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  • This paper addresses a green transportation scheduling problem with realistic constraints widely existing in make-to-order manufacturing supply chains, such as pickup time and transport mode selections. The mathematical model of this problem is presented, which is formulated as a bi-objective mixed integer nonlinear program. The problem is simplified first by converting this program to a bi-objective integer nonlinear program. A novel evolution-strategy-based memetic Pareto optimization (ESMPO) approach is then developed to handle this new program, in which a multi-objective local search process is proposed to seek promising neighboring individuals and the faster nondominated sorting procedure is introduced into the memetic algorithm to perform multi-objective sorting. The performance of the proposed ESMPO approach is evaluated by numerical experiments based on industrial data and industrial-sized problems. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach can effectively solve the investigated problem by generating much better solutions than 3 other metaheuristic-based Pareto optimization approaches and the industrial method do.
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  • The majority of the textile dyes are harmful to the environment and potentially carcinogenic. Among strategies for their exclusion, the treatment of dye contaminated wastewater with fungal extract, containing lignin peroxidase (LiP), may be useful. Two fungi isolates, Pleurotus ostreatus (PLO9) and Ganoderma lucidum (GRM117), produced the enzymatic extract by fermentation in the lignocellulosic residue, Jatropha curcas seed cake. The extracts from PLO9 and GRM117 were immobilized on carbon nanotubes and showed an increase of 18 and 27-fold of LiP specific activity compared to the free enzyme. Also, LiP from both fungi extracts showed higher Vmax and lower Km values. Only the immobilized extracts could be efficiently reused in the dye decolourization, contrary, the carbon nanotubes became saturated and they should be discarded over time. This device may offer a final biocatalyst with higher catalytic efficiency and capability to be reused in the dye decolourization process.
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  • This study proposes an optimization model that simultaneously incorporates the selection of logistics infrastructure investments and subsidies for green transport modes to achieve specific CO2 emission targets in a regional logistics network. The proposed model is formulated as a bi-level formulation, in which the upper level determines the optimal selection of logistics infrastructure investments and subsidies for green transport modes such that the benefit–cost ratio of the entire logistics system is maximized. The lower level describes the selected service routes of logistics users. A genetic and Frank–Wolfe hybrid algorithm is introduced to solve the proposed model. The proposed model is applied to the regional logistics network of Changsha City, China. Findings show that using the joint scheme of the selection of logistics infrastructure investments and green subsidies is more effective than using them solely. Carbon emission reduction targets can significantly affect logistics infrastructure investments and subsidy levels.
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  • In dealing with the multiplicity problem of large dataset, clusters or families of hypotheses are often the units of interest. A scoring method is motivated in adopting a rejection space for p-values that are classified into spatial or labeled groups. A score that measures the benefits/costs of making a true/false discovery is computed and rejection space that maximizes the number of rejections with positive score is adopted. Renewal and boundary-crossing theories are used to compute the exceedance probability of the score. Level of strong group type I error control is validated using Monte Carlo and importance sampling methods. It is shown that the scoring method maintains detection power and achieves robustness against model deviation. The scoring method is applied on a copy number variation tumor dataset and short intervals of the chromosome with biological relevance are identified.
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  • This paper integrates a macroscopic dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) model for urban traffic flow with an instantaneous emission model to investigate traffic-related emissions in urban areas of arbitrary shape. It is assumed that homogeneous travelers continuously distributed over the urban areas tend to choose a path to minimize their total travel cost based on instantaneous traffic information. The macroscopic DTA model consists of a two-dimensional hyperbolic system of nonlinear conservation laws with source terms and an Eikonal-type equation used to describe the path-choice behavior of travelers. A solution algorithm for the model is designed as a Runge–Kutta Discontinuous Galerkin method for the hyperbolic system coupled with a fast sweeping method for the Eikonal-type equation on unstructured meshes. A case study investigating macroscopic characteristics of urban traffic flow and predicting exhaust emissions emitted by various types of vehicles in urban areas is conducted to illustrate the applicability of the model and the effectiveness of the algorithm.
