Science.gov

Sample records for increases myocardial efficiency

  1. Increased Sensitivity to Heparin Following Acute Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Dufault, C.

    1965-01-01

    In vivo increased sensitivity to heparin has been demonstrated in patients following an acute myocardial infarction. An intravenous injection of 10,000 units of heparin was given to each of 18 patients with recent myocardial infarction in order to compare them with 17 patients who were not suffering from any acute illness. The changes in whole blood clotting time, recalcified plasma clotting time and prothrombin time were greater and more prolonged in the patients with recent myocardial infarction. Of the three tests, the one-stage prothrombin time provided the simplest and the most precise measurement of heparin sensitivity. The reason for this was not clear: it is possible that it is related to shock and congestive heart failure which were complications of the clinical course following myocardial infarction. PMID:14216140

  2. Reduced mitochondrial oxidative capacity and increased mitochondrial uncoupling impair myocardial energetics in obesity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is strongly associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Recent studies in obese humans and animals demonstrated increased myocardial oxygen consumption (MVO2) and reduced cardiac efficiency (CE); however, the underlying mechanisms r...

  3. Respiratory muscle endurance is limited by lower ventilatory efficiency in post-myocardial infarction patients

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Laura M. T.; Karsten, Marlus; Neves, Victor R.; Beltrame, Thomas; Borghi-Silva, Audrey; Catai, Aparecida M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Reduced respiratory muscle endurance (RME) contributes to increased dyspnea upon exertion in patients with cardiovascular disease. Objective The objective was to characterize ventilatory and metabolic responses during RME tests in post-myocardial infarction patients without respiratory muscle weakness. Method Twenty-nine subjects were allocated into three groups: recent myocardial infarction group (RG, n=9), less-recent myocardial infarction group (LRG, n=10), and control group (CG, n=10). They underwent two RME tests (incremental and constant pressure) with ventilatory and metabolic analyses. One-way ANOVA and repeated measures one-way ANOVA, both with Tukey post-hoc, were used between groups and within subjects, respectively. Results Patients from the RG and LRG presented lower metabolic equivalent and ventilatory efficiency than the CG on the second (50± 06, 50± 5 vs. 42± 4) and third part (50± 11, 51± 10 vs. 43± 3) of the constant pressure RME test and lower metabolic equivalent during the incremental pressure RME test. Additionally, at the peak of the incremental RME test, RG patients had lower oxygen uptake than the CG. Conclusions Post-myocardial infarction patients present lower ventilatory efficiency during respiratory muscle endurance tests, which appears to explain their inferior performance in these tests even in the presence of lower pressure overload and lower metabolic equivalent. PMID:24675907

  4. Dysfunctional nitric oxide signalling increases risk of myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Erdmann, Jeanette; Stark, Klaus; Esslinger, Ulrike B; Rumpf, Philipp Moritz; Koesling, Doris; de Wit, Cor; Kaiser, Frank J; Braunholz, Diana; Medack, Anja; Fischer, Marcus; Zimmermann, Martina E; Tennstedt, Stephanie; Graf, Elisabeth; Eck, Sebastian; Aherrahrou, Zouhair; Nahrstaedt, Janja; Willenborg, Christina; Bruse, Petra; Brænne, Ingrid; Nöthen, Markus M; Hofmann, Per; Braund, Peter S; Mergia, Evanthia; Reinhard, Wibke; Burgdorf, Christof; Schreiber, Stefan; Balmforth, Anthony J; Hall, Alistair S; Bertram, Lars; Steinhagen-Thiessen, Elisabeth; Li, Shu-Chen; März, Winfried; Reilly, Muredach; Kathiresan, Sekar; McPherson, Ruth; Walter, Ulrich; Ott, Jurg; Samani, Nilesh J; Strom, Tim M; Meitinger, Thomas; Hengstenberg, Christian; Schunkert, Heribert

    2013-12-19

    Myocardial infarction, a leading cause of death in the Western world, usually occurs when the fibrous cap overlying an atherosclerotic plaque in a coronary artery ruptures. The resulting exposure of blood to the atherosclerotic material then triggers thrombus formation, which occludes the artery. The importance of genetic predisposition to coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction is best documented by the predictive value of a positive family history. Next-generation sequencing in families with several affected individuals has revolutionized mutation identification. Here we report the segregation of two private, heterozygous mutations in two functionally related genes, GUCY1A3 (p.Leu163Phefs*24) and CCT7 (p.Ser525Leu), in an extended myocardial infarction family. GUCY1A3 encodes the α1 subunit of soluble guanylyl cyclase (α1-sGC), and CCT7 encodes CCTη, a member of the tailless complex polypeptide 1 ring complex, which, among other functions, stabilizes soluble guanylyl cyclase. After stimulation with nitric oxide, soluble guanylyl cyclase generates cGMP, which induces vasodilation and inhibits platelet activation. We demonstrate in vitro that mutations in both GUCY1A3 and CCT7 severely reduce α1-sGC as well as β1-sGC protein content, and impair soluble guanylyl cyclase activity. Moreover, platelets from digenic mutation carriers contained less soluble guanylyl cyclase protein and consequently displayed reduced nitric-oxide-induced cGMP formation. Mice deficient in α1-sGC protein displayed accelerated thrombus formation in the microcirculation after local trauma. Starting with a severely affected family, we have identified a link between impaired soluble-guanylyl-cyclase-dependent nitric oxide signalling and myocardial infarction risk, possibly through accelerated thrombus formation. Reversing this defect may provide a new therapeutic target for reducing the risk of myocardial infarction.

  5. Hemorrhage activates myocardial NFkappaB and increases TNF-alpha in the heart.

    PubMed

    Meldrum, D R; Shenkar, R; Sheridan, B C; Cain, B S; Abraham, E; Harken, A H

    1997-10-01

    The heart is a tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) producing organ. Locally (v systemically)-produced TNFalpha likely contributes to myocardial dysfunction via direct suppression of myocardial contractile function, the induction of myocardial apoptosis, and the genesis of cardiac hypertrophy. Although recent studies have demonstrated increased myocardial TNFalpha following endotoxemia, it remains unknown whether shock, in the absence of sepsis, activates myocardial nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB, a TNFalpha transcription factor) and/or increases TNFalpha in the heart. To study this, rats were hemorrhaged and resuscitated, after which hearts were harvested and analysed for evidence of NFkappaB activation (electrophoretic mobility shift assay) and assayed for TNFalpha levels. Hemorrhage and resuscitation activated NFkappaB and resulted in a dramatic increase in myocardial TNFalpha. This study constitutes the initial demonstration that hemorrhagic shock activates the signaling mechanisms which culminate in increased myocardial TNFalpha. Indeed, this may have important clinical implications, since hemorrhage is a frequent complication of both iatrogenic and accidental trauma, as well as a potent instigator of multiple organ failure.

  6. The ways of SOFC systems efficiency increasing

    SciTech Connect

    Demin, A.K.; Timofeyeva, N.

    1996-04-01

    The efficiency of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is described. This paper considers methods to lift the fuel utilization and/or the average cell voltage with the goal of increasing the cell efficiency by improved cell designs.

  7. Flow dynamics and energy efficiency of flow in the left ventricle during myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Vivek; Low, Adriel Jia Jun; Annamalai, Sarayu Parimal; Sampath, Smita; Poh, Kian Keong; Totman, Teresa; Mazlan, Muhammad; Croft, Grace; Richards, A Mark; de Kleijn, Dominique P V; Chin, Chih-Liang; Yap, Choon Hwai

    2017-03-31

    Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, where myocardial infarction (MI) is a major category. After infarction, the heart has difficulty providing sufficient energy for circulation, and thus, understanding the heart's energy efficiency is important. We induced MI in a porcine animal model via circumflex ligation and acquired multiple-slice cine magnetic resonance (MR) images in a longitudinal manner-before infarction, and 1 week (acute) and 4 weeks (chronic) after infarction. Computational fluid dynamic simulations were performed based on MR images to obtain detailed fluid dynamics and energy dynamics of the left ventricles. Results showed that energy efficiency flow through the heart decreased at the acute time point. Since the heart was observed to experience changes in heart rate, stroke volume and chamber size over the two post-infarction time points, simulations were performed to test the effect of each of the three parameters. Increasing heart rate and stroke volume were found to significantly decrease flow energy efficiency, but the effect of chamber size was inconsistent. Strong complex interplay was observed between the three parameters, necessitating the use of non-dimensional parameterization to characterize flow energy efficiency. The ratio of Reynolds to Strouhal number, which is a form of Womersley number, was found to be the most effective non-dimensional parameter to represent energy efficiency of flow in the heart. We believe that this non-dimensional number can be computed for clinical cases via ultrasound and hypothesize that it can serve as a biomarker for clinical evaluations.

  8. Histamine deficiency exacerbates myocardial injury in acute myocardial infarction through impaired macrophage infiltration and increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Deng, Long; Hong, Tao; Lin, Jinyi; Ding, Suling; Huang, Zheyong; Chen, Jinmiao; Jia, Jianguo; Zou, Yunzeng; Wang, Timothy C; Yang, Xiangdong; Ge, Junbo

    2015-08-17

    Histamine is a biogenic amine that is widely distributed and has multiple functions, but the role it plays in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the origin and contribution of endogenous histamine to AMI. Histidine decarboxylase (HDC) is the unique enzyme responsible for histamine generation. Using HDC-EGFP bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice in which EGFP expression is controlled by the HDC promoter, we identified HDC expression primarily in CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) immature myeloid cells (IMCs) that markedly increase in the early stages of AMI. Deficiency of histamine in HDC knockout mice (HDC(-/-)) reduced cardiac function and exacerbated the injury of infarcted heart. Furthermore, administering either an H1 receptor antagonist (pyrilamine) or an H2 receptor antagonist (cimetidine) demonstrated a protective effect of histamine against myocardial injury. The results of in vivo and in vitro assays showed that histamine deficiency promotes the apoptosis of cardiomyocytes and inhibits macrophage infiltration. In conclusion, CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) IMCs are the predominant HDC-expressing sites in AMI, and histamine plays a protective role in the process of AMI through inhibition of cardiomyocyte apoptosis and facilitation of macrophage infiltration.

  9. Acute Stress Decreases but Chronic Stress Increases Myocardial Sensitivity to Ischemic Injury in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Eisenmann, Eric D.; Rorabaugh, Boyd R.; Zoladz, Phillip R.

    2016-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the largest cause of mortality worldwide, and stress is a significant contributor to the development of CVD. The relationship between acute and chronic stress and CVD is well evidenced. Acute stress can lead to arrhythmias and ischemic injury. However, recent evidence in rodent models suggests that acute stress can decrease sensitivity to myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI). Conversely, chronic stress is arrhythmogenic and increases sensitivity to myocardial IRI. Few studies have examined the impact of validated animal models of stress-related psychological disorders on the ischemic heart. This review examines the work that has been completed using rat models to study the effects of stress on myocardial sensitivity to ischemic injury. Utilization of animal models of stress-related psychological disorders is critical in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders in patients experiencing stress-related psychiatric conditions. PMID:27199778

  10. Magnetic Bearings Would Increase Pump Efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Studer, P. A.

    1983-01-01

    Active feedback applied to bearings windings compensate for unbalanced forces. Helical-screw rotation compresses and transports gas charges, which subject shafts to forces tend to displace them from their equilibrium positions. Magnetic bearings restore shafts to equilibrium, lowering friction and increasing efficiency.

  11. Wind increases leaf water use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Schymanski, Stanislaus J; Or, Dani

    2016-07-01

    A widespread perception is that, with increasing wind speed, transpiration from plant leaves increases. However, evidence suggests that increasing wind speed enhances carbon dioxide (CO2 ) uptake while reducing transpiration because of more efficient convective cooling (under high solar radiation loads). We provide theoretical and experimental evidence that leaf water use efficiency (WUE, carbon uptake per water transpired) commonly increases with increasing wind speed, thus improving plants' ability to conserve water during photosynthesis. Our leaf-scale analysis suggests that the observed global decrease in near-surface wind speeds could have reduced WUE at a magnitude similar to the increase in WUE attributed to global rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, there is indication that the effect of long-term trends in wind speed on leaf gas exchange may be compensated for by the concurrent reduction in mean leaf sizes. These unintuitive feedbacks between wind, leaf size and water use efficiency call for re-evaluation of the role of wind in plant water relations and potential re-interpretation of temporal and geographic trends in leaf sizes.

  12. [Myocardial lesions in acute increase of the intracranial pressure (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Varga, T; Szabó, A

    1978-01-31

    Myocardial lesions occuring in diseases with acute increase of intracranial pressure were investigated. Morphologic alterations in heart muscle in spite of different lengh of surviving and various causes of the death were of similar type. In every case subendocardial haemorrhage could be observed on the septal surface and on the papillary muscle of the left ventricle. Focal intracellular edema, myocytolysis were revealed in 76%, focal necrosis of hypercontractic type developed in 52% of the cases. Cellular infiltration occurred around the alternations observed in 3 cases. It is concluded, that damage to the heart muscle is not caused directly by the increased intracranial pressure or catecholamine mobilisation, but seems to be the consequence of the acute myocardial hypoxia.

  13. Increased myocardial ischemia during nitrate therapy: caused by multiple coronary artery-left ventricle fistulae?

    PubMed

    Heper, Gulumser; Kose, Sedat

    2005-01-01

    We present the case of a 54-year-old man who had crescendo angina during nitrate therapy. Selective coronary angiograms showed no atherosclerotic lesions, but did show plexuses of intramural vessels that connected the distal thirds of the left and right coronary systems with the left ventricle. The cause of our patient's increased myocardial ischemia during nitrate therapy may have been the coronary "steal" phenomenon.

  14. Apelin-13 increases myocardial progenitor cells and improves repair postmyocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Li, Lanfang; Zeng, Heng; Chen, Jian-Xiong

    2012-09-01

    Apelin is an endogenous ligand for the angiotensin-like 1 receptor (APJ) and has beneficial effects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Little is known about the role of apelin in the homing of vascular progenitor cells (PCs) and cardiac functional recovery postmyocardial infarction (post-MI). The present study investigated whether apelin affects PC homing to the infarcted myocardium, thereby mediating repair and functional recovery post-MI. Mice were infarcted by coronary artery ligation, and apelin-13 (1 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) was injected for 3 days before MI and for 14 days post-MI. Homing of vascular PCs [CD133(+)/c-Kit(+)/Sca1(+), CD133(+)/stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α(+), and CD133(+)/CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR)-4(+)] into the ischemic area was examined. Myocardial Akt, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), VEGF, jagged1, notch3, SDF-1α, and CXCR-4 expression were assessed at 24 h and 14 days post-MI. Functional analyses were performed on day 14 post-MI. Mice that received apelin-13 treatment demonstrated upregulation of SDF-1α/CXCR-4 expression and dramatically increased the number of CD133(+)/c-Kit(+)/Sca1(+), CD133(+)/SDF-1α(+), and c-Kit(+)/CXCR-4(+) cells in infarcted hearts. Apelin-13 also significantly increased Akt and eNOS phosphorylation and upregulated VEGF, jagged1, and notch3 expression in ischemic hearts. This was accompanied by a significant reduction of myocardial apoptosis. Furthermore, treatment with apelin-13 promoted myocardial angiogenesis and attenuated cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy together with a significant improvement of cardiac function at 14 days post-MI. Apelin-13 increases angiogenesis and improves cardiac repair post-MI by a mechanism involving the upregulation of SDF-1α/CXCR-4 and homing of vascular PCs.

  15. Chronic Ethanol Consumption Increases Myocardial Mitochondrial DNA Mutations: A Potential Contribution by Mitochondrial Topoisomerases

    PubMed Central

    Laurent, D.; Mathew, J.E.; Mitry, M.; Taft, M.; Force, A.; Edwards, J.G.

    2014-01-01

    Aims: Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) presents as decreased myocardial contractility, arrhythmias and secondary non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy leading to heart failure. Mitochondrial dysfunction is known to have a significant role in the development and complications of ACM. This study investigated if chronic ethanol feeding promoted myocardial mitochondrial topoisomerase dysfunction as one underlying cause of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and mitochondrial dysfunction in ACM. Methods: The impact of chronic ethanol exposure on the myocardial mitochondria was examined in both neonatal cardiomyocytes using 50 mM ethanol for 6 days and in rats assigned to control or ethanol feeding groups for 4 months. Results: Chronic ethanol feeding led to significant (P < 0.05) decreases in M-mode Fractional Shortening, ejection fraction, and the cardiac output index as well as increases in Tau. Ethanol feeding promoted mitochondrial dysfunction as evidenced by significantly decreased left ventricle cytochrome oxidase activity and decreases in mitochondrial protein content. Both in rats and in cultured cardiomyocytes, chronic ethanol presentation significantly increased mtDNA damage. Using isolated myocardial mitochondria, both mitochondrial topoisomerase-dependent DNA cleavage and DNA relaxation were significantly altered by ethanol feeding. Conclusion: Chronic ethanol feeding compromised cardiovascular and mitochondrial function as a result of a decline in mtDNA integrity that was in part the consequence of mitochondrial topoisomerase dysfunction. Understanding the regulation of the mitochondrial topoisomerases is critical for protection of mtDNA, not only for the management of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, but also for the many other clinical treatments that targets the topoisomerases in the alcoholic patient. PMID:24852753

  16. Loss of dystrophin is associated with increased myocardial stiffness in a model of left ventricular hypertrophy.

    PubMed

    Donato, Martín; Buchholz, Bruno; Morales, Celina; Valdez, Laura; Zaobornyj, Tamara; Baratta, Sergio; Paez, Diamela T; Matoso, Mirian; Vaccarino, Guillermo; Chejtman, Demian; Agüero, Oscar; Telayna, Juan; Navia, José; Hita, Alejandro; Boveris, Alberto; Gelpi, Ricardo J

    2017-03-18

    Transition from compensated to decompensated left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is accompanied by functional and structural changes. Here, the aim was to evaluate dystrophin expression in murine models and human subjects with LVH by transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and aortic stenosis (AS), respectively. We determined whether doxycycline (Doxy) prevented dystrophin expression and myocardial stiffness in mice. Additionally, ventricular function recovery was evaluated in patients 1 year after surgery. Mice were subjected to TAC and monitored for 3 weeks. A second group received Doxy treatment after TAC. Patients with AS were stratified by normal left ventricular end-diastolic wall stress (LVEDWS) and high LVEDWS, and groups were compared. In mice, LVH decreased inotropism and increased myocardial stiffness associated with a dystrophin breakdown and a decreased mitochondrial O2 uptake (MitoMVO2). These alterations were attenuated by Doxy. Patients with high LVEDWS showed similar results to those observed in mice. A correlation between dystrophin and myocardial stiffness was observed in both mice and humans. Systolic function at 1 year post-surgery was only recovered in the normal-LVEDWS group. In summary, mice and humans present diastolic dysfunction associated with dystrophin degradation. The recovery of ventricular function was observed only in patients with normal LVEDWS and without dystrophin degradation. In mice, Doxy improved MitoMVO2. Based on our results it is concluded that the LVH with high LVEDWS is associated to a degradation of dystrophin and increase of myocardial stiffness. At least in a murine model these alterations were attenuated after the administration of a matrix metalloprotease inhibitor.

  17. Increasing market efficiency in the stock markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jae-Suk; Kwak, Wooseop; Kaizoji, Taisei; Kim, In-Mook

    2008-01-01

    We study the temporal evolutions of three stock markets; Standard and Poor's 500 index, Nikkei 225 Stock Average, and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index. We observe that the probability density function of the log-return has a fat tail but the tail index has been increasing continuously in recent years. We have also found that the variance of the autocorrelation function, the scaling exponent of the standard deviation, and the statistical complexity decrease, but that the entropy density increases as time goes over time. We introduce a modified microscopic spin model and simulate the model to confirm such increasing and decreasing tendencies in statistical quantities. These findings indicate that these three stock markets are becoming more efficient.

  18. Increasing the efficiency of solar thermal panels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrnjac, M.; Latinović, T.; Dobrnjac, S.; Živković, P.

    2016-08-01

    The popularity of solar heating systems is increasing for several reasons. These systems are reliable, adaptable and pollution-free, because the renewable solar energy is used. There are many variants of solar systems in the market mainly constructed with copper pipes and absorbers with different quality of absorption surface. Taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of existing solutions, in order to increase efficiency and improve the design of solar panel, the innovative solution has been done. This new solar panel presents connection of an attractive design and the use of constructive appropriate materials with special geometric shapes. Hydraulic and thermotechnical tests that have been performed on this panel showed high hydraulic and structural stability. Further development of the solar panel will be done in the future in order to improve some noticed disadvantages.

  19. HP replacement program increases efficiency, protection

    SciTech Connect

    1997-10-01

    For more than 50 years, compression equipment along the 2,000-mile Tennessee Gas Pipeline has been helping to supply natural gas needs for the Northeast. But increasing demand and a need for more environmentally safe equipment mean a major replacement program for the compressor stations that make the natural gas transmission possible. Today it is one of the longest gas pipelines in the world, carrying more than 1 Bcf/d of natural gas. New compression equipment is being installed to boost efficiency and meet more stringent environmental standards. In 1993, Tenneco Energy, purchased by El Paso Energy in December 1996, initiated a Horsepower Replacement Program intended to replace older, inefficient technology with more advanced equipment. A major objective was to improve operational effectiveness and to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions by converting much of the machinery to electric-driven compression equipment.

  20. Setting Up an Efficient Therapeutic Hypothermia Team in Conscious ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction Patients: A UK Heart Attack Center Experience.

    PubMed

    Islam, Shahed; Hampton-Till, James; MohdNazri, Shah; Watson, Noel; Gudde, Ellie; Gudde, Tom; Kelly, Paul A; Tang, Kare H; Davies, John R; Keeble, Thomas R

    2015-12-01

    Patients presenting with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are routinely treated with percutaneous coronary intervention to restore blood flow in the occluded artery to reduce infarct size (IS). However, there is evidence to suggest that the restoration of blood flow can cause further damage to the myocardium through reperfusion injury (RI). Recent research in this area has focused on minimizing damage to the myocardium caused by RI. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has been shown to be beneficial in animal models of coronary artery occlusion in reducing IS caused by RI if instituted early in an ischemic myocardium. Data in humans are less convincing to date, although exploratory analyses suggest that there is significant clinical benefit in reducing IS if TH can be administered at the earliest recognition of ischemia in anterior myocardial infarction. The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre is the first UK center to have participated in administering TH in conscious patients presenting with STEMI as part of the COOL-AMI case series study. In this article, we outline our experience of efficiently integrating conscious TH into our primary percutaneous intervention program to achieve 18 minutes of cooling duration before reperfusion, with no significant increase in door-to-balloon times, in the setting of the clinical trial.

  1. Setting Up an Efficient Therapeutic Hypothermia Team in Conscious ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction Patients: A UK Heart Attack Center Experience

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Shahed; Hampton-Till, James; MohdNazri, Shah; Watson, Noel; Gudde, Ellie; Gudde, Tom; Kelly, Paul A.; Tang, Kare H.

    2015-01-01

    Patients presenting with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are routinely treated with percutaneous coronary intervention to restore blood flow in the occluded artery to reduce infarct size (IS). However, there is evidence to suggest that the restoration of blood flow can cause further damage to the myocardium through reperfusion injury (RI). Recent research in this area has focused on minimizing damage to the myocardium caused by RI. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has been shown to be beneficial in animal models of coronary artery occlusion in reducing IS caused by RI if instituted early in an ischemic myocardium. Data in humans are less convincing to date, although exploratory analyses suggest that there is significant clinical benefit in reducing IS if TH can be administered at the earliest recognition of ischemia in anterior myocardial infarction. The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre is the first UK center to have participated in administering TH in conscious patients presenting with STEMI as part of the COOL-AMI case series study. In this article, we outline our experience of efficiently integrating conscious TH into our primary percutaneous intervention program to achieve 18 minutes of cooling duration before reperfusion, with no significant increase in door-to-balloon times, in the setting of the clinical trial. PMID:26154447

  2. Evidence for Intramyocardial Disruption of Lipid Metabolism and Increased Myocardial Ketone Utilization in Advanced Human Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Bedi, Kenneth C.; Snyder, Nathaniel W; Brandimarto, Jeffrey; Aziz, Moez; Mesaros, Clementina; Worth, Andrew J.; Wang, Linda L.; Javaheri, Ali; Blair, Ian A.; Margulies, Kenneth; Rame, J. Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Background The failing human heart is characterized by metabolic abnormalities, but these defects remains incompletely understood. In animal models of HF there is a switch from a predominance of fatty acid utilization to the more oxygen-sparing carbohydrate metabolism. Recent studies have reported decreases in myocardial lipid content, but inclusion of diabetics and nondiabetics obscures the distinction of adapations to metabolic derangements from adaptations to heart failure per se. Methods and Results We performed both unbiased and targeted myocardial lipid surveys using liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy in non-diabetic, lean, predominantly non-ischemic advanced HF patients at the time of heart transplantation or LVAD implantation. We identified significantly decreased concentrations of the majority of myocardial lipid intermediates, including long-chain acylcarnitines, the primary subset of energetic lipid substrate for mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. We report for the first time significantly reduced levels of intermediate and anaplerotic acyl-CoA species incorporated into Krebs cycle, while the myocardial concentration of acetyl-CoA was significantly increased in end-stage heart failure. In contrast, we observed an increased abundance of ketogenic β-hydroxybutyryl CoA, in association with increased myocardial utilization of β-hydroxybutyrate. We observed a significant increase in the expression of the gene encoding succinyl-CoA: 3oxoacid-CoA transferase (SCOT), the rate limiting enzyme for myocardial oxidation of βOHB and acetoacetate. Conclusions These findings indicate increased ketone utilization in the severely failing human heart independent of diabetes, support the role of ketone bodies as an alternative fuel and myocardial ketone oxidation as a key metabolic adaptation in the failing human heart. PMID:26819374

  3. Effects of increasing left ventricular filling pressure in patients with acute myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Richard O.; Rackley, Charles E.; Pombo, Jaoquin; Hunt, David; Potanin, Constantine; Dodge, Harold T.

    1970-01-01

    Left ventricular performance in 19 patients with acute myocardial infarction has been evaluated by measuring left ventricular response in terms of cardiac output, stroke volume, work, and power to progressive elevation of filling pressure accomplished by progressive expansion of blood volume with rapid infusion of low molecular weight dextran. Such infusion can elevate the cardiac output, stroke volume, work, and power and thus delineate the function of the left ventricle by Frank-Starling function curves. Left ventricular filling pressure in the range of 20-24 mm Hg was associated with the peak of the curves and when the filling pressure exceeded this range, the curves became flattened or decreased. An increase in cardiac output could be maintained for 4 or more hr. Patients with a flattened function curve had a high mortality in the ensuing 8 wk. The function curve showed improvement in myocardial function during the early convalescence. When left ventricular filling pressure is monitored directly or as pulmonary artery end-diastolic pressure, low molecular weight dextran provides a method for assessment of left ventricular function. Images PMID:5431663

  4. Increased myocardial dysfunction, dyssynchrony, and epicardial fat across the lifespan in healthy males

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Evaluation of sensitive myocardial mechanics with speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) across the lifespan may reveal early indicators of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) and left ventricular (LV) myocardial dyssynchrony; subclinical risk-factors of CVD, are of particular clinical interest. However, the evolution of EAT and LV-dyssynchrony across the lifespan, and their influence on myocardial dysfunction remains unclear. We aimed to establish a profile of the healthy aging-heart using conventional, tissue-Doppler imaging (TDI) and speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE), while also exploring underlying contributions from EAT and LV-dyssynchrony towards LV myocardial mechanics, independent of blood biology. Methods Healthy males aged 19–94 years were recruited through University-wide advertisements in Victoria and New-South Wales, Australia. Following strict exclusion criteria, basic clinical and comprehensive echocardiographic profiles (conventional, TDI and STE) were established. LV-dyssynchrony was calculated from the maximum-delay of time-to-peak velocity/strain in the four LV-annulus sites (TDI), and six LV-segments (STE longitudinal and circumferential axes). Epicardial fat diameter was obtained from two-dimensional grey-scale images in the parasternal long-axis. Blood biological measures included glycemia, hsCRP, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density and low-density lipoprotein levels. Results Three groups of 15 were assigned to young (<40 years), middle (40–65 years), and older (>65) aged categories. Five participants were excluded from STE analyses due to inadequate image quality. Decreased longitudinal strain, increased circumferential apical strain and LV twist were age-related. Moreover, independent of blood biology, significant increases were observed across age categories for EAT (young: 2.5 ± 0.9 mm, middle: 3.9 ± 1.0 mm, older 5.7 ± 2.4 mm; p < 0.01), longitudinal STE

  5. Splenic release of platelets contributes to increased circulating platelet size and inflammation after myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiao-Ming; Moore, Xiao-Lei; Liu, Yang; Wang, Xin-Yu; Han, Li-Ping; Su, Yidan; Tsai, Alan; Xu, Qi; Zhang, Ming; Lambert, Gavin W; Kiriazis, Helen; Gao, Wei; Dart, Anthony M; Du, Xiao-Jun

    2016-07-01

    Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is characterized by a rapid increase in circulating platelet size but the mechanism for this is unclear. Large platelets are hyperactive and associated with adverse clinical outcomes. We determined mean platelet volume (MPV) and platelet-monocyte conjugation (PMC) using blood samples from patients, and blood and the spleen from mice with AMI. We further measured changes in platelet size, PMC, cardiac and splenic contents of platelets and leucocyte infiltration into the mouse heart. In AMI patients, circulating MPV and PMC increased at 1-3 h post-MI and MPV returned to reference levels within 24 h after admission. In mice with MI, increases in platelet size and PMC became evident within 12 h and were sustained up to 72 h. Splenic platelets are bigger than circulating platelets in normal or infarct mice. At 24 h post-MI, splenic platelet storage was halved whereas cardiac platelets increased by 4-fold. Splenectomy attenuated all changes observed in the blood, reduced leucocyte and platelet accumulation in the infarct myocardium, limited infarct size and alleviated cardiac dilatation and dysfunction. AMI-induced elevated circulating levels of adenosine diphosphate and catecholamines in both human and the mouse, which may trigger splenic platelet release. Pharmacological inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme, β1-adrenergic receptor or platelet P2Y12 receptor reduced platelet abundance in the murine infarct myocardium albeit having diverse effects on platelet size and PMC. In conclusion, AMI evokes release of splenic platelets, which contributes to the increase in platelet size and PMC and facilitates myocardial accumulation of platelets and leucocytes, thereby promoting post-infarct inflammation.

  6. Perfusion phantom: An efficient and reproducible method to simulate myocardial first-pass perfusion measurements with cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Chiribiri, Amedeo; Schuster, Andreas; Ishida, Masaki; Hautvast, Gilion; Zarinabad, Niloufar; Morton, Geraint; Otton, James; Plein, Sven; Breeuwer, Marcel; Batchelor, Philip; Schaeffter, Tobias; Nagel, Eike

    2013-03-01

    The aim of this article is to describe a novel hardware perfusion phantom that simulates myocardial first-pass perfusion allowing comparisons between different MR techniques and validation of the results against a true gold standard. MR perfusion images were acquired at different myocardial perfusion rates and variable doses of gadolinium and cardiac output. The system proved to be sensitive to controlled variations of myocardial perfusion rate, contrast agent dose, and cardiac output. It produced distinct signal intensity curves for perfusion rates ranging from 1 to 10 mL/mL/min. Quantification of myocardial blood flow by signal deconvolution techniques provided accurate measurements of perfusion. The phantom also proved to be very reproducible between different sessions and different operators. This novel hardware perfusion phantom system allows reliable, reproducible, and efficient simulation of myocardial first-pass MR perfusion. Direct comparison between the results of image-based quantification and reference values of flow and myocardial perfusion will allow development and validation of accurate quantification methods.

  7. Liquid Cooling Technology Increases Exercise Efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2015-01-01

    To keep astronauts' airtight spacesuits from becoming hot and humid, Ames Research Center developed liquid cooling garments that were integrated into each suit's long underwear. Vasper Systems, in San Jose, California, is using the technology in its liquid-cooled compression cuffs, which help people exercise more efficiently by concentrating lactic acid in their muscles.

  8. Genetic Deficiency of Glutathione S-Transferase P Increases Myocardial Sensitivity to Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

    PubMed Central

    Conklin, Daniel J.; Guo, Yiru; Jagatheesan, Ganapathy; Kilfoil, Peter; Haberzettl, Petra; Hill, Bradford G.; Baba, Shahid P.; Guo, Luping; Wetzelberger, Karin; Obal, Detlef; Rokosh, D. Gregg; Prough, Russell A.; Prabhu, Sumanth D.; Velayutham, Murugesan; Zweier, Jay L.; Hoetker, David; Riggs, Daniel W.; Srivastava, Sanjay; Bolli, Roberto; Bhatnagar, Aruni

    2016-01-01

    Rationale Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) results in the generation of oxygen-derived free radicals and the accumulation of lipid peroxidation-derived unsaturated aldehydes. However, the contribution of aldehydes to myocardial I/R injury has not been assessed. Objective We tested the hypothesis that removal of aldehydes by glutathione S-transferase P (GSTP) diminishes I/R injury. Methods and Results In adult male C57BL/6 mouse hearts, Gstp1/2 was the most abundant GST transcript followed by Gsta4 and Gstm4.1, and GSTP activity was a significant fraction of the total GST activity. mGstp1/2 deletion reduced total GST activity, but no compensatory increase in GSTA and GSTM or major antioxidant enzymes was observed. Genetic deficiency of GSTP did not alter cardiac function, but in comparison with hearts from wild-type (WT) mice, the hearts isolated from GSTP-null mice were more sensitive to I/R injury. Disruption of the GSTP gene also increased infarct size after coronary occlusion in situ. Ischemia significantly increased acrolein in hearts, and GSTP deficiency induced significant deficits in the metabolism of the unsaturated aldehyde, acrolein, but not in the metabolism 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE) or trans-2-hexanal; and, upon ischemia, the GSTP-null hearts accumulated more acrolein-modified proteins than WT hearts. GSTP-deficiency did not affect I/R-induced free radical generation, JNK activation or depletion of reduced glutathione. Acrolein-exposure induced a hyperpolarizing shift in INa, and acrolein-induced cell death was delayed by SN-6, a Na+/Ca++ exchange inhibitor. Cardiomyocytes isolated from GSTP-null hearts were more sensitive than WT myocytes to acrolein-induced protein crosslinking and cell death. Conclusions GSTP protects the heart from I/R injury by facilitating the detoxification of cytotoxic aldehydes such as acrolein. PMID:26169370

  9. Software Cuts Homebuilding Costs, Increases Energy Efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2015-01-01

    To sort out the best combinations of technologies for a crewed mission to Mars, NASA Headquarters awarded grants to MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to develop an algorithm-based software tool that highlights the most reliable and cost-effective options. Utilizing the software, Professor Edward Crawley founded Cambridge, Massachussetts-based Ekotrope, which helps homebuilders choose cost- and energy-efficient floor plans and materials.

  10. Conscientiousness increases efficiency of multicomponent behavior

    PubMed Central

    Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Many everyday situations require the flexible interruption and changing of different actions to achieve a goal. Several strategies can be applied to do so, but those requiring high levels of cognitive control seem to confer an efficiency (speed) advantage in situations requiring multi-component behavior. However, it is elusive in how far personality traits affect performance in such situations. Given that top-down control is an important aspect of personality and furthermore correlates with conscientiousness, N = 163 participants completed the NEO-FFI and performed an experimental (stop-change) paradigm assessing multicomponent behavior. Applying mathematical constraints to the behavioral data, we estimated the processing strategy of each individual. The results show that multicomponent behavior is selectively affected by conscientiousness which explained approximately 19% of the measured inter-individual behavioral variance. Conscientiousness should hence be seen as a major personality dimension modulating multicomponent behavior. Highly conscientious people showed a more effective, step-by-step processing strategy of different actions necessary to achieve a goal. In situations with simultaneous requirements, this strategy equipped them with an efficiency (speed) advantage towards individuals with lower conscientiousness. In sum, the results show that strategies and the efficiency with which people cope with situations requiring multicomponent behavior are strongly influenced by their personality. PMID:26503352

  11. Conscientiousness increases efficiency of multicomponent behavior.

    PubMed

    Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian

    2015-10-27

    Many everyday situations require the flexible interruption and changing of different actions to achieve a goal. Several strategies can be applied to do so, but those requiring high levels of cognitive control seem to confer an efficiency (speed) advantage in situations requiring multi-component behavior. However, it is elusive in how far personality traits affect performance in such situations. Given that top-down control is an important aspect of personality and furthermore correlates with conscientiousness, N = 163 participants completed the NEO-FFI and performed an experimental (stop-change) paradigm assessing multicomponent behavior. Applying mathematical constraints to the behavioral data, we estimated the processing strategy of each individual. The results show that multicomponent behavior is selectively affected by conscientiousness which explained approximately 19% of the measured inter-individual behavioral variance. Conscientiousness should hence be seen as a major personality dimension modulating multicomponent behavior. Highly conscientious people showed a more effective, step-by-step processing strategy of different actions necessary to achieve a goal. In situations with simultaneous requirements, this strategy equipped them with an efficiency (speed) advantage towards individuals with lower conscientiousness. In sum, the results show that strategies and the efficiency with which people cope with situations requiring multicomponent behavior are strongly influenced by their personality.

  12. How to increase meeting effectiveness and efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Grunau, M.; Kurstedt, H.A. Jr.

    1991-01-01

    In this paper, I present a model adapted from control theory to gain insight into the dynamics of meetings. I relate the system controller and feedback sensor in the model to the role of the facilitator in meetings. By drawing parallels between the control theory model and the adapted model for meetings, I came up with an operational definition of a group facilitator and derived the following hypothesis: Providing facilitators with information about group members prior to the meeting will improve their effectiveness and efficiency in facilitating the meeting. Such information, for example, could include the group members' personality types measured with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or their conflict modes measured through the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. 12 refs., 2 figs.

  13. Triggering of Myocardial Infarction by Increased Ambient Fine Particle Concentration: Effect Modification by Source Direction

    PubMed Central

    Hopke, Philip K.; Kane, Cathleen; Utell, Mark J.; Chalupa, David C.; Kumar, Pramod; Ling, Frederick; Gardner, Blake; Rich, David Q.

    2015-01-01

    Background Previously, we reported a 18% increased odds of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) associated with each 7.1 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration in the hour prior to MI onset. We found no association with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). We examined if this association was modified by PM2.5 source direction. Methods We used the NOAA HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to calculate each hourly air mass location for the 24 hours before each case or control time period in our previous PM2.5/STEMI case-crossover analysis. Using these data on patients with STEMI (n=338), hourly PM2.5 concentrations, and case-crossover methods, we evaluated whether our PM2.5/STEMI association was modified by whether the air mass passed through each of the 8 cardinal wind direction sectors in the previous 24 hours. Results When the air mass passed through the West-Southwest direction (WSW) any time in the past 24 hours, the odds of STEMI associated with each 7.1 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration in the previous hour (OR=1.27; 95% CI=1.08, 1.22) was statistically significantly (p=0.01) greater than the relative odds of STEMI associated with increased PM2.5 concentration when the wind arrived from any other direction (OR=0.99; 95% CI=0.80, 1.22). We found no other effect modification by any other source direction. Further, relative odds estimates were largest when the time spent in the WSW was 8-16 hours, compared to ≤7 hours or 17-24 hours, suggesting that particles arising from sources in this direction were more potent in triggering STEMIs. Conclusions Since relative odds estimates were higher when the air mass passed through the WSW octant in the past 24 hours, there may be specific components of the ambient aerosol that are more potent in triggering STEMIs. This direction is associated with substantial emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources of the Ohio River Valley, many of which are

  14. Effects of transient increased afterload during experimentally induced acute myocardial infarction in dogs.

    PubMed

    Hammerman, H; Kloner, R A; Alker, K J; Schoen, F J; Braunwald, E

    1985-02-15

    Alterations in afterload may occur during acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but it is unknown whether such alterations cause long-term changes in the left ventricular topography or alter healing of the AMI. AMI was produced by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery in open-chest dogs. Eight dogs were randomized to a methoxamine group with an infusion dose of 30 micrograms/kg/min starting 1 hour after ligation for 4 hours to increase systemic systolic pressure by 40 to 50 mm Hg, and 8 were randomized to a saline control group (n = 8). Seven days later the dogs were killed and the hearts examined. The ratio of infarct wall thickness to noninfarct wall thickness was 1.13 +/- 0.03 (mean +/- standard error of the mean) in control dogs and was 0.98 +/- 0.03 in the dogs treated with methoxamine (p less than 0.005). An expansion index was determined as previously reported and expansion was considered to have occurred if this index exceeded 1.09. The expansion index was 0.98 +/- 0.06 in the control group and 1.18 +/- 0.07 in the methoxamine group (p less than 0.05). Histologic analysis suggested a lag in the healing rate in the methoxamine-treated dogs. Thus, early, brief increases in afterload cause infarct expansion and thinning and appears to slow the early healing phase of AMI in dogs.

  15. Integrin β1 Increases Stem Cell Survival and Cardiac Function after Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lili; Guan, Qifan; Dai, Shuling; Wei, Wen; Zhang, Yao

    2017-01-01

    Bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) transplantation is a promising therapeutic approach for myocardial infarction (MI), but its application is limited by poor viability of BMSCs. In this study, we aimed to improve the survival of BMSCs by lentivirus vector mediated overexpression of integrin β1. In vitro study showed that integrin β1 overexpression could facilitate the proliferation of BMSCs under oxygen glucose deprivation condition and regulated the expression of Caspase-3, Bax, Bcl-2, FAK, and ILK in BMSCs. Next, MI was induced in rat model and Igtb1BMSCs, NullBMSCs, or NatBMSCs were transplanted by intramyocardial injection. One week later, the survival of BMSCs was higher in Itgb1 BMSCs group than in other groups. Four weeks after transplantation, heart function was significantly improved in Igtb1BMSCs group compared to other groups. The expression levels of Caspase-3 and Bax were decreased while the expression levels of Bcl-2, FAK, ILK, and VEGF were increased in the cardiomyocytes of Igtb1BMSCs group compared to other groups. In conclusion, integrin β1 overexpression could increase the survival of BMSCs and improve the efficacy of transplanted BMSCs for MI treatment. The beneficial effects may be mediated by inhibiting the apoptosis of both transplanted BMSCs and cardiomyocytes through adhesion-mediated cell survival signaling. PMID:28367125

  16. Chronic Lead Exposure Increases Blood Pressure and Myocardial Contractility in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Fioresi, Mirian; Simões, Maylla Ronacher; Furieri, Lorena Barros; Broseghini-Filho, Gilson Brás; Vescovi, Marcos Vinícius A.; Stefanon, Ivanita; Vassallo, Dalton Valentim

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the cardiovascular effects of lead exposure, emphasising its direct action on myocardial contractility. Male Wistar rats were sorted randomly into two groups: control (Ct) and treatment with 100 ppm of lead (Pb) in the drinking water. Blood pressure (BP) was measured weekly. At the end of the treatment period, the animals were anaesthetised and haemodynamic parameters and contractility of the left ventricular papillary muscles were recorded. Blood and tissue samples were properly stored for further biochemical investigations. Statistical analyses were considered to be significant at p<0.05. The lead concentrations in the blood reached approximately 13 µg/dL, while the bone was the site of the highest deposition of this metal. BP in the Pb-treated group was higher from the first week of lead exposure and remained at the same level over the next four weeks. Haemodynamic evaluations revealed increases in systolic (Ct: 96±3.79 vs. Pb: 116±1.37 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (Ct: 60±2.93 vs. Pb: 70±3.38 mmHg), left ventricular systolic pressure (Ct: 104±5.85 vs. Pb: 120±2.51 mmHg) and heart rate (Ct: 307±10 vs. Pb: 348±16 bpm). Lead treatment did not alter the force and time derivatives of the force of left ventricular papillary muscles that were contracting isometrically. However, our results are suggestive of changes in the kinetics of calcium (Ca++) in cardiomyocytes increased transarcolemmal Ca++ influx, low Ca++ uptake by the sarcoplasmic reticulum and high extrusion by the sarcolemma. Altogether, these results show that despite the increased Ca++ influx that was induced by lead exposure, the myocytes had regulatory mechanisms that prevented increases in force, as evidenced in vivo by the increased systolic ventricular pressure. PMID:24841481

  17. Increased Pericardial Fat Volume Measured From Noncontrast CT Predicts Myocardial Ischemia by SPECT

    PubMed Central

    Tamarappoo, Balaji; Dey, Damini; Shmilovich, Haim; Nakazato, Ryo; Gransar, Heidi; Cheng, Victor Y.; Friedman, John D.; Hayes, Sean W.; Thomson, Louise EJ; Slomka, Piotr J.; Rozanski, Alan; Berman, Daniel S.

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVES We evaluated the association between pericardial fat and myocardial ischemia for risk stratification. BACK GROUND Pericardial fat volume (PFV) and thoracic fat volume (TFV) measured from noncontrast computed tomography (CT) performed for calculating coronary calcium score (CCS) are associated with increased CCS and risk for major adverse cardiovascular events. METHODS From a cohort of 1,777 consecutive patients without previously known coronary artery disease (CAD) with noncontrast CT performed within 6 months of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), we compared 73 patients with ischemia by SPECT (cases) with 146 patients with normal SPECT (controls) matched by age, gender, CCS category, and symptoms and risk factors for CAD. TFV was automatically measured. Pericardial contours were manually defined within which fat voxels were automatically identified to compute PFV. Computer-assisted visual interpretation of SPECT was performed using standard 17-segment and 5-point score model; perfusion defect was quantified as summed stress score (SSS) and summed rest score (SRS). Ischemia was defined by: SSS – SRS ≥4. Independent relationships of PFV and TFV to ischemia were examined. RESULTS Cases had higher mean PFV (99.1 ± 42.9 cm3 vs. 80.1 ± 31.8 cm3, p = 0.0003) and TFV (196.1 ± 82.7 cm3 vs. 160.8 ± 72.1 cm3, p = 0.001) and higher frequencies of PFV >125 cm3 (22% vs. 8%, p = 0.004) and TFV >200 cm3 (40% vs. 19%, p = 0.001) than controls. After adjustment for CCS, PFV and TFV remained the strongest predictors of ischemia (odds ratio [OR]: 2.91, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.53 to 5.52, p = 0.001 for each doubling of PFV; OR: 2.64, 95% CI: 1.48 to 4.72, p = 0.001 for TFV. Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that prediction of ischemia, as indicated by receiver-operator characteristic area under the curve, improved significantly when PFV or TFV was added to CCS (0.75 vs. 0.68, p = 0.04 for both). CONCLUSIONS Pericardial fat

  18. Summertime extreme heat events and increased risk of acute myocardial infarction hospitalizations.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Jared A; Jiang, Chengsheng; Soneja, Sutyajeet I; Mitchell, Clifford; Puett, Robin C; Sapkota, Amir

    2017-02-08

    Few studies have examined the association between exposure to extreme heat events and risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or demonstrated which populations are most vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat. We defined extreme heat events as days when the daily maximum temperature (TMAX) exceeded the location- and calendar day-specific 95th percentile of the distribution of daily TMAX during the 30-year baseline period (1960-1989). We used a time-stratified case-crossover design to analyze the association between exposure to extreme heat events and risk of hospitalization for AMI in the summer months (June-August) with 0, 1, or 2 lag days. There were a total of 32,670 AMI hospitalizations during the summer months in Maryland between 2000 and 2012. Overall, extreme heat events on the day of hospitalization were associated with an increased risk of AMI (lag 0 OR=1.11; 95% CI: 1.05-1.17). Results considering lag periods immediately before hospitalization were comparable, but effect estimates varied among several population subgroups. As extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent and intense in response to our changing climate, community-specific adaptation strategies are needed to account for the differential susceptibility across ethnic subgroups and geographic areas.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 8 February 2017; doi:10.1038/jes.2016.83.

  19. Intramyocardial Injection of siRNAs Can Efficiently Establish Myocardial Tissue-Specific Renalase Knockdown Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ju; Zhang, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury will cause additional death of cardiomyocytes in ischaemic heart disease. Recent studies revealed that renalase was involved in the I/R injury. So, the myocardial tissue-specific knockdown mouse models were needed for the investigations of renalase. To establish the mouse models, intramyocardial injection of siRNAs targeting renalase was performed in mice. The wild distribution and high transfection efficiency of the siRNAs were approved. And the renalase expression was efficiently suppressed in myocardial tissue. Compared with the high cost, time consumption, and genetic compensation risk of the Cre/loxP technology, RNA interference (RNAi) technology is much cheaper and less time-consuming. Among the RNAi technologies, injection of siRNAs is safer than virus. And considering the properties of the I/R injury mouse models, the efficiency and durability of injection with siRNAs are acceptable for the studies. Altogether, intramyocardial injection of siRNAs targeting renalase is an economical, safe, and efficient method to establish myocardial tissue-specific renalase knockdown mouse models. PMID:27868059

  20. High-Intensity Inspiratory Protocol Increases Heart Rate Variability in Myocardial Revascularization Patients

    PubMed Central

    Caruso, Flavia Cristina Rossi; Simões, Rodrigo Polaquini; Reis, Michel Silva; Guizilini, Solange; Alves, Vera Lucia dos Santos; Papa, Valeria; Arena, Ross; Borghi-Silva, Audrey

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate heart rate variability during an inspiratory muscle endurance protocol at three different load levels [30%, 60% and 80% of maximal inspiratory pressure], in patients who had previously undergone coronary artery bypass grafting. Methods: Nineteen late postoperative myocardial revascularization patients participating in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program were studied. Maximal inspiratory pressure maneuvers were performed. An inspiratory muscle endurance protocol at 30%, 60% and 80% of maximal inspiratory pressure was applied for four minutes each, in random order. Heart rate and RR intervals were recorded and heart rate variability was analyzed by time (RMSSD-the mean of the standard deviations for all R-R intervals, and RMSM-root-mean square differences of successive R-R intervals) and frequency domains indices (high and low frequency) in normalized units. ANOVA for repeated measurements was used to compare heart rate variability indices and Student t-test was used to compare the maximal inspiratory pressure and maximal expiratory pressure values. Results: Heart rate increased during performance of maximal respiratory pressures maneuvers, and the maximal inspiratory pressure and maximal expiratory pressure mean values were significantly lower than predicted values (P<0.05). RMSSD increased significantly at 80% in relation to rest and 30% of maximal inspiratory pressure and RMSM decreased at 30% and 60% of maximal inspiratory pressure in relation to rest (P<0.05). Additionally, there was significant and progressive decrease in low frequency and increase in high frequency at 30%, 60% and 80% of maximal inspiratory pressure in relation to the resting condition. Conclusion: These results suggest that respiratory muscle training at high intensities can promote greater parasympathetic activity and it may confer important benefits during a rehabilitation program in post-coronary artery bypass grafting. PMID:27074273

  1. THYROID HORMONE REVERSES AGING-INDUCED MYOCARDIAL FATTY ACID OXIDATION DEFECTS AND IMPROVES THE RESPONSE TO ACUTELY INCREASED AFTERLOAD

    SciTech Connect

    Ledee, Dolena; Portman, Michael A.; Kajimoto, Masaki; Isern, Nancy G.; Olson, Aaron

    2013-06-07

    Background: Subclinical hypothyroidism occurs during aging in humans and mice and may contribute to development of heart failure. Aging also impairs myocardial fatty acid oxidation, causing increased reliance on flux through pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) to maintain function. We hypothesize that the metabolic changes in aged hearts make them less tolerant to acutely increased work and that thyroid hormone reverses these defects. Methods: Studies were performed on young (Young, 4-6 months) and aged (Old, 22-24 months) C57/BL6 mice at standard (50 mmHg) and high afterload (80 mmHg). Another aged group received thyroid hormone for 3 weeks (Old-TH, high afterload only). Function was measured in isolated working hearts along with substrate fractional contributions (Fc) to the citric acid cycle (CAC) using perfusate with 13C labeled lactate, pyruvate, glucose and unlabeled palmitate and insulin. Results: Cardiac function was similar between Young and Old mice at standard afterload. Palmitate Fc was reduced but no individual carbohydrate contributions differed. CAC and individual substrate fluxes decreased in aged. At high afterload, -dP/dT was decreased in Old versus Young. Similar to low afterload, palmitate Fc was decreased in Old. Thyroid hormone reversed aging-induced changes in palmitate Fc and flux while significantly improving cardiac function. Conclusion: The aged heart shows diminished ability to increase cardiac work due to substrate limitations, primarily impaired fatty acid oxidation. The heart accommodates slightly by increasing efficiency through oxidation of carbohydrate substrates. Thyroid hormone supplementation in aged mice significantly improves cardiac function potentially through restoration of fatty acid oxidation.

  2. Acute non-Q-wave myocardial infarction: a distinct clinical entity of increasing importance.

    PubMed Central

    Montague, T J; MacKenzie, B R; Henderson, M A; Macdonald, R G; Forbes, C J; Chandler, B M

    1988-01-01

    Despite the increasing incidence of acute non-Q-wave myocardial infarction, controversy remains regarding its validity as a distinct pathophysiologic physiologic and clinical entity. Review of the data indicates that the controversy is more apparent than real. The pathophysiologic factor discriminating best between non-Q-wave and Q-wave infarction is the incidence rate of total occlusion of the infarct-related artery, approximately 30% in non-Q-wave infarction and 80% in Q-wave infarction. Patients with non-Q-wave infarction have a higher incidence of pre-existing angina than patients with Q-wave infarction; they also have lower peak creatine kinase levels, higher ejection fractions and lower wall-motion abnormality scores, which suggests a smaller area of acute infarction damage. However, patients with non-Q-wave infarction have a significantly shorter time to peak creatine kinase level and more heterogeneous ventriculographic and electrocardiographic infarct patterns. The in-hospital death rate is lower in non-Q-wave than in Q-wave infarction (approximately 12% v. 19%). The long-term death rates are similar for the two groups (27% and 23%), but the incidence of subsequent coronary events is higher among patients with non-Q-wave infarction; in particular, reinfarction is an important predictor of risk of death. Most of the differences in biologic and clinical variables between the two types of acute infarction can be related to a lower incidence of total occlusion, earlier reperfusion or better collateral supply in non-Q-wave infarction. Further study is needed to better characterize the long-term risk and to define the most appropriate therapies. PMID:3044553

  3. Relation of Increased Leptin Concentrations to History of Myocardial Infarction and Stroke in the US Population

    PubMed Central

    Sierra-Johnson, Justo; Romero-Corral, Abel; Lopez-Jimenez, Francisco; Gami, Apoor Suresh; Kuniyoshi, Fatima Helena Sert; Wolk, Robert; Somers, Virend Kristen

    2007-01-01

    Leptin, an adipose tissue-derived hormone, has been linked to cardiovascular outcomes; however data are limited in the US population, especially in women. To assess the association between leptin concentrations and history of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke independently of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. We analyzed data from 6,239 subjects (mean age 47 years; 3,336 women) with measurements of serum leptin and full assessment of cardiovascular risk factors from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III. Logistic regression was used to estimate the cross-sectional association of leptin concentrations (highest quartile versus lowest quartile) and history of MI, stroke and the composite endpoint of MI or stroke (MI/stroke). Sex-specific models of leptin were adjusted for age, race, dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, smoking and obese status. There were 212 men with MI/stroke (5.4%), 154 with MI (4.1%), and 82 with stroke (1.7%). There were 135 women with MI/stroke (2.6%), 74 with MI (1.5%), and 78 with stroke (1.4%). In multivariate analysis, high leptin was significantly and independently associated with MI/stroke in both men (OR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.20 to 4.93) and women (OR, 4.26; 95% CI, 1.75-10.73); with MI in men (OR, 3.16; 95% CI, 1.40 to 7.37) and women (OR, 3.96; 95% CI, 1.29 to 12.72); and with stroke in women (OR, 3.20; 95% CI, 1.04-10.54) but not in men (OR, 1.37; 95% CI.0.38 to 3.88). In conclusion, in the US population, increased leptin concentrations are significantly associated with MI/stroke in men and women, independently of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and obese status. PMID:17631076

  4. Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants Increases Hospitalization Rates for Myocardial Infarction with Comorbid Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Sergeev, Alexander V.; Carpenter, David O.

    2010-01-01

    Studies suggest that environmental exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may be an emerging risk factor for ischemic heart disease, including acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, some studies indicate that exposure to POPs may also be a risk factor for hypertension, a well-established risk factor for AMI. To investigate effect of POPs on the environmental burden of cardiovascular disease, a study of AMI with comorbid hypertension in populations environmentally exposed to persistent organic pollutants, based on the zip code of residence, was conducted. Data on hospital discharges for AMI with comorbid hypertension were obtained from the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System for 1993–2004. Patients residing in zip codes containing or abutting POPs contaminated sites were considered environmentally exposed. Relative risks (RR) — with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) — of hospitalization for AMI with comorbid hypertension were estimated by Poisson regression, adjusting for known confounders. Adjusted hospitalization rates for AMI with comorbid hypertension were 12.4% higher in populations residing in proximity to a POPs site (adjusted RR = 1.124, 95% CI 1.025–1.233, p < 0.05), compared to not in proximity to a POPs site. Also, hospitalization rates for AMI with comorbid hypertension were higher in males than in females (adjusted RR = 2.157, 95% CI 2.100–2.215, p < 0.05), in African Americans than in Caucasians (adjusted RR = 1.631, 95% CI 1.483–1.794, p < 0.05), and in older age groups (p for trend <0.05). These findings are consistent with the established effects of non-modifiable risk factors and serve as indirect quality indicators for our model. In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis that environmental exposure to POPs increases the burden of cardiovascular disease in exposed populations. PMID:21562627

  5. The myocardial response to adrenomedullin involves increased cAMP generation as well as augmented Akt phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Pan, Chun Shui; Jin, Shao Ju; Cao, Chang Qi; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Jing; Wang, Xian; Tang, Chao Shu; Qi, Yong Fen

    2007-04-01

    In this work we aimed to observe (1) the changes in adrenomedullin (AM) and its receptor system - calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR) and receptor activity modifying proteins (RAMPs) - in myocardial ischemic injury and (2) the response of injuried myocardia to AM and the phosphorylation of Akt to illustrate the protective mechanism of AM in ischemic myocardia. Male SD rats were subcutaneously injected with isoproterenol (ISO) to induce myocardial ischemia. The mRNA levels of AM, CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 were determined by RT-PCR. Protein levels of Akt, phosphor-Akt, CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 were assayed by Western blot. Results showed that, compared with that of the controls, ISO-treated rats showed lower cardiac function and myocardial injury. The mRNA relative amount of AM, CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 in the myocardia of ISO-treated rats was increased. The elevated mRNA levels of CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 were positively correlated with AM content in injured myocardia. The protein levels of CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 in injured myocardia were increased compared with that of control myocardia. AM-stimulated cAMP generation in myocardia was elevated in the ISO group, and was antagonized by AM(22-52) and CGRP(8-37). Western blot analyses revealed that AM significantly enhanced Akt phosphorylation in injured myocardia, which was blocked by pretreatment with AM(22-52) or CGRP(8-37). Ischemia-injured myocardia hyper-expressed AM and its receptors - CRLR, RAMP1, RAMP2 and RAMP3 - and the response of ischemic myocardia to AM was potentiated, and the level of Akt phosphorylation was also increased, which suggests that changes in cardiac AM/AM receptor might play an important role in the pathogenesis of myocardial ischemic injury.

  6. Carbon monoxide increases inducible NOS expression that mediates CO-induced myocardial damage during ischemia-reperfusion.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Grégory; André, Lucas; Kleindienst, Adrien; Singh, François; Tanguy, Stéphane; Richard, Sylvain; Obert, Philippe; Boucher, François; Jover, Bernard; Cazorla, Olivier; Reboul, Cyril

    2015-04-01

    We investigated the role of inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) on ischemic myocardial damage in rats exposed to daily low nontoxic levels of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant that impacts on mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular diseases. We have previously shown that CO exposure aggravates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury partly because of increased oxidative stress. Nevertheless, cellular mechanisms underlying cardiac CO toxicity remain hypothetical. Wistar rats were exposed to simulated urban CO pollution for 4 wk. First, the effects of CO exposure on NO production and NO synthase (NOS) expression were evaluated. Myocardial I/R was performed on isolated perfused hearts in the presence or absence of S-methyl-isothiourea (1 μM), a NOS inhibitor highly specific for iNOS. Finally, Ca(2+) handling was evaluated in isolated myocytes before and after an anoxia-reoxygenation performed with or without S-methyl-isothiourea or N-acetylcystein (20 μM), a nonspecific antioxidant. Our main results revealed that 1) CO exposure altered the pattern of NOS expression, which is characterized by increased neuronal NOS and iNOS expression; 2) cardiac NO production increased in CO rats because of its overexpression of iNOS; and 3) the use of a specific inhibitor of iNOS reduced myocardial hypersensitivity to I/R (infarct size, 29 vs. 51% of risk zone) in CO rat hearts. These last results are explained by the deleterious effects of NO and reactive oxygen species overproduction by iNOS on diastolic Ca(2+) overload and myofilaments Ca(2+) sensitivity. In conclusion, this study highlights the involvement of iNOS overexpression in the pathogenesis of simulated urban CO air pollution exposure.

  7. Time Efficiency and Diagnostic Accuracy of New Automated Myocardial Perfusion Analysis Software in 320-Row CT Cardiac Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Rief, Matthias; Stenzel, Fabian; Kranz, Anisha; Schlattmann, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Objective We aimed to evaluate the time efficiency and diagnostic accuracy of automated myocardial computed tomography perfusion (CTP) image analysis software. Materials and Methods 320-row CTP was performed in 30 patients, and analyses were conducted independently by three different blinded readers by the use of two recent software releases (version 4.6 and novel version 4.71GR001, Toshiba, Tokyo, Japan). Analysis times were compared, and automated epi- and endocardial contour detection was subjectively rated in five categories (excellent, good, fair, poor and very poor). As semi-quantitative perfusion parameters, myocardial attenuation and transmural perfusion ratio (TPR) were calculated for each myocardial segment and agreement was tested by using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Conventional coronary angiography served as reference standard. Results The analysis time was significantly reduced with the novel automated software version as compared with the former release (Reader 1: 43:08 ± 11:39 min vs. 09:47 ± 04:51 min, Reader 2: 42:07 ± 06:44 min vs. 09:42 ± 02:50 min and Reader 3: 21:38 ± 3:44 min vs. 07:34 ± 02:12 min; p < 0.001 for all). Epi- and endocardial contour detection for the novel software was rated to be significantly better (p < 0.001) than with the former software. ICCs demonstrated strong agreement (≥ 0.75) for myocardial attenuation in 93% and for TPR in 82%. Diagnostic accuracy for the two software versions was not significantly different (p = 0.169) as compared with conventional coronary angiography. Conclusion The novel automated CTP analysis software offers enhanced time efficiency with an improvement by a factor of about four, while maintaining diagnostic accuracy. PMID:23323027

  8. An efficient polyenergetic SART (pSART) reconstruction algorithm for quantitative myocardial CT perfusion

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Yuan Samei, Ehsan

    2014-02-15

    Purpose: In quantitative myocardial CT perfusion imaging, beam hardening effect due to dense bone and high concentration iodinated contrast agent can result in visible artifacts and inaccurate CT numbers. In this paper, an efficient polyenergetic Simultaneous Algebraic Reconstruction Technique (pSART) was presented to eliminate the beam hardening artifacts and to improve the CT quantitative imaging ability. Methods: Our algorithm made threea priori assumptions: (1) the human body is composed of several base materials (e.g., fat, breast, soft tissue, bone, and iodine); (2) images can be coarsely segmented to two types of regions, i.e., nonbone regions and noniodine regions; and (3) each voxel can be decomposed into a mixture of two most suitable base materials according to its attenuation value and its corresponding region type information. Based on the above assumptions, energy-independent accumulated effective lengths of all base materials can be fast computed in the forward ray-tracing process and be used repeatedly to obtain accurate polyenergetic projections, with which a SART-based equation can correctly update each voxel in the backward projecting process to iteratively reconstruct artifact-free images. This approach effectively reduces the influence of polyenergetic x-ray sources and it further enables monoenergetic images to be reconstructed at any arbitrarily preselected target energies. A series of simulation tests were performed on a size-variable cylindrical phantom and a realistic anthropomorphic thorax phantom. In addition, a phantom experiment was also performed on a clinical CT scanner to further quantitatively validate the proposed algorithm. Results: The simulations with the cylindrical phantom and the anthropomorphic thorax phantom showed that the proposed algorithm completely eliminated beam hardening artifacts and enabled quantitative imaging across different materials, phantom sizes, and spectra, as the absolute relative errors were reduced

  9. Aerobic training prior to myocardial infarction increases cardiac GLUT4 and partially preserves heart function in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Schaun, Maximiliano Isoppo; Marschner, Rafael Aguiar; Peres, Thiago Rodrigues; Markoski, Melissa Medeiros; Lehnen, Alexandre Machado

    2017-03-01

    We assessed cardiac function (echocardiographic) and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) expression (Western blot) in response to 10 weeks of aerobic training (treadmill) prior to acute myocardial infarction (AMI) by ligation of the left coronary artery in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Animals were allocated to sedentary+sham, sedentary+AMI, training+sham, and training+AMI. Aerobic training prior to AMI partially preserves heart function. AMI and/or aerobic training increased GLUT4 expression. However, those animals trained prior to AMI showed a greater increase in GLUT4 in cardiomyocytes.

  10. Increasing Digging Efficiency Using Two Biologically-Inspired Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendell, Dawn; Hosoi, Peko

    2011-03-01

    The mechanics of digging through granular materials often neglect the inhomogeneities present in granular packings. This work reports on two biologically-inspired mechanisms that aim to increase the efficiency of digging through granular materials by taking advantage of the variety of forces found in granular packings. First, flexible diggers demonstrate that a slight increase in flexibility can lead to more efficient digging using a completely passive mechanism. Secondly, a digger with an actuated tip is investigated to find optimum parameters for energy efficient digging with actuated mechanisms. This work is funded by Schlumberger-Doll Research.

  11. Repeated sauna therapy attenuates ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction in rats by increasing coronary vascularity of noninfarcted myocardium.

    PubMed

    Sobajima, Mitsuo; Nozawa, Takashi; Shida, Takuya; Ohori, Takashi; Suzuki, Takayuki; Matsuki, Akira; Inoue, Hiroshi

    2011-08-01

    Repeated sauna therapy (ST) increases endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity and improves cardiac function in heart failure as well as peripheral blood flow in ischemic limbs. The present study investigates whether ST can increase coronary vascularity and thus attenuate cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI). We induced MI by ligating the left coronary artery of Wistar rats. The rats were placed in a far-infrared dry sauna at 41°C for 15 min and then at 34°C for 20 min once daily for 4 wk. Cardiac hemodynamic, histopathological, and gene analyses were performed. Despite the similar sizes of MI between the ST and non-ST groups (51.4 ± 0.3 vs. 51.1 ± 0.2%), ST reduced left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic (9.7 ± 0.4 vs. 10.7 ± 0.5 mm, P < 0.01) and end-systolic (8.6 ± 0.5 vs. 9.6 ± 0.6 mm, P < 0.01) dimensions and attenuated MI-induced increases in LV end-diastolic pressure. Cross-sectional areas of cardiomyocytes were smaller in ST rats and associated with a significant reduction in myocardial atrial natriuretic peptide mRNA levels. Vascular density was reduced in the noninfarcted myocardium of non-ST rats, and the density of cells positive for CD31 and for α-smooth muscle actin was decreased. These decreases were attenuated in ST rats compared with non-ST rats and associated with increases in myocardial eNOS and vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA levels. In conclusion, ST attenuates cardiac remodeling after MI, at least in part, through improving coronary vascularity in the noninfarcted myocardium. Repeated ST might serve as a novel noninvasive therapy for patients with MI.

  12. Seven-Day Caloric and Saturated Fat Restriction Increases Myocardial Dietary Fatty Acid Partitioning in Impaired Glucose-Tolerant Subjects.

    PubMed

    Noll, Christophe; Kunach, Margaret; Frisch, Frédérique; Bouffard, Lucie; Dubreuil, Stéphanie; Jean-Denis, Farrah; Phoenix, Serge; Cunnane, Stephen C; Guérin, Brigitte; Turcotte, Eric E; Carpentier, André C

    2015-11-01

    Subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) have increased myocardial partitioning of dietary fatty acids (DFAs) with left ventricular dysfunction, both of which are improved by modest weight loss over 1 year induced by lifestyle changes. Here, we determined the effects of a 7-day hypocaloric diet (-500 kcal/day) low in saturated fat (<7% of energy) (LOWCAL study) versus isocaloric with the usual amount saturated fat (∼10% of energy) diet (ISOCAL) on DFA metabolism in subjects with IGT. Organ-specific DFA partitioning and cardiac and hepatic DFA fractional uptake rates were measured in 15 IGT subjects (7 males/8 females) using the oral 14(R,S)-[18F]-fluoro-6-thia-heptadecanoic acid positron emission tomography method after 7 days of an ISOCAL diet versus a LOWCAL diet using a randomized crossover design. The LOWCAL diet led to reductions in weight and postprandial insulin area under the curve. Myocardial DFA partitioning over 6 h was increased after the LOWCAL diet (2.3 ± 0.1 vs. 1.9 ± 0.2 mean standard uptake value, P < 0.04). However, the early (90-120 min) myocardial DFA fractional uptake was unchanged after the LOWCAL diet (0.055 ± 0.025 vs. 0.046 ± 0.009 min(-1), P = 0.7). Liver DFA partitioning was unchanged, but liver fractional uptake of DFA tended to be increased. Very short-term caloric and saturated fat dietary restrictions do not lead to the same changes in organ-specific DFA metabolism as those associated with weight loss in subjects with IGT.

  13. Increasing thermal efficiency of solar flat plate collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pona, J.

    A study of methods to increase the efficiency of heat transfer in flat plate solar collectors is presented. In order to increase the heat transfer from the absorber plate to the working fluid inside the tubes, turbulent flow was induced by installing baffles within the tubes. The installation of the baffles resulted in a 7 to 12% increase in collector efficiency. Experiments were run on both 1 sq ft and 2 sq ft collectors each fitted with either slotted baffles or tubular baffles. A computer program was run comparing the baffled collector to the standard collector. The results obtained from the computer show that the baffled collectors have a 2.7% increase in life cycle cost (LCC) savings and a 3.6% increase in net cash flow for use in domestic hot water systems, and even greater increases when used in solar heating systems.

  14. Myocardial viability.

    PubMed Central

    Birnbaum, Y; Kloner, R A

    1996-01-01

    Left ventricular function is a major predictor of outcome in patients with coronary artery disease. Acute ischemia, postischemic dysfunction (stunning), myocardial hibernation, or a combination of these 3 are among the reversible forms of myocardial dysfunction. In myocardial stunning, dysfunction occurs despite normal myocardial perfusion, and function recovers spontaneously over time. In acute ischemia and hibernation, there is regional hypoperfusion. Function improves only after revascularization. Evidence of myocardial viability usually relies on the demonstration of uptake of various metabolic tracers, such as thallium (thallous chloride TI 201) or fludeoxyglucose F 18, by dysfunctional myocardium or by the demonstration of contractile reserve in a dysfunctional region. This can be shown as an augmentation of function during the infusion of various sympathomimetic agents. The response of ventricular segments to increasing doses of dobutamine may indicate the underlying mechanism of dysfunction. Stunned segments that have normal perfusion show dose-dependent augmentation of function. If perfusion is reduced as in hibernating myocardium, however, a biphasic response usually occurs: function improves at low doses of dobutamine, whereas higher doses may induce ischemia and, hence, dysfunction. But in patients with severely impaired perfusion, even low doses may cause ischemia. Myocardial regions with subendocardial infarction or diffuse scarring may also have augmented contractility during catecholamine infusion due to stimulation of the subepicardial layers. In these cases, augmentation of function after revascularization is not expected. Because the underlying mechanism, prognosis, and therapy may differ among these conditions, it is crucial to differentiate among dysfunctional myocardial segments that are nonviable and have no potential to regain function, hibernating or ischemic segments in which recovery of function occurs only after revascularization, and

  15. Food security: increasing yield and improving resource use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Parry, Martin A J; Hawkesford, Malcolm J

    2010-11-01

    Food production and security will be a major issue for supplying an increasing world population. The problem will almost certainly be exacerbated by climate change. There is a projected need to double food production by 2050. In recent times, the trend has been for incremental modest yield increases for most crops. There is an urgent need to develop integrated and sustainable approaches that will significantly increase both production per unit land area and the resource use efficiency of crops. This review considers some key processes involved in plant growth and development with some examples of ways in which molecular technology, plant breeding and genetics may increase the yield and resource use efficiency of wheat. The successful application of biotechnology to breeding is essential to provide the major increases in production required. However, each crop and each specific agricultural situation presents specific requirements and targets for optimisation. Some increases in production will come about as new varieties are developed which are able to produce satisfactory crops on marginal land presently not considered appropriate for arable crops. Other new varieties will be developed to increase both yield and resource use efficiency on the best land.

