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  • 1
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2021-08-21
    Description: Green hydrogen can help to decarbonize parts of the transportation sector, but its power sector interactions are not well understood so far. It may contribute to integrating variable renewable energy sources if production is sufficiently flexible in time. Using an open-source co-optimization model of the power sector and four options for supplying hydrogen at German filling stations, we find a trade-off between energy efficiency and temporal flexibility. For lower shares of renewables and hydrogen, more energy-efficient and less flexible small-scale on-site electrolysis is optimal. For higher shares of renewables and/or hydrogen, more flexible but less energy-efficient large-scale hydrogen supply chains gain importance, as they allow to temporally disentangle hydrogen production from demand via storage. Liquid hydrogen emerges as particularly beneficial, followed by liquid organic hydrogen carriers and gaseous hydrogen. Large-scale hydrogen supply chains can deliver substantial power sector benefits, mainly through reduced renewable curtailment. Energy modelers and system planners should consider the distinct flexibility characteristics of hydrogen supply chains in more detail when assessing the role of green hydrogen in future energy transition scenarios. We also propose two alternative cost and emission metrics which could be useful in future analyses.
    Description: Open access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; Energy infrastructure ; Energy storage ; Renewable energy
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:article
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  • 2
    Online Resource
    Online Resource
    Berlin : Springer Berlin | Springer
    Part of "Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrech ..."
    Keywords: Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte ; Rechtsprechung ; Beweisführung ; Hochschulschrift ; Europäischer Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte ; Rechtsprechung ; Beweisführung
    Type of Medium: Online Resource
    Edition: 1. Auflage 2019
    ISBN: 9783662602645
    Series Statement: Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht Band 288
    Language: German , English
    Dissertation note: Dissertation Bucerius Law School 2019
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  • 3
    Online Resource
    Online Resource
    Wiesbaden : Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH | Springer
    Keywords: Immaterialgut ; Rechtsverletzung ; Wettbewerbsverstoß ; Verkehrssicherungspflicht ; Dritthaftung ; Beseitigungsanspruch ; Unterlassungsanspruch ; Immaterialgüterrecht ; Rechtsverletzung ; Wettbewerbsverstoß ; Unerlaubte Handlung ; Verkehrssicherungspflicht ; Störer ; Haftung ; Deutschland ; LA ; Gefahrengeneigte Geschäftsmodelle ; Intermediär ; Störerhaftung ; Teilnehmerhaftung ; Verkehrspflichten aus Ingerenz ; LA ; Hochschulschrift ; Immaterialgut ; Rechtsverletzung ; Wettbewerbsverstoß ; Verkehrssicherungspflicht ; Dritthaftung ; Beseitigungsanspruch ; Unterlassungsanspruch ; Deutschland 03.10.1990- ; Immaterialgüterrecht ; Rechtsverletzung ; Wettbewerbsverstoß ; Unerlaubte Handlung ; Verkehrssicherungspflicht ; Störer ; Haftung
    Type of Medium: Online Resource
    Pages: 1 Online-Ressource (XIII, 255 Seiten)
    ISBN: 9783658251062
    Series Statement: Juridicum - Schriften zum Unternehmens- und Wirtschaftsrecht
    Language: German
    Dissertation note: Dissertation Universität Konstanz 2018
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  • 4
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose The purpose of the study was to provide a systematic evaluation of the computed tomography(CT) findings after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in locally advanced pancreatic cancer(LAPC). Methods Eighteen patients with intra-operative RFA-treated LAPC were included in a prospective case series. All CT-scans performed prior to RFA and 1 week and 3 months of post-RFA, according to standard regimen, were assessed by two radiologists in consensus, using standardized radiological scoring lists. Results 51 CT-scans were assessed. One week after RFA, the ablation zone was visible in all patients as a (partially) sharply defined (83%), heterogeneous area (94%). At 3 months of follow-up, the ablation zone was completely invaded by tumor in 67% of patients and still present, but decreased in 33%. In two patients (11%), local thrombosis and/or occlusion of the superior mesenteric vein occurred. The occlusions persisted without clinical consequences and the thrombosis disappeared. A peripancreatic fluid collection was visible 1 week after RFA in 3 patients, wherein the ablation zone extended ventrally outside of the pancreas. Conclusions Directly after RFA for LAPC, a well-defined ablation zone is visible on CT-imaging. This ablation zone is usually replaced by tumor ingrowth after 3 months. Moreover, the ablation zone regularly included vascular structures, with rare asymptomatic venous occlusion or thrombosis and without adverse effects on arteries.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 5
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell membrane-derived compartments that regulate physiology and pathology in the body. Naturally secreted EVs have been well studied in their biogenesis and have been exploited in targeted drug delivery. Due to the limitations on production of EVs, nitrogen cavitation has been utilized to efficiently generate EV-like drug delivery systems used in treating inflammatory disorders. In this short review, we will discuss the production and purification of EVs, and we will summarize what technologies are needed to improve their production for translation. We describe the drug-loading processes in EVs and their applications as drug delivery systems for inflammatory therapies, focusing on a new type of EVs made from neutrophil membrane using nitrogen cavitation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-7416
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 6
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose On computed tomography (CT), intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICC) are a visibly heterogeneous group of tumors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between CT imaging phenotypes, patient survival, and known genetic markers. Methods A retrospective study was performed with 66 patients with surgically resected ICC. Pre-surgical CT images of ICC were assessed by radiologists blinded to tumor genetics and patient clinical data. Associations between qualitative imaging features and overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were performed with Cox proportional hazards regression and visualized with Kaplan–Meier plots. Associations between radiographic features and genetic pathways (IDH1, Chromatin and RAS-MAPK) were assessed with Fisher’s Exact test and the Wilcoxon Rank sum test where appropriate and corrected for multiple comparisons within each pathway using the False Discovery Rate correction. Results Three imaging features were significantly associated with a higher risk of death: necrosis (hazard ratio (HR) 2.95 95% CI 1.44–6.04, p  = 0.029), satellite nodules (HR 3.29, 95% CI:1.35–8.02, p  = 0.029), and vascular encasement (HR 2.63, 95% CI 1.28–5.41, p  = 0.029). Additionally, with each increase in axial size, the risk of death increased (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p  = 0.029). Similar to findings for OS, satellite nodules (HR 3.81, 95% CI 1.88–7.71, p  = 0.002) and vascular encasement (HR 2.25, 95% CI 1.24–4.06, p  = 0.019) were associated with increased risk of recurrence/death. No significant associations were found between radiographic features and genes in the IDH1, Chromatin or RAS-MAPK pathways ( p  = 0.63–84). Conclusion This preliminary analysis of resected ICC suggests associations between CT imaging features and OS and DFS. No association was identified between imaging features and currently known genetic pathways.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 7
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Low accumulation in tumor sites and slow intracellular drug release remain as the obstacles for nanoparticles to achieve effective delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs. In this study, multifunctional micelles were designed to deliver doxorubicin (Dox) to tumor sites to provide more efficient therapy against hepatic carcinoma. The micelles were based on pH-responsive carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCh) modified with a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive segment phenylboronic acid pinacol ester (BAPE) and an active targeted ligand CD147 monoclonal antibody. The Dox-loaded micelles provided rapid and complete drug release in pH 5.3 incubation conditions with 1 mM H 2 O 2 . In addition, an in vitro cell uptake study revealed that CD147 modification significantly enhanced cellular internalization due to the high affinity to CD147 receptors, which are overexpressed on tumor cells. An in vivo study revealed that CD147-modified micellar formulations exhibited high accumulation in tumor sites and markedly enhanced antiproliferation effects with fewer side effects than other formulations. In conclusion, this CD147 receptor targeted delivery system with ROS/pH dual sensitivity provides a promising strategy for the treatment of hepatic carcinoma.
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-7416
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 8
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0949-1775
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0517
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 9
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: An uncertainty comparison method is proposed to assess the homogeneity of reference materials. The method compares “standard uncertainty associated with between-unit variability” ( u bb ) with “target standard uncertainty” ( u trg ) or “measurement uncertainty” ( u meas ) to solve the problems in assessing homogeneity of reference materials. Methods for the calculation of u bb , u trg and u meas as well as criterion for the quantitative judgment of sample homogeneity are introduced. When u bb  ≤ 0.3 u trg , it shows the sample is considered to be homogeneous; when 0.3 u trg  〈  u bb  ≤ 0.7 u trg , the sample is considered to be sufficiently homogeneous for the intended use; and when u bb  〉 0.7 u trg , the sample is considered to be inhomogeneous. The uncertainty comparison method is compared with the F test method and shown to be more objective for the assessment of the homogeneity of certified reference materials for the chemical testing of toys.
