1,147 research outputs found

    Accommodating repair actions into gas turbine prognostics

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    Elements of gas turbine degradation, such as compressor fouling, are recoverable through maintenance actions like compressor washing. These actions increase the usable engine life and optimise the performance of the gas turbine. However, these maintenance actions are performed by a separate organization to those undertaking fleet management operations, leading to significant uncertainty in the maintenance state of the asset. The uncertainty surrounding maintenance actions impacts prognostic efficacy. In this paper, we adopt Bayesian on-line change point detection to detect the compressor washing events. Then, the event detection information is used as an input to a prognostic algorithm, advising an update to the estimation of remaining useful life. To illustrate the capability of the approach, we demonstrated our on-line Bayesian change detection algorithms on synthetic and real aircraft engine service data, in order to identify the compressor washing events for a gas turbine and thus provide demonstrably improved prognosis

    Improving anti-trypanosomal activity of alkamides isolated from Achillea fragrantissima

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    In previous studies the aerial parts of Achillea fragrantissima were found to have substantial antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal activity. A bioassay-guided fractionation of a dichloromethane extract yielded the isolation of the essential anti-trypanosomal compounds of the plant. Seven sesquiterpene lactones (including Achillolide-A), two flavonoids, chrysosplenol-D and chrysosplenetine, and four alkamides (including pellitorine) were identified. This is the first report for the isolation of the sesquiterpene lactones 3 and 4, chrysosplenetine and the group of alkamides from this plant. Bioevaluation against Trypanosoma brucei brucei TC221 (T.b brucei) using the Alamar-Blue assay revealed the novel alkamide 13 to have an IC50 value of 40.37 μM. A compound library, derived from the alkamide pellitorine (10), was synthesized and bioevaluated in order to find even more active substances. The most active compounds 26 and 27 showed activities in submicromolar concentrations and selectivity indices of 20.1 and 45.6, respectively, towards macrophage cell line J774.1. Toxicity of 26 and 27 was assessed using the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella larvae as an in vivo model. No significant toxicity was observed for the concentration range of 1.25–20 mM.We thank Dr. Ulrich Hildebrandt and Dr. Gerd Vogg, Botanical garden, University of Würzburg, for identifying the seeds and plants of A. fragrantissima. We are grateful to Prof. Dr. August Stich, Medical Mission Institute, University of Würzburg, for providing the respective lab facilities to perform the anti-trypanosomal assay. Many thanks for Dr. Ludwig Hoellein for proof-reading the manuscript. We wish to thank the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the doctoral scholarship of Joseph Skaf (grant number: 57169181). Srikkanth Balasubramanian was supported by a grant of the German Excellence Initiative to the Graduate School of Life Sciences, University of Würzburg

    Porosity-based models for estimating the mechanical properties of self-compacting concrete with coarse and fine recycled concrete aggregate

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    Predicting the mechanical properties of Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) containing Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) generally depends, in great part, on the RCA fraction in use. In this study, predictive equations for estimating SCC mechanical properties are developed through SCC porosity indices, so they are applicable to any RCA fraction and amount that may be used. A total of ten SCC mixes were prepared, nine of which containing different proportions of coarse and/or fine RCA (0%, 50% or 100% for both fractions), and the tenth mixed with 100% coarse and fine RCA, and RCA powder 0–1 mm. The following properties were evaluated: compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, splitting tensile strength, flexural strength, and effective porosity as measured with the capillary-water-absorption test. Negative effects on the above properties were recorded for increasing contents of both RCA fractions. The application of simple regression models yielded porosity-based estimations of the mechanical properties of the SCC with an accuracy margin of ±20%, regardless of the RCA fraction and amount. The results of the multiple regression models with compressive strength as a secondary predictive variable presented even greater robustness with accuracy margins of ±10% and almost no significant effect of accidental porosity variations on prediction accuracy. Furthermore, porosity predictions using the 24-h effective water also yielded accurate estimations of all the above mechanical properties. Finally, comparisons with the results of other studies validated the reliability of the models and their accuracy, especially the minimum expected values at a 95% confidence level, at all times lower than the experimental results.Spanish Ministry of Universities within the framework of the State Program for the Promotion of Talent and its Employability in R + D + i, State Mobility Subprogram, of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017–2020 [PRX21/00007]; the Spanish Ministry MCI, AEI, EU and ERDF [grant numbers PID2020-113837RB-I00; 10.13039/501100011033; FPU17/03374]; the Junta de Castilla y León (Regional Government) and ERDF [grant numbers UIC-231; BU119P17]; Youth Employment Initiative (JCyL) and ESF [grant number UBU05B_1274]; and finally, the University of Burgos [grant numbers SUCONS, Y135.GI] and the University of Padova

    On the Power and Limitations of Affine Policies in Two-Stage Adaptive Optimization

