International Science Index

139
10007480
A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra
Abstract:

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Paper Detail
32
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138
10007250
Characterization and Optimization of Culture Conditions for Sulphur Oxidizing Bacteria after Isolation from Rhizospheric Mustard Soil, Decomposing Sites and Pit House
Abstract:

Sulphur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) have marked their significant role in perspectives of maintaining healthy environment as researchers from all over the world tested and apply these in waste water treatment plants, bioleaching of heavy metals, deterioration of bridge structures, concrete and for bioremediation purposes, etc. Also, these SOB are well adapted in all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extreme natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolated from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently in different environmental conditions. Besides having many applications in field of environment science, they may be proven to be very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is the fourth major macronutrients required for the growth of plants. More amount of sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops with respect to the cereal grains. Due to continuous use of land for overproduction of more demanding sulphur utilizing crops and without application of sulphur fertilizers, its concentration is decreasing day by day, and thus, sulphur deficiency is becoming a great problem as it affects the crop productivity and quality. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many forms which are unavailable for plants (cannot be use by plants) like elemental sulphur, thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing a series of transformations. So, keeping the importance of sulphur in view for various soil types, oilseed crops and role of microorganisms in making them available to plants, we made an effort to isolate, optimize, and characterize SOB. Three potential strains of bacteria were isolated, namely SSF7, SSA21, and SSS6, showing sulphate production of concentration, i.e. 2.268, 3.102, and 2.785 mM, respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like carbon, nitrogen source, pH, temperature, and incubation time, and characterization was also done.

Paper Detail
87
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137
10007093
CFD Simulation for Air-Borne Infection Analysis in AII-Room
Abstract:

The present study is a foundational study for performance improvements on isolation wards to prevent proliferation of secondary infection of infectious diseases such as SARS, H1N1, and MERS inside hospitals. Accordingly, the present study conducted an analysis of the effect of sealing mechanisms and filling of openings on ensuring air tightness performance in isolation wards as well as simulation on air currents in improved isolation wards. The study method is as follows. First, previous studies on aerial infection type and mechanism were reviewed, and the review results were utilized as basic data of analysis on simulation of air current. Second, national and international legislations and regulations in relation to isolation wards as well as case studies on developed nations were investigated in order to identify the problems in isolation wards in Korea and improvement plans. Third, construction and facility plans were compared and analyzed between general and isolation wards focusing on large general hospitals in Korea, thereby conducting comparison and analysis on the performance and effects of air-tightness of general and isolation wards through CFD simulations. The study results showed that isolation wards had better air-tightness performance than that of general wards.

Paper Detail
88
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136
10007169
Numerical Model of Low Cost Rubber Isolators for Masonry Housing in High Seismic Regions
Abstract:
Housings in developing countries have often inadequate seismic protection, particularly for masonry. People choose this type of structure since the cost and application are relatively cheap. Seismic protection of masonry remains an interesting issue among researchers. In this study, we develop a low-cost seismic isolation system for masonry using fiber reinforced elastomeric isolators. The elastomer proposed consists of few layers of rubber pads and fiber lamina, making it lower in cost comparing to the conventional isolators. We present a finite element (FE) analysis to predict the behavior of the low cost rubber isolators undergoing moderate deformations. The FE model of the elastomer involves a hyperelastic material property for the rubber pad. We adopt a Yeoh hyperelasticity model and estimate its coefficients through the available experimental data. Having the shear behavior of the elastomers, we apply that isolation system onto small masonry housing. To attach the isolators on the building, we model the shear behavior of the isolation system by means of a damped nonlinear spring model. By this attempt, the FE analysis becomes computationally inexpensive. Several ground motion data are applied to observe its sensitivity. Roof acceleration and tensile damage of walls become the parameters to evaluate the performance of the isolators. In this study, a concrete damage plasticity model is used to model masonry in the nonlinear range. This tool is available in the standard package of Abaqus FE software. Finally, the results show that the low-cost isolators proposed are capable of reducing roof acceleration and damage level of masonry housing. Through this study, we are also capable of monitoring the shear deformation of isolators during seismic motion. It is useful to determine whether the isolator is applicable. According to the results, the deformations of isolators on the benchmark one story building are relatively small.
Paper Detail
65
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135
10007202
Stability of Essential Oils in Pang-Rum by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Abstract:

Ancient Thai perfumed powder was used as a fragrance for clothing, food, and the body. Plant-based natural Thai perfume products are known as Pang-Rum. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of essential oils after six months of incubation. The chemical compositions were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), in terms of the qualitative composition of the isolated essential oil. The isolation of the essential oil of natural products by incubate sample for 5 min at 40 ºC is described. The volatile components were identified by percentage of total peak areas comparing their retention times of GC chromatograph with NIST mass spectral library. The results show no significant difference in the seven chromatograms of perfumed powder (Pang-Rum) both with binder and without binder. Further identification was done by GC-MS. Some components of Pang-Rum with/without binder were changed by temperature and time.

