Model-Based Automotive Partitioning and Mapping for Embedded Multicore Systems
This paper introduces novel approaches to partitioning and mapping in terms of model-based embedded multicore system engineering and further discusses benefits, industrial relevance and features in common with existing approaches. In order to assess and evaluate results, both approaches have been applied to a real industrial application as well as to various prototypical demonstrative applications, that have been developed and implemented for different purposes. Evaluations show, that such applications improve significantly according to performance, energy efficiency, meeting timing constraints and covering maintaining issues by using the AMALTHEA platform and the implemented approaches. Further- more, the model-based design provides an open, expandable, platform independent and scalable exchange format between OEMs, suppliers and developers on different levels. Our proposed mechanisms provide meaningful multicore system utilization since load balancing by means of partitioning and mapping is effectively performed with regard to the modeled systems including hardware, software, operating system, scheduling, constraints, configuration and more data.
Indecisiveness in 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost: An Expressive Critical Analysis
This expressive critical study is an effort to bring in light new interpretation of Robert Frost poem 'The Road Not Taken' as a reflection of his indecisiveness in life. Specifically, it aims at examining Frost’s inner being, emphasizing his own self and experiences in the poem or text. The study employs the qualitative research design which made use of discourse analysis using the critical theory of expressivism as the main guide. In acquiring the data of the study, the art of historiography is used such as autobiographical and/or biographical notes, sources documents, and web information. In executing the methods involved in this study, it is observed that the poem shows a naturalist implicatures, expressing Frost’s strong feelings and emotions being devoid of free will and a narrow bit of confusions and ambiguities with his indecisions in life.
A Mimetic Textuality in Robert Frost's 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'
This study is a critical analysis of the work of Robert Frost, 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'. It subjects the literary piece into a qualitative analysis using the critical theory of mimesis. In effect, this study is proposed to find out and shed light on the mimetic feature of the poem’s textuality. Generally, it aims to analyze the poem’s deeper meaning in the context of the reality of life from birth to death. For the most part, this critical analysis discerns, investigates, and highlights the features which present the imitation of life in detail and from a deeper view. Based on the result of analysis, it shows that Frost has portrayed the cycle of life from birth to midst life as about proving oneself to others as far as achievements and accomplishments are concerned; secondly, at some point of one’s life, successes and achievements are just one’s perfect signature of living. As Frost discloses his poem, his message of the reality of life from birth to death is clear enough, that nothing is going to last forever.
Assessment of Student Attitudes to Higher Education Service Measures: The Development of a Framework for Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia
Higher education service quality is widely regarded as key factors in the long term success of a higher education institution in attracting and retaining students. This research attempted to establish the impact of service quality on recruiting and retaining students in private higher education institutions (PHEI’s). 501 local and international students responded to a 49 item educational service measure questionnaire from PHEIs in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, two states in Malaysia which together account for 60% of private colleges in Malaysia. Results from this research revealed that, inter-alia, facilities, employability, management and administration services, academic staff competence, curriculum and student overall experiences were key driving factors in attracting and retaining students. Lack of “campus-like building” facilities and lecturer’s effectiveness in delivering lectures were keys concerns in the provision of service quality by PHEI’s in Malaysia. Over the last decade, the Government of Malaysia has set a target of recruiting 200,000 international students to study in Malaysia by PHEI’s and PHEI’s have failed to achieve this target. This research suggests that service quality issues identified above are impacting efforts to recruit and retain both local and international students by PHEIs. The researcher recommends that further and detailed research be carried on these factors and its impact on recruitment and retention. PHEI administrators can benefit from this research by conducting an evaluation of service measures delivered in their institutions and take corrective measures. Prospective students can benefit from this study by including in their choice factors the “service quality delivery” of PHEI’s when deciding to enroll in a particular PHEI.
Formal Models of Sanitary Inspections Teams Activities
This paper presents methods for formal modeling of activities in the area of sanitary inspectors outbreak of food-borne diseases. The models allow you to measure the characteristics of the activities of sanitary inspection and as a result allow improving the performance of sanitary services and thus food security.
An Integrated Mathematical Approach to Measure the Capacity of MMTS
This article focuses upon multi-modal transportation systems (MMTS) and the issues surrounding the determination of system capacity. For that purpose a multi-objective framework is advocated that integrates all the different modes and many different competing capacity objectives. This framework is analytical in nature and facilitates a variety of capacity querying and capacity expansion planning.
A Mathematical Framework for Expanding a Railway’s Theoretical Capacity
Analytical techniques for measuring and planning railway capacity expansion activities have been considered in this article. A preliminary mathematical framework involving track duplication and section sub divisions is proposed for this task. In railways, these features have a great effect on network performance and for this reason they have been considered. Additional motivations have also arisen from the limitations of prior models that have not included them.
Refutation of Imre Hermann's Allegation: János Bolyai Was Not Insane
The scientific public has relatively little knowledge about the Hungarian János Bolyai, one of the greatest thinkers of all times. Few people know that apart from being the founder of the non-Euclidean geometry he was also interested in sociology, philosophy, epistemology and linguistics. According to the renowned Hungarian psychoanalytic Imre Hermann, who lives in France, János Bolyai was mentally deranged. However, this is incorrect. The present article intends to prove that he was completely sane until the moment of his death.
Using a Character’s Inner Monologue for Song Analysis
The thought process of the character is never more evident than when singing alone onstage. The composer scores the emotional state and the lyricist voices the inner conflict as the character shares with an audience her or his deepest feelings. It is at these moments that a character may be thought of as voicing her or his inner monologue. Using examples from several musical theatre songs, this presentation will look at a codified approach to analyze a song from a more psychological perspective. Using the clues from the score, traditional character analysis and a psychological-based scoring method an actor may explore more fully inhabit and express the sung and unsung thoughts of the character. The approach yields a richer and more complex approach to acting the song.
Reductions of Control Flow Graphs
Control ﬂow graphs are a well-known representation of the sequential control ﬂow structure of programs with a multitude of applications. Not only single functions but also sets of functions or complete programs can be modelled by control ﬂow graphs. In this case the size of the graphs can grow considerably and thus makes it difﬁcult for software engineers to analyse the control ﬂow. Graph reductions are helpful in this situation. In this paper we deﬁne reductions to subsets of nodes. Since executions of programs are represented by paths through the control ﬂow graphs, paths should be preserved. Furthermore, the composition of reductions makes a stepwise analysis approach possible.
Airliner-UAV Flight Formation in Climb Regime
Extreme formation is a theoretical concept of self-sustain flight when a big Airliner is followed by a small UAV glider flying in airliner’s wake vortex. The paper presents results of climb analysis with a goal to lift the gliding UAV to airliner’s cruise altitude. Wake vortex models, the UAV drag polar and basic parameters and airliner’s climb profile are introduced at first. Then, flight performance of the UAV in the wake vortex is evaluated by analytical methods. Time history of optimal distance between the airliner and the UAV during the climb is determined. The results are encouraging, therefore available UAV drag margin for electricity generation is figured out for different vortex models.
Automatic Intelligent Analysis of Malware Behaviour
In this paper we describe the use of formal methods to model malware behaviour. The modelling of harmful behaviour rests upon syntactic structures that represent malicious procedures inside malware. The malicious activities are modelled by a formal grammar, where API calls’ components are the terminals and the set of API calls used in combination to achieve a goal are designated non-terminals. The combination of different non-terminals in various ways and tiers make up the attack vectors that are used by harmful software. Based on these syntactic structures a parser can be generated which takes execution traces as input for pattern recognition.
Middle Ordovician (Llanvirnian) Relative Sea-Level Fluctuations
The Canning Basin is located between the Kimberley and Pilbara Precambrian cratonic blocks. It is a large but relatively poorly explored Paleozoic basin in remote Western Australia. During the early Ordovician period, the Australian continent was located near the equator. Middle Ordovician age Nita and Goldwyer Formations in Canning Basin are therefore warm water carbonates. The Nita Formation carbonates are a regressive sequence which conformably overlies the Goldwyer Formation. It contains numerous progradational cycles of limestone, vuggy dolomitized carbonate beds and shale deposited in subtidal to supratidal environments. The Goldwyer Formation contains transgressive shale sequences and regressive carbonates deposited in shallow subtidal conditions. The shales contain oil-prone Gloeocapsormorpha prisca-bearing source rocks. Llanvirnian relative sea-level fluctuations were reconstructed by using Fischer plots methodology for three key wells (wells McLarty 1, Looma 1 and Robert 1) in Broome Platform and compared with INPEFA data. The Goldwyer lower shale (interval Or1000P) shows increasing relative sea-level and this matches with a transgressive systems tract. Goldwyer middle carbonate (interval Or2000) shows relative sea-level drop and this matches with a regressive systems tract. Goldwyer upper shale (interval Or2000P) shows relative sea-level drop and this matches with a transgressive systems tract. Nita Formation Leo Member (interval Or3000) shows a relative sea level drop and this matches with a regressive systems tract. The Nita Formation Cudalgarra Member (intervals Or3000P and Or4000) with transgressive systems tract then this is followed by a regressive systems tract. This pattern matches with the relative sea-level curves in wells McLarty 1 and Robert 1. The correlation is weak for parts of well Looma 1. This is probably influenced by the fact that the thickness of this section is quite small. As a conclusion, Fischer plots for the Llanvirnian Goldwyer and Nita Formations show good agreement with the third order global sea level cycles of Haq and others. Fischer plots are generally correlated well with trend and cyclicity determined by INPEFA curves and as a method of cross-checking INPEFA data and sea-level change.
The Environmental and Socio Economic Impacts of Mining on Local Livelihood in Cameroon: A Case Study in Bertoua
This paper reports the findings of a study undertaken to assess the socio-economic and environmental impacts of mining in Bertoua Eastern Region of Cameroon. In addition to sampling community perceptions of mining activities, the study prescribes interventions that can assist in mitigating the negative impacts of mining. Marked environmental and interrelated socio-economic improvements can be achieved within regional artisanal gold mines if the government provides technical support to local operators, regulations are improved, and illegal mining activity is reduced.
Structural and Electrochemical Characterization of Columnar-Structured Mn-Doped Bi26Mo10O69-d Electrolytes
The present work is devoted to the investigation of two series of doped bismuth molybdates: Bi₂₆-₂ₓMn₂ₓMo₁₀O₆₉-d and
Bi₂₆Mo₁₀-₂yMn₂yO₆₉-d. Complex oxides were synthesized by conventional solid state technology and by co-precipitation method. The products were identified by powder diffraction. The powders and ceramic samples were examined by means of densitometry, laser diffraction, and electron microscopic methods. Porosity of the ceramic materials was estimated using the hydrostatic method. The electrical conductivity measurements were carried out using impedance spectroscopy method.
Technology of Thermal Spray Coating Machining
This article is focused on the thermal spray coating machining issue. Those are irreplaceable in many areas of nowadays industrial branches such as aerospace industry, mostly thanks to their excellent qualities in production and also in renovation of machinery parts. The principals of thermal spraying and elementary diversification are described in introduction. Plasma coating method of composite materials -cermets- is described more thoroughly. The second part describes thermal spray coating machining and grinding in detail. This part contains suggestion of appropriate grinding tool and assessment of cutting conditions used for grinding a given part. Conclusion describes a problem which occurred while grinding a cermet thermal spray coating with a specially designed grindstone and a way to solve this problem.
The Participation of Refugee Children with Disabilities in Educational Options in Turkey: A Systematic Review
Turkey, due to its geographic location, finds itself the worlds largest host to refugees worldwide and this nation has done much to educate their refugee population. Turkey’s considerable experience can inform other nations educating refugee children. This systematic review of the literature examined the context, barriers, and responses to successfully educating refugee children in Turkey. Additionally, because some estimate that as many as 50% of refugee children may have an identified or unidentified disability, the educational experiences of refugee children with disabilities in Turkey was an ancillary focus. Results indicated that while some educational challenges have been successfully met within Turkey, others remain. Additionally, the education of children with disabilities in Turkey is largely unexamined.
Concept of a Low Cost Gait Rehabilitation Robot for Children with Neurological Dysfunction
Restoration of gait ability is an important task in the rehabilitation of people with neurological disorders presenting a great impact in the quality of life of an individual. Based on the motor learning concept, robotic assisted treadmill training has been introduced and found to be a feasible and promising therapeutic option in neurological rehabilitation but unfortunately it is not available for most patients in developing countries due to the high cost. This paper presents the concept of a low cost rehabilitation robot to help consolidate the robotic-assisted gait training as a reality in clinical practice in most countries. This work indicates that it is possible to build a simpler rehabilitation device respecting the physiological trajectory of the ankle.
RoboWeedSupport: Semi-Automated Unmanned Aerial System for Cost Efficient High Resolution in Sub-Millimeter Scale Acquisition of Weed Images
Recent advances in the UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) safety and perception systems enable safe low altitude autonomous terrain following flights recently demonstrated by the consumer DJI Mavic PRO drone.
This paper presents the first prototype system utilizing the latter requirements in the form of semi-automated UAS based collection of crop/weed images where the embedded perception system ensures a significantly safer and faster weed images in sub-millimeter resolution. The system is to be used when the weeds are at cotyledon stage and prior the harvest recognizing the grass weed species, which cannot be discriminated at the cotyledon stage.
Family Income and Parental Behavior: Maternal Personality as a Moderator
There is abundant research showing that socio-economic status is implicated in parenting. However, additional factors such as family context, parent personality, parenting history and child behavior also help determine how parents enact the role of caregiver. Each of these factors not only helps determine how a parent will act in a given situation, but each can serve to moderate the influence of the other factors. Personality has long been studied as a factor that influences parental behavior, but it has almost never been considered as a moderator of family contextual factors. For this study, relations between three maternal personality characteristics (agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism) and four aspects of parenting (harshness, sensitivity, stimulation, learning materials) were examined when children were 6 months, 36 months, and 54 months old and again at 5th grade. Relations between these three aspects of personality and the overall home environment were also examined. A key concern was whether maternal personality characteristics moderated relations between household income and the four aspects of parenting and between household income and the overall home environment. The data for this study were taken from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (NICHD SECCYD). The total sample consisted of 1364 families living in ten different sites in the United States. However, the samples analyzed included only those with complete data on all four parenting outcomes (i.e., sensitivity, harshness, stimulation, and provision of learning materials), income, maternal education and all three measures of personality (i.e., agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion) at each age examined. Results from hierarchical regression analysis showed that mothers high in agreeableness were more likely to demonstrate sensitivity and stimulation as well as provide more learning materials to their children but were less likely to manifest harshness. Maternal agreeableness also consistently moderated the effects of low income on parental behavior. Mothers high in extraversion were more likely to provide stimulation and learning materials, with extraversion serving as a moderator of low income on both. By contrast, mothers high in neuroticism were less likely to demonstrate positive aspects of parenting and more likely to manifest negative aspects (e.g., harshness). Neuroticism also served to moderate the influence of low income on parenting, especially for stimulation and learning materials. The most consistent effects of parent personality were on the overall home environment, with significant main and interaction effects observed in 11 of the 12 models tested. These findings suggest that it may behoove professional who work with parents living in adverse circumstances to consider parental personality in helping to better target prevention or intervention efforts aimed at supporting parental efforts to act in ways that benefit children.
The Concept and Practice of Good Governance in the European Union
The article deals with one of the most significant issues concerning the functioning of the public sector in the European Union. The objectives of good governance were formulated by the EU itself and also the Scholars in reaction to the discussion that started a decade ago and concerned the role of the government in 21st century, the future of integration processes and globalization challenges in Europe. Currently, the concept of good governance is mainly associated with the improvement of management of public policies in the European Union, concerning both domestic and EU policies. However, it goes beyond the issues of state capacity and effectiveness of management. Good governance relates also to societal participation in the public administration and verification of decisions made in public authorities’ (including public administration). Indirectly, the concept and practice of good governance are connected to societal legitimisation of public bodies in the European Union.
Strength and Permeability of the Granular Pavement Materials Treated with Polyacrylamide Based Additive
Among other traditional and non-traditional
additives, polymers have shown an efficient performance in the field
and improved sustainability. Polyacrylamide (PAM) is one such
additive that has demonstrated many advantages including a
reduction in permeability, an increase in durability and the provision
of strength characteristics. However, information about its effect on
the improved geotechnical characteristics is very limited to the field
performance monitoring. Therefore, a laboratory investigation was
carried out to examine the basic and engineering behaviors of three
types of soils treated with a PAM additive. The results showed an
increase in dry density and unconfined compressive strength for all
the soils. The results further demonstrated an increase in unsoaked
CBR and a reduction in permeability for all stabilized samples.
Manufacturing Process of S-Glass Fiber Reinforced PEKK Prepregs
The aim of this study is to investigate the fundamental
science/technology related to novel S-glass fiber reinforced polyether-
ketone-ketone (GF/PEKK) composites and to gain insight into
bonding strength and failure mechanisms. Different manufacturing
techniques to make this high-temperature pre-impregnated composite
(prepreg) were conducted i.e. mechanical deposition, electrostatic
powder deposition, and dry powder prepregging techniques.
Generally, the results of this investigation showed that it was difficult
to control the distribution of the resin powder evenly on the both sides
of the fibers within a specific percentage. Most successful approach
was by using a dry powder prepregging where the fibers were coated
evenly with an adhesive that served as a temporary binder to hold the
resin powder in place onto the glass fiber fabric.
Polyacrylate Modified Copper Nanoparticles with Controlled Size
The preparation of Cu nanoparticles (NPs) through the reduction of copper ions by sodium borohydride in the presence of sodium polyacrylate with a molecular weight of 1200 is reported. Cu NPs were synthesized at a concentration of copper salt equal to 2.5, 5, and 10 mM, and at a molar ratio of copper ions and monomeric unit of polyacrylate equal to 1:2. The as-prepared Cu NPs have diameters of about 2.5–3 nm for copper concentrations of 2.5 and 5 mM, and 6 nm for copper concentration of 10 mM. Depending on the copper salt concentration and concentration of additionally added polyacrylate to Cu particle dispersion, primarily formed NPs grow through the process of aggregation and/or coalescence into clusters and/or particles with a diameter between 20–100 nm. The amount of additionally added sodium polyacrylate influences the stability of Cu particles against air oxidation. The catalytic efficiency of the prepared Cu particles for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol is discussed.
Effect of Storage Time on the Properties of Seeds, Oil and Biodiesel from Reutealis trisperma
The time profile of moisture content for different fractions (PT-3, PT-7, PT-14, NPT-21) of trisperma seeds (Reutealis trisperma) was determined at a relative humidity of 67% and 27°C for a four months period. The diffusion coefficient of water in the trisperma seeds was determined using an analytical solution of instationary diffusion equation and used to model the moisture content in the seeds. The total oil content of the seeds and the acid value of the extracted oil from the stored seeds were periodically measured for four months. The acid value of the extracted oil from the stored seeds increased for all conditions (1.1 to 2.8 mg KOH/g for PT-3, 1.9 to 9.9 mg KOH/g for PT-7, 3.4 to 11.6 mg KOH/g for PT-14 and 4.7 to 25.4 mg KOH/g for NPT-21). The acid value of trisperma oil and biodiesel that has been stored for four months (27°C, closed container) was also determined. Upon storage, the acid value of trisperma oil and biodiesel only slightly increased from 1.1 to 1.3 mg KOH/g and 0.4 to 0.43 mg KOH/g, respectively.
Inconsistent Effects of Landscape Heterogeneity on Animal Diversity in an Agricultural Mosaic: A Multi-Scale and Multi-Taxon Investigation
, Robert J. Fletcher
, Celine M. Carneiro
, Nicole Jennings
, Alison Ke
, Michael C. LaScaleia
, Mbhekeni B. Lukhele
, Mnqobi L. Mamba
, Muzi D. Sibiya
, James D. Austin
, Cebisile N. Magagula
, Themba’alilahlwa Mahlaba
, Ara Monadjem
, Samantha M. Wisely
, Robert A. McCleery
A key challenge for the developing world is reconciling biodiversity conservation with the growing demand for food. In these regions, agriculture is typically interspersed among other land-uses creating heterogeneous landscapes. A primary hypothesis for promoting biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. While there is evidence that landscape heterogeneity positively influences biodiversity, the application of this hypothesis is hindered by a need to determine which components of landscape heterogeneity drive these effects and at what spatial scale(s). Additionally, whether diverse taxonomic groups are similarly affected is central for determining the applicability of this hypothesis as a general conservation strategy in agricultural mosaics. Two major components of landscape heterogeneity are compositional and configurational heterogeneity. Disentangling the roles of each component is important for biodiversity conservation because each represents different mechanisms underpinning variation in biodiversity. We identified a priori independent gradients of compositional and configurational landscape heterogeneity within an extensive agricultural mosaic in north-eastern Swaziland. We then tested how bird, dung beetle, ant and meso-carnivore diversity responded to compositional and configurational heterogeneity across six different spatial scales. To determine if a general trend could be observed across multiple taxa, we also tested which component and spatial scale was most influential across all taxonomic groups combined, Compositional, not configurational, heterogeneity explained diversity in each taxonomic group, with the exception of meso-carnivores. Bird and ant diversity was positively correlated with compositional heterogeneity at fine spatial scales < 1000 m, whilst dung beetle diversity was negatively correlated to compositional heterogeneity at broader spatial scales > 1500 m. Importantly, because of these contrasting effects across taxa, there was no effect of either component of heterogeneity on the combined taxonomic diversity at any spatial scale. The contrasting responses across taxonomic groups exemplify the difficulty in implementing effective conservation strategies that meet the requirements of diverse taxa. To promote diverse communities across a range of taxa, conservation strategies must be multi-scaled and may involve different strategies at varying scales to offset the contrasting influences of compositional heterogeneity. A diversity of strategies are likely key to conserving biodiversity in agricultural mosaics, and we have demonstrated that a landscape management strategy that only manages for heterogeneity at one particular scale will likely fall short of management objectives.
Compromised Sexual Territoriality under Reflexive Cosmopolitanism: From Coffee Bean to Gay Bean in South Korea
This research examined the effects of reflexive cosmopolitanism on the competition for sexual territoriality. By adopting Michel De Certeau’s (1984) spatial didactic model, the article maps out the key elements at play and the dynamics explaining how gays gay place in the backdrop of rapid modernization. It found that heterosexual space and heteronormative assumptions helped to create temporal and spatial opportunities that allow for sexual performativity of gay males. Moreover, using data collected from multiple semi-controlled one-on-one interviews over 13 months, this article illustrates how spatial competition culminates in non-zero sum game outcomes and particularly to compromise of sexual territoriality while further demonstrating the need to understand the sexual coping tactics used in cultures with similar backgrounds. The findings enable researchers to better understand how gay men gay space, and how space performatively embodies gay men.
Small Scale Stationary and Mobile Production of Biodiesel
Biodiesel can be produced in small scale mobile units which are designed with local input and demand. Unlike the typical biodiesel production plants, mobile biodiesel unit consiss of a biodiesel production facility placed inside a standard cargo container and mounted on a truck so that it can be transported to a region near the location of raw materials. In this paper, we review the existing concept and unit for the development of community-scale and mobile production of biodiesel. This includes the main reactor technology to produce biodiesel as well as the pre-treatment prior to the reaction unit. The pre-treatment includes the oil-expeller unit to obtain oil from the oilseeds as well as the quality control of the oil before it enters the reaction unit. This paper also discusses the post-treatment after the production of biodiesel. It includes the refining and purification of biodiesel to meet the product specification set by the biodiesel industry.
Gamification to Enhance Learning Using Gagne's Learning Model
Technology enhanced learning has brought drastic changes in the field of education in the modern world. In this study we explore a novel way to improve how high school students learn by building a serious game that uses a pedagogical model developed by Robert Gagne. By integrating serious game with principles of Gagne’s learning model can provide engaging and meaningful instructions to students. The game developed in this study is a waste sorting game that can easily and succinctly demonstrate the principles of this learning model. All the tasks in the game that the player has to accomplish correspond to Gagne’s “Nine Events of Learning”. A quiz is incorporated in order to get data on the progress made by the player in understanding the concept and as well as to assess them. Additionally, an experimental study was conducted which demonstrates that game based learning using Gagne’s event is more effective than a traditional classroom setup.
Analysis of the Temperature Dependence of Local Avalanche Compact Model for Bipolar Transistors
We present an extensive analysis of the temperature dependence of the local avalanche model used in most of the modern compact models for bipolar transistors. This local avalanche model uses the Chynoweth's empirical law for ionization coefficient to define the generation of the avalanche current in terms of the local electric field. We carry out the model analysis using DC-measurements taken on both Si and advanced SiGe bipolar transistors. For the advanced industrial SiGe-HBTs, we consider both high-speed and high-power devices (both NPN and PNP transistors). The limitations of the local avalanche model in modeling the temperature dependence of the avalanche current mostly in the weak avalanche region are demonstrated. In addition, the model avalanche parameters are analyzed to see if they are in agreement with semiconductor device physics.
The Optimisation of Salt Impregnated Matrices as Potential Thermochemical Storage Materials
Thermochemical storage utilises chemical salts which store and release energy a fully reversible endo/exothermic chemical reaction. Highly porous vermiculite impregnated with CaCl2, LiNO3 and MgSO4 (SIMs – Salt In Matrices) are proposed as potential materials for long-term thermochemical storage. The behavior of these materials during typical hydration and dehydration cycles is investigated. A simple moisture experiment represents the hydration, whilst thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) represents the dehydration. Further experiments to approximate the energy density and to determine the peak output temperatures of the SIMs are conducted. The CaCl2 SIM is deemed the best performing SIM across most experiments, whilst the results of MgSO4 SIM indicate difficulty associated with energy recovery.
Distance Education: Using a Digital Platform to Improve Struggling University Students' Mathematical Skills
Objectives: There has been an increased focus in education students’ mathematics skills in the last two years. Universities have, specifically, had problems teaching students struggling with mathematics. This paper focuses on the ability of a digital platform to significantly improve mathematics skills for struggling students. Methods: 32 students who demonstrated low scores on a mathematics test were selected to take part in a one-month tutorial program using a digital mathematics portal. Students were provided feedback for questions posted on the portal and a fortnightly tutorial session. Results: A pre-test post-test design was analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The analysis suggested that students improved skills in algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, ratios, fractions, and probability. Conclusion: Distance university students can improve their mathematics skills using a digital platform.
Portable Hands-Free Process Assistant for Gas Turbine Maintenance
This paper presents how smart glasses and voice commands can be used for improving the maintenance process of industrial gas turbines. It presents the process of inspecting a gas turbine’s combustion chamber and how it is currently performed using a set of paper-based documents. In order to improve this process, a portable hands-free process assistance system has been conceived. In the following, it will be presented how the approach of user-centered design and the method of paper prototyping have been successfully applied in order to design a user interface and a corresponding workflow model that describes the possible interaction patterns between the user and the interface. The presented evaluation of these results suggests that the assistance system could help the user by rendering multiple manual activities obsolete, thus allowing him to work hands-free and to save time for generating protocols.
Modelling of Atomic Force Microscopic Nano Robot's Friction Force on Rough Surfaces
Micro/Nanorobotics or manipulation of nanoparticles by Atomic Force Microscopic (AFM) is one of the most important solutions for controlling the movement of atoms, particles and micro/nano metrics components and assembling of them to design micro/nano-meter tools. Accurate modelling of manipulation requires identification of forces and mechanical knowledge in the Nanoscale which are different from macro world. Due to the importance of the adhesion forces and the interaction of surfaces at the nanoscale several friction models were presented. In this research, friction and normal forces that are applied on the AFM by using of the dynamic bending-torsion model of AFM are obtained based on Hurtado-Kim friction model (HK), Johnson-Kendall-Robert contact model (JKR) and Greenwood-Williamson roughness model (GW). Finally, the effect of standard deviation of asperities height on the normal load, friction force and friction coefficient are studied.
Use of Opti-Jet Cs Md1mr Device for Biocide Aerosolisation in 3t Magnetic Resonance
Introduction: This work is aimed to represent the use of the OPTI-JET CS MD1 MR prototype for application of neutral electrolyzed oxidizing water (NEOW) in magnetic resonance rooms. Material and Methods: We produced and used OPTI-JET CS MD1 MR aerosolisator whereby was performed aerosolization. The presence of microorganisms before and after the aerosolisation was recorded with the help of cyclone air sampling. Colony formed units (CFU) was counted. Results: The number of microorganisms in magnetic resonance 3T room was low as expected. Nevertheless, a possible CFU reduction of 87% was recorded. Conclusions: The research has shown that the use of EOW for the air and hard surface disinfection can considerably reduce the presence of microorganisms and consequently the possibility of hospital infections. It has also demonstrated that the use of OPTI-JET CS MD1 MR is very good. With this research, we started new guidelines for aerosolization in magnetic resonance rooms. Future work: We predict that presented technique works very good but we must focus also on time capacity sensors, and new appropriate toxicological studies.
Rumination in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by deficits in emotion regulation and effective liability. Of this domain, ruminative behaviors have been considered a core feature of emotion dysregulation difficulties. Taking this into consideration, a meta-analysis was performed to assess how BPD symptoms correlate with rumination, while also considering clinical moderator variables such as comorbidity, GAF score, and type of BPD symptom and demographic moderator variables such as age, gender, and education level. Analysis of correlation across rumination domains for the entire sample revealed a medium overall correlation. When assessing types of rumination, the largest correlation was among pain rumination followed by anger, depressive, and anxious rumination. Furthermore, affective instability had the strongest correlation with increased rumination, followed by unstable relationships, identity disturbance, and self-harm/ impulsivity, respectively. Demographic variables showed no significance. Clinical implications are considered and further therapeutic interventions are discussed in the context of rumination.
Rotor Radial Vent Pumping in Large Synchronous Electrical Machines
Rotor radial vents make use of the pumping effect to increase airflow through the active material thus reduce hotspot temperatures. The effect of rotor radial pumping in synchronous machines has been studied previously. This paper presents the findings of previous studies and builds upon their theories using a parametric numerical approach to investigate the rotor radial pumping effect. The pressure head generated by the poles and radial vent flow-rate were identified as important factors in maximizing the benefits of the pumping effect. The use of Minitab and ANSYS Workbench to investigate the key performance characteristics of radial pumping through a Design of Experiments (DOE) was described. CFD results were compared with theoretical calculations. A correlation for each response variable was derived through a statistical analysis. Findings confirmed the strong dependence of radial vent length on vent pressure head, and radial vent cross-sectional area was proved to be significant in maximising radial vent flow rate.
Estimation of the Upper Tail Dependence Coefficient for Insurance Loss Data Using an Empirical Copula-Based Approach
Considerable focus in the world of insurance risk quantification is placed on modeling loss values from lines of business (LOBs) that possess upper tail dependence. Copulas such as the Joe, Gumbel and Student-t copula may be used for this purpose. The copula structure imparts a desired level of tail dependence on the joint distribution of claims from the different LOBs. Alternatively, practitioners may possess historical or simulated data that already exhibit upper tail dependence, through the impact of catastrophe events such as hurricanes or earthquakes. In these circumstances, it is not desirable to induce additional upper tail dependence when modeling the joint distribution of the loss values from the individual LOBs. Instead, it is of interest to accurately assess the degree of tail dependence already present in the data. The empirical copula and its associated upper tail dependence coefficient are presented in this paper as robust, efficient means of achieving this goal.
Iterative Design Process for Development and Virtual Commissioning of Plant Control Software
The development of industrial plant control software is a complex and often very expensive task. One of the core problems is that a lot of the implementation and adaptation work can only be done after the plant hardware has been installed. In this paper, we present our approach to virtually developing and validating plant-level control software of production plants. This way, plant control software can be virtually commissioned before actual ramp-up of a plant, reducing actual commissioning costs and time. Technically, this is achieved by linking the actual plant-wide process control software (often called plant server) and an elaborate virtual plant model together to form an emulation system. Method-wise, we are suggesting a four-step iterative process with well-defined increments and time frame. Our work is based on practical experiences from planning to commissioning and start-up of several cut-to-size plants.
Database Playlists: Croatia's Popular Music in the Mirror of Collective Memory
Scientific research analytically explores database playlists by studying the memory culture through Croatian popular radio music. The research is based on the scientific analysis of databases developed on the basis of the playlist of ten Croatian radio stations. The most recent Croatian song on Statehood Day 2008-2013 is analyzed in order to gain insight into their (memory) potential in terms of storing, interpreting and presenting a national identity. The research starts with the general assumption that popular music is an efficient identifier, transmitter, and promoter of national identity. The aim of the scientific research of the database was to analytically reveal specific titles of Croatian popular songs that participate in marking memories and analyzing their symbolic capital to gain insight into the popular music experience of the past and to develop a new method of scientifically based analysis of specific databases.
