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    29355 research outputs found

    Development of dissolvable microneedle patches by CNC machining and micromolding for drug delivery

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    This study reports the fabrication of microneedles using computer numerical control (CNC) machining and micromolding for replicating dissolvable microneedles (DMNs) for drug delivery. Despite the ease of use and simple manufacturing by CNC, this method has not been extensively studied for the fabrication of microneedles. The master molds were fabricated using CNC machining; subsequently, DMNs embedded with fluorescent dye as a drug model were prepared using a hyaluronic acid (HA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) solution in a rapid and comparatively simple micromolding process. The microneedles were evaluated for mechanical strength and penetration efficiency. The drug diffusion from DMNs was elucidated through confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) imaging. The results show that fabricated DMNs are mechanically strong enough to penetrate the skin dermis layer and deliver their therapeutic cargo. In conclusion, CNC machining can provide rapid and low-cost fabrication of master molds, facilitating DMNs production for transdermal drug delivery

    Early flowering changes robusta coffee yield responses to climate stress and management

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    A shift towards earlier flowering is a widely noted consequence of climate change for the world's plants. However, whether early flowering changes the way in which plants respond to climate stress, and in turn plant yield, remains largely unexplored. Using 10 years of flowering time and yield observations (Total N = 5580) from 558 robusta coffee (Coffea canephora) farms across Vietnam we used structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the drivers of flowering day anomalies and the consequent effects of this on coffee climate stress sensitivity and management responses (i.e. irrigation and fertilization). SEM allowed us to model the cascading and interacting effects of differences in flowering time, growing season length and climate stress. Warm nights were the main driver of early flowering (i.e. flowering day anomalies <0), which in turn corresponded to longer growing seasons. Early flowering was linked to greater sensitivity of yield to temperature during flowering (i.e. early in the season). In contrast, when late flowering occurred yield was most sensitive to temperature and rainfall later in the growing season, after flowering and fruit development. The positive effects of tree age and fertilizer on yield, apparent under late flowering conditions, were absent when flowering occurred early. Late flowering models predicted yields under early flowering conditions poorly (a 50 % reduction in cross-validated R2 of 0.54 to 0.27). Likewise, models based on early flowering were unable to predict yields well under late flowering conditions (a 75 % reduction in cross-validated R2, from 0.58 to 0.14). Our results show that early flowering changes the sensitivity of coffee production to climate stress and management and in turn our ability to predict yield. Our results indicate that changes in plant phenology need to be taken into account in order to more accurately assess climate risk and management impacts on plant performance and crop yield

    A new operando surface restructuring pathway via ion-pairing of catalyst and electrolyte for water oxidation

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    The highly efficient and stable electrolysis needs the rational control of the catalytically active interface during the reactions. Here we report a new operando surface restructuring pathway activated by pairing catalyst and electrolyte ions. Using SrCoO3-δ-based perovskites as model catalysts, we unveil the critical role of matching the catalyst properties with the electrolyte conditions in modulating catalyst ion leaching and steering surface restructuring processes toward efficient oxygen evolution reaction catalysis in both pH-neutral and alkaline electrolytes. Our results regarding multiple perovskites show that the catalyst ion leaching is controlled by catalyst ion solubility and anions of the electrolyte. Only when the electrolyte cations are smaller than catalyst's leaching cations, the formation of an outer amorphous shell can be triggered via backfilling electrolyte cations into the cationic vacancy at the catalyst surface under electrochemical polarization. Consequently, the current density of reconstructed SrCoO3-δ is increased by 21 folds compared to the pristine SrCoO3-δ at 1.75 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode and outperforms the benchmark IrO2 by 2.1 folds and most state-of-the-art electrocatalysts in the pH-neutral electrolyte. Our work could be a starting point to rationally control the electrocatalyst surface restructuring via matching the compositional chemistry of the catalyst with the electrolyte properties