Paper Detail
74
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134
10006822
A Case Study on Performance of Isolated Bridges under Near-Fault Ground Motion
Abstract:

This paper presents a numerical investigation on the seismic performance of a benchmark bridge with different optimal isolation systems under near fault ground motion. Usually, very large displacements make seismic isolation an unfeasible solution due to boundary conditions, especially in case of existing bridges or high risk seismic regions. Hence, near-fault ground motions are most likely to affect either structures with long natural period range like isolated structures or structures sensitive to velocity content such as viscously damped structures. The work is aimed at analyzing the seismic performance of a three-span continuous bridge designed with different isolation systems having different levels of damping. The case study was analyzed in different configurations including: (a) simply supported, (b) isolated with lead rubber bearings (LRBs), (c) isolated with rubber isolators and 10% classical damping (HDLRBs), and (d) isolated with rubber isolators and 70% supplemental damping ratio. Case (d) represents an alternative control strategy that combines the effect of seismic isolation with additional supplemental damping trying to take advantages from both solutions. The bridge is modeled in SAP2000 and solved by time history direct-integration analyses under a set of six recorded near-fault ground motions. In addition to this, a set of analysis under Italian code provided seismic action is also conducted, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the suggested optimal control strategies under far field seismic action. Results of the analysis demonstrated that an isolated bridge equipped with HDLRBs and a total equivalent damping ratio of 70% represents a very effective design solution for both mitigation of displacement demand at the isolation level and base shear reduction in the piers also in case of near fault ground motion.

Paper Detail
106
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133
10006945
Transformer Life Enhancement Using Dynamic Switching of Second Harmonic Feature in IEDs
Abstract:

Energization of a transformer results in sudden flow of current which is an effect of core magnetization. This current will be dominated by the presence of second harmonic, which in turn is used to segregate fault and inrush current, thus guaranteeing proper operation of the relay. This additional security in the relay sometimes obstructs or delays differential protection in a specific scenario, when the 2nd harmonic content was present during a genuine fault. This kind of scenario can result in isolation of the transformer by Buchholz and pressure release valve (PRV) protection, which is acted when fault creates more damage in transformer. Such delays involve a huge impact on the insulation failure, and chances of repairing or rectifying fault of problem at site become very dismal. Sometimes this delay can cause fire in the transformer, and this situation becomes havoc for a sub-station. Such occurrences have been observed in field also when differential relay operation was delayed by 10-15 ms by second harmonic blocking in some specific conditions. These incidences have led to the need for an alternative solution to eradicate such unwarranted delay in operation in future. Modern numerical relay, called as intelligent electronic device (IED), is embedded with advanced protection features which permit higher flexibility and better provisions for tuning of protection logic and settings. Such flexibility in transformer protection IEDs, enables incorporation of alternative methods such as dynamic switching of second harmonic feature for blocking the differential protection with additional security. The analysis and precautionary measures carried out in this case, have been simulated and discussed in this paper to ensure that similar solutions can be adopted to inhibit analogous issues in future.

Paper Detail
103
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132
10007508
The Infiltration Interface Structure of Suburban Landscape Forms in Bimen Township, Anji, Zhejiang Province, China
Abstract:

Coordinating and promoting urban and rural development has been a new round of institutional change in Zhejiang province since 2004. And this plan was fully implemented, which showed that the isolation between the urban and rural areas had gradually diminished. Little by little, an infiltration interface that is dynamic, flexible and interactive is formed, and this morphological structure starts to appear on the landscape form in the surrounding villages. In order to study the specific function and formation of the structure in the context of industrial revolution, Bimen village located on the interface between Anji Township, Huzhou and Yuhang District, Hangzhou is taken as the case. Anji township is in the cross area between Yangtze River delta economic circle and innovation center in Hangzhou. Awarded with ‘Chinese beautiful village’, Bimen has witnessed the growing process of infiltration in ecology, economy, technology and culture on the interface. Within the opportunity, Bimen village presents internal reformation to adapt to the energy exchange with urban areas. In the research, the reformation is to adjust the industrial structure, to upgrade the local special bamboo crafts, to release space for activities, and to establish infrastructures on the interface. The characteristic of an interface is elasticity achieved by introducing an Internet platform using ‘O2O’ agriculture method to connect cities and farmlands. There is a platform of this kind in Bimen named ‘Xiao Mei’. ‘Xiao’ in Chinese means small, ‘Mei’ means beautiful, which indicates the method to refine the landscape form. It turns out that the new agriculture mode will strengthen the interface by orienting the Third Party Platform upon the old dynamic basis and will bring new vitality for economy development in Bimen village. The research concludes opportunities and challenges generated by the evolution of the infiltration interface. It also proposes strategies for how to organically adapt to the urbanization process. Finally it demonstrates what will happen by increasing flexibility in the landscape forms of suburbs in the Bimen village.

Paper Detail
21
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131
10006584
Molecular and Serological Diagnosis of Newcastle and Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale Broiler in Chicken in Fars Province, Iran
Abstract:

Respiratory diseases are the most important problems in the country’s poultry industry, particularly when it comes to broiler flocks. Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) is a species that causes poor performance in growth rate, egg production, and mortality. This pathogen causes a respiratory infection including pulmonary alveolar inflammation, and pneumonia of birds throughout the world. Newcastle disease (ND) is a highly contagious disease in poultry, and also, it causes considerable losses to the poultry industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate the simultaneous occurrence of ORT and ND and NDV isolation by inoculation in embryonated eggs and confirmed by RT-PCR in broiler chicken flocks in Fars province. In this study, 318 blood and 85 tissue samples (brain, trachea, liver, and cecal tonsils) were collected from 15 broiler chicken farms. Survey serum antibody titers against ORT by using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit performed. Evaluation of antibody titer against ND virus is performed by hemagglutination inhibition test. Virus isolation with chick embryo eggs 9-11 and RT-PCR method were carried out. A total of 318 serum samples, 135 samples (42.5%) were positive for antibodies to ORT and titer of HI antibodies against NDV in 122 serum samples (38/4%) were 7-10 (log2) and 61 serum samples (19/2%) had occurrence antibody titer against Newcastle virus and ORT. Results of the present study indicated that 20 tissue samples were positive in embryonated egg and in rapid hemagglutination (HA) test. HI test with specific ND positive serum confirmed that 6 of 20 samples. PCR confirmed that all six samples were positive and PCR products of samples indicated 535-base pair fragments in electrophrosis. Due to the great economic importance of these two diseases in the poultry industry, it is necessary to design and implement a comprehensive plan for prevention and control of these diseases.

