• Acetic Acid Bacteria as Symbionts of Insects

      Crotti, Elena; Chouaia, Bessem; Alma, Alberto; Favia, Guido; Bandi, Claudio; Bourtzis, Kostas; Daffonchio, Daniele (Springer Japan, 2016-06-14)
      Acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are being increasingly described as associating with different insect species that rely on sugar-based diets. AAB have been found in several insect orders, among them Diptera, Hemiptera, and Hymenoptera, including several vectors of plant, animal, and human diseases. AAB have been shown to associate with the epithelia of different organs of the host, they are able to move within the insect’s body and to be transmitted horizontally and vertically. Here, we review the ecology of AAB and examine their relationships with different insect models including mosquitoes, leafhoppers, and honey bees. We also discuss the potential use of AAB in symbiont-based control strategies, such as “Trojan-horse” agents, to block the transmission of vector-borne diseases.
    • Acquisition and Analysis of Data from High Concentration Solutions

      Besong, Tabot M.D.; Rowe, Arthur J. (Springer Nature, 2016-05-13)
      The problems associated with ultracentrifugal analysis of macromolecular solutions at high (>10 mg/ml) are reviewed. Especially for the case of solutes which are non-monodisperse, meaningful results are not readily achievable using sedimentation velocity approaches. It is shown however by both simulation and analysis of practical data that using a modified form of an algorithm (INVEQ) published in other contexts, sedimentation equilibrium (SE) profiles can be analysed successfully, enabling topics such as oligomer presence or formation to be defined.To achieve this, it is necessary to employ an approach in which the solution density, which in an SE profile is radius-dependent, is taken into consideration. Simulation suggests that any reasonable level of solute concentration can be analysed.
    • 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.
    • Adsorption-Desalination Cycle

      Chakraborty, Anutosh; Thu, Kyaw; Saha, Bidyut Baran; Ng, K. C. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012-10-24)
    • Advanced Polymeric and Organic–Inorganic Membranes for Pressure-Driven Processes

      Le, Ngoc Lieu; Phuoc, Duong; Nunes, Suzana Pereira (Elsevier BV, 2017-02-13)
      The state-of-the-art of membranes for reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, and gas separation is shortly reviewed, taking in account the most representative examples currently in application. Emphasis is also done on recent developments of advanced polymeric and organic–inorganic materials for pressure-driven processes. Many of the more recent membranes are not only polymeric but also contain an inorganic phase. Tailoring innovative materials with organic and inorganic phases coexisting in a nanoscale with multifunctionalization is an appealing approach to control at the same time diffusivity and gas solubility. Other advanced materials that are now being considered for membrane development are organic or organic–inorganic self-assemblies, metal-organic frameworks, and different forms of carbon fillers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Analyzing Lysosome-Related Organelles by Electron Microscopy

      Hurbain, Ilse; Romao, Maryse; Bergam, Ptissam; Heiligenstein, Xavier; Raposo, Graça (Springer New York, 2017-04-29)
      Intracellular organelles have a particular morphological signature that can only be appreciated by ultrastructural analysis at the electron microscopy level. Optical imaging and associated methodologies allow to explore organelle localization and their dynamics at the cellular level. Deciphering the biogenesis and functions of lysosomes and lysosome-related organelles (LROs) and their dysfunctions requires their visualization and detailed characterization at high resolution by electron microscopy. Here, we provide detailed protocols for studying LROs by transmission electron microscopy. While conventional electron microscopy and its recent improvements is the method of choice to investigate organelle morphology, immunoelectron microscopy allows to localize organelle components and description of their molecular make up qualitatively and quantitatively.
    • Application of alternating decision trees in selecting sparse linear solvers

      Bhowmick, Sanjukta; Eijkhout, Victor; Freund, Yoav; Fuentes, Erika; Keyes, David E. (Springer Science + Business Media, 2010)
      The solution of sparse linear systems, a fundamental and resource-intensive task in scientific computing, can be approached through multiple algorithms. Using an algorithm well adapted to characteristics of the task can significantly enhance the performance, such as reducing the time required for the operation, without compromising the quality of the result. However, the best solution method can vary even across linear systems generated in course of the same PDE-based simulation, thereby making solver selection a very challenging problem. In this paper, we use a machine learning technique, Alternating Decision Trees (ADT), to select efficient solvers based on the properties of sparse linear systems and runtime-dependent features, such as the stages of simulation. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method through empirical results over linear systems drawn from computational fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics applications. The results also demonstrate that using ADT can resolve the problem of over-fitting, which occurs when limited amount of data is available. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media LLC.
    • Application of Inkjet Printing in High-Density Pixelated RGB Quantum Dot-Hybrid LEDs

