Science.gov

Sample records for improved molecular technique

  1. Improved Molecular Technique for the Differentiation of Neotropical Anopheline Species

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Ryan; Rios, Carlos Tong; Chavez, Cesar Banda; Gilman, Robert H.; Florin, David; Sifuentes, Victor Lopez; Greffa, Roldan Cardenas; Yori, Pablo Peñataro; Fernandez, Roberto; Portocarrero, Daniel Velasquez; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Kosek, Margaret

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated a PCR-RFLP of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 region (ITS2) to distinguish species of Anopheles commonly reported in the Amazon and validated this method using reared F1 offspring. The following species of Anopheles were used for molecular analysis: An. (Nys.) benarrochi, An. (Nys.) darlingi, An. (Nys.) nuneztovari, An. (Nys.) konderi, An. (Nys.) rangeli, and An. (Nys.) triannulatus sensu lato (s.l.). In addition, three species of the subgenus Anopheles, An. (Ano.) forattini, An. (Ano.) mattogrossensis, and An. (Ano.) peryassui were included for testing. Each of the nine species tested yielded diagnostic banding patterns. The PCR-RFLP method was successful in identifying all life stages including exuviae with small fractions of the sample. The assay is rapid and can be applied as an unbiased confirmatory method for identification of morphologic variants, disputed samples, imperfectly preserved specimens, and life stages from which taxonomic keys do not allow for definitive species determination. PMID:18337348

  2. Australian endemic pest tephritids: genetic, molecular and microbial tools for improved Sterile Insect Technique.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kathryn A; Shearman, Deborah C A; Gilchrist, A Stuart; Sved, John A; Morrow, Jennifer L; Sherwin, William B; Riegler, Markus; Frommer, Marianne

    2014-01-01

    Among Australian endemic tephritid fruit flies, the sibling species Bactrocera tryoni and Bactrocera neohumeralis have been serious horticultural pests since the introduction of horticulture in the nineteenth century. More recently, Bactrocera jarvisi has also been declared a pest in northern Australia. After several decades of genetic research there is now a range of classical and molecular genetic tools that can be used to develop improved Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) strains for control of these pests. Four-way crossing strategies have the potential to overcome the problem of inbreeding in mass-reared strains of B. tryoni. The ability to produce hybrids between B. tryoni and the other two species in the laboratory has proved useful for the development of genetically marked strains. The identification of Y-chromosome markers in B. jarvisi means that male and female embryos can be distinguished in any strain that carries a B. jarvisi Y chromosome. This has enabled the study of homologues of the sex-determination genes during development of B jarvisi and B. tryoni, which is necessary for the generation of genetic-sexing strains. Germ-line transformation has been established and a draft genome sequence for B. tryoni released. Transcriptomes from various species, tissues and developmental stages, to aid in identification of manipulation targets for improving SIT, have been assembled and are in the pipeline. Broad analyses of the microbiome have revealed a metagenome that is highly variable within and across species and defined by the environment. More specific analyses detected Wolbachia at low prevalence in the tropics but absent in temperate regions, suggesting a possible role for this endosymbiont in future control strategies. PMID:25470996

  3. Australian endemic pest tephritids: genetic, molecular and microbial tools for improved Sterile Insect Technique

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Among Australian endemic tephritid fruit flies, the sibling species Bactrocera tryoni and Bactrocera neohumeralis have been serious horticultural pests since the introduction of horticulture in the nineteenth century. More recently, Bactrocera jarvisi has also been declared a pest in northern Australia. After several decades of genetic research there is now a range of classical and molecular genetic tools that can be used to develop improved Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) strains for control of these pests. Four-way crossing strategies have the potential to overcome the problem of inbreeding in mass-reared strains of B. tryoni. The ability to produce hybrids between B. tryoni and the other two species in the laboratory has proved useful for the development of genetically marked strains. The identification of Y-chromosome markers in B. jarvisi means that male and female embryos can be distinguished in any strain that carries a B. jarvisi Y chromosome. This has enabled the study of homologues of the sex-determination genes during development of B jarvisi and B. tryoni, which is necessary for the generation of genetic-sexing strains. Germ-line transformation has been established and a draft genome sequence for B. tryoni released. Transcriptomes from various species, tissues and developmental stages, to aid in identification of manipulation targets for improving SIT, have been assembled and are in the pipeline. Broad analyses of the microbiome have revealed a metagenome that is highly variable within and across species and defined by the environment. More specific analyses detected Wolbachia at low prevalence in the tropics but absent in temperate regions, suggesting a possible role for this endosymbiont in future control strategies. PMID:25470996

  4. A new technique to improve the mechanical and biological performance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene using a nylon coating.

    PubMed

    Firouzi, Dariush; Youssef, Aya; Amer, Momen; Srouji, Rami; Amleh, Asma; Foucher, Daniel A; Bougherara, Habiba

    2014-04-01

    A new patent pending technique is proposed in this study to improve the mechanical and biological performance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), i.e., to uniformly coat nylon onto the UHMWPE fiber (Firouzi et al., 2012). Mechanical tests were performed on neat and new nylon coated UHMWPE fibers to examine the tensile strength and creep resistance of the samples at different temperatures. Cytotoxicity and osteolysis induced by wear debris of the materials were investigated using (MTT) assay, and RT-PCR for tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) osteolysis markers. Mechanical test results showed substantial improvement in maximum creep time, maximum breaking force, and toughness values of Nylon 6,6 and Nylon 6,12 coated UHMWPE fibers between average 15% and 60% at 25, 50, and 70°C. Furthermore, cytotoxicity studies have demonstrated significant improvement in cell viability using the nylon coated UHMWPE over the neat one (72.4% vs 54.8%) for 48h and (80.7 vs 5%) for 72h (P<0.01). Osteolysis test results have shown that the expression levels of TNFα and IL-6 markers induced by the neat UHMWPE fiber were significantly higher than those induced by the Nylon 6,6 coated UHMWPE (2.5 fold increase for TNFα at 48h, and three fold increase for IL-6 at 72h (P<0.01)). This study suggests that UHMWPE coated with nylon could be used as a novel material in clinical applications with lower cytotoxicity, less wear debris-induced osteolysis, and superior mechanical properties compared to neat UHMWPE. PMID:24487078

  5. Improved Search Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albornoz, Caleb Ronald

    2012-01-01

    Thousands of millions of documents are stored and updated daily in the World Wide Web. Most of the information is not efficiently organized to build knowledge from the stored data. Nowadays, search engines are mainly used by users who rely on their skills to look for the information needed. This paper presents different techniques search engine users can apply in Google Search to improve the relevancy of search results. According to the Pew Research Center, the average person spends eight hours a month searching for the right information. For instance, a company that employs 1000 employees wastes $2.5 million dollars on looking for nonexistent and/or not found information. The cost is very high because decisions are made based on the information that is readily available to use. Whenever the information necessary to formulate an argument is not available or found, poor decisions may be made and mistakes will be more likely to occur. Also, the survey indicates that only 56% of Google users feel confident with their current search skills. Moreover, just 76% of the information that is available on the Internet is accurate.

  6. Quality improvement techniques to improve patient satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Torres, E Joseph; Guo, Kristina L

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes several approaches for implementing quality improvement initiatives to improve patient satisfaction, which enables health-care organizations to position themselves for success in today's global and increasingly competitive environment. Specifically, measuring the views of patients, improving patient satisfaction through a community-wide effort, and using a Six Sigma program are discussed. Each of these programs can be an effective mechanism for quality improvement. A key component to quality improvement techniques involves collaborative efforts by all health-care professionals and managers as they seek to increase patient satisfaction. PMID:15552388

  7. Techniques for Investigating Molecular Toxicology of Nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanli; Li, Chenchen; Yao, Chenjie; Ding, Lin; Lei, Zhendong; Wu, Minghong

    2016-06-01

    Nanotechnology has been a rapidly developing field in the past few decades, resulting in the more and more exposure of nanomaterials to human. The increased applications of nanomaterials for industrial, commercial and life purposes, such as fillers, catalysts, semiconductors, paints, cosmetic additives and drug carriers, have caused both obvious and potential impacts on human health and environment. Nanotoxicology is used to study the safety of nanomaterials and has grown at the historic moment. Molecular toxicology is a new subdiscipline to study the interactions and impacts of materials at the molecular level. To better understand the relationship between the molecular toxicology and nanomaterials, this review summarizes the typical techniques and methods in molecular toxicology which are applied when investigating the toxicology of nanomaterials and include six categories: namely; genetic mutation detection, gene expression analysis, DNA damage detection, chromosomal aberration analysis, proteomics, and metabolomics. Each category involves several experimental techniques and methods. PMID:27319209

  8. Insect pathogens: molecular approaches and techniques

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book serves as a primer for molecular techniques in insect pathology and is tailored for a wide scientific audience. Contributing authors are internationally recognized experts. The book comprises four sections: 1) pathogen identification and diagnostics, 2) pathogen population genetics and p...

  9. Techniques for Improving Cash Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lykins, Ronald G.

    1973-01-01

    This article deals with several techniques for regulating cash inflow and outflow and investing surplus cash for short periods of time. The techniques are: (1) consolidating checking accounts, (2) determining surplus cash by examining bank balances in conjunction with the cash book, (3) selecting a minimum bank balance, (4) investing a greater…

  10. Use of molecular techniques in bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Płaza, G; Ulfig, K; Hazen, T C; Brigmon, R L

    2001-01-01

    In a practical sense, biotechnology is concerned with the production of commercial products generated by biological processes. More formally, biotechnology may be defined as "the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of material by biological agents to provide goods and services" (Cantor, 2000). From a historical perspective, biotechnology dates back to the time when yeast was first used for beer or wine fermentation, and bacteria were used to make yogurt. In 1972, the birth of recombinant DNA technology moved biotechnology to new heights and led to the establishment of a new industry. Progress in biotechnology has been truly remarkable. Within four years of the discovery of recombinant DNA technology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were making human insulin, interferon, and human growth hormone. Now, recombinant DNA technology and its products--GMOs are widely used in environmental biotechnology (Glick and Pasternak, 1988; Cowan, 2000). Bioremediation is one of the most rapidly growing areas of environmental biotechnology. Use of bioremediation for environmental clean up is popular due to low costs and its public acceptability. Indeed, bioremediation stands to benefit greatly and advance even more rapidly with the adoption of molecular techniques developed originally for other areas of biotechnology. The 1990s was the decade of molecular microbial ecology (time of using molecular techniques in environmental biotechnology). Adoption of these molecular techniques made scientists realize that microbial populations in the natural environments are much more diverse than previously thought using traditional culture methods. Using molecular ecological methods, such as direct DNA isolation from environmental samples, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), PCR methods, nucleic acid hybridization etc., we can now study microbial consortia relevant to pollutant degradation in the environment. These techniques promise to

  11. Improving School Climate: Leadership Techniques for Principals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelley, Edgar A.

    Based on the assumption that a positive environment is an important component of a well-run school, this monograph offers techniques to school principals for evaluating and improving school climate. Topics covered include assessing school climate, planning for climate development, providing leadership for climate improvement, improving classroom…

  12. Techniques for improving reliability of computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cater, W. C.; Mccarthy, C. E.; Jessep, D. C.; Wadia, A. B.; Milligan, F. G.; Bouricius, W. G.

    1972-01-01

    Modular design techniques improve methods of error detection, diagnosis, and recovery. Theoretical computer (MARCS (Modular Architecture for Reliable Computer Systems)) study deals with postulated and modeled technology indigenous to 1975-1980. Study developments are discussed.

  13. Molecular techniques for diagnosing prosthetic joint infections.

    PubMed

    Hartley, John C; Harris, Kathryn A

    2014-09-01

    Prosthetic joint infections (PJI) can be broadly classed into two groups: those where there is a strong clinical suspicion of infection and those with clinical uncertainty, including 'aseptic loosening'. Confirmation of infection and identification of the causative organism along with provision of antibiotic susceptibility data are important stages in the management of PJI. Conventional microbiological culture and susceptibility testing is usually sufficient to provide this. However, it may fail due to prior antimicrobial treatment or the presence of unusual and fastidious organisms. Molecular techniques, in particular specific real-time and broad-range PCR, are available for diagnostic use in suspected PJI. In this review, we describe the techniques available, their current strengths, limitations and future development. Real-time pathogen-specific and broad-range PCR (with single sequence determination) are suitable for use as part of the routine diagnostic algorithm for clinically suspected PJI. Further development of broad-range PCR with high-throughput (next-generation) sequencing is necessary to understand the microbiome of the prosthetic joint further before this technique can be used for routine diagnostics in clinically unsuspected PJI, including aseptic loosening. PMID:25135084

  14. Automatic Molecular Design using Evolutionary Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Globus, Al; Lawton, John; Wipke, Todd; Saini, Subhash (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Molecular nanotechnology is the precise, three-dimensional control of materials and devices at the atomic scale. An important part of nanotechnology is the design of molecules for specific purposes. This paper describes early results using genetic software techniques to automatically design molecules under the control of a fitness function. The fitness function must be capable of determining which of two arbitrary molecules is better for a specific task. The software begins by generating a population of random molecules. The population is then evolved towards greater fitness by randomly combining parts of the better individuals to create new molecules. These new molecules then replace some of the worst molecules in the population. The unique aspect of our approach is that we apply genetic crossover to molecules represented by graphs, i.e., sets of atoms and the bonds that connect them. We present evidence suggesting that crossover alone, operating on graphs, can evolve any possible molecule given an appropriate fitness function and a population containing both rings and chains. Prior work evolved strings or trees that were subsequently processed to generate molecular graphs. In principle, genetic graph software should be able to evolve other graph representable systems such as circuits, transportation networks, metabolic pathways, computer networks, etc.

  15. Molecular Technique to Understand Deep Microbial Diversity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaishampayan, Parag A.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.

    2012-01-01

    Current sequencing-based and DNA microarray techniques to study microbial diversity are based on an initial PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification step. However, a number of factors are known to bias PCR amplification and jeopardize the true representation of bacterial diversity. PCR amplification of the minor template appears to be suppressed by the exponential amplification of the more abundant template. It is widely acknowledged among environmental molecular microbiologists that genetic biosignatures identified from an environment only represent the most dominant populations. The technological bottleneck has overlooked the presence of the less abundant minority population, and underestimated their role in the ecosystem maintenance. To generate PCR amplicons for subsequent diversity analysis, bacterial l6S rRNA genes are amplified by PCR using universal primers. Two distinct PCR regimes are employed in parallel: one using normal and the other using biotinlabeled universal primers. PCR products obtained with biotin-labeled primers are mixed with streptavidin-labeled magnetic beads and selectively captured in the presence of a magnetic field. Less-abundant DNA templates that fail to amplify in this first round of PCR amplification are subjected to a second round of PCR using normal universal primers. These PCR products are then subjected to downstream diversity analyses such as conventional cloning and sequencing. A second round of PCR amplified the minority population and completed the deep diversity picture of the environmental sample.

  16. Supervision That Improves Teaching: Strategies and Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Susan; Glanz, Jeffrey

    This book offers a plan for improved classroom practice through the supervisory process. It includes hands-on practices for developing a personalized supervision strategy, research-based and empirically tested strategies, field-tested tools and techniques for qualitative and quantitative observation, a comprehensive resource of traditional and…

  17. An improved infrared technique for sorting pecans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graeve, Thorsten; Dereniak, Eustace L.; Lamonica, John A., Jr.

    1991-10-01

    This paper presents the results of a study of pecan spectral reflectances. It describes an experiment for measuring the contrast between several components of raw pecan product to be sorted. An analysis of the experimental data reveals high contrast ratios in the infrared spectrum, suggesting a potential improvement in sorting efficiency when separating pecan meat from shells. It is believed that this technique has the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of current sorting machinery, and to reduce the cost of processing pecans for the consumer market.

  18. A comparison of tetrahedral mesh improvement techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Freitag, L.A.; Ollivier-Gooch, C.

    1996-12-01

    Automatic mesh generation and adaptive refinement methods for complex three-dimensional domains have proven to be very successful tools for the efficient solution of complex applications problems. These methods can, however, produce poorly shaped elements that cause the numerical solution to be less accurate and more difficult to compute. Fortunately, the shape of the elements can be improved through several mechanisms, including face-swapping techniques that change local connectivity and optimization-based mesh smoothing methods that adjust grid point location. The authors consider several criteria for each of these two methods and compare the quality of several meshes obtained by using different combinations of swapping and smoothing. Computational experiments show that swapping is critical to the improvement of general mesh quality and that optimization-based smoothing is highly effective in eliminating very small and very large angles. The highest quality meshes are obtained by using a combination of swapping and smoothing techniques.

  19. RF TECHNIQUES FOR IMPROVED LUMINOSITY IN RHIC.

    SciTech Connect

    BRENNAN,J.M.BLASKIEWICZ,J.BUTLER,J.DELONG,J.FISCHER,W.HAYES,T.

    2004-07-05

    The luminosity of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider has improved significantly [1] over the first three physics runs. A number of special rf techniques have been developed to facilitate higher luminosity. The techniques described herein include: an ultra low-noise rf source for the 197 MHz storage rf system, a frequency shift switch-on technique for transferring bunches from the acceleration to the storage system, synchronizing the rings during the energy ramp (including crossing the transition energy) to avoid incidental collisions, installation of dedicated 200 MHZ cavities to provide longitudinal Landau damping on the ramp, and the development of a bunch merging scheme in the Booster to increase the available bunch intensity from the injectors.

  20. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered. PMID:26171816

  1. Improved Chromatographic Techniques for Sulfur Pollutants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, C. H.

    1971-01-01

    This paper describes several improvements in instrumental techniques for the analysis of low ppb concentrations of sulfur gases using gas chromatography (G.C.). This work has focused on the analytical problem of ambient air monitoring of the two main sulfur gas pollutants, hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide. The most significant technical improvement that will be reported here is the newly developed silica gel column for ppb concentrations of the light sulfur gases (COS, H2S, CS2, SO2, CH3SH). A simplified inlet system will be described which improves reliability of the GC system. The flame photometric detector is used as the means of selectively and sensitively detecting the low concentrations of sulfur gases. Improvements will be described which have yielded better performance than previously reported for this application of the detector. Also included in this paper will be a report of field monitoring using this improved GC system. Reliability and repeatability of performance at the low ppb concentrations of sulfur gases will be demonstrated.

  2. Double-Edge Molecular Technique for Doppler Lidar Wind Measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flesia, Cristina; Korb, C. Laurence

    1998-01-01

    The double-edge lidar technique for measuring the wind using molecular backscatter is described. Two high spectral resolution edge filters are located in the wings of the Rayleigh-Brillouin profile. This doubles the signal change per unit Doppler shift, the sensitivity, and gives nearly a factor of two improvement in measurement accuracy. The use of a crossover region is described where the sensitivity of a molecular and aerosol-based measurement are equal. This desensitizes the molecular measurement to the effects of aerosol scattering over a frequency range of +/- 100 m/s. We give methods for correcting for short-term frequency jitter and drift using a laser reference frequency measurement and methods for long-term frequency correction using a servo control system. The effects of Rayleigh-Brillouin scattering on the measurement are shown to be significant and are included in the analysis. Simulations for a conical scanning satellite-based lidar at 355 nm show an accuracy of 2-3 m/s for altitudes of 2 to 15 km for a 1 km vertical resolution, a satellite altitude of 400 km and a 200 km x 200 km spatial resolution. Results of ground based wind measurements are presented.

  3. Improved molecular tools for sugar cane biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Kinkema, Mark; Geijskes, Jason; Delucca, Paulo; Palupe, Anthony; Shand, Kylie; Coleman, Heather D; Brinin, Anthony; Williams, Brett; Sainz, Manuel; Dale, James L

    2014-03-01

    Sugar cane is a major source of food and fuel worldwide. Biotechnology has the potential to improve economically-important traits in sugar cane as well as diversify sugar cane beyond traditional applications such as sucrose production. High levels of transgene expression are key to the success of improving crops through biotechnology. Here we describe new molecular tools that both expand and improve gene expression capabilities in sugar cane. We have identified promoters that can be used to drive high levels of gene expression in the leaf and stem of transgenic sugar cane. One of these promoters, derived from the Cestrum yellow leaf curling virus, drives levels of constitutive transgene expression that are significantly higher than those achieved by the historical benchmark maize polyubiquitin-1 (Zm-Ubi1) promoter. A second promoter, the maize phosphonenolpyruvate carboxylate promoter, was found to be a strong, leaf-preferred promoter that enables levels of expression comparable to Zm-Ubi1 in this organ. Transgene expression was increased approximately 50-fold by gene modification, which included optimising the codon usage of the coding sequence to better suit sugar cane. We also describe a novel dual transcriptional enhancer that increased gene expression from different promoters, boosting expression from Zm-Ubi1 over eightfold. These molecular tools will be extremely valuable for the improvement of sugar cane through biotechnology. PMID:24150836

  4. Molecular biology techniques and applications for ocean sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehr, J. P.; Hewson, I.; Moisander, P.

    2009-05-01

    The study of marine microorganisms using molecular biological techniques is now widespread in the ocean sciences. These techniques target nucleic acids which record the evolutionary history of microbes, and encode for processes which are active in the ocean today. Molecular techniques can form the basis of remote instrumentation sensing technologies for marine microbial diversity and ecological function. Here we review some of the most commonly used molecular biological techniques. These techniques include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcriptase PCR, quantitative PCR, whole assemblage "fingerprinting" approaches (based on nucleic acid sequence or length heterogeneity), oligonucleotide microarrays, and high-throughput shotgun sequencing of whole genomes and gene transcripts, which can be used to answer biological, ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical questions in the ocean sciences. Moreover, molecular biological approaches may be deployed on ocean sensor platforms and hold promise for tracking of organisms or processes of interest in near-real time.

  5. Molecular biology techniques and applications for ocean sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zehr, J. P.; Hewson, I.; Moisander, P. H.

    2008-11-01

    The study of marine microorganisms using molecular biological techniques is now widespread in the ocean sciences. These techniques target nucleic acids which record the evolutionary history of microbes, and encode for processes which are active in the ocean today. Here we review some of the most commonly used molecular biological techniques. Molecular biological techniques permit study of the abundance, distribution, diversity, and physiology of microorganisms in situ. These techniques include the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse-transcriptase PCR, quantitative PCR, whole assemblage "fingerprinting" approaches (based on nucleic acid sequence or length heterogeneity), oligonucleotide microarrays, and high-throughput shotgun sequencing of whole genomes and gene transcripts, which can be used to answer biological, ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical questions in the ocean sciences. Moreover, molecular biological approaches may be deployed on ocean sensor platforms and hold promise for tracking of organisms or processes of interest in near-real time.

  6. Airborne myxomycete spores: detection using molecular techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamono, Akiko; Kojima, Hisaya; Matsumoto, Jun; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Fukui, Manabu

    2009-01-01

    Myxomycetes are organisms characterized by a life cycle that includes a fruiting body stage. Myxomycete fruiting bodies contain spores, and wind dispersal of the spores is considered important for this organism to colonize new areas. In this study, the presence of airborne myxomycetes and the temporal changes in the myxomycete composition of atmospheric particles (aerosols) were investigated with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method for Didymiaceae and Physaraceae. Twenty-one aerosol samples were collected on the roof of a three-story building located in Sapporo, Hokkaido Island, northern Japan. PCR analysis of DNA extracts from the aerosol samples indicated the presence of airborne myxomycetes in all the samples, except for the one collected during the snowfall season. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of the PCR products showed seasonally varying banding patterns. The detected DGGE bands were subjected to sequence analyses, and four out of nine obtained sequences were identical to those of fruiting body samples collected in Hokkaido Island. It appears that the difference in the fruiting period of each species was correlated with the seasonal changes in the myxomycete composition of the aerosols. Molecular evidence shows that newly formed spores are released and dispersed in the air, suggesting that wind-driven dispersal of spores is an important process in the life history of myxomycetes. This study is the first to detect airborne myxomycetes with the use of molecular ecological analyses and to characterize their seasonal distribution.

  7. Teaching Molecular Biological Techniques in a Research Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiller, John W.; Coggins, T. Chad

    2006-01-01

    Molecular biological methods, such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis, are now commonly taught to students in introductory biology courses at the college and even high school levels. This often includes hands-on experience with one or more molecular techniques as part of a general biology laboratory. To assure that most…

  8. Improved modeling techniques for turbomachinery flow fields

    SciTech Connect

    Lakshminarayana, B.; Fagan, J.R. Jr.

    1995-12-31

    This program has the objective of developing an improved methodology for modeling turbomachinery flow fields, including the prediction of losses and efficiency. Specifically, the program addresses the treatment of the mixing stress tensor terms attributed to deterministic flow field mechanisms required in steady-state Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models for turbomachinery flow fields. These mixing stress tensors arise due to spatial and temporal fluctuations (in an absolute frame of reference) caused by rotor-stator interaction due to various blade rows and by blade-to-blade variation of flow properties. This will be accomplished in a cooperative program by Penn State University and the Allison Engine Company. These tasks include the acquisition of previously unavailable experimental data in a high-speed turbomachinery environment, the use of advanced techniques to analyze the data, and the development of a methodology to treat the deterministic component of the mixing stress tenor.

  9. Optimizing correlation techniques for improved earthquake location

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schaff, D.P.; Bokelmann, G.H.R.; Ellsworth, W.L.; Zanzerkia, E.; Waldhauser, F.; Beroza, G.C.

    2004-01-01

    Earthquake location using relative arrival time measurements can lead to dramatically reduced location errors and a view of fault-zone processes with unprecedented detail. There are two principal reasons why this approach reduces location errors. The first is that the use of differenced arrival times to solve for the vector separation of earthquakes removes from the earthquake location problem much of the error due to unmodeled velocity structure. The second reason, on which we focus in this article, is that waveform cross correlation can substantially reduce measurement error. While cross correlation has long been used to determine relative arrival times with subsample precision, we extend correlation measurements to less similar waveforms, and we introduce a general quantitative means to assess when correlation data provide an improvement over catalog phase picks. We apply the technique to local earthquake data from the Calaveras Fault in northern California. Tests for an example streak of 243 earthquakes demonstrate that relative arrival times with normalized cross correlation coefficients as low as ???70%, interevent separation distances as large as to 2 km, and magnitudes up to 3.5 as recorded on the Northern California Seismic Network are more precise than relative arrival times determined from catalog phase data. Also discussed are improvements made to the correlation technique itself. We find that for large time offsets, our implementation of time-domain cross correlation is often more robust and that it recovers more observations than the cross spectral approach. Longer time windows give better results than shorter ones. Finally, we explain how thresholds and empirical weighting functions may be derived to optimize the location procedure for any given region of interest, taking advantage of the respective strengths of diverse correlation and catalog phase data on different length scales.

  10. Improved fabrication techniques for infrared bolometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, A. E.; Kreysa, E.; Mcbride, S. E.; Richards, P. L.; Haller, E. E.

    1983-01-01

    Techniques are described for producing improved infrared bolometers from doped germanium. Ion implantation and sputter metalization have been used to make ohmic electrical contacts to Ge:Ga chips. This method results in a high yield of small monolithic bolometers with very little low-frequency noise. When one of these chips is used as the thermometric element of a composite bolometer, it must be bonded to a dielectric substrate. The thermal resistance of the conventional epoxy bond has been measured and found to be undesirably large. A procedure for soldering the chip to a metalized portion of the substrate is described which reduced this resistance. The contribution of the metal film absorber to the heat capacity of a composite bolometer has been measured. The heat capacity of a NiCr absorber at 1.3 K can dominate the bolometer performance. A Bi absorber has significantly lower heat capacity. A low temperature blackbody calibrator has been built to measure the optical responsivity of bolometers. A composite bolometer system with a throughput of approx. 0.1 sr sq cm was constructed using the new techniques. In negligible background it has an optical NEP of 3.6 10((exp -15) W/sq root of Hz at 1.0 K with a time constant of 20 ms. The noise in this bolometer is white above 2.5 Hz and is somewhat below the value predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium theory. It is in agreement with calculations based on a recent nonequilibrium theory.

  11. Planetary radar data inversion techniques improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Picardi, G.; Masdea, A.; Mastrogiuseppe, M.; Restano, M.; Seu, R.

    2012-04-01

    The planetary radar (e.g. MARSIS) data inversion is based on the selection of groups of stationary frames, within the area under investigation, that shall be statistically analyzed after suitable correction. The selection step includes the recovery of bad/poor data and the estimation of the geometrical surface and subsurface features; these feature shall be utilized in order to obtain data that are only dependent by the material nature of the inclusion, within the layer, and of the interface. This paper is addressed to the techniques used for the frames selection, recovery and their geometric estimation content. As first step, frames have been selected in Mars areas where the surface and subsurface have a physical optics behavior (i.e. quite flat); the surface flatness has been estimated according to a simulator based on MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) data while the subsurface has been estimated taking into account the Doppler filters content (i.e. filter 0, +1, -1). Being the surface and subsurface quite flat only small geometric contribution have been estimated and used for correction of the received echoes. To perform this task surface and subsurface models have been developed, under the Kirchhoff approximation hypothesis, to be compared with the experimental data. A figure showing the different material nature of different areas of the Mars South Pole has been drawn. The discovery of areas with an high dielectric constant led geologists to analyze those areas with other instrument to confirm the results obtained by MARSIS. This paper outlines also the way out for future works in order to analyze more complex surface and subsurface scenarios where conditions for geometric optics or fractal can be present. In this case, it will be mandatory to develop a clutter cancellation technique to avoid the presence of false subsurface echoes generated by surface and subsurface features not immediately below the nadir direction of observation. It will be also necessary

  12. Improved modeling techniques for turbomachinery flow fields

    SciTech Connect

    Lakshminarayana, B.; Fagan, J.R. Jr.

    1995-10-01

    This program has the objective of developing an improved methodology for modeling turbomachinery flow fields, including the prediction of losses and efficiency. Specifically, the program addresses the treatment of the mixing stress tensor terms attributed to deterministic flow field mechanisms required in steady-state Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models for turbo-machinery flow fields. These mixing stress tensors arise due to spatial and temporal fluctuations (in an absolute frame of reference) caused by rotor-stator interaction due to various blade rows and by blade-to-blade variation of flow properties. These tasks include the acquisition of previously unavailable experimental data in a high-speed turbomachinery environment, the use of advanced techniques to analyze the data, and the development of a methodology to treat the deterministic component of the mixing stress tensor. Penn State will lead the effort to make direct measurements of the momentum and thermal mixing stress tensors in high-speed multistage compressor flow field in the turbomachinery laboratory at Penn State. They will also process the data by both conventional and conditional spectrum analysis to derive momentum and thermal mixing stress tensors due to blade-to-blade periodic and aperiodic components, revolution periodic and aperiodic components arising from various blade rows and non-deterministic (which includes random components) correlations. The modeling results from this program will be publicly available and generally applicable to steady-state Navier-Stokes solvers used for turbomachinery component (compressor or turbine) flow field predictions. These models will lead to improved methodology, including loss and efficiency prediction, for the design of high-efficiency turbomachinery and drastically reduce the time required for the design and development cycle of turbomachinery.

