1,084 research outputs found

    Determination of the best empiric method to quantify the amplified spontaneous emission threshold in polymeric active waveguides

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    Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) threshold represents a crucial parameter often used to establish if a material is a good candidate for applications to lasers. Even if the ASE properties of conjugated polymers have been widely investigated, the specific literature is characterized by several methods to determine the ASE threshold, making comparison among the obtained values impossible. We quantitatively compare 9 different methods employed in literature to determine the ASE threshold, in order to find out the best candidate to determine the most accurate estimate of it. The experiment has been performed on thin films of an homopolymer, a copolymer and a host:guest polymer blend, namely poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene) (PFO), poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-cobenzothiadiazole) (F8BT) and F8BT:poly(3- hexylthiophene) (F8BT:rrP3HT), applying the Variable Pump Intensity (VPI) and the Variable Stripe Length (VSL) methods. We demonstrate that, among all the spectral features affected by the presence of ASE, the most sensitive is the spectral linewidth and that the best way to estimate the ASE threshold is to determine the excitation density at the beginning of the line narrowing. We also show that the methods most frequently used in literature always overestimate the threshold up to more than one order of magnitude

    Approximating Spectral Impact of Structural Perturbations in Large Networks

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    Determining the effect of structural perturbations on the eigenvalue spectra of networks is an important problem because the spectra characterize not only their topological structures, but also their dynamical behavior, such as synchronization and cascading processes on networks. Here we develop a theory for estimating the change of the largest eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix or the extreme eigenvalues of the graph Laplacian when small but arbitrary set of links are added or removed from the network. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approximation schemes using both real and artificial networks, showing in particular that we can accurately obtain the spectral ranking of small subgraphs. We also propose a local iterative scheme which computes the relative ranking of a subgraph using only the connectivity information of its neighbors within a few links. Our results may not only contribute to our theoretical understanding of dynamical processes on networks, but also lead to practical applications in ranking subgraphs of real complex networks.Comment: 9 pages, 3 figures, 2 table

    evaluation of botulinum toxin therapy of spastic equinus in paediatric patients with cerebral palsy

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    Objective: To develop a clinical and instrumental protocol to assess the postural and dynamic effects following treatment with botulinum neurotoxin A in children with cerebral palsy affected by spastic equinus. Design: Open study, in which every patient served as his or her own control. Patients: Ten sequential children with cerebral palsy and spastic dynamic equinus foot. Methods: Botulinum neurotoxin A was injected in the gastrocnemius, soleus and tibialis posterior muscles. The main measures were: pedobarometry, dynamic surface electromyography, video gait analysis scale, and the modified As hworth Scale. Results: After treatment with botulinum neurotoxin A, pedobarometric evaluation revealed a significant change in all parameters, including a decrease in the modified Ashworth Scale and an increase in the range of motion. All children showed significant improvement in initial foot contact, as documented by the video gait analysis scale. The calf muscle electromyography pattern showed a decrease in co-contraction during gait in all children. These modifications were sta tistically significant for all parameters considered ( p < 0.05). Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that dynamic electr

    Commercial sponge fishing in Libya: Historical records, present status and perspectives

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    Natural bath sponges (genera Spongia and Hippospongia, Porifera, Demospongiae) have been harvested for millennia to be used as aids to beauty and body tools, in traditional and modem medicine as well as in painting. Recently, a series of severe epidemics have affected Mediterranean commercial sponges fostering the overexploitation of remaining fishing grounds. Furthermore, Mediterranean bath sponges attain the highest prices compared to Caribbean or Indo-Pacific ones but little or no correct information on origin is transferred to the final buyer. A complex network of re-selling activities and the lack of labelling make it almost impossible to track the pathway of sponge trade. Some of the finest Mediterranean natural bath sponges come from Libya. Nevertheless, little information on Libyan sponge banks and trade have been available mostly given the former international ban. Under an Italian-Libyan joint-project it was possible to assess the past and present situation of sponge fishing in Libya, roughly covering a period of 150 years. After rather low production in years 1860-1879, average crop exceeded 40 t/year between 1880 and 1929. The peak was recorded in years 1920-1929 (almost 70 t/year on average). Today Libyan sponge fishery and trade are mostly confined to the eastern area of the country. Less than 10 t/year are currently harvested. According to a preliminary SCUBA diving survey along the Libyan coasts, sponges belonging to the order Dictyoceratida appear to be the most conspicuous sessile invertebrates in the investigated areas. Here, sponges belonging to the genera Ircinia and Sarcotragus (commonly defined "wild sponges" with no commercial value) appear to be more abundant than those belonging to the genera Spongia and Hippospongia. Sustainable approaches to the exploitation of this valuable natural resource such as sponge farming are proposed and discussed. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Atlas occipitalisation associated with other anomalies in a 16th century skeleton from Sardinia (Italy)

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    Archaeological excavations carried out in the plague cemetery of 16th century Alghero (Sardinia) brought to light the skeleton of a male aged 35–45 years, showing anomalies of the atlas. A macroscopic and radiological study has been carried out. The first cervical vertebra is fused with the skull base, resulting in an occipitalisation of the atlas. Absence of the costal element of the left foramen transversarium, resulting in an open anterior foramen transversarium, and posterior arch defect are also observed. The atlanto-occipital junction is a complex structure, susceptible to develop different patterns of congenital defects. These anatomical variations of atlas should be considered in modern clinical practice in order to formulate a correct diagnosis and to conceive an appropriate treatment. Osteoarchaeological cases are important as, beside to ascertain the presence of congenital defects in past populations, allow an in-depth study in dry bones, which can help modern medicine in interpreting anatomical variations. We present an association of congenital anomalies of the atlanto-occipital junction, a condition rarely documented in ancient and modern human skeletal remains
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