As architects continue to search for ways to reduce costs and Boost building efficiencies, more and more are turning to advanced framing methods, particularly for multifamily and light commercial projects.
Also known as “optimum value engineering” (OVE), advanced framing techniques optimize material usage to cut down on waste, eliminate redundancies, reduce labor and increase a structure’s energy efficiency, while maintaining structural integrity.
Advanced framing delivers significant energy performance and cost savings in wall systems by maximizing space for cavity insulation and minimizing the potential for insulation voids. Walls built with 2x6 wood framing spaced 24 inches on center have larger insulation cavities than conventional 2x4 framing spaced 16 inches on center, increasing the amount of insulation inside the wall and improving the whole-wall R-value. In addition, the methods simplify the installation of insulation and air sealing.
Advanced framing is less expensive than conventional framing because it is more resource efficient. By optimizing material use, floor and wall framing material costs can be reduced by up to 30% while reducing framing installation labor.
When properly constructed, walls built using advanced framing that are fully sheathed with wood structural panels provide strength for the structure to safely withstand design loads. When vertical framing members are aligned under the roof trusses or rafters, a direct load path is created where compression and tension loads are directly transferred through the vertical framing members, resulting in a stronger structure with fewer framing members subject to stresses.
Advanced framing techniques fit well with green building strategies. Wood is one of the most sustainable building materials, and its efficient manufacturing process requires far less energy than steel and concrete manufacturing. Advanced framing techniques deliver greater environmental dividends by optimizing material usage and reducing construction waste. Many advanced framing techniques may be eligible for points under the leading green building standards and guidelines, such as the National Green Building Standard™ (ICC 700-2008) and the U.S. Green Building Council LEED® for Homes Rating System.
Advanced framing can be implemented in pieces, depending on the design of the building and the expertise of the framing crews. The following techniques make the most sense for multifamily and light commercial buildings and can be adopted one at a time. These concepts focus on increasing cavity insulation and reducing thermal bridging, providing overall higher whole-wall R-values.
1. 2x6 Framing Placed 24” on Center
For structures up to a certain height, moving from traditional 16" o.c. spacing to 24" can trim the number of required studs by about one-third. Walls built with 2x6 wood framing spaced 24” o.c. have larger insulation cavities than conventional 2x4 framing spaced 16” o.c., thereby increasing the amount of insulation inside the wall and improving the whole-wall R-value.
Switching from 2x4s at 16" o.c. to 2x6s at 24" o.c. also decreases the number of pieces, offsetting the cost of the deeper framing members.
2. Right-Sized, Insulated Headers
Size the header for the load. Often, unnecessary headers are specified out of habit; engineers’ standard header tables typically fill up the depth of the wall.
Advanced framing headers are sized for the loads they carry and are often installed in single plies rather than double. Advanced framing headers offer increased energy efficiency by replacing framing materials with space for cavity insulation inside the header.
Headers at openings in non-load-bearing walls are not required. The top of the opening can typically be framed with a flatwise member the same dimensions as the wall studs.
Insulated corners eliminate the isolated cavity found in conventional three- or four-stud corners, provide more space for cavity insulation and make it easier to install insulation.
Advanced framing wall corners include insulated three-stud corners (sometimes referred to as California corners) (see figure) and two-stud corner junctions with ladder blocking.
Find additional information, guidance and free resources on advanced framing at apawood.org/advanced-framing.
Lifting heavy items should be done carefully in order to prevent injury.
In fact, 38.5% of work-related musculoskeletal issues are related to back injury, with improper lifting being one of the main causes.
Therefore, it’s important to learn proper lifting techniques to keep yourself safe at work and at home.
This article discusses proper lifting techniques and common lifting problems, and provides useful tips.
The best lifting technique is to squat down and use the strength of your legs — instead of your back — to lift the object off of the ground.
That said, you should only lift items that you’re comfortable lifting. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask another person for help or use other machinery (e.g., a lift).
If you’ve decided that it’s safe to lift the item by yourself, you’ll want to follow the proper lifting technique guidelines outlined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Before moving something heavy, it’s important to think and plan first.
First, look at the item that you’re about to lift and ask yourself these questions:
Taking note of your environment, the item you plan to lift, and other considerations can help you decide if this item is a one- or two-person job or requires other assistance, such as machinery.
