Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31

Search results for: Gerardo Arias

31 Molecular Identification and Evolutionary Status of Lucilia bufonivora: An Obligate Parasite of Amphibians in Europe

Authors: Gerardo Arias, Richard Wall, Jamie Stevens


Lucilia bufonivora Moniez, is an obligate parasite of toads and frogs widely distributed in Europe. Its sister taxon Lucilia silvarum Meigen behaves mainly as a carrion breeder in Europe, however it has been reported as a facultative parasite of amphibians. These two closely related species are morphologically almost identical, which has led to misidentification, and in fact, it has been suggested that the amphibian myiasis cases by L. silvarum reported in Europe should be attributed to L. bufonivora. Both species remain poorly studied and their taxonomic relationships are still unclear. The identification of the larval specimens involved in amphibian myiasis with molecular tools and phylogenetic analysis of these two closely related species may resolve this problem. In this work seventeen unidentified larval specimens extracted from toad myiasis cases of the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland were obtained, their COX1 (mtDNA) and EF1-α (Nuclear DNA) gene regions were amplified and then sequenced. The 17 larval samples were identified with both molecular markers as L. bufonivora. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out with 10 other blowfly species, including L. silvarum samples from the UK and USA. Bayesian Inference trees of COX1 and a combined-gene dataset suggested that L. silvarum and L. bufonivora are separate sister species. However, the nuclear gene EF1-α does not appear to resolve their relationships, suggesting that the rates of evolution of the mtDNA are much faster than those of the nuclear DNA. This work provides the molecular evidence for successful identification of L. bufonivora and a molecular analysis of the populations of this obligate parasite from different locations across Europe. The relationships with L. silvarum are discussed.

Keywords: calliphoridae, molecular evolution, myiasis, obligate parasitism

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30 Touching Interaction: An NFC-RFID Combination

Authors: Eduardo Álvarez, Gerardo Quiroga, Jorge Orozco, Gabriel Chavira


AmI proposes a new way of thinking about computers, which follows the ideas of the Ubiquitous Computing vision of Mark Weiser. In these, there is what is known as a Disappearing Computer Initiative, with users immersed in intelligent environments. Hence, technologies need to be adapted so that they are capable of replacing the traditional inputs to the system by embedding these in every-day artifacts. In this work, we present an approach, which uses Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies. In the latter, a new form of interaction appears by contact. We compare both technologies by analyzing their requirements and advantages. In addition, we propose using a combination of RFID and NFC.

Keywords: touching interaction, ambient intelligence, ubiquitous computing, interaction, NFC and RFID

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29 Health Status Monitoring of COVID-19 Patient's through Blood Tests and Naïve-Bayes

Authors: Carlos Arias-Alcaide, Cristina Soguero-Ruiz, Paloma Santos-Álvarez, Adrián García-Romero, Inmaculada Mora-Jiménez


Analysing clinical data with computers in such a way that have an impact on the practitioners’ workflow is a challenge nowadays. This paper provides a first approach for monitoring the health status of COVID-19 patients through the use of some biomarkers (blood tests) and the simplest Naïve Bayes classifier. Data of two Spanish hospitals were considered, showing the potential of our approach to estimate reasonable posterior probabilities even some days before the event.

Keywords: Bayesian model, blood biomarkers, classification, health tracing, machine learning, posterior probability

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28 Aerodynamic Design an UAV and Stability Analysis with Method of Genetic Algorithm Optimization

Authors: Saul A. Torres Z., Eduardo Liceaga C., Alfredo Arias M.


We seek to develop a UAV for agricultural spraying at a maximum altitude of 5000 meters above sea level, with a payload of 100 liters of fumigant. For the developing the aerodynamic design of the aircraft is using computational tools such as the "Vortex Lattice Athena" software, "MATLAB", "ANSYS FLUENT", "XFoil" package among others. Also methods are being used structured programming, exhaustive analysis of optimization methods and search. The results have a very low margin of error, and the multi-objective problems can be helpful for future developments. Also we developed method for Stability Analysis (Lateral-Directional and Longitudinal).

Keywords: aerodynamics design, optimization, algorithm genetic, multi-objective problem, longitudinal stability, lateral-directional stability

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27 Transcultural Study on Social Intelligence

Authors: Martha Serrano-Arias, Martha Frías-Armenta


Significant results have been found both supporting universality of emotion recognition and cultural background influence. Thus, the aim of this research was to test a Mexican version of the MTSI in different cultures to find differences in their performance. The MTSI-Mx assesses through a scenario approach were subjects must evaluate real persons. Two target persons were used for the construction, a man (FS) and a woman (AD). The items were grouped in four variables: Picture, Video, and FS and AD scenarios. The test was applied to 201 students from Mexico and Germany. T-test for picture and FS scenario show no significance. Video and AD had a significance at the 5% level. Results show slight differences between cultures, although a more comprehensive research is needed to conclude which culture can perform better in this kind of assessments.

Keywords: emotion recognition, MTSI, social intelligence, transcultural study

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26 In Search of the Chosen One: The Effectiveness of Video Games to Reduce the Intensity of Anxiety - State in College Students

Authors: Gerardo Hernández Sierra


Today, we are exposed to different anxiogenic stimuli, some of those stimuli (such as traffic, noise, etc.) generates anxiety in people, being the anxiety a factor that can develop different disorders in people. Therefore, and to improve the quality of life of people it is necessary to find new and helpful tools according to the times we’re living to decrease their anxiety state. Moreover, video games are consolidated globally as a way of interactive entertainment characterized by being available to many people, being fun and easy to play. Even so, people reports that they like playing videogames because they decrease their stress (an anxiety detonator). This research will seek the effectiveness of some videogame genres to reduce the intensity of state anxiety in students. Using State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to do a monitoring of the levels of anxiety pre and post displayed the videogames.