Paper Detail
167
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130
10006730
Simulation of a Control System for an Adaptive Suspension System for Passenger Vehicles
Abstract:

In the process to cope with the challenges faced by the automobile industry in providing ride comfort, the electronics and control systems play a vital role. The control systems in an automobile monitor various parameters, controls the performances of the systems, thereby providing better handling characteristics. The automobile suspension system is one of the main systems that ensure the safety, stability and comfort of the passengers. The system is solely responsible for the isolation of the entire automobile from harmful road vibrations. Thus, integration of the control systems in the automobile suspension system would enhance its performance. The diverse road conditions of India demand the need of an efficient suspension system which can provide optimum ride comfort in all road conditions. For any passenger vehicle, the design of the suspension system plays a very important role in assuring the ride comfort and handling characteristics. In recent years, the air suspension system is preferred over the conventional suspension systems to ensure ride comfort. In this article, the ride comfort of the adaptive suspension system is compared with that of the passive suspension system. The schema is created in MATLAB/Simulink environment. The system is controlled by a proportional integral differential controller. Tuning of the controller was done with the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm, since it suited the problem best. Ziegler-Nichols and Modified Ziegler-Nichols tuning methods were also tried and compared. Both the static responses and dynamic responses of the systems were calculated. Various random road profiles as per ISO 8608 standard are modelled in the MATLAB environment and their responses plotted. Open-loop and closed loop responses of the random roads, various bumps and pot holes are also plotted. The simulation results of the proposed design are compared with the available passive suspension system. The obtained results show that the proposed adaptive suspension system is efficient in controlling the maximum over shoot and the settling time of the system is reduced enormously.

Paper Detail
90
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129
10006423
Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Partitioned Solution Approach and an Exponential Model
Abstract:

The solution of the nonlinear dynamic equilibrium equations of base-isolated structures adopting a conventional monolithic solution approach, i.e. an implicit single-step time integration method employed with an iteration procedure, and the use of existing nonlinear analytical models, such as differential equation models, to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolators can require a significant computational effort. In order to reduce numerical computations, a partitioned solution method and a one dimensional nonlinear analytical model are presented in this paper. A partitioned solution approach can be easily applied to base-isolated structures in which the base isolation system is much more flexible than the superstructure. Thus, in this work, the explicit conditionally stable central difference method is used to evaluate the base isolation system nonlinear response and the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant average acceleration method is adopted to predict the superstructure linear response with the benefit in avoiding iterations in each time step of a nonlinear dynamic analysis. The proposed mathematical model is able to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolators without requiring the solution of a nonlinear differential equation, as in the case of widely used differential equation model. The proposed mixed explicit-implicit time integration method and nonlinear exponential model are adopted to analyze a three dimensional seismically isolated structure with a lead rubber bearing system subjected to earthquake excitation. The numerical results show the good accuracy and the significant computational efficiency of the proposed solution approach and analytical model compared to the conventional solution method and mathematical model adopted in this work. Furthermore, the low stiffness value of the base isolation system with lead rubber bearings allows to have a critical time step considerably larger than the imposed ground acceleration time step, thus avoiding stability problems in the proposed mixed method.

