Although large-scale implementation of SWC measures has been used to reduce soil loss and sedimentation in Ethiopian highlands, no method exists to evaluate how implementation of such measures affect erosion and sedimentary processes. In this study we measured and simulated the impacts of various SWC measures on soil loss and sediment yield using spatially distributed WATEM/SEDEM model calibrated at three sub-watersheds. The methods used comprised of field sampling and monitoring to characterize erosion and sediment yields and GIS analysis to calculate various model input parameters. The measurement and model simulation result showed all SWC scenarios reduced soil erosion and sediment yield and bund structures have reduced erosion by more than 57 to 65%. The integrated use of bund structures, contour cultivation, strip cropping and grass strips (scenario IV), sediment yield was reduced from 44.5 to 8.6 t ha-1 y-1, 30.7 to 5.3 t ha-1 y-1 and 36.6 to 6.3 t ha-1 y-1 in the upper, middle and lower part of Koga catchment respectively. Bund structures and grass strips had the highest specific contribution in controlling soil erosion and sediment yield in both study sub-watersheds. The measured and simulated erosion and sediment yield values were relatively lower at the middle of Koga for scenario I (present-day situation). This might be due to the lower transport capacity and lower sediment connectivity as a result of larger coverage of bunds and subordinate conservation measures such as: traditional diches and diversion channels in Debreyakob. This emphasises the importance of integrated use of conservation strategy to reduce soil erosion and sediment delivery. The calibration of WATEM/SEDEM at sub-watershed level has provided good model performance for measured and simulated erosion and sediment yields. Therefore, WATEM/SEDEM representing the underlying erosion and sedimentary processes can further be used to evaluate the impacts of land use and existing or new SWC scenarios.
In this study, data from MODIS land surface temperature product level 3 (MOD11A2) were used to investigate the spatiotemporal variation of Eurasian lakes water surface temperature (LWST) from 2001 to 2015, and to examine the most influencing factors of that variation. The temperature of most lakes in the dry climate zone and in the equatorial climatic zone varied from 17 to 31°C and from 23 to 27 °C, respectively. LWSTs in the warm temperate and cold climatic zones were in the range of 20 to 27 °C and -0.6 and 17 °C, respectively. The average daytime LWST in the polar climate zone was -0.71°C in the summer. Lakes in high latitude and in the Tibetan Plateau displayed low LWST, ranging from –11°C to 26°C during the nighttime. Large spatial variations of diurnal temperature difference (DTD) was observed in lakes across Eurasia. However, variations in DTDs were small in lakes located in high latitude and in tropical rainforest regions. The shallow lakes showed a rapid response of LWST to solar and atmospheric forcing, while in the large and deep lakes, that response was sluggish. Results of this study demonstrated the applicability of remote sensing and MODIS LST products to capture the spatial-temporal variability of LWST across continental scales, in particular for the vast wilderness areas and protected environment in high latitude regions of the world. The approach can be used in future studies examining processes and factors controlling large scale variability of LWST.
Due to the Doppler effect in waves, one can't efficiently transmit signals underwater. This paper takes you to novel approaches that utilize sonar conversion techniques as well as different UART communication methods and software defined networking mechanisms, in order to build underwater wireless networks. The case for UWNs being utilized for oceanic colonization is also presented, as well as how this applies to the creation of "Aquatic IOT type technologies" and new forms of telemetry. Presented in this paper are concepts that were deployed by the Stark Drones Corporation in competing for various challenges such as "The Internet of H2O Challenge" and GigabitDCx. Also presented, is a proposal to apply these technologies for monitoring lake contamination and various forms of e-coli buildup as well as phosphorus run-ons. These networks allow for a cleaner, more sustainable and observable ocean.