Keywords: anxiety, state trait anxiety inventory (STAI), stress, videogames

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25 Design of Dendritic Molecules Bearing Donor-Acceptor Groups (Pyrene-Bodipy): Optical and Photophysical Properties

Authors: Pasquale Porcu, Mireille Vonlanthen, Gerardo Zaragoza-Galán, Ernesto Rivera


In this work, we report the synthesis of a novel series of dendritic molecules bearing donor-acceptor groups (pyrene-bodipy) with potential applications in energy transfer. Initially, first and second generation Fréchet type dendrons (Py2-G1OH and Py4-G2OH) were prepared from 1-pyrenylbutanol and 3,5-dihydroxybenzylic alcohol. These compounds were further linked to a bodipy unit via an esterification reaction in order to obtain the desired products (Bodipy-G1Py2) and Bodipy-G2Py4). These compounds were fully characterized by FTIR and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and their molecular weights were determined by MALDITOF. The optical and photophysical properties of these molecules were evaluated by absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, in order to compare their behaviour with other analogue molecules.

Keywords: bodipy, dendritic molecules, optical properties, pyrene

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24 Aerodynamic Design an UAV with Application on the Spraying Agricola with Method of Genetic Algorithm Optimization

Authors: Saul A. Torres Z., Eduardo Liceaga C., Alfredo Arias M.


Agriculture in the world falls within the main sources of economic and global needs, so care of crop is extremely important for owners and workers; one of the major causes of loss of product is the pest infection of different types of organisms. We seek to develop a UAV for agricultural spraying at a maximum altitude of 5000 meters above sea level, with a payload of 100 liters of fumigant. For the developing the aerodynamic design of the aircraft is using computational tools such as the "Vortex Lattice Athena" software, "MATLAB"," ANSYS FLUENT"," XFoil " package among others. Also methods are being used structured programming, exhaustive analysis of optimization methods and search. The results have a very low margin of error, and the multi- objective problems can be helpful for future developments. The program has 10 functions developed in MATLAB, these functions are related to each other to enable the development of design, and all these functions are controlled by the principal code "Master.m".

Keywords: aerodynamics design, optimization, algorithm genetic, multi-objective problem, stability, vortex

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23 Cellular Automata Model for Car Accidents at a Signalized Intersection

Authors: Rachid Marzoug, Noureddine Lakouari, Beatriz Castillo Téllez, Margarita Castillo Téllez, Gerardo Alberto Mejía Pérez


This paper developed a two-lane cellular automata model to explain the relationship between car accidents at a signalized intersection and traffic-related parameters. It is found that the increase of the lane-changing probability P?ₕ? increases the risk of accidents, besides, the inflow α and the probability of accidents Pₐ? exhibit a nonlinear relationship. Furthermore, depending on the inflow, Pₐ? exhibits three different phases. The transition from phase I to phase II is of first (second) order when P?ₕ?=0 (P?ₕ?>0). However, the system exhibits a second (first) order transition from phase II to phase III when P?ₕ?=0 (P?ₕ?>0). In addition, when the inflow is not very high, the green light length of one road should be increased to improve road safety. Finally, simulation results show that the traffic at the intersection is safer adopting symmetric lane-changing rules than asymmetric ones.

Keywords: two-lane intersection, accidents, fatality risk, lane-changing, phase transition

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22 Inventory Management to Minimize Storage Costs and Improve Delivery Time in a Pharmaceutical Industry

Authors: Israel Becerril Rosales, Manuel González De La Rosa, Gerardo Villa Sánchez


In this work, the effects that produce not having a good inventory management is analyzed, in addition of the way that how it affects the storage costs. The research began conducting the historical analysis about stored products, its storage capacity, and distribution. The results were not optimal, since in all its raw materials (RM) have overstocking, the warehouse capacity is only used by 61%, does not have a specific place for each of its RM, causing that the delivery times increases and makes difficult a cyclical inventory. These shortcomings allowed to view and select as design alternatives the inventory ABC, so that depending on the consumption of each RM would be redistributed by using economic amount requested. Also, the Delphi method to ensure the practical applicability of the proposed tool was used, taking in account comments and suggestions of the involved experts, as well as the compliance of NOM-059-SSA1-2015 good manufacturing practices of drug. With the actions implemented, the utilization rate drops of 61% to 32% capacity, it shows that the warehouse was not designed properly due to there is not an industrial engineering area.

Keywords: lead time, improve delivery, storage costs, inventory management

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21 An Alternative Method for Computing Clothoids

Authors: Gerardo Casal, Miguel E. Vázquez-Méndez


The clothoid (also known as Cornu spiral or Euler spiral) is a curve that is characterized because its curvature is proportional to its length. This property makes that it would be widely used as transition curve for designing the layout of roads and railway tracks. In this work, from the geometrical property characterizing the clothoid, its parametric equations are obtained and two algorithms to compute it are compared. The first (classical), is widely used in Surveying Schools and it is based on the use of explicit formulas obtained from Taylor expansions of sine and cosine functions. The second one (alternative) is a very simple algorithm, based on the numerical solution of the initial value problems giving the clothoid parameterization. Both methods are compared in some typical surveying problems. The alternative method does not use complex formulas and so it is conceptually very simple and easy to apply. It gives good results, even if the classical method goes wrong (if the quotient between length and radius of curvature is high), needs no subsequent translations nor rotations and, consequently, it seems an efficient tool for designing the layout of roads and railway tracks.

