Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56068

Consumer Preferences towards Sorbets: A Questionnaire Study
Food choice is a complex human behaviour, that is influenced by many interrelating factors. It is important to understand what consumers really want to eat. Nowadays, the growing popularity of frozen desserts is observed. Among them, sorbets are of the special interest. They are made primarily of fruit juice or fruit purée, water and sugar. A questionnaire study was done to evaluate the consumer preferences towards sorbets. A hundred respondents were included in the study. The respondents answered the questions concerning, inter alia, on the favourite taste of sorbets, additional ingredients (pieces of fruits, nuts etc.), the reason for choosing the product and also the opinion about potential purchasing or not the new product. Women, more frequently than men, indicated strawberry sorbet or the product on the basis of citrus fruits as a favourite one. In turn, 14% of men chose the apple taste. Pieces of chocolate were chosen by most of respondents. Men, more often than women, regarded raisins, alcohol and nuts as the most desirable additional ingredients of sorbets. The candied fruits and spices were indicated more frequently by women. Most of respondents indicated the taste as the major reason for sorbet buying. In turn, for 20% women the most important determinant was the care for their figure. It was observed that more than a half of women regarded sorbets as healthier than traditional ice creams. Answering the question: 'If you had the opportunity to try a new sorbet, containing the ingredient with proven healthy properties, would you buy it?', significantly more men than women answered 'yes, because I like novelty'. Meanwhile, for 14% respondents (independently of gender) it would be only a publicity stunt. Knowing what the consumers desire in selecting a product, is a very important information to design and offer them a new one. Sorbets could be an interesting alternative to ice creams.
Parabolic Impact Law of High Frequency Exchanges on Price Formation in Commodities Market
Evaluation of High Frequency Trading (HFT) impact on financial markets is very important for traders who use market analysis to detect winning transaction opportunity. Analysis of HFT data on tobacco commodity market is discussed here and interesting linear relationship has been shown between trading frequency and difference between averaged trading prices above and below considered trading frequency. This may open new perspectives on markets data understanding and could provide possible interpretation of Adam Smith invisible hand.
Various Modification of Electrochemical Barrier Layer Thinning of Anodic Aluminum Oxide
In this paper, two options of anodic alumina barrier layer thinning have been demonstrated. The approaches varied with the duration of the voltage step. It was found that too long step of the barrier layer thinning process leads to chemical etching of the nanopores on their top. At the bottoms pores are not fully opened what is disadvantageous for further applications in nanofabrication. On the other hand, while the duration of the voltage step is controlled by the current density (value of the current density cannot exceed 75% of the value recorded during previous voltage step) the pores are fully opened. However, pores at the bottom obtained with this procedure have smaller diameter, nevertheless this procedure provides electric contact between the bare aluminum (substrate) and electrolyte, what is suitable for template assisted electrodeposition, one of the most cost-efficient synthesis method in nanotechnology.
The Effect of the Deposition Parameters on the Microstructural and Optical Properties of Mn-Doped GeTe Chalcogenide Materials
In this work, the effect of the magnetron sputtering system parameters on the optical properties of the Mn doped GeTe were investigated. The optical properties of the Ge1-xMnxTe thin films with different thicknesses are determined by analyzing the transmittance and reflectance data. The energy band gaps of the amorphous Mn-doped GeTe thin films with different thicknesses were calculated. The obtained results demonstrated that the energy band gap values of the amorphous films are quite different and they are dependent on the films thicknesses. The extinction coefficients of amorphous Mn-doped GeTe thin films as function of wavelength for different thicknesses were measured. The results showed that the extinction coefficients of all films are varying inversely with their optical transmission. Moreover, the results emphasis that, not only the microstructure, electrical and magnetic properties of Mn doped GeTe thin films vary with the films thicknesses but also the optical properties differ with the film thickness.
Theoretical Appraisal of Satisfactory Decision: Uncertainty, Evolutionary Ideas and Beliefs, Satisfactory Time Use
Unsatisfactory experiences due to an information shortage regarding the future pay-offs of actual choices, yield satisficing decision-making. This research will examine, for the first time in the literature, the motivation behind suboptimal decisions due to uncertainty by subjecting Adam Smith’s and Jeremy Bentham’s assumptions about the nature of the actions that lead to satisficing behavior, in order to clarify the theoretical background of a “consumption-based satisfactory time” concept. The contribution of this paper with respect to the existing literature is threefold: Firstly, it is showed in this paper that Adam Smith’s uncertainty is related to the problem of the constancy of ideas and not related directly to beliefs. Secondly, possessions, as in Jeremy Bentham’s oeuvre, are assumed to be just as pleasing, as protecting and improving the actual or expected quality of life, so long as they reduce any displeasure due to the undesired outcomes of uncertainty. Finally, each consumption decision incurs its own satisfactory time period, owed to not feeling hungry, being healthy, not having transportation…etc. This reveals that the level of satisfaction is indeed a behavioral phenomenon where its value would depend on the simultaneous satisfaction derived from all activities.
Exposing Latent Fingermarks on Problematic Metal Surfaces Using Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy
Fingermarks are a crucial form of evidence for identifying a person at a crime scene. However, visualising latent (hidden) fingermarks can be difficult, and the correct choice of techniques is essential to develop and preserve any fingermarks that might be present. Knives, firearms and other metal weapons have proven to be challenging substrates (stainless steel in particular) from which to reliably obtain fingermarks. In this study, time of flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) was used to image fingermarks on metal surfaces. This technique was compared to a conventional superglue based fuming technique that was accompanied by a series of contrast enhancing dyes (basic yellow 40 (BY40), crystal violet (CV) and Sudan black (SB)) on three different metal surfaces. The conventional techniques showed little to no evidence of fingermarks being present on the metal surfaces after a few days. However, ToF-SIMS images revealed fingermarks on the same and similar substrates with an exceptional level of detail demonstrating clear ridge definition as well as detail about sweat pore position and shape, that persist for over 26 days after deposition when the samples were stored under ambient conditions.
Distribution and Densities of Anopheles Mosquito in El Obied Town, Sudan
Environmental and weather changes especially rainfall affects the distribution and densities of mosquitoes. This work was carried out to study the distribution and densities of mosquitoes adults and larvae in a total of five selected stations in El Obied Town. A cross-sectional survey of Anopheline mosquito larval habitats was conducted. The survey was conducted during the dry season (January 2013). Larvae were collected by using the standard dipping technique, while adult stages were collected by rearing larvae in cage, because the density of adults Anopheles mosquito per room was zero by using spray sheet method by using Permethrin pesticide 25%E.C, during the study period. The results revealed that (2347) Anopheline mosquito larvae were found and collected from only one station. All of which (2347) larvae (100%) were classified as probably Anopheles Squamosus. The study also showed that, a number of 81 adults (100%) Anopheline mosquito were classified as probably Anopheles Squamosus. Anopheles Squamosus were found only in the shallow pond water habitat in Alrahma west area of El Obied, the mean Anopheline density in the study area for larvae was 0.313 per dip while the mean density of adult was 0 per room. The high mosquito larval density in Alrahma west area indicated that, this part of El Obied Town is at risk of mosquito-borne diseases including malaria. This study recommended to apply the control program against mosquito at this part of the Town.
Manipulator Development for Telediagnostics
This paper presents development of the light-weight manipulator with series elastic actuation for medical telediagnostics (USG examination). General structure of realized impedance control algorithm was shown. It was described how to perform force measurements based mainly on elasticity of manipulator links.
Effect of One-Period of SEAS Exercises on Some Spinal Biomechanical and Postural Parameters in the Students with Idiopathic Scoliosis
Objective: The new and modern lifestyle, especially in the twenty-first century and lack of movement in spinal structure have made patients and the physicians in the field of health and also other insurance companies in the developed and developing countries worry more than before about the abnormalities of spinal column- this great healthcare problem. The high prevalence of spinal column in all age groups -from children to adults- and in all professions have led the researchers to the idea of giving an opportunity to all those who worry about the dangers threatening the spinal column. Therefore, one of the corrective methods for these patients is using SEAS exercises. Materials and Methods: This study aims at investigating the effect of one-period of SEAS exercises on some spinal biomechanical and postural parameters in the students with idiopathic scoliosis. According to the nature of the study and research objectives as well as the data collection methods, the current research is a semi-empirical survey. The research population is comprised of students with idiopathic scoliosis. A total number of 30 students were selected using available sampling and divided into two groups of control and SEAS exercises. Scoliometer was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used to categorize the findings. Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical models were used to confirm that the distribution of the data is normal and T-test was used for effectiveness. Hypothesis testing was done using SPSS21. Conclusion: Results show that SEAS exercises have a significant effect in Adam’s Test. Therefore, according to the obtained results, SEAS exercises can be used to recover idiopathic scoliosis among the students. Further studies in larger samples and treatment, periods as well as more follow-up investigations appear to be essential to prove these effects.
Public Administrators, Code of Conduct and the Nigerian Society
The issue of ethics and values of public office holders in Nigerian has been and still is a matter of great mystery. Their behaviours in the discharge of their official responsibility remain unsatisfactory. The paper looks at the code of conduct and the societal values with which the Nigerian Administrators function today. Secondary sources of data were used. In conclusion, a change in attitude, reorientation, harsh and enforceable laws is required to reverse the trend.
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.
Block Implicit Adams Type Algorithms for Solution of First Order Differential Equation
The paper considers the derivation of implicit Adams-Moulton type method, with k=4 and 5. We adopted the method of interpolation and collocation of power series approximation to generate the continuous formula which was evaluated at off-grid and some grid points within the step length to generate the proposed block schemes, the schemes were investigated and found to be consistent and zero stable. Finally, the methods were tested with numerical experiments to ascertain their level of accuracy.
An Exploration of Anti-Terrorism Laws in Nigeria
This work seeks to review the security challenges facing Nigeria and explore the relevance of laws and policies in tackling the menace. The work looks at the adequacy of available legislations and the functionality of relevant institutions such as the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force, the State Security Service, the Defence Intelligence Agency and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency etc. Comparisons would be made with other jurisdictions, such as inter alia, the Homeland Security in the USA and Counter Terrorism Laws of the United Kingdom. Recommendations would be made on how to strengthen both institutions and laws to curtail the growth of Terrorism in Nigeria.
Deep Learning for Renewable Power Forecasting: An Approach Using LSTM Neural Networks
Load forecasting has become crucial in recent years and become popular in forecasting area. Many different power forecasting models have been tried out for this purpose. Electricity load forecasting is necessary for energy policies, healthy and reliable grid systems. Effective power forecasting of renewable energy load leads the decision makers to minimize the costs of electric utilities and power plants. Forecasting tools are required that can be used to predict how much renewable energy can be utilized. The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of LSTM-based neural networks for estimating renewable energy loads. In this study, we present models for predicting renewable energy loads based on deep neural networks, especially the Long Term Memory (LSTM) algorithms. Deep learning allows multiple layers of models to learn representation of data. LSTM algorithms are able to store information for long periods of time. Deep learning models have recently been used to forecast the renewable energy sources such as predicting wind and solar energy power. Historical load and weather information represent the most important variables for the inputs within the power forecasting models. The dataset contained power consumption measurements are gathered between January 2016 and December 2017 with one-hour resolution. Models use publicly available data from the Turkish Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism. Forecasting studies have been carried out with these data via deep neural networks approach including LSTM technique for Turkish electricity markets. 432 different models are created by changing layers cell count and dropout. The adaptive moment estimation (ADAM) algorithm is used for training as a gradient-based optimizer instead of SGD (stochastic gradient). ADAM performed better than SGD in terms of faster convergence and lower error rates. Models performance is compared according to MAE (Mean Absolute Error) and MSE (Mean Squared Error). Best five MAE results out of 432 tested models are 0.66, 0.74, 0.85 and 1.09. The forecasting performance of the proposed LSTM models gives successful results compared to literature searches.
New Method for the Synthesis of Different Pyrroloquinazolinoquinolin Alkaloids
Luotonins and its derivatives (Isoluotonins) are alkaloids from the aerial parts of Peganum nigellastrum Bunge that display three major skeleton types. Luotonins A, B, and E are pyrroloquinazolinoquinoline alkaloids. A few methods were known for the sysnthesis of Isoluotonin. All luotonins have shown promising cytotoxicities towards selected human cancer cell lines, especially against leukemia P-388 cells. Luotonin A is the most active one, with its activity stemming from topoisomerase I-dependent DNA-cleavage. Such intriguing biological activities and unique structures have led not only to the development of synthetic methods for the efficient synthesis of these compounds, but also to interest in structural modifications for improving the biological properties. Recent progress in the study of luotonins is covered.
Deep Learning for Renewable Power Forecasting: An Approach Using Long Short Term Memory Neural Networks
Load forecasting has become crucial in recent years and become popular in forecasting area. Most traditional forecasting models and artificial intelligence techniques have been tried out for this purpose. Electricity load forecasting is necessary for energy policies, healthy and reliable grid systems. Effective power forecasting of renewable energy load leads the decision makers to minimize the costs of electric utilities and power plants. Predictive tools are required which can be used to determine sufficiently far in advance how much renewable energy utilized. The goal of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using LSTM based neural networks for renewable energy load forecasting. This paper presents renewable energy load forecasting methodology based on Deep Neural Networks, specifically Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) algorithms. Deep learning allows models composed of multiple layers to learn representations of data. LSTM algorithms are able to store information for long periods of time. Deep Learning architectures have recently been used to forecast the renewable energy sources such as predicting wind and solar energy power. Historical load and weather temperature data represent the most important variables for the inputs within the power forecasting models. The dataset contained power consumption measurements are gathered between January 2016 and December 2017 with one-hour resolution. Models use publicly available data from the Turkish Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism. Forecasting studies have been carried out with these data via Deep Neural Networks approach including LSTM technique for Turkish electricity markets. 432 different models are created by changing layers cell count, batch size and dropout. For training, ADAM algorithm is used as the gradient based optimizer, instead of SGD (stochastic gradient descent). ADAM outperformed SGD in terms of faster convergence and lower error ratios. Models performance is compared according to MAE (Mean Absolute Error). Best five MAE results out of 432 tested models are 0.66, 0.74, 0.85 and 1.09. The forecasting performance of the proposed LSTM models gives successful results compared to literature searches.
Relationships between Social Entrepreneurship, CSR and Social Innovation: In Theory and Practice
The shared goal of social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and social innovation is the advancement of society. The business model of social enterprises is characterized by unique strategies based on the competencies of the entrepreneurs, and is not aimed primarily at the maximization of profits, but rather at carrying out goals for the benefit of society. Corporate social responsibility refers to the active behavior of a company, by which it can create new solutions to meet the needs of society, either on its own or in cooperation with other social stakeholders. The objectives of this article are to define concepts, describe and integrate relevant theoretical models, develop a model and introduce some examples of international practice that can inspire initiatives for social development.
Projectification: Using Project Management Methodology to Manage the Academic Program Review
While research is rich with what criteria could be included in the academic program review processes, there is rarely any mention of how this significant and complex process should be managed. This paper proposes using project management methodology in alignment with the program review criteria of the Dickeson’s Prioritizing Academic Programs model. Project management and academic program review share two distinct characteristics; one is their life cycle, and the second is the core knowledge areas they use. This aligned and structured approach offers academic administrators a step-by-step guide that can help them manage this process and effectively assess academic programs.
Thermal Method Production of the Hydroxyapatite from Bone By-Products from Meat Industry
Introduction: Request for compound of phosphorus grows continuously, thus, it is searched for alternative sources of this element. One of these sources could be by-products from meat industry which contain prominent quantity of phosphorus compounds. Hydroxyapatite, which is natural component of animal and human bones, is leading material applied in bone surgery and also in stomatology. This is material, which is biocompatible, bioactive and osteoinductive. Methodology: Hydroxyapatite preparation: As a raw material was applied deproteinized and defatted bone pulp called bone sludge, which was formed as waste in deproteinization process of bones, in which a protein hydrolysate was the main product. Hydroxyapatite was received in calcining process in chamber kiln with electric heating in air atmosphere in two stages. In the first stage, material was calcining in temperature 600°C within 3 hours. In the next stage unified material was calcining in three different temperatures (750°C, 850°C and 950°C) keeping material in maximum temperature within 3.0 hours. Bone sludge: Bone sludge was formed as waste in deproteinization process of bones, in which a protein hydrolysate was the main product. Pork bones coming from the partition of meat were used as a raw material for the production of the protein hydrolysate. After disintegration, a mixture of bone pulp and water with a small amount of lactic acid was boiled at temperature 130-135°C and under pressure4 bar. After 3-3.5 hours boiled-out bones were separated on a sieve, and the solution of protein-fat hydrolysate got into a decanter, where bone sludge was separated from it. Results of the study: The phase composition was analyzed by roentgenographic method. Hydroxyapatite was the only crystalline phase observed in all the calcining products. XRD investigation was shown that crystallization degree of hydroxyapatite was increased with calcining temperature. Conclusion: The researches were shown that phosphorus content is around 12%, whereas, calcium content amounts to 28% on average. The conducted researches on bone-waste calcining at the temperatures of 750-950°C confirmed that thermal utilization of deproteinized bone-waste was possible. X-ray investigations were confirmed that hydroxyapatite is the main component of calcining products, and also XRD investigation was shown that crystallization degree of hydroxyapatite was increased with calcining temperature. Contents of calcium and phosphorus were distinctly increased with calcining temperature, whereas contents of phosphorus soluble in acids were decreased. It could be connected with higher crystallization degree of material received in higher temperatures and its stable structure. Acknowledgements: “The authors would like to thank the The National Centre for Research and Development (Grant no: LIDER//037/481/L-5/13/NCBR/2014) for providing financial support to this project”.
Amyloid-β Fibrils Remodeling by an Organic Molecule: Insight from All-Atomic Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common forms of dementia, which is caused by misfolding and aggregation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides into amyloid-β fibrils (Aβ fibrils). To disrupt the remodeling of Aβ fibrils, a number of candidate molecules have been proposed. To study the molecular mechanisms of Aβ fibrils remodeling we performed a series of all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, a total time of 3µs, in explicit solvent. Several previously undiscovered candidate molecule-Aβ fibrils binding modes are unraveled; one of which shows the direct conformational change of the Aβ fibril by understanding the physicochemical factors responsible for binding and subsequent remodeling of Aβ fibrils by the candidate molecule, open avenues into structure-based drug design for AD can be opened.
A Review of Transformer Modeling for Power Line Communication Applications
Power Line Communications (PLC) is being employed in existing power systems, despite the infrastructure not being designed with PLC considerations in mind. Given that power transformers can last for decades, the distribution transformer in particular exists as a relic of un-optimized technology. To determine issues that may need to be addressed in subsequent designs of such transformers, it is essential to have a highly accurate transformer model for simulations and subsequent optimization for the PLC environment, with a view to increase data speed, throughput, and efficiency, while improving overall system stability and reliability. This paper reviews various methods currently available for creating transformer models and provides insights into the requirements of each for obtaining high accuracy. The review indicates that a combination of traditional analytical methods using a hybrid approach gives good accuracy at reasonable costs.
A Model of Preventing Global Financial Crisis: Gauss Law Model Proposal Used in Electrical Field Calculations
This article examines the relationship between economics and physics, starting with Adam Smith, with a new econophysics approach in Economics-Physics with the Gauss Law model proposal using for the Electric Field calculation, which will allow us to anticipate the Global Financial Crisis. For this purpose, the similarities between the Gauss Law using the electric field calculations and the global financial crisis have been explained on the formula, and a model has been suggested to predict the risks of the financial systems from the electricity field calculations. Thus, this study is expected to help for preventing the Global Financial Crisis with the contribution of the science of economics and physics from the aspect of econophysics.
