Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 52

# Search results for: Djerdali Sofia

##### 22 Some Codes for Variants in Graphs

Authors: Sofia Ait Bouazza

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We consider the problem of finding a minimum identifying code in a graph. This problem was initially introduced in 1998 and has been since fundamentally connected to a wide range of applications (fault diagnosis, location detection …). Suppose we have a building into which we need to place fire alarms. Suppose each alarm is designed so that it can detect any fire that starts either in the room in which it is located or in any room that shares a doorway with the room. We want to detect any fire that may occur or use the alarms which are sounding to not only to not only detect any fire but be able to tell exactly where the fire is located in the building. For reasons of cost, we want to use as few alarms as necessary. The first problem involves finding a minimum domination set of a graph. If the alarms are three state alarms capable of distinguishing between a fire in the same room as the alarm and a fire in an adjacent room, we are trying to find a minimum locating domination set. If the alarms are two state alarms that can only sound if there is a fire somewhere nearby, we are looking for a differentiating domination set of a graph. These three areas are the subject of much active research; we primarily focus on the third problem. An identifying code of a graph G is a dominating set C such that every vertex x of G is distinguished from other vertices by the set of vertices in C that are at distance at most r≥1 from x. When only vertices out of the code are asked to be identified, we get the related concept of a locating dominating set. The problem of finding an identifying code (resp a locating dominating code) of minimum size is a NP-hard problem, even when the input graph belongs to a number of specific graph classes. Therefore, we study this problem in some restricted classes of undirected graphs like split graph, line graph and path in a directed graph. Then we present some results on the identifying code by giving an exact value of upper total locating domination and a total 2-identifying code in directed and undirected graph. Moreover we determine exact values of locating dominating code and edge identifying code of thin headless spider and locating dominating code of complete suns. Downloads 334
##### 21 Faceless Women: The Blurred Image of Women in Film on and Off-Screen

Authors: Ana Sofia Torres Pereira

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Till this day, women have been underrepresented and stereotyped both in TV and Cinema Screens all around the World. While women have been gaining a different status and finding their own voice in the work place and in society, what we see on-screen is still something different, something gender biased, something that does not show the multifaceted identities a woman might have. But why is this so? Why are we stuck on this shallow vision of women on-screen? According to several cinema industry studies, most film screenwriters in Hollywood are men. Women actually represent a very low percentage of screenwriters. So why is this relevant? Could the underrepresentation of women screenwriters in Hollywood be affecting the way women are written, and as a result, are depicted in film? Films are about stories, about people, and if these stories are continuously told through a man’s gaze, is that helping in the creation of a gender imbalance towards women? On the other hand, one of the reasons given for the low percentage of women screenwriters is: women are said to be better at writing specific genres, like dramas and comedies, and not as good writing thrillers and action films, so, as women seem to be limited in the genres they can write, they are undervalued and underrepresented as screenwriters. It seems the gender bias and stereotype isn’t saved exclusively for women on-screen, but also off-screen and behind the screen. So film appears to be a men’s world, on and off-screen, and since men seem to write the majority of scripts, it might be no wonder that women have been written in a specific way and depicted in a specific way on-screen. Also, since films are a mass communication medium, maybe this over-sexualization and stereotyping on-screen is indoctrinating our society into believing this bias is alive and well, and thus targeting women off-screen as well (ergo, screenwriters). What about at the very begging of film? In the Silent Movies and Early Talkies era, women dominated the screenwriting industry. They wrote every genre, and the majority of scripts were written by women, not men. So what about then? How were women depicted in films then? Did women screenwriters, in an era that was still very harsh on women, use their stories and their power to break stereotypes and show women in a different light, or did they carry on with the stereotype, did they continue it and standardize it? This papers aims to understand how important it is to have more working women screenwriters in order to break stereotypes regarding the image of women on and off-screen. How much can a screenwriter (male or female) influence our gaze on women (on and off-screen)? Downloads 199
##### 20 Effects of Therapeutic Horseback Riding in Speech and Communication Skills of Children with Autism

