Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Doron Holland

22 Profiling the Volatile Metabolome in Pear Leaves with Different Resistance to the Pear Psylla Cacopsylla bidens (Sulc) and Characterization of Phenolic Acid Decarboxylase

Authors: Mwafaq Ibdah, Mossab, Yahyaa, Dor Rachmany, Yoram Gerchman, Doron Holland, Liora Shaltiel-Harpaz

Abstract:

Pear Psylla is the most important pest of pear in all pear-growing regions, in Asian, European, and the USA. Pear psylla damages pears in several ways: high-density populations of these insects can cause premature leaf and fruit drop, diminish plant growth, and reduce fruit size. In addition, their honeydew promotes sooty mold on leaves and russeting on fruit. Pear psyllas are also considered vectors of pear pathogens such as Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri causing pear decline that can lead to loss of crop and tree vigor, and sometimes loss of trees. Psylla control is a major obstacle to efficient integrated pest management. Recently we have identified two naturally resistance pear accessions (Py.760-261 and Py.701-202) in the Newe Ya’ar live collection. GC-MS volatile metabolic profiling identified several volatile compounds common in these accessions but lacking, or much less common, in a sensitive accession, the commercial Spadona variety. Among these volatiles were styrene and its derivatives. When the resistant accessions were used as inter-stock, the volatile compounds appear in commercial Spadona scion leaves, and it showed reduced susceptibility to pear psylla. Laboratory experiments and applications of some of these volatile compounds were very effective against psylla eggs, nymphs, and adults. The genes and enzymes involved in the specific reactions that lead to the biosynthesis of styrene in plant are unknown. We have identified a phenolic acid decarboxylase that catalyzes the formation of p-hydroxystyrene, which occurs as a styrene analog in resistant pear genotypes. The His-tagged and affinity chromatography purified E. coli-expressed pear PyPAD1 protein could decarboxylate p-coumaric acid and ferulic acid to p-hydroxystyrene and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxystyrene. In addition, PyPAD1 had the highest activity toward p-coumaric acid. Expression analysis of the PyPAD gene revealed that its expressed as expected, i.e., high when styrene levels and psylla resistance were high.

Keywords: pear Psylla, volatile, GC-MS, resistance

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21 Reasons for Choosing Medicine and the Personality Traits of Pre-Clinical Medical Students

Authors: Zarini Ismail, Nurul Azmawati Mohamed, Shalinawati Ramli, Nurul Hayati Chamhuri, Nur Syahrina Rahim, Khairani Omar

Abstract:

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions that people have to make in life. While choosing a suitable career, a person cannot ignore their intrinsic traits such as the type of personality, interests, values, and aptitude. The objective of this study is to ascertain the personality of the pre-clinical medical students and their reasons or intentions for choosing medicine as a career. This study is a cross-sectional study involving Year 3 pre-clinical medical students at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. Participants were given a set of validated questionnaires on demographic data and open-ended questions for reasons of choosing medicine. Thematic analysis were used to analyse the open-ended question. The Participants were also required to answer a Career Interest Questionnaire (based on Holland’s Theory). A total of 81 Year 3 medical students were involved in this study. About two third (69%) of them were female and their age ranged from 20 to 21 years old. The majority of them were from middle-income families. From the thematic analysis, there were several reasons given for choosing medicine by the students. The majority of the students stated that it was their passion and interest in the medical field (45.7%). Approximately 24.7% decided to take the medical course because of parents/family influenced and 19.8% mentioned that they wanted to help the society. Other themes emerged were jobs opportunity in future (1.2%) and influenced by friends (3.7%). Based on Holland’s theory, ideally to become a good medical doctor one should score high in investigative and social personality trait. However, 26.3% of the students had low scores in these personality traits. We then looked into the reasons given by these students for choosing medicine. Approximately 28% were due to parents/family decision while 52% admitted that it was due to their interest. When compared with the group of students with high personality scores (investigative and social), there was not much difference in the reasons given for choosing medicine. The main reasons given by the students for choosing medicine were own interest, family’s influence and to help others. However, a proportion of them had low scores in the personality traits which are relevant for medicine. Although some of these students admitted that they choose medicine based on their interest, their strength might not be suitable for their chosen carrier.

