37,737 research outputs found

    Development of a phenomenological constitutive model for fracture resistance degradation of asphalt concrete with damage growth due to repeated loading

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    Discontinuous areas under the asphalt concrete (AC) layer, such as joints and cracks in an underlying layer, induce higher stress concentration than the designed strength. Stress concentration in the vicinity of discontinuities accelerates distress on the AC layer. Repeated traffic and environmental loading applied to the AC layer also induce degradation of the layer’s strength as microcracks grow at stress levels lower than the layer’s designed strength. In addition, this could be magnified when combined with low temperature cracking, one of the main distresses in AC pavements resulting from extreme temperature changes. When loading is applied near the joints or discontinuity, it amplifies the tensile stress at the bottom of the AC layer as well as the shear stress when the Portland cement concrete (PCC) slab or discontinuity moves vertically. Repetitive traffic loading and environmental changes cause continuous damage accumulations which consequently results in the acceleration of movement in the AC layer at the localized area close to the discontinuity region, thus leading to mechanical degradation of the AC materials which become less resistant to fracture. Even a small load can result in fracture failure of AC pavements when the loss of strength in AC pavements progresses significantly through repeated loading. The current approach to determine the critical properties of AC materials is to conduct laboratory testing under monotonic loading and cyclic loading separately. The fatigue testing under cyclic loading can only provide bulk material properties without consideration to any discontinuities, such as cracks in underlying pavement or joints. On the other hand, the current fracture tests conducted under monotonic loading fail to capture the loss of material strength as repeated loading is applied on pavements. For an accurate estimation of pavement life, it is essential to consider the effect of repeated traffic and thermal loading on the fracture resistance of the AC materials. This study investigates the degradation of the fracture resistance of AC materials as a result of the progressive damages caused by repeated loading application. The study develops the phenomenological constitutive model for fracture resistance degradation with damage growth caused by repeated loading. An experimental program was designed to apply monotonic and cyclic loading to the same test geometry and to examine the degradation of fracture properties with damage growth at the crack tip. Fracture and fatigue tests were implemented using semi-circular bending (SCB) test geometry with notched specimens at various temperatures, loading frequencies, and loading amplitudes. It is observed that damage functions and proposed parameters reflect the degradation rate of fracture resistance with respect to damage growth at the notch tip region. A presented constitutive model accurately predicts the remaining service life of existing pavements. It is further observed that the model coefficient distinguishes AC materials in terms of sensitivity to cracking resistance under both monotonic and cyclic loading.U of I OnlyGraduate College 2-year Extension For

    Sponsorship image and value creation in E-sports

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    .E-sports games can drive the sports industry forward and sponsorship is the best way to engage consumers of this new sport. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of sponsorship image and consumer participation in co-creation consumption activities on fans’ sponsorship response (represented by the variables interest, purchase intention and word of mouth) in e-sports. Four antecedent variables build sponsorship image (i.e., ubiquity of sport, sincerity of sponsor, attitude to sponsor and team identification). A quantitative approach is used for the purposes of this study. Some 445 questionnaires were filled in by fans who watch e-sports in Spain; these are analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The outcomes show that sponsor antecedents are crucial factors if a sponsor wants to change their sponsorship image and influence sponsorship response, and that it is also possible to use participation to improve responsesS

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    The challenges of equestrian arena surfaces: the unprecedented use of a raised platform at the 2012 Olympic Games

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    The design of equestrian arenas can be challenged by time constraints and specific restrictions at a venue but are nonetheless a critical element to the success and sustainability of equestrian sport. The equestrian arenas for the 2012 Olympic Games were an example of a temporary arena constructed on a raised platform and supported by struts, a design unprecedented for equestrian activities. This study assessed the developmental stages of the Olympic surfaces from 2011 to the actual event in 2012 and aimed to confirm that accelerations and forces experienced by horses were comparable to those on solid ground. Assessment took place at i) the Olympic test-event; ii) a developmental mock-up arena and iii) the Olympic venue in 2012. A Clegg impact hammer measured peak vertical deceleration and an Orono Biomechanical Surface Tester quantified peak load and peak loading rate. General Linear Models using the arena's structural features as explanatory variables highlighted surface heterogeneity. Peak vertical deceleration (P < .0001) and peak load (P < .0001) were significantly higher and peak loading rate was significantly lower (P < .0001) following iterative testing and modifications to the arena. Data were comparable with surfaces on solid ground by the final testing at the 2012 Olympic Games. Findings highlighted the importance of testing surfaces throughout their development and demonstrated the impact that surface composition, time elapsed since installation, water management, and type of construction have on surface functional properties, with relevance to future temporary arena initiative

    Uso de las histonas circulantes y sus modificaciones post-traduccionales como biomarcadores en sepsis y shock séptico

