“Feasibility Study on Concrete Performance Made by Partial Replacement of Cement with Waste Glass”
Concrete is the most widely use construction material around the world and Cement occupies about 45 percent of the concrete composition. However, the production of Cement is one of the largest emission processes of CO2 around the world. For every 1.08 Pounds of cement produced, 1.0 Pounds of CO2 is released into the atmosphere leading to climate change. Several million tons of waste glass is generated from soda bottles and liquid containers that end up as waste and disposed in landfills because glass wastes are non-biodegradable. Cement is primarily made up of Calcium Oxide (CaO) and Silica Oxide (SiO2), while glass also contains about 70-percent Silica. In this study, glass waste grinded into Nanosized was used as partial replacement for cement in concrete and the properties of the concrete compared with that of a conventional concrete made with 100-percent cement. It was observed that concrete containing glass waste powder has improved mechanical and durability properties. This effort offers both environmental and economic benefits in saving our planet from global warming. Further study is being conducted to evaluate the long-term behavior of concrete containing waste glass powder.
“Dielectrophoresis: a potent technique for the isolation of Borrelia and Babesia cells”
The precise diagnosis of zoonotic borreliosis caused by the bacteria-Borrelia is currently as challenging as the diagnosis of parasitic alveolates particularly the apicomplexan babesia species that is responsible for piroplasmosis in human and animals. According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the diagnosis should be based upon patients’ symptoms, medical history, tick exposure, and geographical area and blood tests should only be used to provide supporting evidence for the diagnosis.
However, the fact that borreliosis alone has more than 20 symptoms intersecting other diseases makes its diagnosis more difficult. In the current work, dielectrophoresis, which involves the use of non-uniform electric field and leveraging the differential electrical properties of a heterogeneous cell population, is being proposed as a viable alternative toward the detection of the causative agents (borrelia and babesia) of these diseases (borreliosis and piroplasmosis). Preliminary work in this arena has been able to isolate babesia-infected erythrocytes using a lowpower insulator-based dielectrophoretic chip with detection limit of 0.1 percentage parasitized erythrocytes. Ongoing work seeks to characterize and isolate borrelia by leveraging its extracellular contributions within the heterogeneous cell mixture.
“Security of Wireless Implantable Medical Devices”
Healthcare remote devices are recognized as a promising technology for treating health related issues. Among them are the wireless Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs): These electronic devices are manufactured to treat, monitor, support or replace defected vital organs while being implanted in the human body. Thus, they play a critical role in healing and even saving lives. Current IMDs research trends concentrate on their medical reliability. However, deploying wireless technology in such applications without considering security measures may offer adversaries an easy way to compromise them. Many malicious attacks on these devices can directly affect the patient’s health in a lethal way. Using insecure wireless channels for these devices offers adversaries easy ways to steal the patient’s private data and hijack these systems. On the other hand, IMDs suffer from limited resources, such as the energy supply, processing power, and storage space. This renders security schemes a critical feature for implementation. A certain balance between security and efficiency must be attained in each IMD for a satisfactory and safe functioning.
Therefore, we intend throughout our work to design light-weight security schemes to defend these IMDs. Our goal is to create or accommodate security approaches for the specific case of any IMD. We want to ensure for any IMD-user a high efficiency from the IMD to improve his health, while guaranteeing a safe use.
Our plans are to decrease the computational complexity of security algorithms and authentication protocols to fit on any IMD. We also want to explore biometric features for better and safer use. We investigate all the possible scenarios (regular or urgent) to guarantee for the patient a reliable device.
“Fire Regimes and Potential Drivers of their Spatial and Temporal Variability”
Fire is a natural component of most ecosystems which has effects on vegetation, soil, water and atmospheric composition. Despite increasing interest in interdisciplinary global fire activity analysis, there are still many gaps and uncertainties in our knowledge. Some of them comes due to the fact that most studies used solely the amount of burned area which alone cannot give a full picture of global fire activity. In order to characterize spatial and temporal patterns and ecosystem impacts of fire on the landscape the term “fire regimes” was introduced, defined as “particular combination of fire characteristics”.
Through this research we developed a framework for describing and mapping the global distribution of fire metrics, combining them into regions of homogeneous fire behavior and analyzing the extent to which climate and human drivers determine global fire patterns. This study uses ecoregions as a spatial unit of analysis, which are further stratified into two broad land cover types (forests, non-forest) since fuel type is heterogeneous within each ecoregion. This method avoids complications which arise from the commonly used fixed resolution cells, which are inappropriate for short time series analysis in regions with infrequent fires. We identify a set of key fire metrics (mean annual burned area, fire frequency, size, intensity, and seasonality), extract them from the entire MODIS fire record and use an unsupervised statistical analysis methods for the identification of fire regimes (Principal Component Analysis followed by Hierarchical Cluster Analysis).
