Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Deep Learning; Reducing Training Annotations per Image; Object Detection; Object Counting; Asymmetric Loss Function
Online: 15 January 2021 (15:44:51 CET)
Annotating training data is a time consuming and labor intensive process in deep learning, especially for images with many objects present. In this paper, we propose a method to allow deep networks to be trained on data with reduced numbers of annotations (per image) in heatmap regression tasks (e.g. object detection and counting), by applying an asymmetric loss function. In a real scenario, this reduction of annotations can be imposed by the researchers (e.g. ask the annotators to label only 50% of what they see in each image), or can potentially counteract unintentionally missing labels from the annotators. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our method, we conduct experiments in two domains, crowd counting and wheat spikelet detection, using different deep network architecture. We drop various percentages of instance annotations per image in training. Results show that an asymmetric loss function is effective across different models and datasets, even in very extreme cases with limited annotations provided (e.g. 90% of the original annotations reduced). Whilst tuning of the key parameters are required, we find that setting conservative parameter values can help more realistic situations, where only small amounts of data have been missed by annotators.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0191.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: nanohybrid; synthesis; standard electron potential; crystal phase; reducing agents
Online: 14 May 2018 (11:51:21 CEST)
Carbon nanotubes are hybridized with metal crystals to impart multifunctionality into the nanohybrids (NHs). Simple but effective synthesis techniques are desired to form both zero-valent and oxides of different metal species on carbon nanotube surfaces. Sol-gel technique brings in significant advantages and is a viable technique for such synthesis. This study probes the efficacy of sol-gel process and aims to identify underlying mechanisms of crystal formation. Standard electron potential (SEP) is used as a guiding parameter to choose the metal species; i.e., highly negative SEP (e.g., Zn) with oxide crystal tendency, highly positive SEP (e.g., Ag) with zero-valent crystal-tendency, and intermediate range SEP (e.g., Cu) to probe the oxidation tendency in crystal formation are chosen. Transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction are used to evaluate the synthesized NHs. Results indicate that SEP can be a reliable guide for the resulting crystalline phase of a certain metal species, particularly when the magnitude of this parameter is relatively high. However, for intermediate range SEP-metals, mix phase crystals can be expected. For example, Cu will form Cu2O and zero-valent Cu crystals, unless the synthesis is performed in a reducing environment.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Colon; high-sulfur foods; inflammation; metagenomics; microbiota; sulfur reducing bacteria.
Online: 26 March 2019 (10:45:11 CET)
The biogeography of inflammation in ulcerative colitis (UC) suggests a proximal to distal concentration gradient of a toxin. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has long been considered one such toxin candidate, and dietary sulfur along with the abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) were considered the primary determinants of H2S production and clinical course of UC. The metabolic milieu in the lumen of the colon, however, is the result of a multitude of factors beyond dietary sulfur intake and SRB abundance. Here we present an updated formulation of the H2S toxin hypothesis for UC pathogenesis, which strives to incorporate the interdependency of diet composition and the metabolic activity of the entire colon microbial community. Specifically, we suggest that the increasing severity of inflammation along the proximal-to-distal axis in UC is due to dilution of beneficial factors, concentration of toxic factors, and changing detoxification capacity of the host, all of which are intimately linked to the nutrient flow from the diet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0082.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: mine waste; lead; zinc; cadmium; microbial role; sulfur-reducing bacteria
Online: 4 August 2018 (11:07:24 CEST)
