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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 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A liftoff technique for molecular nanopatterning.

    PubMed

    Hang, Qingling; Wang, Yuliang; Lieberman, Marya; Bernstein, Gary H

    2003-08-01

    For quantum-dot cellular automata molecular electronic devices, one of the fundamental tasks is to arrange the molecules on a surface in a controlled manner. In this report, we discuss a molecular lift off technique to form nanopatterns toward the development of molecular circuits. In our molecular lift off technique, we use electron beam lithography to form nano-trenches on a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) film on a SiO2 wafer. This wafer is soaked in a Creutz-Taube ion [(NH3)5Ru(pyrazine)Ru(NH3)5](o-toluenesulfonate)5 (CT5) aqueous solution. After residual PMMA removal, atomic force microscopy is used to investigate the resulting surface. Thirty-five nanometer CT5 lines are demonstrated on a SiO2 surface. Compared with other molecular nanopatterning techniques, ours is both economical and capable of high-resolution.

  6. Techniques for Molecular Imaging Probe Design

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Fred; Kelly, Kimberly A.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular imaging allows clinicians to visualize disease specific molecules, thereby providing relevant information in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. With advances in genomics and proteomics and underlying mechanisms of disease pathology, the number of targets identified has significantly outpaced the number of developed molecular imaging probes. There has been a concerted effort to bridge this gap with multidisciplinary efforts in chemistry, proteomics, physics, material science, and biology; all essential to progress in molecular imaging probe development. In this review, we will discuss target selection, screening techniques and probe optimization with the aim of developing clinically relevant molecularly targeted imaging agents. PMID:22201532

  7. Techniques for molecular imaging probe design.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Fred; Kelly, Kimberly A

    2011-12-01

    Molecular imaging allows clinicians to visualize disease-specific molecules, thereby providing relevant information in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. With advances in genomics and proteomics and underlying mechanisms of disease pathology, the number of targets identified has significantly outpaced the number of developed molecular imaging probes. There has been a concerted effort to bridge this gap with multidisciplinary efforts in chemistry, proteomics, physics, material science, and biology--all essential to progress in molecular imaging probe development. In this review, we discuss target selection, screening techniques, and probe optimization with the aim of developing clinically relevant molecularly targeted imaging agents.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  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. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Improving TMD classification using the Delphi technique.

    PubMed

    John, M T

    2010-10-01

    The classification of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) is still controversial. Consensus methods such as the Delphi technique, a method that polls experts' anonymous opinion in an iterative process with controlled feedback and statistical aggregation of group response, could be valuable to improve this challenging topic. The article illustrates the application of the Delphi technique for deciding whether the terms myalgia or myofascial pain should be used in a TMD classification system and discusses the technique's potential for TMD classification in general. In three Delphi rounds, 14 TMD experts from the Division of TMD and Orofacial Pain of the University of Minnesota reached a consensus about which TMD diagnoses should be included in a TMD classification system. They preferred the term myofascial pain over myalgia. The Delphi technique has the potential to provide answers to complex questions in TMD classification, e.g., TMD nomenclature and range as well as scope of conditions included in a future TMD classification system.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. [Application of molecular biological techniques in Taenia identification].

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Liu, Hang; Yang, Yi-Mei

    2011-10-01

    The traditional identification of Taenia spp. based on morphological features of adult and cysticercus has difficulties in identifying the morphologically similar species. The recent development of molecular techniques provides more scientific ways for distinguishing Taenia species. This paper summarizes the application of molecular biological techniques in the identification of Taenia, such as analysis of DNA sequence, PCR-RFLP and LAMP.

  19. A Simple Lightning Assimilation Technique For Improving ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Convective rainfall is often a large source of error in retrospective modeling applications. In particular, positive rainfall biases commonly exist during summer months due to overactive convective parameterizations. In this study, lightning assimilation was applied in the Kain-Fritsch (KF) convective scheme to improve retrospective simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The assimilation method has a straightforward approach: Force KF deep convection where lightning is observed and, optionally, suppress deep convection where lightning is absent. WRF simulations were made with and without lightning assimilation over the continental United States for July 2012, July 2013, and January 2013. The simulations were evaluated against NCEP stage-IV precipitation data and MADIS near-surface meteorological observations. In general, the use of lightning assimilation considerably improves the simulation of summertime rainfall. For example, the July 2012 monthly-averaged bias of 6-h accumulated rainfall is reduced from 0.54 mm to 0.07 mm and the spatial correlation is increased from 0.21 to 0.43 when lightning assimilation is used. Statistical measures of near-surface meteorological variables also are improved. Consistent improvements also are seen for the July 2013 case. These results suggest that this lightning assimilation technique has the potential to substantially improve simulation of warm-season rainfall in retrospective WRF appli

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Improving feed slurry rheology by colloidal techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, W.O.; Ternes, R.L.

    1984-06-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PSN) has investigated three colloidal techniques in the laboratory to improve the sedimentation and flowability of Hanford simulated (nonradioactive) current acid waste (CAW) melter feed slurry: polymer-induced bridging flocculation; manipulating glass former (raw SiO/sub 2/ or frit) particle size; and alteration of nitric acid content. All three methods proved successful in improving the rheology of the simulated CAW feed. This initially had exhibited nearly worst-case flow and clogging properties, but was transformed into a flowable, resuspendable (nonclogging) feed. While each has advantages and disadvantages, the following three specific alternatives proved successful: addition of a polyelectrolyte in 2000 ppM concentration to feed slurry; substitution of a 49 wt % SiO/sub 2/ colloidal suspension (approx. 10-micron particle size) for the -325 mesh (less than or equal to 44-micron particle size) raw-chemical SiO/sub 2/; and increase of nitric acid content from the reference 1.06 M to optimum 1.35 M. The first method, polymer-induced bridging flocculation, results in a high sediment volume, nonclogging CAW feed. The second method, involving the use of colloidal silica particles results in a nonsedimenting feed that when left unagitated forms a gel. The third method, increase in feed acidity, results in a highly resuspendable (nonclogging) melter feed. Further research is therefore required to determine which of the three alternatives is the preferred method of achieving rheological control of CAW melter feeds.

  3. 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.

  4. Hybrid opto-electric techniques for molecular diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Haque, Aeraj Ul

    2012-01-01

    Hybrid optoelectric techniques reflect a new paradigm in microfluidics. In essence, these are microfluidic techniques that employ a synergistic combination of optical and electrical forces to enable noninvasive manipulation of fluids and/or particle-type entities at the micro/nano-scale [1]. Synergy between optical and electrical forces bestows these techniques with several unique features that are promising to bring new opportunities in molecular diagnostics. Within the scope of molecular diagnostics, several aspects of optoelectric techniques promise to play a relevant role. These include, but are not limited to, sample preparation, sorting, purification, amplification and detection.

  5. Application of molecular techniques on heterotrophic hydrogen production research.

    PubMed

    Li, R Y; Zhang, T; Fang, H H P

    2011-09-01

    This paper reviews the application of molecular techniques in heterotrophic hydrogen production studies. Commonly used molecular techniques are introduced briefly first, including cloning-sequencing after polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and quantitative real-time PCR. Application of the molecular techniques in heterotrophic hydrogen production studies are discussed in details, focusing on identification of new isolates for hydrogen production, characterization of microbial compositions in bioreactors, monitoring microbial diversity variation, visualization of microbial distribution in hydrogen-producing granular sludge, and quantification of various microbial populations. Some significant findings in recent hydrogen production studies with the application of molecular techniques are discussed, followed by a research outlook of the heterotrophic biohydrogen field.

  6. 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.

  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.

    1995-10-01

    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.

  9. Improved techniques for monitoring the HF spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giesbrecht, James E.; Clarke, Russell; Abbott, Derek

    2004-03-01

    A critical review of contemporary papers on modulation recognition, signal separation, and Single Station Location (SSL) is described in the context of High-Frequency (HF) radio-communications. High-frequency communications is undergoing resurgence despite advances in long-range satellite communication systems. Defense agencies are using the HF spectrum for backup communications as well as for spectrum surveillance applications. Spectrum management organizations are monitoring the HF spectrum to control and enforce licensing. This type of activity usually requires a system that is able to determine the location of a source of transmissions, separate valid signals from interferers and noise, and characterize signals-of-interest (SOI). The immediate aim is to show that commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment can be used to locate HF transmission sources, enhance SOIs and reject interference, and recognize signal types. The described work on single-station-location (SSL), signal separation, and modulation recognition is contributing to these goals. This paper describes the overall objectives and some of the disadvantages and benefits of various schemes for single-station-location (SSL), signal separation, and modulation recognition. It also proposes new approaches that may relieve shortcomings of existing methods -- including selection of benchmarks or modulations for various transmission scenarios and propagation modes, and use of multiple digital receivers or compression techniques to improve modulation recognition, signal separation, and location of HF emitters.

  10. Molecular Imprinting Techniques Used for the Preparation of Biosensors.

    PubMed

    Ertürk, Gizem; Mattiasson, Bo

    2017-02-04

    Molecular imprinting is the technology of creating artificial recognition sites in polymeric matrices which are complementary to the template in their size, shape and spatial arrangement of the functional groups. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and their incorporation with various transducer platforms are among the most promising approaches for detection of several analytes. There are a variety of molecular imprinting techniques used for the preparation of biomimetic sensors including bulk imprinting, surface imprinting (soft lithography, template immobilization, grafting, emulsion polymerization) and epitope imprinting. This chapter presents an overview of all of these techniques with examples from particular publications.

  11. Molecular Imprinting Techniques Used for the Preparation of Biosensors

    PubMed Central

    Ertürk, Gizem; Mattiasson, Bo

    2017-01-01

    Molecular imprinting is the technology of creating artificial recognition sites in polymeric matrices which are complementary to the template in their size, shape and spatial arrangement of the functional groups. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and their incorporation with various transducer platforms are among the most promising approaches for detection of several analytes. There are a variety of molecular imprinting techniques used for the preparation of biomimetic sensors including bulk imprinting, surface imprinting (soft lithography, template immobilization, grafting, emulsion polymerization) and epitope imprinting. This chapter presents an overview of all of these techniques with examples from particular publications. PMID:28165419

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improving Demonstration Using Better Interaction Techniques

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    Programming by demonstration (PBD) can be used to create tools and methods that eliminate the need to learn difficult computer languages. Gamut is a...do this, Gamut uses advanced interaction techniques that make it easier for a software author to express all needed aspects of one’s program. These...techniques include a simplified way to demonstrate new examples, called nudges, and a way to highlight objects to show they are important. Also, Gamut

  16. Does Retelling Technique Improve Speaking Fluency?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rachmawaty, Noor; Hermagustiana, Istanti

    2010-01-01

    This paper is based on a study on speaking fluency performed by six low level students using retelling technique. The aim of the study is to find out the effect of retelling on the students' speaking fluency and to know the strategies used by those students while retelling a story. The data were the speaking transcripts which were analyzed to see…

  17. 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,…

  18. Improved Nozzle Testing Techniques in Transonic Flow

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-10-01

    the difficulties related to transonic testing techniques. The presence of a model mounting system, proximity of the tunnel walls, the method and amount...avec la methode exposee rtf 2. (b) Le coefficient de poussee interne KTJ , qui represente le precedent exprime en pressions relatives PQAJ KTi... method was developed to define a valid total pressure, based on a mast flow averaging procedure, for a distorted jet pipe flow. The results for the AGARD

  19. Assessment of knowledge of participants on basic molecular biology techniques after 5-day intensive molecular biology training workshops in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Yisau, J I; Adagbada, A O; Bamidele, T; Fowora, M; Brai, B I C; Adebesin, O; Bamidele, M; Fesobi, T; Nwaokorie, F O; Ajayi, A; Smith, S I

    2017-02-01

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), to improve the knowledge and skills of laboratory personnel and academics in health, research, and educational facilities. Five-day molecular biology workshops were conducted annually between 2011 and 2014, with participants drawn from health, research facilities, and the academia. The courses consisted of theoretical and practical sessions. The impact of the workshops on knowledge and skill acquisition was evaluated by pre- and post-tests which consisted of 25 multiple choice and other questions. Sixty-five participants took part in the workshops. The mean knowledge of molecular biology as evaluated by the pre- and post-test assessments were 8.4 (95% CI 7.6-9.1) and 13.0 (95 CI 11.9-14.1), respectively. The mean post-test score was significantly greater than the mean pre-test score (p < 0.0001). The five-day molecular biology workshop significantly increased the knowledge and skills of participants in molecular biology techniques. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2017.

  20. Improved NDI techniques for aircraft inspections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagemaier, Donald J.; Wilson, Dwight

    1996-11-01

    Through the use of an 'integrated product team' approach and new inspection techniques incorporating the latest in imaging capabilities and automation, the costs of some man- power intensive tasks can now be drastically reduced. Also, through the use of advanced eddy current techniques, the detectable size of cracks under flush-head fasteners can be reduced while maintaining a reliable inspection. Early in this decade, the FAA Technical Center and NASA LaRC formulated an aging aircraft research plan. The unique aspect about the research is that it is driven by the aircraft manufacturers and airlines in order to center only on those areas in which help is needed and to keep it focused. Once developed, the manufacturer works with the FAA Validation Center at Sandia National Labs., the airline, and the researcher to transfer technology to the field. This article describes the evaluation and results obtained using eddy current technology to determine the minimum detectable crack size under installed flush-head fasteners. Secondly, it describes the integrated efforts of engineers at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace and Northwest Airlines in the successful application of MAUS eddy current C-scanning of the DC-10 circumferential and axial crown splices. The eddy current C-scanning greatly reduced the man-hour effort required for the existing radiographic inspection. Thirdly, it describes the use of a novel ultrasonic technique coupled to a scanner and graphics for the detection and quantification of corrosion thinning and stress corrosion cracking of the DC-9 lower wing tee cap. This successful effort resulted from a rather large integrated task team. It also results in a vast man-hour savings over the existing internal visual inspection.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Phase behaviors of polymer solutions using molecular simulation technique.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jung Ho; Bae, Young Chan

    2008-08-14

    Phase behaviors of polymer solutions are estimated using a combination of thermodynamic models and molecular simulation technique. In general, many parameters of binary systems are determined by fitting a thermodynamic model with experimental data. In this study, we obtained all parameters using molecular simulation. To take the specific interaction into account, we assume that it only occurs between a solvent molecule and a specific group. Our results show that the theoretical treatment accounting for the specific interaction gives more accurate predictions than those without consideration of specific interaction. Also, our approach describes the phase equilibria of various polymer solutions over the entire concentration remarkably well.

  4. Improved Techniques for Targeting Additional Observations to Improve Forecast Skill

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-06-07

    T oulouse F rance Grant Num ber: N00014{99{1{0755 LONG-TERM GOAL This project aims to improv e ensemble forecast and adaptive observ ation tec...be studied. It will be assessed whether the assimilation system can be geared to more readily accept adaptive observations made in currently data

  5. 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.

  6. Improvement of Rocket Engine Plume Analysis Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, S. D.

    1982-01-01

    A nozzle plume flow field code was developed. The RAMP code which was chosen as the basic code is of modular construction and has the following capabilities: two phase with two phase transonic solution; a two phase, reacting gas (chemical equilibrium reaction kinetics), supersonic inviscid nozzle/plume solution; and is operational for inviscid solutions at both high and low altitudes. The following capabilities were added to the code: a direct interface with JANNAF SPF code; shock capturing finite difference numerical operator; two phase, equilibrium/frozen, boundary layer analysis; a variable oxidizer to fuel ratio transonic solution; an improved two phase transonic solution; and a two phase real gas semiempirical nozzle boundary layer expansion.

  7. Molecular dynamics techniques for modeling G protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    McRobb, Fiona M; Negri, Ana; Beuming, Thijs; Sherman, Woody

    2016-10-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a major class of drug targets and modulating their signaling can produce a wide range of pharmacological outcomes. With the growing number of high-resolution GPCR crystal structures, we have the unprecedented opportunity to leverage structure-based drug design techniques. Here, we discuss a number of advanced molecular dynamics (MD) techniques that have been applied to GPCRs, including long time scale simulations, enhanced sampling techniques, water network analyses, and free energy approaches to determine relative binding free energies. On the basis of the many success stories, including those highlighted here, we expect that MD techniques will be increasingly applied to aid in structure-based drug design and lead optimization for GPCRs.

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

    PubMed

    Put, Stéphanie; Westhovens, René; Lahoutte, Tony; Matthys, Patrick

    2014-04-15

    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.

  9. Molecularly imprinted polymers for on-line extraction techniques.

    PubMed

    Moein, Mohammad M; Abdel-Rehim, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Recent years have seen an increasing interest in the use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as a sorbent for different extraction methods and this is due to its high selectivity. The MIP is designed to show specificity for the analyte of interest. Moreover, MIPs show physical robustness, resistance to high temperatures and pressures, and stability in the presence of acids, bases and a wide range of organic solvents. In the present article, various novel sample preparation techniques which MIPs applied as sorbent and on-line connected with analytical instruments were highlighted and discussed. The future aspects of MIPs as well were described.

  10. An improved technique for repeated gavage administration to rat neonates.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Chiaki; Kuwagata, Makiko; Yoshimura, Shinsuke; Azegami, Jiro; Kojima, Kouichi; Ono, Hiroshi; Nagao, Tetsuji

    2003-09-01

    The technique for gavage administration to rat nurslings was improved to allow determination of the direct effects of chemical substances in the nurslings. Rat neonates were treated with distilled water from postnatal day 1 through 20 using this technique. The viability of neonates during the administration period was comparable to that of untreated neonates. No adverse effects of this technique on the development of neonates were found, and no histological alterations of the esophagus or pharynx. Therefore, we conclude that use of our improved gavage administration method will contribute to ensuring successful neonatal development and thus allowing accurate assessment of the toxicological effects of test compounds on rat nurslings.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Molecular Genetic Tools and Techniques in Fission Yeast.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-02

    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.

  14. Improved internal control for molecular diagnosis assays.

    PubMed

    Vinayagamoorthy, T; Maryanski, Danielle; Vinayagamoorthy, Dilanthi; Hay, Katie S L; Yo, Jacob; Carter, Mark; Wiegel, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    The two principal determining steps in molecular diagnosis are the amplification and the identification steps. Accuracy of DNA amplification is primarily determined by the annealing sequence of the PCR primer to the analyte DNA. Accuracy for identification is determined either by the annealing region of a labelled probe for the real time PCR analysis, or the annealing of a sequencing primer for DNA sequencing analysis, that binds to the respective analyte (amplicon). Presently, housekeeping genes (Beta globin, GAPDH) are used in molecular diagnosis to verify that the PCR conditions are optimum, and are thus known as amplification controls [1-4]. Although these genes have been useful as amplification controls, they lack the true definition of an internal control because the primers and annealing conditions are not identical to the analyte being assayed. This may result in a false negative report [5]. The IC-Code platform technology described here provides a true internal control where the internal control and analyte share identical PCR primers annealing sequences for the amplification step and identical sequencing primer annealing sequence for the identification step. •The analyte and internal control have the same PCR and sequencing annealing sequences.•This method assures for little or no false negatives and false positives due to the method's design of using identical annealing conditions for the internal control and analyte, and by using DNA sequencing analysis for the identification step of the analyte, respectively.•This method also allows for a set lower limit of detection to be used by varying the amount of internal control used in the assay.

  15. Improved spatial resolution in PET scanners using sampling techniques

    PubMed Central

    Surti, Suleman; Scheuermann, Ryan; Werner, Matthew E.; Karp, Joel S.

    2009-01-01

    Increased focus towards improved detector spatial resolution in PET has led to the use of smaller crystals in some form of light sharing detector design. In this work we evaluate two sampling techniques that can be applied during calibrations for pixelated detector designs in order to improve the reconstructed spatial resolution. The inter-crystal positioning technique utilizes sub-sampling in the crystal flood map to better sample the Compton scatter events in the detector. The Compton scatter rejection technique, on the other hand, rejects those events that are located further from individual crystal centers in the flood map. We performed Monte Carlo simulations followed by measurements on two whole-body scanners for point source data. The simulations and measurements were performed for scanners using scintillators with Zeff ranging from 46.9 to 63 for LaBr3 and LYSO, respectively. Our results show that near the center of the scanner, inter-crystal positioning technique leads to a gain of about 0.5-mm in reconstructed spatial resolution (FWHM) for both scanner designs. In a small animal LYSO scanner the resolution improves from 1.9-mm to 1.6-mm with the inter-crystal technique. The Compton scatter rejection technique shows higher gains in spatial resolution but at the cost of reduction in scanner sensitivity. The inter-crystal positioning technique represents a modest acquisition software modification for an improvement in spatial resolution, but at a cost of potentially longer data correction and reconstruction times. The Compton scatter rejection technique, while also requiring a modest acquisition software change with no increased data correction and reconstruction times, will be useful in applications where the scanner sensitivity is very high and larger improvements in spatial resolution are desirable. PMID:19779586

  16. Improving "lab-on-a-chip" techniques using biomedical nanotechnology: a review.

    PubMed

    Gorjikhah, Fatemeh; Davaran, Soodabeh; Salehi, Roya; Bakhtiari, Mohsen; Hasanzadeh, Arash; Panahi, Yunes; Emamverdy, Masumeh; Akbarzadeh, Abolfazl

    2016-11-01

    Nanotechnology and its applications in biomedical sciences principally in molecular nanodiagnostics are known as nanomolecular diagnostics, which provides new options for clinical nanodiagnostic techniques. Molecular nanodiagnostics are a critical role in the development of personalized medicine, which features point-of care performance of diagnostic procedure. This can to check patients at point-of-care facilities or in remote or resource-poor locations, therefore reducing checking time from days to minutes. In this review, applications of nanotechnology suited to biomedicine are discussed in two main class: biomedical applications for use inside (such as drugs, diagnostic techniques, prostheses, and implants) and outside the body (such as "lab-on-a-chip" techniques). A lab-on-a-chip (LOC) is a tool that incorporates numerous laboratory tasks onto a small device, usually only millimeters or centimeters in size. Finally, are discussed the applications of biomedical nanotechnology in improving "lab-on-a-chip" techniques.

  17. Improved techniques for thermomechanical testing in support of deformation modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castelli, Michael G.; Ellis, John R.

    1992-01-01

    The feasibility of generating precise thermomechanical deformation data to support constitutive model development was investigated. Here, the requirement is for experimental data that is free from anomalies caused by less than ideal equipment and procedures. A series of exploratory tests conducted on Hastelloy X showed that generally accepted techniques for strain controlled tests were lacking in at least three areas. Specifically, problems were encountered with specimen stability, thermal strain compensation, and temperature/mechanical strain phasing. The source of these difficulties was identified and improved thermomechanical testing techniques to correct them were developed. These goals were achieved by developing improved procedures for measuring and controlling thermal gradients and by designing a specimen specifically for thermomechanical testing. In addition, innovative control strategies were developed to correctly proportion and phase the thermal and mechanical components of strain. Subsequently, the improved techniques were used to generate deformation data for Hastelloy X over the temperature range, 200 to 1000 C.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Modeling large RNAs and ribonucleoprotein particles using molecular mechanics techniques.

    PubMed Central

    Malhotra, A; Tan, R K; Harvey, S C

    1994-01-01

    There is a growing body of low-resolution structural data that can be utilized to devise structural models for large RNAs and ribonucleoproteins. These models are routinely built manually. We introduce an automated refinement protocol to utilize such data for building low-resolution three-dimensional models using the tools of molecular mechanics. In addition to specifying the positions of each nucleotide, the protocol provides quantitative estimates of the uncertainties in those positions, i.e., the resolution of the model. In typical applications, the resolution of the models is about 10-20 A. Our method uses reduced representations and allows us to refine three-dimensional structures of systems as big as the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNAs, which are about one to two orders of magnitude larger than nucleic acids that can be examined by traditional all-atom modeling methods. Nonatomic resolution structural data--secondary structure, chemical cross-links, chemical and enzymatic footprinting patterns, protein positions, solvent accessibility, and so on--are combined with known motifs in RNA structure to predict low-resolution models of large RNAs. These structural constraints are imposed on the RNA chain using molecular mechanics-type potential functions with parameters based on the quality of experimental data. Surface potential functions are used to incorporate shape and positional data from electron microscopy image reconstruction experiments into our models. The structures are optimized using techniques of energy refinement to get RNA folding patterns. In addition to providing a consensus model, the method finds the range of models consistent with the data, which allows quantitative evaluation of the resolution of the model. The method also identifies conflicts in the experimental data. Although our protocol is aimed at much larger RNAs, we illustrate these techniques using the tRNA structure as an example and test-bed. Images FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 PMID:7521223

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.…

  5. 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.

  6. Digital subtraction angiography: principles and pitfalls of image improvement techniques.

    PubMed

    Levin, D C; Schapiro, R M; Boxt, L M; Dunham, L; Harrington, D P; Ergun, D L

    1984-09-01

    The technology of imaging methods in digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is discussed in detail. Areas covered include function of the video camera in both interlaced and sequential scan modes, digitization by the analog-to-digital converter, logarithmic signal processing, dose rates, and acquisition of images using frame integration and pulsed-sequential techniques. Also discussed are various methods of improving image content and quality by both hardware and software modifications. These include the development of larger image intensifiers, larger matrices, video camera improvements, reregistration, hybrid subtraction, matched filtering, recursive filtering, DSA tomography, and edge enhancement.

  7. An improved coding technique for image encryption and key management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xu; Ma, Jie; Hu, Jiasheng

    2005-02-01

    An improved chaotic algorithm for image encryption on the basis of conventional chaotic encryption algorithm is proposed. Two keys are presented in our technique. One is called private key, which is fixed and protected in the system. The other is named assistant key, which is public and transferred with the encrypted image together. For different original image, different assistant key should be chosen so that one could get different encrypted key. The updated encryption algorithm not only can resist a known-plaintext attack, but also offers an effective solution for key management. The analyses and the computer simulations show that the security is improved greatly, and can be easily realized with hardware.

  8. New and Improved Techniques for the Study of Pathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Cairns, Timothy C; Studholme, David J; Talbot, Nicholas J; Haynes, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Fungal pathogens pose serious threats to human, plant, and ecosystem health. Improved diagnostics and antifungal strategies are therefore urgently required. Here, we review recent developments in online bioinformatic tools and associated interactive data archives, which enable sophisticated comparative genomics and functional analysis of fungal pathogens in silico. Additionally, we highlight cutting-edge experimental techniques, including conditional expression systems, recyclable markers, RNA interference, genome editing, compound screens, infection models, and robotic automation, which are promising to revolutionize the study of both human and plant pathogenic fungi. These novel techniques will allow vital knowledge gaps to be addressed with regard to the evolution of virulence, host-pathogen interactions and antifungal drug therapies in both the clinic and agriculture. This, in turn, will enable delivery of improved diagnosis and durable disease-control strategies.

  9. Improvements to the enzyme-developed radial immunodiffusion technique.

    PubMed

    Vidal, José

    2002-12-15

    An enzyme-developed radial immunodiffusion technique, previously known as the diffusion-in-gel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DIG-ELISA), has been improved in two ways: (a) antibody-containing spots have been made larger and more distinct by revealing them with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, 3,3'-diaminobenzidine and nickel, and further intensification of the ensuing spots with silver; (b) the reliability of the method has been enhanced by chemically coupling the antigen to a layer of a polyamino acid (poly(lysine, phenylalanine)) adsorbed to the bottom of the polystyrene petri dish. The usefulness of the improved technique is illustrated by reference to the measurement of serum concentrations of IgM and IgG, and in the assessment of antibody levels against a particulate antigen (erythrocytes).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Somatic Embryogenesis: Still a Relevant Technique in Citrus Improvement.

    PubMed

    Omar, Ahmad A; Dutt, Manjul; Gmitter, Frederick G; Grosser, Jude W

    2016-01-01

    The genus Citrus contains numerous fresh and processed fruit cultivars that are economically important worldwide. New cultivars are needed to battle industry threatening diseases and to create new marketing opportunities. Citrus improvement by conventional methods alone has many limitations that can be overcome by applications of emerging biotechnologies, generally requiring cell to plant regeneration. Many citrus genotypes are amenable to somatic embryogenesis, which became a key regeneration pathway in many experimental approaches to cultivar improvement. This chapter provides a brief history of plant somatic embryogenesis with focus on citrus, followed by a discussion of proven applications in biotechnology-facilitated citrus improvement techniques, such as somatic hybridization, somatic cybridization, genetic transformation, and the exploitation of somaclonal variation. Finally, two important new protocols that feature plant regeneration via somatic embryogenesis are provided: protoplast transformation and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of embryogenic cell suspension cultures.

  13. Improved Design Techniques for Switched-Capacitor Ladder Filters.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Teng-Hsien

    Using the new developments of MOS technology, switched-capacitor filters which consist of operational amplifiers, capacitors and switches in monolithic form, were widely investigated and put into practical forms. The switched-capacitor ladder filters have derived from doubly-terminated reactance two-ports. The main part of this dissertation is aimed at improving the efficiency and eliminating some shortcomings of the bilinear design technique. Two novel input stages which incorporate the necessary sample-and-hold function into the bilinear ladder filters are presented. The circuits are insensitive to parasitic capacitances. Some techniques to reduce the number of operational amplifier for bilinear switched-capacitor ladder filters are given. The number of top-plate parasitic-sensitive capacitors is less than in any of the existing design techniques. The clock feedthrough effects of pseudo-N-path switched-capacitor filter using lowpass filters as path filters are eliminated by the improved technique with doubling the number of operational amplifiers. Two-phase pseudo -N-path switched-capacitor filters can be obtained by tripling the number of operational amplifiers. The design technique for extending bilinear lowpass switched-capacitor ladder filters from odd orders to even orders is presented. One of the factors limiting the speed of bilinear switched-capacitor ladder filters is the delay-free loops. The techniques for breaking delay-free loops of low-order switched -capacitor filters are introduced. Digital ladder filters can be obtained through those switched-capacitor filters without delay-free loops. Numerical examples are given to compare the following digital filters: general cascade realization, wave digital filter, the digital filters derived from switched-capacitor filters - cascade and ladder. An improved high speed switched-capacitor linear interpolator, and nonlinear interpolators are described. The circuits are completely parasitic-insensitive. Two

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Tumor functional and molecular imaging utilizing ultrasound and ultrasound-mediated optical techniques.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Baohong; Rychak, Joshua

    2013-02-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Improving the embryo implantation via novel molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Li, Jingjie; Liang, Xiaoyan; Chen, Zijiang

    2013-07-01

    With the development of modern assisted reproductive technology(ART), the treatment of infertility and the pregnant outcome by ART have been significantly improved. However, implantation failure, particularly the unexplained repeated implantation failure (RIF), is still the unsolved and principal problem to affect the outcome of ART. The completed embryo, the receptive uterus and a series of precisely controlled molecular events between the blastocyst and endometrium are all indispensable for the success of implantation. Thus, deep insight into the molecular mechanisms that impact the endometrial receptivity and embryo implantation is an effective way to improve the implantation rate. Here the novel molecular targets and biomarkers have been reviewed that are reported and proved during more recent years in the aspects of ion channels, aquaporins, long noncoding RNAs and microRNAs, kruppel like factors, metabolism related molecules and the endogenous retroviruses. Evaluation of implantation markers may help clinicians to predict pregnancy outcome and detect occult implantation deficiency. Moreover, these novel molecular targets are expected to apply to the clinical practice from bench to bedside and improve the implantation efficiency in ART and natural conception.

  19. New metrology techniques improve the production of silicon diffractive optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, Cynthia B.; Gully-Santiago, Michael; Grigas, Michelle; Jaffe, Daniel T.

    2014-07-01

    Silicon immersion gratings and grisms offer significant advantages in compactness and performance over frontsurface gratings and over grisms made from lower-index materials. At the same time, the high refractive index of Si (3.4) leads to very stringent constraints on the allowable groove position errors, typically rms < 20 nm over 100 mm and repetitive error of <5 nm amplitude. For both types of devices, we produce grooves in silicon using photolithography, plasma etching, and wet etching. To date, producers have used contact photolithography to pattern UV sensitive photoresist as the initial processing step, then transferred this pattern to a layer of silicon nitride that, in turn, serves as a hard mask during the wet etching of grooves into silicon. For each step of the groove production, we have used new and sensitive techniques to determine the contribution of that step to the phase non-uniformity. Armed with an understanding of the errors and their origins, we could then implement process controls for each step. The plasma uniformity was improved for the silicon nitride mask etch process and the phase contribution of the plasma etch step was measured. We then used grayscale lithography, a technique in which the photoresist is deliberately underexposed, to measure large-scale nonuniformities in the UV exposure system to an accuracy of 3-5%, allowing us to make corrections to the optical alignment. Additionally, we used a new multiple-exposure technique combined with laser interferometry to measure the relationship between UV exposure dose and line edge shift. From these data we predict the contribution of the etching and photolithographic steps to phase error of the grating surface. These measurements indicate that the errors introduced during the exposure step dominate the contributions of all the other processing steps. This paper presents the techniques used to quantify individual process contributions to phase errors and steps that were taken to improve

  20. Improved Techniques for Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) in Colorectal Adenoma

    PubMed Central

    Sold, Moritz; Kähler, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Endoscopic therapy of colorectal adenomas and early cancers is a standard method. Besides oncological criteria, the method is limited by polyp location, size, and texture. Method Based on the current literature, technical modifications and developments in endoscopic mucosal resection are described. Results Numerous approaches exist to improve the conditions of resection, including optimisation of mucosal elevation and modification of techniques, tools, and devices. Conclusion Endoscopic therapy of sessile and flat colorectal polyps remains a challenge. Some of the presented modifications can help to address this challenge. PMID:26286120

  1. Mass spectrometric techniques for characterizing low-molecular-weight resins used as paint varnishes.

    PubMed

    Bonaduce, I; Colombini, M P; Degano, I; Di Girolamo, F; La Nasa, J; Modugno, F; Orsini, S

    2013-01-01

    The molecular structure of three low-molecular-weight resins used as paint varnishes has been characterized by use of an approach based on three different mass spectrometric techniques. We investigated the ketone resin MS2A, the aldehyde resin Laropal A81, and the hydrocarbon resin Regalrez 1094, now commonly used in restoration. To date, the molecular structures of these resins have not been completely elucidated. To improve current knowledge of the chemical composition of these materials, information obtained by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS), pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py/GC/MS), and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-ToF) was combined. Analysis, in solution, of the whole polymeric fraction of the resins by flow-injection ESI-Q-ToF, and of the non-polymeric fraction by GC-MS, enabled us to identify previously unreported features of the polymer structures. In addition, the Py-GC/MS profiles that we obtained will help to enhance the databases currently available in the literature. The proposed approach can be extended to other low-molecular-weight resins used as varnishes in conservation.

  2. Improved agarose gel electrophoresis method and molecular mass calculation for high molecular mass hyaluronan.

    PubMed

    Cowman, Mary K; Chen, Cherry C; Pandya, Monika; Yuan, Han; Ramkishun, Dianne; LoBello, Jaclyn; Bhilocha, Shardul; Russell-Puleri, Sparkle; Skendaj, Eraldi; Mijovic, Jovan; Jing, Wei

    2011-10-01

    The molecular mass of the polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA) is an important determinant of its biological activity and physicochemical properties. One method currently used for the analysis of the molecular mass distribution of an HA sample is gel electrophoresis. In the current work, an improved agarose gel electrophoresis method for analysis of high molecular mass HA is presented and validated. HA mobility in 0.5% agarose minigels was found to be linearly related to the logarithm of molecular mass in the range from approximately 200 to 6000 kDa. A sample load of 2.5 μg for polydisperse HA samples was employed. Densitometric scanning of stained gels allowed analysis of the range of molecular masses present in the sample as well as calculation of weight-average and number-average values. The method was validated for a polydisperse HA sample with a weight-average molecular mass of approximately 2000 kDa. Excellent agreement was found between the weight-average molecular mass determined by electrophoresis and that determined by rheological measurement of the solution viscosity. The revised method was then used to show that heating solutions of HA at 100°C, followed by various cooling procedures, had no effect on the HA molecular mass distribution.

  3. Historical shoreline mapping (I): improving techniques and reducing positioning errors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thieler, E. Robert; Danforth, William W.

    1994-01-01

    A critical need exists among coastal researchers and policy-makers for a precise method to obtain shoreline positions from historical maps and aerial photographs. A number of methods that vary widely in approach and accuracy have been developed to meet this need. None of the existing methods, however, address the entire range of cartographic and photogrammetric techniques required for accurate coastal mapping. Thus, their application to many typical shoreline mapping problems is limited. In addition, no shoreline mapping technique provides an adequate basis for quantifying the many errors inherent in shoreline mapping using maps and air photos. As a result, current assessments of errors in air photo mapping techniques generally (and falsely) assume that errors in shoreline positions are represented by the sum of a series of worst-case assumptions about digitizer operator resolution and ground control accuracy. These assessments also ignore altogether other errors that commonly approach ground distances of 10 m. This paper provides a conceptual and analytical framework for improved methods of extracting geographic data from maps and aerial photographs. We also present a new approach to shoreline mapping using air photos that revises and extends a number of photogrammetric techniques. These techniques include (1) developing spatially and temporally overlapping control networks for large groups of photos; (2) digitizing air photos for use in shoreline mapping; (3) preprocessing digitized photos to remove lens distortion and film deformation effects; (4) simultaneous aerotriangulation of large groups of spatially and temporally overlapping photos; and (5) using a single-ray intersection technique to determine geographic shoreline coordinates and express the horizontal and vertical error associated with a given digitized shoreline. As long as historical maps and air photos are used in studies of shoreline change, there will be a considerable amount of error (on the

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Visualization techniques for improved orientation in three-dimensional echocardiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Ivo; de Simone, Raffaele; Hastenteufel, Mark; Mottl-Link, Sibylle; Meinzer, Hans-Peter

    2002-05-01

    Repair of a defect heart valve is of great advantage for the patient in comparison to replacement with a prosthesis. The applicability and the success of heart valve repair can be improved by an exact diagnosis of the valve's pathological modification. The best way for imaging heart valve insufficiencies is echocardiography, since it is fast, relatively cheap, can be used intraoperatively and provides information about morphology as well as blood flow. Three-dimensional echocardiography has been proven to be superior to conventional echocardiographic techniques. Although the overall structures are much better displayed by three-dimensional visualization methods, it is sometimes difficult to comprehend the orientation of the scene, since anatomical landmarks like the aortic outflow tract may be hidden by other structures. Also, such anatomical landmarks often are only partly contained in the acquired data set so that they are clearly visible in a few slices only, making them difficult to find in a three-dimensional visualization. The knowledge of the absolute orientation is of essential value for the surgeon to mentally transfer the preoperatively acquired data to the intraoperative situs. Therefore, it is desirable to have additional hints for orientation in the three-dimensional scene. We present methods that enable better and easier orientation and therefore improve the usability of three-dimensional echocardiography.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Phosphoproteomics and molecular cardiology: techniques, applications and challenges.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zeyu; Hamilton, Karyn L; Reardon, Kenneth F

    2012-09-01

    Protein phosphorylation has been widely documented as a key regulatory and signaling mechanism associated with many cardiac diseases. Recent advances in phosphoproteomic technologies such as phosphopeptide enrichment, novel mass spectrometry applications, and bioinformatic tools have resulted in high-throughput identification and quantitation of protein phosphorylation in a global manner. This review summarizes mainstream phosphoproteomic workflows and highlights the most recent applications of phosphoproteomics used in a range of molecular cardiology research.

  14. Molecular Probes in Marine Ecology: Concepts, Techniques and Applications.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-08-16

    bacterial Woody Hastings: bioluminescence . 20 Wed. Paul Dunlap: The lux genes in bacteria : organization, structure, and expression. 21 Thurs. Chuck...probes for microbial identification. Ken Nealson: Taxonomy physiology and distribution of marine bioluminescent bacteria . 10 Tues. Ann Bucklin: Allozymic...cuponsored with the microbiology course, the first of these being on bioluminescence and symbiosis on July 7, and the second on molecular approaches to

  15. Thin-film growth and patterning techniques for small molecular organic compounds used in optoelectronic device applications.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Shaurjo; Shalev, Olga; Shtein, Max

    2013-01-01

    Rapid advances in research and development in organic electronics have resulted in many exciting discoveries and applications, including organic light-emitting devices for information display and illumination, solar cells, photodetectors, chemosensors, and logic. Organic optoelectronic materials are broadly classified as polymeric or small molecular. For the latter category, solvent-free deposition techniques are generally preferred to form well-defined interfaces and improve device performance. This article reviews several deposition and patterning methods for small molecular thin films and devices, including organic molecular beam deposition, vacuum thermal evaporation, organic vapor phase deposition, and organic vapor jet printing, and compares them to several other methods that have been proposed recently. We hope this review provides a compact but informative summary of the state of the art in organic device processing and addresses the various techniques' governing physical principles.

  16. 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,…

  17. X-ray Constrained Extremely Localized Molecular Orbitals: Theory and Critical Assessment of the New Technique.

    PubMed

    Genoni, Alessandro

    2013-07-09

    Following the X-ray constrained wave function approach proposed by Jayatilaka, we have devised a new technique that allows to extract molecular orbitals strictly localized on small molecular fragments from sets of experimental X-ray structure factors amplitudes. Since the novel strategy enables to obtain electron distributions that have quantum mechanical features and that can be easily interpreted in terms of traditional chemical concepts, the method can be also considered as a new useful tool for the determination and the analysis of charge densities from high-resolution X-ray experiments. In this paper, we describe in detail the theory of the new technique, which, in comparison to our preliminary work, has been improved both treating the effects of isotropic secondary extinctions and introducing a new protocol to halt the fitting procedure against the experimental X-ray scattering data. The performances of the novel strategy have been studied both in function of the basis-sets flexibility and in function of the quality of the considered crystallographic data. The tests performed on four different systems (α-glycine, l-cysteine, (aminomethyl)phosphonic acid and N-(trifluoromethyl)formamide) have shown that the achievement of good statistical agreements with the experimental measures mainly depends on the quality of the crystal structures (i.e., geometry positions and thermal parameters) used in the X-ray constrained calculations. Finally, given the reliable transferability of the obtained Extremely Localized Molecular Orbitals (ELMOs), we envisage to exploit the novel approach to construct new ELMOs databases suited to the development of linear-scaling methods for the refinement of macromolecular crystal structures.

  18. Chemical reactions on solid surfaces using molecular beam techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, R. L.

    1980-07-01

    Thermal energy molecular beams have been used to study chemical interactions with metal surfaces. Chemisorption of simple molecules such as H2, O2, CH4, C2Hx and CO was investigated on single and polycrystalline surfaces of Pt, Ni, Co, and Ag. Kinetic parameters and reaction mechanisms were determined for model catalytic reactions including CO and C2Hx oxidation and methanation from H2/CO mixtures. Chemical reactions of NOx with CO and D2 on Pt(111) and other surfaces have been surveyed and the kinetics of NO and O2 chemisorption have been measured. The theory of adsorption/desorption kinetics is reviewed and certain deficiencies identified.

  19. Novel techniques and future directions in molecular diagnosis of malaria in resource-limited settings.

    PubMed

    Oriero, Eniyou Cheryll; Van Geertruyden, Jean-Pierre; Nwakanma, Davis C; D'Alessandro, Umberto; Jacobs, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Despite being preventable and treatable, malaria remains a global health concern with approximately 1.2 billion people at high risk of being infected, 90% of whom are in the resource-limited settings of sub-Saharan Africa. The continued decline in malaria cases globally has rekindled the possibility of elimination in certain regions. As humans constitute the main reservoir of malaria, prompt and accurate diagnosis by microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests is part not only of effective disease management but also of control measures. However, for malaria elimination, more sensitive diagnostic tools are needed to detect asymptomatic and sub-microscopic infections that contribute to transmission. Molecular techniques, which involve amplification of nucleic acids, are being developed and modified to suit this purpose. This report provides a summary of the nucleic acid amplification tests that are currently available for diagnosis of malaria, with current improvements and adaptations for use in resource-limited settings.

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

    PubMed

    Sevick-Muraca, Eva M; Rasmussen, John C

    2008-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Laboratory techniques in plant molecular biology taught with UniformMu insertion alleles of maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An undergraduate course - Laboratory Techniques in Plant Molecular Biology - was organized around our research application of UniformMu insertion alleles to investigate mitochondrial functions in plant reproduction. The course objectives were to develop students’ laboratory, record keeping, bioinfor...

  3. Improving structure-based function prediction using molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Glazer, Dariya S.; Radmer, Randall J.; Altman, Russ B.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The number of molecules with solved three-dimensional structure but unknown function is increasing rapidly. Particularly problematic are novel folds with little detectable similarity to molecules of known function. Experimental assays can determine the functions of such molecules, but are time-consuming and expensive. Computational approaches can identify potential functional sites; however, these approaches generally rely on single static structures and do not use information about dynamics. In fact, structural dynamics can enhance function prediction: we coupled molecular dynamics simulations with structure-based function prediction algorithms that identify Ca2+ binding sites. When applied to 11 challenging proteins, both methods showed substantial improvement in performance, revealing 22 more sites in one case and 12 more in the other, with a modest increase in apparent false positives. Thus, we show that treating molecules as dynamic entities improves the performance of structure-based function prediction methods. PMID:19604472

  4. Selective extraction of lamivudine in human serum and urine using molecularly imprinted polymer technique.

    PubMed

    Shekarchi, Maryam; Pourfarzib, Mojgan; Akbari-Adergani, Behrouz; Mehramizi, Ali; Javanbakht, Mehran; Dinarvand, Rassoul

    2013-07-15

    In this work, a novel technique is described for determination of lamivudine in biological fluids by molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) as the sample clean-up method joint with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). MIPs were prepared using methacrylic acid as functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as crosslinker, acetonitrile and tetrahydrofuran as porogen and lamivudine as the template molecule. The new imprinted polymer was used as a molecular sorbent for the separation of lamivudine from human serum and urine. Molecular recognition properties, binding capacity and selectivity of the MIPs were evaluated and the results showed that the obtained MIPs have a high affinity for lamivudine in aqueous medium. HPLC analyses showed that the extraction of lamivudine from serum and urine by MIPs had a linear calibration curve in the range of 60-700μg/L with excellent precisions of 2.73% for serum and 2.60% for urine. The limit of detection and quantization of lamivudine was 19.34 and 58.6μg/L in serum and 7.95 and 24.05μg/L in urine respectively. MIP extraction provided about 10 fold LOQ improvement in serum and 5 fold LOQ improvement in urine samples. The recoveries of lamivudine in serum and urine samples were found to be 84.2-93.5% and 82.5-90.8% respectively. Due to the high precision and accuracy, this method may be the UV-HPLC choice with MIP extraction for bioequivalence analysis of lamivudine in serum and urine.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Exploring JLA supernova data with improved flux-averaging technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shuang; Wen, Sixiang; Li, Miao

    2017-03-01

    In this work, we explore the cosmological consequences of the ``Joint Light-curve Analysis'' (JLA) supernova (SN) data by using an improved flux-averaging (FA) technique, in which only the type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) at high redshift are flux-averaged. Adopting the criterion of figure of Merit (FoM) and considering six dark energy (DE) parameterizations, we search the best FA recipe that gives the tightest DE constraints in the (zcut, Δ z) plane, where zcut and Δ z are redshift cut-off and redshift interval of FA, respectively. Then, based on the best FA recipe obtained, we discuss the impacts of varying zcut and varying Δ z, revisit the evolution of SN color luminosity parameter β, and study the effects of adopting different FA recipe on parameter estimation. We find that: (1) The best FA recipe is (zcut = 0.6, Δ z=0.06), which is insensitive to a specific DE parameterization. (2) Flux-averaging JLA samples at zcut >= 0.4 will yield tighter DE constraints than the case without using FA. (3) Using FA can significantly reduce the redshift-evolution of β. (4) The best FA recipe favors a larger fractional matter density Ωm. In summary, we present an alternative method of dealing with JLA data, which can reduce the systematic uncertainties of SNe Ia and give the tighter DE constraints at the same time. Our method will be useful in the use of SNe Ia data for precision cosmology.

  8. 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…

  9. Molecular techniques in the diagnosis of deep and systemic mycosis.

    PubMed

    Springer, Jan; Einsele, Hermann; Loeffler, Juergen

    2012-01-01

    Making an early and sensitive diagnosis of invasive fungal infections in high-risk patients is mandatory, because it has major consequences on the effectiveness of antifungal therapy. Molecular assays have the potential to become the cornerstone of diagnosis, allowing for rapid, reliable detection of minute amounts of fungal DNA in various specimens at a low cost. PCR is gaining popularity as the platforms become more automated and commercially available; however, further studies are needed to explore the diagnostic value in patient subgroups (ie, children) and to define whether the underlying disease or the use of antifungal prophylaxis may influence assay results. Individualized management of high-risk patients would be desirable to integrate preemptive therapy strategies, and individual host and genetic factors. Pharmacological and epidemiological considerations should also be evaluated.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Techniques for studying protein trafficking and molecular motors in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Shanxi; Arnold, Don B.

