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[en] Current echocardiographic data reporting the impact of concomitant mitral regurgitation (MR) on outcome in patients who undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) are conflicting. Using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, this study aimed to assess the impact of MR severity on cardiac reverse remodeling and patient outcome. 85 patients undergoing TAVR with CMR pre- and 6 m post-TAVR were evaluated. The CMR protocol included cines for left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) volumes, flow assessment, and myocardial scar assessment by late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). Patients were dichotomised according to CMR severity of MR fraction at baseline (‘non-significant’ vs ‘significant’) and followed up for a median duration of 3 years. Forty-two (49%) patients had ‘significant MR’ at baseline; they had similar LV and RV size and function compared to the ‘non-significant MR’ group but had greater LV mass at baseline. In those with significant MR at baseline, 77% (n = 32) had a reduction in MR post-TAVR, moving them into the ‘non-significant’ category at 6-months, with an overall reduction in MR fraction from 34 to 17% (p < 0.001). Improvement in MR was not associated with more favourable cardiac reverse remodeling when compared with the ‘non-improvers’. Significant MR at baseline was not associated with increased mortality at follow-up. Significant MR is common in patients undergoing TAVR and improves in the majority post-procedure. Improvement in MR was not associated with more favourable LV reverse remodeling and baseline MR severity was not associated with mortality.
[en] This paper examines the feasibility of detecting strontium 90 in groundwater directly with photodiodes and considers the physical parameters which maximise radiation absorption within the detector. Geant4 simulations were used to draw comparisons between silicon, gallium arsenide and cadmium telluride detectors of varying surface area and thickness. Detectors were compared in their ability to absorb point and scattered sources of radiation. The results indicate that a detector, of 10 mm2 surface area, and 1 mm thickness offered the highest detection efficiency in a contaminated groundwater simulation. 1 mm thick and 100 mm2 detectors cadmium telluride and gallium arsenide detectors were modelled in a groundwater borehole scenario. Each material offered similar detection efficiency, but the greater backscattering effect in cadmium telluride resulted in a greater peak at lower energies compared to that observed in gallium arsenide.
[en] Non-native grass mixtures are often used to quickly establish ground cover on highway construction sites. Because soil is often mixed with parent material, reclamation is difficult in many of these locations. The inclusion of native seeds at two roadside locations in eastern West Virginia was evaluated in this study. The field sites had among the harshest climate conditions of the state, and the intent was to evaluate the establishment of varying seed mixtures at low/moderate and high elevations. Four experimental seed mixtures (mowable areas, cool season, warm season, and high elevation) were compared to two currently used seed mixtures for erosion control. Ground cover, biomass, compaction, and soil information were monitored over three growing seasons (2015–2017). Results show that the mowable area and cool season mixtures show promise at a wide range of elevations. While the warm season mixture did meet minimum ground cover (70%) at the low elevation location, the use will be limited due to slower time to establishment; however, the inclusion of the warm season mixture will meet the need of included native species in roadside reclamation. Experimental mixtures were resilient to periods of drought and high temperature throughout the study. The high elevation seed mixture did not perform better than the other experimental seed mixtures, so its use is not recommended for right-of-way locations in West Virginia. The cool season and mowable area mixtures likely meet this need.
[en] Highlights: • Species on transplanted pavers change most on rocky reefs close to the CBD. • Away from the CBD, point source pollution has effects compared to controls. • Restoration may not be possible in long-polluted parts of estuaries. - Abstract: Populations of macro-algae and sessile invertebrates have precipitously declined in urbanised coastal waters in Australia since European occupation. Responses of healthy subtidal sessile assemblages to cumulative impacts and types of urban impacts were measured in one of the most polluted estuaries in Australia - the Derwent Estuary - by transplanting sessile communities established on pavers to locations adjacent to marinas, sewerage outfalls, fish farm cages, and stormwater discharges, each with associated controls. Reef communities translocated to sites adjacent to central urban pollution sources (within 5 km of Hobart) lost canopy-forming algae. Fish farms, marinas, and storm water drains were all characterised by higher filamentous algal cover than their controls. Marinas were associated with losses in canopy and foliose algae. Restoration of subtidal reef near highly urbanised areas is unlikely to be successful until current pollution levels are dramatically reduced.