The Role of Ionic Strength and Mineral Size to Zeta Potential for the Adhesion of P. putida to Mineral Surfaces
Electrostatic interaction energy (∆EEDL) is a part of the Extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (XDLVO) theory, which, together with van der Waals (∆EVDW) and acid base (∆EAB) interaction energies, has been extensively used to investigate the initial adhesion of bacteria to surfaces. Electrostatic or electrical double layer interaction energy is considerably affected by surface potential, however it cannot be determined experimentally and is usually replaced by zeta (ζ) potential via electrophoretic mobility. This paper focuses on the effect of ionic concentration as a function of pH and the effect of mineral grain size on ζ potential. It was found that both ionic strength and mineral grain size play a major role in determining the value of ζ potential for the adhesion of P. putida to hematite and quartz surfaces. Higher ζ potential values lead to higher electrostatic interaction energies and eventually to higher total XDLVO interaction energy resulting in bacterial repulsion.
RoboWeedSupport-Sub Millimeter Weed Image Acquisition in Cereal Crops with Speeds up till 50 Km/H
For the past three years, the Danish project,
RoboWeedSupport, has sought to bridge the gap between the potential
herbicide savings using a decision support system and the required
weed inspections. In order to automate the weed inspections it is
desired to generate a map of the weed species present within the
field, to generate the map images must be captured with samples
covering the field. This paper investigates the economical cost of
performing this data collection based on a camera system mounted
on a all-terain vehicle (ATV) able to drive and collect data at up to 50
km/h while still maintaining a image quality sufficient for identifying
newly emerged grass weeds. The economical estimates are based on
approximately 100 hectares recorded at three different locations in
Denmark. With an average image density of 99 images per hectare
the ATV had an capacity of 28 ha per hour, which is estimated to cost
6.6 EUR/ha. Alternatively relying on a boom solution for an existing
tracktor it was estimated that a cost of 2.4 EUR/ha is obtainable under
[Keynote Talk]: Animation of Objects on the Website by Application of CSS3 Language
Scientific work analytically explores and demonstrates techniques that can animate objects and geometric characters using CSS3 language by applying proper formatting and positioning of elements. This paper presents examples of optimum application of the CSS3 descriptive language when generating general web animations (e.g., billiards and movement of geometric characters, etc.). The paper presents analytically, the optimal development and animation design with the frames within which the animated objects are. The originally developed content is based on the upgrading of existing CSS3 descriptive language animations with more complex syntax and project-oriented work. The purpose of the developed animations is to provide an overview of the interactive features of CSS3 descriptive language design for computer games and the animation of important analytical data based on the web view. It has been analytically demonstrated that CSS3 as a descriptive language allows inserting of various multimedia elements into websites for public and internal sites.
Kinematic Hardening Parameters Identification with Respect to Objective Function
Constitutive modelling of material behaviour is becoming increasingly important in prediction of possible failures in highly loaded engineering components, and consequently, optimization of their design. In order to account for large number of phenomena that occur in the material during operation, such as kinematic hardening effect in low cycle fatigue behaviour of steels, complex nonlinear material models are used ever more frequently, despite of the complexity of determination of their parameters. As a method for the determination of these parameters, genetic algorithm is good choice because of its capability to provide very good approximation of the solution in systems with large number of unknown variables. For the application of genetic algorithm to parameter identification, inverse analysis must be primarily defined. It is used as a tool to fine-tune calculated stress-strain values with experimental ones. In order to choose proper objective function for inverse analysis among already existent and newly developed functions, the research is performed to investigate its influence on material behaviour modelling.
Phylogenetic Analysis and a Review of the History of the Accidental Phytoplankter, Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin (Bacillariophyta)
The diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum has been used as a model for cell biologists and ecologists for over a century. We have incorporated several new raphid pennates into a three-gene phylogenetic dataset (SSU, rbcL, psbC), and recover Gomphonemopsis sp. as sister to P. tricornutum with 100% BS support. This is the first time a close relative has been identified for P. tricornutum with robust statistical support. We test and reject a succession of hypotheses for other relatives. Our molecular data are statistically significantly incongruent with placement of either or both species among the Cymbellales, an order of diatoms with which both have been associated. We believe that further resolution of the phylogenetic position of P. tricornutum will rely more on increased taxon sampling than increased genetic sampling. Gomphonemopsis is a benthic diatom, and its phylogenetic relationship with P. tricornutum is congruent with the hypothesis that P. tricornutum is a benthic diatom with specific adaptations that lead to active recruitment into the plankton. We hypothesize that other benthic diatoms are likely to have similar adaptations and are not merely passively recruited into the plankton.
Coordinated Community Response to Intimate Partner Violence on College Campuses
This paper provides an overview of Coordinated Community Response Teams (CCRT) to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The CCRT, as a partnership and collaborative effort between multiple agencies is highlighted. This paper is a legal analysis that showcases new legislation and legal requirements in the United States for investigating, processing, and reporting to acts of victimization have transformed the role of the university’s CCRT on campus, making its mission all the more important, both internal and external to the campus. As a specific example, discussion of the CCRT in Northeast Louisiana at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is provided as an example of involvement in this initiative, where federal grant funding has allowed a micro version of the region’s CCRT to be implemented on that campus. Simultaneously, university personnel also work with external agencies throughout the community in intimate partner violence response. Amidst this, the result is a genuine partnership between practitioners and researchers who work together to provide public awareness, prevention, first-responder, and intervention services in a comprehensive manner throughout Northeast Louisiana.
The Change of Urban Land Use/Cover Using Object Based Approach for Southern Bali
Change on land use/cover (LULC) dominantly affects spatial structure and function. It can have such impacts by disrupting social culture practice and disturbing physical elements. Thus, it has become essential to understand of the dynamics in time and space of LULC as it can be used as a critical input for developing sustainable LULC. This study was an attempt to map and monitor the LULC change in Bali Indonesia from 2003 to 2013. Using object based classification to improve the accuracy, and change detection, multi temporal land use/cover data were extracted from a set of ASTER satellite image. The overall accuracies of the classification maps of 2003 and 2013 were 86.99% and 80.36%, respectively. Built up area and paddy field were the dominant type of land use/cover in both years. Patch increase dominantly in 2003 illustrated the rapid paddy field fragmentation and the huge occurring transformation. This approach is new for the case of diverse urban features of Bali that has been growing fast and increased the classification accuracy than the manual pixel based classification.
Comparison of Efficient Production of Small Module Gears
The new designs of satellite gears comprising a number of small gears pose high requirements on the precise production of small module gears. The objective of the experimental activity stated in this article was to compare the conventional rolling gear cutting technology with the modern wire electrical discharge machining (WEDM) technology for the production of small module gear m=0.6 mm (thickness of 2.5 mm and material 30CrMoV9). The WEDM technology lies in copying the profile of gearing from the rendered trajectory which is then transferred to the track of a wire electrode. During the experiment, we focused on the comparison of these production methods. Main measured parameters which significantly influence the lifetime and noise was chosen. The first parameter was to compare the precision of gearing profile in respect to the mathematic model. The second monitored parameter was the roughness and surface topology of the gear tooth side. The experiment demonstrated high accuracy of WEDM technology, but a low quality of machined surface.
Influence of Silica Fume on the Hydration of Cement Pastes Studied by Simultaneous TG-DSC Analysis
Silica fume is a by-product of the ferro-silicon and silicon metal industries. It is mainly in the form of amorphous silica. Silica fume belongs to pozzolanic active materials which can be used in concrete to improve its final properties. In this paper, the influence of silica fume on hydration of cement pastes is studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetry (TG) at various curing times (2, 7, 28, and 90 days) in the temperature range from 25 to 1000 °C in an argon atmosphere. Samples are prepared from Portland cement CEM I 42.5 R which is partially replaced with the silica fume of 4, 8, and 12 wt.%. The water/binder ratio is chosen as 0.5. It is identified and described the liberation of physically bound water, calcium–silicate–hydrates dehydration, portlandite and calcite decomposition in studied samples. Also, it is found out that an exothermic peak at 950 °C is observed without a significant mass change for samples with 12 wt.% of silica fume after two days of hydration. This peak is probably caused by the pozzolanic reaction between silica fume and Portland cement. Its size corresponds to the degree of crystallization between Ca and Si. The portlandite content is lower for the samples with a higher amount of silica fume.
A Nanosensor System Based on Disuccinimydyl – CYP2E1 for Amperometric Detection of the Anti-Tuberculosis Drug, Pyrazinamide
Rachel F. Ajayi
, Unathi Sidwaba
, Usisipho Feleni
, Samantha F. Douman
, Ezo Nxusani
, Lindsay Wilson
, Candice Rassie
, Oluwakemi Tovide
, Priscilla G.L. Baker
, Sibulelo L. Vilakazi
, Robert Tshikhudo
, Emmanuel I. Iwuoha
Pyrazinamide (PZA) is among the first-line pro-drugs in the tuberculosis (TB) combination chemotherapy used to treat Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Numerous reports have suggested that hepatotoxicity due to pyrazinamide in patients is due to inappropriate dosing. It is therefore necessary to develop sensitive and reliable techniques for determining the PZA metabolic profile of diagnosed patients promptly and at point-of-care. This study reports the determination of PZA based on nanobiosensor systems developed from disuccinimidyl octanedioate modified Cytochrome P450-2E1 (CYP2E1) electrodeposited on gold substrates derivatised with (poly(8-anilino-1-napthalene sulphonic acid) PANSA/PVP-AgNPs nanocomposites. The rapid and sensitive amperometric PZA detection gave a dynamic linear range of 2 µM to 16 µM revealing a limit of detection of 0.044 µM and a sensitivity of 1.38 µA/µM. The Michaelis-Menten parameters; KM, KMapp and IMAX were also calculated and found to be 6.0 µM, 1.41 µM and 1.51 µA respectively indicating a nanobiosensor suitable for use in serum.
Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) Process Investigation for Co Thin Film as a TSV Alternative Seed Layer
This investigation aims to develop the feasible and qualitative process parameters for the thin films fabrication into ultra-large through-silicon-vias (TSVs) as vertical interconnections. The focus of the study is on TSV metallization and its challenges employing new materials for the purpose of rapid signal propagation in the microsystems technology. Cobalt metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (Co-MOCVD) process enables manufacturing an adhesive and excellent conformal ultra-thin film all the way through TSVs in comparison with the conventional non-conformal physical vapor deposition (PVD) process of copper (Cu) seed layer. Therefore, this process provides a Cu seed-free layer which is capable of direct Cu electrochemical deposition (Cu-ECD) on top of it. The main challenge of this metallization module is to achieve the proper alternative seed layer with less roughness, sheet resistance and granular organic contamination (e.g. carbon) which intensify the Co corrosion under the influence of Cu electrolyte.
Lycopene and β-Carotene Variation among Genetically Diverse Momordica cochinchinensis
Momordica cochinchinensis (Cucurbitaceae) is used as food and traditional medicine in South East Asia and is commonly known as Red Gac. The fruit aril consists 70 times higher lycopene and 10 times higher β-carotene than all known fruits and vegetables. Despite its nutritional value there is little information available on its genetic variation and its influence on nutritional value. In this study; genetic and nutritional variation (lycopene and β-carotene) was investigated among 47 M. cochinchinensis samples collected from Australia, Thailand and Vietnam using molecular markers (RAPD and ISSR) and HPLC, respectively. UPGMA based cluster analysis of genetic data grouped Northern and Central Vietnam samples together but were separated from Australia, Thailand and Southern Vietnam samples. The concentration of lycopene was significantly higher among the samples collected from Central Vietnam (p< 0.05) and the concentration of β-carotene was significantly higher among the samples collected from Northern Vietnam (p< 0.05) indicating the existence of best varieties. This study provides vital information in genetic diversity and facilitates the selection and breeding for nutritious M. cochinchinensis varieties.
Effect of Alloying Elements on Particle Incorporation of Boron Carbide Reinforced Aluminum Matrix Composites
The outstanding performance of aluminum matrix composites (AMCs) regarding stiffness/weight ratio makes AMCs attractive material for lightweight construction. Low-density boride compounds promise simultaneously an increase in stiffness and decrease in composite density. This is why boron carbide is chosen for composite manufacturing. The composites are fabricated with the stir casting process. To avoid gas entrapment during mixing and ensure nonporous composites, partial vacuum is adapted during particle feeding and stirring. Poor wettability of boron carbide with liquid aluminum hinders particle incorporation, but alloying elements such as magnesium and titanium could improve wettability and thus particle incorporation. Next to alloying elements, adapted stirring parameters and impeller geometries improve particle incorporation and enable homogenous particle distribution and high particle volume fractions of boron carbide. AMCs with up to 15 vol.% of boron carbide particles are produced via melt stirring, resulting in an increase in stiffness and strength.
Application of Reception Theory to Analyze the Translation as a Continuous Reception
In 1972, Hans Robert Jauss introduced the Reception Theory a version of Reader-response criticism, that suggests the literary critics to re-examine the relationship between the author, the work and the reader. The revealing of these relationships has shown that, besides the creation, the reception and the reading of the text have different levels which exempt it from a continuous reference to the meaning intended by the artist and could lead to multiplicity of possible interpretations according to the ‘Horizon of Expectations’. This theory could be associated with another intellectual process called ‘translation’, a process that is always confronted by different levels of readers in the target language and different levels of reception by these readers. By adopting the perspective of Reception theory in translation, we could ignore a particular kind of translation and consider the initiation to a literary text, its translation and its reception as a continuous process. Just like the creation of the text, the translation and its reception, are not made once and for all; they are confronted with different levels of reception and interpretation which are made and remade endlessly. After having known and crossing the first levels, the Horizons of Expectation could be extended and the reader could be initiated to the higher levels. On the other hand, we could say that the faithful and free translation are not opposed to each other, but depending on the type of reception by the readers and in a particular moment, the existence of both is necessary. In fact, it is the level of reception in readers and their Horizon of Expectations that determine the degree of fidelity and freedom of translation.
Study Case of Spacecraft Instruments in Structural Modelling with Nastran-Patran
The intense structural loads during the launch of a spacecraft represent a challenge for the space structure designers because enough resistance has to be achieved while maintaining at the same time the mass and volume within the allowable margins of the mission requirements and inside the limits of the budget project. In this conference, we present the structural analysis of the Lunar Lander Neutron Dosimetry (LND) experiment on the Chang'E4 mission, the first probe to land on the moon’s far side included in the Chinese’ Moon Exploration Program by the Chinese National Space Administration. To this target, the software Nastran/Patran has been used: a structural model in Patran and a structural analysis through Nastran have been realized. Next, the results obtained are used both for the optimization process of the spacecraft structure, and as input parameters for the model structural test campaign. In this way, the feasibility of the lunar instrument structure is demonstrated in terms of the modal modes, stresses, and random vibration and a better understanding of the structural tests design is provided by our results.
Impact of Distributive in-Justice on Turnover Intention: An Exploratory Study on Turnover Intention among Line Staff Working in Textile Composite Units in Karachi Pakistan
The main purpose of the study was to explore relationship between distributive justice and intention to leave the organization by the line staff working in textile sector of Karachi Pakistan. Based on literature review it was hypothesized that perceived distributive justice is positively correlated with intention to leave the organization. A survey of 92 participants (12 female and 80 Male) of textile employee of Karachi was conducted. Two measures were used i.e. 3 item questionnaires on turn over intention developed by Mobley, Horner, & Hollingsworth (1978) and a 13 item and 6 point likert scale questionnaire is adopted from the validated questionnaire of Robert Moorman. Result supports the hypothesis that significant correlation was found between distributive justice and intention to leave the organization. Moreover the results also suggest that distributive justice effect on the intention to leave the organization by the textile line staff. Theoretical and methodological outcome are discussed including recommendations are provided which possibly contribute to the textile industry. Highlighted areas of further study are also provided to open research arena for other researchers.
New Vision of 'Social Europe': Renationalising the Integration Process in the Internal Market of the European Union
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.
Study on Carbon Nanostructures Influence on Changes in Static Friction Forces
The Chair of Thermal Engineering at Poznan University of Technology has been conducted research works on the possibilities of using carbon nanostructures in energy and mechanics applications for a couple of years. Those studies have provided results in a form of co-operation with foreign research centres, numerous publications and patent applications. Authors of this paper have studied the influence of multi-walled carbon nanostructures on changes in static friction arising when steel surfaces were moved. Tests were made using the original test stand consisting of automatically controlled inclined plane driven by precise stepper motors. Computer program created in the LabView environment was responsible for monitoring of the stand operation, accuracy of measurements and archiving the obtained results. Such a solution enabled to obtain high accuracy and repeatability of all conducted experiments. Tests and analysis of the obtained results allowed us to determine how additional layers of carbon nanostructures influenced on changes of static friction coefficients. At the same time, we analyzed the potential possibilities of applying nanostructures under consideration in mechanics.
An Empirical Assessment of the Effect of War Exposure on the Attitudes towards Violence
Ukraine has recently experienced one of the bloodiest conflicts taking place on the European continent. Many active duty personnel and civilians have died, and millions of people have been displaced. This situation can lead to disorder in the country characterized by acceptance of violence and crime. There is a gap in the literature addressing the issues related to attitudes towards violence resulting from war, as well as focusing on the world’s more vulnerable civilian populations – those that live in lower and middle-income countries, such as Ukraine. Using a random sample of 1200 adults from two major Ukrainian cities, this study explores the relationship between different types of war exposure (direct and vicarious) and attitudes to violence. Multivariate models reveal that multiple types of war exposure (e.g., being injured, being a witness of death, watching war events on TV) are significantly associated with the attitudes to political and interpersonal violence. In addition, the KHB decomposition procedure showed that experiencing certain mental illnesses serve as important mediating mechanisms between war exposure and attitudes towards violence. Finally, in order to prevent society from disorder and high levels of violence, future studies need to pay more attention to exploring how vital and traumatic life events can lead a population to find violent acts acceptable.
The Batch Method Approach for Adsorption Mechanism Processes of Some Selected Heavy Metal Ions and Methylene Blue by Using Chemically Modified Luffa Cylindrica
Adsorption is a low cost, efficient and economically viable wastewater treatment process. Utilization of this treatment process has not been fully applied due to the complex and not fully understood nature of the adsorption system. To optimize its process is to choose a sufficient adsorbent and to study further the experimental parameters that influence the adsorption design system. Chemically modified adsorbent, Luffa cylindrica, was used to adsorb heavy metal ions and an organic pollutant, methylene blue, from aqueous environmental solution at varying experimental conditions. Experimental factors, adsorption time, initial metal ion or organic pollutant concentration, ionic strength, and pH of solution were studied. The experimental data were analyzed with kinetic and isotherm models. The antagonistic effect of the methylene and some heavy metal ions were recorded. An understanding of the use of this treated Luffa cylindrica for the removal of these toxic substances will establish and improve the commercial application of the adsorption process in treatment of contaminated waters.
Microstructural Evidences for Exhaustion Theory of Low Temperature Creep in Martensitic Steels
Down-sizing of combustion engines in automobiles are prevailed owing to required increase in efficiency. This leads to a stress increment on valve springs, which affects their intended function due to an increase in relaxation. High strength martensitic steels are used for valve spring applications. Recent investigations unveiled that low temperature creep (LTC) in martensitic steels obey a logarithmic creep law. The exhaustion theory links the logarithmic creep behavior to an activation energy which is characteristic for any given time during creep. This activation energy increases with creep strain due to barriers of low activation energies exhausted during creep. The assumption of the exhaustion theory is that the material is inhomogeneous in microscopic scale. According to these assumptions it is anticipated that small obstacles (e. g. ε–carbides) having a wide range of size distribution are non-uniformly distributed in the materials. X-ray diffraction studies revealed the presence of ε–carbides in high strength martensitic steels. In this study, high strength martensitic steels that are crept in the temperature range of 75 – 150 °C were investigated with the aid of a transmission electron microscope for the evidence of an inhomogeneous distribution of obstacles having different size to examine the validation of exhaustion theory.
Multiscale Computational Approach to Enhance the Understanding, Design and Development of CO₂ Catalytic Conversion Technologies
Reducing carbon dioxide, CO₂, is one of the greatest global challenges. Conversion of CO₂ for utilisation across synthetic fuel, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries offers a promising option, yet requires significant research to understanding the complex multiscale processes involved. To experimentally understand and optimize such processes at that catalytic sites and exploring the impact of the process at reactor scale, is too expensive. Computational methods offer significant insight and flexibility but require a more detailed multi-scale approach which is a significant challenge in itself. This work introduces a computational approach which incorporates detailed catalytic models, taken from experimental investigations, into a larger-scale computational flow dynamics framework. The reactor-scale species transport approach is modified near the catalytic walls to determine the influence of catalytic clustering regions. This coupling approach enables more accurate modelling of velocity, pressures, temperatures, species concentrations and near-wall surface characteristics which will ultimately enable the impact of overall reactor design on chemical conversion performance.
Electronic Nose for Monitoring Fungal Deterioration of Stored Rapeseed
Investigations were performed to examine the possibility of using an electronic nose to monitor the development of fungal microflora during the first eighteen days of rapeseed storage. The Cyranose 320 device with polymer-composite sensors was used. Each sample of infected material was divided into three parts, and the degree of spoilage was measured in three ways: analysis of colony forming units (CFU), determination of ergosterol content (ERG), and measurement with the eNose. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the generated patterns of signals, and six groups of different spoilage levels were isolated. The electronic nose with polymer-composite sensors under laboratory conditions distinguished between species of spoiled and unspoiled seeds with 100% accuracy. Despite some minor differences in the CFU and ergosterol content, the electronic nose provided responses correctly corresponding to the level of spoilage with 85% accuracy. Therefore, the main conclusion from the study is that the electronic nose is a promising tool for quick and non-destructive detection of the level of oil seed spoilage. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Piloting a Prototype Virtual Token Economy Intervention for On-Task Support within an Inclusive Canadian Classroom
A 'token economy' refers to a method of positive behaviour support whereby ‘tokens’ are delivered to students as a reward for exhibiting specific behaviours. Students later exchange tokens to ‘purchase’ items of interest. Unfortunately, implementation fidelity can be problematic as some find physical delivery of tokens while teaching difficult. This project developed and tested a prototype, iPad-based tool that enabled teachers to deliver and track tokens electronically. Using an alternating treatment design, any differences in on-task individual and/or group behaviours between the virtual versus physical token delivery systems were examined. Results indicated that while students and teachers preferred iPad-based implementation, no significant difference was found concerning on-task behaviours of students between the two methodologies. Perhaps more interesting was that the teacher found implementation of both methods problematic and suggested a second person was most effective in implementing a token economy method. This would represent a significant cost to the effective use of such a method. Further research should focus on the use of a lay volunteer regarding method implementation fidelity and associated outcomes of the method.
Response Evaluation of Electronic Nose with Polymer-Composite and Metal Oxide Semiconductor Sensor towards Microbiological Quality of Rapeseed
Rapeseeds were evaluated and classified by the static-headspace sampling method using electronic noses during the 25 days spoilage period. The Cyranose 320 comprising 32 polymer-composite sensors and VCA (Volatile Compound Analyzer - made in Institute of Agrophysics) built of 8 metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) sensors were used to obtain sensor response (∆R/R). Each sample of spoiled material was divided into three parts and the degree of spoilage was measured four ways: determination of ergosterol content (ERG), colony forming units (CFU) and measurement with both e-noses. The study showed that both devices responsive to changes in the fungal microflora. Cyranose and VCA registered the change of domination microflora of fungi. After 7 days of storage, typical fungi for soil disappeared and appeared typical for storeroom was observed. In both cases, response ∆R/R decreased to the end of experiment, while ERG and JTK increased. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Application of Box-Behnken Response Surface Design for Optimization of Essential Oil Based Disinfectant on Mixed Species Biofilm
With the optimization of a new disinfectant the number of tests could be decreased and the cost of processing too. Good sanitizers are eco-friendly and allow no resistance evolvement of bacteria. The essential oils (EOs) are natural antimicrobials, and most of them have the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status. In our study, the effect of the EOs cinnamon, marjoram, and thyme was investigated against mixed species bacterial biofilms of Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas putida, and Staphylococcus aureus. The optimal concentration of EOs, disinfection time and level of pH were evaluated with the aid of Response Surface Box-Behnken Design (RSD) on 1 day and 7 days old biofilms on metal, plastic, and wood surfaces. The variable factors were in the range of 1-3 times of minimum bactericide concentration (MBC); 10-110 minutes acting time and 4.5- 7.5 pH. The optimized EO disinfectant was compared to industrial used chemicals (HC-DPE, Hypo). The natural based disinfectants were applicable; the acting time was below 30 minutes. EOs were able to eliminate the biofilm from the used surfaces except from wood. The disinfection effect of the EO based natural solutions was in most cases equivalent or better compared to chemical sanitizers used in food industry.
A Socio-Pragmatic Investigation of Gender Enactment in New Month Text Messages
This paper undertakes a socio-pragmatic investigation of gender enactment in new month text messages. This study employs Gumperz’s Interactional Sociolinguistics as its theoretical point of reference to investigate how people create meaning through social interaction. This theory attempts to analyse any social interaction based on contextualization cues and presuppositions. This study explores the appropriateness of language used in texting. The text messages are collected from different mobile phones from different genders, which form the data for this paper. The study observes remarkable differences between genders in the use of informal language. The study reveals that men and women differ remarkably in conversational interaction as well as in writing. While it is observed that women are emotional, orderly, and meticulous, detailed and observed certain grammatical rules, men are casual, brief and appear to show evidence that less attention is paid to grammatical rules. Also, the study shows women as relaxing, showing love, care, concern with their emotive, spirit-raising and touching language, while mean are direct, short, and straight to the point. It is discovered through the study that women behave this way because of their brain-wiring. That is why language and communication matter more to women than to men and this reflects in their new month text messages.
Enhancing Disaster Response Capabilities in Asia-Pacific: An Explorative Study Applied to Decision Support Tools for Logistics Network Design
Logistics operations in the context of disaster response are characterized by a high degree of complexity due to the combined effect of a large number of stakeholders involved, time pressure, uncertainties at various levels, massive deployment of goods and personnel, and gigantic financial flow to be managed. It also involves several autonomous parties such as government agencies, militaries, NGOs, UN agencies, private sector to name few, to have a highly collaborative approach especially in the critical phase of the immediate response. This is particularly true in the context of L3 emergencies that are the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. Decision-making processes in disaster management are thus extremely difficult due to the presence of multiple decision-makers involved, and the complexity of the tasks being tackled. Hence, in this paper, we look at applying ICT based solutions to enable a speedy and effective decision making in the golden window of humanitarian operations. A high-level view of ICT based solutions in the context of logistics operations for humanitarian response in Southeast Asia is presented, and their viability in a real-life case about logistics network design is explored.
Forensic Science in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Trails of Utterson's Quest
This paper focuses on investigating The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Utterson’s point of view, referring to: Gabriel John Utterson, a central character in the book. Utterson is no different from a forensic investigator, as he tries to collect evidence on the mysterious Mr. Hyde’s relationship to Dr. Jekyll. From Utterson's perspective, Jekyll is the 'victim' of a potential scandal and blackmail, and Hyde is the 'suspect' of a possible 'crime'. Utterson intends to figure out Hyde's identity, connect his motive with his actions, and gather witness accounts. During Utterson’s quest, the outside materials available to him along with the social backgrounds of Hyde and Jekyll will be analyzed. The archives left from Jekyll’s chamber will also play a part providing evidence. Utterson will investigate, based on what he already knows about Jekyll his whole life, and how Jekyll had acted in his eyes until he was gone, and finding out possible explanations for Jekyll's actions. The relationship between Jekyll and Hyde becomes the major question, as the social background offers clues pointing in the direction of illegitimacy and prostitution. There is still a possibility that Jekyll and Hyde were, in fact, completely different people. Utterson received a full statement and confession from Jekyll himself at the end of the story, which gives the reader the possible truth on what happened. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde led readers, as it did Utterson, to find the connection between Hyde and Jekyll using methods of history, culture, and science. Utterson's quest to uncover Hyde shows an example of applying the various fields to in his act to see if Hyde's inheritance was legal. All of this taken together could technically be considered forensic investigation.
Dynamic Shear Energy Absorption of Ultra-High Performance Concrete
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.
Taking Sides: The Frames of Online Media on the Bilateral Relationship between Moslem Countries (Malaysia and Indonesia)
The relations between Indonesia and Malaysia are always full of colors. Indonesia is always known as old brother of Malaysia since it has similar history, religion also socio culturally. Some decades show that the declination of relationship the both countries. Another time, as ASEAN members the two countries devotes their nationalities to purify their collective identities as Eastern. The objective of the research is to extricate the construction of Kompas online and Utusan online toward news coverage of the borders dispute between Indonesia-Malaysia in 2010. This research is proposed to examine central issues which reported by Kompas online and Utusan online consistently. As a media industry, Kompas coverage dominates circulation nationally. Kompas.com was the pioneer of online news in Indonesia and born in reformation era. Utusan is prominent media industry in Malaysia that conducted by UMNO as the ruling party in Malaysia for some periods. The method used in this research is framing method by Robert N. Entman’s which consists of four steps identification: defining problem, diagnosing causes, moral judgment and a treatment recommendation. This research found that Kompas news covered the border dispute must be negotiated as recognition of Indonesia dignity. In contrary, Utusan’s spectacle focused on the Indonesia demonstrans anarchism during the dispute.
A Quantitative Analysis of the Conservation of Resources, Burnout, and Other Selected Behavioral Variables among Law Enforcement Officers
The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between personal and social resources and burnout for police officers. Current conceptualizations of the condition of burnout are challenged as being too phenomenological and ambiguous, and consequently, not given to direct empirical testing. The conservation of resources model is based on the supposition that people strive to retain, protect, and build resources as a means to protect them from the impacts of burnout. The model proposes that the effects of stress (i.e. burnout) can be manifested in personal and professional attitudes and attributes, which can measure burnout using self-reports to provide strong support for the conservation of resources model, in that, personal and professional demands are related to the exhaustion component of burnout, whereas personal and professional resources can be compiled to counteract the negative impact of the burnout condition. Highly similar patterns of burnout resistance factors were witnessed in police officers in two department precincts (N:81). In addition, results confirmed the positive influence of key demographic variables in burnout resistance using the conservation of resources model. Participants in this study are all sheriff’s deputies with a populous county in a Pacific Northwestern state (N = 274). Four instruments will be used in this quantitative study for data collection (a) a series of demographic questions, (b) the Organizational Citizenship Behavior, (c) the PANAS-X Scale (OCB: Watson& Clark, 1994), and (d) The Maslach Burnout Inventory.
Bakla Po Ako (I Am Gay): A Case Study on the Communication Styles of Selected Filipino Gays in Disclosing Their Sexual Orientation to Their Parents
This study is intended to answer the question “What are the communication styles of selected Filipino gays in breaking their silence on their sexual orientation to their parents?” In this regard, six cases of Filipino gay disclosures were examined through in-depth interviews. The participants were selected through purposive sampling and snowball technique. The theories, Rhetorical Sensitivity of Roderick Hart and Communicator Style of Robert Norton were used to analyze the gathered data and to give support to the communication attitudes, message processing, message rendering and communication styles exhibited in each disclosure. As secondary data and validation, parents and experts in the field of communication, sociology, and psychology were also interviewed and consulted. The study found that Filipino gays vary in the communication styles they use during the disclosure with their parents. All communication styles: impression-leaving, contentious, open, dramatic, dominant, precise, relaxed, friendly, animated, and communicator image were observed by the gays depending on their motivation, relationship and thoughts contemplated. These results lend ideas for future researchers to look into the communication patterns and/or styles of lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and queers or expand researches on the same subject and the utilization of Social Judgment and Relational Dialectics theories in determining and analyzing LGBTQ communication.
Analysis of the Learners’ Responses of the Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System: Critical Psychological Perspective
The study focuses on the analysis of the Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System’s responses. The purpose of the study is to analyse the participants’ rate responses of the Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System with regards to critical psychology approach. The use of critical psychology theory in this study was crucial because it responds to the current inadequate western theory or practice in the field of psychology. The participants were learners in previously disadvantaged school in the Western Cape, South Africa. The study adopted a qualitative approach and a case study design. The study was grounded on interpretivist paradigm. The sample size comprised six learners (three boys and three girls, aged of 14 years) from historically disadvantaged school. The Adjusted Rorschach Comprehensive System (ARCS) administration procedure, biographical information, semi-structured interviews, and observation were used to collect data. Data was analysed using thematic framework. The study found out that, factors that increased the response rates during the administration of ARCS were, language, seating arrangement, drawing, viewing, and describing. The study recommended that, psychological test designers take into consideration the philosophy or worldviews of the local people for whom the test is designed to minimize low response rates.
