34,556 research outputs found

    Lagrange multipliers for evolution problems with constraints on the derivatives

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    We prove the existence of generalized Lagrange multipliers for a class of evolution problems for linear differential operators of different types subject to constraints on the derivatives. Those Lagrange multipliers and the respective solutions are stable for the vanishing of the coercive parameter and are naturally associated with evolution variational inequalities with time-dependent convex sets of gradient type. We apply these results to the sandpile problem, to superconductivity problems, to flows of thick fluids, to problems with the biharmonic operator, and to first order vector fields of subelliptic type.The research of A. Azevedo and L. Santos was partially supported by the Research Centre of Mathematics of the University of Minho with the Portuguese Funds from the “Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia,” through the Project UID/MAT/00013/2013, and the one by J. F. Rodrigues was done partially in the framework of the Project PTDC/MAT-PUR/28686/2017

    The place where curses are manufactured : four poets of the Vietnam War

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    The Vietnam War was unique among American wars. To pinpoint its uniqueness, it was necessary to look for a non-American voice that would enable me to articulate its distinctiveness and explore the American character as observed by an Asian. Takeshi Kaiko proved to be most helpful. From his novel, Into a Black Sun, I was able to establish a working pair of 'bookends' from which to approach the poetry of Walter McDonald, Bruce Weigl, Basil T. Paquet and Steve Mason. Chapter One is devoted to those seemingly mismatched 'bookends,' Walt Whitman and General William C. Westmoreland, and their respective anthropocentric and technocentric visions of progress and the peculiarly American concept of the "open road" as they manifest themselves in Vietnam. In Chapter, Two, I analyze the war poems of Walter McDonald. As a pilot, writing primarily about flying, his poetry manifests General Westmoreland's technocentric vision of the 'road' as determined by and manifest through technology. Chapter Three focuses on the poems of Bruce Weigl. The poems analyzed portray the literal and metaphorical descent from the technocentric, 'numbed' distance of aerial warfare to the world of ground warfare, and the initiation of a 'fucking new guy,' who discovers the contours of the self's interior through a set of experiences that lead from from aerial insertion into the jungle to the degradation of burning human feces. Chapter Four, devoted to the thirteen poems of Basil T. Paquet, focuses on the continuation of the descent begun in Chapter Two. In his capacity as a medic, Paquet's entire body of poems details his quotidian tasks which entail tending the maimed, the mortally wounded and the dead. The final chapter deals with Steve Mason's JohnnY's Song, and his depiction of the plight of Vietnam veterans back in "The World" who are still trapped inside the interior landscape of their individual "ghettoes" of the soul created by their war-time experiences

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

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    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Potentials of Essential Oils

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    It is a common perspective that medicinal plants have played and continue to perform an undeniably major role in the lives of people worldwide. Essential oils are the key constituents of medicinal herbs and their biological activities have been discovered since ancient times and are enormously utilised in multiple industries. The essential oils possess important biological properties like antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, insecticidal, etc. Because of these unique features they are more acceptable and are utilised in various fields throughout the world. In the cosmetics industry they play an important role in the development of perfumes while in the food industry they have been used as food preservatives. Essential oil components are interestingly utilised for pharmaceutical applications. The most investigated properties are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, wound-healing, anxiolytic activities etc. The current thrust area is evaluation for aromatherapy and anti-cancer, as it is noted that essential oils reported in plants may prevent, inhibit, or even reverse formation of cancerous cells. The aim of this chapter is to provide a concise and comprehensive overview on the therapeutic and pharmaceutical potential of essential oils in the current scenario

    A Microfluidic Device as a Drug Carrier

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    The development of nanomedicine or medical nanotechnology, has brought important new ways to the development of medicines and biotechnology products. As a result of groundbreaking discoveries in the use of nanoscale materials significant commercialization initiatives have been launched and are at the forefront of the rapidly expanding field of nanotechnology by using smart particles. Microfluidic technologies use nano-and micro-scale manufacturing technologies to develop controlled and reproducible liquid microenvironments. Lead compounds with controlled physicochemical properties can be obtained using microfluidics, characterized by high productivity, and evaluated by biomimetic methods. Microfluidics, for example, can not only produce nanoparticles in a well-controlled, reproducible, and high-throughput manner, but it can also continuously create three-dimensional environments to mimic physiological and/or pathological processes. Materials with smart properties can be manipulated to respond in a controllable and reversible way, modifying some of their properties as a result of external stimuli such as mechanical stress or a certain temperature. All in all, microfluidic technology offers a potential platform for the rapid synthesis of various novel drug delivery systems. Therefore, these smart particles are equally necessary as the drug in drug delivery

