Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 115

Search results for: nesC

115 In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa

Authors: Eva Tvrdá, Hana Greifová, Peter Ivanič, Norbert Lukáč

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the dose- and time-dependent in vitro effects of berberine (BER), a natural alkaloid with numerous biological properties on bovine spermatozoa during three time periods (0 h, 2 h, 24 h). Bovine semen samples were diluted and cultivated in physiological saline solution containing 0.5% DMSO together with 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, and 1 μmol/L BER. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the computer assisted semen analyzer. The viability of spermatozoa was assessed by the metabolic (MTT) assay, production of superoxide radicals was quantified using the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test, and chemiluminescence was used to evaluate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cell lysates were prepared and the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO) was evaluated using the TBARS assay. The results of the movement activity showed a significant increase in the motility during long term cultivation in case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 10 μmol/L BER (P < 0.01; P < 0.001; 24 h). At the same time, supplementation of 1, 5 and 10 μmol/L BER led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P < 0.001; 24 h). BER addition at a range of 1-50 μmol/L also provided a significantly higher protection against superoxide (P < 0.05) and ROS (P < 0.001; P < 0.01) overgeneration as well as LPO (P < 0.01; P<0.05) after a 24 h cultivation. We may suggest that supplementation of BER to bovine spermatozoa, particularly at concentrations ranging between 1 and 50 μmol/L, may offer protection to the motility, viability and oxidative status of the spermatozoa, particularly notable at 24 h.

Keywords: Berberine, bulls, motility, oxidative profile, spermatozoa, viability.

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114 Timescape-Based Panoramic View for Historic Landmarks

Authors: H. Ali, A. Whitehead

Abstract:

Providing a panoramic view of famous landmarks around the world offers artistic and historic value for historians, tourists, and researchers. Exploring the history of famous landmarks by presenting a comprehensive view of a temporal panorama merged with geographical and historical information presents a unique challenge of dealing with images that span a long period, from the 1800’s up to the present. This work presents the concept of temporal panorama through a timeline display of aligned historic and modern images for many famous landmarks. Utilization of this panorama requires a collection of hundreds of thousands of landmark images from the Internet comprised of historic images and modern images of the digital age. These images have to be classified for subset selection to keep the more suitable images that chronologically document a landmark’s history. Processing of historic images captured using older analog technology under various different capturing conditions represents a big challenge when they have to be used with modern digital images. Successful processing of historic images to prepare them for next steps of temporal panorama creation represents an active contribution in cultural heritage preservation through the fulfillment of one of UNESCO goals in preservation and displaying famous worldwide landmarks.

Keywords: Cultural heritage, image registration, image subset selection, registered image similarity, temporal panorama, timescapes.

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113 Effects of Injection Conditions on Flame Structures in Gas-Centered Swirl Coaxial Injector

Authors: Wooseok Song, Sunjung Park, Jongkwon Lee, Jaye Koo

Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to observe the effects of injection conditions on flame structures in gas-centered swirl coaxial injector. Gaseous oxygen and liquid kerosene were used as propellants. For different injection conditions, two types of injector, which only differ in the diameter of the tangential inlet, were used in this study. In addition, oxidizer injection pressure was varied to control the combustion chamber pressure in different types of injector. In order to analyze the combustion instability intensity, the dynamic pressure was measured in both the combustion chamber and propellants lines. With the increase in differential pressure between the propellant injection pressure and the combustion chamber pressure, the combustion instability intensity increased. In addition, the flame structure was recorded using a high-speed camera to detect CH* chemiluminescence intensity. With the change in the injection conditions in the gas-centered swirl coaxial injector, the flame structure changed.

Keywords: Liquid rocket engine, flame structure, combustion instability, dynamic pressure.

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112 A World Map of Seabed Sediment Based on 50 Years of Knowledge

Authors: T. Garlan, I. Gabelotaud, S. Lucas, E. Marchès

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Production of a global sedimentological seabed map has been initiated in 1995 to provide the necessary tool for searches of aircraft and boats lost at sea, to give sedimentary information for nautical charts, and to provide input data for acoustic propagation modelling. This original approach had already been initiated one century ago when the French hydrographic service and the University of Nancy had produced maps of the distribution of marine sediments of the French coasts and then sediment maps of the continental shelves of Europe and North America. The current map of the sediment of oceans presented was initiated with a UNESCO's general map of the deep ocean floor. This map was adapted using a unique sediment classification to present all types of sediments: from beaches to the deep seabed and from glacial deposits to tropical sediments. In order to allow good visualization and to be adapted to the different applications, only the granularity of sediments is represented. The published seabed maps are studied, if they present an interest, the nature of the seabed is extracted from them, the sediment classification is transcribed and the resulted map is integrated in the world map. Data come also from interpretations of Multibeam Echo Sounder (MES) imagery of large hydrographic surveys of deep-ocean. These allow a very high-quality mapping of areas that until then were represented as homogeneous. The third and principal source of data comes from the integration of regional maps produced specifically for this project. These regional maps are carried out using all the bathymetric and sedimentary data of a region. This step makes it possible to produce a regional synthesis map, with the realization of generalizations in the case of over-precise data. 86 regional maps of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean have been produced and integrated into the world sedimentary map. This work is permanent and permits a digital version every two years, with the integration of some new maps. This article describes the choices made in terms of sediment classification, the scale of source data and the zonation of the variability of the quality. This map is the final step in a system comprising the Shom Sedimentary Database, enriched by more than one million punctual and surface items of data, and four series of coastal seabed maps at 1:10,000, 1:50,000, 1:200,000 and 1:1,000,000. This step by step approach makes it possible to take into account the progresses in knowledge made in the field of seabed characterization during the last decades. Thus, the arrival of new classification systems for seafloor has improved the recent seabed maps, and the compilation of these new maps with those previously published allows a gradual enrichment of the world sedimentary map. But there is still a lot of work to enhance some regions, which are still based on data acquired more than half a century ago.