      Haverinen, Hanna; Jabbour, Ghassan E. (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2012-05-23)
      Recently, an intriguing solution to obtain better color purity has been to introduce inorganic emissive quantum dots (QDs) into an otherwise OLED structure. The emphasis of this chapter is to present a simple discussion of the first attempts to fabricate high-density, pixelated (quarter video graphics array (QVGA) format), monochromatic and RGB quantum dots light-emitting diodes (QDLEDs), where inkjet printing is used to deposit the light-emitting layer of QDs. It shows some of the factors that have to be considered in order to achieve the desired accuracy and printing quality. The successful operation of the RGB printed devices indicates the potential of the inkjet printing approach in the fabrication of full-color QDLEDs for display application. However, further optimization of print quality is still needed in order to eliminate the formation of pinholes, thus maximizing energy transfer from organic layers to the QDs and in turn increasing the performance of the devices. Controlled Vocabulary Terms: ink jet printing; LED displays; LED lamps; organic light emitting diodes; quantum dots
    • Application of Renewable Energies for Water Desalination

      Goosen, Mattheus; Mahmoudi, Hacene; Ghaffour, NorEddine; Sablani, Shyam S. (InTech, 2011-02-28)
    • Automated cutting in the food industry using computer vision

      Daley, Wayne D R; Arif, Omar (Elsevier BV, 2012)
      The processing of natural products has posed a significant problem to researchers and developers involved in the development of automation. The challenges have come from areas such as sensing, grasping and manipulation, as well as product-specific areas such as cutting and handling of meat products. Meat products are naturally variable and fixed automation is at its limit as far as its ability to accommodate these products. Intelligent automation systems (such as robots) are also challenged, mostly because of a lack of knowledge of the physical characteristic of the individual products. Machine vision has helped to address some of these shortcomings but underperforms in many situations. Developments in sensors, software and processing power are now offering capabilities that will help to make more of these problems tractable. In this chapter we will describe some of the developments that are underway in terms of computer vision for meat product applications, the problems they are addressing and potential future trends. © 2012 Woodhead Publishing Limited All rights reserved.
    • Automated process flowsheet synthesis for membrane processes using genetic algorithm: role of crossover operators

      Shafiee, Alireza; Arab, Mobin; Lai, Zhiping; Liu, Zongwen; Abbas, Ali (Elsevier BV, 2016-06-25)
      In optimization-based process flowsheet synthesis, optimization methods, including genetic algorithms (GA), are used as advantageous tools to select a high performance flowsheet by ‘screening’ large numbers of possible flowsheets. In this study, we expand the role of GA to include flowsheet generation through proposing a modified Greedysub tour crossover operator. Performance of the proposed crossover operator is compared with four other commonly used operators. The proposed GA optimizationbased process synthesis method is applied to generate the optimum process flowsheet for a multicomponent membrane-based CO2 capture process. Within defined constraints and using the random-point crossover, CO2 purity of 0.827 (equivalent to 0.986 on dry basis) is achieved which results in improvement (3.4%) over the simplest crossover operator applied. In addition, the least variability in the converged flowsheet and CO2 purity is observed for random-point crossover operator, which approximately implies closeness of the solution to the global optimum, and hence the consistency of the algorithm. The proposed crossover operator is found to improve the convergence speed of the algorithm by 77.6%.
    • BDDC Deluxe for Isogeometric Analysis

      da Veiga, L. Beirão; Pavarino, L. F.; Scacchi, S.; Widlund, O. B.; Zampini, Stefano (Springer Science + Business Media, 2016)
      The main goal of this paper is to design, analyze, and test a BDDC (Balancing Domain Decomposition by Constraints, see [12, 23]) preconditioner for Isogeometric Analysis (IGA), based on a novel type of interface averaging, which we will denote by deluxe scaling, with either full or reduced set of primal constraints. IGA is an innovative numerical methodology, introduced in [17] and first analyzed in [1], where the geometry description of the PDE domain is adopted from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) parametrization usually based on Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS) and the same NURBS basis functions are also used as the PDEs discrete basis, following an isoparametric paradigm; see the monograph [10]. Recent works on IGA preconditioners have focused on overlapping Schwarz preconditioners [3, 5, 7, 9], multigrid methods [16], and non-overlapping preconditioners [4, 8, 20].
    • Bending-Induced Giant Polarization in Ferroelectric MEMS Diaphragm