Just like you’d warm up before a workout, you should also warm up and stretch your muscles before lifting.
Ideally, spend a few minutes doing some dynamic stretching (e.g., lunges, lower back rotations, arm circles) to prepare your muscles and get your blood flowing.
To lift safely, you first want to make sure that you’re in the right positioning.
You’ll also want to make sure that you bend your knees, squat down to grab the item, and use the strength of your legs to do most of the lifting. This can help to lower back and other muscular injury.
Here are the steps to safely lift a heavy item:
If needed, slowly take small steps to walk to the spot you plan to put the item. If it’s far, you should consider placing the item on a cart or other form of transportation.
If you need to change directions, lead with your hips and ensure your shoulders stay aligned with your hips. Continue to keep the load as close to your body as possible.
Setting an item down is the same movement as lifting but in reverse:
If the item will be placed above the ground (e.g., on a counter or table), walk up to the surface and place it gently on top. If it’s slightly lower than hip level, be sure to still bend your knees and lower your body to place the item down safely.
While no one intends to hurt themselves, it’s quite common to injure yourself while lifting heavy objects. The most common lifting problems include:
By lifting properly and avoiding these common lifting problems, you can help lower your risk of injury.
To prevent injury, consider these helpful tips:
To ensure your safety, always practice safe lifting techniques.
The best lifting techniques involve using your legs to lift heavy objects instead of your back, since your legs are some of your strongest muscles while your back is more susceptible to injury.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re planning ahead, only lifting objects you feel comfortable lifting by yourself, and being just as mindful when you place the item down as when you lift it.
And remember, you should always ask for assistance if you have any concerns. It’s better to be safe than to risk injuring yourself.
Home foundations can come in different styles depending upon your locale, so if you’re in need of a new foundation, consider the needs of your home. A new foundation can be expensive depending on the scope of the project. On average, a concrete foundation costs around $8,500. On the low-end, a foundation can cost around $6,000 and on the high end, a foundation will run close to $15,000. Total costs will vary depending upon permits, labor and the type of foundation.
With six different types of home foundations possible, cost estimates vary by design. Estimates are based on a 2,000-square foot house.
Monolithic concrete slab foundations are better known as slab-on-grade because they rest directly on the ground and typically get poured all at once. They’re usually cheaper to install and will last a long time. A con of a slab-on-grade foundation is that sewer and drainage pipes get installed before the foundation is poured, so should you have any plumbing problems, you’ll need to cut into the slab to fix it.
Stem wall slabs have a footer poured first and then blocks are laid to form a wall up to the finished slab elevation. It’s considered more stable but takes longer to construct.
Pier and beam foundations are typically found with older homes and elevate the home, which makes it less prone to flooding. But since it’s elevated, pests and critters can gain entry to the crawl space. They can cause damage to the beams over time.
A pier and beam foundation provides less support for floors than a concrete slab and they can suffer from water damage. They are also not as energy efficient as other foundations because warm and cold air can seep into the home.
Cinder block foundations aren’t as popular as poured concrete block walls. Cinder block foundations do have advantages, like being able to hold more weight on top of the foundation. It does require more money in labor costs. On the negative side, they can be more susceptible to bowing and buckling.
A basement foundation secures a house a floor below the ground. It can be unfinished or finished to add living space. Basement foundations tend to suffer from moisture problems and sometimes mold. A sump pump can help address moisture issues.
Adding a basement foundation comes with a significant cost and it can escalate should you choose to finish the basement. But a finished basement can increase living space and increase your home’s value so you’ll have to weigh the cost vs. reward.
An unfinished basement typically costs between $10 to $25 per square foot while that cost increases to $30 to $100 per square foot for a finished basement. A walkout basement will cost closer to $100 per square foot.
Concrete costs between $4.25 and $6.25 per square foot and the average size of a house is about 2,000 square feet. That can mean between $8,500 and $12,500 for concrete alone. Labor typically costs around $2.60 per square foot, which is about $5,200 for a 2,000-square foot house.
A pier and beam foundation can cost more because of the cost of the beams (around $1,000 to $5,000) and piers (you’ll need around eight to 10). Additional costs include:
Many factors go into the estimate for your foundation, but it’s essential to be aware of any additional costs you may encounter before you proceed.
