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Towards Quantitative Characterisation of the Small Force Transducer Used in Nanoindentation Instruments  [PDF]
Zhi Li, Uwe Brand
Modern Instrumentation (MI) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/mi.2013.24009

Quantitative characterization of the mechanical properties of materials in micro-/nano-scale using depth-sensing indentation technique demands high performance of nanoindentation instruments in use. In this paper, the efforts to calibrate the capacitive force transducer of a commercial nanoindentation instrument are presented, where the quasi-static characteristic of the force transducer has been calibrated by a precise compensation balance with a resolution of ~1 nN. To investigate the dynamic response of the transducer, an electrostatic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) based on nano-force transfer standard with nano-Newton (10-9 Newton) resolution and a bandwidth up to 6 kHz have been employed. Preliminary experimental results indicate that 1) the force transducer under calibration has a probing force uncertainty less than 300 nN (1σ) in the calibration range of 1 mN; 2) the transient duration at contact points amounts to 10 seconds; 3) the overshoot of engagement is pre-load dependent.

Potentials of Plasma NGAL and MIC-1 as Biomarker(s) in the Diagnosis of Lethal Pancreatic Cancer
Sukhwinder Kaur, Subhankar Chakraborty, Michael J. Baine, Kavita Mallya, Lynette M. Smith, Aaron Sasson, Randall Brand, Sushovan Guha, Maneesh Jain, Uwe Wittel, Shailender K. Singh, Surinder K. Batra
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055171
Abstract: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is lethal malignancy with very high mortality rate. Absence of sensitive and specific marker(s) is one of the major factors for poor prognosis of PC patients. In pilot studies using small set of patients, secreted acute phase proteins neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) and TGF-β family member macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1) are proposed as most potential biomarkers specifically elevated in the blood of PC patients. However, their performance as diagnostic markers for PC, particularly in pre-treatment patients, remains unknown. In order to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of NGAL and MIC-1, their levels were measured in plasma samples from patients with pre-treatment PC patients (n = 91) and compared it with those in healthy control (HC) individuals (n = 24) and patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP, n = 23). The diagnostic performance of these two proteins was further compared with that of CA19-9, a tumor marker commonly used to follow PC progression. The levels of all three biomarkers were significantly higher in PC compared to HCs. The mean (± standard deviation, SD) plasma NGAL, CA19-9 and MIC-1 levels in PC patients was 111.1 ng/mL (2.2), 219.2 U/mL (7.8) and 4.5 ng/mL (4.1), respectively. In comparing resectable PC to healthy patients, all three biomarkers were found to have comparable sensitivities (between 64%-81%) but CA19-9 and NGAL had a higher specificity (92% and 88%, respectively). For distinguishing resectable PC from CP patients, CA19-9 and MIC-1 were most specific (74% and 78% respectively). CA19-9 at an optimal cut-off of 54.1 U/ml is highly specific in differentiating resectable (stage 1/2) pancreatic cancer patients from controls in comparison to its clinical cut-off (37.1 U/ml). Notably, the addition of MIC-1 to CA19-9 significantly improved the ability to distinguish resectable PC cases from CP (p = 0.029). Overall, MIC-1 in combination with CA19-9 improved the diagnostic accuracy of differentiating PC from CP and HCs.
DC and AC Characterization of Pancake Coils Made from Roebel-Assembled Coated Conductor Cable
Anna Kario,Michal Vojen?iak,Francesco Grilli,Andrea Kling,Alexandra Jung,J?rg Brand,Andrej Kudymow,Johann Willms,Uwe Walschburger,Victor Zermeno,Wilfried Goldacker
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1109/TASC.2014.2349512
Abstract: Roebel cables made of HTS coated conductors can carry high currents with a compact design and reduced AC losses. They are therefore good candidates for manufacturing coils for HTS applications such as motors and generators. In this paper we present the experimental DC and AC characterization of several coils assembled from a 5 meter long Roebel cable built at KIT, which differ in the number of turns and turn-to-turn spacing. Our experiments, supported by finite-element method (FEM) calculations, show that a more tightly wound Roebel coil, despite having a lower critical (and therefore operating) current, can produce a higher magnetic field than a loosely wound one. For a given magnetic field produced at the coil's center, all the coils have similar AC losses, with the exception of the most loosely wound one, which has much higher losses due to the relatively large current needed to produce the desired field. The experiments presented in this paper are carried out on the geometry of pancake coils made of Roebel cables, but they are exemplary of a more general strategy that, coupling experiments and numerical simulations, can be used to optimize the coil design with respect to different parameters, such as tape quantity, size, or AC loss, the relative importance of which is dictated by the specific application.
