2,237 research outputs found

    Interaction of Lamb Waves with Defects in a Semi-Infinite Plate

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    Many airplanes, both military and commercial, have exceeded their original design service lives. For such aging structures, the presence of hidden damage can severely limit their performance. It is important to monitor the progress of damage to ensure the safety and integrality of these structures. Typical damage can be several types of corrosion and fatigue cracking. Lap-joints trap moisture and air and are initiation sites for corrosion. These sites are potential locations for wide spread fatigue damage. Generally, corrosion can cause material loss and thickness reduction, which can be detected by non-destructive ultrasonic methods. Conventional methods require point-by-point inspection, which is a time-consuming process. Guided waves, which direct wave energy in the plate, carry information about the material in their path and offer a possible more efficient tool for non-destructive inspection of material loss or thickness reduction. Using a pitch-catch technique, in which one transducer sends a guided wave in a plate structure and a second transducer picks up the signal at a different position, guided waves can be launched and detected to inspect plate-like structures, line by line, thus increasing the inspection efficiency by an order of magnitude. Also, when guided waves pass through a region with material loss, some energy would be reflected back. By studying the characteristics of the reflected waves, information about material loss can be obtained

    Winter wheat roots grow twice as deep as spring wheat roots, is this important for N uptake and N leaching losses?

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    Cropping systems comprising winter catch crops followed by spring wheat could reduce N leaching risks compared to traditional winter wheat systems in humid climates. We studied the soil mineral N (Ninorg) and root growth of winter- and spring wheat to 2.5 m depth during three years. Root depth of winter wheat (2.2 m) was twice that of spring wheat, and this was related to much lower amounts of Ninorg in the 1 to 2.5 m layer after winter wheat (81 kg Ninorg ha-1 less). When growing winter catch crops before spring wheat, N content in the 1 to 2.5 m layer after spring wheat was not different from that after winter wheat. The results suggest that by virtue of its deep rooting, winter wheat may not lead to high levels of leaching as it is often assumed in humid climates. Deep soil and root measurements (below 1 m) in this experiment were essential to answer the questions we posed

    Structural colour from helicoidal cell-wall architecture in fruits of Margaritaria nobilis

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    The bright and intense blue-green coloration of the fruits of Margaritaria nobilis (Phyllanthaceae) was investigated using polarization-resolved spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Optical measurements of freshly collected fruits revealed a strong circularly polarized reflection of the fruit that originates from a cellulose helicoidal cell wall structure in the pericarp cells. Hyperspectral microscopy was used to capture the iridescent effect at the single-cell level.This work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust (F/09- 741/G) and a BBSRC David Phillips fellowship (BB/K014617/1). P.V. acknowledges support from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research under award number FA9550-10-1-0020. U.S. acknowledges support from the Adolphe Merkle foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation through the National Centre of Competence in Research Bio-Inspired Materials

    Is metal theft committed by organized crime groups, and why does it matter?

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    Using the example of metal theft in the United Kingdom, this study used mixed methods to evaluate the accuracy of police estimates of the involvement of organised crime groups (OCGs) in crime. Police estimate that 20-30% of metal theft is committed by OCGs, but this study found that only 0.5% of metal thieves had previous convictions for offences related to OCGs, that only 1.3% were linked to OCGs by intelligence information, that metal thieves typically offended close to their homes and that almost no metal thefts involved sophisticated offence methods. It appears that police may over-estimate the involvement of OCGs in some types of crime. The reasons for and consequences of this over-estimation are discussed

    Renal Cell Carcinoma Perfusion before and after Radiofrequency Ablation Measured with Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI: A Pilot Study