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Autism is a complex neuro-developmental disorder with a variety of difficulties in many aspects such as social interaction, communication skills and verbal communication (speech). The aim of this study was to examine the impact of therapeutic horseback riding in improving the verbal and communication skills of children diagnosed with autism during 16 sessions. The researcher examined whether the expression of speech, the use of vocabulary, semantics, pragmatics, echolalia and communication skills were influenced by the therapeutic horseback riding when we increase the frequency of the sessions. The researcher observed two subjects of primary-school aged, in a two case observation design, with autism during 16 therapeutic horseback riding sessions (one riding session per week). Compared to baseline, at the end of the 16th therapeutic session, therapeutic horseback riding increased both verbal skills such as vocabulary, semantics, pragmatics, formation of sentences and communication skills such as eye contact, greeting, participation in dialogue and spontaneous speech. It was noticeable that echolalia remained stable. Increased frequency of therapeutic horseback riding was beneficial for significant improvement in verbal and communication skills. More specifically, from the first to the last riding session there was a great increase of vocabulary, semantics, and formation of sentences. Pragmatics reached a lower level than semantics but the same as the right usage of the first person (for example, I make a hug) and echolalia used for that. A great increase of spontaneous speech was noticed. The eye contact was presented in a lower level, and there was a slow but important raise at the greeting as well as the participation in dialogue. Last but not least; this is a first study conducted in therapeutic horseback riding studying the verbal communication and communication skills in autistic children. According to the references, therapeutic horseback riding is a therapy with a variety of benefits, thus; this research made clear that in the benefits of this therapy there should be included the improvement of verbal speech and communication. Downloads 156
##### 19 The Construction of Women’s Leadership in the Swedish Armed Forces in the Context of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Authors: Sofia Sutera

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Despite the introduction of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda in 2000, thanks to the UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions, and the clear stance of the UN towards the support of increased participation of women in peace and security processes, women’s leadership in this context remains very low. Considering specifically the framework of peacekeeping operations, the aim of this paper is to analyze the way women’s leadership is constructed in the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF). In the context of the WPS Agenda, Sweden has been chosen as a case study because of the relevance of its singular feminist policies (the statement in 2014 from Wallström, previous and current Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, that Sweden is pursuing a feminist foreign policy is a clear example). Moreover, the SAF adopted in 2016 the Handbok Gender. This policy addresses explicitly the gender perspective embraced by the Swedish military institution, a sui-generis organization even in the Scandinavian reality. Indeed, the SAF has assumed a clear commitment to represent its institution as gender aware and gender equal. The theoretical perspective utilized in this research, which focuses specifically on women, is feminism and particularly a feminist constructivist approach, with an institutional focus on the military institution, has been chosen. Taking into account the specificity of the feminist research, the above-mentioned gender policy has been examined by means of a critical discourse analysis (CDA) whose main aim is to investigate the social structures of discourse and the power relationships inherent to it. Thus, CDA appears to be quite relevant in order to understand the construction of women’s leadership in the Handbok Gender. Nevertheless, even in a country which officially identifies as feminist and which is characterized by a peculiar military institution, the conclusions of this analysis revealed that women’s leadership in peacekeeping operations remains very low. Downloads 13
##### 18 Ports and Airports: Gateways to Vector-Borne Diseases in Portugal Mainland

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Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans by mosquitos, sandflies, bugs, ticks, and other vectors. Some are re-transmitted between vectors, if the infected human has a new contact when his levels of infection are high. The vector is infected for lifetime and can transmit infectious diseases not only between humans but also from animals to humans. Some vector borne diseases are very disabling and globally account for more than one million deaths worldwide. The mosquitoes from the complex Culex pipiens sl. are the most abundant in Portugal, and we dispose in this moment of a data set from the surveillance program that has been carried on since 2006 across the country. All mosquitos’ species are included, but the large coverage of Culex pipiens sl. and its importance for public health make this vector an interesting candidate to assess risk of disease amplification. This work focus on ports and airports identified as key areas of high density of vectors. Mosquitoes being ectothermic organisms, the main factor for vector survival and pathogen development is temperature. Minima and maxima local air temperatures for each area of interest are averaged by month from data gathered on a daily basis at the national network of meteorological stations, and interpolated in a geographic information system (GIS). The range of temperatures ideal for several pathogens are known and this work shows how to use it with the meteorological data in each port and airport facility, to focus an efficient implementation of countermeasures and reduce simultaneously risk transmission and mitigation costs. The results show an increased alert with decreasing latitude, which corresponds to higher minimum and maximum temperatures and a lower amplitude range of the daily temperature. Downloads 208
##### 17 D-Wave Quantum Computing Ising Model: A Case Study for Forecasting of Heat Waves

