Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 10994

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104 Zinc Oxide Varistor Performance: A 3D Network Model

Authors: Benjamin Kaufmann, Michael Hofstätter, Nadine Raidl, Peter Supancic

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ZnO varistors are the leading overvoltage protection elements in today’s electronic industry. Their highly non-linear current-voltage characteristics, very fast response times, good reliability and attractive cost of production are unique in this field. There are challenges and questions unsolved. Especially, the urge to create even smaller, versatile and reliable parts, that fit industry’s demands, brings manufacturers to the limits of their abilities. Although, the varistor effect of sintered ZnO is known since the 1960’s, and a lot of work was done on this field to explain the sudden exponential increase of conductivity, the strict dependency on sinter parameters, as well as the influence of the complex microstructure, is not sufficiently understood. For further enhancement and down-scaling of varistors, a better understanding of the microscopic processes is needed. This work attempts a microscopic approach to investigate ZnO varistor performance. In order to cope with the polycrystalline varistor ceramic and in order to account for all possible current paths through the material, a preferably realistic model of the microstructure was set up in the form of three-dimensional networks where every grain has a constant electric potential, and voltage drop occurs only at the grain boundaries. The electro-thermal workload, depending on different grain size distributions, was investigated as well as the influence of the metal-semiconductor contact between the electrodes and the ZnO grains. A number of experimental methods are used, firstly, to feed the simulations with realistic parameters and, secondly, to verify the obtained results. These methods are: a micro 4-point probes method system (M4PPS) to investigate the current-voltage characteristics between single ZnO grains and between ZnO grains and the metal electrode inside the varistor, micro lock-in infrared thermography (MLIRT) to detect current paths, electron back scattering diffraction and piezoresponse force microscopy to determine grain orientations, atom probe to determine atomic substituents, Kelvin probe force microscopy for investigating grain surface potentials. The simulations showed that, within a critical voltage range, the current flow is localized along paths which represent only a tiny part of the available volume. This effect could be observed via MLIRT. Furthermore, the simulations exhibit that the electric power density, which is inversely proportional to the number of active current paths, since this number determines the electrical active volume, is dependent on the grain size distribution. M4PPS measurements showed that the electrode-grain contacts behave like Schottky diodes and are crucial for asymmetric current path development. Furthermore, evaluation of actual data suggests that current flow is influenced by grain orientations. The present results deepen the knowledge of influencing microscopic factors on ZnO varistor performance and can give some recommendations on fabrication for obtaining more reliable ZnO varistors.

Keywords: metal-semiconductor contact, Schottky diode, varistor, zinc oxide

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103 The Use of the TRIGRS Model and Geophysics Methodologies to Identify Landslides Susceptible Areas: Case Study of Campos do Jordao-SP, Brazil

Authors: Tehrrie Konig, Cassiano Bortolozo, Daniel Metodiev, Rodolfo Mendes, Marcio Andrade, Marcio Moraes

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Gravitational mass movements are recurrent events in Brazil, usually triggered by intense rainfall. When these events occur in urban areas, they end up becoming disasters due to the economic damage, social impact, and loss of human life. To identify the landslide-susceptible areas, it is important to know the geotechnical parameters of the soil, such as cohesion, internal friction angle, unit weight, hydraulic conductivity, and hydraulic diffusivity. The measurement of these parameters is made by collecting soil samples to analyze in the laboratory and by using geophysical methodologies, such as Vertical Electrical Survey (VES). The geophysical surveys analyze the soil properties with minimal impact in its initial structure. Statistical analysis and mathematical models of physical basis are used to model and calculate the Factor of Safety for steep slope areas. In general, such mathematical models work from the combination of slope stability models and hydrological models. One example is the mathematical model TRIGRS (Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-based Regional Slope- Stability Model) which calculates the variation of the Factor of Safety of a determined study area. The model relies on changes in pore-pressure and soil moisture during a rainfall event. TRIGRS was written in the Fortran programming language and associates the hydrological model, which is based on the Richards Equation, with the stability model based on the principle of equilibrium limit. Therefore, the aims of this work are modeling the slope stability of Campos do Jordão with TRIGRS, using geotechnical and geophysical methodologies to acquire the soil properties. The study area is located at southern-east of Sao Paulo State in the Mantiqueira Mountains and has a historic landslide register. During the fieldwork, soil samples were collected, and the VES method applied. These procedures provide the soil properties, which were used as input data in the TRIGRS model. The hydrological data (infiltration rate and initial water table height) and rainfall duration and intensity, were acquired from the eight rain gauges installed by Cemaden in the study area. A very high spatial resolution digital terrain model was used to identify the slopes declivity. The analyzed period is from March 6th to March 8th of 2017. As results, the TRIGRS model calculates the variation of the Factor of Safety within a 72-hour period in which two heavy rainfall events stroke the area and six landslides were registered. After each rainfall, the Factor of Safety declined, as expected. The landslides happened in areas identified by the model with low values of Factor of Safety, proving its efficiency on the identification of landslides susceptible areas. This study presents a critical threshold for landslides, in which an accumulated rainfall higher than 80mm/m² in 72 hours might trigger landslides in urban and natural slopes. The geotechnical and geophysics methods are shown to be very useful to identify the soil properties and provide the geological characteristics of the area. Therefore, the combine geotechnical and geophysical methods for soil characterization and the modeling of landslides susceptible areas with TRIGRS are useful for urban planning. Furthermore, early warning systems can be developed by combining the TRIGRS model and weather forecast, to prevent disasters in urban slopes.

Keywords: landslides, susceptibility, TRIGRS, vertical electrical survey

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102 Prospects of Low Immune Response Transplants Based on Acellular Organ Scaffolds

Authors: Inna Kornienko, Svetlana Guryeva, Anatoly Shekhter, Elena Petersen

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Transplantation is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from different end-stage diseases. However, it is plagued by a constant shortage of donor organs and the subsequent need of a lifelong immunosuppressive therapy for the patient. Currently some researchers look towards using of pig organs to replace human organs for transplantation since the matrix derived from porcine organs is a convenient substitute for the human matrix. As an initial step to create a new ex vivo tissue engineered model, optimized protocols have been created to obtain organ-specific acellular matrices and evaluated their potential as tissue engineered scaffolds for culture of normal cells and tumor cell lines. These protocols include decellularization by perfusion in a bioreactor system and immersion-agitation on an orbital shaker with use of various detergents (SDS, Triton X-100) and freezing. Complete decellularization – in terms of residual DNA amount – is an important predictor of probability of immune rejection of materials of natural origin. However, the signs of cellular material may still remain within the matrix even after harsh decellularization protocols. In this regard, the matrices obtained from tissues of low-immunogenic pigs with α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene knock out (GalT-KO) may be a promising alternative to native animal sources. The research included a study of induced effect of frozen and fresh fragments of GalT-KO skin on healing of full-thickness plane wounds in 80 rats. Commercially available wound dressings (Ksenoderm, Hyamatrix and Alloderm) as well as allogenic skin were used as a positive control and untreated wounds were analyzed as a negative control. The results were evaluated on the 4th day after grafting, which corresponds to the time of start of normal wound epithelization. It has been shown that a non-specific immune response in models treated with GalT-Ko pig skin was milder than in all the control groups. Research has been performed to measure technical skin characteristics: stiffness and elasticity properties, corneometry, tevametry, and cutometry. These metrics enabled the evaluation of hydratation level, corneous layer husking level, as well as skin elasticity and micro- and macro-landscape. These preliminary data may contribute to development of personalized transplantable organs from GalT-Ko pigs with significantly limited potential of immune rejection. By applying growth factors to a decellularized skin sample it is possible to achieve various regenerative effects based on the particular situation. In this particular research BMP2 and Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor have been used. Ideally, a bioengineered organ must be biocompatible, non-immunogenic and support cell growth. Porcine organs are attractive for xenotransplantation if severe immunologic concerns can be bypassed. The results indicate that genetically modified pig tissues with knock-outed α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene may be used for production of low-immunogenic matrix suitable for transplantation.

Keywords: decellularization, low-immunogenic, matrix, scaffolds, transplants

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101 Spinetoram10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG: A Promising Green Chemistry to Manage Pest Complex in Bt Cotton

Authors: Siddharudha B. Patil

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Cotton is a premier commercial fibre crop of India subjected to ravages of insect pests. Sucking pests viz thrips, Thrips tabaci,(lind) leaf hopper Amrsca devastance,(dist) miridbug, Poppiocapsidea beseratense (Dist) and bollworms continue to inflict damage Bt Cotton right from seeding stage. Their infestation impact cotton yield to an extent of 30-40 percent. Chemical control is still adoptable as one of the techniques for combating these pests. Presently, growers have many challenges in selecting effective chemicals which fit in with an integrated pest management. Spinetoram has broad spectrum with excellent insecticidal activity against both sucking pests and bollworms. Hence, it is expected to make a great contribution to stable production and quality improvement of agricultural products. Spinetoram is a derivative of biologically active substances (Spinosyns) produced by soil actinomycetes, Saccharopolypara spinosa which is semi synthetic active ingredient representing Spinosyn chemical class of insecticide and has demonstrated higher level of efficacy with reduced risk on beneficial arthropods. The efforts were made in the present study to test the efficacy of Spinetoram against sucking pests and bollworms in comparison with other insecticides in Bt Cotton under field condition. Field experiment was laid out during 2013-14 and 2014-15 at Agricultural Research station Dharwad (Karnataka-India) in a randomized block design comprising eight treatments and three replications. Bt cotton genotype, Bunny BG-II was sown in a plot size of 5.4 m x5.4 m. Recommend agronomical practices were followed. The Spinetoram 12% SC alone and incombination with sulfaxaflore with varied dosages against pest complex was tested. Performance was compared with Spinosad 45% SC and thiamethoxam 25% WG. The results of consecutive seasons revealed that nonsignificant difference in thrips and leafhopper population and varied significantly after 3 days of imposition. Among the treatments, combiproduct, Spinetoram 10%WG + Sulfoxaflor 30% [email protected] 140 gai/ha registered lowest population of thrips (3.91/3 leaves) and leaf hoppers (1.08/3 leaves) followed by its lower dosages viz 120 gai/ha (4.86/3 leaves and 1.14/3 leaves of thrips and leaf hoppers, respectively) and 100 gai/ha (6.02 and 1.23./3 leaves of thrips and leaf hoppers respectively) being at par, significantly superior to rest of the treatments. On the contrary, the population of thrips, leaf hopper and miridbugs in untreated control was on higher side. Similarly the higher dosage of Spinetoram 10% WG+ Sulfoxaflor 30% WG (140 gai/ha) proved its bioefficacy by registering lowest miridbug incidence of 1.70/25 squares, followed by its lower dosage (1.78 and 1.83/25 squares respectively) Further observation made on bollworms incidence revealed that the higher dosage of Spinetoram 10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG (140 gai/ha) registered lowest percentage of boll damage (7.22%), more number of good opened bolls (36.89/plant) and higher seed cotton yield (19.45q/ha) followed by rest of its lower dosages, Spinetoram 12% SC alone and Spinosad 45% SC being at par significantly superior to rest of the treatments. However, significantly higher boll damage (15.13%) and lower seed cotton yield (14.45 q/ha) was registered in untreated control. Thus Spinetoram10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG can be a promising option for pest management in Bt Cotton.

