• For a World Without Boundaries: Connectivity Between Marine Tropical Ecosystems in Times of Change

      Earp, Hannah S.; Prinz, Natalie; Cziesielski, Maha J.; Andskog, Mona (Springer International Publishing, 2018-08-30)
      Tropical mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. Their evolution in dynamic, and ever-changing environments means they have developed a capacity to withstand and recover (i.e., are resilient) from disturbances caused by anthropogenic activities and climatic perturbations. Their resilience can be attributed, in part, to a range of cross-ecosystem interactions whereby one ecosystem creates favorable conditions for the maintenance of its neighbors. However, in recent decades, expanding human populations have augmented anthropogenic activities and driven changes in global climate, resulting in increased frequencies and intensities of disturbances to these ecosystems. Many contemporary environments are failing to regenerate following these disturbances and consequently, large-scale degradation and losses of ecosystems on the tropical seascape are being observed. This chapter reviews the wealth of available literature focused on the tropical marine seascape to investigate the degree of connectivity between its ecosystems and how cross-ecosystem interactions may be impacted by ever-increasing anthropogenic activities and human-induced climate change. Furthermore, it investigates how disruption and/or loss of these cross-ecosystem interactions may impact the success of neighboring ecosystems and consequently, the highly-valued ecosystem services to which these ecosystems give rise. The findings from this review highlight the degree of connectivity between mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs, and emphasizes the need for a holistic, seascape-wide research approach to successfully protect and preserve these critically important ecosystems and their associated services for future generations.
    • Reading the Book of Life – Omics as a Universal Tool Across Disciplines

      Brüwer, Jan David; Buck-Wiese, Hagen (Springer International Publishing, 2018-08-30)
      In the last centuries, new high-throughput technologies, including sequencing and mass-spectrometry, have emerged and are constantly refurbished in order to decipher the molecular code of life. In this review, we summarize the physiological background from genes via transcriptome to proteins and metabolites and discuss the variety of dimensions in which a biological entity may be studied. Herein, we emphasize regulatory processes which underlie the plasticity of molecular profiles on different ome layers. We discuss the four major fields of omic research, namely genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, by providing specific examples and case studies for (i) the assessment of functionality on molecular, organism, and community level; (ii) the possibility to use omic research for categorization and systematic efforts; and (iii) the evaluation of responses to environmental cues with a special focus on anthropogenic influences. Thereby, we exemplify the knowledge gains attributable to the integration of information from different omes and the enhanced precision in predicting the phenotype. Lastly, we highlight the advantages of combining multiple omics layers in assessing the complexity of natural systems as meta-communities and -organisms.
    • Review of In Vitro Toxicity of Nanoparticles and Nanorods—Part 2

      Perez, Jose E.; Alsharif, Nouf; Martínez-Banderas, Aldo I.; Othman, Basmah; Merzaban, Jasmeen; Ravasi, Timothy; Kosel, Jürgen (InTech, 2018-07-25)
      The specific use of engineered nanostructures in biomedical applications has become very attractive, due to their ability to interface and target specific cells and tissues to execute their functions. Additionally, there is continuous progress in research on new nanostructures with unique optical, magnetic, catalytic and electrochemical properties that can be exploited for therapeutic or diagnostic methods. On the other hand, as nanostructures become widely used in many different applications, the unspecific exposure of humans to them is also unavoidable. Therefore, studying and understanding the toxicity of such materials are of increasing importance. Previously published reviews regarding the toxicological effects of nanostructures focus mostly on the cytotoxicity of nanoparticles and their internalization, activated signaling pathways and cellular response. Here, the most recent studies on the invitro cytotoxicity of NPs, nanowires and nanorods for biomedical applications are reviewed and divided into two parts. The first part considers nonmagnetic metallic and magnetic nanostructures, while, the second part covers carbon structures and semiconductors. The factors influencing the toxicity of these nanostructures are elaborated to help elucidate the effects of these nanomaterials on cells, which is a prerequisite for their safe clinical use.
    • Genomic and Genetic Studies of Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Barley