Authors: Dmytro Zubov, Francesco Volponi

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In this paper, D-Wave quantum computing Ising model is used for the forecasting of positive extremes of daily mean air temperature. Forecast models are designed with two to five qubits, which represent 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-day historical data respectively. Ising model’s real-valued weights and dimensionless coefficients are calculated using daily mean air temperatures from 119 places around the world, as well as sea level (Aburatsu, Japan). In comparison with current methods, this approach is better suited to predict heat wave values because it does not require the estimation of a probability distribution from scarce observations. Proposed forecast quantum computing algorithm is simulated based on traditional computer architecture and combinatorial optimization of Ising model parameters for the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport dataset with 1-day lead-time on learning sample (1975-2010 yr). Analysis of the forecast accuracy (ratio of successful predictions to total number of predictions) on the validation sample (2011-2014 yr) shows that Ising model with three qubits has 100 % accuracy, which is quite significant as compared to other methods. However, number of identified heat waves is small (only one out of nineteen in this case). Other models with 2, 4, and 5 qubits have 20 %, 3.8 %, and 3.8 % accuracy respectively. Presented three-qubit forecast model is applied for prediction of heat waves at other five locations: Aurel Vlaicu, Romania – accuracy is 28.6 %; Bratislava, Slovakia – accuracy is 21.7 %; Brussels, Belgium – accuracy is 33.3 %; Sofia, Bulgaria – accuracy is 50 %; Akhisar, Turkey – accuracy is 21.4 %. These predictions are not ideal, but not zeros. They can be used independently or together with other predictions generated by different method(s). The loss of human life, as well as environmental, economic, and material damage, from extreme air temperatures could be reduced if some of heat waves are predicted. Even a small success rate implies a large socio-economic benefit.

Keywords: Quantum Computing, forecast, Heat Wave, D-wave, Ising model

##### 16 Influence of Instrumental Playing on Attachment Type of Musicians and Music Students Using Adult Attachment Scale-R

Authors: Sofia Serra-Dawa

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Adult relationships accrue on a variety of past social experiences, intentions, and emotions that might predispose and influence the approach to and construction of subsequent relationships. The Adult Attachment Theory (AAT) proposes four types of adult attachment, where attachment is built over two dimensions of anxiety and avoidance: secure, anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, and fearful-avoidant. The AAT has been studied in multiple settings such as personal and therapeutic relationships, educational settings, sexual orientation, health, and religion. In music scholarship, the AAT has been used to frame class learning of student singers and study the relational behavior between voice teachers and students. Building on this study, the present inquiry studies how attachment types might characterize learning relationships of music students (in the Western Conservatory tradition), and whether particular instrumental experiences might correlate to given attachment styles. Given certain behavioral cohesive features of established traditions of instrumental playing and performance modes, it is hypothesized that student musicians will display specific characteristics correlated to instrumental traditions, demonstrating clear tendency of attachment style, which in turn has implications on subsequent professional interactions. This study is informed by the methodological framework of Adult Attachment Scale-R (Collins and Read, 1990), which was particularly chosen given its non-invasive questions and classificatory validation. It is further hypothesized that the analytical comparison of musicians’ profiles has the potential to serve as the baseline for other comparative behavioral observation studies [this component is expected to be verified and completed well before the conference meeting]. This research may have implications for practitioners concerned with matching and improving musical teaching and learning relationships and in (professional and amateur) long-term musical settings. Downloads 17
##### 15 Military Leadership: Emotion Culture and Emotion Coping in Morally Stressful Situations