Paper Detail
254
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128
10006424
Simulation of Dynamic Behavior of Seismic Isolators Using a Parallel Elasto-Plastic Model
Abstract:
In this paper, a one-dimensional (1d) Parallel Elasto- Plastic Model (PEPM), able to simulate the uniaxial dynamic behavior of seismic isolators having a continuously decreasing tangent stiffness with increasing displacement, is presented. The parallel modeling concept is applied to discretize the continuously decreasing tangent stiffness function, thus allowing to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolation bearings by putting linear elastic and nonlinear elastic-perfectly plastic elements in parallel. The mathematical model has been validated by comparing the experimental force-displacement hysteresis loops, obtained testing a helical wire rope isolator and a recycled rubber-fiber reinforced bearing, with those predicted numerically. Good agreement between the simulated and experimental results shows that the proposed model can be an effective numerical tool to predict the forcedisplacement relationship of seismic isolators within relatively large displacements. Compared to the widely used Bouc-Wen model, the proposed one allows to avoid the numerical solution of a first order ordinary nonlinear differential equation for each time step of a nonlinear time history analysis, thus reducing the computation effort, and requires the evaluation of only three model parameters from experimental tests, namely the initial tangent stiffness, the asymptotic tangent stiffness, and a parameter defining the transition from the initial to the asymptotic tangent stiffness.
Paper Detail
150
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127
10006425
Influence of Displacement Amplitude and Vertical Load on the Horizontal Dynamic and Static Behavior of Helical Wire Rope Isolators
Abstract:
In this paper, the results of experimental tests performed on a Helical Wire Rope Isolator (HWRI) are presented in order to describe the dynamic and static behavior of the selected metal device in three different displacements ranges, namely small, relatively large, and large displacements ranges, without and under the effect of a vertical load. A testing machine, allowing to apply horizontal displacement or load histories to the tested bearing with a constant vertical load, has been adopted to perform the dynamic and static tests. According to the experimental results, the dynamic behavior of the tested device depends on the applied displacement amplitude. Indeed, the HWRI displays a softening and a hardening stiffness at small and relatively large displacements, respectively, and a stronger nonlinear stiffening behavior at large displacements. Furthermore, the experimental tests reveal that the application of a vertical load allows to have a more flexible device with higher damping properties and that the applied vertical load affects much less the dynamic response of the metal device at large displacements. Finally, a decrease in the static to dynamic effective stiffness ratio with increasing displacement amplitude has been observed.
Paper Detail
174
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126
10006426
An Advanced Exponential Model for Seismic Isolators Having Hardening or Softening Behavior at Large Displacements
Abstract:
In this paper, an advanced Nonlinear Exponential Model (NEM), able to simulate the uniaxial dynamic behavior of seismic isolators having a continuously decreasing tangent stiffness with increasing displacement in the relatively large displacements range and a hardening or softening behavior at large displacements, is presented. The mathematical model is validated by comparing the experimental force-displacement hysteresis loops obtained during cyclic tests, conducted on a helical wire rope isolator and a recycled rubber-fiber reinforced bearing, with those predicted analytically. Good agreement between the experimental and simulated results shows that the proposed model can be an effective numerical tool to predict the force-displacement relationship of seismic isolation devices within the large displacements range. Compared to the widely used Bouc-Wen model, unable to simulate the response of seismic isolators at large displacements, the proposed one allows to avoid the numerical solution of a first order nonlinear ordinary differential equation for each time step of a nonlinear time history analysis, thus reducing the computation effort. Furthermore, the proposed model can simulate the smooth transition of the hysteresis loops from small to large displacements by adopting only one set of five parameters determined from the experimental hysteresis loops having the largest amplitude.
Paper Detail
127
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125
10006427
Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Mixed Integration Method: Stability Aspects and Computational Efficiency
Abstract:
In order to reduce numerical computations in the nonlinear dynamic analysis of seismically base-isolated structures, a Mixed Explicit-Implicit time integration Method (MEIM) has been proposed. Adopting the explicit conditionally stable central difference method to compute the nonlinear response of the base isolation system, and the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant average acceleration method to determine the superstructure linear response, the proposed MEIM, which is conditionally stable due to the use of the central difference method, allows to avoid the iterative procedure generally required by conventional monolithic solution approaches within each time step of the analysis. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the stability and computational efficiency of the MEIM when employed to perform the nonlinear time history analysis of base-isolated structures with sliding bearings. Indeed, in this case, the critical time step could become smaller than the one used to define accurately the earthquake excitation due to the very high initial stiffness values of such devices. The numerical results obtained from nonlinear dynamic analyses of a base-isolated structure with a friction pendulum bearing system, performed by using the proposed MEIM, are compared to those obtained adopting a conventional monolithic solution approach, i.e. the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant acceleration method employed in conjunction with the iterative pseudo-force procedure. According to the numerical results, in the presented numerical application, the MEIM does not have stability problems being the critical time step larger than the ground acceleration one despite of the high initial stiffness of the friction pendulum bearings. In addition, compared to the conventional monolithic solution approach, the proposed algorithm preserves its computational efficiency even when it is adopted to perform the nonlinear dynamic analysis using a smaller time step.
Paper Detail
131
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124
10006442
Speeding up Nonlinear Time History Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Nonlinear Exponential Model
Abstract:

The nonlinear time history analysis of seismically base-isolated structures can require a significant computational effort when the behavior of each seismic isolator is predicted by adopting the widely used differential equation Bouc-Wen model. In this paper, a nonlinear exponential model, able to simulate the response of seismic isolation bearings within a relatively large displacements range, is described and adopted in order to reduce the numerical computations and speed up the nonlinear dynamic analysis. Compared to the Bouc-Wen model, the proposed one does not require the numerical solution of a nonlinear differential equation for each time step of the analysis. The seismic response of a 3d base-isolated structure with a lead rubber bearing system subjected to harmonic earthquake excitation is simulated by modeling each isolator using the proposed analytical model. The comparison of the numerical results and computational time with those obtained by modeling the lead rubber bearings using the Bouc-Wen model demonstrates the good accuracy of the proposed model and its capability to reduce significantly the computational effort of the analysis.