    Print ISSN: 0949-1775
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 10
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0949-1775
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 11
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: In the penultimate paragraph of the original publication, a confidence interval of 93 mg/kg to 971 mg/kg was reported. These values should be 114.5 mg/kg to 786.2 mg/kg.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 12
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0949-1775
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 13
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The production of reference materials (RMs) is a key activity for the improvement and maintenance of a worldwide coherent measurement system. General requirements for all types of RM production are set out in ISO 17034. These general requirements include the assessment of homogeneity and stability. Technical detail is, however, left entirely to other guides, of which ISO Guide 35 is the most general and comprehensive. This paper provides an overview of the provisions for stability and homogeneity assessment in ISO Guide 35:2017, with particular attention to changes from the 2006 edition. Important changes include new guidance on the need for experimental studies when substantial prior experience is available; a larger range of homogeneity study designs; improved guidance on the use of accelerated stability studies; additional, and more flexible, guidance on within-unit homogeneity assessment; greater attention to post-certification monitoring; and new provisions for end-user storage and repeated sampling from individual RM units.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 14
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: A quality control material for inorganic constituents present in a phosphate-bearing rock used to manufacture phosphate fertilizers was produced and characterized according to the ISO Guide 80. The evaluation of the estimated minimum mass, homogeneity, and stability of the material was performed using microwave-assisted digestion and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) as an in-house validated technique for determination of Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, V, and Zn. Phosphorus mass fraction determination was done by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. The accuracy of the measurement results was confirmed by analyzing the certified phosphate rock and fertilizer certified reference materials according to NIST SRM 694 and SRM 695. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied to the measurement data, and the homogeneity and stability of the material presented averages within the 95 % confidence interval. The results from the preparation and with collaborative trial allowed the calculation and estimation of the consensus value and its expanded measurement uncertainties, obtained by combining the uncertainty contributions from characterization ( u char ), between-bottle homogeneity ( u bb ), short-term stability ( u sts ), and long-term stability ( u lts ) for each evaluated analyte mass fraction.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 15
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Uncertainty in measurement is very important in the process of conformity assessment. As it is generally declared, based on the measured value of a property of an item, there is always the risk of incorrect decisions, which are of two types: an item accepted as “conforming” may actually be “non-conforming”, and an item rejected as “non-conforming” may actually be “conforming”. In order to reduce the risks associated with decision-making, it is required to reduce the measurement uncertainty to an acceptable level termed as “target uncertainty”. In order to reduce the uncertainty of a particular measurement, it would be necessary to focus on decreasing the uncertainties arising from the relevant components. There are always different solutions to reduce the uncertainties arising from each inclusive component. Each of these solutions imposes a different cost on the measurement system. Therefore, a solution should be selected, among several possible alternatives, to reduce the uncertainties arising from each relevant component and to impose the lowest cost to the measurement system to “target uncertainty”. Accordingly, in this paper through a case study, a model is presented that can reduce uncertainty with the lowest possible cost to the optimally needed level using a mathematical optimization technique. The mathematical model presented in this paper can be used in measurement uncertainty optimization in many laboratories, which require a reduction in uncertainty and the risks associated with decision-making based on measurement results. Furthermore, the use of the proposed model will help to reduce the unnecessary costs of analysis in different laboratory centers.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 16
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The results of trueness verification for blood lead measurement were analyzed in a 2016 nationwide external quality assessment (EQA) survey, in order to evaluate current approaches of blood lead measurement in Chinese Laboratories and their traceability to certified reference materials (CRMs). A panel of 2 frozen whole blood CRMs with values assigned by an absolute quantitative method was provided to 12 laboratories with satisfactory performances from the 2015 blood lead EQA scheme. Participants were required to measure the samples 5 times each day for 3 consecutive days and report all 15 data, which were then calculated for means and standard deviations. Data were statistically analyzed by adopted method groups, before comparing with the assigned values to assess the trueness of blood lead measurement using different approaches. Eleven laboratories reported on schedule, rendering a reporting rate of 91.7 %. The target values for the two batches were (37.6 ± 2.7) μg/L and (124.6 ± 4.5) μg/L, respectively. By the evaluation criterion of target value ± 20 µg/L, the pass rates were 72.7 % for the lower concentration and 54.5 % for the higher concentration, while 5 out of 11 laboratories delivered satisfactory results for both CRMs. The overall performance of the few participating laboratories in this EQA survey was basically acceptable by CLSI standard on the whole, yet barely desirable for the higher concentration. Therefore, trueness verification of blood lead measurement with CRMs is potentially necessary for national EQA schemes, which can be imperative as part of the validation procedures of analytical methods in clinical settings.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 17
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Unfortunately, Eq. 3 was incorrectly presented in the original publication.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 18
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0949-1775
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 19
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 20
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Sum parameters (otherwise known as composite parameters) describe similar chemical, physicochemical or biological characteristics of different substances, substance groups or mixtures of substances. These might contain the same chemical element. Such parameters are total organic carbon or total bound nitrogen. Chemical oxygen demand is a shared chemical characteristic—the oxidizability of constituents by dichromate. The focus of the paper is on the uncertainty estimation of the determination of chemical sum parameters in water samples from method validation derived data—total organic carbon, chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, total bound nitrogen and total suspended solids. The results for the measurement uncertainty estimations according to ISO 21748 and ISO 11352, as only applicable to the field of water analysis, are presented and compared. Based on the results obtained and the experimental design, the use of ISO 11352 for the measurement uncertainty estimation is recommended. This international standard employs fewer determinations (a minimum number of eight measurements are required, compared to fifteen), fewer working days (one compared to five) and easier measurement uncertainty components’ calculations and even gives opportunity for routine laboratories to use standard solutions over the more expensive certified reference materials for the measurement uncertainty estimation during the method validation in water analysis.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 21
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Proper pre- and post-transplant diagnostic imaging work-up is fundamental in ensuring a successful outcome for renal transplantation. Despite exposure to ionizing radiation, CT has high spatial resolution and is a widely available and fast imaging technique. CT is performed routinely to delineate the anatomy of the kidney, relevant vasculature, and urinary collecting system in the living donor, to assess the iliac vessels in potential recipients prior to surgery, and to assess early and late-term post-transplant complications. The purpose of this article is to outline the optimal CT protocol and the main reportable findings for both the donor and the recipient diagnostic imaging work-up as well as to point out the main issues regarding ionizing radiation exposure and contrast medium injection in these subjects.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 22
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 23
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 24
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Accreditation of calibration laboratories is a means for achieving competence recognition and assuring customers that their calibration services are accurate and reliable. Moreover, it is a powerful tool for a National Metrology Institute (NMI), enabling the formal acceptance of its measurement results. It could be especially useful when calibration activities are performed in well-developed laboratories, which have participated successfully in interlaboratory comparisons but have been awaiting the publication of Calibration and Measurement Capabilities in the BIPM Key comparison database. This paper describes establishment and implementation of a quality management system in the NMI of Montenegro called Bureau of Metrology (MBM) that complies with ISO/IEC 17025. We have presented the results of the first audit evaluation, corrective actions, preparation of quality management documentation, measurement traceability, as well as advantages of being accredited. Our experience of implementing ISO/IEC 17025 for the accreditation of national calibration laboratories established within the MBM shows that strategic planning, establishment of long-term objectives, as well as the commitment to fulfilling standard requirements are the basis for acceptable calibration results. International acceptance of confidence and reliability of calibration services and measurement results provided by the MBM laboratories represents a useful marketing tool for promoting the image of the institution.
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  • 25
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
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  • 26
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0949-1775
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 27
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: This article discusses the accuracy of the gravimetric measurement method of total particulate matter concentration in waste gases where the basic assumption is that sample collection of dust-laden gas is done in a grid with a finite number of points in the conduit’s measurement plane. In this standard approach, the sample is assumed to be representative for dust-laden gas in the conduit, and consequently, the total particulate matter concentration measured for the sample is considered the mean concentration in the conduit. The article investigates this assumption against the standard-imposed number of sampling points and in view of spatial distributions of particulate matter concentration in industrial plants which—being continuous—are not identified in measuring practice. Possible distributions were simulated both for particulate matter concentration and for gas velocity in rectangular conduits, and the following were calculated: (a) an accurate mean particulate matter concentration in the measurement plane, based on its definition employing continuous distributions of particulate matter concentration and gas velocity and (b) the concentration in a sample, i.e. measured concentration. Measurement deviation between those concentrations was determined, which is specific for cumulative gas sampling. Using the obtained set of possible deviations, an estimation method was suggested for the relevant uncertainty component of the gravimetric method, which so far has not been taken into account in the industrial measurement accuracy analyses. It turns out that the level of this uncertainty component for measuring the mean particulate matter concentration in the conduit (resulting from “measurement discretization”) is not to be ignored.
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  • 28
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: For one-dimensional soil freezing process, a separate-ice frost heave model is established, and the coupled process of heat transfer, fluid flow and stress development is considered in the model. First, a coupled heat–fluid–stress model describing the growth of a single ice lens is developed by extending the coupled heat–fluid model presented by Zhou and Zhou (Can Geotech J 49(6):686–693, 2012 ). Second, the mechanism for the formation of a new ice lens in the frozen fringe is studied, and we indicate that if the total vertical disjoining pressure at certain place exceeds the sum of the external pressure and the critical pressure, a new ice lens will emerge. By combining the growth model of a single ice lens and the criterion for the formation of a new ice lens, the separate-ice frost heave model is then established. The difference between the separate-ice model and the rigid-ice model is explained, and the relations for different mathematical models which describe the soil freezing process are also discussed. Numerical analysis of the separate-ice model is conducted using the finite volume method. The freezing tests for Devon silt under no external pressure and Xuzhou silty clay under a constant external pressure are applied to verify the computational results. The consistence between the calculation and the observation validates the separate-ice frost heave model.
    Print ISSN: 1861-1125
    Electronic ISSN: 1861-1133
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 29
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 30
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Solid recovered fuel (SRF) is made of waste and used as a substitute for fossil fuel. Physical and chemical analyses are needed to evaluate the usefulness of the waste in power and heat generation. This paper reports the assessment of homogeneity and stability of laboratory and analytical samples, with different particle size, obtained from three materials of different composition. The components of first material included soft plastics, plastics foam, composite packaging with the content of aluminum foil, cigarette filters, paper, cardboard, textiles, wood, and cotton. The second material mainly contained soft plastics and the needles from artificial Christmas trees, a lower amount of artificial leather, and aluminum foil. The third material was mainly composed of soft plastics and paper. The parameter used in the homogeneity and stability assessment was ash content on a dry basis. The homogeneity and stability assessment was carried out according to ISO 13528:2015; on the basis of a standard deviation for proficiency assessment calculated using the repeatability and reproducibility standard deviations from a previous collaborative study of precision of a measurement method. The homogeneity assessment was carried out using laboratory and analytical samples of SRF. Based on measurements of ash content, laboratory samples as the test items OB1 with a particle size below 4 mm were not sufficiently homogeneous, regardless of the SRF type, among our samples those with the largest particles. The analytical samples as the test items OB2 with a particle size below 1 mm and OB3 with a particle size below 0.5 mm were sufficiently homogeneous. For these samples, the stability assessment was carried out and studied samples were stable. The homogeneity and stability of SRF material were associated not so much with the grinding but the composition of the material.