    2016-01-01

    This review focuses on techniques that facilitate the visualization of protein trafficking. In the mid-1990’s the cloning of GFP allowed fluorescently tagged proteins to be expressed in cells and then visualized in real time. This advance allowed a glimpse, for the first time, of the complex system within cells for distributing proteins. It quickly became apparent, however, that time-lapse sequences of exogenously expressed GFP-labeled proteins can be difficult to interpret. Reasons for this include the relatively low signal that comes from moving proteins and high background rates from stationary proteins and other sources, as well as the difficulty of identifying the origins and destinations of specific vesicular carriers. In this review we will examine a range of techniques that have overcome these issues to varying degrees and discuss the insights into protein trafficking that they have enabled. We will concentrate on neurons, as they are highly polarized and, thus, their trafficking systems tend to be accessible for study. PMID:26800506

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:27594981

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Usefulness of molecular techniques to identify ongoing tuberculosis transmission in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Hajoj, Sahal A; Mohammed, Viqaruddin K; Al-Hokail, Abdullah A

    2007-02-01

    This study represents the first time that molecular tracing techniques have been used to identify patterns of tuberculosis TB infection in Saudi Arabia. The 2 strains were isolated from a socio-economically advantage family who share a number of common facilities including a car and a driver. There are several factors that may play vital roles in on-going transmission of TB in Saudi Arabia including a high number of expatriates, the Hajj pilgrimage, and the social habits of Saudi citizens. Our sibling case series is believed to be a frequent pattern of disease transmission in this country. Control measures such as health education, active case finding, and prompt and supervised medical treatment are needed. More studies using molecular techniques are recommended to find the incidence of cross infection in Saudi Arabia. In addition, molecular techniques have to be established in all reference laboratories to help the detection of ongoing active transmission, molecular epidemiology and detect sources of infection.

  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. Molecular techniques to distinguish morphologically similar Hydrilla verticillata, Egeria densa, Elodea nuttallii, and Elodea canadensis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rybicki, Nancy B.; Kirshtein, Julie D.; Voytek, Mary A.

    2013-01-01

    The four submerged aquatic species, hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata [monoecious and dioecious]), Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa), Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis), and western waterweed (Elodea nuttallii), are difficult to positively identify because of their morphological similarity to each other, resulting in possible misidentification. This limits our ability to understand their past and present distribution, which is important in aquatic plant management. We investigated a molecular technique to identify these species, which are problematic because of their invasive nature on multiple continents. Approximately 100 samples of these species, ranging in age from 40-yr-old herbarium samples to recently collected plants, were collected from regions across the United States. The distribution and range of the samples collected in this research were compared to those reported in the literature. We confirmed information on the current wide distribution of both hydrilla biotypes in the United States and discovered that hydrilla had actually invaded the waterways near Washington, DC 6 yr earlier than originally reported. In addition, we found evidence of the confusion, dating back to the 1980s, between Canadian waterweed and western waterweed in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Canadian waterweed was previously reported as common and western waterweed as rare; however, our samples indicate the opposite is true. This information indicates there is a need for investigators to anticipate the spread of hydrilla populations to northern U.S. waterways, where it will compete with existing plant species, including Canadian and western waterweeds. Our ability to confirm distribution and pace of spread of invasive and noninvasive species will improve with increased application of molecular techniques.

  20. 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

  1. Molecular techniques for studying gene expression in carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Farid E

    2002-11-01

    Many genes and signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation, death, differentiation, and genomic integrity are involved in cancer development. Various methods are available for detection and quantification of messenger RNA. Older methods such as Northern blots, nuclease protection, plaque hybridization, and slot blots suffer from being inherently serial, measure a single mRNA at a time, or being difficult to automate. New techniques for analysis of gene expression include: (a) comprehensive open systems such as serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), differential display (DD) analysis, RNA arbitrarily primer (RAP)-PCR, restriction endonucleolytic analysis of differentially expressed sequences (READS), amplified restriction fragment-length polymorphism (AFLP), total gene expression analysis (TOGA), and use of internal standard competitive template primers (CTs) in a quantitative multiplex RT-PCR method [StaRT-(PCR)], and (b) focused closed systems such as: high density cDNA filter hybridization (HDFCA) analysis, suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), differential screening (DS), several forms of high-density cDNA arrays, or oligonucleotide chips, and tissue microarrays. Sometimes, a combination of these systems is used to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of the assays. While closed systems are excellent for the initial screening of large number of sequences, the value of the information generated is generally limited to an often arbitrarily chosen known sequence. On the other hand, only the open system platform has the potential to evaluate the expression patterns of tens of thousands of genes that have not yet been cloned or partially sequenced in a quantitative manner. A cost analysis of the most commonly used expression technologies is provided. A method for purifying tumors from surrounding stroma and normal tissue employing laser microdissection, and subsequent RNA isolation/amplification from few cells employing sensitive kits are also

  2. Quality Improvement of Liver Ultrasound Images Using Fuzzy Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Bayani, Azadeh; Langarizadeh, Mostafa; Radmard, Amir Reza; Nejad, Ahmadreza Farzaneh

    2016-01-01

    Background: Liver ultrasound images are so common and are applied so often to diagnose diffuse liver diseases like fatty liver. However, the low quality of such images makes it difficult to analyze them and diagnose diseases. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to improve the contrast and quality of liver ultrasound images. Methods: In this study, a number of image contrast enhancement algorithms which are based on fuzzy logic were applied to liver ultrasound images - in which the view of kidney is observable - using Matlab2013b to improve the image contrast and quality which has a fuzzy definition; just like image contrast improvement algorithms using a fuzzy intensification operator, contrast improvement algorithms applying fuzzy image histogram hyperbolization, and contrast improvement algorithms by fuzzy IF-THEN rules. Results: With the measurement of Mean Squared Error and Peak Signal to Noise Ratio obtained from different images, fuzzy methods provided better results, and their implementation - compared with histogram equalization method - led both to the improvement of contrast and visual quality of images and to the improvement of liver segmentation algorithms results in images. Conclusion: Comparison of the four algorithms revealed the power of fuzzy logic in improving image contrast compared with traditional image processing algorithms. Moreover, contrast improvement algorithm based on a fuzzy intensification operator was selected as the strongest algorithm considering the measured indicators. This method can also be used in future studies on other ultrasound images for quality improvement and other image processing and analysis applications. PMID:28077898

  3. Improvement of ultrasound speckle image velocimetry using image enhancement techniques.

    PubMed

    Yeom, Eunseop; Nam, Kweon-Ho; Paeng, Dong-Guk; Lee, Sang Joon

    2014-01-01

    Ultrasound-based techniques have been developed and widely used in noninvasive measurement of blood velocity. Speckle image velocimetry (SIV), which applies a cross-correlation algorithm to consecutive B-mode images of blood flow has often been employed owing to its better spatial resolution compared with conventional Doppler-based measurement techniques. The SIV technique utilizes speckles backscattered from red blood cell (RBC) aggregates as flow tracers. Hence, the intensity and size of such speckles are highly dependent on hemodynamic conditions. The grayscale intensity of speckle images varies along the radial direction of blood vessels because of the shear rate dependence of RBC aggregation. This inhomogeneous distribution of echo speckles decreases the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a cross-correlation analysis and produces spurious results. In the present study, image-enhancement techniques such as contrast-limited adaptive histogram equalization (CLAHE), min/max technique, and subtraction of background image (SB) method were applied to speckle images to achieve a more accurate SIV measurement. A mechanical sector ultrasound scanner was used to obtain ultrasound speckle images from rat blood under steady and pulsatile flows. The effects of the image-enhancement techniques on SIV analysis were evaluated by comparing image intensities, velocities, and cross-correlation maps. The velocity profiles and wall shear rate (WSR) obtained from RBC suspension images were compared with the analytical solution for validation. In addition, the image-enhancement techniques were applied to in vivo measurement of blood flow in human vein. The experimental results of both in vitro and in vivo SIV measurements show that the intensity gradient in heterogeneous speckles has substantial influence on the cross-correlation analysis. The image-enhancement techniques used in this study can minimize errors encountered in ultrasound SIV measurement in which RBCs are used as flow

  4. 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

  5. Integrating fossils with molecular phylogenies improves inference of trait evolution.

    PubMed

    Slater, Graham J; Harmon, Luke J; Alfaro, Michael E

    2012-12-01

    Comparative biologists often attempt to draw inferences about tempo and mode in evolution by comparing the fit of evolutionary models to phylogenetic comparative data consisting of a molecular phylogeny with branch lengths and trait measurements from extant taxa. These kinds of approaches ignore historical evidence for evolutionary pattern and process contained in the fossil record. In this article, we show through simulation that incorporation of fossil information dramatically improves our ability to distinguish among models of quantitative trait evolution using comparative data. We further suggest a novel Bayesian approach that allows fossil information to be integrated even when explicit phylogenetic hypotheses are lacking for extinct representatives of extant clades. By applying this approach to a comparative dataset comprising body sizes for caniform carnivorans, we show that incorporation of fossil information not only improves ancestral state estimates relative to those derived from extant taxa alone, but also results in preference of a model of evolution with trend toward large body size over alternative models such as Brownian motion or Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes. Our approach highlights the importance of considering fossil information when making macroevolutionary inference, and provides a way to integrate the kind of sparse fossil information that is available to most evolutionary biologists.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Improved cancer therapy and molecular imaging with multivalent, multispecific antibodies.

    PubMed

    Sharkey, Robert M; Rossi, Edmund A; Chang, Chien-Hsing; Goldenberg, David M

    2010-02-01

    Antibodies are highly versatile proteins with the ability to be used to target diverse compounds, such as radionuclides for imaging and therapy, or drugs and toxins for therapy, but also can be used unconjugated to elicit therapeutically beneficial responses, usually with minimal toxicity. This update describes a new procedure for forming multivalent and/or multispecific proteins, known as the dock-and-lock (DNL) technique. Developed as a procedure for preparing bispecific antibodies capable of binding divalently to a tumor antigen and monovalently to a radiolabeled hapten-peptide for pretargeted imaging and therapy, this methodology has the flexibility to create a number of other biologic agents of therapeutic interest. A variety of constructs, based on anti-CD20 and CD22 antibodies, have been made, with results showing that multispecific antibodies have very different properties from the respective parental monospecific antibodies. The technique is not restricted to antibody combination, but other biologics, such as interferon-alpha2b, have been prepared. These types of constructs not only allow small biologics to be sustained in the blood longer, but also to be selectively targeted. Thus, DNL technology is a highly flexible platform that can be used to prepare many different types of agents that could further improve cancer detection and therapy.

  11. Improved Cancer Therapy and Molecular Imaging with Multivalent, Multispecific Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Edmund A.; Chang, Chien-Hsing; Goldenberg, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Summation Antibodies are highly versatile proteins with the ability to be used to target diverse compounds, such as radionuclides for imaging and therapy, or drugs and toxins for therapy, but also can be used unconjugated to elicit therapeutically beneficial responses, usually with minimal toxicity. This update describes a new procedure for forming multivalent and/or multispecific proteins, known as the dock-and-lock (DNL) technique. Developed as a procedure for preparing bispecific antibodies capable of binding divalently to a tumor antigen and monovalently to a radiolabeled hapten-peptide for pretargeted imaging and therapy, this methodology has the flexibility to create a number of other biologic agents of therapeutic interest. A variety of constructs, based on anti-CD20 and CD22 antibodies, have been made, with results showing that multispecific antibodies have very different properties from the respective parental monospecific antibodies. The technique is not restricted to antibody combination, but other biologics, such as interferon-α2b, have been prepared. These types of constructs not only allow small biologics to be sustained in the blood longer, but also to be selectively targeted. Thus, DNL technology is a highly flexible platform that can be used to prepare many different types of agents that could further improve cancer detection and therapy. PMID:20187791

  12. 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.

  13. Do Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) Improve Student Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cottell, Philip; Harwood, Elaine

    1998-01-01

    In a study of effectiveness of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) on student learning, two college accounting teachers each taught two classes, one using CATs and one not using them. Course results did not suggest greater learning in CATs classes, better student participation, or more positive attitudes. Further research is recommended on the…

  14. Improving Exam Performance with the Clenched Fist Technique.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanton, Harry E.

    1988-01-01

    The use of one specific ego-enhancing hypnotic approach, a technique that employs a conditioned "trigger," the clenched fist, to facilitate the changing of troublesome emotional states, is described. Forty first-year university students were the subjects of the study. (MLW)

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-07

    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.

  18. Improved esthetic results with fine-tip Dermabond application technique.

    PubMed

    Santibanez-Gallerani, Alberto; Armstrong, Milton B; Thaller, Seth R

    2004-09-01

    Tissue glues and adhesives have achieved increasing popularity as alternatives to small wound closure. When applying these substances, it is often difficult to avoid contact with the surrounding skin and foreign objects such as surgical gloves. A technique for the application of Dermabond is described in this report. Twenty wounds less than 10 cm in length were reapproximated using a fine-tip tuberculin syringe applicator. The wounds were evaluated immediately after the application, and 2, 4, and 6 weeks after surgery. Use of the tuberculin fine-tip technique allowed reapproximation of the wound edges with no clinical evidence of surrounding tissue damage. There were no apparent decreases in wound strength or associated discoloration or fuzziness onto the skin. Esthetic results were considered good to excellent by patients. Dermabond can be accurately applied with a tuberculin syringe, avoiding the surrounding tissue damage and foreign object adhesion reported in the literature.

  19. Improved technique for Young's modulus determination by flexural resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafe, E.; Fabbri, L.; Grillo, G.; di Rese, L.

    1992-10-01

    Elastic properties in structural ceramics are widely studied with different experimental techniques in order to obtain engineering and diagnostic data about the processed materials. A new set-up for measuring flexural resonance is presented. The apparatus is based on electrostatic excitation where sample vibrations are detected by a laser modulation technique. Due to the high sensitivity and accuracy of this experimental set-up, it was possible to measure Young's modulus of samples with relatively high thickness/length ratios, thus allowing elastic properties determination directly on bending-strength test bars. The measurements were performed according to ASTM procedure. The high frequency resolution allowed the evaluation of internal friction variation due to processing, by nonlinear least square analysis of resonance curves.

  20. 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%.

  1. An improved technique for isolating codominant compound microsatellite markers.

    PubMed

    Lian, Chunlan L; Abdul Wadud, Md; Geng, Qifang; Shimatani, Kenichiro; Hogetsu, Taizo

    2006-07-01

    An approach for developing codominant polymorphic markers (compound microsatellite (SSR) markers), with substantial time and cost savings, is introduced in this paper. In this technique, fragments flanked by a compound SSR sequence at one end were amplified from the constructed DNA library using compound SSR primer (AC)6(AG)5 or (TC)6(AC)5 and an adaptor primer for the suppression-PCR. A locus-specific primer was designed from the sequence flanking the compound SSR. The primer pairs of the locus-specific and compound SSR primers were used as a compound SSR marker. Because only one locus-specific primer was needed for design of each marker and only a common compound SSR primer was needed as the fluorescence-labeled primer for analyzing all the compound SSR markers, this approach substantially reduced the cost of developing codominant markers and analyzing their polymorphism. We have demonstrated this technique for Dendropanax trifidus and easily developed 11 codominant markers with high polymorphism for D. trifidus. Use of the technique for successful isolation of codominant compound SSR markers for several other plant species is currently in progress.

  2. [Molecular techniques for cyanobacteria detection at Riogrande II and La Fe water reservoirs, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Hurtado-Alarcón, Julio César; Polanía-Vorenberg, Jaime

    2014-03-01

    In lentic water bodies as reservoirs occur eutrophication processes, originated mainly from human activities (i.e. agriculture, animal exploitation). This influx of nutrients in aquatic ecosystems could promote blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria. The purpose of this work is to detect the presence of cyanobacteria strains in water samples, using molecular techniques to help in preventive management of reservoirs dedicated to water purification. We used two molecular techniques to detect genes implied with the synthesis of hepatotoxic microcystins from potentially toxic cyanobacteria strains, and to evaluate the molecular diversity of cyanobacteria in water samples from two high-mountain reservoirs used for purification of drinking water for the metropolitan area of Medellin, Colombia. Between 2010-2011 collections of 12 water samples were taken and DNA extraction together with PCR and DGGE analyses where carried out. We amplified 22 sequences between 250-300bp of the genes mcyA and mcyE, and these sequences were related with several strains and cyanobacteria genera accessions from NCBI-GenBank databases. Moreover, sequence amplifications of the 16S small ribosomal RNA subunit - 16S rRNA- between 400-800bp were also performed in order to use them for the DGGE technique. The amplification products of DGGE were set in polyacrilamide gel with posterior denaturing electrophoresis, and the scanned images of the gel bands were analysed with the software GelCompar II. For Riogrande II and La Fe reservoirs we found 35 and 30 different DGGE bands, respectively, as a measurement of molecular diversity in these artificial ecosystems. Here, we demonstrated the utility of two molecular techniques for the detection of genes associated with toxicity and molecular diversity of cyanobacteria in reservoirs destined for drinking water in urban centers. We recommend strongly following with periodically molecular biology studies in these ecosystems combined with limnological and

  3. Molecular approaches for genetic improvement of seed quality and characterization of genetic diversity in soybean: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Niraj; Khare, Dhirendra

    2016-10-01

    Soybean is an economically important leguminous crop. Genetic improvements of soybeans have focused on enhancement of seed and oil yield, development of varieties suited to different cropping systems, and breeding resistant/tolerant varieties for various biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant breeders have used conventional breeding techniques for the improvement of these traits in soybean. The conventional breeding process can be greatly accelerated through the application of molecular and genomic approaches. Molecular markers have proved to be a new tool in soybean breeding by enhancing selection efficiency in a rapid and time-bound manner. An overview of molecular approaches for the genetic improvement of soybean seed quality parameters, considering recent applications of marker-assisted selection and 'omics' research, is provided in this article.

  4. Improving Attendance of Kindergarten Students through Behavior Modification Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schofield, Betty D.

    A behavior modification program was implemented to improve attendance and punctuality patterns of kindergarten students attending a small, rural elementary school. Also incorporated into the intervention were self-esteem and parent involvement components. Motivational strategies used were: a token economy; group-oriented behavior management…

  5. [Techniques to Improve the Educational Climate in Your School].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braukmann, William T.

    This presentation was based on the assumption that developing the art of making teachers and students feel good about themselves is of paramount importance in helping youngsters to learn. The author offers and elaborates on 12 tips to help principals improve school climate: (1) Be aware that the principal's most important function is getting…

  6. 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.

  7. Development of Improved Crosslinking Monomers for Molecularly Imprinted Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-04-05

    Molecular imprinting involves the self-assembled complexation of a substrate to functional monomers to form a pre- polymer complex which is "locked-in" to...on the design of crosslinking monomers for molecular imprinting , we have developed new classes of crosslinked polymers to optimize the performance of...of the design, synthesis, polymerization and performance of these new crosslinking monomers for molecularly imprinted polymers will be reported

  8. Improved Tandem Measurement Techniques for Aerosol Particle Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawat, Vivek Kumar

    Non-spherical, chemically inhomogeneous (complex) nanoparticles are encountered in a number of natural and engineered environments, including combustion systems (which produces highly non-spherical aggregates), reactors used in gas-phase materials synthesis of doped or multicomponent materials, and in ambient air. These nanoparticles are often highly diverse in size, composition and shape, and hence require determination of property distribution functions for accurate characterization. This thesis focuses on development of tandem mobility-mass measurement techniques coupled with appropriate data inversion routines to facilitate measurement of two dimensional size-mass distribution functions while correcting for the non-idealities of the instruments. Chapter 1 provides the detailed background and motivation for the studies performed in this thesis. In chapter 2, the development of an inversion routine is described which is employed to determine two dimensional size-mass distribution functions from Differential Mobility Analyzer-Aerosol Particle Mass analyzer tandem measurements. Chapter 3 demonstrates the application of the two dimensional distribution function to compute cumulative mass distribution function and also evaluates the validity of this technique by comparing the calculated total mass concentrations to measured values for a variety of aerosols. In Chapter 4, this tandem measurement technique with the inversion routine is employed to analyze colloidal suspensions. Chapter 5 focuses on application of a transverse modulation ion mobility spectrometer coupled with a mass spectrometer to study the effect of vapor dopants on the mobility shifts of sub 2 nm peptide ion clusters. These mobility shifts are then compared to models based on vapor uptake theories. Finally, in Chapter 6, a conclusion of all the studies performed in this thesis is provided and future avenues of research are discussed.

  9. Millimeter-wave Velocity Modulation Spectroscopy as a Technique to Selectively Detect Molecular Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halfen, Dewayne; Ziurys, Lucy

    2009-05-01

    Molecular ions are usually very unstable and reactive species. As a result, their spectroscopic features can be difficult to identify and distinguish from those of neutral species, which tend to be more stable and thus have stronger signals. The technique of velocity modulation allows this disadvantage to be removed. This method uses the alternating plus and minus polarity of an electric field created by an AC discharge, which also produces the molecular ions, to selectively detect the molecular ions, while eliminating the neutral features. This technique has been applied at infrared and optical wavelengths for many years with much success. Recently, we designed and built a millimeter-wave velocity modulation spectrometer, the first ever constructed. This instrument has been used to create and study multiple molecular ions, including metal-bearing molecular ions. The rotational spectrum of these species, such as TiCl^+, VCl^+, TiF^+, FeO^+, FeCO^+, and SiCl^+, has been investigated with this new machine in our laboratory. Results of these studies along with a description of the velocity modulation technique and instrument will be presented.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Improved numerical techniques for processing Monte Carlo thermal scattering data

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, E; Rose, P

    1980-01-01

    As part of a Thermal Benchmark Validation Program sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the National Nuclear Data Center has been calculating thermal reactor lattices using the SAM-F Monte Carlo Computer Code. As part of this program a significant improvement has been made in the adequacy of the numerical procedures used to process the thermal differential scattering cross sections for hydrogen bound in H/sub 2/O.

  15. 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

  16. Improved technique for blood flow velocity measurement using Doppler effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valadares Oliveira, Eduardo J.; Nantes Button, Vera L. d. S.; Maia, Joaquim M.; Costa, Eduardo T.

    2002-04-01

    The Doppler velocimeter developed allows to determine the angle between the ultrasonic beam and the velocity vector of the flow, and to calculate the precise blood flow in a vessel. Four piezoelectric transducers constitute the Doppler velocimeter. Three of these transducers are positioned to form an equilateral triangle (base of a pyramid). When these transducers move simultaneously, backward or forward from the initial position, the emitted ultrasonic beams focalize on a position (peak of the pyramid) closer or farther from the transducers faces, according to the depth of the vessel where we intend to measure de flow. The angle between the transducers allows adjusting the height of this pyramid and the position of the focus (where the three beams meet). A forth transducer is used to determine the diameter of the vessel and monitor the position of the Doppler velocimeter relative to the vessel. Simulation results showed that with this technique is possible to accomplish precise measurement of blood flow.

  17. Improved techniques for sampling complex pedigrees with the Gibbs sampler

    PubMed Central

    Abraham, K Joseph; Totir, Liviu R; Fernando, Rohan L

    2007-01-01

    Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods have been widely used to overcome computational problems in linkage and segregation analyses. Many variants of this approach exist and are practiced; among the most popular is the Gibbs sampler. The Gibbs sampler is simple to implement but has (in its simplest form) mixing and reducibility problems; furthermore in order to initiate a Gibbs sampling chain we need a starting genotypic or allelic configuration which is consistent with the marker data in the pedigree and which has suitable weight in the joint distribution. We outline a procedure for finding such a configuration in pedigrees which have too many loci to allow for exact peeling. We also explain how this technique could be used to implement a blocking Gibbs sampler. PMID:17212946

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improvements to the compressed-sample (CS) technique for MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Hyzak, Lukas; Giese, Susanne; Kling, Hans-Willi; Wulf, Volker; Melchior, David; Köhler, Michael; Schmitz, Oliver J

    2013-02-01

    A recently developed solvent-free compressed-sample technique for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) analysis allows the reproducible analysis of synthetic polymers and peptides up to 3,500 Da. In this work, we present an improvement in resolution, an increase in intensity and a decrease of the variation coefficient, as illustrated by the analysis of PEG 2000 and MALDI imaging experiments. These advantages were achieved by homogenization of the electrical field, which was disturbed by the drills in the original MALDI target. In order to homogenize the electrical field, a new target with smaller drills was developed, metal powder was added to the matrix/analyte mixture and a round laser raster was used. Furthermore, a ball mill was implemented for the sample preparation to replace the extremely user-dependent grinding in a mortar. The new conditions were successfully applied to the quantification of several peptides of higher molecular weight and gave higher precision than had previously been achieved with the compressed-sample technique.

  1. A technique for improved blood sampling during sleep studies.

    PubMed

    Ona, E; Dimsdale, J E; Ancoli-Israel, S; Dillon, E; Watkins, L; Coy, T V; Clausen, J

    1994-11-01

    Research protocols often require that blood samples be drawn during sleep. This study compares the efficacy of obtaining nocturnal blood samples using a standard heparinized intravenous setup versus the same intravenous setup used in conjunction with a small chemical heating pad. The chemical heating pad significantly improved the number of blood samples obtained and the maintenance of intravenous patency. The use of a chemical heating pad is an economical way to resolve the frustration of lost blood samples while maintaining a reasonable environment to monitor sleep.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Traditional and Molecular Techniques for the Study of Emerging Bacterial Diseases: One Laboratory’s Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Houpikian, Pierre

    2002-01-01

    Identification of emerging bacterial pathogens generally results from a chain of events involving microscopy, serology, molecular tools, and culture. Because of the spectacular molecular techniques developed in the last decades, some authors think that these techniques will shortly supplant culture. The key steps that led to the discovery of emerging bacteria have been reviewed to determine the real contribution of each technique. Historically, microscopy has played a major role. Serology provided indirect evidence for causality. Isolation and culture were crucial, as all emerging bacteria have been grown on artificial media or cell lines or at least propagated in animals. With the use of broad-range polymerase chain reaction, some bacteria have been identified or detected in new clinical syndromes. Culture has irreplaceable advantages for studying emerging bacterial diseases, as it allows antigenic studies, antibiotic susceptibility testing, experimental models, and genetic studies to be carried out, and remains the ultimate goal of pathogen identification. PMID:11897062

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Improvements in analysis techniques for segmented mirror arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michels, Gregory J.; Genberg, Victor L.; Bisson, Gary R.

    2016-08-01

    The employment of actively controlled segmented mirror architectures has become increasingly common in the development of current astronomical telescopes. Optomechanical analysis of such hardware presents unique issues compared to that of monolithic mirror designs. The work presented here is a review of current capabilities and improvements in the methodology of the analysis of mechanically induced surface deformation of such systems. The recent improvements include capability to differentiate surface deformation at the array and segment level. This differentiation allowing surface deformation analysis at each individual segment level offers useful insight into the mechanical behavior of the segments that is unavailable by analysis solely at the parent array level. In addition, capability to characterize the full displacement vector deformation of collections of points allows analysis of mechanical disturbance predictions of assembly interfaces relative to other assembly interfaces. This capability, called racking analysis, allows engineers to develop designs for segment-to-segment phasing performance in assembly integration, 0g release, and thermal stability of operation. The performance predicted by racking has the advantage of being comparable to the measurements used in assembly of hardware. Approaches to all of the above issues are presented and demonstrated by example with SigFit, a commercially available tool integrating mechanical analysis with optical analysis.

  8. Systematic infrared image quality improvement using deep learning based techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Huaizhong; Casaseca-de-la-Higuera, Pablo; Luo, Chunbo; Wang, Qi; Kitchin, Matthew; Parmley, Andrew; Monge-Alvarez, Jesus

    2016-10-01

    Infrared thermography (IRT, or thermal video) uses thermographic cameras to detect and record radiation in the longwavelength infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. It allows sensing environments beyond the visual perception limitations, and thus has been widely used in many civilian and military applications. Even though current thermal cameras are able to provide high resolution and bit-depth images, there are significant challenges to be addressed in specific applications such as poor contrast, low target signature resolution, etc. This paper addresses quality improvement in IRT images for object recognition. A systematic approach based on image bias correction and deep learning is proposed to increase target signature resolution and optimise the baseline quality of inputs for object recognition. Our main objective is to maximise the useful information on the object to be detected even when the number of pixels on target is adversely small. The experimental results show that our approach can significantly improve target resolution and thus helps making object recognition more efficient in automatic target detection/recognition systems (ATD/R).

  9. Improved Battery State Estimation Using Novel Sensing Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul Samad, Nassim

    Lithium-ion batteries have been considered a great complement or substitute for gasoline engines due to their high energy and power density capabilities among other advantages. However, these types of energy storage devices are still yet not widespread, mainly because of their relatively high cost and safety issues, especially at elevated temperatures. This thesis extends existing methods of estimating critical battery states using model-based techniques augmented by real-time measurements from novel temperature and force sensors. Typically, temperature sensors are located near the edge of the battery, and away from the hottest core cell regions, which leads to slower response times and increased errors in the prediction of core temperatures. New sensor technology allows for flexible sensor placement at the cell surface between cells in a pack. This raises questions about the optimal locations of these sensors for best observability and temperature estimation. Using a validated model, which is developed and verified using experiments in laboratory fixtures that replicate vehicle pack conditions, it is shown that optimal sensor placement can lead to better and faster temperature estimation. Another equally important state is the state of health or the capacity fading of the cell. This thesis introduces a novel method of using force measurements for capacity fade estimation. Monitoring capacity is important for defining the range of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Current capacity estimation techniques require a full discharge to monitor capacity. The proposed method can complement or replace current methods because it only requires a shallow discharge, which is especially useful in EVs and PHEVs. Using the accurate state estimation accomplished earlier, a method for downsizing a battery pack is shown to effectively reduce the number of cells in a pack without compromising safety. The influence on the battery performance (e

  10. Beneficent Persuasion: Techniques and Ethical Guidelines to Improve Patients’ Decisions

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Recent improvements in PDS technique for low-absorption measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montecchi, Marco; Masetti, Enrico; Emiliani, Gabriele

    1990-08-01

    Photothermal Deflection Spectroscopy (PDS) is a recently developed technique that is finding a useful application in the measurement of low optical absorptance of thin films. Among the noise sources affecting the PDS measurement, probe beam pointing instability and mechanical vibration play a considerable role. In this work an optoelectronic system for the reduction of their influence is described. Moreover, PDS measurements are typically performed keeping the sample immersed in a deflecting liquid; thus measured values of absorptance must be corrected when other surrounding media, as air, are considered. This correction is an easy task for single film coatings. Here the general case of an unknown multiplayer coating is analysed; a range of values containing the true absorptance in air is obtained by theoretical analysis and a practical method to evaluate the absorptance in air is discussed. Finally, deflecting liquids alternative to the commonly used CCI4 have been examined. Useful optical range, thermal diffusivity and "relative deflecting power" of CCI4, CS2, Iso-octane and Aceton are reported.

  14. Improving the treatment of musculoskeletal infections with molecular diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Tarkin, Ivan S; Dunman, Paul M; Garvin, Kevin L

    2005-08-01

    Molecular diagnostic strategies have been implemented to enhance the treatment of musculoskeletal infections. Once primarily a research tool, molecular-based assays, have become accepted clinical tests for the genomic detection of certain pathogens involved in bone and joint infections. Currently, culture remains the gold standard for identifying most organisms causing infection. However, molecular assays are beneficial in clinical cases in which standard culture-based tests are unreliable or untimely. We will review current clinical utility of this emerging technology and roles for assays in the future.

  15. 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.

  16. Closing the diarrhoea diagnostic gap in Indian children by the application of molecular techniques.

    PubMed

    Ajjampur, S S R; Rajendran, P; Ramani, S; Banerjee, I; Monica, B; Sankaran, P; Rosario, V; Arumugam, R; Sarkar, R; Ward, H; Kang, G

    2008-11-01

    A large proportion of diarrhoeal illnesses in children in developing countries are ascribed to an unknown aetiology because the only available methods, such as microscopy and culture, have low sensitivity. This study was aimed at decreasing the diagnostic gap in diarrhoeal disease by the application of molecular techniques. Faecal samples from 158 children with and 99 children without diarrhoea in a hospital in South India were tested for enteric pathogens using conventional diagnostic methods (culture, microscopy and enzyme immunoassays) and molecular methods (six PCR-based assays). The additional use of molecular techniques increased identification to at least one aetiological agent in 76.5 % of diarrhoeal specimens, compared with 40.5 % using conventional methods. Rotavirus (43.3 %), enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (15.8 %), norovirus (15.8 %) and Cryptosporidium spp. (15.2 %) are currently the most common causes of diarrhoea in hospitalized children in Vellore, in contrast to a study conducted two decades earlier in the same hospital, where bacterial pathogens such as Shigella spp., Campylobacter spp. and enterotoxigenic E. coli were more prevalent. Molecular techniques significantly increased the detection rates of pathogens in children with diarrhoea, but a more intensive study, testing for a wider range of infectious agents and including more information on non-infectious causes of diarrhoea, is required to close the diagnostic gap in diarrhoeal disease.

  17. DNA-binding study of anticancer drug cytarabine by spectroscopic and molecular docking techniques.

    PubMed

    Shahabadi, Nahid; Falsafi, Monireh; Maghsudi, Maryam

    2017-01-02

    The interaction of anticancer drug cytarabine with calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA) was investigated in vitro under simulated physiological conditions by multispectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling study. The fluorescence spectroscopy and UV absorption spectroscopy indicated drug interacted with CT-DNA in a groove-binding mode, while the binding constant of UV-vis and the number of binding sites were 4.0 ± 0.2 × 10(4) L mol(-1) and 1.39, respectively. The fluorimetric studies showed that the reaction between the drugs with CT-DNA is exothermic. Circular dichroism spectroscopy was employed to measure the conformational change of DNA in the presence of cytarabine. Furthermore, the drug induces detectable changes in its viscosity for DNA interaction. The molecular modeling results illustrated that cytarabine strongly binds to groove of DNA by relative binding energy of docked structure -20.61 KJ mol(-1). This combination of multiple spectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling methods can be widely used in the investigation on the interaction of small molecular pollutants and drugs with biomacromolecules for clarifying the molecular mechanism of toxicity or side effect in vivo.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Techniques for achieving thermal equilibrium in molecular dynamics calculations for solids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ernest Yue; Friauf, Robert J.

    1990-06-01

    We develop techniques for achieving thermal equilibrium in molecular dynamics calculations for solids. Atoms in a Lennard-Jones solid are initially given random velocities and displacements from their equilibrium positions with suitably scaled Maxwellian distributions. A quantitative criterion for thermal equilibrium of the solid is established by using the equipartition of energy theorem. At high temperatures, thermal expansion is studied, and we introduce a method for adjusting the lattice parameter to ensure zero external pressure. The results of molecular dynamics simulations show agreement with experimental data for rare gas and ionic crystals.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. The Use of Gene Modification and Advanced Molecular Structure Analyses towards Improving Alfalfa Forage

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Yaogeng; Hannoufa, Abdelali; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-01-01

    Alfalfa is one of the most important legume forage crops in the world. In spite of its agronomic and nutritive advantages, alfalfa has some limitations in the usage of pasture forage and hay supplement. High rapid degradation of protein in alfalfa poses a risk of rumen bloat to ruminants which could cause huge economic losses for farmers. Coupled with the relatively high lignin content, which impedes the degradation of carbohydrate in rumen, alfalfa has unbalanced and asynchronous degradation ratio of nitrogen to carbohydrate (N/CHO) in rumen. Genetic engineering approaches have been used to manipulate the expression of genes involved in important metabolic pathways for the purpose of improving the nutritive value, forage yield, and the ability to resist abiotic stress. Such gene modification could bring molecular structural changes in alfalfa that are detectable by advanced structural analytical techniques. These structural analyses have been employed in assessing alfalfa forage characteristics, allowing for rapid, convenient and cost-effective analysis of alfalfa forage quality. In this article, we review two major obstacles facing alfalfa utilization, namely poor protein utilization and relatively high lignin content, and highlight genetic studies that were performed to overcome these drawbacks, as well as to introduce other improvements to alfalfa quality. We also review the use of advanced molecular structural analysis in the assessment of alfalfa forage for its potential usage in quality selection in alfalfa breeding. PMID:28146083

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

    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 β-carotene are discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. A Partnership Training Program in Breast Cancer Research Using Molecular Imaging Techniques

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-01

    51nipple, Phyllodes Tumor , and tubular carcinoma.3 52Breast cancer is grouped into stages which 53indicate the invasiveness of the disease. There 54are...enhances the tumor MR image contrast but is also an excellent probe for optical imaging. We have established three breast cancer tumor models...magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and optical imaging techniques for better imaging of tumors . In vivo molecular imaging, which utilizes these two

  9. Force detection technique for molecular experiments in living cells using gradient optical traps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farre, Arnau; Lopez-Quesada, Carol; Mas, Josep; Martin-Badosa, Estela; Montes-Usategui, Mario

    2009-05-01

    The powerful results in the molecular and cellular domain that are currently obtained using optical tweezers are leading to an increasing interest in this biophysical tool. This technique uses a highly focused laser beam to noninvasively trap and manipulate microscopic particles. Moreover, once calibrated, it can be used to accurately measure the forces and positions involved in many different molecular processes. Our research interest revolves around the study of the mechanics of cytoplasmic streaming in tobacco cells. Unfortunately, standard force detection techniques are not suitable for experiments in living cells. Golgi apparatuses that need to be used as handles to interact with motor proteins propelling them along the cytoskeletal filaments are not spherical, and the cytoplasm is an optically nonhomogeneous medium. In that case, the experiment does not meet the requirements for current force calibration methods, so forces cannot be accurately measured. Here, we show a new force detection technique for gradient optical traps based on the measurement of the change in momentum of the photons of a trapping beam. This method allows the study of molecular processes in living samples, and the use of beams and particles with arbitrary shapes.

  10. The emergence of molecular profiling and omics techniques in seagrass biology; furthering our understanding of seagrasses.

    PubMed

    Davey, Peter A; Pernice, Mathieu; Sablok, Gaurav; Larkum, Anthony; Lee, Huey Tyng; Golicz, Agnieszka; Edwards, David; Dolferus, Rudy; Ralph, Peter

    2016-09-01

    Seagrass meadows are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of increasing coastal development and climate change. The emergence of omics and molecular profiling techniques in seagrass research is timely, providing a new opportunity to address such global issues. Whilst these applications have transformed terrestrial plant research, they have only emerged in seagrass research within the past decade; In this time frame we have observed a significant increase in the number of publications in this nascent field, and as of this year the first genome of a seagrass species has been sequenced. In this review, we focus on the development of omics and molecular profiling and the utilization of molecular markers in the field of seagrass biology. We highlight the advances, merits and pitfalls associated with such technology, and importantly we identify and address the knowledge gaps, which to this day prevent us from understanding seagrasses in a holistic manner. By utilizing the powers of omics and molecular profiling technologies in integrated strategies, we will gain a better understanding of how these unique plants function at the molecular level and how they respond to on-going disturbance and climate change events.

  11. 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.

  12. Improvement in Empirical Potential Functions for Increasing the Utility of Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Takefumi

    Accurate modeling of potential functions is critical for realistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In this study, improvement in potential functions is discussed by revisiting the multistate empirical valence bond (MS-EVB) method and the FUJI force field. The MS-EVB method enables simulation of dynamic chemical reactions in various situations. In this study, excess protons in water under shear were investigated by combining the MS-EVB method with the non-equilibrium MD technique. It was found that the orientation of the hydronium-like moiety is considerably more anisotropic under shear than that of the water molecule. Separately, the FUJI force field includes main-chain torsional parameters carefully derived on the basis of high-level ab initio calculations. To further demonstrate that the use of the FUJI force field improves the accuracy of MD results beyond previously reported examples, the conformational distribution of the Ala dipeptide was investigated. The results obtained using the FUJI force field agreed more closely with the experimental results than those obtained using other standard force fields. Interestingly, the MD trajectories with the FUJI force field undergo the Y conformation more frequently than those with other popular force fields. Furthermore, it was found that the choice of force field affects the structures of an antigen-antibody complex obtained using MD simulations. These improvements in the force fields essentially extend the range of applications for the MD simulation method.

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

    PubMed

    Schierz, Philipp; Zierenberg, Johannes; Janke, Wolfhard

    2015-10-07

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Probing the molecular interaction of triazole fungicides with human serum albumin by multispectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Zhuang, Shulin; Tong, Changlun; Liu, Weiping

    2013-07-31

    Triazole fungicides, one category of broad-spectrum fungicides, are widely applied in agriculture and medicine. The extensive use leads to many residues and casts potential detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems and human health. After exposure of the human body, triazole fungicides may penetrate into the bloodstream and interact with plasma proteins. Whether they could have an impact on the structure and function of proteins is still poorly understood. By using multispectroscopic techniques and molecular modeling, the interaction of several typical triazole fungicides with human serum albumin (HSA), the major plasma protein, was investigated. The steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectra manifested that static type, due to complex formation, was the dominant mechanism for fluorescence quenching. Structurally related binding modes speculated by thermodynamic parameters agreed with the prediction of molecular modeling. For triadimefon, hydrogen bonding with Arg-218 and Arg-222 played an important role, whereas for imazalil, myclobutanil, and penconazole, the binding process was mainly contributed by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. Via alterations in three-dimensional fluorescence and circular dichroism spectral properties, it was concluded that triazoles could induce slight conformational and some microenvironmental changes of HSA. It is anticipated that these data can provide some information for possible toxicity risk of triazole fungicides to human health and be helpful in reinforcing the supervision of food safety.

  16. Robotic Spent Fuel Monitoring – It is time to improve old approaches and old techniques!

    SciTech Connect

    Tobin, Stephen Joseph; Dasari, Venkateswara Rao; Trellue, Holly Renee

    2016-12-13

    This report describes various approaches and techniques associated with robotic spent fuel monitoring. The purpose of this description is to improve the quality of measured signatures, reduce the inspection burden on the IAEA, and to provide frequent verification.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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. Diagnostic procedures in tularaemia with special focus on molecular and immunological techniques.

    PubMed

    Splettstoesser, W D; Tomaso, H; Al Dahouk, S; Neubauer, H; Schuff-Werner, P

    2005-08-01

    Tularaemia is a severe bacterial zoonosis caused by the highly infectious agent Francisella tularensis. It is endemic in countries of the northern hemisphere ranging from North America to Europe, Asia and Japan. Very recently, Francisella-like strains causing disease in humans were described from tropical northern Australia. In the last decade, efforts have been made to develop sensitive and specific immunological and molecular techniques for the laboratory diagnosis of tularaemia and also for the definite identification of members of the species F. tularensis and its four subspecies. Screening for the keyword 'Francisella' a Medline search over the last decade was performed and articles describing diagnostic methods for tularaemia and its causative agent were selected. Besides classical microbiological techniques (cultivation, biochemical profiling, susceptibility testing) several new immunological and molecular approaches to identify F. tularensis have been introduced employing highly specific antibodies and various polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. Whereas direct antigen detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or immunofluorescence might allow early presumptive diagnosis of tularaemia, these methods--like all PCR techniques--still await further evaluation. Therefore, diagnosis of tularaemia still relies mainly on the demonstration of specific antibodies in the host. ELISA and immunoblot methods started to replace the standard tube or micro-agglutination assays. However, the diagnostic value of antibody detection in the very early clinical phase of tularaemia is limited. Francisella tularensis is regarded as a 'highest priority' biological agent (category 'A' according to the CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA), thus rapid and reliable diagnosis of tularaemia is required not only for a timely onset of therapy, the handling of outbreak investigations but also for the surveillance of endemic foci. Only very recently, evaluated test kits for

  20. Six Rehearsal Techniques for the Public Speaker: Improving Memory, Increasing Delivery Skills and Reducing Speech Stress.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Loren D.

    This paper describes six specific techniques that speech communication students may use in rehearsals to improve memory, to increase delivery skills, and to reduce speech stress. The techniques are idea association, covert modeling, desensitization, language elaboration, overt modeling, and self-regulation. Recent research is reviewed that…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Tracking down sulphate-reducing microorganisms by molecular and isotope-labelling techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loy, Alexander

    2010-05-01

    Sulphate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) are of great ecological importance for carbon compound degradation and sulphur cycling in many anoxic ecosystems, including marine sediments, peatlands, and oil reservoirs. However, the activity of SRM can result in oil souring and pipeline corrosion and thus is also an economic burden for the oil industry. Molecular diversity surveys based on rRNA genes and dsrAB, genes that encode major subunits of the dissimilatory sulfite reductase, indicate that our view of the natural diversity of SRM (as we know it from cultivation) is far from being complete. This enormous phylogenetic diversity complicates unbiased identification and quantification of SRM by molecular methods such as fluorescence in situ hybridization, real-time PCR or DNA microarrays. Combining these 16S rRNA and dsrAB-based molecular methods with substrate-mediated isotope labelling techniques is a potential solution for identification and functional characterization of yet uncultivated SRM. Using SRM in peatlands as an example, the problems and opportunities of these techniques for diagnosing and monitoring SRM in the environment will be discussed in this talk.

  4. 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

    2016-06-15

    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.

  5. Concentration measurements in molecular gas mixtures with a two-pump pulse femtosecond polarization spectroscopy technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertz, E.; Chaux, R.; Faucher, O.; Lavorel, B.

    2001-08-01

    Recently, we have demonstrated the ability of the Raman-induced polarization spectroscopy (RIPS) technique to accurately determine concentration or polarizability anisotropy ratio in low-pressure binary molecular mixtures [E. Hertz, B. Lavorel, O. Faucher, and R. Chaux, J. Chem. Phys. 113, 6629 (2000)]. It has been also pointed out that macroscopic interference, occurring when two revivals associated to different molecules time overlap, can be used to achieve measurements with picosecond time resolution. The applicability of the technique is intrinsically limited to a concentration range where the signals of both molecules are of the same magnitude. In this paper, a two-pump pulse sequence with different intensities is used to overcome this limitation. The relative molecular responses are weighted by the relative laser pump intensities to give comparable signals. Furthermore, by tuning the time delay between the two-pump pulses, macroscopic interference can be produced regardless of the accidental coincidences between the two molecular temporal responses. The study is performed in a CO2-N2O gas mixture and the concentration is measured with and without macroscopic interference. Applications of the method in the field of noninvasive diagnostics of combustion media are envisaged.

  6. 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.

  7. Improving virus production through quasispecies genomic selection and molecular breeding.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Francisco J; D'Andrea, Lucía; de Castellarnau, Montserrat; Costafreda, Maria Isabel; Guix, Susana; Ribes, Enric; Quer, Josep; Gregori, Josep; Bosch, Albert; Pintó, Rosa M

    2016-11-03

    Virus production still is a challenging issue in antigen manufacture, particularly with slow-growing viruses. Deep-sequencing of genomic regions indicative of efficient replication may be used to identify high-fitness minority individuals suppressed by the ensemble of mutants in a virus quasispecies. Molecular breeding of quasispecies containing colonizer individuals, under regimes allowing more than one replicative cycle, is a strategy to select the fittest competitors among the colonizers. A slow-growing cell culture-adapted hepatitis A virus strain was employed as a model for this strategy. Using genomic selection in two regions predictive of efficient translation, the internal ribosome entry site and the VP1-coding region, high-fitness minority colonizer individuals were identified in a population adapted to conditions of artificially-induced cellular transcription shut-off. Molecular breeding of this population with a second one, also adapted to transcription shut-off and showing an overall colonizer phenotype, allowed the selection of a fast-growing population of great biotechnological potential.

  8. Improving virus production through quasispecies genomic selection and molecular breeding

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Francisco J.; D’Andrea, Lucía; de Castellarnau, Montserrat; Costafreda, Maria Isabel; Guix, Susana; Ribes, Enric; Quer, Josep; Gregori, Josep; Bosch, Albert; Pintó, Rosa M.

    2016-01-01

    Virus production still is a challenging issue in antigen manufacture, particularly with slow-growing viruses. Deep-sequencing of genomic regions indicative of efficient replication may be used to identify high-fitness minority individuals suppressed by the ensemble of mutants in a virus quasispecies. Molecular breeding of quasispecies containing colonizer individuals, under regimes allowing more than one replicative cycle, is a strategy to select the fittest competitors among the colonizers. A slow-growing cell culture-adapted hepatitis A virus strain was employed as a model for this strategy. Using genomic selection in two regions predictive of efficient translation, the internal ribosome entry site and the VP1-coding region, high-fitness minority colonizer individuals were identified in a population adapted to conditions of artificially-induced cellular transcription shut-off. Molecular breeding of this population with a second one, also adapted to transcription shut-off and showing an overall colonizer phenotype, allowed the selection of a fast-growing population of great biotechnological potential. PMID:27808108

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Comparison of molecular techniques for the typing of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae isolates.

    PubMed

    Stakenborg, Tim; Vicca, Jo; Maes, Dominiek; Peeters, Johan; de Kruif, Aart; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Butaye, Patrick

    2006-08-01

    In this study, we compared the potential of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the gene encoding lipoprotein P146, and the variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) of the P97 encoding gene, as possible methods for typing an international collection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae isolates. All techniques showed a typeability of 100% and high intraspecific diversity. However, the discriminatory power of the different techniques varied considerably. AFLP (>0.99) and PCR-RFLP of the P146 encoding gene (>0.98) were more discriminatory than RAPD (0.95) and estimation of the VNTR of P97 (<0.92). Other, preferentially well spread, tandem repeat regions should be included in order for this latter technique to become valuable for typing purposes. RAPD was also found to be a less interesting typing technique because of its low reproducibility between different runs. Nevertheless, all molecular techniques showed overall more resemblance between strains isolated from different pigs from the same herd. On the other hand, none of the techniques was able to show a clear relationship between the country of origin and the fingerprints obtained. We conclude that AFLP and an earlier described PFGE technique are highly reliable and discriminatory typing techniques for outlining the genomic diversity of M. hyopneumoniae isolates. Our data also show that RFLP of a highly variable gene encoding P146 may be an equally useful alternative for demonstrating intraspecific variability, although the generation of sequence variability of the gene remains unclear and must be further examined.