Investigating the Demand of Short-Shelf Life Food Products for SME Wholesalers
Accurate prediction of fresh produce demand is one the challenges faced by Small Medium Enterprise (SME) wholesalers. Current research in this area focused on limited number of factors specific to a single product or a business type. This paper gives an overview of the current literature on the variability factors used to predict demand and the existing forecasting techniques of short shelf life products. It then extends it by adding new factors and investigating if there is a time lag and possibility of noise in the orders. It also identifies the most important factors using correlation and Principal Component Analysis (PCA).
Formulation of Corrector Methods from 3-Step Hybid Adams Type Methods for the Solution of First Order Ordinary Differential Equation
This paper focuses on the formulation of 3-step hybrid Adams type method for the solution of first order differential equation (ODE). The methods which was derived on both grid and off grid points using multistep collocation schemes and also evaluated at some points to produced Block Adams type method and Adams moulton method respectively. The method with the highest order was selected to serve as the corrector. The convergence was valid and efficient. The numerical experiments were carried out and reveal that hybrid Adams type methods performed better than the conventional Adams moulton method.
Cutting Tool-Life Test of Ceramic Insert for Engine Sleeve
The article is looking for an experimental determination of tool life tests for ceramic cutting inserts. Mentioned experimental determination should provide an added information about cutting process. The mechanism of tool wear, cutting temperature in machining, quality machined surface and machining process itself is the information, which are important for whole manufacturing process. Mainly, the roughness plays very important role in determining how a real object will interact with its environment. The main aim was to determine the number of machined inserts, tool life and micro-geometry, as well. On the basis of previous tests the tool-wear was measured at constant cutting parameter which is more typical for high volume manufacturing processes.
A New Method for Fault Detection
Consider a distributed system that delivers messages from a process to another. Such a system is often required to deliver each message to its destination regardless of whether or not the system components experience arbitrary forms of faults. In addition, each message received by the destination must be a message sent by a system process. In this paper, we first identify the necessary and sufficient conditions to detect some restricted form of Byzantine faults referred to as modifying Byzantine faults. An observable form of a Byzantine fault whose effect is limited to the modification of a message metadata or content, timing and omission faults, and message replay is referred to as a modifying Byzantine fault. We then present a distributed protocol to detect modifying Byzantine faults using optimal number of messages over node-disjoint paths.
The Effect of the Thermal Temperature and Injected Current on Laser Diode 808 nm Output Power
In this paper, the effect of the injected current and temperature into the output power of the laser diode module operating at 808nm were applied, studied and discussed. Low power diode laser was employed as a source. The experimental results were demonstrated and then the output power of laser diode module operating at 808nm was clearly changed by the thermal temperature and injected current. The output power increases by the increasing the injected current and temperature. We also showed that the increasing of the injected current results rising in heat, which also, results into decreasing of the laser diode output power during the highest temperature as well. The best ranges of characteristics made by diode module operating at 808nm were carefully handled and determined.
Approach for an Integrative Technology Assessment Method Combining Product Design and Manufacturing Process
The systematic evaluation of manufacturing technologies with regard to the potential for product designing constitutes a major challenge. Until now, conventional evaluation methods primarily consider the costs of manufacturing technologies. Thus, the potential of manufacturing technologies for achieving additional product design features is not completely captured. To compensate this deficit, final evaluations of new technologies are mainly intuitive in practice. Therefore, an additional evaluation dimension is needed which takes the potential of manufacturing technologies for specific realizable product designs into account. In this paper, we present the approach of an evaluation method for selecting manufacturing technologies with regard to their potential for product designing. This research is done within the Fraunhofer innovation cluster »AdaM« (Adaptive Manufacturing) which targets the development of resource efficient and adaptive manufacturing technology processes for complex turbo machinery components.
Modifying Byzantine Fault Detection Using Disjoint Paths
Consider a distributed system that delivers messages from a process to another. Such a system is often required to deliver each message to its destination regardless of whether or not the system components experience arbitrary forms of faults. In addition, each message received by the destination must be a message sent by a system process. In this paper, we first identify the necessary and sufficient conditions to detect some restricted form of Byzantine faults referred to as modifying Byzantine faults. An observable form of a Byzantine fault whose effect is limited to the modification of a message metadata or content, timing and omission faults, and message replay is referred to as a modifying Byzantine fault. We then present a distributed protocol to detect modifying Byzantine faults using optimal number of messages over node-disjoint paths.
ICT in Education – A Quest for Quality Learning in the 21st Century
The paper discusses ICT in Education as a quest for quality learning in the 21st century. Education is the key that unlock the door to development, without adequate education of the citizenry, the development of a nation becomes a sham. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has revolutionized the way people work today and are now transforming education systems. As a result, if schools train children in yesterday’s skills and technologies they may not be effective and fit in tomorrow’s world. This is a sufficient reason for ICT’s to win global recognition and attention and thus ensure desire quality in our school system. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to discuss amongst others, what is ICT. The roles of ICT’s in education, limitation and key challenges of integrating ICT to education in the enhancement of student learning and experiences in other to encourage policy makers, school administrators and teachers pay the required attention to integrate this technology in the education system. The paper concludes that regardless of all the limitation characterizing it. ICT benefit education system to provide quality education in the 21st century.
Investigation of the Grain-Boundary Segregation Transition in the Binary Fe-C Alloy
Grain boundary segregation transition (GBST) has been calculated by a thermodynamic model in binary alloys. The method is used on cementite (Fe3C) segregation in base-centered cubic (ferrite) iron (Fe) in the Fe-C binary system. The GBST line is shown in the Fe3C lacking part of the phase diagram with high solvent (Fe) concentration. At a lower solute content (C) or at higher temperature the grain boundary is composed mostly of the solvent atoms (Fe). On higher concentration compared to the GBST line or at lower temperature a phase transformation occurs at the grain boundary, the latter mostly composed of the associates (Fe3C). These low-segregation and high-segregation states are first order interfacial phase transitions of the grain boundary and can be transformed into each other reversibly. These occur when the GBST line is crossed by changing the bulk composition or temperature.
Multimodal Database of Emotional Speech, Video and Gestures
People express emotions through different modalities. Integration of verbal and non-verbal communication channels creates a system in which the message is easier to understand. Expanding the focus to several expression forms can facilitate research on emotion recognition as well as human-machine interaction. In this article, the authors present a Polish emotional database composed of three modalities: facial expressions, body movement and gestures, and speech. The corpora contains recordings registered in studio conditions, acted out by 16 professional actors (8 male and 8 female). The data is labeled with six basic emotions categories, according to Ekman’s emotion categories. To check the quality of performance, all recordings are evaluated by experts and volunteers. The database is available to academic community and might be useful in the study on audio-visual emotion recognition.
Investigation of Biogas from Slaughterhouse and Dairy Farm Waste
Wastes from slaughterhouses in most towns in Sudan are often poorly managed and sometimes discharged into adjoining streams due to poor implementation of standards, thus causing environmental and public health hazards and also there is a large amount of manure from dairy farms. This paper presents a solution of organic waste from cow dairy farms and slaughterhouse. We present the findings of experimental investigation of biogas production using cow manure, blood and rumen content were mixed at three proportions :72.3%, 61%, 39% manure, 6%, 8.5%, 22% blood; and 21.7%, 30.5%, 39% rumen content in volume for bio-digester 1,2,3 respectively. This paper analyses the quantitative and qualitative composition of biogas: gas content, and the concentration of methane. The highest biogas output 0.116L/g dry matter from bio-digester1 together with a high-quality biogas of 85% methane Was from the mixture of cow manure with blood and rumen content were mixed at 72.3%manure, 6%blood and 21.7%rumen content which is useful for combustion and energy production. While bio-digester 2 and 3 gave 0.012L/g dry matter and 0.013L/g dry matter respectively with the weak concentration of methane (50%).
Kinetic Modeling of Transesterification of Triacetin Using Synthesized Ion Exchange Resin (SIERs)
Strong anion exchange resins with QN+OH-, have the potential to be developed and employed as heterogeneous catalyst for transesterification, as they are chemically stable to leaching of the functional group. Nine different SIERs (SIER1-9) with QN+OH- were prepared by suspension polymerization of vinylbenzyl chloride-divinylbenzene (VBC-DVB) copolymers in the presence of n-heptane (pore-forming agent). The amine group was successfully grafted into the polymeric resin beads through functionalization with trimethylamine. These SIERs are then used as a catalyst for the transesterification of triacetin with methanol. A set of differential equations that represents the Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen-Watson (LHHW) and Eley-Rideal (ER) models for the transesterification reaction were developed. These kinetic models of LHHW and ER were fitted to the experimental data. Overall, the synthesized ion exchange resin-catalyzed reaction were well-described by the Eley-Rideal model compared to LHHW models, with sum of square error (SSE) of 0.742 and 0.996, respectively.
Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Beta-Glucosidase of Streptomyces
Beta-glucosidase is the key enzyme component present in cellulase and completes the final step during cellulose hydrolysis by converting the cellobiose to glucose. The regulatory properties of beta-glucosidases are most commonly found for the retaining and inverting enzymes. Hydrolysis of a glycoside typically occurs with general acid and general base assistance from two amino acid side chains, normally glutamic or aspartic acids. In order to obtain more detailed information on the dynamic events origination from the interaction with enzyme active site, we carried out molecular dynamics simulations of beta-glycosidase in protonated state (Glu-H178) and deprotonated state (Glu178). The theoretical models generated from our molecular dynamics simulations complement and advance the structural information currently available, leading to a more detailed understanding of Beta-glycosidase structure and function. This article presents the important role of Asn307 in enzyme activity of beta-glucosidase
A Pole Radius Varying Notch Filter with Transient Suppression for Electrocardiogram
Noise removal techniques play a vital role in the performance of electrocardiographic (ECG) signal processing systems. ECG signals can be corrupted by various kinds of noise such as baseline wander noise, electromyographic interference, and power-line interference. One of the significant challenges in ECG signal processing is the degradation caused by additive 50 or 60 Hz power-line interference. This work investigates the removal of power line interference and suppression of transient response for filtering noise corrupted ECG signals. We demonstrate the effectiveness of Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) notch filter with time varying pole radius for improving the transient behavior. The temporary change in the pole radius of the filter diminishes the transient behavior. Simulation results show that the proposed IIR filter with time varying pole radius outperforms traditional IIR notch filters in terms of mean square error and transient suppression.
Land Use Sensitivity Map for the Extreme Flood Events in the Kelantan River Basin
Kelantan river basin as a flood prone area at the east coast of the peninsular Malaysia has suffered several flood and mudflow events in the recent years. The current research attempted to assess the land cover changes impact in the Kelantan river basin focused on the runoff contributions from different land cover classes and the potential impact of land cover changes on runoff generation. In this regards, the hydrological regional modeling of rainfall induced runoff event as the improved transient rainfall infiltration and grid based regional model (Improved-TRIGRS) was employed to compute rate of infiltration, and subsequently changes in the discharge volume in this study. The effects of land use changes on peak flow and runoff volume was investigated using storm rainfall events during the last three decades.
Heat Transfer and Turbulent Fluid Flow over Vertical Double Forward-Facing Step
Numerical study of heat transfer and fluid flow over vertical double forward facing step were presented. The k-w model with finite volume method was employed to solve continuity, momentum, and energy equations. Different step heights were adopted for range of Reynolds number varied from 10000 to 40000, and range of temperature varied from 310K to 340 K. The straight side of duct is insulated while the side of double forward facing step is heated. The result shows augmentation of heat transfer due to the recirculation region created after and before steps. Effect of step length and Reynolds number observed on increase of local Nusselt number particularly at recirculation regions. Contour of streamline velocity is plotted to show recirculation regions after and before steps. Numerical simulation in this paper done by used ANSYS Fluent 14.
Cracking of Tar Analogue in N₂ Carrier Gas Using Non-Thermal Plasma Dielectric Barrier Discharge Reactor
The role of N₂ carrier gas towards the conversion of tar analogue was studied in a non-thermal plasma dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor. The important parameters such as power (5-40W), residence time (1.41-4.23 s), concentration (20-82 g/Nm³), and temperature (Ambient-400°C) were explored. The present study demonstrated that plasma power and residence time played a key role in the decomposition of toluene, and almost complete removal of toluene was observed at 40w and 4.23 s. H₂ is obtained as a major gaseous product with a maximum selectivity of 40% along with some lighter hydrocarbons (5.5%). The removal efficiency of toluene slightly decreases with increasing the concentration of toluene from 20 g/Nm³ to 82 g/Nm³. The solid residue formation takes place inside the plasma reactor. The selectivity of LHC (lower hydrocarbons) increased up to 15% by increasing the temperature to 400°C. Introducing H₂ to the gas at elevated temperature opens up new reaction routes to raise the selectivity to lower hydrocarbons. The selectivity to methane reaches to 42% using 35% H₂ at 400°C and total selectivity of LHC increases to 57%.
Crop Water Productivity for Sunflower under Different Irrigation Regimes and Plant Spacing, at Gezira Clay Soil, Sudan
A field experiment was conducted at Gezira research station farm during the winter season in the third week of November 2012, in WadMedani, Sudan (Lat 14.23 W, Long 33.39 E and altitude 405 m above sea level, in deep cracking alkaline heavy clay Vertisols). The objective of this study was to determine the effect of three different irrigation for 10 days (W1), 15 days (W2) and 20 days (W3) and for two rows of 30 cm (S1) and 40 cm (S2), respectively. The experimental design was split plot with three replicates. The sunflower test variety was Hysun 33 cultivar. The seasonal water applied during the study was 6898, 6647, 5256, 5435, 5214, 5416 m3/ha for W1S1, W1S2, W2S1, W2S2, W3S1 and W3S2 respectively. The seed yield obtained for the above treatment in that sequence was 4208, 5542, 5167, 4579, 2931, 2936 kg/ha. The corresponding computed water productivity was 0.61, 0.82, 0.87, 0.95, 0.54, 0.56 kg/m3. The study clearly indicated that the highest seed yield was obtained when the crop was sown at 40 cm row spacing and was irrigated every 10 days (W1S2), followed by W2S1.
Flexible Ureterorenoscopy as a New Possibility of Treating Nephrolithiasis in Children – Preliminary Reports
Introduction: Flexible ureterorenoscopy is a surgery technique used for the treatment of the upper urinary tract. It is very often used in adult patients; however, due to the advancing miniaturization of the equipment as well as its precision, this technique has also become possible in the treatment process in children. Material and method: We would like to present 26 cases of flexible ureterorenoscopy carried out in children with nephrolithiasis of the upper urinary tract aged 6 to 17 years. The average age was 9.5 years and the children were treated in our department from June 2013 to January 2015. The first surgery in Poland took place in our Department on 06.06.2013. Because of nephrolithiasis all the children had been subjected earlier to ESWL treatment, which was unsuccessful. Results: 14 children had deposits in the lower calyx, 9 children had deposits in the middle and lower calyx and in 3 children a stone was located in the initial ureter. An efficiency of 88 % was achieved. Conclusions: Flexible ureterorenoscopy is effective and minimally invasive tool both for the diagnosis and treatment of upper urinary tract. We believe that the advancing miniaturization of the equipment and gaining experience will enable carrying out of this procedure in smaller children with high efficiency.
Study of the Effect of Using Corn-Cob Ash on Mortar and Concrete Properties: Case Study of Sudan
The use of pozzolanic materials in concrete industry is facing challenges due to unpredictable behavior of natural materials. Corncob ash (CCA) is considered to be one of the promising plant-based materials that possess cementitious properties. Corn is one of the major planted crops in Sudan. Corncob is considered as waste and normally thrown away or burnt. The main purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that CCA can sufficiently replace cement in a concrete mixture or a cement mortar. In this study, CCA was used to replace cement in mortar in three percentages: 0, 20, and 25%. The effect of this replacement was found to be positive in terms of long-term compressive strength, while not as such in short-term compressive strength. In the concrete mix, the introduction of CCA was found to have a positive impact on the slump test characteristics, whereas the early and late compressive strengths deteriorated by approximately 30%. More research is needed in this area to upgrade the efficient use of CCA in cement mortar and concrete properties.
N₂O₂ Salphen-Like Ligand and Its Pd(II), Ag(I) and Cu(II) Complexes as Potentially Anticancer Agents: Design, Synthesis, Antimicrobial, CT-DNA Binding and Molecular Docking
In this investigation, Cu(II), Pd(II) and Ag(I) complexes with the tetra-dentate DSPH Schiff base ligand were synthesized. The DSPH Schiff base and its complexes were characterized by using different physicochemical and spectral analysis. The results revealed that the metal ions coordinated with DSPH ligand through azomethine nitrogen and phenolic oxygen. Cu(II), Pd(II) and Ag(I) complexes are present in a 1:1 molar ratio. Pd(II) and Ag(I) complexes have square planar geometries while, Cu(II) has a distorted octahedral (Oh) geometry. All investigated complexes are nonelectrolytes. The investigated compounds were tested against different strains of bacteria and fungi. Both prepared compounds showed good results of inhibition against the selected pathogenic microorganism. Moreover, the interaction of investigated complexes with CT-DNA was studied via various techniques and the binding modes are mainly intercalative and grooving modes. Operating Environment MOE package was used to do docking studies for the investigated complexes to explore the potential binding mode and energy. Furthermore, the growth inhibitory effect of the investigated compounds was examined on some cancer cells lines.
Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) as an Index Measurement for Power Transmission Grid Performance
Transmission system performance analysis is vital to proper planning and operations of power systems in the presence of deregulation. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are often used as measure of degree of performance. This paper gives a novel method to determine the transmission efficiency by evaluating the ratio of real power losses incurred from a specified transfer direction. Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) expresses the percentage of real power received resulting from inter-area available power transfer. The Tie line (Rated system path) performance is seen to differ from system wide (Network response) performance and ATTE values obtained are transfer direction specific. The required sending end quantities with specified receiving end ATC and the receiving end power circle diagram are obtained for the tie line analysis. The amount of real power loss load relative to the available transfer capability gives a measure of the transmission grid efficiency.
A Novel Co-Culture System for the Cementoblastic Differentiation of SHED
Endodontic furcal perforation remains both an endodontic and a periodontal problem. Regeneration of cementum is very essential for the perforation repair. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS) cells on the cementogenic differentiation of stem cells derived from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) in the presence of chitosan scaffold-TGFβ1. HERS cells were isolated and characterized then co-cultured with SHED with/without chitosan scaffold-TGFβ1. SHED proliferation was assessed by PrestoBlue. Alkaline phosphatase activity, mineralization behaviour and gene/protein expression of cemento/osteoblast phenotype of SHED were evaluated. Results of the present study showed that HERS cells in association with chitosan-TGFβ1 enhanced proliferation and cemento/osteogenic differentiation of SHED. Our novel co-culture system confirmed the potential effect of HERS cells to stimulate the differentiation of SHED along the cementoblastic lineage which was triggered in the presence of chitosan-TGFβ1. This approach possesses a novel therapeutic strategy for future endodontic perforation and periodontitis.
The Success Rate of Anterior Crowding Orthodontic Treatment Using Removable Appliances
Orthodontic treatment can be done by using the fix and removable orthodontic appliance. The success of treatment depends on the patient’s age, the type of malocclusion, treatment of space discrepancy, patient’s oral hygiene, operator skills, and patient cooperation. This case report was aimed to show the success of orthodontic treatment in patients with skeletal class I relationship, class I angle dental malocclusion with anterior crowding and rotation by using a removable appliance with modification. The removable appliance used is standard with removable plate components such as passive clasp (Adam’s hook clasp) accompanied with some active clasps (labial bow, some springs, etc.). A button is used as an additional tool or combined with other tools to correct tooth in rotated position. The results obtained by the success of treatments which is shown in pre and post-treatment photos, the overjet was reduced, the arch form became normal, the tooth malposition became normal, and rotation was corrected. Facial profile appearance of the patient is getting better, and the dental coordination also became better. This case report is to prove that treatment with the removable appliance is quite successful with the robust wearing of appropriate retainers.
