535 research outputs found

    Waste-to-Watts: An Energy Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste as Fuel

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    Across the United States, there are two pressing problems: garbage disposal and electricity generation. Firstly, the infrastructure in place doesn’t properly dispose of or reuse municipal solid waste. In addition, power insecurity is becoming more prominent as power grids are becoming outdated. This project aims to provide an alternative solution for both issues by using a Brayton cycle based waste-to-energy incinerator. The overall system efficiency relies heavily on the feedstock used for incineration. One way efficiency can be increased is through pelletizing trash, ensuring an even burn profile, providing the correct amount of feedstock, and ensuring adequate energy production. However, knowledge of the energy level per feedstock amount is needed. This project aims to use the money that was awarded to be able to purchase and test various feedstock: polypropylene, polyethylene, and mixed-wood pellets, as well as shredded packing paper. The testing uses a calorimeter to measure the amount of energy that is stored in each feedstock material. The data gained can provide information necessary for calculating the amount of electricity per specified volume of the above-mentioned materials. The first stage of this project involved gathering energy contents of the pure substances listed above through research papers. In the next few weeks, we will be continuing with our own experimentation that examines the energy released when combusting combinations of these substances. Our goal is to gather calorimetry data for the pelletized and shredded material listed above. The data will be used to design the waste-to-energy incinerator

    Viticultura en terrazas del Valle de Cembra en Italia: hacia la inclusión de la gestión sostenible del paisaje en las acciones de desarrollo orientadas a la calidad

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    Terraces represent the most wide-spread solution for steep hillslope cultivation. The elevated number of positive ecosystem services produced by the derived terraced landscapes when-well maintained are threatened by ongoing land-abandonment and landscape-irrespective agricultural transformation processes. In this manuscript, we analyzed the current state of the terraced area of Val di Cembra (Trentino-Italy). We aimed to analyze the reason behind the high rate of active maintenance of the terraced viticulture, discuss the main risks related to the introduction of intensive land management practices and list possible solutions for ensuring a long-term sustainable development of the area. We identified the wine-quality oriented development of viticulture, the realization of important infrastructure to ensure mobility and irrigation, and the strong sense of belonging still present also among young generations, the main factors determining the high rate of active maintenance of the terraced landscape. Besides the risk of obsolescence that affects the most marginal terraced areas of the valley, other risks are associated with the possible diffusion of landscape-indifferent land-arrangement and to the adoption of not traditional training systems, which may affect negatively the landscape value. Future perspectives need to enlarge the quality-oriented process undertaken in wine production to the whole territory. Including landscape in land management planning will ensure long-lasting sustainability of viticulture, matching the increasing demand for environmental services from the community and the consumers. Ongoing action in the Valley, that involve both private stakeholders and local authorities, are indicating the intention of the community to move in this direction.Las terrazas representan la solución más extendida para el cultivo en pendientes escarpadas. El número elevado de servicios ecosistémicos positivos producidos por paisajes con terrazas cuando están bien mantenidos se ve amenazado por el abandono continuo de la tierra y la transformación agrícola que no tiene en cuenta el paisaje. En este artículo, hemos analizado el estado actual de la zona de terrazas de Val di Cembra (Trentino-Italia). Nuestro objetivo fue analizar las causas detrás de la alta tasa de mantenimiento activo de la viticultura en terrazas, examinar los principales riesgos relacionados con la introducción de la gestión intensiva de la tierra y proponer posibles soluciones para garantizar un desarrollo sostenible a largo plazo de la zona. Hemos identificado los principales factores que determinan la elevada tasa de mantenimiento activo del paisaje en terrazas: el desarrollo de la viticultura orientado a la calidad del vino, la realización de infraestructuras importantes para garantizar la movilidad y el riego, y el fuerte sentido de pertenencia todavía presente también entre las generaciones jóvenes. Además del riesgo de obsolescencia que afecta a las zonas de terrazas más marginales del Valle, otros riesgos están asociados con la posible difusión de la transformación del territorio indiferente al paisaje y a la adopción de sistemas de cultivo que no son tradicionales, que pueden afectar negativamente el valor del paisaje. Las perspectivas futuras deben ampliar el proceso orientado a la calidad en la producción de vino en todo el territorio. La inclusión del paisaje en la planificación del manejo de la tierra garantizará una sostenibilidad duradera de la viticultura, respondiendo a la creciente demanda de servicios medioambientales por parte de la comunidad y de los consumidores. Proyectos en curso en el Valle, en los que participan tanto actores privados como autoridades locales, están indicando la intención de la comunidad de avanzar en esta dirección

