rapid design capability for filament-based 3D printed structures. As a demonstration, the optimal design of a face-centered tetragonal architecture is computed that satisfies prescribed minimum and maximum load constraints.
Methyl cellulose based coatings applied to food before deep-fat frying can reduce the amount of oil absorbed by the food during cooking as measured by bulk analysis techniques. However, information about the distribution of oil in the food, and how that is impacted by the coatings is lacking. A method is presented using osmium tetroxide to stain the oil and light microscopy to visualize its distribution. The method was applied to French fries and showed that the extent of oil ingress was reduced when a methyl cellulose coating was used.
Recent analyses use geometric morphometrics (GM), the quantitative study of shape and its variation, to examine aspects of the archaeological record. Our research builds on such applications to examine the organization of production by applying GM analysis to whole ceramic vessels from the Casas Grandes culture of northwest Mexico. We quantify variation in vessel shape and size and conclude that specialists made at least some of the Ramos and Babicora Polychromes, but that the other Casas Grandes ceramic types were generally made by nonspecialists. This bolsters arguments for Medio period (AD 1200 to 1450) specialized production above the household level but indicates that specialized production was limited to a subset of economically valuable goods. We further suggest some Ramos Polychrome was made by attached specialists associated with elites at Paquime, the religious center of the Medio period, whereas some Babicora Polychrome was made by independent specialists. The analysis contributes to three important anthropological topics: (1) the study of the Medio period Casas Grandes culture, and by extension the organization of production in mid-level hierarchically organized societies; (2) geometric morphometric analysis of archaeological collections; and (3) the Standardization Hypothesis and the relationship between artifact standardization and the organization of production.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that occurs along waterways, highways, abandoned agricultural land, and other disturbed areas. It reduces plant diversity and can increase shoreline erosion. An experiment was conducted in Bible Hill and Antigonish, NS, Canada to evaluate early POST aminopyralid at 120 g ae ha−1 and POST imazapyr applications at 720 g ae ha−1 at maximum shoot height, flowering, senescence, maximum height+flowering, maximum height+senescence, flowering+senescence, and maximum height+flowering+senescence. Early POST aminopyralid only provided 10% to 15% control at 52 wk after treatment (WAT) whereas 83% to 100% control occurred following imazapyr applications at all application timings. Percent control at 2, 4, and 8 WAT tended to be higher where imazapyr followed aminopyralid. By 52 WAT, equivalent damage ratings and reductions in stem density occurred at both sites in all plots where imazapyr was applied. The use of aminopyralid or multiple imazapyr applications provided no additional benefit over a single imazapyr application. We conclude that early POST aminopyralid suppresses knotweed growth, which should facilitate late-season imazapyr applications, especially in large stands.