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  • 1
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The NICE classification is an international endoscopic classification of colorectal neoplasia through a narrowband spectrum that on the basis of lesion colors, vascular pattern, and structure of the surface of the mucous membrane classifies colorectal neoplasms in three categories: type 1 as hyperplastic lesions, type 2 as adenomas, and type 3 as invasive tumors. The aim of this study was to verify diagnostic accuracy of the NICE classification system compared to the reference standard: histopathological analysis. This retrospective study was conducted by ten physicians on a sequential sample of 418 patients and 735 polyps. The total diagnostic accuracy of the NICE classification system is found to be 76.7%. Optical recognition is significantly better with larger polyps, high-risk lesions (HGIEN), and neoplastic lesions. This research has shown that the NICE classification system is at the moment inferior to histopathological analysis. However, it is noticed that some physicians achieve significantly better results, with the accuracy of diagnosis ranging from 59.5% to 84.2%. These results show that with proper training of physicians and the use of endoscope enhancements to improve image quality, the NICE classification system could in the future potentially replace the histopathological diagnosis process.
    Print ISSN: 1687-6121
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-630X
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: We describe the measurement of surface acoustic wave (SAW) velocities to identify five odorant molecules by using a SAW device system. We derive a new frequency equation for SAWs propagating in the SAW device system with Cynops pyrrhogaster lipocalin (Cp-Lip1) protein, in order to identify five odorant molecules, R-limonene (R-Lim), ethyl butyrate (Eth), 2-isobutylthiazole (Iso), benzophenone (Ben), and 2-acetylthiazole (Ace). We developed a method to identify these odorant molecules combined with the Cp-Lip1 odorant-binding protein. Our frequency equation can satisfactorily predict different odorant molecules in the Cp-Lip1 SAW device. Moreover, our data suggest that the propagation velocity of the SAWs mostly relate to the density and concentration of the Cp-Lip1 odorant molecule mixtures. At the same sample concentration, the propagation velocity depends on the density. For the same odorant molecule, the propagation velocity decreases with increasing concentration.
    Print ISSN: 1687-725X
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-7268
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 3
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The structural vibration of the main beam of a crane causes fatigue damage and discomfort to the driver. The swing of the payload has an effect on positioning precision, especially for a ladle crane, and this directly affects production safety. To study the influence of system parameters on the vibration of a crane’s main beam and the angle of the payload, a system consisting of the main beam, trolley, payload, and cabin was constructed. A rigid-flexible coupling dynamic model of a moving trolley with a hanging payload that moves on the flexible main beam with a concentrated cabin mass is established, and the direct integration method is used to solve the nonlinear differential equations of system vibration, which are obtained through Lagrange’s equation. Then, the time domain responses of the flexible main beam, payload angle, and cabin vibration are obtained. The influences of the trolley running speed, quality of the payload, and quality and position of the cabin on the vibration of the main beam and payload angle are analyzed. The results indicate that the amplitude of the main beam is directly proportional to the quality of the trolley, payload, and cab; the position of the cabin is closer to the mid-span; the amplitude of the main beam is larger; the structural damping has some influence on the vibration of the main beam; and the swing angle of the payload is related to the maximum running speed of the trolley, acceleration time, and length of the wire rope. In order to reduce the vibration of the main beam and cabin, the connection stiffness of the cabin should be ensured during installation.
    Print ISSN: 1024-123X
    Electronic ISSN: 1563-5147
    Topics: Mathematics , Technology
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  • 4
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Background. Inflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We evaluated the lncRNA and mRNA expression profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy nonsmokers, smokers without airflow limitation, and COPD patients. Methods. lncRNA and mRNA profiling of PBMCs from 17 smokers and 14 COPD subjects was detected by high-throughput microarray. The expression of dysregulated lncRNAs was validated by qPCR. The lncRNA targets in dysregulated mRNAs were predicted and the GO enrichment was analyzed. The regulatory role of lncRNA ENST00000502883.1 on CXCL16 expression and consequently the effect on PBMC recruitment were investigated by siRNA knockdown and chemotaxis analysis. Results. We identified 158 differentially expressed lncRNAs in PBMCs from COPD subjects compared with smokers. The dysregulated expression of 5 selected lncRNAs NR_026891.1 (FLJ10038), ENST00000502883.1 (RP11-499E18.1), HIT000648516, XR_429541.1, and ENST00000597550.1 (CTD-2245F17.3), was validated. The GO enrichment showed that leukocyte migration, immune response, and apoptosis are the main enriched processes that previously reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of COPD. The regulatory role of ENST00000502883.1 on CXCL16 expression and consequently the effect on PBMC recruitment was confirmed. Conclusion. This study may provide clues for further studies targeting lncRNAs to control inflammation in COPD.
    Print ISSN: 0962-9351
    Electronic ISSN: 1466-1861
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 5
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are adult multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into mesodermal lineage cells, including adipocytes and osteoblasts. However, the epigenetic mechanisms governing the lineage-specific commitment of BMSCs into adipocytes or osteoblasts are under investigation. Herein, we investigated the epigenetic effect of romidepsin, a small molecule dual inhibitor targeting HDAC1 and HDAC2 identified through an epigenetic library functional screen. BMSCs exposed to romidepsin (5 nM) exhibited enhanced adipocytic and osteoblastic differentiation. Global gene expression and signaling pathway analyses of differentially expressed genes revealed a strong enrichment of genes involved in adipogenesis and osteogenesis in romidepsin-treated BMSCs during induction into adipocytes or osteoblasts, respectively. Pharmacological inhibition of FAK signaling during adipogenesis or inhibition of FAK or TGFβ signaling during osteogenesis diminished the biological effects of romidepsin on BMSCs. The results of chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with quantitative polymerase chain reaction indicated a significant increase in H3K9Ac epigenetic markers in the promoter regions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and KLF15 (related to adipogenesis) or SP7 (Osterix) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) (related to osteogenesis) in romidepsin-treated BMSCs. Our data indicated that romidepsin is a novel in vitro modulator of adipocytic and osteoblastic differentiation of BMSCs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Pulmonary emphysema is a respiratory condition characterized by alveolar destruction that leads to airflow limitation and reduced lung function. Although with extensive research, the pathophysiology of emphysema is poorly understood and effective treatments are still missing. Evidence suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess the ability to engraft the injured tissues and induce repair via a paracrine effect. Thus, the aim of this study was to test the effects of the intratracheal administration of lung-derived mouse MSCs in a model of elastase-induced emphysema. Pulmonary function (static lung compliance) showed an increased stiffness induced by elastase, while morphometric findings (mean linear intercept and tissue/alveolar area) confirmed the severity of alveolar disruption. Contrarily, MSC administration partially restored lung elasticity and alveolar architecture. In the absence of evidence that MSCs acquired epithelial phenotype, we detected an increased proliferative activity of aquaporin 5- and surfactant protein C-positive lung cells, suggesting MSC-driven paracrine mechanisms. The data indicate the mediation of hepatocyte growth factor in amplifying MSC-driven tissue response after injury. Our study shed light on supportive properties of lung-derived MSCs, although the full identification of mechanisms orchestrated by MSCs and responsible for epithelial repair after injury is a critical aspect yet to be achieved.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 7
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The human adult heart lacks a robust endogenous repair mechanism to fully restore cardiac function after insult; thus, the ability to regenerate and repair the injured myocardium remains a top priority in treating heart failure. The ability to efficiently generate a large number of functioning cardiomyocytes capable of functional integration within the injured heart has been difficult. However, the ability to directly convert fibroblasts into cardiomyocyte-like cells both in vitro and in vivo offers great promise in overcoming this problem. In this review, we describe the insights and progress that have been gained from the investigation of direct cardiac reprogramming. We focus on the use of key transcription factors and cardiogenic genes as well as on the use of other biological molecules such as small molecules, cytokines, noncoding RNAs, and epigenetic modifiers to improve the efficiency of cardiac reprogramming. Finally, we discuss the development of safer reprogramming approaches for future clinical application.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 8
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Objective. Adipose tissue stem cells (ADSCs) present a promising therapeutic method to alleviate liver failure (LF). The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of undifferentiated ADSC transplantation on liver regeneration and on the expression of liver regeneration- and liver-specific genes, following 60% partial hepatectomy (PHx). Methods. Sixty female rats were subjected to PHx and were transplanted with 106 or 2 × 106 ADSCs, either into the portal vein (PV) or into the hepatic parenchyma. Animals of the control group were not transplanted and served as controls. Animals were sacrificed on the 4th, the 7th, or the 15th postoperative day (POD). Results. The transplanted ADSCs were successfully engrafted into the liver parenchyma and ameliorated the histopathologic damage on the 7th and 15th POD. All transplanted animals demonstrated a significantly higher liver regeneration rate on the 4th and 7th POD, compared with the control group. The expression of hepatocyte growth factor, α-fetoprotein, tyrosine aminotransferase, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4a, and cytochrome P450 1A2 was significantly upregulated, compared with the control group. Conclusions. Although undifferentiated, ADSC transplantation significantly enhanced the liver regeneration process. These findings may be proven clinically valuable, especially in cases of acute LF.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 9
