Three techniques to retrieve information on sea ice thickness from both active and passive radar backscatter data are presented. The first inversion model is a combination of the radiative transfer theory with dense medium phase and amplitude correction theory (DMPACT), and the Levenberg-Marquardt optimization algorithm. The radiative transfer theory was applied as the forward model to generate radar backscatter data, while the DMPACT was included to account for the close spacing effect among the scatterers within the medium. The Levenberg-Marquardt optimization algorithm was then applied to reduce the error between the model generated radar backscatter data and the measured radar backscatter data from satellite images so that the sea ice thickness could be estimated. The second method presented was the neural network inversion method which utilizes a chain of neurons with variable weights. Once the network was fully operational it would be possible to predict the sea ice thickness, provided sufficient training data are given. The last method was the genetic algorithm which is a search technique used in order to predict the approximate sea ice thickness from the measured data. Data from ground truth measurements carried out in Ross Island, Antarctica, together with radar backscatter data extracted from purchased satellite images were used as input to verify the models. All three models were tested and successfully predicted sea ice thickness from actual terrain using the ground truth measurement data, with several constraints and assumptions placed to avoid problems during the retrieval process. While the models still have their own limitations, the potential use of the models for actual sea ice thickness retrieval was confirmed.
The paper examines the propagation direction and speed of large scale travelling ionospheric disturbances (LSTIDs) obtained from GPS observations of extreme geomagnetic storms during the 23rd solar cycle; these are the October 2003 and November 2003 geomagnetic storms. In the analysis, the time delay between total electron content (TEC) structures at Scott Base station (SBA) (Lat. –77.85º, Long. 166.76º), McMurdo (McM4), (Lat. –77.84º, Long. 166.95º), Davis (DAV1), (Lat. –68.58º, Long. 77.97º) and Casey station (CAS1) (Lat. –66.28º, Long. 110.52º) GPS stations as well as the distance between these stations were employed in the analysis. The measurements during the October 2003 storm showed obvious time delay between the TEC enhancement occurrences at SBA/MCM4, DAV1 and CAS1 stations. The time delay indicated a movement of the ionospheric structures from higher to lower latitudes in a velocity ranging between 0.8 km/s – 1.2 km/s. The first sudden TEC enhancement was observed at SBA/McM4 (Lat. –75.84º) followed by CAS1 station (Lat. –66.28º) and the final TEC enhancement was seen at DAV1 station (Lat. –68.58º) with TEC magnitude decreasing while moving from higher to lower latitudes. One important observation was that although the latitude of the CAS1 station was lower than the DAV1 station, the TEC enhancement was firstly seen at the CAS1 station due to the shorter distance between SBA and CAS1 compared with the distance between SBA and CAS1 of about 500 km. The TEC measurements during the November 2003 storm showed an opposite propagation direction (i.e. poleward direction from lower to higher latitudes) which was seen with a velocity ranging between 0.3 km/s – 0.4 km/s. As similar response was observed using vertical TEC measurements obtained from individual PRN satellites but with higher velocity ranges (1.2 km/s – 2.4 km/s during October
and 0.5 km/s – 0.7 km/s during November). The equatorward or poleward expansion of LSTIDs during the October and November 2003 storms was probably caused by the disturbances in the neutral temperature which occurred close to the dayside convection throat or due to the neutral wind oscillation induced by atmospheric gravity waves launched from the aurora region.
The genus Streptomonospora is a group of extremely halophilic filamentous actinomycetes that form a distinct branch in the 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic tree adjacent to the genera Nocardiopsis and Thermobifida, family Norcadiopsaceae. To date, genus Streptomonospora only contain two validly described species which are Streptomonospora salina and Streptomonospora alba. During a biodiversity study on halophilic filamentous actinomycetes from 18 co-ordinates in Barrientos Island, Antarctic, numerous actinomycetes strains were isolated. To identify whether these isolates were members of the genus Streptomonospora, a genus specific primer that allow the rapid detection of the genus Streptomonospora by means of PCR amplification was used. Furthermore molecular cloning was performed to make identical and multiple copies of the target gene. In addition, morphological characteristic identification was performed to validate isolates with positive amplification during PCR.