    Access Points: Stage, Space, and/as Interface in the Early Modern Playhouses

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    How did audiences of the early modern playhouses access the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries? Walter Ong wrote in Interface of the Word (Cornell, 1977) that language in the Renaissance shifted from orality to literacy as a result of the emphasis on visual culture and printed text, a shift 'from the world of sound to the surface of the page, from the aural to the visual' (163). Refusing to forget the importance of performance culture to the English Renaissance, Robert Weimann countered this bias toward print culture by re-examining the tensions between author’s pens and actor’s voices and giving consideration to the 'peculiar and highly theatrical type of interface' that a play in performance generates between the two ('Playing with a Difference,' 1999, 42). While Weimann’s work has been a necessary step in helping scholars of early modern drama to shift their focus from words on a page to words on a stage, the answer to the question of how audiences accessed plays may still elude us so long as our focus remains fixed on the play. Current debates about audience reception of plays are at risk of being bogged down by a reiteration of the old battle for supremacy of the senses by reductively asking whether audiences went to a playhouse primarily to hear a play or to see a play. My goal in this chapter is to disrupt notions of reception (which ultimately hinge on the idea that a play is a message sent through an aural or visual medium) by invoking the notion of access, restoring agency on one side of the equation to the people who came to playhouses. Access covers all aspects of the point of contact between audience and play, from the manner of ingress to the orientation of the bodies of audience members (with all of their senses, and this includes less obvious senses like spatial awareness or proprioception) and the degree of involvement they have in the entertainments of which a play may represent just one part. The chapter thus seeks to shift thought of the interface from “the word” to the whole of the space in which early modern theatrical contact took place

    Physics-based and data-driven modeling for stability evaluation of buried structures in natural clays

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    This study presents a hybrid framework to predict stability solutions of buried structures under active trapdoor conditions in natural clays with anisotropy and heterogeneity by combining physics-based and data-driven modeling. Finite-element limit analysis (FELA) with a newly developed anisotropic undrained shear (AUS) failure criterion is used to identify the underlying active failure mechanisms as well as to develop a numerical (physics-based) database of stability numbers for both planar and circular trapdoors. Practical considerations are given for natural clays to three linearly increasing shear strengths in compression, extension, and direct simple shear in the AUS material model. The obtained numerical solutions are compared and validated with published solutions in the literature. A multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) algorithm is further utilized to learn the numerical solutions to act as fast FELA data-driven surrogates for stability evaluation. The current MARS-based modeling provides both relative importance index and accurate design equations that can be used with confidence by practitioners

    Playhouses and performance

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    How does our understanding of early modern performance, culture and identity change when we decentre Shakespeare? And how might a more inclusive approach to early modern drama help enable students to discuss a range of issues, including race and gender, in more productive ways?Underpinned by these questions, this collection offers a wide-ranging, authoritative guide to research on drama in Shakespeare's England, mapping the variety of approaches to the context and work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. By paying attention to repertory, performance in and beyond playhouses, modes of performance, and lost and less-studied plays, the handbook reshapes our critical narratives about early modern drama

    Multimodality Information Fusion for Automated Machine Translation

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    Machine translation is a popular automation approach for translating texts between different languages. Although traditionally it has a strong focus on natural language, images can potentially provide an additional source of information in machine translation. However, there are presently two challenges: (i) the lack of an effective fusion method to handle the triangular-mapping function between image, text, and semantic knowledge; and (ii) the accessibility of large-scale parallel corpus to train a model for generating accurate machine translations. To address these challenges, this work proposes an effective multimodality information fusion method for automated machine translation based on semi-supervised learning. The method fuses multimodality information, texts and images to deliver automated machine translation. Specifically, our objective fuses multimodalities with alignment in a multimodal attention network, which advances the method through the power of mapping text and image features to their semantic information with accuracy. Moreover, a semi-supervised learning method is utilised for its capability in using a small number of parallel corpus for supervised training on the basis of unsupervised training. Conducted on the Multi30k dataset, the experimental results shows the promising performance of our proposed fusion method compared with state-of-the-art approaches