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Mesenchymal stromal cell-like populations have been derived from mouse-induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSC-MSC) with the capability for tissue regeneration. In this study, murine iPSC underwent differentiation towards an MSC-like immunophenotype. Stable miPSC-MSC cultures expressed the MSC-associated markers, CD73, CD105, and Sca-1, but lacked expression of the pluripotency marker, SSEA1, and hematopoietic markers, CD34 and CD45. Functionally, miPSC-MSC exhibited the potential for trilineage differentiation into osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes and the capacity to suppress the proliferation of mitogen-activated splenocytes. The efficacy of miPSC-MSC was assessed in an acute inflammation model following systemic or local delivery into mice with subcutaneous implants containing heat-inactivated P. gingivalis. Histological analysis revealed less inflammatory cellular infiltrate within the sponges in mice treated with miPSC-MSC cells delivered locally rather than systemically. Assessment of proinflammatory cytokines in mouse spleens found that CXCL1 transcripts and protein were reduced in mice treated with miPSC-MSC. In a periodontitis model, mice subjected to oral inoculation with P. gingivalis revealed less bone tissue destruction and inflammation within the jaws when treated with miPSC-MSC compared to PBS alone. Our results demonstrated that miPSC-MSC derived from iPSC have the capacity to control acute and chronic inflammatory responses associated with the destruction of periodontal tissue. Therefore, miPSC-MSC present a promising novel source of stromal cells which could be used in the treatment of periodontal disease and other inflammatory systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Adult stem cells are a promising cell source for cartilage regeneration. They resided in a special microenvironment known as the stem-cell niche, characterized by the presence of low oxygen concentration. Cobalt chloride (CoCl2) imitates hypoxia in vitro by stabilizing hypoxia-inducible factor-alpha (HIF-1α), which is the master regulator in the cellular adaptive response to hypoxia. In this study, the influence of CoCl2 on the chondrogenic potential of human MSCs, isolated from dental pulp, umbilical cord, and adipose tissue, was investigated. Cells were treated with concentrations of CoCl2 ranging from 50 to 400 μM. Cell viability, HIF-1α protein synthesis, and the expression of the chondrogenic markers were analyzed. The results showed that the CoCl2 supplementation had no effect on cell viability, while the upregulation of chondrogenic markers such as SOX9, COL2A1, VCAN, and ACAN was dependent on the cellular source. This study shows that hypoxia, induced by CoCl2 treatment, can differently influence the behavior of MSCs, isolated from different sources, in their chondrogenic potential. These findings should be taken into consideration in the treatment of cartilage repair and regeneration based on stem cell therapies.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 11
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Humification is considered to be a global process that is implemented in soils and organic sediments and also in natural water and air. The term “suspended soils” has become increasingly common in recent years. Suspended soils are defined as the part of the organic matter that has not undergone the full decomposition process and has not turned into the humus of terrestrial soils. Suspended soils were shown to contain higher total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contents than the forest soil, but the moisture content in suspended soils was significantly lower. Our study of the structural composition of humic substances in suspended soils was conducted with an aim of evaluating the humification rates and structural composition of humic acids in the suspended soil in tropical forests of South Vietnam. Soil samples from three selected areas were investigated: the soil under phorophytes (mineral soil presented by samples of topsoil of the typical dry savanna landscape) and two soils from epiphytous formations. Samples were collected from savanna-type sparse communities, located on oligotrophous plains in Phú Quốc Island (South Vietnam) in 2015. General properties of the soil and the elemental composition of suspended soils were determined, and the humic substance chemical composition was evaluated using solid state 13C-NMR. Data obtained showed that the pH of the soils under phorophytes was higher than in the suspended soils; basal respiration did not tend to change indices between soils under phorophytes and suspended soils, but the suspended soil was less enriched by nitrogen than the soil under phorophytes. This can be related to the total amount of organic matter exposed to humification in various soils and to the presence of an essential portion of mineral particles in the soil under phorophytes. Data on elemental composition of the humic acids (HAs) indicated that one method of humification is implemented in all three soils that were investigated. The humic acids of the phorophyte soil showed the same content of aromatic fraction as the suspended soil. The most comparable soil type in terms of humic substance composition is Cambisols from humid forests of subboreal and subtropical zones. The humification process implemented in suspended soils showed the absence of mineral compounds or mineral fine earth, which indicated that humification in conditions of pure organic substrates can result in formation of deep humified organic matter, as shown by humic acids with an essential aromatic fraction content.
    Print ISSN: 1687-7667
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-7675
    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 12
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The measurement of soil pH using a field portable test kit represents a fast and inexpensive method to assess pH. Field based pH methods have been used extensively for agricultural advisory services and soil survey and now for citizen soil science projects. In the absence of laboratory measurements, there is a practical need to model the laboratory pH as a function of the field pH to increase the density of data for soil research studies and Digital Soil Mapping. The accuracy and uncertainty in pH field measurements were investigated for soil samples from regional Victoria in Australia using both linear and sigmoidal models. For samples in water and CaCl2 at 1 : 5 dilutions, sigmoidal models provided improved accuracy over the full range of field pH values in comparison to linear models (i.e., pH 〈 5 or pH 〉 9). The uncertainty in the field results was quantified by the 95% confidence interval (CI) and 95% prediction interval (PI) for the models, with 95% CI 〈 0.25 pH units and 95% PI = pH units, respectively. It was found that the Pearson criterion for robust regression analysis can be considered as an alternative to the orthodox least-squares modelling approach because it is more effective in addressing outliers in legacy data.
    Print ISSN: 1687-7667
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-7675
    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Pasture degradation can cause changes in diazotrophic bacterial communities. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the culturable and total diazotrophic bacterial community, associated with regions of the rhizosphere and roots of Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. pastures in different stages of degradation. Samples of roots and rhizospheric soil were collected from slightly, partially, and highly degraded pastures. McCrady’s table was used to obtain the Most Probable Number (MPN) of bacteria per gram of sample, in order to determine population density and calculate the Shannon-Weaver diversity index. The diversity of total diazotrophic bacterial community was determined by the technique of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) of the nifH gene, while the diversity of the culturable diazotrophic bacteria was determined by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (BOX-PCR) technique. The increase in the degradation stage of the B. decumbens Stapf. pasture did not reduce the population density of the cultivated diazotrophic bacterial community, suggesting that the degradation at any degree of severity was highly harmful to the bacteria. The structure of the total diazotrophic bacterial community associated with B. decumbens Stapf. was altered by the pasture degradation stage, suggesting a high adaptive capacity of the bacteria to altered environments.
    Print ISSN: 1687-7667
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    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 14
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Integrated crop-livestock systems can have subtle effects on soil quality over time, particularly in semiarid regions where soil responses to management occur slowly. We tested if analyzing temporal trajectories of soils could detect trends in soil quality data which were not detected using traditional statistical and index approaches. Principal component and cluster analyses were used to assess the evolution in ten soil properties at three sampling times within two production systems (annually cropped, perennial grass). Principal component 1 explained 33% of the total variance of the complete dataset and corresponded to gradients in extractable N, available P, and C : N ratio. Principal component 2 explained 25.4% of the variability and corresponded to gradients of soil pH, soil organic C, and total N. While previous analyses found no differences in Soil Quality Index (SQI) scores between production systems, annually cropped treatments and perennial grasslands were clearly distinguished by cluster analysis. Cluster analysis also identified greater dispersion between plots over time, suggesting an evolution in soil condition in response to management. Accordingly, multivariate statistical techniques serve as a valuable tool for analyzing data where responses to management are subtle or anticipated to occur slowly.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 15
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Degradation and destruction of mangrove forests in many regions have resulted in the alteration of carbon cycling. Objectives of this study were established to answer the question regarding how much soil organic carbon (SOC) is stored in wetland soils in part of the upper northeastern Gulf of Thailand and to what extent SOC is related to organic matter (OM). A total of 29 soil samples were collected in October 2015. Soil physiochemical analyses followed the standard protocol. Spatial distributions were estimated by a kriging method. Linear regression and coefficient were used to determine the suitable conversion factor for mangrove soils. The results showed that surface soil (0–5 cm) contained higher SOC content as compared to subsurface soil (5–10 cm). Considering a depth of 10 cm, this area had a high potential to sequester carbon with a mean ± standard deviation of %. The spatial variability of OM and SOC revealed that organic matter and carbon decreased with the distance from upstream areas toward the gulf. Based on the assumption that OM is 50% SOC, the conversion factor of 2 is recommended for more accuracy rather than the conventional factor of 1.724.