Milling and mining metal ores are major sources of heavy metal contamination. The Spring River and its tributaries in southeast Kansas are contaminated with Pb, Zn, and Cd as a result of 120 years of mining activities. Trace metal transformations and cycling in mine waste materials greatly influence their mobility and toxicity and affect plant productivity and human health. It has been hypothesized that under reduced conditions in sulfate-rich environments, these metals can be transformed into their sulfide forms, thus limiting mobility and toxicity. We studied biogeochemical transformations of Pb, Zn and Cd in flooded subsurface mine waste materials, natural or treated with organic carbon (OC) and/or sulfur (S), by combining advanced microbiological and X-ray spectroscopic techniques to determine the effects of treatments on the microbial community structure and identify the dominant functional genes involved in the biogeochemical transformations, especially metal sulfide formation over time. Samples collected from medium-, and long-term submerged columns were used for microarray analysis via functional gene array (GeoChip 4.2). The total number of detected gene abundance decreased under long-term submergence, but major functional genes abundance was enhanced with OC plus S treatment. The microbial community exhibited a substantial change in structure in response to OC and S addition. Sulfur-reducing bacteria genes dsrA/B were identified as key players in metal sulfide formation via dissimilatory sulfate reduction. Uniqueness of this study is that microbial analyses presented here in details are in agreements with molecular-scale synchrotron-based X-ray data supporting that OC-plus-S treatment would be a promising strategy for reducing metal toxicity in mine waste materials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0146.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: acid mine drainage; bioremediation technology; sulfate reducing bacteria; coal mining
Online: 17 March 2017 (22:27:05 CET)
Sulfate, the main dissolved contaminant in acid mine drainage (AMD), is ubiquitous in watersheds affected by coal and metal mining operations worldwide. Engineered passive bioremediation systems (PBS) are low-cost technologies that remediate sulfate contamination by promoting (1) precipitation of sulfate-bearing compounds, such as schwertmannite and gypsum; and (2) microbially-mediated sulfate reduction (BSR) to sulfide with subsequent precipitation of sulfide minerals. In this study, chemical and sulfur isotopic data are used to infer multiple pathways for sulfate sequestration in the Tab-Simco PBS. By simultaneously monitoring sulfate concentrations and δ34SSO4 values at four sampling points across the PBS, we (1) identified that the organic layer within the bioreactor was the primary site of BSR processes contributing to sulfate sequestration; (2) observed seasonal variations of BSR processes; (3) estimated that initially the BSR processes contributed up to 30% to sulfate sequestration in the Tab-Simco bioreactor; and (4) determined that BSR contribution to sulfate sequestration continuously declined over the PBS operational lifetime. Together, our results highlight the utility of combining geochemical and microbial fingerprinting techniques to decipher complementary processes involved in sulfur cycling in a PBS as well as the value of adding the sulfur isotope approach as an essential tool to help understand, predict, prevent and mitigate sulfate contamination in AMD-impacted systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0031.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: drag reduction; drag reducing agents; curved pipes; single phase flow; two phase flows
Online: 4 January 2020 (06:24:32 CET)
A review of influence of drag-reducing agents on curved pipe flows is presented in this work. In addition, this review outlined proposed mechanism, friction factor and fluid flux models for drag-reducing agents in curved pipe flows. Our finding reveals that drag reduction by additives in curved pipes is quite significant but generally lower than the corresponding drag reduction in straight pipes. It decreases with increase in curvature ratio and more pronounced in the transition and turbulent flow regimes. Drag reduction strongly depends on the polymers and surfactants’ concentrations as well as the bubble fraction of micro-bubbles. It is also reported that drag reduction in curved pipes depends on temperature and existence of dissolved salts in the fluids. Maximum drag reduction asymptote differed between straight and curved pipes and between polymer and surfactant. No definite conclusion could be drawn as regards drag reduction for two-phase flow in curved pipes due to the limited studies in this area. Many questions such as the mechanism of drag reduction in curved pipes and how drag-reducing agents interact with secondary flows still remained unanswered. Hence, some research gaps have been identified with recommendations for areas of future researches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0196.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Physical Chemistry Keywords: nonstoichiometric titanium oxides; TiO2-x/TiO2; Ti3O5/TiO2; photoluminescence; anatase; rutile; sensor for reducing gases
Online: 15 December 2019 (15:22:14 CET)