  16. Increased myocardial short-range forces in a rodent model of diabetes reflect elevated content of β myosin heavy chain.

    PubMed

    Chung, Charles S; Mitov, Mihail I; Callahan, Leigh Ann; Campbell, Kenneth S

    2014-06-15

    Diastolic dysfunction is a clinically significant problem for patients with diabetes and often reflects increased ventricular stiffness. Attached cross-bridges contribute to myocardial stiffness and produce short-range forces, but it is not yet known whether these forces are altered in diabetes. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that cross-bridge-based short-range forces are increased in the streptozotocin (STZ) induced rat model of type 1 diabetes. Chemically permeabilized myocardial preparations were obtained from 12week old rats that had been injected with STZ or vehicle 4weeks earlier, and activated in solutions with pCa (=-log10[Ca(2+)]) values ranging from 9.0 to 4.5. The short-range forces elicited by controlled length changes were ∼67% greater in the samples from the diabetic rats than in the control preparations. This change was mostly due to an increased elastic limit (the length change at the peak short-range force) as opposed to increased passive muscle stiffness. The STZ-induced increase in short-ranges forces is thus unlikely to reflect changes to titin and/or collagen filaments. Gel electrophoresis showed that STZ increased the relative expression of β myosin heavy chain. This molecular mechanism can explain the increased short-ranges forces observed in the diabetic tissue if β myosin molecules remain bound between the filaments for longer durations than α molecules during imposed movements. These results suggest that interventions that decrease myosin attachment times may be useful treatments for diastolic dysfunction associated with diabetes.

  17. An IRB Transformation: Increasing Quality and Efficiency Using Existing Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Joseph E., Jr.; Moore, J. Brian; Means, Paula; Weinberg, Richard

    2012-01-01

    In an effort to increase review-quality and efficiency, research administration at Wake Forest School of Medicine initiated a change in the operational structure of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) via a reconfiguring of the boards and rescheduling of the convened meetings. The number of IRB Panels was doubled and each panel/board began…

  18. Advanced Nano-Composites for Increased Energy Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    2009-05-01

    This factsheet describes a research project whose goal is to increase energy efficiency and operating lifetime of wear-intensive industrial components and systems by developing and commercializing a family of ceramic-based monolithic composites that have shown remarkable resistance to wear in laboratory tests.

  19. Reshaping Light-Emitting Diodes To Increase External Efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogowski, Robert; Egalon, Claudio

    1995-01-01

    Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) reshaped, according to proposal, increasing amount of light emitted by decreasing fraction of light trapped via total internal reflection. Results in greater luminous output power for same electrical input power; greater external efficiency. Furthermore, light emitted by reshaped LEDs more nearly collimated (less diffuse). Concept potentially advantageous for conventional red-emitting LEDs. More advantageous for new "blue" LEDs, because luminous outputs and efficiencies of these devices very low. Another advantage, proposed conical shapes achieved relatively easily by chemical etching of semiconductor surfaces.

  20. Acute myocardial infarction hospitalization statistics: apparent decline accompanying an increase in smoke-free areas.

    PubMed

    Villalbí, Joan R; Castillo, Antonia; Cleries, Montse; Saltó, Esteve; Sánchez, Emília; Martínez, Rosa; Tresserras, Ricard; Vela, Emili

    2009-07-01

    Recent research suggests that the introduction of antismoking regulations reduces the incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). The aim of this study was to analyze changes in AMIs in the Barcelona metropolitan area in Spain following implementation of the 2006 antismoking law. Data was collected on all discharges from hospitals funded by the Catalan Health Service in 2004-2006. All patients aged over 24 years who lived in the area and who received a primary diagnosis of AMI were included. Annual AMI hospitalization rates, with 95% confidence intervals, were estimated for each year and stratified according to age and sex. The 2004 rate was higher than the 2005 rate for most age and sex groups, though confidence intervals overlapped. The 2006 rates were lower than the 2005 rates for all age groups, and there was no overlap in confidence intervals in men. In conclusion, the introduction of regulations on smoke-free areas was accompanied by a reduction in the AMI hospitalization rate.

  1. Semiconductor technology for reducing emissions and increasing efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Duffin, B.; Frank, R.

    1997-12-31

    The cooperation and support of all industries are required to significantly impact a worldwide reduction in gaseous emissions that may contribute to climate change. Each industry also is striving to more efficiently utilize the resources that it consumes since this is both conservation for good citizenship and an intelligent approach to business. The semiconductor industry is also extremely concerned with these issues. However, semiconductor manufacturer`s products provide solutions for reduced emissions and increased efficiency in their industry, other industries and areas that can realize significant improvements through control technology. This paper will focus on semiconductor technologies of digital control, power switching and sensing to improve efficiency and reduce emissions in automotive, industrial, and office/home applications. 10 refs., 13 figs.

  2. Heat shock increases conjugation efficiency in Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Joseph A; Fagan, Robert P

    2016-12-01

    Clostridium difficile infection has increased in incidence and severity over the past decade, and poses a unique threat to human health. However, genetic manipulation of C. difficile remains in its infancy and the bacterium remains relatively poorly characterised. Low-efficiency conjugation is currently the only available method for transfer of plasmid DNA into C. difficile. This is practically limiting and has slowed progress in understanding this important pathogen. Conjugation efficiency varies widely between strains, with important clinically relevant strains such as R20291 being particularly refractory to plasmid transfer. Here we present an optimised conjugation method in which the recipient C. difficile is heat treated prior to conjugation. This significantly improves conjugation efficiency in all C. difficile strains tested including R20291. Conjugation efficiency was also affected by the choice of media on which conjugations were performed, with standard BHI media giving most transconjugant recovery. Using our optimised method greatly increased the ease with which the chromosome of R20291 could be precisely manipulated by homologous recombination. Our method improves on current conjugation protocols and will help speed genetic manipulation of strains otherwise difficult to work with.

  3. [Efficiency of mildronate in rats of different age with experimental-induced myocardial ischemia].

    PubMed

    Kukes, V G; Zhernakova, N I; Gorbach, T V; Romashchenko, O V; Rumbesht, V V

    2013-01-01

    Under experimental myocardial ischemia in rats of 10 months treatment with mildronate resulted in essential changes in metabolism of cardiomyocites. This includes stimulation of aerobic and anaerobic ways of power supply of heart cells: activation of glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation and oxidative pyruvate decarboxylation with restoration of adenosine triphosphate pool to intact rats level in myocardium, serum and erythrocytes with signs of stabilization of cardiomyocytes membranes and essential decrease of tissue hypoxia. Introduction of mildronate to old rats (24 months) with an experimental myocardium ischemia was accompanied by lesser expressed changes of metabolism: activation of glycolysis and oxidative pyruvate decarboxylation without stimulation of Crebs' cycle enzymes. This became sufficient for restoration of adenosine triphosphate pool in myocardium without change of its quantity in serum and erythrocytes with signs of stabilization of cardiomyocytes membranes and moderate reduction of tissue hypoxia degree.

  4. Temporary Transvenous Cardiac Pacing in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction Predicts Increased Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Yaqub, Yasir; Perez-Verdia, Alejandro; Jenkins, Leigh A.; Sehli, Shermila; Paige, Robert L.; Nugent, Kenneth M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Temporary pacemakers (TP) are used in emergency situations for severe bradyarrhythmias secondary to acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and to non-AMI related cardiac disorders. TP have been studied previously in AMI patients treated with thrombolytic therapy; limited information is available on current outcomes in AMI patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention. Methods We reviewed the indications, complications, and mortality associated with TP insertion over a four year period (2003 - 2007) at a university hospital. Results Seventy-three temporary pacemakers were inserted (47 men, 26 women) during this period. The mean age was 65.2 years. TP were used in 29 AMI patients (39.7 % of total) and 44 non-AMI patients (60.3% of total). The duration of TP use was 2.6 ± 0.4 days in the whole cohort, 2.46 % of all AMI patients (29/1180) admitted during this period required a TP. Six of these patients requiring a TP required a permanent pacemaker. Eight patients with AMI and a TP died (27.6%). In contrast 8.9 % of AMI patients not requiring a TP died (P < 0.01). There were no statistically significant differences between the AMI and non-AMI groups in the duration of temporary pacing (2.4 ± 0.6 days vs. 2.8 ± 0.4 days), in complications (27.6% vs. 29.5%), or in mortality (27.6% vs. 15.9%). The need for a permanent pacemaker (PPM) differed significantly between the AMI and non-AMI patients (20.7% vs. 54.5%; P < 0.05). Conclusion Our results indicate that AMI patients infrequently require a TP and that approximately 20% of these patients require a PPM. These results suggest that early revascularization of the conduction system with current interventional techniques has decreased the need for TP in AMI patients. However, this group requires more intensive monitoring as the mortality rate in this group of patients is significantly higher than the other AMI patients not requiring TP.

  5. Light Increases Energy Transfer Efficiency in a Boreal Stream

    PubMed Central

    Lesutienė, Jūratė; Gorokhova, Elena; Stankevičienė, Daiva; Bergman, Eva; Greenberg, Larry

    2014-01-01

    Periphyton communities of a boreal stream were exposed to different light and nutrient levels to estimate energy transfer efficiency from primary to secondary producers using labeling with inorganic 13C. In a one-day field experiment, periphyton grown in fast-flow conditions and dominated by opportunistic green algae were exposed to light levels corresponding to sub-saturating (forest shade) and saturating (open stream section) irradiances, and to N and P nutrient additions. In a two-week laboratory experiment, periphyton grown in low-flow conditions and dominated by slowly growing diatoms were incubated under two sub-saturating light and nutrient enrichment levels as well as grazed and non-grazed conditions. Light had significant positive effect on 13C uptake by periphyton. In the field experiment, P addition had a positive effect on 13C uptake but only at sub-saturating light levels, whereas in the laboratory experiment nutrient additions had no effect on the periphyton biomass, 13C uptake, biovolume and community composition. In the laboratory experiment, the grazer (caddisfly) effect on periphyton biomass specific 13C uptake and nutrient content was much stronger than the effects of light and nutrients. In particular, grazers significantly reduced periphyton biomass and increased biomass specific 13C uptake and C:nutrient ratios. The energy transfer efficiency, estimated as a ratio between 13C uptake by caddisfly and periphyton, was positively affected by light conditions, whereas the nutrient effect was not significant. We suggest that the observed effects on energy transfer were related to the increased diet contribution of highly palatable green algae, stimulated by higher light levels. Also, high heterotrophic microbial activity under low light levels would facilitate energy loss through respiration and decrease overall trophic transfer efficiency. These findings suggest that even a small increase in light intensity could result in community-wide effects on

  6. Light increases energy transfer efficiency in a boreal stream.

    PubMed

    Lesutienė, Jūratė; Gorokhova, Elena; Stankevičienė, Daiva; Bergman, Eva; Greenberg, Larry

    2014-01-01

    Periphyton communities of a boreal stream were exposed to different light and nutrient levels to estimate energy transfer efficiency from primary to secondary producers using labeling with inorganic (13)C. In a one-day field experiment, periphyton grown in fast-flow conditions and dominated by opportunistic green algae were exposed to light levels corresponding to sub-saturating (forest shade) and saturating (open stream section) irradiances, and to N and P nutrient additions. In a two-week laboratory experiment, periphyton grown in low-flow conditions and dominated by slowly growing diatoms were incubated under two sub-saturating light and nutrient enrichment levels as well as grazed and non-grazed conditions. Light had significant positive effect on (13)C uptake by periphyton. In the field experiment, P addition had a positive effect on (13)C uptake but only at sub-saturating light levels, whereas in the laboratory experiment nutrient additions had no effect on the periphyton biomass, (13)C uptake, biovolume and community composition. In the laboratory experiment, the grazer (caddisfly) effect on periphyton biomass specific (13)C uptake and nutrient content was much stronger than the effects of light and nutrients. In particular, grazers significantly reduced periphyton biomass and increased biomass specific (13)C uptake and C:nutrient ratios. The energy transfer efficiency, estimated as a ratio between (13)C uptake by caddisfly and periphyton, was positively affected by light conditions, whereas the nutrient effect was not significant. We suggest that the observed effects on energy transfer were related to the increased diet contribution of highly palatable green algae, stimulated by higher light levels. Also, high heterotrophic microbial activity under low light levels would facilitate energy loss through respiration and decrease overall trophic transfer efficiency. These findings suggest that even a small increase in light intensity could result in community

  7. Increase of unit efficiency by improved waste heat recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, G.; Lankes, F.

    1998-07-01

    For coal-fired power plants with flue gas desulfurization by wet scrubbing and desulfurized exhaust gas discharge via cooling tower, a further improvement of new power plant efficiency is possible by exhaust gas heat recovery. The waste heat of exhaust gas is extracted in a flue gas cooler before the wet scrubber and recovered for combustion air and/or feedwater heating by either direct or indirect coupling of heat transfer. Different process configurations for heat recovery system are described and evaluated with regard to net unit improvement. For unite firing bituminous coal an increase of net unit efficiency of 0.25 to 0.7 percentage points and for lignite 0.7 to 1.6 percentage points can be realized depending on the process configurations of the heat recovery systems.

  8. Major life events increase the risk of stroke but not of myocardial infarction: results from the Copenhagen City Heart Study

    PubMed Central

    Kornerup, Henriette; Osler, Merete; Boysen, Gudrun; Barefoot, John; Schnohr, Peter; Prescott, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Background More attention has been paid to psychosocial conditions as possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the impact of accumulated major life events (MLE) on the development of CVD has received little attention. Design The aim of this study was to explore the influences of MLE on CVD risk in a large cohort study. Methods The study population consisted of 9542 randomly selected adults free of CVD examined in the Copenhagen City Heart Study in 1991–1994 and followed up for CVD defined as myocardial infarction or ischaemic stroke until 2001. MLE were analysed using an 11-item questionnaire and hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model. Results During follow-up there were 443 myocardial infarctions (MI) and 350 ischaemic strokes. Financial problems in both childhood and adulthood were associated with risk of stroke with an HR of 1.71 (95% CI: 1.29–2.26) and 1.60 (1.12–2.30), respectively. Accumulation of MLE was also associated with risk of stroke with HR reaching a maximum of 1.41 (95% CI: 1.06–1.90) for more than one event in childhood and 1.49 (95% CI: 1.09–2.04) for more than one event in adulthood. MLE accumulated over a life course showed a dose–response relationship with stroke. Associations were somewhat attenuated by adjustment for vital exhaustion suggesting a mediating role, but not by adjustment for behavioural risk factors. There were no associations between MLE and MI. Conclusion In this population-based cohort study, we found that MLE conveyed a moderately increased risk of stroke partly mediated through vital exhaustion. We found no association between MLE and the risk of MI. PMID:20038841

  9. Increasing the Cost-efficiency of the DSN

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Statman, Joseph I.; Berner, Jeff B.

    2008-01-01

    JPL has operated the Deep Space Network (DSN) on behalf of NASA since the 1960's. Over the last two decades, the DSN budget has generally declined in real-year dollars while the aging assets required more attention, and the missions became more complex. As a result, the budget has been increasingly consumed by Operations and Maintenance (O and M), significantly reducing the funding wedge available for technology investment and for enhancing the DSN capability and capacity. Responding to this budget squeeze, the DSN launched an effort to improve the cost-efficiency of the O and M. In this paper we: Analyze the components of O&M. We note for example that, for the DSN, less than 20% of the staff engage in the traditional human-in-front-a-console role, so any effort to increase the cost efficiency must go beyond reducing the number of "Real-time operators." Explain the underlying organizational and cultural structures. Any cost-efficiency activities changes either accept, or carefully modify these structures. For example, the DSN O&M is based on the concept that there are three nearly identical antenna complexes separated by approximately 1200 in latitude and that each antenna complex is operated by a different contractor (driven by international agreements). Explore planned changes in the customer interface, e.g. web-based automated scheduling, and the processes required for a transition. Changes have to be evaluated in the larger end-to-end context, e.g. do the changes provide a net cost-efficiency for the DSN and the missions, or do they merely shift cost from the DSN to the missions. Consider possible significant changes in real-time pass management, e.g. full-remoting of operations, and lights-dim operations, while maintaining (or improving) the performance metrics of the DSN. Investigate how procedural and administrative changes could increase cost-efficiency, in conjunction with changes in the customer interfaces and real-time pass management. Examples would be

  10. Myocardial Tagging With SSFP

    PubMed Central

    Herzka, Daniel A.; Guttman, Michael A.; McVeigh, Elliot R.

    2007-01-01

    This work presents the first implementation of myocardial tagging with refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) and magnetization preparation. The combination of myocardial tagging (a noninvasive method for quantitative measurement of regional and global cardiac function) with the high tissue signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) obtained with SSFP is shown to yield improvements in terms of the myocardium–tag contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and tag persistence when compared to the current standard fast gradient-echo (FGRE) tagging protocol. Myocardium–tag CNR and tag persistence were studied using numerical simulations as well as phantom and human experiments. Both quantities were found to decrease with increasing imaging flip angle (α) due to an increased tag decay rate and a decrease in myocardial steady-state signal. However, higher α yielded better blood–myocardium contrast, indicating that optimal α is dependent on the application: higher α for better blood–myocardium boundary visualization, and lower α for better tag persistence. SSFP tagging provided the same myocardium–tag CNR as FGRE tagging when acquired at four times the bandwidth and better tag– and blood–myocardium CNRs than FGRE tagging when acquired at equal or twice the receiver bandwidth (RBW). The increased acquisition efficiency of SSFP allowed decreases in breath-hold duration, or increases in temporal resolution, as compared to FGRE. PMID:12541254

  11. Increased collection efficiency of LIFI high intensity electrodeless light source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hafidi, Abdeslam; DeVincentis, Marc; Duelli, Markus; Gilliard, Richard

    2008-02-01

    Recently, RF driven electrodeless high intensity light sources have been implemented successfully in the projection display systems for HDTV and videowall applications. This paper presents advances made in the RF waveguide and electric field concentrator structures with the purpose of reducing effective arc size and increasing light collection. In addition, new optical designs are described that further improve system efficiency. The results of this work demonstrate that projection system light throughput is increased relative to previous implementations and performance is optimized for home theater and other front projector applications that maintain multi-year lifetime without re-lamping, complete spectral range, fast start times and high levels of dynamic contrast due to dimming flexibility in the light source system.

  12. Increased OLED radiative efficiency using a directive optical antenna.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, S; Blair, S

    2010-08-02

    We investigate the improvement in efficiency of organic light emitting diodes/displays (OLEDs) by embedding a typical OLED structure within a metallic patch grating resonator. A patch grating resonator is similar to the more familiar Fabry-Perot resonator, except that one mirror of the resonator is a metallic patch grating with a pitch approximately lambda /2 that reduces lateral propagation of radiative emission. FDTD simulations of the proposed structure indicate a potential 71% increase in emitted power over that of a reference OLED structure, and an additional 5% gain from adding an ITO spacer adjacent to the metallic electrode layer (for a total 76% increase). Implementation of this structure requires little to no modification of the OLED manufacturing process.

  13. Methods for increasing the efficiency of Compton imagers

    SciTech Connect

    Mihailescu, L; Vetter, K; Burks, M; Chivers, D; Cunningham, M; Gunter, D; Nelson, K E

    2005-11-15

    A Compton scatter camera based on position sensitive, planar Ge and Si(Li) detectors with segmented electrodes is being developed at LLNL. This paper presents various methods that were developed to increase the position resolution of the detectors, the granularity and capability to reconstruct the scattering sequence of the gamma-ray within the detectors. All these methods help to increase the efficiency of the imager, by accepting more photons in the final image. The initial extent and diffusion of charge-carrier clouds inside the semiconductor detectors are found to affect profoundly the fraction of interactions that deposit charge in multiple adjacent electrodes. An accurate identification of these charge-shared interactions is a key factor in correctly reconstructing the position of interactions in the detector.

  14. Increased SERS detection efficiency for characterizing rare events in flow.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Kevin T; Schultz, Zachary D

    2015-08-18

    Improved surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurements of a flowing aqueous sample are accomplished by combining line focus optics with sheath-flow SERS detection. The straightforward introduction of a cylindrical lens into the optical path of the Raman excitation laser increases the efficiency of SERS detection and the reproducibility of SERS signals at low concentrations. The width of the line focus is matched to the width of the sample capillary from which the analyte elutes under hydrodynamic focusing conditions, allowing for increased collection across the SERS substrate while maintaining the power density below the damage threshold at any specific point. We show that a 4× increase in power spread across the line increases the signal-to-noise ratio by a factor of 2 for a variety of analytes, such as rhodamine 6G, amino acids, and lipid vesicles, without any detectable photodamage. COMSOL simulations and Raman maps elucidate the hydrodynamic focusing properties of the flow cell, providing a clearer picture of the confinement effects at the surface where the sample exits the capillary. The lipid vesicle results suggest that the combination of hydrodynamic focusing and increased optical collection enables the reproducible detection of rare events, in this case individual lipid vesicles.

  15. Large Ribosomal Protein 4 Increases Efficiency of Viral Recoding Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Green, Lisa; Houck-Loomis, Brian; Yueh, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Expression of retroviral replication enzymes (Pol) requires a controlled translational recoding event to bypass the stop codon at the end of gag. This recoding event occurs either by direct suppression of termination via the insertion of an amino acid at the stop codon (readthrough) or by alteration of the mRNA reading frame (frameshift). Here we report the effects of a host protein, large ribosomal protein 4 (RPL4), on the efficiency of recoding. Using a dual luciferase reporter assay, we found that transfection of cells with a plasmid encoding RPL4 cDNA increases recoding efficiency in a dose-dependent manner, with a maximal enhancement of nearly twofold. Expression of RPL4 increases recoding of reporters containing retroviral readthrough and frameshift sequences, as well as the Sindbis virus leaky termination signal. RPL4-induced enhancement of recoding is cell line specific and appears to be specific to RPL4 among ribosomal proteins. Cotransfection of RPL4 cDNA with Moloney murine leukemia proviral DNA results in Gag processing defects and a reduction of viral particle formation, presumably caused by the RPL4-dependent alteration of the Gag-to-Gag-Pol ratio required for virion assembly and release. PMID:22718819

  16. Increasing efficiency of preclinical research by group sequential designs.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Konrad; Grittner, Ulrike; Piper, Sophie K; Rex, Andre; Florez-Vargas, Oscar; Karystianis, George; Schneider, Alice; Wellwood, Ian; Siegerink, Bob; Ioannidis, John P A; Kimmelman, Jonathan; Dirnagl, Ulrich

    2017-03-01

    Despite the potential benefits of sequential designs, studies evaluating treatments or experimental manipulations in preclinical experimental biomedicine almost exclusively use classical block designs. Our aim with this article is to bring the existing methodology of group sequential designs to the attention of researchers in the preclinical field and to clearly illustrate its potential utility. Group sequential designs can offer higher efficiency than traditional methods and are increasingly used in clinical trials. Using simulation of data, we demonstrate that group sequential designs have the potential to improve the efficiency of experimental studies, even when sample sizes are very small, as is currently prevalent in preclinical experimental biomedicine. When simulating data with a large effect size of d = 1 and a sample size of n = 18 per group, sequential frequentist analysis consumes in the long run only around 80% of the planned number of experimental units. In larger trials (n = 36 per group), additional stopping rules for futility lead to the saving of resources of up to 30% compared to block designs. We argue that these savings should be invested to increase sample sizes and hence power, since the currently underpowered experiments in preclinical biomedicine are a major threat to the value and predictiveness in this research domain.

  17. Increasing efficiency of preclinical research by group sequential designs

    PubMed Central

    Piper, Sophie K.; Rex, Andre; Florez-Vargas, Oscar; Karystianis, George; Schneider, Alice; Wellwood, Ian; Siegerink, Bob; Ioannidis, John P. A.; Kimmelman, Jonathan; Dirnagl, Ulrich

    2017-01-01

    Despite the potential benefits of sequential designs, studies evaluating treatments or experimental manipulations in preclinical experimental biomedicine almost exclusively use classical block designs. Our aim with this article is to bring the existing methodology of group sequential designs to the attention of researchers in the preclinical field and to clearly illustrate its potential utility. Group sequential designs can offer higher efficiency than traditional methods and are increasingly used in clinical trials. Using simulation of data, we demonstrate that group sequential designs have the potential to improve the efficiency of experimental studies, even when sample sizes are very small, as is currently prevalent in preclinical experimental biomedicine. When simulating data with a large effect size of d = 1 and a sample size of n = 18 per group, sequential frequentist analysis consumes in the long run only around 80% of the planned number of experimental units. In larger trials (n = 36 per group), additional stopping rules for futility lead to the saving of resources of up to 30% compared to block designs. We argue that these savings should be invested to increase sample sizes and hence power, since the currently underpowered experiments in preclinical biomedicine are a major threat to the value and predictiveness in this research domain. PMID:28282371

  18. MicroRNA-19b is a potential biomarker of increased myocardial collagen cross-linking in patients with aortic stenosis and heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Beaumont, Javier; López, Begoña; Ravassa, Susana; Hermida, Nerea; José, Gorka San; Gallego, Idoia; Valencia, Félix; Gómez-Doblas, Juan José; de Teresa, Eduardo; Díez, Javier; González, Arantxa

    2017-01-01

    This study analyzed the potential associations of 7 myocardial fibrosis-related microRNAs with the quality of the collagen network (e.g., the degree of collagen fibril cross-linking or CCL) and the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX) responsible for CCL in 28 patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) of whom 46% had a diagnosis of chronic heart failure (HF). MicroRNA expression was analyzed in myocardial and blood samples. From the studied microRNAs only miR-19b presented a direct correlation (p < 0.05) between serum and myocardium. Compared to controls both myocardial and serum miR-19b were reduced (p < 0.01) in AS patients. In addition, miR-19b was reduced in the myocardium (p < 0.01) and serum (p < 0.05) of patients with HF compared to patients without HF. Myocardial and serum miR-19b were inversely correlated (p < 0.05) with LOX, CCL and LV stiffness in AS patients. In in vitro studies miR-19b inhibition increased (p < 0.05) connective tissue growth factor protein and LOX protein expression in human fibroblasts. In conclusion, decreased miR-19b may be involved in myocardial LOX up-regulation and excessive CCL, and consequently increased LV stiffness in AS patients, namely in those with HF. Serum miR-19b can be a biomarker of these alterations of the myocardial collagen network in AS patients, particularly in patients with HF. PMID:28091585

  19. Thyroid hormone increases bulk histones expression by enhancing translational efficiency.

    PubMed

    Zambrano, Alberto; García-Carpizo, Verónica; Villamuera, Raquel; Aranda, Ana

    2015-01-01

    The expression of canonical histones is normally coupled to DNA synthesis during the S phase of the cell cycle. Replication-dependent histone mRNAs do not contain a poly(A) tail at their 3' terminus, but instead possess a stem-loop motif, the binding site for the stem-loop binding protein (SLBP), which regulates mRNA processing, stability, and relocation to polysomes. Here we show that the thyroid hormone can increase the levels of canonical histones independent of DNA replication. Incubation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts with T3 increases the total levels of histones, and expression of the thyroid hormone receptor β induces a further increase. This is not restricted to mouse embryonic fibroblasts, because T3 also raises histone expression in other cell lines. T3 does not increase histone mRNA or SLBP levels, suggesting that T3 regulates histone expression by a posttranscriptional mechanism. Indeed, T3 enhanced translational efficiency, inducing relocation of histone mRNA to heavy polysomes. Increased translation was associated with augmented transcription of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 γ2 (EIF4G2). T3 induced EIF4G2 protein and mRNA levels and the thyroid hormone receptor bound to the promoter region of the Eif4g2 gene. Induction of EIF4G2 was essential for T3-dependent histone induction, because depletion of this factor abolished histone increase. These results point out the importance of the thyroid hormones on the posttranscriptional regulation of histone biosynthesis in a cell cycle-independent manner and also suggest the potential regulation of eukaryotic translation by the modulation of the initiation factor EIF4G2, which also operates in the translation of canonical mRNAs.

  20. Tandem photovoltaic solar cells and increased solar energy conversion efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loferski, J. J.

    1976-01-01

    Tandem photovoltaic cells, as proposed by Jackson (1955) to increase the efficiency of solar energy conversion, involve the construction of a system of stacked p/n homojunction photovoltaic cells composed of different semiconductors. It had been pointed out by critics, however, that the total power which could be extracted from the cells in the stack placed side by side was substantially greater than the power obtained from the stacked cells. A reexamination of the tandem cell concept in view of the development of the past few years is conducted. It is concluded that the use of tandem cell systems in flat plate collectors, as originally envisioned by Jackson, may yet become feasible as a result of the development of economically acceptable solar cells for large scale terrestrial power generation.

  1. Fast Reactor Subassembly Design Modifications for Increasing Electricity Generation Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    R. Wigeland; K. Hamman

    2009-09-01

    Suggested for Track 7: Advances in Reactor Core Design and In-Core Management _____________________________________________________________________________________ Fast Reactor Subassembly Design Modifications for Increasing Electricity Generation Efficiency R. Wigeland and K. Hamman Idaho National Laboratory Given the ability of fast reactors to effectively transmute the transuranic elements as are present in spent nuclear fuel, fast reactors are being considered as one element of future nuclear power systems to enable continued use and growth of nuclear power by limiting high-level waste generation. However, a key issue for fast reactors is higher electricity cost relative to other forms of nuclear energy generation. The economics of the fast reactor are affected by the amount of electric power that can be produced from a reactor, i.e., the thermal efficiency for electricity generation. The present study is examining the potential for fast reactor subassembly design changes to improve the thermal efficiency by increasing the average coolant outlet temperature without increasing peak temperatures within the subassembly, i.e., to make better use of current technology. Sodium-cooled fast reactors operate at temperatures far below the coolant boiling point, so that the maximum coolant outlet temperature is limited by the acceptable peak temperatures for the reactor fuel and cladding. Fast reactor fuel subassemblies have historically been constructed using a large number of small diameter fuel pins contained within a tube of hexagonal cross-section, or hexcan. Due to this design, there is a larger coolant flow area next to the hexcan wall as compared to flow area in the interior of the subassembly. This results in a higher flow rate near the hexcan wall, overcooling the fuel pins next to the wall, and a non-uniform coolant temperature distribution. It has been recognized for many years that this difference in sodium coolant temperature was detrimental to achieving

  2. Increasing the efficiency of polymer solar cells by silicon nanowires.

    PubMed

    Eisenhawer, B; Sensfuss, S; Sivakov, V; Pietsch, M; Andrä, G; Falk, F

    2011-08-05

    Silicon nanowires have been introduced into P3HT:[60]PCBM solar cells, resulting in hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells. A cell efficiency of 4.2% has been achieved, which is a relative improvement of 10% compared to a reference cell produced without nanowires. This increase in cell performance is possibly due to an enhancement of the electron transport properties imposed by the silicon nanowires. In this paper, we present a novel approach for introducing the nanowires by mixing them into the polymer blend and subsequently coating the polymer/nanowire blend onto a substrate. This new onset may represent a viable pathway to producing nanowire-enhanced polymer solar cells in a reel to reel process.

  3. Trend of increase in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction in a Japanese population: Takashima AMI Registry, 1990-2001.

    PubMed

    Rumana, Nahid; Kita, Yoshikuni; Turin, Tanvir Chowdhury; Murakami, Yoshitaka; Sugihara, Hideki; Morita, Yutaka; Tomioka, Nobuyoshi; Okayama, Akira; Nakamura, Yasuyuki; Abbott, Robert D; Ueshima, Hirotsugu

    2008-06-01

    The incidence and mortality of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) remain low in Japan despite major dietary changes and worsening cardiovascular risk factors, a situation that should have resulted in a substantial increase in AMI rates (Japanese paradox). The current trend in the incidence of AMI was examined for the period 1990-2001 by use of data from the Takashima AMI Registry covering a stable population of approximately 55,000 in central Japan. AMI incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for 1990-1992, 1993-1995, 1996-1998, and 1999-2001. The incidence trend was determined by calculating the average annual change in percentage across the years. There were 352 (men: n = 224; women: n = 128) registered first-ever AMI cases during 1990-2001. The age-adjusted incidence rate of all AMI showed a gradual increase from 39.9 (95% confidence interval (CI): 29.8, 50.0) in 1990-1992 to 62.6 (95% CI: 51.5, 73.7) in 1999-2001. In men, the age-adjusted incidence rate increased from 66.5 (95% CI: 46.4, 86.6) in 1990-1992 to 100.7 (95% CI: 78.6, 122.7) in 1999-2001. In women, fluctuation was observed after an initial steep increase. The average annual incidence increased by 7.6% (95% CI: 3.5, 11.7) among men and by 8.3% (95% CI: 1.02, 15.6) among women. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to report an increasing trend of AMI in a Japanese population.

  4. Ventricular Repolarization Evaluation From Surface ECG for Identification of the Patients With Increased Myocardial Electrical Instability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    interval variability: novel evidence for repolarization lability in ischemic and nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy . Circulation 1997, 96:1557-1565 [17...temporal variability already appears at early stages of the disease. So, Berger et al [16] demonstrated in ischemic and non-ischemic dilated ... cardiomyopathy patients that significantly greater QTV prevailed among minimally symptomatic patients with little or no further increase among the patients

  5. Increasing Computational Efficiency of Cochlear Models Using Boundary Layers

    PubMed Central

    Alkhairy, Samiya A.; Shera, Christopher A.

    2016-01-01

    Our goal is to develop methods to improve the efficiency of computational models of the cochlea for applications that require the solution accurately only within a basal region of interest, specifically by decreasing the number of spatial sections needed for simulation of the problem with good accuracy. We design algebraic spatial and parametric transformations to computational models of the cochlea. These transformations are applied after the basal region of interest and allow for spatial preservation, driven by the natural characteristics of approximate spatial causality of cochlear models. The project is of foundational nature and hence the goal is to design, characterize and develop an understanding and framework rather than optimization and globalization. Our scope is as follows: designing the transformations; understanding the mechanisms by which computational load is decreased for each transformation; development of performance criteria; characterization of the results of applying each transformation to a specific physical model and discretization and solution schemes. In this manuscript, we introduce one of the proposed methods (complex spatial transformation) for a case study physical model that is a linear, passive, transmission line model in which the various abstraction layers (electric parameters, filter parameters, wave parameters) are clearer than other models. This is conducted in the frequency domain for multiple frequencies using a second order finite difference scheme for discretization and direct elimination for solving the discrete system of equations. The performance is evaluated using two developed simulative criteria for each of the transformations. In conclusion, the developed methods serve to increase efficiency of a computational traveling wave cochlear model when spatial preservation can hold, while maintaining good correspondence with the solution of interest and good accuracy, for applications in which the interest is in the solution

  6. Increasing computational efficiency of cochlear models using boundary layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alkhairy, Samiya A.; Shera, Christopher A.

    2015-12-01

    Our goal is to develop methods to improve the efficiency of computational models of the cochlea for applications that require the solution accurately only within a basal region of interest, specifically by decreasing the number of spatial sections needed for simulation of the problem with good accuracy. We design algebraic spatial and parametric transformations to computational models of the cochlea. These transformations are applied after the basal region of interest and allow for spatial preservation, driven by the natural characteristics of approximate spatial causality of cochlear models. The project is of foundational nature and hence the goal is to design, characterize and develop an understanding and framework rather than optimization and globalization. Our scope is as follows: designing the transformations; understanding the mechanisms by which computational load is decreased for each transformation; development of performance criteria; characterization of the results of applying each transformation to a specific physical model and discretization and solution schemes. In this manuscript, we introduce one of the proposed methods (complex spatial transformation) for a case study physical model that is a linear, passive, transmission line model in which the various abstraction layers (electric parameters, filter parameters, wave parameters) are clearer than other models. This is conducted in the frequency domain for multiple frequencies using a second order finite difference scheme for discretization and direct elimination for solving the discrete system of equations. The performance is evaluated using two developed simulative criteria for each of the transformations. In conclusion, the developed methods serve to increase efficiency of a computational traveling wave cochlear model when spatial preservation can hold, while maintaining good correspondence with the solution of interest and good accuracy, for applications in which the interest is in the solution

  7. Increase in cholinergic modulation with pyridostigmine induces anti-inflammatory cell recruitment soon after acute myocardial infarction in rats.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Juraci Aparecida; Ribeiro, Susan Pereira; França, Cristiane Miranda; Coelho, Otávio; Alves, Gisele; Lacchini, Silvia; Kallás, Esper Georges; Irigoyen, Maria Cláudia; Consolim-Colombo, Fernanda M

    2016-04-15

    We tested the hypothesis that an increase in the anti-inflammatory cholinergic pathway, when induced by pyridostigmine (PY), may modulate subtypes of lymphocytes (CD4+, CD8+, FOXP3+) and macrophages (M1/M2) soon after myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. Wistar rats, randomly allocated to receive PY (40 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) in drinking water or to stay without treatment, were followed for 4 days and then were subjected to ligation of the left coronary artery. The groups-denominated as the pyridostigmine-treated infarcted (IP) and infarcted control (I) groups-were submitted to euthanasia 3 days after MI; the heart was removed for immunohistochemistry, and the peripheral blood and spleen were collected for flow cytometry analysis. Noninfarcted and untreated rats were used as controls (C Group). Echocardiographic measurements were registered on the second day after MI, and heart rate variability was measured on the third day after MI. The infarcted groups had similar MI areas, degrees of systolic dysfunction, blood pressures, and heart rates. Compared with the I Group, the IP Group showed a significant higher parasympathetic modulation and a lower sympathetic modulation, which were associated with a small, but significant, increase in diastolic function. The IP Group showed a significant increase in M2 macrophages and FOXP3(+)cells in the infarcted and peri-infarcted areas, a significantly higher frequency of circulating Treg cells (CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+)), and a less extreme decrease in conventional T cells (CD25(+)FOXP3(-)) compared with the I Group. Therefore, increasing cholinergic modulation with PY induces greater anti-inflammatory cell recruitment soon after MY in rats.

  8. Genomic Variant in CAV1 Increases Susceptibility to Coronary Artery Disease and Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Rongfeng; Wang, Fan; Xu, Chaoping; Huang, Yufeng; Li, Sisi; Yin, Dan; Xiong, Xin; Li, Xiuchun; Chen, Qiuyun; Tu, Xin; Yang, Yanzong; Xia, Yonglong; Xu, Chengqi; Wang, Qing K.

    2016-01-01

    Background The CAV1 gene encodes caveolin-1 expressed in cell types relevant to atherosclerosis. Cav-1-null mice showed a protective effect on atherosclerosis under the ApoE−/− background. However, it is unknown whether CAV1 is linked to CAD and MI in humans. In this study we analyzed a tagSNP for CAV1 in intron 2, rs3807989, for potential association with CAD. Methods and Results We performed case-control association studies in three independent Chinese Han populations from GeneID, including 1,249 CAD cases and 841 controls in Population I, 1,260 cases and 833 controls in Population II and 790 cases and 1,212 controls in Population III (a total of 3,299 cases and 2,886 controls). We identified significant association between rs3807989 and CAD in three independent populations and in the combined population (Padj=2.18×10−5, OR=1.19 for minor allele A). We also detected significant association between rs3807989 and MI (Padj=5.43×10−5, OR=1.23 for allele A). Allele A of SNP rs3807989 was also associated with a decreased level of LDL cholesterol. Although rs3807989 is a tagSNP for both CAV1 and nearby CAV2, allele A of SNP rs3807989 was associated with an increased expression level of CAV1 (both mRNA and protein), but not CAV2. Conclusions The data in this study demonstrated that rs3807989 at the CAV1/CAV2 locus was associated with significant risk of CAD and MI by increasing expression CAV1 (but not CAV2). Thus, CAV1 becomes a strong candidate susceptibility gene for CAD/MI in humans. PMID:26775120

  9. A π-π conjugation-containing soft and conductive injectable polymer hydrogel highly efficiently rebuilds cardiac function after myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Bao, Rui; Tan, Baoyu; Liang, Shuang; Zhang, Ning; Wang, Wei; Liu, Wenguang

    2017-04-01

    Previous studies suggested that a stiffer hydrogel system exhibited a better performance to promote heart function after myocardial infarction (MI). However, the nature of myocardium, a tissue that alternately contracts and relaxes with electrical impulses, leads us to hypothesize that a soft and conductive hydrogel may be in favor of mechanical and electrical signals transmission to enhance heart function after MI. In this work, π-π conjugation interaction was first employed to produce a soft injectable hydrogel with conductive property. Melamine with π-π conjugation ring was used as a core to synthesize a multi-armed crosslinker PEGDA700-Melamine (PEG-MEL), which could crosslink with thiol-modified hyaluronic acid (HA-SH) to form an injectable hydrogel rapidly. By incorporating graphene oxide (GO), the injectable PEG-MEL/HA-SH/GO hydrogel exhibited a soft (G' = 25 Pa) and anti-fatigue mechanical property and conductive property (G = 2.84 × 10(-4) S/cm). The hydrogel encapsulating adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) was injected into MI area of rats. The significant increase in α-Smooth Muscle Actin (α-SMA) and Connexin 43 (Cx43) expression confirmed that the gel efficiently promoted the transmission of mechanical and electrical signals. Meanwhile, a significant improvement of heart functions, such as distinct increase of ejection fraction (EF), smaller infarction size, less fibrosis area, and higher vessel density, was achieved.

  10. Aging increases the susceptivity of MSCs to reactive oxygen species and impairs their therapeutic potency for myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Guo, Yingfei; Zhai, Hongxia; Yin, Yaxin; Zhang, Jinjin; Chen, Haiwei; Wang, Lei; Li, Na; Liu, Runmei; Xia, Yunfeng

    2014-01-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) transplantation has been considered a promising therapy. Recently, it was reported that the therapeutic effectiveness of MSCs is dependent on the age of the donor, yet the underlying mechanism has not been thoroughly investigated. This study was designed to investigate whether this impaired therapeutic potency is caused by an increased susceptivity of MSCs from old donors to reactive oxygen species (ROS). The MSCs were isolated from the subcutaneous inguinal region of young (8-10 weeks) and old (18 months) Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. By exposing these MSCs to H2O2, we found that the adhesion of MSCs from old donors was damaged more severely. Specifically, decreased expression of integrin and reduced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase Src and FAK were observed. Furthemore, H2O2 triggered an increased apoptosis of MSCs from old donors. To study the viability and therapeutic potency of MSCs from young and old donors in vivo, these MSCs were transplanted into acute MI model rats. We observed a more rapidly decreased survival rate of the old MSCs in the infarct region, which may be caused by their increased susceptivity to the micro-environmental ROS, as transplantation of the old MSCs with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a ROS scavenger, protected them. The low viability of engrafted old MSCs consequently impaired their therapeutic effectiveness, judging by the histology and function of heart. Our study may help to understand the mechanism of MSCs-host interaction during MI, as well as shed light on the design of therapeutic strategy in clinic.

  11. Acute starvation in C57BL/6J mice increases myocardial UCP2 and UCP3 protein expression levels and decreases mitochondrial bio-energetic function.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chun-Ming; Almsherqi, Zakaria A; McLachlan, Craig S; Matthews, Slade; Ramachandran, Malarmathy; Tay, Stacey Kh; Deng, Yuru

    2011-01-01

    Associations between uncoupling protein (UCP) expression and functional changes in myocardial mitochondrial bio-energetics have not been well studied during periods of starvation stress. Our aim was to study the effects of acute starvation, for 24 or 48 h, on combined cardiac mitochondrial function and UCP expression in mice. Isolated heart mitochondria from female mice starved for 48 h compared to that from mice fed revealed a significantly (p < 0.05) decreased adenosine diphosphate-to-oxygen ratio, a significantly increased proton leak and an increased GTP inhibition on palmitic acid-induced state 4 oxygen consumption (p < 0.05). These bio-energetic functional changes were associated with increases in mitochondrial UCP2 and UCP3 protein expression. In conclusion, our findings suggest that increased UCP2 and UCP3 levels may contribute to decreased myocardial mitochondrial bio-energetic function due to starvation.

  12. Myocardial dysfunction in treated adult hypopituitarism: a possible explanation for increased cardiovascular mortality.

    PubMed Central

    Shahi, M; Beshyah, S A; Hackett, D; Sharp, P S; Johnston, D G; Foale, R A

    1992-01-01

    showed normal coronary arteries. Exercise-induced ST segment depression was not related to the severity or duration of growth hormone deficiency or serum cholesterol concentration. CONCLUSIONS--This study suggests that left ventricular mass and the rate-pressure product are related to the degree of growth hormone deficiency, that left ventricular diastolic dysfunction is frequently seen in hypopituitarism, and that these patients may have ischaemic-like ST segment changes during exercise testing. These findings may explain the increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with hypopituitarism and may also have implications for growth hormone replacement therapy in adults. Images PMID:1739534

  13. Innovative strategy with potential to increase hemodialysis efficiency and safety

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hsiao-Chien; Lin, Hsiu-Chen; Chen, Hsi-Hsien; Mai, Fu-Der; Liu, Yu-Chuan; Lin, Chun-Mao; Chang, Chun-Chao; Tsai, Hui-Yen; Yang, Chih-Ping

    2014-03-01

    Uremic toxins are mainly represented by blood urine nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (Crea) whose removal is critically important in hemodialysis (HD) for kidney disease. Patients undergoing HD have a complex illness, resulting from: inadequate removal of organic waste, dialysis-induced oxidative stress and membrane-induced inflammation. Here we report innovative breakthroughs for efficient and safe HD by using a plasmon-induced dialysate comprising Au nanoparticles (NPs)-treated (AuNT) water that is distinguishable from conventional deionized (DI) water. The diffusion coefficient of K3Fe(CN)6 in saline solution can be significantly increased from 2.76, to 4.62 × 10-6 cm s-1, by using AuNT water prepared under illumination by green light-emitting diodes (LED). In vitro HD experiments suggest that the treatment times for the removals of 70% BUN and Crea are reduced by 47 and 59%, respectively, using AuNT water instead of DI water in dialysate, while additionally suppressing NO release from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory cells.

  14. Can Intrinsic Fluctuations Increase Efficiency in Neural Information Processing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liljenström, Hans

    2003-05-01

    All natural processes are accompanied by fluctuations, characterized as noise or chaos. Biological systems, which have evolved during billions of years, are likely to have adapted, not only to cope with such fluctuations, but also to make use of them. We investigate how the complex dynamics of the brain, including oscillations, chaos and noise, can affect the efficiency of neural information processing. In particular, we consider the amplification and functional role of internal fluctuations. Using computer simulations of a neural network model of the olfactory cortex and hippocampus, we demonstrate how microscopic fluctuations can result in global effects at the network level. We show that the rate of information processing in associative memory tasks can be maximized for optimal noise levels, analogous to stochastic resonance phenomena. Noise can also induce transitions between different dynamical states, which could be of significance for learning and memory. A chaotic-like behavior, induced by noise or by an increase in neuronal excitability, can enhance system performance if it is transient and converges to a limit cycle memory state. We speculate whether this dynamical behavior perhaps could be related to (creative) thinking.

  15. Efficient watermarking system with increased reliability for video authentication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winne, Dominique A.; Knowles, Henry D.; Bull, David R.; Canagarajah, C. N.

    2003-06-01

    The widespread adoption of digital video techniques has generated a requirement for authenticity verification in applications such as criminal evidence, insurance claims and commercial databases. This paper extends our previous work and improves the watermark estimation procedure of a spatial digital video watermarking system designed to detect and characterize time-base attacks. Most watermark extraction processes utilize the noise masking levels of the image. These levels change during transmission, especially when the host signal is compressed at low bit-rates. The blocking artifacts that are introduced by this process modify the noise masking levels and influence the ability to form a good estimate of the embedded watermark. This paper describes a novel filter procedure to eliminate these artifacts from the noise masking levels. The efficiency is compared with the standard MPEG-4 deblocking and deringing filters. Extracting the watermark from only the encoded Macroblocks, excluding the skipped Macroblocks improves the performance significantly without an increase in computational complexity. The functionality of this system within an MPEG-4 implementation is demonstrated with a receiver operating characteristic.

  16. Resistance to aspirin is increased by ST-elevation myocardial infarction and correlates with adenosine diphosphate levels

    PubMed Central

    Borna, Catharina; Lazarowski, Eduardo; van Heusden, Catharina; Öhlin, Hans; Erlinge, David

    2005-01-01

    Background To be fully activated platelets are dependent on two positive feedback loops; the formation of thromboxane A2 by cyclooxygenase in the platelets and the release of ADP. We wanted to evaluate the effect of aspirin on platelet function in patients with acute coronary syndromes and we hypothesized that increased levels of ADP in patients with acute coronary syndromes could contribute to aspirin resistance. Methods Platelet activity in 135 patients admitted for chest pain was assessed with PFA-100. An epinephrine-collagen cartridge (EPI-COLL) was used for the detection of aspirin resistance together with an ADP-collagen cartridge (ADP-COLL). ADP was measured with hplc from antecubital vein samples. Three subgroups were compared: chest pain with no sign of cardiac disease (NCD), NonST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and STEMI. Results Platelet activation was increased for the STEMI group compared NCD. Aspirin resistance defined as <193 sec in EPI-COLL was 9.7 % in NCD, and increased to 26.0 % (n.s.) in NSTEMI and 83.3 % (p < 0.001) in STEMI. Chronic aspirin treatment significantly reduced platelet aggregation in NCD and NSTEMI, but it had no effect in STEMI. Plasma levels of ADP were markedly increased in STEMI (905 ± 721 nmol/l, p < 0.01), but not in NSTEMI (317 ± 245), compared to NCD (334 ± 271, mean ± SD). ADP levels correlated with increased platelet activity measured with ADP-COLL (r = -0.30, p < 0.05). Aspirin resistant patients (EPI-COLL < 193 sec) had higher ADP levels compared to aspirin responders (734 ± 807 vs. 282 ± 187 nmol/l, mean ± SD, p < 0.05). Conclusion Platelets are activated and aspirin resistance is more frequent in STEMI, probably due to a general activation of platelets. ADP levels are increased in STEMI and correlates with platelet activation. Increased levels of ADP could be one reason for increased platelet activity and aspirin resistance. PMID:16045804

  17. Patterned Polymer Coatings Increase the Efficiency of Dew Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Al-Khayat, Omar; Hong, Jun Ki; Beck, David M; Minett, Andrew I; Neto, Chiara

    2017-03-03

    Micropatterned polymer surfaces, possessing both topographical and chemical characteristics, were prepared on three-dimensional copper tubes and used to capture atmospheric water. The micropatterns mimic the structure on the back of a desert beetle that condenses water from the air in a very dry environment. The patterned coatings were prepared by the dewetting of thin films of poly-4-vinylpyridine (P4VP) on top of polystyrene films (PS) films, upon solvent annealing, and consist of raised hydrophilic bumps on a hydrophobic background. The size and density distribution of the hydrophilic bumps could be tuned widely by adjusting the initial thickness of the P4VP films: the diameter of the produced bumps and their height could be varied by almost 2 orders of magnitude (1-80 μm and 40-9000 nm, respectively), and their distribution density could be varied by 5 orders of magnitude. Under low subcooling conditions (3 °C), the highest rate of water condensation was measured on the largest (80 μm diameter) hydrophilic bumps and was found to be 57% higher than that on flat hydrophobic films. These subcooling conditions are achieved spontaneously in dew formation, by passive radiative cooling of a surface exposed to the night sky. In effect, the pattern would result in a larger number of dewy nights than a flat hydrophobic surface and therefore increases water capture efficiency. Our approach is suited to fabrication on a large scale, to enable the use of the patterned coatings for water collection with no external input of energy.

  18. Advanced Wear-resistant Nanocomposites for Increased Energy Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, B. A.; Harringa, J. L.; Russel, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    This report summarizes the work performed by an Ames-led project team under a 4-year DOE-ITP sponsored project titled, 'Advanced Wear-resistant Nanocomposites for Increased Energy Efficiency.' The Report serves as the project deliverable for the CPS agreement number 15015. The purpose of this project was to develop and commercialize a family of lightweight, bulk composite materials that are highly resistant to degradation by erosive and abrasive wear. These materials, based on AlMgB{sub 14}, are projected to save over 30 TBtu of energy per year when fully implemented in industrial applications, with the associated environmental benefits of eliminating the burning of 1.5 M tons/yr of coal and averting the release of 4.2 M tons/yr of CO{sub 2} into the air. This program targeted applications in the mining, drilling, machining, and dry erosion applications as key platforms for initial commercialization, which includes some of the most severe wear conditions in industry. Production-scale manufacturing of this technology has begun through a start-up company, NewTech Ceramics (NTC). This project included providing technical support to NTC in order to facilitate cost-effective mass production of the wear-resistant boride components. Resolution of issues related to processing scale-up, reduction in energy intensity during processing, and improving the quality and performance of the composites, without adding to the cost of processing were among the primary technical focus areas of this program. Compositional refinements were also investigated in order to achieve the maximum wear resistance. In addition, synthesis of large-scale, single-phase AlMgB{sub 14} powder was conducted for use as PVD sputtering targets for nanocoating applications.

  19. Increasing the volumetric efficiency of Diesel engines by intake pipes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    List, Hans

    1933-01-01

    Development of a method for calculating the volumetric efficiency of piston engines with intake pipes. Application of this method to the scavenging pumps of two-stroke-cycle engines with crankcase scavenging and to four-stroke-cycle engines. The utility of the method is demonstrated by volumetric-efficiency tests of the two-stroke-cycle engines with crankcase scavenging. Its practical application to the calculation of intake pipes is illustrated by example.

  20. The Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene T-786C Polymorphism Increases Myocardial Infarction Risk: A Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    Kong, Xiang-Zhen; Zhang, Zheng-Yi; Wei, Lian-Hua; Li, Rui; Yu, Jing

    2017-02-11

    BACKGROUND Polymorphisms of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene are reportedly associated with myocardial infarction (MI) risk. However, definitive evidence of this association is lacking. In this study, we investigated the potential association of eNOS gene polymorphisms with MI risk by conducting a meta-analysis of studies evaluating this association. MATERIAL AND METHODS PubMed, Web of Knowledge, ScienceDirect, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WanFang, and Database of Chinese Scientific and Technical Periodicals (VIP) were searched for relevant studies. Pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to evaluate the association of eNOS gene T-786C and 4b4a polymorphisms with MI risk. RESULTS Fifteen studies with 8,067 controls and 4,923 MI cases were included in the final meta-analysis. In the overall analysis, T-786C (rs2070744) polymorphism was associated with MI risk (p<0.05, OR=1.69, 95% CI: 1.53-1.86 for T vs. C; p<0.05, OR=2.76, 95% CI: 2.03-3.75 for TT vs. CC; p<0.05, OR=1.74, 95% CI 1.56-1.95 for TT vs. (CT + CC); p<0.05, OR=2.43, 95% CI: 1.79-3.30 for (CT + TT) vs. CC). In addition, a significant association between 4b4a VNTR polymorphism and MI risk was observed. On sub-group analyses by ethnicity, a significant increase in MI risk was observed separately for Asian and Caucasian populations for T-786C polymorphism, but not for the 4b4a polymorphism. CONCLUSIONS In this meta-analysis, T-786C polymorphism of the eNOS gene was associated with the risk of MI, especially in the Asian populations.

  1. The Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene T-786C Polymorphism Increases Myocardial Infarction Risk: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Xiang-Zhen; Zhang, Zheng-Yi; Wei, Lian-Hua; Li, Rui; Yu, Jing

    2017-01-01

    Background Polymorphisms of the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene are reportedly associated with myocardial infarction (MI) risk. However, definitive evidence of this association is lacking. In this study, we investigated the potential association of eNOS gene polymorphisms with MI risk by conducting a meta-analysis of studies evaluating this association. Material/Methods PubMed, Web of Knowledge, ScienceDirect, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WanFang, and Database of Chinese Scientific and Technical Periodicals (VIP) were searched for relevant studies. Pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to evaluate the association of eNOS gene T-786C and 4b4a polymorphisms with MI risk. Results Fifteen studies with 8,067 controls and 4,923 MI cases were included in the final meta-analysis. In the overall analysis, T-786C (rs2070744) polymorphism was associated with MI risk (p<0.05, OR=1.69, 95% CI: 1.53–1.86 for T vs. C; p<0.05, OR=2.76, 95% CI: 2.03–3.75 for TT vs. CC; p<0.05, OR=1.74, 95% CI 1.56–1.95 for TT vs. (CT + CC); p<0.05, OR=2.43, 95% CI: 1.79–3.30 for (CT + TT) vs. CC). In addition, a significant association between 4b4a VNTR polymorphism and MI risk was observed. On sub-group analyses by ethnicity, a significant increase in MI risk was observed separately for Asian and Caucasian populations for T-786C polymorphism, but not for the 4b4a polymorphism. Conclusions In this meta-analysis, T-786C polymorphism of the eNOS gene was associated with the risk of MI, especially in the Asian populations. PMID:28188309

  2. Increasing efficiency in intermediate band solar cells with overlapping absorptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna, Akshay; Krich, Jacob J.

    2016-07-01

    Intermediate band (IB) materials are promising candidates for realizing high efficiency solar cells. In IB photovoltaics, photons are absorbed in one of three possible electronic transitions—valence to conduction band, valence to intermediate band, or intermediate to conduction band. With fully concentrated sunlight, when the band gaps have been chosen appropriately, the highest efficiency IB solar cells require that these three absorptions be non-overlapping, so absorbed photons of fixed energy contribute to only one transition. The realistic case of overlapping absorptions, where the transitions compete for photons, is generally considered to be a source of loss. We show that overlapping absorptions can in fact lead to significant improvements in IB solar cell efficiencies, especially for IB that are near the middle of the band gap. At low to moderate concentration, the highest efficiency requires overlapping absorptions. We use the detailed-balance method and indicate how much overlap of the absorptions is required to achieve efficiency improvements, comparing with some known cases. These results substantially broaden the set of materials that can be suitable for high-efficiency IB solar cells.

  3. Local structure analysis of materials for increased energy efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medling, Scott

    In this dissertation, a wide range of materials which exhibit interesting properties with potential for energy efficiency applications are investigated. The bulk of the research was conducted using the Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) technique. EXAFS is a powerful tool for elucidating the local structure of novel materials, and it's advantages are presented in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, I present details on two new techniques which are used in studies later in this dissertation, but are also promising for other, unrelated studies and, therefore, warrant being discussed generally. I explain the presence of and present a method for subtracting the X-ray Raman background in the fluorescence window when collecting fluorescence EXAFS data of a dilute dopant Z in a Z+1 host. I introduce X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and discuss the process to reduce XMCD data, including the self-absorption corrections for low energy K-edges. In Chapter 4, I present a series of investigations on ZnS:Cu electroluminescent phosphors. Optical microscopy indicates that the emission centers do not degrade uniformly or monotonically, but rather, most of the emission centers blink on and off during degradation. The effect of this on various proposed degradation mechanisms is discussed. EXAFS data of ZnS:Cu phosphors ground to enable thinner, lower-voltage devices indicate that grinding preferentially causes damage to the CuS nanoprecipitates, quenching electroluminescence (EL) and concluding that smaller particles must be built up from nanoparticles instead. EXAFS data of nanoparticles show that adding a ZnS shell outside a ZnS:Cu core provides significant additional encapsulation of the Cu, increasing photoluminescence and indicating that this may increase EL if devices can be fabricated. Data from extremely dilute (0.02% Cu) ZnS:Cu nanoparticles is presented in order to specifically study the non-precipitate and suggests that the Cu dopant substitutes for Zn and is

  4. Biz of Acq: Increasing Your Efficiency with Internet Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Withers, Rob; Richards, Robert C., Jr., Ed.

    1998-01-01

    Electronic tools, both local applications and networked resources, allow acquisitions librarians and staff to conduct business with unprecedented efficiency. This article describes digital resources that improve workflow and save time and money in an age of shrinking budgets, highlighting e-mail, World Wide Web resources, home page development…

  5. Interhemispheric Resource Sharing: Decreasing Benefits with Increasing Processing Efficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maertens, M.; Pollmann, S.

    2005-01-01

    Visual matches are sometimes faster when stimuli are presented across visual hemifields, compared to within-field matching. Using a cued geometric figure matching task, we investigated the influence of computational complexity vs. processing efficiency on this bilateral distribution advantage (BDA). Computational complexity was manipulated by…

  6. Energy efficiency increase in a chemical production site.

    PubMed

    Keller, Urs; Jucker, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Sustainability has become a key factor for the chemical industry. One element of sustainability is energy efficiency in manufacturing processes. This article illustrates the strategic energy initiatives of a leading global operating company and the implementation of its elements into practice. Some successful energy-saving projects are highlighted.

  7. Raising yield potential in wheat: increasing photosynthesis capacity and efficiency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing wheat yields to help to ensure food security is a major challenge. Meeting this challenge requires a quantum improvement in the yield potential of wheat. Past increases in yield potential have largely resulted from improvements in harvest index not through increased biomass. Further large...

  8. Soy Isoflavone Protects Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury through Increasing Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase and Decreasing Oxidative Stress in Ovariectomized Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yan; Li, Shuangyue; Zhang, Ping; Zhu, Jinbiao; Meng, Guoliang; Xie, Liping; Yu, Ying; Ji, Yong; Han, Yi

    2016-01-01

    There is a special role for estrogens in preventing and curing cardiovascular disease in women. Soy isoflavone (SI), a soy-derived phytoestrogen, has similar chemical structure to endogenous estrogen-estradiol. We investigate to elucidate the protective mechanism of SI on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) injury. Female SD rats underwent bilateral ovariectomy. One week later, rats were randomly divided into several groups, sham ovariectomy (control group), ovariectomy with MI/R, or ovariectomy with sham MI/R. Other ovariectomy rats were given different doses of SI or 17β-estradiol (E2). Four weeks later, they were exposed to 30 minutes of left coronary artery occlusion followed by 6 or 24 hours of reperfusion. SI administration significantly reduced myocardial infarct size and improved left ventricle function and restored endothelium-dependent relaxation function of thoracic aortas after MI/R in ovariectomized rats. SI also decreased serum creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activity, reduced plasma malonaldehyde, and attenuated oxidative stress in the myocardium. Meanwhile, SI increased phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt/endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) signal pathway. SI failed to decrease infarct size of hearts with I/R in ovariectomized rats if PI3K was inhibited. Overall, these results indicated that SI protects myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in ovariectomized rats through increasing PI3K/Akt/eNOS signal pathway and decreasing oxidative stress. PMID:27057277

  9. Means of increasing efficiency of CPC solar energy collector

    DOEpatents

    Chao, B.T.; Rabl, A.

    1975-06-27

    A device is provided for improving the thermal efficiency of a cylindrical radiant energy collector. A channel is placed next to and in close proximity to the nonreflective side of an energy reflective wall of a cylindrical collector. A coolant is piped through the channel and removes a portion of the nonreflective energy incident on the wall which is absorbed by the wall. The energy transferred to the coolant may be utilized in a useful manner.

  10. Means of increasing efficiency of CPC solar energy collector

    DOEpatents

    Chao, Bei Tse; Rabl, Ari

    1977-02-15

    A device is provided for improving the thermal efficiency of a cylindrical radiant energy collector. A channel is placed next to and in close proximity to the nonreflective side of an energy reflective wall of a cylindrical collector. A coolant is piped through the channel and removes a portion of the nonreflective energy incident on the wall which is absorbed by the wall. The energy transferred to the coolant may be utilized in a useful manner.

  11. Increased Efficiency Thermoelectric Generator With Convective Heat Transport

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-25

    term in the denominator is the reversible Seebeck thermal power input. The second and third terms are, respectively, Joule heating and conductive heat...heat transport functions, respectively, for Joule heating and conduction from the hot to cold ends. Figure 1 presents the effect of δ on efficiency...present, as it facilitates the convective effect when present. There is to be no possibility of a convective effect as being studied during this

  12. Methods for increased computational efficiency of multibody simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epple, Alexander

    This thesis is concerned with the efficient numerical simulation of finite element based flexible multibody systems. Scaling operations are systematically applied to the governing index-3 differential algebraic equations in order to solve the problem of ill conditioning for small time step sizes. The importance of augmented Lagrangian terms is demonstrated. The use of fast sparse solvers is justified for the solution of the linearized equations of motion resulting in significant savings of computational costs. Three time stepping schemes for the integration of the governing equations of flexible multibody systems are discussed in detail. These schemes are the two-stage Radau IIA scheme, the energy decaying scheme, and the generalized-a method. Their formulations are adapted to the specific structure of the governing equations of flexible multibody systems. The efficiency of the time integration schemes is comprehensively evaluated on a series of test problems. Formulations for structural and constraint elements are reviewed and the problem of interpolation of finite rotations in geometrically exact structural elements is revisited. This results in the development of a new improved interpolation algorithm, which preserves the objectivity of the strain field and guarantees stable simulations in the presence of arbitrarily large rotations. Finally, strategies for the spatial discretization of beams in the presence of steep variations in cross-sectional properties are developed. These strategies reduce the number of degrees of freedom needed to accurately analyze beams with discontinuous properties, resulting in improved computational efficiency.

  13. Increased Efficiencies in the INEEL SAR/TSR/USQ Process

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, Norman Edward

    2002-06-01

    The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has implemented a number of efficiencies to reduce the time and cost of preparing safety basis documents. The INEEL is continuing to look at other aspects of the safety basis process to identify other efficiencies that can be implemented and remain in compliance with Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 830. A six-sigma approach is used to identify areas to improve efficiencies and develop the action plan for implementation of the new process, as applicable. Three improvement processes have been implemented: The first was the development of standardized Documented Safety Analysis (DSA) and technical safety requirement (TSR) documents that all nuclear facilities use, by adding facility-specific details. The second is a material procurement process, which is based on safety systems specified in the individual safety basis documents. The third is a restructuring of the entire safety basis preparation and approval process. Significant savings in time to prepare safety basis document, cost of materials, and total cost of the documents are currently being realized.

  14. Increased Efficiencies in the INEEL SAR/TSR/USQ Process

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, N.E.

    2002-05-16

    The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has implemented a number of efficiencies to reduce the time and cost of preparing safety basis documents. The INEEL is continuing to look at other aspects of the safety basis process to identify other efficiencies that can be implemented and remain in compliance with Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 830. A six-sigma approach is used to identify areas to improve efficiencies and develop the action plan for implementation of the new process, as applicable. Three improvement processes have been implemented: The first was the development of standardized Documented Safety Analysis (DSA) and technical safety requirement (TSR) documents that all nuclear facilities use, by adding facility-specific details. The second is a material procurement process, which is based on safety systems specified in the individual safety basis documents. The third is a restructuring of the entire safety basis preparation and approval process. Significant savings in time to prepare safety basis document, cost of materials, and total cost of the documents are currently being realized.

  15. New ferritic steels increase the thermal efficiency of steam turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Mayer, K.H.; Bakker, W.T.

    1996-12-31

    The further development of ferritic high-temperature-resistant 9--11%Cr steels has paved the way for fossil-fired power stations to be operated at turbine steam inlet temperatures of up to around 600 C and high supercritical steam pressures with a distinct improvement in thermal efficiency, a significant contribution towards reducing the environmental impact of SO{sub 2}, NO{sub x} and CO{sub 2} emissions and to a more economical utilization of fossil fuels. Advances in the development of these steels are primarily attributable to joint research projects undertaken by the manufacturers and operators of power stations in Japan (EPDC), in the USA (EPRI) and in Europe (COST 501). The report gives details on the results achieved under EPRI Research Project RP 140 3-15/23 on the creep behavior of modified 9%CrMo cast steel used in the manufacture of steam turbines for coal-fired power plants. The modified 9%CrMo cast steel also offers great benefits as regards improving the useful life and thermal efficiency of existing power plants.

  16. Heterostructures for Increased Quantum Efficiency in Nitride LEDs

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Robert F.

    2010-09-30

    Task 1. Development of an advanced LED simulator useful for the design of efficient nitride-based devices. Simulator will contain graphical interface software that can be used to specify the device structure, the material parameters, the operating conditions and the desired output results. Task 2. Theoretical and experimental investigations regarding the influence on the microstructure, defect concentration, mechanical stress and strain and IQE of controlled changes in the chemistry and process route of deposition of the buffer layer underlying the active region of nitride-based blue- and greenemitting LEDs. Task 3. Theoretical and experimental investigations regarding the influence on the physical properties including polarization and IQE of controlled changes in the geometry, chemistry, defect density, and microstructure of components in the active region of nitride-based blue- and green-emitting LEDs. Task 4. Theoretical and experimental investigations regarding the influence on IQE of novel heterostructure designs to funnel carriers into the active region for enhanced recombination efficiency and elimination of diffusion beyond this region. Task 5. Theoretical and experimental investigations regarding the influence of enhanced p-type doping on the chemical, electrical, and microstructural characteristics of the acceptor-doped layers, the hole injection levels at Ohmic contacts, the specific contact resistivity and the IQE of nitride-based blue- and green-emitting LEDs. Development and optical and electrical characterization of reflective Ohmic contacts to n- and p-type GaN films.

  17. Ablation of C/EBP homologous protein increases the acute phase mortality and doesn't attenuate cardiac remodeling in mice with myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Luo, Guangjin; Li, Qingman; Zhang, Xiajun; Shen, Liang; Xie, Jiahe; Zhang, Jingwen; Kitakaze, Masafumi; Huang, Xiaobo; Liao, Yulin

    2015-08-14

    Endoplasmic reticulum stress is a proapoptotic and profibrotic stimulus. Ablation of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) is reported to reverse cardiac dysfunction by attenuating cardiac endoplasmic reticulum stress in mice with pressure overload or ischemia/reperfusion, but it is unclear whether loss of CHOP also inhibits cardiac remodeling induced by permanent-infarction. In mice with permanent ligation of left coronary artery, we found that ablation of CHOP increased the acute phase mortality. For the mice survived to 4 weeks, left ventricular anterior (LV) wall thickness was larger in CHOP knockout mice than in the wildtype littermates, while no difference was noted on posterior wall thickness, LV dimensions, LV fractional shortening and ejection fraction. Similarly, invasive assessment of LV hemodynamics, morphological analysis of heart and lung weight indexes, myocardial fibrosis and TUNEL-assessed apoptosis showed no significant differences between CHOP knockout mice and their wildtype ones, while in mice with ischemia for 45 min and reperfusion for 1 week, myocardial fibrosis and apoptosis in the infarct area were significantly attenuated in CHOP knockout mice. These findings indicate that ablation of CHOP doesn't ameliorate cardiac remodeling induced by permanent-myocardial infarction, which implicates that early reperfusion is a prerequisite for ischemic myocardium to benefit from CHOP inhibition.