Foundation inspections occur before you pour concrete and after the work is done to help to verify that the new foundation meets all code requirements and will support the weight of your home. They cost about $145 an hour, with most homeowners spending $150 to $1,300 in total.
To allow for proper airflow, prevent moisture or keep critters out, many homeowners will opt to add foundation insulation like skirting and vents around the crawl space or pier and beam foundation. Some will even add spray foam, foam board, or batts between or across the bottom of the joists to add more insulation under the floor. On average, foundation installation costs about $2,000.
Radiant heat is when all pipes need to be laid under the foundation, and the concrete is poured over them. Therefore, radiant heat needs to be completed when the foundation is installed. On average, radiant heat adds $3 per square foot, with most homeowners paying $4,800 to $10,000.
If you start to notice cracks along your foundation or suspect some sagging, you’ll likely want an engineer to come out for a structural report. The report typically costs around $500 and will pinpoint your foundation issues.
Foundation replacements can add up quickly, so expect to pay around $20,000 to $100,000 depending upon the scope of the project. If your home needs to be raised for foundation replacement, you will likely pay between $24,500 to $115,000 to raise and replace the foundation. Raising the house will run between $3,000 and $9,000 alone, then excavation can cost between $1,500 to $6,000.
Constructing a foundation is not a DIY project, though expert DIYers can likely lay down a concrete slab with some help from friends. Since the foundation is the structure that supports your house, the measurements need to be precise and cement placed in the proper position if you live in a climate where you have to pay attention to the frost line.
Source: Jandré van der Walt / Unsplash
Co-authored by Zamfira Parincu and Tchiki Davis
Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you find yourself overwhelmed. Maybe you experienced a loss. Perhaps you find yourself pondering the meaning of life. Or maybe the current state of world affairs makes you feel lost. Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed, you can use grounding techniques to reconnect with yourself and the present moment. This research-based strategy may be helpful for anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, or even dissociation.
Grounding techniques work by “grounding” you in the present moment and pulling you away from intrusive thoughts or feelings. This refers not only to having your “feet on the ground” but also your “mind on the ground.” When you turn your attention away from thoughts, memories, or worries, you can refocus on the present moment (Fisher, 1999).
Grounding techniques are useful because they help you distance yourself from an emotional experience. When you experience negative emotions—for example, perhaps you accidentally remember a painful memory—the brain's natural instinct is to start the involuntary physiological change known as the “fight or flight” response. Although this response keeps you safe by preparing you to face, escape from, or fight danger, memories do not present a tangible danger. If you find yourself in moments like these, grounding techniques can help the body calm itself and return to the present moment.
This is one of the most common grounding techniques. It helps by grounding you to the moment and reconnecting you to all five senses by naming:
The next time you feel anxious or that you are overthinking a problem, try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to become more present in the moment.
Guided meditation is a powerful grounding technique to reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and it can help you get out of your head and reconnect to your body. There are many types of meditation, such as the body scan, moving meditations, or loving-kindness meditation, so it’s important to try to determine which one works best for you. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, make you calmer, promote happiness (Mineo, 2018), and even reduce symptoms of PTSD in studies with the U.S. military (Seppälä et al., 2014)
Many clinical professionals use breathing exercises to help patients be present in the moment. Focusing on breathing is a great tool for reducing stress and anxiety (Stefanaki et al., 2015). Breathing exercises work because they help you disengage from your mind and not pay attention to distracting thoughts. You can do the simple exercise below before bed, when you wake up in the morning, or before an important meeting:
First, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and notice how your chest and belly rise as you fill your lungs. Then, breathe out slowly through your mouth. Do this a few times until you start to calm down.
Grounding techniques are strategies that can reconnect you with the present and may help you overcome anxious feelings, unwanted thoughts or memories, flashbacks, distressing emotions, or dissociation. You can try as many techniques as you want: The more you try, the higher the chance you’ll find at least one that works for you.
Adapted from an article published by The Berkeley Well-Being Institute.
Learning to cook as an adult can be harder than it seems. That’s especially true if you are neurodivergent like me.