      Wang, Zhihong; Zhu, Weiguang (WORLD SCIENTIFIC, 2016-09-09)
      The polarization induced by the strain gradient, i.e. the flexoelectric effect, has been observed in a micromachined Pb(Zr0.52Ti0.48)O3 (PZT) diaphragms. Applying air pressure to bend a flat diaphragm which initially does not exhibit any electromechanical coupling can induce a resonance peak in its impedance spectrum. This result supposes that bending, thus the strain gradient in the diaphragm causes polarization in PZT film. We also investigated the switching behaviors of the polarization in response to an external electric field in a bent diaphragm and further quantified the polarization induced by the strain gradient. The effective flexoelectric coefficient of the PZT film has been calculated as large as 2.0 × 10−4 C/m. A giant flexoelectric polarization of the order of 1 μC/cm2 was characterized which is of the same order of magnitude as the normal remnant ferroelectric polarization of PZT film. The suggested explanation for the giant polarization is the large strain gradient in the diaphragm and the strain gradient induced reorientation of the polar nanodomains.
    • Biology and biotechnological advances in Jatropha curcas - A biodiesel plant

      Reddy, Muppala P.; Pamidimarri, D. V N Sudheer (Springer Science + Business Media, 2009-10-31)
      Increasing global demand for energy, the impending depletion of fossil fuels, and concern over global climate change have lead to a resurgence in the development of alternative energy sources. Bio-fuels and bio-energy encompass a wide range of alternative sources of energy of biological origin, and offer excellent, environmentally friendly opportunities to address these issues. The recognition that Jatropha oil can yield high quality biodiesel has led to a surge of interest in Jatropha across the globe, more so in view of the potential for avoiding the dilemma of food vs fuel. Hardiness, rapid growth, easy propagation, short gestation period, wide adaptation, and optimum plant size combine to make this species suitable for sustainable cultivation on wastelands. Besides biodiesel from the seed, the plant produces several useful products that also have commercial value. Large scale cultivation remains the single most important factor that will ultimately determine the success of Jatropha as a source of bio-fuel. The limited knowledge of the genetics of this species, low and inconsistent yields, the narrow genetic variability, and vulnerability to insects and diseases are major constraints in successful cultivation of Jatropha as a bio-fuel crop. Despite the optimal protein content and composition of the pressed cake, the presence of phorbol esters makes it unsuitable for consumption by livestock. A non-toxic variety with low or no phorbol ester content has been identified from Mexico, and the utility of pressed cake from this variety as livestock feed has been demonstrated successfully. In the absence of any morphological differences, identification of linked markers for toxic/non-toxic varieties will add value to the crop and facilitate further improvement. This chapter discusses current efforts towards assessing the diversity and phylogeny of Jatropha, identification of specific markers for toxic and non-toxic varieties, and aspects of micropropagation and genetic transformation.
    • Bioprospecting Archaea: Focus on Extreme Halophiles

      Antunes, André; Simões, Marta F.; Grötzinger, Stefan W.; Eppinger, Jörg; Bragança, Judith; Bajic, Vladimir B. (Springer Nature, 2016-12-12)
      In 1990, Woese et al. divided the Tree of Life into three separate domains: Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea. Archaea were originally perceived as little more than “odd bacteria” restricted to extreme environmental niches, but later discoveries challenged this assumption. Members of this domain populate a variety of unexpected environments (e.g. soils, seawater, and human bodies), and we currently witness ongoing massive expansions of the archaeal branch of the Tree of Life. Archaea are now recognized as major players in the biosphere and constitute a significant fraction of the earth’s biomass, yet they remain underexplored. An ongoing surge in exploration efforts is leading to an increase in the (a) number of isolated strains, (b) associated knowledge, and (c) utilization of Archaea in biotechnology. They are increasingly employed in fields as diverse as biocatalysis, biocomputing, bioplastic production, bioremediation, bioengineering, food, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. This chapter provides a general overview on bioprospecting Archaea, with a particular focus on extreme halophiles. We explore aspects such as diversity, ecology, screening techniques and biotechnology. Current and future trends in mining for applications are discussed.
    • Biotechnology advances in jojoba (SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS)

