4,870 research outputs found

    Derek Mahon's Seascapes Mediated through Greece: Antiquity in Modernity, Nature in Abstraction.

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    The article investigates various approaches to seascape in selected poems of the contemporary Irish poet, Derek Mahon, set against the background of references to Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney or Odysseus Elytis. The sea provides a perspective that cannot be overestimated in trying to get an insight into the communication and the clash between the culture of the South and the North. The two nations have often glimpsed at their reflection in the mirror of the surrounding seas, their history and mentality determined by their geographical position and largely insular experience. Elements such as the isolation from the mainland; the perception of the sea as a personification of the force ruling over life and death, as a threat and a promise; or the focus on some characteristic natural phenomena such as light or surface dominate the seascape imagery both in Greek and Irish literature. The sea often constitutes a border of antagonistic and complementary worlds: dream and reality, light and darkness, male and female, the real world and the underworld – and the vantage point of the poet changes accordingly. Some poems under discussion also explore a series of myths linked with the sea, the best known of which, the Odyssey, has remained a frame of reference for numerous contemporary Greek and Irish poets. Elytis's Cyclades or Longley's Mayo provide us with examples of 'private homelands'. As Longley once observed, “his part of Mayo” reminds him of Ithaca (sandy and remote) and of Greece in general: “I’ve often thought that that part of Ireland . . . looks like Greece. Or Greece looks like a dust-bowl version of Ireland,” which triggers further deliberations on seascape as the common ground for the two countries. Just as Elytis's Cyclades or Longley's Mayo, Mahon’s Cyclades provide us with examples of 'private homelands'. The focus of this article is Derek Mahon’s seascapes: purely Greek (‘Aphrodite’s Pool’), Irish seen through the prism of the Greek ones (‘Achill’) and purely Irish (‘Recalling Aran’). The level of abstraction in the last category is compared with Odysseus Elytis’s imagery of the Cyclades, while the first poem demystifies a practice which I termed as ‘myth trading’, one of consumerist tourism techniques

    Interobserver Reliability in Describing Radiographic Lung Changes After Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

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    Purpose Radiographic lung changes after stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) vary widely between patients. Standardized descriptions of acute (≀6 months after treatment) and late (\u3e6 months after treatment) benign lung changes have been proposed but the reliable application of these classification systems has not been demonstrated. Herein, we examine the interobserver reliability of classifying acute and late lung changes after SBRT. Methods and materials A total of 280 follow-up computed tomography scans at 3, 6, and 12 months post-treatment were analyzed in 100 patients undergoing thoracic SBRT. Standardized descriptions of acute lung changes (3- and 6-month scans) include diffuse consolidation, patchy consolidation and ground glass opacity (GGO), diffuse GGO, patchy GGO, and no change. Late lung change classifications (12-month scans) include modified conventional pattern, mass-like pattern, scar-like pattern, and no change. Five physicians scored the images independently in a blinded fashion. Fleiss\u27 kappa scores quantified the interobserver agreement. Results The Kappa scores were 0.30 at 3 months, 0.20 at 6 months, and 0.25 at 12 months. The proportion of patients in each category at 3 and 6 months was as follows: Diffuse consolidation 11% and 21%; patchy consolidation and GGO 15% and 28%; diffuse GGO 10% and 11%; patchy GGO 15% and 15%; and no change 49% and 25%, respectively. The percentage of patients in each category at 12 months was as follows: Modified conventional 46%; mass-like 16%; scar-like 26%; and no change 12%. Uniform scoring between the observers occurred in 26, 8, and 14 cases at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Conclusions Interobserver reliability scores indicate a fair agreement to classify radiographic lung changes after SBRT. Qualitative descriptions are insufficient to categorize these findings because most patient scans do not fit clearly into a single classification. Categorization at 6 months may be the most difficult because late and acute lung changes can arise at that time

    Feasibility study of MgSO4 + zeolite based composite thermochemical energy stores charged by vacuum flat plate solar thermal collectors for seasonal thermal energy storage

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    A primary drawback of solar thermal technologies, especially in a domestic setting, is that collection of thermal energy occurs when solar irradiance is abundant and there is generally little requirement for heating. Thermochemical Energy Storage (TCES) offers a means of storing thermal energy interseasonally with little heat loss. A combination of a Solar Thermal Collector (STC) and TCES system will allow a variety of different heating applications, such as domestic space and hot water heating as well as low temperature industrial process heat applications to be met in a low carbon way. This paper describes and assesses the feasibility of two novel technologies currently under development at Loughborough University; i) an evacuated flat plate STC and ii) composite TCES materials, coupled together into a system designed to store and supply thermal energy on demand throughout the year. Experimental results of composite TCES materials along with predicted performance of STC's are used within a developed model to assess key metrics of conceptual TCES + STC systems feasibility, including; charging time, payback time, cost/kWh, energy savings and CO2 savings. This paper demonstrates the economic, energy and carbon savings potential of conceptual TCES + STC systems suitable for domestic use

    Immunological Aspects of Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies

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    Allogeneic mesenchymal stem or stromal cells (MSCs) are proposed as cell therapies for degenerative, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. The feasibility of allogeneic MSC therapies rests heavily on the concept that these cells avoid or actively suppress the immunological responses that cause rejection of most allogeneic cells and tissues. In this article the validity of the immune privileged status of allogeneic MSCs is explored in the context of recent literature. Current data that provide the mechanistic basis for immune modulation by MSCs are reviewed with particular attention to how MSCs modify the triggering and effector functions of innate and adaptive immunity. The ability of MSCs to induce regulatory dendritic and T-cell populations is discussed with regard to cell therapy for autoimmune disease. Finally, we examine the evidence for and against the immune privileged status of allogeneic MSCs in vivo. Allogeneic MSCs emerge as cells that are responsive to local signals and exert wide-ranging, predominantly suppressive, effects on innate and adaptive immunity. Nonetheless, these cells also retain a degree of immunogenicity in some circumstances that may limit MSC longevity and attenuate their beneficial effects. Ultimately successful allogeneic cell therapies will rely on an improved understanding of the parameters of MSC–immune system interactions in vivo

    Phase Space Transport in Noisy Hamiltonian Systems

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    This paper analyses the effect of low amplitude friction and noise in accelerating phase space transport in time-independent Hamiltonian systems that exhibit global stochasticity. Numerical experiments reveal that even very weak non-Hamiltonian perturbations can dramatically increase the rate at which an ensemble of orbits penetrates obstructions like cantori or Arnold webs, thus accelerating the approach towards an invariant measure, i.e., a near-microcanonical population of the accessible phase space region. An investigation of first passage times through cantori leads to three conclusions, namely: (i) that, at least for white noise, the detailed form of the perturbation is unimportant, (ii) that the presence or absence of friction is largely irrelevant, and (iii) that, overall, the amplitude of the response to weak noise scales logarithmically in the amplitude of the noise.Comment: 13 pages, 3 Postscript figures, latex, no macors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, in pres