Keywords: Spinetoram10% WG+Sulfoxaflor 30% WG, sucking pests, bollworms, Bt cotton, management

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100 Force Sensor for Robotic Graspers in Minimally Invasive Surgery

Authors: Naghmeh M. Bandari, Javad Dargahi, Muthukumaran Packirisamy

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Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RMIS) has been widely performed around the world during the last two decades. RMIS demonstrates significant advantages over conventional surgery, e.g., improving the accuracy and dexterity of a surgeon, providing 3D vision, motion scaling, hand-eye coordination, decreasing tremor, and reducing x-ray exposure for surgeons. Despite benefits, surgeons cannot touch the surgical site and perceive tactile information. This happens due to the remote control of robots. The literature survey identified the lack of force feedback as the riskiest limitation in the existing technology. Without the perception of tool-tissue contact force, the surgeon might apply an excessive force causing tissue laceration or insufficient force causing tissue slippage. The primary use of force sensors has been to measure the tool-tissue interaction force in real-time in-situ. Design of a tactile sensor is subjected to a set of design requirements, e.g., biocompatibility, electrical-passivity, MRI-compatibility, miniaturization, ability to measure static and dynamic force. In this study, a planar optical fiber-based sensor was proposed to mount at the surgical grasper. It was developed based on the light intensity modulation principle. The deflectable part of the sensor was a beam modeled as a cantilever Euler-Bernoulli beam on rigid substrates. A semi-cylindrical indenter was attached to the bottom surface the beam at the mid-span. An optical fiber was secured at both ends on the same rigid substrates. The indenter was in contact with the fiber. External force on the sensor caused deflection in the beam and optical fiber simultaneously. The micro-bending of the optical fiber would consequently result in light power loss. The sensor was simulated and studied using finite element methods. A laser light beam with 800nm wavelength and 5mW power was used as the input to the optical fiber. The output power was measured using a photodetector. The voltage from photodetector was calibrated to the external force for a chirp input (0.1-5Hz). The range, resolution, and hysteresis of the sensor were studied under monotonic and harmonic external forces of 0-2.0N with 0 and 5Hz, respectively. The results confirmed the validity of proposed sensing principle. Also, the sensor demonstrated an acceptable linearity (R2 > 0.9). A minimum external force was observed below which no power loss was detectable. It is postulated that this phenomenon is attributed to the critical angle of the optical fiber to observe total internal reflection. The experimental results were of negligible hysteresis (R2 > 0.9) and in fair agreement with the simulations. In conclusion, the suggested planar sensor is assessed to be a cost-effective solution, feasible, and easy to use the sensor for being miniaturized and integrated at the tip of robotic graspers. Geometrical and optical factors affecting the minimum sensible force and the working range of the sensor should be studied and optimized. This design is intrinsically scalable and meets all the design requirements. Therefore, it has a significant potential of industrialization and mass production.

Keywords: force sensor, minimally invasive surgery, optical sensor, robotic surgery, tactile sensor

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99 The Importance of Value Added Services Provided by Science and Technology Parks to Boost Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Turkey

Authors: Faruk Inaltekin, Imran Gurakan

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This paper will aim to discuss the importance of value-added services provided by Science and Technology Parks for entrepreneurship development in Turkey. Entrepreneurship is vital subject for all countries. It has not only fostered economic development but also promoted innovation at local and international levels. To foster high tech entrepreneurship ecosystem, Technopark (Science and Technology Park/STP) concept was initiated with the establishment of Silicon Valley in the 1950s. The success and rise of Silicon Valley led to the spread of technopark activities. Developed economies have been setting up projects to plan and build STPs since the 1960s and 1970s. To promote the establishment of STPs, necessary legislations were made by Ministry of Science, Industry, and Technology in 2001, Technology Development Zones Law (No. 4691) and it has been revised in 2016 to provide more supports. STPs’ basic aim is to provide customers high-quality office spaces with various 'value added services' such as business development, network connections, cooperation programs, investor/customers meetings and internationalization services. For this aim, STPs should help startups deal with difficulties in the early stages and to support mature companies’ export activities in the foreign market. STPs should support the production, commercialization and more significantly internationalization of technology-intensive business and foster growth of companies. Nowadays within this value-added services, internationalization is very popular subject in the world. Most of STPs design clusters or accelerator programs in order to support their companies in the foreign market penetration. If startups are not ready for international competition, STPs should help them to get ready for foreign market with training and mentoring sessions. These training and mentoring sessions should take a goal based approach to working with companies. Each company has different needs and goals. Therefore the definition of ‘success' varies for each company. For this reason, it is very important to create customized value added services to meet the needs of startups. After local supports, STPs should also be able to support their startups in foreign market. Organizing well defined international accelerator program plays an important role in this mission. Turkey is strategically placed between key markets in Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Its population is young and well educated. So both government agencies and the private sectors endeavor to foster and encourage entrepreneurship ecosystem with many supports. In sum, the task of technoparks with these and similar value added services is very important for developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. The priorities of all value added services are to identify the commercialization and growth obstacles faced by entrepreneurs and get rid of them with the one-to-one customized services. Also, in order to have a healthy startup ecosystem and create sustainable entrepreneurship, stakeholders (technoparks, incubators, accelerators, investors, universities, governmental organizations etc.) should fulfill their roles and/or duties and collaborate with each other. STPs play an important role as bridge for these stakeholders & entrepreneurs. STPs always should benchmark and renew services offered to how to help the start-ups to survive, develop their business and benefit from these stakeholders.

Keywords: accelerator, cluster, entrepreneurship, startup, technopark, value added services

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98 The Preliminary Exposition of Soil Biological Activity, Microbial Diversity and Morpho-Physiological Indexes of Cucumber under Interactive Effect of Allelopathic Garlic Stalk: A Short-Term Dynamic Response in Replanted Alkaline Soil

Authors: Ahmad Ali, Muhammad Imran Ghani, Haiyan Ding, Zhihui Cheng, Muhammad Iqbal

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Background and Aims: In recent years, protected cultivation trend, especially in the northern parts of China, spread dynamically where production area, structure, and crops diversity have expanded gradually under plastic greenhouse vegetable cropping (PGVC) system. Under this growing system, continuous monoculture with excessive synthetic fertilizers inputs are common cultivation practices frequently adopted by commercial producers. Such long-term cumulative wild exercise year after year sponsor the continuous cropping obstacles in PGVC soil, which have greatly threatened the regional soil eco-sustainability and further impose the continuous assault on soil ecological diversity leading to the exhaustion of agriculture productivity. The aim of this study was to develop new allelopathic insights by exploiting available biological resources in the favor of sustainable PGVC to illuminate the continuous obstacle factors in plastic greenhouse. Method: A greenhouse study was executed under plastic tunnel located at the Horticulture Experimental Station of the College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi Province, one of the prominent regions for intensive commercial PGVC in China. Post-harvest garlic residues (stalk, leaves) mechanically smashed, homogenized into powder size and incorporated at the ratio of 1:100; 3:100; 5:100 as a soil amendment in a replanted soil that have been used for continuous cucumber monoculture for 7 years (annually double cropping system in a greenhouse). Results: Incorporated C-rich garlic stalk significantly influenced the soil condition through various ways; organic matter decomposition and mineralization, moderately adjusted the soil pH, enhanced the soil nutrient availability, increased enzymatic activities, and promoted 20% more cucumber yield in short-time. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal 18S rDNA genes, the current study revealed that addition of garlic stalk/residue could also improve the microbial abundance and community composition in extensively exploited soil, and contributed in soil functionality, caused prosper changes in soil characteristics, reinforced to good crop yield. Conclusion: Our study provided evidence that addition of garlic stalk as soil fertility amendment is a feasible, cost-effective and efficient resource utilization way for renovation of degraded soil health, ameliorate soil quality components and improve ecological environment in short duration. Our study may provide a better scientific understanding for efficient crop residue management typically from allelopathic source.

Keywords: garlic stalk, microbial community dynamics, plant growth, soil amendment, soil-plant system

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97 A Self-Heating Gas Sensor of SnO2-Based Nanoparticles Electrophoretic Deposited

Authors: Glauco M. M. M. Lustosa, João Paulo C. Costa, Sonia M. Zanetti, Mario Cilense, Leinig Antônio Perazolli, Maria Aparecida Zaghete