[en] Highlights: • SAPG with concentrating and non-concentrating collectors has been compared. • Non-concentrating collectors could be superior to concentrating collectors in SAPG. • Using non-concentrating collectors is more effective in low latitude. - Abstract: The preheating of the feedwater in a Regenerative Rankine Cycle power plant with solar thermal energy, termed Solar Aided Power Generation, is an efficient method to use low to medium temperature solar thermal energy. Here, we compared the use of medium temperature (200–300 °C) energy from concentrating solar collectors (e.g. parabolic trough collectors) to displace the extraction steam to high temperature/pressure feedwater heaters with that from low temperature (100–200 °C) non-concentrating solar collectors (e.g. evacuated tube collectors) to displace the extraction steam to low temperature/pressure feedwater heaters of the power plant. In this paper, the in terms of net land based solar to power efficiency and annual solar power output per collector capital cost of a Solar Aided Power Generation using concentrating and non-concentrating solar collectors has been comparted using the annual hourly solar radiation data in three locations (Singapore; Multan, Pakistan and St. Petersburg, Russia). It was found that such a power system using non-concentrating solar collectors is superior to concentrating collectors in terms of net land based solar to power efficiency. In some low latitude locations e.g. Singapore, using non-concentrating solar collectors even have advantages of lower solar power output per collector capital cost over using the concentrating solar collectors in an SAPG plant.
[en] Light emission under MeV hydrogen and oxygen ions in stoichiometric SrTiO_3 are identified at temperatures of 100 K, 170 K and room-temperature. MeV ions predominately deposit their energies to electrons in SrTiO_3 with energy densities orders of magnitude higher than from UV or x-ray sources but comparable to femtosecond lasers. The ionoluminescence (IL) spectra can be resolved into three main Gaussian bands at 2.0 eV, 2.5 eV and 2.8 eV, whose relative contributions strongly depend on irradiation temperature, electronic energy loss and irradiation fluence. Two main bands, observed at 2.5 eV and 2.8 eV, are intrinsic and associated with electron–hole recombination in the perfect SrTiO_3 lattice. The 2.8 eV band is attributed to recombination of free (conduction) electrons with an in-gap level, possibly related to self-trapped holes. Self-trapped excitons (STEs) are considered suitable candidates for the 2.5 eV emission band, which implies a large energy relaxation in comparison to the intrinsic edge transition. The dynamics of electronic excitation, governs a rapid initial rise of the intensity; whereas, accumulated irradiation damage (competing non-radiative recombination channels) accounts for a subsequent intensity decrease. The previously invoked role of isolated oxygen vacancies for the blue luminescence (2.8 eV) does not appear consistent with the data. An increasing well-resolved band at 2.0 eV dominates at 170 K and below. It has been only previously observed in heavily strained and amorphous SrTiO_3, and is, here, attributed to transitions from d(t 2g) conduction band levels to d(e g) levels below the gap. In accordance with ab initio theoretical calculations they are associated to trapped electron states in relaxed Ti"3"+ centers at an oxygen vacancy within distorted TiO_6 octahedra. The mechanism of defect evolution monitored during real-time IL experiments is presented. In conclusion, the light emission data confirm that IL is a useful tool to investigate lattice disorder in irradiated SrTiO_3.
[en] Highlights: •A novel high temperature solar thermal energy storage system is presented. •The system employs a molten metal oxide for energy storage. •The system can achieve a high energy density of 5 GJ/m3. •Oxygen can be also produced as a valuable by-product. -- Abstract: A novel cycle, the chemical looping of molten copper oxide, is proposed with the thermodynamic potential to achieve sensible, latent and thermochemical heat storage with an energy density of approximately 5.0 GJ/m3, which is approximately 6 times more than the 0.83 GJ/m3 of molten salt. This cycle avoids the technical challenges associated with the application of solid materials (especially multivalent metals) for thermochemical energy storage such as attrition, agglomeration, particle breakage and structural change in successive reduction and oxidation reactions, although it brings alternative challenges associated with the handling of molten metal oxides. A process path for the concept is proposed based on data from the literature for the equilibrium composition of copper and oxygen at different temperatures and gas phase pressures. The process has been modelled with codes developed in MATLAB. The calculations estimate that from the total input concentrated solar thermal energy into the system, about 73% can be absorbed, while the rest is lost through re-radiation heat loss. Furthermore, it is estimated that of the absorbed heat, approximately 95% is stored, while the rest leaves the system as high temperature gas. The calculations also predict that approximately 20% of the inlet solar thermal energy is partitioned as the chemical storage, which is also employed for oxygen production. Also reported is the sensitivity to the effects of key operating parameters.
