The Scientific World Journal The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Strength of Footing with Punching Shear Preventers Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The punching shear failure often governs the strength of the footing-to-column connection. The punching shear failure is an undesirable failure mode, since it results in a brittle failure of the footing. In this study, a new method to increase the strength and ductility of the footing was proposed by inserting the punching shear preventers (PSPs) into the footing. The validation and effectiveness of PSP were verified through a series of experimental studies. The nonlinear finite element analysis was then performed to demonstrate the failure mechanism of the footing with PSPs in depth and to investigate the key parameters that affect the behavior of the footing with PSPs. Finally, the design recommendations for the footing with PSPs were suggested. Sang-Sup Lee, Jiho Moon, Keum-Sung Park, and Kyu-Woong Bae Copyright © 2014 Sang-Sup Lee et al. All rights reserved. Effect of CPP/ACP on Initial Bioadhesion to Enamel and Dentin In Situ Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The present in situ study investigated the influence of a preparation containing CPP/ACP (caseinphosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate) (GC Tooth mousse) on initial bacterial colonization of enamel and dentin. Therefore, pellicle formation was performed in situ on bovine enamel and dentin specimens fixed to individual upper jaw splints worn by 8 subjects. After 1 min of pellicle formation GC Tooth mousse was used according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Rinses with chlorhexidine served as positive controls. Specimens carried without any rinse served as negative controls. After 8 h overnight exposure of the splints, bacterial colonization was quantified by fluorescence microscopy (DAPI and BacLight live/dead staining). Additionally, the colony forming units (CFU) were determined after desorption. Furthermore, the effects on Streptococcus mutans bacteria were tested in vitro (BacLight). There was no significant impact of CPP/ACP on initial bacterial colonization proved with DAPI and BacLight. Determination of CFU showed statistical significance for CPP/ACP to reduce bacterial adherence on enamel. The in vitro investigation indicated no antimicrobial effects for CPP/ACP on Streptococcus mutans suspension. Under the chosen conditions, CPP/ACP (GC Tooth mousse) had no significant impact on initial biofilm formation on dental hard tissues. The tested preparation cannot be recommended for biofilm management. Susann Grychtol, Sabine Basche, Matthias Hannig, and Christian Hannig Copyright © 2014 Susann Grychtol et al. All rights reserved. The Response of Durum Wheat to the Preceding Crop in a Mediterranean Environment Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Crop sequence is an important management practice that may affect durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) production. Field research was conducted in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons in a rain-fed cold Mediterranean environment to examine the impact of the preceding crops alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), maize (Zea mays L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), and bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on yield and N uptake of four durum wheat varieties. The response of grain yield of durum wheat to the preceding crop was high in 2007-2008 and was absent in the 2008-2009 season, because of the heavy rainfall that negatively impacted establishment, vegetative growth, and grain yield of durum wheat due to waterlogging. In the first season, durum wheat grain yield was highest following alfalfa, and was 33% lower following wheat. The yield increase of durum wheat following alfalfa was mainly due to an increased number of spikes per unit area and number of kernels per spike, while the yield decrease following wheat was mainly due to a reduction of spike number per unit area. Variety growth habit and performance did not affect the response to preceding crop and varieties ranked in the order Levante > Saragolla = Svevo > Normanno. Laura Ercoli, Alessandro Masoni, Silvia Pampana, Marco Mariotti, and Iduna Arduini Copyright © 2014 Laura Ercoli et al. All rights reserved. Brain AVMs: An Endovascular, Surgical, and Radiosurgical Update Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Brain arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) are complex vascular lesions. Despite multiple studies, several classifications, and a great interest of the scientific community, case selection in AVM patients remains challenging. During the last few years, tremendous advancements widened therapeutic options and improved outcomes spreading indications for patients harboring lesions deemed inoperable in the past. Anatomical and biological case specific features, and natural history with a focus on presenting symptoms should be evaluated case by case and always kept in mind while planning a therapeutic management for a bAVMs. A multidisciplinary approach is strongly recommended when dealing with bAVMs and should involve physicians expertise in this kind of challenging lesions. The goal of this paper