|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 205|
Our research focuses on a framework which analyses the relationship between product/process architecture, manufacturing organizational capability and manufacturing "implicit competitiveness" in order to improve manufacturing implicit competitiveness. We found that 1) there is a relationship between architecture-based manufacturing organizational capability and manufacturing implicit competitiveness, and 2) analysis and measures conducted in manufacturing organizational capability proved effective to improve manufacturing implicit competitiveness.
This paper presents an optimal duty-cycle modulation (ODCM) scheme for analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) systems. The overall ODCM-Based ADC problem is decoupled into optimal DCM and digital filtering sub-problems, while taking into account constraints of mutual design parameters between the two. Using a set of three lemmas and four morphological theorems, the ODCM sub-problem is modelled as a nonlinear cost function with nonlinear constraints. Then, a weighted least pth norm of the error between ideal and predicted frequency responses is used as a cost function for the digital filtering sub-problem. In addition, MATLAB fmincon and MATLAB iirlnorm tools are used as optimal DCM and least pth norm solvers respectively. Furthermore, the virtual simulation scheme of an overall prototyping ODCM-based ADC system is implemented and well tested with the help of Simulink tool according to relevant set of design data, i.e., 3 KHz of modulating bandwidth, 172 KHz of maximum modulation frequency and 25 MHZ of sampling frequency. Finally, the results obtained and presented show that the ODCM-based ADC achieves under 3 KHz of modulating bandwidth: 57 dBc of SINAD (signal-to-noise and distorsion), 58 dB of SFDR (Surpious free dynamic range) -80 dBc of THD (total harmonic distorsion), and 10 bits of minimum resolution. These performance levels appear to be a great challenge within the class of oversampling ADC topologies, with 2nd order IIR (infinite impulse response) decimation filter.
Some invariant properties of incomplete information systems homomorphism are studied in this paper. Demand conditions of tolerance class, attribute reduction, indispensable attribute and dispensable attribute being invariant under homomorphism in incomplete information system are revealed and discussed. The existing condition of endohomomorphism on an incomplete information system is also explored. It establishes some theoretical foundations for further investigations on incomplete information systems in rough set theory, like in information systems.
In the beginning of the prevalence of social media, it would be an obvious trend that the young adult age group has the highest population among the users on social media. However, apart from the age group of the users are becoming younger and younger, the elderly group has become a new force on social media, and this age group has increased rapidly. On top of that, the influence of social media towards the elderly is becoming more significant and it is even trending among them. This is because basic computer knowledge is not instilled into their life when they were young. This age group tends to be engrossed more than the young as this is something new for them, and they have the mindset that it is a new platform to approach things, and they tend to be more engrossed when they start getting in touch with the social media. Generally, most of the social media has been accepted and accessed by teenagers and young adult, but it is reasonable to believe that the social media is not really accepted among the elderly. Surprisingly, the elderlies are more addicted to the social media than the teenagers. Therefore, this study is to determine and understand the relationship between the elderly and social media, and how they employ social media in their lives. An online survey on 200 elderly aged 45-80 and an interview with a media expert are conducted to answer the main questions in the research paper. Uses and Gratification Approach is employed in theoretical framework. Finding revealed that majority of the respondents use social media to connect with family, friends, and for leisure purposes. The finding concluded that the elderly use social media differently according to their needs and wants which is in par with the highlight of Uses and Gratification theory. Considering the significantly large role social media plays in our culture and daily life today, the finding will shed some light on the effect of social media on the elderly or senior citizens who are usually relegated into a minority group in today’s age where the internet and social media are of great importance to our society and humanity in general. This may also serve to be useful in understanding behavioral patterns and preference in terms of social media usage among the elderly.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a promising solution for the energy resources leakage. Ferritic stainless steel becomes a suitable candidate for the SOFCs interconnects due to the recent advancements. Different steel alloys were designed to satisfy the needed characteristics in SOFCs interconnect as conductivity, thermal expansion and corrosion resistance. Refractory elements were used as alloying elements to satisfy the needed properties. The oxidation behaviour of the developed alloys was studied where the samples were heated for long time period at the maximum operating temperature to simulate the real working conditions. The formed scale and oxidized surface were investigated by SEM. Microstructure examination was carried out for some selected steel grades. The effect of alloying elements on the behaviour of the proposed interconnects material and the performance during the working conditions of the cells are explored and discussed. Refractory metals alloying of chromium steel seems to satisfy the needed characteristics in metallic interconnects.
The wide range of industrial applications involved with boiling flows promotes the necessity of establishing fundamental knowledge in boiling flow phenomena. For this purpose, a number of experimental and numerical researches have been performed to elucidate the underlying physics of this flow. In this paper, the improved wall boiling models, implemented on ANSYS CFX 14.5, were introduced to study subcooled boiling flow at elevated pressure. At the heated wall boundary, the Fractal model, Force balance approach and Mechanistic frequency model are given for predicting the nucleation site density, bubble departure diameter, and bubble departure frequency. The presented wall heat flux partitioning closures were modified to consider the influence of bubble sliding along the wall before the lift-off, which usually happens in the flow boiling. The simulation was performed based on the Two-fluid model, where the standard k-ω SST model was selected for turbulence modelling. Existing experimental data at around 5 bars were chosen to evaluate the accuracy of the presented mechanistic approach. The void fraction and Interfacial Area Concentration (IAC) are in good agreement with the experimental data. However, the predicted bubble velocity and Sauter Mean Diameter (SMD) are over-predicted. This over-prediction may be caused by consideration of only dispersed and spherical bubbles in the simulations. In the future work, the important physical mechanisms of bubbles, such as merging and shrinking during sliding on the heated wall will be incorporated into this mechanistic model to enhance its capability for a wider range of flow prediction.
Finding the linear and nonlinear responses of a typical single-degree-of-freedom system (SDOF) is always being regarded as a time-consuming process. This study attempts to provide modifications in the renowned Newmark method in order to make it more time efficient than it used to be and make it more accurate by modifying the system in its own non-linear state. The efficacy of the presented method is demonstrated by assigning three base excitations such as Tabas 1978, El Centro 1940, and MEXICO CITY/SCT 1985 earthquakes to a SDOF system, that is, SDOF, to compute the strength reduction factor, yield pseudo acceleration, and ductility factor.
Solar energy, since it is available every day, is seen as one of the most valuable renewable energy resources. Thus, the energy of sun should be efficiently used in various applications. The most known applications that use solar energy are heating water and spaces. High efficiency solar collectors need appropriate selective surfaces to absorb the heat. Selective surfaces (Selektif-Sera) used in this study are applied to flat collectors, which are produced by a roll to roll cost effective coating of nano nickel layers, developed in Selektif Teknoloji Co. Inc. Efficiency of flat collectors using Selektif-Sera absorbers are calculated in collaboration with Institute for Solar Technik Rapperswil, Switzerland. The main cause of high energy consumption in industry is mostly caused from low temperature level processes. There is considerable effort in research to minimize the energy use by renewable energy sources such as solar energy. A feasibility study will be presented to obtain the potential of solar thermal energy utilization in the textile industry using these solar collectors. For the feasibility calculations presented in this study, textile dyeing and finishing factory located at Kahramanmaras is selected since the geographic location was an important factor. Kahramanmaras is located in the south east part of Turkey thus has a great potential to have solar illumination much longer. It was observed that, the collector area is limited by the available area in the factory, thus a hybrid heating generating system (lignite/solar thermal) was preferred in the calculations of this study to be more realistic. During the feasibility work, the calculations took into account the preheating process, where well waters heated from 15 °C to 30-40 °C by using the hot waters in heat exchangers. Then the preheated water was heated again by high efficiency solar collectors. Economic comparison between the lignite use and solar thermal collector use was provided to determine the optimal system that can be used efficiently. The optimum design of solar thermal systems was studied depending on the optimum collector area. It was found that the solar thermal system is more economic and efficient than the merely lignite use. Return on investment time is calculated as 5.15 years.
From the strategic point of view, not all Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) are always positively benefiting the host economy, i.e. not all Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are promoting local/host economies. FDI could have different impact on different sectors of the economy, based not only on annual investment amount, but MNE motivations and peculiarities of the host economy in particular. FDI analysis based only on its amount can lead to incorrect decisions, it is much more important to understand the essence of investment. Consequently, our research is oriented on MNE’s motivations, answering which sectors are most popular among international investors and why, what motivated them to invest into one or another business. Georgian economy for the last period of time is attracting more and more efficiency seeking investments, which could be translated as - concentrating production in a limited number of locations to supply various markets, while benefiting local economy with: new technologies, employment, exports diversification, increased income for the local economy and so on. Foreign investors and MNEs in particular are no longer and not so much interested in the resource seeking investments, which was the case for Georgia in the last decade of XX century. Despite the fact of huge progress for the Georgian economy, still there is a room for foreign investors to make a local market oriented investments. The local market is still rich in imported products, which should be replaced by local ones. And the last but not the least important issue is that approximately 30% of all FDIs in Georgia according to this research are “efficiency seeking” investments, which is an enormous progress and a hope for future Georgian success.
Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel is a root holoparasitic weed plant of many cultivations, particularly of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.) crop. In Italy, Phelipanche problem is increasing, both in density and in acreage. The biological control of this parasitic weed involves the use of living organisms as numerous fungi and bacteria that can infect the parasitic weed, while it may improve the crop growth. This paper deals with the biocontrol with microorganism, including Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and fungal pathogens as Fusarium oxisporum spp. Colonization of crop roots by AM fungi can provide protection of crops against parasitic weeds because of a reduction in their seed germination and attachment, while F. oxisporum, isolated from diseased broomrape tubercles, proved to be highly virulent on P. ramosa. The experimental trial was carried out in open field at Foggia province (Apulia Region, Southern Italy), during the spring-summer season 2016, in order to evaluate the effect of four biological treatments: AM fungi and Fusarium oxisporum applied in the soil alone or combined together, and Rizosum Max® product, compared with the untreated control, to reduce the P. ramosa infestation in processing tomato crop. The principal results to be drawn from this study under field condition, in contrast of those reported previously under laboratory and greenhouse conditions, show that both AM fungi and F. oxisporum do not provide the reduction of the number of emerged shoots of P. ramosa. This can arise probably from the low efficacy seedling of the agent pathogens for the control of this parasite in the field. On the contrary, the Rizosum Max® product, containing AM fungi and some rizophere bacteria combined with several minerals and organic substances, appears to be most effective for the reduction of P. ramosa infestation.
Invention of transistor is the foundation of electronics industry. Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) has been the key for the development of nanoelectronics technology. In the first part of this manuscript, we present a new generation of MOSFET transistors based on SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) technology. It is a partially depleted Silicon-On-Insulator (PD SOI MOSFET) transistor simulated by using SILVACO software. This work was completed by the presentation of some results concerning the influence of parameters variation (channel length L and gate oxide thickness Tox) on our PDSOI n-MOSFET structure on its drain current and kink effect.
In this paper, a hybrid blind digital watermarking system using Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Contourlet Transform (CT) has been implemented and tested. The implemented combined digital watermarking system has been tested against five common types of image attacks. The performance evaluation shows improved results in terms of imperceptibility, robustness, and high tolerance against these attacks; accordingly, the system is very effective and applicable.
Investigation of the discharges from the artificial charged water aerosol clouds in presence of the arrays of the model hydrometeors could help to receive the new data about the peculiarities of the return stroke formation between the thundercloud and the ground when the large volumes of the hail particles participate in the lightning discharge initiation and propagation stimulation. Artificial charged water aerosol clouds of the negative or positive polarity with the potential up to one million volts have been used. Hail has been simulated by the group of the conductive model hydrometeors of the different form. Parameters of the impulse current of the main stage of the discharge between the artificial positively and negatively charged water aerosol clouds and the ground in presence of the model hydrometeors array and of its corresponding electromagnetic radiation have been determined. It was established that the parameters of the array of the model hydrometeors influence on the parameters of the main stage of the discharge between the artificial thundercloud cell and the ground. The maximal values of the main stage current impulse parameters and the electromagnetic radiation registered by the plate antennas have been found for the array of the model hydrometeors of the cylinder revolution form for the negatively charged aerosol cloud and for the array of the hydrometeors of the plate rhombus form for the positively charged aerosol cloud, correspondingly. It was found that parameters of the main stage of the discharge between the artificial charged water aerosol cloud and the ground in presence of the model hydrometeor array of the different considered forms depend on the polarity of the artificial charged aerosol cloud. In average, for all forms of the investigated model hydrometeors arrays, the values of the amplitude and the current rise of the main stage impulse current and the amplitude of the corresponding electromagnetic radiation for the artificial charged aerosol cloud of the positive polarity were in 1.1-1.9 times higher than for the charged aerosol cloud of the negative polarity. Thus, the received results could indicate to the possible more important role of the big volumes of the large hail arrays in the thundercloud on the parameters of the return stroke for the positive lightning.
Hypothesis of the lightning initiation on the arrays of large hydrometeors are in the consideration. There is no agreement about the form the hydrometeors that could be the best for the lightning initiation from the thundercloud. Artificial charged water aerosol clouds of the positive or negative polarity could help investigate the possible influence of the hydrometeor form on the peculiarities and the probability of the lightning discharge initiation between the thundercloud and the ground. Artificial charged aerosol clouds that could create the electric field strength in the range of 5-6 kV/cm to 16-18 kV/cm have been used in experiments. The array of the model hydrometeors of the volume and plate form has been disposed near the bottom cloud boundary. It was established that the different kinds of the discharge could be initiated in the presence of the model hydrometeors array – from the cloud discharges up to the diffuse and channel discharges between the charged cloud and the ground. It was found that the form of the model hydrometeors could significantly influence the channel discharge initiation from the artificial charged aerosol cloud of the negative or positive polarity correspondingly. Analysis and generalization of the experimental results have shown that the maximal probability of the channel discharge initiation and propagation stimulation has been observed for the artificial charged cloud of the positive polarity when the arrays of the model hydrometeors of the cylinder revolution form have been used. At the same time, for the artificial charged clouds of the negative polarity, application of the model hydrometeor array of the plate rhombus form has provided the maximal probability of the channel discharge formation between the charged cloud and the ground. The established influence of the form of the model hydrometeors on the channel discharge initiation and from the artificial charged water aerosol cloud and its following successful propagation has been related with the different character of the positive and negative streamer and volume leader development on the model hydrometeors array being near the bottom boundary of the charged cloud. The received experimental results have shown the possibly important role of the form of the large hail particles precipitated in thundercloud on the discharge initiation.
The dense urban fabric of the 7th district of Budapest -known as the former Jewish Quarter-, contains mainly historical style, multi-story tenement houses with courtyards. The high population density and the unsatisfactory energetic state of the buildings result high energy consumption. As a preliminary survey of a complex rehabilitation plan, the authors aim to determine the energy demand of the area. The energy demand was calculated by analyzing the structure and the energy consumption of each building by using Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. The carbon dioxide emission was also calculated, to assess the potential of reducing the present state value by complex structural and energetic rehabilitation. As a main focus of the survey, an energy intensity map has been created about the area.