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The contamination of the environment has been one of the biggest problems of our time, mostly due to developments of many industries. SnO2 is an n-type semiconductor with band gap about 3.5 eV and has its electrical conductivity dependent of type and amount of modifiers agents added into matrix ceramic during synthesis process, allowing applications as sensing of gaseous pollutants on ambient. The chemical synthesis by polymeric precursor method consists in a complexation reaction between tin ion and citric acid at 90 °C/2 hours and subsequently addition of ethyleneglycol for polymerization at 130 °C/2 hours. It also prepared polymeric resin of zinc, cobalt and niobium ions. Stoichiometric amounts of the solutions were mixed to obtain the systems (Zn, Nb)-SnO2 and (Co, Nb) SnO2 . The metal immobilization reduces its segregation during the calcination resulting in a crystalline oxide with high chemical homogeneity. The resin was pre-calcined at 300 °C/1 hour, milled in Atritor Mill at 500 rpm/1 hour, and then calcined at 600 °C/2 hours. X-Ray Diffraction (XDR) indicated formation of SnO2 -rutile phase (JCPDS card nº 41-1445). The characterization by Scanning Electron Microscope of High Resolution showed spherical ceramic powder nanostructured with 10-20 nm of diameter. 20 mg of SnO2 -based powder was kept in 20 ml of isopropyl alcohol and then taken to an electrophoretic deposition (EPD) system. The EPD method allows control the thickness films through the voltage or current applied in the electrophoretic cell and by the time used for deposition of ceramics particles. This procedure obtains films in a short time with low costs, bringing prospects for a new generation of smaller size devices with easy integration technology. In this research, films were obtained in an alumina substrate with interdigital electrodes after applying 2 kV during 5 and 10 minutes in cells containing alcoholic suspension of (Zn, Nb)-SnO2 and (Co, Nb) SnO2 of powders, forming a sensing layer. The substrate has designed integrated micro hotplates that provide an instantaneous and precise temperature control capability when a voltage is applied. The films were sintered at 900 and 1000 °C in a microwave oven of 770 W, adapted by the research group itself with a temperature controller. This sintering is a fast process with homogeneous heating rate which promotes controlled growth of grain size and also the diffusion of modifiers agents, inducing the creation of intrinsic defects which will change the electrical characteristics of SnO2 -based powders. This study has successfully demonstrated a microfabricated system with an integrated micro-hotplate for detection of CO and NO2 gas at different concentrations and temperature, with self-heating SnO2 - based nanoparticles films, being suitable for both industrial process monitoring and detection of low concentrations in buildings/residences in order to safeguard human health. The results indicate the possibility for development of gas sensors devices with low power consumption for integration in portable electronic equipment with fast analysis. Acknowledgments The authors thanks to the LMA-IQ for providing the FEG-SEM images, and the financial support of this project by the Brazilian research funding agencies CNPq, FAPESP 2014/11314-9 and CEPID/CDMF- FAPESP 2013/07296-2.

Keywords: chemical synthesis, electrophoretic deposition, self-heating, gas sensor

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96 IEEE802.15.4e Based Scheduling Mechanisms and Systems for Industrial Internet of Things

Authors: Ho-Ting Wu, Kai-Wei Ke, Bo-Yu Huang, Liang-Lin Yan, Chun-Ting Lin

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With the advances in advanced technology, wireless sensor network (WSN) has become one of the most promising candidates to implement the wireless industrial internet of things (IIOT) architecture. However, the legacy IEEE 802.15.4 based WSN technology such as Zigbee system cannot meet the stringent QoS requirement of low powered, real-time, and highly reliable transmission imposed by the IIOT environment. Recently, the IEEE society developed IEEE 802.15.4e Time Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) access mode to serve this purpose. Furthermore, the IETF 6TiSCH working group has proposed standards to integrate IEEE 802.15.4e with IPv6 protocol smoothly to form a complete protocol stack for IIOT. In this work, we develop key network technologies for IEEE 802.15.4e based wireless IIoT architecture, focusing on practical design and system implementation. We realize the OpenWSN-based wireless IIOT system. The system architecture is divided into three main parts: web server, network manager, and sensor nodes. The web server provides user interface, allowing the user to view the status of sensor nodes and instruct sensor nodes to follow commands via user-friendly browser. The network manager is responsible for the establishment, maintenance, and management of scheduling and topology information. It executes centralized scheduling algorithm, sends the scheduling table to each node, as well as manages the sensing tasks of each device. Sensor nodes complete the assigned tasks and sends the sensed data. Furthermore, to prevent scheduling error due to packet loss, a schedule inspection mechanism is implemented to verify the correctness of the schedule table. In addition, when network topology changes, the system will act to generate a new schedule table based on the changed topology for ensuring the proper operation of the system. To enhance the system performance of such system, we further propose dynamic bandwidth allocation and distributed scheduling mechanisms. The developed distributed scheduling mechanism enables each individual sensor node to build, maintain and manage the dedicated link bandwidth with its parent and children nodes based on locally observed information by exchanging the Add/Delete commands via two processes. The first process, termed as the schedule initialization process, allows each sensor node pair to identify the available idle slots to allocate the basic dedicated transmission bandwidth. The second process, termed as the schedule adjustment process, enables each sensor node pair to adjust their allocated bandwidth dynamically according to the measured traffic loading. Such technology can sufficiently satisfy the dynamic bandwidth requirement in the frequently changing environments. Last but not least, we propose a packet retransmission scheme to enhance the system performance of the centralized scheduling algorithm when the packet delivery rate (PDR) is low. We propose a multi-frame retransmission mechanism to allow every single network node to resend each packet for at least the predefined number of times. The multi frame architecture is built according to the number of layers of the network topology. Performance results via simulation reveal that such retransmission scheme is able to provide sufficient high transmission reliability while maintaining low packet transmission latency. Therefore, the QoS requirement of IIoT can be achieved.

Keywords: IEEE 802.15.4e, industrial internet of things (IIOT), scheduling mechanisms, wireless sensor networks (WSN)

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95 Digital Holographic Interferometric Microscopy for the Testing of Micro-Optics

Authors: Varun Kumar, Chandra Shakher

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Micro-optical components such as microlenses and microlens array have numerous engineering and industrial applications for collimation of laser diodes, imaging devices for sensor system (CCD/CMOS, document copier machines etc.), for making beam homogeneous for high power lasers, a critical component in Shack-Hartmann sensor, fiber optic coupling and optical switching in communication technology. Also micro-optical components have become an alternative for applications where miniaturization, reduction of alignment and packaging cost are necessary. The compliance with high-quality standards in the manufacturing of micro-optical components is a precondition to be compatible on worldwide markets. Therefore, high demands are put on quality assurance. For quality assurance of these lenses, an economical measurement technique is needed. For cost and time reason, technique should be fast, simple (for production reason), and robust with high resolution. The technique should provide non contact, non-invasive and full field information about the shape of micro- optical component under test. The interferometric techniques are noncontact type and non invasive and provide full field information about the shape of the optical components. The conventional interferometric technique such as holographic interferometry or Mach-Zehnder interferometry is available for characterization of micro-lenses. However, these techniques need more experimental efforts and are also time consuming. Digital holography (DH) overcomes the above described problems. Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) allows one to extract both the amplitude and phase information of a wavefront transmitted through the transparent object (microlens or microlens array) from a single recorded digital hologram by using numerical methods. Also one can reconstruct the complex object wavefront at different depths due to numerical reconstruction. Digital holography provides axial resolution in nanometer range while lateral resolution is limited by diffraction and the size of the sensor. In this paper, Mach-Zehnder based digital holographic interferometric microscope (DHIM) system is used for the testing of transparent microlenses. The advantage of using the DHIM is that the distortions due to aberrations in the optical system are avoided by the interferometric comparison of reconstructed phase with and without the object (microlens array). In the experiment, first a digital hologram is recorded in the absence of sample (microlens array) as a reference hologram. Second hologram is recorded in the presence of microlens array. The presence of transparent microlens array will induce a phase change in the transmitted laser light. Complex amplitude of object wavefront in presence and absence of microlens array is reconstructed by using Fresnel reconstruction method. From the reconstructed complex amplitude, one can evaluate the phase of object wave in presence and absence of microlens array. Phase difference between the two states of object wave will provide the information about the optical path length change due to the shape of the microlens. By the knowledge of the value of the refractive index of microlens array material and air, the surface profile of microlens array is evaluated. The Sag of microlens and radius of curvature of microlens are evaluated and reported. The sag of microlens agrees well within the experimental limit as provided in the specification by the manufacturer.

Keywords: micro-optics, microlens array, phase map, digital holographic interferometric microscopy

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94 Climate Change Adaptation Success in a Low Income Country Setting, Bangladesh

Authors: Tanveer Ahmed Choudhury

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Background: Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the world, with high population density and high rates of poverty and illiteracy. 80% of the country is on low-lying floodplains, leaving the country one of the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change: sea level rise, cyclones and storms, salinity intrusion, rising temperatures and heavy monsoon downpours. Such climatic events already limit Economic Development in the country. Although Bangladesh has had little responsibility in contributing to global climatic change, it is vulnerable to both its direct and indirect impacts. Real threats include reduced agricultural production, worsening food security, increased incidence of flooding and drought, spreading disease and an increased risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources. Currently, 8.3 million Bangladeshis live in cyclone high risk areas. However, by 2050 this is expected to grow to 20.3 million people, if proper adaptive actions are not taken. Under a high emissions scenario, an additional 7.6 million people will be exposed to very high salinity by 2050 compared to current levels. It is also projected that, an average of 7.2 million people will be affected by flooding due to sea level rise every year between 2070-2100 and If global emissions decrease rapidly and adaptation interventions are taken, the population affected by flooding could be limited to only about 14,000 people. To combat the climate change adverse effects, Bangladesh government has initiated many adaptive measures specially in infrastructure and renewable energy sector. Government is investing huge money and initiated many projects which have been proved very success full. Objectives: The objective of this paper is to describe some successful measures initiated by Bangladesh government in its effort to make the country a Climate Resilient. Methodology: Review of operation plan and activities of different relevant Ministries of Bangladesh government. Result: The following initiative projects, programs and activities are considered as best practices for Climate Change adaptation successes for Bangladesh: 1. The Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL); 2. Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit (CCHPU); 3. The Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF); 4. Community Climate Change Project (CCCP); 5. Health, Population, Nutrition Sector Development Program (HPNSDP, 2011-2016)- "Climate Change and Environmental Issues"; 6. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh and WHO Collaboration; - National Adaptation Plan. -"Building adaptation to climate change in health in least developed countries through resilient WASH". 7. COP-21 “Climate and health country profile -2015 Bangladesh. Conclusion: Due to a vast coastline, low-lying land and abundance of rivers, Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to climate change. Having extensive experience with facing natural disasters, Bangladesh has developed a successful adaptation program, which led to a significant reduction in casualties from extreme weather events. In a low income country setting, Bangladesh had successfully adapted various projects and initiatives to combat future Climate Change challenges.