is to provide a focused review of the most recent acquisitions and therapeutic strategies regarding surgical, endovascular, and radiosurgical treatment. Simone Peschillo, Alessandro Caporlingua, Claudio Colonnese, and Giulio Guidetti Copyright © 2014 Simone Peschillo et al. All rights reserved. Establishment of an Efficient In Vitro Regeneration Protocol for Rapid and Mass Propagation of Dendrobium chrysotoxum Lindl. Using Seed Culture Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:40:50 +0000 An efficient in vitro regeneration protocol from seed culture has been established successfully for Dendrobium chrysotoxum, an epiphytic orchid having tremendous ornamental and medicinal values. Seed germination response was encouraging in Mitra (M) medium enriched with different combinations of auxins and cytokinins. Medium supplemented with 0.4% activated charcoal (AC), 2 mg/L 6-benzyl amino purine (BAP), and 2 mg/L indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) produced best seed germination percentage in 2 weeks of culture. Incorporation of higher concentration of kinetin (KN) or BAP in combination with low auxin in medium induced pronounced shooting and leaf formation. Reduction in leaf development was evident when cytokinins exist singly in medium indicating synergistic effect of auxin and cytokinin in leaf induction. Presence of elevated level of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) with low cytokinin content in medium generated more in vitro rooting, though IBA was found to be more effective in rooting induction as compared to NAA. The in vitro protocol for asymbiotic seed germination developed from the present investigation can be used for rapid mass propagation of this highly important Dendrobium orchid species. Potshangbam Nongdam and Leimapokpam Tikendra Copyright © 2014 Potshangbam Nongdam and Leimapokpam Tikendra. All rights reserved. Connecting Soil Organic Carbon and Root Biomass with Land-Use and Vegetation in Temperate Grassland Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:08:52 +0000 Soils contain much of Earth’s terrestrial organic carbon but are sensitive to land-use. Rangelands are important to carbon dynamics and are among ecosystems most widely impacted by land-use. While common practices like grazing, fire, and tillage affect soil properties directly related to soil carbon dynamics, their magnitude and direction of change vary among ecosystems and with intensity of disturbance. We describe variability in soil organic carbon (SOC) and root biomass—sampled from 0–170 cm and 0–100 cm, respectively—in terms of soil properties, land-use history, current management, and plant community composition using linear regression and multivariate ordination. Despite consistency in average values of SOC and root biomass between our data and data from rangelands worldwide, broad ranges in root biomass and SOC in our data suggest these variables are affected by other site-specific factors. Pastures with a recent history of severe grazing had reduced root biomass and greater bulk density. Ordination suggests greater exotic species richness is associated with lower root biomass but the relationship was not apparent when an invasive species of management concern was specifically tested. We discuss how unexplained variability in belowground properties can complicate measurement and prediction of ecosystem processes such as carbon sequestration. Devan Allen McGranahan, Aaron L. Daigh, Jessica J. Veenstra, David M. Engle, James R. Miller, and Diane M. Debinski Copyright © 2014 Devan Allen McGranahan et al. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Alexithymia, Anxiety, Depression, and Internet Addiction Severity in a Sample of Italian High School Students Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:13:19 +0000 We aimed to assess whether Internet addiction (IA) severity was related to alexithymia scores among high school students, taking into account the role of gender differences and the possible effect of anxiety, depression, and age. Participants in the study were 600 students (ages ranging from 13 to 22; 48.16% girls) recruited from three high schools in two cities from Southern Italy. Participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Internet Addiction Test, the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and the Hamilton Depression Scale. The findings of the study showed that IA scores were associated with alexithymia scores, over and above the effect of negative emotions and age. Students with pathological levels of alexithymia reported higher scores on IA severity. In particular, results showed that difficulty in identifying feelings was significantly associated with higher scores on IA severity. No effect of gender was found. Implications for clinicians were discussed. Giuseppe Scimeca, Antonio Bruno, Lucia Cava, Gianluca Pandolfo, Maria Rosaria Anna Muscatello, and Rocco Zoccali Copyright © 2014 Giuseppe Scimeca et al. All rights reserved. Intensity-Modulated and Image-Guided Radiotherapy in Patients with Locally Advanced Inoperable Pancreatic Cancer after Preradiation Chemotherapy Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:04:01 +0000 Background. Radiotherapy (RT) in patients with pancreatic cancer is still a controversial subject and its benefit in inoperable stages of locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC), even after induction chemotherapy, remains unclear. Modern radiation techniques such as image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) may improve effectiveness and reduce radiotherapy-related toxicities. Methods. Patients with LAPC who underwent radiotherapy after chemotherapy between 09/2004 and 05/2013 were retrospectively analyzed with regard to preradiation chemotherapy (PRCT), modalities of radiotherapy, and toxicities. Progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated by Kaplan-Meier curves. Results. 