  13. Improved data visualization techniques for analyzing macromolecule structural changes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae Hyun; Iyer, Vidyashankara; Joshi, Sangeeta B; Volkin, David B; Middaugh, C Russell

    2012-10-01

    The empirical phase diagram (EPD) is a colored representation of overall structural integrity and conformational stability of macromolecules in response to various environmental perturbations. Numerous proteins and macromolecular complexes have been analyzed by EPDs to summarize results from large data sets from multiple biophysical techniques. The current EPD method suffers from a number of deficiencies including lack of a meaningful relationship between color and actual molecular features, difficulties in identifying contributions from individual techniques, and a limited ability to be interpreted by color-blind individuals. In this work, three improved data visualization approaches are proposed as techniques complementary to the EPD. The secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structural changes of multiple proteins as a function of environmental stress were first measured using circular dichroism, intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy, and static light scattering, respectively. Data sets were then visualized as (1) RGB colors using three-index EPDs, (2) equiangular polygons using radar charts, and (3) human facial features using Chernoff face diagrams. Data as a function of temperature and pH for bovine serum albumin, aldolase, and chymotrypsin as well as candidate protein vaccine antigens including a serine threonine kinase protein (SP1732) and surface antigen A (SP1650) from S. pneumoniae and hemagglutinin from an H1N1 influenza virus are used to illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of each type of data visualization technique. PMID:22898970

  14. A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Arif, Ibrahim A.; Bakir, Mohammad A.; Khan, Haseeb A.; Al Farhan, Ahmad H.; Al Homaidan, Ali A.; Bahkali, Ali H.; Sadoon, Mohammad Al; Shobrak, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species. PMID:20559503

  15. Application of Molecular Genetics and Transformation to Barley Improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter of the new barley monograph summarizes current applications of molecular genetics and transformation to barley improvement. The chapter describes recent applications of molecular markers including association genetics, QTL mapping and marker assisted selection in barley programs, and in...

  16. Ion plating technique improves thin film deposition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mattox, D. M.

    1968-01-01

    Ion plating technique keeps the substrate surface clean until the film is deposited, allows extensive diffusion and chemical reaction, and joins insoluble or incompatible materials. The technique involves the deposition of ions on the substrate surface while it is being bombarded with inert gas ions.

  17. Improved extraction technique for biological fluids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnsen, V. J.

    1975-01-01

    Liquid-liquid extraction technique speeds up separation of biological fluids into number of compounds. This eliminates agitation, emulsion formation, centrifugation, mechanical separation of phases, filtration, and other steps that have been used previously. Extraction efficiencies are equal or better than current manual liquid-liquid extraction techniques.

  18. LOCO with Constraints and Improved Fitting Technique

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Xiaobiao; Safranek, James; Portmann, Greg; /LBL, Berkeley

    2009-06-18

    } reduction, i.e., small {chi}{sup 2} reduction with large changes of {Delta}K. Under effects of random noise, the fitting solution tends to crawl toward these patterns and ends up with unrealistically large {Delta}K. Such a solution is not very useful in optics correction because after the solution is dialed in, the quadrupoles will not respond as predicted by the lattice model due to magnet hysteresis. We will show that adding constraints to the fitting parameters is an effective way to combat this problem of LOCO. In fact, it improves optics calibration precision even for machines that don't show severe degeneracy behavior. LOCO fitting is essentially to solve a nonlinear least square problem with an iterative approach. The linear least square technique is applied in each iteration to move the solution toward the minimum. This approach is commonly referred to as the Gauss-Newton method. By using singular value decomposition (SVD) to invert the Jacobian matrix, this method has generally been very successful for LOCO. However, this method is based on a linear expansion of the residual vector over the fitting parameters which is valid only when the starting solution is sufficiently close to the real minimum. The fitting algorithm can have difficulties to converge when the initial guess is too far off. For example, it's possible for the {chi}{sup 2} merit function to increase after an iteration instead of decrease. This situation can be improved by using more robust nonlinear least square fitting algorithms, such as the Levenberg-Marquardt method. We will discuss the degeneracy problem in section 2 and then show how the constrained fitting can help in section 3. The application of Levenberg-Marquadt method to LOCO is shown in section 4. A summary is given in section 5.

  19. [Bone marrow biopsy: processing and use of molecular techniques].

    PubMed

    Quintanilla-Martinez, L; Tinguely, M; Bonzheim, I; Fend, F

    2012-11-01

    The rapid technological development in diagnostic pathology, especially of immunohistochemical and molecular techniques, also has a significant impact on diagnostic procedures for the evaluation of bone marrow trephine biopsies. The necessity for optimal morphology, combined with preservation of tissue antigens and nucleic acids on one hand and the wish for short turnaround times on the other hand require careful planning of the workflow for fixation, decalcification and embedding of trephines. Although any kind of bone marrow processing has its advantages and disadvantages, formalin fixation followed by EDTA decalcification can be considered a good compromise, which does not restrict the use of molecular techniques. Although the majority of molecular studies in haematological neoplasms are routinely performed on bone marrow aspirates or peripheral blood cells, there are certain indications, in which molecular studies such as clonality determination or detection of specific mutations need to be performed on the trephine biopsy. Especially, the determination of B- or T-cell clonality for the diagnosis of lymphoid malignancies requires stringent quality controls and knowledge of technical pitfalls. In this review, we discuss technical aspects of bone marrow biopsy processing and the application of diagnostic molecular techniques. PMID:23085692

  20. MOLECULAR OPTICAL SPECTROSCOPIC TECHNIQUES FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE SITE SCREENING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is interested in field screening hazardous waste sites for contaminants in the soil and surface and ground water. his study is an initial technical overview of the principal molecular spectroscopic techniques and instrumentation currently ...

  1. Techniques in molecular spectroscopy: from broad bandwidth to high resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cossel, Kevin C.

    molecules such as CH5 + with highly non-classical behavior, and for tests of fundamental physics. We have developed a new technique---frequency comb velocity-modulation spectroscopy---that is the first system to enable rapid, broadband spectroscopy of molecular ions with high resolution. We have demonstrated the ability to record 150 cm-1 of spectra consisting of 45,000 points in 30 minutes and have used this system to record over 1000 cm-1 of spectra of HfF+ in the near-infrared around 800 nm. After improvements, the system can now cover more than 3250 cm-1 (700-900 nm). We have combined this with standard velocity-modulation spectroscopy to measure and analyze 19 ro-vibronic bands of HfF+. These measurements enabled precision spectroscopy of trapped HfF + for testing time-reversal symmetry. For this experiment, we perform Ramsey spectroscopy between spin states in the metastable 3Delta 1 level to look for a permanent electric dipole moment of the electron with what we believe is the narrowest line observed in a molecular system (Fourier limited with 500 ms of coherence time). The long coherence time is a major advantage of using ions, but there are also some added complexities. We discuss various aspects metastable state preparation, state detection, and spectroscopy in a rotating frame (due to the necessary rotating electric bias field) that were particular challenging. In addition, we discuss limits to the coherence time---in particular, ion-ion collisions---as well as the sensitivity of the current measurements and provide a path towards a new limit on the electric dipole moment of the electron.

  2. An improved molecular assay for Tritrichomonas foetus.

    PubMed

    Grahn, R A; BonDurant, R H; van Hoosear, K A; Walker, R L; Lyons, L A

    2005-01-01

    Tritrichomonas foetus (T. foetus) is the causative agent of bovine trichomonosis, a sexually transmitted disease leading to abortion (from 1 to 8 months gestation), infertility, and occasional pyometra. The annual losses to the U.S. beef industry are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently, the "gold standard" diagnostic test for trichomonosis in most countries is the cultivation of live organisms from reproductive secretions. The cultured organisms can then be followed by PCR assays with primers that amplify T. foetus to the exclusion of all other trichomonad species. Thus, negative results present as null data, indistinguishable from failed PCR amplification during T. foetus specific amplification. Our newly developed assay improves previously developed PCR based techniques by using diagnostic size variants from within the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) region that is between the 18S rRNA and 5.8S rRNA subunits. This new PCR assay amplifies trichomonad DNA from a variety of genera and positively identifies the causative agent in the bovine trichomonad infection. This approach eliminates false negatives found in some current assays as well as identifying the causative agent of trichomonad infection. Additionally, our assay incorporates a fluorescently labeled primer enabling high sensitivity and rapid assessment of the specific trichomonad species. Moreover, electrophoretic separation of amplified samples can be outsourced, thus eliminating the need for diagnostic laboratories to purchase expensive analysis equipment. PMID:15619373

  3. Improving Maladaptive Behaviors Using Sensory Integration Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shuman, Theresa

    A study examined the use of sensory integration techniques to reduce the maladaptive behaviors that interfered with the learning of nine high school students with mental impairments attending a special school. Maladaptive behaviors identified included rocking, toe walking, echolalia, resistance to change, compulsive behaviors, aggression,…

  4. [An Improved Retrospective Respiratory Navigator Gating Technique].

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhongqiang; Du, Yiping

    2015-12-01

    Abdominal imaging is one of the important clinical applications of magnetic resonance imagining, but image degradation due to respiratory motion remains a major problem. Retrospective respiratory navigator gating technique is an effective approach to alleviate such degradation but is subject to long scan time and low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficiency. In this study, a modified retrospective navigator gating technique with variable over-sampling ratio acquisition and weighted average reconstruction algorithm is presented. Experiments in phantom and the imaging results of seven volunteers demonstrated that the proposed method provided an enhanced SNR and reduced ghost-to-image ratio compared to the conventional method. The proposed method can also be used to reduce imaging time while maintaining comparable image quality. PMID:27079107

  5. An improved technique for pulmonary endarterectomy.

    PubMed

    Azari, Ali; Moravvej, Zahra; Afshar, Sara; Bigdelu, Leila

    2014-06-01

    We report a modified technique for pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) on a 67-year-old man with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) who presented with dyspnea. He was referred to our medical center for coronary artery bypass grafting. CTEPH had not been detected in his first visit to another medical center, but upon re-evaluation, the diagnosis was confirmed. PEA was performed with a modified method, which seems to be safe and suitable for the removal of clot and fibrotic materials. Iatrogenic dissection was performed with normal saline injection in the pulmonary artery, and then, the clot was removed completely. Although the technique may not be applicable for all cases, it can be used as an alternative to using an aspirating dissector and a pair of forceps. PMID:25207229

  6. Improving Molecular Level Chemical Speciation of Organic Aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worton, D. R.; Decker, M.; Isaacman, G. A.; Chan, A.; Wilson, K. R.; Goldstein, A. H.

    2013-12-01

    A substantial fraction of fine mode aerosols are organic with the majority formed in the atmosphere through oxidation of gas phase compounds emitted from a variety of natural and man-made sources. As a result, organic aerosols are comprised of thousands of individual organic species whose complexity increases exponentially with carbon number and degree of atmospheric oxidation. Chemical characterization of individual compounds present in this complex mixture provides information on sources and transformation processes that are critical for apportioning organic carbon from an often convoluted mixture of sources and to constrain oxidation mechanisms needed for atmospheric models. These compounds also affect the physical and optical properties of the aerosol but the vast majority remain unidentified and missing from published mass spectral libraries because of difficulties in separating and identifying them. We have developed improved methodologies for chemical identification in order to better understand complex environmental mixtures. Our approach has been to combine two-dimensional gas chromatography with high resolution time of flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-HRTOFMS) and both traditional electron ionization (EI) and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photoionization. GC×GC provides improved separation of individual compounds over traditional one dimensional GC and minimizes co-elution of peaks resulting in mass spectra that are virtually free of interferences. VUV ionization is a ';soft' ionization technique that reduces fragmentation and enhances the abundance of the parent or molecular ion, which when combined with high resolution mass spectrometry can provide molecular formulas for chromatographic peaks. We demonstrate our methodology by applying it to identify more than 500 individual compounds in aerosol filter samples collected at Blodgett Forest, a rural site in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Using the EI NIST mass spectral library and molecular formulas determined

  7. Improved dosimetry techniques for intravascular brachytherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sehgal, Varun

    Coronary artery disease leads to the accumulation of atheromatous plaque leading to coronary stenosis. Coronary intervention techniques such as balloon angioplasty and atherectomy are used to address coronary stenosis and establish a stable lumen thus enhancing blood flow to the myocardium. Restenosis or re-blockage of the arteries is a major limitation of the above mentioned interventional techniques. Neointimal hyperplasia or proliferation of cells in response to the vascular injury as a result of coronary intervention is considered to be one of the major causes of restenosis. Recent studies indicated that irradiation of the coronary lesion site, with radiation doses ranging from 15 to 30 Gy, leads to diminishing neointimal hyperplasia with subsequent reduction in restenosis. The radiation dose is given by catheter-based radiation delivery systems using beta-emitters 90Sr/90Y, 32P and gamma-emitting 192Ir among others. However the dose schema used for dose prescription for these sources are relatively simplistic, and are based on calculations using uniform homogenous water or tissue media and simple cylinder geometry. Stenotic coronary vessels are invariably lined with atheromatous plaque of heterogeneous composition, the radiation dose distribution obtained from such dosimetry data can cause significant variations in the actual dose received by a given patient. Such discrepancies in dose calculation can introduce relatively large uncertainties in the limits of dose window for effective and safe application of intravascular brachytherapy, and consequently in the clinical evaluation of the efficacy of this modality. In this research study we investigated the effect of different geometrical and material heterogeneities, including residual plaque, catheter non-centering, lesion eccentricity and cardiac motion on the radiation dose delivered at the lesion site. Correction factors including dose perturbation factors and dose variation factors have been calculated

  8. How have developments in molecular imaging techniques furthered schizophrenia research?

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Judy L; Urban, Nina; Abi-Dargham, Anissa

    2010-01-01

    Molecular imaging techniques have led to significant advances in understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and contributed to knowledge regarding potential mechanisms of action of the drugs used to treat this illness. The aim of this article is to provide a review of the major findings related to the application of molecular imaging techniques that have furthered schizophrenia research. This article focuses specifically on neuroreceptor imaging studies with PET and SPECT. After providing a brief overview of neuroreceptor imaging methodology, we consider relevant findings from studies of receptor availability, and dopamine synthesis and release. Results are discussed in the context of current hypotheses regarding neurochemical alterations in the illness. We then selectively review pharmacological occupancy studies and the role of neuroreceptor imaging in drug development for schizophrenia. PMID:21243081

  9. Molecular imaging of rheumatoid arthritis: emerging markers, tools, and techniques

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Early diagnosis and effective monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are important for a positive outcome. Instant treatment often results in faster reduction of inflammation and, as a consequence, less structural damage. Anatomical imaging techniques have been in use for a long time, facilitating diagnosis and monitoring of RA. However, mere imaging of anatomical structures provides little information on the processes preceding changes in synovial tissue, cartilage, and bone. Molecular imaging might facilitate more effective diagnosis and monitoring in addition to providing new information on the disease pathogenesis. A limiting factor in the development of new molecular imaging techniques is the availability of suitable probes. Here, we review which cells and molecules can be targeted in the RA joint and discuss the advances that have been made in imaging of arthritis with a focus on such molecular targets as folate receptor, F4/80, macrophage mannose receptor, E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, phosphatidylserine, and matrix metalloproteinases. In addition, we discuss a new tool that is being introduced in the field, namely the use of nanobodies as tracers. Finally, we describe additional molecules displaying specific features in joint inflammation and propose these as potential new molecular imaging targets, more specifically receptor activator of nuclear factor κB and its ligand, chemokine receptors, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, αVβ3 integrin, P2X7 receptor, suppression of tumorigenicity 2, dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein, and osteoclast-stimulatory transmembrane protein. PMID:25099015

  10. Improved techniques for switching power amplifiers

    SciTech Connect

    Flinder, F.M.; Wolfs, P.J.; Kwong, K.C.

    1993-10-01

    The control system design of a dc to 10 kHz bandwidth 45 kVA current sourced power amplifier suitable for geophysical exploration applications is presented. A five-level modulation scheme has been implemented using a modified bridge topology with only four switches. This scheme give as an order of magnitude improvement in switching ripple and control performance over two-level modulation. Using this system, a 50 kHz switch frequency allows a 20 kHz, {minus}3dB bandwidth to be easily achieved. Simulation as well as tenth scale model test results are presented. The current output waveform reproduction is of high quality over the rated dc to 10 kHz frequency range. The THD is 0.3% at 1 kHz.

  11. Umbilical connect techniques improvement-technology study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valkema, D. C.

    1972-01-01

    The objective of this study was to develop concepts, specifications, designs, techniques, and procedures capable of significantly reducing the time required to connect and verify umbilicals for ground services to the space shuttle. The desired goal was to reduce the current time requirement of several shifts for the Saturn 5/Apollo to an elapsed time of less than one hour to connect and verify all of the space shuttle ground service umbilicals. The study was conducted in four phases: (1) literature and hardware examination, (2) concept development, (3) concept evaluation and tradeoff analysis, and (4) selected concept design. The final product of this study was a detail design of a rise-off disconnect panel prototype test specimen for a LO2/LH2 booster (or an external oxygen/hydrogen tank for an orbiter), a detail design of a swing-arm mounted preflight umbilical carrier prototype test specimen, and a part 1 specification for the umbilical connect and verification design for the vehicles as defined in the space shuttle program.

  12. Improved fabrication techniques for infrared bolometers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, A. E.; Mcbride, S. E.; Richards, P. L.; Haller, E. E.; Kreysa, E.

    1983-01-01

    Ion implantation and sputter metallization are used to produce ohmic electrical contacts to Ge:Ga chips. The method is shown to give a high yield of small monolithic bolometers with very little low-frequency noise. It is noted that when one of the chips is used as the thermometric element of a composite bolometer it must be bonded to a dielectric substrate. The thermal resistance of the conventional epoxy bond is measured and found to be undesirably large. A procedure for soldering the chip to a metallized portion of the substrate in such a way as to reduce this resistance is outlined. An evaluation is made of the contribution of the metal film absorber to the heat capacity of a composite bolometer. It is found that the heat capacity of a NiCr absorber at 1.3 K can dominate the bolometer performance. A Bi absorber possesses significantly lower heat capacity. A low-temperature blackbody calibrator is built to measure the optical responsivity of bolometers. A composite bolometer system with a throughput of approximately 0.1 sr sq cm is constructed using the new techniques. The noise in this bolometer is white above 2.5 Hz and is slightly below the value predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium theory.

  13. An improved diffusion welding technique for TD-NiCr

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holko, K. H.

    1973-01-01

    An improved diffusion welding technique has been developed for TD-NiCr sheet. In the most preferred form, the improved technique consists of diffusion welding 320-grit sanded plus chemically polished surfaces of unrecrystallized TD-NiCr at 760 C under 140 MN/m2 pressure for 1hr followed by postheating at 1180 C for 2hr. Compared to previous work, this improved technique has the advantages of shorter welding time, lower welding temperature, lower welding pressure, and a simpler and more reproducible surface preparation procedure. Weldments were made that had parent-metal creep-rupture shear strength at 1100 C.

  14. Simple technique for sequential Q-switching of molecular lasers.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucht, R. A.; Allario, F.; Jarrett, O., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    A simple technique for sequentially Q-switching molecular lasers is discussed in which an optical scanner is used as an optical folding element in a laser cavity consisting of a stationary diffraction grating and partially reflecting mirror. Sequential Q-switching of a conventional CO2 laser is demonstrated in which over sixty-two transitions between 9.2 and 10.8 microns are observed. Rapid repetition rates (200 Hz) and narrow laser pulses (less than 5 microsec) allow conventional signal processing techniques to be used with this multiwavelength laser source which is a versatile tool for laser propagation studies, absorption spectroscopy, and gain measurements. Results of a preliminary experiment demonstrating the utility of measuring selective absorption of CO2 laser wavelengths by C2H4 are shown.

  15. A Survey of Architectural Techniques For Improving Cache Power Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, Sparsh

    2013-01-01

    Modern processors are using increasingly larger sized on-chip caches. Also, with each CMOS technology generation, there has been a significant increase in their leakage energy consumption. For this reason, cache power management has become a crucial research issue in modern processor design. To address this challenge and also meet the goals of sustainable computing, researchers have proposed several techniques for improving energy efficiency of cache architectures. This paper surveys recent architectural techniques for improving cache power efficiency and also presents a classification of these techniques based on their characteristics. For providing an application perspective, this paper also reviews several real-world processor chips that employ cache energy saving techniques. The aim of this survey is to enable engineers and researchers to get insights into the techniques for improving cache power efficiency and motivate them to invent novel solutions for enabling low-power operation of caches.

  16. Improved molecular barcodes by lifetime discrimination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Daniel B.; Lawrence, William G.

    2009-02-01

    Individual microspheres labeled with a unique barcode and a surface-bound probe are able to provide multiplexed biological assays in a convenient and high-throughput format. Typically, barcodes are created by impregnating microspheres with several colors of fluorophores mixed at different intensity levels. The number of barcodes is limited to hundreds primarily due to variability in fluorophore loading and difficulties in compensating for signal crosstalk. We constructed a molecular barcode based on differences in lifetimes rather than intensities. Lifetime-based measurements have an advantage in that signal from neighboring channels is reduced (because signal intensities are equal) and may be mathematically deconvoluted. The excited state lifetime of quantum dots (QDs) was systematically altered by attaching a variable number of quencher molecules to the surface. We have synthesized a series of ten QDs with distinguishable lifetimes all emitting at the same wavelength. The QDs were loaded into microspheres to determine the expected signal intensities. The uncertainty in lifetimes as a function of the interrogation time was determined. An acceptable standard deviation (3%) was obtained with a measurement time of approximately 10-30 μsec. Currently, we are expanding these studies to include multiple wavelengths and determining the maximal number of barcodes for a given spectral window.

  17. Hybrid molecular-continuum techniques for micro and nano flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reese, Jason; Ritos, Konstantinos; Borg, Matthew; Lockerby, Duncan

    2015-11-01

    Nano- and micro-confined fluid flows are often characterised by non-continuum effects that require special treatment beyond the scope of conventional continuum-fluid modelling. However, if the flow system has high-aspect-ratio components (e.g. long narrow channels) the computational cost of a fully molecular-based simulation can be prohibitive. In this talk we present some important elements of a heterogeneous molecular-continuum method that exploits the various degrees of scale separation in both time and space that are very often present in these types of flows. We demonstrate the ability of these techniques to predict the flow of water in aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes: the tube diameters are 1-2 nm and the tube lengths (i.e. the membrane thicknesses) are 2-6 orders of magnitude larger. We compare our results with experimental data. We also find very good agreement with experimental results for a 1 mm thick membrane that has CNTs of diameter 1.59 nm. In this case, our hybrid multiscale simulation is orders of magnitude faster than a full molecular dynamics simulation.

  18. Molecular Genetic Tools and Techniques in Fission Yeast.

    PubMed

    Murray, Johanne M; Watson, Adam T; Carr, Antony M

    2016-01-01

    The molecular genetic tools used in fission yeast have generally been adapted from methods and approaches developed for use in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Initially, the molecular genetics of Schizosaccharomyces pombe was developed to aid gene identification, but it is now applied extensively to the analysis of gene function and the manipulation of noncoding sequences that affect chromosome dynamics. Much current research using fission yeast thus relies on the basic processes of introducing DNA into the organism and the extraction of DNA for subsequent analysis. Targeted integration into specific genomic loci is often used to create site-specific mutants or changes to noncoding regulatory elements for subsequent phenotypic analysis. It is also regularly used to introduce additional sequences that generate tagged proteins or to create strains in which the levels of wild-type protein can be manipulated through transcriptional regulation and/or protein degradation. Here, we draw together a collection of core molecular genetic techniques that underpin much of modern research using S. pombe We summarize the most useful methods that are routinely used and provide guidance, learned from experience, for the successful application of these methods. PMID:27140925

  19. Using Marketing Research Techniques To Improve Quality and Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahilly, Tony

    Marketing in the business world has long used focus group interviews and survey techniques to explore the attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of their customers. In the college setting, these same techniques are now being used to improve program quality, assess the effectiveness of publications, and explore the image of the college. At Durham…

  20. Improved acoustic viscosimeter technique. [for determining fluid shear viscosity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fisch, M. R.; Moeller, R. P.; Carome, E. F.

    1976-01-01

    An improved technique has been developed for studies of the shear viscosity of fluids. It utilizes an acoustic resonator as a four-terminal electrical device; the resonator's amplitude response may be determined directly and simply related to the fluid's viscosity. The use of this technique is discussed briefly and data obtained in several fluids is presented.

  1. Development of Improved Oil Field Waste Injection Disposal Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Terralog Technologies USA Inc.

    2001-12-17

    The goals of this DOE sponsored project are to: (1) assemble and analyze a comprehensive database of past waste injection operations; (2) develop improved diagnostic techniques for monitoring fracture growth and formation changes; (3) develop operating guidelines to optimize daily operations and ultimate storage capacity of the target formation; and (4) to test these improved models and guidelines in the field.

  2. Development of Improved Oil Field Waste Injection Disposal Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Terralog Technologies

    2002-11-25

    The goals of this project have was to: (1) assemble and analyze a comprehensive database of past waste injection operations; (2) develop improved diagnostic techniques for monitoring fracture growth and formation changes; (3) develop operating guidelines to optimize daily operations and ultimate storage capacity of the target formation; and (4) to apply these improved models and guidelines in the field.

  3. Molecular genetic techniques for gene manipulation in Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Qiu-Rong; Yan, Lan; Lv, Quan-Zhen; Zhou, Mi; Sui, Xue; Cao, Yong-Bing; Jiang, Yuan-Ying

    2014-01-01

    Candida albicans is one of the most common fungal pathogen in humans due to its high frequency as an opportunistic and pathogenic fungus causing superficial as well as invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. An understanding of gene function in C. albicans is necessary to study the molecular basis of its pathogenesis, virulence and drug resistance. Several manipulation techniques have been used for investigation of gene function in C. albicans, including gene disruption, controlled gene expression, protein tagging, gene reintegration, and overexpression. In this review, the main cassettes containing selectable markers used for gene manipulation in C. albicans are summarized; the advantages and limitations of these cassettes are discussed concerning the influences on the target gene expression and the virulence of the mutant strains. PMID:24759671

  4. New laser technique for the identification of molecular transitions.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skribanowitz, N.; Kelly, M. J.; Feld, M. S.

    1972-01-01

    A laser technique is proposed which may be useful for the assignment of molecular spectra in the visible and infrared regions. The method is based on the resonant interaction of two monochromatic fields with a Doppler-broadened three-level system. Under the appropriate conditions the absorption line shape of one of the transitions shows a complex structure over a narrow section of the Doppler profile, and for sufficiently high laser power the line shape splits into a number of narrow peaks. Analysis of the resulting intensity pattern leads to unambiguous assignment of the angular momentum quantum numbers of the three levels involved. A simple set of rules is given to facilitate interpretation of spectra. The line shapes discussed are also relevant to monochromatic optical pumping of gases and unidirectional laser amplifiers.

  5. Diagnosis of Whipple's disease using molecular biology techniques.

    PubMed

    Cosme, Ángel; Ojeda, Evelia; Muñagorri, Ana I; Gaminde, Eduardo; Bujanda, Luis; Larzabal, Mikel; Gil, Inés

    2011-04-01

    The diagnosis of Whipple's disease (WD) is based on the existence of clinical signs and symptoms compatible with the disease and in the presence of PAS-positive diastase-resistant granules in the macrophages of the small intestine. If there is suspicion of the disease but no histological findings or only isolated extraintestinal manifestations, species-specific PCR using different sequences of the T. whippleii genome from different tissue types and biological fluids is recommended.This study reports two cases: the first patient had diarrhea and the disease was suspected after an endoscopic examination of the ileum, while the second patient had multi-systemic manifestations,particularly abdominal, thoracic, and peripheral lymphadenopathies. In both cases, the diagnosis was confirmed using molecular biology techniques to samples from the small intestine or from a retroperineal lymph node, respectively. PMID:21526877

  6. Development of efficient molecular simulation techniques for engineering applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramaniyan, Arun Karthi

    Engineering Molecular Mechanics (EMM) was developed as an alternative to conventional molecular simulation techniques to model high temperature (T > 0 K) phenomena. The EMM methodology was developed using thermal expansion and thermal energy as key thermal properties. Temperature dependent interatomic potentials were developed to account for thermal effects. Lennard-Jones and Morse potentials were used to build temperature dependent potentials. The validity and effectiveness of EMM simulations were demonstrated by simulating temperature dependent properties such as thermal expansion, elastic constants and thermal stress in copper and nickel. EMM simulations were significantly faster than molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for the same accuracy. A controversy regarding the definition of stress in an atomic system was resolved. Using theoretical arguments and numerical examples, the equivalence of virial stress and Cauchy stress was proved. It was shown that neglecting the velocity term in the definition of virial stress (as suggested by some researchers) can cause significant errors in MD simulations at high temperatures. The nanoscale instabilities during phase transformation in Ni-Al shape memory alloys were studied using MD and EMM simulations. The phase transformation temperatures predicted by MD simulations agreed well with experiments. Some limitations of the EMM methodology and the minimization algorithm were discussed. The possibility of nanoscale material design of Ni-Al shape memory alloys was investigated. It was found that the distribution of nickel and aluminum atoms in the alloy can affect the phase transformation characteristics significantly. A new design criterion based on thermal expansion mismatch was introduced. The predicted results using the new criterion matched well with the phase transformation temperature and strain calculated using MD simulations. The new one parameter design criterion was shown to be effective for designing Ni-Al shape

  7. Molecular Genetic Tools and Techniques for Marchantia polymorpha Research.

    PubMed

    Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Nishihama, Ryuichi; Yamato, Katsuyuki T; Kohchi, Takayuki

    2016-02-01

    Liverworts occupy a basal position in the evolution of land plants, and are a key group to address a wide variety of questions in plant biology. Marchantia polymorpha is a common, easily cultivated, dioecious liverwort species, and is emerging as an experimental model organism. The haploid gametophytic generation dominates the diploid sporophytic generation in its life cycle. Genetically homogeneous lines in the gametophyte generation can be established easily and propagated through asexual reproduction, which aids genetic and biochemical experiments. Owing to its dioecy, male and female sexual organs are formed in separate individuals, which enables crossing in a fully controlled manner. Reproductive growth can be induced at the desired times under laboratory conditions, which helps genetic analysis. The developmental process from a single-celled spore to a multicellular body can be observed directly in detail. As a model organism, molecular techniques for M. polymorpha are well developed; for example, simple and efficient protocols of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation have been established. Based on them, various strategies for molecular genetics, such as introduction of reporter constructs, overexpression, gene silencing and targeted gene modification, are available. Herein, we describe the technologies and resources for reverse and forward genetics in M. polymorpha, which offer an excellent experimental platform to study the evolution and diversity of regulatory systems in land plants. PMID:26116421

  8. Molecular Techniques for Detection, Species Differentiation, and Phylogenetic Analysis of Microsporidia

    PubMed Central

    Franzen, Caspar; Müller, Andreas

    1999-01-01

    Microsporidia are obligate intracellular protozoan parasites that infect a broad range of vertebrates and invertebrates. These parasites are now recognized as one of the most common pathogens in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients. For most patients with infectious diseases, microbiological isolation and identification techniques offer the most rapid and specific determination of the etiologic agent. This is not a suitable procedure for microsporidia, which are obligate intracellular parasites requiring cell culture systems for growth. Therefore, the diagnosis of microsporidiosis currently depends on morphological demonstration of the organisms themselves. Although the diagnosis of microsporidiosis and identification of microsporidia by light microscopy have greatly improved during the last few years, species differentiation by these techniques is usually impossible and transmission electron microscopy may be necessary. Immunfluorescent-staining techniques have been developed for species differentiation of microsporidia, but the antibodies used in these procedures are available only at research laboratories at present. During the last 10 years, the detection of infectious disease agents has begun to include the use of nucleic acid-based technologies. Diagnosis of infection caused by parasitic organisms is the last field of clinical microbiology to incorporate these techniques and molecular techniques (e.g., PCR and hybridization assays) have recently been developed for the detection, species differentiation, and phylogenetic analysis of microsporidia. In this paper we review human microsporidial infections and describe and discuss these newly developed molecular techniques. PMID:10194459

  9. Molecular techniques to interrogate and edit the Chlamydomonas nuclear genome.

    PubMed

    Jinkerson, Robert E; Jonikas, Martin C

    2015-05-01

    The success of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model organism is to a large extent due to the wide range of molecular techniques that are available for its characterization. Here, we review some of the techniques currently used to modify and interrogate the C. reinhardtii nuclear genome and explore several technologies under development. Nuclear mutants can be generated with ultraviolet (UV) light and chemical mutagens, or by insertional mutagenesis. Nuclear transformation methods include biolistic delivery, agitation with glass beads, and electroporation. Transforming DNA integrates into the genome at random sites, and multiple strategies exist for mapping insertion sites. A limited number of studies have demonstrated targeted modification of the nuclear genome by approaches such as zinc-finger nucleases and homologous recombination. RNA interference is widely used to knock down expression levels of nuclear genes. A wide assortment of transgenes has been successfully expressed in the Chlamydomonas nuclear genome, including transformation markers, fluorescent proteins, reporter genes, epitope tagged proteins, and even therapeutic proteins. Optimized expression constructs and strains help transgene expression. Emerging technologies such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system, high-throughput mutant identification, and a whole-genome knockout library are being developed for this organism. We discuss how these advances will propel future investigations. PMID:25704665

  10. An Improved Periodogram Technique for 2-D PSF Equalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, Shane; Kankelborg, Charles

    2014-06-01

    The Multi-Order Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph (MOSES) forms images of the transition region at HE II 30.4 in three spectral orders. Subtle differences between these images encode line profile information. However, differences in instrument point-spread function (PSF) in the three orders lead to non-negligible systematic errors in the retrieval of the line profiles. We describe an improved periodogram technique for equalizing the PSFs, and provide numerical verification of the technique's validity.