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In irregular warfare contexts, military personnel are often presented with morally ambiguous situations where they are aware of the morally correct choice but may feel prevented to follow through with it due to organizational demands. Moral stress and/or injury can be the outcome of the individual’s experienced dissonance. These types of challenges put a large demand on the individual to manage their own emotions and the emotions of others, particularly in the case of a leader. Both the ability and inability for emotional regulation can result in different combinations of short and long term reactions after morally stressful events, which can be either positive or negative. Our study analyzed the combination of these reactions based upon the types of morally challenging events that were described by the subjects. 1)What institutionalized norms concerning emotion regulation are favorable in short-and long-term perspectives after a morally stressful event? 2)What individual emotion-focused coping strategies are favorable in short-and long-perspectives after a morally stressful? To address these questions, we conducted a quantitative study in military contexts in Sweden and Norway on upcoming or current military officers (n=331). We tested a theoretical model built upon a recently developed qualitative study. The data was analyzed using factor analysis, multiple regression analysis and subgroup analyses. The results indicated that an individual’s restriction of emotion in order to achieve an organizational goal, which results in emotional dissonance, can be an effective short term strategy for both the individual and the organization; however, it appears to be unfavorable in a long-term perspective which can result in negative reactions. Our results are intriguing because they showed an increased percentage of reported negative long term reactions (13%), which indicated PTSD-related symptoms in comparison to previous Swedish studies which indicated lower PTSD symptomology. Downloads 476
##### 14 Examining the Effects of Increasing Lexical Retrieval Attempts in Tablet-Based Naming Therapy for Aphasia

Authors: Jeanne Gallee, Sofia Vallila-Rohter

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##### 13 Identification and Classification of Fiber-Fortified Semolina by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)

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Food fortification is the intentional addition of a nutrient in a food matrix and has been widely used to overcome the lack of nutrients in the diet or increasing the nutritional value of food. Fortified food must meet the demand of the population, taking into account their habits and risks that these foods may cause. Wheat and its by-products, such as semolina, has been strongly indicated to be used as a food vehicle since it is widely consumed and used in the production of other foods. These products have been strategically used to add some nutrients, such as fibers. Methods of analysis and quantification of these kinds of components are destructive and require lengthy sample preparation and analysis. Therefore, the industry has searched for faster and less invasive methods, such as Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR). NIR is a rapid and cost-effective method, however, it is based on indirect measurements, yielding high amount of data. Therefore, NIR spectroscopy requires calibration with mathematical and statistical tools (Chemometrics) to extract analytical information from the corresponding spectra, as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA). PCA is well suited for NIR, once it can handle many spectra at a time and be used for non-supervised classification. Advantages of the PCA, which is also a data reduction technique, is that it reduces the data spectra to a smaller number of latent variables for further interpretation. On the other hand, LDA is a supervised method that searches the Canonical Variables (CV) with the maximum separation among different categories. In LDA, the first CV is the direction of maximum ratio between inter and intra-class variances. The present work used a portable infrared spectrometer (NIR) for identification and classification of pure and fiber-fortified semolina samples. The fiber was added to semolina in two different concentrations, and after the spectra acquisition, the data was used for PCA and LDA to identify and discriminate the samples. The results showed that NIR spectroscopy associate to PCA was very effective in identifying pure and fiber-fortified semolina. Additionally, the classification range of the samples using LDA was between 78.3% and 95% for calibration and 75% and 95% for cross-validation. Thus, after the multivariate analysis such as PCA and LDA, it was possible to verify that NIR associated to chemometric methods is able to identify and classify the different samples in a fast and non-destructive way. Downloads 70
##### 12 In Silico Analysis of Deleterious nsSNPs (Missense) of Dihydrolipoamide Branched-Chain Transacylase E2 Gene Associated with Maple Syrup Urine Disease Type II

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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.