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  • Annona muricata Linnaeus, popularly known as “graviola” and also called soursop, is a species typical of countries with a tropical climate, and it is used in folk medicine as an anticancer, analgesic and antispasmodic agent. The aim of the present study was to validate the gastroprotective activity of the hydroalcoholic extract of the leaves of A. muricata (HEAM) and to investigate the underlying mechanisms of action for this effect. Gastric lesions were induced in mice by absolute ethanol, acidified ethanol or indomethacin. Before, the animals were pretreated with saline, omeprazole or HEAM orally at doses of 50–400mg/kg. To determine the mechanism of action of the extract, we investigated, using specific inhibitors, the involvement of nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandins (PGEs), ATP-dependent K+ channels and α2-noradrenergic receptors. HEAM showed significant antiulcer activity against lesions induced by absolute ethanol, acidified ethanol or indomethacin, which was mediated by endogenous gastric prostaglandins.
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  • In the course of a screening program on the seasonal phenol composition of wild Mediterranean medicinal and aromatic plants, broadly used for culinary purposes, Foeniculum vulgare Mill. was the focus of the present study. Hydroalcoholic extracts from fennel freeze-dried leaves, collected in different seasons along 2012 and 2013years, were quali-quantitatively analyzed through LC/MS/MS techniques. Winter extract contained, beyond several hydroxycinnamoyl quinic acids and flavonol glycosides, two chromone derivatives. Flavonol hexuronides were the main spring sample constituents. Phenol profile differences among the extracts influenced massively their bioactivity. When the antioxidant screening was performed, winter extract effectively scavenged DPPH and ABTS+ and reduced Fe3+. Although all the extracts did not show cytotoxicity, they were differently able to exert cytoprotection in H2O2-oxidized cell systems and to affect COX-2 gene expression in THP-1 cells. The most active one was winter extract, which inhibited COX-2 expression by 40%, whereas spring sample showed a weak pro-inflammatory capability.
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  • La enfermedad de Alzheimer de inicio precoz (EAIP), definida como la que se manifiesta antes de los 65 años de edad, muestra ciertas características diferentes de la enfermedad de Alzheimer de inicio tardío (EAIT). Nuestro objetivo fue analizar los trabajos más actuales que comparan la clínica, la neuropsicología, la patología, la genética y la neuroimagen de la EAIP y la EAIT, para determinar si nos enfrentamos a dos enfermedades distintas o a variantes de una misma entidad. Como resultado, hallamos consistencia en algunas características diferenciales entre los 2 cuadros clínicos. Fundamentalmente, la EAIP comienza con mayor frecuencia con una clínica atípica; la valoración cognitiva muestra mayor afectación de las funciones ejecutiva y visuoespacial y de las praxias, y menor afectación de la memoria; la neuropatología evidencia mayor densidad y una distribución más difusa de la patología tipo Alzheimer; los estudios de neuroimagen estructural y funcional muestran una afectación cortical mayor y más difusa, afectando al neocórtex (especialmente el precuneus). En conclusión, las evidencias actuales hacen pensar que la EAIP y la EAIT son variantes clínicas de una misma entidad, que en el caso de la EAIT se ve influida probablemente por factores asociados al envejecimiento.
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  • Surprisingly, a reliable method for measuring the concentration of free fluoride ions in honey is still missing from the literature, notwithstanding the generally recognized importance of the analyte and the matrix. To fill this gap, this study proposes and validates a straightforward ion-specific electrode potentiometric method for this task. The method offers very low detection and quantification limits (6.7μgkg−1 and 25μgkg−1, respectively), good linearity (R2>0.994), good sensitivity (typically 55±3mV for an order of magnitude of concentration) in an unusually low concentration interval (between 0.020 and 1mgL−1), and acceptable precision and bias. The method was applied to 30 unifloral (thistle, eucalyptus and strawberry tree) honey samples from Sardinia, Italy. The amount of free fluoride ions found in these honeys appears to be lower than the range usually found in the literature; indeed, early results suggest a possible dependence of the analyte concentration on the honey’s botanical origin.
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