Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Dan W. Rhodes

13 Evolution of Structure and Magnetic Behavior by Pr Doping in SrRuO3

Authors: Renu Gupta, Ashim K. Pramanik

Abstract:

We report the evolution of structure and magnetic properties in perovskite ruthenates Sr1-xPrxRuO3 (x = 0.0 and 0.1). Our main expectations, to induce the structural modification and change the Ru charge state by Pr doping at Sr site. By the Pr doping on Sr site retains orthorhombic structure while we find a minor change in structural parameters. The SrRuO3 have itinerant type of ferromagnetism with ordering temperature ~160 K. By Pr doping, the magnetic moment decrease and ZFC show three distinct peaks (three transition temperature; TM1, TM2 and TM3). Further analysis of magnetization of both samples, at high temperature follow modified CWL and Pr doping gives Curie temperature ~ 129 K which is close to TM2. Above TM2 to TM3, the inverse susceptibility shows upward deviation from CW behavior, indicating the existence AFM like clustered in this regime. The low-temperature isothermal magnetization M (H) shows moment decreases by Pr doping. The Arrott plot gives spontaneous magnetization (Ms) which also decreases by Pr doping. The evolution of Rhodes-Wohlfarth ratio increases which suggests the FM in this system evolves toward the itinerant type by Pr doping.

Keywords: itinerant ferromagnet, Perovskite structure, Ruthenates, Rhodes-Wohlfarth ratio

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12 Multi-Criteria Decision Approach to Performance Measurement Techniques Data Envelopment Analysis: Case Study of Kerman City’s Parks

Authors: Ali A. Abdollahi

Abstract:

During the last several decades, scientists have consistently applied Multiple Criteria Decision-Making methods in making decisions about multi-faceted, complicated subjects. While making such decisions and in order to achieve more accurate evaluations, they have regularly used a variety of criteria instead of applying just one Optimum Evaluation Criterion. The method presented here utilizes both ‘quantity’ and ‘quality’ to assess the function of the Multiple-Criteria method. Applying Data envelopment analysis (DEA), weighted aggregated sum product assessment (WASPAS), Weighted Sum Approach (WSA), Analytic Network Process (ANP), and Charnes, Cooper, Rhodes (CCR) methods, we have analyzed thirteen parks in Kerman city. It further indicates that the functions of WASPAS and WSA are compatible with each other, but also that their deviation from DEA is extensive. Finally, the results for the CCR technique do not match the results of the DEA technique. Our study indicates that the ANP method, with the average rate of 1/51, ranks closest to the DEA method, which has an average rate of 1/49.

Keywords: multiple criteria decision making, Data envelopment analysis (DEA), Charnes Cooper Rhodes (CCR), Weighted Sum Approach (WSA)

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11 A Framework for Consumer Selection on Travel Destinations

Authors: J. Rhodes, V. Cheng, P. Lok

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to develop a parsimonious model that explains the effect of different stimulus on a tourist’s intention to visit a new destination. The model consists of destination trust and interest as the mediating variables. The model was tested using two different types of stimulus; both studies empirically supported the proposed model. Furthermore, the first study revealed that advertising has a stronger effect than positive online reviews. The second study found that the peripheral route of the elaboration likelihood model has a stronger influence power than the central route in this context.

Keywords: advertising, electronic word-of-mouth, elaboration likelihood model, intention to visit, trust

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10 The Impact of Metacognitive Knowledge and Experience on Top Management Team Diversity and Small to Medium Enterprises Performance

Authors: Jo Rhodes, Peter Lok, Zahra Sadeghinejad

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to determine the impact of metacognition on top management team members and firm performance based on full team integration. A survey of 1500 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) was initiated and 140 firms were obtained in this study (with response rate of 9%). The result showed that different metacognitive abilities of managers [knowledge and experience] could enhance team decision-making and problem solving, resulting in greater firm performance. This is a significant finding for SMEs because these organisations have small teams with owner leadership and entrepreneurial orientation.