Keywords: Marine sedimentology, seabed map, sediment classification, World Ocean.

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111 Synthesis and Characterization of Nickel and Sulphur Sensitized Zinc Oxide Structures

Authors: Ella C. Linganiso, Bonex W. Mwakikunga, Trilock Singh, Sanjay Mathur, Odireleng M. Ntwaeaborwa

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The use of nanostructured semiconducting material to catalyze degradation of environmental pollutants still receives much attention to date. One of the desired characteristics for pollutant degradation under ultra-violet visible light is the materials with extended carrier charge separation that allows for electronic transfer between the catalyst and the pollutants. In this work, zinc oxide n-type semiconductor vertically aligned structures were fabricated on silicon (100) substrates using the chemical bath deposition method. The as-synthesized structures were treated with nickel and sulphur. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the phase purity, structural dimensions and elemental composition of the obtained structures respectively. Photoluminescence emission measurements showed a decrease in both the near band edge emission as well as the defect band emission upon addition of nickel and sulphur with different concentrations. This was attributed to increased charger-carrier-separation due to the presence of Ni-S material on ZnO surface, which is linked to improved charge transfer during photocatalytic reactions.

Keywords: Carrier-charge-separation, nickel, sulphur, zinc oxide, photoluminescence.

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110 Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity

Authors: Vladyslav Povoroznyuk, Anna Musiienko, Nataliia Dzerovych, Roksolana Povoroznyuk, Oksana Ivanyk

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Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Keywords: Obesity, body mass index, vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency, postmenopausal women, age.

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109 The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Keywords: Children, cortisol, insulin, metabolic syndrome, thyroid hormones.

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108 Cobalamin, Folate and Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Pediatric Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is known to be associated with many clinically important diseases including metabolic syndrome (MetS). Vitamin B12 plays essential roles in fat and protein metabolisms and its cooperation with vitamin B9 is well-known. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible contributions as well as associations of these micronutrients upon obesity and MetS during childhood. A total of 128 children admitted to Namik Kemal University, Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatrics Outpatient Clinics were included into the scope of this study. The mean age±SEM of 92 morbid obese (MO) children and 36 with MetS were 118.3±3.8 months and 129.5±6.4 months, respectively (p > 0.05). The study was approved by Namık Kemal University, Medical Faculty Ethics Committee. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents. Demographic features and anthropometric measurements were recorded. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Components of MetS [waist circumference (WC), fasting blood glucose (FBG), triacylglycerol (TRG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-Chol), systolic pressure (SP), diastolic pressure (DP)] were determined. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Serum vitamin B12 concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin B9 was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Values for vitamin B12 < 148 pmol/L, 148-221 pmol/L, > 221 pmol/L were accepted as low, borderline and normal, respectively. Vitamin B9 levels ≤ 4 mcg/L defined deficiency state. Statistical evaluations were performed by SPSSx Version 16.0. p≤0.05 was accepted as statistical significance level. Statistically higher body mass index (BMI), WC, hip circumference (C) and neck C were calculated in MetS group compared to children with MO. No difference was noted for head C. All MetS components differed between the groups (SP, DP p < 0.001; WC, FBG, TRG p < 0.01; HDL-Chol p < 0.05). Significantly decreased vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 levels were detected (p < 0.05) in children with MetS. In both groups percentage of folate deficiency was 5.5%. No cases were below < 148 pmol/L. However, in MO group 14.3% and in MetS group 22.2% of the cases were of borderline status. In MO group B12 levels were negatively correlated with BMI, WC, hip C and head C, but not with neck C. WC, hip C, head C and neck C were all negatively correlated with HDL-Chol. None of these correlations were observed in the group of children with MetS. Strong positive correlation between FBG and insulin as well as strong negative correlation between TRG and HDL-Chol detected in MO children were lost in MetS group. Deficiency state end-products of both B9 and B12 may interfere with the expected profiles of MetS components. In this study, the alterations in MetS components affected vitamin B12 metabolism and also its associations with anthropometric body measurements. Further increases in vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 deficiency in MetS associated with the increased vitamin B12 as well as vitamin B9 deficiency metabolites may add to MetS parameters.

Keywords: Children, cobalamin, folate, metabolic syndrome, obesity.

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107 Basic Research for Electroretinogram Moving the Center of the Multifocal Hexagonal Stimulus Array

Authors: Naoto Suzuki

Abstract:

Many ophthalmologists can examine declines in visual sensitivity at arbitrary points on the retina using a precise perimetry device with a fundus camera function. However, the retinal layer causing the decline in visual sensitivity cannot be identified by this method. We studied an electroretinogram (ERG) function that can move the center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array in order to investigate cryptogenic diseases, such as macular dystrophy, acute zonal occult outer retinopathy, and multiple evanescent white dot syndrome. An electroretinographic optical system, specifically a perimetric optical system, was added to an experimental device carrying the same optical system as a fundus camera. We also added an infrared camera, a cold mirror, a halogen lamp, and a monitor. The software was generated to show the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array on the monitor using C++Builder XE8 and to move the center of the array up and down as well as back and forth. We used a multifunction I/O device and its design platform LabVIEW for data retrieval. The plate electrodes were used to measure electrodermal activities around the eyes. We used a multifocal hexagonal stimulus array with 37 elements in the software. The center of the multifocal hexagonal stimulus array could be adjusted to the same position as the examination target of the precise perimetry. We successfully added the moving ERG function to the experimental ophthalmologic device.

