4,598 research outputs found

    Page composer to translate binary electrical data to optical form

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    Composer converts binary data to optical form for storage as hologram. Device consists of an array of deformable metal membranes controlled by MOSFET's. Device is fast, produces high contrast ratios, does not degrade with extended use, and can be addressed from diverse angles

    Numerical optimization design of advanced transonic wing configurations

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    A computationally efficient and versatile technique for use in the design of advanced transonic wing configurations has been developed. A reliable and fast transonic wing flow-field analysis program, TWING, has been coupled with a modified quasi-Newton method, unconstrained optimization algorithm, QNMDIF, to create a new design tool. Fully three-dimensional wing designs utilizing both specified wing pressure distributions and drag-to-lift ration minimization as design objectives are demonstrated. Because of the high computational efficiency of each of the components of the design code, in particular the vectorization of TWING and the high speed of the Cray X-MP vector computer, the computer time required for a typical wing design is reduced by approximately an order of magnitude over previous methods. In the results presented here, this computed wave drag has been used as the quantity to be optimized (minimized) with great success, yielding wing designs with nearly shock-free (zero wave drag) pressure distributions and very reasonable wing section shapes

    Universal Features in the Genome-level Evolution of Protein Domains

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    Protein domains are found on genomes with notable statistical distributions, which bear a high degree of similarity. Previous work has shown how these distributions can be accounted for by simple models, where the main ingredients are probabilities of duplication, innovation, and loss of domains. However, no one so far has addressed the issue that these distributions follow definite trends depending on protein-coding genome size only. We present a stochastic duplication/innovation model, falling in the class of so-called Chinese Restaurant Processes, able to explain this feature of the data. Using only two universal parameters, related to a minimal number of domains and to the relative weight of innovation to duplication, the model reproduces two important aspects: (a) the populations of domain classes (the sets, related to homology classes, containing realizations of the same domain in different proteins) follow common power-laws whose cutoff is dictated by genome size, and (b) the number of domain families is universal and markedly sublinear in genome size. An important ingredient of the model is that the innovation probability decreases with genome size. We propose the possibility to interpret this as a global constraint given by the cost of expanding an increasingly complex interactome. Finally, we introduce a variant of the model where the choice of a new domain relates to its occurrence in genomic data, and thus accounts for fold specificity. Both models have general quantitative agreement with data from hundreds of genomes, which indicates the coexistence of the well-known specificity of proteomes with robust self-organizing phenomena related to the basic evolutionary ``moves'' of duplication and innovation

    Mechanisms regulating muscle regeneration: insights into the interrelated and time-dependent phases of tissue healing

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    Despite a massive body of knowledge which has been produced related to the mechanisms guiding muscle regeneration, great interest still moves the scientific community toward the study of different aspects of skeletal muscle homeostasis, plasticity, and regeneration. Indeed, the lack of effective therapies for several physiopathologic conditions suggests that a comprehensive knowledge of the different aspects of cellular behavior and molecular pathways, regulating each regenerative stage, has to be still devised. Hence, it is important to perform even more focused studies, taking the advantage of robust markers, reliable techniques, and reproducible protocols. Here, we provide an overview about the general aspects of muscle regeneration and discuss the different approaches to study the interrelated and time-dependent phases of muscle healing

    Perennial grasses as lignocellulosic feedstock for second-generation bioethanol production in Mediterranean environment.

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    In this paper the suitability of three perennial, herbaceous, lignocellulosic grasses ( Arundo donax , Saccharum spontaneous spp. aegyptiacum and Miscanthus x giganteus ) for the production of second-generation bioethanol in semi-arid Mediterranean environment was studied. Crops were established in spring 2002, supplying irrigation and nitrogen fertilization up to 2004/2005 growing season. Subsequently, crops were grown without any agronomic input and harvested annually. Data reported in this paper refers to 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 growing seasons. Aboveground dry matter (DM) yield was higher in Arundo (35.4±2.1 Mg ha –1 in 2009 and 32.2±1.9 Mg ha –1 in 2010 harvest) than in Saccharum (27.3±2.0 and 23.9±1.9 Mg ha –1 , respectively) and Miscanthus (19.6±2.8 and 17.2±1.6 Mg ha –1 , respectively). Structural polysaccharides of the raw material were higher in Miscanthus (63.4% w/w) followed by Saccharum (61.5% w/w) and Arundo (57.6% w/w). The same trend was identified for the cellulose content (41.0%, 36.8% and 34.6%, respectively). The highest values in the total hemicellulose complex were observed in Saccharum (24.7%), followed by Arundo (23.1%) and Miscanthus (22.4%). The composition of structural polysaccharides leads to a higher theoretical ethanol yield (TEY) from one dry ton of Miscanthus feedstock (kg DM Mg –1 ), followed by Saccharum and Arundo . On the other hand, the TEY per unit surface (Mg ha –1 ) was greater in Arundo than in Saccharum and Miscanthus . When compared to other lignocellulosic sources used in the second-generation bioethanol technology, such as agricultural residues, woody species and other herbaceous perennial crops, Arundo , Saccharum and Miscanthus showed a great potential in terms of TEY ha –1 . Given the high levels of biomass yield and composition of structural polysaccharides, the three species might be introduced into the Mediterranean cropping systems to supply lignocellulosic biomass for second-generation industrial plants or bio-refineries

    An experimental set-up for cyclic loading of concrete

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    Innovative cementitious composite materials are drawing considerable interest due to their substantially improved mechanical properties as compared to ordinary cement-based materials. Their enhanced ductility is promising and particularly suited to structural applications under severe dynamic loading conditions. Cyclic response is essential to understand the effects of loading and unloading on the material, as well as to understanding how it behaves in the transition from tension to compression. It is also fundamental to identify its properties in terms of energy dissipation and strain-rate sensitivity. This paper presents the first part of an ongoing research project which aims to develop the constitutive relationship in innovative cementitious composites and its numerical implementation. Results from this research will facilitate the investigation of the ductility and durability of existing buildings. In this paper, an experimental set-up for uniaxial cyclic loading is described. It was developed to study reversed cyclic compression/tension loadings of innovative cementitious composites. To set the cyclic loading process, cylindrical specimens of concrete were tested. All the tests were performed on a Zwick testing machine with 50 kN load cell. The machine was customised with accessories specifically designed to meet test requirements, avoiding instability and bending moments during the alternating phases of uniaxial compression and tension. Strain gauges were used to measure lateral deformations. The customized machine has shown good performance so far. In order to test specimens with a higher number of cycles and a higher loading rate, improvements to the machine are currently under development. These tests will allow greater insight into the ductility of innovative cementitious composite materials

    Computational approaches to shed light on molecular mechanisms in biological processes

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    Computational approaches based on Molecular Dynamics simulations, Quantum Mechanical methods and 3D Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships were employed by computational chemistry groups at the University of Milano-Bicocca to study biological processes at the molecular level. The paper reports the methodologies adopted and the results obtained on Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor and homologous PAS proteins mechanisms, the properties of prion protein peptides, the reaction pathway of hydrogenase and peroxidase enzymes and the defibrillogenic activity of tetracyclines. © Springer-Verlag 2007
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