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Assessing the Potential for Ion Selective Electrodes and Dual Wavelength UV Spectroscopy as a Rapid on-Farm Measurement of Soil Nitrate Concentration
Rory Shaw,A. Prysor Williams,Anthony Miller,Davey L. Jones
Agriculture , 2013, DOI: 10.3390/agriculture3030327
Abstract: Current fertiliser recommendations for nitrogen are limited in their accuracy and may be improved by the use of simple on-farm soil rapid tests. This paper investigates the potential for using nitrate (NO 3 ?) ion selective electrodes (ISEs) and dual wavelength UV spectroscopy as part of a rapid soil NO 3 ? diagnostic test. Three soil types, representing the major soil types for agriculture in the western UK, were tested. For the three soils, the ISE rapid test procedure gave a near 1:1 response ( r 2 = 0.978, 0.968, 0.989) compared to the internationally-approved standard laboratory method. However, the accuracy of the ISE rapid test was reduced at low soil NO 3 ? concentrations (<10 mg NO 3 ? L ?1). We also show that NO 3 ? analysis of H 2O soil extracts by dual wavelength UV spectroscopy was also highly correlated ( r 2 = 0.978, 0.983, 0.991) to the standard laboratory method. We conclude that both ISE and dual wavelength UV spectroscopy have clear potential to be used for the rapid on-farm determination of soil NO 3 ? concentration. Barriers to use of these field-based assessment tools include, farmer perception of cost-benefit, general attitude to new technologies and the ability to generate useful fertiliser use strategies from soil NO 3 ? measurements.
Comparison of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Genomes Reveals Frequent Deletions in a 20 kb Variable Region in Clinical Isolates
Timothy B. L. Ho,Brian D. Robertson,G. Michael Taylor,Rory J. Shaw,Douglas B. Young
Comparative and Functional Genomics , 2000, DOI: 10.1002/1097-0061(200012)17:4<272::aid-yea48>3.0.co;2-2
Abstract: The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex is associated with a remarkably low level of structural gene polymorphism. As part of a search for alternative forms of genetic variation that may act as a source of biological diversity in M. tuberculosis, we have identified a region of the genome that is highly variable amongst a panel of unrelated clinical isolates. Fifteen of 24 isolates examined contained one or more copies of the M. tuberculosis-specific IS6110 insertion element within this 20 kb variable region. In nine of the isolates, including the laboratory-passaged strain H37Rv, genomic deletions were identified, resulting in loss of between two and 13 genes. In each case, deletions were associated with the presence of a copy of the IS6110 element. Absence of flanking tri- or tetra-nucleotide repeats identified homologous recombination between adjacent IS6110 elements as the most likely mechanism of the deletion events. IS6110 insertion into hot-spots within the genome of M. tuberculosis provides a mechanism for generation of genetic diversity involving a high frequency of insertions and deletions.
Role of Plasma Surface Treatments on Wetting and Adhesion  [PDF]
Rory Wolf, Amelia Carolina Sparavigna
Engineering (ENG) , 2010, DOI: 10.4236/eng.2010.26052
Abstract: There are many current and emerging wetting and adhesion issues which require an additional surface processing to enhance interfacial surface properties. Materials which are non-polar, such as polymers, have low surface energy and therefore typically require surface treatment to promote wetting of inks and coating. One way of increasing surface energy and reactivity is to bombard a polymer surface with atmospheric plasma. When the ionized gas is discharged on the polymer, effects of ablation, crosslinking and activation are produced on its surface. In this paper we will analyse the role of plasma and its use in increasing the surface energy to achieve wettability and improve adhesion of polymeric surfaces.
'Guns don't colonise people ...': the role and use of firearms in pre-colonial and colonial Africa
Rory Pilossof
Kronos (Bellville) , 2010,
Abstract: This review essay examines a number of recent works that contribute to the history of firearms in colonial and pre-colonial Africa; two based upon new and original research (Story and Guy) and the others on reproductions of earlier seminal contributions to the historiography of firearms in Africa (Lamphear and Smaldone). Given the nature of firearms it is not surprising that the vast majority of literature on this technology focuses on their role in warfare and conflict. This is the primary concern of Smaldone's work and the Lamphear collection. However, the scholarship on the role and use of firearms in Africa has undergone considerable changes over the last half-century and, given the dramatic transformations in political context within Africa over the same period, this is hardly surprising. Storey's contribution adds important depth to the study of firearms by examining a vast range of uses to which firearms were put in South Africa, as well as the numerous ways the colonial state sought to control the trade and possession of firearms. By discussing these works together, this essay explores what, if any, new developments have taken place in the historiography of firearms in colonial and pre-colonial Africa. While there are still some massive gaps in the literature, as this essay review exposes, the history of firearms in Africa should still be seen as an exciting field of study that has a great deal to offer potential researchers.