A Fundamental Study on the Molecular Chemistry of Agarwood Water Mixture
Essential oil of agarwood or known as Gaharu in Malay is highly prized for its value as luxury fragrances and incense. However, the complexities of the chemical composition of agarwood itself is the main challenge for establishment of an effective recovery method, which is able to ensure uniform qualities and standard for each batch of essential oil production. Agarwood markers are actually a blend of volatile and non-volatile compounds. While volatile molecules could be easily retrieved by the present distillation technique, the high solubility properties are the limiting factor for the latter. With regard to this, an elementary chemistry resolution study had been performed on commercial agarwood essential oil-water mixture, by the application of preparative HPLC and FTIR. Interpretation of the results leads to the theoretical postulation that, agarwood water mixture comprise of agarospirol, jinkohol, jinkoh eremol and khusenol. This study provides a pinpoint on the chemical characteristics of water soluble (non-volatile) agarwood compounds, therefore, will be an insight for researchers to develop a more strategic technique for their extraction. Thereafter the optimum quality of this essential oil could be controlled in a more improved way.
Association of Selected Polymorphisms of BER Pathway with the Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Polish Population
The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing from year to year. Despite intensive research CRC etiology remains unknown. Studies suggest that at the basis of the process of carcinogenesis can lie reduced efficiency of DNA repair mechanisms, often caused by polymorphisms in DNA repair genes. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between gene polymorphisms Pro242Arg of PolB gene and Arg780His of Lig3 gene and modulation of the risk of colorectal cancer in the Polish population. Determination of the molecular basis of carcinogenesis process and predicting increased risk will allow qualifying patients to increased risk group and including them in preventive program. We used blood collected from 110 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The control group consisted of equal number of healthy people. Genotyping was performed by TaqMan method. The obtained results indicate that the genotype 780Arg/His of Lig3 gene is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. On the basis of these results, we conclude that Lig3 gene polymorphism Arg780His may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Social Enterprise Strategies for Financial Sustainability in the Economic Literature
Due to persistent socioeconomic problems regarding sustainability and labour market equilibrium in Europe, the subjects of social economy gained considerable academic attention recently. At the meantime, social enterprises pursuing the double bottom line criteria, struggling to find the proper management philosophies and strategies to make their social purpose business financially sustainable. Despite the strategic management literature was developed mainly on the bases of large corporations, in the past years, the interpretation of strategy concepts became a frequent topic in scientific discussions in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises also. The topic of strategic orientations is a good example of the trend. However, less is known about the case of social enterprises, despite the fact, the majority of them are small businesses engaged in real business activities. The main purpose of this work is to give a comprehensive summary of different perspectives regarding the interpretations of strategic orientations of social enterprises. The novelty of this work is it shows the previous outcomes and models of scholars from various fields of economic science who tried to intertwine the two spheres in different forms, methodize the findings and draw attention to the shortcomings.
Enhancing of Biogas Production from Slaughterhouse and Dairy Farm Waste with Pasteurization
Wastes from slaughterhouses in most towns in Sudan are often poorly managed and sometimes discharged into adjoining streams due to poor implementation of standards, thus causing environmental and public health hazards and also there is a large amount of manure from dairy farms. This paper presents solution of organic waste from cow dairy farms and slaughterhouse the anaerobic digestion and biogas production. The paper presents the findings of experimental investigation of biogas production with and without pasteurization using cow manure, blood and rumen content were mixed at two proportions, 72.3% manure, 21.7%, rumen content and 6% blood for bio digester1with 62% dry matter at the beginning and without pasteurization and 72.3% manure, 21.7%, rumen content and 6% blood for bio-digester2 with 10% dry matter and pasteurization. The paper analyses the quantitative and qualitative composition of biogas: gas content, the concentration of methane. The highest biogas output 2.9 mL/g dry matter/day (from bio-digester2) together with a high quality biogas of 87.4% methane content which is useful for combustion and energy production and healthy bio-fertilizer but biodigester1 gave 1.68 mL/g dry matter/day with methane content 85% which is useful for combustion, energy production and can be considered as new technology of dryer bio-digesters.
Improved Multi-Channel Separation Algorithm for Satellite-Based Automatic Identification System Signals Based on Artificial Bee Colony and Adaptive Moment Estimation
The applications of satellite-based automatic identification system (S-AIS) pave the road for wide-range maritime traffic monitoring and management. But the coverage of satellite’s view includes multiple AIS self-organizing networks, which leads to the collision of AIS signals from different cells. The contribution of this work is to propose an improved multi-channel blind source separation algorithm based on Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) and advanced stochastic optimization to perform separation of the mixed AIS signals. The proposed approach adopts modified ABC algorithm to get an optimized initial separating matrix, which can expedite the initialization bias correction, and utilizes the Adaptive Moment Estimation (Adam) to update the separating matrix by adjusting the learning rate for each parameter dynamically. Simulation results show that the algorithm can speed up convergence and lead to better performance in separation accuracy.
Experimental Investigation of Compressed Natural Gas Injector for Direct Injection System
This paper presents the bench research results on a CNG injector at steady state. The quantities measured included voltage and current in a solenoid, pressure of gas behind an injector and injector’s flow rate. Accordingly, injector’s operation parameters were determined according to needle’s lift and injection pressure. The discrepancies between the theoretical (electric) and actual time of injection were defined to specify injector’s opening and closing lag times and the uniqueness of these values in successive cycles of gas injection. It has been demonstrated that needle’s lift has got a stronger impact on injector’s operating parameters than injection pressure. With increasing injection pressure, the force increases and closes an injection valve, which adversely affects uniqueness of injector’s operation. The paper also describes the concept of an injector dedicated to direct CNG injection into a combustion chamber in a dual-fuel engine. The injector’s design enables us to replace 80% of diesel fuel in a dual-fuel engine with a maximum power of 85 kW. Minimum injection pressure is 1,4 MPa then. Simultaneously, injector’s characteristics for varied needle’s lifts and injector’s nonlinear operating points were developed. Acknowledgement: This work has been financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development, under Grant Agreement No. PBS1/A6/4/2012.
Availability and Uses of Public Access Computers in Academic Libraries in Kaduna State
The study is set up to investigate the availability and uses of Public Access Computers (PACs) in academic libraries in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The Objectives of this study include among others identifying uses of Public Access Computers (PACs). Three research questions were formulated to find out the available PACs, the uses of PACs and the problems encounter while using PACs in Academic Libraries in Kaduna State. Qualitative research approach was adopted, semi-constructed interview and Observation constituted the instruments for data collection, while descriptive method was used to analyze the collected data. Fifty two (52) staff consisting of System librarians, System analysts and e-library Assistance from seven (7) academic libraries in Kaduna State were selected as sample of the study. The findings of the study showed that access to the internet, electronic resources, library catalogue and training were the major purpose of providing PACs in the academic libraries studied. It was also revealed that there are inadequate public computers and the study recommended among others that the academic libraries in Kaduna State should acquire more public computers to be able to cater for the need of their users and give them equal opportunity to have access to the available computers, the academic libraries in Kaduna State should provide computers for access to all services of PACs to ensure standard, adequate and quality service which satisfy the need of users.
The Influence of Polymorphisms of NER System Genes on the Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Polish Population
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the deadliest cancers. Every year we see an increase in the number of cases, and in spite of intensive research etiology of the disease remains unknown. For many years, researchers are seeking to associate genetic factors with an increased risk of CRC, so far it has proved to be a compelling link between the MMR system of DNA repair and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancers (HNPCC). Currently, research is focused on finding the relationship between the remaining DNA repair systems and an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between gene polymorphisms Ser835Ser of XPF gene and Gly23Ala of XPA gene–elements of NER DNA repair system, and modulation of the risk of colorectal cancer in the Polish population. Determination of the molecular basis of carcinogenesis process and predicting increased risk will allow qualifying patients to increased risk group and including them in preventive program. We used blood collected from 110 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The control group consisted of equal number of healthy people. Genotyping was performed by TaqMan method. The obtained results indicate that the genotype 23Gly/Ala of XPA gene is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, while 23Ala/Ala as well as TCT allele of Ser835Ser of XPF gene may reduce the risk of CRC.
Western and Eastern Ways of Special Warfare: The Strategic History of Special Operations from Western and Eastern Sources
Special operations were supposedly a new way of irregular warfare that was officially formed during World War 2. For example, the famous British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Americans’ Office for Strategic Services (OSS) – the forerunners of modern day CIA were born in World War 2. These special operations units were tasked with the conduct of sabotage and subversion activities behind enemy lines, placing great importance in forming Fifth Column activities and supporting resistance movements. This pointed to a paradoxical argument that modern day special operations is a product of Western modern military innovation but utilizing Eastern ways of ‘ungentlemanly’ warfare. This thesis is superfluous as special operations had been well practised by both ancient Western empires such as the Greeks and Romans, and around the same time in the East, such as in China, and Japan. This paper will describe the practice of special operations, first from the Western military history of the Greeks during the Peloponnesian war. It will then highlight the similar practice of special operations by the Near Eastern Assassins and Eastern militaries by using examples from the Chinese and the Japanese. This paper propounds that special operations, or ways of warfare as a whole, has no cultural and geographical divide, but rather very similarly practiced by men from all over the world. Ideas of fighting, killing and ultimately winning a war have similar undertones – attempts to find ways to win economically and at the least time.
Conceptualizing the Cyber Insecurity Risk in the Ethics of Automated Warfare
This paper provides an alternative, cyber security based a conceptual framework for the ethics of automated warfare. The large body of work produced on fully or partially autonomous warfare systems tends to overlook malicious security factors as in the possibility of technical attacks on these systems when it comes to the moral and legal decision-making. The argument provides a risk-oriented justification to why technical malicious risks cannot be dismissed in legal, ethical and policy considerations when warfare models are being implemented and deployed. The assumptions of the paper are supported by providing a broader model that contains the perspective of technological vulnerabilities through the lenses of the Game Theory, Just War Theory as well as standard and non-standard defense ethics. The paper argues that a conventional risk-benefit analysis without considering ethical factors is insufficient for making legal and policy decisions on automated warfare. This approach will provide the substructure for security and defense experts as well as legal scholars, ethicists and decision theorists to work towards common justificatory grounds that will accommodate the technical security concerns that have been overlooked in the current legal and policy models.
Comparing and Contrasting Western and Eastern Ways of War: Building a Universal Strategic Theory
The comparison between the Western ways of war and Eastern ways of war has raised contemporary debates on the validity of these arguments. The Western way of war is popularly propounded by Victor Davis Hanson as originating from the Greek hoplite tactics, direct military maneuvers, democratic principles and social freedom and cohesion that has continued to yield military success for the Western powers for centuries. On the other hand, the Eastern way of war has been deemed as relying on indirect tactics, deception, and ruses. This often accepted notion of the divide between Western and Eastern style does not sustain in view of the available classical strategic texts from both sides from the same period that has proposed similar principles of warfare. This paper analyses the similarities between classical strategic texts on war from the Eastern perspective namely Sun Tzu’s Art of War with a similar temporal strategic text from the West which is Sextus Iuluis Frontinus’s Stratagematon, and deduces answers to this core research question - Does the hypothesis of the existence of distinctive Western and Eastern ways of warfare stands? The main thesis advanced by this research is that ways of warfare share universal principles, and it transcends cultural and spatial boundaries. Warfare is a human endeavour, and the same moral actions guide humans from different geo-cultural spheres in warfare’s objectives, which are winning over an enemy in the most economical way and serve as a mean to an end.
Phytochemial Screening, Anti-Microbial, and Minerals Determination of Leptadenia Hastata
This project involved screening for antibacterial activity, phytochemical and mineral properties of Leptadenia hastata by flame photometry. The result of phytochemical screening reveals that the presence of flavonoids, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, steroidal, and anthraquinones while the cardiac glycoside was absent. This justifies the plant been used as anti-bleeding and anti-inflammatory agents. The result of flame photometry revealed that 1.85 % (Na), 0.65% (K) and 1.85 % (Ca) which indicates the safe nature of the plant extract as such could be used to lower high blood pressure. The antibacterial properties of both the aqueous and ethanolic extract were studied against some bacteria, Escherichia coli, Bacillus Cercus, Pseudomonas aeruginas, and Enterobacter aerogegens, by disc diffusion method and the result reveals that there are very good activities against the organism while the ethanolic extract at concentration 1.0 – 1.2 mg/ml. the ethanolic extract showed in considerable zone inhibition against bacteria’s; Escherichia coli, Bacillus Cercus, pseudomonas aeruginosa andklebsellapnemuoniae. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum Bacterial concentration (MBC) were conducted with fairly good significant effect of inhibition on the organism, therefore, plant extract could be a potential source of antibacterial agent.
Influence of Procurement Methods on Cost Performance of Building Projects in Gombe State, Nigeria
Procurement methods is described as systems of contractual arrangements used by the contractor in order to secure the design and construction services based on the stipulated cost and within the required time and quality. Despite that, major projects in the Nigerian construction industry failed because of wrong procurement methods with major consequences leads to cost overrun which needs to find lasting solution. The aim of the study is to evaluate the influence of procurement methods on cost performance of building projects in Gombe State, Nigeria. Study adopts descriptive and explorative design approach. Data were collected through administering of one hundred questionnaire using convenient sampling techniques. Data analyses using percentages, mean value and Anova analysis. Major finding show that more than fifty percent (50%) of procurement methods available are mainly utilized in the study area and the top procurement methods that have high impacts on cost performance as compare with the other methods is project management and direct labour procurement methods. The results of hypothesis’ tests with pvalue 0.12 and 0.07 validated that there was no significant variation in the perception of stakeholders’ on the impacts of procurements methods on cost performance. Therefore, the study concluded that projects management and direct labour are the most appropriate procurement methods that will ensure successful completion of project at stipulated cost in building projects.
A Holistic Conceptual Measurement Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness and Viability of an Academic Program
In today’s very competitive higher education industry (HEI), HEIs are faced with the primary concern of developing, deploying, and sustaining high quality academic programs. Today, the HEI has well-established accreditation systems endorsed by a country’s legislation and institutions. The accreditation system is an educational pathway focused on the criteria and processes for evaluating educational programs. Although many aspects of the accreditation process highlight both the past and the present (prove), the "program review" assessment is "forward-looking assessment" (improve) and thus transforms the process into a continuing assessment activity rather than a periodic event. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual measurement framework for program review to be used by HEIs to undertake a robust and targeted approach to proactively and continuously review their academic programs to evaluate its practicality and effectiveness as well as to improve the education of the students. The proposed framework consists of two main components: program review principles and the program review measurement matrix.
Analysis of Influence of Geometrical Set of Nozzles on Aerodynamic Drag Level of a Hero’s Based Steam Turbine
High temperature waste energy offers a number of management options. The most common energy recuperation systems, that are actually used to utilize energy from the high temperature sources are steam turbines working in a high pressure and temperature closed cycles. Due to the high costs of production of energy recuperation systems, especially rotary turbine discs equipped with blades, currently used solutions are limited in use with waste energy sources of temperature below 100 °C. This study presents the results of simulating the flow of the water vapor in various configurations of flow ducts in a reaction steam turbine based on Hero’s steam turbine. The simulation was performed using a numerical model and the ANSYS Fluent software. Simulation computations were conducted with use of the water vapor as an internal agent powering the turbine, which is fully safe for an environment in case of a device failure. The conclusions resulting from the conducted numerical computations should allow for optimization of the flow ducts geometries, in order to achieve the greatest possible efficiency of the turbine. It is expected that the obtained results should be useful for further works related to the development of the final version of a low drag steam turbine dedicated for low cost energy recuperation systems.
Tracking and Classifying Client Interactions with Personal Coaches
The world health organization (WHO) reports that by 2030 more than 23.7 million deaths annually will be caused by Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs); with a 2008 economic impact of $3.76 T. Metabolic syndrome is a disorder of multiple metabolic risk factors strongly indicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Guided lifestyle intervention driven by live coaching has been shown to have a positive impact on metabolic risk factors. Individuals’ path to improved (decreased) metabolic risk factors are driven by personal motivation and personalized messages delivered by coaches and augmented by technology. Using interactions captured between 400 individuals and 3 coaches over a program period of 500 days, a preliminary model was designed. A novel real time event tracking system was created to track and classify clients based on their genetic profile, baseline questionnaires and usage of a mobile application with live coaching sessions. Classification of clients and coaches was done using a support vector machines application build on Apache Spark, Stanford Natural Language Processing Library (SNLPL) and decision-modeling.
A Second Spark Ignition Timing for the High Power Aircraft Radial Engine Using a CFD Transient Modeling
In aviation most important systems that impact the aircraft flight safety are duplicated. The ASz-62IR aircraft radial engine consists of two spark plugs powered by two separate magnetos. The relative difference in spark timing has an influence on the combustion process. The retardation of the second spark relative to the first spark was analyzed. The CFD simulation was developed as a multicycle transient model. Two independent spark sources imitate two flame fronts after an ignition period. It makes the combustion process shorter but only for certain range of second spark retardation. The model was validated by the in-cylinder pressure comparison. Combustion parameters were analyzed for different second spark retardation values. It was found that the most advantageous ignition timing in means of performance is simultaneous ignition. Nevertheless, for this engine the ignition time of the second spark plug is greatly retarded eliminating the advantageous performance influence. The reason behind this is maintaining high ignition certainty for all engine running conditions and for whole operating rpm range. In aviation the engine reliability is more important than its performance. Introducing electronic ignition system can yield from simultaneous ignition timing by increasing the engine performance and providing good reliability for all flight conditions. This work has been financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development, INNOLOT, under Grant Agreement No. INNOLOT/I/1/NCBR/2013.
Climate Change and Migration from Ngala and Kala-Balge LGAs, North-Eastern Borno State, Nigeria
Nigeria, due to its location, size and population is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Little effort is however made to address most of the problems, despite the fact that sufficient understanding is made on the impact of climate change and problems emanating from it are also always being propagated. Migration, one of the resultant effects of climate change is however given less attention. This paper focuses on the climate change impact and one of resulting effects, migration and its associated problems. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in sampling 250 respondents who were mainly family members of out-migrants from Ngala and Kala-Balge LGAs of North-eastern Borno State, Nigeria. Available literatures were consulted for the types of climate change impacts. The results revealed that, climate change leads to climatic variation over the space with numerous effects on the environment such as intermittent droughts, desertification/deforestation, low water table and establishment of dams across the courses of the main sources of water supply to the Lake Chad. Many people in the study area either migrated to Cameroon’s Darrak, Lake Doi and Mayo Mbund, Lagos, Nigeria, leaving some members of their families at home. More than half of respondents indicated that the heads of the households migrated as a result of poor harvest due to diminishing or fluctuating rains/drought and/or drying of river Surbewel. It is recommended that; inter-basin water transfers should be embarked upon.
The Development of an Integrity Cultivating Module in School-Based Assessment among Malaysian Teachers: A Research Methodology
The competency and integrity required for better understanding and practice of School-based Assessment (PBS) comes not only from the process, but also in providing the support or ‘scaffolding’ for teachers to recognize the student as a learner, improve their self-assessment skills, understanding of the daily teaching plan and its constructive alignment of the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. The cultivation of integrity in PBS among the teachers is geared towards encouraging them to become committed and dedicated in implementing assessments in a serious, efficient manner, thus moving away from the usual teacher-focused approach to the student-focused approach. The teachers show their integrity via their professional commitment, responsibility and actions. The module based on the cultivation of integrity in PBS among Malaysian teachers aims to broaden the guidance support for teachers (embedded in the training), which consists of various domains to enable better evaluation of complex assessment tasks and the construction of suitable instrument for measuring the relevant cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains to describe the students’ achievement. The instrument for integrity cultivation in PBS has been developed and validated for measuring the effectiveness of the module constructed. This module is targeted towards assisting the staff in the Education Ministry, especially the principal trainers, teachers, headmasters and education officers to acquire effective intervention for improving the PBS assessors’ integrity and competency.
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.
