Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 626

Modeling of Alpha-Particles’ Epigenetic Effects in Short-Term Test on Drosophila melanogaster

In recent years, interest in ecogenetic and biomedical problems related to the effects on the population of radon and its daughter decay products has increased significantly. Of particular interest is the assessment of the consequence of irradiation at hazardous radon areas, which includes the Almaty region due to the large number of tectonic faults that enhance radon emanation. In connection with the foregoing, the purpose of this work was to study the genetic effects of exposure to supernormal radon doses on the alpha-radiation model. Irradiation does not affect the growth of the cell, but rather its ability to differentiate. In addition, irradiation can lead to somatic mutations, morphoses and modifications. These damages most likely occur from changes in the composition of the substances of the cell. Such changes are epigenetic since they affect the regulatory processes of ontogenesis. Variability in the expression of regulatory genes refers to conditional mutations that modify the formation of signs of intraspecific similarity. Characteristic features of these conditional mutations are the dominant type of their manifestation, phenotypic asymmetry and their instability in the generations. Currently, the terms “morphosis” and “modification” are used to describe epigenetic variability, which are maintained in Drosophila melanogaster cultures using linkaged X- chromosomes, and the mutant X-chromosome is transmitted along the paternal line. In this paper, we investigated the epigenetic effects of alpha particles, whose source in nature is mainly radon and its daughter decay products. In the experiment, an isotope of plutonium-238 (Pu238), generating radiation with an energy of about 5500 eV, was used as a source of alpha particles. In an experiment in the first generation (F1), deformities or morphoses were found, which can be called "radiation syndromes" or mutations, the manifestation of which is similar to the pleiotropic action of genes. The proportion of morphoses in the experiment was 1.8%, and in control 0.4%. In this experiment, the morphoses in the flies of the first and second generation looked like black spots, or melanomas on different parts of the imago body; "generalized" melanomas; curled, curved wings; shortened wing; bubble on one wing; absence of one wing, deformation of thorax, interruption and violation of tergite patterns, disruption of distribution of ocular facets and bristles; absence of pigmentation of the second and third legs. Statistical analysis by the Chi-square method showed the reliability of the difference in experiment and control at P ≤ 0.01. On the basis of this, it can be considered that alpha particles, which in the environment are mainly generated by radon and its isotopes, have a mutagenic effect that manifests itself, mainly in the formation of morphoses or deformities.

Investigating the Accessibility of Physically Disabled Individuals in Corporate Offices: A Case of Dhaka City

The purpose of this study is to bring light to the current state of the working environments in the corporate environment and other such institutions with a particular focus on the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) and its guidelines for accommodating the physically disabled. Data were collected via semi-formal interviews, site visits and focus groups conducted using a preset questionnaire as the guidelines. After conducting surveys at corporate offices of 20 organizations from major commercial sectors in Dhaka city, the auditing showed many inadequacies, as aside from the larger corporate offices, the offices have little to no accessibility for the physically disabled. This study hopes to shed light on the fact that the existing BNBCs lack of emphasis on ensuring the accessibility of the handicapped in corporate buildings in the hope that, in the future, the physically disabled will have greater opportunities at being productive members of the workforce.

Effects of Increased Green Surface on a Densely Built Urban Fabric: The Case of Budapest

Urban greenery has multiple positive effects both on the city and its residents. Apart from the visual advantages, it changes the micro-climate by cooling and shading, also increasing vapor and oxygen, reducing dust and carbon-dioxide content at the same time. The above are all critical factors of livability of an urban fabric. Unfortunately, in a dense, historical district there are restricted possibilities to build green surfaces. The present study collects and systemizes the applicable green solutions in the case of a historical downtown district of Budapest. The study contains a GIS-based measurement of the eligible surfaces for greenery, and also calculates the potential of oxygen production, carbon-dioxide reduction and cooling effect of an increased green surface.  It can be concluded that increasing the green surface has measurable effects on a densely built urban fabric, including air quality, micro-climate and other environmental factors.

Improvement of Soft Clay Using Floating Cement Dust-Lime Columns

The two main criteria that control the design and performance of footings are bearing capacity and settlement of soil. In soft soils, the construction of buildings, storage tanks, warehouse, etc. on weak soils usually involves excessive settlement problems. To solve bearing capacity or reduce settlement problems, soil improvement may be considered by using different techniques, including encased cement dust–lime columns. The proposed research studies the effect of adding floating encased cement dust and lime mix columns to soft clay on the clay-bearing capacity. Four experimental tests were carried out. Columns diameters of 3.0 cm, 4.0 cm, and 5.0 cm and columns length of 60% of the clay layer thickness were used. Numerical model was constructed and verified using commercial finite element package (PLAXIS 2D, V8.5). The verified model was used to study the effect of distributing columns around the footing at different distances. The study showed that the floating cement dust lime columns enhanced the clay-bearing capacity with 262%. The numerical model showed that the columns around the footing have a limit effect on the clay improvement.