Chlorella is one of the common microalgae found in a wide range of habitats, including Antarctica. Chlorella UMACC 234 is an interesting isolate in the collection of Antarctic microalgae in the University of Malaya algae culture collection (UMACC) as it grows well at temperatures much higher than the ambience. The alga was isolated from snow samples collected from Casey, Antarctica. This study investigates the influence of nitrogen source on the growth, biochemical composition and fatty acid profile of Chlorella UMACC 234. The cultures were grown in Bold’s Basal Medium with 3.0 mM NaNO3, NH4Cl or urea. The cultures grown on NaNO3 attained the highest specific growth rate (μ = 0.43 day–1) while the specific growth rates of those grown on NH4Cl and urea were not significantly different (p > 0.05). The urea-grown cells produced the highest amounts of lipids (25.7% dry weight) and proteins (52.5% dry weight) compared to those grown on other nitrogen sources. The cell numbers attained by the cultures grown at NaNO3 levels between 0.3 and 3.0 mM were similar but decreased markedly at 9.0 mM NaNO3. The fatty acids of Chlorella UMACC 234 were dominated by saturated fatty acids, especially 16:0 and 18:0. The percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids was very low, especially in cells grown on urea (0.9% total fatty acids). Characterisation of the growth and biochemical composition of this Antarctic Chlorella is important to our studies on the relationship of Chorella isolates from tropical, temperate and polar regions, especially in terms of phylogeny and stress adaptation.
The functions of dams are for water supply, flood control and hydroelectric power generation. A concrete faced rockfill dam (CFRD) is preferred by dam consultants due to its many advantages. It is designed to withstand all applied loads, namely gravity load due to its massive weight and hydrostatic load due to water thrust from the reservoir. The structural response of the Bakun CFRD which is the second highest dam in the world after the Shuibuya Dam, was analyzed using finite element method. A two-dimensional plane strain finite element analysis of the non-linear Duncan-Chang hyperbolic model was used in the study of the dam in respect to the deformation and stresses of the main dam of Bakun CFRD project. The Dead-Birth-Ghost element technique was used to simulate sequences of the construction of the dam. The comparison of rigid and flexible foundation on the behaviour of the dam is discussed in this study. In the finite element modeling, the concrete slab on the upstream was represented through a six-noded element, while the interface characteristic between the dam body and the concrete slab was modeled using an interface element. The maximum settlement and stresses of the cross-section were found and their distribution was discussed and tabulated in the form of contours. The effect of reservoir filling loading had a gradual effect on the dam response behaviour. Comparisons with no water impoundment in the dam were also discussed.
A study was undertaken to estimate the histological changes of gingival enlargement induced by
Cyclosporin A (CsA) and Nifedipine, separately and in combination. Twelve adult rabbits were divided equally into four main groups. The first group received 10 mg/kg/day Nifedipine, the second received 10 mg/kg/day CsA, and the third received a combination of 10 mg/kg /day Nifedipine and CsA by gastric feeding. The fourth was regarded as a control group. Animals were given the drugs from day 1 of the experiment until day 70. They were then sacrificed for histological purposes. Results showed increase in the thickness of the epithelium with keratosis and acanthosis, and also increased vascularity. Collagen fibres and fibroblasts at different rates in the three histological groups were observed. Significant alveolar bone resorption with increased marrow spaces filled with fatty tissue were found in the CsA group. Non-significant changes in the alveolar bone of the Nifedipine group while subsequent bone resorption and bone deposition were seen in the combination group. These changes could be due to the effect of both drugs. Significant changes in the gingiva and the alveolar bone were shown in the three experimental groups compared with the control group.
Katabatic winds dramatically affect the polar climate. Their activity depends on density of air and temperature in the source region. This paper presents for first time an analysis of the precipitable water vapour (PWV) variability and its relation to a katabatic event at Scott Base station, Antarctica. A significant effect in their characteristics toward calculation of a reliable user accuracy in GPS applications is addressed. Our investigations using the data between 21st and 30th of November 2002 showed that the PWV profile exhibited an irregular pattern with a maximum value of 7.38 mm (~ 6 mm on average), and was more strongly influenced by relative humidity than by wind speed activity. The dominant wind flow during this period was from the North-Northeast (blowing from the Ross Sea) with a median speed of 4.96 ms–1. The PWV was high when the temperature was between –15ºC and –11ºC. During the dates identified as a katabatic event between 21:30 UT of 28th November and 18:40 UT on 29th November, the wind blew from the Southeast-South direction (from the Ross Ice Shelf) with a maximum speed of 10.92 ms–1. The PWV increased ~1.4 mm (23%) from the mean value, indicating severe wind during this event which had pronounced effect on GPS observations.