Cyberbullying among schoolchildren and teenagers became a hot issue discussed by Malaysian society. Cyberbullying is a new age of bullying because it uses the modern digital technology intentionally to hurt and degrade someone in the cyber world. Cyberbullying is a problem affecting many teenagers as they embrace online communication and interaction whereby virtual world with no borders. By adopting a qualitative approach, this study has captured 8 cyberbullied victims’ school experience. Even years after leaving school, these 8 cyberbullied victims remember how it feels to be bullied in the cyber world. The principal investigator also tries to identify the possibility factors that contribute to cyberbullying among these 8 victims. The result shows that these victims were bullied differently in cyber world. This study not just primarily focuses on cyberbullying issues among schoolchildren and teenagers; it also addresses the motives and causes of cyberbullying. Lastly, this article will be served as guidance for school teachers, parents and teenagers to prepare to tackle cyberbullying together. Cyberbullying is no laughing matter in our community, and it is time to spread the seeds of peace inspires others to do the same.
This paper presents the design parameters for a thin film 3J InGaP/GaAs/Ge solar cell with a simulated maximum efficiency of 32.11% using Tcad Silvaco. Design parameters include the doping concentration, molar fraction, layers’ thickness and tunnel junction characteristics. An initial dual junction InGaP/GaAs model of a previous published heterojunction cell was simulated in Tcad Silvaco to accurately predict solar cell performance. To improve the solar cell’s performance, we have fixed meshing, material properties, models and numerical methods. However, thickness and layer doping concentration were taken as variables. We, first simulate the InGaP\GaAs dual junction cell by changing the doping concentrations and thicknesses which showed an increase in efficiency. Next, a triple junction InGaP/GaAs/Ge cell was modeled by adding a Ge layer to the previous dual junction InGaP/GaAs model with an InGaP /GaAs tunnel junction.
The thermal damping of a dynamic vibrating micromirror is an important factor affecting the design of MEMS based actuator systems. In the development process of new micromirror systems, assessing the extent of energy loss due to thermal damping accurately and predicting the performance of the system is very essential. In this paper, the depth of the thermal penetration layer at different eigenfrequencies and the temperature variation distributions surrounding a vibrating micromirror is analyzed. The thermal penetration depth corresponds to the thermal boundary layer in which energy is lost which is a measure of the thermal damping is found out. The energy is mainly dissipated in the thermal boundary layer and thickness of the layer is an important parameter. The detailed thermoacoustics is used to model the air domain surrounding the micromirror. The thickness of the boundary layer, temperature variations and thermal power dissipation are analyzed for a Si based torsional mode micromirror. It is found that thermal penetration depth decreases with eigenfrequency and hence operating the micromirror at higher frequencies is essential for reducing thermal damping. The temperature variations and thermal power dissipations at different eigenfrequencies are also analyzed. Both frequency-response and eigenfrequency analyses are done using COMSOL Multiphysics software.
The article deals with one of the most significant issues concerning the functioning of the internal market of the European Union – the free movement of workers and free movement of persons. The purpose is to identify the political and legal effects of the “renationalisation process” on the EU and its Member States. The concept of renationalisation is expressed through Member States’ aim to verify the relationship with the EU. The tendency is more visible in the public opinion of several MS’s of the ‘EU core’ and may be confirmed by the changes applied by the regulatory body. The thesis for the article is the return of renationalisation tendencies in the area of the Single Market, which is supported by, among others, an open criticism of the foundations of EU integration or considerations on withdrawal from the EU by some MS. This analysis will focus primarily on the effects that renationalisation may have on the free movement of persons. The free movement of persons is one of the key issues for the development of the European integration. It is still subject to theoretical reflections, new doubts and practical issues. The latest developments in politics, law and jurisprudence demonstrate the need to reflect on the attempts to redefine certain principles regarding migrant EU workers and their protection against nationality-based discrimination.
This study extends the use of the Drainage Area Regionalization (DAR) method in generating synthetic data and calibrating PyTOPKAPI stream yield for an ungauged basin at a daily time scale. The generation of runoff in determining a river yield has been subjected to various topographic and spatial meteorological variables, which integers form the Catchment Characteristics Model (CCM). Many of the conventional CCM models adapted in Africa have been challenged with a paucity of adequate, relevance and accurate data to parameterize and validate the potential. The purpose of generating synthetic flow is to test a hydrological model, which will not suffer from the impact of very low flows or very high flows, thus allowing to check whether the model is structurally sound enough or not. The employed physically-based, watershed-scale hydrologic model (PyTOPKAPI) was parameterized with GIS-pre-processing parameters and remote sensing hydro-meteorological variables. The validation with mean annual runoff ratio proposes a decent graphical understanding between observed and the simulated discharge. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency and coefficient of determination (R²) values of 0.704 and 0.739 proves strong model efficiency. Given the current climate variability impact, water planner can now assert a tool for flow quantification and sustainable planning purposes.
In recent times the resource-based view (RBV) of strategic management has recorded a sizeable attention yet there has not been a considerable scholarly and managerial discourse, debate and attention. As a result, this paper gives special bit of critical reasoning as well as top-notch analyses and relationship between RBV and organizational innovation. The study examines those salient aspects of RBV that basically have the will power in ensuring the organization's capacity to go for innovative capability. In achieving such fit and standpoint, the paper joins other relevant academic discourse and empirical evidence. To this end, a reasonable amount of contributions in setting the ground running for future empirical researches would have been provided. More so, the study is guided and built on the following strength and significance: Firstly, RBV sees resources as heterogeneity which forms a strong point of strength and allows organisations to gain competitive advantage. In order words, competitive advantage can be achieved or delivered to the organization when resources are distinctively utilized in a valuable manner more than the envisaged competitors of the organization. Secondly, RBV is significantly influential in determining the real resources that are available in the organization with a view to locate capabilities within in order to attract more profitability into the organization when applied. Thus, there will be more sustainable growth and success in the ever competitive and emerging market. Thus, to have succinct description of the basic methodologies, the study adopts both qualitative as well as quantitative approach with a view to have a broad samples of opinion in establishing and identifying key and strategic organizational resources to enable managers of resources to gain a competitive advantage as well as generating a sustainable increase and growth in profit. Furthermore, a comparative approach and analysis was used to examine the performance of RBV within the organization. Thus, the following are some of the findings of the study: it is clear that there is a nexus between RBV and growth of competitively viable organizations. More so, in most parts, organizations have heterogeneous resources domiciled in their organizations but not all organizations as it was specifically and intelligently adopting the tenets of RBV to strengthen heterogeneity of resources which allows organisations to gain competitive advantage. Other findings of this study reveal that of managerial perception of RBV with respect to application and transformation of resources to achieve a profitable end. It is against this backdrop, the importance of RBV cannot be overemphasized; the study is strongly convinced and think that RBV view is one focal and distinct approach that is focused on internal to outside strategy which engenders sourcing or generating resources internally as well as having the quest to apply such internally sourced resources diligently to increase or gain competitive advantage.
The performance of the tightening equipment will decline with the working process in manufacturing system. The main manifestations are the randomness and discretization degree increasing of the tightening performance. To evaluate the degradation tendency of the tightening performance accurately, a complexity measurement approach based on Kolmogorov entropy is presented. At first, the states of performance index are divided for calibrating the discrete degree. Then the complexity measurement model based on Kolmogorov entropy is built. The model describes the performance degradation tendency of tightening equipment quantitatively. At last, a study case is applied for verifying the efficiency and validity of the approach. The research achievement shows that the presented complexity measurement can effectively evaluate the degradation tendency of the tightening equipment. It can provide theoretical basis for preventive maintenance and life prediction of equipment.
Human trafficking and smuggling of migrants are criminal activities, which are on the rise over recent years. The number of legal migrants arrived in Europe from outside the European Union are far less than those who want to come and settle in Europe. The objective of this paper is to present the impact on economic and social life of significant measures influencing the smuggling of migrants. The analysis is focused on various complex factors which have multiple origins and are highly influential as regard to the process of migration and the smuggling of migrants. The smuggling of migrants is a criminal activity, directly related to migration. The main results show that often the routes chosen for smuggling of migrants are circuitous, as smugglers carefully avoid strictly controlled roads, checkpoints, and countries or jurisdictions where there is efficiency of justice, with particular emphasis on the law on trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants.
Customer experience is increasingly the differentiator between successful companies and those who struggle. Currently, customer experiences become more dynamic; and they advance with each interaction between the company and a customer. Every customer conversation and any effort to evolve these conversations would be beneficial and should ultimately result in a positive customer experience. The aim of this paper is to analyze the evolving customer experience management landscape and the relevant challenges and opportunities. A case study on the “paper machine” companies is chosen. Hence, this paper analyzes the challenges and opportunities in customer experience management of paper machine companies for the case of “road to steel”. Road to steel shows the journey of steel from raw material to end product (i.e. paper machine in this paper). ALPHA (Steel company) and BETA (paper machine company), are chosen and their efforts to evolve the customer experiences are investigated. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with experts in those companies to identify the challenges and opportunities of the evolving customer experience management from their point of view. The findings of this paper contribute to the theory and business practices in the realm of the evolving customer experience management landscape.
Accessibility analysis, examining people’s ability to access facilities and destinations, is a fundamental assessment for transport planning, policy making, and social exclusion research. Dynamic accessibility which measures accessibility in real-time traffic environment has been an advanced accessibility indicator in transport research. It is also a useful indicator to help travelers to understand travel time daily variability, assists traffic engineers to monitor traffic congestions, and finally develop effective strategies in order to mitigate traffic congestions. This research involved real-time traffic information by collecting travel time data with 15-minute interval via the TomTom® API. A framework for measuring dynamic accessibility was then developed based on the gravity theory and accessibility dichotomy theory through space and time interpolation. Finally, the dynamic accessibility can be derived at any given time and location under dynamic accessibility spatial analysis framework.
The purpose of this study is to investigate Alahsa Governorate status and its vulnerability to generate urban heat islands. Alahsa Governorate is a famous oasis in the Arabic Peninsula including several oil centers. Extensive literature review was done to collect previous relative data on the urban heat island of Alahsa Governorate. Data used for the purpose of this research were collected from authorized bodies who control weather station networks over Alahsa Governorate, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Although, the number of weather station networks within the region is very limited and the analysis using GIS software and its techniques is difficult and limited, the data analyzed confirm an increase in temperature for more than 2 °C from 2004 to 2014. Such increase is considerable whenever human health and comfort are the concern. The increase of temperature within one decade confirms the availability of urban heat islands. The study concludes that, Alahsa Governorate is vulnerable to create urban heat islands and more attention should be drawn to strategic planning of the governorate that is developing with a high pace and considerable increasing levels of urbanization.
The choice of applicable analysis methods in safety or systems engineering depends on the depth of knowledge about a system, and on the respective lifecycle phase. However, the analysis method chain still shows gaps as it should support system analysis during the lifecycle of a system from a rough concept in pre-project phase until end-of-life. This paper’s goal is to discuss an analysis method, the VISSE Shell Model Analysis (VISMA) method, which aims at closing the gap in the early system lifecycle phases, like the conceptual or pre-project phase, or the project start phase. It was originally developed to aid in the definition of the system boundary of electronic system parts, like e.g. a control unit for a pump motor. Furthermore, it can be also applied to non-electronic system parts. The VISMA method is a graphical sketch-like method that stratifies a system and its parts in inner and outer shells, like the layers of an onion. It analyses a system in a two-step approach, from the innermost to the outermost components followed by the reverse direction. To ensure a complete view of a system and its environment, the VISMA should be performed by (multifunctional) development teams. To introduce the method, a set of rules and guidelines has been defined in order to enable a proper shell build-up. In the first step, the innermost system, named system under consideration (SUC), is selected, which is the focus of the subsequent analysis. Then, its directly adjacent components, responsible for providing input to and receiving output from the SUC, are identified. These components are the content of the first shell around the SUC. Next, the input and output components to the components in the first shell are identified and form the second shell around the first one. Continuing this way, shell by shell is added with its respective parts until the border of the complete system (external border) is reached. Last, two external shells are added to complete the system view, the environment and the use case shell. This system view is also stored for future use. In the second step, the shells are examined in the reverse direction (outside to inside) in order to remove superfluous components or subsystems. Input chains to the SUC, as well as output chains from the SUC are described graphically via arrows, to highlight functional chains through the system. As a result, this method offers a clear and graphical description and overview of a system, its main parts and environment; however, the focus still remains on a specific SUC. It helps to identify the interfaces and interfacing components of the SUC, as well as important external interfaces of the overall system. It supports the identification of the first internal and external hazard causes and causal chains. Additionally, the method promotes a holistic picture and cross-functional understanding of a system, its contributing parts, internal relationships and possible dangers within a multidisciplinary development team.
Oxytocin is a nine-amino acid peptide synthesized in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin promotes contraction of the uterus during birth and milk ejection during breast feeding. Although oxytocin receptors are found predominantly in the breasts and uterus of females, many tissues and organs express oxytocin receptors, including the pituitary, heart, kidney, thymus, vascular endothelium, adipocytes, osteoblasts, adrenal gland, pancreatic islets, and many cell lines. On the other hand, in pancreatic islets, oxytocin receptors are expressed in both α-cells and β-cells with stronger expression in α- cells. However, to our knowledge there are no reports yet about the effect of oxytocin on cytosolic calcium reaction on α and β-cell. This study aims to investigate the effect of oxytocin on α-cells and β-cells and its oscillation pattern. Islet of Langerhans from wild type mice were isolated by collagenase digestion. Isolated and dissociated single cells either α-cells or β-cells on coverslips were mounted in an open chamber and superfused in HKRB. Cytosolic concentration ([Ca2+]i) in single cells were measured by fura-2 microfluorimetry. After measurement of [Ca2+]i, α-cells were identified by subsequent immunocytochemical staining using an anti-glucagon antiserum. In β-cells, the [Ca2+]i increase in response to oxytocin was observed only under 8.3 mM glucose condition, whereas in α-cells, [Ca2+]i an increase induced by oxytocin was observed in both 2.8 mM and 8.3 mM glucose. The oscillation incidence was induced more frequently in β-cells compared to α-cells. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that oxytocin directly interacts with both α-cells and β-cells and induces increase of [Ca2+]i and its specific patterns.
Gold nanoparticles are commonly synthesized by reducing chloroauric acid with sodium citrate. This method, referred to as the citrate method, can produce spherical gold nanoparticles (NPs) in the size range 10-150 nm. Gold NPs of this size are useful in many applications. However, the NPs are usually polydisperse and irreproducible. A better understanding of the synthesis mechanisms is thus required. This work thoroughly investigated the only model that describes the synthesis. This model combines mass and population balance equations, describing the NPs synthesis through a sequence of chemical reactions. Chloroauric acid reacts with sodium citrate to form aurous chloride and dicarboxy acetone. The latter organizes aurous chloride in a nucleation step and concurrently degrades into acetone. The unconsumed precursor then grows the formed nuclei. However, depending on the pH, both the precursor and the reducing agent react differently thus affecting the synthesis. In this work, we investigated the model for different conditions of pH, temperature and initial reactant concentrations. To solve the model, we used Parsival, a commercial numerical code, whilst to test it, we considered various conditions studied experimentally by different researchers, for which results are available in the literature. The model poorly predicted the experimental data. We believe that this is because the model does not account for the acid-base properties of both chloroauric acid and sodium citrate.
This paper presents a genetic algorithm based permutation and non-permutation scheduling heuristics (GAPNP) to solve a multi-stage finite capacity material requirement planning (FCMRP) problem in automotive assembly flow shop with unrelated parallel machines. In the algorithm, the sequences of orders are iteratively improved by the GA characteristics, whereas the required operations are scheduled based on the presented permutation and non-permutation heuristics. Finally, a linear programming is applied to minimize the total cost. The presented GAPNP algorithm is evaluated by using real datasets from automotive companies. The required parameters for GAPNP are intently tuned to obtain a common parameter setting for all case studies. The results show that GAPNP significantly outperforms the benchmark algorithm about 30% on average.
