This study developed an evolutionary algorithm, called the telescopic evolutionary algorithm (TEA), for the inversion of the spectral ratio of the horizontal to vertical components of strong motions (eHVSR), based on the diffuse-field concept. We verified the TEA using synthetic eHVSR curves from the literature and examined its convergence stability with respect to the independent variables of the algorithm. Furthermore, we present the application of TEA in the inversion of eHVSR curves for the shear wave velocity of the subsurface structure down to the seismic bedrock at seven stations of the K-NET/KiK-net strong-motion networks in Japan. The corresponding geological maps of the regions from the Geological Survey of Japan as well as the site condition database of K-NET/KiK-net and the Japan Seismic Hazard Information Station (J-SHIS) were processed. Subsequently , the TEA retrieved the Vs profiles of the subsurface structures at these stations to highlight the performance of TEA in various geological settings. Finally, important site proxies were calculated from the retrieved subsurface structures.
In the past few years, the quest for visible light active TiO2-based photocatalysts has been a hotly debated research topic in both scientific and practical fields. Attempting to meet the same purpose, in this study, a visible-driven nanocomposite, l-Histidine (2 wt%)-TiO2-CdS (7:1) nanocomposite, was dip-coated on the glass disc (rough vs. smooth) after the optimum composition was identified by varying the l-Histidine and CdS quantities. The prepared nanoparticles and coated catalyst on the disc were characterized by XRD, FT-IR, X-ray (FE-SEM/EDX), DRS, PL analyses in terms of their structural and optical properties as well as morphology. The coated photocatalyst was tested for photocatalytic degradation of direct red 16 (DR16) as an azo dye. The photodegradation process variables, including disc rotation speed, light intensity, irradiation time, and type of disc (smooth vs. rough glass disc)) were also modeled and optimized by central composite design (CCD). At the optimum conditions obtained, the effects of reaction time, pH, DR16 concentration, and aeration were investigated. After 3 h of using the rough disc (disc II) at a disc rotation speed of 100 rpm as well as a light intensity of 13 lumens per m², DR16 was completely degraded. The pH and DR16 concentration seemed to have the reverse impact on the photodegradation process, whereas aeration had such a positive effect. By analyzing the effects of various scavengers, the contribution of reactive species in the photodegradation process was thoroughly investigated. Furthermore, the reusability results indicate no significant change in the photodegradation efficiency after four cycles.
Herein, high-performance polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanocomposite membranes were established by including a functional agent, Choline chloride (ChCl):1,5-Diphenylcarbazide (DPC) -based deep eutectic solvent (DES), into the phase inversion process, allowing the membrane structure to be tailored owing to the synergetic impact between DES components in the phase inversion process. The physicochemical properties of DES and membranes were characterized employing techniques including FTIR spectroscopy, TGA, SEM, EDX, XPS, AFM, and contact angle measurement. The membranes' performance was evaluated using milk powder solution and membrane bioreactor (MBR) effluent filtration experiments, as well as a systemic study of the impacts of varying DES loadings. The incorporation of DES into the membrane matrix enhanced the porous structure and hydrophilicity of the membranes, contributing to the enhanced water permeability (pure water flux of 215.98 ± 4.32 kg·m⁻²·h⁻¹), high selectivity (removal of >99 %), and remarkable antifouling property (FRR of 98.26 %) of the resultant membranes. The long-term filtration results ample substantiated that DES could potentially be used as a modifying agent.
In this work, transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) comprising an ITO/Metal/NiO sandwich structure grown by sputtering and thermal evaporation in a vacuum are investigated. By exploiting the four-point probe measurements and optical spectrometry both optical and electrical characteristics of the fabricated ITO/Metal/NiO trilayers for diverse metals such as Au, Ag, and Cu are studied. Moreover, through X-ray diffraction and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy method the structural characteristics are fully examined. The results reveal that the type of innermost metal plays the main role in the optical and electrical behavior of the trilayers structure. An average transmittance of 73-62% range at visible wavelength and small resistivity of 2 × 10⁻⁴ Ω cm are achieved for a 10 nm thick Au interlayer. The sheet resistivity (Rs) of NiO drops drastically from 200 Ω (single NiO layer) to 1.2Ω for ITO/Cu/NiO structure. Moreover, an increase in sputtering power and film thickness increases the optical bandgap. The obtained results prove that physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a good method for producing par excellence TCO films with beneficial characteristics such as high transmittance and low resistivity.