Paper Detail
154
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123
10006678
Fungi Associated with Decline of Kikar (Acacia nilotica) and Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Faisalabad
Abstract:
During this research, a comprehensive survey of tree growing areas of Faisalabad district of Pakistan was conducted to observe the symptoms, spectrum, occurrence and severity of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis decline. Objective of current research was to investigate specific fungal pathogens involved in decline of A. nilotica and E. camaldulensis. For this purpose, infected roots, bark, neck portion, stem, branches, leaves and infected soils were collected to identify associated fungi. Potato dextrose agar (PDA) and Czepak dox agar media were used for isolations. Identification of isolated fungi was done microscopically and different fungi were identified. During survey of urban locations of Faisalabad, disease incidence on Kikar and Eucalyptus was recorded as 3.9-7.9% and 2.6-7.1% respectively. Survey of Agroforest zones of Faisalabad revealed decline incidence on kikar 7.5% from Sargodha road while on Satiana and Jhang road it was not planted. In eucalyptus trees, 4%, 8% and 0% disease incidence was observed on Jhang road, Sargodha road and Satiana road respectively. The maximum fungus isolated from the kikar tree was Drechslera australiensis (5.00%) from the stem part. Aspergillus flavus also gave the maximum value of (3.05%) from the bark. Alternaria alternata gave the maximum value of (2.05%) from leaves. Rhizopus and Mucor spp. were recorded minimum as compared to the Drechslera, Alternaria and Aspergillus. The maximum fungus isolated from the Eucalyptus tree was Armillaria luteobubalina (5.00%) from the stem part. The other fungi isolated were Macrophamina phaseolina and A. niger.
Paper Detail
120
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122
10006121
Biomolecules Based Microarray for Screening Human Endothelial Cells Behavior
Abstract:

Endothelial Progenitor Cell (EPC) based therapies continue to be of interest to treat ischemic events based on their proven role to promote blood vessel formation and thus tissue re-vascularisation. Current strategies for the production of clinical-grade EPCs requires the in vitro isolation of EPCs from peripheral blood followed by cell expansion to provide sufficient quantities EPCs for cell therapy. This study aims to examine the use of different biomolecules to significantly improve the current strategy of EPC capture and expansion on collagen type I (Col I). In this study, four different biomolecules were immobilised on a surface and then investigated for their capacity to support EPC capture and proliferation. First, a cell microarray platform was fabricated by coating a glass surface with epoxy functional allyl glycidyl ether plasma polymer (AGEpp) to mediate biomolecule binding. The four candidate biomolecules tested were Col I, collagen type II (Col II), collagen type IV (Col IV) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), which were arrayed on the epoxy-functionalised surface using a non-contact printer. The surrounding area between the printed biomolecules was passivated with polyethylene glycol-bisamine (A-PEG) to prevent non-specific cell attachment. EPCs were seeded onto the microarray platform and cell numbers quantified after 1 h (to determine capture) and 72 h (to determine proliferation). All of the extracellular matrix (ECM) biomolecules printed demonstrated an ability to capture EPCs within 1 h of cell seeding with Col II exhibiting the highest level of attachment when compared to the other biomolecules. Interestingly, Col IV exhibited the highest increase in EPC expansion after 72 h when compared to Col I, Col II and VEGF-A. These results provide information for significant improvement in the capture and expansion of human EPC for further application.

Paper Detail
452
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121
10005953
Characterisation of Fractions Extracted from Sorghum Byproducts
Abstract:

Sorghum byproducts, namely bran, stalk, and panicle are examples of lignocellulosic biomass. These raw materials contain large amounts of polysaccharides, in particular hemicelluloses, celluloses, and lignins, which if efficiently extracted, can be utilised for the development of a range of added value products with potential applications in agriculture and food packaging sectors. The aim of this study was to characterise fractions extracted from sorghum bran and stalk with regards to their physicochemical properties that could determine their applicability as food-packaging materials. A sequential alkaline extraction was applied for the isolation of cellulosic, hemicellulosic and lignin fractions from sorghum stalk and bran. Lignin content, phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were also investigated in the case of the lignin fraction. Thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) revealed that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of cellulose fraction of the stalk was ~78.33 oC at amorphous state (~65%) and water content of ~5%. In terms of hemicellulose, the Tg value of stalk was slightly lower compared to bran at amorphous state (~54%) and had less water content (~2%). It is evident that hemicelluloses generally showed a lower thermal stability compared to cellulose, probably due to their lack of crystallinity. Additionally, bran had higher arabinose-to-xylose ratio (0.82) than the stalk, a fact that indicated its low crystallinity. Furthermore, lignin fraction had Tg value of ~93 oC at amorphous state (~11%). Stalk-derived lignin fraction contained more phenolic compounds (mainly consisting of p-coumaric and ferulic acid) and had higher lignin content and antioxidant capacity compared to bran-derived lignin fraction.

Paper Detail
482
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120
10006039
Discontinuous Spacetime with Vacuum Holes as Explanation for Gravitation, Quantum Mechanics and Teleportation
Abstract:

Hole Vacuum theory is based on discontinuous spacetime that contains vacuum holes. Vacuum holes can explain gravitation, some laws of quantum mechanics and allow teleportation of matter. All massive bodies emit a flux of holes which curve the spacetime; if we increase the concentration of holes, it leads to length contraction and time dilation because the holes do not have the properties of extension and duration. In the limited case when space consists of holes only, the distance between every two points is equal to zero and time stops - outside of the Universe, the extension and duration properties do not exist. For this reason, the vacuum hole is the only particle in physics capable of describing gravitation using its own properties only. All microscopic particles must 'jump' continually and 'vibrate' due to the appearance of holes (impassable microscopic 'walls' in space), and it is the cause of the quantum behavior. Vacuum holes can explain the entanglement, non-locality, wave properties of matter, tunneling, uncertainty principle and so on. Particles do not have trajectories because spacetime is discontinuous and has impassable microscopic 'walls' due to the simple mechanical motion is impossible at small scale distances; it is impossible to 'trace' a straight line in the discontinuous spacetime because it contains the impassable holes. Spacetime 'boils' continually due to the appearance of the vacuum holes. For teleportation to be possible, we must send a body outside of the Universe by enveloping it with a closed surface consisting of vacuum holes. Since a material body cannot exist outside of the Universe, it reappears instantaneously in a random point of the Universe. Since a body disappears in one volume and reappears in another random volume without traversing the physical space between them, such a transportation method can be called teleportation (or Hole Teleportation). It is shown that Hole Teleportation does not violate causality and special relativity due to its random nature and other properties. Although Hole Teleportation has a random nature, it can be used for colonization of extrasolar planets by the help of the method called 'random jumps': after a large number of random teleportation jumps, there is a probability that the spaceship may appear near a habitable planet. We can create vacuum holes experimentally using the method proposed by Descartes: we must remove a body from the vessel without permitting another body to occupy this volume.