This paper aims to present non-population search algorithms called tabu search (TS), simulated annealing (SA) and variable neighborhood search (VNS) to minimize the total cost of capacitated MRP problem in multi-stage assembly flow shop with two alternative machines. There are three main steps for the algorithm. Firstly, an initial sequence of orders is constructed by a simple due date-based dispatching rule. Secondly, the sequence of orders is repeatedly improved to reduce the total cost by applying TS, SA and VNS separately. Finally, the total cost is further reduced by optimizing the start time of each operation using the linear programming (LP) model. Parameters of the algorithm are tuned by using real data from automotive companies. The result shows that VNS significantly outperforms TS, SA and the existing algorithm.
In the process to cope with the challenges faced by the automobile industry in providing ride comfort, the electronics and control systems play a vital role. The control systems in an automobile monitor various parameters, controls the performances of the systems, thereby providing better handling characteristics. The automobile suspension system is one of the main systems that ensure the safety, stability and comfort of the passengers. The system is solely responsible for the isolation of the entire automobile from harmful road vibrations. Thus, integration of the control systems in the automobile suspension system would enhance its performance. The diverse road conditions of India demand the need of an efficient suspension system which can provide optimum ride comfort in all road conditions. For any passenger vehicle, the design of the suspension system plays a very important role in assuring the ride comfort and handling characteristics. In recent years, the air suspension system is preferred over the conventional suspension systems to ensure ride comfort. In this article, the ride comfort of the adaptive suspension system is compared with that of the passive suspension system. The schema is created in MATLAB/Simulink environment. The system is controlled by a proportional integral differential controller. Tuning of the controller was done with the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm, since it suited the problem best. Ziegler-Nichols and Modified Ziegler-Nichols tuning methods were also tried and compared. Both the static responses and dynamic responses of the systems were calculated. Various random road profiles as per ISO 8608 standard are modelled in the MATLAB environment and their responses plotted. Open-loop and closed loop responses of the random roads, various bumps and pot holes are also plotted. The simulation results of the proposed design are compared with the available passive suspension system. The obtained results show that the proposed adaptive suspension system is efficient in controlling the maximum over shoot and the settling time of the system is reduced enormously.
Defining professional objectives and the search for work are some of the greatest stress factors for final year university students and recent graduates. To manage correctly the stress brought about by the uncertainty, confusion and frustration this process often generates, a course to control stress based on mindfulness has been designed and taught. This course provides tools based on relaxation, mindfulness and meditation that enable students to address personal and professional challenges in the transition to the job market, eliminating or easing the anxiety involved. The course is extremely practical and experiential, combining theory classes and practical classes of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness, group dynamics, reflection, application protocols and session integration. The evaluation of the courses highlighted on the one hand the high degree of satisfaction and, on the other, the usefulness for the students in becoming aware of stressful situations and how these affect them and learning new coping techniques that enable them to reach their goals more easily and with greater satisfaction and well-being.
Big Data has been attracted a lot of attentions in many fields for analyzing research issues based on a large number of maternal data. Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) is one of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications in Taiwan, used to record starting point, end point, distance and travel time of vehicle on the national freeway. This study, taking advantage of ETC big data, combined with urban planning theory, attempts to explore various phenomena of inter-city transportation activities. ETC, one of government's open data, is numerous, complete and quick-update. One may recall that living area has been delimited with location, population, area and subjective consciousness. However, these factors cannot appropriately reflect what people’s movement path is in daily life. In this study, the concept of "Living Area" is replaced by "Influence Range" to show dynamic and variation with time and purposes of activities. This study uses data mining with Python and Excel, and visualizes the number of trips with GIS to explore influence range of Tainan city and the purpose of trips, and discuss living area delimited in current. It dialogues between the concepts of "Central Place Theory" and "Living Area", presents the new point of view, integrates the application of big data, urban planning and transportation. The finding will be valuable for resource allocation and land apportionment of spatial planning.
This paper aimed to establish econometrical equation models for the Nile delta region in Egypt, which will represent a basement for future predictions of Lumpy skin disease outbreaks and its pathway in relation to climate change. Data of lumpy skin disease (LSD) outbreaks were collected from the cattle farms located in the provinces representing the Nile delta region during 1 January, 2015 to December, 2015. The obtained results indicated that there was a significant association between the degree of the LSD outbreaks and the investigated climate factors (temperature, wind speed, and humidity) and the outbreaks peaked during the months of June, July, and August and gradually decreased to the lowest rate in January, February, and December. The model obtained depicted that the increment of these climate factors were associated with evidently increment on LSD outbreaks on the Nile Delta of Egypt. The model validation process was done by the root mean square error (RMSE) and means bias (MB) which compared the number of LSD outbreaks expected with the number of observed outbreaks and estimated the confidence level of the model. The value of RMSE was 1.38% and MB was 99.50% confirming that this established model described the current association between the LSD outbreaks and the change on climate factors and also can be used as a base for predicting the of LSD outbreaks depending on the climatic change on the future.
Most developing nations face energy production and supply problems. This is also the case of Afghanistan whose generating capacity does not meet its energy demand. This is due in part to high security and risk caused by war which deters foreign investments and insufficient internal revenue. To address the issue above, this paper would like to suggest an alternative and affordable way to deal with the energy problem. That is by converting Solid Waste to energy. As a result, this approach tackles the municipal solid waste issue (potential cause of several diseases), contributes to the improvement of the quality of life, local economy, and so on. While addressing the solid waste problem in general, this paper samples specifically one municipality which is District-12, one of the 22 districts of Kabul city. Using geographic information system (GIS) technology, District-12 is divided into nine different zones whose municipal solid waste is respectively collected, processed, and converted into electricity and distributed to the closest area. It is important to mention that GIS has been used to estimate the amount of electricity to be distributed and to optimally position the production plant.
As part of the regulatory compliance process and the streamlining of public administration, the Peruvian government has implemented the National E-Government Plan in all state institutions with the aim of providing citizens with solid services based on the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). As part of the regulations, the requisites to be met by public institutions have been submitted. However, the lack of an implementation model was detected, one that can serve as a guide to such institutions in order to materialize the organizational and technological structures needed, which allow them to provide the required digital services. This paper develops an implementation model of electronic government (e-government) for Peru’s state institutions, in compliance with current regulations based on a COBIT 5.0 framework. Furthermore, the paper introduces phase 1 of this model: business and IT goals, the goals cascade and the future model of processes.
For certification, certain goods of public interest, such as medicines and food, it is required the preparation and delivery of a dossier. For its elaboration, legal and administrative knowledge must be taken, as well as organization of the documents of the process, and an order that allows the file verification. Therefore, a virtual platform was developed to support the process of management and elaboration of the dossier, providing accessibility to the information and interfaces that allow the user to know the status of projects. The development of dossier system on the cloud allows the inclusion of the technical requirements for the software management, including the validation and the manufacturing in the field industry. The platform guides and facilitates the dossier elaboration (report, file or history), considering Mexican legislation and regulations, it also has auxiliary tools for its management. This technological alternative provides organization support for documents and accessibility to the information required to specify the successful development of a dossier. The platform divides into the following modules: System control, catalog, dossier and enterprise management. The modules are designed per the structure required in a dossier in those areas. However, the structure allows for flexibility, as its goal is to become a tool that facilitates and does not obstruct processes. The architecture and development of the software allows flexibility for future work expansion to other fields, this would imply feeding the system with new regulations.
This paper concerns with the problem of deep learning parameters tuning using a genetic algorithm (GA) in order to improve the performance of deep learning (DL) method. We present a GA based DL method for robot object recognition and grasping. GA is used to optimize the DL parameters in learning procedure in term of the fitness function that is good enough. After finishing the evolution process, we receive the optimal number of DL parameters. To evaluate the performance of our method, we consider the object recognition and robot grasping tasks. Experimental results show that our method is efficient for robot object recognition and grasping.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of radon remedial action in a school on the Ischia island, South Italy, affected by indoor radon concentration higher than the value of 500 Bq/m3. This value is the limit imposed by the Italian legislation, to above which corrective actions in schools are necessary. Before the application of remedial action, indoor radon concentrations were measured in 9 rooms of the school. The measurements were performed with LR-115 passive alpha detectors (SSNTDs) and E-Perm. The remedial action was conducted in one of the office affected by high radon concentration using a Radonstop paint applied after the construction of a concrete slab under the floor. The effect of remedial action was the reduction of the concentration of radon of 41% and moreover it has demonstrated to be durable over time. The chosen method is cheap and easy to apply and it could be designed for various types of building. This method can be applied to new and existing buildings that show high dose values.
Higher Education system reforms, especially Finnish system of Universities of Applied Sciences in 2014 are discussed. The new steering model is based on major legislative changes, output-oriented funding and open information. The governmental steering reform, especially the financial model and the resulting institutional level responses, such as a curriculum reforms are discussed, focusing especially in engineering programs. The paper is motivated by management need to establish objective steering-related performance indicators and to apply them consistently across all educational programs. The close relationship to governmental steering and funding model imply that internally derived indicators can be directly applied. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) as a case institution is briefly introduced, focusing on engineering education in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and its related programs. The reform forced consolidation of previously separate smaller programs into fewer units of student application. New curriculum ICT students have a common first year before they apply for a Major. A framework of parallel and longitudinal comparisons is introduced and used across Majors in two campuses. The new externally introduced performance criteria are applied internally on ICT Majors using data ex-ante and ex-post of program merger. A comparative performance of the Majors after completion of joint first year is established, focusing on previously omitted Majors for completeness of analysis. Some new research questions resulting from transfer of Majors between campuses and quota setting are discussed. Practical orientation identifies best practices to share or targets needing most attention for improvement. This level of analysis is directly applicable at student group and teaching team level, where corrective actions are possible, when identified. The analysis is quantitative and the nature of the corrective actions are not discussed. Causal relationships and factor analysis are omitted, because campuses, their staff and various pedagogical implementation details contain still too many undetermined factors for our limited data. Such qualitative analysis is left for further research. Further study must, however, be guided by the relevance of the observations.
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.
The aim of this study is to moderate the dependence of counter frictional coefficient on temperature between counter surfaces and to reduce the wear of C/C composites at low temperature. To modify the C/C composites, Silica (SiO2) powders were added into phenolic resin for carbon precursor. The preform plate of the precursor of C/C composites was prepared by conventional filament winding method. The C/C composites plates were obtained by carbonizing preform plate at 2200 °C under an argon atmosphere. At that time, the silicon carbides (SiC) were synthesized around the surfaces and the internal vacancies of the C/C composites. The frictional coefficient on the counter surfaces and specific wear volumes of the C/C composites were measured by our developed frictional test machine like pin-on disk type. The XRD indicated that SiC was synthesized in the body of C/C composite fabricated by current method. The results of friction test showed that coefficient of friction of unmodified C/C composites have temperature dependence when the test condition was changed. In contrast, frictional coefficient of the C/C composite modified with SiO2 powders was almost constant at about 0.27 when the temperature condition was changed from Room Temperature (RT) to 300 °C. The specific wear rate decreased from 25×10-6 mm2/N to 0.1×10-6 mm2/N. The observations of the surfaces after friction tests showed that the frictional surface of the modified C/C composites was covered with a film produced by the friction. This study found that synthesizing SiC around surface and internal vacancies of C/C composites was effective to moderate the dependence on the frictional coefficient and reduce to the abrasion of C/C composites.
Conservation of historical urban patterns in the traditional neighborhoods is a part of creating integrated urban environments that are socially more sustainable. Urbanization reflects on life conditions and social, physical, economical characteristics of the society. In this regard, historical zones and traditional regions are affected by dramatic interventions on these characteristics. This article focuses on the Uch Dukkan neighborhood located in Ardabil City in Azarbaijani region of Iran, which has been up to such interventions that leaded its transformation from the past to the present. After introducing a brief inventory of the main elements of the historical zone and the neighborhood; this study explores the changes and transformations in different periods; and their impacts on the quality of the environment and its social sustainability. The survey conducted in the neighborhood as part of this research study revealed that the Uch Dukkan neighborhood and the unique architectural heritage that it possesses have become more inactive physically and functionally in a decade. This condition requires an exploration and comparison of the present and the expected transformations of the meaning of social space from the most private unit to the urban scale. From this token, it is argued that an architectural point of view that is based on space order; use and meaning of space as a social and cultural image, should not be ignored. Based on the interplay between social sustainability, collective memory, and the urban environment, study aims to make the invisible portion of ignorance clear, that ends up with a weakness in defining the collective meaning of the neighborhood as a historic urban district. It reveals that the spatial possessions of the neighborhood are valuable not only for their historical and physical characteristics, but also for their social memory that is to be remembered and constructed further.
The iron content of the ore used is crucial for the productivity and coke consumption rate in blast furnace pig iron production. Therefore, most iron ore deposits are processed in beneficiation plants to increase the iron content and remove impurities. In several comminution stages, the particle size of the ore is reduced to ensure that the iron oxides are physically liberated from the gangue. Subsequently, physical separation processes are applied to concentrate the iron ore. The fine-grained ore concentrates produced need to be transported, stored, and processed. For smooth operation of these processes, the flow properties of the material are crucial. The flowability of powders depends on several properties of the material: grain size, grain size distribution, grain shape, and moisture content of the material. The flowability of powders can be measured using ring shear testers. In this study, the influence of the moisture content on the flowability for the Krivoy Rog magnetite iron ore concentrate was investigated. Dry iron ore concentrate was mixed with varying amounts of water to produce samples with a moisture content in the range of 0.2 to 12.2%. The flowability of the samples was investigated using a Schulze ring shear tester. At all measured values of the normal stress (1.0 kPa – 20 kPa), the flowability decreased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3-5%. At higher moisture contents, the flowability was nearly constant, while at the maximum moisture content the flowability improved for high values of the normal stress only. The results also showed an improving flowability with increasing consolidation stress for all moisture content levels investigated. The wall friction angle of the dust with carbon steel (S235JR), and an ultra-high molecule low-pressure polyethylene (Robalon) was also investigated. The wall friction angle increased significantly from dry ore to a moisture content of approximately 3%. For higher moisture content levels, the wall friction angles were nearly constant. Generally, the wall friction angle was approximately 4° lower at the higher wall normal stress.
Producer gas is a biomass derived gaseous fuel which is extensively used in internal combustion engines for power generation application. Unlike the conventional hydrocarbon fuels (Gasoline and Natural gas), the combustion properties of producer gas fuel are much different. Therefore, setting of optimal spark time for efficient engine operation is required. Owing to the fluctuating tendency of producer gas composition during gasification process, the heat release patterns (dictating the power output and emissions) obtained are quite different from conventional fuels. It was found that, valve lift timing is yet another factor which influences the burn rate of producer gas fuel, and thus, the heat release rate of the engine. Therefore, the present study was motivated to estimate the influence of valve lift timing analytically (Wiebe model) on the burn rate of producer gas through curve fitting against experimentally obtained mass fraction burn curves of several producer gas compositions. Furthermore, Wiebe models are widely used in zero-dimensional codes for engine parametric studies and are quite popular. This study also addresses the influence of hydrogen and methane concentration of producer gas on combustion trends, which are known to cause dynamics in engine combustion.