  11. New implantation techniques for improved solar cell junctions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spitzer, M. B.; Bunker, S. N.

    1982-01-01

    Ion implantation techniques offering improved cell performance and reduced cost have been studied. These techniques include non-mass-analyzed phosphorus implantation, argon implantation gettering, and low temperature boron annealing. It is found that cells produced by non-mass-analyzed implantation perform as well as mass-analyzed controls, and that the cell performance is largely independent of process parameters. A study of argon implantation gettering shows no improvement over non-gettered controls. Results of low temperature boron annealing experiments are presented.

  12. New technologies and techniques to improve adenoma detection in colonoscopy

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Ashley; Sarkar, Sanchoy

    2015-01-01

    Adenoma detection rate (ADR) is a key component of colonoscopy quality assessment, with a direct link between itself and future mortality from colorectal cancer. There are a number of potential factors, both modifiable and non-modifiable that can impact upon ADR. As methods, understanding and technologies advance, so should our ability to improve ADRs, and thus, reduce colorectal cancer mortality. This article will review new technologies and techniques that improve ADR, both in terms of the endoscopes themselves and adjuncts to current systems. In particular it focuses on effective techniques and behaviours, developments in image enhancement, advancement in endoscope design and developments in accessories that may improve ADR. It also highlights the key role that continued medical education plays in improving the quality of colonoscopy and thus ADR. The review aims to present a balanced summary of the evidence currently available and does not propose to serve as a guideline. PMID:26265990

  13. Small fenestra stapedectomy technique: reducing risk and improving hearing.

    PubMed

    Bailey, H A; Pappas, J J; Graham, S S

    1983-10-01

    During the past 25 years many variations have emerged in stapedectomy, most of which centered around either a change in the prosthesis itself or in the type of oval window seal. The small fenestra stapedectomy technique (SFT) represents a change in surgical procedure rather than in prosthetic design. This technique offers the opportunity to improve hearing results while reducing risks in stapedectomy surgery. Four areas of significant improvement are seen in patients in whom the SFT was used: (1) improved hearing in the high frequencies of 2000, 4000, and 8000 Hz, (2) improved speech discrimination scores, (3) a significant reduction in the number of reported vestibular complaints, and (4) a reduction in the number of serious postoperative sensorineural hearing losses. PMID:6417600

  14. How Students Learn: Improving Teaching Techniques for Business Discipline Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cluskey, Bob; Elbeck, Matt; Hill, Kathy L.; Strupeck, Dave

    2011-01-01

    The focus of this paper is to familiarize business discipline faculty with cognitive psychology theories of how students learn together with teaching techniques to assist and improve student learning. Student learning can be defined as the outcome from the retrieval (free recall) of desired information. Student learning occurs in two processes.…

  15. [Molecular techniques for detection and identification of pathogens in food: advantages and limitations].

    PubMed

    Palomino-Camargo, Carolina; González-Muñoz, Yuniesky

    2014-01-01

    Foodborne diseases, caused by pathogenic microorganisms, are a major public health problem worldwide. Microbiological methods commonly used in the detection of these foodborne pathogens are laborious and time consuming. This situation, coupled with the demand for immediate results and with technological advances, has led to the development of a wide range of rapid methods in recent decades. On this basis, this review describes the advantages and limitations of the main molecular methods used in detection and identification of foodborne pathogens. To this end, we considered how recent the information was published, the objective analysis of the topic and its scope. Recent literature reports a significant number of alternative, sensitive and selective molecular techniques for detection, enumeration and identification of pathogenic microorganisms in food. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most popular platform, while high performance sequencing is emerging as a technique of wide applicability for the future. However, even with all the advantages of these new methodologies, their limitations should not be overlooked. For example, molecular methods are not standardized protocols, which hinders its use in some cases. For this reason, hard work should be done to overcome these limitations and improve the application of these techniques in complex matrices such as food systems. PMID:25418655

  16. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  17. Quantitative analysis of genomic element interactions by molecular colony technique

    PubMed Central

    Gavrilov, Alexey A.; Chetverina, Helena V.; Chermnykh, Elina S.; Razin, Sergey V.; Chetverin, Alexander B.

    2014-01-01

    Distant genomic elements were found to interact within the folded eukaryotic genome. However, the used experimental approach (chromosome conformation capture, 3C) enables neither determination of the percentage of cells in which the interactions occur nor demonstration of simultaneous interaction of >2 genomic elements. Each of the above can be done using in-gel replication of interacting DNA segments, the technique reported here. Chromatin fragments released from formaldehyde–cross-linked cells by sodium dodecyl sulfate extraction and sonication are distributed in a polyacrylamide gel layer followed by amplification of selected test regions directly in the gel by multiplex polymerase chain reaction. The fragments that have been cross-linked and separate fragments give rise to multi- and monocomponent molecular colonies, respectively, which can be distinguished and counted. Using in-gel replication of interacting DNA segments, we demonstrate that in the material from mouse erythroid cells, the majority of fragments containing the promoters of active β-globin genes and their remote enhancers do not form complexes stable enough to survive sodium dodecyl sulfate extraction and sonication. This indicates that either these elements do not interact directly in the majority of cells at a given time moment, or the formed DNA–protein complex cannot be stabilized by formaldehyde cross-linking. PMID:24369423

  18. Achieving process control through improved grinding techniques for ferrite materials

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce, J.

    1995-09-01

    In manufacturing soft ferrite materials the particle size of the raw material has a significant impact on the reactivity of calcination. The control of particle size distribution and final formulation at wet milling after calcining impacts the reactivity during sintering and the magnetic properties of the final product. This paper will deal with steps taken to improve process control during the grinding operations of raw material and calcine in soft ferrite production. Equipment modifications as well as changes to the grinding and material handling techniques will be included. All examples of process control and improvements will be supported by data.

  19. Improving the accuracy of phase-shifting techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz-Santos, William; López-García, Lourdes; Redondo-Galvan, Arturo

    2015-05-01

    The traditional phase-shifting profilometry technique is based on the projection of digital interference patterns and computation of the absolute phase map. Recently, a method was proposed that used phase interpolation to the corner detection, at subpixel accuracy in the projector image for improving the camera-projector calibration. We propose a general strategy to improve the accuracy in the search for correspondence that can be used to obtain high precision three-dimensional reconstruction. Experimental results show that our strategy can outperform the precision of the phase-shifting method.

  20. Improvement of modal scaling factors using mass additive technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Allemang, Randall J.; Wei, Max L.; Brown, David L.

    1987-01-01

    A general investigation into the improvement of modal scaling factors of an experimental modal model using additive technique is discussed. Data base required by the proposed method consists of an experimental modal model (a set of complex eigenvalues and eigenvectors) of the original structure and a corresponding set of complex eigenvalues of the mass-added structure. Three analytical methods,i.e., first order and second order perturbation methods, and local eigenvalue modification technique, are proposed to predict the improved modal scaling factors. Difficulties encountered in scaling closely spaced modes are discussed. Methods to compute the necessary rotational modal vectors at the mass additive points are also proposed to increase the accuracy of the analytical prediction.

  1. Algorithmic improvements to an exact region-filling technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias Fabris, Antonio; Ramos Batista, Valério

    2015-09-01

    We present many algorithmic improvements in our early region filling technique, which in a previous publication was already proved to be correct for all connected digital pictures. Ours is an integer-only method that also finds all interior points of any given digital picture by displaying and storing them in a locating matrix. Our filling/locating program is applicable both in computer graphics and image processing.

  2. Improving range resolution with a frequency-hopping technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stitt, G. R.; Bowhill, S. A.

    1986-01-01

    Range resolution of a conventional pulsed Doppler radar is determined by the scattering volume defined by the transmitted pulse shape. To increase the resolution, the length of the pulse must be reduced. Reducing the pulse length also reduces the transmitted power and hense the signal to noise ratio unless the peak power capability of the transmitter is greatly increased. Improved range resolution may also be attained through the use of various pulse coding methods, but such methods are sometimes difficult to implement from a hardware standpoint. The frequency-hopping (F-H) technique described increases the range resolution of pulse Doppler MST (mesosphere stratosphere troposphere) radar without the need for extensive modifications to the radar transmitter. This technique consists of sending a repeated sequence of pulses, each pulse in the sequence being transmitted at a unique radio frequency that is under the control of a microcomputer. This technique is discussed along with other radar parameters.

  3. Improvements in approaches to forecasting and evaluation techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weatherhead, Elizabeth

    2014-05-01

    The US is embarking on an experiment to make significant and sustained improvements in weather forecasting. The effort stems from a series of community conversations that recognized the rapid advancements in observations, modeling and computing techniques in the academic, governmental and private sectors. The new directions and initial efforts will be summarized, including information on possibilities for international collaboration. Most new projects are scheduled to start in the last half of 2014. Several advancements include ensemble forecasting with global models, and new sharing of computing resources. Newly developed techniques for evaluating weather forecast models will be presented in detail. The approaches use statistical techniques that incorporate pair-wise comparisons of forecasts with observations and account for daily auto-correlation to assess appropriate uncertainty in forecast changes. Some of the new projects allow for international collaboration, particularly on the research components of the projects.

  4. Improved Infrastucture for Cdms and JPL Molecular Spectroscopy Catalogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endres, Christian; Schlemmer, Stephan; Drouin, Brian; Pearson, John; Müller, Holger S. P.; Schilke, P.; Stutzki, Jürgen

    2014-06-01

    Over the past years a new infrastructure for atomic and molecular databases has been developed within the framework of the Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC). Standards for the representation of atomic and molecular data as well as a set of protocols have been established which allow now to retrieve data from various databases through one portal and to combine the data easily. Apart from spectroscopic databases such as the Cologne Database for Molecular Spectroscopy (CDMS), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory microwave, millimeter and submillimeter spectral line catalogue (JPL) and the HITRAN database, various databases on molecular collisions (BASECOL, KIDA) and reactions (UMIST) are connected. Together with other groups within the VAMDC consortium we are working on common user tools to simplify the access for new customers and to tailor data requests for users with specified needs. This comprises in particular tools to support the analysis of complex observational data obtained with the ALMA telescope. In this presentation requests to CDMS and JPL will be used to explain the basic concepts and the tools which are provided by VAMDC. In addition a new portal to CDMS will be presented which has a number of new features, in particular meaningful quantum numbers, references linked to data points, access to state energies and improved documentation. Fit files are accessible for download and queries to other databases are possible.

  5. Molecular Genetics Techniques to Develop New Treatments for Brain Cancers

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, Jacob; Fathallan-Shaykh, Hassan

    2006-09-22

    The objectives of this report are: (1) to devise novel molecular gene therapies for malignant brain tumors, (2) advance our understanding of the immune system in the central nervous system; and (3) apply genomics to find molecular probes to diagnose brain tumors, predict prognosis, biological behavior and their response to treatment.

  6. Tumor Functional and Molecular Imaging Utilizing Ultrasound and Ultrasound-Mediated Optical Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Baohong; Rychak, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Tumor functional and molecular imaging has significantly contributed to cancer preclinical research and clinical applications. Among typical imaging modalities, ultrasonic and optical techniques are two commonly used methods; both share several common features such as cost efficiency, absence of ionizing radiation, relatively inexpensive contrast agents, and comparable maximum-imaging depth. Ultrasonic and optical techniques are also complementary in imaging resolution, molecular sensitivity, and imaging space (vascular and extravascular). The marriage between ultrasonic and optical techniques takes advantages of both techniques. This review introduces tumor functional and molecular imaging using microbubble-based ultrasound and ultrasound-mediated optical imaging techniques. PMID:23219728

  7. An improved acoustic microimaging technique with learning overcomplete representation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Guang-Ming; Harvey, David M.; Braden, Derek R.

    2005-12-01

    Advancements in integrated circuit (IC) package technology are increasingly leading to size shrinkage of modern microelectronic packages. This size reduction presents a challenge for the detection and location of the internal features/defects in the packages, which have approached the resolution limit of conventional acoustic microimaging, an important nondestructive inspection technique in the semiconductor industry. In this paper, to meet the challenge the learning overcomplete representation technique is pursued to decompose an ultrasonic A-scan signal into overcomplete representations over a learned overcomplete dictionary. Ultrasonic echo separation and reflectivity function estimation are then performed by exploiting the sparse representability of ultrasonic pulses. An improved acoustic microimaging technique is proposed by integrating these operations into the conventional acoustic microimaging technique. Its performance is quantitatively evaluated by elaborated experiments on ultrasonic A-scan signals using acoustic microimaging (AMI) error criteria. Results obtained both from simulated and measured A-scans are presented to demonstrate the superior axial resolution and robustness of the proposed technique.

  8. On improving storm surge forecasting using an adjoint optimal technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yineng; Peng, Shiqiu; Yan, Jing; Xie, Lian

    2013-12-01

    A three-dimensional ocean model and its adjoint model are used to simultaneously optimize the initial conditions (IC) and the wind stress drag coefficient (Cd) for improving storm surge forecasting. To demonstrate the effect of this proposed method, a number of identical twin experiments (ITEs) with a prescription of different error sources and two real data assimilation experiments are performed. Results from both the idealized and real data assimilation experiments show that adjusting IC and Cd simultaneously can achieve much more improvements in storm surge forecasting than adjusting IC or Cd only. A diagnosis on the dynamical balance indicates that adjusting IC only may introduce unrealistic oscillations out of the assimilation window, which can be suppressed by the adjustment of the wind stress when simultaneously adjusting IC and Cd. Therefore, it is recommended to simultaneously adjust IC and Cd to improve storm surge forecasting using an adjoint technique.

  9. Improved parallel solution techniques for the integral transport matrix method

    SciTech Connect

    Zerr, Robert J; Azmy, Yousry Y

    2010-11-23

    Alternative solution strategies to the parallel block Jacobi (PBJ) method for the solution of the global problem with the integral transport matrix method operators have been designed and tested. The most straightforward improvement to the Jacobi iterative method is the Gauss-Seidel alternative. The parallel red-black Gauss-Seidel (PGS) algorithm can improve on the number of iterations and reduce work per iteration by applying an alternating red-black color-set to the subdomains and assigning multiple sub-domains per processor. A parallel GMRES(m) method was implemented as an alternative to stationary iterations. Computational results show that the PGS method can improve on the PBJ method execution by up to {approx}50% when eight sub-domains per processor are used. However, compared to traditional source iterations with diffusion synthetic acceleration, it is still approximately an order of magnitude slower. The best-performing case are opticaUy thick because sub-domains decouple, yielding faster convergence. Further tests revealed that 64 sub-domains per processor was the best performing level of sub-domain division. An acceleration technique that improves the convergence rate would greatly improve the ITMM. The GMRES(m) method with a diagonal block preconditioner consumes approximately the same time as the PBJ solver but could be improved by an as yet undeveloped, more efficient preconditioner.

  10. Element selective detection of molecular species applying chromatographic techniques and diode laser atomic absorption spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kunze, K; Zybin, A; Koch, J; Franzke, J; Miclea, M; Niemax, K

    2004-12-01

    Tunable diode laser atomic absorption spectroscopy (DLAAS) combined with separation techniques and atomization in plasmas and flames is presented as a powerful method for analysis of molecular species. The analytical figures of merit of the technique are demonstrated by the measurement of Cr(VI) and Mn compounds, as well as molecular species including halogen atoms, hydrogen, carbon and sulfur. PMID:15561625

  11. Effective colonoscopy training techniques: strategies to improve patient outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Papanikolaou, Ioannis S; Karatzas, Pantelis S; Varytimiadis, Lazaros T; Tsigaridas, Athanasios; Galanopoulos, Michail; Viazis, Nikos; Karamanolis, Dimitrios G

    2016-01-01

    Colonoscopy has substantially evolved during the last 20 years and many different training techniques have been developed in order to improve the performance of endoscopists. The most known are mechanical simulators, virtual reality simulators, computer-simulating endoscopy, magnetic endoscopic imaging, and composite and explanted animal organ simulators. Current literature generally indicates that the use of simulators improves performance of endoscopists and enhances safety of patients, especially during the initial phase of training. Moreover, newer endoscopes and imaging techniques such as high-definition colonoscopes, chromocolonoscopy with dyes spraying, and third-eye retroscope have been incorporated in everyday practice, offering better visualization of the colon and detection of polyps. Despite the abundance of these different technological features, training devices are not widely used and no official guideline or specified training algorithm or technique for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy has been evolved. In this review, we present the most important training methods currently available and evaluate these using existing literature. We also try to propose a training algorithm for novice endoscopists. PMID:27099542

  12. [MARS (Molecular Adsorbents Recirculating System). New technique of extracorporeal depuration in liver failure].

    PubMed

    Vázquez Calatayud, Mónica; Carrión Torre, María; García-Fernández, Nuria

    2005-01-01

    MARS (Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System) is a new technique as a system of liver detoxification in patients with severe acute or acute on chronic hepatic failure. Also, it has shown its usefulness in the control of resistant pruritus in the primary biliary cirrhosis. Due to the fact that this technique is often delivered in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), we have reviewed the literature 1999 until now to describe this technique, its benefits and its mains complications. The technique was developed in Germany, where in 1999 was first used in clinical practice. It was used for the first time in Spain in 2000 and in the Clínica Universitaria of Navarra in July of 2001. Despite the short clinical experience using MARS its obvious beneficial effects such as decrease of hepatic toxins and the improvement of encephalopathy and hemodynamic situation, makes it a very useful technique in these patients. MARS has been shown to be a safe procedure, well tolerated by patients and accessible to the use by specialised nurses. Despite the encouraging clinical results, its used is still limited. Moreover its high cost precludes it widespread use and requires further studies. PMID:16022828

  13. Strain mapping accuracy improvement using super-resolution techniques.

    PubMed

    Bárcena-González, G; Guerrero-Lebrero, M P; Guerrero, E; Fernández-Reyes, D; González, D; Mayoral, A; Utrilla, A D; Ulloa, J M; Galindo, P L

    2016-04-01

    Super-resolution (SR) software-based techniques aim at generating a final image by combining several noisy frames with lower resolution from the same scene. A comparative study on high-resolution high-angle annular dark field images of InAs/GaAs QDs has been carried out in order to evaluate the performance of the SR technique. The obtained SR images present enhanced resolution and higher signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio and sharpness regarding the experimental images. In addition, SR is also applied in the field of strain analysis using digital image processing applications such as geometrical phase analysis and peak pairs analysis. The precision of the strain mappings can be improved when SR methodologies are applied to experimental images. PMID:26501744

  14. Grid quality improvement by a grid adaptation technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, K. D.; Henderson, T. L.; Choo, Y. K.

    1991-01-01

    A grid adaptation technique is presented which improves grid quality. The method begins with an assessment of grid quality by defining an appropriate grid quality measure. Then, undesirable grid properties are eliminated by a grid-quality-adaptive grid generation procedure. The same concept has been used for geometry-adaptive and solution-adaptive grid generation. The difference lies in the definition of the grid control sources; here, they are extracted from the distribution of a particular grid property. Several examples are presented to demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of the method.

  15. Improving concatenated coding communications by employing signal editing techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, W. H.; Ungar, J. L.

    1993-04-01

    Signal editing is a technique used to locate and erase unreliable data before error correction decoding. Consider a concatenated coding (CC) communication system in which the inner code employs convolutional encoding with Viterbi decoding and the outer code could employ either a convolutional or a Reed-Solomon code. In this study, we show that useful information can be derived from the inner Viterbi decoding process to perform two special operations: to locate and erase unreliable decoded data and to estimate the input channel noise level. As a result, the number of errors input to the outer decoder is reduced and the overall CC system performance is improved.

  16. High rate concentration measurement of molecular gas mixtures using a spatial detection technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loriot, V.; Hertz, E.; Lavorel, B.; Faucher, O.

    2010-05-01

    Concentration measurement in molecular gas mixtures using a snapshot spatial imaging technique is reported. The approach consists of measuring the birefringence of the molecular sample when field-free alignment takes place, each molecular component producing a signal with an amplitude depending on the molecular density. The concentration measurement is obtained on a single-shot basis by probing the time-varying birefringence through femtosecond time-resolved optical polarigraphy (FTOP). The relevance of the method is assessed in air.

  17. Improving the accuracy of canal seepage detection through geospatial techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arshad, Muhammad

    With climatic change, many western states in the United States are experiencing drought conditions. Numerous irrigation districts are losing significant amount of water from their canal systems due to leakage. Every year, on the average 2 million acres of prime cropland in the US is lost to soil erosion, waterlogging and salinity. Lining of canals could save enormous amount of water for irrigating crops but in present time due to soaring costs of construction and environmental mitigation, adopting such program on a large scale would be excessive. Conventional techniques of seepage detection are expensive, time consuming and labor intensive besides being not very accurate. Technological advancements in remote sensing have made it possible to investigate irrigation canals for seepage sites identification. In this research, band-9 in the [NIR] region and band-45 in the [TIR] region of an airborne MASTER data has been utilized to highlight anomalies along irrigation canal at Phoenix, Arizona. High resolution (1 to 4 meter pixels) satellite images provided by private companies for scientific research and made available by Google to the public on Google Earth is then successfully used to separate those anomalies into water activity sites, natural vegetation, and man-made structures and thereby greatly improving the seepage detection ability of airborne remote sensing. This innovative technique is much faster and cost effective as compared to conventional techniques and past airborne remote sensing techniques for verification of anomalies along irrigation canals. This technique also solves one of the long standing problems of discriminating false impression of seepage sites due to dense natural vegetation, terrain relief and low depressions of natural drainages from true water related activity sites.

  18. Molecular alignment and orientation with a hybrid Raman scattering technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bustard, Philip J.; Lausten, R.; Sussman, Benjamin J.

    2012-11-01

    We demonstrate a scheme for the preparation of molecular alignment and angular momentum orientation using a hybrid combination of two limits of Raman scattering. First a weak, impulsive pump pulse initializes the system via the nonresonant dynamic Stark effect. Then, having overcome the influence of the vacuum fluctuations, an amplification pulse selectively enhances the initial coherences by transient stimulated Raman scattering, generating alignment and angular momentum orientation of molecular hydrogen. The amplitude and phase of the resulting coherent dynamics are experimentally probed, indicating an amplification factor of 4.5. An analytic theory is developed to model the dynamics.

  19. The Use of Molecular Techniques at Hazardous Waste Sites

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is clear that typical protocols used for soil analysis would certainly fail to adequately interrogate ground-water treatment systems unless they were substantially modified. The modifications found necessary to compensate for the low biomass include molecular tools and techniq...

  20. Enhanced Sampling Techniques in Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, Rafael C.; Melo, Marcelo C. R.; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Background Molecular Dynamics has emerged as an important research methodology covering systems to the level of millions of atoms. However, insufficient sampling often limits its application. The limitation is due to rough energy landscapes, with many local minima separated by high-energy barriers, which govern the biomolecular motion. Scope of review In the past few decades methods have been developed that address the sampling problem, such as replica-exchange molecular dynamics, metadynamics and simulated annealing. Here we present an overview over theses sampling methods in an attempt to shed light on which should be selected depending on the type of system property studied. Major Conclusions Enhanced sampling methods have been employed for a broad range of biological systems and the choice of a suitable method is connected to biological and physical characteristics of the system, in particular system size. While metadynamics and replica-exchange molecular dynamics are the most adopted sampling methods to study biomolecular dynamics, simulated annealing is well suited to characterize very flexible systems. The use of annealing methods for a long time was restricted to simulation of small proteins; however, a variant of the method, generalized simulated annealing, can be employed at a relatively low computational cost to large macromolecular complexes. General Significance Molecular dynamics trajectories frequently do not reach all relevant conformational substates, for example those connected with biological function, a problem that can be addressed by employing enhanced sampling algorithms. PMID:25450171

  1. Improving face image extraction by using deep learning technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Zhiyun; Antani, Sameer; Long, L. R.; Demner-Fushman, Dina; Thoma, George R.

    2016-03-01

    The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has made a collection of over a 1.2 million research articles containing 3.2 million figure images searchable using the Open-iSM multimodal (text+image) search engine. Many images are visible light photographs, some of which are images containing faces ("face images"). Some of these face images are acquired in unconstrained settings, while others are studio photos. To extract the face regions in the images, we first applied one of the most widely-used face detectors, a pre-trained Viola-Jones detector implemented in Matlab and OpenCV. The Viola-Jones detector was trained for unconstrained face image detection, but the results for the NLM database included many false positives, which resulted in a very low precision. To improve this performance, we applied a deep learning technique, which reduced the number of false positives and as a result, the detection precision was improved significantly. (For example, the classification accuracy for identifying whether the face regions output by this Viola- Jones detector are true positives or not in a test set is about 96%.) By combining these two techniques (Viola-Jones and deep learning) we were able to increase the system precision considerably, while avoiding the need to manually construct a large training set by manual delineation of the face regions.

  2. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  3. Improved LWR Cladding Performance by EPD Surface Modification Technique

    SciTech Connect

    Corradini, Michael; Sridharan, Kumar

    2012-11-26

    This project will utilize the electro-phoretic deposition technique (EPD) in conjunction with nanofluids to deposit oxide coatings on prototypic zirconium alloy cladding surfaces. After demonstrating that this surface modification is reproducible and robust, the team will subject the modified surface to boiling and corrosion tests to characterize the improved nucleate boiling behavior and superior corrosion performance. The scope of work consists of the following three tasks: The first task will employ the EPD surface modification technique to coat the surface of a prototypic set of zirconium alloy cladding tube materials (e.g. Zircaloy and advanced alloys such as M5) with a micron-thick layer of zirconium oxide nanoparticles. The team will characterize the modified surface for uniformity using optical microscopy and scanning-electron microscopy, and for robustness using standard hardness measurements. After zirconium alloy cladding samples have been prepared and characterized using the EPD technique, the team will begin a set of boiling experiments to measure the heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux (CHF) limit for each prepared sample and its control sample. This work will provide a relative comparison of the heat transfer performance for each alloy and the surface modification technique employed. As the boiling heat transfer experiments begin, the team will also begin corrosion tests for these zirconium alloy samples using a water corrosion test loop that can mimic light water reactor (LWR) operational environments. They will perform extended corrosion tests on the surface-modified zirconium alloy samples and control samples to examine the robustness of the modified surface, as well as the effect on surface oxidation

  4. Molecular Breeding for Improved Second Generation Bioenergy Crops.

    PubMed

    Allwright, Mike R; Taylor, Gail

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing urgency to develop and deploy sustainable sources of energy to reduce our global dependency on finite, high-carbon fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks, used in power and liquid fuel generation, are valuable sources of non-food plant biomass. They are cultivated with minimal inputs on marginal or degraded lands to prevent competition with arable agriculture and offer significant potential for sustainable intensification (the improvement of yield without the necessity for additional inputs) through advanced molecular breeding. This article explores progress made in next generation sequencing, advanced genotyping, association genetics, and genetic modification in second generation bioenergy production. Using poplar as an exemplar where most progress has been made, a suite of target traits is also identified giving insight into possible routes for crop improvement and deployment in the immediate future. PMID:26541073

  5. Characterization of a Mycobacterium intracellulare Variant Strain by Molecular Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Menendez, M. C.; Palenque, E.; Navarro, M. C.; Nuñez, M. C.; Rebollo, M. J.; Garcia, M. J.