Physical Fitness Evaluation of MARA Junior Science Collage Rugby Player
Athletes at the school should have good physical fitness to participate in tournament. Currently, there are no standards for the level of physical fitness for MARA Junior Science Collage (MJSC). Therefore, this research is to determine the level of physical fitness of rugby player at MJSC. A total of 62 samples (age 16.4 ± 0.75) among rugby players at MJSC were randomly selected to participate in this study. Height, weight, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI) and other physical testing are measured and recorded. The results showed that the average of body mass index (BMI) for rugby players is 23.4 ± 4:51. Body mass index (BMI) of rugby players can be categorized as pre-obese based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. BMI for rugby players was categorized as healthy based on body fat ranges for standard adults at NY Obesity Research Center. Bleep test results show that the average Bleep test is level 7 and shuttle 5; average VO2max was 37.94 L/min. Physical fitness and performance of rugby players at MJSC is lower compared to the rugby junior athletes in University Putra Malaysia (UPM). Therefore, physical fitness of rugby players must be improved to ensure the rugby players at MJSC could be performs better in the tournament.
Effect of Sowing Dates on Incidence of Sorghum Head Bug Eurystylus Sp (Hemiptera; Miridae) at Rainfed Sector, Blue Nile State, Sudan
Sorghum head bug is a key insect pest of sorghum, and it is important to pay attention to the peak time of the pest abundance. The objective of this study was to study the effect of planting date on head bugs population. Field experiment was conducted during 2007/08 – 2008/09 and 2013/14 - 2014/15 cropping seasons at the Damazine Research Station Farm, Blue Nile State to determine sorghum head bugs incidence and abundance through the sowing date. Different sowing dates (early, mid and late sowing) and a susceptible sorghum variety known as Wad Ahmed variety were used the experiment. The experimental design used was randomized complete block design (RCBD). Data were collected on the number of head bug adults and nymphs/panicle, damage percent, coloration and a puncture due to bug feeding and oviposition, 1000 seeds weight and yield. The results showed that significantly (P< 0.05) higher number of bugs and damage percent were recorded on the late sowing date for the four seasons followed by the mid sowing, while the early sowing gave low number of bugs, damage percent and high1000 weight. There were significant differences between protected and unprotected heads. The late sowing (August) is a critical sorghum planting time because it coincided with highest numbers of the head bugs.
Oedipus as Victim of Fate and Human Psychology: The Fatal Curiosity
Oedipus in Oedipus Rex is necessarily a victim of fate and his own psychology. His curiosity brings about his downfall. Ancient Greek plays weren't just portrayals of some obscure tale but were insights into human nature. Oedipus, although a victim of circumstances, digs his own grave by curiously unravelling his past. Jocasta foresees his doom and begs him to stop, but to no avail. The curiosity of Oedipus forces him, almost like a drug, to explore the mystery regarding his birth. This curiosity is not something extraordinary in Oedipus - it is an intrinsic attribute of human nature. Knowledge is not always desired - whether it is Adam or Oedipus, their curiosity caused their eventual downfall. Oedipus was ill-fated since birth. He did not know that Laius was his biological father and therefore killed him. He arrived at Thebes, solved the riddle of the Sphinx, and married Jocasta without knowing that she, in fact, was his biological mother. He begot children and was living happily with his family when a sudden calamity struck Thebes. The calamity, though at first seemed public in nature, but later proved to be very personal for Oedipus. It drives home the fundamental truth about uncertainty of human life. That Laius was slayed by his own son, even after many precautions, proves the helplessness of humans in front of the designs of fate. Oedipus's mutilation of his eyes is also fated. It was committed by him in the heat of the moment and was certainly not a rational decision. It is evident to any modern reader that Oedipus does not have justice. Destiny treats him unfairly. Oedipus, in fact, defends his actions in Oedipus Rex in its sequel Oedipus At Colonus. The research paper discusses the unhappy fate of Oedipus and the role of destiny and his own curiosity in achieving it.
Cooling of Exhaust Gases Emitted Into the Atmosphere as the Possibility to Reduce the Helicopter Radiation Emission Level
Every material body that temperature is higher than 0K (absolute zero) emits infrared radiation to the surroundings. Infrared radiation is highly meaningful in military aviation, especially in military applications of helicopters. Helicopters, in comparison to other aircraft, have much lower flight speeds and maneuverability, which makes them easy targets for actual combat assets like infrared-guided missiles. When designing new helicopter types, especially for combat applications, it is essential to pay enormous attention to infrared emissions of the solid parts composing the helicopter’s structure, as well as to exhaust gases egressing from the engine’s exhaust system. Due to their high temperature, exhaust gases, egressed to the surroundings are a major factor in infrared radiation emission and, in consequence, detectability of a helicopter performing air combat operations. Protection of the helicopter in flight from early detection, tracking and finally destruction can be realized in many ways. This paper presents the analysis of possibilities to decrease the infrared radiation level that is emitted to the environment by helicopter in flight, by cooling exhaust in special ejection-based coolers. The paper also presents the concept 3D model and results of numeric analysis of ejective-based cooler cooperation with PA-10W turbine engine. Numeric analysis presented promising results in decreasing the infrared emission level by PA W-3 helicopter in flight.
Soil and the Gut Microbiome: Supporting the 'Hygiene Hypothesis'
Background: According to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ the current rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases stems mainly from reduced microbial exposure due, amongst other factors, to urbanisation and distance from soil. However, this hypothesis is based on epidemiological and not biological data. Useful insights into the underlying mechanisms of this hypothesis can be gained by studying our interaction with soil. Soil microbiota may be directly ingested or inhaled by humans, enter the body through skin-soil contact or using plants as vectors. This study aims to examine the ability of soil microbiota to colonise the gut, study the interaction of soil microbes with the immune system and their potential protective activity. Method: The nutrition of the rats was supplemented daily with fresh or autoclaved soil for 21 days followed by 14 days of no supplementations. Faecal samples were collected throughout and analysed using 16S sequencing. At the end of the experiment rats were sacrificed and tissues and digesta were collected. Results/Conclusion: Results showed significantly higher richness and diversity following soil supplementation even after recovery. Specific soil microbial groups identified as able to colonise the gut. Of particular interest was the mucosal layer which emerged as a receptive host for soil microorganisms. Histological examination revealed innate and adaptive immune activation. Findings of this study reinforce the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ by demonstrating the ability of soil microbes to colonise the gut and activate the immune system. This paves the way for further studies aimed to examine the interaction of soil microorganisms with the immune system.
An Integration of Genetic Algorithm and Particle Swarm Optimization to Forecast Transport Energy Demand
Transport energy demand is vital for the economic growth of any country. Globalisation and better standard of living plays an important role in transport energy demand. Recently, transport energy demand in Mauritius has increased significantly, thus leading to an abuse of natural resources and thereby contributing to global warming. Forecasting the transport energy demand is therefore important for controlling and managing the demand. In this paper, we develop a model to predict the transport energy demand. The model developed is based on a system of five stochastic differential equations (SDEs) consisting of five endogenous variables: fuel price, population, gross domestic product (GDP), number of vehicles and transport energy demand and three exogenous parameters: crude birth rate, crude death rate and labour force. An interval of seven years is used to avoid any falsification of result since Mauritius is a developing country. Data available for Mauritius from year 2003 up to 2009 are used to obtain the values of design variables by applying genetic algorithm. The model is verified and validated for 2010 to 2012 by substituting the values of coefficients obtained by GA in the model and using particle swarm optimisation (PSO) to predict the values of the exogenous parameters. This model will help to control the transport energy demand in Mauritius which will in turn foster Mauritius towards a pollution-free country and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.
Physical Fitness Evaluation of Physical Education Teachers in Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM)
Physical Education teacher at the school should have good physical fitness to educate and guide students in the school. Currently, there are no standards for the level of physical fitness for teachers who teaches physical education at the school. Therefore, this research is to determine the level of physical fitness of teacher of Physical Education at Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM). A total of 28 samples (18 men and 10 women, age 33 ± 4.91), teachers of physical education at MRSM, were randomly selected to participate in this study. Height, weight, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI) and other physical testing are measured and recorded. The results showed that the average of body mass index (BMI) for teachers of Physical Education is 25.9 ± 4:57. Body mass index (BMI) of teachers can be categorized as pre-obese based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Body fat percentage for male (age; 34.3 ± 5.13) and female (age; 30.9 ± 3.81) teachers is 24.7% ± 6.54 and 30.6% ± 6.28, respectively. Male teachers were categorized as overfat, however, female teachers were categorized as healthy based on body fat ranges for standard adults at NY Obesity Research Center. Bleep test results show that the average Bleep test is level 4 and shuttle 2; average VO2max was 27.5 ± 5.94 L/min. Physical fitness and performance of physical education teachers at MRSM is much lower compared to the rugby junior athlete in University Putra Malaysia (UPM). Therefore, physical fitness of teachers must be improved to ensure the physical education classes at MRSM could be done better.
On the Qarat Kibrit Salt Dome Faulting System South of Adam, Oman: In Search of Uranium Anomalies
Development of salt domes, often a rising from depths of some 10 km or more, causes an intense faulting of the surrounding host rocks (salt tectonics). The fractured rocks then present ideal space for oil that can migrate and get trapped. If such moving of hydrocarbons passes uranium-carrying rock units (e.g., shales), uranium is collected and enriched by organic carbon compounds. Brines from the salt body are also ideal carriers for oxidized uranium species and will further dislocate uranium when in contact with uranium-enriched oils. Uranium then has the potential to mineralize in the vicinity of the dome (blue halite is evidence for radiation having affected salt deposits elsewhere in the world). Based on this knowledge, the Qarat Kibrit salt dome was investigated by a well-established geophysical method like very low frequency electromagnetic (VLF-EM) along five traverses approximately 250 m in length (10 m intervals) in order to identify subsurface fault systems. In-phase and quadrature components of the VLF-EM signal were recorded at two different transmitter frequencies (24.0 and 24.9 kHz). The images of Fraser filtered response of the in-phase components indicate a conductive zone (fault) in the southeast and southwest of the study area. The Karous-Hjelt current density pseudo section delineates subsurface faults at depths between 10 and 40 m. The stacked profiles of the Fraser filtered responses brought out two plausible trends/directions of faults. However, there seems to be no evidence for uranium enrichment has been recorded in this area.
Amino Acid Responses of Wheat Cultivars under Glasshouse Drought Accurately Predict Yield-Based Drought Tolerance in the Field
Water limits crop productivity, so selecting for minimal yield-gap in drier environments is critical to mitigate against climate change and land-use pressures. To date, no markers measured in glasshouses have been reported to predict field-based drought tolerance. In the field, the best measure of drought tolerance is yield-gap; but this requires multisite trials that are an order of magnitude more resource intensive and can be impacted by weather variation. We investigated the responses of relative water content (RWC), stomatal conductance (gs), chlorophyll content and metabolites in flag leaves of commercial wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars to three drought treatments in the glasshouse and field environments. We observed strong genetic associations between glasshouse-based RWC, metabolites and Yield gap-based Drought Tolerance (YDT): the ratio of yield in water-limited versus well-watered conditions across 24 field environments spanning sites and seasons. Critically, RWC response to glasshouse drought was strongly associated with both YDT (r2 = 0.85, p < 8E-6) and RWC under field drought (r2 = 0.77, p < 0.05). Multiple regression analyses revealed that 98% of genetic YDT variance was explained by drought responses of four metabolites: serine, asparagine, methionine and lysine (R2 = 0.98; p < 0.01). Fitted coefficients suggested that, for given levels of serine and asparagine, stronger methionine and lysine accumulation was associated with higher YDT. Collectively, our results demonstrate that high-throughput, targeted metabolic phenotyping of glasshouse-grown plants may be an effective tool for the selection of wheat cultivars with high YDT in the field.
Micropropagation of Rhododendron tomentosum (Ledum palustre): An Endangered Plant of Scientific Interest as the Example of Ex Situ Conservation
Rhododendron tomentosum (formerly Ledum palustre), an evergreen shrub grows in peaty soils in northern Europe, Asia and North America. In Poland, it is classified as an endangered species not only due to the drainage of wetlands, but also to the excessive collection of this repellent plant by human. The other valuable biological properties of R. tomentosum, used for years in folk medicine, include anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-microbial activity, conditioned by the essential oil content. Taking into account the importance of biodiversity and the potential therapeutic application, it was decided to establish, for the first time, the micropropagation protocol for R. tomentosum, for ex-situ conservation of this endangered species as well as to obtain the continuous source of in vivo and in-vitro plant material for further studies. This object was achieved by the selection of the explant and the media, which were modified within the scope of mineral composition, sugar content, pH and the growth regulators. As a result, the four-stage micropropagation protocol for R. tomentosum was specified, including shoot multiplication, elongation, rooting and ex-vitro adaptation. The genetic identification of the examined species and the compatibility of progeny plants with maternal ones was tested with molecular biology methods. Moreover, during the research process, the chemical composition of initial and regenerated plant and in vitro shoots was controlled in terms of volatile fraction by phytochemical analysis (GC and TLC methods). The correctness of the micropropagation procedure was confirmed by both types of studies.
Race-Making in Teacher Narratives: Defining Black Educational Access and Opportunity Via the Stories Teachers Tell
In this paper, we provide a preliminary analysis of the stories teachers tell about their Black students in their efforts to make sense of and professionally resolve the underperformance of Black students in their district. The teachers themselves hail from three demographically distinct districts that participate in the state coordinated inter-district school choice system. The districts are Varuna Hills (a pseudonym, as are all other names in this manuscript), a district that serves a predominantly White and affluent community; Newport, a district that serves a socioeconomically diverse but still majority White population; and Aspen, a district in which the student body is predominantly Black and predominantly working to lower middle class. Relying upon teacher focus group interviews in each of these districts which share a common reform context, we show how teachers’ everyday and narrative discourse makes meaning of the bodies and achievement of Black students and their families. More specifically, we show that these discourses construct Black students as interlopers, as suffering from extraordinary neediness, and in dire need of proper parenting. Our analysis reveals that there are nuances by which the teachers articulate these discourses with the nuances being a function of how the schools of choice reform context intersects with the demographics of each school and beliefs about the demographics of the schools of choice population. We unpack the racialized and classed nature of these narratives and the implications for teachers’ personal practical knowledge.
Association of Maternal Age, Ethnicity and BMI with Gestational Diabetes Prevalence in Multi-Racial Singapore
Introduction: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication with short and long-term health consequences for both mother and fetus. Factors such as family history of diabetes mellitus, maternal obesity, maternal age, ethnicity and parity have been reported to influence the risk of GDM. In a multi-racial country like Singapore, it is worthwhile to study the GDM prevalences of different ethnicities. We aim to investigate the influence of ethnicity on the racial prevalences of GDM in Singapore. This is important as it may help us to improve guidelines on GDM healthcare services according to significant risk factors unique to Singapore. Materials and Methods: Obstetric cohort data of 926 singleton deliveries in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) from 2011 to 2013 was obtained. Only patients aged 18 and above and without complicated pregnancies or chronic illnesses were targeted. Factors such as ethnicity, maternal age, parity and maternal body mass index (BMI) at booking visit were studied. A multivariable logistic regression model, adjusted for confounders, was used to determine which of these factors are significantly associated with an increased risk of GDM. Results: The overall GDM prevalence rate based on WHO 1999 criteria & at risk screening (race alone not a risk factor) was 8.86%. GDM rates were higher among women above 35 years old (15.96%), obese (15.15%) and multiparous women (10.12%). Indians had a higher GDM rate (13.0 %) compared to the Chinese (9.57%) and Malays (5.20%). However, using multiple logistic regression model, variables that are significantly related to GDM rates were maternal age (p < 0.001) and maternal BMI at booking visit (p = 0.006). Conclusion: Maternal age (p < 0.001) and maternal booking BMI (p = 0.006) are the strongest risk factors for GDM. Ethnicity per se does not seem to have a significant influence on the prevalence of GDM in Singapore (p = 0.064). Hence we should tailor guidelines on GDM healthcare services according to maternal age and booking BMI rather than ethnicity.
A Hybrid Multi-Criteria Hotel Recommender System Using Explicit and Implicit Feedbacks
Recommender systems, also known as recommender engines, have become an important research area and are now being applied in various fields. In addition, the techniques behind the recommender systems have been improved over the time. In general, such systems help users to find their required products or services (e.g. books, music) through analyzing and aggregating other users&rsquo; activities and behavior, mainly in form of reviews, and making the best recommendations. The recommendations can facilitate user&rsquo;s decision making process. Despite the wide literature on the topic, using multiple data sources of different types as the input has not been widely studied. Recommender systems can benefit from the high availability of digital data to collect the input data of different types which implicitly or explicitly help the system to improve its accuracy. Moreover, most of the existing research in this area is based on single rating measures in which a single rating is used to link users to items. This paper proposes a highly accurate hotel recommender system, implemented in various layers. Using multi-aspect rating system and benefitting from large-scale data of different types, the recommender system suggests hotels that are personalized and tailored for the given user. The system employs natural language processing and topic modelling techniques to assess the sentiment of the users&rsquo; reviews and extract implicit features. The entire recommender engine contains multiple sub-systems, namely users clustering, matrix factorization module, and hybrid recommender system. Each sub-system contributes to the final composite set of recommendations through covering a specific aspect of the problem. The accuracy of the proposed recommender system has been tested intensively where the results confirm the high performance of the system.
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant Activities and Phytochemical Screening of Five Species from Acacia Used in Sudanese Ethnomedicine
The present study was designed to investigate antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of five species from Acacia (Acacia albidia, Acacia mellifera, Acacia nubica, Acacia seyal var. seyal and Acacia tortilis). Phytochemical study was piloted to detect the bioactive compounds, which have been responsible from the biological activities. The ethanol, chloroform and acetone plant extracts were seasoned against standard bacteria strains of gram +ve bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Gram -ve bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853) and standard fungi Candida albicans (ATCC 90028), using cup-plate method. The antioxidant activities were conducted via DPPH radical scavenging and metal chelating assays. Prospective activity against the five species was observed in acetone extract. Ethanol extract showed highest activities against Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Potential antioxidant activity was presented by ethanol. Cholorophorm and acetone extracts via DPPH, the radical scavenging activities were found to be 91±0.03, 88±0.01 and 85±0.04 respectively. The results of phytochemical screening showed that all extracts of studied plant contain flavonoids, saponins, terpenoids, steroids, alkaloids, phenols and tannins. This study gives rise to antioxidant, antimicrobial properties of studied plant, and showed interesting correlation with the phytochemical constituents and biological activities.
Comparison of Support Vector Machines and Artificial Neural Network Classifiers in Characterizing Threatened Tree Species Using Eight Bands of WorldView-2 Imagery in Dukuduku Landscape, South Africa
Threatened tree species (TTS) play a significant role in ecosystem functioning and services, land use dynamics, and other socio-economic aspects. Such aspects include ecological, economic, livelihood, security-based, and well-being benefits. The development of techniques for mapping and monitoring TTS is thus critical for understanding the functioning of ecosystems. The advent of advanced imaging systems and supervised learning algorithms has provided an opportunity to classify TTS over fragmenting landscape. Recently, vegetation maps have been produced using advanced imaging systems such as WorldView-2 (WV-2) and robust classification algorithms such as support vectors machines (SVM) and artificial neural network (ANN). However, delineation of TTS in a fragmenting landscape using high resolution imagery has widely remained elusive due to the complexity of the species structure and their distribution. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to examine the utility of the advanced WV-2 data for mapping TTS in the fragmenting Dukuduku indigenous forest of South Africa using SVM and ANN classification algorithms. The results showed the robustness of the two machine learning algorithms with an overall accuracy (OA) of 77.00% (total disagreement = 23.00%) for SVM and 75.00% (total disagreement = 25.00%) for ANN using all eight bands of WV-2 (8B). This study concludes that SVM and ANN classification algorithms with WV-2 8B have the potential to classify TTS in the Dukuduku indigenous forest. This study offers relatively accurate information that is important for forest managers to make informed decisions regarding management and conservation protocols of TTS.