A Psychophysiological Evaluation of an Effective Recognition Technique Using Interactive Dynamic Virtual Environments
Recording psychological and physiological correlates of human performance within virtual environments and interpreting their impacts on human engagement, ‘immersion’ and related emotional or ‘effective’ states is both academically and technologically challenging. By exposing participants to an effective, real-time (game-like) virtual environment, designed and evaluated in an earlier study, a psychophysiological database containing the EEG, GSR and Heart Rate of 30 male and female gamers, exposed to 10 games, was constructed. Some 174 features were subsequently identified and extracted from a number of windows, with 28 different timing lengths (e.g. 2, 3, 5, etc. seconds). After reducing the number of features to 30, using a feature selection technique, K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) methods were subsequently employed for the classification process. The classifiers categorised the psychophysiological database into four effective clusters (defined based on a 3-dimensional space – valence, arousal and dominance) and eight emotion labels (relaxed, content, happy, excited, angry, afraid, sad, and bored). The KNN and SVM classifiers achieved average cross-validation accuracies of 97.01% (±1.3%) and 92.84% (±3.67%), respectively. However, no significant differences were found in the classification process based on effective clusters or emotion labels.
Comparison of Quality Indices for Sediment Assessment in Ireland
Sediment contamination is a major source of ecosystem stress and has received significant attention from the scientific community. Both the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) require a robust set of tools for biological and chemical monitoring. For the MSFD in particular, causal links between contaminant and effects need to be assessed. Appropriate assessment tools are required in order to make an accurate evaluation. In this study, a range of recommended sediment bioassays and chemical measurements are assessed in a number of potentially impacted and lowly impacted locations around Ireland. Previously, assessment indices have been developed on individual compartments, i.e. contaminant levels or biomarker/bioassay responses. A number of assessment indices are applied to chemical and ecotoxicological data from the Seachange project (Project code) and compared including the metal pollution index (MPI), pollution load index (PLI) and Chapman index for chemistry as well as integrated biomarker response (IBR). The benefits and drawbacks of the use of indices and aggregation techniques are discussed. In addition to this, modelling of raw data is investigated to analyse links between contaminant and effects.
Ultra-Fast pH-Gradient Ion Exchange Chromatography for the Separation of Monoclonal Antibody Charge Variants
Purpose: Demonstration of fast high resolution charge variant analysis for monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics within 5 minutes. Methods: Three commercially available mAbs were used for all experiments. The charge variants of therapeutic mAbs (Bevacizumab, Cetuximab, Infliximab, and Trastuzumab) are analyzed on a strong cation exchange column with a linear pH gradient separation method. The linear gradient from pH 5.6 to pH 10.2 is generated over time by running a linear pump gradient from 100% Thermo Scientific™ CX-1 pH Gradient Buffer A (pH 5.6) to 100% CX-1 pH Gradient Buffer B (pH 10.2), using the Thermo Scientific™ Vanquish™ UHPLC system. Results: The pH gradient method is generally applicable to monoclonal antibody charge variant analysis. In conjunction with state-of-the-art column and UHPLC technology, ultra fast high-resolution separations are consistently achieved in under 5 minutes for all mAbs analyzed. Conclusion: The linear pH gradient method is a platform method for mAb charge variant analysis. The linear pH gradient method can be easily optimized to improve separations and shorten cycle times. Ultra-fast charge variant separation is facilitated with UHPLC that complements, and in some instances outperforms CE approaches in terms of both resolution and throughput.
Electrochemically Reduced Graphene Oxide Modified Boron-Doped Diamond Paste Electrode on Paper-Based Analytical Device for Simultaneous Determination of Norepinephrine and Serotonin
In this work, we demonstrate a novel electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ERGO) modified boron-doped diamond paste (BDDP) electrode on paper-based analytical devices (PADs) for simultaneous determination of norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT). The BDD paste electrode was easily constructed by filling BDD paste in small channels, which made in transparency film sheets using a CO₂ laser etching
system. The counter and reference electrodes were fabricated on paper by in-house screen-printing and then combined with BDD paste microelectrode. The electrochemical characterization of the device was investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV). Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) was employed for the simultaneous determination of NE and 5-HT. The ERGO-modified BDDP electrode displayed excellent electrocatalytic activities toward the oxidation of NE and 5-HT and strong function for resolving the overlapping voltammetric responses of NE and 5-HT into two well-defined voltammetric peaks. This device was capable of simultaneously detecting NE and 5-HT in wide concentration ranges and with a low limit of detections. In addition, it has the advantages in terms of ease of use, low cost, and disposability.
Seasonal Variation in 25(OH)D Concentration and Sprint Performance in Elite Athletes with a Spinal Cord Injury
Individuals a with spinal cord injuries have been suggested to be at risk for a 25(OH)D insufficiency. However, little is known regarding the relationship between seasonal Vitamin D status and performance in a spinally injured athletic population. Purpose: The purpose of this study was: 1) to examine the seasonal change in 25(OH)D concentrations and 2) to determine whether 25(OH)D status impacts athletic performance in US Paralympic athletes. Methods: 25 (OH)D concentrations were measured in 11 outdoor track athletes ( 5 men/6 females), between fall (October/November) and winter(February). Dietary intake and lifestyle habits were assessed via questionnaire, and performance measurements were assessed using a 20meter sprint test. 25(OH)D concentrations were assessed using a blood spot method (ZRT Laboratory).
Results: There was no significant change in 25 (OH) D concentrations across seasons (P=0.505; 31 + 6.35 ng/mL, 29 + 8.72 ng/mL (mean + SD) for Fall and Winter, respectively. In the Fall,42% of the athletes had sufficient levels (>32ng/mL), and 58% were insufficient. (20ng/mL -31ng/mL) where as the winter levels dropped with 33% being sufficient and 58% being insufficient and 1% being deficient (
Attitudes and Behaviors of Pediatric Residents towards Care for Underserved Children in a Tertiary Government Hospital
Introduction: In most hospitals, pediatric residents are part of the frontline team who interacts with medically underserved patients. Despite of these daily encounters, little is known regarding their attitudes and behaviors towards caring for these underserved patients. Objectives: This study measured the pediatric resident physicians’ attitudes and behaviors towards underserved patients and determine its association. Methodology: The study utilized a cross-sectional mixed methodology, combining the use of a self-administered questionnaire survey using the Learner’s Needs Assessment tool, measuring both attitudes and behaviors towards the underserved. This is followed by a focus group discussion (FGD) involving a sample of residents at the Philippine General Hospital. Results: The response rate was 100% among 62 residents. Overall, 78% of pediatric residents acknowledged the issues of medically underserved to be very important. Volunteerism (behaviors) was only 27% during residency, and was projected to be 90% in future practice. No significant association was noted between their attitudes and behaviors. The FGD revealed that factors (i.e. burnout) causes strains in residents towards the underserved. Frustration from genuine concern for the underserved children was apparent. Conclusion: Among PGH pediatric residents, their attitudes and behaviors are noted to be positive towards the underserved. There was no significant correlation noted between having positive attitudes and volunteerism (behaviors) of the residents towards the underserved. Despite this, residents pointed out certain factors (i.e. burnout) that affect their attitudes and behaviors. The study results may serve as the basis for curriculum enhancements tailored to promote resident well-being, molding them to become the ‘5-star pediatricians’ who will genuinely be ready to serve the underserved.
Multi-Objective Optimization of a Solar-Powered Triple-Effect Absorption Chiller for Air-Conditioning Applications
In this paper, a detailed simulation model of a solar-powered triple-effect LiBr–H2O absorption chiller is developed to supply both cooling and heating demand of a large-scale building, aiming to reduce the fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in building sector. TRNSYS 17 is used to simulate the performance of the system over a typical year. A combined energetic-economic-environmental analysis is conducted to determine the system annual primary energy consumption and the total cost, which are considered as two conflicting objectives. A multi-objective optimization of the system is performed using a genetic algorithm to minimize these objectives simultaneously. The optimization results show that the final optimal design of the proposed plant has a solar fraction of 72% and leads to an annual primary energy saving of 0.69 GWh and annual CO2 emissions reduction of ~166 tonnes, as compared to a conventional HVAC system. The economics of this design, however, is not appealing without public funding, which is often the case for many renewable energy systems. The results show that a good funding policy is required in order for these technologies to achieve satisfactory payback periods within the lifetime of the plant.
Spatial Relationship of Drug Smuggling Based on Geographic Information System Knowledge Discovery Using Decision Tree Algorithm
In this investigation, we focus on discovering spatial relationship of drug smuggling along the northern border of Thailand. Thailand is no longer a drug production site, but Thailand is still one of the major drug trafficking hubs due to its topographic characteristics facilitating drug smuggling from neighboring countries. Our study areas cover three districts (Mae-jan, Mae-fahluang, and Mae-sai) in Chiangrai city and four districts (Chiangdao, Mae-eye, Chaiprakarn, and Wienghang) in Chiangmai city where drug smuggling of methamphetamine crystal and amphetamine occurs mostly. The data on drug smuggling incidents from 2011 to 2017 was collected from several national and local published news. Geo-spatial drug smuggling database was prepared. Decision tree algorithm was applied in order to discover the spatial relationship of factors related to drug smuggling, which was converted into rules using rule-based system. The factors including land use type, smuggling route, season and distance within 500 meters from check points were found that they were related to drug smuggling in terms of rules-based relationship. It was illustrated that drug smuggling was occurred mostly in forest area in winter. Drug smuggling exhibited was discovered mainly along topographic road where check points were not reachable. This spatial relationship of drug smuggling could support the Thai Office of Narcotics Control Board in surveillance drug smuggling.
Analysis Customer Loyalty Characteristic and Segmentation Analysis in Mobile Phone Category in Indonesia
The main purpose of this study is to explore consumer loyalty characteristic of mobile phone category in Indonesia. Second, this research attempts to identify consumer segment and to explore their profile in each segment as the basis of marketing strategy formulation. This study used some tools of multivariate analysis such as discriminant analysis and cluster analysis. Discriminate analysis used to discriminate consumer loyal and not loyal by using particular variables. Cluster analysis used to reveal various segment in mobile phone category. In addition to having better customer understanding in each segment, this study used descriptive analysis and cross tab analysis in each segment defined by cluster analysis. This study expected several findings. First, consumer can be divided into two large group of loyal versus not loyal by set of variables. Second, this study identifies customer segment in mobile phone category. Third, exploring customer profile in each segment that has been identified. This study answer a call for additional empirical research into different product categories. Therefore, a replication research is advisable. By knowing the customer loyalty characteristic, and deep analysis of their consumption behavior and profile for each segment, this study is very advisable for high impact marketing strategy development. This study contributes body of knowledge by adding empirical study of consumer loyalty, segmentation analysis in mobile phone category by multiple brand analysis.
Relationship between Response of the Resistive Sensors on the Chosen Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Their Concentration
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the fungi metabolites in the gaseous form produced during improper storage of agricultural commodities (e.g. grain, food). The spoilt commodities produce a wide range of VOCs including alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, alkanes, alkenes, furans, phenols etc. The characteristic VOCs and odours can be determined by using electronic nose (e-Nose) which contains a matrix of different kinds of sensors e.g. resistive sensors. The aim of the present studies was to determine relationship between response of the resistive sensors on the chosen volatiles and their concentration. According to the literature, it was chosen volatiles characteristic for the cereals: ethanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and hexanal. Analysis of the sensor signals shows that a signal shape is different for the different substances. Moreover, each VOC signal gives information about a maximum of the normalized sensor response (R/Rmax), an impregnation time (tIM) and a cleaning time at half maximum of R/Rmax (tCL). These three parameters can be regarded as a ‘VOC fingerprint’. Seven resistive sensors (TGS2600-B00, TGS2602-B00, TGS2610-C00, TGS2611-C00, TGS2611-E00, TGS2612-D00, TGS2620-C00) produced by Figaro USA Inc., and one (AS-MLV-P2) produced by AMS AG, Austria were used. Two out of seven sensors (TGS2611-E00, TGS2612-D00) did not react to the chosen VOCs. The most responsive sensor was AS-MLV-P2.
The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Waterborne Platooning: Cost and Logistic Analysis of Vessel Trains
Recent years have seen extensive technological advancement in truck platooning, as reflected in the literature. Its main benefits are the improvement of traffic stability and the reduction of air drag, resulting in less fuel consumption, in comparison to using individual trucks. Platooning is now being adapted to the waterborne transport sector in the NOVIMAR project through the development of a Vessel Train (VT) concept. The main focus of VT’s, as opposed to the truck platoons, is the decrease in manning on board, ultimately working towards autonomous vessel operations. This crew reduction can prove to be an important selling point in achieving economic competitiveness of the waterborne approach when compared to alternative modes of transport. This paper discusses the expected benefits and drawbacks of the VT concept, in terms of the technical logistic performance and generalized costs. More specifically, VT’s can provide flexibility in destination choices for shippers but also add complexity when performing special manoeuvres in VT formation. In order to quantify the cost and performances, a model is developed and simulations are carried out for various case studies. These compare the application of VT’s in the short sea and inland water transport, with specific sailing regimes and technologies installed on board to allow different levels of autonomy. The results enable the identification of the most important boundary conditions for the successful operation of the waterborne platooning concept. These findings serve as a framework for future business applications of the VT.
The Science of Dreaming and Sleep in Selected Charles Dickens' Novels and Letters
The present work examines the representation of dreaming in Charles Dickens’ novels, particularly Oliver Twist. Dickens showed great interest in the science of dreaming and had ample knowledge of the latest dream theories in the Victorian era, as can be seen in his personal correspondence, most notably in his famous letter to Dr. Thomas Stone on 2/2/1851. This essay places Dickens’ personal writings side by side with his novels to elucidate whether the scientific paradigm about dreaming included in the novel is consistent with the current (in Dickens’ time) scientific knowledge, or whether it is anachronistic or visionary (ahead of his time). Oliver Twist is particularly useful because it contains entire passages pondering on the nature of dreaming, enumerating types of common dreams, and taking a stand on the interference of sensory perception during the dreaming state. The author is particularly intrigued by Dickens’ assumption of the commonality and universality of lucid dreaming as revealed in these passages. This essay places popular Victorian dream theories, such as those contained in Robert Macnish’s The Philosophy of Sleep, side by side with recent dream theory, particularly psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge’s numerous articles and books on the topic of lucid dreaming to see if Dickens deviated in any way from the reigning paradigm of the Victorian era in his representation of dreaming in his novels. While Dickens puts to great narrative use many of the characteristics of dreaming described by leading Victorian theorists, the author of this study argues, however, that Dickens’ most visionary statements derive from his acute observations of his own dreaming experiences.
Characterisation of Wind-Driven Ventilation in Complex Terrain Conditions
The physical effects of upstream flow obstructions such
as vegetation on cross-ventilation phenomena of a building are
important for issues such as indoor thermal comfort. Modelling such
effects in Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations may also be
challenging. The aim of this work is to establish the cross-ventilation
jet behaviour in such complex terrain conditions as well as to provide
guidelines on the implementation of CFD numerical simulations in
order to model complex terrain features such as vegetation in an
efficient manner. The methodology consists of onsite measurements
on a test cell coupled with numerical simulations. It was found
that the cross-ventilation flow is highly turbulent despite the very
low velocities encountered internally within the test cells. While no
direct measurement of the jet direction was made, the measurements
indicate that flow tends to be reversed from the leeward to the
windward side. Modelling such a phenomenon proves challenging
and is strongly influenced by how vegetation is modelled. A solid
vegetation tends to predict better the direction and magnitude of the
flow than a porous vegetation approach. A simplified terrain model
was also shown to provide good comparisons with observation. The
findings have important implications on the study of cross-ventilation
in complex terrain conditions since the flow direction does not remain
trivial, as with the traditional isolated building case.
Evaluation of DNA Oxidation and Chemical DNA Damage Using Electrochemiluminescent Enzyme/DNA Microfluidic Array
DNA damage from metabolites of lipophilic drugs and pollutants, generated by enzymes, represents a major toxicity pathway in humans. These metabolites can react with DNA to form either 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), which is the oxidative product of DNA or covalent DNA adducts, both of which are genotoxic and hence considered important biomarkers to detect cancer in humans. Therefore, detecting reactions of metabolites with DNA is an effective approach for the safety assessment of new chemicals and drugs. Here we describe a novel electrochemiluminescent (ECL) sensor array which can detect DNA oxidation and chemical DNA damage in a single array, facilitating a more accurate diagnostic tool for genotoxicity screening. Layer-by-layer assembly of DNA and enzyme are assembled on the pyrolytic graphite array which is housed in a microfluidic device for sequential detection of two type of the DNA damages. Multiple enzyme reactions are run on test compounds using the array, generating toxic metabolites in situ. These metabolites react with DNA in the films to cause DNA oxidation and chemical DNA damage which are detected by ECL generating osmium compound and ruthenium polymer, respectively. The method is further validated by the formation of 8-oxodG and DNA adduct using similar films of DNA/enzyme on magnetic bead biocolloid reactors, hydrolyzing the DNA, and analyzing by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Hence, this combined DNA/enzyme array/LC-MS approach can efficiently explore metabolic genotoxic pathways for drugs and environmental chemicals.
Surface Modification of Titanium Alloy with Laser Treatment
The effect of laser surface treatment parameters on the residual strength of titanium alloy has been investigated. The influence of the laser surface treatment on the bonding strength between the titanium and poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK) surfaces was also evaluated and compared to those offered by titanium foils without surface treatment to optimize the laser parameters. Material characterization using an optical microscope was carried out to study the microstructure and to measure the mean roughness value of the titanium surface. The results showed that the surface roughness shows a significant dependency on the laser power parameters in which surface roughness increases with the laser power increment. Moreover, the results of the tensile tests have shown that there is no significant dropping in tensile strength for the treated samples comparing to the virgin ones. In order to optimize the laser parameter as well as the corresponding surface roughness, single-lap shear tests were conducted on pairs of the laser treated titanium stripes. The results showed that the bonding shear strength between titanium alloy and PEKK film increased with the surface roughness increment to a specific limit. After this point, it is interesting to note that there was no significant effect for the laser parameter on the bonding strength. This evidence suggests that it is not necessary to use very high power of laser to treat titanium surface to achieve a good bonding strength between titanium alloy and the PEKK film.
Prenatal Lead Exposure and Postpartum Depression: An Exploratory Study of Women in Mexico
Introduction: Postpartum depression is a prevalent mood disorder that is detrimental to the mental and physical health of mothers and their newborns. Lead (Pb) is a toxic metal that is associated with hormonal imbalance and mental impairments. The hormone changes that accompany pregnancy and childbirth may be exacerbated by Pb and increase new mothers’ susceptibility to postpartum depression. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the only study that investigates the association between prenatal Pb exposure and postpartum depression. Identifying risk factors can contribute to improved prevention and treatment strategies for postpartum depression. Methods: Data was derived from the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stress (PROGRESS) study which is an ongoing longitudinal birth cohort. Postpartum depression was identified by a score of 13 or above on the 10-Item Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) 6-months and 12-months postpartum. Pb was measured in the blood (BPb) in the second and third trimester and in the tibia and patella 1-month postpartum. Quantile regression models were used to assess the relationship between BPb and postpartum depression. Results: BPb in the second trimester was negatively associated with the 80th percentile of depression 6-months postpartum (β: -0.26; 95% CI: -0.51, -0.01). No significant association was found between BPb in the third trimester and depression 6-months postpartum. BPb in the third trimester exhibited an inverse relationship with the 60th percentile (β: -0.23; 95% CI: -0.41, -0.06), 70th percentile (β: -0.31; 95% CI: -0.52, -0.10), and 90th percentile of depression 12-months postpartum (β: -0.36; 95% CI: -0.69, -0.03). There was no significant association between BPb in the second trimester and depression 12-months postpartum. Bone Pb concentrations were not significantly associated with postpartum depression. Conclusion: The negative association between BPb and postpartum depression may support research which demonstrates lead is a nontherapeutic stimulant. Further research is needed to verify these results and identify effect modifiers.
Nanoparticle-Based Histidine-Rich Protein-2 Assay for the Detection of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum
Diagnosis of severe malaria is particularly important in highly endemic regions since most patients are positive for parasitemia and treatment differs from non-severe malaria. Diagnosis can be challenging due to the prevalence of diseases with similar symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is increasingly important to avoid overprescribing antimalarial drugs, minimize drug resistance, and minimize costs. A nanoparticle-based assay for detection and quantification of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) in urine and serum is reported. The assay uses magnetic beads conjugated with anti-HRP2 antibody for protein capture and concentration, and antibody-conjugated quantum dots for optical detection. Western Blot analysis demonstrated that magnetic beads allows the concentration of HRP2 protein in urine by 20-fold. The concentration effect was achieved because large volume of urine can be incubated with beads, and magnetic separation can be easily performed in minutes to isolate beads containing HRP2 protein. Magnetic beads and Quantum Dots 525 conjugated to anti-HRP2 antibodies allows the detection of low concentration of HRP2 protein (0.5 ng mL-1), and quantification in the range of 33 to 2,000 ng mL-1 corresponding to the range associated with non-severe to severe malaria. This assay can be easily adapted to a non-invasive point-of-care test for classification of severe malaria.
Cognitive Functioning and Cortisol Suppression in Major Depression in a Long-Term Perspective
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is often associated with high levels of stress and disturbances in the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) system, yielding high levels of cortisol, in addition to cognitive dysfunction. Previous studies in this patient group have shown a relationship between cortisol profile and cognitive functioning in the acute phase of MDD and that the patients had significantly less suppression after dexamethasone administration. However, few studies have investigated this relationship over time and in phases of symptom reduction. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between cortisol levels after the Dexamethasone Suppression Test (DST) and cognitive function in a long term perspective in MDD patients. Patients meeting the DSM-IV criteria for a MDD were included in the study and tested in symptom reduction. A control group was included. Cortisol was measured in saliva collected with Salivette sampling devices. Saliva samples were collected 4 times during a 24 hours period over two consecutive days: at awakening, after 45 minutes, after 7 hours and at 11 pm. Dexamethasone (1.0 mg) was given on Day 1 at 11 pm. The neuropsychological test battery consisted of standardized tests measuring memory and Executive Functioning (EF). Cortisol levels did not differ significantly between patients and controls on Day 1 or Day 2. Both groups showed significant suppression after Dexamethasone. There were no correlations between cortisol levels or suppression after Dexamethasone and cognitive measures. The results indicate that the HPA-axis functioning normalizes in phases of symptom reduction in MDD patients and that there no relation between cortisol profile and cognitive functioning in memory or EF.
An Intelligent Scheme Switching for Multiple Input Multiple Output Systems Using Fuzzy Logic Technique
Link adaptation is an important strategy for achieving robust wireless multimedia communications based on quality of service (QoS) demand. Scheme switching in multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems is an aspect of link adaptation, and it involves selecting among different MIMO transmission schemes or modes so as to adapt to the varying radio channel conditions for the purpose of achieving QoS delivery. However, finding the most appropriate switching method in MIMO links is still a challenge as existing methods are either computationally complex or not always accurate. This paper presents an intelligent switching method for the MIMO system consisting of two schemes - transmit diversity (TD) and spatial multiplexing (SM) - using the fuzzy logic technique. In this method, two channel quality indicators (CQI) namely average received signal-to-noise ratio (RSNR) and received signal strength indicator (RSSI) are measured and are passed as inputs to the fuzzy logic system which then gives a decision – an inference. The switching decision of the fuzzy logic system is fed back to the transmitter to switch between the TD and SM schemes. Simulation results show that the proposed fuzzy logic – based switching technique outperforms the conventional static switching technique in terms of bit error rate and spectral efficiency.
Access to the Forest Ecosystem Services: Understanding the Interaction between Livelihood Capitals and Access
This study is aimed to understand the level of access and the influence of livelihood capitals in maintaining access and control of ecosystem services (ESS) in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Besides the villagers, we consider other stakeholders including the forest department, coast guard, police, merchants, pirates and villagers who ‘controlled’ or ‘maintained’ access to ESS (crab catching, shrimp fry, honey, shrimp, mixed fish, fuel wood) in this region. Villagers used human, physical, natural and social capitals to gain access to ESS. The highest level of access was observed in crab catching and the lowest was found in honey collection, both of which were done when balancing the costs and benefits of accessing one ESS against another. The outcomes of these ongoing access negotiations were determined by livelihood capitals of the households. In addition, it was often found that the certain variables could have a positive effect on one ESS and a negative effect on another. For instance, human, social and natural capitals (eldest daughter’s education and No. of livelihood group membership and) had significant positive effects on honey collection while two components of human and social capitals including ‘eldest son’s education’ and ‘severity of pirate problem’ had exactly the opposite impact. These complex interactions were also observed in access to other ESS. It thus seems that access to ESS is not anything which is provided, but rather it is achieved by using livelihood capitals. Protecting any ecosystem from over exploitation and improve wellbeing can be achieved by properly balancing the livelihood capital-access nexus.
Patient Care Needs Assessment: An Evidence-Based Process to Inform Quality Care and Decision Making
Beyond the number of nurses providing care for patients, having nurses with the right skills, experience and education is essential to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. Research studies continue to link nurse staffing and skill mix with nurse-sensitive patient outcomes; numerous studies clearly show that superior patient outcomes are associated with higher levels of regulated staff. Due to the limited number of tools and processes available to assist nurse leaders with staffing models of care, nurse leaders are constantly faced with the ongoing challenge to ensure their staffing models of care best suit their patient population. In 2009, several hospitals in Ontario, Canada participated in a research study to develop and evaluate an RN/RPN utilization toolkit. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a toolkit for Registered Nurses/Registered Practical Nurses Staff mix decision-making based on the College of Nurses of Ontario, Canada practice standards for the utilization of RNs and RPNs. This paper will highlight how an organization has further developed the Patient Care Needs Assessment (PCNA) questionnaire, a major component of the toolkit. Moreover, it will demonstrate how it has utilized the information from PCNA to clearly identify patient and family care needs, thus providing evidence-based results to assist leaders with matching the best staffing skill mix to their patients.
The Analysis of the Stress Phenomenon among the Academic Teachers
The main aim of this article is to determine the phenomenon of stress among academic teachers as well as to identify the extent to which the teachers experience work-related psychological risks. It is also important to support academic teachers trade unions in scope of stress-oriented activities, including psychological dangers in the assessment of risk in the workplace (college). The authors used a method of a diagnostic survey with a polling as a technique and authors’ questionnaire as a tool. The survey was conducted between September and December of 2013 and it comprised 1890 academic teachers from five voivodeships.
The study reveals that 84.0% of the respondents found the work of an academic teacher to be borne with a considerable stress. The percentage values of the most frequent causes of stress are as follows: frequent changes of both organisational and didactic matters as well as overwhelming bureaucracy (77.8 %), time pressure regarding professional development and related risk of losing job (68.2 %), difficult working conditions (45.4%), conflicts and rivalry between teachers (44.1%), excessive amount of duties as well as increasing requirements and demanding attitude of students (33.7%). Work-related stress affects or significantly affects the private life of 69 % and 66.4 % of the respondents respectively. The majority of the people surveyed deals with stress by undertaking various activities, with 40% pointing at using various substances, mostly cigarettes and alcohol (p > 0,05) Physical ailments were experienced by 81% of the respondents, in 9% they were rare and 8 % of the respondents had never experienced such disorders.
The entire group of the surveyed people (100 %) claimed that they have no possibility of contacting a psychologist at their workplace (p > 0.05), and they stated that the need of contacting specialists does exist.
Improving Vocabulary and Listening Comprehension via Watching French Films without Subtitles: Positive Results
This study is based on more than fifteen years of experience of teaching a foreign language, in my case French, to the English-speaking students. It represents a qualitative research on foreign language learners’ reaction and their gains in terms of vocabulary and listening comprehension through repeatedly viewing foreign feature films with the original sountrack but without English subtitles. The initial idea emerged upon realization that the first challenge faced by my students when they find themselves in a francophone environment has been their lack of listening comprehension. Their inability to understand colloquial speech affects not only their academic performance, but their psychological health as well. To remedy this problem, I have designed and applied for many years my own teaching method based on one particular French film, exceptionally suited, for the reasons described in detail in the paper, for the intermediate-advanced level foreign language learners. This project, conducted together with my undergraduate assistant and mentoree J-R Ancheta, aims at showing how the paralinguistic features, such as characters’ facial expressions, settings, music, historical background, images provided before the actual viewing, etc., offer crucial support and enhance students’ listening comprehension. The study, based on students’ interviews, also offers special pedagogical techniques, such as ‘anticipatory’ vocabulary lists and exercises, drills, quizzes and composition topics that have proven to boost students’ performance. For this study, only the listening proficiency and vocabulary gains of the interviewed participants were assessed.
Culture of Primary Cortical Neurons on Hydrophobic Nanofibers Induces the Formation of Organoid-Like Structures
Hydrophobic materials have previously demonstrated the ability to elevate cell-cell interactions and promote the formation of neural networks whilst aligned nanofibers demonstrate the ability to induce extensive neurite outgrowth in an aligned manner. Hydrophobic materials typically elicit an immune response upon implantation and thus materials used for implantation are typically hydrophilic. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is a hydrophobic, non-immunogenic, FDA approved material that can be electrospun to form aligned nanofibers. Primary rat cortical neurons cultured for 10 days on aligned PLLA nanofibers formed 3D cell clusters, approximately 800 microns in diameter. Neurites that extended from these clusters were highly aligned due to the alignment of the nanofibers they were cultured upon and fasciculation was also evident. Plasma treatment of the PLLA nanofibers prior to seeding of cells significantly reduced the hydrophobicity and abolished the cluster formation and neurite fasciculation, whilst reducing the extent and directionality of neurite outgrowth; it is proposed that hydrophobicity induces the changes to cellular behaviors. Aligned PLLA nanofibers induced the formation of a structure that mimics the grey-white matter compartmentalization that is observed in vivo and thus represents a step forward in generating organoids or biomaterial-based implants. Upon implantation into the brain, the biomaterial architectures described here may provide a useful platform for both brain repair and brain remodeling initiatives.
Effect of Soaking Period of Clay on Its California Bearing Ratio Value
The quality of road pavement is affected mostly by the type of sub-grade which is acting as road foundation. The roads degradation is related to many factors especially the climatic conditions, the quality and the thickness of the base materials. The thickness of this layer depends on its California Bearing Ratio test value which by its turn is highly affected by the quantity of water infiltrated under the road after heavy rain. The capacity of the base material to drain out its water is predominant factor because any change in moisture content causes change in sub-grade strength. This paper studies the effect of the soaking period of soil especially clay on its CBR value. For this reason, we collected many clayey samples in order to study the effect of the soaking period on its CBR value. On each soil, two groups of experiments were performed: main tests consisting of Proctor and CBR test from one side and from other side identification tests consisting of other tests such as Atterberg limits tests. Each soil sample was first subjected to Proctor test in order to find its optimum moisture content which will be used to perform the CBR test. Four CBR tests were performed on each soil with different soaking period. The first CBR was done without soaking the soil sample; the second one with two days soaking, the third one with four days soaking period and the last one was done under eight days soaking. By comparing the results of CBR tests performed with different soaking time, a more detailed understanding was given to the role of the water in reducing the CBR of soil. In fact by extending the soaking period, the CBR was found to be reduced quickly the first two days and slower after. A precise reduction factor of the CBR in relation with soaking period was found at the end of this paper.
Use of a Chagas Urine Nanoparticle Test (Chunap) to Correlate with Parasitemia Levels in T. cruzi/HIV Co-Infected Patients
Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen
, Robert H. Gilman
, Carolina Mejia
, Daniel E. Clark
, Jeong Choi
, Melissa J. Reimer-Mcatee
, Rocio Castro
, Jorge Flores
, Edward Valencia-Ayala
, Faustino Torrico
, Ricardo Castillo-Neyra
, Lance Liotta
, Caryn Bern
, Alessandra Luchini
Early diagnosis of reactivation of Chagas disease in HIV patients could be lifesaving; however, in Latin American the diagnosis is performed by detection of parasitemia by microscopy which lacks sensitivity. To evaluate if levels of T. cruzi antigens in urine determined by Chunap (Chagas urine nanoparticle test) are correlated with parasitemia levels in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients. T. cruzi antigens in urine of HIV patients (N=55: 31 T. cruzi infected and 24 T. cruzi serology negative) were concentrated using hydrogel particles and quantified by Western Blot and a calibration curve. The percentage of Chagas positive patients determined by Chunap compared to blood microscopy, qPCR, and ELISA was 100% (6/6), 95% (18/19) and 74% (23/31), respectively. Chunap specificity was 91.7%. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a direct relationship between parasitemia levels (determined by qPCR) and urine T. cruzi antigen concentrations (p< 0.001). A cut-off of > 105 pg was chosen to determine patients with reactivation of Chagas disease (6/6). Urine antigen concentration was significantly higher among patients with CD4+ lymphocyte counts below 200/mL (p=0.045). Chunap shows potential for early detection of reactivation and with appropriate adaptation can be used for monitoring Chagas disease status in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients.
