56,645 research outputs found

    The development of the Kent coalfield 1896-1946

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    One of the unique features of the Kent Coalfield is that it is entirely concealed by newer rocks. The existence of a coalfield under southern England, being a direct link between those of South Wales, Somerset and Bristol in the west and the Ruhr, Belgium. and northern France in the east, was predicted by the geologist R. A. C. Godwin-Austen as early as 1856. It was, however, only the rapid increase in demand for Britain's coal in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that made it worth considering testing this hypothesis. The first boring was made in the years 1886-90, and although it discovered coal, this did not in itself prove the existence of a viable coalfield. This could be done only by incurring the heavy cost of boring systematically over a wide area. As the financial returns from such an undertaking were uncertain, it was not surprising that in the early years, around the turn of the century, a dominant role was played by speculators, who were able to induce numerous small investors to risk some of their savings in the expectation of high profits. As minerals in Britain were privately owned, the early pioneer companies not only had to meet the cost of the exploratory borines, but also, if they were not to see the benefit of their work accrue to others, lease beforehand the right to mine coal from local landowners in as much of the surrounding area as possible. This policy was pursued most vigorously by Arthur Burr, a Surrey land specula tor, who raised capital by creating the Kent Coal Conoessions Ltd. and then floating a series of companies allied to it. Burr's enterprise would probably have been. successful had it not been for the water problems encountered at depth in -v- the coalfield. As a result, the Concessions group found itself in control of most of the coalfield, but without the necessary capital to sink and adequately equip its 01ffi collieries. By 1910, however, the discovery of iron ore deposits in east Kent, coupled with the fact that Kent coal was excellent for coking purposes, began to attract the large steel firms of Bolckow, Vaughan Ltd. and Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd. in to the area. The First World War intervened, however, to delay their plans, and to provide an extended lease of life to the Concessions group, which, by the summer of 1914, was facing financial collapse. By the time Dorman, Lone & Co, in alliance with Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray), had acquired control over the greater part of the coalfield from the Concessions group, not only was the country's coal industry declining, but so was its steel industry, which suffered an even more severe rate of contraction during the inter-war years. As a result, Pearson and Dorman Long Ltd. was forced to concentrate just on coal production, and this in turn was hampered not only by the water problems, but also by labour shortages and the schemes introduced by the government in 1930 to restrict the country's coal output, in an attempt to maintain prices and revenue in the industry. Nevertheless, production did show a substantial increase between 1927 and 1935, after which it declined as miners left the coalfield to return to their former districts, where employment opportunities were improving in the late thirties. Supporting roles were played in the inter-war years by Richard Tilden Smith, a share underwriter turned industrialist with long standing interests in the coalfield, who acquired one of the Concessions group's two collieries, and by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd., which through subsidiary companies, took over the only colliery to be developed by a pioneer company outside the Concessions group. The impossibility of Kent coal, because of its nature, ever gaining more than token access to the more lucrative household market, and then the failure of the local steel industry to materialise meant that the -vi- companies had to develop alternative outlets for their growing outputs. Although nearness to industrial markets in the south-east of England did confer certain advantages were poor consolation for the hoped for developments of either the early pioneers or the later industrialists. Instead of the expected profits, the companies mostly incurred losses, and only the company acquired by Powell Duffryn ever paid a dividend to its shareholders in the years before nationalisation. From the point of view of the Kent miners, the shortage of labour in the coalfield, particularly in the years 1914-20 and 1927-35, was to an important extent responsible for their being amongst the highest paid in the industry. At the same time the more favourable employment opportunities prevailing in Kent compared with other mining districts enabled the Kent Nine Workers Association to develop into a well organised union, which on the whole was able to look after the interests of its members fairly successfully. Throughout the period 1896 to 1946 the Kent Coalfield existed very much at the margin of the British coal industry. Its failure to develop substantially along the lines envisaged by either the early pioneers or by the later industrialists meant that its importance in national terms always remained small

    Iam hiQ—a novel pair of accuracy indices for imputed genotypes

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    Background Imputation of untyped markers is a standard tool in genome-wide association studies to close the gap between directly genotyped and other known DNA variants. However, high accuracy with which genotypes are imputed is fundamental. Several accuracy measures have been proposed and some are implemented in imputation software, unfortunately diversely across platforms. In the present paper, we introduce Iam hiQ, an independent pair of accuracy measures that can be applied to dosage files, the output of all imputation software. Iam (imputation accuracy measure) quantifies the average amount of individual-specific versus population-specific genotype information in a linear manner. hiQ (heterogeneity in quantities of dosages) addresses the inter-individual heterogeneity between dosages of a marker across the sample at hand. Results Applying both measures to a large case–control sample of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), comprising 27,065 individuals, we found meaningful thresholds for Iam and hiQ suitable to classify markers of poor accuracy. We demonstrate how Manhattan-like plots and moving averages of Iam and hiQ can be useful to identify regions enriched with less accurate imputed markers, whereas these regions would by missed when applying the accuracy measure info (implemented in IMPUTE2). Conclusion We recommend using Iam hiQ additional to other accuracy scores for variant filtering before stepping into the analysis of imputed GWAS data