Keywords: Moving ERG, precise perimetry, retinal layers, visual sensitivity.

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106 The Effect of Mist Cooling on Sexual Behavior and Semen Quality of Sahiwal Bulls

Authors: Khalid Ahmed Elrabie Abdelrasoul

Abstract:

The present study was carried out on Sahiwal cattle bulls maintained at the Artificial Breeding Complex, NDRI, Karnal, Hayana, India, to assess the effect of cooling using mist cooling and fanning on Sahiwal bulls in the dry hot summer season. Fourteen Sahiwal bulls were divided into two groups of seven each. Sexual behavior and semen quality traits considered were: Reaction time (RT), Dismounting time (DMT), Total time taken in mounts (TTTM), Flehmen response (FR), Erection Score (ES), Protrusion Score (PS), Intensity of thrust (ITS), Temperament Score (TS), Libido Score (LS), Semen volume, Physical appearance, Mass activity, Initial progressive motility, Non-eosinophilic spermatozoa count (NESC) and post thaw motility percent. Data were analyzed by least squares technique. Group-1 was the control, whereas group-2 (treatment group) bulls were exposed to mist cooling and fanning (thrice a day 15 min each) in the dry hot summer season. Group-2 showed significantly (p < 0.01) higher value in DMT (sec), ES, PS, ITS, LS, semen volume (ml), semen color density, mass activity, initial motility, progressive motility and live sperm.

Keywords: Mist cooling, Sahiwal bulls, semen quality, sexual behavior.

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105 Assessment of Occupational Exposure and Individual Radio-Sensitivity in People Subjected to Ionizing Radiation

Authors: Oksana G. Cherednichenko, Anastasia L. Pilyugina, Sergey N.Lukashenko, Elena G. Gubitskaya

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The estimation of accumulated radiation doses in people professionally exposed to ionizing radiation was performed using methods of biological (chromosomal aberrations frequency in lymphocytes) and physical (radionuclides analysis in urine, whole-body radiation meter, individual thermoluminescent dosimeters) dosimetry. A group of 84 "A" category employees after their work in the territory of former Semipalatinsk test site (Kazakhstan) was investigated. The dose rate in some funnels exceeds 40 μSv/h. After radionuclides determination in urine using radiochemical and WBC methods, it was shown that the total effective dose of personnel internal exposure did not exceed 0.2 mSv/year, while an acceptable dose limit for staff is 20 mSv/year. The range of external radiation doses measured with individual thermo-luminescent dosimeters was 0.3-1.406 µSv. The cytogenetic examination showed that chromosomal aberrations frequency in staff was 4.27±0.22%, which is significantly higher than at the people from non-polluting settlement Tausugur (0.87±0.1%) (р ≤ 0.01) and citizens of Almaty (1.6±0.12%) (р≤ 0.01). Chromosomal type aberrations accounted for 2.32±0.16%, 0.27±0.06% of which were dicentrics and centric rings. The cytogenetic analysis of different types group radiosensitivity among «professionals» (age, sex, ethnic group, epidemiological data) revealed no significant differences between the compared values. Using various techniques by frequency of dicentrics and centric rings, the average cumulative radiation dose for group was calculated, and that was 0.084-0.143 Gy. To perform comparative individual dosimetry using physical and biological methods of dose assessment, calibration curves (including own ones) and regression equations based on general frequency of chromosomal aberrations obtained after irradiation of blood samples by gamma-radiation with the dose rate of 0,1 Gy/min were used. Herewith, on the assumption of individual variation of chromosomal aberrations frequency (1–10%), the accumulated dose of radiation varied 0-0.3 Gy. The main problem in the interpretation of individual dosimetry results is reduced to different reaction of the objects to irradiation - radiosensitivity, which dictates the need of quantitative definition of this individual reaction and its consideration in the calculation of the received radiation dose. The entire examined contingent was assigned to a group based on the received dose and detected cytogenetic aberrations. Radiosensitive individuals, at the lowest received dose in a year, showed the highest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (5.72%). In opposite, radioresistant individuals showed the lowest frequency of chromosomal aberrations (2.8%). The cohort correlation according to the criterion of radio-sensitivity in our research was distributed as follows: radio-sensitive (26.2%) — medium radio-sensitivity (57.1%), radioresistant (16.7%). Herewith, the dispersion for radioresistant individuals is 2.3; for the group with medium radio-sensitivity — 3.3; and for radio-sensitive group — 9. These data indicate the highest variation of characteristic (reactions to radiation effect) in the group of radio-sensitive individuals. People with medium radio-sensitivity show significant long-term correlation (0.66; n=48, β ≥ 0.999) between the values of doses defined according to the results of cytogenetic analysis and dose of external radiation obtained with the help of thermoluminescent dosimeters. Mathematical models based on the type of violation of the radiation dose according to the professionals radiosensitivity level were offered.

Keywords: Biodosimetry, chromosomal aberrations, ionizing radiation, radiosensitivity.

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104 Effect of Exercise on Sexual Behavior and Semen Quality of Sahiwal Bulls

Authors: Abdelrasoul, Khalid Ahmed Elrabie

Abstract:

The study was conducted on Sahiwal cattle bulls maintained at the Artificial Breeding Complex, NDRI, Karnal, Hayana, India, to determine the effect of exercise on the sexual behavior and semen quality. Fourteen Sahiwal bulls were classified into two groups of seven each. Group-1, bulls were exercised by walking in a bull exerciser once a week one hour before semen collection, whereas bulls in group-2 were exercised daily. Sexual behavior and semen quality traits studied were: Reaction time (RT), Dismounting time (DMT), Total time taken in mounts (TTTM), Flehmen response (FR), Erection Score (ES), Protrusion Score (PS), Intensity of thrust (ITS), Temperament Score (TS), Libido Score (LS), Semen volume, Physical appearance, Mass activity, Initial progressive motility, Non-eosinophilic spermatozoa count (NESC) and post thaw motility percent. Data were analyzed by least squares technique. Group-2 showed significantly (p < 0.01) higher value in RT (sec), DMT (sec), TTTM (sec), ES, PS, ITS, LS, semen volume, semen color density and mass activity.