I run a cooking course called Panda Cub Diner, where I teach students how to make my family’s cuisine: 川菜 (chuāncài or Sichuan food). But for most of my 20s, I struggled to feed myself on a consistent basis. After a long workday, even the thought of ordering out was exhausting. The thought of having to choose a recipe and go grocery shopping and meal prep and actually cook the meal was paralyzing.
It’s not that I didn’t know how to cook. Growing up in a Sichuanese household, I cooked with my family every day — and loved it! But despite that, I kept spending money on takeout or defaulting to cold cereal for dinner. I felt frustrated and ashamed: Why couldn’t I just start cooking?
I found my answer at age 25, when I was finally diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a “neuro-developmental disorder that can cause difficulty with regulation of attention, executive function and working memory," according to Kaleidoscope Society. My ADHD fell under that “inattentive” subtype, which manifested in a limited attention span, forgetfulness, distractibility, daydreaming and difficulty following directions. This, combined with the general executive (dys)function ADHDers struggle with, was a perfect recipe for … not cooking.
After starting treatment for ADHD in my mid-20s, I began a yearslong journey of learning to cook. In this article, I share my top five ADHD-friendly cooking techniques that have made cooking not only possible, but joyful!
And while these tips will certainly benefit people who are neurodivergent like me, they’re also universal — anyone who struggles to cook can use them.
All through my 20s, this is what dinner time looked like for me:
And before I knew it, hours had passed, I’m still starving and everything is now closed. Cold cereal for dinner it is, then! Wait, there’s no more milk?!
If the above sounds familiar, I feel you! The issue here is two-fold: First, we’re hungry and we need to feed ourselves; second, our brains are seeking activities that maintain our interest. But trying to tackle an executive-function-heavy activity like cooking while on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.
So, my first tip is to first create your Minimal Prep Meal Plan to get you through your low-EF (executive function) days.
Having this meal plan — and a stocked pantry and fridge — to fall back on frees you to actually look forward to cooking something more creative.
For years, I had an impressive collection of gorgeous cookbooks …gathering dust on my kitchen shelf. Every new year, I’d do this:
But the truth is, I didn’t even go to the grocery store.
Because even the thought of doing all of the above drained me of my initial motivation. I’d put off digging into that cookbook to a later date … except that date never came.
So my second tip is to first find (and write down) your “why” for wanting to learn to cook, and then tie it to a specific date. Update your calendar!
(A blank template is available on the @pandacubstories Instagram.)
At its core, food is a shared sense of belonging. When we tie the act of cooking to creating joyful experiences with someone we love, our desire to cook increases. And setting a specific calendar date keeps us accountable.
Of course, there’s the question of what to make and how to tackle things as a beginner, but we’ll explore that further in technique No. 5.
Before we actually dive into cooking, though, let’s address the things that get in the way.
We often avoid cooking not because we hate the activity itself. Rather, it’s because the tasks surrounding the simple act of cooking can drain our motivation. Who wants to cook with a dull knife and a sink full of dirty dishes?
In contrast, a tidy kitchen is an inviting space, beckoning us to create delicious meals.
The problem is most of us find tidying really boring. So we put it off until chaos reigns.
So, my third tip is to “trick” our brains into thinking tidying is interesting — and timely. And I use two tools to make this happen: A monthly “Tidy Party" and a daily “15x15x15 Kitchen System.”
Here's how to plan your own Tidy Party: Set a date on your calendar and block off at least two hours. If you live with roommates or family, choose a date where everyone can contribute (everyone uses the kitchen after all!). Having more than just you onboard also makes use of a technique called “body doubling,” a productivity aid that helps people with ADHD and other forms of neurodivergence stay focused and motivated while working. If you live alone like me, sites like Focusmate are great places to book free body doubling sessions with like-minded people. You can even put on a fun soundtrack or favorite podcast and jam out as you clean.
But it's not enough just to clean your kitchen once — you've got to maintain it. To accomplish this, I use a 15x15x15 Kitchen System, which has transformed the way I clean my kitchen.
One of the biggest tidying challenges we face is letting things get to an overwhelming point where we don’t even know where to start. That’s where this 15x15x15 system comes in handy. The foundation of this system is giving yourself permission to not have a perfectly tidy kitchen. This may feel counterintuitive, but the key is to feel comfortable doing short bursts of tidying, without expecting yourself to get everything done in a single session.