Freshwater Lens Observation: Case Study of Laura Island, Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands
Atolls are low-lying small islands with highly permeable ground that does not allow rivers and lakes to develop. As the water resources on these atolls basically rely on precipitation, groundwater becomes a very important water resource during droughts. Freshwater lenses develop as groundwater on relatively large atoll islands and play a key role in the stable water supply. Atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean sometimes suffer from drought due to El Nino. The global warming effects are noticeable, particularly on atoll islands. The Republic of the Marshall Islands in Oceania is burdened with the problems common to atoll islands. About half of its population lives in the capital, Majuro, and securing water resources for these people is a crucial issue. There is a freshwater lens on the largest, Laura Island, which serves as a water source for the downtown area. A serious drought that occurred in 1998 resulted in excessive water intake from the freshwater lens on Laura Island causing up-coning. Up-coning mixes saltwater into groundwater pumped from water-intake wells. Because up-coning makes the freshwater lens unusable, there was a need to investigate the freshwater lens on Laura Island. In this study, we observed the electrical conductivities of the groundwater at different depths in existing monitoring wells to determine the total storage volume of the freshwater lens on Laura Island from 2010 to 2013. Our results indicated that most of the groundwater that seeped into the freshwater lens had flowed out into the sea.
Low Students' Access to University Education in Nigeria: Causes and Remedy
The paper explained the causes low students’ access to university education in Nigeria and how
it can be remedied. It is discovered that low students’ access to university education in Nigeria is
evident despite these number of universities in the country. In 2006/2007 academic session,
806,089 sat for Joint Unified Matriculation Board Examination (JAMB) into Nigerian
universities and only 123,626 (15.3%) were admitted while 2011/2012 academic session, a total
of 1,493,604 candidates sat for Joint Unified Matriculation Board Examination (JAMB) into
Nigerian universities and only 65,073 (43.57%) were admitted. This necessitates for the research.
Therefore, the study posed the following research questions. What are causes of low students’
access to university education in Nigeria? What are the challenges of students’ access to
university education in Nigeria? How can students’ access to university education in Nigeria be
improved? Sample survey research design was adopted for the study. A structured questionnaire
was used to gather data for the study. Six hundred and eighty (680) respondents which comprised
of 100 level university students; JAMB Officers and University administrators (Vice
Chancellors, Registrars and Admission Officers) were used for the study. Stratified random
sampling was applied for adequate representation of respondents from universities in the six geopolitical
zones of Nigeria. Mean was used to answer research questions while Kuder-Richardson
formula 20 was used to check the internal consistency of the instrument. The correlation
coefficient of the instrument was 0.87. The major findings include the carrying capacity of each
university contributes to low students’ access to university education and academic staff were
inadequate. From the analysis of the study, it is concluded that the rate of access to university
education is low, therefore, every university should establish distance learning programme to
reduce university admission crisis. The training infrastructure in the universities should be
improved upon by the owners to increase the carrying capacity of each university.
A Taxonomy of the Informational Content of Virtual Heritage Serious Games
Video games have reached a point of huge commercial success as well as wide familiarity with audiences both young and old. Much attention and research have also been directed towards serious games and their potential learning affordances. It is little surprise that the field of virtual heritage has taken a keen interest in using serious games to present cultural heritage information to users, with applications ranging from museums and cultural heritage institutions, to academia and research, to schools and education. Many researchers have already documented their efforts to develop and distribute virtual heritage serious games. Although attempts have been made to create classifications of the different types of virtual heritage games (somewhat akin to the idea of game genres), no formal taxonomy has yet been produced to define the different types of cultural heritage and historical information that can be presented through these games at a content level, and how the information can be manifested within the game. This study proposes such a taxonomy. First the informational content is categorized as heritage or historical, then further divided into tangible, intangible, natural, and analytical. Next, the characteristics of the manifestation within the game are covered. The means of manifestation, level of demonstration, tone, and focus are all defined and explained. Finally, the potential learning outcomes of the content are discussed. A demonstration of the taxonomy is then given by describing the informational content and corresponding manifestations within several examples of virtual heritage serious games as well as commercial games. It is anticipated that this taxonomy will help designers of virtual heritage serious games to think about and clearly define the information they are presenting through their games, and how they are presenting it. Another result of the taxonomy is that it will enable us to frame cultural heritage and historical information presented in commercial games with a critical lens, especially where there may not be explicit learning objectives. Finally, the results will also enable us to identify shared informational content and learning objectives between any virtual heritage serious and/or commercial games.
A Network Optimization Study of Logistics for Enhancing Emergency Preparedness in Asia-Pacific
The combination of factors such as temperamental climate change, rampant urbanization of risk exposed areas, political and social instabilities, is posing an alarming base for the further growth of number and magnitude of humanitarian crises worldwide. Given the unique features of humanitarian supply chain such as unpredictability of demand in space, time, and geography, spike in the number of requests for relief items in the first days after the calamity, uncertain state of logistics infrastructures, large volumes of unsolicited low-priority items, a proactive approach towards design of disaster response operations is needed to achieve high agility in mobilization of emergency supplies in the immediate aftermath of the event. This paper is an attempt in that direction, and it provides decision makers with crucial strategic insights for a more effective network design for disaster response. Decision sciences and ICT are integrated to analyse the robustness and resilience of a prepositioned network of emergency strategic stockpiles for a real-life case about Indonesia, one of the most vulnerable countries in Asia-Pacific, with the model being built upon a rich set of quantitative data. At this aim, a network optimization approach was implemented, with several what-if scenarios being accurately developed and tested. Findings of this study are able to support decision makers facing challenges related with disaster relief chains resilience, particularly about optimal configuration of supply chain facilities and optimal flows across the nodes, while considering the network structure from an end-to-end in-country distribution perspective.
Passive Attenuation of Nitrogen Species at Northern Mine Sites
Elevated concentrations of inorganic nitrogen (N) compounds (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia) are a ubiquitous feature to mine-influenced drainages due to the leaching of blasting residues and use of cyanide in the milling of gold ores. For many mines, the management of N is a focus for environmental protection, therefore understanding the factors controlling the speciation and behavior of N is central to effective decision making. In this paper, the passive attenuation of ammonia and nitrite is described for three northern water bodies (two lakes and a tailings pond) influenced by mining activities. In two of the water bodies, inorganic N compounds originate from explosives residues in mine water and waste rock. The third water body is a decommissioned tailings impoundment, with N compounds largely originating from the breakdown of cyanide compounds used in the processing of gold ores. Empirical observations from water quality monitoring indicate nitrification (the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate) occurs in all three waterbodies, where enrichment of nitrate occurs commensurately with ammonia depletion. The N species conversions in these systems occurred more rapidly than chemical oxidation kinetics permit, indicating that microbial mediated conversion was occurring, despite the cool water temperatures. While nitrification of ammonia and nitrite to nitrate was the primary process, in all three waterbodies nitrite was consistently present at approximately 0.5 to 2.0 % of total N, even following ammonia depletion. The persistence of trace amounts of nitrite under these conditions suggests the co-occurrence denitrification processes in the water column and/or underlying substrates. The implications for N management in mine waters are discussed.
Determining Which Material Properties Resist the Tool Wear When Machining Pre-Sintered Zirconia
In the dental restoration sector, there has been a shift to using zirconia. With the ever increasing need to decrease lead times to deliver restorations faster the zirconia is machined in its pre-sintered state instead of grinding the very hard sintered state. As with all machining, there is tool wear and while investigating the tooling used to machine pre-sintered zirconia it became apparent that the wear rate is based more on material build up and abrasion than it is on plastic deformation like conventional metal machining. It also came to light that the tool material can currently not be selected based on wear resistance, as there is no data. Different works have analysed the effect of the individual wear mechanism separately using similar if not the same material. In this work, the testing method used to analyse the wear was a modified from ISO 8688:1989 to use the pre-sintered zirconia and the cutting conditions used in dental to machine it. This understanding was developed through a series of tests based in machining operations, to give the best representation of the multiple wear factors that can occur in machining of pre-sintered zirconia such as 3 body abrasion, material build up, surface welding, plastic deformation, tool vibration and thermal cracking. From the testing, it found that carbide grades with low trans-granular rupture toughness would fail due to abrasion while those with high trans-granular rupture toughness failed due to edge chipping from build up or thermal properties. The results gained can assist the development of these tools and the restorative dental process. This work was completed with the aim of assisting in the selection of tool material for future tools along with a deeper understanding of the properties that assist in abrasive wear resistance and material build up.
Qualitative Case Studies in Reading Specialist Education
This presentation focuses on the analysis qualitative case studies in the graduate education of reading specialists. The presentation describes the development and application of an integrated conceptual framework for reading specialist education, drawing on Robert Stake’s work on case study research, Kenneth Zeichner’s work on professional learning, and various tools for reading assessment (e.g. the Qualitative Reading Inventory). Social constructivist theory is used to provide intersecting links between the various influences on the processes used to assess and teaching reading within the case study framework. Illustrative examples are described to show the application of the framework in reading specialist education in a teaching clinic at a large urban university. Central to education of reading specialists in this teaching clinic is the collection, analysis and interpretation of data for the design and implementation of reading and writing programs for struggling readers and writers. The case study process involves the integrated interpretation of data, which is central to qualitative case study inquiry. An emerging theme in this approach to graduate education is the ambiguity and uncertainty that governs work with the adults and children who attend the clinic for assistance. Tensions and contradictions are explored insofar as they reveal overlapping but intersecting frameworks for case study analysis in the area of literacy education. An additional theme is the interplay of multiple layers of data with a resulting depth that goes beyond the practical need of the client and toward the deeper pedagogical growth of the reading specialist. The presentation makes a case for the value of qualitative case studies in reading specialist education. Further, the use of social constructivism as a unifying paradigm provides a robustness to the conceptual framework as a tool for understanding the pedagogy that is involved.
Use of Selected Cytokines in the Early SIRS/MODS Diagnostic Testing at Patients after Trauma
Post-traumatic mortality rates are still very high and show an increasing tendency. Early identification of patients at high risk of severe complications has a significant impact on treatment outcomes. The aim of the study was to better understand the early pathological inflammatory response to injury and infection and to determine the usefulness of the assessment of TNF-α and sTNFR1 concentrations in the peripheral blood as early indicators of severe post-traumatic complications. The study was carried out in a group of 51 patients after trauma treated in the ED, including 32 patients that met inclusion criteria for immunological analysis. Patients were divided into two groups using the ISS scale (group A with ISS ≥20, group B with ISS
Design of a Hand-Held, Clamp-on, Leakage Current Sensor for High Voltage Direct Current Insulators
Leakage current monitoring for high voltage transmission line insulators is of interest as a performance indicator. Presently, to the best of our knowledge, there is no commercially available, clamp-on type, non-intrusive device for measuring leakage current on energised high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line insulators. The South African power utility, Eskom, is investigating the development of such a hand-held sensor for two important applications; first, for continuous real-time condition monitoring of HVDC line insulators and, second, for use by live line workers to determine if it is safe to work on energised insulators. In this paper, a DC leakage current sensor based on magnetic field sensing techniques is developed. The magnetic field sensor used in the prototype can also detect alternating current up to 5 MHz. The DC leakage current prototype detects the magnetic field associated with the current flowing on the surface of the insulator. Preliminary HVDC leakage current measurements are performed on glass insulators. The results show that the prototype can accurately measure leakage current in the specified current range of 1-200 mA. The influence of external fields from the HVDC line itself on the leakage current measurements is mitigated through a differential magnetometer sensing technique. Thus, the developed sensor can perform measurements on in-service HVDC insulators. The research contributes to the body of knowledge by providing a sensor to measure leakage current on energised HVDC insulators non-intrusively. This sensor can also be used by live line workers to inform them whether or not it is safe to perform maintenance on energized insulators.
Excited State Structural Dynamics of Retinal Isomerization Revealed by a Femtosecond X-Ray Laser
, Tobias Weinert
, Daniel James
, Sergio Carbajo
, Dmitry Ozerov
, Antonia Furrer
, Dardan Gashi
, Veniamin Borin
, Petr Skopintsev
, Kathrin Jaeger
, Karol Nass
, Petra Bath
, Robert Bosman
, Jason Koglin
, Matthew Seaberg
, Thomas Lane
, Demet Kekilli
, Steffen Brünle
, Tomoyuki Tanaka
, Wenting Wu
, Christopher Milne
, Thomas A. White
, Anton Barty
, Uwe Weierstall
, Valerie Panneels
, Eriko Nango
, So Iwata
, Mark Hunter
, Igor Schapiro
, Gebhard Schertler
, Richard Neutze
, Jörg Standfuss
Ultrafast isomerization of retinal is the primary step in a range of photoresponsive biological functions including vision in humans and ion-transport across bacterial membranes. We studied the sub-picosecond structural dynamics of retinal isomerization in the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin using an X-ray laser. Twenty snapshots with near-atomic spatial and temporal resolution in the femtosecond regime show how the excited all-trans retinal samples conformational states within the protein binding pocket prior to passing through a highly-twisted geometry and emerging in the 13-cis conformation. The aspartic acid residues and functional water molecules in proximity of the retinal Schiff base respond collectively to formation and decay of the initial excited state and retinal isomerization. These observations reveal how the protein scaffold guides this remarkably efficient photochemical reaction.
Reader Reception of Cultural Context for Chinese Translation of Scientific and Technical Discourse: An Empirical Study
Scientific and technical discourse is non-literary, and so it is often regarded as merely informative, free of the cultural context of both the source and the target language. Thus it is supposed that translators of sci-tech texts do not need to consider cultural factors in the translation process as readers only care for the information conveyed. This paper takes a different standpoint and shows that cultural context plays an important part in scientific and technical texts and thereafter in bridging the gap between different cultural communities of readers. The paper argues that the common cultural context for members of the same cultural community, such as morals, customs, and values, also underpins the sci-tech discourse of various text types, and therefore may pose difficulties for readers of a different cultural community if this is re-presented or translated literally. The research hypothesises that depending on how it is re-presented or translated; cultural context can either encourage or discourage readers’ reading experience and subsequently their interest to read and use translation texts.
Drawing upon the Reception Theory by Hans Robert Jauss, the research investigates the relationship between cultural context and scientific and technical translation from English to Chinese. Citing 55 examples of sci-tech translations from magazines, newspapers and the website of Shell, a major international oil and gas company, the research shows that the source texts for these 55 cases all have bearing on the source cultural context, and translators will need to address this in the translation process instead of doing literal translation to be merely correct. The research then interviews 15 research subjects for their views of the translations. By assessing readers’ reception and perception of translated Chinese sci-tech discourse, the research concludes that cultural context contributes to the quality of scientific and technical translation in an important way and then discusses the implications of the findings for training scientific and technical translators.
Robust Segmentation of Salient Features in Automatic Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) Images
Automated 3D breast ultrasound (ABUS) screening is a novel modality in medical imaging because of its common characteristics shared with other ultrasound modalities in addition to the three orthogonal planes (i.e., axial, sagittal, and coronal) that are useful in analysis of tumors. In the literature, few automatic approaches exist for typical tasks such as segmentation or registration. In this work, we deal with two problems concerning ABUS images: nipple and rib detection. Nipple and ribs are the most visible and salient features in ABUS images. Determining the nipple position plays a key role in some applications for example evaluation of registration results or lesion follow-up. We present a nipple detection algorithm based on color and shape of the nipple, besides an automatic approach to detect the ribs. In point of fact, rib detection is considered as one of the main stages in chest wall segmentation. This approach consists of four steps. First, images are normalized in order to minimize the intensity variability for a given set of regions within the same image or a set of images. Second, the normalized images are smoothed by using anisotropic diffusion filter. Next, the ribs are detected in each slice by analyzing the eigenvalues of the 3D Hessian matrix. Finally, a breast mask and a probability map of regions detected as ribs are used to remove false positives (FP). Qualitative and quantitative evaluation obtained from a total of 22 cases is performed. For all cases, the average and standard deviation of the root mean square error (RMSE) between manually annotated points placed on the rib surface and detected points on rib borders are 15.1188 mm and 14.7184 mm respectively.
Liquid Tin(II) Alkoxide Initiators for Use in the Ring-Opening Polymerisation of Cyclic Ester Monomers
The main aim of this research has been to design and synthesize some completely soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators for use in the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of cyclic ester monomers. This is in contrast to conventional tin(II) alkoxides in solid form which tend to be molecular aggregates and difficult to dissolve. The liquid initiators prepared were bis(tin(II) monooctoate) diethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2DEG) and bis(tin(II) monooctoate) ethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2EG). Their efficiencies as initiators in the bulk ROP of ε-caprolactone (CL) at 130oC were studied kinetically by dilatometry. Kinetic data over the 20-70% conversion range was used to construct both first-order and zero-order rate plots. It was found that the rate data fitted more closely to first-order kinetics with respect to the monomer concentration and gave higher first-order rate constants than the corresponding tin(II) octoate/diol initiating systems normally used to generate the tin(II) alkoxide in situ. Since the ultimate objective of this work is to produce copolymers suitable for biomedical use as absorbable monofilament surgical sutures, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) 75:25 mol %, P(LL-co-CL), copolymers were synthesized using both solid and liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators at 130°C for 48 hrs. The statistical copolymers were obtained in near-quantitative yields with compositions (from 1H-NMR) close to the initial comonomer feed ratios. The monomer sequencing (from 13C-NMR) was partly random and partly blocky (gradient-type) due to the much differing monomer reactivity ratios (rLL >> rCL). From GPC, the copolymers obtained using the soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxides were found to have higher molecular weights (Mn = 40,000-100,000) than those from the only partially soluble solid initiators (Mn = 30,000-52,000).
A Geometrical Multiscale Approach to Blood Flow Simulation: Coupling 2-D Navier-Stokes and 0-D Lumped Parameter Models
In this study, a geometrical multiscale approach which means coupling together the 2-D Navier-Stokes equations, constitutive equations and 0-D lumped parameter models is investigated. A multiscale approach, suggest a natural way of coupling detailed local models (in the flow domain) with coarser models able to describe the dynamics over a large part or even the whole cardiovascular system at acceptable computational cost. In this study we introduce a new velocity correction scheme to decouple the velocity computation from the pressure one. To evaluate the capability of our new scheme, a comparison between the results obtained with Neumann outflow boundary conditions on the velocity and Dirichlet outflow boundary conditions on the pressure and those obtained using coupling with the lumped parameter model has been performed. Comprehensive studies have been done based on the sensitivity of numerical scheme to the initial conditions, elasticity and number of spectral modes. Improvement of the computational algorithm with stable convergence has been demonstrated for at least moderate Weissenberg number. We comment on mathematical properties of the reduced model, its limitations in yielding realistic and accurate numerical simulations, and its contribution to a better understanding of microvascular blood flow. We discuss the sophistication and reliability of multiscale models for computing correct boundary conditions at the outflow boundaries of a section of the cardiovascular system of interest. In this respect the geometrical multiscale approach can be regarded as a new method for solving a class of biofluids problems, whose application goes significantly beyond the one addressed in this work.
The Impact of Motor Predispositions of Pilot-Cadets on Results in Aviation Synthetic Efficiency Test
The aim of the study is to determine the types of motor skills and their impact on achieving results while undergoing Aviation Synthetic Efficiency Test (ASET). The study involved 59 cadets, 21 years-old on average, who are studying on first year for a pilot. The average weight of the respondents is 73.8 kg. The subjects were divided into two groups by weight: up to 73.8 kg -group A (n-30) and above 73,8kg -group B (n-29). All subjects underwent the following tests: running at 40m, 100m, 1000m, 2000m, pull-ups, ASET. In both groups, the cadets were divided into two motor skills types taking into advance 40 m running, pull-ups, 2000 meters running and then subjected to do ASET. There has been shown statistically significant increase in group B in body height, weight and BMI with p < 0.0003, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001 compared to group A. The results indicate that the dominant motor type in all subjects is the endurance-strength model, which reached the speed V = 1,42m/s in overcoming ASET. This is confirmed by the correlation between 2000m and pull-ups r = 0.37 (p < 0.05). In group A, the results indicate that the dominant type of motor is a high-speed-endurance model (26.6%), which reached speed V = 1,42m/s in overcoming ASET. In Group B, there was type of motor speed-strength (20.6%), which reached speed of V = 1.45m/s in overcoming ASET. This confirms the correlation between ASET and pull-ups r = 0.56 (p < 0.005). Examined cadets who were having one dominant characteristic achieved worse results is ASET. The best results from all examined cadets in overcoming ASET had the type of motor endurance-strength, in group A endurance-speed model and in group B type of speed-strength
STD-NMR Based Protein Engineering of the Unique Arylpropionate-Racemase AMDase G74C
Enzymatic racemization allows the smooth interconversion of stereocenters under very mild reaction conditions. Racemases find frequent applications in deracemization and dynamic kinetic resolutions. Arylmalonate decarboxylase (AMDase) from Bordetella Bronchiseptica has high structural similarity to amino acid racemases. These cofactor-free racemases are able to break chemically strong CH-bonds under mild conditions. The racemase-like catalytic machinery of mutant G74C conveys it a unique activity in the racemisation of pharmacologically relevant derivates of 2-phenylpropionic acid (profenes), which makes AMDase G74C an interesting object for the mechanistic investigation of cofactor-independent racemases. Structure-guided protein engineering achieved a variant of this unique racemase with 40-fold increased activity in the racemisation of several arylaliphatic carboxylic acids. By saturation–transfer–difference NMR spectroscopy (STD-NMR), substrate binding during catalysis was investigated. All atoms of the substrate showed interactions with the enzyme. STD-NMR measurements revealed distinct nuclear Overhauser effects in experiments with and without molecular conversion. The spectroscopic analysis led to the identification of several amino acid residues whose variation increased the activity of G74C. While single-amino acid exchanges increased the activity moderately, structure-guided saturation mutagenesis yielded a quadruple mutant with a 40 times higher reaction rate. This study presents STD-NMR as versatile tool for the analysis of enzyme-substrate interactions in catalytically competent systems and for the guidance of protein engineering.
A Multimodal Measurement Approach Using Narratives and Eye Tracking to Investigate Visual Behaviour in Perceiving Naturalistic and Urban Environments
Abstract: The majority of existing landscape research has been derived by conducting heuristic evaluations, without having empirical insight of real participant visual response. In this research, a modern multimodal measurement approach (using narratives and eye tracking) was applied to investigate visual behaviour in perceiving naturalistic and urban environments. This research is unique in exploring gaze behaviour on environmental images possessing different levels of saliency. Eye behaviour is predominantly attracted by salient locations. The concept of methodology of this research on naturalistic and urban environments is drawn from the approaches in market research. Borrowing methodologies from market research that examine visual responses and qualities provided a critical and hitherto unexplored approach. This research has been conducted by using mixed methodological quantitative and qualitative approaches. On the whole, the results of this research corroborated existing landscape research findings, but they also identified potential refinements. The research contributes both methodologically and empirically to human-environment interaction (HEI). This study focused on initial impressions of environmental images with the help of eye tracking. Taking under consideration the importance of the image, this study explored the factors that influence initial fixations in relation to expectations and preferences. In terms of key findings of this research it is noticed that each participant has his own unique navigation style while surfing through different elements of landscape images. This individual navigation style is given the name of ‘visual signature’. This study adds the necessary clarity that would complete the picture and bring an insight for future landscape researchers.
Zimbabwe's Foreign Policy in Southern Africa, 1980-2013
Soon after independence on 18th April 1980, Zimbabwe’s foreign policy was shaped by the realities on the ground, which saw the country managing a sound relationship with both the Capitalist West and the Communist Eastern blocs. The post-independence foreign policy was therefore premised on security concerns illuminated by the Cold War era. This was one the reasons President Robert Mugabe adopted a policy of reconciliation and this earned his government recognition on the international platform. However, in Southern Africa apartheid South Africa was still the vanguard of capitalism and oppression such that she posed a serious threat to the newly born Zimbabwean nation which necessitated that Zimbabwe position herself both in the region and the continent to counter potential internal stability from within. Irrespective of how the international community viewed the country’s foreign policy Zimbabwe has continued to influence regional, continental and world geo-politics, especially on behalf of the developing nations. This raises a question why as a result of its foreign policy the country is now regarded a pariah state, especially some Western countries which used to applaud its political economic policies immediately after independence. Therefore, this study argues that the political economy of Zimbabwe had a far-reaching bearing on its foreign policy. For this reason, the problem necessitates the investigation of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy perspectives in Southern Africa since the turn of the 1990s. Two main theories which are Realism, Afro-centrism inform the study as an attempt to understand Zimbabwe’s foreign policy paradigm shift and perhaps provide answers to the objectives raised. The research therefore employs a qualitative approach where the conceptual nature of the study into the foreign policy of Zimbabwe is largely desktop research. However, the nature of the study will also require that oral interviews are conducted to substantiate some of the arguments advanced.
Ecotourism Adaptation Practices to Climate Change in the Context of Sustainable Management in Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
In spite of the influence of climate change on tourism destinations, particularly those rely heavily on natural resources, little attention paid to study the appropriate adaptation efforts to cope with, moderate and benefit from the impacts of climate change. The existing literature indicated that the research of climate change adaptation in the tourism and outdoor recreation field is at least 5-7 years behind other sectors such as water resources and agriculture. In Jordan, there are many observed changes in climate patterns such as higher temperatures, decreased precipitation and increased severity and frequency of drought. Dana Biosphere Reserve (DBR), the largest protected area and the major eco-tourism destination in Jordan, is facing climate change, which gradually degrading environment, shifting tourism seasons and changing livelihood and lifestyle of local communities. This study aims to assess climate change adaptation practices and policies used in DBR to cope with climate change related-risks. We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key informants in DBR to assess climate change adaptation practices. Direct content analysis (or a priori content analysis) was used to determine the components and indicators of climate change adaptation. The results found that DBR has implemented a wide range of adaptation practices, including infrastructure development, diversification of tourism products, environmentally-friendly practices, visitor management, land use management, rainwater collection, environmental monitoring and research, environmental education and collaboration with stakeholders. These diverse practices implicitly and explicitly play an important role in coping with the social, economic and environmental impacts caused by climate change. Finally, this study demonstrated that climate change adaptation is closely related to sustainable management of eco-tourism.
Ecocriticism and Sustainable Development: A Study of Kamila Shamsie's a God in Every Stone
English Literature from the beginning itself has had psychological, social and environment concerns. Virgil, Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth to the most current Robert Hass have shown and proved their environmental and ecological interests as well as distress related to its loss. Pastoral literature is also one such genre that links literature with environment. Thanks to the contemporary literary theories that they successfully are relating Literature formally to the subjects other than written text. One of such literary theory is 'Ecocriticism.' It stands under the umbrella of the Economics term, Sustainable Development,' or it can also be understood as an ecological extension of it. Ecocriticism helps the reader to study the dynamic relation between literature and our degrading environment. It draws attention towards the ravaged condition of nature and animals, that how nature is exploited by human beings for their own benefit leaving nature at a repairable loss. For instance, deforestation is reducing the size of forest every year, injuring permanently flora, fauna and also the habitat of animals. This paper will study the ecological and environmental concerns in the latest novel by Pakistani British writer Kamila Shamsie, A God in every Stone (2014). The book is not only a literary masterpiece in elegant prose, but also a novel posing a lot of questions about 'nature and environment' in general and 'animals' in particular. It gives the glimpses of the interesting history of Temple of Zeus in Greece and Ancient Caria, and covers many episodes of history the Indian freedom struggle. In course of novel's narrative Kamila Shamsie poses disturbing question about environmental abuse, about how human beings are more 'beasts' than so call beasts, poor animals. She also glorifies the simplicity of past. The novel has enough instances to prove Shamsie's positive stand on saving the earth that is being more abused than used by human beings. This paper will provide an ecocritical approach to study A God in Every Stone (2014).
E-learning resources for radiology training: Is an ideal program available?
Objective and Rationale: Training of radiology residents hinges on practical, on-the-job training in all facets and modalities of diagnostic radiology. Although residency is structured to be comprehensive, clinical exposure depends on the case mix available locally and during the posting period. To supplement clinical training, there are several e-learning resources available to allow for greater exposure to radiological cases. The objective of this study was to survey residents and faculty on the usefulness of these e-learning resources. Methods: E-learning resources were shortlisted with input from radiology residents, Google search and online discussion groups, and screened by their purported focus. Twelve e-learning resources were found to meet the criteria. Both radiology residents and experienced radiology faculty were then surveyed electronically. The e-survey asked for ratings on breadth, depth, testing capability and user-friendliness for each resource, as well as for rankings for the top 3 resources. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS 9.4. Results: Seventeen residents and fifteen faculties completed an e-survey. Mean response rate was 54% ± 8% (Range: 14- 96%). Ratings and rankings were statistically identical between residents and faculty. On a 5-point rating scale, breadth was 3.68 ± 0.18, depth was 3.95 ± 0.14, testing capability was 2.64 ± 0.16 and user-friendliness was 3.39 ± 0.13. Top-ranked resources were STATdx (first), Radiopaedia (second) and Radiology Assistant (third). 9% of responders singled out R-ITI as potentially good but ‘prohibitively costly’. Statistically significant predictive factors for higher rankings are familiarity with the resource (p = 0.001) and user-friendliness (p = 0.006). Conclusion: A good e-learning system will complement on-the-job training with a broad case base, deep discussion and quality trainee evaluation. Based on our study on twelve e-learning resources, no single program fulfilled all requirements. The perception and use of radiology e-learning resources depended more on familiarity and user-friendliness than on content differences and testing capability.
Vertebrate Model to Examine the Biological Effectiveness of Different Radiation Qualities
Purpose: Several feature of zebrafish are making them amenable for investigation on therapeutic approaches such as ionizing radiation. The establishment of zebrafish model for comprehensive radiobiological research stands in the focus of our investigation, comparing the radiation effect curves of neutron and photon irradiation. Our final aim is to develop an appropriate vertebrate model in order to investigate the relative biological effectiveness of laser driven ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: After careful dosimetry series of viable zebrafish embryos were exposed to a single fraction whole-body neutron-irradiation (1,25; 1,875; 2; 2,5 Gy) at the research reactor of the Technical University of Budapest and to conventional 6 MeV photon beam at 24 hour post-fertilization (hpf). The survival and morphologic abnormalities (pericardial edema, spine curvature) of each embryo were assessed for each experiment at 24-hour intervals from the point of fertilization up to 168 hpf (defining the dose lethal for 50% (LD50)). Results: In the zebrafish embryo model LD50 at 20 Gy dose level was defined and the same lethality were found at 2 Gy dose from the reactor neutron beam resulting RBE of 10. Dose-dependent organ perturbations were detected on macroscopic (shortening of the body length, spine curvature, microcephaly, micro-ophthalmia, micrognathia, pericardial edema, and inhibition of yolk sac resorption) and microscopic (marked cellular changes in skin, cardiac, gastrointestinal system) with the same magnitude of dose difference. Conclusion: In our observations, we found that zebrafish embryo model can be used for investigating the effects of different type of ionizing radiation and this system proved to be highly efficient vertebrate model for preclinical examinations.
Evaluation of Bucket Utility Truck In-Use Driving Performance and Electrified Power Take-Off Operation
In an effort to evaluate the in-use performance of electrified Power Take-off (PTO) usage on bucket utility trucks operating under real-world conditions, data from 20 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles operating in California, USA were collected, compiled, and analyzed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Fleet Test and Evaluation team. In this paper, duty-cycle statistical analyses of class 5, medium-duty quick response trucks and class 8, heavy-duty material handler trucks are performed to examine and characterize vehicle dynamics trends and relationships based on collected in-use field data. With more than 100,000 kilometers of driving data collected over 880+ operating days, researchers have developed a robust methodology for identifying PTO operation from in-field vehicle data. Researchers apply this unique methodology to evaluate the performance and utilization of the conventional and electric PTO systems. Researchers also created custom representative drive-cycles for each vehicle configuration and performed modeling and simulation activities to evaluate the potential fuel and emissions savings for hybridization of the tractive driveline on these vehicles. The results of these analyses statistically and objectively define the vehicle dynamic and kinematic requirements for each vehicle configuration as well as show the potential for further system optimization through driveline hybridization. Results are presented in both graphical and tabular formats illustrating a number of key relationships between parameters observed within the data set that relates specifically to medium- and heavy-duty utility vehicles operating under real-world conditions.
Impact of Different Ripening Accelerators on the Microbial Load and Proximate Composition of Plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and Banana (Musa sapientum), during the Ripening Process, and the Nutrition Implication for Food Security
This study reports on the impact of different ripening accelerators on the microbial load and proximate composition of plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and Banana (Musa sapientum) during the ripening process, and the nutrition implication for food security. The study comprised of four treatments, namely: Calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis fruits, Newbouldia laevis leaves and a control, where no ripening accelerator was applied to the fingers of plantain and banana. The unripe and ripened plantain and banana were subjected to microbial analysis by isolating and enumerating their micro flora using pour plate method; and also, their proximate composition was determined using standard methods. The result indicated that the bacteria count of plantain increased from 3.25 ± 0.33 for unripe to 5.31 ± 0.30 log cfu/g for (treated) ripened, and that of banana increased from 3.69 ± 0.11 for unripe to 5.26 ± 0.21 log cfu/g for ripened. Also, the fungal count of plantain increased from 3.20 ± 0.16 for unripe to 4.88 ± 0.22 log sfu/g for ripened; and that of banana increased from 3.61 ± 0.19 for unripe to 5.43 ± 0.26 for ripened. Ripened plantain fingers without any ripening accelerator (control) had significantly (p < 0.05) higher values of crude protein 3.56 ± 0.06%, crude fat 0.42 ± 0.04%, total ash 2.74 ± 0.15 and carbohydrate 31.10 ± 0.20; but with significantly lower value of moisture 62.14 ± 0.07% when compared with treated plantain. The proximate composition trend of treated and banana fingers control is similar to that of treated and plantain control, except that higher moisture content of 75.11 ± 0.07% and lesser protein, crude fat, total ash and carbohydrate were obtained from treated and ripened banana control when the treatments were compared with that of plantain. The study concluded that plantain is more nutritious (mealy) than a banana; also, the ripening accelerators increased the microbial load and reduced the nutritional status of plantain and banana.