      Saade, Stephanie; Negrão, Sónia; Plett, Darren; Garnett, Trevor; Tester, Mark (Springer International Publishing, 2018-08-18)
      Barley is a resilient crop plant with higher tolerance than other cereal plants for several types of abiotic stress. In this chapter, we describe the genetic components underlying barley’s response to abiotic stresses, including soil acidity, boron toxicity, soil salinity, drought, temperature, and nutrient deficiency. We describe typical symptoms observed in barley in response to these stresses. We enumerate the major qualitative trait loci (QTLs) identified so far, such as FR-H1 and FR-H2 for low-temperature tolerance. We also discuss candidate genes that are the basis for stress tolerance, such as HVP10, which underlies the HvNax3 locus for salinity tolerance. Although knowledge about barley’s responses to abiotic stresses is far from complete, the genetic diversity in cultivated barley and its close wild relatives could be further exploited to improve stress tolerance. To this end, the release of the barley high-quality reference genome provides a powerful tool to facilitate identification of new genes underlying barley’s relatively high tolerance to several abiotic stresses.
    • Error-Bounded Approximation of Data Stream: Methods and Theories

      Xie, Qing; Pang, Chaoyi; Zhou, Xiaofang; Zhang, Xiangliang; Deng, Ke (Springer International Publishing, 2018-07-28)
      Since the development of sensor network and Internet of Things, the volume of data is rapidly increasing and the streaming data has attracted much attention recently. To efficiently process and explore data streams, the compact data representation is playing an important role, since the data approximations other than the original data items are usually applied in many stream mining tasks, such as clustering, classification, and correlation analysis. In this chapter, we focus on the maximum error-bounded approximation of data stream, which represents the streaming data with constrained approximation error on each data point. There are two criteria for the approximation solution: self-adaption over time for varied error bound and real-time processing. We reviewed the existing data approximation techniques and summarized some essential theories such as optimization guarantee. Two optimal linear-time algorithms are introduced to construct error-bounded piecewise linear representation for data stream. One generates the line segments by data convex analysis, and the other one is based on the transformed space, which can be extended to a general model. We theoretically analyzed and compared these two different spaces, and proved the theoretical equivalence between them, as well as the two algorithms.
    • Efficient Estimation of Dynamic Density Functions with Applications in Data Streams

      Qahtan, Abdulhakim; Wang, Suojin; Zhang, Xiangliang (Springer International Publishing, 2018-07-28)
      Recently, many applications such as network monitoring, traffic management and environmental studies generate huge amount of data that cannot fit in the computer memory. Data of such applications arrive continuously in the form of streams. The main challenges for mining data streams are the high speed and the large volume of the arriving data. A typical solution to tackle the problems of mining data streams is to learn a model that fits in the computer memory. However, the underlying distributions of the streaming data change over time in unpredicted scenarios. In this sense, the learned models should be updated continuously and rely more on the most recent data in the streams. In this chapter, we present an online density estimator that builds a model called KDE-Track for characterizing the dynamic density of the data streams. KDE-Track summarizes the distribution of a data stream by estimating the Probability Density Function (PDF) of the stream at a set of resampling points. KDE-Track is shown to be more accurate (as reflected by smaller error values) and more computationally efficient (as reflected by shorter running time) when compared with existing density estimation techniques. We demonstrate the usefulness of KDE-Track in visualizing the dynamic density of data streams and change detection.
    • Chapter 6. DFT Modelling Tools in CO2 Conversion: Reaction Mechanism Screening and Analysis

