|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 74|
A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.
The modern world faces huge challenges. Globalization changed the socio-economic conditions of many countries. The current processes in the global environment have a different impact on countries with different cultures. However, an alleviation of poverty and improvement of living conditions is still the basic challenge for the majority of countries, because much of the population still lives under the official threshold of poverty. It is very important to stimulate youth employment. In order to prepare young people for the labour market, it is essential to provide them with the appropriate professional skills and knowledge. It is necessary to plan efficient activities for decreasing an unemployment rate and for developing the perfect mechanisms for regulation of a labour market. Such planning requires thorough study and analysis of existing reality, as well as development of corresponding mechanisms. Statistical analysis of unemployment is one of the main platforms for regulation of the labour market key mechanisms. The corresponding statistical methods should be used in the study process. Such methods are observation, gathering, grouping, and calculation of the generalized indicators. Unemployment is one of the most severe socioeconomic problems in Georgia. According to the past as well as the current statistics, unemployment rates always have been the most problematic issue to resolve for policy makers. Analytical works towards to the above-mentioned problem will be the basis for the next sustainable steps to solve the main problem. The results of the study showed that the choice of young people is not often due to their inclinations, their interests and the labour market demand. That is why the wrong professional orientation of young people in most cases leads to their unemployment. At the same time, it was shown that there are a number of professions in the labour market with a high demand because of the deficit the appropriate specialties. To achieve healthy competitiveness in youth employment, it is necessary to formulate regional employment programs with taking into account the regional infrastructure specifications.
In recent few decades, business process management (BPM) has been in focus of a great number of researchers and organizations. There are many benefits derived from the implementation of BPM in organizations. However, there has been also noticed that lately traditional BPM faces some difficulties in terms of the divide between models and their execution, lost innovations, lack of information fusioning and so on. As a result, there has been a new discipline, called social BPM, which incorporates principles of social software into the BPM. On the other hand, many researchers indicate organizational culture as a vital part of the BPM success and maturity. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate the current state of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM among the organizations from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, with the regards to the organizational culture as well. The paper presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729), financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results indicate differences in the level of BPM maturity, the usage of social BPM and the dominant organizational culture in the observed organizations from different countries. These differences are further discussed in the paper.
In this study, a model, together with a software tool that implements it, has been developed to determine the performance ratings of employees in an organization operating in the information technology sector using the indicators obtained from employees' online study data. Weighted Sum (WS) Method and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method based on multi-criteria decision-making approach were used in the study. WS and TOPSIS methods provide multicriteria decision making (MCDM) methods that allow all criteria to be evaluated together considering specific weights, allowing employees to objectively evaluate the problem of online performance tracking. The application of WS and TOPSIS mathematical methods, which can combine alternatives with a large number of criteria and reach simultaneous solution, has been implemented through an online performance tracking software. In the application of WS and TOPSIS methods, objective criteria weights were calculated by using entropy information (EI) and standard deviation (SD) methods from the data obtained by employees' online performance tracking method, decision matrix was formed by using performance scores for each employee, and a single performance score was calculated for each employee. Based on the calculated performance score, employees were given a performance evaluation decision. The results of Pareto set evidence and comparative statistical analysis validate that employees' performance preference rankings in WS and TOPSIS methods are closely related. This suggests the compatibility, applicability, and validity of the proposed method to the MCDM problems in which a large number of alternative and criteria types are taken into account. With this study, an objective, realistic, feasible and understandable mathematical method, together with a software tool that implements it has been demonstrated. This is considered to be preferable because of the subjectivity, limitations and high cost of the methods traditionally used in the measurement and performance appraisal in the information technology sector.
With this contribution, we want to show how the AiRT system could change the future way of working of a part of the creative industry and what new economic opportunities could arise for them. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also more commonly known as drones, are now essential tools used by many different companies for their creative outdoor work. However, using this very flexible applicable tool indoor is almost impossible, since safe navigation cannot be guaranteed by the operator due to the lack of a reliable and affordable indoor positioning system which ensures a stable flight, among other issues. Here we present our first results of a European project, which consists of developing an indoor drone for professional footage especially designed for the creative industries. One of the main achievements of this project is the successful implication of the end-users in the overall design process from the very beginning. To ensure safe flight in confined spaces, our drone incorporates a positioning system based on ultra-wide band technology, an RGB-D (depth) camera for 3D environment reconstruction and the possibility to fully pre-program automatic flights. Since we also want to offer this tool for inexperienced pilots, we have always focused on user-friendly handling of the whole system throughout the entire process.
In this paper we present a quick technique to measure the similarity between binary images. The technique is based on a probabilistic mapping approach and is fast because only a minute percentage of the image pixels need to be compared to measure the similarity, and not the whole image. We exploit the power of the Probabilistic Matching Model for Binary Images (PMMBI) to arrive at an estimate of the similarity. We show that the estimate is a good approximation of the actual value, and the quality of the estimate can be improved further with increased image mappings. Furthermore, the technique is image size invariant; the similarity between big images can be measured as fast as that for small images. Examples of trials conducted on real images are presented.
Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.