15 (68%) women and 7 men (median age 64 years; range 40–77) were identified. Median duration of PRCT was 11.1 months (range 4.3–33.0). Six patients (27%) underwent conventional RT and 16 patients (73%) advanced IMRT and IGRT; median dosage was 50.4 (range 9–54) Gray. No grade III or IV toxicities occurred. Median PFS (estimated from the beginning of RT) was 5.8 months, 2.6 months in the conventional RT group (conv-RT), and 7.1 months in the IMRT/IGRT group (); median OS was 11.0 months, 4.2 months (conv-RT), and 14.0 months (IMRT/IGRT); . Median RT-specific PFS for patients with prolonged PRCT 9 months was 8.5 months compared to 5.6 months for PRCT 9 months (). This effect was translated into a significantly better median RT-specific overall survival of patients in the PRCT 9 months group, with 19.0 months compared to 8.5 months in the PRCT    9 months group (). Conclusions. IGRT and IMRT after PRCT are feasible and effective options for patients with LAPC after prolonged preradiation chemotherapy. M. Sinn, R. Ganeshan, R. Graf, U. Pelzer, J. M. Stieler, J. K. Striefler, M. Bahra, P. Wust, and H. Riess Copyright © 2014 M. Sinn et al. All rights reserved. Land Use Intensification Effects in Soil Arthropod Community of an Entisol in Pernambuco State, Brazil Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:15:29 +0000 The interactions between soil invertebrates and land use and management are fundamental for soil quality assessment but remain largely unaddressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in soil arthropod community of an entisol brought about by different land use systems under semiarid climate in Pernambuco State, Brazil. The soil invertebrate community was sampled using pitfall traps from areas with eight vegetation types by the end of the austral winter. The land uses studied were native thorn forest plus seven agricultural fields planted with elephant grass, apple guava, passion fruit, carrot, maize, tomato, and green pepper. Native vegetation was considered as a reference, whereas the agricultural fields showed a range of soil use intensities. The abundance of organisms, the total and average richness, Shannon’s diversity index, and the Pielou uniformity index were determined, and all of these were affected by several crop and soil management practices such as residue cover, weed control, and pesticide application. Our study found differences in community assemblages and composition under different land use systems, but no single taxa could be used as indicator of soil use intensity. G. M. Siqueira, E. F. F. Silva, and J. Paz-Ferreiro Copyright © 2014 G. M. Siqueira et al. All rights reserved. Drought Analysis for Kuwait Using Standardized Precipitation Index Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:39:14 +0000 Implementation of adequate measures to assess and monitor droughts is recognized as a major matter challenging researchers involved in water resources management. The objective of this study is to assess the hydrologic drought characteristics from the historical rainfall records of Kuwait with arid environment by employing the criterion of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). A wide range of monthly total precipitation data from January 1967 to December 2009 is used for the assessment. The computation of the SPI series is performed for intermediate- and long-time scales of 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. The drought severity and duration are also estimated. The bivariate probability distribution for these two drought characteristics is constructed by using Clayton copula. It has been shown that the drought SPI series for the time scales examined have no systematic trend component but a seasonal pattern related to rainfall data. The results are used to perform univariate and bivariate frequency analyses for the drought events. The study will help evaluating the risk of future droughts in the region, assessing their consequences on economy, environment, and society, and adopting measures for mitigating the effect of droughts. Jaber Almedeij Copyright © 2014 Jaber Almedeij. All rights reserved. The Epiphytic Fern Elaphoglossum luridum (Fée) Christ. (Dryopteridaceae) from Central and South America: Morphological and Physiological Responses to Water Stress Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:11:57 +0000 Elaphoglossum luridum (Fée) Christ. (Dryopteridaceae) is an epiphytic fern of the Atlantic Forest (Brazil). Anatomical and physiological studies were conducted to understand how this plant responds to water stress. The E. luridum frond is coriaceus and succulent, presenting trichomes, relatively thick cuticle, and sinuous cell walls