To create your 15x15x15-minute system, turn to “habit stacking," which means pairing our new habit (15 minutes of kitchen tidying) with current habits we’ve already established. Here’s an example:
My fourth technique combines everything we’ve learned so far … and gives us three date nights (or family activities), to boot.
Friday: Grocery shop for Sunday’s meal and pick up a treat for dessert. Order your favorite takeout and have a movie night in.
Saturday: It’s time for a house-wide tidy party! Vote on your favorite tunes and get cleaning as a group. When your kitchen’s sparkling, leave it alone. Go out for a dinner date.
Sunday: Our cooking date! Ask your partner (or housemate) to pick up flowers and wine for the table. Enjoy cooking your meal and give yourselves permission to take as long as you need. Savor your meal by cozy candlelight.
Now the only thing left is to pick what to make, which leads us to our last tip.
ADHD-ers often find themselves in somewhat of a culinary Catch-22. On one hand, basic recipes can feel boring; on the other, more complex recipes can feel overwhelming.
My fifth and final technique is all about working with our brains to make the basics interesting. And as a comic artist who loves Sichuan food, I found the perfect combination in illustrated recipe cards.
My first self-imposed limitation was choosing a single cuisine. I naturally went with Sichuanese, which is my absolute favorite (plus I had access to an entire archive of family recipes).
My second limitation was to choose recipes simple enough to fit onto a one-page card.
I often struggled with following recipes because my eyes would skip over paragraphs, leading me to miss important steps, or the recipes were so long that by the time I scrolled down to the steps, I’d forgotten how much of each ingredient I was supposed to use.
I began drawing these recipe cards for my own use, and they’ve now evolved into a series of visually interesting and easy-to-follow guides to simple Sichuanese cooking:
Now, whenever the desire to cook strikes, I simply choose one (or more) of these recipe cards and get started!
Of course, drawing your own recipe cards isn’t the only way to make the basics interesting. You can also limit your tools (for instance, what can you make with just an Instant Pot?) or limit your ingredients (what can you make with potatoes?).
Lean into your limitations and watch your creativity flourish! Happy cooking!
With a focus on healthy living, a Hispanic family a few kilometers from the U.S. capital keeps a traditional way of farming alive. The owners of Glory Fields in Maryland use techniques from the past to implement a sustainable living initiative they say is paying off so far. VOA News' Cristina Caicedo Smit has the story.
When it comes to choosing foundation, the options can be overwhelming. It’s not just shade ranges—there are the different coverage levels, finishes, and, of course, formulations. And while liquid formulas tend to rule the market, stick foundations have a particular enduring legacy. From classic, old-school beauty behemoths to new, cutting-edge indie brands, it seems like all the greats have their own take on the foundation stick. Merit Beauty's foundation stick even garnered a 10k person waitlist at its launch.
The real benefit of a foundation stick, according to celebrity makeup artist Amber Amos, is the control and ability to seamlessly adjust coverage. For lighter, more natural coverage, Amos suggests using a fluffy blending brush to pick up the product from the stick and blending into the skin. For fuller coverage, she likes to apply the stick directly to the skin, blending after with a brush or sponge.
And of course, reapplication and touch-ups are a cinch; simply throw a foundation stick in your purse and you’re good to go.
The only real risk when it comes to foundation sticks is going in too heavy, which, as Amos says, can happen with almost foundations regardless of formulation. Too much product can look cake-y and create creases. To avoid this, she suggests building up coverage in layers, and the beauty of a foundation stick is that you have total control over the coverage.
What’s more, Amos says foundation sticks can work for any skin type—it’s just about finding the formula that’s best for your specific concerns. If your skin tends to get oily, avoid creamier, emollient formulas; if you’re on the drier side, stay away from more mattifying iterations.
Ready to try one yourself? Ahead, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite foundation sticks.
Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick — $38.00
As far as foundation sticks go, this one from Merit is surprisingly lightweight and creamy. So creamy, in fact, that it’s great for people with drier skin types who might traditionally shy away from foundation sticks (Well+Good’s senior beauty editor, Zoë Weiner, swears by the stuff for her own dry complexion). It buffs into the skin for a natural finish and is perfect for on-the-go touchups. Plus, the brand recently relaunched it so that it includes even more product in the new size.