    Cost-effective synchrophasor data source authentication based on multiscale adaptive coupling correlation detrended analysis

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    As one type of advanced sensor, Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) provide network operators with high-precision time-series Synchrophasor Data (SD) which characterise the operational condition of power systems. Source information of SD acts as a critical role in many PMU-based applications and it is potentially subjected to malicious data spoofing attacks due to the lack of security mechanism in the widely adopted SD specifications. Considering the imperative need for defending against such spoofing attacks, this paper proposes a novel SD Source Authentication (SDSA) scheme by sufficiently exploiting multifractal coupling correlations of SD at multiple locations. Without the need for detailed knowledge of power networks (i.e., system topology and associated parameters) and costly upgrading the existing SD acquisition infrastructure (i.e., PMU hardware and SD transfer/storage device), the proposed method performs model-free and cost-effective SDSA in power systems from a new data-driven perspective of long-range coupling correlation discovery. Specifically, Multiscale Adaptive Coupling Correlation Detrended Analysis (MACCDA) is first developed to reveal the significant coupling multifractal characteristics of time series SD at multiple locations over a broad range of scales simultaneously from which the scale with the most significant multifractality is determined. Then the origin of multifractality and the contribution of SD at each individual location to the overall coupling correlation is quantified by shuffling and surrogating the original SD. Such contribution is further integrated with enhanced Weighted Multifractal Surface Interpolation (WMFSI) to generate synthetic high-resolution SD. Afterwards, distinctive time–frequency signatures are derived from the synthetic SD and they are used by computational intelligence algorithms for SDSA. Simulation results using the real-life SD of Victoria state demonstrate the reliability, efficiency and scalability of the proposed scheme in practical power grids

    N, S co-doped carbon with embedment of FeNi alloy as bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts for rechargeable Zinc-air batteries

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    Zinc-air batteries (ZABs) have sparked great interest, but their wide-ranging applications are limited by sluggish cathode reactions (ORR and OER). In this work, a multifunctional 3D catalyst (FeNi alloy/porous carbon) was easily fabricated by introducing Fe3+ and Ni2+ to modulate in-situ vapor phase grown carbon nanotubes. The as-prepared catalyst FNSNC73-800 displays abundant mesoporous, massive structural defects, and multiple active sites, which greatly facilitate the transport of oxygen species and charge transfer during the reaction. Due to the excellent ORR and OER performance, FNSNC73-800 shows a narrow voltage gap (ΔE) of 0.76 V, which is superior to recent reports. Notably, the secondary zinc-air battery with this catalyst displays a high-peak power density (210 mW cm−2), while maintaining an ultra-low potential gap (0.74 V) after a long-term charge-discharge cycle of 200 h. This effort presents a facile strategy for designing economical and efficient 3D catalysts for zinc-air batteries and more energy devices

    Can E-Flat be sexist? Canonical keys as marginalizing practice in jazz

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    Gender is an increasingly prominent filter in jazz research. Close inspection shows that even the presumably neutral territory of key signatures creates gendered reverberations. This chapter examines how replicating the 'canonical' keys of jazz standards marginalizes female singers, who comprise the predominant sex of jazz vocalists. The argument is first contextualized through examining how canonical keys are set and perpetuated through jazz standards, jazz practice and fake books. These canonical keys, whilst mostly drawn from instrumental practice, generally accommodate male vocal range. The keys of 40 well-known standards recorded by renowned female vocalists were compared to printed keys in fake books. This comparison shows that keys recorded by female singers seldom match the printed keys. A discussion of jazz vocal style and function follows, to explain why singing in canonical keys can lead to jazz female singers’ marginalization, and why transposition to a suitable key is fundamental to achieving an authentic jazz vocal sound. The chapter concludes by outlining several implications of this analysis for jazz practice and education, particularly in relation to the developing female jazz singer. It recommends ways to foster inclusivity regarding female vocalists and key choice


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