Keywords: in silico analysis, DBT gene, ELASPIC, UCSF chimer

##### 11 Status Quo Bias: A Paradigm Shift in Policy Making

Authors: Divyansh Goel, Varun Jain

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Classical economics works on the principle that people are rational and analytical in their decision making and their choices fall in line with the most suitable option according to the dominant strategy in a standard game theory model. This model has failed at many occasions in estimating the behavior and dealings of rational people, giving proof of some other underlying heuristics and cognitive biases at work. This paper probes into the study of these factors, which fall under the umbrella of behavioral economics and through their medium explore the solution to a problem which a lot of nations presently face. There has long been a wide disparity in the number of people holding favorable views on organ donation and the actual number of people signing up for the same. This paper, in its entirety, is an attempt to shape the public policy which leads to an increase the number of organ donations that take place and close the gap in the statistics of the people who believe in signing up for organ donation and the ones who actually do. The key assumption here is that in cases of cognitive dissonance, where people have an inconsistency due to conflicting views, people have a tendency to go with the default choice. This tendency is a well-documented cognitive bias known as the status quo bias. The research in this project involves an assay of mandated choice models of organ donation with two case studies. The first of an opt-in system of Germany (where people have to explicitly sign up for organ donation) and the second of an opt-out system of Austria (every citizen at the time of their birth is an organ donor and has to explicitly sign up for refusal). Additionally, there has also been presented a detailed analysis of the experiment performed by Eric J. Johnson and Daniel G. Goldstein. Their research as well as many other independent experiments such as that by Tsvetelina Yordanova of the University of Sofia, both of which yield similar results. The conclusion being that the general population has by and large no rigid stand on organ donation and are gullible to status quo bias, which in turn can determine whether a large majority of people will consent to organ donation or not. Thus, in our paper, we throw light on how governments can use status quo bias to drive positive social change by making policies in which everyone by default is marked an organ donor, which will, in turn, save the lives of people who succumb on organ transplantation waitlists and save the economy countless hours of economic productivity. Downloads 179
##### 10 Study of the Hydrodynamic of Electrochemical Ion Pumping for Lithium Recovery

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In the last decade, lithium has become an important raw material in various sectors, in particular for rechargeable batteries. Its production is expected to grow more and more in the future, especially for mobile energy storage and electromobility. Until now it is mostly produced by the evaporation of water from salt lakes, which led to a huge water consumption, a large amount of waste produced and a strong environmental impact. A new, clean and faster electrochemical technique to recover lithium has been recently proposed: electrochemical ion pumping. It consists in capturing lithium ions from a feed solution by intercalation in a lithium-selective material, followed by releasing them into a recovery solution; both steps are driven by the passage of a current. In this work, a new configuration of the electrochemical cell is presented, used to study and optimize the process of the intercalation of lithium ions through the hydrodynamic condition. Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn₂O₄) was used as a cathode to intercalate lithium ions selectively during the reduction, while Nickel Hexacyano Ferrate (NiHCF), used as an anode, releases positive ion. The effect of hydrodynamics on the process has been studied by conducting the experiments at various fluxes of the electrolyte through the electrodes, in terms of charge circulated through the cell, captured lithium per unit mass of material and overvoltage. The result shows that flowing the electrolyte inside the cell improves the lithium capture, in particular at low lithium concentration. Indeed, in Atacama feed solution, at 40 mM of lithium, the amount of lithium captured does not increase considerably with the flux of the electrolyte. Instead, when the concentration of the lithium ions is 5 mM, the amount of captured lithium in a single capture cycle increases by increasing the flux, thus leading to the conclusion that the slowest step in the process is the transport of the lithium ion in the liquid phase. Furthermore, an influence of the concentration of other cations in solution on the process performance was observed. In particular, the capturing of the lithium using a different concentration of NaCl together with 5 mM of LiCl was performed, and the results show that the presence of NaCl limits the amount of the captured lithium. Further studies can be performed in order to understand why the full capacity of the material is not reached at the highest flow rate. This is probably due to the porous structure of the material since the liquid phase is likely not affected by the convection flow inside the pores. This work proves that electrochemical ion pumping, with a suitable hydrodynamic design, enables the recovery of lithium from feed solutions at the lower concentration than the sources that are currently exploited, down to 1 mM. Downloads 86
##### 9 Conservation Agriculture under Mediterranean Climate: Effects on below and Above-Ground Processes during Wheat Cultivation