  18. Prostaglandin E2 reduces swine myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury via increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase and vascular endothelial growth factor expression levels

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ying; Yang, Peng; Li, Aili; Ye, Xiaojun; Ren, Shiyan; Li, Xianlun

    2017-01-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) has been demonstrated to attenuate cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. However, the underlying mechanism of PGE2 in cardiac I/R injury remains unknown. Upregulated expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were reported in acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and were demonstrated to diminish I/R injury. In the current study the involvement of VEGF and eNOS in the myocardial protective effect of PGE2 were investigated in a catheter-based porcine model of AMI. Twenty-two Chinese miniature pigs were randomized into sham-surgery (n=6), control (n=8) and PGE2 (n=8) groups. PGE2 (1 µg/kg) was injected from 10 min prior to left anterior descending occlusion up to 1 h after reperfusion in the PGE2 group. Subsequently, the hemodynamic parameters were evaluated. Thioflavin-S and Evans Blue double staining were performed to evaluate the extent of the myocardial reperfusion area (RA) and no-reflow area (NRA). Immunohistochemical and western blot analysis were used to evaluate protein expression levels of VEGF and eNOS. Left ventricular (LV) systolic pressure significantly improved and LV end-diastolic pressure significantly decreased in the PGE2 group when compared with the control group 2 h after occlusion and 3 h after reperfusion (P<0.05, respectively). The RA and NRA were smaller in the PGE2 group than in the control group (P<0.05, respectively). Furthermore, PGE2 treatment increased the myocardial content of VEGF and eNOS when compared with the control group (P<0.05, respectively). Thus, the results of the present study demonstrate the cardio-protective mechanisms of PGE2, which may protect the heart from I/R injury via enhancement of VEGF and eNOS expression levels. PMID:28357071

  19. Post-infarct treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 improves myocardial function by increasing neovascularization and overexpression of angiogenic growth factors in rats.

    PubMed

    Azizi, Yaser; Faghihi, Mahdieh; Imani, Alireza; Roghani, Mehrdad; Zekri, Ali; Mobasheri, Maryam Beigom; Rastgar, Tayebeh; Moghimian, Maryam

    2015-08-15

    Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the world. Angiogenesis is important for cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI) as restores blood supply to the ischemic myocardium and preserves cardiac function. Apelin is a peptide that has been recently shown to potentiate angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate angiogenic effects of [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 in the rat model of post-MI. Male Wistar rats (n=36) were randomly divided into three groups: (1) sham (2) MI and (3) MI treated with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (MI+Apel). MI animals were subjected to 30min left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation and 14 days of reperfusion. Twenty-four hours after LAD ligation, [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 (10nmol/kg/day) was administered i.p. for 5 days. Hemodynamic functions by catheter introduced into the left ventricle (LV), myocardial fibrosis by Masson׳s trichrome staining, gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGFA), VEGF receptor-2 (Kdr), Ang-1 (angiopoietin-1), Tie2 (tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin and epidermal growth factor homology domains 2) and eNOS by Real-time polymerase chain reaction (Real-Time PCR) and myocardial angiogenesis by CD31 imunostaining were assessed at day 14 post-MI. Post-infarct treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 improved LV function and decreased myocardial fibrosis. [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 treatment led to a significant increase in the expression of VEGFA, Kdr, Ang-1, Tie2 and eNOS. Further, treatment with [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 promoted capillary density. [Pyr(1)]apelin-13 has angiogenic and anti-fibrotic activity via formation of new blood vessels and overexpression of VEGFA, Kdr, Ang-1, Tie2 and eNOS in the infarcted myocardium which could in turn repair myocardium and improve LV function.

  20. Increasing the efficiency of organic solar cells using plasmonic nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikhsanov, R. Sh.; Protsenko, I. E.; Uskov, A. V.

    2013-05-01

    Numerical simulations show that the introduction of aluminum nanoparticles into one layer of a bulk-heterojunction organic solar cell leads to an increase in the rate of exciton generation in the active layer of the cell. According to calculations of the optical absorption in the cell, which have been performed in the effective refractive index approximation using the Maxwell-Garnet model, a maximum relative increase in the rate of exciton generation due to plasmonic nanoparticles is about 4%.

  1. Challenges to increasing targeting efficiency in genome engineering.

    PubMed

    Horii, Takuro; Hatada, Izuho

    2016-01-01

    Gene targeting technologies are essential for the analysis of gene functions. Knockout mouse generation via genetic modification of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is the commonest example, but it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure. Recently, a novel genome editing technology called CRISPR/Cas has enabled the direct production of knockout mice by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ)-mediated mutations. Unexpectedly, however, it generally exhibits a low efficiency in homologous recombination (HR) and is prone to high mosaicism. Meanwhile, gene targeting using ESCs is still being improved, as reported by Fukuda et al. in this issue. Here, we outline current gene targeting technologies with special emphasis on HR-mediated technologies, which are currently being performed using these two major strategies.

  2. Challenges to increasing targeting efficiency in genome engineering

    PubMed Central

    HORII, Takuro; HATADA, Izuho

    2015-01-01

    Gene targeting technologies are essential for the analysis of gene functions. Knockout mouse generation via genetic modification of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is the commonest example, but it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure. Recently, a novel genome editing technology called CRISPR/Cas has enabled the direct production of knockout mice by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ)-mediated mutations. Unexpectedly, however, it generally exhibits a low efficiency in homologous recombination (HR) and is prone to high mosaicism. Meanwhile, gene targeting using ESCs is still being improved, as reported by Fukuda et al. in this issue. Here, we outline current gene targeting technologies with special emphasis on HR-mediated technologies, which are currently being performed using these two major strategies. PMID:26688299

  3. The increasing efficiency of tornado days in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsner, James B.; Elsner, Svetoslava C.; Jagger, Thomas H.

    2015-08-01

    The authors analyze the historical record of tornado reports in the United States and find evidence for changes in tornado climatology possibly related to global warming. They do this by examining the annual number of days with many tornadoes and the ratio of these days to days with at least one tornado and by examining the annual proportion of tornadoes occurring on days with many tornadoes. Additional evidence of a changing tornado climate is presented by considering tornadoes in geographic clusters and by analyzing the density of tornadoes within the clusters. There is a consistent decrease in the number of days with at least one tornado at the same time as an increase in the number of days with many tornadoes. These changes are interpreted as an increasing proportion of tornadoes occurring on days with many tornadoes. Coincident with these temporal changes are increases in tornado density as defined by the number of tornadoes per area. Trends are insensitive to the begin year of the analysis. The bottom line is that the risk of big tornado days featuring densely concentrated tornado outbreaks is on the rise. The results are broadly consistent with numerical modeling studies that project increases in convective energy within the tornado environment.

  4. Increasing Educational Efficiency Through Technology (Commission Discussion and Background Materials).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Indiana State Commission for Higher Education, Indianapolis.

    A program schedule and background information for Indiana Commission for Higher Education-sponsored discussion of the use of educational technology to increase educational effeciency are presented. The four major topics of discussion to illustrate the uses and advantages/disadvantages of audio, video, and computing technologies are as follows:…

  5. Recent Trends in Hospitalization for Acute Myocardial Infarction in Beijing: Increasing Overall Burden and a Transition From ST-Segment Elevation to Non-ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction in a Population-Based Study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qian; Zhao, Dong; Xie, Wuxiang; Xie, Xueqin; Guo, Moning; Wang, Miao; Wang, Wei; Liu, Wanru; Liu, Jing

    2016-02-01

    Comparable data on trends of hospitalization rates for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-STEMI (NSTEMI) remain unavailable in representative Asian populations.To examine the temporal trends of hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and its subtypes in Beijing.Patients hospitalized for AMI in Beijing from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012 were identified from the validated Hospital Discharge Information System. Trends in hospitalization rates, in-hospital mortality, length of stay (LOS), and hospitalization costs were analyzed by regression models for total AMI and for STEMI and NSTEMI separately. In total, 77,943 patients were admitted for AMI in Beijing during the 6 years, among whom 67.5% were males and 62.4% had STEMI. During the period, the rate of AMI hospitalization per 100,000 population increased by 31.2% (from 55.8 to 73.3 per 100,000 population) after age standardization, with a slight decrease in STEMI but a 3-fold increase in NSTEMI. The ratio of STEMI to NSTEMI decreased dramatically from 6.5:1.0 to 1.3:1.0. The age-standardized in-hospital mortality decreased from 11.2% to 8.6%, with a significant decreasing trend evident for STEMI in males and females (P < 0.001) and for NSTEMI in males (P = 0.02). The rate of percutaneous coronary intervention increased from 28.7% to 55.6% among STEMI patients. The total cost for AMI hospitalization increased by 56.8% after adjusting for inflation, although the LOS decreased by 1 day.The hospitalization burden for AMI has been increasing in Beijing with a transition from STEMI to NSTEMI. Diverse temporal trends in AMI subtypes from the unselected "real-world" data in Beijing may help to guide the management of AMI in China and other developing countries.

  6. Efficient long-term survival of cell grafts after myocardial infarction with thick viable cardiac tissue entirely from pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Matsuo, Takehiko; Masumoto, Hidetoshi; Tajima, Shuhei; Ikuno, Takeshi; Katayama, Shiori; Minakata, Kenji; Ikeda, Tadashi; Yamamizu, Kohei; Tabata, Yasuhiko; Sakata, Ryuzo; Yamashita, Jun K.

    2015-01-01

    Poor engraftment of cells after transplantation to the heart is a common and unresolved problem in the cardiac cell therapies. We previously generated cardiovascular cell sheets entirely from pluripotent stem cells with cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and vascular mural cells. Though sheet transplantation showed a better engraftment and improved cardiac function after myocardial infarction, stacking limitation (up to 3 sheets) by hypoxia hampered larger structure formation and long-term survival of the grafts. Here we report an efficient method to overcome the stacking limitation. Insertion of gelatin hydrogel microspheres (GHMs) between each cardiovascular cell sheet broke the viable limitation via appropriate spacing and fluid impregnation with GHMs. Fifteen sheets with GHMs (15-GHM construct; >1 mm thickness) were stacked within several hours and viable after 1 week in vitro. Transplantation of 5-GHM constructs (≈2 × 106 of total cells) to a rat myocardial infarction model showed rapid and sustained functional improvements. The grafts were efficiently engrafted as multiple layered cardiovascular cells accompanied by functional capillary networks. Large engrafted cardiac tissues (0.8 mm thickness with 40 cell layers) successfully survived 3 months after TX. We developed an efficient method to generate thicker viable tissue structures and achieve long-term survival of the cell graft to the heart. PMID:26585309

  7. Efficient long-term survival of cell grafts after myocardial infarction with thick viable cardiac tissue entirely from pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Takehiko; Masumoto, Hidetoshi; Tajima, Shuhei; Ikuno, Takeshi; Katayama, Shiori; Minakata, Kenji; Ikeda, Tadashi; Yamamizu, Kohei; Tabata, Yasuhiko; Sakata, Ryuzo; Yamashita, Jun K

    2015-11-20

    Poor engraftment of cells after transplantation to the heart is a common and unresolved problem in the cardiac cell therapies. We previously generated cardiovascular cell sheets entirely from pluripotent stem cells with cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and vascular mural cells. Though sheet transplantation showed a better engraftment and improved cardiac function after myocardial infarction, stacking limitation (up to 3 sheets) by hypoxia hampered larger structure formation and long-term survival of the grafts. Here we report an efficient method to overcome the stacking limitation. Insertion of gelatin hydrogel microspheres (GHMs) between each cardiovascular cell sheet broke the viable limitation via appropriate spacing and fluid impregnation with GHMs. Fifteen sheets with GHMs (15-GHM construct; >1 mm thickness) were stacked within several hours and viable after 1 week in vitro. Transplantation of 5-GHM constructs (≈2 × 10(6) of total cells) to a rat myocardial infarction model showed rapid and sustained functional improvements. The grafts were efficiently engrafted as multiple layered cardiovascular cells accompanied by functional capillary networks. Large engrafted cardiac tissues (0.8 mm thickness with 40 cell layers) successfully survived 3 months after TX. We developed an efficient method to generate thicker viable tissue structures and achieve long-term survival of the cell graft to the heart.

  8. Transcription-replication collision increases recombination efficiency between plasmids.

    PubMed

    Jialiang, Li; Feng, Chen; Zhen, Xu; Jibing, Chen; Xiang, Lv; Lingling, Zhang; Depei, Liu

    2013-11-01

    It has been proposed that the stalling of the replication forks can induce homologous recombination in several organisms, and that arrested replication forks may offer nuclease targets, thereby providing a substrate for proteins involved in double-strand repair. In this article, we constructed a plasmid with the potential for transcription-replication collision (TRC), in which DNA replication and RNA transcription occur on the same DNA template simultaneously. Theoretically, transcription will impede DNA replication and increase homologous recombination. To validate this hypothesis, another plasmid was constructed that contained a homologous sequence with the exception of some mutated sites. Co-transfection of these two plasmids into 293T cells resulted in increased recombination frequency. The ratio of these two plasmids also affected the recombination frequency. Moreover, we found high expression levels of RAD51, which indicated that the increase in the recombination rate was probably via the homologous recombination pathway. These results indicate that mutant genes in plasmids can be repaired by TRC-induced recombination.

  9. Overexpression of angiopoietin-1 increases CD133+/c-kit+ cells and reduces myocardial apoptosis in db/db mouse infarcted hearts.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Heng; Li, Lanfang; Chen, Jian-Xiong

    2012-01-01

    Hematopoietic progenitor CD133(+)/c-kit(+) cells have been shown to be involved in myocardial healing following myocardial infarction (MI). Previously we demonstrated that angiopoietin-1(Ang-1) is beneficial in the repair of diabetic infarcted hearts. We now investigate whether Ang-1 affects CD133(+)/c-kit(+) cell recruitment to the infarcted myocardium thereby mediating cardiac repair in type II (db/db) diabetic mice. db/db mice were administered either adenovirus Ang-1 (Ad-Ang-1) or Ad-β-gal systemically immediately after ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). Overexpression of Ang-1 resulted in a significant increase in CXCR-4/SDF-1α expression and promoted CD133(+)/c-kit(+), CD133(+)/CXCR-4(+) and CD133(+)/SDF-1α(+) cell recruitment into ischemic hearts. Overexpression of Ang-1 led to significant increases in number of CD31(+) and smooth muscle-like cells and VEGF expression in bone marrow (BM). This was accompanied by significant decreases in cardiac apoptosis and fibrosis and an increase in myocardial capillary density. Ang-1 also upregulated Jagged-1, Notch3 and apelin expression followed by increases in arteriole formation in the infarcted myocardium. Furthermore, overexpression of Ang-1 resulted in a significant improvement of cardiac functional recovery after 14 days of ischemia. Our data strongly suggest that Ang-1 attenuates cardiac apoptosis and promotes cardiac repair by a mechanism involving in promoting CD133(+)/c-kit(+) cells and angiogenesis in diabetic db/db mouse infarcted hearts.

  10. Supervillin Reorganizes the Actin Cytoskeleton and Increases Invadopodial Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Crowley, Jessica L.; Smith, Tara C.; Fang, Zhiyou; Takizawa, Norio

    2009-01-01

    Tumor cells use actin-rich protrusions called invadopodia to degrade extracellular matrix (ECM) and invade tissues; related structures, termed podosomes, are sites of dynamic ECM interaction. We show here that supervillin (SV), a peripheral membrane protein that binds F-actin and myosin II, reorganizes the actin cytoskeleton and potentiates invadopodial function. Overexpressed SV induces redistribution of lamellipodial cortactin and lamellipodin/RAPH1/PREL1 away from the cell periphery to internal sites and concomitantly increases the numbers of F-actin punctae. Most punctae are highly dynamic and colocalize with the podosome/invadopodial proteins, cortactin, Tks5, and cdc42. Cortactin binds SV sequences in vitro and contributes to the formation of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-SV induced punctae. SV localizes to the cores of Src-generated podosomes in COS-7 cells and with invadopodia in MDA-MB-231 cells. EGFP-SV overexpression increases average numbers of ECM holes per cell; RNA interference-mediated knockdown of SV decreases these numbers. Although SV knockdown alone has no effect, simultaneous down-regulation of SV and the closely related protein gelsolin reduces invasion through ECM. Together, our results show that SV is a component of podosomes and invadopodia and that SV plays a role in invadopodial function, perhaps as a mediator of cortactin localization, activation state, and/or dynamics of metalloproteinases at the ventral cell surface. PMID:19109420

  11. Can charged colloidal particles increase the thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency?

    PubMed

    Salez, Thomas J; Huang, Bo Tao; Rietjens, Maud; Bonetti, Marco; Wiertel-Gasquet, Cécile; Roger, Michel; Filomeno, Cleber Lopes; Dubois, Emmanuelle; Perzynski, Régine; Nakamae, Sawako

    2017-04-05

    Currently, liquid thermocells are receiving increasing attention as an inexpensive alternative to conventional solid-state thermoelectrics for low-grade waste heat recovery applications. Here we present a novel path to increase the Seebeck coefficient of liquid thermoelectric materials using charged colloidal suspensions; namely, ionically stabilized magnetic nanoparticles (ferrofluids) dispersed in aqueous potassium ferro-/ferri-cyanide electrolytes. The dependency of thermoelectric potential on experimental parameters such as nanoparticle concentration and types of solute ions (lithium citrate and tetrabutylammonium citrate) is examined to reveal the relative contributions from the thermogalvanic potential of redox couples and the entropy of transfer of nanoparticles and ions. The results show that under specific ionic conditions, the inclusion of magnetic nanoparticles can lead to an enhancement of the ferrofluid's initial Seebeck coefficient by 15% (at a nanoparticle volume fraction of ∼1%). Based on these observations, some practical directions are given on which ionic and colloidal parameters to adjust for improving the Seebeck coefficients of liquid thermoelectric materials.

  12. Relationship between the increase of effectiveness indexes and the increase of muscular efficiency with cycling power.

    PubMed

    Zameziati, Karim; Mornieux, Guillaume; Rouffet, David; Belli, Alain

    2006-02-01

    We determined the index of effectiveness (IE), as defined by the ratio of the tangential (effective force) to the total force applied on the pedals, using a new method proposed by Mornieux et al. (J Biomech, 2005), while simultaneously measuring the muscular efficiency during sub-maximal cycling tests of different intensities. This allowed us to verify whether part of the changes in muscular efficiency could be explained by a better orientation of the force applied on the pedals. Ten subjects were asked to perform an incremental test to exhaustion, starting at 100 W and with 30 W increments every 5 min, at 80 rpm. Gross (GE) and net (NE) efficiencies were calculated from the oxygen uptake and W(Ext) measurements. From the three-dimensional force's measurements, it was possible to measure the total force (F(Tot)), including the effective (F(Tang)) and ineffective force (F (Rad + Lat)). IE has been determined as the ratio between F(Tang) and F(Tot), applied on the pedals for three different time intervals, i.e., during the full revolution (IE(360 degrees)), the downstroke phase (IE(180 degrees Desc)) and the upstroke phase (IE(180 degrees Asc)). IE(360 degrees) and IE(180 degrees Asc) were significantly correlated with GE (r = 0.79 and 0.66, respectively) and NE (r = 0.66 and 0.99, respectively). In contrast, IE(180 degrees Desc) was not correlated to GE or to NE. From a mechanical point of view, during the upstroke, the subject was able to reduce the non-propulsive forces applied by an active muscle contraction, contrary to the downstroke phase. As a consequence, the term 'passive phase', which is currently used to characterize the upstroke phase, seems to be obsolete. The IE(180 degrees Asc) could also explain small variations of GE and NE for a recreational group.

  13. Myocardial Ischemia Caused by Subepicardial Hematoma

    PubMed Central

    Grieshaber, Philippe; Nef, Holger; Böning, Andreas; Niemann, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Background Bleeding from bypass anastomosis leakage occurs early after coronary artery bypass grafting. Later, once the anastomosis is covered by intima, spontaneous bleeding is unlikely. Case Description A 63-year-old male patient developed a pseudoaneurysm-like, subepicardial late-term bleeding resulting in a hematoma that compromised coronary artery flow by increasing extracoronary pressure. This resulted in severe angina pectoris (Canadian Cardiovascular Society IV) and myocardial ischemia within the affected area. After surgical removal of the hematoma and repair of the anastomosis, the patient's symptoms disappeared and no signs of myocardial ischemia were present. Conclusion Surgical removal is an efficient therapy for subepicardial hematoma inducing myocardial ischemia. PMID:28352501

  14. Sevoflurane post-conditioning reduces rat myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury through an increase in NOS and a decrease in phopshorylated NHE1 levels.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jianfang; Xie, Hong; Sun, Ying; Zhu, Jiang; Ying, Ming; Qiao, Shigang; Shao, Qin; Wu, Haorong; Wang, Chen

    2015-12-01

    The protective effects of sevoflurane post-conditioning against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury (MIRI) have been previously reported. However, the mechanisms responsible for these protective effects remain elusive. In this study, in order to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for the protective effects of sevoflurane post-conditioning on isolated rat hearts subjected to MIRI, Sprague-Dawley rat hearts were randomly divided into the following 6 groups: i) the sham-operated control; ii) 2.5% sevoflurane; iii) ischemia/reperfusion (I/R); iv) 2.5% sevoflurane post-conditioning plus I/R; v) 2.5% sevoflurane post-conditioning + NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) plus I/R; and vi) L-NAME plus I/R. The infarct size was measured using 2,3,5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining. Additionally, the myocardial nitric oxide (NO), NO synthase (NOS) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels were determined. Autophagosomes and apoptosomes in the myocardium were detected by transmission electron microscopy. The levels of Bcl-2, cleaved caspase-3, Beclin-1, microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3)‑I/II, Na+/H+ exchanger 1 (NHE1) and phosphorylated NHE1 protein were measured by western blot analysis. NHE1 mRNA levels were measured by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Compared with the I/R group, 15 min of exposure to 2.5% sevoflurane during early reperfusion significantly decreased the myocardial infarct size, the autophagic vacuole numbers, the NHE1 mRNA and protein expression of cleaved caspase-3, Beclin-1 and LC3-I/II. Post-conditioning with 2.5% sevoflurane also increased the NO and NOS levels and Bcl-2 protein expression (p<0.05 or p<0.01). Notably, the cardioprotective effects of sevoflurane were partly abolished by the NOS inhibitor, L-NAME. The findings of the present study suggest that sevoflurane post-conditioning protects the myocardium against I/R injury and reduces the myocardial

  15. Saturated high-fat diet-induced obesity increases adenylate cyclase of myocardial β-adrenergic system and does not compromise cardiac function.

    PubMed

    Vileigas, Danielle F; de Deus, Adriana F; da Silva, Danielle C T; de Tomasi, Loreta C; de Campos, Dijon H S; Adorni, Caroline S; de Oliveira, Scarlet M; Sant'Ana, Paula G; Okoshi, Katashi; Padovani, Carlos R; Cicogna, Antonio C

    2016-09-01

    Obesity is a worldwide pandemic associated with high incidence of cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms by which the obesity leads cardiac dysfunction are not fully elucidated and few studies have evaluated the relationship between obesity and proteins involved in myocardial β-adrenergic (βA) system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cardiac function and βA pathway components in myocardium of obese rats. Male Wistar rats were distributed into two groups: control (n = 17; standard diet) and obese (n = 17; saturated high-fat diet) fed for 33 weeks. Nutritional profile and comorbidities were assessed. Cardiac structure and function was evaluated by macroscopic postmortem, echocardiographic and isolated papillary muscle analyzes. Myocardial protein expression of β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors, Gαs protein, adenylate cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) was performed by Western blot. Cardiac cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels and PKA activity were assessed by ELISA Obese rats showed increased adiposity index (P < 0.001) and several comorbidities as hypertension, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia compared with control rats. Echocardiographic assessment revealed increased left atrium diameter (C: 4.98 ± 0.38 vs. Ob: 5.47 ± 0.53, P = 0.024) and posterior wall shortening velocity (C: 37.1 ± 3.6 vs. Ob: 41.8 ± 3.8, P = 0.007) in obese group. Papillary muscle evaluation indicated that baseline data and myocardial responsiveness to isoproterenol stimulation were similar between the groups. Protein expression of myocardial AC was higher in obese group than in the control (C: 1.00 ± 0.21 vs. Ob: 1.25 ± 0.10, P = 0.025), whereas the other components were unchanged. These results suggest that saturated high-fat diet-induced obesity was not effective in triggering cardiac dysfunction and impair the beta-adrenergic signaling.

  16. Building a better infarct: Modulation of collagen cross-linking to increase infarct stiffness and reduce left ventricular dilation post-myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Voorhees, Andrew P; DeLeon-Pennell, Kristine Y; Ma, Yonggang; Halade, Ganesh V; Yabluchanskiy, Andriy; Iyer, Rugmani Padmanabhan; Flynn, Elizabeth; Cates, Courtney A; Lindsey, Merry L; Han, Hai-Chao

    2015-08-01

    Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) deletion attenuates collagen accumulation and dilation of the left ventricle (LV) post-myocardial infarction (MI); however the biomechanical mechanisms underlying the improved outcome are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine the mechanisms whereby MMP-9 deletion alters collagen network composition and assembly in the LV post-MI to modulate the mechanical properties of myocardial scar tissue. Adult C57BL/6J wild-type (WT; n=88) and MMP-9 null (MMP-9(-/-); n=92) mice of both sexes underwent permanent coronary artery ligation and were compared to day 0 controls (n=42). At day 7 post-MI, WT LVs displayed a 3-fold increase in end-diastolic volume, while MMP-9(-/-) showed only a 2-fold increase (p<0.05). Biaxial mechanical testing revealed that MMP-9(-/-) infarcts were stiffer than WT infarcts, as indicated by a 1.3-fold reduction in predicted in vivo circumferential stretch (p<0.05). Paradoxically, MMP-9(-/-) infarcts had a 1.8-fold reduction in collagen deposition (p<0.05). This apparent contradiction was explained by a 3.1-fold increase in lysyl oxidase (p<0.05) in MMP-9(-/-) infarcts, indicating that MMP-9 deletion increased collagen cross-linking activity. Furthermore, MMP-9 deletion led to a 3.0-fold increase in bone morphogenetic protein-1, the metalloproteinase that cleaves pro-collagen and pro-lysyl oxidase (p<0.05) and reduced fibronectin fragmentation by 49% (p<0.05) to enhance lysyl oxidase activity. We conclude that MMP-9 deletion increases infarct stiffness and prevents LV dilation by reducing collagen degradation and facilitating collagen assembly and cross-linking through preservation of the fibronectin network and activation of lysyl oxidase.

  17. Elastase-2, an angiotensin II-generating enzyme, contributes to increased Ang II in resistance arteries of mice with myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Becari, Christiane; Silva, Marcondes A B; Durand, Marina T; Prado, Cibele M; Oliveira, Eduardo B; Ribeiro, Mauricio S; Salgado, Helio C; Salgado, Maria Cristina O; Tostes, Rita C

    2017-02-21

    Angiotensin II (Ang II), whose generation largely depends on angiotensin-converting enzyme activity, mediates most of the renin-angiotensin-system effects. Elastase-2 (ELA-2), a chymotrypsin-serine protease elastase family member 2A, alternatively generates Ang II in rat arteries. Myocardial infarction (MI) leads to intense RAS activation, but mechanisms involved on Ang II-generation in resistance arteries are unknown. We hypothesized that ELA-2 contributes to vascular Ang II generation and to cardiac damage in mice submitted to MI. Concentration-effect curves to Ang I and Ang II were performed in mesenteric resistance arteries from male wild type (WT) and ELA-2 knockout (ELA-2KO) mice submitted to left anterior descending coronary artery ligation (myocardial infarction, MI). MI size was similar in WT (29.5 ± 9 %) and ELA-2KO (32 ± 4%) mice. Ejection fraction and fractional shortening after MI similarly decreased in both strains. However, MI decreased stroke volume and cardiac output in WT, but not in ELA-2KO mice. Ang I-induced contractions increased in WT mice submitted to MI (MI-WT) compared to Sham-WT mice. No differences were observed in Ang I reactivity between arteries from Sham-ELA-2KO and ELA-2KO submitted to MI (MI-ELA-2KO). Ang I contractions increased in arteries from MI-WT vs. MI-ELA-2KO mice. Chymostatin attenuated Ang I-induced vascular contractions in WT mice (P < 0.05), but did not affect Ang I responses in ELA-2KO arteries. These results provide the first evidence that ELA-2 contributes to increased Ang II formation in resistance arteries and modulates cardiac function after MI, implicating ELA-2 as a key player in ACE-independent dysregulation of the RAS.

  18. Coronary vascular resistance increases under full bypass support of centrifugal pumps--relation between myocardial perfusion and ventricular workload during pump support.

    PubMed

    Ando, Masahiko; Takewa, Yoshiaki; Nishimura, Takashi; Yamazaki, Kenji; Kyo, Shunei; Ono, Minoru; Tsukiya, Tomonori; Mizuno, Toshihide; Taenaka, Yoshiyuki; Tatsumi, Eisuke

    2012-01-01

    Coronary circulation is closely linked to myocardial oxygen consumption (MVO(2)), and previous reports have suggested decreased coronary flow (CoF) under left ventricular assist device support. Decreased CoF itself under support is not unfavorable because the native heart can be well unloaded and myocardial oxygen demand is also decreased. There should be an autoregulatory system that would maintain optimal CoF according to oxygen demand; however, the detailed mechanism is still unclear. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effect of centrifugal pumps on CoF under varied bypass rates in relation to left ventricle workload. A centrifugal pump, EVAHEART (Sun Medical Technology Research Corporation, Nagano, Japan), was installed in an adult goat (n = 10, 61.3 ± 6.5 kg). We set up the following conditions, including Circuit-Clamp (i.e., no pump support), 50% bypass, and 100% bypass. In these settings, CoF, MVO(2), pressure-volume area (PVA), and coronary vascular resistance (CVR) were measured. In 100% bypass, CoF, MVO(2), and PVA were all decreased significantly from clamp. While in 50% bypass, CoF and MVO(2) decreased from clamp, but not PVA. There was a significant 40% increase in CVR in 100% bypass from clamp. This CVR increase in 100% bypass was possibly due to mechanical collapse of coronary vascular bed itself by pump support or increased vascular tone through autoregulatory system. In clinical settings, we should adjust optimal pump speed so as not to cause this vascular collapse. However, to clarify autoregulatory system of the coronary perfusion, further investigation is ongoing in ischemic and heart failure models.

  19. 76 FR 41790 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice Establishing Date for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-15

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... discuss opportunities for increasing real-time and day- ahead market efficiency through improved software... improved software, 76 Fed. Reg. 28,022 (2011). Parties wishing to submit written comments regarding...

  20. Increased resistance to LPS-induced myocardial dysfunction in the Brown Norway rats versus Dahl S rats: roles of inflammatory cytokines and nuclear factor kappaB pathway.

    PubMed

    Du, Jianhai; An, Jianzhong; Wei, Na; Guan, Tongju; Pritchard, Kirkwood A; Shi, Yang

    2010-03-01

    We previously demonstrated that hearts from Brown Norway (BN) rats were more resistant to ischemic injury than hearts from Dahl S (SS) rats. Here we determined the susceptibility to LPS-induced cardiomyopathy in these rats and examined the involvement of inflammatory signaling. Both strains were treated with LPS (20 mg/kg) via i.p. injection for 6 h. Myocardial function was assessed by the Langendorff system, and proinflammatory cytokines were measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. LPS significantly reduced left ventricular developed pressure in both strains. Interestingly, the decrease of left ventricular developed pressure in BN rat hearts was approximately 25% less than that in SS rat hearts. Furthermore, LPS significantly reduced the peak rate of contraction and the peak rate of relaxation in SS hearts but not in BN hearts. No differences in LPS-induced decreases in coronary flow rate were observed between BN and SS rats. In addition, LPS-induced increases in proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6, were significantly lower in both plasma and hearts of BN rats compared with production in SS rats. LPS notably up-regulated the expression of proinflammatory enzymes, iNOS and cyclooxygenase 2, in SS hearts but not in BN hearts. Interestingly, LPS did not stimulate Toll-like receptor 4 or its adaptor myeloid differentiation factor 88 expression in the hearts of either strain but did increase IkappaB and P65 phosphorylation, less prominently in BN hearts than in SS hearts. These data indicate that reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines and diminished nuclear factor kappaB activation are major mechanisms by which BN hearts are more resistant to LPS-induced myocardial dysfunction than SS hearts.

  1. Myocardial Ischemia

    MedlinePlus

    ... typically on the left side of the body (angina pectoris). Other signs and symptoms — which might be experienced ... ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. Podrid PJ. Angina pectoris: Chest pain caused by myocardial ischemia. www.uptodate. ...

  2. 76 FR 28022 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-13

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... Software Take notice that Commission staff will convene a technical conference on June 28-30, 2011, from 8... efficiency through improved software. This conference will bring together diverse experts from ISOs/RTOs,...

  3. Does price efficiency increase with trading volume? Evidence of nonlinearity and power laws in ETFs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caginalp, Gunduz; DeSantis, Mark

    2017-02-01

    Whether efficiency increases with increasing volume is an important issue that may illuminate trader strategies and distinguish between market theories. This relationship is tested using 124,236 daily observations comprising 68 large and liquid U.S. equity exchange traded funds (ETFs). ETFs have the advantage that efficiency can be measured in terms of the deviation between the trading price and the underlying net asset value that is reported each day. Our findings support the hypothesis that the relationship between volume and efficiency is nonlinear. Indeed, efficiency increases as volume increases from low to moderately high levels, but then decreases as volume increases further. The first part tends to support the idea that higher volume simply facilitates transactions and maintains efficiency, while the latter part, i.e., even higher volumes, supports the ansatz that increased volume is associated with increased speculation that ignores valuation and decreases efficiency. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that valuation is only part of the motivation for traders. Our methodology accounts for fund heterogeneity and contemporaneous correlations. Similar results are obtained when daily price volatility is introduced as an additional independent variable.

  4. 78 FR 31916 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Supplemental Agenda Notice

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-28

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software... improved software. A detailed agenda with the list of times for the selected speakers and presentation... diverse experts from public utilities, the software industry, government, research centers and...

  5. Increasing the Efficiency of Ideal Solar Cells by Photon Induced Transitions at Intermediate Levels

    SciTech Connect

    Luque, A.; Marti, A.

    1997-06-01

    Recent attempts have been made to increase the efficiency of solar cells by introducing an impurity level in the semiconductor band gap. We present an analysis of such a structure under ideal conditions. We prove that its efficiency can exceed not only the Shockley and Queisser efficiency for ideal solar cells but also that for ideal two-terminal tandem cells which use two semiconductors, as well as that predicted for ideal cells with quantum efficiency above one but less than two. {copyright} {ital 1997} {ital The American Physical Society}

  6. Power Strategy in DC/DC Converters to Increase Efficiency of Electrical Stimulators.

    PubMed

    Aqueveque, Pablo; Acuña, Vicente; Saavedra, Francisco; Debelle, Adrien; Lonys, Laurent; Julémont, Nicolas; Huberland, François; Godfraind, Carmen; Nonclercq, Antoine

    2016-06-13

    Power efficiency is critical for electrical stimulators. Battery life of wearable stimulators and wireless power transmission in implanted systems are common limiting factors. Boost DC/DC converters are typically needed to increase the supply voltage of the output stage. Traditionally, boost DC/DC converters are used with fast control to regulate the supply voltage of the output. However, since stimulators are acting as current sources, such voltage regulation is not needed. Banking on this, this paper presents a DC/DC conversion strategy aiming to increase power efficiency. It compares, in terms of efficiency, the traditional use of boost converters to two alternatives that could be implemented in future hardware designs.

  7. Overt and Latent Cardiac Effects of Ozone Inhalation in Rats: Evidence for Autonomic Modulation and Increased Myocardial Vulnerability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Ozone (03) is a well-documented respiratory oxidant, but increasing epidemiologic evidence points to extra-pulmonary effects including positive associations between ambient 03 concentrations and cardiovascular morbidity/mortality. Objectives: With preliminary reports ...

  8. p27 kip1 haplo-insufficiency improves cardiac function in early-stages of myocardial infarction by protecting myocardium and increasing angiogenesis by promoting IKK activation.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ningtian; Fu, Yuxuan; Wang, Yunle; Chen, Pengsheng; Meng, Haoyu; Guo, Shouyu; Zhang, Min; Yang, Zhijian; Ge, Yingbin

    2014-08-07

    p27(kip1) (p27) is widely known as a potent cell cycle inhibitor in several organs, especially in the heart. However, its role has not been fully defined during the early phase of myocardial infarction (MI). In this study, we investigated the relationships between p27, vascular endothelial growth factor/hepatocyte growth factor (VEGF/HGF) and NF-κB in post-MI cardiac function repair both in vivo and in the hypoxia/ischemia-induced rat myocardiocyte model. In vivo, haplo-insufficiency of p27 improved cardiac function, diminished the infarct zone, protected myocardiocytes and increased angiogenesis by enhancing the production of VEGF/HGF. In vitro, the presence of conditioned medium from hypoxia/ischemia-induced p27 knockdown myocardiocytes reduced the injury caused by hypoxia/ischemia in myocardiocytes, and this effect was reversed by VEGF/HGF neutralizing antibodies, consistent with the cardioprotection being due to VEGF/HGF secretion. We also observed that p27 bound to IKK and that p27 haplo-insufficiency promoted IKK/p65 activation both in vivo and in vitro, thereby inducing the NF-κB downstream regulator, VEGF/HGF. Furthermore, IKKi and IKK inhibitor negated the effect of VEGF/HGF. Therefore, we conclude that p27 haplo-insufficiency protects against heart injury by VEGF/HGF mediated cardioprotection and increased angiogenesis through promoting IKK activation.

  9. Activated matrix metalloproteinase and disrupted myocardial collagen matrix in increased sympathetic activity following stimulation of dorsal medulla in the vagotomized feline model.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Ching-Chang; Tung, Kwong-Chung; Fu, Yun-Ching; Gong, Chi-Li; Chen, Ying-Tsung; Lin, Nai-Nu; Lin, James A; Chiu, Yung-Tsung

    2008-02-29

    Sympathetic hyperactivation in many kinds of neurocardiogenic injury can result in obvious heart failure. We generated a vagotomized feline model in which sympathetic hyperactivation was induced by electrical stimulation of dorsal medulla (ESDM) of brain stem to investigate the relationship between disruption of extracellular collagen matrix (ECM) and activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in myocardium in the sympathetic hyperactivity. Mean blood pressure, heart rate and plasma norepinephrine were all significantly increased from baseline to a peak at 5 min after ESDM. Echocardiographic study showed significant left ventricular dilatation and hypokinesia (ejection fraction: from 87.7 +/- 6.3% to 39.4 +/- 7.8%) from baseline to 180 mm after ESDM. Histopathological finding revealed significant overstretching or spring-like disappearance and disruption of ECM. MMP-2 expression was significantly increased in left ventricular myocardium as compared to sham. These results suggest that ESDM-induced sympathetic hyperactivity causes the expression of MMP-2 that disrupts myocardial ECM, contributing to the development of cardiac dysfunction.

  10. Overt and Latent Cardiac Effects of Ozone Inhalation in Rats: Evidence for Autonomic Modulation and Increased Myocardial Vulnerability*

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ozone (O3) is a well-documented respiratory oxidant, but increasing epidemiologic evidence points to extra-pulmonary effects including positive associations between ambient O3 concentrations and cardiovascular morbidity/mortality. With preliminary reports linking O3 exposure wit...

  11. Hydraulic efficiency and safety of branch xylem increases with height in Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) crowns.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Stephen S O; Pittermann, Jarmila; Dawson, Todd E

    2006-02-01

    The hydraulic limitation hypothesis of Ryan & Yoder (1997, Bioscience 47, 235-242) suggests that water supply to leaves becomes increasingly difficult with increasing tree height. Within the bounds of this hypothesis, we conjectured that the vertical hydrostatic gradient which gravity generates on the water column in tall trees would cause a progressive increase in xylem 'safety' (increased resistance to embolism and implosion) and a concomitant decrease in xylem 'efficiency' (decreased hydraulic conductivity). We based this idea on the historically recognized concept of a safety-efficiency trade-off in xylem function, and tested it by measuring xylem conductivity and vulnerability to embolism of Sequoia sempervirens branches collected at a range of heights. Measurements of resistance of branch xylem to embolism did indeed show an increase in 'safety' with height. However, the expected decrease in xylem 'efficiency' was not observed. Instead, sapwood-specific hydraulic conductivities (Ks) of branches increased slightly, while leaf-specific hydraulic conductivities increased dramatically, with height. The latter could be largely explained by strong vertical gradients in specific leaf area. The increase in Ks with height corresponded to a decrease in xylem wall fraction (a measure of wall thickness), an increase in percentage of earlywood and slight increases in conduit diameter. These changes are probably adaptive responses to the increased transport requirements of leaves growing in the upper canopy where evaporative demand is greater. The lack of a safety-efficiency tradeoff may be explained by opposing height trends in the pit aperture and conduit diameter of tracheids and the major and semi-independent roles these play in determining xylem safety and efficiency, respectively.

  12. Increased risk of endotracheal intubation and heart failure following acute myocardial infarction in patients with urolithiasis: a nationwide population-based study

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shun-Ku; Liu, Jui-Ming; Chang, Ying-Hsu; Ting, Yuan-Tien; Pang, See-Tong; Hsu, Ren-Jun; Lin, Po-Hung

    2017-01-01

    Background Urolithiasis is a common urinary tract disease worldwide. It has been connected to systemic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. In the current study, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between urolithiasis and the complications of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Materials and methods Data were obtained from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005 of the National Health Insurance Research Database. All AMI cases, both those who were hospitalized and those who were treated in the emergency department, were identified using the International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code. Results A total of 37,052 patients with urinary calculi and 148,209 control subjects were enrolled in this study. The average follow-up period was 9.51 years. The risk of AMI was higher among patients with urolithiasis (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.07, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.03–1.13). We detected a significant association between urolithiasis and intubation (aHR 1.53, 95% CI 1.36–1.73), intensive care unit treatment (aHR 1.22, 95% CI 1.13–1.32), heart failure (aHR 1.59, 95% CI 1.42–1.78), shock (aHR 1.53, 95% CI 1.32–1.77), and arrhythmias (aHR 1.18, 95% CI 1.06–1.33). Furthermore, certain medical treatments for urolithiasis were found to be related to myocardial infarction (MI). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were significantly associated with a high risk of AMI. In contrast, allopurinol, thiazide diuretic, potassium-sparing diuretics, and α-blockers have negative association with AMI. Conclusion Urolithiasis had a significantly increased risk of endotracheal intubation and heart failure following AMI. In addition, urolithiasis was also associated with a high risk of intensive care unit treatment, shock, and arrhythmias after AMI. Medical treatments for urolithiasis may decrease the risk of MI, except the use of NSAIDs

  13. To investigate the surface properties for increasing efficiency of solar water heater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hai, A.; Qurat-ul-Ain

    2013-06-01

    Energy crisis is becoming a major problem in Pakistan. Renewable energy sources are used to overcome this crisis. This research is about to increase the efficiency of fin type solar water heater by modification of its surface properties. During this research work, solar water heater module is fabricated and the modification of surfaces by using bare surface, external surface coated with high conductivity paint and lead electroplating is studied and the efficiency of solar heater is observed. The temperature profile and the heat transferred is studied and it was found that paint coated surface is more efficient than bare surface, further surface electroplated with lead is more efficient than painted surface for the same ambient conditions. The average increase in the heat absorption for lead plated and paint coated surface was observed 28.57% and 10.79 % respectively.

  14. Paroxetine Is a Direct Inhibitor of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2 and Increases Myocardial Contractility

    SciTech Connect

    Thal, David M.; Homan, Kristoff T.; Chen, Jun; Wu, Emily K.; Hinkle, Patricia M.; Huang, Z. Maggie; Chuprun, J. Kurt; Song, Jianliang; Gao, Erhe; Cheung, Joseph Y.; Sklar, Larry A.; Koch, Walter J.; Tesmer, John J.G.

    2012-08-10

    G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) is a well-established therapeutic target for the treatment of heart failure. In this paper we identify the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine as a selective inhibitor of GRK2 activity both in vitro and in living cells. In the crystal structure of the GRK2·paroxetine–Gβγ complex, paroxetine binds in the active site of GRK2 and stabilizes the kinase domain in a novel conformation in which a unique regulatory loop forms part of the ligand binding site. Isolated cardiomyocytes show increased isoproterenol-induced shortening and contraction amplitude in the presence of paroxetine, and pretreatment of mice with paroxetine before isoproterenol significantly increases left ventricular inotropic reserve in vivo with no significant effect on heart rate. Neither is observed in the presence of the SSRI fluoxetine. Our structural and functional results validate a widely available drug as a selective chemical probe for GRK2 and represent a starting point for the rational design of more potent and specific GRK2 inhibitors.

  15. Efficiency increase of hard rock destruction with the use of eccentric pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pushmin, P.; Romanov, G.

    2015-11-01

    The increase of efficiency of expendable well-drilling directly depends on the mechanism of rock destruction. The depth of hole coverage should be at the maximum possible value and equal along the whole contact area. The design features of performing rock- destruction tool in rotary drilling prevent the cutters, located on different distance from rotation axis, from working with equal intensity. The application of the shock pulses to a boring tool increases the mechanical drilling speed and sinking per revolution. One of the techniques for the efficiency increase is the application of impactor machines. On the other hand, the high values of mechanical drilling speed require the high values of impact energy which results in high power inputs energy consumption. The use of eccentric impact loading instead of central one can provide the enhancement of rock destruction efficiency, lower the power inputs, and decrease the risk of borehole deviation.

  16. Homeostatic structural plasticity increases the efficiency of small-world networks.

    PubMed

    Butz, Markus; Steenbuck, Ines D; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2014-01-01

    In networks with small-world topology, which are characterized by a high clustering coefficient and a short characteristic path length, information can be transmitted efficiently and at relatively low costs. The brain is composed of small-world networks, and evolution may have optimized brain connectivity for efficient information processing. Despite many studies on the impact of topology on information processing in neuronal networks, little is known about the development of network topology and the emergence of efficient small-world networks. We investigated how a simple growth process that favors short-range connections over long-range connections in combination with a synapse formation rule that generates homeostasis in post-synaptic firing rates shapes neuronal network topology. Interestingly, we found that small-world networks benefited from homeostasis by an increase in efficiency, defined as the averaged inverse of the shortest paths through the network. Efficiency particularly increased as small-world networks approached the desired level of electrical activity. Ultimately, homeostatic small-world networks became almost as efficient as random networks. The increase in efficiency was caused by the emergent property of the homeostatic growth process that neurons started forming more long-range connections, albeit at a low rate, when their electrical activity was close to the homeostatic set-point. Although global network topology continued to change when neuronal activities were around the homeostatic equilibrium, the small-world property of the network was maintained over the entire course of development. Our results may help understand how complex systems such as the brain could set up an efficient network topology in a self-organizing manner. Insights from our work may also lead to novel techniques for constructing large-scale neuronal networks by self-organization.

  17. Increasing efficiency of BEAMnrc-simulated Co-60 beams using directional source biasing

    SciTech Connect

    Walters, B. R. B.

    2015-10-15

    Purpose: This study describes the implementation of a directional source biasing (DSB) scheme for efficiently simulating Cobalt-60 treatment heads using the BEAMnrc Monte Carlo code. Previous simulation of Co-60 beams with BEAMnrc was impractical because of the time required to track photons not directed into the treatment field and to simulate secondary charged particles. Methods: In DSB, efficiency is increased by splitting each photon emitted by the Co-60 source a user-defined number of times. Only those split primary photons directed into a user-defined splitting field (encompassing the treatment field) are sampled, yielding many low-weight photons directed into the field. Efficiency can be further increased by taking advantage of radial symmetry at the top of the treatment head to reduce the number of split primary photons tracked in this portion. There is also an option to generate contaminant electrons in DSB. Results: The DSB scheme in BEAMnrc increases the photon fluence calculation efficiency in a 10 × 10 cm{sup 2} Co-60 beam by a factor of 1800 with a concurrent increase in contaminant electron fluence calculation efficiency by a factor of 1200. Implementation of DSB in beampp, a C++ code for accelerator simulations based on EGSnrc and the C++ class library, egspp, increases photon fluence efficiency by a factor of 2800 and contaminant electron fluence efficiency by a factor of 1600. Optimum splitting numbers are in the range of 20 000–40 000. For dose calculations in a water phantom (0.5 × 0.5 × 0.5 cm{sup 3} voxels) this translates into a factor of ∼400 increase in dose calculation efficiency (all doses > 0.5 × D{sub max}). An example calculation of the ratio of dose to water to dose to chamber (the basis of the beam quality correction factor) to within 0.2% in a realistic chamber using a full simulation of a Co-60 treatment head as a source indicates the practicality of Co-60 simulations with DSB. Conclusions: The efficiency improvement

  18. Increased diffraction efficiencies of DBR gratings in diode lasers with adiabatic ridge waveguides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, André; Fricke, Jörg; Brox, Olaf; Erbert, Götz; Sumpf, Bernd

    2016-12-01

    The influence of the lateral layout on the diffraction efficiency of gratings in DBR lasers is presented. In this experimental study DBR ridge waveguide (RW) lasers with different ridge widths as well as straight and adiabatic waveguides are compared. The lasers are based on a vertical layer structure with an asymmetric super large optical cavity. DBR gratings of 3rd and 7th order are manufactured using electron beam lithography and dry etching. Their diffraction efficiencies are determined by measuring the optical output power emitted through the rear and front facets of unmounted devices. In comparison to a laser with a 30 μm ridge, the DBR diffraction efficiency in a laser with a 4 μm ridge is reduced by 46 percentage points. Implementing an adiabatic widening of the ridge width increases the diffraction efficiency from 35% to 72%. The latter is close to 81% achieved for the laser with 30 μm ridge. The new layout with enhanced DBR diffraction efficiency increases the optical output power of the narrow RW laser by a factor of 1.3. Similar results are obtained with 7th order gratings. All devices provide single-mode emission with spectral widths of 30 pm and side mode suppressions >60 dΒ. According to these results, implementing adiabatic waveguides is beneficial in terms of diffraction efficiency and performance of narrow RW lasers based on the applied vertical structure.

  19. Increasing efficiency of two-photon excited fluorescence and second harmonic generation using ultrashort pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Shuo; Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Chen, Zhongping; Tempea, Gabriel; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2006-02-01

    Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) has become an important tool for high-resolution and non-invasive imaging in biological tissues. However, the efficiencies of two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) and second harmonic generation (SHG) are relatively low because of their nonlinear nature. Therefore, it is critical to optimize laser parameters for most efficient excitation of MPM. Reducing the pulse duration can increase the peak intensity of excitation and thus potentially increase the excitation efficiency. In this paper, a multiphoton microscopy system using a 12 fs Ti:Sapphire laser is reported. With adjustable dispersion pre-compensation, the pulse duration at the sample location can be varied from 400 fs to sub-20 fs. The efficiencies of TPEF and SHG are studied for the various pulse durations, respectively. Both TPEF and SHG are found to increase proportionally to the inverse of the pulse duration for the entire tested range. To transmit most of the SHG and TPEF signals, the spectral transmission widow of the detection optics needs to be carefully considered. Limitation from phase-matching in SHG generation is not significant because the effective interaction length for SHG is less than 10 μm at the focal depth of the objectives. These results are important in improving MPM excitation efficiency using ultrashort pulses. MPM images from human artery wall are also demonstrated.

  20. Adipic acid increases plasma lysine but does not improve the efficiency of lysine utilization in swine.

    PubMed

    van Kempen, T A; van Heugten, E; Trottier, N L

    2001-09-01

    Adipic acid, upon catabolism, results in intermediates that bear a structural similarity to lysine degradation products. The objectives of this research were to determine whether adipic acid affects lysine concentrations in plasma and to evaluate whether adipic acid improves the efficiency of lysine utilization in pigs. In Exp. 1, nursery pigs (n = 14) were fed (for a period of 7 d) either a standard nursery diet or the same diet supplemented with 1% adipic acid to assess effects on plasma amino acid concentrations (plasma collected on d 7). In Exp. 2, nursery pigs (n = 56) were fed (for a period of 15 d) either a control diet or the same diet but deficient in either lysine, threonine, or tryptophan with or without supplemental adipic acid to assess the effects of adipic acid on the efficiency of amino acid utilization. The results from Exp. 1 showed that adipic acid increased plasma lysine (by 18%) but not alpha-amino adipic acid, an intermediate in lysine degradation. Experiment 2 demonstrated that adipic acid did not increase the efficiency of utilization of lysine, threonine, or tryptophan. The lack of effects on alpha-amino adipic acid in Exp. 1 and the lack of a positive effect on the efficiency of utilization of lysine, threonine, and tryptophan suggest that adipic acid does not inhibit the mitochondrial uptake of lysine and(or) its degradation in the mitochondrion. It is concluded that feeding adipic acid increases plasma lysine but does not improve the efficiency of lysine utilization.

  1. Increased Efficiency in SI Engine with Air Replaced by Oxygen in Argon Mixture

    SciTech Connect

    Killingsworth, N J; Rapp, V H; Flowers, D L; Aceves, S M; Chen, J; Dibble, R

    2010-01-13

    Basic engine thermodynamics predicts that spark ignited engine efficiency is a function of both the compression ratio of the engine and the specific heat ratio of the working fluid. In practice the compression ratio of the engine is often limited due to knock. Both higher specific heat ratio and higher compression ratio lead to higher end gas temperatures and increase the likelihood of knock. In actual engine cycles, heat transfer losses increase at higher compression ratios and limit efficiency even when the knock limit is not reached. In this paper we investigate the role of both the compression ratio and the specific heat ratio on engine efficiency by conducting experiments comparing operation of a single-cylinder variable-compression-ratio engine with both hydrogen-air and hydrogen-oxygen-argon mixtures. For low load operation it is found that the hydrogen-oxygen-argon mixtures result in higher indicated thermal efficiencies. Peak efficiency for the hydrogen-oxygen-argon mixtures is found at compression ratio 5.5 whereas for the hydrogen-air mixture with an equivalence ratio of 0.24 the peak efficiency is found at compression ratio 13. We apply a three-zone model to help explain the effects of specific heat ratio and compression ratio on efficiency. Operation with hydrogen-oxygen-argon mixtures at low loads is more efficient because the lower compression ratio results in a substantially larger portion of the gas to reside in the adiabatic core rather than in the boundary layer and in the crevices, leading to less heat transfer and more complete combustion.

  2. Increased Infarct Wall Thickness by a Bio-Inert Material Is Insufficient to Prevent Negative Left Ventricular Remodeling after Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Rane, Aboli A.; Chuang, Joyce S.; Shah, Amul; Hu, Diane P.; Dalton, Nancy D.; Gu, Yusu; Peterson, Kirk L.; Omens, Jeffrey H.; Christman, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    Background Several injectable materials have been shown to preserve or improve cardiac function as well as prevent or slow left ventricular (LV) remodeling post-myocardial infarction (MI). However, it is unclear as to whether it is the structural support or the bioactivity of these polymers that lead to beneficial effects. Herein, we examine how passive structural enhancement of the LV wall by an increase in wall thickness affects cardiac function post-MI using a bio-inert, non-degradable synthetic polymer in an effort to better understand the mechanisms by which injectable materials affect LV remodeling. Methods and Results Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) gels of storage modulus G′ = 0.5±0.1 kPa were injected and polymerized in situ one week after total occlusion of the left coronary artery in female Sprague Dawley rats. The animals were imaged using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 7±1 day(s) post-MI as a baseline and again post-injection 49±4 days after MI. Infarct wall thickness was statistically increased in PEG gel injected vs. control animals (p<0.01). However, animals in the polymer and control groups showed decreases in cardiac function in terms of end diastolic volume, end systolic volume and ejection fraction compared to baseline (p<0.01). The cellular response to injection was also similar in both groups. Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate that passive structural reinforcement alone was insufficient to prevent post-MI remodeling, suggesting that bioactivity and/or cell infiltration due to degradation of injectable materials are likely playing a key role in the preservation of cardiac function, thus providing a deeper understanding of the influencing properties of biomaterials necessary to prevent post-MI negative remodeling. PMID:21731777

  3. Increased Symmetric Dimethylarginine Level Is Associated with Worse Hospital Outcomes through Altered Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Lorin, Julie; Guilland, Jean-Claude; Stamboul, Karim; Guenancia, Charles; Cottin, Yves; Rochette, Luc; Vergely, Catherine; Zeller, Marianne

    2017-01-01

    Objectives We aimed to investigate whether SDMA- symmetric dimethylarginine -the symmetrical stereoisomer of ADMA- might be a marker of left ventricular function in AMI. Background Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) has been implicated in the prognosis after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF). Methods Cross sectional prospective study from 487 consecutive patients hospitalized <24 hours after AMI. Patients with HF on admission were excluded. Serum levels of ADMA, SDMA and L-arginine were determined using HPLC. Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was estimated based on creatinine levels. Outcomes were in-hospital severe HF, as defined by Killip class >2, and death. Results Patients were analysed based on SDMA tertiles. Sex, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and prior MI were similar for all tertiles. In contrast, age and hypertension increased across the tertiles (p<0.001). From the first to the last tertile, GRACE risk score was elevated while LVEF and eGFR was reduced. The rate of severe HF and death were gradually increased across the SDMA tertiles (from 0.6% to 7.4%, p = 0.006 and from 0.6% to 5.0%, p = 0.034, respectively). Backward logistic multivariate analysis showed that SDMA was an independent estimate of developing severe HF, even when adjusted for confounding (OR(95%CI): 8.2(3.0–22.5), p<0.001). Further, SDMA was associated with mortality, even after adjustment for GRACE risk score (OR(95%CI): 4.56(1.34–15.52), p = 0.015). Conclusions Our study showed for the first time that SDMA is associated with hospital outcomes, through altered LVEF and may have biological activity beyond renal function. PMID:28125604

  4. Power Strategy in DC/DC Converters to Increase Efficiency of Electrical Stimulators

    PubMed Central

    Aqueveque, Pablo; Acuña, Vicente; Saavedra, Francisco; Debelle, Adrien; Lonys, Laurent; Julémont, Nicolas; Huberland, François; Godfraind, Carmen; Nonclercq, Antoine

    2016-01-01

    Power efficiency is critical for electrical stimulators. Battery life of wearable stimulators and wireless power transmission in implanted systems are common limiting factors. Boost DC/DC converters are typically needed to increase the supply voltage of the output stage. Traditionally, boost DC/DC converters are used with fast control to regulate the supply voltage of the output. However, since stimulators are acting as current sources, such voltage regulation is not needed. Banking on this, this paper presents a DC/DC conversion strategy aiming to increase power efficiency. It compares, in terms of efficiency, the traditional use of boost converters to two alternatives that could be implemented in future hardware designs. PMID:27990232

  5. Increased Titin Compliance Reduced Length-Dependent Contraction and Slowed Cross-Bridge Kinetics in Skinned Myocardial Strips from Rbm20ΔRRM Mice

    PubMed Central

    Pulcastro, Hannah C.; Awinda, Peter O.; Methawasin, Mei; Granzier, Henk; Dong, Wenji; Tanner, Bertrand C. W.

    2016-01-01

    Titin is a giant protein spanning from the Z-disk to the M-band of the cardiac sarcomere. In the I-band titin acts as a molecular spring, contributing to passive mechanical characteristics of the myocardium throughout a heartbeat. RNA Binding Motif Protein 20 (RBM20) is required for normal titin splicing, and its absence or altered function leads to greater expression of a very large, more compliant N2BA titin isoform in Rbm20 homozygous mice (Rbm20ΔRRM) compared to wild-type mice (WT) that almost exclusively express the stiffer N2B titin isoform. Prior studies using Rbm20ΔRRM animals have shown that increased titin compliance compromises muscle ultrastructure and attenuates the Frank-Starling relationship. Although previous computational simulations of muscle contraction suggested that increasing compliance of the sarcomere slows the rate of tension development and prolongs cross-bridge attachment, none of the reported effects of Rbm20ΔRRM on myocardial function have been attributed to changes in cross-bridge cycling kinetics. To test the relationship between increased sarcomere compliance and cross-bridge kinetics, we used stochastic length-perturbation analysis in Ca2+-activated, skinned papillary muscle strips from Rbm20ΔRRM and WT mice. We found increasing titin compliance depressed maximal tension, decreased Ca2+-sensitivity of the tension-pCa relationship, and slowed myosin detachment rate in myocardium from Rbm20ΔRRM vs. WT mice. As sarcomere length increased from 1.9 to 2.2 μm, length-dependent activation of contraction was eliminated in the Rbm20ΔRRM myocardium, even though myosin MgADP release rate decreased ~20% to prolong strong cross-bridge binding at longer sarcomere length. These data suggest that increasing N2BA expression may alter cardiac performance in a length-dependent manner, showing greater deficits in tension production and slower cross-bridge kinetics at longer sarcomere length. This study also supports the idea that passive

  6. Increasing the Efficiency of Data Collection with a Research Participation Night

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kilb, Angela; Herzig, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

    Data collection can be a frustrating experience for student researchers due to difficulty in scheduling appointments with participants. To increase the efficiency of research project data collection, we organized a Research Participation Night in which volunteers were incentivized to participate in as many experiments as time allowed. By offering…

  7. Increasing the Heme-Dependent Respiratory Efficiency of Lactococcus lactis by Inhibition of Lactate Dehydrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Arioli, Stefania; Zambelli, Daniele; Guglielmetti, Simone; De Noni, Ivano; Pedersen, Martin B.; Pedersen, Per Dedenroth; Dal Bello, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of heme-induced respiration in Lactococcus lactis has radically improved the industrial processes used for the biomass production of this species. Here, we show that inhibition of the lactate dehydrogenase activity of L. lactis during growth under respiration-permissive conditions can stimulate aerobic respiration, thereby increasing not only growth efficiency but also the robustness of this organism. PMID:23064338

  8. 77 FR 19280 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-30

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... Software Take notice that Commission staff will convene a technical conference on June 25, 26, and 27, 2012... software. A detailed agenda with the list of and times for the selected speakers will be published on...

  9. 75 FR 45623 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice Establishing Date for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-03

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... conferences regarding models and software related to wholesale electricity markets and planning: \\1\\ \\1... Software, 75 FR 27,341 (2010). June 2-3 Enhanced Unit-Commitment Models. June 9-10 Enhanced...

  10. Extension Master Gardener Intranet: Automating Administration, Motivating Volunteers, Increasing Efficiency, and Facilitating Impact Reporting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bradley, Lucy K.; Cook, Jonneen; Cook, Chris

    2011-01-01

    North Carolina State University has incorporated many aspects of volunteer program administration and reporting into an on-line solution that integrates impact reporting into daily program management. The Extension Master Gardener Intranet automates many of the administrative tasks associated with volunteer management, increasing efficiency, and…

  11. 78 FR 18974 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-28

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice... Software Take notice that Commission staff will convene a technical conference on June 24, 25, and 26, 2013... software. A detailed agenda with the list of and times for the selected speakers will be published on...

  12. Mammary stem cells: Novel markers and novel approaches to increase lactation efficiency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mammary stem cells (MaSC) provide for net growth, renewal and turnover of mammary epithelial cells, and are therefore potential targets for strategies to increase production efficiency. Appropriate regulation of MaSC can potentially benefit milk yield, persistency, dry period management and tissue r...

  13. Increasing Efficiency in Academia: The Use of a Weaning Model in Fundraising

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maniaci, Vincent M.; Poole, Rob

    2005-01-01

    The authors discuss a method to increase institutional efficiency and financial stability through strategic planning, by gradually reallocating funds raised for annual operations to quasi-endowment over a period of years using a weaning model. The weaning model is offered as a tactic to address issues of financial vulnerability developed in…

  14. How To Do More with Less: Community College Innovations To Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beckman, Brenda, Ed.

    Designed to help community colleges increase efficiency and make the best use of depleted funds, this monograph describes innovative and successful strategies currently in place at colleges to improve effectiveness. The innovative practices are organized into five broad categories approximating a "typical" community college's distribution of…

  15. Possibility of increasing the efficiency of laser-induced tattoo removal by optical skin clearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genina, E. A.; Bashkatov, A. N.; Tuchin, V. V.; Altshuler, G. B.; Yaroslavskii, I. V.

    2008-06-01

    The possibility of selective laser photothermolysis improvement for the removal of tattoo pigments due to the optical clearing of human skin is investigated. It is shown experimentally that the optical skin clearing increases the tattoo image contrast. Computer Monte Carlo simulations show that by decreasing the laser beam scattering in upper skin layers, it is possible to reduce the radiation power required for tattoo removal by 30%—40% and, therefore, to increase the the photothermolysis efficiency.

  16. Fractal-like receiver geometries and features for increased light trapping and thermal efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Clifford K.; Christian, Joshua M.; Yellowhair, Julius; Ortega, Jesus; Andraka, Charles

    2016-05-01

    Novel designs to increase light trapping and thermal efficiency of concentrating solar receivers at multiple length scales have been conceived and tested. The fractal-like geometries and features are introduced at both macro (meters) and meso (millimeters to centimeters) scales. Advantages include increased solar absorptance, reduced thermal emittance, and increased thermal efficiency. Radial and linear structures at the meso (tube shape and geometry) and macro (total receiver geometry and configuration) scales redirect reflected solar radiation toward the interior of the receiver for increased absorptance. Hotter regions within the interior of the receiver can reduce thermal emittance due to reduced local view factors to the environment, and higher concentration ratios can be employed with similar surface irradiances to reduce the effective optical aperture, footprint, and thermal losses. Coupled optical/fluid/thermal models have been developed to evaluate the performance of these designs relative to conventional designs, and meso-scale tests have been performed. Results show that fractal-like structures and geometries can increase the thermal efficiency by several percentage points at both the meso and macro scales, depending on factors such as intrinsic absorptance. The impact was more pronounced for materials with lower intrinsic solar absorptances (<0.9). The goal of this work is to increase the effective solar absorptance of oxidized substrate materials from ~0.9 to 0.95 or greater using these fractal-like geometries without the need for coatings.

  17. Increase in forest water-use efficiency as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations rise.

    PubMed

    Keenan, Trevor F; Hollinger, David Y; Bohrer, Gil; Dragoni, Danilo; Munger, J William; Schmid, Hans Peter; Richardson, Andrew D

    2013-07-18

    Terrestrial plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, a process that is accompanied by the loss of water vapour from leaves. The ratio of water loss to carbon gain, or water-use efficiency, is a key characteristic of ecosystem function that is central to the global cycles of water, energy and carbon. Here we analyse direct, long-term measurements of whole-ecosystem carbon and water exchange. We find a substantial increase in water-use efficiency in temperate and boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two decades. We systematically assess various competing hypotheses to explain this trend, and find that the observed increase is most consistent with a strong CO2 fertilization effect. The results suggest a partial closure of stomata-small pores on the leaf surface that regulate gas exchange-to maintain a near-constant concentration of CO2 inside the leaf even under continually increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. The observed increase in forest water-use efficiency is larger than that predicted by existing theory and 13 terrestrial biosphere models. The increase is associated with trends of increasing ecosystem-level photosynthesis and net carbon uptake, and decreasing evapotranspiration. Our findings suggest a shift in the carbon- and water-based economics of terrestrial vegetation, which may require a reassessment of the role of stomatal control in regulating interactions between forests and climate change, and a re-evaluation of coupled vegetation-climate models.

  18. [The influence of halogenated anesthetic agents on the hemodynamics and myocardial metabolism in ischemic heart disease].

    PubMed

    Vasil'ev, A V; Nesterova, Iu V; Brand, Ia B

    2007-01-01

    The authors studied the effects of anesthesia with equipotential concentrations of halothane, enflurane, and isoflurane plus 33% O2 on central hemodynamics, coronary flow, and myocardial metabolism in 60 patients undergoing myocardial revascularization surgery. The study found that halothane and isoflurane with 33% O2 caused dose-dependent and well-controlled arterial hypotension and decreased left ventricular (LV) stroke work index, myocardial consumption of O2 MCO2), total peripheral vascular resistance, and coronary vascular resistance (CVR), which increased coronary volume flow. Monoanesthesia with enflurane lowered myocardial contractility and did not change LV work; MCO2 decreased, while coronary sinus flow increased due to a decrease in CVR. Thus, the comparison of hemodynamic and myocardial effects of the three potent inhaled anesthetics--halothane, enflurane, and isoflurane - demonstrated their positive effects on myocardial oxygen balance in a form of dosed and controlled decrease in its work in cardiological patients with preserved LV contractility. The imported anesthetics enflurane and isoflurane do not have any significant advantage over the Russian-made halothane in this category of patients. At the same time, halothane vs. enflurane has a more noticeable "unloading" effect on afterload and does not cause convulsive episodes and periods of cerebral activity depression; in contrast to isoflurane, halothane dose not cause metabolic disturbances in a compromised myocardium; halothane is used in lower inhaled concentrations to achieve the same degree of myocardial work decrease without a substantial decrease in cardiac efficiency. These facts suggest that halothane has a practical advantage over the other anesthetics.

  19. Increased transduction efficiency of primary hematopoietic cells by physical colocalization of retrovirus and target cells.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, M; Moriwaki, K; Dilloo, D; Hoffmann, T; Kimbrough, S; Johnsen, H E; Brenner, M K; Heslop, H E

    1998-06-01

    Efficient gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells offers a number of potential therapeutic applications. However, the relatively low titer of retroviral supernatants and the requirement for cell division to ensure integration have meant that transduction efficiency has been low. We have modified a flowthrough approach to cell transduction and have been able consistently to increase gene transfer efficiency into human hematopoietic progenitor cells. We transduced CD34 cells with retroviral vectors encoding a truncated nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) or neo. Retroviral supernatant was pulled through 0.2-micron polycarbonated membranes, followed by placement of cells on the filter. In the absence of cytokines, the transduction efficiency of CD34 cells with a NGFR vector was increased 3-11-fold over that obtained at an identical MOI in liquid culture to produce 11%-44% transduction. Furthermore, both Thy1+ and Thy1- subsets in a total CD34 population were transduced with similar efficiency, and transduction with a neo vector, as measured by G418 resistance in clonogenic assays, increased 1.5-5-fold. The mechanism by which gene transfer is improved may reflect colocalization of cells and retrovirus. Costaining of cells transduced on the filter with an NGFR retrovirus with both an NGFR antibody and a gp70 antibody that recognizes viral coat protein revealed high-level coexpression. The levels of in vitro gene transfer we obtain are equivalent to those observed when CD34 cells are cocultured in liquid culture with cytokines. However, culture with cytokines may commit CD34 cells to differentiation and has produced disappointingly low levels of subsequent in vivo gene transfer. Gene marking studies using distinguishable retroviral vectors will provide a means of learning whether the effects of flowthrough transduction genuinely enhance the efficiency of gene transfer to human marrow-repopulating cells.

  20. Increased glycosylation efficiency of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli by auto-induction.

    PubMed

    Ding, Ning; Yang, Chunguang; Sun, Shenxia; Han, Lichi; Ruan, Yao; Guo, Longhua; Hu, Xuejun; Zhang, Jianing

    2017-03-25

    Escherichia coli cells have been considered as promising hosts for producing N-glycosylated proteins since the successful production of N-glycosylated protein in E. coli with the pgl (N-linked protein glycosylation) locus from Campylobacter jejuni. However, one hurdle in producing N-glycosylated proteins in large scale using E. coli is inefficient glycan glycosylation. In this study, we developed a strategy for the production of N-glycosylated proteins with high efficiency via an optimized auto-induction method. The 10th human fibronectin type III domain (FN3) was engineered with native glycosylation sequon DFNRSK and optimized DQNAT sequon in C-terminus with flexible linker as acceptor protein models. The resulting glycosylation efficiencies were confirmed by Western blots with anti-FLAG M1 antibody. Increased efficiency of glycosylation was obtained by changing the conventional IPTG induction to auto-induction method, which increased the glycosylation efficiencies from 60% and 75% up to 90% and 100% respectively. Moreover, in the condition of inserting the glycosylation sequon in the loop of FN3 (the acceptor sequon with local structural conformation), the glycosylation efficiency was increased from 35% to 80% by our optimized auto-induction procedures. To justify the potential for general application of the optimized auto-induction method, the reconstituted lsg locus from Haemophilus influenzae and PglB from C. jejuni were utilized, and this led to 100% glycosylation efficiency. Our studies provided quantitative evidence that the optimized auto-induction method will facilitate the large-scale production of pure exogenous N-glycosylation proteins in E. coli cells.