Carbazole (Cz) dimers in various cofacial conformations, including staggered (Stg), anti, and syn, were explored by means of ab initio calculations at SOS-MP2, SOS-CIS(D0), and additional coupled cluster calculation levels. As in other π-conjugated molecules, strong Cz excimers form in the syn conformation in both the S1 and T1 states, leading to significantly reduced optical excitation energies, whereas the dimers in the Stg and anti conformations, upon excitation, remain as simple excited dimers, showing similar optical energy gaps to that of the monomer. Being far more stable in the ground state, however, the Stg dimer turned out to be nearly isoenergetic to the syn dimer in the S1 state, and even more stable in the T1 state. In addition, a considerable potential energy barrier between the syn and Stg dimers was found in the calculated S1-state potential energy surface. Given that the ground-state intermolecular interactions are expected to govern the dimer conformations of Cz-based materials in the solid-state films of organic electronics, these results strongly demonstrate that the electronic excitation of Cz dimers do not necessarily lead to the strong excimer formation, unless Cz molecules were forced to be arranged in the syn conformation.
The existence and stability of MNg42+(Sb2F11−1)2 (Ng=Ar,Ne,He,M=Au, Ag, Cu) salt compounds are theoretically investigated in this study. This undertaking is carried out to address the following challenges: (1) synthesizing a bulk salt compound containing a noble gas lighter than krypton and (2) synthesizing the congeners of AuXe42+(Sb2F11−1)2 containing noble gases other than Xe. The reliability of our calculations on the MNg42+(Sb2F11−1)2 (Ng=Ar,Ne,He,M=Au, Ag, Cu) systems is assessed by benchmark calculations of the well-known AuXe42+(Sb2F11−1)2 salt. In the benchmark calculations, a two-pronged evaluation strategy, including direct and indirect evaluation methods, is used to theoretically investigate the spectroscopic constants of AuXe42+and the existence and stability of the AuXe42+(Sb2F11−1)2 salt. The validity of the theoretical calculation methods in the benchmark calculations of AuXe42+(Sb2F11−1)2 allows us to adopt a similar methodology to effectively predict the existence and stability of MNg42+(Sb2F11−1)2 (Ng=Ar,Ne,He,M=Au, Ag, Cu) salt compounds. Calculations based on the Born–Haber cycle using estimated lattice energies and some necessary ancillary thermochemical data show that MAr42+(Sb2F11−1)2 (M=Au, Ag, Cu) salt compounds can be synthesized. The upper-limit stable temperatures are estimated to be −224.43, −146.21, and −80.39 °C. The CuAr42+(Sb2F11−1)2salt compound is a promising candidate. Our calculations also show that the MNg42+(Sb2F11−1)2 (Ng=Ne,He,M=Au, Ag, Cu) salt compounds cannot be stabilized.
Many manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals are moving from batch to continuous processing. While this approach offers advantages over batch processing to manufacturers, demonstration of viral clearance for continuous processes is more complex. Regulators expect manufacturers to use an appropriate scale down model, based on solid scientific justification, to verify the viral reduction capacity of the manufacturing process. The output from chromatography columns operated in continuous processes fluctuates in concentration so that the load for the subsequent column is not homogenous. This must be considered when designing viral clearance studies. One way to approach clearance studies is to downscale the continuous process, using multi-column chromatography systems and in-line spiking of virus. The multi-column chromatography systems and experienced operators, however, may not be available at the CRO performing the study. Another approach is to evaluate each step in traditional batch mode, using existing chromatography systems, but to modify the spiking and loading conditions to mimic the variance introduced by the transition between the two connected process steps. Using a standard chromatography system, we have evaluated a flow through anion exchange chromatography step in a monoclonal antibody process using five different methods to introduce the virus to the column. We have shown that regardless of whether the virus spike is introduced in a well-mixed batch mode, introduced as a concentrated pulse of virus with homogeneous mAb or with a concentrated peak of mAb, the clearance of MMV was similar. This study introduces an alternative way to evaluate viral clearance in a continuous process.
Homologous recombination over large genomic regions is difficult to achieve due to low efficiencies. Here, we report the successful engineering of a humanized mTert allele, hmTert, in the mouse genome by replacing an 18.1-kb genomic region around the mTert gene with a recombinant fragment of over 45.5-kb, using homologous recombination facilitated by the Crispr/Cas9 technology, in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). In our experiments, with specific sites of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) by Crispr/Cas9 system, the homologous recombination efficiency was up to 11% and 16% in two mESC lines TC1 and v6.5, respectively. Overall, we obtained a total of 27 mESC clones with heterozygous hmTert/mTert alleles and 3 clones with homozygous hmTert alleles. DSBs induced by Crispr/Cas9 cleavages also caused high rates of genomic DNA deletions and mutations at small guide RNA (sgRNA) target sites. Our results indicated the Crispr/Cas9 system significantly increased the efficiency of homologous recombination-mediated gene editing over a large genomic region in mammal cells, but also inherently caused mutations at unedited target sites. Overall, this strategy provides an efficient and feasible way for manipulating large chromosomal regions.