  12. Comparison of mass spectrometric techniques for generating molecular weight information on a class of ethoxylated oligomers.

    PubMed

    Parees, D M; Hanton, S D; Clark, P A; Willcox, D A

    1998-04-01

    The results of fast atom bombardment (FAB), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALD/I), electrospray ionization (ESI), and field desorption (FD) analyses of ethoxylated oligomers of 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyne-4,7-diol (Surfynol(®) 104) were compared.Each of these desorption mass spectrometry (MS) techniques can produce spectra of unfragmented cationized oligomers. From the observed ion series we calculate average molecular weight information. We have compared the results of mass spectrometric analyses of a series of ethoxylated Surfynol surfactants. Our data indicate that FAB, ToF-SIMS, MALDI/I, and ESI produce similar results for the lower molecular weight species, but that as the average molecular weight increases FAB and SIMS produce slightly lower results than MALD/I and FD. This could be due to increased fragmentation. ESI produced a result similar to FAB and SIMS for the highest average molecular weight material. Further experiments compare the mass spectral results with gas chromatographic quantitative data. Although gas chromatography is not expected to accurately analyze the higher mass oligomers, we observe significant differences in intensities of the short-chain oligomers (especially the 0- and 1-mers) when compared to the desorption mass spectrometer results. These differences may reflect poor cationization efficiency for very short oligomer chains in the mass spectrometric analyses.

  13. Advanced Molecular Diagnostic Techniques for Detection of Food-borne Pathogens; Current Applications and Future Challenges.

    PubMed

    Umesha, S; Manukumar, H M

    2016-01-08

    The elimination of disease-causing microbes from the food supply is a primary goal and this review deals with the overall techniques availavle for detection of food-borne pathogens. Now-a-days conventional methods are replaced by advanced methods like Biosensors, Nucleic Acid-based Tests (NAT) and different PCR based techniques used in molecular biology to identify specific pathogens. Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp, Aspergillus spp. Fusarium spp. Penicillium spp., and pathogens are detected in contaminated food items which cause always diseases in human in any one or the other way. Identification of food-borne pathogens in a short period of time is still a challenge to the scientific field in general and food technology in particular. The low level of food contamination by major pathogens requires specific sensitive detection platforms and the present area of hot research looking forward to new nanomolecular techniques for nanomaterials, make them suitable for the development of assays with high sensitivity, response time and portability. With the sound of these we attemet to highlight a comprehensive overview about food-borne pathogen detection by rapid, sensitive, accurate and cost affordable in situ analytical methods from conventional methods to recent molecular approaches for advanced food and microbiology research.

  14. Nanotools and molecular techniques to rapidly identify and fight bacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Dinarelli, S; Girasole, M; Kasas, S; Longo, G

    2016-01-20

    Reducing the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is one of the major healthcare issues of our century. In addition to the increased mortality, infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria drastically enhance the healthcare costs, mainly because of the longer duration of illness and treatment. While in the last 20years, bacterial identification has been revolutionized by the introduction of new molecular techniques, the current phenotypic techniques to determine the susceptibilities of common Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria require at least two days from collection of clinical samples. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of new technologies to determine rapidly drug susceptibility in bacteria and to achieve faster diagnoses. These techniques would also lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms that lead to the insurgence of the resistance, greatly helping the quest for new antibacterial systems and drugs. In this review, we describe some of the tools most currently used in clinical and microbiological research to study bacteria and to address the challenge of infections. We discuss the most interesting advancements in the molecular susceptibility testing systems, with a particular focus on the many applications of the MALDI-TOF MS system. In the field of the phenotypic characterization protocols, we detail some of the most promising semi-automated commercial systems and we focus on some emerging developments in the field of nanomechanical sensors, which constitute a step towards the development of rapid and affordable point-of-care testing devices and techniques. While there is still no innovative technique that is capable of completely substituting for the conventional protocols and clinical practices, many exciting new experimental setups and tools could constitute the basis of the standard testing package of future microbiological tests.

  15. Nanoparticle Enhanced Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Improving the Detection of Molecular Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koral, Can; De Giacomo, Alessandro; Mao, Xianglei; Zorba, Vassilia; Russo, Richard E.

    2016-11-01

    Enhancement of molecular band emission in laser-induced plasmas is important for improving sensitivity and limits of detection in molecular sensing and molecular isotope analysis. In this work we introduce the use of Nanoparticle Enhanced Laser Induced Breakdown (NELIBS) for the enhancement of molecular band emission in laser-induced plasmas, and study the underlying mechanisms responsible for the observed enhancement. The use of Ag nanoparticles leads to an order of magnitude enhancement for AlO (B2Σ+ → Χ+ Σ+) system emission from an Al-based alloy. We demonstrate that the mechanism responsible for the enhancement of molecular bands differs from that of atomic emission, and can be traced down to the increased number of atomic species in NELIBS which lead to AlO molecular formation. These findings showcase the potential of NELIBS as a simple and viable technology for enhancing molecular band emission in laser-induced plasmas.

  16. Novel cytogenetic and molecular techniques in the diagnosis of congenital anomalies in newborns.

    PubMed

    Szczałuba, Krzysztof; Śmigiel, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of what causes developmental disorders, including congenital structural defects/anomalies, in the newborn population, facilitates the choice of further investigations, therapy and rehabilitation, allows the use of appropriate prophylaxis against comorbidities, makes it possible to specify prognosis, as well as provide reliable family counselling (both pre- and postnatal). Attempting to formulate a clinical diagnosis of a specific congenital anomaly syndrome, with or without dysmorphic features, based on history and detailed physical examination, remains crucial for the selection of the right genetic testing. Modern methods of molecular cytogenetics and molecular biology are targeted in nature (microdeletion MLPA, single gene sequencing) or are capable of analyzing the genome as a whole (array CGH, newgeneration sequencing). Especially the latter techniques are now causing a rapid increase of diagnostic efficacy across different age groups, including newborns.

  17. A new crossed molecular beam apparatus using time-sliced ion velocity imaging technique

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Guorong; Zhang Weiqing; Pan Huilin; Shuai Quan; Jiang Bo; Dai Dongxu; Yang Xueming

    2008-09-15

    A new crossed molecular beam apparatus has been constructed for investigating polyatomic chemical reactions using the time-sliced ion velocity map imaging technique. A unique design is adopted for one of the two beam sources and allows us to set up the molecular beam source either horizontally or vertically. This can be conveniently used to produce versatile atomic or radical beams from photodissociation and as well as electric discharge. Intensive H-atom beam source with high speed ratio was produced by photodissociation of the HI molecule and was reacted with the CD{sub 4} molecule. Vibrational-state resolved HD product distribution was measured by detecting the CD{sub 3} product. Preliminary results were also reported on the F+SiH{sub 4} reaction using the discharged F atom beam. These results demonstrate that this new instrument is a powerful tool for investigating chemical dynamics of polyatomic reactions.

  18. 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)

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. Implementing and Improving Automated Electronic Tumor Molecular Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Staggs, David B.; Hackett, Lauren; Haberman, Erich; Tod, Mike; Levy, Mia; Warner, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Genomics, Physiology, and Molecular Breeding Approaches for Improving Salt Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Horie, Tomoaki

    2017-02-22

    Salt stress reduces land and water productivity and contributes to poverty and food insecurity. Increased salinization caused by human practices and climate change is progressively reducing agriculture productivity despite escalating calls for more food. Plant responses to salt stress are fairly well understood, involving numerous critical processes that are each controlled by multiple genes. Knowledge of the critical mechanisms controlling salt uptake and exclusion from functioning tissues, signaling of salt stress, and the arsenal of protective metabolites is advancing. However, little progress has been made in developing salt-tolerant varieties of crop species using standard (but slow) breeding approaches. The genetic diversity available within cultivated crops and their wild relatives provides rich sources for trait and gene discovery that has yet to be sufficiently utilized. Transforming this knowledge into modern approaches using genomics and molecular tools for precision breeding will accelerate the development of tolerant cultivars and help sustain food production. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 68 is April 29, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  5. An efficient and accurate molecular alignment and docking technique using ab initio quality scoring

    PubMed Central

    Füsti-Molnár, László; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2008-01-01

    An accurate and efficient molecular alignment technique is presented based on first principle electronic structure calculations. This new scheme maximizes quantum similarity matrices in the relative orientation of the molecules and uses Fourier transform techniques for two purposes. First, building up the numerical representation of true ab initio electronic densities and their Coulomb potentials is accelerated by the previously described Fourier transform Coulomb method. Second, the Fourier convolution technique is applied for accelerating optimizations in the translational coordinates. In order to avoid any interpolation error, the necessary analytical formulas are derived for the transformation of the ab initio wavefunctions in rotational coordinates. The results of our first implementation for a small test set are analyzed in detail and compared with published results of the literature. A new way of refinement of existing shape based alignments is also proposed by using Fourier convolutions of ab initio or other approximate electron densities. This new alignment technique is generally applicable for overlap, Coulomb, kinetic energy, etc., quantum similarity measures and can be extended to a genuine docking solution with ab initio scoring. PMID:18624561

  6. Molecular characterization of the plant biopolyester cutin by AFM and spectroscopic techniques.

    PubMed

    Benítez, José J; Matas, Antonio J; Heredia, Antonio

    2004-08-01

    Atomic force microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance have been used to improve our current knowledge on the molecular characteristics of the biopolyester cutin, the main component of the plant cuticle. After comparison of samples of cutin isolated from young and mature tomato fruit cuticles has been possible to establish different degrees of cross-linking in the biopolymer and that the polymer is mainly formed after esterification of secondary hydroxyl groups of the monomers that form this type of cutin. Atomic force microscopy gave useful structural information on the molecular topography of the outer surface of the isolated samples. The texture of these samples is a consequence of the cross-linking degree or chemical status of the polymer. Thus, the more dense and cross-linked cutin from ripe or mature tomato fruit is characterized by a flatter and more globular texture in addition to the development of elongated and orientated superstructures.

  7. Evaluation of genetically modified sugarcane lines carrying Cry 1AC gene using molecular marker techniques.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Roba M

    2013-01-01

    Five genetically modified insect resistant sugarcane lines harboring the Bt Cry 1AC gene to produce insecticidal proteins were compared with non-transgenic control by using three types of molecular marker techniques namely, RAPD, ISSR and AFLP. These techniques were applied on transgenic and non-transgenic plants to investigate the genetic variations, which may appear in sugarcane clones. This variation might demonstrate the genomic changes associated with the transformation process, which could change important molecular basis of various biological phenomena. Genetic variations were screened using 22 different RAPD primers, 10 ISSR primers and 13 AFLP primer combinations. Analysis of RAPD and ISSR banding patterns gave no exclusive evidence for genetic variations. Meanwhile, the percentage of polymorphic bands was 0.45% in each of RAPD and ISSR, while the polymorphism generated by AFLP analysis was 1.8%. The maximum percentage of polymorphic bands was 1.4%, 1.1% and 5.5% in RAPD, ISSR and AFLP, respectively. These results demonstrate that most transgenic lines showed genomic homogeneity and verified minor genomic changes. Dendrograms revealing the relationships among the transgenic and control plants were developed from the data of each of the three marker types.

  8. Ultra-filtration of human serum for improved quantitative analysis of low molecular weight biomarkers using ATR-IR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Bonnier, Franck; Blasco, Hélène; Wasselet, Clément; Brachet, Guillaume; Respaud, Renaud; Carvalho, Luis Felipe C S; Bertrand, Dominique; Baker, Matthew J; Byrne, Hugh J; Chourpa, Igor

    2017-01-09

    Infrared spectroscopy is a reliable, rapid and cost effective characterisation technique, delivering a molecular finger print of the sample. It is expected that its sensitivity would enable detection of small chemical variations in biological samples associated with disease. ATR-IR is particularly suitable for liquid sample analysis and, although air drying is commonly performed before data collection, just a drop of human serum is enough for screening and early diagnosis. However, the dynamic range of constituent biochemical concentrations in the serum composition remains a limiting factor to the reliability of the technique. Using glucose as a model spike in human serum, it has been demonstrated in the present study that fractionating the serum prior to spectroscopic analysis can considerably improve the precision and accuracy of quantitative models based on the partial least squares regression algorithm. By depleting the abundant high molecular weight proteins, which otherwise dominate the spectral signatures collected, the ability to monitor changes in the concentrations of the low molecular weight constituents is enhanced. The Root Mean Square Error for the Validation set (RMSEV) has been improved by a factor of 5 following human serum processing with an average relative error in the predictive values below 1% being achieved. Moreover, the approach is easily transferable to different bodily fluids, which would support the development of more efficient and suitable clinical protocols for exploration of vibrational spectroscopy based ex vivo diagnostic tools.

  9. Recent applications of boxed molecular dynamics: a simple multiscale technique for atomistic simulations

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Jonathan; Vazquez, Saulo; Martinez-Nunez, Emilio; Marks, Alison; Rodgers, Jeff; Glowacki, David R.; Shalashilin, Dmitrii V.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we briefly review the boxed molecular dynamics (BXD) method which allows analysis of thermodynamics and kinetics in complicated molecular systems. BXD is a multiscale technique, in which thermodynamics and long-time dynamics are recovered from a set of short-time simulations. In this paper, we review previous applications of BXD to peptide cyclization, solution phase organic reaction dynamics and desorption of ions from self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). We also report preliminary results of simulations of diamond etching mechanisms and protein unfolding in atomic force microscopy experiments. The latter demonstrate a correlation between the protein's structural motifs and its potential of mean force. Simulations of these processes by standard molecular dynamics (MD) is typically not possible, because the experimental time scales are very long. However, BXD yields well-converged and physically meaningful results. Compared with other methods of accelerated MD, our BXD approach is very simple; it is easy to implement, and it provides an integrated approach for simultaneously obtaining both thermodynamics and kinetics. It also provides a strategy for obtaining statistically meaningful dynamical results in regions of configuration space that standard MD approaches would visit only very rarely. PMID:24982247

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular investigation on the interaction of spermine with proteinase K by multispectroscopic techniques and molecular simulation studies.

    PubMed

    Hosseini-Koupaei, Mansoore; Shareghi, Behzad; Saboury, Ali Akbar; Davar, Fateme

    2017-01-01

    The alteration in structure, function and stability of proteinase K in the presence of spermine was investigated using spectroscopic methods and simulation techniques. The stability and enzyme activity of proteinase K-spermine complex were significantly enhanced as compared to that of the pure enzyme. The increase in the value of Vmax and the catalytic efficiency of Proteinase K in presence of spermine confirmed that the polyamine could bring the enzyme hyperactivation. UV-vis spectroscopy, intrinsic fluorescence and circular dichroism methods demonstrated that the binding of spermine changed the microenvironment and structure of proteinase K. The fluorescence studies, showing that spermine quenched the intensity of proteinase K with static mechanism. Thermodynamic parameters analysis suggested that hydrogen bond and van der Waals forces play a key role in complex stability which is in agreement with modeling studies. The CD spectra represented the secondary structure alteration of proteinase K with an increase in α-helicity and a decrease in β-sheet of proteinase K upon spermine conjugation. The molecular simulation results proposed that spermine could interact with proteinase K spontaneously at single binding site, which is in agreement with spectroscopic results. This agreement between experimental and theoretical results may be a worth method for protein-ligand complex studies.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Power Doppler myocardial contrast echocardiography using an improved multiple frame triggered Harmonic Angio technique.

    PubMed

    Murthy, T H; Locricchio, E; Kuersten, B; Li, P; Baisch, C; Vannan, M A

    2001-04-01

    Although B-mode harmonic, intermittent-triggered myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) is a well-established technique, a variety of MCE techniques have been introduced recently to improve myocardial opacification. One such technique uses a power Doppler method in conjunction with multiple frame triggering (MFT), but has been limited by nonuniform microbubble destruction and blooming as well as motion artifacts. Utilizing two different contrast agents, Definity and Optison, we tested the feasibility of an improved version of Harmonic Angio MFT that utilizes a lower transmit frequency, reduced packet size, and more stringent wall filter in normal volunteers and in patients with known perfusion defects. The results showed that Harmonic Angio MFT produced fill frames with readily visible opacification and destruction frames with little visible opacification. The patterns of opacification also correlated with the expected perfusion patterns in both groups of subjects. Thus, Harmonic Angio MFT appears to be a promising new MCE technique.

  15. Imaging patterns predict patient survival and molecular subtype in glioblastoma via machine learning techniques

    PubMed Central

    Macyszyn, Luke; Akbari, Hamed; Pisapia, Jared M.; Da, Xiao; Attiah, Mark; Pigrish, Vadim; Bi, Yingtao; Pal, Sharmistha; Davuluri, Ramana V.; Roccograndi, Laura; Dahmane, Nadia; Martinez-Lage, Maria; Biros, George; Wolf, Ronald L.; Bilello, Michel; O'Rourke, Donald M.; Davatzikos, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Background MRI characteristics of brain gliomas have been used to predict clinical outcome and molecular tumor characteristics. However, previously reported imaging biomarkers have not been sufficiently accurate or reproducible to enter routine clinical practice and often rely on relatively simple MRI measures. The current study leverages advanced image analysis and machine learning algorithms to identify complex and reproducible imaging patterns predictive of overall survival and molecular subtype in glioblastoma (GB). Methods One hundred five patients with GB were first used to extract approximately 60 diverse features from preoperative multiparametric MRIs. These imaging features were used by a machine learning algorithm to derive imaging predictors of patient survival and molecular subtype. Cross-validation ensured generalizability of these predictors to new patients. Subsequently, the predictors were evaluated in a prospective cohort of 29 new patients. Results Survival curves yielded a hazard ratio of 10.64 for predicted long versus short survivors. The overall, 3-way (long/medium/short survival) accuracy in the prospective cohort approached 80%. Classification of patients into the 4 molecular subtypes of GB achieved 76% accuracy. Conclusions By employing machine learning techniques, we were able to demonstrate that imaging patterns are highly predictive of patient survival. Additionally, we found that GB subtypes have distinctive imaging phenotypes. These results reveal that when imaging markers related to infiltration, cell density, microvascularity, and blood–brain barrier compromise are integrated via advanced pattern analysis methods, they form very accurate predictive biomarkers. These predictive markers used solely preoperative images, hence they can significantly augment diagnosis and treatment of GB patients. PMID:26188015

  16. 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

  17. Improving SVDD classification performance on hyperspectral images via correlation based ensemble technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uslu, Faruk Sukru; Binol, Hamidullah; Ilarslan, Mustafa; Bal, Abdullah

    2017-02-01

    Support Vector Data Description (SVDD) is a nonparametric and powerful method for target detection and classification. The SVDD constructs a minimum hypersphere enclosing the target objects as much as possible. It has advantages of sparsity, good generalization and using kernel machines. In many studies, different methods have been offered in order to improve the performance of the SVDD. In this paper, we have presented ensemble methods to improve classification performance of the SVDD in remotely sensed hyperspectral imagery (HSI) data. Among various ensemble approaches we have selected bagging technique for training data set with different combinations. As a novel technique for weighting we have proposed a correlation based weight coefficients assignment. In this technique, correlation between each bagged classifier is calculated to give coefficients to weighted combinators. To verify the improvement performance, two hyperspectral images are processed for classification purpose. The obtained results show that the ensemble SVDD has been found to be significantly better than conventional SVDD in terms of classification accuracy.

  18. Developing an efficient technique for satellite image denoising and resolution enhancement for improving classification accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thangaswamy, Sree Sharmila; Kadarkarai, Ramar; Thangaswamy, Sree Renga Raja

    2013-01-01

    Satellite images are corrupted by noise during image acquisition and transmission. The removal of noise from the image by attenuating the high-frequency image components removes important details as well. In order to retain the useful information, improve the visual appearance, and accurately classify an image, an effective denoising technique is required. We discuss three important steps such as image denoising, resolution enhancement, and classification for improving accuracy in a noisy image. An effective denoising technique, hybrid directional lifting, is proposed to retain the important details of the images and improve visual appearance. The discrete wavelet transform based interpolation is developed for enhancing the resolution of the denoised image. The image is then classified using a support vector machine, which is superior to other neural network classifiers. The quantitative performance measures such as peak signal to noise ratio and classification accuracy show the significance of the proposed techniques.

  19. Techniques and Procedures to Improve 25mm Gunnery of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-10-01

    Gunnery of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle DTIC Mike S. Perkins F I-ECTE Litton Computer Services Division SEP 07 1989 Litton Systems, Inc. October 1988...Classification, Techniques and Procedures to Improve 25mm Gunnery of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Perkins, Mike S. (Litton Computer...Research has been conducted to develop and evaluate procedures and techniques to im- prove 25mm gunnery of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle OB1RV)P. The

  20. An improved visualization-based force-measurement technique for short-duration hypersonic facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurence, Stuart J.; Karl, Sebastian

    2010-06-01

    This article is concerned with describing and exploring the limitations of an improved version of a recently proposed visualization-based technique for the measurement of forces and moments in short-duration hypersonic wind tunnels. The technique is based on tracking the motion of a free-flying body over a sequence of high-speed visualizations; while this idea is not new in itself, the use of high-speed digital cinematography combined with a highly accurate least-squares tracking algorithm allows improved results over what have been previously possible with such techniques. The technique precision is estimated through the analysis of artificially constructed and experimental test images, and the resulting error in acceleration measurements is characterized. For wind-tunnel scale models, position measurements to within a few microns are shown to be readily attainable. Image data from two previous experimental studies in the T5 hypervelocity shock tunnel are then reanalyzed with the improved technique: the uncertainty in the mean drag acceleration is shown to be reduced to the order of the flow unsteadiness, 2-3%, and time-resolved acceleration measurements are also shown to be possible. The response time of the technique for the configurations studied is estimated to be ˜0.5 ms. Comparisons with computations using the DLR TAU code also yield agreement to within the overall experimental uncertainty. Measurement of the pitching moment for blunt geometries still appears challenging, however.

  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. Limitations and improvements upon the two-level approximation for molecular nonlinear optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, David L.; Bradshaw, David S.; Coles, Matt M.

    2011-03-01

    When parametric nonlinear processes are employed in the cause of efficient optical frequency conversion, the media involved are generally subjected to substantially off-resonant input radiation. As such, it is usually only electronic ground states of the conversion material that are significantly populated; higher levels are engaged only in the capacity of virtual states, and it is frequently assumed that just one such state dominates in determining the response. Calculating the nonlinear optical susceptibilities of molecules on this basis, excluding all but the ground and one excited state in a sum-over-states formulation, signifies the adoption of a two-level model, a technique that is widely deployed in the calculation and analysis of nonlinear optical properties. The two-level model offers tractable and physically simple representations of molecular response, including wavelength dependence; it is also the origin of the widely applied 'push-pull' approach to designing optically nonlinear chromophores. By contrast, direct ab initio calculations of optical susceptibility are commonly frustrated by a complete failure to determine such dispersion features. However, caution is required; the two-level model can deliver potentially misleading results if it is applied without regard to the criteria for its validity, especially when molecular excited states are significantly populated. On the basis of a precise, quantum electrodynamical basis for the theory, we explore in detail why there are grounds for questioning the general validity of two-level calculations in nonlinear optics; we assess the criteria for high frequency conversion efficiency and provide a new graphical method to assist in determining the applicability of a two-level model for hyperpolarizability calculations. Lastly, this paper also explores the applicability and detailed conditions for the two-level model for electronically excited molecules, identifying problematic results and providing tractable

  3. Role of Artificial Intelligence Techniques (Automatic Classifiers) in Molecular Imaging Modalities in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Cascianelli, Silvia; Scialpi, Michele; Amici, Serena; Forini, Nevio; Minestrini, Matteo; Fravolini, Mario Luca; Sinzinger, Helmut; Schillaci, Orazio; Palumbo, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very active Computer Science research field aiming to develop systems that mimic human intelligence and is helpful in many human activities, including Medicine. In this review we presented some examples of the exploiting of AI techniques, in particular automatic classifiers such as Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Classification Tree (ClT) and ensemble methods like Random Forest (RF), able to analyze findings obtained by positron emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) scans of patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases, in particular Alzheimer's Disease. We also focused our attention on techniques applied in order to preprocess data and reduce their dimensionality via feature selection or projection in a more representative domain (Principal Component Analysis - PCA - or Partial Least Squares - PLS - are examples of such methods); this is a crucial step while dealing with medical data, since it is necessary to compress patient information and retain only the most useful in order to discriminate subjects into normal and pathological classes. Main literature papers on the application of these techniques to classify patients with neurodegenerative disease extracting data from molecular imaging modalities are reported, showing that the increasing development of computer aided diagnosis systems is very promising to contribute to the diagnostic process.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Improving Metered Dose Inhaler Technique in the Emergency Department: A Prospective Study

    PubMed Central

    Richards, John R.; Luskin, Michael J.; Krivoshto, Irina N.; Derlet, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To determine if improvement in patients’ metered dose inhaler (MDI) technique could be achieved in the emergency department (ED) with the use of a simple illustrated instruction sheet. Methods: Prospective evaluation of a convenience sample of patients with asthma or COPD. Patients were first subjectively and objectively evaluated on their usual MDI technique, then were given an illustrated instruction sheet to study for 5 minutes. There was no verbal coaching prior to the post-test. A post-test evaluation was then performed. Results were compared using paired Student t test. Results: A total of 115 patients were enrolled. Mean age was 34.9±13.1 years, and mean years using MDI was 5.7±3.8. Subjective improvement in technique was reported by 110 patients (96%) with a mean pre-test score of 7.4±1.5 and post-test score of 9.2±1.1 (p<0.0001, 10 point scale). Objective improvement was achieved in 113 patients (98%) with a mean pre-test score of 3.9±1.3 and post-test score of 5.8±1.0 (p<0.0001, 7 point scale), corresponding to a 30% improvement in technique (95% CI: 22,39). Forty-four patients (38%) reported never having been shown proper MDI technique by a health care professional, and 112 patients (97%) found the instruction sheet helpful. Conclusions: Rapid objective and subjective improvement of MDI technique from both patients’ and physicians’ perspective is possible in the ED with the use of an illustrated instruction sheet, and requires minimal effort from the treating emergency physician. PMID:20847849

  7. Improved hidden Markov models for molecular motors, part 2: extensions and application to experimental data.

    PubMed

    Syed, Sheyum; Müllner, Fiona E; Selvin, Paul R; Sigworth, Fred J

    2010-12-01

    Unbiased interpretation of noisy single molecular motor recordings remains a challenging task. To address this issue, we have developed robust algorithms based on hidden Markov models (HMMs) of motor proteins. The basic algorithm, called variable-stepsize HMM (VS-HMM), was introduced in the previous article. It improves on currently available Markov-model based techniques by allowing for arbitrary distributions of step sizes, and shows excellent convergence properties for the characterization of staircase motor timecourses in the presence of large measurement noise. In this article, we extend the VS-HMM framework for better performance with experimental data. The extended algorithm, variable-stepsize integrating-detector HMM (VSI-HMM) better models the data-acquisition process, and accounts for random baseline drifts. Further, as an extension, maximum a posteriori estimation is provided. When used as a blind step detector, the VSI-HMM outperforms conventional step detectors. The fidelity of the VSI-HMM is tested with simulations and is applied to in vitro myosin V data where a small 10 nm population of steps is identified. It is also applied to an in vivo recording of melanosome motion, where strong evidence is found for repeated, bidirectional steps smaller than 8 nm in size, implying that multiple motors simultaneously carry the cargo.

  8. Genetic Optimization of Training Sets for Improved Machine Learning Models of Molecular Properties.

    PubMed

    Browning, Nicholas J; Ramakrishnan, Raghunathan; von Lilienfeld, O Anatole; Roethlisberger, Ursula

    2017-04-06

    The training of molecular models of quantum mechanical properties based on statistical machine learning requires large data sets which exemplify the map from chemical structure to molecular property. Intelligent a priori selection of training examples is often difficult or impossible to achieve, as prior knowledge may be unavailable. Ordinarily representative selection of training molecules from such data sets is achieved through random sampling. We use genetic algorithms for the optimization of training set composition consisting of tens of thousands of small organic molecules. The resulting machine learning models are considerably more accurate: in the limit of small training sets, mean absolute errors for out-of-sample predictions are reduced by up to ∼75%. We discuss and present optimized training sets consisting of 10 molecular classes for all molecular properties studied. We show that these classes can be used to design improved training sets for the generation of machine learning models of the same properties in similar but unrelated molecular sets.

  9. Use of molecular epidemiological techniques in a pilot study on workers exposed to chromium.

    PubMed Central

    Gao, M; Levy, L S; Faux, S P; Aw, T C; Braithwaite, R A; Brown, S S

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--Molecular epidemiological techniques, capable of detecting damage to DNA, were used to see if such damage occurred in the lymphocytes of a group of workers exposed to chromium. The two aims of this pilot study were to see if these new techniques might make useful biological monitoring tools for workers exposed to chromium and also, to help assess whether the current occupational exposure limit for chromium (VI) was sufficiently protective in this specific working situation. METHODS--Volunteer groups of 10 workers exposed to chromium and 10 non-exposed workers provided urine and blood samples towards the end of the working week. Chromium concentrations were measured in whole blood, plasma, lymphocytes, and urine. Lymphocytes were used to examine two forms of DNA damage in the two groups; these were the level of DNA strand breakage and, the production of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine. RESULTS--Chromium concentration in whole blood, plasma, and urine of workers exposed to chromium was significantly raised (P < 0.01) compared with non-exposed controls, but in isolated lymphocytes, there was only a modest but significant (P < 0.05) increase in chromium in the group exposed to chromium. There was no difference in the levels of DNA strand breaks or 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine between the groups. Air monitoring for chromium was not undertaken but current levels for the group exposed to chromium were reported to be around 0.01 mg/m3, which is 20% of the current United Kingdom occupational exposure limit. CONCLUSIONS--We were unable to detect any damage in lymphocytic DNA due to exposure to chromium. This may have been due to the low chromium exposure (< 20% of the United Kingdom occupational exposure limit), the ability of plasma to detoxify chromium (VI) to chromium (III) before it reached the lymphocytes, or perhaps the insensitivity of the molecular techniques used. It is now important to test these and other such techniques on groups exposed to levels closer to the

  10. Synthesis and Bioconjugation of Gold Nanoparticles as Potential Molecular Probes for Light-Based Imaging Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Rayavarapu, Raja Gopal; Petersen, Wilma; Ungureanu, Constantin; Post, Janine N.; van Leeuwen, Ton G.; Manohar, Srirang

    2007-01-01

    We have synthesized and characterized gold nanoparticles (spheres and rods) with optical extinction bands within the “optical imaging window.” The intense plasmon resonant driven absorption and scattering peaks of these nanoparticles make them suitable as contrast agents for optical imaging techniques. Further, we have conjugated these gold nanoparticles to a mouse monoclonal antibody specific to HER2 overexpressing SKBR3 breast carcinoma cells. The bioconjugation protocol uses noncovalent modes of binding based on a combination of electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions of the antibody and the gold surface. We discuss various aspects of the synthesis and bioconjugation protocols and the characterization results of the functionalized nanoparticles. Some proposed applications of these potential molecular probes in the field of biomedical imaging are also discussed. PMID:18354723

  11. Development of molecular based optical techniques for thermometry and velocimetry for fluorocarbon media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pouya, Shahram; Blanchard, Gary; Koochesfahani, Manoochehr

    2016-11-01

    Fluorocarbon solvents are very stable inert fluids with unique physical properties that make them attractive compounds as refrigerant and several medical applications such as contrast enhanced ultrasound imaging. Since they do not mix with typical organic solvents or water, most luminescent (fluorescent or phosphorescent) probes cannot be used as tracers for optical diagnostic techniques. Perfluoropentane, a compound from this family, is used as a simulant fluid by NASA for two-phase heat transfer/mixing experiments under micro-gravity condition due to its low boiling temperature. Here we study the feasibility of employing non-intrusive optical methods for measurements of temperature and/or velocity within Perfluoropentane as the working fluid. Preliminary results of temperature and velocity measurement using Laser Induced Fluorescence and Molecular Tagging Velocimetry are presented. This work was supported by NASA Grant Number NNX16AD52A.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Electrical characterization of ensemble of GaN nanowires grown by the molecular beam epitaxy technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolkovsky, Vl.; Zytkiewicz, Z. R.; Sobanska, M.; Klosek, K.

    2013-08-01

    High quality Schottky contacts are formed on GaN nanowires (NWs) structures grown by the molecular beam epitaxy technique on Si(111) substrate. The current-voltage characteristics show the rectification ratio of about 103 and the leakage current of about 10-4 A/cm2 at room temperature. From the capacitance-voltage measurements the free carrier concentration in GaN NWs is determined as about 1016 cm-3. Two deep levels (H200 and E280) are found in the structures containing GaN NWs. H200 is attributed to an extended defect located at the interface between the substrate and SiNx or near the sidewalls at the bottom of the NWs whereas E280 is tentatively assigned to a gallium-vacancy- or nitrogen interstitials-related defect.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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(T(g), T(s); ϑ), on metal surfaces for which the impinging gas temperature, T(g), and surface temperature, T(s), can be independently varied, along with the angle of incidence, ϑ, of the impinging gas. Effusive beam experiments with T(g) = T(s) = 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(T(g), T(s); ϑ) measurements for which T(g) ≠ T(s) 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 T(g) 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).

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Improving human forensics through advances in genetics, genomics and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Kayser, Manfred; de Knijff, Peter

    2011-03-01

    Forensic DNA profiling currently allows the identification of persons already known to investigating authorities. Recent advances have produced new types of genetic markers with the potential to overcome some important limitations of current DNA profiling methods. Moreover, other developments are enabling completely new kinds of forensically relevant information to be extracted from biological samples. These include new molecular approaches for finding individuals previously unknown to investigators, and new molecular methods to support links between forensic sample donors and criminal acts. Such advances in genetics, genomics and molecular biology are likely to improve human forensic case work in the near future.

  20. Methods and Techniques for Improving the Educational Aspirational Level of Senior High School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Summers, Ruby

    This paper presents methods and techniques for improving the educational aspirational level of disadvantaged senior high school students. The objectives of the program are listed, followed by a list of ten activity areas within which the substance of the motivational thrusts of the project are to be implemented. The activity areas are discussed.…

  1. 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…

  2. Turning Continuous Quality Improvement into Institutional Practice: The Tools and Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornesky, Robert A.

    This manual is intended to assist managers of support units at institutions of higher education in the implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). The purpose is to describe a cooperative model for CQI which will permit managers to evaluate the quality of their units and institution, and by using the described tools and techniques, to…

  3. Semantic Mapping as a Vocabulary Teaching Technique to Improve Recall of Word Meaning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vogt, Darlene

    A study investigated the effectiveness of semantic mapping as a technique to improve recall of word meaning versus the traditional method of teaching vocabulary. Eight intermediate-level students from grades 4, 5, and 6, five of whom were identified as learning disabled students, were subjects. They were tested using vocabulary subtests of the…

  4. 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…

  5. Application of molecular techniques for the assessment of microorganism diversity on cultural heritage objects.

    PubMed

    Otlewska, Anna; Adamiak, Justyna; Gutarowska, Beata

    2014-01-01

    As a result of their unpredictable ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions, microorganisms inhabit different types of biological niches on Earth. Owing to the key role of microorganisms in many biogeochemical processes, trends in modern microbiology emphasize the need to know and understand the structure and function of complex microbial communities. This is particularly important if the strategy relates to microbial communities that cause biodeterioration of materials that constitute our cultural heritage. Until recently, the detection and identification of microorganisms inhabiting objects of cultural value was based only on cultivation-dependent methods. In spite of many advantages, these methods provide limited information because they identify only viable organisms capable of growth under standard laboratory conditions. However, in order to carry out proper conservation and renovation, it is necessary to know the complete composition of microbial communities and their activity. This paper presents and characterizes modern techniques such as genetic fingerprinting and clone library construction for the assessment of microbial diversity based on molecular biology. Molecular methods represent a favourable alternative to culture-dependent methods and make it possible to assess the biodiversity of microorganisms inhabiting technical materials and cultural heritage objects.

  6. Molecular techniques for detection of Tribolium confusum infestations in stored products.

    PubMed

    Nowaczyk, K; Obrepalska-Steplowska, A; Gawlak, M; Throne, J E; Olejarski, P; Nawrot, J

    2009-08-01

    The confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) is a stored-product pest that contaminates a wide range of food products, from flour and cereals to spices. The insect reduces food quality and is responsible for large economic losses every year. Although several methods for detection of stored-product pests are common and widely used, they are time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, establishing molecular methods of detection of stored-product pests could provide a useful alternative method. We have undertaken attempts to establish methods of detection of T. confusum based on molecular biology techniques of standard and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Total DNA of T. confusum and red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), used as a negative control, was isolated from insects and used as a template in standard and real-time PCR reactions. Specific primers have been designed on the basis of sequences of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) fragment of rDNA and subunit I of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase of T. confusum available in the GenBank database. Standard PCR reactions with primers specific to the ITS fragment proved to be reliable and sensitive. Real-time PCR reactions with primers specific for mitochondrial DNA are considered to serve as a supplemental detection method for quantitative assessment of the infestation level.

  7. Development of Pressure Sensitive Molecular Film as a Measurement Technique for Micro-Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuda, Y.; Mori, H.; Sakazaki, Y.; Uchida, T.; Suzuki, S.; Yamaguchi, H.; Niimi, T.

    2008-12-01

    The pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) has potential as a diagnostic tool for pressure measurement in the high Knudsen number regime because it works as a so-called "molecular sensor." However, there are few reports concerning application of the PSP to micro devices, because the conventional PSP is too thick owing to the use of polymer binder. In our previous work, we have adopted Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique to fabricate pressure sensitive molecular films (PSMFs) using Pd(II) Mesoporphyrin IX (PdMP). The PSMF based on PdMP has pressure sensitivity only at low pressure range (below 3 kPa). In this study, we have constructed PSMF composed of Pt(II) Mesoporphyrin IX (PtMP) to be applied to pressure measurement near atmospheric pressure. The pressure sensitivity of PSMF based on PtMP has been tested, and it is clarified that the PSMF of PtMP has equivalent pressure sensitivity of polymer PSP. Moreover, we have applied PSMF to measurement of pressure distribution of micro-channel gas flow, showing its usefulness.

  8. Sex determination of Pohnpei Micronesian kingfishers using morphological and molecular genetic techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kesler, Dylan C.; Lopes, I.F.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

    Conservation-oriented studies of Micronesian Kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus) have been hindered by a lack of basic natural history information, despite the status of the Guam subspecies (T. c. cinnamominus) as one of the most endangered species in the world. We used tissue samples and morphometric measures from museum specimens and wild-captured Pohnpei Micronesian Kingfishers (T. c. reichenbachii) to develop methods for sex determination. We present a modified molecular protocol and a discriminant function that yields the probability that a particular individual is male or female. Our results revealed that females were significantly larger than males, and the discriminant function correctly predicted sex in 73% (30/41) of the individuals. The sex of 86% (18/21) of individuals was correctly assigned when a moderate reliability threshold was set. Sex determination using molecular genetic techniques was more reliable than methods based on morphology. Our results will facilitate recovery efforts for the critically endangered Guam Micronesian Kingfisher and provide a basis for sex determination in the 11 other endangered congeners in the Pacific Basin.

  9. Using biomechanics to improve the surgical technique for internal fixation of intracapsular femoral neck fractures.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chi-Chuan

    2010-01-01

    Despite advances in science and technology, the success rate for the treatment of displaced intracapsular femoral neck fractures in high-energy injuries remains disappointing. The blood supply system in the femoral head of humans does not favor recovery from these fractures. Once these fractures occur, osteonecrosis and nonunion rates may be as high as 30%, even if the newest technique is used. There are some surgical techniques used to supplement internal fixation to reestablish the blood supply in the femoral head, but none have been evidently successful. After analysis of related studies, the author concludes that immediate surgical treatment using improved techniques incorporating the principles of biomechanics can improve the success rate of treatment of these fractures. Using these principles, the fracture site can achieve sufficient stability. Consequently, the blood supply in the femoral head and neck can be reestablished earlier and loss of reduction of fragments during treatment can be minimized. Thus, the chance of full recovery from these complicated fractures can be maximized. In this study, the biomechanical characteristics of these fractures and the principles associated with the surgical techniques used for treating them are reviewed and clarified. Finally, a surgical technique which is ideal from the author's viewpoint is presented. The author believes that the recommended surgical technique may become the best method for treating these complicated fractures.

  10. Full symmetry implementation in condensed matter and molecular physics-Modified group projector technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damnjanović, Milan; Milošević, Ivanka

    2015-06-01

    Symmetry is well established as one of the fundamental concepts in physics, accurately extracting relevant characteristics of the studied object, giving deep and transparent insight to its properties. In the solid state and molecular physics the most abundant application is reduction of the dimension of the eigenproblem of the Hamiltonian, with the resulting eigenvectors labeled by good quantum numbers, forming the so called symmetry adapted basis. Such a basis is the starting point for subsequent analysis of the physical properties of the system, performed usually by applying adequate perturbation technique. Standard procedure for finding a symmetry adapted basis involves Wigner operators, which are sums of the operators acting in the quantum state space (Hilbert space, most usually) over all elements of the symmetry group of the systems. However, both the dimension of the state space and the number of the symmetry transformations are infinite even in the simplest approximate models in crystal physics making obstacles for direct application of the standard Wigner projector technique, and its numerical implementation. On the other hand, there is a minimal part of the system, the full symmetry elementary cell (symcell), from which the whole system can be built by action of the full symmetry group elements on it. A clear heuristic idea, that symcell and full symmetry group, determine the properties of the entire system, is fully realized within modified group projector technique. Namely, when applying this technique, the full symmetry of the system is used to provide reduction of calculations to the symcell only, singling out its state space (of a finite dimension!) as the effective state space to be worked in. Physical observables, expressed through their irreducible tensor components, obtain their counterparts in this finite-dimensional space of a symcell. It remains to consider only the symmetry transformations which leave the symcell invariant. This is absolutely

  11. Radiation Oncology In Vitro: Trends to Improve Radiotherapy through Molecular Targets

    PubMed Central

    Feofanova, Natália; Geraldo, Jony Marques; de Andrade, Lídia Maria

    2014-01-01

    Much has been investigated to improve the beneficial effects of radiotherapy especially in that case where radioresistant behavior is observed. Beyond simple identification of resistant phenotype the discovery and development of specific molecular targets have demonstrated therapeutic potential in cancer treatment including radiotherapy. Alterations on transduction signaling pathway related with MAPK cascade are the main axis in cancer cellular proliferation even as cell migration and invasiveness in irradiated tumor cell lines; then, for that reason, more studies are in course focusing on, among others, DNA damage enhancement, apoptosis stimulation, and growth factors receptor blockages, showing promising in vitro results highlighting molecular targets associated with ionizing radiation as a new radiotherapy strategy to improve clinical outcome. In this review we discuss some of the main molecular targets related with tumor cell proliferation and migration as well as their potential contributions to radiation oncology improvements. PMID:25302298

  12. An efficient technique for nuclei segmentation based on ellipse descriptor analysis and improved seed detection algorithm.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hongming; Lu, Cheng; Mandal, Mrinal

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, we propose an efficient method for segmenting cell nuclei in the skin histopathological images. The proposed technique consists of four modules. First, it separates the nuclei regions from the background with an adaptive threshold technique. Next, an elliptical descriptor is used to detect the isolated nuclei with elliptical shapes. This descriptor classifies the nuclei regions based on two ellipticity parameters. Nuclei clumps and nuclei with irregular shapes are then localized by an improved seed detection technique based on voting in the eroded nuclei regions. Finally, undivided nuclei regions are segmented by a marked watershed algorithm. Experimental results on 114 different image patches indicate that the proposed technique provides a superior performance in nuclei detection and segmentation.

  13. Improved importance sampling technique for efficient simulation of digital communication systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lu, Dingqing; Yao, Kung

    1988-01-01

    A new, improved importance sampling (IIS) approach to simulation is considered. Some basic concepts of IS are introduced, and detailed evolutions of simulation estimation variances for Monte Carlo (MC) and IS simulations are given. The general results obtained from these evolutions are applied to the specific previously known conventional importance sampling (CIS) technique and the new IIS technique. The derivation for a linear system with no signal random memory is considered in some detail. For the CIS technique, the optimum input scaling parameter is found, while for the IIS technique, the optimum translation parameter is found. The results are generalized to a linear system with memory and signals. Specific numerical and simulation results are given which show the advantages of CIS over MC and IIS over CIS for simulations of digital communications systems.

  14. An improved sample loading technique for cellular metabolic response monitoring under pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gikunda, Millicent Nkirote

    To monitor cellular metabolism under pressure, a pressure chamber designed around a simple-to-construct capillary-based spectroscopic chamber coupled to a microliter-flow perfusion system is used in the laboratory. Although cyanide-induced metabolic responses from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast) could be controllably induced and monitored under pressure, previously used sample loading technique was not well controlled. An improved cell-loading technique which is based on use of a secondary inner capillary into which the sample is loaded then inserted into the capillary pressure chamber, has been developed. As validation, we demonstrate the ability to measure the chemically-induced metabolic responses at pressures of up to 500 bars. This technique is shown to be less prone to sample loss due to perfusive flow than the previous techniques used.

  15. Head up and head mounted display performance improvements through advanced techniques in the manipulation of light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisely, Paul L.

    2009-05-01

    Since their introduction a number of years ago, head up and helmet mounted displays have undergone continuous and intensive development in aerospace applications. To date, the designs have been performed using geometric optic design techniques and have progressed to the point where very little further improvement in their characteristics is possible. This paper describes a display realised by the use of new optical design techniques based on wave-guiding principles that have enabled substantial further significant improvements to be made. These improvements are not only in respect of size, weight and volume for a given optical performance, but also in the optical characteristics that currently limit the usability of such displays in many applications. Displays that have been realised and tested through these methods are described and their performance in laboratory and flight trials discussed, together with considerations for further progress in their development.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  19. New AFM Techniques for Investigating Molecular Growth Mechanisms of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Huayu; Nadarajah, Arunan; Konnert, John H.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) has emerged as a powerful technique for investigating protein crystal growth. Earlier AFM studies were among the first to demonstrate that these crystals grew by dislocation and 2D nucleation growth mechanisms [1]. These investigations were restricted to the micron range where only surface features, such as dislocation hillocks and 2D islands are visible. Most AFM instruments can scan at higher resolutions and have the potential to resolve individual protein molecules at nanometer ranges. Such scans are essential for determining the molecular packing arrangements on crystal faces and for probing the growth process at the molecular level. However, at this resolution the AFM tip influences the image produced, with the resulting image being a convolution of the tip shape and the surface morphology [2]. In most studies this problem is resolved by deconvoluting the image to obtain the true surface morphology. Although deconvolution routines work reasonably well for simple one- dimensional shapes, for complex surfaces this approach does not produce accurate results. In this study we devised a new approach which takes advantage of the precise molecular order of crystal surfaces, combined with the knowledge of individual molecular shapes from the crystallographic data of the protein and the AFM tip shape. This information is used to construct expected theoretical AFM images by convoluting the tip shape with the constructed crystal surface shape for a given surface packing arrangement. By comparing the images from actual AFM scans with the constructed ones for different possible surface packing arrangements, the correct packing arrangement can be conclusively determined. This approach was used in this study to determine the correct one from two possible packing arrangements on (I 10) faces of tetragonal lysozyme crystals. Another novel AFM technique was also devised to measure the dimension of individual growth units of the crystal faces

  20. An improved DNA marker technique for genetic characterization using RAMP-PCR with high-GC primers.

    PubMed

    Wei, C L; Cheng, J L; Khan, M A; Yang, L Q; Imani, S; Chen, H C; Fu, J J

    2016-09-16

    Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is a widely used molecular marker technique. As traditional RAPD has poor reproducibility and productivity, we previously developed an improved RAPD method (termed RAMP-PCR), which increased the reproducibility, number of bands, and efficiency of studies on polymorphism. To further develop the efficiency of this method, we used high-GC content primers for improved RAMP-PCR with DNA samples from Lonicera japonica. Comparison of amplification profiles obtained by standard RAPD primers with those obtained by regular PCR and RAMP-PCR, and high-GC primers with regular PCR and RAMP-PCR showed that the average number of bands and polymorphisms per primer gradually and significantly increased (from 6.4 to 15.0 and from 4.6 to 10.2, respectively). Cluster dendrograms showed similar results, indicating that this new method is consistent and reproducible. A total of 22 samples from different species, including plants, animals, and humans, were used for RAMP-PCR with high-GC primers. Multiple bands were successfully amplified from all samples, demonstrating that this method is a reliable technique with consistent results and may be of general interest in studies on different genera and species. We developed highly effective DNA markers, which can provide a more effective and potentially valuable approach than traditional RAPD for the genetic identification of various organisms, particularly of medicinal plants.

  1. Application of traditional clinical pathology quality control techniques to molecular pathology.

    PubMed

    Liang, Shu-Ling; Lin, Ming-Tseh; Hafez, Michael J; Gocke, Christopher D; Murphy, Kathleen M; Sokoll, Lori J; Eshleman, James R

    2008-03-01

    Many molecular diagnostic laboratories have evolved from research laboratories, initially performing low numbers of homebrew assays, but many laboratories now perform more kit-based assays, with ever increasing test volumes. One such assay is assessment of bone marrow transplantation engraftment. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is performed primarily in the treatment of hematological malignancies. Monitoring of engraftment was traditionally evaluated using minisatellites (variable number tandem repeats) and Southern blotting, but most laboratories now use Food and Drug Administration-cleared microsatellite (short tandem repeats) kits to assess the extent of engraftment. With the increase in equipment reliability, the use of kit-based assays, and the desire to provide the highest quality clinical data, we began applying traditional clinical pathology quality control tools to the molecular diagnostics laboratory. In this study, we demonstrate this approach using a microsatellite-based bone marrow engraftment assay. We analyzed control samples (pure and mixed) for two different microsatellites to establish quality control parameters and constructed Levey-Jennings charts to monitor both the precision and accuracy of this assay. By incorporating these tools into an overall quality assurance program, a laboratory can identify systematic errors and perform corrective actions before actual assay failure, thereby improving the quality of patient care.