in both abaxial and adaxial epidermis. Three treatments were analyzed: control, water deficit, and abscisic acid (ABA). Physiological studies were conducted through analysis of relative water content (RWC), photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll a fluorescence, and malate content. No changes in RWC were observed among treatments; however, significant decreases in chlorophyll a content and photosynthetic parameters, including optimal irradiance () and maximum electron transport rate (ET), were determined by rapid light curves (RLC). No evidence of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) pathway was observed in E. luridum in response to either water deficit or exogenous application of ABA. On the other hand, malate content decreased in the E. luridum frond after ABA treatment, seeming to downregulate malate metabolism at night, possibly through tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle regulation. Bruno Degaspari Minardi, Ana Paula Lorenzen Voytena, Marisa Santos, and Áurea Maria Randi Copyright © 2014 Bruno Degaspari Minardi et al. All rights reserved. Miniaturized Bandpass Filter Using a Meandered Stepped-Impedance Resonator with a Meandered-Line Stub-Load on a GaAs Substrate Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:11:44 +0000 This paper reports a compact bandpass filter with improved skirt selectivity using integrated passive device fabrication technology on a GaAs substrate. The structure of the filter consists of electromagnetically coupled meandered-line symmetric stepped-impedance resonators. The strength of the coupling between the resonators is enhanced by using a meandered-line stub-load inside the resonators to improve the selectivity and miniaturize the size of the filter. In addition, the center frequency of the filter can be flexibly controlled by varying degrees of the capacitive coupling between resonator and stub-load. To verify the proposed concept, a protocol bandpass filter with center frequency of 6.53 GHz was designed, fabricated, and measured, with a return loss and insertion loss of 39.1 dB and 1.63 dB. Z. Chuluunbaatar, C. Wang, and N. Y. Kim Copyright © 2014 Z. Chuluunbaatar et al. All rights reserved. Disparity Map Generation from Illumination Variant Stereo Images Using Efficient Hierarchical Dynamic Programming Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:06:12 +0000 A novel hierarchical stereo matching algorithm is presented which gives disparity map as output from illumination variant stereo pair. Illumination difference between two stereo images can lead to undesirable output. Stereo image pair often experience illumination variations due to many factors like real and practical situation, spatially and temporally separated camera positions, environmental illumination fluctuation, and the change in the strength or position of the light sources. Window matching and dynamic programming techniques are employed for disparity map estimation. Good quality disparity map is obtained with the optimized path. Homomorphic filtering is used as a preprocessing step to lessen illumination variation between the stereo images. Anisotropic diffusion is used to refine disparity map to give high quality disparity map as a final output. The robust performance of the proposed approach is suitable for real life circumstances where there will be always illumination variation between the images. The matching is carried out in a sequence of images representing the same scene, however in different resolutions. The hierarchical approach adopted decreases the computation time of the stereo matching problem. This algorithm can be helpful in applications like robot navigation, extraction of information from aerial surveys, 3D scene reconstruction, and military and security applications. Similarity measure SAD is often sensitive to illumination variation. It produces unacceptable disparity map results for illumination variant left and right images. Experimental results show that our proposed algorithm produces quality disparity maps for both wide range of illumination variant and invariant stereo image pair. Viral H. Borisagar and Mukesh A. Zaveri Copyright © 2014 Viral H. Borisagar and Mukesh A. Zaveri. All rights reserved. The Effects of CO2 Laser with or without Nanohydroxyapatite Paste in the Occlusion of Dentinal Tubules Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:23:03 +0000 The aim of this study was to evaluate a new treatment modality for the occlusion of dentinal tubules (DTs) via the combination of 10.6 µm carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and nanoparticle hydroxyapatite paste (n-HAp). Forty-six sound human molars were used in the current experiment. Ten of the molars were used to assess the temperature elevation during lasing. Thirty were evaluated for dentinal permeability test, subdivided into 3 groups: the control group (C), laser only (L−), and laser plus n-HAp (L+). Six samples, two per group, were used for surface and cross section morphology, evaluated through scanning electron microscope (SEM). The temperature measurement results showed that the maximum temperature increase was 3.2°C. Morphologically groups (L−) and (L+) presented narrower DTs, and almost a complete occlusion of the dentinal tubules for group (L+) was