Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Publications

9 Adsorption and Electrochemical Regeneration for Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Authors: H. M. Mohammad, A. Martin, N. Brown, N. Hodson, P. Hill, E. Roberts

Abstract:

Graphite intercalation compound (GIC) has been demonstrated to be a useful, low capacity and rapid adsorbent for the removal of organic micropollutants from water. The high electrical conductivity and low capacity of the material lends itself to electrochemical regeneration. Following electrochemical regeneration, equilibrium loading under similar conditions is reported to exceed that achieved by the fresh adsorbent. This behavior is reported in terms of the regeneration efficiency being greater than 100%. In this work, surface analysis techniques are employed to investigate the material in three states: ‘Fresh’, ‘Loaded’ and ‘Regenerated’. ‘Fresh’ GIC is shown to exhibit a hydrogen and oxygen rich surface layer approximately 150 nm thick. ‘Loaded’ GIC shows a similar but slightly thicker surface layer (approximately 370 nm thick) and significant enhancement in the hydrogen and oxygen abundance extending beyond 600 nm from the surface. 'Regenerated’ GIC shows an oxygen rich layer, slightly thicker than the fresh case at approximately 220 nm while showing a very much lower hydrogen enrichment at the surface. Results demonstrate that while the electrochemical regeneration effectively removes the phenol model pollutant, it also oxidizes the exposed carbon surface. These results may have a significant impact on the estimation of adsorbent life.

Keywords: Graphite, adsorbent, electrochemical, regeneration, phenol.

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8 Fuzzy Numbers and MCDM Methods for Portfolio Optimization

Authors: Thi T. Nguyen, Lee N. Gordon-Brown

Abstract:

A new deployment of the multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques: the Simple Additive Weighting (SAW), and the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) for portfolio allocation, is demonstrated in this paper. Rather than exclusive reference to mean and variance as in the traditional mean-variance method, the criteria used in this demonstration are the first four moments of the portfolio distribution. Each asset is evaluated based on its marginal impacts to portfolio higher moments that are characterized by trapezoidal fuzzy numbers. Then centroid-based defuzzification is applied to convert fuzzy numbers to the crisp numbers by which SAW and TOPSIS can be deployed. Experimental results suggest the similar efficiency of these MCDM approaches to selecting dominant assets for an optimal portfolio under higher moments. The proposed approaches allow investors flexibly adjust their risk preferences regarding higher moments via different schemes adapting to various (from conservative to risky) kinds of investors. The other significant advantage is that, compared to the mean-variance analysis, the portfolio weights obtained by SAW and TOPSIS are consistently well-diversified.

Keywords: Fuzzy numbers, SAW, TOPSIS, portfolio optimization, higher moments, risk management.

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7 Error Estimates for Calculated Glomerular Filtration Rates

Authors: Simon Brown

Abstract:

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a measure of kidney function. It is usually estimated from serum concentrations of cystatin C or creatinine although there has been considerable debate in the literature about (i) the best equation to use and (ii) the variability in the correlation between the concentrations of creatinine and cystatin C. The equations for GFR can be written in a general form and from these I calculate the error of the GFR estimates associated with analyte measurement error. These show that the error of the GFR estimates is such that it is not possible to distinguish between the equations over much of the concentration range of either analyte. The general forms of the equations are also used to derive an expression for the concentration of cystatin C as a function of the concentration of creatinine. This equation shows that these analyte concentrations are not linearly related. Clinical reports of cystatin C and creatinine concentration are consistent with the expression derived.

Keywords: creatinine, cystatin C, error analysis, glomerularfiltration rate, measurement error.

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6 The Contribution of Growth Rate to the Pathogenicity of Candida spp.

Authors: Shu-Ying Marissa Pang, Stephen Tristram, Simon Brown

Abstract:

Fungal infections are becoming more common and the range of susceptible individuals has expanded. While Candida albicans remains the most common infective species, other Candida spp. are becoming increasingly significant. In a range of large-scale studies of candidaemia between 1999 and 2006, about 52% of 9717 cases involved C. albicans, about 30% involved either C. glabrata or C. parapsilosis and less than 15% involved C. tropicalis, C. krusei or C. guilliermondii. However, the probability of mortality within 30 days of infection with a particular species was at least 40% for C. tropicalis, C. albicans, C. glabrata and C. krusei and only 22% for C. parapsilopsis. Clinical isolates of Candida spp. grew at rates ranging from 1.65 h-1 to 4.9 h-1. Three species (C. krusei, C. albicans and C. glabrata) had relatively high growth rates (μm > 4 h-1), C. tropicalis and C. dubliniensis grew moderately quickly (Ôëê 3 h-1) and C. parapsilosis and C. guilliermondii grew slowly (< 2 h-1). Based on these data, the log of the odds of mortality within 30 days of diagnosis was linearly related to μm. From this the underlying probability of mortality is 0.13 (95% CI: 0.10-0.17) and it increases by about 0.09 ± 0.02 for each unit increase in μm. Given that the overall crude mortality is about 0.36, the growth of Candida spp. approximately doubles the rate, consistent with the results of larger case-matched studies of candidaemia.