The Jalovchat intrusive is built up of hornblende gabbros, gabbro-norites and norites. Within the intrusive hornblende-bearing gabbro-pegmatites are widespread. That is a coarse-grained rock with gigantic hornblende crystals. By its unusual composition, the Jalovchat intrusive has no analogue in the Caucasus. However, petrologically and geochemically, the intrusive rocks were studied insufficiently. For comprehensive investigations, the authors applied appropriate methodologies: Microscopic study of thin sections, petro- and geochemical analyses of the samples and also different petrogenic, rare and rare earth elements diagrams and spidergrams. Analytical study established that the Jalovchat intrusive by its composition corresponds mainly to the mid-ocean ridge basalts and according to geodynamic type belongs to the subduction type. In general, it is an anomalous phenomenon, as in the rocks of such composition crystallization of hornblende and especially of its gigantic crystals is atypical. The authors believe that the water-rich magma reservoir, which was necessary for the crystallization of gigantic hornblende crystals, appeared as a result of melting of water-rich mid-ocean ridge basaltic rocks during the subduction process in Bajocian time.
Botswana is an arid country that needs to start reusing wastewater as part of its water security plan. Pilot scale slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter was investigated for the treatment of effluent from Botswana International University of Science and Technology to meet Botswana irrigation standards. The system was operated at hydraulic loading rates of 0.04 m/hr and 0.12 m/hr. The results show that the system was able to reduce turbidity from 262 Nephelometric Turbidity Units to a range between 18 and 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units which was below 30 Nephelometric Turbidity Units threshold limit. The overall efficacy ranged between 61% and 100%. Suspended solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand removal efficiency averaged 42.6%, 45.5%, and 77% respectively and all within irrigation standards. Other physio-chemical parameters were within irrigation standards except for bicarbonate ion which averaged 297.7±44 mg L-1 in the influent and 196.22±50 mg L-1 in the effluent which was above the limit of 92 mg L-1, therefore averaging a reduction of 34.1% by the system. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli in the effluent were initially averaging 1.1 log counts, 0.5 log counts, and 1.3 log counts respectively compared to corresponding influent log counts of 3.4, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. As time passed, it was observed that only roughing filter was able to reach reductions of 97.5%, 86% and 100% respectively for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms. These organism numbers were observed to have increased in slow sand filter effluent suggesting multiplication in the tank. Water quality index value of 22.79 for the physio-chemical parameters suggests that the effluent is of excellent quality and can be used for irrigation purposes. However, the water quality index value for the microbial parameters (1820) renders the quality unsuitable for irrigation. It is concluded that slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter is a viable option for the treatment of secondary effluent for reuse purposes. However, further studies should be conducted especially for the removal of microbial parameters using the system.
The generation of solid waste and its effective management are debated topics in Sri Lanka as well as in the global environment. It was estimated that the most of the waste generated in global was originated from construction and demolition of buildings. Thus, the proportion of construction waste in solid waste generation cannot be underestimated. The construction waste, which is the by-product generated and removed from work sites is collected in direct and indirect processes. Hence, the objectives of this research are to identify the proportion of construction waste which can be reused and identify the methods to reduce the waste generation without reducing the quality of the process. A 6-storey building construction site was selected for this research. The site was divided into six zones depending on the process. Ten waste materials were identified by considering the adverse effects on safety and health of people and the economic value of them. The generated construction waste in each zone was recorded per week for a period of five months. The data revealed that sand, cement, wood used for form work and rusted steel rods were the generated waste which has higher economic value in all zones. Structured interviews were conducted to gather information on how the materials are categorized as waste and the capability of reducing, reusing and recycling the waste. It was identified that waste is generated in following processes; ineffective storage of material for a longer time and improper handling of material during the work process. Further, the alteration of scheduled activities of construction work also yielded more waste. Finally, a proper management of construction waste is suggested to reduce and reuse waste.
Internal insulation of external walls is often problematic due to increased moisture content in the wall and interstitial or surface condensation risk. In this paper, the hygrothermal performance of prefabricated, concrete, large panel, external wall typical for WK70 system, commonly used in Poland in the 70’s, with inside, additional insulation was investigated. Thermal insulation board made out of hygroscopic, natural materials with moisture buffer capacity and extruded polystyrene (EPS) board was used as interior insulation. Experience with this natural insulation is rare in Poland. The analysis was performed using WUFI software. First of all, the impact of various standard boundary conditions on the behavior of the different wall assemblies was tested. The comparison of results showed that the moisture class according to the EN ISO 13788 leads to too high values of total moisture content in the wall since the boundary condition according to the EN 15026 should be usually applied. Then, hygrothermal 1D-simulations were conducted by WUFI Pro for analysis of internally added insulation, and the weak point like the joint of the wall with the concrete ceiling was verified using 2D simulations. Results showed that, in the Warsaw climate and the indoor conditions adopted in accordance with EN 15026, in the tested wall assemblies, regardless of the type of interior insulation, there would not be any problems with moisture - inside the structure and on the interior surface.
Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.
Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.
Due to the increased penetration of renewable energy resources in the distribution system, the system is no longer passive in nature. In this paper, a steady state analysis of the distribution system has been done with the inclusion of wind generation. The modeling of wind turbine generator system and wind generator has been made to obtain the average active and the reactive power injection into the system. The study has been conducted on a IEEE-33 bus system with two wind generators. The present research work is useful not only to utilities but also to customers.
In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.