    A cultura da convergência e os live-actions / The culture of convergence and the live-actions

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    O presente artigo propõe gerar uma reflexão sobre a cultura da convergência e a importância da participação do público em conjunção com as indústrias midiáticas. Também irá articular conceitos sobre o cinema, sua evolução e a utilização de novos recursos tecnológicos para a construção de uma nova linguagem cinematográfica que utiliza as mais variadas fontes de representações para sua criação. Também contextualizará sobre a cultura popular japonesa e as aplicações e influências na cultura da convergência. Para tanto serão estudados autores que discutem os temas citados como: André Parente, Gilles Deleuze, Arlindo Machado, Denise Guimarães, Cristiane Sato e Henry Jenkins.

    An amphipathic helix in Brl1 is required for nuclear pore complex biogenesis in S. cerevisiae

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    The nuclear pore complex (NPC) is the central portal for macromolecular exchange between the nucleus and cytoplasm. In all eukaryotes, NPCs assemble into an intact nuclear envelope (NE) during interphase, but the process of NPC biogenesis remains poorly characterized. Furthermore, little is known about how NPC assembly leads to the fusion of the outer and inner NE, and no factors have been identified that could trigger this event. Here, we characterize the transmembrane protein Brl1 as an NPC assembly factor required for NE fusion in budding yeast. Brl1 preferentially associates with NPC assembly intermediates and its depletion halts NPC biogenesis, leading to NE herniations that contain inner and outer ring nucleoporins but lack the cytoplasmic export platform. Furthermore, we identify an essential amphipathic helix in the luminal domain of Brl1 that mediates interactions with lipid bilayers. Mutations in this amphipathic helix lead to NPC assembly defects, and cryo-electron tomography analyses reveal multilayered herniations of the inner nuclear membrane with NPC-like structures at the neck, indicating a failure in NE fusion. Taken together, our results identify a role for Brl1 in NPC assembly and suggest a function of its amphipathic helix in mediating the fusion of the inner and outer nuclear membranes

    An amphipathic helix in Brl1 is required for nuclear pore complex biogenesis in S. cerevisiae

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    The nuclear pore complex (NPC) is the central portal for macromolecular exchange between the nucleus and cytoplasm. In all eukaryotes, NPCs assemble into an intact nuclear envelope (NE) during interphase, but the process of NPC biogenesis remains poorly characterized. Furthermore, little is known about how NPC assembly leads to the fusion of the outer and inner NE, and no factors have been identified that could trigger this event. Here, we characterize the transmembrane protein Brl1 as an NPC assembly factor required for NE fusion in budding yeast. Brl1 preferentially associates with NPC assembly intermediates and its depletion halts NPC biogenesis, leading to NE herniations that contain inner and outer ring nucleoporins but lack the cytoplasmic export platform. Furthermore, we identify an essential amphipathic helix in the luminal domain of Brl1 that mediates interactions with lipid bilayers. Mutations in this amphipathic helix lead to NPC assembly defects, and cryo-electron tomography analyses reveal multilayered herniations of the inner nuclear membrane with NPC-like structures at the neck, indicating a failure in NE fusion. Taken together, our results identify a role for Brl1 in NPC assembly and suggest a function of its amphipathic helix in mediating the fusion of the inner and outer nuclear membranes.publishedVersio

    Measurement invariance of the moral vitalism scale across 28 cultural groups

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    Moral vitalism refers to a tendency to view good and evil as actual forces that can influence people and events. The Moral Vitalism Scale had been designed to assess moral vitalism in a brief survey form. Previous studies established the reliability and validity of the scale in US-American and Australian samples. In this study, the cross-cultural comparability of the scale was tested across 28 different cultural groups worldwide through measurement invariance tests. A series of exact invariance tests marginally supported partial metric invariance, however, an approximate invariance approach provided evidence of partial scalar invariance for a 5-item measure. The established level of measurement invariance allows for comparisons of latent means across cultures. We conclude that the brief measure of moral vitalism is invariant across 28 cultures and can be used to estimate levels of moral vitalism with the same precision across very different cultural settings.Peer reviewe