  2. Signal Amplification Technique (SAT): an approach for improving resolution and reducing image noise in computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Phelps, M.E.; Huang, S.C.; Hoffman, E.J.; Plummer, D.; Carson, R.

    1981-01-01

    Spatial resolution improvements in computed tomography (CT) have been limited by the large and unique error propagation properties of this technique. The desire to provide maximum image resolution has resulted in the use of reconstruction filter functions designed to produce tomographic images with resolution as close as possible to the intrinsic detector resolution. Thus, many CT systems produce images with excessive noise with the system resolution determined by the detector resolution rather than the reconstruction algorithm. CT is a rigorous mathematical technique which applies an increasing amplification to increasing spatial frequencies in the measured data. This mathematical approach to spatial frequency amplification cannot distinguish between signal and noise and therefore both are amplified equally. We report here a method in which tomographic resolution is improved by using very small detectors to selectively amplify the signal and not noise. Thus, this approach is referred to as the signal amplification technique (SAT). SAT can provide dramatic improvements in image resolution without increases in statistical noise or dose because increases in the cutoff frequency of the reconstruction algorithm are not required to improve image resolution. Alternatively, in cases where image counts are low, such as in rapid dynamic or receptor studies, statistical noise can be reduced by lowering the cutoff frequency while still maintaining the best possible image resolution. A possible system design for a positron CT system with SAT is described.

  3. Molecular Design and Device Application of Radical Polymers for Improved Charge Extraction in Organic Photovoltaic Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-29

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2015-0218 Molecular Design and Device Application of Radical Polymers for Improved Charge Extraction in Organic Photovoltaic Cells... APPLICATION OF RADICAL POLYMERS FOR IMPROVED CHARGE EXTRACTION IN ORGANIC PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS" 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER FA-9550-12-1...radical polymers and offered a perspective of their potential organic electronic applications moving forward. This work cemented our group as a world

  4. Improving Students' Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology.

    PubMed

    Dunlosky, John; Rawson, Katherine A; Marsh, Elizabeth J; Nathan, Mitchell J; Willingham, Daniel T

    2013-01-01

    Many students are being left behind by an educational system that some people believe is in crisis. Improving educational outcomes will require efforts on many fronts, but a central premise of this monograph is that one part of a solution involves helping students to better regulate their learning through the use of effective learning techniques. Fortunately, cognitive and educational psychologists have been developing and evaluating easy-to-use learning techniques that could help students achieve their learning goals. In this monograph, we discuss 10 learning techniques in detail and offer recommendations about their relative utility. We selected techniques that were expected to be relatively easy to use and hence could be adopted by many students. Also, some techniques (e.g., highlighting and rereading) were selected because students report relying heavily on them, which makes it especially important to examine how well they work. The techniques include elaborative interrogation, self-explanation, summarization, highlighting (or underlining), the keyword mnemonic, imagery use for text learning, rereading, practice testing, distributed practice, and interleaved practice. To offer recommendations about the relative utility of these techniques, we evaluated whether their benefits generalize across four categories of variables: learning conditions, student characteristics, materials, and criterion tasks. Learning conditions include aspects of the learning environment in which the technique is implemented, such as whether a student studies alone or with a group. Student characteristics include variables such as age, ability, and level of prior knowledge. Materials vary from simple concepts to mathematical problems to complicated science texts. Criterion tasks include different outcome measures that are relevant to student achievement, such as those tapping memory, problem solving, and comprehension. We attempted to provide thorough reviews for each technique, so this

  5. Acanthamoeba keratitis: improving the Scottish diagnostic service for the rapid molecular detection of Acanthamoeba species.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Claire Low; Coyne, Michael; Jones, Brian; Anijeet, Deepa

    2015-07-01

    Acanthamoeba species are responsible for causing the potentially sight-threatening condition, Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is commonly associated with contact lens use. In this report, we highlight the challenges faced using conventional laboratory identification methods to identify this often under-reported pathogen, and discuss the reasons for introducing the first national service in Scotland for the rapid and sensitive molecular identification of Acanthamoeba species. By comparing culture and molecular testing data from a total of 63 patients (n = 80 samples) throughout Scotland presenting with ocular eye disease, we describe the improvement in detection rates where an additional four positive cases were identified using a molecular assay versus culture. The testing of a further ten patients by confocal imaging is also presented. This report emphasizes the importance of continuing to improve clinical laboratory services to ensure a prompt, correct diagnosis and better prognosis, in addition to raising awareness of this potentially debilitating opportunistic pathogen.

  6. Electrochemical microfluidic chip based on molecular imprinting technique applied for therapeutic drug monitoring.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiang; Zhang, Yu; Jiang, Min; Tian, Liping; Sun, Shiguo; Zhao, Na; Zhao, Feilang; Li, Yingchun

    2017-05-15

    In this work, a novel electrochemical detection platform was established by integrating molecularly imprinting technique with microfluidic chip and applied for trace measurement of three therapeutic drugs. The chip foundation is acrylic panel with designed grooves. In the detection cell of the chip, a Pt wire is used as the counter electrode and reference electrode, and a Au-Ag alloy microwire (NPAMW) with 3D nanoporous surface modified with electro-polymerized molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) film as the working electrode. Detailed characterization of the chip and the working electrode was performed, and the properties were explored by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Two methods, respectively based on electrochemical catalysis and MIP/gate effect were employed for detecting warfarin sodium by using the prepared chip. The linearity of electrochemical catalysis method was in the range of 5×10(-6)-4×10(-4)M, which fails to meet clinical testing demand. By contrast, the linearity of gate effect was 2×10(-11)-4×10(-9)M with remarkably low detection limit of 8×10(-12)M (S/N=3), which is able to satisfy clinical assay. Then the system was applied for 24-h monitoring of drug concentration in plasma after administration of warfarin sodium in rabbit, and the corresponding pharmacokinetic parameters were obtained. In addition, the microfluidic chip was successfully adopted to analyze cyclophosphamide and carbamazepine, implying its good versatile ability. It is expected that this novel electrochemical microfluidic chip can act as a promising format for point-of-care testing via monitoring different analytes sensitively and conveniently.

  7. Evaluation of the ultraviolet/ozone technique for on-orbit removal of photolyzed molecular contamination from optical surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frink, Mark E.; Folkman, Mark A.; Darnton, Lane A.

    1992-12-01

    Molecular species outgassed from spacecraft materials adhere tenaciously to and darken spacecraft surfaces when exposed to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Such deposits severely degrade the performance of optical systems operating at UV and visible wavelengths. Data is presented which demonstrates the feasibility of a UV/Ozone cleaning technique in removing such deposits in a space-compatible configuration without damage to the optical surface. The technique involves the UV irradiation of the optical surface in the presence of low pressure molecular oxygen, resulting in the photolytic formation of ozone (O3) and subsequent photochemical removal of the contamination.

  8. An improved leakage current compensation technique for a 4πγ ionization chamber system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hino, Y.; Kawada, Y.; Nazaroh

    1996-02-01

    A current integration method using a small capacitor is most commonly employed for precise measurements of small currents from 4πγ ionization chambers for the secondary standardization of radionuclides. An improved technique has been developed for eliminating the possible effect due to the electrical leakage and/or current loss across the feedback capacitor used in the integration of the ionization current. This method is based upon charge integration from a fixed negative level of potential to nearly the same level of positive potential via the zero point. The validity of this method is demonstrated for some typical applications of 4πγ ionization chamber systems. This technique can contribute to the improvement of accuracy and to the extension of the intensity range of radioactive source in 4πγ ionization measurement.

  9. Improvement of dynamic range of filter-less fluorescence sensor with body-biasing technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moriwaki, Yu; Takahashi, Kazuhiro; Akita, Ippei; Ishida, Makoto; Sawada, Kazuaki

    2015-04-01

    Although fluorescence microscopy is an important technique in biomedical fields, the bulky equipment is disadvantageous in some situations. We have previously proposed a filter-less fluorescence sensor whose operation is based on the light absorption coefficient, which depends on the wavelength in a silicon substrate. In this sensor, the ratio of the excitation light intensity to the fluorescence intensity is as high as 400:1 upon optimizing the impurity concentration and the depth of the p-well region. To improve the dynamic range, herein we use a body-biasing technique to optimize the potential distribution of the sensing area to acquire sufficient photocurrent. Consequently, the dynamic range of the filter-less fluorescence sensor is improved to 800:1 with an 8 V substrate voltage.

  10. [Discoveries and techniques that have contributed to improving the treatment of pancreatic diseases].

    PubMed

    Navarro, Salvador

    2015-05-01

    Due to its retroperitoneal location, the pancreas has historically been a mysterious organ that is difficult to examine and which complicates treatment. The discovery of anesthesia and asepsis in the mid-19th century allowed laparotomic diagnosis, which was previously only possible at autopsy. The expectations of surgery were improved by the detection of blood groups, vitamin K synthesis, and the development of intensive care units. In addition, high levels of presurgical diagnosis and an unquestionable improvement of its results were enabled by advances in laboratory methods (serum quantification of amylase and lipase, tumoral markers, genetics, and techniques for measuring exocrine pancreatic function), imaging and endoscopic modalities, and fine tuning of surgical techniques. In this article, we review the history of the main milestones that have allowed progress in all these aspects.

  11. Improvements in sparse matrix/vector technique applications for on-line load flow calculation

    SciTech Connect

    Ristanovic, P.; Bjelogrlic, M.; Babic, B.S.

    1989-02-01

    Sparsity technique is applied to a wide range of problems in power systems analysis. In this paper the authors propose several analytical and computational improvements in sparsity applications. The new partial matrix refactorization method and ordering algorithm are presented. The proposed method is very efficient when applied to various kinds of programs, such as: on-line load flow, optimal power flow and steady-state security analysis. The proposed methodology is applied in a fast decoupled load flow program which include the treatment of tap violations on under-load tap changing (ULTC) transformers and reactive power generation on PV buses. Effects of proposed improvements are well tested and documented on the three networks: 118 bus IEEE test network and two utility networks with 209 and 519 buses, respectively. Keywords: sparsity technique, load flow analysis, security analysis.

  12. Improvement in cardioplegic perfusion technique in single aortic clamping - initial results

    PubMed Central

    Sobral, Marcelo Luiz Peixoto; dos Santos Júnior, Sérgio Francisco; de Sá, Juliano Cavalcante; Terrazas, Anderson da Silva; Trompieri, Daniel Francisco de Mendonça; de Sousa, Thierry Araújo Nunes; dos Santos, Gilmar Geraldo; Stolf, Noedir Antonio Groppo

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The most common method used for myocardial protection is administering cardioplegic solution in the coronary circulation. Nevertheless, protection may be achieved by intermittent perfusion of the coronary system with patient's own blood. The intermittent perfusion may be performed by multiple sequences of clamping and opening of the aortic clamp or due single clamping and accessory cannulation of the aortic root as in the improved technique proposed in this study, reperfusion without the need for multiple clamping of the aorta. Objective To evaluate the clinical outcome and the occurrence of neurological events in in-hospital patients submitted to myocardial revascularization surgery with the "improved technique" of intermittent perfusion of the aortic root with single clamping. Methods This is a prospective, cross-sectional, observational study that describes a myocardial management technique that consists of intermittent perfusion of the aortic root with single clamping in which 50 patients (mean age 58.5±7.19 years old) have been submitted to the myocardial revasculrization surgery under the proposed technique. Clinical and laboratory variables, pre- and post-surgery, have been assessed. Results The mean peak level of post-surgery CKMB was 51.64±27.10 U/L in the second post-surgery and of troponin I was 3.35±4.39 ng/ml in the fourth post-surgery, within normal limits. No deaths have occurred and one patient presented mild neurological disorder. Hemodynamic monitoring has not indicated any changes. Conclusion The myocardial revascularization surgery by perfusion with the improved technique with intermittent aortic root with single clamping proved to be safe, enabling satisfactory clinical results. PMID:25140473

  13. Improvement of synthetic aperture techniques by means of the coarray analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-Arguedas, C. J.; Martínez-Graullera, O.; Romero-Laorden, D.; Pérez-López, M.; Gómez-Ullate, L.

    2012-05-01

    In the field of ultrasonic imaging, the synthetic aperture techniques are well known due to their ability for obtain images using fewer resources. Initially, these techniques were developed to reduce the cost and complexity of phased array instrumentation. Although these drawbacks have already been overcome, the interest on the synthetic aperture systems has not decayed. The reasons of that are the high image quality achieved with these techniques (images dynamically focused both in emission and reception), and the fact that they are an excellent solution for the design of new high performance instrumentation with a low volume and power consumption, easily integrable in autonomous and embedded systems. Using the coarray as a model of the pulse-echo systems, the present work analyzes experimentally the main synthetic aperture strategies appeared until now, introducing two new proposals (2R-SAFT and nR-SAFT) that allow to improve the quality of the images without increase the hardware complexity of the system.

  14. Improvement on an inverted decoupling technique for a class of stable linear multivariable processes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peiying; Zhang, Weidong

    2007-04-01

    This paper improves an inverted decoupling technique for a class of stable linear multivariable processes with multiple time delays and nonminimum-phase zeros. Two decoupling schemes are proposed based on the inverted decoupling technique. One is a developed inverted decoupling scheme. In this scheme, the decoupler is designed such that the inverted decoupling technique accommodates a wider field than the one introduced in the published literature. However, due to the stability issue, some multivariable processes still cannot be decoupled by the inverted decoupling structure. To solve this problem, another modified decoupling scheme with unity feedback structure is suggested for implementation. The Internal Model Control (IMC) theory is applied here to design PI/PID controllers for the decoupled processes. Furthermore, in the presence of multiplicative input uncertainty, low bounds of the control parameters are derived quantitatively for guaranteeing robust stability of the system. Simulations are illustrated for demonstrating the validity of the proposed control schemes.

  15. Improved Signal Processing Technique Leads to More Robust Self Diagnostic Accelerometer System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tokars, Roger; Lekki, John; Jaros, Dave; Riggs, Terrence; Evans, Kenneth P.

    2010-01-01

    The self diagnostic accelerometer (SDA) is a sensor system designed to actively monitor the health of an accelerometer. In this case an accelerometer is considered healthy if it can be determined that it is operating correctly and its measurements may be relied upon. The SDA system accomplishes this by actively monitoring the accelerometer for a variety of failure conditions including accelerometer structural damage, an electrical open circuit, and most importantly accelerometer detachment. In recent testing of the SDA system in emulated engine operating conditions it has been found that a more robust signal processing technique was necessary. An improved accelerometer diagnostic technique and test results of the SDA system utilizing this technique are presented here. Furthermore, the real time, autonomous capability of the SDA system to concurrently compensate for effects from real operating conditions such as temperature changes and mechanical noise, while monitoring the condition of the accelerometer health and attachment, will be demonstrated.

  16. Techniques for Improving the Performance of Sparse Matrix Factorization on Multiprocessor Workstations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-06-01

    DATES COVERED 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE S. FUNDING NUMBERS Techniques for Improving the Performance of Sparse Matrix 87-K-0828 Factorization on...ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 words) Abstract - this paper vk Ioo6at the problem of factoring large sparse systems of equations on high-performance multiprocessor... factorization codes achieve only a small fraction of this potential. A major limiting factor is the cost of memory accesses performed during the factorization

  17. The use of artificial intelligence techniques to improve the multiple payload integration process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, Dannie E.; Widgren, Brian K.

    1992-01-01

    A maximum return of science and products with a minimum expenditure of time and resources is a major goal of mission payload integration. A critical component then, in successful mission payload integration is the acquisition and analysis of experiment requirements from the principal investigator and payload element developer teams. One effort to use artificial intelligence techniques to improve the acquisition and analysis of experiment requirements within the payload integration process is described.

  18. Novel fabrication technique for improving the figure-of-merit of thermoelectric materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaty, J. S.; Masters, R.; Vandersande, J. W.; Wood, C.

    1989-01-01

    Reduction of the thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials in order to improve the figure of merit and, hence, the conversion efficiency is discussed. A novel fabrication technique that reduces the thermal conductivity without too adverse an effect on the electrical properties is reported. This is achieved by producing an oxygen-free, very-fine-grain SiGe alloy with very small (on the order of 50 A) precipitates.

  19. A Kalman Filter Technique for Improving Medium-Term Predictions of the Sunspot Number

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podladchikova, T.; van der Linden, R.

    2012-04-01

    In this work we describe a technique developed to improve medium-term prediction methods of monthly smoothed sunspot numbers. Each month, the predictions are updated using the last available observations (see the monthly output in real time at http://sidc.oma.be/products/kalfil). The improvement of the predictions is provided by applying an adaptive Kalman filter to the medium-term predictions obtained by any other method, using the six-monthly mean values of sunspot numbers covering the six months between the last available value of the 13-month running mean (the starting point for the predictions) and the "current time" ( i.e. now). Our technique provides an effective estimate of the sunspot index at the current time. This estimate becomes the new starting point for the updated prediction that is shifted six months ahead in comparison with the last available 13-month running mean, and it provides an increase of prediction accuracy. Our technique has been tested on three medium-term prediction methods that are currently in real-time operation: The McNish-Lincoln method (NGDC), the standard method (SIDC), and the combined method (SIDC). With our technique, the prediction accuracy for the McNish-Lincoln method is increased by 17 - 30%, for the standard method by 5 - 21% and for the combined method by 6 - 57%.

  20. Stable adaptive PI control for permanent magnet synchronous motor drive based on improved JITL technique.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shiqi; Tang, Xiaoqi; Song, Bao; Lu, Shaowu; Ye, Bosheng

    2013-07-01

    In this paper, a stable adaptive PI control strategy based on the improved just-in-time learning (IJITL) technique is proposed for permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) drive. Firstly, the traditional JITL technique is improved. The new IJITL technique has less computational burden and is more suitable for online identification of the PMSM drive system which is highly real-time compared to traditional JITL. In this way, the PMSM drive system is identified by IJITL technique, which provides information to an adaptive PI controller. Secondly, the adaptive PI controller is designed in discrete time domain which is composed of a PI controller and a supervisory controller. The PI controller is capable of automatically online tuning the control gains based on the gradient descent method and the supervisory controller is developed to eliminate the effect of the approximation error introduced by the PI controller upon the system stability in the Lyapunov sense. Finally, experimental results on the PMSM drive system show accurate identification and favorable tracking performance.

  1. [New abdominal wall reconstruction technique with a plastic-rehabilitative intent (back pain improvement)].

    PubMed

    Palmieri, Beniamino; Grappolini, Simone; Blandini, Daniele; De-Anna, Dino; Savio, Stefano; Ferrari, Paolo; Ferrari, Giovanni; William, Pillosu; Campanini, Isabella; Guido, Vezzosi; Tenchini, Paolo; Benuzzi, Giorgia; Palmieri, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Many abdominal wall reconstruction techniques have generally failed to pay attention to a number of anatomical considerations concerning the continuity of the thoraco-lumboabdominal fascia that envelops the dorsal and ventral muscles. We have introduced a new surgical technique (round mesh) developed to improve the abdominal wall weakness or pathology (hernia, laparocele) with the aim of restoring the muscular synergy between the anterior and posterior trunk compartments, thus improving sacroiliac stability, posture, and standing effort endurance. One hundred patients of both sexes were enrolled in this investigation. All were affected by abdominal wall impairment, frank hernia or laparocele, and had been complaining of lumbar and sciatic pain for long periods without any definite intervertebral disk pathology. They underwent pre- and postoperative subjective and objective evaluation and insertion of a prefascial polypropylene mesh with a posterior martingale that passes across the spine and paravertebral muscles, ending in two wider rectangles that are criss-crossed ventrally and finally sutured to the iliopubic brim. All the patients improved either subjectively or objectively with the round mesh procedure. This new technique is particularly useful in cases of reduction or impairment of the recti abdominis, transverse and oblique muscles, because simple suture and plication of these muscles is no guarantee of long-term functional restoration.

  2. Increased Oil Production and Reserves from Improved Completion Techniques in the Bluebell Field, Uinta Basin, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Deo, M.D.; Morgan, C.D.

    1999-04-28

    The objective of the project is to increase oil production and reserves by the use of improved reservoir characterization and completion techniques in the Uinta Basin, Utah. To accomplish this objective, a two-year geologic and engineering characterization of the Bluebell field was conducted. The study evaluated surface and subsurface data, currently used completion techniques, and common production problems. It was determined that advanced case- and open-hole logs could be effective in determining productive beds and that stage-interval (about 500 ft [150 m] per stage) and bed-scale isolation completion techniques could result in improved well performance. In the first demonstration well (Michelle Ute well discussed in the previous technical report), dipole shear anisotropy (anisotropy) and dual-burst thermal decay time (TDT) logs were run before and isotope tracer log was run after the treatment. The logs were very helpful in characterizing the remaining hydrocarbon potential in the well. But, mechanical failure resulted in a poor recompletion and did not result in a significant improvement in the oil production from the well.

  3. Quantum and Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) Monte Carlo Techniques for Modeling Condensed-Phase Reactions

    PubMed Central

    Jorgensen, Wiliiam L.

    2014-01-01

    A recent review (Acc. Chem. Res. 2010, 43:142–151) examined our use and development of a combined quantum and molecular mechanical (QM/MM) technique for modelling organic and enzymatic reactions. Advances included the PDDG/PM3 semiempirical QM (SQM) method, computation of multi-dimensional potentials of mean force (PMF), incorporation of on-the-fly QM in Monte Carlo simulations, and a polynomial quadrature method for rapidly treating proton-transfer reactions. The current article serves as a follow up on our progress. Highlights include new reactions, alternative SQM methods, a polarizable OPLS force field, and novel solvent environments, e.g., “on water” and room temperature ionic liquids. The methodology is strikingly accurate across a wide range of condensed-phase and antibody-catalyzed reactions including substitution, decarboxylation, elimination, isomerization, and pericyclic classes. Comparisons are made to systems treated with continuum-based solvents and ab initio or density functional theory (DFT) methods. Overall, the QM/MM methodology provides detailed characterization of reaction paths, proper configurational sampling, several advantages over implicit solvent models, and a reasonable computational cost. PMID:25431625

  4. Comparison of the utility of barley retrotransposon families for genetic analysis by molecular marker techniques.

    PubMed

    Leigh, F; Kalendar, R; Lea, V; Lee, D; Donini, P; Schulman, A H

    2003-07-01

    The Sequence-Specific Amplification Polymorphism (S-SAP) method, and the related molecular marker techniques IRAP (inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism) and REMAP (retrotransposon-microsatellite amplified polymorphism), are based on retrotransposon activity, and are increasingly widely used. However, there have been no systematic analyses of the parameters of these methods or of the utility of different retrotransposon families in producing polymorphic, scorable fingerprints. We have generated S-SAP, IRAP, and REMAP data for three barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) varieties using primers based on sequences from six retrotransposon families (BARE-1, BAGY-1, BAGY-2, Sabrina, Nikita and Sukkula). The effect of the number of selective bases on the S-SAP profiles has been examined and the profiles obtained with eight MseI+3 selective primers compared for all the elements. Polymorphisms detected in the insertion pattern of all the families show that each can be used for S-SAP. The uniqueness of each transposition event and differences in the historic activity of each family suggest that the use of multiple retrotransposon families for genetic analysis will find applications in mapping, fingerprinting, and marker-assisted selection and evolutionary studies, not only in barley and other Hordeum species and related taxa, but also more generally.

  5. Species identification of Mycobacterium avium complex isolates by a variety of molecular techniques.

    PubMed

    Beggs, M L; Stevanova, R; Eisenach, K D

    2000-02-01

    Organisms in the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC; M. avium, M. intracellulare, and "nonspecific or X" MAC) are emerging pathogens among individual organisms of which significant genetic variability is displayed. The objective of the present study was to evaluate various molecular methods for the rapid and definitive identification of MAC species. Isolates were obtained from both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients and HIV-negative patients with and without known predisposing conditions. The isolates were initially hybridized with nucleic acid probes complementary to the rRNA of the respective mycobacterial species (AccuProbe Culture Confirmation kits for M. avium, M. intracellulare, and MAC species; Gen-Probe). Isolates were also examined by PCR and in some cases by Southern blot hybridization for the insertion element IS1245. Two other techniques included a PCR assay that amplifies the mig gene, a putative virulence factor for MAC, and hsp65 gene amplification and sequencing. This study led to the following observations. Eighty-five percent of the isolates from HIV-positive patients were M. avium and 86% of the isolates from HIV-negative patients were M. intracellulare. Fifteen of the M. avium isolates did not contain IS1245 and 7% of the M. intracellulare isolates were found to carry IS1245. All of the M. avium strains were mig positive, and all of the M. intracellulare strains were mig negative.

  6. Improving gemcitabine-mediated radiosensitization using molecularly targeted therapy: A review

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Meredith A.; Parsels, Leslie A.; Maybaum, Jonathan; Lawrence, Theodore S.

    2009-01-01

    In the last three decades gemcitabine has progressed from the status of a laboratory cytotoxic drug to a standard clinical chemotherapeutic agent and a potent radiation sensitizer. In an effort to improve the efficacy of gemcitabine, additional chemotherapeutic agents have been combined with gemcitabine (both with and without radiation) but with toxicity proving to be a major limitation. Therefore, the integration of molecularly targeted agents, which potentially produce less toxicity than standard chemotherapy, with gemcitabine-radiation is a promising strategy for improving chemoradiation. Two of the most promising targets, described in this review, for improving the efficacy of gemcitabine-radiation are EGFR and Chk1. PMID:18980967

  7. Experimental verification of pulse-probing technique for improving phase coherence grating lobe suppression.

    PubMed

    Torbatian, Zahra; Adamson, Rob; Brown, Jeremy A

    2013-07-01

    Fabrication of high-frequency phased-array ultrasound transducers is challenging because of the small element- to-element pitch required to avoid large grating lobes appearing in the field-of-view. Phase coherence imaging (PCI) was recently proposed as a highly effective technique to suppress grating lobes in large-pitch arrays for synthetic aperture beamforming. Our previous work proposed and theoretically validated a technique called pulse probing for improving grating lobe suppression when transmit beamforming is used with PCI. The present work reports the experimental verification of the proposed technique, in which the data was collected using a high-frequency ultrasound system and the processing was done offline. The data was collected with a 50-MHz, 256-element, 1.26 λ-pitch linear array, for which only the central 64-elements were used as the full aperture while the beam was steered to various angles. By sending a defocused pulse, the PCI weighting factors could be calculated, and were subsequently applied to the conventional transmit-receive beamforming. The experimental two-way radiation patterns showed that the grating lobe level was suppressed approximately 40 dB using the proposed technique, consistent with the theory. The suppression of overlapping grating lobes in reconstructed phased array images from multiple wire-phantoms in a water bath and tissue phantoms further validated the effectiveness of the proposed technique. The application of pulse probing along with PCI should simplify the fabrication of large-pitch phased arrays at high frequencies.

  8. Improving image classification in a complex wetland ecosystem through image fusion techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Lalit; Sinha, Priyakant; Taylor, Subhashni

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of image fusion techniques on vegetation classification accuracies in a complex wetland system. Fusion of panchromatic (PAN) and multispectral (MS) Quickbird satellite imagery was undertaken using four image fusion techniques: Brovey, hue-saturation-value (HSV), principal components (PC), and Gram-Schmidt (GS) spectral sharpening. These four fusion techniques were compared in terms of their mapping accuracy to a normal MS image using maximum-likelihood classification (MLC) and support vector machine (SVM) methods. Gram-Schmidt fusion technique yielded the highest overall accuracy and kappa value with both MLC (67.5% and 0.63, respectively) and SVM methods (73.3% and 0.68, respectively). This compared favorably with the accuracies achieved using the MS image. Overall, improvements of 4.1%, 3.6%, 5.8%, 5.4%, and 7.2% in overall accuracies were obtained in case of SVM over MLC for Brovey, HSV, GS, PC, and MS images, respectively. Visual and statistical analyses of the fused images showed that the Gram-Schmidt spectral sharpening technique preserved spectral quality much better than the principal component, Brovey, and HSV fused images. Other factors, such as the growth stage of species and the presence of extensive background water in many parts of the study area, had an impact on classification accuracies.

  9. Characterization of Microstructure and Molecular Dynamics with High Frequency Oscillatory Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Remmler, Torsten; Amin, Samiul; Ferrante, Andrea; Pechhold, Wolfgang

    2009-07-01

    To characterize the rheological behaviour of complex viscoelastic fluids, polymer melts and other soft materials, motor-drive controlled rheometers are mainly used, either at constant stress or strain rate, or in the oscillatory mode. The latter has proved advantageous to discover the viscoelastic functions G*, η*, J* as fingerprints of the material under investigation, it's composition, molecular modelling and applicability. A conclusive analysis of such a viscoelastic spectrum can only be achieved if the amplitudes chosen guarantee linearity and if the frequency range covers more than 6 decades to reach the low kHz-domain. Investigations of many materials with motor-drive controlled rheometers are limited at higher frequencies and reach the above mentioned goal by applying the time-temperature superposition principle, i.e. the mastercurve technique. Since this method is restricted to rheologically simple materials (e.g. some polymer melts), but exclude those of small activation energies and others with temperature-sensitive chemical/physical structures including phase transitions, oscillating rheometry should be extended into higher real-frequency ranges, to establish useful linear viscoelastic spectroscopy. Since complex fluids can have structural arrangement over a wide range of lengthscales and their relaxation mechanisms can impact the dynamics over a wide range of timescales, multiple techniques need to be employed in order to accurately and fully establish the links between rheology, microstructure & dynamics. This is also critical information, required for fully validating developed theory and models. In this talk, advantages and limits of classical oscillatory rheometry will be covered, handling and principle of operation of two high frequency options are introduced and typical examples for real frequency spectra on soft matter, such as polymer melts, polymer solutions and weak gels will be shown. A xanthum gum based system has been investigated not only

  10. Clinical and molecular analyses of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome: Comparison between spontaneous conception and assisted reproduction techniques.

    PubMed

    Tenorio, Jair; Romanelli, Valeria; Martin-Trujillo, Alex; Fernández, García-Moya; Segovia, Mabel; Perandones, Claudia; Pérez Jurado, Luis A; Esteller, Manel; Fraga, Mario; Arias, Pedro; Gordo, Gema; Dapía, Irene; Mena, Rocío; Palomares, María; Pérez de Nanclares, Guiomar; Nevado, Julián; García-Miñaur, Sixto; Santos-Simarro, Fernando; Martinez-Glez, Víctor; Vallespín, Elena; Monk, David; Lapunzina, Pablo

    2016-10-01

    Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth syndrome characterized by an excessive prenatal and postnatal growth, macrosomia, macroglossia, and hemihyperplasia. The molecular basis of this syndrome is complex and heterogeneous, involving genes located at 11p15.5. BWS is correlated with assisted reproductive techniques. BWS in individuals born following assisted reproductive techniques has been found to occur four to nine times higher compared to children with to BWS born after spontaneous conception. Here, we report a series of 187 patients with to BWS born either after assisted reproductive techniques or conceived naturally. Eighty-eight percent of BWS patients born via assisted reproductive techniques had hypomethylation of KCNQ1OT1:TSS-DMR in comparison with 49% for patients with BWS conceived naturally. None of the patients with BWS born via assisted reproductive techniques had hypermethylation of H19/IGF2:IG-DMR, neither CDKN1 C mutations nor patUPD11. We did not find differences in the frequency of multi-locus imprinting disturbances between groups. Patients with BWS born via assisted reproductive techniques had an increased frequency of advanced bone age, congenital heart disease, and decreased frequency of earlobe anomalies but these differences may be explained by the different molecular background compared to those with BWS and spontaneous fertilization. We conclude there is a correlation of the molecular etiology of BWS with the type of conception. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Fast molecular beacon hybridization in organic solvents with improved target specificity.

    PubMed

    Dave, Neeshma; Liu, Juewen

    2010-12-02

    DNA hybridization is of tremendous importance in biology, bionanotechnology, and biophysics. Molecular beacons are engineered DNA hairpins with a fluorophore and a quencher labeled on each of the two ends. A target DNA can open the hairpin to give an increased fluorescence signal. To date, the majority of molecular beacon detections have been performed only in aqueous buffers. We describe herein DNA detection in nine different organic solvents, methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetonitrile, formamide, dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol, and glycerol, varying each up to 75% (v/v). In comparison with detection in water, the detection in organic solvents showed several important features. First, the molecular beacon hybridizes to its target DNA in the presence of all nine solvents up to a certain percentage. Second, the rate of this hybridization was significantly faster in most organic solvents compared with water. For example, in 56% ethanol, the beacon showed a 70-fold rate enhancement. Third, the ability of the molecular beacon to discriminate single-base mismatch is still maintained. Lastly, the DNA melting temperature in the organic solvents showed a solvent concentration-dependent decrease. This study suggests that molecular beacons can be used for applications where organic solvents must be involved or organic solvents can be intentionally added to improve the molecular beacon performance.

  12. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    PubMed

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  13. LastingNVCache: A Technique for Improving the Lifetime of Non-volatile Caches

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, Sparsh; Vetter, Jeffrey S; Li, Dong

    2014-01-01

    Use of NVM (Non-volatile memory) devices such as ReRAM (resistive RAM) and STT-RAM (spin transfer torque RAM) for designing on-chip caches holds the promise of providing a high-density, low-leakage alternative to SRAM. However, low write endurance of NVMs, along with the write-variation introduced by existing cache management schemes may significantly limit the lifetime of NVM caches. We present LastingNVCache, a technique for improving lifetime of NVM caches by mitigating the intra-set write variation. LastingNVCache works on the key idea that by periodically flushing a frequently-written data-item, the next time the block can be made to load into a cold block in the set. Through this, the future writes to that data-item can be redirected from a hot block to a cold block, which leads to improvement in the cache lifetime. Microarchitectural simulations have shown that LastingNVCache provides 6.36X, 9.79X, and 10.94X improvement in lifetime for single, dual and quad-core systems. Also, its implementation overhead is small and it outperforms a recently proposed technique for improving lifetime of NVM caches.

  14. Implementation of quality improvement techniques for management and technical processes in the ACRV project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raiman, Laura B.

    1992-01-01

    Total Quality Management (TQM) is a cooperative form of doing business that relies on the talents of everyone in an organization to continually improve quality and productivity, using teams and an assortment of statistical and measurement tools. The objective of the activities described in this paper was to implement effective improvement tools and techniques in order to build work processes which support good management and technical decisions and actions which are crucial to the success of the ACRV project. The objectives were met by applications in both the technical and management areas. The management applications involved initiating focused continuous improvement projects with widespread team membership. The technical applications involved applying proven statistical tools and techniques to the technical issues associated with the ACRV Project. Specific activities related to the objective included working with a support contractor team to improve support processes, examining processes involved in international activities, a series of tutorials presented to the New Initiatives Office and support contractors, a briefing to NIO managers, and work with the NIO Q+ Team. On the technical side, work included analyzing data from the large-scale W.A.T.E.R. test, landing mode trade analyses, and targeting probability calculations. The results of these efforts will help to develop a disciplined, ongoing process for producing fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide the ACRV organization .

  15. A technique to improve the accuracy of Earth orientation prediction algorithms based on least squares extrapolation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, J. Y.; Li, Y. B.; Dai, C. L.; Shum, C. K.

    2013-10-01

    We present a technique to improve the least squares (LS) extrapolation of Earth orientation parameters (EOPs), consisting of fixing the last observed data point on the LS extrapolation curve, which customarily includes a polynomial and a few sinusoids. For the polar motion (PM), a more sophisticated two steps approach has been developed, which consists of estimating the amplitude of the more stable one of the annual (AW) and Chandler (CW) wobbles using data of longer time span, and then estimating the other parameters using a shorter time span. The technique is studied using hindcast experiments, and justified using year-by-year statistics of 8 years. In order to compare with the official predictions of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) performed at the U.S. Navy Observatory (USNO), we have enforced short-term predictions by applying the ARIMA method to the residuals computed by subtracting the LS extrapolation curve from the observation data. The same as at USNO, we have also used atmospheric excitation function (AEF) to further improve predictions of UT1-UTC. As results, our short-term predictions are comparable to the USNO predictions, and our long-term predictions are marginally better, although not for every year. In addition, we have tested the use of AEF and oceanic excitation function (OEF) in PM prediction. We find that use of forecasts of AEF alone does not lead to any apparent improvement or worsening, while use of forecasts of AEF + OEF does lead to apparent improvement.

  16. Dual-microphone and binaural noise reduction techniques for improved speech intelligibility by hearing aid users

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yousefian Jazi, Nima

    Spatial filtering and directional discrimination has been shown to be an effective pre-processing approach for noise reduction in microphone array systems. In dual-microphone hearing aids, fixed and adaptive beamforming techniques are the most common solutions for enhancing the desired speech and rejecting unwanted signals captured by the microphones. In fact, beamformers are widely utilized in systems where spatial properties of target source (usually in front of the listener) is assumed to be known. In this dissertation, some dual-microphone coherence-based speech enhancement techniques applicable to hearing aids are proposed. All proposed algorithms operate in the frequency domain and (like traditional beamforming techniques) are purely based on the spatial properties of the desired speech source and does not require any knowledge of noise statistics for calculating the noise reduction filter. This benefit gives our algorithms the ability to address adverse noise conditions, such as situations where interfering talker(s) speaks simultaneously with the target speaker. In such cases, the (adaptive) beamformers lose their effectiveness in suppressing interference, since the noise channel (reference) cannot be built and updated accordingly. This difference is the main advantage of the proposed techniques in the dissertation over traditional adaptive beamformers. Furthermore, since the suggested algorithms are independent of noise estimation, they offer significant improvement in scenarios that the power level of interfering sources are much more than that of target speech. The dissertation also shows the premise behind the proposed algorithms can be extended and employed to binaural hearing aids. The main purpose of the investigated techniques is to enhance the intelligibility level of speech, measured through subjective listening tests with normal hearing and cochlear implant listeners. However, the improvement in quality of the output speech achieved by the

  17. A multiscale simulation technique for molecular electronics: design of a directed self-assembled molecular n-bit shift register memory device.

    PubMed

    Lambropoulos, Nicholas A; Reimers, Jeffrey R; Crossley, Maxwell J; Hush, Noel S; Silverbrook, Kia

    2013-12-20

    A general method useful in molecular electronics design is developed that integrates modelling on the nano-scale (using quantum-chemical software) and on the micro-scale (using finite-element methods). It is applied to the design of an n-bit shift register memory that could conceivably be built using accessible technologies. To achieve this, the entire complex structure of the device would be built to atomic precision using feedback-controlled lithography to provide atomic-level control of silicon devices, controlled wet-chemical synthesis of molecular insulating pillars above the silicon, and controlled wet-chemical self-assembly of modular molecular devices to these pillars that connect to external metal electrodes (leads). The shift register consists of n connected cells that read data from an input electrode, pass it sequentially between the cells under the control of two external clock electrodes, and deliver it finally to an output device. The proposed cells are trimeric oligoporphyrin units whose internal states are manipulated to provide functionality, covalently connected to other cells via dipeptide linkages. Signals from the clock electrodes are conveyed by oligoporphyrin molecular wires, and μ-oxo porphyrin insulating columns are used as the supporting pillars. The developed multiscale modelling technique is applied to determine the characteristics of this molecular device, with in particular utilization of the inverted region for molecular electron-transfer processes shown to facilitate latching and control using exceptionally low energy costs per logic operation compared to standard CMOS shift register technology.

  18. Detection of Occult Lymph Node Metastases in Esophageal Cancer by Minimally Invasive Staging Combined with Molecular Diagnostic Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Kassis, Edmund S.; Nguyen, Ninh; Shriver, Sharon P.; Siegfried, Jill M.; Schauer, Philip R.

    1998-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Lymph node metastases are the most important prognostic factor in patients with esophageal cancer. Histologic examination misses micrometastases in up to 20% of lymph nodes evaluated. In addition, non-invasive imaging modalities are not sensitive enough to detect small lymph nodes metastases. The objective of this study was to investigate the use of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of messenger RNA (mRNA) for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) to increase the detection of micrometastases in lymph nodes from patients with esophageal cancer. Methods: RT-PCR of CEA mRNA was performed in lymph nodes from patients with malignant and benign esophageal disease. Each specimen was examined histopathologically and by RT-PCR and the results were compared. Results: Metastases were present in 29 of 60 (48%) lymph nodes sample by minimally invasive staging from 13 patients with esophageal cancer when examined histopathologically. RT-PCR identified nodal metastases in 46 of these 60 (77%) samples. RT-PCR detected CEA mRNA in all 29 histologically positive samples and in 17 histologically negative lymph nodes. All lymph nodes from patients with benign disease (n=15) were negative both histopathologically and by RT-PCR. The stage of two patients was reclassified based on the RT-PCR results, which identified lymph node spread undetected histopathologically. Both of these patients developed recurrent disease after resection of the primary tumor. Conclusions: RT-PCR is more sensitive than histologic examination in the detection of lymph node metastases in esophageal cancer and can lead to diagnosis of a more advanced stage in some patients. The combination of minimally invasive surgical techniques in combination with new molecular diagnostic techniques may improve our ability to stage cancer patients. PMID:10036123

  19. A Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment and Evaluation System for Biotechnology Specialty Students: An Effective Evaluation System to Improve the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experiment Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Suxia; Wu, Haizhen; Zhao, Jian; Ou, Ling; Zhang, Yuanxing

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to achieve high success in knowledge and technique acquisition as a whole, a biochemistry and molecular biology experiment was established for high-grade biotechnology specialty students after they had studied essential theory and received proper technique training. The experiment was based on cloning and expression of alkaline…

  20. Development of RAPD-SCAR markers for different Ganoderma species authentication by improved RAPD amplification and molecular cloning.

    PubMed

    Fu, J J; Mei, Z Q; Tania, M; Yang, L Q; Cheng, J L; Khan, M A

    2015-05-25

    The sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) is a valuable molecular technique for the genetic identification of any species. This method is mainly derived from the molecular cloning of the amplified DNA fragments achieved from the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). In this study, we collected DNA from 10 species of Ganoderma mushroom and amplified the DNA using an improved RAPD technique. The amplified fragments were then cloned into a T-vector, and positive clones were screened, indentified, and sequenced for the development of SCAR markers. After designing PCR primers and optimizing PCR conditions, 4 SCAR markers, named LZ1-4, LZ2-2, LZ8-2, and LZ9-15, were developed, which were specific to Ganoderma gibbosum (LZ1-4 and LZ8-2), Ganoderma sinense (LZ2-2 and LZ8-2), Ganoderma tropicum (LZ8-2), and Ganoderma lucidum HG (LZ9-15). These 4 novel SCAR markers were deposited into GenBank with the accession Nos. KM391935, KM391936, KM391937, and KM391938, respectively. Thus, in this study we developed specific SCAR markers for the identification and authentication of different Ganoderma species.

  1. Fabrication of a novel biosensor for macromolecules detection through molecular imprinting technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Yingjie

    There is an increasing need for precise molecular detection as a diagnostic tool for early identification of diseases, pathogens, and abnormal protein levels in the body. Typical chemical analytical methods are generally costly, unstable, and time-consuming. Molecular imprinting (MI) technique, based on the "lock and key model", could be a simple method to overcome those shortcomings. In this study, a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was employed as a platform to fabricate MI biosensor for detection of macromolecules. I demonstrated that, when the monolayer was formed on a rough surface, this method was in fact templating molecules in three dimensions, and hence was not limited by the height of the monolayer, but rather by the height of the roughness. This hypothesis was tested on biomolecules of multiple length scales. The SAM is assembled on the walls of the niche, forming a 3D pattern of the analyte uniquely molded to its contour. The surfaces with multi-scale roughness were prepared by evaporation of gold onto electropolished (smooth) and unpolished (rough) Si wafers, where the native roughness was found to have a normal distribution centered around 5 and 90 nm respectively. Our studies, using molecules, such as proteins, i.e., hemoglobin, ranging from a few nanometers, to viruses (i.e. polio, adenovirus), ranging from several tens of nanometers, and protein complexes ranging from several hundred nanometers, showed that when the size of the analyte matched the roughness of the gold surface, this method was very effective and could detect even small changes in the configuration, such as those induced by changes in the pH of the system. The detection method was further quantified by applying it to the detection of CEA in pancreatic cyst fluid obtained from 18 patients under IRB 95867-6. The results of the MI biosensor were directly compared with those obtained using ELISA in the hospital pathology laboratory with excellent agreement, except that the MI biosensor

  2. Delta Modulation Technique for Improving the Sensitivity of Monobit Subsamplers in Radar and Coherent Receiver Applications

    DOE PAGES

    Rodenbeck, Christopher T.; Tracey, Keith J.; Barkley, Keith R.; ...

    2014-08-01

    This paper introduces a technique for improving the sensitivity of RF subsamplers in radar and coherent receiver applications. The technique, referred to herein as “delta modulation” (DM), feeds the time-average output of a monobit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) back to the ADC input, but with opposite polarity. Assuming pseudo-stationary modulation statistics on the sampled RF waveform, the feedback signal corrects for aggregate DC offsets present in the ADC that otherwise degrade ADC sensitivity. Two RF integrated circuits (RFICs) are designed to demonstrate the approach. One uses analog DM to create the feedback signal; the other uses digital DM to achieve themore » same result. A series of tests validates the designs. The dynamic time-domain response confirms the feedback loop’s basic operation. Measured output quantization imbalance, under noise-only input drive, significantly improves with the use of the DM circuit, even for large, deliberately induced DC offsets and wide temperature variation from -55°C to +85 °C. Examination of the corrected vs. uncorrected baseband spectrum under swept input signal-tonoise ratio (SNR) conditions demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach for realistic radar and coherent receiver applications. In conclusion, two-tone testing shows no impact of the DM technique on ADC linearity.« less

  3. Improved time-frequency analysis of ASDEX Upgrade reflectometry data using the reassigned spectrogram technique

    SciTech Connect

    Varela, P.; Silva, A.; Silva, F. da; Graca, S. da; Manso, M. E. [Associacao EURATOM Conway, G. D. [MPI fuer Plasmaphysik, EURATOM Collaboration: ASDEX Upgrade Team

    2010-10-15

    The spectrogram is one of the best-known time-frequency distributions suitable to analyze signals whose energy varies both in time and frequency. In reflectometry, it has been used to obtain the frequency content of FM-CW signals for density profile inversion and also to study plasma density fluctuations from swept and fixed frequency data. Being implemented via the short-time Fourier transform, the spectrogram is limited in resolution, and for that reason several methods have been developed to overcome this problem. Among those, we focus on the reassigned spectrogram technique that is both easily automated and computationally efficient requiring only the calculation of two additional spectrograms. In each time-frequency window, the technique reallocates the spectrogram coordinates to the region that most contributes to the signal energy. The application to ASDEX Upgrade reflectometry data results in better energy concentration and improved localization of the spectral content of the reflected signals. When combined with the automatic (data driven) window length spectrogram, this technique provides improved profile accuracy, in particular, in regions where frequency content varies most rapidly such as the edge pedestal shoulder.

  4. An Improved Simulated Annealing Technique for Enhanced Mobility in Smart Cities.

    PubMed

    Amer, Hayder; Salman, Naveed; Hawes, Matthew; Chaqfeh, Moumena; Mihaylova, Lyudmila; Mayfield, Martin

    2016-06-30

    Vehicular traffic congestion is a significant problem that arises in many cities. This is due to the increasing number of vehicles that are driving on city roads of limited capacity. The vehicular congestion significantly impacts travel distance, travel time, fuel consumption and air pollution. Avoidance of traffic congestion and providing drivers with optimal paths are not trivial tasks. The key contribution of this work consists of the developed approach for dynamic calculation of optimal traffic routes. Two attributes (the average travel speed of the traffic and the roads' length) are utilized by the proposed method to find the optimal paths. The average travel speed values can be obtained from the sensors deployed in smart cities and communicated to vehicles via the Internet of Vehicles and roadside communication units. The performance of the proposed algorithm is compared to three other algorithms: the simulated annealing weighted sum, the simulated annealing technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution and the Dijkstra algorithm. The weighted sum and technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution methods are used to formulate different attributes in the simulated annealing cost function. According to the Sheffield scenario, simulation results show that the improved simulated annealing technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution method improves the traffic performance in the presence of congestion by an overall average of 19.22% in terms of travel time, fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions as compared to other algorithms; also, similar performance patterns were achieved for the Birmingham test scenario.

  5. Delta Modulation Technique for Improving the Sensitivity of Monobit Subsamplers in Radar and Coherent Receiver Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Rodenbeck, Christopher T.; Tracey, Keith J.; Barkley, Keith R.; DuVerneay, Brian B.