  1. Myocardial Noncompaction Presenting With Myocardial Bridge

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yuechun; Li, Xinchun; Lu, Dongfeng; Xiao, Aiyi; Li, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Myocardial noncompaction, namly isolated noncompaction of the left ventricular myocardium (NVM), is a rare congenital disease. It can be either seen in the absence of other cardiac anomalies, or associated with other congenital cardiac defects, mostly stenotic lesions of the left ventricular outflow tract. A myocardial bridge (MB) is thought being associated with coronary heart disease, such as coronary spasm, arrhythmia, and so on. The significance of MB in association with other congenital cardiac conditions is unknown. We report a novel case who was presented NVM and MB. A 34-year-old man complained of chest prickling-like pain and dizzy for 1 year. His blood pressure was 110/70 mm Hg. Echocardiograph revealed increased trabeculations below the level of papillary muscle of left ventricle (LV); deep intertrabecular recesses in the endocardial wall of LV particularly in apex free wall; and LV ejection fraction of 57%. A coronary computerized tomography scan showed that part, 38.9 cm, of left descending artery tunnel was surrounding by cardiac muscles rather than resting on top of the myocardium. The therapeutics interventions included lifestyle cares, agents of anti-ischemia and improvement myocardial cell metabolism. The patient was followed up for 2.6 years, and his general condition was stable. This case indicates that NVM can be developed with MB, and the complete diagnosis of NVM and MB should be made by different image studies. PMID:26356695

  2. Institution of Veno-arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Does Not Lead to Increased Wall Stress in Patients with Impaired Myocardial Function.

    PubMed

    Koth, Andrew M; Axelrod, David M; Reddy, Sushma; Roth, Stephen J; Tacy, Theresa A; Punn, Rajesh

    2017-03-01

    The effect of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA ECMO) on wall stress in patients with cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, or other cardiac conditions is unknown. We set out to determine the circumferential and meridional wall stress (WS) in patients with systemic left ventricles before and during VA ECMO. We established a cohort of patients with impaired myocardial function who underwent VA ECMO therapy from January 2000 to November 2013. Demographic and clinical data were collected and inotropic score calculated. Measurements were taken on echocardiograms prior to the initiation of VA ECMO and while on full-flow VA ECMO, in order to derive wall stress (circumferential and meridional), VCFc, ejection fraction, and fractional shortening. A post hoc sub-analysis was conducted, separating those with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and those with impaired systemic output. Thirty-three patients met inclusion criteria. The patients' median age was 0.06 years (range 0-18.7). Eleven (33%) patients constituted the organ failure group (Gr2), while the remaining 22 (66%) patients survived to discharge (Gr1). WS and all other echocardiographic measures were not different when comparing patients before and during VA ECMO. Ejection and shortening fraction, WS, and VCFc were not statistically different comparing the survival and organ failure groups. The patients' position on the VCFc-WS curve did not change after the initiation of VA ECMO. Those with PH had decreased WS as well as increased EF after ECMO initiation, while those with impaired systemic output showed no difference in those parameters with initiation of ECMO. The external workload on the myocardium as indicated by WS is unchanged by the institution of VA ECMO support. Furthermore, echocardiographic measures of cardiac function do not reflect the changes in ventricular performance inherent to VA ECMO support. These findings are informative for the interpretation of echocardiograms in the setting of VA ECMO

  3. Automatic control of negative emotions: evidence that structured practice increases the efficiency of emotion regulation.

    PubMed

    Christou-Champi, Spyros; Farrow, Tom F D; Webb, Thomas L

    2015-01-01

    Emotion regulation (ER) is vital to everyday functioning. However, the effortful nature of many forms of ER may lead to regulation being inefficient and potentially ineffective. The present research examined whether structured practice could increase the efficiency of ER. During three training sessions, comprising a total of 150 training trials, participants were presented with negatively valenced images and asked either to "attend" (control condition) or "reappraise" (ER condition). A further group of participants did not participate in training but only completed follow-up measures. Practice increased the efficiency of ER as indexed by decreased time required to regulate emotions and increased heart rate variability (HRV). Furthermore, participants in the ER condition spontaneously regulated their negative emotions two weeks later and reported being more habitual in their use of ER. These findings indicate that structured practice can facilitate the automatic control of negative emotions and that these effects persist beyond training.

  4. Myocardial diseases of animals.

    PubMed Central

    Van Vleet, J. F.; Ferrans, V. J.

    1986-01-01

    seen less frequently; and, in contrast to man, coronary artery disease and myocardial ischemia are rather infrequent in animals. The present review shows clearly that the spectrum of myocardial diseases in animals is enlarging and that many newly recognized diseases are emerging and assuming considerable importance. For example, various heritable cardiomyopathies have recently been described in the KK mouse, cattle, and rats. Increasingly recognized myocardial diseases include cardiomyopathies in cats, dogs, and birds; anthracycline cardiotoxicity; furazolidone cardiotoxicity; ionophore cardiotoxicity; myocardial damage associated with central nervous system injuries; myocardial hypertrophy in Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 45 Figure 46 Figure 47 Figure 48 Figure 61 Figure 62 Figure 63 Figure 64 Figure 79 Figure 75 Figure 76 Figure 77 Figure 78 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17 Figure 18 Figure 19 Figure 20 Figure 21 Figure 22 Figure 23 Figure 24 Figure 25 Figure 26 Figure 27 Figure 28 Figure 29 & 30 Figure 31 Figure 32 Figure 33 Figure 34 Figure 35 Figure 36 Figure 37 Figure 38 Figure 39 Figure 40 Figure 41 Figure 42 Figure 43 Figure 44 Figure 49 Figure 50 Figure 51 Figure 52 Figure 53 Figure 54 Figure 55 Figure 56 Figure 57 Figure 58 Figure 59 Figure 60 Figure 65 Figure 66 Figure 67 Figure 68 Figure 69 Figure 70 Figure 71 & 72 Figure 73 & 74 PMID:3524254

  5. Application of gold nano-particles for silicon solar cells efficiency increase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axelevitch, A.; Gorenstein, B.; Golan, G.

    2014-10-01

    The main problems preventing wide spreading of solar cells as alternative energy sources are their high cost and low efficiency. Efficiency of solar cells based on semiconductor materials is limited due to high electrical and optical losses and due to recombination processes. Non-continuous, thin island gold films deposited on a dielectric or semiconductor surface introduce a unique behavior. In response to light exposure in certain range, the metal islands present a resonant absorption of light accompanied with a collective behavior of free electrons in these islands. In this paper we present one possible way to increase the efficiency of solar cells by using nano-dimensional gold islands imbedded in semiconductor junctions.

  6. Parental history of premature myocardial infarction is a stronger predictor of increased carotid intima-media thickness than parental history of hypertension.

    PubMed

    Barra, S; Gaeta, G; Cuomo, V; Guarini, P; Cuomo, S; Capozzi, G; Tudisca, G; Madrid, A; Trevisan, M

    2011-06-01

    An increased carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is detectable in young subjects with parental history of premature myocardial infarction (PHPMI) or hypertension (PHH). In this study we evaluated if PHPMI and PHH exert a different influence on carotid IMT and if their conjunction produces additive effects. High-resolution B-mode ultrasonographic evaluation of common carotid artery IMT was acquired from 48 subjects without PHPMI and PHH (22 males, 26 females; mean age 22.1±4.9 years; controls), 24 age- (±1 year) and sex-matched subjects with PHH without PHPMI (PHH-positive/PHPMI-negative subjects), 24 age- and sex-matched subjects with PHPMI without PHH (PHH-negative/PHPMI-positive subjects) and 24 age- and sex-matched subjects with both PHPMI and PHH (PHH/PHPMI-positive subjects). Lipid profile, resting blood pressure, smoking behaviour and body mass index (BMI) were also assessed. Carotid IMT was smaller in controls (0.41±0.07mm) compared to PHH-positive/PHPMI-negative subjects (0.47±0.10, p=0.023), to PHH-negative/PHPMI-positive subjects (0.54±0.11, p<0.001) and to PHH/PHPMI-positive subjects (0.52±0.10mm, p<0.001). Carotid IMT was greater in PHH-negative/PHPMI-positive (p=0.006) and in PHH/PHPMI-positive (p=0.031) than in PHH-positive/PHPMI-negative subjects. No difference in carotid IMT was evident between PHH-negative/PHPMI-positive and PHH/PHPMI-positive subjects (p=0.549). In the comparison among subjects using multiple regression analysis, only PHPMI, age and BMI were independently associated with carotid IMT. In healthy young subjects with PHPMI and/or PHH, carotid IMT is increased. PHPMI is a stronger predictor of increased carotid IMT than PHH. PHH in conjunction with PHPMI does not add any further detrimental effect on carotid IMT.

  7. Masting promotes individual- and population-level reproduction by increasing pollination efficiency.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Linhart, Yan B; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-04-01

    Masting is a reproductive strategy defined as the intermittent and synchronized production of large seed crops by a plant population. The pollination efficiency hypothesis proposes that masting increases pollination success in plants. Despite its general appeal, no previous studies have used long-term data together with population- and individual-level analyses to assess pollination efficiency between mast and non-mast events. Here we rigorously tested the pollination efficiency hypothesis in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), a long-lived monoecious, wind-pollinated species, using a data set on 217 trees monitored annually for 20 years. Relative investment in male and female function by individual trees did not vary between mast and non-mast years. At both the population and individual level, the rate of production of mature female cones relative to male strobili production was higher in mast than non-mast years, consistent with the predicted benefit of reproductive synchrony on reproductive success. In addition, at the individual level we found a higher conversion of unfertilized female conelets into mature female cones during a mast year compared to a non-mast year. Collectively, parallel results at the population and individual tree level provide robust evidence for the ecological, and potentially also evolutionary, benefits of masting through increased pollination efficiency.

  8. Deep learning as a tool for increased accuracy and efficiency of histopathological diagnosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litjens, Geert; Sánchez, Clara I.; Timofeeva, Nadya; Hermsen, Meyke; Nagtegaal, Iris; Kovacs, Iringo; Hulsbergen-van de Kaa, Christina; Bult, Peter; van Ginneken, Bram; van der Laak, Jeroen

    2016-05-01

    Pathologists face a substantial increase in workload and complexity of histopathologic cancer diagnosis due to the advent of personalized medicine. Therefore, diagnostic protocols have to focus equally on efficiency and accuracy. In this paper we introduce ‘deep learning’ as a technique to improve the objectivity and efficiency of histopathologic slide analysis. Through two examples, prostate cancer identification in biopsy specimens and breast cancer metastasis detection in sentinel lymph nodes, we show the potential of this new methodology to reduce the workload for pathologists, while at the same time increasing objectivity of diagnoses. We found that all slides containing prostate cancer and micro- and macro-metastases of breast cancer could be identified automatically while 30–40% of the slides containing benign and normal tissue could be excluded without the use of any additional immunohistochemical markers or human intervention. We conclude that ‘deep learning’ holds great promise to improve the efficacy of prostate cancer diagnosis and breast cancer staging.

  9. Some programming techniques for increasing program versatility and efficiency on CDC equipment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tiffany, S. H.; Newsom, J. R.

    1978-01-01

    Five programming techniques used to decrease core and increase program versatility and efficiency are explained. The techniques are: (1) dynamic storage allocation, (2) automatic core-sizing and core-resizing, (3) matrix partitioning, (4) free field alphanumeric reads, and (5) incorporation of a data complex. The advantages of these techniques and the basic methods for employing them are explained and illustrated. Several actual program applications which utilize these techniques are described as examples.

  10. Long-term increase in forest water-use efficiency observed across ecosystem carbon flux networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keenan, Trevor; Bohrer, Gil; Dragoni, Danilo; Hollinger, David; Munger, James W.; Schmid, Hans Peter; Richardson, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Terrestrial plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photo- synthesis, a process that is accompanied by the loss of water vapour from leaves. The ratio of water loss to carbon gain, or water-use efficiency, is a key characteristic of ecosystem function that is central to the global cycles of water, energy and carbon. Here we analyse direct, long-term measurements of whole-ecosystem carbon and water exchange. We find a substantial increase in water-use efficiency in temperate and boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two decades. We systematically assess various competing hypotheses to explain this trend, and find that the observed increase is most consistent with a strong CO2 fertilization effect. The results suggest a partial closure of stomata - small pores on the leaf surface that regulate gas exchange - to maintain a near- constant concentration of CO2 inside the leaf even under continually increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. The observed increase in forest water-use efficiency is larger than that predicted by existing theory and 13 terrestrial biosphere models. The increase is associated with trends of increasing ecosystem-level photosynthesis and net carbon uptake, and decreasing evapotranspiration. Our findings demonstrate the utility of maintaining long-term eddy-covariance flux measurement sites. The results suggest a shift in the carbon- and water-based economics of terrestrial vegetation, which may require a reassessment of the role of stomatal control in regulating interactions between forests and climate change, and a re-evaluation of coupled vegetation-climate models.

  11. More crop per drop - Increasing input efficiency in sprinkler irrigated potatoes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostka, Stan; Fang, Lisa; Ren, Haiqin; Glucksman, Robert; Gadd, Nick

    2014-05-01

    Water scarcity, climate change, and population growth are significant global challenges for producing sufficient food, fiber, and fuel in the 21st century. Feeding an increasingly hungry world necessitates innovative strategies and technologies to maximize crop production outputs while simultaneously increasing crop water productivity. In the 20th century, major advances in precision irrigation enabled producers to increase productivity while more efficiently applying water to crops. While pressurized irrigation systems can deliver water effectively to the soil surface, the efficiency of rootzone delivery may be compromised by intrinsic heterogeneities in soil wetting characteristics related to organic matter, biofilms, and hydrophobic coatings on soil particles and aggregates. Efficiently delivering applied irrigation water throughout the soil matrix is critical to increasing crop productivity. We propose that management of soil water access by surfactants is a viable management option to maintain or increase yields under deficit irrigation. Potato yield and tuber quality under sprinkler irrigation were evaluated under standard production practices or with the inclusion of an aqueous nonionic surfactant formulation (10 wt% alkoxylated polyols and 7% glucoethers) applied at 10L ha-1 between emergence and tuberization. Crop responses from multi-year evaluations conducted on irrigated potatoes in Idaho (USA) were compared to multi-year on farm grower evaluations in Australia and China. Surfactant treatment resulted in statistically significant increases in yield (+5%) and US No. 1 grades (+8%) while reducing culls (-10%) in trials conducted in Idaho, USA. Similar responses were observed in commercial grower evaluations conducted in Australia (+8% total yield, +18% mean tuber weight) and in China in 2011 (+8% total yield and +18% premium, -12% culls). Under diverse production conditions, a single application of the surfactant formulation improved crop water

  12. Possibility of increasing the efficiency of laser-induced tattoo removal by optical skin clearing

    SciTech Connect

    Genina, E A; Bashkatov, A N; Tuchin, V V; Yaroslavskii, I V; Altshuler, G B

    2008-06-30

    The possibility of selective laser photothermolysis improvement for the removal of tattoo pigments due to the optical clearing of human skin is investigated. It is shown experimentally that the optical skin clearing increases the tattoo image contrast. Computer Monte Carlo simulations show that by decreasing the laser beam scattering in upper skin layers, it is possible to reduce the radiation power required for tattoo removal by 30%-40% and, therefore, to increase the the photothermolysis efficiency. (special issue devoted to application of laser technologies in biophotonics and biomedical studies)

  13. III-V photocathode with nitrogen doping for increased quantum efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, L. W. (Inventor)

    1976-01-01

    An increase in the quantum efficiency of a 3-5 photocathode is achieved by doping its semiconductor material with an acceptor and nitrogen, a column-5 isoelectronic element, that introduces a spatially localized energy level just below the conduction band similar to a donor level to which optical transitions can occur. This increases the absorption coefficient, alpha without compensation of the acceptor dopant. A layer of a suitable 1-5, 1-6 or 1-7 compound is included as an activation layer on the electron emission side to lower the work function of the photocathode.

  14. Increasing the Efficiency of a Thermoelectric Generator Using an Evaporative Cooling System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boonyasri, M.; Jamradloedluk, J.; Lertsatitthanakorn, C.; Therdyothin, A.; Soponronnarit, S.

    2016-11-01

    A system for reducing heat from the cold side of a thermoelectric (TE) power generator, based on the principle of evaporative cooling, is presented. An evaporative cooling system could increase the conversion efficiency of a TE generator. To this end, two sets of TE generators were constructed. Both TE generators were composed of five TE power modules. The cold and hot sides of the TE modules were fixed to rectangular fin heat sinks. The hot side heat sinks were inserted in a hot gas duct. The cold side of one set was cooled by the cooling air from a counter flow evaporative cooling system, whereas the other set was cooled by the parallel flow evaporative cooling system. The counter flow pattern had better performance than the parallel flow pattern. A comparison between the TE generator with and without an evaporative cooling system was made. Experimental results show that the power output increased by using the evaporative cooling system. This can significantly increase the TE conversion efficiency. The evaporative cooling system increased the power output of the TE generator from 22.9 W of ambient air flowing through the heat sinks to 28.6 W at the hot gas temperature of 350°C (an increase of about 24.8%). The present study shows the promising potential of using TE generators with evaporative cooling for waste heat recovery.

  15. New method to increase the energy conversion efficiency of thermoacoustic engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kido, Aiko; Sakamoto, Shin-ichi; Taga, Kazusa; Watanabe, Yoshiaki

    2015-10-01

    Many researches have been reported to improve an energy conversion efficiency of thermoacoustic engine. Proposed improvement methods by our group were a phase adjuster (PA) and expanding phase adjuster (EPA) devices. They act as the amplifier and stabilizer of the system oscillation. However, there are some problems for these devices. Because of the solidified device and located in the thermoacoustic tube, it is difficult to tune and move them to the best setting position during system operation. Therefore, it is necessary to find more easy methods that produce the same amplifier and stabilizer effects of the PA and EPA. In this report, we propose the local heating method. Experiments are carried out using the loop-tube-type thermoacoustic system. Two electric heaters are set on the system, one is for the PM stack and the other is for the proposed heater HPA. The setting position of the HPA is easily changed, and then the HPA is moved to the various positions from the PM stack along the system. Resonant mode was changed depending on the setting position of HPA. As the result of the change of resonant mode, energy conversion efficiency is also changed. Especially the resonant mode is realized in the single wavelength mode, it is confirmed that, the energy conversion efficiency in substantially increased compare with the system without the HPA. These observed phenomena are similar to the behavior of EPA. Therefore, the presented method can be performed as an easier method to perform a high efficiency and stable oscillation.

  16. Mechanisms that increase the growth efficiency of diatoms in low light.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Nerissa L; Halsey, Kimberly H

    2016-08-01

    Photoacclimation was studied in Thalassiosira pseudonana to help understand mechanisms underlying the success of diatoms in low-light environments, such as coastal and deep mixing ecosystems. Light harvesting and other cell characteristics were combined with oxygen and carbon production measurements to assess the water-splitting reaction at PSII ([Formula: see text]) and intermediate steps leading to net carbon production (NPPC). These measurements revealed that T. pseudonana is remarkably efficient at converting harvested light energy into biomass, with at least 57 % of [Formula: see text] retained as NPPC across all light-limited growth rates examined. Evidence for upregulation of ATP generation pathways that circumvent carbon fixation indicated that high growth efficiency at low light levels was at least partly due to increases in the efficiency of ATP production. Growth rate-dependent demands for ATP and NADPH were reflected in carbon composition and in unexpected shifts in the light-limited slope (α) of photosynthesis-irradiance relationships generated from chlorophyll-specific (14)C-uptake. Overall, these results suggest that pathway gating of carbon and energy flow depends on light availability and is a key factor promoting the efficiency of diatom growth at low light intensities.

  17. Strategies for increasing the efficiency of heterojunction organic solar cells: material selection and device architecture.

    PubMed

    Heremans, Paul; Cheyns, David; Rand, Barry P

    2009-11-17

    Thin-film blends or bilayers of donor- and acceptor-type organic semiconductors form the core of heterojunction organic photovoltaic cells. Researchers measure the quality of photovoltaic cells based on their power conversion efficiency, the ratio of the electrical power that can be generated versus the power of incident solar radiation. The efficiency of organic solar cells has increased steadily in the last decade, currently reaching up to 6%. Understanding and combating the various loss mechanisms that occur in processes from optical excitation to charge collection should lead to efficiencies on the order of 10% in the near future. In organic heterojunction solar cells, the generation of photocurrent is a cascade of four steps: generation of excitons (electrically neutral bound electron-hole pairs) by photon absorption, diffusion of excitons to the heterojunction, dissociation of the excitons into free charge carriers, and transport of these carriers to the contacts. In this Account, we review our recent contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms that govern these steps. Starting from archetype donor-acceptor systems of planar small-molecule heterojunctions and solution-processed bulk heterojunctions, we outline our search for alternative materials and device architectures. We show that non-planar phthalocynanines have appealing absorption characteristics but also have reduced charge carrier transport. As a result, the donor layer needs to be ultrathin, and all layers of the device have to be tuned to account for optical interference effects. Using these optimization techniques, we illustrate cells with 3.1% efficiency for the non-planar chloroboron subphthalocyanine donor. Molecules offering a better compromise between absorption and carrier mobility should allow for further improvements. We also propose a method for increasing the exciton diffusion length by converting singlet excitons into long-lived triplets. By doping a polymer with a

  18. Increased Light-Use Efficiency Sustains Net Primary Productivity of Shaded Coffee Plants In Agroforestry System.

    PubMed

    Charbonnier, Fabien; Roupsard, Olivier; le Maire, Guerric; Guillemot, Joannès; Casanoves, Fernando; Lacointe, André; Vaast, Philippe; Allinne, Clémentine; Audebert, Louise; Cambou, Aurélie; Clément-Vidal, Anne; Defrenet, Elsa; Duursma, Remko A; Jarri, Laura; Jourdan, Christophe; Khac, Emmanuelle; Leandro, Patricia; Medlyn, Belinda E; Saint-André, Laurent; Thaler, Philippe; Van den Meersche, Karel; Barquero Aguilar, Alejandra; Lehner, Peter; Dreyer, Erwin

    2017-04-06

    In agroforestry systems, shade trees strongly affect the physiology of the undergrown crop. However, a major paradigm is that the reduction in absorbed photosynthetically active radiation is, to a certain extent, compensated by an increase in light-use efficiency, thereby reducing the difference in net primary productivity between shaded and non-shaded plants. Due to the large spatial heterogeneity in agroforestry systems and the lack of appropriate tools, the combined effects of such variables have seldom been analysed, even though they may help understand physiological processes underlying yield dynamics. In this study, we monitored net primary productivity, during two years, on scales ranging from individual coffee plants to the entire plot. Absorbed radiation was mapped with a 3D-model (MAESPA). Light-use efficiency and net assimilation rate were derived for each coffee plant individually. We found that although irradiance was reduced by 60% below crowns of shade trees, coffee light-use efficiency increased by 50%, leaving net primary productivity fairly stable across all shade levels. Variability of aboveground net primary productivity of coffee plants was caused primarily by the age of the plants and by intraspecific competition among them (drivers usually overlooked in the agroforestry literature) rather than by the presence of shade trees.

  19. Altered Physiological Function, Not Structure, Drives Increased Radiation-Use Efficiency of Soybean Grown at Elevated CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous studies of elevated carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) on crop canopies have found that radiation-use efficiency is increased more than radiation-interception efficiency. It is assumed that increased radiation-use efficiency is due to changes in leaf-level physiology; however, canopy stru...

  20. SirT1 gain-of-function increases energy efficiency and prevents diabetes in mice

    PubMed Central

    Banks, Alexander S.; Kon, Ning; Knight, Colette; Matsumoto, Michihiro; Gutiérrez-Juárez, Roger; Rossetti, Luciano; Gu, Wei; Accili, Domenico

    2011-01-01

    Summary In yeast, worms and flies, an extra copy of the gene encoding the Sirtuin Sir2 increases metabolic efficiency, as does administration of polyphenols like resveratrol, thought to act through Sirtuins. But evidence that Sirtuin gain-of-function results in increased metabolic efficiency in mammals is limited. We generated transgenic mice with moderate overexpression of SirT1, designed to mimic the Sirtuin gain-of-function that improves metabolism in C.elegans. These mice exhibit normal insulin sensitivity, but decreased food intake and locomotor activity, resulting in decreased energy expenditure. However, in various models of insulin resistance and diabetes, SirT1 transgenics display improved glucose tolerance due to decreased hepatic glucose production and increased adiponectin levels, without changes in body weight or composition. We conclude that SirT1 gain-of-function primes the organism for metabolic adaptation to insulin resistance, increasing hepatic insulin sensitivity and decreasing whole-body energy requirements. These findings have important implications for Sirtuin-based therapies in humans. PMID:18840364

  1. Liquid crystal colloidal structures for increased silicone deposition efficiency on colour-treated hair.

    PubMed

    Brown, M A; Hutchins, T A; Gamsky, C J; Wagner, M S; Page, S H; Marsh, J M

    2010-06-01

    An approach is described to increase the deposition efficiency of silicone conditioning actives from a shampoo on colour-treated hair via liquid crystal (LC) colloidal structures, created with a high charge density cationic polymer, poly(diallyldimethyl ammonium chloride) and negatively charged surfactants. LCs are materials existing structurally between the solid crystalline and liquid phases, and several techniques, including polarized light microscopy, small angle X-Ray analysis, and differential scanning calorimetry, were used to confirm the presence of the LC structures in the shampoo formula. Silicone deposition from the LC-containing shampoo and a control shampoo was measured on a range of hair substrates, and data from inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy analysis and ToF-SIMS imaging illustrate the enhancement in silicone deposition for the LC shampoo on all hair types tested, with the most pronounced enhancement occurring on hair that had undergone oxidative treatments, such as colouring. A model is proposed in which the LC structure deposits from the shampoo onto the hair to: (i) provide 'slip planes' along the hair surface for wet conditioning purposes and (ii) form a hydrophobic layer which changes the surface energy of the fibres. This increase in hydrophobicity of the hair surface thereby increases the deposition efficiency of silicone conditioning ingredients. Zeta potential measurements, dynamic absorbency testing analysis and ToF-SIMS imaging were used to better understand the mechanisms of action. This approach to increasing silicone deposition is an improvement relative to conventional conditioning shampoos, especially for colour-treated hair.

  2. International experience in addressing combined exposures: increasing the efficiency of assessment.

    PubMed

    Meek, M E Bette

    2013-11-16

    More efficient methodology for assessing the impact of combined exposures to multiple chemicals has been considered in a project of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS). Recommendations regarding terminology and the status of development of the framework, its content, review and application are described. Evolving experience in its application is illustrated by example (polybrominated diphenyls) with special emphasis on the critical content of problem formulation, the role of predictive tools in grouping of chemicals for consideration and the importance of explicit delineation of relative uncertainty and sensitivity for tiered assessment. Priorities in increasing the efficiency of risk assessment not only for combined exposures, but more generally based on experience acquired in developing the framework and its application in case studies are identified and recommendations included.

  3. Increasing the Efficiency of the Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holgate, Tim C.; Bennett, Russell; Hammel, Tom; Caillat, Thierry; Keyser, Steve; Sievers, Bob

    2015-06-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mars Science Laboratory terrestrial rover, Curiosity, has recently completed its first Martian year (687 Earth days) during which it has provided a wealth of information and insight into the red planet's atmosphere and geology. The success of this mission was made possible in part by the reliable electrical power provided by its onboard thermoelectric power source—the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG). In an effort to increase the output power and efficiency of these generators, a newly designed enhanced MMRTG (eMMRTG) that will utilize the more efficient skutterudite-based thermoelectric materials has been conceptualized and modeled, and is now being developed. A discussion of the motivations, modeling results and key design factors are presented and discussed.

  4. Plasmids for increased efficiency of vector construction and genetic engineering in filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Schoberle, Taylor J; Nguyen-Coleman, C Kim; May, Gregory S

    2013-01-01

    Fungal species are continuously being studied to not only understand disease in humans and plants but also to identify novel antibiotics and other metabolites of industrial importance. Genetic manipulations, such as gene deletion, gene complementation, and gene over-expression, are common techniques to investigate fungal gene functions. Although advances in transformation efficiency and promoter usage have improved genetic studies, some basic steps in vector construction are still laborious and time-consuming. Gateway cloning technology solves this problem by increasing the efficiency of vector construction through the use of λ phage integrase proteins and att recombination sites. We developed a series of Gateway-compatible vectors for use in genetic studies in a range of fungal species. They contain nutritional and drug-resistance markers and can be utilized to manipulate different filamentous fungal genomes.

  5. Natural dyes as sensitizers to increase the efficiency in sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerda, Bayron; Sivakumar, R.; Paulraj, M.

    2016-05-01

    A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is a sandwich type solar cell consisting of a photoelectrode, a counter electrode and a liquid electrolyte. The photo electrode comprises of a titanium dioxide semiconducting thin film grown over a glass substrate which in-turn has a transparent thin conducting layer of tin oxide film doped with fluorine (FTO) coated over it. The aim of this work is to develop photoelectrodes with different dyes to increase the efficiency of this type of solar cells. Dyes obtained from fresh sources of maqui, black myrtle, spinach and a dye mixture of spinach and spinach-maqui-myrtle were used. The technique used for the extraction of the dyes was maceration for one day, in methanol. Colourants and photoelectrodes were studied using, UV-vis spectrophotometer for their spectral properties. Their photovoltaic properties such as efficiency, fill factor, open circuit voltage and short circuit current were studied using a solar simulator and source meter unit.

  6. Production and food web efficiency decrease as fishing activity increases in a coastal ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anh, Pham Viet; Everaert, Gert; Goethals, Peter; Vinh, Chu Tien; De Laender, Frederik

    2015-11-01

    Fishing effort in the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem has rapidly increased from the 1990s to the 2000s, with unknown consequences for local ecosystem structure and functioning. Using ecosystem models that integrate fisheries and food webs we found profound differences in the production of six functional groups, the food web efficiency, and eight functional food web indices between the 1990s (low fishing intensity) and the 2000s (high fishing intensity). The functional attributes (e.g. consumption) of high trophic levels (e.g. predators) were lower in the 2000s than in the 1990s while primary production did not vary, causing food web efficiency to decrease up to 40% with time for these groups. The opposite was found for lower trophic levels (e.g. zooplankton): the functional attributes and food web efficiency increased with time (22 and 10% for the functional attributes and food web efficiency, respectively). Total system throughput, a functional food web index, was about 10% higher in the 1990s than in the 2000s, indicating a reduction of the system size and activity with time. The network analyses further indicated that the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem in the 1990s was more developed (higher ascendancy and capacity), more stable (higher overhead) and more mature (higher ratio of ascendancy and capacity) than in the 2000s. In the 1990s the recovery time of the ecosystem was shorter than in 2000s, as indicated by a higher Finn's cycling index in the 1990s (7.8 and 6.5% in 1990s and 2000s, respectively). Overall, our results demonstrate that the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem has experienced profound changes between the 1990s and 2000s, and emphasise the need for a closer inspection of the ecological impact of fishing.

  7. Increased light-use efficiency in northern terrestrial ecosystems indicated by CO2 and greening observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Rebecca T.; Prentice, Iain Colin; Graven, Heather; Ciais, Philippe; Fisher, Joshua B.; Hayes, Daniel J.; Huang, Maoyi; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; Ito, Akihiko; Jain, Atul; Mao, Jiafu; Michalak, Anna M.; Peng, Shushi; Poulter, Benjamin; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Shi, Xiaoying; Schwalm, Christopher; Tian, Hanqin; Zeng, Ning

    2016-11-01

    Observations show an increasing amplitude in the seasonal cycle of CO2 (ASC) north of 45°N of 56 ± 9.8% over the last 50 years and an increase in vegetation greenness of 7.5-15% in high northern latitudes since the 1980s. However, the causes of these changes remain uncertain. Historical simulations from terrestrial biosphere models in the Multiscale Synthesis and Terrestrial Model Intercomparison Project are compared to the ASC and greenness observations, using the TM3 atmospheric transport model to translate surface fluxes into CO2 concentrations. We find that the modeled change in ASC is too small but the mean greening trend is generally captured. Modeled increases in greenness are primarily driven by warming, whereas ASC changes are primarily driven by increasing CO2. We suggest that increases in ecosystem-scale light use efficiency (LUE) have contributed to the observed ASC increase but are underestimated by current models. We highlight potential mechanisms that could increase modeled LUE.

  8. Test results of a steam injected gas turbine to increase power and thermal efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Messerlie, R.L.; Tischler, A.O.

    1983-08-01

    The desire to increase both power and thermal efficiency of the gas turbine (Brayton cycle) engine has been pursued for a number of years and has involved many approaches. The use of steam in the cycle to improve performance has been proposed by various investigators. This was most recently proposed by International Power Technology, Inc. (IPT) and has been tested by Detroit Diesel Allison (DDA), Division of General Motors. This approach, identified as the Cheng dual-fluid cycle (Cheng/DFC), includes the generation of steam using heat from the exhaust, and injecting this steam into the engine combustion chamber. Test results on an Allison 501-KB engine have demonstrated that use of this concept will increase the thermal efficiency of the engine by 30% and the output power by 60% with no increase in turbine inlet temperature. These results will be discussed, as will the impact of steam rate, location of steam injection, turbine temperature, and engine operational characteristics on the performance of the Cheng/DFC.

  9. Increasing Binding Efficiency via Reporter Shape and Flux in a Viral Nanoparticle Lateral-Flow Assay.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinsu; Vu, Binh; Kourentzi, Katerina; Willson, Richard C; Conrad, Jacinta C

    2017-02-15

    To identify factors controlling the performance of reporter particles in a sensitive lateral-flow assay (LFA), we investigated the effect of the flux and shape of filamentous bacteriophage (phage) on the performance of phage LFAs. Phage of three different lengths and diameters were modified with biotin and AlexaFluor 555 as binding and read-out elements, respectively. The binding efficiencies of the functionalized phage were tested in a fibrous glass LFA membrane modified with avidin. The total binding rate, quantified using real-time particle counting and particle image velocimetry, decreased monotonically with the average bulk flux of phage through the membrane. At the pore scale, more phage bound in regions with faster local flow, confirming that both average and local flux increased binding. The number of bound phage increased with the aspect ratio of the phage and scaled with the phage surface area, consistent with a binding interaction controlled by the number of recognition elements on the surface. Together, these results indicate that increasing the likelihood that recognition elements on the surface of phage encounter the fibers enhances the assay binding efficiency and suggests one origin for the improved performance of nonspherical phage reporters.

  10. Designing for multiple global user populations: increasing resource allocation efficiency for greater sustainability.

    PubMed

    Nadadur, G; Parkinson, M B

    2012-01-01

    This paper proposes a method to identify opportunities for increasing the efficiency of raw material allocation decisions for products that are simultaneously targeted at multiple user populations around the world. The values of 24 body measures at certain key percentiles were used to estimate the best-fitting anthropometric distributions for female and male adults in nine national populations, which were selected to represent the diverse target markets multinational companies must design for. These distributions were then used to synthesize body measure data for combined populations with a 1:1 female:male ratio. An anthropometric range metric (ARM) was proposed for assessing the variation of these body measures across the populations. At any percentile, ARM values were calculated as the percentage difference between the highest and lowest anthropometric values across the considered user populations. Based on their magnitudes, plots of ARM values computed between the 1st and 99 th percentiles for each body measure were grouped into low, medium, and high categories. This classification of body measures was proposed as a means of selecting the most suitable strategies for designing raw material-efficient products. The findings in this study and the contributions of subsequent work along these lines are expected to help achieve greater efficiencies in resource allocation in global product development.

  11. High-intensity interval training improves performance in young and older individuals by increasing mechanical efficiency.

    PubMed

    Jabbour, Georges; Iancu, Horia-Daniel; Mauriège, Pascale; Joanisse, Denis R; Martin, Luc J

    2017-04-01

    This study evaluated the effects of 6 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on mechanical efficiency (ME) in young and older groups. Seventeen healthy young adults [26.2(2.4) year], and thirteen healthy older adults [54.5(2.3) year] completed a 6-week HIIT intervention (three sessions per week) on an electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. Each HIIT session contained six repetitions of supramaximal exercise intervals (6 seconds each) with 2 min of passive recovery between each repetition. ME (%) were computed in net terms across stages corresponding to ventilator thresholds 1 (VT1) and 2 (VT2) and at 100% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) of an incremental maximal cycling test. After 6 weeks, the ME values did not differ between the two groups and were significantly higher than the ones at baseline (P < 0.01). In this study, the multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated the increases in maximal power (Pmax) contributed significantly to ME increases over 6 weeks at VT1, VT2 and at 100% of VO2max This model accounted respectively for 28, 38, and 42%, of the increases. In older adults, ME determined during incremental maximal cycling test increases at VT1, VT2 and at 100% over 6-week HIIT intervention, and the increment appeared to be related to increases in Pmax. HIIT can be recommended as a strategy aimed at improving muscle efficiency among older adults.

  12. Increasing the efficiency of organic solar cells by photonic and electrostatic-field enhancements

    SciTech Connect

    Nalwa, Kanwar

    2011-01-01

    Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is an attractive solar-electric conversion paradigm due to the promise of low cost roll-to-roll production and amenability to flexible substrates. Power conversion efficiency (PCE) exceeding 7% has recently been achieved. OPV cells suffer from low charge carrier mobilities of polymers, leading to recombination losses, higher series resistances and lower fill-factors. Thus, it is imperative to develop fabrication methodologies that can enable efficient optical absorption in films thinner than optical absorption length. Active layers conformally deposited on light-trapping, microscale textured, grating-type surfaces is one possible approach to achieve this objective. In this study, 40% theoretical increase in photonic absorption over flat OPVs is shown for devices with textured geometry by the simulation results. For verifying this theoretical result and improving the efficiency of OPVs by light trapping, OPVs were fabricated on grating-type textured substrates possessing t pitch and -coat PV active-layer on these textured substrates led to over filling of the valleys and shunts at the crest, which severely affected the performance of the resultant PV devices. Thus, it is established that although the optical design is important for OPV performance but the potential of light trapping can only be effectively tapped if the textures are amenable for realizing a conformal active layer. It is discovered that if the height of the underlying topographical features is reduced to sub-micron regime (e.g. 300 nm) and the pitch is increased to more than a micron (e.g. 2 μm), the textured surface becomes amenable to coating a conformal PV active-layer. The resultant PV cells showed 100% increase in average light absorption near the band edge due to trapping of higher wavelength photons, and 20% improvement in power conversion efficiency as compared with the flat PV cell. Another factor that severely limits the performance of OPVs is

  13. Mediterranean agriculture: More efficient irrigation needed to compensate increases in future irrigation water requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fader, Marianela; Shi, Sinan; von Bloh, Werner; Bondeau, Alberte; Cramer, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Irrigation in the Mediterranean is of vital importance for food security, employment and economic development. Our research shows that, at present, Mediterranean region could save 35% of water by implementing more efficient irrigation and conveyance systems. Some countries like Syria, Egypt and Turkey have higher saving potentials than others. Currently some crops, especially sugar cane and agricultural trees, consume in average more irrigation water per hectare than annual crops (1). Also under climate change, more efficient irrigation is of vital importance for counteracting increases in irrigation water requirements. The Mediterranean area as a whole might face an increase in gross irrigation requirements between 4% and 18% from climate change alone by the end of the century if irrigation systems and conveyance are not improved. Population growth increases these numbers to 22% and 74%, respectively, affecting mainly the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. However, improved irrigation technologies and conveyance systems have large water saving potentials, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean, and may be able to compensate to some degree the increases due to climate change and population growth. Both subregions would need around 35% more water than today if they could afford some degree of modernization of irrigation and conveyance systems and benefit from the CO2-fertilization effect (1). However, in some scenarios (in this case as combinations of climate change, irrigation technology, influence of population growth and CO2-fertilization effect) water scarcity may constrain the supply of the irrigation water needed in future in Algeria, Libya, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Serbia, Morocco, Tunisia and Spain (1). In this study, vegetation growth, phenology, agricultural production and irrigation water requirements and withdrawal were simulated with the process-based ecohydrological and agro-ecosystem model LPJmL ("Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land") after a

  14. The development of skin immersion clearing method for increasing of laser exposure efficiency on subcutaneous objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozina, Alexandra M.; Genina, Elina A.; Terentyuk, Georgy S.; Terentyuk, Artem G.; Bashkatov, Alexey N.; Tuchin, Valery V.; Khlebtsov, Boris N.

    2012-06-01

    In this paper we have studied effect of a hyperosmotic optical clearing agent (OCA), such as polyethylene glycol, on the fluorescence intensity from a target located in subcutaneous area in the model experiments. As a fluorescence agent the nanocomposite including gold nanorods with hematophorphyrin was used. The remitted fluorescent signal traveling to the tissue surface was monitored over time as the tissue was treated with the OCA. The detected fluorescent signal increased as the scattering in tissue samples was substantially reduced. The study has shown how OCA can be used to improve the detected signal at localization of subcutaneous target tissue at the photothermal or photodynamic therapy. Immersion clearing of skin can be also useful for improvement of laser exposure efficiency due to the increasing of light penetration depth.

  15. Dynamic ocean management increases the efficiency and efficacy of fisheries management

    PubMed Central

    Maxwell, Sara M.; Halpin, Patrick N.

    2016-01-01

    In response to the inherent dynamic nature of the oceans and continuing difficulty in managing ecosystem impacts of fisheries, interest in the concept of dynamic ocean management, or real-time management of ocean resources, has accelerated in the last several years. However, scientists have yet to quantitatively assess the efficiency of dynamic management over static management. Of particular interest is how scale influences effectiveness, both in terms of how it reflects underlying ecological processes and how this relates to potential efficiency gains. Here, we address the empirical evidence gap and further the ecological theory underpinning dynamic management. We illustrate, through the simulation of closures across a range of spatiotemporal scales, that dynamic ocean management can address previously intractable problems at scales associated with coactive and social patterns (e.g., competition, predation, niche partitioning, parasitism, and social aggregations). Furthermore, it can significantly improve the efficiency of management: as the resolution of the closures used increases (i.e., as the closures become more targeted), the percentage of target catch forgone or displaced decreases, the reduction ratio (bycatch/catch) increases, and the total time–area required to achieve the desired bycatch reduction decreases. In the scenario examined, coarser scale management measures (annual time–area closures and monthly full-fishery closures) would displace up to four to five times the target catch and require 100–200 times more square kilometer-days of closure than dynamic measures (grid-based closures and move-on rules). To achieve similar reductions in juvenile bycatch, the fishery would forgo or displace between USD 15–52 million in landings using a static approach over a dynamic management approach. PMID:26729885

  16. Improving the Understanding of Intake and Charge Effects for Increasing RCCI Engine Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Splitter, Derek A; Reitz, Rolf; Wissink, martin; DelVescovo, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The present experimental engine efficiency study explores the effects of intake pressure and temperature, and premixed and global equivalence ratios on gross thermal efficiency (GTE) using the reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion strategy. Experiments were conducted in a heavy-duty single-cylinder engine at constant net load (IMEPn) of 8.45 bar, 1300 rev/min engine speed, with 0% EGR, and a 50% mass fraction burned combustion phasing (CA50) of 0.5 CA ATDC. The engine was port fueled with E85 for the low reactivity fuel and direct injected with 3.5% 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) doped into 91 anti-knock index (AKI) gasoline for the high-reactivity fuel. The resulting reactivity of the enhanced fuel corresponds to an AKI of approximately 56 and a cetane number of approximately 28. The engine was operated with a wide range of intake pressures and temperatures, and the ratio of low- to high-reactivity fuel was adjusted to maintain a fixed speed-phasing-load condition. This allowed for the investigation of several combinations of intake temperature, intake pressure, and charge stratification at otherwise constant thermodynamic conditions. The results show that sources of engine inefficiency compete as functions of premixed and global equivalence ratios. Losses are minimized through proper balancing of intake pressure and temperature, such that the global equivalence ratio ( global) is as lean as possible without overly lean regions of the stratified charge causing an increase in incomplete combustion. The explored speed-load-phasing combination shows that losses are minimized at conditions where approximately 2/3 of the fuel is fully premixed. The results exhibit a pathway for achieving simultaneous increases in combustion and fuel efficiency through proper fuel reactivity and initial condition management.

  17. Dynamic ocean management increases the efficiency and efficacy of fisheries management.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Daniel C; Maxwell, Sara M; Boustany, Andre M; Halpin, Patrick N

    2016-01-19

    In response to the inherent dynamic nature of the oceans and continuing difficulty in managing ecosystem impacts of fisheries, interest in the concept of dynamic ocean management, or real-time management of ocean resources, has accelerated in the last several years. However, scientists have yet to quantitatively assess the efficiency of dynamic management over static management. Of particular interest is how scale influences effectiveness, both in terms of how it reflects underlying ecological processes and how this relates to potential efficiency gains. Here, we address the empirical evidence gap and further the ecological theory underpinning dynamic management. We illustrate, through the simulation of closures across a range of spatiotemporal scales, that dynamic ocean management can address previously intractable problems at scales associated with coactive and social patterns (e.g., competition, predation, niche partitioning, parasitism, and social aggregations). Furthermore, it can significantly improve the efficiency of management: as the resolution of the closures used increases (i.e., as the closures become more targeted), the percentage of target catch forgone or displaced decreases, the reduction ratio (bycatch/catch) increases, and the total time-area required to achieve the desired bycatch reduction decreases. In the scenario examined, coarser scale management measures (annual time-area closures and monthly full-fishery closures) would displace up to four to five times the target catch and require 100-200 times more square kilometer-days of closure than dynamic measures (grid-based closures and move-on rules). To achieve similar reductions in juvenile bycatch, the fishery would forgo or displace between USD 15-52 million in landings using a static approach over a dynamic management approach.

  18. Elevated atmospheric CO2 increases water use efficiency in Florida scrub oak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, B. G.; Hayek, L. C.; Johnson, D. P.; Li, J.; Powell, T. L.

    2009-12-01

    Plants are expected to have higher rates of photosynthesis and reduced transpiration as atmospheric CO2 (Ca) continues to rise. But will higher Ca reduce water loss, and increase water use efficiency and soil water in native ecosystems? We tested this question using large (3.0m by 2.8m) open top chambers to expose Florida scrub oak on Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Kennedy Space Center, FL, from May 1996 to June 2007 to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2, (Ce = Ca + 350ppm) compared to ambient Ca. Although Ce stimulated total shoot biomass 68% by the end of the study, the effect of Ce on annual growth declined each year (Seiler et al. 2009, Global Change Biology15, 356-367). Compared with the effects of Ca, Ce increased net ecosystem CO2 exchange approximately 70% on average for the entire study, increased leaf area index (LAI) seasonally, reduced evapotranspiration except during mid-summer of some years, and, depending on the relative effect of Ce on LAI, increased volumetric soil water content.. These results are consistent with the observation that continental river discharge has increased as Ca has risen throughout the past 50 years (Gedney et al., Nature, Vol. 439, 16 February 2006).

  19. Biochar-induced concomitant decrease in ammonia volatilization and increase in nitrogen use efficiency by wheat.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Sanchita; Thangarajan, Ramya; Bolan, Nanthi S; Sarkar, Binoy; Khan, Naser; Ok, Yong Sik; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia (NH3) volatilization is a major nitrogen (N) loss from the soil, especially under tropical conditions, NH3 volatilization results in low N use efficiency by crops. Incubation experiments were conducted using five soils (pH 5.5-9.0), three N sources such as, urea, di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), and poultry manure (PM) and two biochars such as, poultry litter biochar (PL-BC) and macadamia nut shell biochar (MS-BC). Ammonia volatilization was higher at soil with higher pH (pH exceeding 8) due to the increased hydroxyl ions. Among the N sources, urea recorded the highest NH3 volatilization (151.6 mg kg(-1)soil) followed by PM (124.2 mg kg(-1)soil) and DAP (99 mg kg(-1)soil). Ammonia volatilization was reduced by approximately 70% with PL-BC and MS-BC. The decreased NH3 volatilization with biochars is attributed to multiple mechanisms such as NH3 adsorption/immobilization, and nitrification. Moreover, biochar increased wheat dry weight and N uptake as high as by 24.24% and 76.11%, respectively. This study unravels the immense potential of biochar in decreasing N volatilization from soils and simultaneously improving use efficiency by wheat.

  20. Increased efficiency for beyond line-of-sight in airborne ISR operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frayter, Slava; Willems, Koen

    2013-05-01

    Airborne platforms are increasingly being used as vehicles to capture intelligence data for defense, state and civil applications. The aerial vehicles are equipped with technology for both video and sensor data collection; the data is then sent to a ground mission control center for further processing. When the airborne platform is outside the reach of direct data relay due to distance or environment, satellite communications is used for Beyond Line of Sight (BLoS) communication. It is a key requirement for the satellite link in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) operations to get as much data and video as possible through the available bandwidth. The satellite link also needs to be available at all times during operations to insure mission critical communications and not endanger ground operations. Only by using robust satellite technology can the demand for more data and highest efficiency be satisfied while keeping OPEX costs under control. This paper will highlight both technical and practical challenges of operators in the airborne ISR missions, going from technical requirements to efficiency-driven solutions. It will also look at what the final results in the field are when transmitting ISR data and video from the airborne platform over satellite in highly adaptive environments. The existing qualified and deployed BLoS airborne solution already achieves over 20Mbps from the aircraft to the ground in active operations, but requirements and capabilities continue to increase as more comprehensive ISR data is being transmitted.

  1. Lipid-based Transfection Reagents Exhibit Cryo-induced Increase in Transfection Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Sork, Helena; Nordin, Joel Z; Turunen, Janne J; Wiklander, Oscar PB; Bestas, Burcu; Zaghloul, Eman M; Margus, Helerin; Padari, Kärt; Duru, Adil D; Corso, Giulia; Bost, Jeremy; Vader, Pieter; Pooga, Margus; Smith, CI Edvard; Wood, Matthew JA; Schiffelers, Raymond M; Hällbrink, Mattias; Andaloussi, Samir EL

    2016-01-01

    The advantages of lipid-based transfection reagents have permitted their widespread use in molecular biology and gene therapy. This study outlines the effect of cryo-manipulation of a cationic lipid-based formulation, Lipofectamine 2000, which, after being frozen and thawed, showed orders of magnitude higher plasmid delivery efficiency throughout eight different cell lines, without compromising cell viability. Increased transfection efficiency with the freeze-thawed reagent was also seen with 2'-O-methyl phosphorothioate oligonucleotide delivery and in a splice-correction assay. Most importantly, a log-scale improvement in gene delivery using the freeze-thawed reagent was seen in vivo. Using three different methods, we detected considerable differences in the polydispersity of the different nucleic acid complexes as well as observed a clear difference in their surface spreading and sedimentation, with the freeze-thawed ones displaying substantially higher rate of dispersion and deposition on the glass surface. This hitherto overlooked elevated potency of the freeze-thawed reagent facilitates the targeting of hard-to-transfect cells, accomplishes higher transfection rates, and decreases the overall amount of reagent needed for delivery. Additionally, as we also saw a slight increase in plasmid delivery using other freeze-thawed transfection reagents, we postulate that freeze-thawing might prove to be useful for an even wider variety of transfection reagents. PMID:27111416

  2. Increased efficiency of Campylobacter jejuni N-oligosaccharyltransferase PglB by structure-guided engineering.

    PubMed

    Ihssen, Julian; Haas, Jürgen; Kowarik, Michael; Wiesli, Luzia; Wacker, Michael; Schwede, Torsten; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2015-04-01

    Conjugate vaccines belong to the most efficient preventive measures against life-threatening bacterial infections. Functional expression of N-oligosaccharyltransferase (N-OST) PglB of Campylobacter jejuni in Escherichia coli enables a simplified production of glycoconjugate vaccines in prokaryotic cells. Polysaccharide antigens of pathogenic bacteria can be covalently coupled to immunogenic acceptor proteins bearing engineered glycosylation sites. Transfer efficiency of PglBCj is low for certain heterologous polysaccharide substrates. In this study, we increased glycosylation rates for Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium LT2 O antigen (which lacks N-acetyl sugars) and Staphylococcus aureus CP5 polysaccharides by structure-guided engineering of PglB. A three-dimensional homology model of membrane-associated PglBCj, docked to the natural C. jejuni N-glycan attached to the acceptor peptide, was used to identify potential sugar-interacting residues as targets for mutagenesis. Saturation mutagenesis of an active site residue yielded the enhancing mutation N311V, which facilitated fivefold to 11-fold increased in vivo glycosylation rates as determined by glycoprotein-specific ELISA. Further rounds of in vitro evolution led to a triple mutant S80R-Q287P-N311V enabling a yield improvement of S. enterica LT2 glycoconjugates by a factor of 16. Our results demonstrate that bacterial N-OST can be tailored to specific polysaccharide substrates by structure-guided protein engineering.

  3. Deep learning as a tool for increased accuracy and efficiency of histopathological diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Litjens, Geert; Sánchez, Clara I.; Timofeeva, Nadya; Hermsen, Meyke; Nagtegaal, Iris; Kovacs, Iringo; Hulsbergen - van de Kaa, Christina; Bult, Peter; van Ginneken, Bram; van der Laak, Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Pathologists face a substantial increase in workload and complexity of histopathologic cancer diagnosis due to the advent of personalized medicine. Therefore, diagnostic protocols have to focus equally on efficiency and accuracy. In this paper we introduce ‘deep learning’ as a technique to improve the objectivity and efficiency of histopathologic slide analysis. Through two examples, prostate cancer identification in biopsy specimens and breast cancer metastasis detection in sentinel lymph nodes, we show the potential of this new methodology to reduce the workload for pathologists, while at the same time increasing objectivity of diagnoses. We found that all slides containing prostate cancer and micro- and macro-metastases of breast cancer could be identified automatically while 30–40% of the slides containing benign and normal tissue could be excluded without the use of any additional immunohistochemical markers or human intervention. We conclude that ‘deep learning’ holds great promise to improve the efficacy of prostate cancer diagnosis and breast cancer staging. PMID:27212078

  4. Strategy for increased efficiency of transfection in human cell lines using radio frequency electroporation.

    PubMed

    Zald, P B; Cotter, M A; Robertso, E S

    2001-02-01

    Traditional electroporation devices use direct current electric fields to stimulate the uptake of oligonucleotides, plasmids, short peptides, and proteins into a variety of cell types. A variation of this widely used technique is now available which relies on radio frequency (RF) electrical pulses. This oscillating type of electrical field reportedly elicits greater uptake of plasmid DNA across the plasma membrane. We evaluated a protocol for RF electroporation of the a human embryonic kidney cell line and a Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell line for effeciency of transfection by RF electroporation. The plasmid EGFP, which codes for the widely used fusion protein, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), was used as a reporter of plasmid uptake after transfections. Transfection efficiency consistently increased approximately 30% from that typically obtained with conventional DC type electroporation and was accompanied by greater survivability of cells. Additionally, in some instances, percent transfection efficiency increased to over 70%. Thus, RF electroporation represents an improved methodology for transfection of human cell lines. Moreover, the RF protocol is simple to incorporate in laboratories already utilizing conventional electroporation devices and techniques.

  5. Previous exercise training increases levels of PPAR-α in long-term post-myocardial infarction in rats, which is correlated with better inflammatory response

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Marília Harumi Higuchi; de Lourdes Higuchi, Maria; Tucci, Paulo J F; Garavelo, Shérrira M; Reis, Márcia M; Antonio, Ednei L; Serra, Andrey J; Maranhão, Raul Cavalcante

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Exercise is a protective factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, with unclear mechanisms. Changing the myocardial metabolism causes harmful consequences for heart function and exercise contributes to metabolic adjustment modulation. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are also myocardium metabolism regulators capable of decreasing the inflammatory response. We hypothesized that PPAR-α is involved in the beneficial effects of previous exercise on myocardial infarction (MI) and cardiac function, changing the expression of metabolic and inflammatory response regulators and reducing myocardial apoptosis, which partially explains the better outcome. METHODS AND RESULTS: Exercised rats engaged in swimming sessions for 60 min/day, 5 days/week, for 8 weeks. Both the exercised rats and sedentary rats were randomized to MI surgery and followed for 1 week (EI1 or SI1) or 4 weeks (EI4 or SI4) of healing or to sham groups. Echocardiography was employed to detect left ventricular function and the infarct size. Additionally, the TUNEL technique was used to assess apoptosis and immunohistochemistry was used to quantitatively analyze the PPAR-α, TNF-α and NF-κB antigens in the infarcted and non-infarcted myocardium. MI-related mortality was higher in SI4 than in EI4 (25% vs 12%), without a difference in MI size. SI4 exhibited a lower shortening fraction than EI4 did (24% vs 35%) and a higher apoptosis/area rate (3.97±0.61 vs 1.90±1.82) in infarcted areas (both p=0.001). Immunohistochemistry also revealed higher TNF-α levels in SI1 than in EI1 (9.59 vs 4.09, p<0.001) in infarcted areas. In non-infarcted areas, EI4 showed higher levels of TNF-α and positive correlations between PPAR-α and NF-κB (r=0.75, p=0.02), in contrast to SI4 (r=0.05, p=0.87). CONCLUSION: Previously exercised animals had better long-term ventricular function post-MI, in addition to lower levels of local inflammatory markers and less myocardial apoptosis, which

  6. Response of plants' water use efficiency to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guoan; Feng, Xiahong

    2012-08-21

    This study assesses plants' adaptation to the elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentrations (c(a)) using 83 tree-ring δ(13)C series from the mid- to high-latitudes of the northern hemisphere. We found that the variation of Δ with the atmospheric CO(2) concentration is nonlinear and that the range of Δ change is relatively small. After 1950, the mean increase in Δ is 0.43‰, corresponding to the average coefficient of Δ-c(a) relationship to be about 0.006‰/ ppmv CO(2). In contrast to the changes in Δ, intercellular CO(2) concentration (c(i)) and intrinsic water-use efficiency (W(i)) both increase linearly with c(a). For the past two and a half centuries, changes in the intercellular CO(2) concentration (c(i)) and intrinsic water-use efficiency (W(i)) are, on average, both about 30%, while the mean change of the c(i)/c(a) ratio is 3%. Most changes have occurred after 1950. W(i) responds to c(a) linearly with sensitivities ranging from 0.06 to 0.6 μmol CO(2)/mmol H(2)O ppmv(-1), and an average 0.33 μmol CO(2)/mmol H(2)O ppmv(-1) during the past 50 years. Statistical analysis shows that the increase in c(a) accounts for 98% of the W(i) variation. The remaining small variance is explained by altitude and temperature. Trees at higher elevations show slightly higher increase in W(i), and they are also more sensitive to the CO(2) increase than trees at lower altitudes. Trees growing at low temperature environments are slightly more sensitive to CO(2) increase than those at higher temperature sites. No significant relationship between precipitation and plants' W(i) response to the atmospheric CO(2) increase is found with these data. Although the temperature and altitude both impact the W(i) response to elevated CO(2), the size of the impact is physically small and can be omitted from ecological models.

  7. IDENTIFICATION AND EXPERIMENTAL DATABASE FOR BINARY AND MULTICOMPONENT MIXTURES WITH POTENTIAL FOR INCREASING OVERALL CYCLE EFFICIENCY

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen M Bajorek; J. Schnelle

    2002-05-01

    This report describes an experimental investigation designed to identify binary and multicomponent mixture systems that may be for increasing the overall efficiency of a coal fired unit by extracting heat from flue gases. While ammonia-water mixtures have shown promise for increasing cycle efficiencies in a Kalina cycle, the costs and associated range of thermal conditions involved in a heat recovery system may prohibit its use in a relatively low temperature heat recovery system. This investigation considered commercially available non-azeotropic binary mixtures with a boiling range applicable to a flue gas initially at 477.6 K (400 F) and developed an experimental database of boiling heat transfer coefficients for those mixtures. In addition to their potential as working fluids for increasing cycle efficiency, cost, ease of handling, toxicity, and environmental concerns were considered in selection of the mixture systems to be examined experimentally. Based on this review, water-glycol systems were identified as good candidates. However, previous investigations of mixture boiling have focused on aqueous hydrocarbon mixtures, where water is the heaviest component. There have been few studies of water-glycol systems, and those that do exist have investigated boiling on plain surfaces only. In water-glycol systems, water is the light component, which makes these systems unique compared to those that have been previously examined. This report examines several water-glycol systems, and documents a database of experimental heat transfer coefficients for these systems. In addition, this investigation also examines the effect of an enhanced surface on pool boiling in water-glycol mixtures, by comparing boiling on a smooth surface to boiling on a Turbo IIIB. The experimental apparatus, test sections, and the experimental procedures are described. The mixture systems tested included water-propylene glycol, water-ethylene glycol, and water-diethylene glycol. All

  8. Effects of Using Channelling Devices to Increase Efficiency of Hydrokinetic Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalnacs, A.; Kalnacs, J.; Mutule, A.; Entins, V.

    2015-04-01

    In the rivers of Latvia and of many other countries the flow velocity in the places that are most suitable for installation of hydrokinetic devices is 0.4 to 0.9 m/s. In a stream or a river the hydrokinetic devices can reach full efficiency starting from about twice higher flow velocities. It is advisable to at least double this velocity thus increasing the efficiency and power output of the hydrokinetic devices installed in such places. Since Latvia has abundance of slow rivers and almost none are fast, research in this field is of high importance. Diversified technical methods are known that allow increasing substantially the efficiency of hydrokinetic devices. These methods include the use of diffusers, concentrators, different types of other channelling devices and means of flow control. Desirable effects are achieved through changing the cross-section and/or direction of a flow, its pressure, minimizing the turbulence, etc. This work substantiates the use of such devices for increasing the efficiency of hydrokinetic devices. A method is proposed for evaluation of the effects on power output gained owing to the use of channelling devices. Results show that the efficiency of hydrokinetic devices can be increased by at least 110%. Kā rāda pētījumi, Latvijā upju vietās, kuras ir piemērotas hidrokinētisko HES ierīkošanai, straumes ātrums pārsvarā ir robežās 0,4 līdz 0,9 m/s. Būtu izdevīgi vismaz dubultot šo ātrumu, līdz ar to būtiski palielinot šādās vietās izvietojamo iekārtu efektivitāti un jaudu. Sakarā ar to, ka Latvijā ir daudz tieši lēni plūstošu upju, minēto tēmu izpēte un iekārtu izmantošana Latvijai ir sevišķi aktuāla. Ir zināmi dažādi tehniskie paņēmieni, kas dod iespējas būtiski palielināt hidrokinētisko iekārtu efektivitāti. Šādas iespējas dod koncentratori, difuzori, dažādi plūsmas virzītāji un citi speciāli plūsmas vadības paņēmieni. Šīs ierīces maina straumes šķērsgriezumu un

  9. Wave propagation of myocardial stretch: correlation with myocardial stiffness.

    PubMed

    Pislaru, Cristina; Pellikka, Patricia A; Pislaru, Sorin V

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism of flow propagation during diastole in the left ventricle (LV) has been well described. Little is known about the associated waves propagating along the heart walls. These waves may have a mechanism similar to pulse wave propagation in arteries. The major goal of the study was to evaluate the effect of myocardial stiffness and preload on this wave transmission. Longitudinal late diastolic deformation and wave speed (Vp) of myocardial stretch in the anterior LV wall were measured using sonomicrometry in 16 pigs. Animals with normal and altered myocardial stiffness (acute myocardial infarction) were studied with and without preload alterations. Elastic modulus estimated from Vp (E VP; Moens-Korteweg equation) was compared to incremental elastic modulus obtained from exponential end-diastolic stress-strain relation (E SS). Myocardial distensibility and α- and β-coefficients of stress-strain relations were calculated. Vp was higher at reperfusion compared to baseline (2.6 ± 1.3 vs. 1.3 ± 0.4 m/s; p = 0.005) and best correlated with E SS (r2 = 0.80, p < 0.0001), β-coefficient (r2 = 0.78, p < 0.0001), distensibility (r2 = 0.47, p = 0.005), and wall thickness/diameter ratio (r2 = 0.42, p = 0.009). Elastic moduli (E VP and E SS) were strongly correlated (r2 = 0.83, p < 0.0001). Increasing preload increased Vp and E VP and decreased distensibility. At multivariate analysis, E SS, wall thickness, and end-diastolic and systolic LV pressures were independent predictors of Vp (r2 model = 0.83, p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the main determinants of wave propagation of longitudinal myocardial stretch were myocardial stiffness and LV geometry and pressure. This local wave speed could potentially be measured noninvasively by echocardiography.

  10. Mechanism of motor coordination of masseter and temporalis muscles for increased masticatory efficiency in mice.

    PubMed

    Yoshimi, Tomoko; Koga, Yoshiyuki; Nakamura, Aya; Fujishita, Ayumi; Kohara, Haruka; Moriuchi, Emi; Yoshimi, Keiko; Tsai, Chi-Yang; Yoshida, Noriaki

    2017-02-09

    The demand for the use of mice as animal models for elucidating the pathophysiologies and pathogeneses of oral motor disorders has been increasing in recent years, as more and more kinds of genetically modified mice that express functional disorders of the stomatognathic system become available. However, the fundamental characteristics of mouse jaw movements during mastication have yet to be fully elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of the masseter and temporalis muscles, and the mechanisms of motor coordination of these muscles for increasing masticatory efficiency in the closing phase in mice. Twenty-two male Jcl:ICR mice were divided into control (n = 8), masseter hypofunction (n = 7), and temporalis hypofunction groups (n = 7). Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT⁄A) was used to induce muscle hypofunction. The masticatory movement path in the horizontal direction during the occlusal phase became unstable after BoNT⁄A injection into the masseter muscle. BoNT⁄A injection into the temporalis muscle decreased antero-posterior excursion of the late-closing phase corresponding to the power phase of the chewing cycle. These results suggest that the masseter plays an important role in stabilizing the grinding path, where the food bolus is ground by sliding the posterior teeth from back to front during the occlusal phase. The temporalis plays a major role in retracting the mandible more posteriorly in the early phase of closing, extending the grinding path. Masticatory efficiency is thus increased based on the coordination of activities by the masseter and temporalis muscles. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Induced overexpression of OCT4A in human embryonic stem cells increases cloning efficiency.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Steven C; Chang, David F; Hong, Chang-Mu; Xia, Ping; Senadheera, Dinithi; Trump, Lisa; Mishra, Suparna; Lutzko, Carolyn

    2014-06-15

    Our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying human embryonic stem cell (hESC) self-renewal and differentiation is incomplete. The level of octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4), a critical regulator of pluripotency, is precisely controlled in mouse embryonic stem cells. However, studies of human OCT4 are often confounded by the presence of three isoforms and six expressed pseudogenes, which has complicated the interpretation of results. Using an inducible lentiviral overexpression and knockdown system to manipulate OCT4A above or below physiological levels, we specifically examine the functional role of the OCT4A isoform in hESC. (We also designed and generated a comparable series of vectors, which were not functional, for the overexpression and knockdown of OCT4B.) We show that specific knockdown of OCT4A results in hESC differentiation, as indicated by morphology changes, cell surface antigen expression, and upregulation of ectodermal genes. In contrast, inducible overexpression of OCT4A in hESC leads to a transient instability of the hESC phenotype, as indicated by changes in morphology, cell surface antigen expression, and transcriptional profile, that returns to baseline within 5 days. Interestingly, sustained expression of OCT4A past 5 days enhances hESC cloning efficiency, suggesting that higher levels of OCT4A can support self-renewal. Overall, our results indicate that high levels of OCT4A increase hESC cloning efficiency and do not induce differentiation (whereas OCT4B expression cannot be induced in hESC), highlighting the importance of isoform-specific studies in a stable and inducible expression system for human OCT4. Additionally, we demonstrate the utility of an efficient method for conditional gene expression in hESC.

  12. Ionic liquids increase the catalytic efficiency of a lipase (Lip1) from an antarctic thermophilic bacterium.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Patricio A; Correa-Llantén, Daniela N; Blamey, Jenny M

    2015-01-01

    Lipases catalyze the hydrolysis and synthesis of triglycerides and their reactions are widely used in industry. The use of ionic liquids has been explored in order to improve their catalytic properties. However, the effect of these compounds on kinetic parameters of lipases has been poorly understood. A study of the kinetic parameters of Lip1, the most thermostable lipase from the supernatant of the strain ID17, a thermophilic bacterium isolated from Deception Island, Antarctica, and a member of the genus Geobacillus is presented. Kinetic parameters of Lip1 were modulated by the use of ionic liquids BmimPF6 and BmimBF4. The maximum reaction rate of Lip1 was improved in the presence of both salts. The highest effect was observed when BmimPF6 was added in the reaction mix, resulting in a higher hydrolytic activity and in a modulation of the catalytic efficiency of the enzyme. However, the catalytic efficiency did not change in the presence of BmimBF4. The increase of the reaction rates of Lip1 promoted by these ionic liquids could be related to possible changes in the Lip1 structure. This effect was measured by quenching of tryptophan fluorescence of the enzyme, when it was incubated with each liquid salt. In conclusion, the hydrolytic activity of Lip1 is modulated by the ionic liquids BmimBF4 and BmimPF6, improving the reaction rate and the catalytic efficiency of this enzyme when BmimPF6 was used. This effect is probably due to changes in the structure of Lip1 induced by the presence of these ionic liquids, stimulating its catalytic activity.

  13. Phleomycin Increases Transformation Efficiency and Promotes Single Integrations in Schizophyllum commune▿

    PubMed Central

    van Peer, Arend F.; de Bekker, Charissa; Vinck, Arman; Wösten, Han A. B.; Lugones, Luis G.

    2009-01-01

    Phleomycin is mutagenic by introducing double-strand breaks in DNA. The ble gene of Streptoalloteychus hindustanus, which confers resistance to this substance, is widely used as a selection marker for transformation. Schizophyllum commune grows on 25 μg of phleomycin ml−1 after introduction of a resistance cassette based on the ble gene. However, we here report that growth of resistant colonies on this concentration of phleomycin resulted in aberrant colony morphologies. Apparently, phleomycin was mutagenic despite acquired resistance. Therefore, a new selection system was developed based on resistance to the antibiotic nourseothricin. However, the transformation efficiency was tenfold lower than that obtained with phleomycin as a selection agent. This low transformation efficiency could be rescued by addition of a nonselective concentration of phleomycin during protoplast regeneration. This was accompanied by a higher incidence of single-copy integrations and with an increase of expression of key genes involved in double-strand break repair. Taken together, we conclude that the effect of a nonselective concentration of phleomycin strongly resembles the effect of restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) but, unlike REMI, it does not depend on the presence of a target restriction site. PMID:19114524

  14. Increasing the efficiency of traveling wave ultrasonic motor by modifying the stator geometry.

    PubMed

    Mohd Romlay, Fadhlur Rahman; Wan Yusoff, Wan Azhar; Mat Piah, Kamal Arifin

    2016-01-01

    Current traveling wave ultrasonic motor (TWUSM) utilizes comb-teeth structure as deflection amplifier. The position of the stator neutral axis to the stator contact surface is one of the factors that influences the deflection amplifier. Stator deflection directly effects on motor performance. In this study, the modification of the comb-teeth stator design is proposed to see its effect on motor efficiency. The modification is done so that the neutral axis position is further distance from the stator top contact surface. The proposed solution is to remove a selected mass element from the comb-teeth structure. Modeling, simulation and experimental work of the proposed concept is carried out utilizing Shinsei USR60 as the chosen TWUSM. The modeling and analyses are conducted through multi-physic finite element simulation MSC Marc Mentat. The results of the analyses and experimental work reveal that the modified comb-teeth stator increases the position of the neutral axis from the stator top surface. Due to the neutral axis shifting, the results also confirm that the proposed modified motor has higher efficiency compared to the non-modified motor.

  15. Novel Approach to Increase the Energy-related Process Efficiency and Performance of Laser Brazing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittelstädt, C.; Seefeld, T.; Radel, T.; Vollertsen, F.