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes a Mycobacterium intracellulare variant strain causing an unusual infection. Several isolates obtained from an immunocompromised patient were identified as members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) by the commercial AccuProbe system and biochemical standard identification. Further molecular approaches were undertaken for a more accurate characterization of the bacteria. Up to seven different genomic sequences were analyzed, ranging from conserved mycobacterial genes such as 16S ribosomal DNA to MAC-specific genes such as mig (macrophage-induced gene). The results obtained identify the isolates as a variant of M. intracellulare, an example of the internal variability described for members of the MAC, particularly within that species. The application of other molecular approaches is recommended for more accurate identification of bacteria described as MAC members. PMID:11724827

  6. Protocols, practices, and the reproduction of technique in molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael

    2002-06-01

    Protocols are one of the main organizational resources in molecular biology. They are written instructions that specify ingredients, equipment, and sequences of steps for making technical preparations. Some protocols are published in widely used manuals, while others are hand-written variants used by particular laboratories and individual technicians. It is widely understood, both in molecular biology and in social studies of science, that protocols do not describe exactly what practitioners do in the laboratory workplace. In social studies of science, the difference between protocols and the actual practices of doing them often is used to set up ironic contrasts between 'messy' laboratory practices and the appearance of technical order. Alternatively, in ethnomethodological studies of work, the difference is examined as a constitutive feature, both of the lived-work of doing technical projects, and of the administrative work of regulating and evaluating such projects. The present article takes its point of departure from ethnomethodology, and begins with a discussion of local problems with performing molecular biology protocols on specific occasions. The discussion then moves to particular cases in criminal law in which defense attorneys cross-examine forensic technicians and lab administrators. In these interrogations, the distinction between protocols and actual practices animates the dialogue and becomes consequential for judgments in the case at hand. The article concludes with a discussion of administrative science: the work of treating protocols and paper trails as proxies for actual 'scientific' practices. PMID:12171609

  7. Modified fabrication techniques lead to improved centrifugal blood pump performance.

    PubMed

    Pacella, J J; Goldstein, A H; Magovern, G J; Clark, R F

    1994-01-01

    The authors are developing an implantable centrifugal blood pump for short- and medium-term (1-6 months) left ventricular assist. They hypothesized that the application of result dependent modifications to this pump would lead to overall improved performance in long-term implantation studies. Essential requirements for pump operation, such as durability and resistance to clot formation, have been achieved through specialized fabrication techniques. The antithrombogenic character of the pump has been improved through coating at the cannula-housing interfaces and the baffle seal, and through changing the impeller blade material from polysulfone to pyrolytic carbon. The electronic components of the pump have been sealed for implantable use through specialized processes of dipping and potting, and the surfaces of the internal pump components have been treated to increase durability. The device has demonstrated efficacy in five chronic sheep implantation studies of 14, 10, 28, 35, and 154 day duration. Post mortem findings from the 14 day experiment showed stable fibrin entangled around the impeller shaft and blades. After pump modification, autopsy findings of the 10 day study showed no evidence of clot. Additionally, the results of the 28 day experiment showed only a small (2.0 mm) ring of fibrin at the shaft-seal interface. In the 35 and 154 day experiments, redesign of the stators have resulted in improved motor corrosion resistance. The 35 day study showed a small, 0.5 mm wide fibrin deposit at the lip seal, but no motor failure. In the 154 day experiment, the motor failed because of stator fluid corrosion, while the explanted pump was devoid of thrombus. Based on these findings, the authors believe that these pump refinements have contributed significantly to improvements in durability and resistance to clot formation. PMID:8555619

  8. High molecular weight insulating polymers can improve the performance of molecular solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ye; Wen, Wen; Kramer, Edward; Bazan, Guillermo

    2014-03-01

    Solution-processed molecular semiconductors for the fabrication of solar cells have emerged as a competitive alternative to their conjugated polymer counterparts, primarily because such materials systems exhibit no batch-to-batch variability, can be purified to a greater extent and offer precisely defined chemical structures. Highest power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) have been achieved through a combination of molecular design and the application of processing methods that optimize the bulk heterojunction (BHJ) morphology. However, one finds that the methods used for controlling structural order, for example the use of high boiling point solvent additives, have been inspired by examination of the conjugated polymer literature. It stands to reason that a different class of morphology modifiers should be sought that address challenges unique to molecular films, including difficulties in obtaining thicker films and avoiding the dewetting of active photovoltaic layers. Here we show that the addition of small quantities of high molecular weight polystyrene (PS) is a very simple to use and economically viable additive that improves PCE. Remarkably, the PS spontaneously accumulates away from the electrodes as separate domains that do not interfere with charge extraction and collection or with the arrangement of the donor and acceptor domains in the BHJ blend.

  9. Optimization techniques in molecular structure and function elucidation.

    PubMed

    Sahinidis, Nikolaos V

    2009-12-01

    This paper discusses recent optimization approaches to the protein side-chain prediction problem, protein structural alignment, and molecular structure determination from X-ray diffraction measurements. The machinery employed to solve these problems has included algorithms from linear programming, dynamic programming, combinatorial optimization, and mixed-integer nonlinear programming. Many of these problems are purely continuous in nature. Yet, to this date, they have been approached mostly via combinatorial optimization algorithms that are applied to discrete approximations. The main purpose of the paper is to offer an introduction and motivate further systems approaches to these problems. PMID:20160866

  10. Applying field mapping refractive beam shapers to improve holographic techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laskin, Alexander; Williams, Gavin; McWilliam, Richard; Laskin, Vadim

    2012-03-01

    Performance of various holographic techniques can be essentially improved by homogenizing the intensity profile of the laser beam with using beam shaping optics, for example, the achromatic field mapping refractive beam shapers like πShaper. The operational principle of these devices presumes transformation of laser beam intensity from Gaussian to flattop one with high flatness of output wavefront, saving of beam consistency, providing collimated output beam of low divergence, high transmittance, extended depth of field, negligible residual wave aberration, and achromatic design provides capability to work with several laser sources with different wavelengths simultaneously. Applying of these beam shapers brings serious benefits to the Spatial Light Modulator based techniques like Computer Generated Holography or Dot-Matrix mastering of security holograms since uniform illumination of an SLM allows simplifying mathematical calculations and increasing predictability and reliability of the imaging results. Another example is multicolour Denisyuk holography when the achromatic πShaper provides uniform illumination of a field at various wavelengths simultaneously. This paper will describe some design basics of the field mapping refractive beam shapers and optical layouts of their applying in holographic systems. Examples of real implementations and experimental results will be presented as well.

  11. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Techniques for Person Characterization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrero, Salvador; Ivorra, Jose Luis; Garcia-Sogo, Magdalena; Martinez-Cortina, Carmen

    2008-01-01

    Using the traditional serological tests and the most novel techniques for DNA fingerprinting, forensic scientists scan different traits that vary from person to person and use the data to include or exclude suspects based on matching with the evidence obtained in a criminal case. Although the forensic application of these methods is well known,…

  12. Molecular imaging with optics: primer and case for near-infrared fluorescence techniques in personalized medicine

    PubMed Central

    Sevick-Muraca, Eva M.; Rasmussen, John C.

    2010-01-01

    We compare and contrast the development of optical molecular imaging techniques with nuclear medicine with a didactic emphasis for initiating readers into the field of molecular imaging. The nuclear imaging techniques of gamma scintigraphy, single-photon emission computed tomography, and positron emission tomography are first briefly reviewed. The molecular optical imaging techniques of bioluminescence and fluorescence using gene reporter/probes and gene reporters are described prior to introducing the governing factors of autofluorescence and excitation light leakage. The use of dual-labeled, near-infrared excitable and radio-labeled agents are described with comparative measurements between planar fluorescence and nuclear molecular imaging. The concept of time-independent and -dependent measurements is described with emphasis on integrating time-dependent measurements made in the frequency domain for 3-D tomography. Finally, we comment on the challenges and progress for translating near-infrared (NIR) molecular imaging agents for personalized medicine. PMID:19021311

  13. An improved astrometric calibration technique for space debris observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Rong-Yu; Zhao, Chang-Yin; Lu, Yao

    2016-02-01

    An optical survey is the main technique for detecting space debris. Due to the specific characteristics of observation, the pointing errors and tracking errors of the telescope as well as image degradation may be significant, which make it difficult for astrometric calibration. Here we present an improved method that corrects the pointing and tracking errors, and measures the image position precisely. The pipeline is tested on a number of CCD images obtained from a 1-m telescope administered by Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory while observing a GPS satellite. The results show that the position measurement error of the background stars is around 0.1 pixel, while the time cost for a single frame is about 7.5 s; hence the reliability and accuracy of our method are demonstrated. In addition, our method shows a versatile and feasible way to perform space debris observation utilizing non-dedicated telescopes, which means more sensors could be involved and the ability to perform surveys could be improved.

  14. Improving clinical decision support using data mining techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burn-Thornton, Kath E.; Thorpe, Simon I.

    1999-02-01

    Physicians, in their ever-demanding jobs, are looking to decision support systems for aid in clinical diagnosis. However, clinical decision support systems need to be of sufficiently high accuracy that they help, rather than hinder, the physician in his/her diagnosis. Decision support systems with accuracies, of patient state determination, of greater than 80 percent, are generally perceived to be sufficiently accurate to fulfill the role of helping the physician. We have previously shown that data mining techniques have the potential to provide the underpinning technology for clinical decision support systems. In this paper, an extension of the work in reverence 2, we describe how changes in data mining methodologies, for the analysis of 12-lead ECG data, improve the accuracy by which data mining algorithms determine which patients are suffering from heart disease. We show that the accuracy of patient state prediction, for all the algorithms, which we investigated, can be increased by up to 6 percent, using the combination of appropriate test training ratios and 5-fold cross-validation. The use of cross-validation greater than 5-fold, appears to reduce the improvement in algorithm classification accuracy gained by the use of this validation method. The accuracy of 84 percent in patient state predictions, obtained using the algorithm OCI, suggests that this algorithm will be capable of providing the required accuracy for clinical decision support systems.

  15. Improved mesh based photon sampling techniques for neutron activation analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Relson, E.; Wilson, P. P. H.; Biondo, E. D.

    2013-07-01

    The design of fusion power systems requires analysis of neutron activation of large, complex volumes, and the resulting particles emitted from these volumes. Structured mesh-based discretization of these problems allows for improved modeling in these activation analysis problems. Finer discretization of these problems results in large computational costs, which drives the investigation of more efficient methods. Within an ad hoc subroutine of the Monte Carlo transport code MCNP, we implement sampling of voxels and photon energies for volumetric sources using the alias method. The alias method enables efficient sampling of a discrete probability distribution, and operates in 0(1) time, whereas the simpler direct discrete method requires 0(log(n)) time. By using the alias method, voxel sampling becomes a viable alternative to sampling space with the 0(1) approach of uniformly sampling the problem volume. Additionally, with voxel sampling it is straightforward to introduce biasing of volumetric sources, and we implement this biasing of voxels as an additional variance reduction technique that can be applied. We verify our implementation and compare the alias method, with and without biasing, to direct discrete sampling of voxels, and to uniform sampling. We study the behavior of source biasing in a second set of tests and find trends between improvements and source shape, material, and material density. Overall, however, the magnitude of improvements from source biasing appears to be limited. Future work will benefit from the implementation of efficient voxel sampling - particularly with conformal unstructured meshes where the uniform sampling approach cannot be applied. (authors)

  16. Precision genetic modifications: a new era in molecular biology and crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Fichtner, Franziska; Urrea Castellanos, Reynel; Ülker, Bekir

    2014-04-01

    Recently, the use of programmable DNA-binding proteins such as ZFP/ZFNs, TALE/TALENs and CRISPR/Cas has produced unprecedented advances in gene targeting and genome editing in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. These advances allow researchers to specifically alter genes, reprogram epigenetic marks, generate site-specific deletions and potentially cure diseases. Unlike previous methods, these precision genetic modification techniques (PGMs) are specific, efficient, easy to use and economical. Here we discuss the capabilities and pitfalls of PGMs and highlight the recent, exciting applications of PGMs in molecular biology and crop genetic engineering. Further improvement of the efficiency and precision of PGM techniques will enable researchers to precisely alter gene expression and biological/chemical pathways, probe gene function, modify epigenetic marks and improve crops by increasing yield, quality and tolerance to limiting biotic and abiotic stress conditions. PMID:24510124

  17. Using "Pseudomonas Putida xylE" Gene to Teach Molecular Cloning Techniques for Undergraduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dong, Xu; Xin, Yi; Ye, Li; Ma, Yufang

    2009-01-01

    We have developed and implemented a serial experiment in molecular cloning laboratory course for undergraduate students majored in biotechnology. "Pseudomonas putida xylE" gene, encoding catechol 2, 3-dioxygenase, was manipulated to learn molecular biology techniques. The integration of cloning, expression, and enzyme assay gave students a chance…

  18. Advanced techniques for constrained internal coordinate molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Jeffrey R; Balaraman, Gouthaman S; Niesen, Michiel J M; Larsen, Adrien B; Jain, Abhinandan; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2013-04-30

    Internal coordinate molecular dynamics (ICMD) methods provide a more natural description of a protein by using bond, angle, and torsional coordinates instead of a Cartesian coordinate representation. Freezing high-frequency bonds and angles in the ICMD model gives rise to constrained ICMD (CICMD) models. There are several theoretical aspects that need to be developed to make the CICMD method robust and widely usable. In this article, we have designed a new framework for (1) initializing velocities for nonindependent CICMD coordinates, (2) efficient computation of center of mass velocity during CICMD simulations, (3) using advanced integrators such as Runge-Kutta, Lobatto, and adaptive CVODE for CICMD simulations, and (4) cancelling out the "flying ice cube effect" that sometimes arises in Nosé-Hoover dynamics. The Generalized Newton-Euler Inverse Mass Operator (GNEIMO) method is an implementation of a CICMD method that we have developed to study protein dynamics. GNEIMO allows for a hierarchy of coarse-grained simulation models based on the ability to rigidly constrain any group of atoms. In this article, we perform tests on the Lobatto and Runge-Kutta integrators to determine optimal simulation parameters. We also implement an adaptive coarse-graining tool using the GNEIMO Python interface. This tool enables the secondary structure-guided "freezing and thawing" of degrees of freedom in the molecule on the fly during molecular dynamics simulations and is shown to fold four proteins to their native topologies. With these advancements, we envision the use of the GNEIMO method in protein structure prediction, structure refinement, and in studying domain motion. PMID:23345138

  19. Miniaturization of molecular biological techniques for gene assay.

    PubMed

    Lien, Kang-Yi; Lee, Gwo-Bin

    2010-07-01

    The rapid diagnosis of various diseases is a critical advantage of many emerging biomedical tools. Due to advances in preventive medicine, tools for the accurate analysis of genetic mutation and associated hereditary diseases have attracted significant interests in recent years. The entire diagnostic process usually involves two critical steps, namely, sample pre-treatment and genetic analysis. The sample pre-treatment processes such as extraction and purification of the target nucleic acids prior to genetic analysis are essential in molecular diagnostics. The genetic analysis process may require specialized apparatus for nucleic acid amplification, sequencing and detection. Traditionally, pre-treatment of clinical biological samples (e.g. the extraction of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA)) and the analysis of genetic polymorphisms associated with genetic diseases are typically a lengthy and costly process. These labor-intensive and time-consuming processes usually result in a high-cost per diagnosis and hinder their practical applications. Besides, the accuracy of the diagnosis may be affected owing to potential contamination from manual processing. Alternatively, due to significant advances in micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) and microfluidic technology, there are numerous miniature systems employed in biomedical applications, especially for the rapid diagnosis of genetic diseases. A number of advantages including automation, compactness, disposability, portability, lower cost, shorter diagnosis time, lower sample and reagent consumption, and lower power consumption can be realized by using these microfluidic-based platforms. As a result, microfluidic-based systems are becoming promising platforms for genetic analysis, molecular biology and for the rapid detection of genetic diseases. In this review paper, microfluidic-based platforms capable of identifying genetic sequences and diagnosis of genetic mutations are surveyed and reviewed

  20. Phase improvement via the Phantom Derivative technique: ancils that are related to the target structure.

    PubMed

    Carrozzini, Benedetta; Cascarano, Giovanni Luca; Giacovazzo, Carmelo

    2016-04-01

    Density modification is a general standard technique which may be used to improve electron density derived from experimental phasing and also to refine densities obtained by ab initio approaches. Here, a novel method to expand density modification is presented, termed the Phantom derivative technique, which is based on non-existent structure factors and is of particular interest in molecular replacement. The Phantom derivative approach uses randomly generated ancil structures with the same unit cell as the target structure to create non-existent derivatives of the target structure, called phantom derivatives, which may be used for ab initio phasing or for refining the available target structure model. In this paper, it is supposed that a model electron density is available: it is shown that ancil structures related to the target obtained by shifting the target by origin-permissible translations may be employed to refine model phases. The method enlarges the concept of the ancil, is as efficient as the canonical approach using random ancils and significantly reduces the CPU refinement time. The results from many real test cases show that the proposed methods can substantially improve the quality of electron-density maps from molecular-replacement-based phases. PMID:27050134

  1. Correcting for Purifying Selection: An Improved Human Mitochondrial Molecular Clock

    PubMed Central

    Soares, Pedro; Ermini, Luca; Thomson, Noel; Mormina, Maru; Rito, Teresa; Röhl, Arne; Salas, Antonio; Oppenheimer, Stephen; Macaulay, Vincent; Richards, Martin B.

    2009-01-01

    There is currently no calibration available for the whole human mtDNA genome, incorporating both coding and control regions. Furthermore, as several authors have pointed out recently, linear molecular clocks that incorporate selectable characters are in any case problematic. We here confirm a modest effect of purifying selection on the mtDNA coding region and propose an improved molecular clock for dating human mtDNA, based on a worldwide phylogeny of > 2000 complete mtDNA genomes and calibrating against recent evidence for the divergence time of humans and chimpanzees. We focus on a time-dependent mutation rate based on the entire mtDNA genome and supported by a neutral clock based on synonymous mutations alone. We show that the corrected rate is further corroborated by archaeological dating for the settlement of the Canary Islands and Remote Oceania and also, given certain phylogeographic assumptions, by the timing of the first modern human settlement of Europe and resettlement after the Last Glacial Maximum. The corrected rate yields an age of modern human expansion in the Americas at ∼15 kya that—unlike the uncorrected clock—matches the archaeological evidence, but continues to indicate an out-of-Africa dispersal at around 55–70 kya, 5–20 ky before any clear archaeological record, suggesting the need for archaeological research efforts focusing on this time window. We also present improved rates for the mtDNA control region, and the first comprehensive estimates of positional mutation rates for human mtDNA, which are essential for defining mutation models in phylogenetic analyses. PMID:19500773

  2. Molecular techniques reveal high prevalence of Legionella in dental units.

    PubMed

    Williams, H N; Paszko-Kolva, C; Shahamat, M; Palmer, C; Pettis, C; Kelley, J

    1996-08-01

    Legionella bacteria are ubiquitous in freshwater aquatic systems, and humans are infected by them primarily through inhalation of contaminated aerosols. This study analyzed a total of 47 water samples from dental lines in private dental offices and university and hospital dental clinics for Legionella using the polymerase chain reaction, direct fluorescent antibody staining and culture techniques. The typical temperature of dental waterlines (23 C) combined with Legionella's ability to form biofilms, stagnation of the water in the lines and a low chlorine residual all potentially create a unique niche for this microorganism. PMID:8803394

  3. Detecting Molecular Properties by Various Laser-Based Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Hsin, Tse-Ming

    2007-01-01

    Four different laser-based techniques were applied to study physical and chemical characteristics of biomolecules and dye molecules. These techniques are liole burning spectroscopy, single molecule spectroscopy, time-resolved coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced fluorescence microscopy. Results from hole burning and single molecule spectroscopy suggested that two antenna states (C708 & C714) of photosystem I from cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 are connected by effective energy transfer and the corresponding energy transfer time is ~6 ps. In addition, results from hole burning spectroscopy indicated that the chlorophyll dimer of the C714 state has a large distribution of the dimer geometry. Direct observation of vibrational peaks and evolution of coumarin 153 in the electronic excited state was demonstrated by using the fs/ps CARS, a variation of time-resolved coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy. In three different solvents, methanol, acetonitrile, and butanol, a vibration peak related to the stretch of the carbonyl group exhibits different relaxation dynamics. Laser-induced fluorescence microscopy, along with the biomimetic containers-liposomes, allows the measurement of the enzymatic activity of individual alkaline phosphatase from bovine intestinal mucosa without potential interferences from glass surfaces. The result showed a wide distribution of the enzyme reactivity. Protein structural variation is one of the major reasons that are responsible for this highly heterogeneous behavior.

  4. Improved glucose utilization rate calculation by a recursive technique

    SciTech Connect

    Finn, E.J.; Brooks, R.A.; Di Chiro, G.

    1984-01-01

    When scanning with deoxyglucose, the crucial step in quantitation is the determination of glucose utilization rate, R, from tissue uptake data. R is conventionally calculated using nominal rate constants k/sub 1/-k/sub 4/, which are needed to correct for free deoxyglucose in the tissue at the time of the scan. In general, the resulting R is not consistent with these nominal rate constants, so the answer is necessarily in error. By adjusting the rate constants for consistency and then recalculating R, and repeating as necessary, an accuracy improvement should be obtained. The method reported here interates through modification of the third rate constant, k/sub 3/, since its value is determined by the hexokinase reaction which is considered to be the rate-limiting step. Data have been analyzed, taken from a representative sampling of the more than 150 patients scanned during the past year. It is seen that as glucose utilization rate moves away from the nominal rate for a subject, the self-consistency process developed by the iterative technique modified the quoted rate by an extra 2% per 10% change in R. Further, the percentage change in k/sub 3/ varies approximately linearly, but at a rate roughly twice that of the change in R. This modification indeed corresponds to an improvement in accuracy insofar as the enzymatic reaction described by k/sub 3/ is the primary source of change in glucose kinetics for the tissue in question. The same iterative procedure could be used with other assumptions about the way the rate constants vary.

  5. Improved Space Surveillance Network (SSN) Scheduling using Artificial Intelligence Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stottler, D.

    There are close to 20,000 cataloged manmade objects in space, the large majority of which are not active, functioning satellites. These are tracked by phased array and mechanical radars and ground and space-based optical telescopes, collectively known as the Space Surveillance Network (SSN). A better SSN schedule of observations could, using exactly the same legacy sensor resources, improve space catalog accuracy through more complementary tracking, provide better responsiveness to real-time changes, better track small debris in low earth orbit (LEO) through efficient use of applicable sensors, efficiently track deep space (DS) frequent revisit objects, handle increased numbers of objects and new types of sensors, and take advantage of future improved communication and control to globally optimize the SSN schedule. We have developed a scheduling algorithm that takes as input the space catalog and the associated covariance matrices and produces a globally optimized schedule for each sensor site as to what objects to observe and when. This algorithm is able to schedule more observations with the same sensor resources and have those observations be more complementary, in terms of the precision with which each orbit metric is known, to produce a satellite observation schedule that, when executed, minimizes the covariances across the entire space object catalog. If used operationally, the results would be significantly increased accuracy of the space catalog with fewer lost objects with the same set of sensor resources. This approach inherently can also trade-off fewer high priority tasks against more lower-priority tasks, when there is benefit in doing so. Currently the project has completed a prototyping and feasibility study, using open source data on the SSN's sensors, that showed significant reduction in orbit metric covariances. The algorithm techniques and results will be discussed along with future directions for the research.

  6. Bioluminescence: a versatile technique for imaging cellular and molecular features

    PubMed Central

    Paley, Miranda A.

    2016-01-01

    Bioluminescence is a ubiquitous imaging modality for visualizing biological processes in vivo. This technique employs visible light and interfaces readily with most cell and tissue types, making it a versatile technology for preclinical studies. Here we review basic bioluminescence imaging principles, along with applications of the technology that are relevant to the medicinal chemistry community. These include noninvasive cell tracking experiments, analyses of protein function, and methods to visualize small molecule metabolites. In each section, we also discuss how bioluminescent tools have revealed insights into experimental therapies and aided drug discovery. Last, we highlight the development of new bioluminescent tools that will enable more sensitive and multi-component imaging experiments and, thus, expand our broader understanding of living systems.

  7. Application of molecular techniques to the diagnosis of microsporidial infection.

    PubMed Central

    Fedorko, D. P.; Hijazi, Y. M.

    1996-01-01

    Microsporidia are now recognized as important pathogens of AIDS patients; the ability of these parasites to cause disease in immunocompetent persons is still being elucidated. Improved diagnostic tests for microsporidial infection are continually being sought for establishing diagnosis in order to avoid laborious electron microscopy studies that require invasively acquired biopsy specimens. Modified trichrome or chemofluorescent stains are useful for detecting microsporidia in bodily fluids and stool specimens, but they do not allow for speciation of microsporidia. Polymerase chain reaction with specific primers will allow the detection and speciation of microsporidia in biopsy tissue, bodily fluids, and stool specimens. PMID:8903228

  8. Advanced Techniques for Constrained Internal Coordinate Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Jeffrey R.; Balaraman, Gouthaman S.; Niesen, Michiel J. M.; Larsen, Adrien B.; Jain, Abhinandan; Vaidehi, Nagarajan

    2013-01-01

    Internal coordinate molecular dynamics (ICMD) methods provide a more natural description of a protein by using bond, angle and torsional coordinates instead of a Cartesian coordinate representation. Freezing high frequency bonds and angles in the ICMD model gives rise to constrained ICMD (CICMD) models. There are several theoretical aspects that need to be developed in order to make the CICMD method robust and widely usable. In this paper we have designed a new framework for 1) initializing velocities for non-independent CICMD coordinates, 2) efficient computation of center of mass velocity during CICMD simulations, 3) using advanced integrators such as Runge-Kutta, Lobatto and adaptive CVODE for CICMD simulations, and 4) cancelling out the “flying ice cube effect” that sometimes arises in Nosé-Hoover dynamics. The Generalized Newton-Euler Inverse Mass Operator (GNEIMO) method is an implementation of a CICMD method that we have developed to study protein dynamics. GNEIMO allows for a hierarchy of coarse-grained simulation models based on the ability to rigidly constrain any group of atoms. In this paper, we perform tests on the Lobatto and Runge-Kutta integrators to determine optimal simulation parameters. We also implement an adaptive coarse graining tool using the GNEIMO Python interface. This tool enables the secondary structure-guided “freezing and thawing” of degrees of freedom in the molecule on the fly during MD simulations, and is shown to fold four proteins to their native topologies. With these advancements we envision the use of the GNEIMO method in protein structure prediction, structure refinement, and in studying domain motion. PMID:23345138

  9. An improved technique for collection of human tears.

    PubMed

    Webster, H J; Kairys, D J

    1984-11-01

    While pursuing a study of lysozyme levels in human tears, the authors were dissatisfied with collection systems previously used. We therefore constructed a new, improved apparatus for tear collection using a thin, flexible polyethylene tube attached to a standard 25-gauge 1.0 cc tuberculin syringe. This system is superior to previously-designed apparati in that it permits the collection of a relatively large volume of tears in a short time without risking damage to delicate ocular structures. This promises to enhance the reliability of tear chemistry research without significantly adulterating the chemical composition of the samples. Typical results for total protein, levels of IgA and lysozyme, and Minimum-Inhibitory-Concentration bioassay of tears are presented to support the authors' position that standard chemical assays are not altered. An additional bonus inherent in this technique is the potential for obtaining larger populations of experimental subjects due to the low level of irritation that subjects experience when tears are sampled. This apparatus is easily amenable to clinical and medical diagnostic studies of tear chemistry in patients suffering from various eye diseases. PMID:6512146

  10. Improved Detection Technique for Solvent Rinse Cleanliness Verification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornung, S. D.; Beeson, H. D.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) has an ongoing effort to reduce or eliminate usage of cleaning solvents such as CFC-113 and its replacements. These solvents are used in the final clean and cleanliness verification processes for flight and ground support hardware, especially for oxygen systems where organic contaminants can pose an ignition hazard. For the final cleanliness verification in the standard process, the equivalent of one square foot of surface area of parts is rinsed with the solvent, and the final 100 mL of the rinse is captured. The amount of nonvolatile residue (NVR) in the solvent is determined by weight after the evaporation of the solvent. An improved process of sampling this rinse, developed at WSTF, requires evaporation of less than 2 mL of the solvent to make the cleanliness verification. Small amounts of the solvent are evaporated in a clean stainless steel cup, and the cleanliness of the stainless steel cup is measured using a commercially available surface quality monitor. The effectiveness of this new cleanliness verification technique was compared to the accepted NVR sampling procedures. Testing with known contaminants in solution, such as hydraulic fluid, fluorinated lubricants, and cutting and lubricating oils, was performed to establish a correlation between amount in solution and the process response. This report presents the approach and results and discusses the issues in establishing the surface quality monitor-based cleanliness verification.

  11. Improving default risk prediction using Bayesian model uncertainty techniques.

    PubMed

    Kazemi, Reza; Mosleh, Ali

    2012-11-01

    Credit risk is the potential exposure of a creditor to an obligor's failure or refusal to repay the debt in principal or interest. The potential of exposure is measured in terms of probability of default. Many models have been developed to estimate credit risk, with rating agencies dating back to the 19th century. They provide their assessment of probability of default and transition probabilities of various firms in their annual reports. Regulatory capital requirements for credit risk outlined by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision have made it essential for banks and financial institutions to develop sophisticated models in an attempt to measure credit risk with higher accuracy. The Bayesian framework proposed in this article uses the techniques developed in physical sciences and engineering for dealing with model uncertainty and expert accuracy to obtain improved estimates of credit risk and associated uncertainties. The approach uses estimates from one or more rating agencies and incorporates their historical accuracy (past performance data) in estimating future default risk and transition probabilities. Several examples demonstrate that the proposed methodology can assess default probability with accuracy exceeding the estimations of all the individual models. Moreover, the methodology accounts for potentially significant departures from "nominal predictions" due to "upsetting events" such as the 2008 global banking crisis. PMID:23163724

  12. Temperature and leakage aware techniques to improve cache reliability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akaaboune, Adil

    Decreasing power consumption in small devices such as handhelds, cell phones and high-performance processors is now one of the most critical design concerns. On-chip cache memories dominate the chip area in microprocessors and thus arises the need for power efficient cache memories. Cache is the simplest cost effective method to attain high speed memory hierarchy and, its performance is extremely critical for high speed computers. Cache is used by the microprocessor for channeling the performance gap between processor and main memory (RAM) hence the memory bandwidth is frequently a bottleneck which can affect the peak throughput significantly. In the design of any cache system, the tradeoffs of area/cost, performance, power consumption, and thermal management must be taken into consideration. Previous work has mainly concentrated on performance and area/cost constraints. More recent works have focused on low power design especially for portable devices and media-processing systems, however fewer research has been done on the relationship between heat management, Leakage power and cost per die. Lately, the focus of power dissipation in the new generations of microprocessors has shifted from dynamic power to idle power, a previously underestimated form of power loss that causes battery charge to drain and shutdown too early due the waste of energy. The problem has been aggravated by the aggressive scaling of process; device level method used originally by designers to enhance performance, conserve dissipation and reduces the sizes of digital circuits that are increasingly condensed. This dissertation studies the impact of hotspots, in the cache memory, on leakage consumption and microprocessor reliability and durability. The work will first prove that by eliminating hotspots in the cache memory, leakage power will be reduced and therefore, the reliability will be improved. The second technique studied is data quality management that improves the quality of the data

  13. Achieving molecular selectivity in imaging using multiphoton Raman spectroscopy techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Holtom, Gary R. ); Thrall, Brian D. ); Chin, Beek Yoke ); Wiley, H Steven ); Colson, Steven D. )

    2000-12-01

    In the case of most imaging methods, contrast is generated either by physical properties of the sample (Differential Image Contrast, Phase Contrast), or by fluorescent labels that are localized to a particular protein or organelle. Standard Raman and infrared methods for obtaining images are based upon the intrinsic vibrational properties of molecules, and thus obviate the need for attached flurophores. Unfortunately, they have significant limitations for live-cell imaging. However, an active Raman method, called Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS), is well suited for microscopy, and provides a new means for imaging specific molecules. Vibrational imaging techniques, such as CARS, avoid problems associated with photobleaching and photo-induced toxicity often associated with the use of fluorescent labels with live cells. Because the laser configuration needed to implement CARS technology is similar to that used in other multiphoton microscopy methods, such as two -photon fluorescence and harmonic generation, it is possible to combine imaging modalities, thus generating simultaneous CARS and fluorescence images. A particularly powerful aspect of CARS microscopy is its ability to selectively image deuterated compounds, thus allowing the visualization of molecules, such as lipids, that are chemically indistinguishable from the native species.