    Print ISSN: 1687-7667
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-7675
    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 16
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Water demand increases as population increases leading to overexploitation of water resource. Consequently, there is need for improved water resources management complemented with rain water harvesting within the catchments. This study sought to assess land suitability for surface runoff harvesting using geospatial techniques. Land use/land cover maps of the area were derived from Landsat image. Land use and soils data were used in generating curve number map of the catchment. Lineaments greatly affect the storage depending on whether runoff is for surface storage or ground water recharge purposes. As a result, ArcGIS was used in delineating the lineaments from Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the catchment. Further, using weighted overlay the catchment was grouped into categories of restricted, not suitable, moderately suitable, suitable, or highly suitable. The study found that forest, agriculture, and built-up areas occupied about 39.42%, 36.32%, and 1.35% of catchment area, respectively. A large part of catchment was found to have curve number range of 82–89. About 50% of the catchment was found to fall within suitable and highly suitable categories. This implied that a great potential exists for rain water harvesting within the catchment.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 17
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Potential health risks associated with trace metal pollution have necessitated the importance of monitoring their levels in the environment. The present study investigated the concentrations and compositions of trace metals in dust samples collected from classrooms and playing ground from the selected high schools In Pretoria. Schools were selected from Pretoria based on factors such as proximity to high traffic ways, industrial areas, and residential areas. Thirty-two dust samples were collected from inside and outside the classrooms, where learners often stay during recess period. The dust samples were analysed for trace metal concentrations using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The composition of the elements showed that the concentrations of Zn were more than all other elements except from one of the schools. There were significant differences in the concentrations of trace metals from the schools (). Regular cleaning, proximity to busy road, and well maintained gardens seem to have positive effects on the concentrations of trace metals recorded from the classrooms dust. The result further revealed a positive correlation for elements such as Pb, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Sb, indicating that the dust might have a common source.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 18
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate and quantify trace metal concentrations in Commelina africana L. and psammitic sandflats from an intertidal coastal ecosystem in Niger Delta, Nigeria, and to evaluate their spatial distribution, degree of contamination, and source apportionment. The environmental risks associated with soil contamination were elaborately assessed using potential ecological risk index, sediment quality guidelines, and enrichment relative to background levels. The mean concentrations of Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in sandflat soil samples are , , , , and  mg/kg, respectively. Metal levels indicate strong variability with sampling sites. The order of trace metal concentrations in the Commelina africana L. samples is . The concentrations varied with the sample locations; and the levels of Pb (0.05 to 0.08 mg/kg) at all locations are found to be significantly below permissible level of 0.3 mg/kg. Potential sources of metal loadings may be associated with localised or diffused anthropogenic activities. The average carcinogenic risks are below threshold values, and the sandflat soils are not considered to pose significant health effects to children and adult males and females. However, the carcinogenicity and noncarcinogenicity risks ranking decrease following the order . Comparatively, the hazard quotient and hazard index indicate that the psammitic sandflats might pose a health risk to children in future.
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    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 19
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Melanocytic nevi, including dysplastic or atypical nevi (DN), can recur or persist following shave removal procedures, and recurrence may resemble melanoma, both clinically and histologically (pseudomelanoma). Recurrence may originate from proliferation of the remaining neoplastic melanocytes following incomplete removal. The present study determines the rate and etiology of this event. A cross-sectional analysis of 110 excision specimens showing histological recurrence was performed, and these specimens were compared to the slides of the original shave specimens showing mildly atypical DN. In the second portion of the study, a retrospective review of 167 cases with biopsy-proven mildly atypical DN which were followed up for at least two years was conducted to determine the rate of recurrence/persistence. When followed up for two years, DN, with positive shave margins, defined by extension or very close extension (≤0.2 mm) of the lesions to the lateral margins and into the deep margins through the hair follicles in the shave removal specimens, have a higher probability of recurrence than DN with negative (or clear) margins (odds ratio (OR) = 158; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 36.62–683; ). The overall rate of histologically confirmed recurrence/persistence was approximately 10%.
    Print ISSN: 1687-6105
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-6113
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 20
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: As we all know, there are a great number of optimization problems in the world. One of the relatively complicated and high-level problems is the vehicle routing problem (VRP). Dynamic vehicle routing problem (DVRP) is a major variant of VRP, and it is closer to real logistic scene. In DVRP, the customers’ demands appear with time, and the unserved customers’ points must be updated and rearranged while carrying out the programming paths. Owing to the complexity and significance of the problem, DVRP applications have grabbed the attention of researchers in the past two decades. In this paper, we have two main contributions to solving DVRP. Firstly, DVRP is solved with enhanced Ant Colony Optimization (E-ACO), which is the traditional Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) fusing improved K-means and crossover operation. K-means can divide the region with the most reasonable distance, while ACO using crossover is applied to extend search space and avoid falling into local optimum prematurely. Secondly, several new evaluation benchmarks are proposed, which can objectively and comprehensively estimate the proposed method. In the experiment, the results for different scale problems are compared to those of previously published papers. Experimental results show that the algorithm is feasible and efficient.
    Print ISSN: 1026-0226
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-887X
    Topics: Mathematics
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  • 21
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: A supply chain contract is established using a dynamic, Nash bargaining game which determines the optimal bargaining power allocation for the manufacturer, retailer, and society in an environment affected by moral hazard and irreversible investment. The results found that the manufacturer’s choice was to hold all bargaining power; however, due to the remaining information problem, the retailer still had a profit; in contrast, the retailer was only willing to give up bargaining power if the manufacturer’s profit was reserved. The optimal bargaining power allocation was found to be strongly related to the ability to convert and monitor technology, with the bargaining power gradually shifting to the manufacturer as the technology improved. A numerical simulation is given to examine the theoretical results.
    Print ISSN: 1026-0226
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-887X
    Topics: Mathematics
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  • 22
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper investigates the valuation of vulnerable European options considering the market prices of common systematic jump risks under regime-switching jump-diffusion models. The way of regime-switching Esscher transform is adopted to identify an equivalent martingale measure for pricing vulnerable European options. Explicit analytical pricing formulae for vulnerable European options are derived by risk-neutral pricing theory. For comparison, the other two cases are also considered separately. The first case considers all jump risks as unsystematic risks while the second one assumes all jumps risks to be systematic risks. Numerical examples for the valuation of vulnerable European options are provided to illustrate our results and indicate the influence of the market prices of jump risks on the valuation of vulnerable European options.
    Print ISSN: 1026-0226
    Electronic ISSN: 1607-887X
    Topics: Mathematics
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  • 23
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Let be an integer and . We show the existence of the principal eigenvalues of linear periodic eigenvalue problem , and we determine the sign of the corresponding eigenfunctions, where is a parameter, and in , and the weight function changes its sign in . As an application of our spectrum results, we use the global bifurcation theory to study the existence of positive solutions for the corresponding nonlinear problem.
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  • 24
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper deals with pullback dynamics for the weakly damped Schrödinger equation with time-dependent forcing. An increasing, bounded, and pullback absorbing set is obtained if the forcing and its time-derivative are backward uniformly integrable. Also, we obtain the forward absorption, which is only used to deduce the backward compact-decay decomposition according to high and low frequencies. Based on a new existence theorem of a backward compact pullback attractor, we show that the nonautonomous Schrödinger equation has a pullback attractor which is compact in the past. The method of energy, high-low frequency decomposition, Sobolev embedding, and interpolation are quite involved in calculating a priori pullback or forward bound.
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  • 25
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
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  • 26
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We propose an exchange economy evolutionary model with discrete time, in which there are two utility-maximizing groups of agents which differ in the preference structure. Assuming an evolutionary mechanism based on the relative utility values realized by the two kinds of agents, we analytically and numerically investigate the existence of equilibria, their stability, and possible phenomena of coexistence between groups, mainly in terms of the heterogeneity degree in the preference structure. We find that our system has two trivial equilibria, at which just one of the two groups is present, and possibly a nontrivial equilibrium, characterized by the coexistence of the two groups of agents. Such nontrivial equilibrium may be stable, attracting all trajectories, or unstable. In the latter case, interesting, periodic, or chaotic, dynamics arise. We prove that the nontrivial equilibrium emerges via a transcritical bifurcation and loses stability via a flip bifurcation, after which the coexistence between groups is oscillatory in nature, presenting a regular or irregular behavior. In order to better investigate the role of the heterogeneity degree parameter, we perform a bifurcation analysis considering different scenarios, characterized by a balanced or unbalanced endowment distribution of the two goods.
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  • 27
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper is devoted to a new numerical approach for the possibility of -periodic Lipschitz shadowing of a class of stochastic differential equations. The existence of -periodic Lipschitz shadowing orbits and expression of shadowing distance are established. The numerical implementation approaches to the shadowing distance by the random Romberg algorithm are presented, and the convergence of this method is also proved to be mean-square. This ensures the feasibility of the numerical method. The practical use of these theorems and the associated algorithms is demonstrated in the numerical computations of the -periodic Lipschitz shadowing orbits of the stochastic logistic equation.