Keywords: transition curves, railroad and highway engineering, Runge-Kutta methods

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20 A Study on Mesh Size Dependency on Bed Expansion Zone in a Three-Phase Fluidized Bed Reactor

Authors: Liliana Patricia Olivo Arias


The present study focused on the hydrodynamic study in a three-phase fluidized bed reactor and the influence of important aspects, such as volume fractions (Hold up), velocity magnitude of gas, liquid and solid phases (hydrogen, gasoil, and gamma alumina), interactions of phases, through of drag models with the k-epsilon turbulence model. For this purpose was employed a Euler-Euler model and also considers the system is constituted of three phases, gaseous, liquid and solid, characterized by its physical and thermal properties, the transport processes that are developed within the transient regime. The proposed model of the three-phase fluidized bed reactor was solved numerically using the ANSYS-Fluent software with different mesh refinements on bed expansion zone in order to observe the influence of the hydrodynamic parameters and convergence criteria. With this model and the numerical simulations obtained for its resolution, it was possible to predict the results of the volume fractions (Hold ups) and the velocity magnitude for an unsteady system from the initial and boundaries conditions were established.

Keywords: three-phase fluidized bed system, CFD simulation, mesh dependency study, hydrodynamic study

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19 Proposed Solutions Based on Affective Computing

Authors: Diego Adrian Cardenas Jorge, Gerardo Mirando Guisado, Alfredo Barrientos Padilla


A system based on Affective Computing can detect and interpret human information like voice, facial expressions and body movement to detect emotions and execute a corresponding response. This data is important due to the fact that a person can communicate more effectively with emotions than can be possible with words. This information can be processed through technological components like Facial Recognition, Gait Recognition or Gesture Recognition. As of now, solutions proposed using this technology only consider one component at a given moment. This research investigation proposes two solutions based on Affective Computing taking into account more than one component for emotion detection. The proposals reflect the levels of dependency between hardware devices and software, as well as the interaction process between the system and the user which implies the development of scenarios where both proposals will be put to the test in a live environment. Both solutions are to be developed in code by software engineers to prove the feasibility. To validate the impact on society and business interest, interviews with stakeholders are conducted with an investment mind set where each solution is labeled on a scale of 1 through 5, being one a minimum possible investment and 5 the maximum.

Keywords: affective computing, emotions, emotion detection, face recognition, gait recognition

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18 Flipped Learning Application on the Development of Capabilities for Civil Engineering Education in Labs

Authors: Hector Barrios-Piña, Georgia García-Arellano, Salvador García-Rodríguez, Gerardo Bocanegra-García, Shashi Kant


This work shows the methodology of application and the effectiveness of the Flipped Learning technique for Civil Engineering laboratory classes. It was experimented by some of the professors of the Department of Civil Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey while teaching their laboratory classes. A total of 28 videos were created. The videos primarily demonstrate instructions of the experimental practices other than the usage of tools and materials. The technique allowed the students to prepare for their classes in advance. A survey was conducted on the participating professors and students (semester of August-December 2019) to quantify the effectiveness of the Flipped Learning technique. The students reported it as an excellent way of improving their learning aptitude, including self-learning whereas, the professors felt it as an efficient technique for optimizing their class session, which also provided an extra slot for class-interaction. A comparison of grades was analyzed between the students of the traditional classes and with Flipped Learning. It did not distinguish the benefits of Flipped Learning. However, the positive responses from the students and the professors provide an impetus for continuing and promoting the Flipped Learning technique in future classes.

Keywords: flipped learning, laboratory classes, civil engineering, competences development

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17 Induced Thermo-Osmotic Convection for Heat and Mass Transfer

Authors: Francisco J. Arias


Consideration is given to a mechanism of heat and mass transport in solutions similar than that of natural convection but with one important difference. Here the mechanism is not promoted by density differences in the fluid occurring due to temperature gradients (coefficient of thermal expansion) but rather by solubility differences due to the thermal dependence of the solubility (coefficient of thermal solubility). Utilizing a simplified physical model, it is shown that by the proper choice of the concentration of a given solution, convection might be induced by the alternating precipitation of the solute -when the solution becomes supersaturated, and its posterior recombination when changes in temperature occurs. The spontaneous change in the Gibbs free energy during the mixing is the driven force for the mechanism. The maximum extractable energy from this new type of thermal convection was derived. Experimental data from a closed-loop circuit was obtained demonstrating the feasibility for continuous separation and recombination of the solution. This type of heat and mass transport -which doesn’t depend on gravity, might potentially be interesting for heat and mass transport downwards (as in solar-roof collectors to inside homes), horizontal (e.g., microelectronic applications), and in microgravity (space technology). Also, because the coefficient of thermal solubility could be positive or negative, the investigated thermo-osmosis convection can be used either for heating or cooling.

Keywords: natural convection, thermal gradient, solubility, osmotic pressure

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16 Optimization of Alkali Silicate Glass Heat Treatment for the Improvement of Thermal Expansion and Flexural Strength

Authors: Stephanie Guerra-Arias, Stephani Nevarez, Calvin Stewart, Rachel Grodsky, Denis Eichorst


The objective of this study is to describe the framework for optimizing the heat treatment of alkali silicate glasses, to enhance the performance of hermetic seals in extreme environments. When connectors are exposed to elevated temperatures, residual stresses develop due to the mismatch of thermal expansions between the glass, metal pin, and metal shell. Excessive thermal expansion mismatch compromises the reliability of hermetic seals. In this study, a series of heat treatment schedules will be performed on two commercial sealing glasses (one conventional sealing glass and one crystallizable sealing glass) using a design of experiments (DOE) approach. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) will be measured pre- and post-heat treatment using thermomechanical analysis (TMA). Afterwards, the flexural strength of the specimen will be measured using a four-point bend fixture mounted in a static universal testing machine. The measured material properties will be statistically analyzed using MiniTab software to determine which factors of the heat treatment process have a strong correlation to the coefficient of thermal expansion and/or flexural strength. Finally, a heat-treatment will be designed and tested to ensure the optimal performance of the hermetic seals in connectors.

