Western Research Institute
Western Research Institute
Western Research Institute | Date: 2016-11-22
At least one embodiment of the inventive technology may involve the intentional changing of the stability of an emulsion from a first stability to a more desired, second stability upon the addition of a more aromatic asphaltene subfraction (perhaps even a most aromatic asphaltene subfraction), or a less aromatic asphaltene subfraction (perhaps even a least aromatic asphaltene subfraction) to a emulsion hydrocarbon of an oil emulsion, thereby increasing emulsion stability or decreasing emulsion stability, respectively. Precipitation and redissolution or sorbent-based techniques may be used to isolate a selected an asphaltene subfraction before its addition to an emulsion hydrocarbon when that hydrocarbon is part of an emulsion or an ingredient of a yet-to-be-formed emulsion.
Adams J.J.,Western Research Institute
Energy and Fuels | Year: 2014
Asphaltene adsorption at solid surfaces is a ubiquitous phenomenon that begins within the production well and continues through the entire production chain. It is generally an undesirable phenomenon that causes damage within reservoirs, fouling of pipelines and transportation equipment, and fouling of refining and upgrading equipment. However, by virtue of this phenomenon, problematic asphaltenes may also be selectively removed from petroleum streams to produce partially upgraded petroleum, which has significantly improved handling, processing, and upgrading qualities. This review covers many basic aspects regarding the chemical and physical nature of asphaltenes and sorbents related to asphaltene adsorption. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Lawrence D.,Western Research Institute
Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England) | Year: 2010
There are many factors that contribute to the poor physical health of people with severe mental illness (SMI), including lifestyle factors and medication side effects. However, there is increasing evidence that disparities in healthcare provision contribute to poor physical health outcomes. These inequalities have been attributed to a combination of factors including systemic issues, such as the separation of mental health services from other medical services, healthcare provider issues including the pervasive stigma associated with mental illness, and consequences of mental illness and side effects of its treatment. A number of solutions have been proposed. To tackle systemic barriers to healthcare provision integrated care models could be employed including co-location of physical and mental health services or the use of case managers or other staff to undertake a co-ordination or liaison role between services. The health care sector could be targeted for programmes aimed at reducing the stigma of mental illness. The cognitive deficits and other consequences of SMI could be addressed through the provision of healthcare skills training to people with SMI or by the use of peer supporters. Population health and health promotion approaches could be developed and targeted at this population, by integrating health promotion activities across domains of interest. To date there have only been small-scale trials to evaluate these ideas suggesting that a range of models may have benefit. More work is needed to build the evidence base in this area.
Karadimas S.K.,Western Research Institute
Spine | Year: 2013
This study is a combination of narrative and systematic review. Clinicians who deal with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) should be up-to-date with the emerging knowledge related to the cascade of pathobiological secondary events that take place under chronic cervical spinal cord compression. Moreover, by performing a systematic review, we aim to (1) describe the natural history and (2) determine potential risk factors that affect the progression of CSM. The pathophysiology, natural history, as well as the factors associated with clinical deterioration have not been fully described in CSM. For the first part of the study, a literature review was performed. To answer key questions 1 and 2 of the second goal, a systematic search was conducted in PubMed and the Cochrane Collaboration Library for articles published between January 1, 1956, and November 7, 2012. We included all articles that described the progression and outcomes of CSM for which no surgical intervention was given. By performing a narrative literature review, we found that the assumption that acute traumatic spinal cord injury and CSM share a similar series of cellular and molecular secondary injury events was made in the past. However, recent advances in basic research have shown that the chronic mechanical compression results in secondary injury mechanisms that have distinct characteristics regarding the nature and the temporal profile compared with those of spinal cord injury. For the purpose of the systematic review, 10 studies yielding 16 publications met inclusion criteria for key questions 2 and 3. Moderate-strength evidence related to the natural history of CSM suggests that 20% to 60% of patients will deteriorate neurologically over time without surgical intervention. Finally, there is low-strength evidence indicating that the area of circumferential compression is associated with deteriorating neurological symptoms. CSM has unique pathobiological mechanisms that mainly remain unexplored. Although the natural history of CSM can be mixed, surgical intervention eliminates the chances of the neurological deterioration. EVIDENCE-BASED CLINICAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Evidence concerning the natural history of CSM suggests that 20% to 60% of patients will deteriorate neurologically over time without surgical intervention. Therefore, we recommend that patients with mild CSM be counseled regarding the natural history of CSM and have the option of surgical decompression explained. OVERALL STRENGTH OF EVIDENCE: Moderate. Strong. SUMMARY STATEMENTS: Chronic compression of the spinal cord results in progressive neural cell loss related to secondary mechanisms including apoptosis, neuroinflammation, and vascular disruption.
