3,803 research outputs found

    An assessment of Malaysian wooden furniture manufacturers’ readiness to embrace chain of custody (COC) certification

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    Although Malaysia is a major producer and exporter of wood products in the world, the status of wood products certification in the industry is relatively unknown. Therefore, a study was carried out to assess the status of chain of custody certification among wooden furniture manufacturers using a structured questionnaire to interview firms who had participated at the annual Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF). Results collated indicate that the readiness to adopt chain of custody certification among wooden furniture manufacturers was low. The lack of price premiums, limited market potential and high cost was cited as the primary reasons deterring furniture manufacturers from adopting chain of custody certification. Furthermore, the use of plantation wood resources, such as Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis), perceived to be certified wood resources, reflects the lack of understanding among the manufacturers. This study shows that an increasing adoption of chain of custody certification among wooden furniture manufacturers in Malaysia can be realized in the market organisation, especially with regards to price premiums and market requirements

    Success Factors of Rubberwood as a Furniture Stock in South East Asia

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    The study evaluated the consumer perceptions towards Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) as a premier furniture material. The data for this study was collected from a questionnaire survey, completed by 250 buyers who attended the international furniture fairs in Malaysia. Correlation analysis showed that the success factors of Rubberwood as a furniture stock are primarily its low cost and ample availability. According to 82% of the respondents, the three major advantages of Rubberwood as a furniture stock in comparison to other furniture wood species are its lower cost, environmental friendliness and workability. Inadvertently, Rubberwood furniture is also plagued by the perception of being low-cost

    Chain of Custody certification among Malaysian wooden furniture manufacturers: status and challenges

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    Malaysia, a major producer and exporter of wood products has been slow to embrace wood products certifi cation. A study was carried out with the intention of assessing the status of chain of custody certifi cation among wooden furniture manufacturers. A structured questionnaire was used to interview fi rms who participated at the annual Malaysian International Furniture Fair in 2007. Results indicate that the readiness to adopt chain of custody certifi cation among wooden furniture manufacturers was low. The lack of price premiums, limited market potential and high cost were cited as the primary reasons deterring furniture manufacturers from adopting chain of custody certifi cation. Furthermore, the use of plantation wood resources, such as Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis Müll. Arg.), were perceived by many respondents to be certifi ed wood resources, refl ecting a lack of understanding among manufacturers. It was concluded that the promotion of chain of custody certifi cation in Malaysia must focus on increasing awareness as well as highlighting the tangible and intangible benefi ts to be gained from such a scheme

    Acupuncture for chronic neck pain: a pilot for a randomised controlled trial

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    Background: Acupuncture is increasingly being used for many conditions including chronic neck pain. However the evidence remains inconclusive, indicating the need for further well-designed research. The aim of this study was to conduct a pilot randomised controlled parallel arm trial, to establish key features required for the design and implementation of a large-scale trial on acupuncture for chronic neck pain. Methods: Patients whose GPs had diagnosed neck pain were recruited from one general practice, and randomised to receive usual GP care only, or acupuncture ( up to 10 treatments over 3 months) as an adjunctive treatment to usual GP care. The primary outcome measure was the Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire (NPQ) at 3 months. The primary analysis was to determine the sample size for the full scale study. Results: Of the 227 patients with neck pain identified from the GP database, 28 (12.3%) consenting patients were eligible to participate in the pilot and 24 (10.5%) were recruited to the trial. Ten patients were randomised to acupuncture, receiving an average of eight treatments from one of four acupuncturists, and 14 were randomised to usual GP care alone. The sample size for the full scale trial was calculated from a clinically meaningful difference of 5% on the NPQ and, from this pilot, an adjusted standard deviation of 15.3%. Assuming 90% power at the 5% significance level, a sample size of 229 would be required in each arm in a large-scale trial when allowing for a loss to follow-up rate of 14%. In order to achieve this sample, one would need to identify patients from databases of GP practices with a total population of 230,000 patients, or approximately 15 GP practices roughly equal in size to the one involved in this study (i.e. 15,694 patients). Conclusion: This pilot study has allowed a number of recommendations to be made to facilitate the design of a large-scale trial, which in turn will help to clarify the existing evidence base on acupuncture for neck pain

    Follow the Rain? Environmental Drivers of Tyrannus Migration across the New World