    2014-08-01

    This paper introduces a technique for improving the sensitivity of RF subsamplers in radar and coherent receiver applications. The technique, referred to herein as “delta modulation” (DM), feeds the time-average output of a monobit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) back to the ADC input, but with opposite polarity. Assuming pseudo-stationary modulation statistics on the sampled RF waveform, the feedback signal corrects for aggregate DC offsets present in the ADC that otherwise degrade ADC sensitivity. Two RF integrated circuits (RFICs) are designed to demonstrate the approach. One uses analog DM to create the feedback signal; the other uses digital DM to achieve the same result. A series of tests validates the designs. The dynamic time-domain response confirms the feedback loop’s basic operation. Measured output quantization imbalance, under noise-only input drive, significantly improves with the use of the DM circuit, even for large, deliberately induced DC offsets and wide temperature variation from -55°C to +85 °C. Examination of the corrected vs. uncorrected baseband spectrum under swept input signal-tonoise ratio (SNR) conditions demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach for realistic radar and coherent receiver applications. In conclusion, two-tone testing shows no impact of the DM technique on ADC linearity.

  6. The Utility of Droplet Elimination by Thermal Annealing Technique for Fabrication of GaN/AlGaN Terahertz Quantum Cascade Structure by Radio Frequency Molecular Beam Epitaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terashima, Wataru; Hirayama, Hideki

    2010-12-01

    We investigated the utility of a droplet elimination by thermal annealing (DETA) technique during the radio-frequency molecular beam epitaxy growth of a quantum cascade laser (QCL) structure. DETA is a method in which droplets deposited on the surface are eliminated by temporarily increasing the substrate temperature. DETA is a useful method which makes it possible not only to increase the number of periods in the QC structure, but also to improve the surface and structural properties of the QC structure. We could successfully increase the radiant intensity from a QCL sample by increasing the number of periods in the stacked QC structure with the DETA method.

  7. Increased Oil Production and Reserves From Improved Completion Techniques in the Bluebell Field, Uinta Basin, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, C.D.; Deo, M.D.

    1998-04-01

    The Bluebell field is productive from the Tertiary lower Green River and Colton (Wasatch) Formations of the Uinta Basin, Utah. The productive interval consists of thousands of feet of interbedded fractured clastic and carbonate beds deposited in the ancestral Lake Uinta. Wells in the Bluebell field are typically completed by perforating 40 or more beds over 1000 to 3000 vertical ft (300-900 m), then stimulating the entire interval with hydrochloric acid. This technique is often referred to as the shot gun completion. Completion techniques used in the Bluebell field were discussed in detail in the Second Annual Report (Curtice, 1996). The shot-gun technique is believed to leave many potentially productive beds damaged and/or untreated, while allowing water-bearing and low-pressure (thief) zones to communicate with the wellbore. A two-year characterization study involved detailed examination of outcrop, core, well logs, surface and subsurface fractures, produced oil-field waters, engineering parameters of the two demonstration wells, and analysis of past completion techniques and effectiveness. The study was intended to improve the geologic characterization of the producing formations and thereby develop completion techniques specific to the producing beds or facies instead of a shot gun approach to stimulating all the beds. The characterization did not identify predictable-facies or predictable-fracture trends within the vertical stratigraphic column as originally hoped. Advanced logging techniques can identify productive beds in individual wells. A field-demonstration program was developed to use cased-hole advanced logging techniques in two wells and recompletion the wells at two different scales based on the logging. The first well was going to be completed at the interval scale using a multiple stage completion technique (about 500 ft [150 m] per stage). The second well will be recompleted at the bed-scale using bridge plug and packer to isolate three or more

  8. Improving predictive mapping of deep-water habitats: Considering multiple model outputs and ensemble techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, Katleen; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Roberts, J. Murray; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.

    2016-07-01

    In the deep sea, biological data are often sparse; hence models capturing relationships between observed fauna and environmental variables (acquired via acoustic mapping techniques) are often used to produce full coverage species assemblage maps. Many statistical modelling techniques are being developed, but there remains a need to determine the most appropriate mapping techniques. Predictive habitat modelling approaches (redundancy analysis, maximum entropy and random forest) were applied to a heterogeneous section of seabed on Rockall Bank, NE Atlantic, for which landscape indices describing the spatial arrangement of habitat patches were calculated. The predictive maps were based on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) imagery transects high-resolution autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) sidescan backscatter maps. Area under the curve (AUC) and accuracy indicated similar performances for the three models tested, but performance varied by species assemblage, with the transitional species assemblage showing the weakest predictive performances. Spatial predictions of habitat suitability differed between statistical approaches, but niche similarity metrics showed redundancy analysis and random forest predictions to be most similar. As one statistical technique could not be found to outperform the others when all assemblages were considered, ensemble mapping techniques, where the outputs of many models are combined, were applied. They showed higher accuracy than any single model. Different statistical approaches for predictive habitat modelling possess varied strengths and weaknesses and by examining the outputs of a range of modelling techniques and their differences, more robust predictions, with better described variation and areas of uncertainties, can be achieved. As improvements to prediction outputs can be achieved without additional costly data collection, ensemble mapping approaches have clear value for spatial management.

  9. May Diet and Dietary Supplements Improve the Wellness of Multiple Sclerosis Patients? A Molecular Approach

    PubMed Central

    Riccio, Paolo; Rossano, Rocco; Liuzzi, Grazia Maria

    2010-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is a complex and multifactorial neurological disease, and nutrition is one of the environmental factors possibly involved in its pathogenesis. At present, the role of nutrition is unclear, and MS therapy is not associated to a particular diet. MS clinical trials based on specific diets or dietary supplements are very few and in some cases controversial. To understand how diet can influence the course of MS and improve the wellness of MS patients, it is necessary to identify the dietary molecules, their targets and the molecular mechanisms involved in the control of the disease. The aim of this paper is to provide a molecular basis for the nutritional intervention in MS by evaluating at molecular level the effect of dietary molecules on the inflammatory and autoimmune processes involved in the disease. PMID:21461338

  10. Fundamentals of quality assessment of molecular amplification methods in clinical diagnostics. International Federation of Clinical Chemistry Scientific Division Committee on Molecular Biology Techniques.

    PubMed

    Neumaier, M; Braun, A; Wagener, C

    1998-01-01

    The increasing interest in molecular biology diagnostics is a result of the tremendous gain of scientific knowledge in genetics, made possible especially since the introduction of amplification techniques. High expectations have been placed on genetic testing, and the number of laboratories now using the relevant technology is rapidly increasing--resulting in an obvious need for standardization and definition of laboratory organization. This communication is an effort towards that end. We address aspects that should be considered when structuring a new molecular diagnostic laboratory, and we discuss individual preanalytical and analytical procedures, from sampling to evaluation of assay results. In addition, different means of controlling contamination are discussed. Because the methodology is in constant change, no general standards can be defined. Accordingly, this publication is intended to serve as a recommendation for good laboratory practice and internal quality control and as a guide to troubleshooting, primarily in amplification techniques.

  11. Improved generating technique for D=5 supergravities and squashed Kaluza-Klein black holes

    SciTech Connect

    Gal'tsov, Dmitri V.; Scherbluk, Nikolai G.

    2009-03-15

    Recently we suggested a solution-generating technique for five-dimensional supergravity with three Abelian vector fields based on the hidden SO(4,4) symmetry of the three-dimensionally reduced theory. This technique generalizes the G{sub 2(2)} generating technique developed earlier for minimal five-dimensional supergravity (A. Bouchareb, G. Clement, C-M. Chen, D. V. Gal'tsov, N. G. Scherbluk, and Th. Wolf, Phys. Rev. D 76, 104032 (2007)) and provides a new matrix representation for cosets forming the corresponding sigma-models in both cases. Here we further improve these methods introducing a matrix-valued dualization procedure which helps to avoid difficulties associated with solving the dualization equations in the component form. This new approach is used to generate a five-parametric rotating charged Kaluza-Klein black hole with the squashed horizon adding one parameter more to the recent solution by Tomizawa, Yasui, and Morisawa, which was constructed using the previous version of the G{sub 2(2)} generating technique.

  12. Whole body MRI: Improved Lesion Detection and Characterization With Diffusion Weighted Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Attariwala, Rajpaul; Picker, Wayne

    2013-01-01

    Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is an established functional imaging technique that interrogates the delicate balance of water movement at the cellular level. Technological advances enable this technique to be applied to whole-body MRI. Theory, b-value selection, common artifacts and target to background for optimized viewing will be reviewed for applications in the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Whole-body imaging with DWI allows novel applications of MRI to aid in evaluation of conditions such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and skeletal metastases, while the quantitative nature of this technique permits evaluation of response to therapy. Persisting signal at high b-values from restricted hypercellular tissue and viscous fluid also permits applications of DWI beyond oncologic imaging. DWI, when used in conjunction with routine imaging, can assist in detecting hemorrhagic degradation products, infection/abscess, and inflammation in colitis, while aiding with discrimination of free fluid and empyema, while limiting the need for intravenous contrast. DWI in conjunction with routine anatomic images provides a platform to improve lesion detection and characterization with findings rivaling other combined anatomic and functional imaging techniques, with the added benefit of no ionizing radiation. PMID:23960006

  13. A simplified technique for delivering total body irradiation (TBI) with improved dose homogeneity

    SciTech Connect

    Yao Rui; Bernard, Damian; Turian, Julius; Abrams, Ross A.; Sensakovic, William; Fung, Henry C.; Chu, James C. H.

    2012-04-15

    Purpose: Total body irradiation (TBI) with megavoltage photon beams has been accepted as an important component of management for a number of hematologic malignancies, generally as part of bone marrow conditioning regimens. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss the authors' TBI technique, which both simplifies the treatment process and improves the treatment quality. Methods: An AP/PA TBI treatment technique to produce uniform dose distributions using sequential collimator reductions during each fraction was implemented, and a sample calculation worksheet is presented. Using this methodology, the dosimetric characteristics of both 6 and 18 MV photon beams, including lung dose under cerrobend blocks was investigated. A method of estimating midplane lung doses based on measured entrance and exit doses was proposed, and the estimated results were compared with measurements. Results: Whole body midplane dose uniformity of {+-}10% was achieved with no more than two collimator-based beam modulations. The proposed model predicted midplane lung doses 5% to 10% higher than the measured doses for 6 and 18 MV beams. The estimated total midplane doses were within {+-}5% of the prescribed midplane dose on average except for the lungs where the doses were 6% to 10% lower than the prescribed dose on average. Conclusions: The proposed TBI technique can achieve dose uniformity within {+-}10%. This technique is easy to implement and does not require complicated dosimetry and/or compensators.

  14. Novel cable coupling technique for improved shallow distributed acoustic sensor VSPs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munn, Jonathan D.; Coleman, Thomas I.; Parker, Beth L.; Mondanos, Michael J.; Chalari, Athena

    2017-03-01

    Vertical seismic profiles (VSPs) collected using fiber optic distributed acoustic sensors (DAS) are becoming increasingly common; yet, ensuring good cable coupling with the borehole wall remains a persistent challenge. Traditional cable deployment techniques used in the petroleum industry are either not possible or do not provide data of sufficient quality for shallow applications. Additionally, no direct field comparison of coupling techniques in the same borehole exists to determine the impacts of poor coupling on DAS VSP data quality. This paper addresses these issues by: (1) presenting a novel cable coupling solution using a removable and relatively inexpensive FLUTe™ flexible borehole liner; and (2) presenting field examples of DAS VSPs under different coupling conditions. The proposed coupling technique is analogous to a fully cemented deployment in that the cable is continuously coupled directly to the formation. Field experiments conducted to assess and validate the technique demonstrate a marked improvement in VSP data quality when the cable is coupled with a flexible borehole liner. Without the liner, seismic profiles are dominated by a high-amplitude cable wave and the p-wave arrival is not observed; however, with cable coupling provided by a borehole liner inflated using hydrostatic pressure, the cable wave is suppressed and clear p-wave arrivals are visible. Additional tests examining the influence of fiber optic cable structure on seismic responses demonstrate that tight buffered fibers are more sensitive to dynamic strain than loose tube fibers making them potentially better suited for certain DAS applications.

  15. Improved object segmentation using Markov random fields, artificial neural networks, and parallel processing techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foulkes, Stephen B.; Booth, David M.

    1997-07-01

    Object segmentation is the process by which a mask is generated which identifies the area of an image which is occupied by an object. Many object recognition techniques depend on the quality of such masks for shape and underlying brightness information, however, segmentation remains notoriously unreliable. This paper considers how the image restoration technique of Geman and Geman can be applied to the improvement of object segmentations generated by a locally adaptive background subtraction technique. Also presented is how an artificial neural network hybrid, consisting of a single layer Kohonen network with each of its nodes connected to a different multi-layer perceptron, can be used to approximate the image restoration process. It is shown that the restoration techniques are very well suited for parallel processing and in particular the artificial neural network hybrid has the potential for near real time image processing. Results are presented for the detection of ships in SPOT panchromatic imagery and the detection of vehicles in infrared linescan images, these being a fair representation of the wider class of problem.

  16. Measurement of complex terahertz dielectric properties of polymers using an improved free-space technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Tianying; Zhang, Xiansheng; Yang, Chuanfa; Sun, Zhonglin; Cui, Hong-Liang

    2017-04-01

    The complex dielectric properties of non-polar solid polymer materials were measured in the terahertz (THz) band by a free-space technique employing a frequency-extended vector network analyzer (VNA), and by THz time-domain spectroscopy (TDS). Mindful of THz wave’s unique characteristics, the free-space method for measurement of material dielectric properties in the microwave band was expanded and improved for application in the THz frequency region. To ascertain the soundness and utility of the proposed method, measurements of the complex dielectric properties of a variety of polymers were carried out, including polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, known also by the brand name Teflon), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and glass fiber resin (Composite Stone). The free-space method relies on the determination of electromagnetic scattering parameters (S-parameters) of the sample, with the gated-reflect-line (GRL) calibration technique commonly employed using a VNA. Subsequently, based on the S-parameters, the dielectric constant and loss characteristic of the sample were calculated by using a Newtonian iterative algorithm. To verify the calculated results, THz TDS technique, which produced Fresnel parameters such as reflection and transmission coefficients, was also used to independently determine the dielectric properties of these polymer samples, with results satisfactorily corroborating those obtained by the free-space extended microwave technique.

  17. Improving the Accuracy of Urban Environmental Quality Assessment Using Geographically-Weighted Regression Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Faisal, Kamil; Shaker, Ahmed

    2017-01-01

    Urban Environmental Quality (UEQ) can be treated as a generic indicator that objectively represents the physical and socio-economic condition of the urban and built environment. The value of UEQ illustrates a sense of satisfaction to its population through assessing different environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. This paper elucidates the use of the Geographic Information System (GIS), Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Geographically-Weighted Regression (GWR) techniques to integrate various parameters and estimate the UEQ of two major cities in Ontario, Canada. Remote sensing, GIS and census data were first obtained to derive various environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. The aforementioned techniques were used to integrate all of these environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Three key indicators, including family income, higher level of education and land value, were used as a reference to validate the outcomes derived from the integration techniques. The results were evaluated by assessing the relationship between the extracted UEQ results and the reference layers. Initial findings showed that the GWR with the spatial lag model represents an improved precision and accuracy by up to 20% with respect to those derived by using GIS overlay and PCA techniques for the City of Toronto and the City of Ottawa. The findings of the research can help the authorities and decision makers to understand the empirical relationships among environmental factors, urban morphology and real estate and decide for more environmental justice. PMID:28272334

  18. Molecular and bioengineering strategies to improve alginate and polydydroxyalkanoate production by Azotobacter vinelandii

    PubMed Central

    Galindo, Enrique; Peña, Carlos; Núñez, Cinthia; Segura, Daniel; Espín, Guadalupe

    2007-01-01

    Several aspects of alginate and PHB synthesis in Azotobacter vinelandii at a molecular level have been elucidated in articles published during the last ten years. It is now clear that alginate and PHB synthesis are under a very complex genetic control. Genetic modification of A. vinelandii has produced a number of very interesting mutants which have particular traits for alginate production. One of these mutants has been shown to produce the alginate with the highest mean molecular mass so far reported. Recent work has also shed light on the factors determining molecular mass distribution; the most important of these being identified as; dissolved oxygen tension and specific growth rate. The use of specific mutants has been very useful for the correct analysis and interpretation of the factors affecting polymerization. Recent scale-up/down work on alginate production has shown that oxygen limitation is crucial for producing alginate of high molecular mass, a condition which is optimized in shake flasks and which can now be reproduced in stirred fermenters. It is clear that the phenotypes of mutants grown on plates are not necessarily reproducible when the strains are tested in lab or bench scale fermenters. In the case of PHB, A. vinelandii has shown itself able to produce relatively large amounts of this polymer of high molecular weight on cheap substrates, even allowing for simple extraction processes. The development of fermentation strategies has also shown promising results in terms of improving productivity. The understanding of the regulatory mechanisms involved in the control of PHB synthesis, and of its metabolic relationships, has increased considerably, making way for new potential strategies for the further improvement of PHB production. Overall, the use of a multidisciplinary approach, integrating molecular and bioengineering aspects is a necessity for optimizing alginate and PHB production in A. vinelandii. PMID:17306024

  19. Molecular Technique to Reduce PCR Bias for Deeper Understanding of Microbial Diversity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaishampayan, Parag A.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.

    2012-01-01

    Current planetary protection policies require that spacecraft targeted to sensitive solar system bodies be assembled and readied for launch in controlled cleanroom environments. A better understanding of the distribution and frequency at which high-risk contaminant microbes are encountered on spacecraft surfaces would significantly aid in assessing the threat of forward contamination. However, despite a growing understanding of the diverse microbial populations present in cleanrooms, less abundant microbial populations are probably not adequately taken into account due to technological limitations. This novel approach encompasses a wide spectrum of microbial species and will represent the true picture of spacecraft cleanroom-associated microbial diversity. All of the current microbial diversity assessment techniques are based on an initial PCR amplification step. However, a number of factors are known to bias PCR amplification and jeopardize the true representation of bacterial diversity. PCR amplification of a minor template appears to be suppressed by the amplification of a 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 overlooks the presence of the less abundant minority population and may underestimate their role in the ecosystem maintenance. DNA intercalating agents such as propidium monoazide (PMA) covalently bind with DNA molecules upon photolysis using visible light, and make it unavailable for DNA polymerase enzyme during polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Environmental DNA samples will be treated with suboptimum PMA concentration, enough to intercalate with 90 99% of the total DNA. The probability of PMA binding with DNA from abundant bacterial species will be much higher than binding with DNA from less abundant species. This will increase the relative DNA concentration of

  20. Application of powder metallurgy techniques to produce improved bearing elements for liquid rocket engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moracz, D. J.; Shipley, R. J.; Moxson, V. S.; Killman, R. J.; Munson, H. E.

    1992-01-01

    The objective was to apply powder metallurgy techniques for the production of improved bearing elements, specifically balls and races, for advanced cryogenic turbopump bearings. The materials and fabrication techniques evaluated were judged on the basis of their ability to improve fatigue life, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance of Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) propellant bearings over the currently used 440C. An extensive list of candidate bearing alloys in five different categories was considered: tool/die steels, through hardened stainless steels, cobalt-base alloys, and gear steels. Testing of alloys for final consideration included hardness, rolling contact fatigue, cross cylinder wear, elevated temperature wear, room and cryogenic fracture toughness, stress corrosion cracking, and five-ball (rolling-sliding element) testing. Results of the program indicated two alloys that showed promise for improved bearing elements. These alloys were MRC-2001 and X-405. 57mm bearings were fabricated from the MRC-2001 alloy for further actual hardware rig testing by NASA-MSFC.

  1. Technique for image fusion based on nonsubsampled shearlet transform and improved pulse-coupled neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Weiwei; Liu, Jianping

    2013-01-01

    A new technique for image fusion based on nonsubsampled shearlet transform (NSST) and improved pulse-coupled neural network (PCNN) is proposed. NSST, as a novel multiscale geometric analysis tool, can be optimally efficient in representing images and capturing the geometric features of multidimensional data. As a result, NSST is introduced into the area of image fusion to complete the decompositions of source images in any scale and any direction. Then the basic PCNN model is improved to be improved PCNN (IPCNN), which is more concise and more effective. IPCNN adopts the contrast of each pixel in images as the linking strength β, and the time matrix T of subimages can be obtained via the synchronous pulse-burst property. By using IPCNN, the fused subimages can be achieved. Finally, the final fused image can be obtained by using inverse NSST. The numerical experiments demonstrate that the new technique presented in this paper is competitive in the field of image fusion in terms of both fusion performance and computational efficiency.

  2. Improving synthetic aperture focusing technique for thick concrete specimens via frequency banding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clayton, Dwight A.

    2016-04-01

    A multitude of concrete-based structures are typically part of a light water reactor (LWR) plant to provide the foundation, support, shielding, and containment functions. This use has made its long-term performance crucial for the safe operation of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). Extending reactor life to 60 years and beyond will likely increase susceptibility and severity of known forms of degradation. While standard Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique (SAFT) is adequate for many defects with shallow concrete cover, some defects located under deep concrete cover are not easily identified using the standard SAFT. For many defects, particularly defects under deep cover, the use of frequency banded SAFT improves the detectability over standard SAFT. In addition to the improved detectability, the frequency banded SAFT also provides improved scan depth resolution that can be important in determining the suitability of a particular structure to perform its designed safety function. Specially designed and fabricated test specimens can provide realistic flaws that are similar to actual flaws in terms of how they interact with a particular NDE technique. Because conditions in the laboratory are controlled, the number of unknown variables can be decreased, making it possible to focus on specific aspects, investigate them in detail, and gain further information on the capabilities and limitations of each method. To validate the advantages of frequency banded SAFT on thick concrete, a 2.134 m x 2.134 m x 1.016 m concrete test specimen with twenty deliberately embedded defects was fabricated.

  3. Estimation of root zone storage capacity at the catchment scale using improved Mass Curve Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jie; Xu, Zongxue; Singh, Vijay P.

    2016-09-01

    The root zone storage capacity (Sr) greatly influences runoff generation, soil water movement, and vegetation growth and is hence an important variable for ecological and hydrological modelling. However, due to the great heterogeneity in soil texture and structure, there seems to be no effective approach to monitor or estimate Sr at the catchment scale presently. To fill the gap, in this study the Mass Curve Technique (MCT) was improved by incorporating a snowmelt module for the estimation of Sr at the catchment scale in different climatic regions. The ;range of perturbation; method was also used to generate different scenarios for determining the sensitivity of the improved MCT-derived Sr to its influencing factors after the evaluation of plausibility of Sr derived from the improved MCT. Results can be showed as: (i) Sr estimates of different catchments varied greatly from ∼10 mm to ∼200 mm with the changes of climatic conditions and underlying surface characteristics. (ii) The improved MCT is a simple but powerful tool for the Sr estimation in different climatic regions of China, and incorporation of more catchments into Sr comparisons can further improve our knowledge on the variability of Sr. (iii) Variation of Sr values is an integrated consequence of variations in rainfall, snowmelt water and evapotranspiration. Sr values are most sensitive to variations in evapotranspiration of ecosystems. Besides, Sr values with a longer return period are more stable than those with a shorter return period when affected by fluctuations in its influencing factors.

  4. An improved filter pack technique for airborne measurement of low concentrations of SO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferek, Ronald J.; Hegg, Dean A.; Herring, John A.; Hobbs, Peter V.

    1991-12-01

    Recent improvements to the carbonate-impregnated filter technique for measuring low-level SO2concentrations have resulted in dramatically improved performance. The improvements are (1) a better cleaning procedure for the paper filter substrates, resulting in approximately 60% reduction of their sulfate blank, (2) the use of an ion-exchange resin to remove the carbonate matrix from the sample extract, resulting in a 100% increase in the signal-to-noise ratio, (3) the use of high-purity glycerol in the filter impregnate, resulting in approximately 10% further reduction of blanks, and (4) improved Chromatographic and standardization procedures for more accurate quantification of sample peaks. Combined, these improvements allow measurements to be made of SO2 concentrations in marine background air with a 2σ uncertainty of ±6 parts per trillion by volume (pptv) and, based on this, a 3σ detection limit of 9 pptv for air volumes of 4 m3 (which can be collected in 15 min aboard our research aircraft). Measurements in polluted air show better than 95% collection efficiency, even at concentrations as high as 100 ppbv. Vertical profiles of SO2 measured during three research flights off the Washington coast (one in clean marine air) showed concentrations ranging from 15 to 86 pptv in the mixed layer and from 40 to 93 pptv in the free troposphere.

  5. [Evaluation of discriminatory power of molecular epidemiology techniques in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Venezuelan isolates].

    PubMed

    Méndez, Marìa Victoria; León, Cristy; Escalona, Arnelly; Abadia, Edgar; Da Mata, Omaira; de Waard, Jacobus; Takiff, Howard Eugene

    2016-03-01

    The techniques of spoligotyping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit and variable-number tandem repeat typing with 24 loci (MIRU-VNTR-24), have been used to study the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis. The aim of this study was: to evaluate the discriminative power of MIRU-VNTR 24 loci alone and in association with spoligotyping in clinical isolates of M tuberculosis in Venezuela; the allelic diversity of the 24 loci; and the discriminative power for the combination of 24 and 15 loci, 12 traditional loci (12t), those with higher allelic diversity and a new combination named 12inv. We analyzed one set of 104 strains of different lineages and a second set of 431 strains belonging to the Latin-America and Mediterranean lineage (LAM) that is predominant in Venezuela. The determination of allelic diversity showed that 4052, 2163b, 424 y 2996 are highly discriminative. Clustering rates of MIRU-VNTR 24 loci, spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTR combined with spoligotyping for 104 isolates were 18.27%, 71.15% and 14.4%, respectively, whereas with the 431 LAM strains the values were 43.2 %, 95.8% and 37.4%. MIRU-VNTR combinations of 15, 12inv and 4 loci were more discriminatory than 12t. Clustering rates for MIRU-VNTR 15 and 12inv loci coupled with spoligotyping in the 104 isolated was 21% and 23%, while for LAM strains was 52% and 46% respectively. The number of different genetics patterns for 15 and 12inv loci were similar. In conclusion, we propose the use of a small number of informative loci MIRU-VNTR coupled to spoligotyping to investigate the transmission of tuberculosis in Venezuela.

  6. Desulfovibrionales-related bacteria in a paper mill environment as detected with molecular techniques and culture.

    PubMed

    Maukonen, Johanna; Saarela, Maria; Raaska, Laura

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of a nested PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) method for the detection of Desulfovibrionales-related sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) from paper mill samples. The samples were also analyzed with culturing. SRB cause/enhance industrial problems, namely creation of foul-smelling gases (hydrogen sulfide) and biological corrosion, and so far there has not been a simple method to study these bacteria in paper mill laboratories. In our study, culturing was able to detect Desulfovibrionales-related bacteria from two different white waters, two different brokes, pulp, clay, and slime. Out of the isolated Desulfovibrionales, 23 enrichment cultures were further characterized with Desulfovibrionales-selective PCR-DGGE. An identical Desulfovibrio species sequence was found from paper machine I (broke I, slime, and pulp) and from paper machine II (broke II and white water II), suggesting an in-house contamination with the same strain. Desulfovibrionales-selective PCR-DGGE was also performed from DNA templates extracted directly from the paper mill samples. The DGGE profiles derived from the samples without prior enrichment were more diverse and the sequenced amplicons proved to belong to the Desulfovibrionales order. Moreover, molecular techniques were able to detect Desulfovibrionales-related bacteria from calcium carbonate samples whereas culture did not. Altogether, the nested PCR-DGGE method used in this study was suitable for the detection of Desulfovibrionales-related SRB directly from different paper mill samples and it could be used for the rapid identification of SRB-contaminated industrial sites and, when combined with sequencing, for tracing of the contamination routes.

  7. On the Improvement of Free-Energy Calculation from Steered Molecular Dynamics Simulations Using Adaptive Stochastic Perturbation Protocols

    PubMed Central

    Perišić, Ognjen; Lu, Hui

    2014-01-01

    The potential of mean force (PMF) calculation in single molecule manipulation experiments performed via the steered molecular dynamics (SMD) technique is a computationally very demanding task because the analyzed system has to be perturbed very slowly to be kept close to equilibrium. Faster perturbations, far from equilibrium, increase dissipation and move the average work away from the underlying free energy profile, and thus introduce a bias into the PMF estimate. The Jarzynski equality offers a way to overcome the bias problem by being able to produce an exact estimate of the free energy difference, regardless of the perturbation regime. However, with a limited number of samples and high dissipation the Jarzynski equality also introduces a bias. In our previous work, based on the Brownian motion formalism, we introduced three stochastic perturbation protocols aimed at improving the PMF calculation with the Jarzynski equality in single molecule manipulation experiments and analogous computer simulations. This paper describes the PMF reconstruction results based on full-atom molecular dynamics simulations, obtained with those three protocols. We also want to show that the protocols are applicable with the second-order cumulant expansion formula. Our protocols offer a very noticeable improvement over the simple constant velocity pulling. They are able to produce an acceptable estimate of PMF with a significantly reduced bias, even with very fast perturbation regimes. Therefore, the protocols can be adopted as practical and efficient tools for the analysis of mechanical properties of biological molecules. PMID:25232859

  8. Strategic design and recent fabrication techniques for bioengineered tissue scaffolds to improve peripheral nerve regeneration.

    PubMed

    Rajaram, Ajay; Chen, Xiong-Biao; Schreyer, David J

    2012-12-01

    Bioengineered tissue scaffolds are a potential tool for improving regenerative repair of damaged peripheral nerves. Novel modes of fabrication coupled with scaffold design strategies that are based on an understanding of the biology of nerve injury offer the prospect of intervention at a more sophisticated level. We review the etiology and incidence of peripheral nerve injury and the biological events that unfold during nerve regeneration after an injury. Newly available tissue scaffold fabrication technologies using bioplotting and laser-based techniques are described. Scaffold design strategies are also discussed, including the incorporation of living cells during scaffold fabrication, inclusion of neurotrophic gradients, use of electric stimulation, inclusion of antioxidant compounds to counteract neural apotosis, and promotion of angiogenesis. Use of these advanced fabrication techniques and incorporation of one or more of these active biological strategies may eventually lead to a greater success in peripheral nerve tissue engineering.

  9. Techniques for improving the Si-SiO2 interface characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sher, A.; Hoffman, H. J.; Su, P.; Tsuo, Y. H.

    1983-01-01

    The two techniques which have provided most of the information on interface states in MIS-C (metal-insulator-semiconductor-capacitor) structures are the 'quasi-static method' and the 'conductance method'. Sher et al. (1979) and Su et al. (1980) have suggested a number of improvements concerning these methods. The present investigation has the objective to extend the earlier results and to offer a new tentative interpretation of the data. A critical review is conducted of the data collection and reduction techniques for the quasi-static method, taking into account the sample, the quasi-static capacitance, and the surface potential. In connection with a discussion of the conductance method, attention is given to parallel conductance and capacitance measurements, interface-state densities, time constants, and measurements on a (110) surface orientation.

  10. Amorphous solid dispersion technique for improved drug delivery: basics to clinical applications.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Dinesh Kumar; Dhote, Vinod; Bhargava, Arpit; Jain, Dinesh Kumar; Mishra, Pradyumna Kumar

    2015-12-01

    Solid dispersion has emerged as a method of choice and has been extensively investigated to ascertain the in vivo improved performance of many drug formulations. It generally involves dispersion of drug in amorphous particles (clusters) or in crystalline particles. Comparatively, in the last decade, amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion has evolved into a platform technology for delivering poorly water-soluble small molecules. However, the success of this technique in the pharmaceutical industry mainly relies on different drug-polymer attributes like physico-chemical stability, bioavailability and manufacturability. The present review showcases the efficacy of amorphous solid dispersion technique in the research and evolution of different drug formulations particularly for those with poor water soluble properties. Apart from the numerous mechanisms of action involved, a comprehensive summary of different key parameters required for the solubility enhancement and their translational efficacy to clinics is also emphasized.

  11. Application of Genetic Algorithm and Particle Swarm Optimization techniques for improved image steganography systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jude Hemanth, Duraisamy; Umamaheswari, Subramaniyan; Popescu, Daniela Elena; Naaji, Antoanela

    2016-01-01

    Image steganography is one of the ever growing computational approaches which has found its application in many fields. The frequency domain techniques are highly preferred for image steganography applications. However, there are significant drawbacks associated with these techniques. In transform based approaches, the secret data is embedded in random manner in the transform coefficients of the cover image. These transform coefficients may not be optimal in terms of the stego image quality and embedding capacity. In this work, the application of Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) have been explored in the context of determining the optimal coefficients in these transforms. Frequency domain transforms such as Bandelet Transform (BT) and Finite Ridgelet Transform (FRIT) are used in combination with GA and PSO to improve the efficiency of the image steganography system.

  12. Active transport improves the precision of linear long distance molecular signalling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godec, Aljaž; Metzler, Ralf

    2016-09-01

    Molecular signalling in living cells occurs at low copy numbers and is thereby inherently limited by the noise imposed by thermal diffusion. The precision at which biochemical receptors can count signalling molecules is intimately related to the noise correlation time. In addition to passive thermal diffusion, messenger RNA and vesicle-engulfed signalling molecules can transiently bind to molecular motors and are actively transported across biological cells. Active transport is most beneficial when trafficking occurs over large distances, for instance up to the order of 1 metre in neurons. Here we explain how intermittent active transport allows for faster equilibration upon a change in concentration triggered by biochemical stimuli. Moreover, we show how intermittent active excursions induce qualitative changes in the noise in effectively one-dimensional systems such as dendrites. Thereby they allow for significantly improved signalling precision in the sense of a smaller relative deviation in the concentration read-out by the receptor. On the basis of linear response theory we derive the exact mean field precision limit for counting actively transported molecules. We explain how intermittent active excursions disrupt the recurrence in the molecular motion, thereby facilitating improved signalling accuracy. Our results provide a deeper understanding of how recurrence affects molecular signalling precision in biological cells and novel medical-diagnostic devices.

  13. Group Guidance Services with Self-Regulation Technique to Improve Student Learning Motivation in Junior High School (JHS)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pranoto, Hadi; Atieka, Nurul; Wihardjo, Sihadi Darmo; Wibowo, Agus; Nurlaila, Siti; Sudarmaji

    2016-01-01

    This study aims at: determining students motivation before being given a group guidance with self-regulation technique, determining students' motivation after being given a group counseling with self-regulation technique, generating a model of group counseling with self-regulation technique to improve motivation of learning, determining the…

  14. Molecular microscope strategy to improve risk stratification in early antibody-mediated kidney allograft rejection.

    PubMed

    Loupy, Alexandre; Lefaucheur, Carmen; Vernerey, Dewi; Chang, Jessica; Hidalgo, Luis G; Beuscart, Thibaut; Verine, Jerome; Aubert, Olivier; Dubleumortier, Sébastien; Duong van Huyen, Jean-Paul; Jouven, Xavier; Glotz, Denis; Legendre, Christophe; Halloran, Philip F

    2014-10-01

    Antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is the leading cause of kidney allograft loss. We investigated whether the addition of gene expression measurements to conventional methods could serve as a molecular microscope to identify kidneys with ABMR that are at high risk for failure. We studied 939 consecutive kidney recipients at Necker Hospital (2004-2010; principal cohort) and 321 kidney recipients at Saint Louis Hospital (2006-2010; validation cohort) and assessed patients with ABMR in the first 1 year post-transplant. In addition to conventional features, we assessed microarray-based gene expression in transplant biopsy specimens using relevant molecular measurements: the ABMR Molecular Score and endothelial donor-specific antibody-selective transcript set. The main outcomes were kidney transplant loss and progression to chronic transplant injury. We identified 74 patients with ABMR in the principal cohort and 54 patients with ABMR in the validation cohort. Conventional features independently associated with failure were donor age and humoral histologic score (g+ptc+v+cg+C4d). Adjusting for conventional features, ABMR Molecular Score (hazard ratio [HR], 2.22; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.37 to 3.58; P=0.001) and endothelial donor-specific antibody-selective transcripts (HR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.00 to 9.16; P<0.05) independently associated with an increased risk of graft loss. The results were replicated in the independent validation group. Adding a gene expression assessment to a traditional risk model improved the stratification of patients at risk for graft failure (continuous net reclassification improvement, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.57 to 1.46; P<0.001; integrated discrimination improvement, 0.16; P<0.001). Compared with conventional assessment, the addition of gene expression measurement in kidney transplants with ABMR improves stratification of patients at high risk for graft loss.

  15. Measurement of Gaussian laser beam radius using the knife-edge technique: improvement on data analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Araujo, Marcos A. de; Silva, Rubens; Lima, Emerson de; Pereira, Daniel P.; Oliveira, Paulo C. de

    2009-01-10

    We revisited the well known Khosrofian and Garetz inversion algorithm [Appl. Opt.22, 3406-3410 (1983)APOPAI0003-6935] that was developed to analyze data obtained by the application of the traveling knife-edge technique. We have analyzed the approximated fitting function that was used for adjusting their experimental data and have found that it is not optimized to work with a full range of the experimentally-measured data. We have numerically calculated a new set of coefficients, which makes the approximated function suitable for a full experimental range, considerably improving the accuracy of the measurement of a radius of a focused Gaussian laser beam.

  16. Advanced Technologies for the Improvement of Spray Application Techniques in Spanish Viticulture: An Overview

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Emilio; Arnó, Jaume; Llorens, Jordi; Sanz, Ricardo; Llop, Jordi; Rosell-Polo, Joan R.; Gallart, Montserrat; Escolà, Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    Spraying techniques have been undergoing continuous evolution in recent decades. This paper presents part of the research work carried out in Spain in the field of sensors for characterizing vineyard canopies and monitoring spray drift in order to improve vineyard spraying and make it more sustainable. Some methods and geostatistical procedures for mapping vineyard parameters are proposed, and the development of a variable rate sprayer is described. All these technologies are interesting in terms of adjusting the amount of pesticides applied to the target canopy. PMID:24451462

  17. Improved wear resistance by phase transformation of surface nanocrystalline 1090 steel prepared by sandblasting technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Rong; Fu, Licai; Zhou, Lingping

    2016-12-01

    A surface nanocrystalline 1090 steel has been fabricated by using sandblasting technique. The surface average grain size was about 78 nm. The high strain rate and strain in sandblasting were main reasons for surface nanocrystallization. The wear resistance of 1090 steel was considerably enhanced as grain size decreased. The microstructure and hardness of contact zones before and after wear tests have been examined by XRD, SEM and TEM. Except the higher hardness, the results demonstrated that parts of ferrite transferred to cementite and martensite. It was additional beneficial for improving the wear resistance of 1090 steel as the grain size decreased.

  18. Improved Optical Document Security Techniques Based on Volume Holography and Lippmann Photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bjelkhagen, Hans I.

    Optical variable devices (OVDs), such as holograms, are now common in the field of document security. Up until now mass-produced embossed holograms or other types of mass-produced OVDs are used not only for banknotes but also for personalized documents, such as passports, ID cards, travel documents, driving licenses, credit cards, etc. This means that identical OVDs are used on documents issued to individuals. Today, there is need for a higher degree of security on such documents and this chapter covers new techniques to make improved mass-produced or personalized OVDs.

  19. Molecular Breeding Algae For Improved Traits For The Conversion Of Waste To Fuels And Commodities.

    SciTech Connect

    Bagwell, C.

    2015-10-14

    This Exploratory LDRD aimed to develop molecular breeding methodology for biofuel algal strain improvement for applications in waste to energy / commodity conversion technologies. Genome shuffling technologies, specifically protoplast fusion, are readily available for the rapid production of genetic hybrids for trait improvement and have been used successfully in bacteria, yeast, plants and animals. However, genome fusion has not been developed for exploiting the remarkable untapped potential of eukaryotic microalgae for large scale integrated bio-conversion and upgrading of waste components to valued commodities, fuel and energy. The proposed molecular breeding technology is effectively sexual reproduction in algae; though compared to traditional breeding, the molecular route is rapid, high-throughput and permits selection / improvement of complex traits which cannot be accomplished by traditional genetics. Genome fusion technologies are the cutting edge of applied biotechnology. The goals of this Exploratory LDRD were to 1) establish reliable methodology for protoplast production among diverse microalgal strains, and 2) demonstrate genome fusion for hybrid strain production using a single gene encoded trait as a proof of the concept.

  20. Improvement of sub-20nm pattern quality with dose modulation technique for NIL template production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagawa, Keisuke; Ugajin, Kunihiro; Suenaga, Machiko; Kanamitsu, Shingo; Motokawa, Takeharu; Hagihara, Kazuki; Arisawa, Yukiyasu; Kobayashi, Sachiko; Saito, Masato; Ito, Masamitsu

    2016-04-01

    Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) technology is in the spotlight as a next-generation semiconductor manufacturing technique for integrated circuits at 22 nm and beyond. NIL is the unmagnified lithography technique using template which is replicated from master templates. On the other hand, master templates are currently fabricated by electron-beam (EB) lithography[1]. In near future, finer patterns less than 15nm will be required on master template and EB data volume increases exponentially. So, we confront with a difficult challenge. A higher resolution EB mask writer and a high performance fabrication process will be required. In our previous study, we investigated a potential of photomask fabrication process for finer patterning and achieved 15.5nm line and space (L/S) pattern on template by using VSB (Variable Shaped Beam) type EB mask writer and chemically amplified resist. In contrast, we found that a contrast loss by backscattering decreases the performance of finer patterning. For semiconductor devices manufacturing, we must fabricate complicated patterns which includes high and low density simultaneously except for consecutive L/S pattern. Then it's quite important to develop a technique to make various size or coverage patterns all at once. In this study, a small feature pattern was experimentally formed on master template with dose modulation technique. This technique makes it possible to apply the appropriate exposure dose for each pattern size. As a result, we succeed to improve the performance of finer patterning in bright field area. These results show that the performance of current EB lithography process have a potential to fabricate NIL template.

  1. Techniques for improving overlay accuracy by using device correlated metrology targets as reference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzai, Wei Jhe; Hsu, Simon C. C.; Chen, Howard; Chen, Charlie; Pai, Yuan Chi; Yu, Chun-Chi; Lin, Chia Ching; Itzkovich, Tal; Yap, Lipkong; Amit, Eran; Tien, David; Huang, Eros; Kuo, Kelly T. L.; Amir, Nuriel

    2014-10-01

    The performance of overlay metrology as total measurement uncertainty, design rule compatibility, device correlation, and measurement accuracy has been challenged at the 2× nm node and below. The process impact on overlay metrology is becoming critical, and techniques to improve measurement accuracy become increasingly important. We present a methodology for improving the overlay accuracy. A propriety quality metric, Qmerit, is used to identify overlay metrology measurement settings with the least process impacts and reliable accuracies. Using the quality metric, a calibration method, Archer self-calibration, is then used to remove the inaccuracies. Accuracy validation can be achieved by correlation to reference overlay data from another independent metrology source such as critical dimension-scanning electron microscopy data collected on a device correlated metrology hybrid target or by electrical testing. Additionally, reference metrology can also be used to verify which measurement conditions are the most accurate. We provide an example of such a case.

  2. Innovative techniques for improving overlay accuracy by using DCM (device correlated metrology) targets as reference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzai, Wei-Jhe; Hsu, Simon C. C.; Chen, Howard; Chen, Charlie; Pai, Yuan Chi; Yu, Chun-Chi; Lin, Chia Ching; Itzkovich, Tal; Yap, Lipkong; Amit, Eran; Tien, David; Huang, Eros; Kuo, Kelly T. L.; Amir, Nuriel

    2014-04-01

    Overlay metrology performance as Total Measurement Uncertainty (TMU), design rule compatibility, device correlation and measurement accuracy are been challenged at 2x nm node and below. Process impact on overlay metrology becoming critical, and techniques to improve measurement accuracy becomes increasingly important. In this paper, we present an innovative methodology for improving overlay accuracy. A propriety quality metric, Qmerit, is used to identify overlay metrology measurement settings with least process impacts and reliable accuracies. Using the quality metric, an innovative calibration method, ASC (Archer Self Calibration) is then used to remove the inaccuracies. Accuracy validation can be achieved by correlation to reference overlay data from another independent metrology source such as CDSEM data collected on DCM (Device Correlated Metrology) hybrid target or electrical testing. Additionally, reference metrology can also be used to verify which measurement conditions are the most accurate. In this paper we bring an example of such use case.

  3. How to improve the performance of a good medical practice team: twelve techniques.

    PubMed

    Hills, Laura

    2013-01-01

    It is incredibly easy to ignore the medical practice team that is doing a good job. However, when we allow good performers to continue as they are, they probably won't improve. Their performance may even worsen. This is unfortunate because with a little bit of effort and support, good performers can often learn to excel. This article offers 12 techniques medical practice managers can use to bring their team members from good performance to excellent. It describes how to use goal-setting, work assignments, modeling, confidence building, team retreats, rewards, incentives, and reinforcement to ratchet up a good medical practice team's performance. This article also identifies the signs of medical employee mediocrity. It describes why setting higher expectations of your medical practice employees will ultimately improve their performance. Finally, this article suggests 10 practical and affordable strategies that medical practice managers can use to reinforce excellent performance in their good employees.

  4. Graphene reflux: improving the yield of liquid-exfoliated nanosheets through repeated separation techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rountree, Kyler S.; Shah, Smit A.; Sweeney, Charles B.; Irin, Fahmida; Green, Micah J.

    2016-12-01

    Scalable production of graphene through liquid-phase exfoliation has been plagued by low yields. Although several recent studies have attempted to improve graphene exfoliation technology, the problem of separating colloidal nanosheets from unexfoliated parent material has received far less attention. Here we demonstrate a scalable method for improving nanosheet yield through a facile washing process. By probing the sedimentation of liquid-phase exfoliated slurries of graphene nanosheets and parent material, we found that a portion of exfoliated graphene is entrapped in the sediment, but can be recovered by repeatedly washing the slurry of nanosheet and parent material with additional solvent. We found this process to significantly increase the overall yield of graphene (graphene/parent material) and recover a roughly constant proportion of graphene with each wash. The cumulative amount of graphene recovered is only a function of total solvent volume. Moreover, we found this technique to be applicable to other types of nanosheets such as boron nitride nanosheets.

  5. Weighted Distance Functions Improve Analysis of High-Dimensional Data: Application to Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Blöchliger, Nicolas; Caflisch, Amedeo; Vitalis, Andreas

    2015-11-10

    Data mining techniques depend strongly on how the data are represented and how distance between samples is measured. High-dimensional data often contain a large number of irrelevant dimensions (features) for a given query. These features act as noise and obfuscate relevant information. Unsupervised approaches to mine such data require distance measures that can account for feature relevance. Molecular dynamics simulations produce high-dimensional data sets describing molecules observed in time. Here, we propose to globally or locally weight simulation features based on effective rates. This emphasizes, in a data-driven manner, slow degrees of freedom that often report on the metastable states sampled by the molecular system. We couple this idea to several unsupervised learning protocols. Our approach unmasks slow side chain dynamics within the native state of a miniprotein and reveals additional metastable conformations of a protein. The approach can be combined with most algorithms for clustering or dimensionality reduction.

  6. Improving the physical properties crunchiness of potato crisps by pretreatment techniques and vacuum frying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tran, Mai T. T.; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-08-01

    Vacuum frying with pre-treatment of potato crisps are potentially effective processes on the improving the crispness of potato crisps. Pre-drying and subsequent sugar dipping are considered as an advantageous process as the pre-treatment of potato crisps to reduce considerable amount of oil uptake. In this study, potato crisps were blanched, pre-dried, and dipped in the solution of sugar (23.07%, in 2 seconds) before vacuum frying at 120 °C, 110 °C with vacuum pressures, which is 150 mbars. The results were collected by testing the crispiness of the potato crisps with the three-point-support method and using an Instron Universal Testing Machine through the texture parameters: Maximum Peak Force; Slope of Initial Tangent, Hardness, Stiffness, Firmness, Modulus of Elasticity and Maximum Tensile Stress. There was a significant improving in physical properties of crisps observed. Crisps that had been pre- treatment and vacuum- fried at 110 °C (150 mbars) had much improving in crispness (50%) including the hardness (170%), stiffness (140%), firmness (50%) and modulus of elasticity (60%) compared with normal frying at 180 °C without pretreatment and vacuum frying. The effect of vacuum frying and the pre-treatment technique on the improving the physical properties of crisps was evaluated. The shrinkage of potato crisps after frying was also considered in this research. The color and microstructure of potato crisps with pre-treatments and vacuum frying have also been obtained.

  7. Applying Toyota production system techniques for medication delivery: improving hospital safety and efficiency.

    PubMed

    Newell, Terry L; Steinmetz-Malato, Laura L; Van Dyke, Deborah L

    2011-01-01

    The inpatient medication delivery system used at a large regional acute care hospital in the Midwest had become antiquated and inefficient. The existing 24-hr medication cart-fill exchange process with delivery to the patients' bedside did not always provide ordered medications to the nursing units when they were needed. In 2007 the principles of the Toyota Production System (TPS) were applied to the system. Project objectives were to improve medication safety and reduce the time needed for nurses to retrieve patient medications. A multidisciplinary team was formed that included representatives from nursing, pharmacy, informatics, quality, and various operational support departments. Team members were educated and trained in the tools and techniques of TPS, and then designed and implemented a new pull system benchmarking the TPS Ideal State model. The newly installed process, providing just-in-time medication availability, has measurably improved delivery processes as well as patient safety and satisfaction. Other positive outcomes have included improved nursing satisfaction, reduced nursing wait time for delivered medications, and improved efficiency in the pharmacy. After a successful pilot on two nursing units, the system is being extended to the rest of the hospital.