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  • 28
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: An early warning on the highway will effectively reduce traffic accidents. Considering the influence of an abandoned object on driving behavior, a Visual-based Asymmetric Two-lane Cellular Automata model with Abandoned Object (V-ATCA-AO) and an Internet-of-Vehicles-based Asymmetric Two-lane Cellular Automata model with Abandoned Object (IoV-ATCA-AO) are proposed. Based on the two models, two types of traffic accidents caused by an abandoned object are analyzed: rear-end collision caused by the abandoned object ahead and collision of the vehicle with the abandoned object. Simulation results show the following: the accidents occur when the road density is smaller, while the accidents will not occur when the density is larger. The results are different from the rear-end collision rate curve without abandoned object in a single lane. Compared with the visual-based avoidance pattern in V-ATCA-AO, the Internet-of-Vehicles-based avoidance pattern in IoV-ATCA-AO can create an early warning for the abandoned object and tell the vehicle to make an earlier lane change and decelerate in advance, thereby significantly reducing the accident rate. Spatiotemporal characteristics in front of the abandoned object directly affect the accident rate: the less the “stability” of a traffic jam in front of the abandoned object, the higher the accident rate.
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  • 29
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper describes the peak, fat tail, and skewness characteristics of asset price via a Lévy process. It applies asymmetric GARCH model to depict asset price’s random volatility characteristics and builds a GARCH-Lévy option pricing model with random jump characteristics. It also uses circular maximum likelihood estimation technology to improve the stability of model parameter estimation. In order to test the model’s pricing results, we use Hong Kong Hang Seng Index (HSI) price data and its option data to carry out empirical studies. Results prove that the pricing bias of EGARCH-Lévy model is lower than that of standard Heston-Nandi (HN) model in the financial industry. For short-term, middle-term, and long-term European-style options, the pricing error of EGARCH-Lévy model is the lowest.
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  • 30
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: A driving risk status prediction algorithm based on Markov chain is presented. Driving risk states are classified using clustering techniques based on feature variables describing the instantaneous risk levels within time windows, where instantaneous risk levels are determined in time-to-collision and time-headway two-dimension plane. Multinomial Logistic models with recursive feature variable estimation method are developed to improve the traditional state transition probability estimation, which also takes into account the comprehensive effects of driving behavior, traffic, and road environment factors on the evolution of driving risk status. The “100-car” natural driving data from Virginia Tech is employed for the training and validation of the prediction model. The results show that, under the 5% false positive rate, the prediction algorithm could have high prediction accuracy rate for future medium-to-high driving risks and could meet the timeliness requirement of collision avoidance warning. The algorithm could contribute to timely warning or auxiliary correction to drivers in the approaching-danger state.
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  • 31
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper studies the initial-boundary value problem of a porous medium equation with a convection term. If the equation is degenerate on the boundary, then only a partial boundary condition is needed generally. The existence of the weak solution is proved by the monotone convergent method. Moreover, according to the different boundary value conditions, the stability of the solutions is studied. In some special cases, the stability can be proved without any boundary value condition.
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  • 32
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We formulated and analysed a mathematical model to explore the cointeraction between malaria and schistosomiasis. Qualitative and comprehensive mathematical techniques have been applied to analyse the model. The local stability of the disease-free and endemic equilibrium was analysed, respectively. However, the main theorem shows that if , then the disease-free equilibrium is locally asymptotically stable and the phase will vanish out of the host and if , a unique endemic equilibrium is also locally asymptotically stable and the disease persists at the endemic steady state. The impact of schistosomiasis and its treatment on malaria dynamics is also investigated. Numerical simulations using a set of reasonable parameter values show that the two epidemics coexist whenever their reproduction numbers exceed unity. Further, results of the full malaria-schistosomiasis model also suggest that an increase in the number of individuals infected with schistosomiasis in the presence of treatment results in a decrease in malaria cases. Sensitivity analysis was further carried out to investigate the influence of the model parameters on the transmission and spread of malaria-schistosomiasis coinfection. Numerical simulations were carried out to confirm our theoretical findings.
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  • 33
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has been widely accepted as an effective, minimally invasive treatment for superficial esophageal cancers. However, esophageal stricture often occurs in patients with large mucosal defects after ESD. In this review, we discuss various approaches recently researched to prevent esophageal strictures after ESD. These approaches can be classified as pharmacological treatments, esophageal stent treatments, and tissue engineering approaches. Most of the preventive approaches still have their limitations and require further research. With the improvement of current therapies, ESD can be more widely utilized as a minimally invasive treatment with minimal complications.
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Objectives. To determine the prevalence and effect of dietary habits on functional constipation in preschool and early elementary school children in Japan. Study Design. A total of 3595 children aged 3 to 8 years from 28 nursery schools and 22 elementary schools in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, were evaluated. The subjects were divided into a functional constipation group and a nonfunctional constipation group according to the Rome III criteria. Dietary intake data were collected using a brief-type, self-administered, diet-history questionnaire validated for Japanese preschool-aged children. Results. Of the 3595 subjects evaluated, 718 (20.0%) had functional constipation. The association between functional constipation and gender was not statistically significant (). A decrease in bowel frequency was observed in 15.9% of those with functional constipation. There was no significant difference in the proportion of participants in the constipation group by age (). Binomial logistic regression analysis indicated that only fat per 100 kcal positively correlated with functional constipation [odds ratio = 1.216, 95% confidence interval: 1.0476–1.412]. Conclusions. Functional constipation is common among children in preschool and early elementary school in urban areas of Japan. Parents should pay attention to constipation-related symptoms other than defecation frequency. A high-fat diet should be avoided to prevent functional constipation.
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  • 35
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background and Aims. Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation (MSCT) became available with liver failure (LF), while the advantages of MSCs remain controversial. We aimed to assess clinical advantages of MSCT in patients with LF. Methods. Clinical researches reporting MSCT in LF patients were searched and included. Results. Nine articles () related with LF patients were enrolled. After MSCT, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) baseline decreased largely at half a month (); total bilirubin (TBIL) baseline declined to a certain stable level of 78.57 μmol/L at 2 and 3 months (). Notably, the decreased value (D value) of Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score (MELD) of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) group was higher than that of chronic liver failure (CLF) group (14.93 ± 1.24 versus 4.6 ± 5.66, ). Moreover, MELD baseline of ≥20 group was a higher D value of MELD than MELD baseline of
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Nontyphoidal Salmonella infection is a common cause for acute bacterial gastroenteritis in children in China. There have been no reports of the prevalence of lactose intolerance or food allergies in children with nontyphoidal Salmonella infection. The aim of this study was to characterize nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis in a tertiary children’s hospital and evaluate clinical presentation, lactose intolerance, and food allergies in children with prolonged nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis. Methods. A retrospective case-series analysis was carried out in a tertiary children’s hospital in Guangzhou, China. We included all infants and children who were diagnosed with nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2016. Patients’ clinical features, feeding patterns, laboratory tests, and treatment outcomes were reviewed. Results. A total of 142 infants and children were diagnosed with nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis. 52.1% of cases occurred in infants ≤ 12 months of age and the majority (89.4%) in children younger than 3 years old. The most common symptoms were diarrhea (100%), fever (62%), and vomiting (18.3%). Salmonella Typhimurium was the predominant serotype, accounting for 82.4%. 91.5% of patients were treated with antibiotics. Forty-one (28.9%) and 9 (6.3%) children improved with a lactose-free diet and hypoallergenic formula, respectively, when diarrhea persisted for more than a week. Conclusions. Salmonella Typhimurium was the predominant serotype. Most patients with nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis were younger than 3 years old. Lactose intolerance occurred frequently in children with nontyphoidal Salmonella gastroenteritis and dietary modification should be considered when diarrhea is persistent and prolonged.
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Aim. This study aims to analyze factors possibly related to the prognosis of duodenal gastrointestinal stromal tumors (DGISTs). Methods. We collected and retrospectively analyzed clinical and pathological data of 62 patients with primary DGISTs. All the patients were hospitalized and received complete surgical resection at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital from September 2003 to April 2015. We followed up the patients to determine survival outcomes. We also analyzed the effect of clinical and pathological factors on disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of the patients. Results. Kaplan-Meier univariate survival analysis demonstrated that tumor size, mitotic index, Ki-67 index, and pathological risk were correlated with the DFS and OS of the patients (DFS , 0.001,
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  • 38
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Aims. There are two treatment modalities for early gastric cancer (EGC)—surgery and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD). We aimed to compare the safety and efficacy of ESD with surgery. Method. The article was performed by searching PubMed databases. Data were extracted using predefined form and odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) calculated and value. Results. 13 studies were identified. The incidence of perforation in two groups was different [OR = 6.18 (95% CI: 1.37–27.98), ]. The prevalences of synchronous and metachronous cancer in the ESD group were higher than those in the surgery group [OR = 8.52 (95% CI: 1.99–36.56), P = 0.004 and OR = 7.15 (95% CI: 2.95–17.32), ]. The recurrence and complete resection rates were different [OR = 6.93 (95% CI: 2.83–16.96), and OR = 0.32 (95% CI: 0.20–0.52), ]. Compared with the surgery group, the hospital stay was shorter [IV = −7.15 (95% CI: −9.08–5.22), ], the adverse event rate was lower, and the quality of life (QOL) was better in the ESD group. The difference of bleeding was not found. Conclusion. ESD appears to be preferable for EGC, due to a lower rate of adverse events, shorter hospital stay, cheaper cost, and higher QOL.