Gossling S.,Western Research Institute
Energy Policy | Year: 2013
Tourism has been recognized as a significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions sector on a global scale. Yet, only few studies assess tourism's share in national emissions. This paper compares and analyses existing inventories of national emissions from tourism. Studies are difficult to compare, because they use different system boundaries and allocation principles, omitting or including lifecycle emissions and GHG other than CO2. By outlining and analysing these differences, the paper estimates the contribution made by tourism to national emissions, and its greenhouse gas intensity in comparison to other economic sectors. Results indicate that while emissions from tourism are significant in all countries studied, they may, in some countries, exceed 'official' emissions as calculated on the basis of guidelines for national emission inventories under the Kyoto Protocol. This is a result of the fact that bunker fuels are not considered in national GHG inventories, leading to underestimates of the energy- and GHG intensity of tourism economies. While further growth in tourism emissions can be expected in all countries studied, energy-related vulnerabilities are already considerable in many of these. Climate policy for tourism, on the other hand, is largely non-existent, calling for immediate action to consider this sector in national legislation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Michlewski G.,Western Research Institute |
Caceres J.F.,Western Research Institute
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2010
The pluripotency-promoting proteins Lin28a and Lin28b act as post-transcriptional repressors of let-7 miRNA biogenesis in undifferentiated embryonic stem cells. The levels of mature let-7a differ substantially in cells lacking Lin28 expression, indicating the existence of additional mechanism(s) of post-transcriptional regulation. Here, we present evidence supporting a role for heteronuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1) as a negative regulator of let-7a. HnRNP A1 binds the conserved terminal loop of pri-let-7a-1 and inhibits its processing by Drosha. Levels of mature let-7a negatively correlate with hnRNP A1 levels in somatic cell lines. Furthermore, hnRNP A1 depletion increased pri-let-7a-1 processing by cell extracts, whereas its ectopic expression decreased let-7a production in vivo. Finally, hnRNP A1 binding to let-7a interferes with the binding of KSRP, which is known to promote let-7a biogenesis. We propose that hnRNP A1 and KSRP have antagonistic roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of let-7a expression. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Western Research Institute | Date: 2014-01-24
At least one embodiment of the inventive technology may be described as a method for analyzing a hydrocarbon that comprises volatiles, said method comprising the steps of: segregating said volatiles from said hydrocarbon without oxidizing said hydrocarbon; generating a hydrocarbon residue and segregated hydrocarbon volatiles; and analyzing at least one of said hydrocarbon residue and said segregated hydrocarbon volatiles. The advantageous avoidance of oxidation may be achieved by placing the hydrocarbon under a vacuum, which may also enable the avoidance of cracking of the hydrocarbon while still achieving segregation of volatiles as desired. One other of the several embodiments disclosed and claimed herein may focus more on vacuum transfer and vacuum distillation of hydrocarbon volatiles. These and other methods disclosed herein may be used to achieve improved hydrocarbon analysis results.
Western Research Institute | Date: 2015-11-06
Efficient coal pre-processing systems (69) integrated with gasification, oxy-combustion, and power plant systems include a drying chamber (28), a volatile metal removal chamber (30), recirculated gases, including recycled carbon dioxide (21), nitrogen (6), and gaseous exhaust (60) for increasing the efficiencies and lowering emissions in various coal processing systems.
Western Research Institute | Date: 2013-03-10
Methods and systems to achieve clean fuel processing systems in which carbon dioxide emissions (1) from sources (2) may be processed in at least one processing reactor (4) containing a plurality of chemoautotrophic bacteria (5) which can convert the carbon dioxide emissions into biomass (6) which may then be used for various products (21) such as biofuels, fertilizer, feedstock, or the like. Sulfate reducing bacteria (13) may be used to supply sulfur containing compounds to the chemoautotrophic bacteria (5).
Western Research Institute | Date: 2016-05-27
The inventive technology may involve, in particular embodiments, novel use of a non-porous, high surface energy stationary phase to adsorb, in reversible fashion, the most polar component of a resins fraction of an input hydrocarbon when a mobile phase is passed over the stationary phase. Such reversible adsorption prevents irreversibly adsorption of such components on active stationary phase(s) downflow of the non-porous, high surface energy stationary phase, thereby conserving stationary phase costs and increasing resolution of resins elutions, and accuracy of hydrocarbon component results. Aspects of the inventive technology may also involve a novel combination of a solubility based asphaltene component fractionating and analysis method and an adsorption chromatography method for separating and/or analyzing saturate, aromatics and resins components of an input hydrocarbon.