    Incentivising research data sharing : a scoping review

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    Background: Numerous mechanisms exist to incentivise researchers to share their data. This scoping review aims to identify and summarise evidence of the efficacy of different interventions to promote open data practices and provide an overview of current research. Methods: This scoping review is based on data identified from Web of Science and LISTA, limited from 2016 to 2021. A total of 1128 papers were screened, with 38 items being included. Items were selected if they focused on designing or evaluating an intervention or presenting an initiative to incentivise sharing. Items comprised a mixture of research papers, opinion pieces and descriptive articles. Results: Seven major themes in the literature were identified: publisher/journal data sharing policies, metrics, software solutions, research data sharing agreements in general, open science ‘badges’, funder mandates, and initiatives. Conclusions: A number of key messages for data sharing include: the need to build on existing cultures and practices, meeting people where they are and tailoring interventions to support them; the importance of publicising and explaining the policy/service widely; the need to have disciplinary data champions to model good practice and drive cultural change; the requirement to resource interventions properly; and the imperative to provide robust technical infrastructure and protocols, such as labelling of data sets, use of DOIs, data standards and use of data repositories

    Epigenetics : a catalyst of plant immunity against pathogens

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    The plant immune system protects against pests and diseases. The recognition of stress-related molecular patterns triggers localised immune responses, which are often followed by longer-lasting systemic priming and/or up-regulation of defences. In some cases, this induced resistance (IR) can be transmitted to following generations. Such transgenerational IR is gradually reversed in the absence of stress at a rate that is proportional to the severity of disease experienced in previous generations. This review outlines the mechanisms by which epigenetic responses to pathogen infection shape the plant immune system across expanding time scales. We review the cis- and trans-acting mechanisms by which stress-inducible epigenetic changes at transposable elements (TEs) regulate genome-wide defence gene expression and draw particular attention to one regulatory model that is supported by recent evidence about the function of AGO1 and H2A.Z in transcriptional control of defence genes. Additionally, we explore how stress-induced mobilisation of epigenetically controlled TEs acts as a catalyst of Darwinian evolution by generating (epi)genetic diversity at environmentally responsive genes. This raises questions about the long-term evolutionary consequences of stress-induced diversification of the plant immune system in relation to the long-held dichotomy between Darwinian and Lamarckian evolution

    Sensitivity adjustable biosensor based on graphene oxide coated excessively tilted fiber grating

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    Biosensors play a significant role in biomedical, clinical and disease diagnosis areas. Here, we proposed Langmuir adsorption model to explain sensing mechanism of biosensor based on excessively tilted fiber grating (Ex-TFG) functionalized with graphene oxide (GO). Due to GO containing plenty of six-membered rings and oxygen-containing groups, the biomolecules can be easily adsorbed through π-π interaction and hydrogen bond. The whole interaction process obeys the Langmuir adsorption model in which there always an equilibrium during detecting process, inducing the sensor with adjustable bio-sensitivity and detection range. Three biosensors based on Ex-TFG coated with three different amount of GO were investigated for hemoglobin (Hb) detection experiment, showing pronounced bio-interaction induced resonance shifts. The experiment results indicate that GO coating could enhance the surface biological activity of Ex-TFG, making the Ex-TFG sensitive to the Hb biomolecule solutions. The three GO coated Ex-TFG sensors have the bio-sensitivity of 3.83 nm/(mg/ml), 4.33 nm/(mg/ml), and 8.21 nm/(mg/ml), and the detection range of 0.8 mg/ml, 0.6 mg/ml and 0.4 mg/ml, respectively, which are in good agreement with the prediction from the Langmuir adsorption model. By controlling the amount of the bio-functionalized materials, the bio-sensitivity and detection range of the Ex-TFG based biosensors can be easily adjusted

    Sistema modular de lanzamiento y recuperación, con gestión de correa y jaula flotante, para vehículos operados remotamente (ROV)