Keywords: Exercise, Sahiwal bulls, semen quality, sexual behavior.

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103 Effect of Gamma Irradiation on Structural and Optical Properties of ZnO/Mesoporous Silica Nanocomposite

Authors: K. Sowri Babu, P. Srinath, N. Rajeswara Rao, K. Venugopal Reddy

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The effect of gamma ray irradiation on morphology and optical properties of ZnO/Mesoporous silica (MPS) nanocomposite was studied. The ZnO/MPS nanocomposite was irradiated with gamma rays of doses 30, 60, and 90 kGy and dose-rate of irradiation was 0.15 kGy/hour. Irradiated samples are characterized with FE-SEM, FT-IR, UV-vis, and Photoluminescence (PL) spectrometers. SEM pictures showed that morphology changed from spherical to flake like morphology. UV-vis analysis showed that the band gap increased with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. This enhancement of the band gap is assigned to the depletion of oxygen vacancies with irradiation. The intensity of PL peak decreased gradually with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. The decrease in PL intensity is attributed to the decrease of oxygen vacancies at the interface due to poor interface and improper passivation between ZnO/MPS.

Keywords: ZnO nanoparticles, photoluminescence, porous silicon, nanocomposites.

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102 Urban Accessibility of Historical Cities: The Venetian Case Study

Authors: Valeria Tatano, Francesca Guidolin, Francesca Peltrera

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The preservation of historical Italian heritage, at the urban and architectural scale, has to consider restrictions and requirements connected with conservation issues and usability needs, which are often at odds with historical heritage preservation. Recent decades have been marked by the search for increased accessibility not only of public and private buildings, but to the whole historical city, also for people with disability. Moreover, in the last years the concepts of Smart City and Healthy City seek to improve accessibility both in terms of mobility (independent or assisted) and fruition of goods and services, also for historical cities. The principles of Inclusive Design have introduced new criteria for the improvement of public urban space, between current regulations and best practices. Moreover, they have contributed to transforming “special needs” into an opportunity of social innovation. These considerations find a field of research and analysis in the historical city of Venice, which is at the same time a site of UNESCO world heritage, a mass tourism destination bringing in visitors from all over the world and a city inhabited by an aging population. Due to its conformation, Venetian urban fabric is only partially accessible: about four thousand bridges divide thousands of islands, making it almost impossible to move independently. These urban characteristics and difficulties were the base, in the last 20 years, for several researches, experimentations and solutions with the aim of eliminating architectural barriers, in particular for the usability of bridges. The Venetian Municipality with the EBA Office and some external consultants realized several devices (e.g. the “stepped ramp” and the new accessible ramps for the Venice Marathon) that should determine an innovation for the city, passing from the use of mechanical replicable devices to specific architectural projects in order to guarantee autonomy in use. This paper intends to present the state-of-the-art in bridges accessibility, through an analysis based on Inclusive Design principles and on the current national and regional regulation. The purpose is to evaluate some possible strategies that could improve performances, between limits and possibilities of interventions. The aim of the research is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic program for the City of Venice that could successfully bring together both conservation and improvement requirements.

Keywords: Accessibility and inclusive design, historical heritage preservation, technological and social innovation.

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101 Improvement of Ventilation and Thermal Comfort Using the Atrium Design for Traditional Folk Houses-Fujian Earthen Building

Authors: Ying-Ming Su

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Fujian earthen building which was known as a classic for ecological buildings was listed on the world heritage in 2008 (UNESCO) in China. Its design strategy can be applied to modern architecture planning and design. This study chose two different cases (Round Atrium: Er-Yi Building, Double Round Atrium: Zhen-Chen Building) of earthen building in Fu-Jian to compare the ventilation effects of different atrium forms. We adopt field measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of temperature, humidity, and wind environment to identify the relationship between external environment and atrium about comfort and to confirm the relationship about atrium H/W (height/width). Results indicate that, through the atrium convection effect, it makes the natural wind guides to each space surrounded and keeps indoor comfort. It illustrates that the smaller the ratio of the H/W which is the relationship between the height and the width of an atrium is, the greater the wind speed generated within the street valley. Moreover, the wind speed is very close to the reference wind speed. This field measurement verifies that the value of H/W has great influence of solar radiation heat and sunshine shadows. The ventilation efficiency is: Er-Yi Building (H/W =0.2778) > Zhen-Chen Building (H/W=0.3670). Comparing the cases with the same shape but with different H/W, through the different size patios, airflow revolves in the atriums and can be brought into each interior space. The atrium settings meet the need of building ventilation, and can adjust the humidity and temperature within the buildings. It also creates good ventilation effect.

Keywords: Traditional folk houses, Atrium, Earthen building, Ventilation, Building microclimate, PET.