[en] Highlights: • Impact of non-displaced feedwater heater on plant’s performance has been evaluated. • Two operation strategies for non-displaced feedwater heater has been proposed. • Constant temperature strategy is generally better. • Constant mass flow rate strategy is suit for rich solar thermal input. - Abstract: Solar Aided Power Generation is a technology in which low grade solar thermal energy is used to displace the high grade heat of the extraction steam in a regenerative Rankine cycle power plant for feedwater preheating purpose. The displaced extraction steam can then expand further in the steam turbine to generate power. In such a power plant, using the (concentrated) solar thermal energy to displace the extraction steam to high pressure/temperature feedwater heaters (i.e. displaced feedwater heaters) is the most popular arrangement. Namely the extraction steam to low pressure/temperature feedwater heaters (i.e. non-displaced feedwater heaters) is not displaced by the solar thermal energy. In a Solar Aided Power Generation plants, when solar radiation/input changes, the extraction steam to the displaced feedwater heaters requires to be adjusted according to the solar radiation. However, for the extraction steams to the non-displaced feedwater heaters, it can be either adjusted accordingly following so-called constant temperature strategy or unadjusted i.e. following so-called constant mass flow rate strategy, when solar radiation/input changes. The previous studies overlooked the operation of non-displaced feedwater heaters, which has also impact on the whole plant’s performance. This paper aims to understand/reveal the impact of the two different operation strategies for non-displaced feedwater heaters on the plant’s performance. In this paper, a 300 MW Rankine cycle power plant, in which the extraction steam to high pressure/temperature feedwater heaters is displaced by the solar thermal energy, is used as study case for this purpose. It was found that plant adopting the constant temperature strategy is generally better than that adopting the constant mass flow rate strategy. However, if rich solar energy is available, adopting the constant mass flow rate strategy can achieve better performance.
[en] Recent Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations present mounting evidence for the presence of exocometary gas released within Kuiper Belt analogs around nearby main-sequence stars. This represents a unique opportunity to study their ice reservoir at the younger ages when volatile delivery to planets is most likely to occur. We here present the detection of CO J = 2-1 emission colocated with dust emission from the cometary belt in the 440 Myr old Fomalhaut system. Through spectrospatial filtering, we achieve a 5.4σ detection and determine that the ring’s sky-projected rotation axis matches that of the star. The CO mass derived () is the lowest of any circumstellar disk detected to date and must be of exocometary origin. Using a steady-state model, we estimate the CO+CO2 mass fraction of exocomets around Fomalhaut to be between 4.6% and 76%, consistent with solar system comets and the two other belts known to host exocometary gas. This is the first indication of a similarity in cometary compositions across planetary systems that may be linked to their formation scenario and is consistent with direct interstellar medium inheritance. In addition, we find tentative evidence that % of the detected flux originates from a region near the eccentric belt’s pericenter. If confirmed, the latter may be explained through a recent impact event or CO pericenter glow due to exocometary release within a steady-state collisional cascade. In the latter scenario, we show how the azimuthal dependence of the CO release rate leads to asymmetries in gas observations of eccentric exocometary belts.
[en] There is now strong evidence that long-duration gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) are preferentially formed in low-metallicity environments. However, the magnitude of this effect and its functional dependence on metallicity have not been well characterized. In our previous paper, we compared the metallicity distribution of LGRB host galaxies to that of star-forming galaxies in the local universe. Here we build upon this work by in effect dividing one distribution by the other, and thus directly determine the relative rate of LGRB formation as a function of metallicity in the low-redshift universe. We find a dramatic cutoff in LGRB formation above a metallicity of in the KK04 scale, with LGRBs forming between 10 and 50 times more frequently per unit star formation below this cutoff than above. Furthermore, our data suggest that the rate of LGRB formation per unit star formation continues to fall above this break. We estimate that the LGRB formation rate per unit star formation may drop by as much as a factor of 100 between one-third solar and solar metallicity.