      Azofra, Luis Miguel; Sun, Chenghua (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018-05-21)
      The computer-aided molecular modelling of the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide (CO) intogreen' fuels offers a comprehensive view of the chemical events taking place during the process. This provides crucial information aboutwhere',how', and 'why' and also allows the in silico hypothesising of those promising catalysts before the experimental testing of their catalytic performance. Among the variety of quantum mechanical approaches, well-resolved density functional theory (DFT) has been proven as a fast, robust, and powerful methodology for such purposes. In the present chapter, we review different fundamental aspects of the chemical reactivity with special emphasis on the theoretical point-of-view as well as fully treating the thermodynamics, kinetics, and additional aspects for the DFT modelling of the CO conversion mechanism screening through the electrochemical approach.
    • In Situ Spectroscopic Ellipsometry in the Field of Industrial Membranes

      Ogieglo, Wojciech (Springer International Publishing, 2018-05-06)
      Industrial membranes are playing an ever increasing role in the ongoing and necessary transition of our society towards more sustainable growth and development. Already today membranes offer more energy efficient alternatives to the traditional often very energy intensive industrial separation processes such as (cryogenic) distillation or crystallization. For many years reverse osmosis membranes have offered a viable method for the production of potable water via desalination processes and their significance continuously increases. Recently, membrane technology has been demonstrated to play a significant role in potential methods to generate or store energy on an industrial scale. For molecular separations often the key for an efficient membrane operation often lies in the application of an (ultra-) thin organic polymer, inorganic or hybrid selective layer whose interaction with the separated mixture defines the membrane performance. Ellipsometry has started gaining increasing attention in this area due to its large potential to conduct in-situ, non-destructive and very precise analysis of the film-fluid interactions. In this chapter, we aim to review the important recent developments in the application of ellipsometry in industrial membrane-related studies. We briefly introduce the basics of membrane science and discuss the used experimental setups and optical models. Further we focus on fundamental studies of sorption, transport and penetrant-induced phenomena in thin films exposed to organic solvents or high pressure gases. The application of in-situ ellipsometry is discussed for studies of new, promising membrane materials and the use of the technique for emerging direct studies of operating membranes is highlighted.
    • Impact of MCT1 Haploinsufficiency on the Mouse Retina

      Peachey, Neal S.; Yu, Minzhong; Han, John Y. S.; Lengacher, Sylvain; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Pellerin, Luc; Philp, Nancy J. (Springer International Publishing, 2018-05-02)
      The monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) is highly expressed in the outer retina, suggesting that it plays a critical role in photoreceptors. We examined MCT1+/− heterozygotes, which express half of the normal complement of MCT1. The MCT1+/− retina developed normally and retained normal function, indicating that MCT1 is expressed at sufficient levels to support outer retinal metabolism.
    • Adsorption desalination—Principles, process design, and its hybrids for future sustainable desalination

      Shahzad, Muhammad Wakil; Burhan, Muhammad; Ang, Li; Ng, Kim Choon (Elsevier, 2018-05-03)
      The energy, water, and environment nexus is a crucial factor when considering the future development of desalination plants or industry in water-stressed economies. The new generation of desalination processes or plants has to meet the stringent environment discharge requirements and yet the industry remains highly energy efficient and sustainable when producing good potable water. Water sources, either brackish or seawater, have become more contaminated as feed while the demand for desalination capacities increases around the world. One immediate solution for energy efficiency improvement comes from the hybridization of the proven desalination processes to the newer processes of desalination: For example, the integration of the available heat-driven to adsorption desalination (AD) cycles where significant thermodynamic synergy can be attained when cycles are combined. For these hybrid cycles, a quantum improvement in energy efficiency as well as an increase in water production can be expected. The advent of MED with AD cycles, or simply called the MED-AD cycles, is one such example where seawater desalination can be pursued and operated in cogeneration with the electricity production plants: The hybrid desalination cycles utilize only the low exergy bled-stream at low temperatures, complemented with waste exhaust or renewable solar thermal heat at temperatures between 60°C and 80°C. In this chapter, the authors have reported their pioneered research on aspects of AD and related hybrid MED-AD cycles, both at theoretical models and experimental pilots. Using the cogeneration of electricity and desalination concepts, the authors examine the cost apportionment of fuel cost by the quality or exergy of the working steam for such cogeneration configurations.
    • Hepatitis C Virus: Virology and Genotypes