  14. Development of anti-viral agents using molecular modeling and virtual screening techniques.

    PubMed

    Kirchmair, Johannes; Distinto, Simona; Liedl, Klaus Roman; Markt, Patrick; Rollinger, Judith Maria; Schuster, Daniela; Spitzer, Gudrun Maria; Wolber, Gerhard

    2011-02-01

    Computational chemistry has always played a key role in anti-viral drug development. The challenges and the quickly rising public interest when a virus is becoming a threat has significantly influenced computational drug discovery. The most obvious example is anti-AIDS research, where HIV protease and reverse transcriptase have triggered enormous efforts in developing and improving computational methods. Methods applied to anti-viral research include (i) ligand-based approaches that rely on known active compounds to extrapolate biological activity, such as machine learning techniques or classical QSAR, (ii) structure-based methods that rely on an experimentally determined 3D structure of the targets, such as molecular docking or molecular dynamics, and (iii) universal approaches that can be applied in a structure- or ligand-based way, such as 3D QSAR or 3D pharmacophore elucidation. In this review we summarize these molecular modeling approaches as they were applied to fight anti-viral diseases and highlight their importance for anti-viral research. We discuss the role of computational chemistry in the development of small molecules as agents against HIV integrase, HIV-1 protease, HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, the influenza virus M2 channel protein, influenza virus neuraminidase, the SARS coronavirus main proteinase and spike protein, thymidine kinases of herpes viruses, hepatitis c virus proteins and other flaviviruses as well as human rhinovirus coat protein and proteases, and other picornaviridae. We highlight how computational approaches have helped in discovering anti-viral activities of natural products and give an overview on polypharmacology approaches that help to optimize drugs against several viruses or help to optimize the metabolic profile of and anti-viral drug. PMID:21303343

  15. Improved estimates of coordinate error for molecular replacement

    SciTech Connect

    Oeffner, Robert D.; Bunkóczi, Gábor; McCoy, Airlie J.; Read, Randy J.

    2013-11-01

    A function for estimating the effective root-mean-square deviation in coordinates between two proteins has been developed that depends on both the sequence identity and the size of the protein and is optimized for use with molecular replacement in Phaser. A top peak translation-function Z-score of over 8 is found to be a reliable metric of when molecular replacement has succeeded. The estimate of the root-mean-square deviation (r.m.s.d.) in coordinates between the model and the target is an essential parameter for calibrating likelihood functions for molecular replacement (MR). Good estimates of the r.m.s.d. lead to good estimates of the variance term in the likelihood functions, which increases signal to noise and hence success rates in the MR search. Phaser has hitherto used an estimate of the r.m.s.d. that only depends on the sequence identity between the model and target and which was not optimized for the MR likelihood functions. Variance-refinement functionality was added to Phaser to enable determination of the effective r.m.s.d. that optimized the log-likelihood gain (LLG) for a correct MR solution. Variance refinement was subsequently performed on a database of over 21 000 MR problems that sampled a range of sequence identities, protein sizes and protein fold classes. Success was monitored using the translation-function Z-score (TFZ), where a TFZ of 8 or over for the top peak was found to be a reliable indicator that MR had succeeded for these cases with one molecule in the asymmetric unit. Good estimates of the r.m.s.d. are correlated with the sequence identity and the protein size. A new estimate of the r.m.s.d. that uses these two parameters in a function optimized to fit the mean of the refined variance is implemented in Phaser and improves MR outcomes. Perturbing the initial estimate of the r.m.s.d. from the mean of the distribution in steps of standard deviations of the distribution further increases MR success rates.

  16. Improved molecular collision models for nonequilibrium rarefied gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Neal

    The Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method typically used to model thermochemical nonequilibrium rarefied gases requires accurate total collision cross sections, reaction probabilities, and molecular internal energy exchange models. However, the baseline total cross sections are often determined from extrapolations of relatively low-temperature viscosity data, reaction probabilities are defined such that experimentally determined equilibrium reaction rates are replicated, and internal energy relaxation models are phenomenological in nature. Therefore, these models have questionable validity in modeling strongly nonequilibrium gases with temperatures greater than those possible in experimental test facilities. To rectify this deficiency, the Molecular Dynamics/Quasi-Classical Trajectories (MD/QCT) method can be used to accurately compute total collision cross sections, reaction probabilities, and internal energy exchange models based on first principles for hypervelocity collision conditions. In this thesis, MD/QCT-based models were used to improve simulations of two unique nonequilibrium rarefied gas systems: the Ionian atmosphere and hypersonic shocks in Earth's atmosphere. The Jovian plasma torus flows over Io at ≈ 57 km/s, inducing high-speed collisions between atmospheric SO2 and the hypervelocity plasma's O atoms and ions. The DSMC method is well-suited to model the rarefied atmosphere, so MD/QCT studies are therefore conducted to improve DSMC collision models of the critical SO2-O collision pair. The MD/QCT trajectory simulations employed a new potential energy surface that was developed using a ReaxFF fit to a set of ab initio calculations. Compared to the MD/QCT results, the baseline DSMC models are found to significantly under-predict total cross sections, use reaction probabilities that are unrealistically high, and give unphysical internal energies above the dissociation energy for non-reacting inelastic collisions and under-predicts post

  17. Nanotechnology versus other techniques in improving drug dissolution.

    PubMed

    Kwok, Philip Chi Lip; Chan, Hak-Kim

    2014-01-01

    Many newly discovered drug molecules have low aqueous solubility, which results in low bioavailability. One way to improve their dissolution is to formulate them as nanoparticles, which have high specific surface areas, consequently increasing the dissolution rate and solubility. Nanoparticles can be produced via top-down or bottom-up methods. Top-down techniques such as wet milling and high pressure homogenisation involve reducing large particles to nano-sizes. Some pharmaceutical products made by these processes have been marketed. Bottom-up methods such as precipitation and controlled droplet evaporation form nanoparticles from molecules in solution. To minimise aggregation upon drying and promote redispersion of the nanoparticles upon reconstitution or administration, hydrophilic matrix formers are added to the formulation. However, the nanoparticles will eventually agglomerate together after dispersing in the liquid and hinders dissolution. Currently there is no pharmacopoeial method specified for nanoparticles. Amongst the current dissolution apparatus available for powders, the flow-through cell has been shown to be the most suitable. Regulatory and pharmacopoeial standards should be established in the future to standardise the dissolution testing of nanoparticles. More nanoparticle formulations of new hydrophobic drugs are expected to be developed in the future with the advancement of nanotechnology. However, the agglomeration problem is inherent and difficult to overcome. Thus the benefit of dissolution enhancement often cannot be fully realised. On the other hand, chemical strategies such as modifying the parent drug molecule to form a more soluble salt form, prodrug, or cyclodextrin complexation are well established and have been shown to be effective in enhancing dissolution. Thus the value of nanoformulations needs to be interpreted in the light of their limitations. Chemical approaches should also be considered in new product development. PMID

  18. Improved Experimental Techniques for Analyzing Nucleic Acid Transport Through Protein Nanopores in Planar Lipid Bilayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Justin A.

    The translocation of nucleic acid polymers across cell membranes is a fundamental requirement for complex life and has greatly contributed to genomic molecular evolution. The diversity of pathways that have evolved to transport DNA and RNA across membranes include protein receptors, active and passive transporters, endocytic and pinocytic processes, and various types of nucleic acid conducting channels known as nanopores. We have developed a series of experimental techniques, collectively known as "Wicking", that greatly improves the biophysical analysis of nucleic acid transport through protein nanopores in planar lipid bilayers. We have verified the Wicking method using numerous types of classical ion channels including the well-studied chloride selective channel, CLIC1. We used the Wicking technique to reconstitute α-hemolysin and found that DNA translocation events of types A and B could be routinely observed using this method. Furthermore, measurable differences were observed in the duration of blockade events as DNA length and composition was varied, consistent with previous reports. Finally, we tested the ability of the Wicking technology to reconstitute the dsRNA transporter Sid-1. Exposure to dsRNAs of increasing length and complexity showed measurable differences in the current transitions suggesting that the charge carrier was dsRNA. However, the translocation events occurred so infrequently that a meaningful electrophysiological analysis was not possible. Alterations in the lipid composition of the bilayer had a minor effect on the frequency of translocation events but not to such a degree as to permit rigorous statistical analysis. We conclude that in many instances the Wicking method is a significant improvement to the lipid bilayer technique, but is not an optimal method for analyzing transport through Sid-1. Further refinements to the Wicking method might have future applications in high throughput DNA sequencing, DNA computation, and

  19. Pitting corrosion monitoring with an improved electrochemical noise technique

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, J.F.; Shadley, J.; Rybicki, E.F.

    1999-11-01

    The electrochemical emission spectroscopy (EES) technique is a newly developed on-line corrosion monitoring technique, which is capable of detecting localized corrosion as well as measuring uniform corrosion. The main difference between this technique and the traditional electrochemical noise technique is the use of an inert microelectrode to sense the current signal from a working electrode instead of using two identical working electrodes to generate the current signal. In this paper, the ability of the EES technique is evaluated for pitting corrosion monitoring. Pitting corrosion is generated on three systems: stainless steel types 304 and 316 in aerated 3% NaCl solution at 50 C and stainless steel type 304 in 6% FeCl{sub 3} solution at room temperature. In all cases, the on-set of pitting corrosion is clearly indicated in both potential and current spectrums. A parameter called the corrosion admittance, which is defined in the EES technique, is capable of indicating instantaneous localized corrosion activities.

  20. Functional characterisation of metal(loid) processes in planta through the integration of synchrotron techniques and plant molecular biology

    PubMed Central

    Donner, Erica; Punshon, Tracy; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Lombi, Enzo

    2013-01-01

    Functional characterisation of the genes regulating metal(loid) homeostasis in plants is a major focus of crop biofortification, phytoremediation, and food security research. This paper focuses on the potential for advancing plant metal(loid) research by combining molecular biology and synchrotron-based techniques. Recent advances in x-ray focussing optics and fluorescence detection have greatly improved the potential of synchrotron techniques for plant science research, allowing metal(loids) to be imaged in vivo in hydrated plant tissues at sub-micron resolution. Laterally resolved metal(loid) speciation can also be determined. By using molecular techniques to probe the location of gene expression and protein localisation and combining it with this synchrotron-derived data, functional information can be effectively and efficiently assigned to specific genes. This paper provides a review of the state of the art in this field, and provides examples as to how synchrotron-based methods can be combined with molecular techniques to facilitate functional characterisation of genes in planta. PMID:22200921

  1. Development of radiation dose reduction techniques for cadmium zinc telluride detectors in molecular breast imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Michael K.; Hruska, Carrie B.; Weinmann, Amanda; Manduca, Armando; Rhodes, Deborah J.

    2010-08-01

    Background: Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is a novel breast imaging technique that uses Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) gamma cameras to detect the uptake of Tc-99m sestamibi in breast tumors. Current techniques employ an administered dose of 20-30 mCi Tc-99m, delivering an effective dose of 6.5-10 mSv to the body. This is ~ 5-10 times that of mammography. The goal of this study was to reduce the radiation dose by a factor of 5-10, while maintaining image quality. Methods: A total of 4 dose reduction schemes were evaluated - a) optimized collimation, b) improved utilization of the energy spectrum below the photopeak, c) adaptive geometric mean algorithm developed for combination of images from opposing detectors, and d) non local means filtering (NLMF) for noise reduction and image enhancement. Validation of the various schemes was performed using a breast phantom containing a variety of tumors and containing activity matched to that observed in clinical studies. Results: Development of tungsten collimators with holes matched to the CZT pixels yielded a 2.1-2.9 gain in system sensitivity. Improved utilization of the energy spectra yielded a 1.5-2.0 gain in sensitivity. Development of a modified geometric mean algorithm yielded a 1.4 reduction in image noise, while retaining contrast. Images of the breast phantom demonstrated that a factor of 5 reduction in dose was achieved. Additional refinements to the NLMF should enable an additional factor of 2 reduction in dose. Conclusion: Significant dose reduction in MBI to levels comparable to mammography can be achieved while maintaining image quality.

  2. IMPROVED TECHNIQUE FOR ESTIMATING MEAN DEPTHS OF LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The authors describe a technique for determining mean lake depth utilizing a systematically aligned dot grid. This technique is, on the average, 55% faster than the traditional planimeter methods, depending on the type of planimeter and the size and complexity of the lake. No det...

  3. Low-mass molecular dynamics simulation: A simple and generic technique to enhance configurational sampling

    SciTech Connect

    Pang, Yuan-Ping

    2014-09-26

    Highlights: • Reducing atomic masses by 10-fold vastly improves sampling in MD simulations. • CLN025 folded in 4 of 10 × 0.5-μs MD simulations when masses were reduced by 10-fold. • CLN025 folded as early as 96.2 ns in 1 of the 4 simulations that captured folding. • CLN025 did not fold in 10 × 0.5-μs MD simulations when standard masses were used. • Low-mass MD simulation is a simple and generic sampling enhancement technique. - Abstract: CLN025 is one of the smallest fast-folding proteins. Until now it has not been reported that CLN025 can autonomously fold to its native conformation in a classical, all-atom, and isothermal–isobaric molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. This article reports the autonomous and repeated folding of CLN025 from a fully extended backbone conformation to its native conformation in explicit solvent in multiple 500-ns MD simulations at 277 K and 1 atm with the first folding event occurring as early as 66.1 ns. These simulations were accomplished by using AMBER forcefield derivatives with atomic masses reduced by 10-fold on Apple Mac Pros. By contrast, no folding event was observed when the simulations were repeated using the original AMBER forcefields of FF12SB and FF14SB. The results demonstrate that low-mass MD simulation is a simple and generic technique to enhance configurational sampling. This technique may propel autonomous folding of a wide range of miniature proteins in classical, all-atom, and isothermal–isobaric MD simulations performed on commodity computers—an important step forward in quantitative biology.

  4. Improved technique for CT-guided celiac ganglia block

    SciTech Connect

    Haaga, J.R.; Kori, S.H.; Eastwood, D.W.; Borowski, G.P.

    1984-06-01

    Celiac nerve blocks have been performed without radiologic guidance, but recently several groups have reported computed tomography (CT)-guided techniques. The authors present a new technique of CT-guided celiac nerve block using an 18 gauge Teflon catheter, which permits a test block dose and permanent alcohol block with one procedure. The results of this new technique were very encouraging. Of nine cancer patients who had the test block, seven had good pain relief; these same patients had good pain control with the permanent block. Of six patients with pancreatitis, six had good pain relief from the test block, and three had some long-term relief from the permanent block.

  5. New insight into biodegradation of polylactide (PLA)/clay nanocomposites using molecular ecological techniques.

    PubMed

    Sangwan, Parveen; Way, Cameron; Wu, Dong-Yang

    2009-07-01

    Novel molecular ecological techniques were used to study changes in microbial community structure and population during degradation of polylactide (PLA)/organically modified layered silicates (OMLS) nanocomposites. Cloned gene sequences belonging to members of the phyla Actinobacteria and Ascomycota comprized the most dominant groups of microorganisms during biodegradation of PLA/OMLS nanocomposites. Due to their numerical abundance, members of these microbial groups are likely to play an important role during biodegradation process. This paper presents new insights into the biodegradability of PLA/OMLS nanocomposites and highlights the importance of using novel molecular ecological techniques for in situ identification of new microorganisms involved in biodegradation of polymeric materials. PMID:19148900

  6. Improving Examination Performance through the Clenched Fist Technique.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanton, Harry E.

    1988-01-01

    The literature on the use of hypnosis in an educational setting is briefly reviewed, and a hypnotic approach involving the use of the clenched fist as a conditioned trigger to improve examination performance is described. A study of 60 high school students indicates that the approach can improve test outcomes. (TJH)

  7. An improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Ling Ti; Denniston, Colin; Müser, Martin H.

    2011-02-01

    This work presents an improved version of the Green's function molecular dynamics method (Kong et al., 2009; Campañá and Müser, 2004 [1,2]), which enables one to study the elastic response of a three-dimensional solid to an external stress field by taking into consideration only atoms near the surface. In the previous implementation, the effective elastic coefficients measured at the Γ-point were altered to reduce finite size effects: their eigenvalues corresponding to the acoustic modes were set to zero. This scheme was found to work well for simple Bravais lattices as long as only atoms within the last layer were treated as Green's function atoms. However, it failed to function as expected in all other cases. It turns out that a violation of the acoustic sum rule for the effective elastic coefficients at Γ (Kong, 2010 [3]) was responsible for this behavior. In the new version, the acoustic sum rule is enforced by adopting an iterative procedure, which is found to be physically more meaningful than the previous one. In addition, the new algorithm allows one to treat lattices with bases and the Green's function slab is no longer confined to one layer. New version program summaryProgram title: FixGFC/FixGFMD v1.12 Catalogue identifier: AECW_v1_1 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AECW_v1_1.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 206 436 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 4 314 850 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C++ Computer: All Operating system: Linux Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: Yes. Code has been parallelized using MPI directives. RAM: Depends on the problem Classification: 7.7 External routines: LAMMPS ( http://lammps.sandia.gov/), MPI ( http

  8. External Quality Assessment for the Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in Urine Using Molecular Techniques in Belgium

    PubMed Central

    China, Bernard; Vernelen, Kris

    2015-01-01

    Chlamydia trachomatis is a major cause of sexually transmitted bacterial disease worldwide. C. trachomatis is an intracellular bacterium and its growth in vitro requires cell culture facilities. The diagnosis is based on antigen detection and more recently on molecular nucleic acid amplification techniques (NAAT) that are considered fast, sensitive, and specific. In Belgium, External Quality Assessment (EQA) for the detection of C. trachomatis in urine by NAAT was introduced in 2008. From January 2008 to June 2012, nine surveys were organized. Fifty-eight laboratories participated in at least one survey. The EQA panels included positive and negative samples. The overall accuracy was 75.4%, the overall specificity was 97.6%, and the overall sensitivity was 71.4%. Two major issues were observed: the low sensitivity (45.3%) for the detection of low concentration samples and the incapacity of several methods to detect the Swedish variant of C. trachomatis. The reassuring point was that the overall proficiency of the Belgian laboratories tended to improve over time. PMID:26316982

  9. Molecular breast imaging: advantages and limitations of a scintimammographic technique in patients with small breast tumors.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Michael K; Phillips, Stephen W; Hruska, Carrie B; Rhodes, Deborah J; Collins, Douglas A

    2007-01-01

    Preliminary studies from our laboratory showed that molecular breast imaging (MBI) can reliably detect tumors <2 cm in diameter. This study extends our work to a larger patient population and examines the technical factors that influence the ability of MBI to detect small breast tumors. Following injection of 740 MBq Tc-99m sestamibi, MBI was performed on 100 patients scheduled for biopsy of a lesion suspicious for malignancy that measured <2 cm on mammography or sonography. Using a small field of view gamma camera, patients were imaged in the standard mammographic views using light pain-free compression. Subjective discomfort, breast thickness, the amount of breast tissue in the detector field of view, and breast counts per unit area were measured and recorded. Follow-up was obtained in 99 patients; 53 patients had 67 malignant tumors confirmed at surgery. Of these, 57 of 67 were detected by MBI (sensitivity 85%). Sensitivity was 29%, 86%, and 97% for tumors <5, 6-10, and > or =11 mm in diameter, respectively. In seven patients, MBI identified eight additional mammographically occult tumors. Of 47 patients with no evidence of cancer at biopsy or surgery, there were 36 true negative and 11 false positive scans on MBI. MBI has potential for the regular detection of malignant breast tumors less than 2 cm in diameter. Work in progress to optimize the imaging parameters and technique may further improve sensitivity and specificity. PMID:17214787

  10. Commitment to Study as a Technique to Improve Exam Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leeming, Frank C.

    1997-01-01

    Reports on a technique that could increase study time by reducing procrastination. Randomly selected college students (N=197) made written commitments to study for an exam. Students in the commitment condition reported significantly more study time than did students in a control group; they also performed significantly better on the exam. (RJM)

  11. Improved techniques of parallel gap welding and monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mardesich, N.; Gillanders, M. S.

    1984-01-01

    Welding programs which show that parallel gas welding is a reliable process are discussed. When monitoring controls and nondestructive tests are incorporated into the process, parallel gap welding becomes more reliable and cost effective. The panel fabrication techniques and the HAC thermal cycling test indicate reliable product integrity. The design and building of automated tooling and fixturing for welding are discussed.

  12. Laboratory technique for coloring titanium abutments to improve esthetics.

    PubMed

    Wadhwani, Chandur P K; O'Brien, Richard; Kattadiyil, Mathew T; Chung, Kwok-Hung

    2016-04-01

    Titanium alloys are used for implant abutments onto which prostheses are attached. One major disadvantage of titanium abutments is their esthetics; the metallic gray color may show through the restorative material or through surrounding tissues. A laboratory technique using readily available household items is described that can alter the abutment color by anodization. PMID:26723096

  13. Integrative Teaching Techniques and Improvement of German Speaking Learning Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Litualy, Samuel Jusuf

    2016-01-01

    This research ist a Quasi-Experimental research which only applied to one group without comparison group. It aims to prove whether the implementation of integrative teaching technique has influenced the speaking skill of the students in German Education Study Program of FKIP, Pattimura University. The research was held in the German Education…

  14. Improving Word Learning in Children Using an Errorless Technique

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warmington, Meesha; Hitch, Graham J.; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    The current experiment examined the relative advantage of an errorless learning technique over an errorful one in the acquisition of novel names for unfamiliar objects in typically developing children aged between 7 and 9 years. Errorless learning led to significantly better learning than did errorful learning. Processing speed and vocabulary…

  15. Improved wax mold technique forms complex passages in solid structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hellbaum, R. F.; Page, A. D.; Phillips, A. R.

    1971-01-01

    Low-cost fabricating technique produces minute, complex air passages in fluidic devices. Air jet interactions in these function as electronic and electromechanical control systems. Wax cores are fabricated without distortion by two-wax process using nonsoluble pattern-wax and water-soluble wax. Significant steps in fabrication process are discussed.

  16. Improved Techniques for Automatic Chord Recognition from Music Audio Signals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cho, Taemin

    2014-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with the development of techniques that facilitate the effective implementation of capable automatic chord transcription from music audio signals. Since chord transcriptions can capture many important aspects of music, they are useful for a wide variety of music applications and also useful for people who learn and perform…

  17. Ideas for Improving Your Classroom and Meeting Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doering, F. J.

    Various methods of meeting and classroom techniques are presented in this booklet. It is aimed at teachers and advisors seeking innovative ideas to encourage student interest and participation in the classroom. The methods examined include the lecture or speech, group discussion, panel discussion, colloquy, role playing, buzz session, forum,…

  18. The GenTechnique Project: Developing an Open Environment for Learning Molecular Genetics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calza, R. E.; Meade, J. T.

    1998-01-01

    The GenTechnique project at Washington State University uses a networked learning environment for molecular genetics learning. The project is developing courseware featuring animation, hyper-link controls, and interactive self-assessment exercises focusing on fundamental concepts. The first pilot course featured a Web-based module on DNA…

  19. Molecular techniques in the biotechnological fight against halogenated compounds in anoxic environments

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Chang; He, Jianzhong

    2012-01-01

    Summary Microbial treatment of environmental contamination by anthropogenic halogenated organic compounds has become popular in recent decades, especially in the subsurface environments. Molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction‐based fingerprinting methods have been extensively used to closely monitor the presence and activities of dehalogenating microbes, which also lead to the discovery of new dehalogenating bacteria and novel functional genes. Nowadays, traditional molecular techniques are being further developed and optimized for higher sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy to better fit the contexts of dehalogenation. On the other hand, newly developed high throughput techniques, such as microarray and next‐generation sequencing, provide unsurpassed detection ability, which has enabled large‐scale comparative genomic and whole‐genome transcriptomic analysis. The aim of this review is to summarize applications of various molecular tools in the field of microbially mediated dehalogenation of various halogenated organic compounds. It is expected that traditional molecular techniques and nucleic‐acid‐based biomarkers will still be favoured in the foreseeable future because of relative low costs and high flexibility. Collective analyses of metagenomic sequencing data are still in need of information from individual dehalogenating strains and functional reductive dehalogenase genes in order to draw reliable conclusions. PMID:22070763

  20. Machine learning for molecular scattering dynamics: Gaussian Process models for improved predictions of molecular collision observables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krems, Roman; Cui, Jie; Li, Zhiying

    2016-05-01

    We show how statistical learning techniques based on kriging (Gaussian Process regression) can be used for improving the predictions of classical and/or quantum scattering theory. In particular, we show how Gaussian Process models can be used for: (i) efficient non-parametric fitting of multi-dimensional potential energy surfaces without the need to fit ab initio data with analytical functions; (ii) obtaining scattering observables as functions of individual PES parameters; (iii) using classical trajectories to interpolate quantum results; (iv) extrapolation of scattering observables from one molecule to another; (v) obtaining scattering observables with error bars reflecting the inherent inaccuracy of the underlying potential energy surfaces. We argue that the application of Gaussian Process models to quantum scattering calculations may potentially elevate the theoretical predictions to the same level of certainty as the experimental measurements and can be used to identify the role of individual atoms in determining the outcome of collisions of complex molecules. We will show examples and discuss the applications of Gaussian Process models to improving the predictions of scattering theory relevant for the cold molecules research field. Work supported by NSERC of Canada.

  1. Discriminating coastal rangeland production and improvements with computer aided techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reeves, C. A.; Faulkner, D. P.

    1975-01-01

    The feasibility and utility of using satellite data and computer-aided remote sensing analysis techniques to conduct range inventories were tested. This pilot study was focused over a 250,000 acre site in Galveston and Brazoria Counties along the Texas Gulf Coast. Rectified enlarged aircraft color infrared photographs of this site were used as the ground truth base. The different land categories were identified, delineated, and measured. Multispectral scanner (MSS) bulk data from LANDSAT-1 was received and analyzed with the Image 100 pattern recognition system. Features of interest were delineated on the image console giving the number of picture elements classified; the picture elements were converted to acreages and the accuracy of the technique was evaluated by comparison with data base results for three test sites. The accuracies for computer aided classification of coastal marshes ranged from 89% to 96%.

  2. Molecular tagging techniques and their applications to the study of complex thermal flow phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Fang; Li, Haixing; Hu, Hui

    2015-08-01

    This review article reports the recent progress in the development of a new group of molecule-based flow diagnostic techniques, which include molecular tagging velocimetry (MTV) and molecular tagging thermometry (MTT), for both qualitative flow visualization of thermally induced flow structures and quantitative whole-field measurements of flow velocity and temperature distributions. The MTV and MTT techniques can also be easily combined to result in a so-called molecular tagging velocimetry and thermometry (MTV&T) technique, which is capble of achieving simultaneous measurements of flow velocity and temperature distribution in fluid flows. Instead of using tiny particles, the molecular tagging techniques (MTV, MTT, and MTV&T) use phosphorescent molecules, which can be turned into long-lasting glowing marks upon excitation by photons of appropriate wavelength, as the tracers for the flow velocity and temperature measurements. The unique attraction and implementation of the molecular tagging techniques are demonstrated by three application examples, which include: (1) to quantify the unsteady heat transfer process from a heated cylinder to the surrounding fluid flow in order to examine the thermal effects on the wake instabilities behind the heated cylinder operating in mixed and forced heat convection regimes, (2) to reveal the time evolution of unsteady heat transfer and phase changing process inside micro-sized, icing water droplets in order to elucidate the underlying physics pertinent to aircraft icing phenomena, and (3) to achieve simultaneous droplet size, velocity and temperature measurements of "in-flight" droplets to characterize the dynamic and thermodynamic behaviors of flying droplets in spray flows.

  3. Feedback to achieve improved sign-out technique.

    PubMed

    Doers, Matthew E; Beniwal-Patel, Poonam; Kuester, Jessica; Fletcher, Kathlyn E

    2015-01-01

    To maximize the quality of sign-out documents within the internal medicine residency, a quality improvement intervention was developed and implemented. Written sign-outs were collected from general medicine ward teams and graded using an 11-point checklist; in-person feedback was then given directly to the ward teams. Documentation of many of the 11 elements improved: mental status (22% to 66%, P < .0001), decisionality (40% to 66%, P < .0001), lab/test results (63% to 69%, P < .0001), level of acuity (34% to 50%, P < .0001), anticipatory guidance (69% to 82%, P < .0001), and future plans (35% to 38%, P < .0005). The use of vague language declined (41% to 26%, P < .0001). The mean total scores improved from 7.0 to 8.2 out of a possible 11 (P < .0001). As new house staff rotated onto the services, improvement over time was sustained with 1 feedback session per team, per month. Similar interventions could be made in other programs and other institutions. PMID:24878514

  4. Development and validation of techniques for improving software dependability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knight, John C.

    1992-01-01

    A collection of document abstracts are presented on the topic of improving software dependability through NASA grant NAG-1-1123. Specific topics include: modeling of error detection; software inspection; test cases; Magnetic Stereotaxis System safety specifications and fault trees; and injection of synthetic faults into software.

  5. IMPROVED TECHNIQUES FOR REMOVAL OF SEDIMENTS CONTAMINATED WITH HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Realizing the need to improve the capabilities of response personnel in dealing with cleanup operations involving contaminated sediments, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have jointly funded a research project to: (a) identify, characterize, and c...

  6. Techniques for Improving Filters in Power Grid Contingency Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Adolf, Robert D.; Haglin, David J.; Halappanavar, Mahantesh; Chen, Yousu; Huang, Zhenyu

    2011-12-31

    In large-scale power transmission systems, predicting faults and preemptively taking corrective action to avoid them is essential to preventing rolling blackouts. The computational study of the constantly-shifting state of the power grid and its weaknesses is called contingency analysis. Multiple-contingency planning in the electrical grid is one example of a complex monitoring system where a full computational solution is operationally infeasible. We present a general framework for building and evaluating resource-aware models of filtering techniques for this type of monitoring.

  7. Improved analysis techniques for cylindrical and spherical double probes

    SciTech Connect

    Beal, Brian; Brown, Daniel; Bromaghim, Daron; Johnson, Lee; Blakely, Joseph

    2012-07-15

    A versatile double Langmuir probe technique has been developed by incorporating analytical fits to Laframboise's numerical results for ion current collection by biased electrodes of various sizes relative to the local electron Debye length. Application of these fits to the double probe circuit has produced a set of coupled equations that express the potential of each electrode relative to the plasma potential as well as the resulting probe current as a function of applied probe voltage. These equations can be readily solved via standard numerical techniques in order to determine electron temperature and plasma density from probe current and voltage measurements. Because this method self-consistently accounts for the effects of sheath expansion, it can be readily applied to plasmas with a wide range of densities and low ion temperature (T{sub i}/T{sub e} Much-Less-Than 1) without requiring probe dimensions to be asymptotically large or small with respect to the electron Debye length. The presented approach has been successfully applied to experimental measurements obtained in the plume of a low-power Hall thruster, which produced a quasineutral, flowing xenon plasma during operation at 200 W on xenon. The measured plasma densities and electron temperatures were in the range of 1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 12}-1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 17} m{sup -3} and 0.5-5.0 eV, respectively. The estimated measurement uncertainty is +6%/-34% in density and +/-30% in electron temperature.