  8. Using Interior Point Method Optimization Techniques to Improve 2- and 3-Dimensional Models of Earth Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamora, A.; Gutierrez, A. E.; Velasco, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    2- and 3-Dimensional models obtained from the inversion of geophysical data are widely used to represent the structural composition of the Earth and to constrain independent models obtained from other geological data (e.g. core samples, seismic surveys, etc.). However, inverse modeling of gravity data presents a very unstable and ill-posed mathematical problem, given that solutions are non-unique and small changes in parameters (position and density contrast of an anomalous body) can highly impact the resulting model. Through the implementation of an interior-point method constrained optimization technique, we improve the 2-D and 3-D models of Earth structures representing known density contrasts mapping anomalous bodies in uniform regions and boundaries between layers in layered environments. The proposed techniques are applied to synthetic data and gravitational data obtained from the Rio Grande Rift and the Cooper Flat Mine region located in Sierra County, New Mexico. Specifically, we improve the 2- and 3-D Earth models by getting rid of unacceptable solutions (those that do not satisfy the required constraints or are geologically unfeasible) given the reduction of the solution space.

  9. Ionic liquids in chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques: toward additional improvements in the separation of natural compounds

    PubMed Central

    Freire, Carmen S. R.; Coutinho, João A. P.; Silvestre, Armando J. D.; Freire, Mara G.

    2016-01-01

    Due to their unique properties, in recent years, ionic liquids (ILs) have been largely investigated in the field of analytical chemistry. Particularly during the last sixteen years, they have been successfully applied in the chromatographic and electrophoretic analysis of value-added compounds extracted from biomass. Considering the growing interest in the use of ILs in this field, this critical review provides a comprehensive overview on the improvements achieved using ILs as constituents of mobile or stationary phases in analytical techniques, namely in capillary electrophoresis and its different modes, in high performance liquid chromatography, and in gas chromatography, for the separation and analysis of natural compounds. The impact of the IL chemical structure and the influence of secondary parameters, such as the IL concentration, temperature, pH, voltage and analysis time (when applied), are also critically addressed regarding the achieved separation improvements. Major conclusions on the role of ILs in the separation mechanisms and the performance of these techniques in terms of efficiency, resolution and selectivity are provided. Based on a critical analysis of all published results, some target-oriented ILs are suggested. Finally, current drawbacks and future challenges in the field are highlighted. In particular, the design and use of more benign and effective ILs as well as the development of integrated (and thus more sustainable) extraction–separation processes using IL aqueous solutions are suggested within a green chemistry perspective. PMID:27667965

  10. Ionic liquids in chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques: toward additional improvements in the separation of natural compounds.

    PubMed

    Soares, Belinda; Passos, Helena; Freire, Carmen S R; Coutinho, João A P; Silvestre, Armando J D; Freire, Mara G

    2016-09-07

    Due to their unique properties, in recent years, ionic liquids (ILs) have been largely investigated in the field of analytical chemistry. Particularly during the last sixteen years, they have been successfully applied in the chromatographic and electrophoretic analysis of value-added compounds extracted from biomass. Considering the growing interest in the use of ILs in this field, this critical review provides a comprehensive overview on the improvements achieved using ILs as constituents of mobile or stationary phases in analytical techniques, namely in capillary electrophoresis and its different modes, in high performance liquid chromatography, and in gas chromatography, for the separation and analysis of natural compounds. The impact of the IL chemical structure and the influence of secondary parameters, such as the IL concentration, temperature, pH, voltage and analysis time (when applied), are also critically addressed regarding the achieved separation improvements. Major conclusions on the role of ILs in the separation mechanisms and the performance of these techniques in terms of efficiency, resolution and selectivity are provided. Based on a critical analysis of all published results, some target-oriented ILs are suggested. Finally, current drawbacks and future challenges in the field are highlighted. In particular, the design and use of more benign and effective ILs as well as the development of integrated (and thus more sustainable) extraction-separation processes using IL aqueous solutions are suggested within a green chemistry perspective.

  11. Can the attention training technique turn one marshmallow into two? Improving children's ability to delay gratification.

    PubMed

    Murray, Joanne; Theakston, Anna; Wells, Adrian

    2016-02-01

    The seminal Marshmallow Test (Mischel & Ebbesen, 1970) has reliably demonstrated that children who can delay gratification are more likely to be emotionally stable and successful later in life. However, this is not good news for those children who can't delay. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether a metacognitive therapy technique, Attention Training (ATT: Wells, 1990) can improve young children's ability to delay gratification. One hundred children participated. Classes of 5-6 year olds were randomly allocated to either the ATT or a no-intervention condition and were tested pre and post-intervention on ability to delay gratification, verbal inhibition (executive control), and measures of mood. The ATT intervention significantly increased (2.64 times) delay of gratification compared to the no-intervention condition. After controlling for age and months in school, the ATT intervention and verbal inhibition task performance were significant independent predictors of delay of gratification. These results provide evidence that ATT can improve children's self-regulatory abilities with the implication that this might reduce psychological vulnerability later in life. The findings highlight the potential contribution that the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model could make to designing techniques to enhance children's self-regulatory processes.

  12. [Research and practice on basic skill training and technique improving of acupuncture and tuina major].

    PubMed

    Ma, Qiao-Lin; Gao, Xi-Yan; Ye, Xian-Feng; Hu, Bin; Zheng, Ming-Chang

    2014-01-01

    In order to summarize and perfect the basic skill practicing method in acupuncture teaching and form a characteristic teaching, the research on skill training and technique improving of acupuncture and tuina major was carried out. The undergraduate students in acupuncture and tuina major from College of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group. Students from both groups received the basic courses of acupuncture-moxibustion and tuina as requested in the syllabus and the special teaching was added to the experimental group, namely "three practice" (strength practice, coordination practice, targeted practice of acupuncture basic skills) and "three enlightenment" (technique enlightenment, mind and qi enlightenment, efficacy enlightenment). During and after the courses, the teaching effectiveness was evaluated on the basis of needling manipulation. The peacetime score in the experimental group was superior to that in the control group (38.03 +/- 1.14 vs 33.25 +/- 1.31, P < 0.05), the total score in the experimental group was superior to that in the control group (84.03 +/- 6.30 vs 78.05 +/- 6.55, P < 0.05). The special teaching method of "three practice" and "three enlightenment" can improve the effect of skill training teaching method. It highlights the unique feature of central plains by integrating the essence of Shaolin internal qigong and Chen-style Taiji, it can also provide new ideas for the practical teaching of TCM professional courses and the construction of characteristic professionals.

  13. Novel Sample Preparation Technique To Improve Spectromicroscopic Analyses of Micrometer-Sized Particles.

    PubMed

    Höschen, Carmen; Höschen, Till; Mueller, Carsten W; Lugmeier, Johann; Elgeti, Stefan; Rennert, Thilo; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-08-18

    Microscale processes occurring at biogeochemical interfaces in soils and sediments have fundamental impacts on phenomena at larger scales. To obtain the organo-mineral associations necessary for the study of biogeochemical interfaces, bulk samples are usually fractionated into microaggregates or micrometer-sized single particles. Such fine-grained mineral particles are often prepared for nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS) investigations by depositing them on a carrier. This introduces topographic differences, which can strongly affect local sputtering efficiencies. Embedding in resin causes undesired C impurities. We present a novel method for preparing polished cross-sections of micrometer-sized primary soil particles that overcomes the problems of topography and C contamination. The particles are coated with a marker layer, embedded, and well-polished. The interpretation of NanoSIMS data is assisted by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy on cross-sections prepared by a focused ion beam. In the cross-sections, organic assemblages on the primary soil particles become visible. This novel method significantly improves the quality of NanoSIMS measurements on grainy mineral samples, enabling better characterization of soil biogeochemical interfaces. In addition, this sample preparation technique may also improve results from other (spectro-) microscopic techniques.

  14. Improving of the photovoltaic / thermal system performance using water cooling technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussien, Hashim A.; Numan, Ali H.; Abdulmunem, Abdulmunem R.

    2015-04-01

    This work is devoted to improving the electrical efficiency by reducing the rate of thermal energy of a photovoltaic/thermal system (PV/T).This is achieved by design cooling technique which consists of a heat exchanger and water circulating pipes placed at PV module rear surface to solve the problem of the high heat stored inside the PV cells during the operation. An experimental rig is designed to investigate and evaluate PV module performance with the proposed cooling technique. This cooling technique is the first work in Iraq to dissipate the heat from PV module. The experimental results indicated that due to the heat loss by convection between water and the PV panel's upper surface, an increase of output power is achieved. It was found that without active cooling, the temperature of the PV module was high and solar cells could only achieve a conversion efficiency of about 8%. However, when the PV module was operated under active water cooling condition, the temperature was dropped from 76.8°C without cooling to 70.1°C with active cooling. This temperature dropping led to increase in the electrical efficiency of solar panel to 9.8% at optimum mass flow rate (0.2L/s) and thermal efficiency to (12.3%).

  15. DSMC simulation of hypersonic flows using an improved SBT-TAS technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goshayeshi, Bijan; Roohi, Ehsan; Stefanov, Stefan

    2015-12-01

    The current paper examines a new DSMC approach to hypersonic flow simulation consisting of a combination between the Simplified Bernoulli Trials (SBT) collision algorithm and the transient adaptive subcell (TAS) selection procedure. The SBT collision algorithm has already been introduced as a scheme that provides accurate results with a quite small number of particles per cells and its combination with the transient adaptive subcell (TAS) technique will enable SBT to have coarser grid sizes as well. In the current research, the no-time-counter (NTC) collision algorithm and nearest neighbor (NN) pair selection procedure of Bird DS2V code are substituted by the SBT-TAS and comparisons between the new algorithm and NTC-NN are made considering appropriate test cases including hypersonic cylinder flow and axisymmetric biconic flow. Hypersonic cylinder flow is a well-known benchmark problem with a wide collision frequency range while the biconic flow exhibits laminar shock/shock and shock/boundary-layer interactions. Improvements implemented in the SBT-TAS technique, including subcell volume estimation, surface properties filter, and time controller, are discussed in detail. The simulations of these hypersonic test cases demonstrated that from the viewpoint of consumed sample-size, SBT-TAS is an efficient collision technique.

  16. An improved technique for computing permeability from NMR measurements in mudstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daigle, Hugh; Dugan, Brandon

    2011-08-01

    We develop a technique for extending nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) permeability estimation to clay-rich sediments. Our technique builds on the Schlumberger-Doll Research (SDR) equation by using porosity, grain size, specific surface, and magnetic susceptibility data to yield more accurate permeability estimation in mudstones with large pore surface areas and complex mineralogies. Based on measurements of natural sediments as well as resedimented laboratory mixtures of silica, bentonite, and kaolinite powders, we find that our method predicts permeability values that match measured values over four orders of magnitude and among lithologies that vary widely in grain size, mineralogy, and surface area. Our results show that the relationship between NMR data and permeability is a function of mineralogy and grain geometry, and that permeability predictions in clay-rich sediments can be improved with insights regarding the nature of the pore system made by the Kozeny theory. This technique extends the utility of NMR measurements beyond typical reservoir-quality rocks to a wide range of lithologies.

  17. A dual-view digital tomosynthesis imaging technique for improved chest imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, Yuncheng; Lai, Chao-Jen; Wang, Tianpeng; Shaw, Chris C.

    2015-09-15

    Purpose: Digital tomosynthesis (DTS) has been shown to be useful for reducing the overlapping of abnormalities with anatomical structures at various depth levels along the posterior–anterior (PA) direction in chest radiography. However, DTS provides crude three-dimensional (3D) images that have poor resolution in the lateral view and can only be displayed with reasonable quality in the PA view. Furthermore, the spillover of high-contrast objects from off-fulcrum planes generates artifacts that may impede the diagnostic use of the DTS images. In this paper, the authors describe and demonstrate the use of a dual-view DTS technique to improve the accuracy of the reconstructed volume image data for more accurate rendition of the anatomy and slice images with improved resolution and reduced artifacts, thus allowing the 3D image data to be viewed in views other than the PA view. Methods: With the dual-view DTS technique, limited angle scans are performed and projection images are acquired in two orthogonal views: PA and lateral. The dual-view projection data are used together to reconstruct 3D images using the maximum likelihood expectation maximization iterative algorithm. In this study, projection images were simulated or experimentally acquired over 360° using the scanning geometry for cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). While all projections were used to reconstruct CBCT images, selected projections were extracted and used to reconstruct single- and dual-view DTS images for comparison with the CBCT images. For realistic demonstration and comparison, a digital chest phantom derived from clinical CT images was used for the simulation study. An anthropomorphic chest phantom was imaged for the experimental study. The resultant dual-view DTS images were visually compared with the single-view DTS images and CBCT images for the presence of image artifacts and accuracy of CT numbers and anatomy and quantitatively compared with root-mean-square-deviation (RMSD) values

  18. A Combination of Molecular Markers and Clinical Features Improve the Classification of Pancreatic Cysts

    PubMed Central

    Springer, Simeon; Wang, Yuxuan; Molin, Marco Dal; Masica, David L.; Jiao, Yuchen; Kinde, Isaac; Blackford, Amanda; Raman, Siva P.; Wolfgang, Christopher L.; Tomita, Tyler; Niknafs, Noushin; Douville, Christopher; Ptak, Janine; Dobbyn, Lisa; Allen, Peter J.; Klimstra, David S.; Schattner, Mark A.; Schmidt, C. Max; Yip-Schneider, Michele; Cummings, Oscar W.; Brand, Randall E.; Zeh, Herbert J.; Singhi, Aatur D.; Scarpa, Aldo; Salvia, Roberto; Malleo, Giuseppe; Zamboni, Giuseppe; Falconi, Massimo; Jang, Jin-Young; Kim, Sun-Whe; Kwon, Wooil; Hong, Seung-Mo; Song, Ki-Byung; Kim, Song Cheol; Swan, Niall; Murphy, Jean; Geoghegan, Justin; Brugge, William; Fernandez-Del Castillo, Carlos; Mino-Kenudson, Mari; Schulick, Richard; Edil, Barish H.; Adsay, Volkan; Paulino, Jorge; van Hooft, Jeanin; Yachida, Shinichi; Nara, Satoshi; Hiraoka, Nobuyoshi; Yamao, Kenji; Hijioka, Susuma; van der Merwe, Schalk; Goggins, Michael; Canto, Marcia Irene; Ahuja, Nita; Hirose, Kenzo; Makary, Martin; Weiss, Matthew J.; Cameron, John; Pittman, Meredith; Eshleman, James R.; Diaz, Luis A.; Papadopoulos, Nickolas; Kinzler, Kenneth W.; Karchin, Rachel; Hruban, Ralph H.; Vogelstein, Bert; Lennon, Anne Marie

    2016-01-01

    Background & Aims The management of pancreatic cysts poses challenges to both patients and their physicians. We investigated whether a combination of molecular markers and clinical information could improve the classification of pancreatic cysts and management of patients. Methods We performed a multi-center, retrospective study of 130 patients with resected pancreatic cystic neoplasms (12 serous cystadenomas, 10 solid-pseudopapillary neoplasms, 12 mucinous cystic neoplasms, and 96 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms). Cyst fluid was analyzed to identify subtle mutations in genes known to be mutated in pancreatic cysts (BRAF, CDKN2A, CTNNB1, GNAS, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, RNF43, SMAD4, TP53 and VHL); to identify loss of heterozygozity at CDKN2A, RNF43, SMAD4, TP53, and VHL tumor suppressor loci; and to identify aneuploidy. The analyses were performed using specialized technologies for implementing and interpreting massively parallel sequencing data acquisition. An algorithm was used to select markers that could classify cyst type and grade. The accuracy of the molecular markers were compared with that of clinical markers, and a combination of molecular and clinical markers. Results We identified molecular markers and clinical features that classified cyst type with 90%–100% sensitivity and 92%–98% specificity. The molecular marker panel correctly identified 67 of the 74 patients who did not require surgery, and could therefore reduce the number of unnecessary operations by 91%. Conclusions We identified a panel of molecular markers and clinical features that show promise for the accurate classification of cystic neoplasms of the pancreas and identification of cysts that require surgery. PMID:26253305

  19. An Improved Simulated Annealing Technique for Enhanced Mobility in Smart Cities

    PubMed Central

    Amer, Hayder; Salman, Naveed; Hawes, Matthew; Chaqfeh, Moumena; Mihaylova, Lyudmila; Mayfield, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Vehicular traffic congestion is a significant problem that arises in many cities. This is due to the increasing number of vehicles that are driving on city roads of limited capacity. The vehicular congestion significantly impacts travel distance, travel time, fuel consumption and air pollution. Avoidance of traffic congestion and providing drivers with optimal paths are not trivial tasks. The key contribution of this work consists of the developed approach for dynamic calculation of optimal traffic routes. Two attributes (the average travel speed of the traffic and the roads’ length) are utilized by the proposed method to find the optimal paths. The average travel speed values can be obtained from the sensors deployed in smart cities and communicated to vehicles via the Internet of Vehicles and roadside communication units. The performance of the proposed algorithm is compared to three other algorithms: the simulated annealing weighted sum, the simulated annealing technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution and the Dijkstra algorithm. The weighted sum and technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution methods are used to formulate different attributes in the simulated annealing cost function. According to the Sheffield scenario, simulation results show that the improved simulated annealing technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution method improves the traffic performance in the presence of congestion by an overall average of 19.22% in terms of travel time, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as compared to other algorithms; also, similar performance patterns were achieved for the Birmingham test scenario. PMID:27376289

  20. Improved synthetic aperture focusing technique results of thick concrete specimens through frequency banding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clayton, Dwight; Barker, Alan; Albright, Austin; Santos-Villalobos, Hector

    2016-02-01

    A multitude of concrete-based structures are typically part of a light water reactor (LWR) plant to provide the foundation, support, shielding, and containment functions. This use has made its long-term performance crucial for the safe operation of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs). Extending reactor life to 60 years and beyond will likely increase susceptibility and severity of known forms of degradation. We seek to improve and extend the usefulness of results produced using the synthetic aperture focusing technique (SAFT) on ultrasonic data collected from thick, complex concrete structures such as in NPPs. Towards these goals, we apply the time-frequency technique of wavelet packet decomposition and reconstruction using a mother wavelet that possesses the exact reconstruction property. However, instead of analyzing the coefficients of each decomposition node, we select and reconstruct specific nodes based on the frequency band it contains to produce a frequency band specific time-series representation. SAFT is then applied to these frequency specific reconstructions allowing SAFT to be used to visualize the reflectivity of a frequency band and that band's interaction with the contents of the concrete structure. Specially designed and fabricated test specimens can provide realistic flaws that are similar to actual flaws in terms of how they interact with a particular NDE technique. Artificial test blocks allow the isolation of certain testing problems as well as the variation of certain parameters. Because conditions in the laboratory are controlled, the number of unknown variables can be decreased, making it possible to focus on specific aspects, investigate them in detail, and gain further information on the capabilities and limitations of each method. To minimize artifacts caused by boundary effects, the dimensions of the specimens should not be too compact. In this paper, we apply this enhanced SAFT technique to a 2.134 m × 2.134 m × 1.016 m concrete

  1. Reflection mass spectrometry technique for monitoring and controlling composition during molecular beam epitaxy

    DOEpatents

    Brennan, Thomas M.; Hammons, B. Eugene; Tsao, Jeffrey Y.

    1992-01-01

    A method for on-line accurate monitoring and precise control of molecular beam epitaxial growth of Groups III-III-V or Groups III-V-V layers in an advanced semiconductor device incorporates reflection mass spectrometry. The reflection mass spectrometry is responsive to intentional perturbations in molecular fluxes incident on a substrate by accurately measuring the molecular fluxes reflected from the substrate. The reflected flux is extremely sensitive to the state of the growing surface and the measurements obtained enable control of newly forming surfaces that are dynamically changing as a result of growth.

  2. Reflection mass spectrometry technique for monitoring and controlling composition during molecular beam epitaxy

    DOEpatents

    Brennan, T.M.; Hammons, B.E.; Tsao, J.Y.

    1992-12-15

    A method for on-line accurate monitoring and precise control of molecular beam epitaxial growth of Groups III-III-V or Groups III-V-V layers in an advanced semiconductor device incorporates reflection mass spectrometry. The reflection mass spectrometry is responsive to intentional perturbations in molecular fluxes incident on a substrate by accurately measuring the molecular fluxes reflected from the substrate. The reflected flux is extremely sensitive to the state of the growing surface and the measurements obtained enable control of newly forming surfaces that are dynamically changing as a result of growth. 3 figs.

  3. ENVIROSUITE: USING STATE-OF-THE-ART SYNCHROTRON TECHNIQUES TO UNDERSTAND ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION SCIENCE ISSUES AT THE MOLECULAR LEVEL.

    SciTech Connect

    FITTS,J.P.; KALB,P.D.; FRANCIS,A.J.; FUHRMANN,M.; DODGE,C.J.; GILLOW,J.B.

    2004-03-01

    Although DOE's Environmental Management program has made steady progress in cleaning up environmental legacies throughout the DOE complex, there are still significant remediation issues that remain to be solved. For example, DOE faces difficult challenges related to potential mobilization of radionuclides (e.g., actinides) and other hazardous contaminants in soils, removal and final treatment of high-level waste and residuals from leaking tanks, and the long-term stewardship of remediated sites and engineered disposal facilities, to name just a few. In some cases, new technologies and technology applications will be required based on current engineering expertise. In others, however, basic scientific research is needed to understand the mechanisms of how contaminants behave under specific conditions and how they interact with the environment, from which new engineering solutions can emerge. At Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Stony Brook University, scientists have teamed to use state-of-the-art synchrotron techniques to help understand the basic interactions of contaminants in the environment. Much of this work is conducted at the BNL National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which is a user facility that provides high energy X-ray and ultraviolet photon beams to facilitate the examination of contaminants and materials at the molecular level. These studies allow us to determine how chemical speciation and structure control important parameters such as solubility, which in turn drive critical performance characteristics such as leaching. In one study for example, we are examining the effects of microbial activity on actinide contaminants under conditions anticipated at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. One possible outcome of this research is the identification of specific microbes that can trap uranium or other contaminants within the intracellular structure and help mitigate mobility. In another study, we are exploring the interaction of contaminants with

  4. Personalized medicine: from genotypes, molecular phenotypes and the quantified self, towards improved medicine.

    PubMed

    Dudley, Joel T; Listgarten, Jennifer; Stegle, Oliver; Brenner, Steven E; Parts, Leopold

    2015-01-01

    Advances in molecular profiling and sensor technologies are expanding the scope of personalized medicine beyond genotypes, providing new opportunities for developing richer and more dynamic multi-scale models of individual health. Recent studies demonstrate the value of scoring high-dimensional microbiome, immune, and metabolic traits from individuals to inform personalized medicine. Efforts to integrate multiple dimensions of clinical and molecular data towards predictive multi-scale models of individual health and wellness are already underway. Improved methods for mining and discovery of clinical phenotypes from electronic medical records and technological developments in wearable sensor technologies present new opportunities for mapping and exploring the critical yet poorly characterized "phenome" and "envirome" dimensions of personalized medicine. There are ambitious new projects underway to collect multi-scale molecular, sensor, clinical, behavioral, and environmental data streams from large population cohorts longitudinally to enable more comprehensive and dynamic models of individual biology and personalized health. Personalized medicine stands to benefit from inclusion of rich new sources and dimensions of data. However, realizing these improvements in care relies upon novel informatics methodologies, tools, and systems to make full use of these data to advance both the science and translational applications of personalized medicine.

  5. Intra-molecular Triplet Energy Transfer is a General Approach to Improve Organic Fluorophore Photostability

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qinsi; Jockusch, Steffen; Rodríguez-Calero, Gabriel G.; Zhou, Zhou; Zhao, Hong; Altman, Roger B.; Abruña, Héctor D.; Blanchard, Scott C.

    2015-01-01

    Bright, long-lasting and non-phototoxic organic fluorophores are essential to the continued advancement of biological imaging. Traditional approaches towards achieving photostability, such as the removal of molecular oxygen and the use of small-molecule additives in solution, suffer from potentially toxic side effects, particularly in the context of living cells. The direct conjugation of small-molecule triplet state quenchers, such as cyclooctatetraene (COT), to organic fluorophores has the potential to bypass these issues by restoring reactive fluorophore triplet states to the ground state through intra-molecular triplet energy transfer. Such methods have enabled marked improvement in cyanine fluorophore photostability spanning the visible spectrum. However, the generality of this strategy to chemically and structurally diverse fluorophore species has yet to be examined. Here, we show that the proximal linkage of COT increases the photon yield of a diverse range of organic fluorophores widely used in biological imaging applications, demonstrating that the intra-molecular triplet energy transfer mechanism is a potentially general approach for improving organic fluorophore performance and photostability. PMID:26700693

  6. DNA extraction methods and multiple sampling to improve molecular diagnosis of Sarcocystis spp. in cattle hearts.

    PubMed

    Bräunig, Patrícia; Portella, Luiza Pires; Cezar, Alfredo Skrebsky; Libardoni, Felipe; Sangioni, Luis Antonio; Vogel, Fernanda Silveira Flores; Gonçalves, Paulo Bayard Dias

    2016-10-01

    Molecular detection of Sarcocystis spp. in tissue samples can be useful for experimental and diagnostic purposes. However, the parasite spreads unevenly through tissues, forming tissue cysts, and the cystic wall is an obstacle in DNA extraction protocols. Therefore, adequate sampling and effective disruption of the cysts are essential to improve the accuracy of DNA detection by PCR. The aims of this study were to evaluate the suitability of four protocols for DNA extraction from cysts of Sarcocystis spp. present in bovine myocardium samples or after their harvest in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution as well as determine the effects of single or multiple sampling on the accuracy of molecular diagnosis of sarcocystosis in cattle hearts. Cysts and myocardium samples from nine bovine hearts were randomly distributed to four DNA extraction protocols: kit, kit with modification, DNAzol, and cetyl-trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB). Samples were submitted to DNA extraction and PCR as replicates of each heart (simplicate, duplicate, and triplicate), and the probability of a true positive diagnostic was calculated. Among the protocols tested, the kit with modification was determined to be the most suitable for DNA extraction from cysts in PBS solution (92.6 % of DNA detection by PCR); DNAzol resulted in higher DNA detection frequency from bovine myocardium samples (48.1 %). Multiple sampling improved the molecular diagnosis of Sarcocystis spp. infection in cattle hearts, increasing at 22.2 % the rate of true positive diagnostic.

  7. Recent progress for the selective pharmaceutical analyses using molecularly imprinted adsorbents and their related techniques: A review.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Takuya; Otsuka, Koji

    2016-10-25

    A well-organized molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) provides the amazing selective molecular recognition ability, which have been close to natural enzymes and antibodies. One of the most efficient applications of MIPs is a selective separation and detection of pharmaceutical compounds in biological and/or environmental samples. MIP-based solid phase extraction now capacitates the selective concentration of the targeting compound from real samples. Also, many of the attractive methodological approaches and applications regarding the analysis of pharmaceutical samples using molecular imprinting technologies (MITs) have been reported in recent years. In this review, we summarize a part of the recent these works related to a new preparation concept of the adsorption adsorbents, sensitive sensor techniques, cell/bacteria separation, and drug delivery system. We believe that our concise summary will be of assistance to additional methodological MITs and highly selective separations/detections.

  8. Improved Fab presentation on phage surface with the use of molecular chaperone coplasmid system.

    PubMed

    Loh, Qiuting; Leong, Siew Wen; Tye, Gee Jun; Choong, Yee Siew; Lim, Theam Soon

    2015-05-15

    The low presentation efficiency of Fab (fragment antigen binding) fragments during phage display is largely due to the complexity of disulphide bond formation. This can result in the presentation of Fab fragments devoid of a light chain during phage display. Here we propose the use of a coplasmid system encoding several molecular chaperones (DsbA, DsbC, FkpA, and SurA) to improve Fab packaging. A comparison was done using the Fab fragment from IgG and IgD. We found that the use of the coplasmid during phage packaging was able to improve the presentation efficiency of the Fab fragment on phage surfaces. A modified version of panning using the coplasmid system was evaluated and was successful at enriching Fab binders. Therefore, the coplasmid system would be an attractive alternative for improved Fab presentation for phage display.

  9. A visibility improvement technique for fog images suitable for real-time application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyoda, Yoshitaka; Suzuki, Daisuke; Yamashita, Koichi; Ito, Takashi; Matoba, Narihiro; Kuno, Tetsuya; Sugiura, Hiroaki

    2013-02-01

    Cameras used in outdoor scenes require high visibility performance under various environmental conditions. We present a visibility improvement technique which can improve the visibility of images captured in bad weather such as fog and haze, and also applicable to real-time processing in surveillance cameras and vehicle cameras. Our algorithm enhances contrast pixel by pixel according to the brightness and sharpness of neighboring pixels. In order to reduce computational costs, we preliminarily specify the adaptive functions which determine contrast gain from brightness and sharpness of neighboring pixels. We optimize these functions using the sets of fog images and examine how well they can predict the fog-degraded area using both qualitative and quantitative assessment. We demonstrate that our method can prevent excessive correction to the area without fog to suppress noise amplification in sky or shadow region, while applying powerful correction to the fog-degraded area. In comparison with other real-time oriented methods, our method can reproduce clear-day visibility while preserving gradation in shadows and highlights and also preserving naturalness of the original image. Our algorithm with low computational costs can be compactly implemented on hardware and thus applicable to wide-range of video equipments for the purpose of visibility improvement in surveillance cameras, vehicle cameras, and displays.

  10. Auditory inspired machine learning techniques can improve speech intelligibility and quality for hearing-impaired listeners.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, Jessica J M; Goehring, Tobias; Yang, Xin; Bolner, Federico; Wang, Shangqiguo; Wright, Matthew C M; Bleeck, Stefan

    2017-03-01

    Machine-learning based approaches to speech enhancement have recently shown great promise for improving speech intelligibility for hearing-impaired listeners. Here, the performance of three machine-learning algorithms and one classical algorithm, Wiener filtering, was compared. Two algorithms based on neural networks were examined, one using a previously reported feature set and one using a feature set derived from an auditory model. The third machine-learning approach was a dictionary-based sparse-coding algorithm. Speech intelligibility and quality scores were obtained for participants with mild-to-moderate hearing impairments listening to sentences in speech-shaped noise and multi-talker babble following processing with the algorithms. Intelligibility and quality scores were significantly improved by each of the three machine-learning approaches, but not by the classical approach. The largest improvements for both speech intelligibility and quality were found by implementing a neural network using the feature set based on auditory modeling. Furthermore, neural network based techniques appeared more promising than dictionary-based, sparse coding in terms of performance and ease of implementation.

  11. Improving Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis with Electrochemical Detection Using a Bubble Cell and Sample Stacking Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Qian; Henry, Charles S.

    2010-01-01

    Two efforts to improve the sensitivity and limits of detection for MCE with electrochemical detection are presented here. One is the implementation of a capillary expansion (bubble cell) at the detection zone to increase the exposed working electrode surface area. Bubble cell widths were varied from 1× to 10× the separation channel width (50 μm) to investigate the effects of electrode surface area on detection sensitivity, LOD, and separation efficiency. Improved detection sensitivity and decreased detection limits were obtained with increased bubble cell width, and LODs of dopamine and catechol detected in a 5× bubble cell were 25 nM and 50 nM, respectively. Meanwhile, fluorescent imaging results demonstrated ~8% and ~12% loss in separation efficiency in 4× and 5× bubble cell, respectively. Another effort for reducing the LOD involves using field amplified sample injection (FASI) for gated injection and field amplified sample stacking (FASS) for hydrodynamic injection. Stacking effects are shown for both methods using amperometric detection and pulsed amperometric detection (PAD). The LODs of dopamine in a 4× bubble cell were 8 nM and 20 nM using FASI and FASS, respectively. However, improved LODs were not obtained for anionic analytes using either stacking technique. PMID:19802848

  12. Molecular modeling study of CP-690550 derivatives as JAK3 kinase inhibitors through combined 3D-QSAR, molecular docking, and dynamics simulation techniques.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing Li; Cheng, Li Ping; Wang, Tian Chi; Deng, Wei; Wu, Fan Hong

    2017-03-01

    To develop more potent JAK3 kinase inhibitors, a series of CP-690550 derivatives were investigated using combined molecular modeling techniques, such as 3D-QSAR, molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD). The leave-one-out correlation (q(2)) and non-cross-validated correlation coefficient (r(2)) of the best CoMFA model are 0.715 and 0.992, respectively. The q(2) and r(2) values of the best CoMSIA model are 0.739 and 0.995, respectively. The steric, electrostatic, and hydrophobic fields played important roles in determining the inhibitory activity of CP-690550 derivatives. Some new JAK3 kinase inhibitors were designed. Some of them have better inhibitory activity than the most potent Tofacitinib (CP-690550). Molecular docking was used to identify some key amino acid residues at the active site of JAK3 protein. 10ns MD simulations were successfully performed to confirm the detailed binding mode and validate the rationality of docking results. The calculation of the binding free energies by MMPBSA method gives a good correlation with the predicted biological activity. To our knowledge, this is the first report on MD simulations and free energy calculations for this series of compounds. The combination results of this study will be valuable for the development of potent and novel JAK3 kinase inhibitors.

  13. A Partnership Training Program in Breast Cancer Research Using Molecular Imaging Techniques

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-07-01

    and in many cases, quantitatively at the molecular level (1-4). Molecular imaging is a growing research discipline aimed at developing and testing...alterations of disease, the effects of therapy may be monitored shortly after therapy has been initiated in contrast to the many months often required today...In vivo use of the physiological serum protein Tf is less likely to cause adverse reactions. Indeed, Tf has been successfully used in targeted gene

  14. Specificity of SNP detection with molecular beacons is improved by stem and loop separation with spacers.

    PubMed

    Farzan, Valentina M; Markelov, Mikhail L; Skoblov, Alexander Yu; Shipulin, German A; Zatsepin, Timofei S

    2017-03-13

    Molecular beacons (MBs) are valuable tools in molecular biology, clinical diagnostics and analytical chemistry. Here we describe a novel approach for the design of MBs with nucleotide or non-nucleotide linkers between the stem and loop regions. Such modified MBs have significantly improved specificity and performance for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection. These advantages are especially distinct, when compared to the classic MBs, in the case of possible interactions between the stem and loop regions. We demonstrated the applicability of such modified MBs for the discrimination of common Factor V, NOS3 and ADRB2 SNPs in model plasmids and in clinical samples. The developed approach could be applicable not only to fluorescently labeled MBs, but also to other biosensors based on nucleic acids with stem-loop structures.

  15. Improving the efficiency of molecular replacement by utilizing a new iterative transform phasing algorithm

    SciTech Connect

    He, Hongxing; Fang, Hengrui; Miller, Mitchell D.; Phillips, George N. Jr; Su, Wu-Pei

    2016-07-15

    An iterative transform algorithm is proposed to improve the conventional molecular-replacement method for solving the phase problem in X-ray crystallography. Several examples of successful trial calculations carried out with real diffraction data are presented. An iterative transform method proposed previously for direct phasing of high-solvent-content protein crystals is employed for enhancing the molecular-replacement (MR) algorithm in protein crystallography. Target structures that are resistant to conventional MR due to insufficient similarity between the template and target structures might be tractable with this modified phasing method. Trial calculations involving three different structures are described to test and illustrate the methodology. The relationship of the approach to PHENIX Phaser-MR and MR-Rosetta is discussed.

  16. Recent research in flaxseed (oil seed) on molecular structure and metabolic characteristics of protein, heat processing-induced effect and nutrition with advanced synchrotron-based molecular techniques.

    PubMed

    Doiron, Kevin J; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-01-02

    Advanced synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy is able to reveal feed and food structure feature at cellular and molecular levels and simultaneously provides composition, structure, environment, and chemistry within intact tissue. However, to date, this advanced synchrotron-based technique is still seldom known to food and feed scientists. This article aims to provide detailed background for flaxseed (oil seed) protein research and then review recent progress and development in flaxseed research in ruminant nutrition in the areas of (1) dietary inclusion of flaxseed in rations; (2) heat processing effect; (3) assessing dietary protein; (4) synchrotron-based Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy as a tool of nutritive evaluation within cellular and subcellular dimensions; (5) recent synchrotron applications in flaxseed research on a molecular basis. The information described in this paper gives better insight in flaxseed research progress and update.

  17. Molecular techniques for detecting and typing of bacteria, advantages and application to foodborne pathogens isolated from ducks.

    PubMed

    Adzitey, Frederick; Huda, Nurul; Ali, Gulam Rusul Rahmat

    2013-04-01

    In recent times, several foodborne pathogens have become important and a threat to public health. Surveillance studies have provided data and a better understanding into the existence and spread of foodborne pathogens. The application of molecular techniques for detecting and typing of foodborne pathogens in surveillance studies provide reliable epidemiological data for tracing the source of human infections. A wide range of molecular techniques (including pulsed field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, random amplified polymorphism deoxyribonucleic acid, repetitive extragenic palindromic, deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing, multiplex polymerase chain reaction and many more) have been used for detecting, speciating, typing, classifying and/or characterizing foodborne pathogens of great significance to humans. Farm animals including chickens, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, and others (such as domestic and wild animals) have been reported to be primary reservoirs for foodborne pathogens. The consumption of contaminated poultry meats or products has been considered to be the leading source of human foodborne infections. Ducks like other farm animals are important source of foodborne pathogens and have been implicated in some human foodborne illnesses and deaths. Nonetheless, few studies have been conducted to explore the potential of ducks in causing foodborne outbreaks, diseases and its consequences. This review highlights some common molecular techniques, their advantages and those that have been applied to pathogens isolated from ducks and their related sources.

  18. Path integral molecular dynamics within the grand canonical-like adaptive resolution technique: Simulation of liquid water

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, Animesh Delle Site, Luigi

    2015-09-07

    Quantum effects due to the spatial delocalization of light atoms are treated in molecular simulation via the path integral technique. Among several methods, Path Integral (PI) Molecular Dynamics (MD) is nowadays a powerful tool to investigate properties induced by spatial delocalization of atoms; however, computationally this technique is very demanding. The above mentioned limitation implies the restriction of PIMD applications to relatively small systems and short time scales. One of the possible solutions to overcome size and time limitation is to introduce PIMD algorithms into the Adaptive Resolution Simulation Scheme (AdResS). AdResS requires a relatively small region treated at path integral level and embeds it into a large molecular reservoir consisting of generic spherical coarse grained molecules. It was previously shown that the realization of the idea above, at a simple level, produced reasonable results for toy systems or simple/test systems like liquid parahydrogen. Encouraged by previous results, in this paper, we show the simulation of liquid water at room conditions where AdResS, in its latest and more accurate Grand-Canonical-like version (GC-AdResS), is merged with two of the most relevant PIMD techniques available in the literature. The comparison of our results with those reported in the literature and/or with those obtained from full PIMD simulations shows a highly satisfactory agreement.

  19. Path integral molecular dynamics within the grand canonical-like adaptive resolution technique: Simulation of liquid water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agarwal, Animesh; Delle Site, Luigi

    2015-09-01

    Quantum effects due to the spatial delocalization of light atoms are treated in molecular simulation via the path integral technique. Among several methods, Path Integral (PI) Molecular Dynamics (MD) is nowadays a powerful tool to investigate properties induced by spatial delocalization of atoms; however, computationally this technique is very demanding. The above mentioned limitation implies the restriction of PIMD applications to relatively small systems and short time scales. One of the possible solutions to overcome size and time limitation is to introduce PIMD algorithms into the Adaptive Resolution Simulation Scheme (AdResS). AdResS requires a relatively small region treated at path integral level and embeds it into a large molecular reservoir consisting of generic spherical coarse grained molecules. It was previously shown that the realization of the idea above, at a simple level, produced reasonable results for toy systems or simple/test systems like liquid parahydrogen. Encouraged by previous results, in this paper, we show the simulation of liquid water at room conditions where AdResS, in its latest and more accurate Grand-Canonical-like version (GC-AdResS), is merged with two of the most relevant PIMD techniques available in the literature. The comparison of our results with those reported in the literature and/or with those obtained from full PIMD simulations shows a highly satisfactory agreement.

  20. Educational interventions to improve inhaler techniques and their impact on asthma and COPD control: a pilot effectiveness-implementation trial

    PubMed Central

    Maricoto, Tiago; Madanelo, Sofia; Rodrigues, Luís; Teixeira, Gilberto; Valente, Carla; Andrade, Lília; Saraiva, Alcina

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT To assess the impact that educational interventions to improve inhaler techniques have on the clinical and functional control of asthma and COPD, we evaluated 44 participants before and after such an intervention. There was a significant decrease in the number of errors, and 20 patients (46%) significantly improved their technique regarding prior exhalation and breath hold. In the asthma group, there were significant improvements in the mean FEV1, FVC, and PEF (of 6.4%, 8.6%, and 8.3% respectively). Those improvements were accompanied by improvements in Control of Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma Test scores but not in Asthma Control Test scores. In the COPD group, there were no significant variations. In asthma patients, educational interventions appear to improve inhaler technique, clinical control, and functional control. PMID:28117475

  1. Modulating Molecular Chaperones Improves Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Decreases the Inflammatory Transcriptome in Diabetic Sensory Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jiacheng; Pan, Pan; Anyika, Mercy; Blagg, Brian S. J.; Dobrowsky, Rick T.

    2015-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that modulating molecular chaperones with KU-32, a novobiocin derivative, ameliorates physiologic and bioenergetic deficits of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Replacing the coumarin core of KU-32 with a meta-fluorinated biphenyl ring system created KU-596, a novobiocin analogue (novologue) that showed neuroprotective activity in a cell-based assay. The current study sought to determine whether KU-596 offers similar therapeutic potential for treating DPN. Administration of 2–20 mg/kg of KU-596 improved diabetes induced hypoalgesia and sensory neuron bioenergetic deficits in a dose-dependent manner. However, the drug could not improve these neuropathic deficits in diabetic heat shock protein 70 knockout (Hsp70 KO) mice. To gain further insight into the mechanisms by which KU-596 improved DPN, we performed transcriptomic analysis of sensory neuron RNA obtained from diabetic wild-type and Hsp70 KO mice using RNA sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the differentially expressed genes indicated that diabetes strongly increased inflammatory pathways and that KU-596 therapy effectively reversed these increases independent of Hsp70. In contrast, the effects of KU-596 on decreasing the expression of genes regulating the production of reactive oxygen species were more Hsp70-dependent. These data indicate that modulation of molecular chaperones by novologue therapy offers an effective approach toward correcting nerve dysfunction in DPN but that normalization of inflammatory pathways alone by novologue therapy seems to be insufficient to reverse sensory deficits associated with insensate DPN. PMID:26161583

  2. Use of system identification techniques for improving airframe finite element models using test data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanagud, Sathya V.; Zhou, Weiyu; Craig, James I.; Weston, Neil J.

    1991-01-01

    A method for using system identification techniques to improve airframe finite element models was developed and demonstrated. The method uses linear sensitivity matrices to relate changes in selected physical parameters to changes in total system matrices. The values for these physical parameters were determined using constrained optimization with singular value decomposition. The method was confirmed using both simple and complex finite element models for which pseudo-experimental data was synthesized directly from the finite element model. The method was then applied to a real airframe model which incorporated all the complexities and details of a large finite element model and for which extensive test data was available. The method was shown to work, and the differences between the identified model and the measured results were considered satisfactory.

  3. Improved lead recovery and sulphate removal from used lead acid battery through electrokinetic technique.

    PubMed

    Soundarrajan, C; Sivasankar, A; Maruthamuthu, S; Veluchamy, A

    2012-05-30

    This paper presents improvement in lead (Pb) recovery and sulphate removal from used Pb acid battery (ULAB) through Electrokinetic technique, a process aimed to eliminate environmental pollution that arises due to emission of gases and metal particles from the existing high temperature pyrometallurgical process. Two different cell configurations, (1) one with Nafion membrane placed between anode and middle compartments and Agar membrane between cathode and middle compartments and (2) another with only Agar membrane placed between both sides of the middle compartments were designed for the Pb and sulphate separation from ULAB. This paper concludes that the cell with only Agar membranes performed better than the cell with Nafion and Agar membranes in combinations and also explains the mechanism underlying the chemical and electrochemical processes in the cell.

  4. Modified technique to improve fabrication and outcome of definitive orbital prosthesis.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Himanshi; Kumar, Pradeep; Singh, Saumyendra V

    2016-01-01

    Facial prostheses are generally fabricated from silicones, which provide life-like appearance and flexibility. The longevity of silicone, however, is limited because of its tendency to support fungal growth, absorb oils and grease, and edge-tearing susceptibility. Polyurethane (PU) liners have been used on the tissue-bearing surface of such prosthesis to improve tear resistance and fungal resistance. Technique sensitivity, discoloration and metamerism are significant limitations of urethane lining. Further, this liner is incorporated during processing of definitive prosthesis, which precludes try-in of tissue surface of prosthesis. This article describes an alternative lining material for fitting surface of definitive orbital prostheses, which could overcome limitations associated with all silicone or PU lined silicone prostheses.

  5. Use of system identification techniques for improving airframe finite element models using test data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanagud, Sathya V.; Zhou, Weiyu; Craig, James I.; Weston, Neil J.

    1993-01-01

    A method for using system identification techniques to improve airframe finite element models using test data was developed and demonstrated. The method uses linear sensitivity matrices to relate changes in selected physical parameters to changes in the total system matrices. The values for these physical parameters were determined using constrained optimization with singular value decomposition. The method was confirmed using both simple and complex finite element models for which pseudo-experimental data was synthesized directly from the finite element model. The method was then applied to a real airframe model which incorporated all of the complexities and details of a large finite element model and for which extensive test data was available. The method was shown to work, and the differences between the identified model and the measured results were considered satisfactory.

  6. Thomas-Fermi Quark Model and Techniques to Improve Lattice QCD Calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Quan

    Two topics are discussed separately in this thesis. In the first part a semiclassical quark model, called the Thomas-Fermi quark model, is reviewed. After a modified approach to spin in the model is introduced, I present the calculation of the spectra of octet and decuplet baryons. The six-quark doubly strange H-dibaryon state is also investigated. In the second part, two numerical techniques which improve latice QCD calculations are covered. The first one, which we call Polynomial-Preconditioned GMRES-DR(PP-GMRESDR), is used to speed up the calculation of large systems of linear equations in LQCD. The second one, called the Polynomial-Subtraction method, is used to help reduce the noise variance of the calculations for disconnected loops in LQCD.

  7. Electrical noise reduction techniques contributing to improved data quality at the National Transonic Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcphee, J. R.

    1988-01-01

    In initial use, the high-speed digital data acquisition systems at Langley Research Center's National Transonic Facility produced data containing unacceptably high noise levels. Described is a process whereby the contributing noise sources were identified and eliminated. The effects of 60 Hz power, system grounding, EMI/RFI, and other problems are discussed and the corrective action taken is outlined. The overall effort resulted in an improvement of greater than 5:1 in system performance. Although the report describes a system specifically used for wind tunnel data acquisition, the corrective techniques employed are generally applicable to large scale high-speed data systems where signal resolution in the low microvolts range is important.

  8. Electrical noise reduction techniques contributing to improved data quality at the National Transonic Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhee, J. R.

    1988-11-01

    In initial use, the high-speed digital data acquisition systems at Langley Research Center's National Transonic Facility produced data containing unacceptably high noise levels. Described is a process whereby the contributing noise sources were identified and eliminated. The effects of 60 Hz power, system grounding, EMI/RFI, and other problems are discussed and the corrective action taken is outlined. The overall effort resulted in an improvement of greater than 5:1 in system performance. Although the report describes a system specifically used for wind tunnel data acquisition, the corrective techniques employed are generally applicable to large scale high-speed data systems where signal resolution in the low microvolts range is important.

  9. Improved cost-benefit techniques in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    SciTech Connect

    Cronin, F.J.; Nesse, R.J.; Vaeth, M.; Wusterbarth, A.R.; Currie, J.W.

    1983-06-01

    The major objective of this report is to help the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in its regulatory mission, particularly with respect to improving the use of cost-benefit analysis and the economic evaluation of resources within the NRC. The objectives of this effort are: (1) to identify current and future NRC requirements (e.g., licensing) for valuing nonmarket goods; (2) to identify, highlight, and present the relevant efforts of selected federal agencies, some with over two decades of experience in valuing nonmarket goods, in this area; and (3) to review methods for valuing nonmarket impacts and to provide estimats of their magnitudes. Recently proposed legislation may result in a requirement for not only more sophisticated valuation analyses, but more extensive applications of these techniques to issues of concern to the NRC. This paper is intended to provide the NRC with information to more efficiently meet such requirements.

  10. IESIP - AN IMPROVED EXPLORATORY SEARCH TECHNIQUE FOR PURE INTEGER LINEAR PROGRAMMING PROBLEMS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fogle, F. R.

    1994-01-01

    IESIP, an Improved Exploratory Search Technique for Pure Integer Linear Programming Problems, addresses the problem of optimizing an objective function of one or more variables subject to a set of confining functions or constraints by a method called discrete optimization or integer programming. Integer programming is based on a specific form of the general linear programming problem in which all variables in the objective function and all variables in the constraints are integers. While more difficult, integer programming is required for accuracy when modeling systems with small numbers of components such as the distribution of goods, machine scheduling, and production scheduling. IESIP establishes a new methodology for solving pure integer programming problems by utilizing a modified version of the univariate exploratory move developed by Robert Hooke and T.A. Jeeves. IESIP also takes some of its technique from the greedy procedure and the idea of unit neighborhoods. A rounding scheme uses the continuous solution found by traditional methods (simplex or other suitable technique) and creates a feasible integer starting point. The Hook and Jeeves exploratory search is modified to accommodate integers and constraints and is then employed to determine an optimal integer solution from the feasible starting solution. The user-friendly IESIP allows for rapid solution of problems up to 10 variables in size (limited by DOS allocation). Sample problems compare IESIP solutions with the traditional branch-and-bound approach. IESIP is written in Borland's TURBO Pascal for IBM PC series computers and compatibles running DOS. Source code and an executable are provided. The main memory requirement for execution is 25K. This program is available on a 5.25 inch 360K MS DOS format diskette. IESIP was developed in 1990. IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines. TURBO Pascal is registered by Borland International.