    Although laser brazing is well established, the energy-related efficiency of this joining method is quite low. That is because of low absorptivity of solid-state laser radiation, especially when copper base braze metals are used. Conventionally the laser beam is set close to the vertical axis and the filler wire is delivered under a flat angle. Therefore, the most of the utilized laser power is reflected and thus left unexploited. To address this situation an alternative processing concept for laser brazing, where the laser beam is leading the filler wire, has been investigated intending to make use of reflected shares of the laser radiation. Process monitoring shows, that the reflection of the laser beam can be used purposefully to preheat the substrate which is supporting the wetting and furthermore increasing the efficiency of the process. Experiments address a standard application from the automotive industry joining zinc coated steels using CuSi3Mn1 filler wire. Feasibility of the alternative processing concept is demonstrated, showing that higher processing speeds can be attained, reducing the required energy per unit length while maintaining joint properties.

  16. Decreased activity with increased background network efficiency in amnestic MCI during a visuospatial working memory task.

    PubMed

    Lou, Wutao; Shi, Lin; Wang, Defeng; Tam, Cindy W C; Chu, Winnie C W; Mok, Vincent C T; Cheng, Sheung-Tak; Lam, Linda C W

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated the working memory impairment in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, the neurophysiological basis of the working memory deficit in aMCI is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to explore the abnormal activity during encoding and recognition procedures, as well as the reorganization of the background network maintaining the working memory state in aMCI. Using event-related fMRI during a visuospatial working memory task with three recognition difficulty levels, the task-related activations and network efficiency of the background network in 17 aMCI patients and 19 matched controls were investigated. Compared with cognitively healthy controls, patients with aMCI showed significantly decreased activity in the frontal and visual cortices during the encoding phase, while during the recognition phase, decreased activity was detected in the frontal, parietal, and visual regions. In addition, increased local efficiency was also observed in the background network of patients with aMCI. The results suggest patients with aMCI showed impaired encoding and recognition functions during the visuospatial working memory task, and may pay more effort to maintain the cognitive state. This study extends our understanding of the impaired working memory function in aMCI and provides a new perspective to investigate the compensatory mechanism in aMCI.

  17. Pre-envelope deconvolution for increased lesion detection efficiency in ultrasonic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbey, Craig K.; Zemp, Roger J.; Insana, Michael F.

    2003-05-01

    We use an ideal observer model to evaluate the efficiency of human observers detecting a simulated lesion in the presence of speckle, and the ability of pre-envelope deconvolution to improve performance in this task. We model the lesion as a localized area of increased scatter density, which translates into an area of higher variance in the ultrasound signal. Assuming the scattering function and electronic noise obey Gaussian distributions, the ideal observer for lesion detection is given by a quadratic function of the in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) data. For comparison, human-observer performance is assessed through two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) psychophysical studies after making a B-mode image by computing the magnitude (envelope) of the I and Q components. We also consider the effect of removing spatial correlations in the I and Q components, before computing the magnitude (pre-envelope deconvolution). Our Psychophysical studies indicate approximately a 4-fold improvement in detection efficiency with pre-envelope deconvolution.

  18. Human diaphragm efficiency estimated as power output relative to activation increases with hypercapnic hyperpnea.

    PubMed

    Finucane, Kevin E; Singh, Bhajan

    2009-11-01

    Hyperpnea with exercise or hypercapnia causes phasic contraction of abdominal muscles, potentially lengthening the diaphragm at end expiration and unloading it during inspiration. Muscle efficiency in vitro varies with load, fiber length, and precontraction stretch. To examine whether these properties of muscle contractility determine diaphragm efficiency (Eff(di)) in vivo, we measured Eff(di) in six healthy adults breathing air and during progressive hypercapnia at three levels of end-tidal Pco(2) with mean values of 48 (SD 2), 55 (SD 2), and 61 (SD 1) Torr. Eff(di) was estimated as the ratio of diaphragm power (Wdi) [the product of mean inspiratory transdiaphragmatic pressure, diaphragm volume change (DeltaVdi) measured fluoroscopically, and 1/inspiratory duration (Ti(-1))] to activation [root mean square values of inspiratory diaphragm electromyogram (RMS(di)) measured from esophageal electrodes]. At maximum hypercapnea relative to breathing air, 1) gastric pressure and diaphragm length at end expiration (Pg(ee) and Ldi(ee), respectively) increased 1.4 (SD 0.2) and 1.13 (SD 0.08) times, (P < 0.01 for both); 2) inspiratory change (Delta) in Pg decreased from 4.5 (SD 2.2) to -7.7 (SD 3.8) cmH(2)O (P < 0.001); 3) DeltaVdi.Ti(-1), Wdi, RMS(di), and Eff(di) increased 2.7 (SD 0.6), 4.9 (SD 1.8), 2.6 (SD 0.9), and 1.8 (SD 0.3) times, respectively (P < 0.01 for all); and 4) net and inspiratory Wdi were not different (P = 0.4). Eff(di) was predicted from Ldi(ee) (P < 0.001), Pg(ee) (P < 0.001), DeltaPg.Ti(-1) (P = 0.03), and DeltaPg (P = 0.04) (r(2) = 0.52) (multivariate regression analysis). We conclude that, with hypercapnic hyperpnea, 1) approximately 47% of the maximum increase of Wdi was attributable to increased Eff(di); 2) Eff(di) increased due to preinspiratory lengthening and inspiratory unloading of the diaphragm, consistent with muscle behavior in vitro; 3) passive recoil of the diaphragm did not contribute to inspiratory Wdi or Eff(di); and 4) phasic

  19. Vertical Take-Off and Landing Vehicle with Increased Cruise Efficiency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredericks, William J. (Inventor); Moore, Mark D. (Inventor); Busan, Ronald C. (Inventor); Rothhaar, Paul M. (Inventor); North, David D. (Inventor); Langford, William M. (Inventor); Laws, Christopher T. (Inventor); Hodges, William T. (Inventor); Johns, Zachary R. (Inventor); Webb, Sandy R. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    Systems, methods, and devices are provided that combine an advance vehicle configuration, such as an advanced aircraft configuration, with the infusion of electric propulsion, thereby enabling a four times increase in range and endurance while maintaining a full vertical takeoff and landing ("VTOL") and hover capability for the vehicle. Embodiments may provide vehicles with both VTOL and cruise efficient capabilities without the use of ground infrastructure. An embodiment vehicle may comprise a wing configured to tilt through a range of motion, a first series of electric motors coupled to the wing and each configured to drive an associated wing propeller, a tail configured to tilt through the range of motion, a second series of electric motors coupled to the tail and each configured to drive an associated tail propeller, and an electric propulsion system connected to the first series of electric motors and the second series of electric motors.

  20. Consolidation of silicon nitride without additives. [for gas turbine engine efficiency increase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sikora, P. F.; Yeh, H. C.

    1976-01-01

    The use of ceramics for gas turbine engine construction might make it possible to increase engine efficiency by raising operational temperatures to values beyond those which can be tolerated by metallic alloys. The most promising ceramics being investigated in this connection are Si3N4 and SiC. A description is presented of a study which had the objective to produce dense Si3N4. The two most common methods of consolidating Si3N4 currently being used include hot pressing and reaction sintering. The feasibility was explored of producing a sound, dense Si3N4 body without additives by means of conventional gas hot isostatic pressing techniques and an uncommon hydraulic hot isostatic pressing technique. It was found that Si3N4 can be densified without additions to a density which exceeds 95% of the theoretical value

  1. Survey on methods of increasing the efficiency of extended state disturbance observers.

    PubMed

    Madoński, R; Herman, P

    2015-05-01

    This survey presents various methods of improving the overall estimation quality in the class of extended state observers (ESO), which estimate not only the conventional states of the system, but the acting disturbance as well. This type of observers is crucial in forming the active disturbance rejection control structure (ADRC), where the precision of online perturbation reconstruction and cancellation directly influences the robustness of the closed-loop control system. Various aspects of the observer-based disturbance estimation/rejection loop are covered by this work and divided into three categories, related with observer: structure, tuning, and working conditions. The survey is dedicated to researchers and practitioners who are interested in increasing the efficiency of their ADRC-based governing schemes.

  2. A novel strategy to increase heating efficiency in a split-focus ultrasound phased array.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hao-Li; Shih, Tzu-Ching; Chen, Wen-Shiang; Ju, Kuen-Cheng

    2007-07-01

    Focus splitting using sector-based phased arrays increases the necrosed volume in a single sonication and reduces the total treatment time in the treatment of large tumors. However, split-focus sonication results in a lower energy density and worse focal-beam distortion, which limits its usefulness in practical treatments. Here, we propose a new heating strategy involving consecutive strongly focused and split-focus sonications to improve the heating efficiency. Theoretical predictions including linear and thermal-dose-dependent attenuation change were employed to investigate potential factors of this strategy, and ex vivo tissue experiments were conducted to confirm its effectiveness. Results showed that the thermal lesions produced by the proposed strategy could be increased when comparing with the previous reported strategies. The proposed heating strategy also induces a thermal lesion more rapidly, and exhibits higher robustness to various blood perfusion conditions, higher robustness to various power/heating time combinations, and superiority to generate deep-seated lesions through tissues with complex interfaces. Possible mechanisms include the optimization of the thermal conduction created by the strongly focused sonication and the temperature buildup gained from thermally induced tissue attenuation change based on the theoretical analysis. This may represent a useful technique for increasing the applicability of split-focus and multiple-focus sonication techniques, and solve the obstacles encountered when attempting to use these methods to shorten the total clinical treatment time.

  3. Efficient Bayesian mixed model analysis increases association power in large cohorts

    PubMed Central

    Loh, Po-Ru; Tucker, George; Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan K; Vilhjálmsson, Bjarni J; Finucane, Hilary K; Salem, Rany M; Chasman, Daniel I; Ridker, Paul M; Neale, Benjamin M; Berger, Bonnie; Patterson, Nick; Price, Alkes L

    2014-01-01

    Linear mixed models are a powerful statistical tool for identifying genetic associations and avoiding confounding. However, existing methods are computationally intractable in large cohorts, and may not optimize power. All existing methods require time cost O(MN2) (where N = #samples and M = #SNPs) and implicitly assume an infinitesimal genetic architecture in which effect sizes are normally distributed, which can limit power. Here, we present a far more efficient mixed model association method, BOLT-LMM, which requires only a small number of O(MN)-time iterations and increases power by modeling more realistic, non-infinitesimal genetic architectures via a Bayesian mixture prior on marker effect sizes. We applied BOLT-LMM to nine quantitative traits in 23,294 samples from the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS) and observed significant increases in power, consistent with simulations. Theory and simulations show that the boost in power increases with cohort size, making BOLT-LMM appealing for GWAS in large cohorts. PMID:25642633

  4. Joint aperture detection for speckle reduction and increased collection efficiency in ophthalmic MHz OCT

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Thomas; André, Raphael; Wieser, Wolfgang; Pfeiffer, Tom; Huber, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Joint-aperture optical coherence tomography (JA-OCT) is an angle-resolved OCT method, in which illumination from an active channel is simultaneously probed by several passive channels. JA-OCT increases the collection efficiency and effective sensitivity of the OCT system without increasing the power on the sample. Additionally, JA-OCT provides angular scattering information about the sample in a single acquisition, so the OCT imaging speed is not reduced. Thus, JA-OCT is especially suitable for ultra high speed in-vivo imaging. JA-OCT is compared to other angle-resolved techniques, and the relation between joint aperture imaging, adaptive optics, coherent and incoherent compounding is discussed. We present angle-resolved imaging of the human retina at an axial scan rate of 1.68 MHz, and demonstrate the benefits of JA-OCT: Speckle reduction, signal increase and suppression of specular and parasitic reflections. Moreover, in the future JA-OCT may allow for the reconstruction of the full Doppler vector and tissue discrimination by analysis of the angular scattering dependence. PMID:23577296

  5. Increasing water-use efficiency directly through genetic manipulation of stomatal density.

    PubMed

    Franks, Peter J; W Doheny-Adams, Timothy; Britton-Harper, Zoe J; Gray, Julie E

    2015-07-01

    Improvement in crop water-use efficiency (WUE) is a critical priority for regions facing increased drought or diminished groundwater resources. Despite new tools for the manipulation of stomatal development, the engineering of plants with high WUE remains a challenge. We used Arabidopsis epidermal patterning factor (EPF) mutants exhibiting altered stomatal density to test whether WUE could be improved directly by manipulation of the genes controlling stomatal density. Specifically, we tested whether constitutive overexpression of EPF2 reduced stomatal density and maximum stomatal conductance (gw(max) ) sufficiently to increase WUE. We found that a reduction in gw(max) via reduced stomatal density in EPF2-overexpressing plants (EPF2OE) increased both instantaneous and long-term WUE without altering significantly the photosynthetic capacity. Conversely, plants lacking both EPF1 and EPF2 expression (epf1epf2) exhibited higher stomatal density, higher gw(max) and lower instantaneous WUE, as well as lower (but not significantly so) long-term WUE. Targeted genetic modification of stomatal conductance, such as in EPF2OE, is a viable approach for the engineering of higher WUE in crops, particularly in future high-carbon-dioxide (CO2 ) atmospheres.

  6. Efficient Bayesian mixed-model analysis increases association power in large cohorts.

    PubMed

    Loh, Po-Ru; Tucker, George; Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan K; Vilhjálmsson, Bjarni J; Finucane, Hilary K; Salem, Rany M; Chasman, Daniel I; Ridker, Paul M; Neale, Benjamin M; Berger, Bonnie; Patterson, Nick; Price, Alkes L

    2015-03-01

    Linear mixed models are a powerful statistical tool for identifying genetic associations and avoiding confounding. However, existing methods are computationally intractable in large cohorts and may not optimize power. All existing methods require time cost O(MN(2)) (where N is the number of samples and M is the number of SNPs) and implicitly assume an infinitesimal genetic architecture in which effect sizes are normally distributed, which can limit power. Here we present a far more efficient mixed-model association method, BOLT-LMM, which requires only a small number of O(MN) time iterations and increases power by modeling more realistic, non-infinitesimal genetic architectures via a Bayesian mixture prior on marker effect sizes. We applied BOLT-LMM to 9 quantitative traits in 23,294 samples from the Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS) and observed significant increases in power, consistent with simulations. Theory and simulations show that the boost in power increases with cohort size, making BOLT-LMM appealing for genome-wide association studies in large cohorts.

  7. Exogenous Nkx2.5- or GATA-4-transfected rabbit bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and myocardial cell co-culture on the treatment of myocardial infarction in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Li, Pu; Zhang, Lei

    2015-08-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effects of Nkx2.5 or GATA-4 transfection with myocardial extracellular environment co-culture on the transformation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) into differentiated cardiomyocytes. Nkx2.5 or GATA-4 were transfected into myocardial extracellular environment co-cultured BMSCs, and then injected into the periphery of infarcted myocardium of a myocardial infarction rabbit model. The effects of these gene transfections and culture on the infarcted myocardium were observed and the results may provide an experimental basis for the efficient myocardial cell differentiation of BMSCs. The present study also suggested that these cells may provide a source and clinical basis for myocardial injury repair via stem cell transplantation. The present study examined whether Nkx2.5 or GATA-4 exogenous gene transfection with myocardial cell extracellular environment co-culture were able to induce the differentiation of BMSCs into cardiac cells. In addition, the effect of these transfected BMSCs on the repair of the myocardium following myocardial infarction was determined using New Zealand rabbit models. The results demonstrated that myocardial cell differentiation was significantly less effective following exogenous gene transfection of Nkx2.5 or GATA-4 alone compared with that of transfection in combination with extracellular environment co-culture. In addition, the results of the present study showed that exogenous gene transfection of Nkx2.5 or GATA-4 into myocardial cell extracellular environment co-cultured BMSCs was able to significantly enhance the ability to repair, mitigating the death of myocardial cells and activation of the myocardium in rabbits with myocardial infarction compared with those of the rabbits transplanted with untreated BMSCs. In conclusion, the exogenous Nkx2.5 and GATA-4 gene transfection into myocardial extracellular environment co-cultured BMSCs induced increased differentiation into myocardial

  8. Chronic stress undermines the compensatory sleep efficiency increase in response to sleep restriction in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Astill, Rebecca G; Verhoeven, Dorit; Vijzelaar, Romy L; Van Someren, Eus J W

    2013-08-01

    To investigate the effects of real-life stress on the sleep of adolescents, we performed a repeated-measures study on actigraphic sleep estimates and subjective measures during one regular school week, two stressful examination weeks and a week's holiday. Twenty-four adolescents aged 17.63 ± 0.10 years (mean ± standard error of the mean) wore actigraphs and completed diaries on subjective stress, fatigue, sleep quality, number of examinations and consumption of caffeine and alcohol for 4 weeks during their final year of secondary school. The resulting almost 500 assessments were analysed using mixed-effect models to estimate the effects of mere school attendance and additional examination stress on sleep estimates and subjective ratings. Total sleep time decreased from 7:38 h ± 12 min during holidays to 6:40 h ± 12 min during a regular school week. This 13% decrease elicited a partial compensation, as indicated by a 3% increase in sleep efficiency and a 6% decrease in the duration of nocturnal awakenings. During examination weeks total sleep time decreased to 6:23 h ± 8 min, but it was now accompanied by a decrease in sleep efficiency and subjective sleep quality and an increase in wake bout duration. In conclusion, school examination stress affects the sleep of adolescents. The compensatory mechanism of more consolidated sleep, as elicited by the sleep restriction associated with mere school attendance, collapsed during 2 weeks of sustained examination stress.

  9. Increases in efficiency and enhancements to the Mars Observer non-stored commanding process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooks, Robert N., Jr.; Torgerson, J. Leigh

    1994-01-01

    The Mars Observer team was, until the untimely loss of the spacecraft on August 21, 1993, performing flight operations with greater efficiency and speed than any previous JPL mission of its size. This level of through-put was made possible by a mission operations system which was composed of skilled personnel using sophisticated sequencing and commanding tools. During cruise flight operations, however, it was realized by the project that this commanding level was not going to be sufficient to support the activities planned for mapping operations. The project had committed to providing the science instrument principle investigators with a much higher level of commanding during mapping. Thus, the project began taking steps to enhance the capabilities of the flight team. One mechanism used by project management was a tool available from total quality management (TQM). This tool is known as a process action team (PAT). The Mars Observer PAT was tasked to increase the capacity of the flight team's nonstored commanding process by fifty percent with no increase in staffing and a minimal increase in risk. The outcome of this effort was, in fact, to increase the capacity by a factor of 2.5 rather than the desired fifty percent and actually reduce risk. The majority of these improvements came from the automation of the existing command process. These results required very few changes to the existing mission operations system. Rather, the PAT was able to take advantage of automation capabilities inherent in the existing system and make changes to the existing flight team procedures.

  10. Cultivar Mixture Cropping Increased Water Use Efficiency in Winter Wheat under Limited Irrigation Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yunqi; Zhang, Yinghua; Ji, Wei; Yu, Peng; Wang, Bin; Li, Jinpeng; Han, Meikun; Xu, Xuexin; Wang, Zhimin

    2016-01-01

    The effects of cultivar mixture cropping on yield, biomass, and water use efficiency (WUE) in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were investigated under non-irrigation (W0, no irrigation during growth stage), one time irrigation (W1, irrigation applied at stem elongation) and two times irrigation (W2, irrigation applied at stem elongation and anthesis) conditions. Nearly 90% of cultivar mixture cropping treatments experienced an increase in grain yield as compared with the mean of the pure stands under W0, those for W1 and W2 were 80% and 85%, respectively. Over 75% of cultivar mixture cropping treatments got greater biomass than the mean of the pure stands under the three irrigation conditions. Cultivar mixture cropping cost more water than pure stands under W0 and W1, whereas the water consumption under W2 decreased by 5.9%–6.8% as compared with pure stands. Approximately 90% of cultivar mixtures showed an increase of 5.4%–34.5% in WUE as compared with the mean of the pure stands, and about 75% of cultivar mixtures had 0.8%–28.5% higher WUE than the better pure stands under W0. Similarly, there were a majority of mixture cropping treatments with higher WUE than the mean and the better one of the pure stands under W1 and W2. On the whole, proper cultivar mixture cropping could increase yield and WUE, and a higher increase in WUE occurred under limited irrigation condition. PMID:27362563

  11. Inorganic Nutrients Increase Humification Efficiency and C-Sequestration in an Annually Cropped Soil

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Alan E.; Wade, Len J.; Conyers, Mark; Kirkegaard, John A.

    2016-01-01

    Removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and storing the carbon (C) in resistant soil organic matter (SOM) is a global priority to restore soil fertility and help mitigate climate change. Although it is widely assumed that retaining rather than removing or burning crop residues will increase SOM levels, many studies have failed to demonstrate this. We hypothesised that the microbial nature of resistant SOM provides a predictable nutrient stoichiometry (C:nitrogen, C:phosphorus and C:sulphur–C:N:P:S) to target using supplementary nutrients when incorporating C-rich crop residues into soil. An improvement in the humification efficiency of the soil microbiome as a whole, and thereby C-sequestration, was predicted. In a field study over 5 years, soil organic-C (SOC) stocks to 1.6 m soil depth were increased by 5.5 t C ha-1 where supplementary nutrients were applied with incorporated crop residues, but were reduced by 3.2 t C ha-1 without nutrient addition, with 2.9 t C ha-1 being lost from the 0–10 cm layer. A net difference of 8.7 t C ha-1 was thus achieved in a cropping soil over a 5 year period, despite the same level of C addition. Despite shallow incorporation (0.15 m), more than 50% of the SOC increase occurred below 0.3 m, and as predicted by the stoichiometry, increases in resistant SOC were accompanied by increases in soil NPS at all depths. Interestingly the C:N, C:P and C:S ratios decreased significantly with depth possibly as a consequence of differences in fungi to bacteria ratio. Our results demonstrate that irrespective of the C-input, it is essential to balance the nutrient stoichiometry of added C to better match that of resistant SOM to increase SOC sequestration. This has implications for global practices and policies aimed at increasing SOC sequestration and specifically highlight the need to consider the hidden cost and availability of associated nutrients in building soil-C. PMID:27144282

  12. Manipulating tillage to increase stored soil water and manipulating plant geometry to increase water-use efficiency in dryland areas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper briefly summarizes some of the practices being used in the semiarid U.S. Great Plains to grow crops without irrigation. Fallow periods are commonly used to increase the amount of plant-available water in the soil profile at the time of seeding a crop because growing-season precipitation i...

  13. Practices to reduce nitrate leaching and increase nitrogen use efficiency in irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quemada, Miguel; Baranski, Marcin; Nobel de Lange, Majimcha; Vallejo, Antonio; Cooper, Julia

    2013-04-01

    Despite the large body of research in irrigated agriculture, it is still not clear which practices most effectively reduce nitrate leaching (NL) while maintaining crop yield. A meta-analysis (MA) of published experimental results from agricultural irrigated systems was conducted to identify those agricultural practices that have proven effective at reducing NL and to quantify the scale of reduction that can be achieved. Forty-four scientific articles were identified which investigated four main strategies (water and fertilizer management, use of cover crops and fertilizer technology) creating a database with 279 observations on NL and 166 on crop yield. Management practices that adjust water application to crop needs reduced NL by a mean of 80% without a reduction in crop yield. Improved fertilizer management reduced NL by 40%, and the best relationship between yield and NL was obtained when applying the recommended N fertilizer rate. Applications above the recommended rate increased leaching without enhancing yield. Replacing a fallow with a non-legume cover crop (CC) reduced NL by 50% while using a legume CC did not have any effect on NL. Legume CC increased yield and N use efficiency while yields following non-legume CC were not different from the fallow. Improved fertilizer technology also decreased NL but was the least effective of the selected strategies. The risk of nitrate leaching from irrigated systems is high, but optimum management practices may mitigate this risk and maintain crop yields while enhancing environmental sustainability.

  14. Pioglitazone increases the glycolytic efficiency of human Sertoli cells with possible implications for spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Meneses, M J; Bernardino, R L; Sá, R; Silva, J; Barros, A; Sousa, M; Silva, B M; Oliveira, P F; Alves, M G

    2016-10-01

    Pioglitazone is a synthetic agonist for the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently we reported that antidiabetic drugs regulate the nutritional support of spermatogenesis by Sertoli cells. Herein, we investigate the effects of pioglitazone on human Sertoli cells metabolism. Human Sertoli cells were cultured in the presence of pioglitazone (1, 10, 100μM). Protein levels of phosphofructokinase 1, lactate dehydrogenase, hexokinase, glucose transporters (GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT3), monocarboxylate transporter 4 and oxidative phosphorylation complexes were determined by Western blot. Lactate dehydrogenase and alanine aminotransferase activity were assessed and metabolite production and consumption determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance. Mitochondrial membrane potential was also determined. Glucose consumption more than doubled in human Sertoli cells stimulated with pioglitazone 100μM. Mitochondrial complex II protein levels increased 50% with exposure to pioglitazone (100μM) in human Sertoli cells, though mitochondrial membrane potential was decreased by 32%. The pharmacological concentration of pioglitazone (10μM) almost doubled lactate production and established crucial correlations among key intervenient of glycolysis. Moreover, in the same concentration, alanine aminotransferase decreased more than 80%. Our results suggest that pioglitazone (10μM) increases the efficiency of the glycolytic flux and lactate production by human Sertoli cells, which is essential to sustain and preserve the spermatogenic event. Thus, pioglitazone may improve male fertility and thus, be considered a suitable antidiabetic drug for men in reproductive age.

  15. Feeding on prey increases photosynthetic efficiency in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovič, Andrej; Krausko, Miroslav; Libiaková, Michaela; Adamec, Lubomír

    2014-01-01

    Backround and Aims It has been suggested that the rate of net photosynthesis (AN) of carnivorous plants increases in response to prey capture and nutrient uptake; however, data confirming the benefit from carnivory in terms of increased AN are scarce and unclear. The principal aim of our study was to investigate the photosynthetic benefit from prey capture in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis. Methods Prey attraction experiments were performed, with measurements and visualization of enzyme activities, elemental analysis and pigment quantification together with simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence in D. capensis in response to feeding with fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Key Results Red coloration of tentacles did not act as a signal to attract fruit flies onto the traps. Phosphatase, phophodiesterase and protease activities were induced 24 h after prey capture. These activities are consistent with the depletion of phosphorus and nitrogen from digested prey and a significant increase in their content in leaf tissue after 10 weeks. Mechanical stimulation of tentacle glands alone was not sufficient to induce proteolytic activity. Activities of β-D-glucosidases and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidases in the tentacle mucilage were not detected. The uptake of phosphorus from prey was more efficient than that of nitrogen and caused the foliar N:P ratio to decrease; the contents of other elements (K, Ca, Mg) decreased slightly in fed plants. Increased foliar N and P contents resulted in a significant increase in the aboveground plant biomass, the number of leaves and chlorophyll content as well as AN, maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and effective photochemical quantum yield of photosystem II (ΦPSII). Conclusions According to the stoichiometric relationships among different nutrients, the growth of unfed D. capensis plants was P-limited. This P-limitation was markedly alleviated by feeding on fruit flies and resulted in improved

  16. Mechanics of the left ventricular myocardial interstitium: effects of acute and chronic myocardial edema.

    PubMed

    Desai, Ketaki V; Laine, Glen A; Stewart, Randolph H; Cox, Charles S; Quick, Christopher M; Allen, Steven J; Fischer, Uwe M

    2008-06-01

    Myocardial interstitial edema forms as a result of several disease states and clinical interventions. Acute myocardial interstitial edema is associated with compromised systolic and diastolic cardiac function and increased stiffness of the left ventricular chamber. Formation of chronic myocardial interstitial edema results in deposition of interstitial collagen, which causes interstitial fibrosis. To assess the effect of myocardial interstitial edema on the mechanical properties of the left ventricle and the myocardial interstitium, we induced acute and chronic interstitial edema in dogs. Acute myocardial edema was generated by coronary sinus pressure elevation, while chronic myocardial edema was generated by chronic pulmonary artery banding. The pressure-volume relationships of the left ventricular myocardial interstitium and left ventricular chamber for control animals were compared with acutely and chronically edematous animals. Collagen content of nonedematous and chronically edematous animals was also compared. Generating acute myocardial interstitial edema resulted in decreased left ventricular chamber compliance compared with nonedematous animals. With chronic edema, the primary form of collagen changed from type I to III. Left ventricular chamber compliance in animals made chronically edematous was significantly higher than nonedematous animals. The change in primary collagen type secondary to chronic left ventricular myocardial interstitial edema provides direct evidence for structural remodeling. The resulting functional adaptation allows the chronically edematous heart to maintain left ventricular chamber compliance when challenged with acute edema, thus preserving cardiac function over a wide range of interstitial fluid pressures.

  17. Late reperfusion of a totally occluded infarct-related artery increases granulocyte-colony stimulation factor and reduces stroma-derived factor-1alpha blood levels in patients with ongoing ischemia after acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Li-Tang; Chen, Shih-Jen; Cherng, Wen-Jin; Yang, Ning-I; Lee, Chen-Chin; Cheng, Chi-Wen; Verma, Subodh; Wang, Chao-Hung

    2009-07-01

    After acute myocardial infarction (AMI), reopening of a totally occluded infarct-related artery (IRA) at a subacute stage is still controversial in symptom-free patients. However, in patients with persistent ischemic symptoms and inadequate collaterals to the infarct area, recanalization is thought to provide beneficial effects. In addition to augmenting myocardial perfusion, we hypothesized that the benefit of recanalization involves the manipulation of circulating stem cell-mobilizing cytokines. This study included 30 patients with a totally occluded IRA and ongoing ischemic symptoms (the study group) and 30 patients with a partially occluded IRA (the control group). All patients underwent successful angioplasty and/or stenting. Before and immediately after the coronary intervention, blood granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), stem-cell factor (SCF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and stroma-derived factor-1 (SDF-1alpha) were measured. After recanalization, G-CSF levels significantly increased in the study group compared to the control group (P=0.03). SDF-1alpha levels in the study group decreased relative to the controls (P=0.02). However, no significant changes in VEGF or SCF levels between the two groups were found. In the multivariate analysis, reopening of a totally occluded IRA was independently and significantly associated with changes in G-CSF and SDF-1alpha levels after recanalization. In conclusion, our data suggest that the benefits of late reperfusion of a totally occluded IRA in patients with ongoing myocardial ischemia may involve mechanisms associated with stem cell-mobilizing and plaque-stabilizing cytokines. This study provides the rationale to investigate serial changes in cytokines and the numbers of circulating progenitors after reperfusion in the future.

  18. Mediterranean irrigation under climate change: more efficient irrigation needed to compensate increases in irrigation water requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fader, M.; Shi, S.; von Bloh, W.; Bondeau, A.; Cramer, W.

    2015-08-01

    Irrigation in the Mediterranean is of vital importance for food security, employment and economic development. This study systematically assesses how climate change and increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations may affect irrigation requirements in the Mediterranean region by 2080-2090. Future demographic change and technological improvements in irrigation systems are accounted for, as is the spread of climate forcing, warming levels and potential realization of the CO2-fertilization effect. Vegetation growth, phenology, agricultural production and irrigation water requirements and withdrawal were simulated with the process-based ecohydrological and agro-ecosystem model LPJmL after a large development that comprised the improved representation of Mediterranean crops. At present the Mediterranean region could save 35 % of water by implementing more efficient irrigation and conveyance systems. Some countries like Syria, Egypt and Turkey have higher saving potentials than others. Currently some crops, especially sugar cane and agricultural trees, consume in average more irrigation water per hectare than annual crops. Different crops show different magnitude of changes in net irrigation requirements due to climate change, being the increases most pronounced in agricultural trees. The Mediterranean area as a whole might face an increase in gross irrigation requirements between 4 and 18 % from climate change alone if irrigation systems and conveyance are not improved (2 °C global warming combined with full CO2-fertilization effect, and 5 °C global warming combined with no CO2-fertilization effect, respectively). Population growth increases these numbers to 22 and 74 %, respectively, affecting mainly the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. However, improved irrigation technologies and conveyance systems have large water saving potentials, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean, and may be able to compensate to some degree the increases due to climate change and

  19. Multibeam Bathymetry Data Value and Increased Efficiency Through Improved Data Access and Reuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, D. J.; Fischman, D.; Varner, J. D.; McLean, S. J.; Henderson, J. F.

    2012-12-01

    The costs associated with geophysical data collection are ever increasing, and efficiencies created by data reuse have never been more important. Multibeam sonar bathymetry, collected by specialized research vessels in challenging oceanic environments, is an example data type that has experienced steady increases in acquisition costs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) in partnership with the Academic Fleet Rolling deck To Repository (R2R) program provides streamlined delivery of multibeam bathymetric data from ship to shore to user. By ensuring long term archive and easy access to these data, we foster the innovative reuse of data to produce additional products to serve multiple needs beyond the original intent of collection. Archived data are made widely accessible to the scientific community and the public via Web technologies that also support a "whole ocean" approach to management and planning, leveraging limited resources, and maximizing the benefit of the original investment in data collection. Currently, the public has access to more than 461,000 multibeam bathymetry files from the NGDC website through various Web based tools (ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/bathymetry/). Data are discoverable through geospatial maps and text search options. Once data are identified, users can download individual files, bundled data, or create custom grids. This paper takes a closer look at the multibeam data downloaded from the NGDC website and attempts to quantify the value of providing data for reuse. Using the number of surveys downloaded, an average cost to collect and steward multibeam data, and computing the ship hours required to acquire these data, we can estimate the value of the data freely available through R2R and NGDC. We will show that the value of long term stewardship, sharing, and reuse of these data provides a significant return on the initial investment. Proper data stewardship by NOAA's National Data

  20. The tandemly repeated domains of a β-propeller phytase act synergistically to increase catalytic efficiency.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhongyuan; Huang, Huoqing; Yang, Peilong; Yuan, Tiezheng; Shi, Pengjun; Zhao, Junqi; Meng, Kun; Yao, Bin

    2011-09-01

    β-Propeller phytases (BPPs) with tandemly repeated domains are abundant in nature. Previous studies have shown that the intact domain is responsible for phytate hydrolysis, but the function of the other domain is relatively unknown. In this study, a new dual-domain BPP (PhyH) from Bacillus sp. HJB17 was identified to contain an incomplete N-terminal BPP domain (PhyH-DI, residues 41-318) and a typical BPP domain (PhyH-DII, residues 319-644) at the C-terminus. Purified recombinant PhyH and PhyH-DII required Ca(2+) for phytase activity, showed activity at low temperatures (0-35 °C) and pH 6.0-8.0, and remained active (at 37 °C) after incubation at 60 °C and pH 6.0-12.0. Compared with PhyH-DII, PhyH is catalytically more active against phytate (catalytic constant 27.72 versus 4.17 s(-1)), which indicates the importance of PhyH-DI in phytate degradation. PhyH-DI was found to hydrolyze phytate intermediate D-Ins(1,4,5,6) P(4), and to act synergistically (a 1.2-2.5-fold increase in phosphate release) with PhyH-DII, other BPPs (PhyP and 168PhyA) and a histidine acid phosphatase. Furthermore, fusion of PhyH-DI with PhyP or 168PhyA significantly enhanced their catalytic efficiencies. This is the first report to elucidate the substrate specificity of the incomplete domain and the functional relationship of tandemly repeated domains in BPPs. We conjecture that dual-domain BPPs have succeeded evolutionarily because they can increase the amount of available phosphate by interacting together. Additionally, fusing PhyH-DI to a single-domain phytase appears to be an efficient way to improve the activity of the latter.

  1. Changes in myocardial substrate and energy metabolism by S-(4)-hydroxyphenylglycine and an N-(6)-derivative of adenosine.

    PubMed

    Kahles, H; Schäfer, W; Lick, T; Junggeburth, J; Kochsiek, K

    1986-01-01

    In 15 mongrel open chest dogs oxidative myocardial carbohydrate utilization was stimulated by activation of pyruvatedehydrogenase with S-(4)-hydroxyphenylglycine (HPG) or by inhibition of lipolysis with N(6)-allyl-N(6)-cyclohexyladenosine (PAA). HPG and PAA shifted cardiac respiratory quotients (RQ) from 0.83 to 0.89 and 0.99, respectively. Oxygen extraction ratio of lactate was significantly increased by both interventions. Arterial nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) concentration decreased significantly only by PAA. The oxygen saving potency of both interventions was quantified over a wide hemodynamic range by comparing the directly measured myocardial oxygen consumption (MVO2) with the myocardial energy requirements calculated from its hemodynamic determinants according to the Bretschneider formula during base conditions and beta-stimulation. Inhibition of peripheral lipolysis with PAA reduced MVO2 by 14%, enzyme activation with HPG by 8%. The results show that the efficiency of the myocardial energy supply can be influenced by manipulation of the oxidative substrate metabolism.

  2. Glucose oxidation positively regulates glucose uptake and improves cardiac function recovery after myocardial reperfusion.

    PubMed

    Li, Tingting; Xu, Jie; Qin, Xinghua; Hou, Zuoxu; Guo, Yongzheng; Liu, Zhenhua; Wu, Jianjiang; Zheng, Hong; Zhang, Xing; Gao, Feng

    2017-03-21

    Myocardial reperfusion decreases glucose oxidation and uncouples glucose oxidation from glycolysis. Therapies that increase glucose oxidation lessen myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the regulation of glucose uptake during reperfusion remains poorly understood. Here we found that glucose uptake was remarkably diminished in myocardium following reperfusion in Sprague-Dawley rats as detected by 18F-labeled and fluorescent-labeled glucose analogs, even though GLUT1 was upregulated by 3 folds and GLUT4 translocation remained unchanged compared with those of sham rats. The decreased glucose uptake was accompanied by suppressed glucose oxidation. Interestingly, stimulating glucose oxidation by inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4), a rate-limiting enzyme for glucose oxidation, increased glucose uptake and alleviated ischemia/reperfusion injury. In vitro data in neonatal myocytes showed that PDK4 overexpression decreased glucose uptake, while its knockdown increased glucose uptake, suggesting a role of PDK4 in regulating glucose uptake. Moreover, inhibition of PDK4 increased myocardial glucose uptake with concomitant enhancement of cardiac insulin sensitivity following myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. These results showed that the suppressed glucose oxidation mediated by PDK4 contributes to the reduced glucose uptake in myocardium following reperfusion, and enhancement of glucose uptake exerts cardioprotection. The findings suggest that stimulating glucose oxidation via PDK4 could be an efficient approach to improve recovery from myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury.

  3. Increasing the efficiency of digitization workflows for herbarium specimens

    PubMed Central

    Tulig, Melissa; Tarnowsky, Nicole; Bevans, Michael; Anthony Kirchgessner; Thiers,  Barbara M.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium has been databasing and imaging its estimated 7.3 million plant specimens for the past 17 years. Due to the size of the collection, we have been selectively digitizing fundable subsets of specimens, making successive passes through the herbarium with each new grant. With this strategy, the average rate for databasing complete records has been 10 specimens per hour. With 1.3 million specimens databased, this effort has taken about 130,000 hours of staff time. At this rate, to complete the herbarium and digitize the remaining 6 million specimens, another 600,000 hours would be needed. Given the current biodiversity and economic crises, there is neither the time nor money to complete the collection at this rate. Through a combination of grants over the last few years, The New York Botanical Garden has been testing new protocols and tactics for increasing the rate of digitization through combinations of data collaboration, field book digitization, partial data entry and imaging, and optical character recognition (OCR) of specimen images. With the launch of the National Science Foundation’s new Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, we hope to move forward with larger, more efficient digitization projects, capturing data from larger portions of the herbarium at a fraction of the cost and time. PMID:22859882

  4. Increasing the efficiency of digitization workflows for herbarium specimens.

    PubMed

    Tulig, Melissa; Tarnowsky, Nicole; Bevans, Michael; Anthony Kirchgessner; Thiers, Barbara M

    2012-01-01

    The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium has been databasing and imaging its estimated 7.3 million plant specimens for the past 17 years. Due to the size of the collection, we have been selectively digitizing fundable subsets of specimens, making successive passes through the herbarium with each new grant. With this strategy, the average rate for databasing complete records has been 10 specimens per hour. With 1.3 million specimens databased, this effort has taken about 130,000 hours of staff time. At this rate, to complete the herbarium and digitize the remaining 6 million specimens, another 600,000 hours would be needed. Given the current biodiversity and economic crises, there is neither the time nor money to complete the collection at this rate.Through a combination of grants over the last few years, The New York Botanical Garden has been testing new protocols and tactics for increasing the rate of digitization through combinations of data collaboration, field book digitization, partial data entry and imaging, and optical character recognition (OCR) of specimen images. With the launch of the National Science Foundation's new Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, we hope to move forward with larger, more efficient digitization projects, capturing data from larger portions of the herbarium at a fraction of the cost and time.

  5. Increasing Efficiency and Quality by Consolidation of Clinical Chemistry and Immunochemistry Systems with MODULAR ANALYTICS SWA

    PubMed Central

    Mocarelli, Paolo; Horowitz, Gary L.; Gerthoux, Pier Mario; Cecere, Rossana; Imdahl, Roland; Ruinemans-Koerts, Janneke; Luthe, Hilmar; Calatayud, Silvia Pesudo; Salve, Marie Luisa; Kunst, Albert; McGovern, Margaret; Ng, Katherine; Stockmann, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    MODULAR ANALYTICS Serum Work Area (in USA Integrated MODULAR ANALYTICS, MODULAR ANALYTICS is a trademark of a member of the Roche Group) represents a further approach to automation in the laboratory medicine. This instrument combines previously introduced modular systems for the clinical chemistry and immunochemistry laboratory and allows customised combinations for various laboratory workloads. Functionality, practicability, and workflow behaviour of MODULAR ANALYTICS Serum Work Area were evaluated in an international multicenter study at six laboratories. Across all experiments, 236000 results from 32400 samples were generated using 93 methods. Simulated routine testing which included provocation incidents and anomalous situations demonstrated good performance and full functionality. Heterogeneous immunoassays, performed on the E-module with the electrochemiluminescence technology, showed reproducibility at the same level of the general chemistry tests, which was well within the clinical demands. Sample carryover cannot occur due to intelligent sample processing. Workflow experiments for the various module combinations, with menus of about 50 assays, yielded mean sample processing times of <38 minutes for combined clinical chemistry and immunochemistry requests; <50 minutes including automatically repeated samples. MODULAR ANALYTICS Serum Work Area offered simplified workflow by combining various laboratory segments. It increased efficiency while maintaining or even improving quality of laboratory processes. PMID:18401449

  6. Differential pollen placement on an Old World nectar bat increases pollination efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Alyssa B.; Dudash, Michele R.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Plant species that share pollinators are potentially subject to non-adaptive interspecific pollen transfer, resulting in reduced reproductive success. Mechanisms that increase pollination efficiency between conspecific individuals are therefore highly beneficial. Many nocturnally flowering plant species in Thailand are pollinated by the nectar bat Eonycteris spelaea (Pteropodidae). This study tested the hypothesis that plant species within a community reduce interspecific pollen movement by placing pollen on different areas of the bat’s body. Methods Using flight cage trials, pollen transfer by E. spelaea was compared between conspecific versus heterospecific flowers across four bat-pollinated plant genera. Pollen from four locations on the bat’s body was also quantified to determine if pollen placement varies by plant species. Key Results It was found that E. spelaea transfers significantly more pollen between conspecific than heterospecific flowers, and that diverse floral designs produce significantly different patterns of pollen deposition on E. spelaea. Conclusions In the Old World tropics, differential pollen placement is a mechanism that reduces competition among bat-pollinated plant species sharing a common pollinator. PMID:26482654

  7. Cholesterol improves the transfection efficiency of lipoplexes by increasing the effective membrane charge density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safinya, Cyrus R.; Zidovska, Alexandra; Evans, Heather M.; Ewert, Kai K.

    2008-03-01

    Motivated by its important role in lipid-mediated gene delivery, we have studied the effect of cholesterol on the transfection efficiency (TE) of lamellar, cationic lipid-DNA (CL-DNA) complexes. A successful in vivo liposome mixture seems to require cholesterol. Recent work in our group has identified the membrane charge density (σ) as a universal parameter for TE of lamellar, DOPC containing CL-DNA complexes (A.J. Lin et al, Biophys. J., 2003, K. Ewert et al, J. Med. Chem., 2002, A. Ahmad et al., J. Gene Med., 2005), with TE following a universal bell-shaped curve as a function of σ. Theoretical calculations considering the headgroup area of cholesterol and thus necessarily counting for an increase in σ, when DOPC is replaced by cholesterol, show that TE strongly deviates from the TE universal curve. However, experimental determination of σ via X-ray diffraction shows full agreement with the TE universal curve demonstrating that the real σ is higher as predicted, therefore the effective headgroup area of cholesterol is lower as expected by theory, suggesting that cholesterol is inserted deep into lipid bilayer partially hidden by the neighboring lipids. Funding provided by NIH GM-59288 and NSF DMR-0503347.

  8. Directly incorporating fluorochromes into DNA probes by PCR increases the efficience of fluorescence in situ hybridization

    SciTech Connect

    Dittmer, Joy

    1996-05-01

    The object of this study was to produce a directly labeled whole chromosome probe in a Degenerative Oligonucleotide Primed-Polymerase Chain Reaction (DOP-PCR) that will identify chromosome breaks, deletions, inversions and translocations caused by radiation damage. In this study we amplified flow sorted chromosome 19 using DOP-PCR. The product was then subjected to a secondary DOP PCR amplification, After the secondary amplification the DOP-PCR product was directly labeled in a tertiary PCR reaction with rhodamine conjugated with dUTP (FluoroRed) to produce a DNA fluorescent probe. The probe was then hybridized to human metaphase lymphocytes on slides, washed and counterstained with 4{prime},6-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). The signal of the FluoroRed probe was then compared to a signal of a probe labeled with biotin and stained with avidin fluorescein isothio cynate (FITC) and anti-avidin FITC. The results show that the probe labeled with FluoroRed gave signals as bright as the probe with biotin labeling. The FluoroRed probe had less noise than the biotin labeled probe. Therefore, a directly labeled probe has been successfully produced in a DOP-PCR reaction. In future a probe labeled with FluoroRed will be produced instead of a probe labeled with biotin to increase efficiency.

  9. Increased enzyme binding to substrate is not necessary for more efficient cellulose hydrolysis.

    PubMed

    Gao, Dahai; Chundawat, Shishir P S; Sethi, Anurag; Balan, Venkatesh; Gnanakaran, S; Dale, Bruce E

    2013-07-02

    Substrate binding is typically one of the rate-limiting steps preceding enzyme catalytic action during homogeneous reactions. However, interfacial-based enzyme catalysis on insoluble crystalline substrates, like cellulose, has additional bottlenecks of individual biopolymer chain decrystallization from the substrate interface followed by its processive depolymerization to soluble sugars. This additional decrystallization step has ramifications on the role of enzyme-substrate binding and its relationship to overall catalytic efficiency. We found that altering the crystalline structure of cellulose from its native allomorph I(β) to III(I) results in 40-50% lower binding partition coefficient for fungal cellulases, but surprisingly, it enhanced hydrolytic activity on the latter allomorph. We developed a comprehensive kinetic model for processive cellulases acting on insoluble substrates to explain this anomalous finding. Our model predicts that a reduction in the effective binding affinity to the substrate coupled with an increase in the decrystallization procession rate of individual cellulose chains from the substrate surface into the enzyme active site can reproduce our anomalous experimental findings.

  10. Increased enzyme binding to substrate is not necessary for more efficient cellulose hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Dahai; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.; Sethi, Anurag; Balan, Venkatesh; Gnanakaran, S.; Dale, Bruce E.

    2013-01-01

    Substrate binding is typically one of the rate-limiting steps preceding enzyme catalytic action during homogeneous reactions. However, interfacial-based enzyme catalysis on insoluble crystalline substrates, like cellulose, has additional bottlenecks of individual biopolymer chain decrystallization from the substrate interface followed by its processive depolymerization to soluble sugars. This additional decrystallization step has ramifications on the role of enzyme–substrate binding and its relationship to overall catalytic efficiency. We found that altering the crystalline structure of cellulose from its native allomorph Iβ to IIII results in 40–50% lower binding partition coefficient for fungal cellulases, but surprisingly, it enhanced hydrolytic activity on the latter allomorph. We developed a comprehensive kinetic model for processive cellulases acting on insoluble substrates to explain this anomalous finding. Our model predicts that a reduction in the effective binding affinity to the substrate coupled with an increase in the decrystallization procession rate of individual cellulose chains from the substrate surface into the enzyme active site can reproduce our anomalous experimental findings. PMID:23784776

  11. Conjugation of photosensitisers to antimicrobial peptides increases the efficiency of photodynamic therapy in cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Moret, Francesca; Gobbo, Marina; Reddi, Elena

    2015-07-01

    Some antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have the ability to penetrate and kill not only pathogenic microorganisms but also cancer cells, while they are less active toward normal eukaryotic cells. Here we have investigated the potential of three AMPs, namely apidaecin 1b (Api), magainin 2 (Mag) and buforin II (Buf), as carriers of drugs for cancer cells by using the hydrophobic photosensitiser 5-(4-carboxyphenyl)-10,15,20-triphenylporphyrin (cTPP) as the drug model, conjugated to the N-terminus of the peptides. Flow cytometry measurements demonstrated that conjugation of cTPP increased its rate and efficiency of uptake in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells in the order Mag > Buf > Api. In vitro photodynamic therapy (PDT) experiments showed that the increased uptake of the conjugated cTPP determined 100% cell killing at concentrations in the nanomolar range while micromolar concentrations were required for the same killing effect with unconjugated cTPP. Serum proteins interacted with cTPP conjugated to Buf and Api and slightly interfered with the cellular uptake of these conjugates but not with that of Mag. The data suggest electrostatic interactions of the conjugates with sialic acid and ganglioside rich domains, as lipid rafts of the plasma membrane, followed by cell internalization via non-caveolar dynamin-dependent endocytosis as indicated by the effects of inhibitors of specific endocytic pathways. Our study demonstrated that the three AMPs investigated, Mag in particular, have the ability to carry a hydrophobic cargo inside cancer cells and may therefore represent useful carriers of anticancer drugs, especially those with a poor capacity to penetrate inside the target cells.

  12. On use of time-dependent microwave fields to increase an FEL oscillator efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Saldin, E.L.; Schneidmiller, E.A.; Yurkov, M.V.

    1995-12-31

    Various schemes of a high efficiency FEL oscillator with time-dependent accelerating (or decelerating) microwave field in interaction region are proposed. All the, schemes are based on standard accelerating structure and undulator technology. Feasibility of the proposed schemes is confirmed by results of numerical simulations. Realistic examples of FEL oscillators of infrared and visible wavelength ranges with efficiency about 20 % are presented.

  13. Techniques for increasing the film cooling efficiency by means of the vortex near-wall jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terekhov, V. I.; Shishkin, N. E.

    2013-12-01

    Experimental results on the effect of the methods of gas cooling arrangement on thermal efficiency are presented. The swirl cooling is considered at both injecting along the axis and co-axial supply of the cooling gas. The influence of swirling degree, density ratio of both flows and flow regimes on the efficiency of near-wall cooling is considered.

  14. Techniques for increasing the film cooling efficiency by means of the vortex near-wall jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terekhov, V. I.; Shishkin, N. E.

    2014-12-01

    Experimental results on the effect of the methods of gas cooling arrangement on thermal efficiency are presented. The swirl cooling is considered at both injecting along the axis and co-axial supply of the cooling gas. The influence of swirling degree, density ratio of both flows and flow regimes on the efficiency of near-wall cooling is considered.

  15. Value of planar 201Tl imaging in risk stratification of patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, R.S.; Watson, D.D. )

    1991-09-01

    Although exercise ECG testing has been shown to have important prognostic value after acute myocardial infarction, exercise 201Tl scintigraphy offers several potential advantages, including: (1) increased sensitivity for detecting residual myocardial ischemia; (2) the ability to localize ischemia to a specific area or areas subtended by a specific coronary artery; (3) the ability to identify exercise-induced left ventricular dysfunction, which is manifested by increased lung uptake or transient left ventricular dilation; and (4) more reliable risk stratification of individual patients. The more optimal prognostic efficiency of 201Tl scintigraphy partially results from the fact that the error rate in falsely classifying patients as low risk is significantly smaller with 201Tl scintigraphy than with stress ECG. Because of these substantial advantages, there seems to be adequate rationale for recommending exercise perfusion imaging rather than exercise ECG alone as the preferred method for evaluating mortality and morbidity risks after acute myocardial infarction.

  16. Small Businesses Save Big: A Borrower's Guide To Increase the Bottom Line Using Energy Efficiency (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2015-01-01

    Dollars saved through energy efficiency can directly impact your bottom line. Whether you are planning for a major renovation or upgrading individual pieces of building equipment, these improvements can help reduce operating costs, save on utility bills, and boost profits. This fact sheet provides a guide for small businesses to find the resources to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings.

  17. Risk stratification after myocardial infarction. Clinical overview

    SciTech Connect

    O'Rourke, R.A. )

    1991-09-01

    Many patients with an acute myocardial infarction can be stratified into subgroups that are at high risk for morbidity and mortality on the basis of clinical characteristics that indicate recurrent myocardial ischemia, persistent left ventricular dysfunction, and/or recurrent cardiac arrhythmias. In patients with uncomplicated myocardial infarction the assessment of symptoms, physical findings, and ECG changes during predischarge exercise testing often identifies patients at increased risk for further cardiac events. Because of the suboptimum sensitivity and specificity of the exercise ECG for detecting myocardial ischemia, myocardial perfusion imaging with 201Tl and/or assessment of global and segmental ventricular function by two-dimensional echocardiography or radionuclide cineangiography during or immediately after exercise are often added to the predischarge risk stratification.

  18. Redesign of Process Map to Increase Efficiency: Reducing Procedure Time 1 in Cervical-Cancer Brachytherapy

    PubMed Central

    Damato, Antonio L.; Cormack, Robert A.; Bhagwat, Mandar S.; Buzurovic, Ivan; Finucane, Susan; Hansen, Jorgen L.; O’Farrell, Desmond A.; Offiong, Alecia; Randall, Una; Friesen, Scott; Lee, Larissa J.; Viswanathan, Akila N.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To increase intra-procedural efficiency in the use of clinical resources and to decrease planning time for cervical-cancer brachytherapy treatments through redesign of the procedure’s process map. Methods and Materials A multi-disciplinary team identified all tasks and associated resources involved in cervical-cancer brachytherapy in our institution, and arranged them in a process map. A redesign of the treatment planning component of the process map was conducted with the goal of minimizing planning time. Planning time was measured on 20 consecutive insertions, of which 10 were performed with standard procedures and 10 with the redesigned process map, and results compared. Statistical significance (p <0.05) was measured with a 2-tailed T-test. Results Twelve tasks involved in cervical-cancer brachytherapy treatments were identified. The process map showed that in standard procedures, the treatment planning tasks were performed sequentially. The process map was redesigned to specify that contouring and some planning tasks are performed concomitantly. Some quality assurance (QA) tasks were reorganized to minimize adverse effects of a possible error on procedure time. Test “dry runs” followed by live implementation confirmed the applicability of the new process map to clinical conditions. A 29% reduction in planning time (p <0.01) was observed with the introduction of the redesigned process map. Conclusions A process map for cervical-cancer brachytherapy was generated. The treatment planning component of the process map was redesigned, resulting in a 29% decrease in planning time and a streamlining of the QA process. PMID:25572438

  19. Myocardial imaging. Coxsackie myocarditis

    SciTech Connect

    Wells, R.G.; Ruskin, J.A.; Sty, J.R.

    1986-09-01

    A 3-week-old male neonate with heart failure associated with Coxsackie virus infection was imaged with Tc-99m PYP and TI-201. The abnormal imaging pattern suggested myocardial infarction. Autopsy findings indicated that the cause was myocardial necrosis secondary to an acute inflammatory process. Causes of abnormal myocardial uptake of Tc-99m PYP in pediatrics include infarction, myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, bacterial endocarditis, and trauma. Myocardial imaging cannot provide a specific cause diagnosis. Causes of myocardial infarction in pediatrics are listed in Table 1.

  20. 75 FR 27341 - Increasing Market and Planning Efficiency Through Improved Software; Notice of Technical...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-14

    ... adopted into market operation software. Smarter software is a valuable tool for improving the efficiency..., demand resources (DR, DG, and storage), electric vehicles, dispatchable transmission, and combined cycle... respect to energy, reserves, ramp rates, and network topology), flexible dispatch, settlement...

  1. Industry Stakeholder Recommendations for DOE's RD&D for Increasing Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes

    SciTech Connect

    Plympton, P.; Dagher, L.; Zwack, B.

    2007-06-01

    This technical report documents feedback for Industry Stakeholders on the direction of future U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research and development in the area of improving energy efficiency in existing residential buildings.

  2. Operational efficiency increase in a copper vapor laser due to the replacement of vacuum jacket brewster windows with flat windows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estep, Lee; Witherspoon, Ned; Holloway, John; Price, Brian; Miller, Robert

    1989-01-01

    The vacuum integrity of the discharge tube of a copper vapor laser (CVL) is normally protected by Brewster angled windows. In an attempt to increase the operating efficiency of the CVL, flat windows were used to replace the Brewster windows. Experimental data confirm that the overall efficiency of the CVL does increase when such windows are used. The experimental results are discussed in terms of a computer model found in the literature. The cause of the efficiency increase appears due to a double optical cavity set up by the flat windows. However, the variation of the efficiency due to changes in the pulse repetition frequency (PRF) and buffer gas pressure are less well understood.

  3. A method for increasing the scoring efficiency of the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-Hue test.

    PubMed

    Craven, B J

    1997-03-01

    This paper describes a method for scoring the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-Hue test, based on maximum-likelihood estimation, which in theory reduces test-to-test variability in scores and which is therefore better able to discriminate between different levels of overall colour discrimination than is the original Farnsworth scoring system. Error scores produced by the method are directly comparable to error scores produced by the traditional scoring system. It is hoped that this work will provoke further consideration of the efficiency of the scoring system as far as test-to-test variability is concerned, including the efficient detection of polarity in the subject's hue discrimination function.

  4. The inter-group comparison-intra-group cooperation hypothesis: comparisons between groups increase efficiency in public goods provision.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Robert; Rockenbach, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    Identifying methods to increase cooperation and efficiency in public goods provision is of vital interest for human societies. The methods that have been proposed often incur costs that (more than) destroy the efficiency gains through increased cooperation. It has for example been shown that inter-group conflict increases intra-group cooperation, however at the cost of collective efficiency. We propose a new method that makes use of the positive effects associated with inter-group competition but avoids the detrimental (cost) effects of a structural conflict. We show that the mere comparison to another structurally independent group increases both the level of intra-group cooperation and overall efficiency. The advantage of this new method is that it directly transfers the benefits from increased cooperation into increased efficiency. In repeated public goods provision we experimentally manipulated the participants' level of contribution feedback (intra-group only vs. both intra- and inter-group) as well as the provision environment (smaller groups with higher individual benefits from cooperation vs. larger groups with lower individual benefits from cooperation). Irrespective of the provision environment groups with an inter-group comparison opportunity exhibited a significantly stronger cooperation than groups without this opportunity. Participants conditionally cooperated within their group and additionally acted to advance their group to not fall behind the other group. The individual efforts to advance the own group cushion the downward trend in the above average contributors and thus render contributions on a higher level. We discuss areas of practical application.

  5. Increasing Instructional Efficiency by Presenting Additional Stimuli in Learning Trials for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vladescu, Jason C.; Kodak, Tiffany M.

    2013-01-01

    The current study examined the effectiveness and efficiency of presenting secondary targets within learning trials for 4 children with an autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, we compared 4 instructional conditions using a progressive prompt delay. In 3 conditions, we presented secondary targets in the antecedent or consequence portion of…

  6. "Intentional Repetition" and Learning Style: Increasing Efficient and Cohesive Interaction in Asynchronous Online Discussions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Topcu, Abdullah

    2008-01-01

    This study verified the efficacy of the intentional repetition technique in improving interaction in asynchronous online discussions by taking into account the learning styles of the participants. A conceptual framework served for the development of the technique, which conceptualises efficient and cohesive interaction on a continuum of process…

  7. Firearm Injury Prevention Skills: Increasing the Efficiency of Training with Peer Tutoring

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jostad, Candice M.; Miltenberger, Raymond G.

    2004-01-01

    Gun play results in hundreds of childhood injuries and deaths each year in the United States. Behavioral Skills Training (BST) is used to teach children the skills needed to resist gun play when finding a firearm. Although effective, existing BST programs are time and resource intensive and therefore lack the efficiency required to be widely…

  8. Increasing the sonoporation efficiency of targeted polydisperse microbubble populations using chirp excitation.

    PubMed

    McLaughlan, James; Ingram, Nicola; Smith, Peter R; Harput, Sevan; Coletta, P Louise; Evans, Stephen; Freear, Steven

    2013-12-01

    The therapeutic use of microbubbles for targeted drug or gene delivery is a highly active area of research. Phospholipid- encapsulated microbubbles typically have a polydisperse size distribution over the 1 to 10 μm range and can be functionalized for molecular targeting and loaded with drugcarrying liposomes. Sonoporation through the generation of shear stress on the cell membrane by microbubble oscillations is one mechanism that results in pore formation in the cell membrane and can improve drug delivery. A microbubble oscillating at its resonant frequency would generate maximum shear stress on a membrane. However, because of the polydisperse nature of phospholipid microbubbles, a range of resonant frequencies would exist in a single population. In this study, the use of linear chirp excitations was compared with equivalent duration and acoustic pressure tone excitations when measuring the sonoporation efficiency of targeted microbubbles on human colorectal cancer cells. A 3 to 7 MHz chirp had the greatest sonoporation efficiency of 26.9 ± 5.6%, compared with 16.4 ± 1.1% for the 1.32 to 3.08 MHz chirp. The equivalent 2.2- and 5-MHz tone excitations have efficiencies of 12.8 ± 2.1% and 15.6 ± 1.1%, respectively, which were all above the efficiency of 4.1 ± 3.1% from the control exposure.

  9. Single-Cell-State Culture of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Increases Transfection Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Nii, Takenobu; Kohara, Hiroshi; Marumoto, Tomotoshi; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Tani, Kenzaburo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Efficient gene transfer into human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) holds great promise for regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical development. In the past decade, various methods were developed for gene transfer into hPSCs; however, hPSCs form tightly packed colonies, making gene transfer difficult. In this study, we established a stable culture method of hPSCs at a single-cell state to reduce cell density and investigated gene transfection efficiency followed by gene editing efficiency. hPSCs cultured in a single-cell state were transfected using nonliposomal transfection reagents with plasmid DNA or mRNA encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein. We found that most cells (DNA > 90%; mRNA > 99%) were transfected without the loss of undifferentiated PSC marker expression or pluripotency. Moreover, we demonstrated an efficient gene editing method using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) targeting the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. Our new method may improve hPSC gene transfer techniques, thus facilitating their use for human regenerative medicine. PMID:27257519

  10. Online decision support based on modeling with the aim of increased irrigation efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dövényi-Nagy, Tamás; Bakó, Károly; Molnár, Krisztina; Rácz, Csaba; Vasvári, Gyula; Nagy, János; Dobos, Attila

    2015-04-01

    The significant changes in the structure of ownership and control of irrigation infrastructure in the past decades resultted in the decrease of total irrigable and irrigated area (Szilárd, 1999). In this paper, the development of a model-based online service is described whose aim is to aid reasonable irrigation practice and increase water use efficiency. In order to establish a scientific background for irrigation, an agrometeorological station network has been built up by the Agrometeorological and Agroecological Monitoring Centre. A website has been launched in order to provide direct access for local agricultural producers to both the measured weather parameters and results of model based calculations. The public site provides information for general use, registered partners get a handy model based toolkit for decision support at the plot level concerning irrigation, plant protection or frost forecast. The agrometeorological reference station network was established in the recent years by the Agrometeorological and Agroecological Monitoring Centre and is distributed to cover most of the irrigated cropland areas of Hungary. From the spatial aspect, the stations have been deployed mainly in Eastern Hungary with concentrated irrigation infrastructure. The meteorological stations' locations have been carefully chosen to represent their environment in terms of soil, climatic and topographic factors, thereby assuring relevant and up-to-date input data for the models. The measured parameters range from classic meteorological data (air temperature, relative humidity, solar irradiation, wind speed etc.) to specific data which are not available from other services in the region, such as soil temperature, soil water content in multiple depths and leaf wetness. In addition to the basic grid of reference stations, specific stations under irrigated conditions have been deployed to calibrate and validate the models. A specific modeling framework (MetAgro) has been developed

  11. Increased efficiency of rf-induced evaporative cooling by utilizing gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinner, Julian; Wolke, Matthias; Hemmerich, Andreas

    2010-04-01

    We report on an efficient rf-induced forced evaporative cooling of an ensemble of Rb87 atoms in state |F=2,mF=2> magnetically trapped in a quadrupole-Ioffe configuration trap. The cigar-shaped trap is oriented with its weak confining axis along the direction of gravity leading to, first, a significant separation of the trapping positions for low-field-seeking atoms with different mF value and, second, a reduced resonance volume for rf-induced evaporation confined to a small region around the lower tip of the cigar-shaped ensemble. This results in an enhancement of the evaporation efficiency α≡dlnT/(dlnN) due to either reduced or completely vanishing scattering events between cooled and evaporated atoms. We present data illustrating this effect.

  12. Conducting successful programs to increase the energy efficiency of manufactured housing

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, A.D.; Volke, S.M. ); Reiwer, S.M. )

    1990-08-01

    Since 1985, Bonneville has conducted a multilayer program to promote higher efficiency in manufactured homes. Recently, manufactured housing was included in Bonneville's Residential Construction Demonstration Project (RCDP) Cycle II. The demonstration was a success: 8 out of 17 regional plants participated; 150 manufactured homes were built to the Northwest Power Planning Council's regional energy-efficiency Model Conservation Standards (MCS); and all 17 plants have indicated they will participate in the Super Good Cents (SGC) program, a Bonneville marketing program for homes built to the MCS. Information about Bonneville's program should be of interest to planners and policymakers in other parts of the country. This paper discusses Bonneville's program, its key outcomes, and lessons learned. 8 refs., 1 tab.

  13. Increasing efficiency of enzymatic hemicellulose removal from bamboo for production of high-grade dissolving pulp.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lingfeng; Yuan, Zhaoyang; Kapu, Nuwan Sella; Chang, Xue Feng; Beatson, Rodger; Trajano, Heather L; Martinez, D Mark

    2017-01-01

    To improve the efficiency of enzymatic hemicellulose removal from bamboo pre-hydrolysis kraft pulp, mechanical refining was conducted prior to enzyme treatment. Refining significantly improved the subsequent hemicellulose removal efficiency by xylanase treatment. Results showed that when PFI refining was followed by 3h xylanase treatment, the xylan content of the bamboo pre-hydrolysis kraft pulp (after first stage oxygen delignification) could be decreased to 2.72% (w/w). After bleaching of enzyme treated pulp, the alpha-cellulose content was 93.4% (w/w) while the xylan content was only 2.38%. The effect of refining on fibre properties was investigated in terms of freeness, water retention value, fibre length and fibrillation characteristics. The brightness, reactivity and viscosity were also determined to characterize the quality of final pulp. Results demonstrated the feasibility of combining refining and xylanase treatment to produce high quality bamboo dissolving pulp.

  14. Potential for the increased efficiency in motors in the chemical and processing industries. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Pillay, P.

    1996-08-01

    Refineries and chemical plants make up a large portion of the process industry in Louisiana. Detailed surveys of motors and motor loads were done for 2 refineries and 5 chemical plants. In addition, surveys of motor failures were done for 1 refinery and 4 chemical plants. Categories of < 20hp, 20hp--250hp, 250hp--500hp and > 500hp were used to reflect the horsepower ranges sued by utilities nationwide in DSM rebate programs. The 20hp--250hp range being a target for replacement or retrofit scenarios; this is also the horsepower range where users have a choice of energy efficient or standard efficient motors. The data are presented in different graphs to emphasize different characteristics. A raw motor count is given that is an actual count in every hp; this is then organized in the hp ranges listed above. The total horsepower in each category is also given to show the concentration of the plant`s installed hp. the loads are divided into pumps, fans, compressors and others in the case of refineries. in the case of chemical plants, additional categories had to be used, depending on the plant, like agitators, centrifuges etc. A realistic tariff structure is then used to determine the potential for efficiency improvements with the resultant energy, demand and cost savings. The results of metering of motors are then presented. Results of a 50hp motor driving a pump, a 200 hp motor driving a pump, a 100 hp motor driving a fan, and a 30hp motor driving an agitator are included. An examination of variable speed drive efficiency is included, using detailed models of the power electronic devices. 20 refs., 180 figs., 82 tabs.

  15. Increasing the efficiency of organic solar cells using dielectric spherical nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vladimirova, Yu. V.; Zadkov, V. N.

    2016-12-01

    In this paper we review recent progress in using plasmonic nanoparticles for improving efficiency of the organic photovoltaic (PV) cells with embedded plasmonic nanoparticles. Specifically, we discuss how the plasmonic nanoparticles can be used for guiding and concentrating the light for enhanced absorption, paying attention to both fundamentals and design considerations, as well as to realization of the broadband plasmonic scattering to better utilize the incoming solar spectrum. Plus to that, we discuss potential advantages of using dielectric nanoparticles in PV solar cells.

  16. Combining total energy and energy industrial center concepts to increase utilization efficiency of geothermal energy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayliss, B. P.

    1974-01-01

    Integrating energy production and energy consumption to produce a total energy system within an energy industrial center which would result in more power production from a given energy source and less pollution of the environment is discussed. Strong governmental support would be required for the crash drilling program necessary to implement these concepts. Cooperation among the federal agencies, power producers, and private industry would be essential in avoiding redundant and fruitless projects, and in exploiting most efficiently our geothermal resources.

  17. Increasing the Efficiency of Gold-Ceria Catalyst for the Massive Production of Hydrogen

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-04

    cerium dioxide (CeO2) singe crystals by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM) working with atomic resolution. Our AFM data reveal that single...Introduction: Ceria ( cerium dioxide, CeO2) is a material of tremendous potential in several industrial applications with important repercussions in...relevant process in the WGS reaction– on the two most efficient systems currently known for enhancing this chemical reaction: gold nanoclusters on ceria

  18. Trophic assimilation efficiency markedly increases at higher trophic levels in four-level host-parasitoid food chain.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; Moser, Andrea; Newton, Jason; van Veen, F J Frank

    2016-03-16

    Trophic assimilation efficiency (conversion of resource biomass into consumer biomass) is thought to be a limiting factor for food chain length in natural communities. In host-parasitoid systems, which account for the majority of terrestrial consumer interactions, a high trophic assimilation efficiency may be expected at higher trophic levels because of the close match of resource composition of host tissue and the consumer's resource requirements, which would allow for longer food chains. We measured efficiency of biomass transfer along an aphid-primary-secondary-tertiary parasitoid food chain and used stable isotope analysis to confirm trophic levels. We show high efficiency in biomass transfer along the food chain. From the third to the fourth trophic level, the proportion of host biomass transferred was 45%, 65% and 73%, respectively, for three secondary parasitoid species. For two parasitoid species that can act at the fourth and fifth trophic levels, we show markedly increased trophic assimilation efficiencies at the higher trophic level, which increased from 45 to 63% and 73 to 93%, respectively. In common with other food chains, δ(15)N increased with trophic level, with trophic discrimination factors (Δ(15)N) 1.34 and 1.49‰ from primary parasitoids to endoparasitic and ectoparasitic secondary parasitoids, respectively, and 0.78‰ from secondary to tertiary parasitoids. Owing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of hyperparasitoids, cryptic higher trophic levels may exist in host-parasitoid communities, which could alter our understanding of the dynamics and drivers of community structure of these important systems.

  19. Industry perspectives on increasing the efficiency of coal-fired power generation

    SciTech Connect

    Torrens, I.M.; Stenzel, W.C.