Forecasting Issues in Energy Markets within a Reg-ARIMA Framework
Electricity markets throughout the world have undergone substantial changes. Accurate, reliable, clear and comprehensible modeling and forecasting of different variables (loads and prices in the first instance) have achieved increasing importance. In this paper, we describe the actual state of the art focusing on reg-SARMA methods, which have proven to be flexible enough to accommodate the electricity price/load behavior satisfactory. More specifically, we will discuss: 1) The dichotomy between point and interval forecasts; 2) The difficult choice between stochastic (e.g. climatic variation) and non-deterministic predictors (e.g. calendar variables); 3) The confrontation between modelling a single aggregate time series or creating separated and potentially different models of sub-series. The noteworthy point that we would like to make it emerge is that prices and loads require different approaches that appear irreconcilable even though must be made reconcilable for the interests and activities of energy companies.
Investigation of Improved Chaotic Signal Tracking by Echo State Neural Networks and Multilayer Perceptron via Training of Extended Kalman Filter Approach
This paper presents a prediction performance of feedforward Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Echo State Networks (ESN) trained with extended Kalman filter. Feedforward neural networks and ESN are powerful neural networks which can track and predict nonlinear signals. However, their tracking performance depends on the specific signals or data sets, having the risk of instability accompanied by large error. In this study we explore this process by applying different network size and leaking rate for prediction of nonlinear or chaotic signals in MLP neural networks. Major problems of ESN training such as the problem of initialization of the network and improvement in the prediction performance are tackled. The influence of coefficient of activation function in the hidden layer and other key parameters are investigated by simulation results. Extended Kalman filter is employed in order to improve the sequential and regulation learning rate of the feedforward neural networks. This training approach has vital features in the training of the network when signals have chaotic or non-stationary sequential pattern. Minimization of the variance in each step of the computation and hence smoothing of tracking were obtained by examining the results, indicating satisfactory tracking characteristics for certain conditions. In addition, simulation results confirmed satisfactory performance of both of the two neural networks with modified parameterization in tracking of the nonlinear signals.
Adomian’s Decomposition Method to Generalized Magneto-Thermoelasticity

Due to many applications and problems in the fields of plasma physics, geophysics, and other many topics, the interaction between the strain field and the magnetic field has to be considered. Adomian introduced the decomposition method for solving linear and nonlinear functional equations. This method leads to accurate, computable, approximately convergent solutions of linear and nonlinear partial and ordinary differential equations even the equations with variable coefficients. This paper is dealing with a mathematical model of generalized thermoelasticity of a half-space conducting medium. A magnetic field with constant intensity acts normal to the bounding plane has been assumed. Adomian’s decomposition method has been used to solve the model when the bounding plane is taken to be traction free and thermally loaded by harmonic heating. The numerical results for the temperature increment, the stress, the strain, the displacement, the induced magnetic, and the electric fields have been represented in figures. The magnetic field, the relaxation time, and the angular thermal load have significant effects on all the studied fields.

Investigation of Effective Parameters on Pullout Capacity in Soil Nailing with Special Attention to International Design Codes

An important and influential factor in design and determining the safety factor in Soil Nailing is the ultimate pullout capacity, or, in other words, bond strength. This important parameter depends on several factors such as material and soil texture, method of implementation, excavation diameter, friction angle between the nail and the soil, grouting pressure, the nail depth (overburden pressure), the angle of drilling and the degree of saturation in soil. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a customary regulation in the design of nailing, is considered only the effect of the soil type (or rock) and the method of implementation in determining the bond strength, which results in non-economic design. The other regulations are each of a kind, some of the parameters affecting bond resistance are not taken into account. Therefore, in the present paper, at first the relationships and tables presented by several valid regulations are presented for estimating the ultimate pullout capacity, and then the effect of several important factors affecting on ultimate Pullout capacity are studied. Finally, it was determined, the effect of overburden pressure (in method of injection with pressure), soil dilatation and roughness of the drilling surface on pullout strength is incremental, and effect of degree of soil saturation on pullout strength to a certain degree of saturation is increasing and then decreasing. therefore it is better to get help from nail pullout-strength test results and numerical modeling to evaluate the effect of parameters such as overburden pressure, dilatation, and degree of soil saturation, and so on to reach an optimal and economical design.