      Abdelaziz, Ahmed (Elsevier, 2017-12-01)
      Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major causative agent of chronic liver disease worldwide. HCV is characterized by genetic heterogeneity, with at least six genotypes identified. The geographic distribution of genotypes has shown variations in different parts of the world over the past decade because of variations in population structure, immigration, and routes of transmission. Genotype differences are of epidemiologic interest and help the study of viral transmission dynamics to trace the source of HCV infection in a given population. HCV genotypes are also of considerable clinical importance because they affect response to antiviral therapy and represent a challenging obstacle for vaccine development.
    • Alkane Metathesis

      Basset, Jean-Marie; Callens, Emmanuel; Riache, Nassima (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2015-03-29)
      Catalytic activation of alkanes which directly transforms light alkanes into higher homologs is a major area in organometallic chemistry and petrochemical chemistry. This transformation is a chemical challenge considering the inertness of the sp3 carbon-hydrogen bond. It is generally accepted that this catalytic process involves the formation of olefins. This reaction is defined as alkane metathesis. To date, two catalytic systems of alkane metathesis exist: (i) a single catalytic system prepared by surface organometallic chemistry, acting as multifunctional-supported catalyst which transforms any alkanes into a mixture of their lower and higher homologs and (ii) the other catalytic systems employing a tandem strategy with two different metals, one metal for alkane (de)hydrogenation and another for olefin metathesis in which the activity of these catalysts is essentially driven by the performance of the (de)hydrogenation steps. In this book chapter, we would focus on the evolution of these two classes of catalysts by looking at their specific reactivity of the catalysts towards alkanes, comparing their performances and studying the mechanism.
    • TDZ-Induced Plant Regeneration in Jatropha curcas: A Promising Biofuel Plant

      Kumar, Nitish; Bhatt, Vacha D.; Mastan, Shaik G.; Reddy, Muppala P. (Springer Singapore, 2018-03-23)
      In recent years, Jatropha curcas has pronounced attention due to its capacity of production of biodiesel. Uniform large-scale propagation of J. curcas is one of the significant keys that will eventually decide victory. Direct regeneration is one of the methods which help in the production of uniform and homogenous plant, and TDZ plays an important role in the production of plantlets by direct organogenesis in several number of plant species including J. curcas. Measuring the economical importance of J. curcas and the role of TDZ in shoot regeneration, the present book chapter briefly reviews the impact of TDZ on shoot bud induction from various explants of J. curcas.
    • Simple Finite Sums

      Alabdulmohsin, Ibrahim M. (Springer International Publishing, 2018-03-07)
      We will begin our treatment of summability calculus by analyzing what will be referred to, throughout this book, as simple finite sums. Even though the results of this chapter are particular cases of the more general results presented in later chapters, they are important to start with for a few reasons. First, this chapter serves as an excellent introduction to what summability calculus can markedly accomplish. Second, simple finite sums are encountered more often and, hence, they deserve special treatment. Third, the results presented in this chapter for simple finite sums will, themselves, be used as building blocks for deriving the most general results in subsequent chapters. Among others, we establish that fractional finite sums are well-defined mathematical objects and show how various identities related to the Euler constant as well as the Riemann zeta function can actually be derived in an elementary manner using fractional finite sums.
    • Oscillating Finite Sums

      Alabdulmohsin, Ibrahim M. (Springer International Publishing, 2018-03-07)
      In this chapter, we use the theory of summability of divergent series, presented earlier in Chap. 4, to derive the analogs of the Euler-Maclaurin summation formula for oscillating sums. These formulas will, in turn, be used to perform many remarkable deeds with ease. For instance, they can be used to derive analytic expressions for summable divergent series, obtain asymptotic expressions of oscillating series, and even accelerate the convergence of series by several orders of magnitude. Moreover, we will prove the notable fact that, as far as the foundational rules of summability calculus are concerned, summable divergent series behave exactly as if they were convergent.
    • Composite Finite Sums