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100 Performance Study of Neodymium Extraction by Carbon Nanotubes Assisted Emulsion Liquid Membrane Using Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Payman Davoodi-Nasab, Ahmad Rahbar-Kelishami, Jaber Safdari, Hossein Abolghasemi

Abstract:

The high purity rare earth elements (REEs) have been vastly used in the field of chemical engineering, metallurgy, nuclear energy, optical, magnetic, luminescence and laser materials, superconductors, ceramics, alloys, catalysts, and etc. Neodymium is one of the most abundant rare earths. By development of a neodymium–iron–boron (Nd–Fe–B) permanent magnet, the importance of neodymium has dramatically increased. Solvent extraction processes have many operational limitations such as large inventory of extractants, loss of solvent due to the organic solubility in aqueous solutions, volatilization of diluents, etc. One of the promising methods of liquid membrane processes is emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) which offers an alternative method to the solvent extraction processes. In this work, a study on Nd extraction through multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) assisted ELM using response surface methodology (RSM) has been performed. The ELM composed of diisooctylphosphinic acid (CYANEX 272) as carrier, MWCNTs as nanoparticles, Span-85 (sorbitan triooleate) as surfactant, kerosene as organic diluent and nitric acid as internal phase. The effects of important operating variables namely, surfactant concentration, MWCNTs concentration, and treatment ratio were investigated. Results were optimized using a central composite design (CCD) and a regression model for extraction percentage was developed. The 3D response surfaces of Nd(III) extraction efficiency were achieved and significance of three important variables and their interactions on the Nd extraction efficiency were found out. Results indicated that introducing the MWCNTs to the ELM process led to increasing the Nd extraction due to higher stability of membrane and mass transfer enhancement. MWCNTs concentration of 407 ppm, Span-85 concentration of 2.1 (%v/v) and treatment ratio of 10 were achieved as the optimum conditions. At the optimum condition, the extraction of Nd(III) reached the maximum of 99.03%.

Keywords: Emulsion liquid membrane, extraction of neodymium, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, response surface method.

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99 Eu+3 Ion as a Luminescent Probe in ZrO2: Gd+3 Co-Doped Nanophosphor

Authors: S. Manjunatha, M. S. Dharmaprakash

Abstract:

Well-defined 2D Eu+3 co-doped ZrO2: Gd+3 nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by microwave assisted solution combustion technique for luminescent applications. The present investigation reports the rapid and effective method for the synthesis of the Eu+3 co-doped ZrO2:Gd+3 nanoparticles and study of the luminescence behavior of Eu+3 ion in ZrO2:Gd+3 nanostructures. The optical properties of the prepared nanostructures were investigated by using UV-visible spectroscopy and photoluminescence spectra. The phase formation and the morphology of the nanoplatelets were studied by XRD, FESEM and HRTEM. The average grain size was found to be 45-50 nm. The presence of Gd3+ ion increases the crystallinity of the material and hence acts as a good nucleating agent. The ZrO2:Gd3+ co-doped with Eu+3 nanoplatelets gives an emission at 607 nm, a strong red emission under the excitation wavelength of 255 nm.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, XRD, TEM, photoluminescence.

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98 Iron Doped Biomaterial Calcium Borate: Synthesis and Characterization

Authors: G. Çelik Gül, F. Kurtuluş

Abstract:

Colemanite is the most common borate mineral, and the main source of the boron required by plants, human, and earth. Transition metals exhibit optical and physical properties such as; non-linear optical character, structural diversity, thermal stability, long cycle life and luminescent radiation. The doping of colemanite with a transition metal, bring it very interesting and attractive properties which make them applicable in industry. Iron doped calcium borate was synthesized by conventional solid state method at 1200 °C for 12 h with a systematic pathway. X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive analyze (SEM/EDS) were used to characterize structural and morphological properties. Also, thermal properties were recorded by thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA). 

Keywords: Colemanite, conventional synthesis, powder x-ray diffraction, borates.

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97 Seismic Behavior of Self-Balancing Post-Tensioned Reinforced Concrete Spatial Structure

Authors: Mircea Pastrav, Horia Constantinescu

Abstract:

The construction industry is currently trying to develop sustainable reinforced concrete structures. In trying to aid in the effort, the research presented in this paper aims to prove the efficiency of modified special hybrid moment frames composed of discretely jointed precast and post-tensioned concrete members. This aim is due to the fact that current design standards do not cover the spatial design of moment frame structures assembled by post-tensioning with special hybrid joints. This lack of standardization is coupled with the fact that previous experimental programs, available in scientific literature, deal mainly with plane structures and offer little information regarding spatial behavior. A spatial model of a modified hybrid moment frame is experimentally analyzed. The experimental results of a natural scale model test of a corner column-beams sub-structure, cut from an actual multilevel building tested to seismic type loading are presented in order to highlight the behavior of this type of structure. The test is performed under alternative cycles of imposed lateral displacements, up to a storey drift ratio of 0.035. Seismic response of the spatial model is discussed considering the acceptance criteria for reinforced concrete frame structures designed based on experimental tests, as well as some of its major sustainability features. The results obtained show an overall excellent behavior of the system. The joint detailing allows for quick and cheap repairs after an accidental event and a self-balancing behavior of the system that ensures it can be used almost immediately after an accidental event it.

Keywords: Modified hybrid joint, seismic type loading response, self-balancing structure, acceptance criteria.

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96 Study Concerning the Energy-to-Mass Ratio in Pneumatic Muscles

Authors: Tudor Deaconescu, Andrea Deaconescu

Abstract:

The utilization of pneumatic muscles in the actuation of industrial systems is still in its early stages, hence studies on the constructive solutions which include an assessment of their functional performance with a focus on one of the most important characteristics-energy efficiency are required. A quality indicator that adequately reflects the energy efficiency of an actuator is the energy-to-mass ratio. This ratio is computed in the paper for various types and sizes of pneumatic muscles manufactured by Festo, and is subsequently compared to the similar ratios determined for two categories of pneumatic cylinders.

Keywords: Pneumatic cylinders, pneumatic muscles, energy-to-mass ratio, muscle stroke.