Thermodynamic Evaluation of Coupling APR-1400 with a Thermal Desalination Plant
Growing human populations have placed increased demands on water supplies and a heightened interest in desalination infrastructure. Key elements of the economics of desalination projects are thermal and electrical inputs. With growing concerns over the use of fossil fuels to (indirectly) supply these inputs, coupling of desalination with nuclear power production represents a significant opportunity. Individually, nuclear and desalination technologies have a long history and are relatively mature. For desalination, Reverse Osmosis (RO) has the lowest energy inputs. However, the economically driven output quality of the water produced using RO, which uses only electrical inputs, is lower than the output water quality from thermal desalination plants. Therefore, modern desalination projects consider that RO should be coupled with thermal desalination technologies (MSF, MED, or MED-TVC) with attendant steam inputs to permit blending to produce various qualities of water. A large nuclear facility is well positioned to dispatch large quantities of both electrical and thermal power. This paper considers the supply of thermal energy to a large desalination facility to examine heat balance impact on the nuclear steam cycle. The APR1400 nuclear plant is selected as prototypical from both a capacity and turbine cycle heat balance perspective to examine steam supply and the impact on electrical output. Extraction points and quantities of steam are considered parametrically along with various types of thermal desalination technologies to form the basis for further evaluations of economically optimal approaches to the interface of nuclear power production with desalination projects. In our study, the thermodynamic evaluation will be executed by DE-TOP which is the IAEA desalination program, it is approved to be capable of analyzing power generation systems coupled to desalination systems through various steam extraction positions, taking into consideration the isolation loop between the APR-1400 and the thermal desalination plant for safety concern.
Grade and Maximum Tumor Dimension as Determinants of Lymphadenectomy in Patients with Endometrioid Endometrial Cancer (EEC)
Introduction: Endometrial Cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy primarily treated with complete surgical staging, which may include complete pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. The role of lymphadenectomy is controversial, especially the intraoperative indications for the procedure. Three factors are important in decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy: Myometrial invasion, maximum tumor dimension, and histology. Many institutions incorporate these criteria in varying degrees in the decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy. This investigation assesses the use of intraoperatively measured MTD with and without pre-operative histologic grade. Methods: This study compared retrospectively EEC patients with intraoperatively measured MTD ≤2 cm to those with MTD >2 cm from January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2017. This assessment compared those with MTD ≤ 2cm with endometrial biopsy (EB) grade 1-2 to patients with MTD > 2cm with EB grade 3. Lymph node metastasis (LNM), recurrence, and survival were compared in these groups. Results: This study reviewed 222 patient cases. In tumors > 2 cm, LNM occurred in 20% cases while in tumors ≤ 2 cm, LNM was found in 6% cases (p=0.04). Recurrence and mean survival based on last follow up visit in these two groups were not statistically different (p=0.78 and 0.36 respectively). Data demonstrated a trend that when combined with preoperative EB International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, a higher proportion of patients with EB FIGO Grade 3 and MTD > 2 cm had LNM compared to those with EB FIGO Grade 1-2 and MTD ≤ 2 cm (43% vs, 11%, p=0.06). LNM was found in 15% of cases in which lymphadenectomy was performed based on current practices, whereas if the criteria of EB FIGO 3 and MTD > 2 cm were used the incidence of LNM would have been 44% cases. However, using this criterion, two patients would not have had their nodal metastases detected. Compared to the current practice, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed criteria would be 60% and 81%, respectively. The PPV and NPV would be 43% and 90%, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that MTD combined with EB FIGO grade can detect LNM in a higher proportion of cases when compared to current practice. MTD combined with EB FIGO grade may eliminate the need of frozen section sampling in a substantial number of cases.
Dynamic of an Invasive Insect Gut Microbiome When Facing to Abiotic Stress
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic wood borer insect native from China, which is associated with important environmental and economic damages in North America. Beetles are known to be vectors of microbial communities related to their adaptive capacities. It is now established that environmental stress factors may induce physiological events on the host trees, such as phytochemical changes. Consequently, that may affect the establishment comportment of herbivorous insect. Considering the number of insects collected on ash trees (insects’ density) as an abiotic factor related to stress damage, the aim of our study was to explore the dynamic of EAB gut microbial community genome (microbiome) when facing that factor and to monitor its diversity. Insects were trapped using specific green Lindgren© traps. A gradient of the captured insect population along the St. Lawrence River was used to create three levels of insects’ density (low, intermediate, and high). After dissection, total DNA extracted from insect guts of each level has been sent for amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS2 region. The composition of microbial communities among sample appeared largely diversified with the Simpson index significantly different across the three levels of density for bacteria. Add to that; bacteria were represented by seven phyla and twelve classes, whereas fungi were represented by two phyla and seven known classes. Using principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) based on Bray Curtis distances of 16S rRNA sequences, we observed a significant variation between the structure of the bacterial communities depending on insects’ density. Moreover, the analysis showed significant correlations between some bacterial taxa and the three classes of insects’ density. This study is the first to present a complete overview of the bacterial and fungal communities associated with the gut of EAB base on culture-independent methods, and to correlate those communities with a potential stress factor of the host trees.
Efficacy of Insulin Pump Therapy on Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction and Glycemic Control among Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Saudi Arabia: A Prospective Study
Introduction: The aim of this study was to explore the impact of insulin pump therapy on diabetes treatment satisfaction and glycemic control among patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A 6-month, prospective study was conducted among 47 patients (aged17–24 years) with T1DM who attended the Insulin Pump Clinic at Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between April 2014 and November 2014. The respondents were purposively and conveniently selected and were interviewed using the Arabic version of the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire at baseline, 3, and 6 months. Demographics and clinical variables including hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were also collected. Results: The mean (±standard deviation) age of the study cohort was 19.1 ± 1.93 years. Seventeen patients were male (36.2%) and 30 were female (63.8%). Compared to baseline, significant positive differences were found in treatment satisfaction among female patients and patients with long-standing T1DM at 6 months. Frequency of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia declined significantly in female patient’s at 6 months and in patients who had a shorter duration of T1DM. Furthermore, significant positive differences were found in HbA1c levels among female patients and among those who had a shorter duration of T1DM compared to baseline. Both female and male patients and those with a shorter duration of T1DM showed significant decline in insulin necessity at6months when compared to baseline. Conclusion: Although multiple daily injections is a feasible preference for insulin supply, insulin pumps should also be considered for patients with T1DM as it appears to increase patients’ treatment satisfaction, decrease the frequency of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and reduce HbA1c levels.
Factors Affecting Physical Activity among University Students of Different Fields of Study
Physical activity is one of the factors greatly influencing healthy lifestyle. The recent research into physical activity of the Polish society reveals that contribution of physical culture to healthy lifestyle is insufficient. Students, regardless of age, spend most of free-time in front of a TV or computer. The research attempted to identify the level of physical activity and healthy lifestyle among students of medical sciences and other students doing their teaching degrees.
The findings of physical activity research conducted in 2014, which covered 364 students of medical sciences and future teachers from the University of Jan Kochanowski in Kielce were analysed. The research involved the method of diagnostic survey based on a questionnaire. It attempted to establish to what extent such factors as the field of studies, the place of residence and BMI affect students’ physical activity. Empirical material was analysed by means of SPSS/PC, the leading statistical software. The field of study significantly influences physical activity of the respondents. The students of physiotherapy and public health tend to be more physically active than students of biology and geography: 46.8% students of geography and 51.8 % biology students seldom take up physical activity. Obesity and overweight are currently serious problems of university students: 6.6% of them are obese and 19% overweight. It is alarming that these students are not willing to find ways to be more physically active. Most of the obese and overweight respondents study biology or geography and live in a rural area. Unequal chances in terms of youth physical culture are determined by the differences between rural and urban environments. Young people living in rural areas are less physically active, particularly in terms of the frequency and the amount of time devoted to physical activity. This is caused by poor infrastructure to perform physical activity, the lack of or limited number of sports clubs and centres. It is thought-provoking that most of the students claim that they do not have enough time to do sports or other activities, but at the same time they spend a lot of time at a computer or watching TV.
Comparative Study of Expository and Simulation Method of Teaching Woodwork at Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
The research studied expository and simulation method of teaching woodwork at Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. The purpose of the study was to compare expository and simulation method of teaching woodwork and determine the method that is more effective in improving performance of students in woodwork. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Fifteen objective questions and two theory questions were used for data collection. The questions set were on structure of timber. The study used the quasi experimental design. The population of the study consisted of 25 woodwork students of Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria and three hundred (300) level students were used for the study. The lesson plans for expository method and questions were validated by three lecturers in the Department of Industrial and Technology Education, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria. The validators checked the appropriates of test items and all the corrections and inputs were effected before administration of the instrument. Data obtained were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-test statistical tool. The null hypotheses were formulated and tested using t-test statistics at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study showed that simulation method of teaching has improved students’ performance in woodwork and the performance of the students was not influenced by gender. Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that there was a significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught woodwork using simulation method. This implies that simulation method is more effective than expository method of teaching woodwork. Therefore, woodwork teachers should adopt simulation method of teaching woodwork towards better performance. It was recommended that simulation method should be used by woodwork lecturers to teach woodwork since students perform better using the method and also the teachers needs to be trained and re-trained in using simulation method for teaching woodwork. Teachers should be encouraged to use simulation method for their instructional delivery because it will allow them to identify their areas of strength and weakness when imparting knowledge to woodwork students. Government and different agencies should assist in procuring materials and equipment for wood workshops to enable students effectively practice what they have been taught using simulation method.
150 KVA Multifunction Laboratory Test Unit Based on Power-Frequency Converter
This paper provides description and presentation of laboratory test unit built basing on 150 kVA power frequency converter and Simulink RealTime platform. Assumptions, based on criteria which load and generator types may be simulated using discussed device, are presented, as well as control algorithm structure. As laboratory setup contains transformer with thyristor controlled tap changer, a wider scope of setup capabilities is presented. Information about used communication interface, data maintenance, and storage solution as well as used Simulink real-time features is presented. List and description of all measurements are provided. Potential of laboratory setup modifications is evaluated. For purposes of Rapid Control Prototyping, a dedicated environment was used Simulink RealTime. Therefore, load model Functional Unit Controller is based on a PC computer with I/O cards and Simulink RealTime software. Simulink RealTime was used to create real-time applications directly from Simulink models. In the next step, applications were loaded on a target computer connected to physical devices that provided opportunity to perform Hardware in the Loop (HIL) tests, as well as the mentioned Rapid Control Prototyping process. With Simulink RealTime, Simulink models were extended with I/O cards driver blocks that made automatic generation of real-time applications and performing interactive or automated runs on a dedicated target computer equipped with a real-time kernel, multicore CPU, and I/O cards possible. Results of performed laboratory tests are presented. Different load configurations are described and experimental results are presented. This includes simulation of under frequency load shedding, frequency and voltage dependent characteristics of groups of load units, time characteristics of group of different load units in a chosen area and arbitrary active and reactive power regulation basing on defined schedule.
Effect of Classroom Acoustic Factors on Language and Cognition in Bilinguals and Children with Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
Contemporary classrooms are increasingly inclusive of children with mild to moderate disabilities and children from different language backgrounds (bilinguals, multilinguals), but classroom environments and standards have not yet been adapted adequately to meet these challenges brought about by this inclusivity. Additionally, classrooms are becoming noisier as a learner-centered as opposed to teacher-centered teaching paradigm is adopted, which prioritizes group work and peer-to-peer learning. Challenging listening conditions with distracting sound sources and background noise are known to have potentially negative effects on children, particularly those that are prone to struggle with speech perception in noise. Therefore, this research investigates two groups vulnerable to these environmental effects, namely children with a mild to moderate hearing loss (MMHLs) and sequential bilinguals learning in their second language. In the MMHL study, this group was assessed on speech-in-noise perception, and a number of receptive language and cognitive measures (auditory working memory, auditory attention) and correlations were evaluated. Speech reception thresholds were found to be predictive of language and cognitive ability, and the nature of correlations is discussed. In the bilinguals study, sequential bilingual children’s listening comprehension, speech-in-noise perception, listening effort and release from masking was evaluated under a number of different ecologically valid acoustic scenarios in order to pinpoint the extent of the ‘native language benefit’ for Swedish children learning in English, their second language. Scene manipulations included target-to-distractor ratios and introducing spatially separated noise. This research will contribute to the body of findings from which educational institutions can draw when designing or adapting educational environments in inclusive schools.
Arterial Compliance Measurement Using Split Cylinder Sensor/Actuator
Coronary stents are devices resembling the shape of a tube which are placed in coronary arteries, to keep the arteries open in the treatment of coronary arterial diseases. Coronary stents are routinely deployed to clear atheromatous plaque. The stent essentially applies an internal pressure to the artery because its structure is cylindrically symmetrical and this may introduce some abnormalities in final arterial shape. The goal of the project is to develop segmented circumferential arterial compliance measuring devices which can be deployed (eventually) in vivo. The segmentation of the device will allow the mechanical asymmetry of any stenosis to be assessed. The purpose will be to assess the quality of arterial tissue for applications in tailored stents and in the assessment of aortic aneurism. Arterial distensibility measurement is of utmost importance to diagnose cardiovascular diseases and for prediction of future cardiac events or coronary artery diseases. In order to arrive at some generic outcomes, a preliminary experimental set-up has been devised to establish the measurement principles for the device at macro-scale. The measurement methodology consists of a strain gauge system monitored by LABVIEW software in a real-time fashion. This virtual instrument employs a balloon within a gelatine model contained in a split cylinder with strain gauges fixed on it. The instrument allows automated measurement of the effect of air-pressure on gelatine and measurement of strain with respect to time and pressure during inflation. Compliance simple creep model has been applied to the results for the purpose of extracting some measures of arterial compliance. The results obtained from the experiments have been used to study the effect of air pressure on strain at varying time intervals. The results clearly demonstrate that with decrease in arterial volume and increase in arterial pressure, arterial strain increases thereby decreasing the arterial compliance. The measurement system could lead to development of portable, inexpensive and small equipment and could prove to be an efficient automated compliance measurement device.
Increased Energy Efficiency and Improved Product Quality in Processing of Lithium Bearing Ores by Applying Fluidized-Bed Calcination Systems
For the production of lithium carbonate or hydroxide out of lithium bearing ores, a thermal activation (calcination/decrepitation) is required for the phase transition in the mineral to enable an acid respectively soda leaching in the downstream hydrometallurgical section. In this paper, traditional processing in Lithium industry is reviewed, and opportunities to reduce energy consumption and improve product quality and recovery rate will be discussed. The conventional process approach is still based on rotary kiln calcination, a technology in use since the early days of lithium ore processing, albeit not significantly further developed since. A new technology, at least for the Lithium industry, is fluidized bed calcination. Decrepitation of lithium ore was investigated at Outotec’s Frankfurt Research Centre. Focusing on fluidized bed technology, a study of major process parameters (temperature and residence time) was performed at laboratory and larger bench scale aiming for optimal product quality for subsequent processing. The technical feasibility was confirmed for optimal process conditions on pilot scale (400 kg/h feed input) providing the basis for industrial process design. Based on experimental results, a comprehensive Aspen Plus flow sheet simulation was developed to quantify mass and energy flow for the rotary kiln and fluidized bed system. Results show a significant reduction in energy consumption and improved process performance in terms of temperature profile, product quality and plant footprint. The major conclusion is that a substantial reduction of energy consumption can be achieved in processing Lithium bearing ores by using fluidized bed based systems. At the same time and different from rotary kiln process, an accurate temperature and residence time control is ensured in fluidized-bed systems leading to a homogenous temperature profile in the reactor which prevents overheating and sintering of the solids and results in uniform product quality.
Influence of Different Ripening Agents on the Shelf-Life and Microbial Load of Organic and Inorganic Musaceae, during the Ripening Process, and the Health Implication for Food Security
Local farmers and fruit processors in developing countries of West Africa use different ripening agents to accelerate the ripening process of plantain and banana. This study reports on the influence of different ripening agents on the shelf-life and microbial load of organic and inorganic plantain (Musa paradisiaca) and banana (Musa sapientum) during ripening process and the health implication for food security in Nigeria. The experiment consisted of four treatments, namely: Calcium carbide, Irvingia gabonensis fruits, Newbouldia laevis leaves and a control, where no ripening agent was applied to the fingers of plantain and banana. The unripe and ripened plantain and banana were subjected to microbial analysis by isolating their micro flora (Bacteria, Yeast and Mould) using pour plate method. Microbes present in the samples were enumerated, characterized and classified to genera and species. The result indicated that the microbial load of inorganic plantain from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 12.11 cfu/g for ripened; and the microbial load of organic plantain from Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching and Research Farm (OAUTRF) increased from 6.00 for unripe to 11.60 cfu/g for ripened. Also, the microbial load of inorganic banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife increased from 8.00 for unripe to 11.50 cfu/g for ripened; while the microbial load of organic banana from OAUTRF increased from 6.50 for unripe to 9.40 cfu/g for ripened. The microbial effects of the ripening agents increased from 10.00 for control to 16.00 cfu/g for treated (ripened) organic and inorganic plantain; while that of organic and inorganic banana increased from 7.50 for control to 14.50 cfu/g for ripened. Visual observation for the presence of fungal colonies and deterioration rates were monitored till seven days after the plantain and banana fingers have fully ripened. Inorganic plantain and banana from (Urban day) open market in Ile-Ife are more contaminated than organic plantain and banana fingers from OAUTRF. The ripening accelerators reduced the shelf life, increased senescence, and microbial load of plantain and banana. This study concluded that organic Agriculture is better and microbial friendlier than inorganic farming.
The Impact of Temperamental Traits of Candidates for Aviation School on Their Strategies for Coping with Stress during Selection Exams in Physical Education
Professions connected to aviation require an assessment of the suitability of health, psychological and psychomotor skills and overall physical fitness of the organism, who applies. Assessment of the physical condition is conducted by the committees consisting of aero-medical specialists in clinical medicine and aviation. In addition, psychological predispositions should be evaluated by specialized psychologists familiar with the specifics of the tasks and requirements for the various positions in aviation. Both, physical abilities and general physical fitness of candidates for aviation shall be assessed during the selection exams, which also test the ability to deal with stress what is very important in aviation. Hence, the mentioned exams in physical education not only help to judge on the ranking in candidates in terms of their efficiency and performance, but also allows to evaluate the functioning under stress measured using psychological tests. Moreover, before-test stress is a predictors of successfulness in the next stages of education and practical training in the aviation. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of temperamental traits on strategies used for coping with stress during selection exams in physical education, deciding on admission to aviation school. The study involved 30 candidates for fighter pilot training in aviation school . To evaluate the temperament 'The Formal Characteristics of Behavior-Temperament Inventory' (FCB-TI) by B. Zawadzki and J.Strelau was used. To determine the pattern of coping with stress 'The Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations' (CISS) to N. S. Endler and J. D. A. Parker were engaged. Study of temperament and styles of coping with stress was conducted directly before the exam selection of physical education. The results were analyzed with 'Statistica 9' program. The studies showed that:-There is a negative correlation between such a temperament feature as 'perseverance' and preferred style of coping with stress concentrated on the task (r = -0.590; p < 0.004); -There is a positive correlation between such a feature of temperament as 'emotional reactivity,' and preference to deal with a stressful situation with ‘style centered on emotions’ (r = 0.520; p < 0.011); -There is a negative correlation between such a feature of temperament as ‘strength’ and ‘style of coping with stress concentrated on emotions’ (r = -0.580; p < 0.004). Studies indicate that temperament traits determine the perception of stress and preferred coping styles used during the selection, as during the exams in physical education.
Repeatable Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrates from SERSitive for Wide Range of Chemical and Biological Substances
Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique used to analyze very low concentrations of substances in solutions, even in aqueous solutions - which is its advantage over IR. This technique can be used in the pharmacy (to check the purity of products); forensics (whether at a crime scene there were any illegal substances); or medicine (serving as a medical test) and lots more. Due to the high potential of this technique, its increasing popularity in analytical laboratories, and simultaneously - the absence of appropriate platforms enhancing the SERS signal (crucial to observe the Raman effect at low analyte concentration in solutions (1 ppm)), we decided to invent our own SERS platforms. As an enhancing layer, we have chosen gold and silver nanoparticles, because these two have the best SERS properties, and each has an affinity for the other kind of particles, which increases the range of research capabilities. The next step was to commercialize them, which resulted in the creation of the company ‘SERSitive.eu’ focusing on production of highly sensitive (Ef = 10⁵ – 10⁶), homogeneous and reproducible (70 - 80%) substrates. SERStive SERS substrates are made using the electrodeposition of silver or silver-gold nanoparticles technique. Thanks to a very detailed analysis of data based on studies optimizing such parameters as deposition time, temperature of the reaction solution, applied potential, used reducer, or reagent concentrations using a standardized compound - p-mercaptobenzoic acid (PMBA) at a concentration of 10⁻⁶ M, we have developed a high-performance process for depositing precious metal nanoparticles on the surface of ITO glass. In order to check a quality of the SERSitive platforms, we examined the wide range of the chemical compounds and the biological substances. Apart from analytes that have great affinity to the metal surfaces (e.g. PMBA) we obtained very good results for those fitting less the SERS measurements. Successfully we received intensive, and what’s more important - very repetitive spectra for; amino acids (phenyloalanine, 10⁻³ M), drugs (amphetamine, 10⁻⁴ M), designer drugs (cathinone derivatives, 10⁻³ M), medicines and ending with bacteria (Listeria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli) and fungi.
Stretchable and Flexible Thermoelectric Polymer Composites for Self-Powered Volatile Organic Compound Vapors Detection
Thermoelectric devices generate an electrical current when there is a temperature gradient between the hot and cold junctions of two dissimilar conductive materials typically n-type and p-type semiconductors. Consequently, also the polymeric semiconductors composed of polymeric matrix filled by different forms of carbon nanotubes with proper structural hierarchy can have thermoelectric properties which temperature difference transfer into electricity. In spite of lower thermoelectric efficiency of polymeric thermoelectrics in terms of the figure of merit, the properties as stretchability, flexibility, lightweight, low thermal conductivity, easy processing, and low manufacturing cost are advantages in many technological and ecological applications. Polyethylene-octene copolymer based highly elastic composites filled with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCTs) were prepared by sonication of nanotube dispersion in a copolymer solution followed by their precipitation pouring into non-solvent. The electronic properties of MWCNTs were moderated by different treatment techniques such as chemical oxidation, decoration by Ag clusters or addition of low molecular dopants. In this concept, for example, the amounts of oxygenated functional groups attached on MWCNT surface by HNO₃ oxidation increase p-type charge carriers. p-type of charge carriers can be further increased by doping with molecules of triphenylphosphine. For partial altering p-type MWCNTs into less p-type ones, Ag nanoparticles were deposited on MWCNT surface and then doped with 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquino-dimethane. Both types of MWCNTs with the highest difference in generated thermoelectric power were combined to manufacture polymeric based thermoelectric module generating thermoelectric voltage when the temperature difference is applied between hot and cold ends of the module. Moreover, it was found that the generated voltage by the thermoelectric module at constant temperature gradient was significantly affected when exposed to vapors of different volatile organic compounds representing then a self-powered thermoelectric sensor for chemical vapor detection.
Using Two-Mode Network to Access the Connections of Film Festivals
In a global cultural context, film festival awards become authorities to define the aesthetic value of films. To study which genres and producing countries are valued by different film festivals and how those evaluations interact with each other, this research explored the interactions between the film festivals through their selection of movies and the factors that lead to the tendency of film festivals to nominate the same movies. To do this, the author employed a two-mode network on the movies that won the highest awards at five international film festivals with the highest attendance in the past ten years (the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival) and the film festivals that nominated those movies. The title, genre, producing country and language of 50 movies, and the range (regional, national or international) and organizing country or area of 129 film festivals were collected. These created networks connected by nominating the same films and awarding the same movies. The author then assessed the density and centrality of these networks to answer the question: What are the film festivals that tend to have more shared values with other festivals? Based on the Eigenvector centrality of the two-mode network, Palm Springs, Robert Festival, Toronto, Chicago, and San Sebastian are the festivals that tend to nominate commonly appreciated movies. In contrast, Black Movie Film Festival has the unique value of generally not sharing nominations with other film festivals. A homophily test was applied to access the clustering effects of film and film festivals. The result showed that movie genres (E-I index=0.55) and geographic location (E-I index=0.35) are possible indicators of film festival clustering. A blockmodel was also created to examine the structural roles of the film festivals and their meaning in real-world context. By analyzing the same blocks with film festival attributes, it was identified that film festivals either organized in the same area, with the same history, or with the same attitude on independent films would occupy the same structural roles in the network. Through the interpretation of the blocks, language was identified as an indicator that contributes to the role position of a film festival. Comparing the result of blockmodeling in the different periods, it is seen that international film festivals contrast with the Hollywood industry’s dominant value. The structural role dynamics provide evidence for a multi-value film festival network.
Model Organic Ranikin Cycle Power Plant for Waste Heat Recovery in Olkaria-I Geothermal Power Plant
Energy consumption is an indispensable component for the continued development of the human population. The global energy demand increases with development and population rise. The increase in energy demand, high cost of fossil fuels and the link between energy utilization and environmental impacts have resulted in the need for a sustainable approach to the utilization of the low grade energy resources. The Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power plant is an advantageous technology that can be applied in generation of power from low temperature brine of geothermal reservoirs. The power plant utilizes a low boiling organic working fluid such as a refrigerant or a hydrocarbon. Researches indicated that the performance of ORC power plant is highly dependent upon factors such as proper organic working fluid selection, types of heat exchangers (condenser and evaporator) and turbine used. Despite a high pressure drop, shell-tube heat exchangers have satisfactory performance for ORC power plants. This study involved the design, fabrication and performance assessment of the components of a model Organic Rankine Cycle power plant to utilize the low grade geothermal brine. Two shell and tube heat exchangers (evaporator and condenser) and a single stage impulse turbine have been designed, fabricated and the performance assessment of each component has been conducted. Pentane was used as a working fluid and hot water simulating the geothermal brine. The results of the experiment indicated that the increase in mass flow rate of hot water by 0.08 kg/s caused a rise in overall heat transfer coefficient of the evaporator by 17.33% and the heat transferred was increased by 6.74%. In the condenser, the increase of cooling water flow rate from 0.15 kg/s to 0.35 kg/s increased the overall heat transfer coefficient by 1.21% and heat transferred was increased by 4.26%. The shaft speed varied from 1585 to 4590 rpm as inlet pressure was varied from 0.5 to 5.0 bar and power generated was varying from 4.34 to 14.46W. The results of the experiments indicated that the performance of each component of the model Organic Rankine Cycle power plant operating at low temperature heat resources was satisfactory.
The Good, the Bad and the Unknown: Exploring the Knowledge, Attitude and Behaviour towards the Use of Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets among Pregnant Women and Children in Rural South-Western Uganda
Background: The burden of malaria in Uganda remains unacceptably high, especially among children and pregnant women. To prevent malaria related complications, household possession and use of Insecticide Treated mosquito Nets (ITNs) has become a common practice in the country. Despite the availability of ITNs, the number of malaria cases has not gone down. We sought to explore knowledge, attitude, and behaviour towards the use of ITNs as a nightly malaria prevention strategy among pregnant women and children under five years of age in rural southwest Uganda. Materials and Methods: This was a community based, descriptive cross-sectional study, in which households with children under 5 years, and/or pregnant women were enrolled. We used a structured questionnaire to collect data on participants’ understanding of the causes, signs and symptoms of malaria; use of ITNs to prevent malaria; attitudes and behaviours towards the use of ITNs. We also conducted key informant interviews (KIIs) to get in-depth understanding of responses from the participants. We analysed quantitative data using STATA version 12. Qualitative findings from the KIIs were transcribed and translated, and manually analysed using thematic content analysis. Results: Of the 369 households enrolled, 98.6% (N=363) households had children under five. Most participants (41.2%, N=152) were in the 21-30 years of age category (mean age; 32.2). 98.6% (N=362) of the respondents considered ITNs a key malaria prevention strategy. The ITN possession rate was 84.0% (N=310), of these, 67.0% (N=205) consistently used them. 39% of the respondents did not have a positive attitude towards ITNs, as they considered more the perceived effects of ITNs. Conclusions: Although 84.0% of the respondents possessed ITNs, many were not consistently using them. There is need to engage all stakeholders (including cultural leaders, community health workers, religious leaders and the government) in the malaria prevention campaigns using ITNs through: a) government’s concerted effort to ensure universal access of good quality ITNs, b) end-user directed education to correct false beliefs and misinformation, c) telling the ITN success stories to improve on the usage.
Preparation of Silver and Silver-Gold, Universal and Repeatable, Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Platforms from SERSitive
Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) is a technique of growing importance not only in purely scientific research related to analytical chemistry. It finds more and more applications in broadly understood testing - medical, forensic, pharmaceutical, food - and everywhere works perfectly, on one condition that SERS substrates used for testing give adequate enhancement, repeatability, and homogeneity of SERS signal. This is a problem that has existed since the invention of this technique. Some laboratories use as SERS amplifiers colloids with silver or gold nanoparticles, others form rough silver or gold surfaces, but results are generally either weak or unrepeatable. Furthermore, these structures are very often highly specific - they amplify the signal only of a small group of compounds. It means that they work with some kinds of analytes but only with those which were used at a developer’s laboratory. When it comes to research on different compounds, completely new SERS 'substrates' are required. That underlay our decision to develop universal substrates for the SERS spectroscopy. Generally, each compound has different affinity for both silver and gold, which have the best SERS properties, and that's what depends on what signal we get in the SERS spectrum. Our task was to create the platform that gives a characteristic 'fingerprint' of the largest number of compounds with very high repeatability - even at the expense of the intensity of the enhancement factor (EF) (possibility to repeat research results is of the uttermost importance). As specified above SERS substrates are offered by SERSitive company. Applied method is based on cyclic potentiodynamic electrodeposition of silver or silver-gold nanoparticles on the conductive surface of ITO-coated glass at controlled temperature of the reaction solution. Silver nanoparticles are supplied in the form of silver nitrate (AgNO₃, 10 mM), gold nanoparticles are derived from tetrachloroauric acid (10 mM) while sodium sulfite (Na₂O₃, 5 mM) is used as a reductor. To limit and standardize the size of the SERS surface on which nanoparticles are deposited, photolithography is used. We secure the desired ITO-coated glass surface, and then etch the unprotected ITO layer which prevents nanoparticles from settling at these sites. On the prepared surface, we carry out the process described above, obtaining SERS surface with nanoparticles of sizes 50-400 nm. The SERSitive platforms present highly sensitivity (EF = 10⁵-10⁶), homogeneity and repeatability (70-80%).
RNA-Seq Analysis of the Wild Barley (H. spontaneum) Leaf Transcriptome under Salt Stress
, Ahmed Atef
, Jamal S. M. Sabir
, Nour O. Gadalla
, Sherif Edris
, Ahmed M. Alzohairy
, Nezar A. Radhwan
, Mohammed N. Baeshen
, Ahmed M. Ramadan
, Hala F. Eissa
, Sabah M. Hassan
, Nabih A. Baeshen
, Osama Abuzinadah
, Magdy A. Al-Kordy
, Fotouh M. El-Domyati
, Robert K. Jansen
Wild salt-tolerant barley (Hordeum spontaneum) is the ancestor of cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare or H. vulgare). Although the cultivated barley genome is well studied, little is known about genome structure and function of its wild ancestor. In the present study, RNA-Seq analysis was performed on young leaves of wild barley treated with salt (500 mM NaCl) at four different time intervals. Transcriptome sequencing yielded 103 to 115 million reads for all replicates of each treatment, corresponding to over 10 billion nucleotides per sample. Of the total reads, between 74.8 and 80.3% could be mapped and 77.4 to 81.7% of the transcripts were found in the H. vulgare unigene database (unigene-mapped). The unmapped wild barley reads for all treatments and replicates were assembled de novo and the resulting contigs were used as a new reference genome. This resultedin94.3 to 95.3%oftheunmapped reads mapping to the new reference. The number of differentially expressed transcripts was 9277, 3861 of which were uni gene-mapped. The annotated unigene- and de novo-mapped transcripts (5100) were utilized to generate expression clusters across time of salt stress treatment. Two-dimensional hierarchical clustering classified differential expression profiles into nine expression clusters, four of which were selected for further analysis. Differentially expressed transcripts were assigned to the main functional categories. The most important groups were ‘response to external stimulus’ and ‘electron-carrier activity’. Highly expressed transcripts are involved in several biological processes, including electron transport and exchanger mechanisms, flavonoid biosynthesis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging, ethylene production, signaling network and protein refolding. The comparisons demonstrated that mRNA-Seq is an efficient method for the analysis of differentially expressed genes and biological processes under salt stress.