Motion estimation occupies the heaviest computation in HEVC (high efficiency video coding). Many fast algorithms such as TZS (test zone search) have been proposed to reduce the computation. Still the huge computation of the motion estimation is a critical issue in the implementation of HEVC video codec. In this paper, motion estimator architecture with optimized number of PEs (processing element) is presented by exploiting early termination. It also reduces hardware size by exploiting parallel processing. The presented motion estimator architecture has 8 PEs, and it can efficiently perform TZS with very high utilization of PEs.
In this paper, the general Riccati equation is analytically solved by a new transformation. By the method developed, looking at the transformed equation, whether or not an explicit solution can be obtained is readily determined. Since the present method does not require a proper solution for the general solution, it is especially suitable for equations whose proper solutions cannot be seen at first glance. Since the transformed second order linear equation obtained by the present transformation has the simplest form that it can have, it is immediately seen whether or not the original equation can be solved analytically. The present method is exemplified by several examples.
Head injury in childhood is a common cause of death or permanent disability from injury. However, despite its frequency and significance, there is little understanding of how a child’s head responds during injurious loading. Whilst Infant Post Mortem Human Subject (PMHS) experimentation is a logical approach to understand injury biomechanics, it is the authors’ opinion that a lack of subject availability is hindering potential progress. Computer modelling adds great value when considering adult populations; however, its potential remains largely untapped for infant surrogates. The complexities of child growth and development, which result in age dependent changes in anatomy, geometry and physical response characteristics, present new challenges for computational simulation. Further geometric challenges are presented by the intricate infant cranial bones, which are separated by sutures and fontanelles and demonstrate a visible fibre orientation. This study presents an FE model of a newborn infant’s head, developed from high-resolution computer tomography scans, informed by published tissue material properties. To mimic the fibre orientation of immature cranial bone, anisotropic properties were applied to the FE cranial bone model, with elastic moduli representing the bone response both parallel and perpendicular to the fibre orientation. Biofiedility of the computational model was confirmed by global validation against published PMHS data, by replicating experimental impact tests with a series of computational simulations, in terms of head kinematic responses. Numerical results confirm that the FE head model’s mechanical response is in favourable agreement with the PMHS drop test results.
Absolute pitch is the ability to identify a musical note without a reference tone. Training for absolute pitch often occurs in preschool education. It is necessary to clarify how well the trainee can make use of synesthesia in order to evaluate the effect of the training. To the best of our knowledge, there are no existing methods for objectively confirming whether the subject is using synesthesia. Therefore, in this study, we present a method to distinguish the use of color-auditory synesthesia from the separate use of color and audition during absolute pitch training. This method measures blood volume in the prefrontal cortex using functional Near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and assumes that the cognitive step has two parts, a non-linear step and a linear step. For the linear step, we assume a second order ordinary differential equation. For the non-linear part, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to create an inverse filter of such a complex system as the brain. Therefore, we apply a method based on a self-organizing map (SOM) and are guided by the available data. The presented method was tested using 15 subjects, and the estimation accuracy is reported.
Subjective time perception implies connection to cognitive functions, attention, memory and awareness, but a little is known about connections with homeostatic states of the body coordinated by circadian clock. In this paper, we present results from experimental study of subjective time perception in volunteers performing physical activity on treadmill in various phases of their circadian rhythms. Subjects were exposed to several time illusions simulated by programmed timing systems. This study brings better understanding for further improvement of of work quality in isolated areas.
In the present study an attempt has been made to re-engineer traditional wadi into wholesome ready-to-use cereal-pulse-based chunks rich in protein quality and fibre content. Chunks were made using extrusion-dehydration combination. Two formulations i.e., whole green gram dhal with instant oats and washed green gram dhal with whole oats were formulated. These chunks are versatile in nature as they can be easily incorporated in day-to-day home-made preparations such as pulao, potato curry and kadhi. Cereal-pulse ratio was calculated using NDpCal%. Limiting amino acids such as lysine, tryptophan, methionine, cysteine and threonine were calculated for maximum amino acid profile in cereal-pulse combination. Time-temperature combination for extrusion at 130oC and dehydration at 65oC for 7 hours and 15 minutes were standardized to obtain maximum protein and fibre content. Proximate analysis such as moisture, fat and ash content were analyzed. Protein content of formulation was 62.10% and 68.50% respectively. Fibre content of formulations was 2.99% and 2.45%, respectively. Using a 5-point hedonic scale, consumer preference trials of 102 consumers were conducted and analyzed. Evaluation of chunks prepared in potato curry, kadi and pulao showed preferences for colour 82%, 87%, 86%, texture and consistency 80%, 81%, 88%, flavour and aroma 74%, 82%, 86%, after taste 70%, 75%, 86% and overall acceptability 77%, 75%, 88% respectively. High temperature inactivates antinutritional compounds such as trypsin inhibitors, lectins, saponins etc. Hence, availability of protein content was increased. Developed products were palatable and easy to prepare.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental illnesses today. It is believed to be caused by a combination of several factors, including stress. Stress can be quantitatively evaluated using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), one of the best indices to evaluate anxiety. Although STAI scores are widely used in applications ranging from clinical diagnosis to basic research, the scores are calculated based on a self-reported questionnaire. An objective evaluation is required because the subject may intentionally change his/her answers if multiple tests are carried out. In this article, we present a modified index called the “multi-channel Laterality Index at Rest (mc-LIR)” by recording the brain activity from a wider area of the frontal lobe using multi-channel functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The presented index aims to measure multiple positions near the Fpz defined by the international 10-20 system positioning. Using 24 subjects, the dependencies on the number of measuring points used to calculate the mc-LIR and its correlation coefficients with the STAI scores are reported. Furthermore, a simple linear regression was performed to estimate the STAI scores from mc-LIR. The cross-validation error is also reported. The experimental results show that using multiple positions near the Fpz will improve the correlation coefficients and estimation than those using only two positions.
In this paper, the design of integrated sleep scheduling for relay nodes and user equipments under a Donor eNB (DeNB) in the mode of Time Division Duplex (TDD) in LTE-A is presented. The idea of virtual time is proposed to deal with the discontinuous pattern of the available radio resource in TDD, and based on the estimation of the traffic load, three power saving schemes in the top-down strategy are presented. Associated mechanisms in each scheme including calculation of the virtual subframe capacity, the algorithm of integrated sleep scheduling, and the mapping mechanisms for the backhaul link and the access link are presented in the paper. Simulation study shows the advantage of the proposed schemes in energy saving over the standard DRX scheme.
The organic–inorganic hybrid perovskite-like [C6H5C2H4NH3]2ZnCl4 (PEA-ZnCl4) was synthesized by saturated solutions method. X-ray powder diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, UV-visible transmittance, and capacitance meter measurements have been used to characterize the structure, the functional groups, the optical parameters, and the dielectric constants of the material. The material has a layered structure. The optical transmittance (T %) was recorded and applied to deduce the absorption coefficient (α) and optical band gap (Eg). The hybrid shows an insulator character with a direct band gap about 4.46 eV, and presents high dielectric constants up to a frequency of about 105 Hz, which suggests a ferroelectric behavior. The reported optical and dielectric properties can help to understand the fundamental properties of perovskite materials and also to be used for optimizing or designing new devices.
κ-casein is one of milk proteins which are very important for milk processing. Genotypes of κ-casein affect milk yield, fat, and protein content. The main factors which affect local Latvian dairy breed milk yield and composition are analyzed in research. Data were collected from 88 Latvian brown and 82 Latvian blue cows in 2015. AA genotype was 0.557 in Latvian brown and 0.232 in Latvian blue breed. BB genotype was 0.034 in Latvian brown and 0.207 in Latvian blue breed. Highest milk yield was observed in Latvian brown (5131.2 ± 172.01 kg), significantly high fat content and fat yield also was in Latvian brown (p < 0.05). Significant differences between κ-casein genotypes were not found in Latvian brown, but highest milk yield (5057 ± 130.23 kg), protein content (3.42 ± 0.03%), and protein yield (171.9 ± 4.34 kg) were with AB genotype. Significantly high fat content was observed in Latvian blue breed with BB genotype (4.29 ± 0.17%) compared with AA genotypes (3.42 ± 0.19). Similar tendency was found in protein content – 3.27 ± 0.16% with BB genotype and 2.59 ± 0.16% with AA genotype (p < 0.05). Milk yield increases by increasing parity. We did not obtain major tendency of changes of milk fat and protein content according parity.
This paper outlines the design and development of the MENDEPRO questionnaire, designed to analyze mentoring performance within a professional development process carried out with professors at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. The study took into account the international research carried out over the past two decades into teachers' professional development, and was also based on a thorough review of the most common instruments used to identify and analyze mentoring styles, many of which fail to provide sufficient psychometric guarantees. The present study aimed to gather empirical data in order to verify the metric quality of the questionnaire developed. To this end, the process followed to validate the theoretical construct was as follows: The formulation of the items and indicators in accordance with the study variables; the analysis of the validity and reliability of the initial questionnaire; the review of the second version of the questionnaire and the definitive measurement instrument. Content was validated through the formal agreement and consensus of 12 university professor training experts. A reduced sample of professors who had participated in a lifelong learning program was then selected for a trial evaluation of the instrument developed. After the trial, 18 items were removed from the initial questionnaire. The final version of the instrument, comprising 33 items, was then administered to a sample group of 99 participants. The results revealed a five-dimensional structure matching theoretical expectations. Also, the reliability data for both the instrument as a whole (.98) and its various dimensions (between .91 and .97) were very high. The questionnaire was thus found to have satisfactory psychometric properties and can therefore be considered apt for studying the performance of mentoring in both induction programs for young professors and lifelong learning programs for senior faculty members.
In this paper, the BP neural network model is established to predict the carbon trading price and carbon trading volume in Shanghai City. First of all, we find the data of carbon trading price and carbon trading volume in Shanghai City from September 30, 2015 to December 23, 2016. The carbon trading price and trading volume data were processed to get the average value of each 5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 carbon trading price and trading volume. Then, these data are used as input of BP neural network model. Finally, after the training of BP neural network, the prediction values of Shanghai carbon trading price and trading volume are obtained, and the model is tested.
One of the main characteristics of Heavy Water Moderated Reactors is their high production of plutonium. This article demonstrates the possibility of reduction of plutonium and other actinides in Heavy Water Research Reactor. Among the many ways for reducing plutonium production in a heavy water reactor, in this research, changing the fuel from natural Uranium fuel to Thorium-Uranium mixed fuel was focused. The main fissile nucleus in Thorium-Uranium fuels is U-233 which would be produced after neutron absorption by Th-232, so the Thorium-Uranium fuels have some known advantages compared to the Uranium fuels. Due to this fact, four Thorium-Uranium fuels with different compositions ratios were chosen in our simulations; a) 10% UO2-90% THO2 (enriched= 20%); b) 15% UO2-85% THO2 (enriched= 10%); c) 30% UO2-70% THO2 (enriched= 5%); d) 35% UO2-65% THO2 (enriched= 3.7%). The natural Uranium Oxide (UO2) is considered as the reference fuel, in other words all of the calculated data are compared with the related data from Uranium fuel. Neutronic parameters were calculated and used as the comparison parameters. All calculations were performed by Monte Carol (MCNPX2.6) steady state reaction rate calculation linked to a deterministic depletion calculation (CINDER90). The obtained computational data showed that Thorium-Uranium fuels with four different fissile compositions ratios can satisfy the safety and operating requirements for Heavy Water Research Reactor. Furthermore, Thorium-Uranium fuels have a very good proliferation resistance and consume less fissile material than uranium fuels at the same reactor operation time. Using mixed Thorium-Uranium fuels reduced the long-lived α emitter, high radiotoxic wastes and the radio toxicity level of spent fuel.
A nonlinear study of triple diffusive convection in a rotating couple stress liquid has been analysed. It is performed to study the effect of heat and mass transfer by deriving Ginzburg-Landau equation. Heat and mass transfer are quantified in terms of Nusselt number and Sherwood numbers, which are obtained as a function of thermal and solute Rayleigh numbers. The obtained Ginzburg-Landau equation is Bernoulli equation, and it has been elucidated numerically by using Mathematica. The effects of couple stress parameter, solute Rayleigh numbers, and Taylor number on the onset of convection and heat and mass transfer have been examined. It is found that the effects of couple stress parameter and Taylor number are to stabilize the system and to increase the heat and mass transfer.
Europe is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, in which tourism occupies a significant place among the most relevant economic activities, and this applies to the Republic of Croatia as well. Based on this study, the authors intended to encourage and support the creation of an effective tourism policy in Croatia that would be based on the profiling of certain target groups. Another objective was to compare the results obtained from the customer analysis with the market analysis of the tourism industry in Croatia. The objective is to adapt the current tourist offer according to the identified needs and expectations of a particular tourist group in order to increase the attractiveness of Croatia as a tourist destination and motivate greater attendance of the targeted tourist groups. The current research was oriented towards the Russian market as the target group. Therefore, the authors wanted to encourage a discussion on how to attract more Russian guests. Consequently, the intention of the research was a detailed analysis of Russian tourists, in order to gain a better understanding of their travelling motives and tendencies. Furthermore, attention was paid to the expectations of Russian customers and to compare them with the Croatian tourist offer, and to determine whether there is a possibility for an overlap. The method used to obtain the information required was a survey conducted among Russian citizens about their travelling habits. The research was carried out on the basis of 166 participants of different age, gender, profession and income group. The sampling and distribution of the survey took place between May and July 2016. The results provided from the research indicate that Croatian tourism has certain unrealized potential considering the popularization of Croatia as a tourist destination, and there is a capacity for increasing the revenues within the group of Russian tourists. Such a conclusion is based on the fact that the Croatian tourist offer and the preferences of the Russian guests are compatible, i.e. they overlap in many aspects. The results demonstrate that beautiful nature, cultural and historical heritage as well as the sun and sea, play a leading role in attracting more Russian tourists. It is precisely these elements that form the three pillars of the Croatian tourist offer. On the other hand, the profiling revealed that the most desirable destinations for the Russian guests are Italy and Spain, both of which provide the same main tourist attractions as Croatia. Therefore, the focus of the strategic ideas given in the paper shifted to other tourism segments, such as type of accommodation, sales channels, travel motives, additional offer and seasonality etc., in order to gain advantage in the Russian market, the Mediterranean region and tourism in general. The purpose of the research is to serve as a foundation for analysing the attractiveness of the other tourist destinations in the Russian market, as well as to be a general basis for a more detailed profiling of the various specific target groups of the Russian and other tourist groups.
Many organizations are faced with the challenge of how to analyze and build Machine Learning models using their sensitive telemetry data. In this paper, we discuss how users can leverage the power of R without having to move their big data around as well as a cloud based solution for organizations willing to host their data in the cloud. By using ScaleR technology to benefit from parallelization and remote computing or R Services on premise or in the cloud, users can leverage the power of R at scale without having to move their data around.
Since additive manufacturing technologies constantly advance, the use of this technology in mold making seems reasonable. Many manufacturers of additive manufacturing machines, however, do not offer any suggestions on how to parameterize the machine to achieve optimal results for mold making. The purpose of this research is to determine the interdependencies of different materials and parameters within the PolyJet process by using design of experiments (DoE), to additively manufacture molds, e.g. for thermoforming and injection molding applications. Therefore, the general requirements of thermoforming molds, such as heat resistance, surface quality and hardness, have been identified. Then, different materials and parameters of the PolyJet process, such as the orientation of the printed part, the layer thickness, the printing mode (matte or glossy), the distance between printed parts and the scaling of parts, have been examined. The multifactorial analysis covers the following properties of the printed samples: Tensile strength, tensile modulus, bending strength, elongation at break, surface quality, heat deflection temperature and surface hardness. The key objective of this research is that by joining the results from the DoE with the requirements of the mold making, optimal and tailored molds can be additively manufactured with the PolyJet process. These additively manufactured molds can then be used in prototyping processes, in process testing and in small to medium batch production.