Time-dependent density functional theory approach implemented at hybrid-B3LYP, GGA-PBE and DFTB levels of theory was used to model photoinjection in organic-dye/TiO2 quantum-dot to explore the prospects of improvement of DSSC. The photosensitizer used in this study consisted of six carbazole based organic dyes having acceptor as cyanoacrilic acid group and oligothiophene π-bridge spacer. The modifications were made in the dyes by increasing length of the spacer by adding thiophene and oxadiazole rings at different positions of the donor-acceptor bridge. The structural variations appeared to alter the electronic and optical properties of dyes studied via energy levels and excitation spectra. The UV-Vis spectra calculated for all the dyes in solvents exhibited a red shift in spectral peaks with increase in polarity of the solvents. The findings of the study pointed towards photoinjection of indirect nature studied in dye-(TiO2)96 complex for six different dyes. The substitution of oxadiazole ring in center and addition of a thiophene ring at the edge of the spacer produced two dyes which exhibited lowest injection energies of 0.11eV and 0.17 eV along with the regeneration energies of 1.18 eV and 1.12 eV respectively. The dyes reported herein may have promising applications in photoanode for enhancing the performance of DSSC.
Water transit time and young water fraction are important metrics for characterizing catchment hydrologic function and understanding solute transport. Hydrological and biogeochemical processes in karst environments are strongly controlled by heterogenous fracture-conduit networks. Quantifying the spatio-temporal variability of water transit time and young water fractions in such heterogeneous hydrogeological systems is fundamental linking discharge and water quality dynamics in the karst critical zone. We used a tracer-aided hydrological model to track the fluxes of water parcels that entered a karst catchment as rainfall, time-stamping each hour of rain input individually. Using this approach, the variability of transit times and water age distributions were estimated in the main landscape units in the karst catchment of Chenqi in Guizhou Province, Southwest China. The estimated mean young water (i.e <~2 months old) fractions were 0.39, 0.31 and 0.10 for output fluxes from the hillslope unit, catchment outlet and slow flow reservoirs (matrix and small fractures), respectively. Marked seasonal variability in sources of runoff generation and associated hydrological connectivity between different conceptual stores were the main drivers of young water fraction dynamics in each landscape unit. The water age and travel time distributions were strongly influenced by the water storage dynamics reflecting catchment wetness conditions. Even though the contribution of young water to runoff was greater, the older water turnover was generally accelerated at moderately high flows during wet season.
Objectives: Older adults living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are particularly at risk during transitions in care, most notably from acute care back to their LCTF. Issues surrounding miscommunication of information or medications are often mentioned as important challenges. Transitional care interventions (TCi) have emerged as solutions to improve outcomes. The objective of this review was therefore to determine the effects of TCi on several indicators of quality of care, clinical outcomes, healthcare services use and satisfaction among older patients discharged from acute care to LTCFs. Methods: Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane Central and Social Work Abstracts were searched. Study selection (title/abstract, full-text), data extraction and assessment of study quality were conducted by two independent reviewers. A narrative synthesis of the data was performed. Results: From the 5,506 references identified, 11 were included. Eight studies reported on quality of care: six on medication problems, and two on advance directives. Four studies reported on clinical outcomes: three on mortality, two on mobility/function and one on confusion/behavioral symptoms. Seven studies reported on healthcare services use: six on hospital readmissions/ED visits, and five on hospital days. Three studies reported on satisfaction with TCi. While satisfaction levels were high with TCi, other outcomes were inconclusive. Medications problems appeared to be the outcome most likely to benefit from TCi. Discussion: TCi targeting the acute to long-term care transition have obtained inconclusive results so far. More studies investigating the outcomes of quality of care, clinical outcomes, healthcare services use are needed.