Neuropsychological problems are more common in hemodialysis (HD) patients than in healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long term HD on memory types of HD patients. To assess the different type of memory, we used memory parts of the Persian Papers and Pencil Cognitive assessment package (PCAP) and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination (ACE-R). Our study included 80 HD patients of whom 39 had less than six months of HD and 41 patients and another group which had a history of HD more than six months. The population had a mean age of 51.60 years old and 27.5% of them were female. The scores of patients who have been hemodialyzed for a long time (median time of HD was up to 4 years) had lower score in anterograde, explicit, visual, recall and recognition memory (5.44±1.07, 9.49±3.472, 22.805±6.6913, 5.59±10.435, 11.02±3.190 score) than the HD patients who underwent HD for a shorter term, where the median time was 3 to 5 months (P<0.01). The regression result shows that, by increasing the HD duration, all memory types are reduced (R2=0.600, P<0.01). The present study demonstrated that HD patients who were under HD for a long time had significantly lower scores in the different types of memory. However, additional researches are needed in this area.
The main focus of this research will be on analyzing correlative links between terrorism as an asymmetrical threat and the consequences it leaves on conventional security forces. The methodology behind the research will include qualitative research methods focusing on comparative analysis of books, scientific papers, documents and other sources, in order to deduce, explore and formulate the results of the research. With the coming of the 21st century and the rising multi-polar, new world threats quickly emerged. The realistic approach in international relations deems that relations among nations are in a constant state of anarchy since there are no definitive rules and the distribution of power varies widely. International relations are further characterized by egoistic and self-orientated human nature, anarchy or absence of a higher government, security and lack of morality. The asymmetry of power is also reflected on countries' security capabilities and its abilities to project power. With the coming of the new millennia and the rising multi-polar world order, the asymmetry of power can be also added as an important trait of the global society which consequently brought new threats. Among various others, terrorism is probably the most well-known, well-based and well-spread asymmetric threat. In today's global political arena, terrorism is used by state and non-state actors to fulfill their political agendas. Terrorism is used as an all-inclusive tool for regime change, subversion or a revolution. Although the nature of terrorist groups is somewhat inconsistent, terrorism as a security and social phenomenon has a one constant which is reflected in its political dimension. The state's security apparatus, which was embodied in the form of conventional armed forces, is now becoming fragile, unable to tackle new threats and to a certain extent outdated. Conventional security forces were designed to defend or engage an exterior threat which is more or less symmetric and visible. On the other hand, terrorism as an asymmetrical threat is a part of hybrid, special or asymmetric warfare in which specialized units, institutions or facilities represent the primary pillars of security. In today's global society, terrorism is probably the most acute problem which can paralyze entire countries and their political systems. This problem, however, cannot be engaged on an open field of battle, but rather it requires a different approach in which conventional armed forces cannot be used traditionally and their role must be adjusted. The research will try to shed light on the phenomena of modern day terrorism and to prove its correlation with the state conventional armed forces. States are obliged to adjust their security apparatus to the new realism of global society and terrorism as an asymmetrical threat which is a side-product of the unbalanced world.
Among serious crimes, child homicide is a rather rare event. However, the killing of children stirs up a special type of emotion in society that pales other criminal acts. This study examines the relevancy of three possible community-level explanations for child homicide: social deprivation, female empowerment, and social isolation. The social deprivation hypothesis posits that child homicide results from lack of resources in communities. The female empowerment hypothesis argues that a higher female status translates into a higher level of capability to prevent child homicide. Finally, the social isolation hypothesis regards child homicide as a result of lack of social connectivity. Child homicide data, aggregated by US postal ZIP codes in California from 1990 to 1999, were analyzed with a negative binomial regression. The results of the negative binomial analysis demonstrate that social deprivation is the most salient and consistent predictor among all other factors in explaining child homicide victimization at the ZIP-code level. Both social isolation and female labor force participation are weak predictors of child homicide victimization across communities. Further, results from the negative binomial regression show that it is the communities with a higher, not lower, degree of female labor force participation that are associated with a higher count of child homicide. It is possible that poor communities with a higher level of female employment have a lesser capacity to provide the necessary care and protection for the children. Policies aiming at reducing social deprivation and strengthening female empowerment possess the potential to reduce child homicide in the community.
The world has witnessed the collapse of many corporate giants as a result of unethical behavior in recent decades. This has induced a series of questions by the global community on why such occurrences could happen, even with corporate governance in place. This paper attempts to propose a philosophical approach from an Islamic perspective to be consolidated with current corporate governance in order to confront contemporary dilemmas. In this paper, ethical theories are presented as a discussion followed by their applications to modern cases of financial collapses. Virtue ethics by Aristotle, justice and fairness by John Rawls, deontology by Immanuel Kant, and utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill, are the four theories which can then be contrasted with the paradigm of Muslim scholars. Despite the differences between the fundamental principles of Islamic and Western worldviews, their ethical theories are aimed at making right decisions and solving ethical dilemmas based on what is good for society. Therefore, Islamic principles should be synthesized with Western philosophy to form a more coherent framework. The integration of Islamic and western ethical theories into business is important for sound corporate governance.
It is of great importance for an architectural student to know the parameters through which he/she can conduct his/her design and makes his/her design effective in architectural education. Therefore; an empirical application study was carried out through the designing activity using the emulation model to support the design and design approaches of architectural students. During the investigation period, studies were done on the basic design elements and principles of the fall semester, and the emulation model, one of the designing methods that constitute the subject of the study, was fictionalized as three phased “recognition-interpretation-application”. As a result of the study, it was observed that when students were given a key method during the design process, their awareness increased and their aspects improved as well.
Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.