    Structure and adsorption properties of gas-ionic liquid interfaces

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    Supported ionic liquids are a diverse class of materials that have been considered as a promising approach to design new surface properties within solids for gas adsorption and separation applications. In these materials, the surface morphology and composition of a porous solid are modified by depositing ionic liquid. The resulting materials exhibit a unique combination of structural and gas adsorption properties arising from both components, the support, and the liquid. Naturally, theoretical and experimental studies devoted to understanding the underlying principles of exhibited interfacial properties have been an intense area of research. However, a complete understanding of the interplay between interfacial gas-liquid and liquid-solid interactions as well as molecular details of these processes remains elusive. The proposed problem is challenging and in this thesis, it is approached from two different perspectives applying computational and experimental techniques. In particular, molecular dynamics simulations are used to model gas adsorption in films of ionic liquids on a molecular level. A detailed description of the modeled systems is possible if the interfacial and bulk properties of ionic liquid films are separated. In this study, we use a unique method that recognizes the interfacial and bulk structures of ionic liquids and distinguishes gas adsorption from gas solubility. By combining classical nitrogen sorption experiments with a mean-field theory, we study how liquid-solid interactions influence the adsorption of ionic liquids on the surface of the porous support. The developed approach was applied to a range of ionic liquids that feature different interaction behavior with gas and porous support. Using molecular simulations with interfacial analysis, it was discovered that gas adsorption capacity can be directly related to gas solubility data, allowing the development of a predictive model for the gas adsorption performance of ionic liquid films. Furthermore, it was found that this CO2 adsorption on the surface of ionic liquid films is determined by the specific arrangement of cations and anions on the surface. A particularly important result is that, for the first time, a quantitative relation between these structural and adsorption properties of different ionic liquid films has been established. This link between two types of properties determines design principles for supported ionic liquids. However, the proposed predictive model and design principles rely on the assumption that the ionic liquid is uniformly distributed on the surface of the porous support. To test how ionic liquids behave under confinement, nitrogen physisorption experiments were conducted for micro‐ and mesopore analysis of supported ionic liquid materials. In conjunction with mean-field density functional theory applied to the lattice gas and pore models, we revealed different scenarios for the pore-filling mechanism depending on the strength of the liquid-solid interactions. In this thesis, a combination of computational and experimental studies provides a framework for the characterization of complex interfacial gas-liquid and liquid-solid processes. It is shown that interfacial analysis is a powerful tool for studying molecular-level interactions between different phases. Finally, nitrogen sorption experiments were effectively used to obtain information on the structure of supported ionic liquids

    How to Be a God

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    When it comes to questions concerning the nature of Reality, Philosophers and Theologians have the answers. Philosophers have the answers that can’t be proven right. Theologians have the answers that can’t be proven wrong. Today’s designers of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games create realities for a living. They can’t spend centuries mulling over the issues: they have to face them head-on. Their practical experiences can indicate which theoretical proposals actually work in practice. That’s today’s designers. Tomorrow’s will have a whole new set of questions to answer. The designers of virtual worlds are the literal gods of those realities. Suppose Artificial Intelligence comes through and allows us to create non-player characters as smart as us. What are our responsibilities as gods? How should we, as gods, conduct ourselves? How should we be gods

    Uso de las histonas circulantes y sus modificaciones post-traduccionales como biomarcadores en sepsis y shock séptico