Numerical Evaluation of Lateral Bearing Capacity of Piles in Cement-Treated Soils

Soft soil is used in many of civil engineering projects like coastal, marine and road projects. Because of low shear strength and stiffness of soft soils, large settlement and low bearing capacity will occur under superstructure loads. This will make the civil engineering activities more difficult and costlier. In the case of soft soils, improvement is a suitable method to increase the shear strength and stiffness for engineering purposes. In recent years, the artificial cementation of soil by cement and lime has been extensively used for soft soil improvement. Cement stabilization is a well-established technique for improving soft soils. Artificial cementation increases the shear strength and hardness of the natural soils. On the other hand, in soft soils, the use of piles to transfer loads to the depths of ground is usual. By using cement treated soil around the piles, high bearing capacity and low settlement in piles can be achieved. In the present study, lateral bearing capacity of short piles in cemented soils is investigated by numerical approach. For this purpose, three dimensional (3D) finite difference software, FLAC 3D is used. Cement treated soil has a strain hardening-softening behavior, because of breaking of bonds between cement agent and soil particle. To simulate such behavior, strain hardening-softening soil constitutive model is used for cement treated soft soil. Additionally, conventional elastic-plastic Mohr Coulomb constitutive model and linear elastic model are used for stress-strain behavior of natural soils and pile. To determine the parameters of constitutive models and also for verification of numerical model, the results of available triaxial laboratory tests on and insitu loading of piles in cement treated soft soil are used. Different parameters are considered in parametric study to determine the effective parameters on the bearing of the piles on cemented treated soils. In the present paper, the effect of various length and height of the artificial cemented area, different diameter and length of the pile and the properties of the materials are studied. Also, the effect of choosing a constitutive model for cemented treated soils in the bearing capacity of the pile is investigated.

On Figuring the City Characteristics and Landscape in Overall Urban Design: A Case Study in Xiangyang Central City, China
Chinese overall urban design faces a large number of problems such as the neglect of urban characteristics, generalization of content, and difficulty in implementation. Focusing on these issues, this paper proposes the main points of shaping urban characteristics in overall urban design: focuses on core problems in city function and scale, landscape pattern, historical culture, social resources and modern city style and digs the urban characteristic genes. Then, we put forward “core problem location and characteristic gene enhancement” as a kind of overall urban design technical method. Firstly, based on the main problems in urban space as a whole, for the operability goal, the method extracts the key genes and integrates into the multi-dimension system in a targeted manner. Secondly, hierarchical management and guidance system is established which may be in line with administrative management. Finally, by converting the results, action plan is drawn up that can be dynamically implemented. Based on the above idea and method, a practical exploration has been performed in the case of Xiangyang central city.
Effect of Footing Shape on Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Closely Spaced Footings on Sandy Soil

The bearing capacity of closely spaced shallow footings alters with their spacing and the shape of footing. In this study, the bearing capacity and settlement of two adjacent footings constructed on a sand layer are investigated. The effect of different footing shapes including square, circular, ring and strip on sandy soil is captured in the calculations. The investigations are carried out numerically using PLAXIS-3D software and analytically employing conventional settlement equations. For this purpose, foundations are modelled in the program with practical dimensions and various spacing ratios ranging from 1 to 5. The spacing ratio is defined as the centre-to-centre distance to the width of foundations (S/B). Overall, 24 models are analyzed; and the results are compared and discussed in detail. It can be concluded that the presence of adjacent foundation leads to the reduction in bearing capacity for round shape footings while it can increase the bearing capacity of rectangular footings in some specific distances.

Investigation on Behavior of Fixed-Ended Reinforced Concrete Deep Beams

Reinforced Concrete (RC) deep beams are special structural elements because of their geometry and behavior under loads. For example, assumption of strain- stress distribution is not linear in the cross section. These types of beams may have simple supports or fixed supports. A lot of research works have been conducted on simply supported deep beams, but little study has been done in the fixed-end RC deep beams behavior. Recently, using of fixed-ended deep beams has been widely increased in structures. In this study, the behavior of fixed-ended deep beams is investigated, and the important parameters in capacity of this type of beams are mentioned.

