Hindawi Publishing Corporation http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. PPARα: A Master Regulator of Bilirubin Homeostasis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:59:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ppar/2014/747014/ Hypolipidemic fibrates activate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α to modulate lipid oxidation and metabolism. The present study aimed at evaluating how 3 PPARα agonists, namely, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and Wy14,643, affect bilirubin synthesis and metabolism. Human umbilical vein epithelial cells (HUVEC) and coronary artery smooth muscle cells (CASMC) were cultured in the absence or presence of the 3 activators, and mRNA, protein, and/or activity levels of the bilirubin synthesizing heme oxygenase- (HO-) 1 and biliverdin reductase (BVR) enzymes were determined. Human hepatocytes (HH) and HepG2 cells sustained similar treatments, except that the expression of the bilirubin conjugating UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1 enzyme and multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) 2 transporter was analyzed. In HUVECs, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, and Wy14,643 upregulated HO-1 mRNA expression without affecting BVR. Wy14,643 and fenofibrate also caused HO-1 protein accumulation, while gemfibrozil and fenofibrate favored the secretion of bilirubin in cell media. Similar positive regulations were also observed with the 3 PPARα ligands in CASMCs where HO-1 mRNA and protein levels were increased. In HH and HepG2 cells, both UGT1A1 and MRP2 transcripts were also accumulating. These observations indicate that PPARα ligands activate bilirubin synthesis in vascular cells and metabolism in liver cells. The clinical implications of these regulatory events are discussed. Cyril Bigo, Jenny Kaeding, Diala El Husseini, Iwona Rudkowska, Mélanie Verreault, Marie Claude Vohl, and Olivier Barbier Copyright © 2014 Cyril Bigo et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and Rheological Characterization of Imogolite Hydrogels Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:48:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2014/727254/ Imogolite, one of the aluminium silicates, has a nanotube structure and has been known to form gel under alkaline condition. Imogolite nanotubes were synthesized in an acidic solution with various tube lengths by controlling the aging time from 1 d to 14 d. The length of the nanotubes grew from 100 nm to several μm as the aging time. Pure imogolite hydrogels were prepared by applying a salting-out method and centrifugation from its dispersed solutions with various tube lengths and solution pH. Imogolite hydrogel can be classified as the physically cross-linked one; the structure of the gel network is considered to be the entanglements and hydrogen bonding among nanotubes. The theoretical water contents of the prepared hydrogels were calculated as ∼99.7% in average. Gelation percentage significantly increased as the length of imogolite nanotubes. Whereas hydrogel prepared from 4 d aging sample showed the highest storage modulus of ∼970 Pa, it was found that the hydrogel could be prepared in the pH range from 6 to 10. The gel strength reached the highest value of 1000 Pa when the gel was prepared from the imogolite dispersed solution of pH 8. It could be explained by the surface charge variation of the imogolite. Kie Fujikura, Hirotaka Maeda, Akiko Obata, Keiichi Inukai, Katsuya Kato, and Toshihiro Kasuga Copyright © 2014 Kie Fujikura et al. All rights reserved. Computer Aided Modeling and Analysis of Five-Phase PMBLDC Motor Drive for Low Power High Torque Application Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:44:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mse/2014/686373/ In order to achieve high torque at low power with high efficiency, a new five-phase permanent magnet brushless DC (PMBLDC) motor design was analyzed and optimized. A similar three-phase motor having the same ratio (inner diameter () and length of the stator ()) is compared for maximum torque and torque ripple of the designed five-phase PMBLDC motor. Maxwell software was used to build finite element simulation model of the motor. The internal complicated magnetic field distribution and dynamic performance simulation were obtained in different positions. No load and load characteristics of the five-phase PMBLDC motor were simulated, and the power consumption of materials was computed. The conformity of the final simulation results indicates that this method can be used to provide a theoretical basis for further optimal design of this new type of motor with its drive so as to improve the starting torque and reduce torque ripple of the motor. M. A. Inayathullaah and R. Anita Copyright © 2014 M. A. Inayathullaah and R. Anita. All rights reserved. An Improved Genetic Algorithm for Single-Machine Inverse Scheduling Problem Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:43:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/370560/ The goal of the scheduling is to arrange operations on suitable machines with optimal sequence for corresponding objectives. In order to meet market requirements, scheduling systems must own enough flexibility against uncertain events. These events can change production status or processing parameters, even causing the original schedule to no longer be optimal or even to be infeasible. Traditional scheduling strategies, however, cannot cope with these cases. Therefore, a new idea of scheduling called inverse scheduling has been proposed. In this paper, the inverse scheduling with weighted completion time (SMISP) is considered in a single-machine shop environment. In this paper, an improved genetic algorithm (IGA) with a local searching strategy is proposed. To improve the performance of IGA, efficient encoding scheme, fitness evaluation mechanism, feasible initialization methods, and a local search procedure have been employed in the paper. Because of the local improving method, the proposed IGA can balance its exploration ability and exploitation ability. We adopt 27 instances to verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. The experimental results illustrated that the proposed algorithm can generate satisfactory solutions. This approach also has been applied to solve the scheduling problem in the real Chinese shipyard and can bring some benefits. Jianhui Mou, Xinyu Li, Liang Gao, Chao Lu, and Guohui Zhang Copyright © 2014 Jianhui Mou et al. All rights reserved. Sphingosine-1-phosphate/S1P Receptors Signaling Modulates Cell Migration in Human Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:41:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/565369/ The recruitment of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) to damaged tissues and sites of inflammation is an essential step for clinical therapy. However, the signals regulating the motility of these cells are still not fully understood. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive sphingolipid metabolite, is known to have a variety of biological effects on various cells. Here, we investigated the roles of S1P and S1P receptors (S1PRs) in migration of human BMSCs. We found that S1P exerted a powerful migratory action on human BMSCs. Moreover, by employing RNA interference technology and pharmacological tools, we demonstrated that S1PR1 and S1PR3 are responsible for S1P-induced migration of human BMSCs. In contrast, S1PR2 mediates the inhibition of migration. Additionally, we explored the downstream signaling pathway of the S1P/S1PRs axis and found that activation of S1PR1 or S1PR3 increased migration of human BMSCs through a /extracellular regulated protein kinases 1/2- (ERK1/2-) dependent pathway, whereas activation of S1PR2 decreased migration through the Rho/Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) pathway. In conclusion, we reveal that the S1P/S1PRs signaling axis regulates the migration of human BMSCs via a dual-directional mechanism. Thus, selective modulation of S1PR’s activity on human BMSCs may provide an effective approach to immunotherapy or tissue regeneration. Yaxian Kong, Hong Wang, Tao Lin, and Shuling Wang Copyright © 2014 Yaxian Kong et al. All rights reserved. A New Model of Ultracapacitors Based on Fractal Fundamentals Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:38:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/726108/ An intuitive model is proposed in this paper to describe the electrical behavior of certain ultracapacitors. The model is based on a simple expression that can be fully characterized by five real numbers. In this paper, the measured impedances of three ultracapacitors as a function of frequency are compared to model results. There is good agreement between the model and measurements. Results presented in a previous study are also reviewed and the paper demonstrates that those results are also consistent with the newly described model. Xiaodong Zhang, Yi Sun, Jia Song, Aijun Wu, and Xiaoyan Cui Copyright © 2014 Xiaodong Zhang et al. All rights reserved. An Optimized Strategy Coverage Control Algorithm for WSN Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:37:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2014/976307/ The problem of using lesser wireless sensor network nodes to achieve coverage and connection of certain areas under given coverage conditions is a priority and hotspot issue of WSN. For this reason, in this paper, an optimized strategy coverage control (OSCC) algorithm is proposed. First of all, a relation mapping model of sensor nodes and target nodes is established by OSCC which is based on geometric figure and related theories, probability theory, converge property, and so forth to complete effective reasoning and calculate certain network models. Secondly, OSCC makes efficient analysis of the calculating results figure out the least number of sensor nodes to cover specific monitoring area. Thirdly, OSCC picks out the optimal routing solution while conducting combinatorial optimization of routing path using ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm, thus reducing the energy spending of whole network. In the end, this paper verifies OSCC algorithm by simulation experiment and proves it can use least sensor nodes to effectively cover target area. Also, OSCC helps greatly reduce network energy consuming, minimize network resources layout costs, and enhance network life cycle, simultaneously. Zeyu Sun, Weiguo Wu, Huanzhao Wang, Heng Chen, and Wei Wei Copyright © 2014 Zeyu Sun et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Different Fuels on Wear between Piston Ring and Cylinder Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:52:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ame/2014/503212/ In internal combustion engines, mechanical friction occurs between engine components in contact with each other, leading to wear and important loss of efficiency. Mechanical energy absorbed by piston ring-cylinder pair in piston engines accounts for the largest portion of efficiency losses due to mechanical friction. Different engine lubrication regimes significantly affect wear and friction. In addition to selection of compatible materials, improvement of operational conditions and the properties of lubricants and fuels are of great importance to minimize wear. This study investigated the effects of oil, diesel fuel, oil + diesel fuel, and two different biodiesel fuels (SOME: sunflower oil methyl ester and TSOME: tobacco seed oil methyl ester) as engine lubricants and their effects on wear in piston ring-cylinder pair. The tests were carried out at different engine speeds and loads. Minimum wear occurred when using engine oil as lubricant, and maximum wear occurred when using diesel fuel as lubricant. The use of SOME and TSOME lubricant resulted in half the amount of engine wear, on average, compared to diesel. İdris Cesur, Vezir Ayhan, Adnan Parlak, Ömer Savaş, and Zafer Aydin Copyright © 2014 İdris Cesur et al. All rights reserved. Some New Classes of Generalized Difference Strongly Summable -Normed Sequence Spaces Defined by Ideal Convergence and Orlicz Function Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:51:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/621383/ We study some new generalized difference strongly summable n-normed sequence spaces using ideal convergence and an Orlicz function in connection with de la Vallèe Poussin mean. We give some relations related to these sequence spaces also. Adem Kılıçman and Stuti Borgohain Copyright © 2014 Adem Kılıçman and Stuti Borgohain. All rights reserved. The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:32:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2014/983495/ Using an ethical lens, this review evaluates two methods of working within patient care and public health: the weight-normative approach (emphasis on weight and weight loss when defining health and well-being) and the weight-inclusive approach (emphasis on viewing health and well-being as multifaceted while directing efforts toward improving health access and reducing weight stigma). Data reveal that the weight-normative approach is not effective for most people because of high rates of weight regain and cycling from weight loss interventions, which are linked to adverse health and well-being. Its predominant focus on weight may also foster stigma in health care and society, and data show that weight stigma is also linked to adverse health and well-being. In contrast, data support a weight-inclusive approach, which is included in models such as Health at Every Size for improving physical (e.g., blood pressure), behavioral (e.g., binge eating), and psychological (e.g., depression) indices, as well as acceptability of public health messages. Therefore, the weight-inclusive approach upholds nonmaleficience and beneficience, whereas the weight-normative approach does not. We offer a theoretical framework that organizes the research included in this review and discuss how it can guide research efforts and help health professionals intervene with their patients and community. Tracy L. Tylka, Rachel A. Annunziato, Deb Burgard, Sigrún Daníelsdóttir, Ellen Shuman, Chad Davis, and Rachel M. Calogero Copyright © 2014 Tracy L. Tylka et al. All rights reserved. Applying the Maternal Near Miss Approach for the Evaluation of Quality of Obstetric Care: A Worked Example from a Multicenter Surveillance Study Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:18:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/989815/ Objective. To assess quality of care of women with severe maternal morbidity and to identify associated factors. Method. This is a national multicenter cross-sectional study performing surveillance for severe maternal morbidity, using the World Health Organization criteria. The expected number of maternal deaths was calculated with the maternal severity index (MSI) based on the severity of complication, and the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for each center was estimated. Analyses on the adequacy of care were performed. Results. 17 hospitals were classified as providing adequate and 10 as nonadequate care. Besides almost twofold increase in maternal mortality ratio, the main factors associated with nonadequate performance were geographic difficulty in accessing health services (), delays related to quality of medical care (), absence of blood derivatives (), difficulties of communication between health services (), and any delay during the whole process (). Conclusions. This is an example of how evaluation of the performance of health services is possible, using a benchmarking tool specific to Obstetrics. In this study the MSI was a useful tool for identifying differences in maternal mortality ratios and factors associated with nonadequate performance of care. Samira Maerrawi Haddad, Jose Guilherme Cecatti, Joao Paulo Souza, Maria Helena Sousa, Mary Angela Parpinelli, Maria Laura Costa, Rodolfo C. Pacagnella, Ione R. Brum, Olímpio B. Moraes Filho, Francisco E. Feitosa, Carlos A. Menezes, Everardo M. Guanabara, Joaquim L. Moreira, Frederico A. Peret, Luiza E. Schmaltz, Leila Katz, Antonio C. Barbosa Lima, Melania M. Amorim, Marilia G. Martins, Denis J. Nascimento, Cláudio S. Paiva, Roger D. Rohloff, Sergio M. Costa, Adriana G. Luz, Gustavo Lobato, Eduardo Cordioli, Jose C. Peraçoli, Nelson L. Maia Filho, Silvana M. Quintana, Fátima A. Lotufo, Carla B. Andreucci, Márcia M. Aquino, and Rosiane Mattar Copyright © 2014 Samira Maerrawi Haddad et al. All rights reserved. Numerical Experiments for Nuclear Flashes toward Superbursts in an Accreting Neutron Star Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:18:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jas/2014/817986/ We show that the superburst would be originated from thermonuclear burning ignited by accumulated fuels in the deep layers compared to normal X-ray bursts. Two cases are investigated for models related to superbursts by following thermal evolution of a realistic neutron star: helium flash and carbon flash accompanied with many normal bursts. For a helium flash, the burst shows the long duration when the accretion rate is low compared with the observation. The flash could become a superburst if the burning develops to the deflagration and/or detonation. For a carbon flash accompanied with many normal bursts, after successive 2786 normal bursts during 1.81 × 109 s, the temperature reaches the deflagration temperature. This is due to the produced carbon which amount reaches to ≈0.1 in the mass fraction. The flash will develop to dynamical phenomena of the deflagration and/or detonation, which may lead to a superburst. Masa-aki Hashimoto, Reiko Kuromizu, Masaomi Ono, Tsuneo Noda, and Masayuki Y. Fujimoto Copyright © 2014 Masa-aki Hashimoto et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Control Strategy Design Based on Dynamic Programming for a Dual-Motor Coupling-Propulsion System Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:16:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/958239/ A dual-motor coupling-propulsion electric bus (DMCPEB) is modeled, and its optimal control strategy is studied in this paper. The necessary dynamic features of energy loss for subsystems is modeled. Dynamic programming (DP) technique is applied to find the optimal control strategy including upshift threshold, downshift threshold, and power split ratio between the main motor and auxiliary motor. Improved control rules are extracted from the DP-based control solution, forming near-optimal control strategies. Simulation results demonstrate that a significant improvement in reducing energy loss due to the dual-motor coupling-propulsion system (DMCPS) running is realized without increasing the frequency of the mode switch. Shuo Zhang, Chengning Zhang, Guangwei Han, and Qinghui Wang Copyright © 2014 Shuo Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Performance Evaluation of 14 nm FinFET-Based 6T SRAM Cell Functionality for DC and Transient Circuit Analysis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:15:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2014/820763/ As the technology node size decreases, the number of static random-access memory (SRAM) cells on a single word line increases. The coupling capacitance will increase with the increase of the load of word line, which reduces the performance of SRAM, more obvious in the SRAM signal delay and the SRAM power usage. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the stability and evaluate the power consumption of a 14 nm gate length FinFET-based 6T SRAM cell functionality for direct current (DC) and transient circuit analysis, namely, in resistor-capacitor (RC) delay. In particular, Berkeley Short-channel IGFET Model-Common Multigate (BSIM-CMG) model is utilized. The simulation of the SRAM model is carried out in HSPICE based on 14 nm process technology. A shorted-gate (SG) mode FinFET is modeled on a silicon on insulator (SOI) substrate. It is tested in terms of functionality and stability. Then, a functional SRAM is simulated with 5 GHz square wave at the input of word line (WL). Ideal square wave and square wave with 100  RC, 5  RC, 1  RC, and 0.5  RC are asserted to the WL and the bit lines (BL&BLB) of SRAM. Voltage at node and is observed. The simulation shows that 1 RC is the minimum square wave that will store correct value in node and node . Thus, this discovery from the research can be used as a modeling platform for circuit designers to explore and improve the SRAM tolerance against RC delay. Wei Lim, Huei Chaeng Chin, Cheng Siong Lim, and Michael Loong Peng Tan Copyright © 2014 Wei Lim et al. All rights reserved. Forecasting Malaria Cases Using Climatic Factors in Delhi, India: A Time Series Analysis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:52:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mrt/2014/482851/ Background. Malaria still remains a public health problem in developing countries and changing environmental and climatic factors pose the biggest challenge in fighting against the scourge of malaria. Therefore, the study was designed to forecast malaria cases using climatic factors as predictors in Delhi, India. Methods. The total number of monthly cases of malaria slide positives occurring from January 2006 to December 2013 was taken from the register maintained at the malaria clinic at Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC), Najafgarh, Delhi. Climatic data of monthly mean rainfall, relative humidity, and mean maximum temperature were taken from Regional Meteorological Centre, Delhi. Expert modeler of SPSS ver. 21 was used for analyzing the time series data. Results. Autoregressive integrated moving average, ARIMA (0,1,1) (0,1,0)12, was the best fit model and it could explain 72.5% variability in the time series data. Rainfall (P value = 0.004) and relative humidity (P value = 0.001) were found to be significant predictors for malaria transmission in the study area. Seasonal adjusted factor (SAF) for malaria cases shows peak during the months of August and September. Conclusion. ARIMA models of time series analysis is a simple and reliable tool for producing reliable forecasts for malaria in Delhi, India. Varun Kumar, Abha Mangal, Sanjeet Panesar, Geeta Yadav, Richa Talwar, Deepak Raut, and Saudan Singh Copyright © 2014 Varun Kumar et al. All rights reserved. Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis of the Fluted Corrugated Sheet in the Corrugated Cardboard Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:51:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2014/654012/ The choice of corrugated medium, flute size, combining adhesive, and linerboards can be varied to design a corrugated board with specific properties. In this paper, the nonlinear finite element analysis of the fluted corrugated sheet in the corrugated cardboard based on software SolidWorks2008 was investigated. The model of corrugated board with three or more flutes is reliable for stress and displacement measurement to eliminate the influence of the number of flutes in models. According to the static pressure test, with the increase of flute height or arc radius of flute, the maximum stress in the models decreased and the maximum displacement increased. However the maximum stress and maximum displacement in the models increase nonlinearly in the static pressure test with the increase of the flute angle . According to the drop test, with the increase of flute height , the maximum stress of goods on the upper board in the drop test decreased. The maximum stress of the model in the drop test decreases firstly and then increases with the increase of flute angle, and the optimal flute angle could be 60° for corrugated board. All the conclusions are consistent with experimental data or product standards. Zhiguo Zhang, Tao Qiu, Riheng Song, and Yaoyu Sun Copyright © 2014 Zhiguo Zhang et al. All rights reserved. A Graph Embedding Method Based on Sparse Representation for Wireless Sensor Network Localization Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:49:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2014/607943/ In accordance with the problem that the traditional trilateral or multilateral estimation localization method is highly dependent on the proportion of beacon nodes and the measurement accuracy, an algorithm based on kernel sparse preserve projection (KSPP) is proposed in this dissertation. The Gaussian kernel function is used to evaluate the similarity between nodes, and the location of the unknown nodes will be commonly decided by all the nodes within communication radius through selection of sparse preserve projection self-adaptation and maintaining of the topological structure between adjacent nodes. Therefore, the algorithm can effectively solve the nonlinear problem while ranging, and it becomes less affected by the measuring error and beacon nodes quantity. Xiaoyong Yan, Aiguo Song, and Hao Yan Copyright © 2014 Xiaoyong Yan et al. All rights reserved. A Framing Link Based Tabu Search Algorithm for Large-Scale Multidepot Vehicle Routing Problems Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:48:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/152494/ A framing link (FL) based tabu search algorithm is proposed in this paper for a large-scale multidepot vehicle routing problem (LSMDVRP). Framing links are generated during continuous great optimization of current solutions and then taken as skeletons so as to improve optimal seeking ability, speed up the process of optimization, and obtain better results. Based on the comparison between pre- and postmutation routes in the current solution, different parts are extracted. In the current optimization period, links involved in the optimal solution are regarded as candidates to the FL base. Multiple optimization periods exist in the whole algorithm, and there are several potential FLs in each period. If the update condition is satisfied, the FL base is updated, new FLs are added into the current route, and the next period starts. Through adjusting the borderline of multidepot sharing area with dynamic parameters, the authors define candidate selection principles for three kinds of customer connections, respectively. Link split and the roulette approach are employed to choose FLs. 18 LSMDVRP instances in three groups are studied and new optimal solution values for nine of them are obtained, with higher computation speed and reliability. Xuhao Zhang, Shiquan Zhong, Yiliu Liu, and Xuelian Wang Copyright © 2014 Xuhao Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Classification of Earthquake-Induced Damage for R/C Slab Column Frames Using Multiclass SVM and Its Combination with MLP Neural Network Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:48:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/734072/ Nonlinear time history analysis (NTHA) is an important engineering method in order to evaluate the seismic vulnerability of buildings under earthquake loads. However, it is time consuming and requires complex calculations and a high memory machine. In this study, two networks were used for damage classification: multiclass support vector machine (M-SVM) and combination of multilayer perceptron neural network with M-SVM (MM-SVM). In order to collect data, three frames of R/C slab column frame buildings with wide beams in slab were considered. For NTHA, twenty different ground motion records were selected and scaled to ten different levels of peak ground acceleration (PGA). Thus, 600 obtained data from the numerical simulations were applied to M-SVM and MM-SVM in order to predict the global damage classification of samples based on park and Ang damage index. Amongst the four different kernel tricks, the Gaussian function was determined as an efficient kernel trick using the maximum total accuracy method of test data. By comparing the obtained results from M-SVM and MM-SVM, the total classification accuracy of MM-SVM is more than M-SVM and it is accurate and reliable for global damage classification of R/C slab column frames. Furthermore, the proposed combined model is able to classify the classes with low members. Ali Kia and Serhan Sensoy Copyright © 2014 Ali Kia and Serhan Sensoy. All rights reserved. Due Date Single Machine Scheduling Problems with Nonlinear Deterioration and Learning Effects and Past Sequence Dependent Setup Times Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:47:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/682738/ We present some problems against due dates with nonlinear learning and deterioration effects and past sequence dependent setup times. In this study, two effects (learning and deterioration) are used for the same processing time. The processing time of a job is shorter if it is scheduled later, rather than in the sequence. This phenomenon is known in the literature as a “learning effect.” On the other hand, in many realistic scheduling settings, a job processed later consumes more time than the same job processed earlier—this is known as scheduling with deteriorating jobs. In the past sequence dependent setup times approach, the setup time of a job is proportionate to the sum of processing times of the jobs already scheduled. In this study, we demonstrated that some problems with due dates remain polynomially solvable. However, for some other problems, we concentrated on finding polynomially solves under their special cases. Hüseyin Ceylan Copyright © 2014 Hüseyin Ceylan. All rights reserved. Red Ginseng Extract Ameliorates Autoimmune Arthritis via Regulation of STAT3 Pathway, Th17/Treg Balance, and Osteoclastogenesis in Mice and Human Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:46:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/351856/ Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation. Red ginseng is a steamed and dried Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, which has been used as alternative medicine for thousands of years. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of red ginseng extracts (RGE) on autoimmune arthritis in mice and humans and to delineate the underlying mechanism. RGE was orally administered three times a week to mice with arthritis. Oral administration of RGE markedly ameliorated clinical arthritis score and histologically assessed joint inflammation in mice with CIA. A significant reduction in STAT3 phosphorylation and a decrease in the number of Th17 cells were observed with RGE treatment. There was also a marked reduction in RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis with treatment of RGE. The inhibitory effect of RGE on Th17 differentiation and osteoclastogenesis observed in mice was also confirmed in the subsequent experiments performed using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Our findings provide the first evidence that RGE can regulate Th17 and reciprocally promote Treg cells by inhibiting the phosphorylation of STAT3. Therefore, RGE can ameliorate arthritis in mice with CIA by targeting pathogenic Th17 and osteoclast differentiation, suggesting a novel therapy for treatment of RA. JooYeon Jhun, Jennifer Lee, Jae-Kyeong Byun, Eun-Kyung Kim, Jung-Won Woo, Jae-Ho Lee, Seung-Ki Kwok, Ji-Hyeon Ju, Kyung-Su Park, Ho-Youn Kim, Sung Hwan Park, and Mi-La Cho Copyright © 2014 JooYeon Jhun et al. All rights reserved. Upregulation of Pluripotency Markers in Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells by miR-302 and Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:40:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/941486/ The expression pattern of pluripotency markers in adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) is a subject of controversy. Moreover, there is no data about the signaling molecules that regulate these markers in ADSCs. In the present study, we studied the roles of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and miR-302 in this regard. Freshly isolated mouse ADSCs expressed hematopoietic, mesenchymal, and pluripotency markers. One day after plating, ADSCs expressed OCT4 and Sox2 proteins. After three passages, the expression of hematopoietic and pluripotency markers decreased, while the expression of mesenchymal stem cell markers exhibited a striking rise. Both supplementation of culture media with LIF and transfection of the ADSCs with miR-302 family upregulated the expression levels of OCT4, Nanog, and Sox2 mRNAs. These findings showed that mouse adipose tissue contains a population of cells with molecular resemblance to embryonic stem cells, and LIF and miR-302 family positively affect the expression of pluripotency markers. Masoumeh Fakhr Taha, Arash Javeri, Sara Rohban, and Seyed Javad Mowla Copyright © 2014 Masoumeh Fakhr Taha et al. All rights reserved. Research on MAS-Based Supply Chain Resilience and Its Self-Organized Criticality Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:40:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2014/621341/ Building resilient supply chain is an effective way to deal with uncertain risks. First, by analyzing the self-organization of supply chain, the supply chain resilience is described as a macroscopic property that generates from self-organizing behavior of each enterprise on the microlevel. Second, a MAS-based supply chain resilience model is established and its local fitness function, neighborhood structure, and interaction rules that are applicable to supply chain system are designed through viewing the enterprise as an agent. Finally, with the help of a case, we find that there is an agglomeration effect and a SOC characteristic in supply chain and the evolution of supply chain is controlled by parameters of MAS. Managers can control the supply chain within the resilient range and choose a good balance between interest and risk by controlling enterprises’ behavior. Liang Geng, Renbin Xiao, and Xing Xu Copyright © 2014 Liang Geng et al. All rights reserved. Middle-Ear Microsurgery Simulation to Improve New Robotic Procedures Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:39:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/891742/ Otological microsurgery is delicate and requires high dexterity in bad ergonomic conditions. To assist surgeons in these indications, a teleoperated system, called RobOtol, is developed. This robot enhances gesture accuracy and handiness and allows exploration of new procedures for middle ear surgery. To plan new procedures that exploit the capacities given by the robot, a surgical simulator is developed. The simulation reproduces with high fidelity the behavior of the anatomical structures and can also be used as a training tool for an easier control of the robot for surgeons. In the paper, we introduce the middle ear surgical simulation and then we perform virtually two challenging procedures with the robot. We show how interactive simulation can assist in analyzing the benefits of robotics in the case of complex manipulations or ergonomics studies and allow the development of innovative surgical procedures. New robot-based microsurgical procedures are investigated. The improvement offered by RobOtol is also evaluated and discussed. Guillaume Kazmitcheff, Yann Nguyen, Mathieu Miroir, Fabien Péan, Evelyne Ferrary, Stéphane Cotin, Olivier Sterkers, and Christian Duriez Copyright © 2014 Guillaume Kazmitcheff et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy of Auricular Therapy for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:39:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/934670/ Objective. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the efficacy of auricular therapy by including a sham therapy control group. Methods. Relevant, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were identified by searching medical related databases from, depending on journal, 1900 (at the earliest) to 1994 (at the latest) through May 2013. The outcome measure was a pain intensity score. Results. Twenty-two RCTs were identified and 13 RCTs were included for meta-analysis. In these studies, auricular therapy provided significant pain relief when compared to a sham or control group. The overall standardized mean differences (SMD) was 1.59 (95% CI [−2.36, −0.82]) (13 trials, total subject numbers = 806), indicating that, on average, the mean decrease in pain score for auricular therapy group was 1.59 standard deviations greater than the mean decrease for the sham control. In terms of the efficacy of the different treatment methods, auricular acupressure boasts the largest strength of evidence for pain relief, followed by auricular acupuncture. Electroacupuncture stimulation did not show significant evidence for efficacy, which may be due to the small sample size (i.e., only 19 subjects were included). Conclusion. Further large-scale RCTs are needed to determine the efficacy of auricular therapy for pain. Chao Hsing Yeh, Yi Chien Chiang, Samuel L. Hoffman, Zhan Liang, Mary Lou Klem, Wilson W. S. Tam, Lung-Chang Chien, and Lorna Kwai-Ping Suen Copyright © 2014 Chao Hsing Yeh et al. All rights reserved. Study on Knowledge Propagation in Complex Networks Based on Preferences, Taking Wechat as Example Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:38:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/543734/ As platform based on users’ relationship to acquire, share, and propagate knowledge, Wechat develops very rapidly and becomes an important channel to spread knowledge. This new way to propagate knowledge is quite different from the traditional media way which enables knowledge to be spread surprisingly in Wechat. Based on complex network theory and the analysis of the factors which influence the knowledge propagation in Wechat, this paper summarizes the behavior preferences of Wechat users in knowledge propagation and establishes a Wechat knowledge propagation model. By the simulation experiment, this paper tests the model established and finds some important thresholds in knowledge propagation in Wechat. The findings are valuable for further studying the knowledge propagation in Wechat and provide theoretical proof for forecasting the scale and influence of knowledge propagation. Si-hua Chen and Wei He Copyright © 2014 Si-hua Chen and Wei He. All rights reserved. Conservation and Variability of Synaptonemal Complex Proteins in Phylogenesis of Eukaryotes Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:38:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijeb/2014/856230/ The problems of the origin and evolution of meiosis include the enigmatic variability of the synaptonemal complexes (SCs) which, being morphology similar, consist of different proteins in different eukaryotic phyla. Using bioinformatics methods, we monitored all available eukaryotic proteomes to find proteins similar to known SC proteins of model organisms. We found proteins similar to SC lateral element (LE) proteins and possessing the HORMA domain in the majority of the eukaryotic taxa and assume them the most ancient among all SC proteins. Vertebrate LE proteins SYCP2, SYCP3, and SC65 proved to have related proteins in many invertebrate taxa. Proteins of SC central space are most evolutionarily variable. It means that different protein-protein interactions can exist to connect LEs. Proteins similar to the known SC proteins were not found in Euglenophyta, Chrysophyta, Charophyta, Xanthophyta, Dinoflagellata, and primitive Coelomata. We conclude that different proteins whose common feature is the presence of domains with a certain conformation are involved in the formation of the SC in different eukaryotic phyla. This permits a targeted search for orthologs of the SC proteins using phylogenetic trees. Here we consider example of phylogenetic trees for protozoans, fungi, algae, mosses, and flowering plants. Tatiana M. Grishaeva and Yuri F. Bogdanov Copyright © 2014 Tatiana M. Grishaeva and Yuri F. Bogdanov. All rights reserved. A Service Based Adaptive U-Learning System Using UX Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:37:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/109435/ In recent years, traditional development techniques for e-learning systems have been changing to become more convenient and efficient. One new technology in the development of application systems includes both cloud and ubiquitous computing. Cloud computing can support learning system processes by using services while ubiquitous computing can provide system operation and management via a high performance technical process and network. In the cloud computing environment, a learning service application can provide a business module or process to the user via the internet. This research focuses on providing the learning material and processes of courses by learning units using the services in a ubiquitous computing environment. And we also investigate functions that support users’ tailored materials according to their learning style. That is, we analyzed the user’s data and their characteristics in accordance with their user experience. We subsequently applied the learning process to fit on their learning performance and preferences. Finally, we demonstrate how the proposed system outperforms learning effects to learners better than existing techniques. Hwa-Young Jeong and Gangman Yi Copyright © 2014 Hwa-Young Jeong and Gangman Yi. All rights reserved. Effects of Outlets on Cracking Risk and Integral Stability of Super-High Arch Dams Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:36:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/312827/ In this paper, case study on outlet cracking is first conducted for the Goupitan and Xiaowan arch dams. A nonlinear FEM method is then implemented to study effects of the outlets on integral stability of the Xiluodu arch dam under two loading conditions, i.e., normal loading and overloading conditions. On the basis of the case study and the numerical modelling, the outlet cracking mechanism, risk, and corresponding reinforcement measures are discussed. Furthermore, the numerical simulation reveals that (1) under the normal loading conditions, the optimal distribution of the outlets will contribute to the tensile stress release in the local zone of the dam stream surface and decrease the outlet cracking risk during the operation period. (2) Under the overloading conditions, the cracks initiate around the outlets, then propagate along the horizontal direction, and finally coalesce with those in adjacent outlets, where the yield zone of the dam has a shape of butterfly. Throughout this study, a dam outlet cracking risk control and reinforcement principle is proposed to optimize the outlet design, select the appropriate concrete material, strengthen the temperature control during construction period, design reasonable impounding scheme, and repair the cracks according to their classification. Peng Lin, Hongyuan Liu, Qingbin Li, and Hang Hu Copyright © 2014 Peng Lin et al. All rights reserved. Cardiovascular Disease Risk amongst African Black Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Need for Population Specific Stratification Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:34:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/826095/ Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) enhances the risk of cardiovascular disease to a similar extent as diabetes. Whereas atherogenesis remains poorly elucidated in RA, traditional and nontraditional risk factors associate similarly and additively with CVD in RA. Current recommendations on CVD risk stratification reportedly have important limitations. Further, reported data on CVD and its risk factors derive mostly from data obtained in the developed world. An earlier epidemiological health transition is intrinsic to persons living in rural areas and those undergoing urbanization. It is therefore conceivable that optimal CVD risk stratification differs amongst patients with RA from developing populations compared to those from developed populations. Herein, we briefly describe current CVD and its risk factor profiles in the African black population at large. Against this background, we review reported data on CVD risk and its potential stratification amongst African black compared to white patients with RA. Routinely assessed traditional and nontraditional CVD risk factors were consistently and independently related to atherosclerosis in African white but not black patients with RA. Circulating concentrations of novel CVD risk biomarkers including interleukin-6 and interleukin-5 adipokines were mostly similarly associated with both endothelial activation and atherosclerosis amongst African black and white RA patients. Ahmed Solomon, Linda Tsang, Angela J. Woodiwiss, Aletta M. E. Millen, Gavin R. Norton, and Patrick H. Dessein Copyright © 2014 Ahmed Solomon et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Microsprinkler Irrigation Amount on Water, Soil, and pH Profiles in a Coastal Saline Soil Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:34:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/279895/ Microsprinkler irrigation is a potential method to alleviate soil salinization. After conducting a homogeneous, highly saline, clayey, and coastal soil from the Bohai Gulf in northern China in a column experiment, the results show that the depth of the wetting front increased as the water amount applied increased, low-salinity and low-SAR enlarged after irrigation and water redistribution, and the soil pH increased with an increase in irrigation amount. We concluded that a water amount of 207 mm could be used to reclaim the coastal saline soil in northern China. Linlin Chu, Yaohu Kang, and Shuqin Wan Copyright © 2014 Linlin Chu et al. All rights reserved. Antimutagenicity of Methanolic Extracts from Anemopsis californica in Relation to Their Antioxidant Activity Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:33:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/273878/ Anemopsis californica has been used empirically to treat infectious diseases. However, there are no antimutagenic evaluation reports on this plant. The present study evaluated the antioxidant activity in relation to the mutagenic and antimutagenic activity properties of leaf (LME) and stem (SME) methanolic extracts of A. californica collected in the central Mexican state of Querétaro. Antioxidant properties and total phenols of extracts were evaluated using DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) and Folin-Ciocalteu methods, respectively. Mutagenicity was evaluated using the Ames test employing Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains (TA98, TA100, and TA102), with and without an aroclor 1254 (S9 mixture). Antimutagenesis was performed against mutations induced on the Ames test with MNNG, 2AA, or 4NQO. SME presented the highest antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content. None of the extracts exhibited mutagenicity in the Ames test. The extracts produced a significant reduction in 2AA-induced mutations in S. typhimurium TA98. In both extracts, mutagenesis induced by 4NQO or methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) was reduced only if the exposure of strains was <10 μg/Petri dish. A. californca antioxidant properties and its capacity to reduce point mutations render it suitable to enhance medical cancer treatments. The significant effect against antimutagenic 2AA suggests that their consumption would provide protection against carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic compounds. Carmen Lizette Del-Toro-Sánchez, Nereyda Bautista-Bautista, José Luis Blasco-Cabal, Marisela Gonzalez-Ávila, Melesio Gutiérrez-Lomelí, and Myriam Arriaga-Alba Copyright © 2014 Carmen Lizette Del-Toro-Sánchez et al. All rights reserved. Development of a System to Assist Automatic Translation of Hand-Drawn Maps into Tactile Graphics and Its Usability Evaluation Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:29:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/afs/2014/357380/ Tactile graphics are images that use raised surfaces so that a visually impaired person can feel them. Tactile maps are used by blind and partially sighted people when navigating around an environment, and they are also used prior to a visit for orientation purposes. Since the ability to read tactile graphics deeply depends on individuals, providing tactile graphics individually is needed. This implies that producing tactile graphics should be as simple as possible. Based on this background, we are developing a system for automating production of tactile maps from hand-drawn figures. In this paper, we first present a pattern recognition method for hand-drawn maps. The usability of our system is then evaluated by comparing it with the two different methods to produce tactile graphics. Jianjun Chen and Noboru Takagi Copyright © 2014 Jianjun Chen and Noboru Takagi. All rights reserved. Cellular Signaling and Production of Galactose-Deficient IgA1 in IgA Nephropathy, an Autoimmune Disease Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:14:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/197548/ Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN), the leading cause of primary glomerulonephritis, is characterized by IgA1-containing immunodeposits in the glomeruli. IgAN is a chronic disease, with up to 40% of patients progressing to end-stage renal disease, with no disease-specific treatment. Multiple studies of the origin of the glomerular immunodeposits have linked elevated circulating levels of aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 (galactose-deficient in some O-glycans; Gd-IgA1) with formation of nephritogenic Gd-IgA1-containing immune complexes. Gd-IgA1 is recognized as an autoantigen in susceptible individuals by anti-glycan autoantibodies, resulting in immune complexes that may ultimately deposit in the kidney and induce glomerular injury. Genetic studies have revealed that an elevated level of Gd-IgA1 in the circulation of IgAN patients is a hereditable trait. Moreover, recent genome-wide association studies have identified several immunity-related loci that associated with IgAN. Production of Gd-IgA1 by IgA1-secreting cells of IgAN patients has been attributed to abnormal expression and activity of several key glycosyltransferases. Substantial evidence is emerging that abnormal signaling in IgA1-producing cells is related to the production of Gd-IgA1. As Gd-IgA1 is the key autoantigen in IgAN, understanding the genetic, biochemical, and environmental aspects of the abnormal signaling in IgA1-producing cells will provide insight into possible targets for future disease-specific therapy. Colin Reily, Hiroyuki Ueda, Zhi-Qiang Huang, Jiri Mestecky, Bruce A. Julian, Christopher D. Willey, and Jan Novak Copyright © 2014 Colin Reily et al. All rights reserved. Human Umbilical Cord Perivascular Cells Exhibited Enhanced Migration Capacity towards Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Comparison with Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: A Role for Autocrine Motility Factor Receptor Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:11:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/837420/ Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Unfortunately, the incidence and mortality associated with HCC are increasing. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed and the use of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as carrier of therapeutic genes is emerging as a promising option. Different sources of MSCs are being studied for cell therapy and bone marrow-derived cells are the most extensively explored; however, birth associated-tissues represent a very promising source. The aim of this work was to compare the in vitro and in vivo migration capacity between bone marrow MSCs (BM-MSCs) and human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs) towards HCC. We observed that HUCPVCs presented higher in vitro and in vivo migration towards factors released by HCC. The expression of autocrine motility factor (AMF) receptor, genes related with the availability of the receptor on the cell surface (caveolin-1 and -2) and metalloproteinase 3, induced by the receptor activation and important for cell migration, was increased in HUCPVCs. The chemotactic response towards recombinant AMF was increased in HUCPVCs compared to BM-MSCs, and its inhibition in the conditioned medium from HCC induced higher decrease in HUCPVC migration than in BM-MSC. Our results indicate that HUCPVCs could be a useful cellular source to deliver therapeutic genes to HCC. Juan Bayo, Esteban Fiore, Jorge B. Aquino, Mariana Malvicini, Manglio Rizzo, Estanislao Peixoto, Laura Alaniz, Flavia Piccioni, Marcela Bolontrade, Osvaldo Podhajcer, Mariana G. Garcia, and Guillermo Mazzolini Copyright © 2014 Juan Bayo et al. All rights reserved. Immobilization of Murine Anti-BMP-2 Monoclonal Antibody on Various Biomaterials for Bone Tissue Engineering Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:09:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/940860/ Biomaterials are widely used as scaffolds for tissue engineering. We have developed a strategy for bone tissue engineering that entails application of immobilized anti-BMP-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to capture endogenous BMPs in vivo and promote antibody-mediated osseous regeneration (AMOR). The purpose of the current study was to compare the efficacy of immobilization of a specific murine anti-BMP-2 mAb on three different types of biomaterials and to evaluate their suitability as scaffolds for AMOR. Anti-BMP-2 mAb or isotype control mAb was immobilized on titanium (Ti) microbeads, alginate hydrogel, and ACS. The treated biomaterials were surgically implanted in rat critical-sized calvarial defects. After 8 weeks, de novo bone formation was assessed using micro-CT and histomorphometric analyses. Results showed de novo bone regeneration with all three scaffolds with immobilized anti-BMP-2 mAb, but not isotype control mAb. Ti microbeads showed the highest volume of bone regeneration, followed by ACS. Alginate showed the lowest volume of bone. Localization of BMP-2, -4, and -7 antigens was detected on all 3 scaffolds with immobilized anti-BMP-2 mAb implanted in calvarial defects. Altogether, these data suggested a potential mechanism for bone regeneration through entrapment of endogenous BMP-2, -4, and -7 proteins leading to bone formation using different types of scaffolds via AMOR. Sahar Ansari, Marcelo O. Freire, Eun-Kyoung Pang, Alaa I. Abdelhamid, Mohammad Almohaimeed, and Homayoun H. Zadeh Copyright © 2014 Sahar Ansari et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Underground Zinc Mine Investment Based on Fuzzy-Interval Grey System Theory and Geometric Brownian Motion Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:07:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/914643/ Underground mine projects are often associated with diverse sources of uncertainties. Having the ability to plan for these uncertainties plays a key role in the process of project evaluation and is increasingly recognized as critical to mining project success. To make the best decision, based on the information available, it is necessary to develop an adequate model incorporating the uncertainty of the input parameters. The model is developed on the basis of full discounted cash flow analysis of an underground zinc mine project. The relationships between input variables and economic outcomes are complex and often nonlinear. Fuzzy-interval grey system theory is used to forecast zinc metal prices while geometric Brownian motion is used to forecast operating costs over the time frame of the project. To quantify the uncertainty in the parameters within a project, such as capital investment, ore grade, mill recovery, metal content of concentrate, and discount rate, we have applied the concept of interval numbers. The final decision related to project acceptance is based on the net present value of the cash flows generated by the simulation over the time project horizon. Zoran Gligoric, Lazar Kricak, Cedomir Beljic, Suzana Lutovac, and Jelena Milojevic Copyright © 2014 Zoran Gligoric et al. All rights reserved. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:07:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/909312/ The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development. Armando Azua-Bustos and Carlos González-Silva Copyright © 2014 Armando Azua-Bustos and Carlos González-Silva. All rights reserved. Increasing the Capacity of Existing Bridges by Using Unbonded Prestressing Technology: A Case Study Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:06:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ace/2014/840902/ External posttensioning or unbonded prestressing was found to be a powerful tool for retrofitting and for increasing the life extension of existing structures. Since the 1950s, this technique of reinforcement was applied with success to bridge structures in many countries, and was found to provide an efficient and economic solution for a wide range of bridge types and conditions. Unbonded prestressing is defined as a system in which the post-tensioning tendons or bars are located outside the concrete cross-section and the prestressing forces are transmitted to the girder through the end anchorages, deviators, or saddles. In response to the demand for a faster and more efficient transportation system, there was a steady increase in the weight and volume of traffic throughout the world. Besides increases in legal vehicle loads, the overloading of vehicles is a common problem and it must also be considered when designing or assessing bridges. As a result, many bridges are now required to carry loads significantly greater than their original design loads; and their deck results still deteriorated by cracking of concrete, corrosion of rebars, snapping of tendons, and so forth. In the following, a case study about a railway bridge retrofitted by external posttensioning technique will be illustrated. Antonino Recupero, Nino Spinella, Piero Colajanni, and Cosimo D. Scilipoti Copyright © 2014 Antonino Recupero et al. All rights reserved. Patients with Poor Response to Antipsychotics Have a More Severe Pattern of Frontal Atrophy: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study of Treatment Resistance in Schizophrenia Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:05:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/325052/ Approximately 30% of schizophrenia patients do not respond adequately to the therapy. Previous MRI studies have suggested that drug treatment resistance is associated with brain morphological abnormalities, although region-of-interest analysis of MR studies from nonresponder and responder patients failed to demonstrate a statistically significant difference between these two schizophrenia subgroups. We have used a voxel-based analysis of segmented MR studies to assess structural cerebral differences in 20 nonresponder and 15 responder patients and 16 age-matched normal volunteers. Differences between the three groups emerged bilaterally mainly at the level of the superior and middle frontal gyri, primarily due to reduced grey matter volumes in nonresponders, as compared to both normal volunteers and responder patients. Post hoc direct comparison between the two schizophrenia subgroups demonstrated significantly reduced grey matter volumes in middle frontal gyrus bilaterally, in the dorsolateral aspects of left superior frontal gyrus extending into postcentral gyrus and in the right medial temporal cortex. Our results extend and integrate previous findings suggesting a more severe atrophy in nonresponder schizophrenia patients, compared to responder patients, mainly at the level of the superior and middle frontal gyri. Longitudinal studies in drug-naïve patients are needed to assess the role of these associations. Mario Quarantelli, Olga Palladino, Anna Prinster, Vittorio Schiavone, Barbara Carotenuto, Arturo Brunetti, Angela Marsili, Margherita Casiello, Giovanni Muscettola, Marco Salvatore, and Andrea de Bartolomeis Copyright © 2014 Mario Quarantelli et al. All rights reserved. Impact of Statins on Cognitive Deficits in Adult Male Rodents after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:03:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/261409/ The efficacy of statin treatment on cognitive decline is controversial, and the effect of statins on cognitive deficits in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has yet to be investigated. Therefore, we systematically reviewed the effect of statins on cognitive deficits in adult male rodents after TBI. After identifying eligible studies by searching four electronic databases on February 28, 2014, we assessed study quality, evaluated the efficacy of statin treatment, and performed stratified metaregression and metaregression to assess the influence of study design on statin efficacy. Eleven studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria from a total of 183 publications. The overall methodological quality of these studies was poor. Meta-analysis showed that statins exert statistically significant positive effects on cognitive performance after TBI. Stratified analysis showed that atorvastatin has the greatest effect on acquisition memory, simvastatin has the greatest effect on retention memory, and statin effects on acquisition memory are higher in closed head injury models. Metaregression analysis further showed that that animal species, study quality, and anesthetic agent impact statin effects on retention memory. We conclude that statins might reduce cognitive deficits after TBI. However, additional well-designed and well-reported animal studies are needed to inform further clinical study. Weijun Peng, Jingjing Yang, Bo Yang, Lexing Wang, Xin-gui Xiong, and Qinghua Liang Copyright © 2014 Weijun Peng et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Study of Marketing Channel Multiagent Stackelberg Model Based on Perfect Rationality and Fairness Preference Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:02:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/527458/ This paper studies channel consisting of a manufacturer and two retailers. As a basis for comparison, the first, multiagent Stackelberg model has been structured based on perfect rationality. Further, fairness preference theory will be embedded in marketing channel multiagent Stackelberg model, and the results show that if the retailers have a jealous fairness preference, the manufacturer will reduce the wholesale price, retailers will increase the effort level, product sales will be increased, and the total channel utility and manufacturers’ utility will be pareto improvement, but the pareto improvement of retailers’ utility is associated with the interval of jealousy fairness preference coefficient. If the retailers have a sympathetic fairness preference, the manufacturer increases wholesale price, retailers reduce the effort level, and the total channel utility, manufacturer’s utility, and retailers’ utility are less than that of the no fairness preference utility. Kaihong Wang, Xu Yang, Yiwan Sun, and Chuan Ding Copyright © 2014 Kaihong Wang et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Autogenous Engineered Septal Cartilage Grafts in Rabbits: A Minimally Invasive Preclinical Model Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:01:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aoto/2014/415821/ Objectives. (1) Evaluate safety of autogenous engineered septal neocartilage grafts and (2) compare properties of implanted grafts versus controls. Study Design. Prospective, basic science. Setting. Research laboratory. Methods. Constructs were fabricated from septal cartilage and then cultured in vitro or implanted on the nasal dorsum as autogenous grafts for 30 or 60 days. Rabbits were monitored for local and systemic complications. Histological, biochemical, and biomechanical properties of constructs were evaluated. Results. No serious complications were observed. Implanted constructs contained more DNA () and less sGAG perDNA () when compared with in vitro controls. Confined compressive aggregate moduli were also higher in implanted constructs () and increased with longer in vivo incubation time (). Implanted constructs displayed resorption rates of 20–45 percent. Calcium deposition in implanted constructs was observe. Conclusion. Autogenous engineered septal cartilage grafts were well tolerated. As seen in experiments with athymic mice, implanted constructs accumulated more DNA and less sGAG when compared with in vitro controls. Confined compressive aggregate moduli were higher in implanted constructs. Implanted constructs displayed resorption rates similar to previously published studies using autogenous implants of native cartilage. Anton Kushnaryov, Tomonoro Yamaguchi, Kristen K. Briggs, Van W. Wong, Marsha Reuther, Monica Neuman, Victor Lin, Robert L. Sah, Koichi Masuda, and Deborah Watson Copyright © 2014 Anton Kushnaryov et al. All rights reserved. A Passive Harmonic Tag for Humidity Sensing Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:01:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2014/670345/ This paper describes a passive harmonic tag for radio frequency identification (RFID) and wireless sensor applications. The tag uses a dual polarized UHF patch antenna as an input antenna. One of the outputs is connected to a frequency doubler, which consists of a Schottky diode with its output connected to a patch tuned at twice the input frequency. The other output of the input antenna feeds a DC power harvested converter that drives an oscillator which modulates its output signal by controlling the bias point of the Schottky diode. The antenna’s output is also used as a humidity sensor. To achieve this, the antenna is loaded with an interdigital capacitor with humidity-dependent capacitance. The antenna is consequently detuned when humidity varies, and therefore the second harmonic power is received. The tag is manufactured using standard fiberglass substrate. The basic theory of harmonic tag operation is described and compared with the standard backscattering approach. Experimental results with a proof of concept using commercial components are presented. Antonio Lazaro, Ramon Villarino, and David Girbau Copyright © 2014 Antonio Lazaro et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of the Stage Performance and Flow Fields in a Centrifugal Compressor with a Vaneless Diffuser Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijrm/2014/139153/ The effect of the width of the vaneless diffuser on the stage performance and flow fields of a centrifugal compressor is studied numerically and experimentally. The diffuser width is varied by reducing the diffuser flow area from the shroud side (i.e., pinching the diffuser). Seven different diffuser widths are studied with numerical simulation. In the modeling, the diffuser width is varied within the range 1.00 to 0.50. The numerical results are compared with results obtained in previous studies. In addition, two of the diffusers are further investigated with experimental measurement. The main finding of the work is that the pinch reduces losses in the impeller associated with the tip-clearance flow. Furthermore, it is shown that a too large width reduction causes the flow to accelerate excessively, resulting in a highly nonuniform flow field and flow separation near the shroud. Ahti Jaatinen-Värri, Aki Grönman, Teemu Turunen-Saaresti, and Jari Backman Copyright © 2014 Ahti Jaatinen-Värri et al. All rights reserved. A Fast Independent Component Analysis Algorithm for Geochemical Anomaly Detection and Its Application to Soil Geochemistry Data Processing Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:59:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/319314/ A fast independent component analysis algorithm (FICAA) is introduced to process geochemical data for anomaly detection. In geochemical data processing, the geological significance of separated geochemical elements must be explicit. This requires that correlation coefficients be used to overcome the limitation of indeterminacy for the sequences of decomposed signals by the FICAA, so that the sequences of the decomposed signals can be correctly reflected. Meanwhile, the problem of indeterminacy in the scaling of the decomposed signals by the FICAA can be solved by the cumulative frequency method (CFM). To classify surface geochemical samples into true anomalies and false anomalies, assays of the 1 : 10 000 soil geochemical data in the area of Dachaidan in the Qinghai province of China are processed. The CFM and FICAA are used to detect the anomalies of Cu and Au. The results of this research demonstrate that the FICAA can demultiplex the mixed signals and achieve results similar