118 research outputs found

    Bifurcation Analysis of Continuous Biochemical Reactor Models

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    Nonparametric nonlinear model predictive control

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    Model Predictive Control (MPC) has recently found wide acceptance in industrial applications, but its potential has been much impeded by linear models due to the lack of a similarly accepted nonlinear modeling or databased technique. Aimed at solving this problem, the paper addresses three issues: (i) extending second-order Volterra nonlinear MPC (NMPC) to higher-order for improved prediction and control; (ii) formulating NMPC directly with plant data without needing for parametric modeling, which has hindered the progress of NMPC; and (iii) incorporating an error estimator directly in the formulation and hence eliminating the need for a nonlinear state observer. Following analysis of NMPC objectives and existing solutions, nonparametric NMPC is derived in discrete-time using multidimensional convolution between plant data and Volterra kernel measurements. This approach is validated against the benchmark van de Vusse nonlinear process control problem and is applied to an industrial polymerization process by using Volterra kernels of up to the third order. Results show that the nonparametric approach is very efficient and effective and considerably outperforms existing methods, while retaining the original data-based spirit and characteristics of linear MPC

    Aqueous Extract of Ficus bengalensis Linn. Bark for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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    The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of aqueous extract of Ficus bengalensis Linn. bark (AEFB) on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Effects of AEFB were studied on 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS, 0.25 ml 120 mg/ml in 50% ethanol intrarectally, on first day only)-induced IBD in rats. Effects of co-administration of prednisolone (2 mg/kg) and AEFB (250, 500 mg/kg) for 21 days were also evaluated. Various physical parameters including body weight, food, and water intake measured on 1st and 21st days. At end of the experiment, various histopathological indexes are assessed. The colon homogenate malondialdehyde (MDA), myeloperoxidase (MPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and nitric oxide (NO) levels and % mast cell protection in mesentery were also measured. In our study, we found that AEFB has a significant protective effect in the inflammatory bowel disease as compared to prednisolone in rats

    Seasonal phytoplankton blooms in the North Atlantic linked to the overwintering strategies of copepods

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    The North Atlantic Ocean contains diverse patterns of seasonal phytoplankton blooms with distinct internal dynamics. We analyzed blooms using remotely-sensed chlorophyll a concentration data and change point statistics. The first bloom of the year began during spring at low latitudes and later in summer at higher latitudes. In regions where spring blooms occurred at high frequency (i.e., proportion of years that a bloom was detected), there was a negative correlation between bloom timing and duration, indicating that early blooms last longer. In much of the Northeast Atlantic, bloom development extended over multiple seasons resulting in peak chlorophyll concentrations in summer. Spring bloom start day was found to be positively correlated with a spring phenology index and showed both positive and negative correlations to sea surface temperature and the North Atlantic Oscillation in different regions. Based on the characteristics of spring and summer blooms, the North Atlantic can be classified into two regions: a seasonal bloom region, with a well-defined bloom limited to a single season; and a multi-seasonal bloom region, with blooms extending over multiple seasons. These regions differed in the correlation between bloom start and duration with only the seasonal bloom region showing a significant, negative correlation. We tested the hypothesis that the nearsurface springtime distribution of copepods that undergo diapause (Calanus finmarchicus, C. helgolandicus, C. glacialis, and C. hyperboreus) may contribute to the contrast in bloom development between the two regions. Peak near-surface spring abundance of the late stages of these Calanoid copepods was generally associated with areas having a well-defined seasonal bloom, implying a link between bloom shape and their abundance. We suggest that either grazing is a factor in shaping the seasonal bloom or bloom shape determines whether a habitat is conducive to diapause, while recognizing that both factors can re-enforce each other

    Voiceless but empowered farmers in corporate supply chains: contradictory imagery and instrumental approach to empowerment

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    There have been calls for a shift of focus towards the political and power-laden aspects of transitioning towards socially equitable global supply chains. This paper offers an empirically grounded response to these calls from a critical realist stance in the context of global food supply chains. We examine how an imaginary for sustainable farming structured around an instrumental construction of empowerment limits what is viewed as permissible, desirable and possible in global food supply chains. We adopt a multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine the sustainable farming imaginary for smallholder farmers constructed by one large organization, Unilever, in a series of videos produced and disseminated on YouTube. We expose the underlying mechanisms of power and marginalization at work within the sustainability imaginary and show how “empowerment” has the potential to create of new dependencies for these farmers. We recontextualize the representations to show that while the imaginary may be commercially feasible, it is less achievable in terms of empowering smallholder farmers