Keywords: metacognition, behavioural integration, top management team (TMT), performance

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9 Genesis of Entrepreneur Business Models in New Ventures

Authors: Arash Najmaei, Jo Rhodes, Peter Lok, Zahra Sadeghinejad

Abstract:

In this article, we endeavor to explore how a new business model comes into existence in the Australian cloud-computing eco-system. Findings from multiple case study methodology reveal that to develop a business model new ventures adopt a three-phase approach. In the first phase, labelled as business model ideation (BMID) various ideas for a viable business model are generated from both internal and external networks of the entrepreneurial team and the most viable one is chosen. Strategic consensus and commitment are generated in the second phase. This phase is a business modelling strategic action phase. We labelled this phase as business model strategic commitment (BMSC) because through commitment and the subsequent actions of executives resources are pooled, coordinated and allocated to the business model. Three complementary sets of resources shape the business model: managerial (MnRs), marketing (MRs) and technological resources (TRs). The third phase is the market-test phase where the business model is reified through the delivery of the intended value to customers and conversion of revenue into profit. We labelled this phase business model actualization (BMAC). Theoretical and managerial implications of these findings will be discussed and several directions for future research will be illuminated.

Keywords: entrepreneur business model, high-tech venture, resources, conversion of revenue

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8 Key Factors for Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainable Development

Authors: Jo Rhodes, Bruce Bergstrom, Peter Lok, Vincent Cheng

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to determine key factors and processes for multinationals (MNCs) to develop an effective stakeholder engagement and sustainable development framework. A qualitative multiple-case approach was used. A triangulation method was adopted (interviews, archival documents and observations) to collect data on three global firms (MNCs). 9 senior executives were interviewed for this study (3 from each firm). An initial literature review was conducted to explore possible practices and factors (the deductive approach) to sustainable development. Interview data were analysed using Nvivo to obtain appropriate nodes and themes for the framework. A comparison of findings from interview data and themes, factors developed from the literature review and cross cases comparison were used to develop the final conceptual framework (the inductive approach). The results suggested that stakeholder engagement is a key mediator between ‘stakeholder network’ (internal and external factors) and outcomes (corporate social responsibility, social capital, shared value and sustainable development). Key internal factors such as human capital/talent, technology, culture, leadership and processes such as collaboration, knowledge sharing and co-creation of value with stakeholders were identified. These internal factors and processes must be integrated and aligned with external factors such as social, political, cultural, environment and NGOs to achieve effective stakeholder engagement.

Keywords: stakeholder, engagement, sustainable development, shared value, corporate social responsibility

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7 High Fidelity Interactive Video Segmentation Using Tensor Decomposition, Boundary Loss, Convolutional Tessellations, and Context-Aware Skip Connections

Authors: Anthony D. Rhodes, Manan Goel

Abstract:

We provide a high fidelity deep learning algorithm (HyperSeg) for interactive video segmentation tasks using a dense convolutional network with context-aware skip connections and compressed, 'hypercolumn' image features combined with a convolutional tessellation procedure. In order to maintain high output fidelity, our model crucially processes and renders all image features in high resolution, without utilizing downsampling or pooling procedures. We maintain this consistent, high grade fidelity efficiently in our model chiefly through two means: (1) we use a statistically-principled, tensor decomposition procedure to modulate the number of hypercolumn features and (2) we render these features in their native resolution using a convolutional tessellation technique. For improved pixel-level segmentation results, we introduce a boundary loss function; for improved temporal coherence in video data, we include temporal image information in our model. Through experiments, we demonstrate the improved accuracy of our model against baseline models for interactive segmentation tasks using high resolution video data. We also introduce a benchmark video segmentation dataset, the VFX Segmentation Dataset, which contains over 27,046 high resolution video frames, including green screen and various composited scenes with corresponding, hand-crafted, pixel-level segmentations. Our work presents a improves state of the art segmentation fidelity with high resolution data and can be used across a broad range of application domains, including VFX pipelines and medical imaging disciplines.

Keywords: computer vision, object segmentation, interactive segmentation, model compression

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6 Differences in Vitamin D Status in Caucasian and Asian Women Following Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) Exposure

Authors: O. Hakim, K. Hart, P. McCabe, J. Berry, L. E. Rhodes, N. Spyrou, A. Alfuraih, S. Lanham-New

Abstract:

It is known that skin pigmentation reduces the penetration of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and thus photosynthesis of 25(OH)D. However, the ethnic differences in 25(OH)D production remain to be fully elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the differences in vitamin D production between Asian and Caucasian postmenopausal women, in response to a defined, controlled UVB exposure. Seventeen women; nine white Caucasian (skin phototype II and III), eight South Asian women (skin phototype IV and V) participated in the study, acting as their controls. Three blood samples were taken for measurement of 25(OH)D during the run-in period (nine days, no sunbed exposure) after which all subjects underwent an identical UVR exposure protocol irrespective of skin colour (nine days, three sunbed sessions: 6, 8 and 8 minutes respectively with approximately 80% of body surface exposed). Skin tone was measured four times during the study. Both groups showed a gradual increase in 25(OH)D with final levels significantly higher than baseline (p<0.01). 25(OH)D concentration mean from a baseline of 43.58±19.65 to 57.80±17.11 nmol/l among Caucasian and from 27.03±23.92 to 44.73±17.74 nmol/l among Asian women. The baseline status of vitamin D was classified as deficient among the Asian women and insufficient among the Caucasian women. The percentage increase in vitamin D3 among Caucasians was 39.86% (21.02) and 207.78% (286.02) in Asian subjects respectively. This greater response to UVR exposure reflects the lower baseline levels of the Asian subjects. The mixed linear model analysis identified a significant effect of duration of UVR exposure on the production of 25(OH)D. However, the model shows no significant effect of ethnicity and skin tone on the production of 25(OH)D. These novel findings indicate that people of Asian ethnicity have the full capability to produce a similar amount of vitamin D compared to the Caucasian group; initial vitamin D concentration influences the amount of UVB needed to reach equal serum concentrations.

Keywords: ethnicity, Caucasian, South Asian, vitamin D, ultraviolet radiation, UVR

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5 Protecting the Health of Astronauts: Enhancing Occupational Health Monitoring and Surveillance for Former NASA Astronauts to Understand Long-Term Outcomes of Spaceflight-Related Exposures

Authors: Meredith Rossi, Lesley Lee, Mary Wear, Mary Van Baalen, Bradley Rhodes

Abstract:

The astronaut community is unique, and may be disproportionately exposed to occupational hazards not commonly seen in other communities. The extent to which the demands of the astronaut occupation and exposure to spaceflight-related hazards affect the health of the astronaut population over the life course is not completely known. A better understanding of the individual, population, and mission impacts of astronaut occupational exposures is critical to providing clinical care, targeting occupational surveillance efforts, and planning for future space exploration. The ability to characterize the risk of latent health conditions is a significant component of this understanding. Provision of health screening services to active and former astronauts ensures individual, mission, and community health and safety. Currently, the NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC) Flight Medicine Clinic (FMC) provides extensive medical monitoring to active astronauts throughout their careers. Upon retirement, astronauts may voluntarily return to the JSC FMC for an annual preventive exam. However, current retiree monitoring includes only selected screening tests, representing an opportunity for augmentation. The potential long-term health effects of spaceflight demand an expanded framework of testing for former astronauts. The need is two-fold: screening tests widely recommended for other aging populations are necessary to rule out conditions resulting from the natural aging process (e.g., colonoscopy, mammography); and expanded monitoring will increase NASA’s ability to better characterize conditions resulting from astronaut occupational exposures. To meet this need, NASA has begun an extensive exploration of the overall approach, cost, and policy implications of expanding the medical monitoring of former NASA astronauts under the Astronaut Occupational Health program. Increasing the breadth of monitoring services will ultimately enrich the existing evidence base of occupational health risks to astronauts. Such an expansion would therefore improve the understanding of the health of the astronaut population as a whole, and the ability to identify, mitigate, and manage such risks in preparation for deep space exploration missions.

Keywords: astronaut, long-term health, NASA, occupational health, surveillance

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4 Strategies for Good Governance during Crisis in Higher Education

Authors: Naziema B. Jappie

Abstract:

Over the last 23 years leaders in government, political parties and universities have been spending much time on identifying and discussing various gaps in the system that impact systematically on students especially those from historically Black communities. Equity and access to higher education were two critical aspects that featured in achieving the transformation goals together with a funding model for those previously disadvantaged. Free education was not a feasible option for the government. Institutional leaders in higher education face many demands on their time and resources. Often, the time for crisis management planning or consideration of being proactive and preventative is not a standing agenda item. With many issues being priority in academia, people become complacent and think that crisis may not affect them or they will cross the bridge when they get to it. Historically South Africa has proven to be a country of militancy, strikes and protests in most industries, some leading to disastrous outcomes. Higher education was not different between October 2015 and late 2016 when the #Rhodes Must Fall which morphed into the # Fees Must Fall protest challenged the establishment, changed the social fabric of universities, bringing the sector to a standstill. Some institutional leaders and administrators were better at handling unexpected, high-consequence situations than others. At most crisis leadership is viewed as a situation more than a style of leadership which is usually characterized by crisis management. The objective of this paper is to show how institutions managed catastrophes of disastrous proportions, down through unexpected incidents of 2015/2016. The content draws on the vast past crisis management experience of the presenter and includes the occurrences of the recent protests giving an event timeline. Using responses from interviews with institutional leaders and administrators as well as students will ensure first-hand information on their experiences and the outcomes. Students have tasted the power of organized action and they demand immediate change, if not the revolt will continue. This paper will examine the approaches that guided institutional leaders and their crisis teams and sector crisis response. It will further expand on whether the solutions effectively changed governance in higher education or has it minimized the need for more protests. The conclusion will give an insight into the future of higher education in South Africa from a leadership perspective.