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273
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119
10005725
Dissipation Capacity of Steel Building with Fiction Pendulum Base-Isolation System
Abstract:
Use of base isolators in the seismic design of structures has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The major concern in the design of these structures is to have enough lateral stability to resist wind and seismic forces. There are different systems providing such isolation, among them there are friction- pendulum base isolation systems (FPS) which are rather widely applied nowadays involving to both affordable cost and high fundamental periods. These devices are characterised by a stiff resistance against wind loads and to be flexible to the seismic tremors, which make them suitable for different situations. In this paper, a 3D numerical investigation is done considering the seismic response of a twelve-storey steel building retrofitted with a FPS. Fast nonlinear time history analysis (FNA) of Boumerdes earthquake (Algeria, May 2003) is considered for analysis and carried out using SAP2000 software. Comparisons between fixed base, bearing base isolated and braced structures are shown in a tabulated and graphical format. The results of the various alternatives studies to compare the structural response without and with this device of dissipation energy thus obtained were discussed and the conclusions showed the interesting potential of the FPS isolator. This system may to improve the dissipative capacities of the structure without increasing its rigidity in a significant way which contributes to optimize the quantity of steel necessary for its general stability.
Paper Detail
323
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118
10006119
Isolation of a Bacterial Community with High Removal Efficiencies of the Insecticide Bendiocarb
Abstract:

Bendiocarb is a known toxic xenobiotic that presents acute and chronic risks for freshwater invertebrates and estuarine and marine biota; thus, the treatment of water contaminated with the insecticide is of concern. In this paper, a bacterial community with the capacity to grow in bendiocarb as its sole carbon and nitrogen source was isolated by enrichment techniques in batch culture, from samples of a composting plant located in the northeast of Mexico City. Eight cultivable bacteria were isolated from the microbial community, by PCR amplification of 16 rDNA; Pseudoxanthomonas spadix (NC_016147.2, 98%), Ochrobacterium anthropi (NC_009668.1, 97%), Staphylococcus capitis (NZ_CP007601.1, 99%), Bosea thiooxidans. (NZ_LMAR01000067.1, 99%), Pseudomonas denitrificans. (NC_020829.1, 99%), Agromyces sp. (NZ_LMKQ01000001.1, 98%), Bacillus thuringiensis. (NC_022873.1, 97%), Pseudomonas alkylphenolia (NZ_CP009048.1, 98%). NCBI accession numbers and percentage of similarity are indicated in parentheses. These bacteria were regarded as the isolated species for having the best similarity matches. The ability to degrade bendiocarb by the immobilized bacterial community in a packed bed biofilm reactor, using as support volcanic stone fragments (tezontle), was evaluated. The reactor system was operated in batch using mineral salts medium and 30 mg/L of bendiocarb as carbon and nitrogen source. With this system, an overall removal efficiency (ηbend) rounding 90%, was reached.