Shade options: Comes in 20 different shades.
Black Radiance Color Perfect Foundation Stick — $9.00
The biggest perk of this foundation is that it comes in amazing, often-hard-to-find shades for darker complexions. The dual-ended stick features the pigment-rich formula and a buffing brush for easy application. Best of all, it’s not just a great foundation—fans say it’s the perfect cream contour (just get a shade or two darker than your skin tone).
Shade options: 7 shades available on Amazon.
Makeup Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation — $9.00
Makeup Revolution’s Base Stick features a full-coverage formula with a dewy finish that glides on the skin. Despite a fairly lackluster shade range, it does blend into the skin seamlessly with either a brush or damp beauty sponge and covers unseenly blemishes in a snap.
Shade options: 9 shades available at Ulta.
Thread Face It Complexion Stick — $8.00
With a soft-matte finish and full coverage payoff, this complexion stick is a favorite amongst people of color thanks to its thoughtful shade range and spot-on color matches. It melts into the skin and sets without creasing or caking; just remember to set it with a little powder for all-day wear.
Shade options: Choose from 24 shade options.
Hourglass Vanish™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick — $48.00
Hourglass’s long-wearing Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is a classic for a reason; the waterproof, weightless foundation contains double the amount of pigment in regular foundations for a seriously full-coverage look that’s surprisingly blendable. It even adjusts to your body temperature to more easily blend into the skin.
Shade options: Comes in 32 shades, some currently out of stock.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick — $52.00
With a unique transparent base, this formula features a blend of emollients like olive extract and shea butter to moisturize wherever the skin is dry. The buildable coverage applies smoothly and stays that way all day long—no creasing or separating mid-day.
Shade options: Available in 43 shades, sorted by category to help you find the right one.
Westman Atelier Vital Skin Full Coverage Foundation and Concealer Stick — $68.00
This plant-powered formula blends best with a densely packed, kabuki-like brush and offers buildable coverage with natural, skin-like finish. While more expensive than its peers, I will say this foundation is downright luxe—especially the packaging, which comes in a chic, blush pink tone and features an oddly satisfying magnetic cap.
Shade options: Comes in 21 shades.
NUDESTIX Tinted Blur Foundation Stick — $32.00
This is a true no-foundation-foundation—it has lightweight coverage that’s closer to a blur than a true foundation. It’s great for quick touch ups and blurring pores and imperfections. It features less wax than traditional foundation sticks, making it ultra-creamy but also more susceptible to heat damage and breakage from excessive pressure.
Shade options: Choose from 11 shades.
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Ocean acidification is a major concern related to climate change, with the oceans currently absorbing around a quarter of the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. The increased CO 2 that is absorbed by the ocean in turn decreases its pH, making the waters more acidic. These more acidic conditions put marine organisms that create calcium carbonate shells and skeletons at risk.
New research that will be presented Monday at the Geological Society of America's GSA Connects 2022 meeting evaluated a strategy based on Indigenous techniques that may help to mitigate the effects of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms.
Hannah Hensel, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Davis, led a study that tested whether adding shell hash—pulverized clam shells—to sediments could help raise the pH of pore waters and aid in calcification for infaunal marine organisms.
"One of the things that marine invertebrates have to deal with regarding climate change is ocean acidification," said Hensel. "When researching marine invertebrates that build shells and skeletons out of calcium carbonate, I came upon some research by a diverse group of people up in British Columbia working in clam gardens, an Indigenous shellfish management practice."
Clam gardens are a longstanding form of Indigenous coastal management in Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington State that typically involve building a rock wall in the intertidal zone that creates a level beach terrace. Clam gardens expand the habitat where clams thrive and increase productivity. Shell hash is also sometimes added to these environments to help promote clam growth.
"I reached out to people from the Clam Garden Network and also started looking into Indigenous management techniques in California to see if there were connections that could be made between the two geographic areas," said Hensel.
