4,139 research outputs found

    Bioengineering options and strategies for the optimization of anaerobic digestion processes

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    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a complex biological process, and the microbial diversity and dynamics within the reactor needs to be understood and considered when process optimization is sought after. Microbial interactions such as competition, mutualism, antagonism and syntrophism affect the function and the survival of single species in the community; hence, they need to be understood for process improvement. Although the relationship between process performance and the microbial community structure is well established, changes in the community might occur without detectable changes in gas production and reactor performance. Recent molecular-based studies have highlighted the complexity of AD systems revealing the presence of several uncultivated species and the need for further research in this area. However, this information is still rarely used for process optimization. The integration of next generation sequencing technologies, such as 454-pyrosequencing, with other techniques, such as phospholipid-derived fatty acids analysis, can provide a holistic understanding of the microbial community. In addition, the in-depth phylogenetic resolution provided can aid environmental ecologists and engineers to better understand and optimize the AD process and consolidate the information collected to date

    Electoral law and procedure in eighteenth and early nineteenth century Scotland

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    Mining subsidence

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    From the point of view of surface damage, the observations at Gowan Bank Cemetery clearly demonstrate

    Golden Years

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    Effects Of Noncommercial Open Interest On Corn And Soybean Futures Price Volatility

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    Since the early 2000s a dramatic rise in institutional investment in agricultural futures markets has occurred. This rise may have caused an increase in price volatility, potentially resulting in added risk for farmers, agribusinesses, and consumers. Currently, regulators, hedgers, exchanges, and speculators lack information regarding how modern investments in agricultural futures markets affect short-term price volatility. The objective of this analysis is to examine the effect of institutional investment on short-term price volatility for corn and soybean futures markets. Using daily price data for corn and soybean futures from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), several measures of price volatility – including differences, ratios, and measures of central tendency – are calculated and their results compared by Akaike’s Information Criteria (AIC) and Schwarz Bayesian Criteria (SBC). Using the Commodities Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Commitments of Traders (COT) weekly Aggregated Futures and Options Combined report for corn and soybeans, a percent of open interest held by noncommercial traders is used to estimate movements in institutional investment. In order to account for the dependence of price on recent prices and the dependence of the variance of price on recent variances of price, a bivariate generalized autoregressive conditionally heteroskedastic (GARCH) model is used in this analysis. Portmanteau Q Tests and Engle’s LM tests are used to justify this approach. We find for each model the effect of institutional investment on price volatility is positive and, for most models, statistically significant

    A Policy Framed Analysis of the Valley of Death in U.S. University Technology Transfer

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    At least as far back as the enactment of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 there has been an ongoing desire on the part of politicians, policy-makers and the public in the U.S., to obtain greater economic returns on the federal investment in publicly funded university research. Today among policy-makers there is an apparent belief that a capital shortage in the mid-stages of technological development is the rate-limiting factor, preventing the maximum flow of university inventive knowledge from entering the marketplace. The consequence is a Valley of Death demise for the vast majority of university inventions. In order to mitigate the problem, changes to federal granting policies are placing increased emphasis on funding more applied and translational research than basic fundamental science. Given the foregoing direction of policy, the study set out to confirm the current understanding of the Valley of Death on the part of policy-makers and relate this understanding to the historical evidence. Consistent with present-day political pronouncements, the study findings verify an overwhelming belief that a shortfall of applied research funding is the root cause of the Valley of Death. Policy-makers believe this shortfall constrains the development of basic research into commercializable products. However, the study also found that this perception is inconsistent with the empirical evidence. The study reveals a gap between these sectors but the gap is independent of the stage of technological development. A funding difference extends the entire length of the research and innovation spectrum, suggesting other factors are responsible for the adoption of university inventions, bringing into question the direction and likely efficacy of current policy initiatives. The findings lend credence to the less cited cause of the Valley of Death, namely a Darwinian Sea of survival of the economically fittest technologies (Auerswald & Branscomb, 2003). The actual stage of development of a university invention will determine the extent of investment funding necessary for its continued development, but economic factors will determine if further investment in its development is warranted. A death does exist for many inventions, but it is the result of natural market causes and not a funding shortfall, per se

    Judicial Financial Autonomy and Inherent Power

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    Sea shells ashore : a study of the role of shellfish in prehistoric diet and lifestyle at Eland's Bay, Southwestern Cape, South Africa

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    Bibliography: pages 279-298.The primary aim of this research is to assess the role of shellfish in prehistoric diet and lifestyle with specific reference to the numerous archaeological sites in the vicinity of Eland's Bay (18°19'E 32°19'S). To give a wider regional context, available data on seven other sites along the southwest coast of South Africa have been included. The quantification, analysis and comparison of the faunal data from all these sites have proved informative on the adequacy and balance of prehistoric coastal diet and on aspects of human ecology and behaviour