Tuberculosis and Associated Transient Hyperglycaemia in Peri-Urban South Africa: Implications for Diabetes Screening in High Tuberculosis/HIV Burden Settings
Background: South Africa remains a high tuberculosis (TB) burden country globally and the burden of diabetes – a TB risk factor is growing rapidly. As an infectious disease, TB also induces transient hyperglycaemia. Therefore, screening for diabetes in newly diagnosed tuberculosis patients may result in misclassification of transient hyperglycaemia as diabetes. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine and compare the prevalence of hyperglycaemia (diabetes and impaired glucose regulation (IGR)) in TB patients and to assess the cross-sectional association between TB and hyperglycaemia at enrolment and after three months of follow-up. Methods: Consecutive adult TB and non-TB participants presenting at a TB clinic in Cape Town were enrolled in this cross-sectional study and follow-up between July 2013 and August 2015. Diabetes was defined as self-reported diabetes, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥ 7.0 mmol·L⁻¹ or glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥ 6.5%. IGR was defined as FPG 5.5– < 7.0 mmol·L⁻¹ or HbA1c 5.7– < 6.5%. TB patients initiated treatment. After three months, all participants were followed up and screened for diabetes again. The association between TB and hyperglycaemia was assessed using logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders including sex, age, income, hypertension, waist circumference, previous prisoner, marital status, work status, HIV status. Results: Diabetes screening was performed in 852 participants (414 TB and 438 non-TB) at enrolment and in 639 (304 TB and 335 non-TB) at three-month follow-up. The prevalence of HIV-1 infection was 69.6% (95% confidence interval (CI), 64.9–73.8 %) among TB patients, and 58.2% (95% CI, 53.5–62.8 %) among the non-TB participants. Glycaemic levels were much higher in TB patients than in the non-TB participants but decreased over time. Among TB patients, the prevalence of IGR was 65.2% (95% CI 60.1 - 69.9) at enrollment and 21.5% (95% CI 17.2-26.5) at follow-up; and was 50% (45.1 - 54.94) and 32% (95% CI 27.9 - 38.0) respectively, among non-TB participants. The prevalence of diabetes in TB patients was 12.5% (95% CI 9.69 – 16.12%) at enrolment and 9.2% (95% CI, 6.43–13.03%) at follow-up; and was 10.04% (95% CI, 7.55–13.24%) and 8.06% (95% CI, 5.58–11.51) respectively, among non-TB participants. The association between TB and IGT was significant at enrolment (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.26 (95% CI, 1.55-3.31) but disappeared at follow-up 0.84 (0.53 - 1.36). However, the TB-diabetes association remained positive and significant both at enrolment (2.41 (95% CI, 1.3-4.34)) and follow-up (OR 3.31 (95% CI, 1.5 - 7.25)). Conclusion: Transient hyperglycaemia exists during tuberculosis. This has implications on diabetes screening in TB patients and suggests a need for diabetes confirmation tests during or after TB treatment. Nonetheless, the association between TB and diabetes noted at enrolment persists at 3 months highlighting the importance of diabetes control and prevention for TB control. Further research is required to investigate the impact of hyperglycaemia (transient or otherwise) on TB outcomes to ascertain the clinical significance of hyperglycemia at enrolment.
Temperamental Determinants of Eye-Hand Coordination Formation in the Special Aerial Gymnastics Instruments (SAGI)
Motor activity and good health are sine qua non determinants of a proper practice of the profession, especially aviation. Therefore, candidates to the aviation are selected according their psychomotor ability by both specialist medical commissions. Moreover, they must past an examination of the physical fitness. During the studies in the air force academy, eye-hand coordination is formed in two stages. The future aircraft pilots besides all-purpose physical education must practice specialist training on SAGI. Training includes: looping, aerowheel, and gyroscope. Aim of the training on the above listed apparatuses is to form eye-hand coordination during the tasks in the air. Such coordination is necessary to perform various figures in the real flight. Therefore, during the education of the future pilots, determinants of the effective ways of this important parameter of the human body functioning are sought for. Several studies of the sport psychology indicate an important role of the temperament as a factor determining human behavior during the task performance and acquiring operating skills> Polish psychologist Jan Strelau refers to the basic, relatively constant personality features which manifest themselves in the formal characteristics of the human behavior. Temperament, being initially determined by the inborn physiological mechanisms, changes in the course of maturation and some environmental factors and concentrates on the energetic level and reaction characteristics in time. Objectives. This study aimed at seeking a relationship between temperamental features and eye-hand coordination formation during training on SAGI. Material and Methods: Group of 30 students of pilotage was examined in two situations. The first assessment of the eye-hand coordination level was carried out before the beginning of a 30-hour training on SAGI. The second assessment was carried out after training completion. Training lasted for 2 hours once a week. Temperament was evaluated with The Formal Characteristics of Behavior − Temperament Inventory (FCB-TI) developed by Bogdan Zawadzki and Jan Strelau. Eye-hand coordination was assessed with a computer version of the Warsaw System of Psychological Tests. Results: It was found that the training on SAGI increased the level of eye-hand coordination in the examined students. Conclusions: Higher level of the eye-hand coordination was obtained after completion of the training. Moreover, a relationship between eye-hand coordination level and selected temperamental features was statistically significant.
Estimation of Bridge Scour Using a Coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Model
Scour has been identified as the most common threat to bridge stability worldwide. Traditionally, the scour around bridge piers is calculated using the empirical approaches that have considerable limitations and are difficult to generalize. The multi-physic nature of scouring which involves turbulent flow, soil mechanics and solid-fluid interactions cannot be captured by simple empirical equations developed based on limited laboratory data. These limitations can be overcome by direct numerical modelling of coupled hydro-mechanical scour process that provides a robust prediction of bridge scour and valuable insights into the scour process. Several numerical models have been proposed in the literature for bridge scour estimation including Eulerian flow models and coupled Euler-Lagrange models incorporating an empirical sediment transport description. However, the contact forces between particles and the flow-particle interaction haven’t been taken into consideration. Incorporating collisional and frictional forces between soil particles as well as the effect of flow-driven forces on particles will facilitate accurate modelling of complex nature of scour. In this study, a coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Model (CFD-DEM) has been developed to simulate the scour process that directly models the hydro-mechanical interactions between the sediment particles and the flowing water. This approach obviates the need for an empirical description as the fundamental fluid-particle, and particle-particle interactions are fully resolved. The sediment bed is simulated as a dense pack of particles and the frictional and collisional forces between particles are calculated, whilst the turbulent fluid flow is modelled using a Reynolds Averaged Navier Stocks (RANS) approach. The CFD-DEM model is compared against experimental data in order to assess the reliability of the CFD-DEM model. The modelling results reveal the criticality of particle impact on assessment of scour depth which, to the authors’ best knowledge, hasn’t been considered in previous studies. The results of this study open new perspectives to the scour depth and time assessment which is the key to manage the failure risk of bridge infrastructures.
The Influence of Perceived Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Brand Attitude to Brand Loyalty of Adult Magazine in Indonesia (A Case Study of Maxim Magazine)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to empirically test the correlation between several variables: perceived quality, overall customer satisfaction and brand attitude to brand loyalty on Maxim magazine in Indonesia. Since the room of adult magazine in Indonesia is restricted, the study of this category has became so interesting to reveal how those variables occur. Design/ methodology/ approach: The combination of exploratory, descriptive and causal research design used in this study. Non-probability sampling, specifically purposive sampling used to determine 160 respondents. Path analysis used to examine the contribution of antecedents variables, perceived quality, overall satisfaction and brand attitude in contribution to brand loyalty. Additional respondents serve for in-depth interview to enrich findings from questionnaire that directly distributed. Findings: The research shows that perceived quality positively contribute to overall satisfaction and brand attitude. Overall satisfaction also positively influence brand attitude and brand loyalty. Finally, brand attitude directly impact to brand loyalty. Despite the hypothesis testing, qualitative research also shows specific behavior of Indonesian customer in consuming adult magazine. Research limitation/implication: This research limited to adult male (18 years at minimum) and who live in big city as Jakarta. Broader geographical coverage is advisable for further research. This study also serves a call for additional empirical research into different product category that targeted to adult male, Since the research of this segment is quite scarce. Managerial Implications: Since findings show perceived quality positively impact and strong contribute to overall satisfaction and brand attitude, it implies for adult magazine to be driven by quality of content. The selection of model, information of current lifestyle of urban male became prioritizes in developing perceived quality. Differentiation also emerges as critical issues since consumer difficult to differentiate significantly one magazine to another. The way magazine deliver its content toward distinctive communication is highly recommended. Furthermore, brand loyalty faces big challenge. Interactivity toward events and social media become critically important. Originality/ value: perceived quality plays as prerequisite to develop overall satisfaction and brand attitude. Finding shows customer difficult to differentiate among adult magazines. Therefore, brand loyalty become a big challenge for company.
Serological Evidence of Enzootic Bovine Leukosis in Dairy Cattle Herds in the United Arab Emirates
The present study was done to elucidate the prevalence of enzootic bovine leucosis (EBL) in the UAE, the seroprevalence rates of EBL in dairy herds from the Al Ain area, Abu Dhabi (AD) and indigenous cattle at the Al Ain livestock market (AALM) were assessed. Of the 949 sera tested by ELISA, 657 were from adult Holstein-Friesians from three farms and 292 from indigenous cattle at the AALM. The level of significance between the proportions of seropositive cattle were analyzed by the Marascuilo procedure and questionnaire data on husbandry and biosecurity practices evaluated. Overall, the aggregated farm and AALM data demonstrated a seroprevalence of 25.9%, compared to 37.0% for the study farms, and 1.0% for the indigenous cattle. Additionally, the seroprevalence rates at farms #1, #2 and #3 were 54.7%, 0.0%, and 26.3% respectively. Except for farm #2 and the AALM, statistically significant differences were noted between the proportions of seropositive cattle for farms #1 and #2 (Critical Range or CR=0.0803), farms #1 and #3 (p=0.1069), and farms #2 and #3 (CR=0.0707), farm #1 and the AALM (CR=0.0819), and farm #3 and the AALM (CR=0.0726). Also, the proportions of seropositive animals on farm #1 were 9.8%, 59.8%, 29.3%, and 1.2% in the 12-36, 37-72, 73-108, and 109-144-mo-old age groups respectively compared to 21.5%, 60.8%, 15.2%, and 2.5% in the respective age groups for farm #2. On both farms and the AALM, the 37-72-mo-old age group showed the highest EBL seroprevalence rate while all the 57 cattle on farm #2 were seronegative. Additionally, farms #1 and #3 had 3,130 and 2,828 intensively managed Holstein-Friesian cattle respectively, and all animals were routinely immunized against several diseases except EBL. On both farms #1 and #3, artificial breeding was practiced using semen sourced from the USA, and USA and Canada respectively, all farms routinely quarantined new stock, and farm #1 previously imported dairy cattle from an unspecified country, and farm #3 from the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa. While farm #1 provided no information on animal nutrition, farm #3 cited using hay, concentrates, and ad lib water. To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first serological evidence of EBL in the UAE and as previously reported, the seroprevalence rates are comparatively higher in the intensively managed dairy herds than in indigenous cattle. As two of the study farms previously sourced cattle and semen from overseas, biosecurity protocols need to be revisited to avoid inadvertent EBL incursion and the possibility of regional transboundary disease spread also needs to be assessed. After the proposed molecular studies have adduced additional data, the relevant UAE animal health authorities may need to develop evidence-based EBL control policies and programs.
Oxidative Stress Related Alteration of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Cellular Models
Introduction: Oxidative stress induces an imbalance in mitochondrial fusion and fission processes, finally leading to cell death. The two antioxidant molecules, BGP-15 and L2286 have beneficial effects on mitochondrial functions and on cellular oxidative stress response. In this work, we studied the effects of these compounds on the processes of mitochondrial quality control. Methods: We used H9c2 cardiomyoblast and isolated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCM) for the experiments. The concentration of stressors and antioxidants was beforehand determined with MTT test. We applied 1-Methyl-3-nitro-1-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) in 125 µM, 400 µM and 800 µM concentrations for 4 and 8 hours on H9c2 cells. H₂O₂ was applied in 150 µM and 300 µM concentration for 0.5 and 4 hours on both models. L2286 was administered in 10 µM, while BGP-15 in 50 µM doses. Cellular levels of the key proteins playing role in mitochondrial dynamics were measured in Western blot samples. For the analysis of mitochondrial network dynamics, we applied electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry. Results: Due to MNNG treatment the level of fusion proteins (OPA1, MFN2) decreased, while the level of fission protein DRP1 elevated markedly. The levels of fusion proteins OPA1 and MNF2 increased in the L2286 and BGP-15 treated groups. During the 8 hour treatment period, the level of DRP1 also increased in the treated cells (p < 0.05). In the H₂O₂ stressed cells, administration of L2286 increased the level of OPA1 in both H9c2 and NRCM models. MFN2 levels in isolated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes raised considerably due to BGP-15 treatment (p < 0.05). L2286 administration decreased the DRP1 level in H9c2 cells (p < 0.05). We observed that the H₂O₂-induced mitochondrial fragmentation could be decreased by L2286 treatment. Conclusion: Our results indicated that the PARP-inhibitor L2286 has beneficial effect on mitochondrial dynamics during oxidative stress scenario, and also in the case of directly induced DNA damage. We could make the similar conclusions in case of BGP-15 administration, which, via reducing ROS accumulation, propagates fusion processes, this way aids preserving cellular viability. Funding: GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00049; GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00048; GINOP-2.3.3-15-2016-00025; EFOP-3.6.1-16-2016-00004; ÚNKP-17-4-I-PTE-209
The Relationship between the Social Entrepreneur and the Social Dimension of Sustainability: A Bibliometric Survey of the Last Twelve Years
The way social entrepreneurs act and can positively impact on our society engages the interest of academics, companies and governments, who seek solutions to solve or alleviate issues related to the abuse of natural resources, as well as the increase of poverty (social aspects). Studies on social entrepreneurship have been characterized by diverse ramifications and their transdisciplinary character, permeating various disciplines and approaches. Different bibliometric studies were conducted within the theme of social entrepreneurship. In this context, because it is a topic in development and multifaceted, the aim of this article is to present the main interfaces of the studies on the Social Entrepreneur figure in relation to the social concern of sustainability, highlighting the relevant researches and their trends, as well as their relationship with the organizations. Aiming to achieve this purpose, the specific goals are: to identify the most cited authors and articles, to verify the authors and journals with the greatest number of publications and their approaches and to point out their affiliations, countries, and languages of publications. It is still a secondary objective to identify the emerging trends in relation to the social entrepreneur and his social concern stemming from the discussions on sustainability. This way, we analyzed articles from two international databases (Scopus and Web of Science), from 2004 to 2016. The main results were the increase in the number of publications, with most of them in English language, coming mainly from the United States institutions (such as Indiana University and Harvard University) and the United Kingdom (whose main institutions are University of London and Robert Gordon University). Although publications in Spanish and Portuguese are the least expressive in quantity, some tendencies point to publications that discuss the social entrepreneur in terms of gender (that relates to female entrepreneurship) and social class (that relates to the need of building communities that contemplate the Social entrepreneur at the base of the pyramid). It should be noted that the trends of the themes emerged from the analysis of the publication titles only in Portuguese, since this is the native language of the authors who carry out their studies mainly in Brazil. When considering articles in Portuguese (57 indicated by WOS and 9 by Scopus), a previous analysis of the titles was carried out to identify how researchers were approaching the theme social entrepreneur in a joint way to the social dimension of sustainability. However, the analysis of the titles themselves brought a limitation to our study, since it was felt a need to carry out a qualitative study, in which it could be possible to consider the abstracts of the available articles.
The Ongoing Impact of Secondary Stressors on Businesses in Northern Ireland Affected by Flood Events
Purpose: The key aim of the research was to identify the secondary stressors experienced by businesses affected by single or repeated flooding and to determine to what extent businesses were affected by these stressors, along with any resulting impact on health. Additionally, the research aimed to establish the likelihood of businesses being re-exposed to the secondary stressors through assessing awareness of flood risk, implementation of property protection measures and level of community resilience. Design/methodology/approach: The chosen research method involved the distribution of a questionnaire survey to businesses affected by either single or repeated flood events. The questionnaire included the Impact of Event Scale (a 15-item self-report measure which assesses subjective distress caused by traumatic events). Findings: 55 completed questionnaires were returned by flood impacted businesses. 89% of the businesses had sustained internal flooding while 11% had experienced external flooding. The results established that the key secondary stressors experienced by businesses, in order of priority, were: flood damage, fear of reoccurring flooding, prevention of access to the premise/closure, loss of income, repair works, length of closure and insurance issues. There was a lack of preparedness for potential future floods and consequent vulnerability to the emergence of secondary stressors among flood affected businesses, as flood resistance or flood resilience measures had only been implemented by 11% and 13% respectively. In relation to the psychological repercussions, the Impact of Event scores suggested that potential prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was noted among 8 out of 55 respondents (l5%). Originality/value: The results improve understanding of the enduring repercussions of flood events on businesses, indicating that not only residents may be susceptible to the detrimental health impacts of flood events and single flood events may be just as likely as reoccurring flooding to contribute to ongoing stress. Lack of financial resources is a possible explanation for the lack of implementation of property protection measures among businesses, despite 49% experiencing flooding on multiple occasions. Therefore it is recommended that policymakers should consider potential sources of financial support or grants towards flood defences for flood impacted businesses. Any form of assistance should be made available to businesses at the earliest opportunity as there was no significant association between the time of the last flood event and the likelihood of experiencing PTSD symptoms.
Infectivity of Glossina pallidipes Salivary Gland Hypertrophy Virus (GpSGHV) to Various Tsetse Species
Several tsetse fly species (Diptera: Glossinidae) in natural or colonized populations can be infected with the salivary gland hypertrophy virus (SGHV), a circular dsDNA virus (Hytrosaviridae). The virus infection is mainly asymptomatic but, in some species under certain conditions, the infection can produce salivary gland hypertrophy (SGH) symptoms. In the laboratory colonized tsetse, flies with SGH have reduced fertility, which negatively affects colony performance. Therefore, a high prevalence of SGH in insect mass rearing represents a major challenge for tsetse control using the sterile insect technique. The main objective of this study is to analyze the impact of Glossina pallidipes SGHV infection in various tsetse species on mortality and productivity and its impact on the symbiotic bacteria. Hypertropied salivary glands (SG) were collected from G. pallidipes into phosphate buffered saline (PBS) to prepare suspension; 2 µl aliquots were injected into adults of several tsetse species (G. pallidipes (Gp), G. p. gambiensis (Gpg), G. brevipalpis (Gb), G. morsitans morsitans (Gmm), G. morsitans centralis (Gmc) and G. fuscipes (Gf)) and the change in virus and symbiont titers were analyzed using qPCR. The development of SGH in the F1 was detected by dissection 10 days after emergence and virus infection was confirmed by PCR. The impact of virus infection on fly mortality and productivity was recorded. 2 µl aliquots were also injected into 3rd instar larvae of the different species and the adult SGs assayed by PCR for virus. Virus positive SGs from each species were homogenized in PBS and pooled within species for injection into larvae of the same species. Flies injected with PBS were used as control. Injecting teneral flies with SGHV caused increasing virus titer over time in all species but no SGH was detected. Dissection of the F1 also showed no development of SGH except in Gp (the homologous host). Injection of SGHV did not have any impact on the prevalence of the tsetse symbionts, but an increase in Sodalis titer was observed correlated with fly age regardless of virus infection. The virus infection had a negative impact on productivity and mortality. SGHV injection into larvae of the different species produced SGHV infected glands in the adults determined by PCR with a rate of 60%, 27%, 16%, 7% and 7% for Gp, Gf, Gpg, Gmm and Gmc, respectively. Virus positive SGs observed in the heterologous species were smaller than SGH found in Gp. No virus positive SG was detected by PCR in Gb and no SGH was observed in any adults except in Gp. Injecting virus suspension from the virus positive SGs into conspecific larvae did not produce any adults with infected SGs (except in Gp). SGHV can infect all tested tsetse species. Although the virus can infect and increase in titer in other tsetse species and affect fly mortality and productivity, no vertical virus transmission was observed in other tsetse species with might indicate a transmission barrier in these species, and virus collected from flies injected as larvae was not infective by injection.
Arguments against Innateness of Theory of Mind
The nativist-constructivist debate constitutes a considerable part of current research on mindreading. Peter Carruthers and his colleagues are known for their nativist position in the debate and take issue with constructivist views proposed by other researchers, with Henry Wellman, Alison Gopnik, and Ian Apperly at the forefront. More specifically, Carruthers together with Evan Westra propose a nativistic explanation of Theory of Mind Scale study results that Wellman et al. see as supporting constructivism. While allowing for development of the innate mindreading system, Westra and Carruthers base their argumentation essentially on a competence-performance gap, claiming that cross-cultural differences in Theory of Mind Scale progression as well as discrepancies between infants’ and toddlers’ results on verbal and non-verbal false-belief tasks are fully explainable in terms of acquisition of other, pragmatic, cognitive developments, which are said to allow for an expression of the innately present Theory of Mind understanding. The goal of the present paper is to bring together arguments against the view offered by Westra and Carruthers. It will be shown that even though Carruthers et al.’s interpretation has not been directly controlled for in Wellman et al.’s experiments, there are serious reasons to dismiss such nativistic views which Carruthers et al. advance. The present paper discusses the following issues that undermine Carruthers et al.’s nativistic conception: (1) The concept of innateness is argued to be developmentally inaccurate; it has been dropped in many biological sciences altogether and many developmental psychologists advocate for doing the same in cognitive psychology. Reality of development is a complex interaction of changing elements that is belied by the simplistic notion of ‘the innate.’ (2) The purported innate mindreading conceptual system posited by Carruthers ascribes adult-like understanding to infants, ignoring the difference between first- and second-order understanding, between what can be called ‘presentation’ and ‘representation.’ (3) Advances in neurobiology speak strongly against any inborn conceptual knowledge; neocortex, where conceptual knowledge finds its correlates, is said to be largely equipotential at birth. (4) Carruthers et al.’s interpretations are excessively charitable; they extend results of studies done with 15-month-olds to conclusions about innateness, whereas in reality at that age there has been plenty of time for construction of the skill. (5) Looking-time experiment paradigm used in non-verbal false belief tasks that provide the main support for Carruthers’ argumentation has been criticized on methodological grounds. In the light of the presented arguments, nativism in theory of mind research is concluded to be an untenable position.
Designing Metal Organic Frameworks for Sustainable CO₂ Utilization
Rising CO₂ levels in the atmosphere means that CO₂ is a highly desirable feedstock. This requires specific catalysts to be designed to activate this inert molecule, combining a catalytic site tailored for CO₂ transformations with a support that can readily adsorb CO₂. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are regularly used as CO₂ sorbents. The organic nature of the linker molecules, connecting the metal nodes, offers many post-synthesis modifications to introduce catalytic active sites into the frameworks. However, the metal nodes may be coordinatively unsaturated, allowing them to bind to organic moieties. Imidazoles have shown promise catalyzing the formation of cyclic carbonates from epoxides with CO₂. Typically, this synthesis route employs toxic reagents such as phosgene, liberating HCl. Therefore an alternative route with CO₂ is highly appealing. In this work we design active sites for CO₂ activation, by tethering substituted-imidazole organocatalytic species to the available Cr3+ metal nodes of a Cr-MIL-101 MOF, for the first time, to create a tailored species for carbon capture utilization applications. Our tailored design strategy combining a CO₂ sorbent, Cr-MIL-101, with an anchored imidazole results in a highly active and selective multifunctional catalyst, achieving turnover frequencies of over 750 hr-1. These findings demonstrate the synergy between the MOF framework and imidazoles for CO₂ utilization applications. Further, the effect of substrate variation has been explored yielding mechanistic insights into this process. Through characterization, we show that the structural and compositional integrity of the Cr-MIL-101 has been preserved on functionalizing the imidazoles. Further, we show the binding of the imidazoles to the Cr3+ metal nodes. This can be seen through our EPR study, where the distortion of the Cr3+ on binding to the imidazole shows the CO₂ binding site is close to the active imidazole. This has a synergistic effect, improving catalytic performance. We believe the combination of MOF support and organocatalyst allows many possibilities to generate new multifunctional catalysts for CO₂ utilisation. In conclusion, we have validated our design procedure, combining a known CO₂ sorbent, with an active imidazole species to create a unique tailored multifunctional catalyst for CO₂ utilization. This species achieves high activity and selectivity for the formation of cyclic carbonates and offers a sustainable alternative to traditional synthesis methods. This work represents a unique design strategy for CO₂ utilization while offering exciting possibilities for further work in characterization, computational modelling, and post-synthesis modification.
Effect of Pulsed Electrical Field on the Mechanical Properties of Raw, Blanched and Fried Potato Strips
French fry manufacturing involves a series of processes in which structural properties of potatoes are modified to produce crispy french fries which consumers enjoy. In addition to the traditional french fry manufacturing process, the industry is applying a relatively new process called pulsed electrical field (PEF) to the whole potatoes. There is a wealth of information on the technical treatment conditions of PEF, however, there is a lack of information about its effect on the structural properties that affect texture and its synergistic interactions with the other manufacturing steps of french fry production. The effect of PEF on starch gelatinisation properties of Russet Burbank potato was measured using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter. Cation content (K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+) was determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometry. Firmness, and toughness of raw and blanched potatoes were determined in an uniaxial compression test. Moisture content was determined in a vacuum oven and oil content was measured using the soxhlet system with hexane. The final texture of the french fries – crispness - was determined using a three bend point test. Triangle tests were conducted to determine if consumers were able to perceive sensory differences between French fries that were PEF treated and those without treatment. The concentration of K+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ decreased significantly in the raw potatoes after the PEF treatment. The PEF treatment significantly increased modulus of elasticity, compression strain, compression force and toughness in the raw potato. The PEF-treated raw potato were firmer and stiffer, and its structure integrity held together longer, resisted higher force before fracture and stretched further than the untreated ones. The strain stress relationship exhibited by the PEF-treated raw potato could be due to an increase in the permeability of the plasmalema and tonoplasm allowing Ca2+ and Mg2+ cations to reach the cell wall and middle lamella, and be available for cross linking with the pectin molecule. The PEF-treated raw potato exhibited a slightly higher onset gelatinisation temperatures, similar peak temperatures and lower gelatinisation ranges than the untreated raw potatoes. The final moisture content of the french fries was not significantly affected by the PEF treatment. Oil content in the PEF- treated potatoes was lower than the untreated french fries, however, not statistically significant at 5 %. The PEF treatment did not have an overall significant effect on french fry crispness (modulus of elasticity), flexure stress or strain. The triangle tests show that most consumers could not detect a difference between French fries that received a PEF treatment from those that did not.
Lightweight Sheet Molding Compound Composites by Coating Glass Fiber with Cellulose Nanocrystals
There has been considerable interest in cellulose nanomaterials (CN) as polymer and polymer composites reinforcement due to their high specific modulus and strength, low density and toxicity, and accessible hydroxyl side groups that can be readily chemically modified. The focus of this study is making lightweight composites for better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emission in auto industries with no compromise on mechanical performance using a scalable technique that can be easily integrated in sheet molding compound (SMC) manufacturing lines. Light weighting will be achieved by replacing part of the heavier components, i.e. glass fibers (GF), with a small amount of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) in short GF/epoxy composites made using SMC. CNC will be introduced as coating of the GF rovings prior to their use in the SMC line. The employed coating method is similar to the fiber sizing technique commonly used and thus it can be easily scaled and integrated to industrial SMC lines. This will be an alternative route to the most techniques that involve dispersing CN in polymer matrix, in which the nanomaterials agglomeration limits the capability for scaling up in an industrial production. We have demonstrated that incorporating CNC as a coating on GF surface by immersing the GF in CNC aqueous suspensions, a simple and scalable technique, increases the interfacial shear strength (IFSS) by ~69% compared to the composites produced by uncoated GF, suggesting an enhancement of stress transfer across the GF/matrix interface. As a result of IFSS enhancement, incorporation of 0.17 wt% CNC in the composite results in increases of ~10% in both elastic modulus and tensile strength, and 40 % and 43 % in flexural modulus and strength respectively. We have also determined that dispersing 1.4 and 2 wt% CNC in the epoxy matrix of short GF/epoxy SMC composites by sonication allows removing 10 wt% GF with no penalty on tensile and flexural properties leading to 7.5% lighter composites. Although sonication is a scalable technique, it is not quite as simple and inexpensive as coating the GF by passing through an aqueous suspension of CNC. In this study, the above findings are integrated to 1) investigate the effect of CNC content on mechanical properties by passing the GF rovings through CNC aqueous suspension with various concentrations (0-5%) and 2) determine the optimum ratio of the added CNC to the removed GF to achieve the maximum possible weight reduction with no cost on mechanical performance of the SMC composites. The results of this study are of industrial relevance, providing a path toward producing high volume lightweight and mechanically enhanced SMC composites using cellulose nanomaterials.
Modeling and Simulating Productivity Loss Due to Project Changes
The context of large engineering projects is particularly favorable to the appearance of engineering changes and contractual modifications. These elements are potential causes for claims. In this paper, we investigate one of the critical components of the claim management process: the calculation of the impacts of changes in terms of losses of productivity due to the need to accelerate some project activities. When project changes are initiated, delays can arise. Indeed, project activities are often executed in fast-tracking in an attempt to respect the completion date. But the acceleration of project execution and the resulting rework can entail important costs as well as induce productivity losses. In the past, numerous methods have been proposed to quantify the duration of delays, the gains achieved by project acceleration, and the loss of productivity. The calculation related to those changes can be divided into two categories: direct cost and indirect cost. The direct cost is easily quantifiable as opposed to indirect costs which are rarely taken into account during the calculation of the cost of an engineering change or contract modification despite several research projects have been made on this subject. However, proposed models have not been accepted by companies yet, nor they have been accepted in court. Those models require extensive data and are often seen as too specific to be used for all projects. These techniques are also ignoring the resource constraints and the interdependencies between the causes of delays and the delays themselves. To resolve this issue, this research proposes a simulation model that mimics how major engineering changes or contract modifications are handled in large construction projects. The model replicates the use of overtime in a reactive scheduling mode in order to simulate the loss of productivity present when a project change occurs. Multiple tests were conducted to compare the results of the proposed simulation model with statistical analysis conducted by other researchers. Different scenarios were also conducted in order to determine the impact the number of activities, the time of occurrence of the change, the availability of resources, and the type of project changes on productivity loss. Our results demonstrate that the number of activities in the project is a critical variable influencing the productivity of a project. When changes occur, the presence of a large number of activities leads to a much lower productivity loss than a small number of activities. The speed of reducing productivity for 30-job projects is about 25 percent faster than the reduction speed for 120-job projects. The moment of occurrence of a change also shows a significant impact on productivity. Indeed, the sooner the change occurs, the lower the productivity of the labor force. The availability of resources also impacts the productivity of a project when a change is implemented. There is a higher loss of productivity when the amount of resources is restricted.
Effects of Drying and Extraction Techniques on the Profile of Volatile Compounds in Banana Pseudostem
Banana is one of the most important crops produced in large quantities in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Of the total plant material grown, approximately 40% is considered waste and left in the field to decay. This practice allows fungal diseases such as Sigatoka Leaf Spot to develop, limiting plant growth and spreading spores in the air that can cause respiratory problems in the surrounding population. The pseudostem is considered a waste residue of production (60 to 80 tonnes/ha/year), although it is a good source of dietary fiber and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Strategies to process banana pseudostem into palatable, nutritious and marketable food materials could provide significant social and economic benefits. Extraction of VOC’s with desirable odor from dried and fresh pseudostem could improve the smell of products from the confectionary and bakery industries. Incorporation of banana pseudostem flour into bakery products could provide cost savings and improve nutritional value. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of drying methods and different banana species on the profile of volatile aroma compounds in dried banana pseudostem. The banana species analyzed were Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Fresh banana pseudostem samples were processed by either freeze-drying (FD) or heat pump drying (HPD). The extraction of VOC’s was performed at ambient temperature using vacuum distillation and the resulting, mostly aqueous, distillates were analyzed using headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Optimal SPME adsorption conditions were 50 °C for 60 min using a Supelco 65 μm PDMS/DVB Stableflex fiber1. Compounds were identified by comparison of their electron impact mass spectra with those from the Wiley 9 / NIST 2011 combined mass spectral library. The results showed that the two species have notably different VOC profiles. Both species contained VOC’s that have been established in literature to have pleasant appetizing aromas. These included l-Menthone, D-Limonene, trans-linlool oxide, 1-Nonanol, CIS 6 Nonen-1ol, 2,6 Nonadien-1-ol, Benzenemethanol, 4-methyl, 1-Butanol, 3-methyl, hexanal, 1-Propanol, 2-methyl- acid، 2-Methyl-2-butanol. Results show banana pseudostem VOC’s are better preserved by FD than by HPD. This study is still in progress and should lead to the optimization of processing techniques that would promote the utilization of banana pseudostem in the food industry.