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95 Preparation and Characterization of CuFe2O4/TiO2 Photocatalyst for the Conversion of CO2 into Methanol under Visible Light

Authors: Md. Maksudur Rahman Khan, M. Rahim Uddin, Hamidah Abdullah, Kaykobad Md. Rezaul Karim, Abu Yousuf, Chin Kui Cheng, Huei Ruey Ong

Abstract:

A systematic study was conducted to explore the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol on TiO2 loaded copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) photocatalyst under visible light irradiation. The phases and crystallite size of the photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and it indicates CuFe2O4 as tetragonal phase incorporation with anatase TiO2 in CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The XRD results confirmed the formation of spinel type tetragonal CuFe2O4 phases along with predominantly anatase phase of TiO2 in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. UV-Vis absorption spectrum suggested the formation of the hetero-junction with relatively lower band gap than that of TiO2. Photoluminescence (PL) technique was used to study the electron–hole (e/h+) recombination process. PL spectra analysis confirmed the slow-down of the recombination of electron–hole (e/h+) pairs in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The photocatalytic performance of CuFe2O4/TiO2 was evaluated based on the methanol yield with varying amount of TiO2 over CuFe2O4 (0.5:1, 1:1, and 2:1) and changing light intensity. The mechanism of the photocatalysis was proposed based on the fact that the predominant species of CO2 in aqueous phase were dissolved CO2 and HCO3- at pH ~5.9. It was evident that the CuFe2O4 could harvest the electrons under visible light irradiation, which could further be injected to the conduction band of TiO2 to increase the life time of the electron and facilitating the reactions of CO2 to methanol. The developed catalyst showed good recycle ability up to four cycles where the loss of activity was ~25%. Methanol was observed as the main product over CuFe2O4, but loading with TiO2 remarkably increased the methanol yield. Methanol yield over CuFe2O4/TiO2 was found to be about three times higher (651 μmol/gcat L) than that of CuFe2O4 photocatalyst. This occurs because the energy of the band excited electrons lies above the redox potentials of the reaction products CO2/CH3OH.

Keywords: Photocatalysis, CuFe2O4/TiO2, band-gap energy, methanol.

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94 Comparative Study in Evaluating the Antioxidation Efficiency for Native Types Antioxidants Extracted from Crude Oil with the Synthesized Class

Authors: Mohammad Jamil Abd AlGhani

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The natural native antioxidants N,N-P-methyl phenyl acetone and N,N-phenyl acetone were isolated from the Iraqi crude oil region of Kirkuk by ion exchange and their structure was characterized by spectral and chemical analysis methods. Tetraline was used as a liquid hydrocarbon to detect the efficiency of isolated molecules at elevated temperature (393 K) that it has physicochemical specifications and structure closed to hydrocarbons fractionated from crude oil. The synthesized universal antioxidant 2,6-ditertiaryisobutyl-p-methyl phenol (Unol) with known stochiometric coefficient of inhibition equal to (2) was used as a model for comparative evaluation at the same conditions. Modified chemiluminescence method was used to find the amount of absorbed oxygen and the induction periods in and without the existence of isolated antioxidants molecules. The results of induction periods and quantity of absorbed oxygen during the oxidation process were measured by manometric installation. It was seen that at specific equal concentrations of N,N-phenyl acetone and N, N-P-methyl phenyl acetone in comparison with Unol at 393 K were with (2) and (2.5) times efficient than do Unol. It means that they had the ability to inhibit the formation of new free radicals and prevent the chain reaction to pass from the propagation to the termination step rather than decomposition of formed hydroperoxides.

Keywords: Antioxidants, chemiluminescence, inhibition, unol.

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93 Experimental and Analytical Dose Assessment of Patient's Family Members Treated with I-131

Authors: Marzieh Ebrahimi, Vahid Changizi, Mohammad Reza Kardan, Seyed Mahdi Hosseini Pooya, Parham Geramifar

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Radiation exposure to the patient's family members is one of the major concerns during thyroid cancer radionuclide therapy. The aim of this study was to measure the total effective dose of the family members by means of thermoluminescence personal dosimeter, and compare with those calculated by analytical methods. Eighty-five adult family members of fifty-one patients volunteered to participate in this research study. Considering the minimum and maximum range of dose rate from 15 µsv/h to 120 µsv/h at patients' release time, the calculated mean and median dose values of family members were 0.45 mSv and 0.28 mSv, respectively. Moreover, almost all family members’ doses were measured to be less than the dose constraint of 5 mSv recommended by Basic Safety Standards. Considering the influence parameters such as patient dose rate and administrated activity, the total effective doses of family members were calculated by TEDE and NRC formulas and compared with those of experimental results. The results indicated that, it is fruitful to use the quantitative calculations for releasing patients treated with I-131 and correct estimation of patients' family doses.

Keywords: Effective dose, thermoluminescence, I-131, Thyroid cancer.