Keywords: glass-ceramics, design of experiment, hermetic connectors, material characterization

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15 Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II) for the Redistricting Problem in Mexico

Authors: Antonin Ponsich, Eric Alfredo Rincon Garcia, Roman Anselmo Mora Gutierrez, Miguel Angel Gutierrez Andrade, Sergio Gerardo De Los Cobos Silva, Pedro Lara Velzquez


The electoral zone design problem consists in redrawing the boundaries of legislative districts for electoral purposes in such a way that federal or state requirements are fulfilled. In Mexico, this process has been historically carried out by the National Electoral Institute (INE), by optimizing an integer nonlinear programming model, in which population equality and compactness of the designed districts are considered as two conflicting objective functions, while contiguity is included as a hard constraint. The solution technique used by the INE is a Simulated Annealing (SA) based algorithm, which handles the multi-objective nature of the problem through an aggregation function. The present work represents the first intent to apply a classical Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm (MOEA), the second version of the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II), to this hard combinatorial problem. First results show that, when compared with the SA algorithm, the NSGA-II obtains promising results. The MOEA manages to produce well-distributed solutions over a wide-spread front, even though some convergence troubles for some instances constitute an issue, which should be corrected in future adaptations of MOEAs to the redistricting problem.

Keywords: multi-objective optimization, NSGA-II, redistricting, zone design problem

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14 Mechanical Behavior of Recycled Mortars Manufactured from Moisture Correction Using the Halogen Light Thermogravimetric Balance as an Alternative to the Traditional ASTM C 128 Method

Authors: Diana Gomez-Cano, J. C. Ochoa-Botero, Roberto Bernal Correa, Yhan Paul Arias


To obtain high mechanical performance, the fresh conditions of a mortar are decisive. Measuring the absorption of aggregates used in mortar mixes is a fundamental requirement for proper design of the mixes prior to their placement in construction sites. In this sense, absorption is a determining factor in the design of a mix because it conditions the amount of water, which in turn affects the water/cement ratio and the final porosity of the mortar. Thus, this work focuses on the mechanical behavior of recycled mortars manufactured from moisture correction using the Thermogravimetric Balancing Halogen Light (TBHL) technique in comparison with the traditional ASTM C 128 International Standard method. The advantages of using the TBHL technique are favorable in terms of reduced consumption of resources such as materials, energy, and time. The results show that in contrast to the ASTM C 128 method, the TBHL alternative technique allows obtaining a higher precision in the absorption values of recycled aggregates, which is reflected not only in a more efficient process in terms of sustainability in the characterization of construction materials but also in an effect on the mechanical performance of recycled mortars.

Keywords: alternative raw materials, halogen light, recycled mortar, resources optimization, water absorption

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13 Simulation of Climatic Change Effects on the Potential Fishing Zones of Dorado Fish (Coryphaena hippurus L.) in the Colombian Pacific under Scenarios RCP Using CMIP5 Model

Authors: Adriana Martínez-Arias, John Josephraj Selvaraj, Luis Octavio González-Salcedo


In the Colombian Pacific, Dorado fish (Coryphaena hippurus L.) fisheries is of great commercial interest. However, its habitat and fisheries may be affected by climatic change especially by the actual increase in sea surface temperature. Hence, it is of interest to study the dynamics of these species fishing zones. In this study, we developed Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) models to predict Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) as an indicator of species abundance. The model was based on four oceanographic variables (Chlorophyll a, Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Level Anomaly and Bathymetry) derived from satellite data. CPUE datasets for model training and cross-validation were obtained from logbooks of commercial fishing vessel. Sea surface Temperature for Colombian Pacific were projected under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios 4.5 and 8.5 using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and CPUE maps were created. Our results indicated that an increase in sea surface temperature reduces the potential fishing zones of this species in the Colombian Pacific. We conclude that ANN is a reliable tool for simulation of climate change effects on the potential fishing zones. This research opens a future agenda for other species that have been affected by climate change.

Keywords: climatic change, artificial neural networks, dorado fish, CPUE

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12 Cognitive Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

Authors: Ana Munguia, Gerardo Ortiz, Guadalupe Gonzalez, Fiacro Jimenez


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes motor and cognitive symptoms. The first-choice treatment for these patients is pharmacological, but this generates several side effects. Because of that new treatments were introduced such as Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in order to improve the life quality of the patients. Several studies suggest significant changes in motor symptoms. However, there is a great diversity in the number of pulses, amplitude, frequency and stimulation targets, which results in inconsistent data. In addition, these studies do not have an analysis of the neuropsychological effects of the treatment. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of rTMS on the cognitive performance of 6 patients with H&Y III and IV (45-65 years, 3 men and 3 women). An initial neuropsychological and neurological evaluation was performed. Patients were randomized into two groups; in the first phase one received rTMS in the supplementary motor area, the other group in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex contralateral to the most affected hemibody. In the second phase, each group received the stimulation in the area that he had not been stimulated previously. Reassessments were carried out at the beginning, at the end of each phase and a follow-up was carried out 6 months after the conclusion of the stimulation. In these preliminary results, it is reported that there's no statistically significant difference before and after receiving rTMS in the neuropsychological test scores of the patients, which suggests that the cognitive performance of patients is not detrimental. There are even tendencies towards an improvement in executive functioning after the treatment. What added to motor improvement, showed positive effects in the activities of the patients' daily life. In a later and more detailed analysis, will be evaluated the effects in each of the patients separately in relation to the functionality of the patients in their daily lives.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease, rTMS, cognitive, treatment