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Conservation agriculture (CA), is a production system approach that can tackle the challenges of climate change mainly through facilitating carbon storage into the soil and increasing crop resilience. This is extremely important for the vulnerable Mediterranean agroecosystems, which already face adverse environmental conditions. The agronomic practices used in CA, i.e. permanent soil cover and no-tillage, result in reduced soil erosion and increased soil organic matter, preservation of water and improvement of quality and fertility of the soil in the long-term. Thus the functional characteristics and processes of the soil are considerably affected by the implementation of CA. The aim of the present work was to assess the effects of CA on soil nitrification potential and mycorrhizal colonization about the above-ground production in a wheat field. Two adjacent but independent field sites of 1.5ha each were used (Thessaly plain, Central Greece), comprising the no-till and conventional tillage treatments. The no-tillage site was covered by residues of the previous crop (cotton). Potential nitrification and the nitrate and ammonium content of the soil were measured at two different soil depths (3 and 15cm) at 20-days intervals throughout the growth period. Additionally, the leaf area index (LAI) was monitored at the same time-course. The mycorrhizal colonization was measured at the commencement and end of the experiment. At the final harvest, total yield and plant biomass were also recorded. The results indicate that wheat yield was considerably favored by CA practices, exhibiting a 42% increase compared to the conventional tillage treatment. The superior performance of the CA crop was also depicted in the above-ground plant biomass, where a 26% increase was recorded. LAI, which is considered a reliable growth index, did not show statistically significant differences between treatments throughout the growth period. On the contrary, significant differences were recorded in endomycorrhizal colonization one day before the final harvest, with CA plants exhibiting 20% colonization, while the conventional tillage plants hardly reached 1%. The on-going analyses of potential nitrification measurements, as well as nitrate and ammonium determination, will shed light on the effects of CA on key processes in the soil. These results will integrate the assessment of CA impact on certain below and above-ground processes during wheat cultivation under the Mediterranean climate. Downloads 1

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##### 7 Biodegradation Ability of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAHs) Degrading Bacillus cereus Strain JMG-01 Isolated from PAHs Contaminated Soil

Authors: Sofia Banu, Jibon Kotoky, Momita Das

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##### 6 Photoswitchable and Polar-Dependent Fluorescence of Diarylethenes

Authors: Sofia Lazareva, Artem Smolentsev

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Fluorescent photochromic materials collect strong interest due to their possible application in organic photonics such as optical logic systems, optical memory, visualizing sensors, as well as characterization of polymers and biological systems. In photochromic fluorescence switching systems the emission of fluorophore is modulated between ‘on’ and ‘off’ via the photoisomerization of photochromic moieties resulting in effective resonance energy transfer (FRET). In current work, we have studied both photochromic and fluorescent properties of several diarylethenes. It was found that coloured forms of these compounds are not fluorescent because of the efficient intramolecular energy transfer. Spectral and photochromic parameters of investigated substances have been measured in five solvents having different polarity. Quantum yields of photochromic transformation A↔B ΦA→B and ΦB→A as well as B isomer extinction coefficients were determined by kinetic method. It was found that the photocyclization reaction quantum yield of all compounds decreases with the increase of solvent polarity. In addition, the solvent polarity is revealed to affect fluorescence significantly. Increasing of the solvent dielectric constant was found to result in a strong shift of emission band position from 450 nm (nhexane) to 550 nm (DMSO and ethanol) for all three compounds. Moreover, the emission intensive in polar solvents becomes weak and hardly detectable in n-hexane. The only one exception in the described dependence is abnormally low fluorescence quantum yield in ethanol presumably caused by the loss of electron-donating properties of nitrogen atom due to the protonation. An effect of the protonation was also confirmed by the addition of concentrated HCl in solution resulting in a complete disappearance of the fluorescent band. Excited state dynamics were investigated by ultrafast optical spectroscopy methods. Kinetic curves of excited states absorption and fluorescence decays were measured. Lifetimes of transient states were calculated from the data measured. The mechanism of ring opening reaction was found to be polarity dependent. Comparative analysis of kinetics measured in acetonitrile and hexane reveals differences in relaxation dynamics after the laser pulse. The most important fact is the presence of two decay processes in acetonitrile, whereas only one is present in hexane. This fact supports an assumption made on the basis of steady-state preliminary experiments that in polar solvents occur stabilization of TICT state. Thus, results achieved prove the hypothesis of two channel mechanism of energy relaxation of compounds studied. Downloads 126
##### 5 Whistleblowing a Contemporary Topic Concerning Businesses