found. The Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric test for permeability test data showed statistical differences between the groups (). For intergroup comparison all groups were statistically different from each other, with group (L+) showing significant less dye penetration than the control group. We concluded that CO2 laser in moderate power density combined with n-HAp seems to be a good treatment modality for reducing the permeability of dentin. Mohammed Abbood Al-maliky, Ali Shukur Mahmood, Tamara Sardar Al-karadaghi, Christoph Kurzmann, Markus Laky, Alexander Franz, and Andreas Moritz Copyright © 2014 Mohammed Abbood Al-maliky et al. All rights reserved. Human Paraoxonase 1 as a Pharmacologic Agent: Limitations and Perspectives Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:39:40 +0000 Human PON1 (h-PON1) is a multifaceted enzyme and can hydrolyze (and inactivate) a wide range of substrates. The enzyme shows anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiatherogenic, ant-diabetic, antimicrobial, and organophosphate (OP)-detoxifying properties. However, there are certain limitations regarding large-scale production and use of h-PON1 as a therapeutic candidate. These include difficulties in producing recombinant h-PON1 (rh-PON1) using microbial expression system, low hydrolytic activity of wild-type h-PON1 towards certain substrates, and low storage stability of the purified enzyme. This review summarizes the work done in our laboratory to address these limitations. Our results show that (a) optimized polynucleotide sequence encoding rh-PON1 can express the protein in an active form in E. coli and can be used to generate variant of the enzyme having enhanced hydrolytic activity, (b) in vitro refolding of rh-PON1 enzyme can dramatically increase the yield of an active enzyme, (c) common excipients can be used to stabilize purified rh-PON1 enzyme when stored under different storage conditions, and (d) variants of rh-PON1 enzyme impart significant protection against OP-poisoning in human blood (ex vivo) and mouse (in vivo) model of OP-poisoning. The rh-PON1 variants and their process of production discussed here will help to develop h-PON1 as a therapeutic candidate. Priyanka Bajaj, Rajan K. Tripathy, Geetika Aggarwal, and Abhay H. Pande Copyright © 2014 Priyanka Bajaj et al. All rights reserved. A Secure Operational Model for Mobile Payments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:32:03 +0000 Instead of paying by cash, check, or credit cards, customers can now also use their mobile devices to pay for a wide range of services and both digital and physical goods. However, customers’ security concerns are a major barrier to the broad adoption and use of mobile payments. In this paper we present the design of a secure operational model for mobile payments in which access control is based on a service-oriented architecture. A customer uses his/her mobile device to get authorization from a remote server and generate a two-dimensional barcode as the payment certificate. This payment certificate has a time limit and can be used once only. The system also provides the ability to remotely lock and disable the mobile payment service. Tao-Ku Chang Copyright © 2014 Tao-Ku Chang. All rights reserved. Storage-Efficient 16-Bit Hybrid IP Traceback with Single Packet Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Since adversaries may spoof their source IPs in the attacks, traceback schemes have been proposed to identify the attack source. However, some of these schemes’ storage requirements increase with packet numbers. Some even have false positives because they use an IP header’s fragment offset for marking. Thus, we propose a 16-bit single packet hybrid IP traceback scheme that combines packet marking and packet logging with high accuracy and low storage requirement. The size of our log tables can be bounded by route numbers. We also set a threshold to determine whether an upstream interface number is stored in a log table or in a marking field, so as to balance the logging frequency and our computational loads. Because we store user interface information on small-degree routers, compared with current single packet traceback schemes, ours can have the lowest storage requirements. Besides, our traceback achieves zero false positive/negative rates and guarantees reassembly of fragmented packets at the destination. Ming Hour Yang Copyright © 2014 Ming Hour Yang. All rights reserved. The Relations among Fuzzy -Filters on Residuated Lattices Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 We give the simple general principle of studying the relations among fuzzy t-filters on residuated lattices. Using the general principle, we can easily determine the relations among fuzzy t-filters on different logical algebras. Huarong Zhang and Qingguo Li Copyright © 2014 Huarong Zhang and Qingguo Li. All rights reserved. Biosorption of Microelements by Spirulina: Towards Technology of Mineral Feed Supplements Sun, 19 Oct 2014 13:40:31 +0000 Surface characterization and metal ion adsorption properties of Spirulina sp. and Spirulina maxima were verified by various instrumental techniques. FTIR spectroscopy and potentiometric titration were used for qualitative and quantitative determination of metal ion-binding groups. Comparative