Due to the best quality of yarn and the flexibility of the machine, the ring spinning process is the most widely used spinning method for short staple yarn production. However, the productivity of these machines is still much lower in comparison to other spinning systems such as rotor or air-jet spinning process. The main reason for this limitation lies on the twisting mechanism of the ring spinning process. In the ring/traveler twisting system, each rotation of the traveler along with the ring inserts twist in the yarn. The rotation of the traveler at higher speed includes strong frictional forces, which in turn generates heat. Different ring/traveler systems concerning with its geometries, material combinations and coatings have already been implemented to solve the frictional problem. However, such developments can neither completely solve the frictional problem nor increase the productivity. The friction free superconducting magnetic bearing (SMB) system can be a right alternative replacing the existing ring/traveler system. The unique concept of SMB bearings is that they possess a self-stabilizing behavior, i.e. they remain fully passive without any necessity for expensive position sensing and control. Within the framework of a research project funded by German research foundation (DFG), suitable concepts of the SMB-system have been designed, developed, and integrated as a twisting device of ring spinning replacing the existing ring/traveler system. With the help of the developed mathematical model and experimental investigation, the physical limitations of this innovative twisting device in the spinning process have been determined. The interaction among the parameters of the spinning process and the superconducting twisting element has been further evaluated, which derives the concrete information regarding the new spinning process. Moreover, the influence of the implemented SMB twisting system on the yarn quality has been analyzed with respect to different process parameters. The presented work reveals the enormous potential of the innovative twisting mechanism, so that the productivity of the ring spinning process especially in case of thermoplastic materials can be at least doubled for the first time in a hundred years. The SMB ring spinning tester has also been presented in the international fair “International Textile Machinery Association (ITMA) 2015”.
System Safety Regulations (SSR) are a central component to the airworthiness certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). There is significant debate on the setting of appropriate SSR for UAS. Putting this debate aside, the challenge lies in how to apply the system safety process to UAS, which lacks the data and operational heritage of conventionally piloted aircraft. The limited knowledge and lack of operational data result in uncertainty in the system safety assessment of UAS. This uncertainty can lead to incorrect compliance findings and the potential certification and operation of UAS that do not meet minimum safety performance requirements. The existing system safety assessment and compliance processes, as used for conventional piloted aviation, do not adequately account for the uncertainty, limiting the suitability of its application to UAS. This paper discusses the challenges of undertaking system safety assessments for UAS and presents current and envisaged research towards addressing these challenges. It aims to highlight the main advantages associated with adopting a risk based framework to the System Safety Performance Requirement (SSPR) compliance process that is capable of taking the uncertainty associated with each of the outputs of the system safety assessment process into consideration. Based on this study, it is made clear that developing a framework tailored to UAS, would allow for a more rational, transparent and systematic approach to decision making. This would reduce the need for conservative assumptions and take the risk posed by each UAS into consideration while determining its state of compliance to the SSR.
Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.
The major concern in the aviation industry is the flight safety. Although great effort has been put onto the development of material and system reliability, the failure cases of fatal accidents still occur nowadays. Due to the complexity of the aviation system, and the interaction among the failure components, the failure analysis of the related equipment is a little difficult. This study focuses on surveying the failure cases in aviation, which are extracted from failure analysis journals, including Engineering Failure Analysis and Case studies in Engineering Failure Analysis, in order to obtain the failure sensitive factors or failure sensitive parts. The analytical results show that, among the failure cases, fatigue failure is the largest in number of occurrence. The most failed components are the disk, blade, landing gear, bearing, and fastener. The frequently failed materials consist of steel, aluminum alloy, superalloy, and titanium alloy. Therefore, in order to assure the safety in aviation, more attention should be paid to the fatigue failures.
Bio-batteries represent an entirely new long-term, reasonable, reachable, and eco-friendly approach to generation of sustainable energy. In the present experimental work, we have studied the effect of the generation of power by bio-battery using different electrode pairs. The tests show that it is possible to generate electricity using cow’s urine as an electrolyte. C-Mg electrode pair shows maximum Voltage and Short Circuit Current (SCC), while C-Zn electrode pair shows less Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) and SCC. By the studies of cow urine and different electrodes, it is found that C-Zn electrode battery is more economical. The cow urine battery with C-Zn electrode provides maximum power (707.4 mW) and durability (up to 145 h). This result shows that the bio-batteries have the potency to full fill the need of electricity demand for lower energy equipment.
With this contribution, we want to show a successful example of the application of the Design Thinking methodology, in the European project 'Technology transfer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for the creative industry'. The use of this methodology has allowed us to design and build a drone, based on the real needs of prospective users. It has demonstrated that this is a powerful tool for generating innovative ideas in the field of robotics, by focusing its effectiveness on understanding and solving real user needs. In this way, with the support of an interdisciplinary team, comprised of creatives, engineers and economists, together with the collaboration of prospective users from three European countries, a non-linear work dynamic has been created. This teamwork has generated a sense of appreciation towards the creative industries, through continuously adaptive, inventive, and playful collaboration and communication, which has facilitated the development of prototypes. These have been designed to enable filming and photography in interior spaces, within 13 sectors of European creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Antiques and Museums, Music, Photography, Televison, Performing Arts, Publishing, Arts and Crafts, Design and Software. Furthermore, it has married the real needs of the creative industries, with what is technologically and commercially viable. As a result, a product of great value has been obtained, which offers new business opportunities for small companies across this sector.