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  • 31
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose The purpose of the study was to retrospectively analyze whether double-echo gradient-echo (GRE) chemical shift imaging (CSI) can differentiate between pancreatic metastases from clear cell renal cell carcinoma (PM-ccRCC) and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET). Methods Institutional review board approval and informed consent were waived. CSI, T2WI, DWI, and DCE magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed in patients with PM-ccRCC and pNET. Eleven patients with PM-ccRCC and 24 patients with pNET were enrolled into this retrospective study. The signal intensity was measured in the pancreatic tumor and spleen on in-phase and opposed-phase images. The signal intensity index (SII) and tumor-to-spleen ratio (TSR) in PM-ccRCC and pNET were calculated and compared. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of SII and TSR in the differentiation between PM-ccRCC and pNET. Results The SII between PM-ccRCC and pNET (20.3% ± 16.8% vs. − 3.2% ± 11.4%) was significantly different ( P  〈 0.001), as was the TSR (− 19.2% ± 16.6% vs. 6.0% ± 13.8%) ( P  〈 0.001). The area under the ROC curve was 0.917 for the SII and 0.902 for the TSR. Additionally, an SII threshold value of 8.1% permitted the differentiation of PM-ccRCC from pNET with a sensitivity of 90.9%, a specificity of 91.7%, a positive predictive value of 90.1%, a negative predictive value of 91.7%, and an accuracy of 91.4%. A TSR cut-off value of − 4.7% enabled the differentiation of the two groups with a sensitivity of 79.2%, a specificity of 90.9%, a positive predictive value of 90.9%, a negative predictive value of 79.2% and an accuracy of 82.9%. Conclusion Double-echo GRE chemical shift MR imaging can accurately differentiate between PM-ccRCC and pNET.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 32
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess the heterogeneity of tumor enhancement using fractal analysis on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT) for predicting malignant potential of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Methods We retrospectively identified 64 patients (36 M/28 W; median age: 65) with GISTs who received CE-CT and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) followed by curative surgery. Fractal analysis was applied to CE-CT image, and fractal dimension (FD) was measured. Diagnostic value of FD for malignant potential of GIST was compared with that of FDG-PET using the risk classification and Ki67 index. Results 14 patients were categorized as the high risk, and 50 patients were as the very low, low or intermediate risk. FD of high-risk group was significantly higher than that of the other-risk group ( p  〈 0.05). The areas under the ROC curves of FD and SUV max for prediction of high-risk group were 0.82 and 0.93 (accuracy: 84.4% and 98.5%). FD showed a significant positive correlation with Ki67 index ( p  = 0.01). Conclusion Diagnostic value of CT fractal analysis for prediction of high-risk GIST is comparable with FDG-PET. In terms of cost and availability, fractal analysis has a potential to be an optimal preoperative biomarker.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 33
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Intestinal malrotation is a continuum of congenital anomalies due to lack of rotation or incomplete rotation of the fetal intestine around the superior mesenteric artery axis. The abnormal bowel fixation (by mesenteric bands) or absence of fixation of portions of the bowel increases the risk of bowel obstruction, acute or chronic volvulus, and bowel necrosis. The clinical presentation of patients with malrotation without, with intermittent, or with chronic volvulus can be problematic, with an important minority presenting late or having atypical or chronic symptoms, such as intermittent vomiting, abdominal pain, duodenal obstruction, or failure to thrive. The diagnosis is heavily reliant on imaging. Upper GI series remain the gold standard with the normal position of the duodenojejunal junction lateral to the left-sided pedicles of the vertebral body, at the level of the duodenal bulb on frontal views and posterior (retroperitoneal) on lateral views. However, a variety of conditions might influence the position of the duodenojejunal junction, potentially leading to a misdiagnosis of malrotation. Such conditions include improper technique, gastric over distension, splenomegaly, renal or retroperitoneal tumors, liver transplant, small bowel obstruction, the presence of properly or malpositioned enteric tubes, and scoliosis. All of these may cause the duodenojejunal junction to be displaced. We present a series of cases highlighting conditions that mimic malrotation without volvulus to increase the practicing radiologist awareness and help minimize interpretation errors.
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    Topics: Medicine
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Vascular complications are a significant source of morbidity and mortality among renal transplant recipients. Imaging using ultrasound, CT, and MRI plays a key role in diagnosing such complications. This review focuses on the major vascular complications of renal grafts, which include transplant renal arterial and venous stenoses, arterial and venous thromboses, arteriovenous fistulas, and pseudoaneurysms. Etiology, diagnostic modalities useful for diagnosis, and imaging appearance will be presented.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 35
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Microbubble ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) were recently approved by the Food and Drug administration for non-cardiac imaging. The physical principles of UCAs, methods of administration, dosage, adverse effects, and imaging techniques both current and future are described. UCAs consist of microbubbles in suspension which strongly interact with the ultrasound beam and are readily detectable by ultrasound imaging systems. They are confined to the blood pool when administered intravenously, unlike iodinated and gadolinium contrast agents. UCAs have a proven safety record based on over two decades of use, during which they have been used in echocardiography in the U.S. and for non-cardiac imaging in the rest of the world. Adverse effects are less common with UCAs than CT/MR contrast agents. Compared to CT and MR, contrast-enhanced ultrasound has the advantages of real-time imaging, portability, and reduced susceptibility to metal and motion artifact. UCAs are not nephrotoxic and can be used in renal failure. High acoustic amplitudes can cause microbubbles to fragment in a manner that can result in short-term increases in capillary permeability or capillary rupture. These bioeffects can be beneficial and have been used to enhance drug delivery under appropriate conditions. Imaging with a mechanical index of 〈 0.4 preserves the microbubbles and is not typically associated with substantial bioeffects. Molecularly targeted ultrasound contrast agents are created by conjugating the microbubble shell with a peptide, antibody, or other ligand designed to target an endothelial biomarker associated with tumor angiogenesis or inflammation. These microbubbles then accumulate in the microvasculature at target sites where they can be imaged. Ultrasound contrast agents are a valuable addition to the diagnostic imaging toolkit. They will facilitate cross-sectional abdominal imaging in situations where contrast-enhanced CT and MR are contraindicated or impractical.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose To analyze the feasibility of 2D-perfusion angiography (2D-PA) to quantify flow and perfusion changes pre- and post-transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) revision. Materials and methods Fifteen consecutive patients (54 ± 14 years, seven men and eight women) scheduled for TIPS revision were included in this study. To quantify flow and perfusion changes caused by TIPS revision, digital subtraction angiography (DSA) series acquired during the revision were post-processed using a dedicated software. Reference region-of-interest (ROI) in the main portal vein (input function) and target ROIs in the TIPS lumen, the liver parenchyma and in the right atrium were placed in corresponding areas on DSA pre- and post-TIPS revision. 2D-PA evaluation included time to peak (TTP), peak density (PD), and the area under the curve (AUC) assessment. The ratios of reference ROI to target ROIs pre- and post-TIPS revision were calculated (TTP parenchyma /TTP inflow , PD parenchyma /PD inflow , AUC parenchyma /AUC inflow , TTP TIPS /TTP inflow , PD TIPS /PD inflow , AUC TIPS /AUC inflow , TTP atrium /TTP inflow , PD atrium /PD inflow , and AUC atrium /AUC inflow ). Pressure measurements pre- and post-TIPS revision were performed and correlated to the 2D-PA parameters. Reproducibility of 2D-PA was assessed by the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Results The portosystemic pressure gradient was significantly reduced following TIPS revision (17.1 ± 6.3 vs. 8.9 ± 4.3 mmHg; p  〈 0.0001). PD TIPS /PD inflow (0.22 vs. 0.35; p  = 0.0014) and AUC TIPS /AUC inflow (0.24 vs. 0.39; p  = 0.0012) increased significantly. Likewise, PD atrium /PD inflow (0.32 vs. 0.78; p  = 0.0004) and AUC atrium /AUC inflow (0.3 vs. 0.79; p  〈 0.0001) increased, whereas PD parenchyma /PD inflow decreased significantly (0.14 vs. 0.1; p  = 0.0084). Pressure gradient changes correlated significantly with the increase in PD atrium /PD inflow ( r  = − 0.77, p  = 0.0012) and AUC atrium /AUC inflow ( r  = − 0.76, p  = 0.0018). ICC of the 2D-PA parameters was in the range of 0.88–0.99. Conclusion 2D-PA offers a feasible approach to quantify flow and perfusion changes during TIPS revision. Therefore, 2D-PA may be a valuable amendment to mere pressure measurements.
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  • 37
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
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  • 38
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: In the published article, the author B. Babbitt was cited as affiliation 9, but should have been cited as affiliation 2. In addition, there are 2 errors in the affiliations. The correct affiliations are shown in this erratum.