Serological Evidence of Brucella spp, Coxiella burnetti, Chlamydophila abortus, and Toxoplasma gondii Infections in Sheep and Goat Herds in the United Arab Emirates
Nabeeha Hassan Abdel Jalil
, Robert Barigye
, Hamda Al Alawi
, Afra Al Dhaheri
, Fatma Graiban Al Muhairi
, Maryam Al Khateri
, Nouf Al Alalawi
, Susan Olet
, Khaja Mohteshamuddin
, Ahmad Al Aiyan
, Mohamed Elfatih Hamad
A serological survey was carried out to determine the seroprevalence of Brucella spp, Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydophila abortus, and Toxoplasma gondii in sheep and goat herds in the UAE. A total of 915 blood samples [n= 222, [sheep]; n= 215, [goats]) were collected from livestock farms in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK). An additional 478 samples (n= 244, [sheep]; n= 234, (goats]) were collected from the Al Ain livestock central market and tested by indirect ELISA for pathogen-specific antibodies with the Brucella antibodies being further corroborated by the Rose-Bengal agglutination test. Seropositivity for the four pathogens is variably documented in sheep and goats from the study area. Respectively, the overall livestock farm prevalence rates for Brucella spp, C. burnetii, C. abortus, and T. gondii were 2.7%, 27.9%, 8.1%, and 16.7% for sheep, and 0.0%, 31.6%, 9.3%, and 5.1% for goats. Additionally, the seroprevalence rates Brucella spp, C. burnetii, C. abortus, and T. gondii in samples from the livestock market were 7.4%, 21.7%, 16.4%, and 7.0% for sheep, and 0.9%, 32.5%, 19.2%, and 11.1% for goats respectively. Overall, sheep had 12.59 more chances than goats of testing seropositive for Brucella spp (OR, 12.59 [95% CI 2.96-53.6]) but less likely to be positive for C. burnetii-antibodies (OR, 0.73 [95% CI 0.54-0.97]). Notably, the differences in the seroprevalence rates of C. abortus and T. gondii in sheep and goats were not statistically significant (p > 0.0500). The present data indicate that all the four study pathogens are present in sheep and goat populations in the UAE where coxiellosis is apparently the most seroprevalent followed by chlamydophilosis, toxoplasmosis, and brucellosis. While sheep from the livestock market were more likely than those from farms to be Brucella-seropositive than those, the overall exposure risk of C. burnetii appears to be greater for goats than sheep. As more animals from the livestock market were more likely to be seropositive to Chlamydophila spp, it is possible that under the UAE animal production conditions, at least, coxiellosis and chlamydophilosis are more likely to increase the culling rate of domesticated small ruminants than toxoplasmosis and brucellosis. While anecdotal reports have previously insinuated that brucellosis may be a significant animal health risk in the UAE, the present data suggest C. burnetii, C. abortus and T. gondii to be more significant pathogens of sheep and goats in the country. Despite this possibility, the extent to which these pathogens may nationally be contributing to reproductive failure in sheep and goat herds is not known and needs to be investigated. Potentially, these agents may also carry a potentially zoonotic risk that needs to be investigated in risk groups like farm workers, and slaughter house personnel. An ongoing study is evaluating the seroprevalence of bovine coxiellosis in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the data thereof will further elucidate on the broader epidemiological dynamics of the disease in the national herd.
Dynamic EEG Desynchronization in Response to Vicarious Pain
The psychological construct of empathy is to understand a person’s cognitive perspective and experience the other person’s emotional state. Deciphering emotional states is conducive for interpreting vicarious pain. Observing others' physical pain activates neural networks related to the actual experience of pain itself. The study addresses empathy as a nonlinear dynamic process of simulation for individuals to understand the mental states of others and experience vicarious pain, exhibiting self-organized criticality. Such criticality follows from a combination of neural networks with an excitatory feedback loop generating bistability to resonate permutated empathy. Cortical networks exhibit diverse patterns of activity, including oscillations, synchrony and waves, however, the temporal dynamics of neurophysiological activities underlying empathic processes remain poorly understood. Mu rhythms are EEG oscillations with dominant frequencies of 8-13 Hz becoming synchronized when the body is relaxed with eyes open and when the sensorimotor system is in idle, thus, mu rhythm synchrony is expected to be highest in baseline conditions. When the sensorimotor system is activated either by performing or simulating action, mu rhythms become suppressed or desynchronize, thus, should be suppressed while observing video clips of painful injuries if previous research on mirror system activation holds. Twelve undergraduates contributed EEG data and survey responses to empathy and psychopathy scales in addition to watching consecutive video clips of sports injuries. Participants watched a blank, black image on a computer monitor before and after observing a video of consecutive sports injuries incidents. Each video condition lasted five-minutes long. A BIOPAC MP150 recorded EEG signals from sensorimotor and thalamocortical regions related to a complex neural network called the ‘pain matrix’. Physical and social pain are activated in this network to resonate vicarious pain responses to processing empathy. Five EEG single electrode locations were applied to regions measuring sensorimotor electrical activity in microvolts (μV) to monitor mu rhythms. EEG signals were sampled at a rate of 200 Hz. Mu rhythm desynchronization was measured via 8-13 Hz at electrode sites (F3 & F4). Data for each participant’s mu rhythms were analyzed via Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) and multifractal time series analysis.
Implementation of Ecological and Energy-Efficient Building Concepts
A relatively large percentage of energy and resource consumption occurs in the building sector. This concerns the production of building materials, the construction of buildings and also the energy consumption during the use phase. Therefore, the overall objective of this EU LIFE project “LIFE Cycle Habitation” (LIFE13 ENV/AT/000741) is to demonstrate innovative building concepts that significantly reduce CO₂emissions, mitigate climate change and contain a minimum of grey energy over their entire life cycle. The project is being realised with the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union. The ultimate goal is to design and build prototypes for carbon-neutral and “LIFE cycle”-oriented residential buildings and make energy-efficient settlements the standard of tomorrow in line with the EU 2020 objectives. To this end, a resource and energy-efficient building compound is being built in Böheimkirchen, Lower Austria, which includes 6 living units and a community area as well as 2 single family houses with a total usable floor surface of approximately 740 m². Different innovative straw bale construction types (load bearing and pre-fabricated non loadbearing modules) together with a highly innovative energy-supply system, which is based on the maximum use of thermal energy for thermal energy services, are going to be implemented. Therefore only renewable resources and alternative energies are used to generate thermal as well as electrical energy. This includes the use of solar energy for space heating, hot water and household appliances like dishwasher or washing machine, but also a cooking place for the community area operated with thermal oil as heat transfer medium on a higher temperature level. Solar collectors in combination with a biomass cogeneration unit and photovoltaic panels are used to provide thermal and electric energy for the living units according to the seasonal demand. The building concepts are optimised by support of dynamic simulations. A particular focus is on the production and use of modular prefabricated components and building parts made of regionally available, highly energy-efficient, CO₂-storing renewable materials like straw bales. The building components will be produced in collaboration by local SMEs that are organised in an efficient way. The whole building process and results are monitored and prepared for knowledge transfer and dissemination including a trial living in the residential units to test and monitor the energy supply system and to involve stakeholders into evaluation and dissemination of the applied technologies and building concepts. The realised building concepts should then be used as templates for a further modular extension of the settlement in a second phase.
Variability of Physico-Chemical and Carbonate Chemistry of Seawater in Selected Portions of the Central Atlantic Coastline of Ghana
Increase in the oceanic carbon dioxide absorbance from the atmosphere due to climate change has led to appreciable change in the chemistry of the oceans. The change in oceanic pH referred to as ocean acidification poses multiple threats and stresses on marine species, biodiversity, goods and services, and livelihoods. Marine ecosystems are continuously threatened by plethora of natural and anthropogenic stressors including carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions causing a lot of changes which has not been experienced for approximately 60 years. Little has been done in Africa as a whole and Ghana in particular to improve the understanding of the variations of the carbonate chemistry of seawater and the biophysical impacts of ocean acidification on security of seafood, nutrition, climate and environmental change. There is, therefore, the need for regular monitoring of carbonate chemistry of seawater along Ghana’s coastline to generate reliable data to aid marine policy formulation. Samples of seawater were collected thrice every month for a one-year period from five study sites for the various parameters to be analyzed. Analysis of the measured physico-chemical and the carbonate chemistry parameters was done using simple statistics. Correlation test and ANOVA were run on both of the physico-chemical and carbonate chemistry parameters. The carbonate chemistry parameters were measured using computer software programme (CO₂cal v4.0.9) except total alkalinity and pH. The study assessed the variability of seawater carbonate chemistry in selected portions of the Central Atlantic Coastline of Ghana (Tsokomey/Bortianor, Kokrobitey, Gomoa Nyanyanor, Gomoa Fetteh, and Senya Breku landing beaches) over a 1-year period (June 2016–May 2017). For physico-chemical parameters, there was insignificant variation in nitrate (NO₃⁻) (1.62 - 2.3 mg/L), ammonia (NH₃) (1.52 - 2.05 mg/L), and salinity (sal) (34.50 - 34.74 ppt). Carbonate chemistry parameters for all the five study sites showed significant variation: partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO₂) (414.08-715.5 µmol/kg), carbonate ion (CO₃²⁻) (115-157.92 µmol/kg), pH (7.9-8.12), total alkalinity (TA) (1711.8-1986 µmol/kg), total carbon dioxide (TCO₂) (1512.1 - 1792 µmol/kg), dissolved carbon dioxide (CO₂aq) (10.97-18.92 µmol/kg), Revelle Factor (RF) (9.62-11.84), aragonite (ΩAr) (0.75-1.48) and calcite (ΩCa) (1.08-2.14). The study revealed that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide and temperature did not have a significant effect on each other (r² = 0.31) (p-value = 0.0717). There was an appreciable effect of pH on dissolved carbon dioxide (r² = 0.921) (p-value = 0.0000). The variation between total alkalinity and dissolved carbon dioxide was appreciable (r² = 0.731) (p-value = 0.0008). There was a significant correlation between total carbon dioxide and dissolved carbon dioxide (r² = 0.852) (p-value = 0.0000). Revelle factor correlated strongly with dissolved carbon dioxide (r² = 0.982) (p-value = 0.0000). Partial pressure of carbon dioxide corresponds strongly with atmospheric carbon dioxide (r² = 0.9999) (p-value = 0.00000).
Digital Advance Care Planning and Directives: Early Observations of Adoption Statistics and Responses from an All-Digital Consumer-Driven Approach
Importance: Barriers to traditional advance care planning (ACP) and advance directive (AD) creation have limited the promise of ACP/AD for individuals and families, the healthcare team, and society. Reengineering ACP by using a web-based, consumer-driven process has recently been suggested. We report early experience with such a process. Objective: Begin to analyze the potential of the creation and use of ACP/ADs as generated by a consumer-friendly, digital process by 1) assessing the likelihood that consumers would create ACP/ADs without structured intervention by medical or legal professionals, and 2) analyzing the responses to determine if the plans can help doctors better understand a person’s goals, preferences, and priorities for their medical treatments and the naming of healthcare agents. Design: The authors chose 900 users of MyDirectives.com, a digital ACP/AD tool, solely based on their state of residence in order to achieve proportional representation of all 50 states by population size and then reviewed their responses, summarizing these through descriptive statistics including treatment preferences, demographics, and revision of preferences. Setting: General United States population. Participants: The 900 participants had an average age of 50.8 years (SD = 16.6); 84.3% of the men and 91% of the women were in self-reported good health when signing their ADs. Main measures: Preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining treatments, where to spend final days, consulting a supportive and palliative care team, attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), autopsy, and organ and tissue donation. Results: Nearly 85% of respondents prefer cessation of life-sustaining treatments during their final days whenever those may be, 76% prefer to spend their final days at home or in a hospice facility, and 94% wanted their future doctors to consult a supportive and palliative care team. 70% would accept attempted CPR in certain limited circumstances. Most respondents would want an autopsy under certain conditions, and 62% would like to donate their organs. Conclusions and relevance: Analysis of early experience with an all-digital web-based ACP/AD platform demonstrates that individuals from a wide range of ages and conditions can engage in an interrogatory process about values, goals, preferences, and priorities for their medical treatments by developing advance directives and easily make changes to the AD created. Online creation, storage, and retrieval of advance directives has the potential to remove barriers to ACP/AD and, thus, to further improve patient-centered end-of-life care.
An Emergentist Defense of Incompatibility between Morally Significant Freedom and Causal Determinism
The common perception of morally responsible behavior is that it presupposes freedom of choice, and that free decisions and actions are not determined by natural events, but by a person. In other words, the moral agent has the ability and the possibility of doing otherwise when making morally responsible decisions, and natural causal determinism cannot fully account for morally significant freedom. The incompatibility between a person’s morally significant freedom and causal determinism appears to be a natural position. Nevertheless, some of the most influential philosophical theories on moral responsibility are compatibilist or semi-compatibilist, and they exclude the requirement of alternative possibilities, which contradicts the claims of classical incompatibilism. The compatibilists often employ Frankfurt-style thought experiments to prove their theory. The goal of this paper is to examine the role of imaginary Frankfurt-style examples in compatibilist accounts. More specifically, the compatibilist accounts defended by John Martin Fischer and Michael McKenna will be inserted into the broader understanding of a person elaborated by Harry Frankfurt, Robert Kane and Walter Glannon. Deeper analysis reveals that the exclusion of alternative possibilities based on Frankfurt-style examples is problematic and misleading. A more comprehensive account of moral responsibility and morally significant (source) freedom requires higher order complex theories of human will and consciousness, in which rational and self-creative abilities and a real possibility to choose otherwise, at least on some occasions during a lifetime, are necessary. Theoretical moral reasons and their logical relations seem to require a sort of higher-order agent-causal incompatibilism. The ability of theoretical or abstract moral reasoning requires complex (strongly emergent) mental and conscious properties, among which an effective free will, together with first and second-order desires. Such a hierarchical theoretical model unifies reasons-responsiveness, mesh theory and emergentism. It is incompatible with physical causal determinism, because such determinism only allows non-systematic processes that may be hard to predict, but not complex (strongly) emergent systems. An agent’s effective will and conscious reflectivity is the starting point of a morally responsible action, which explains why a decision is 'up to the subject'. A free decision does not always have a complete causal history. This kind of an emergentist source hyper-incompatibilism seems to be the best direction of the search for an adequate explanation of moral responsibility in the traditional (merit-based) sense. Physical causal determinism as a universal theory would exclude morally significant freedom and responsibility in the traditional sense because it would exclude the emergence of and supervenience by the essential complex properties of human consciousness.
The Power of in situ Characterization Techniques in Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Case Study of Deacon Reaction
Introduction: The conventional approach of characterizing solid catalysts under static conditions, i.e., before and after reaction, does not provide sufficient knowledge on the physicochemical processes occurring under dynamic conditions at the molecular level. Hence, the necessity of improving new in situ characterizing techniques with the potential of being used under real catalytic reaction conditions is highly desirable. In situ Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA) is a rapidly developing chemical analytical technique that enables us experimentally to assess the coverage of surface species under catalytic turnover and correlate these with the reactivity. The catalytic HCl oxidation (Deacon reaction) over bulk ceria will serve as our example. Furthermore, the in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy is a powerful technique that can contribute to the study of atmosphere and temperature induced morphological or compositional changes of a catalyst at atomic resolution. The application of such techniques (PGAA and TEM) will pave the way to a greater and deeper understanding of the dynamic nature of active catalysts. Experimental/Methodology: In situ Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA) experiments were carried out to determine the Cl uptake and the degree of surface chlorination under reaction conditions by varying p(O2), p(HCl), p(Cl2), and the reaction temperature. The abundance and dynamic evolution of OH groups on working catalyst under various steady-state conditions were studied by means of in situ FTIR with a specially designed homemade transmission cell. For real in situ TEM we use a commercial in situ holder with a home built gas feeding system and gas analytics. Conclusions: Two complimentary in situ techniques, namely in situ PGAA and in situ FTIR were utilities to investigate the surface coverage of the two most abundant species (Cl and OH). The OH density and Cl uptake were followed under multiple steady-state conditions as a function of p(O2), p(HCl), p(Cl2), and temperature. These experiments have shown that, the OH density positively correlates with the reactivity whereas Cl negatively. The p(HCl) experiments give rise to increased activity accompanied by Cl-coverage increase (opposite trend to p(O2) and T). Cl2 strongly inhibits the reaction, but no measurable increase of the Cl uptake was found. After considering all previous observations we conclude that only a minority of the available adsorption sites contribute to the reactivity. In addition, the mechanism of the catalysed reaction was proposed. The chlorine-oxygen competition for the available active sites renders re-oxidation as the rate-determining step of the catalysed reaction. Further investigations using in situ TEM are planned and will be conducted in the near future. Such experiments allow us to monitor active catalysts at the atomic scale under the most realistic conditions of temperature and pressure. The talk will shed a light on the potential and limitations of in situ PGAA and in situ TEM in the study of catalyst dynamics.
Temporal Estimation of Hydrodynamic Parameter Variability in Constructed Wetlands
The calibration of hydrodynamic parameters for subsurface constructed wetlands (CWs) is a sensitive process since highly non-linear equations are involved in unsaturated flow modeling. CW systems are engineered systems designed to favour natural treatment processes involving wetland vegetation, soil, and their microbial flora. Their significant efficiency at reducing the ecological impact of urban runoff has been recently proved in the field. Numerical flow modeling in a vertical variably saturated CW is here carried out by implementing the Richards model by means of a mixed hybrid finite element method (MHFEM), particularly well adapted to the simulation of heterogeneous media, and the van Genuchten-Mualem parametrization. For validation purposes, MHFEM results were compared to those of HYDRUS (a software based on a finite element discretization). As van Genuchten-Mualem soil hydrodynamic parameters depend on water content, their estimation is subject to considerable experimental and numerical studies. In particular, the sensitivity analysis performed with respect to the van Genuchten-Mualem parameters reveals a predominant influence of the shape parameters α, n and the saturated conductivity of the filter on the piezometric heads, during saturation and desaturation. Modeling issues arise when the soil reaches oven-dry conditions. A particular attention should also be brought to boundary condition modeling (surface ponding or evaporation) to be able to tackle different sequences of rainfall-runoff events. For proper parameter identification, large field datasets would be needed. As these are usually not available, notably due to the randomness of the storm events, we thus propose a simple, robust and low-cost numerical method for the inverse modeling of the soil hydrodynamic properties. Among the methods, the variational data assimilation technique introduced by Le Dimet and Talagrand is applied. To that end, a variational data assimilation technique is implemented by applying automatic differentiation (AD) to augment computer codes with derivative computations. Note that very little effort is needed to obtain the differentiated code using the on-line Tapenade AD engine. Field data are collected for a three-layered CW located in Strasbourg (Alsace, France) at the water edge of the urban water stream Ostwaldergraben, during several months. Identification experiments are conducted by comparing measured and computed piezometric head by means of the least square objective function. The temporal variability of hydrodynamic parameter is then assessed and analyzed.
The Location of Park and Ride Facilities Using the Fuzzy Inference Model
Contemporary cities are facing serious congestion and parking problems. In urban transport policy the introduction of the park and ride system (P&R) is an increasingly popular way of limiting vehicular traffic. The determining of P&R facilities location is a key aspect of the system. Criteria for assessing the quality of the selected location are formulated generally and descriptively. The research outsourced to specialists are expensive and time consuming. The most focus is on the examination of a few selected places. The practice has shown that the choice of the location of these sites in a intuitive way without a detailed analysis of all the circumstances, often gives negative results. Then the existing facilities are not used as expected. Methods of location as a research topic are also widely taken in the scientific literature. Built mathematical models often do not bring the problem comprehensively, e.g. assuming that the city is linear, developed along one important communications corridor. The paper presents a new method where the expert knowledge is applied to fuzzy inference model. With such a built system even a less experienced person could benefit from it, e.g. urban planners, officials. The analysis result is obtained in a very short time, so a large number of the proposed location can also be verified in a short time. The proposed method is intended for testing of car parks location in a city. The paper will show selected examples of locations of the P&R facilities in cities planning to introduce the P&R. The analysis of existing objects will also be shown in the paper and they will be confronted with the opinions of the system users, with particular emphasis on unpopular locations. The research are executed using the fuzzy inference model which was built and described in more detail in the earlier paper of the authors. The results of analyzes are compared to documents of P&R facilities location outsourced by the city and opinions of existing facilities users expressed on social networking sites. The research of existing facilities were conducted by means of the fuzzy model. The results are consistent with actual users feedback. The proposed method proves to be good, but does not require the involvement of a large experts team and large financial contributions for complicated research. The method also provides an opportunity to show the alternative location of P&R facilities. The performed studies show that the method has been confirmed. The method can be applied in urban planning of the P&R facilities location in relation to the accompanying functions. Although the results of the method are approximate, they are not worse than results of analysis of employed experts. The advantage of this method is ease of use, which simplifies the professional expert analysis. The ability of analyzing a large number of alternative locations gives a broader view on the problem. It is valuable that the arduous analysis of the team of people can be replaced by the model's calculation. According to the authors, the proposed method is also suitable for implementation on a GIS platform.
Home Environment and Self-Efficacy Beliefs among Native American, African American and Latino Adolescents
Many minority adolescents in the United States live in adverse circumstances that pose long-term threats to their well-being. A strong sense of personal control and self-efficacy can help youth mitigate some of those risks and may help protect youth from influences connected with deviant peer groups. Accordingly, it is important to identify conditions that help foster feelings of efficacy in areas that seem critical for the accomplishment of developmental tasks during adolescence. The purpose of this study is to examine two aspects of the home environment (modeling and encouragement of maturity, family companionship and investment) and their relation to three components of self efficacy (self efficacy in enlisting social resources, self efficacy for engaging in independent learning, and self-efficacy for self-regulatory behavior) in three groups of minority adolescents (Native American, African American, Latino). The sample for this study included 54 Native American, 131 African American, and 159 Latino families, each with a child between 16 and 20 years old. The families were recruited from four states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Oklahoma. Each family was administered the Late Adolescence version of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory and each adolescent completed a 30-item measure of perceived self-efficacy. Three areas of self-efficacy beliefs were examined for this study: enlisting social resources, independent learning, and self-regulation. Each of the three areas of self-efficacy was regressed on the two aspects of the home environment plus overall household risk. For Native Americans, modeling and encouragement were significant for self-efficacy pertaining to enlisting social resources and independent learning. For African Americans, companionship and investment was significant in all three models. For Latinos, modeling and encouragement was significant for self-efficacy pertaining to enlisting social resources and companionship and investment were significant for the other two areas of self-efficacy. The findings show that even as minority adolescents are becoming more individuated from their parents, the quality of experiences at home continues to be associated with their feelings of self-efficacy in areas important for adaptive functioning in adult life. Specifically, individuals can develop a sense that they are efficacious in performing key tasks relevant to work, social relationships, and management of their own behavior if they are guided in how to deal with key challenges and they have been exposed and supported by others who are competent in dealing with such challenges. The findings presented in this study would seem useful given that there is so little current research on home environmental factors connected to self-efficacy beliefs among adolescents in the three groups examined. It would seem worthwhile that personnel from health, human service and juvenile justice agencies give attention to supporting parents in communicating with adolescents, offering expectations to adolescents in mutually supportive ways, and in engaging with adolescents in productive activities. In comparison to programs for parents of young children, there are few specifically designed for parents of children in middle childhood and adolescence.
Technology Optimization of Compressed Natural Gas Home Fast Refueling Units
Despіte all glоbal ecоnоmіc shіfts and the fact that Natural Gas іs recоgnіzed wоrldwіde as the maіn and the leadіng alternatіve tо оіl prоducts іn transpоrtatіоn sectоr, there іs a huge barrіer tо swіtch passenger vehіcle segment tо Natural gas - the lack оf refuelіng іnfrastructure fоr Natural Gas Vehіcles. Whіle іnvestments іn publіc gas statіоns requіre establіshed NGV market іn оrder tо be cоst effectіve, the market іs nоt there due tо lack оf refuelіng statіоns. The key tо sоlvіng that prоblem and prоvіdіng barrіer breakіng refuelіng іnfrastructure sоlutіоn fоr Natural Gas Vehіcles (NGV) іs Hоme Fast Refuelіng Unіts. Іt оperates usіng Natural Gas (Methane), whіch іs beіng prоvіded thrоugh gas pіpelіnes at clіents hоme, and electrіcіty cоnnectіоn pоіnt. Іt enables an envіrоnmentally frіendly NGV’s hоme refuelіng just іn mіnutes. The underlyіng technоlоgy іs a patented technоlоgy оf оne stage hydraulіc cоmpressоr (іnstead оf multіstage mechanіcal cоmpressоr technоlоgy avaіlable оn the market nоw) whіch prоvіdes the pоssіbіlіty tо cоmpress lоw pressure gas frоm resіdentіal gas grіd tо 200 bar fоr іts further usage as a fuel fоr NGVs іn the mоst ecоnоmіcally effіcіent and cоnvenіent fоr custоmer way. Descrіptіоn оf wоrkіng algоrіthm: Twо hіgh pressure cylіnders wіth upper necks cоnnected tо lоw pressure gas sоurce are placed vertіcally. Іnіtіally оne оf them іs fіlled wіth lіquіd and anоther оne – wіth lоw pressure gas. Durіng the wоrkіng prоcess lіquіd іs transferred by means оf hydraulіc pump frоm оne cylіnder tо anоther and back. Wоrkіng lіquіd plays a rоle оf pіstоns іnsіde cylіnders. Mоvement оf wоrkіng lіquіd іnsіde cylіnders prоvіdes sіmultaneоus suctіоn оf a pоrtіоn оf lоw pressure gas іntо оne оf the cylіnder (where lіquіd mоves dоwn) and fоrcіng оut gas оf hіgher pressure frоm anоther cylіnder (where lіquіd mоves up) tо the fuel tank оf the vehіcle / stоrage tank. Each cycle оf fоrcіng the gas оut оf the cylіnder rіses up the pressure оf gas іn the fuel tank оf a vehіcle wіth 2 cylіnders. The prоcess іs repeated untіl the pressure оf gas іn the fuel tank reaches 200 bar. Mоbіlіty has becоme a necessіty іn peоple’s everyday lіfe, whіch led tо оіl dependence. CNG Hоme Fast Refuelіng Unіts can become a part fоr exіstіng natural gas pіpelіne іnfrastructure and becоme the largest vehіcle refuelіng іnfrastructure. Hоme Fast Refuelіng Unіts оwners wіll enjоy day-tо-day tіme savіngs and cоnvenіence - Hоme Car refuelіng іn mіnutes, mоnth-tо-mоnth fuel cоst ecоnоmy, year-tо-year іncentіves and tax deductіbles оn NG refuelіng systems as per cоuntry, reduce CО2 lоcal emіssіоns, savіng cоsts and mоney.
An Interoperability Concept for Detect and Avoid and Collision Avoidance Systems: Results from a Human-In-The-Loop Simulation
The integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) poses a variety of technical challenges to UAS developers and aviation regulators. In response to growing demand for access to civil airspace in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has produced a roadmap identifying key areas requiring further research and development. One such technical challenge is the development of a ‘detect and avoid’ system (DAA; previously referred to as ‘sense and avoid’) to replace the ‘see and avoid’ requirement in manned aviation. The purpose of the DAA system is to support the pilot, situated at a ground control station (GCS) rather than in the cockpit of the aircraft, in maintaining ‘well clear’ of nearby aircraft through the use of GCS displays and alerts. In addition to its primary function of aiding the pilot in maintaining well clear, the DAA system must also safely interoperate with existing NAS systems and operations, such as the airspace management procedures of air traffic controllers (ATC) and collision avoidance (CA) systems currently in use by manned aircraft, namely the Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) II. It is anticipated that many UAS architectures will integrate both a DAA system and a TCAS II. It is therefore necessary to explicitly study the integration of DAA and TCAS II alerting structures and maneuver guidance formats to ensure that pilots understand the appropriate type and urgency of their response to the various alerts. This paper presents a concept of interoperability for the two systems. The concept was developed with the goal of avoiding any negative impact on the performance level of TCAS II (understanding that TCAS II must largely be left as-is) while retaining a DAA system that still effectively enables pilots to maintain well clear, and, as a result, successfully reduces the frequency of collision hazards. The interoperability concept described in the paper focuses primarily on facilitating the transition from a late-stage DAA encounter (where a loss of well clear is imminent) to a TCAS II corrective Resolution Advisory (RA), which requires pilot compliance with the directive RA guidance (e.g., climb, descend) within five seconds of its issuance. The interoperability concept was presented to 10 participants (6 active UAS pilots and 4 active commercial pilots) in a medium-fidelity, human-in-the-loop simulation designed to stress different aspects of the DAA and TCAS II systems. Pilot response times, compliance rates and subjective assessments were recorded. Results indicated that pilots exhibited comprehension of, and appropriate prioritization within, the DAA-TCAS II combined alert structure. Pilots demonstrated a high rate of compliance with TCAS II RAs and were also seen to respond to corrective RAs within the five second requirement established for manned aircraft. The DAA system presented under test was also shown to be effective in supporting pilots’ ability to maintain well clear in the overwhelming majority of cases in which pilots had sufficient time to respond. The paper ends with a discussion of next steps for research on integrating UAS into civil airspace.
Middle School as a Developmental Context for Emergent Citizenship
Civically engaged youth are critical to maintaining and/or improving the functioning of local, national and global communities and their institutions. The present study investigated how school climate and academic beliefs (academic self-efficacy and school belonging) may inform emergent civic behaviors (emergent citizenship) among self-identified middle school youth of color (African American, Multiracial or Mixed, Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander, Native American, and other). Study aims: 1) Understand whether and how school climate is associated with civic engagement behaviors, directly and indirectly, by fostering a positive sense of connection to the school and/or engendering feelings of self-efficacy in the academic domain. Accordingly, we examined 2) The association of youths’ sense of school connection and academic self-efficacy with their personally responsible and participatory civic behaviors in school and community contexts—both concurrently and longitudinally. Data from two subsamples of a larger study of social/emotional development among middle school students were used for longitudinal and cross sectional analysis. The cross-sectional sample included 324 6th-8th grade students, of which 43% identified as African American, 20% identified as Multiracial or Mixed, 18% identified as Latino, 12% identified as Asian American or Pacific Islander, 6% identified as Other, and 1% identified as Native American. The age of the sample ranged from 11 – 15 (M = 12.33, SD = .97). For the longitudinal test of our mediation model, we drew on data from the 6th and 7th grade cohorts only (n =232); the ethnic and racial diversity of this longitudinal subsample was virtually identical to that of the cross-sectional sample. For both the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, full information maximum likelihood was used to deal with missing data. Fit indices were inspected to determine if they met the recommended thresholds of RMSEA below .05 and CFI and TLI values of at least .90. To determine if particular mediation pathways were significant, the bias-corrected bootstrap confidence intervals for each indirect pathway were inspected. Fit indices for the latent variable mediation model using the cross-sectional data suggest that the hypothesized model fit the observed data well (CFI = .93; TLI =. 92; RMSEA = .05, 90% CI = [.04, .06]). In the model, students’ perceptions of school climate were significantly and positively associated with greater feelings of school connectedness, which were in turn significantly and positively associated with civic engagement. In addition, school climate was significantly and positively associated with greater academic self-efficacy, but academic self-efficacy was not significantly associated with civic engagement. Tests of mediation indicated there was one significant indirect pathway between school climate and civic engagement behavior. There was an indirect association between school climate and civic engagement via its association with sense of school connectedness, indirect association estimate = .17 [95% CI: .08, .32]. The aforementioned indirect association via school connectedness accounted for 50% (.17/.34) of the total effect. Partial support was found for the prediction that students’ perceptions of a positive school climate are linked to civic engagement in part through their role in students’ sense of connection to school.