Effect of Confinement on the Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Spread Foundations

Allowable-bearing capacity is the competency of soil to safely carries the pressure from the superstructure without experiencing a shear failure with accompanying excessive settlements. Ensuring a safe bearing pressure with respect to failure does not tolerate settlement of the foundation will be within acceptable limits. Therefore, settlement analysis should always be performed since most structures are settlement sensitive. When visualising the movement of a soil wedge in the bearing capacity criterion, both vertically and horizontally, it becomes clear that by confining the soil surrounding the foundation, both the bearing capacity and settlement values improve. In this study, two sizes of spread foundation were considered; (2×4) m and (3×5) m. These represent two real problem case studies of an existing building. The foundations were analysed in terms of dimension as well as position with respect to a confining wall (i.e., sheet piles on both sides). Assuming B is the least foundation dimension, the study comprised the analyses of three distances; (0.1 B), (0.5 B), and (0.75 B) between the sheet piles and foundations alongside three depths of confinement (0.5 B), (1 B), and (1.5 B). Nonlinear three-dimensional finite element analysis (ANSYS) was adopted to perform an analytical investigation on the behaviour of the two foundations contained by the case study. Results showed that confinement of foundations reduced the overall stresses near the foundation by 65% and reduced the vertical displacement by 90%. Moreover, the most effective distance between the confinement wall and the foundation was found to be 0.5 B.

Optimizing the Capacity of a Convolutional Neural Network for Image Segmentation and Pattern Recognition
In this paper, we study the factors which determine the capacity of a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model and propose the ways to evaluate and adjust the capacity of a CNN model for best matching to a specific pattern recognition task. Firstly, a scheme is proposed to adjust the number of independent functional units within a CNN model to make it be better fitted to a task. Secondly, the number of independent functional units in the capsule network is adjusted to fit it to the training dataset. Thirdly, a method based on Bayesian GAN is proposed to enrich the variances in the current dataset to increase its complexity. Experimental results on the PASCAL VOC 2010 Person Part dataset and the MNIST dataset show that, in both conventional CNN models and capsule networks, the number of independent functional units is an important factor that determines the capacity of a network model. By adjusting the number of functional units, the capacity of a model can better match the complexity of a dataset.
A Preliminary Conceptual Scale to Discretize the Distributed Manufacturing Continuum

The distributed manufacturing methodology brings a new concept of decentralized manufacturing operations close to the proximity of end users. A preliminary scale, to measure distributed capacity and evaluate positioning of firms, is developed in this research. In the first part of the paper, a literature review has been performed which highlights the explorative nature of the studies conducted to present definitions and classifications due to novelty of this topic. From literature, five dimensions of distributed manufacturing development stages have been identified: localization, manufacturing technologies, customization and personalization, digitalization and democratization of design. Based on these determinants a conceptual scale is proposed to measure the status of distributed manufacturing of a generic firm. A multiple case study is then conducted in two steps to test the conceptual scale and to identify the corresponding level of distributed potential in each case study firm.

Reviewing the Relation of Language and Minorities' Rights
Language is considered as a powerful and outstanding feature of ethnicity. However, humiliating and prohibiting using human language is one the most heinous and brutal acts in the form of racism. In other words, racism can be a product of physiological humiliations and discrimination, such as skin color, and can also be resulted from ethnic humiliation and discrimination such as language, customs and so on. Ethnic and racial discrimination is one of the main problems of the world that minorities and occasionally the majority have suffered from. Nowadays, few states can be found in which all individuals and its citizens are of the same race and ethnicity, culture and language. In these countries, referred to as the multinational states, (eg, Iran, Switzerland, India, etc.), there are the communities and groups which have their own linguistic, cultural and historical characteristics. Characteristics of human rights issues, diversity of issues and plurality of meanings indicate that they appear in various aspects. The states are obliged to respect, as per national and international obligations, the rights of all citizens from different angles, especially different groups that require special attention in order of the particular aspects such as ethnicity, religious and political minorities, children, women, workers, unions and in case the states are in breach of any of these items, they are faced with challenges in local, regional or international fields.
Comparative Study of Equivalent Linear and Non-Linear Ground Response Analysis for Rapar District of Kutch, India

