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The mating system and mating strategies of a species refer to the behavioral strategies used to obtain reproductive partners and ensure reproductive success. Common determining factors of mating systems and strategies are: the manner of mate acquisition, the number of mates obtained by an individual, as well as the absence or presence and duration of parental care. In mammals, the energetic investments in gametes and rearing offspring are typically larger for females than for males. Mate selection is thus a much more important decision for females than for the rather indiscriminate males. This dichotomy results in sexual selection, which in turn is determined by male–male competition for access to females, as well as female mate choice. Because receptive females are generally considered the limiting resource in reproduction, males face intrasexual competition for mates. In a multitude of mammalian species, including bears, this has resulted in pronounced sexual size dimorphism and polygamous mating systems. Despite common characteristics (e.g. sexual size dimorphism, polygamy), variation in mating systems and strategies occur among bear populations and species.
Bottom-up assembly of nanomaterials using solution-processed methods is ideally suited for use in fabrication of large-area optoelectronic devices. Tailorable visible and near-infrared absorption in shaped nanostructured noble metals is strongly influenced by localized plasmon resonance effects. Obtaining sharp and selective absorption with solution-processed methods is a challenge and requires suitable control on the growth kinetics, which ultimately results in appropriate size and morphology of the final product. In this work, a photo-assisted multigenerational growth process for synthesis of silver nanotriangle ink with narrow linewidth absorbance is developed. This technique combines photochemical and seed-mediated growth approaches. The resulting ink exhibits a sharp absorption at 700 nm with full width at half maximum of ∼170 nm, verified by absorption as well as dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and field emission scanning electron microscopy measurements. Numerical modeling using finite-difference time-domain calculations yields a close match with observed absorption and is used to examine electric field distribution and enhancement factor resonating at 720 nm. The synthesis technique is potentially useable for production of highly selective absorbers in solution phase.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
This study examined the hypothesis that xanthosine (XS) treatment would promote mammary-specific gene expression and stem cell transcripts and have a positive influence on milk yield of dairy goats. Seven primiparous Beetal goats were assigned to the study. Five days after kidding, one gland (either left or right) was infused with XS (TRT) twice daily for 3 d and the other gland with no XS infusion served as a control (CON). Mammary biopsies were collected at 10 d and RNA was isolated. Gene expression analysis of milk synthesis genes, mammary stem/progenitor cell markers, cell proliferation and differentiation markers were performed using real time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Results showed that the transcripts of milk synthesis genes (BLG4, CSN2, LALBA, FABP3, CD36) and mammary stem/progenitor cell markers (ALDH1 and NR5A2) were increased in as a result of XS treatment. Average milk yield in TRT glands was increased marginally (approximately ~2% P = 0·05, paired t-test) per gland relative to CON gland until 7 wk. After 7 wk, milk yield of TRT and CON glands did not differ. Analysis of milk composition revealed that protein, lactose, fat and solids-not-fat percentages remained the same in TRT and CON glands. These results suggest that XS increases expression of milk synthesis genes, mammary stem/progenitor cells and has a small effect on milk yield.
Bagasse and rice husk are two important agro-industrial by-products that are used as fuel in the sugar and rice mill industries, thus producing large quantities of bagasse ash (BA; 0·05 of bagasse) and rice husk ash (0·20 of rice husk) as waste material. Applying BA and rice husk ash (RHA) to agricultural land improves yield, nutrient uptake and chemical fertility of soil, particularly with special reference to available phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). The present field experiment was conducted for 3 years to evaluate the P fertilizer value of these agro-industrial waste materials in a wheat–rice system (WRS). The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with RHA and BA applied at 10 t/ha and including a no-amendment control as the main plot treatments and three levels of fertilizer P (0, 13 and 26 kg P/ha; designated P0, P13 and P26, respectively) as sub-plot treatments to wheat in WRS. Application of fertilizer P increased the wheat grain yield up to P26 in the un-amended control treatment. However, a significant response of wheat to fertilizer P was also observed up to P13 in the presence of BA and RHA, thereby saving 50% of fertilizer P. Both RHA and BA increased wheat productivity by 12 and 16%, respectively, over the un-amended control. The subsequent rice crop also produced 14% higher paddy yield when the two ashes were applied along with P13 to the previous wheat crop. The increases in grain yield were accompanied by significant increases in the uptake of P and K, and P content (Olsen P) in the soil. The application of recommended P (P26) in un-amended plots resulted in a negative P balance of 9·3 kg P/ha/year. On the other hand, the application of BA alone and RHA along with P13 resulted in neutral/slightly positive P balance. A strong linear relationship (R2 = 0·98) was observed between P balance and Olsen-P build up in the soil. It may be concluded that application of BA and RHA has the potential to increase system productivity and reduce the cost of inputs in terms of reduced application of fertilizer P to wheat and rice.
This paper elaborates the effect of unmatched stored energy in high-voltage high-energy pulsed power systems. High-voltage insulation failure of KALI system is analyzed thoroughly for its occurrence. According to the simulations and analysis energy mismatch of MARX generator and Blumlein transmission line is found to be the most significant cause for high-voltage failure of the system. MARX generator and Blumlein of KALI are redesigned to attain better energy balance at same voltage level. Observations, simulation and analytical results are illustrated in the following sections.