    Electronic ISSN: 1550-7416
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 39
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The purpose of this study is to analyze the nonlinear dynamic responses of functionally graded carbon nanotube-reinforced composite (FG-CNTRC) beams exposed to axial supersonic airflow in thermal environments. The dynamic model of the FG-CNTRC beam is developed with regard to the first-order shear deformation theory incorporating the von Kármán geometrical nonlinearity. The thermomechanical properties of the constituents are assumed to be temperature dependent. The third-order piston theory is adopted to estimate the nonlinear aerodynamic pressure induced by the supersonic airflow. Harmonic differential quadrature method is implemented to discretize the equations of motion in the spatial domain. A comprehensive parametric study is performed to expatiate on the effect of the distribution type and volume fraction of CNTs, boundary condition, slenderness ratio, and thermal environments on the aerothermoelastic responses of the FG-CNTRC beam. Simulation results indicate that the presence of the aerodynamic pressure not only increases the critical buckling temperature of the FG-CNTRC beam, but also changes the buckling mode shapes of the beam. Furthermore, the results show that aerothermoelastic characteristics of FG-CNTRC beams may be remarkably improved by the selection of a proper distribution of CNTs. Besides, it is found that FG-CNTRC beams with intermediate CNT volume fraction do not have an intermediate critical buckling temperature.
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  • 40
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Molecular mechanics/molecular dynamics (MM/MD) methods are widely used in computer simulations of deformation (including buckling, vibration, and fracture) of low-dimensional carbon nanostructures (single-layer graphene sheets (SLGSs), single-walled nanotubes, fullerenes, etc). In MM/MD simulations, the interactions between carbon atoms in these nanostructures are modeled using force fields (e.g., AIREBO, DREIDING, MM3/MM4). The objective of the present study is to fit the DREIDING force field parameters (see Mayo et al. J Phys Chem 94:8897–8909, 1990 ) to most closely reproduce the mechanical parameters of graphene (Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, bending rigidity modulus, and intrinsic strength) known from experimental studies and quantum mechanics simulations since the standard set of the DREIDING force field parameters (see Mayo et al. 1990 ) leads to unsatisfactory values of the mechanical parameters of graphene. The values of these parameters are fitted using primitive unit cells of graphene acted upon by forces that reproduce the homogeneous deformation of this material in tension/compression, bending, and fracture. (Different sets of primitive unit cells are used for different types of deformation, taking into account the anisotropic properties of graphene in states close to failure.) The MM method is used to determine the dependence of the mechanical moduli of graphene (Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, and bending rigidity modulus) on the scale factor. Computer simulation has shown that for large linear dimensions of SLGSs, the mechanical parameters of these sheets are close to those of graphene. In addition, computer simulation has shown that accounting for in-layer van der Waals forces has a small effect on the value of the mechanical moduli of graphene.
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    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics , Physics
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  • 41
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: We used daily maximum temperature data (1986–2100) from the COSMO-CLM (COnsortium for Small-scale MOdeling in CLimate Mode) regional climate model and the population statistics for China in 2010 to determine the frequency, intensity, coverage, and population exposure of extreme maximum temperature events (EMTEs) with the intensity–area–duration method. Between 1986 and 2005 (reference period), the frequency, intensity, and coverage of EMTEs are 1330–1680 times yr –1 , 31.4–33.3°C, and 1.76–3.88 million km 2 , respectively. The center of the most severe EMTEs is located in central China and 179.5–392.8 million people are exposed to EMTEs annually. Relative to 1986–2005, the frequency, intensity, and coverage of EMTEs increase by 1.13–6.84, 0.32–1.50, and 15.98%–30.68%, respectively, under 1.5°C warming; under 2.0°C warming, the increases are 1.73–12.48, 0.64–2.76, and 31.96%–50.00%, respectively. It is possible that both the intensity and coverage of future EMTEs could exceed the most severe EMTEs currently observed. Two new centers of EMTEs are projected to develop under 1.5°C warming, one in North China and the other in Southwest China. Under 2.0°C warming, a fourth EMTE center is projected to develop in Northwest China. Under 1.5 and 2.0°C warming, population exposure is projected to increase by 23.2%–39.2% and 26.6%–48%, respectively. From a regional perspective, population exposure is expected to increase most rapidly in Southwest China. A greater proportion of the population in North, Northeast, and Northwest China will be exposed to EMTEs under 2.0°C warming. The results show that a warming world will lead to increases in the intensity, frequency, and coverage of EMTEs. Warming of 2.0°C will lead to both more severe EMTEs and the exposure of more people to EMTEs. Given the probability of the increased occurrence of more severe EMTEs than in the past, it is vitally important to China that the global temperature increase is limited within 1.5°C.
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  • 42
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Statistical methods for category (yes/no) forecasts, such as the Threat Score, are typically used in the verification of precipitation forecasts. However, these standard methods are affected by the so-called “double-penalty” problem caused by slight displacements in either space or time with respect to the observations. Spatial techniques have recently been developed to help solve this problem. The fractions skill score (FSS), a neighborhood spatial verification method, directly compares the fractional coverage of events in windows surrounding the observations and forecasts. We applied the FSS to hourly precipitation verification by taking hourly forecast products from the GRAPES (Global/Regional Assimilation Prediction System) regional model and quantitative precipitation estimation products from the National Meteorological Information Center of China during July and August 2016, and investigated the difference between these results and those obtained with the traditional category score. We found that the model spin-up period affected the assessment of stability. Systematic errors had an insignificant role in the fraction Brier score and could be ignored. The dispersion of observations followed a diurnal cycle and the standard deviation of the forecast had a similar pattern to the reference maximum of the fraction Brier score. The coefficient of the forecasts and the observations is similar to the FSS; that is, the FSS may be a useful index that can be used to indicate correlation. Compared with the traditional skill score, the FSS has obvious advantages in distinguishing differences in precipitation time series, especially in the assessment of heavy rainfall.
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  • 43
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: We traced the adjoint sensitivity of a severe pollution event in December 2016 in Beijing using the adjoint model of the GRAPES–CUACE (Global/Regional Assimilation and Prediction System coupled with the China Meteorological Administration Unified Atmospheric Chemistry Environmental Forecasting System). The key emission sources and periods affecting this severe pollution event are analyzed. For comaprison, we define 2000 Beijing Time 3 December 2016 as the objective time when PM 2.5 reached the maximum concentration in Beijing. It is found that the local hourly sensitivity coefficient amounts to a peak of 9.31 μg m –3 just 1 h before the objective time, suggesting that PM 2.5 concentration responds rapidly to local emissions. The accumulated sensitivity coefficient in Beijing is large during the 20-h period prior to the objective time, showing that local emissions are the most important in this period. The accumulated contribution rates of emissions from Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and Shanxi are 34.2%, 3.0%, 49.4%, and 13.4%, respectively, in the 72-h period before the objective time. The evolution of hourly sensitivity coefficient shows that the main contribution from the Tianjin source occurs 1–26 h before the objective time and its peak hourly contribution is 0.59 μg m –3 at 4 h before the objective time. The main contributions of the Hebei and Shanxi emission sources occur 1–54 and 14–53 h, respectively, before the objective time and their hourly sensitivity coefficients both show periodic fluctuations. The Hebei source shows three sensitivity coefficient peaks of 3.45, 4.27, and 0.71 μg m –3 at 4, 16, and 38 h before the objective time, respectively. The sensitivity coefficient of the Shanxi source peaks twice, with values of 1.41 and 0.64 μg m –3 at 24 and 45 h before the objective time, respectively. Overall, the adjoint model is effective in tracking the crucial sources and key periods of emissions for the severe pollution event.
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: We compared the regional synoptic patterns and local meteorological conditions during persistent and non-persistent pollution events in Beijing using US NCEP–Department of Energy reanalysis outputs and observations from meteorological stations. The analysis focused on the impacts of high-frequency (period 〈 90 days) variations in meteorological conditions on persistent pollution events (those lasting for at least 3 days). Persistent pollution events tended to occur in association with slow-moving weather systems producing stagnant weather conditions, whereas rapidly moving weather systems caused a dramatic change in the local weather conditions so that the pollution event was short-lived. Although Beijing was under the influence of anomalous southerly winds in all four seasons during pollution events, notable differences were identified in the regional patterns of sea-level pressure and local anomalies in relative humidity among persistent pollution events in different seasons. A region of lower pressure was present to the north of Beijing in spring, fall, and winter, whereas regions of lower and higher pressures were observed northwest and southeast of Beijing, respectively, in summer. The relative humidity near Beijing was higher in fall and winter, but lower in spring and summer. These differences may explain the seasonal dependence of the relationship between air pollution and the local meteorological variables. Our analysis showed that the temperature inversion in the lower troposphere played an important part in the occurrence of air pollution under stagnant weather conditions. Some results from this study are based on a limited number of events and thus require validation using more data.
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  • 45
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: We analyzed the structure and evolution of turbulent transfer and the wind profile in the atmospheric boundary layer in relation to aerosol concentrations during an episode of heavy haze pollution from 6 December 2016 to 9 January 2017. The turbulence data were recorded at Peking University’s atmospheric science and environment observation station. The results showed a negative correlation between the wind speed and the PM 2.5 concentration. The turbulence kinetic energy was large and showed obvious diurnal variations during unpolluted (clean) weather, but was small during episodes of heavy haze pollution. Under both clean and heavy haze conditions, the relation between the non-dimensional wind components and the stability parameter z / L followed a 1/3 power law, but the normalized standard deviations of the wind speed were smaller during heavy pollution events than during clean periods under near-neutral conditions. Under unstable conditions, the normalized standard deviation of the potential temperature σ θ /| θ * | was related to z / L , roughly following a –1/3 power law, and the ratio during pollution days was greater than that during clean days. The three-dimensional turbulence energy spectra satisfied a –2/3 power exponent rate in the high-frequency band. In the low-frequency band, the wind velocity spectrum curve was related to the stability parameters under clear conditions, but was not related to atmospheric stratification under polluted conditions. In the dissipation stage of the heavy pollution episode, the horizontal wind speed first started to increase at high altitudes and then gradually decreased at lower altitudes. The strong upward motion during this stage was an important dynamic factor in the dissipation of the heavy haze.