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  • 39
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We investigated in this study the expression of ENO1 in tissues and plasma of PDAC patients to evaluate its clinicopathological and diagnostic significance. ENO1 protein expression was detected in tissue microarray of human PDAC and adjacent noncancer tissues. Electrochemiluminescence immunoassay and amplified luminescent proximity homogeneous assay (AlphaLISA) were performed to measure CA19-9 and ENO1 concentration in plasma from PDAC patients and healthy controls. We demonstrated that ENO1 overexpression is positively correlated with clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, and poor prognosis of PDAC; ENO1 may function as a hopeful candidate diagnostic marker in combination with CA19-9 in PDAC diagnosis.
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  • 40
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: To investigate whether mutation profiling and microsatellite instability (MSI) status were associated with clinicopathological features and the prognosis in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), mutations in RAS (including KRAS, NRAS, and HRAS) and BRAF were determined by Sanger sequencing. Tumor mismatch repair proteins and MSI status were examined using immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The clinical value of these abnormalities was statistically analyzed, and prognostic value of different treatment regimens was also evaluated. Among 461 mCRC patients, mutations in RAS, BRAF, and MSI-high (MSI-H) status were observed in 45.3% (209/461), 5.6% (26/461), and 6.5% (30/461) of cases, respectively. Brain metastasis and high carcinoembryonic antigen level were highly correlated with KRAS mutation ( and ), and tumors from females or located in the right colon tended to harbor BRAF mutation ( and ). RAS/BRAF mutations may predict brain and/or lung metastases. Although neither clinical nor prognostic importance of MSI status was identified in our study, KRAS and BRAF mutations were demonstrated to be independent prognostic factors for overall survival and progression-free survival. Besides, in wild-type group, patients treated with chemotherapy plus targeted therapy exhibited the most favorable prognosis. Therefore, RAS/BRAF mutations may serve as indicators for prognosis and treatment options in mCRC.
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  • 41
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Objective. To investigate the association between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods. Data from 2051 participants who underwent 13C urea breath test and abdominal ultrasound examinations was collected. Participants were allocated to NAFLD risk group and NAFLD nonrisk group based on definite risk factors for NAFLD. The relationship between H. pylori infection and NAFLD was analyzed. Results. No significant difference was found between rates of H. pylori infection and NAFLD using the chi-square test () or regression analysis (). There was no significant difference between rates of H. pylori infection with and without NAFLD () in the NAFLD risk group or in the NAFLD nonrisk group (). There was no significant difference between rates of H. pylori infection in men () and in women () or in participants aged 18–40 years (), 41–65 years (), and ≥66 years () with and without NAFLD in the NAFLD risk group or between the same sex or age groups (, , , , and , resp.) in the NAFLD nonrisk group. Conclusions. H. pylori infection does not appear to increase the NAFLD prevalence rate or to be associated with, or a risk factor for, NAFLD.
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  • 42
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background/Aims. Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a serious concern during hepatic vascular occlusion. The objectives of this study were to assess effects of three techniques for hepatic vascular occlusion on I/R injury and to explore the underlying mechanisms. Methods. Liver cirrhotic rats had undertaken Pringle maneuver (PR), hemihepatic vascular occlusion (HH), or hepatic blood inflow occlusion without hemihepatic artery control (WH). Levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β (TRIF), and hemeoxygenase 1 (HMOX1) were assayed. Results. The histopathologic analysis displayed that liver harm was more prominent in the PR group, but similar in the HH and WH groups. The HH and WH groups responded to hepatic I/R inflammation similarly but better than the PR group. Mechanical studies suggested that TNF-α/NF-κB signaling and TLR4/TRIF transduction pathways were associated with the differential effects. In addition, the HH and WH groups had significantly higher levels of hepatic HMOX1 () than the PR group. Conclusions. HH and WH confer better preservation of liver function and protection than the Pringle maneuver in combating I/R injury. Upregulation of HMOX1 may lead to better protection and clinical outcomes after liver resection.
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  • 43
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Serum α-fetoprotein- (AFP-) elevated gastric cancer is a rare tumor that has a poor prognosis due to high incidence of liver metastasis. This study sought to investigate the optimal treatment modality. A total of 319 gastric cancer patients with liver metastasis (GCLM) whose serum AFP levels were tested before treatment were enrolled in this study. They were classified as the serum AFP ≥ 20 ng/ml group () and the AFP 
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Early and accurate assessment of severity in acute pancreatitis (AP) is of great importance to provide effective disease management and prevent mortality. In this study, we aim to evaluate early indicators that predict the mortality of AP. We retrospectively analyzed 24-hour clinical characteristics and laboratory data in 166 AP patients recruited between January 2014 and November 2015 in Baotou Central Hospital. In total, 18 patients did not survive the disease. Multivariate logistic regression showed that red cell distribution (RDW) (OR = 2.965, ) and creatinine (OR = 1.025, ) were early independent risk factors of AP mortality while albumin (OR = 0.920, ) levels reduced AP mortality. The corresponding optimal cut-off values were 14.45, 125.5, and 34.95, respectively. The positive predictive values of the AP mortality were 80.1%, 54.5%, and 69.5%. In combined measurement, the area under the curve of RDW, creatinine, and albumin was 0.964 (95% CI: 0.924 to 1.000, ). RDW ≥ 14.45%, creatinine ≥ 125.5 μmol/l, and albumin ≤ 34.95 g/l indicated a good predictive value for mortality in AP patients with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 64.2%. RDW, creatinine, and albumin may serve as early indicators for AP mortality which warrants further clinical investigation.
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  • 45
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Aim. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of endoscopic submucosal tunnel dissection (ESTD) for resection of large superficial gastric lesions (SGLs). Methods. The clinicopathological records of patients performed with ESTD or endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for SGLs between January 2012 and January 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. 7 cases undergoing ESTD were enrolled to form the ESTD group. The cases were individually matched at a 1 : 1 ratio to other patients performed with ESD according to lesion location, ulcer or scar findings, resected specimen area, operation time and operators, and the matched cases constituting the ESD group. The treatment outcomes were compared between the two groups. Results. The mean specimen size was 46 mm. 10 lesions were located in the cardia and 4 lesions in the lesser curvature of the lower gastric body. En bloc resection was achieved for all lesions. The mean ESTD resection time was 69 minutes as against 87.7 minutes for the ESD (). The mean resection speed was faster for ESTD than for ESD (18.86 mm2/min versus 13.76 mm2/min, ). There were no significant differences regarding the safety and curability during the endoscopic follow-up (mean 27 months). Conclusions. ESTD is effective and safe for the removal of SGLs and appears to be an optimal option for patients with large SGLs at suitable sites.
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  • 46
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background/Aims. Delayed bleeding is one of the most serious complications following gastric endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) under antithrombotic therapy. As a safety measure, for patients receiving antithrombotic therapy, we covered the ESD ulcer with autologous fibrin glue (prepared using autologous blood) alone or with polyglycolic acid (PGA) sheets. Methods. From July 2014 to November 2015, 20 patients with gastric neoplasms who were receiving antithrombotic therapy were enrolled in this study. After ESD, the ESD ulcers were covered with autologous fibrin glue alone or with PGA sheets. We prospectively evaluated the feasibility of this safety measure. Results. In total, 22 lesions in 20 patients were resected en bloc by ESD. The mean specimen size and tumor size were 31.5 ± 9.5 mm and 14.0 ± 8.8 mm, respectively. There were no cases of delayed bleeding or adverse events in this study. Attachment of autologous fibrin glue was observed in 81.8% (18/22) and 68.2% (15/22) of lesions at endoscopy performed 1 day and 7 days after ESD, respectively. Conclusion. No patient in this study had delayed bleeding or adverse events. This suggests that this measure may facilitate the safety of gastric ESD in patients receiving antithrombotic therapy. This trial is registered with UMIN000019386.
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  • 47
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Purpose. Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease and usually is diagnosed at advanced stages of disease. This study assessed the effects of intratumoral ethanol injection using an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) probe on the control of pancreatic cancer in a mouse orthotopic xenograft model. Materials and Methods. The subcutaneous and orthotopic human pancreatic cancer cell mouse xenograft models were established. Different concentrations of ethanol (0–95%) were injected into subcutaneous xenograft tumors. In the orthotopic tumor model, ethanol was injected into the tumor lesions under the guidance of a high-frequency EUS probe. Tumor volume, relative tumor volume (RTV), and histopathology were evaluated. The serum amylase level was analyzed at baseline and 24 h after treatment in the orthotopic tumor model. Results. Injection of 40–95% ethanol induced tumor necrosis in the subcutaneous tumor model, while there was no statistical difference between the RTVs of the two groups (). In the orthotopic tumor model, the RTV of the 80% ethanol treatment group was less than that of the saline injection group (); and histologically, there was a large area of necrosis observed in the 80% ethanol group. The serum amylase level was slightly elevated at 24 h after injection and returned to the baseline level at 7 days. Conclusion. Injection of 80% ethanol into xenograft tumor lesions of orthotopic pancreatic cancer resulted in tumor necrosis, and the procedure was safe and effective. Future studies will further confirm its antitumor activity as well as assess its safety and feasibility.