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    We consider a two-stage adaptive linear optimization problem under right hand side uncertainty with a min–max objective and give a sharp characterization of the power and limitations of affine policies (where the second stage solution is an affine function of the right hand side uncertainty). In particular, we show that the worst-case cost of an optimal affine policy can be Omega(m12−) times the worst-case cost of an optimal fully-adaptable solution for any delta > 0, where m is the number of linear constraints. We also show that the worst-case cost of the best affine policy is O(m) times the optimal cost when the first-stage constraint matrix has non-negative coefficients. Moreover, if there are only k ≤ m uncertain parameters, we generalize the performance bound for affine policies to O(k) , which is particularly useful if only a few parameters are uncertain. We also provide an O(k) -approximation algorithm for the general case without any restriction on the constraint matrix but the solution is not an affine function of the uncertain parameters. We also give a tight characterization of the conditions under which an affine policy is optimal for the above model. In particular, we show that if the uncertainty set, R+m is a simplex, then an affine policy is optimal. However, an affine policy is suboptimal even if is a convex combination of only (m + 3) extreme points (only two more extreme points than a simplex) and the worst-case cost of an optimal affine policy can be a factor (2 − delta) worse than the worst-case cost of an optimal fully-adaptable solution for any delta > 0.National Science Foundation (U.S.) (NSF Grants DMI-0556106)National Science Foundation (U.S.) (EFRI-0735905

    A New Bioactive Compound From the Marine Sponge-Derived Streptomyces sp. SBT348 Inhibits Staphylococcal Growth and Biofilm Formation

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    Staphylococcus epidermidis, the common inhabitant of human skin and mucosal surfaces has emerged as an important pathogen in patients carrying surgical implants and medical devices. Entering the body via surgical sites and colonizing the medical devices through formation of multi-layered biofilms leads to refractory and persistent device-related infections (DRIs). Staphylococci organized in biofilms are more tolerant to antibiotics and immune responses, and thus are difficult-to-treat. The consequent morbidity and mortality, and economic losses in health care systems has strongly necessitated the need for development of new anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm-based therapeutics. In this study, we describe the biological activity of a marine sponge-derived Streptomyces sp. SBT348 extract in restraining staphylococcal growth and biofilm formation on polystyrene, glass, medically relevant titan metal, and silicone surfaces. A bioassay-guided fractionation was performed to isolate the active compound (SKC3) from the crude SBT348 extract. Our results demonstrated that SKC3 effectively inhibits the growth (MIC: 31.25 μg/ml) and biofilm formation (sub-MIC range: 1.95–<31.25 μg/ml) of S. epidermidis RP62A in vitro. Chemical characterization of SKC3 by heat and enzyme treatments, and mass spectrometry (HRMS) revealed its heat-stable and non-proteinaceous nature, and high molecular weight (1258.3 Da). Cytotoxicity profiling of SKC3 in vitro on mouse fibroblast (NIH/3T3) and macrophage (J774.1) cell lines, and in vivo on the greater wax moth larvae Galleria mellonella revealed its non-toxic nature at the effective dose. Transcriptome analysis of SKC3 treated S. epidermidis RP62A has further unmasked its negative effect on central metabolism such as carbon flux as well as, amino acid, lipid, and energy metabolism. Taken together, these findings suggest a potential of SKC3 as a putative drug to prevent staphylococcal DRIs

    Changes in Gene Expression Foreshadow Diet-Induced Obesity in Genetically Identical Mice

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    High phenotypic variation in diet-induced obesity in male C57BL/6J inbred mice suggests a molecular model to investigate non-genetic mechanisms of obesity. Feeding mice a high-fat diet beginning at 8 wk of age resulted in a 4-fold difference in adiposity. The phenotypes of mice characteristic of high or low gainers were evident by 6 wk of age, when mice were still on a low-fat diet; they were amplified after being switched to the high-fat diet and persisted even after the obesogenic protocol was interrupted with a calorically restricted, low-fat chow diet. Accordingly, susceptibility to diet-induced obesity in genetically identical mice is a stable phenotype that can be detected in mice shortly after weaning. Chronologically, differences in adiposity preceded those of feeding efficiency and food intake, suggesting that observed difference in leptin secretion is a factor in determining phenotypes related to food intake. Gene expression analyses of adipose tissue and hypothalamus from mice with low and high weight gain, by microarray and qRT-PCR, showed major changes in the expression of genes of Wnt signaling and tissue re-modeling in adipose tissue. In particular, elevated expression of SFRP5, an inhibitor of Wnt signaling, the imprinted gene MEST and BMP3 may be causally linked to fat mass expansion, since differences in gene expression observed in biopsies of epididymal fat at 7 wk of age (before the high-fat diet) correlated with adiposity after 8 wk on a high-fat diet. We propose that C57BL/6J mice have the phenotypic characteristics suitable for a model to investigate epigenetic mechanisms within adipose tissue that underlie diet-induced obesity

    Structure, computational and biochemical analysis of PcCel45A endoglucanase from <i>Phanerochaete chrysosporium </i>and catalytic mechanisms of GH45 subfamily C members