In the present research, highly antibacterial and antifouling mixed matrix nanocomposite membranes for versatile wastewater treatment were introduced. Chlorophyll(a) and silver ion-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT-Chl(a)-Ag) nanoparticles were established and introduced in polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes for protein and biofoulant filtration. State-of-the-art techniques have been used to characterize the surface and bulk properties of the obtained MWCNT-Chl(a)-Ag nanocomposites. Morphology, antibacterial activity, water contact angles (WCA), overall porosity, pure water flux (PWF), antifouling, and long-term filtration performances of the fabricated membranes were also investigated. A decrease in the WCA from 71.27° to 46.59° was obtained by incorporating of 0.7 wt% nanoparticles. The optimal membrane with 0.7 wt% of MWCNT-Chl(a)-Ag results in an enhanced permeability from 21 to 42 kg/m²·h·bar. Besides, the MWCNT-Chl(a)-Ag/PVDF membranes outperformed the pristine PVDF membranes in terms of flux recovery ratio (97.24 %). Based on the findings of this study, functionalized MWCNTs-based blended modification of PVDF membranes could be considered as a candidate to use in water purification.
The increasing development of imaging technology has made aerial image analysis one of the most widely used fields in image processing. Building extraction is the basic step in analysing urban structures, detecting construction violations, updating urban geographical divisions, and forecasting natural disasters. In this study, the aim is to automatically segment buildings in high-resolution satellite images using a new hybrid deep learning model, named Gated Residual Supervision Network (GRSNet). GRSNet extends the UNet framework by including three important components, i.e. attention gates (AG), residual units, and deep supervision part, with the main focus on transferring and reusing features. At first, the AG mechanism utilizes channel and spatial fine features to merge them effectively and deep supervision transfers feature details from the depths of the network. Then, residual units retrieve the information at different levels to train the model quickly. Finally, a fully connected classifier recovers features from the input image. GRSNet is evaluated on Massachusetts buildings public dataset and Inria aerial image labeling benchmark. The obtained results show the superiority of the proposed method compared to other deep learning-based state-of-the-art building segmentation methods with an intersection over union (IOU) of 89.86% and an F1-score of 94.53%.
This study investigated the impact of flipped vocabulary learning on the listening achievement of EFL learners. The study participants included 60 English language learners selected based on their performance on the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency and randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group was taught based on flipped vocabulary learning, while the students in the control group received no such instruction. For treatment in the experimental group, the teacher taught the unknown and new vocabulary in the listening text from the TACTICS textbook using an online dictionary to flip the classroom. The teacher offered an online dictionary and encouraged learners to check out words, synonyms, and antonyms to become more familiar with new words. Before each listening class, students memorized 20 target words, prior to taking on the listening tasks. The obtained data were analyzed using the ANCOVA procedure. The study results demonstrated that the experimental group performed significantly better than the control group. Also, the findings suggested that flipped vocabulary learning can be used as an effective instructional tool to help learners improve their listening achievement. The theoretical and practical implications for learners, teachers, and syllabus designers are discussed.
