2,351 research outputs found

    Tomography of atomic number and density of materials using dual-energy imaging and the Alvarez and Macovski attenuation model

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    Dual-energy computed tomography and the Alvarez and Macovski [Phys. Med. Biol. 21, 733 (1976)] transmitted intensity (AMTI) model were used in this study to estimate the maps of density (ρ) and atomic number (Z) of mineralogical samples. In this method, the attenuation coefficients are represented [Alvarez and Macovski, Phys. Med. Biol. 21, 733 (1976)] in the form of the two most important interactions of X-rays with atoms that is, photoelectric absorption (PE) and Compton scattering (CS). This enables material discrimination as PE and CS are, respectively, dependent on the atomic number (Z) and density (ρ) of materials [Alvarez and Macovski, Phys. Med. Biol. 21, 733 (1976)]. Dual-energy imaging is able to identify sample materials even if the materials have similar attenuation coefficients at single-energy spectrum. We use the full model rather than applying one of several applied simplified forms [Alvarez and Macovski, Phys. Med. Biol. 21, 733 (1976); Siddiqui et al., SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2004); Derzhi, U.S. patent application 13/527,660 (2012); Heismann et al., J. Appl. Phys. 94, 2073–2079 (2003); Park and Kim, J. Korean Phys. Soc. 59, 2709 (2011); Abudurexiti et al., Radiol. Phys. Technol. 3, 127–135 (2010); and Kaewkhao et al., J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 109, 1260–1265 (2008)]. This paper describes the tomographic reconstruction of ρ and Z maps of mineralogical samples using the AMTI model. The full model requires precise knowledge of the X-ray energy spectra and calibration of PE and CS constants and exponents of atomic number and energy that were estimated based on fits to simulations and calibration measurements. The estimated ρ and Z images of the samples used in this paper yield average relative errors of 2.62% and 1.19% and maximum relative errors of 2.64% and 7.85%, respectively. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the method accounts for the beam hardening effect in density (ρ) and atomic number (Z) reconstructions to a significant extent.S.J.L., G.R.M., and A.M.K. acknowledge funding through the DigiCore consortium and the support of a linkage grant (LP150101040) from the Australian Research Council and FEI Company

    The Death of Plants in Animals

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    It is necessary first to understand some of the basic concepts associated with the digestion of the plant biomass within the rumen when considering mechanisms for altering/enhancing N-conversion efficiency in the forage-fed ruminant. Although it is generally assumed that breakdown of plant proteins in the rumen is mediated by microbial enzymes, there is increasing evidence to suggest that both plant and microbial proteases are active during degradation of ingested fresh forage (Beha et al., 2002; Kingston-Smith & Theodorou, 2000; Kingston-Smith et al., 2003, 2004). After fresh plant biomass enters the rumen and prior to extensive plant cell wall degradation, there is often a phase of rapid proteolysis in excess of that needed to maintain the rumen microbial population and we now believe that plant enzymes largely mediate this initial proteolysis. Recent evidence also suggests a role for plant lipases in the rumen (Lee et al., 2003). An understanding of the mechanisms that underlie these processes is essential if we are to devise plant-based strategies to manipulate them. This paper presents a new rumen model which, by taking account of the plants biological attributes, provides us with a novel framework for describing the plant contribution to rumen function in grazing livestock

    The influence of smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity on cognitive impairment-free life expectancy

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    BACKGROUND Smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity are risk factors for mortality and dementia. However, their impact on cognitive impairment-free life expectancy (CIFLE)has not previously been estimated. METHODS Data were drawn from the DYNOPTA dataset which was derived by harmonizing and pooling common measures from five longitudinal ageing studies. Participants for whom the Mini-Mental State Examination was available were included (N¼8111,48.6% men). Data on education, sex, body mass index, smoking and sedentary lifestyle were collected and mortality data were obtained from Government Records via data linkage.Total life expectancy (LE), CIFLE and years spent with cognitive impairment (CILE)were estimated for each risk factor and total burden of risk factors. RESULTS CILE was approximately 2 years for men and 3 years for women, regardless of age. For men and women respectively, reduced LE associated with smoking was 3.82and 5.88 years, associated with obesity was 0.62 and 1.72 years and associated with being sedentary was 2.50 and 2.89 years. Absence of each risk factor was associated with longer LE and CIFLE, but also longer CILE for smoking in women and being sedentary in both sexes. Compared with participants with no risk factors, those with 2þ had shorter CIFLE of up to 3.5 years depending on gender and education level. CONCLUSIONS Population level reductions in smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity increase longevity and number of years lived without cognitive impairment. Years lived with cognitive impairment may also increase.This work was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council grant # 410215 and by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CE110001029). K.J.A is funded by NHMRC Fellowship #1002560. C.J. is funded by the AXA Research Fund