Keywords: climate, change, success, Bangladesh

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93 Eco-Politics of Infrastructure Development in and Around Protected Areas in Kenya: The Case of Nairobi National Park

Authors: Teresa Wanjiru Mbatia

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On 7th June 2011, the government Minister of Roads in Kenya announced the proposed construction of a major highway known as a southern bypass to run on the northern border of the Nairobi National Park. The following day on 8th June 2011, the chairperson of the Friends of Nairobi National Park (FONNAP) posted a protest statement on their website, with the heading, ‘Nairobi Park is Not a cake’ alerting its members and conservation groups, with the aim of getting support to the campaign against the government’s intention to hive off a section of the park for road construction. This was the first and earliest statement that led to a series of other events that culminated in conservationists and some other members of the public campaign against the government’s plan to hive off sections of the park to build road and railway infrastructure in or around the park. Together with other non-state actors, mostly non-governmental organisations in conservation/environment and tourism businesses, FoNNAP issued a series of other statements on social, print and electronic media to battle against road and railway construction. This paper examined the strategies, outcomes and interests of actors involved in opposing/proposing the development of transport infrastructure in and around the Nairobi National Park. Specifically, the objectives were to analyse the: (1) Arguments put forward by the eco-warriors to protest infrastructure development; (2) Background and interests of the eco-warriors; (3) Needs/interests and opinions of ordinary common citizens on transport infrastructural development, particularly in and around the urban nature reserve and (4) Final outcomes of the eco-politics surrounding infrastructure development in and around Nairobi National Park. The methodological approach used was environmental history and the social construction of nature. The study collected combined qualitative data using four main approaches, the grounded theory approach, narratives, case studies and a phenomenological approach. The information collected was analysed using critical discourse analysis. The major findings of the study were that under the guise of “public participation,” influential non-state actors have the capacity to perpetuate social-spatial inequalities in the form of curtailing the majority from accessing common public goods. A case in point in this study is how the efforts of powerful conservationists, environmentalists, and tourism businesspersons managed to stall the construction of much-needed road and railway infrastructure severally through litigations in lengthy environmental court processes involving injunctions and stop orders to the government bodies in charge. Moreover, powerful non-state actors were found to have formed informal and sometimes formal coalitions with politicians with selfish interests, which serves to deepen the exclusionary practices and the common good. The study concludes that mostly composed of certain types of elites (NGOs, business communities, politicians and privileged social-cultural groups), non-state actors have used participatory policies to advance their own interests at the expense of the majority whom they claim to represent. These practices are traced to the historically unjust social, political, and economic forces involved in the production of space in Nairobi.

Keywords: eco-politics, exclusion, infrastructure, Nairobi national park, non-state actors, protests

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92 Identification of a Panel of Epigenetic Biomarkers for Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Blood of Individuals with Liver Cirrhosis

Authors: Katarzyna Lubecka, Kirsty Flower, Megan Beetch, Lucinda Kurzava, Hannah Buvala, Samer Gawrieh, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Tracy Gonzalez, George McCabe, Naga Chalasani, James M. Flanagan, Barbara Stefanska

Abstract:

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most prevalent type of primary liver cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Late onset of clinical symptoms in HCC results in late diagnosis and poor disease outcome. Approximately 85% of individuals with HCC have underlying liver cirrhosis. However, not all cirrhotic patients develop cancer. Reliable early detection biomarkers that can distinguish cirrhotic patients who will develop cancer from those who will not are urgently needed and could increase the cure rate from 5% to 80%. We used Illumina-450K microarray to test whether blood DNA, an easily accessible source of DNA, bear site-specific changes in DNA methylation in response to HCC before diagnosis with conventional tools (pre-diagnostic). Top 11 differentially methylated sites were selected for validation by pyrosequencing. The diagnostic potential of the 11 pyrosequenced probes was tested in blood samples from a prospective cohort of cirrhotic patients. We identified 971 differentially methylated CpG sites in pre-diagnostic HCC cases as compared with healthy controls (P < 0.05, paired Wilcoxon test, ICC ≥ 0.5). Nearly 76% of differentially methylated CpG sites showed lower levels of methylation in cases vs. controls (P = 2.973E-11, Wilcoxon test). Classification of the CpG sites according to their location relative to CpG islands and transcription start site revealed that those hypomethylated loci are located in regulatory regions important for gene transcription such as CpG island shores, promoters, and 5’UTR at higher frequency than hypermethylated sites. Among 735 CpG sites hypomethylated in cases vs. controls, 482 sites were assigned to gene coding regions whereas 236 hypermethylated sites corresponded to 160 genes. Bioinformatics analysis using GO, KEGG and DAVID knowledgebase indicate that differentially methylated CpG sites are located in genes associated with functions that are essential for gene transcription, cell adhesion, cell migration, and regulation of signal transduction pathways. Taking into account the magnitude of the difference, statistical significance, location, and consistency across the majority of matched pairs case-control, we selected 11 CpG loci corresponding to 10 genes for further validation by pyrosequencing. We established that methylation of CpG sites within 5 out of those 10 genes distinguish cirrhotic patients who subsequently developed HCC from those who stayed cancer free (cirrhotic controls), demonstrating potential as biomarkers of early detection in populations at risk. The best predictive value was detected for CpGs located within BARD1 (AUC=0.70, asymptotic significance ˂0.01). Using an additive logistic regression model, we further showed that 9 CpG loci within those 5 genes, that were covered in pyrosequenced probes, constitute a panel with high diagnostic accuracy (AUC=0.887; 95% CI:0.80-0.98). The panel was able to distinguish pre-diagnostic cases from cirrhotic controls free of cancer with 88% sensitivity at 70% specificity. Using blood as a minimally invasive material and pyrosequencing as a straightforward quantitative method, the established biomarker panel has high potential to be developed into a routine clinical test after validation in larger cohorts. This study was supported by Showalter Trust, American Cancer Society (IRG#14-190-56), and Purdue Center for Cancer Research (P30 CA023168) granted to BS.

Keywords: biomarker, DNA methylation, early detection, hepatocellular carcinoma

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91 Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor Followed by Dissolved Air Flotation Treating Municipal Sewage

Authors: Priscila Ribeiro dos Santos, Luiz Antonio Daniel

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Inadequate access to clean water and sanitation has become one of the most widespread problems affecting people throughout the developing world, leading to an unceasing need for low-cost and sustainable wastewater treatment systems. The UASB technology has been widely employed as a suitable and economical option for the treatment of sewage in developing countries, which involves low initial investment, low energy requirements, low operation and maintenance costs, high loading capacity, short hydraulic retention times, long solids retention times and low sludge production. Whereas dissolved air flotation process is a good option for the post-treatment of anaerobic effluents, being capable of producing high quality effluents in terms of total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, phosphorus, and even pathogens. This work presents an evaluation and monitoring, over a period of 6 months, of one compact full-scale system with this configuration, UASB reactors followed by dissolved air flotation units (DAF), operating in Brazil. It was verified as a successful treatment system, and an issue of relevance since dissolved air flotation process treating UASB reactor effluents is not widely encompassed in the literature. The study covered the removal and behavior of several variables, such as turbidity, total suspend solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), Escherichia coli, total coliforms and Clostridium perfringens. The physicochemical variables were analyzed according to the protocols established by the Standard Methods for Examination of Water and Wastewater. For microbiological variables, such as Escherichia coli and total coliforms, it was used the “pour plate” technique with Chromocult Coliform Agar (Merk Cat. No.1.10426) serving as the culture medium, while the microorganism Clostridium perfringens was analyzed through the filtering membrane technique, with the Ágar m-CP (Oxoid Ltda, England) serving as the culture medium. Approximately 74% of total COD was removed in the UASB reactor, and the complementary removal done during the flotation process resulted in 88% of COD removal from the raw sewage, thus the initial concentration of COD of 729 mg.L-1 decreased to 87 mg.L-1. Whereas, in terms of particulate COD, the overall removal efficiency for the whole system was about 94%, decreasing from 375 mg.L-1 in raw sewage to 29 mg.L-1 in final effluent. The UASB reactor removed on average 77% of the TSS from raw sewage. While the dissolved air flotation process did not work as expected, removing only 30% of TSS from the anaerobic effluent. The final effluent presented an average concentration of 38 mg.L-1 of TSS. The turbidity was significantly reduced, leading to an overall efficiency removal of 80% and a final turbidity of 28 NTU.The treated effluent still presented a high concentration of fecal pollution indicators (E. coli, total coliforms, and Clostridium perfringens), showing that the system did not present a good performance in removing pathogens. Clostridium perfringens was the organism which suffered the higher removal by the treatment system. The results can be considered satisfactory for the physicochemical variables, taking into account the simplicity of the system, besides that, it is necessary a post-treatment to improve the microbiological quality of the final effluent.

Keywords: dissolved air flotation, municipal sewage, UASB reactor, treatment

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90 A Next-Generation Pin-On-Plate Tribometer for Use in Arthroplasty Material Performance Research

Authors: Lewis J. Woollin, Robert I. Davidson, Paul Watson, Philip J. Hyde

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Introduction: In-vitro testing of arthroplasty materials is of paramount importance when ensuring that they can withstand the performance requirements encountered in-vivo. One common machine used for in-vitro testing is a pin-on-plate tribometer, an early stage screening device that generates data on the wear characteristics of arthroplasty bearing materials. These devices test vertically loaded rotating cylindrical pins acting against reciprocating plates, representing the bearing surfaces. In this study, a pin-on-plate machine has been developed that provides several improvements over current technology, thereby progressing arthroplasty bearing research. Historically, pin-on-plate tribometers have been used to investigate the performance of arthroplasty bearing materials under conditions commonly encountered during a standard gait cycle; nominal operating pressures of 2-6 MPa and an operating frequency of 1 Hz are typical. There has been increased interest in using pin-on-plate machines to test more representative in-vivo conditions, due to the drive to test 'beyond compliance', as well as their testing speed and economic advantages over hip simulators. Current pin-on-plate machines do not accommodate the increased performance requirements associated with more extreme kinematic conditions, therefore a next-generation pin-on-plate tribometer has been developed to bridge the gap between current technology and future research requirements. Methodology: The design was driven by several physiologically relevant requirements. Firstly, an increased loading capacity was essential to replicate the peak pressures that occur in the natural hip joint during running and chair-rising, as well as increasing the understanding of wear rates in obese patients. Secondly, the introduction of mid-cycle load variation was of paramount importance, as this allows for an approximation of the loads present in a gait cycle to be applied and to test the fatigue properties of materials. Finally, the rig must be validated against previous-generation pin-on-plate and arthroplasty wear data. Results: The resulting machine is a twelve station device that is split into three sets of four stations, providing an increased testing capacity compared to most current pin-on-plate tribometers. The loading of the pins is generated using a pneumatic system, which can produce contact pressures of up to 201 MPa on a 3.2 mm² round pin face. This greatly exceeds currently achievable contact pressures in literature and opens new research avenues such as testing rim wear of mal-positioned hip implants. Additionally, the contact pressure of each set can be changed independently of the others, allowing multiple loading conditions to be tested simultaneously. Using pneumatics also allows the applied pressure to be switched ON/OFF mid-cycle, another feature not currently reported elsewhere, which allows for investigation into intermittent loading and material fatigue. The device is currently undergoing a series of validation tests using Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene pins and 316L Stainless Steel Plates (polished to a Ra < 0.05 µm). The operating pressures will be between 2-6 MPa, operating at 1 Hz, allowing for validation of the machine against results reported previously in the literature. The successful production of this next-generation pin-on-plate tribometer will, following its validation, unlock multiple previously unavailable research avenues.