Autophagy is a pivotal contributing factor to modulate the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Although naringenin (Nar) has shown beneficial effects against neurodegenerative diseases, its poor solubility and bioavailability have limited its application. The present research aimed to design a nanostructured formulation of Nar to achieve an enhanced therapeutic effect. Herein, Nar‐loaded solid lipid nanoparticles (Nar‐SLNs) were prepared and characterized. Then, PC12 cells were exposed to streptozocin (STZ) and/or Nar and Nar‐SLNs in vitro to clarify the protective effect of Nar and its nanoformulation against STZ‐stimulated neurotoxicity. The empty SLNs and Nar‐SLNs indicated a narrow polydispersity index value with a negative zeta potential. As determined by the scanning electron microscopy images, the nanoparticles had a spherical shape and were less than 20 nm in size. FTIR results demonstrated the interaction between Nar and SLNs and supported the presence of Nar in the nanoparticle. The nanoformulation revealed an initial burst release followed by a sustained release manner. Treatment of PC12 cells with STZ resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction and increased autophagic markers, including LC3‐II, Beclin1, Akt, ATG genes, and accumulation of miR‐21 and miR‐22. Both Nar and Nar‐SLNs pre‐treatment improved cell survival and augmented mitochondrial membrane potential, accompanied by reduced autophagic markers expression. However, Nar‐SLNs were more effective than free Nar. As a result, our findings suggested that SLNs effectively enhance the neuroprotective effect of Nar, and Nar‐SLNs may be a promising candidate to suppress or prevent STZ‐elicited neurotoxicity. Practical applications According to the beneficial effect of Nar in the management of neurodegenerative diseases, we evaluated the protective effect of Nar and Nar‐SLNs against STZ‐stimulated neurotoxicity and analyzed the role of autophagy in STZ‐stimulated neurotoxicity. Our results proposed that Nar‐SLNs could be a promising option for neurological disorders prevention through autophagy suppression.
In order to compare different solvers for systems of nonlinear equations, some novel goodness and qualification criteria are defined in this paper. These use all parameters of a nonlinear solver such as convergence order, number of function evaluations, number of iterations, CPU time, etc. To achieve the criteria, different algorithms to solve nonlinear systems are categorised to three kinds. For any category, two criteria are defined to compare different algorithms in that category. As numerical results show, these new criteria can use to compare different algorithms which solve systems of nonlinear equations. Further, we present some corrected formulas for some classical efficiency indices and change them to be more applicable. Also, some suggestions are presented about the future works.
Background & objectives: Various studies have suggested a correlation between Fas cell surface death receptor/Fas ligand (FAS/FASL) variants and multiple types of cancers. The present study aimed to investigate the association between FAS-670A/G and FASL-844C/T and the synergistic effects of both variants on the risk of gastric cancer (GC) in the Kurdish population of west of Iran. Methods: This study was conducted by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism technique using MvaI and BsrDI restriction enzymes in 98 GC patients and 103 healthy control individuals. Results: According to the obtained results, a significant association (P=0.008) of FASL polymorphism among GC patients and the control group was detected. Furthermore, no significant differences were found in the FAS polymorphism frequencies between GC patients and the control group. Codominant and dominant models in FASL polymorphism showed significant protective effects against GC [odds ratio (OR)=0.307, 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.134-0.705), P=0.005; OR=0.205, 95% CI (0.058-0.718), P=0.013 and OR=0.295, 95% CI (0.129-0.673), P=0.004 for models of codominant CC vs. CT, codominant CC vs. TT and dominant, respectively]. Furthermore, the presence of both FAS-670G and FASL-844T alleles represented a significant protective effect against GC occurrence [OR=0.420, 95% CI (0.181-0.975), P=0.043]. Interpretation & conclusions: So far, we believe this is the first study, the results of which suggest that FASL gene variation and its synergistic effects with FAS gene could be associated with the risk of GC in the Kurdish population in the west of Iran.
Structural and dynamical properties of nonlinear trigeminal tri-cationic imidazolium-based ionic liquids (TT-X3, X = Br¯, NO3¯, BF4¯) have been studied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The liquid microstructures of TT-X3 ILs have been compared with mono- (M-X) and di-cationic (D-X2) ionic liquids (ILs).The developed OPLS force field with some corrections was utilized. Densities, heat of vaporization, mean square displacements, self-diffusion coefficients, molar electrical conductivities, and transference numbers have been calculated for all the ILs. The detailed microscopic structures have been discussed in terms of radial distribution functions (RDFs), combined radial-angular distribution functions (CDFs), and spatial distribution functions (SDFs). The results show that microscopic structure in TT-X3 ILs, similar to M-X and D-X2 ILs. As the number of imidazolium ring increases (from M-X to TT-X3 ILs), the probability of finding anions around cationic rings decreases. By comparing the heat of vaporization, for a special anion, it can be concluded that the heat of vaporization of tri-cationic ILs is more than that of mono- and di-cationic ILs. The dynamical properties show that, for di-cationic and tri-cationic ILs, the self-diffusion of the anions is more than the cations. By increasing the number of imidazolium rings, the self-diffusion of the anions and cations decreases.