Long-term functionality and stability of neural interfaces with complex geometries is one of the major challenges for chronic clinic applications due to lack of effective encapsulation. We present an encapsulation method that combines atomic layer deposited Al2O3 and Parylene C for encapsulation of biomedical implantable devices, focusing on its application on Utah electrode array based neural interfaces. The alumina and Parylene C bi-layer encapsulated wired Utah electrode array showed relatively stable impedance during the 960 equivalent soaking days at 37 °C in phosphate buffered solution. For the bi-layer coated wireless neural interfaces, the power-up frequency was constantly ∼ 910 MHz and the RF signal strength was stably around -73 dBm during equivalent soaking time of 1044 days at 37 °C (still under soak testing).
Sandeep Prabhu, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia,
Rahul Sharma, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia,
Karlheinz Peter, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Platelets are key blood components with a physiological role in the initiation of endogenous haemostasis and effective endothelial repair following vascular injury. Platelets are responsible for the initiation of a series of complex interactions culminating in platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. As such, key platelet functions, such as adherence, activation, aggregation and interaction with coagulation factors, operate in the context of a complex and balanced interplay of receptors and mediators that ensure this process is controlled and specifically targeted to areas of vascular injury. However, in disease states, such as atherosclerosis, the abnormal initiation of platelet functions also contributes to the pathogenesis and propagation of vascular disease. Consequently, targeted therapeutic inhibition of platelets has demonstrated an important clinical role in situations of both pathological and iatrogenic vascular injury, such as atherosclerosis and angioplasty. This chapter will firstly outline the relevant platelet receptors, their agonists and other important structural platelet components and their role in platelet function. Secondly, it will outline the role of these functions in the pathogenesis and propagation of vascular disease. Finally, the mechanism of therapeutic anti-platelet agents will be reviewed along with a description of currently used methods to assess platelet function.
PLATELET FUNCTION – ADHESION AND ACTIVATION
Platelets are enucleated cytoplasmic fragments of bone marrow megakaryocytes with a limited capacity for protein synthesis. Although lacking DNA, platelets do contain megakarocyte mRNA along with components necessary for protein synthesis, and are capable of performing nuclear functions such as pre-RNA splicing.
To assess the effect of enhanced infection control measures with screening for gastrointestinal colonization on limiting the spread of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in a New York City hospital endemic for this pathogen.
Retrospective observational study with pre- and postinterventional phases.
Beginning in 2006, a comprehensive infection control program was instituted in a 10-bed medical and surgical intensive care unit at a university-based medical center. In addition to being placed in contact isolation, all patients colonized or infected with carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacilli, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were cohorted to one end of the unit. Improved decontamination of hands and environmental surfaces was encouraged. In addition, routine rectal surveillance cultures were screened for the presence of carbapenem-resistant pathogens. The number of patients per quarter with clinical cultures positive for carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae was compared during the approximately 2-year periods before and after the intervention.
The mean number ( ± SD) of new patients per 1,000 patient-days per quarter with cultures yielding carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae decreased from 9.7 ± 2.2 before the intervention to 3.7 ± 1.6 after the intervention (P< .001 ). There was no change in the mean number of patient-days or the mean number of patients per quarter with cultures yielding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, or carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii or Pseudomonas aeruginosa after the intervention. There was no association between antibiotic usage patterns and carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae.
The comprehensive intervention that combined intensified infection control measures with routine rectal surveillance cultures was helpful in reducing the incidence of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae in an intensive care unit where strains producing the carbapenemase KPC were endemic.
An objective multivariate technique is described for identification of individual tigers Panthera tigris from their pugmarks. Tracings and photographs of hind pugmarks were obtained from 23 pugmark-sets of 19 individually known tigers (17 wild and two captive tigers). These 23 pugmark-sets were then divided into two groups, one of 15 pugmark-sets for model building and another of eight pugmark-sets for model testing and validation. A total of 93 measurements were taken from each pugmark along with three gait measurements. We used CV ratio, F-ratio and removed highly correlated variables to finally select 11 variables from these 93 variables. These 11 variables did not differ between left and right pugmarks. Stepwise discriminant function analysis (DFA) based on these 11 variables correctly classified pugmark-sets to individual tigers. A realistic population estimation exercise was simulated using the validation dataset. The algorithms developed here correctly allocated each pugmark-set to the correct individual tiger. The effect of extraneous factors, i.e. soil depth and multiple tracers, was also tested and pugmark tracings compared with pugmark photographs. We recommend collecting pugmarks from soil depths ranging between 0.5 and 1.0 cm, and advocate the use of pugmark photographs rather than pugmark tracings to eliminate the chance of obtaining substandard data from untrained tracers. Our study suggests that tigers can be individually identified from their pugmarks with a high level of accuracy and pugmark-sets could be used for population estimation of tigers within a statistically designed mark–recapture framework.
CdTe nanocrystal quantum dots sequestered in TiO2 thin film matrix have been synthesized by r.f. sputtering from a composite CdTe/TiO2 target. CdTe nanocrystal formation is nucleation controlled as their size (11-25 nm), dispersion and volume fraction (0.065-0.2) increases with film thickness, substrate temperature (100°C) and thermal treatment. The optical band gap derived from the onset of absorption coefficient showed blue shifts concurrent with the CdTe nanocrystal size reduction due to quantum size effects. These shifts, not consistent with theoretical models based on strong or weak confinement regimes, are explained on the basis of anisotropic growth and formation of CdTe nanocrystal clusters. TiO2, in addition to being an ideal passivator and providing a barrier for carrier confinement to observe quantum effects, shows O2 vacancy dependent conductivity modulation. Electrical conductivity variation with CdTe nanocrystal size and density is attributed to electrical coupling and tunneling behavior of carriers between CdTe nanocrystallites.
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