  8. Improved analysis techniques for cylindrical and spherical double probes.

    PubMed

    Beal, Brian; Johnson, Lee; Brown, Daniel; Blakely, Joseph; Bromaghim, Daron

    2012-07-01

    A versatile double Langmuir probe technique has been developed by incorporating analytical fits to Laframboise's numerical results for ion current collection by biased electrodes of various sizes relative to the local electron Debye length. Application of these fits to the double probe circuit has produced a set of coupled equations that express the potential of each electrode relative to the plasma potential as well as the resulting probe current as a function of applied probe voltage. These equations can be readily solved via standard numerical techniques in order to determine electron temperature and plasma density from probe current and voltage measurements. Because this method self-consistently accounts for the effects of sheath expansion, it can be readily applied to plasmas with a wide range of densities and low ion temperature (T(i)/T(e) ≪ 1) without requiring probe dimensions to be asymptotically large or small with respect to the electron Debye length. The presented approach has been successfully applied to experimental measurements obtained in the plume of a low-power Hall thruster, which produced a quasineutral, flowing xenon plasma during operation at 200 W on xenon. The measured plasma densities and electron temperatures were in the range of 1 × 10(12)-1 × 10(17) m(-3) and 0.5-5.0 eV, respectively. The estimated measurement uncertainty is +6%∕-34% in density and +∕-30% in electron temperature. PMID:22852694

  9. Using ICT techniques for improving mechatronic systems' dependability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miron, Emanuel; Silva, João P. M. A.; Machado, José; Olaru, Dumitru; Prisacaru, Gheorghe

    2013-10-01

    The use of analysis techniques for industrial controller's analysis, such as Simulation and Formal Verification, is complex on industrial context. This complexity is due to the fact that such techniques require sometimes high investment in specific skilled human resources that have sufficient theoretical knowledge in those domains. This paper aims, mainly, to show that it is possible to obtain a timed automata model for formal verification purposes, considering the CAD model of a mechanical component. This systematic approach can be used, by companies, for the analysis of industrial controllers programs. For this purpose, it is discussed, in the paper, the best way to systematize these procedures, and this paper describes, only, the first step of a complex process and promotes a discussion of the main difficulties that can be found and a possibility for handle those difficulties. A library for formal verification purposes is obtained from original 3D CAD models using Software as a Service platform (SaaS) that, nowadays, has become a common deliverable model for many applications, because SaaS is typically accessed by users via internet access.

  10. Charge transport in molecular junctions: From tunneling to hopping with the probe technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilgour, Michael; Segal, Dvira

    2015-07-01

    We demonstrate that a simple phenomenological approach can be used to simulate electronic conduction in molecular wires under thermal effects induced by the surrounding environment. This "Landauer-Büttiker's probe technique" can properly replicate different transport mechanisms, phase coherent nonresonant tunneling, ballistic behavior, and hopping conduction. Specifically, our simulations with the probe method recover the following central characteristics of charge transfer in molecular wires: (i) the electrical conductance of short wires falls off exponentially with molecular length, a manifestation of the tunneling (superexchange) mechanism. Hopping dynamics overtakes superexchange in long wires demonstrating an ohmic-like behavior. (ii) In off-resonance situations, weak dephasing effects facilitate charge transfer, but under large dephasing, the electrical conductance is suppressed. (iii) At high enough temperatures, kBT/ɛB > 1/25, with ɛB as the molecular-barrier height, the current is enhanced by a thermal activation (Arrhenius) factor. However, this enhancement takes place for both coherent and incoherent electrons and it does not readily indicate on the underlying mechanism. (iv) At finite-bias, dephasing effects may impede conduction in resonant situations. We further show that memory (non-Markovian) effects can be implemented within the Landauer-Büttiker's probe technique to model the interaction of electrons with a structured environment. Finally, we examine experimental results of electron transfer in conjugated molecular wires and show that our computational approach can reasonably reproduce reported values to provide mechanistic information.

  11. Molecular bases and improvement of heat tolerance in crop plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High temperature is a major constraint to crop productivity, causing substantial reductions in yield and quality, and expected to become a more devastating factor due to global warming. A better understanding of molecular mechanisms of tolerance to high temperatures is necessary for designing and de...

  12. Improved ceramic slip casting technique. [application to aircraft model fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buck, Gregory M. (Inventor); Vasquez, Peter (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    A primary concern in modern fluid dynamics research is the experimental verification of computational aerothermodynamic codes. This research requires high precision and detail in the test model employed. Ceramic materials are used for these models because of their low heat conductivity and their survivability at high temperatures. To fabricate such models, slip casting techniques were developed to provide net-form, precision casting capability for high-purity ceramic materials in aqueous solutions. In previous slip casting techniques, block, or flask molds made of plaster-of-paris were used to draw liquid from the slip material. Upon setting, parts were removed from the flask mold and cured in a kiln at high temperatures. Casting detail was usually limited with this technique -- detailed parts were frequently damaged upon separation from the flask mold, as the molded parts are extremely delicate in the uncured state, and the flask mold is inflexible. Ceramic surfaces were also marred by 'parting lines' caused by mold separation. This adversely affected the aerodynamic surface quality of the model as well. (Parting lines are invariably necessary on or near the leading edges of wings, nosetips, and fins for mold separation. These areas are also critical for flow boundary layer control.) Parting agents used in the casting process also affected surface quality. These agents eventually soaked into the mold, the model, or flaked off when releasing the case model. Different materials were tried, such as oils, paraffin, and even an algae. The algae released best, but some of it remained on the model and imparted an uneven texture and discoloration on the model surface when cured. According to the present invention, a wax pattern for a shell mold is provided, and an aqueous mixture of a calcium sulfate-bonded investment material is applied as a coating to the wax pattern. The coated wax pattern is then dried, followed by curing to vaporize the wax pattern and leave a shell

  13. Ear surgery techniques results on hearing threshold improvement

    PubMed Central

    Mokhtarinejad, Farhad; Pour, Saeed Soheili; Nilforoush, Mohammad Hussein; Sepehrnejad, Mahsa; Mirelahi, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Background: Bone conduction (BC) threshold depression is not always by means of sensory neural hearing loss and sometimes it is an artifact caused by middle ear pathologies and ossicular chain problems. In this research, the influences of ear surgeries on bone conduction were evaluated. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted as a clinical trial study. The ear surgery performed on 83 patients classified in four categories: Stapedectomy, tympanomastoid surgery and ossicular reconstruction partially or totally; Partial Ossicular Replacement Prosthesis (PORP) and Total Ossicular Replacement Prosthesis (TORP). Bone conduction thresholds assessed in frequencies of 250, 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz pre and post the surgery. Results: In stapedectomy group, the average of BC threshold in all frequencies improved approximately 6 dB in frequency of 2000 Hz. In tympanomastoid group, BC threshold in the frequency of 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz changed 4 dB (P-value < 0.05). Moreover, In the PORP group, 5 dB enhancement was seen in 1000 and 2000 Hz. In TORP group, the results confirmed that BC threshold improved in all frequencies especially at 4000 Hz about 6.5 dB. Conclusion: In according to results of this study, BC threshold shift was seen after several ear surgeries such as stapedectomy, tympanoplasty, PORP and TORP. The average of BC improvement was approximately 5 dB. It must be considered that BC depression might happen because of ossicular chain problems. Therefore; by resolving middle ear pathologies, the better BC threshold was obtained, the less hearing problems would be faced. PMID:24381615

  14. Advanced Measurement and Modeling Techniques for Improved SOFC Cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Stuart Adler; L. Dunyushkina; S. Huff; Y. Lu; J. Wilson

    2006-12-31

    The goal of this project was to develop an improved understanding of factors governing performance and degradation of mixed-conducting SOFC cathodes. Two new diagnostic tools were developed to help achieve this goal: (1) microelectrode half-cells for improved isolation of cathode impedance on thin electrolytes, and (2) nonlinear electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (NLEIS), a variant of traditional impedance that allows workers to probe nonlinear rates as a function of frequency. After reporting on the development and efficacy of these tools, this document reports on the use of these and other tools to better understand performance and degradation of cathodes based on the mixed conductor La{sub 1-x}Sr{sub x}CoO{sub 3-{delta}} (LSC) on gadolinia or samaria-doped ceria (GDC or SDC). We describe the use of NLEIS to measure O{sub 2} exchange on thin-film LSC electrodes, and show that O{sub 2} exchange is most likely governed by dissociative adsorption. We also describe parametric studies of porous LSC electrodes using impedance and NLEIS. Our results suggest that O{sub 2} exchange and ion transport co-limit performance under most relevant conditions, but it is O{sub 2} exchange that is most sensitive to processing, and subject to the greatest degradation and sample-to-sample variation. We recommend further work that focuses on electrodes of well-defined or characterized geometry, and probes the details of surface structure, composition, and impurities. Parallel work on primarily electronic conductors (LSM) would also be of benefit to developers, and to improved understanding of surface vs. bulk diffusion.

  15. Improved memory loading techniques for the TSRV display system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Easley, W. C.; Lynn, W. A.; Mcluer, D. G.

    1986-01-01

    A recent upgrade of the TSRV research flight system at NASA Langley Research Center retained the original monochrome display system. However, the display memory loading equipment was replaced requiring design and development of new methods of performing this task. This paper describes the new techniques developed to load memory in the display system. An outdated paper tape method for loading the BOOTSTRAP control program was replaced by EPROM storage of the characters contained on the tape. Rather than move a tape past an optical reader, a counter was implemented which steps sequentially through EPROM addresses and presents the same data to the loader circuitry. A cumbersome cassette tape method for loading the applications software was replaced with a floppy disk method using a microprocessor terminal installed as part of the upgrade. The cassette memory image was transferred to disk and a specific software loader was written for the terminal which duplicates the function of the cassette loader.

  16. Improving transesterification acitvity of CaO with hydration technique.

    PubMed

    Yoosuk, Boonyawan; Udomsap, Parncheewa; Puttasawat, Buppa; Krasae, Pawnprapa

    2010-05-01

    An efficient technique for increasing the transesterification activity of CaO obtained from calcination of CaCO(3) was proposed in order to make them highly suitable for use as heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel production. CaO was refluxed in water followed by the synthesis of the oxide from hydroxide species. The characterization results indicate that this procedure substantially increases both the specific surface area and the amount of basic site. Hydration and subsequent calcination also generates a new calcium oxide with less crystalline. Transesterification of palm olein was used to determine the activity of catalysts to show that the decomposed-hydrated CaO exhibits higher catalytic activity than CaO generated from calcination of CaCO(3). The methyl ester content was enhanced 18.4 wt.%. PMID:20089395

  17. Applying program comprehension techniques to improve software inspections

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rifkin, Stan; Deimel, Lionel

    1994-01-01

    Software inspections are widely regarded as a cost-effective mechanism for removing defects in software, though performing them does not always reduce the number of customer-discovered defects. We present a case study in which an attempt was made to reduce such defects through inspection training that introduced program comprehension ideas. The training was designed to address the problem of understanding the artifact being reviewed, as well as other perceived deficiencies of the inspection process itself. Measures, both formal and informal, suggest that explicit training in program understanding may improve inspection effectiveness.

  18. Controlled environment vitrification system: an improved sample preparation technique.

    PubMed

    Bellare, J R; Davis, H T; Scriven, L E; Talmon, Y

    1988-09-01

    The controlled environment vitrification system (CEVS) permits cryofixation of hydrated biological and colloidal dispersions and aggregates from a temperature- and saturation-controlled environment. Otherwise, specimens prepared in an uncontrolled laboratory atmosphere are subject to evaporation and heat transfer, which may introduce artifacts caused by concentration, pH, ionic strength, and temperature changes. Moreover, it is difficult to fix and examine the microstructure of systems at temperatures other than ambient (e.g., biological systems at in vivo conditions and colloidal systems above room temperature). A system has been developed that ensures that a liquid or partially liquid specimen is maintained in its original state while it is being prepared before vitrification and, once prepared, is vitrified with little alteration of its microstructure. A controlled environment is provided within a chamber where temperature and chemical activity of volatile components can be controlled while the specimen is being prepared. The specimen grid is mounted on a plunger, and a synchronous shutter is opened almost simultaneously with the release of the plunger, so that the specimen is propelled abruptly through the shutter opening into a cryogenic bath. We describe the system and its use and illustrate the value of the technique with TEM micrographs of surfactant microstructures in which specimen preparation artifacts were avoided. We also discuss applications to other instruments like SEM, to other techniques like freeze-fracture, and to novel "on the grid" experiments that make it possible to freeze successive instants of dynamic processes such as membrane fusion, chemical reactions, and phase transitions. PMID:3193246

  19. Improving Pyroelectric Energy Harvesting Using a Sandblast Etching Technique

    PubMed Central

    Hsiao, Chun-Ching; Siao, An-Shen

    2013-01-01

    Large amounts of low-grade heat are emitted by various industries and exhausted into the environment. This heat energy can be used as a free source for pyroelectric power generation. A three-dimensional pattern helps to improve the temperature variation rates in pyroelectric elements by means of lateral temperature gradients induced on the sidewalls of the responsive elements. A novel method using sandblast etching is successfully applied in fabricating the complex pattern of a vortex-like electrode. Both experiment and simulation show that the proposed design of the vortex-like electrode improved the electrical output of the pyroelectric cells and enhanced the efficiency of pyroelectric harvesting converters. A three-dimensional finite element model is generated by commercial software for solving the transient temperature fields and exploring the temperature variation rate in the PZT pyroelectric cells with various designs. The vortex-like type has a larger temperature variation rate than the fully covered type, by about 53.9%.The measured electrical output of the vortex-like electrode exhibits an obvious increase in the generated charge and the measured current, as compared to the fully covered electrode, by of about 47.1% and 53.1%, respectively. PMID:24025557

  20. Action Research to Improve the Learning Space for Diagnostic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Ellen; Owens, Leigh

    2015-12-01

    The module described and evaluated here was created in response to perceived learning difficulties in diagnostic test design and interpretation for students in third-year Clinical Microbiology. Previously, the activities in lectures and laboratory classes in the module fell into the lower cognitive operations of "knowledge" and "understanding." The new approach was to exchange part of the traditional activities with elements of interactive learning, where students had the opportunity to engage in deep learning using a variety of learning styles. The effectiveness of the new curriculum was assessed by means of on-course student assessment throughout the module, a final exam, an anonymous questionnaire on student evaluation of the different activities and a focus group of volunteers. Although the new curriculum enabled a major part of the student cohort to achieve higher pass grades (p < 0.001), it did not meet the requirements of the weaker students, and the proportion of the students failing the module remained at 34%. The action research applied here provided a number of valuable suggestions from students on how to improve future curricula from their perspective. Most importantly, an interactive online program that facilitated flexibility in the learning space for the different reagents and their interaction in diagnostic tests was proposed. The methods applied to improve and assess a curriculum refresh by involving students as partners in the process, as well as the outcomes, are discussed. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. PMID:26753024

  1. Improving pyroelectric energy harvesting using a sandblast etching technique.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Chun-Ching; Siao, An-Shen

    2013-01-01

    Large amounts of low-grade heat are emitted by various industries and exhausted into the environment. This heat energy can be used as a free source for pyroelectric power generation. A three-dimensional pattern helps to improve the temperature variation rates in pyroelectric elements by means of lateral temperature gradients induced on the sidewalls of the responsive elements. A novel method using sandblast etching is successfully applied in fabricating the complex pattern of a vortex-like electrode. Both experiment and simulation show that the proposed design of the vortex-like electrode improved the electrical output of the pyroelectric cells and enhanced the efficiency of pyroelectric harvesting converters. A three-dimensional finite element model is generated by commercial software for solving the transient temperature fields and exploring the temperature variation rate in the PZT pyroelectric cells with various designs. The vortex-like type has a larger temperature variation rate than the fully covered type, by about 53.9%.The measured electrical output of the vortex-like electrode exhibits an obvious increase in the generated charge and the measured current, as compared to the fully covered electrode, by of about 47.1% and 53.1%, respectively. PMID:24025557

  2. A search for improved technique factors in paediatric fluoroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tapiovaara, Markku J.; Sandborg, Michael; Dance, David R.

    1999-02-01

    A Monte Carlo computational model of a fluoroscopic imaging chain was used for deriving optimal technique factors for paediatric fluoroscopy. The optimal technique was defined as the one that minimizes the absorbed dose (or dose rate) in the patient with a constraint of constant image quality. Image quality was assessed for the task of detecting a detail in the image of a patient-simulating phantom, and was expressed in terms of the ideal observer's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for static images and in terms of the accumulating rate of the square of SNR for dynamic imaging. The entrance air kerma (or air kerma rate) and the mean absorbed dose (or dose rate) in the phantom quantified radiation detriment. The calculations were made for homogeneous phantoms simulating newborn, 3-, 10- and 15-year-old patients, barium and iodine contrast material details, several x-ray spectra, and for imaging with or without an antiscatter grid. The image receptor was modelled as a CsI x-ray image intensifier (XRII). For the task of detecting low- or moderate-contrast iodine details, the optimal spectrum can be obtained by using an x-ray tube potential near 50 kV and filtering the x-ray beam heavily. The optimal tube potential is near 60 kV for low- or moderate-contrast barium details, and 80-100 kV for high-contrast details. The low-potential spectra above require a high tube load, but this should be acceptable in paediatric fluoroscopy. A reasonable choice of filtration is the use of an additional 0.25 mm Cu, or a suitable K-edge filter. No increase in the optimal tube potential was found as phantom thickness increased. With the constraint of constant low-contrast detail detectability, the mean absorbed doses obtained with the above spectra are approximately 50% lower than those obtained with the reference conditions of 70 kV and 2.7 mm Al filter. For the smallest patient and x-ray field size, not using a grid was slightly more dose-efficient than using a grid, but when the patient

  3. A search for improved technique factors in paediatric fluoroscopy.

    PubMed

    Tapiovaara, M J; Sandborg, M; Dance, D R

    1999-02-01

    A Monte Carlo computational model of a fluoroscopic imaging chain was used for deriving optimal technique factors for paediatric fluoroscopy. The optimal technique was defined as the one that minimizes the absorbed dose (or dose rate) in the patient with a constraint of constant image quality. Image quality was assessed for the task of detecting a detail in the image of a patient-simulating phantom, and was expressed in terms of the ideal observer's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for static images and in terms of the accumulating rate of the square of SNR for dynamic imaging. The entrance air kerma (or air kerma rate) and the mean absorbed dose (or dose rate) in the phantom quantified radiation detriment. The calculations were made for homogeneous phantoms simulating newborn, 3-, 10- and 15-year-old patients, barium and iodine contrast material details, several x-ray spectra, and for imaging with or without an antiscatter grid. The image receptor was modelled as a CsI x-ray image intensifier (XRII). For the task of detecting low- or moderate-contrast iodine details, the optimal spectrum can be obtained by using an x-ray tube potential near 50 kV and filtering the x-ray beam heavily. The optimal tube potential is near 60 kV for low- or moderate-contrast barium details, and 80-100 kV for high-contrast details. The low-potential spectra above require a high tube load, but this should be acceptable in paediatric fluoroscopy. A reasonable choice of filtration is the use of an additional 0.25 mm Cu, or a suitable K-edge filter. No increase in the optimal tube potential was found as phantom thickness increased. With the constraint of constant low-contrast detail detectability, the mean absorbed doses obtained with the above spectra are approximately 50% lower than those obtained with the reference conditions of 70 kV and 2.7 mm Al filter. For the smallest patient and x-ray field size, not using a grid was slightly more dose-efficient than using a grid, but when the patient

  4. Techniques to improve the economics of limestone FGDS

    SciTech Connect

    Bresowar, G.E.; Klingspor, J.

    1995-12-31

    Many utilities have evaluated the cost of scrubbing versus fuel switching in various plans and scenarios to determine the most economical means for meeting the requirements of the new law. Presently, the future cost of removing a ton of SO{sub 2} is based on fuel switching, and the market values are in the range of $150 - $250 per ton. The perceived cost of FGDS retrofits is $250 - $400 per ton for eastern medium to high sulfur coal. ABB has studied the overall costs of FGDS and has developed a series of cost reducing improvements. and innovations. The improvements are manifested in ABBs new limestone FGDS technology known by the code phrase {open_quote}Stealth FGDS{close_quotes}. Stealth promises low capital and operating cost, high removal efficiencies for SO{sub 2} and other pollutants, little or positive environmental and economic impact on the local community, salable or non-hazardous by-products, ease of retrofit, and exceptionally short installation schedules. The concepts are being demonstrated in one system at the Miles Generating Station of Ohio Edison Company. Bearing the name {open_quote}LS-2 Advanced SO, Scrubbing{close_quotes}, the Stealth scrubber at Niles is a 110 MWe turnkey, retrofit unit to be completed 20 months after the release of engineering. It will remove 20,000 or more tons per year of SO{sub 2} from the flue gases generated by both Unit 1 and Unit 2 boilers, producing wallboard-grade gypsum. Upon completion of a four month test program, the plant will be operated by Ohio Edison for a four to five year reliability demonstration period. The performance and economic projections for LS-2 scrubbers show the technology to be quite attractive relative to projections for fuel switching when installed in a manner similar to the installation plan for Niles. The description and basis for these economic projections are described in this paper.

  5. Improved techniques for examining rapid dopamine signaling with iontophoresis

    PubMed Central

    Herr, Natalie R.; Wightman, Robert Mark

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is utilized in brain circuits associated with reward processing and motor activity. Advances in microelectrode techniques and cyclic voltammetry have enabled its extracellular concentration fluctuations to be examined on a subsecond time scale in the brain of anesthetized and freely moving animals. The microelectrodes can be attached to micropipettes that allow local drug delivery at the site of measurement. Drugs that inhibit dopamine uptake or its autoreceptors can be evaluated while only affecting the brain region directly adjacent to the electrode. The drugs are ejected by iontophoresis in which an electrical current forces the movement of molecules by a combination of electrical migration and electroosmosis. Using electroactive tracer molecules, the amount ejected can be measured with cyclic voltammetry. In this review we will give an introduction to the basic principles of iontophoresis, including a historical account on the development of iontophoresis. It will also include an overview of the use of iontophoresis to study neurotransmission of dopamine in the rat brain. It will close by summarizing the advantages of iontophoresis and how the development of quantitative iontophoresis will facilitate future studies. PMID:23276986

  6. Beneficent persuasion: techniques and ethical guidelines to improve patients' decisions.

    PubMed

    Swindell, J S; McGuire, Amy L; Halpern, Scott D

    2010-01-01

    Physicians frequently encounter patients who make decisions that contravene their long-term goals. Behavioral economists have shown that irrationalities and self-thwarting tendencies pervade human decision making, and they have identified a number of specific heuristics (rules of thumb) and biases that help explain why patients sometimes make such counterproductive decisions. In this essay, we use clinical examples to describe the many ways in which these heuristics and biases influence patients' decisions. We argue that physicians should develop their understanding of these potentially counterproductive decisional biases and, in many cases, use this knowledge to rebias their patients in ways that promote patients' health or other values. Using knowledge of decision-making psychology to persuade patients to engage in healthy behaviors or to make treatment decisions that foster their long-term goals is ethically justified by physicians' duties to promote their patients' interests and will often enhance, rather than limit, their patients' autonomy. We describe techniques that physicians may use to frame health decisions to patients in ways that are more likely to motivate patients to make choices that are less biased and more conducive to their long-term goals. Marketers have been using these methods for decades to get patients to engage in unhealthy behaviors; employers and policy makers are beginning to consider the use of similar approaches to influence healthy choices. It is time for clinicians also to make use of behavioral psychology in their interactions with patients. PMID:20458111

  7. Quality improving techniques for free-viewpoint DIBR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Do, Luat; Zinger, Sveta; de With, Peter H. N.

    2010-02-01

    Interactive free-viewpoint selection applied to a 3D multi-view signal is a possible attractive feature of the rapidly developing 3D TV media. This paper explores a new rendering algorithm that computes a free-viewpoint based on depth image warping between two reference views from existing cameras. We have developed three quality enhancing techniques that specifically aim at solving the major artifacts. First, resampling artifacts are filled in by a combination of median filtering and inverse warping. Second, contour artifacts are processed while omitting warping of edges at high discontinuities. Third, we employ a depth signal for more accurate disocclusion inpainting. We obtain an average PSNR gain of 3 dB and 4.5 dB for the 'Breakdancers' and 'Ballet' sequences, respectively, compared to recently published results. While experimenting with synthetic data, we observe that the rendering quality is highly dependent on the complexity of the scene. Moreover, experiments are performed using compressed video from surrounding cameras. The overall system quality is dominated by the rendering quality and not by coding.

  8. Improving the performance of molecular dynamics simulations on parallel clusters.

    PubMed

    Borstnik, Urban; Hodoscek, Milan; Janezic, Dusanka

    2004-01-01

    In this article a procedure is derived to obtain a performance gain for molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on existing parallel clusters. Parallel clusters use a wide array of interconnection technologies to connect multiple processors together, often at different speeds, such as multiple processor computers and networking. It is demonstrated how to configure existing programs for MD simulations to efficiently handle collective communication on parallel clusters with processor interconnections of different speeds. PMID:15032512

  9. Geocoding coronial data: tools and techniques to improve data quality.

    PubMed

    Freestone, Darren; Williamson, Dianne; Wollersheim, Dennis

    2012-01-01

    Clinical, administrative and demographic health information is fundamental to understanding the nature of health and evaluating the effectiveness of efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality of the population. The demographic data item 'location' is an integral part of any injury surveillance tool or injury prevention strategy. The true value of location data can only be realised once these data have been appropriately classified and quality assured. Geocoding as a means of classifying location is increasingly used in various health fields to enable spatial analysis of data. This article reports on research carried out in Australia at the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). Trends in the use of NCIS location-based data by researchers were identified. The research also aimed to establish the factors that impacted on the quality of geocoded data and the extent of this impact. A systematic analysis of the geocoding process identified source documentation, data cleaning, and software settings as key factors impacting on data quality. Understanding and application of these processes can improve data quality and therefore inform the analysis and interpretation of these data by researchers. PMID:23087078

  10. Improved techniques for fluid diversion in oil recovery. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.

    1996-01-01

    This three-year project had two technical objectives. The first objective was to compare the effectiveness of gels in fluid diversion (water shutoff) with those of other types of processes. Several different types of fluid-diversion processes were compared, including those using gels, foams, emulsions, particulates, and microorganisms. The ultimate goals of these comparisons were to (1) establish which of these processes are most effective in a given application and (2) determine whether aspects of one process can be combined with those of other processes to improve performance. Analyses and experiments were performed to verify which materials are the most effective in entering and blocking high-permeability zones. The second objective of the project was to identify the mechanisms by which materials (particularly gels) selectively reduce permeability to water more than to oil. A capacity to reduce water permeability much more than oil or gas permeability is critical to the success of gel treatments in production wells if zones cannot be isolated during gel placement. Topics covered in this report include (1) determination of gel properties in fractures, (2) investigation of schemes to optimize gel placement in fractured systems, (3) an investigation of why some polymers and gels can reduce water permeability more than oil permeability, (4) consideration of whether microorganisms and particulates can exhibit placement properties that are superior to those of gels, and (5) examination of when foams may show placement properties that are superior to those of gels.

  11. A novel system identification technique for improved wearable hemodynamics assessment.

    PubMed

    Wiens, Andrew D; Inan, Omer T

    2015-05-01

    Recent advances have led to renewed interest in ballistocardiography (BCG), a noninvasive measure of the small movements of the body due to cardiovascular events. A broad range of platforms have been developed and verified for BCG measurement including beds, chairs, and weighing scales: while the body is coupled to such a platform, the cardiogenic movements are measured. Wearable BCG, measured with an accelerometer affixed to the body, may enable continuous, or more regular, monitoring during the day; however, the signals from such wearable BCGs represent local or distal accelerations of skin and tissue rather than the whole body. In this paper, we propose a novel method to reconstruct the BCG measured with a weighing scale (WS BCG) from a wearable sensor via a training step to remove these local effects. Preliminary validation of this method was performed with 15 subjects: the wearable sensor was placed at three locations on the surface of the body while WS BCG measurements were recorded simultaneously. A regularized system identification approach was used to reconstruct the WS BCG from the wearable BCG. Preliminary results suggest that the relationship between local and central disturbances is highly dependent on both the individual and the location where the accelerometer is placed on the body and that these differences can be resolved via calibration to accurately measure changes in cardiac output and contractility from a wearable sensor. Such measurements could be highly effective, for example, for improved monitoring of heart failure patients at home. PMID:25561589

  12. Nonlinear Raman Techniques in Femtosecond Time Resolved Spectroscopy for the Analysis and Control of Molecular Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Materny, Arnulf; Konradi, Jakow; Namboodiri, Vinu; Namboodiri, Mahesh; Scaria, Abraham

    2008-11-14

    The use of four-wave mixing techniques in femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy has considerable advantages. Due to the many degrees of freedom offered e.g. by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), the dynamics even of complex systems can be analyzed in detail. Using pulse shaping techniques in combination with a self-learning loop approach, molecular mode excitation can be controlled very efficiently in a multi-photon excitation process. Results obtained from the optimal control of CARS on {beta}-carotene are discussed.

  13. Fiber optic profenofos sensor based on surface plasmon resonance technique and molecular imprinting.

    PubMed

    Shrivastav, Anand M; Usha, Sruthi P; Gupta, Banshi D

    2016-05-15

    A successful approach for the fabrication and characterization of an optical fiber sensor for the detection of profenofos based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and molecular imprinting is introduced. Molecular imprinting technology is used for the creation of three dimensional binding sites having complementary shape and size of the specific template molecule over a polymer for the recognition of the same. Binding of template molecule with molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) layer results in the change in the dielectric nature of the sensing surface (polymer) and is identified by SPR technique. Spectral interrogation method is used for the characterization of the sensing probe. The operating profenofos concentration range of the sensor is from 10(-4) to 10(-1)µg/L. A red shift of 18.7 nm in resonance wavelength is recorded for this profenofos concentration range. The maximum sensitivity of the sensor is 12.7 nm/log (µg/L) at 10(-4)µg/L profenofos concentration. Limit of detection (LOD) of the sensor is found to be 2.5×10(-6)µg/L. Selectivity measurements predict the probe highly selective for the profenofos molecule. Besides high sensitivity due to SPR technique and selectivity due to molecular imprinting, proposed sensor has numerous other advantages like immunity to electromagnetic interference, fast response, low cost and capability of online monitoring and remote sensing of analyte due to the fabrication of the probe on optical fiber. PMID:26706813

  14. A Novel System Identification Technique for Improved Wearable Hemodynamics Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, Andrew D.; Inan, Omer T.