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11 Viscoelastic Properties of Sn-15%Pb Measured in an Oscillation Test

Authors: Gerardo Sanjuan Sanjuan, Ángel Enrique Chavéz Castellanos


The knowledge of the rheological behavior of partially solidified metal alloy is an important issue when modeling and simulation of die filling in semisolid processes. Many experiments for like steady state, the step change in shear rate tests, shear stress ramps have been carried out leading that semi-solid alloys exhibit shear thinning, thixotropic behavior and yield stress. More advanced investigation gives evidence some viscoelastic features can be observed. The viscoelastic properties of materials are determinate by transient or dynamic methods; unfortunately, sparse information exists about oscillation experiments. The aim of this present work is to use small amplitude oscillatory tests for knowledge properties such as G´ and G´´. These properties allow providing information about materials structure. For this purpose, we investigated tin-lead alloy (Sn-15%Pb) which exhibits a similar microstructure to aluminum alloys and is the classic alloy for semisolid thixotropic studies. The experiments were performed with parallel plates rheometer AR-G2. Initially, the liquid alloy is cooled down to the semisolid range, a specific temperature to guarantee a constant fraction solid. Oscillation was performed within the linear viscoelastic regime with a strain sweep. So, the loss modulus G´´, the storage modulus G´ and the loss angle (δ) was monitored. In addition a frequency sweep at a strain below the critical strain for characterized its structure. This provides more information about the interactions among solid particles on a liquid matrix. After testing, the sample was removed then cooled, sectioned and examined metallographically. These experiments demonstrate that the viscoelasticity is sensitive to the solid fraction, and is strongly influenced by the shape and size of particles solid.

Keywords: rheology, semisolid alloys, thixotropic, viscoelasticity

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10 Phenology and Size in the Social Sweat Bee, Halictus ligatus, in an Urban Environment

Authors: Rachel A. Brant, Grace E. Kenny, Paige A. Muñiz, Gerardo R. Camilo


The social sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, has been documented to alter its phenology as a response to changes in temporal dynamics of resources. Furthermore, H. ligatus exhibits polyethism in natural environments as a consequence of the variation in resources. Yet, we do not know if or how H. ligatus responds to these variations in urban environments. As urban environments become much more widespread, and human population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, it is crucial to distinguish how resources are allocated by bees in cities. We hypothesize that in urban regions, where floral availability varies with human activity, H. ligatus will exhibit polyethism in order to match the extremely localized spatial variability of resources. We predict that in an urban setting, where resources vary both spatially and temporally, the phenology of H. ligatus will alter in response to these fluctuations. This study was conducted in Saint Louis, Missouri, at fifteen sites each varying in size and management type (community garden, urban farm, prairie restoration). Bees were collected by hand netting from 2013-2016. Results suggest that the largest individuals, mostly gynes, occurred in lower income neighborhood community gardens in May and August. We used a model averaging procedure, based on information theoretical methods, to determine a best model for predicting bee size. Our results suggest that month and locality within the city are the best predictors of bee size. Halictus ligatus was observed to comply with the predictions of polyethism from 2013 to 2015. However, in 2016 there was an almost complete absence of the smallest worker castes. This is a significant deviation from what is expected under polyethism. This could be attributed to shifts in planting decisions, shifts in plant-pollinator matches, or local climatic conditions. Further research is needed to determine if this divergence from polyethism is a new strategy for the social sweat bee as climate continues to alter or a response to human dominated landscapes.

Keywords: polyethism, urban environment, phenology, social sweat bee

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9 Local Farmer’s Perception on the Role of Room for the River in Livelihoods: Case Study in An Phu District, An Giang Province, Vietnam

Authors: Hoang Vo Thi Minh, Duyen Nguyen Thi Phuong, Gerardo Van Halsema


As one of the deltas which is extremely vulnerable to climate change, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is facing many challenges that need to be addressed in strategic and holistic ways. In this study scope, a strategic delta planning is recently considered as a new vision of Adaptive Delta Management for the Mekong Delta. In Adaptive Delta Management, Room for the Rivers (RftR) has been formulated as a typical innovation, which is currently in need of careful consideration for implementing in the Mekong Delta’s planning process. This study then attempts to investigate the roles and analyze sociological aspects of the RftR as potential strategic 'soft' measure, in upstream of Hau River in An Phu district, An Giang province, especially in terms of its so-called multifunctions. The study applied social science approach embedded with a few qualitative methods including in-depth interviews and questionnaire distribution and conjoint analysis as a quantitative approach. The former mainly aims at gaining the local community’s perceptions about the RftR solution. The latter tries to gain farmers’ willingness to accept (WTA) with regard to their level of preference towards the three selected solutions which are considered as strategic plans for sustainably developing the MD. Qualitative data analysis shows that, farmers perceive RftR as very useful for their livelihoods due to its multifunctions as well as in terms of water management. The quantitative results illustrated that respondents expressed their WTAs on RftR as 84. 240 thousand VND / year. Amongst the three solutions that are analysed within this study (Floating rice for upper delta, Room for the Rivers for the Middle, and Shrimp-Mangrove integration for the coastal delta), RfrR was ranked as second preference from respondents. This result is not exactly reflecting the real values of these three mentioned solutions but showing a tendency that can be seen as a reference for the decision-makers in delta planning processes.