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    La sepsis es una afección potencialmente mortal causada por una respuesta anormal del huésped a una infección, produciendo respuestas fisiológicas alteradas que dañan los propios tejidos del paciente y pueden provocar disfunción orgánica e incluso la muerte. Asimismo, algunos pacientes sépticos progresan a shock séptico, caracterizado por alteraciones circulatorias, celulares y metabólicas sustanciales que aumentan el riesgo de mortalidad. A pesar de que la sepsis se caracteriza por un mal funcionamiento del sistema inmunológico, lo que a su vez conduce a una respuesta inmune alterada e inmunosupresión, la alta complejidad de la fisiopatología de la sepsis requiere una mayor investigación para comprender las respuestas inmunes que ocurren durante la sepsis. Asimismo, las histonas extracelulares circulantes han ganado relevancia como mediadores citotóxicos en la sepsis, ya que actúan como patrones moleculares asociados a daño, que inducen estrés oxidativo y activan el inflamasoma NLRP3. Estos mecanismos median la activación de la piroptosis, un mecanismo de muerte celular programada que produce inflamación mediante la expresión de IL-18, IL-1β and IL-1α. Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia de activación del inflamasoma en las células inmunes durante la sepsis, se desconoce si las histonas extracelulares son capaces de activar los inflamasomas endoteliales y sus consecuencias. En este trabajo destacamos el papel previamente desconocido de las histonas extracelulares, mediando la activación del inflamasoma NLRP3 y la piroptosis en las células endoteliales, contribuyendo a la disfunción endotelial y la desregulación de la respuesta inmune mediada por el endotelio. Asimismo, también demostramos cómo la acetilación de histonas disminuye la activación de la piroptosis. Además, demostramos que la piroptosis se produce en pacientes con shock séptico y los niveles de histonas circulantes se correlacionan con la expresión de citoquinas proinflamatorias y citoquinas piroptóticas, la liberación de factores de adhesión endotelial y la gravedad de la enfermedad. Proponemos la piroptosis mediada por histonas como un nuevo objetivo para desarrollar intervenciones clínicas. De manera similar, hemos analizado las respuestas inmunorelacionadas que ocurren durante las primeras etapas de la sepsis con el objetivo de proporcionar nuevos datos comparando las cantidades de citoquinas, inmunomoduladores y otros mediadores endoteliales en pacientes críticamente enfermos no sépticos, sépticos y de shock séptico. Nuestro enfoque ayudará a caracterizar rápidamente las respuestas inmunes alteradas en pacientes sépticos y de shock séptico ingresados en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Finalmente analizamos el papel de la metilación del ADN en el control del sistema inmune séptico. Nuestros resultados demostraron el papel central de la metilación del ADN modulando la respuesta molecular en los pacientes de shock séptico y contribuyendo a la inmunosupresión, a través de la alteración de los patrones de metilación de los promotores de IL-10 y TREM-2.Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by an abnormal host response to an infection that produce altered physiological responses which damages own tissues of the patient and can result in organ dysfunction and in some cases death. Likewise, a subset of septic patients progresses to septic shock, characterized by substantial circulatory, cellular and metabolic abnormalities, which substantially increase the risk of mortality. Sepsis is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system and it can lead to an altered immune response and immunosuppression. Moreover, the high complexity of the pathophysiology of sepsis requires of further investigation to characterize the immune responses in sepsis and septic shock. Likewise, circulating extracellular histones have gained relevance as cytotoxic mediators in sepsis pathophysiology, since they act as damage-associated molecular patterns, which induce oxidative stress and activate NLRP3 inflammasome. Subsequently, inflammasome mediates pyroptosis activation, a programmed cell death mechanism that produces inflammation through the release of IL-18, IL-1β and IL-1α. However, despite inflammasome activation may occur in immune cells during sepsis, it is unknown if this process also takes place in endothelial cells and particularly whether extracellular histones are capable of activating endothelial inflammasomes and their consequences. In this work we highlight a previously unknown role for extracellular histones, that mediates the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and pyroptosis in endothelial cells by contributing to endothelial dysfunction and the dysregulation of the immune response mediated by endothelium. Likewise, we demonstrated how histone acetylation decreases pyroptosis activation. Furthermore, we show how pyroptosis occurs in septic shock patients and how circulating histone levels correlate with the expression of pro-inflammatory and pyroptotic cytokines, the release of endothelial adhesion factors and septic shock severity. We propose histone-mediated pyroptosis as a new target to develop clinical interventions. Similarly, we have analyzed the immune-related responses occurring during the early stages of sepsis with the aim of providing new data by comparing the amounts of cytokines, immune modulators and other endothelial mediators in critically-ill non-septic patients, septic and septic shock patients. Our approach will help to rapidly characterize the altered immune responses in septic and septic shock patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Finally, we also analyzed the role of DNA methylation in the control of septic immune system. Our results demonstrated the central role of DNA methylation modulating the molecular response in septic shock patients and contributing to immunosuppression, through the alteration of DNA methylation patterns of IL-10 and TREM2 promoters

    Gendered spaces in contemporary Irish poetry

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    The thrust of this thesis is summarized by the following questions: How does contemporary Irish poetry migrate from traditional conceptions of identity drawn on by the cultural nationalism of the Irish Literary Revival, and what effects does this have on understanding gendered and national identity formation? Chapters are on the following: Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin, Paul Muldoon, MedbhMcGuckian, Eavan Boland and Sara Berkeley. These poets are chosen for discussion since their work most effectively engages with the relationship between woman and nation, the representation of gendered national identity, and the importance of feminist and post-colonial theorization. Focusing on poetry worth and South of the border from the last fifteen years, the thesis asks how a younger generation of poets provide a response to nationality which is significantly different from their predecessors. The thesis is composed of three parts: the first understand how the male poets depart from conventional conceptions of the nation with reference to post-colonial theorization; the second explores how feminist theorization informs readings of how the female poets respond to the nation; the final part investigates migration in the poetry and problematizes this in terms of post-nationalism. Discussing the issue of deterritorialization in Irish poetry, the thesis notice how as the poets attempt to take flight from the mythologies of nationhood, they undermine the monoliths of gendered and national identity inscribed within Irish political discourse, which is typified at a representative level by the figure of Mother Ireland or Cathleen Ni Houlihan. Investigating the ways in which gender and nation, and the body and space are reinscribed by the poets, the thesis argues that their poetry challenges authentic conceptions of Irish identity and the nation-state, so as to loosen the legacy of a colonial and nationalist inheritance
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