A Case Study of an International E-Learning Training Division: Meeting Objectives
Rory McGreal
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2009,
Abstract: This paper presents an evaluation of the work of the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) eLearning with International Organisations (eLIO) section. Participants in the investigation included a representative sample of the learners (N = 15), their supervisors (N = 5), and the COL staff, including all of the eLIO staff (N = 10). The methodology consisted of an examination of all relevant documents, interviews that formed a learning history, and a sample survey. The investigation concluded that the eLIO achieved its goal of developing a distance learning model, and it met or exceeded identified objectives, with a high degree of satisfaction expressed by all participants. This included teaching +2000 satisfied learners; partnering with eight international organizations; achieving a 62% female participation rate and a high completion rate (75%) in the courses provided; testing, piloting, and delivering two new elearning courses; conducting needs analyses; recruiting/training highly qualified tutors; monitoring; and using appropriate technologies. Shortcomings of the programmes include the lack of pre- and post-tests, little analysis of pricing structures, some unclear instructions (a need for plain English), unclear copyright licensing, only very limited use of available OER software, and the absence of a succession plan for the manager. Based on the high level of satisfaction amo
Stealing the Goose: Copyright and Learning
Rory McGreal
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2004,
Abstract: The Internet is the world's largest knowledge common and the information source of first resort. Much of this information is open and freely available. However, there are organizations and companies today that are trying to close off the Internet commons and make it proprietary. These are the “copyright controllers.” The preservation of the commons and expanding access to digital content and applications are very important for distance educators. The educational exemptions for “fair use” in the United States and “fair dealing” in the Commonwealth countries are integral to any understanding of copyright, which was instituted for the dissemination of knowledge, and not, as is commonly believed, to protect the rights of the copyright owners. Copyright law was expressly introduced to limit their rights. Yet, these controllers are successfully turning a “copy” right into a property right. The traditional rights of learning institutions are being taken away. The balance for researchers should be restored. Research and learning must be allowed the broad interpretation that was intended in the original laws.
A Method to Identify the Boundary Between Rocky and Gaseous Exoplanets from Tidal Theory and Transit Durations
Rory Barnes
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1017/S1473550413000499
Abstract: The determination of an exoplanet as rocky is critical for the assessment of planetary habitability. Observationally, the number of small-radius, transiting planets with accompanying mass measurements is insufficient for a robust determination of the transitional mass or radius. Theoretically, models predict that rocky planets can grow large enough to become gas giants when they reach ~10 Earth-masses, but the transitional mass remains unknown. Here I show how transit data, interpreted in the context of tidal theory, can reveal the critical radius that separates rocky and gaseous exoplanets. Standard tidal models predict that rocky exoplanets' orbits are tidally circularized much more rapidly than gaseous bodies', suggesting the former will tend to be found on circular orbits at larger semi-major axes than the latter. Well-sampled transits can provide a minimum eccentricity of the orbit, allowing a measurement of this differential circularization. I show that this effect should be present in the data from the Kepler spacecraft, but is not apparent. Instead, it appears that there is no evidence of tidal circularization at any planetary radius, probably because the publicly-available data, particularly the impact parameters, are not accurate enough. I also review the bias in the transit duration toward values that are smaller than that of planets on circular orbits, stressing that the azimuthal velocity of the planet determines the transit duration. The ensemble of Kepler planet candidates may be able to determine the critical radius between rocky and gaseous exoplanets, tidal dissipation as a function of planetary radius, and discriminate between tidal models.