Keywords: strategic delta planning, room for the River, farmers’ perception, willingness-to-accept, local livelihoods

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8 Effect of Phytohormones on the Development and Nutraceutical Characteristics of the Fruit Capsicum annuum

Authors: Rossy G. Olan Villegas, Gerardo Acosta Garcia, Aurea Bernardino Nicanor, Leopoldo Gonzalez Cruz, Humberto Ramirez Medina


Capsicum annuum is a crop of agricultural and economic importance in Mexico and other countries. The fruit (pepper) contains bioactive components such as carotenoids, phenolic compounds and capsaicinoids that improve health. However, pepper cultivation is affected by biotic and abiotic factors that decrease yield. Some phytohormones like gibberellins and auxins induce the formation and development of fruit in several plants. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the exogenous application of phytohormones like gibberellic acid and indolbutyric acid on fruit development of jalapeno pepper plants, the protein profile of plant tissues, the accumulation of bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity in the pericarp and seeds. For that, plants were sprinkled with these phytohormones. The fruit collection for the control, indolbutyric acid and gibberellic acid treatments was 7 peppers per plant; however, for the treatment that combines indolbutyric acid and gibberellic acid, a fruit with the shortest length (1.52 ± 1.00 cm) and weight (0.41 ± 1.0 g) was collected compared to fruits of plants grown under other treatments. The length (4,179 ± 0,130 cm) and weight of the fruit (8,949 ± 0.583 g) increased in plants treated with indolbutyric acid, but these characteristics decreased with the application of GA3 (length of 3,349 ± 0.127 cm and a weight 4,429 ± 0.144 g). The content of carotenes and phenolic compounds increased in plants treated with GA3 (1,733 ± 0.092 and 1,449 ± 0.009 mg / g, respectively) or indolbutyric acid (1,164 ± 0.042 and 0.970 ± 0.003 mg / g). However, this effect was not observed in plants treated with both phytohormones (0.238 ± 0.021 and 0.218 ± 0.004 mg / g). Capsaicin content was higher in all treatments; but it was more noticeable in plants treated with both phytohormones, the value being 0.913 ± 0.001 mg / g (three times greater in amount). The antioxidant activity was measured by 3 different assays, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), antioxidant power of ferric reduction (FRAP) and 2,2'-Azinobis-3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid ( ABTS) to find the minimum inhibitory concentration of the reducing radical (IC50 and EC50). Significant differences were observed from the application of the phytohormone, being the fruits treated with gibberellins, which had a greater accumulation of bioactive compounds. Our results suggest that the application of phytohormones modifies the development of fruit and its content of bioactive compounds.

Keywords: auxins, capsaicinoids, carotenoids, gibberellins

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7 Reverse Engineering of a Secondary Structure of a Helicopter: A Study Case

Authors: Jose Daniel Giraldo Arias, Camilo Rojas Gomez, David Villegas Delgado, Gullermo Idarraga Alarcon, Juan Meza Meza


The reverse engineering processes are widely used in the industry with the main goal to determine the materials and the manufacture used to produce a component. There are a lot of characterization techniques and computational tools that are used in order to get this information. A study case of a reverse engineering applied to a secondary sandwich- hybrid type structure used in a helicopter is presented. The methodology used consists of five main steps, which can be applied to any other similar component: Collect information about the service conditions of the part, disassembly and dimensional characterization, functional characterization, material properties characterization and manufacturing processes characterization, allowing to obtain all the supports of the traceability of the materials and processes of the aeronautical products that ensure their airworthiness. A detailed explanation of each step is covered. Criticality and comprehend the functionalities of each part, information of the state of the art and information obtained from interviews with the technical groups of the helicopter’s operators were analyzed,3D optical scanning technique, standard and advanced materials characterization techniques and finite element simulation allow to obtain all the characteristics of the materials used in the manufacture of the component. It was found that most of the materials are quite common in the aeronautical industry, including Kevlar, carbon, and glass fibers, aluminum honeycomb core, epoxy resin and epoxy adhesive. The stacking sequence and volumetric fiber fraction are a critical issue for the mechanical behavior; a digestion acid method was used for this purpose. This also helps in the determination of the manufacture technique which for this case was Vacuum Bagging. Samples of the material were manufactured and submitted to mechanical and environmental tests. These results were compared with those obtained during reverse engineering, which allows concluding that the materials and manufacture were correctly determined. Tooling for the manufacture was designed and manufactured according to the geometry and manufacture process requisites. The part was manufactured and the mechanical, and environmental tests required were also performed. Finally, a geometric characterization and non-destructive techniques allow verifying the quality of the part.

Keywords: reverse engineering, sandwich-structured composite parts, helicopter, mechanical properties, prototype

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6 Heating Demand Reduction in Single Family Houses Community through Home Energy Management: Putting Users in Charge