Adding additional pieces of shelly material to sediments may help buffer the water against acidification as they dissolve and release ions into the water. Hensel ran laboratory experiments using juvenile Pacific littleneck clams (Leukoma staminea), which are infaunal organisms that burrow within the sediment, to test how adding shell hash to the sediments may impact the pH and alkalinity of the water and calcifying conditions for the clams.
Hensel gathered dead clam shells from a local California bay to pulverize for the shell hash and then added the shell hash to juvenile Pacific littleneck clams that were grown for 90 days in acidified seawater and control seawater. Clams were also grown without the shell hash in acidified and control seawater.
By analyzing the pH and alkalinity of the pore water in the sediments and the overlying water, Hensel found that adding shell hash increased the pH and alkalinity of the pore fluids both in the acidic and control seawater conditions. The added shell hash thus worked to alter the chemistry of the pore fluids, helping to buffer against acidic conditions, which can help promote biologic calcification.
While these tests using shell hash were conducted in a laboratory, a next important step will be seeing how the technique fares in a natural environment.
"Next summer we're going to mimic this experiment in the field to see if we get a similar trend," Hensel said.
Given the longstanding Indigenous knowledge regarding the many benefits of adding shell hash and now experimental data showing its ability to help buffer against acidic conditions, shell hash may be a useful tool for combatting the local effects of ocean acidification.
"With more research and collaboration between local resource managers, Indigenous scholars and citizens, and the aquaculture industry, I do think it could be used in commercial aquaculture as a pointed and direct method to protect specific organisms that are known to do poorly in acidic conditions. The influence of shell hash on the pore fluids is very local," Hensel said.
Citation: Incorporating traditional management techniques to combat effects of ocean acidification (2022, October 8) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-incorporating-traditional-techniques-combat-effects.html
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Astride Insights Reports helps organizations identify digital skills gaps, maximize return on learning, and boost overall performance
UTRECHT, Netherlands, Oct. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- EXIN, a leading independent examination institute is embarking on a new chapter. Astride revolutionizes how individuals can learn how they benchmark in their current job role. They will gain free insights to better equip them so they can prepare for what's next in their career. This tool is a great asset for organizations, as they will gain knowledge about team skills and competencies and learn what certifications can help bridge skills gaps.
For more information, visit https://www.exin.com/astride-by-exin/
How does it work?
The tool evaluates competencies and compares them with equivalent job roles. By focusing on 42 primary competencies, and 30 job roles, the tool is a tremendous asset for companies to identify organization-wide skills performance.
Michiel Buysing Damsté, CEO at EXIN, is excited to unveil Astride, commenting:
"Technological disruption comes fast! Companies struggle to find professionals with the right, relevant skills in a competitive labor market. To maximize Return on Learning (RoL) we need to make sure that we invest our time on what matters most for professionals' current roles and future career development. Astride by EXIN, boosts digital skill development journeys by identifying skills gaps on an individual and organizational level. Astride provides guidance for next steps relevant for CxOs, L&D leaders and professionals."
Petra Hendrikson, Chair of the Board of Directors at Stichting Competens, IT Skillsfund adds:
"The Stichting Competens invested in Astride, and we look back on a great collaboration with EXIN. We strongly believe that Astride will make a big impact for people who seek relevant feedback on their skill levels and growth potential."
Visit https://www.exin.com/astride-by-exin/ to get started.
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X-rays are electromagnetic waves with short wavelengths and strong penetrability in physical matter, including live organisms. Scintillators capable of converting X-rays into the ultraviolet (UV), visible or near-infrared (NIR) photons are widely employed to realize indirect X-ray detection and XEOL imaging in many fields. They include medical diagnosis, computed tomography (CT), space exploration, and non-destructive industrial material and security inspections.
Commercial bulk scintillators possess high light yield (LY) and superior energy resolution. However, they suffer from several drawbacks, such as complex fabrication procedures, expensive experimental equipment, non-tunable XEOL wavelength and poor device processability. They all produce emissions in the visible spectral range, but having XEOL in the NIR range may find more interesting applications in biomedicine. Thick crystals also generate light scattering followed by evident signal crosstalk in a photodiode array.
Recently, metal halide perovskites have been investigated for X-ray detection. Unfortunately, these materials also exhibited some intrinsic limitations, such as poor photo-/environmental- stability, heavy metal toxicity and low LY. Thus, the search for developing a new generation of scintillators is still a considerable focus of scientific research.