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: To determine effects of the biochemical and cytological properties of blood, serum, and ascites on survival of patients with malignant peritoneal effusion (MPeE), including malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPeM) and peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC), we conducted a retrospective study of patients with MPeE and healthy controls. Potential prognostic factors were identified as follows: age, sex, blood neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), serum parameters, ascites parameters, serum-ascites albumin gradient, and the ascites-serum LDH ratio. Compared to those of the control group, serum albumin levels were significantly lower, and the NLR and serum LDH levels were significantly higher in the MPeE group. Overall survival (OS) was longer in patients with MPeM compared to that in patients with PC. Compared with patients in the MPeM, patients with PC had higher NLRs, ascites glucose levels, serum-ascites albumin gradients, and serum LDH levels. In contrast, their ascites albumin levels and ascites-serum LDH ratios were lower. Univariate analyses indicated that the NLR, serum LDH levels, ascites LDH levels, ascites coenocyte levels, and the ascites coenocyte-to-monocyte ratios affected the OS. Multivariate analyses identified only serum and ascites LDH levels as independent prognostic factors.
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of the rectal administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP). We searched database for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing periprocedural rectal administration of NSAIDs with placebo for the prevention of PEP. The rectal administration of NSAIDs significantly decreased the incidence of PEP in the whole patient population (odds ratio (OR): 0.44, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.30–0.64, ), high-risk patients (OR: 0.34, 95% CI: 0.19–0.58, ), and all-risk patients (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.31–0.84, ). The incidence of PEP was reduced by indomethacin (OR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.36–0.82, ) and diclofenac (OR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.15–0.46, ). The administration of NSAIDs before (OR: 0.42, 95% CI: 0.25–0.73, ) or after (OR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.27–0.56, ) ERCP reduced PEP. The NSAIDs were associated with a reduction in mild PEP (OR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.36–0.83, ) and moderate-to-severe PEP (OR: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.28–0.79, ). The rectal administration of NSAIDs reduced the incidence of PEP in high-risk and all-risk patients.
    Print ISSN: 1687-6121
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    Topics: Medicine
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  • 51
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Objectives. To compare the use of an antireflux metal stent (ARMS) with that of a conventional covered self-expandable metal stent (c-CSEMS) for initial stenting of malignant distal biliary obstruction (MDBO). Materials and Methods. We retrospectively investigated 59 consecutive patients with unresectable MDBO undergoing initial endoscopic biliary drainage. ARMS was used in 32 patients and c-CSEMS in 27. Technical success, functional success, complications, causes of recurrent biliary obstruction (RBO), time to RBO (TRBO), and reintervention were compared between the groups. Results. Stent placement was technically successful in all patients. There were no significant intergroup differences in functional success (ARMS [96.9%] versus c-CSEMS [96.2%]), complications (6.2 versus 7.4%), and RBO (48.4 versus 42.3%). Food impaction was significantly less frequent for ARMS than for c-CSEMS (), but TRBO did not differ significantly between the groups (log-rank test, ). The median TRBO was 180.0 [interquartile range (IQR), 114.0–349.0] days for ARMS and 137.0 [IQR, 87.0–442.0] days for c-CSEMS. In both groups, reintervention for RBO was successfully completed in all patients thus treated. Conclusion. ARMS offers no advantage for initial stent placement, but food impaction is significantly prevented by the antireflux valve.
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  • 52
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Although immunomodulators are increasingly used in Crohn’s disease (CD), a significant number of gastroenterologists still use 5-aminosalicylate (5-ASA) in combination with azathioprine (AZA) or 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP); there is limited evidence regarding the benefit of concomitant 5-ASA with AZA/6-MP compared with AZA/6-MP monotherapy for the treatment of CD. Study Design. A total of 106 patients who received AZA/6-MP for more than 3 months between January 1991 and May 2014 were identified retrospectively. Each patient was matched with 3 randomly selected controls who were treated with concomitant therapy during the same period. Results. The cumulative probabilities of steroid use at 5 and 10 years were 24.9% and 75.8% in the 5-ASA + AZA/6-MP group and 31.2% and 87.8% in the AZA/6-MP group, respectively (). The cumulative probabilities of anti-TNF use, resectional surgery, and disease-related hospitalization were comparable between the groups. The younger age and the use of lower doses of immunomodulators were associated with higher requirement of rescue therapy. Conclusions. This study did not demonstrate that the concomitant use of 5-ASA with AZA/6-MP showed the proof or effect in terms of steroid requirements, anti-TNF use, resectional surgery, or disease-related hospitalization compared with that of AZA/6-MP alone.
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  • 53
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Adenoma detection rate (ADR) is a validated quality measure for screening colonoscopy, but there are little data for other indications. The distribution of adenomas is not well described for these indications. Aim. To describe ADR and the adenoma distribution in the proximal and distal colon based on colonoscopy indication. Methods. Outpatient colonoscopies are subdivided by indication. PDR and ADR for the entire colon and for proximal and distal colon. Data were compared using generalized estimating equations to adjust for clustering amongst endoscopists while controlling for patient age and gender. Results. 3436 colonoscopies were reviewed (51.2%: men ()). Indications are screening 49.2%, surveillance 29.3%, change in bowel habit 8.4%, bleeding 5.8%, colitides 3.0%, pain 2.8%, and miscellaneous 1.5%. Overall ADR was 37% proximal ADR 28%, and distal ADR 17%. PDR and ADR were significantly higher in surveillance than in screening (PDR: 69% versus 51%; ADR: 50% versus 33%; ). Adenomas were more often detected in the proximal than in the distal colon, for all indications. Conclusions. Prevalence of polyps and adenomas differs based on colonoscopy indication. Adenoma detection is highest in surveillance and more commonly detected in the proximal colon. For quality assurance, distinct ADR and PDR targets may need to be established for different colonoscopy indications.
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  • 54
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Granulocyte-monocyte apheresis has been proposed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, although it is limited by costs and variability of results. Aim. To assess effectiveness of granulocyte-monocyte apheresis in patients with steroid-dependent, azathioprine-intolerant/resistant moderate ulcerative colitis. Methods. Consecutive patients fulfilling inclusion criteria were prospectively enrolled, treated by apheresis, and followed up for 12 months. The primary end point of the study was steroid-free clinical remission at 12 months, with no need for biologic therapy or surgery. Results. From January to December 2013, 33 patients were enrolled. After one year of follow-up, 12 (36%) patients had clinical remission, were steroid-free, and had no need for biological therapy or surgery; 3 (9%) cases showed a clinical response (but not clinical remission). Moreover, 12 (36%) patients required biologic therapy, 4 (12%) underwent colectomy, and in the other 2 (6%) a reduction, but not withdrawal, of steroid dose was achieved. Conclusions. Our study shows that a standard course of granulocyte-monocyte apheresis is associated with a 36% steroid-free clinical remission in patients with steroid-dependent, azathioprine-intolerant or resistant moderate ulcerative colitis. Apheresis might represent an alternative to biologic therapy or surgery in this specific subgroup of patients. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrial.gov NCT03189888.