Authors: Omar Shafqat, Jaime Arias, Cristian Bogdan, Björn Palm


Heating constitutes a major part of the overall energy consumption in Sweden. In 2013 heating and hot water accounted for about 55% of the total energy use in the housing sector. Historically, the end users have not been able to make a significant impact on their consumption on account of traditional control systems that do not facilitate interaction and control of the heating systems. However, in recent years internet connected home energy management systems have become increasingly available which allow users to visualize the indoor temperatures as well as control the heating system. However, the adoption of these systems is still in its nascent stages. This paper presents the outcome of a study carried out in a community of single-family houses in Stockholm. Heating in the area is provided through district heating, and the neighbourhood is connected through a local micro thermal grid, which is owned and operated by the local community. Heating in the houses is accomplished through a hydronic system equipped with radiators. The system installed offers the households to control the indoor temperature through a mobile application as well as through a physical thermostat. It was also possible to program the system to, for instance, lower the temperatures during night time and when the users were away. The users could also monitor the indoor temperatures through the application. It was additionally possible to create different zones in the house with their own individual programming. The historical heating data (in the form of billing data) was available for several previous years and has been used to perform quantitative analysis for the study after necessary normalization for weather variations. The experiment involved 30 households out of a community of 178 houses. The area was selected due to uniform construction profile in the area. It was observed that despite similar design and construction period there was a large variation in the heating energy consumption in the area which can for a large part be attributed to user behaviour. The paper also presents qualitative analysis done through survey questions as well as a focus group carried out with the participants. Overall, considerable energy savings were accomplished during the trial, however, there was a considerable variation between the participating households. The paper additionally presents recommendations to improve the impact of home energy management systems for heating in terms of improving user engagement and hence the energy impact.

Keywords: energy efficiency in buildings, energy behavior, heating control system, home energy management system

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5 Sustainable Technology and the Production of Housing

Authors: S. Arias


New housing developments and the technological changes that this implies, adapt the styles of living of its residents, as well as new family structures and forms of work due to the particular needs of a specific group of people which involves different techniques of dealing with, organize, equip and use a particular territory. Currently, own their own space is increasingly important and the cities are faced with the challenge of providing the opportunity for such demands, as well as energy, water and waste removal necessary in the process of construction and occupation of new human settlements. Until the day of today, not has failed to give full response to these demands and needs, resulting in cities that grow without control, badly used land, avenues and congested streets. Buildings and dwellings have an important impact on the environment and on the health of the people, therefore environmental quality associated with the comfort of humans to the sustainable development of natural resources. Applied to architecture, this concept involves the incorporation of new technologies in all the constructive process of a dwelling, changing customs of developers and users, what must be a greater effort in planning energy savings and thus reducing the emissions Greenhouse Gases (GHG) depending on the geographical location where it is planned to develop. Since the techniques of occupation of the territory are not the same everywhere, must take into account that these depend on the geographical, social, political, economic and climatic-environmental circumstances of place, which in modified according to the degree of development reached. In the analysis that must be undertaken to check the degree of sustainability of the place, it is necessary to make estimates of the energy used in artificial air conditioning and lighting. In the same way is required to diagnose the availability and distribution of the water resources used for hygiene and for the cooling of artificially air-conditioned spaces, as well as the waste resulting from these technological processes. Based on the results obtained through the different stages of the analysis, it is possible to perform an energy audit in the process of proposing recommendations of sustainability in architectural spaces in search of energy saving, rational use of water and natural resources optimization. The above can be carried out through the development of a sustainable building code in develop technical recommendations to the regional characteristics of each study site. These codes would seek to build bases to promote a building regulations applicable to new human settlements looking for is generated at the same time quality, protection and safety in them. This building regulation must be consistent with other regulations both national and municipal and State, such as the laws of human settlements, urban development and zoning regulations.

Keywords: building regulations, housing, sustainability, technology

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4 Investigation on Correlation of Earthquake Intensity Parameters with Seismic Response of Reinforced Concrete Structures

Authors: Semra Sirin Kiris


Nonlinear dynamic analysis is permitted to be used for structures without any restrictions. The important issue is the selection of the design earthquake to conduct the analyses since quite different response may be obtained using ground motion records at the same general area even resulting from the same earthquake. In seismic design codes, the method requires scaling earthquake records based on site response spectrum to a specified hazard level. Many researches have indicated that this limitation about selection can cause a large scatter in response and other charecteristics of ground motion obtained in different manner may demonstrate better correlation with peak seismic response. For this reason influence of eleven different ground motion parameters on the peak displacement of reinforced concrete systems is examined in this paper. From conducting 7020 nonlinear time history analyses for single degree of freedom systems, the most effective earthquake parameters are given for the range of the initial periods and strength ratios of the structures. In this study, a hysteresis model for reinforced concrete called Q-hyst is used not taken into account strength and stiffness degradation. The post-yielding to elastic stiffness ratio is considered as 0.15. The range of initial period, T is from 0.1s to 0.9s with 0.1s time interval and three different strength ratios for structures are used. The magnitude of 260 earthquake records selected is higher than earthquake magnitude, M=6. The earthquake parameters related to the energy content, duration or peak values of ground motion records are PGA(Peak Ground Acceleration), PGV (Peak Ground Velocity), PGD (Peak Ground Displacement), MIV (Maximum Increamental Velocity), EPA(Effective Peak Acceleration), EPV (Effective Peak Velocity), teff (Effective Duration), A95 (Arias Intensity-based Parameter), SPGA (Significant Peak Ground Acceleration), ID (Damage Factor) and Sa (Spectral Response Spectrum).Observing the correlation coefficients between the ground motion parameters and the peak displacement of structures, different earthquake parameters play role in peak displacement demand related to the ranges formed by the different periods and the strength ratio of a reinforced concrete systems. The influence of the Sa tends to decrease for the high values of strength ratio and T=0.3s-0.6s. The ID and PGD is not evaluated as a measure of earthquake effect since high correlation with displacement demand is not observed. The influence of the A95 is high for T=0.1 but low related to the higher values of T and strength ratio. The correlation of PGA, EPA and SPGA shows the highest correlation for T=0.1s but their effectiveness decreases with high T. Considering all range of structural parameters, the MIV is the most effective parameter.