Behavioural Responses of Crangon crangon (Crustacea, Decapoda) to Reduced Seawater pH Following Simulated Leakage from Sub-Sea Geological Storage  [PDF]
Gerhardt Almut, Shaw Bamber
Journal of Environmental Protection (JEP) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/jep.2013.47A008
Abstract:

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) in sub-sea geological formations is being developed and promoted to mitigate CO2 discharges to the atmosphere from point sources such as power stations. There remain some questions on the risks associated with the possible loss of gas from storage and the environmental harm this could pose to marine organisms associated with the sea bed in these regions. This study investigated the effect of exposing the common shrimp (Crangon crangon) to reduced pH conditions and presents the results of stepwise pH-reductions (0.2 pH units from pH 7 down to pH 6). Behaviour was monitored continuously throughout 8 hours of exposure. In three subsequent experiments we could show a consistent and repeatable behavioural response pattern consisting of immediate avoidance reactions expressed as “shooting behaviour” following each pH-reduction every hour. The animals responded in a rapid manner to the shifts at all pH values, suggesting that these animals are sensitive to even relatively small changes. The results indicate that repeated acute pH-stress caused by CO2-leakage from carbon storage sites might affect the behaviour and subsequent fitness of natural populations of common shrimps. Changes in behaviour are likely to lead to increased predation on these animals and migration away from affected areas.

Kocher-Debre-Semelaigne Syndrome: Hypothyroid Muscular Pseudohypertrophy—A Rare Report of Two Cases
Chandan Shaw,Prachi Shaw
Case Reports in Endocrinology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/153143
Abstract: Kocher-Debre-Semelaigne syndrome (KDSS) is a rare association of muscular pseudohypertrophy and long-standing moderate-to-severe hypothyroidism in the pediatric age group. It may be confused with primary muscle disorders, lest one is cautious enough to investigate for hypothyroidism. The striking clinical features, availability of a simple treatment and a good prognosis for the condition makes it worthwhile to report the case so that all practitioners be aware of the condition and its management.
Kocher-Debre-Semelaigne Syndrome: Hypothyroid Muscular Pseudohypertrophy—A Rare Report of Two Cases
Chandan Shaw,Prachi Shaw
Case Reports in Endocrinology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/153143
Abstract: Kocher-Debre-Semelaigne syndrome (KDSS) is a rare association of muscular pseudohypertrophy and long-standing moderate-to-severe hypothyroidism in the pediatric age group. It may be confused with primary muscle disorders, lest one is cautious enough to investigate for hypothyroidism. The striking clinical features, availability of a simple treatment and a good prognosis for the condition makes it worthwhile to report the case so that all practitioners be aware of the condition and its management. 1. Introduction Kocher-Debre-Semelaigne syndrome (KDSS) is a rare association of muscular pseudohypertrophy and long-standing moderate-to-severe hypothyroidism in the pediatric age group. The condition is rare in countries with screening programmes for hypothyroidism at birth. However, they are not uncommon in the countries where such routine screening programmes are not available, the diagnosis of hypothyroidism may be delayed—which may account for the higher incidence of the said condition. 2. Case Report A 9-year-old girl, hailing from Senji, a village in Pondicherry, India, presented with lassitude, lethargy, mental slowing, and growth failure to the Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayaga Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry. The child was apparently asymptomatic till 5 years of age, when the parents started noticing progressive weakness and lethargy along with deteriorating academic performance. She had difficulty in memorising lessons and performing mathematical calculations. There was no history of any neck swelling at any point in the history. There was no major illness reported prior to the onset of these symptoms. The milestones were achieved in the normal periods and no regression was noted. There was no similar illness, consanguinity or a history of neck swelling in the family and the dietary history was insignificant. On examination she was found to be grossly short statured [height??=??100?cms against expected of 132.5?cms (75.5%)] with prominent muscular build but with infantile proportions (Figure 1). She had hoarseness of voice, a dry texture of hair and skin, and infantile facies with macroglossia and pouting lips (Figure 2). Her systemic examination revealed low intelligence quotient with psychomotor retardation, decreased power in all four limbs involving both proximal and distal muscles (grade 3/5 to 4/5), hung-up knee jerk, and a ejection systolic murmur at the base of the heart. On investigation, she was found to have hypothyroidism [TSH = 115.6?IU/L (0.2–6.0?IU/L), total T4 = 0.12?μg/dL (5–12.5?μg/dL), T3 = 4.4?ng/dL
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