Keywords: Candida spp., candidiasis, growth, pathogenicity.

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5 Salicylhydroxamic Acid Inhibits the Growth of Candida albicans

Authors: Shu-Ying Marissa Pang, Stephen Tristram, Simon Brown

Abstract:

Candida spp. are common and aggressive pathogens. Because of the growing resistance of Candida spp. to current antifungals, novel targets, found in Candida spp. but not in humans or other flora, have to be identified. The alternative oxidase (AOX) is one such possibility. This enzyme is insensitive to cyanide, but is sensitive to compounds such as salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), disulfiram and n-alkyl gallates. The growth Candida albicans was inhibited by SHAM (Ki = 9-15 mM) and cyanide (Ki = 2-4 mM), albeit to differing extents. The rate of O2 uptake was inhibited by less than 10% by 25 mM SHAM and by about 90% by 250 μM KCN. Although SHAM substantially inhibited the growth of C. albicans, it is unlikely that the inhibition of AOX was the cause. Salicylhydroxamic acid is used therapeutically in the treatment of urinary tract infections and urolithiasis, but it also has some potential in the treatment of C. albicans infection.

Keywords: alternative oxidase, Candida albicans, growth, respiration, salicylhydroxamic acid.

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4 Estimating Enzyme Kinetic Parameters from Apparent KMs and Vmaxs

Authors: Simon Brown, Noorzaid Muhamad, David C Simcock

Abstract:

The kinetic properties of enzymes are often reported using the apparent KM and Vmax appropriate to the standard Michaelis-Menten enzyme. However, this model is inappropriate to enzymes that have more than one substrate or where the rate expression does not apply for other reasons. Consequently, it is desirable to have a means of estimating the appropriate kinetic parameters from the apparent values of KM and Vmax reported for each substrate. We provide a means of estimating the range within which the parameters should lie and apply the method to data for glutamate dehydrogenase from the nematode parasite of sheep Teladorsagia circumcincta.

Keywords: enzyme kinetics, glutamate dehydrogenase, intervalanalysis, parameter estimation.

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3 Induction of Alternative Oxidase Activity in Candida albicans by Oxidising Conditions

Authors: Simon Brown, Raewyn Tuffery

Abstract:

Candida albicans ATCC 10231 had low endogenous activity of the alternative oxidase compared with that of C. albicans ATCC 10261. In C. albicans ATCC 10231 the endogenous activity declined as the cultures aged. Alternative oxidase activity could be induced in C. albicans ATCC 10231 by treatment with cyanide, but the induction of this activity required the presence of oxygen which could be replaced, at least in part, with high concentrations of potassium ferricyanide. We infer from this that the expression of the gene encoding the alternative oxidase is under the control of a redoxsensitive transcription factor.

Keywords: alternative oxidase, Candida albicans, enzymeinduction, oxygen, redox potential.

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2 Inhibition of the Growth of Pathogenic Candida spp. by Salicylhydroxamic Acid

Authors: Shu-Ying Marissa Pang, Stephen Tristram, Simon Brown

Abstract:

Candida spp. are common and aggressive pathogens. Because of the growing resistance of Candida spp. to current antifungals, novel targets, found in Candida spp. but not in humans or other flora, have to be identified. The alternative oxidase (AOX) is one such possibility. This enzyme is insensitive to cyanide, but is sensitive to compounds such as salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), disulfiram and n-alkyl gallates. The growth each of six Candida spp. was inhibited significantly by ~13 mM SHAM or 2 mM cyanide, albeit to differing extents. In C. dubliniensis, C. krusei and C. tropicalis the rate of O2 uptake was inhibited by 18-36% by 25 mM SHAM, but this had little or no effect on C. glabrata, C. guilliermondii or C. parapsilosis. Although SHAM substantially inhibited the growth of Candida spp., it is unlikely that the inhibition of AOX was the cause. Salicylhydroxamic acid is used therapeutically in the treatment of urinary tract infections and urolithiasis, but it also has some potential in the treatment of Candida spp. infection.

Keywords: alternative oxidase, Candida spp., growth, respiration, salicylhydroxamic acid.

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1 Improving Convergence of Parameter Tuning Process of the Additive Fuzzy System by New Learning Strategy

Authors: Thi Nguyen, Lee Gordon-Brown, Jim Peterson, Peter Wheeler

Abstract:

An additive fuzzy system comprising m rules with n inputs and p outputs in each rule has at least t m(2n + 2 p + 1) parameters needing to be tuned. The system consists of a large number of if-then fuzzy rules and takes a long time to tune its parameters especially in the case of a large amount of training data samples. In this paper, a new learning strategy is investigated to cope with this obstacle. Parameters that tend toward constant values at the learning process are initially fixed and they are not tuned till the end of the learning time. Experiments based on applications of the additive fuzzy system in function approximation demonstrate that the proposed approach reduces the learning time and hence improves convergence speed considerably.

Keywords: Additive fuzzy system, improving convergence, parameter learning process, unsupervised learning.

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