High performance concrete is not only characterized by its high strength, workability, and durability but also by its smartness in performance without human care since the first day. If the concrete can cure on its own without external curing without compromising its strength and durability, then it is said to be high performance self-curing concrete. In this paper, an attempt is made on the performance study of internally cured concrete using biomaterials, namely Spinacea pleracea and Calatropis gigantea as self-curing agents, and it is compared with the performance of concrete with existing self-cure chemical, namely polyethylene glycol. The present paper focuses on workability, strength, and durability study on M20, M30, and M40 grade concretes replacing 30% of fly ash for cement. The optimum dosage of Spinacea pleracea, Calatropis gigantea, and polyethylene glycol was taken as 0.6%, 0.24%, and 0.3% by weight of cement from the earlier research studies. From the slump tests performed, it was found that there is a minimum variation between conventional concrete and self-cured concrete. The strength activity index is determined by keeping compressive strength of conventionally cured concrete for 28 days as unity and observed that, for self-cured concrete, it is more than 1 after 28 days and more than 1.15 after 56 days because of secondary reaction of fly ash. The performance study of concretes in aggressive environment like acid attack, sea water attack, and chloride attack was made, and the results are positive and encouraging in bio-self-cured concretes which are ecofriendly, cost effective, and high performance materials.
Mentoring is provided by professionals with a higher level of experience and competence as part of the professional development of a university faculty. This paper explores the characteristics of the mentoring provided by those teachers participating in the development of an active methodology program run at the University of the Basque Country: to examine and to analyze mentors’ performance with the aim of providing empirical evidence regarding its value as a lifelong learning strategy for teaching staff. A total of 183 teachers were trained during the first three programs. The analysis method uses a coding technique and is based on flexible, systematic guidelines for gathering and analyzing qualitative data. The results have confirmed the conception of mentoring as a methodological innovation in higher education. In short, university teachers in general assessed the mentoring they received positively, considering it to be a valid, useful strategy in their professional development. They highlighted the methodological expertise of their mentor and underscored how they monitored the learning process of the active method and provided guidance and advice when necessary. Finally, they also drew attention to traits such as availability, personal commitment and flexibility in. However, a minority critique is pointed to some aspects of the performance of some mentors.
Adverse weather conditions, particularly those with low visibility, are critical to the driving tasks. However, the direct relationship between visibility distances and traffic flow/roadway safety is uncertain due to the limitation of visibility data availability. The recent growth of deployment of Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) makes segment-specific visibility information available which can be integrated with other Intelligent Transportation System, such as automated warning system and variable speed limit, to improve mobility and safety. Before applying the RWIS visibility measurements in traffic study and operations, it is critical to validate the data. Therefore, an attempt was made in the paper to examine the validity and viability of RWIS visibility data by comparing visibility measurements among RWIS, airport weather stations, and weather information recorded by police in crash reports, based on Ohio data. The results indicated that RWIS visibility measurements were significantly different from airport visibility data in Ohio, but no conclusion regarding the reliability of RWIS visibility could be drawn in the consideration of no verified ground truth in the comparisons. It was suggested that more objective methods are needed to validate the RWIS visibility measurements, such as continuous in-field measurements associated with various weather events using calibrated visibility sensors.
Nitrogen implantation in aluminum and its alloys is acquainted for the difficulties in obtaining modified layers deeper than 200 nm. The present work addresses a new method to overcome such a problem; although, the coating with nitrogen and oxygen obtained by plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) into a 7075 aluminum alloy surface was too shallow. This alloy is commonly used for structural parts in aerospace applications. Such a layer was characterized by secondary ion mass spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and nanoindentation experiments reciprocating wear tests. From the results, one can assume that the wear of this aluminum alloy starts presenting severe abrasive wear followed by an additional adhesive mechanism. PIII produced a slight difference, as shown in all characterizations carried out in this work. The results shown here can be used as the scientific basis for further nitrogen PIII experiments in aluminum alloys which have the goal to produce thicker modified layers or to improve their surface properties.
This paper presents the method of trajectory planning by the robot end-effector which accounts for more accurate and smooth differential geometry of the ruled surface generated by tool line fixed with end-effector based on the methods of curvature theory of ruled surface and the dual curvature theory, and focuses on the underlying relation to unite them for enhancing the efficiency for trajectory planning. Robot motion can be represented as motion properties of the ruled surface generated by trajectory of the Tool Center Point (TCP). The linear and angular properties of the six degree-of-freedom motion of end-effector are computed using the explicit formulas and functions from curvature theory and dual curvature theory. This paper explains the complete dualization of ruled surface and shows that the linear and angular motion applied using the method of dual curvature theory is more accurate and less complex.
Among the various developing countries in the world like China, Malaysia, Korea etc., India is also developing its infrastructures in the form of Road/Rail/Airports and Waterborne facilities at an exponential rate. Mumbai, the financial epicenter of India is overcrowded and to relieve the pressure of congestion, Navi Mumbai suburb is being developed on the east bank of Thane creek near Mumbai. The government due to limited space at existing Mumbai Airports (domestic and international) to cater for the future demand of airborne traffic, proposes to build a new international airport near Panvel at Navi Mumbai. Considering the precedence of extreme rainfall on 26th July 2005 and nearby townships being in a low-lying area, wherein new airport is proposed, it is inevitable to study this complex confluence area from a hydrodynamic consideration under both tidal and extreme events (predicted discharge hydrographs), to avoid inundation of the surrounding due to the proposed airport reclamation (1160 hectares) and to determine the safe grade elevation (SGE). The model studies conducted using the application of unstructured mesh to simulate the Panvel estuarine area (93 km2), calibration, validation of a model for hydraulic field measurements and determine the maxima water levels around the airport for various extreme hydrodynamic events, namely the simultaneous occurrence of highest tide from the Arabian Sea and peak flood discharges (Probable Maximum Precipitation and 26th July 2005) from five rivers, the Gadhi, Kalundri, Taloja, Kasadi and Ulwe, meeting at the proposed airport area revealed that: (a) The Ulwe River flowing beneath the proposed airport needs to be diverted. The 120m wide proposed Ulwe diversion channel having a wider base width of 200 m at SH-54 Bridge on the Ulwe River along with the removal of the existing bund in Moha Creek is inevitable to keep the SGE of the airport to a minimum. (b) The clear waterway of 80 m at SH-54 Bridge (Ulwe River) and 120 m at Amra Marg Bridge near Moha Creek is also essential for the Ulwe diversion and (c) The river bank protection works on the right bank of Gadhi River between the NH-4B and SH-54 bridges as well as upstream of the Ulwe River diversion channel are essential to avoid inundation of low lying areas. The maxima water levels predicted around the airport keeps SGE to a minimum of 11m with respect to Chart datum of Ulwe Bundar and thus development is not only technologically-economically feasible but also sustainable. The unstructured mesh modeling is a promising tool to simulate complex extreme hydrodynamic events and provides a reliable solution to evolve optimal SGE of airport.
In general, fabric is heat-treated using a stenter machine in order to dry and fix its shape. It is important to shape before the heat treatment because it is difficult to revert back once the fabric is formed. To produce the product of right shape, camera type weft straightener has been applied recently to capture and process fabric images quickly. It is more powerful in determining the final textile quality rather than photo-sensor. Positioning in front of a stenter machine, weft straightener helps to spread fabric evenly and control the angle between warp and weft constantly as right angle by handling skew and bow rollers. To process this tricky procedure, the structural analysis should be carried out in advance, based on which, its control technology can be drawn. A structural analysis is to figure out the specific contact/slippage characteristics between fabric and roller. We already examined the applicability of camera type weft straightener to plain weave fabric and found its possibility and the specific working condition of machine and rollers. In this research, we aimed to explore another applicability of camera type weft straightener. Namely, we tried to figure out camera type weft straightener can be used for fabrics. To find out the optimum condition, we increased the number of rollers. The analysis is done by ANSYS software using Finite Element Analysis method. The control function is demonstrated by experiment. In conclusion, the structural analysis of weft straightener is done to identify a specific characteristic between roller and fabrics. The control of skew and bow roller is done to decrease the error of the angle between warp and weft. Finally, it is proved that camera type straightener can also be used for the special fabrics.
This work investigates a mathematical study for traffic flow and traffic density in Kigali city roads and the data collected from the national police of Rwanda in 2012. While working on this topic, some mathematical models were used in order to analyze and compare traffic variables. This work has been carried out on Kigali roads specifically at roundabouts from Kigali Business Center (KBC) to Prince House as our study sites. In this project, we used some mathematical tools to analyze the data collected and to understand the relationship between traffic variables. We applied the Poisson distribution method to analyze and to know the number of accidents occurred in this section of the road which is from KBC to Prince House. The results show that the accidents that occurred in 2012 were at very high rates due to the fact that this section has a very narrow single lane on each side which leads to high congestion of vehicles, and consequently, accidents occur very frequently. Using the data of speeds and densities collected from this section of road, we found that the increment of the density results in a decrement of the speed of the vehicle. At the point where the density is equal to the jam density the speed becomes zero. The approach is promising in capturing sudden changes on flow patterns and is open to be utilized in a series of intelligent management strategies and especially in noncurrent congestion effect detection and control.
The application of marketing to the domain of politics has become relevant in recent times. With this article the authors wanted to explore the issue of the current political engagement among young people in Croatia. The question is what makes young people (age 18-30) politically active in young democracies such as that of the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, the objective of this study was to discover the real or hidden motivations behind the decision to actively participate in politics among young members of the two largest political parties in the country – the Croatian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. The study expected to find that the motivation for political engagement of young people is often connected with a possible achievement of individual goals and egoistic needs such as: self-acceptance, social success, financial success, prestige, reputation, status, recognition from the others etc. It was also expected that, due to the poor economic and social situation in the country, young people feel an increasing disconnection from politics. Additionally, the authors expected to find that there is a huge potential to engage young people in the political life of the country through a proper and more interactive use of marketing communication campaigns and social media platforms, with an emphasis on highly ethical motives of political activity and their benefits to society. All respondents included in the quantitative survey (sample size [N=100]) are active in one of the two largest political parties in Croatia. The sampling and distribution of the survey occurred in the field in September 2016. The results of the survey demonstrate that in Croatia, the way young people feel about politics and act accordingly, are in fact similar to what the theory describes. The research findings reveal that young people are politically active; however, the challenge is to find a way to motivate even more young people in Croatia to actively participate in the political and democratic processes in the country and to encourage them to see additional benefits out of this practice, not only related to their individual motives, but related more to the well-being of Croatia as a country and of every member of society. The research also discovered a huge potential for political marketing communication possibilities, especially related to interactive social media. It is possible that the social media channels have a stronger influence on the decision-making process among young people when compared to groups of reference. The level of interest in politics among young Croatians varies; some of them are almost indifferent, whilst others express a serious interest in different ways to actively contribute to the political life of the country, defining a participation in the political life of their country almost as their moral obligation. However, additional observations and further research need to be conducted to get a clearer and more precise picture about the interest in politics among young people in Croatia and their social potential.
This paper presents an approach to reduce some of its current flaws in the requirements phase inside the software development process. It takes the software requirements of an application, makes a conceptual modeling about it and formalizes it within JSON documents. This formal model is lodged in a NoSQL database which is document-oriented, that is, MongoDB, because of its advantages in flexibility and efficiency. In addition, this paper underlines the contributions of the detailed approach and shows some applications and benefits for the future work in the field of automatic code generation using model-driven engineering tools.
Sydney Harbour is an iconic location with a dense population and low-lying development. On the east coast of Australia, facing the Pacific Ocean, it is exposed to several tsunamigenic trenches. This paper presents a component of the most detailed assessment of the potential for earthquake-generated tsunami impact on Sydney Harbour to date. Models in this study use dynamic tides to account for tide-tsunami interaction. Sydney Harbour’s tidal range is 1.5 m, and the spring tides from January 2015 that are used in the modelling for this study are close to the full tidal range. The tsunami wave trains modelled include hypothetical tsunami generated from earthquakes of magnitude 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, and 9.0 MW from the Puysegur and New Hebrides trenches as well as representations of the historical 1960 Chilean and 2011 Tohoku events. All wave trains are modelled for the peak wave to coincide with both a low tide and a high tide. A single wave train, representing a 9.0 MW earthquake at the Puysegur trench, is modelled for peak waves to coincide with every hour across a 12-hour tidal phase. Using the hydrodynamic model ANUGA, results are compared according to the impact parameters of inundation area, depth variation and current speeds. Results show that both maximum inundation area and depth variation are tide dependent. Maximum inundation area increases when coincident with a higher tide, however, hazardous inundation is only observed for the larger waves modelled: NH90high and P90high. The maximum and minimum depths are deeper on higher tides and shallower on lower tides. The difference between maximum and minimum depths varies across different tidal phases although the differences are slight. Maximum current speeds are shown to be a significant hazard for Sydney Harbour; however, they do not show consistent patterns according to tide-tsunami phasing. The maximum current speed hazard is shown to be greater in specific locations such as Spit Bridge, a narrow channel with extensive marine infrastructure. The results presented for Sydney Harbour are novel, and the conclusions are consistent with previous modelling efforts in the greater area. It is shown that tide must be a consideration for both tsunami modelling and emergency management planning. Modelling with peak tsunami waves coinciding with a high tide would be a conservative approach; however, it must be considered that maximum current speeds may be higher on other tides.
The M 1.6 class flare occurred on 6th of September 2012. Our observations correspond to the active region NOAA 11560 with the heliographic coordinates N04W71. The event took place between 04:00 UT and 04:45 UT, and was close to the solar limb at the western region. The flare temperature correlates with flux peak, increases for a short period (between 04:08 UT and 04:12 UT), rises impulsively, attains a maximum value of about 17 MK at 04:12 UT and gradually decreases after peak value. Around the peak we observe significant emissions of X-ray sources. Flux profiles of the X-ray emission exhibit a progressively faster raise and decline as the higher energy channels are considered.
This study presents an overview of the work carried out by the use of wood waste as coarse aggregate in mortar. The paper describes experimental and numerical investigations carried on pervious concrete made of wood chips and also sheds lights on the mechanical properties of this new product. The properties of pervious wood-concrete such as strength, elastic modulus, and failure modes are compared and evaluated. The characterization procedure of the mechanical properties of wood waste ash are presented and discussed. The numerical and tested load–deflection response results are compared. It was observed that the numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental results.
Extracellular laccases are copper-containing microbial enzymes with many industrial biotechnological applications. This study evaluated the ability of nutrients in coconut coir to enhance the yield of extracellular laccase of Galactomyces reesii IFO 10823 and develop a co-culture between this yeast and other filamentous fungi isolated from the fungus comb of Macrotermes sp. The co-culture between G. reesii IFO 10823 and M. indicus FJ-M-5 (G3) gave the highest activity at 580.20 U/mL. When grown in fermentation media prepared from coconut coir and distilled water at 70% of initial moisture without supplement addition, G3 produced extracellular laccase of 113.99 U/mL.