The piano sonatas of Beethoven represent part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The aims of this research were to further explore this intangibility by placing emphasis on defining emotional normative ratings for the “Waldstein” (Op. 53) and “Tempest” (Op. 31) Sonatas of Beethoven. To this end, a musicological analysis was conducted on these particular sonatas and referential patterns in these works of Beethoven were defined. Appropriate interactive questionnaires were designed in order to create a statistical normative rating that describes the emotional status when an individual listens to these musical excerpts. Based on these ratings, it is possible for emotional annotations for these same referential patterns to be created and integrated into the music score.
At present, the orchard ditching and fertilizing technology has a series of problems, such as easy tree roots damage, high energy consumption and uneven fertilizing. In this paper, a gas explosion subsoiling and fertilizer injection machine was designed, which used high pressure gas to shock soil body and then injected fertilizer. The drill pipe mechanism with pneumatic chipping hammer excitation and hydraulic assistance was designed to drill the soil. The operation of gas and liquid fertilizer supply was controlled by PLC system. The 3D model of the whole machine was established by using SolidWorks software. The machine prototype was produced, and field experiments were carried out. The results showed that soil fractures were created and diffused by gas explosion, and the subsoiling effect radius reached 40 cm under the condition of 0.8 MPa gas pressure and 30 cm drilling depth. What’s more, the work efficiency is 0.048 hm2/h at least. This machine could meet the agronomic requirements of orchard, garden and city greening fertilization, and the tree roots were not easily damaged and the fertilizer evenly distributed, which was conducive to nutrient absorption of root growth.
The use of alternative energy sources to meet energy demand reduces environmental damage. To diversify an energy matrix and to minimize global warming, a solar energy is gaining space, being an important source of renewable energy, and its potential depends on the climatic conditions of the region. Brazil presents a great solar potential for a generation of electric energy, so the knowledge of solar radiation and its characteristics are fundamental for the study of energy use. Due to the above reasons, this article aims to verify the climatic variability corresponding to the variations in solar radiation anomalies, in the face of climate change scenarios. The data used in this research are part of the Intercomparison of Interconnected Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which contributed to the preparation of the fifth IPCC-AR5 report. The solar radiation data were extracted from The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model using the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios that represent an intermediate structure and a pessimistic framework, the latter being the most worrisome in all cases. In order to allow the use of solar radiation as a source of energy in a given location and/or region, it is important, first, to determine its availability, thus justifying the importance of the study. The results pointed out, for the 75-year period (2026-2100), based on a pessimistic scenario, indicate a drop in solar radiation of the approximately 12% in the eastern region of Rio Grande do Sul. Factors that influence the pessimistic prospects of this scenario should be better observed by the responsible authorities, since they can affect the possibility to produce electricity from solar radiation.
In this paper, an intelligent approach is proposed to optimize the orientation of continuous solar tracking systems on cloudy days. Considering the weather case, the direct sunlight is more important than the diffuse radiation in case of clear sky. Thus, the panel is always pointed towards the sun. In case of an overcast sky, the solar beam is close to zero, and the panel is placed horizontally to receive the maximum of diffuse radiation. Under partly covered conditions, the panel must be pointed towards the source that emits the maximum of solar energy and it may be anywhere in the sky dome. Thus, the idea of our approach is to analyze the images, captured by ground-based sky camera system, in order to detect the zone in the sky dome which is considered as the optimal source of energy under cloudy conditions. The proposed approach is implemented using experimental setup developed at PROMES-CNRS laboratory in Perpignan city (France). Under overcast conditions, the results were very satisfactory, and the intelligent approach has provided efficiency gains of up to 9% relative to conventional continuous sun tracking systems.
The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including, time, temperature and mixing rate were kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.
The rapidly increasing number of population in the limited area creates an effect on the idea of the improvement of the area to suit the environment and the needs of people. Faculty of architecture Chiang Mai University is also expanding in both variety fields of study and quality of education. In 2020, the new department will be introduced in the faculty which is Department of Landscape Architecture. With the limitation of the area in the existing building, the faculty plan to renovate some parts of its school for anticipates the number of students who will join the program in the next two years. As a result, the old wooden workshop area is selected to be renovated as student studio space. With such condition, it is necessary to study the restriction and the distinctive environment of the site prior to the improvement in order to find ways to manage the existing space due to the fact that the primary functions that have been practiced in the site, an old wooden workshop space and the new function, studio space, are too different. 72.9% of the annual times in the room are considered to be out of the thermal comfort condition with high relative humidity. This causes non-comfort condition for occupants which could promote mould growth. This study aims to analyze thermal comfort condition in the Landscape Learning Studio Area for finding the solution to improve indoor air quality and respond to local conditions. The research methodology will be in two parts: 1) field gathering data on the case study 2) analysis and finding the solution of improving indoor air quality. The result of the survey indicated that the room needs to solve non-comfort condition problem. This can be divided into two ways which are raising ventilation and indoor temperature, e.g. improving building design and stack driven ventilation, using fan for enhancing more internal ventilation.
Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.
Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.
A typical reliability engineering problem regarding communication satellites has been considered to determine redundancy allocation scheme of power amplifiers within payload transponder module, whose dominant function is to amplify power levels of the received signals from the Earth, through maximizing reliability against mass, power, and other technical limitations. Adding each redundant power amplifier component increases not only reliability but also hardware, testing, and launch cost of a satellite. This study investigates a multi-objective approach used in order to solve Redundancy Allocation Problem (RAP) for a communication satellite payload transponder, focusing on design cost due to redundancy and reliability factors. The main purpose is to find the optimum power amplifier redundancy configuration satisfying reliability and capacity thresholds simultaneously instead of analyzing respectively or independently. A mathematical model and calculation approach are instituted including objective function definitions, and then, the problem is solved analytically with different input parameters in MATLAB environment. Example results showed that payload capacity and failure rate of power amplifiers have remarkable effects on the solution and also processing time.