Earthquakes are considered to be the most destructive rapid-onset disasters human beings are exposed to. The amount of loss it brings in is sufficient to take careful considerations for designing of structures and facilities. Seismic Hazard Analysis is one such tool which can be used for earthquake resistant design. Ground Response Analysis is one of the most crucial and decisive steps for seismic hazard analysis. Rapar district of Kutch, Gujarat falls in Zone 5 of earthquake zone map of India and thus has high seismicity because of which it is selected for analysis. In total 8 bore-log data were studied at different locations in and around Rapar district. Different soil engineering properties were analyzed and relevant empirical correlations were used to calculate maximum shear modulus (Gmax) and shear wave velocity (Vs) for the soil layers. The soil was modeled using Pressure-Dependent Modified Kodner Zelasko (MKZ) model and the reference curve used for fitting was Seed and Idriss (1970) for sand and Darendeli (2001) for clay. Both Equivalent linear (EL), as well as Non-linear (NL) ground response analysis, has been carried out with Masing Hysteretic Re/Unloading formulation for comparison. Commercially available DEEPSOIL v. 7.0 software is used for this analysis. In this study an attempt is made to quantify ground response regarding generated acceleration time-history at top of the soil column, Response spectra calculation at 5 % damping and Fourier amplitude spectrum calculation. Moreover, the variation of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Maximum Displacement, Maximum Strain (in %), Maximum Stress Ratio, Mobilized Shear Stress with depth is also calculated. From the study, PGA values estimated in rocky strata are nearly same as bedrock motion and marginal amplification is observed in sandy silt and silty clays by both analyses. The NL analysis gives conservative results of maximum displacement as compared to EL analysis. Maximum strain predicted by both studies is very close to each other. And overall NL analysis is more efficient and realistic because it follows the actual hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, considers stiffness degradation and mobilizes stresses generated due to pore water pressure.

A Finite Element/Finite Volume Method for Dam-Break Flows over Deformable Beds
A coupled two-layer finite volume/finite element method was proposed for solving dam-break flow problem over deformable beds. The governing equations consist of the well-balanced two-layer shallow water equations for the water flow and a linear elastic model for the bed deformations. Deformations in the topography can be caused by a brutal localized force or simply by a class of sliding displacements on the bathymetry. This deformation in the bed is a source of perturbations, on the water surface generating water waves which propagate with different amplitudes and frequencies. Coupling conditions at the interface are also investigated in the current study and two mesh procedure is proposed for the transfer of information through the interface. In the present work a new procedure is implemented at the soil-water interface using the finite element and two-layer finite volume meshes with a conservative distribution of the forces at their intersections. The finite element method employs quadratic elements in an unstructured triangular mesh and the finite volume method uses the Rusanove to reconstruct the numerical fluxes. The numerical coupled method is highly efficient, accurate, well balanced, and it can handle complex geometries as well as rapidly varying flows. Numerical results are presented for several test examples of dam-break flows over deformable beds. Mesh convergence study is performed for both methods, the overall model provides new insight into the problems at minimal computational cost.
Effects of an Inclusive Educational Model for Students with High Intellectual Capacity and Special Educational Needs: A Case Study in Talentos UdeC, Chile

In Chile, since 2002, there are extracurricular enrichment programs complementary to regular education for students with high intellectual capacity. This paper describes a model for the educational inclusion of students, with special educational needs associated with high intellectual capacity, developed at the University of Concepción and its effects on its students, academics and undergraduate students that collaborate with the program. The Talentos UdeC Program was created in 2003 and is intended for 240 children and youth from 11 to 18 years old, from 15 communes of the Biobio region. The case Talentos UdeC is analyzed from a mixed qualitative study in which those participating in the educational model are considered. The sample was composed of 30 students, 30 academics, and 30 undergraduate students. In the case of students, pre and post program measurements were made to analyze their socio-emotional adaptation, academic motivation and socially responsible behavior. The mentioned variables are measured through questionnaires designed and validated by the University of Concepcion that included: The Socially Responsible Behavior Questionnaire (CCSR); the Academic Motivation Questionnaire (CMA) and the Socio-Emotional Adaptation Questionnaire (CASE). The information obtained by these questionnaires was analyzed through a quantitative analysis. Academics and undergraduate students were interviewed to learn their perception of the effects of the program on themselves, on students and on society. The information obtained is analyzed using qualitative analysis based on the identification of common themes and descriptors for the construction of conceptual categories of answers. Quantitative results show differences in the first three variables analyzed in the students, after their participation for two years in Talentos UdeC. Qualitative results demonstrate perception of effects in the vision of world, project of life and in other areas of the students’ development; perception of effects in a personal, professional and organizational plane by academics and a perception of effects in their personal-social development and training in generic competencies by undergraduates students.