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    Los vehículos operados remotamente (ROV) permiten la toma de información y muestras a grandes profundidades. Los datos recolectados sirven para prevenir, informar y controlar las actividades pesqueras o de extracción de hidrocarburos que afectan la diversidad marina. Por ello, se requiere de un sistema o grúa de operación que realice la tarea de lanzamiento y extracción del ROV desde la embarcación hasta la superficie marina y viceversa. Este sistema se denomina LARS (Launch and Recovery System) el cual despliega al ROV hasta la superficie marina; adicionalmente, el uso de un sistema que controle el suministro uniforme de cable de alimentación y comunicación, el cual es conocido como TMS (Tether Management System). Por lo tanto, si bien el ROV recolecta la información, se requiere de un equipo tecnológico especializado y accesible dentro del mercado nacional, el cual se diseña en este trabajo bajo los criterios y parámetros del proyecto de investigación PNIPA-PES-SIADE-PP-000170. En el presente documento se desarrolla el diseño de ingeniería de todo el sistema de lanzamiento y recuperación, con gestión de correa y jaula flotante, para vehículos operados remotamente (ROV), siendo dividido en 5 subsistemas los cuales son: subsistema de lanzamiento y recuperación del ROV (LRR), subsistema de winche con gestión de correa (WGC), subsistema de jaula flotante (JF), subsistema de comunicación e interfaz de control (CIC) y subsistema de suministro de energía (SE). Teniendo finalmente un sistema modular que despliega al ROV desde una embarcación hasta la superficie marina mediante la jaula flotante, la cual es trasladada por la grúa pluma, soportando una carga máxima de 250 kg. Una vez el ROV se sumerge, se procede a la entrega de cable de alimentación y comunicación mediante el winche con gestión de correa, el cual según el modo de operación manual o automático facilitará el descenso del vehículo hasta los 1000 m de profundidad. Todos estos procedimientos serán monitoreados y controlados desde la interfaz de control. Finalmente, se tiene un sistema especializado con un costo total de S/67015,94

    Exploring the effects of spinal cord stimulation for freezing of gait in parkinsonian patients

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    Dopaminergic replacement therapies (e.g. levodopa) provide limited to no response for axial motor symptoms including gait dysfunction and freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Richardson’s syndrome progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP-RS) patients. Dopaminergic-resistant FOG may be a sensorimotor processing issue that does not involve basal ganglia (nigrostriatal) impairment. Recent studies suggest that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has positive yet variable effects for dopaminergic-resistant gait and FOG in parkinsonian patients. Further studies investigating the mechanism of SCS, optimal stimulation parameters, and longevity of effects for alleviating FOG are warranted. The hypothesis of the research described in this thesis is that mid-thoracic, dorsal SCS effectively reduces FOG by modulating the sensory processing system in gait and may have a dopaminergic effect in individuals with FOG. The primary objective was to understand the relationship between FOG reduction, improvements in upper limb visual-motor performance, modulation of cortical activity and striatal dopaminergic innervation in 7 PD participants. FOG reduction was associated with changes in upper limb reaction time, speed and accuracy measured using robotic target reaching choice tasks. Modulation of resting-state, sensorimotor cortical activity, recorded using electroencephalography, was significantly associated with FOG reduction while participants were OFF-levodopa. Thus, SCS may alleviate FOG by modulating cortical activity associated with motor planning and sensory perception. Changes to striatal dopaminergic innervation, measured using a dopamine transporter marker, were associated with visual-motor performance improvements. Axial and appendicular motor features may be mediated by non-dopaminergic and dopaminergic pathways, respectively. The secondary objective was to demonstrate the short- and long-term effects of SCS for alleviating dopaminergic-resistant FOG and gait dysfunction in 5 PD and 3 PSP-RS participants without back/leg pain. SCS programming was individualized based on which setting best improved gait and/or FOG responses per participant using objective gait analysis. Significant improvements in stride velocity, step length and reduced FOG frequency were observed in all PD participants with up to 3-years of SCS. Similar gait and FOG improvements were observed in all PSP-RS participants up to 6-months. SCS is a promising therapeutic option for parkinsonian patients with FOG by possibly influencing cortical and subcortical structures involved in locomotion physiology

    Network Slicing for Industrial IoT and Industrial Wireless Sensor Network: Deep Federated Learning Approach and Its Implementation Challenges

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    5G networks are envisioned to support heterogeneous Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Industrial Wireless Sensor Network (IWSN) applications with a multitude Quality of Service (QoS) requirements. Network slicing is being recognized as a beacon technology that enables multi-service IIoT networks. Motivated by the growing computational capacity of the IIoT and the challenges of meeting QoS, federated reinforcement learning (RL) has become a propitious technique that gives out data collection and computation tasks to distributed network agents. This chapter discuss the new federated learning paradigm and then proposes a Deep Federated RL (DFRL) scheme to provide a federated network resource management for future IIoT networks. Toward this goal, the DFRL learns from Multi-Agent local models and provides them the ability to find optimal action decisions on LoRa parameters that satisfy QoS to IIoT virtual slice. Simulation results prove the effectiveness of the proposed framework compared to the early tools
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