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant Activities, and Phytochemical Screening of Five Species from Acacia Used in Sudanese Ethnomedicine
The present study was designed to investigate antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of five species from Acacia (Acacia albidia, Acacia mellifera, Acacia nubica, Acacia seyal var.seyal and Acacia tortilis). Phytochemical study was piloted to detect the bioactive compounds, which have been responsible from the biological activities. The ethanol, chloroform and acetone plant extracts were seasoned against standard bacteria strains of gram +ve bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) ,Gram -ve bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853) and standard fungi Candida albicans (ATCC 90028), using cup-plate method. The antioxidant activities were conducted via DPPH radical scavenging and metal chelating assays. Prospective activity against the five species was observed in acetone extract. Ethanol extract showed highest activities against Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Potential antioxidant activity was presented by ethanol. Cholorophorm and acetone extracts via DPPH, the radical scavenging activities were found to be 91±0.03, 88±0.01 and 85±0.04 respectively. The results of phytochemical screening showed that all extracts of studied plant contain flavonoids, saponins, terpenoids, steroids, alkaloids, phenols and tannins. This study give rise to antioxidant, antimicrobial properties of studied plant, and showed interesting correlation with the phytochemical constituents and biological activities.
Workers’ Prevention from Occupational Chemical Exposures during Container Handling
Volatile chemicals that accumulate and release from freight containers constitute significant health risks. Fumigation to prevent spread of pests and off-gassing of freight are sources of hazardous chemicals. The aim of our study was to investigate the regulation and practice of container handling with focus on preventive measures applied against chemical exposures in Denmark. A comprehensive systematic search of scientific literature and organizational domains of international and Danish regulatory bodies was performed to explore regulations related to safe work with transport containers. The practice of container work was investigated in a series of semi-structured interviews with managers and health and safety representatives of organizations that handle transport containers. Although there are several international and national regulations and local safety instructions that relate to container handling, the provided information is not specific or up-to-date enough to conduct safe practice in many aspects. The interviewees estimate high frequency of containers with chemical exposure and deem that they can potentially damage health, although recognizable health effects are rare. Knowledge is limited about the chemicals and most of them cannot be measured by available devices. Typical preventive measures are passive ventilation and personal protective equipment but their use is not consistent and may not provide adequate protection. Hazardous chemicals are frequently present in transport containers; however, managers, workers and even occupational health professionals have limited knowledge about the problem. Detailed risk assessment and specific instructions on risk management are needed to provide safe conditions for work with containers.
Energy System Analysis Using Data-Driven Modelling and Bayesian Methods
The dynamic performance of all energy generation technologies is impacted to varying degrees by the stochastic properties of the wider system within which the generation technology is located. This stochasticity can include the varying nature of ambient renewable energy resources such as wind or solar radiation, or unpredicted changes in energy demand which impact upon the operational behaviour of thermal generation technologies. An understanding of these stochastic impacts are especially important in contexts such as highly distributed (or embedded) generation, where an understanding of issues affecting the individual or aggregated performance of high numbers of relatively small generators is especially important, such as in ESCO projects. Probabilistic evaluation of monitored or simulated performance data is one technique which can provide an insight into the dynamic performance characteristics of generating systems, both in a prognostic sense (such as the prediction of future performance at the project’s design stage) as well as in a diagnostic sense (such as in the real-time analysis of underperforming systems). In this work, we describe the development, application and outcomes of a new approach to the acquisition of datasets suitable for use in the subsequent performance and impact analysis (including the use of Bayesian approaches) for a number of distributed generation technologies. The application of the approach is illustrated using a number of case studies involving domestic and small commercial scale photovoltaic, solar thermal and natural gas boiler installations, and the results as presented show that the methodology offers significant advantages in terms of plant efficiency prediction or diagnosis, along with allied environmental and social impacts such as greenhouse gas emission reduction or fuel affordability.
Exercise Intensity Increasing Appetite, Energy, Intake Energy Expenditure, and Fat Oxidation in Sedentary Overweight Individuals
Appetite control (i.e. control of energy intake) is important for weight maintenance. Exercise contributes to the most variable component of energy expenditure (EE) but its impact is beyond the energy cost of exercise including physiological, behavioural, and appetite effects. Exercise is known to acutely influence effect appetite but evidence as to the independent effect of intensity is lacking. This study investigated the role of exercise intensity on appetite, energy intake (EI), appetite related hormone, fat utilisation and subjective measures of appetite. One hour after a standardised breakfast, 10 sedentary overweight volunteers. Subjects undertook either 8 repeated 60 second bouts of cycling at 95% VO2max (high intensity) or 30 minutes of continuous cycling, at a fixed cadence, equivalent to 50% of the participant’s VO2max (low intensity) in a randomised crossover design. Glucose, NEFA, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) were measured fasted, postprandial, and pre and post-exercise. Satiety was assessed subjectively throughout the study using visual analogue scales (VAS). Ad libitum intake of a pasta meal was measured at the end (3-h post-breakfast). Interestingly, there was not significant difference in EE fat oxidation between HI and LI post-exercise. Also, no significant effect of high intensity (HI) was observed on the ad libitum meal, 24h and 48h EI post-exercise. However the mean 24h EI was 3000 KJ lower following HI than low intensity (LI). Despite, no significant differences in hunger score, glucose, NEFA and GLP-1 between both intensities were observed. However, NEFA and GLP-1 plasma level were higher until 30 min post LI. In conclusion, the similarity of EE and oxidation outcomes could give overweight individuals an option to choose between intensities. However, HI could help to reduce EI. There are mechanisms and consequences of exercise in short and long-term appetite control; however, these mechanisms warrant further explanation. These results support the need for future research in to the role of in regulation energy balance, especially for obese people.
Molecular Dynamic Simulation of CO2 Absorption into Mixed Aqueous Solutions MDEA/PZ
Amine absorption process is an approach for mitigation of CO2 from flue gas that produces from power plant. This process is the most common system used in chemical and oil industries for gas purification to remove acid gases. On the challenges of this process is high energy requirement for solvent regeneration to release CO2. In the past few years, mixed alkanolamines have received increasing attention. In most cases, the mixtures contain N-methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) as the base amine with the addition of one or two more reactive amines such as PZ. The reason for the application of such blend amine is to take advantage of high reaction rate of CO2 with the activator combined with the advantages of the low heat of regeneration of MDEA. Several experimental and simulation studies have been undertaken to understand this process using blend MDEA/PZ solvent. Despite those studies, the mechanism of CO2 absorption into the aqueous MDEA is not well understood and available knowledge within the open literature is limited. The aim of this study is to investigate the intermolecular interaction of the blend MDEA/PZ using Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation. MD simulation was run under condition 313K and 1 atm using NVE ensemble at 200ps and NVT ensemble at 1ns. The results were interpreted in term of Radial Distribution Function (RDF) analysis through two system of interest i.e binary and tertiary. The binary system will explain the interaction between amine and water molecule while tertiary system used to determine the interaction between the amine and CO2 molecule. For the binary system, it was observed that the –OH group of MDEA is more attracted to water molecule compared to –NH group of MDEA. The –OH group of MDEA can form the hydrogen bond with water that will assist the solubility of MDEA in water. The intermolecular interaction probability of –OH and –NH group of MDEA with CO2 in blended MDEA/PZ is higher than using single MDEA. This findings show that PZ molecule act as an activator to promote the intermolecular interaction between MDEA and CO2.Thus, blend of MDEA with PZ is expecting to increase the absorption rate of CO2 and reduce the heat regeneration requirement.
Analytical Characterization of TiO2-Based Nanocoatings for the Protection and Preservation of Architectural Calcareous Stone Monuments
Historical stone surfaces and architectural heritage especially which located in open areas may undergo unwanted changes due to the exposure to many physical and chemical deterioration factors, air pollution, soluble salts, Rh/temperature, and biodeterioration are the main causes of decay of stone building materials. The development and application of self-cleaning treatments on historical and architectural stone surfaces could be a significant improvement in conservation, protection, and maintenance of cultural heritage. In this paper, nanometric titanium dioxide has become a promising photocatalytic material owing to its ability to catalyze the complete degradation of many organic contaminants and represent an appealing way to create self-cleaning surfaces, thus limiting maintenance costs, and to promote the degradation of polluting agents. The obtained nano-TiO2 coatings were applied on travertine (Marble and limestone often used in historical and monumental buildings). The efficacy of the treatments has been evaluated after coating and artificial thermal aging, through capillary water absorption, Ultraviolet-light exposure to evaluate photo-induced and the hydrophobic effects of the coated surface, while the surface morphology before and after treatment was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The changes of molecular structure occurring in treated samples were spectroscopy studied by FTIR-ATR, and Colorimetric measurements have been performed to evaluate the optical appearance. All the results get together with the apparent effect that coated TiO2 nanoparticles is an innovative method, which enhanced the durability of stone surfaces toward UV aging, improved their resistance to relative humidity and temperature, self-cleaning photo-induced effects are well evident, and no alteration of the original features.
Experimental Verification of Similarity Criteria for Sound Absorption of Perforated Panels
Scaled modeling is very common in the areas of science such as aerodynamics or fluid mechanics, since defining characteristic numbers enables to determine relations between objects under test and their models. In acoustics, scaled modeling is aimed mainly at investigation of room acoustics, sound insulation and sound absorption phenomena. Despite such a range of application, there is no method developed that would enable scaling acoustical perforated panels freely, maintaining their sound absorption coefficient in a desired frequency range. However, conducted theoretical and numerical analyses have proven that it is not physically possible to obtain given sound absorption coefficient in a desired frequency range by directly scaling only all of the physical dimensions of a perforated panel, according to a defined characteristic number. This paper is a continuation of the research mentioned above and presents practical evaluation of theoretical and numerical analyses. The measurements of sound absorption coefficient of perforated panels were performed in order to verify previous analyses and as a result find the relations between full-scale perforated panels and their models which will enable to scale them properly. The measurements were conducted in a one-to-eight model of a reverberation chamber of Technical Acoustics Laboratory, AGH. Obtained results verify theses proposed after theoretical and numerical analyses. Finding the relations between full-scale and modeled perforated panels will allow to produce measurement samples equivalent to the original ones. As a consequence, it will make the process of designing acoustical perforated panels easier and will also lower the costs of prototypes production. Having this knowledge, it will be possible to emulate in a constructed model panels used, or to be used, in a full-scale room more precisely and as a result imitate or predict the acoustics of a modeled space more accurately.
Hypertension and Obesity: A Cross-National Comparison of BMI and Waist-Height Ratio
Hypertension has been identified as a prominent co-morbidity of obesity. To improve clinical intervention of hypertension, it is critical to identify metrics that most accurately reflect risk for increased morbidity. Two of the most relevant and accurate measures for increased risk of hypertension due to excess adipose tissue are Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist-Height Ratio (WHtR). Previous research has examined these measures in cross-national and cross-ethnic studies, but has most often relied on secondary means such as meta-analysis to identify and evaluate the efficacy of individual body mass measures. In this study, we instead use cross-sectional analysis to assess the cross-ethnic discriminative power of BMI and WHtR to predict risk of hypertension. Using the WHO SAGE survey, which collected anthropometric and biometric data from respondents in six middle-income countries (China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa), we implement logistic regression to examine the discriminative power of measured BMI and WHtR with a known population of hypertensive and non-hypertensive respondents. We control for gender and age to identify whether optimum cut-off points that are adequately sensitive as tests for risk of hypertension may be different between groups. We report results for OR, RR, and ROC curves for each of the six SAGE countries. As seen in existing literature, results demonstrate that both WHtR and BMI are significant predictors of hypertension (p < .01). For these six countries, we find that cut-off points for WHtR may be dependent upon gender, age and ethnicity. While an optimum omnibus cut-point for WHtR may be 0.55, results also suggest that the gender and age relationship with WHtR may warrant the development of individual cut-offs to optimize health outcomes. Trends through multiple countries show that the optimum cut-point for WHtR increases with age while the area under the curve (AUROC) decreases for both men and women. Comparison between BMI and WHtR indicate that BMI may remain more robust than WHtR. Implications for public health policy are discussed.
Phytoremediation of Arsenic-Contaminated Soil and Recovery of Valuable Arsenic Products
Contamination of groundwater and soil by heavy metals and metalloids through anthropogenic activities and natural occurrence poses serious environmental challenges globally. A possible solution to this problem is through phytoremediation of the contaminants using hyper-accumulating plants. Conventional phytoremediation treats the contaminated hyper-accumulator biomass as a waste stream which adds no value to the heavy metal(loid)s decontamination process. This study investigates strategies for remediation of soil contaminated with arsenic and the extractive chemical routes for recovery of arsenic and phosphorus from the hyper-accumulator biomass. Pteris cretica ferns species were investigated for their uptake of arsenic from soil containing 200 ± 3ppm of arsenic. The Pteris cretica ferns were shown to be capable of hyper-accumulation of arsenic, with maximum accumulations of about 4427 ± 79mg to 4875 ± 96mg of As per kg of the dry ferns. The arsenic in the Pteris cretica fronds was extracted into various solvents, with extraction efficiencies of 94.3 ± 2.1% for ethanol-water (1:1 v/v), 81.5 ± 3.2% for 1:1(v/v) methanol-water, and 70.8 ± 2.9% for water alone. The recovery efficiency of arsenic from the molybdic acid complex process 90.8 ± 5.3%. Phosphorus was also recovered from the molybdic acid complex process at 95.1 ± 4.6% efficiency. Quantitative precipitation of Mg₃(AsO₄)₂ and Mg₃(PO₄)₂ occurred in the treatment of the aqueous solutions of arsenic and phosphorus after stripping at pH of 8 – 10. The amounts of Mg₃(AsO₄)₂ and Mg₃(PO₄)₂ obtained were 96 ± 7.2% for arsenic and 94 ± 3.4% for phosphorus. The arsenic nanoparticles produced from the Mg₃(AsO₄)₂ recovered from the biomass have the average particles diameter of 45.5 ± 11.3nm. A two-stage reduction process – a first step pre-reduction of As(V) to As(III) with L-cysteine, followed by NaBH₄ reduction of the As(III) to As(0), was required to produced arsenic nanoparticles from the Mg₃(AsO₄)₂. The arsenic nanoparticles obtained are potentially valuable for medical applications, while the Mg₃(AsO₄)₂ could be used as an insecticide. The phosphorus contents of the Pteris cretica biomass was recovered as phosphomolybdic acid complex and converted to Mg₃(PO₄)₂, which could be useful in productions of fertilizer. Recovery of these valuable products from phytoremediation biomass would incentivize and drive commercial industries’ participation in remediation of contaminated lands.
Tuberculosis in Humans and Animals in the Eastern Part of the Sudan
Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic bacterial disease of humans and animals and it is characterized by the progressive development of specific granulomatous tubercle lesions in affected tissues. In a six-month study, from June to November 2014, a total of 2,304 carcasses of cattle, camel, sheep, and goats slaughtered at East and West Gaash slaughterhouses, Kassala, were investigated during postmortem, in parallel, 101 sputum samples from TB suspected patients at Kassala and El-Gadarif Teaching Hospitals were collected in order to investigate tuberculosis in animals and humans. Only 0.1% carcasses were found with suspected TB lesions in the liver and lung and peritoneal cavity of two sheep and no tuberculous lesions were found in the carcasses of cattle, goats or camels. All samples, tissue lesions and sputum, were decontaminated by the NALC-NaOH method and cultured for mycobacterial growth at the NRZ for Mycobacteria, Research Center Borstel, Germany. Genotyping and molecular characterization of the grown strains were done by line probe assay (GenoType CM and MTBC) and 16S rDNA, rpoB gene, and ITS sequencing, spoligotyping, MIRU-VNTR typing and next generation sequencing (NGS). Culture of the specimens revealed growth of organisms from 81.6% of all samples. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (76.2%), M. intracellulare (14.2%), mixed infection with M. tuberculosis and M. intracellulare (6.0%) and mixed infection with M. tuberculosis and M. fortuitum and with M. intracellulare and unknown species (1.2%) were detected in the sputum samples and unknown species (1.2%) were detected in the samples of one of the animals tissues. From the 69 M. tuberculosis strains, 25 (36.2%) were showing either mono-drug-resistant or multi-drug-resistant or poly-drug-resistant but none was extensively drug-resistant. In conclusion, the prevalence of TB in animals was very low while in humans M. tuberculosis-Delhi/CAS lineage was responsible for most cases and there was an evidence of MDR transmission and acquisition.
Nanotechnology in Conservation of Artworks: TiO2-Based Nanocoatings for the Protection and Preservation of Stone Monuments
The preservation of cultural heritage is a worldwide problem. Stone monuments represent an important part of this heritage, but due to their prevalently outdoor location, they are generally subject to a complex series of weathering and decay processes, in addition to physical and chemical factors, also biological agents usually play an important role in deterioration phenomena. The aim of this paper is to experimentally verify applicability and feasibility of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles for the preservation of historical (architectural, monumental, archaeological) stone surfaces which enables to reduce the deterioration behaviors mentioned above. TiO2 nanoparticles dispersed in an aqueous colloidal suspension were applied directly on travertine (Marble and limestone often used in historical and monumental buildings) by spray-coating in order to obtain a nanometric film on stone samples. SEM, coupled with EDX microanalysis. (SEM-EDX), in order to obtain information oncoating homogeneity, surface morphology before and after aging and penetration depth of the TiO2 within the samples. Activity of the coated surface was evaluated with UV accelerated aging test. Capillary water absorption, thermal aging and colorimetric measurements have been performed on on coated and uncoated samples to evaluate their properties and estimate change of appearance with colour variation. Results show Tio2 nanoparticles good candidate for coating applications on calcareous stone, good water-repellence was observed on the samples after treatment; analyses were carried out on both untreated and freshly treated samples as well as after artificial aging. Colour change showed negligible variations on the coated or uncoated stone as well as after aging. Results showed that treated stone surfaces seem to be not affected after 1000 hours of exposure to UV radiation, no alteration of the original features.
Preparation and Characterization of CO-Tolerant Electrocatalyst for PEM Fuel Cell
Important requirements for the anode side electrocatalysts of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are CO-tolerance, stability and corrosion resistance. Carbon is still the most common material for electrocatalyst supports due to its low cost, high electrical conductivity and high surface area, which can ensure good dispersion of the Pt. However, carbon becomes degraded at higher potentials and it causes problem during application. Therefore it is important to explore alternative materials with improved stability. Molybdenum-oxide can improve the CO-tolerance of the Pt/C catalysts, but it is prone to leach in acidic electrolyte. The Mo was stabilized by isovalent substitution of molybdenum into the rutile phase titanium-dioxide lattice, achieved by a modified multistep sol-gel synthesis method optimized for preparation of Ti0.7Mo.3O2-C composite. High degree of Mo incorporation into the rutile lattice was developed. The conductivity and corrosion resistance across the anticipated potential/pH window was ensured by mixed oxide – activated carbon composite. Platinum loading was carried out using NaBH4 and ethylene glycol; platinum content was 40 wt%. The electrocatalyst was characterized by both material investigating methods (i.e. XRD, TEM, EDS, XPS techniques) and electrochemical methods (cyclic-voltammetry, COads stripping voltammetry, hydrogen oxidation reaction on rotating disc electrode). The electrochemical activity of the sample was compared to commercial 40 wt% Pt/C (Quintech) and PtRu/C (Quintech, Pt= 20 wt%, Ru= 10 wt%) references. Enhanced CO tolerance of the electrocatalyst prepared using the Ti0.7Mo.3O2-C composite material was evidenced by the appearance of a CO-oxidation related 'pre-peak' and by the pronounced shift of the maximum of the main CO oxidation peak towards less positive potential compared to Pt/C. Fuel cell polarization measurements were also carried out using Bio-Logic and Paxitech FCT-150S test device. All details on the design, preparation, characterization and testing by both electrochemical measurements and fuel cell test device of electrocatalyst supported on Ti0.7Mo.3O2-C composite material will be presented and discussed.
