2,027 research outputs found

    Do interactions between plant roots and the rhizosphere affect parasitoid behaviour?

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    Multitrophic interactions are powerful forces shaping the structure of living communities. Plants encounter a great diversity of organisms in their environment: some of these interactions are beneficial (e.g. symbiotic fungi and insect pollinators) while some are detrimental (e.g. herbivorous insects and pathogenic micro-organisms). Multitrophic interactions between below-ground and above-ground organisms are receiving increasing attention because they may influence plant defences against biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study we show that an arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis makes tomato plants significantly more resistant towards aphids, by enhancing both direct defences, both attractivity towards aphid parasitoids

    Ab initio simulations of Cu binding sites in the N-terminal region of PrP

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    The prion protein (PrP) binds Cu2+ ions in the octarepeat domain of the N-terminal tail up to full occupancy at pH=7.4. Recent experiments show that the HGGG octarepeat subdomain is responsible for holding the metal bound in a square planar coordination. By using first principle ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of the Car-Parrinello type, the Cu coordination mode to the binding sites of the PrP octarepeat region is investigated. Simulations are carried out for a number of structured binding sites. Results for the complexes Cu(HGGGW)+(wat), Cu(HGGG) and the 2[Cu(HGGG)] dimer are presented. While the presence of a Trp residue and a H2O molecule does not seem to affect the nature of the Cu coordination, high stability of the bond between Cu and the amide Nitrogens of deprotonated Gly's is confirmed in the case of the Cu(HGGG) system. For the more interesting 2[Cu(HGGG)] dimer a dynamically entangled arrangement of the two monomers, with intertwined N-Cu bonds, emerges. This observation is consistent with the highly packed structure seen in experiments at full Cu occupancy.Comment: 4 pages, conference proceedin

    Dynamic, self consistent electro-thermal simulation of power microwave devices including the effect of surface metallizations

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    We present an efficient simulation technique to account for the thermal spreading effects of surface metallizations in the self-consistent dynamic electro-thermal analysis of power microwave devices. Electro-thermal self-consistency is achieved by solving the coupled nonlinear system made of a temperature dependent device electrical model, and of an approximate description of the device thermal behavior through a thermal impedance matrix. The numerical solution is pursued in the frequency domain by the Harmonic Balance technique. The approach is applied to the thermal stability analysis of power AlGaAs/GaAs HBTs and the results show that metallizations have a significant impact on the occurrence of the device thermal collapse

    Image analysis for detecting the transverse profile of worn-out rails

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    Over its useful life a railway track is subject tomany mechanical and environmental stresses which graduallylead to its deterioration. Monitoring the wear condition of therailway superstructure is one of the key points to guarantee anadequate safety level of the railway transport system; in thisfield, the use of high-efficiency laser techniques has becomeconsolidated and implemented in diagnostic trains (e.g. the“Archimede train” and the “Talete train” ) which allow to detectthe track geometric parameters (gauge, alignment, longitudinallevel, cross level, superelevation defect, etc.) and the state of railwear (vertical, horizontal, 45-degree etc.) with very highaccuracy. The objective of this paper is to describe a new nonconventionalprocedure for detecting the transverse profile ofworn-out rails by means of image-processing technique. Thismethodological approach is based on the analysis of theinformation contained in high-resolution photographic images ofrails and on specific algorithms which allow to obtain the exactgeometric profile and the measurement of the relevant deviationscompared to new rails of the same typology.The analyses and the first results, obtained from laboratoryresearches, concern rails cross sections taken from railway linesunder upgrading. The procedure has shown high precision in thewear evaluation as well as great rapidity in being performed

    Linking X Parameters to Physical Simulations for Design-Oriented Large-Signal Device Variability Modeling

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    We propose various techniques extending X parameters to include the effect of active microwave device variability by exploiting TCAD simulations. We discuss two possible implementations into Agilent ADS. Both approaches are validated against full microwave amplifier TCAD simulations

    Cyclostationary noise modeling of radio frequency devices

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    We present a review of the current status of research in the modeling and simulation of cyclostationary (nonlinear) noise properties of semiconductor active devices operated in forced large-signal conditions, a typical operating regime for high-frequency applications. We discuss both the case of physics-based device simulations, where numerical burden is the most important issue, and the derivation of compact cyclostationary noise models. In the latter case, both phenomenological amplitude modulation approaches and the derivation of consistent analytical device descriptions are discussed. We show examples of both physics-based simulations of the noise properties of a realistic high-electron mobility transistor resistive mixer and show for the first time the application of a novel, fully analytical cyclostationary noise bipolar transistor model

    Electrosynthesized poly(o-aminophenol) films as biomimetic coatings for dopamine detection on Pt substrates

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    Dopamine (DA) is a neurotransmitter, and its levels in the human body are associated with serious diseases. The need for a suitable detection method in medical practice has encouraged the development of electrochemical sensors that take advantage of DA electroactivity. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are biomimetic materials able to selectively recognize target analytes. A novel MIP sensor for DA is proposed here based on a thin film of poly(o-aminophenol) electrosynthesized on bare Pt. A fast and easy method for executing the procedure for MIP deposition has been developed based on mild experimental conditions that are able to prevent electrode fouling from DA oxidation products. The MIP exhibited a limit of detection of 0.65 µM, and appreciable reproducibility and stability. The high recognition capability of poly(o-aminophenol) towards DA allowed for the achievement of notable selectivity: ascorbic acid, uric acid, serotonin, and tyramine did not interfere with DA detection, even at higher concentrations. The proposed sensor was successfully applied for DA detection in urine samples, showing good recovery
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