Alzheimer's prevalence is on the rise, and the disease comes with problems like cessation of treatment, high cost of treatment, and the lack of early detection methods. The pathology of this disease causes the formation of protein deposits in the brain of patients called plaque amyloid. Generally, the diagnosis of this disease is done by performing tests such as a cerebrospinal fluid, CT scan, MRI, and spinal cord fluid testing, or mental testing tests and eye tracing tests. In this paper, we tried to use the Medial Temporal Atrophy (MTA) method and the Leave One Out (LOO) cycle to extract the statistical properties of the three Fz, Pz, and Cz channels of ERP signals for early diagnosis of this disease. In the process of CT scan images, the accuracy of the results is 81% for the healthy person and 88% for the severe patient. After the process of ERP signaling, the accuracy of the results for a healthy person in the delta band in the Cz channel is 81% and in the alpha band the Pz channel is 90%. In the results obtained from the signal processing, the results of the severe patient in the delta band of the Cz channel were 89% and in the alpha band Pz channel 92%.
From the last decades, there is a significant technological advancement in the field of robotics, and a number of modular self-reconfigurable robots were introduced that can help in space exploration, bucket to stuff, search, and rescue operation during earthquake, etc. As there are numbers of self-reconfigurable robots, choosing the optimum one is always a concern for robot user since there is an increase in available features, facilities, complexity, etc. The objective of this research work is to present a multiple attribute decision making based methodology for coding, evaluation, comparison ranking and selection of modular self-reconfigurable robots using a technique for order preferences by similarity to ideal solution approach. However, 86 attributes that affect the structure and performance are identified. A database for modular self-reconfigurable robot on the basis of different pertinent attribute is generated. This database is very useful for the user, for selecting a robot that suits their operational needs. Two visual methods namely linear graph and spider chart are proposed for ranking of modular self-reconfigurable robots. Using five robots (Atron, Smores, Polybot, M-Tran 3, Superbot), an example is illustrated, and raking of the robots is successfully done, which shows that Smores is the best robot for the operational need illustrated, and this methodology is found to be very effective and simple to use.
Computing with Words (CWW) and Possibilistic Relational Universal Fuzzy (PRUF) are the two concepts which widely represent and measure the vaguely defined natural phenomenon. In this paper, we study the positional alteration of the phrases by which the impact of a natural language proposition gets affected and/or modified. We observe the gradations due to sensitivity/feeling of a statement towards the positional alterations. We derive the classification and modification of the meaning of words due to the positional alteration. We present the results with reference to set theoretic interpretations.
Fines are heterogeneous residues created during the shredding of non-hazardous waste. They are one of the most challenging issues faced by recyclers, because they are at the present time considered as non-sortable and non-reusable mixtures destined to landfill. However, fines contain a large amount of recoverable materials that could be recycled or reused for the production of solid recovered fuel. This research is conducted in relation to a project named ValoRABES. The aim is to characterize fines and establish a suitable sorting process in order to extract the materials contained in the mixture and define their suitable recovery paths. This paper will highlight the importance of a good sampling and will propose a sampling methodology for fines characterization. First results about the characterization will be also presented.
Tropaeolum majus L. is a native plant to South and Central America, used since ancient times by our ancestors to combat different diseases. Glucotropaeolonin is one of its main components, which when hydrolyzed, forms benzyl isothiocyanate (BIT) that promotes cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death in cancer cells). Therefore, the present research aims to evaluate the effect of the pressure and temperature of BIT extraction by supercritical CO2 from Tropaeolum majus L. The extraction was carried out in a supercritical fluid extractor equipment Speed SFE BASIC Brand: Poly science, the leaves of Tropaeolum majus L. were ground for one hour and lyophilized until obtaining a humidity of 6%. The extraction with supercritical CO2 was carried out with pressures of 200 bar and 300 bar, temperatures of 50°C, 60°C and 70°C, obtained by the conjugation of these six treatments. BIT was identified by thin layer chromatography using 98% BIT as the standard, and as the mobile phase hexane: dichloromethane (4:2). Subsequently, BIT quantification was performed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The highest yield of oleoresin by supercritical CO2 extraction was obtained pressure 300 bar and temperature at 60°C; and the higher content of BIT at pressure 200 bar and 70°C for 30 minutes to obtain 113.615 ± 0.03 mg BIT/100 g dry matter was obtained.
Introduction: Currently, there has been an increasing concern about the provision of palliative care in non-oncological patients in both professional literature and clinical practice. However, there is not much scientific information on how to provide neurological and palliative care together. The main objective of the project is to create and to verify a concept of neuro-palliative and rehabilitative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in an advanced stage of the disease and also to evaluate bio-psychosocial and spiritual needs of these patients and their caregivers related to the quality of life using created standardized tools. Methodology: Triangulation of research methods (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. A concept of care and assessment tools will be developed by analyzing interviews and focus groups. Qualitative data will be analyzed using grounded theory. The concept of care will be tested in the context of the intervention study. Using quantitative analysis, we will assess the effect of an intervention provided on the saturation of needs, quality of life, and quality of care. A research sample will be made up of the patients with selected neurological diseases (Parkinson´s syndrome, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease), together with patients´ family members. Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for health care professionals will be created. Findings: Based on qualitative data analysis, we will propose the concept of integrated care model combining neurological, rehabilitative and specialist palliative care for patients with selected neurological diseases in different settings of care and services. Patients´ needs related to quality of life will be described by newly created and validated measuring tools before the start of intervention (application of neuro-palliative and palliative approach) and then in the time interval. Conclusion: Based on the results, educational materials and a certified course for doctors and health care professionals will be created.