Structural Development and Multiscale Design Optimization of Additively Manufactured Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with Blended Wing Body Configuration
The research work presented in this paper is developed by the Blended Wing Body (BWB) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team, a fourth-year capstone project at Carleton University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Here, a clean sheet UAV with BWB configuration is designed and optimized using Multiscale Design Optimization (MSDO) approach employing lattice materials taking into consideration design for additive manufacturing constraints. The BWB-UAV is being developed with a mission profile designed for surveillance purposes with a minimum payload of 1000 grams. To demonstrate the design methodology, a single design loop of a sample rib from the airframe is shown in details. This includes presentation of the conceptual design, materials selection, experimental characterization and residual thermal stress distribution analysis of additively manufactured materials, manufacturing constraint identification, critical loads computations, stress analysis and design optimization. A dynamic turbulent critical load case was identified composed of a 1-g static maneuver with an incremental Power Spectral Density (PSD) gust which was used as a deterministic design load case for the design optimization. 2D flat plate Doublet Lattice Method (DLM) was used to simulate aerodynamics in the aeroelastic analysis. The aerodynamic results were verified versus a 3D CFD analysis applying Spalart-Allmaras and SST k-omega turbulence to the rigid UAV and vortex lattice method applied in the OpenVSP environment. Design optimization of a single rib was conducted using topology optimization as well as MSDO. Compared to a solid rib, weight savings of 36.44% and 59.65% were obtained for the topology optimization and the MSDO, respectively. These results suggest that MSDO is an acceptable alternative to topology optimization in weight critical applications while preserving the functional requirements.
Development of Alternative Fuels Technologies: Compressed Natural Gas Home Refueling Station
Compressed natural gas (CNG) represents an excellent compromise between the availability of a technology that is proven and relatively easy to use in many areas of the automotive industry and incurred costs. This fuel causes a lower corrosion effect due to the lower content of products causing the potential difference on the walls of the engine system. Natural gas powered vehicles (NGVs) do not emit any substances that can contaminate water or land. The absence of carcinogenic substances in gaseous fuel extends the life of the engine. In the longer term, it contributes positively to waste management as well as waste disposal. Popularization of propulsion systems powered by natural gas CNG positively affects the reduction of heavy duty transport. For these reasons, CNG as a fuel stimulates considerable interest around the world. Over the last few years, technologies related to use of natural gas as an engine fuel have been developed and improved. These solutions have evolved from the prototype phase to the industrial scale implementation. The widespread availability of gaseous fuels has led to the development of a technology that allows the CNG fuel to be refueled directly from the urban gas network to the vehicle tank (ie. HYGEN - CNGHRS). Home refueling installations, although they have been known for many years, are becoming increasingly important in the present day. The major obstacle in the sale of this technology was, until recently, quite high capital expenditure compared to the later benefits. Home refueling systems allow refueling vehicle tank, with full control of fuel costs and refueling time. CNG Home Refueling Stations (such as HYGEN) allow gas value chain to overcome the dogma that there is a lack of refueling infrastructure allowing companies in gas value chain to participate in transportation market. Technology is based on one stage hydraulic compressor (instead of multistage mechanical compressor technology) which provides the possibility to compress low pressure gas from distribution gas network to 200 bar for its further usage as a fuel for NGVs. This boosts revenues and profits of gas companies by expanding its presence in higher margin of energy sector.
Numerical Analysis of Charge Exchange in an Opposed-Piston Engine
The paper presents a description of geometric models, computational algorithms, and results of numerical analyses of charge exchange in a two-stroke opposed-piston engine. The research engine was a newly designed internal Diesel engine. The unit is characterized by three cylinders in which three pairs of opposed-pistons operate. The engine will generate a power output equal to 100 kW at a crankshaft rotation speed of 3800-4000 rpm. The numerical investigations were carried out using ANSYS FLUENT solver. Numerical research, in contrast to experimental research, allows us to validate project assumptions and avoid costly prototype preparation for experimental tests. This makes it possible to optimize the geometrical model in countless variants with no production costs. The geometrical model includes an intake manifold, a cylinder, and an outlet manifold. The study was conducted for a series of modifications of manifolds and intake and exhaust ports to optimize the charge exchange process in the engine. The calculations specified a swirl coefficient obtained under stationary conditions for a full opening of intake and exhaust ports as well as a CA value of 280° for all cylinders. In addition, mass flow rates were identified separately in all of the intake and exhaust ports to achieve the best possible uniformity of flow in the individual cylinders. For the models under consideration, velocity, pressure and streamline contours were generated in important cross sections. The developed models are designed primarily to minimize the flow drag through the intake and exhaust ports while the mass flow rate increases. Firstly, in order to calculate the swirl ratio [-], tangential velocity v [m/s] and then angular velocity ω [rad / s] with respect to the charge as the mean of each element were calculated. The paper contains comparative analyses of all the intake and exhaust manifolds of the designed engine. Acknowledgement: This work has been realized in the cooperation with The Construction Office of WSK "PZL-KALISZ" S.A." and is part of Grant Agreement No. POIR.01.02.00-00-0002/15 financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development.
In Silico Analysis of Deleterious nsSNPs (Missense) of Dihydrolipoamide Branched-Chain Transacylase E2 Gene Associated with Maple Syrup Urine Disease Type II
Maple syrup urine (MSUD) is an autosomal recessive disease that causes a deficiency in the enzyme branched-chain alpha-keto acid (BCKA) dehydrogenase. The development of disease has been associated with SNPs in the DBT gene. Despite that, the computational analysis of SNPs in coding and noncoding and their functional impacts on protein level still remains unknown. Hence, in this study, we carried out a comprehensive in silico analysis of missense that was predicted to have a harmful influence on DBT structure and function. In this study, eight different in silico prediction algorithms; SIFT, PROVEAN, MutPred, SNP&GO, PhD-SNP, PANTHER, I-Mutant 2.0 and MUpo were used for screening nsSNPs in DBT including. Additionally, to understand the effect of mutations in the strength of the interactions that bind protein together the ELASPIC servers were used. Finally, the 3D structure of DBT was formed using Mutation3D and Chimera servers respectively. Our result showed that a total of 15 nsSNPs confirmed by 4 software (R301C, R376H, W84R, S268F, W84C, F276C, H452R, R178H, I355T, V191G, M444T, T174A, I200T, R113H, and R178C) were found damaging and can lead to a shift in DBT gene structure. Moreover, we found 7 nsSNPs located on the 2-oxoacid_dh catalytic domain, 5 nsSNPs on the E_3 binding domain and 3 nsSNPs on the Biotin Domain. So these nsSNPs may alter the putative structure of DBT’s domain. Furthermore, we detected all these nsSNPs are on the core residues of the protein and have the ability to change the stability of the protein. Additionally, we found W84R, S268F, and M444T have high significance, and they affected Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which reduces or disrupt the function of BCKD complex, E2-subunit which the DBT gene encodes. In conclusion, based on our extensive in-silico analysis, we report 15 nsSNPs that have possible association with protein deteriorating and disease-causing abilities. These candidate SNPs can aid in future studies on Maple Syrup Urine Disease type II base in the genetic level.
Propagation of Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider by Stem Cuttings
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider), is a desert shrub which tolerates saline, alkyle soils and drought. The seeds contain a characteristic liquid wax of economic importance in industry as a machine lubricant and cosmetics. A major problem in seed propagation is that jojoba is a dioecious plant whose sex is not easily determined prior to flowering (3-4 years from germination). To overcome this phenomenon, asexual propagation using vegetative methods such as cutting can be used. This research was conducted to find out the effect of different Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) and rooting media on Jojoba rhizogenesis. An experiment was carried out in a Factorial Completely Randomized Design (FCRD) with three replications, each with sixty cuttings per replication in fiberglass house of Natural Jojoba Corporation at Yemen. The different rooting media used were peat moss + perlite + vermiculite (1:1:1), peat moss + perlite (1:1) and peat moss + sand (1:1). Plant materials used were semi-hard wood cuttings of jojoba plants with length of 15 cm. The cuttings were collected in the month of June during 2012 and 2013 from the sub-terminal growth of the mother plants of Amman farm and introduced to Yemen. They were wounded, treated with Indole butyric acid (IBA), α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) or Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) all @ 4000 ppm (part per million) and cultured on different rooting media under intermittent mist propagation conditions. IBA gave significantly higher percentage of rooting (66.23%) compared to NAA and IAA in all media used. However, the lowest percentage of rooting (5.33%) was recorded with IAA in the medium consisting of peat moss and sand (1:1). No significant difference was observed at all types of PGRs used with rooting media in respect of root length. Maximum number of roots was noticed in medium consisting of peat moss, perlite and vermiculite (1:1:1); peat moss and perlite (1:1) and peat moss and sand (1:1) using IBA, NAA and IBA, respectively. The interaction among rooting media was statistically significant with respect to rooting percentage character. Similarly, the interactions among PGRs were significant in terms of rooting percentage and also root length characters. The results demonstrated suitability of propagation of jojoba plants by semi-hard wood cuttings.
Phage Capsid for Efficient Delivery of Cytotoxic Drugs
The boom of nanomedicine in recent years has led to the development of numerous new nanomaterials that can be used as nanocarriers in the drug delivery. These nanocarriers can either be synthetic or natural-based. The disadvantage of many synthetic nanocarriers is their toxicity in patient’s body. Protein cages that can naturally be found in human body do not exhibit such disadvantage. However, the release of cargo from some protein cages in target cells can be problematic. As a special type of protein cages can serve the capsid of many viruses, including phage. Phages infect bacterial cells; therefore they are not harmful to human cells. The targeting of phage particles to cancer cells can be solved by producing of empty phage capsids during which the targeting moieties (e.g. peptides) can be cloned into genes of phage capsid to decorate its surface. Moreover, the produced capsids do not contain viral nucleic acid and are therefore not infectious to beneficial bacteria in the patient’s body. The protein cage composed of viral capsid is larger than other frequently used apoferritin cage but its size is still small enough to benefit from passive targeting by Enhanced Permeability and Retention effect. In this work, bacteriophage λ was used, both whole and its empty capsid for delivery of different cytotoxic drugs (cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin, etoposide and doxorubicin). Large quantities of phage λ were obtained from phage λ-producing strain of E. coli cultivated in medium with 0.2 % maltose. After killing of E. coli with chloroform and its removal by centrifugation, the phage was concentrated by ultracentrifugation at 130 000 g and 4 °C for 3 h. The encapsulation of the drugs was performed by infusion method and four different concentrations of the drugs were encapsulated (200; 100; 50; 25 µg/ml). Free molecules of drugs were removed by dialysis. The encapsulation was verified using spectrophotometric and electrochemical methods. The amount of encapsulated drug linearly increased with the amount of applied drug (determination coefficient R2=0.8013). 76% of applied drug was encapsulated in phage λ particles (concentration of 10 µg/ml), even with the highest applied concentration of drugs, 200 µg/ml. Only 1% of encapsulated drug was detected in phage DNA. Similar results were obtained with encapsulation in phage empty capsid. Therefore, it can be concluded that the encapsulation of drugs into phage particles is efficient and mostly occurs by interaction of drugs with protein capsid.
The Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Joining Processes for Air Conditioning Systems
In the paper the results of welding of car’s air–conditioning elements are presented. Acc. to new European directives 2006/40/EC which described the greenhouse gasses elimination, the producers of cars will have to stop using traditional refrigerant and to change it to carbon dioxide (R744). This refrigerant is environmental friendly. However, it should be noted, that the air condition system working with R744 refrigerant operates at high temperature (up to 150°C) and high pressure (up to 130 bar). These two parameters are much higher than for other refrigerants. Thus new materials, design as well as joining technologies are strongly needed for these systems. One of the perspective materials are AISI 304 and AISI 316L steels as well as aluminium alloys 5xxx. As a joining process laser welding, plasma welding, electron beam welding as well as high rotary friction welding can be applicated. In the study the metallographic examination based on light microscopy as well as SEM were applied to estimate the quality of welded joints. The analysis of welding was supported by numerical modelling based on Sysweld software. The results indicated that the proper quality of stainless steel’s welded joints for laser, plasma and electron beam welding can be achieved. Moreover, high rotary friction welding allows to guarantee the metallic continuity in the aluminium welded area. The metallographic examination revealed that the grain growth in the heat affected zone (HAZ) in laser and electron beam welded joints were not observed. It is due to low heat input and short welding time. The grain growth and subgrains can be observed at room temperature when the solidification mode is austenitic. This caused low microstructural changes during solidification. The columnar grain structure was found in the weld metal. Meanwhile, the equiaxed grains were detected in the interface. The numerical modelling of laser welding process allowed to estimate the temperature profile in the welded joint as well as predicts the dimensions of welds. The good agreement between FEM analysis and experimental data was achieved.
The Toxicity of Doxorubicin Connected with Nanotransporters
Doxorubicin is one of the most commonly used and the most effective chemotherapeutic drugs. This antracycline drug isolated from the bacteria Streptomyces peuceticus var. caesius is sold under the trade name Adriamycin (hydroxydaunomycin, hydroxydaunorubicin). Doxorubicin is used in single therapy to treat hematological malignancies (blood cancers, leukaemia, lymphoma), many types of carcinoma (solid tumors) and soft tissue sarcomas. It has many serious side effects like nausea and vomiting, hair lost, myelosupression, oral mucositis, skin reactions and redness, but the most serious one is the cardiotoxicity. Because of the risk of heart attack and congestive heart failure, the total dose administered to patients has to be accurately monitored. With the aim to lower the side effects and to targeted delivery of doxorubicin into the tumor tissue, the different nanoparticles are studied. The drug can be bound on a surface of nanoparticle, encapsulated in the inner cavity, or incorporated into the structure of nanoparticle. Among others, carbon nanoparticles (graphene, carbon nanotubes, fullerenes) are highly studied. Besides the number of inorganic nanoparticles, a great potential exhibit also organic ones mainly lipid-based and polymeric nanoparticle. The aim of this work was to perform a toxicity study of free doxorubicin compared to doxorubicin conjugated with various nanotransporters. The effect of liposomes, fullerenes, graphene, and carbon nanotubes on the toxicity was analyzed. As a first step, the binding efficacy of between doxorubicin and the nanotransporter was determined. The highest efficacy was detected in case of liposomes (85% of applied drug was encapsulated) followed by graphene, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. For the toxicological studies, the chicken embryos incubated under controlled conditions (37.5 °C, 45% rH, rotation every 2 hours) were used. In 7th developmental day of chicken embryos doxorubicin or doxorubicin-nanotransporter complex was applied on the chorioallantoic membrane of the eggs and the viability was analyzed every day till the 17th developmental day. Then the embryos were extracted from the shell and the distribution of doxorubicin in the body was analyzed by measurement of organs extracts using laser induce fluorescence detection. The chicken embryo mortality caused by free doxorubicin (30%) was significantly lowered by using the conjugation with nanomaterials. The highest accumulation of doxorubicin and doxorubicin nanotransporter complexes was observed in the liver tissue
Building Academic Success and Resilience in Social Work Students: An Application of Self-Determination Theory
A major concern for the Social Work profession concerns the frequency of burn-out and high turnover of staff. The characteristic of resilience has been identified as playing a crucial role in social workers’ ability to have a satisfying and successful career. Thus a critical role for social work education is to develop resilience in social work students. We currently need to know more about how to train resilient social workers who will also increase the academic standing of the profession. The specific aim of this research was to quantify characteristics that may contribute towards resilience and academic success among student social workers in order to mitigate against the problems of burn-out and low academic standing. These three characteristics were competence (effectiveness at mastering the environment), autonomy (sense of control and free will), and relatedness (interacting and connecting with others), as specified in Self-Determination Theory (SDT). When these three needs are satisfied, we experience higher degrees of motivation to succeed and wellbeing. Thus when these three needs are met in social work students, they have the potential to raise academic standards and promote wellbeing characteristics that contribute to the development of resilience. The current study tested the hypothesis that higher levels of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as defined by SDT, will predict levels of academic success and resilience in social work students. Two hundred and ten social work students studying at a number of universities completed well-established questionnaires to assess autonomy, competence, and relatedness, level of academic performance and resilience (The Brief Resilience Scale). In this scale, students rated their agreement with items e.g., ‘I bounce back quickly after hard times’ and ‘I usually come through difficult times with little struggle’. After controlling for various factors, including age, gender, ethnicity, and course (undergraduate or postgraduate) preliminary analysis revealed that the components of SDT provided useful predictive value for academic success and resilience. In particular, autonomy and competence provided a useful predictor of academic success while relatedness was a particularly useful predictor of resilience. This study demonstrated that SDT provides a valuable framework for helping to understand what predicts academic success and resilience among social work students. This is relevant because the psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness can be affected by external social and cultural pressures, thus they can be improved by the right type of supportive teaching practices and educational environments. These findings contribute to the growing evidence-base to help build an academic and resilient social worker student body and workforce.
Students' ExperiEnce Enhancement Through Simulaton. A Process Flow in Logistics and Transportation Field
Students’ enhanced experience through simulation is a crucial factor that brings reality to the classroom. The enhanced experience is all about developing, enriching and applications of a generic process flow in the field of logistics and transportations. As educational technology has improved, the effective use of simulations has greatly increased to the point where simulations should be considered a valuable, mainstream pedagogical tool. Additionally, in this era of ongoing (some say never-ending) assessment, simulations offer a rich resource for objective measurement and comparisons. Simulation is not just another in the long line of passing fads (or short-term opportunities) in educational technology. It is rather a real key to helping our students understand the world. It is a way for students to acquire experience about how things and systems in the world behave and react, without actually touching them. In short, it is about interactive pretending. Simulation is all about representing the real world which includes grasping the complex issues and solving intricate problems. Therefore, it is crucial before stimulate the real process of inbound and outbound logistics and transportation a generic process flow shall be developed. The paper will be focusing on the validization of the process flow by looking at the inputs gains from the sample. The sampling of the study focuses on multi-national and local manufacturing companies, third party companies (3PL) and government agency, which are selected in Peninsular Malaysia. A simulation flow chart was proposed in the study that will be the generic flow in logistics and transportation. A qualitative approach was mainly conducted to gather data in the study. It was found out from the study that the systems used in the process of outbound and inbound are System Application Products (SAP) and Material Requirement Planning (MRP). Furthermore there were some companies using Enterprises Resources Planning (ERP) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) as part of the Suppliers Own Inventories (SOI) networking as a result of globalized business between one countries to another. Computerized documentations and transactions were all mandatory requirement by the Royal Custom and Excise Department. The generic process flow will be the basis of developing a simulation program that shall be used in the classroom with the objective of further enhanced the students’ learning experience. Thus it will contributes to the body of knowledge on the enrichment of the student’s employability and also shall be one of the way to train new workers in the logistics and transportation filed.
Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression Comorbid with Diabetes: Preliminary Findings
Background:Depression treatment for people living with depression comorbid with diabetes is of critical importance for improving quality of life and diabetes self-management, however depression remains under-recognised and under-treated in this population. Cost—effective and accessible forms of depression treatment that can enhance the delivery of mental health services in routine diabetes care are needed. Provision of internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (iCBT) provides a promising way to deliver effective depression treatment to people with diabetes. Aims:To explore the outcomes of the clinician assisted iCBT program for people with comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and diabetes compared to those who remain under usual care. The main hypotheses are that: (1) Participants in the treatment group would show a significant improvement on disorder specific measures (Patient Health Questionnaire; PHQ-9) relative to those in the control group; (2) Participants in the treatment group will show a decrease in diabetes-related distress relative to those in the control group. This study will also examine: (1) the effect of iCBT for MDD on disability (as measured by the SF-12 and SDS), general distress (as measured by the K10), (2) the feasibility of these treatments in terms of acceptability to diabetes patients and practicality for clinicians (as measured by the Credibility/Expectancy Questionnaire; CEQ). We hypothesise that associated disability, and general distress will reduce, and that patients with comorbid MDD and diabetes will rate the program as acceptable. Method:Recruit 100 people with MDD comorbid with diabetes (either Type 1 or Type 2), and randomly allocate to: iCBT (over 10 weeks) or treatment as usual (TAU) for 10 weeks, then iCBT. Measure pre- and post-intervention MDD severity, anxiety, diabetes-related distress, distress, disability, HbA1c, lifestyle, adherence, satisfaction with clinicians input and the treatment. Results:Preliminary results comparing MDD symptom levels, anxiety, diabetes-specific distress, distress, disability, HbA1c levels, and lifestyle factors from baseline to conclusion of treatment will be presented, as well as data on adherence to the lessons, homework downloads, satisfaction with the clinician's input and satisfaction with the mode of treatment generally.