      Reddy, Muppala P.; Chikara, Jitendra (Springer Science + Business Media, 2009-10-31)
      Wax esters have important applications in medicine, and in the cosmetics and food industries, besides their more traditional usage as lubricants. The value of the wax from sperm whales was one of the factors responsible for this animals being hunted to near extinction, which prompted the eventual ban on harvesting and the search for alternative sources. Recognition of jojoba oil as an alternative to sperm whale oil has led to a surge of interest in jojoba across the globe. The hardiness of this plant, which is amenable to cultivation even on water-deficient wastelands, has led to it being cultivated as a crop in several semi-arid and arid regions of the world. In addition, oil from the seed de-oiled cake is rich in protein and can be used as livestock feed and as a source of commercial enzymes. The plant is dioecious, and exhibits tremendous variability in male:female ratio in a given population, with male plants generally outnumbering female plants, leading to low yields as expected due to heterogeneity in the population. High yielding genotypes have been selected from experimental plantations, and vegetative propagation methods have been developed to provide genetically uniform, known sex plants to boost yields. Due to limited production, jojoba waxes are not available for a number of applications in spite of high demand. The advent of genetic engineering has provided novel opportunities to tailor the composition of plant lipids and also engineer agronomically suitable oilseed crops to produce high levels of wax esters in the seed oil. This chapter discusses efforts made towards the domestication, genetic improvements for yield and oil content, detoxification of cake for use as a live stock feed, and aspects of micropropagation of this species.
    • Carbon Nanotubes and Modern Nanoagriculture

      Serag, Maged F.; Kaji, Noritada; Tokeshi, Manabu; Baba, Yoshinobu (Springer Science + Business Media, 2015-01-27)
      Since their discovery, carbon nanotubes have been prominent members of the nanomaterial family. Owing to their extraordinary physical, chemical, and mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes have been proven to be a useful tool in the field of plant science. They were frequently perceived to bring about valuable biotechnological and agricultural applications that still remain beyond experimental realization. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the ability of carbon nanotubes to traverse different plant cell barriers. These studies, also, assessed the toxicity and environmental impacts of these nanomaterials. The knowledge provided by these studies is of practical and fundamental importance for diverse applications including intracellular labeling and imaging, genetic transformation, and for enhancing our knowledge of plant cell biology. Although different types of nanoparticles have been found to activate physiological processes in plants, carbon nanotubes received particular interest. Following addition to germination medium, carbon nanotubes enhanced root growth and elongation of some plants such as onion, cucumber and rye-grass. They, also, modulated the expression of some genes that are essential for cell division and plant development. In addition, multi-walled carbon nanotubes were evidenced to penetrate thick seed coats, stimulate germination, and to enhance growth of young tomato seedlings. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes can penetrate deeply into the root system and further distribute into the leaves and the fruits. In recent studies, carbon nanotubes were reported to be chemically entrapped into the structure of plant tracheary elements. This should activate studies in the fields of plant defense and wood engineering. Although, all of these effects on plant physiology and plant developmental biology have not been fully understood, the valuable findings promises more research activity in the near future toward complete scientific understanding of the behavior of carbon nanotubes in plants. This chapter focuses on the impact of carbon nanotubes on plants and the potential use of these unique nanomaterials in crop management and plant biotechnology.
    • Cardiac Progenitor Cell Extraction from Human Auricles

      Di Nardo, Paolo; Pagliari, Francesca (Springer Nature, 2017-02-22)
      For many years, myocardial tissue has been considered terminally differentiated and, thus, incapable of regenerating. Recent studies have shown, instead, that cardiomyocytes, at least in part, are slowly substituted by new cells originating by precursor cells mostly embedded into the heart apex and in the atria. We have shown that an elective region of progenitor cell embedding is represented by the auricles, non-contractile atria appendages that can be easily sampled without harming the patient. The protocol here reported describes how from auricles a population of multipotent, cardiogenic cells can be isolated, cultured, and differentiated. Further studies are needed to fully exploit this cell population, but, sampling auricles, it could be possible to treat cardiac patients using their own cells circumventing rejection or organ shortage limitations.