In this research we are reporting gas sensing properties of TiO2-x/TiO2-based hetero-structure, which was ‘self-heated’ by current that at constant potential passed through the structure. Amperometric measurements were applied for the evaluation of sensor response towards ethanol, methanol, n-propanol and acetone gases/vapors. The sensitivity towards these gases was based on electrical resistance changes, which were determined by amperometric measurements of current at fixed voltage applied between Pt-based contacts/electrodes deposited on TiO2-x/TiO2-based layer. XRD analysis revealed the formation of TiO2-x/TiO2-based hetero-structure, which is mainly based on Ti3O5/TiO2 formed during hydro-thermal oxidation based sensing layer preparation process. Additionally, photoluminescence and time-resolved photoluminescence decay kinetics based signals of this sensing structure revealed the presence of TiO2 mainly in the anatase phase in the TiO2-x/TiO2-based hetero-structure, which was formed at 400°C annealing temperature. The evaluation of TiO2-x/TiO2-based gas sensing layer was performed at several different temperatures (25°C, 72°C, 150°C, 180°C) and at these temperatures different sensitivity to aforementioned gaseous materials was determined.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0022.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Phaleria macrocarpa; extraction; free radical scavenging activity (DPPH); ferric ion reducing power assay (FRAP); total phenolic content (TPC); total flavonoid content (TFC); response surface methodology (RSM)
Online: 3 January 2018 (10:15:16 CET)
In this study, the optimal condition for the extraction of antioxidants from the fruit Buah Mahkota Dewa (Phaleria macrocarpa) was determined by using Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The optimization was applied using central composite design (CCD) to investigate the three independent variables, namely extraction temperature (oC), extraction time (minutes) and extraction solvent to-feed ratio (%v/v) on the responses of free radical scavenging activity (DPPH), ferric ion reducing power assay (FRAP), total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC).The optimal conditions for the antioxidants extraction were found to be extraction temperature (64oC), extraction time (66 minutes) and solvent to-feed ratio (75 %v/v) with the highest percentage yield of DPPH, FRAP, TPC and TFC were 86.85%, 7.47%, 292.86 mg/g and 3.22 mg/g respectively. Moreover, the data were subjected to response surface methodology (RSM) and the results showed that the polynomial equations for all models were significant, did not show lack of fit, and presented adjusted determination coefficients (R2) above 99%, proving the yield of phenolic, flavonoid and antioxidants activities obtained experimentally were close to the predicted values and the suitability of the model employed in RSM to optimize the extraction conditions. Hence, in this study, the fruit from P.macrocarpa could be considered to have the strong antioxidant ability and can be used in various cosmeceutical or medicinal applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0093.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: lifestyle factors; chronic inflammatory diseases; treatment result; treatment response; diet; meat intake; dietary pattern; food; mucosa associated bacteria; epithelium-associated bacteria; microbiome; fibre intake; personalized medicine; mucus; sulphate-reducing bacteria; mucin-degrading bacteria; Western style diet; anti-TNF
Online: 15 March 2017 (07:29:13 CET)
We wanted to investigate the current knowledge on the impact of diet on anti-TNF response in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), to identify dietary factors that warrant further investigations in relation to anti-TNF treatment response, and, finally, to discuss potential strategies for such investigations. PubMed was searched using specified search terms. One small prospective study on diet and anti-TNF treatment in 56 patients with CD found similar remission rates after 56 weeks among 32 patients with good compliance that received concomitant enteral nutrition and 24 with poor compliance that had no dietary restrictions (78% versus 67%, p = 0.51). A meta-analysis of 295 patients found higher odds of achieving clinical remission and remaining in clinical remission among patients on combination therapy with specialised enteral nutrition and Infliximab (IFX) compared with IFX monotherapy (OR 2.73; 95% CI: 1.73–4.31, p < 0.01, OR 2.93; 95% CI: 1.66–5.17, p < 0.01, respectively). In conclusion, evidence-based knowledge on impact of diet on anti-TNF treatment response for clinical use is scarce. Here we propose a mechanism by which Western style diet high in meat and low in fibre may promote colonic inflammation and potentially impact treatment response to anti-TNF drugs. Further studies using hypothesis-driven and data-driven strategies in observational, animal and interventional studies are warranted.