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92 Comparative Analysis of Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Ajuga genevensis L. in in vitro Culture and Intact Plants

Authors: Naira Sahakyan, Margarit Petrosyan, Armen Trchounian

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One of the tasks in contemporary biotechnology, pharmacology and other fields of human activities is to obtain biologically active substances from plants. They are very essential in the treatment of many diseases due to their actually high therapeutic value without visible side effects. However, sometimes the possibility of obtaining the metabolites is limited due to the reduction of wild-growing plants. That is why the plant cell cultures are of great interest as alternative sources of biologically active substances. Besides, during the monitored cultivation, it is possible to obtain substances that are not synthesized by plants in nature. Isolated culture of Ajuga genevensis with high growth activity and ability of regeneration was obtained using MS nutrient medium. The agar-diffusion method showed that aqueous extracts of callus culture revealed high antimicrobial activity towards various gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis A1WT; B. mesentericus WDCM 1873; Staphylococcus aureus WDCM 5233; Staph. citreus WT) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli WKPM M-17; Salmonella typhimurium TA 100) microorganisms. The broth dilution method revealed that the minimal and half maximal inhibitory concentration values against E. coli corresponded to the 70 μg/mL and 140 μg/mL concentration of the extract respectively. According to the photochemiluminescent analysis, callus tissue extracts of leaf and root origin showed higher antioxidant activity than the same quantity of A. genevensis intact plant extract. A. genevensis intact plant and callus culture extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on K-562 suspension cell line of human chronic myeloid leukemia. The GC-MS analysis showed deep differences between the qualitative and quantitative composition of callus culture and intact plant extracts. Hexacosane (11.17%); n-hexadecanoic acid (9.33%); and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol (4.28%) were the main components of intact plant extracts. 10-Methylnonadecane (57.0%); methoxyacetic acid, 2-tetradecyl ester (17.75%) and 1-Bromopentadecane (14.55%) were the main components of A. genevensis callus culture extracts. Obtained data indicate that callus culture of A. genevensis can be used as an alternative source of biologically active substances.

Keywords: Ajuga genevensis, antibacterial activity, antioxidant activity, callus cultures.

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91 Generative Syntaxes: Macro-Heterophony and the Form of ‘Synchrony’

Authors: Luminiţa Duţică, Gheorghe Duţică

Abstract:

One of the most powerful language innovation in the twentieth century music was the heterophony–hypostasis of the vertical syntax entered into the sphere of interest of many composers, such as George Enescu, Pierre Boulez, Mauricio Kagel, György Ligeti and others. The heterophonic syntax has a history of its growth, which means a succession of different concepts and writing techniques. The trajectory of settling this phenomenon does not necessarily take into account the chronology: there are highly complex primary stages and advanced stages of returning to the simple forms of writing. In folklore, the plurimelodic simultaneities are free or random and originate from the (unintentional) differences/‘deviations’ from the state of unison, through a variety of ornaments, melismas, imitations, elongations and abbreviations, all in a flexible rhythmic and non-periodic/immeasurable framework, proper to the parlando-rubato rhythmics. Within the general framework of the multivocal organization, the heterophonic syntax in elaborate (academic) version has imposed itself relatively late compared with polyphony and homophony. Of course, the explanation is simple, if we consider the causal relationship between the sound vocabulary elements – in this case, the modalism – and the typologies of vertical organization appropriate for it. Therefore, adding up the ‘classic’ pathway of the writing typologies (monody – polyphony – homophony), heterophony - applied equally to the structures of modal, serial or synthesis vocabulary – reclaims necessarily an own macrotemporal form, in the sense of the analogies enshrined by the evolution of the musical styles and languages: polyphony→fugue, homophony→sonata. Concerned about the prospect of edifying a new musical ontology, the composer Ştefan Niculescu experienced – along with the mathematical organization of heterophony according to his own original methods – the possibility of extrapolation of this phenomenon in macrostructural plan, reaching this way to the unique form of ‘synchrony’. Founded on coincidentia oppositorum principle (involving the ‘one-multiple’ binom), the sound architecture imagined by Ştefan Niculescu consists in one (temporal) model / algorithm of articulation of two sound states: 1. monovocality state (principle of identity) and 2. multivocality state (principle of difference). In this context, the heterophony becomes an (auto)generative mechanism, with macrotemporal amplitude, strategy that will be grown by the composer, practically throughout his creation (see the works: Ison I, Ison II, Unisonos I, Unisonos II, Duplum, Triplum, Psalmus, Héterophonies pour Montreux (Homages to Enescu and Bartók etc.). For the present demonstration, we selected one of the most edifying works of Ştefan Niculescu – Simphony II, Opus dacicum – where the form of (heterophony-)synchrony acquires monumental-symphonic features, representing an emblematic case for the complexity level achieved by this type of vertical syntax in the twentieth century music.

Keywords: Heterophony, modalism, serialism, synchrony, syntax.

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90 Identification of the Antimicrobial Effect of Liquorice Extracts on Gram-Positive Bacteria: Determination of Minimum Inhibitory Concentration and Mechanism of Action Using a luxABCDE Reporter Strain

Authors: Madiha El Awamie, Catherine Rees

Abstract:

Natural preservatives have been used as alternatives to traditional chemical preservatives; however, a limited number have been commercially developed and many remain to be investigated as sources of safer and effective antimicrobials. In this study, we have been investigating the antimicrobial activity of an extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) that was provided as a waste material from the production of liquorice flavourings for the food industry, and to investigate if this retained the expected antimicrobial activity so it could be used as a natural preservative. Antibacterial activity of liquorice extract was screened for evidence of growth inhibition against eight species of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria innocua, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis and Bacillus subtilis. The Gram-negative bacteria tested include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium but none of these were affected by the extract. In contrast, for all of the Gram-positive bacteria tested, growth was inhibited as monitored using optical density. However parallel studies using viable count indicated that the cells were not killed meaning that the extract was bacteriostatic rather than bacteriocidal. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration [MIC] and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration [MBC] of the extract was also determined and a concentration of 50 µg ml-1 was found to have a strong bacteriostatic effect on Gram-positive bacteria. Microscopic analysis indicated that there were changes in cell shape suggesting the cell wall was affected. In addition, the use of a reporter strain of Listeria transformed with the bioluminescence genes luxABCDE indicated that cell energy levels were reduced when treated with either 12.5 or 50 µg ml-1 of the extract, with the reduction in light output being proportional to the concentration of the extract used. Together these results suggest that the extract is inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive bacteria only by damaging the cell wall and/or membrane.