There are relatively little data on bacteria with antimicrobial activities from Antarctic, especially from the South Shetland Islands when compared to the other parts of the world. Hence, this project was set to isolate and characterize bacteria that produce anti-microbial compounds from Greenwich Island (one of the South Shetland Islands), Antarctica. A total of 356 strains of bacteria were isolated from Greenwich Island. They were screened for antimicrobial activities against 13 Gram-negative and one Gram-positive indicator food-borne pathogens. Two out of the 356 Antarctic bacterial strains exhibited an antagonistic effect on the indicator strains, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Bacillus cereus. The two Antarctic bacterial strains were designated as SS157 and SR13. Biochemical and 16S rDNA analysis indicated that the strain SS157 was closely related to Pseudomonas congelans while the strain SR13 was closely related to Pseudomonas tremae. The anti-microbial compounds produced by the two Antarctic bacteria were not sensitive to temperature and were not degraded by trypsin or pronase indicating that they were likely to be chemical compounds or antibiotics. Antimicrobial compounds from strains SS157 and SR13 were broad spectrum, and targeted both Gram-positive and negative pathogens.
The receptor-interacting protein 140 (RIP 140) is a well known nuclear repressor and has been shown to be crucial for female reproduction and metabolism. However, the function of this repressor in developmental processes is still unknown. We conducted a study to investigate the expression patterns of RIP 140 in developing zebrafish embryos. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that RIP140 was highly expressed in the eye, swim bladder, reproductive and metabolic organs of adult zebrafish. During embryogenesis, RIP 140 mRNA was continuously expressed throughout all the developmental stages with the highest expression at 24 hours of post-fertilization (hpf). Furthermore, in situ hybridization whole-mounts revealed that the expression of this gene was mainly localized in the eyes, mid-brain, pectoral fin buds and somites. Therefore, this present study has provided a starting point for future investigations to examine the role of RIP 140 in the development of these organs.
In this multiple-subject study, intrinsic couplings between the primary motor (M1) and supplementary motor areas (SMA) were investigated. Unilateral (UNIright and UNIleft) self-paced tapping of hand fingers were performed to activate M1 and SMA. The intrinsic couplings were analysed using statistical parametric mapping, dynamic causal modeling (DCM) and Bayesian model analysis. Brain activation observed for UNIright and UNIleft showed contralateral and ipsilateral involvement of M1 and SMA. Ten full connectivity models were constructed with right and left M1 and SMA as processing centres. DCM indicated that all subjects prefer M1 as the intrinsic input for UNIright and UNIleft as indicated by a large group Bayes factor (GBF). Positive evidence ratio (PER) that showed strong evidence of Model 3 and Model 6 against other models in at least 12 out of 16 subjects, supported GBF results. The GBF and PER results were later found to be consistent with that of BMS for group studies with high expected posterior probability and exceedance probability. It was concluded that during unilateral finger tapping, the contralateral M1 would act as the input centre which in turn triggered the propagation of signals to SMA in the same hemisphere and to M1 and SMA in the opposite hemisphere.
In this project, a Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to collect and compile various field data in the Pedro Vicente Maldonado Ecuadorian Scientific Station Antarctica Base area. The main source of data was obtained from a global positioning system (GPS) survey using kinematic GPS (GPS-RTK) which allowed continuous point mapping in the terrain. GPS units were utilized in the collection of spatial data for all field work. The co-ordinates obtained were used to produce a point map which was then exported into GIS software where the proximity of cartographic phenomena and boundaries were mapped. All the collected data were subsequently gathered to develop the GIS database which was then used to generate and compile different maps to test for spatial and temporal relationships. The output of the project comprises a GIS database, spatial maps and 3D terrain model of the area. The developed GIS database can be used with other ecological datasets to provide biogeographical information, potential range distribution and sampling adequacy. The database is also applicable to geographical management and multi-disciplinary research projects.