Respiratory diseases are the most important problems in the country’s poultry industry, particularly when it comes to broiler flocks. Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) is a species that causes poor performance in growth rate, egg production, and mortality. This pathogen causes a respiratory infection including pulmonary alveolar inflammation, and pneumonia of birds throughout the world. Newcastle disease (ND) is a highly contagious disease in poultry, and also, it causes considerable losses to the poultry industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate the simultaneous occurrence of ORT and ND and NDV isolation by inoculation in embryonated eggs and confirmed by RT-PCR in broiler chicken flocks in Fars province. In this study, 318 blood and 85 tissue samples (brain, trachea, liver, and cecal tonsils) were collected from 15 broiler chicken farms. Survey serum antibody titers against ORT by using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit performed. Evaluation of antibody titer against ND virus is performed by hemagglutination inhibition test. Virus isolation with chick embryo eggs 9-11 and RT-PCR method were carried out. A total of 318 serum samples, 135 samples (42.5%) were positive for antibodies to ORT and titer of HI antibodies against NDV in 122 serum samples (38/4%) were 7-10 (log2) and 61 serum samples (19/2%) had occurrence antibody titer against Newcastle virus and ORT. Results of the present study indicated that 20 tissue samples were positive in embryonated egg and in rapid hemagglutination (HA) test. HI test with specific ND positive serum confirmed that 6 of 20 samples. PCR confirmed that all six samples were positive and PCR products of samples indicated 535-base pair fragments in electrophrosis. Due to the great economic importance of these two diseases in the poultry industry, it is necessary to design and implement a comprehensive plan for prevention and control of these diseases.
Socially assistive robotic has become increasingly active and it is present in therapies of people affected for several neurobehavioral conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In fact, robots have played a significant role for positive interaction with children with ASD, by stimulating their social and cognitive skills. This work introduces a mobile socially-assistive robot, which was built for interaction with children with ASD, using non-linear control techniques for this interaction.
In recent years, nanotechnology has played an important role in the design of an efficient radiation shielding polymeric composites. It is well known that, high loading of nanomaterials with radiation absorption properties can enhance the radiation attenuation efficiency of shielding structures. However, due to difficulties in dispersion of nanomaterials into polymer matrices, there has been a limitation in higher loading percentages of nanoparticles in the polymer matrix. Therefore, the objective of the present work is to provide a methodology to fabricate and then to characterize the functionally graded radiation shielding structures, which can provide an efficient radiation absorption property along with good structural integrity. Sandwich structures composed of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric as face sheets and functionally graded epoxy nanocomposite as core material were fabricated. A method to fabricate a functionally graded core panel with controllable gradient dispersion of nanoparticles is discussed. In order to optimize the design of functionally graded sandwich composites and to analyze the stress distribution throughout the sandwich composite thickness, a finite element method was used. The sandwich panels were discretized using 3-Dimensional 8 nodded brick elements. Classical laminate analysis in conjunction with simplified micromechanics equations were used to obtain the properties of the face sheets. The presented finite element model would provide insight into deformation and damage mechanics of the functionally graded sandwich composites from the structural point of view.
In sub micrometer technology, the aging phenomenon starts to have a significant impact on the reliability of integrated circuits by bringing performance degradation. For that reason, it is important to have a capability to evaluate the aging effects accurately. This paper presents an accurate aging measurement approach based on phase-locked loop (PLL) and voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) circuit. The architecture is rejecting the circuit self-aging effect from the characteristics of PLL, which is generating the frequency without any aging phenomena affects. The aging monitor is implemented in low power 32 nm CMOS technology, and occupies a pretty small area. Aging simulation results show that the proposed aging measurement circuit improves accuracy by about 2.8% at high temperature and 19.6% at high voltage.
A perfect start is a key factor for project completion on time. The study examined the effects of delayed mobilization of resources during the initial phases of the project. This paper mainly highlights the identification and categorization of all delays during the initial construction phase and their root cause analysis with corrective/control measures for the Kuwait Oil Company oil and gas projects. A relatively good percentage of the delays identified during the project execution (Contract award to end of defects liability period) attributed to mobilization/preliminary activity delays. Data analysis demonstrated significant increase in average project delay during the last five years compared to the previous period. Contractors had delays/issues during the initial phase, which resulted in slippages and progressively increased, resulting in time and cost overrun. Delays/issues not mitigated on time during the initial phase had very high impact on project completion. Data analysis of the delays for the past five years was carried out using trend chart, scatter plot, process map, box plot, relative importance index and Pareto chart. Construction of any project inside the Gathering Centers involves complex management skills related to work force, materials, plant, machineries, new technologies etc. Delay affects completion of projects and compromises quality, schedule and budget of project deliverables. Works executed as per plan during the initial phase and start-up duration of the project construction activities resulted in minor slippages/delays in project completion. In addition, there was a good working environment between client and contractor resulting in better project execution and management. Mainly, the contractor was on the front foot in the execution of projects, which had minimum/no delays during the initial and construction period. Hence, having a perfect start during the initial construction phase shall have a positive influence on the project success. Our research paper studies each type of delay with some real example supported by statistic results and suggests mitigation measures. Detailed analysis carried out with all stakeholders based on impact and occurrence of delays to have a practical and effective outcome to mitigate the delays. The key to improvement is to have proper control measures and periodic evaluation/audit to ensure implementation of the mitigation measures. The focus of this research is to reduce the delays encountered during the initial construction phase of the project life cycle.
Community empowerment has been proved to be a key element in the solution of the food security problem. As a result of a conceptual analysis, it was found that agricultural production, economic development and governance, are the traditional basis of food security models. Although the literature points to social inclusion as an important factor for food security, no model has considered it as the basis of it. The aim of this research is to identify different dimensions that make an integral model for food security, with emphasis on community empowerment. A diagnosis was made in the study community (Tatoxcac, Zacapoaxtla, Puebla), to know the aspects that impact the level of food insecurity. With a statistical sample integrated by 200 families, the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA) was applied, finding that: in households composed by adults and children, have moderated food insecurity, (ELCSA scale has three levels, low, moderated and high); that result is produced mainly by the economic income capacity and the diversity of the diet on its food. With that being said, a model was developed to promote food security through five dimensions: 1. Regional context of the community; 2. Structure and system of local food; 3. Health and nutrition; 4. Information and technology access; and 5. Self-awareness and empowerment. The specific actions on each axis of the model, allowed a systemic approach needed to attend food security in the community, through the empowerment of society. It is concluded that the self-awareness of local communities is an area of extreme importance, which must be taken into account for participatory schemes to improve food security. In the long term, the model requires the integrated participation of different actors, such as government, companies and universities, to solve something such vital as food security.
The purpose of this study is to compare the conventional crop monitoring system with the satellite based crop monitoring system in Pakistan. This study is conducted for SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission). The study focused on the wheat crop, as it is the main cash crop of Pakistan and province of Punjab. This study will answer the following: Which system is better in terms of cost, time and man power? The man power calculated for Punjab CRS is: 1,418 personnel and for SUPARCO: 26 personnel. The total cost calculated for SUPARCO is almost 13.35 million and CRS is 47.705 million. The man hours calculated for CRS (Crop Reporting Service) are 1,543,200 hrs (136 days) and man hours for SUPARCO are 8, 320hrs (40 days). It means that SUPARCO workers finish their work 96 days earlier than CRS workers. The results show that the satellite based crop monitoring system is efficient in terms of manpower, cost and time as compared to the conventional system, and also generates early crop forecasts and estimations. The research instruments used included: Interviews, physical visits, group discussions, questionnaires, study of reports and work flows. A total of 93 employees were selected using Yamane’s formula for data collection, which is done with the help questionnaires and interviews. Comparative graphing is used for the analysis of data to formulate the results of the research. The research findings also demonstrate that although conventional methods have a strong impact still in Pakistan (for crop monitoring) but it is the time to bring a change through technology, so that our agriculture will also be developed along modern lines.
More than half of the urban population in Romania lives today in residential buildings made out of large prefabricated reinforced concrete panels. Since their initial design was made in the 1960’s, these housing units are now being technically and morally outdated, consuming large amounts of energy for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting, while failing to meet the needs of the contemporary life-style. Due to their widespread use, the design of a system that improves their energy efficiency would have a real impact, not only on the energy consumption of the residential sector, but also on the quality of life that it offers. Furthermore, with the transition of today’s existing power grid to a “smart grid”, buildings could become an active element for future electricity networks by contributing in micro-generation and energy storage. One of the most addressed issues today is to find locally adapted strategies that can be applied considering the 20-20-20 EU policy criteria and to offer sustainable and innovative solutions for the cost-optimal energy performance of buildings adapted on the existing local market. This paper presents a possible adaptive design scenario towards sustainable retrofitting of these housing units. The apartments are transformed in order to meet the current living requirements and additional extensions are placed on top of the building, replacing the unused roof space, acting not only as housing units, but as active solar energy collection systems. An adaptive building envelope is ensured in order to achieve overall air-tightness and an elevator system is introduced to facilitate access to the upper levels.
This case study responds to the current trends in ICT. Mobile Touch iPads can provide very good assistance to disabled seniors. The intuitive tablet environment, the possibility of the formation environment and its portability, has a very positive effect on the use of particular communication. For comparison, using a conventional PC/notebook, word processor, keyboard and computer mouse compared to the iPad and selected applications. The results of this case study show that the use of mobile touch devices iPad for seniors with mental retardation is a great benefit. These devices do not require high demands on graphomotorics like a standard PC devices.
Modern computing technology enters the era of parallel computing with the trend of sustainable and scalable parallelism. Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) is an important way to go along with the trend. It is able to gather more and more computing ability by increasing the number of processor cores without the need of modifying the program. Meanwhile, in the field of scientific computing and engineering design, many computation intensive applications are facing the challenge of increasingly large amount of data. Data parallel computing will be an important way to further improve the performance of these applications. In this paper, we take the accurate collision detection in building information modeling as an example. We demonstrate a model for constructing a data parallel algorithm. According to the model, a complex object is decomposed into the sets of simple objects; collision detection among complex objects is converted into those among simple objects. The resulting algorithm is a typical SIMD algorithm, and its advantages in parallelism and scalability is unparalleled in respect to the traditional algorithms.
The mutual understanding in conversation is very important for human relations. This study investigates the mental function of the formation of mutual understanding between two people in conversation using the embodied approach. Forty people participated in this study. They are divided into pairs randomly. Four conversation situations between two (make/listen to fun or pleasant talk, make/listen to regrettable talk) are set for four minutes each, and the finger plethysmogram (200 Hz) of each participant is measured. As a result, the attractors of the participants who reported “I did not understand my partner” show the collapsed shape, which means the fluctuation of their rhythm is too small to match their partner’s rhythm, and their cross correlation is low. The autonomic balance of both persons tends to resonate during conversation, and both LLEs tend to resonate, too. In human history, in order for human beings as weak mammals to live, they may have been with others; that is, they have brought about resonating characteristics, which is called self-organization. However, the resonant feature sometimes collapses, depending on the lifestyle that the person was formed by himself after birth. It is difficult for people who do not have a lifestyle of mutual gaze to resonate their biological signal waves with others’. These people have features such as anxiety, fatigue, and confusion tendency. Mutual understanding is thought to be formed as a result of cooperation between the features of self-organization of the persons who are talking and the lifestyle indicated by mutual gaze. Such an entanglement phenomenon is called a nonlinear relation. By this research, it is found that the formation of mutual understanding is expressed by the rhythm of a biological signal showing a nonlinear relationship.
One of the important concerns within the field of geotechnical engineering is the presence of cavities in soils. This present work is an attempt to understand the behaviour of strip footing subjected to inclined load and constructed on cavitied soil. The failure mechanism of strip footing located above such soils was studied analytically. The capability of analytical model to correctly expect the system behaviour is assessed by carrying out verification analysis on available studies. The study was prepared by finite element software (PLAXIS) in which an elastic-perfectly plastic soil model was used. It was indicated, from the results of the study, that the load carrying capacity of foundation constructed on cavity can be analysed well using such analysis. The research covered many foundation cases, and in each foundation case, there occurs a critical depth under which the presence of cavities has shown minimum impact on the foundation performance. When cavities are found above this critical depth, the load carrying capacity of the foundation differs with many influences, such as the location and size of the cavity and footing depth. Figures involving the load carrying capacity with the affecting factors studied are presented. These figures offer information beneficial for the design of strip footings rested on underground cavities. Moreover, the results might be used to design a shallow foundation constructed on cavitied soil, whereas the obtained failure mechanisms may be employed to improve numerical solutions for this kind of problems.
The evolution of volume porosity previously obtained by using the existing low temperature high burn-up gaseous swelling model with progressive recrystallization for UO2 fuel is utilized to study the degradation of irradiated UO2 thermal conductivity calculated by the FRAPCON model of thermal conductivity. A porosity correction factor is developed based on the assumption that the fuel morphology is a three-phase type, consisting of the as-fabricated pores and pores due to intergranular bubbles whitin UO2 matrix and solid fission products. The predicted thermal conductivity demonstrates an additional degradation of 27% due to porosity formation at burn-up levels around 120 MWd/kgU which would cause an increase in the fuel temperature accordingly. Results of the calculations are compared with available data.
This paper discusses about the conceptual design and development of the control system software using Programmable logic controller (PLC) for autonomous driving and agricultural operations of Multipurpose Agricultural Robot Platform (MARP). Based on given initial conditions by field analysis and desired agricultural operations, the structural design development of MARP is done using modelling and analysis tool. PLC, being robust and easy to use, has been used to design the autonomous control system of robot platform for desired parameters. The robot is capable of performing autonomous driving and three automatic agricultural operations, viz. hilling, mulching, and sowing of seeds in the respective order. The input received from various sensors on the field is later transmitted to the controller via ZigBee network to make the changes in the control program to get desired field output. The research is conducted to provide assistance to farmers by reducing labor hours for agricultural activities by implementing automation. This study will provide an alternative to the existing systems with machineries attached behind tractors and rigorous manual operations on agricultural field at effective cost.
Social networks play an important role in the lives of children and young people. Along with the high penetration of mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets among the younger generation, there is an increasing use of social networks already in elementary school. The paper presents the results of research, which was realized at schools in the Hradec Králové region. In this research, the authors focused on issues related to communications on social networks for children, teenagers and young people in the Czech Republic. This research was conducted at selected elementary, secondary and high schools using anonymous questionnaires. The results are evaluated and compared with the results of the research, which has been realized in 2008. The authors focused on the possibilities of using social networks in education. The paper presents the possibility of using the most popular social networks in education, with emphasis on increasing motivation for learning. The paper presents comparative analysis of social networks, with regard to the possibility of using in education as well.
The exemplary mechanical performance and durability of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has led to its rapid emergence as an advanced cementitious material. The uncharacteristically high mechanical strength and ductility of UHPC makes it a promising potential material for defense structures which may be subject to highly dynamic loads like impact or blast. However, the mechanical response of UHPC under dynamic loading has not been fully characterized. In particular, there is a need to characterize the energy absorption of UHPC under high-frequency shear loading. This paper presents preliminary results from a parametric study of the dynamic shear energy absorption of UHPC using the Charpy impact test. UHPC mixtures with compressive strengths in the range of 100-150 MPa exhibited dynamic shear energy absorption in the range of 0.9-1.5 kJ/m. Energy absorption is shown to be sensitive to the water/cement ratio, silica fume content, and aggregate gradation. Energy absorption was weakly correlated to compressive strength. Results are highly sensitive to specimen preparation methods, and there is a demonstrated need for a standardized test method for high frequency shear in cementitious composites.