Keywords: Antibacterial activity, bioluminescence, Glycyrrhiza glabra, natural preservative.

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89 Fabrication of Immune-Affinity Monolithic Array for Detection of α-Fetoprotein and Carcinoembryonic Antigen

Authors: Li Li, Li-Ru Xia, He-Ye Wang, Xiao-Dong Bi

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In this paper, we presented a highly sensitive immune-affinity monolithic array for detection of α-fetoprotein (AFP) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Firstly, the epoxy functionalized monolith arrays were fabricated using UV initiated copolymerization method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image showed that the poly(BABEA-co-GMA) monolith exhibited a well-controlled skeletal and well-distributed porous structure. Then, AFP and CEA immune-affinity monolithic arrays were prepared by immobilization of AFP and CEA antibodies on epoxy functionalized monolith arrays. With a non-competitive immune response format, the presented AFP and CEA immune-affinity arrays were demonstrated as an inexpensive, flexible, homogeneous and stable array for detection of AFP and CEA.

Keywords: Chemiluminescent detection, immune-affinity, monolithic copolymer array, UV-initiated copolymerization.

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88 Flexible Arm Manipulator Control for Industrial Tasks

Authors: Mircea Ivanescu, Nirvana Popescu, Decebal Popescu, Dorin Popescu

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This paper addresses the control problem of a class of hyper-redundant arms. In order to avoid discrepancy between the mathematical model and the actual dynamics, the dynamic model with uncertain parameters of this class of manipulators is inferred. A procedure to design a feedback controller which stabilizes the uncertain system has been proposed. A PD boundary control algorithm is used in order to control the desired position of the manipulator. This controller is easy to implement from the point of view of measuring techniques and actuation. Numerical simulations verify the effectiveness of the presented methods. In order to verify the suitability of the control algorithm, a platform with a 3D flexible manipulator has been employed for testing. Experimental tests on this platform illustrate the applications of the techniques developed in the paper.

Keywords: Distributed model, flexible manipulator, observer, robot control.

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87 A Simple Chemical Precipitation Method of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Using Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone as a Capping Agent and Their Characterization

Authors: V. P. Muhamed Shajudheen, K. Viswanathan, K. Anitha Rani, A. Uma Maheswari, S. Saravana Kumar

Abstract:

In this paper, a simple chemical precipitation route for the preparation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, synthesized by using titanium tetra isopropoxide as a precursor and polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) as a capping agent, is reported. The Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) of the samples were recorded and the phase transformation temperature of titanium hydroxide, Ti(OH)4 to titanium oxide, TiO2 was investigated. The as-prepared Ti(OH)4 precipitate was annealed at 800°C to obtain TiO2 nanoparticles. The thermal, structural, morphological and textural characterizations of the TiO2 nanoparticle samples were carried out by different techniques such as DSC-TGA, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infra-Red spectroscopy (FTIR), Micro Raman spectroscopy, UV-Visible absorption spectroscopy (UV-Vis), Photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) and Field Effect Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) techniques. The as-prepared precipitate was characterized using DSC-TGA and confirmed the mass loss of around 30%. XRD results exhibited no diffraction peaks attributable to anatase phase, for the reaction products, after the solvent removal. The results indicate that the product is purely rutile. The vibrational frequencies of two main absorption bands of prepared samples are discussed from the results of the FTIR analysis. The formation of nanosphere of diameter of the order of 10 nm, has been confirmed by FESEM. The optical band gap was found by using UV-Visible spectrum. From photoluminescence spectra, a strong emission was observed. The obtained results suggest that this method provides a simple, efficient and versatile technique for preparing TiO2 nanoparticles and it has the potential to be applied to other systems for photocatalytic activity.

Keywords: TiO2 nanoparticles, chemical precipitation route, phase transition, Fourier Transform Infra-Red spectroscopy, micro Raman spectroscopy, UV-Visible absorption spectroscopy, Photoluminescence spectroscopy, Field Effect Scanning Electron Microscopy.

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86 Freedom of Media, Democracy and Gezi Park

Authors: Emine Tirali

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This article provides a conceptual framework of the freedom of media and its correlation with democracy. In a democracy, media should serve the publics’ right to know and reflect human rights violations and offer options for meaningful political choices and effective participation in civic affairs. On that point, the 2013 events at Gezi Park in Turkey are a good empirical example to be discussed. During the events, when self-censorship was broadly employed by mainstream Turkish media, social media filled the important role of providing information to the public. New technologies have made information into a fundamental tool for change and growth, and as a consequence, societies worldwide have merged into a single, interdependent, and autonomous organism. For this reason, violations of human rights can no longer be considered domestic issues, but rather global ones. Only global political action is an adequate response. Democracy depends on people shaping the society they live in, and in order to accomplish this, they need to express themselves. Freedom of expression is therefore necessary in order to understand diversity and differing perspectives, which in turn are necessary to resolve conflicts among people. Moreover, freedom of information is integral to freedom of expression. In this context, the international rules and laws regarding freedom of expression and freedom of information – indispensable for a free and independent media – are examined. These were put in place by international institutions such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union, which have aimed to build a free, democratic, and pluralist world committed to human rights and the rule of law. The methods of international human rights institutions depend on effective and frequent employment of mass media to relay human rights violations to the public. Therefore, in this study, the relationship between mass media and democracy, the process of how mass media forms public opinion, the problems of mass media, the neo-liberal theory of mass media, and the use of mass media by NGOs will be evaluated.

Keywords: Freedom of expression, democracy, public opinion, self-censorship.

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