Surface coverage and some properties soil chemicals were assessed at the Punta Fort William, Greenwich Island during the summer from 1–11 February 2008. Twenty sampling points were established along two strip transects covering a total area of 160 m2. Punta Fort William was basically barren. Rocks, stones and pebbles covered 89.4% of the Punta Fort William. The diversity of vegetation in Punta Fort William was relatively low as compared to other South Shetland Islands. Mosses predominated the area and covered 9.1% of the total surface. Colobantus quitensis was the only vascular plant found at the Punta Fort William. It covered 0.5% of the total surface area. Lichens contributed 0.2% of the surface coverage. Although lichen coverage was low, its frequency of occurrence was among the highest. Total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) in the study area ranged from 1 g to 39 g C kg–1 and 12 μg to 3892 μg N kg–1, respectively. The level of TOC and TN were comparable to those reported in other maritime locations in Antarctic. Higher levels of TOC and TN were detected in the areas with intensive biological activities. Hydrocarbon concentration was very low in this area and the sources of hydrocarbons were both natural and anthropogenic. The natural hydrocarbons source was mostly biogenic while the petrogenic hydrocarbons input was anthropogenic.
Recent studies by the United Nations University - Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) demonstrate that bioprospecting is taking place in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and that related commercial applications were being marketed. The bioprospectors’ interest in Antarctica stems from two reasons. First, the lack of knowledge surrounding Antarctic biota provides opportunities to discover novel organisms of potential use to biotechnology. Second, Antarctica’s environmental extremes, such as cold temperatures, extreme aridity and salinity present conditions in which biota have evolved unique characteristics for survival (UNU-IAS 2003). Thus bioprospecting opportunities include, inter alia, the discovery of novel bioactives in species found in cold and dry lithic habitat, novel pigments found in hyper-saline lakes and antifreezes in sea-lakes (Cheng & Cheng 1999).
3-Nitro-2-phenoxypyridine and 3-nitro-2-(4-methyl)phenoxypyridine were obtained when 2-chloro-3-nitropyridine was treated with phenol and p-cresol, respectively. Fluorescence studies were carried out in various solvents, in capped and uncapped conditions and for differing concentrations. Both 3-nitro-2-phenoxypyridine and 3-nitro-2-(4-methyl)phenoxypyridine were fluorescent compounds but 3-Nitro-2-(4-methyl)phenoxypyridine was more fluorescent than 3-nitro-2-phenoxypyridine in all the solvents used. The fluorescence intensity decreased with concentration and time.
We demonstrate a multi-wavelength light source using a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) in conjunction with an array waveguide grating (AWG). The experimental results showed more than 20 channels with a wavelength separation of 0.8 nm and an optical signal-to-noise ratio of more than 10 dB under room temperature. The channels operated at the wavelength region from 1530.4 nm to 1548.6 nm, which corresponded to AWG filtering wavelengths with SOA drive current of 350 mA. The proposed light source had the advantages of a simple and compact structure, multi-wavelength operation and the system could be upgraded to generate more wavelengths.
A 2.4 GHz variable-gain low noise amplifier (VGLNA) intended for use in a Wide-band Code Division
Multiple Access receiver was designed in 0.18 um CMOS process for low voltage and low power applications. Rivaling classical designs using voltage mode approach, this design used the current mode approach, utilizing the current mirror principle to obtain a controllable gain range from 8.26 dB to 16.95 dB with good input and output return losses. By varying the current through the widths of transistors and a bias resistor, the VGLNA was capable of exhibiting 8 dB gain tuning range without degrading the noise figure. Therefore, higher gain was possible at lower current and thus at lower power consumption. Total power consumption simulated was 4.63 mW from a 1 V supply and this gave a gain/power quotient of 3.66 dB/mW. Comparing this with available published data, it was observed that this work demonstrated a good gain tuning range and the lowest noise figure with such power consumption.
Results of a biodiversity study of Antarctic microfungi from ornithogenic soils are presented in this paper. A wide range of soil habitats within and adjacent to active and abandoned penguin rookeries were sampled in order to examine relationships between environmental factors and the biodiversity of soil microfungi. Soil samples were collected from two contrasting Antarctic locations: (1) Beaufort Island (Ross Sea, Continental Antarctica), which is largely ice- and snow-covered, isolated, difficult to access and infrequently visited, and (2) Barrientos Island (maritime Antarctica) which is mostly ice-free during summer and is often visited by scientists and tourists. Soil sampling at Beaufort and Barrientos Islands was completed during the austral summer seasons of 2004/05 and 2006/07, respectively. Warcup’s soil method was used for fungi cultivation. A total of 27 fungal taxa were isolated from the two study sites, consisting of 11 ascomycetes, 13 hyphomycetes
and three yeasts. Only three taxa — Geomyces sp., a pink and a white yeast — occurred on both sites. The isolated fungi were classified according to their thermal characteristics in culture, with seven psychrophilic, 10 psychrotrophic and 10 mesophilic fungi being isolated. Thelebolus microspores, Thelebolus sp., Geomyces sp. and Antarctomyces sp., were the most frequently isolated fungi. A total of 10 taxa were isolated from the 20 soil samples from Beaufort Island, consisting of five psychrophilic, four psychrotrophic and one mesophilic fungi. Thelebolus microsporus, Thelebolus sp., Asco BI8 and Phoma sp. were the most frequently obtained fungi
(20%–27% of isolates). A total of 22 fungal taxa were isolated from 23 soil samples from Barrientos Island, consisting of four psychrophilic, six psychrotrophic and 12 mesophilic fungi. Geomyces sp. and Antarctomyces sp. were the most frequently isolated taxa. Thus, the fungal diversity of Beaufort Island was dominated by Ascomycetes while that of Barrientos Island was dominated by hyphomycetes.