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We propose an accurate approach, based on the precise integration method, to solve the aeroelastic system of an airfoil with a pitch hysteresis. A major procedure for achieving high precision is to design a predictor-corrector algorithm. This algorithm enables accurate determination of switching points resulting from the hysteresis. Numerical examples show that the results obtained by the presented method are in excellent agreement with exact solutions. In addition, the high accuracy can be maintained as the time step increases in a reasonable range. It is also found that the Runge-Kutta method may sometimes provide quite different and even fallacious results, though the step length is much less than that adopted in the presented method. With such high computational accuracy, the presented method could be applicable in dynamical systems with hysteresis nonlinearities.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5966
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5974
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 56
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: In this paper, a new path prediction approach for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) to manned aircraft in cooperative mission in a confined airspace is proposed. Path prediction algorithm is established to estimate UAV flight trajectory to predict conflict threat to manned aircraft in time advances (front-end process of CD&R system). A hybrid fusion model is formulated based on three different trajectory prediction conditions considering scenarios in geographical conditions to aid the generation of appropriate resolution advisory of conflict alert. It offers a more precise CD&R system for manned and unmanned aircraft in cooperative rescue missions.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5966
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    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 57
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The study and analysis of human physiology during short- and long-duration space flights are the most valuable approach in order to evaluate the effect of microgravity on the human body and to develop possible countermeasures in prevision of future exploratory missions and Mars expeditions. Hand performances such as force output and manipulation capacity are fundamental for astronauts’ intra- and extravehicular activities. Previous studies on upper limb conducted on astronauts during short-term missions (10 days) indicated a temporary partial reduction in the handgrip maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) followed by a prompt recovery and adaptation to weightlessness during the last days of the mission. In the present study, we report on the “Crew’s Health: Investigation on Reduced Operability” (CHIRO) protocol, developed for handgrip and pinch force investigations, performed during the six months increment 7 and increment 8 (2003-2004) onboard International Space Station (ISS). We found that handgrip and pinch force performance are reduced during long-term increments in space and are not followed by adaptation during the mission, as conversely reported during short-term increment experiments. The application of protocols developed in space will be eligible to astronauts during long-term space missions and to patients affected by muscle atrophy diseases or nervous system injury on Earth.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5966
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    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 58
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper is devoted to introduce a novel method of the operational matrix of integration for Legendre wavelets in order to predict the thermal behavior of stratospheric balloons on float at high altitude in the stratosphere. Radiative and convective heat transfer models are also developed to calculate absorption and emission heat of the balloon film and lifting gas within the balloon. Thermal equilibrium equations (TEE) for the balloon system at daytime and nighttime are shown to predict the thermal behavior of stratospheric balloons. The properties of Legendre wavelets are used to reduce the TEE to a nonlinear system of algebraic equations which is solved by using a suitable numerical method. The approximations of the thermal behavior of the balloon film and lifting gas within the balloon are derived. The diurnal variations of the film and lifting gas temperature at float conditions are investigated, and the efficiency of the proposed method is also confirmed.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5966
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    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 59
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper reviews the role of Natural Farming as an ecological farming method to produce organically grown food of safe and high quality and at the same time improve soil quality and soil health. Currently, there is a dearth of information on the effects of Natural Farming approach on black pepper farms particularly in Sarawak, Malaysia. Previous studies on other crops had indicated positive outcome using the Natural Farming method. Thus, this paper discusses the essential role of effective microorganisms in Natural Farming and their potential in pepper cultivation. Through the action of effective microorganisms, this approach should be able to transform a degraded soil ecosystem into one that is fertile and has high nutrients availability. The mixed culture of effective microorganisms applied must be mutually compatible and coexist with one another to ensure its favorable establishment and interaction in the soil. Therefore, it is anticipated that introducing Natural Farming in black pepper cultivation can enhance the predominance of effective microorganisms in the soil, which in turn could lead to promising growth and yield of the crop.
    Print ISSN: 1687-8159
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-8167
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 60
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Bunching onion (Allium fistulosum L.) is a strategic crop for Colombia due to its economic relevance within fresh and processed food markets, and therefore, there is a demand for high yielding genotypes adapted to specific regions. For this reason, after carrying out a clonal selection process including 62 genotypes, ten of these, including a regional control, were evaluated for six different traits in Boyacá (Colombia) during 2012 and 2013. These traits were grouped into agronomic, yield, and processing categories. In general, these showed significant differences () for genotypes, location, and genotypes × location interaction. Compared with the regional control and based on the multienvironmental analysis the genotypes Clone 30 and Clone 38 were the most promising new cultivars identified in this study. These two clones showed comparative advantages on earliness and yield, and they moreover showed some level of resistance to downy mildew and root rot, the most limiting diseases for Boyacá’s bunch onion farmers. Therefore, Clone 30 and Clone 38 were registered as new bunching onion cultivars for the Cundiboyacense High Plateau region under the names Corpoica Aquitania-1 and Corpoica Tota-1, respectively. Finally, further approaches and initiatives on bunching onion breeding are discussed.
    Print ISSN: 1687-8159
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Accurate estimation of crop evapotranspiration (ET) is a key factor in agricultural water management including irrigated agriculture. The objective of this study was to compare ET estimated from the satellite-based remote sensing METRIC model to in situ atmometer readings. Atmometer readings were recorded from three sites in eastern South Dakota every morning between 8:15 and 8:30 AM for the duration of the 2016 growing season. Seven corresponding clear sky images from Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 (Path 29, Row 29) were processed and used for comparison. Three corn fields in three sites were used to compare actual evapotranspiration (). The results showed a good relationship between estimated by the METRIC model (-METRIC) and estimated with atmometer (-atm) ( = 0.87, index of agreement of 0.84, and RMSE = 0.65 mm day−1). However, -atm values were consistently lower than -METRIC values. The differences in daily between the two methods increase with high wind speed values (〉4 m s−1). Results from this study are useful for improving irrigation water management at local and field scales.
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Smallholder livestock farmers who depend on natural communal grazing lands are particularly vulnerable to climate change as well as to food insecurity and should be encouraged to grow drought-tolerant fodder crops. Moringa oleifera is a highly valued plant, due to its exceptionally high nutritional content. This study was conducted at two experimental sites in the Limpopo province of northern South Africa to evaluate for the first time the effect of plant density and cutting interval on biomass production and chemical composition of moringa grown under two diverse climatic conditions. Four different planting densities (435,000, 300,000, 200,000, and 100,000 plants/ha) were arranged in a randomized complete block design and experimental samples were replicated four times. Data for biomass and gravimetric soil moisture content were collected each time the plants reached a height of 50 cm. Harvested leaves were analysed for chemical composition. An increase in the plant density led to elevated biomass production at both study locations, ranging between 527 and 2867 kg/ha. Moringa is capable of meeting all nutrient requirements of livestock depending on harvest time and location.
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Print ISSN: 1687-8159
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) is currently considered a main vegetable food in the markets due to its high nutritional value, containing elevated levels of phytochemicals widely described to have beneficial effects against cancer and other illnesses. Broccoli is an interesting crop with a high commercial value because it complements the tomato industry, the main agricultural income in Badajoz, Spain. Nine varieties of broccoli from four nurseries were evaluated by analyzing both agronomic and quality parameters. Total yield and number of harvests were monitored. Parameters defining quality like diameter, weight, and height of the heads were determined. Granulometry, compactness, and the presence of internal leaves in the heads were also analyzed. Diameter and height of sprouts were complementarily estimated. Principal component analysis was further employed to investigate the relationship between the agronomic variables and the cultivars and nurseries. Results revealed that both first and second principal components explained more than 75% of the variance and grouped data according their cultivar and commercial origin. Additionally, correlations between the scores of those components and the values of the phenotypic parameters suggested that head weights are main determinants of the phenotypic differences observed among the cultivars whereas the presence of internal leaves and granulometry and head weight appear to be key traits defining nurseries.
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Acetolactate synthase- (ALS-) herbicides are among the most commonly used sites of action (SOA) in rice production. Many herbicides used in rice can cause carryover to soybean, which is commonly grown near to or rotated with rice. Florpyrauxifen-benzyl (Rinskor™ Active) brings an alternative SOA to rice production. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of simulated drift rates of florpyrauxifen-benzyl to commonly used ALS-inhibiting rice herbicides on soybean. A field study was conducted at two locations examining five ALS-inhibiting rice herbicides as well as florpyrauxifen-benzyl at a 1/20x and 1/80x simulated drift rate. Crop injury, height, and yield were evaluated at 14, 21, and 35 days after treatment (DAT). Florpyrauxifen-benzyl and bispyribac showed high injury levels at both drift rates. At 35 DAT florpyrauxifen-benzyl caused 76% and 17% visible damage to soybean whereas bispyribac caused 35 and 9% injury at 1/20x and 1/80x, respectively. These treatments resulted in a reduction in soybean height and yield. Although this alternative SOA herbicide in rice may be effective for weed control, our research demonstrates it to be injurious to soybean at both drift rates tested. Thus, proper precautions should be taken to avoid injury by ensuring that the label is followed.
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The IPCC climate models predict, for the Maghreb countries, lower rainfall and increased aridity. Current observations in the three countries of central Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) are not consistent with these predictions. To demonstrate this new trend, a detailed regional analysis of rainfall evolution is conducted. This investigation is based on the calculation of the reduced centered index and the chronological graphical method of processing information (MGCTI) of “Bertin matrix” type. The results show extreme variability of this parameter and the severe past drought (more intense for Morocco, in which the drastic conditions from the seventies are observed). The results also show the beginning of a gradual return to wetter conditions since the early 2000s in Algeria and Tunisia and from 2008 for Morocco (this trend is confirmed by recent agricultural production data in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013).
    Print ISSN: 2314-4122
    Electronic ISSN: 2314-4130
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Odontoblasts, the main cell type in teeth pulp tissue, are not cultivable and they are responsible for the first line of response after dental restauration. Studies on dental materials cytotoxicity and odontoblast cells physiology require large quantity of homogenous cells retaining most of the phenotype characteristics. Odontoblast-like cells (OLC) were differentiated from human dental pulp stem cells using differentiation medium (containing TGF-β1), and OLC expanded after trypsinization (EXP-21) were evaluated and compared. Despite a slower cell growth curve, EXP-21 cells express similarly the odontoblast markers dentinal sialophosphoprotein and dentin matrix protein-1 concomitantly with RUNX2 transcripts and low alkaline phosphatase activity as expected. Both OLC and EXP-21 cells showed similar mineral deposition activity evidenced by alizarin red and von Kossa staining. These results pointed out minor changes in phenotype of subcultured EXP-21 regarding the primarily differentiated OLC, making the subcultivation of these cells a useful strategy to obtain odontoblasts for biocompatibility or cell physiology studies in dentistry.
