Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Benedikt Warth

6 Advances in Health Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins in Africa

Authors: Wilfred A. Abiaa, Chibundu N. Ezekiel, Benedikt Warth, Michael Sulyok, Paul C. Turner, Rudolf Krska, Paul F. Moundipa

Abstract:

Mycotoxins are a wide range of toxic secondary metabolites of fungi that contaminate various food commodities worldwide especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Such contamination seriously compromises food safety and quality posing a serious problem for human health as well as to trade and the economy. Their concentrations depend on various factors, such as the commodity itself, climatic conditions, storage conditions, seasonal variances, and processing methods. When humans consume foods contaminated by mycotoxins, they exert toxic effects to their health through various modes of actions. Rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa, are exposed to dietary mycotoxins, but it is supposed that exposure levels and health risks associated with mycotoxins between SSA countries may vary. Dietary exposures and health risk assessment studies have been limited by lack of equipment for the proper assessment of the associated health implications on consumer populations when they eat contaminated agricultural products. As such, mycotoxin research is premature in several SSA nations with product evaluation for mycotoxin loads below/above legislative limits being inadequate. Few nations have health risk assessment reports mainly based on direct quantification of the toxins in foods ('external exposure') and linking food levels with data from food frequency questionnaires. Nonetheless, the assessment of the exposure and health risk to mycotoxins requires more than the traditional approaches. Only a fraction of the mycotoxins in contaminated foods reaches the blood stream and exert toxicity ('internal exposure'). Also, internal exposure is usually smaller than external exposure thus dependence on external exposure alone may induce confounders in risk assessment. Some studies from SSA earlier focused on biomarker analysis mainly on aflatoxins while a few recent studies have concentrated on the multi-biomarker analysis of exposures in urine providing probable associations between observed disease occurrences and dietary mycotoxins levels. As a result, new techniques that could assess the levels of exposures directly in body tissue or fluid, and possibly link them to the disease state of individuals became urgent.

Keywords: mycotoxins, biomarkers, exposure assessment, health risk assessment, sub-Saharan Africa

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5 The Univalence Principle: Equivalent Mathematical Structures Are Indistinguishable

Authors: Michael Shulman, Paige North, Benedikt Ahrens, Dmitris Tsementzis

Abstract:

The Univalence Principle is the statement that equivalent mathematical structures are indistinguishable. We prove a general version of this principle that applies to all set-based, categorical, and higher-categorical structures defined in a non-algebraic and space-based style, as well as models of higher-order theories such as topological spaces. In particular, we formulate a general definition of indiscernibility for objects of any such structure, and a corresponding univalence condition that generalizes Rezk’s completeness condition for Segal spaces and ensures that all equivalences of structures are levelwise equivalences. Our work builds on Makkai’s First-Order Logic with Dependent Sorts, but is expressed in Voevodsky’s Univalent Foundations (UF), extending previous work on the Structure Identity Principle and univalent categories in UF. This enables indistinguishability to be expressed simply as identification, and yields a formal theory that is interpretable in classical homotopy theory, but also in other higher topos models. It follows that Univalent Foundations is a fully equivalence-invariant foundation for higher-categorical mathematics, as intended by Voevodsky.

Keywords: category theory, higher structures, inverse category, univalence

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4 Mental Health of the Elderly: Evaluating a Newly Developed Structured Life-Review Manual Using a Within-Subjects Pre-Post Design

Authors: Wladislaw Mill, Hariet Kirschner, Anna Zimmermann, Sashi Singh, Simon Forstmeier, Uwe Berger, Bernhard Strauss, Benedikt Werner

Abstract:

Introduction: A promising method to improve mental health of elderly people are structured life-reviews. We report the evaluation of our newly developed manual for structured life-reviews. The manual was created with the emphasis on straightforward application so that it can be used by professionals and lay people alike. Method: A within-subjects pre-post design is used to evaluate the manual using a geriatric depression scale and a self-integrity measure. Participants are elderly people living by themselves and in nursing homes. Findings: It is shown that elderly people perceive the structured life-review as a very positive experience. More importantly, it is shown that a negative trend of self-integrity and geriatric depression is significantly reduced by the intervention. Conclusion: The data suggest that the manual contributes positively to self- perception and mental health. We conclude that this newly developed device is very valuable to augment elderly care.

Keywords: structured life-review, self-integrity, geriatric depression, preventation research

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3 Examination of the Self-Expression Model with Reference to Luxury Watches with Particular Regard of the Buying-Reasons

Authors: Christopher Benedikt Jakob

Abstract:

Human beings are intrigued by luxury watches for decades. It is fascinating that customers pay an enormous amount of money for specific wristwatch models. It is fascinating that customers of the luxury watch industry accept a yearly price increase. This behavior increases their desirability even more. Luxury watches are perceived as status symbols, but they are additionally accepted as a currency without the disadvantage of currency fluctuations. It is obvious that the symbolic value is more important as the functional value with reference to the buying-reasons as regards luxury watches. Nowadays human beings do not need a wristwatch to read the time. Tablets, notebooks, smartphones, the watch in the car and watches on public places are used to inform people about the current time. This is one of the reasons why there is a trend that people do not wear wristwatches anymore. Due to these facts, this study has the intention to give answers to the question why people invest an enormous amount of money on the consumption of luxury watches and why those watches are seen as a status symbol. The study examines why the luxury watch industry records significant growth rates. The self-expression model is used as an appropriate methodology to find reasons why human beings purchase specific luxury watches. This evaluative approach further discusses if human beings are aware of their current self and their ideal self and how they express them. Furthermore, the research critically evaluates the people’s social self and their ideal social self. One of the goals is to identify if customers know why they like specific luxury watches and dislike others although they have the same quality and cost comparable prices.