Selectivities at Work: Climate Concerns in the Midst of Corporatist Interests. The Case of Austria  [PDF]
Ulrich Brand, Adam Pawloff
Journal of Environmental Protection (JEP) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/jep.2014.59080

Despite legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and good pre-conditions for progressive climate action, emissions in Austria are on the rise. This article explores the reasons why climate change policy is so ineffective in Austria. We show that the social partnership has contributed significantly to the standstill in renewable energy production and the rejection of more ambitious reduction targets concerning greenhouse gas emissions, and consider the role of experts and expertise in climate change policies. The ineffectiveness of climate policy in Austria is largely due to corporatist actors who often act like an ex-ante filter or selective mechanism for what is politically acceptable or possible and what is not. Climate change is for the most part successfully kept off the political agenda and (climate sceptical) politicization does not take place. Insights from the literature on corporatism are enhanced by the concepts of strategic and epistemic selectivity to analyse not only access to the state terrain but also the domination of specific knowledge forms, problem perceptions, and narratives over others.

Public health genomics Relevance of genomics for individual health information management, health policy development and effective health services.
Angela Brand,Helmut Brand
Italian Journal of Public Health , 2006, DOI: 10.2427/5914
Abstract: Healthcare delivery systems are facing fundamental challenges. New ways of organising theses systems based on the different needs of stakeholders’ are required to meet these challenges. While medicine is currently undergoing remarkable developments from its morphological and phenotype orientation to a molecular and genotype orientation, promoting the importance of prognosis and prediction, the discussion about the relevance of genome-based information and technologies for the health care system as a whole and especially for public health is still in its infancy. The following article discusses the relevance of genome-based information and technologies for individual health information management, health policy development and effective health services.
Public Health Genetics : Challenging "Public Health at the Crossroads"
Angela Brand,Helmut Brand
Italian Journal of Public Health , 2005, DOI: 10.2427/5999
Abstract: Dear public health professionals, Honestly, isn’t it time to ask whether or not we are doing “the right things”in public health? Are our present public health strategies evidence-based? The public health agenda demands a vision that reaches beyond research to the application of public health and the determination of it’s impact. In this scenario what is the role of genomics? In the past twenty years, advances in genome research have revolutionised what is known about the role of inheritance in health and disease.[1] Nowadays,we know that our DNA determines not only the cause of single-gene disorders, but also determines our predisposition to common diseases.Whereas medicine is currently undergoing extraordinary developments from its morphological and phenotype orientation to a molecular and genotype orientation, promoting the importance of prognosis and prediction, public health practice has to date concerned itself with environmental determinants of health and disease and has paid scant attention to genetic variations within the population. The advances brought about by genomics is changing these perceptions.[2,3] Many predict, that this knowledge will enable health promotion messages and disease prevention programmes to be specifically directed at susceptible individuals or at subgroups of the population, based on their genetic profile.[4,5] The new technologies will allow researchers to examine genetic mutations at the functional genomic unit level, and to better understand the significance of environmental factors such as noxious agents, nutrition and personal behaviour in relation to the causation of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders and infectious diseases.
Affiliation of Dihydrolipoyl Dehydrogenase Allozymes in Mycorrhizae of European Forest Trees and Characterization of the Enzyme of the Matt Bolete (Xerocomus pruinatus) and the Bay Bolete (X. badius)  [PDF]
Uwe Schirkonyer, Gunter M. Rothe
Open Journal of Ecology (OJE) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/oje.2018.86022
Abstract: Mycorrhizal roots of the deciduous trees European beech (Fagus sylvatica (L.)) and Sessile oak (Quercus petraea (MattuschkaLiebl.)) and the conifers Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and European larch (Larix decidua (Mill.)) associated with the ectomycorrhizal fungi matt bolete (Xerocomus pruinatus (Fries 1835)) or bay bolete (X. badius (Fries 1818)) were analysed with respect to the occurrence of dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase (EC allozymes. In root tissues of the two deciduous trees, two gene loci could be visualized after cellulose acetate electrophoresis while three loci were expressed in root tissues of the two coniferous species. The two fungal species and further ectomycorrhizal fungi expressed exclusively one dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase gene. In Xerocomus pruinatus and X. badius, the dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase gene consists of 1460 bp and 1370 bp, respectively, including five introns each consisting of 52 bp. Their DNA sequences correspond to 70 to 90% to other fungal dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase genes. One monomer of the dimeric dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase enzyme consists of 486 (X. pruinatus) or 454 (X.
