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Abstract

The aim of this study was to measure serum neopterin and C-reactive protein (CRP) concen- trations in female dogs with mammary tumours and evaluate the association between the values of these indicators and some clinical characteristics of the tumour. Fifty three female dogs were used for this study, including 43 dogs with mammary gland tumours (10 benign and 33 malignant) and 10 healthy controls. The concentrations of neopterin and CRP were determined using the ELISA technique and commercial ELISA kits. The mean serum neopterin concentration in fe- male dogs with mammary tumours was lower than in healthy dogs, but significant difference was not found. Similarly, there were no significant differences in neopterin concentrations in female dogs based on tumour size, tumour ulceration and metastasis. The mean CRP concentration was significantly higher (p<0.05) in dogs with malignant tumours compared to dogs with benign tu- mours and control. Furthermore, serum CRP concentration was significantly higher (p<0.05) in dogs with metastatic malignant tumours compared to dogs with non-metastatic mammary tu- mours. The CRP concentration was significantly lower (p<0.05) in dogs with tumours less than 3 cm compared to those with larger tumours, and significantly higher in dogs with ulcerated tu- mours compared to those without ulceration. Our findings suggest that the neoplastic process in the mammary gland does not cause significant changes in serum neopterin concentrations in dogs. Higher concentrations of serum CRP in dogs with advanced stages of malignant tumours may suggest that CRP could be a potential prognostic marker in canine malignant mammary tu- mours, but this hypothesis needs further study.
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Abstract

Nickel alloys belong to the group of most resistant materials when used under the extreme operating conditions, including chemically aggressive environment, high temperature, and high loads applied over a long period of time. Although in the global technology market one can find several standard cast nickel alloys, the vast majority of components operating in machines and equipment are made from alloys processed by the costly metalworking operations. Analysis of the available literature and own studies have shown that the use of casting technology in the manufacture of components from nickel alloys poses a lot of difficulty. This is due to the adverse technological properties of these alloys, like poor fluidity, high casting shrinkage, and above all, high reactivity of liquid metal with the atmospheric air over the bath and with the ceramic material of both the crucible and foundry mold. The scale of these problems increases with the expected growth of performance properties which these alloys should offer to the user. This article presents the results of studies of physico-chemical interactions that occur between theH282alloy melt and selected refractory ceramic materials commonly used in foundry. Own methodology for conducting micro-melts on a laboratory scale was elaborated and discussed. The results obtained have revealed that the alumina-based ceramics exhibits greater reactivity in contact with the H282 alloy melt than the materials based on zirconium compounds. In the conducted experiments, the ceramic materials based on zirconium silicate have proved to be a much better choice than the zirconia-silica mixture. Regardless of the type of the ceramic materials used, the time and temperature of their contact with the nickel alloy melt should always be limited to an absolutely necessary minimum required by the technological regime.
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Abstract

This paper presents the resolution of the optimal reactive power dispatch (ORPD) problem and the control of voltages in an electrical energy system by using a hybrid algorithm based on the particle swarmoptimization (PSO) method and interior point method (IPM). The IPM is based on the logarithmic barrier (LB-IPM) technique while respecting the non-linear equality and inequality constraints. The particle swarmoptimization-logarithmic barrier-interior point method (PSO-LB-IPM) is used to adjust the control variables, namely the reactive powers, the generator voltages and the load controllers of the transformers, in order to ensure convergence towards a better solution with the probability of reaching the global optimum. The proposed method was first tested and validated on a two-variable mathematical function using MATLAB as a calculation and execution tool, and then it is applied to the ORPD problem to minimize the total active losses in an electrical energy network. To validate the method a testwas carried out on the IEEE electrical energy network of 57 buses.
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