    1997-12-31

    Independent power producers will build a substantial fraction of expected new coal-fired power generation in developing countries over the coming decades. To reduce perceived risk and obtain financing for their projects, they are currently building and plan to continue to build subcritical coal-fired plants with generating efficiency below 40%. Up-to-date engineering assessment leads to the conclusion that supercritical generating technology, capable of efficiencies of up to 45%, can produce electricity at a lower total cost than conventional plants. If such plants were built in Asia over the coming decades, the savings in carbon dioxide emissions over their lifetime would be measured in billions of tons. IPPs perceive supercritical technology as riskier and higher cost than conventional technology. The truth needs to be confirmed by discussions with additional experienced power engineering companies. Better communication among the interested parties could help to overcome the IPP perception issue. Governments working together with industry might be able to identify creative financing arrangements which can encourage the use of more efficient pulverized clean coal technologies, while awaiting the commercialization of advanced clean coal technologies like gasification combined cycle and pressurized fluidized bed combustion.

  20. Myocardial Energy Substrate Metabolism in Heart Failure : from Pathways to Therapeutic Targets.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Arata; Milner, Kenneth; Gupta, Abhishek; Lopaschuk, Gary D

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent advances in therapy, heart failure remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity and is a growing healthcare burden worldwide. Alterations in myocardial energy substrate metabolism are a hallmark of heart failure, and are associated with an energy deficit in the failing heart. Previous studies have shown that a metabolic shift from mitochondrial oxidative metabolism to glycolysis, as well as an uncoupling between glycolysis and glucose oxidation, plays a crucial role in the development of cardiac inefficiency and functional impairment in heart failure. Therefore, optimizing energy substrate utilization, particularly by increasing mitochondrial glucose oxidation, can be a potentially promising approach to decrease the severity of heart failure by improving mechanical cardiac efficiency. One approach to stimulating myocardial glucose oxidation is to inhibit fatty acid oxidation. This review will overview the physiological regulation of both myocardial fatty acid and glucose oxidation in the heart, and will discuss what alterations in myocardial energy substrate metabolism occur in the failing heart. Furthermore, lysine acetylation has been recently identified as a novel post-translational pathway by which mitochondrial enzymes involved in all aspects of cardiac energy metabolism can be regulated. Thus, we will also discuss the effect of acetylation of metabolic enzymes on myocardial energy substrate preference in the settings of heart failure. Finally, we will focus on pharmacological interventions that target enzymes involved in fatty acid uptake, fatty acid oxidation, transcriptional regulation of fatty acid oxidation, and glucose oxidation to treat heart failure.

  1. Viscoelastic fluid response can increase the speed and efficiency of a free swimmer.

    PubMed

    Teran, Joseph; Fauci, Lisa; Shelley, Michael

    2010-01-22

    Microorganisms navigate through complex environments such as biofilms and mucosal tissues and tracts. To understand the effect of a complex medium upon their locomotion, we investigate numerically the effect of fluid viscoelasticity on the dynamics of an undulating swimming sheet. First, we recover recent small-amplitude results for infinite sheets that suggest that viscoelasticity impedes locomotion. We find the opposite result when simulating free swimmers with large tail undulations, with both velocity and mechanical efficiency peaking for Deborah numbers near one. We associate this with regions of highly stressed fluid aft of the undulating tail.

  2. Emerging and established technologies to increase nitrogen use efficiency of cereals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen (N) fertilizers are expensive inputs; additionally, loss of N increases costs, contributes to soil acidification, and causes off-site pollution of air, groundwater and waterways. This study reviews current knowledge about technologies for N fertilization with potential to increase N use eff...

  3. Eco-efficient approaches to land management: a case for increased integration of crop and animal production systems.

    PubMed

    Wilkins, R J

    2008-02-12

    Eco-efficiency is concerned with the efficient and sustainable use of resources in farm production and land management. It can be increased either by altering the management of individual crop and livestock enterprises or by altering the land-use system. This paper concentrates on the effects of crop sequence and rotation on soil fertility and nutrient use efficiency. The potential importance of mixed farming involving both crops and livestock is stressed, particularly when the systems incorporate biological nitrogen fixation and manure recycling. There is, however, little evidence that the trend in developed countries to farm-level specialization is being reduced. In some circumstances legislation to restrict diffuse pollution may provide incentives for more diverse eco-efficient farming and in other circumstances price premia for produce from eco-efficient systems, such as organic farming, and subsidies for the provision of environmental services may provide economic incentives for the adoption of such systems. However, change is likely to be most rapid where the present systems lead to obvious reductions in the productive potential of the land, such as in areas experiencing salinization. In other situations, there is promise that eco-efficiency could be increased on an area-wide basis by the establishment of linkages between farms of contrasting type, particularly between specialist crop and livestock farms, with contracts for the transfer of manures and, to a lesser extent, feeds.

  4. China's growing CO{sub 2} emissions - a race between increasing consumption and efficiency gains

    SciTech Connect

    Glen P. Peters; Christopher L. Weber; Dabo Guan; Klaus Hubacek

    2007-09-15

    China's rapidly growing economy and energy consumption are creating serious environmental problems on both local and global scales. Understanding the key drivers behind China's growing energy consumption and the associated CO{sub 2} emissions is critical for the development of global climate policies and provides insight into how other emerging economies may develop a low emissions future. Using recently released Chinese economic input-output data and structural decomposition analysis we analyze how changes in China's technology, economic structure, urbanization, and lifestyles affect CO{sub 2} emissions. We find that infrastructure construction and urban household consumption, both in turn driven by urbanization and lifestyle changes, have outpaced efficiency improvements in the growth of CO{sub 2} emissions. Net trade had a small effect on total emissions due to equal, but significant, growth in emissions from the production of exports and emissions avoided by imports. Technology and efficiency improvements have only partially offset consumption growth, but there remains considerable untapped potential to reduce emissions by improving both production and consumption systems. As China continues to rapidly develop there is an opportunity to further implement and extend policies, such as the Circular Economy, that will help China avoid the high emissions path taken by today's developed countries. 65 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Visual Working Memory Capacity Can Be Increased by Training on Distractor Filtering Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cui-Hong; He, Xu; Wang, Yu-Juan; Hu, Zhe; Guo, Chun-Yan

    2017-01-01

    It is generally considered that working memory (WM) capacity is limited and that WM capacity affects cognitive processes. Distractor filtering efficiency has been suggested to be an important factor in determining the visual working memory (VWM) capacity of individuals. In the present study, we investigated whether training in visual filtering efficiency (FE) could improve VWM capacity, as measured by performance on the change detection task (CDT) and changes of contralateral delay activity (CDA) (contralateral delay activity) of different conditions, and evaluated the transfer effect of visual FE training on verbal WM and fluid intelligence, as indexed by performance on the verbal WM span task and Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM) test, respectively. Participants were divided into high- and low-capacity groups based on their performance in a CDT designed to test VWM capacity, and then the low-capacity individuals received 20 days of FE training. The training significantly improved the group’s performance in the CDT, and their CDA models of different conditions became more similar with high capacity group, and the effect generalized to improve verbal WM span. These gains were maintained at a 3-month follow-up test. Participants’ RSPM scores were not changed by the training. These findings support the notion that WM capacity is determined, at least in part, by distractor FE and can be enhanced through training. PMID:28261131

  6. China's growing CO2 emissions--a race between increasing consumption and efficiency gains.

    PubMed

    Peters, Glen P; Weber, Christopher L; Guan, Dabo; Hubacek, Klaus

    2007-09-01

    China's rapidly growing economy and energy consumption are creating serious environmental problems on both local and global scales. Understanding the key drivers behind China's growing energy consumption and the associated CO2 emissions is critical for the development of global climate policies and provides insight into how other emerging economies may develop a low emissions future. Using recently released Chinese economic input-output data and structural decomposition analysis we analyze how changes in China's technology, economic structure, urbanization, and lifestyles affect CO2 emissions. We find that infrastructure construction and urban household consumption, both in turn driven by urbanization and lifestyle changes, have outpaced efficiency improvements in the growth of CO2 emissions. Net trade had a small effect on total emissions due to equal, but significant, growth in emissions from the production of exports and emissions avoided by imports. Technology and efficiency improvements have only partially offset consumption growth, but there remains considerable untapped potential to reduce emissions by improving both production and consumption systems. As China continues to rapidly develop there is an opportunity to further implement and extend policies, such as the Circular Economy, that will help China avoid the high emissions path taken by today's developed countries.

  7. REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: INCREASED STAR FORMATION EFFICIENCIES IN THE EARLY HISTORIES OF DWARF GALAXIES?

    SciTech Connect

    Madau, Piero; Weisz, Daniel R.; Conroy, Charlie

    2014-08-01

    On dwarf galaxy scales, the different shapes of the galaxy stellar mass function and the dark halo mass function require a star-formation efficiency (SFE) in these systems that is currently more than 1 dex lower than that of Milky Way-size halos. Here, we argue that this trend may actually be reversed at high redshift. Specifically, by combining the resolved star-formation histories of nearby isolated dwarfs with the simulated mass-growth rates of dark matter halos, we show that the assembly of these systems occurs in two phases: (1) an early, fast halo accretion phase with a rapidly deepening potential well, characterized by a high SFE; and (2) a late, slow halo accretion phase where, perhaps as a consequence of reionization, the SFE is low. Nearby dwarfs have more old stars than predicted by assuming a constant or decreasing SFE with redshift, a behavior that appears to deviate qualitatively from the trends seen among more massive systems. Taken at face value, the data suggest that at sufficiently early epochs, dwarf galaxy halos above the atomic cooling mass limit can be among the most efficient sites of star formation in the universe.

  8. Modeling of a water vapor selective membrane unit to increase the energy efficiency of humidity harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergmair, D.; Metz, S. J.; de Lange, H. C.; van Steenhoven, A. A.

    2012-11-01

    Air humidity is a promising source of clean and safe drinking water. However, in conventional systems a lot of energy is wasted on the production of cold air, rather than the condensation of water vapor. This study examines the possibility of using a hollow fiber membrane module to make this process more energy efficient, by separating the vapor from other gases, prior to the cooling process with the help of selective membranes. The water vapor concentration within a fiber has been modeled using a random walker approach, and the membrane permeability has been implemented as a re-bounce probability for simulation particles interacting with the membrane. Considering the additional work requirement for driving a feed flow through the membrane section and the computed water vapor permeation it could be shown that the energy demand per unit water is lowest for slow flow speeds and favors short and thin fibers. The total energy requirement was estimated to be less than half of the conventional one. Comparison with other CFD simulations and a real life module has shown a good level of agreement, indicating that a membrane section could improve the energy efficiency of humidity harvesting significantly.

  9. High-efficiency acceleration in the laser wakefield by a linearly increasing plasma density

    SciTech Connect

    Dong, Kegong; Wu, Yuchi; Zhu, Bin; Zhang, Zhimeng; Zhao, Zongqing; Zhou, Weimin; Hong, Wei; Cao, Leifeng; Gu, Yuqiu

    2014-12-15

    The acceleration length and the peak energy of the electron beam are limited by the dephasing effect in the laser wakefield acceleration with uniform plasma density. Based on 2D-3V particle in cell simulations, the effects of a linearly increasing plasma density on the electron acceleration are investigated broadly. Comparing with the uniform plasma density, because of the prolongation of the acceleration length and the gradually increasing accelerating field due to the increasing plasma density, the electron beam energy is twice higher in moderate nonlinear wakefield regime. Because of the lower plasma density, the linearly increasing plasma density can also avoid the dark current caused by additional injection. At the optimal acceleration length, the electron energy can be increased from 350 MeV (uniform) to 760 MeV (linearly increasing) with the energy spread of 1.8%, the beam duration is 5 fs and the beam waist is 1.25 μm. This linearly increasing plasma density distribution can be achieved by a capillary with special gas-filled structure, and is much more suitable for experiment.

  10. Improved exercise myocardial perfusion during lidoflazine therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Shapiro, W.; Narahara, K.A.; Park, J.

    1983-11-01

    Lidoflazine is a synthetic drug with calcium-channel blocking effects. In a study of 6 patients with severe classic angina pectoris, single-blind administration of lidoflazine was associated with improved myocardial perfusion during exercise as determined by thallium-201 stress scintigraphy. These studies demonstrate that lidoflazine therapy is associated with relief of angina, an increased physical work capacity, and improved regional myocardial perfusion during exercise.

  11. Efficiency of incentives to jointly increase carbon sequestration and species conservation on a landscape

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Erik; Polasky, Stephen; Lewis, David J.; Plantinga, Andrew J.; Lonsdorf, Eric; White, Denis; Bael, David; Lawler, Joshua J.

    2008-01-01

    We develop an integrated model to predict private land-use decisions in response to policy incentives designed to increase the provision of carbon sequestration and species conservation across heterogeneous landscapes. Using data from the Willamette Basin, Oregon, we compare the provision of carbon sequestration and species conservation under five simple policies that offer payments for conservation. We evaluate policy performance compared with the maximum feasible combinations of carbon sequestration and species conservation on the landscape for various conservation budgets. None of the conservation payment policies produce increases in carbon sequestration and species conservation that approach the maximum potential gains on the landscape. Our results show that policies aimed at increasing the provision of carbon sequestration do not necessarily increase species conservation and that highly targeted policies do not necessarily do as well as more general policies. PMID:18621703

  12. Joint System Prognostics For Increased Efficiency And Risk Mitigation In Advanced Nuclear Reactor Instrumentation and Control

    SciTech Connect

    Donald D. Dudenhoeffer; Tuan Q. Tran; Ronald L. Boring; Bruce P. Hallbert

    2006-08-01

    The science of prognostics is analogous to a doctor who, based on a set of symptoms and patient tests, assesses a probable cause, the risk to the patient, and a course of action for recovery. While traditional prognostics research has focused on the aspect of hydraulic and mechanical systems and associated failures, this project will take a joint view in focusing not only on the digital I&C aspect of reliability and risk, but also on the risks associated with the human element. Model development will not only include an approximation of the control system physical degradation but also on human performance degradation. Thus the goal of the prognostic system is to evaluate control room operation; to identify and potentially take action when performance degradation reduces plant efficiency, reliability or safety.

  13. Biaxial lidar efficiency increase based on improving spatial selectivity and stability against background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agishev, Ravil R.; Bajazitov, Ravil A.; Galeyev, Marat M.

    1996-11-01

    A criterion of spatial-angular efficiency (SAE) of remote electro-optical systems for atmosphere monitoring is formulated. The dependencies of the SAE from normalized range and minimal operating range for different optical receiving schemes of ground-based biaxial LIDAR are analyzed. It is shown that low SAE of traditional VIS & NIR systems is a main cause of a low signal-to-background-noise ratio at the photodetector input, the considerably measurements errors, and the following low accuracy of atmospheric optical parameters reconstruction. The most effective protection against sky background radiation in such systems consists in forming an angular field according to the introduced SAE criterion. Some approaches to achieve high value of the SAE-parameter for receiving system optimization are discussed.

  14. Increasing round trip efficiency of hybrid Li-air battery with bifunctional catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, K; Li, YF; Xing, YC

    2013-07-30

    Previously it was shown that Pt as cathode catalyst ha's a large overpotential during charge in rechargeable hybrid Li-air battery with sulfuric acid catholyte. This article demonstrates that a bifunctional catalyst composed of Pt and IrO2 supported on carbon nanotubes can address this problem. The specially designed and synthesized bifunctional catalyst showed significant overpotential reduction and achieved a round trip energy efficiency of 81% after 10 cycles, higher than many achieved in aprotic Li-O-2 batteries. The hybrid Li-air battery was discharged and recharged for 20 cycles at 0.2 mA/cm(2), showing a fairly stable cell performance. A specific capacity of 306 mAh/g and a specific energy of 1110 Wh/kg were obtained for the hybrid Li-air battery in terms of acid weight. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Practical strategies for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in critical care education.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Maurice F; Berg, Sheri; Bittner, Edward A

    2017-02-04

    Technological advances and evolving demands in medical care have led to challenges in ensuring adequate training for providers of critical care. Reliance on the traditional experience-based training model alone is insufficient for ensuring quality and safety in patient care. This article provides a brief overview of the existing educational practice within the critical care environment. Challenges to education within common daily activities of critical care practice are reviewed. Some practical evidence-based educational approaches are then described which can be incorporated into the daily practice of critical care without disrupting workflow or compromising the quality of patient care. It is hoped that such approaches for improving the efficiency and efficacy of critical care education will be integrated into training programs.

  16. Monitoring applications of power generators for the increase of energy efficiency using novel fiber optical sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villnow, Michael; Willsch, Michael; Bosselmann, Thomas; Schmauss, Bernhard

    2011-05-01

    To verify optimization measures of power generators to improve the energy efficiency and to monitor critical parameters, fiber optical sensors have been developed and investigated. A fiber optical hot wire anemometer based on the thermooptic effect of Fiber Bragg Gratings was investigated to measure the flow distribution along the stator core. Fiber optical magnetic field sensors, based on the strain-optic effect of FBGs, were used to measure the magnetic field distribution on the end windings of a power generator. A novel fiber-optical accelerometer was used to measure the end winding vibrations. In this paper the functionality of each sensor is described and results of field test under real conditions are shown and discussed.

  17. Practical strategies for increasing efficiency and effectiveness in critical care education

    PubMed Central

    Joyce, Maurice F; Berg, Sheri; Bittner, Edward A

    2017-01-01

    Technological advances and evolving demands in medical care have led to challenges in ensuring adequate training for providers of critical care. Reliance on the traditional experience-based training model alone is insufficient for ensuring quality and safety in patient care. This article provides a brief overview of the existing educational practice within the critical care environment. Challenges to education within common daily activities of critical care practice are reviewed. Some practical evidence-based educational approaches are then described which can be incorporated into the daily practice of critical care without disrupting workflow or compromising the quality of patient care. It is hoped that such approaches for improving the efficiency and efficacy of critical care education will be integrated into training programs. PMID:28224102

  18. Standardized workflows for increasing efficiency and productivity in discovery stage bioanalysis.

    PubMed

    Bateman, Kevin P; Cohen, Lucinda; Emary, Bart; Pucci, Vincenzo

    2013-07-01

    Merck consolidated discovery stage bioanalytical functions into the Department of Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics & Drug Metabolism in 2007. Since then procedures and equipment used to provide important quantitative data to project teams have been harmonized and in many cases standardized. This approach has enabled movement of work across the network of laboratories and has resulted in a lean, flexible and efficient organization. The overall goal was to reduce time and resources spent on routine activities while creating time to perform research in new areas and technologies to support future scientific needs. The current state of discovery bioanalysis at Merck is discussed, including hardware and software platforms, workflow procedures and performance metrics. Examples of improved processes will be discussed for compound tuning, LC method development, analytical acceptance criteria, automated sample preparation, sample analysis platforms, data processing and data reporting.

  19. C2-domain mediated nano-cluster formation increases calcium signaling efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Bonny, Mike; Hui, Xin; Schweizer, Julia; Kaestner, Lars; Zeug, André; Kruse, Karsten; Lipp, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Conventional protein kinase Cs (cPKCs) are key signaling proteins for transducing intracellular Ca2+ signals into downstream phosphorylation events. However, the lifetime of individual membrane-bound activated cPKCs is an order of magnitude shorter than the average time needed for target-protein phosphorylation. Here, we employed intermolecular Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in living cells combined with computational analysis to study the spatial organization of cPKCs bound to the plasma membrane. We discovered Ca2+-dependent cPKC nano-clusters that significantly extend cPKC’s plasma-membrane residence time. These protein patterns resulted from self-assembly mediated by Ca2+-binding C2-domains, which are widely used for membrane-targeting of Ca2+-sensing proteins. We also established clustering of other unrelated C2-domain containing proteins, suggesting that nano-cluster formation is a key step for efficient cellular Ca2+-signaling. PMID:27808106

  20. Increasing Combustion Efficiency for Structural Reactive Materials through Design and Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahrah, Tony; Rowland, Rod; Silva, Erin; Littrell, Donald

    2015-06-01

    This paper describes the development of multifunctional materials - materials that are both structural and energetic. These materials typically consist of metal-metal, metal-metal oxide, or metal-oxidizer powder blends that are consolidated into structural components via Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP), and release energy when explosively shocked via anaerobic (intermetallic or thermitic) reactions and aerobic (particle-air) reactions. The mechanical and reactive properties of the materials were tailored through powder selection and ratios. The powder blends included soft and hard materials, and the volume percent from each material was adjusted to control the consolidation temperature. This paper discusses the use of a unique instrumented-HIP technique to minimize the exposure of the powder blend to high temperature and maximize its combustion efficiency. It will focus on the Al-AlMg material system with discussion of its formulation, HIP processing parameters, mechanical properties, and energy release when explosively shocked.

  1. Advances in the Development of Gene-Targeting Vectors to Increase the Efficiency of Genetic Modification.

    PubMed

    Saito, Shinta; Adachi, Noritaka

    2016-01-01

    Gene targeting via homologous recombination, albeit highly inefficient in human cells, is considered a powerful tool for analyzing gene functions. Despite recent progress in the application of artificial nucleases for genome editing, safety issues remain a concern, particularly when genetic modification is used for therapeutic purposes. Therefore, the development of gene-targeting vectors is necessary for safe and sophisticated genetic modification. In this paper, we describe the effect of vector structure on random integration, which is a major obstacle in efficient gene targeting. In addition, we focus on the features of exon-trapping-type gene-targeting vectors, and discuss a novel strategy for negative selection to enhance gene targeting in human cells.

  2. C2-domain mediated nano-cluster formation increases calcium signaling efficiency.

    PubMed

    Bonny, Mike; Hui, Xin; Schweizer, Julia; Kaestner, Lars; Zeug, André; Kruse, Karsten; Lipp, Peter

    2016-11-03

    Conventional protein kinase Cs (cPKCs) are key signaling proteins for transducing intracellular Ca(2+) signals into downstream phosphorylation events. However, the lifetime of individual membrane-bound activated cPKCs is an order of magnitude shorter than the average time needed for target-protein phosphorylation. Here, we employed intermolecular Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in living cells combined with computational analysis to study the spatial organization of cPKCs bound to the plasma membrane. We discovered Ca(2+)-dependent cPKC nano-clusters that significantly extend cPKC's plasma-membrane residence time. These protein patterns resulted from self-assembly mediated by Ca(2+)-binding C2-domains, which are widely used for membrane-targeting of Ca(2+)-sensing proteins. We also established clustering of other unrelated C2-domain containing proteins, suggesting that nano-cluster formation is a key step for efficient cellular Ca(2+)-signaling.

  3. How to use the world's scarce selenium resources efficiently to increase the selenium concentration in food.

    PubMed

    Haug, Anna; Graham, Robin D; Christophersen, Olav A; Lyons, Graham H

    2007-12-01

    The world's rare selenium resources need to be managed carefully. Selenium is extracted as a by-product of copper mining and there are no deposits that can be mined for selenium alone. Selenium has unique properties as a semi-conductor, making it of special value to industry, but it is also an essential nutrient for humans and animals and may promote plant growth and quality. Selenium deficiency is regarded as a major health problem for 0.5 to 1 billion people worldwide, while an even larger number may consume less selenium than required for optimal protection against cancer, cardiovascular diseases and severe infectious diseases including HIV disease. Efficient recycling of selenium is difficult. Selenium is added in some commercial fertilizers, but only a small proportion is taken up by plants and much of the remainder is lost for future utilization. Large biofortification programmes with selenium added to commercial fertilizers may therefore be a fortification method that is too wasteful to be applied to large areas of our planet. Direct addition of selenium compounds to food (process fortification) can be undertaken by the food industry. If selenomethionine is added directly to food, however, oxidation due to heat processing needs to be avoided. New ways to biofortify food products are needed, and it is generally observed that there is less wastage if selenium is added late in the production chain rather than early. On these bases we have proposed adding selenium-enriched, sprouted cereal grain during food processing as an efficient way to introduce this nutrient into deficient diets. Selenium is a non-renewable resource. There is now an enormous wastage of selenium associated with large-scale mining and industrial processing. We recommend that this must be changed and that much of the selenium that is extracted should be stockpiled for use as a nutrient by future generations.

  4. How to use the world's scarce selenium resources efficiently to increase the selenium concentration in food

    PubMed Central

    Haug, Anna; Graham, Robin D.; Christophersen, Olav A.; Lyons, Graham H.

    2007-01-01

    The world's rare selenium resources need to be managed carefully. Selenium is extracted as a by-product of copper mining and there are no deposits that can be mined for selenium alone. Selenium has unique properties as a semi-conductor, making it of special value to industry, but it is also an essential nutrient for humans and animals and may promote plant growth and quality. Selenium deficiency is regarded as a major health problem for 0.5 to 1 billion people worldwide, while an even larger number may consume less selenium than required for optimal protection against cancer, cardiovascular diseases and severe infectious diseases including HIV disease. Efficient recycling of selenium is difficult. Selenium is added in some commercial fertilizers, but only a small proportion is taken up by plants and much of the remainder is lost for future utilization. Large biofortification programmes with selenium added to commercial fertilizers may therefore be a fortification method that is too wasteful to be applied to large areas of our planet. Direct addition of selenium compounds to food (process fortification) can be undertaken by the food industry. If selenomethionine is added directly to food, however, oxidation due to heat processing needs to be avoided. New ways to biofortify food products are needed, and it is generally observed that there is less wastage if selenium is added late in the production chain rather than early. On these bases we have proposed adding selenium-enriched, sprouted cereal grain during food processing as an efficient way to introduce this nutrient into deficient diets. Selenium is a non-renewable resource. There is now an enormous wastage of selenium associated with large-scale mining and industrial processing. We recommend that this must be changed and that much of the selenium that is extracted should be stockpiled for use as a nutrient by future generations. PMID:18833333

  5. Using Supplementary Video in Multimedia Instruction as a Teaching Tool to Increase Efficiency of Learning and Quality of Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ljubojevic, Milos; Vaskovic, Vojkan; Stankovic, Srecko; Vaskovic, Jelena

    2014-01-01

    The main objective of this research is to investigate efficiency of use of supplementary video content in multimedia teaching. Integrating video clips in multimedia lecture presentations may increase students' perception of important information and motivation for learning. Because of that, students can better understand and remember key points of…

  6. The Endless Pursuit of Efficiency: The International Movement To Increase Accountability and Performance in Higher Education. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexander, F. King

    This paper examines the trend toward demanding increased accountability and efficiency by institutions of higher education in the United States and Europe and its implications for the relationship between government and the college or university. It notes that such factors as limited state resources, rising educational costs, and the growing…

  7. Increasing pumping efficiency in a micro throttle pump by enhancing displacement amplification in an elastomeric substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujiwara, T.; Johnston, I. D.; Tracey, M. C.; Tan, C. K. L.

    2010-06-01

    Fluid transport is accomplished in a micro throttle pump (MTP) by alternating deformation of a micro channel cast into a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomeric substrate. The active deformation is achieved using a bimorph PZT piezoelectric disc actuator bonded to a glass diaphragm. The bimorph PZT deflects the diaphragm as well as alternately pushing and pulling the elastomer layer providing displacement amplification in the PDMS directly surrounding the micro channel. In order to improve pumping rates we have embedded a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) ring into the PMDS substrate which increases the magnitude of the displacement amplification achieved. FEM simulation of the elastomeric substrate deformation predicts that the inclusion of the PMMA ring should increase the channel deformation. We experimentally demonstrate that inclusion of a PMMA ring, having a diameter equal to that of the circular node of the PZT/glass/PDMS composite, increases in the throttle resistance ratio by 40% and the maximum pumping rate by 90% compared to an MTP with no ring.

  8. Marine mixotrophy increases trophic transfer efficiency, mean organism size, and vertical carbon flux.

    PubMed

    Ward, Ben A; Follows, Michael J

    2016-03-15

    Mixotrophic plankton, which combine the uptake of inorganic resources and the ingestion of living prey, are ubiquitous in marine ecosystems, but their integrated biogeochemical impacts remain unclear. We address this issue by removing the strict distinction between phytoplankton and zooplankton from a global model of the marine plankton food web. This simplification allows the emergence of a realistic trophic network with increased fidelity to empirical estimates of plankton community structure and elemental stoichiometry, relative to a system in which autotrophy and heterotrophy are mutually exclusive. Mixotrophy enhances the transfer of biomass to larger sizes classes further up the food chain, leading to an approximately threefold increase in global mean organism size and an ∼35% increase in sinking carbon flux.

  9. Marine mixotrophy increases trophic transfer efficiency, mean organism size, and vertical carbon flux

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Ben A.; Follows, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Mixotrophic plankton, which combine the uptake of inorganic resources and the ingestion of living prey, are ubiquitous in marine ecosystems, but their integrated biogeochemical impacts remain unclear. We address this issue by removing the strict distinction between phytoplankton and zooplankton from a global model of the marine plankton food web. This simplification allows the emergence of a realistic trophic network with increased fidelity to empirical estimates of plankton community structure and elemental stoichiometry, relative to a system in which autotrophy and heterotrophy are mutually exclusive. Mixotrophy enhances the transfer of biomass to larger sizes classes further up the food chain, leading to an approximately threefold increase in global mean organism size and an ∼35% increase in sinking carbon flux. PMID:26831076

  10. Increasing Efficiency at the NTF by Optimizing Model AoA Positioning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crawford, Bradley L.; Spells, Courtney

    2006-01-01

    The National Transonic Facility (NTF) at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is a national resource for aeronautical research and development. The government, military and private industries rely on the capability of this facility for realistic flight data. Reducing the operation costs and keeping the NTF affordable is essential for aeronautics research. The NTF is undertaking an effort to reduce the time between data points during a pitch polar. This reduction is being driven by the operating costs of a cryogenic facility. If the time per data point can be reduced, a substantial cost savings can be realized from a reduction in liquid nitrogen (LN2) consumption. It is known that angle-of-attack (AoA) positioning is the longest lead-time item between points. In January 2005 a test was conducted at the NTF to determine the cause of the long lead-time so that an effort could be made to improve efficiency. The AoA signal at the NTF originates from onboard instrumentation then travels through a number of different systems including the signal conditioner, digital voltmeter, and the data system where the AoA angle is calculated. It is then fed into a closed loop control system that sets the model position. Each process along this path adds to the time per data point affecting the efficiency of the data taking process. Due to the nature of the closed loop feed back AoA control and the signal path, it takes approximately 18 seconds to take one pitch pause point with a typical AoA increment. Options are being investigated to reduce the time delay between points by modifying the signal path. These options include: reduced signal filtering, using analog channels instead of a digital volt meter (DVM), re-routing the signal directly to the AoA control computer and implementing new control algorithms. Each of these has potential to reduce the positioning time and together the savings could be significant. These timesaving efforts are essential but must be weighed against

  11. Increased efficiency with surface texturing in ITO/InP solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, Phillip; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Fatemi, Navid; Li, Xiaonan; Scheiman, David; Bailey, Sheila

    1992-01-01

    Optimization of an InP solar cell with a V-grooved surface is discussed. Total internal reflection in the coverglass reduces surface reflection and can recover light reflected from the front metallization. Results from the first ITO/InP solar cells on low-angle V-grooved substrates are presented, showing a 5.8 percent increase in current.

  12. Increasing Completion Rates in Norwegian Doctoral Training: Multiple Causes for Efficiency Improvements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyvik, Svein; Olsen, Terje Bruen

    2014-01-01

    This article examines changes in completion rates and time-to-degree in Norwegian doctoral training over the last 30 years. A steadily increasing share of doctoral candidates holding a fellowship have been awarded their doctoral degree within five years; from 30% of those admitted in 1980 to 60% of those admitted 25 years later. Furthermore, the…

  13. Down regulation of Akirin-2 increases chemosensitivity in human glioblastomas more efficiently than Twist-1

    PubMed Central

    Krossa, Sebastian; Schmitt, Anne Dorothée; Hattermann, Kirsten; Fritsch, Jürgen; Scheidig, Axel J.; Mehdorn, Hubertus Maximilian; Held-Feindt, Janka

    2015-01-01

    The Twist-1 transcription factor and its interacting protein Akirin-2 regulate apoptosis. We found that in glioblastomas, highly malignant brain tumors, Akirin-2 and Twist-1 were expressed in glial fibrillary acidic protein positive tumor regions as well as in tumor endothelial cells and infiltrating macrophages / microglia. Temozolomide (TMZ) induced the expression of both molecules, partly shifting their nuclear to cytosolic localization. The knock-down (kd) of Akirin-2 increased the activity of cleaved (c)Caspase-3/-7, the amounts of cCaspases-3, -7 and cPARP-1 and resulted in an increased number of apoptotic cells after TMZ exposure. Glioblastoma cells containing decreased amounts of Akirin-2 after kd contained increased amounts of cCaspase-3 as determined by the ImageStreamx Mark II technology. For Twist-1, similar results were obtained with the exception that the combination of TMZ treatment and Twist-1 kd failed to significantly reduce chemoresistance compared with controls. This could be attributed to a cell population containing only slightly increased cCaspase-3 together with decreased Twist-1 levels, which was clearly larger than the respective population observed under Akirin-2 kd. Our results showed that, compared with Twist-1, Akirin-2 is the more promising target for RNAi strategies antagonizing Twist-1/Akirin-2 facilitated glioblastoma cell survival. PMID:26036627

  14. A survey on breeding strategies and selection objectives for increased feed efficiency and decreased methane emission

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The combined effects of world population growth, rising incomes and dietary changes have resulted in an increasing international demand for dairy and meat products. However, livestock can have negative impacts on the environment and the greater awareness of climate change has placed pressure on the ...

  15. Conservation cropping systems: Increasing water use efficiency and lowering production costs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As of the 2007 Census of Agriculture, irrigated acres were only found on 4.4% of agricultural operations in Alabama. To increase irrigated acres, the Alabama Legislature passed the Irrigation Incentives Bill in 2012 to provide a state income tax credit of 20 percent of the costs of the purchase and ...

  16. Supplementing Vitamin E to the Ration of Beef Cattle Increased the Utilization Efficiency of Dietary Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Chen; Lin, Shixin; Wu, Jinlong; Zhao, Guangyong; Zhang, Tingting; Zheng, Wensi

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of the trial were to investigate the effects of supplementing vitamin E (VE) on nutrient digestion, nitrogen (N) retention and plasma parameters of beef cattle in feedlot. Four growing Simmental bulls, fed with a total mixed ration composed of corn silage and concentrate mixture as basal ration, were used as the experimental animals. Four levels of VE product, i.e. 0, 150, 300, 600 mg/head/d (equivalent to 0, 75, 150, 300 IU VE/head/d), were supplemented to the basal ration (VE content 38 IU/kg dry matter) in a 4×4 Latin square design as experimental treatments I, II, III and IV, respectively. Each experimental period lasted 15 days, of which the first 12 days were for pretreatment and the last 3 days for sampling. The results showed that supplementing VE did not affect the nutrient digestibility (p>0.05) whereas decreased the urinary N excretion (p<0.01), increased the N retention (p<0.05) and tended to increase the microbial N supply estimated based on the total urinary purine derivatives (p = 0.057). Supplementing VE increased the plasma concentrations of VE, glucose and triglycerol (TG) (p<0.05) and tended to increase the plasma concentration of total protein (p = 0.096) whereas did not affect the plasma antioxidant indices and other parameters (p>0.05). It was concluded that supplementing VE up to 300 IU/head/d did not affect the nutrient digestibility whereas supplementing VE at 150 or 300 IU/head/d increased the N retention and the plasma concentrations of VE and TG (p<0.05) of beef cattle. PMID:26950868

  17. A high efficiency veto to increase the sensitivity of ZEPLIN-III, a WIMP detector

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, E. J.

    2009-09-08

    An active veto detector to complement the ZEPLIN-III two phase Xenon, direct dark matter device is described. The proposed design consists of 52 plastic scintillator segments, individually read out by high efficiency photomultipliers, coupled to a Gd loaded passive polypropylene shield. Experimental work was performed to determine the plastic scintillator characteristics which were used to inform a complete end-to-end Monte Carlo simulation of the expected performance of the new instrument, both operating alone and as an active veto detector for ZEPLIN-III. The veto device will be capable of tagging over 65% of coincident nuclear recoil events in the energy range of interest in ZEPLIN-III, and over 12% for gamma ray rejection, while contributing no significant additional background. In addition it will also provide valuable diagnostic capabilities. The inclusion of the veto to ZEPLIN-III will aid to significantly improve the sensitivity to spin independent WIMP-nucleon cross sections below 10{sup -8} pb.

  18. Perspectives of Increasing Efficiency and Productivity of Electromagnetic Induction Pumps for Mercury Basing on Permanent Magnets

    SciTech Connect

    Bucenieks, I.

    2006-07-01

    In the next generation neutron sources the HLM (heavy liquid metals) such as lead, lead based eutectic alloys and mercury will be used both as spallation target material and simultaneously as the cooling liquid. In this aspect the design of safe and effective pumps for HLM recirculation at high pressure heads and big flow rates becomes important. For this purpose electromagnetic inductions pumps having no problems of hydraulic seals being in contact with liquid metal (electromagnetic forces in the liquid metal are induced by magnetic system located outside of the channel of pump) are more perspective from the point of view of their safety for operation at high temperature and radiation conditions in comparison with mechanical pumps. At the Institute of Physics of University of Latvia (IPUL) the design concept of electromagnetic induction pumps basing on the principle of rotating permanent magnets (PMP) have been developed. Such design concept of electromagnetic induction pumps has many advantages in comparison with traditionally used electromagnetic induction pumps basing on 3-phase linear flat or cylindrical inductors. The estimations of parameters of powerful pumps (such as overall dimensions of the active magnetic system, power of motor needed for pump drive, the efficiency of pump) for mercury for the developed by pump pressure heads in the range up to 10.0 bar and provided flow rates in the range up to 20 litres per second are demonstrated. (author)

  19. Utilizing Diffuse Reflection to Increase the Efficiency of Luminescent Solar Concentrators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowser, Seth; Weible, Seth; Solomon, Joel; Schrecengost, Jonathan; Wittmershaus, Bruce

    A luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) consists of a high index solid plate containing a fluorescent material that converts sunlight into fluorescence. Utilizing total internal reflection, the LSC collects and concentrates the fluorescence at the plate's edges where it is converted into electricity via photovoltaic solar cells. The lower production costs of LSCs make them an attractive alternative to photovoltaic solar cells. To optimize an LSC's efficiency, a white diffusive surface (background) is positioned behind it. The background allows sunlight transmitted in the first pass to be reflected back through the LSC providing a second chance for absorption. Our research examines how the LSC's performance is affected by changing the distance between the white background and the LSC. An automated linear motion apparatus was engineered to precisely measure this distance and the LSC's electrical current, simultaneously. LSC plates, with and without the presence of fluorescent material and in an isolated environment, showed a maximum current at a distance greater than zero. Further experimentation has proved that the optimal distance results from the background's optical properties and how the reflected light enters the LSC. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number NSF-ECCS-1306157.

  20. Policy options for the split incentive: Increasing energy efficiency for low-income renters

    PubMed Central

    Bird, Stephen; Hernández, Diana

    2016-01-01

    The split incentive problem concerns the lack of appropriate incentives to implement energy efficiency measures. In particular, low income tenants face a phenomenon of energy poverty in which they allocate significantly more of their household income to energy expenditures than other renters. This problem is substantial, affecting 1.89% of all United States' energy use. If effectively addressed, it would create a range of savings between 4 and 11 billion dollars per year for many of the nation's poorest residents. We argue that a carefully designed program of incentives for participants (including landlords) in conjunction with a unique type of utility-managed on-bill financing mechanism has significant potential to solve many of the complications. We focus on three kinds of split incentives, five concerns inherent to addressing split incentive problems (scale, endurance, incentives, savings, political disfavor), and provide a detailed policy proposal designed to surpass those problems, with a particular focus on low-income tenants in a U.S. context. PMID:27053828

  1. A new regime of nanoscale thermal transport: Collective diffusion increases dissipation efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Hoogeboom-Pot, Kathleen M.; Hernandez-Charpak, Jorge N.; Gu, Xiaokun; Frazer, Travis D.; Anderson, Erik H.; Chao, Weilun; Falcone, Roger W.; Yang, Ronggui; Murnane, Margaret M.; Kapteyn, Henry C.; Nardi, Damiano

    2015-01-01

    Understanding thermal transport from nanoscale heat sources is important for a fundamental description of energy flow in materials, as well as for many technological applications including thermal management in nanoelectronics and optoelectronics, thermoelectric devices, nanoenhanced photovoltaics, and nanoparticle-mediated thermal therapies. Thermal transport at the nanoscale is fundamentally different from that at the macroscale and is determined by the distribution of carrier mean free paths and energy dispersion in a material, the length scales of the heat sources, and the distance over which heat is transported. Past work has shown that Fourier’s law for heat conduction dramatically overpredicts the rate of heat dissipation from heat sources with dimensions smaller than the mean free path of the dominant heat-carrying phonons. In this work, we uncover a new regime of nanoscale thermal transport that dominates when the separation between nanoscale heat sources is small compared with the dominant phonon mean free paths. Surprisingly, the interaction of phonons originating from neighboring heat sources enables more efficient diffusive-like heat dissipation, even from nanoscale heat sources much smaller than the dominant phonon mean free paths. This finding suggests that thermal management in nanoscale systems including integrated circuits might not be as challenging as previously projected. Finally, we demonstrate a unique capability to extract differential conductivity as a function of phonon mean free path in materials, allowing the first (to our knowledge) experimental validation of predictions from the recently developed first-principles calculations. PMID:25831491

  2. A high efficiency veto to increase the sensitivity of ZEPLIN-III, a WIMP detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, E. J.

    2009-09-01

    An active veto detector to complement the ZEPLIN-III two phase Xenon, direct dark matter device is described. The proposed design consists of 52 plastic scintillator segments, individually read out by high efficiency photomultipliers, coupled to a Gd loaded passive polypropylene shield. Experimental work was performed to determine the plastic scintillator characteristics which were used to inform a complete end-to-end Monte Carlo simulation of the expected performance of the new instrument, both operating alone and as an active veto detector for ZEPLIN-III. The veto device will be capable of tagging over 65% of coincident nuclear recoil events in the energy range of interest in ZEPLIN-III, and over 12% for gamma ray rejection, while contributing no significant additional background. In addition it will also provide valuable diagnostic capabilities. The inclusion of the veto to ZEPLIN-III will aid to significantly improve the sensitivity to spin independent WIMP-nucleon cross sections below 10-8 pb.

  3. A new regime of nanoscale thermal transport: Collective diffusion increases dissipation efficiency

    DOE PAGES

    Hoogeboom-Pot, Kathleen M.; Hernandez-Charpak, Jorge N.; Gu, Xiaokun; ...

    2015-03-23

    Understanding thermal transport from nanoscale heat sources is important for a fundamental description of energy flow in materials, as well as for many technological applications including thermal management in nanoelectronics and optoelectronics, thermoelectric devices, nanoenhanced photovoltaics, and nanoparticle-mediated thermal therapies. Thermal transport at the nanoscale is fundamentally different from that at the macroscale and is determined by the distribution of carrier mean free paths and energy dispersion in a material, the length scales of the heat sources, and the distance over which heat is transported. Past work has shown that Fourier’s law for heat conduction dramatically overpredicts the rate ofmore » heat dissipation from heat sources with dimensions smaller than the mean free path of the dominant heat-carrying phonons. In this work, we uncover a new regime of nanoscale thermal transport that dominates when the separation between nanoscale heat sources is small compared with the dominant phonon mean free paths. Surprisingly, the interaction of phonons originating from neighboring heat sources enables more efficient diffusive-like heat dissipation, even from nanoscale heat sources much smaller than the dominant phonon mean free paths. This finding suggests that thermal management in nanoscale systems including integrated circuits might not be as challenging as previously projected. In conclusion, we demonstrate a unique capability to extract differential conductivity as a function of phonon mean free path in materials, allowing the first (to our knowledge) experimental validation of predictions from the recently developed first-principles calculations.« less

  4. A new regime of nanoscale thermal transport: Collective diffusion increases dissipation efficiency.

    PubMed

    Hoogeboom-Pot, Kathleen M; Hernandez-Charpak, Jorge N; Gu, Xiaokun; Frazer, Travis D; Anderson, Erik H; Chao, Weilun; Falcone, Roger W; Yang, Ronggui; Murnane, Margaret M; Kapteyn, Henry C; Nardi, Damiano

    2015-04-21

    Understanding thermal transport from nanoscale heat sources is important for a fundamental description of energy flow in materials, as well as for many technological applications including thermal management in nanoelectronics and optoelectronics, thermoelectric devices, nanoenhanced photovoltaics, and nanoparticle-mediated thermal therapies. Thermal transport at the nanoscale is fundamentally different from that at the macroscale and is determined by the distribution of carrier mean free paths and energy dispersion in a material, the length scales of the heat sources, and the distance over which heat is transported. Past work has shown that Fourier's law for heat conduction dramatically overpredicts the rate of heat dissipation from heat sources with dimensions smaller than the mean free path of the dominant heat-carrying phonons. In this work, we uncover a new regime of nanoscale thermal transport that dominates when the separation between nanoscale heat sources is small compared with the dominant phonon mean free paths. Surprisingly, the interaction of phonons originating from neighboring heat sources enables more efficient diffusive-like heat dissipation, even from nanoscale heat sources much smaller than the dominant phonon mean free paths. This finding suggests that thermal management in nanoscale systems including integrated circuits might not be as challenging as previously projected. Finally, we demonstrate a unique capability to extract differential conductivity as a function of phonon mean free path in materials, allowing the first (to our knowledge) experimental validation of predictions from the recently developed first-principles calculations.

  5. Policy options for the split incentive: Increasing energy efficiency for low-income renters.

    PubMed

    Bird, Stephen; Hernández, Diana

    2012-09-01

    The split incentive problem concerns the lack of appropriate incentives to implement energy efficiency measures. In particular, low income tenants face a phenomenon of energy poverty in which they allocate significantly more of their household income to energy expenditures than other renters. This problem is substantial, affecting 1.89% of all United States' energy use. If effectively addressed, it would create a range of savings between 4 and 11 billion dollars per year for many of the nation's poorest residents. We argue that a carefully designed program of incentives for participants (including landlords) in conjunction with a unique type of utility-managed on-bill financing mechanism has significant potential to solve many of the complications. We focus on three kinds of split incentives, five concerns inherent to addressing split incentive problems (scale, endurance, incentives, savings, political disfavor), and provide a detailed policy proposal designed to surpass those problems, with a particular focus on low-income tenants in a U.S.

  6. A new regime of nanoscale thermal transport: Collective diffusion increases dissipation efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Hoogeboom-Pot, Kathleen M.; Hernandez-Charpak, Jorge N.; Gu, Xiaokun; Frazer, Travis D.; Anderson, Erik H.; Chao, Weilun; Falcone, Roger W.; Yang, Ronggui; Murnane, Margaret M.; Kapteyn, Henry C.; Nardi, Damiano

    2015-03-23

    Understanding thermal transport from nanoscale heat sources is important for a fundamental description of energy flow in materials, as well as for many technological applications including thermal management in nanoelectronics and optoelectronics, thermoelectric devices, nanoenhanced photovoltaics, and nanoparticle-mediated thermal therapies. Thermal transport at the nanoscale is fundamentally different from that at the macroscale and is determined by the distribution of carrier mean free paths and energy dispersion in a material, the length scales of the heat sources, and the distance over which heat is transported. Past work has shown that Fourier’s law for heat conduction dramatically overpredicts the rate of heat dissipation from heat sources with dimensions smaller than the mean free path of the dominant heat-carrying phonons. In this work, we uncover a new regime of nanoscale thermal transport that dominates when the separation between nanoscale heat sources is small compared with the dominant phonon mean free paths. Surprisingly, the interaction of phonons originating from neighboring heat sources enables more efficient diffusive-like heat dissipation, even from nanoscale heat sources much smaller than the dominant phonon mean free paths. This finding suggests that thermal management in nanoscale systems including integrated circuits might not be as challenging as previously projected. In conclusion, we demonstrate a unique capability to extract differential conductivity as a function of phonon mean free path in materials, allowing the first (to our knowledge) experimental validation of predictions from the recently developed first-principles calculations.

  7. Efficiency of Intergeneric Recombinants Between Bacillus Thuringiensis and Bacillus Subtilis for Increasing Mortality Rate in Cotten Leaf Worm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AlOtaibi, Saad Aied

    2012-12-01

    In this study , two strains of Bacillus belonging to two serotypes and four of their transconjugants were screened with respect to their toxicity against lepidopterous cotton pest. . Bacterial transconjugants isolated from conjugation between both strains were evaluated for their transconjugant efficiency caused mortality in Spodoptera littoralis larvae . Two groups of bioinsecticides ; crystals , crystals and spores have been isolated from Bacillusstrains and their transconjugants . Insecticidal crystal protein ( ICP ) was specific for lepidopteran insects because of the toxin sufficient both for insect specificity and toxicity . The toxicities of these two groups against larvae of Spodoptera littoralis was expressed as transconjugant efficiency , which related to the mean number of larvae died expressed as mortality percentage . The results showed transconjugant efficiency in reducing the mean number of Spodoptera littoralis larvae feeding on leaves of Ricinus communis sprayed with bioinsecticides of Bt transconjugants. Most values of positive transconjugant efficiency related to increasing mortality percentage are due to toxicological effects appeared in response to the treatments with crystals + endospores than that of crystals alone .This indicated that crystals + endospores was more effective for increasing mortality percentage than that resulted by crystals . Higher positive transconjugant efficiency in relation to the mid parents and better parent was appeared at 168 h of treatment . The results indicated that recombinant Bacillus thuringiensis are important control agents for lepidopteran pests , as well as , susceptibility decreased with larval development . The results also suggested a potential for the deployment of these recominant entomopathogens in the management of Spodoptera. littoralis larvae .

  8. Bone marrow cells and myocardial regeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fu-Sheng; Trester, Cathy

    2004-05-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) plasticity and its clinical application have been studied profoundly in the past few years. Recent investigations indicate that HSC and other bone marrow stem cells can develop into other tissues. Because of the high morbidity and mortality of myocardial infarction and other heart disorders, myocardial regeneration is a good example of the clinical application of HSC plasticity in regenerative medicine. Preclinical studies in animals suggest that the use of this kind of treatment can reconstruct heart blood vessels, muscle, and function. Some clinical study results have been reported in the past 2 years. In 2003, reports of myocardial regeneration treatment increased significantly. Other studies include observations on the cell surface markers of transplanted cells and treatment efficacy. Some investigations, such as HSC testing, have focused on clinical applications using HSC plasticity and bone marrow transplantation to treat different types of disorders. In this review, we focus on the clinical application of bone marrow cells for myocardial regeneration.

  9. Large enhancement in thermoelectric efficiency of quantum dot junctions due to increase of level degeneracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, David M. T.; Chen, Chih-Chieh; Chang, Yia-Chung

    2017-02-01

    It is theoretically demonstrated that the figure of merit (Z T ) of quantum dot (QD) junctions can be significantly enhanced when the degree of degeneracy of the energy levels involved in electron transport is increased. The theory is based on the the Green-function approach in the Coulomb blockade regime by including all correlation functions resulting from electron-electron interactions associated with the degenerate levels (L ). We found that electrical conductance (Ge) as well as electron thermal conductance (κe) are highly dependent on the level degeneracy (L ), whereas the Seebeck coefficient (S ) is not. Therefore, the large enhancement of Z T is mainly attributed to the increase of Ge when the phonon thermal conductance (κp h) dominates the heat transport of the QD junction system. In the serially coupled double-QD case, we also obtain a large enhancement of Z T arising from higher L . Unlike Ge and κe, S is found almost independent on electron interdot hopping strength.

  10. Increasing water use efficiency along the C3 to C4 evolutionary pathway: a stomatal optimization perspective.

    PubMed

    Way, Danielle A; Katul, Gabriel G; Manzoni, Stefano; Vico, Giulia

    2014-07-01

    C4 photosynthesis evolved independently numerous times, probably in response to declining atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but also to high temperatures and aridity, which enhance water losses through transpiration. Here, the environmental factors controlling stomatal behaviour of leaf-level carbon and water exchange were examined across the evolutionary continuum from C3 to C4 photosynthesis at current (400 μmol mol(-1)) and low (280 μmol mol(-1)) atmospheric CO2 conditions. To this aim, a stomatal optimization model was further developed to describe the evolutionary continuum from C3 to C4 species within a unified framework. Data on C3, three categories of C3-C4 intermediates, and C4 Flaveria species were used to parameterize the stomatal model, including parameters for the marginal water use efficiency and the efficiency of the CO2-concentrating mechanism (or C4 pump); these two parameters are interpreted as traits reflecting the stomatal and photosynthetic adjustments during the C3 to C4 transformation. Neither the marginal water use efficiency nor the C4 pump strength changed significantly from C3 to early C3-C4 intermediate stages, but both traits significantly increased between early C3-C4 intermediates and the C4-like intermediates with an operational C4 cycle. At low CO2, net photosynthetic rates showed continuous increases from a C3 state, across the intermediates and towards C4 photosynthesis, but only C4-like intermediates and C4 species (with an operational C4 cycle) had higher water use efficiencies than C3 Flaveria. The results demonstrate that both the marginal water use efficiency and the C4 pump strength increase in C4 Flaveria to improve their photosynthesis and water use efficiency compared with C3 species. These findings emphasize that the advantage of the early intermediate stages is predominantly carbon based, not water related.

  11. Trophic assimilation efficiency markedly increases at higher trophic levels in four-level host–parasitoid food chain

    PubMed Central

    Moser, Andrea; van Veen, F. J. Frank

    2016-01-01

    Trophic assimilation efficiency (conversion of resource biomass into consumer biomass) is thought to be a limiting factor for food chain length in natural communities. In host–parasitoid systems, which account for the majority of terrestrial consumer interactions, a high trophic assimilation efficiency may be expected at higher trophic levels because of the close match of resource composition of host tissue and the consumer's resource requirements, which would allow for longer food chains. We measured efficiency of biomass transfer along an aphid-primary–secondary–tertiary parasitoid food chain and used stable isotope analysis to confirm trophic levels. We show high efficiency in biomass transfer along the food chain. From the third to the fourth trophic level, the proportion of host biomass transferred was 45%, 65% and 73%, respectively, for three secondary parasitoid species. For two parasitoid species that can act at the fourth and fifth trophic levels, we show markedly increased trophic assimilation efficiencies at the higher trophic level, which increased from 45 to 63% and 73 to 93%, respectively. In common with other food chains, δ15N increased with trophic level, with trophic discrimination factors (Δ15N) 1.34 and 1.49‰ from primary parasitoids to endoparasitic and ectoparasitic secondary parasitoids, respectively, and 0.78‰ from secondary to tertiary parasitoids. Owing to the extraordinarily high efficiency of hyperparasitoids, cryptic higher trophic levels may exist in host–parasitoid communities, which could alter our understanding of the dynamics and drivers of community structure of these important systems. PMID:26962141

  12. Mutational analysis in the glycone binding pocket of Dalbergia cochinchinensis β-glucosidase to increase catalytic efficiency toward mannosides.

    PubMed

    Ratananikom, Khakhanang; Choengpanya, Khuanjarat; Tongtubtim, Nusra; Charoenrat, Theppanya; Withers, Stephen G; Kongsaeree, Prachumporn T

    2013-05-24

    Dalcochinase and Abg are glycoside hydrolase family 1 β-glucosidases from Dalbergia cochinchinensis Pierre and Agrobacterium sp., respectively, with 35% sequence identity. However, Abg shows much higher catalytic efficiencies toward a broad range of glycone substrates than dalcochinase does, possibly due to the difference in amino acid residues around their glycone binding pockets. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to replace the amino acid residues of dalcochinase with the corresponding residues of Abg, generating three single mutants, F196H, S251V, and M369E, as well as the corresponding three double mutants and one triple mutant. Among these, the F196H mutant showed increases in catalytic efficiency toward almost all glycoside substrates tested, with the most improved catalytic efficiency being a 3-fold increase for hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl β-D-mannoside, suggesting a preferred polar residue at this position and consistent with the presence of histidine at this position in two other GH1 glycosidases from barley and rice that prefer β-mannosides. In addition, the M369E mutation resulted in a small increase in catalytic efficiency for cleavage of p-nitrophenyl β-D-galactoside. By contrast, the multiple mutants were up to 8-fold less efficient than the recombinant wild-type dalcochinase, and displayed primarily antagonistic interactions between these residues. Thus, differences in catalytic efficiency between dalcochinase and Abg are therefore not primarily due to differences in the residues that directly contact the substrate, but derive largely from contributions from more remote residues and the overall architecture of the active site.

  13. Increasing water use efficiency along the C3 to C4 evolutionary pathway: a stomatal optimization perspective

    PubMed Central

    Way, Danielle A.; Katul, Gabriel G.; Manzoni, Stefano; Vico, Giulia

    2014-01-01

    C4 photosynthesis evolved independently numerous times, probably in response to declining atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but also to high temperatures and aridity, which enhance water losses through transpiration. Here, the environmental factors controlling stomatal behaviour of leaf-level carbon and water exchange were examined across the evolutionary continuum from C3 to C4 photosynthesis at current (400 μmol mol–1) and low (280 μmol mol–1) atmospheric CO2 conditions. To this aim, a stomatal optimization model was further developed to describe the evolutionary continuum from C3 to C4 species within a unified framework. Data on C3, three categories of C3–C4 intermediates, and C4 Flaveria species were used to parameterize the stomatal model, including parameters for the marginal water use efficiency and the efficiency of the CO2-concentrating mechanism (or C4 pump); these two parameters are interpreted as traits reflecting the stomatal and photosynthetic adjustments during the C3 to C4 transformation. Neither the marginal water use efficiency nor the C4 pump strength changed significantly from C3 to early C3–C4 intermediate stages, but both traits significantly increased between early C3–C4 intermediates and the C4-like intermediates with an operational C4 cycle. At low CO2, net photosynthetic rates showed continuous increases from a C3 state, across the intermediates and towards C4 photosynthesis, but only C4-like intermediates and C4 species (with an operational C4 cycle) had higher water use efficiencies than C3 Flaveria. The results demonstrate that both the marginal water use efficiency and the C4 pump strength increase in C4 Flaveria to improve their photosynthesis and water use efficiency compared with C3 species. These findings emphasize that the advantage of the early intermediate stages is predominantly carbon based, not water related. PMID:24860185

  14. Family of airfoil shapes for rotating blades. [for increased power efficiency and blade stability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noonan, K. W. (Inventor)

    1983-01-01

    An airfoil which has particular application to the blade or blades of rotor aircraft such as helicopters and aircraft propellers is described. The airfoil thickness distribution and camber are shaped to maintain a near zero pitching moment coefficient over a wide range of lift coefficients and provide a zero pitching moment coefficient at section Mach numbers near 0.80 and to increase the drag divergence Mach number resulting in superior aircraft performance.

  15. Increased efficiency of ion acceleration by using femtosecond laser pulses at higher harmonic frequency

    SciTech Connect

    Psikal, J.; Klimo, O.; Weber, S.; Margarone, D.

    2014-07-15

    The influence of laser frequency on laser-driven ion acceleration is investigated by means of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. When ultrashort intense laser pulse at higher harmonic frequency irradiates a thin solid foil, the target may become re lativistically transparent for significantly lower laser pulse intensity compared with irradiation at fundamental laser frequency. The relativistically induced transparency results in an enhanced heating of hot electrons as well as increased maximum energies of accelerated ions and their numbers. Our simulation results have shown the increase in maximum proton energy and increase in the number of high-energy protons by a factor of 2 after the interaction of an ultrashort laser pulse of maximum intensity 7 × 10{sup 21 }W/cm{sup 2} with a fully ionized plastic foil of realistic density and of optimal thickness between 100 nm and 200 nm when switching from the fundamental frequency to the third harmonics.

  16. Strategies to increase the activity of microglia as efficient protectors of the brain against infections

    PubMed Central

    Nau, Roland; Ribes, Sandra; Djukic, Marija; Eiffert, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    In healthy individuals, infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are comparatively rare. Based on the ability of microglial cells to phagocytose and kill pathogens and on clinical findings in immunocompromised patients with CNS infections, we hypothesize that an intact microglial function is crucial to protect the brain from infections. Phagocytosis of pathogens by microglial cells can be stimulated by agonists of receptors of the innate immune system. Enhancing this pathway to increase the resistance of the brain to infections entails the risk of inducing collateral damage to the nervous tissue. The diversity of microglial cells opens avenue to selectively stimulate sub-populations responsible for the defence against pathogens without stimulating sub-populations which are responsible for collateral damage to the nervous tissue. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endogenous lipid, increased phagocytosis of bacteria by microglial cells in vitro without a measurable proinflammatory effect. It was tested clinically apparently without severe side effects. Glatiramer acetate increased phagocytosis of latex beads by microglia and monocytes, and dimethyl fumarate enhanced elimination of human immunodeficiency virus from infected macrophages without inducing a release of proinflammatory compounds. Therefore, the discovery of compounds which stimulate the elimination of pathogens without collateral damage of neuronal structures appears an achievable goal. PEA and, with limitations, glatiramer acetate and dimethyl fumarate appear promising candidates. PMID:24904283

  17. A NOVEL CONCEPT FOR REDUCING WATER USAGE AND INCREASING EFFICIENCY IN POWER GENERATION

    SciTech Connect

    Shiao-Hung Chiang; Guy Weismantel

    2004-03-01

    The objective of the project is to apply a unique ice thermal storage (ITS) technology to cooling the intake air to gas turbines used for power generation. In Phase I, the work includes theoretical analysis, computer simulation, engineering design and cost evaluation of this novel ITS technology. The study includes two typical gas turbines (an industrial and an aeroderivative type gas turbine) operated at two different geographic locations: Phoenix, AZ and Houston, TX. Simulation runs are performed to generate data for both power output (KW) and heat rate (Btu/KWh) as well as water recovery (acre ft/yr) in terms of intake air temperature and humidity based on weather data and turbine performance curves. Preliminary engineering design of a typical equipment arrangement for turbine inlet air-cooling operation using the ITS system is presented. A cost analysis has been performed to demonstrate the market viability of the ITS technology. When the ITS technology is applied to gas turbines, a net power gain up to 40% and a heat rate reduction as much as 7% can be achieved. In addition, a significant amount of water can be recovered (up to 200 acre-ft of water per year for a 50 MW turbine). The total cost saving is estimated to be $500,000/yr for a 50 MW gas turbine generator. These results have clearly demonstrated that the use of ITS technology to cool the intake-air to gas turbines is an efficient and cost effective means to improve the overall performance of its power generation capacity with an important added benefit of water recovery in power plant operation. Thus, further development of ITS technology for commercial applications in power generation, particularly in coal-based IGCC power plants is warranted.

  18. Between-country collaboration and consideration of costs increase conservation planning efficiency in the Mediterranean Basin.

    PubMed

    Kark, Salit; Levin, Noam; Grantham, Hedley S; Possingham, Hugh P

    2009-09-08

    The importance of global and regional coordination in conservation is growing, although currently, the majority of conservation programs are applied at national and subnational scales. Nevertheless, multinational programs incur transaction costs and resources beyond what is required in national programs. Given the need to maximize returns on investment within limited conservation budgets, it is crucial to quantify how much more biodiversity can be protected by coordinating multinational conservation efforts when resources are fungible. Previous studies that compared different scales of conservation decision-making mostly ignored spatial variability in biodiversity threats and the cost of actions. Here, we developed a simple integrating metric, taking into account both the cost of conservation and threats to biodiversity. We examined the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, which encompasses over 20 countries. We discovered that for vertebrates to achieve similar conservation benefits, one would need substantially more money and area if each country were to act independently as compared to fully coordinated action across the Basin. A fully coordinated conservation plan is expected to save approximately US$67 billion, 45% of total cost, compared with the uncoordinated plan; and if implemented over a 10-year period, the plan would cost approximately 0.1% of the gross national income of all European Union (EU) countries annually. The initiative declared in the recent Paris Summit for the Mediterranean provides a political basis for such complex coordination. Surprisingly, because many conservation priority areas selected are located in EU countries, a partly coordinated solution incorporating only EU-Mediterranean countries is almost as efficient as the fully coordinated scenario.

  19. Quantitative shape analysis with weighted covariance estimates for increased statistical efficiency

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The introduction and statistical formalisation of landmark-based methods for analysing biological shape has made a major impact on comparative morphometric analyses. However, a satisfactory solution for including information from 2D/3D shapes represented by ‘semi-landmarks’ alongside well-defined landmarks into the analyses is still missing. Also, there has not been an integration of a statistical treatment of measurement error in the current approaches. Results We propose a procedure based upon the description of landmarks with measurement covariance, which extends statistical linear modelling processes to semi-landmarks for further analysis. Our formulation is based upon a self consistent approach to the construction of likelihood-based parameter estimation and includes corrections for parameter bias, induced by the degrees of freedom within the linear model. The method has been implemented and tested on measurements from 2D fly wing, 2D mouse mandible and 3D mouse skull data. We use these data to explore possible advantages and disadvantages over the use of standard Procrustes/PCA analysis via a combination of Monte-Carlo studies and quantitative statistical tests. In the process we show how appropriate weighting provides not only greater stability but also more efficient use of the available landmark data. The set of new landmarks generated in our procedure (‘ghost points’) can then be used in any further downstream statistical analysis. Conclusions Our approach provides a consistent way of including different forms of landmarks into an analysis and reduces instabilities due to poorly defined points. Our results suggest that the method has the potential to be utilised for the analysis of 2D/3D data, and in particular, for the inclusion of information from surfaces represented by multiple landmark points. PMID:23548043

  20. Benefits and Costs of Brine Extraction for Increasing Injection Efficiency In geologic CO2 Sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, Casie L.; Watson, David J.; Dooley, James J.; Dahowski, Robert T.

    2014-12-31

    Pressure increases attendant with CO2 injection into the subsurface drive many of the risk factors associated with commercial-scale CCS projects, impacting project costs and liabilities in a number of ways. The area of elevated pressure defines the area that must be characterized and monitored; pressure drives fluid flow out of the storage reservoir along higher-permeability pathways that might exist through the caprock into overlying aquifers or hydrocarbon reservoirs; and pressure drives geomechanical changes that could potentially impact subsurface infrastructure or the integrity of the storage system itself. Pressure also limits injectivity, which can increase capital costs associated with installing additional wells to meet a given target injection rate. The ability to mitigate pressure increases in storage reservoirs could have significant value to a CCS project, but these benefits are offset by the costs of the pressure mitigation technique itself. Of particular interest for CO2 storage operators is the lifetime cost of implementing brine extraction at a CCS project site, and the relative value of benefits derived from the extraction process. This is expected to vary from site to site and from one implementation scenario to the next. Indeed, quantifying benefits against costs could allow operators to optimize their return on project investment by calculating the most effective scenario for pressure mitigation. This work builds on research recently submitted for publication by the authors examining the costs and benefits of brine extraction across operational scenarios to evaluate the effects of fluid extraction on injection rate to assess the cost effectiveness of several options for reducing the number of injection wells required. Modeling suggests that extracting at 90% of the volumetric equivalent of injection rate resulted in a 1.8% improvement in rate over a non-extraction base case; a four-fold increase in extraction rate results in a 7.6% increase in

  1. Benefits and Costs of Brine Extraction for Increasing Injection Efficiency In geologic CO2 Sequestration

    DOE PAGES

    Davidson, Casie L.; Watson, David J.; Dooley, James J.; ...

    2014-12-31

    Pressure increases attendant with CO2 injection into the subsurface drive many of the risk factors associated with commercial-scale CCS projects, impacting project costs and liabilities in a number of ways. The area of elevated pressure defines the area that must be characterized and monitored; pressure drives fluid flow out of the storage reservoir along higher-permeability pathways that might exist through the caprock into overlying aquifers or hydrocarbon reservoirs; and pressure drives geomechanical changes that could potentially impact subsurface infrastructure or the integrity of the storage system itself. Pressure also limits injectivity, which can increase capital costs associated with installing additionalmore » wells to meet a given target injection rate. The ability to mitigate pressure increases in storage reservoirs could have significant value to a CCS project, but these benefits are offset by the costs of the pressure mitigation technique itself. Of particular interest for CO2 storage operators is the lifetime cost of implementing brine extraction at a CCS project site, and the relative value of benefits derived from the extraction process. This is expected to vary from site to site and from one implementation scenario to the next. Indeed, quantifying benefits against costs could allow operators to optimize their return on project investment by calculating the most effective scenario for pressure mitigation. This work builds on research recently submitted for publication by the authors examining the costs and benefits of brine extraction across operational scenarios to evaluate the effects of fluid extraction on injection rate to assess the cost effectiveness of several options for reducing the number of injection wells required. Modeling suggests that extracting at 90% of the volumetric equivalent of injection rate resulted in a 1.8% improvement in rate over a non-extraction base case; a four-fold increase in extraction rate results in a 7

  2. Macro-creatine kinase syndrome as an underdiagnosed cause of ck-mb increase in the absence of myocardial infarction: two case reports.

    PubMed

    Axinte, C I; Alexa, Teodora; Cracana, Irina; Alexa, Ioana Dana

    2012-01-01

    When assessing an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) by means of high serum levels of creatine kinase (CK) and its MB fraction (CK-MB), one must keep in mind that there are several other causes for an increase of these markers, such as myocarditis, pericarditis, heart failure, severe aortic stenosis, stroke, renal failure, malignant hyperthermia, Reye syndrome, polymyositis, and borreliosis (1). Also, there are cases when CK-MB is falsely increased due to certain abnormalities that occur in the CK isoenzymes. One such example is the formation of the so-called macro-creatine kinase complexes (macro-CK) that give a false increase of the CK-MB fraction. We report two clinical cases where macro-CK was the cause of apparent increase in serum CK and CK-MB: in a 79-year old male with a history of coronary disease and a 82-year old female with permanent atrial fibrillation.

  3. Nitrogen response efficiency increased monotonically with decreasing soil resource availability: a case study from a semiarid grassland in northern China.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Zhi-You; Li, Ling-Hao; Han, Xing-Guo; Chen, Shi-Ping; Wang, Zheng-Wen; Chen, Quan-Sheng; Bai, Wen-Ming

    2006-07-01

    The concept of nutrient use efficiency is central to understanding ecosystem functioning because it is the step in which plants can influence the return of nutrients to the soil pool and the quality of the litter. Theory suggests that nutrient efficiency increases unimodally with declining soil resources, but this has not been tested empirically for N and water in grassland ecosystems, where plant growth in these ecosystems is generally thought to be limited by soil N and moisture. In this paper, we tested the N uptake and the N use efficiency (NUE) of two Stipa species (S. grandis and S. krylovii) from 20 sites in the Inner Mongolia grassland by measuring the N content of net primary productivity (NPP). NUE is defined as the total net primary production per unit N absorbed. We further distinguished NUE from N response efficiency (NRE; production per unit N available). We found that NPP increased with soil N and water availability. Efficiency of whole-plant N use, uptake, and response increased monotonically with decreasing soil N and water, being higher on infertile (dry) habitats than on fertile (wet) habitats. We further considered NUE as the product of the N productivity (NP the rate of biomass increase per unit N in the plant) and the mean residence time (MRT; the ratio between the average N pool and the annual N uptake or loss). The NP and NUE of S. grandis growing usually in dry and N-poor habitats exceeded those of S. krylovii abundant in wet and N-rich habitats. NUE differed among sites, and was often affected by the evolutionary trade-off between NP and MRT, where plants and communities had adapted in a way to maximize either NP or MRT, but not both concurrently. Soil N availability and moisture influenced the community-level N uptake efficiency and ultimately the NRE, though the response to N was dependent on the plant community examined. These results show that soil N and water had exerted a great impact on the N efficiency in Stipa species. The

  4. Increasing the refolding efficiency in vitro by site-directed mutagenesis of Cys383 in rat procarboxypeptidase B.

    PubMed

    Li, Suxia; Zhang, Luosheng; Wu, Qian; Xin, Aijie; Zhao, Jian; Fan, Liqiang

    2011-07-10

    This study examines a novel method to reduce the probability of disulfide mismatches during the refolding process by the replacement of cysteines within a protein. Specifically, Cys383 of recombinant rat procarboxypeptidase B was replaced by other amino acids to increase the refolding efficiency in vitro. Mutants C383G, C383A and C383S could refold successfully, but mutants C383R, C383E, C383L and C383Y failed to refold correctly. Compared with wild type, the refolding efficiencies of mutants C383G and C383A were enhanced. The Cys383 mutations changed some of the properties of rat carboxypeptidase B. Mutants C383G, C383A had higher k(cat)/K(m) values which indicated increased catalytic abilities. And both had higher thermal stability. pH had different effects on the activities and stabilities of the mutant and wild type proteins. The studies suggested that mutating Cys383 of rat procarboxypeptidase B could improve the renaturation process by increasing the refolding efficiency. This new method could be taken as a new attempt to improve the refolding efficiency of other recombinant proteins containing disulfide bonds that are expressed as inclusion bodies. While the results also claimed that the potential effects of the substituted amino acid on the protein itself should be seriously considered in addition to its ability to reduce the probability of disulfide mismatches.