The steel contains 0.3% C and 0.004% B, beside Mn, Cr, Mo, and Ni. The alloy was processed by using 20-ton capacity electric arc furnace (EAF), and then refined by ladle furnace (LF). Liquid steel was cast as rectangular ingots. Dilatation test showed the critical transformation temperatures Ac1, Ac3, Ms and Mf as 716, 835, 356, and 218 °C. The ingots were austenitized and soaked and then rough rolled to thin slabs with 80 mm thickness. The thin slabs were then reheated and soaked for finish rolling to 6.0 mm thickness plates. During the rough rolling, the roll force increases as a result of rolling at temperatures less than recrystallization temperature. However, during finish rolling, the steel reflects initially continuous static recrystallization after which it shows strain hardening due to fall of temperature. It was concluded that, the steel plates were successfully heat treated by quenching-tempering at 250 ºC for 20 min.
The age of first calving (AFC) is one of the most important factors that have a significant impact on cow productivity in different lactations and its whole life. A belated AFC leads to reduced reproductive performance and it is one of the main reasons for reduced longevity. Cows that calved in time period from 2001-2007 and in this time finished at least four lactations were included in the database. Data were obtained from 68841 crossbred Holstein Black and White (HM), crossbred Latvian Brown (LB), and Latvian Brown genetic resources (LBGR) cows. Cows were distributed in four groups depending on age at first calving. The longest lifespan was conducted for LBGR cows, but they were also characterized with lowest lifetime milk yield and life day milk yield. HM breed cows had the shortest lifespan, but in the lifespan of 2862.2 days was obtained in average 37916.4 kg milk accordingly 13.2 kg milk in one life day. HM breed cows were also characterized with longer calving intervals (CI) in first four lactations, but LBGR cows had the shortest CI in the study group. Age at first calving significantly affected the length of CI in different lactations (p<0.05). HM cows that first time calved >30 months old in the fourth lactation had the longest CI in all study groups (421.4 days). The LBGR cows were characterized with the shortest CI, but there was slight increase in second and third lactation. Age at first calving had a significant impact on cows’ age in each calving time. In the analysis, cow group was conducted that cows with age at first calving <24 months or in average 580.5 days at the time of fifth calving were 2156.7 days (5.9 years) old, but cows with age at first calving >30 months (932.6 days) at the time of fifth calving were 2560.9 days (7.3 years) old.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of the building fundamental period of reinforced concrete buildings of (6, 9, and 12-storey), with different floor plans: Symmetric, mono-symmetric, and unsymmetric. These structures are erected at different epicentral distances. Using the Boumerdes, Algeria (2003) earthquake data, we focused primarily on the establishment of the deterministic formulation linking the base shear force to two parameters: The first one is the fundamental period that represents the numerical fingerprint of the structure, and the second one is the epicentral distance used to represent the impact of the earthquake on this force. In a second step, with a view to highlight the effect of uncertainty in these parameters on the analyzed response, these parameters are modeled as random variables with a log-normal distribution. The variability of the coefficients of variation of the chosen uncertain parameters, on the statistics on the seismic base shear force, showed that the effect of uncertainty on fundamental period on this force statistics is low compared to the epicentral distance uncertainty influence.
The goal of this work is to report the main dermatological alterations occurring during pregnancy and actual cosmetic protocols available and recommended for safe use. Throughout pregnancy, woman's body undergoes many transformations such as hormonal changes and weight gain. These alterations can result in undesirable skin aspects that end up affecting the future mother's life. The main complaints of pregnant women involve melasma advent, varicose veins, edema, and natural skin aging. Even if most of the time is recommended to wait for the birth to use cosmetics, there are some alternatives to prevent and to treat these alterations during pregnancy. For all these cases, there is a need to update information about safety and efficacy of new actives and technologies in cosmetic products. The purpose of this study was to conduct a literature review about the main skin alterations during pregnancy and actual recommended treatments, according to the current legislation.
Vaginal stenosis is a common side effect associated with pelvic radiotherapy in cervical cancer patients which contributes negatively to woman’s health and prevents adequate vaginal/cervical examination. Vaginal dilation with a dilator is routine practice and is internationally advocated as a prophylactic measure to preserve vaginal patency. This retrospective study was carried out with the aim to know the usefulness of vaginal dilation following pelvic radiation therapy in cervical cancer patients in India. Data from medical records of 183 cervical cancer patients, which met the study criteria, were collected related to the stage of the disease, treatment received, commencement period of dilation post radiation therapy, sexual status and side effects associated to dilation practice. Data related to vaginal dimensions as per the length of insertion of a small, medium and large dilator were collected on regular follow-ups until 36 months and/or more. Vaginal dimensions as measured with the length of medium dilator insertion were used for analysis of dilation therapy results using paired t-test. Patients who underwent vaginal dilation with dilator maintained vaginal patency, also the mean vaginal length significantly increased, from 8.02 cm ± 2.69 to 9.96 ± 2.89 cm with a p value <0.001. There was no significant difference found on vaginal patency with different intervals of initiation of dilation therapy. At the third year and more following dilation therapy, significant increase in vaginal length observed with a p value of 0.0001 in both sexually active and inactive patients. Compilation of vaginal dosage during brachytherapy was inadequate, and hence, the secondary objective of the study to determine the effect of radiotherapy on the outcome of rehabilitation intervention was not studied in detail. This retrospective study has found that dilation therapy with vaginal dilators post pelvic radiotherapy is effective in preventing vaginal stenosis and improving vaginal patency and cannot be substituted with vaginal intercourse. Sexual quality of life assessment in the Indian population needs much attention.
Numerical investigations are performed to analyze the flow behavior over NACA0015 and to evaluate the efficiency of synthetic jet as active control device. The second objective of this work is to investigate the influence of momentum coefficient of synthetic jet on the flow behaviour. The unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations of the turbulent flow are solved using, k-ω SST provided by ANSYS CFX-CFD code. The model presented in this paper is a comprehensive representation of the information found in the literature. Comparison of obtained numerical flow parameters with the experimental ones shows that the adopted computational procedure reflects nearly the real flow nature. Also, numerical results state that use of synthetic jets devices has positive effects on the flow separation, and thus, aerodynamic performance improvement of NACA0015 airfoil. It can also be observed that the use of synthetic jet increases the lift coefficient about 13.3% and reduces the drag coefficient about 52.7%.
As the term indicates, reverse-mentoring flips the classical roles of mentoring: In school, students take over the role of mentors for adults, i.e. teachers or parents. Originally reverse-mentoring stems from US enterprises, which implemented this innovative method in order to benefit from the resources of skilled younger employees for the enhancement of IT competences of senior colleagues. However, reverse-mentoring in schools worldwide is rare. Based on empirical studies and theoretical approaches, in this article an implementation model for reverse-mentoring is developed in order to bring the significant potential reverse-mentoring has for education into practice.
The objective of this study was to investigate the removal of two organic pollutants; 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid) and phenol from synthetic wastewater by the adsorption on mesoporous materials. In this context, the aim of this work is to study the adsorption of organic compounds phenol and 4AHB on MCM-41 and FSM-16 non-grafted (NG) and other grafted (G) by trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS). The results of phenol and 4AHB adsorption in aqueous solution show that the adsorption capacity tends to increase after grafting in relation to the increase in hydrophobicity. The materials are distinguished by a higher adsorption capacity to the other NG materials. The difference in the phenol is 14.43% (MCM-41), 14.55% (FSM-16), and 16.72% (MCM-41), 13.57% (FSM-16) in the 4AHB. Our adsorption results show that the grafted materials by TMCS are good adsorbent at 25 °C.
This research is an experimental research which was done about microbial fuel cells in order to study them for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. These days, it is very important to find new, clean and sustainable ways for energy supplying. Because of this reason there are many researchers around the world who are studying about new and sustainable energies. There are different ways to produce these kind of energies like: solar cells, wind turbines, geothermal energy, fuel cells and many other ways. Fuel cells have different types one of these types is microbial fuel cell. In this research, an MFC was built in order to study how it can be used for electricity generating and wastewater treatment. The microbial fuel cell which was used in this research is a reactor that has two tanks with a catalyst solution. The chemical reaction in microbial fuel cells is a redox reaction. The microbial fuel cell in this research is a two chamber MFC. Anode chamber is an anaerobic one (ABR reactor) and the other chamber is a cathode chamber. Anode chamber consists of stabilized sludge which is the source of microorganisms that do redox reaction. The main microorganisms here are: Propionibacterium and Clostridium. The electrodes of anode chamber are graphite pages. Cathode chamber consists of graphite page electrodes and catalysts like: O2, KMnO4 and C6N6FeK4. The membrane which separates the chambers is Nafion117. The reason of choosing this membrane is explained in the complete paper. The main goal of this research is to generate electricity and treating wastewater. It was found that when you use electron receptor compounds like: O2, MnO4, C6N6FeK4 the velocity of electron receiving speeds up and in a less time more current will be achieved. It was found that the best compounds for this purpose are compounds which have iron in their chemical formula. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of nutrients which enters to bacteria chamber. By adding extra nutrients in some cases the result will be reverse. By using ABR the amount of chemical oxidation demand reduces per day till it arrives to a stable amount.
In this study, the crack self-healing performance of the heavyweight concrete used in the walls of containers and structures designed to shield radioactive materials was investigated. A steam curing temperature that preserves self-healing properties and demolding strength was identified. The presented simultaneously mixing method using the expanding material and the fly ash in the process of admixture can maximize the self-curing performance. Also adding synthetic fibers in the heavyweight concrete improved the self-healing performance.
Cloud computing is ready to transform the structure of businesses and learning through supplying the real-time applications and provide an immediate help for small to medium sized businesses. The ability to run a hypervisor inside a virtual machine is important feature of virtualization and it is called nested virtualization. In today’s growing field of information technology, many of the virtualization models are available, that provide a convenient approach to implement, but decision for a single model selection is difficult. This paper explains the applications of operating system based virtualization in cloud computing with an appropriate/suitable model with their different specifications and user’s requirements. In the present paper, most popular models are selected, and the selection was based on container and hypervisor based virtualization. Selected models were compared with a wide range of user’s requirements as number of CPUs, memory size, nested virtualization supports, live migration and commercial supports, etc. and we identified a most suitable model of virtualization.
The subject of petroleum storage tank fires has gained a great deal of attention due to the high cost of petroleum, and the consequent disruption of petroleum production; therefore, much of the current research has focused on petroleum storage tank fires. Also, the number of petroleum tank fires is oscillating between 15 and 20 fires per year. About 33% of all tank fires are attributed to lightning. Floating roof tanks (FRT’s) are especially vulnerable to lightning. To minimize the likelihood of a fire, the API RP 545 recommends three major modifications to floating roof tanks. This paper was inspired by a stroke of lightning that ignited a fire in a crude oil storage tank belonging to an Egyptian oil company, and is aimed at providing an efficient lightning protection system to the tank under study, in order to avoid the occurrence of such phenomena in the future and also, to give valuable recommendations to be applied to floating roof tank projects.
Biotechnology is a discipline which explains the use of living organisms and systems to construct a product, or we can define it as an application or technology developed to use biological systems and organisms processes for a specific use. Particularly, it includes cells and its components use for new technologies and inventions. The tools developed can be further used in diverse fields such as agriculture, industry, research and hospitals etc. The 21st century has seen a drastic development and advancement in biotechnology in India. Significant increase in Government of India’s outlays for biotechnology over the past decade has been observed. A sectoral break up of biotechnology-based companies in India shows that most of the companies are agriculture-based companies having interests ranging from tissue culture to biopesticides. Major attention has been given by the companies in health related activities and in environmental biotechnology. The biopharmaceutical, which comprises of vaccines, diagnostic, and recombinant products is the most reliable and largest segment of the Indian Biotech industry. India has developed its vaccine markets and supplies them to various countries. Then there are the bio-services, which mainly comprise of contract researches and manufacturing services. India has made noticeable developments in the field of bio industries including manufacturing of enzymes, biofuels and biopolymers. Biotechnology is also playing a crucial and significant role in the field of agriculture. Traditional methods have been replaced by new technologies that mainly focus on GM crops, marker assisted technologies and the use of biotechnological tools to improve the quality of fertilizers and soil. It may only be a small contributor but has shown to have huge potential for growth. Bioinformatics is a computational method which helps to store, manage, arrange and design tools to interpret the extensive data gathered through experimental trials, making it important in the design of drugs.
The construction of most coastal infrastructure developments around the world are usually made considering wave height, current velocities and river discharges; however, little effort has been paid to surveying sediment transport during dredging or the modification to currents outside the ports or marinas during and after the construction. This study shows a complete survey during the construction of one of the largest ports of the Gulf of Mexico. An anchored Acoustic Doppler Current Velocity profiler (ADCP), a towed ADCP and a combination of model outputs were used at the Veracruz port construction in order to describe the hourly sediment transport and current modifications in and out of the new port. Owing to the stability of the system the new port was construction inside Vergara Bay, a low wave energy system with a tidal range of up to 0.40 m. The results show a two-current system pattern within the bay. The north side of the bay has an anticyclonic gyre, while the southern part of the bay shows a cyclonic gyre. Sediment transport trajectories were made every hour using the anchored ADCP, a numerical model and the weekly data obtained from the towed ADCP within the entire bay. The sediment transport trajectories were carefully tracked since the bay is surrounded by coral reef structures which are sensitive to sedimentation rate and water turbidity. The survey shows that during dredging and rock input used to build the wave breaker sediments were locally added (< 2500 m2) and local currents disperse it in less than 4 h. While the river input located in the middle of the bay and the sewer system plant may add more than 10 times this amount during a rainy day or during the tourist season. Finally, the coastal line obtained seasonally with a drone suggests that the southern part of the bay has not been modified by the construction of the new port located in the northern part of the bay, owing to the two subsystem division of the bay.
Centrifugal pumps are complex machines which can experience different types of fault. Condition monitoring can be used in centrifugal pump fault detection through vibration analysis for mechanical and hydraulic forces. Vibration analysis methods have the potential to be combined with artificial intelligence systems where an automatic diagnostic method can be approached. An automatic fault diagnosis approach could be a good option to minimize human error and to provide a precise machine fault classification. This work aims to introduce an approach to centrifugal pump fault diagnosis based on artificial intelligence and genetic algorithm systems. An overview of the future works, research methodology and proposed experimental setup is presented and discussed. The expected results and outcomes based on the experimental work are illustrated.
The importance of fruit trees and bushes growing for Romania is due the concordance that exists between the different ecological conditions in natural basins, and the requirements of different species and varieties. There are, in Romania, natural areas dedicated to the main trees species: plum, apple, pear, cherry, sour cherry, finding optimal conditions for harnessing the potential of fruitfulness, making fruit quality both in terms of ratio commercial, and content in active principles. The share of fruits crops in the world economy of agricultural production is due primarily to the role of fruits in nourishment for human, and in the prevention and combating of diseases, in increasing the national income of cultivator countries and to improve comfort for human life. For Romania, the perspectives of the sector are positive, and are due to European funding opportunities, which provide farmers a specialized program that meets the needs of development and modernization of fruit growing industry, cultivation technology and equipment, organization and grouping of producers, creating storage facilities, conditioning, marketing and the joint use of fresh fruit. This paper shows the evolution of fruit growing, in Romania compared to other states. The document presents the current situation of the main tree species both in terms of surface but also of the productions and the role that this activity may have for the development of rural communities.