Paper Detail
233
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117
10005485
Waste Burial to the Pressure Deficit Areas in the Eastern Siberia
Abstract:
Important executive decisions on oil and gas production stimulation in Eastern Siberia have been recently taken. There are unique and large fields of oil, gas, and gas-condensate in Eastern Siberia. The Talakan, Koyumbinskoye, Yurubcheno-Tahomskoye, Kovykta, Chayadinskoye fields are supposed to be developed first. It will result in an abrupt increase in environmental load on the nature of Eastern Siberia. In Eastern Siberia, the introduction of ecological imperatives in hydrocarbon production is still realistic. Underground water movement is the one of the most important factors of the ecosystems condition management. Oil and gas production is associated with the forced displacement of huge water masses, mixing waters of different composition, and origin that determines the extent of anthropogenic impact on water drive systems and their protective reaction. An extensive hydrogeological system of the depression type is identified in the pre-salt deposits here. Pressure relieve here is steady up to the basement. The decrease of the hydrodynamic potential towards the basement with such a gradient resulted in reformation of the fields in process of historical (geological) development of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise. The depression hydrodynamic systems are characterized by extremely high isolation and can only exist under such closed conditions. A steady nature of water movement due to a strictly negative gradient of reservoir pressure makes it quite possible to use environmentally-harmful liquid substances instead of water. Disposal of the most hazardous wastes is the most expedient in the deposits of the crystalline basement in certain structures distant from oil and gas fields. The time period for storage of environmentally-harmful liquid substances may be calculated by means of the geological time scales ensuring their complete prevention from releasing into environment or air even during strong earthquakes. Disposal of wastes of chemical and nuclear industries is a matter of special consideration. The existing methods of storage and disposal of wastes are very expensive. The methods applied at the moment for storage of nuclear wastes at the depth of several meters, even in the most durable containers, constitute a potential danger. The enormous size of the depression system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise makes it possible to easily identify such objects at the depth below 1500 m where nuclear wastes will be stored indefinitely without any environmental impact. Thus, the water drive system of the Nepsko-Botuobinskaya anteclise is the ideal object for large-volume injection of environmentally harmful liquid substances even if there are large oil and gas accumulations in the subsurface. Specific geological and hydrodynamic conditions of the system allow the production of hydrocarbons from the subsurface simultaneously with the disposal of industrial wastes of oil and gas, mining, chemical, and nuclear industries without any environmental impact.
Paper Detail
311
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116
10005329
Zero Voltage Switched Full Bridge Converters for the Battery Charger of Electric Vehicle
Abstract:
This paper illustrates the study of three isolated zero voltage switched (ZVS) PWM full bridge (FB) converters to charge the high voltage battery in the charger of electric vehicle (EV). EV battery chargers have several challenges such as high efficiency, high reliability, low cost, isolation, and high power density. The cost of magnetic and filter components in the battery charger is reduced when switching frequency is increased. The increase in the switching frequency increases switching losses. ZVS is used to reduce switching losses and to operate the converter in the battery charger at high frequency. The performance of each of the three converters is evaluated on the basis of ZVS range, dead times of the switches, conduction losses of switches, circulating current stress, circulating energy, duty cycle loss, and efficiency. The limitations and merits of each PWM FB converter are reviewed. The converter with broader ZVS range, high efficiency and low switch stresses is selected for battery charger applications in EV.
Paper Detail
634
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115
10005556
Experimental Study on the Vibration Isolation Performance of Metal-Net Rubber Vibration Absorber
Abstract:
Metal-net rubber is a new dry friction damping material, compared with the traditional metal rubber, which has high mechanization degree, and the mechanical performance of metal-net rubber is more stable. Through the sine sweep experiment and random vibration experiment of metal-net rubber vibration isolator, the influence of several important factors such as the lines slope, relative density and wire diameter on the transfer rate, natural frequency and root-mean-square response acceleration of metal-net rubber vibration isolation system, were studied through the method of control variables. Also, several relevant change curves under different vibration levels were derived, and the effects of vibration level on the natural frequency and root-mean-square response acceleration were analyzed through the curves.
Paper Detail
385
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114
10004840
Isolation and Screening of Fungal Strains for β-Galactosidase Production
Abstract:

Enzymes are the biocatalysts which catalyze the biochemical processes and thus have a wide variety of applications in the industrial sector. β-Galactosidase (E.C. 3.2.1.23) also known as lactase, is one of the prime enzymes, which has significant potential in the dairy and food processing industries. It has the capability to catalyze both the hydrolytic reaction for the production of lactose hydrolyzed milk and transgalactosylation reaction for the synthesis of prebiotics such as lactulose and galactooligosaccharides. These prebiotics have various nutritional and technological benefits. Although, the enzyme is naturally present in almonds, peaches, apricots and other variety of fruits and animals, the extraction of enzyme from these sources increases the cost of enzyme. Therefore, focus has been shifted towards the production of low cost enzyme from the microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi. As compared to yeast and bacteria, fungal β-galactosidase is generally preferred as being extracellular and thermostable in nature. Keeping the above in view, the present study was carried out for the isolation of the β-galactosidase producing fungal strain from the food as well as the agricultural wastes. A total of more than 100 fungal cultures were examined for their potential in enzyme production. All the fungal strains were screened using X-gal and IPTG as inducers in the modified Czapek Dox Agar medium. Among the various isolated fungal strains, the strain exhibiting the highest enzyme activity was chosen for further phenotypic and genotypic characterization. The strain was identified as Rhizomucor pusillus on the basis of 5.8s RNA gene sequencing data.

Paper Detail
1511
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113
10004696
Ba‘albakī’s Influence on 1950s and 1960s Lebanese Women Writers
Abstract:

While Ba‘albakī ceased writing or publishing since 1964, it is considerable and significant to investigate Ba‘albakī’s influence on others. This paper examines her influence on three Lebanese women writers: Emily Nasrallah, Muná Jabbūr, and Hanan al-Shaykh. However, the aim is not simply to examine the influence of the writer on these three authors, but rather to note similarities and differences in the challenges they faced and the agendas they followed in their fiction writing. For each of these writers, this article will describe elements of their literature, and then sketch out the influence which Ba‘albakī has had on them. This paper relies on material from Sidawi because it includes interviews with the female writers discussed that are relevant to the current discussion. Sidawi asked them about Ba‘albakī and her influence on them, the challenges they faced, and how they coped with them. This paper points out their comments using their own words. To be clear, examining these writers' notes and works is beyond the scope of this paper. To sum up, there are significant parallels between the life and work of Ba‘albakī, and other Lebanese women writers such as Nasrallah, Jabbūr and al-Shaykh. Like Ba‘albakī, Nasrallah and al-Shaykh also suffered in their struggle against their families. Nasrallah and al-Shaykh, like Ba‘albakī, suffered because their society did not trust in their abilities and creativity. Ba‘albakī opted for isolation because of her conflict with patriarchal society including the Lebanese women’s groups, while Nasrallah’s isolation was because she preferred individualism and autonomy, and Jabbūr, as could be speculated, was not able to cope with the suffering caused by her role as a woman writer within Lebanese society. Whereas Ba‘albakī isolated herself from the Lebanese women’s groups, focusing instead on her feminist writing and joining the Shi'r group, Al-Shaykh and the Lebanese women’s groups are able to cooperate in harmony. Furthermore, while Nasrallah and Al-Shaykh continued to publish fiction, Ba‘albakī stopped publishing fiction in 1964. All of the above confirms not only that it is worthy to investigate deeply and academically both the biography and the works of Ba‘albakī, but also that she deserves to include her throughout the top great Arab female writers, at the time, like Al-Shaykh and Nawal El Saadawi.