Stabilization or increasing slope stability is commonly accomplished with piles. In this paper, a response surface method considering soil spatial variability and the seismic condition is successively carried out to propose a reliability-based design for the slope stabilized by one row of piles. Eight configurations of cylindrical and rectangular cross-section pre-stressed concrete piles were designed. Additionally, a parametric study was carried out to examine the effect of various parameters on the pile response and slope stability. According to the research, stabilizing piles should be placed in the upper-middle part of the slope, intersecting the critical slip surface to reach the highest reliability index. This study showed the optimal position of the pile varies with the value of the seismic coefficient. It was found that increasing the pile length becomes unnecessary after a specific size. This research showed the relationship between safety factor, reliability index, and pile reaction force for slopes using probabilistic slope stability design charts. It is demonstrated that the proposed equation can accurately estimate the system reliability index, failure probability, factor of safety, and pile reaction force. Finally, the findings of the research were compared to results from another researcher, and the results of this study showed a reasonable level of agreement. Graphical abstract
In this research, we present a method for synthesis and a detailed description of geometry characterization of a novel binuclear Cu(I) phosphine complex, along with analysis of its interaction with HSA using spectroscopic and simulation methods. The Cu atoms are coordinated in a tetrahedral geometry, which results in coordination by two nitrogen atoms from the N,N'-(ethane-1,2-diyl)bis(1-(pyridin-2-yl)methanimine ligand (L), a chloride, and a PPh3. The complex binding constant to HSA in a biochemical environment was determined to be ∼10⁶, which is indicative of a strong interaction. The fluorescence of HSA is significantly quenched by binding to the complex via a static mechanism, whereas the microenvironment of the tryptophan residue remains unchanged. A spontaneous binding process was indicated by a negative value for ΔG. Thermodynamic signatures reflect the dominance of hydrophobic forces during the interaction. The site marker competitive experiment combined with docking simulation analysis revealed the closeness position of the complex binding site to warfarin location in specific ligand site I of HSA. The information generated in the present study would be valuable to understand the interaction mechanistic and pharmacological behavior of Cu(I) complexes. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma
Nowadays, resistance to antibiotics has developed in bacterial microorganisms related to dental and oral infections, leading to major problems in public health. Using nanoparticles, particularly silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) may offer a new strategy for the prevention and treatment of dental infections. In the current study, AgNPs were synthesized using Halomonas elongata at different conditions according to nine experiments designed by the Taguchi method, and their antibacterial effects were investigated on a Streptococcus mutans biofilm. The effects of three factors, including silver nitrate (AgNO3) concentration, incubation time, and temperature at three different levels, were studied to optimize the synthesis of AgNPs under the designed experiments. Then, the antibacterial effects of these NPs on the S. mutans biofilm were examined by the colony-forming unit (CFU) method. According to the results, green-synthesized AgNPs under optimal conditions properly inhibit the formation and growth of the S. mutans biofilm. Furthermore, different analyses were applied to investigate the formation, structural, and morphological properties of the green-synthesized AgNPs under optimum conditions. The obtained results of this study indicated that the green-synthesized AgNPs could be a promising antimicrobial agent in the dental and medicinal industry.
The cryopreservation of spermatozoa and the in vitro embryo production are valuable tools used in a variety of species, including humans, livestock, fish, and aquatic invertebrates. Sperm cryopreservation has been used to maintain or increase the genetic diversity of threatened species. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are molecules derived from oxygen, being formed as byproducts of cellular metabolism. During cryopreservation of sperm and other in vitro manipulations of oocytes and embryos, ROS production is dramatically increased. In cells, low, medium, and high levels of ROS lead to different outcomes, apoptosis, auto-phagocytosis, and necrosis, respectively. ROS produced by cells can be neutralized by intracellular antioxidant systems, including enzymes as well as non-enzymatic antioxidants. Free radicals and oxidative stress can be major factors influencing in vitro manipulations. In this review, we discuss the role that metallic and nonmetallic nanoparticles and their salts play in the modulation of oxidative stress during in vitro embryo production and cryopreservation of sperm.