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  • 46
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: An extensive field experiment for measurement of physical and chemical properties of aerosols was conducted at an urban site in the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences (CAMS) in Beijing and at a rural site in Gucheng (GC), Hebei Province in December 2016. This paper compares the number size distribution of submicron particle matter (PM1, diameter 〈 1 μm) between the two sites. The results show that the mean PM1 number concentration at GC was twice that at CAMS, and the mass concentration was three times the amount at CAMS. It is found that the accumulation mode (100–850 nm) particles constituted the largest fraction of PM1 at GC, which was significantly correlated with the local coal combustion, as confirmed by a significant relationship between the accumulation mode and the absorption coefficient of soot particles. The high PM1 concentration at GC prevented the occurrence of new particle formation (NPF) events, while eight such events were observed at CAMS. During the NPF events, the mass fraction of sulfate increased significantly, indicating that sulfate played an important role in NPF. The contribution of regional transport to PM1 mass concentration was approximately 50% at both sites, same as that of the local emission. However, during the red-alert period when emission control took place, the contribution of regional transport was notably higher.
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  • 47
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: We investigated the acidity and concentrations of water-soluble ions in PM 2.5 aerosol samples collected from an urban site in Beijing and a rural site in Gucheng, Hebei Province from November 2016 to January 2017 to gain an insight into the formation of secondary inorganic species. The average SO 4 2– , NO 3 – , and NH 4 + concentrations were 8.3, 12.5, and 14.1 μg m –3 , respectively, at the urban site and 14.0, 14.2, and 24.2 μg m –3 , respectively, at the rural site. The nitrogen and sulfur oxidation ratios in urban Beijing were correlated with relative humidity (with correlation coefficient r = 0.79 and 0.67, respectively) and the aerosol loadings. Based on a parameterization model, we found that the rate constant of the heterogeneous reactions for SO 2 on polluted days was about 10 times higher than that on clear days, suggesting that the heterogeneous reactions in the aerosol water played an essential role in haze events. The ISORROPIA II model was used to predict the aerosol pH, which had a mean (range) of 5.0 (4.9–5.2) and 5.3 (4.6–6.3) at the urban and rural site, respectively. Under the conditions with this predicted pH value, oxidation by dissolved NO 2 and the hydrolysis of N 2 O 5 may be the major heterogeneous reactions forming SO 4 2– and NO 3 – in haze. We also analyzed the sensitivity of the aerosol pH to changes in the concentrations of SO 4 2– , NO 3 – , and NH 4 + under haze conditions. The aerosol pH was more sensitive to the SO 4 2– and NH 4 + concentrations with opposing trends, than to the NO 3 – concentrations. The sensitivity of the pH was relatively weak overall, which was attributed to the buffering effect of NH 3 partitioning.
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Molecular dynamics simulations with Adaptive Intermolecular Reactive Empirical Bond Order force fields were conducted to determine the transversely isotropic elastic properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) containing vacancies. This is achieved by imposing axial extension, twist, in-plane biaxial tension, and in-plane shear to the defective CNTs. The effects of vacancy concentrations, their position, and the diameter of armchair CNTs were taken into consideration. Current results reveal that vacancy defects affect (i) the axial Young’s and shear moduli of smaller-diameter CNTs more than the larger ones and decrease by 8 and 16% for 1 and 2% vacancy concentrations, respectively; (ii) the plane strain bulk and the in-plane shear moduli of the larger-diameter CNTs more profoundly, reduced by 33 and 45% for 1 and 2% vacancy concentrations, respectively; and (iii) the plane strain bulk and in-plane shear moduli among all the elastic coefficients. It is also revealed that the position of vacancies along the length of CNTs is the main influencing factor which governs the change in the properties of CNTs, especially for vacancy concentration of 1%. The current fundamental study highlights the important role played by vacancy defected CNTs in determining their mechanical behaviors as reinforcements in multifunctional nanocomposites.
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-5970
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    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics , Physics
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Air pollution is a current global concern. The heavy air pollution episodes (HPEs) in Beijing in December 2016 severely influenced visibility and public health. This study aims to survey the chemical compositions, sources, and formation processes of the HPEs. An aerodyne quadruple aerosol mass spectrometer (Q-AMS) was utilized to measure the non-refractory PM1 (NR-PM1) mass concentration and size distributions of the main chemical components including organics, sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, and chloride in situ during 15–23 December 2016. The NR-PM1 mass concentration was found to increase from 6 to 188 μg m –3 within 5 days. During the most serious polluted episode, the PM1 mass concentration was about 2.6 times that during the first pollution stage and even 40 times that of the clean days. The formation rates of PM 2.5 in the five pollution stages were 26, 22, 22, 32, and 67 μg m –3 h –1 , respectively. Organics and nitrate occupied the largest proportion in the polluted episodes, whereas organics and sulfate dominated the submicron aerosol during the clean days. The size distribution of organics is always broader than those of other species, especially in the clean episodes. The peak sizes of the interested species grew gradually during different HPEs. Aqueous reaction might be important in forming sulfate and chloride, and nitrate was formed via oxidization and condensation processes. PMF (positive matrix factorization) analysis on AMS mass spectra was employed to separate the organics into different subtypes. Two types of secondary organic aerosol with different degrees of oxidation consisted of 43% of total organics. By contrast, primary organics from cooking, coal combustion, and traffic emissions comprised 57% of the organic aerosols during the HPEs.
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  • 51
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: A humidification system was deployed to measure aerosol hygroscopicity at a rural site of the North China Plain during the haze red-alert period 17–22 December 2016. The aerosol scattering coefficients under dry [relative humidity (RH) 〈 30%] and wet (RH in the range of 40%–85%) conditions were simultaneously measured at wavelengths of 450, 550, and 700 nm. It is found that the aerosol scattering coefficient and backscattering coefficient increased by only 29% and 10%, respectively when RH went up from 40% to 80%, while the hemispheric backscatter fraction went down by 14%, implying that the aerosol hygroscopicity represented by the aerosol scattering enhancement factor f (RH) is relatively low and RH exerted little effects on the aerosol light scattering in this case. The scattering enhancement factors do not show significant differences at the three wavelengths, only with an approximate 2% variation, suggesting that the aerosol hygroscopicity is independent of the wavelength. Aerosol hygroscopicity is highly dependent on the aerosol chemical composition. When there is a large mass fraction of inorganics and a small mass fraction of organic matter, f(RH) reaches a high value. The fraction of NO 3 – was strongly correlated with the aerosol scattering coefficient at RH = 80%, which suggests that NO 3 – played an important role in aerosol hygroscopic growth during the heavy pollution period.
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The optical and radiative properties of aerosols during a severe haze episode from 15 to 22 December 2016 over Beijing, Shijiazhuang, and Jiaozuo in the North China Plain were analyzed based on the ground-based and satellite data, meteorological observations, and atmospheric environmental monitoring data. The aerosol optical depth at 500 nm was 〈 0.30 and increased to 〉 1.4 as the haze pollution developed. The Ångström exponent was 〉 0.80 for most of the study period. The daily single-scattering albedo was 〉 0.85 over all of the North China Plain on the most polluted days and was 〉 0.97 on some particular days. The volumes of fine and coarse mode particles during the haze event were approximately 0.05–0.21 and 0.01–0.43 μm 3 , respectively—that is, larger than those in the time without haze. The daily absorption aerosol optical depth was about 0.01–0.11 in Beijing, 0.01–0.13 in Shijiazhuang, and 0.01–0.04 in Jiaozuo, and the average absorption Ångström exponent varied between 0.6 and 2.0. The aerosol radiative forcing at the bottom of the atmosphere varied from –23 to –227,–34 to –199, and –29 to –191 W m –2 for the whole haze period, while the aerosol radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere varied from –4 to –98, –10 to –51, and –21 to –143 W m –2 in Beijing, Shijiazhuang, and Jiaozuo, respectively. Satellite observations showed that smoke, polluted dust, and polluted continental components of aerosols may aggravate air pollution during haze episodes. The analysis of the potential source contribution function and concentration-weighted trajectory showed that the contribution from local emissions and pollutants transport from upstream areas were 190–450 and 100–410 μg m –3 , respectively.
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    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Springer on behalf of The Chinese Meteorological Society.
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The traditional method for computing the mean displacement in latitude–longitude coordinates is a spherical meridional–zonal resultant displacement method (MRDM), which regards the displacement as the resultant vector of the meridional and zonal displacement components. However, there are inhomogeneity and singularity in the computation error of the MRDM, especially at high latitudes. Using the NCEP/NCAR long-term monthly mean wind and idealized wind fields, the inhomogeneity in the MRDM was accessed by using a great circle displacement computing method (GCDM) for non-iterative cases. The MRDM and GCDM were also compared for iteration cases by taking the trajectories from a three-time level reference method as the real trajectories. In the horizontal direction, the GCDM assumes that an air particle moves along its locating great circle and that the magnitude of the displacement equals the arc length of the great circle. The inhomogeneity of the MRDM is evaluated in terms of the horizontal distance error from the products of wind speed, lapse time, and angle difference from the GCDM displacement orient. The non-iterative results show that the mean horizontal displacement computed through the MRDM has both computational and analytical errors. The displacement error of the MRDM depends on the wind speed, wind direction, and the departure latitude of the air particle. It increases with the wind speed and the departure latitude. The displacement magnitude error has a four-wave pattern and the displacement direction error has a two-wave feature in the definition range of the wind direction. The iterative result shows that the displacement magnitude error and angle error of the MRDM and GCDM with respect to the reference method increase with the lapse time and have similar distribution patterns. The mean magnitude error and the angle error of the MRDM are nearly twice as large as those of the GCDM.
