Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Barbora Babečková

9 Origanum vulgare as a Possible Modulator of Testicular Endocrine Function in Mice

Authors: Eva Tvrdá, Barbora Babečková, Michal Ďuračka, Róbert Kirchner, Július Árvay

Abstract:

This study was designed to assess the in vitro effects of Origanum vulgare L. (oregano) extract on the testicular steroidogenesis. We focused on identifying major biomolecules present in the oregano extract, as well as to investigate its in vitro impact on the secretion of cholesterol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione by murine testicular fragments. The extract was subjected to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) which identified cyranosid, daidzein, thymol, rosmarinic and trans-caffeic acid among the predominant biochemical components of oregano. For the in vitro experiments, testicular fragments from 20 sexually mature Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were incubated in the absence (control group) or presence of the oregano extract at selected concentrations (10, 100 and 1000 μg/mL) for 24 h. Cholesterol levels were quantified using photometry and the hormones were assessed by ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay). Our data revealed that the release of cholesterol and androstenedione (but not dehydroepiandrosterone and testosterone) by the testicular fragments was significantly impacted by the oregano extract in a dose-dependent fashion. Supplementation of the extract resulted in a significant decline of cholesterol (P < 0.05 in case of 100 μg/mL; P < 0.01 with respect 100 μg/mL extract), as well as androstenedione (P < 0.01 with respect to 100 and 1000 μg/mL extract). Our results suggest that the biomolecules present in Origanum vulgare L. could exhibit a dose-dependent impact on the secretion of male steroids, playing a role in the regulation of testicular steroidogenesis.

Keywords: mice, Origanum vulgare L., steroidogenesis, testes

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8 Financial Literacy of Students of Finance

Authors: Barbora Chmelíková

Abstract:

Financial literacy is a widely discussed topic on the national and international level by governments, organizations and academia. For this reason this study analyses financial knowledge, financial behavior and financial attitudes of students of finance. The aim of the paper is to determine whether the financial literacy of university students studying finance differs from the level of financial literacy in selected OECD countries. The research was conducted at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. The empirical study comprises questions related to several aspects of financial literacy, as well as socio-demographic data enabling more thorough analysis. The results indicate that improvement in financial literacy of university students is still required, even though their major is finance related.

Keywords: financial literacy, financial behavior, personal finance management, university students

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7 Financial Products Held by University Students: An Empirical Study from the Czech Republic

Authors: Barbora Chmelikova

Abstract:

Current financial markets offer a wide range of financial products to the consumers. However, access to the financial products is not always provided or guaranteed, particularly in less developed countries. For this reason, financial inclusion is an important component in the modern society. This paper investigates financial inclusion and what financial products are held by university students majoring in finance fields. The OECD methodology was used to examine the awareness and use of financial products. The study was conducted via online questionnaire at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic among finance students. The results show that the students use current and savings accounts more than any other financial products.

Keywords: financial inclusion, financial products, personal finance, university students

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6 Indicators of Radicalization in Prisons Facilities: Identification and Assessment

Authors: David Kramsky, Barbora Vegrichtova

Abstract:

The prison facility is generally considered as an environment having a corrective purpose. Besides the social sense of remedy, prison is also an environment that potentially determines and affects socially dangerous behavior. The authors, based on long-term empirical research, present the significant indicators that are directly related to the transformation of personality attitudes, motivations and behavior associating with a process of radicalization. One of the most significant symptoms of radicalization is a particular social moral decision making. Individuals in the radicalism process primarily prefer utilitarian manners of decision-making more than personal aspects like empathy for others. The authors will present the method of social moral profiling of the subject in radicalization process as an effective prevention system reducing security risks in society.