Exploration of an Environmentally Friendly Form of City Development Combined with a River: An Example of a Four-Dimensional Analysis Based on the Expansion of the City of Jinan across the Yellow River

In order to study the topic of cities crossing rivers, a Four-Dimensional Analysis Method consisting of timeline, X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis is proposed. Policies, plans, and their implications are summarized and researched along with the timeline. The X-axis is the direction which is parallel to the river. The research area was chosen because of its important connection function. It is proposed that more surface water network should be built because of the ecological orientation of the research area. And the analysis of groundwater makes it for sure that the proposal is feasible. After the blue water network is settled, the green landscape network which is surrounded by it could be planned. The direction which is transversal to the river (Y-axis) should run through the transportation axis so that the urban texture could stretch in an ecological way. Therefore, it is suggested that the work of the planning bureau and river bureau should be coordinated. The Z-axis research is on the section view of the river, especially on the Yellow River’s special feature of being a perched river. Based on water control safety demands, river parks could be constructed on the embankment buffer zone, whereas many kinds of ornamental trees could be used to build the buffer zone. City Crossing River is a typical case where we make use of landscaping to build a symbiotic relationship between the urban landscape architecture and the environment. The local environment should be respected in the process of city expansion. The planning order of "Benefit- Flood Control Safety" should be replaced by "Flood Control Safety - Landscape Architecture- People - Benefit".

Carcass Characteristics and Qualities of Philippine White Mallard (Anas boschas L.) and Pekin (Anas platyrhynchos L.) Duck
The Philippine White Mallard duck was compared with Pekin duck for potential meat production. A total of 50 ducklings were randomly assigned to five (5) pens per treatment after one month of brooding. Each pen containing five (5) ducks was considered as a replicate. The ducks were raised until 12 weeks of age and slaughtered at the end of the growing period. Meat from both breeds was analyzed. The data were subjected to the Independent-Sample T-test at 5% level of confidence. Results showed that post-mortem pH (0, 20 minutes, 50 minutes, 1 hour and 20 minutes, 1 hour and 50 minutes, and 24 hours ) did not differ significantly (P>0.05) between breeds. However, Pekin ducks (89.84±0.71) had a significantly higher water-holding capacity than Philippine White Mallard ducks (87.93±0.63) (P<0.05). Also, meat color (CIE L, a, b) revealed that no significant differences among the lightness, redness, and yellowness of the skin (breast) in both breeds (P>0.05) except for the yellowness of the lean muscles of the Pekin duck breast. Pekin duck meat (1.15±0.04) had significantly higher crude fat content than Philippine White Mallard (0.47±0.58). The study clearly showed that breed is a factor and provided some pronounced effects among the parameters. However, these results are considered as preliminary information on the meat quality of Philippine White Mallard duck. Hence, further studies are needed to understand and fully utilize it for meat production and develop different meat products from this breed.
Quality Evaluation of Grape Seed Oils of the Ionian Islands Based on GC-MS and Other Spectroscopic Techniques

Grape seeds are waste products of wineries and often referred to as an important agricultural and industrial waste product with the potential to be used in pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic applications. In this study, grape seed oil from traditional Ionian varieties was examined for the determination of the quality and the characteristics of each variety. Initially, the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles were analyzed using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, after transesterification. Furthermore, other quality parameters of the grape seed oils were determined by Spectroscopy techniques, UV-Vis and Raman included. Moreover, the antioxidant capacity of the oil was measured by 2,2'-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) and 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays and their antioxidant capacity expressed in Trolox equivalents. K and ΔΚ indices were measured in 232, 268, 270 nm, as an oil quality index. The results indicate that the air-dried grape seed total oil content ranged from 5.26 to 8.77% w/w, which is in accordance with the other grape seed varieties tested in similar studies. The composition of grape seed oil is predominated with linoleic and oleic fatty acids, with the linoleic fatty acid ranging from 53.68 to 69.95% and both the linoleic and oleic fatty acids totaling 78-82% of FAMEs, which is analogous to the fatty acid composition of safflower oil. The antioxidant assays ABTS and DPPH scored high, exhibiting that the oils have potential in the cosmetic and culinary businesses. Above that, our results demonstrate that Ionian grape seed oils have prospects that can go further than cosmetic or culinary use, into the pharmaceuticals industry. Finally, the reclamation of grape seeds from wineries waste stream is in accordance with the bio-economy strategic framework and contributes to environmental protection.