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    Aim: To investigate if the early treatment effects of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) on renal cell carcinoma (RCC) can be detected with dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE)-MRI and to correlate RCC perfusion with RFA treatment time. Materials and methods: 20 patients undergoing RFA of their 21 RCCs were evaluated with DCE-MRI before and at one month after RFA treatment. Perfusion was estimated using the maximum slope technique at two independent sittings. Total RCC blood flow was correlated with total RFA treatment time, tumour location, size and histology. Results: DCE-MRI examinations were successfully evaluated for 21 RCCs (size from 1.3 to 4 cm). Perfusion of the RCCs decreased significantly (p < 0.0001) from a mean of 203 (±80) mL/min/100 mL before RFA to 8.1 (±3.1) mL/min/100 mL after RFA with low intra-observer variability (r ≥ 0.99, p < 0.0001). There was an excellent correlation (r = 0.95) between time to complete ablation and pre-treatment total RCC blood flow. Tumours with an exophytic location exhibit the lowest mean RFA treatment time. Conclusion: DCE-MRI can detect early treatment effects by measuring RCC perfusion before and after RFA. Perfusion significantly decreases in the zone of ablation, suggesting that it may be useful for the assessment of treatment efficacy. Pre-RFA RCC blood flow may be used to predict RFA treatment time

    A DNA-based method for studying root responses to drought in field-grown wheat genotypes

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    Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to drought in controlled environment and field trials. To allow comparison of soil DNA concentrations from different wheat genotypes, we also developed a procedure for correcting genotypic differences in the copy number of the target DNA sequence. The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.Chun Y. Huang, Haydn Kuchel, James Edwards, Sharla Hall, Boris Parent, Paul Eckermann, Herdina, Diana M. Hartley, Peter Langridge & Alan C. McKa

    Deletion of parasite immune modulatory sequences combined with immune activating signals enhances vaccine mediated protection against filarial nematodes

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    &lt;p&gt;Background: Filarial nematodes are tissue-dwelling parasites that can be killed by Th2-driven immune effectors, but that have evolved to withstand immune attack and establish chronic infections by suppressing host immunity. As a consequence, the efficacy of a vaccine against filariasis may depend on its capacity to counter parasite-driven immunomodulation.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Methodology and Principal Findings: We immunised mice with DNA plasmids expressing functionally-inactivated forms of two immunomodulatory molecules expressed by the filarial parasite Litomosoides sigmodontis: the abundant larval transcript-1 (LsALT) and cysteine protease inhibitor-2 (LsCPI). The mutant proteins enhanced antibody and cytokine responses to live parasite challenge, and led to more leukocyte recruitment to the site of infection than their native forms. The immune response was further enhanced when the antigens were targeted to dendritic cells using a single chain Fv-αDEC205 antibody and co-administered with plasmids that enhance T helper 2 immunity (IL-4) and antigen-presenting cell recruitment (Flt3L, MIP-1α). Mice immunised simultaneously against the mutated forms of LsALT and LsCPI eliminated adult parasites faster and consistently reduced peripheral microfilaraemia. A multifactorial analysis of the immune response revealed that protection was strongly correlated with the production of parasite-specific IgG1 and with the numbers of leukocytes present at the site of infection.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Conclusions: We have developed a successful strategy for DNA vaccination against a nematode infection that specifically targets parasite-driven immunosuppression while simultaneously enhancing Th2 immune responses and parasite antigen presentation by dendritic cells.&lt;/p&gt

    New horizons for plant translational research

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    In this issue, we launch a new article collection "The Promise of Plant Translational Research," featuring articles from leading plant researchers and call for additional plant translational research to be submitted to PLOS Biology for inclusion in this collection. We also discuss in this Editorial why this field has a vital role to play in meeting the challenges of sustainably feeding a growing world population

    High energy emission from microquasars

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    The microquasar phenomenon is associated with the production of jets by X-ray binaries and, as such, may be associated with the majority of such systems. In this chapter we briefly outline the associations, definite, probable, possible, and speculative, between such jets and X-ray, gamma-ray and particle emission.Comment: Contributing chapter to the book Cosmic Gamma-Ray Sources, K.S. Cheng and G.E. Romero (eds.), to be published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2004. (19 pages
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