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    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 54
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: This study aims to detect the primary precursors and impact mechanisms for January surface temperature anomaly (JSTA) events in China against the background of global warming, by comparing the causes of two extreme JSTA events occurring in 2008 and 2011 with the common mechanisms inferred from all typical episodes during 1979–2008. The results show that these two extreme events exhibit atmospheric circulation patterns in the mid–high latitudes of Eurasia, with a positive anomaly center over the Ural Mountains and a negative one to the south of Lake Baikal (UMLB), which is a pattern quite similar to that for all the typical events. However, the Eurasian teleconnection patterns in the 2011 event, which are accompanied by a negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, are different to those of the typical events and the 2008 event. We further find that a common anomalous signal appearing in early summer over the tropical Indian Ocean may be responsible for the following late-winter Eurasian teleconnections and the associated JSTA events in China. We show that sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the preceding summer over the western Indian Ocean (WIO) are intimately related to the UMLB-like circulation pattern in the following January. Positive WIOSSTAs in early summer tend to induce strong UMLB-like circulation anomalies in January, which may result in anomalously or extremely cold events in China, which can also be successfully reproduced in model experiments. Our results suggest that the WIOSSTAs may be a useful precursor for predicting JSTA events in China.
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The western North Pacific anomalous anticyclone (WNPAC) is an important atmospheric circulation system that conveys El Niño impact on East Asian climate. In this review paper, various theories on the formation and maintenance of the WNPAC, including warm pool atmosphere–ocean interaction, Indian Ocean capacitor, a combination mode that emphasizes nonlinear interaction between ENSO and annual cycle, moist enthalpy advection/Rossby wave modulation, and central Pacific SST forcing, are discussed. It is concluded that local atmosphere–ocean interaction and moist enthalpy advection/Rossby wave modulation mechanisms are essential for the initial development and maintenance of the WNPAC during El Niño mature winter and subsequent spring. The Indian Ocean capacitor mechanism does not contribute to the earlier development but helps maintain the WNPAC in El Niño decaying summer. The cold SST anomaly in the western North Pacific, although damped in the summer, also plays a role. An interbasin atmosphere–ocean interaction across the Indo-Pacific warm pool emerges as a new mechanism in summer. In addition, the central Pacific cold SST anomaly may induce the WNPAC during rapid El Niño decaying/La Niña developing or La Niña persisting summer. The near-annual periods predicted by the combination mode theory are hardly detected from observations and thus do not contribute to the formation of the WNPAC. The tropical Atlantic may have a capacitor effect similar to the tropical Indian Ocean.
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  • 56
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Urban microclimate peculiarities in two Arctic cities in northwestern Russia—Kirovsk (67.62°N, 33.67°E) and Apatity (67.57°N, 33.38°E)—were investigated by using mobile temperature records. The experiment was carried out in and around Apatity and Kirovsk in February 2014 and December 2016. The DS18B20 digital thermometer was installed on the roof of a car (height: approximately 1.2 m) to measure and record temperature variations automatically. In addition to the digital thermometer, the car was also equipped with an onboard global positioning system, allowing every temperature measurement to be referenced with an altitude and a latitude/longitude position. The possibility of urban heat island formation in these polar cities, above the Arctic Circle, was studied. Our analysis indicated that on 11 February 2014, the temperature varied in accordance with the background environmental lapse rate (–0.0045°C m –1 ), and nearly corresponded to it (–0.0165°C m –1 ) on 12 February 2014. On 6 December 2016, a strong local temperature inversion with a positive value of 0.032°C m –1 was detected, seemingly caused by the formation of a cold air pool in the valley near Kirovsk. It was found that the temperature variations within and outside these cities are strongly influenced by local topographic effects and the physical conditions of the atmospheric boundary layer.
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    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 57
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Based on summer precipitation hindcasts for 1991–2013 produced by the Beijing Climate Center Climate System Model (BCC_CSM), the relationship between precipitation prediction error in northeastern China (NEC) and global sea surface temperature is analyzed, and dynamic–analogue prediction is carried out to improve the summer precipitation prediction skill of BCC_CSM, through taking care of model historical analogue prediction error in the real-time output. Seven correction schemes such as the systematic bias correction, pure statistical correction, dynamic–analogue correction, and so on, are designed and compared. Independent hindcast results show that the 5-yr average anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) of summer precipitation is respectively improved from –0.13/0.15 to 0.16/0.24 for 2009–13/1991–95 when using the equally weighted dynamic–analogue correction in the BCC_CSM prediction, which takes the arithmetical mean of the correction based on regional average error and that on grid point error. In addition, probabilistic prediction using the results from the multiple correction schemes is also performed and it leads to further improved 5-yr average prediction accuracy.
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    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 58
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Black carbon (BC) is a component of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ), associated with climate, weather, air quality, and people’s health. However, studies on temporal variation of atmospheric BC concentration at background stations in China and its source area identification are lacking. In this paper, we use 2-yr BC observations from two background stations, Lin’an (LAN) and Longfengshan (LFS), to perform the investigation. The results show that the mean diurnal variation of BC has two significant peaks at LAN while different characteristics are found in the BC variation at LFS, which are probably caused by the difference in emission source contributions. Seasonal variation of monthly BC shows double peaks at LAN but a single peak at LFS. The annual mean concentrations of BC at LAN and LFS decrease by 1.63 and 0.26 μg m –3 from 2009 to 2010, respectively. The annual background concentration of BC at LAN is twice higher than that at LFS. The major source of the LAN BC is industrial emission while the source of the LFS BC is residential emission. Based on transport climatology on a 7-day timescale, LAN and LFS stations are sensitive to surface emissions respectively in belt or approximately circular area, which are dominated by summer monsoon or colder land air flows in Northwest China. In addition, we statistically analyze the BC source regions by using BC observation and FLEXible PARTicle dispersion model (FLEXPART) simulation. In summer, the source regions of BC are distributed in the northwest and south of LAN and the southwest of LFS. Low BC concentration is closely related to air mass from the sea. In winter, the source regions of BC are concentrated in the west and south of LAN and the northeast of the threshold area of s tot at LFS. The cold air mass in the northwest plays an important role in the purification of atmospheric BC. On a yearly scale, sources of BC are approximately from five provinces in the northwest/southeast of LAN and the west of LFS. These findings are helpful in reducing BC emission and controlling air pollution.
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    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 59
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Background This study aims to assess surgical outcome in brain tumor surgery using patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and to compare their results with traditional clinical outcome measurements. Method Neuro-oncological patients undergoing surgical removal for the lesion were enrolled; MOCA test, PROMs (EUROHIS-QoL, PGWB-S, WHODAS-12), and the clinical scale Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) were administered to evaluate respectively cognitive status, quality of life, well-being, disability, and functional status before surgery and at 3-month follow-up. Wilcoxon test was performed to evaluate the longitudinal change of test scores, the smallest detectable difference to classify the change of patients in PROMs, the Cohen kappa to investigate the concordance between KPS and PROMs in classifying the patients’ change, and Mann-Whitney U test to compare patients with complications and no complications. Results A total of 101 patients were enrolled (54 woman, mean age 50.2 ± 14.1, range 20–85): psychological well-being improved at follow-up; 95 patients (94.1%) were improved/unchanged and 6 (5.9%) were worsened according to PROMs; functional status measured with KPS had a slight agreement with quality of life and disability and no agreement with psychological well-being questionnaires; patients with complications had a greater worsening in KPS. Conclusions According to PROMs measuring QoL, disability, and psychological well-being, most of the patients were improved/unchanged after surgery. Since PROMs and KPS detect different aspects of the patients’ health status, PROMs should be integrated in surgical outcome evaluation. Furthermore, their association with complications and with other clinical and subjective variables that could influence patient’s perception of health status should be investigated.
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    Topics: Medicine
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  • 60
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-6268
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-6268
    Electronic ISSN: 0942-0940
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-6268
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The intraoperative use of intravenous fluorescein is presented in a case of peroneal intraneural ganglion cyst. When illuminated with the operative microscope and yellow filter, this fluorophore provided excellent visualization of the abnormal cystic peroneal nerve and its articular branch connection. The articular (synovial) theory for the pathogenesis of intraneural cysts is further supported by this pattern of fluorescence. Further, our report presents a novel use of fluorescein in peripheral nerve surgery.
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Background Brain metastases from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are rare, but their incidence is increasing because of developments in recent therapeutic advances. The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of brain metastases from HCC, to evaluate the predictive factors, and to assess the efficacy of gamma knife surgery (GKS). Method A retrospective study was performed on patients with brain metastases from HCC who were treated at Tokyo Gamma Unit Center from 2005 to 2014. Results Nineteen patients were identified. The median age at diagnosis of brain metastases was 67.0 years. Fifteen patients were male and four patients were female. Six patients were infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Two patients were infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Eleven patients were not infected with HBV or HCV. The median interval from the diagnosis of HCC to brain metastases was 32.0 months. The median number of brain metastases was two. The median Karnofsky performance score at first GKS was 70. The median survival time following brain metastases was 21.0 weeks. Six-month and 1-year survival rates were 41.2 and 0%, respectively. One month after GKS, no tumor showed progressive disease. The HBV infection (positive vs. negative) was significantly associated with survival according to univariate analysis ( p  = 0.002). Conclusions The patients having brain metastases from HCC had poor prognosis and low performance state. Therefore, GKS is an acceptable option for controlling brain metastases from HCC because GKS is noninvasive remedy and local control is reasonable.