The Influence of the Geogrid Layers on the Bearing Capacity of Layered Soils

Many classical bearing capacity theories assume that the natural soil's layers are homogenous for determining the bearing capacity of the soil. But, in many practical projects, we encounter multi-layer soils. Geosynthetic as reinforcement materials have been extensively used in the construction of various structures. In this paper, numerical analysis of the Plate Load Test (PLT) using of ABAQUS software in double-layered soils with different thicknesses of sandy and gravelly layers reinforced with geogrid was considered. The PLT is one of the common filed methods to calculate parameters such as soil bearing capacity, the evaluation of the compressibility and the determination of the Subgrade Reaction module. In fact, the influence of the geogrid layers on the bearing capacity of the layered soils is investigated. Finally, the most appropriate mode for the distance and number of reinforcement layers is determined. Results show that using three layers of geogrid with a distance of 0.3 times the width of the loading plate has the highest efficiency in bearing capacity of double-layer (sand and gravel) soils. Also, the significant increase in bearing capacity between unreinforced and reinforced soil with three layers of geogrid is caused by the condition that the upper layer (gravel) thickness is equal to the loading plate width.

Cities Simulation and Representation in Locative Games from the Perspective of Cultural Studies

This work aims to analyze the locative structure used by the locative games of the company Niantic. To fulfill this objective, a literature review on the representation and simulation of cities was developed; interviews with Ingress players and playing Ingress. Relating these data, it was possible to deepen the relationship between the virtual and the real to create the simulation of cities and their cultural objects in locative games. Cities representation associates geo-location provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS), with augmented reality and digital image, and provides a new paradigm in the city interaction with its parts and real and virtual world elements, homeomorphic to real world. Bibliographic review of papers related to the representation and simulation study and their application in locative games was carried out and is presented in the present paper. The cities representation and simulation concepts in locative games, and how this setting enables the flow and immersion in urban space, are analyzed. Some examples of games are discussed for this new setting development, which is a mix of real and virtual world. Finally, it was proposed a Locative Structure for electronic games using the concepts of heterotrophic representations and isotropic representations conjoined with immediacy and hypermediacy.

Calculation of the Thermal Stresses in an Elastoplastic Plate Heated by Local Heat Source
The work is devoted to solving the problem of temperature stresses, caused by the heating point of the round plate. The plate is made of elastoplastic material, so the Prandtl-Reis model is used. A piecewise-linear condition of the Ishlinsky-Ivlev flow is taken as the loading surface, in which the yield stress depends on the temperature. Piecewise-linear conditions (Treska or Ishlinsky-Ivlev), in contrast to the Mises condition, make it possible to obtain solutions of the equilibrium equation in an analytical form. In the problem under consideration, using the conditions of Tresca, it is impossible to obtain a solution. This is due to the fact that the equation of equilibrium ceases to be satisfied when the two Tresca conditions are fulfilled at once. Using the conditions of plastic flow Ishlinsky-Ivlev allows one to solve the problem. At the same time, there are also no solutions on the edge of the Ishlinsky-Ivlev hexagon in the plane-stressed state. Therefore, the authors of the article propose to jump from the edge to the edge of the mine edge, which gives an opportunity to obtain an analytical solution. At the same time, there is also no solution on the edge of the Ishlinsky-Ivlev hexagon in a plane stressed state; therefore, in this paper, the authors of the article propose to jump from the side to the side of the mine edge, which gives an opportunity to receive an analytical solution. The paper compares solutions of the problem of plate thermal deformation. One of the solutions was obtained under the condition that the elastic moduli (Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio) which depend on temperature. The yield point is assumed to be parabolically temperature dependent. The main results of the comparisons are that the region of irreversible deformation is larger in the calculations obtained for solving the problem with constant elastic moduli. There is no repeated plastic flow in the solution of the problem with elastic moduli depending on temperature. The absolute value of the irreversible deformations is higher for the solution of the problem in which the elastic moduli are constant; there are also insignificant differences in the distribution of the residual stresses.
Numerical Investigation on Load Bearing Capacity of Pervious Concrete Piles as an Alternative to Granular Columns

Pervious concrete combines considerable permeability with adequate strength, which makes it very beneficial in pavement construction and also in ground improvement projects. In this paper, a single pervious concrete pile subjected to vertical and lateral loading is analysed using a verified three dimensional finite element code. A parametric study was carried out in order to investigate load bearing capacity of a single unreinforced pervious concrete pile in saturated soft soil and also gain insight into the failure mechanism of this rather new soil improvement technique. The results show that concrete damaged plasticity constitutive model can perfectly simulate the highly brittle nature of the pervious concrete material and considering the computed vertical and horizontal load bearing capacities, some suggestions have been made for ground improvement projects.