Keywords: arthroplasty, mechanical design, pin-on-plate, total joint replacement, wear testing

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89 Genome-Scale Analysis of Streptomyces Caatingaensis CMAA 1322 Metabolism, a New Abiotic Stress-Tolerant Actinomycete

Authors: Suikinai Nobre Santos, Ranko Gacesa, Paul F. Long, Itamar Soares de Melo

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Extremophilic microorganism are adapted to biotopes combining several stress factors (temperature, pressure, radiation, salinity and pH), which indicate the richness valuable resource for the exploitation of novel biotechnological processes and constitute unique models for investigations their biomolecules (1, 2). The above information encourages us investigate bioprospecting synthesized compounds by a noval actinomycete, designated thermotolerant Streptomyces caatingaensis CMAA 1322, isolated from sample soil tropical dry forest (Caatinga) in the Brazilian semiarid region (3-17°S and 35-45°W). This set of constrating physical and climatic factores provide the unique conditions and a diversity of well adapted species, interesting site for biotechnological purposes. Preliminary studies have shown the great potential in the production of cytotoxic, pesticidal and antimicrobial molecules (3). Thus, to extend knowledge of the genes clusters responsible for producing biosynthetic pathways of natural products in strain CMAA1322, whole-genome shotgun (WGS) DNA sequencing was performed using paired-end long sequencing with PacBio RS (Pacific Biosciences). Genomic DNA was extracted from a pure culture grown overnight on LB medium using the PureLink genomic DNA kit (Life Technologies). An approximately 3- to 20-kb-insert PacBio library was constructed and sequenced on an 8 single-molecule real-time (SMRT) cell, yielding 116,269 reads (average length, 7,446 bp), which were allocated into 18 contigs, with 142.11x coverage and N50 value of 20.548 bp (BioProject number PRJNA288757). The assembled data were analyzed by Rapid Annotations using Subsystems Technology (RAST) (4) the genome size was found to be 7.055.077 bp, comprising 6167 open reading frames (ORFs) and 413 subsystems. The G+C content was estimated to be 72 mol%. The closest-neighbors tool, available in RAST through functional comparison of the genome, revealed that strain CMAA1322 is more closely related to Streptomyces hygroscopicus ATCC 53653 (similarity score value, 537), S. violaceusniger Tu 4113 (score value, 483), S. avermitilis MA-4680 (score value, 475), S. albus J1074 (score value, 447). The Streptomyces sp. CMAA1322 genome contains 98 tRNA genes and 135 genes copies related to stress response, mainly osmotic stress (14), heat shock (16), oxidative stress (49). Functional annotation by antiSMASH version 3.0 (5) identified 41 clusters for secondary metabolites (including two clusters for lanthipeptides, ten clusters for nonribosomal peptide synthetases [NRPS], three clusters for siderophores, fourteen for polyketide synthetase [PKS], six clusters encoding a terpene, two clusters encoding a bacteriocin, and one cluster encoding a phenazine). Our work provide in comparative analyse of genome and extract produced (data no published) by lineage CMAA1322, revealing the potential of microorganisms accessed from extreme environments as Caatinga” to produce a wide range of biotechnological relevant compounds.

Keywords: caatinga, streptomyces, environmental stresses, biosynthetic pathways

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88 From Avatars to Humans: A Hybrid World Theory and Human Computer Interaction Experimentations with Virtual Reality Technologies

Authors: Juan Pablo Bertuzzi, Mauro Chiarella

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Employing a communication studies perspective and a socio-technological approach, this paper introduces a theoretical framework for understanding the concept of hybrid world; the avatarization phenomena; and the communicational archetype of co-hybridization. This analysis intends to make a contribution to future design of virtual reality experimental applications. Ultimately, this paper presents an ongoing research project that proposes the study of human-avatar interactions in digital educational environments, as well as an innovative reflection on inner digital communication. The aforementioned project presents the analysis of human-avatar interactions, through the development of an interactive experience in virtual reality. The goal is to generate an innovative communicational dimension that could reinforce the hypotheses presented throughout this paper. Being thought for its initial application in educational environments, the analysis and results of this research are dependent and have been prepared in regard of a meticulous planning of: the conception of a 3D digital platform; the interactive game objects; the AI or computer avatars; the human representation as hybrid avatars; and lastly, the potential of immersion, ergonomics and control diversity that can provide the virtual reality system and the game engine that were chosen. The project is divided in two main axes: The first part is the structural one, as it is mandatory for the construction of an original prototype. The 3D model is inspired by the physical space that belongs to an academic institution. The incorporation of smart objects, avatars, game mechanics, game objects, and a dialogue system will be part of the prototype. These elements have all the objective of gamifying the educational environment. To generate a continuous participation and a large amount of interactions, the digital world will be navigable both, in a conventional device and in a virtual reality system. This decision is made, practically, to facilitate the communication between students and teachers; and strategically, because it will help to a faster population of the digital environment. The second part is concentrated to content production and further data analysis. The challenge is to offer a scenario’s diversity that compels users to interact and to question their digital embodiment. The multipath narrative content that is being applied is focused on the subjects covered in this paper. Furthermore, the experience with virtual reality devices proposes users to experiment in a mixture of a seemingly infinite digital world and a small physical area of movement. This combination will lead the narrative content and it will be crucial in order to restrict user’s interactions. The main point is to stimulate and to grow in the user the need of his hybrid avatar’s help. By building an inner communication between user’s physicality and user’s digital extension, the interactions will serve as a self-guide through the gameworld. This is the first attempt to make explicit the avatarization phenomena and to further analyze the communicational archetype of co-hybridization. The challenge of the upcoming years will be to take advantage from these forms of generalized avatarization, in order to create awareness and establish innovative forms of hybridization.

Keywords: avatar, hybrid worlds, socio-technology, virtual reality

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87 Forming Form, Motivation and Their Biolinguistic Hypothesis: The Case of Consonant Iconicity in Tashelhiyt Amazigh and English

Authors: Noury Bakrim

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When dealing with motivation/arbitrariness, forming form (Forma Formans) and morphodynamics are to be grasped as relevant implications of enunciation/enactment, schematization within the specificity of language as sound/meaning articulation. Thus, the fact that a language is a form does not contradict stasis/dynamic enunciation (reflexivity vs double articulation). Moreover, some languages exemplify the role of the forming form, uttering, and schematization (roots in Semitic languages, the Chinese case). Beyond the evolutionary biosemiotic process (form/substance bifurcation, the split between realization/representation), non-isomorphism/asymmetry between linguistic form/norm and linguistic realization (phonetics for instance) opens up a new horizon problematizing the role of Brain – sensorimotor contribution in the continuous forming form. Therefore, we hypothesize biotization as both process/trace co-constructing motivation/forming form. Henceforth, referring to our findings concerning distribution and motivation patterns within Berber written texts (pulse based obstruents and nasal-lateral levels in poetry) and oral storytelling (consonant intensity clustering in quantitative and semantic/prosodic motivation), we understand consonant clustering, motivation and schematization as a complex phenomenon partaking in patterns of oral/written iconic prosody and reflexive metalinguistic representation opening the stable form. We focus our inquiry on both Amazigh and English clusters (/spl/, /spr/) and iconic consonant iteration in [gnunnuy] (to roll/tumble), [smummuy] (to moan sadly or crankily). For instance, the syllabic structures of /splaeʃ/ and /splaet/ imply an anamorphic representation of the state of the world: splash, impact on aquatic surfaces/splat impact on the ground. The pair has stridency and distribution as distinctive features which specify its phonetic realization (and a part of its meaning) /ʃ/ is [+ strident] and /t/ is [+ distributed] on the vocal tract. Schematization is then a process relating both physiology/code as an arthron vocal/bodily, vocal/practical shaping of the motor-articulatory system, leading to syntactic/semantic thematization (agent/patient roles in /spl/, /sm/ and other clusters or the tense uvular /qq/ at the initial position in Berber). Furthermore, the productivity of serial syllable sequencing in Berber points out different expressivity forms. We postulate two Components of motivated formalization: i) the process of memory paradigmatization relating to sequence modeling under sensorimotor/verbal specific categories (production/perception), ii) the process of phonotactic selection - prosodic unconscious/subconscious distribution by virtue of iconicity. Basing on multiple tests including a questionnaire, phonotactic/visual recognition and oral/written reproduction, we aim at patterning/conceptualizing consonant schematization and motivation among EFL and Amazigh (Berber) learners and speakers integrating biolinguistic hypotheses.