  5. KATP channel gain-of-function leads to increased myocardial L-type Ca2+ current and contractility in Cantu syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Mark D.; Singh, Gautam K.; Zhang, Hai Xia; Uchida, Keita; Kozel, Beth A.; Stein, Phyllis K.; Kovacs, Atilla; Westenbroek, Ruth E.; Catterall, William A.; Grange, Dorothy Katherine; Nichols, Colin G.

    2016-01-01

    Cantu syndrome (CS) is caused by gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in genes encoding pore-forming (Kir6.1, KCNJ8) and accessory (SUR2, ABCC9) KATP channel subunits. We show that patients with CS, as well as mice with constitutive (cGOF) or tamoxifen-induced (icGOF) cardiac-specific Kir6.1 GOF subunit expression, have enlarged hearts, with increased ejection fraction and increased contractility. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from cGOF or icGOF ventricular myocytes (VM) show increased basal L-type Ca2+ current (LTCC), comparable to that seen in WT VM treated with isoproterenol. Mice with vascular-specific expression (vGOF) show left ventricular dilation as well as less-markedly increased LTCC. Increased LTCC in KATP GOF models is paralleled by changes in phosphorylation of the pore-forming α1 subunit of the cardiac voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.2 at Ser1928, suggesting enhanced protein kinase activity as a potential link between increased KATP current and CS cardiac pathophysiology. PMID:27247394

  6. Increasing the indium incorporation efficiency during InGaN layer growth by suppressing the dissociation of NH3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J.; Zhao, D. G.; Jiang, D. S.; Chen, P.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, Z. S.; Liu, W.; Liang, F.; Li, X.; Liu, S. T.; Zhang, L. Q.; Yang, H.

    2017-02-01

    Three series of InGaN samples with different growth pressures are grown in a vertical metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system and the indium incorporation efficiency during InGaN layer growth is investigated. It is found that the indium content in InGaN layer decreases when the NH3 flow rate increases at a higher growth pressure and it increases with the NH3 flow rate at a lower growth pressure, This may be attributed to the higher dissociation rate of NH3 into N2 and H2 at a higher growth pressure, leading to a higher H2 concentration in reactor during InGaN growth. Therefore, changing growth conditions to suppress the dissociation of NH3 into N2 and H2 can increase the indium incorporation efficiency during InGaN film growth.

  7. Tachyarrhythmias in acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    McLean, K H; Bett, J N; Saltups, A

    1975-02-01

    In 1505 patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) serious ventricular arrhythmias were commoner in those with transmural ECG changes, and were associated with an increase in mortality and in the incidence of left ventricular failure (LVF) as well as higher peak serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) levels. Atrial fibrillation (AF) occurred more often in older patients and in those with LVF and clinical evidence of pericarditis.

  8. NREL Works to Increase Electric Vehicle Efficiency Through Enhanced Thermal Management (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2014-06-01

    Researchers at NREL are providing new insight into how heating and cooling systems affect the distance that electric vehicles can travel on a single charge. Electric vehicle range can be reduced by as much as 68% per charge because of climate-control demands. NREL engineers are investigating opportunities to change this dynamic and increase driving range by improving vehicle thermal management. NREL experts are collaborating with automotive industry partners to investigate promising thermal management technologies and strategies, including zone-based cabin temperature controls, advanced heating and air conditioning controls, seat-based climate controls, vehicle thermal preconditioning, and thermal load reduction technologies.

  9. Window performance and building energy use: Some technical options for increasing energy efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selkowitz, Stephen

    1985-11-01

    Window system design and operation has a major impact on energy use in buildings as well as on occupants' thermal and visual comfort. Window performance will be a function of optical and thermal properties, window management strategies, climate and orientation, and building type and occupancy. In residences, heat loss control is a primary concern, followed by sun control in more southerly climates. In commercial buildings, the daylight provided by windows may be the major energy benefits but solar gain must be controlled so that increased cooling loads do not exceed daylighting savings. Reductions in peak electrical demand and HVAC system size may also be possible in well-designed daylighted buildings.

  10. Improved Design of Motors for Increased Efficiency in Residential Commercial Buildings

    SciTech Connect

    Pragasen Pillay

    2008-12-31

    Research progress on understanding magnetic steel core losses is presented in this report. Three major aspects have been thoroughly investigated: 1, experimental characterization of core losses, 2, fundamental physical understanding of core losses and development of core loss formulas, and 3, design of more efficient machine based on the new formulations. Considerable progress has been achieved during the four years of research and the main achievements are summarized in the following: For the experimental characterization, a specially designed advanced commercial test bench was commissioned in addition to the development of a laboratory system with advanced capabilities. The measured properties are core losses at low and higher frequencies, with sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal excitations, at different temperatures, with different measurement apparatus (Toroids, Epstein etc). An engineering-based core loss formula has been developed which considers skin effect. The formula can predict core losses for both sinusoidal and non-sinusoidal flux densities and frequencies up to 4000 Hz. The formula is further tested in electric machines. The formula error range is 1.1% - 7.6% while the standard formulas can have % errors between -8.5% {-+} 44.7%. Two general core loss formulas, valid for different frequencies and thickness, have been developed by analytically and numerically solving Maxwell's equations based on a physical investigation of the dynamic hysteresis effects of magnetic materials. To our knowledge, they are the first models that can offer accurate core loss prediction over a wide range of operating frequencies and lamination thicknesses without a massive experimental database of core losses. The engineering core loss formula has been used with commercial software. The formula performs better than the modified Steinmetz and Bertotti's model used in Cedrat/Magsoft Flux 2D/3D. The new formula shows good correlation with measured results under both sinusoidal and

  11. GM trees with increased resistance to herbivores: trait efficiency and their potential to promote tree growth.

    PubMed

    Hjältén, Joakim; Axelsson, E Petter

    2015-01-01

    Climate change, as well as a more intensive forestry, is expected to increase the risk of damage by pests and pathogens on trees, which can already be a severe problem in tree plantations. Recent development of biotechnology theoretically allows for resistance enhancement that could help reduce these risks but we still lack a comprehensive understanding of benefits and tradeoffs with pest resistant GM (genetically modified) trees. We synthesized the current knowledge on the effectiveness of GM forest trees with increased resistance to herbivores. There is ample evidence that induction of exogenous Bacillus thuringiensis genes reduce performance of target pests whereas upregulation of endogenous resistance traits e.g., phenolics, generates variable results. Our review identified very few studies estimating the realized benefits in tree growth of GM trees in the field. This is concerning as the realized benefit with insect resistant GM plants seems to be context-dependent and likely manifested only if herbivore pressure is sufficiently high. Future studies of secondary pest species and resistance evolution in pest to GM trees should be prioritized. But most importantly we need more long-term field tests to evaluate the benefits and risks with pest resistant GM trees.

  12. GM trees with increased resistance to herbivores: trait efficiency and their potential to promote tree growth

    PubMed Central

    Hjältén, Joakim; Axelsson, E. Petter

    2015-01-01

    Climate change, as well as a more intensive forestry, is expected to increase the risk of damage by pests and pathogens on trees, which can already be a severe problem in tree plantations. Recent development of biotechnology theoretically allows for resistance enhancement that could help reduce these risks but we still lack a comprehensive understanding of benefits and tradeoffs with pest resistant GM (genetically modified) trees. We synthesized the current knowledge on the effectiveness of GM forest trees with increased resistance to herbivores. There is ample evidence that induction of exogenous Bacillus thuringiensis genes reduce performance of target pests whereas upregulation of endogenous resistance traits e.g., phenolics, generates variable results. Our review identified very few studies estimating the realized benefits in tree growth of GM trees in the field. This is concerning as the realized benefit with insect resistant GM plants seems to be context-dependent and likely manifested only if herbivore pressure is sufficiently high. Future studies of secondary pest species and resistance evolution in pest to GM trees should be prioritized. But most importantly we need more long-term field tests to evaluate the benefits and risks with pest resistant GM trees. PMID:25983736

  13. Water dispersible cross-linked magnetic chitosan beads for increasing the antimicrobial efficiency of aminoglycoside antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Grumezescu, Alexandru Mihai; Andronescu, Ecaterina; Holban, Alina Maria; Ficai, Anton; Ficai, Denisa; Voicu, Georgeta; Grumezescu, Valentina; Balaure, Paul Cătălin; Chifiriuc, Carmen Mariana

    2013-09-15

    The aim of this study was to obtain a nano-active system to improve antibiotic activity of certain drugs by controlling their release. Magnetic composite nanomaterials based on magnetite core and cross-linked chitosan shell were synthesized via the co-precipitation method and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), infrared microscopy (IRM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The prepared magnetic composite nanomaterials exhibit a significant potentiating effect on the activity of two cationic (kanamycin and neomycin) drugs, reducing the amount of antibiotics necessary for the antimicrobial effect. The increase in the antimicrobial activity was explained by the fact that the obtained nanosystems provide higher surface area to volume ratio, resulting into higher surface charge density thus increasing affinity to microbial cell and also by controlling their release. In addition to the nano-effect, the positive zeta potential of the synthesized magnetite/cross-linked chitosan core/shell magnetic nanoparticles allows for a more favorable interaction with the usually negatively charged cell wall of bacteria. The novelty of the present contribution is just the revealing of this synergistic effect exhibited by the synthesized water dispersible magnetic nanocomposites on the activity of different antibiotics against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. The results obtained in this study recommend these magnetic water dispersible nanocomposite materials for applications in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

  14. The concept of increasing energy efficiency of low-rise construction in the context of technical regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minaev, N.; Filushina, K.; Jarova, E.

    2015-01-01

    Intensive development of low-rise construction and modern trends directed at enhancing energy efficient construction considering regulatory requirements determine the necessity to develop the concept based on variable control models managing the processes of low-rise construction. However effective process management cannot be performed without correlation of sectoral planning documents of federal and regional level also considering the technical regulations requirements. Development of concept to increase energy efficiency of low-rise construction on the basis of governmental housing policy should be built within integrated and system approach. This approach should take into account the factors and objectives of social and economic regional development and its peculiar features, as well as complex urban planning, transport and engineering conditions of low rise housing development. The program and goal-oriented approach used in the present study enables to provide integrity and interrelation with the technical requirements of energy efficiency.

  15. Optical vortices: an innovative approach to increase spectral efficiency by fiber mode-division multiplexing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boffi, Pierpaolo; Martelli, P.; Gatto, A.; Martinelli, M.

    2013-01-01

    We will show the capabilities of optical modes known as optical vortices in order to perform mode-division multiplexing (MDM) propagation with a different approach. In particular, we will propose optical vortices not only as an alternative way to increase the fiber capacity, but also as a cost-effective and "green" solution able to reduce power dissipation in high capacity systems with respect to solutions based on coherent detection and computationally complex digital MIMO processing, employed in MDM with usual LP modes. Two different proposals based on the all-optical spatial mode demultiplexing and on a non-linear MIMO receiver can allow to employ direct detection and to exploit optical vortices in very simple systems useful for short and medium distances links, where the cost reduction and energy sustainability are mandatory.

  16. Increasing reticle inspection efficiency and reducing wafer print-checks using automated defect classification and simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Sung Jae; Lim, Sung Taek; Vacca, Anthony; Fiekowsky, Peter; Fiekowsky, Dan

    2013-09-01

    IC fabs inspect critical masks on a regular basis to ensure high wafer yields. These requalification inspections are costly for many reasons including the capital equipment, system maintenance, and labor costs. In addition, masks typically remain in the "requal" phase for extended, non-productive periods of time. The overall "requal" cycle time in which reticles remain non-productive is challenging to control. Shipping schedules can slip when wafer lots are put on hold until the master critical layer reticle is returned to production. Unfortunately, substituting backup critical layer reticles can significantly reduce an otherwise tightly controlled process window adversely affecting wafer yields. One major requal cycle time component is the disposition process of mask inspections containing hundreds of defects. Not only is precious non-productive time extended by reviewing hundreds of potentially yield-limiting detections, each additional classification increases the risk of manual review techniques accidentally passing real yield limiting defects. Even assuming all defects of interest are flagged by operators, how can any person's judgment be confident regarding lithographic impact of such defects? The time reticles spend away from scanners combined with potential yield loss due to lithographic uncertainty presents significant cycle time loss and increased production costs. Fortunately, a software program has been developed which automates defect classification with simulated printability measurement greatly reducing requal cycle time and improving overall disposition accuracy. This product, called ADAS (Auto Defect Analysis System), has been tested in both engineering and high-volume production environments with very successful results. In this paper, data is presented supporting significant reduction for costly wafer print checks, improved inspection area productivity, and minimized risk of misclassified yield limiting defects.

  17. Application of lower aliphatic alcohols as reducing agents for increasing efficiency of the LCLD process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenok, Dmitrii

    2014-05-01

    A method is described that is promising for application metal conductors on ceramic substrates during printed-circuit boards (PCBs) production without masking plate. The main idea of laser-induced metal deposition from solution (LCLD) consists of implementation of chemical micro reactor by using a focused laser beam. In this reactor the red/ox reaction would be initiated due to heating of a reaction medium. We used a 532 nm DPSS laser (power: 2100 mW) and water solutions of organic alcohols with low molecular weight, ethanol and isopropanol as reductants. The results of deposition were studied using the SEM, EDX methods and impedance spectroscopy. The equivalent resistance-capacitance circuit of copper tracks was constructed. The experiments showed that increasing the rate of deposition of nanostructured copper tracks up to 50 μm/s with electrical resistivity 5 Ohm/cm is possible by replacing the well-known reductants such as formaldehyde and D-sorbitol with iso-propanol.

  18. Increased reward in ankle robotics training enhances motor control and cortical efficiency in stroke.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Ronald N; Rietschel, Jeremy C; Roy, Anindo; Jung, Brian C; Diaz, Jason; Macko, Richard F; Forrester, Larry W

    2014-01-01

    Robotics is rapidly emerging as a viable approach to enhance motor recovery after disabling stroke. Current principles of cognitive motor learning recognize a positive relationship between reward and motor learning. Yet no prior studies have established explicitly whether reward improves the rate or efficacy of robotics-assisted rehabilitation or produces neurophysiologic adaptations associated with motor learning. We conducted a 3 wk, 9-session clinical pilot with 10 people with chronic hemiparetic stroke, randomly assigned to train with an impedance-controlled ankle robot (anklebot) under either high reward (HR) or low reward conditions. The 1 h training sessions entailed playing a seated video game by moving the paretic ankle to hit moving onscreen targets with the anklebot only providing assistance as needed. Assessments included paretic ankle motor control, learning curves, electroencephalograpy (EEG) coherence and spectral power during unassisted trials, and gait function. While both groups exhibited changes in EEG, the HR group had faster learning curves (p = 0.05), smoother movements (p increase in nonparetic step length (p = 0.05) in the HR group only. These results suggest that combining explicit rewards with novel anklebot training may accelerate motor learning for restoring mobility.

  19. Intermediate Alcohol-Gasoline Blends, Fuels for Enabling Increased Engine Efficiency and Powertrain Possibilities

    SciTech Connect

    Splitter, Derek A; Szybist, James P

    2014-01-01

    The present study experimentally investigates spark-ignited combustion with 87 AKI E0 gasoline in its neat form and in mid-level alcohol-gasoline blends with 24% vol./vol. iso-butanol-gasoline (IB24) and 30% vol./vol. ethanol-gasoline (E30). A single-cylinder research engine is used with a low and high compression ratio of 9.2:1 and 11.85:1 respectively. The engine is equipped with hydraulically actuated valves, laboratory intake air, and is capable of external exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). All fuels are operated to full-load conditions with =1, using both 0% and 15% external cooled EGR. The results demonstrate that higher octane number bio-fuels better utilize higher compression ratios with high stoichiometric torque capability. Specifically, the unique properties of ethanol enabled a doubling of the stoichiometric torque capability with the 11.85:1 compression ratio using E30 as compared to 87 AKI, up to 20 bar IMEPg at =1 (with 15% EGR, 18.5 bar with 0% EGR). EGR was shown to provide thermodynamic advantages with all fuels. The results demonstrate that E30 may further the downsizing and downspeeding of engines by achieving increased low speed torque, even with high compression ratios. The results suggest that at mid-level alcohol-gasoline blends, engine and vehicle optimization can offset the reduced fuel energy content of alcohol-gasoline blends, and likely reduce vehicle fuel consumption and tailpipe CO2 emissions.

  20. Salt tolerance of Beta macrocarpa is associated with efficient osmotic adjustment and increased apoplastic water content.

    PubMed

    Hamouda, I; Badri, M; Mejri, M; Cruz, C; Siddique, K H M; Hessini, K

    2016-05-01

    The chenopod Beta macrocarpa Guss (wild Swiss chard) is known for its salt tolerance, but the mechanisms involved are still debated. In order to elucidate the processes involved, we grew wild Swiss chard exposed to three salinity levels (0, 100 and 200 mm NaCl) for 45 days, and determined several physiological parameters at the end of this time. All plants survived despite reductions in growth, photosynthesis and stomatal conductance in plants exposed to salinity (100 and 200 mm NaCl). As expected, the negative effects of salinity were more pronounced at 200 mm than at 100 mm NaCl: (i) leaf apoplastic water content was maintained or increased despite a significant reduction in leaf water potential, revealing the halophytic character of B. macrocarpa; (ii) osmotic adjustment occurred, which presumably enhanced the driving force for water extraction from soil, and avoided toxic build up of Na(+) and Cl(-) in the mesophyll apoplast of leaves. Osmotic adjustment mainly occurred through accumulation of inorganic ions and to a lesser extent soluble sugars; proline was not implicated in osmotic adjustment. Overall, two important mechanisms of salt tolerance in B. macrocarpa were identified: osmotic and apoplastic water adjustment.

  1. Electrical guidance efficiency of downstream-migrating juvenile Sea Lamprey decreases with increasing water velocity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miehls, Scott M.; Johnson, Nicholas; Haro, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    We tested the efficacy of a vertically oriented field of pulsed direct current (VEPDC) created by an array of vertical electrodes for guiding downstream-moving juvenile Sea Lampreys Petromyzon marinus to a bypass channel in an artificial flume at water velocities of 10–50 cm/s. Sea Lampreys were more likely to be captured in the bypass channel than in other sections of the flume regardless of electric field status (on or off) or water velocity. Additionally, Sea Lampreys were more likely to be captured in the bypass channel when the VEPDC was active; however, an interaction between the effects of VEPDC and water velocity was observed, as the likelihood of capture decreased with increases in water velocity. The distribution of Sea Lampreys shifted from right to left across the width of the flume toward the bypass channel when the VEPDC was active at water velocities less than 25 cm/s. The VEPDC appeared to have no effect on Sea Lamprey distribution in the flume at water velocities greater than 25 cm/s. We also conducted separate tests to determine the threshold at which Sea Lampreys would become paralyzed. Individuals were paralyzed at a mean power density of 37.0 µW/cm3. Future research should investigate the ability of juvenile Sea Lampreys to detect electric fields and their specific behavioral responses to electric field characteristics so as to optimize the use of this technology as a nonphysical guidance tool across variable water velocities.

  2. BIX-01294 increases pig cloning efficiency by improving epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiaojiao; Zhang, Hongyong; Yao, Jing; Qin, Guosong; Wang, Feng; Wang, Xianlong; Luo, Ailing; Zheng, Qiantao; Cao, Chunwei; Zhao, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that faulty epigenetic reprogramming leads to the abnormal development of cloned embryos and results in the low success rates observed in all mammals produced through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The aberrant methylation status of H3K9me and H3K9me2 has been reported in cloned mouse embryos. To explore the role of H3K9me2 and H3K9me in the porcine somatic cell nuclear reprogramming, BIX-01294, known as a specific inhibitor of G9A (histone-lysine methyltransferase of H3K9), was used to treat the nuclear-transferred (NT) oocytes for 14-16 h after activation. The results showed that the developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos was significantly enhanced both in vitro (blastocyst rate 16.4% vs 23.2%, P<0.05) and in vivo (cloning rate 1.59% vs 2.96%) after 50 nm BIX-01294 treatment. BIX-01294 treatment significantly decreased the levels of H3K9me2 and H3K9me at the 2- and 4-cell stages, which are associated with embryo genetic activation, and increased the transcriptional expression of the pluripotency genes SOX2, NANOG and OCT4 in cloned blastocysts. Furthermore, the histone acetylation levels of H3K9, H4K8 and H4K12 in cloned embryos were decreased after BIX-01294 treatment. However, co-treatment of activated NT oocytes with BIX-01294 and Scriptaid rescued donor nuclear chromatin from decreased histone acetylation of H4K8 that resulted from exposure to BIX-01294 only and consequently improved the preimplantation development of SCNT embryos (blastocyst formation rates of 23.7% vs 21.5%). These results indicated that treatment with BIX-01294 enhanced the developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos through improvements in epigenetic reprogramming and gene expression.

  3. Myocardial revascularisation after acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Bana, A; Yadava, O P; Ghadiok, R; Selot, N

    1999-05-15

    One hundred and twenty-three patients had coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) within 30 days of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) from May 1992 to November 1997. Commonest infarct was anterior transmural (61.8%) and commonest indication of surgery was post-infarct persistent or recurrent angina (69.1%). Ten patients were operated within 48 h and 36 between 48 h to 2 weeks of having MI. Out of these, nine patients were having infarct extension and cardiogenic shock at the time of surgery. Pre-operatively fourteen patients were on inotropes of which six also had intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) support. All patients had complete revascularisation with 3.8+/-1.2 distal anastomoses per patient. By multivariate analysis, we found that independent predictors of post-operative morbidity [inotropes >48 h, use of IABP, ventilation >24 h, ICU stay >5 days] and complications [re-exploration, arrhythmias, pulmonary complications, wound infection, cerebrovascular accident (CVA)] were left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <30%, Q-wave MI, surgery <48 h after AMI, presence of pre-operative cardiogenic shock and age >60 years (P < or = 0.01). Mortality at 30 days was 3.3%. LVEF <30%, Q-wave MI, surgery <48 h after AMI, presence of pre-operative cardiogenic shock and age >60 years were found to be independent predictors of 30 days mortality (P < or = 0.01). Ninety patients were followed up for a mean duration of 33 months (1 to 65 months). There were three late deaths and five patients developed recurrence of angina. To conclude, CABG can be carried out with low risk following AMI in stable patients for post-infarct angina. Patients who undergo urgent or emergent surgery and who have pre-operative cardiogenic shock, IABP, poor left ventricular functions, age >60 years and Q-wave MI are at increased risk.

  4. Application of ITO/Al reflectors for increasing the efficiency of single-crystal silicon solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kopach, V. R.; Kirichenko, M. V. Khrypunov, G. S.; Zaitsev, R. V.

    2010-06-15

    It is shown that an increase in the efficiency and manufacturability of single-junction single-crystal silicon photoelectric converters of solar energy requires the use of a back-surface reflector based on conductive transparent indium-tin oxide (ITO) 0.25-2 {mu}m thick. To increase the efficiency and reduce the sensitivity to the angle of light incidence on the photoreceiving surface of multijunction photoelectric converters with vertical diode cells based on single-crystal silicon, ITO/Al reflectors with an ITO layer >1 {mu}m thick along vertical boundaries of diode cells should be fabricated. The experimental study of multijunction photoelectric converters with ITO/Al reflectors at diode cell boundaries shows the necessity of modernizing the used technology of ITO layers to achieve their theoretically calculated thickness.

  5. [Nutrient use efficiency and yield-increasing effect of single basal application of rice specific controlled release fertilizer].

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiansheng; Xu, Peizhi; Tang, Shuanhu; Zhang, Fabao; Xie, Chunsheng

    2005-10-01

    A series of pot and field experiments and field demonstrations showed that in comparing with the commonly used specific-fertilizers containing same amounts of nutrients, single basal application of rice-specific controlled release fertilizer could increase the use efficiency of N and P by 12.2% - 22.7% and 7.0% - 35.0%, respectively in pot experiment, and the use efficiency of N by 17.1% in field experiment. In 167 field demonstrations successively conducted for 3 years in various rice production areas of Guangdong Province, single basal application of the fertilizer saved the application rate of N and P by 22.1% and 21.8%, respectively, and increased the yield by 8.2%, compared with normal split fertilization.

  6. Novel adjunctive treatments of myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Michael Rahbek; Pryds, Kasper; Bøtker, Hans Erik

    2014-01-01

    Myocardial infarction is a major cause of death and disability worldwide and myocardial infarct size is a major determinant of prognosis. Early and successful restoration of myocardial reperfusion following an ischemic event is the most effective strategy to reduce final infarct size and improve clinical outcome, but reperfusion may induce further myocardial damage itself. Development of adjunctive therapies to limit myocardial reperfusion injury beyond opening of the coronary artery gains increasing attention. A vast number of experimental studies have shown cardioprotective effects of ischemic and pharmacological conditioning, but despite decades of research, the translation into clinical effects has been challenging. Recently published clinical studies, however, prompt optimism as novel techniques allow for improved clinical applicability. Cyclosporine A, the GLP-1 analogue exenatide and rapid cooling by endovascular infusion of cold saline all reduce infarct size and may confer clinical benefit for patients admitted with acute myocardial infarcts. Equally promising, three follow-up studies of the effect of remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) show clinical prognostic benefit in patients undergoing coronary surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention. The discovery that RIC can be performed noninvasively using a blood pressure cuff on the upper arm to induce brief episodes of limb ischemia and reperfusion has facilitated the translation of RIC into the clinical arena. This review focus on novel advances in adjunctive therapies in relation to acute and elective coronary procedures. PMID:24976915

  7. Periodontitis and myocardial hypertrophy.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Jun-Ichi; Sato, Hiroki; Kaneko, Makoto; Yoshida, Asuka; Aoyama, Norio; Akimoto, Shouta; Wakayama, Kouji; Kumagai, Hidetoshi; Ikeda, Yuichi; Akazawa, Hiroshi; Izumi, Yuichi; Isobe, Mitsuaki; Komuro, Issei

    2017-04-01

    There is a deep relationship between cardiovascular disease and periodontitis. It has been reported that myocardial hypertrophy may be affected by periodontitis in clinical settings. Although these clinical observations had some study limitations, they strongly suggest a direct association between severity of periodontitis and left ventricular hypertrophy. However, the detailed mechanisms between myocardial hypertrophy and periodontitis have not yet been elucidated. Recently, we demonstrated that periodontal bacteria infection is closely related to myocardial hypertrophy. In murine transverse aortic constriction models, a periodontal pathogen, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans markedly enhanced cardiac hypertrophy with matrix metalloproteinase-2 activation, while another pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.) did not accelerate these pathological changes. In the isoproterenol-induced myocardial hypertrophy model, P.g. induced myocardial hypertrophy through Toll-like receptor-2 signaling. From our results and other reports, regulation of chronic inflammation induced by periodontitis may have a key role in the treatment of myocardial hypertrophy. In this article, we review the pathophysiological mechanism between myocardial hypertrophy and periodontitis.

  8. Increasing Efficiency of Water Use in Agriculture through Management of Soil Water Repellency to Optimize Soil and Water Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Demie; Kostka, Stan; McMillan, Mica; Gadd, Nick

    2010-05-01

    Water's ability to infiltrate and disperse in soils, and soil's ability to receive, transport, retain, filter and release water are important factors in the efficient use of water in agriculture. Deteriorating soil conditions, including development of soil water repellency, negatively impact hydrological processes and, consequently, the efficiency of rainfall and irrigation. Soil water repellency is increasingly being identified in diverse soils and cropping systems. Recently research has been conducted on the use of novel soil surfactants (co-formulations of alkyl polyglycoside and block copolymer surfactants) to avoid or overcome soil water repellency and enhance water distribution in soils. Results indicate that this is an effective and affordable approach to maintaining or restoring soil and water productivity in irrigated cropping systems. Results from studies conducted in Australia and the United States to determine how this technology modifies soil hydrological behavior and crop yields will be presented. A range of soils and various crops, including potatoes, corn, apples and grapes, were included. Several rates were compared to controls for effect on soil moisture levels, soil water distribution, and crop yield. An economic analysis was also conducted in some trials. Treatments improved rootzone water status, significantly increased crop yield and quality, and in some cases allowed significant reductions in water requirements. Where assessed, a positive economic return was generated. This technology holds promise as a strategy for increasing efficiency of water use in agriculture.

  9. Long-term increase in forest water-use efficiency observed across ecosystem carbon flux networks (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keenan, T. F.; Hollinger, D. Y.; Bohrer, G.; Dragoni, D.; Munger, J. W.; Schmid, H. E.; Richardson, A. D.

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photo- synthesis, a process that is accompanied by the loss of water vapour from leaves. The ratio of water loss to carbon gain, or water-use efficiency, is a key characteristic of ecosystem function that is central to the global cycles of water, energy and carbon. Here we analyse direct, long-term measurements of whole-ecosystem carbon and water exchange. We find a substantial increase in water-use efficiency in temperate and boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two decades. We systematically assess various competing hypotheses to explain this trend, and find that the observed increase is most consistent with a strong CO2 fertilization effect. The results suggest a partial closure of stomata - small pores on the leaf surface that regulate gas exchange - to maintain a near- constant concentration of CO2 inside the leaf even under continually increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. The observed increase in forest water-use efficiency is larger than that predicted by existing theory and 13 terrestrial biosphere models. The increase is associated with trends of increasing ecosystem-level photosynthesis and net carbon uptake, and decreasing evapotranspiration. Our findings demonstrate the utility of maintaining long-term eddy-covariance flux measurement sites. The results suggest a shift in the carbon- and water-based economics of terrestrial vegetation, which may require a reassessment of the role of stomatal control in regulating interactions between forests and climate change, and a re-evaluation of coupled vegetation-climate models.

  10. Does plasticity in plant physiological traits explain the rapid increase in water use efficiency? An ecohydrological modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrotheodoros, Theodoros; Fatichi, Simone; Pappas, Christoforos; Molnar, Peter; Burlando, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    The rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration is expected to stimulate plant productivity by enhancing photosynthesis and reducing stomatal conductance and thus increasing plant water use efficiency (WUE) worldwide. An analysis of eddy covariance flux tower data from 21 forested ecosystems across the north hemisphere detected an unexpectedly large increase in WUE (Keenan et al, 2013), which was six times larger than the increase found by most previous studies based on controlled experiments (e.g., FACE), leaf-scale analyses, and numerical modelling. This increase could be solely attributed to the increase in atmospheric CO2 since other confounding factors were ruled out. Here, we investigate the potential contribution of plant plasticity, reflected in the temporal adjustment of major plant physiological traits, on changes in WUE using the ecohydrological model Tethys and Chloris (T&C). We hypothesize that the increase in WUE can be attributed to small variations in plant physiological traits, undetectable through observations, eventually triggered by the atmospheric CO2 increase. Data from the 21 sites in the above mentioned study are used to force the model. Simulation results with and without plasticity in the physiological traits (i.e., model parameters in our numerical experiments) are compared with the observed trends in WUE. We test several plant adaptation strategies in being effective in explaining the observed increase in WUE using a multifactorial numerical experiment in which we perturb in a systematic way selected plant parameters. Keenan, T. F., Hollinger, D. Y., Bohrer, G., Dragoni, D., Munger, J. W., Schmid, H. P., and Richardson, A. D. (2013). Increase in forest water-use efficiency as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations rise. Nature, 499(7458), 324-7.

  11. Increased cardiac alpha-myosin heavy chain in left atria and decreased myocardial insulin-like growth factor (Igf-I) expression accompany low heart rate in hibernating grizzly bears.

    PubMed

    Barrows, N D; Nelson, O L; Robbins, C T; Rourke, B C

    2011-01-01

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) tolerate extended periods of extremely low heart rate during hibernation without developing congestive heart failure or cardiac chamber dilation. Left ventricular atrophy and decreased left ventricular compliance have been reported in this species during hibernation. We evaluated the myocardial response to significantly reduced heart rate during hibernation by measuring relative myosin heavy-chain (MyHC) isoform expression and expression of a set of genes important to muscle plasticity and mass regulation in the left atria and left ventricles of active and hibernating bears. We supplemented these data with measurements of systolic and diastolic function via echocardiography in unanesthetized grizzly bears. Atrial strain imaging revealed decreased atrial contractility, decreased expansion/reservoir function (increased atrial stiffness), and decreased passive-filling function (increased ventricular stiffness) in hibernating bears. Relative MyHC-α protein expression increased significantly in the atrium during hibernation. The left ventricle expressed 100% MyHC-β protein in both groups. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) mRNA expression was reduced by ∼50% in both chambers during hibernation, consistent with the ventricular atrophy observed in these bears. Interestingly, mRNA expression of the atrophy-related ubiquitin ligases Muscle Atrophy F-box (MAFBx) and Muscle Ring Finger 1 did not increase, nor did expression of myostatin or hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). We report atrium-specific decreases of 40% and 50%, respectively, in MAFBx and creatine kinase mRNA expression during hibernation. Decreased creatine kinase expression is consistent with lowered energy requirements and could relate to reduced atrial emptying function during hibernation. Taken together with our hemodynamic assessment, these data suggest a potential downregulation of atrial chamber function during hibernation to prevent fatigue and dilation

  12. Panic attack triggering myocardial ischemia documented by myocardial perfusion imaging study. A case report

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Chest pain, a key element in the investigation of coronary artery disease is often regarded as a benign prognosis when present in panic attacks. However, panic disorder has been suggested as an independent risk factor for long-term prognosis of cardiovascular diseases and a trigger of acute myocardial infarction. Objective Faced with the extreme importance in differentiate from ischemic to non-ischemic chest pain, we report a case of panic attack induced by inhalation of 35% carbon dioxide triggering myocardial ischemia, documented by myocardial perfusion imaging study. Discussion Panic attack is undoubtedly a strong component of mental stress. Patients with coronary artery disease may present myocardial ischemia in mental stress response by two ways: an increase in coronary vasomotor tone or a sympathetic hyperactivity leading to a rise in myocardial oxygen consumption. Coronary artery spasm was presumed to be present in cases of cardiac ischemia linked to panic disorder. Possibly the carbon dioxide challenge test could trigger myocardial ischemia by the same mechanisms. Conclusion The use of mental stress has been suggested as an alternative method for myocardial ischemia investigation. Based on translational medicine objectives the use of CO2 challenge followed by Sestamibi SPECT could be a useful method to allow improved application of research-based knowledge to the medical field, specifically at the interface of PD and cardiovascular disease. PMID:22999016

  13. Spontaneous changes in /sup 201/Tl myocardial perfusion imaging after myocardial infarction

    SciTech Connect

    Buda, A.J.; Dubbin, J.D.; MacDonald, I.L.; Strauss, H.D.; Orr, S.A.; Meindok, H.

    1982-12-01

    To examine regional myocardial perfusion after myocardial infarction, 26 patients underwent exercise electrocardiographic testing with /sup 201/Tl myocardial perfusion imaging 3 weeks and 3 months after infarction. At 3 weeks, 9 of 26 patients (35%) had myocardial ischemia by exercise electrocardiographic testing, whereas 18 of 26 (69%) had ischemia by /sup 201/Tl imaging. The /sup 201/Tl scintigrams were scored by dividing each image, in 3 views, into 5 segments, using a 5-point scoring scheme. The exercise /sup 201/Tl score was 44.3 +/- 1.2 and increased to 47.3 +/- 1.2 in the redistribution study (p less than 0.001). Three months after infarction, although there was a significantly greater rate-pressure product which would predict a larger ischemic defect and a decrease in the stress /sup 201/Tl score, the stress score was improved (48.3 +/- 1.1, p less than 0.001). The redistribution score was similar, that is, 48.9 +/- 1.0. The improvement in /sup 201/Tl myocardial perfusion was associated with a loss of stress-induced ischemia in 8 patients (30%). These results indicate that spontaneous improvements in /sup 201/Tl myocardial perfusion imaging may occur after myocardial infarction.

  14. Role of myocardial perfusion imaging in evaluating thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction

    SciTech Connect

    Beller, G.A.

    1987-03-01

    Myocardial thallium-201 scintigraphy is being increasingly employed as a method for assessing the efficacy of coronary reperfusion in acute myocardial infarction. New thallium uptake after intracoronary tracer administration after successful recanalization indicates that nutrient blood flow has been successfully restored. One may also presume that some myocardial salvage occurred if thallium administered in this manner is transported intracellularly by myocytes with intact sarcolemmal membranes. However, if one injects thallium by way of the intracoronary route immediately after reperfusion, the initial uptake of thallium in reperfused myocardium may predominantly represent hyperemic flow and regional thallium counts measured may not be proportional to the mass of viable myocytes. When thallium is injected intravenously during the occlusion phase the degree of redistribution after thrombolysis is proportional to the degree of flow restoration and myocardial viability. When thallium is injected for the first time intravenously immediately after reperfusion, an overestimation of myocardial salvage may occur because of excess thallium uptake in the infarct zone consequent to significant hyperemia. Another approach to myocardial thallium scintigraphy in patients undergoing thrombolytic therapy is to administer two separate intravenous injections before and 24 hours or later after treatment. Finally, patients with acute myocardial infarction who receive intravenous thrombolytic therapy are candidates for predischarge exercise thallium-201 scintigraphy for risk stratification and detection of residual ischemia.

  15. Morphine Does Not Affect Myocardial Salvage in ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Song, Young Bin; Kim, Eun Kyoung; Jang, Woo Jin; Yang, Jeong Hoon; Hahn, Joo-Yong; Choi, Seung-Hyuk; Choi, Jin-Ho; Lee, Sang Hoon; Choe, Yeon Hyeon; Ahn, Joonghyun; Carriere, Keumhee Chough; Gwon, Hyeon-Cheol

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies have proposed intravenous (IV) morphine is associated with delayed action of antiplatelet agents in acute myocardial infarction. However, it is unknown whether morphine results in increased myocardial damage in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). We investigated myocardial salvage index (MSI) to determine whether IV morphine affects myocardial injury adversely in STEMI patients undergoing primary PCI. 299 STEMI patients underwent contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging a median of 3 days after PCI. Infarct size was measured on delayed-enhancement imaging, and area at risk was quantified on T2-weighted imaging. MSI was calculated as ‘[area at risk–infarct size] X 100 / area at risk’. IV morphine was administrated in 32.1% of patients. Patients treated with morphine had shorter symptom to balloon time and higher prevalence of Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction flow grade 0 or 1. The morphine group showed a trend toward larger MSI and infarct size and significantly greater area at risk than the non-morphine group. After propensity score matching (90 pairs), MSI was similar between the morphine and non-morphine group (46.1% versus 43.5%, P = .11), and infarct size and area at risk showed no difference. In propensity score-matched analysis, IV morphine prior to primary PCI in STEMI patients did not cause adverse impacts on myocardial salvage. PMID:28081269

  16. Triiodothyronine increases myocardial function and pyruvate entry into the citric acid cycle after reperfusion in a model of infant cardiopulmonary bypass.

    PubMed

    Olson, Aaron K; Bouchard, Bertrand; Ning, Xue-Han; Isern, Nancy; Rosiers, Christine Des; Portman, Michael A

    2012-03-01

    Triiodothyronine (T3) supplementation improves clinical outcomes in infants after cardiac surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass by unknown mechanisms. We utilized a translational model of infant cardiopulmonary bypass to test the hypothesis that T3 modulates pyruvate entry into the citric acid cycle (CAC), thereby providing the energy support for improved cardiac function after ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). Neonatal piglets received intracoronary [2-(13)Carbon((13)C)]pyruvate for 40 min (8 mM) during control aerobic conditions (control) or immediately after reperfusion (I/R) from global hypothermic ischemia. A third group (I/R-Tr) received T3 (1.2 μg/kg) during reperfusion. We assessed absolute CAC intermediate levels and flux parameters into the CAC through oxidative pyruvate decarboxylation (PDC) and anaplerotic carboxylation (PC) using [2-(13)C]pyruvate and isotopomer analysis by gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and (13)C-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. When compared with I/R, T3 (group I/R-Tr) increased cardiac power and oxygen consumption after I/R while elevating flux of both PDC and PC (∼4-fold). Although neither I/R nor I/R-Tr modified absolute CAC levels, T3 inhibited I/R-induced reductions in their molar percent enrichment. Furthermore, (13)C-labeling of CAC intermediates suggests that T3 may decrease entry of unlabeled carbons at the level of oxaloacetate through anaplerosis or exchange reaction with asparate. T3 markedly enhances PC and PDC fluxes, thereby providing potential substrate for elevated cardiac function after reperfusion. This T3-induced increase in pyruvate fluxes occurs with preservation of the CAC intermediate pool. Our labeling data raise the possibility that T3 reduces reliance on amino acids for anaplerosis after reperfusion.

  17. TRIIODOTHYRONINE INCREASES MYOCARDIAL FUNCTION AND PYRUVATE ENTRY INTO THE CITRIC ACID CYCLE AFTER REPERFUSION IN A MODEL OF INFANT CARDIOPULMONARY BYPASS

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, Aaron; Bouchard, Bertrand; Ning, Xue-Han; Isern, Nancy G.; Des Rosiers, Christine; Portman, Michael A.

    2012-03-01

    We utilized a translational model of infant CPB to test the hypothesis that T3 modulates pyruvate entry into the citric acid cycle (CAC) thereby providing the energy support for improved cardiac function after ischemia-reperfusion. Methods and Results: Neonatal piglets received intracoronary [2-13Carbon(13C)]-pyruvate for 40 minutes (8 mM) during control aerobic conditions (Cont) or immediately after reperfusion (IR) from global hypothermic ischemia. A third group (IR-Tr) received T3 (1.2 ug/kg) during reperfusion. We assessed absolute CAC intermediate levels (aCAC) and flux parameters into the CAC through oxidative pyruvate decarboxylation (PDC ) and anaplerotic carboxylation (PC; ) using 13C-labeled pyruvate and isotopomer analysis by gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and 13C NMR. Neither IR nor IR-Tr modified aCAC. However, compared to IR, T3 (group IR-Tr) increased cardiac power and oxygen consumption after CPB while elevating both PDC and PC (~ four-fold). T3 inhibited IR induced reductions in CAC intermediate molar percent enrichment (MPE) and oxaloacetate(citrate)/malate MPE ratio; an index of aspartate entry into the CAC. Conclusions: T3 markedly enhances PC and PDC thereby providing substrate for elevated cardiac function and work after reperfusion. The increases in pyruvate flux occur with preservation of the CAC intermediate pool. Additionally, T3 inhibition of reductions in CAC intermediate MPEs indicates that T3 reduces the reliance on amino acids (AA) for anaplerosis after reperfusion. Thus, AA should be more available for other functions such as protein synthesis.

  18. In anesthetized pigs human chorionic gonadotropin increases myocardial perfusion and function through a β-adrenergic-related pathway and nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Grossini, Elena; Surico, Daniela; Mary, David A S G; Molinari, Claudio; Surico, Nicola; Vacca, Giovanni

    2013-08-15

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is not only responsible for numerous pregnancy-related processes, but can affect the cardiovascular system as well. So far, however, information about any direct effect elicited by hCG on cardiac function, perfusion, and the mechanisms involved has remained scarce. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the primary in vivo effect of hCG on cardiac contractility and coronary blood flow and the involvement of autonomic nervous system and nitric oxide (NO). Moreover, in coronary endothelial cells (CEC), the intracellular pathways involved in the effects of hCG on NO release were also examined. In 25 anesthetized pigs, intracoronary 500 mU/ml hCG infusion at constant heart rate and aortic blood pressure increased coronary blood flow, maximum rate of change of left ventricular systolic pressure, segmental shortening, cardiac output, and coronary NO release (P < 0.0001). These hemodynamic responses were graded in a further five pigs. Moreover, while blockade of muscarinic cholinoceptors (n = 5) and of α-adrenoceptors (n = 5) did not abolish the observed responses, β1-adrenoceptors blocker (n = 5) prevented the effects of hCG on cardiac function. In addition, β2-adrenoceptors (n = 5) and NO synthase inhibition (n = 5) abolished the coronary response and the effect of hCG on NO release. In CEC, hCG induced the phosphorylation of endothelial NO synthase through cAMP/PKA signaling and ERK1/2, Akt, p38 MAPK involvement, which were activated as downstream effectors of β2-adrenoceptor stimulation. In conclusion, in anesthetized pigs, hCG primarily increased cardiac function and perfusion through the involvement of β-adrenoceptors and NO release. Moreover, cAMP/PKA-dependent kinases phosphorylation was found to play a role in eliciting the observed NO production in CEC.

  19. Increased water use efficiency but contrasting tree growth patterns in Fitzroya cupressoides forests of southern Chile during recent decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrutia-Jalabert, Rocío.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Barichivich, Jonathan; Lara, Antonio; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Rodríguez, Carmen Gloria; Cuq, Emilio

    2015-12-01

    Little is known about how old-growth and massive forests are responding to environmental change. We investigated tree-ring growth and carbon isotopes of the long-lived and high biomass Fitzroya cupressoides in two stands growing in contrasting environmental conditions in the Coastal Range (~300 years old) and Andean Cordilleras (>1500 years old) of southern Chile. The interannual variability in δ13C was assessed for the period 1800-2010, and changes in discrimination and intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) were evaluated in relation to changes in climate and tree-ring growth during the last century. 13C discrimination has significantly decreased, and iWUE has increased since the 1900s in both sites. However, these trends in isotopic composition have been accompanied by different growth patterns: decreasing growth rates in the Coastal Range since the 1970s and increasing growth rates in the Andes since the 1900s. Trees growing in the Coastal Range have become more efficient in their use of water, probably due to reduced stomatal conductance caused by increases in CO2 and warming. Trees growing in the Andes have also become more water use efficient, but this has been likely due to increased photosynthetic rates. Fitzroya forests, including particularly old-growth stands, are responding to recent environmental changes, and their response has been site dependent. The growth of forests under a more Mediterranean climate influence and restrictive soil conditions in the Coastal Range has been more negatively affected by current warming and drying; while the growth of old stands in the wet Andes has been positively affected by changes in climate (decreasing cloudiness) and increasing CO2. Permanent monitoring of these endangered forests under ongoing environmental changes is needed in order to reassure the long-term preservation of this millennial-aged species.

  20. Optimization of myocardial function.

    PubMed

    Alpert, N R; Mulieri, L A; Hasenfuss, G; Holubarsch, C

    1993-01-01

    Under normal conditions the cardiac output is designed to meet the metabolic needs of the organism. Thus, the demands imposed on the heart muscle can range from low values at rest to an order of magnitude greater values during exercise. The heart uses a number of strategies to meet the short- and long-term changes in demand. These strategies are of general biological interest and employ similar mechanisms to those responsible for the differences in muscle performance seen between muscle from various species and diverse muscle types within a given animal. This review deals with the heart's utilization of these strategies to meet a broad range of requirements. Tortoise (TM) and rat soleus (RS) muscles are slow, have high economy and develop low power. In contrast (FM) and rat extensor digitorum longus (REDL) are fast, have low economy and have a high power output. These differences are explainable in terms of the characteristics of the myosin head cross-bridge cycle (Cross-bridge tension-time integral: FM/FT = 0.024; REDL/RS = 0.16. Myosin ATPase activity: FM/TM = 15; RDEL/RS = 2.3) and excitation contraction coupling system (time to peak tension: FM/TM = 0.2; REDL/RS = 0.4). Heart muscle employs similar strategies (cross-bridge cycle; excitation contraction coupling) to meet short (catecholamine) and long (hypertrophy secondary to pressure overload or thyrotoxicosis) term changes in demand. In the presence of catecholamine power is increased while economy is decreased. This difference between control (C) and isoproterenol treated hearts (I) is explainable in terms of the contractile and excitation contraction coupling systems (Cross-bridge tension-time integral: I/C = 0.4. Tension independent heat: I/C = 2.0. Tension independent heat rate: I/C = 2.5). A persistent increase in the demand on the heart results in myocardial hypertrophy that is associated with intracellular reorganization. Hyperthyroidism (T) and pressure overload (PO) were used to produce myocardial

  1. Impaired mitochondrial energy supply coupled to increased H2O2 emission under energy/redox stress leads to myocardial dysfunction during Type I diabetes.

    PubMed

    Tocchetti, Carlo G; Stanley, Brian A; Sivakumaran, Vidhya; Bedja, Djahida; O'Rourke, Brian; Paolocci, Nazareno; Cortassa, Sonia; Aon, Miguel A

    2015-10-01

    In Type I diabetic (T1DM) patients, both peaks of hyperglycaemia and increased sympathetic tone probably contribute to impair systolic and diastolic function. However, how these stressors eventually alter cardiac function during T1DM is not fully understood. In the present study, we hypothesized that impaired mitochondrial energy supply and excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) emission is centrally involved in T1DM cardiac dysfunction due to metabolic/redox stress and aimed to determine the mitochondrial sites implicated in these alterations. To this end, we used isolated myocytes and mitochondria from Sham and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced T1DM guinea pigs (GPs), untreated or treated with insulin. Relative to controls, T1DM myocytes exhibited higher oxidative stress when challenged with high glucose (HG) combined with β-adrenergic stimulation [via isoprenaline (isoproterenol) (ISO)], leading to contraction/relaxation deficits. T1DM mitochondria had decreased respiration with complex II and IV substrates and markedly lower ADP phosphorylation rates and higher H2O2 emission when challenged with oxidants to mimic the more oxidized redox milieu present in HG + ISO-treated cardiomyocytes. Since in T1DM hearts insulin-sensitivity is preserved and a glucose-to-fatty acid (FA) shift occurs, we next tested whether insulin therapy or acute palmitate (Palm) infusion prevents HG + ISO-induced cardiac dysfunction. We found that insulin rescued proper cardiac redox balance, but not mitochondrial respiration or contractile performance. Conversely, Palm restored redox balance and preserved myocyte function. Thus, stressors such as peaks of HG and adrenergic hyperactivity impair mitochondrial respiration, hampering energy supply while exacerbating ROS emission. Our study suggests that an ideal therapeutic measure to treat metabolically/redox-challenged T1DM hearts should concomitantly correct energetic and redox abnormalities to fully maintain cardiac function.

  2. Increased Efficiency LED

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Egalon, Claudio O. (Inventor); Rogowski, Robert S. (Inventor)

    1998-01-01

    In an LED a large portion of the light produced is lost due to total internal reflection at the air-semiconductor interface. A reverse taper of the semiconductor is used to change the angle at which light strikes the interface so that a greater portion of the light is transmitted.

  3. MicroRNA-1 effectively induces differentiation of myocardial cells from mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiao-Ling; Yang, Bo; Ma, Li-Na; Dong, Yan-Hua

    2016-11-01

    In this research, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) were isolated from mouse, and induced differentiation into myocardial cells in vitro after overexpression of miR-1a. The results showed that the BMSCs could induce differentiation into myocardial cells under the special condition medium, but when the miR-1a was over-expressed in BMSCs, the differentiation efficiency and induction time of myocardial cells from BMSCs could be promoted. This reason was demonstrated that Delta-like 1 (Dll-1) was a transcriptional repressor of myocardium gene expression during myocardium differentiation, miR-1a reduced Dll-1 levels, leading to the accumulation of myocardium gene mRNA and a dramatic increase in myocardium gene protein.

  4. Integrated soil-crop system management: reducing environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fusuo; Cui, Zhenling; Fan, Mingsheng; Zhang, Weifeng; Chen, Xinping; Jiang, Rongfeng

    2011-01-01

    During the past 47 yr (1961-2007), Chinese cereal production has increased by 3.2-fold, successfully feeding 22% of the global human population with only 9% of the world's arable land, but at high environmental cost and resource consumption. Worse, crop production has been stagnant since 1996 while the population and demand for food continue to rise. New advances for sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services will be needed during the coming 50 yr to reduce environmental risk while increasing crop productivity and improving nutrient use efficiency. Here, we advocate and develop integrated soil-crop system management (ISSM). In this approach, the key points are (i) to take all possible soil quality improvement measures into consideration, (ii) to integrate the utilization of various nutrient resources and match nutrient supply to crop requirements, and (iii) to integrate soil and nutrient management with high-yielding cultivation systems. Recent field experiments have shed light on how ISSM can lead to significant increases in crop yields while increasing nutrient use efficiency and reducing environmental risk.

  5. [An increase in efficiency of adaptations and a weakening of organism protective reactions in the process of biological evolution].

    PubMed

    2014-01-01

    The main direction of evolution of living organisms is development of the central nervous system and sense organ, an increase of energy exchange development of homoiothermia, development of the more and more complex forms of behavior, an increase in energy expenditure in connection with an increase of the organism activity, and development of adaptation to the habitat. Such fundamental processes were subjected and have been subjected to numerous studies and discussions. However, in different animals there exist different species peculiarities of evolution of physiological functions, from which finally formed are fundamental evolutionary processes. We studied some of these specific processes by dividing them into two categories. The first category is "Increase of efficiency of adaptation" in development of biological evolution. By this term we mean development of amazing by perfection specific physiological mechanisms of adaptive character. The second category is "Weakening of protective organism reactions". By this we understand disturbance of protective mechanisms of the organism immune system, discoordination of movement of leukocytes along microvessels, the absence of efficient collateral circulation in brain and in heart, etc.

  6. Easing the natural gas crisis: Reducing natural gas prices through increased deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Wiser, Ryan; Bolinger, Mark; St. Clair, Matt

    2004-12-21

    Heightened natural gas prices have emerged as a key energy-policy challenge for at least the early part of the 21st century. With the recent run-up in gas prices and the expected continuation of volatile and high prices in the near future, a growing number of voices are calling for increased diversification of energy supplies. Proponents of renewable energy and energy efficiency identify these clean energy sources as an important part of the solution. Increased deployment of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) can hedge natural gas price risk in more than one way, but this paper touches on just one potential benefit: displacement of gas-fired electricity generation, which reduces natural gas demand and thus puts downward pressure on gas prices. Many recent modeling studies of increased RE and EE deployment have demonstrated that this ''secondary'' effect of lowering natural gas prices could be significant; as a result, this effect is increasingly cited as justification for policies promoting RE and EE. This paper summarizes recent studies that have evaluated the gas-price-reduction effect of RE and EE deployment, analyzes the results of these studies in light of economic theory and other research, reviews the reasonableness of the effect as portrayed in modeling studies, and develops a simple tool that can be used to evaluate the impact of RE and EE on gas prices without relying on a complex national energy model. Key findings are summarized.

  7. Myocardial Infarction in the Elderly

    PubMed Central

    Carro, Amelia; Kaski, Juan Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Advances in pharmacological treatment and effective early myocardial revascularization have –in recent years- led to improved clinical outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, it has been suggested that compared to younger subjects, elderly AMI patients are less likely to receive evidence-based treatment, including myocardial revascularization therapy. Several reasons have been postulated to explain this trend, including uncertainty regarding the true benefits of the interventions commonly used in this setting as well as increased risk mainly associated with comorbidities. The diagnosis, management, and post-hospitalization care of elderly patients presenting with an acute coronary syndrome pose many difficulties at present. A complex interplay of variables such as comorbidities, functional and socioeconomic status, side effects associated with multiple drug administration, and individual biologic variability, all contribute to creating a complex clinical scenario. In this complex setting, clinicians are often required to extrapolate evidence-based results obtained in cardiovascular trials from which older patients are often, implicitly or explicitly, excluded. This article reviews current recommendations regarding management of AMI in the elderly. PMID:22396870

  8. Low-frequency ultrasound sonophoresis to increase the efficiency of topical steroids: a pilot randomized study of humans.

    PubMed

    Maruani, Annabel; Boucaud, Alain; Perrodeau, Elodie; Gendre, David; Giraudeau, Bruno; Machet, Laurent

    2010-08-16

    Topical steroids are efficient in vasoconstriction potential, which is linked to their anti-inflammatory activity. Low-frequency ultrasound (US) applied on the skin (sonophoresis) may enhance the transdermal transport of various steroids. We aimed to assess, in a simple, blinded, randomized controlled pilot study, the clinical efficiency of sonophoresis in increasing vasoconstriction by enhancing the transdermal penetration of topical steroids in human skin. The study took place in the Clinical Investigation Center of the University Hospital of Tours and involved healthy volunteers. Three circular zones were delimited on each of the subjects' forearms: zone 1 (right and left) received topical steroids with 1-h occlusion, zone 2 with 2-h occlusion, and zone 3 with massage. Forearms were randomized to first undergo US, using a 36 kHz probe, delivered in a pulsed mode (2s on/5s off), during 5 min, with a US intensity of 2.72 W/cm(2), or no US. We used betamethasone 17-valerate in cream form as the topical steroid. The primary outcome was difference between forearms in skin color (increased whiteness reflecting the intensity of vasoconstriction) measured by 2 scores: values obtained with a chromameter (the higher the value, the whiter the skin) and a clinical visual score. The measurements were taken by a dermatologist by blinded assessment. Fifteen subjects were included. Vasoconstriction was significantly higher with the topical steroid applied after US, especially in zone 2, than without US. Vasoconstriction was increased at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6h (e.g., chromameter score 63.4 versus 65.2, p=0.017 at 4h) and disappeared at 24h. Moreover, 2-h occlusion gave higher vasoconstriction scores than did 1-h occlusion or massage alone, whether US was applied or not. The use of low-frequency US coupled with 2-h occlusion is a synergistic way to increase the efficiency of topical steroids by enhancing skin permeability.

  9. Controlled surface oxidation of multi-layered graphene anode to increase hole injection efficiency in organic electronic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Tae-Hee; Kwon, Sung-Joo; Seo, Hong-Kyu; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-03-01

    Ultraviolet ozone (UVO) surface treatment of graphene changes its sp2-hybridized carbons to sp3-bonded carbons, and introduces oxygen-containing components. Oxidized graphene has a finite energy band gap, so UVO modification of the surface of a four-layered graphene anode increases its surface ionization potential up to ∼5.2 eV and improves the hole injection efficiency (η) in organic electronic devices by reducing the energy barrier between the graphene anode and overlying organic layers. By controlling the conditions of the UVO treatment, the electrical properties of the graphene can be tuned to improve η. This controlled surface modification of the graphene will provide a way to achieve efficient and stable flexible displays and solid-state lighting.

  10. Increasing the sampling efficiency of protein conformational transition using velocity-scaling optimized hybrid explicit/implicit solvent REMD simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Yuqi; Wang, Jinan; Shao, Qiang E-mail: Jiye.Shi@ucb.com Zhu, Weiliang E-mail: Jiye.Shi@ucb.com; Shi, Jiye E-mail: Jiye.Shi@ucb.com

    2015-03-28

    The application of temperature replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) simulation on protein motion is limited by its huge requirement of computational resource, particularly when explicit solvent model is implemented. In the previous study, we developed a velocity-scaling optimized hybrid explicit/implicit solvent REMD method with the hope to reduce the temperature (replica) number on the premise of maintaining high sampling efficiency. In this study, we utilized this method to characterize and energetically identify the conformational transition pathway of a protein model, the N-terminal domain of calmodulin. In comparison to the standard explicit solvent REMD simulation, the hybrid REMD is much less computationally expensive but, meanwhile, gives accurate evaluation of the structural and thermodynamic properties of the conformational transition which are in well agreement with the standard REMD simulation. Therefore, the hybrid REMD could highly increase the computational efficiency and thus expand the application of REMD simulation to larger-size protein systems.

  11. Analysis of an Increase in the Efficiency of a Spark Ignition Engine Through the Application of an Automotive Thermoelectric Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merkisz, Jerzy; Fuc, Pawel; Lijewski, Piotr; Ziolkowski, Andrzej; Galant, Marta; Siedlecki, Maciej

    2016-08-01

    We have analyzed the increase of the overall efficiency of a spark ignition engine through energy recovery following the application of an automotive thermoelectric generator (ATEG) of our own design. The design of the generator was developed following emission investigations during vehicle driving under city traffic conditions. The measurement points were defined by actual operation conditions (engine speed and load), subsequently reproduced on an engine dynamometer. Both the vehicle used in the on-road tests and the engine dynamometer were fit with the same, downsized spark ignition engine (with high effective power-to-displacement ratio). The thermodynamic parameters of the exhaust gases (temperature and exhaust gas mass flow) were measured on the engine testbed, along with the fuel consumption and electric current generated by the thermoelectric modules. On this basis, the power of the ATEG and its impact on overall engine efficiency were determined.

  12. Galectin-3 and post-myocardial infarction cardiac remodeling.

    PubMed

    Meijers, Wouter C; van der Velde, A Rogier; Pascual-Figal, Domingo A; de Boer, Rudolf A

    2015-09-15

    This review summarizes the current literature regarding the involvement and the putative role(s) of galectin-3 in post-myocardial infarction cardiac remodeling. Post-myocardial infarction remodeling is characterized by acute loss of myocardium, which leads to structural and biomechanical changes in order to preserve cardiac function. A hallmark herein is fibrosis formation, both in the early and late phase following acute myocardial infarction. Galectin-3, a β-galactoside-binding lectin, which is a shared factor in fibrosis formation in multiple organs, has an established role in cardiac fibrosis in the setting of pressure overload, neuro-endocrine activation and hypertension, but its role in post- myocardial infarction remodeling has received less attention. However, accumulative experimental studies have shown that myocardial galectin-3 expression is upregulated after myocardial infarction, both on mRNA and protein level. This already occurs shortly after myocardial infarction in the infarcted and border zone area, and also at a later stage in the spared myocardium, contributing to tissue repair and fibrosis. This is associated with typical aspects of fibrosis formation, such as apposition of matricellular proteins and increased factors of collagen turnover. Interestingly, myocardial fibrosis in experimental post-myocardial infarction cardiac remodeling could be attenuated by galectin-3 inhibition. In clinical studies, circulating galectin-3 levels have been shown to identify patients at risk for new-onset heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Circulating galectin-3 levels also predict progressive left ventricular dilatation after myocardial infarction. From literature we conclude that galectin-3 is an active player in cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction. Future studies should focus on the dynamics of galectin-3 activation after myocardial infarction, and study the possibilities to target galectin-3.

  13. Combretastatin A4 disodium phosphate-induced myocardial injury

    PubMed Central

    Tochinai, Ryota; Nagata, Yuriko; Ando, Minoru; Hata, Chie; Suzuki, Tomo; Asakawa, Naoyuki; Yoshizawa, Kazuhiko; Uchida, Kazumi; Kado, Shoichi; Kobayashi, Toshihide; Kaneko, Kimiyuki; Kuwahara, Masayoshi

    2016-01-01

    Histopathological and electrocardiographic features of myocardial lesions induced by combretastatin A4 disodium phosphate (CA4DP) were evaluated, and the relation between myocardial lesions and vascular changes and the direct toxic effect of CA4DP on cardiomyocytes were discussed. We induced myocardial lesions by administration of CA4DP to rats and evaluated myocardial damage by histopathologic examination and electrocardiography. We evaluated blood pressure (BP) of CA4DP-treated rats and effects of CA4DP on cellular impedance-based contractility of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPS-CMs). The results revealed multifocal myocardial necrosis with a predilection for the interventricular septum and subendocardial regions of the apex of the left ventricular wall, injury of capillaries, morphological change of the ST junction, and QT interval prolongation. The histopathological profile of myocardial lesions suggested that CA4DP induced a lack of myocardial blood flow. CA4DP increased the diastolic BP and showed direct effects on hiPS-CMs. These results suggest that CA4DP induces dysfunction of small arteries and capillaries and has direct toxicity in cardiomyocytes. Therefore, it is thought that CA4DP induced capillary and myocardial injury due to collapse of the microcirculation in the myocardium. Moreover, the direct toxic effect of CA4DP on cardiomyocytes induced myocardial lesions in a coordinated manner. PMID:27559241

  14. No growth stimulation of tropical trees by 150 years of CO2 fertilization but water-use efficiency increased

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Sleen, Peter; Groenendijk, Peter; Vlam, Mart; Anten, Niels P. R.; Boom, Arnoud; Bongers, Frans; Pons, Thijs L.; Terburg, Gideon; Zuidema, Pieter A.

    2015-01-01

    The biomass of undisturbed tropical forests has likely increased in the past few decades, probably as a result of accelerated tree growth. Higher CO2 levels are expected to raise plant photosynthetic rates and enhance water-use efficiency, that is, the ratio of carbon assimilation through photosynthesis to water loss through transpiration. However, there is no evidence that these physiological responses do indeed stimulate tree growth in tropical forests. Here we present measurements of stable carbon isotopes and growth rings in the wood of 1,100 trees from Bolivia, Cameroon and Thailand. Measurements of carbon isotope fractions in the wood indicate that intrinsic water-use efficiency in both understorey and canopy trees increased by 30-35% over the past 150 years as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased. However, we found no evidence for the suggested concurrent acceleration of individual tree growth when analysing the width of growth rings. We conclude that the widespread assumption of a CO2-induced stimulation of tropical tree growth may not be valid.

  15. Energy use efficiency is characterized by an epigenetic component that can be directed through artificial selection to increase yield.

    PubMed

    Hauben, Miriam; Haesendonckx, Boris; Standaert, Evi; Van Der Kelen, Katrien; Azmi, Abdelkrim; Akpo, Hervé; Van Breusegem, Frank; Guisez, Yves; Bots, Marc; Lambert, Bart; Laga, Benjamin; De Block, Marc

    2009-11-24

    Quantitative traits, such as size and weight in animals and seed yield in plants, are distributed normally, even within a population of genetically identical individuals. For example, in plants, various factors, such as local soil quality, microclimate, and sowing depth, affect growth differences among individual plants of isogenic populations. Besides these physical factors, also epigenetic components contribute to differences in growth and yield. The network that regulates crop yield is still not well understood. Although this network is expected to have epigenetic elements, it is completely unclear whether it would be possible to shape the epigenome to increase crop yield. Here we show that energy use efficiency is an important factor in determining seed yield in canola (Brassica napus) and that it can be selected artificially through an epigenetic feature. From an isogenic canola population of which the individual plants and their self-fertilized progenies were recursively selected for respiration intensity, populations with distinct physiological and agronomical characteristics could be generated. These populations were found to be genetically identical, but epigenetically different. Furthermore, both the DNA methylation patterns as well as the agronomical and physiological characteristics of the selected lines were heritable. Hybrids derived from parent lines selected for high energy use efficiencies had a 5% yield increase on top of heterosis. Our results demonstrate that artificial selection allows the increase of the yield potential by selecting populations with particular epigenomic states.

  16. Continent-wide increase of water-use efficiency in vegetation during severe droughts of the recent decade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Wouter; van der Velde, Ivar; Miller, John. B.; Tans, Pieter P.; Vaughn, Bruce; White, James W. C.

    2015-04-01

    Recent severe droughts in Europe, Russia, China, and North America have caused widespread decline of agricultural yield and reduction of forest carbon uptake during the past decade. During droughts plants limit their water-loss at the expense of carbon uptake by partially closing their stomata, which increases the intrinsic water-use efficiency defined as the ratio of gross primary production to stomatal conductance. Here we present new evidence on this drought response of terrestrial vegetation derived from year-to-year changes in the 13C:12C stable isotope ratio in atmospheric CO2 (δ13C). Observations from more than 50,000 flask samples from a global monitoring network show a strong increase in water-use efficiency over continent-wide scales during severe droughts in Europe (2003, 2006), Russia (2010), and the United States (2002). This large-scale area-integrated vegetation drought response can not be measured from laboratory experiments or local-scale field studies and the atmospheric δ13C record thus offers a unique perspective on large-scale vegetation drought dynamics. Independent evidence from multiple eddy-covariance sites supports our inverse model interpretation of the observed global atmospheric δ13C record. With the parameterized stomatal conductance and soil moisture response used in our study, as well as many current climate models, our vegetation model underestimates this increase in water-use efficiency during severe droughts. We therefore suggest minor modifications to better reproduce the observations. We conclude that the global δ13C record provides a new opportunity to test and improve interannual drought dynamics in coupled biosphere-atmosphere models for CO2.

  17. Increasing RO efficiency by chemical-free ion-exchange and Donnan dialysis: Principles and practical implications.

    PubMed

    Vanoppen, Marjolein; Stoffels, Griet; Demuytere, Célestin; Bleyaert, Wouter; Verliefde, Arne R D

    2015-09-01

    Ion-exchange (IEX) and Donnan dialysis (DD) are techniques which can selectively remove cations, limiting scaling in reverse osmosis (RO). If the RO concentrate could be recycled for regeneration of these pre-treatment techniques, RO recovery could be largely increased without the need for chemical addition or additional technologies. In this study, two different RO feed streams (treated industrial waste water and simple tap water) were tested in the envisioned IEX-RO and DD-RO hybrids including RO concentrate recycling. The efficiency of multivalent cation removal depends mainly on the ratio of monovalent to multivalent cations in the feed stream, influencing the ion-exchange efficiency in both IEX and DD. Since the mono-to-multivalent ratio was very high in the waste water, the RO recovery could potentially be increased to 92%. For the tap water, these high RO recoveries could only be reached by adding additional NaCl, because of the low initial monovalent to multivalent ratio in the feed. In both cases, the IEX-RO hybrid proved to be most cost-efficient, due to the high current cost of the membranes used in DD. The membrane cost would have to decrease from ±300 €/m² to 10-30 €/m² - comparable to current reverse osmosis membranes - to achieve a comparable cost. In conclusion, the recycling of RO concentrate to regenerate ion exchange pre-treatment techniques for RO is an interesting option to increase RO recovery without addition of chemicals, but only at high monovalent/multivalent cation-ratios in the feed stream.

  18. The effect of nifedipine on myocardial perfusion and metabolism in systemic sclerosis. A positron emission tomographic study

    SciTech Connect

    Duboc, D.; Kahan, A.; Maziere, B.; Loc'h, C.; Crouzel, C.; Menkes, C.J.; Amor, B.; Strauch, G.; Guerin, F.; Syrota, A. )

    1991-02-01

    We assessed the effect of nifedipine on myocardial perfusion and metabolism in 9 patients with systemic sclerosis, using positron emission tomography with a perfusion tracer (potassium-38) and a metabolic tracer (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG)). Nifedipine, 20 mg 3 times daily for 1 week, induced a significant increase in 38K myocardial uptake, a significant decrease in 18FDG myocardial uptake, and a significant increase in the myocardial 38K: 18FDG ratio. These results indicate that the increase in myocardial perfusion is associated with modifications in myocardial energy metabolism, which probably result from a beneficial anti-ischemic effect of nifedipine in patients with systemic sclerosis.

  19. Design principles for innovative workspaces to increase efficiency in pharmaceutical R&D: lessons learned from the Novartis campus.

    PubMed

    Zoller, Frank A; Boutellier, Roman

    2013-04-01

    When managing R&D departments for increased efficiency and effectiveness the focus has often been on organizational structure. Space is, however, of outstanding importance in an environment of large task uncertainty, which is the case in pharmaceutical R&D. Based on case studies about the Novartis campus in Basel, Switzerland, we propose some design principles for laboratory and office workspace to support the strong and weak ties of scientist networks. We address the diversity of technologies and specialization, as well as the pressure on time-to-market, as major challenges in pharmaceutical R&D.