Experimental and Numerical Study on the Effects of Oxygen Methane Flames with Water Dilution for Different Pressures

Among all possibilities to combat global warming, CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) is presented as a great alternative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Several strategies for CCS from industrial and power plants are being considered. The concept of combined oxy-fuel combustion has been the most alternative solution. Nevertheless, due to the high cost of pure O2 production, additional ways recently emerged. In this paper, an innovative combustion process for a gas turbine cycle was studied: it was composed of methane combustion with oxygen enhanced air (OEA), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and H2O issuing from STIG (Steam Injection Gas Turbine), and the CO2 capture was realized by membrane separator. The effect on this combustion process was emphasized, and it was shown that a study of the influence of H2O dilution on the combustion parameters by experimental and numerical approaches had to be carried out. As a consequence, the laminar burning velocities measurements were performed in a stainless steel spherical combustion from atmospheric pressure to high pressure (up to 0.5 MPa), at 473 K for an equivalence ratio at 1. These experimental results were satisfactorily compared with Chemical Workbench v.4.1 package in conjunction with GRIMech 3.0 reaction mechanism. The good correlations so obtained between experimental and calculated flame speed velocities showed the validity of the GRIMech 3.0 mechanism in this domain of combustion: high H2O dilution, low N2, medium pressure. Finally, good estimations of flame speed and pollutant emissions were determined in other conditions compatible with real gas turbine. In particular, mixtures (composed of CH4/O2/N2/H2O/ or CO2) leading to the same adiabatic temperature were investigated. Influences of oxygen enrichment and H2O dilution (compared to CO2) were disused.

The Dynamics of Algeria’s Natural Gas Exports to Europe: Evidence from ARDL Bounds Testing Approach with Breakpoints

The purpose of the study is to examine the dynamics of Algeria’s natural gas exports through the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach with break points. The analysis was carried out for the period from 1967 to 2015. Based on imperfect substitution specification, the ARDL approach reveals a long-run equilibrium relationship between Algeria’s Natural gas exports and their determinant factors (Algeria’s gas reserves, Domestic gas consumption, Europe’s GDP per capita, relative prices, the European gas production and the market share of competitors). All the long-run elasticities estimated are statistically significant with a large impact of domestic factors, which constitute the supply constraints. In short term, the elasticities are statistically significant, and almost comparable to those of the long term. Furthermore, the speed of adjustment towards long-run equilibrium is less than one year because of the little flexibility of the long term export contracts. Two break points have been estimated when we employ the domestic gas consumption as a break variable; 1984 and 2010, which reflect the arbitration policy between the domestic gas market and gas exports.

Valorization of Residues from Forest Industry for the Generation of Energy

The use of biomass to produce renewable energy is one of the forms that can be used to reduce the impact of energy production. Like any other energy resource, there are limitations for biomass use, and it must compete not only with fossil fuels but also with other renewable energy sources such as solar or wind energy. Combustion is currently the most efficient and widely used waste-to-energy process, in the areas where direct use of biomass is possible, without the need to make large transfers of raw material. Many industrial facilities can use agricultural or forestry waste, straw, chips, bagasse, etc. in their thermal systems without making major transformations or adjustments in the feeding to the ovens, making this waste an attractive and cost-effective option in terms of availability, access, and costs. In spite of the facilities and benefits, the environmental reasons (emission of gases and particulate material) are decisive for its use for energy purpose. This paper describes a valorization of residues from forest industry to generate energy, using a case study.

Integrated Mass Rapid Transit System for Smart City Project in Western India

This paper is an attempt to develop an Integrated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for a smart city project in Western India. Integrated transportation is one of the enablers of smart transportation for providing a seamless intercity as well as regional level transportation experience. The success of a smart city project at the city level for transportation is providing proper integration to different mass rapid transit modes by way of integrating information, physical, network of routes fares, etc. The methodology adopted for this study was primary data research through questionnaire survey. The respondents of the questionnaire survey have responded on the issues about their perceptions on the ways and means to improve public transport services in urban cities. The respondents were also required to identify the factors and attributes which might motivate more people to shift towards the public mode. Also, the respondents were questioned about the factors which they feel might restrain the integration of various modes of MRTS. Furthermore, this study also focuses on developing a utility equation for respondents with the help of multiple linear regression analysis and its probability to shift to public transport for certain factors listed in the questionnaire. It has been observed that for shifting to public transport, the most important factors that need to be considered were travel time saving and comfort rating. Also, an Integrated MRTS can be obtained by combining metro rail with BRTS, metro rail with monorail, monorail with BRTS and metro rail with Indian railways. Providing a common smart card to transport users for accessing all the different available modes would be a pragmatic solution towards integration of the available modes of MRTS.

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