Recently Published Article – “The State of Art on Super Structural Testing Machine in China”

Journal: The Open Civil Engineering Journal

Author(s): Yubin Ma, Jinbao Ji, Weiming Yan, Jing Han




As important test equipment to carry out full-scale structure testing and components failure mechanisms research, super structural testing machines have developed rapidly all over the world in recent years. The authors of this paper investigated, compared and analyzed the construction and the development trends of super structural testing machines in China. The test functions, the test space, the maximum tonnage and other technical indexes of super structural testing machines, which have been built in China, were described. The functions and the typical tests of a multi-functional structure test loading system (40,000 kN) installed in the Beijing University of Technology were also discussed. The vibrations caused by the failure of brittle test pieces on this super structural testing machine were analyzed, and some suggestions to reduce the vibrations were given. It would be valuable for further development and the improvement of other super structural testing machines.

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Recently Published Article – “Monitoring of Dynamic Strain Response in Concrete Structure Based on Piezoelectric Sensors”

Journal: The Open Civil Engineering Journal

Author(s): Lei QinEnrong WangQi QinTaochun YangFeng Gao



In this study, piezoelectric sensors were embedded into concrete structures to monitor dynamic response. The embedded piezoelectric sensors had sensitive frequency and linear response. In the experiment, two loading conditions were applied to the concrete cantilever beam and concrete frame. The dynamic properties could be monitored using the embedded sensors and the damage could also be identified.

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How to fight the Winter Blues

Winter has arrived with its shorter days and lower temperatures. If you feel sad, demotivated, tired or hungry for no reason during the winter season, you might be susceptible to the winter blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Winter Blues

Here is a list of methods to help you fight the winter blues.

Stay Active

Exercising for at least half an hour daily can cause an increase in your feel-good brain chemicals. It can be as simple as walking, preferably outdoors during the day time or indoors on a treadmill, or doing aerobics, yoga or any other exercise.

Go outdoors

Get as much light during the day in winters as possible since the Vitamin D from sunshine causes a lift in your energy level. When at home, choose light colors for curtains and wallpapers so that the sunlight from outside is reflected inside as well.

Stay Warm

If you feel very cold during winters, keep yourself warm by wearing warm clothes, socks and shoes and keeping your home comfortable via internal heating system or by lighting a fire. You can also minimize going out at night during this season.

Eat Right

It is easy to give in to cravings for sugar and complex carbohydrates, if you have the winter doldrums. However, eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, proteins and healthy fats can make you feel lighter and fresher. Taking fish oil and Vitamin D supplements also help you feel healthy.


Meditation helps you silence your mind chatter which is going on 24/7. Regular practice of meditation decreases winter blues by reducing anxiety and boosting overall health.

So follow the above tips and chase away the winter blues!


Recently Published Article – “Khat (Catha Edulis) as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disorders: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”

Journal: The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal

 Author(s): Teshale Ayele MegaNikodimos Eshetu Dabe



About 20 million people worldwide are believed to be using khat. Although some studies reported that khat chewing might result in cardiovascular disorders, conclusive evidence is limited.


The objective of this review was to synthesize the best available evidence for the effect of khat on the cardiovascular system. Databases searched were PubMed, Cochrane database of systematic reviews, CINAHL, poplin, LILACS, MedNar and Scopus. All papers included in the review were subjected to rigorous appraisal using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) standardized critical appraisal tool. Review Manager Software (Revman 5.3) was used for meta-analysis and effect size and the 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated.


Data was extracted from 10 articles. Our meta-analysis included 9,207 subjects, (2123 chewers and 7084 non-chewers, respectively) to elucidate the effect of khat on heart rate, diastolic and systolic blood pressure. The mean diastolic and systolic blood pressure of khat chewers was higher than the non-chewers with a mean difference of 5.1 mmHg, 95%CI [2.7,7.5] and 7.9 mmHg, 95%CI [2.65, 13.18], respectively. Similarly, the heart rate of the chewers remained consistently higher, making the mean difference of 6.9 beats/min, 95%CI [0.5, 13.3]. In addition, khat was found to have either a causative or worsening effect on stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure.


We showed that khat chewing could significantly affect the cardiovascular system through its effect on heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, health promotion should be aimed to encourage quitting khat chewing.

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