Objective: This study examined the feasibility and acceptability of written exposure therapy (WET) in reducing symptoms of PTSD in Iranian women with breast cancer. Secondary aims included examining the influence of WET on quality of life (QoL), overgeneral memory and illness perceptions. Method: Forty-six females with breast cancer and clinical symptoms of PTSD referred to the Razi Hospital in Rasht, Iran were randomly assigned to either WET (n=23) or control (n =23) groups. WET is a 5-session low-intensity exposure-based intervention for treating PTSD. The control group had no additional contact. Measures assessing PTSD, illness perceptions, overgeneral memory, and QoL were administered at baseline, post-intervention and three-month follow-up. Results: Acceptability of WET was high; all participants completed all WET sessions. At post-intervention, 95.65% of the WET group met criteria for reliable change and 100% met criteria for minimal clinically important difference (MCID) and clinically significant change in PTSD symptom improvement. At follow-up, all WET participants met criteria for reliable change, MCID and clinically significant change in PTSD symptom improvement. No participants in the control group met reliable change, MCID or clinically significant change. The WET group had improved QoL and memory specificity and decreased threatening illness perceptions at post-intervention and follow-up when compared to controls. Conclusion: WET may be a useful intervention for use with breast cancer patients with PTSD symptoms and may be an important adjunct to medical and pharmacological treatments, particularly in LMICs. This study indicates further research in this area is warranted. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
In this research, a new bio-based phase change material (PCM) composed of oleic acid and beeswax is synthesized to absorb excess heat from the PV panel. Metal matrix sheets (MMS) inserted inside the PCM container to augment heat diffusion and improve the thermal and electrical efficiency of the PV panel. The influence of number of MMS (N = 1,2,3,4 and 5) and weight of the PCM (W = 1.6-4 kg) on the temperature, output power and electrical efficiency of the PV panel are analyzed. The results represent that using the bio-based PCM reduces the PV panel temperature from 58.92 ºC to 51.45°C, when MMS is not applied. It has been observed that using MMS provide lower PV temperature than using PCM alone and improve the electrical efficiency (η). Further, it is identified that N = 5 has the highest electrical efficiency, but the difference between N = 4 and N = 5 is not very remarkable. Increase in the weight of the bio-based PCM from 1.6 kg to 4 kg results in a significant improvement in the PV performance. The values of N = 5 and W = 4 kg are found to achieve a maximum electrical efficiency of 11.73% and output power of 7.04 W in the PV/bio-based PCM system.
The present study was aimed to investigate the cerebellum histology in the Persian squirrel (Sciurus anomalus), using immunohistochemical staining and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The brain of 4 adult Persian squirrels (2 males and 2 females) were used. For general histology, crystal violet and Luxol fast blue stains were applied. For immunohistochemical examination, myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG), neurofilament 200 (NF200), Calbindin D 28 K, and glial fibrillary associated protein (GFAP) were investigated. The cerebellar cortex was composed of three traditional cellular layers, including molecular, granular and Purkinje cell (Pc) layers. Numerous Nissl bodies detected in the cytoplasm of Pc, which given a purple or blue appearance to the cytoplasm. At the level of TEM, Purkinje cells were identified by their large euchromatin nucleus with an indented plasma membrane. The cytoplasm was high electron dense containing well‐developed rough endoplasmic reticulum (Er), smooth Er, Golgi apparatus in perinuclear region, numerous mitochondria in oval and spherical shapes, free ribosomes, and lysosomes were dispersed throughout the cytoplasm. The expression rate of calbindin D 28 K, MAG, GFAP, and NF200 was determined 49%, 24%, 71%, and 43% respectively. The cerebellum of the Persian squirrel has a common structure similar to those reported in other mammals. However, at the level of TEM, some unique structural features were observed. These results might be taken as a set of basic information for more detailed future studies investigating histophysiology of the cerebellum and its pathological changes in the Persian squirrel as well as for comparative purposes in rodent species. The image shows light and transmission electron microscopies appearance of the cerebellum in the Persian squirrel (Sciurus anomalus) as well as its immunohistochemical properties.
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