FTIR spectra of natural and Cu(II)-treated biomass proved involvement of both phosphoryl and sulfone groups in metal ions sorption. The potentiometric titration data analysis provided the best fit with the model assuming the presence of three types of surface functional groups and the carboxyl group as the major binding site. The mechanism of metal ions biosorption was investigated by comparing the results from multielemental analyses by ICP-OES and SEM-EDX. Biosorption of Cu(II), Mn(II), Zn(II), and Co(II) ions by lyophilized Spirulina sp. was performed to determine the metal affinity relationships for single- and multicomponent systems. Obtained results showed the replacement of naturally bound ions: Na(I), K(I), or Ca(II) with sorbed metal ions in a descending order of Mn(II) > Cu(II) > Zn(II) > Co(II) for single- and Cu(II) > Mn(II) > Co(II) > Zn(II) for multicomponent systems, respectively. Surface elemental composition of natural and metal-loaded material was determined both by ICP-OES and SEM-EDX analysis, showing relatively high value of correlation coefficient between the concentration of Na(I) ions in algal biomass. Agnieszka Dmytryk, Agnieszka Saeid, and Katarzyna Chojnacka Copyright © 2014 Agnieszka Dmytryk et al. All rights reserved. Concave Soft Sets, Critical Soft Points, and Union-Soft Ideals of Ordered Semigroups Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:32:59 +0000 The notions of union-soft semigroups, union-soft -ideals, and union-soft -ideals are introduced, and related properties are investigated. Characterizations of a union-soft semigroup, a union-soft -ideal, and a union-soft -ideal are provided. The concepts of union-soft products and union-soft semiprime soft sets are introduced, and their properties related to union-soft -ideals and union-soft -ideals are investigated. Using the notions of union-soft -ideals and union-soft -ideals, conditions for an ordered semigroup to be regular are considered. The concepts of concave soft sets and critical soft points are introduced, and their properties are discussed. Young Bae Jun, Seok Zun Song, and G. Muhiuddin Copyright © 2014 Young Bae Jun et al. All rights reserved. Rapid Detection and Differentiation of Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini Using Real-Time PCR and High Resolution Melting Analysis Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:53:55 +0000 Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini are both important fish-borne pathogens, causing serious public health problem in Asia. The present study developed an assay integrating real-time PCR and high resolution melting (HRM) analysis for the specific detection and rapid identification of C. sinensis and O. viverrini. Primers targeting COX1 gene were highly specific for these liver flukes, as evidenced by the negative amplification of closely related trematodes. Assays using genomic DNA extracted from the two flukes yielded specific amplification and their identity was confirmed by sequencing, having the accuracy of 100% in reference to conventional methods. The assay was proved to be highly sensitive with a detection limit below 1 pg of purified genomic DNA, 5 EPG, or 1 metacercaria of C. sinensis. Moreover, C. sinensis and O. viverrini were able to be differentiated by their HRM profiles. The method can reduce labor of microscopic examination and the contamination of agarose electrophoresis. Moreover, it can differentiate these two flukes which are difficult to be distinguished using other methods. The established method provides an alternative tool for rapid, simple, and duplex detection of C. sinensis and O. viverrini. Xian-Quan Cai, Hai-Qiong Yu, Rong Li, Qiao-Yun Yue, Guo-Hua Liu, Jian-Shan Bai, Yan Deng, De-Yi Qiu, and Xing-Quan Zhu Copyright © 2014 Xian-Quan Cai et al. All rights reserved. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sediments from Yellow River-Dominated Margin Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:50:31 +0000 Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed for surface sediments and a sediment core from the Yellow River-dominated margin. The concentration of 16 USEPA priority PAHs in surface sediments ranged from 5.6 to 175.4 ng g−1 dry weight sediment (dws) with a mean of 49.1 ng g−1 dws. From 1930 to 2011, the distribution of PAHs (37.2 to 210.6 ng g−1 dws) was consistent with the socioeconomic development of China. The PAHs’ concentration peaked in 1964 and 1986, corresponding to the rapid economic growth in China (1958–1965) and the initiation of the “Reform and Open” policy in 1978, respectively. The applications of molecular diagnostic ratios and principal component analysis suggest that PAHs are predominantly produced by the coal and biomass combustion, whereas the contribution of petroleum combustions slightly increased after the 1970s, synchronous with an increasing usage of oil and gas in China. Su Ding, Yunping Xu, Yinghui Wang, Xinyu Zhang, Liang Zhao, Jiaping Ruan, and Weichao Wu Copyright © 2014 Su Ding et al. All rights reserved. Estimation of the Parameters of Burr Type III Distribution Based on Dual Generalized Order Statistics Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:18:26 +0000 The estimation of the parameters of Burr type III distribution based on dual generalized order