Keywords: luxury watch, brand awareness, buying-behaviour, consumer, self-expression

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2 MicroRNA in Bovine Corpus Luteum during Early Pregnancy

Authors: Rreze Gecaj, Corina Schanzenbach, Benedikt Kirchner, Michael Pfaffl, Bajram Berisha

Abstract:

The maintenance of corpus lutem (CL) during early pregnancy in cattle is a critical and multifarious process. A luteotrophic mechanism originating from the embryo is widely accepted as the triggering signal for the CL maintenance. In the cattle, it is the interferon-tau (IFNT) secretion form conceptus that prevents CL regression and ensures progesterone production for the establishment of pregnancy. In addition to endocrine and paracrine signals, microRNA (miRNA) can also support CL sustainability during early pregnancy. MiRNA are small non-coding nucleic acids that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and are shown to be involved in the modulation of CL function. However, the examination of miRNAs in corpus luteum function at the early pregnancy still remains largely uncovered. This study aims at profiling the expression of miRNA in CL during the early pregnancy in cattle by comparing it with the CL form late cycle and with the regressed CL. Corpora lutea were assigned in two different groups during the cycle (C13 group, late CL: days 13-18 and C18, regressed CL group: day >18) and during the early pregnancy (group P: 1-2 month). The estrous cycle was determined by macroscopic examination and to age the fetus crown-rump length measurement was applied. A total of 9 corpora lutea from individual animals were included in the study, three corpora lutea for each group. MiRNAs population was profiled using small RNA next-generation sequencing and biologically significant miRNAs were evaluated for their differential expression using the DESeq2-methodology. We show that 6 differentially expressed miRNAs (bta-mir-2890, -2332, -2441-3p, -148b, -1248 and -29c) are common to both comparisons, P vs C13 and P vs C18. While for each stage individually we have identified unique miRNAs differentially expressed only for the given comparison. bta-miR-23a and -769 were unique miRNAs differentially expressed in P vs C13, whereas forty-four unique miRNAs were identified as differentially expressed in P vs C18. These data confirm that miRNAs are highly abundant in luteal tissue during early pregnancy and potentially regulate the CL maintenance at this stage of fetus development.

Keywords: bovine, corpus luteum, microRNA, pregnancy, RNA-Seq

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1 Examination of How Do Smart Watches Influence the Market of Luxury Watches with Particular Regard of the Buying-Reasons

Authors: Christopher Benedikt Jakob

Abstract:

In our current society, there is no need to take a look at the wristwatch to know the exact time. Smartphones, the watch in the car or the computer watch, inform us about the time too. Over hundreds of years, luxury watches have held a fascination for human beings. Consumers buy watches that cost thousands of euros, although they could buy much cheaper watches which also fulfill the function to indicate the correct time. This shows that the functional value has got a minor meaning with reference to the buying-reasons as regards luxury watches. For a few years, people have an increased demand to track data like their walking distance per day or to track their sleep for example. Smart watches enable consumers to get information about these data. There exists a trend that people intend to optimise parts of their social life, and thus they get the impression that they are able to optimise themselves as human beings. With the help of smart watches, they are able to optimise parts of their productivity and to realise their targets at the same time. These smart watches are also offered as luxury models, and the question is: how will customers of traditional luxury watches react? Therefore this study has the intention to give answers to the question why people are willing to spend an enormous amount of money on the consumption of luxury watches. The self-expression model, the relationship basis model, the functional benefit representation model and the means-end-theory are chosen as an appropriate methodology to find reasons why human beings purchase specific luxury watches and luxury smart watches. This evaluative approach further discusses these strategies concerning for example if consumers buy luxury watches/smart watches to express the current self or the ideal self and if human beings make decisions on expected results. The research critically evaluates that relationships are compared on the basis of their advantages. Luxury brands offer socio-emotional advantages like social functions of identification and that the strong brand personality of luxury watches and luxury smart watches helps customers to structure and retrieve brand awareness which simplifies the process of decision-making. One of the goals is to identify if customers know why they like specific luxury watches and dislike others although they are produced in the same country and cost comparable prices. It is very obvious that the market for luxury watches especially for luxury smart watches is changing way faster than it has been in the past. Therefore the research examines the market changing parameters in detail.

Keywords: buying-behaviour, brand management, consumer, luxury watch, smart watch

Procedia PDF Downloads 108