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances have led to renewed interest in ballistocardiography (BCG), a non-invasive measure of the small reaction forces on the body from cardiovascular events. A broad range of platforms have been developed and verified for BCG measurement including beds, chairs, and weighing scales: while the body is coupled to such a platform, the cardiogenic movements of the center-of-mass (COM) are measured. Wearable BCG, measured with an accelerometer affixed to the body, may enable continuous, or more regular, monitoring during the day; however, the signals from such wearable BCGs represent local or distal accelerations of skin and tissue rather than the displacement of the body's COM. In this paper we propose a novel method to reconstruct the COM BCG from a wearable sensor via a training step to remove these local effects. Preliminary validation of this method was performed with fifteen subjects: the wearable sensor was placed at three locations on the surface of the body while COM BCG measurements were recorded simultaneously with a modified weighing scale. A regularized system identification approach was used to reconstruct the COM BCG from the wearable signal. Preliminary results suggest that the relationship between local and central forces is highly dependent on both the individual and the location where the wearable sensor is placed on the body and that these differences can be resolved via calibration to accurately measure changes in cardiac output and contractility from a wearable sensor. Such measurements could be highly effective, for example, for improved monitoring of heart failure patients at home. PMID:25561589

  15. Techniques for Improving the Performance of Future EVA Maneuvering Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Trevor W.

    1995-01-01

    The Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) is a small propulsive backpack that was developed as an in-house effort at Johnson Space Center; it is a lightweight system which attaches to the underside of the Primary Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) backpack of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). SAFER provides full six-axis control, as well as Automatic Attitude Hold (AAH), by means of a set of cold-gas nitrogen thrusters and a rate sensor-based control system. For compactness, a single hand controller is used, together with mode switching, to command all six axes. SAFER was successfully test-flown on the STS-64 mission in September 1994 as a Development Test Objective (DTO); development of an operational version is now proceeding. This version will be available for EVA self-rescue on the International Space Station and Mir, starting with the STS-86/Mir-7 mission in September 1997. The DTO SAFER was heavily instrumented, and produced in-flight data that was stored in a 12 MB computer memory on-board. This has allowed post-flight analysis to yield good estimates for the actual mass properties (moments and products of inertia and center of mass location) encountered on-orbit. By contrast, Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) post-flight results were generated mainly from analysis of video images, and so were not very accurate. The main goal of the research reported here was to use the detailed SAFER on-orbit mass properties data to optimize the design of future EVA maneuvering systems, with the aim being to improve flying qualities and/or reduce propellant consumption. The Automation, Robotics and Simulation Division Virtual Reality (VR) Laboratory proved to be a valuable research tool for such studies. A second objective of the grant was to generate an accurate dynamics model in support of the reflight of the DTO SAFER on STS-76/Mir-3. One complicating factor was the fact that a hand controller stowage box was added to the underside of SAFER on this flight; the position of

  16. Charge transport in molecular junctions: From tunneling to hopping with the probe technique

    SciTech Connect

    Kilgour, Michael; Segal, Dvira

    2015-07-14

    We demonstrate that a simple phenomenological approach can be used to simulate electronic conduction in molecular wires under thermal effects induced by the surrounding environment. This “Landauer-Büttiker’s probe technique” can properly replicate different transport mechanisms, phase coherent nonresonant tunneling, ballistic behavior, and hopping conduction. Specifically, our simulations with the probe method recover the following central characteristics of charge transfer in molecular wires: (i) the electrical conductance of short wires falls off exponentially with molecular length, a manifestation of the tunneling (superexchange) mechanism. Hopping dynamics overtakes superexchange in long wires demonstrating an ohmic-like behavior. (ii) In off-resonance situations, weak dephasing effects facilitate charge transfer, but under large dephasing, the electrical conductance is suppressed. (iii) At high enough temperatures, k{sub B}T/ϵ{sub B} > 1/25, with ϵ{sub B} as the molecular-barrier height, the current is enhanced by a thermal activation (Arrhenius) factor. However, this enhancement takes place for both coherent and incoherent electrons and it does not readily indicate on the underlying mechanism. (iv) At finite-bias, dephasing effects may impede conduction in resonant situations. We further show that memory (non-Markovian) effects can be implemented within the Landauer-Büttiker’s probe technique to model the interaction of electrons with a structured environment. Finally, we examine experimental results of electron transfer in conjugated molecular wires and show that our computational approach can reasonably reproduce reported values to provide mechanistic information.

  17. Molecular Weight Determination by an Improved Temperature-Monitored Vapor-Density Method.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grider, Douglas J.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Recommends determining molecular weights of liquids by use of a thermocouple. Utilizing a mathematical gas equation, the molecular weight can be determined from the measurement of the vapor temperature upon complete evaporation. Lists benefits as reduced time and cost, and improved safety factors. (ML)

  18. Molecular Rayleigh Scattering Techniques Developed for Measuring Gas Flow Velocity, Density, Temperature, and Turbulence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mielke, Amy F.; Seasholtz, Richard G.; Elam, Kristie A.; Panda, Jayanta

    2005-01-01

    Nonintrusive optical point-wise measurement techniques utilizing the principles of molecular Rayleigh scattering have been developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center to obtain time-averaged information about gas velocity, density, temperature, and turbulence, or dynamic information about gas velocity and density in unseeded flows. These techniques enable measurements that are necessary for validating computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational aeroacoustic (CAA) codes. Dynamic measurements allow the calculation of power spectra for the various flow properties. This type of information is currently being used in jet noise studies, correlating sound pressure fluctuations with velocity and density fluctuations to determine noise sources in jets. These nonintrusive techniques are particularly useful in supersonic flows, where seeding the flow with particles is not an option, and where the environment is too harsh for hot-wire measurements.

  19. Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations in the microcanonical ensemble: Quantitative comparison and reweighting techniques.

    PubMed

    Schierz, Philipp; Zierenberg, Johannes; Janke, Wolfhard

    2015-10-01

    Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations are the most popular simulation techniques for many-particle systems. Although they are often applied to similar systems, it is unclear to which extent one has to expect quantitative agreement of the two simulation techniques. In this work, we present a quantitative comparison of MD and MC simulations in the microcanonical ensemble. For three test examples, we study first- and second-order phase transitions with a focus on liquid-gas like transitions. We present MD analysis techniques to compensate for conservation law effects due to linear and angular momentum conservation. Additionally, we apply the weighted histogram analysis method to microcanonical histograms reweighted from MD simulations. By this means, we are able to estimate the density of states from many microcanonical simulations at various total energies. This further allows us to compute estimates of canonical expectation values. PMID:26450299

  20. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges Towards Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crop

    PubMed Central

    Ashkani, Sadegh; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Shabanimofrad, Mahmoodreza; Miah, Gous; Sahebi, Mahbod; Azizi, Parisa; Tanweer, Fatah A.; Akhtar, Mohd Sayeed; Nasehi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world’s population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improving blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges towards improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control. PMID:26635817

  1. Synchrotron-Based Microspectroscopic Analysis of Molecular and Biopolymer Structures Using Multivariate Techniques and Advanced Multi-Components Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, P.

    2008-01-01

    More recently, advanced synchrotron radiation-based bioanalytical technique (SRFTIRM) has been applied as a novel non-invasive analysis tool to study molecular, functional group and biopolymer chemistry, nutrient make-up and structural conformation in biomaterials. This novel synchrotron technique, taking advantage of bright synchrotron light (which is million times brighter than sunlight), is capable of exploring the biomaterials at molecular and cellular levels. However, with the synchrotron RFTIRM technique, a large number of molecular spectral data are usually collected. The objective of this article was to illustrate how to use two multivariate statistical techniques: (1) agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis (AHCA) and (2) principal component analysis (PCA) and two advanced multicomponent modeling methods: (1) Gaussian and (2) Lorentzian multi-component peak modeling for molecular spectrum analysis of bio-tissues. The studies indicated that the two multivariate analyses (AHCA, PCA) are able to create molecular spectral corrections by including not just one intensity or frequency point of a molecular spectrum, but by utilizing the entire spectral information. Gaussian and Lorentzian modeling techniques are able to quantify spectral omponent peaks of molecular structure, functional group and biopolymer. By application of these four statistical methods of the multivariate techniques and Gaussian and Lorentzian modeling, inherent molecular structures, functional group and biopolymer onformation between and among biological samples can be quantified, discriminated and classified with great efficiency.

  2. Control of molecular weight of polystyrene using the reverse iodine transfer polymerization (RITP)-emulsion technique.

    PubMed

    Oh, Hyeong Geun; Shin, Hongcheol; Jung, Hyejun; Lee, Byung Hyung; Choe, Soonja

    2011-01-15

    The RITP-emulsion polymerization of styrene in the presence of molecular iodine has been successfully performed using potassium persulfate (KPS) as an initiator and 1-hexadecanesulfonate as an emulsifier under argon atmosphere at 80°C for 7 hrs in the absence of light. The effects of the iodine concentration, molar ratio between KPS and iodine, and solid contents on the molecular weight of polystyrene (PS) were studied. As the iodine concentration increased from 0.05 to 0.504 mmol under the fixed [KPS]/[I(2)] ratio at 4.5, the weight-average molecular weight of PS substantially decreased from 126,120 to 35,690 g/mol, the conversion increased from 85.0% to 95.2%, and the weight-average particle diameter decreased from 159 to 103 nm. In addition, as the ratio of [KPS]/[I(2)] increased from 0.5 to 6.0 at the fixed [I(2)] of 0.504 mmol, the weight-average molecular weight of PS decreased from 72,170 to 30,640 g/mol with high conversion between 81.7% and 96.5%. Moreover, when the styrene solid content increased from 10 to 40 wt.% at the fixed [KPS]/[I(2)] ratio of 4.5, the weight-average molecular weight of PS varied between 33,500 and 37,200 g/mol, the conversion varied between 94.9% and 89.7% and the weight-average diameter varied from 122 to 205 nm. Thus, the control of molecular weight of PS less than 100,000g/mol with high conversion (95%) and particle stability of up to 40 wt.% solid content were easily achieved through the usage of iodine with suitable ratio of [KPS]/[I(2)] in the RITP-emulsion polymerization technique, which is of great industrial importance. PMID:20950818

  3. Integrating Nanostructured Artificial Receptors with Whispering Gallery Mode Optical Microresonators via Inorganic Molecular Imprinting Techniques.

    PubMed

    Hammond, G Denise; Vojta, Adam L; Grant, Sheila A; Hunt, Heather K

    2016-01-01

    The creation of label-free biosensors capable of accurately detecting trace contaminants, particularly small organic molecules, is of significant interest for applications in environmental monitoring. This is achieved by pairing a high-sensitivity signal transducer with a biorecognition element that imparts selectivity towards the compound of interest. However, many environmental pollutants do not have corresponding biorecognition elements. Fortunately, biomimetic chemistries, such as molecular imprinting, allow for the design of artificial receptors with very high selectivity for the target. Here, we perform a proof-of-concept study to show how artificial receptors may be created from inorganic silanes using the molecular imprinting technique and paired with high-sensitivity transducers without loss of device performance. Silica microsphere Whispering Gallery Mode optical microresonators are coated with a silica thin film templated by a small fluorescent dye, fluorescein isothiocyanate, which serves as our model target. Oxygen plasma degradation and solvent extraction of the template are compared. Extracted optical devices are interacted with the template molecule to confirm successful sorption of the template. Surface characterization is accomplished via fluorescence and optical microscopy, ellipsometry, optical profilometry, and contact angle measurements. The quality factors of the devices are measured to evaluate the impact of the coating on device sensitivity. The resulting devices show uniform surface coating with no microstructural damage with Q factors above 10⁶. This is the first report demonstrating the integration of these devices with molecular imprinting techniques, and could lead to new routes to biosensor creation for environmental monitoring. PMID:27314397

  4. [Application of molecular diagnostic techniques in precision medicine of personalized treatment for colorectal cancer].

    PubMed

    Fu, Ji; Lin, Guole

    2016-01-01

    Precision medicine is to customize the treatment options for individual patient based on the personal genome information. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancer worldwide. Molecular heterogeneity of CRC, which includes the MSI phenotype, hypermutation phenotype, and their relationship with clinical preferences, is believed to be one of the main factors responsible for the considerable variability in treatment response. The development of powerful next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies allows us to further understand the biological behavior of colorectal cancer, and to analyze the prognosis and chemotherapeutic drug reactions by molecular diagnostic techniques, which can guide the clinical treatment. This paper will introduce the new findings in this field. Meanwhile we integrate the new progress of key pathways including EGFR, RAS, PI3K/AKT and VEGF, and the experience in selective patients through associated molecular diagnostic screening who gain better efficacy after target therapy. The technique for detecting circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is introduced here as well, which can identify patients with high risk for recurrence, and demonstrate the risk of chemotherapy resistance. Mechanism of tumor drug resistance may be revealed by dynamic observation of gene alteration during treatment. PMID:26797832

  5. Integrating Nanostructured Artificial Receptors with Whispering Gallery Mode Optical Microresonators via Inorganic Molecular Imprinting Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, G. Denise; Vojta, Adam L.; Grant, Sheila A.; Hunt, Heather K.

    2016-01-01

    The creation of label-free biosensors capable of accurately detecting trace contaminants, particularly small organic molecules, is of significant interest for applications in environmental monitoring. This is achieved by pairing a high-sensitivity signal transducer with a biorecognition element that imparts selectivity towards the compound of interest. However, many environmental pollutants do not have corresponding biorecognition elements. Fortunately, biomimetic chemistries, such as molecular imprinting, allow for the design of artificial receptors with very high selectivity for the target. Here, we perform a proof-of-concept study to show how artificial receptors may be created from inorganic silanes using the molecular imprinting technique and paired with high-sensitivity transducers without loss of device performance. Silica microsphere Whispering Gallery Mode optical microresonators are coated with a silica thin film templated by a small fluorescent dye, fluorescein isothiocyanate, which serves as our model target. Oxygen plasma degradation and solvent extraction of the template are compared. Extracted optical devices are interacted with the template molecule to confirm successful sorption of the template. Surface characterization is accomplished via fluorescence and optical microscopy, ellipsometry, optical profilometry, and contact angle measurements. The quality factors of the devices are measured to evaluate the impact of the coating on device sensitivity. The resulting devices show uniform surface coating with no microstructural damage with Q factors above 106. This is the first report demonstrating the integration of these devices with molecular imprinting techniques, and could lead to new routes to biosensor creation for environmental monitoring. PMID:27314397

  6. A multiscale modeling technique for bridging molecular dynamics with finite element method

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Yongchang Basaran, Cemal

    2013-11-15

    In computational mechanics, molecular dynamics (MD) and finite element (FE) analysis are well developed and most popular on nanoscale and macroscale analysis, respectively. MD can very well simulate the atomistic behavior, but cannot simulate macroscale length and time due to computational limits. FE can very well simulate continuum mechanics (CM) problems, but has the limitation of the lack of atomistic level degrees of freedom. Multiscale modeling is an expedient methodology with a potential to connect different levels of modeling such as quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, and continuum mechanics. This study proposes a new multiscale modeling technique to couple MD with FE. The proposed method relies on weighted average momentum principle. A wave propagation example has been used to illustrate the challenges in coupling MD with FE and to verify the proposed technique. Furthermore, 2-Dimensional problem has also been used to demonstrate how this method would translate into real world applications. -- Highlights: •A weighted averaging momentum method is introduced for bridging molecular dynamics (MD) with finite element (FE) method. •The proposed method shows excellent coupling results in 1-D and 2-D examples. •The proposed method successfully reduces the spurious wave reflection at the border of MD and FE regions. •Big advantages of the proposed method are simplicity and inexpensive computational cost of multiscale analysis.

  7. Molecular Rationale for Improved Dynamic Nuclear Polarization of Biomembranes.

    PubMed

    Smith, Adam N; Twahir, Umar T; Dubroca, Thierry; Fanucci, Gail E; Long, Joanna R

    2016-08-18

    Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) enhanced solid-state NMR can provide orders of magnitude in signal enhancement. One of the most important aspects of obtaining efficient DNP enhancements is the optimization of the paramagnetic polarization agents used. To date, the most utilized polarization agents are nitroxide biradicals. However, the efficiency of these polarization agents is diminished when used with samples other than small molecule model compounds. We recently demonstrated the effectiveness of nitroxide labeled lipids as polarization agents for lipids and a membrane embedded peptide. Here, we systematically characterize, via electron paramagnetic (EPR), the dynamics of and the dipolar couplings between nitroxide labeled lipids under conditions relevant to DNP applications. Complemented by DNP enhanced solid-state NMR measurements at 600 MHz/395 GHz, a molecular rationale for the efficiency of nitroxide labeled lipids as DNP polarization agents is developed. Specifically, optimal DNP enhancements are obtained when the nitroxide moiety is attached to the lipid choline headgroup and local nitroxide concentrations yield an average e(-)-e(-) dipolar coupling of 47 MHz. On the basis of these measurements, we propose a framework for development of DNP polarization agents optimal for membrane protein structure determination. PMID:27434371

  8. Implementing and Improving Automated Electronic Tumor Molecular Profiling.

    PubMed

    Rioth, Matthew J; Staggs, David B; Hackett, Lauren; Haberman, Erich; Tod, Mike; Levy, Mia; Warner, Jeremy

    2016-03-01

    Oncology practice increasingly requires the use of molecular profiling of tumors to inform the use of targeted therapeutics. However, many oncologists use third-party laboratories to perform tumor genomic testing, and these laboratories may not have electronic interfaces with the provider's electronic medical record (EMR) system. The resultant reporting mechanisms, such as plain-paper faxing, can reduce report fidelity, slow down reporting procedures for a physician's practice, and make reports less accessible. Vanderbilt University Medical Center and its genomic laboratory testing partner have collaborated to create an automated electronic reporting system that incorporates genetic testing results directly into the clinical EMR. This system was iteratively tested, and causes of failure were discovered and addressed. Most errors were attributable to data entry or typographical errors that made reports unable to be linked to the correct patient in the EMR. By providing direct feedback to providers, we were able to significantly decrease the rate of transmission errors (from 6.29% to 3.84%; P < .001). The results and lessons of 1 year of using the system and transmitting 832 tumor genomic testing reports are reported. PMID:26813927

  9. Molecular-Based Optical Measurement Techniques for Transition and Turbulence in High-Speed Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bathel, Brett F.; Danehy, Paul M.; Cutler, Andrew D.

    2013-01-01

    High-speed laminar-to-turbulent transition and turbulence affect the control of flight vehicles, the heat transfer rate to a flight vehicle's surface, the material selected to protect such vehicles from high heating loads, the ultimate weight of a flight vehicle due to the presence of thermal protection systems, the efficiency of fuel-air mixing processes in high-speed combustion applications, etc. Gaining a fundamental understanding of the physical mechanisms involved in the transition process will lead to the development of predictive capabilities that can identify transition location and its impact on parameters like surface heating. Currently, there is no general theory that can completely describe the transition-to-turbulence process. However, transition research has led to the identification of the predominant pathways by which this process occurs. For a truly physics-based model of transition to be developed, the individual stages in the paths leading to the onset of fully turbulent flow must be well understood. This requires that each pathway be computationally modeled and experimentally characterized and validated. This may also lead to the discovery of new physical pathways. This document is intended to describe molecular based measurement techniques that have been developed, addressing the needs of the high-speed transition-to-turbulence and high-speed turbulence research fields. In particular, we focus on techniques that have either been used to study high speed transition and turbulence or techniques that show promise for studying these flows. This review is not exhaustive. In addition to the probe-based techniques described in the previous paragraph, several other classes of measurement techniques that are, or could be, used to study high speed transition and turbulence are excluded from this manuscript. For example, surface measurement techniques such as pressure and temperature paint, phosphor thermography, skin friction measurements and

  10. Improvement of Contact Resistance with Molecular Ion Implantation

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Kyung Won; Lee, Jin Ku; Oh, Jae Geun; Ju, Min Ae; Jeon, Seung Joon; Ku, Ja Chun; Park, Sung Ki; Huh, Tae Hoon; Kim, Steve; Ra, Geum Joo; Harris, Mark A.; Reece, Ronald N.; Yoon, Dae Ho

    2008-11-03

    Basic characteristics of ClusterBoron (B{sub 18}H{sub 22}) implantation were investigated for improving contact resistance in DRAM devices. Generally, {sup 49}BF{sub 2} has been widely used for contact implant application in DRAM manufacturing because of its higher productivity compared to monomer boron ({sup 11}B). However, because of limited activation in a low thermal budget ({approx}800 deg. C) anneal, the sheet resistance was saturated for doses over 5x10{sup 15} ions/cm{sup 2}. Although many investigations have been reported, such as {sup 30}BF implant mixed implant with monomer boron etc., no practical solution has been found for dramatic improvement of contact resistance in a productive manner. B{sub 18}H{sub 22} was developed to overcome the productivity limitations encountered in low energy, high dose boron implantation and the limited activation of {sup 49}BF{sub 2} due to co-implanted fluorine. In this study, basic characterization of the B{sub 18}H{sub 22} contact implant was performed through sheet resistance, SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) and XTEM (cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy). The B{sub 18}H{sub 22} implants showed lower sheet resistance than conventional {sup 49}BF{sub 2} for 5x10{sup 15} ions/cm{sup 2} on bare wafer tests. Through XTEM study, we found the activation behavior of both B{sub 18}H{sub 22} and {sup 49}BF{sub 2} were directly related with the amorphous layer thickness and residual defects from low thermal budget anneal. PMOS contact resistance in the sub-70 nm device by B{sub 18}H{sub 22} implantation showed considerable improvement (about 30%), showing B{sub 18}H{sub 22} could replace the BF{sub 2} for contact implant in contact resistance implant.

  11. Screening Platform toward New Anti-HIV Aptamers Set on Molecular Docking and Fluorescence Quenching Techniques.

    PubMed

    Oliviero, Giorgia; Stornaiuolo, Mariano; D'Atri, Valentina; Nici, Fabrizia; Yousif, Ali Munaim; D'Errico, Stefano; Piccialli, Gennaro; Mayol, Luciano; Novellino, Ettore; Marinelli, Luciana; Grieco, Paolo; Carotenuto, Alfonso; Noppen, Sam; Liekens, Sandra; Balzarini, Jan; Borbone, Nicola

    2016-02-16

    By using a new rapid screening platform set on molecular docking simulations and fluorescence quenching techniques, three new anti-HIV aptamers targeting the viral surface glycoprotein 120 (gp120) were selected, synthesized, and assayed. The use of the short synthetic fluorescent peptide V35-Fluo mimicking the V3 loop of gp120, as the molecular target for fluorescence-quenching binding affinity studies, allowed one to measure the binding affinities of the new aptamers for the HIV-1 gp120 without the need to obtain and purify the full recombinant gp120 protein. The almost perfect correspondence between the calculated Kd and the experimental EC50 on HIV-infected cells confirmed the reliability of the platform as an alternative to the existing methods for aptamer selection and measuring of aptamer-protein equilibria. PMID:26810800

  12. Improved virtual queuing and dynamic EPD techniques for TCP over ATM

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Y.; Siu, K.Y.; Ren, W.

    1998-11-01

    It is known that TCP throughput can degrade significantly over UBR service in a congested ATM network, and the early packet discard (EPD) technique has been proposed to improve the performance. However, recent studies show that EPD cannot ensure fairness among competing VCs in a congested network, but the degree of fairness can be improved using various forms of fair buffer allocation techniques. The authors propose an improved scheme that utilizes only a single shared FIFO queue for all VCs and admits simple implementation for high speed ATM networks. The scheme achieves nearly perfect fairness and throughput among multiple TCP connections, comparable to the expensive per-VC queuing technique. Analytical and simulation results are presented to show the validity of this new scheme and significant improvement in performance as compared with existing fair buffer allocation techniques for TCP over ATM.

  13. Molecular approaches for improved clotting factors for hemophilia

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Jerry S.

    2013-01-01

    Hemophilia is caused by a functional deficiency of one of the coagulation proteins. Therapy for no other group of genetic diseases has seen the progress that has been made for hemophilia over the past 40 years, from a life expectancy in 1970 of ∼20 years for a boy born with severe hemophilia to essentially a normal life expectancy in 2013 with current prophylaxis therapy. However, these therapies are expensive and require IV infusions 3 to 4 times each week. These are exciting times for hemophilia because several new technologies that promise extended half-lives for factor products, with potential for improvements in quality of life for persons with hemophilia, are in late-phase clinical development. PMID:24065241

  14. Systematic Improvement of a Classical Molecular Model of Water

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lee-Ping; Head-Gordon, Teresa; Ponder, Jay W.; Ren, Pengyu; Chodera, John D.; Eastman, Peter K.; Martinez, Todd J.; Pande, Vijay S.

    2013-01-01

    We report the iAMOEBA (i.e. “inexpensive AMOEBA”) classical polarizable water model. iAMOEBA uses a direct approximation to describe electronic polarizability, which reduces the computational cost relative to a fully polarizable model such as AMOEBA. The model is parameterized using ForceBalance, a systematic optimization method that simultaneously utilizes training data from experimental measurements and high-level ab initio calculations. We show that iAMOEBA is a highly accurate model for water in the solid, liquid, and gas phases, with the ability to fully capture the effects of electronic polarization and predict a comprehensive set of water properties beyond the training data set including the phase diagram. The increased accuracy of iAMOEBA over the fully polarizable AMOEBA model demonstrates ForceBalance as a method that allows the researcher to systematically improve empirical models by optimally utilizing the available data. PMID:23750713

  15. Applied Protein and Molecular Techniques for Characterization of B Cell Neoplasms in Horses

    PubMed Central

    Badial, Peres R.; Tallmadge, Rebecca L.; Miller, Steven; Stokol, Tracy; Richards, Kristy; Borges, Alexandre S.

    2015-01-01

    Mature B cell neoplasms cover a spectrum of diseases involving lymphoid tissues (lymphoma) or blood (leukemia), with an overlap between these two presentations. Previous studies describing equine lymphoid neoplasias have not included analyses of clonality using molecular techniques. The objective of this study was to use molecular techniques to advance the classification of B cell lymphoproliferative diseases in five adult equine patients with a rare condition of monoclonal gammopathy, B cell leukemia, and concurrent lymphadenopathy (lymphoma/leukemia). The B cell neoplasms were phenotypically characterized by gene and cell surface molecule expression, secreted immunoglobulin (Ig) isotype concentrations, Ig heavy-chain variable (IGHV) region domain sequencing, and spectratyping. All five patients had hyperglobulinemia due to IgG1 or IgG4/7 monoclonal gammopathy. Peripheral blood leukocyte immunophenotyping revealed high proportions of IgG1- or IgG4/7-positive cells and relative T cell lymphopenia. Most leukemic cells lacked the surface B cell markers CD19 and CD21. IGHG1 or IGHG4/7 gene expression was consistent with surface protein expression, and secreted isotype and Ig spectratyping revealed one dominant monoclonal peak. The mRNA expression of the B cell-associated developmental genes EBF1, PAX5, and CD19 was high compared to that of the plasma cell-associated marker CD38. Sequence analysis of the IGHV domain of leukemic cells revealed mutated Igs. In conclusion, the protein and molecular techniques used in this study identified neoplastic cells compatible with a developmental transition between B cell and plasma cell stages, and they can be used for the classification of equine B cell lymphoproliferative disease. PMID:26311245

  16. An improved molecular diagnostic assay for canine and feline dermatophytosis.

    PubMed

    Cafarchia, Claudia; Gasser, Robin B; Figueredo, Luciana A; Weigl, Stefania; Danesi, Patrizia; Capelli, Gioia; Otranto, Domenico

    2013-02-01

    The few studies attempting to specifically characterize dermatophytes from hair samples of dogs and cats using PCR-based methodology relied on sequence-based analysis of selected genetic markers. The aim of the present investigation was to establish and evaluate a PCR-based approach employing genetic markers of nuclear DNA for the specific detection of dermatophytes on such specimens. Using 183 hair samples, we directly compared the test results of our one-step and nested-PCR assays with those based on conventional microscopy and in vitro culture techniques (using the latter as the reference method). The one step-PCR was highly accurate (AUC > 90) for the testing of samples from dogs, but only moderately accurate (AUC = 78.6) for cats. A nested-PCR was accurate (AUC = 93.6) for samples from cats, and achieved higher specificity (94.1 and 94.4%) and sensitivity (100 and 94.9%) for samples from dogs and cats, respectively. In addition, the nested-PCR allowed the differentiation of Microsporum canis from Trichophyton interdigitale (zoophilic) and geophilic dermatophytes (i.e., Microsporum gypseum or Trichophyton terrestre), which was not possible using the one step-assay. The PCRs evaluated here provide practical tools for diagnostic applications to support clinicians in initiating prompt and targeted chemotherapy of dermatophytoses. PMID:22686247

  17. A Survey of Techniques for Modeling and Improving Reliability of Computing Systems

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mittal, Sparsh; Vetter, Jeffrey S.

    2015-04-24

    Recent trends of aggressive technology scaling have greatly exacerbated the occurrences and impact of faults in computing systems. This has made `reliability' a first-order design constraint. To address the challenges of reliability, several techniques have been proposed. In this study, we provide a survey of architectural techniques for improving resilience of computing systems. We especially focus on techniques proposed for microarchitectural components, such as processor registers, functional units, cache and main memory etc. In addition, we discuss techniques proposed for non-volatile memory, GPUs and 3D-stacked processors. To underscore the similarities and differences of the techniques, we classify them based onmore » their key characteristics. We also review the metrics proposed to quantify vulnerability of processor structures. Finally, we believe that this survey will help researchers, system-architects and processor designers in gaining insights into the techniques for improving reliability of computing systems.« less

  18. A Survey of Techniques for Modeling and Improving Reliability of Computing Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, Sparsh; Vetter, Jeffrey S.

    2015-04-24

    Recent trends of aggressive technology scaling have greatly exacerbated the occurrences and impact of faults in computing systems. This has made `reliability' a first-order design constraint. To address the challenges of reliability, several techniques have been proposed. In this study, we provide a survey of architectural techniques for improving resilience of computing systems. We especially focus on techniques proposed for microarchitectural components, such as processor registers, functional units, cache and main memory etc. In addition, we discuss techniques proposed for non-volatile memory, GPUs and 3D-stacked processors. To underscore the similarities and differences of the techniques, we classify them based on their key characteristics. We also review the metrics proposed to quantify vulnerability of processor structures. Finally, we believe that this survey will help researchers, system-architects and processor designers in gaining insights into the techniques for improving reliability of computing systems.