  11. The need for improved brain lesion segmentation techniques for children with cerebral palsy: A review.

    PubMed

    Pagnozzi, Alex M; Gal, Yaniv; Boyd, Roslyn N; Fiori, Simona; Fripp, Jurgen; Rose, Stephen; Dowson, Nicholas

    2015-12-01

    Cerebral palsy (CP) describes a group of permanent disorders of posture and movement caused by disturbances in the developing brain. Accurate diagnosis and prognosis, in terms of motor type and severity, is difficult to obtain due to the heterogeneous appearance of brain injury and large anatomical distortions commonly observed in children with CP. There is a need to optimise treatment strategies for individual patients in order to lead to lifelong improvements in function and capabilities. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is critical to non-invasively visualizing brain lesions, and is currently used to assist the diagnosis and qualitative classification in CP patients. Although such qualitative approaches under-utilise available data, the quantification of MRIs is not automated and therefore not widely performed in clinical assessment. Automated brain lesion segmentation techniques are necessary to provide valid and reproducible quantifications of injury. Such techniques have been used to study other neurological disorders, however the technical challenges unique to CP mean that existing algorithms require modification to be sufficiently reliable, and therefore have not been widely applied to MRIs of children with CP. In this paper, we present a review of a subset of available brain injury segmentation approaches that could be applied to CP, including the detection of cortical malformations, white and grey matter lesions and ventricular enlargement. Following a discussion of strengths and weaknesses, we suggest areas of future research in applying segmentation techniques to the MRI of children with CP. Specifically, we identify atlas-based priors to be ineffective in regions of substantial malformations, instead propose relying on adaptive, spatially consistent algorithms, with fast initialisation mechanisms to provide additional robustness to injury. We also identify several cortical shape parameters that could be used to identify cortical injury, and shape

  12. Application of an improved cDNA competition technique to identify prostate cancer-associated gene.

    PubMed

    Rinaldy, A R; Steiner, M S

    1999-11-01

    A technique to improve cDNA library screening was developed by using mixed probes derived from two closely related cDNA populations of high-metastatic MAT-LyLu and low-metastatic AT-1 Dunning R3227 rat prostate cancer sublines. The technique required the generation of a cDNA library from each subline followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the cDNA insert population. The PCR products derived from the first library were radiolabeled and mixed with an excess amount of PCR products from the second library. The mixture and an excess amount of both the lambda and pBluescript DNA were used as a probe to screen the first cDNA library. This mixed probe (designated the competition probe) differentially cross-hybridized with the plaque lift of the screened first cDNA library. Weak radioactive signals indicated the cross-hybridization of cDNA sequences common to the competition probe mixture and the first cDNA library, whereas strong signals implied unhybridized unique or abundant cDNA sequences in the first cDNA library. The reproducibility of this technique was confirmed by showing that the full-length cDNA clones were associated with the phenotype of the screened first cell line. The isolated clones were characterized as rat nucleolar protein, rat mitochondrial genes coding for 16S and 12S rRNAs, and rat tRNAs specific for valine and phenyl-alanine. This result is consistent with the fact that the first cell line, MAT-LyLu, is metabolically more active than are AT-1 cells because of higher gene dosage or amplification of nucleolar and mitochondrial RNA and its associated genes. Another clone which had a strong signal represented a novel gene associated with the MAT-LyLu cancer phenotype.

  13. An improved exploratory search technique for pure integer linear programming problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fogle, F. R.

    1990-01-01

    The development is documented of a heuristic method for the solution of pure integer linear programming problems. The procedure draws its methodology from the ideas of Hooke and Jeeves type 1 and 2 exploratory searches, greedy procedures, and neighborhood searches. It uses an efficient rounding method to obtain its first feasible integer point from the optimal continuous solution obtained via the simplex method. Since this method is based entirely on simple addition or subtraction of one to each variable of a point in n-space and the subsequent comparison of candidate solutions to a given set of constraints, it facilitates significant complexity improvements over existing techniques. It also obtains the same optimal solution found by the branch-and-bound technique in 44 of 45 small to moderate size test problems. Two example problems are worked in detail to show the inner workings of the method. Furthermore, using an established weighted scheme for comparing computational effort involved in an algorithm, a comparison of this algorithm is made to the more established and rigorous branch-and-bound method. A computer implementation of the procedure, in PC compatible Pascal, is also presented and discussed.

  14. An improved phase shift reconstruction algorithm of fringe scanning technique for X-ray microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Lian, S.; Yang, H.; Kudo, H.; Momose, A.; Yashiro, W.

    2015-02-15

    The X-ray phase imaging method has been applied to observe soft biological tissues, and it is possible to image the soft tissues by using the benefit of the so-called “Talbot effect” by an X-ray grating. One type of the X-ray phase imaging method was reported by combining an X-ray imaging microscope equipped by a Fresnel zone plate with a phase grating. Using the fringe scanning technique, a high-precision phase shift image could be obtained by displacing the grating step by step and measuring dozens of sample images. The number of the images was selected to reduce the error caused by the non-sinusoidal component of the Talbot self-image at the imaging plane. A larger number suppressed the error more but increased radiation exposure and required higher mechanical stability of equipment. In this paper, we analyze the approximation error of fringe scanning technique for the X-ray microscopy which uses just one grating and proposes an improved algorithm. We compute the approximation error by iteration and substitute that into the process of reconstruction of phase shift. This procedure will suppress the error even with few sample images. The results of simulation experiments show that the precision of phase shift image reconstructed by the proposed algorithm with 4 sample images is almost the same as that reconstructed by the conventional algorithm with 40 sample images. We also have succeeded in the experiment with real data.

  15. An improved technique for gaining radial artery access in endovascular interventions.

    PubMed

    Rigatelli, Gianluca; Magro, Beatrice; Maronati, Lorenza; Tranquillo, Milan; Oliva, Laura; Panin, Stefano; Bedendo, Emiliano

    2006-01-01

    We present a simple technique to avoid time loss and potential dangerous maneuvers for catheterization of the radial artery in endovascular interventions. If any difficulties are encountered when advancing the guide wire after the arterial puncture using standard transradial kits, we found it useful to routinely use a 60-mm polyethylene radial pressure line catheter like the Leader Cath (Vygon, Ecquen, France), which is more flexible and less traumatic than short catheters and are usually available in the standard hydrophilic transradial kit. With the 20-gauge needle within the arterial lumen, it is sufficient to advance the guide wire 3 or 4 cm, followed by the insertion of the radial pressure line catheter for administering a vasodilator cocktail. The contrast injection through the catheter is safer than through the needle, and visualization of the underling problems may avoid any time loss and complications. The standard sheath insertion is facilitated by the pressure line catheter that acts as a dilator. This technique, especially when performing coronary or peripheral interventions in which large introducers are needed, may avoid potentially dangerous vascular complications and improve the success rate.

  16. Designs and Techniques That Improve the Pullout Strength of Pedicle Screws in Osteoporotic Vertebrae: Current Status

    PubMed Central

    Shea, Thomas M.; Laun, Jake; Gonzalez-Blohm, Sabrina A.; Doulgeris, James J.; Lee, William E.; Vrionis, Frank D.

    2014-01-01

    Osteoporosis is a medical condition affecting men and women of different age groups and populations. The compromised bone quality caused by this disease represents an important challenge when a surgical procedure (e.g., spinal fusion) is needed after failure of conservative treatments. Different pedicle screw designs and instrumentation techniques have been explored to enhance spinal device fixation in bone of compromised quality. These include alterations of screw thread design, optimization of pilot hole size for non-self-tapping screws, modification of the implant's trajectory, and bone cement augmentation. While the true benefits and limitations of any procedure may not be realized until they are observed in a clinical setting, axial pullout tests, due in large part to their reproducibility and ease of execution, are commonly used to estimate the device's effectiveness by quantifying the change in force required to remove the screw from the body. The objective of this investigation is to provide an overview of the different pedicle screw designs and the associated surgical techniques either currently utilized or proposed to improve pullout strength in osteoporotic patients. Mechanical comparisons as well as potential advantages and disadvantages of each consideration are provided herein. PMID:24724097

  17. Improved light olefin yield from methyl bromide coupling over modified SAPO-34 molecular sieves.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Aihua; Sun, Shouli; Komon, Zachary J A; Osterwalder, Neil; Gadewar, Sagar; Stoimenov, Peter; Auerbach, Daniel J; Stucky, Galen D; McFarland, Eric W

    2011-02-21

    As an alternative to the partial oxidation of methane to synthesis gas followed by methanol synthesis and the subsequent generation of olefins, we have studied the production of light olefins (ethylene and propylene) from the reaction of methyl bromide over various modified microporous silico-aluminophosphate molecular-sieve catalysts with an emphasis on SAPO-34. Some comparisons of methyl halides and methanol as reaction intermediates in their conversion to olefins are presented. Increasing the ratio of Si/Al and incorporation of Co into the catalyst framework improved the methyl bromide yield of light olefins over that obtained using standard SAPO-34.

  18. Improving the convergence of closed and open path integral molecular dynamics via higher order Trotter factorization schemes.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Alejandro; Tuckerman, Mark E

    2011-08-14

    Higher order factorization schemes are developed for path integral molecular dynamics in order to improve the convergence of estimators for physical observables as a function of the Trotter number. The methods are based on the Takahashi-Imada and Susuki decompositions of the Boltzmann operator. The methods introduced improve the averages of the estimators by using the classical forces needed to carry out the dynamics to construct a posteriori weighting factors for standard path integral molecular dynamics. The new approaches are straightforward to implement in existing path integral codes and carry no significant overhead. The Suzuki higher order factorization was also used to improve the end-to-end distance estimator in open path integral molecular dynamics. The new schemes are tested in various model systems, including an ab initio path integral molecular dynamics calculation on the hydrogen molecule and a quantum water model. The proposed algorithms have potential utility for reducing the cost of path integral molecular dynamics calculations of bulk systems.

  19. Improving the convergence of closed and open path integral molecular dynamics via higher order Trotter factorization schemes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez, Alejandro; Tuckerman, Mark E.

    2011-08-01

    Higher order factorization schemes are developed for path integral molecular dynamics in order to improve the convergence of estimators for physical observables as a function of the Trotter number. The methods are based on the Takahashi-Imada and Susuki decompositions of the Boltzmann operator. The methods introduced improve the averages of the estimators by using the classical forces needed to carry out the dynamics to construct a posteriori weighting factors for standard path integral molecular dynamics. The new approaches are straightforward to implement in existing path integral codes and carry no significant overhead. The Suzuki higher order factorization was also used to improve the end-to-end distance estimator in open path integral molecular dynamics. The new schemes are tested in various model systems, including an ab initio path integral molecular dynamics calculation on the hydrogen molecule and a quantum water model. The proposed algorithms have potential utility for reducing the cost of path integral molecular dynamics calculations of bulk systems.

  20. A New Screening Methodology for Improved Oil Recovery Processes Using Soft-Computing Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parada, Claudia; Ertekin, Turgay

    2010-05-01

    The first stage of production of any oil reservoir involves oil displacement by natural drive mechanisms such as solution gas drive, gas cap drive and gravity drainage. Typically, improved oil recovery (IOR) methods are applied to oil reservoirs that have been depleted naturally. In more recent years, IOR techniques are applied to reservoirs even before their natural energy drive is exhausted by primary depletion. Descriptive screening criteria for IOR methods are used to select the appropriate recovery technique according to the fluid and rock properties. This methodology helps in assessing the most suitable recovery process for field deployment of a candidate reservoir. However, the already published screening guidelines neither provide information about the expected reservoir performance nor suggest a set of project design parameters, which can be used towards the optimization of the process. In this study, artificial neural networks (ANN) are used to build a high-performance neuro-simulation tool for screening different improved oil recovery techniques: miscible injection (CO2 and N2), waterflooding and steam injection processes. The simulation tool consists of proxy models that implement a multilayer cascade feedforward back propagation network algorithm. The tool is intended to narrow the ranges of possible scenarios to be modeled using conventional simulation, reducing the extensive time and energy spent in dynamic reservoir modeling. A commercial reservoir simulator is used to generate the data to train and validate the artificial neural networks. The proxy models are built considering four different well patterns with different well operating conditions as the field design parameters. Different expert systems are developed for each well pattern. The screening networks predict oil production rate and cumulative oil production profiles for a given set of rock and fluid properties, and design parameters. The results of this study show that the networks are

  1. Testing the Cambrian explosion hypothesis by using a molecular dating technique.

    PubMed

    Bromham, L; Rambaut, A; Fortey, R; Cooper, A; Penny, D

    1998-10-13

    Molecular studies have the potential to shed light on the origin of the animal phyla by providing independent estimates of the divergence times, but have been criticized for failing to account adequately for variation in rate of evolution. A method of dating divergence times from molecular data addresses the criticisms of earlier studies and provides more realistic, but wider, confidence intervals. The data are not compatible with the Cambrian explosion hypothesis as an explanation for the origin of metazoan phyla, and provide additional support for an extended period of Precambrian metazoan diversification.

  2. Improvement of three-dimensional microstructure contour accuracy using maskless lithography technique based on DMD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shengzhou; Li, Mujun; Shen, Lianguan; Qiu, Jinfeng; Zhou, Youquan

    2016-10-01

    A novel method is proposed to improve contour accuracy of three-dimensional (3D) microstructure in real-time maskless lithography technique based on a digital micro-mirror device (DMD). In this paper, firstly according to the study of theory and experiment on exposure doses and exposure thickness relation, the spatial distribution of the photo-resist exposure doses was derived, which could predict the resulting 3D contour. Secondly, an equal-arc slicing strategy was adopted, in which arc lengths between adjacent slicing point are kept constant while layer heights become variant. And an equal-arc-mean slicing strategy that takes the average of adjacent layers height was also proposed to further optimize the quality of contour and reduce the contour error on the basis of the equal-arc slicing. Finally, to estimate the validity of the method and as a study case, aspheric micro-lens array were fabricated with proposed method in experiments. Our results showed that the proposed method is feasible for improving and enhancing the 3D microstructure contour accuracy and smoothness.

  3. Improvement of determination technique for extracting centerline in coronary artery with calcification on CTA.

    PubMed

    Ikai, Akihiro; Lee, Yongbum; Tsai, Du-Yih; Yamamoto, Isao; Matsumoto, Kazunori; Kimura, Motomasa

    2009-09-20

    The present study proposes a method for improving an existing technique used for extracting the centerlines of coronary arteries with calcifications on CTA. Through the use of the improved centerline extraction method, CPR images could be depicted accurately. In the proposed method, two dynamic range compression algorithms using two ITC for blood vessel regions and calcification regions were employed. Two dynamic range compressed CTA images obtained from the two ITC were then subtracted. After that, automatic tracing to determine the centerline for creating CPR images was performed using 3D image processing equipment. The usefulness of our proposed method was confirmed by using simulated CTA of the coronary artery with calcification. We also applied the proposed method to CTA images of 39 branches in 18 cases, and to 48 segments. Our experimental results showed that automatic tracing software pre-installed in the workstation could accurately determine the centerline of the coronary artery without being affected by the existence of calcification. Furthermore, an experienced radiological technologist evaluated the CPR images obtained by the proposed method. The results showed that most created CPR images could be used as diagnostic images after a minor revision performed manually.

  4. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Kishigami, Satoshi . E-mail: kishigami@cdb.riken.jp; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2006-02-03

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques.

  5. Thermal Processing Techniques to Improve Metal Sulfide Mixed Alcohol Catalyst Performance

    SciTech Connect

    Hensley, J.; Menart, M.; Costelow, K.; Thibodeaux, J.; Yung, M.

    2011-01-01

    Research over several decades by several institutions has shown that alkali-promoted metal sulfide catalysts are capable of producing mixed alcohols from syngas with high selectivity and yield. Unfortunately, process models suggest that syngas to mixed alcohol processes, and especially thermochemical biomass to mixed alcohol processes, require improvements to sulfide catalyst activity and/or selectivity for acceptable economics. These improvements, if incremental, cannot result in increased process complexity, capital expenditure, or catalyst costs. It is well accepted among catalyst researchers that thermal processing techniques like calcining and reduction can have profound effects on the properties and performance of finished catalysts, and that small variations in thermal processing do not usually affect the overall cost of the catalyst. Metal sulfide catalysts are no exception but surprisingly, little attention has been given to the effects of thermal treatment on bulk metal sulfide mixed alcohol catalysts. This presentation will discuss how parameters like temperature, dwell time, metal ratios, and purge gas affect the performance and physical properties of K-Co/Mo catalysts.

  6. Analysis of improved neutron activation technique using thick foils for application on medical LINAC environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagena, E.; Stoulos, S.; Manolopoulou, M.

    2016-01-01

    An improved neutron activation technique is analyzed that can be used for the characterization of the neutron field in low neutron flux environments, such as medical Linacs. Due to the much lower neutron fluence rates, thick materials instead of thin have been used. The study is focused on the calculations of basic components of the neutron activation analysis that are required for accurate results, such as the efficiency of the gamma detector used for γ-spectrometry as well as crucial correction factors that are required when dealing with thick samples in different geometries and forms. A Monte Carlo detector model, implemented by Geant4 MC Code was adjusted in accordance to results from various measurements performed. Moreover, regarding to estimate the self-shielding correction factors a new approach using both Monte Carlo and analytical approach was presented. This improvement gives more accurate results, which are important for both activation and shielding studies that take place in many facilities. A quite good agreement between the neutron fluxes is achieved; according to the data obtained a mean value of (2.13±0.34)×105 ncm-2 s-1 is representative for the isocenter of the specific Linac that corresponds to fluence of (5.53±0.94)×106 ncm-2 Gy-1. Comparable fluencies reported in the literature for similar Linacs operating with photon beams at 15 MeV.

  7. Dramatic improvement in dissolution rate of albendazole by a simple, one-step, industrially scalable technique

    PubMed Central

    Ghanbarzadeh, Saeed; Khalili, Aram; Jouyban, Abolghasem; Emami, Shahram; Javadzadeh, Yousef; Solhi, Mohammad; Hamishehkar, Hamed

    2016-01-01

    Low solubility and dissolution rate are the primary challenges in the drug development which substantially impact the oral absorption and bioavailability of drugs. Due to the poor water solubility, Albendazole (ABZ) is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and shows low oral bioavailability (5%) which is a major disadvantage for the systemic use of ABZ. To improve the solubility and dissolution rate of ABZ, different classes of hydrophilic excipients such as sugars (lactose, sucrose, and glucose), polyols (mannitol and sorbitol), ionic surfactant (sodium lauryl sulfate) and non-ionic surfactant (Cremophor A25) were co-spray dried with ABZ. The crystallinity changes in the processed drug were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry and X-Ray diffraction methods were used to interpret the enhanced solubility and dissolution rate of the drug. Results showed that the solubility and dissolution rate of ABZ were increased 1.8-2.6 folds and 3-25 folds, respectively. Unexpectedly, SLS decreased the solubility index of drug powder even lower than the unprocessed drug which was attributed to drug-SLS ionic interaction as depicted from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. It was concluded that by applying the facile, one-step, industrially scalable technique and the use of small amounts of excipient (only 4% of the formulation), a great improvement (21 folds) in dissolution rate of ABZ was achieved. This finding may be used in the pharmaceutical industries for the formulation of therapeutically efficient dosage forms of class II and IV drugs classified in biopharmaceutical classification system. PMID:28003836

  8. Improved understanding and control of magnesium-doped gallium nitride by plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Shawn D.

    By an improved understanding of Mg-doped GaN through an exhaustive review of current limitations, increased control over the material was achieved by addressing several of these issues. To address the issues of the memory effect, low sticking coefficient and high vapor pressure of Mg, a new Mg dopant source was implemented, characterized and modeled for p-type doping of GaN. The device enhanced the sticking coefficient of Mg by energizing the outgoing Mg flux, and also allowed the first reported demonstration of an abrupt junction between two non-zero Mg concentrations and a graded Mg-doped GaN film. The significant compensation of Mg acceptors at high dopant concentrations was used advantageously to develop a new ex situ resistivity analysis technique using the energy distributions of SIMS to characterize doping of buried layers. The new technique was used to identify the barrier between conductive and resistive Mg doping for increased Mg concentration, which was then used to optimize Mg-doped GaN. Because Mg doping exhibits a dependence upon the growth regime, a new growth and regime characterization technique was developed using specific RHEED intensity responses to repeat growth conditions. During the development of this technique, a new surface kinetics growth model for III-nitrides was discovered based on DMS observations, which suggests preferential buildup of the metal bilayer before growth begins with an unfamiliar cation-anion exchange process initially upon metal shutter opening. Using the new RHEED growth and regime characterization technique, a new growth technique called metal modulated epitaxy (MME) was developed to increase repeatability, uniformity and smoothness. The MME technique was enhanced with a closed-loop control using real-time feedback from RHEED transients to control shutter transitions. This enhancement, called "smart shuttering," led to improved growth rate and further improvement of surface roughness and grain size, which were

  9. In vitro molecular evolution of AL NEIBMs improved immunoglobulin (Ig) binding and antibody detection.

    PubMed

    He, Ting; Ding, Ying-Ying; Feng, Jiao-Jiao; Chen, Qiu-Li; Zhu, Huai-Min; Peng, Heng; Rui, Bing; Li, Xiang-Yu; Cao, Ming-Mei; Pan, Wei

    2014-08-20

    AL (SpA A domain-PpL B3 domain), LD5 (PpL B3 domain-SpA D domain-PpL B3 domain-SpA D domain-PpL B3 domain, L-D-L-D-L) and LD3 (PpL B3 domain-SpA D domain-PpL B3 domain, L-D-L) are novel evolved Ig binding molecules (NEIBMs) derived from the in vitro molecular evolution of combinatorial phage libraries displaying randomly rearranged Ig-binding domains of protein A and protein L. These molecules all showed novel Ig-binding properties of double-site binding to the VH3 and Vκ regions of human Ig Fab and high affinity for human IgM, which enhanced IgM detection in the anti-HCV ELISA assay. In this double-site binding, the A domain binds to the VH3 chain with low affinity. Whether the appropriate mutations in the A domain could improve this binding remains unknown. In this study, four combinatorial phage libraries displaying AL mutants with random mutations at different amino acid positions in the A domain were constructed. Seven AL mutant phages with significantly improved Ig binding activity were obtained from the phage library displaying AL mutants randomly mutated at positions 27 and 34 through human IgM-directed in vitro evolution. Two of the seven prokaryotically expressed AL mutants, AL (VV) and AL (KA), exhibited IgM and IgG binding activities equivalent to those of wild-type AL, whereas other mutants showed attenuated binding. However, after labeling with HRP, AL (VV) and AL (KA) showed improved IgM and IgG binding activity, which significantly improved the detection in the anti-HCV assay. Thus, the present study demonstrates that the binding properties of AL were successfully improved through phage-based molecular evolution, which could substantially contribute to the use of AL in antibody detection, and provides an example of successful protein engineering through in vitro molecular evolution.

  10. Do Face-to-Face Training and Telephonic Reminder Improve Dry Powder Inhaler Technique in Patients with COPD?

    PubMed Central

    Bhatta, Pawan; Piryani, Rano Mal

    2017-01-01

    Introduction. Current modes of instruction on inhaler technique are inadequate. We aimed to evaluate the value of face-to-face training and telephonic reminder (FFTTR) for improving Rotahaler technique in experienced patients with COPD. Materials and Methods. A single group pre-/postinterventional study was conducted at Chitwan Medical College Teaching Hospital, Nepal. We assessed the Rotahaler technique of thirty consecutive patients using Rotahaler device for more than one year. Patients with incorrect technique (n = 20) were instructed and trained by a pharmacist. Telephonic reminder was used to reinstruct patients on the correct technique on weekly basis for two weeks and technique was reassessed after 4 weeks of their first training. Descriptive statistics including Wilcoxon Signed Rank test were applied. Results. The mean age was 66.06 ± 10.6. Of 30 patients, 10 (33.3%) performed Rotahaler technique correctly at baseline and were excluded from FFTTR intervention. FFTTR corrected the technique in 18 (90%) patients and the median (IQR) score increased from 6 (5-6) to 8 (8-8) (p < 0.001). The most incorrect steps were “breathe out gently but not towards the inhaler mouthpiece” (16, 80%) and “hold breath for about 10 seconds” (18, 90%) at baseline which improved after intervention. Conclusion. FFTTR approach markedly improved Rotahaler technique in patients with COPD. PMID:28386274

  11. Screening strawberry (Fragria x ananassa) germplasm for anthracnose disease resistance using traditional techniques and molecular makers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthracnose of strawberry may be caused by any of three Colletotrichum species: C. acutatum, C. gloeosporioides or C. fragariae. These destructive pathogens may infect the fruit, leaves, petioles, crowns or roots and may cause plant death. Traditional and molecular approaches were used to identify a...

  12. Binding of fluorescent acridine dyes acridine orange and 9-aminoacridine to hemoglobin: Elucidation of their molecular recognition by spectroscopy, calorimetry and molecular modeling techniques.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Sabyasachi; Kumar, Gopinatha Suresh

    2016-06-01

    The molecular interaction between hemoglobin (HHb), the major human heme protein, and the acridine dyes acridine orange (AO) and 9-aminoacridine (9AA) was studied by various spectroscopic, calorimetric and molecular modeling techniques. The dyes formed stable ground state complex with HHb as revealed from spectroscopic data. Temperature dependent fluorescence data showed the strength of the dye-protein complexation to be inversely proportional to temperature and the fluorescence quenching was static in nature. The binding-induced conformational change in the protein was investigated using circular dichroism, synchronous fluorescence, 3D fluorescence and FTIR spectroscopy results. Circular dichroism data also quantified the α-helicity change in hemoglobin due to the binding of acridine dyes. Calorimetric studies revealed the binding to be endothermic in nature for both AO and 9AA, though the latter had higher affinity, and this was also observed from spectroscopic data. The binding of both dyes was entropy driven. pH dependent fluorescence studies revealed the existence of electrostatic interaction between the protein and dye molecules. Molecular modeling studies specified the binding site and the non-covalent interactions involved in the association. Overall, the results revealed that a small change in the acridine chromophore leads to remarkable alteration in the structural and thermodynamic aspects of binding to HHb.

  13. Low molecular weight PEIs modified by hydrazone-based crosslinker and betaine as improved gene carriers.

    PubMed

    Fang, Gang; Zeng, Fang; Yu, Changmin; Wu, Shuizhu

    2014-10-01

    Low-molecular-weight polyethyleneimine (LMW PEI) exhibits poorer transfection efficiency but lower cytotoxicity compared to high-molecular-weight polyethyleneimine (such as PEI 25kDa). To enhance the gene transfection performance of LMW PEI, we herein demonstrate a new strategy for modifying LMW PEI. A crosslinker containing an acid-labile hydrazone bond (hydrazone-based crosslinker) was synthesized and used to crosslink PEI 1.8kDa and convert it into higher-molecular-weight polycations. And the crosslinked polycations were further modified by incorporating a betaine monomer [N,N-dimethyl(acrylamidopropyl)ammonium propane sulfonate, DMAAPS] onto their surfaces. The molar percentages of the incorporated betaine molecules to amino groups on the polycations were determined as 21.2%, 36.0% and 77.2%, respectively. Molecular weights of the modified polycations were measured using capillary viscometry at pH 7.4 and 5.0, respectively, and the degradation of the polymers in acidic solution was confirmed. The PEIs modified with hydrazone and betaine (PEI-Hdz-DMAAPS) exhibit much lower cytotoxicity than PEI 25K, and they also show no or little hemolytic effect with their hemolysis rates around 5%. PEI-Hdz-DMAAPS21.2%/DNA and PEI-Hdz-DMAAPS36.0%/DNA complexes exhibit high transfection efficiencies, which are comparable to or higher than that of PEI 25K/DNA complex in the absence or presence of 10% serum. With these improved gene delivery properties, the PEI-Hdz-DMAAPS samples have great potential for serving as efficient gene carriers. This strategy may provide some insights for constructing some other biocompatible materials.

  14. Improved tumor identification using dual tracer molecular imaging in fluorescence guided brain surgery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiaochun; Torres, Veronica; Straus, David; Brey, Eric M.; Byrne, Richard W.; Tichauer, Kenneth M.

    2015-03-01

    Brain tumors represent a leading cause of cancer death for people under the age of 40 and the probability complete surgical resection of brain tumors remains low owing to the invasive nature of these tumors and the consequences of damaging healthy brain tissue. Molecular imaging is an emerging approach that has the potential to improve the ability for surgeons to correctly discriminate between healthy and cancerous tissue; however, conventional molecular imaging approaches in brain suffer from significant background signal in healthy tissue or an inability target more invasive sections of the tumor. This work presents initial studies investigating the ability of novel dual-tracer molecular imaging strategies to be used to overcome the major limitations of conventional "single-tracer" molecular imaging. The approach is evaluated in simulations and in an in vivo mice study with animals inoculated orthotopically using fluorescent human glioma cells. An epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeted Affibody-fluorescent marker was employed as a targeted imaging agent, and the suitability of various FDA approved untargeted fluorescent tracers (e.g. fluorescein & indocyanine green) were evaluated in terms of their ability to account for nonspecific uptake and retention of the targeted imaging agent. Signal-to-background ratio was used to measure and compare the amount of reporter in the tissue between targeted and untargeted tracer. The initial findings suggest that FDA-approved fluorescent imaging agents are ill-suited to act as untargeted imaging agents for dual-tracer fluorescent guided brain surgery as they suffer from poor delivery to the healthy brain tissue and therefore cannot be used to identify nonspecific vs. specific uptake of the targeted imaging agent where current surgery is most limited.

  15. Towards the design of new and improved drilling fluid additives using molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Richard L; Greenwel, H Christopher; Suter, James L; Jarvis, Rebecca M; Coveney, Peter V

    2010-03-01

    During exploration for oil and gas, a technical drilling fluid is used to lubricate the drill bit, maintain hydrostatic pressure, transmit sensor readings, remove rock cuttings and inhibit swelling of unstable clay based reactive shale formations. Increasing environmental awareness and resulting legislation has led to the search for new, improved biodegradable drilling fluid components. In the case of additives for clay swelling inhibition, an understanding of how existing effective additives interact with clays must be gained to allow the design of improved molecules. Owing to the disordered nature and nanoscopic dimension of the interlayer pores of clay minerals, computer simulations have become an increasingly useful tool for studying clay-swelling inhibitor interactions. In this work we briefly review the history of the development of technical drilling fluids, the environmental impact of drilling fluids and the use of computer simulations to study the interactions between clay minerals and swelling inhibitors. We report on results from some recent large-scale molecular dynamics simulation studies on low molecular weight water-soluble macromolecular inhibitor molecules. The structure and interactions of poly(propylene oxide)-diamine, poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(ethylene oxide)-diacrylate inhibitor molecules with montmorillonite clay are studied.

  16. Molecular variants and derivatives of insulin for improved glycemic control in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Bhatnagar, Sonika; Srivastava, Deepa; Jayadev, M S K; Dubey, A K

    2006-07-01

    Insulin is a historic molecule. It presents many first instances, such as the first protein to be fully sequenced, one of the first proteins to be crystallized in pure form, one among the early proteins whose structure was investigated using X-ray crystallography, the first protein to be chemically synthesized and the first Biotech drug. Therefore, the development of insulin in the early years is intricately intertwined with the progress in molecular and structural biology. In recent years, development of a range of insulin analogs has led to better control of glucose levels, thus preventing secondary complications and improving the quality of life in diabetic patients. Such analogs were obtained by modification of the native insulin sequence. They vary with regard to their pharmacokinetic profile, stability, tissue specificity and mode of administration. In addition, alterations involving incorporation of various chemical moieties in insulin and its co-crystallization with insoluble derivatives are used to modulate the time-action profile of the drug. This article traces the development of molecular variants and derivatives of insulin. It discusses future directions for further improvement in their properties to produce still better insulin therapeutics for tight glycemic control.

  17. Improvement on Fermionic properties and new isotope production in molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ning; Wu, Tong; Zeng, Jie; Yang, Yongxu; Ou, Li

    2016-06-01

    By considering momentum transfer in the Fermi constraint procedure, the stability of the initial nuclei and fragments produced in heavy-ion collisions can be further improved in quantum molecular dynamics simulations. The case of a phase-space occupation probability larger than one is effectively reduced with the proposed procedure. Simultaneously, the energy conservation can be better described for both individual nuclei and heavy-ion reactions. With the revised version of the improved quantum molecular dynamics model, the fusion excitation functions of 16O+186W and the central collisions of Au+Au at 35 AMeV are re-examined. The fusion cross sections at sub-barrier energies and the charge distribution of fragments are relatively better reproduced due to the reduction of spurious nucleon emission. The charge and isotope distribution of fragments in Xe+Sn, U+U and Zr+Sn at intermediate energies are also predicted. More unmeasured extremely neutron-rich fragments with Z = 16-28 are observed in the central collisions of 238U+238U than that of 96Zr+124Sn, which indicates that multi-fragmentation of U+U may offer a fruitful pathway to new neutron-rich isotopes.

  18. Binary classification of chalcone derivatives with LDA or KNN based on their antileishmanial activity and molecular descriptors selected using the Successive Projections Algorithm feature-selection technique.

    PubMed

    Goodarzi, Mohammad; Saeys, Wouter; de Araujo, Mario Cesar Ugulino; Galvão, Roberto Kawakami Harrop; Vander Heyden, Yvan

    2014-01-23

    Chalcones are naturally occurring aromatic ketones, which consist of an α-, β-unsaturated carbonyl system joining two aryl rings. These compounds are reported to exhibit several pharmacological activities, including antiparasitic, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer, immunomodulatory, nitric oxide inhibition and anti-inflammatory effects. In the present work, a Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) study is carried out to classify chalcone derivatives with respect to their antileishmanial activity (active/inactive) on the basis of molecular descriptors. For this purpose, two techniques to select descriptors are employed, the Successive Projections Algorithm (SPA) and the Genetic Algorithm (GA). The selected descriptors are initially employed to build Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) models. An additional investigation is then carried out to determine whether the results can be improved by using a non-parametric classification technique (One Nearest Neighbour, 1NN). In a case study involving 100 chalcone derivatives, the 1NN models were found to provide better rates of correct classification than LDA, both in the training and test sets. The best result was achieved by a SPA-1NN model with six molecular descriptors, which provided correct classification rates of 97% and 84% for the training and test sets, respectively.

  19. Increased Oil Production and Reserves from Improved Completion Techniques in the Bluebell Field, Uinta Basin, Utah, Class I

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, Craig D.; Gwynn, Wallace; Deo, Milind D.; Jarrard, Richard; Curtice, Richard; Morris, Thomas H.; Smouse, DeForrest; Tripp, Carol N.

    2000-01-20

    The objective of this project was to increase oil production and reserves by the use of improved reservoir characterization and completion techniques in the Unita Basin Utah. To accomplish this objective, a two-year geologic and engineering characterization of the Bluebell field was conducted. The study evaluated surface and subsurface data, currently used completion techniques, and common production problems. It was determined that advanced case- and open-hole logs could be effective in determining productive beds and that staged-interval (about 500 ft [150 m] per stage) and bed-scale isolation completion techniques could result in improved well performance.

  20. Zinc ion implantation-deposition technique improves the osteoblast biocompatibility of titanium surfaces

    PubMed Central

    LIANG, YONGQIANG; XU, JUAN; CHEN, JING; QI, MENGCHUN; XIE, XUEHONG; HU, MIN

    2015-01-01

    The plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition (PIIID) technique was used to implant zinc (Zn) ions into smooth surfaces of pure titanium (Ti) disks for investigation of tooth implant surface modification. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the surface structure and chemical composition of a modified Ti surface following Zn ion implantation and deposition and to examine the effect of such modification on osteoblast biocompatibility. Using the PIIID technique, Zn ions were deposited onto the smooth surface of pure Ti disks. The physical structure and chemical composition of the modified surface layers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. In vitro culture assays using the MG-63 bone cell line were performed to determine the effects of Zn-modified Ti surfaces following PIIID on cellular function. Acridine orange staining was used to detect cell attachment to the surfaces and cell cycle analysis was performed using flow cytometry. SEM revealed a rough ‘honeycomb’ structure on the Zn-modified Ti surfaces following PIIID processing and XPS data indicated that Zn and oxygen concentrations in the modified Ti surfaces increased with PIIID processing time. SEM also revealed significantly greater MG-63 cell growth on Zn-modified Ti surfaces than on pure Ti surfaces (P<0.05). Flow cytometric analysis revealed increasing percentages of MG-63 cells in S phase with increasing Zn implantation and deposition, suggesting that MG-63 apoptosis was inhibited and MG-63 proliferation was promoted on Zn-PIIID-Ti surfaces. The present results suggest that modification with Zn-PIIID may be used to improve the osteoblast biocompatibility of Ti implant surfaces. PMID:25673139

  1. Improving Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for tsetse flies through research on their symbionts and pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Abd-Alla, Adly M.M.; Bergoin, Max; Parker, Andrew G.; Maniania, Nguya K.; Vlak, Just M.; Bourtzis, Kostas; Boucias, Drion G.; Aksoy, Serap

    2013-01-01

    Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) are the cyclical vectors of the trypanosomes, which cause human African trypanosomosis (HAT) or sleeping sickness in humans and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) or nagana in animals. Due to the lack of effective vaccines and inexpensive drugs for HAT, and the development of resistance of the trypanosomes against the available trypanocidal drugs, vector control remains the most efficient strategy for sustainable management of these diseases. Among the control methods used for tsetse flies, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), in the frame of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM), represents an effective tactic to suppress and/or eradicate tsetse flies. One constraint in implementing SIT is the mass production of target species. Tsetse flies harbor obligate bacterial symbionts and salivary gland hypertrophy virus which modulate the fecundity of the infected flies. In support of the future expansion of the SIT for tsetse fly control, the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture implemented a six year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) entitled “Improving SIT for Tsetse Flies through Research on their Symbionts and Pathogens”. The consortium focused on the prevalence and the interaction between the bacterial symbionts and the virus, the development of strategies to manage virus infections in tsetse colonies, the use of entomopathogenic fungi to control tsetse flies in combination with SIT, and the development of symbiont-based strategies to control tsetse flies and trypanosomosis. The results of the CRP and the solutions envisaged to alleviate the constraints of the mass rearing of tsetse flies for SIT are presented in this special issue. PMID:22841636

  2. Improving Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for tsetse flies through research on their symbionts and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Abd-Alla, Adly M M; Bergoin, Max; Parker, Andrew G; Maniania, Nguya K; Vlak, Just M; Bourtzis, Kostas; Boucias, Drion G; Aksoy, Serap

    2013-03-01

    Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) are the cyclical vectors of the trypanosomes, which cause human African trypanosomosis (HAT) or sleeping sickness in humans and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) or nagana in animals. Due to the lack of effective vaccines and inexpensive drugs for HAT, and the development of resistance of the trypanosomes against the available trypanocidal drugs, vector control remains the most efficient strategy for sustainable management of these diseases. Among the control methods used for tsetse flies, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), in the frame of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM), represents an effective tactic to suppress and/or eradicate tsetse flies. One constraint in implementing SIT is the mass production of target species. Tsetse flies harbor obligate bacterial symbionts and salivary gland hypertrophy virus which modulate the fecundity of the infected flies. In support of the future expansion of the SIT for tsetse fly control, the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture implemented a six year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) entitled "Improving SIT for Tsetse Flies through Research on their Symbionts and Pathogens". The consortium focused on the prevalence and the interaction between the bacterial symbionts and the virus, the development of strategies to manage virus infections in tsetse colonies, the use of entomopathogenic fungi to control tsetse flies in combination with SIT, and the development of symbiont-based strategies to control tsetse flies and trypanosomosis. The results of the CRP and the solutions envisaged to alleviate the constraints of the mass rearing of tsetse flies for SIT are presented in this special issue.

  3. Improved Vote Aggregation Techniques for the Geo-Wiki Cropland Capture Crowdsourcing Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baklanov, Artem; Fritz, Steffen; Khachay, Michael; Nurmukhametov, Oleg; Salk, Carl; See, Linda; Shchepashchenko, Dmitry

    2016-04-01

    Crowdsourcing is a new approach for solving data processing problems for which conventional methods appear to be inaccurate, expensive, or time-consuming. Nowadays, the development of new crowdsourcing techniques is mostly motivated by so called Big Data problems, including problems of assessment and clustering for large datasets obtained in aerospace imaging, remote sensing, and even in social network analysis. By involving volunteers from all over the world, the Geo-Wiki project tackles problems of environmental monitoring with applications to flood resilience, biomass data analysis and classification of land cover. For example, the Cropland Capture Game, which is a gamified version of Geo-Wiki, was developed to aid in the mapping of cultivated land, and was used to gather 4.5 million image classifications from the Earth's surface. More recently, the Picture Pile game, which is a more generalized version of Cropland Capture, aims to identify tree loss over time from pairs of very high resolution satellite images. Despite recent progress in image analysis, the solution to these problems is hard to automate since human experts still outperform the majority of machine learning algorithms and artificial systems in this field on certain image recognition tasks. The replacement of rare and expensive experts by a team of distributed volunteers seems to be promising, but this approach leads to challenging questions such as: how can individual opinions be aggregated optimally, how can confidence bounds be obtained, and how can the unreliability of volunteers be dealt with? In this paper, on the basis of several known machine learning techniques, we propose a technical approach to improve the overall performance of the majority voting decision rule used in the Cropland Capture Game. The proposed approach increases the estimated consistency with expert opinion from 77% to 86%.

  4. Correlative microscopy methods that maximize specimen fidelity and data completeness, and improve molecular localization capabilities.

    PubMed

    Smith, Elizabeth A; Cinquin, Bertrand P; McDermott, Gerry; Le Gros, Mark A; Parkinson, Dilworth Y; Kim, Hong Tae; Larabell, Carolyn A

    2013-10-01

    Correlative microscopy techniques interrogate biological systems more thoroughly than is possible using a single modality. This is particularly true if disparate data types can be acquired from the same specimen. Recently, there has been significant progress towards combining the structural information obtained from soft X-ray tomography (SXT) with molecular localization data. Here we will compare methods for determining the position of molecules in a cell viewed by SXT, including direct visualization using electron dense labels, and by indirect methods, such as fluorescence microscopy and high numerical aperture cryo-light microscopy. We will also discuss available options for preserving the in vivo structure and organization of the specimen during multi-modal data collection, and how some simple specimen mounting concepts can ensure maximal data completeness in correlative imaging experiments.

  5. Comparison of the detection of periodontal pathogens in bacteraemia after tooth brushing by culture and molecular techniques

    PubMed Central

    Figuero, Elena; González, Itziar; O´Connor, Ana; Diz, Pedro; Álvarez, Maximiliano; Herrera, David; Sanz, Mariano

    2016-01-01

    Background The prevalence and amounts of periodontal pathogens detected in bacteraemia samples after tooth brushing-induced by means of four diagnostic technique, three based on culture and one in a molecular-based technique, have been compared in this study. Material and Methods Blood samples were collected from thirty-six subjects with different periodontal status (17 were healthy, 10 with gingivitis and 9 with periodontitis) at baseline and 2 minutes after tooth brushing. Each sample was analyzed by three culture-based methods [direct anaerobic culturing (DAC), hemo-culture (BACTEC), and lysis-centrifugation (LC)] and one molecular-based technique [quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)]. With culture any bacterial isolate was detected and quantified, while with qPCR only Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were detected and quantified. Descriptive analyses, ANOVA and Chi-squared tests, were performed. Results Neither BACTEC nor qPCR detected any type of bacteria in the blood samples. Only LC (2.7%) and DAC (8.3%) detected bacteraemia, although not in the same patients. Fusobacterium nucleatum was the most frequently detected bacterial species. Conclusions The disparity in the results when the same samples were analyzed with four different microbiological detection methods highlights the need for a proper validation of the methodology to detect periodontal pathogens in bacteraemia samples, mainly when the presence of periodontal pathogens in blood samples after tooth brushing was very seldom. Key words:Bacteraemia, periodontitis, culture, PCR, tooth brushing. PMID:26946197

  6. Small‐angle X‐ray scattering as a useful supplementary technique to determine molecular masses of polyelectrolytes in solution

    PubMed Central

    Plazzotta, Beatrice; Diget, Jakob Stensgaard; Zhu, Kaizheng; Nyström, Bo

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Determination of molecular masses of charged polymers is often nontrivial and most methods have their drawbacks. For polyelectrolytes, a new possibility for the determination of number‐average molecular masses is represented by small‐angle X‐ray scattering (SAXS) which allows fast determinations with a 10% accuracy. This is done by relating the mass to the position of a characteristic peak feature which arises in SAXS due to the local ordering caused by charge‐repulsions between polyelectrolytes. Advantages of the technique are the simplicity of data analysis, the independency from polymer architecture, and the low sample and time consumption. The method was tested on polyelectrolytes of various structures and chemical compositions, and the results were compared with those obtained from more conventional techniques, such as asymmetric flow field‐flow fractionation, gel permeation chromatography, and classical SAXS data analysis, showing that the accuracy of the suggested method is similar to that of the other techniques. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2016, 54, 1913–1917 PMID:27840558

  7. [Will the new molecular karyotyping BACs-on-Beads technique replace the traditional cytogenetic prenatal diagnostics? Preliminary reports].

    PubMed

    Piotrowski, Krzysztof; Henkelman, Małgorzata; Zajaczek, Stanisław

    2012-04-01

    Recently several attempts have been made to introduce molecular karyotyping techniques into prenatal diagnosis. These methods can be used not only for the diagnosis of classical aneuploidies, but first of all they should be employed in the diagnostics of microaberrations, which are not revealed by low resolution methods of classical cytogenetics. The new method BACs-on-Beads is designed for quick detection of broad panel of aneuploidies and microdeletions, by the specified detection of deletions and duplications in the examined fetal DNA acquired from amniocytes. Prenatal diagnostics was performed with the use of BACs-on-Beads and classical amniocyte karyotyping simultaneously in a group of 54 pregnancies. This new method proved to be fully compatible with typical karyotyping in cultures of amniocytes in 98.2%. It was confirmed that the main advantage of this method is the possibility of quick diagnosis, within 48 hours, with much wider spectrum of detected anomalies when compared to classical methods. Contrary to other molecular karyotyping methods, the BACs-on-Beads technique is more economical, less time consuming and less complex equipment is needed than in case of other methods. We suppose that this technique can replace classical karyotyping methods in the near future.

  8. Exploring Surface Analysis Techniques for the Detection of Molecular Contaminants on Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rutherford, Gugu N.; Seasly, Elaine; Thornblom, Mark; Baughman, James

    2016-01-01

    Molecular contamination is a known area of concern for spacecraft. To mitigate this risk, projects involving space flight hardware set requirements in a contamination control plan that establishes an allocation budget for the exposure of non-volatile residues (NVR) onto critical surfaces. The purpose of this work will focus on non-contact surface analysis and in situ monitoring to mitigate molecular contamination on space flight hardware. By using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) with Raman Spectroscopy, an unlikely contaminant was identified on space flight hardware. Using traditional and surface analysis methods provided the broader view of the contamination sources allowing for best fit solutions to prevent any future exposure.

  9. Geometrical splitting technique to improve the computational efficiency in Monte Carlo calculations for proton therapy

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Méndez, José; Perl, Joseph; Faddegon, Bruce; Schümann, Jan; Paganetti, Harald

    2013-01-01

    simulations done with and without particle splitting were within the accepted clinical tolerance of 2%, with a 0.4% statistical uncertainty. For the two patient geometries considered, head and prostate, the efficiency gain was 20.9 and 14.7, respectively, with the percentages of voxels with gamma indices lower than unity 98.9% and 99.7%, respectively, using 2% and 2 mm criteria. Conclusions: The authors have implemented an efficient variance reduction technique with significant speed improvements for proton Monte Carlo simulations. The method can be transferred to other codes and other treatment heads. PMID:23556888

  10. Association of Bartonella with the fleas (Siphonaptera) of rodents and bats using molecular techniques.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K; Rogers, Thomas E; Durden, Lance A; Dasch, Gregory A

    2007-06-01

    Bartonella spp. are putatively vector-borne bacterial agents of humans and animals. Fleas have been incriminated as vectors of Bartonella spp. and are suspected of transmitting Bartonella of rodents and bats, but some of these Bartonella spp. have not yet been directly detected in wild caught fleas. We report the molecular detection of Bartonella tribocorum, Bartonella vinsonii subsp. vinsonii, and two novel genotypes of Bartonella from the fleas Xenopsylla cheopis, Ctenophthalmus pseudagyrtes, Sternopsylla texanus, or Orchopeas howardi.

  11. CT reconstruction techniques for improved accuracy of lung CT airway measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, A.; Ranallo, F. N.; Judy, P. F.; Gierada, D. S.; Fain, S. B.