    Extent and Causes of Chesapeake Bay Warming

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    Coastal environments such as the Chesapeake Bay have long been impacted by eutrophication stressors resulting from human activities, and these impacts are now being compounded by global warming trends. However, there are few studies documenting long-term estuarine temperature change and the relative contributions of rivers, the atmosphere, and the ocean. In this study, Chesapeake Bay warming, since 1985, is quantified using a combination of cruise observations and model outputs, and the relative contributions to that warming are estimated via numerical sensitivity experiments with a watershed–estuarine modeling system. Throughout the Bay’s main stem, similar warming rates are found at the surface and bottom between the late 1980s and late 2010s (0.02 +/- 0.02C/year, mean +/- 1 standard error), with elevated summer rates (0.04 +/- 0.01C/year) and lower rates of winter warming (0.01 +/- 0.01C/year). Most (~85%) of this estuarine warming is driven by atmospheric effects. The secondary influence of ocean warming increases with proximity to the Bay mouth, where it accounts for more than half of summer warming in bottom waters. Sea level rise has slightly reduced summer warming, and the influence of riverine warming has been limited to the heads of tidal tributaries. Future rates of warming in Chesapeake Bay will depend not only on global atmospheric trends, but also on regional circulation patterns in mid-Atlantic waters, which are currently warming faster than the atmosphere. Supporting model data available at: https://doi.org/10.25773/c774-a36

    Risk profiles and one-year outcomes of patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation in India: Insights from the GARFIELD-AF Registry.

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    BACKGROUND: The Global Anticoagulant Registry in the FIELD-Atrial Fibrillation (GARFIELD-AF) is an ongoing prospective noninterventional registry, which is providing important information on the baseline characteristics, treatment patterns, and 1-year outcomes in patients with newly diagnosed non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). This report describes data from Indian patients recruited in this registry. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 52,014 patients with newly diagnosed AF were enrolled globally; of these, 1388 patients were recruited from 26 sites within India (2012-2016). In India, the mean age was 65.8 years at diagnosis of NVAF. Hypertension was the most prevalent risk factor for AF, present in 68.5% of patients from India and in 76.3% of patients globally (P < 0.001). Diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD) were prevalent in 36.2% and 28.1% of patients as compared with global prevalence of 22.2% and 21.6%, respectively (P < 0.001 for both). Antiplatelet therapy was the most common antithrombotic treatment in India. With increasing stroke risk, however, patients were more likely to receive oral anticoagulant therapy [mainly vitamin K antagonist (VKA)], but average international normalized ratio (INR) was lower among Indian patients [median INR value 1.6 (interquartile range {IQR}: 1.3-2.3) versus 2.3 (IQR 1.8-2.8) (P < 0.001)]. Compared with other countries, patients from India had markedly higher rates of all-cause mortality [7.68 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval 6.32-9.35) vs 4.34 (4.16-4.53), P < 0.0001], while rates of stroke/systemic embolism and major bleeding were lower after 1 year of follow-up. CONCLUSION: Compared to previously published registries from India, the GARFIELD-AF registry describes clinical profiles and outcomes in Indian patients with AF of a different etiology. The registry data show that compared to the rest of the world, Indian AF patients are younger in age and have more diabetes and CAD. Patients with a higher stroke risk are more likely to receive anticoagulation therapy with VKA but are underdosed compared with the global average in the GARFIELD-AF. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION-URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01090362

    Cytotoxicity and DNA damage in the neutrophils of patients with sickle cell anaemia treated with hydroxyurea

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    Hydroxyurea (HU) is the most important advance in the treatment of sickle cell anaemia (SCA) for preventing complications and improving quality of life for patients. However, some aspects of treatment with HU remain unclear, including their effect on and potential toxicity to other blood cells such as neutrophils. This study used the measurement of Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) and Methyl ThiazolTetrazolium (MTT) and the comet assay to investigate the cytotoxicity and damage index (DI) of the DNA in the neutrophils of patients with SCA using HU.In the LDH and MTT assays, a cytoprotective effect was observed in the group of patients treated, as well as an absence of toxicity. When compared to patients without the treatment, the SS group (n=20, 13 women and 07 men, aged 18-69 years), and the group of healthy individuals (AA) used as a control group (n=52, 28 women and 24 men, aged 19-60 years), The SSHU group (n=21, 11 women and 10 men, aged 19-63 years) showed a significant reduction (p20 months), demonstrating that despite the cytoprotective effects in terms of cell viability, the use of HU can induce DNA damage in neutrophils