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Corruption and economic crime is a serious problem affecting the sustainability of businesses in the 21st century. Nowadays, many corruption or fraud cases come to light thanks to whistleblowers. This article will first discuss the concept of whistleblowing as well as some relevant legislation enacted around the world. Secondly, it will discuss the findings of a survey of whistleblowers or could-have-been whistleblowers. Finally, suggestions for the development of a comprehensive whistleblowing framework will be considered. Whistleblowing can be described as expressing a concern about a wrongdoing within an organization, such as a corporation, an association, an institution or a union. Such concern must be in the public interest and in good faith and should relate to the cover up of matters that could potentially result in a miscarriage of justice, a crime, criminal offence and threats to health and safety. Whistleblowing has proven to be an effective anti-corruption mechanism and a powerful tool that helps deterring fraud, violations, and malpractices within organizations, corporations and the public sector. Research in the field of whistleblowing has concentrated on the reasons for whistleblowing and financial bounties; the effectiveness of whistleblowing; whistleblowing being a prosocial behavior with a psychological perspective and consequences; as a tool in protecting shareholders, saving lives and billions of dollars of public funds. Whilst, no other study of whistleblowing has been carried out on whistleblowers or intended whistleblowers. The study reported in the current paper analyses the findings of 74 whistleblowers or intended whistleblowers, the reasons behind their decision to blow the whistle, or not to proceed to blow the whistle and any regrets they may have had. In addition a profile of a whistleblower is developed concerning their age, gender, marital and family status and position in an organization. Lessons learned from the intended whistleblowers and in response to the questions if they would be willing to blow the whistle again show that enacting legislation to protect the whistleblower is not enough. Similarly, rewarding the whistleblower does not appear to provide the whistleblower with an incentive since the majority noted that “work ethics is more important than financial rewards”. We recommend the development of a comprehensive and holistic framework for the protection of the whistleblower and to ensure that remedial actions are immediately taken once a whistleblower comes forward. The suggested framework comprises (a) hard legislation in ensuring the whistleblowers follow certain principles when blowing the whistle and, in return, are protected for a period of 5 years from being fired, dismissed, bullied, harassed; (b) soft legislation in establishing an agency to firstly ensure psychological and legal advice is provided to the whistleblowers and secondly any required remedial action is immediately taken to avert the undesirable events reported by a whistleblower from occurring and, finally; (c) mechanisms to ensure the coordination of actions taken.

##### 4 Index of Suitability for Culex pipiens sl. Mosquitoes in Portugal Mainland

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The environment of the mosquitoes complex Culex pipiens sl. in Portugal mainland is evaluated based in its abundance, using a data set georeferenced, collected during seven years (2006-2012) from May to October. The suitability of the different regions can be delineated using the relative abundance areas; the suitablility index is directly proportional to disease transmission risk and allows focusing mitigation measures in order to avoid outbreaks of vector-borne diseases. The interest in the Culex pipiens complex is justified by its medical importance: the females bite all warm-blooded vertebrates and are involved in the circulation of several arbovirus of concern to human health, like West Nile virus, iridoviruses, rheoviruses and parvoviruses. The abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes were documented systematically all over the territory by the local health services, in a long duration program running since 2006. The environmental factors used to characterize the vector habitat are land use/land cover, distance to cartographed water bodies, altitude and latitude. Focus will be on the mosquito females, which gonotrophic cycle mate-bloodmeal-oviposition is responsible for the virus transmission; its abundance is the key for the planning of non-aggressive prophylactic countermeasures that may eradicate the transmission risk and simultaneously avoid chemical ambient degradation. Meteorological parameters such as: air relative humidity, air temperature (minima, maxima and mean daily temperatures) and daily total rainfall were gathered from the weather stations network for the same dates and crossed with the standardized females’ abundance in a geographic information system (GIS). Mean capture and percentage of above average captures related to each variable are used as criteria to compute a threshold for each meteorological parameter; the difference of the mean capture above/below the threshold was statistically assessed. The meteorological parameters measured at the net of weather stations all over the country are averaged by month and interpolated to produce raster maps that can be segmented according to the meaningful thresholds for each parameter. The intersection of the maps of all the parameters obtained for each month show the evolution of the suitable meteorological conditions through the mosquito season, considered as May to October, although the first and last month are less relevant. In parallel, mean and above average captures were related to the physiographic parameters – the land use/land cover classes most relevant in each month, the altitudes preferred and the most frequent distance to water bodies, a factor closely related with the mosquito biology. The maps produced with these results were crossed with the meteorological maps previously segmented, in order to get an index of suitability for the complex Culex pipiens evaluated all over the country, and its evolution from the beginning to the end of the mosquitoes season. Downloads 399

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