statistics is considered by using the maximum likelihood (ML) approach as well as the Bayesian approach. The exact expression of the expected Fisher information matrix of the parameters in the distribution is obtained. Also, an approximation based on Lindley is used to obtain the Bayes estimator. To compare the maximum likelihood estimator and the Bayes estimator of the parameters, Monte Carlo simulation study is performed. Chansoo Kim and Woosuk Kim Copyright © 2014 Chansoo Kim and Woosuk Kim. All rights reserved. A Study of Correlations within the Dimensions of Lower Limb Parts for Personal Identification in a Sudanese Population Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The presence of an isolated limb or limb parts from different individuals presents a major challenge for medicolegal investigators in establishing identification in cases of wars, mass disasters, and criminal assaults because different populations have different sizes and proportions. The measurement of lower limb dimensions showed a high success rate in establishing individual identity in terms of sex and stature in various populations. However, there is a paucity of data concerning the correlation within the lower limb parts. This study aims to assess the existence of relationships within lower limb parts and to develop regression formulae to reconstruct limb parts from one another. The tibial length, bimalleolar breadth, foot length, and foot breadth of 376 right-handed Sudanese adults were measured. The results showed that all variables were significantly larger in males than in females. A significant positive correlation was found within the lower limb parts. Sex-specific linear equations and multiple regression equations were developed to reconstruct the lower limb parts in the presence of single dimension or multiple dimensions from the same limb. The use of multiple regression equations provided a better reconstruction than simple regression equations. These results are significant in forensics and orthopedic reconstructive surgery. Altayeb Abdalla Ahmed Copyright © 2014 Altayeb Abdalla Ahmed. All rights reserved. A Novel -Input Voting Algorithm for -by-Wire Fault-Tolerant Systems Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Voting is an important operation in multichannel computation paradigm and realization of ultrareliable and real-time control systems that arbitrates among the results of N redundant variants. These systems include -modular redundant (NMR) hardware systems and diversely designed software systems based on -version programming (NVP). Depending on the characteristics of the application and the type of selected voter, the voting algorithms can be implemented for either hardware or software systems. In this paper, a novel voting algorithm is introduced for real-time fault-tolerant control systems, appropriate for applications in which N is large. Then, its behavior has been software implemented in different scenarios of error-injection on the system inputs. The results of analyzed evaluations through plots and statistical computations have demonstrated that this novel algorithm does not have the limitations of some popular voting algorithms such as median and weighted; moreover, it is able to significantly increase the reliability and availability of the system in the best case to 2489.7% and 626.74%, respectively, and in the worst case to 3.84% and 1.55%, respectively. Abbas Karimi, Faraneh Zarafshan, S. A. R. Al-Haddad, and Abdul Rahman Ramli Copyright © 2014 Abbas Karimi et al. All rights reserved. The Takeda Three Colors Combination Test: A Screening Test for Detection of Very Mild Alzheimer’s Disease Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Background. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia and is prevalent worldwide. It is expected that AD, for which aging is a risk factor, will increase in the future. Because early detection of AD has become increasingly important, promoting demand for screening tests with adequate sensitivity. In this study, we examined the usefulness of the Takeda Three Colors Combination Test (TTCC) for screening of the very mild AD and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Methods. 154 senior persons participated in the research: 55 with very mild AD, 45 with aMCI, and 54 control group. The TTCC, which was a colored cards configuration memory task, was examined for sensitivity and specificity. Results. The sensitivity of the TTCC was 76% and 47% for the very mild AD and aMCI groups, and the specificity was 83%. Conducting TTCC (including instruction and evaluation) was accomplished within 2 minutes for all subjects. Conclusion. The TTCC is useful screening test for early detection of AD. Furthermore, administration time is short and requires no special training or skills. Thus, we believe the TTCC shows great potential for use as an AD screening test by a general practitioner in communities worldwide. Shinya Takeda, Kayo Tajime, and Toshiatsu Taniguchi Copyright © 2014 Shinya Takeda et al. All rights reserved. Multistage Spectral Relaxation Method for Solving the Hyperchaotic Complex Systems Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:18:52 +0000 We present a pseudospectral method application for solving the hyperchaotic complex systems. The proposed