Synthesis and Analytical Characterisation of Polymer-Silica Nanoparticles Composite for the Protection and Preservation of Stone Monuments
Historical stone surfaces and architectural heritage may undergo unwanted changes due to the exposure to many physical and chemical deterioration factors, the innovative properties of the nano - materials can have advantageous application in the restoration and conservation of the cultural heritage with relation to the tailoring of new products for protection and consolidation of stone. The current work evaluates the effectiveness of inorganic compatible treatments; based on nanosized particles of silica (SiO2) dispersed in silicon based product, commonly used as a water-repellent/ consolidation for the construction materials affected by different kinds of decay. The nanocomposites obtained by dispersing the silica nanoparticles in polymeric matrices SILRES® BS OH 100 (solventless mixtures of ethyl silicates), in order to obtain a new nanocomposite, with hydrophobic and consolidation properties, to improve the physical and mechanical properties of the stone material. The nanocomposites obtained and pure SILRES® BS OH 100 were applied by brush Experimental stone blocks. The efficacy of the treatments has been evaluated after consolidation and artificial Thermal aging, through capillary water absorption measurements, Ultraviolet-light exposure to evaluate photo-induced and the hydrophobic effects of the treated surface, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination is performed to evaluate penetration depth, re-aggregating effects of the deposited phase and the surface morphology before and after artificialaging. Sterio microscopy investigation is performed to evaluate the resistant to the effects of the erosion, acids and salts. Improving of stone mechanical properties were evaluated by compressive strength tests, colorimetric measurements were used to evaluate the optical appearance. All the results get together with the apparent effect that, silica/polymer nanocomposite is efficient material for the consolidation of artistic and architectural sandstone monuments, completely compatible, enhanced the durability of sandstone toward thermal and UV aging. In addition, the obtained nanocomposite improved the stone mechanical properties and the resistant to the effects of the erosion, acids and salts compared to the samples treated with pure SILRES® BS OH 100 without silica nanoparticles.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Injector Research for Dual Fuel Engine
Environmental considerations necessitate the search for new energy sources. One of the available solutions is a partial replacement of diesel fuel by compressed natural gas (CNG) in the compression ignition engines. This type of the engines is used mainly in vans and trucks. These units are also gaining more and more popularity in the passenger car market. In Europe, this part of the market share reaches 50%. Diesel engines are also used in industry in such vehicles as ship or locomotives. Diesel engines have higher emissions of nitrogen oxides in comparison to spark ignition engines. This can be currently limited by optimizing the combustion process and the use of additional systems such as exhaust gas recirculation or AdBlue technology. As a result of the combustion process of diesel fuel also particulate matter (PM) that are harmful to the human health are emitted. Their emission is limited by the use of a particulate filter. One of the method for toxic components emission reduction may be the use of liquid gas fuel such as propane and butane (LPG) or compressed natural gas (CNG). In addition to the environmental aspects, there are also economic reasons for the use of gaseous fuels to power diesel engines. A total or partial replacement of diesel gas is possible. Depending on the used technology and the percentage of diesel fuel replacement, it is possible to reduce the content of nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gas even by 30%, particulate matter (PM) by 95 % carbon monoxide and by 20%, in relation to original diesel fuel. The research object is prototype gas injector designed for direct injection of compressed natural gas (CNG) in compression ignition engines. The construction of the injector allows for it positioning in the glow plug socket, so that the gas is injected directly into the combustion chamber. The cycle analysis of the four-cylinder Andoria ADCR engine with a capacity of 2.6 dm3 for different crankshaft rotational speeds allowed to determine the necessary time for fuel injection. Because of that, it was possible to determine the required mass flow rate of the injector, for replacing as much of the original fuel by gaseous fuel. To ensure a high value of flow inside the injector, supply pressure equal to 1 MPa was applied. High gas supply pressure requires high value of valve opening forces. For this purpose, an injector with hydraulic control system, using a liquid under pressure for the opening process was designed. On the basis of air pressure measurements in the flow line after the injector, the analysis of opening and closing of the valve was made. Measurements of outflow mass of the injector were also carried out. The results showed that the designed injector meets the requirements necessary to supply ADCR engine by the CNG fuel.
Environmental Aspects of Alternative Fuel Use for Transport with Special Focus on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
The history of gaseous fuel use in the motive power of vehicles dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century, and thus the beginnings of the automotive industry. The engines were powered by coal gas and became the prototype for internal combustion engines built so far. It can thus be considered that this construction gave rise to the automotive industry. As the socio-economic development advances, so does the number of motor vehicles. Although, due to technological progress in recent decades, the emissions generated by internal combustion engines of cars have been reduced, a sharp increase in the number of cars and the rapidly growing traffic are an important source of air pollution and a major cause of acoustic threat, in particular in large urban agglomerations. One of the solutions, in terms of reducing exhaust emissions and improving air quality, is a more extensive use of alternative fuels: CNG, LNG, electricity and hydrogen. In the case of electricity use for transport, it should be noted that the environmental outcome depends on the structure of electricity generation. The paper shows selected regulations affecting the use of alternative fuels for transport (including Directive 2014/94/EU) and its dynamics between 2000 and 2015 in Poland and selected EU countries. The paper also gives a focus on the impact of alternative fuels on the environment by comparing the volume of individual emissions (compared to the emissions from conventional fuels: petrol and diesel oil). Bearing in mind that the extent of various alternative fuel use is determined in first place by economic conditions, the article describes the price relationships between alternative and conventional fuels in Poland and selected EU countries. It is pointed out that although Poland has a wealth of experience in using methane alternative fuels for transport, one of the main barriers to their development in Poland is the extensive use of LPG. In addition, a poorly developed network of CNG stations in Poland, which does not allow easy transport, especially in the northern part of the country, is a serious problem to a further development of CNG use as fuel for transport. An interesting solution to this problem seems to be the use of home CNG filling stations: Home Refuelling Appliance (HRA, refuelling time 8-10 hours) and Home Refuelling Station (HRS, refuelling time 8-10 minutes). The team is working on HRA and HRS technologies. The article also highlights the impact of alternative fuel use on energy security by reducing reliance on imports of crude oil and petroleum products.
Observational Study of Ionising Radiation Exposure in Orthopaedic Theatre
Background and aims: In orthopaedic theatres, radiological screening during operations is a commonly used and useful technique to visualise and guide the operating surgeon. Within any theatre using ionising radiation, it is imperative that the use of protective equipment and the wearing of a dosimeter at all times. 1. To assess compliance with use of protective equipment during orthopaedic procedures involving ionising radiation. 2. To assess the radiation risk knowledge of staff members regularly present in an orthopaedic theatre of a national major trauma centre, in accordance to the ionising radiation regulation (2000) guidelines. Method: We conducted an Observational study of 21 operations at the University Hospital of Wales, which is a major trauma centre, recording the compliance with use of protective equipment (lead aprons and thyroid shields) and dosimeters. The observations were performed sporadically over a two week period to ensure that all staff in monitored operating theatres were not aware of the ongoing study, as to avoid bias. A questionnaire testing the knowledge of trainees and staff within the orthopaedic department was given following completion of the initial phase of the study, with 19 responses. The questions were based on knowledge of ionising radiation exposure and monitoring. The questions also tested the general staff knowledge of what equipment should be worn and where to locate such equipment. Results: This study found that only 25% of staff members were wearing thyroid protectors when less than 1 meter from the radiation source and only 50% were wearing appropriate lead aprons whilst in this same vicinity. The study also showed that 0% of all staff members used a dosimeter whilst in an area of radiation exposure. From the distributed questionnaires, only 40% of staff understood where to stand whilst radiation was being used, and only 25% of staff knew where to find protective equipment. Conclusion: Overall our audit showed poor compliance with regards to the National and local policies, due to lack of awareness of the policy and lack of basic ionising radiation exposure knowledge. It was evident from the observational study and questionnaire that staff were not fully aware of what equipment should be worn, where to find such equipment and did not appreciate that the distance from the ionising radiation source altered its exposure effect. This lack of knowledge may affect the staff health and safety after long term exposure. Changes to clinical practice: From the outcome of this study, we managed to drastically increase awareness of ionising radiation within the orthopaedic department. A mandatory teaching session on the safety of ionising radiation has been incorporated into the orthopaedic induction week for all staff. The dosimeters have been moved to a visible location within the trauma operating theatre and all staff made aware of where to find protective equipment.
Development of International Entry-Level Nursing Competencies to Address the Continuum of Substance Use
Introduction: Substance use along the continuum from at-risk use to a substance use disorder (SUD) contributes substantially to the burden of disease and related harms worldwide. There is a growing body of literature that highlights the lack of substance use related content in nursing curricula. Furthermore, there is also a lack of consensus on key competencies necessary for entry-level nurses. Globally, there is a lack of established nursing competencies related to prevention, health promotion, harm reduction and treatment of at-risk substance use and SUDs. At a critical time in public health, this gap in nursing curricula contributes to a lack of preparation for entry-level nurses to support people along the continuum of substance use. Thus, in practice, early opportunities for screening, support, and interventions may be missed. To address this gap, an international committee was convened to develop international entry-level nursing competencies specifying the knowledge, skills, and abilities that all nurses should possess in order to address the continuum of substance use. Methodology: An international steering committee, including representation from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and Australia was established to lead this work over a one-year time period. The steering committee conducted a scoping review, undertaken to examine nursing competency frameworks, and to inform a competency structure that would guide this work. The next steps were to outline key competency areas and establish leaders for working groups to develop the competencies. In addition, a larger international committee was gathered to contribute to competency working groups, review the collective work and concur on the final document. Findings: A comprehensive framework was developed with competencies covering a wide spectrum of substance use across the lifespan and in the context of prevention, health promotion, harm reduction and treatment, including special populations. The development of this competency-based framework meets an identified need to provide guidance for universities, health authorities, policy makers, nursing regulators and other organizations that provide and support nursing education which focuses on care for patients and families with at-risk substance use and SUDs. Conclusion: Utilizing these global competencies as expected outcomes of an educational and skill building curricula for entry-level nurses holds great promise for incorporating evidence-informed training in the care and management of people across the continuum of substance use.
Investigating the Algorithm to Maintain a Constant Speed in the Wankel Engine
Increasingly stringent emission standards for passenger cars require us to find alternative drives. The share of electric vehicles in the sale of new cars increases every year. However, their performance and, above all, range cannot be today successfully compared to those of cars with a traditional internal combustion engine. Battery recharging lasts hours, which can be hardly accepted due to the time needed to refill a fuel tank. Therefore, the ways to reduce the adverse features of cars equipped with electric motors only are searched for. One of the methods is a combination of an electric engine as a main source of power and a small internal combustion engine as an electricity generator. This type of drive enables an electric vehicle to achieve a radically increased range and low emissions of toxic substances. For several years, the leading automotive manufacturers like the Mazda and the Audi together with the best companies in the automotive industry, e.g., AVL have developed some electric drive systems capable of recharging themselves while driving, known as a range extender. An electricity generator is powered by a Wankel engine that has seemed to pass into history. This low weight and small engine with a rotating piston and a very low vibration level turned out to be an excellent source in such applications. Its operation as an energy source for a generator almost entirely eliminates its disadvantages like high fuel consumption, high emission of toxic substances, or short lifetime typical of its traditional application. The operation of the engine at a constant rotational speed enables a significant increase in its lifetime, and its small external dimensions enable us to make compact modules to drive even small urban cars like the Audi A1 or the Mazda 2. The algorithm to maintain a constant speed was investigated on the engine dynamometer with an eddy current brake and the necessary measuring apparatus. The research object was the Aixro XR50 rotary engine with the electronic power supply developed at the Lublin University of Technology. The load torque of the engine was altered during the research by means of the eddy current brake capable of giving any number of load cycles. The parameters recorded included speed and torque as well as a position of a throttle in an inlet system. Increasing and decreasing load did not significantly change engine speed, which means that control algorithm parameters are correctly selected. This work has been financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Destruction of Colon Cells by Nanocontainers of Ferromagnetic
The aim of this work is to investigate the influence of electromagnetic field from the range of radio frequencies on the desired nanoparticles for cancer therapy. In the article, the development and demonstration of the method and the model device for hyperthermic selective destruction of cancer cells are presented. This method was based on the synthesis and functionalization of carbon nanotubes serving as ferromagnetic material nanocontainers. The methodology of the production carbon - ferromagnetic nanocontainers (FNCs) includes: The synthesis of carbon nanotubes, chemical, and physical characterization, increasing the content of a ferromagnetic material and biochemical functionalization involving the attachment of the key addresses. The ferromagnetic nanocontainers were synthesised in CVD and microwave plasma system. Biochemical functionalization of ferromagnetic nanocontainers is necessary in order to increase the binding selectively with receptors presented on the surface of tumour cells. Multi-step modification procedure was finally used to attach folic acid on the surface of ferromagnetic nanocontainers. Pristine ferromagnetic carbon nanotubes are not suitable for application in medicine and biotechnology. Appropriate functionalization of ferromagnetic carbon nanotubes allows to receiving materials useful in medicine. Finally, a product contains folic acids on the surface of FNCs. The folic acid is a ligand of folate receptors – α which is overexpressed on the surface of epithelial tumours cells. It is expected that folic acids will be recognized and selectively bound by receptors presented on the surface of tumour cells. In our research, FNCs were covalently functionalized in a multi-step procedure. Ferromagnetic carbon nanotubes were oxidated using different oxidative agents. For this purpose, strong acids such as HNO3, or mixture HNO3 and H2SO4 were used. Reactive carbonyl and carboxyl groups were formed on the open sides and at the defects on the sidewalls of FNCs. These groups allow further modification of FNCs as a reaction of amidation, reaction of introduction appropriate linkers which separate solid surface of FNCs and ligand (folic acid). In our studies, amino acid and peptide have been applied as ligands. The last step of chemical modification was reaction-condensation with folic acid. In all reaction as coupling reagents were used derivatives of 1,3,5-triazine. The first trials in the device for hyperthermal RF generator have been done. The frequency of RF generator was in the ranges from 10 to 14Mhz and from 265 to 621kHz. Obtained functionalized nanoparticles enabled to reach the temperature of denaturation tumor cells in given frequencies.
The Inclusive Human Trafficking Checklist: A Dialectical Measurement Methodology
The identification of victims of human trafficking and consequential service provision is characterized by a significant disconnection between the estimated prevalence of this issue and the number of cases identified. This poses as tremendous problem for human rights advocates as it prevents data collection, information sharing, allocation of resources and opportunities for international dialogues. The current paper introduces the Inclusive Human Trafficking Checklist (IHTC) as a measurement methodology with theoretical underpinnings derived from dialectic theory. The presence of human trafficking in a person’s life is conceptualized as a dynamic and dialectic interaction between vulnerability and exploitation. The current papers explores the operationalization of exploitation and vulnerability, evaluates the metric qualities of the instrument, evaluates whether there are differences in assessment based on the participant’s profession, level of knowledge, and training, and assesses if users of the instrument perceive it as useful. A total of 201 participants were asked to rate three vignettes predetermined by experts to qualify as a either human trafficking case or not. The participants were placed in three conditions: business as usual, utilization of the IHTC with and without training. The results revealed a statistically significant level of agreement between the expert’s diagnostic and the application of the IHTC with an improvement of 40% on identification when compared with the business as usual condition While there was an improvement in identification in the group with training, the difference was found to have a small effect size. Participants who utilized the IHTC showed an increased ability to identify elements of identity-based vulnerabilities as well as elements of fraud, which according to the results, are distinctive variables in cases of human trafficking. In terms of the perceived utility, the results revealed higher mean scores for the groups utilizing the IHTC when compared to the business as usual condition. These findings suggest that the IHTC improves appropriate identification of cases and that it is perceived as a useful instrument. The application of the IHTC as a multidisciplinary instrumentation that can be utilized in legal and human services settings is discussed as a pivotal piece of helping victims restore their sense of dignity, and advocate for legal, physical and psychological reparations. It is noteworthy that this study was conducted with a sample in the United States and later re-tested in Colombia. The implications of the instrument for treatment conceptualization and intervention in human trafficking cases are discussed as opportunities for enhancement of victim well-being, restoration engagement and activism. With the idea that what is personal is also political, we believe that the careful observation and data collection in specific cases can inform new areas of human rights activism.
Gold-Mediated Modification of Apoferritin Surface with Targeting Antibodies
Protein apoferritin seems to be a very promising structure for use as a nanocarrier. It is prepared from intracellular ferritin protein naturally found in most organisms. The role of ferritin proteins is to store and transport ferrous ions. Apoferritin is a hollow protein cage without ferrous ions that can be prepared from ferritin by reduction with thioglycolic acid or dithionite. The structure of apoferritin is composed of 24 protein subunits, creating a sphere with 12 nm in diameter. The inner cavity has a diameter of 8 nm. The drug encapsulation process is based on the response of apoferritin structure to the pH changes of surrounding solution. In low pH, apoferritin is disassembled into individual subunits and its structure is “opened”. It can then be mixed with any desired cytotoxic drug and after adjustment of pH back to neutral the subunits are reconnected again and the drug is encapsulated within the apoferritin particles. Excess drug molecules can be removed by dialysis. The receptors for apoferritin, SCARA5 and TfR1 can be found in the membrane of both healthy and cancer cells. To enhance the specific targeting of apoferritin nanocarrier, it is possible to modify its surface with targeting moieties, such as antibodies. To ensure sterically correct complex, we used a a peptide linker based on a protein G with N-terminus affinity towards Fc region of antibodies. To connect the peptide to the surface of apoferritin, the C-terminus of peptide was made of cysteine with affinity to gold. The surface of apoferritin with encapsulated doxorubicin (ApoDox) was coated either with gold nanoparticles (ApoDox-Nano) or gold (III) chloride hydrate reduced with sodium borohydride (ApoDox-HAu). The applied amount of gold in form of gold (III) chloride hydrate was 10 times higher than in the case of gold nanoparticles. However, after removal of the excess unbound ions by electrophoretic separation, the concentration of gold on the surface of apoferritin was only 6 times higher for ApoDox-HAu in comparison with ApoDox-Nano. Moreover, the reduction with sodium borohydride caused a loss of doxorubicin fluorescent properties (excitation maximum at 480 nm with emission maximum at 600 nm) and thus its biological activity. Fluorescent properties of ApoDox-Nano were similar to the unmodified ApoDox, therefore it was more suited for the intended use. To evaluate the specificity of apoferritin modified with antibodies, we used ELISA-like method with the surface of microtitration plate wells coated by the antigen (goat anti-human IgG antibodies). To these wells, we applied ApoDox without targeting antibodies and ApoDox-Nano modified with targeting antibodies (human IgG antibodies). The amount of unmodified ApoDox on antigen after incubation and subsequent rinsing with water was 5 times lower than in the case of ApoDox-Nano modified with targeting antibodies. The modification of non-gold ApoDox with antibodies caused no change in its targeting properties. It can therefore be concluded that the demonstrated procedure allows us to create nanocarrier with enhanced targeting properties, suitable for nanomedicine.