Drosophila muscleblind Codes for Proteins with One and Two Tandem Zinc Finger Motifs
Uwe Irion
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034248
Abstract: Muscleblind-like proteins, Muscleblind (Mbl) in Drosophila and MBNL1-3 in vertebrates, are regulators of alternative splicing. Human MBNL1 is a key factor in the etiology of myotonic dystrophy (DM), a muscle wasting disease caused by the occurrence of toxic RNA molecules containing CUG/CCUG repeats. MBNL1 binds to these RNAs and is sequestered in nuclear foci preventing it from exerting its normal function, which ultimately leads to mis-spliced mRNAs, a major cause of the disease. Muscleblind-proteins bind to RNAs via N-terminal zinc fingers of the Cys3-His type. These zinc fingers are arranged in one (invertebrates) or two (vertebrates) tandem zinc finger (TZF) motifs with both fingers targeting GC steps in the RNA molecule. Here I show that mbl genes in Drosophila and in other insects also encode proteins with two TZF motifs, highly similar to vertebrate MBNL proteins. In Drosophila the different protein isoforms have overlapping but possibly divergent functions in vivo, evident by their unequal capacities to rescue the splicing defects observed in mbl mutant embryos. In addition, using whole transcriptome analysis, I identified several new splicing targets for Mbl in Drosophila embryos. Two of these novel targets, kkv (krotzkopf-verkehrt, coding for Chitin Synthase 1) and cora (coracle, coding for the Drosophila homolog of Protein 4.1), are not muscle-specific but expressed mainly in epidermal cells, indicating a function for mbl not only in muscles and the nervous system.
Modeling the Risk of Secondary Malignancies after Radiotherapy
Uwe Schneider
Genes , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/genes2041033
Abstract: In developed countries, more than half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy at some stage in the management of their disease. However, a radiation-induced secondary malignancy can be the price of success if the primary cancer is cured or at least controlled. Therefore, there is increasing concern regarding radiation-related second cancer risks in long-term radiotherapy survivors and a corresponding need to be able to predict cancer risks at high radiation doses. Of particular interest are second cancer risk estimates for new radiation treatment modalities such as intensity modulated radiotherapy, intensity modulated arc-therapy, proton and heavy ion radiotherapy. The long term risks from such modern radiotherapy treatment techniques have not yet been determined and are unlikely to become apparent for many years, due to the long latency time for solid tumor induction. Most information on the dose-response of radiation-induced cancer is derived from data on the A-bomb survivors who were exposed to γ-rays and neutrons. Since, for radiation protection purposes, the dose span of main interest is between zero and one Gy, the analysis of the A-bomb survivors is usually focused on this range. With increasing cure rates, estimates of cancer risk for doses larger than one Gy are becoming more important for radiotherapy patients. Therefore in this review, emphasis was placed on doses relevant for radiotherapy with respect to radiation induced solid cancer. Simple radiation protection models should be used only with extreme care for risk estimates in radiotherapy, since they are developed exclusively for low dose. When applied to scatter radiation, such models can predict only a fraction of observed second malignancies. Better semi-empirical models include the effect of dose fractionation and represent the dose-response relationships more accurately. The involved uncertainties are still huge for most of the organs and tissues. A major reason for this is that the underlying processes of the induction of carcinoma and sarcoma are not well known. Most uncertainties are related to the time patterns of cancer induction, the population specific dependencies and to the organ specific cancer induction rates. For radiotherapy treatment plan optimization these factors are irrelevant, as a treatment plan comparison is performed for a patient of specific age, sex, etc. If a treatment plan is compared relative to another one only the shape of the dose-response curve (the so called risk-equivalent dose) is of importance and errors can be minimized.
Pathophysiology of fluid imbalance
Uwe Kreimeier
Critical Care , 2000, DOI: 10.1186/cc968
Abstract: A discussion of the pathophysiology of fluid imbalance typically focuses on hypovolemia. A relevant clinical scenario is described in the following case report.A laboratory worker was taken to the emergency department with malaise, headache, nausea and vomiting [1]. There was evidence of circulatory failure and infection. The patient's pulse was 114 beats/min, blood pressure 42/20 mmHg and oral temperature 40°C. The pre-load filling pressure was very low, while cardiac index was elevated. Clinical symptoms were consistent with a generalized capillary leak syndrome. The patient received 14.9 l fluid in excess of measured output during the period of hypotension. Inotropic support with dopamine and nor-epinephrine was also provided. The presumptive diagnosis was septic shock.It was discovered 11 h after admission that the patient had self-administered 1 mg Salmonella minnesota endotoxin 2.5 h prior to arrival at the emergency department in an attempt to treat a recently diagnosed tumor. This single, large intravenous dose of endotoxin had provoked the manifestations of septic shock syndrome, including hypotension with high cardiac output, disseminated intravascular coagulation, abnormalities of hepatic and renal function, and pulmonary edema. A dose of 100 mg human monoclonal antibody against the lipid A moiety of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (HA-1A) antibody was administered 23 h after the injection of endotoxin. Norepinephrine infusion was discontinued 50 h after the endotoxin injection. The patient was discharged on the eighth hospital day.Although the precipitating cause of this patient's condition was unusual, hypovolemia necessitating fluid administration is a common occurrence. Nevertheless, a proper consideration of fluid imbalance extends beyond hypovolemia alone. Fluid imbalance indeed encompasses a triad of conditions consisting of hypovolemia, normovolemia with maldistribution of fluid, and hypervolemia. Each of these is now discussed.One frequent cause of
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