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Background Full recovery is unlikely for severe cubital tunnel syndrome, and prognostic factors remain uncertain. We aimed to identify predictors of surgical outcome for these patients. Methods One hundred forty-six patients with McGowan grade III cubital tunnel syndrome were evaluated retrospectively with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. All patients underwent either in situ decompression or subcutaneous transposition. The primary outcome measure was postoperative McGowan grade. Predictors included age, sex, dominant hand, disease duration, diabetes mellitus, smoking, alcohol, surgical procedure, follow-up time and preoperative electrophysiological data. Spearman’s rank correlation and ordinal logistic regression model were used to assess the effect of independent variables on the postoperative McGowan grade. Results At the last follow-up, improvement by at least one McGowan grade was reached in 118 cases (80.8%), and complete recovery was achieved in 40 hands (27.4%), while 28 extremities (19.2%) remained at grade III. Older age [per 10-year increase, odds ratio (OR) 2.10; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.55–2.84, p  〈 0.001], longer disease duration (per 1-year increase, OR 1.31; 95% CI 1.16–1.49, p  〈 0.001), absent sensory nerve conduction (OR 2.55; 95% CI 1.25–5.21, p  = 0.010) and shorter postoperative follow-up (per 1-year increase, OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.65–0.90, p  = 0.001) were associated with a higher postoperative McGowan grade. Conclusion Significant improvement but not complete recovery could be expected following in situ decompression or subcutaneous transposition for severe cubital tunnel syndrome. Older age, longer disease duration, absent sensory nerve conduction and shorter postoperative follow-up are independent predictors of worse outcomes.
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Background Perineural spread (PNS) of pelvic cancer along the lumbosacral plexus is an emerging explanation for neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy (nLSP) and an underestimated source of patient morbidity and mortality. Despite the increased incidence of PNS, these patients are often times a clinical conundrum—to diagnose and to treat. Building on previous results in modeling glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), we present a mathematical model for predicting the course and extent of the PNS of recurrent tumors. Methods We created three-dimensional models of perineurally spreading tumor along the lumbosacral plexus from consecutive magnetic resonance imaging scans of two patients (one each with prostate cancer and cervical cancer). We adapted and applied a previously reported mathematical model of GBM to progression of tumor growth along the nerves on an anatomical model obtained from a healthy subject. Results We were able to successfully model and visualize perineurally spreading pelvic cancer in two patients; average growth rates were 60.7 mm/year for subject 1 and 129 mm/year for subject 2. The model correlated well with extent of PNS on MRI scans at given time points. Conclusions This is the first attempt to model perineural tumor spread and we believe that it provides a glimpse into the future of disease progression monitoring. Every tumor and every patient are different, and the possibility to report treatment response using a unified scale—as “days gained”—will be a necessity in the era of individualized medicine. We hope our work will serve as a springboard for future connections between mathematics and medicine.
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Background The aim of this study was to develop a minimal invasive complete spinal cord injury (SCI) minipig model for future research applications. The minipig is considered a translationally relevant model for SCI research. However, a standardized minimal invasive complete SCI model for pigs has not yet been established. Methods Adult Göttingen minipigs were anesthetized and placed in extended prone position. After initial computed tomography (CT) scan, the skin was incised, a needle placed in the epidural fatty tissue. Using the Seldinger technique, a guidewire and dilators were introduced to insert the balloon catheter to Th12. After confirmation of the level Th11/Th12, the balloon was inflated to 2 atm for 30 min. The severity of the lesion was followed by CT and by MRI, and by immunohistochemistry. Function was assessed at the motor and sensory level. Results Duration of procedure was about 60 min including the 30-min compression time. The balloon pressure of 2 atm was maintained without losses. The lesion site was clearly discernible and no intradural bleeding was observed by CT. Neurological assessments during the 4-month follow-up time showed consistent, predictable, and stable neurological deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging analyses at 6 h and 4 weeks post SCI with final immunohistochemical analyses of spinal cord tissue underlined the neurological outcomes and proved SCI completeness. Conclusions We have established a new, minimal invasive, highly standardized, CT-guided spinal cord injury procedure for minipigs. All risks of the open surgery can be excluded using this technique. This CT-guided SC compression is an excellent technique as it avoids long surgery and extensive trauma and allows a feasible inter-animal comparison.
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  • 68
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Background Overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of patients undergoing spinal ependymoma resection has been frequently reported. Contrarily, OS and PFS of purely intramedullary ependymomas have not been clearly determined yet. Methods The data of 37 patients undergoing resection of an intramedullary ependymoma (IE) from January 2000 to December 2016 were analysed retrospectively. Results The mean age was 46 years. The male:female ratio was 24:13. The median duration of symptoms was 12 months. Sixty-two per cent of ependymomas were in the cervical, 24% in the thoracic, and 14% in the conus region in our series. The median volume was 1.3 ml. A syrinx was found in 49% and a cyst in 32%. GTR was achieved in 89%, STR in three (8%), and PR in one patient (3%). Median follow-up was 114 months. PFS was 87%, 82%, and 82% at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. OS was 97%, 88%, and 63% at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. There was a significant difference in PFS depending on the extent of resection and in OS depending on the pre-operative clinical status. There was no significant difference in OS and PFS regarding the other examined influencing factors. Conclusion GTR resection was the most important factor influencing PFS. According to our results OS of IEs is much worse than that of spinal ependymomas. Our analysis confirms that patients with good pre-operative (McCormick grade 1 and 2) clinical status have significantly better OS than patients with McCormick grade 3 and higher.
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  • 69
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The natural gas generation process is simulated by heating source rocks of the Yacheng Formation, including the onshore-offshore mudstone and coal with kerogens of Type II2-III in the Qiongdongnan Basin. The aim is to quantify the natural gas generation from the Yacheng Formation and to evaluate the geological prediction and kinetic parameters using an optimization procedure based on the basin modeling of the shallow-water area. For this, the hydrocarbons produced have been grouped into four classes (C 1 C 2 C 3 and C 4-6 ). The results show that the onset temperature of methane generation is predicted to occur at 110°C during the thermal history of sediments since 5.3 Ma by using data extrapolation. The hydrocarbon potential for ethane, propane and heavy gaseous hydrocarbons (C 4-6 ) is found to be almost exhausted at geological temperature of 200°C when the transformation ratio (TR) is over 0.8, but for which methane is determined to be about 0.5 in the shallow-water area. In contrast, the end temperature of the methane generation in the deep-water area was over 300°C with a TR over 0.8. It plays an important role in the natural gas exploration of the deep-water basin and other basins in the broad ocean areas of China. Therefore, the natural gas exploration for the deep-water area in the Qiongdongnan Basin shall first aim at the structural traps in the Ledong, Lingshui and Beijiao sags, and in the forward direction of the structure around the sags, and then gradually develop toward the non-structural trap in the deep-water area basin of the broad ocean areas of China.
    Print ISSN: 0253-505X
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-1099
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 70
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0256-1530
    Electronic ISSN: 1861-9533
    Topics: Physics
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  • 71
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The characteristics of tropical cyclone (TC) extreme rainfall events over Hainan Island from 1969 to 2014 are analyzed from the viewpoint of the TC maximum daily rainfall (TMDR) using daily station precipitation data from the Meteorological Information Center of the China Meteorological Administration, TC best-track data from the Shanghai Typhoon Institute, and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data. The frequencies of the TMDR reaching 50, 100 and 250 mm show a decreasing trend [−0.7 (10 yr) −1 ], a weak decreasing trend [−0.2 (10 yr) −1 ] and a weak increasing trend [0.1 (10 yr) −1 ], respectively. For seasonal variations, the TMDR of all intensity grades mainly occurs from July to October, with the frequencies of TMDR - 50 mm and - 100 mm peaking in September and the frequency of TMDR - 250 mm [TC extreme rainstorm (TCER) events] peaking in August and September. The western region (Changjiang) of the Island is always the rainfall center, independent of the intensity or frequencies of different intensity grades. The causes of TCERs are also explored and the results show that topography plays a key role in the characteristics of the rainfall events. TCERs are easily induced on the windward slopes of Wuzhi Mountain, with the coordination of TC tracks and TC wind structure. A slower speed of movement, a stronger TC intensity and a farther westward track are all conducive to extreme rainfall events. A weaker northwestern Pacific subtropical high is likely to make the 500-hPa steering flow weaker and results in slower TC movement, whereas a stronger South China Sea summer monsoon can carry a higher moisture flux. These two environmental factors are both favorable for TCERs.
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    Topics: Physics
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  • 72
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Relationships between meteorological factors and airborne pollen concentrations at high altitudes are virtually unknown. We used cross-correlation analyses to test the relationships between daily variation in meteorological factors (i.e. temperature, humidity and wind speed) and airborne pollen concentration, diversity (number of families and Shannon and Simpson diversity indices) and evenness (Pielou index) in an Apennine high-altitude site (Gran Sasso Massif, 2117 m elevation). In contrast to patterns observed at low altitudes, the temperature had a negative correlation with pollen abundance and diversity, whereas humidity had a positive correlation. The unexpected negative correlations with temperature can be explained with the particular position of our sampling site. Wind speed was positively correlated with pollen diversity and abundance in the short term, which can be explained by the fact that higher wind speed promotes both primary emission of pollen from the anthers and subsequent re-suspension. Evenness and wind speed were negatively correlated in the short term because of the different response of different species to meteorological conditions. In the longer term, the average concentrations of the various taxa tend to reach similar values, leading to increased values of diversity. Our finding of a decrease in pollen emission with increasing temperature has important implications for the study of the impacts of global change on high-altitude plant communities. We also detected a high abundance of Cupressaceae/Taxaceae pollen, a reflection of the expansion of thermophilic species, such as Juniperus, due to climate change.