In an energy-intensive world, minimizing energy consumption is paramount to cost saving and reducing the carbon footprint. Improving mixture procedures utilizing warm mix additive Fischer-Tropsch (FT) wax in ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and modified bitumen highlights a greener and sustainable approach to modified bitumen. In this study, the impact of FT wax on optimized EVA/waste crumb rubber modified bitumen is assayed with a maximum loading of 2.5%. The rationale of the FT wax loading is to maintain the original maximum loading of EVA in the optimized mixture. The phase change abilities of FT wax enable EVA co-crystallization with the support of the elastomeric backbone of crumb rubber. Less than 1% loading of FT wax worked in the EVA/crumb rubber modified bitumen energy-sustainability nexus. Response surface methodology approach to the mixture design is implemented amongst the different loadings of FT wax, EVA for a consistent amount of crumb rubber and bitumen. Rheological parameters (complex shear modulus, phase angle and rutting parameter) were the factors used as performance indicators of the different optimized mixtures. The low temperature chemistry of the optimized mixtures is analyzed using elementary beam theory and the elastic-viscoelastic correspondence principle. Master curves and black space diagrams are developed and used to predict age-induced cracking of the different long term aged mixtures. Modified binder rheology reveals that the strain response is not linear and that there is substantial re-arrangement of polymer chains as stress is increased, this is based on the age state of the mixture and the FT wax and EVA loadings. Dominance of individual effects is evident over effects of synergy in co-interaction of EVA and FT wax. All-inclusive FT wax and EVA formulations were best optimized in mixture 4 with mixture 7 reflecting increase in ease of workability. Findings show that interaction chemistry of bitumen, crumb rubber EVA, and FT wax is first and second order in all cases involving individual contributions and co-interaction amongst the components of the mixture.
This paper presents an experimental investigation for the characteristics of an energy harvesting device exploiting flow-induced vibration in a wind tunnel. A stationary bluff body is connected with a downstream tip body via an aluminium cantilever beam. Various lengths of aluminium cantilever beam and different shapes of downstream tip body are considered. The results show that the characteristics of the energy harvester’s vibration depend on both the length of the aluminium cantilever beam and the shape of the downstream tip body. The highest ratio between vibration amplitude and bluff body diameter was found to be 1.39 for an energy harvester with a symmetrical triangular tip body and L/D1 = 5 at 9.8 m/s of flow speed (Re = 20077). Using this configuration, the electrical energy was extracted with a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric beam with different load resistances, of which the optimal value could be found on each Reynolds number. The highest power output was found to be 3.19 µW, at 9.8 m/s of flow speed (Re = 20077) and 27 MΩ of load resistance.
The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.
Accurate determination of wind turbine performance is necessary for economic operation of a wind farm. At present, the procedure to carry out the power performance verification of wind turbines is based on a standard of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In this paper, nonparametric statistical inference is applied to designing a simple, inexpensive method of verifying the power performance of a wind turbine. A statistical test is explained, examined, and the adequacy is tested over real data. The methods use the information that is collected by the SCADA system (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) from the sensors embedded in the wind turbines in order to carry out the power performance verification of a wind farm. The study has used data on the monthly output of wind farm in the Republic of Macedonia, and the time measuring interval was from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. At the end, it is concluded whether the power performance of a wind turbine differed significantly from what would be expected. The results of the implementation of the proposed methods showed that the power performance of the specific wind farm under assessment was acceptable.
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) usually navigate through the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) associated with an Inertial Navigation System (INS). However, GNSS can have its accuracy degraded at any time or even turn off the signal of GNSS. In addition, there is the possibility of malicious interferences, known as jamming. Therefore, the image navigation system can solve the autonomy problem, because if the GNSS is disabled or degraded, the image navigation system would continue to provide coordinate information for the INS, allowing the autonomy of the system. This work aims to evaluate the accuracy of the positioning though photogrammetry concepts. The methodology uses orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSM) as a reference to represent the object space and photograph obtained during the flight to represent the image space. For the calculation of the coordinates of the perspective center and camera attitudes, it is necessary to know the coordinates of homologous points in the object space (orthophoto coordinates and DSM altitude) and image space (column and line of the photograph). So if it is possible to automatically identify in real time the homologous points the coordinates and attitudes can be calculated whit their respective accuracies. With the methodology applied in this work, it is possible to verify maximum errors in the order of 0.5 m in the positioning and 0.6º in the attitude of the camera, so the navigation through the image can reach values equal to or higher than the GNSS receivers without differential correction. Therefore, navigating through the image is a good alternative to enable autonomous navigation.