Rationale, aims and objectives: Little is known about the effect of electronic audit and feedback (A&F) in primary care and its features affecting intervention effectiveness. The aim of this systematic review is: 1) to assess electronic A&F’s effectiveness in primary care and 2) to investigate facilitating factors of electronic A&F in primary care, as proposed in previous research. These factors are the use of benchmarks, frequency, cognitive load and evidence-based aspect of the feedback. Methods: The authors searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and CENTRAL from 2010 onwards by replicating the search strategy provided in the last Cochrane review on A&F. Two independent reviewers assessed the records for their eligibility, performed the data extraction and evaluated the risk of bias of the included studies using a tool provided by Cochrane. Results: Our search resulted in 8,744 records, including the 140 RCTs from the last Cochrane Review, of which 431 full-text articles were assessed for their eligibility. Twenty-nine articles were included, of which 22 studies (76%) showed an effect of the electronic A&F intervention. Of these, only 3 studies (10.5%), targeting the quality of diabetes care and the prescription of antibiotics by dentist & physicians, met all the investigated feedback features and were effective. There was a high heterogeneity in the results and the design of the A&F interventions, causing a meta-analysis to be unreliable. Conclusion: This systematic review included 29 articles describing an electronic A&F intervention in primary care, of which 22 studies (76%) showed an effect of the intervention. It was not feasible to compare the different electronic A&F interventions and their facilitating factors because they were designed and implemented very diversely. Developing a framework or methodology for automated A&F interventions in primary care could be useful for investigating future interventions although further research is necessary.
It is possible to estimate the prior probability of pathogenicity for germline disease gene variants based on bioinformatic prediction of variant effect/s. However, routinely used approaches have likely led to the underestimation and underreporting of variants located outside donor and acceptor splice site motifs that affect mRNA processing. This review presents information about hereditary cancer gene germline variants, outside native splice sites, with experimentally validated splicing effects. We list 81 exonic variants that impact splicing regulatory elements in BRCA1, BRCA2, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. We utilized a pre-existing large-scale BRCA1 functional dataset to map functional splicing regulatory elements, assess the relative performance of different tools to predict effects of 283 variants on such elements, and develop a generic workflow to prioritize variants that may impact splicing regulatory elements. We also describe rare examples of intronic variants that impact branchpoint sites and create pseudoexons. We discuss the challenges in predicting variant effect on branchpoint site usage and pseudoexonization, and suggest strategies to improve the bioinformatic prioritization of such variants for experimental validation. Importantly, our review highlights the importance of considering impact of variants outside donor and acceptor motifs on mRNA splicing and disease causation.
Reproductive character displacement is a pattern whereby sympatric lineages diverge more in reproductive character morphology than allopatric lineages. This pattern has been observed in many plant species, but comparably few have sought to disentangle underlying mechanisms. Here, in a hyperdiverse lineage of Neotropical plants (Ruellia; Acanthaceae), we present evidence of reproductive character displacement in a macroevolutionary framework (i.e., among species) and document mechanistic underpinnings. In a series of inter-specific hand pollinations in a controlled glasshouse environment, we found that crosses between species that differed more in overall flower size, particularly in style length, were significantly less likely to produce viable seeds. Further, species pairs that failed to set seed were more likely to have sympatric distributions in nature. While these findings could result from competition for pollinators or differential fusion of sympatric populations based on variable crossability, our results instead lend support for a role of reinforcement whereby selection has acted to increase reproductive barriers between sympatric species, especially given divergence in floral traits less likely to be under selection by pollinators (i.e., style length). Our results add to growing evidence that character displacement contributes to exceptional floral diversity of angiosperms.
We present a new family of fast and robust methods for the calculation of the vapor-liquid equilibrium at isobaric-isothermal (PT-flash), isochoric-isothermal (VT-flash), isenthalpic-isobaric (HP-flash), and isoenergetic-isochoric (UV-flash) conditions. The framework is provided by formulating phase-equilibrium conditions for multi-component mixtures in an effectively reduced space based on the molar specific value of the recently introduced volume function derived from the Helmholtz free energy. The proposed algorithmic implementation can fully exploit the optimum quadratic convergence of a Newton method with the analytical Jacobian matrix. This paper provides all required exact analytic expressions for the general cubic equation of state. Computational results demonstrate the effectivity and efficiency of the new methods. Compared to conventional methods, the proposed reduced-space iteration leads to a considerable speed-up as well as to improved robustness and better convergence behavior near the spinodal and coexistence curves of multi-component mixtures, where the preconditioning by the reduction method is most effective.