Keywords: indicators, moral decision, radicalism, social profile

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5 Financial Decision-Making among Finance Students: An Empirical Study from the Czech Republic

Authors: Barbora Chmelíková

Abstract:

Making sound financial decisions is an essential skill which can have an impact on life of each consumer of financial products. The aim of this paper is to examine decision-making concerning financial matters and personal finance. The selected target group was university students majoring in finance related fields. The study was conducted in the Czech Republic at Masaryk University in 2015. In order to analyze financial decision-making questions related to basic finance decisions were developed to address the research objective. The results of the study suggest gaps in detecting best solutions to given financial decision-making questions among finance students. The analysis results indicate relation between financial decision-making and own experience with holding and using concrete financial products.

Keywords: financial decision-making, financial literacy, personal finance, university students

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4 Implementation of Geo-Crowdsourcing Mobile Applications in e-Government of V4 Countries: A State-of-the-Art Survey

Authors: Barbora Haltofová

Abstract:

In recent years, citizens have become an important source of geographic information and, therefore, geo-crowdsourcing, often known as volunteered geographic information, has provided an interesting alternative to traditional mapping practices which are becoming expensive, resource-intensive and unable to capture the dynamic nature of urban environments. In order to address a gap in research literature, this paper deals with a survey conducted to assess the current state of geo-crowdsourcing, a recent phenomenon popular with people who collect geographic information using their smartphones. This article points out that there is an increasing body of knowledge of geo-crowdsourcing mobile applications in the Visegrad countries marked by the ubiquitous Internet connection and the current massive proliferation of smartphones. This article shows how geo-crowdsourcing can be used as a complement, or in some cases a replacement, to traditionally generated sources of spatial data and information in public management. It discusses the new spaces of citizen participation constructed by these geo-crowdsourcing practices.

Keywords: citizen participation, e-Government, geo-crowdsourcing, participatory mapping, mobile applications

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3 A Literature Review on Banks’ Profitability and Risk Adjustment Decisions

Authors: Libena Cernohorska, Barbora Sutorova, Petr Teply

Abstract:

There are pending discussions over an impact of global regulatory efforts on banks. In this paper we present a literature review on the profitability-risk-capital relationship in banking. Research papers dealing with this topic can be divided into two groups: the first group focusing on a capital-risk relationship and the second group analyzing a capital-profitability relationship. The first group investigates whether the imposition of stricter capital requirements reduces risk-taking incentives of banks based on a simultaneous equations model. Their model pioneered the idea that the changes in both capital and risk have endogenous and exogenous components. The results obtained by the authors indicate that changes in the capital level are positively related to the changes in asset risk. The second group of the literature concentrating solely on the relationship between the level of held capital and bank profitability is limited. Nevertheless, there are a lot of studies dealing with the banks’ profitability as such, where bank capital is very often included as an explanatory variable. Based on the literature review of dozens of relevant papers in this study, an empirical research on banks’ profitability and risk adjustment decisions under new banking rules Basel III rules can be easily undertaken.

Keywords: bank, Basel III, capital, decision making, profitability, risk, simultaneous equations model

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2 ASEAN Limited Centrality in Connectivity: Managing the China-Japan Infrastructure Competition

Authors: Barbora Valockova

Abstract:

Scholars recommend the establishment of a multilateral coordination mechanism by ASEAN, such as an infrastructure forum, to contain the China-Japan infrastructure financing competition in the region. However, they do not systematically investigate the reasons for its absence. This paper aims to fill the gap by addressing the following question: Why has ASEAN been unable to set up any multilateral coordination mechanism to soften the China-Japan infrastructure financing competition? This paper argues that ASEAN has not been able to set up such a mechanism due to its limited centrality in connectivity. This limited centrality decreases ASEAN’s ability to manage the China-Japan competition in a more comprehensive and coordinated way. Rather, ASEAN acts as a scope setter in connectivity, although this is not completely ineffective. This paper is divided into four sections. The first section explores the key tenets of the concept of ASEAN centrality in connectivity, which is under-examined in the current literature. The second section examines the extent to which ASEAN limited centrality in connectivity is being respected by China and Japan. The third section analyses how various stakeholders, such as ASEAN member states, their leaders and bureaucracy, and foreign private companies prevent ASEAN from attaining stronger centrality. The last section concludes and offers recommendations. Data is gathered using primary sources (official ASEAN, Chinese, and Japanese documents, interviews, etc.) and secondary material. By providing a nuanced analysis of ASEAN centrality in connectivity and developing a new operationalization of the concept, this paper aims to contribute to the international relations literature on ASEAN centrality. Initial findings suggest that while ASEAN limited centrality in connectivity has some effectiveness, it is not sufficient for setting up a multilateral coordination mechanism. While it represents a solid departure point, any potential possessed by ASEAN to evolve beyond a scope setter in connectivity is hampered by stakeholders involved in infrastructure development. While these players and their interactions can have both positive and negative effects on the scope set by ASEAN, it is unlikely that they would allow ASEAN to become the real central player. There can be no stronger ASEAN centrality in connectivity without ASEAN unity and neutrality. However, the last two factors are difficult to attain in the context of infrastructure development since ASEAN member states and stakeholders all have their styles and preferences. All other things being equal, these circumstances favor a loose, vague, and quasi-prescriptive arrangement among the relevant stakeholders.

Keywords: ASEAN centrality, China-Japan infrastructure competition, connectivity, scope setter

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1 Geochemical Modeling of Mineralogical Changes in Rock and Concrete in Interaction with Groundwater

Authors: Barbora Svechova, Monika Licbinska

Abstract:

Geochemical modeling of mineralogical changes of various materials in contact with an aqueous solution is an important tool for predicting the processes and development of given materials at the site. The modeling focused on the mutual interaction of groundwater at the contact with the rock mass and its subsequent influence on concrete structures. The studied locality is located in Slovakia in the area of the Liptov Basin, which is a significant inter-mountain lowland, which is bordered on the north and south by the core mountains belt of the Tatras, where in the center the crystalline rises to the surface accompanied by Mesozoic cover. Groundwater in the area is bound to structures with complicated geological structures. From the hydrogeological point of view, it is an environment with a crack-fracture character. The area is characterized by a shallow surface circulation of groundwater without a significant collector structure, and from a chemical point of view, groundwater in the area has been classified as calcium bicarbonate with a high content of CO2 and SO4 ions. According to the European standard EN 206-1, these are waters with medium aggression towards the concrete. Three rock samples were taken from the area. Based on petrographic and mineralogical research, they were evaluated as calcareous shale, micritic limestone and crystalline shale. These three rock samples were placed in demineralized water for one month and the change in the chemical composition of the water was monitored. During the solution-rock interaction there was an increase in the concentrations of all major ions, except nitrates. There was an increase in concentration after a week, but at the end of the experiment, the concentration was lower than the initial value. Another experiment was the interaction of groundwater from the studied locality with a concrete structure. The concrete sample was also left in the water for 1 month. The results of the experiment confirmed the assumption of a reduction in the concentrations of calcium and bicarbonate ions in water due to the precipitation of amorphous forms of CaCO3 on the surface of the sample.Vice versa, it was surprising to increase the concentration of sulphates, sodium, iron and aluminum due to the leaching of concrete. Chemical analyzes from these experiments were performed in the PHREEQc program, which calculated the probability of the formation of amorphous forms of minerals. From the results of chemical analyses and hydrochemical modeling of water collected in situ and water from experiments, it was found: groundwater at the site is unsaturated and shows moderate aggression towards reinforced concrete structures according to EN 206-1a, which will affect the homogeneity and integrity of concrete structures; from the rocks in the given area, Ca, Na, Fe, HCO3 and SO4. Unsaturated waters will dissolve everything as soon as they come into contact with the solid matrix. The speed of this process then depends on the physicochemical parameters of the environment (T, ORP, p, n, water retention time in the environment, etc.).

Keywords: geochemical modeling, concrete , dissolution , PHREEQc

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