    Print ISSN: 1687-8876
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-8884
    Topics: Biology
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  • 68
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Tissue regeneration and repair have received much attention in the medical field over the years. The study of amphibians, such as newts and salamanders, has uncovered many of the processes that occur in these animals during full-limb/digit regeneration, a process that is highly limited in mammals. Understanding these processes in amphibians could shed light on how to develop and improve this process in mammals. Amputation injuries in mammals usually result in the formation of scar tissue with limited regrowth of the limb/digit; however, it has been observed that the very tips of digits (fingers and toes) can partially regrow in humans and mice under certain conditions. This review will summarize and compare the processes involved in salamander limb regeneration, mammalian wound healing, and digit regeneration in mice and humans.
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 69
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The Class II Transactivator (CIITA) is essential to the regulation of Major Histocompatibility Class II (MHC II) genes transcription. As the “master regulator” of MHC II transcription, CIITA regulation is imperative and requires various posttranslational modifications (PTMs) in order to facilitate its role. Previously we identified various ubiquitination events on CIITA. Monoubiquitination is important for CIITA transactivity, while K63 linked ubiquitination is involved in crosstalk with ERK1/2 phosphorylation, where together they mediate cellular movement from the cytoplasm to nuclear region. Further, CIITA is also modified by degradative K48 polyubiquitination. However, the E3 ligase responsible for these modifications was unknown. We show CIITA ubiquitination and transactivity are enhanced with the histone acetyltransferase (HAT), p300/CBP associated factor (pCAF), and the E3 ligase region within pCAF is necessary for both. Additionally, pCAF mediated ubiquitination is independent of pCAF’s HAT domain, and acetylation deficient CIITA is K48 polyubiquitinated and degraded in the presence of pCAF. Lastly, we identify the histone acetyltransferase, pCAF, as the E3 ligase responsible for CIITA’s ubiquitination.
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  • 70
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper presents a comparative review of arsenite (As(III)), arsenate (As(V)), and fluoride (F−) for a better understanding of the conditions and factors during their adsorption with focus on (i) the isotherm adsorption models, (ii) effects of pH, (iii) effects of ionic strength, and (iv) effects of coexisting substances such as anions, cations, and natural organics matter. It provides an in-depth analysis of various methods of arsenite (As(III)), arsenate (As(V)), and fluoride (F-) removal by adsorption and the anions’ characteristics during the adsorption process. The surface area of the adsorbents does not contribute to the adsorption capacity of these anions but rather a combination of other physical and chemical properties. The adsorption capacity for the anions depends on the combination of all the factors: pH, ionic strength, coexisting substances, pore volume and particles size, surface modification, pretreatment of the adsorbents, and so forth. Extreme higher adsorption capacity can be obtained by the modification of the adsorbents. In general, pH has a greater influence on adsorption capacity at large, since it affects the ionic strength, coexisting anions such as bicarbonate, sulfate, and silica, the surface charges of the adsorbents, and the ionic species which can be present in the solution.
    Print ISSN: 1687-806X
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-8078
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
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  • 71
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Print ISSN: 1687-806X
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-8078
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
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  • 72
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: A compact dual-band circularly polarized antenna with wide half-power beamwidths (HPBWs) for compass navigation satellite system applications is proposed in this paper. The CP radiation is realized by arranging four compact dual-band inverted-F monopoles symmetrically to the center point, where the four monopoles are excited with a 90° phase offset through a compact sequential-phase feeding network. The compactness of the dual-band inverted-F monopole is realized by inserting two chip inductors in the horizontal portion of the monopole. The overall dimension of the antenna is only 0.211λ0 × 0.211λ0 × 0.057λ0, where λ0 is the corresponding free-space wavelength at 1.268 GHz. Experimental results show that the proposed antenna exhibits two overlapped impedance and axial ratio bandwidths of 50 MHz (1.236–1.286 GHz) and 40 MHz (1.532–1.572 GHz). Wide HPBWs of about 120°/125° and 121°/116° (XOZ/YOZ planes) at center frequencies (1.268, 1.561 GHz) of the CNSS-2 B3 and B1 bands are obtained, respectively. With these good performances, the antenna can be a good candidate for CNSS applications.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 73
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: An investigation on the improvement of the resolution of a radar target identification system is presented in this paper. Degradation of resolution is mainly due to influence factors associated with antennas, including the strong coupling between transmitting and receiving antennas and the variation in the antenna response. A filtering technique was therefore introduced to mitigate the underlying problem. In the technique, the antenna effects were filtered out of the total response backscattered from the objects in the radar target identification system. The short-time matrix pencil method (STMPM) was then employed to extract the poles from the backscattered response in order to identify the object. Simulation and experimentation examples are illustrated to confirm the improvement of the resolution by filtering the antenna effects. The simulation and experimentation were divided into several categories, that is, different antennas and differently shaped objects, in order to validate the advantage of filtering the antenna effects. They were setup in order to demonstrate that the poles obtained from performing the STMPM without the filtering technique were mainly because of the antenna rather than the object’s characteristic. The results showed that the resolution of the identification was significantly increased when performing pole extraction and filtering the antenna effects.
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    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 74
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    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper proposes a neural network approach to improve the Bullington method by using parameters obtained from ignored obstacles in mountainous areas. Measurements were performed in mountainous areas to compare the prediction accuracy of propagation loss. And the measured data were used for neural network training. A detailed description of the input parameters of the proposed neural network is presented. The prediction performances were improved by up to 3.20 dB in the average error and 2.11 dB in the standard deviation of errors by the proposed method when compared to traditional diffraction methods.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 75
    facet.materialart.
    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: A low-cost inkjet printing method for antenna fabrication on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate is presented in this paper. An office inkjet printer is used to have desired patterns of silver nanoparticle ink on the PET substrate without any postprocessing. Silver nanoparticle ink cures instantly as soon as it is ejected from the printer on a chemically treated PET substrate. The thickness of the silver nanoparticle layer was measured to be 300 nm with a sheet resistance of as low as 0.3 Ω/sq and a conductivity around 1.11 × 107 S/m with single layer deposition. A coplanar waveguide- (CPW-) fed Z-shape planar antenna on the PET substrate achieved the measured radiation efficiency of 62% and the IEEE gain of 1.44 dBi at 2.45 GHz. The printed antenna is also tested in bending conditions to ascertain its performance for the Internet of things (IoT) conformal applications for the future 5G network.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 76
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The design and characterization of a simple, flexible wideband antenna using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite are presented. Conductive fibers are used to construct the metallic parts on a PDMS composite. To characterize the performance, two identical antennas are designed, one using the PDMS composite while the other on conventional dielectric materials. It was observed that both antennas behave well in terms of the matched bandwidth; however, the radiation towards the broadside direction is reduced when using the PDMS composite as substrate, particularly at higher frequencies. The antenna exhibits a matched bandwidth of 59.9%, ranging from 3.43 to 11.1 GHz. Moreover, the bending analysis carried out for different scenarios show that the wideband behavior of the antenna is well preserved and the variation reaches a maximum of 1% variation.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 77
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: By the use of phase perturbation theory we show that if a single realization of a one-dimensional randomly rough interface between two dielectric media is illuminated at normal incidence from either medium by a broadband Gaussian beam, it produces a scattered field whose differential reflection coefficient closely matches the result produced by averaging the differential reflection coefficient produced by a monochromatic incident beam over the ensemble of realizations of the interface profile function.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 78
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    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We provide a complete study on the direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation of noncircular (NC) signals for uniform linear array (ULA) via Vandermonde constrained parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis. By exploiting the noncircular property of the signals, we first construct an extended matrix which contains two times sampling number of the received signal. Then, taking the Vandermonde structure of the array manifold matrix into account, the extended matrix can be turned into a tensor model which admits the Vandermonde constrained PARAFAC decomposition. Based on this tensor model, an efficient linear algebra algorithm is applied to obtain the DOA estimation via utilizing the rotational invariance between two submatrices. Compared with some existing algorithms, the proposed method has a better DOA estimation performance. Meanwhile, the proposed method consistently has a higher estimation accuracy and a much lower computational complexity than the trilinear alternating least square- (TALS-) based PARAFAC algorithm. Finally, numerical examples are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in terms of estimation accuracy and computational complexity.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 79
    facet.materialart.
    Unknown
    Hindawi
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper presents a lightweight, cost-efficient, wideband, and high-gain 3D printed parabolic reflector antenna in the Ka-band. A 10 λ reflector is printed with polylactic acid- (PLA-) based material that is a biodegradable type of plastic, preferred in 3D printing. The reflecting surface is made up of multiple stacked layers of copper tape, thick enough to function as a reflecting surface (which is found 4 mm). A conical horn is used for the incident field. A center-fed method has been used to converge the energy in the broadside direction. The proposed antenna results measured a gain of 27.8 dBi, a side lobe level (SLL) of −22 dB, and a maximum of 61.2% aperture efficiency (at 30 GHz). A near-field analysis in terms of amplitude and phase has also been presented which authenticates the accurate spherical to planar wavefront transformation in the scattered field.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5869
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5877
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 80
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    Unknown
    Hindawi