Keywords: consonant motivation and prosody, language and order of life, anamorphic representation, represented representation, biotization, sensori-motor and brain representation, form, formalization and schematization

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86 Transcriptomic Analysis of Acanthamoeba castellanii Virulence Alteration by Epigenetic DNA Methylation

Authors: Yi-Hao Wong, Li-Li Chan, Chee-Onn Leong, Stephen Ambu, Joon-Wah Mak, Priyasashi Sahu

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Background: Acanthamoeba is a genus of amoebae which lives as a free-living in nature or as a human pathogen that causes severe brain and eye infections. Virulence potential of Acanthamoeba is not constant and can change with growth conditions. DNA methylation, an epigenetic process which adds methyl groups to DNA, is used by eukaryotic cells, including several human parasites to control their gene expression. We used qPCR, siRNA gene silencing, and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to study DNA-methyltransferase gene family (DNMT) in order to indicate the possibility of its involvement in programming Acanthamoeba virulence potential. Methods: A virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba isolate (designation: ATCC; original isolate: ATCC 50492) was subjected to mouse passages to restore its pathogenicity; a virulence-reactivated isolate (designation: AC/5) was generated. Several established factors associated with Acanthamoeba virulence phenotype were examined to confirm the succession of reactivation process. Differential gene expression of DNMT between ATCC and AC/5 isolates was performed by qPCR. Silencing on DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate was achieved by siRNA duplex. Total RNAs extracted from ATCC, AC/5, and siRNA-treated (designation: si-146) were subjected to RNA-Seq for comparative transcriptomic analysis in order to identify the genome-wide effect of DNMT in regulating Acanthamoeba gene expression. qPCR was performed to validate the RNA-Seq results. Results: Physiological and cytophatic assays demonstrated an increased in virulence potential of AC/5 isolate after mouse passages. DNMT gene expression was significantly higher in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate (p ≤ 0.01) by qPCR. si-146 duplex reduced DNMT gene expression in AC/5 isolate by 30%. Comparative transcriptome analysis identified the differentially expressed genes, with 3768 genes in AC/5 vs ATCC isolate; 2102 genes in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate and 3422 genes in si-146 vs ATCC isolate, respectively (fold-change of ≥ 2 or ≤ 0.5, p-value adjusted (padj) < 0.05). Of these, 840 and 1262 genes were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, in si-146 vs AC/5 isolate. Eukaryotic orthologous group (KOG) assignments revealed a higher percentage of downregulated gene expression in si-146 compared to AC/5 isolate, were related to posttranslational modification, signal transduction and energy production. Gene Ontology (GO) terms for those downregulated genes shown were associated with transport activity, oxidation-reduction process, and metabolic process. Among these downregulated genes were putative genes encoded for heat shock proteins, transporters, ubiquitin-related proteins, proteins for vesicular trafficking (small GTPases), and oxidoreductases. Functional analysis of similar predicted proteins had been described in other parasitic protozoa for their survival and pathogenicity. Decreased expression of these genes in si146-treated isolate may account in part for Acanthamoeba reduced pathogenicity. qPCR on 6 selected genes upregulated in AC/5 compared to ATCC isolate corroborated the RNA sequencing findings, indicating a good concordance between these two analyses. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation and its effects on gene expression in Acanthamoeba spp. The present data indicate that DNA methylation has substantial effect on global gene expression, allowing further dissection of the genome-wide effects of DNA-methyltransferase gene in regulating Acanthamoeba pathogenicity.

Keywords: Acanthamoeba, DNA methylation, RNA sequencing, virulence

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85 Virulence Factors and Drug Resistance of Enterococci Species Isolated from the Intensive Care Units of Assiut University Hospitals, Egypt

Authors: Nahla Elsherbiny, Ahmed Ahmed, Hamada Mohammed, Mohamed Ali

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Background: The enterococci may be considered as opportunistic agents particularly in immunocompromised patients. It is one of the top three pathogens causing many healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Resistance to several commonly used antimicrobial agents is a remarkable characteristic of most species which may carry various genes contributing to virulence. Objectives: to determine the prevalence of enterococci species in different intensive care units (ICUs) causing health care-associated infections (HAIs), intestinal carriage and environmental contamination. Also, to study the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the isolates with special reference to vancomycin resistance. In addition to phenotypic and genotypic detection of gelatinase, cytolysin and biofilm formation among isolates. Patients and Methods: This study was carried out in the infection control laboratory at Assiut University Hospitals over a period of one year. Clinical samples were collected from 285 patients with various (HAIs) acquired after admission to different ICUs. Rectal swabs were taken from 14 cases for detection of enterococci carriage. In addition, 1377 environmental samples were collected from the surroundings of the patients. Identification was done by conventional bacteriological methods and confirmed by analytical profile index (API). Antimicrobial sensitivity testing was performed by Kirby Bauer disc diffusion method and detection of vancomycin resistance was done by agar screen method. For the isolates, phenotypic detection of cytolysin, gelatinase production and detection of biofilm by tube method, Congo red method and microtiter plate. We performed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of some virulence genes (gelE, cylA, vanA, vanB and esp). Results: Enterococci caused 10.5% of the HAIs. Respiratory tract infection was the predominant type (86.7%). The commonest species were E.gallinarum (36.7%), E.casseliflavus (30%), E.faecalis (30%), and E.durans (3.4 %). Vancomycin resistance was detected in a total of 40% (12/30) of those isolates. The risk factors associated with acquiring vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) were immune suppression (P= 0.031) and artificial feeding (P= 0.008). For the rectal swabs, enterococci species were detected in 71.4% of samples with the predominance of E. casseliflavus (50%). Most of the isolates were vancomycin resistant (70%). Out of a total 1377 environmental samples, 577 (42%) samples were contaminated with different microorganisms. Enterococci were detected in 1.7% (10/577) of total contaminated samples, 50% of which were vancomycin resistant. All isolates were resistant to penicillin, ampicillin, oxacillin, ciprofloxacin, amikacin, erythromycin, clindamycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethaxazole. For the remaining antibiotics, variable percentages of resistance were reported. Cytolysin and gelatinase were detected phenotypically in 16% and 48 % of the isolates respectively. The microtiter plate method showed the highest percentages of detection of biofilm among all isolated species (100%). The studied virulence genes gelE, esp, vanA and vanB were detected in 62%, 12%, 2% and 12% respectively, while cylA gene was not detected in any isolates. Conclusions: A significant percentage of enterococci was isolated from patients and environments in the ICUs. Many virulence factors were detected phenotypically and genotypically among isolates. The high percentage of resistance, coupled with the risk of cross transmission to other patients make enterococci infections a significant infection control issue in hospitals.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, enterococci, ICUs, virulence factors

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84 Health and Climate Changes: "Ippocrate" a New Alert System to Monitor and Identify High Risk

Authors: A. Calabrese, V. F. Uricchio, D. di Noia, S. Favale, C. Caiati, G. P. Maggi, G. Donvito, D. Diacono, S. Tangaro, A. Italiano, E. Riezzo, M. Zippitelli, M. Toriello, E. Celiberti, D. Festa, A. Colaianni

Abstract:

Climate change has a severe impact on human health. There is a vast literature demonstrating temperature increase is causally related to cardiovascular problem and represents a high risk for human health, but there are not study that improve a solution. In this work, it is studied how the clime influenced the human parameter through the analysis of climatic conditions in an area of the Apulia Region: Capurso Municipality. At the same time, medical personnel involved identified a set of variables useful to define an index describing health condition. These scientific studies are the base of an innovative alert system, IPPOCRATE, whose aim is to asses climate risk and share information to population at risk to support prevention and mitigation actions. IPPOCRATE is an e-health system, it is designed to provide technological support to analysis of health risk related to climate and provide tools for prevention and management of critical events. It is the first integrated system of prevention of human risk caused by climate change. IPPOCRATE calculates risk weighting meteorological data with the vulnerability of monitored subjects and uses mobile and cloud technologies to acquire and share information on different data channels. It is composed of four components: Multichannel Hub. Multichannel Hub is the ICT infrastructure used to feed IPPOCRATE cloud with a different type of data coming from remote monitoring devices, or imported from meteorological databases. Such data are ingested, transformed and elaborated in order to be dispatched towards mobile app and VoIP phone systems. IPPOCRATE Multichannel Hub uses open communication protocols to create a set of APIs useful to interface IPPOCRATE with 3rd party applications. Internally, it uses non-relational paradigm to create flexible and highly scalable database. WeHeart and Smart Application The wearable device WeHeart is equipped with sensors designed to measure following biometric variables: heart rate, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, body temperature and blood glucose for diabetic subjects. WeHeart is designed to be easy of use and non-invasive. For data acquisition, users need only to wear it and connect it to Smart Application by Bluetooth protocol. Easy Box was designed to take advantage from new technologies related to e-health care. EasyBox allows user to fully exploit all IPPOCRATE features. Its name, Easy Box, reveals its purpose of container for various devices that may be included depending on user needs. Territorial Registry is the IPPOCRATE web module reserved to medical personnel for monitoring, research and analysis activities. Territorial Registry allows to access to all information gathered by IPPOCRATE using GIS system in order to execute spatial analysis combining geographical data (climatological information and monitored data) with information regarding the clinical history of users and their personal details. Territorial Registry was designed for different type of users: control rooms managed by wide area health facilities, single health care center or single doctor. Territorial registry manages such hierarchy diversifying the access to system functionalities. IPPOCRATE is the first e-Health system focused on climate risk prevention.

Keywords: climate change, health risk, new technological system

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83 Geospatial and Statistical Evidences of Non-Engineered Landfill Leachate Effects on Groundwater Quality in a Highly Urbanised Area of Nigeria

Authors: David A. Olasehinde, Peter I. Olasehinde, Segun M. A. Adelana, Dapo O. Olasehinde

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An investigation was carried out on underground water system dynamics within Ilorin metropolis to monitor the subsurface flow and its corresponding pollution. Africa population growth rate is the highest among the regions of the world, especially in urban areas. A corresponding increase in waste generation and a change in waste composition from predominantly organic to non-organic waste has also been observed. Percolation of leachate from non-engineered landfills, the chief means of waste disposal in many of its cities, constitutes a threat to the underground water bodies. Ilorin city, a transboundary town in southwestern Nigeria, is a ready microcosm of Africa’s unique challenge. In spite of the fact that groundwater is naturally protected from common contaminants such as bacteria as the subsurface provides natural attenuation process, groundwater samples have been noted to however possesses relatively higher dissolved chemical contaminants such as bicarbonate, sodium, and chloride which poses a great threat to environmental receptors and human consumption. The Geographic Information System (GIS) was used as a tool to illustrate, subsurface dynamics and the corresponding pollutant indicators. Forty-four sampling points were selected around known groundwater pollutant, major old dumpsites without landfill liners. The results of the groundwater flow directions and the corresponding contaminant transport were presented using expert geospatial software. The experimental results were subjected to four descriptive statistical analyses, namely: principal component analysis, Pearson correlation analysis, scree plot analysis, and Ward cluster analysis. Regression model was also developed aimed at finding functional relationships that can adequately relate or describe the behaviour of water qualities and the hypothetical factors landfill characteristics that may influence them namely; distance of source of water body from dumpsites, static water level of groundwater, subsurface permeability (inferred from hydraulic gradient), and soil infiltration. The regression equations developed were validated using the graphical approach. Underground water seems to flow from the northern portion of Ilorin metropolis down southwards transporting contaminants. Pollution pattern in the study area generally assumed a bimodal pattern with the major concentration of the chemical pollutants in the underground watershed and the recharge. The correlation between contaminant concentrations and the spread of pollution indicates that areas of lower subsurface permeability display a higher concentration of dissolved chemical content. The principal component analysis showed that conductivity, suspended solids, calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, total coliforms, and coliforms were the chief contaminant indicators in the underground water system in the study area. Pearson correlation revealed a high correlation of electrical conductivity for many parameters analyzed. In the same vein, the regression models suggest that the heavier the molecular weight of a chemical contaminant of a pollutant from a point source, the greater the pollution of the underground water system at a short distance. The study concludes that the associative properties of landfill have a significant effect on groundwater quality in the study area.