Fischer Tropsch Synthesis in Compressed Carbon Dioxide with Integrated Recycle
Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis is a complex series of heterogeneous reactions between CO and H2 molecules (present in the syngas) on the surface of an active catalyst (Co, Fe, Ru, Ni, etc.) to produce gaseous, liquid, and waxy hydrocarbons. This product is composed of paraffins, olefins, and oxygenated compounds. The key challenge in applying the Fischer-Tropsch process to produce transportation fuels is to make the capital and production costs economically feasible relative to the comparative cost of existing petroleum resources. To meet this challenge, it is imperative to enhance the CO conversion while maximizing carbon selectivity towards the desired liquid hydrocarbon ranges (i.e. reduction in CH4 and CO2 selectivities) at high throughputs. At the same time, it is equally essential to increase the catalyst robustness and longevity without sacrificing catalyst activity. This paper focuses on process development to achieve the above. The paper describes the influence of operating parameters on Fischer Tropsch synthesis (FTS) from coal derived syngas in supercritical carbon dioxide (ScCO2). In addition, the unreacted gas and solvent recycle was incorporated and the effect of unreacted feed recycle was evaluated. It was expected that with the recycle, the feed rate can be increased. The increase in conversion and liquid selectivity accompanied by the production of narrower carbon number distribution in the product suggest that higher flow rates can and should be used when incorporating exit gas recycle. It was observed that this process was capable of enhancing the hydrocarbon selectivity (nearly 98 % CO conversion), reducing improving the carbon efficiency from 17 % to 51 % in a once through process and further converting 16 % CO2 to liquid with integrated recycle of the product gas stream and increasing the life of the catalyst. Catalyst robustness enhancement has been attributed to the absorption of heat of reaction by the compressed CO2 which reduced the formation of hotspots and the dissolution of waxes by the CO2 solvent which reduced the blinding of active sites. In addition, the recycling the product gas stream reduced the reactor footprint to one-fourth of the once through size and product fractionation utilizing the solvent effects of supercritical CO2 were realized. In addition to the negative CO2 selectivities, methane production was also inhibited and was limited to less than 1.5%. The effect of the process conditions on the life of the catalysts will also be presented. Fe based catalysts are known to have a high proclivity for producing CO2 during FTS. The data of the product spectrum and selectivity on Co and Fe-Co based catalysts as well as those obtained from commercial sources will also be presented. The measurable decision criteria were the increase in CO conversion at H2:CO ratio of 1:1 (as commonly found in coal gasification product stream) in supercritical phase as compared to gas phase reaction, decrease in CO2 and CH4 selectivity, overall liquid product distribution, and finally an increase in the life of the catalysts.
Courtyard Evolution in Contemporary Sustainable Living
The paper will focus on the strategic development deriving from the evolution of the traditional courtyard spatial organization towards a new, contemporary sustainable way of living. New sustainable approaches that engulf the social issues, the notion of place, the understanding of weather architecture blended together with the bioclimatic behaviour will be seen through a series of experimental case studies in the island of Cyprus, inspired and originated from its traditional wisdom, ranging from small scale of living to urban interventions. Weather and nature will be seen as co-architectural authors with architects as intelligently claimed by Jonathan Hill in his Weather Architecture discourse. Furthermore, following Pallasmaa’s understanding, the building will be seen not as an end itself and the elements of an architectural experience as having a verb form rather than being nouns. This will further enhance the notion of merging the subject-human and the object-building as discussed by Julio Bermudez. This eventually will enable to generate the discussion of the understanding of the building constructed according to the specifics of place and inhabitants, shaped by its physical and human topography as referred by Adam Sharr in relation to Heidegger’s thinking. The specificities of the divided island and the dealing with sites that are in vicinity with the diving Green Line will further trigger explorations dealing with the regeneration issues and the social sustainability offering unprecedented opportunities for innovative sustainable ways of living. The above premises will lead us to develop innovative strategies for a profound, both technical and social sustainability, which fruitfully yields to innovative living built environments, responding to the ever changing environmental and social needs. As a starting point, a case study in Kaimakli in Nicosia a refurbishment with an extension of a traditional house, already engulfs all the traditional/ vernacular wisdom of the bioclimatic architecture. It aims at capturing not only its direct and quite obvious bioclimatic features, but rather to evolve them by adjusting the whole house in a contemporary living environment. In order to succeed this, evolutions of traditional architectural elements and spatial conditions are integrated in a way that does not only respond to some certain weather conditions, but they integrate and blend the weather within the built environment. A series of innovations aiming at maximum flexibility is proposed. The house can finally be transformed into a winter enclosure, while for the most part of the year it turns into a ‘camping’ living environment. Parallel to experimental interventions in existing traditional units, we will proceed examining the implementation of the same developed methodology in designing living units and complexes. Malleable courtyard organizations that attempt to blend the traditional wisdom with the contemporary needs for living, the weather and nature with the built environment will be seen tested in both horizontal and vertical developments. A new social identity of people, directly involved and interacting with the weather and climatic conditions will be seen as the result of balancing the social with the technological sustainability, the immaterial and the material aspects of the built environment.
Development of Alternative Fuels Technologies for Transportation
Currently, in automotive transport to power vehicles, almost exclusively hydrocarbon based fuels are used. Due to increase of hydrocarbon fuels consumption, quality parameters are tightend for clean environment. At the same time efforts are undertaken for development of alternative fuels. The reasons why looking for alternative fuels for petroleum and diesel are: to increase vehicle efficiency and to reduce the environmental impact, reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and savings in consumption of limited oil resources. Significant progress was performed on development of alternative fuels such as methanol, ethanol, natural gas (CNG / LNG), LPG, dimethyl ether (DME) and biodiesel. In addition, biggest vehicle manufacturers work on fuel cell vehicles and its introduction to the market. Alcohols such as methanol and ethanol create the perfect fuel for spark-ignition engines. Their advantages are high-value antiknock which determines their application as additive (10%) to unleaded petrol and relative purity of produced exhaust gasses. Ethanol is produced in distillation process of plant products, which value as a food can be irrational. Ethanol production can be costly also for the entire economy of the country, because it requires a large complex distillation plants, large amounts of biomass and finally a significant amount of fuel to sustain the process. At the same time, the fermentation process of plants releases into the atmosphere large quantities of carbon dioxide. Natural gas cannot be directly converted into liquid fuels, although such arrangements have been proposed in the literature. Going through stage of intermediates is inevitable yet. Most popular one is conversion to methanol, which can be processed further to dimethyl ether (DME) or olefin (ethylene and propylene) for the petrochemical sector. Methanol uses natural gas as a raw material, however, requires expensive and advanced production processes. In relation to pollution emissions, the optimal vehicle fuel is LPG which is used in many countries as an engine fuel. Production of LPG is inextricably linked with production and processing of oil and gas, and which represents a small percentage. Its potential as an alternative for traditional fuels is therefore proportionately reduced. Excellent engine fuel may be biogas, however, follows to the same limitations as ethanol - the same production process is used and raw materials. Most essential fuel in the campaign of environment protection against pollution is natural gas. Natural gas as fuel may be either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG). Natural gas can also be used for hydrogen production in steam reforming. Hydrogen can be used as a basic starting material for the chemical industry, an important raw material in the refinery processes, as well as a fuel vehicle transportation. Natural gas can be used as CNG which represents an excellent compromise between the availability of the technology that is proven and relatively cheap to use in many areas of the automotive industry. Natural gas can also be seen as an important bridge to other alternative sources of energy derived from fuel and harmless to the environment. For these reasons CNG as a fuel stimulates considerable interest in the worldwide.
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.
The Analysis of Noise Harmfulness in Public Utility Facilities
The main purpose of the study is to perform the measurement and analysis of noise harmfulness in public utility facilities. The World Health Organization reports that the number of people suffering from hearing impairment is constantly increasing. The most alarming is the number of young people occurring in the statistics. The majority of scientific research in the field of hearing protection and noise prevention concern industrial and road traffic noise as the source of health problems. As the result, corresponding standards and regulations defining noise level limits are enforced. However, there is another field uncovered by profound research – leisure time. Public utility facilities such as clubs, shopping malls, sport facilities or concert halls – they all generate high-level noise, being out of proper juridical control. Among European Union Member States, the highest legislative act concerning noise prevention is the Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC. However, it omits the problem discussed above and even for traffic, railway and aircraft noise it does not set limits or target values, leaving these issues to the discretion of the Member State authorities. Without explicit and uniform regulations, noise level control at places designed for relaxation and entertainment is often in the responsibility of people having little knowledge of hearing protection, unaware of the risk the noise pollution poses. Exposure to high sound levels in clubs, cinemas, at concerts and sports events may result in a progressive hearing loss, especially among young people, being the main target group of such facilities and events. The first step to change this situation and to raise the general awareness is to perform reliable measurements the results of which will emphasize the significance of the problem. This project presents the results of more than hundred measurements, performed in most types of public utility facilities in Poland. As the most suitable measuring instrument for such a research, personal noise dosimeters were used to collect the data. Each measurement is presented in the form of numerical results including equivalent and peak sound pressure levels and a detailed description considering the type of the sound source, size and furnishing of the room and the subjective sound level evaluation. In the absence of a straight reference point for the interpretation of the data, the limits specified in EU Directive 2003/10/EC were used for comparison. They set the maximum sound level values for workers in relation to their working time length. The analysis of the examined problem leads to the conclusion that during leisure time, people are exposed to noise levels significantly exceeding safe values. As the hearing problems are gradually progressing, most people underplay the problem, ignoring the first symptoms. Therefore, an effort has to be made to specify the noise regulations for public utility facilities. Without any action, in the foreseeable future the majority of Europeans will be dealing with serious hearing damage, which will have a negative impact on the whole societies.
Health Reforms in Central and Eastern European Countries: Results, Dynamics, and Outcomes Measure
Background: A number of approaches to assess the performance of health system have been proposed so far. Nonetheless, they lack a consensus regarding the key components of assessment procedure and criteria of evaluation. The WHO and OECD have developed methods of assessing health system to counteract the underlying issues, but they are not free of controversies and did not manage to produce a commonly accepted consensus. The aim of the study: On the basis of WHO and OECD approaches we decided to develop own methodology to assess the performance of health systems in Central and Eastern European countries. We have applied the method to compare the effects of health systems reforms in 20 countries of the region, in order to evaluate the dynamic of changes in terms of health system outcomes.Methods: Data was collected from a 25-year time period after the fall of communism, subsetted into different post-reform stages. Datasets collected from individual countries underwent one-, two- or multi-dimensional statistical analyses, and the Synthetic Measure of health system Outcomes (SMO) was calculated, on the basis of the method of zeroed unitarization. A map of dynamics of changes over time across the region was constructed. Results: When making a comparative analysis of the tested group in terms of the average SMO value throughout the analyzed period, we noticed some differences, although the gaps between individual countries were small. The countries with the highest SMO were the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia, while the lowest was in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Albania, and Armenia. Countries differ in terms of the range of SMO value changes throughout the analyzed period. The dynamics of change is high in the case of Estonia and Latvia, moderate in the case of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Russia and Moldova, and small when it comes to Belarus, Ukraine, Macedonia, Lithuania, and Georgia. This information reveals fluctuation dynamics of the measured value in time, yet it does not necessarily mean that in such a dynamic range an improvement appears in a given country. In reality, some of the countries moved from on the scale with different effects. Albania decreased the level of health system outcomes while Armenia and Georgia made progress, but lost distance to leaders in the region. On the other hand, Latvia and Estonia showed the most dynamic progress in improving the outcomes. Conclusions: Countries that have decided to implement comprehensive health reform have achieved a positive result in terms of further improvements in health system efficiency levels. Besides, a higher level of efficiency during the initial transition period generally positively determined the subsequent value of the efficiency index value, but not the dynamics of change. The paths of health system outcomes improvement are highly diverse between different countries. The instrument we propose constitutes a useful tool to evaluate the effectiveness of reform processes in post-communist countries, but more studies are needed to identify factors that may determine results obtained by individual countries, as well as to eliminate the limitations of methodology we applied.
A Study on Economic Impacts of Entrepreneurial Firms and Self-Employment: Minority Ethnics in Putatan, Penampang, Inanam, Menggatal, Uitm, Tongod, Sabah, Malaysia
Starting and surviving a business is influenced by various entrepreneurship socio-economics activities. The study revealed that some of the entrepreneurs are not registered under SME but running own business as an intermediary with the private organization entrusted as “Self-Employed.” SME is known as “Small Medium Enterprise” contributes growth in Malaysia. Therefore, the entrepreneurialism business interest and entrepreneurial intention enhancing new spurring production, expanding employment opportunities, increasing productivity, promoting exports, stimulating innovation and providing new avenue in the business market place. This study has identified the unique contribution to the full understanding of complex mechanisms through entrepreneurship obstacles and education impacts on happiness and well-being to society. Moreover, “Ethnic” term has defined as a curious meaning refers to a classification of a large group of people customs implies to ancestral, racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic and cultural origins. It is a social phenomenon.1 According to Sabah data population is amounting to 2,389,494 showed the predominant ethnic group being the Kadazan Dusun (18.4%) followed by Bajau (17.3%) and Malays (15.3%). For the year 2010, data statistic immigrants population report showed the amount to 239,765 people which cover 4% of the Sabahan’s population.2 Sabah has numerous group of talented entrepreneurs. The business environment among the minority ethnics are influenced with the business sentiment competition. The literature on ethnic entrepreneurship recognizes two main type entrepreneurships: the middleman and enclave entrepreneurs. According to Adam Smith,3 there are evidently some principles disposition to admire and maintain the distinction business rank status and cause most universal business sentiments. Due to credit barriers competition, the minority ethnics are losing the business market and since 2014, many illegal immigrants have been found to be using permits of the locals to operate businesses in Malaysia.4 The development of small business entrepreneurship among the minority ethnics in Sabah evidenced based variety of complex perception and differences concepts. The studies also confirmed the effects of heterogeneity on group decision and thinking caused partly by excessive pre-occupation with maintaining cohesiveness and the presence of cultural diversity in groups should reduce its probability.5 The researchers proposed that there are seven success determinants particularly to determine the involvement of minority ethnics comparing to the involvement of the immigrants in Sabah. Although, (SMEs) have always been considered the backbone of the economy development, the minority ethnics are often categorized it as the “second-choice.’ The study showed that illegal immigrants entrepreneur imposed a burden on Sabahan social programs as well as the prison, court and health care systems. The tension between the need for cheap labor and the impulse to protect Malaysian in Sabah workers, entrepreneurs and taxpayers, among the subjects discussed in this study. This is clearly can be advantages and disadvantages to the Sabah economic development.
Northern Nigeria Vaccine Direct Delivery System
Background: In 2013, the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board redesigned its Routine immunization supply chain from diffused pull to direct delivery push. It addressed issues around stockouts and reduced time spent by health facility staff collecting, and reporting on vaccine usage. The health care board sought the help of a 3PL for twice-monthly deliveries from its cold store to 484 facilities across 44 local governments. eHA’s Health Delivery Systems group formed a 3PL to serve 326 of these new facilities in partnership with the State. We focused on designing and implementing a technology system throughout. Basic methodologies: GIS Mapping: - Planning the delivery of vaccines to hundreds of health facilities requires detailed route planning for delivery vehicles. Mapping the road networks across Kano and Bauchi with a custom routing tool provided information for the optimization of deliveries. Reducing the number of kilometers driven each round by 20%, - reducing cost and delivery time. Direct Delivery Information System: - Vaccine Direct Deliveries are facilitated through pre-round planning (driven by health facility database, extensive GIS, and inventory workflow rules), manager and driver control panel customizing delivery routines and reporting, progress dashboard, schedules/routes, packing lists, delivery reports, and driver data collection applications. Move: Last Mile Logistics Management System: - MOVE has improved vaccine supply information management to be timely, accurate and actionable. Provides stock management workflow support, alerts management for cold chain exceptions/stock outs, and on-device analytics for health and supply chain staff. Software was built to be offline-first with user-validated interface and experience. Deployed to hundreds of vaccine storage site the improved information tools helps facilitate the process of system redesign and change management. Findings: - Stock-outs reduced from 90% to 33% - Redesigned current health systems and managing vaccine supply for 68% of Kano’s wards. - Near real time reporting and data availability to track stock. - Paperwork burdens of health staff have been dramatically reduced. - Medicine available when the community needs it. - Consistent vaccination dates for children under one to prevent polio, yellow fever, tetanus. - Higher immunization rates = Lower infection rates. - Hundreds of millions of Naira worth of vaccines successfully transported. - Fortnightly service to 326 facilities in 326 wards across 30 Local Government areas. - 6,031 cumulative deliveries. - Over 3.44 million doses transported. - Minimum travel distance covered in a round of delivery is 2000 kms & maximum of 6297 kms. - 153,409 kms travelled by 6 drivers. - 500 facilities in 326 wards. - Data captured and synchronized for the first time. - Data driven decision making now possible. Conclusion: eHA’s Vaccine Direct delivery has met challenges in Kano and Bauchi State and provided a reliable delivery service of vaccinations that ensure t health facilities can run vaccination clinics for children under one. eHA uses innovative technology that delivers vaccines from Northern Nigerian zonal stores straight to healthcare facilities. Helped healthcare workers spend less time managing supplies and more time delivering care, and will be rolled out nationally across Nigeria.
Development of a Core Set of Clinical Indicators to Measure Quality of Care for Thyroid Cancer: A Modified-Delphi Approach
BACKGROUND: There are significant variations in the management, treatment and outcomes of thyroid cancer, particularly in the role of: diagnostic investigation and pre-treatment scanning; optimal extent of surgery (total or hemi-thyroidectomy); use of active surveillance for small low-risk cancers; central lymph node dissections (therapeutic or prophylactic); outcomes following surgery (e.g. recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, hypocalcaemia, hypoparathyroidism); post-surgical hormone, calcium and vitamin D therapy; and provision and dosage of radioactive iodine treatment. A proven strategy to reduce variations in the outcome and to improve survival is to measure and compare it using high-quality clinical registry data. Clinical registries provide the most effective means of collecting high-quality data and are a tool for quality improvement. Where they have been introduced at a state or national level, registries have become one of the most clinically valued tools for quality improvement. To benchmark clinical care, clinical quality registries require systematic measurement at predefined intervals and the capacity to report back information to participating clinical units. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop a core set clinical indicators that enable measurement and reporting of quality of care for patients with thyroid cancer. We hypothesise that measuring clinical quality indicators, developed to identify differences in quality of care across sites, will reduce variation and improve patient outcomes and survival, thereby lessening costs and healthcare burden to the Australian community. METHOD: Preparatory work and scoping was conducted to identify existing high quality, clinical guidelines and best practice for thyroid cancer both nationally and internationally, as well as relevant literature. A bi-national panel was invited to participate in a modified Delphi process. Panelists were asked to rate each proposed indicator on a Likert scale of 1–9 in a three-round iterative process. RESULTS: A total of 236 potential quality indicators were identified. One hundred and ninety-two indicators were removed to reflect the data capture by the Australian and New Zealand Thyroid Cancer Registry (ANZTCR) (from diagnosis to 90-days post-surgery). The remaining 44 indicators were presented to the panelists for voting. A further 21 indicators were later added by the panelists bringing the total potential quality indicators to 65. Of these, 21 were considered the most important and feasible indicators to measure quality of care in thyroid cancer, of which 12 were recommended for inclusion in the final set. The consensus indicator set spans the spectrum of care, including: preoperative; surgery; surgical complications; staging and post-surgical treatment planning; and post-surgical treatment. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a core set of quality indicators to measure quality of care in thyroid cancer. This indicator set can be applied as a tool for internal quality improvement, comparative quality reporting, public reporting and research. Inclusion of these quality indicators into monitoring databases such as clinical quality registries will enable opportunities for benchmarking and feedback on best practice care to clinicians involved in the management of thyroid cancer.