In a new paper published in eLight, a team of scientists, led by Professor Prasad N. Paras from the University of Buffalo, investigated the use of lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs. Their paper looked at design strategies and nanostructures that allow manipulation of excitation dynamics in a core-shell geometry.
Lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs avoid the limitations of bulk scintillators and metal halide perovskites. They also exhibit many useful properties. The core-shell structures of the lanthanide doped fluoride NSs can be tuned and designed on demand by employing a cheap and convenient wet-chemical method. The emission wavelengths can be tuned and extended to the second NIR window, benefiting from the abundant energy levels of lanthanide activators.
These NSs show superior photostability, low toxicity and convenient device processability. It makes them promising candidates for next-generation NSs and XEOL imaging. Moreover, they exhibit XEPL property, showing promising applications in biomedicine and optical information encoding. The combination of XEOL and XEPL makes them suitable for broadening the scope of their applications.
In accurate years, significant advances have been made in NS development. The research team discussed design strategies and nanostructure that allow manipulation of excitation dynamics in a core-shell geometry. They also produce XEOL, XEPL, photon upconversion (UC) and downshifting (DS). It enables emission at multiple wavelengths and at varying time scales.
The fundamental working principle of XEOL imaging is to record the attenuation of X-rays after penetrating the subject with a scintillator and imaging with a camera. The scintillator screen is placed under the target to absorb the transmitted X-ray photons. A low dose of X-rays penetrating live organisms enables the application of computed tomography. Penetrating nonliving matter enables product quality and security inspection. The X-ray irradiation dose should be low enough to assure safety, while the high resolution and distinct contrast are important for image analysis.
X-ray, ionizing radiation with deep penetration depth in the human body, has been broadly studied for radiotherapy and bioimaging applications. The strong XEOL can activate the photosensitizers to generate reactive oxygen species. They directly slow or stop tumor growth by photodynamic therapy, causing inflammation and compromising microvasculature.
The XEPL in UVC range can be used for sterilization and in vivo killing of pathogens and cancer cells. Fluorides with large band-gap and facile creation of anionic defects are appropriate for generating UVC persistent luminescence. Experimental characterizations combined with first-principles calculations suggested that oxygen introduction-induced fluorine vacancies acted as electron traps.
Photodetectors have various applications in biomedical sensing, camera imaging, optical communications, and night vision. In commercial photodetectors, crystalline inorganic semiconductors are employed as photodiodes and phototransistors. They do not effectively respond to a broad scope of photon energy covering X-ray, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis), and NIR light.
Under NIR excitation, the lanthanide-doped fluoride layer emits UV-vis light through energy-transfer UC processes. The subsequential radiation re-absorption process from lanthanide activators to the perovskite layer occurs. Visible emission from the perovskite layer is produced through recombining electrons in the CB and holes in the VB.
This nanotransducer exhibited a wide linear response to X-rays with various dose rates and UV and NIR photons at different power densities. As discussed in section 4.4, without integrating the perovskite layer, lanthanide-doped fluoride NSs can be used for the generation of XEOL, UC and DS as well, which might be possible for the realization of broadband detection in theory and need more study in the future.
Lanthanide-doped fluoride nanoparticles are suitable candidates for next-generation NSs owing to their low bio-toxicity, high photo-/environmental- stability, facile device processability, tunable XEOL and XEPL properties, and other useful features.
To promote the development of high-performance fluoride NSs and their practical applications, the team discussed the existing challenges and future multidisciplinary opportunities in this field below. Understanding the XEOL mechanism benefits the design and exploration of new fluoride NSs. At present, how the generated low kinetic energy charge carriers are transported to the luminescent centers or captured by defects and the corresponding influence factors are unclear.
The first populated nonradiative excited levels and the radiative levels of lanthanide activators are optimal when calculating or characterizing the energy differences among these charge carriers. These calculations will guide the design of energy transfer processes to match the energy differences followed by the enhanced light yield. High LY is a prerequisite for the realization of ultra-low dose rate applications.
Citation: Lanthanide doping could help with new imaging techniques (2022, September 19) retrieved 17 October 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-lanthanide-doping-imaging-techniques.html
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