    2014-11-01

    FBP. Veo reconstructions showed slight improvement over STD FBP reconstructions (4%–9% increase in accuracy). The most improved ID and WA% measures were for the smaller airways, especially for low dose scans reconstructed at half DFOV (18 cm) with the EDGE algorithm in combination with 100% ASIR to mitigate noise. Using the BONE + ASIR at half BONE technique, measures improved by a factor of 2 over STD FBP even at a quarter of the x-ray dose. Conclusions: The flexibility of ASIR in combination with higher frequency algorithms, such as BONE, provided the greatest accuracy for conventional and low x-ray dose relative to FBP. Veo provided more modest improvement in qCT measures, likely due to its compatibility only with the smoother STD kernel.

  12. CT reconstruction techniques for improved accuracy of lung CT airway measurement

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, A.; Ranallo, F. N.; Judy, P. F.; Gierada, D. S.; Fain, S. B.

    2014-01-01

    FBP. Veo reconstructions showed slight improvement over STD FBP reconstructions (4%–9% increase in accuracy). The most improved ID and WA% measures were for the smaller airways, especially for low dose scans reconstructed at half DFOV (18 cm) with the EDGE algorithm in combination with 100% ASIR to mitigate noise. Using the BONE + ASIR at half BONE technique, measures improved by a factor of 2 over STD FBP even at a quarter of the x-ray dose. Conclusions: The flexibility of ASIR in combination with higher frequency algorithms, such as BONE, provided the greatest accuracy for conventional and low x-ray dose relative to FBP. Veo provided more modest improvement in qCT measures, likely due to its compatibility only with the smoother STD kernel. PMID:25370644

  13. Comparison of molecular and microscopic technique for detection of Theileria annulata from the field cases of cattle

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, H. C.; Patel, B. K.; Bhagat, A. G.; Patel, M. V.; Patel, S. I.; Raval, S. H.; Panchasara, H. H.; Shrimali, M. D.; Patel, A. C.; Chandel, B. S.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Tropical theileriosis is fatal hemoprotozoal disease of dairy animals caused by Theileria annulata. The aim of the present study was to detect the T. annulata and comparison of results of molecular and microscopic techniques. Materials and Methods: A total of 52 blood samples were collected from the cattle suspected for theileriosis across the Banaskantha district. All the samples were screened for theileriosis using Giemsa’s staining technique and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: Total of 17 (32.69%) and 24 (46.15%) samples were found positive for theileriosis by microscopic examination and PCR test, respectively. It revealed that the study area is endemic for theileriosis, and the microscopic technique has 70.83% sensitivity and 100% specificity with respect to PCR technique. Conclusion: It may be concluded from the present study that the PCR is comparatively sensitive technique than microscopic examination and may be recommended to use in the field for screening of theileriosis in the study area, where a high prevalence of diseases have been reported due to intensive dairy farming. PMID:27047045

  14. Molecular Techniques for the Detection and Differentiation of Host and Parasitoid Species and the Implications for Fruit Fly Management.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Cheryl; Chapman, Toni A; Micallef, Jessica L; Reynolds, Olivia L

    2012-08-14

    Parasitoid detection and identification is a necessary step in the development and implementation of fruit fly biological control strategies employing parasitoid augmentive release. In recent years, DNA-based methods have been used to identify natural enemies of pest species where morphological differentiation is problematic. Molecular techniques also offer a considerable advantage over traditional morphological methods of fruit fly and parasitoid discrimination as well as within-host parasitoid identification, which currently relies on dissection of immature parasitoids from the host, or lengthy and labour-intensive rearing methods. Here we review recent research focusing on the use of molecular strategies for fruit fly and parasitoid detection and differentiation and discuss the implications of these studies on fruit fly management.

  15. Molecular Techniques for the Detection and Differentiation of Host and Parasitoid Species and the Implications for Fruit Fly Management

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Cheryl; Chapman, Toni A.; Micallef, Jessica L.; Reynolds, Olivia L.

    2012-01-01

    Parasitoid detection and identification is a necessary step in the development and implementation of fruit fly biological control strategies employing parasitoid augmentive release. In recent years, DNA-based methods have been used to identify natural enemies of pest species where morphological differentiation is problematic. Molecular techniques also offer a considerable advantage over traditional morphological methods of fruit fly and parasitoid discrimination as well as within-host parasitoid identification, which currently relies on dissection of immature parasitoids from the host, or lengthy and labour-intensive rearing methods. Here we review recent research focusing on the use of molecular strategies for fruit fly and parasitoid detection and differentiation and discuss the implications of these studies on fruit fly management. PMID:26466628

  16. Photoelectrochemical sensor for pentachlorophenol on microfluidic paper-based analytical device based on the molecular imprinting technique.

    PubMed

    Sun, Guoqiang; Wang, Panpan; Ge, Shenguang; Ge, Lei; Yu, Jinghua; Yan, Mei

    2014-06-15

    Combining microfluidic paper-based analytical device (μ-PAD) and the molecular imprinting technique, a visible light photoelectrochemical (PEC) sensing platform for the detection of pentachlorophenol (PCP) was established on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) decorated paper working electrode using polypyrrole-functionalized ZnO nanoparticles. Ascorbic acid (AA) was exploited as an efficient and nontoxic electron donor for scavenging photogenerated holes under mild solution medium and facilitating the generation of stable photocurrent. The microfluidic molecular imprinted polymer-based PEC analytical origami device is developed for the detection of PCP in the linear range from 0.01 ng mL(-1) to 100 ng mL(-1) with a low detection limit of 4 pg mL(-1). This disposable microfluidic PEC origami device would provide a new platform for sensitive, specific, and multiplex assay in public health, environmental monitoring, and the developing world.

  17. SIMULTANEOUS ESTIMATION OF PHOTOMETRIC REDSHIFTS AND SED PARAMETERS: IMPROVED TECHNIQUES AND A REALISTIC ERROR BUDGET

    SciTech Connect

    Acquaviva, Viviana; Raichoor, Anand

    2015-05-01

    We seek to improve the accuracy of joint galaxy photometric redshift estimation and spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. By simulating different sources of uncorrected systematic errors, we demonstrate that if the uncertainties in the photometric redshifts are estimated correctly, so are those on the other SED fitting parameters, such as stellar mass, stellar age, and dust reddening. Furthermore, we find that if the redshift uncertainties are over(under)-estimated, the uncertainties in SED parameters tend to be over(under)-estimated by similar amounts. These results hold even in the presence of severe systematics and provide, for the first time, a mechanism to validate the uncertainties on these parameters via comparison with spectroscopic redshifts. We propose a new technique (annealing) to re-calibrate the joint uncertainties in the photo-z and SED fitting parameters without compromising the performance of the SED fitting + photo-z estimation. This procedure provides a consistent estimation of the multi-dimensional probability distribution function in SED fitting + z parameter space, including all correlations. While the performance of joint SED fitting and photo-z estimation might be hindered by template incompleteness, we demonstrate that the latter is “flagged” by a large fraction of outliers in redshift, and that significant improvements can be achieved by using flexible stellar populations synthesis models and more realistic star formation histories. In all cases, we find that the median stellar age is better recovered than the time elapsed from the onset of star formation. Finally, we show that using a photometric redshift code such as EAZY to obtain redshift probability distributions that are then used as priors for SED fitting codes leads to only a modest bias in the SED fitting parameters and is thus a viable alternative to the simultaneous estimation of SED parameters and photometric redshifts.

  18. Fostering low-cost soil moisture monitoring techniques to improve irrigation efficiency in Burkina Faso

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouleau, Clémence; Baracchini, Theo; Razurel, Pierre; Gorla, Lorenzo; Bolay, Jean-Claude; Perona, Paolo

    2015-04-01

    Irrigated agriculture is a significant activity in water stressed semi-arid (e.g., the Sahel) regions, thereby yield and water management are fundamental aspects of irrigation success. Small farmers have often difficulties in managing crops and in evaluating water needs resulting in low yield with excessive water consumption, elevated pumping costs and soil degradation. In different proportions, this overuse of water concerns all irrigation techniques: gravity flows from reservoirs, watering cans irrigation from groundwater wells, micro- or drip irrigation. Baseline requirements for supporting sustainable technology are low costs, easy installation, minimal maintenance, and local production. We present and discuss results from the Info4Dourou2.0 explorative project in Burkina Faso, the main goal of which is to improve small-scale agriculture by the use of sensing and communication technologies. In particular, a support system that couples autonomous and continuous measurements of meteorological variables and soil matrix potential as well as soil humidity with agronomic models has been tested in drip-irrigated fields over a three-year period. In particular, the system is collecting data from three water potential sensors at different locations per field and informs the farmers through a simple interface of the correct amount of water needed by the plant. In its simplicity this system provides an easy to use and install irrigation management setup, and is therefore an ideal candidate in favor of sustainability. Info4Dourou2.0 pilot experiments have shown that farmers can obtain significantly higher yields using lower amounts of water. Overall, this methodology allows facing multiple urgent problems such as the use of environmental data to improve agricultural production towards ecosystem conservation, food security issues and adaptation to climatic change scenarios.

  19. Robust Requirements Tracing via Internet Search Technology: Improving an IV and V Technique. Phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, Jane; Dekhtyar, Alex

    2004-01-01

    There are three major objectives to this phase of the work. (1) Improvement of Information Retrieval (IR) methods for Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) requirements tracing. Information Retrieval methods are typically developed for very large (order of millions - tens of millions and more documents) document collections and therefore, most successfully used methods somewhat sacrifice precision and recall in order to achieve efficiency. At the same time typical IR systems treat all user queries as independent of each other and assume that relevance of documents to queries is subjective for each user. The IV&V requirements tracing problem has a much smaller data set to operate on, even for large software development projects; the set of queries is predetermined by the high-level specification document and individual requirements considered as query input to IR methods are not necessarily independent from each other. Namely, knowledge about the links for one requirement may be helpful in determining the links of another requirement. Finally, while the final decision on the exact form of the traceability matrix still belongs to the IV&V analyst, his/her decisions are much less arbitrary than those of an Internet search engine user. All this suggests that the information available to us in the framework of the IV&V tracing problem can be successfully leveraged to enhance standard IR techniques, which in turn would lead to increased recall and precision. We developed several new methods during Phase II; (2) IV&V requirements tracing IR toolkit. Based on the methods developed in Phase I and their improvements developed in Phase II, we built a toolkit of IR methods for IV&V requirements tracing. The toolkit has been integrated, at the data level, with SAIC's SuperTracePlus (STP) tool; (3) Toolkit testing. We tested the methods included in the IV&V requirements tracing IR toolkit on a number of projects.

  20. [Applications of molecular biology techniques for the control of aflatoxin contamination].

    PubMed

    Sanchis, V

    1993-02-01

    Aflatoxins are mycotoxins produced by species of Aspergillus flavus group. These toxins have received increased attention from the food industry and the general public because they shown a high toxicity against humans and animal. Different methods are applying to control the aflatoxin contamination. But these conventional methods do not seem to resolve the problem. So, new methods using techniques in biotechnology are now being developed: a) Inhibit the biosynthetic and secretory process responsible for aflatoxin contamination. b) Using biocompetitive agents that replace aflatoxigenic strains with non aflatoxigenic strains in the field. c) Using genetic engineering techniques to incorporate antifungal genes into specific plant species.

  1. Conditional embryonic lethality to improve the sterile insect technique in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)

    PubMed Central

    Schetelig, Marc F; Caceres, Carlos; Zacharopoulou, Antigone; Franz, Gerald; Wimmer, Ernst A

    2009-01-01

    Background The sterile insect technique (SIT) is an environment-friendly method used in area-wide pest management of the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann; Diptera: Tephritidae). Ionizing radiation used to generate reproductive sterility in the mass-reared populations before release leads to reduction of competitiveness. Results Here, we present a first alternative reproductive sterility system for medfly based on transgenic embryonic lethality. This system is dependent on newly isolated medfly promoter/enhancer elements of cellularization-specifically-expressed genes. These elements act differently in expression strength and their ability to drive lethal effector gene activation. Moreover, position effects strongly influence the efficiency of the system. Out of 60 combinations of driver and effector construct integrations, several lines resulted in larval and pupal lethality with one line showing complete embryonic lethality. This line was highly competitive to wildtype medfly in laboratory and field cage tests. Conclusion The high competitiveness of the transgenic lines and the achieved 100% embryonic lethality causing reproductive sterility without the need of irradiation can improve the efficacy of operational medfly SIT programs. PMID:19173707

  2. A technique to derive improved proper motions for Kepler objects of interest

    SciTech Connect

    Benedict, G. Fritz; Tanner, Angelle M.; Cargile, Phillip A.; Ciardi, David R.

    2014-12-01

    We outline an approach yielding proper motions with higher precision than exists in present catalogs for a sample of stars in the Kepler field. To increase proper-motion precision, we combine first-moment centroids of Kepler pixel data from a single season with existing catalog positions and proper motions. We use this astrometry to produce improved reduced-proper-motion diagrams, analogous to a Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram, for stars identified as Kepler objects of interest. The more precise the relative proper motions, the better the discrimination between stellar luminosity classes. Using UCAC4 and PPMXL epoch 2000 positions (and proper motions from those catalogs as quasi-Bayesian priors), astrometry for a single test Channel (21) and Season (0) spanning 2 yr yields proper motions with an average per-coordinate proper-motion error of 1.0 mas yr{sup –1}, which is over a factor of three better than existing catalogs. We apply a mapping between a reduced-proper-motion diagram and an H-R diagram, both constructed using Hubble Space Telescope parallaxes and proper motions, to estimate Kepler object of interest K-band absolute magnitudes. The techniques discussed apply to any future small-field astrometry as well as to the rest of the Kepler field.

  3. Extended canonical Monte Carlo methods: Improving accuracy of microcanonical calculations using a reweighting technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velazquez, L.; Castro-Palacio, J. C.

    2015-03-01

    Velazquez and Curilef [J. Stat. Mech. (2010) P02002, 10.1088/1742-5468/2010/02/P02002; J. Stat. Mech. (2010) P04026, 10.1088/1742-5468/2010/04/P04026] have proposed a methodology to extend Monte Carlo algorithms that are based on canonical ensemble. According to our previous study, their proposal allows us to overcome slow sampling problems in systems that undergo any type of temperature-driven phase transition. After a comprehensive review about ideas and connections of this framework, we discuss the application of a reweighting technique to improve the accuracy of microcanonical calculations, specifically, the well-known multihistograms method of Ferrenberg and Swendsen [Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 1195 (1989), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.63.1195]. As an example of application, we reconsider the study of the four-state Potts model on the square lattice L ×L with periodic boundary conditions. This analysis allows us to detect the existence of a very small latent heat per site qL during the occurrence of temperature-driven phase transition of this model, whose size dependence seems to follow a power law qL(L ) ∝(1/L ) z with exponent z ≃0 .26 ±0 .02. Discussed is the compatibility of these results with the continuous character of temperature-driven phase transition when L →+∞ .

  4. Review and analysis of quality improvement techniques in police departments: application for public health.

    PubMed

    Riley, William; Brewer, Russell

    2009-01-01

    This qualitative study reviews and analyzes quality improvement (QI) techniques in police departments as a background for assessing ways to introduce QI into public health departments. Police departments and public health departments have many elements in common. These findings provide some understanding of how public health departments can incorporate QI methods as well as learn about the potential barriers to implementing QI projects that are inherent in government agencies. The study consists of extensive interviews of informants from academic settings and police departments across the nation. The findings describe (1) the extent of QI diffusion into police departments, (2) barriers and enablers of QI diffusion in police departments, (3) a typology of QI diffusion, and (4) the metrics and incentives to promote QI in the absence of profit motives. Seven specific recommendations are made to promote the application and adoption of QI in public health: (1) implement QI as a comprehensive management approach, (2) top official involvement, (3) a broad focus on mission and vision, (4) lessons for overcoming barriers, (5) how to find resources, (6) how to integrate proven methods, and (7) how to build on existing capabilities.

  5. Improved Techniques for Endogenous Epitope Tagging and Gene Deletion in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Upadhya, Rajendra; Kim, Kami; Hogue-Angeletti, Ruth; Weiss, Louis M

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an excellent model organism for studies on the biology of the Apicomplexa due to its ease of in vitro cultivation and genetic manipulation. Large-scale reverse genetic studies in T. gondii have, however, been difficult due to the low frequency of homologous recombination. Efforts to ensure homologous recombination have necessitated engineering long flanking regions in the targeting construct. This requirement makes it difficult to engineer chromosomally targeted epitope tags or gene knock out constructs only by restriction enzyme mediated cloning steps. To address this issue we employed multisite Gateway® recombination techniques to generate chromosomal gene manipulation targeting constructs. Incorporation of 1.5 to 2.0 kb flanking homologous sequences in PCR generated targeting constructs resulted in 90% homologous recombination events in wild type T. gondii (RH strain) as determined by epitope tagging and target gene deletion experiments. Furthermore, we report that split marker constructs were equally efficient for targeted gene disruptions using the T. gondii UPRT gene locus as a test case. The methods described in this paper represent an improved strategy for efficient epitope tagging and gene disruptions in T. gondii. PMID:21352857

  6. Acoustic source localization using a polyhedral microphone array and an improved generalized cross-correlation technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padois, Thomas; Sgard, Franck; Doutres, Olivier; Berry, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Millions of workers are exposed to excessive noise levels each day. Acoustic solutions have to be developed to protect workers from hearing loss. The first step of an acoustic diagnosis is the source localization which can be performed with a microphone array. Spherical microphone arrays can be used to detect the acoustic source positions in a workplace. In this study, a spherical microphone array, with polyhedral discretization, is proposed and compared with a spherical array with a slightly different geometry. The generalized cross-correlation technique is used to detect the source positions. Moreover, two criteria are introduced to improve the noise source map. The first is based on the geometric properties of the microphone array and the scan zone whereas the second is based on the energy of the spatial likelihood function. Numerical data are used to provide a systematic comparison of both geometries and criteria. Finally, experiments in a reverberant room reveal that the polyhedral microphone array associated with both criteria provides the best noise source map.

  7. Improved ITOS attitude control system with Hall generator brushless motor and earth-splitting technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peacock, W. M.

    1971-01-01

    The ITOS with an improved attitude control system is described. A Hall generator brushless dc torque motor will replace the brush dc torque motor on ITOS-I and ITOS-A (NOAA-1). The four attitude horizon sensors will be replaced with two CO2 sensors for better horizon definition. An earth horizon splitting technique will be used to keep the earth facing side of the satellite toward earth even if the desired circular orbit is not achieved. The external appearance of the pitch control subsystem differs from TIROS-M (ITOS-1) and ITOS-A (NOAA-1) in that two instead of one pitch control electronics (PCE) boxes are used. Two instead of four horizon sensors will be used and one instead of two mirrors will be used for sensor scanning. The brushless motor will eliminate the requirement for brushes, strain gages and the telemetry for the brush wear. A single rotating flywheel, supported by a single bearing provides the gyroscopic stability and the required momentum interchange to keep one side of the satellite facing the earth. Magnetic torquing against the earth's magnetic field eliminates the requirement for expendable propellants which would limit satellite life in orbit.

  8. The utilization of six sigma and statistical process control techniques in surgical quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Sedlack, Jeffrey D

    2010-01-01

    Surgeons have been slow to incorporate industrial reliability techniques. Process control methods were applied to surgeon waiting time between cases, and to length of stay (LOS) after colon surgery. Waiting times between surgeries were evaluated by auditing the operating room records of a single hospital over a 1-month period. The medical records of 628 patients undergoing colon surgery over a 5-year period were reviewed. The average surgeon wait time between cases was 53 min, and the busiest surgeon spent 291/2 hr in 1 month waiting between surgeries. Process control charting demonstrated poor overall control of the room turnover process. Average LOS after colon resection also demonstrated very poor control. Mean LOS was 10 days. Weibull's conditional analysis revealed a conditional LOS of 9.83 days. Serious process management problems were identified in both analyses. These process issues are both expensive and adversely affect the quality of service offered by the institution. Process control mechanisms were suggested or implemented to improve these surgical processes. Industrial reliability and quality management tools can easily and effectively identify process control problems that occur on surgical services.

  9. Improvement of metal-semiconductor contact on silicon microstructured surface by electroless nickel technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Fei; Guo, Anran; Huang, Lieyun; Yu, Feng; Li, Wei

    2016-11-01

    Si micro-structures served as anti-reflection layer are widely employed in Si-based solar cells and detectors to enhance light harvesting. However, performance of these devices is suffered from the poor contact between the metal electrode and micro-structured surface. Conventional vacuum deposited metal electrode makes only superficial contact with the top of micro-structured surface and unable to fill the holes in the micro-structures. In this paper, instead, electroless nickel technique is applied to form low resistance ohmic contact. The surface micro-structures were fabricated by electrochemistry etching while the metal electrodes were deposited by sputtering and electroless pasting. Results show that only electroless nickel layer could fully fill the holes and achieve better ohmic contact than the sputtering ones before rapid annealing. Furthermore, a higher temperature rapid annealing process could improve the contact of all samples prepared by different ways. The specific contact resistance achieved by high alkalinity (pH=12) electroless nickel is 1.34×10-1Ω·cm2.

  10. Spectroscopic technique with wide range of wavelength information improves near-infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eda, Hideo; Aoki, Hiromichi; Eura, Shigeru; Ebe, Kazutoshi

    2009-02-01

    Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) calculates hemoglobin parameters, such as oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (deoxyHb) using the near-infrared light around the wavelength of 800nm. This is based on the modified-Lambert-Beer's law that changes in absorbance are proportional to changes in hemoglobin parameters. Many conventional measurement methods uses only a few wavelengths, however, in this research, basic examination of NIRS measurement was approached by acquiring wide range of wavelength information. Venous occlusion test was performed by using the blood pressure cuff around the upper arm. Pressure of 100mmHg was then applied for about 3 minutes. During the venous occlusion, the spectrum of the lower arm muscles was measured every 15 seconds, within the range of 600 to 1100nm. It was found that other wavelength bands hold information correlating to this venous occlusion task. Technique of improving the performance of NIRS measurement using the Spectroscopic Method is very important for Brain science.

  11. Fabrication of IrSi(3)/p-Si Schottky diodes by a molecular beam epitaxy technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, T. L.; Iannelli, J. M.

    1990-01-01

    IrSi(3)/p-Si Schottky diodes have been fabricated by a molecular beam epitaxy technique at 630 C. Good surface morphology was observed for IrSi(3) layers grown at temperatures below 680 C, and an increasing tendency to form islands is observed in samples grown at higher temperatures. Good diode current-voltage characteristics were observed and Schottky barrier heights of 0.14-0.18 eV were determined by activation energy analysis and spectral response measurement.

  12. Microcapsule-based techniques for improving the safety of lithium-ion batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baginska, Marta

    Lithium-ion batteries are vital energy storage devices due to their high specific energy density, lack of memory effect, and long cycle life. While they are predominantly used in small consumer electronics, new strategies for improving battery safety and lifetime are critical to the successful implementation of high-capacity, fast-charging materials required for advanced Li-ion battery applications. Currently, the presence of a volatile, combustible electrolyte and an oxidizing agent (Lithium oxide cathodes) make the Li-ion cell susceptible to fire and explosions. Thermal overheating, electrical overcharging, or mechanical damage can trigger thermal runaway, and if left unchecked, combustion of battery materials. To improve battery safety, autonomic, thermally-induced shutdown of Li-ion batteries is demonstrated by depositing thermoresponsive polymer microspheres onto battery anodes. When the internal temperature of the cell reaches a critical value, the microspheres melt and conformally coat the anode and/or separator with an ion insulating barrier, halting Li-ion transport and shutting down the cell permanently. Charge and discharge capacity is measured for Li-ion coin cells containing microsphere-coated anodes or separators as a function of capsule coverage. Scanning electron microscopy images of electrode surfaces from cells that have undergone autonomic shutdown provides evidence of melting, wetting, and re-solidification of polyethylene (PE) into the anode and polymer film formation at the anode/separator interface. As an extension of this autonomic shutdown approach, a particle-based separator capable of performing autonomic shutdown, but which reduces the shorting hazard posed by current bi- and tri-polymer commercial separators, is presented. This dual-particle separator is composed of hollow glass microspheres acting as a physical spacer between electrodes, and PE microspheres to impart autonomic shutdown functionality. An oil-immersion technique is

  13. Tactics, Methods and Techniques to Improve Special Forces In-Service Enlisted Recruiting

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-06-01

    24 4. Recruiting Strategy and Tactics/ Methods / Techniques (TMTs)....25 B. CASE STUDY 2...27 4. Recruiting Strategy and Tactics/ Methods / Techniques (TMTs)....28 C. CASE...32 4. Recruiting Strategy and Tactics/ Methods / Techniques ...................32 D. CASE STUDY 4: PEROT SYSTEMS

  14. Improving Skill Development: An Exploratory Study Comparing a Philosophical and an Applied Ethical Analysis Technique

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Saggaf, Yeslam; Burmeister, Oliver K.

    2012-01-01

    This exploratory study compares and contrasts two types of critical thinking techniques; one is a philosophical and the other an applied ethical analysis technique. The two techniques analyse an ethically challenging situation involving ICT that a recent media article raised to demonstrate their ability to develop the ethical analysis skills of…

  15. Performance improvement of hybrid subcarrier multiplexing optical spectrum code division multiplexing system using spectral direct decoding detection technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahbudin, R. K. Z.; Abdullah, M. K.; Mokhtar, M.

    2009-06-01

    This paper proposes a hybrid subcarrier multiplexing/optical spectrum code division multiplexing (SCM/OSCDM) system for the purpose of combining the advantages of both techniques. Optical spectrum code division multiple-access (OSCDMA) is one of the multiplexing techniques that is becoming popular because of the flexibility in the allocation of channels, ability to operate asynchronously, enhanced privacy and increased capacity in bursty nature networks. On the other hand, subcarrier multiplexing (SCM) technique is able to enhance the channel data rate of OSCDMA systems. In this paper, a newly developed detection technique for the OSCDM called spectral direct decoding (SDD) detection technique is compared mathematically with the AND subtraction detection technique. The system utilizes a new unified code construction named KS (Khazani-Syed) code. The results characterizing the bit-error-rate (BER) show that SDD offers a significant improved performance at BER of 10 -9.

  16. Advanced Techniques to Decrease Defect Density in Molecular Beam Epitaxial Silicon Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatsumi, Toru; Aizaki, Naoaki; Tsuya, Hideki

    1985-04-01

    Defect density dependence on various surface cleaning conditions for molecular beam epitaxial (MBE) silicon films was investigated. Defect-free films were obtained on (100) and (511) wafers, using a combination of ozone cleaning and predeposition process after the usual wet cleaning. On the (111) wafer, the defect density dependence on growth rate was examined. The two-step growth-rate procedure was effective in decreasing stacking faults on the (111) wafer. The difference in defect density between (100) and (111) wafers is also discussed.

  17. Approaches for the analysis of low molecular weight compounds with laser desorption/ionization techniques and mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Bergman, Nina; Shevchenko, Denys; Bergquist, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    This review summarizes various approaches for the analysis of low molecular weight (LMW) compounds by different laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry techniques (LDI-MS). It is common to use an agent to assist the ionization, and small molecules are normally difficult to analyze by, e.g., matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) using the common matrices available today, because the latter are generally small organic compounds themselves. This often results in severe suppression of analyte peaks, or interference of the matrix and analyte signals in the low mass region. However, intrinsic properties of several LDI techniques such as high sensitivity, low sample consumption, high tolerance towards salts and solid particles, and rapid analysis have stimulated scientists to develop methods to circumvent matrix-related issues in the analysis of LMW molecules. Recent developments within this field as well as historical considerations and future prospects are presented in this review.

  18. Rice Improvement Through Genome-Based Functional Analysis and Molecular Breeding in India.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Pinky; Parida, Swarup K; Raghuvanshi, Saurabh; Kapoor, Sanjay; Khurana, Paramjit; Khurana, Jitendra P; Tyagi, Akhilesh K

    2016-12-01

    Rice is one of the main pillars of food security in India. Its improvement for higher yield in sustainable agriculture system is also vital to provide energy and nutritional needs of growing world population, expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. The high quality genome sequence of rice has provided a rich resource to mine information about diversity of genes and alleles which can contribute to improvement of useful agronomic traits. Defining the function of each gene and regulatory element of rice remains a challenge for the rice community in the coming years. Subsequent to participation in IRGSP, India has continued to contribute in the areas of diversity analysis, transcriptomics, functional genomics, marker development, QTL mapping and molecular breeding, through national and multi-national research programs. These efforts have helped generate resources for rice improvement, some of which have already been deployed to mitigate loss due to environmental stress and pathogens. With renewed efforts, Indian researchers are making new strides, along with the international scientific community, in both basic research and realization of its translational impact.

  19. Improved Spectroscopy of Molecular Ions in the Mid-Infrared with Up-Conversion Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markus, Charles R.; Perry, Adam J.; Hodges, James N.; McCall, Benjamin J.

    2016-06-01

    Heterodyne detection, velocity modulation, and cavity enhancement are useful tools for observing rovibrational transitions of important molecular ions. We have utilized these methods to investigate a number of molecular ions, such as H_3^+, CH_5^+, HeH^+, and OH^+. In the past, parasitic etalons and the lack of fast and sensitive detectors in the mid-infrared have limited the number of transitions we could measure with MHz-level precision. Recently, we have significantly reduced the amplitude of unwanted interference fringes with a Brewster-plate spoiler. We have also developed a detection scheme which up-converts the mid-infrared light with difference frequency generation which allows the use of a faster and more sensitive avalanche photodetector. The higher detection bandwidth allows for optimized heterodyne detection at higher modulation frequencies. The overall gain in signal-to-noise from both improvements will enable extensive high-precision line lists of molecular ions and searches for previously unobserved transitions. K.N. Crabtree, J.N. Hodges, B.M. Siller, A.J. Perry, J.E. Kelly, P.A. Jenkins II, and B.J. McCall, Chem. Phys. Lett. 551 (2012) 1-6. A.J. Perry, J.N. Hodges, C.R. Markus, G.S. Kocheril, and B.J. McCall, J. Mol. Spec. 317 (2015) 71-73. J.N. Hodges, A.J. Perry, P.A. Jenkins II, B.M. Siller, and B.J. McCall, J. Chem. Phys. 139 (2013) 164291. A.J. Perry, J.N. Hodges, C.R. Markus, G.S. Kocheril, and B.J. McCall. 2014, J. Chem. Phys. 141, 101101 C.R. Markus, J.N. Hodges, A.J. Perry, G.S. Kocheril, H.S.P. Muller, and B.J. McCall, Astrophys. J. 817 (2016) 138.

  20. Continuous distribution model for the investigation of complex molecular architectures near interfaces with scattering techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shekhar, Prabhanshu; Nanda, Hirsh; Lösche, Mathias; Heinrich, Frank

    2011-11-01

    Biological membranes are composed of a thermally disordered lipid matrix and therefore require non-crystallographic scattering approaches for structural characterization with x-rays or neutrons. Here we develop a continuous distribution (CD) model to refine neutron or x-ray reflectivity data from complex architectures of organic molecules. The new model is a flexible implementation of the composition-space refinement of interfacial structures to constrain the resulting scattering length density profiles. We show this model increases the precision with which molecular components may be localized within a sample, with a minimal use of free model parameters. We validate the new model by parameterizing all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bilayers and by evaluating the neutron reflectivity of a phospholipid bilayer physisorbed to a solid support. The determination of the structural arrangement of a sparsely-tethered bilayer lipid membrane (stBLM) comprised of a multi-component phospholipid bilayer anchored to a gold substrate by a thiolated oligo(ethylene oxide) linker is also demonstrated. From the model we extract the bilayer composition and density of tether points, information which was previously inaccessible for stBLM systems. The new modeling strategy has been implemented into the ga_refl reflectivity data evaluation suite, available through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research (NCNR).

  1. Photorealistic image generation of molecular structure on PC screen using the ray-tracing technique.

    PubMed

    Kim, S; Yoon, C W; Mhin, B J; Kim, H S; Kim, K S

    1992-12-01

    A PC version of three-dimensional molecular graphics package has been developed to run under MS-DOS environment on IBM PC-compatible computers equipped with a VGA graphics board. The program consists of two parts: a menu-driven interactive system module in EGA mode, and a ray-tracing module in VGA mode. In the 256-color VGA mode, ray-tracing images are represented with a 4-color map, with 64 levels for each color: 32 levels of illuminance and 32 levels of saturation. Molecular structure can be analyzed along various directions with various light sources. Ray-tracing images are also represented in a 16-color EGA mode with the half-toning method, which can display 76 gray levels for each color. To obtain good photo-realistic images in an efficient way, we have used two light sources, with an intensity ratio of 7:3, which are located in front of the top right and bottom left corners of the screen.

  2. Investigation of molecular and elemental species dynamics in NTO, TNT, and ANTA using femtosecond LIBS technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nageswara Rao, E.; Sunku, Sreedhar; Tewari, Surya P.; Manoj Kumar, G.; Venugopal Rao, S.

    2013-05-01

    We present our initial experimental results from the LIBS studies of pyrazole, 1-nitropyrazole, 3-nitropyrazole, 3,4- dinitropyrazole and 1-methyl- 3,4,5 trinitro pyrazole recorded with femtosecond pulses and performed in argon atmosphere. CN molecular bands in three different spectral regions of 357 nm-360 nm, 384 nm-389 nm and 414 nm -423 nm, C2 swan bands near 460 nm-475 nm, 510 nm- 520 nm and 550 nm-565 nm were observed. The C peak at 247.82 nm, H peak at 656.2 nm have also been observed along with several peaks of O and N. CN/C2, CN/C, C2/C and C2/N ratios were measured from the average of 25 spectra obtained in argon. The effect of number of nitro groups on the atomic and molecular emission has been evaluated. A gate delay of 100 ns and a gate width of 800 ns were used for collecting the spectra.

  3. Molecular and physiological responses to abiotic stress in forest trees and their relevance to tree improvement.

    PubMed

    Harfouche, Antoine; Meilan, Richard; Altman, Arie

    2014-11-01

    Abiotic stresses, such as drought, salinity and cold, are the major environmental stresses that adversely affect tree growth and, thus, forest productivity, and play a major role in determining the geographic distribution of tree species. Tree responses and tolerance to abiotic stress are complex biological processes that are best analyzed at a systems level using genetic, genomic, metabolomic and phenomic approaches. This will expedite the dissection of stress-sensing and signaling networks to further support efficient genetic improvement programs. Enormous genetic diversity for stress tolerance exists within some forest-tree species, and due to advances in sequencing technologies the molecular genetic basis for this diversity has been rapidly unfolding in recent years. In addition, the use of emerging phenotyping technologies extends the suite of traits that can be measured and will provide us with a better understanding of stress tolerance. The elucidation of abiotic stress-tolerance mechanisms will allow for effective pyramiding of multiple tolerances in a single tree through genetic engineering. Here we review recent progress in the dissection of the molecular basis of abiotic stress tolerance in forest trees, with special emphasis on Populus, Pinus, Picea, Eucalyptus and Quercus spp. We also outline practices that will enable the deployment of trees engineered for abiotic stress tolerance to land owners. Finally, recommendations for future work are discussed.

  4. Communication: Improved ab initio molecular dynamics by minimally biasing with experimental data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Andrew D.; Knight, Chris; Hocky, Glen M.; Voth, Gregory A.

    2017-01-01

    Accounting for electrons and nuclei simultaneously is a powerful capability of ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD). However, AIMD is often unable to accurately reproduce properties of systems such as water due to inaccuracies in the underlying electronic density functionals. This shortcoming is often addressed by added empirical corrections and/or increasing the simulation temperature. We present here a maximum-entropy approach to directly incorporate limited experimental data via a minimal bias. Biased AIMD simulations of water and an excess proton in water are shown to give significantly improved properties both for observables which were biased to match experimental data and for unbiased observables. This approach also yields new physical insight into inaccuracies in the underlying density functional theory as utilized in the unbiased AIMD.

  5. Improved tunneling magnetoresistance at low temperature in manganite junctions grown by molecular beam epitaxy

    SciTech Connect

    Werner, R.; Kleiner, R.; Koelle, D.; Petrov, A. Yu.; Davidson, B. A.; Mino, L. Alvarez

    2011-04-18

    We report resistance versus magnetic field measurements for a La{sub 0.65}Sr{sub 0.35}MnO{sub 3}/SrTiO{sub 3}/La{sub 0.65}Sr{sub 0.35}MnO{sub 3} tunnel junction grown by molecular-beam epitaxy, that show a large field window of extremely high tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) at low temperature. Scanning the in-plane applied field orientation through 360 deg., the TMR shows fourfold symmetry, i.e., biaxial anisotropy, aligned with the crystalline axis but not the junction geometrical long axis. The TMR reaches {approx}1900% at 4 K, corresponding to an interfacial spin polarization of >95% assuming identical interfaces. These results show that uniaxial anisotropy is not necessary for large TMR, and lay the groundwork for future improvements in TMR in manganite junctions.

  6. Measuring molecular motions inside single cells with improved analysis of single-particle trajectories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowland, David J.; Biteen, Julie S.

    2017-04-01

    Single-molecule super-resolution imaging and tracking can measure molecular motions inside living cells on the scale of the molecules themselves. Diffusion in biological systems commonly exhibits multiple modes of motion, which can be effectively quantified by fitting the cumulative probability distribution of the squared step sizes in a two-step fitting process. Here we combine this two-step fit into a single least-squares minimization; this new method vastly reduces the total number of fitting parameters and increases the precision with which diffusion may be measured. We demonstrate this Global Fit approach on a simulated two-component system as well as on a mixture of diffusing 80 nm and 200 nm gold spheres to show improvements in fitting robustness and localization precision compared to the traditional Local Fit algorithm.

  7. Genetic and molecular approaches to improve nutritional value of Brassica napus L. seed.

    PubMed

    Nesi, Nathalie; Delourme, Régine; Brégeon, Michel; Falentin, Cyril; Renard, Michel

    2008-10-01

    Oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is a major oil crop that also supplies proteins for the feed industry. In order to reduce total cost production, the objective is to increase oil yield while reducing crop inputs (especially nitrogen and pesticides). Concomitantly, it is necessary to anticipate specific uses (e.g., fatty acid composition) and to ensure the valorisation of the by-products (rapeseed meal). By the past, improvement of seed quality focused on fatty acid balance and low seed glucosinolate content. Current goals include the breeding of yellow-seeded rapeseed lines with high content of seed oil. The use of molecular tools and the exploitation of Arabidopsis knowledge will be presented and discussed.

  8. Novel Molecular Architectures Developed for Improved Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Polymer Batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Kinder, James D.; Bennett, William R.

    2002-01-01

    Lithium-based polymer batteries for aerospace applications need the ability to operate in temperatures ranging from -70 to 70 C. Current state-of-the-art solid polymer electrolytes (based on amorphous polyethylene oxide, PEO) have acceptable ionic conductivities (10-4 to 10-3 S/cm) only above 60 C. Higher conductivity can be achieved in the current systems by adding solvent or plasticizers to the solid polymer to improve ion transport. However, this can compromise the dimensional and thermal stability of the electrolyte, as well as compatibility with electrode materials. One of NASA Glenn Research Center's objectives in the PERS program is to develop new electrolytes having unique molecular architectures and/or novel ion transport mechanisms, leading to good ionic conductivity at room temperature and below without solvents or plasticizers.

  9. Phospholipid Membrane Protection by Sugar Molecules during Dehydration—Insights into Molecular Mechanisms Using Scattering Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Garvey, Christopher J.; Lenné, Thomas; Koster, Karen L.; Kent, Ben; Bryant, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Scattering techniques have played a key role in our understanding of the structure and function of phospholipid membranes. These techniques have been applied widely to study how different molecules (e.g., cholesterol) can affect phospholipid membrane structure. However, there has been much less attention paid to the effects of molecules that remain in the aqueous phase. One important example is the role played by small solutes, particularly sugars, in protecting phospholipid membranes during drying or slow freezing. In this paper, we present new results and a general methodology, which illustrate how contrast variation small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and synchrotron-based X-ray scattering (small angle (SAXS) and wide angle (WAXS)) can be used to quantitatively understand the interactions between solutes and phospholipids. Specifically, we show the assignment of lipid phases with synchrotron SAXS and explain how SANS reveals the exclusion of sugars from the aqueous region in the particular example of hexagonal II phases formed by phospholipids. PMID:23584028

  10. Phospholipid Membrane Protection by Sugar Molecules during Dehydration-Insights into Molecular Mechanisms Using Scattering Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Garvey, Christopher J.; Lenné, Thomas; Koster, Karen L.; Kent, Ben; Bryant, Gary

    2014-09-24

    Scattering techniques have played a key role in our understanding of the structure and function of phospholipid membranes. These techniques have been applied widely to study how different molecules (e.g., cholesterol) can affect phospholipid membrane structure. However, there has been much less attention paid to the effects of molecules that remain in the aqueous phase. One important example is the role played by small solutes, particularly sugars, in protecting phospholipid membranes during drying or slow freezing. In this paper, we present new results and a general methodology, which illustrate how contrast variation small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and synchrotron-based X-ray scattering (small angle (SAXS) and wide angle (WAXS)) can be used to quantitatively understand the interactions between solutes and phospholipids. Specifically, we show the assignment of lipid phases with synchrotron SAXS and explain how SANS reveals the exclusion of sugars from the aqueous region in the particular example of hexagonal II phases formed by phospholipids.

  11. Molecular genetic improvements of cyanobacteria to enhance the industrial potential of the microbe: A review.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tylor J; Gibbons, Jaimie L; Gu, Liping; Zhou, Ruanbao; Gibbons, William R

    2016-11-01

    The rapid increase in worldwide population coupled with the increasing demand for fossil fuels has led to an increased urgency to develop sustainable sources of energy and chemicals from renewable resources. Using microorganisms to produce high-value chemicals and next-generation biofuels is one sustainable option and is the focus of much current research. Cyanobacteria are ideal platform organisms for chemical and biofuel production because they can be genetically engineered to produce a broad range of products directly from CO2 , H2 O, and sunlight, and require minimal nutrient inputs. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview on advances that have been or could be made to improve strains of cyanobacteria for industrial purposes. First, the benefits of using cyanobacteria as a platform for chemical and biofuel production are discussed. Next, an overview of cyanobacterial strain improvements by genetic engineering is provided. Finally, mutagenesis techniques to improve the industrial potential of cyanobacteria are described. Along with providing an overview on various areas of research that are currently being investigated to improve the industrial potential of cyanobacteria, this review aims to elucidate potential targets for future research involving cyanobacteria as an industrial microorganism. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:1357-1371, 2016.

  12. Monitoring airborne molecular contamination: a quantitative and qualitative comparison of real-time and grab-sampling techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shupp, Aaron M.; Rodier, Dan; Rowley, Steven

    2007-03-01

    Monitoring and controlling Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) has become essential in deep ultraviolet (DUV) photolithography for both optimizing yields and protecting tool optics. A variety of technologies have been employed for both real-time and grab-sample monitoring. Real-time monitoring has the advantage of quickly identifying "spikes" and upset conditions, while 2 - 24 hour plus grab sampling allows for extremely low detection limits by concentrating the mass of the target contaminant over a period of time. Employing a combination of both monitoring techniques affords the highest degree of control, lowest detection limits, and the most detailed data possible in terms of speciation. As happens with many technologies, there can be concern regarding the accuracy and agreement between real-time and grab-sample methods. This study utilizes side by side comparisons of two different real-time monitors operating in parallel with both liquid impingers and dry sorbent tubes to measure NIST traceable gas standards as well as real world samples. By measuring in parallel, a truly valid comparison is made between methods while verifying the results against a certified standard. The final outcome for this investigation is that a dry sorbent tube grab-sample technique produced results that agreed in terms of accuracy with NIST traceable standards as well as the two real-time techniques Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) and Pulsed Fluorescence Detection (PFD) while a traditional liquid impinger technique showed discrepancies.

  13. Molecular identification of human tuberculosis in recent and historic bone tissue samples: The role of molecular techniques for the study of historic tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Zink, Albert R; Grabner, Waltraud; Nerlich, Andreas G

    2005-01-01

    We describe the molecular identification of the M. tuberculosis complex DNA in bone tissue samples from recent and historic populations. In a first set, archival paraffin material from vertebral bodies of 12 recent cases with clinically/microbiologically proven tuberculosis was compared to 12 further cases without tuberculosis. While eight TB cases revealed a specific mycobacterial amplification product, none of the controls was positive. Interestingly, one case with tuberculous sepsis (Landouzy sepsis), five cases with tuberculous spread beyond the primarily affected organ (i.e., lymph node or miliar involvement), and also two of six cases with restricted pulmonary tuberculosis reacted positively in the vertebral specimens. This indicates that a molecular analysis can detect mycobacteria even in unremarkable bone tissue, proving that organ tuberculosis is present. In addition, the extent of spread is of high significance for the frequency of positive reactions. In addition, we investigated a series of vertebral samples coming from an Egyptian population of the necropolis of Thebes-West dating to approximately 1450-500 BC. In this group of 36 cases, three of five cases with typical macromorphological signs for tuberculous spondylitis, 2 of 12 cases with nonspecific alterations, and 2 of 19 cases without macroscopic pathology revealed a specific amplicon of the M. tuberculosis complex. This suggests a significant frequency of infected people in that ancient population. Finally, a fourth group of 51 long bone samples with pathological alterations coming form a southern German ossuary (between AD 1400-1800) was investigated, and 10 cases were positive for the M. tuberculosis complex. These studies of historic material clearly support the notion that tuberculous infections can be unequivocally identified by molecular techniques. The relatively high frequency of ancient bacterial DNA amplifications in unremarkable bone is well-explained by our analysis of the recent

  14. GaAsBi/GaAs multi-quantum well LED grown by molecular beam epitaxy using a two-substrate-temperature technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kisan Patil, Pallavi; Luna, Esperanza; Matsuda, Teruyoshi; Yamada, Kohki; Kamiya, Keisuke; Ishikawa, Fumitaro; Shimomura, Satoshi

    2017-03-01

    We report a GaAs0.96Bi0.04/GaAs multiple quantum well (MQW) light emitting diode (LED) grown by molecular beam epitaxy using a two-substrate-temperature (TST) technique. In particular, the QWs and the barriers in the intrinsic region were grown at the different temperatures of {T}{{GaAsBi}} = 350 °C and {T}{{GaAs}} = 550 ^\\circ {{C}}, respectively. Investigations of the microstructure using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveal homogeneous MQWs free of extended defects. Furthermore, the local determination of the Bi distribution profile across the MQWs region using TEM techniques confirm the uniform Bi distribution, while revealing a slightly chemically graded GaAs-on-GaAsBi interface due to Bi surface segregation. Despite this small broadening, we found that Bi segregation is significantly reduced (up to 18% reduction) compared to previous reports on Bi segregation in GaAsBi/GaAs MQWs. Hence, the TST procedure proves as a very efficient method to reduce Bi segregation and thus increase the quality of the layers and interfaces. These improvements positively reflect in the optical properties. Room temperature photoluminescence and electroluminescence (EL) at 1.23 μm emission wavelength are successfully demonstrated using TST MQWs containing less Bi content than in previous reports. Finally, LED fabricated using the present TST technique show current–voltage (I–V) curves with a forward voltage of 3.3 V at an injection current of 130 mA under 1.0 kA cm‑2 current excitation. These results not only demonstrate that TST technique provides optical device quality GaAsBi/GaAs MQWs but highlight the relevance of TST-based growth techniques on the fabrication of future heterostructure devices based on dilute bismides.

  15. GaAsBi/GaAs multi-quantum well LED grown by molecular beam epitaxy using a two-substrate-temperature technique.

    PubMed

    Patil, Pallavi Kisan; Luna, Esperanza; Matsuda, Teruyoshi; Yamada, Kohki; Kamiya, Keisuke; Ishikawa, Fumitaro; Shimomura, Satoshi

    2017-03-10

    We report a GaAs0.96Bi0.04/GaAs multiple quantum well (MQW) light emitting diode (LED) grown by molecular beam epitaxy using a two-substrate-temperature (TST) technique. In particular, the QWs and the barriers in the intrinsic region were grown at the different temperatures of [Formula: see text] = 350 °C and [Formula: see text] respectively. Investigations of the microstructure using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveal homogeneous MQWs free of extended defects. Furthermore, the local determination of the Bi distribution profile across the MQWs region using TEM techniques confirm the uniform Bi distribution, while revealing a slightly chemically graded GaAs-on-GaAsBi interface due to Bi surface segregation. Despite this small broadening, we found that Bi segregation is significantly reduced (up to 18% reduction) compared to previous reports on Bi segregation in GaAsBi/GaAs MQWs. Hence, the TST procedure proves as a very efficient method to reduce Bi segregation and thus increase the quality of the layers and interfaces. These improvements positively reflect in the optical properties. Room temperature photoluminescence and electroluminescence (EL) at 1.23 μm emission wavelength are successfully demonstrated using TST MQWs containing less Bi content than in previous reports. Finally, LED fabricated using the present TST technique show current-voltage (I-V) curves with a forward voltage of 3.3 V at an injection current of 130 mA under 1.0 kA cm(-2) current excitation. These results not only demonstrate that TST technique provides optical device quality GaAsBi/GaAs MQWs but highlight the relevance of TST-based growth techniques on the fabrication of future heterostructure devices based on dilute bismides.

  16. Dissolution Improvement of Atorvastatin Calcium using Modified Locust Bean Gum by the Solid Dispersion Technique.

    PubMed

    Panghal, Dharmila; Nagpal, Manju; Thakur, Gurjeet Singh; Arora, Sandeep

    2014-01-01

    The present research was aimed at the enhancement of the dissolution rate of atorvastatin calcium by the solid dispersion technique usi