Structural and Functional Correlates of Reaction Time Variability in a Large Sample of Healthy Adolescents and Adolescents with ADHD Symptoms
Reaction time (RT) variability on cognitive tasks provides the index of the efficiency of executive control processes (e.g. attention and inhibitory control) and is considered to be a hallmark of clinical disorders, such as attention-deficit disorder (ADHD). Increased RT variability is associated with structural and functional brain differences in children and adults with various clinical disorders, as well as poorer task performance accuracy. Furthermore, the strength of functional connectivity across various brain networks, such as the negative relationship between the task-negative default mode network and task-positive attentional networks, has been found to reflect differences in RT variability. Although RT variability may provide an index of attentional efficiency, as well as being a useful indicator of neurological impairment, the brain substrates associated with RT variability remain relatively poorly defined, particularly in a healthy sample. Method: Firstly, we used the intra-individual coefficient of variation (ICV) as an index of RT variability from “Go” responses on the Stop Signal Task. We then examined the functional and structural neural correlates of ICV in a large sample of 14-year old healthy adolescents (n=1719). Of these, a subset had elevated symptoms of ADHD (n=80) and was compared to a matched non-symptomatic control group (n=80). The relationship between brain activity during successful and unsuccessful inhibitions and gray matter volume were compared with the ICV. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine if specific brain regions mediated the relationship between ADHD symptoms and ICV. Lastly, we looked at functional connectivity across various brain networks and quantified both positive and negative correlations during “Go” responses on the Stop Signal Task. Results: The brain data revealed that higher ICV was associated with increased structural and functional brain activation in the precentral gyrus in the whole sample and in adolescents with ADHD symptoms. Lower ICV was associated with lower activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and medial frontal gyrus in the whole sample and in the control group. Furthermore, our results indicated that activation in the precentral gyrus (Broadman Area 4) mediated the relationship between ADHD symptoms and behavioural ICV. Conclusion: This is the first study first to investigate the functional and structural correlates of ICV collectively in a large adolescent sample. Our findings demonstrate a concurrent increase in brain structure and function within task-active prefrontal networks as a function of increased RT variability. Furthermore, structural and functional brain activation patterns in the ACC, and medial frontal gyrus plays a role-optimizing top-down control in order to maintain task performance. Our results also evidenced clear differences in brain morphometry between adolescents with symptoms of ADHD but without clinical diagnosis and typically developing controls. Our findings shed light on specific functional and structural brain regions that are implicated in ICV and yield insights into effective cognitive control in healthy individuals and in clinical groups.
Fort Conger: A Virtual Museum and Virtual Interactive World for Exploring Science in the 19th Century
Ft. Conger, located in the Canadian Arctic was one of the most remote 19th-century scientific stations. Established in 1881 on Ellesmere Island, a wood framed structure established a permanent base from which to conduct scientific research. Under the charge of Lt. Greely, Ft. Conger was one of 14 expeditions conducted during the First International Polar Year (FIPY). Our research project “From Science to Survival: Using Virtual Exhibits to Communicate the Significance of Polar Heritage Sites in the Canadian Arctic” focused on the creation of a virtual museum website dedicated to one of the most important polar heritage site in the Canadian Arctic. This website was developed under a grant from Virtual Museum of Canada and enables visitors to explore the fort’s site from 1875 to the present, http://fortconger.org. Heritage sites are often viewed as static places. A goal of this project was to present the change that occurred over time as each new group of explorers adapted the site to their needs. The site was first visited by British explorer George Nares in 1875 – 76. Only later did the United States government select this site for the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition (1881-84) with research to be conducted under the FIPY (1882 – 83). Still later Robert Peary and Matthew Henson attempted to reach the North Pole from Ft. Conger in 1899, 1905 and 1908.
A central focus of this research is on the virtual reconstruction of the Ft. Conger. In the summer of 2010, a Zoller+Fröhlich Imager 5006i and Minolta Vivid 910 laser scanner were used to scan terrain and artifacts. Once the scanning was completed, the point clouds were registered and edited to form the basis of a virtual reconstruction. A goal of this project has been to allow visitors to step back in time and explore the interior of these buildings with all of its artifacts. Links to text, historic documents, animations, panorama images, computer games and virtual labs provide explanations of how science was conducted during the 19th century. A major feature of this virtual world is the timeline. Visitors to the website can begin to explore the site when George Nares, in his ship the HMS Discovery, appeared in the harbor in 1875. With the emergence of Lt Greely’s expedition in 1881, we can track the progress made in establishing a scientific outpost. Still later in 1901, with Peary’s presence, the site is transformed again, with the huts having been built from materials salvaged from Greely’s main building. Still later in 2010, we can visit the site during its present state of deterioration and learn about the laser scanning technology which was used to document the site.
The Science and Survival at Fort Conger project represents one of the first attempts to use virtual worlds to communicate the historical and scientific significance of polar heritage sites where opportunities for first-hand visitor experiences are not possible because of remote location.
Investigation of Yard Seam Workings for the Proposed Newcastle Light Rail Project
The proposed Newcastle Light Rail is a key part of the revitalisation of Newcastle, NSW and will provide a frequent and reliable travel option throughout the city centre, running from Newcastle Interchange at Wickham to Pacific Park in Newcastle East, a total of 2.7 kilometers in length. Approximately one-third of the route, along Hunter and Scott Streets, is subject to potential shallow underground mine workings. The extent of mining and seams mined is unclear. Convicts mined the Yard Seam and overlying Dudley (Dirty) Seam in Newcastle sometime between 1800 and 1830. The Australian Agricultural Company mined the Yard Seam from about 1831 to the 1860s in the alignment area. The Yard Seam was about 3 feet (0.9m) thick, and therefore, known as the Yard Seam. Mine maps do not exist for the workings in the area of interest and it was unclear if both or just one seam was mined. Information from 1830s geological mapping and other data showing shaft locations were used along Scott Street and information from the 1908 Royal Commission was used along Hunter Street to develop an investigation program. In addition, mining was encountered for several sites to the south of the alignment at depths of about 7 m to 25 m. Based on the anticipated depths of mining, it was considered prudent to assess the potential for sinkhole development on the proposed alignment and realigned underground utilities and to obtain approval for the work from Subsidence Advisory NSW (SA NSW). The assessment consisted of a desktop study, followed by a subsurface investigation. Four boreholes were drilled along Scott Street and three boreholes were drilled along Hunter Street using HQ coring techniques in the rock. The placement of boreholes was complicated by the presence of utilities in the roadway and traffic constraints. All the boreholes encountered the Yard Seam, with conditions varying from unmined coal to an open void, indicating the presence of mining. The geotechnical information obtained from the boreholes was expanded by using various downhole techniques including; borehole camera, borehole sonar, and downhole geophysical logging. The camera provided views of the rock and helped to explain zones of no recovery. In addition, timber props within the void were observed. Borehole sonar was performed in the void and provided an indication of room size as well as the presence of timber props within the room. Downhole geophysical logging was performed in the boreholes to measure density, natural gamma, and borehole deviation. The data helped confirm that all the mining was in the Yard Seam and that the overlying Dudley Seam had been eroded in the past over much of the alignment. In summary, the assessment allowed the potential for sinkhole subsidence to be assessed and a mitigation approach developed to allow conditional approval by SA NSW. It also confirmed the presence of mining in the Yard Seam, the depth to the seam and mining conditions, and indicated that subsidence did not appear to have occurred in the past.
Numerical Investigation on Design Method of Timber Structures Exposed to Parametric Fire
Timber is favourable structural material due to high strength to weight ratio, recycling possibilities, and green credentials. Despite being flammable material, it has relatively high fire resistance. Everyday engineering practice around the word is based on an outdated design of timber structures considering standard fire exposure, while modern principles of performance-based design enable use of advanced non-standard fire curves. In Europe, standard for fire design of timber structures EN 1995-1-2 (Eurocode 5) gives two methods, reduced material properties method and reduced cross-section method. In the latter, fire resistance of structural elements depends on the effective cross-section that is a residual cross-section of uncharred timber reduced additionally by so called zero strength layer. In case of standard fire exposure, Eurocode 5 gives a fixed value of zero strength layer, i.e. 7 mm, while for non-standard parametric fires no additional comments or recommendations for zero strength layer are given. Thus designers often implement adopted 7 mm rule also for parametric fire exposure. Since the latest scientific evidence suggests that proposed value of zero strength layer can be on unsafe side for standard fire exposure, its use in the case of a parametric fire is also highly questionable and more numerical and experimental research in this field is needed. Therefore, the purpose of the presented study is to use advanced calculation methods to investigate the thickness of zero strength layer and parametric charring rates used in effective cross-section method in case of parametric fire. Parametric studies are carried out on a simple solid timber beam that is exposed to a larger number of parametric fire curves Zero strength layer and charring rates are determined based on the numerical simulations which are performed by the recently developed advanced two step computational model. The first step comprises of hygro-thermal model which predicts the temperature, moisture and char depth development and takes into account different initial moisture states of timber. In the second step, the response of timber beam simultaneously exposed to mechanical and fire load is determined. The mechanical model is based on the Reissner’s kinematically exact beam model and accounts for the membrane, shear and flexural deformations of the beam. Further on, material non-linear and temperature dependent behaviour is considered. In the two step model, the char front temperature is, according to Eurocode 5, assumed to have a fixed temperature of around 300°C. Based on performed study and observations, improved levels of charring rates and new thickness of zero strength layer in case of parametric fires are determined. Thus, the reduced cross section method is substantially improved to offer practical recommendations for designing fire resistance of timber structures. Furthermore, correlations between zero strength layer thickness and key input parameters of the parametric fire curve (for instance, opening factor, fire load, etc.) are given, representing a guideline for a more detailed numerical and also experimental research in the future.
Numerical Investigation on Design Method of Timber Structures Exposed to Parametric Fire
Timber is favourable structural material due to high strength to weight ratio, recycling possibilities, and green credentials. Despite being flammable material, it has relatively high fire resistance. Everyday engineering practice around the word is based on an outdated design of timber structures considering standard fire exposure, while modern principles of performance-based design enable use of advanced non-standard fire curves. In Europe, standard for fire design of timber structures EN 1995-1-2 (Eurocode 5) gives two methods, reduced material properties method and reduced cross-section method. In the latter, fire resistance of structural elements depends on the effective cross-section that is a residual cross-section of uncharred timber reduced additionally by so called zero strength layer. In case of standard fire exposure, Eurocode 5 gives a fixed value of zero strength layer, i.e. 7 mm, while for non-standard parametric fires no additional comments or recommendations for zero strength layer are given. Thus designers often implement adopted 7 mm rule also for parametric fire exposure. Since the latest scientific evidence suggests that proposed value of zero strength layer can be on unsafe side for standard fire exposure, its use in the case of a parametric fire is also highly questionable and more numerical and experimental research in this field is needed. Therefore, the purpose of the presented study is to use advanced calculation methods to investigate the thickness of zero strength layer and parametric charring rates used in effective cross-section method in case of parametric fire. Parametric studies are carried out on a simple solid timber beam that is exposed to a larger number of parametric fire curves Zero strength layer and charring rates are determined based on the numerical simulations which are performed by the recently developed advanced two step computational model. The first step comprises of hygro-thermal model which predicts the temperature, moisture and char depth development and takes into account different initial moisture states of timber. In the second step, the response of timber beam simultaneously exposed to mechanical and fire load is determined. The mechanical model is based on the Reissner’s kinematically exact beam model and accounts for the membrane, shear and flexural deformations of the beam. Further on, material non-linear and temperature dependent behaviour is considered. In the two step model, the char front temperature is, according to Eurocode 5, assumed to have a fixed temperature of around 300°C. Based on performed study and observations, improved levels of charring rates and new thickness of zero strength layer in case of parametric fires are determined. Thus, the reduced cross section method is substantially improved to offer practical recommendations for designing fire resistance of timber structures. Furthermore, correlations between zero strength layer thickness and key input parameters of the parametric fire curve (for instance, opening factor, fire load, etc.) are given, representing a guideline for a more detailed numerical and also experimental research in the future.
Gas Systems of the Amadeus Basin, Australia
The origins of natural gases in the Amadeus Basin have been assessed using molecular and stable isotope (C, H, N, He) systematics. A dominant end-member thermogenic, oil-associated gas is considered for the Ordovician Pacoota−Stairway sandstones of the Mereenie gas and oil field. In addition, an abiogenic end-member is identified in the latest Proterozoic lower Arumbera Sandstone of the Dingo gasfield, being most likely associated with radiolysis of methane with polymerisation to wet gases. The latter source assignment is based on a similar geochemical fingerprint derived from the laboratory gamma irradiation experiments on methane. A mixed gas source is considered for the Palm Valley gasfield in the Ordovician Pacoota Sandstone. Gas wetness (%∑C₂−C₅/∑C₁−C₅) decreases in the order Mereenie (19.1%) > Palm Valley (9.4%) > Dingo (4.1%). Non-produced gases at Magee-1 (23.5%; Late Proterozoic Heavitree Quartzite) and Mount Kitty-1 (18.9%; Paleo-Mesoproterozoic fractured granitoid basement) are very wet. Methane thermometry based on clumped isotopes of methane (¹³CDH₃) is consistent with the abiogenic origin for the Dingo gas field with methane formation temperature of 254ᵒC. However, the low methane formation temperature of 57°C for the Mereenie gas suggests either a mixed thermogenic-biogenic methane source or there is no thermodynamic equilibrium between the methane isotopomers. The shallow reservoir depth and present-day formation temperature below 80ᵒC would support microbial methanogenesis, but there is no accompanying alteration of the C- and H-isotopes of the wet gases and CO₂ that is typically associated with biodegradation. The Amadeus Basin gases show low to extremely high inorganic gas contents. Carbon dioxide is low in abundance (< 1% CO₂) and becomes increasing depleted in ¹³C from the Palm Valley (av. δ¹³C 0‰) to the Mereenie (av. δ¹³C -6.6‰) and Dingo (av. δ¹³C -14.3‰) gas fields. Although the wide range in carbon isotopes for CO₂ is consistent with multiple origins from inorganic to organic inputs, the most likely process is fluid-rock alteration with enrichment in ¹²C in the residual gaseous CO₂ accompanying progressive carbonate precipitation within the reservoir. Nitrogen ranges from low−moderate (1.7−9.9% N₂) abundance (Palm Valley av. 1.8%; Mereenie av. 9.1%; Dingo av. 9.4%) to extremely high abundance in Magee-1 (43.6%) and Mount Kitty-1 (61.0%). The nitrogen isotopes for the production gases have δ¹⁵N = -3.0‰ for Mereenie, -3.0‰ for Palm Valley and -7.1‰ for Dingo, suggest all being mixed inorganic and thermogenic nitrogen sources. Helium (He) abundance varies over a wide range from a low of 0.17% to one of the world’s highest at 9% (Mereenie av. 0.23%; Palm Valley av. 0.48%, Dingo av. 0.18%, Magee-1 6.2%; Mount Kitty-1 9.0%). Complementary helium isotopes (R/Ra = ³He/⁴Hesample / ³He/⁴Heair) range from 0.013 to 0.031 R/Ra, indicating a dominant crustal origin for helium with a sustained input of radiogenic 4He from the decomposition of U- and Th-bearing minerals, effectively diluting any original mantle helium input. The high helium content in the non-produced gases compared to the shallower producing wells most likely reflects their stratigraphic position relative to the Tonian Bitter Springs Group with the former below and the latter above an effective carbonate-salt seal.
Self-Selected Intensity and Discounting Rates of Exercise in Comparison with Food and Money in Healthy Adults
Background: Exercise is widely acknowledged as a highly important health behavior, which reduces risks related to lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease. However, exercise adherence is low in high-risk groups and sedentary lifestyle is more the norm than the exception. Expressed reasons for exercise participation are often based on delayed outcomes related to health threats and benefits but also enjoyment. Whether exercise is perceived as rewarding is well established in animal literature but the evidence is sparse in humans. Additionally, the question how stable any reward is perceived with time delays is an important question influencing decision-making (in favor or against a behavior). For the modality exercise, this has not been examined before. We, therefore, investigated the discounting of pre-established self-selected exercise compared with established rewards of food and money with a computer-based discounting paradigm. We hypothesized that exercise will be discounted like an established reward (food and money); however, we expect that the discounting rate is similar to a consumable reward like food. Additionally, we expected that individuals’ characteristics like preferred intensity, physical activity and body characteristics are associated with discount rates. Methods: 71 participants took part in four sessions. The sessions were designed to let participants select their preferred exercise intensity on a treadmill. Participants were asked to adjust their speed for optimizing pleasantness over an exercise period of up to 30 minutes, heart rate and pleasantness rating was measured. In further sessions, the established exercise intensity was modified and tested on perceptual validity. In the last exercise session rates of perceived exertion was measured on the preferred intensity level. Furthermore, participants filled in questionnaires related to physical activity, mood, craving, and impulsivity and answered choice questions on a bespoke computer task to establish discounting rates of their preferred exercise (kex), their favorite food (kfood) and a value-matching amount of money (kmoney). Results: Participants self-selected preferred speed was 5.5±2.24 km/h, at a heart rate of 120.7±23.5, and perceived exertion scale of 10.13±2.06. This shows that participants preferred a light exercise intensity with low to moderate cardiovascular strain based on perceived pleasantness. Computer assessment of discounting rates revealed that exercise was quickly discounted like a consumable reward, no significant difference between kfood and kex (kfood =0.322±0.263; kex=0.223±0.203). However, kmoney (kmoney=0.080±0.02) was significantly lower than the rates of exercise and food. Moreover, significant associations were found between preferred speed and kex (r=-0.302) and between physical activity levels and preferred speed (r=0.324). Outcomes show that participants perceived and discounted self-selected exercise like an established reward (food and money) but was discounted more like consumable rewards. Moreover, exercise discounting was quicker in individuals who preferred lower speeds, being less physically active. This may show that in a choice conflict between exercise and food the delay of exercise (because of distance) might disadvantage exercise as the chosen behavior particular in sedentary people. Conclusion: exercise can be perceived as a reward and is discounted quickly in time like food. Pleasant exercise experience is connected to low to moderate cardiovascular and perceptual strain.
Implementation of Smart Card Automatic Fare Collection Technology in Small Transit Agencies for Standards Development
Many large transit agencies have adopted RFID technology and electronic automatic fare collection (AFC) or smart card systems, but small and rural agencies remain tied to obsolete manual, cash-based fare collection. Small countries or transit agencies can benefit from the implementation of smart card AFC technology with the promise of increased passenger convenience, added passenger satisfaction and improved agency efficiency. For transit agencies, it reduces revenue loss, improves passenger flow and bus stop data. For countries, further implementation into security, distribution of social services or currency transactions can provide greater benefits. However, small countries or transit agencies cannot afford expensive proprietary smart card solutions typically offered by the major system suppliers. Deployment of Contactless Fare Media System (CFMS) Standard eliminates the proprietary solution, ultimately lowering the cost of implementation. Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc. chose the Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (YCIPTA) existing proprietary YCAT smart card system to implement CFMS. The revised system enables the purchase of fare product online with prepaid debit or credit cards using the Payment Gateway Processor. Open and interoperable smart card standards for transit have been developed. During the 90-day Pilot Operation conducted, the transit agency gathered the data from the bus AcuFare 200 Card Reader, loads (copies) the data to a USB Thumb Drive and uploads the data to the Acumen Host Processing Center for consolidation of the data into the transit agency master data file. The transition from the existing proprietary smart card data format to the new CFMS smart card data format was transparent to the transit agency cardholders. It was proven that open standards and interoperability design can work and reduce both implementation and operational costs for small transit agencies or countries looking to expand smart card technology. Acumen was able to avoid the implementation of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) which is expensive to develop and costly to operate on a continuing basis. Due to the substantial additional complexities of implementation and the variety of options presented to the transit agency cardholder, Acumen chose to implement only the Directed Autoload. To improve the implementation efficiency and the results for a similar undertaking, it should be considered that some passengers lack credit cards and are averse to technology. There are more than 1,300 small and rural agencies in the United States. This grows by 10 fold when considering small countries or rural locations throughout Latin American and the world. Acumen is evaluating additional countries, sites or transit agency that can benefit from the smart card systems. Frequently, payment card systems require extensive security procedures for implementation. The Project demonstrated the ability to purchase fare value, rides and passes with credit cards on the internet at a reasonable cost without highly complex security requirements.
Poly (3,4-Ethylenedioxythiophene) Prepared by Vapor Phase Polymerization for Stimuli-Responsive Ion-Exchange Drug Delivery
Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) is a robust conducting polymer (CP) exhibiting high conductivity and environmental stability. It can be synthesized by either chemical, electrochemical or vapour phase polymerization (VPP). Dexamethasone sodium phosphate (dexP) is an anionic drug molecule which has previously been loaded onto PEDOT as a dopant via electrochemical polymerisation; however this technique requires conductive surfaces from which polymerization is initiated. On the other hand, VPP produces highly organized biocompatible CP structures while polymerization can be achieved onto a range of surfaces with a relatively straight forward scale-up process. Following VPP of PEDOT, dexP can be loaded and subsequently released via ion-exchange. This study aimed at preparing and characterising both non-porous and porous VPP PEDOT structures including examining drug loading and release via ion-exchange. Porous PEDOT structures were prepared by first depositing a sacrificial polystyrene (PS) colloidal template on a substrate, heat curing this deposition and then spin coating it with the oxidant solution (iron tosylate) at 1500 rpm for 20 sec. VPP of both porous and non-porous PEDOT was achieved by exposing to monomer vapours in a vacuum oven at 40 mbar and 40 °C for 3 hrs. Non-porous structures were prepared similarly on the same substrate but without any sacrificial template. Surface morphology, compositions and behaviour were then characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) respectively. Drug loading was achieved by 50 CV cycles in a 0.1 M dexP aqueous solution. For drug release, each sample was exposed to 20 mL of phosphate buffer saline (PBS) placed in a water bath operating at 37 °C and 100 rpm. Film was stimulated (continuous pulse of ± 1 V at 0.5 Hz for 17 mins) while immersed into PBS. Samples were collected at 1, 2, 6, 23, 24, 26 and 27 hrs and were analysed for dexP by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC Agilent 1200 series). AFM and SEM revealed the honey comb nature of prepared porous structures. XPS data showed the elemental composition of the dexP loaded film surface, which related well with that of PEDOT and also showed that one dexP molecule was present per almost three EDOT monomer units. The reproducible electroactive nature was shown by several cycles of reduction and oxidation via CV. Drug release revealed success in drug loading via ion-exchange, with stimulated porous and non-porous structures exhibiting a proof of concept burst release upon application of an electrical stimulus. A similar drug release pattern was observed for porous and non-porous structures without any significant statistical difference, possibly due to the thin nature of these structures. To our knowledge, this is the first report to explore the potential of VPP prepared PEDOT for stimuli-responsive drug delivery via ion-exchange. The produced porous structures were ordered and highly porous as indicated by AFM and SEM. These porous structures exhibited good electroactivity as shown by CV. Future work will investigate porous structures as nano-reservoirs to increase drug loading while sealing these structures to minimize spontaneous drug leakage.
Solar-Electric Pump-out Boat Technology: Impacts on the Marine Environment, Public Health, and Climate Change
The popularity of recreational boating is on the rise in the United States, which raises numerous national-level challenges in the management of air and water pollution, aquatic habitat destruction, and waterway access. The need to control sewage discharge from recreational vessels underlies all of these challenges. The release of raw human waste into aquatic environments can lead to eutrophication and algal blooms; can increase human exposure to pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and parasites; can financially impact commercial shellfish harvest/fisheries and marine bathing areas; and can negatively affect access to recreational and/or commercial waterways to the detriment of local economies. Because of the damage that unregulated sewage discharge can do to environments and human health/marine life, recreational vessels in the United States are required by law to 'pump-out' sewage from their holding tanks into sewage treatment systems in all designated 'no discharge areas'. Many pump-out boats, which transfer waste out of recreational vessels, are operated and maintained using funds allocated through the Federal Clean Vessel Act (CVA). The East Shore District Health Department of Branford, Connecticut is protecting this estuary by pioneering the design and construction of the first-in-the-nation zero-emissions, the solar-electric pump-out boat of its size to replace one of its older traditional gasoline-powered models through a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection CVA Grant. This study, conducted in collaboration with the East Shore District Health Department, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, States Organization for Boating Access and Connecticut’s CVA program coordinators, had two aims: (1) To perform a national assessment of pump-out boat programs, supplemented by a limited international assessment, to establish best pump-out boat practices (regardless of how the boat is powered); and (2) to estimate the cost, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental and public health impacts of solar-electric versus traditional gasoline-powered pump-out boats. A national survey was conducted of all CVA-funded pump-out program managers and selected pump-out boat operators to gauge best practices; costs associated with gasoline-powered pump-out boat operation and management; and the regional, cultural, and policy-related issues that might arise from the adoption of solar-electric pump-out boat technology. We also conducted life-cycle analyses of gasoline-powered and solar-electric pump-out boats to compare their greenhouse gas emissions; production of air, soil and water pollution; and impacts on human health. This work comprises the most comprehensive study into pump-out boating practices in the United States to date, in which information obtained at local, state, national, and international levels is synthesized. This study aims to enable CVA programs to make informed recommendations for sustainable pump-out boating practices and identifies the challenges and opportunities that remain for the wide adoption of solar-electric pump-out boat technology.
Shifting Contexts and Shifting Identities: Campus Race-related Experiences, Racial Identity, and Achievement Motivation among Black College Students during the Transition to College
There has been recent renewed attention to Black students’ experiences at predominantly White U.S. universities (PWIs), e.g., the #BBUM (“Being Black at the University of Michigan”), “I too am Harvard” social media campaigns, and subsequent student protest activities nationwide. These campaigns illuminate how many minority students encounter challenges to their racial/ethnic identities as they enter PWI contexts. Students routinely report experiences such as being ignored or treated as a token in classes, receiving messages of low academic expectations by faculty and peers, being questioned about their academic qualifications or belonging, being excluded from academic and social activities, and being racially profiled and harassed in the broader campus community due to race. Researchers have linked such racial marginalization and stigma experiences to student motivation and achievement. One potential mechanism is through the impact of college experiences on students’ identities, given the relevance of the college context for students’ personal identity development, including personal beliefs systems around social identities salient in this context. However, little research examines the impact of the college context on Black students’ racial identities. This study examined change in Black college students’ (N=329) racial identity beliefs over the freshman year at three predominantly White U.S. universities. Using cluster analyses, we identified profile groups reflecting different patterns of stability and change in students’ racial centrality (importance of race to overall self-concept), private regard (personal group affect/group pride), and public regard (perceptions of societal views of Blacks) from beginning of year (Time 1) to end of year (Time 2). Multinomial logit regression analyses indicated that the racial identity change clusters were predicted by pre-college background (racial composition of high school and neighborhood), as well as college-based experiences (racial discrimination, interracial friendships, and perceived campus racial climate). In particular, experiencing campus racial discrimination related to high, stable centrality, and decreases in private regard and public regard. Perceiving racial climates norms of institutional support for intergroup interactions on campus related to maintaining low and decreasing in private and public regard. Multivariate Analyses of Variance results showed change cluster effects on achievement motivation outcomes at the end of students’ academic year. Having high, stable centrality and high private regard related to more positive outcomes overall (academic competence, positive academic affect, academic curiosity and persistence). Students decreasing in private regard and public regard were particularly vulnerable to negative motivation outcomes. Findings support scholarship indicating both stability in racial identity beliefs and the importance of critical context transitions in racial identity development and adjustment outcomes among emerging adults. Findings also are consistent with research suggesting promotive effects of a strong, positive racial identity on student motivation, as well as research linking awareness of racial stigma to decreased academic engagement.
Production, Characterisation, and in vitro Degradation and Biocompatibility of a Solvent-Free Polylactic-Acid/Hydroxyapatite Composite for 3D-Printed Maxillofacial Bone-Regeneration Implants
The current gold-standard for maxillofacial reconstruction surgery (MRS) utilizes auto-grafted cancellous bone as a filler. This study was aimed towards developing a polylactic-acid/hydroxyapatite (PLA-HA) composite suitable for fused-deposition 3D printing. Functionalization of the polymer through the addition of HA was directed to promoting bone-regeneration properties so that the material can rival the performance of cancellous bone grafts in terms of bone-lesion repair. This kind of composite enables the production of MRS implants based off 3D-reconstructions from image studies – namely computed tomography – for anatomically-correct fitting. The present study encompassed in-vitro degradation and in-vitro biocompatibility profiling for 3D-printed PLA and PLA-HA composites. PLA filament (Verbatim Co.) and Captal S hydroxyapatite micro-scale HA powder (Plasma Biotal Ltd) were used to produce PLA-HA composites at 5, 10, and 20%-by-weight HA concentration. These were extruded into 3D-printing filament, and processed in a BFB-3000 3D-Printer (3D Systems Co.) into tensile specimens, and were mechanically challenged as per ASTM D638-03. Furthermore, tensile specimens were subjected to accelerated degradation in phosphate-buffered saline solution at 70°C for 23 days, as per ISO-10993-13-2010. This included monitoring of mass loss (through dry-weighing), crystallinity (through thermogravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis), molecular weight (through gel-permeation chromatography), and tensile strength. In-vitro biocompatibility analysis included cell-viability and extracellular matrix deposition, which were performed both on flat surfaces and on 3D-constructs – both produced through 3D-printing. Discs of 1 cm in diameter and cubic 3D-meshes of 1 cm3 were 3D printed in PLA and PLA-HA composites (n = 6). The samples were seeded with 5000 MG-63 osteosarcoma-like cells, with cell viability extrapolated throughout 21 days via resazurin reduction assays. As evidence of osteogenicity, collagen and calcium deposition were indirectly estimated through Sirius Red staining and Alizarin Red staining respectively. Results have shown that 3D printed PLA loses structural integrity as early as the first day of accelerated degradation, which was significantly faster than the literature suggests. This was reflected in the loss of tensile strength down to untestable brittleness. During degradation, mass loss, molecular weight, and crystallinity behaved similarly to results found in similar studies for PLA. All composite versions and pure PLA were found to perform equivalent to tissue-culture plastic (TCP) in supporting the seeded-cell population. Significant differences (p = 0.05) were found on collagen deposition for higher HA concentrations, with composite samples performing better than pure PLA and TCP. Additionally, per-cell-calcium deposition on the 3D-meshes was significantly lower when comparing 3D-meshes to discs of the same material (p = 0.05). These results support the idea that 3D-printable PLA-HA composites are a viable resorbable material for artificial grafts for bone-regeneration. Degradation data suggests that 3D-printing of these materials – as opposed to other manufacturing methods – might result in faster resorption than currently-used PLA implants.
Development Programmes Requirements for Managing and Supporting the Ever-Dynamic Job Roles of Middle Managers in Higher Education Institutions: The Espousal Demanded from Human Resources Department; Case Studies of a New University in United Kingdom
Background: The fast-paced changing landscape of UK Higher Education Institution (HEIs) is poised by changes and challenges affecting Middle Managers (MM) in their job roles. MM contribute to the success of HEIs by balancing the equilibrium and pass organization strategies from senior staff towards operationalization directives to junior staff. However, this study showcased from the data analyzed during the semi structured interviews; MM job role is becoming more complex due to changes and challenges creating colossal pressures and workloads in day-to-day working. Current development programmes provisions by Human Resources (HR) departments in such HEIs are not feasible, applicable, and matching the true essence and requirements of MM who suggest that programmes offered by HR are too generic to suit their precise needs and require tailor made espousal to work effectively in their pertinent job roles. Methodologies: This study aims to capture demands of MM Development Needs (DN) by means of a conceptual model as conclusive part of the research that is divided into 2 phases. Phase 1 initiated by carrying out 2 pilot interviews with a retired Emeritus status professor and HR programmes development coordinator. Key themes from the pilot and literature review subsidized into formulation of 22 set of questions (Kvale and Brinkmann) in form of interviewing questionnaire during qualitative data collection. Data strategy and collection consisted of purposeful sampling of 12 semi structured interviews (n=12) lasting approximately an hour for all participants. The MM interviewed were at faculty and departmental levels which included; deans (n=2), head of departments (n=4), subject leaders (n=2), and lastly programme leaders (n=4). Participants recruitment was carried out via emails and snowballing technique. The interviews data was transcribed (verbatim) and managed using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis using Nvivo ver.11 software. Data was meticulously analyzed using Miles and Huberman inductive approach of positivistic style grounded theory, whereby key themes and categories emerged from the rich data collected. The data was precisely coded and classified into case studies (Robert Yin); with a main case study, sub cases (4 classes of MM) and embedded cases (12 individual MMs). Major Findings: An interim conceptual model emerged from analyzing the data with main concepts that included; key performance indicators (KPI’s), HEI effectiveness and outlook, practices, processes and procedures, support mechanisms, student events, rules, regulations and policies, career progression, reporting/accountability, changes and challenges, and lastly skills and attributes. Conclusion: Dynamic elements affecting MM includes; increase in government pressures, student numbers, irrelevant development programmes, bureaucratic structures, transparency and accountability, organization policies, skills sets… can only be confronted by employing structured development programmes originated by HR that are not provided generically. Future Work: Stage 2 (Quantitative method) of the study plans to validate the interim conceptual model externally through fully completed online survey questionnaire (Bram Oppenheim) from external HEIs (n=150). The total sample targeted is 1500 MM. Author contribution focuses on enhancing management theory and narrow the gap between by HR and MM development programme provision.