    Print ISSN: 0393-5965
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-3025
    Topics: Biology
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  • 73
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Numerous studies have focused on occupational and indoor environments because people spend more than 90% of their time in them. Nevertheless, air is the main source of bacteria in indoors, and outdoor exposure is also crucial. Worldwide studies have indicated that bacterial concentrations vary among different types of outdoor environments, with considerable seasonal variations as well. Conducting comprehensive monitoring of atmospheric aerosol concentrations is very important not only for environmental management but also for the assessment of the health impacts of air pollution. To our knowledge, this is the first study to present outdoor and seasonal changes of bioaerosol data regarding an urban area of Poland. This study aimed to characterize culturable bacteria populations present in outdoor air in Gliwice, Upper Silesia Region, Poland, over the course of four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) through quantification and identification procedures. In this study, the samples of bioaerosol were collected using a six-stage Andersen cascade impactor (with aerodynamic cut-off diameters of 7.0, 4.7, 3.3, 2.1, 1.1 and 0.65 μm). Results showed that the concentration of airborne bacteria ranged from 4 CFU m −3 , measured on one winter day, to a maximum equal to 669 CFU m −3 on a spring day. The average size of culturable bacterial aerosol over the study period was 199 CFU m −3 . The maximal seasonally averaged concentration was found in the spring season and reached 306 CFU m −3 , and the minimal seasonally averaged concentration was found in the winter 49 CFU m −3 . The most prevalent bacteria found outdoors were gram-positive rods that form endospores. Statistically, the most important meteorological factors related to the viability of airborne bacteria were temperature and UV radiation. These results may contribute to the promotion and implementation of preventative public health programmes and the formulation of recommendations aimed at providing healthier outdoor environments.
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  • 74
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Metabarcoding is a promising DNA-based method for identifying airborne pollen from environmental samples with advantages over microscopic methods. Sample preparation and DNA extraction are of fundamental importance for obtaining an optimal DNA yield. Currently, there is no standard procedure for these steps, especially for gravimetric pollen samplers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop protocols for processing environmental samples for pollen DNA extraction and for metabarcoding analysis and to assess the efficacy of these protocols for the taxonomic assignment of airborne pollen collected by gravimetric (Tauber trap) and volumetric (Hirst-type trap) samplers. Protocols were tested across an increasing complexity of samples, from pure single-species pollen to environmental multi-species samples. A short fragment (about 150 base pairs) of the chloroplast trn L gene was amplified using universal primers for plants. After PCR amplification, amplicons were Sanger-sequenced and taxonomic assignment was accomplished by comparison with a custom-made reference database including chloroplast DNA sequences from most of the anemophilous taxa occurring in the study area (Trentino, northern Italy), representing 46 plant families. Using the classical morphological pollen analysis as a benchmark, we show that DNA metabarcoding is efficient and applicable even in complex samples, provided that protocols for sample preparation, DNA extraction, and metabarcoding analysis are carefully optimized.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1573-3025
    Topics: Biology
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  • 75
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Inhalation of airborne fungi is known to cause respiratory illnesses such as allergies. However, the association between exposure and health outcomes remains largely unclear, in part due to lack of knowledge about fungal exposure in daily life. This study aims to introduce DNA-based methods such as high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to compare fungal microbiota and concentrations in indoor, outdoor, and personal air. Five sets of concurrent indoor, outdoor, and personal air samples were collected, each with duration of 4 days. Sequencing analysis revealed greater species richness in personal than indoor air for four out of the five sets, indicating that people are exposed to outdoor species that are not in indoor air. The personal–indoor ( P / I ) and personal–outdoor ( P / O ) ratios of total fungi were 1.2 and 0.15, respectively, suggesting that personal exposure to total fungi is better represented by indoor than outdoor concentrations. However, the ratios were taxon dependent, highlighting the complexity of generalizing personal exposure to the diverse kingdom Fungi. These results demonstrate that the HTS/qPCR method is useful for assessing taxon-specific fungal exposure, which might be difficult to achieve effectively using conventional, non-DNA-based techniques.
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 76
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Japanese cedar ( Cryptomeria japonica ) pollinosis (JCP), affecting more than a quarter of the Japanese population, is a significant public health problem, due to its negative impact on daily activity. JCP patients have used the four-stage daily pollen deposition information based on the pollen monitoring over 20 years. However, the procedure for monitoring pollen was recently changed dramatically, to hourly average pollen concentration monitoring. In that type of monitoring, JCP patients cannot identify pollen exposure level because the relationship between hourly average pollen concentration and daily pollen deposition is unclear. Based on the parallel monitoring of concentration and deposition counts that we performed in Niigata prefecture, Eastern Japan, we found that the relationship between the daily pollen deposition (pollen cm −2  day −1 ) and the daily-average pollen concentration (pollen m −3 ) calculated from hourly average pollen concentration was not only statistically significant but also consistent with the aerodynamic properties of pollen. Using the relationship, we proposed new range criteria of hourly average pollen concentrations corresponding to the four stages of pollen deposition. Additionally, the conversion of pollen deposition to pollen concentration made the long-term trend analysis of the daily-average pollen concentration possible in this study area, and an increasing trend was identified at one site.
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Fungal spores are normal components of external environments. They have been reported to be associated with human, animal and plant diseases causing primary and opportunistic infections. Cladosporium is commonly the most frequently isolated genus from air samples, and its species are considered mainly saprophytic, but there is a wide variety of taxa that can cause adverse effects on human and animal health and also on plants. In this work, we aimed to record Cladosporium spores frequency of isolation in northern Argentinean Patagonia and to perform a molecular characterization based on actin gene complemented with EF1α and ITS genes. The ability of the pathogens to cause disease in pip fruits of Packham’s Triumph and Abate Fetel pears and red delicious apples was determined. Results confirmed Cladosporium spores as the main genera isolated from air samples, and the molecular characterization revealed the existence of 11 species in this region grouped in C. cladosporioides and C. herbarum complexes. Pathogenicity tests revealed that Cladosporium sp. cause disease on fruit. Abate Fetel was the most susceptible to infection. These results compose the first study in Argentina in respect of identification at species level of airborne Cladosporium spores, and furthermore, it is the first report in northern Patagonia and the high valley of Río Negro productive region. This knowledge can help farmers to take preventive measures in order to avoid biological damage.
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  • 78
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Forecasting daily airborne pollen concentrations is of great importance for management of seasonal allergies. This paper explores the performance of the pollen calendar as the most basic observation-oriented model for predicting daily concentrations of airborne Ambrosia , Betula and Poaceae pollen. Pollen calendars were calculated as the mean or median value of pollen concentrations on the same date in previous years of the available historic dataset, as well as the mean or median value of pollen concentrations of the smoothed dataset, pre-processed using moving mean and moving median. The performance of the models was evaluated by comparing forecasted to measured pollen concentrations at both daily and 10-day-average resolutions. This research demonstrates that the interpolation of missing data and pre-processing of the calibration dataset yields lower prediction errors. The increase in the number of calibration years corresponds to an improvement in the performance of the calendars in predicting daily pollen concentrations. However, the most significant improvement was obtained using four calibration years. The calendar models correspond well to the shape of the pollen curve. It was also found that daily resolution instead of 10-day averages adds to their value by emphasising variability in pollen exposure, which is important for personal assessment of dose-response for pollen-sensitive individuals.
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  • 79
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Introduction Fungal spores constitute an important fraction of bioaerosols in the atmosphere. Objectives To analyse the content of Alternaria and Cladosporium spores in the atmosphere of Beja and the effect of meteorological conditions on their concentrations. Methodology The daily and hourly data of Alternaria and Cladosporium fungal spores concentration in the atmosphere of Beja were monitored from April 12, 2012 to July 30, 2014, based on the Portuguese Aerobiology Network methodology. The influence of meteorological conditions on the studied types of fungal spore concentrations was assessed through Spearman’s correlation analysis. Results During the study period, 20,741 Alternaria spores and 320,862 Cladosporium spores were counted. In 2013, there were 5,822 Alternaria spores and 123,864 Cladosporium spores. The absolute maximum concentrations of Alternaria and Cladosporium spores were recorded on November 8, 2013, with 211 and 1301 spores/m 3 , respectively. Temperature, insolation and wind direction parameters showed a positive correlation with Alternaria and Cladosporium spore levels, while relative humidity and precipitation presented a negative correlation, which is statistically significant. Wind speed only showed a statistically significant positive correlation in terms of Alternaria spore levels. Conclusion Alternaria and Cladosporium spores are present in the atmospheric air of Beja throughout the year, with the highest concentration period occurring during spring and autumn. There was a clear effect of meteorological parameters on airborne concentrations of these fungal spores.
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Values obtained by the real-time pollen monitors set up at 14 measuring points in the Tohoku region indicate that a large amount of Japanese cedar pollen was dispersed along the western region and northern flank of the Ou Mountain Range when a front accompanying the temperate low pressures passed through the west sea of northern Hokkaido. We are sure that this phenomenon is related to pollen enrichment by mountain ranges. The time at which highest concentrations of pollen grains were observed shifted from the western to the eastern side, in accordance with the path of the front. No pollen was seen after the passage of the cold front.
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