Forced vibration problem of a delaminated beam made of fiber metal laminates is studied in this paper. Firstly, a delamination is considered to divide the beam into four sections. The classic beam theory is assumed to dominate each section. The layers on two sides of the delamination are constrained to have the same deflection. This hypothesis approves the conditions of compatibility as well. Consequently, dynamic response of the beam is obtained by the means of differential transform method (DTM). In order to verify the correctness of the results, a model is constructed using commercial software ABAQUS 6.14. A linear spring with constant stiffness takes the effect of contact between delaminated layers into account. The attained semi-analytical outcomes are in great agreement with finite element analysis.
Mining industry is known for its appetite to spend sizeable capital on mine equipment. However, in the current scenario, the mining industry is challenged by daunting factors of non-uniform geological conditions, uneven ore grade, uncontrollable and volatile mineral commodity prices and the ever increasing quest to optimize the capital and operational costs. Thus, the role of equipment reliability and maintenance planning inherits a significant role in augmenting the equipment availability for the operation and in turn boosting the mine productivity. This paper presents the Risk Based Maintenance (RBM) planning conducted on mine loading equipment namely Load Haul Dumpers (LHDs) at Vedanta Resources Ltd subsidiary Hindustan Zinc Limited operated Sindesar Khurd Mines, an underground zinc and lead mine situated in Dariba, Rajasthan, India. The mining equipment at the location is maintained by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) namely Sandvik and Atlas Copco, who carry out the maintenance and inspection operations for the equipment. Based on the downtime data extracted for the equipment fleet over the period of 6 months spanning from 1st January 2017 until 30th June 2017, it was revealed that significant contribution of three downtime issues related to namely Engine, Hydraulics, and Transmission to be common among all the loading equipment fleet and substantiated by Pareto Analysis. Further scrutiny through Bubble Matrix Analysis of the given factors revealed the major influence of selective factors namely Overheating, No Load Taken (NTL) issues, Gear Changing issues and Hose Puncture and leakage issues. Utilizing the equipment wise analysis of all the downtime factors obtained, spares consumed, and the alarm logs extracted from the machines, technical design changes in the equipment and pre shift critical alarms checklist were proposed for the equipment maintenance. The given analysis is beneficial to allow OEMs or mine management to focus on the critical issues hampering the reliability of mine equipment and design necessary maintenance strategies to mitigate them.
Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
The use of nanostructured semiconducting material to catalyze degradation of environmental pollutants still receives much attention to date. One of the desired characteristics for pollutant degradation under ultra-violet visible light is the materials with extended carrier charge separation that allows for electronic transfer between the catalyst and the pollutants. In this work, zinc oxide n-type semiconductor vertically aligned structures were fabricated on silicon (100) substrates using the chemical bath deposition method. The as-synthesized structures were treated with nickel and sulphur. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the phase purity, structural dimensions and elemental composition of the obtained structures respectively. Photoluminescence emission measurements showed a decrease in both the near band edge emission as well as the defect band emission upon addition of nickel and sulphur with different concentrations. This was attributed to increased charger-carrier-separation due to the presence of Ni-S material on ZnO surface, which is linked to improved charge transfer during photocatalytic reactions.
The majority of today’s mobile robots are very dependent on battery power. Mobile robots can operate untethered for a number of hours but eventually they will need to recharge their batteries in-order to continue to function. While computer processing and sensors have become cheaper and more powerful each year, battery development has progress very little. They are slow to re-charge, inefficient and lagging behind in the general progression of robotic development we see today. However, batteries are relatively cheap and when fully charged, can supply high power output necessary for operating heavy mobile robots. As there are no cheap alternatives to batteries, we need to find efficient ways to manage the power that batteries provide during their operational lifetime. This paper proposes the use of autonomic principles of self-adaption to address the behavioral changes a battery experiences as it gets older. In life, as we get older, we cannot perform tasks in the same way as we did in our youth; these tasks generally take longer to perform and require more of our energy to complete. Batteries also suffer from a form of degradation. As a battery gets older, it loses the ability to retain the same charge capacity it would have when brand new. This paper investigates how we can adapt the current state of a battery charge and cycle count, to the requirements of a mobile robot to perform its tasks.
In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.
Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.
Rainfall and runoff phenomenon is a chaotic and complex outcome of nature which requires sophisticated modelling and simulation methods for explanation and use. Time Series modelling allows runoff data analysis and can be used as forecasting tool. In the paper attempt is made to model river runoff data and predict the future behavioural pattern of river based on annual past observations of annual river runoff. The river runoff analysis and predict are done using ARIMA model. For evaluating the efficiency of prediction to hydrological events such as rainfall, runoff and etc., we use the statistical formulae applicable. The good agreement between predicted and observation river runoff coefficient of determination (R2) display that the ARIMA (4,1,1) is the suitable model for predicting Karkheh River runoff at Iran.
The choice evaluation between oil-immersed and dry-type transformers is often controlled by cost, location, and application. This paper compares the electrical performance of liquid- filled and dry-type transformers, which will assist the customer to choose the right and efficient ones for particular applications. An accurate assessment of the time-average flux density, electric field intensity and voltage distribution in an oil-insulated and a dry-type transformer have been computed and investigated. The detailed transformer modeling and analysis has been carried out to determine electrical parameter distributions. The models of oil-immersed and dry-type transformers are developed and solved by using the finite element method (FEM) to compare the electrical parameters. The effects of non-uniform and non-coherent voltage gradient, flux density and electric field distribution on the power losses and insulation properties of transformers are studied in detail. The results show that, for the same voltage and kilo-volt-ampere (kVA) rating, oil-immersed transformers have better insulation properties and less hysteresis losses than the dry-type.
The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on the efficacy and safety of these products.