Paper Detail
1499
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112
10004488
Mechanical Simulation with Electrical and Dimensional Tests for AISHa Containment Chamber
Abstract:

At Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare – Laboratorio Nazionale del Sud (INFN-LNS), a broad experience in the design, construction and commissioning of ECR and microwave ion sources is available. The AISHa ion source has been designed by taking into account the typical requirements of hospital-based facilities, where the minimization of the mean time between failures (MTBF) is a key point together with the maintenance operations, which should be fast and easy. It is intended to be a multipurpose device, operating at 18 GHz, in order to achieve higher plasma densities. It should provide enough versatility for future needs of the hadron therapy, including the ability to run at larger microwave power to produce different species and highly charged ion beams. The source is potentially interesting for any hadron therapy facility using heavy ions. In this paper, we analyzed the dimensional test and electrical test about an innovative solution for the containment chamber that allows us to solve our isolation and structural problems.

Paper Detail
430
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111
10003853
Wetting Characterization of High Aspect Ratio Nanostructures by Gigahertz Acoustic Reflectometry
Abstract:

Wetting efficiency of microstructures or nanostructures patterned on Si wafers is a real challenge in integrated circuits manufacturing. In fact, bad or non-uniform wetting during wet processes limits chemical reactions and can lead to non-complete etching or cleaning inside the patterns and device defectivity. This issue is more and more important with the transistors size shrinkage and concerns mainly high aspect ratio structures. Deep Trench Isolation (DTI) structures enabling pixels’ isolation in imaging devices are subject to this phenomenon. While low-frequency acoustic reflectometry principle is a well-known method for Non Destructive Test applications, we have recently shown that it is also well suited for nanostructures wetting characterization in a higher frequency range. In this paper, we present a high-frequency acoustic reflectometry characterization of DTI wetting through a confrontation of both experimental and modeling results. The acoustic method proposed is based on the evaluation of the reflection of a longitudinal acoustic wave generated by a 100 µm diameter ZnO piezoelectric transducer sputtered on the silicon wafer backside using MEMS technologies. The transducers have been fabricated to work at 5 GHz corresponding to a wavelength of 1.7 µm in silicon. The DTI studied structures, manufactured on the wafer frontside, are crossing trenches of 200 nm wide and 4 µm deep (aspect ratio of 20) etched into a Si wafer frontside. In that case, the acoustic signal reflection occurs at the bottom and at the top of the DTI enabling its characterization by monitoring the electrical reflection coefficient of the transducer. A Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) model has been developed to predict the behavior of the emitted wave. The model shows that the separation of the reflected echoes (top and bottom of the DTI) from different acoustic modes is possible at 5 Ghz. A good correspondence between experimental and theoretical signals is observed. The model enables the identification of the different acoustic modes. The evaluation of DTI wetting is then performed by focusing on the first reflected echo obtained through the reflection at Si bottom interface, where wetting efficiency is crucial. The reflection coefficient is measured with different water / ethanol mixtures (tunable surface tension) deposited on the wafer frontside. Two cases are studied: with and without PFTS hydrophobic treatment. In the untreated surface case, acoustic reflection coefficient values with water show that liquid imbibition is partial. In the treated surface case, the acoustic reflection is total with water (no liquid in DTI). The impalement of the liquid occurs for a specific surface tension but it is still partial for pure ethanol. DTI bottom shape and local pattern collapse of the trenches can explain these incomplete wetting phenomena. This high-frequency acoustic method sensitivity coupled with a FDTD propagative model thus enables the local determination of the wetting state of a liquid on real structures. Partial wetting states for non-hydrophobic surfaces or low surface tension liquids are then detectable with this method.

Paper Detail
467
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110
10003970
Acoustic and Thermal Isolation Performance Comparison between Recycled and Ceramic Roof Tiles Using Digital Holographic Interferometry
Abstract:
Recycling, as part of any sustainable environment, is continuously evolving and impacting on new materials in manufacturing. One example of this is the recycled solid waste of Tetra Pak ™ packaging, which is a highly pollutant waste as it is not biodegradable since it is manufactured with different materials. The Tetra Pak ™ container consists of thermally joined layers of paper, aluminum and polyethylene. Once disposed, this packaging is recycled by completely separating the paperboard from the rest of the materials. The aluminum and the polyethylene remain together and are used to create the poly-aluminum, which is widely used to manufacture roof tiles. These recycled tiles have different thermal and acoustic properties compared with traditional manufactured ceramic and cement tiles. In this work, we compare a group of tiles using nondestructive optical testing to measure the superficial micro deformations of the tiles under well controlled experiments. The results of the acoustic and thermal tests show remarkable differences between the recycled tile and the traditional ones. These results help to determine which tile could be better suited to the specific environmental conditions in countries where extreme climates, ranging from tropical, desert-like, to very cold are experienced throughout the year.
Paper Detail
825
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