Keywords: dumpsite, leachate, groundwater pollution, linear regression, principal component

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82 Dietary Diversification and Nutritional Education: A Strategy to Improve Child Food Security Status in the Rural Mozambique

Authors: Rodriguez Diego, Del Valle Martin, Hargreaves Matias, Riveros Jose Luis

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Nutrient deficiencies due to a diet low in quantitative and qualitative terms, are prevalent throughout the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Children and women of childbearing age are especially vulnerable. Limited availability, access and intake of animal foods at home and lack of knowledge about their value in the diet and the role they play in health, contribute to poor diet quality. Poor bioavailability of micronutrients in diets based on foods high in fiber and phytates, the low content of some micronutrients in these foods are further factors to consider. Goats are deeply embedded in almost every Sub-Saharan African rural culture, generally kept for their milk, meat, hair or leather. Goats have played an important role in African social life, especially in food security. Goat meat has good properties for human wellbeing, with a special role in lower income households. It has a high-quality protein (20 protein g/100 meat g) including all essential amino acids, good unsaturated/satured fatty acids relationship, and it is an important B-vitamin source with high micronutrients bioavailability. Mozambique has major food security problems, with poor food access and utilization, undiversified diets, chronic poverty and child malnutrition. Our objective was to design a nutritional intervention based on a dietary diversification, nutritional education, cultural beliefs and local resources, aimed to strengthen food security of children at Barrio Broma village (15°43'58.78"S; 32°46'7.27"E) in Chitima, Mozambique. Two surveys were conducted first of socio-productive local databases and then to 100 rural households about livelihoods, food diversity and anthropometric measurements in children under 5 years. Our results indicate that the main economic activity is goat production, based on a native breed with two deliveries per year in the absence of any management. Adult goats weighted 27.2±10.5 kg and raised a height of 63.5±3.8 cm. Data showed high levels of poverty, with a food diversity score of 2.3 (0-12 points), where only 30% of households consume protein and 13% iron, zinc, and B12 vitamin. The main constraints to food security were poor access to water and low income to buy food. Our dietary intervention was based on improving diet quality by increasing the access to dried goat meat, fresh vegetables, and legumes, and its utilization by a nutritional education program. This proposal was based on local culture and living conditions characterized by the absence of electricity power and drinkable water. The drying process proposed would secure the food maintenance under local conditions guaranteeing food safety for a longer period. Additionally, an ancient local drying technique was rescued and used. Moreover, this kind of dietary intervention would be the most efficient way to improve the infant nutrition by delivering macro and micronutrients on time to these vulnerable populations.

Keywords: child malnutrition, dietary diversification, food security, goat meat

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81 The Effects of Circadian Rhythms Change in High Latitudes

Authors: Ekaterina Zvorykina

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Nowadays, Arctic and Antarctic regions are distinguished to be one of the most important strategic resources for global development. Nonetheless, living conditions in Arctic regions still demand certain improvements. As soon as the region is rarely populated, one of the main points of interest is health accommodation of the people, who migrate to Arctic region for permanent and shift work. At Arctic and Antarctic latitudes, personnel face polar day and polar night conditions during the time of the year. It means that they are deprived of natural sunlight in winter season and have continuous daylight in summer. Firstly, the change in light intensity during 24-hours period due to migration affects circadian rhythms. Moreover, the controlled artificial light in winter is also an issue. The results of the recent studies on night shift medical professionals, who were exposed to permanent artificial light, have already demonstrated higher risks in cancer, depression, Alzheimer disease. Moreover, people exposed to frequent time zones change are also subjected to higher risks of heart attack and cancer. Thus, our main goals are to understand how high latitude work and living conditions can affect human health and how it can be prevented. In our study, we analyze molecular and cellular factors, which play important role in circadian rhythm change and distinguish main risk groups in people, migrating to high latitudes. The main well-studied index of circadian timing is melatonin or its metabolite 6-sulfatoxymelatonin. In low light intensity melatonin synthesis is disturbed and as a result human organism requires more time for sleep, which is still disregarded when it comes to working time organization. Lack of melatonin also causes shortage in serotonin production, which leads to higher depression risk. Melatonin is also known to inhibit oncogenes and increase apoptosis level in cells, the main factors for tumor growth, as well as circadian clock genes (for example Per2). Thus, people who work in high latitudes can be distinguished as a risk group for cancer diseases and demand more attention. Clock/Clock genes, known to be one of the main circadian clock regulators, decrease sensitivity of hypothalamus to estrogen and decrease glucose sensibility, which leads to premature aging and oestrous cycle disruption. Permanent light exposure also leads to accumulation superoxide dismutase and oxidative stress, which is one of the main factors for early dementia and Alzheimer disease. We propose a new screening system adjusted for people, migrating from middle to high latitudes and accommodation therapy. Screening is focused on melatonin and estrogen levels, sleep deprivation and neural disorders, depression level, cancer risks and heart and vascular disorders. Accommodation therapy includes different types artificial light exposure, additional melatonin and neuroprotectors. Preventive procedures can lead to increase of migration intensity to high latitudes and, as a result, the prosperity of Arctic region.

Keywords: circadian rhythm, high latitudes, melatonin, neuroprotectors

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80 Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain

Authors: Raquel Dafouz Neus Cáceres, Javier Fernandez-Rubio, Belinda Huerta José Luis Rodríguez-Gil, Nicola Mastroianni, Miren López de Alda, Damià Barceló, Yolanda Valcárcel

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The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.

Keywords: drug of abuse, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, environmental risk, seawater

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79 Cell-free Bioconversion of n-Octane to n-Octanol via a Heterogeneous and Bio-Catalytic Approach

Authors: Shanna Swart, Caryn Fenner, Athanasios Kotsiopoulos, Susan Harrison

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Linear alkanes are produced as by-products from the increasing use of gas-to-liquid fuel technologies for synthetic fuel production and offer great potential for value addition. Their current use as low-value fuels and solvents do not maximize this potential. Therefore, attention has been drawn towards direct activation of these aliphatic alkanes to more useful products such as alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and derivatives. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) can be used for activation of these aliphatic alkanes using whole-cells or cell-free systems. Some limitations of whole-cell systems include reduced mass transfer, stability and possible side reactions. Since the P450 systems are little studied as cell-free systems, they form the focus of this study. Challenges of a cell-free system include co-factor regeneration, substrate availability and enzyme stability. Enzyme immobilization offers a positive outlook on this dilemma, as it may enhance stability of the enzyme. In the present study, 2 different P450s (CYP153A6 and CYP102A1) as well as the relevant accessory enzymes required for electron transfer (ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase) and co-factor regeneration (glucose dehydrogenase) have been expressed in E. coli and purified by metal affinity chromatography. Glucose dehydrogenase (GDH), was used as a model enzyme to assess the potential of various enzyme immobilization strategies including; surface attachment on MagReSyn® microspheres with various functionalities and on electrospun nanofibers, using self-assembly based methods forming Cross Linked Enzymes (CLE), Cross Linked Enzyme Aggregates (CLEAs) and spherezymes as well as in a sol gel. The nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning, which required the building of an electrospinning machine. The nanofiber morphology has been analyzed by SEM and binding will be further verified by FT-IR. Covalent attachment based methods showed limitations where only ferredoxin reductase and GDH retained activity after immobilization which were largely attributed to insufficient electron transfer and inactivation caused by the crosslinkers (60% and 90% relative activity loss for the free enzyme when using 0.5% glutaraldehyde and glutaraldehyde/ethylenediamine (1:1 v/v), respectively). So far, initial experiments with GDH have shown the most potential when immobilized via their His-tag onto the surface of MagReSyn® microspheres functionalized with Ni-NTA. It was found that Crude GDH could be simultaneously purified and immobilized with sufficient activity retention. Immobilized pure and crude GDH could be recycled 9 and 10 times, respectively, with approximately 10% activity remaining. The immobilized GDH was also more stable than the free enzyme after storage for 14 days at 4˚C. This immobilization strategy will also be applied to the P450s and optimized with regards to enzyme loading and immobilization time, as well as characterized and compared with the free enzymes. It is anticipated that the proposed immobilization set-up will offer enhanced enzyme stability (as well as reusability and easy recovery), minimal mass transfer limitation, with continuous co-factor regeneration and minimal enzyme leaching. All of which provide a positive outlook on this robust multi-enzyme system for efficient activation of linear alkanes as well as the potential for immobilization of various multiple enzymes, including multimeric enzymes for different bio-catalytic applications beyond alkane activation.

Keywords: alkane activation, cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, enzyme catalysis, enzyme immobilization

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78 Quality of Care for the Maternal Complications at Selected Primary and Secondary Health Facilities of Bangladesh: Lessons Learned from a Formative Research

Authors: Mohiuddin Ahsanul Kabir Chowdhury, Nafisa Lira Huq, Afroza Khanom, Rafiqul Islam, Abdullah Nurus Salam Khan, Farhana Karim, Nabila Zaka, Shams El Arifeen, Sk. Masum Billah

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After having astounding achievements in reducing maternal mortality and achieving the target for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, the Government of Bangladesh has set new target to reduce Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to 70 per 100,000 live births aligning with targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aversion of deaths from maternal complication by ensuring quality health care could be an important path to accelerate the rate of reduction of MMR. This formative research was aimed at exploring the provision of quality maternal health services at different level of health facilities. The study was conducted in 1 district hospital (DH) and 4 Upazila health complexes (UHC) of Kurigram district of Bangladesh, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. We conducted 14 key informant interviews with facility managers and 20 in-depth interviews with health care providers and support staff. Besides, we observed 387 normal deliveries from which we found 17 cases of post partum haemorrhage (PPH) and 2 cases of eclampsia during the data collection period extended from July-September 2016. The quantitative data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, and the qualitative component underwent thematic analysis with the broad themes of facility readiness for maternal complication management, and management of complications. Inadequacy in human resources has been identified as the most important bottleneck to provide quality care to manage maternal complications. The DH had a particular paucity of human resources in medical officer cadre where about 61% posts were unfilled. On the other hand, in the UHCs the positions mostly empty were obstetricians (75%, paediatricians (75%), staff nurses (65%), and anaesthetists (100%). The workload on the existing staff is increased because of the persistence of vacant posts. Unavailability of anesthetists and consultants does not permit the health care providers (HCP) of lower cadres to perform emergency operative procedures and forces them to refer the patients although referral system is not well organized in rural Bangladesh. Insufficient bed capacity, inadequate training, shortage of emergency medicines etc. are other hindrance factors for facility readiness. Among the 387 observed delivery case, 17 (4.4%) were identified as PPH cases, and only 2 cases were found as eclampsia/pre-eclampsia. The majority of the patients were treated with uterine message (16 out of 17, 94.1%) and injectable Oxytocin (14 out of 17, 82.4%). The providers of DH mentioned that they can manage the PPH because of having provision for diagnostic and blood transfusion services, although not as 24/7 services. Regarding management of eclampsia/pre-eclampsia, HCPs provided Diazepam, MgSO4, and other anti-hypertensives. The UHCs did not have MgSO4 at stock even, and one facility manager admitted that they treat eclampsia with Diazepam only. The nurses of the UHCs were found to be afraid to handle eclampsia cases. The upcoming interventions must ensure refresher training of service providers, continuous availability of essential medicine and equipment needed for complication management, availability of skilled health workforce, availability of functioning blood transfusion unit and pairing of consultants and anaesthetists to reach the newly set targets altogether.