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    La sepsis es una afección potencialmente mortal causada por una respuesta anormal del huésped a una infección, produciendo respuestas fisiológicas alteradas que dañan los propios tejidos del paciente y pueden provocar disfunción orgánica e incluso la muerte. Asimismo, algunos pacientes sépticos progresan a shock séptico, caracterizado por alteraciones circulatorias, celulares y metabólicas sustanciales que aumentan el riesgo de mortalidad. A pesar de que la sepsis se caracteriza por un mal funcionamiento del sistema inmunológico, lo que a su vez conduce a una respuesta inmune alterada e inmunosupresión, la alta complejidad de la fisiopatología de la sepsis requiere una mayor investigación para comprender las respuestas inmunes que ocurren durante la sepsis. Asimismo, las histonas extracelulares circulantes han ganado relevancia como mediadores citotóxicos en la sepsis, ya que actúan como patrones moleculares asociados a daño, que inducen estrés oxidativo y activan el inflamasoma NLRP3. Estos mecanismos median la activación de la piroptosis, un mecanismo de muerte celular programada que produce inflamación mediante la expresión de IL-18, IL-1β and IL-1α. Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia de activación del inflamasoma en las células inmunes durante la sepsis, se desconoce si las histonas extracelulares son capaces de activar los inflamasomas endoteliales y sus consecuencias. En este trabajo destacamos el papel previamente desconocido de las histonas extracelulares, mediando la activación del inflamasoma NLRP3 y la piroptosis en las células endoteliales, contribuyendo a la disfunción endotelial y la desregulación de la respuesta inmune mediada por el endotelio. Asimismo, también demostramos cómo la acetilación de histonas disminuye la activación de la piroptosis. Además, demostramos que la piroptosis se produce en pacientes con shock séptico y los niveles de histonas circulantes se correlacionan con la expresión de citoquinas proinflamatorias y citoquinas piroptóticas, la liberación de factores de adhesión endotelial y la gravedad de la enfermedad. Proponemos la piroptosis mediada por histonas como un nuevo objetivo para desarrollar intervenciones clínicas. De manera similar, hemos analizado las respuestas inmunorelacionadas que ocurren durante las primeras etapas de la sepsis con el objetivo de proporcionar nuevos datos comparando las cantidades de citoquinas, inmunomoduladores y otros mediadores endoteliales en pacientes críticamente enfermos no sépticos, sépticos y de shock séptico. Nuestro enfoque ayudará a caracterizar rápidamente las respuestas inmunes alteradas en pacientes sépticos y de shock séptico ingresados en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Finalmente analizamos el papel de la metilación del ADN en el control del sistema inmune séptico. Nuestros resultados demostraron el papel central de la metilación del ADN modulando la respuesta molecular en los pacientes de shock séptico y contribuyendo a la inmunosupresión, a través de la alteración de los patrones de metilación de los promotores de IL-10 y TREM-2.Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by an abnormal host response to an infection that produce altered physiological responses which damages own tissues of the patient and can result in organ dysfunction and in some cases death. Likewise, a subset of septic patients progresses to septic shock, characterized by substantial circulatory, cellular and metabolic abnormalities, which substantially increase the risk of mortality. Sepsis is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system and it can lead to an altered immune response and immunosuppression. Moreover, the high complexity of the pathophysiology of sepsis requires of further investigation to characterize the immune responses in sepsis and septic shock. Likewise, circulating extracellular histones have gained relevance as cytotoxic mediators in sepsis pathophysiology, since they act as damage-associated molecular patterns, which induce oxidative stress and activate NLRP3 inflammasome. Subsequently, inflammasome mediates pyroptosis activation, a programmed cell death mechanism that produces inflammation through the release of IL-18, IL-1β and IL-1α. However, despite inflammasome activation may occur in immune cells during sepsis, it is unknown if this process also takes place in endothelial cells and particularly whether extracellular histones are capable of activating endothelial inflammasomes and their consequences. In this work we highlight a previously unknown role for extracellular histones, that mediates the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and pyroptosis in endothelial cells by contributing to endothelial dysfunction and the dysregulation of the immune response mediated by endothelium. Likewise, we demonstrated how histone acetylation decreases pyroptosis activation. Furthermore, we show how pyroptosis occurs in septic shock patients and how circulating histone levels correlate with the expression of pro-inflammatory and pyroptotic cytokines, the release of endothelial adhesion factors and septic shock severity. We propose histone-mediated pyroptosis as a new target to develop clinical interventions. Similarly, we have analyzed the immune-related responses occurring during the early stages of sepsis with the aim of providing new data by comparing the amounts of cytokines, immune modulators and other endothelial mediators in critically-ill non-septic patients, septic and septic shock patients. Our approach will help to rapidly characterize the altered immune responses in septic and septic shock patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Finally, we also analyzed the role of DNA methylation in the control of septic immune system. Our results demonstrated the central role of DNA methylation modulating the molecular response in septic shock patients and contributing to immunosuppression, through the alteration of DNA methylation patterns of IL-10 and TREM2 promoters