to actual mineralization when 85%, 95%, and 98% are chosen as three levels of anomaly delineation. However, the traditional CFM failed to produce realistic results and has no significant use for prospecting indication. It is shown that application of the FICAA to geochemical data processing is effective. Bin Liu, Si Guo, Youhua Wei, and Zedong Zhan Copyright © 2014 Bin Liu et al. All rights reserved. Schedulability Analysis for Rate Monotonic Algorithm-Shortest Job First Using UML-RT Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:59:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mse/2014/206364/ System modelling with a unified modelling language (UML) is an active research area for developing real-time system development. UML is widely used modelling language in software engineering community, to specify the requirement, and analyse the target system successfully. UML can be used to provide multiple views of the system under design with the help of a variety of structural and behavioural diagrams at an early stage. UML-RT (unified modelling language-real time) is a language used to build an unambiguous executable specification of a real-time system based on UML concepts. This paper presents a unified modeling approach for a newly proposed rate monotonic scheduling algorithm-shortest job first (RMA-SJF) for partitioned, semipartitioned and global scheduling strategies in multiprocessor architecture using UML-RT for different system loads. As a technical contribution, effective processor utilization of individual processors and success ratio are analyzed for various scheduling principles and compared with EDF and D_EDF to validate our proposal. S. Ewins Pon Pushpa and Manamalli Devasikamani Copyright © 2014 S. Ewins Pon Pushpa and Manamalli Devasikamani. All rights reserved. Interaction of Hyperoside with Human Serum Albumin and Effect of Glucose on the Binding Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:59:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jspec/2014/386586/ The interaction of hyperoside (Hyp) with human serum albumin (HSA) and effect of glucose on the binding were studied in simulating physiological condition (pH 7.40). The results suggested that Hyp quenched the endogenous fluorescence of HSA via a static quenching process with the distance of 1.95 nm between Hyp and HSA. Hydrophobic forces played a major role in stabilizing the Hyp-HSA complex. Through synchronous fluorescence monitoring of conformation of HSA, we found that the binding to Hyp can change the microenvironment around tryptophan (Trp) residues. Increasing in glucose concentration over a range from 0 to 9 mM decreased the binding ability of HSA to Hyp, implying that increasing in glucose concentration would increase the concentration of free Hyp. Jie Yang, Lingling Qu, Wenyue Yang, Yun Huang, Ning Jiao, Wenhong Zhan, Ding Zhao, and Lijian Cui Copyright © 2014 Jie Yang et al. All rights reserved. Purine-Metabolizing Ectoenzymes Control IL-8 Production in Human Colon HT-29 Cells Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:58:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/879895/ Interleukin-8 (IL-8) plays key roles in both chronic inflammatory diseases and tumor modulation. We previously observed that IL-8 secretion and function can be modulated by nucleotide (P2) receptors. Here we investigated whether IL-8 release by intestinal epithelial HT-29 cells, a cancer cell line, is modulated by extracellular nucleotide metabolism. We first identified that HT-29 cells regulated adenosine and adenine nucleotide concentration at their surface by the expression of the ectoenzymes NTPDase2, ecto-5′-nucleotidase, and adenylate kinase. The expression of the ectoenzymes was evaluated by RT-PCR, qPCR, and immunoblotting, and their activity was analyzed by RP-HPLC of the products and by detection of produced from the hydrolysis of ATP, ADP, and AMP. In response to poly (I:C), with or without ATP and/or ADP, HT-29 cells released IL-8 and this secretion was modulated by the presence of NTPDase2 and adenylate kinase. Taken together, these results demonstrate the presence of 3 ectoenzymes at the surface of HT-29 cells that control nucleotide levels and adenosine production (NTPDase2, ecto-5′-nucleotidase and adenylate kinase) and that P2 receptor-mediated signaling controls IL-8 release in HT-29 cells which is modulated by the presence of NTPDase2 and adenylate kinase. Fariborz Bahrami, Filip Kukulski, Joanna Lecka, Alain Tremblay, Julie Pelletier, Liliana Rockenbach, and Jean Sévigny Copyright © 2014 Fariborz Bahrami et al. All rights reserved. Pawlak Algebra and Approximate Structure on Fuzzy Lattice Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:58:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/697107/ The aim of this paper is to investigate the general approximation structure, weak approximation operators, and Pawlak algebra in the framework of fuzzy lattice, lattice topology, and auxiliary ordering. First, we prove that the weak approximation operator space forms a complete distributive lattice. Then we study the properties of transitive closure of approximation operators and apply them to rough set theory. We also investigate molecule Pawlak algebra and obtain some related properties. Ying Zhuang, Wenqi Liu, Chin-Chia Wu, and Jinhai Li Copyright © 2014 Ying Zhuang et al. All rights reserved. Symmetries, Associated First Integrals, and Double Reduction of Difference Equations Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:58:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/490165/ We determine the symmetry generators of some ordinary difference equations and proceeded to find the first integral and reduce the order of the difference equations. We show that, in some cases, the symmetry generator and first integral are associated via the “invariance condition.” That is, the first integral may be invariant under the symmetry of the original difference equation. When this condition is satisfied, we may proceed to double reduction of the difference equation. L. Ndlovu, M. Folly-Gbetoula, A. H. Kara, and A. Love Copyright © 2014 L. Ndlovu et al. All rights reserved. PLI Cancellation in ECG Signal Based on Adaptive Filter by Using Wiener-Hopf Equation for Providing Initial Condition Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:57:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2014/471409/ This paper presents a technique for finding the optimal initial weight for adaptive filter by using difference equation. The obtained analytical response of the system identifies the appropriate weights for the system and shows that the MSE depends on the initial weight. The proposed technique is applied to eliminate the known frequency power line interference (PLI) signal in the electrocardiogram (ECG) signal. The PLI signal is considered as a combination of cosine and sine signals. The adaptive filter, therefore, attempts to adjust the amplitude of cosine and sine signals to synthesize a reference signal very similar to the contaminated PLI signal. To compare the potential of the proposed technique to other techniques, the system is simulated by using the Matlab program and the TMS320C6713 digital board. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed technique enables the system to eliminate the PLI signal with the fastest time and gains the superior results of the recovered ECG signal. Anchalee Manosueb, Jeerasuda Koseeyaporn, and Paramote Wardkein Copyright © 2014 Anchalee Manosueb et al. All rights reserved. Frequency of TGF-β and IFN-γ Genotype as Risk Factors for Acute Kidney Injury and Death in Intensive Care Unit Patients Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:57:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/904730/ Genetic variations in TGF-β and IFN-γ may interfere with proinflammatory cytokine production and, consequently, may be involved with inflammatory diseases, as acute kidney injury (AKI). We considered that genetic polymorphisms of these cytokines may have a crucial role in the outcome of critically ill patients. To investigate whether the genetic polymorphisms of rs1800470 (codon 10 T/C), rs1800471 (codon 25 C/G) from the TGF-β, and rs2430561 (+874 T/A) from IFN-γ may be a risk factor for ICU patients to the development of AKI and/or death. In a prospective nested case-control study, were included 139 ICU patients who developed AKI, 164 ICU patients without AKI, and 244 healthy individuals. We observed a higher frequency to T/A genotype for IFN-γ (intermediate producer phenotype) and higher frequency of TT GG and TC GG genotype (high producer) for TGF-β polymorphism in overall population. However, these polymorphisms have not been shown as a predictor of risk for AKI and death. We found an increased prevalence of high and intermediate producer phenotypes from TGF-β and IFN-γ, respectively, in patients in ICU setting. However, the studied genetic polymorphism of the TGF-β and IFN-γ was not associated as a risk factor for AKI or death in our population. Caren Cristina Grabulosa, Marcelo Costa Batista, Miguel Cendoroglo, Beata Marie Redublo Quinto, Roberto Narciso, Julio Cesar Monte, Marcelino Durão, Luiz Vicente Rizzo, Oscar Fernando Pavão Santos, and Maria Aparecida Dalboni Copyright © 2014 Caren Cristina Grabulosa et al. All rights reserved. Tattoo-Associated Skin Reaction: The Importance of an Early Diagnosis and Proper Treatment Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:56:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/354608/ Tattoo is going to be a very common practice especially among young people and we are witnessing a gradual increase of numerous potential complications to tattoo placement which are often seen by physicians, but generally unknown to the public. The most common skin reactions to tattoo include a transient acute inflammatory reaction due to trauma of the skin with needles and medical complications such as superficial and deep local infections, systemic infections, allergic contact dermatitis, photodermatitis, granulomatous and lichenoid reactions, and skin diseases localized on tattooed area (eczema, psoriasis, lichen, and morphea). Next to these inflammatory skin reactions we have to consider also the possibility of the development of cutaneous conditions such as pseudolymphomatous reactions and pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia. The aim of this study is to underline the importance of an early diagnosis by performing a histological examination especially when we are in front of suspected papulonodular lesions arising from a tattoo, followed by a proper treatment, since cutaneous neoplastic evolution is known to be a rare but possible complication. Andrea Bassi, Piero Campolmi, Giovanni Cannarozzo, Rossana Conti, Nicola Bruscino, Massimo Gola, Stefano Ermini, Daniela Massi, and Silvia Moretti Copyright © 2014 Andrea Bassi et al. All rights reserved. Serum Matrix Metalloproteinase-3 as a Noninvasive Biomarker of Histological Synovitis for Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:53:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/179284/ Objective. To explore the correlation between matrix metalloproteinase- (MMP-) 3 and histological synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. Serum MMP-3 of 62 patients with active RA was detected by ELISA. Serial synovial tissue sections from all RA patients, 13 osteoarthritis, and 10 orthopedic arthropathies patients were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemically for MMP-3, CD3, CD20, CD38, CD68, and CD15. Results. The percentage of lining MMP3+ cells was significantly higher in RA patients especially with high grade synovitis and it was significantly correlated with Krenn’s synovitis score and sublining inflammatory cells. Multivariate stepwise linear regression analysis revealed that the association of the percentage of lining MMP3+ cells with activation of synovial stroma, sublining CD68+ macrophages, and CD15+ neutrophils was stronger than other histological indicators. The percentage of lining MMP3+ cells was significantly correlated with serum MMP-3 in RA . Serum MMP-3 was higher in RA patients with high grade synovitis than that of low grade synovitis and significantly correlated with synovitis score and activation of synovial stroma subscore (all ). Conclusion. Serum MMP-3 may be an alternative noninvasive biomarker of histological synovitis and RA diagnosis. Jian-Da Ma, Jing-Jing Zhou, Dong-Hui Zheng, Le-Feng Chen, Ying-Qian Mo, Xiu-ning Wei, Li-Juan Yang, and Lie Dai Copyright © 2014 Jian-Da Ma et al. All rights reserved. Response of Soil CO2 Emission and Summer Maize Yield to Plant Density and Straw Mulching in the North China Plain Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:49:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/180219/ Demand for food security and the current global warming situation make high and strict demands on the North China Plain for both food production and the inhibition of agricultural carbon emissions. To explore the most effective way to decrease soil CO2 emissions and maintain high grain yield, studies were conducted during the 2012 and 2013 summer maize growing seasons to assess the effects of wheat straw mulching on the soil CO2 emissions and grain yield of summer maize by adding 0 and 0.6 kg m−2 to fields with plant densities of 100 000, 75 000, and 55 000 plants ha−1. The study indicated that straw mulching had some positive effects on summer maize grain yield by improving the 1000-kernel weight. Meanwhile, straw mulching effectively controlled the soil respiration rate and cumulative CO2 emission flux, particularly in fields planted at a density of 75 000 plants ha−1, which achieved maximum grain yield and minimum carbon emission per unit yield. In addition, soil microbial biomass and microbial activity were significantly higher in mulching treatments than in nonmulching treatments. Consequently, summer maize with straw mulching at 75 000 plants ha−1 is an environmentally friendly option in the North China Plain. Quanru Liu, Xinhui Liu, Chengyue Bian, Changjian Ma, Kun Lang, Huifang Han, and Quanqi Li Copyright © 2014 Quanru Liu et al. All rights reserved. Slope Stability Analysis Using Limit Equilibrium Method in Nonlinear Criterion Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:48:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/206062/ In slope stability analysis, the limit equilibrium method is usually used to calculate the safety factor of slope based on Mohr-Coulomb criterion. However, Mohr-Coulomb criterion is restricted to the description of rock mass. To overcome its shortcomings, this paper combined Hoek-Brown criterion and limit equilibrium method and proposed an equation for calculating the safety factor of slope with limit equilibrium method in Hoek-Brown criterion through equivalent cohesive strength and the friction angle. Moreover, this paper investigates the impact of Hoek-Brown parameters on the safety factor of slope, which reveals that there is linear relation between equivalent cohesive strength and weakening factor . However, there are nonlinear relations between equivalent cohesive strength and Geological Strength Index (GSI), the uniaxial compressive strength of intact rock , and the parameter of intact rock . There is nonlinear relation between the friction angle and all Hoek-Brown parameters. With the increase of , the safety factor of slope decreases linearly; with the increase of GSI, increases nonlinearly; when is relatively small, the relation between and is nonlinear, but when is relatively large, the relation is linear; with the increase of , decreases first and then increases. Hang Lin, Wenwen Zhong, Wei Xiong, and Wenyu Tang Copyright © 2014 Hang Lin et al. All rights reserved. Fibrinogen Alpha Chain Precursor and Apolipoprotein A-I in Urine as Biomarkers for Noninvasive Diagnosis of Calcium Oxalate Nephrolithiasis: A Proteomics Study Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:45:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/415651/ Calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis is the most common urological disease, but noninvasive and convenient methods of diagnosis are rarely available. Objective. The present study aimed to identify potential urine biomarkers for noninvasive diagnosis of CaOx nephrolithiasis. Methodology. Urine samples from 72 patients with CaOx nephrolithiasis and 30 healthy controls were collected and proteomics analysis was performed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF-MS). Results. Thirteen proteins/peptides displayed statistically significant differences. The peptides of m/z 1207.23 and 2773.86 were selected by the genetic algorithm (GA) to build a possible diagnostic model. The area under the curve of m/z 1207.23 and 2773.86 was 0.936 and 0.987, respectively. The diagnostic model in distinguishing patients and healthy subjects showed 100% sensitivity and specificity. The peak at m/z 2773.86 was identified as fibrinogen alpha chain (FGA) with the sequence G.EGDFLAEGGGVR.G, and the peak at m/z 2773.86 was identified as apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) with the sequence L.PVLESFKVSFLSALEEYTKKLNTQ. Conclusion. The study results strongly suggested that urinary FGA and apoA-I are highly sensitive and specific biomarkers for noninvasive diagnosis of CaOx nephrolithiasis. Wei Zhu, Min Liu, Guang-Chun Wang, Bo Peng, Yang Yan, Jian-Ping Che, Qing-Wei Ma, Xu-Dong Yao, and Jun-Hua Zheng Copyright © 2014 Wei Zhu et al. All rights reserved. Functional MRI in Prostate Cancer Detection Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:41:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/590638/ Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MP-MRI) has emerged as a promising method for the detection of prostate cancer. The functional MRI components of the MP-MRI consist of the diffusion weighted MRI, dynamic contrast enhanced MRI, and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature about the use of functional MRI in prostate cancer detection. Sandeep Sankineni, Murat Osman, and Peter L. Choyke Copyright © 2014 Sandeep Sankineni et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Estrogen Receptor α Polymorphisms on Bone Density in Response to Habitual Exercise in Japanese Postmenopausal Women Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:15:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/593927/ Estrogen receptor α (ERα) is one of candidate genes for osteoporosis. This study examined the influence of ERα gene, PvuII, and XbaI genotypes on bone density of calcaneus in response to habitual exercise. ERα polymorphisms were detected using PvuII and XbaI restriction enzymes in 316 Japanese postmenopausal women. The bone density was significantly lower in the women carrying PP, pp, or xx genotype without habitual exercise than in the age-matched women without those genotypes. The women carrying Pp genotype without habitual exercise had normal bone density compared to those without Pp genotype. The women carrying PPxx or ppxx polymorphism without habitual exercise had low bone density compared to those with habitual exercise. Thus, the reduction of bone density was attenuated in the women carrying PPxx or ppxx with habitual exercise. In addition, habitual exercise was highly effective for the bone density in the women carrying xx homozygote. These findings indicate that analyses of XbaI and PvuII polymorphisms of ERα may be useful to predict the effect of exercise on bone density, and habitual exercise attenuates the reduction of bone density in women with some genotypes. Hiroyo Kondo, Hidemi Fujino, Fumiko Nagatomo, and Akihiko Ishihara Copyright © 2014 Hiroyo Kondo et al. All rights reserved. Variation in Seedling Growth of Tamarindus indica (L.): A Threatening Medicinal Fruit Tree Species in Bangladesh Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:14:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeco/2014/270956/ Seedling growth is a precondition for conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources which depends upon understanding of breeding system, genetic inconsistency, and evolutionary forces in forest tree improvement. The aim of this study was to determine variation in seedling growth and age-age correlations of Tamarindus indica at population level in Bangladesh. The study revealed significant () differences of seasonal variation in seedling growth. Height and collar diameter growth showed significant () positive correlation with mean monthly rainfall. The study also revealed significant difference () of seedling growth among T. indica population. PCA illustrated rainfall, height growth, and diameter growth as the main characters in this study which defined drought as an additive character for this species. Cluster analysis of similarity showed how seedlings from 22.67°N latitude (origin) separated from others. An increasing trend of age-age correlation was identified in both cases of shoot height and diameter growth. The study concluded that seed collection for either ex situ conservation or seedling production can be done from 22.67°N latitude as seedlings from that area performed better than others, and early clonal selection of T. indica can be done at the age of 9 months. Md. Salim Azad, Nurun Nahar, Abdus Subhan Mollick, and Md. Abdul Matin Copyright © 2014 Md. Salim Azad et al. All rights reserved. Nitric Oxide-Related Oxidative Stress and Redox Status in Health and Disease Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:13:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2014/129651/ Darko Modun, Daniela Giustarini, and Dimitrios Tsikas Copyright © 2014 Darko Modun et al. All rights reserved. The Effects of Doping Copper and Mesoporous Structure on Photocatalytic Properties of TiO2 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:09:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2014/178152/ This paper describes a system for the synthesis of Cu-doped mesoporous TiO2 nanoparticles by a hydrothermal method at relatively low temperatures. The technique used is to dope the as-prepared mesoporous TiO2 system with copper. In this method, the copper species with the form of Cu1+, which was attributed to the reduction effect of dehydroxylation and evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), was well dispersed in the optimal concentration 1 wt.% Cu-doped mesoporous TiO2. In this as-prepared mesoporous TiO2 system, original particles with a size of approximately 20 nm are aggregated together to shapes of approximately 1100 nm, which resulted in the porous aggregate structure. More importantly, the enhancement of the photocatalytic activity was discussed as effects due to the formation of stable Cu(I) and the mesoporous structure in the Cu-doped mesoporous TiO2. Among them, Cu-doped mesoporous TiO2 shows the highest degradation rate of methyl orange (MO). In addition, the effects of initial solution pH on degradation of MO had also been investigated. As a result, the optimum values of initial solution pH were found to be 3. Yang Wang, Wubiao Duan, Bo Liu, Xidong Chen, Feihua Yang, and Jianping Guo Copyright © 2014 Yang Wang et al. All rights reserved. Increased IL-17, a Pathogenic Link between Hepatosplenic Schistosomiasis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Hypothesis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:08:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crii/2014/804761/ The immune system protects the organism from foreign invaders and foreign substances and is involved in physiological functions that range from tissue repair to neurocognition. However, an excessive or dysregulated immune response can cause immunopathology and disease. A 39-year-old man was affected by severe hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni and by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. One question that arose was, whether there was a relation between the parasitic and the neurodegenerative disease. IL-17, a proinflammatory cytokine, is produced mainly by T helper-17 CD4 cells, a recently discovered new lineage of effector CD4 T cells. Experimental mouse models of schistosomiasis have shown that IL-17 is a key player in the immunopathology of schistosomiasis. There are also reports that suggest that IL-17 might have an important role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is hypothesized that the factors that might have led to increased IL-17 in the hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni might also have contributed to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the described patient. A multitude of environmental factors, including infections, xenobiotic substances, intestinal microbiota, and vitamin D deficiency, that are able to induce a proinflammatory immune response polarization, might favor the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in predisposed individuals. Oswald Moling, Alfonsina Di Summa, Loredana Capone, Josef Stuefer, Andrea Piccin, Alessandra Porzia, Antonella Capozzi, Maurizio Sorice, Raffaella Binazzi, Lathá Gandini, Giovanni Rimenti, and Peter Mian Copyright © 2014 Oswald Moling et al. All rights reserved. Gossypol Promotes Degeneration of Ovarian Follicles in Rats Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:06:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/986184/ The present study aimed to determine if gossypol interferes with ovarian follicles in rats. Twenty-four female Wistar rats were assigned to two equal groups: one control group and the other dosed with gossypol (25 mg/kg/day, subcutaneously) for 15 days. Ovarian follicles were histologically classified according to the stage of development and as normal or atretic. Gossypol treatment reduced the length of estrous with an increase in the duration of the diestrus phase. This compound was responsible for reduced serum levels of T4 and progesterone. Treatment with gossypol was responsible for a significant reduction in the number of normal ovarian follicles and a significant increase in the number of atretic follicles, both in all stages of development. Thus, treatment of rats with gossypol was responsible for reduction in the number of viable follicles and changes in hormone levels that resulted in interference of the estrous cycle. Ivana Cristina Nunes Gadelha, Michelly Fernandes de Macedo, Sílvia Catarina Salgado Oloris, Marilia Martins Melo, and Benito Soto-Blanco Copyright © 2014 Ivana Cristina Nunes Gadelha et al. All rights reserved. Multiobjective Memetic Estimation of Distribution Algorithm Based on an Incremental Tournament Local Searcher Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:06:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/836272/ A novel hybrid multiobjective algorithm is presented in this paper, which combines a new multiobjective estimation of distribution algorithm, an efficient local searcher and ε-dominance. Besides, two multiobjective problems with variable linkages strictly based on manifold distribution are proposed. The Pareto set to the continuous multiobjective optimization problems, in the decision space, is a piecewise low-dimensional continuous manifold. The regularity by the manifold features just build probability distribution model by globally statistical information from the population, yet, the efficiency of promising individuals is not well exploited, which is not beneficial to search and optimization process. Hereby, an incremental tournament local searcher is designed to exploit local information efficiently and accelerate convergence to the true Pareto-optimal front. Besides, since ε-dominance is a strategy that can make multiobjective algorithm gain well distributed solutions and has low computational complexity, ε-dominance and the incremental tournament local searcher are combined here. The novel memetic multiobjective estimation of distribution algorithm, MMEDA, was proposed accordingly. The algorithm is validated by experiment on twenty-two test problems with and without variable linkages of diverse complexities. Compared with three state-of-the-art multiobjective optimization algorithms, our algorithm achieves comparable results in terms of convergence and diversity metrics. Kaifeng Yang, Li Mu, Dongdong Yang, Feng Zou, Lei Wang, and Qiaoyong Jiang Copyright © 2014 Kaifeng Yang et al. All rights reserved. Studies on the Codeposition of SiC Nanopowder with Nickel, Cobalt, and Co-Ni Alloys Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:05:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jcoat/2014/659697/ Electrodeposition of SiC nanopowder (approximately 120 nm) with nickel, cobalt, and Co-Ni alloy matrix was studied. It was found that particles suspended in the bath affect slightly the reduction of metallic ions. Incorporation of the ceramic particles was governed mainly by the morphology of the matrix surface, while no strict correlation between the amount of cobalt ions adsorbed on the powder and the SiC content in the composites was found. Microhardness of nickel deposits was  HV, while for cobalt-rich coatings (84–95 wt.% Co) the values were in the range of 260–290 HV, independently of the SiC content in the coatings. Fine-grained nickel deposits were characterized by good corrosion resistance, while cobalt and Co-Ni alloys showed high corrosion current densities. Ewa Rudnik and Sławomir Syrek Copyright © 2014 Ewa Rudnik and Sławomir Syrek. All rights reserved. Artificial Fish Swarm Algorithm-Based Particle Filter for Li-Ion Battery Life Prediction Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:04:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/564894/ An intelligent online prognostic approach is proposed for predicting the remaining useful life (RUL) of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries based on artificial fish swarm algorithm (AFSA) and particle filter (PF), which is an integrated approach combining model-based method with data-driven method. The parameters, used in the empirical model which is based on the capacity fade trends of Li-ion batteries, are identified dependent on the tracking ability of PF. AFSA-PF aims to improve the performance of the basic PF. By driving the prior particles to the domain with high likelihood, AFSA-PF allows global optimization, prevents particle degeneracy, thereby improving particle distribution and increasing prediction accuracy and algorithm convergence. Data provided by NASA are used to verify this approach and compare it with basic PF and regularized PF. AFSA-PF is shown to be more accurate and precise. Ye Tian, Chen Lu, Zili Wang, and Laifa Tao Copyright © 2014 Ye Tian et al. All rights reserved. A Hadoop-Based Method to Predict Potential Effective Drug Combination Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:01:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/196858/ Combination drugs that impact multiple targets simultaneously are promising candidates for combating complex diseases due to their improved efficacy and reduced side effects. However, exhaustive screening of all possible drug combinations is extremely time-consuming and impractical. Here, we present a novel Hadoop-based approach to predict drug combinations by taking advantage of the MapReduce programming model, which leads to an improvement of scalability of the prediction algorithm. By integrating the gene expression data of multiple drugs, we constructed data preprocessing and the support vector machines and naïve Bayesian classifiers on Hadoop for prediction of drug combinations. The experimental results suggest that our Hadoop-based model achieves much higher efficiency in the big data processing steps with satisfactory performance. We believed that our proposed approach can help accelerate the prediction of potential effective drugs with the increasing of the combination number at an exponential rate in future. The source code and datasets are available upon request. Yifan Sun, Yi Xiong, Qian Xu, and Dongqing Wei Copyright © 2014 Yifan Sun et al. All rights reserved. Arsenic Removal from Natural Groundwater by Electrocoagulation Using Response Surface Methodology Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:50:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2014/857625/ Contamination of natural groundwater by arsenic (As) is a serious problem that appears in some areas of Northern Central Mexico (NCM). In this research, As was removed from NCM wells groundwater by the electrocoagulation (EC) technique. Laboratory-scale arsenic electroremoval experiments were carried out at continuous flow rates between 0.25 and 1.00 L min−1 using current densities of 5, 10, and 20 A m−2. Experiments were performed under galvanostatic conditions during 5 min, at constant temperature and pH. The response surface methodology (RSM) was used for the optimization of the processing variables (flow rate and current density), response modeling, and predictions. The highest arsenic removal efficiency from underground water (99%) was achieved at low flow rates (0.25 L min−1) and high current densities (20 A m−2). The response models developed explained 93.7% variability for As removal efficiency. A. M. García-Lara, C. Montero-Ocampo, F. Equihua-Guillen, J. E. Camporredondo-Saucedo, R. Servin-Castaneda, and C. R. Muñiz-Valdes Copyright © 2014 A. M. García-Lara et al. All rights reserved. Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease: Technical and Legal Aspects of a German Pilot Study with 38,220 Participants Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:50:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/695828/ Sickle cell disease (SCD) does not occur in the indigenous German population, but with the increasing number of immigrants from countries at high risk for hemoglobinopathies, the question emerges whether or not a newborn screening program (NBS) for SCD disease should be initiated in Germany anyhow. We have recently shown that in Berlin, a city with a very large immigrant population, the incidence of SCD is considerable, but our findings are insufficient to make a decision for the country as a whole. In this paper we will show that a large body of epidemiological data can be generated in a relatively short period of time, with a very high degree of precision and at relatively little expense—a result that might motivate other working groups to start such a pilot project locally. We examined previously collected dried blood cards that were up to six months old, using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as first method and capillary electrophoresis (CE) as second method. A single, part-time laboratory technician processed 38,220 samples in a period of 162 working days. The total costs per sample including all incidentals (as well as labor costs) were EUR 1.44. Claudia Frömmel, Annemarie Brose, Jeannette Klein, Oliver Blankenstein, and Stephan Lobitz Copyright © 2014 Claudia Frömmel et al. All rights reserved. Baicalein Protects against Type 2 Diabetes via Promoting Islet β-Cell Function in Obese Diabetic Mice Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:48:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2014/846742/ In both type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), the deterioration of glycemic control over time is primarily caused by an inadequate mass and progressive dysfunction of β-cell, leading to the impaired insulin secretion. Here, we show that dietary supplementation of baicalein, a flavone isolated from the roots of Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis, improved glucose tolerance and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in high-fat diet (HFD-) induced middle-aged obese mice. Baicalein had no effect on food intake, body weight gain, circulating lipid profile, and insulin sensitivity in obese mice. Using another mouse model of type 2 diabetes generated by high-fat diet (HFD) feeding and low doses of streptozotocin injection, we found that baicalein treatment significantly improved hyperglycemia, glucose tolerance, and blood insulin levels in these middle-aged obese diabetic mice, which are associated with the improved islet β-cell survival and mass. In the in vitro studies, baicalein significantly augmented GSIS and promoted viability of insulin-secreting cells and human islets cultured either in the basal medium or under chronic hyperlipidemic condition. These results demonstrate that baicalein may be a naturally occurring antidiabetic agent by directly modulating pancreatic β-cell function. Yu Fu, Jing Luo, Zhenquan Jia, Wei Zhen, Kequan Zhou, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Dongmin Liu Copyright © 2014 Yu Fu et al. All rights reserved. The Design of an Urban Roadside Automatic Sprinkling System: Mitigation of PM2.5–10 in Ambient Air in Megacities Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:48:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cje/2014/618109/ The objective of this research paper is to describe the system architecture for an urban roadside automatic mist-generating system. Its primary purpose is to mitigate particulate matter especially PM2.5–10. In this paper, four graphs are provided to exhibit the constituent elements of this system. This paper also discusses the functional extensions of this system for alternative uses in civil engineering which include winter road deicing and desnowing with added salt; clean-up of street dust; lowering of temperature of a “hot island” during the summer; the addition of humidity in an arid area; and the suppression of flu virus in the winter season. The structure and function of this system are comprehensively discussed in this paper. This system is compared to existing and other proposed systems in terms of control options, efficiency, and primary functional issues. The unique design of the road automatic sprinkling system renders itself a prominent option. Although there are no data available for this conceptual system, some expected qualitative and quantitative outcomes are provided and justified. The paper concludes with some potential research areas and challenges associated with this system architecture. Shiyong Liu, Konstantinos Triantis, and Lan Zhang Copyright © 2014 Shiyong Liu et al. All rights reserved. Identification and Expression of a Putative Facilitative Urea Transporter in Three Species of True Frogs (Ranidae): Implications for Terrestrial Adaptation Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:38:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ab/2014/148276/ Urea transporters (UTs) help mediate the transmembrane movement of urea and therefore are likely important in amphibian osmoregulation. Although UTs contribute to urea reabsorption in anuran excretory organs, little is known about the protein’s distribution and functions in other tissues, and their importance in the evolutionary adaptation of amphibians to their environment remains unclear. To address these questions, we obtained a partial sequence of a putative UT and examined relative abundance of this protein in tissues of the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), leopard frog (R. pipiens), and mink frog (R. septentrionalis), closely related species that are adapted to different habitats. Using immunoblotting techniques, we found the protein to be abundant in the osmoregulatory organs but also present in visceral organs, suggesting that UTs play both osmoregulatory and nonosmoregulatory roles in amphibians. UT abundance seems to relate to the species’ habitat preference, as levels of the protein were higher in the terrestrial R. sylvatica, intermediate in the semiaquatic R. pipiens, and quite low in the aquatic R. septentrionalis. These findings suggest that, in amphibians, UTs are involved in various physiological processes, including solute and water dynamics, and that they have played a role in adaptation to the osmotic challenges of terrestrial environments. Andrew J. Rosendale, Jon P. Costanzo, Andor J. Kiss, and Richard E. Lee Jr. Copyright © 2014 Andrew J. Rosendale et al. All rights reserved. Dynamics of a Delayed Model for the Transmission of Malicious Objects in Computer Network Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:37:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/194104/ An SEIQRS model for the transmission of malicious objects in computer network with two delays is investigated in this paper. We show that possible combination of the two delays can affect the stability of the model and make the model bifurcate periodic solutions under some certain conditions. For further investigation, properties of the periodic solutions are studied by using the normal form method and center manifold theory. Finally, some numerical simulations are given to justify the theoretical results. Zizhen Zhang and Huizhong Yang Copyright © 2014 Zizhen Zhang and Huizhong Yang. All rights reserved. Global Asymptotic Stability of Impulsive CNNs with Proportional Delays and Partially Lipschitz Activation Functions Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:36:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/832892/ This paper researches global asymptotic stability of impulsive cellular neural networks with proportional delays and partially Lipschitz activation functions. Firstly, by means of the transformation , the impulsive cellular neural networks with proportional delays are transformed into impulsive cellular neural networks with the variable coefficients and constant delays. Secondly, we provide novel criteria for the uniqueness and exponential stability of the equilibrium point of the latter by relative nonlinear measure and prove that the exponential stability of equilibrium point of the latter implies the asymptotic stability of one of the former. We furthermore obtain a sufficient condition to the uniqueness and global asymptotic stability of the equilibrium point of the former. Our method does not require conventional assumptions on global Lipschitz continuity, boundedness, and monotonicity of activation functions. Our results are generalizations and improvements of some existing ones. Finally, an example and its simulations are provided to illustrate the correctness of our analysis. Xueli Song and Jigen Peng Copyright © 2014 Xueli Song and Jigen Peng. All rights reserved. Lasers in Esthetic Dentistry: Soft Tissue Photobiomodulation, Hard Tissue Decontamination, and Ceramics Conditioning Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:35:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crid/2014/927429/ The increasing concern and the search for conservative dental treatments have resulted in the development of several new technologies. Low and high power lasers can be cited as one of these new technologies. Low power lasers act at cellular level leading to pain reduction, modulation of inflammation, and improvement of tissue healing. High power lasers act by increasing temperature and have the potential to promote microbial reduction and ablation of hard and soft tissues. The clinical application of both low and high power lasers requires specific knowledge concerning laser interaction with biological tissues, so that the correct irradiation protocol can be established. The present case report describes the clinical steps of two metal-ceramic crowns development in a 60-year-old patient. Three different laser wavelengths were applied throughout the treatment with different purposes: Nd:YAG laser (1,064 nm) for dentin decontamination, diode (660 nm) for soft tissue biomodulation, and Er:YAG laser (2,940 nm) for inner ceramic surface conditioning. Lasers were successfully applied in the present case report as coadjutant in the treatment. This coadjutant technology can be a potential tool to assist treatment to reach the final success. Karen Müller Ramalho, Patrícia Moreira de Freitas, Ana Cecília Correa-Aranha, Marina Stella Bello-Silva, Roberta Marques da Graça Lopes, and Carlos de Paula Eduardo Copyright © 2014 Karen Müller Ramalho et al. All rights reserved. Biological Effects of Spirulina (Arthrospira) Biopolymers and Biomass in the Development of Nanostructured Scaffolds Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:34:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/762705/ Spirulina is produced from pure cultures of the photosynthetic prokaryotic cyanobacteria Arthrospira. For many years research centers throughout the world have studied its application in various scientific fields, especially in foods and medicine. The biomass produced from Spirulina cultivation contains a variety of biocompounds, including biopeptides, biopolymers, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, minerals, oligoelements, and sterols. Some of these compounds are bioactive and have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal properties. These compounds can be used in tissue engineering, the interdisciplinary field that combines techniques from cell science, engineering, and materials science and which has grown in importance over the past few decades. Spirulina biomass can be used to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), biopolymers that can substitute synthetic polymers in the construction of engineered extracellular matrices (scaffolds) for use in tissue cultures or bioactive molecule construction. This review describes the development of nanostructured scaffolds based on biopolymers extracted from microalgae and biomass from Spirulina production. These scaffolds have the potential to encourage cell growth while reducing the risk of organ or tissue rejection. Michele Greque de Morais, Bruna da Silva Vaz, Etiele Greque de Morais, and Jorge Alberto Vieira Costa Copyright © 2014 Michele Greque de Morais et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Estragole on Leukocyte Behavior and Phagocytic Activity of Macrophages Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:33:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/784689/ Estragole, a chemical constituent of the essential oils of many aromatic plants, is used as flavoring in beverage and food industries. In vivo and in vitro experimental assays have shown that EST has sedative, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anesthetic activity. In this work, we evaluate the effect of EST on leukocyte behavior and phagocytic activity of macrophages. In the peritonitis model, EST (500 and 750 mg/kg) decreased the infiltration of peritoneal exudate leukocytes. In vitro chemotaxis assay showed that EST (3, 10, 30, and 60 μg/mL) inhibited neutrophil migration toward fMLP. In the in vivo microcirculation assay, EST at doses of 250, 500, and 750 mg/kg significantly reduced the number of rolling and adherent leukocytes and at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg decreased number of leukocyte migrated to perivascular tissue. The results showed that EST (3, 10, and 30 μg/mL) was able to stimulate the macrophages phagocytosis but only at concentration of 10 μg/mL promoted an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production. In conclusion, this study showed that EST had potential anti-inflammatory effects, likely by inhibiting leukocyte migration and by stimulating macrophages phagocytosis. Francielli Maria de Souza Silva-Comar, Luiz Alexandre Marques Wiirzler, Saulo Euclides Silva-Filho, Raquel Kummer, Raissa Bocchi Pedroso, Ricardo Alexandre Spironello, Expedito Leite Silva, Ciomar Aparecida Bersani-Amado, and Roberto Kenji Nakamura Cuman Copyright © 2014 Francielli Maria de Souza Silva-Comar et al. All rights reserved. Presence and Characterisation of Anaemia in Diabetic Foot Ulceration Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:32:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/anemia/2014/104214/ Introduction. Diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) is the commonest cause of severe limb ischaemia in the western world. In diabetes mellitus, anaemia is frequently unrecognized, yet studies have shown that it is twice as common in diabetics compared with nondiabetics. We aimed to assess the incidence of anaemia and further classify the iron deficiency seen in a high-risk DFU patient group. Methods. An observational study was undertaken in a multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinic setting. All patients with DFU attending over a four-month period were included. Anaemia was defined as haemoglobin (Hb) levels <12 g/dL. Iron deficiency was classified according to definitions of AID (absolute iron deficiency) and FID (functional iron deficiency). Results. 27 patients had DFU; 14 (51.9%) were anaemic; two (7.41%) had severe anaemia (Hb < 10 g/dL). No patient had B12 or Folate deficiency. In patients with anaemia, there was significant spread of indices. Only one patient had “textbook” absolute iron deficiency (AID) defined as low Hb, MCV, MCH, and ferritin. Functional iron deficiency (FID) was seen in a further seven patients (25.5%). Conclusion. Anaemia and iron deficiency are a common problem in patients with DFU. With current clinical markers, it is incredibly difficult to determine causal relationships and further in-depth scientific study is required. J. A. Wright, M. J. Oddy, and T. Richards Copyright © 2014 J. A. Wright et al. All rights reserved. The Convergence of Geometric Mesh Cubic Spline Finite Difference Scheme for Nonlinear Higher Order Two-Point Boundary Value Problems Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:30:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijcm/2014/527924/ An efficient algorithm for the numerical solution of higher (even) orders two-point nonlinear boundary value problems has been developed. The method is third order accurate and applicable to both singular and nonsingular cases. We have used cubic spline polynomial basis and geometric mesh finite difference technique for the generation of this new scheme. The irreducibility and monotone property of the iteration matrix have been established and the convergence analysis of the proposed method has been discussed. Some numerical experiments have been carried out to demonstrate the computational efficiency in terms of convergence order, maximum absolute errors, and root mean square errors. The numerical results justify the reliability and efficiency of the method in terms of both order and accuracy. Navnit Jha, R. K. Mohanty, and Vinod Chauhan Copyright © 2014 Navnit Jha et al. All rights reserved. The Danish Symptom Cohort: Questionnaire and Feasibility in the Nationwide Study on Symptom Experience and Healthcare-Seeking among 100 000 Individuals Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:30:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijfm/2014/187280/ Introduction. In order to develop strategies to prevent delay in diagnosis, it is important to gain knowledge of symptoms and healthcare-seeking processes in the population. This paper describes a combined survey and register-based study with (1) focus on development of a questionnaire concerning experience of symptoms and subsequent consequences and (2) feasibility of the study. Methods. The study is a nationwide cohort study of 100 000 individuals randomly selected from the Danish general population. A comprehensive questionnaire concerning experience of symptoms and subsequent consequences was developed. The methodological framework for the development included defining the domains to be measured, identification of previous items, scales and questionnaires in the literature, and pilot and field testing. Results. A total of five domains and 16 subdomains were defined covering the area of symptom experience, symptom characteristics, reaction in response to symptom experience, external factors, and personality characteristics with potential influence on the symptom experience. In total, 49 706 questionnaires were completed, yielding a response rate of 52.2%. Conclusion. We developed a comprehensive questionnaire used in a large combined survey and register-based study concerning experience of symptoms and subsequent consequences of symptom experiences. We succeeded in conducting a large survey providing the groundwork for The Danish Symptom Cohort. Sanne Rasmussen, Jens Søndergaard, Pia Veldt Larsen, Kirubakaran Balasubramaniam, Sandra Elnegaard, Rikke Pilsgaard Svendsen, Rikke Sand Andersen, Anette Fischer Pedersen, Peter Vedsted, and Dorte Ejg Jarbøl Copyright © 2014 Sanne Rasmussen et al. All rights reserved. Solvability for a Coupled System of Fractional Integrodifferential Equations with -Point Boundary Conditions on the Half-Line Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:29:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/297314/ The aim of this paper is to study the solvability for a coupled system of fractional integrodifferential equations with multipoint fractional boundary value problems on the half-line. An example is given to demonstrate the validity of our assumptions. Payam Nasertayoob, S. Mansour Vaezpour, and Dumitru Baleanu Copyright © 2014 Payam Nasertayoob et al. All rights reserved. Quantized Ultracold Neutrons in Rough Waveguides: GRANIT Experiments and Beyond Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:27:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ahep/2014/185414/ We apply our general theory of transport in systems with random rough boundaries to gravitationally quantized ultracold neutrons in rough waveguides as in GRANIT experiments (ILL, Grenoble). We consider waveguides with roughness in both two and one dimensions (2D and 1D). In the biased diffusion approximation the depletion times for the gravitational quantum states can be easily expressed via each other irrespective of the system parameters. The calculation of the exit neutron count reduces to evaluation of a single constant which contains a complicated integral of the correlation function of surface roughness. In the case of 1D roughness (random grating) this constant is calculated analytically for common types of the correlation functions. The results obey simple scaling relations which are slightly different in 1D and 2D. We predict the exit neutron count for the new GRANIT cell. M. Escobar and A. E. Meyerovich Copyright © 2014 M. Escobar and A. E. Meyerovich. All rights reserved. An Evaluation of Electroacupuncture at the Weizhong Acupoint (BL-40) as a Means of Relieving Pain Induced by Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:24:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/592319/ Background. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is the preferred option for urolithiasis treatment. However, intensities of pain may be induced and the sedative anesthetic or analgesics were usually needed. The aim of this study was to develop an improved acupuncture-assisted anesthesia approach in pain relief. Methods. We conducted a single-blind, randomized controlled study in China Medical University Hospital. Patients treated by ESWL due to upper urolithiasis were randomly divided into control group, sham-EA group, and 100 Hz EA group. The high frequency electroacupuncture (EA) was applied at the Weizhong acupoint (100 Hz EA group) for 20 minutes prior to the ESWL. In the sham-EA group, the same procedures were performed as those of 100 Hz EA group but no electric current was given to stimulate the acupoints. In the control group, no action was taken before operation. The information including the numbers and dosage of analgesic requirements, pain score, vital signs, and the satisfaction of procedure was collected. Results. A total of 74 subjects were recruited and we found that the interval to the first request analgesic, the number/total dosage of additional analgesic, recovery time from anesthesia, and the satisfaction were all better in both the 100 Hz EA and the sham-EA group. The 100 Hz EA also showed better relief of painful sensations by delaying the onset of pain. Conclusions. The 100 Hz EA and the sham-EA can effectively relieve pain due to ESWL as well as reducing the dosage of opium analgesic used. Wei-Ta Chen, Fang-Chia Chang, Yi-Hung Chen, and Jaung-Geng Lin Copyright © 2014 Wei-Ta Chen et al. All rights reserved. Sharp Bounds for Neuman Means by Harmonic, Arithmetic, and Contraharmonic Means Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:24:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/914242/ We give several sharp bounds for the Neuman means and ( and ) in terms of harmonic mean H (contraharmonic mean C) or the geometric convex combination of arithmetic mean A and harmonic mean H (contraharmonic mean C and arithmetic mean A) and present a new chain of inequalities for certain bivariate means. Zhi-Jun Guo, Yu-Ming Chu, Ying-Qing Song, and Xiao-Jing Tao Copyright © 2014 Zhi-Jun Guo et al. All rights reserved. Distributed Model Predictive Control over Multiple Groups of Vehicles in Highway Intelligent Space for Large Scale System Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:23:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/809124/ The paper presents the three time warning distances for solving the large scale system of multiple groups of vehicles safety driving characteristics towards highway tunnel environment based on distributed model prediction control approach. Generally speaking, the system includes two parts. First, multiple vehicles are divided into multiple groups. Meanwhile, the distributed model predictive control approach is proposed to calculate the information framework of each group. Each group of optimization performance considers the local optimization and the neighboring subgroup of optimization characteristics, which could ensure the global optimization performance. Second, the three time warning distances are studied based on the basic principles used for highway intelligent space (HIS) and the information framework concept is proposed according to the multiple groups of vehicles. The math model is built to avoid the chain avoidance of vehicles. The results demonstrate that the proposed highway intelligent space method could effectively ensure driving safety of multiple groups of vehicles under the environment of fog, rain, or snow. Tang Xiaofeng, Gao Feng, Xu Guoyan, Ding Nenggen, Cai Yao, and Liu Jian Xing Copyright © 2014 Tang Xiaofeng et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Quantization for Distributed Estimation in Energy-Harvesting Wireless Sensor Networks: A Game-Theoretic Approach Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:21:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2014/217918/ The problem of distributed estimation in energy-harvesting wireless sensor networks (EH-WSNs) is studied. In general, the energy state of an energy-harvesting sensor varies dramatically. Existing efforts mainly concentrate on the problem of distributed estimation for battery-powered WSNs, ignoring the crucial issue of energy harvesting. Therefore, the unpredictable energy harvesting, the energy storage device, and energy consumption are modeled in a unified way to jointly address the energy harvesting and distributed estimation problem. In this paper, combining with the classical adaptive distributed estimation scheme, the problem of parameter estimation in EH-WSNs is formulated as a game of complete and perfect information. Each player decides its strategy according to the others’ energy states and actions. The subgame perfect equilibrium (SPE) is derived by backward induction. Simulation results show that the proposed SPE makes full use of the harvested energy and improves the estimation performance. Hua Liu, Guiyun Liu, Yonggui Liu, Lei Mo, and Hongbin Chen Copyright © 2014 Hua Liu et al. All rights reserved. Unsteady Flow of Reactive Viscous, Heat Generating/Absorbing Fluid with Soret and Variable Thermal Conductivity Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:21:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijce/2014/291857/ This study investigates the unsteady natural convection and mass transfer flow of viscous reactive, heat generating/absorbing fluid in a vertical channel formed by two infinite parallel porous plates having temperature dependent thermal conductivity. The motion of the fluid is induced due to natural convection caused by the reactive property as well as the heat generating/absorbing nature of the fluid. The solutions for unsteady state temperature, concentration, and velocity fields are obtained using semi-implicit finite difference schemes. Perturbation techniques are used to get steady state expressions of velocity, concentration, temperature, skin friction, Nusselt number, and Sherwood number. The effects of various flow parameters such as suction/injection (), heat source/sinks (S), Soret number (Sr), variable thermal conductivity , Frank-Kamenetskii parameter , Prandtl number (Pr), and nondimensional time on the dynamics are analyzed. The skin friction, heat transfer coefficients, and Sherwood number are graphically presented for a range of values of the said parameters. I. J. Uwanta and M. M. Hamza Copyright © 2014 I. J. Uwanta and M. M. Hamza. All rights reserved. A Rational Threshold Signature Model and Protocol Based on Different Permissions Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:20:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/176085/ This paper develops a novel model and protocol used in some specific scenarios, in which the participants of multiple groups with different permissions can finish the signature together. We apply the secret sharing scheme based on difference equation to the private key distribution phase and secret reconstruction phrase of our threshold signature scheme. In addition, our scheme can achieve the signature success because of the punishment strategy of the repeated rational secret sharing. Besides, the bit commitment and verification method used to detect players’ cheating behavior acts as a contributing factor to prevent the internal fraud. Using bit commitments, verifiable parameters, and time sequences, this paper constructs a dynamic game model, which has the features of threshold signature management with different permissions, cheat proof, and forward security. Bojun Wang, Cheng Cai, and Quan Zhou Copyright © 2014 Bojun Wang et al. All rights reserved. The Emerging Use of In Vivo Optical Imaging in the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:01:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/401306/ The detection and subsequent quantification of photons emitted from living tissues, using highly sensitive charged-couple device (CCD) cameras, have enabled investigators to noninvasively examine the intricate dynamics of molecular reactions in wide assortment of experimental animals under basal and pathophysiological conditions. Nevertheless, extrapolation of this in vivo optical imaging technology to the study of the mammalian brain and related neurodegenerative conditions is still in its infancy. In this review, we introduce the reader to the emerging use of in vivo optical imaging in the study of neurodegenerative diseases. We highlight the current instrumentation that is available and reporter molecules (fluorescent and bioluminescent) that are commonly used. Moreover, we examine how in vivo optical imaging using transgenic reporter mice has provided new insights into Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Prion disease, and neuronal damage arising from excitotoxicity and inflammation. Furthermore, we also touch upon studies that have utilized these technologies for the development of therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative conditions that afflict humans. Aileen P. Patterson, Stephanie A. Booth, and Reuben Saba Copyright © 2014 Aileen P. Patterson et al. All rights reserved. A New Approach to Entropy and Similarity Measure of Vague Soft Sets Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:54:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/610125/ We focus our discussion on the uncertainty measures of vague soft sets. We propose axiomatic definitions of similarity measure and entropy for vague soft sets. Furthermore, we present a new category of similarity measures and entropies for vague soft sets. The basic properties of these measures are discussed and the relationships among these measures are analyzed. Dan Hu, Zhiyong Hong, and Yong Wang Copyright © 2014 Dan Hu et al. All rights reserved. Coordinating a Supply Chain with a Loss-Averse Retailer and Effort Dependent Demand Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:41:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/231041/ This study investigates the channel coordination issue of a supply chain with a risk-neutral manufacturer and a loss-averse retailer facing stochastic demand that is sensitive to sales effort. Under the loss-averse newsvendor setting, a distribution-free gain/loss-sharing-and-buyback (GLB) contract has been shown to be able to coordinate the supply chain. However, we find that a GLB contract remains ineffective in managing the supply chain when retailer sales efforts influence the demand. To effectively coordinate the channel, we propose to combine a GLB contract with sales rebate and penalty (SRP) contract. In addition, we discover a special class of gain/loss contracts that can coordinate the supply chain and arbitrarily allocate the expected supply chain profit between the manufacturer and the retailer. We then analyze the effect of loss aversion on the retailer’s decision-making behavior and supply chain performance. Finally, we perform a numerical study to illustrate the findings and gain additional insights. Liying Li and Yong Wang Copyright © 2014 Liying Li and Yong Wang. All rights reserved. A Differential Evolution with Two Mutation Strategies and a Selection Based on an Improved Constraint-Handling Technique for Bilevel Programming Problems Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:39:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/820747/ Two mutation operators are used in the differential evolution algorithm to improve the diversity of population. An improved constraint-handling technique based on a comparison mechanism is presented, and then it is combined with the selection operator in the differential evolution algorithm to fulfill constraint handling and selection simultaneously. A differential evolution with two mutation strategies and a selection based on this improved constraint-handling technique is developed to solve bilevel programming problems. The simulation results on some linear and nonlinear bilevel programming problems show the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithm. Hong Li and Li Zhang Copyright © 2014 Hong Li and Li Zhang. All rights reserved. Design Optimization of Composite Elliptical Deep-Submersible Pressure Hull for Minimizing the Buoyancy Factor Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:38:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ame/2014/987903/ The design of deep submersible pressure hull’s structural is one of the core technologies of submersible development of human history. Submersible pressure hulls with fiber-reinforced multilayer constructions have been developed in the recent years as substitutes for classical metallic ring-stiffened pressure hulls; strength and stability are its top priority. This paper investigates the optimum design of a composite elliptical deep-submerged pressure hull under hydrostatic pressure to minimize the buoyancy factor of the submersible pressure hull under constraints on the failure criteria and the buckling strength of the hulls to reach the maximum operating depth. The thickness and the fiber orientation angles in each layer, the radii of the ellipse, and stringers dimensions were taken as design variables and determined in the design process. The optimization procedures are performed using commercial finite element analysis software ANSYS. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis is performed to study the influence of the design variables on the structural optimum design. Results of this study provide a valuable reference for designers of underwater vehicles. Elsayed Fathallah, Hui Qi, Lili Tong, and Mahmoud Helal Copyright © 2014 Elsayed Fathallah et al. All rights reserved. Neurological Disorders Related Neuronal Network Impairment: Function and Mechanism Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:37:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2014/945078/ Sheng-tian Li, Yun Wang, and Masayuki Matsushita Copyright © 2014 Sheng-tian Li et al. All rights reserved. Neurophysiological Tools to Investigate Consumer’s Gender Differences during the Observation of TV Commercials Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:35:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2014/912981/ Neuromarketing is a multidisciplinary field of research whose aim is to investigate the consumers’ reaction to advertisements from a neuroscientific perspective. In particular, the neuroscience field is thought to be able to reveal information about consumer preferences which are unobtainable through conventional methods, including submitting questionnaires to large samples of consumers or performing psychological personal or group interviews. In this scenario, we performed an experiment in order to investigate cognitive and emotional changes of cerebral activity evaluated by neurophysiologic indices during the observation of TV commercials. In particular, we recorded the electroencephalographic (EEG), galvanic skin response (GSR), and heart rate (HR) in a group of 28 healthy subjects during the observation of a series of TV advertisements that have been grouped by commercial categories. Comparisons of cerebral indices have been performed to highlight gender differences between commercial categories and scenes of interest of two specific commercials. Findings show how EEG methodologies, along with the measurements of autonomic variables, could be used to obtain hidden information to marketers not obtainable otherwise. Most importantly, it was suggested how these tools could help to analyse the perception of TV advertisements and differentiate their production according to the consumer’s gender. Giovanni Vecchiato, Anton Giulio Maglione, Patrizia Cherubino, Barbara Wasikowska, Agata Wawrzyniak, Anna Latuszynska, Malgorzata Latuszynska, Kesra Nermend, Ilenia Graziani, Maria Rita Leucci, Arianna Trettel, and Fabio Babiloni Copyright © 2014 Giovanni Vecchiato et al. All rights reserved. Role of Intravitreal Antivascular Endothelial Growth Factor Injections for Choroidal Neovascularization due to Choroidal Osteoma Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:33:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2014/210458/ We treated 26 eyes of 25 young patients having a mean age of 30 years with intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor for choroidal new vessel (CNV) formation overlying choroidal osteoma over a mean follow-up of 26 months. Mean number of injections was 2.4 at 6 months, 3.2 at 12 months, and 5.5 at 24 months. CNV was subfoveal in 14 eyes, juxtafoveal in 5, extrafoveal in 5, and peripapillary in 2. By paired comparison, mean decrease from baseline was 119.7 microns at 6 months (; ), 105.3 microns at 1 year (; ), and 157.6 microns at 2 years (; ). BCVA improved by 3.3 lines at 6 months after therapy (; ), 2.8 lines (; ) at 1 year, and 3.1 lines (; ) at 2 years. We conclude that intravitreal anti-VEGF injections improve vision in majority of eyes with CNV from choroidal osteoma. Ahmad M. Mansour, J. Fernando Arevalo, Eman Al Kahtani, Hernando Zegarra, Emad Abboud, Rajiv Anand, Hamid Ahmadieh, Robert A. Sisk, Salman Mirza, Samuray Tuncer, Amparo Navea Tejerina, Jorge Mataix, Francisco J. Ascaso, Jose S. Pulido, Rainer Guthoff, Winfried Goebel, Young Jung Roh, Alay S. Banker, Ronald C. Gentile, Isabel Alonso Martinez, Rodney Morris, Neeraj Panday, Park Jung Min, Emilie Mercé, Timothy Y. Y. Lai, Vicky Massoud, and Nicola G. Ghazi Copyright © 2014 Ahmad M. Mansour et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Spectral Characterization, and Biological Evaluation of Transition Metal Complexes of Bidentate N, O Donor Schiff Bases Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:28:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bca/2014/812924/ New series of three bidentate N, O donor type Schiff bases (L1)–(L3) were prepared by using ethylene-1,2-diamine with 5-methyl furfural, 2-anisaldehyde, and 2-hydroxybenzaldehyde in an equimolar ratio. These ligands were further complexed with Co(II), Cu(II), Ni(II), and Zn(II) metals to produce their new metal complexes having an octahedral geometry. These compounds were characterized on the basis of their physical, spectral, and analytical data. Elemental analysis and spectral data of the uncomplexed ligands and their metal(II) complexes were found to be in good agreement with their structures, indicating high purity of all the compounds. All ligands and their metal complexes were screened for antimicrobial activity. The results of antimicrobial activity indicated that metal complexes have significantly higher activity than corresponding ligands. This higher activity might be due to chelation process which reduces the polarity of metal ion by coordinating with ligands. Sajjad Hussain Sumrra, Muhammad Ibrahim, Sabahat Ambreen, Muhammad Imran, Muhammad Danish, and Fouzia Sultana Rehmani Copyright © 2014 Sajjad Hussain Sumrra et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Regulation of Bone Marrow Metastasis in Prostate and Breast Cancer Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:27:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmr/2014/405920/ Metastasis is a multistep process, which refers to the ability to leave a primary tumor through circulation toward the distant tissue and form a secondary tumor. Bone is a common site of metastasis, in which osteolytic and osteoblastic metastasis are observed. Signaling pathways, chemokines, growth factors, adhesion molecules, and cellular interactions as well as miRNAs have been known to play an important role in the development of bone metastasis. These factors provide an appropriate environment (soil) for growth and survival of metastatic tumor cells (seed) in bone marrow microenvironment. Recognition of these factors and determination of their individual roles in the development of metastasis and disruption of cellular interactions can provide important therapeutic targets for treatment of these patients, which can also be used as prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers. Thus, in this paper, we have attempted to highlight the molecular regulation of bone marrow metastasis in prostate and breast cancers. Fakher Rahim, Saeideh Hajizamani, Esmaeil Mortaz, Ahmad Ahmadzadeh, Mohammad Shahjahani, Saeid Shahrabi, and Najmaldin Saki Copyright © 2014 Fakher Rahim et al. All rights reserved. Sinc Collocation Method for Solving the Benjamin-Ono Equation Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:26:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jcmp/2014/392962/ We propose a simple, though powerful, technique for numerical solutions of the Benjamin-Ono equation. This approach is based on a global collocation method using Sinc basis functions. Some properties of the Sinc collocation method required for our subsequent development are given and utilized to reduce the computation of the Benjamin-Ono equation to a system of ordinary differential equations. The propagation of one soliton and the interaction of two solitons are used to validate our numerical method. The method is easy to implement and yields accurate results. Edson Pindza and Eben Maré Copyright © 2014 Edson Pindza and Eben Maré. All rights reserved. In-Pile 4He Source for UCN Production at the ESS Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:26:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ahep/2014/241639/ ESS will be a premier neutron source facility. Unprecedented neutron beam intensities are ensured by spallation reactions of a 5 MW, 2.0 GeV proton beam impinging on a tungsten target equipped with advanced moderators. The work presented here aims at investigating possibilities for installing an ultra cold neutron (UCN) source at the ESS. One consequence of using the recently proposed flat moderators is that they take up less space than the moderators originally foreseen and thus leave more freedom to design a UCN source, close to the spallation hotspot. One of the options studied is to place a large 4He UCN source in a through-going tube which penetrates the shielding below the target. First calculations of neutron flux available for UCN production are given, along with heat-load estimates. It is estimated that the flux can give rise to a UCN production at a rate of up to  UCN/s. A production in this range potentially allows for a number of UCN experiments to be carried out at unprecedented precision, including, for example, quantum gravitational spectroscopy with UCNs which rely on high phase-space density. Esben Klinkby, Konstantin Batkov, Ferenc Mezei, Eric Pitcher, Troels Schönfeldt, Alan Takibayev, and Luca Zanini Copyright © 2014 Esben Klinkby et al. All rights reserved. Pharmacological Activities of Sijunzi Decoction Which Are Related to Its Antioxidant Properties Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:25:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2014/278318/ This paper introduces the antioxidant constituents and pharmacological effects of Sijunzi decoction by looking up literatures in recent years. Sijunzi decoction is composed of Ginseng, Atractylodes, Tuckahoe, and Glycyrrhiza. The antioxidant ingredients of Sijunzi decoction include paeonol, dauricine, naringin, and isoliquiritigenin. The study has proved that it possesses wide pharmacological effects of anticardiovascular diseases, antinervous system disease, antidiabetes, antimetabolic syndrome, and antitumor. Research on the antioxidant components of Sijunzi decoction and their targets is a promising study area in the future. Lei Ye, Jianwei Gong, Yonghua Wang, and Xiling Sun Copyright © 2014 Lei Ye et al. All rights reserved. On Harmonic Functions Defined by Differential Operator with Respect to -Symmetric Points Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:25:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmms/2014/628972/ We introduce new classes and of harmonic univalent functions with respect to -symmetric points defined by differential operator. We determine a sufficient coefficient condition, representation theorem, and distortion theorem. Afaf A. Ali Abubaker and Maslina Darus Copyright © 2014 Afaf A. Ali Abubaker and Maslina Darus. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effect of Curcumin-Cu(II) and Curcumin-Zn(II) Complexes on Amyloid-Beta Peptide Fibrillation Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:21:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bca/2014/325873/ Mononuclear complexes of Curcumin with Cu(II) and Zn(II) have been synthesized and, characterized and their effects on the fibrillization and aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide have been studied. FTIR spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) observations demonstrate that the complexes can inhibit the transition from less structured oligomers to β-sheet rich protofibrils which act as seeding factors for further fibrillization. The metal complexes also impart more improved inhibitory effects than Curcumin on peptide fibrillization. Rona Banerjee Copyright © 2014 Rona Banerjee. All rights reserved. Differences in Plantar Flexor Fascicle Length and Pennation Angle between Healthy and Poststroke Individuals and Implications for Poststroke Plantar Flexor Force Contributions Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:16:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/srt/2014/919486/ Poststroke plantar flexor muscle weakness has been attributed to muscle atrophy and impaired activation, which cannot collectively explain the limitations in force-generating capability of the entire muscle group. It is of interest whether changes in poststroke plantar flexor muscle fascicle length and pennation angle influence the individual force-generating capability and whether plantar flexor weakness is due to uniform changes in individual muscle force contributions. Fascicle lengths and pennation angles for the soleus, medial, and lateral gastrocnemius were measured using ultrasound and compared between ten hemiparetic poststroke subjects and ten healthy controls. Physiological cross-sectional areas and force contributions to poststroke plantar flexor torque were estimated for each muscle. No statistical differences were observed for any muscle fascicle lengths or for the lateral gastrocnemius and soleus pennation angles between paretic, nonparetic, and healthy limbs. There was a significant decrease () in the paretic medial gastrocnemius pennation angle compared to both nonparetic and healthy limbs. Physiological cross-sectional areas and force contributions were smaller on the paretic side. Additionally, bilateral muscle contributions to plantar flexor torque remained the same. While the architecture of each individual plantar flexor muscle is affected differently after stroke, the relative contribution of each muscle remains the same. John W. Ramsay, Thomas S. Buchanan, and Jill S. Higginson Copyright © 2014 John W. Ramsay et al. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Major Histocompatibility Complex I Mediates Immunological Tolerance of the Trophoblast during Pregnancy and May Mediate Rejection during Parturition” Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:16:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/821530/ Anna Rapacz-Leonard, Małgorzata Dąbrowska, and Tomasz Janowski Copyright © 2014 Anna Rapacz-Leonard et al. All rights reserved. Accurate Evaluation of Polynomials in Legendre Basis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:15:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/742538/ This paper presents a compensated algorithm for accurate evaluation of a polynomial in Legendre basis. Since the coefficients of the evaluated polynomial are fractions, we propose to store these coefficients in two floating point numbers, such as double-double format, to reduce the effect of the coefficients’ perturbation. The proposed algorithm is obtained by applying error-free transformation to improve the Clenshaw algorithm. It can yield a full working precision accuracy for the ill-conditioned polynomial evaluation. Forward error analysis and numerical experiments illustrate the accuracy and efficiency of the algorithm. Peibing Du, Hao Jiang, and Lizhi Cheng Copyright © 2014 Peibing Du et al. All rights reserved. Effect of GH/IGF-1 on Bone Metabolism and Osteoporsosis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:15:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2014/235060/ Background. Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) are fundamental in skeletal growth during puberty and bone health throughout life. GH increases tissue formation by acting directly and indirectly on target cells; IGF-1 is a critical mediator of bone growth. Clinical studies reporting the use of GH and IGF-1 in osteoporosis and fracture healing are outlined. Methods. A Pubmed search revealed 39 clinical studies reporting the effects of GH and IGF-1 administration on bone metabolism in osteopenic and osteoporotic human subjects and on bone healing in operated patients with normal GH secretion. Eighteen clinical studies considered the effect with GH treatment, fourteen studies reported the clinical effects with IGF-1 administration, and seven related to the GH/IGF-1 effect on bone healing. Results. Both GH and IGF-1 administration significantly increased bone resorption and bone formation in the most studies. GH/IGF-1 administration in patients with hip or tibial fractures resulted in increased bone healing, rapid clinical improvements. Some conflicting results were evidenced. Conclusions. GH and IGF-1 therapy has a significant anabolic effect. GH administration for the treatment of osteoporosis and bone fractures may greatly improve clinical outcome. GH interacts with sex steroids in the anabolic process. GH resistance process is considered. Vittorio Locatelli and Vittorio E. Bianchi Copyright © 2014 Vittorio Locatelli and Vittorio E. Bianchi. All rights reserved. Subanesthetic Isoflurane Reduces Zymosan-Induced Inflammation in Murine Kupffer Cells by Inhibiting ROS-Activated p38 MAPK/NF-κB Signaling Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:28:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2014/851692/ Volatile anesthetic isoflurane (ISO) has immunomodulatory effects. The fungal component zymosan (ZY) induces inflammation through toll-like receptor 2 or dectin-1 signaling. We investigated the molecular actions of subanesthetic (0.7%) ISO against ZY-induced inflammatory activation in murine Kupffer cells (KCs), which are known as the resident macrophages within the liver. We observed that ISO reduced ZY-induced cyclooxygenase 2 upregulation and prostaglandin E2 release, as determined by western blot and radioimmunoassay, respectively. ISO also reduced the production of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, IL-6, high-mobility group box-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α, macrophage inflammatory protein-2, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 as assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. ISO blocked the ZY-induced nuclear translocation and DNA-binding activity of nuclear factor- (NF)-κB p65. Moreover, ISO attenuated ZY-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation partly by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS); the interregulation that ROS activated p38 MAPK followed by NF-κB activation was crucial for the ZY-induced inflammatory responses in KCs. An in vivo study by peritoneal injection of ZY into BALB/C mice confirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of 0.7% ISO against ZY in KCs. These results suggest that ISO ameliorates ZY-induced inflammatory responses in murine KCs by inhibiting the interconnected ROS/p38 MAPK/NF-κB signaling pathways. Hui Wang, Lei Wang, Nan-lin Li, Jun-tang Li, Feng Yu, Ya-li Zhao, Ling Wang, Jun Yi, Ling Wang, Jie-fang Bian, Jiang-hao Chen, Shi-fang Yuan, Ting Wang, Yong-gang Lv, Ning-ning Liu, Xiao-shan Zhu, Rui Ling, and Jun Yun Copyright © 2014 Hui Wang et al. All rights reserved. Magnetic Fe3O4/Ag Hybrid Nanoparticles as Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrate for Trace Analysis of Furazolidone in Fish Feeds Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:27:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2014/796575/ Nanoparticles (NPs) composed of ferromagnetic and noble metal materials show dual functions of magnetic activity and local surface plasmon response and have great potential as substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) in trace analysis. Easy-to-prepare superparamagnetic Fe3O4/Ag hybrid NPs were synthesized and optimized by adjusting the ratio of silver particles aggregated with APTMS-modified Fe3O4 NPs. The hybrid NPs were assembled under an external magnetic field before being used as substrate for SERS analysis. The SERS spectral features of furazolidone standard solution were clearly identified at concentrations as low as 40 ng mL−1, and furazolidone in fish feeds could be detected at 500 ng g−1. The results indicated that the Fe3O4/Ag hybrid NPs as SERS substrates had a great potential for detection of trace amount of furazolidone and other prohibited or restricted antibiotics in the animal and fish feeds. Wansong Yu, Yiqun Huang, Lu Pei, Yuxia Fan, Xiaohui Wang, and Keqiang Lai Copyright © 2014 Wansong Yu et al. All rights reserved. Differential Network Analyses of Alzheimer’s Disease Identify Early Events in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:26:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijad/2014/721453/ In late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple brain regions are not affected simultaneously. Comparing the gene expression of the affected regions to identify the differences in the biological processes perturbed can lead to greater insight into AD pathogenesis and early characteristics. We identified differentially expressed (DE) genes from single cell microarray data of four AD affected brain regions: entorhinal cortex (EC), hippocampus (HIP), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and middle temporal gyrus (MTG). We organized the DE genes in the four brain regions into region-specific gene coexpression networks. Differential neighborhood analyses in the coexpression networks were performed to identify genes with low topological overlap (TO) of their direct neighbors. The low TO genes were used to characterize the biological differences between two regions. Our analyses show that increased oxidative stress, along with alterations in lipid metabolism in neurons, may be some of the very early events occurring in AD pathology. Cellular defense mechanisms try to intervene but fail, finally resulting in AD pathology as the disease progresses. Furthermore, disease annotation of the low TO genes in two independent protein interaction networks has resulted in association between cancer, diabetes, renal diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Jing Xia, David M. Rocke, George Perry, and Monika Ray Copyright © 2014 Jing Xia et al. All rights reserved. Optimization of Fractional-N-PLL Frequency Synthesizer for Power Effective Design Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:26:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/vlsi/2014/406416/ We are going to design and simulate low power fractional-N phase-locked loop (FNPLL) frequency synthesizer for industrial application, which is based on VLSI. The design of FNPLL has been optimized using different VLSI techniques to acquire significant performance in terms of speed with relatively less power consumption. One of the major contributions in optimization is contributed by the loop filter as it limits the switching time between cycles. Sigma-delta modulator attenuates the noise generated by the loop filter. This paper presents the implementation details and simulation results of all the blocks of optimized design. Sahar Arshad, Muhammad Ismail, Usman Ahmad, Anees ul Husnain, and Qaiser Ijaz Copyright © 2014 Sahar Arshad et al. All rights reserved. A Proactive Approach of Robotic Framework for Making Eye Contact with Humans Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:26:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ahci/2014/694046/ Making eye contact is a most important prerequisite function of humans to initiate a conversation with others. However, it is not an easy task for a robot to make eye contact with a human if they are not facing each other initially or the human is intensely engaged his/her task. If the robot would like to start communication with a particular person, it should turn its gaze to that person and make eye contact with him/her. However, such a turning action alone is not enough to set up an eye contact phenomenon in all cases. Therefore, the robot should perform some stronger actions in some situations so that it can attract the target person before meeting his/her gaze. In this paper, we proposed a conceptual model of eye contact for social robots consisting of two phases: capturing attention and ensuring the attention capture. Evaluation experiments with human participants reveal the effectiveness of the proposed model in four viewing situations, namely, central field of view, near peripheral field of view, far peripheral field of view, and out of field of view. Mohammed Moshiul Hoque, Yoshinori Kobayashi, and Yoshinori Kuno Copyright © 2014 Mohammed Moshiul Hoque et al. All rights reserved. A Parallel Decoding Algorithm for Short Polar Codes Based on Error Checking and Correcting Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:25:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/895782/ We propose a parallel decoding algorithm based on error checking and correcting to improve the performance of the short polar codes. In order to enhance the error-correcting capacity of the decoding algorithm, we first derive the error-checking equations generated on the basis of the frozen nodes, and then we introduce the method to check the errors in the input nodes of the decoder by the solutions of these equations. In order to further correct those checked errors, we adopt the method of modifying the probability messages of the error nodes with constant values according to the maximization principle. Due to the existence of multiple solutions of the error-checking equations, we formulate a CRC-aided optimization problem of finding the optimal solution with three different target functions, so as to improve the accuracy of error checking. Besides, in order to increase the throughput of decoding, we use a parallel method based on the decoding tree to calculate probability messages of all the nodes in the decoder. Numerical results show that the proposed decoding algorithm achieves better performance than that of some existing decoding algorithms with the same code length. Yingxian Zhang, Xiaofei Pan, Kegang Pan, Zhan Ye, and Chao Gong Copyright © 2014 Yingxian Zhang et al. All rights reserved. A Communication Based Islanding Detection Method for Photovoltaic Distributed Generation Systems Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:25:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2014/272497/ PV based distributed generation (DG) systems must have some electrical connection standards while they connected to an electrical grid. One of these electrical conditions and the most important one is unplanned islanding condition. Islanding is a very dangerous condition because it could damage the PV system and related electrical systems and also working people have been at risk in islanding condition. In this application study, a new communication based islanding detection method was introduced for grid tied PV systems. A real time controller was developed with Labview for detecting islanding condition. Developed method is a hybrid method which uses the effective ways of communication based and passive methods. The results obtained from the proposed real time islanding detection method show that proposed method is reliable, robust, and independent from load and inverter. Nondetection zone (NDZ) is almost zero and islanding detection time is approximately 1-2 cycles indicated in experimental results so this time has a significant short response time according to IEEE 929-2000 standard. The proposed method is effective and presents a realistic solution to islanding so it could be implemented easily to grid tied PV systems and could be used in real system applications. Gökay Bayrak and Mehmet Cebeci Copyright © 2014 Gökay Bayrak and Mehmet Cebeci. All rights reserved. Analysis of Epileptic Seizures with Complex Network Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:25:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2014/283146/ Epilepsy is a disease of abnormal neural activities involving large area of brain networks. Until now the nature of functional brain network associated with epilepsy is still unclear. Recent researches indicate that the small world or scale-free attributes and the occurrence of highly clustered connection patterns could represent a general organizational principle in the human brain functional network. In this paper, we seek to find whether the small world or scale-free property of brain network is correlated with epilepsy seizure formation. A mass neural model was adopted to generate multiple channel EEG recordings based on regular, small world, random, and scale-free network models. Whether the connection patterns of cortical networks are directly associated with the epileptic seizures was investigated. The results showed that small world and scale-free cortical networks are highly correlated with the occurrence of epileptic seizures. In particular, the property of small world network is more significant during the epileptic seizures. Yan Ni, Yinghua Wang, Tao Yu, and Xiaoli Li Copyright © 2014 Yan Ni et al. All rights reserved. Displacement Prediction of Tunnel Surrounding Rock: A Comparison of Support Vector Machine and Artificial Neural Network Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:24:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/351496/ Displacement prediction of tunnel surrounding rock plays an important role in safety monitoring and quality control tunnel construction. In this paper, two methodologies, support vector machines (SVM) and artificial neural network (ANN), are introduced to predict tunnel surrounding rock displacement. Then the two modes are texted with the data of Fangtianchong tunnel, respectively. The comparative results show that solutions gained by SVM seem to be more robust with a smaller standard error compared to ANN. Generally, the comparison between artificial neural network (ANN) and SVM shows that SVM has a higher accuracy prediction than ANN. Results also show that SVM seems to be a powerful tool for tunnel surrounding rock displacement prediction. Qingdong Wu, Bo Yan, Chao Zhang, Lu Wang, Guobao Ning, and B. Yu Copyright © 2014 Qingdong Wu et al. All rights reserved. Mandibular Atrophy and Genial Spines Enlargement on Cone Beam Computed Tomography Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:23:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crid/2014/803572/ Purpose. The aim of this paper is to report a case in which the cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) was important for the confirmation of the presence of mandibular atrophy and genial spines enlargement. Case Description. A 76-year-old female patient was referred for the assessment due to the complaint of chronic trauma in the anterior region of the floor of the mouth, which had been present for 2 months. CBCT images showed severe resorption of alveolar ridge and genial spines enlargement (5.5 mm × 12 mm). Conclusion. Accurate imaging assessment with the aid of 3D reconstructions allows the elimination of image superimposition and, therefore, plays an important role in the depiction of anatomical and pathological conditions, such as genial spines enlargement. Marcelo Lupion Poleti, Christiano Oliveira-Santos, Luciana Maria Paes da Silva Ramos Fernandes, and Izabel Regina Fischer Rubira-Bullen Copyright © 2014 Marcelo Lupion Poleti et al. All rights reserved. Pinocembrin Protects Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells against Fibrillar Amyloid- β1−40 Injury by Suppressing the MAPK/NF- κ B Inflammatory Pathways Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:23:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/470393/ Cerebrovascular accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may contribute to disease progression through Aβ-induced microvascular endothelial pathogenesis. Pinocembrin has been shown to have therapeutic effects in AD models. These effects correlate with preservation of microvascular function, but the effect on endothelial cells under Aβ-damaged conditions is unclear. The present study focuses on the in vitro protective effect of pinocembrin on fibrillar Aβ1−40 (fAβ1−40) injured human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) and explores potential mechanisms. The results demonstrate that fAβ1−40-induced cytotoxicity in hBMECs can be rescued by pinocembrin treatment. Pinocembrin increases cell viability, reduces the release of LDH, and relieves nuclear condensation. The mechanisms of this reversal from Aβ may be associated with the inhibition of inflammatory response, involving inhibition of MAPK activation, downregulation of phosphor-IKK level, relief of IκBα degradation, blockage of NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation, and reduction of the release of proinflammatory cytokines. Pinocembrin does not show obvious effects on regulating the redox imbalance after exposure to fAβ1−40. Together, the suppression of MAPK and the NF-κB signaling pathways play a significant role in the anti-inflammation of pinocembrin in hBMECs subjected to fAβ1−40. This may serve as a therapeutic agent for BMEC protection in Alzheimer’s-related deficits. Rui Liu, Jin-ze Li, Jun-ke Song, Jia-lin Sun, Yong-jie Li, Si-bai Zhou, Tian-tai Zhang, and Guan-hua Du Copyright © 2014 Rui Liu et al. All rights reserved. Glycyrrhizin Attenuates Toll Like Receptor-2, -4 and Experimental Vasospasm in a Rat Model Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:23:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/740549/ Upregulated TLRs are observed in the serum of animals following experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. This study was to examine glycyrrhizin’s effect on proinflammatory cytokines and TLRs in SAH rats. Administration with glycyrrhizin was initiated 24 hr before and 1 hr later using osmotic minipump. Basilar arteries were harvested to examine TLRs mRNA and protein (rt-PCR and western blot) and CSF cytokines (rt-PCR). Morphologically, deformed endothelium, tortuous elastic lamina, and smooth muscle necrosis were observed in the SAH rats, but were absent in the glycyrrhizin pretreatment group. The TLR-3 protein level was not increased in SAH animals, compared with the controls, while that of TLR-2 and -4 in the SAH only and SAH plus vehicle groups was significantly elevated (). Pretreatment and treatment with glycyrrhizin reduced TLR-2 and -4 by % and %, respectively. Likewise, glycyrrhizin was able to reduce the IL-1β and MCP-1 mRNA levels. This study shows glycyrrhizin exerts anti-inflammatory effects on SAH induced vasospasm and attenuates the ultrashort time expression of TLRs, like TLR-2 and -4. It corresponds to SAH induced early brain injury. These findings offer credit to the antivasospastic effect of glycyrrhizin and its effect on SAH induced early brain injury. Chih-Zen Chang, Shu-Chuan Wu, and Aij-Lie Kwan Copyright © 2014 Chih-Zen Chang et al. All rights reserved. Improved Quantum Genetic Algorithm in Application of Scheduling Engineering Personnel Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:22:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/164961/ To verify the availability of the improved quantum genetic algorithm in solving the scheduling engineering personnel problem, the following work has been carried out: the characteristics of the scheduling engineering personnel problem are analyzed, the quantum encoding method is proposed, and an improved quantum genetic algorithm is applied to address the issue. Taking the low efficiency and the bad performance of the conventional quantum genetic algorithm into account, a universal improved quantum genetic algorithm is introduced to solve the scheduling engineering personnel problem. Finally, the examples are applied to verify the effectiveness and superiority of the improved quantum genetic algorithm and the rationality of the encoding method. Huaixiao Wang, Ling Li, Jianyong Liu, Yong Wang, and Chengqun Fu Copyright © 2014 Huaixiao Wang et al. All rights reserved. Solving Split Common Fixed-Point Problem of Firmly Quasi-Nonexpansive Mappings without Prior Knowledge of Operators Norms Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:18:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/389689/ Very recently, Moudafi introduced alternating CQ-algorithms and simultaneous iterative algorithms for the split common fixed-point problem concerned two bounded linear operators. However, to employ Moudafi’s algorithms, one needs to know a prior norm (or at least an estimate of the norm) of the bounded linear operators. To estimate the norm of an operator is very difficult, if it is not an impossible task. It is the purpose of this paper to introduce a viscosity iterative algorithm with a way of selecting the stepsizes such that the implementation of the algorithm does not need any prior information about the operator norms. We prove the strong convergence of the proposed algorithms for split common fixed-point problem governed by the firmly quasi-nonexpansive operators. As a consequence, we obtain strong convergence theorems for split feasibility problem and split common null point problems of maximal monotone operators. Our results improve and extend the corresponding results announced by many others. Jing Zhao and Hang Zhang Copyright © 2014 Jing Zhao and Hang Zhang. All rights reserved. The Numerical Investigation of Temperature and Velocity Distribution in the High-Bay Depot Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:17:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ame/2014/541726/ High-bay depot plays an important role in the storage industry. Due to large and high space of high-bay depot, it is difficult to make temperature distribution uniform, which will influence the storage time of raw materials. In this paper, the aim is to find the reasonable air supply and energy-saving method; a supply-air method of high-bay depot is investigated as an example. The results show the radius and spacing of the supply-air inlet have great influence on temperature distribution. The temperature nonuniformity coefficient of summer is smaller than that of winter. The investigated results can provide a theoretical reference for the high-bay depot design and economic operation. Xuehong Wu, Jianbiao Dai, Hao Meng, Yanli Lu, and Zhijuan Chang Copyright © 2014 Xuehong Wu et al. All rights reserved. A 7-Year-Old Extrauterine Pregnancy in a Cat Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:16:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crivem/2014/145064/ This paper describes a 7-year-old extrauterine pregnancy in a spayed cat. Three extrauterine fetuses were accidentally found in the abdomen of a 12-year-old domestic short hair cat that had ovariohysterectomy about 7 years before. The animal was under evaluation for a recent history of increased thirst, urination, and poor appetite. Biochemical analysis revealed high plasmatic levels of urea, creatinine, and phosphorus consistent with renal insufficiency. X-ray plates showed three calcified fetuses in the abdomen, apparently unrelated to the reported clinical signs. Despite intensive therapy, the cat died one day later. At necropsy, ovaries and uterus were not found but the presence of three well-developed, mummified, and mineralized fetuses loosely attached to the omentum was evident. Careful dissection of fetuses confirmed the diagnosis of extrauterine pregnancy. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a 7-year lasting ectopic pregnancy in an ovariohysterectomized cat. The absence of related clinical signs seems to confirm that such conditions are compatible with a normal healthy life. Agata Osenko and Walter Tarello Copyright © 2014 Agata Osenko and Walter Tarello. All rights reserved. Decreased Gastric Motility in Type II Diabetic Patients Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:15:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/894087/ Background. To differentiate gastric motility and sensation between type II diabetic patients and controls and explore different expressions of gastric motility peptides. Methods. Eleven type II diabetic patients and health volunteers of similar age and body mass index were invited. All underwent transabdominal ultrasound for gastric motility and visual analogue scales. Blood samples were taken for glucose and plasma peptides (ghrelin, motilin, and glucacon-like peptides-1) by ELISA method. Results. Gastric emptying was significantly slower in diabetic patients than controls (T50: 46.3 (28.0–52.3) min versus 20.8 (9.6–22.8) min, ) and less antral contractions in type II diabetic patients were observed . Fundus dimensions did not differ. There were a trend for less changes in gastrointestinal sensations in type II diabetic patients especially abdomen fullness, hunger, and abdominal discomfort. Although the serum peptides between the two groups were similar a trend for less serum GLP-1in type II diabetic patients was observed . Conclusion. Type II diabetic patients have delayed gastric emptying and less antral contractions than controls. The observation that there were lower serum GLP-1 in type II diabetic patients could offer a clue to suggest that delayed gastric emptying in diabetic patients is not mainly influenced by GLP-1. Yi-Chun Chiu, Ming-Chun Kuo, Christopher K. Rayner, Jung-Fu Chen, Keng-Liang Wu, Yeh-Pin Chou, Wei-Chen Tai, and Ming-Luen Hu Copyright © 2014 Yi-Chun Chiu et al. All rights reserved. Research on the Performance of Electric Vehicles in Peak Load Shifting Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:13:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/957872/ Electric vehicles (EVs) are developing remarkably fast these years which makes the technology of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) easier to implement. Peak load shifting (PLS) is an important part of V2G service. A model of EVs’ capacity in V2G service is proposed for the research on PLS in this paper. The capacity is valued in accordance with three types of situations. Based on the model, three different scenarios are suggested in order to evaluate the capacity with MATLAB. The evaluation results indicate that EVs can provide potential energy to participate in PLS. Then, the principle of PLS with EVs is researched through the analysis of the relationship between their power and capacity. The performance of EVs in PLS is also simulated. The comparison of two simulation results shows that EVs can fulfill the request of PLS without intensely lowering their capacity level. Qingshan Xu, Yujun Liu, Maosheng Ding, Pingliang Zeng, and Wei Pan Copyright © 2014 Qingshan Xu et al. All rights reserved. An Improved Path-Generating Regulator for Two-Wheeled Robots to Track the Circle/Arc Passage Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:12:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/254503/ The improved path-generating regulator (PGR) is proposed to path track the circle/arc passage for two-wheeled robots. The PGR, which is a control method for robots so as to orient its heading toward the tangential direction of one of the curves belonging to the family of path functions, is applied to navigation problem originally. Driving environments for robots are usually roads, streets, paths, passages, and ridges. These tracks can be seen as they consist of straight lines and arcs. In the case of small interval, arc can be regarded as straight line approximately; therefore we extended the PGR to drive the robot move along circle/arc passage based on the theory that PGR to track the straight passage. In addition, the adjustable look-ahead method is proposed to improve the robot trajectory convergence property to the target circle/arc. The effectiveness is proved through MATLAB simulations on both the comparisons with the PGR and the improved PGR with adjustable look-ahead method. The results of numerical simulations show that the adjustable look-ahead method has better convergence property and stronger capacity of resisting disturbance. Jun Dai, Naohiko Hanajima, Toshiharu Kazama, and Akihiko Takashima Copyright © 2014 Jun Dai et al. All rights reserved. Model of Wagons’ Placing-In and Taking-Out Problem in a Railway Station and Its Heuristic Algorithm Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:11:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/493809/ Placing-in and taking-out wagons timely can decrease wagons’ dwell time in railway stations, improve the efficiency of railway transportation, and reduce the cost of goods transportation. We took the locomotive running times between goods operation sites as weights, so the wagons’ placing-in and taking-out problem could be regarded as a single machine scheduling problem, , which could be transformed into the shortest circle problem in a Hamilton graph whose relaxation problem was an assignment problem. We used a Hungarian algorithm to calculate the optimal solution of the assignment problem. Then we applied a broken circle and connection method, whose computational complexity was , to find the available satisfactory order of wagons’ placing-in and taking-out. Complex problems, such as placing-in and transferring combined, taking-out and transferring combined, placing-in and taking-out combined, or placing-in, transferring, and taking-out combined, could also be resolved with the extended algorithm. A representative instance was given to illustrate the reliability and efficiency of our results. Chuijiang Guo and Dingyou Lei Copyright © 2014 Chuijiang Guo and Dingyou Lei. All rights reserved. Clinical Evaluation of Etched Enamel Discoloration following Immediate and Delayed Exposure to Colored Agents Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:09:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/416572/ Introduction. The aim was to evaluate etched enamel discoloration following immediate and delayed exposure to colored agents. Method & Material. 64 premolars were divided into four groups. Buccal surface of the teeth was divided into two halves and baseline color values were measured. One half was covered and the other half was etched and dried. In first and second groups, the patients did not eat any colored agents for the next 24 hours. Both halves were colorimetered after 48 hours and 1 month, respectively. In third and fourth groups, the process was similar, but the patients drank cola and avoid eating any other colored agents and the teeth were colorimetered after 48 hours and 1 month, respectively. Color change values of each half were calculated according to CIE lab system. Sign test was used to compare values of etched and unetched halves. was set as significant. Results. A significant difference was observed in groups III and IV regarding comparison of of the etched and control enamel (). Conclusion. Exposure of etched enamel to colored agents in the first 24 hours after etching can affect its color which remains at least for one month. Neda Eslami, Mohammad Basafa, Arezoo Jahanbin, Alireza Borouzi Niat, Soroush Basafa, and Elham Banihashemi Copyright © 2014 Neda Eslami et al. All rights reserved. Towards Understanding the Roles of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans in Alzheimer’s Disease Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:04:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/516028/ Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, characterized by progressive loss of memory and cognitive dysfunctions. A central pathological event of AD is accumulation and deposition of cytotoxic amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) in the brain parenchyma. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) and the side chains heparan sulfate (HS) are found associated with Aβ deposits in the brains of AD patients and transgenic animal models of AD. A growing body of evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies suggests functional roles of HSPG/HS in Aβ pathogenesis. Although the question of “how and why HSPG/HS is codeposited with Aβ?” still remains, it is within reach to understand the mechanisms of the events. Recent progress by immunohistochemical examination with advanced antibodies shed light on molecular structures of HS codeposited with Aβ. Several recent reports have provided important new insights into the roles of HSPG in Aβ pathogenesis. Particularly, experiments on mouse models revealed indispensible functions of HSPG in modulating Aβ-associated neuroinflammation and clearance of Aβ from the brain. Application of molecules to interfere with the interaction between HS and Aβ peptides has demonstrated beneficial effects on AD mouse models. Elucidating the functions of HSPG/HS in Aβ deposition and toxicity is leading to further understanding of the complex pathology of AD. The progress is encouraging development of new treatments for AD by targeting HS-Aβ interactions. Gan-lin Zhang, Xiao Zhang, Xiao-min Wang, and Jin-Ping Li Copyright © 2014 Gan-lin Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Utility of Ammonia Concentration as a Diagnostic Test in Monitoring of the Treatment with L-Asparaginase in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:03:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/945860/ L-asparaginase (ASP) is an enzyme used as one of the basic regimens in the acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) therapy. Because of the possibility of the enzyme inactivation by antibodies, monitoring of ASP activity is essential. The aim of the study was to examine if plasma concentration of ammonia, a direct product of the reaction catalyzed by ASP, can be used in the assessment of ASP activity. A group of 87 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated in the Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology in Krakow was enrolled to the study. ASP activity and ammonia concentration were measured after ASP administrations during induction. A positive correlation was found between the ammonia concentration and ASP activity (; ) and between the medium values of ammonia concentration and ASP activity (; ). The analysis of ROC curves revealed the moderate accuracy of the ammonia concentration values in the ASP activity assessment. It was also found that the medium value of ammonia concentrations can be useful in identification of the patients with low (<100 IU/L) and undetectable (<30 IU/L) ASP activity. The plasma ammonia concentration may reflect ASP activity and can be useful when a direct measurement of the activity is unavailable. Małgorzata Czogała, Walentyna Balwierz, Krystyna Sztefko, and Iwona Rogatko Copyright © 2014 Małgorzata Czogała et al. All rights reserved. Platelet Concentration in Platelet-Rich Plasma Affects Tenocyte Behavior In Vitro Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:00:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/630870/ Since tendon injuries and tendinopathy are a growing problem, sometimes requiring surgery, new strategies that improve conservative therapies are needed. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) seems to be a good candidate by virtue of its high content of growth factors, most of which are involved in tendon healing. This study aimed to evaluate if different concentrations of platelets in PRP have different effects on the biological features of normal human tenocytes that are usually required during tendon healing. The different platelet concentrations tested (up to 5 × 106 plt/µL) stimulated differently tenocytes behavior; intermediate concentrations (0.5 × 106, 1 × 106 plt/µL) strongly induced all tested processes (proliferation, migration, collagen, and MMPs production) if compared to untreated cells; on the contrary, the highest concentration had inhibitory effects on proliferation and strongly reduced migration abilities and overall collagen production but, at the same time, induced increasing MMP production, which could be counterproductive because excessive proteolysis could impair tendon mechanical stability. Thus, these in vitro data strongly suggest the need for a compromise between extremely high and low platelet concentrations to obtain an optimal global effect when inducing in vivo tendon healing. Ilaria Giusti, Sandra D’Ascenzo, Annalisa Mancò, Gabriella Di Stefano, Marianna Di Francesco, Anna Rughetti, Antonella Dal Mas, Gianfranco Properzi, Vittorio Calvisi, and Vincenza Dolo Copyright © 2014 Ilaria Giusti et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Seed Priming on Early Development of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) and Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:53:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/134931/ Striga hermonthica is an obligate, root parasite, that limits cereal production in sub-Saharan Africa. Successful control depends on eliminating its seed reserves in soil, thereby preventing parasitism. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of salinity on germination traits and seedling growth of sorghum (cultivar Wad Ahmed) and S. hermonthica. The experiments were conducted in a factorial arrangement on the basis of completely randomized design (CRD) with 4 replications. In the first experiment, sorghum height, leaf area, and shoot and root dry weights were examined. The results displayed that, with increasing salinity level, leaf area and dry biomass were increased, while the height was decreased. In the second experiment, Striga germination and haustorium initiation percentages were examined. Among all salts, C2H4O2·NH3 inhibited Striga germination (0–15%) during conditioning or (0–25%) at germination compared to the control (75%). However, salt MgSO4·7H2O improved germination during conditioning up to 70%, while during germination CH3COONa·3H2O recorded 65% germination. Regarding haustoria initiation, results showed that C2H4O2·NH3 at all concentrations inhibits haustorium formation by 100%, while CH3COONa·3H2O at 10 µM improved haustorium formation up to 64% but still below the control (70%). Osmotic potential may significantly affect germination and radicle elongation of the parasitic weed. Hussien M. Daffalla, Mohammed Mahgoub Hassan, Magdoleen G. Osman, Amani Hamad Eltayeb, Yassin Ibrahim Dagash, and Migdam E. Abdel Gani Copyright © 2014 Hussien M. Daffalla et al. All rights reserved. IL-10 Counteracts Proinflammatory Mediator Evoked Oxidative Stress in Caco-2 Cells Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:50:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/982639/ Oxidative stress is thought to play a key role in the development of intestinal damage in intestinal inflammatory diseases. Several molecules are involved in the intestinal inflammation, either as pro- or anti-inflammatory factors; however, their effects on intestinal oxidative stress seem to be controversial. This work analyzes the contribution of pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules to the balance of oxidative damage in intestinal epithelial cells, as well as their effects on cellular antioxidant enzyme activity. With this purpose, the lipid and protein oxidation, together with the activity of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, were determined in the Caco-2 cells treated with serotonin, adenosine, melatonin, and TNFα, as proinflammatory factors, and IL-10, as an anti-inflammatory cytokine. The results have shown that all the proinflammatory factors assayed increased oxidative damage. In addition, these factors also inhibited the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the cells, except melatonin. In contrast, IL-10 did not alter these parameters but was able to reduce the prooxidant effects yielded by serotonin, adenosine, melatonin, or TNFα, in part by restoring the antioxidant enzymes activities. In summary, proinflammatory factors may induce oxidative damage in intestinal epithelial cells, whereas IL-10 seems to be able to restore the altered redox equilibrium in Caco-2 cells. Eva Latorre, Nyurky Matheus, Elena Layunta, Ana Isabel Alcalde, and José Emilio Mesonero Copyright © 2014 Eva Latorre et al. All rights reserved. Relationship between Fiscal Subsidies and CO2 Emissions: Evidence from Cross-Country Empirical Estimates Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:41:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecri/2014/346139/ Countries disburse subsidies with various motivations, for example, to promote industrial development, facilitate innovation, support national champions, and ensure redistribution. The devolution of subsidies may however also encourage economic activities leading to climate change related concerns, reflected through higher greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, if such activities are conducted beyond sustainable point. Through a cross-country empirical analysis involving 131 countries over 1990–2010, the present analysis observes that higher proportional devolution of budgetary subsidies leads to higher CO2 emissions. The countries with higher CO2 emissions are also characterized by higher per capita GDP, greater share of manufacturing sector in their GDP, and higher level of urbanization. In addition, the empirical findings underline the importance of the type of government subsidy devolution on CO2 emission pattern. The analysis underlines the importance of limiting provision of subsidies both in developed and developing countries. Sacchidananda Mukherjee and Debashis Chakraborty Copyright © 2014 Sacchidananda Mukherjee and Debashis Chakraborty. All rights reserved. Structural and Optical Investigations of Heterostructures Based on :Si Solid Solutions Obtained by MOCVD Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:40:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/physri/2014/782357/ We investigated MOCVD epitaxial heterostructures based on AlxGa1−xAs ternary solid solutions, obtained in the range of compositions and doped with high concentrations of phosphorus and silicon atoms. Using the methods of high-resolution X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis, Raman spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy we have shown that grown epitaxial films represent five-component (AlxGa1−xAs1−yPy)1−zSiz solid solutions. The implementation of silicon in solid solution with a concentration of ~ 0.01 at.% leads to the formation of the structure with deep levels, DX centers, the occurrence of which fundamentally affects the energy characteristics of received materials. P. V. Seredin Copyright © 2014 P. V. Seredin. All rights reserved. Analysis of Si/SiGe Heterostructure Solar Cell Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:38:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jen/2014/946406/ Sunlight is the largest source of carbon-neutral energy. Large amount of energy, about 4.3 × 1020 J/hr (Lewis, 2005), is radiated because of nuclear fusion reaction by sun, but it is unfortunate that it is not exploited to its maximum level. Various photovoltaic researches are ongoing to find low cost, and highly efficient solar cell to fulfil looming energy crisis around the globe. Thin film solar cell along with enhanced absorption property will be the best, so combination of SiGe alloy is considered. The paper presented here consists of a numerical model of heterostructure solar cell. The research has investigated characteristics such as short circuit current density (), generation rate (), absorption coefficient (α), and open circuit voltage () with optimal Ge concentration. The addition of Ge content to Si layer will affect the property of material and can be calculated with the use of Vegard’s law. Due to this, short circuit current density increases. Ashish Kumar Singh, Jahnvi Tiwari, Ashish Yadav, and Rakesh Kumar Jha Copyright © 2014 Ashish Kumar Singh et al. All rights reserved. Trade Negotiation Capacity and Health Carve-Outs in Trade Agreements Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:38:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecri/2014/505042/ There is a dearth of scholarship on the relationship between international trade and health status in countries. This paper contributes to filling this gap by proposing a formal analytical framework to study the link between the extent of health issues carved out from trade agreements by negotiating countries and their expenditure on public health. We also examine the role played by the nature of the political and fiscal regime prevalent in the country in the securing of the carve-outs. The model predicts that a higher level of carve-outs is more likely for countries that have relatively low levels of public health spending and which tend to be more politically free and fiscally liberal. We provide anecdotal evidence that supports our findings. Sheikh Shahnawaz Copyright © 2014 Sheikh Shahnawaz. All rights reserved. Effect of Cow Urine on the Growth Characteristics of Fusarium lateritium, an Important Coffee Fungus in Zimbabwe Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:34:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ija/2014/986068/ An in vitro assay was carried out to establish if cow urine at different concentrations (500 µL/mL, 300 µL/mL, 200 µL/mL, and 100 µL/mL) can be used to control the growth of F. lateritium, the fungal agent causing Fusarium bark disease in coffee. The growth characteristics selected were conidial germination, germ tube length, mycelial growth rate, and sporulation. Copper oxychloride 50% W.P. was the standard, distilled water was the negative control, and undiluted cow urine was the positive control. The undiluted cow urine was most effective in inhibiting fungal growth with the rest of the cow urine concentrations showing dose dependent efficacy compared to the negative control (P < 0.01). Copper oxychloride had the highest efficacy of all treatments with the exception of the inhibition of mycelial growth where undiluted cow urine had higher efficacy and sporulation where efficacy was comparable to undiluted cow urine. There is potential for the use of cow urine as a means of controlling Fusarium bark disease with other advantages being availability, low cost, and limited environmental damage. Timothy Gotora, Lawrence Masaka, and Marvelous Sungirai Copyright © 2014 Timothy Gotora et al. All rights reserved. Dose of Incorporated Immunodominant Antigen in Recombinant BCG Impacts Modestly on Th1 Immune Response and Protective Efficiency against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Mice Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:32:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/196124/ One approach for improving BCG efficacy is to utilize BCG as vehicle to develop recombinant BCG (rBCG) strains overexpressing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) antigens. Also expression level of a candidate antigen should impact the final T cell responses conferred by rBCG. In this study, based on our previously constructed differential expression system, we developed two rBCG strains overexpressing M. tb chimeric antigen Ag856A2 (coding a recombinant ag85a with 2 copies of esat-6 inserted at Acc I site of ag85a) at differential levels under the control of the subtly modified furA promoters. These two rBCG strains were used to vaccinate C57BL/6 mice and exploit dose of incorporated antigen in rBCG to optimize immune response and protective efficiency against M. tb challenge in mouse model. The results showed that rBCG strains overexpressing Ag856A2 at differential levels induced different antigen-specific IFN-γ production and comparable number of M. tb-specific CD4 T cells expressing IL-2. M. tb challenge experiment showed that rBCG strains afforded enhanced but comparable immune protection characterized by reduced bacillary load, lung pathology, and inflammation. These results suggested that the dose of antigens incorporated in rBCG can impact T cell immune responses but imposed no significantly differential protective efficacies. Hui Ma, Kang Wu, Fang Liu, Hua Yang, Han Kang, Ning-Ning Chen, Qin Yuan, Wen-Jiang Zhou, and Xiao-Yong Fan Copyright © 2014 Hui Ma et al. All rights reserved. Recent Advances in Complex Networks Theories with Applications Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:30:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/504923/ Hamid Reza Karimi, Wei Zhang, Xuebo Yang, and Zhandong Yu Copyright © 2014 Hamid Reza Karimi et al. All rights reserved. Drug-Related Genomics in Cancer and Immunological Diseases Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:28:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijg/2014/306980/ Ji-Fu Wei, Yong-Qing Wang, and Huai-Rong Luo Copyright © 2014 Ji-Fu Wei et al. All rights reserved. Quantum-Inspired Evolutionary Algorithm for Continuous Space Optimization Based on Multiple Chains Encoding Method of Quantum Bits Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:26:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/620325/ This study proposes a novel quantum evolutionary algorithm called four-chain quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (FCQIEA) based on the four gene chains encoding method. In FCQIEA, a chromosome comprises four gene chains to expand the search space effectively and promote the evolutionary rate. Different parameters, including rotational angle and mutation probability, have been analyzed for better optimization. Performance comparison with other quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithms (QIEAs), evolutionary algorithms, and different chains of QIEA demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of FCQIEA. Rui Zhang, Zhiteng Wang, and Hongjun Zhang Copyright © 2014 Rui Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Review on Prescription Compatibility of Shaoyao Gancao Decoction and Reflection on Pharmacokinetic Compatibility Mechanism of Traditional Chinese Medicine Prescription Based on In Vivo Drug Interaction of Main Efficacious Components Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:19:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/208129/ Shaoyao Gancao Decoction (SGD) derived from Zhang Zhongjing’s “Typhoid Theory” is composed of peony and licorice, having the efficacy of nourishing liver, relaxing spasm, and relieving pain. Modern compatibility studies of SGD on chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics all demonstrate the reasonable compatibility of peony and licorice. However, the present research on pharmacokinetics is only descriptive and limited to the influence on in vivo dynamic process of certain ingredients; correspondingly, there is lack of studies on the essence of these efficacious substances’ in vivo changes; that is, whether it is because there exists in vivo drug interaction in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of active ingredients that leads to the improvement of bioavailability. We herein take SGD as an example and suggest that it is necessary to study in vivo drug interaction of main efficacious components mediated by metabolic enzymes, transport proteins, or plasma protein binding in the course of ADME, which is helpful to illustrate the principle of pharmacokinetic compatibility from the essence leading to the changes of effective substances in vivo. Xiaolin Bi, Meirong Gong, and Liuqing Di Copyright © 2014 Xiaolin Bi et al. All rights reserved. Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Accident: An Integrated Perspective Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:59:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2014/213919/ Inn Seock Kim, Akira Omoto, Enrico Zio, Joon-Eon Yang, and Yanko Yanev Copyright © 2014 Inn Seock Kim et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy on Clinical Response, Microbiological Profile, and Glycemic Control in Malaysian Subjects with Type 1 Diabetes Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/232535/ The association between diabetes mellitus and chronic periodontal disease has long been established. Most of the researches linking these two very common chronic diseases were based on type 2 diabetes mellitus and chronic periodontal disease. However, this study was conducted to investigate the association between type 1 diabetes and chronic periodontal disease in Malaysian subjects. Forty-one Malaysian subjects, of which 20 subjects were type 1 diabetics and with chronic periodontal disease (test group) and 21 subjects with only chronic periodontal disease (control group), were included in the study. Periodontal parameters and plaque samples for microbiological evaluation were done at baseline, 2 and 3 months after nonsurgical periodontal therapy. Blood samples were taken from only the test group and evaluated for HbA1c at baseline and 3 months after periodontal therapy. There were no statistically significant difference in periodontal parameters between groups () and no significant improvement in the level of HbA1c in the test group. Microbiological studies indicated that there were significant reductions in the levels of the tested pathogens in both groups. The results of our study were similar to the findings of several other studies that had been done previously. Samira Mukhtar Buzinin, Aied Mohammed Alabsi, Alexander Tong Boon Tan, Vui King Vincent-Chong, and Dasan Swaminathan Copyright © 2014 Samira Mukhtar Buzinin et al. All rights reserved. Sustained-Release Corticosteroid Options Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2014/164692/ Sustained-release corticosteroid treatment has shown to be a promising strategy for macular edema due to retinovascular disease (i.e., diabetes and retinal vein occlusion) and for the treatment of noninfectious posterior uveitis. Clinicians now have the option of three sustained-release corticosteroid implants: Ozurdex (Allergan Inc., Irvine, CA) which releases dexamethasone and two devices that release fluocinolone acetonide, Retisert (Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY), and Iluvien (Alimera Science, Alpharetta, GA). Each has different physical characteristics and duration effect and has been approved for different indications. Herein we provide a summary of the current clinical knowledge regarding these implants. Mariana Cabrera, Steven Yeh, and Thomas A. Albini Copyright © 2014 Mariana Cabrera et al. All rights reserved. Further Application of Surface Capturing Method and Cartesian Cut Cell Mesh on Hydroelastic Water-Entry Problems of Free-Falling Elastic Wedge Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/545642/ In order to study the interactions between fluid and elastic structure (such as marine lifeboat falling down and ship), this paper presents a new CFD method on hydroelastic water-entry problem of free-falling elastic wedge, which can more conveniently handle moving solid boundaries. In the CFD solver, a surface capturing method and the Cartesian cut cell mesh are employed to deal with the moving free surface and solid boundaries, respectively. On the other hand, in structural analysis, the finite element method and lath-beam structural model are introduced to calculate the elastic response. Furthermore, based on the current CFD and structural solver, a particular data transfer method and coupling strategy are presented for the fluid-structure interaction. Finally, by comparing numerical results with experimental data, the present method is validated to be available and feasible for hydroelastic water-entry problem and further successfully adopted to analyze the motion characteristics of free-falling elastic wedge. Wen-hua Wang, Yi Huang, and Yan-ying Wang Copyright © 2014 Wen-hua Wang et al. All rights reserved. A Simplified Flexible Multibody Dynamics for a Main Landing Gear with Flexible Leaf Spring Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2014/595964/ The dynamics of multibody systems with deformable components has been a subject of interest in many different fields such as machine design and aerospace. Traditional rigid-flexible systems often take a lot of computer resources to get accurate results. Accuracy and efficiency of computation have been the focus of this research in satisfying the coupling of rigid body and flex body. The method is based on modal analysis and linear theory of elastodynamics: reduced modal datum was used to describe the elastic deformation which was a linear approximate of the flexible part. Then rigid-flexible multibody system was built and the highly nonlinearity of the mass matrix caused by the limited rotation of the deformation part was approximated using the linear theory of elastodynamics. The above methods were used to establish the drop system of the leaf spring type landing gear of a small UAV. Comparisons of the drop test and simulation were applied. Results show that the errors caused by the linear approximation are acceptable, and the simulation process is fast and stable. Zhi-Peng Xue, Ming Li, Yan-Hui Li, and Hong-Guang Jia Copyright © 2014 Zhi-Peng Xue et al. All rights reserved. Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome Associated with Severe Inferior Vena Cava Stenosis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criog/2014/745658/ Precis. The postoperative course of a neovagina creation procedure in a young woman with Meyer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome was complicated, despite prophylaxis, by extensive pelvic deep venous thrombosis secondary to unsuspected severe inferior vena cava stenosis. Background. Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is characterized by congenital vaginal agenesis and an absent or rudimentary uterus in genotypical females. Malformations of the inferior vena cava (IVC) are not commonly associated with MRKH syndrome. We report a case of a patient with MRKH syndrome with severe IVC stenosis that was diagnosed when the patient presented with extensive pelvic deep venous thrombosis (DVT) during the postoperative course of a neovagina creation. Case. A 19-year-old female underwent a McIndoe procedure. Despite DVT prophylaxis, extensive pelvic DVT of the femoral vein was diagnosed on postoperative day 7. Therapeutic anticoagulation was initiated, and pharmacological and mechanical thrombolysis were performed. During these procedures, a hypoplastic IVC was noted. Conclusion. MRKH syndrome can be associated with IVC malformations, which constitute an anatomical risk factor for postoperative DVT. Laura Londra, Kyle Tobler, John Wu, and Lisa Kolp Copyright © 2014 Laura Londra et al. All rights reserved. A Rapid, Isocratic HPLC Method for Determination of Insulin and Its Degradation Product Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ap/2014/749823/ This paper aimed to develop a simple, sensitive, and rapid chromatographic procedure for the simultaneous analysis of human insulin and its main decomposition product using isocratic RP-HPLC/UV. A column type RP-C18 (100 × 4.6 mm, 3 μm particle size, and pore size 130 Å) was used. o-Nitrophenol was used as internal standard. The eluent consists of 62% KH2PO4 buffer (0.1 M), 26% ACN, and 12% MeOH. The final pH was adjusted to 3.1. The eluent was pumped at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min and the effluent was monitored using DAD detector at 214 nm. The method produces a linear response over the concentration range of 0.0106 to 0.6810 mg/mL with detection limit of 0.0029 mg/mL. Considering the specifications of this method, the system was found to be suitable for rapid, direct routine analysis and stability studies of insulin. Ahmad Najjar, Mahmoud Alawi, Najiah AbuHeshmeh, and Alsayed Sallam Copyright © 2014 Ahmad Najjar et al. All rights reserved. Moxibustion Activates Macrophage Autophagy and Protects Experimental Mice against Bacterial Infection Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/450623/ Moxibustion is one of main therapies in traditional Chinese medicine and uses heat stimulation on the body surface from the burning of moxa to release pain or treat diseases. Emerging studies have shown that moxibustion can generate therapeutic effects by activating a series of signaling pathways and neuroendocrine-immune activities. Here we show moxibustion promoted profound macrophage autophagy in experimental Kunming mice, with reduced Akt phosphorylation and activated eIF2α phosphorylation. Consequently, moxibustion promoted bacterial clearance by macrophages and protected mice from mortality due to bacterial infection. These results indicate that moxibustion generates a protective response by activating autophagy against bacterial infections. Xiaojuan Li, Guanhua Guo, Feng Shen, Lihong Kong, Fengxia Liang, and Guojie Sun Copyright © 2014 Xiaojuan Li et al. All rights reserved. Novel Use of the GuideLiner Catheter to Deliver Rotational Atherectomy Burrs in Tortuous Vessels Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cric/2014/594396/ Rotational atherectomy (RA) for heavily calcified lesions is essential for improved stent delivery and stent expansion. In tortuous vessels it is often difficult to advance the burr without rotation and possible injury to the endothelium of healthy vessel. The GuideLiner catheter, a child in mother catheter, has recently been used to allow for increased support for delivery of stents through tortuous vessels. We report a novel use of the GuideLiner for the delivery of an RA burr in tortuous vessels requiring increased guide support. Minh Vo, Kunal Minhas, Malek Kass, and Amir Ravandi Copyright © 2014 Minh Vo et al. All rights reserved. Submicron Surface Vibration Profiling Using Doppler Self-Mixing Techniques Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ao/2014/576380/ Doppler self-mixing laser probing techniques are often used for vibration measurement with very high accuracy. A novel optoelectronic probe solution is proposed, based on off-the-shelf components, with a direct reflection optical scheme for contactless characterization of the target’s movement. This probe was tested with two test bench apparatus that enhance its precision performance, with a linear actuator at low frequency (35 µm, 5–60 Hz), and its dynamics, with disc shaped transducers for small amplitude and high frequency (0.6 µm, 100–2500 Hz). The results, obtained from well-established signal processing methods for self-mixing Doppler signals, allowed the evaluation of vibration velocity and amplitudes with an average error of less than 10%. The impedance spectrum of piezoelectric (PZ) disc target revealed a maximum of impedance (around 1 kHz) for minimal Doppler shift. A bidimensional scan over the PZ disc surface allowed the categorization of the vibration mode (0, 1) and explained its deflection directions. The feasibility of a laser vibrometer based on self-mixing principles and supported by tailored electronics able to accurately measure submicron displacements was, thus, successfully demonstrated. Tânia Pereira, Mariana Sequeira, Pedro Vaz, Ana Tomé, Helena C. Pereira, Carlos Correia, and João Cardoso Copyright © 2014 Tânia Pereira et al. All rights reserved. Aaptamines from the Marine Sponge Aaptos sp. Display Anticancer Activities in Human Cancer Cell Lines and Modulate AP-1-, NF-κB-, and p53-Dependent Transcriptional Activity in Mouse JB6 Cl41 Cells Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/469309/ Aaptamine (8,9-dimethoxy-1H-benzo[de][1,6]naphthyridine) is a marine natural compound possessing antioxidative, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiretroviral activity. Earlier, we have found that aaptamine and its derivatives demonstrate equal anticancer effects against the human germ cell cancer cell lines NT2 and NT2-R and cause some changes in the proteome of these cells. In order to explore further the mechanism of action of aaptamine and its derivatives, we studied the effects of aaptamine (1), demethyl(oxy)aaptamine (2), and isoaaptamine (3) on human cancer cell lines and on AP-1-, NF-κB-, and p53-dependent transcriptional activity in murine JB6 Cl41 cells. We showed that compounds 1–3 demonstrate anticancer activity in THP-1, HeLa, SNU-C4, SK-MEL-28, and MDA-MB-231 human cancer cell lines. Additionally, all compounds were found to prevent EGF-induced neoplastic transformation of murine JB6 Cl41 cells. Nuclear factors AP-1, NF-κB, and p53 are involved in the cellular response to high and nontoxic concentrations of aaptamine alkaloids 1–3. Furthermore, inhibition of EGF-induced JB6 cell transformation, which is exerted by the compounds 1–3 at low nontoxic concentrations of 0.7–2.1 μM, cannot be explained by activation of AP-1 and NF-κB. Sergey A. Dyshlovoy, Sergey N. Fedorov, Larisa K. Shubina, Alexandra S. Kuzmich, Carsten Bokemeyer, Gunhild Keller-von Amsberg, and Friedemann Honecker Copyright © 2014 Sergey A. Dyshlovoy et al. All rights reserved. Modeling and Parameter Identification of the Vibration Characteristics of Armature Assembly in a Torque Motor of Hydraulic Servo Valves under Electromagnetic Excitations Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ame/2014/247384/ The resonance of the armature assembly is the main problem leading to the fatigue of the spring pipe in a torque motor of hydraulic servo valves, which can cause the failure of servo valves. To predict the vibration characteristics of the armature assembly, this paper focuses on the mathematical modeling of the vibration characteristics of armature assembly in a hydraulic servo valve and the identification of parameters in the models. To build models more accurately, the effect of the magnetic spring is taken into account. Vibration modal analysis is performed to obtain the mode shapes and natural frequencies, which are necessary to implement the identification of damping ratios in the mathematical models. Based on the mathematical models for the vibration characteristics, the harmonic responses of the armature assembly are analyzed using the finite element method and measured under electromagnetic excitations. The simulation results agree well with the experimental studies. Jinghui Peng, Songjing Li, and Yongbo Fan Copyright © 2014 Jinghui Peng et al. All rights reserved. Existence Results and the Monotone Iterative Technique for Nonlinear Fractional Differential Systems with Coupled Four-Point Boundary Value Problems Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/242591/ By establishing a comparison result and using the monotone iterative technique combined with the method of upper and lower solutions, we investigate the existence of solutions for nonlinear fractional differential systems with coupled four-point boundary value problems. Yujun Cui and Yumei Zou Copyright © 2014 Yujun Cui and Yumei Zou. All rights reserved. Modelling Cochlear Mechanics Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/150637/ The cochlea plays a crucial role in mammal hearing. The basic function of the cochlea is to map sounds of different frequencies onto corresponding characteristic positions on the basilar membrane (BM). Sounds enter the fluid-filled cochlea and cause deflection of the BM due to pressure differences between the cochlear fluid chambers. These deflections travel along the cochlea, increasing in amplitude, until a frequency-dependent characteristic position and then decay away rapidly. The hair cells can detect these deflections and encode them as neural signals. Modelling the mechanics of the cochlea is of help in interpreting experimental observations and also can provide predictions of the results of experiments that cannot currently be performed due to technical limitations. This paper focuses on reviewing the numerical modelling of the mechanical and electrical processes in the cochlea, which include fluid coupling, micromechanics, the cochlear amplifier, nonlinearity, and electrical coupling. Guangjian Ni, Stephen J. Elliott, Mohammad Ayat, and Paul D. Teal Copyright © 2014 Guangjian Ni et al. All rights reserved. Misplaced Inventory and Lead-Time in the Supply Chain: Analysis of Decision-Making on RFID Investment with Service Level Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/135284/ Radio-frequency identification (RFID), as the key technology of Internet of Things (IoT), has been hailed as a major innovation to solve misplaced inventory and reduce lead-time. Many retailers have been pushing their suppliers to invest this technology. However, its associated costs seem to prohibit its widespread application. This paper analyzes the situation of service level in a retail supply chain, which has resulted from misplaced inventory and lead-time. By newsvendor model, we analyze the difference between with- and without-RFID technologies in service level of centralized and decentralized supply chains, respectively. Then with different service levels, we determine the tag cost thresholds at which RFID technology investment becomes profitable in centralized and decentralized supply chains, respectively. Furthermore, we apply a linear transfer payment coefficient strategy to coordinate with the decentralized supply chain. It is found that whether the adoption of RFID technology improves the service level depends on the cost of RFID tag in the centralized system, but it improves the service level in the decentralized system when only the supplier bears the cost of RFID tag. Moreover, the same cost thresholds of RFID tag with different service levels exist in both the centralized and the decentralized cases. Li-Hao Zhang, Ti-Jun Fan, Wen-Chyuan Chiang, and Feng Tao Copyright © 2014 Li-Hao Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Stimulatory Effects of Gamma Irradiation on Phytochemical Properties, Mitotic Behaviour, and Nutritional Composition of Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/854093/ Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop. Syn. Onobrychis sativa L.) is a bloat-safe forage crop with high levels of tannins, which is renowned for its medicinal qualities in grazing animals. Mutagenesis technique was applied to investigate the influence of gamma irradiation at 30, 60, 90, and 120 Gy on mitotic behavior, in vitro growth factors, phytochemical and nutritional constituents of sainfoin. Although a percentage of plant necrosis and non-growing seed were enhanced by irradiation increment, the germination speed was significantly decreased. It was observed that gamma irradiated seeds had higher value of crude protein and dry matter digestibility compared to control seeds. Toxicity of copper was reduced in sainfoin irradiated seeds at different doses of gamma rays. Anthocyanin content also decreased in inverse proportion to irradiation intensity. Accumulation of phenolic and flavonoid compounds was enhanced by gamma irradiation exposure in leaf cells. HPLC profiles differed in peak areas of the two important alkaloids, Berberine and Sanguinarine, in 120 Gy irradiated seeds compared to control seeds. There were positive correlations between irradiation dose and some abnormality divisions such as laggard chromosome, micronucleus, binucleated cells, chromosome bridge, and cytomixis. In reality, radiocytological evaluation was proven to be essential in deducing the effectiveness of gamma irradiation to induce somaclonal variation in sainfoin. Sadegh Mohajer, Rosna Mat Taha, Ma Ma Lay, Arash Khorasani Esmaeili, and Mahsa Khalili Copyright © 2014 Sadegh Mohajer et al. All rights reserved. Chiral Recognition by Fluorescence: One Measurement for Two Parameters Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ac/2014/987640/ This outlook describes two strategies to simultaneously determine the enantiomeric composition and concentration of a chiral substrate by a single fluorescent measurement. One strategy utilizes a pseudoenantiomeric sensor pair that is composed of a 1,1′-bi-2-naphthol-based amino alcohol and a partially hydrogenated 1,1′-bi-2-naphthol-based amino alcohol. These two molecules have the opposite chiral configuration with fluorescent enhancement at two different emitting wavelengths when treated with the enantiomers of mandelic acid. Using the sum and difference of the fluorescent intensity at the two wavelengths allows simultaneous determination of both concentration and enantiomeric composition of the chiral acid. The other strategy employs a 1,1′-bi-2-naphthol-based trifluoromethyl ketone that exhibits fluorescent enhancement at two emission wavelengths upon interaction with a chiral diamine. One emission responds mostly to the concentration of the chiral diamine and the ratio of the two emissions depends on the chiral configuration of the enantiomer but independent of the concentration, allowing both the concentration and enantiomeric composition of the chiral diamine to be simultaneously determined. These strategies would significantly simplify the practical application of the enantioselective fluorescent sensors in high-throughput chiral assay. Shanshan Yu and Lin Pu Copyright © 2014 Shanshan Yu and Lin Pu. All rights reserved. Drag Reduction by Microvortexes in Transverse Microgrooves Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ame/2014/734012/ A transverse microgrooved surface was employed here to reduce the surface drag force by creating a slippage in bottom layer in turbulent boundary layer. A detailed simulation and experimental investigation on drag reduction by transverse microgrooves were given. The computational fluid dynamics simulation, using RNG k- turbulent model, showed that the vortexes were formed in the grooves and they were a main reason for the drag reduction. On the upside of the vortex, the revolving direction was consistent with the main flow, which decreased the flow shear stress by declining the velocity gradient. The experiments were carried out in a high-speed water tunnel with flow velocity varying from 17 to 19 m/s. The experimental results showed that the drag reduction was about 13%. Therefore, the computational and experimental results were cross-checked and consistent with each other to prove that the presented approach achieved effective drag reduction underwater. Bao Wang, Jiadao Wang, Gang Zhou, and Darong Chen Copyright © 2014 Bao Wang et al. All rights reserved. Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone: An Emerging Anti-Inflammatory Antimicrobial Peptide Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/874610/ The alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (-MSH) is a neuropeptide belonging to the melanocortin family. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects and shares several characteristics with antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). There have been some recent reports about the direct antimicrobial activity of -MSH against various microbes belonging to both fungal and bacterial pathogens. Similar to -MSH’s anti-inflammatory properties, its C-terminal residues also exhibit antimicrobial activity parallel to that of the entire peptide. This review is focused on the current findings regarding the direct antimicrobial potential and immunomodulatory mechanism of -MSH and its C-terminal fragments, with particular emphasis on the prospects of -MSH based peptides as a strong anti-infective agent. Madhuri Singh and Kasturi Mukhopadhyay Copyright © 2014 Madhuri Singh and Kasturi Mukhopadhyay. All rights reserved. Research on Multirobot Pursuit Task Allocation Algorithm Based on Emotional Cooperation Factor Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/864180/ Multirobot task allocation is a hot issue in the field of robot research. A new emotional model is used with the self-interested robot, which gives a new way to measure self-interested robots’ individual cooperative willingness in the problem of multirobot task allocation. Emotional cooperation factor is introduced into self-interested robot; it is updated based on emotional attenuation and external stimuli. Then a multirobot pursuit task allocation algorithm is proposed, which is based on emotional cooperation factor. Combined with the two-step auction algorithm recruiting team leaders and team collaborators, set up pursuit teams, and finally use certain strategies to complete the pursuit task. In order to verify the effectiveness of this algorithm, some comparing experiments have been done with the instantaneous greedy optimal auction algorithm; the results of experiments show that the total pursuit time and total team revenue can be optimized by using this algorithm. Baofu Fang, Lu Chen, Hao Wang, Shuanglu Dai, and Qiubo Zhong Copyright © 2014 Baofu Fang et al. All rights reserved. Working Characteristics of a Mechanical Insufflation-Exsufflation Device Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/830361/ Secretions of ventilated patients must be cleared efficiently and timely; to improve the secretion clearance efficiency of an insufflation-exsufflation device (IL-IE device) and lay a foundation for the optimization of the IL-IE device, a mathematical model of the ventilation system with the IL-IE device is set up. Through the experimental and simulation research on the ventilation system, it can be concluded that, firstly, the mathematical model is proved to be authentic and reliable. Secondly, with the deposition of secretion or an increase in the respiratory compliance, the peak exsufflation airflow may be reduced. Thirdly, with a decrease in the suction pressure, the peak exsufflation airflow of the ventilated lung may rise proportionally, but the minimum pressure in the ventilated lung may descend proportionally. To improve the efficiency of the secretion clearance but not to injure the ventilated patient, the suction pressure can be elevated properly. Last, increasing the inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) is a method to improve the secretion clearance efficiency. This research lays a foundation for improving the secretion clearance efficiency of the IL-IE device. Yan Shi, Shuai Ren, Maolin Cai, and Weiqing Xu Copyright © 2014 Yan Shi et al. All rights reserved. Time- and Event-Driven Communication Process for Networked Control Systems: A Survey Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/261738/ In recent years, theoretical and practical research topics on networked control systems (NCSs) have gained an increasing interest from many researchers in a variety of disciplines owing to the extensive applications of NCSs in practice. In particular, an urgent need has arisen to understand the effects of communication processes on system performances. Sampling and protocol are two fundamental aspects of a communication process which have attracted a great deal of research attention. Most research focus has been on the analysis and control of dynamical behaviors under certain sampling procedures and communication protocols. In this paper, we aim to survey some recent advances on the analysis and synthesis issues of NCSs with different sampling procedures (time- and event-driven sampling) and protocols (static and dynamic protocols). First, these sampling procedures and protocols are introduced in detail according to their engineering backgrounds as well as dynamic natures. Then, the developments of the stabilization, control, and filtering problems are systematically reviewed and discussed in great detail. Finally, we conclude the paper by outlining future research challenges for analysis and synthesis problems of NCSs with different communication processes. Lei Zou, Zidong Wang, Hongli Dong, Yurong Liu, and Huijun Gao Copyright © 2014 Lei Zou et al. All rights reserved. M/M/1 Multiple Vacation Queueing Systems with Differentiated Vacations Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mse/2014/158247/ We consider a multiple vacation queueing system in which a vacation following a busy period has a different distribution from a vacation that is taken without serving at least one customer. For ease of analysis it is assumed that the service times are exponentially distributed and the two vacation types are also exponentially distributed but with different means. The steady-state solution is obtained. Oliver C. Ibe and Olubukola A. Isijola Copyright © 2014 Oliver C. Ibe and Olubukola A. Isijola. All rights reserved. Optimization of Reflux Conditions for Total Flavonoid and Total Phenolic Extraction and Enhanced Antioxidant Capacity in Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) Using Response Surface Methodology Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/523120/ Response surface methodology was applied to optimization of the conditions for reflux extraction of Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) in order to achieve a high content of total flavonoids (TF), total phenolics (TP), and high antioxidant capacity (AC) in the extracts. Central composite experimental design with three factors and three levels was employed to consider the effects of the operation parameters, including the methanol concentration (MC, 40%–80%), extraction temperature (ET, 40–70°C), and liquid-to-solid ratio (LS ratio, 20–40 mL/g) on the properties of the extracts. Response surface plots showed that increasing these operation parameters induced the responses significantly. The TF content and AC could be maximized when the extraction conditions (MC, ET, and LS ratio) were 78.8%, 69.5°C, and 32.4 mL/g, respectively, whereas the TP content was optimal when these variables were 75.1%, 70°C, and 31.8 mL/g, respectively. Under these optimum conditions, the experimental TF and TP content and AC were 1.78, 6.601 mg/g DW, and 87.38%, respectively. The optimized model was validated by a comparison of the predicted and experimental values. The experimental values were found to be in agreement with the predicted values, indicating the suitability of the model for optimizing the conditions for the reflux extraction of Pandan. Ali Ghasemzadeh and Hawa Z. E. Jaafar Copyright © 2014 Ali Ghasemzadeh and Hawa Z. E. Jaafar. All rights reserved. Inviscid Uniform Shear Flow past a Smooth Concave Body Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijem/2014/426593/ Uniform shear flow of an incompressible inviscid fluid past a two-dimensional smooth concave body is studied; a stream function for resulting flow is obtained. Results for the same flow past a circular cylinder or a circular arc or a kidney-shaped body are presented as special cases of the main result. Also, a stream function for resulting flow around the same body is presented for an oncoming flow which is the combination of a uniform stream and a uniform shear flow. Possible fields of applications of this study include water flows past river islands, the shapes of which deviate from circular or elliptical shape and have a concave region, or past circular arc-shaped river islands and air flows past concave or circular arc-shaped obstacles near the ground. Abdullah Murad Copyright © 2014 Abdullah Murad. All rights reserved. Informative Gene Selection and Direct Classification of Tumor Based on Chi-Square Test of Pairwise Gene Interactions Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/589290/ In efforts to discover disease mechanisms and improve clinical diagnosis of tumors, it is useful to mine profiles for informative genes with definite biological meanings and to build robust classifiers with high precision. In this study, we developed a new method for tumor-gene selection, the Chi-square test-based integrated rank gene and direct classifier (χ2-IRG-DC). First, we obtained the weighted integrated rank of gene importance from chi-square tests of single and pairwise gene interactions. Then, we sequentially introduced the ranked genes and removed redundant genes by using leave-one-out cross-validation of the chi-square test-based Direct Classifier (χ2-DC) within the training set to obtain informative genes. Finally, we determined the accuracy of independent test data by utilizing the genes obtained above with χ2-DC. Furthermore, we analyzed the robustness of χ2-IRG-DC by comparing the generalization performance of different models, the efficiency of different feature-selection methods, and the accuracy of different classifiers. An independent test of ten multiclass tumor gene-expression datasets showed that χ2-IRG-DC could efficiently control overfitting and had higher generalization performance. The informative genes selected by χ2-IRG-DC could dramatically improve the independent test precision of other classifiers; meanwhile, the informative genes selected by other feature selection methods also had good performance in χ2-DC. Hongyan Zhang, Lanzhi Li, Chao Luo, Congwei Sun, Yuan Chen, Zhijun Dai, and Zheming Yuan Copyright © 2014 Hongyan Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Engaging Brazilian Street Children in Play: Observations of Their Family Narratives Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cdr/2014/861703/ Story stem assessments allow children to create narratives in response to brief portrayals of family-based relational challenges. These methods can provide insights into children’s perceptions of close relationships, which is particularly useful for vulnerable children. We conducted a feasibility study of story stem assessments with school-age street children—a previously unstudied population—to explore whether they would understand family-based story scenarios similarly to children in more stable families. Comparisons to children in low income and middle-class conditions were made on the basis of performance characteristics and “narrative coherence.” Street children demonstrated capacities to elaborate family narratives nearly as proficiently as children in the other groups, yet they also displayed unique vulnerabilities. Implications for research with this population are discussed. Maria Leticia Castrechini Fernandes Franieck, Michael Günter, and Timothy Page Copyright © 2014 Maria Leticia Castrechini Fernandes Franieck et al. All rights reserved. Electron Correlation Effects on the Longitudinal Polarizabilities and Second Hyperpolarizabilities of Polyenes: A Finite Field Study Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2014/346272/ We carry out ab initio calculations, based on finite-field scheme, of the longitudinal polarizabilities () and second hyperpolarizabilities () of conjugated polyenes, and study the effects of electron correlation, with second-order Moller-Plesset perturbation theory and coupled cluster with singles and doubles method. Calculations with density functional theory are also made to compare with wave-function based methods. Our study shows that electron correlation reduces linear longitudinal polarizability and enhances longitudinal second hyperpolarizability for short polyenes, but the effects decrease as the chain increases; choosing appropriate basis sets is important when quantitative results are required. Qingxu Li, Xianju Zhou, and Shiwei Yin Copyright © 2014 Qingxu Li et al. All rights reserved. Web Spider Defense Technique in Wireless Sensor Networks Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2014/348606/ Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are currently widely used in many environments. Some of them gather many critical data, which should be protected from intruders. Generally, when an intruder is detected in the WSN, its connection is immediately stopped. But this way does not let the network administrator gather information about the attacker and/or its purposes. In this paper, we present a bioinspired system that uses the procedure taken by the web spider when it wants to catch its prey. We will explain how all steps performed by the web spider are included in our system and we will detail the algorithm and protocol procedure. A real test bench has been implemented in order to validate our system. It shows the performance for different response times, the CPU and RAM consumption, and the average and maximum values for ping and tracert time responses using constant delay and exponential jitter. Alejandro Canovas, Jaime Lloret, Elsa Macias, and Alvaro Suarez Copyright © 2014 Alejandro Canovas et al. All rights reserved. Heat Transfer Enhancement by Using Different Types of Inserts Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ame/2014/250354/ Heat transfer enhancement has been always a significantly interesting topic in order to develop high efficient, low cost, light weight, and small heat exchangers. The energy cost and environmental issue are also encouraging researchers to achieve better performance than the existing designs. Two of the most effective ways to achieve higher heat transfer rate in heat exchangers are using different kinds of inserts and modifying the heat exchanger tubes. There are different kinds of inserts employed in the heat exchanger tubes such as helical/twisted tapes, coiled wires, ribs/fins/baffles, and winglets. This paper presents an overview about the early studies on the improvement of the performance of thermal systems by using different kinds of inserts. Louvered strip insert had better function in backward flow compared to forward one. Modifying the shape of twisted tapes led to a higher efficiency in most of the cases excpet for perforated twisted tape and notched twisted tape. Combination of various inserts and tube with artificial roughness provided promising results. In case of using various propeller types, heat transfer enhancement was dependent on higher number of blades and blade angle and lower pitch ratio. S. Tabatabaeikia, H. A. Mohammed, N. Nik-Ghazali, and B. Shahizare Copyright © 2014 S. Tabatabaeikia et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Concept Acquisition Approach Based on Formal Contexts Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/136324/ As an important tool for data analysis and knowledge processing, formal concept analysis (FCA) has been applied to many fields. In this paper, we introduce a new method to find all formal concepts based on formal contexts. The amount of intents calculation is reduced by the method. And the corresponding algorithm of our approach is proposed. The main theorems and the corresponding algorithm are examined by examples, respectively. At last, several real-life databases are analyzed to demonstrate the application of the proposed approach. Experimental results show that the proposed approach is simple and effective. Ting Qian and Ling Wei Copyright © 2014 Ting Qian and Ling Wei. All rights reserved. Parallel-Batch Scheduling with Two Models of Deterioration to Minimize the Makespan Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/495187/ We consider the bounded parallel-batch scheduling with two models of deterioration, in which the processing time of the first model is and of the second model is . The objective is to minimize the makespan. We present time algorithms for the single-machine problems, respectively. And we propose fully polynomial time approximation schemes to solve the identical-parallel-machine problem and uniform-parallel-machine problem, respectively. Cuixia Miao Copyright © 2014 Cuixia Miao. All rights reserved. The Cauchy Problem for a Dissipative Periodic 2-Component Degasperis-Procesi System Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/410981/ The dissipative periodic 2-component Degasperis-Procesi system is investigated. A local well-posedness for the system in Besov space is established by using the Littlewood-Paley theory and a priori estimates for the solutions of transport equation. The wave-breaking criterions for strong solutions to the system with certain initial data are derived. Sen Ming, Han Yang, and Ls Yong Copyright © 2014 Sen Ming et al. All rights reserved. An Analytical Model for Fatigue Crack Propagation Prediction with Overload Effect Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/713678/ In this paper a theoretical model was developed to predict the fatigue crack growth behavior under the constant amplitude loading with single overload. In the proposed model, crack growth retardation was accounted for by using crack closure and plastic zone. The virtual crack annealing model modified by Bauschinger effect was used to calculate the crack closure level in the outside of retardation effect region. And the Dugdale plastic zone model was employed to estimate the size of retardation effect region. A sophisticated equation was developed to calculate the crack closure variation during the retardation area. Model validation was performed in D16 aluminum alloy and 350WT steel specimens subjected to constant amplitude load with single or multiple overloads. The predictions of the proposed model were contrasted with experimental data, and fairly good agreements were observed. Shan Jiang, Wei Zhang, Xiaoyang Li, and Fuqiang Sun Copyright © 2014 Shan Jiang et al. All rights reserved. Myasthenia Gravis-Like Syndrome Presenting as a Component of the Paraneoplastic Syndrome of Lung Adenocarcinoma in a Nonsmoker Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crionm/2014/703828/ Adenocarcinoma of the lung is the most common form of lung cancer in nonsmokers. It is commonly seen in the periphery of the lungs. Myasthenia gravis is generally associated with mediastinal malignancies and rarely associated with adenocarcinoma of the lung. We present a case of a 38-year-old male nonsmoker with rapidly progressive adenocarcinoma of the lung associated with myasthenia gravis, a patient whom expired within 27 days of hospital admission and diagnosis. Sahar Eivaz-Mohammadi, Fernando Gonzalez-Ibarra, Hesam Hekmatjou, Rao Mikkilineni, Amit Patel, and Amer K. Syed Copyright © 2014 Sahar Eivaz-Mohammadi et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Effects of Two Bt Cry Proteins on a GMO Safety Perspective Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/810490/ Studies have contested the innocuousness of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry proteins to mammalian cells as well as to mammals microbiota. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects of two Cry proteins, Cry8Ka5 (a novel mutant protein) and Cry1Ac (a widely distributed protein in GM crops). Evaluation of cyto- and genotoxicity in human lymphocytes was performed as well as hemolytic activity coupled with cellular membrane topography analysis in mammal erythrocytes. Effects of Cry8Ka5 and Cry1Ac upon Artemia sp. nauplii and upon bacteria and yeast growth were assessed. The toxins caused no significant effects on the viability ( µg/mL) or to the cellular DNA integrity of lymphocytes (no effects at 1,000 µg/mL). The Cry8Ka5 and Cry1Ac proteins did not cause severe damage to erythrocytes, neither with hemolysis ( µg/mL) nor with alterations in the membrane. Likewise, the Cry8Ka5 and Cry1Ac proteins presented high LC50 (755.11 and >1,000 µg/mL, resp.) on the brine shrimp lethality assay and showed no growth inhibition of the microorganisms tested ( µg/mL). This study contributed with valuable information on the effects of Cry8Ka5 and Cry1Ac proteins on nontarget organisms, which reinforce their potential for safe biotechnological applications. Davi Felipe Farias, Martônio Ponte Viana, Gustavo Ramos de Oliveira, Magda Aparecida Beneventi, Bruno Marques Soares, Claudia Pessoa, Igor Parra Pessoa, Luciano Paulino Silva, Ilka Maria Vasconcelos, Maria Fátima Grossi de Sá, and Ana Fontenele Urano Carvalho Copyright © 2014 Davi Felipe Farias et al. All rights reserved. Extended Finite Element Method for Predicting Productivity of Multifractured Horizontal Wells Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/810493/ Based on the theory of the extended finite element method (XFEM), which was first proposed by Moës for dealing with the problem characterized by discontinuities, an extended finite element model for predicting productivity of multifractured horizontal well has been established. The model couples four main porous flow regimes, including fluid flow in the away-from-wellbore region of reservoir matrix, radial flow in the near-wellbore region of reservoir matrix, linear flow in the away-from-wellbore region of fracture, and radial flow in the near-wellbore region of fracture by considering mass transfer between fracture and matrix. The method to introduce the interior well boundary condition into the XFEM is proposed, and therefore the model can be highly adaptable to the complex and asymmetrical physical conditions. Case studies indicate that this kind of multiflow problems can be solved with high accuracy by the use of the XFEM. Youshi Jiang, Jinzhou Zhao, Yongming Li, Hu Jia, and Liehui Zhang Copyright © 2014 Youshi Jiang et al. All rights reserved. Treatment of Bilateral Varicocele and Other Scrotal Comorbidities Using a Single Scrotal Access: Our Experience on 34 Patients Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/403603/ Introduction. Varicocele is the main cause of infertility in male and the most correctable cause of it too. In this study, we present our experience on 34 patients affected by bilateral varicocele and other scrotal comorbidities treated underwent surgery with a scrotal access. Materials and Methods. 34 patients were enrolled with clinical palpable and infraclinical (ultrasonic doppler scanning) bilateral varicocele and other comorbidities like right hydrocele, left hydrocele, bilateral hydrocele, and epididymal cyst. They all underwent scrotal bilateral varicocelectomy under local anesthesia. Results and Discussion. At 6 months, no other complications were reported. No case of testicular atrophy was observed. None had recurrence of varicocele. All scrotal comorbidities were treated as well. Conclusion. Scrotal access with local anesthesia is a safe and useful technique to treat patients with bilateral varicocele and other scrotal comorbidities. F. Iacono, A. Ruffo, D. Prezioso, G. Romeo, E. Illiano, G. Di Lauro, L. Romis, and S. Sansalone Copyright © 2014 F. Iacono et al. All rights reserved. An Energy Efficient Simultaneous-Node Repositioning Algorithm for Mobile Sensor Networks Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/785305/ Recently, wireless sensor network (WSN) applications have seen an increase in interest. In search and rescue, battlefield reconnaissance, and some other such applications, so that a survey of the area of interest can be made collectively, a set of mobile nodes is deployed. Keeping the network nodes connected is vital for WSNs to be effective. The provision of connectivity can be made at the time of startup and can be maintained by carefully coordinating the nodes when they move. However, if a node suddenly fails, the network could be partitioned to cause communication problems. Recently, several methods that use the relocation of nodes for connectivity restoration have been proposed. However, these methods have the tendency to not consider the potential coverage loss in some locations. This paper addresses the concerns of both connectivity and coverage in an integrated way so that this gap can be filled. A novel algorithm for simultaneous-node repositioning is introduced. In this approach, each neighbour of the failed node, one by one, moves in for a certain amount of time to take the place of the failed node, after which it returns to its original location in the network. The effectiveness of this algorithm has been verified by the simulation results. Muhammad Amir Khan, Halabi Hasbullah, Babar Nazir, and Imran Ali Khan Copyright © 2014 Muhammad Amir Khan et al. All rights reserved. Analytic Formulation for the Sound Absorption of a Panel Absorber under the Effects of Microperforation, Air Pumping, Linear Vibration and Nonlinear Vibration Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/906506/ This study includes the first work about the absorption of a panel absorber under the effects of microperforation, air pumping, and linear and nonlinear vibrations. In practice, thin perforated panel absorber is backed by a flexible wall to enhance the acoustic performance within the room. The panel is easily excited to vibrate nonlinearly and the wall can vibrate linearly. However, the assumptions of linear panel vibration and no wall vibration are adopted in many research works. The development of the absorption formula is based on the classical approach and the electroacoustic analogy, in which the impedances of microperforation, air pumping, and linear and nonlinear vibrations are in parallel and connected to that of the air cavity in series. Unlike those finite element, numerical integration, and multiscale solution methods and so forth, the analytic formula to calculate the absorption of a panel absorber does not require heavy computation effort and is suitable for engineering calculation purpose. The theoretical result obtained from the proposed method shows reasonable agreement with that from a previous numerical integration method. It can be concluded that the overall absorption bandwidth of a panel absorber with an appropriate configuration can be optimized and widened by making use of the positive effects of microperforation, air pumping, and panel vibration. Y. Y. Lee Copyright © 2014 Y. Y. Lee. All rights reserved. A Transient Queuing Model for Analyzing and Optimizing Gate Congestion of Railway Container Terminals Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2014/914706/ As the significant connection between the external and internal of the railway container terminal, the operation performance of the gate system plays an important role in the entire system. So the gate congestion will bring many losses to the railway container terminal, even the entire railway container freight system. In this paper, the queue length and the average waiting time of the railway container terminal gate system, as well as the optimal number of service channels during the different time period, are investigated. An transient queuing model is developed based on the distribution of the arrival time interval and the service time; besides the transient solutions are acquired by the equally likely combinations (ELC) heuristic method. Then the model is integrated into an optimization framework to obtain the optimal operation schemes. Finally, some computational experiments are conducted for model validation, sensitivity testing, and system optimization. Experimental results indicate that the model can provide the accurate reflection to the operation situation of the railway container terminal gate system, and the approach can yield the optimal number of service channels within the reasonable computation time. Ming Zeng, Wenming Cheng, and Peng Guo Copyright © 2014 Ming Zeng et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of the Influence of Formulation and Process Variables on Mechanical Properties of Oral Mucoadhesive Films Using Multivariate Data Analysis Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/179568/ Oral mucosa is an attractive region for the local and systemic application of many drugs. Oral mucoadhesive films are preferred for their prolonged time of residence, the improved bioavailability of the drug they contain, their painless application, their protection against lesions, and their nonirritating properties. This work was focused on preparation of nonmedicated carmellose-based films using both solvent casting and impregnation methods, respectively. Moreover, a modern approach to evaluation of mucoadhesive films applying analysis of texture and subsequent multivariate data analysis was used. In this experiment, puncture strength strongly correlated with tensile strength and could be used to obtain necessary information about the mechanical film characteristics in films prepared using both methods. Puncture work and tensile work were not correlated in films prepared using the solvent casting method, as increasing the amount of glycerol led to an increase in the puncture work in thinner films. All measured texture parameters in films prepared by impregnation were significantly smaller compared to films prepared by solvent casting. Moreover, a relationship between the amount of glycerol and film thickness was observed, and a greater recalculated tensile/puncture strength was needed for an increased thickness in films prepared by impregnation. Hana Landová, David Vetchý, Jan Gajdziok, Petr Doležel, Jan Muselík, Kateřina Dvořáčková, Vladimír Jekl, Karel Hauptman, and Zdeněk Knotek Copyright © 2014 Hana Landová et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Treatment Strategy for a Tumor Model under Immune Suppression Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2014/206287/ We propose a mathematical model describing tumor-immune interactions under immune suppression. These days evidences indicate that the immune suppression related to cancer contributes to its progression. The mathematical model for tumor-immune interactions would provide a new methodology for more sophisticated treatment options of cancer. To do this we have developed a system of 11 ordinary differential equations including the movement, interaction, and activation of NK cells, CD8+T-cells, CD4+T cells, regulatory T cells, and dendritic cells under the presence of tumor and cytokines and the immune interactions. In addition, we apply two control therapies, immunotherapy and chemotherapy to the model in order to control growth of tumor. Using optimal control theory and numerical simulations, we obtain appropriate treatment strategies according to the ratio of the cost for two therapies, which suggest an optimal timing of each administration for the two types of models, without and with immunosuppressive effects. These results mean that the immune suppression can have an influence on treatment strategies for cancer. Kwang Su Kim, Giphil Cho, and Il Hyo Jung Copyright © 2014 Kwang Su Kim et al. All rights reserved. The Study on Stage Financing Model of IT Project Investment Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/321710/ Stage financing is the basic operation of venture capital investment. In investment, usually venture capitalists use different strategies to obtain the maximum returns. Due to its advantages to reduce the information asymmetry and agency cost, stage financing is widely used by venture capitalists. Although considerable attentions are devoted to stage financing, very little is known about the risk aversion strategies of IT projects. This paper mainly addresses the problem of risk aversion of venture capital investment in IT projects. Based on the analysis of characteristics of venture capital investment of IT projects, this paper introduces a real option pricing model to measure the value brought by the stage financing strategy and design a risk aversion model for IT projects. Because real option pricing method regards investment activity as contingent decision, it helps to make judgment on the management flexibility of IT projects and then make a more reasonable evaluation about the IT programs. Lastly by being applied to a real case, it further illustrates the effectiveness and feasibility of the model. Si-hua Chen, Sheng-hua Xu, Changhoon Lee, Neal N. Xiong, and Wei He Copyright © 2014 Si-hua Chen et al. All rights reserved. Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Derived from Cross-Linked Oyster Protein Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/379234/ Following cross-linking by microbial transglutaminase, modified oyster proteins were hydrolyzed to improve inhibitory activity against angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity with the use of a single protease, or a combination of six proteases. The oyster hydrolysate with the lowest 50% ACE inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.40 mg/mL was obtained by two-step hydrolysis of the cross-linked oyster protein using Protamex and Neutrase. Five ACE inhibitory peptides were purified from the oyster hydrolysate using a multistep chromatographic procedure comprised of ion-exchange, size exclusion, and reversed-phase liquid chromatography. Their sequences were identified as TAY, VK, KY, FYN, and YA, using automated Edman degradation and mass spectrometry. These peptides were synthesized, and their IC50 values were measured to be 16.7, 29.0, 51.5, 68.2, and 93.9 μM, respectively. Toxicity of the peptides on the HepG2 cell line was not detected. The oyster hydrolysate also significantly decreased the systolic blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The antihypertensive effect of the oyster hydrolysate on SHR was rapid and long-lasting, compared to commercially obtained sardine hydrolysate. These results suggest that the oyster hydrolysate could be a source of effective nutraceuticals against hypertension. Cheng-Liang Xie, Jin-Soo Kim, Jong-Myung Ha, Se-Young Choung, and Yeung-Joon Choi Copyright © 2014 Cheng-Liang Xie et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Free Radical Scavenging Potential and Oxidative DNA Damage Preventive Activity of Trachyspermum ammi L. (Carom) and Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (Fennel) Seed Extracts Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/582767/ Oxidation of biomolecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids results in generation of free radicals in an organism which is the major cause of onset of various degenerative diseases. Antioxidants scavenge these free radicals, thereby protecting the cell from damage. The present study was designed to examine the free radical scavenging potential and oxidative DNA damage preventive activity of traditionally used spices Trachyspermum ammi L. (carom) and Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (fennel). The aqueous, methanolic, and acetonic extracts of T. ammi and F. vulgare seeds were prepared using soxhlet extraction assembly and subjected to qualitative and quantitative estimation of phytochemical constituents. Free radical scavenging potential was investigated using standard methods, namely, DPPH radical scavenging assay and ferric reducing antioxidant power assay along with the protection against oxidative DNA damage. The results stated that acetonic seed extracts (AAcSE and FAcSE) of both the spices possessed comparatively high amount of total phenolics whereas methanolic seed extracts (AMSE and FMSE) were found to have highest amount of total flavonoids. At 1 mg/mL concentration, highest DPPH radical scavenging activity was shown by FMSE (96.2%), AAcSE was recorded with highest FRAP value (2270.27 ± 0.005 μmol/L), and all the seed extracts have been shown to mitigate the damage induced by Fenton reaction on calf thymus DNA. Therefore, the study suggests that T. ammi and F. vulgare seed extracts could contribute as a highly significant bioresource of antioxidants to be used in our day-to-day life and in food and pharmaceutical industry. Nandini Goswami and Sreemoyee Chatterjee Copyright © 2014 Nandini Goswami and Sreemoyee Chatterjee. All rights reserved. Association between Serum Uric Acid Level and Metabolic Syndrome and Its Sex Difference in a Chinese Community Elderly Population Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2014/754678/ Objective. This study aimed to evaluate the association between serum uric acid (SUA) levels within a normal to high range and the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among community elderly and explore the sex difference. Design and Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a representative urban area of Beijing between 2009 and 2010. A two-stage stratified clustering sampling method was used and 2102 elderly participants were included. Results. The prevalence of hyperuricemia and MetS was 16.7% and 59.1%, respectively. There was a strong association between hyperuricemia and four components of MetS in women and three components in men. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed ORs of hyperuricemia for MetS were 1.67 (95% CI: 1.11–2.50) in men and 2.73 (95% CI: 1.81–4.11) in women. Even in the normal range, the ORs for MetS increased gradually according to SUA levels. MetS component number also showed an increasing trend across SUA quartile in both sexes (P for trend < 0.01). Conclusion. This study suggests that higher SUA levels, even in the normal range, are positively associated with MetS among Chinese community elderly, and the association is stronger in women than men. Physicians should recognize MetS as a frequent comorbidity of hyperuricemia and take early action to prevent subsequent disease burden. Miao Liu, Yao He, Bin Jiang, Lei Wu, Shanshan Yang, Yiyan Wang, and Xiaoying Li Copyright © 2014 Miao Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Gerber-Shiu Expected Penalty Function for the Risk Model with Dependence and a Constant Dividend Barrier Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2014/730174/ We consider a compound Poisson risk model with dependence and a constant dividend barrier. A dependence structure between the claim amount and the interclaim time is introduced through a Farlie-Gumbel-Morgenstern copula. An integrodifferential equation for the Gerber-Shiu discounted penalty function is derived. We also solve the integrodifferential equation and show that the solution is a linear combination of the Gerber-Shiu function with no barrier and the solution of an associated homogeneous integrodifferential equation. Donghai Liu, Zaiming Liu, and Dan Peng Copyright © 2014 Donghai Liu et al. All rights reserved. Speech Understanding with a New Implant Technology: A Comparative Study with a New Nonskin Penetrating Baha System Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/416205/ Objective. To compare hearing and speech understanding between a new, nonskin penetrating Baha system (Baha Attract) to the current Baha system using a skin-penetrating abutment. Methods. Hearing and speech understanding were measured in 16 experienced Baha users. The transmission path via the abutment was compared to a simulated Baha Attract transmission path by attaching the implantable magnet to the abutment and then by adding a sample of artificial skin and the external parts of the Baha Attract system. Four different measurements were performed: bone conduction thresholds directly through the sound processor (BC Direct), aided sound field thresholds, aided speech understanding in quiet, and aided speech understanding in noise. Results. The simulated Baha Attract transmission path introduced an attenuation starting from approximately 5 dB at 1000 Hz, increasing to 20–25 dB above 6000 Hz. However, aided sound field threshold shows smaller differences and aided speech understanding in quiet and in noise does not differ significantly between the two transmission paths. Conclusion. The Baha Attract system transmission path introduces predominately high frequency attenuation. This attenuation can be partially compensated by adequate fitting of the speech processor. No significant decrease in speech understanding in either quiet or in noise was found. Anja Kurz, Mark Flynn, Marco Caversaccio, and Martin Kompis Copyright © 2014 Anja Kurz et al. All rights reserved. Extent of Anaemia among Preschool Children in EAG States, India: A Challenge to Policy Makers Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/anemia/2014/868752/ Background. India is the highest contributor to child anemia. About 89 million children in India are anemic. The study determines the factors that contributed to child anemia and examines the role of the existing programs in reducing the prevalence of child anemia particularly in the EAG states. Methods. The data from the latest round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) is used. Simple bivariate and multinomial logistics regression analyses are used. Results. About 70% children are anemic in all the EAG states. The prevalence of severe anemia is the highest (6.7%) in Rajasthan followed by Uttar Pradesh (3.6%) and Madhya Pradesh (3.4%). Children aged 12 to 17 months are significantly seven times (, ) more likely to be severely anemic compared to children of 36 to 59 months. Children of severely anemic mothers are also found to be more severely anemic (, ) than the children of not anemic mothers. Conclusions. The study reveals that the existing government program fails to control anemia among preschool children in the backward states of India. Therefore, there is an urgent need for monitoring of program in regular interval, particularly for EAG states to reduce the prevalence of anemia among preschool children. Rakesh Kumar Singh and Shraboni Patra Copyright © 2014 Rakesh Kumar Singh and Shraboni Patra. All rights reserved. The Coral Reefs Optimization Algorithm: A Novel Metaheuristic for Efficiently Solving Optimization Problems Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:09:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/739768/ This paper presents a novel bioinspired algorithm to tackle complex optimization problems: the coral reefs optimization (CRO) algorithm. The CRO algorithm artificially simulates a coral reef, where different corals (namely, solutions to the optimization problem considered) grow and reproduce in coral colonies, fighting by choking out other corals for space in the reef. This fight for space, along with the specific characteristics of the corals' reproduction, produces a robust metaheuristic algorithm shown to be powerful for solving hard optimization problems. In this research the CRO algorithm is tested in several continuous and discrete benchmark problems, as well as in practical application scenarios (i.e., optimum mobile network deployment and off-shore wind farm design). The obtained results confirm the excellent performance of the proposed algorithm and open line of research for further application of the algorithm to real-world problems. S. Salcedo-Sanz, J. Del Ser, I. Landa-Torres, S. Gil-López, and J. A. Portilla-Figueras Copyright © 2014 S. Salcedo-Sanz et al. All rights reserved. A Multiple Iterated Integral Inequality and Applications Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:09:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2014/327943/ We establish new multiple iterated Volterra-Fredholm type integral inequalities, where the composite function of the unknown function with nonlinear function in integral functions in [Ma, QH, Pečarić, J: Estimates on solutions of some new nonlinear retarded Volterra-Fredholm type integral inequalities. Nonlinear Anal. 69 (2008) 393–407] is changed into the composite functions of the unknown function with different nonlinear functions , respectively. By adopting novel analysis techniques, the upper bounds of the embedded unknown functions are estimated explicitly. The derived results can be applied in the study of solutions of ordinary differential equations and integral equations. Zongyi Hou and Wu-Sheng Wang Copyright © 2014 Zongyi Hou and Wu-Sheng Wang. All rights reserved. Capacity Estimation of the Very Short-Range Electromagnetic Underwater Channel Based on Measurements Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:08:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2014/318421/ The significant attenuation experienced by electromagnetic waves in sea water is the main reason why acoustic waves are generally preferred in underwater communication. Nevertheless, acoustic waves have various drawbacks. For example, they are negatively affected by factors such as mechanical noise, slow propagation speed, and, particularly, low bandwidth, which leads to digital links at a lower bit rate. However, in short-range links, these problems can be overcome by reconsidering the use of electric current communications. For instance, data collected by remote-control vehicles in offshore oil and gas and renewable energy plants can be transmitted at distances of even 1 m or less. This study uses previous frequency response measurements taken in deep water to explore the capacity of a short-range electromagnetic underwater channel. Because of water movement, the nonstatic position of the vehicle when the transmission occurs means that the channel is regarded as randomly time-variant. A statistical model is proposed and the ergodic capacity is calculated for a 7 MHz bandwidth channel at distances ranging from 0.5 m to 5 m as well as for different values of transmitter power. The results of this study reflect capacity values of tens of kbps at distances of approximately 5 m to several Mbps at distances of less than 1.5 m. Jesús López-Fernández, Unai Fernández-Plazaola, and Jose F. Paris Copyright © 2014 Jesús López-Fernández et al. All rights reserved. Null Steering of Adaptive Beamforming Using Linear Constraint Minimum Variance Assisted by Particle Swarm Optimization, Dynamic Mutated Artificial Immune System, and Gravitational Search Algorithm Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:05:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/724639/ Linear constraint minimum variance (LCMV) is one of the adaptive beamforming techniques that is commonly applied to cancel interfering signals and steer or produce a strong beam to the desired signal through its computed weight vectors. However, weights computed by LCMV usually are not able to form the radiation beam towards the target user precisely and not good enough to reduce the interference by placing null at the interference sources. It is difficult to improve and optimize the LCMV beamforming technique through conventional empirical approach. To provide a solution to this problem, artificial intelligence (AI) technique is explored in order to enhance the LCMV beamforming ability. In this paper, particle swarm optimization (PSO), dynamic mutated artificial immune system (DM-AIS), and gravitational search algorithm (GSA) are incorporated into the existing LCMV technique in order to improve the weights of LCMV. The simulation result demonstrates that received signal to interference and noise ratio (SINR) of target user can be significantly improved by the integration of PSO, DM-AIS, and GSA in LCMV through the suppression of interference in undesired direction. Furthermore, the proposed GSA can be applied as a more effective technique in LCMV beamforming optimization as compared to the PSO technique. The algorithms were implemented using Matlab program. Soodabeh Darzi, Tiong Sieh Kiong, Mohammad Tariqul Islam, Mahamod Ismail, Salehin Kibria, and Balasem Salem Copyright © 2014 Soodabeh Darzi et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Prediction Method about Single Components of Analog Circuits Based on Complex Field Modeling Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:04:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/530942/ Few researches pay attention to prediction about analog circuits. The few methods lack the correlation with circuit analysis during extracting and calculating features so that FI (fault indicator) calculation often lack rationality, thus affecting prognostic performance. To solve the above problem, this paper proposes a novel prediction method about single components of analog circuits based on complex field modeling. Aiming at the feature that faults of single components hold the largest number in analog circuits, the method starts with circuit structure, analyzes transfer function of circuits, and implements complex field modeling. Then, by an established parameter scanning model related to complex field, it analyzes the relationship between parameter variation and degeneration of single components in the model in order to obtain a more reasonable FI feature set via calculation. According to the obtained FI feature set, it establishes a novel model about degeneration trend of analog circuits’ single components. At last, it uses particle filter (PF) to update parameters for the model and predicts remaining useful performance (RUP) of analog circuits’ single components. Since calculation about the FI feature set is more reasonable, accuracy of prediction is improved to some extent. Finally, the foregoing conclusions are verified by experiments. Jingyu Zhou, Shulin Tian, and Chenglin Yang Copyright © 2014 Jingyu Zhou et al. All rights reserved.