Sickness behaviour is a taxonomically-widespread coordinated set of behavioural changes that in- creases shelter-seeking while reducing levels of general activity, as well as food (anorexia) and water (adipsia) consumption, when fighting infection by pathogens and disease. The leading hypothesis ex- plaining such sickness-related shifts in behaviour is the energy conservation hypothesis. This hypothe- sis argues that sick (i.e. immune-challenged) animals reduce energetic expenditure in order have more energy to fuel an immune response, which in some vertebrates, also includes producing an energetically- expensive physiological fever. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that an immune-challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) will cause Gryllus firmus field crickets to reduce their activity, increase shelter- use and avoid foods that interfere with an immune response (i.e. fat) while preferring a diet thats fuel an immune response (i.e. protein). We found little evidence of sickness behaviour in Gryllus firmus as immune-challenged individuals did not reduce their activity or increase their shelter-seeking. Neither did we observe changes in feeding or drinking behaviour nor a preference for protein or avoidance of lipids. Males tended to use shelters less than females but no other behaviours differed between the sexes. The lack of sickness behaviour in our study might reflect the fact that invertebrates do not possess energetically-expensive physiological fever as part of their immune response. Therefore, there is little reason to conserve energy via reduced activity or increased shelter use when immune-challenged.
Introduction of a heterocyclic ring and an amino-ethyl-amino group to D-A type photosensitive dyes can modulate the lifetime of the charge separation generated in the D-A dyes as well as their electronic and UV-Vis absorption properties. Here we performed DFT and TDDFT calculations to study eleven derivatives of a triphenylamine-pyrimidine, MTPA-Pyc, in order to improve the performance of MTPA-Pyc as solar cell sensitizers. Five heterocyclic rings and an amino-ethyl-amino group were introduced on the styryl moiety of MTPA-Pyc. The results show that introduction of heterocyclic rings generally causes an absorption red-shift, but absorption intensity is reduced due to the increase of dihedral angle between the donor and acceptor. Further introduction of an amino-ethyl-amino group to these dyes with a heterocyclic ring modification disrupts the conjugation between donor and acceptor, which does not benefit the absorption but may have potential to increase the lifetime of charge separation of the dyes. This work identified two out of eleven dyes that have the best potential for solar cell applications.
Turtles have been prominent subjects of analyses of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) owing to their mating system and habitat diversity. In prior studies, marine turtles were grouped with non-marine aquatic turtles (NMAT). This is odd because it is well-established that the marine environment imposes a distinct selective milieu on body form of vagile vertebrates, driven by convergent adaptations for energy-efficient propulsion and drag reduction. We generated a comprehensive database of adult marine turtle body size (38,569 observations across all species), which we then used to evaluate both the magnitude of SSD in marine turtles and how it compares to SSD in NMAT. We find that marine turtles are not sexually size dimorphic, whereas NMAT typically exhibit female-biased SSD. We argue that the reason for this difference is the sustained long-distance swimming that characterises marine turtle ecology, which entails significant energetic costs incurred by both sexes. Hence, the ability of either sex to allocate proportionately more to growth than the other is likely constrained, meaning that sexual differences in growth and resultant body size are not possible. Consequently, lumping marine turtles with NMAT dilutes the statistical signature of different kinds of selection on SSD and should be avoided in future studies.
In this work, ultra-refined bainitic structures are obtained in medium carbon steel through control of alloy design (Si and Al content) and low temperature isothermal bainitic transformation heat treatment. The chemical design of the steel was modified by using varying Al ratios and the steel was heat treated by isothermal transformation. The tensile strength and ductility were found to improve significantly, and this was owed to modification of the cementite morphology from plate-like to spheroidal morphology. In addition, grain refinement was achieved by fine bainitic structures generated through the heat treatment process. This new technology will have promising results to the steel industry in terms of saving time and energy, enhancing the mechanical properties and reducing the total production cost.