  19. Improving Health Promotion Using Quality Improvement Techniques in Australian Indigenous Primary Health Care

    PubMed Central

    Percival, Nikki; O’Donoghue, Lynette; Lin, Vivian; Tsey, Komla; Bailie, Ross Stewart

    2016-01-01

    Although some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centers. Our study objectives were to (a) describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities, (b) describe the status of health center system support for health promotion activities, and (c) introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centers systems over 2 years. Baseline assessments showed suboptimal health center systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health center systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence-based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision-making processes about the design/redesign of health center systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff, and members of the local community to address organizational and policy level barriers. PMID:27066470

  20. Improving Health Promotion Using Quality Improvement Techniques in Australian Indigenous Primary Health Care.

    PubMed

    Percival, Nikki; O'Donoghue, Lynette; Lin, Vivian; Tsey, Komla; Bailie, Ross Stewart

    2016-01-01

    Although some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centers. Our study objectives were to (a) describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities, (b) describe the status of health center system support for health promotion activities, and (c) introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centers systems over 2 years. Baseline assessments showed suboptimal health center systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health center systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence-based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision-making processes about the design/redesign of health center systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff, and members of the local community to address organizational and policy level barriers. PMID:27066470

  1. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants. PMID:24844935

  2. Gender identification of Grasshopper Sparrows comparing behavioral, morphological, and molecular techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ammer, F.K.; Wood, P.B.; McPherson, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Correct gender identification in monomorphic species is often difficult especially if males and females do not display obvious behavioral and breeding differences. We compared gender specific morphology and behavior with recently developed DNA techniques for gender identification in the monomorphic Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Gender was ascertained with DNA in 213 individuals using the 2550F/2718R primer set and 3% agarose gel electrophoresis. Field observations using behavior and breeding characteristics to identify gender matched DNA analyses with 100% accuracy for adult males and females. Gender was identified with DNA for all captured juveniles that did not display gender specific traits or behaviors in the field. The molecular techniques used offered a high level of accuracy and may be useful in studies of dispersal mechanisms and winter assemblage composition in monomorphic species.

  3. Techniques to improve patient safety in hospitals: what nurse administrators need to know.

    PubMed

    Fagan, Mary J

    2014-10-01

    Nurse administrators are challenged to determine the best use of limited resources to support organizational patient safety improvement efforts. This article reviews the literature on techniques to reduce errors and improve patient safety in hospitals with a focus on team training initiatives. Implications for nurse administrators are discussed. PMID:25279512

  4. An effusive molecular beam technique for studies of polyatomic gas-surface reactivity and energy transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cushing, G. W.; Navin, J. K.; Valadez, L.; Johánek, V.; Harrison, I.

    2011-04-01

    An effusive molecular beam technique is described to measure alkane dissociative sticking coefficients, S(Tg, Ts; ϑ), on metal surfaces for which the impinging gas temperature, Tg, and surface temperature, Ts, can be independently varied, along with the angle of incidence, ϑ, of the impinging gas. Effusive beam experiments with Tg = Ts = T allow for determination of angle-resolved dissociative sticking coefficients, S(T; ϑ), which when averaged over the cos (ϑ)/π angular distribution appropriate to the impinging flux from a thermal ambient gas yield the thermal dissociative sticking coefficient, S(T). Nonequilibrium S(Tg, Ts; ϑ) measurements for which Tg ≠ Ts provide additional opportunities to characterize the transition state and gas-surface energy transfer at reactive energies. A resistively heated effusive molecular beam doser controls the Tg of the impinging gas striking the surface. The flux of molecules striking the surface from the effusive beam is determined from knowledge of the dosing geometry, chamber pressure, and pumping speed. Separate experiments with a calibrated leak serve to fix the chamber pumping speed. Postdosing Auger electron spectroscopy is used to measure the carbon of the alkyl radical reaction product that is deposited on the surface as a result of alkane dissociative sticking. As implemented in a typical ultrahigh vacuum chamber for surface analysis, the technique has provided access to a dynamic range of roughly 6 orders of magnitude in the initial dissociative sticking coefficient for small alkanes on Pt(111).

  5. Application of different molecular techniques for characterization of catalase-positive cocci isolated from sucuk.

    PubMed

    Kesmen, Zülal; Yarimcam, Burcu; Aslan, Hakiye; Ozbekar, Esra; Yetim, Hasan

    2014-02-01

    This study was carried out for the characterization and discrimination of the indigenous Gram positive, catalase-positive cocci (GCC) population in sucuk, a traditional Turkish dry-fermented sausage. Sucuk samples, produced by the traditional method without starter culture were collected from 8 local producers in Kayseri/Turkey and a total of 116 GCC isolates were identified by using different molecular techniques. Two different molecular fingerprinting methods; namely, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR) and repetitive extragenic palindrome-PCR (rep-PCR), were used for the clustering of isolates and identification at species level was carried out by full length sequencing of 16S rDNA. Combining the results obtained from molecular fingerprinting and 16S rDNA sequencing showed that the dominant GCC species isolated from the sucuk samples was Staphylococcus saprophyticus followed by Staphylococcus succinus and Staphylococcus equorum belonging to the Staphylococcus genus. Real-time PCR DNA melting curve analysis and high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis targeting the V1 + V3 regions of 16S rDNA were also applied for the discrimination of isolates belonging to different species. It was observed statistically different Tm values and species-specific HRM profiles for all except 2 species (S. saprophyticus and Staphylococcus xylosus) that have high 16S rDNA sequence similarity. The combination of rep-PCR and/or PCR-RAPD with 16S rRNA gene sequencing was an efficient approach for the characterization and identification of the GCC population in spontaneously fermented sucuk. On the other hand, intercalating dye assays were found to be a simple and very promising technique for the differentiation of the GCC population at species level. PMID:24410408

  6. New Molecular Techniques to Study the Skin Microbiota of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    PubMed Central

    Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Sotto, Albert; Dunyach-Remy, Catherine; Lipsky, Benjamin A.

    2015-01-01

    Significance: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) are a major and growing public health problem. They pose difficulties in clinical practice in both diagnosis and management. Bacterial interactions on the skin surface are important in the pathophysiology of DFU and may contribute to a delay in healing. Fully identifying bacteria present in these wounds is difficult with traditional culture methods. New molecular tools, however, have greatly contributed to our understanding of the role of the cutaneous microbiota in DFU. Recent Advances: Molecular technologies revealed new information concerning how bacteria are organized in DFU. This has led to the concept of “functionally equivalent pathogroups,” meaning that certain bacterial species which are usually nonpathogenic (or at least incapable of maintaining a chronic infection on their own) may coaggregate symbiotically in a pathogenic biofilm and act synergistically to cause a chronic infection. The distribution of pathogens in multispecies biofilms is nonrandom. The high bacterial diversity is probably related to the development of a microbial biofilm that is irreversibly attached to the wound matrix. Critical Issues: Using molecular techniques requires a financial outlay for high-cost equipment. They are still too time-consuming to perform and reporting is too delayed for them to be used in routine practice. Finally, they do not differentiate live from dead or pathogenic from nonpathogenic microorganisms. Future Directions: Molecular tools have better documented the composition and organization of the skin flora. Further advances are required to elucidate which among the many bacteria in the DFU flora are likely to be pathogens, rather than colonizers. PMID:25566413

  7. Experimental investigations of micro-scale flow and heat transfer phenomena by using molecular tagging techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Hui; Jin, Zheyan; Nocera, Daniel; Lum, Chee; Koochesfahani, Manoochehr

    2010-08-01

    Recent progress made in the development of novel molecule-based flow diagnostic techniques, including molecular tagging velocimetry (MTV) and lifetime-based molecular tagging thermometry (MTT), to achieve simultaneous measurements of multiple important flow variables for micro-flows and micro-scale heat transfer studies is reported in this study. The focus of the work described here is the particular class of molecular tagging tracers that relies on phosphorescence. Instead of using tiny particles, especially designed phosphorescent molecules, which can be turned into long-lasting glowing marks upon excitation by photons of appropriate wavelength, are used as tracers for both flow velocity and temperature measurements. A pulsed laser is used to 'tag' the tracer molecules in the regions of interest, and the tagged molecules are imaged at two successive times within the photoluminescence lifetime of the tracer molecules. The measured Lagrangian displacement of the tagged molecules provides the estimate of the fluid velocity. The simultaneous temperature measurement is achieved by taking advantage of the temperature dependence of phosphorescence lifetime, which is estimated from the intensity ratio of the tagged molecules in the acquired two phosphorescence images. The implementation and application of the molecular tagging approach for micro-scale thermal flow studies are demonstrated by two examples. The first example is to conduct simultaneous flow velocity and temperature measurements inside a microchannel to quantify the transient behavior of electroosmotic flow (EOF) to elucidate underlying physics associated with the effects of Joule heating on electrokinematically driven flows. The second example is to examine the time evolution of the unsteady heat transfer and phase changing process inside micro-sized, icing water droplets, which is pertinent to the ice formation and accretion processes as water droplets impinge onto cold wind turbine blades.

  8. Peptide dynamics by molecular dynamics simulation and diffusion theory method with improved basis sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Po Jen; Lai, S. K.; Rapallo, Arnaldo

    2014-03-01

    Improved basis sets for the study of polymer dynamics by means of the diffusion theory, and tests on a melt of cis-1,4-polyisoprene decamers, and a toluene solution of a 71-mer syndiotactic trans-1,2-polypentadiene were presented recently [R. Gaspari and A. Rapallo, J. Chem. Phys. 128, 244109 (2008)]. The proposed hybrid basis approach (HBA) combined two techniques, the long time sorting procedure and the maximum correlation approximation. The HBA takes advantage of the strength of these two techniques, and its basis sets proved to be very effective and computationally convenient in describing both local and global dynamics in cases of flexible synthetic polymers where the repeating unit is a unique type of monomer. The question then arises if the same efficacy continues when the HBA is applied to polymers of different monomers, variable local stiffness along the chain and with longer persistence length, which have different local and global dynamical properties against the above-mentioned systems. Important examples of this kind of molecular chains are the proteins, so that a fragment of the protein transthyretin is chosen as the system of the present study. This peptide corresponds to a sequence that is structured in β-sheets of the protein and is located on the surface of the channel with thyroxin. The protein transthyretin forms amyloid fibrils in vivo, whereas the peptide fragment has been shown [C. P. Jaroniec, C. E. MacPhee, N. S. Astrof, C. M. Dobson, and R. G. Griffin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99, 16748 (2002)] to form amyloid fibrils in vitro in extended β-sheet conformations. For these reasons the latter is given considerable attention in the literature and studied also as an isolated fragment in water solution where both experimental and theoretical efforts have indicated the propensity of the system to form β turns or α helices, but is otherwise predominantly unstructured. Differing from previous computational studies that employed implicit

  9. Peptide dynamics by molecular dynamics simulation and diffusion theory method with improved basis sets.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Po Jen; Lai, S K; Rapallo, Arnaldo

    2014-03-14

    Improved basis sets for the study of polymer dynamics by means of the diffusion theory, and tests on a melt of cis-1,4-polyisoprene decamers, and a toluene solution of a 71-mer syndiotactic trans-1,2-polypentadiene were presented recently [R. Gaspari and A. Rapallo, J. Chem. Phys. 128, 244109 (2008)]. The proposed hybrid basis approach (HBA) combined two techniques, the long time sorting procedure and the maximum correlation approximation. The HBA takes advantage of the strength of these two techniques, and its basis sets proved to be very effective and computationally convenient in describing both local and global dynamics in cases of flexible synthetic polymers where the repeating unit is a unique type of monomer. The question then arises if the same efficacy continues when the HBA is applied to polymers of different monomers, variable local stiffness along the chain and with longer persistence length, which have different local and global dynamical properties against the above-mentioned systems. Important examples of this kind of molecular chains are the proteins, so that a fragment of the protein transthyretin is chosen as the system of the present study. This peptide corresponds to a sequence that is structured in β-sheets of the protein and is located on the surface of the channel with thyroxin. The protein transthyretin forms amyloid fibrils in vivo, whereas the peptide fragment has been shown [C. P. Jaroniec, C. E. MacPhee, N. S. Astrof, C. M. Dobson, and R. G. Griffin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99, 16748 (2002)] to form amyloid fibrils in vitro in extended β-sheet conformations. For these reasons the latter is given considerable attention in the literature and studied also as an isolated fragment in water solution where both experimental and theoretical efforts have indicated the propensity of the system to form β turns or α helices, but is otherwise predominantly unstructured. Differing from previous computational studies that employed implicit

  10. Peptide dynamics by molecular dynamics simulation and diffusion theory method with improved basis sets

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, Po Jen; Lai, S. K.; Rapallo, Arnaldo

    2014-03-14

    Improved basis sets for the study of polymer dynamics by means of the diffusion theory, and tests on a melt of cis-1,4-polyisoprene decamers, and a toluene solution of a 71-mer syndiotactic trans-1,2-polypentadiene were presented recently [R. Gaspari and A. Rapallo, J. Chem. Phys. 128, 244109 (2008)]. The proposed hybrid basis approach (HBA) combined two techniques, the long time sorting procedure and the maximum correlation approximation. The HBA takes advantage of the strength of these two techniques, and its basis sets proved to be very effective and computationally convenient in describing both local and global dynamics in cases of flexible synthetic polymers where the repeating unit is a unique type of monomer. The question then arises if the same efficacy continues when the HBA is applied to polymers of different monomers, variable local stiffness along the chain and with longer persistence length, which have different local and global dynamical properties against the above-mentioned systems. Important examples of this kind of molecular chains are the proteins, so that a fragment of the protein transthyretin is chosen as the system of the present study. This peptide corresponds to a sequence that is structured in β-sheets of the protein and is located on the surface of the channel with thyroxin. The protein transthyretin forms amyloid fibrils in vivo, whereas the peptide fragment has been shown [C. P. Jaroniec, C. E. MacPhee, N. S. Astrof, C. M. Dobson, and R. G. Griffin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99, 16748 (2002)] to form amyloid fibrils in vitro in extended β-sheet conformations. For these reasons the latter is given considerable attention in the literature and studied also as an isolated fragment in water solution where both experimental and theoretical efforts have indicated the propensity of the system to form β turns or α helices, but is otherwise predominantly unstructured. Differing from previous computational studies that employed implicit

  11. A Research Project-Based and Self-Determined Teaching System of Molecular Biology Techniques for Undergraduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Shuping

    2008-01-01

    Molecular biology techniques play a very important role in understanding the biological activity. Students who major in biology should know not only how to perform experiments, but also the reasons for performing them. Having the concept of conducting research by integrating various techniques is especially important. This paper introduces a…

  12. An improved technique for the 2H/1H analysis of urines from diabetic volunteers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coplen, T.B.; Harper, I.T.

    1994-01-01

    The H2-H2O ambient-temperature equilibration technique for the determination of 2H/1H ratios in urinary waters from diabetic subjects provides improved accuracy over the conventional Zn reduction technique. The standard deviation, ~ 1-2???, is at least a factor of three better than that of the Zn reduction technique on urinary waters from diabetic volunteers. Experiments with pure water and solutions containing glucose, urea and albumen indicate that there is no measurable bias in the hydrogen equilibration technique.The H2-H2O ambient-temperature equilibration technique for the determination of 2H/1H ratios in urinary waters from diabetic subjects provides improved accuracy over the conventional Zn reduction technique. The standard deviation, approximately 1-2%, is at least a factor of three better than that of the Zn reduction technique on urinary waters from diabetic volunteers. Experiments with pure water and solutions containing glucose, urea and albumen indicate that there is no measurable bias in the hydrogen equilibration technique.

  13. Vibrio parahaemolyticus: a review on the pathogenesis, prevalence, and advance molecular identification techniques

    PubMed Central

    Letchumanan, Vengadesh; Chan, Kok-Gan; Lee, Learn-Han

    2014-01-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a Gram-negative halophilic bacterium that is found in estuarine, marine and coastal environments. V. parahaemolyticus is the leading causal agent of human acute gastroenteritis following the consumption of raw, undercooked, or mishandled marine products. In rare cases, V. parahaemolyticus causes wound infection, ear infection or septicaemia in individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. V. parahaemolyticus has two hemolysins virulence factors that are thermostable direct hemolysin (tdh)-a pore-forming protein that contributes to the invasiveness of the bacterium in humans, and TDH-related hemolysin (trh), which plays a similar role as tdh in the disease pathogenesis. In addition, the bacterium is also encodes for adhesions and type III secretion systems (T3SS1 and T3SS2) to ensure its survival in the environment. This review aims at discussing the V. parahaemolyticus growth and characteristics, pathogenesis, prevalence and advances in molecular identification techniques. PMID:25566219

  14. A Coupled Meshless Technique/Molecular Dynamics Approach for Deformation Characterization of Mono-crystalline Metal

    SciTech Connect

    Gu, Y. T.; Yarlagadda, Prasad K. D. V.

    2010-05-21

    This paper presents a multiscale study using the coupled Meshless technique/Molecular Dynamics (M{sup 2}) for exploring the deformation mechanism of mono-crystalline metal (focus on copper) under uniaxial tension. In M{sup 2}, an advanced transition algorithm using transition particles is employed to ensure the compatibility of both displacements and their gradients, and an effective local quasi-continuum approach is also applied to obtain the equivalent continuum strain energy density based on the atomistic potentials and Cauchy-Born rule. The key parameters used in M{sup 2} are firstly investigated using a benchmark problem. Then, M{sup 2} is applied to the multiscale simulation for a mono-crystalline copper bar. It has found that the mono-crystalline copper has very good elongation property, and the ultimate strength and Young's modulus are much higher than those obtained in macro-scale.

  15. Congenital candidiasis: confirmation of mother-neonate transmission using molecular analysis techniques.

    PubMed

    Tiraboschi, Iris Carla Niveyro; Niveyro, Carla; Mandarano, Ana Maria; Messer, Shawn A; Bogdanowicz, Elizabeth; Kurlat, Isabel; Lasala, María Beatriz

    2010-02-01

    We describe a case of congenital acquired candidiasis in a preterm female delivered through Caesarean section due to the premature rupture of the amniotic membrane. The neonate presented with suspected chorioamnionitis and erythematous desquamative skin. Candida albicans was isolated from the placenta, mouth, groin, and periumbilical lesions. The infant developed candidemia due to Candida albicans and the same yeast was also isolated from a catheter. Culture inoculated with swabs from the mouth and vagina of the mother yielded C. albicans and C. krusei. All C. albicans isolates from the mother and the neonate were visually indistinguishable by molecular typing techniques which included chromosomal karyotyping and restriction endonuclease analysis followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. These findings allowed the clinical condition to be confirmed as congenital acquisition of candidiasis in this case. PMID:19306215

  16. The Application of Molecular Techniques to the Study of Wastewater Treatment Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojnowska-Baryła, Irena; Cydzik-Kwiatkowska, Agnieszka; Zielińska, Magdalena

    Wastewater treatment systems tend to be engineered to select for a few functional microbial groups that may be organized in various spatial structures such as activated sludge flocs, biofilm or granules and represented by single coherent phylogenic groups such as ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and polyphosphate-accumulating organisms (PAO). In order to monitor and control engineered microbial structure in wastewater treatment systems, it is necessary to understand the relationships between the microbial community structure and the process performance. This review focuses on bacterial communities in wastewater treatment processes, the quantity of microorganisms and structure of microbial consortia in wastewater treatment bioreactors. The review shows that the application of molecular techniques in studies of engineered environmental systems has increased our insight into the vast diversity and interaction of microorganisms present in wastewater treatment systems.

  17. Novel elastomers, characterization techniques, and improvements in the mechanical properties of some thermoplastic biodegradable polymers and their nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Mohamed Korany Ibrahim

    This work focused in its first part on the preparation and characterization of novel elastomers based on poly(tetrahydrofuran) (PTHF) networks. Elastomers were prepared by a hydrolysis-condensation reaction which has been followed up by FTIR spectroscopic techniques. The elastomers thus obtained were studied with regard to their equilibrium swelling in toluene at 25°C, and their stress-strain isotherms in elongation. For some of the samples, high elongations seemed to bring about highly desirable strain-induced crystallization, as evidenced by upturns in the modulus. Swelling of these samples with increasing amounts of the non-volatile diluent dibutyl phthalate caused the upturns to gradually disappear. The second part of this work was focused on diversifying the newly developed sound wave propagation technique to characterize elastomeric polymer networks. The technique was applied to characterize polybutadiene (PBD) networks. The speed of wave propagation in PBD networks was found to be strongly dependent on the network structural parameters such as average molecular weight of chain between crosslinks and entanglement molecular weight. Also, for the swollen networks, pulse speeds decreased with increase in degree of swelling. Upturns due to strain-induced crystallization at higher elongations were clearly evidenced in the pulse speeds. The third part of this work presented improvements in the mechanical properties of thermoplastic biodegradable poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (Nodax(TM)) using a pre-orientation technique. This simple approach involved heating the polymer film to a temperature above its glass transition temperature, stretching it to the desired extension (%), and then quenching it to room temperature while in the stretched state. As expected, pre-orientation resulted in substantial improvements in the mechanical properties of the films. The pre-oriented films had higher values of the modulus, toughness, yield stress, and tensile

  18. Using Molecular Phenotyping to Guide Improvements in the Histologic Diagnosis of T Cell-Mediated Rejection.

    PubMed

    Reeve, J; Chang, J; Salazar, I D R; Lopez, M Merino; Halloran, P F

    2016-04-01

    Recognition that some lesions typical of T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) also occur in antibody-mediated rejection requires revision of the histologic TCMR definition. To guide this process, we assessed the relative importance of various lesions and the performance of new histology diagnostic algorithms, using molecular TCMR scores as histology-independent estimates of true TCMR. In 703 indication biopsies, random forest analysis and logistic regression indicated that interstitial infiltrate (i-lesions) and tubulitis (t-lesions) were the key histologic predictors of molecular TCMR, with arteritis (v-lesions) having less importance. Histology predicted molecular TCMR more accurately when diagnoses were assigned by strictly applying the Banff rules to the lesion scores and redefining isolated v-lesion TCMR. This improved prediction from area under the curve (AUC) 0.70 with existing rules to AUC 0.80. Further improvements were achieved by introducing more categories to reflect inflammation (AUC 0.84), by summing the lesion scores (AUC 0.85) and by logistic regression (AUC 0.90). We concluded that histologic assessment of TCMR can be improved by placing more emphasis on i- and t-lesions and incorporating new algorithms for diagnosis. Nevertheless, some discrepancies between histologic and molecular diagnoses persist, partially due to the inherent nonspecificity of i- and t-lesions, and molecular methods will be required to help resolve these cases. PMID:26730747

  19. Dosimetric Evaluation of a Simple Planning Technique for Improving Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Wen-Jia; Xie, Liang-Xi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the dosimetric outcomes of a simple planning technique for improving intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Methods For 39 NPC cases, generally acceptable original plans were generated and were improved by the two planning techniques, respectively: (1) a basal-dose-compensation (BDC) technique, in which the treatment plans were re-optimized based on the original plans; (2) a local-dose-control (LDC) technique, in which the original plans were re-optimized with constraints for hot and cold spots. The BDC, original, and LDC plans were then compared regarding homogeneity index (HI) and conformity index (CI) of planning target volumes (PTVs), organ-at-risk (OAR) sparing and monitor units (MUs) per fraction. The whole planning times were also compared between the BDC and LDC plans. Results The BDC plans had superior HIs / CIs, by 13-24% / 3-243%, respectively, over the original plans. Compared to the LDC plans, the BDC plans provided better HIs only for PTVnx (the PTV of nasopharyngeal primary tumor) by 11% and better CIs for all PTVs by 2-134%. The BDC technique spared most OARs, by 1-9%. The average MUs of the BDC, original, and LDC plans were 2149, 2068 and 2179, respectively. The average whole planning times were 48 and 69 minutes for the BDC and LDC plans, respectively. Conclusions For the IMRT of nasopharyngeal cancer, the BDC planning technique can improve target dose homogeneity, conformity and OAR sparing, with better planning efficiency. PMID:26132167

  20. Alternative procedure to improve the stability of mandibular complete dentures: a modified neutral zone technique.

    PubMed

    Rehmann, Peter; Zenginel, Martha; Wostmann, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this report is to describe an alternative technique to record the neutral zone. An acrylic resin base with posterior occlusal rims was applied using a thermoplastic denture adhesive. After being worn for 2 days, the base was transferred into an acrylic resin complete denture. Most patients reported an improvement in denture stability and a reduction of pressure sores. This procedure seems to be helpful to improve denture function, especially in the mandible, in patients who cannot be treated with implants. However, because of its complexity, this neutral zone technique cannot be recommended for routine clinical use. PMID:22930774

  1. Improvement of the technique in treatment of internal hemorrhoids with Nd:YAG laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, Xiao-qing; Zhu, Jing; Shi, Hong-Min

    2005-07-01

    Objective: To observe and study the improvement of the technique in treatment of internal hemorrhoids with Nd:YAG laser and evaluate the effective rate. Methods: 60 patients of internal hemorrhoids were treated with Nd:YAG laser (10-15mw) irradiating on the mucosa of the lesions. Results: Among 60 patients, 57 patients were primarily cured with one treatment, 3 patients were primarily cured with two treatments. The effective rate was 95% with one treatment, and it reached to 100% with two treatments. Conclusions: the improvement of the technique in treatment of internal hemorrhoids with Nd:YAG laser is effective and easy to operate.

  2. Intelligibility improvement of analog communication systems using an amplitude control technique.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wishna, S.

    1973-01-01

    An amplitude control technique has been employed for use with analog voice communication systems, which improves low-level phoneme reception and eliminates the received noise between words and syllables. Tests were conducted on a narrow-band frequency-modulation simplex voice communication channel employing the amplitude control technique. Presented for both the modified rhyme word tests and the phonetically balanced word tests are a series of graphical plots of the tests' score distribution, mean, and standard deviation as a function of received carrier-to-noise power density ratio. At low received carrier-to-noise power density ratios, a significant improvement in the intelligibility was obtained. A voice intelligibility improvement of more than 2 dB was obtained for the modified rhyme test words, and a voice intelligibility improvement in excess of 4 dB was obtained for the phonetically balanced word tests.

  3. IMPROVED METHOD FOR ESTIMATING MOLECULAR WEIGHTS OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS FROM LOW RESOLUTION MASS SPECTRA

    EPA Science Inventory

    An improved method of estimating molecular weights of volatile organic compound from their mass spectra has been developed and implemented with an expert system. he method is based on the strong correlation of MAXMASS, the highest mass with an intensity of 5% of the base peak in ...

  4. Spiranic BODIPYs: a ground-breaking design to improve the energy transfer in molecular cassettes.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Carnerero, Esther M; Gartzia-Rivero, Leire; Moreno, Florencio; Maroto, Beatriz L; Agarrabeitia, Antonia R; Ortiz, María J; Bañuelos, Jorge; López-Arbeloa, Íñigo; de la Moya, Santiago

    2014-10-28

    Boosted excitation energy transfer in spiranic O-BODIPY/polyarene cassettes, when compared with the parent non-spiranic (flexible) system, is highlighted as a proof for the ability of a new structural design to improve the energy transfer in molecular cassettes. PMID:25207836

  5. The use of molecular imaging combined with genomic techniques to understand the heterogeneity in cancer metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, R; Ganeshan, B; Irshad, S; Lawler, K; Eisenblätter, M; Milewicz, H; Rodriguez-Justo, M; Miles, K; Ellis, P; Groves, A; Punwani, S

    2014-01-01

    Tumour heterogeneity has, in recent times, come to play a vital role in how we understand and treat cancers; however, the clinical translation of this has lagged behind advances in research. Although significant advancements in oncological management have been made, personalized care remains an elusive goal. Inter- and intratumour heterogeneity, particularly in the clinical setting, has been difficult to quantify and therefore to treat. The histological quantification of heterogeneity of tumours can be a logistical and clinical challenge. The ability to examine not just the whole tumour but also all the molecular variations of metastatic disease in a patient is obviously difficult with current histological techniques. Advances in imaging techniques and novel applications, alongside our understanding of tumour heterogeneity, have opened up a plethora of non-invasive biomarker potential to examine tumours, their heterogeneity and the clinical translation. This review will focus on how various imaging methods that allow for quantification of metastatic tumour heterogeneity, along with the potential of developing imaging, integrated with other in vitro diagnostic approaches such as genomics and exosome analyses, have the potential role as a non-invasive biomarker for guiding the treatment algorithm. PMID:24597512

  6. Development of Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) Coating by Cold Spray Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravi, Kesavan; Ichikawa, Yuji; Deplancke, Tiana; Ogawa, Kazuhiro; Lame, Olivier; Cavaille, Jean-Yves

    2015-08-01

    Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene or UHMWPE is an extremely difficult material to coat with, as it is rubbery and chemically very inert. The Cold Spray process appears to be a promising alternative processing technique but polymers are in general difficult to deposit using this method. So, attempts to develop UHMWPE coatings were made using a downstream injection cold spray technique incorporating a few modifications. A conventional cold spray machine yielded only a few deposited particles of UHMWPE on the substrate surface, but with some modifications in the nozzle geometry (especially the length and inner geometry) a thin coating of 45 μm on Al substrate was obtained. Moreover, experiments with the addition of fumed nano-alumina to the feedstock yielded a coating of 1-4 mm thickness on Al and polypropylene substrates. UHMWPE was seen to be melt crystallized during the coating formation, as can be seen from the differential calorimetry curves. Influence of nano-ceramic particles was explained by observing the creation of a bridge bond between UHMWPE particles.

  7. The Ticket to Retention: A Classroom Assessment Technique Designed to Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Divoll, Kent A.; Browning, Sandra T.; Vesey, Winona M.

    2012-01-01

    Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) or other closure activities are widely promoted for use in college classrooms. However, research on whether CATs improve student learning are mixed. The authors posit that the results are mixed because CATs were designed to "help teachers find out what students are learning in the classroom and how well…

  8. After-School Toolkit: Tips, Techniques and Templates for Improving Program Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Nora; Bradshaw, Molly; Furano, Kathryn

    2008-01-01

    This toolkit offers program managers a hands-on guide for implementing quality programming in the after-school hours. The kit includes tools and techniques that increased the quality of literacy programming and helped improve student reading gains in the Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) initiative of The James Irvine…

  9. TWT efficiency improvement by a low-cost technique for deposition of carbon on MDC electrodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebihara, Ben T.; Ramins, Peter; Peet, Shelly

    1987-01-01

    A simple method of improving the TWT and multistage depressed collector (MDC) efficiency has been demonstrated. The efficiency improvement was produced by the application of a thin layer of carbon to the copper electrodes of the MDC by means of a rapid low-cost technique involving the pyrolysis of hydrocarbon oil in electric arc discharges. Experimental results with a representative TWT and MDC showed an 11 percent improvement in both the TWT and MDC efficiencies as compared to those of the same TWT and MDC with machined copper electrode surfaces. An extended test with a 550-W CW TWT indicated good durability of the carbon-coated electrode surfaces.

  10. Momentum resolution improvement technique for silicon tracking detectors using d E/d x

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paganis, Stathes D.; Tang, Jaw-Luen

    2001-08-01

    A technique for improving the momentum resolution for low momentum charged particles in few layer silicon based trackers is presented. The particle momenta are determined from the measured Landau d E/d x distribution and the Bethe-Bloch formula in the 1/ β2 region. It is shown that a factor of two improvement of the momentum determination is achieved as compared to standard track fitting methods. This improvement is important in large scale heavy ion experiments which cover the low transverse momentum spectra using stand-alone silicon tracking devices with a few planes like the ones used in STAR at RHIC and ALICE at LHC.