Keywords: Bangladesh, health facilities, maternal complications, quality of care

Procedia PDF Downloads 77
77 Sentinel-2 Based Burn Area Severity Assessment Tool in Google Earth Engine

Authors: D. Madhushanka, Y. Liu, H. C. Fernando

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Fires are one of the foremost factors of land surface disturbance in diverse ecosystems, causing soil erosion and land-cover changes and atmospheric effects affecting people's lives and properties. Generally, the severity of the fire is calculated as the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) index. This is performed manually by comparing two images obtained afterward. Then by using the bitemporal difference of the preprocessed satellite images, the dNBR is calculated. The burnt area is then classified as either unburnt (dNBR<0.1) or burnt (dNBR>= 0.1). Furthermore, Wildfire Severity Assessment (WSA) classifies burnt areas and unburnt areas using classification levels proposed by USGS and comprises seven classes. This procedure generates a burn severity report for the area chosen by the user manually. This study is carried out with the objective of producing an automated tool for the above-mentioned process, namely the World Wildfire Severity Assessment Tool (WWSAT). It is implemented in Google Earth Engine (GEE), which is a free cloud-computing platform for satellite data processing, with several data catalogs at different resolutions (notably Landsat, Sentinel-2, and MODIS) and planetary-scale analysis capabilities. Sentinel-2 MSI is chosen to obtain regular processes related to burnt area severity mapping using a medium spatial resolution sensor (15m). This tool uses machine learning classification techniques to identify burnt areas using NBR and to classify their severity over the user-selected extent and period automatically. Cloud coverage is one of the biggest concerns when fire severity mapping is performed. In WWSAT based on GEE, we present a fully automatic workflow to aggregate cloud-free Sentinel-2 images for both pre-fire and post-fire image compositing. The parallel processing capabilities and preloaded geospatial datasets of GEE facilitated the production of this tool. This tool consists of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to make it user-friendly. The advantage of this tool is the ability to obtain burn area severity over a large extent and more extended temporal periods. Two case studies were carried out to demonstrate the performance of this tool. The Blue Mountain national park forest affected by the Australian fire season between 2019 and 2020 is used to describe the workflow of the WWSAT. This site detected more than 7809 km2, using Sentinel-2 data, giving an error below 6.5% when compared with the area detected on the field. Furthermore, 86.77% of the detected area was recognized as fully burnt out, of which high severity (17.29%), moderate-high severity (19.63%), moderate-low severity (22.35%), and low severity (27.51%). The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest Park, California, the USA, which is affected by the Cameron peak fire in 2020, is chosen for the second case study. It was found that around 983 km2 had burned out, of which high severity (2.73%), moderate-high severity (1.57%), moderate-low severity (1.18%), and low severity (5.45%). These spots also can be detected through the visual inspection made possible by cloud-free images generated by WWSAT. This tool is cost-effective in calculating the burnt area since satellite images are free and the cost of field surveys is avoided.

Keywords: burnt area, burnt severity, fires, google earth engine (GEE), sentinel-2

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76 Preliminary Characterization of Hericium Species Sampled in Tuscany, Italy

Authors: V. Cesaroni, C. Girometta, A. Bernicchia, M. Brusoni, F. Corana, R. M. Baiguera, C. M. Cusaro, M. L. Guglielminetti, B. Mannucci, H. Kawagishi, C. Perini, A. M. Picco, P. Rossi, E. Salerni, E. Savino

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Fungi of the genus Hericium contain various compounds with antibacterial activity, cytotoxic effect on cancer cells and bioactive molecules. Some of the active metabolites stimulate the synthesis of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). Recently, the effect of dietary supplement based on Hericium erinaceus on recognition memory and on hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 neurotransmission was published. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Hericium species on Italian territory in order to isolate the strains for further studies and applications. The first step was to collect Hericium sporophores in Tuscany: H. alpestre Pers., H. coralloides (Scop.) Pers. and H. erinaceus (Bull.) Pers. were the species present. The strains of H. alpestre (H.a.1), H. coralloides (H.c.1) and H. erinaceus (H.e.1 & H.e.2) have been isolated in pure culture and preserved in the collection of the University of Pavia (MicUNIPV). The DNA sequences obtained from the strains were compared to other sequences found in international databases. Therefore, it was possible to construct a phylogenetic tree that highlights the clear separation in clades of the sequences and the molecular identification of our strains with the species of Hericium considered. The second step was to cultivate indoor and outdoor H. erinaceus in order to obtain as many sporophores as possible for further chemical analysis. All the procedures for H. erinaceus cultivation have been followed. Among the available recipes for indoor H. erinaceus cultivation, it was used a substrate formulation contained 70% oak sawdust, 20% rice bran, 10% wheat straw, 1% CaCO3 and 1% sucrose. The bioactive compounds present in the mycelia and in the sporophores of H. erinaceus were chemically analyzed in collaboration with the Centro Grandi Strumenti of the University of Pavia using high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS/MS). The materials to be analyzed were previously freeze-dried and then extracted with an alcoholic procedure. Preliminary chromatographic analysis revealed the presence of potentially bioactive and structurally different secondary metabolites such as polysaccharides, erinacins, ericenones, steroids and other terpenoids. Ericenones C and D (in sporophores) and erinacin A (in mycelium) have been identified by comparison with the respective standards. These molecules are known to have effects on the Central Nervous System (CNS) cells, which is the main objective of our studies. Thanks to the high sensitivity in the detection of bioactive compounds of H. erinaceus, it will be possible to use the To obtain lyophilized mycelium and the respective culture broth, 4 small pieces (about 5 mm2) of the respective H.e.1 or H.c.1 strains, taken from the margin of growing cultures (MEA), were inoculated into 1 liter of 2% ME (malt extract, Biokar Diagnostics). The static liquid cultures were kept at 24 °C in the dark chamber and fungi grew for one month. 10 replicates for each strain have been done. The method proposed as an analytical screening protocol to determine the optimal growth conditions of the fungus and to improve the production chain of H. erinaceus. These results encourage to carry out chemical analyzes also on H. alpestre and H. coralloides in order to evaluate the presence of bioactive compounds in these two species.

Keywords: Hericium species, Hercium erinaceus bioactive compounds, medicinal mushrooms, mushroom cultivation

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75 Delicate Balance between Cardiac Stress and Protection: Role of Mitochondrial Proteins

Authors: Zuzana Tatarkova, Ivana Pilchova, Michal Cibulka, Martin Kolisek, Peter Racay, Peter Kaplan

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Introduction: Normal functioning of mitochondria is crucial for cardiac performance. Mitochondria undergo mitophagy and biogenesis, and mitochondrial proteins are subject to extensive post-translational modifications. The state of mitochondrial homeostasis reflects overall cellular fitness and longevity. Perturbed mitochondria produce less ATP, release greater amounts of reactive molecules, and are more prone to apoptosis. Therefore mitochondrial turnover is an integral aspect of quality control in which dysfunctional mitochondria are selectively eliminated through mitophagy. Currently, the progressive deterioration of physiological functions is seen as accumulation of modified/damaged proteins with limiting regenerative ability and disturbance of such affected protein-protein communication throughout aging in myocardial cells. Methodologies: For our study was used immunohistochemistry, biochemical methods: spectrophotometry, western blotting, immunodetection as well as more sophisticated 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry for evaluation protein-protein interactions and specific post-translational modification. Results and Discussion: Mitochondrial stress response to reactive species was evaluated as electron transport chain (ETC) complexes, redox-active molecules, and their possible communication. Protein-protein interactions revealed a strong linkage between age and ETC protein subunits. Redox state was strongly affected in senescent mitochondria with shift in favor of more pro-oxidizing condition within cardiomyocytes. Acute myocardial ischemia and ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury affected ETC complexes I, II and IV with no change in complex III. Ischemia induced decrease in total antioxidant capacity, MnSOD, GSH and catalase activity with recovery in some extent during reperfusion. While MnSOD protein content was higher in IR group, activity returned to 95% of control. Nitric oxide is one of the biological molecules that can out compete MnSOD for superoxide and produce peroxynitrite. This process is faster than dismutation and led to the 10-fold higher production of nitrotyrosine after IR injury in adult with higher protection in senescent ones. 2D protein profiling revealed 140 mitochondrial proteins, 12 of them with significant changes after IR injury and 36 individual nitrotyrosine-modified proteins further identified by mass spectrometry. Linking these two groups, 5 proteins were altered after IR as well as nitrated, but only one showed massive nitration per lowering content of protein after IR injury in adult. Conclusions: Senescent cells have greater proportion of protein content, which might be modulated by several post-translational modifications. If these protein modifications are connected to functional consequences and protein-protein interactions are revealed, link may lead to the solution. Assume all together, dysfunctional proteostasis can play a causative role and restoration of protein homeostasis machinery is protective against aging and possibly age-related disorders. This work was supported by the project VEGA 1/0018/18 and by project 'Competence Center for Research and Development in the field of Diagnostics and Therapy of Oncological diseases', ITMS: 26220220153, co-financed from EU sources.

Keywords: aging heart, mitochondria, proteomics, redox state

Procedia PDF Downloads 64