Utilizing waste materials in civil engineering applications has a positive influence on the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and issues associated with waste disposal. Granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS) is a by-product of the iron and steel industry, with millions of tons of slag being annually produced worldwide. Slag has been widely used in structural engineering and for stabilizing clay soils; however, studies on the effect of slag on sandy soils are scarce. This article investigates the effect of slag content on shear strength parameters through direct shear tests and unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests on mixtures of Perth sand and slag. For this purpose, sand-slag mixtures, with slag contents of 2%, 4%, and 6% by weight of samples, were tested with direct shear tests under three normal stress values, namely 100 kPa, 150 kPa, and 200 kPa. Unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests were performed under a single confining pressure of 100 kPa and relative density of 80%. The internal friction angles and shear stresses of the mixtures were determined via the direct shear tests, demonstrating that shear stresses increased with increasing normal stress and the internal friction angles and cohesion increased with increasing slag. There were no significant differences in shear stresses parameters when slag content rose from 4% to 6%. The unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests demonstrated that shear strength increased with increasing slag content.
The present study investigates the effect of inclusions on the shape and size of crack tip plastic zones in engineering materials subjected to static loads by employing the element free Galerkin method (EFGM). The modeling of the discontinuities produced by cracks and inclusions becomes independent of the grid chosen for analysis. The standard displacement approximation is modified by adding additional enrichment functions, which introduce the effects of different discontinuities into the formulation. The level set method has been used to represent different discontinuities present in the domain. The effect of inclusions on the extent of crack tip plastic zones is investigated by solving some numerical problems by the EFGM.
Wildlife crime is a complex problem with many interconnected facets, which are generally responded to in parts or fragments in efforts to “break down” the complexity into manageable components. However, fragmentation increases complexity as coherence and cooperation become diluted. A whole-of-society approach has been developed towards finding a common goal and integrated approach to preventing wildlife crime. As part of this development, research was conducted in rural communities adjacent to conservation areas in South Africa to define and comprehend the challenges faced by them, and to understand their perceptions of wildlife crime. The results of the research showed that the perceptions of community members varied - most were in favor of conservation and of protecting rhinos, only if they derive adequate benefit from it. Regardless of gender, income level, education level, or access to services, conservation was perceived to be good and bad by the same people. Even though people in the communities are poor, a willingness to stop rhino poaching does exist amongst them, but their perception of parks not caring about people triggered an attitude of not being willing to stop, prevent or report poaching. Understanding the nuances, the history, the interests and values of community members, and the drivers behind poaching mind-sets (intrinsic or driven by transnational organized crime) is imperative to create sustainable and resilient communities on multiple levels that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives, but also conserve wildlife for posterity.
Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is one of the best candidates for dynamic spectrum access due to its flexibility of spectrum shaping. However, the high sidelobes of the OFDM signal that result in high out-of-band radiation, introduce significant interference to the users operating in its vicinity. This problem becomes more critical in cognitive radio (CR) system that enables the secondary users (SUs) users to access the spectrum holes not used by the primary users (PUs) at that time. In this paper, we present a generalized OFDM framework that has a capability of describing any sidelobe suppression techniques, despite of whether one or a number of techniques are used. Based on that framework, we propose cancellation carrier (CC) technique in conjunction with the generalized sidelobe canceller (GSC) to reduce the out-of-band radiation in the region where the licensed users are operating. Simulation results show that the proposed technique can reduce the out-of-band radiation better when compared with the existing techniques found in the literature.
In this paper, a theoretical investigation on the dynamic characteristics of one degree of freedom vibration system equipped with inerter of variable inertance, is presented. Differential equation of movement was solved under proper initial conditions in the case of free undamped/damped vibration, considered in the absence/presence of the inerter in the mechanical system. Influence of inertance on the amplitude of vibration, phase angle, natural frequency, damping ratio, and logarithmic decrement was clarified. It was mainly found that the inerter decreases the natural frequency of the undamped system and also of the damped system if the damping ratio is below 0.707. On the other hand, the inerter increases the natural frequency of the damped system if the damping ratio exceeds 0.707. Results obtained in this work are useful for the adequate design of inerters.
Background: Physical exercise induces a pattern of hormonal and immunological responses that prevent endothelial dysfunction by maintaining the availability of nitric oxide (NO). Regular and moderate exercise stimulates NO release, that can be considered as protective factor of cardiovascular diseases, while strenuous exercise induces increased levels in a number of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) triggers endothelial activation which results in an increased vascular permeability. Nuclear gene factor kappa B (NF-κB) activates biological effect of TNF-α. Aim of Study: To determine the effect of physical exercise on the endothelial and skeletal muscle, we measured the level of NF-κB on rats’ serum, macrophages, and myocytes after strenuous physical exercise. Methods: 30 male Rattus norvegicus in the age of eight weeks were randomly divided into five groups (each containing six), and there were treated groups (T) and control group (C). The treated groups obtain strenuous physical exercise by ran on treadmill at 32 m/minutes for 1 hour or until exhaustion. Blood samples, myocytes of gastrocnemius muscle, and intraperitoneal macrophages were collected sequentially. There were investigated immediately, 2 hours, 6 hours, and 24 hours (T1, T2, T3, and T4) after sacrifice. The levels of NF-κB were measured by ELISA methods. Results: From our study, we found that the levels of NF-κB on myocytes in treated group from which its specimen was taken immediately (T1), 2 hours after treadmill (T2), and 6 hours after treadmill (T3) were significantly higher than control group (p<0.05), while the group from which its specimen was taken 24 hours after treadmill, was no significantly different (p>0.05). Also on macrophages, NF-κB in treated groups T1, T2, and T3 was significantly higher than control group (p<0.05), but there was no difference between T4 and control group (p>0.05). The level of serum NF-κB was not significantly different between treatment group as well as compared to control group (p>0.05). Serum NF-κB was significantly higher than the level on macrophages and myocytes (p<0.05). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that strenuous physical exercise stimulates the activation of NF-κB that plays a role in vascular inflammation and muscular damage, and may be recovered after resting period.
This study examined the effect of Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology on the output of irrigated rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 142 rice farmers from the Golinga and Bontanga irrigation schemes, around Tamale. A treatment effect model was estimated at two stages; firstly, to determine the factors that influenced farmers’ decision to adopt the UDP technology and secondly, to determine the effect of the adoption of the UDP technology on the output of rice farmers. The significant variables that influenced rice farmers’ adoption of the UPD technology were sex of the farmer, land ownership, off-farm activity, extension service, farmer group participation and training. The results also revealed that farm size and the adoption of UDP technology significantly influenced the output of rice farmers in the northern region of Ghana. In addition to the potential of the technology to improve yields, it also presents an employment opportunity for women and youth, who are engaged in the deep placement of Urea Super Granules (USG), as well as in the transplantation of rice. It is recommended that the government of Ghana work closely with the IFDC to embed the UDP technology in the national agricultural programmes and policies. The study also recommends an effective collaboration between the government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) to train agricultural extension agents on UDP technology in the rice producing areas of the country.
In the current situation, the automobile has become the main means of locomotion. It allows traveling long distances, encouraging urban sprawl. To counteract this trend, the train is often proposed as an alternative to the car. Simultaneously, the favoring of urban development around public transport nodes such as railway stations is one of the main issues of the coordination between urban planning and transportation and the keystone of the sustainable urban development implementation. In this context, this paper focuses on the study of the spatial structuring dynamics around the railway. Specifically, it is a question of studying the demographic dynamics in rail corridors of Nantes, Angers and Le Mans (Western France) basing on the radiation of railway stations. Consequently, the methodology is concentrated on the knowledge of demographic weight and gains of these corridors, the index of urban intensity and the mobility behaviors (workers’ travels, scholars' travels, modal practices of travels). The perimeter considered to define the rail corridors includes the communes of urban area which have a railway station and communes with an access time to the railway station is less than fifteen minutes by car (time specified by the Regional Transport Scheme of Travelers). The main tools used are the statistical data from the census of population, the basis of detailed tables and databases on mobility flows. The study reveals that the population is not tightened along rail corridors and train use is minimal despite the presence of a nearby railway station. These results lead to propose guidelines to make the train, a real vector of mobility across the rail corridors.
The purpose of this study was to develop an energy management system for university campuses based on the Internet of Things (IoT) technique. The proposed IoT technique based on WebAccess is used via network browser Internet Explore and applies TCP/IP protocol. The case study of IoT for lighting energy usage management system was proposed. Structure of proposed IoT technique included perception layer, equipment layer, control layer, application layer and network layer.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) pandemic increased significantly worldwide. The rise in cases of HIV/AIDS was also followed by an increase in the incidence of opportunistic infection, with tuberculosis being the most opportunistic infection found in HIV/AIDS and the main cause of mortality in HIV/AIDS patients. Diagnosis of tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS patients is often difficult because of the uncommon symptom in HIV/AIDS patients compared to those without the disease. Thus, diagnostic tools are required that are more effective and efficient to diagnose tuberculosis in HIV/AIDS. CXCL-10/IP-10 is a chemokine that binds to the CXCR3 receptor found in HIV/AIDS patients with a weakened immune system. Tuberculosis infection in HIV/AIDS activates chemokine IP-10 in urine, which is used as a marker for diagnosis of infection. The aim of this study was to prove whether IP-10 urine can be a biomarker diagnosis of active lung tuberculosis in HIV-AIDS patients. Design of this study is a cross sectional study involving HIV/AIDS patients with lung tuberculosis as the subject of this study. Forty-seven HIV/AIDS patients with tuberculosis based on clinical and biochemical laboratory were asked to collect urine samples and IP-10/CXCL-10 urine being measured using ELISA method with 18 healthy human urine samples as control. Forty-seven patients diagnosed as HIV/AIDS were included as a subject of this study. HIV/AIDS were more common in male than in women with the percentage in male 85.1% vs. 14.5% of women. In this study, most diagnosed patients were aged 31-40 years old, followed by those 21-30 years, and > 40 years old, with one case diagnosed at age less than 20 years of age. From the result of the urine IP-10 using ELISA method, there was significant increase of the mean value of IP-10 urine in patients with TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection compared to the healthy control with mean 61.05 pg/mL ± 78.01 pg/mL vs. mean 17.2 pg/mL. Based on this research, there was significant increase of urine IP-10/CXCL-10 in active lung tuberculosis with HIV/AIDS compared to the healthy control. From this finding, it is necessary to conduct further research into whether urine IP-10/CXCL-10 plays a significant role in TB-HIV/AIDS co-infection, which can also be used as a biomarker in the early diagnosis of TB-HIV.
The purpose of this study is to reduce radiation dose for chest CT examination by including Tube Current Modulation (TCM) to a standard CT protocol. A scan of an anthropomorphic male Alderson phantom was performed on a 128-slice scanner. The estimation of effective dose (ED) in both scans with and without mAs modulation was done via multiplication of Dose Length Product (DLP) to a conversion factor. Results were compared to those measured with a CT-Expo software. The size specific dose estimation (SSDE) values were obtained by multiplication of the volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) with a conversion size factor related to the phantom’s effective diameter. Objective assessment of image quality was performed with Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) measurements in phantom. SPSS software was used for data analysis. Results showed including CARE Dose 4D; ED was lowered by 48.35% and 51.51% using DLP and CT-expo, respectively. In addition, ED ranges between 7.01 mSv and 6.6 mSv in case of standard protocol, while it ranges between 3.62 mSv and 3.2 mSv with TCM. Similar results are found for SSDE; dose was higher without TCM of 16.25 mGy and was lower by 48.8% including TCM. The SNR values calculated were significantly different (p=0.03<0.05). The highest one is measured on images acquired with TCM and reconstructed with Filtered back projection (FBP). In conclusion, this study proves the potential of TCM technique in SSDE and ED reduction and in conserving image quality with high diagnostic reference level for thoracic CT examinations.
Background: In addition to reducing body weight, the low-calorie diets can reduce the lean body mass. It is hypothesized that in addition to reducing the body weight, the low-calorie diets can maintain the lean body mass. So, the current study aimed at evaluating the effects of high-protein diet with calorie restriction on body composition in overweight and obese individuals. Methods: 36 obese and overweight subjects were divided randomly into two groups. The first group received a normal-protein, low-energy diet (RDA), and the second group received a high-protein, low-energy diet (2×RDA). The anthropometric indices including height, weight, body mass index, body fat mass, fat free mass, and body fat percentage were evaluated before and after the study. Results: A significant reduction was observed in anthropometric indices in both groups (high-protein, low-energy diets and normal-protein, low-energy diets). In addition, more reduction in fat free mass was observed in the normal-protein, low-energy diet group compared to the high -protein, low-energy diet group. In other the anthropometric indices, significant differences were not observed between the two groups. Conclusion: Independently of the type of diet, low-calorie diet can improve the anthropometric indices, but during a weight loss, high-protein diet can help the fat free mass to be maintained.
Background: There is a mutual relationship between sleep duration and obesity. We studied the relationship between sleep duration with obesity and dietary Intake. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 444 male students in Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Science. Dietary intake was analyzed by food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Anthropometric indices were analyzed. Participants were being asked about their sleep duration and they were categorized into three groups according to their responses (less than six hours, between six and eight hours, and more than eight hours). Results: Macronutrient, micronutrient, and antioxidant intake did not show significant difference between three groups. Moreover, we did not observe any significant difference between anthropometric indices (weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and percentage body fat). Conclusions: Our study results show no significant relationship between sleep duration, nutrition pattern, and obesity. Further study is recommended.
Background: Graves’ disease (GD) is an autoimmune thyroid disease. Imbalance of Th1/Th2 cells and T-regulatory (Treg)/Th17 cells was thought to play pivotal role in the pathogenesis of GD. Treg FoxP3 produced TGF-β to maintain regulatory function, and Th17 cells produced IL-17 as cytokines that were thought in mediating several autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study is to assess the role of IL-17 and TGF-β in the pathogenesis of GD and to investigate its correlation with Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Receptor Antibody (TRAb) and Treg FoxP3 expression. Method: 30 GD patients and 27 age and sex-matched controls were enrolled in this study. Diagnosis of GD was based on clinical and biochemical of GD. Serum IL-17, TGF-β, TRAb, and FoxP3 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data were analyzed by using SPSS 21.0 (SPSS Inc.). Spearman rank correlation test was used for assessment of correlation. The statistical significance was accepted as P<0.05. Result: There was no significant correlation between IL-17 and TGF-β serum with expression of FoxP3 level in GD, but there was significant correlation between TGF-β and TRAb serum level (P<0.05). Serum levels of IL-17 and TGF-β were found to be elevated in patient group compared to control, where mean values of IL-17 were 14.43±2.15 pg/mL and TGF-β were 10.44±3.19 pg/mL in patients group; and in control group, level of IL-17 were 7.1±1.45 pg/mL and TGF-β were 4.95±1.35 pg/mL. Conclusion: Serum Il-17 and TGF-β were elevated in GD patients that reflect the role of inflammatory and regulatory cytokines activation in pathogenesis of GD. There was significant correlation between TGF-β and TRAb, revealing that Treg cytokines may play a role in pathogenesis of GD.
Laboratory tests have been carried out to investigate the response of 2x2 pile group subjected to triangular soil movement. The pile group was instrumented with displacement and tilting devices at the pile cap and strain gauges on two piles of the group. In this paper, results from four model tests were presented to study the effects of axial loads and soil density on the lateral behavior of piles. The responses in terms of bending moment, shear force, soil pressure, deflection, and rotation of piles were compared. Test results indicate that increasing the soil strength could increase the measured moment, shear, soil pressure, and pile deformations. Most importantly, adding loads to the pile cap induces additional moment to the head of front-pile row unlike the back-pile row which was influenced insignificantly.