method, called the multistage spectral relaxation method (MSRM) is based on a technique of extending Gauss-Seidel type relaxation ideas to systems of nonlinear differential equations and using the Chebyshev pseudospectral methods to solve the resulting system on a sequence of multiple intervals. In this new application, the MSRM is used to solve famous hyperchaotic complex systems such as hyperchaotic complex Lorenz system and the complex permanent magnet synchronous motor. We compare this approach to the Runge-Kutta based ode45 solver to show that the MSRM gives accurate results. Hassan Saberi Nik and Paulo Rebelo Copyright © 2014 Hassan Saberi Nik and Paulo Rebelo. All rights reserved. Dental Fear among Medical and Dental Undergraduates Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:29:51 +0000 Objective. To assess the prevalence and level of dental fear among health related undergraduates and to identify factors causing such fear using Kleinknecht’s Dental Fear Survey (DFS) questionnaire. Methods. Kleinknecht’s DFS questionnaire was used to assess dental fear and anxiety among the entire enrollment of the medical and dental undergraduates’ of the University of Malaya. Results. Overall response rate was 82.2%. Dental students reported higher prevalence of dental fear (96.0% versus 90.4%). However, most of the fear encountered among dental students was in the low fear category as compared to their medical counterpart (69.2 versus 51.2%). Significantly more medical students cancelled dental appointment due to fear compared to dental students (). “Heart beats faster” and “muscle being tensed” were the top two physiological responses experienced by the respondents. “Drill” and “anesthetic needle” were the most fear provoking objects among respondents of both faculties. Conclusion. Dental fear and anxiety are a common problem encountered among medical and dental undergraduates who represent future health care professionals. Also, high level of dental fear and anxiety leads to the avoidance of the dental services. H. Hakim and I. A. Razak Copyright © 2014 H. Hakim and I. A. Razak. All rights reserved. The Neuroprotective Effect of Cornus mas on Brain Tissue of Wistar Rats Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:02:06 +0000 Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) is a valuable source of phenolic antioxidants. Flavonoid derivatives as nonenzymatic antioxidants are important in the pathophysiology of many diseases including neurological disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) or heart disease. In this study, we examined the effect of an addition of freeze-dried fruit of cornelian cherry on three types of diets: control diet, fructose diet, and diet enriched in fats (high-fat diet). This effect was studied by determining the following antioxidant parameters in both brain tissue and plasma in rats: catalase, ferric reducing ability of plasma, paraoxonase, protein carbonyl groups, and free thiol groups. Results indicate that both fructose diet and high-fat diet affect the antioxidant capacity of the organism. Furthermore, an addition of cornelian cherry resulted in increased activity of catalase in brain tissue, while in plasma it caused the opposite effect. In turn, with regard to paraoxonase activity in both brain tissue and plasma, it had a stimulating effect. Adding cornelian cherry to the tested diets increased the activity of PON in both tested tissues. Moreover, protective effect of fruits of this plant was observed in the process of oxidation of proteins by decreasing levels of protein carbonyl groups and thiol groups in brain tissue as well as in plasma. Renata Francik, Jadwiga Kryczyk, Mirosław Krośniak, Mehmet Berköz, Ilona Sanocka, and Sławomir Francik Copyright © 2014 Renata Francik et al. All rights reserved. Mesoscale Model to Select the Ideal Location for New Vineyard Plantations in the Rioja Qualified Denomination of Origin Thu, 16 Oct 2014 07:20:54 +0000 La Rioja is the region where the top rated wines from Spain come from and also the origin of one of the most prestigious wines in the world. It is worldwide recognized, not only for the quality of the vine, but also for the many factors involved in the process that are controllable by the farmer, such as fertilizers, irrigation, etc. Likewise, there are other key factors, which cannot be controlled that play, however, a crucial role in the quality of the wine, such as temperature, radiation, humidity, and rainfall. This research is focused on two of these factors: temperature and irradiation. The objective of this paper is to be able to recognize these factors, so as to ensure a proper decision criterion when selecting the best location for new vineyard plantations. To achieve this objective, a mesoscale model MM5 is used, and its performance is assessed and compared using different parameters, from the grid resolution to the physical parameterization of the model. Finally, the study evaluates the impact of the different parameterizations and options for the simulation of meteorological variables particularly relevant when choosing new vineyard sites (rainfall frequency, temperature, and sun exposure). E. Martínez-Cámara, J. Blanco, E. Jiménez, J. C. Saenz-Díez, and J. Rioja Copyright © 2014 E. Martínez-Cámara et al. All rights reserved.