In agricultural systems, animals play a very important multifunctional role for developing communities
throughout the world. This is reflected in the generation of value-added products like meat, milk and eggs for food security; socio-economic benefits like increased income, security and survival, and an infinite variety of services such as the supply of draught power and dung for soil fertility. However, and despite this importance, the situation is awesome since the projected total meat and milk consumption levels in 2020 are far in excess of anticipated supply, and projections of both meat and milk will have to be doubled by 2050 to meet human requirements. Strategies for productivity growth from animals are therefore urgent, and are discussed in the context of the scenario of waning agriculture, extreme poverty and hunger, food crisis, the current contributions from the components of the animal industries, prevailing constraints, opportunities and strategies for improved production. Current trends suggest that the non-ruminant pig and poultry industries will continue to contribute the major share of meat and all of egg production to meet projected human needs. With ruminants by comparison, overall meat production continues to come mainly from the slaughter of numbers. Strategic opportunities exist for maximising productivity in improved production systems. These include targeting rainfed areas, development of small farms, integrated crop-animal systems, intensive application of productivity-enhancing technologies, promoting intensive use of crop residues and expanding the R&D frontiers with interdisciplinarity and farming
systems perspectives. The issues, together with increased investments and institutional commitment, provide for expanded animal production systems and productivity which can forcefully impact on improved human welfare in Asia in the immediate tomorrow.
A preliminary study was carried out to fabricate a three electrode system based on electrochemical sensoring. The cyclic voltammetry (CV) technique was chosen to select the type of metal suitable for evaporation and to compare the results produced from the fabricated gold electrode with the conventional macro-electrode system. The methodology and apparatus used involved low cost apparatus and methodology such as soft lithography, wet-etching, thermal evaporation, direct current sputtering, polymethylmethacrylate moulding and polydimethylsiloxane coating. The experiment was conducted at a fixed scan rate of 100 mV/s by using 0.01 M K3Fe(CN)6 in 0.1M KCl and well known method using Randles-Sevcik equation, peak current ratio and voltage separation was used to analyze the characterization on the fabricated sensors. Electrodes of 6.5 mm2 and 0.26 mm2 were fabricated to prove the adsorption effect of the reactant and the influence of the electrode area on the value of the peak current. CV analysis proved that the fabricated sensor was reliable for a range of 24 h at 25ºC room temperature.
Studies conducted on the various geometric properties of skeletons of water bodies have shown highly promising results. However, these studies were made under the assumption that water bodies were static objects and that they remained constant over time. Water bodies are actually dynamic objects; they go through significant spatio-temporal changes due to drought and flood. In this study, the characterization of skeletons of simulated drought and flood of water bodies was performed. It was observed that as the drought level increased from 1 to 9, the average length of the skeletons decreased due to reduction in the size of the water bodies and increase in the number of water bodies. As the drought level increased from 9 to 15, the average length of the skeletons increased further due to vanishing of small water bodies. Flood caused an increase in the average length of the skeletons due to merging of adjacent water bodies. Power law relationships were observed between the average length of the skeletons of the simulated drought/flood and the level of drought/flood. The scaling exponent of these power laws which was named as a fractal dimension, indicated the rate of change of the average length of the skeletons of simulated drought/flood of water bodies over varying levels of drought/flood. However, errors observed in the goodness of fit of the plots indicated that monofractals were not sufficient to characterise the skeletons of simulated drought and flood of water bodies. Multifractals and lacunarity analysis were required for more accurate characterisation.