We subsequently explore if there is a correspondence between fire regimes, and climate and human variables that drive the total fire activity such as annual total precipitation, annual mean temperature, effective rainfall, GDP, and the human footprint index. Wildfire regimes were partially distinguished by available moisture and by human pressure on the environment. While some regimes overlap substantially with biomes and showed strong connections to climate, others were closely related to socio-economic factors. Our results strength previous findings that the spatial distribution of fire regimes is a result of complex relationships between vegetation, climate and human activities through direct actions like ignition or fire management and indirect actions like land use change. We believe that our results can be used for fire regime model validation, estimating departures from historical conditions and improving fire management strategies and environmental policies.
“Production performance and nitrogen utilization in dairy cows fed low or high crude protein diets containing corn dried distillers grains with solubles and supplemented with Lactivate or ProLak”
Feeding corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in low crude protein (CP) diets improves nitrogen (N) utilization. However, it can reduce metabolizable AA supply, especially Lys, which compromises lactation performance. Therefore, our objective was to determine the effects of feeding by-pass protein/rumenprotected AA (RP-AA) supplements in low or high CP diets containing corn DDGS on nutrient intake, milk production, and measures of N utilization in dairy cows. Six multiparous Holstein cows (619.3 ± 49.8 kg BW; 26.8 ± 6.2 DIM) were subjected to a split-plot 3 × 3 Latin square design with 21 d periods. The whole-plot factor was dietary CP content; low (14.6%; LP) or high (16.6%; HP), and the subplot was by-pass protein/AA supplement (top-dressed); control (CON; no supplement), Lactivate (LAC; 0.11 kg/cow/d) or ProLak (PRO; 0.45 kg/cow/d). All diets contained 10% corn DDGS. Dry matter intake, milk and milk lactose and protein yield did not differ in cows fed the LP than HP diet. However, reducing dietary CP content resulted in a decrease in N intake and apparent total tract CP digestibility, and a tendency for a decrease in milk protein yield.
Intake and apparent total tract digestion of OM, ADF and NDF, microbial N flow, and fecal N excretion were similar across dietary CP content. However, cows fed the LP diet tended to excrete a lower amount of total urinary N and urea-N, and excreted a lower amount of total N than cows fed the HP diet. Similarly, BUN concentration was lower, and MUN concentration tended to be lower when N intake was restricted. However, there was no supplement effect on nutrient intake and digestibility, milk and milk component yields, and all measures of N utilization.
Overall, feeding corn DDGS in a LP compared to a HP diet had a marginal effect on production performance, which possibly negated the potential benefits of providing supplemental bypass protein/RP-AA under our experimental conditions. However, feeding corn DDGS in a LP than HP diet improved N utilization, which is beneficial from an environmental sustainability standpoint.
People’s Choice Award
“Yellow Mustard as a Multi-component Biopesticide.”
Development of alternative pest control methods is a pressing issue in modern agriculture as more than 496 weed species have already been demonstrated to have pesticide resistance.At the same time, the public demand for naturally and organically grown produce is constantly increasing.
One of the approaches to address this problem is to focus on the development of biologically based pest control methods. Specifically, plant-derived pesticidal compounds such as glucosinolates found in plants of the Brassicaceae family can be used for weed control.
While seed meal of Brassicaceae (such as yellow and Oriental mustards) has been studied in field experiments as a potential natural pesticide, the use of seed meal is limited because it is bulky and it has inconsistent efficacy.
Thus, the objective of this study was to optimize the production of pesticidal compound(s) from yellow mustard (Sinapis alba L.) to create a more consistent and efficient biological pesticide. Optimization was based on the biological response of three common weeds: green foxtail (Setaria viridis), Powell's amaranth (Amaranthus powellii), and liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha).
The mustard meal extracts with the highest pesticidal activity were fractionated by solid phase extraction and analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry and diode array detector, or ion chromatography for molecular identification and structure elucidation.
Based on the data obtained, it was demonstrated that mustard meal extract exhibits pesticidal activity towards all three studied weeds. However, different compounds are responsible for pesticidal effects in the case of liverworts than the other two weeds. Using optimized conditions, we were able to produce a mustard meal-derived pesticidal extract potentially suitable for organic certification that demonstrates high efficacy and more consistent results.