      Alabdulmohsin, Ibrahim M. (Springer International Publishing, 2018-03-07)
      In this chapter, we extend the previous results of Chap. 2 to the more general case of composite finite sums. We describe what composite finite sums are and how their analysis can be reduced to the analysis of simple finite sums using the chain rule. We apply these techniques, next, on numerical integration and on some identities of Ramanujan.
    • Analytic Summability Theory

      Alabdulmohsin, Ibrahim M. (Springer International Publishing, 2018-03-07)
      The theory of summability of divergent series is a major branch of mathematical analysis that has found important applications in engineering and science. It addresses methods of assigning natural values to divergent sums, whose prototypical examples include the Abel summation method, the Cesaro means, and the Borel summability method. As will be established in subsequent chapters, the theory of summability of divergent series is intimately connected to the theory of fractional finite sums. In this chapter, we introduce a generalized definition of series as well as a new summability method for computing the value of series according to such a definition. We show that the proposed summability method is both regular and linear, and that it arises quite naturally in the study of local polynomial approximations of analytic functions. The materials presented in this chapter will be foundational to all subsequent chapters.
    • Development of Falling Film Heat Transfer Coefficient for Industrial Chemical Processes Evaporator Design

      Shahzad, Muhammad Wakil; Burhan, Muhammad; Ng, Kim Choon (InTech, 2018-03-07)
      In falling film evaporators, the overall heat transfer coefficient is controlled by film thickness, velocity, liquid properties and the temperature differential across the film layer. This chapter presents the heat transfer behaviour for evaporative film boiling on horizontal tubes, but working at low pressures of 0.93–3.60 kPa as well as seawater salinity of 15,000–90,000 mg/l or ppm. Owing to a dearth of literature on film-boiling at these conditions, the chapter is motivated by the importance of evaporative film-boiling in the process industries. It is observed that in addition to the above-mentioned parameters, evaporative heat transfer of seawater is affected by the emergence of micro-bubbles within the thin film layer, particularly when the liquid saturation temperatures drop below 25°C (3.1 kPa). Such micro-bubbles are generated near to the tube wall surfaces, and they enhanced the heat transfer by two or more folds when compared with the predictions of conventional evaporative film-boiling. The appearance of micro-bubbles is attributed to the rapid increase in the specific volume of vapour, i.e. dv/dT, at low saturation temperature conditions. A new correlation is thus proposed in this chapter and it shows good agreement to the measured data with an experimental uncertainty less than ±8%.
    • PCNA Structure and Interactions with Partner Proteins

      Oke, Muse; Zaher, Manal S.; Hamdan, Samir (Springer New York, 2018-01-29)
      Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) consists of three identical monomers that topologically encircle double-stranded DNA. PCNA stimulates the processivity of DNA polymerase δ and, to a less extent, the intrinsically highly processive DNA polymerase ε. It also functions as a platform that recruits and coordinates the activities of a large number of DNA processing proteins. Emerging structural and biochemical studies suggest that the nature of PCNA-partner proteins interactions is complex. A hydrophobic groove at the front side of PCNA serves as a primary docking site for the consensus PIP box motifs present in many PCNA-binding partners. Sequences that immediately flank the PIP box motif or regions that are distant from it could also interact with the hydrophobic groove and other regions of PCNA. Posttranslational modifications on the backside of PCNA could add another dimension to its interaction with partner proteins. An encounter of PCNA with different DNA structures might also be involved in coordinating its interactions. Finally, the ability of PCNA to bind up to three proteins while topologically linked to DNA suggests that it would be a versatile toolbox in many different DNA processing reactions.