    Multiday load carriage decreases ability to mitigate ground reaction force through reduction of ankle torque production

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    The aim of this study was to examine the impact of backpack load carriage on lower limb strength and loading rate change in a cohort that match military recruit profiles. Twenty-six participants walked on a treadmill either carrying a military load carriage system (32 kg) or unloaded for 2 h on two consecutive days. Participants ground reaction forces and strength measures were assessed using a force platform and dynamometry, respectively. Testing included assessments before and after treadmill walking on days one and two, and 24 h following day 2. When assessed by mixed methods ANOVA (alpha: 0.05) statistically significant interaction effects were observed for loading peak (p = 0.031), loading rate (p = 0.035) and plantarflexor torque dynamometry variables at 60°s (p = 0.011) and 120°s (p = 0.024). Repeated measures correlation highlighted associations between plantarflexor torque at 60°s and loading rate (r = -0.901, p < 0.001). Load carriage reduced lower limb torque which did not recover between days. Plantarflexor torque reductions were associated with increases in loading rate. Practitioners should consider that load bearers are more likely to experience lower limb injury during multi-day load carriage. Future work should develop protocols to reduce plantarflexor torque loss in order to reduce ground reaction force change. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    The applied psychology of addictive orientations : studies in a 12-step treatment context.

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    The clinical data for the studies was collected at The PROMIS Recovery Centre, a Minnesota Model treatmentc entre for addictions,w hich encouragesth e membership and use of the 12 step Anonymous Fellowships, and is abstinence based. The area of addiction is contextualised in a review chapter which focuses on research relating to the phenomenon of cross addiction. A study examining the concept of "addictive orientations" in male and female addicts is described, which develops a study conductedb y StephensonM, aggi, Lefever, & Morojele (1995). This presents study found a four factor solution which appeared to be subdivisions of the previously found Hedonism and Nurturance factors. Self orientated nurturance (both food dimensions, shopping and caffeine), Other orientated nurturance (both compulsive helping dimensions and work), Sensation seeking hedonism (Drugs, prescription drugs, nicotine and marginally alcohol), and Power related hedonism (Both relationship dimensions, sex and gambling. This concept of "addictive orientations" is further explored in a non-clinical population, where again a four factor solution was found, very similar to that in the clinical population. This was thought to indicate that in terms of addictive orientation a pattern already exists in this non-clinical population and that consideration should be given to why this is the case. These orientations are examined in terms of gender differences. It is suggested that the differences between genders reflect power-related role relationships between the sexes. In order to further elaborate the significance and meaning behind these orientations, the next two chapters look at the contribution of personality variables and how addictive orientations relate to psychiatric symptomatology. Personality variables were differentially, and to a considerable extent predictably involved with the four factors for both males and females.Conscientiousness as positively associated with "Other orientated Nurturance" and negatively associated with "Sensation seeking hedonism" (particularly for men). Neuroticism had a particularly strong association with the "Self orientated Nurturance" factor in the female population. More than twice the symptomatology variance was explained by the factor scores for females than it was for males. The most important factorial predictors for psychiatric symptomatology were the "Power related hedonism" factor for males, and "Self oriented nurturance" for females. The results are discussed from theoretical and treatment perspectives

    The company she keeps : The social and interpersonal construction of girls same sex friendships

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    This thesis begins a critical analysis of girls' 'private' interpersonal and social relations as they are enacted within two school settings. It is the study of these marginal subordinated worlds productivity of forms of femininity which provides the main narrative of this project. I seek to understand these processes of (best) friendship construction through a feminist multi-disciplinary frame, drawing upon cultural studies, psychoanalysis and accounts of gender politics. I argue that the investments girls bring to their homosocial alliances and boundary drawing narry a psychological compulsion which is complexly connected to their own experiences within the mother/daughter bond as well as reflecting positively an immense social debt to the permissions girls have to be nurturant and ; negatively their own reproduction of oppressive exclusionary practices. Best friendship in particular gives girls therefore, the experience of 'monogamy' continuous of maternal/daughter identification, reminiscent of their positioning inside monopolistic forms of heterosexuality. But these subcultures also represent a subversive discontinuity to the public dominance of boys/teachers/adults in schools and to the ideologies and practices of heterosociality and heterosexuality. By taking seriously their transmission of the values of friendship in their chosen form of notes and diaries for example, I was able to access the means whereby they were able to resist their surveillance and control by those in power over them. I conclude by arguing that it is through a recognition of the valency of these indivisiblly positive and negative aspects to girls cultures that Equal Opportunities practitioners must begin if they are serious about their ambitions. Methods have to be made which enable girls to transfer their 'private' solidarities into the 'public' realm, which unquestionably demands contesting with them the causes and consequences of their implication in the divisions which also contaminate their lives and weaken them
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