  20. Cyclic AMP and acyl homoserine lactones increase the cultivation efficiency of heterotrophic bacteria from the central Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Bruns, Alke; Cypionka, Heribert; Overmann, Jörg

    2002-08-01

    The effect of signal molecules on the cultivation efficiency of bacteria from the Gotland Deep in the central Baltic Sea was investigated. Numbers of cultivated cells were determined by the most-probable-number (MPN) technique. Artificial brackish water supplemented with different carbon substrates at low concentrations (200 microM each) was employed as the growth medium. Compared to the results of previous studies, this approach yielded significantly higher cultivation efficiencies (up to 11% in fluid media). A further and pronounced increase in cultivation success was accomplished by the addition of cyclic AMP (cAMP), N-butyryl homoserine lactone, or N-oxohexanoyl-DL-homoserine lactone at a low concentration of 10 microM. The most effective inducer was cAMP, which led to cultivation efficiencies of up to 100% of total bacterial counts. From the highest positive dilutions of these latter MPN series, several strains were isolated in pure culture and one strain (G100) was used to study the physiological effect of cAMP. Dot blot hybridization revealed, however, that strain G100 represented only a small fraction of the total bacterial community. This points towards an inherent limitation of the MPN approach, which does not necessarily recover abundant species from highly diverse communities. Bacterial cells of strain G100 that were starved for 6 weeks attained a higher growth rate and a higher biomass yield when resuscitated in the presence of cAMP instead of AMP.

  1. Plant hormones increase efficiency of reprogramming mouse somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells and reduce tumorigenicity.

    PubMed

    Alvarez Palomo, Ana Belén; McLenachan, Samuel; Requena Osete, Jordi; Menchón, Cristina; Barrot, Carme; Chen, Fred; Munné-Bosch, Sergi; Edel, Michael J

    2014-03-15

    Reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by defined pluripotency and self-renewal factors has taken stem cell technology to the forefront of regenerative medicine. However, a number of challenges remain in the field including efficient protocols and the threat of cancer. Reprogramming of plant somatic cells to plant embryonic stem cells using a combination of two plant hormones was discovered in 1957 and has been a routine university laboratory practical for over 30 years. The plant hormones responsible for cell reprogramming to pluripotency, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and isopentenyl adenosine (IPA), are present in human cells, leading to the exciting possibility that plant hormones might reprogram mammalian cells without genetic factors. We found that plant hormones on their own could not reprogram mammalian cells but increase the efficiency of the early formation of iPS cells combined with three defined genetic factors during the first 3 weeks of reprogramming by accelerating the cell cycle and regulating pluripotency genes. Moreover, the cytokinin IPA, a known human anticancer agent, reduced the threat of cancer of iPS cell in vitro by regulating key cancer and stem cell-related genes, most notably c-Myc and Igf-1. In conclusion, the plant hormones, auxin and cytokinin, are new small chemicals useful for enhancing early reprogramming efficiency of mammalian cells and reducing the threat of cancer from iPS cells. These findings suggest a novel role for plant hormones in the biology of mammalian cell plasticity.

  2. Increased Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and rooting efficiencies in canola (Brassica napus L.) from hypocotyl segment explants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cardoza, V.; Stewart, C. N.

    2003-01-01

    An efficient protocol for the production of transgenic Brassica napus cv. Westar plants was developed by optimizing two important parameters: preconditioning time and co-cultivation time. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation was performed using hypocotyls as explant tissue. Two variants of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-encoding gene--mGFP5-ER and eGFP--both under the constitutive expression of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, were used for the experiments. Optimizing the preconditioning time to 72 h and co-cultivation time with Agrobacterium to 48 h provided the increase in the transformation efficiency from a baseline of 4% to 25%. With mGFP5-ER, the transformation rate was 17% and with eGFP it was 25%. Transgenic shoots were selected on 200 mg/l kanamycin. Rooting efficiency was 100% on half-strength Murashige and Skoog medium with 10 g/l sucrose and 0.5 mg/l indole butyric acid in the presence of kanamycin.

  3. Absolute quantification of myocardial blood flow.

    PubMed

    Yoshinaga, Keiichiro; Manabe, Osamu; Tamaki, Nagara

    2016-07-21

    With the increasing availability of positron emission tomography (PET) myocardial perfusion imaging, the absolute quantification of myocardial blood flow (MBF) has become popular in clinical settings. Quantitative MBF provides an important additional diagnostic or prognostic information over conventional visual assessment. The success of MBF quantification using PET/computed tomography (CT) has increased the demand for this quantitative diagnostic approach to be more accessible. In this regard, MBF quantification approaches have been developed using several other diagnostic imaging modalities including single-photon emission computed tomography, CT, and cardiac magnetic resonance. This review will address the clinical aspects of PET MBF quantification and the new approaches to MBF quantification.

  4. [Methylphenidate induced ST elevation acute myocardial infarction].

    PubMed

    Ruwald, Martin Huth; Ruwald, Anne-Christine Huth; Tønder, Niels

    2012-03-05

    Adult attention deficit and hyperkinetic disorder (ADHD) is increasingly diagnosed and treated with methylphenidate. We present the case of an 20 year-old man, who was diagnosed with ADHD and suffered a ST elevation acute myocardial infarction due to coronary vasospasm related to an overdose, and subsequent episodes of myocardial injury due to the use and misuse of methylphenidate over a period of two years. We recommend an increased attention to the subscription of methylphenidate to patients, who are at risk of misuse and patients, who have a cardiovascular history.

  5. Hydrogen Sulfide Inhibits High-Salt Diet-Induced Myocardial Oxidative Stress and Myocardial Hypertrophy in Dahl Rats

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Pan; Shen, Zhizhou; Yu, Wen; Huang, Yaqian; Tang, Chaoshu; Du, Junbao; Jin, Hongfang

    2017-01-01

    The study aimed to examine the protective effect of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on high-salt-induced oxidative stress and myocardial hypertrophy in salt-sensitive (Dahl) rats. Thirty male Dahl rats and 40 SD rats were included in the study. They were randomly divided into Dahl control (Dahl + NS), Dahl high salt (Dahl + HS), Dahl + HS + NaHS, SD + NS, SD + HS, SD + HS + NaHS, and SD + HS + hydroxylamine (HA). Rats in Dahl + NS and SD + NS groups were given chow with 0.5% NaCl and 0.9% normal saline intraperitoneally daily. Myocardial structure, α-myosin heavy chain (α-MHC) and β-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC) expressions were determined. Endogenous myocardial H2S pathway and oxidative stress in myocardial tissues were tested. Myocardial H2S pathway was downregulated with myocardial hypertrophy featured by increased heart weight/body weight and cardiomyocytes cross-sectional area, decreased α-MHC and increased β-MHC expressions in Dahl rats with high-salt diet (all P < 0.01), and oxidative stress in myocardial tissues was significantly activated, demonstrated by the increased contents of hydroxyl radical, malondialdehyde and oxidized glutathione and decreased total antioxidant capacity, carbon monoxide, catalase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and decreased SOD1 and SOD2 protein expressions (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). However, H2S reduced myocardial hypertrophy with decreased heart weight/body weight and cardiomyocytes cross-sectional area, increased α-MHC, decreased β-MHC expressions and inhibited oxidative stress in myocardial tissues of Dahl rats with high-salt diet. However, no significant difference was found in H2S pathway, myocardial structure, α-MHC and β-MHC protein and oxidative status in myocardial tissues among SD + NS, SD + HS, and SD + HS + NaHS groups. HA, an inhibitor of cystathionine β-synthase, inhibited myocardial H2S pathway (P < 0.01), and stimulated myocardial hypertrophy and oxidative stress in SD rats

  6. Hydrogen Sulfide Inhibits High-Salt Diet-Induced Myocardial Oxidative Stress and Myocardial Hypertrophy in Dahl Rats.

    PubMed

    Huang, Pan; Shen, Zhizhou; Yu, Wen; Huang, Yaqian; Tang, Chaoshu; Du, Junbao; Jin, Hongfang

    2017-01-01

    The study aimed to examine the protective effect of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on high-salt-induced oxidative stress and myocardial hypertrophy in salt-sensitive (Dahl) rats. Thirty male Dahl rats and 40 SD rats were included in the study. They were randomly divided into Dahl control (Dahl + NS), Dahl high salt (Dahl + HS), Dahl + HS + NaHS, SD + NS, SD + HS, SD + HS + NaHS, and SD + HS + hydroxylamine (HA). Rats in Dahl + NS and SD + NS groups were given chow with 0.5% NaCl and 0.9% normal saline intraperitoneally daily. Myocardial structure, α-myosin heavy chain (α-MHC) and β-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC) expressions were determined. Endogenous myocardial H2S pathway and oxidative stress in myocardial tissues were tested. Myocardial H2S pathway was downregulated with myocardial hypertrophy featured by increased heart weight/body weight and cardiomyocytes cross-sectional area, decreased α-MHC and increased β-MHC expressions in Dahl rats with high-salt diet (all P < 0.01), and oxidative stress in myocardial tissues was significantly activated, demonstrated by the increased contents of hydroxyl radical, malondialdehyde and oxidized glutathione and decreased total antioxidant capacity, carbon monoxide, catalase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and decreased SOD1 and SOD2 protein expressions (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). However, H2S reduced myocardial hypertrophy with decreased heart weight/body weight and cardiomyocytes cross-sectional area, increased α-MHC, decreased β-MHC expressions and inhibited oxidative stress in myocardial tissues of Dahl rats with high-salt diet. However, no significant difference was found in H2S pathway, myocardial structure, α-MHC and β-MHC protein and oxidative status in myocardial tissues among SD + NS, SD + HS, and SD + HS + NaHS groups. HA, an inhibitor of cystathionine β-synthase, inhibited myocardial H2S pathway (P < 0.01), and stimulated myocardial hypertrophy and oxidative stress in SD rats

  7. Regional left ventricular myocardial contractility and stress in a finite element model of posterobasal myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Wenk, Jonathan F; Sun, Kay; Zhang, Zhihong; Soleimani, Mehrdad; Ge, Liang; Saloner, David; Wallace, Arthur W; Ratcliffe, Mark B; Guccione, Julius M

    2011-04-01

    Recently, a noninvasive method for determining regional myocardial contractility, using an animal-specific finite element (FE) model-based optimization, was developed to study a sheep with anteroapical infarction (Sun et al., 2009, "A Computationally Efficient Formal Optimization of Regional Myocardial Contractility in a Sheep With Left Ventricular Aneurysm," ASME J. Biomech. Eng., 131(11), p. 111001). Using the methodology developed in the previous study (Sun et al., 2009, "A Computationally Efficient Formal Optimization of Regional Myocardial Contractility in a Sheep With Left Ventricular Aneurysm," ASME J. Biomech. Eng., 131(11), p. 111001), which incorporates tagged magnetic resonance images, three-dimensional myocardial strains, left ventricular (LV) volumes, and LV cardiac catheterization pressures, the regional myocardial contractility and stress distribution of a sheep with posterobasal infarction were investigated. Active material parameters in the noninfarcted border zone (BZ) myocardium adjacent to the infarct (T(max_B)), in the myocardium remote from the infarct (T(max_R)), and in the infarct (T(max_I)) were estimated by minimizing the errors between FE model-predicted and experimentally measured systolic strains and LV volumes using the previously developed optimization scheme. The optimized T(max_B) was found to be significantly depressed relative to T(max_R), while T(max_I) was found to be zero. The myofiber stress in the BZ was found to be elevated, relative to the remote region. This could cause further damage to the contracting myocytes, leading to heart failure.

  8. Self-Assembled Monolayers of n-Alkanethiols Suppress Hydrogen Evolution and Increase the Efficiency of Rechargeable Iron Battery Electrodes

    SciTech Connect

    Malkhandi, S; Yang, B; Manohar, AK; Prakash, GKS; Narayanan, SR

    2013-01-09

    Iron-based rechargeable batteries, because of their low cost, eco-friendliness, and durability, are extremely attractive for large-scale energy storage. A principal challenge in the deployment of these batteries is their relatively low electrical efficiency. The low efficiency is due to parasitic hydrogen evolution that occurs on the iron electrode during charging and idle stand. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that linear alkanethiols are very effective in suppressing hydrogen evolution on alkaline iron battery electrodes. The alkanethiols form self-assembled monolayers on the iron electrodes. The degree of suppression of hydrogen evolution by the alkanethiols was found to be greater than 90%, and the effectiveness of the alkanethiol increased with the chain length. Through steady-state potentiostatic polarization studies and impedance measurements on high-purity iron disk electrodes, we show that the self-assembly of alkanethiols suppressed the parasitic reaction by reducing the interfacial area available for the electrochemical reaction. We have modeled the effect of chain length of the alkanethiol on the surface coverage, charge-transfer resistance, and double-layer capacitance of the interface using a simple model that also yields a value for the interchain interaction energy. We have verified the improvement in charging efficiency resulting from the use of the alkanethiols in practical rechargeable iron battery electrodes. The results of battery tests indicate that alkanethiols yield among the highest faradaic efficiencies reported for the rechargeable iron electrodes, enabling the prospect of a large-scale energy storage solution based on low-cost iron-based rechargeable batteries.

  9. Coexpression of redox partners increases the hydrocortisone (cortisol) production efficiency in CYP11B1 expressing fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

    PubMed

    Hakki, Tarek; Zearo, Silvia; Drăgan, Călin-Aurel; Bureik, Matthias; Bernhardt, Rita

    2008-02-01

    Cytochromes P450 play a vital role in the steroid biosynthesis pathway of the adrenal gland. An example of an essential P450 cytochrome is the steroid 11beta-hydroxylase CYP11B1, which catalyses the conversion of 11-deoxycorticol to hydrocortisone. However, despite its high biotechnological potential, this enzyme has so far been unsuccessfully employed in present-day biotechnology due to a poor expression yield and inherent protein instability. In this study, CYP11B1 was biotransformed into various strains of the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, all of which also expressed the electron transfer proteins adrenodoxin and/or adrenodoxin reductase - central components of the mitochondrial P450 system - in order to maximise hydrocortisone production efficiency in our proposed model system. Site-directed mutagenesis of CYP11B1 at positions 52 and 78 was performed in order to evaluate the impact of altering the amino acids at these sites. It was found that the presence of an isoleucine at position 78 conferred the highest 11beta-hydroxylation activity of CYP11B1. Coexpression of adrenodoxin and adrenodoxin reductase appeared to further increase the 11beta-hydroxylase activity of the enzyme (3.4 fold). Adrenodoxin mutants which were found to significantly enhance enzyme efficiency in other cytochromes in previous studies were also tested in our system. It was found that, in this case, the wild type adrenodoxin was more efficient. The new fission yeast strain TH75 coexpressing the wild type Adx and AdR displays high hydrocortisone production efficiency at an average of 1mM hydrocortisone over a period of 72h, the highest value published to date for this biotransformation. Finally, our research shows that pTH2 is an ideal plasmid for the coexpression of the mitochondrial electron transfer counterparts, adrenodoxin and adrenodoxin reductase, in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and so could serve as a convenient tool for future biotechnological applications.

  10. The influence of hypertonic mannitol on regional myocardial blood flow during acute and chronic myocardial ischemia in anesthetized and awake intact dogs.

    PubMed Central

    Willerson, J T; Watson, J T; Hutton, I; Fixler, D E; Curry, G C; Templeton, G H

    1975-01-01

    The influence of hypertonic mannitol on regional myocardial blood flow and ventricular performance was studied during acute myocardial ischemia in awake, unsedated and in anesthesized dogs and after myocardial infarction in awake unsedated dogs. Regional myocardial blood flow was measured with radioactive microspheres. Generalized increases in regional myocardial blood flow occurred after mannitol in all of the different animal models studied. The increases in coronary blood flow after mannitol were just as impressive in the nonischemic regions as in the ischemic portion of the left ventricle in all of the different models that were examined in this study. Improvement in regional myocardial blood flow to the ischemic area of the left ventricle after mannitol was associated with a reduction in ST segment elevation during acute myocardial ischemia in anesthetized dogs. The increases in regional myocardial flow after mannitol were also associated with increases in contractility, but the increases in flow appeared to be more impressive than the changes in contractility. The data obtained demonstrate that mannitol increases regional coronary blood flow to both ischemic and nonischemic myocardium in both anesthetized and awake, unsedated, intact dogs with acute and chronic myocardial ischemia and that mannitol reduces ST segment elevation during acute myocardial ischemia in anesthetized dogs. Thus the results suggest that under these circumstances the increases in regional myocardial blood flow after mannitol are of physiological importance in reducing the extent of myocardial injury. Since coronary blood flow increased to nonischemic regions the increases in regional myocardial flow demonstrated in this study after mannitol cannot be entirely explained by the mechanism of reduction in ischemic cell swelling. PMID:1123427

  11. Using mixed solvent and changing spin-coating parameters to increase the efficiency and lifetime of organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Yu Sheng; Chu, Wei-Ping; Tang, Rong-Ming; Juang, Fuh-Shyang; Chang, Ming-Hua; Liu, Mark O; Hsieh, Tsung-Eong

    2008-10-01

    The derivative of C60, i.e., PCBM, and P3HT (3-hexylthiophene) were dissolved in chloroform:dichlorobenzene mixed solvent, then spin-coated as the active layer for organic solar cells (OSC). The experimental parameters were studied carefully to obtain the optimum power conversion efficiency (PCE), including the solvent mixing ratio, spin-coating speed, annealing conditions for the active layer, etc. The OSC devices were packaged with glass and a newly developed UV-glue to improve the lifetime and PCE. Dichlorobenzene solvent has great effect upon the PCE. Changing the spin-coating speed and increasing the number of steps increased the PCE apparently to 1.4%.

  12. Employing Si solar cell technology to increase efficiency of ultra-thin Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells.

    PubMed

    Vermang, Bart; Wätjen, Jörn Timo; Fjällström, Viktor; Rostvall, Fredrik; Edoff, Marika; Kotipalli, Ratan; Henry, Frederic; Flandre, Denis

    2014-10-01

    Reducing absorber layer thickness below 500 nm in regular Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells decreases cell efficiency considerably, as both short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage are reduced because of incomplete absorption and high Mo/CIGS rear interface recombination. In this work, an innovative rear cell design is developed to avoid both effects: a highly reflective rear surface passivation layer with nano-sized local point contact openings is employed to enhance rear internal reflection and decrease the rear surface recombination velocity significantly, as compared with a standard Mo/CIGS rear interface. The formation of nano-sphere shaped precipitates in chemical bath deposition of CdS is used to generate nano-sized point contact openings. Evaporation of MgF2 coated with a thin atomic layer deposited Al2O3 layer, or direct current magnetron sputtering of Al2O3 are used as rear surface passivation layers. Rear internal reflection is enhanced substantially by the increased thickness of the passivation layer, and also the rear surface recombination velocity is reduced at the Al2O3/CIGS rear interface. (MgF2/)Al2O3 rear surface passivated ultra-thin CIGS solar cells are fabricated, showing an increase in short circuit current and open circuit voltage compared to unpassivated reference cells with equivalent CIGS thickness. Accordingly, average solar cell efficiencies of 13.5% are realized for 385 nm thick CIGS absorber layers, compared with 9.1% efficiency for the corresponding unpassivated reference cells.

  13. Employing Si solar cell technology to increase efficiency of ultra-thin Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Vermang, Bart; Wätjen, Jörn Timo; Fjällström, Viktor; Rostvall, Fredrik; Edoff, Marika; Kotipalli, Ratan; Henry, Frederic; Flandre, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Reducing absorber layer thickness below 500 nm in regular Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells decreases cell efficiency considerably, as both short-circuit current and open-circuit voltage are reduced because of incomplete absorption and high Mo/CIGS rear interface recombination. In this work, an innovative rear cell design is developed to avoid both effects: a highly reflective rear surface passivation layer with nano-sized local point contact openings is employed to enhance rear internal reflection and decrease the rear surface recombination velocity significantly, as compared with a standard Mo/CIGS rear interface. The formation of nano-sphere shaped precipitates in chemical bath deposition of CdS is used to generate nano-sized point contact openings. Evaporation of MgF2 coated with a thin atomic layer deposited Al2O3 layer, or direct current magnetron sputtering of Al2O3 are used as rear surface passivation layers. Rear internal reflection is enhanced substantially by the increased thickness of the passivation layer, and also the rear surface recombination velocity is reduced at the Al2O3/CIGS rear interface. (MgF2/)Al2O3 rear surface passivated ultra-thin CIGS solar cells are fabricated, showing an increase in short circuit current and open circuit voltage compared to unpassivated reference cells with equivalent CIGS thickness. Accordingly, average solar cell efficiencies of 13.5% are realized for 385 nm thick CIGS absorber layers, compared with 9.1% efficiency for the corresponding unpassivated reference cells. PMID:26300619

  14. Increased water-use efficiency does not lead to enhanced tree growth under xeric and mesic conditions.

    PubMed

    Lévesque, Mathieu; Siegwolf, Rolf; Saurer, Matthias; Eilmann, Britta; Rigling, Andreas

    2014-07-01

    Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations (c(a)) can under certain conditions increase tree growth by enhancing photosynthesis, resulting in an increase of intrinsic water-use efficiency (i WUE) in trees. However, the magnitude of these effects and their interactions with changing climatic conditions are still poorly understood under xeric and mesic conditions. We combined radial growth analysis with intra- and interannual δ(13)C and δ(18)O measurements to investigate growth and physiological responses of Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus nigra and Pseudotsuga menziesii in relation to rising c(a) and changing climate at a xeric site in the dry inner Alps and at a mesic site in the Swiss lowlands. (i)WUE increased significantly over the last 50 yr by 8-29% and varied depending on species, site water availability, and seasons. Regardless of species and increased (i)WUE, radial growth has significantly declined under xeric conditions, whereas growth has not increased as expected under mesic conditions. Overall, drought-induced stomatal closure has reduced transpiration at the cost of reduced carbon uptake and growth. Our results indicate that, even under mesic conditions, the temperature-induced drought stress has overridden the potential CO2 'fertilization' on tree growth, hence challenging today's predictions of improved forest productivity of temperate forests.

  15. Chitosan hydrogel microspheres: an effective covalent matrix for crosslinking of soluble dextranase to increase stability and recycling efficiency.

    PubMed

    Shahid, Faiza; Aman, Afsheen; Nawaz, Muhammad Asif; Karim, Asad; Ul Qader, Shah Ali

    2017-03-01

    Dextranase is a unique biocatalyst that has high specificity and stereo-selectivity towards a complex biopolymer known as dextran. Dextranase has wide industrial application, but most of the time harsh environmental conditions adversely affect the functionality and stability of the enzyme. To overcome this issue, a covalent cross-linking immobilization method was adapted in the current study utilizing a nontoxic and biocompatible matrix known as chitosan. Chitosan hydrogel microspheres were synthesized using chitosan which exhibited noteworthy physical and mechanical strength. After treatment with glutaraldehyde, chitosan hydrogel microspheres were used for immobilization of dextranase. The kinetic characteristics of immobilized dextranase were compared with that of the soluble enzyme. A shift in optimum pH and temperature from 7.0 to 7.5 and 50 to 60 °C was observed after immobilization, respectively. Recycling efficiency, thermal stability, and activation energy distinctly improved after immobilization, whereas anchoring of substrate at the active site of the soluble dextranase exhibited an increase in K m with no change in V max after crosslinking. This technique involves the reduction in the size of carrier molecules (microspheres) that provide a larger surface area for improved immobilization efficiency. Therefore, it is concluded that increased stability and reusability of this immobilized biocatalyst makes it a promising aspirant for the utilization at commercial level.

  16. Long-term CO2 rise has increased photosynthetic efficiency and water use efficiency but did not stimulate diameter growth of tropical trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groenendijk, P.; Zuidema, P.; Sleen, P. V. D.; Vlam, M.; Ehlers, I.; Schleucher, J.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical forests are a crucial component of the global carbon cycle, and their responses to atmospheric changes may shift carbon cycling and climate systems. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) are the major tools to simulate tropical forest responses to climate change. One of the main determinants of these simulated responses is the effect of CO2 on tropical tree physiology and growth, the 'CO2 fertilization effect'. The paucity of CO2 enrichment experiments in the tropics importantly limits insights into the CO2 fertilization effect as well as the validation of DGVMs. However, use can be made of the 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the onset of the Industrial Revolution. The effects of the historical CO2 rise on tree physiology and growth can be obtained from stable isotopes, isotopomers and tree diameter increments obtained in tree-ring studies. We studied the physiological and growth responses of 12 tree species in Bolivia, Cameroon and Thailand to 150 years of CO2 enrichment. Analyses of 13C of wood cellulose revealed strong, long-term increases in leaf intercellular CO2 concentrations for all study species and a marked improvement of intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE). For a subset of one species per site, we studied the Deuterium isotopomers (isomers with isotopic atoms) of glucose in wood to obtain a direct estimate of the photorespiration-to-photosynthesis ratio. We found that this ratio consistently and strongly decreased over the past century, thus increasing the effeciency and rate of photosynthesis. In spite of these strong physiological responses to increased CO2levels, we did not find evidence for increased tree diameter growth for any of the sites, or for sites combined. Possible reasons for the lack of a growth stimulation include increased (leaf) temperature, insufficient availability of nutrients or a shift in biomass investment in trees. Our results suggest that the strong CO2 fertilization of tropical tree growth often

  17. Quantitative myocardial perfusion SPECT.

    PubMed

    Tsui, B M; Frey, E C; LaCroix, K J; Lalush, D S; McCartney, W H; King, M A; Gullberg, G T

    1998-01-01

    In recent years, there has been much interest in the clinical application of attenuation compensation to myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with the promise that accurate quantitative images can be obtained to improve clinical diagnoses. The different attenuation compensation methods that are available create confusion and some misconceptions. Also, attenuation-compensated images reveal other image-degrading effects including collimator-detector blurring and scatter that are not apparent in uncompensated images. This article presents basic concepts of the major factors that degrade the quality and quantitative accuracy of myocardial perfusion SPECT images, and includes a discussion of the various image reconstruction and compensation methods and misconceptions and pitfalls in implementation. The differences between the various compensation methods and their performance are demonstrated. Particular emphasis is directed to an approach that promises to provide quantitative myocardial perfusion SPECT images by accurately compensating for the 3-dimensional (3-D) attenuation, collimator-detector response, and scatter effects. With advances in the computer hardware and optimized implementation techniques, quantitatively accurate and high-quality myocardial perfusion SPECT images can be obtained in clinically acceptable processing time. Examples from simulation, phantom, and patient studies are used to demonstrate the various aspects of the investigation. We conclude that quantitative myocardial perfusion SPECT, which holds great promise to improve clinical diagnosis, is an achievable goal in the near future.

  18. Overproduction of Abscisic Acid in Tomato Increases Transpiration Efficiency and Root Hydraulic Conductivity and Influences Leaf Expansion1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Andrew J.; Andrews, John; Mulholland, Barry J.; McKee, John M.T.; Hilton, Howard W.; Horridge, Jon S.; Farquhar, Graham D.; Smeeton, Rachel C.; Smillie, Ian R.A.; Black, Colin R.; Taylor, Ian B.

    2007-01-01

    Overexpression of genes that respond to drought stress is a seemingly attractive approach for improving drought resistance in crops. However, the consequences for both water-use efficiency and productivity must be considered if agronomic utility is sought. Here, we characterize two tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) lines (sp12 and sp5) that overexpress a gene encoding 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, the enzyme that catalyzes a key rate-limiting step in abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis. Both lines contained more ABA than the wild type, with sp5 accumulating more than sp12. Both had higher transpiration efficiency because of their lower stomatal conductance, as demonstrated by increases in δ13C and δ18O, and also by gravimetric and gas-exchange methods. They also had greater root hydraulic conductivity. Under well-watered glasshouse conditions, mature sp5 plants were found to have a shoot biomass equal to the wild type despite their lower assimilation rate per unit leaf area. These plants also had longer petioles, larger leaf area, increased specific leaf area, and reduced leaf epinasty. When exposed to root-zone water deficits, line sp12 showed an increase in xylem ABA concentration and a reduction in stomatal conductance to the same final levels as the wild type, but from a different basal level. Indeed, the main difference between the high ABA plants and the wild type was their performance under well-watered conditions: the former conserved soil water by limiting maximum stomatal conductance per unit leaf area, but also, at least in the case of sp5, developed a canopy more suited to light interception, maximizing assimilation per plant, possibly due to improved turgor or suppression of epinasty. PMID:17277097

  19. Human-centered sensor-based Bayesian control: Increased energy efficiency and user satisfaction in commercial lighting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granderson, Jessica Ann

    2007-12-01

    The need for sustainable, efficient energy systems is the motivation that drove this research, which targeted the design of an intelligent commercial lighting system. Lighting in commercial buildings consumes approximately 13% of all the electricity generated in the US. Advanced lighting controls1 intended for use in commercial office spaces have proven to save up to 45% in electricity consumption. However, they currently comprise only a fraction of the market share, resulting in a missed opportunity to conserve energy. The research goals driving this dissertation relate directly to barriers hindering widespread adoption---increase user satisfaction, and provide increased energy savings through more sophisticated control. To satisfy these goals an influence diagram was developed to perform daylighting actuation. This algorithm was designed to balance the potentially conflicting lighting preferences of building occupants, with the efficiency desires of building facilities management. A supervisory control policy was designed to implement load shedding under a demand response tariff. Such tariffs offer incentives for customers to reduce their consumption during periods of peak demand, trough price reductions. In developing the value function occupant user testing was conducted to determine that computer and paper tasks require different illuminance levels, and that user preferences are sufficiently consistent to attain statistical significance. Approximately ten facilities managers were also interviewed and surveyed to isolate their lighting preferences with respect to measures of lighting quality and energy savings. Results from both simulation and physical implementation and user testing indicate that the intelligent controller can increase occupant satisfaction, efficiency, cost savings, and management satisfaction, with respect to existing commercial daylighting systems. Several important contributions were realized by satisfying the research goals. A general

  20. Blackcap warblers maintain digestive efficiency by increasing digesta retention time on the first day of migratory stopover.

    PubMed

    Bauchinger, Ulf; Kolb, Harald; Afik, Danny; Pinshow, Berry; Biebach, Herbert

    2009-01-01

    Almost all of the internal organs of migrating birds undergo pronounced mass changes, but the digestive tract changes most and fastest. The masses of the small intestine and the liver may be reduced by as much as 50% during migratory flight, indicating extreme phenotypic flexibility. Birds must rebuild these organs during stopovers to facilitate rapid mass gain and fuel deposition for continuation of migration. Laboratory studies indicate that birds may vary mean gut retention time to maintain high digestive efficiency, even while intestine length is substantially reduced. We examined migratory blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) after they performed a northward flight across the Sahara Desert in spring, and we subjected them to a 5-d artificial stopover. Body mass (m(b)) changes over the 5-d period resembled the typical mass change pattern of blackcaps stopping over naturally, with a small increase on the first day and a subsequent peak in the rate of m(b) gain on day 2 of the stopover. By day 5 of the stopover, the rate of m(b) gain had decreased to the point that it was not significantly different from that on day 1, presumably because the digestive tract had been rebuilt by this time. The same pattern was observed for food intake rates and amount of excreta produced, while digestive efficiency remained constant throughout the five experimental days. In contrast, mean retention time on stopover day 1 was significantly higher than it was on day 5 (106 min vs. 53 min; P = 0.031). Thus, after a sustained migration period, during a stopover blackcaps apparently compensate for reduced digestive tract size by processing food for twice as long, thereby maintaining high digestive efficiency.

  1. Andrographolide attenuates skeletal muscle dystrophy in mdx mice and increases efficiency of cell therapy by reducing fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by the absence of the cytoskeletal protein dystrophin, muscle wasting, increased transforming growth factor type beta (TGF-β) signaling, and fibrosis. At the present time, the only clinically validated treatments for DMD are glucocorticoids. These drugs prolong muscle strength and ambulation of patients for a short term only and have severe adverse effects. Andrographolide, a bicyclic diterpenoid lactone, has traditionally been used for the treatment of colds, fever, laryngitis, and other infections with no or minimal side effects. We determined whether andrographolide treatment of mdx mice, an animal model for DMD, affects muscle damage, physiology, fibrosis, and efficiency of cell therapy. Methods mdx mice were treated with andrographolide for three months and skeletal muscle histology, creatine kinase activity, and permeability of muscle fibers were evaluated. Fibrosis and TGF-β signaling were evaluated by indirect immunofluorescence and Western blot analyses. Muscle strength was determined in isolated skeletal muscles and by a running test. Efficiency of cell therapy was determined by grafting isolated skeletal muscle satellite cells onto the tibialis anterior of mdx mice. Results mdx mice treated with andrographolide exhibited less severe muscular dystrophy than untreated dystrophic mice. They performed better in an exercise endurance test and had improved muscle strength in isolated muscles, reduced skeletal muscle impairment, diminished fibrosis and a significant reduction in TGF-β signaling. Moreover, andrographolide treatment of mdx mice improved grafting efficiency upon intramuscular injection of dystrophin-positive satellite cells. Conclusions These results suggest that andrographolide could be used to improve quality of life in individuals with DMD. PMID:24655808

  2. Increased Efficiency in Small Molecule Organic Solar Cells Through the Use of a 56-π Electron Acceptor - Methano Indene Fullerene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, James W.; Matsuo, Yutaka

    2015-02-01

    Organic solar cells (OSCs) offer the possibility of harnessing the sun's ubiquitous energy in a low-cost, environmentally friendly and renewable manner. OSCs based on small molecule semiconductors (SMOSCs) - have made a substantial improvement in recent years and are now achieving power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) that match those achieved for polymer:fullerene OSCs. To date, all efficient SMOSCs have relied on the same fullerene acceptor, PCBM, in order to achieve high performance. The use of PCBM however, is unfavourable due to its low lying LUMO level, which limits the open-circuit voltage (VOC). Alternative fullerene derivatives with higher lying LUMOs are thus required to improve the VOC. The challenge, however, is to prevent the typical concomitant decrease in the short circuit current density (JSC) when using a higher LUMO fullerene. In this communication, we address the issue by applying methano indene fullerene, MIF, a bis-functionalised C60 fullerene that has a LUMO level 140 mV higher than PCBM, in solution processed SMOSCs with a well known small molecule donor, DPP(TBFu)2. MIF-based devices show an improved VOC of 140 mV over PC61BM and only a small decrease in the JSC, with the PCE increasing to 5.1% (vs. 4.5% for PC61BM).

  3. Accounting for the decrease of photosystem photochemical efficiency with increasing irradiance to estimate quantum yield of leaf photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Yin, Xinyou; Belay, Daniel W; van der Putten, Peter E L; Struik, Paul C

    2014-12-01

    Maximum quantum yield for leaf CO2 assimilation under limiting light conditions (Φ CO2LL) is commonly estimated as the slope of the linear regression of net photosynthetic rate against absorbed irradiance over a range of low-irradiance conditions. Methodological errors associated with this estimation have often been attributed either to light absorptance by non-photosynthetic pigments or to some data points being beyond the linear range of the irradiance response, both causing an underestimation of Φ CO2LL. We demonstrate here that a decrease in photosystem (PS) photochemical efficiency with increasing irradiance, even at very low levels, is another source of error that causes a systematic underestimation of Φ CO2LL. A model method accounting for this error was developed, and was used to estimate Φ CO2LL from simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence on leaves using various combinations of species, CO2, O2, or leaf temperature levels. The conventional linear regression method under-estimated Φ CO2LL by ca. 10-15%. Differences in the estimated Φ CO2LL among measurement conditions were generally accounted for by different levels of photorespiration as described by the Farquhar-von Caemmerer-Berry model. However, our data revealed that the temperature dependence of PSII photochemical efficiency under low light was an additional factor that should be accounted for in the model.

  4. Myocardial Lineage Development

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Sylvia M.; Yelon, Deborah; Conlon, Frank L.; Kirby, Margaret L.

    2010-01-01

    The myocardium of the heart is composed of multiple highly specialized myocardial lineages, including those of the ventricular and atrial myocardium, and the specialized conduction system. Specification and maturation of each of these lineages during heart development is a highly ordered, ongoing process involving multiple signaling pathways and their intersection with transcriptional regulatory networks. Here, we attempt to summarize and compare much of what we know about specification and maturation of myocardial lineages from studies in several different vertebrate model systems. To date, most research has focused on early specification, and while there is still more to learn, less is known about factors that promote subsequent maturation of myocardial lineages required to build the functioning adult heart. PMID:21148449

  5. Aspergillus coronary embolization causing acute myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Laszewski, M; Trigg, M; de Alarcon, P; Giller, R

    1988-05-01

    An increased frequency of disseminated aspergillosis has been observed in the last decade, mostly occurring in immunocompromised patients including the bone marrow transplant population. Cardiac involvement by Aspergillus remains rare. We report the clinical and postmortem findings of an unusual case of Aspergillus pancarditis in a 7-year-old bone marrow transplant patient with Aspergillus embolization to the coronary arteries leading to a massive acute myocardial infarction. This case suggests that myocardial injury secondary to disseminated aspergillosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of chest pain in the immunocompromised pediatric patient.

  6. Specific Inhibition of DNMT3A/ISGF3γ Interaction Increases the Temozolomide Efficiency to Reduce Tumor Growth.

    PubMed

    Cheray, Mathilde; Pacaud, Romain; Nadaradjane, Arulraj; Oliver, Lisa; Vallette, François M; Cartron, Pierre-François

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is a fundamental feature of genomes and is a candidate for pharmacological manipulation that might have important therapeutic advantage. Thus, DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) appear to be ideal targets for drug intervention. By focusing on interactions existing between DNMT3A and DNMT3A-binding protein (D3A-BP), our work identifies the DNMT3A/ISGF3γ interaction such as a biomarker whose the presence level is associated with a poor survival prognosis and with a poor prognosis of response to the conventional chemotherapeutic treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (radiation plus temozolomide). Our data also demonstrates that the disruption of DNMT3A/ISGF3γ interactions increases the efficiency of chemotherapeutic treatment on established tumors in mice. Thus, our data opens a promising and innovative alternative to the development of specific DNMT inhibitors.

  7. Increasing the quantum efficiency of GaAs solar cells by embedding InAs quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salii, R. A.; Mintairov, S. A.; Nadtochiy, A. M.; Payusov, A. S.; Brunkov, P. N.; Shvarts, M. Z.; Kalyuzhnyy, N. A.

    2016-11-01

    Development of Metalorganic Vapor Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) technology of InAs quantum dots (QDs) in GaAs for photovoltaic applications is presented. The growth peculiarities in InAs-GaAs lattice-mismatched system were considered. The photoluminescence (PL) intensity dependences on different growth parameters were obtained. The multimodal distribution of QDs by sizes was found using AFM and PL methods. GaAs solar cell nanoheterostructures with imbedded QD arrays were designed and obtained. Ones have been demonstrated a significant increase of quantum efficiency and photogenerated current of QD solar cells due to photo effect in InAs QD array (0.59 mA/cm2 for AM1.5D and 82 mA/cm2 for AM0).

  8. Routes to increase the conversion and the energy efficiency in the splitting of CO2 by a dielectric barrier discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozkan, A.; Bogaerts, A.; Reniers, F.

    2017-03-01

    Here, we present routes to increase CO2 conversion into CO using an atmospheric pressure dielectric-barrier discharge. The change in conversion as a function of simple plasma parameters, such as power, flow rate, but also frequency, on-and-off power pulse, thickness and the chemical nature of the dielectric, wall and gas temperature, are described. By means of an in-depth electrical characterization of the discharge (effective plasma voltage, dielectric voltage, plasma current, number and lifetime of the microdischarges), combined with infrared analysis of the walls of the reactor, optical emission spectroscopy for the gas temperature, and mass spectrometry for the CO2 conversion, we propose a global interpretation of the effect of all the experimental parameters on the conversion and efficiency of the reaction.

  9. The Catalytic Efficiency of Lipin 1β Increases by Physically Interacting with the Proto-oncoprotein c-Fos*

    PubMed Central

    Cardozo Gizzi, Andres M.; Prucca, Cesar G.; Gaveglio, Virginia L.; Renner, Marianne L.; Pasquaré, Susana J.; Caputto, Beatriz L.

    2015-01-01

    Phosphatidic acid (PA) is a central precursor for membrane phospholipid biosynthesis. The lipin family is a magnesium-dependent type I PA phosphatase involved in de novo synthesis of neutral lipids and phospholipids. The regulation of lipin activity may govern the pathways by which these lipids are synthesized and control the cellular levels of important signaling lipids. Moreover, the proto-oncoprotein c-Fos has an emerging role in glycerolipid synthesis regulation; by interacting with key synthesizing enzymes it is able to increase overall phospho- and glycolipid synthesis. We studied the lipin 1β enzyme activity in a cell-free system using PA/Triton X-100 mixed micelles as substrate, analyzing it in the presence/absence of c-Fos. We found that lipin 1β kcat value increases around 40% in the presence of c-Fos, with no change in the lipin 1β affinity for the PA/Triton X-100 mixed micelles. We also probed a physical interaction between both proteins. Although the c-Fos domain involved in lipin activation is its basic domain, the interaction domain is mapped to the N-terminal c-Fos. In conclusion, we provide evidence for a novel positive regulator of lipin 1β PA phosphatase activity that is not achieved via altering its subcellular localization or affinity for membranes but rather through directly increasing its catalytic efficiency. PMID:26475860

  10. Towards increased recycling of household waste: Documenting cascading effects and material efficiency of commingled recyclables and biowaste collection.

    PubMed

    Cimpan, Ciprian; Rothmann, Marianne; Hamelin, Lorie; Wenzel, Henrik

    2015-07-01

    Municipal solid waste (MSW) management remains a challenge, even in Europe where several countries now possess capacity to treat all arising MSW, while others still rely on unsustainable disposal pathways. In the former, strategies to reach higher recycling levels are affecting existing waste-to-energy (WtE) treatment infrastructure, by inducing additional overcapacity and this in turn rebounds as pressure on the waste and recyclable materials markets. This study addresses such situations by documenting the effects, in terms of resource recovery, global warming potential (GWP) and cumulative energy demand (CED), of a transition from a self-sufficient waste management system based on minimal separate collection and efficient WtE, towards a system with extended separate collection of recyclable materials and biowaste. In doing so, it tackles key questions: (1) whether recycling and biological treatment are environmentally better compared to highly efficient WtE, and (2) what are the implications of overcapacity-related cascading effects, namely waste import, when included in the comparison of alternative waste management systems. System changes, such as the implementation of kerbside separate collection of recyclable materials were found to significantly increase material recovery, besides leading to substantial GWP and CED savings in comparison to the WtE-based system. Bio-waste separate collection contributed with additional savings when co-digested with manure, and even more significantly when considering future renewable energy background systems reflecting the benefits induced by the flexible use of biogas. Given the current liberalization of trade in combustible waste in Europe, waste landfilling was identified as a short-to-medium-term European-wide waste management marginal reacting to overcapacity effects induced by the implementation of increased recycling strategies. When waste import and, consequently, avoided landfilling were included in the system

  11. Asymptomatic myocardial ischemia following cold provocation

    SciTech Connect

    Shea, M.J.; Deanfield, J.E.; deLandsheere, C.M.; Wilson, R.A.; Kensett, M.; Selwyn, A.P.

    1987-09-01

    Cold is thought to provoke angina in patients with coronary disease either by an increase in myocardial demand or an increase in coronary vascular resistance. We investigated and compared the effects of cold pressor stimulation and symptom-limited supine bicycle exercise on regional myocardial perfusion in 35 patients with stable angina and coronary disease and in 10 normal subjects. Regional myocardial perfusion was assessed with positron emission tomography and rubidium-82. Following cold pressor stimulation 24 of 35 patients demonstrated significant abnormalities of regional myocardial perfusion with reduced cation uptake in affected regions of myocardium: 52 +/- 9 to 43 +/- 9 (p less than 0.001 vs normal subjects). Among these 24 patients only nine developed ST depression and only seven had angina. In contrast, 29 of 35 patients underwent supine exercise, and abnormal regional myocardial perfusion occurred in all 29, with a reduction in cation intake from 48 +/- 10 to 43 +/- 14 (p less than 0.001 vs normal subjects). Angina was present in 27 of 29 and ST depression in 25 of 29. Although the absolute decrease in cation uptake was somewhat greater following cold as opposed to exercise, the peak heart rate after cold was significantly lower than that after exercise (82 +/- 12 vs 108 +/- 16 bpm, p less than 0.05). Peak systolic blood pressures after cold and exercise were similar (159 +/- 24 vs 158 +/- 28). Thus, cold produces much more frequent asymptomatic disturbances of regional myocardial perfusion in patients with stable angina and coronary disease than is suggested by pain or ECG changes.

  12. Circadian rhythms in myocardial metabolism and function

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Circadian rhythms in myocardial function and dysfunction are firmly established in both animal models and humans. For example, the incidence of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death increases when organisms awaken. Such observations have classically been explained by circadian rhythms in neurohumoral...

  13. [Myocardial infarction after conduction electrical weapon shock].

    PubMed

    Ben Ahmed, H; Bouzouita, K; Selmi, K; Chelli, M; Mokaddem, A; Ben Ameur, Y; Boujnah, M R

    2013-04-01

    Controversy persists over the safety of conducted electrical weapons, which are increasingly used by law enforcement agencies around the world. We report a case of 33-year-old man who had an acute inferior myocardial infarction after he was shot in the chest with an electrical weapon.

  14. Less Efficient G2-M Checkpoint Is Associated with an Increased Risk of Lung Cancer in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yun-Ling; Loffredo, Christopher A.; Alberg, Anthony J.; Yu, Zhipeng; Jones, Raymond T.; Perlmutter, Donna; Enewold, Lindsey; Krasna, Mark J.; Yung, Rex; Shields, Peter G.; Harris, Curtis C.

    2006-01-01

    Cell cycle checkpoints play critical roles in the maintenance of genomic integrity. The inactivation of checkpoint genes by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms is frequent in all cancer types, as a less-efficient cell cycle control can lead to genetic instability and tumorigenesis. In an on-going case-control study consisting of 216 patients with non–small cell lung cancer, 226 population-based controls, and 114 hospital-based controls, we investigated the relationship of γ-radiation-induced G2-M arrest and lung cancer risk. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were cultured for 90 hours, exposed to 1.0 Gy γ-radiation, and harvested at 3 hours after γ-radiation treatment. γ-Radiation-induced G2-M arrest was measured as the percentage of mitotic cells in untreated cultures minus the percentage of mitotic cells in γ-radiation-treated cultures from the same subject. The mean percentage of γ-radiation-induced G2-M arrest was significantly lower in cases than in population controls (1.18 versus 1.44, P < 0.01) and hospital controls (1.18 versus 1.40, P = 0.01). When dichotomized at the 50th percentile value in combined controls (population and hospital controls), a lower level of γ-radiation-induced G2-M arrest was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among African Americans after adjusting for baseline mitotic index, age, gender, and pack-years of smoking [adjusted odd ratio (OR), 2.25; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.97–5.20]. A significant trend of an increased risk of lung cancer with a decreased level of G2-M arrest was observed (Ptrend = 0.02) among African Americans, with a lowest-versus-highest quartile adjusted OR of 3.74 (95% CI, 0.98–14.3). This trend was most apparent among African American females (Ptrend < 0.01), with a lowest-versus-highest quartile adjusted OR of 11.75 (95% CI, 1.47–94.04). The results suggest that a less-efficient DNA damage–induced G2-M checkpoint is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer among African

  15. Myosin Va Increases the Efficiency of Neurofilament Transport by Decreasing the Duration of Long-Term Pauses

    PubMed Central

    Alami, Nael H.; Jung, Peter; Brown, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the axonal transport of neurofilaments in cultured neurons from two different strains of dilute lethal mice, which lack myosin Va. To analyze the motile behavior, we tracked the movement of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged neurofilaments through naturally occurring gaps in the axonal neurofilament array of cultured superior cervical ganglion neurons from DLS/LeJ dilute lethal mice. Compared with wild-type controls, we observed no statistically significant difference in velocity or frequency of movement. To analyze the pausing behavior, we used a fluorescence photoactivation pulse– escape technique to measure the rate of departure of PAGFP (photoactivatable GFP)-tagged neurofilaments from photoactivated axonal segments in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons from DLS/LeJ and dl20J dilute lethal mice. Compared with wild-type controls, we observed a 48% increase in the mean time for neurofilaments to depart the activated regions in neurons from DLS/LeJ mice ( p<0.001) and a 169% increase in neurons from dl20J mice ( p<0.0001). These data indicate that neurofilaments pause for more prolonged periods in the absence of myosin Va. We hypothesize that myosin Va is a short-range motor for neurofilaments and that it can function to enhance the efficiency of neurofilament transport in axons by delivering neurofilaments to their microtubule tracks, thereby reducing the duration of prolonged off-track pauses. PMID:19458233

  16. Genetically modified T cells targeting neovasculature efficiently destroy tumor blood vessels, shrink established solid tumors and increase nanoparticle delivery.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xinping; Rivera, Armando; Tao, Lihua; Zhang, Xiaoliu

    2013-11-15

    Converting T cells into tumor cell killers by grafting them with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) has shown promise as a cancer immunotherapeutic. However, the inability of these cells to actively migrate and extravasate into tumor parenchyma has limited their effectiveness in vivo. Here we report the construction of a CAR containing an echistatin as its targeting moiety (eCAR). As echistatin has high binding affinity to αvβ3 integrin that is highly expressed on the surface of endothelial cells of tumor neovasculature, T cells engrafted with eCAR (T-eCAR) can efficiently lyse human umbilical vein endothelial cells and tumor cells that express αvβ3 integrin when tested in vitro. Systemic administration of T-eCAR led to extensive bleeding in tumor tissues with no evidence of damage to blood vessels in normal tissues. Destruction of tumor blood vessels by T-eCAR significantly inhibited the growth of established bulky tumors. Moreover, when T-eCAR was codelivered with nanoparticles in a strategically designed temporal order, it dramatically increased nanoparticle deposition in tumor tissues, pointing to the possibility that it may be used together with nanocarriers to increase their capability to selectively deliver antineoplastic drugs to tumor tissues.

  17. Potential of soil amendments (Biochar and Gypsum) in increasing water use efficiency of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench

    PubMed Central

    Batool, Aniqa; Taj, Samia; Rashid, Audil; Khalid, Azeem; Qadeer, Samia; Saleem, Aansa R.; Ghufran, Muhammad A.

    2015-01-01

    Water being an essential component for plant growth and development, its scarcity poses serious threat to crops around the world. Climate changes and global warming are increasing the temperature of earth hence becoming an ultimate cause of water scarcity. It is need of the day to use potential soil amendments that could increase the plants’ resistance under such situations. Biochar and gypsum were used in the present study to improve the water use efficiency (WUE) and growth of Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench (Lady’s Finger). A 6 weeks experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions. Stress treatments were applied after 30 days of sowing. Plant height, leaf area, photosynthesis, transpiration rate (Tr), stomatal conductance and WUE were determined weekly under stressed [60% field capacity (F.C.)] and non-stressed (100% F.C.) conditions. Stomatal conductance and Tr decreased and reached near to zero in stressed plants. Stressed plants also showed resistance to water stress upto 5 weeks and gradually perished at sixth week. On the other hand, WUE improved in stressed plants containing biochar and gypsum as compared to untreated plants. Biochar alone is a better strategy to promote plant growth and WUE specifically of A. esculentus, compared to its application in combination with gypsum. PMID:26442046

  18. Genetically modified T cells targeting neovasculature efficiently destroy tumor blood vessels, shrink established solid tumors, and increase nanoparticle delivery

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Xinping; Rivera, Armando; Tao, Lihua; Zhang, Xiaoliu

    2013-01-01

    Converting T cells into tumor cell killers by grafting them with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) has shown promise as a cancer immunotherapeutic. However, the inability of these cells to actively migrate and extravasate into tumor parenchyma has limited their effectiveness in vivo. Here we report the construction of a chimeric antigen receptor containing an echistatin as its targeting moiety (eCAR). As echistatin has high binding affinity to αvβ3 integrin that is highly expressed on the surface of endothelial cells of tumor neovasculature, T cells engrafted with eCAR (T-eCAR) can efficiently lyse human umbilical vein endothelial cells and tumor cells that express αvβ3 integrin when tested in vitro. Systemic administration of T-eCAR led to extensive bleeding in tumor tissues with no evidence of damage to blood vessels in normal tissues. Destruction of tumor blood vessels by T-eCAR significantly inhibited the growth of established bulky tumors. Moreover, when T-eCAR was co-delivered with nanoparticles in a strategically designed temporal order, it dramatically increased nanoparticle deposition in tumor tissues, pointing to the possibility that it may be used together with nanocarriers to increase their capability to selectively deliver antineoplastic drugs to tumor tissues. PMID:23661285

  19. Compensatory mechanisms for cardiac dysfunction in myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Ertl, G; Gaudron, P; Eilles, C; Schorb, W; Kochsiek, K

    1991-01-01

    Loss of contractile myocardial tissue by myocardial infarction would result in depressed cardiac output if compensatory mechanisms would not be operative. Frank-Straub-Starling-mechanism and increased heart rate and contractility due to sympathetic stimulation are unlikely to chronically compensate for cardiac dysfunction. Structural left ventricular dilatation may be compensatory, but results in increased wall stress and, ultimately, in progressive dilatation and heart failure. In patients with myocardial infarction, we have shown left-ventricular dilatation in dependence of infarct size and time after infarction. Dilatation is compensatory first and normalizes stroke volume. However, left ventricular dilatation progresses without further hemodynamic profit and, thus, may participate in development of heart failure.

  20. Benefits of Hybrid-Electric Propulsion to Achieve 4x Increase in Cruise Efficiency for a VTOL Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fredericks, William J.; Moore, Mark D.; Busan, Ronald C.

    2013-01-01

    Electric propulsion enables radical new vehicle concepts, particularly for Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft because of their significant mismatch between takeoff and cruise power conditions. However, electric propulsion does not merely provide the ability to normalize the power required across the phases of flight, in the way that automobiles also use hybrid electric technologies. The ability to distribute the thrust across the airframe, without mechanical complexity and with a scale-free propulsion system, is a new degree of freedom for aircraft designers. Electric propulsion is scale-free in terms of being able to achieve highly similar levels of motor power to weight and efficiency across a dramatic scaling range. Applying these combined principles of electric propulsion across a VTOL aircraft permits an improvement in aerodynamic efficiency that is approximately four times the state of the art of conventional helicopter configurations. Helicopters typically achieve a lift to drag ratio (L/D) of between 4 and 5, while the VTOL aircraft designed and developed in this research were designed to achieve an L/D of approximately 20. Fundamentally, the ability to eliminate the problem of advancing and retreating rotor blades is shown, without resorting to unacceptable prior solutions such as tail-sitters. This combination of concept and technology also enables a four times increase in range and endurance while maintaining the full VTOL and hover capability provided by a helicopter. Also important is the ability to achieve low disc-loading for low ground impingement velocities, low noise and hover power minimization (thus reducing energy consumption in VTOL phases). This combination of low noise and electric propulsion (i.e. zero emissions) will produce a much more community-friendly class of vehicles. This research provides a review of the concept brainstorming, configuration aerodynamic and mission analysis, as well as subscale prototype construction and

  1. Applying human factors principles to alert design increases efficiency and reduces prescribing errors in a scenario-based simulation

    PubMed Central

    Russ, Alissa L; Zillich, Alan J; Melton, Brittany L; Russell, Scott A; Chen, Siying; Spina, Jeffrey R; Weiner, Michael; Johnson, Elizabette G; Daggy, Joanne K; McManus, M Sue; Hawsey, Jason M; Puleo, Anthony G; Doebbeling, Bradley N; Saleem, Jason J

    2014-01-01

    Objective To apply human factors engineering principles to improve alert interface design. We hypothesized that incorporating human factors principles into alerts would improve usability, reduce workload for prescribers, and reduce prescribing errors. Materials and methods We performed a scenario-based simulation study using a counterbalanced, crossover design with 20 Veterans Affairs prescribers to compare original versus redesigned alerts. We redesigned drug–allergy, drug–drug interaction, and drug–disease alerts based upon human factors principles. We assessed usability (learnability of redesign, efficiency, satisfaction, and usability errors), perceived workload, and prescribing errors. Results Although prescribers received no training on the design changes, prescribers were able to resolve redesigned alerts more efficiently (median (IQR): 56 (47) s) compared to the original alerts (85 (71) s; p=0.015). In addition, prescribers rated redesigned alerts significantly higher than original alerts across several dimensions of satisfaction. Redesigned alerts led to a modest but significant reduction in workload (p=0.042) and significantly reduced the number of prescribing errors per prescriber (median (range): 2 (1–5) compared to original alerts: 4 (1–7); p=0.024). Discussion Aspects of the redesigned alerts that likely contributed to better prescribing include design modifications that reduced usability-related errors, providing clinical data closer to the point of decision, and displaying alert text in a tabular format. Displaying alert text in a tabular format may help prescribers extract information quickly and thereby increase responsiveness to alerts. Conclusions This simulation study provides evidence that applying human factors design principles to medication alerts can improve usability and prescribing outcomes. PMID:24668841

  2. Heat treatment of colostrum increases immunoglobulin G absorption efficiency in high-, medium-, and low-quality colostrum.

    PubMed

    Gelsinger, S L; Gray, S M; Jones, C M; Heinrichs, A J

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies with heat-treated colostrum fed to neonatal calves have consistently used average-quality colostrum. Studies have not compared colostrum across a range of immunoglobulin levels. This study was conducted to investigate IgG absorption in neonatal dairy calves using colostrum of various qualities. Colostrum from the Pennsylvania State University dairy was collected over 2 yr and sorted into high, medium, and low quality based on colostrometer measurement. Colostrum within each category was pooled to create 3 unique, uniform batches. Half of each batch was frozen to be fed without heat treatment. The second half of each batch was heat treated at 60°C for 30min. This process was conducted in September 2011, and repeated in June 2012. Colostrum treatments were analyzed for standard plate count, coliforms, noncoliform gram-negative bacteria, and total IgG concentration. Plasma samples were collected from 145 calves 48h after birth and analyzed for IgG1, IgG2, total protein, and hematocrit. Colostrum quality (high, medium, or low), treatment (unheated or heat treated), and their interactions were analyzed as fixed effects, with year included as a random effect. Heat treatment significantly reduced all types of bacteria and IgG concentration. Plasma IgG concentration at 48h increased linearly with the concentration of IgG in the colostrum that was consumed. Heat treatment of colostrum increased plasma IgG concentration by 18.4% and apparent efficiency of absorption by 21.0%. Results of this study suggest that heat treatment of colostrum containing approximately 50 to 100mg IgG/mL increases absorption of IgG from colostrum.

  3. Increasing the efficiency of pharmacokinetic sample procurement, preparation and analysis by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Villa, Josephine S; Cass, Robert T; Karr, Dane E; Adams, Stacy M; Shaw, Jeng-Pyng; Schmidt, Donald E

    2004-01-01

    The movement towards a 96-well format has greatly increased productivity and throughput in bioanalytical laboratories. Improvements in automated sample preparation and analytical methods have further contributed to increased productivity. We have focused on sample collection and transfer to the bioanalyst and have found improvements to the current available methods. The problem of manual transfers and plasma clotting issues can be overcome with the use of microtainers. Specifically, for illustrative purposes, three proprietary Theravance compounds were tested for stability, non-specific binding, and electrospray ion suppression in microtainers. There were no issues with stability, non-specific binding or ion suppression for the above compounds even after leaving plasma samples in the microtainers over long periods of time. The microtainers are robot-compatible and the resulting plasma can be transferred without clotting issues. To date, all in-house compounds successfully analyzed and tested using the microtainers have mass ranges between 200 and 1800 Da, pK(a) ranges between 3.8 and 10.3, and logD ranges between -1.7 and 4.2. Once samples are transferred into 96-well plates, flexibility in preparation and analysis is available. Together with automated sample preparation and the use of liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) as an analytical tool, the use of microtainers as sample collection tubes and for sample storage saved considerable time, cost and effort in both of our pharmacokinetic (PK) and bioanalytical groups. This in turn has led to an increased efficiency and overall throughput in support of our drug discovery effort.

  4. [Environmental pollution with lead and myocardial infarction morbidity].

    PubMed

    Dulskiene, Virginija

    2003-01-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the effect of exposure to ambient lead and other environmental factors on first myocardial infarction incidence. Epidemiological case-control study comprised 579 male cases (25-64 year old) of myocardial infarction, treated in Kaunas hospitals and 1777 controls of the same age group without ischemic heart disease. Myocardial infarction incidence in the area of low exposure to lead was 2.34 per 1000, while in the high exposure area it was 2.61 per 1000. We determined the distribution of potential myocardial infarction risk factors among cases and controls and calculated corresponding crude odds ratios. Variables considered for inclusion in multivariate logistic regression model were those with higher prevalence among cases and values of odds ratios greater than 1.5. The analysis revealed that smoking, arterial hypertension and stress significantly increased the risk of first myocardial infarction among 25-64 year old men. Occupational exposure to chemical substances increased myocardial infarction risk by 26%, while residential exposure to ambient lead concentrations, exceeding 0.225 microg/m (3), tended to increase myocardial infarction risk by 12% (95% PI 0.94-1.34).

  5. Mediterranean irrigation under climate change: more efficient irrigation needed to compensate for increases in irrigation water requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fader, M.; Shi, S.; von Bloh, W.; Bondeau, A.; Cramer, W.

    2016-03-01

    Irrigation in the Mediterranean is of vital importance for food security, employment and economic development. This study systematically assesses how climate change and increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations may affect irrigation requirements in the Mediterranean region by 2080-2090. Future demographic change and technological improvements in irrigation systems are taken into account, as is the spread of climate forcing, warming levels and potential realization of the CO2-fertilization effect. Vegetation growth, phenology, agricultural production and irrigation water requirements and withdrawal were simulated with the process-based ecohydrological and agro-ecosystem model LPJmL (Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land) after an extensive development that comprised the improved representation of Mediterranean crops. At present the Mediterranean region could save 35 % of water by implementing more efficient irrigation and conveyance systems. Some countries such as Syria, Egypt and Turkey have a higher savings potential than others. Currently some crops, especially sugar cane and agricultural trees, consume on average more irrigation water per hectare than annual crops. Different crops show different magnitudes of changes in net irrigation requirements due to climate change, the increases being most pronounced in agricultural trees. The Mediterranean area as a whole may face an increase in gross irrigation requirements between 4 and 18 % from climate change alone if irrigation systems and conveyance are not improved (4 and 18 % with 2 °C global warming combined with the full CO2-fertilization effect and 5 °C global warming combined with no CO2-fertilization effect, respectively). Population growth increases these numbers to 22 and 74 %, respectively, affecting mainly the southern and eastern Mediterranean. However, improved irrigation technologies and conveyance systems have a large water saving potential, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, and may be able to

  6. Development of Production PVD-AIN Buffer Layer System and Processes to Reduce Epitaxy Costs and Increase LED Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Cerio, Frank

    2013-09-14

    The DOE has set aggressive goals for solid state lighting (SSL) adoption, which require manufacturing and quality improvements for virtually all process steps leading to an LED luminaire product. The goals pertinent to this proposed project are to reduce the cost and improve the quality of the epitaxial growth processes used to build LED structures. The objectives outlined in this proposal focus on achieving cost reduction and performance improvements over state-of-the-art, using technologies that are low in cost and amenable to high efficiency manufacturing. The objectives of the outlined proposal focus on cost reductions in epitaxial growth by reducing epitaxy layer thickness and hetero-epitaxial strain, and by enabling the use of larger, less expensive silicon substrates and would be accomplished through the introduction of a high productivity reactive sputtering system and an effective sputtered aluminum-nitride (AlN) buffer/nucleation layer process. Success of the proposed project could enable efficient adoption of GaN on-silicon (GaN/Si) epitaxial technology on 150mm silicon substrates. The reduction in epitaxy cost per cm{sup 2} using 150mm GaN-on-Si technology derives from (1) a reduction in cost of ownership and increase in throughput for the buffer deposition process via the elimination of MOCVD buffer layers and other throughput and CoO enhancements, (2) improvement in brightness through reductions in defect density, (3) reduction in substrate cost through the replacement of sapphire with silicon, and (4) reduction in non-ESD yield loss through reductions in wafer bow and temperature variation. The adoption of 150mm GaN/Si processing will also facilitate significant cost reductions in subsequent wafer fabrication manufacturing costs. There were three phases to this project. These three phases overlap in order to aggressively facilitate a commercially available production GaN/Si capability. In Phase I of the project, the repeatability of the performance

  7. Utilization of the graded universal testing system to increase the efficiency for assessing aerobic and anaerobic capacity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, Sandra L.

    1992-01-01

    The in-flight exercise test performed by cosmonauts as part of the Russian Exercise Countermeasure Program is limited to 5 minutes due to communication restrictions. During a recent graded exercise test on a U.S. Shuttle flight, the test was terminated early due to an upcoming loss of signal (LOS) with the ground. This exercise test was a traditional test where the subject's exercise capacity dictates the length of the test. For example, one crew member may take 15 minutes to complete the test, while another may take 18 minutes. The traditional exercise test limits the flight schedulers to large blocks of space flight time in order to provide medical and research personnel information on the fitness capacity (maximal oxygen uptake: VO2max) of crew members during flight. A graded exercise test that would take a finite amount of time and a set preparation and recovery time would ease this problem by allowing flight schedulers to plan exercise tests in advance of LOS. The Graded Universal Testing System (GUTS) was designed to meet this goal. Fitness testing of astronauts before and after flight provides pertinent data on many variables. The Detailed Supplemental Objective (DSO608) protocol (6) is one of the graded exercise tests (GXT) currently used in astronaut testing before and after flight. Test times for this protocol have lasted from 11 to 18 minutes. Anaerobic capacity is an important variable that is currently not being evaluated before and after flight. Recent reports (1,2,5) from the literature have suggested that the oxygen deficit at supramaximal exercise is a measure of anaerobic capacity. We postulated that the oxygen deficit at maximal exercise would be an indication of anaerobic capacity. If this postulate can be accepted, then the efficiency of acquiring data from a graded exercise test would increase at least twofold. To examine this hypothesis anaerobic capacity was measured using a modified treadmill test (3,4) designed to exhaust the anaerobic

  8. Clinical and Translational Science Awards: can they increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research?

    PubMed

    Heller, Caren; de Melo-Martín, Inmaculada

    2009-04-01

    Most agree that the recent decades-long boom in biomedical research discoveries has not had a sufficient effect on the public's health. To overcome some of the barriers to speeding clinical and translational (C/T) research, the National Institutes of Health has established the Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). To explore whether the CTSA proposal addresses major C/T barriers and whether funded institutions offer adequate solutions, the authors reviewed the obstacles to C/T research described in the literature and examined the completeness of the solutions offered by the 12 initial CTSA awardees. Through an analysis of the literature, the authors categorized C/T barriers into three categories (research workforce, research operations, and organizational silos). They then analyzed each CTSA proposal regarding the types of programs offered to address these barriers. They found that, in general, institutions developed detailed programs to address research workforce and research operations barriers but had limited to no solutions for organizational silos. The authors suggest that differences in how barriers are addressed are consistent with the degree of control that CTSA centers have over these obstacles and solutions. They argue that although CTSA centers might have an important role in successfully addressing some of the barriers to C/T research, CTSA centers might ultimately have difficulties achieving their purported goal of facilitating and increasing the efficiency and speed of C/T research because of a lack of control over solutions to some important obstacles facing such research.

  9. Thermodynamic evaluation of the possibility to increase cogeneration turbine efficiency by using a heat pump operating with steam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batenin, V. M.; Datsenko, V. V.; Zeigarnik, Yu. A.; Kosoi, A. S.; Sinkevich, M. V.

    2016-01-01

    Cogeneration turbines operate in different operation modes that considerably differ as to the working process conditions. In summer time, when heat demand is minimal, almost all steam flow passes through all turbine stages and enters into the condenser (condensing mode of operation). When heat supply is needed, the steam bleed-offs are used. The several last stages of the turbine (low-pressure part—LPP) have a control diaphragm at the inlet. When the heat supply is large, the diaphragm is maximally closed, and the entire steam flow, with an exception for a minimal ventilation flow is delivered to the steam bleed-offs (cogeneration mode). LPP flow path is designed for the optimal operation in the condensing mode. While running in cogeneration mode, the LPP operating conditions are far from optimal. Depending on the ventilation steam flow rate and outlet pressure, the LPP power can drop to zero or even become negative (ventilation mode). It is proposed to control an outlet steam pressure by using the heat pump that operates with steam. The heat pump energy consumption can be compensated and even exceeded by optimizing the steam expansion process in LPP. In this respect, operating conditions of cogeneration turbine LPPs during the cold season are analyzed. A brief description of a heat pump operating with steam is made. The possibility of increasing cogeneration turbine efficiency by using a steam heat pump is shown.

  10. Reproductive Efficiency of a Mediterranean Endemic Zooxanthellate Coral Decreases with Increasing Temperature along a Wide Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Airi, Valentina; Gizzi, Francesca; Falini, Giuseppe; Levy, Oren; Dubinsky, Zvy; Goffredo, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Investments at the organismal level towards reproduction and growth are often used as indicators of health. Understanding how such energy allocation varies with environmental conditions may, therefore, aid in predicting possible responses to global climatic change in the near future. For example, variations in seawater temperature may alter the physiological functioning, behavior, reproductive output and demographic traits (e.g., productivity) of marine organisms, leading to shifts in the structure, spatial range, and abundance of populations. This study investigated variations in reproductive output associated with local seawater temperature along a wide latitudinal gradient on the western Italian coast, in the zooxanthellate Mediterranean coral, Balanophyllia europaea. Reproductive potential varied significantly among sites, where B. europaea individuals from the warmest site experienced loss of oocytes during gametogenesis. Most of the early oocytes from warmest sites did not reach maturity, possibly due to inhibition of metabolic processes at high temperatures, causing B. europaea to reabsorb the oocytes and utilize them as energy for other vital functions. In a progressively warming Mediterranean, the efficiency of the energy invested in reproduction could be considerably reduced in this species, thereby affecting vital processes. Given the projected increase in seawater temperature as a consequence of global climate change, the present study adds evidence to the threats posed by high temperatures to the survival of B. europaea in the next decades. PMID:24618568

  11. Single-base mutations at position 2661 of Escherichia coli 23S rRNA increase efficiency of translational proofreading.

    PubMed Central

    Melançon, P; Tapprich, W E; Brakier-Gingras, L

    1992-01-01

    Two single-base substitutions were constructed in the 2660 loop of Escherichia coli 23S rRNA (G2661-->C or U) and were introduced into the rrnB operon cloned in plasmid pKK3535. Ribosomes were isolated from bacteria transformed with the mutated plasmids and assayed in vitro in a poly(U)-directed system for their response to the misreading effect of streptomycin, neomycin, and gentamicin, three aminoglycoside antibiotics known to impair the proofreading control of translational accuracy. Both mutations decreased the stimulation of misreading by these drugs, but neither interfered with their binding to the ribosome. The response of the mutant ribosomes to these drugs suggests that the 2660 loop, which belongs to the elongation factor Tu binding site, is involved in the proofreading step of the accuracy control. In vivo, both mutations reduced read-through of nonsense codons and frameshifting, which can also be related to the increased efficiency in proofreading control which they confer to ribosomes. PMID:1281147

  12. [Percutaneous myocardial laser revascularization (PMR)].

    PubMed

    Lauer, B; Stahl, F; Bratanow, S; Schuler, G

    2000-09-01

    In patients with severe angina pectoris due to coronary artery disease, who are not candidates for either percutaneous coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMR) often leads to improvement of clinical symptoms and increased exercise capacity. One drawback of TMR is the need for surgical thoracotomy in order to gain access to the epicardial surface of the heart. Therefore, a catheter-based system has been developed, which allows creation of laser channels into the myocardium from the left ventricular cavity. Between January 1997 and November 1999, this "percutaneous myocardial laser revascularization" (PMR) has been performed in 101 patients at the Herzzentrum Leipzig. In 63 patients, only 1 region of the heart (anterior, lateral, inferior or septal) was treated with PMR, in 38 patients 2 or 3 regions were treated in 1 session. There were 12.3 +/- 4.5 (range 4 to 22) channels/region created into the myocardium. After 3 months, the majority of patients reported significant improvement of clinical symptoms (CCS class at baseline: 3.3 +/- 0.4, after 6 months: 1.6 +/- 0.8) (p < 0.001) and an increased exercise capacity (baseline: 397 +/- 125