Keywords: earthquake parameters, earthquake resistant design, nonlinear analysis, reinforced concrete

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3 Qualitative Characterization of Proteins in Common and Quality Protein Maize Corn by Mass Spectrometry

Authors: Benito Minjarez, Jesse Haramati, Yury Rodriguez-Yanez, Florencio Recendiz-Hurtado, Juan-Pedro Luna-Arias, Salvador Mena-Munguia


During the last decades, the world has experienced a rapid industrialization and an expanding economy favoring a demographic boom. As a consequence, countries around the world have focused on developing new strategies related to the production of different farm products in order to meet future demands. Consequently, different strategies have been developed seeking to improve the major food products for both humans and livestock. Corn, after wheat and rice, is the third most important crop globally and is the primary food source for both humans and livestock in many regions around the globe. In addition, maize (Zea mays) is an important source of protein accounting for up to 60% of the daily human protein supply. Generally, many of the cereal grains have proteins with relatively low nutritional value, when they are compared with proteins from meat. In the case of corn, much of the protein is found in the endosperm (75 to 85%) and is deficient in two essential amino acids, lysine, and tryptophan. This deficiency results in an imbalance of amino acids and low protein content; normal maize varieties have less than half of the recommended amino acids for human nutrition. In addition, studies have shown that this deficiency has been associated with symptoms of growth impairment, anemia, hypoproteinemia, and fatty liver. Due to the fact that most of the presently available maize varieties do not contain the quality and quantity of proteins necessary for a balanced diet, different countries have focused on the research of quality protein maize (QPM). Researchers have characterized QPM noting that these varieties may contain between 70 to 100% more residues of the amino acids essential for animal and human nutrition, lysine, and tryptophan, than common corn. Several countries in Africa, Latin America, as well as China, have incorporated QPM in their agricultural development plan. Large parts of these countries have chosen a specific QPM variety based on their local needs and climate. Reviews have described the breeding methods of maize and have revealed the lack of studies on genetic and proteomic diversity of proteins in QPM varieties, and their genetic relationships with normal maize varieties. Therefore, molecular marker identification using tools such as mass spectrometry may accelerate the selection of plants that carry the desired proteins with high lysine and tryptophan concentration. To date, QPM maize lines have played a very important role in alleviating the malnutrition, and better characterization of these lines would provide a valuable nutritional enhancement for use in the resource-poor regions of the world. Thus, the objectives of this study were to identify proteins in QPM maize in comparison with a common maize line as a control.

Keywords: corn, mass spectrometry, QPM, tryptophan

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2 Application of Acoustic Emissions Related to Drought Can Elicit Antioxidant Responses and Capsaicinoids Content in Chili Pepper Plants

Authors: Laura Helena Caicedo Lopez, Luis Miguel Contreras Medina, Ramon Gerardo Guevara Gonzales, Juan E. Andrade


In this study, we evaluated the effect of three different hydric stress conditions: Low (LHS), medium (MHS), and high (HHS) on capsaicinoid content and enzyme regulation of C. annuum plants. Five main peaks were detected using a 2 Hz resolution vibrometer laser (Polytec-B&K). These peaks or “characteristic frequencies” were used as acoustic emissions (AEs) treatment, transforming these signals into audible sound with the frequency (Hz) content of each hydric stress. Capsaicinoids (CAPs) are the main, secondary metabolites of chili pepper plants and are known to increase during hydric stress conditions or short drought-periods. The AEs treatments were applied in two plant stages: the first one was in the pre-anthesis stage to evaluate the genes that encode the transcription of enzymes responsible for diverse metabolic activities of C. annuum plants. For example, the antioxidant responses such as peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD). Also, phenyl-alanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) involved in the biosynthesis of the phenylpropanoid compounds. The chalcone synthase (CHS) related to the natural defense mechanisms and species-specific aquaporin (CAPIP-1) that regulate the flow of water into and out of cells. The second stage was at 40 days after flowering (DAF) to evaluate the biochemical effect of AEs related to hydric stress on capsaicinoids production. These two experiments were conducted to identify the molecular responses of C. annuum plants to AE. Moreover, to define AEs could elicit any increase in the capsaicinoids content after a one-week exposition to AEs treatments. The results show that all AEs treatment signals (LHS, MHS, and HHS) were significantly different compared to the non-acoustic emission control (NAE). Also, the AEs induced the up-regulation of POD (~2.8, 2.9, and 3.6, respectively). The gene expression of another antioxidant response was particularly treatment-dependent. The HHS induced and overexpression of Mn-SOD (~0.23) and PAL (~0.33). As well, the MHS only induced an up-regulation of the CHs gene (~0.63). On the other hand, CAPIP-1 gene gas down-regulated by all AEs treatments LHS, MHS, and HHS ~ (-2.4, -0.43 and -6.4, respectively). Likewise, the down-regulation showed particularities depending on the treatment. LHS and MHS induced downregulation of the SOD gene ~ (-1.26 and -1.20 respectively) and PAL (-4.36 and 2.05, respectively). Correspondingly, the LHS and HHS showed the same tendency in the CHs gene, respectively ~ (-1.12 and -1.02, respectively). Regarding the elicitation effect of AE on the capsaicinoids content, additional treatment controls were included. A white noise treatment (WN) to prove the frequency-selectiveness of signals and a hydric stressed group (HS) to compare the CAPs content. Our findings suggest that WN and NAE did not present differences statically. Conversely, HS and all AEs treatments induced a significant increase of capsaicin (Cap) and dihydrocapsaicin (Dcap) after one-week of a treatment. Specifically, the HS plants showed an increase of 8.33 times compared to the NAE and WN treatments and 1.4 times higher than the MHS, which was the AEs treatment with a larger induction of Capsaicinoids among treatments (5.88) and compared to the controls.

Keywords: acoustic emission, capsaicinoids, elicitors, hydric stress, plant signaling

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