Keywords: crisis, governance, intervention, leadership, strategies, protests

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3 Management of Meskit (Prosopis juliflora) Tree in Oman: The Case of Using Meskit (Prosopis juliflora) Pods for Feeding Omani Sheep

Authors: S. Al-Khalasi, O. Mahgoub, H. Yaakub

Abstract:

This study evaluated the use of raw or processed Prosopis juliflora (Meskit) pods as a major ingredient in a formulated ration to provide an alternative non-conventional concentrate for livestock feeding in Oman. Dry Meskit pods were reduced to lengths of 0.5- 1.0 cm to ensure thorough mixing into three diets. Meskit pods were subjected to two types of treatments; roasting and soaking. They were roasted at 150оC for 30 minutes using a locally-made roasting device (40 kg barrel container rotated by electric motor and heated by flame gas cooker). Chopped pods were soaked in tap water for 24 hours and dried for 2 days under the sun with frequent turning. The Meskit-pod-based diets (MPBD) were formulated and pelleted from 500 g/kg ground Meskit pods, 240 g/kg wheat bran, 200 g/kg barley grain, 50 g/kg local dried sardines and 10 g/kg of salt. Twenty four 10 months-old intact Omani male lambs with average body weight of 27.3 kg (± 0.5 kg) were used in a feeding trial for 84 days. They were divided (on body weight basis) and allocated to four diet combination groups. These were: Rhodes grass hay (RGH) plus a general ruminant concentrate (GRC); RGH plus raw Meskit pods (RMP) based concentrate; RGH plus roasted Meskit pods (ROMP) based concentrate; RGH plus soaked Meskit pods (SMP) based concentrate Daily feed intakes and bi-weekly body weights were recorded. MPBD had higher contents of crude protein (CP), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) than the GRC. Animals fed various types of MPBD did not show signs of ill health. There was a significant effect of feeding ROMP on the performance of Omani sheep compared to RMP and SMP. The ROMP fed animals had similar performance to those fed the GRC in terms of feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR).This study indicated that roasted Meskit pods based diet may be used instead of the commercial concentrate for feeding Omani sheep without adverse effects on performance. It offers a cheap alternative source of protein and energy for feeding Omani sheep. Also, it might help in solving the spread impact of Meskit trees, maintain the ecosystem and helping in preserving the local tree species.

Keywords: growth, Meskit, Omani sheep, Prosopis juliflora

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2 Multicenter Evaluation of the ACCESS Anti-HCV Assay on the DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer, for the Detection of Hepatitis C Virus Antibody

Authors: Dan W. Rhodes, Juliane Hey, Magali Karagueuzian, Florianne Martinez, Yael Sandowski, Vanessa Roulet, Mahmoud Badawi, Mohammed-Amine Chakir, Valérie Simon, Jérémie Gautier, Françoise Le Boulaire, Catherine Coignard, Claire Vincent, Sandrine Greaume, Isabelle Voisin

Abstract:

Background: Beckman Coulter, Inc. (BEC) has recently developed a fully automated second-generation anti-HCV test on a new immunoassay platform. The objective of this multicenter study conducted in Europe was to evaluate the performance of the ACCESS anti-HCV assay on the recently CE-marked DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer as an aid in the diagnosis of HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection and as a screening test for blood and plasma donors. Methods: The clinical specificity of the ACCESS anti-HCV assay was determined using HCV antibody-negative samples from blood donors and hospitalized patients. Sample antibody status was determined by a CE-marked anti-HCV assay (Abbott ARCHITECTTM anti-HCV assay or Abbott PRISM HCV assay) with an additional confirmation method (Immunoblot testing with INNO-LIATM HCV Score - Fujirebio), if necessary, according to pre-determined testing algorithms. The clinical sensitivity was determined using known HCV antibody-positive samples, identified positive by Immunoblot testing with INNO-LIATM HCV Score - Fujirebio. HCV RNA PCR or genotyping was available on all Immunoblot positive samples for further characterization. The false initial reactive rate was determined on fresh samples from blood donors and hospitalized patients. Thirty (30) commercially available seroconversion panels were tested to assess the sensitivity for early detection of HCV infection. The study was conducted from November 2019 to March 2022. Three (3) external sites and one (1) internal site participated. Results: Clinical specificity (95% CI) was 99.7% (99.6 – 99.8%) on 5852 blood donors and 99.0% (98.4 – 99.4%) on 1527 hospitalized patient samples. There were 15 discrepant samples (positive on ACCESS anti-HCV assay and negative on both ARCHITECT and Immunoblot) observed with hospitalized patient samples, and of note, additional HCV RNA PCR results showed five (5) samples had positive HCV RNA PCR results despite the absence of HCV antibody detection by ARCHITECT and Immunoblot, suggesting a better sensitivity of the ACCESS anti-HCV assay with these five samples compared to the ARCHITECT and Immunoblot anti-HCV assays. Clinical sensitivity (95% CI) on 510 well-characterized, known HCV antibody-positive samples was 100.0% (99.3 – 100.0%), including 353 samples with known HCV genotypes (1 to 6). The overall false initial reactive rate (95% CI) on 6630 patient samples was 0.02% (0.00 – 0.09%). Results obtained on 30 seroconversion panels demonstrated that the ACCESS anti-HCV assay had equivalent sensitivity performances, with an average bleed difference since the first reactive bleed below one (1), compared to the ARCHITECTTM anti-HCV assay. Conclusion: The newly developed ACCESS anti-HCV assay from BEC for use on the DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer demonstrated high clinical sensitivity and specificity, equivalent to currently marketed anti-HCV assays, as well as a low false initial reactive rate.

Keywords: DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer, HCV, HCV antibody, Hepatitis C virus, immunoassay

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1 Microbial Biogeography of Greek Olive Varieties Assessed by Amplicon-Based Metagenomics Analysis

Authors: Lena Payati, Maria Kazou, Effie Tsakalidou

Abstract:

Table olives are one of the most popular fermented vegetables worldwide, which along with olive oil, have a crucial role in the world economy. They are highly appreciated by the consumers for their characteristic taste and pleasant aromas, while several health and nutritional benefits have been reported as well. Until recently, microbial biogeography, i.e., the study of microbial diversity over time and space, has been mainly associated with wine. However, nowadays, the term 'terroir' has been extended to other crops and food products so as to link the geographical origin and environmental conditions to quality aspects of fermented foods. Taking the above into consideration, the present study focuses on the microbial fingerprinting of the most important olive varieties of Greece with the state-of-the-art amplicon-based metagenomics analysis. Towards this, in 2019, 61 samples from 38 different olive varieties were collected at the final stage of ripening from 13 well spread geographical regions in Greece. For the metagenomics analysis, total DNA was extracted from the olive samples, and the 16S rRNA gene and ITS DNA region were sequenced and analyzed using bioinformatics tools for the identification of bacterial and yeasts/fungal diversity, respectively. Furthermore, principal component analysis (PCA) was also performed for data clustering based on the average microbial composition of all samples from each region of origin. According to the composition, results obtained, when samples were analyzed separately, the majority of both bacteria (such as Pantoea, Enterobacter, Roserbergiella, and Pseudomonas) and yeasts/fungi (such as Aureobasidium, Debaromyces, Candida, and Cladosporium) genera identified were found in all 61 samples. Even though interesting differences were observed at the relative abundance level of the identified genera, the bacterial genus Pantoea and the yeast/fungi genus Aureobasidium were the dominant ones in 35 and 40 samples, respectively. Of note, olive samples collected from the same region had similar fingerprint (genera identified and relative abundance level) regardless of the variety, indicating a potential association between the relative abundance of certain taxa and the geographical region. When samples were grouped by region of origin, distinct bacterial profiles per region were observed, which was also evident from the PCA analysis. This was not the case for the yeast/fungi profiles since 10 out of the 13 regions were grouped together mainly due to the dominance of the genus Aureobasidium. A second cluster was formed for the islands Crete and Rhodes, both of which are located in the Southeast Aegean Sea. These two regions clustered together mainly due to the identification of the genus Toxicocladosporium in relatively high abundances. Finally, the Agrinio region was separated from the others as it showed a completely different microbial fingerprinting. However, due to the limited number of olive samples from some regions, a subsequent PCA analysis with more samples from these regions is expected to yield in a more clear clustering. The present study is part of a bigger project, the first of its kind in Greece, with the ultimate goal to analyze a larger set of olive samples of different varieties and from different regions in Greece in order to have a reliable olives’ microbial biogeography.

Keywords: amplicon-based metagenomics analysis, bacteria, microbial biogeography, olive microbiota, yeasts/fungi

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