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    Abstract The glycoside hydrolase family 45 (GH45) of carbohydrate modifying enzymes is mostly comprised of β-1,4-endoglucanases. Significant diversity between the GH45 members has prompted the division of this family into three subfamilies: A, B and C, which may differ in terms of the mechanism, general architecture, substrate binding and cleavage. Here, we use a combination of X-ray crystallography, bioinformatics, enzymatic assays, molecular dynamics simulations and site-directed mutagenesis experiments to characterize the structure, substrate binding and enzymatic specificity of the GH45 subfamily C endoglucanase from Phanerochaete chrysosporium (PcCel45A). We investigated the role played by different residues in the binding of the enzyme to cellulose oligomers of different lengths and examined the structural characteristics and dynamics of PcCel45A that make subfamily C so dissimilar to other members of the GH45 family. Due to the structural similarity shared between PcCel45A and domain I of expansins, comparative analysis of their substrate binding was also carried out. Our bioinformatics sequence analyses revealed that the hydrolysis mechanisms in GH45 subfamily C is not restricted to use of the imidic asparagine as a general base in the “Newton’s cradle” catalytic mechanism recently proposed for this subfamily

    Structure, computational and biochemical analysis of PcCel45A endoglucanase from phanerochaete chrysosporium and catalytic mechanisms of GH45 subfamily C members

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    FAPESP - FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULOCNPQ - CONSELHO NACIONAL DE DESENVOLVIMENTO CIENTÍFICO E TECNOLÓGICOCAPES - COORDENAÇÃO DE APERFEIÇOAMENTO DE PESSOAL DE NÍVEL SUPERIORThe glycoside hydrolase family 45 (GH45) of carbohydrate modifying enzymes is mostly comprised of β-1,4-endoglucanases. Significant diversity between the GH45 members has prompted the division of this family into three subfamilies: A, B and C, which may d8FAPESP - FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULOCNPQ - CONSELHO NACIONAL DE DESENVOLVIMENTO CIENTÍFICO E TECNOLÓGICOCAPES - COORDENAÇÃO DE APERFEIÇOAMENTO DE PESSOAL DE NÍVEL SUPERIORFAPESP - FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULOCNPQ - CONSELHO NACIONAL DE DESENVOLVIMENTO CIENTÍFICO E TECNOLÓGICOCAPES - COORDENAÇÃO DE APERFEIÇOAMENTO DE PESSOAL DE NÍVEL SUPERIOR10/52362-511/20505-411/21608-115/13684-0405191/2015-4303988/2016-9440977/2016-9sem informaçãoThe PcCel45A dataset was collected at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, during the RapiData course. This study was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) via grants 10/52362-5, 11/20505-4, 11/21608-1 and 15/13684

    Partial integration and local mean-field approach for a vector lattice model of microemulsions

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    A vector model on the simple cubic lattice, describing a mixture of water, oil, and amphiphile, is considered. An integration over the amphiphile orientational degrees of freedom is performed exactly in order to obtain an effective Hamiltonian for the system. The resulting model is a three-state (spin-1) system and contains many-site interaction terms. The analysis of the ground state reveals the presence of the water-oil-rich phase as well as the amphiphile-rich and the cubic phases. The temperature phase diagram of the system is analyzed in a local mean-field approach, and a triple line of water-rich, oil-rich, and microemulsion coexistence is obtained. For some values of the model parameters, lamellar phases also appear in the system, but only at finite temperature. The Lifshitz line is determined in a semianalytical way in order to locate the microemulsion region of the disordered phase

    Electrical stimulation devices for the prevention of venous thromboembolism: Preliminary studies of physiological efficacy and user satisfaction.

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    Introduction: Electrical stimulation could provide an alternative method for preventing venous thromboembolism in stroke patients. The purpose of this preliminary study was to explore the effects of electrical stimulation and intermittent pneumatic compression on enhancing lower limb venous return in healthy and chronic stroke patients and also to evaluate patient and nurse satisfaction. Methods: We investigated the effectiveness of two electrical stimulation devices: Geko (Firstkind Ltd, High Wycombe, UK) and Orthopaedic Microstim 2V2 (Odstock Medical Ltd, Salisbury, UK); and one intermittent pneumatic compression device: Huntleigh Flowstron Universal (Huntleigh Healthcare Ltd, Cardiff, UK). We recruited 12 healthy and 5 chronic stroke participants. The devices were fitted sequentially, and Doppler ultrasound measurements were taken. Eight patients and nurses were also recruited for a separate usability evaluation. Results: The electrical stimulation devices emulated the blood flow characteristics of intermittent pneumatic compression in both healthy and stroke participants provided that the intensity of electrical stimulation was sufficient. Patients and nurses also felt that the electrical stimulation devices were acceptable. Conclusions: Electrical stimulation may offer benefit as an alternative method for venous thromboembolism prevention in stroke patients. The apparent benefit is sufficient to warrant further investigation in a full powered randomised controlled trial
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