    Universal mask for hard X rays

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    The penetrating power of X rays underpins important applications such as medical radiography. However, this same attribute makes it challenging to achieve flexible on-demand patterning of X-ray beams. One possible path to this goal is ``ghost projection'', a method which may be viewed as a reversed form of classical ghost imaging. This technique employs multiple exposures, of a single illuminated non-configurable mask that is transversely displaced to a number of specified positions, to create any desired pattern. An experimental proof-of-concept is given for this idea, using hard X rays. The written pattern is arbitrary, up to a tunable constant offset, and its spatial resolution is limited by both (i) the finest features present in the illuminated mask and (ii) inaccuracies in mask positioning and mask exposure time. In principle, the method could be used to make a universal lithographic mask in the hard-X-ray regime. Ghost projection might also be used as a dynamically-configurable beam-shaping element, namely the hard-X-ray equivalent of a spatial light modulator. The underpinning principle can be applied to gamma rays, neutrons, electrons, muons, and atomic beams. Our flexible approach to beam shaping gives a potentially useful means to manipulate such fields.Comment: Revised for resubmission to Optica; numerous clarifications throughout the paper; Sec. 4 (numbered item 2) and Supplement 1 Sec. 2 significantly extended; all figures and ancillary movies unchange

    Covariation Among Vowel Height Effects on Acoustic Measures

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    Covariation among vowel height effects on vowel intrinsic fundamental frequency (IF0), voice onset time (VOT), and voiceless interval duration (VID) is analyzed to assess the plausibility of a common physiological mechanism underlying variation in these measures. Phrases spoken by 20 young adults, containing words composed of initial voiceless stops or /s/ and high or low vowels, were produced in habitual and voluntarily increased F0 conditions. High vowels were associated with increased IF0 and longer VIDs. VOT and VID exhibited significant covariation with IF0 only for males at habitua

    ‘It’s better than daytime television’: questioning the socio-spatial impacts of massage parlours on residential communities

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    It has been shown that street sex work is problematic for some communities, but there is less evidence of the effects of brothels. Emerging research also suggests that impact discourses outlined by residential communities and in regulatory policies should be critiqued, because they are often based on minority community voices, and limited tangible evidence is used to masquerade wider moral viewpoints about the place of sex work. Using a study of residents living in close proximity to brothels in Blackpool, this paper argues that impact is socially and spatially fluid. Impact needs to be evaluated in a more nuanced manner, which is considerate of the heterogeneity of (even one type of) sex work, and the community in question. Brothels in Blackpool had a variety of roles in the everyday socio-spatial fabric; thus also questioning the common assumption that sex work only impacts negatively on residential communities

    Multiplexed Illumina sequencing libraries from picogram quantities of DNA

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    Background: High throughput sequencing is frequently used to discover the location of regulatory interactions on chromatin. However, techniques that enrich DNA where regulatory activity takes place, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), often yield less DNA than optimal for sequencing library preparation. Existing protocols for picogram-scale libraries require concomitant fragmentation of DNA, pre-amplification, or long overnight steps. Results: We report a simple and fast library construction method that produces libraries from sub-nanogram quantities of DNA. This protocol yields conventional libraries with barcodes suitable for multiplexed sample analysis on the Illumina platform. We demonstrate the utility of this method by constructing a ChIP-seq library from 100 pg of ChIP DNA that demonstrates equivalent genomic coverage of target regions to a library produced from a larger scale experiment. Conclusions: Application of this method allows whole genome studies from samples where material or yields are limiting

    The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: implications for sex workers and their clients

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    © 2015 Taylor & Francis. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced new powers to deal with behaviour deemed to be ‘anti-social’. In this paper we consider how the new law could be used against sex workers and their clients and the impact this may have. Although the new powers were not intentionally designed to respond to prostitution, we suggest that they will be utilised to tackle it. We argue that the law will be used inconsistently in a way which will go directly against policy which seeks to ‘tackle demand’ and take a less punitive approach to dealing with sex workers. Despite a policy shift to see sex workers more as victims and less as offenders, we draw on existing evidence to demonstrate that the new anti-social behaviour order law will be utilised to exclude street sex workers from public spaces. We claim that a degree of ‘policy re-fraction’ will occur when the new laws are implemented by practitioners