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    Predictable seasonal changes in resources are thought to drive the timing of annual animal migrations; however, we currently understand little about which environmental cues or resources are tracked by different migratory bird species across the planet. Understanding which environmental cues or resources birds track in multiple migratory systems is a prerequisite to developing generalizable conservation plans for migratory birds in a changing global environment. Within the New World, climatic differences experienced by Nearctic–Neotropical migratory (NNM; i.e. breed in North America and spend the nonbreeding period in the Neotropics) and Neotropical austral migratory (NAM; i.e. breed and spend the nonbreeding period wholly within South America) bird species suggest that their migratory strategies may be shaped by unique selective pressures. We used data gathered from individuals fitted with light-level geolocators to build species distribution models (SDMs) to test which environmental factors drive the migratory strategies of species in each system. To do so, we evaluated whether temperature, precipitation, and primary productivity (NDVI) were related to the seasonal distributions of an NNM (Eastern Kingbird [Tyrannus tyrannus]) and NAM species (Fork-tailed Flycatcher [T. savana]). Both Eastern Kingbird and Fork-tailed Flycatcher locations were positively correlated with high precipitation during their nonbreeding seasons. Eastern Kingbird locations were positively correlated with both NDVI and temperature during their breeding season and both pre- and post-breeding migrations. Fork-tailed Flycatcher locations were positively correlated with both temperature and precipitation during both migrations, but only temperature during the breeding season. The value of extending the application of geolocator data, such as in SDMs, is underscored by the finding that precipitation was such an important predictor of the nonbreeding distributions of both types of migrants, as it remains unclear how global climate change will affect wet–dry cycles in the tropics

    Design, Implementation and First Measurements with the Medipix Neutron Camera in CMS

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    The Medipix detector is the first device dedicated to measuring mixed-field radiation in the CMS cavern and able to distinguish between different particle types. Medipix2-MXR chips bump bonded to silicon sensors with various neutron conversion layers developed by the IEAP CTU in Prague were successfully installed for the 2008 LHC start-up in the CMS experimental and services caverns to measure the flux of various particle types, in particular neutrons. They have operated almost continuously during the 2010 run period, and the results shown here are from the proton run between the beginning of July and the end of October 2010. Clear signals are seen and different particle types have been observed during regular LHC luminosity running, and an agreement in the measured flux rate is found with the simulations. These initial results are promising, and indicate that these devices have the potential for further and future LHC and high energy physics applications as radiation monitoring devices for mixed field environments, including neutron flux monitoring. Further extensions are foreseen in the near future to increase the performance of the detector and its coverage for monitoring in CMS.Comment: 15 pages, 16 figures, submitted to JINS

    Asbestos modulates thioredoxin-thioredoxin interacting protein interaction to regulate inflammasome activation

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    BACKGROUND: Asbestos exposure is related to various diseases including asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma (MM). Among the pathogenic mechanisms proposed by which asbestos can cause diseases involving epithelial and mesothelial cells, the most widely accepted one is the generation of reactive oxygen species and/or depletion of antioxidants like glutathione. It has also been demonstrated that asbestos can induce inflammation, perhaps due to activation of inflammasomes. METHODS: The oxidation state of thioredoxin was analyzed by redox Western blot analysis and ROS generation was assessed spectrophotometrically as a read-out of solubilized formazan produced by the reduction of nitrotetrazolium blue (NTB) by superoxide. Quantitative real time PCR was used to assess changes in gene transcription. RESULTS: Here we demonstrate that crocidolite asbestos fibers oxidize the pool of the antioxidant, Thioredoxin-1 (Trx1), which results in release of Thioredoxin Interacting Protein (TXNIP) and subsequent activation of inflammasomes in human mesothelial cells. Exposure to crocidolite asbestos resulted in the depletion of reduced Trx1 in human peritoneal mesothelial (LP9/hTERT) cells. Pretreatment with the antioxidant dehydroascorbic acid (a reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger) reduced the level of crocidolite asbestos-induced Trx1 oxidation as well as the depletion of reduced Trx1. Increasing Trx1 expression levels using a Trx1 over-expression vector, reduced the extent of Trx1 oxidation and generation of ROS by crocidolite asbestos, and increased cell survival. In addition, knockdown of TXNIP expression by siRNA attenuated crocidolite asbestos-induced activation of the inflammasome. CONCLUSION: Our novel findings suggest that extensive Trx1 oxidation and TXNIP dissociation may be one of the mechanisms by which crocidolite asbestos activates the inflammasome and helps in development of MM

    The enlargement of the Suez Canal and introduction of non-indigenous species to the Mediterranean Sea

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    The Suez Canal is one of the most important waterways in the world – during the last year 17,148 ships passed through the Canal – reducing emissions, saving time, and operating costs to shippers. The rapid increase in ship size from the “Post-Suezmax” (> 12,000 TEU) to the latest container vessels (> 19,000 TEU) now requires enlargements of port facilities and canals. A project of this magnitude, and with potentially negative environmental outcomes, requires a transparent and scientifically sound “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA). An explicit obligation on Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (https://www.cbd.int/doc/ legal/cbd-en.pdf) was made to consider transboundary impacts on biodiversity, particularly those associated with invasive non-indigenous species

    On the length of chains of proper subgroups covering a topological group

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    We prove that if an ultrafilter L is not coherent to a Q-point, then each analytic non-sigma-bounded topological group G admits an increasing chain <G_a : a of its proper subgroups such that: (i) U_{a in b(L)} G_a=G; and (ii)(ii) For every sigma-bounded subgroup H of G there exists a such that H is a subset of G_a. In case of the group Sym(w) of all permutations of w with the topology inherited from w^w this improves upon earlier results of S. Thomas
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