    Straw blood cell count, growth, inhibition and comparison to apoptotic bodies

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Mammalian cells transform into individual tubular straw cells naturally in tissues and in response to desiccation related stress <it>in vitro</it>. The transformation event is characterized by a dramatic cellular deformation process which includes: condensation of certain cellular materials into a much smaller tubular structure, synthesis of a tubular wall and growth of filamentous extensions. This study continues the characterization of straw cells in blood, as well as the mechanisms of tubular transformation in response to stress; with specific emphasis placed on investigating whether tubular transformation shares the same signaling pathway as apoptosis.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>There are approximately 100 billion, unconventional, tubular straw cells in human blood at any given time. The straw blood cell count (SBC) is 45 million/ml, which accounts for 6.9% of the bloods dry weight. Straw cells originating from the lungs, liver and lymphocytes have varying nodules, hairiness and dimensions. Lipid profiling reveals severe disruption of the plasma membrane in CACO cells during transformation. The growth rates for the elongation of filaments and enlargement of rabbit straw cells is 0.6~1.1 (μm/hr) and 3.8 (μm<sup>3</sup>/hr), respectively. Studies using apoptosis inhibitors and a tubular transformation inhibitor in CACO2 cells and in mice suggested apoptosis produced apoptotic bodies are mediated differently than tubular transformation produced straw cells. A single dose of 0.01 mg/kg/day of p38 MAPK inhibitor in wild type mice results in a 30% reduction in the SBC. In 9 domestic animals SBC appears to correlate inversely with an animal's average lifespan (R<sup>2 </sup>= 0.7).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Straw cells are observed residing in the mammalian blood with large quantities. Production of SBC appears to be constant for a given animal and may involve a stress-inducible protein kinase (P38 MAPK). Tubular transformation is a programmed cell survival process that diverges from apoptosis. SBCs may be an important indicator of intrinsic aging-related stress.</p

    Memory for Semantically Related and Unrelated Declarative Information: The Benefit of Sleep, the Cost of Wake

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    Numerous studies have examined sleep's influence on a range of hippocampus-dependent declarative memory tasks, from text learning to spatial navigation. In this study, we examined the impact of sleep, wake, and time-of-day influences on the processing of declarative information with strong semantic links (semantically related word pairs) and information requiring the formation of novel associations (unrelated word pairs). Participants encoded a set of related or unrelated word pairs at either 9am or 9pm, and were then tested after an interval of 30 min, 12 hr, or 24 hr. The time of day at which subjects were trained had no effect on training performance or initial memory of either word pair type. At 12 hr retest, memory overall was superior following a night of sleep compared to a day of wakefulness. However, this performance difference was a result of a pronounced deterioration in memory for unrelated word pairs across wake; there was no sleep-wake difference for related word pairs. At 24 hr retest, with all subjects having received both a full night of sleep and a full day of wakefulness, we found that memory was superior when sleep occurred shortly after learning rather than following a full day of wakefulness. Lastly, we present evidence that the rate of deterioration across wakefulness was significantly diminished when a night of sleep preceded the wake period compared to when no sleep preceded wake, suggesting that sleep served to stabilize the memories against the deleterious effects of subsequent wakefulness. Overall, our results demonstrate that 1) the impact of 12 hr of waking interference on memory retention is strongly determined by word-pair type, 2) sleep is most beneficial to memory 24 hr later if it occurs shortly after learning, and 3) sleep does in fact stabilize declarative memories, diminishing the negative impact of subsequent wakefulness

    Prediction of Psilocybin Response in Healthy Volunteers

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    Responses to hallucinogenic drugs, such as psilocybin, are believed to be critically dependent on the user's personality, current mood state, drug pre-experiences, expectancies, and social and environmental variables. However, little is known about the order of importance of these variables and their effect sizes in comparison to drug dose. Hence, this study investigated the effects of 24 predictor variables, including age, sex, education, personality traits, drug pre-experience, mental state before drug intake, experimental setting, and drug dose on the acute response to psilocybin. The analysis was based on the pooled data of 23 controlled experimental studies involving 409 psilocybin administrations to 261 healthy volunteers. Multiple linear mixed effects models were fitted for each of 15 response variables. Although drug dose was clearly the most important predictor for all measured response variables, several non-pharmacological variables significantly contributed to the effects of psilocybin. Specifically, having a high score in the personality trait of Absorption, being in an emotionally excitable and active state immediately before drug intake, and having experienced few psychological problems in past weeks were most strongly associated with pleasant and mystical-type experiences, whereas high Emotional Excitability, low age, and an experimental setting involving positron emission tomography most strongly predicted unpleasant and/or anxious reactions to psilocybin. The results confirm that non-pharmacological variables play an important role in the effects of psilocybin
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