Keywords: career, medical students, medicine, personality

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20 Eye Tracking: Biometric Evaluations of Instructional Materials for Improved Learning

Authors: Janet Holland

Abstract:

Eye tracking is a great way to triangulate multiple data sources for deeper, more complete knowledge of how instructional materials are really being used and emotional connections made. Using sensor based biometrics provides a detailed local analysis in real time expanding our ability to collect science based data for a more comprehensive level of understanding, not previously possible, for teaching and learning. The knowledge gained will be used to make future improvements to instructional materials, tools, and interactions. The literature has been examined and a preliminary pilot test was implemented to develop a methodology for research in Instructional Design and Technology. Eye tracking now offers the addition of objective metrics obtained from eye tracking and other biometric data collection with analysis for a fresh perspective.

Keywords: area of interest, eye tracking, biometrics, fixation, fixation count, fixation sequence, fixation time, gaze points, heat map, saccades, time to first fixation

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19 Novel Method of In-Situ Tracking of Mechanical Changes in Composite Electrodes during Charging-Discharging by QCM-D

Authors: M. D. Levi, Netanel Shpigel, Sergey Sigalov, Gregory Salitra, Leonid Daikhin, Doron Aurbach

Abstract:

We have developed an in-situ method for tracking ions adsorption into composite nanoporous carbon electrodes based on quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM). In these first papers QCM was used as a simple gravimetric probe of compositional changes in carbon porous composite electrodes during their charging since variation of the electrode potential did not change significantly width of the resonance. In contrast, when we passed from nanoporous carbons to a composite Li-ion battery material such as LiFePO4 olivine, the change in the resonance width was comparable with change of the resonance frequency (polymeric binder PVdF was shown to be completely rigid when used in aqueous solutions). We have provided a quantitative hydrodynamic admittance model of ion-insertion processes into electrode host accompanied by intercalation-induced dimensional changes of electrode particles, and hence the entire electrode coating. The change in electrode deformation and the related porosity modify hydrodynamic solid-liquid interactions tracked by QCM with dissipation monitoring. Using admittance modeling, we are able to evaluate the changes of effective thickness and permeability/porosity of composite electrode caused by applied potential and as a function of cycle number. This unique non-destructive technique may have great advantage in early diagnostics of cycling life durability of batteries and supercapacitors.

Keywords: Li-ion batteries, particles deformations, QCM-D, viscoelasticity

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18 Geo-Spatial Methods to Better Understand Urban Food Deserts

Authors: Brian Ceh, Alison Jackson-Holland

Abstract:

Food deserts are a reality in some cities. These deserts can be described as a shortage of healthy food options within close proximity of consumers. The shortage in this case is typically facilitated by a lack of stores in an urban area that provide adequate fruit and vegetable choices. This study explores new avenues to better understand food deserts by examining modes of transportation that are available to shoppers or consumers, e.g. walking, automobile, or public transit. Further, this study is unique in that it not only explores the location of large grocery stores, but small grocery and convenience stores too. In this study, the relationship between some socio-economic indicators, such as personal income, are also explored to determine any possible association with food deserts. In addition, to help facilitate our understanding of food deserts, complex network spatial models that are built on adequate algorithms are used to investigate the possibility of food deserts in the city of Hamilton, Canada. It is found that Hamilton, Canada is adequate serviced by retailers who provide healthy food choices and that the food desert phenomena is almost absent.

Keywords: Canada, desert, food, Hamilton, store

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17 A Strategic Water and Energy Project as a Climate Change Adaptation Tool for Israel, Jordan and the Middle East

Authors: Doron Markel

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Water availability in most of the Middle East (especially in Jordan) is among the lowest in the world and has been even further exacerbated by the regional climatic change and the reduced rainfall. The Araba Valley in Israel is disconnected from the national water system. On the other hand, the Araba Valley, both in Israel and Jordan, is an excellent area for solar energy gaining. The Dead Sea (Israel and Jordan) is a hypersaline lake which its level declines at a rate of more than 1 m/y. The decline stems from the increasing use of all available freshwater resources that discharge into the Dead Sea and decreasing natural precipitation due to climate change in the Middle East. As an adaptation tool for this humanmade and Climate Change results, a comprehensive water-energy and environmental project were suggested: The Red Sea-Dead Sea Conveyance. It is planned to desalinate the Red Sea water, supply the desalinated water to both Israel and Jordan, and convey the desalination brine to the Dead Sea to stabilize its water level. Therefore, the World Bank had led a multi-discipline feasibility study between 2008 and 2013, that had mainly dealt with the mixing of seawater and Dead Sea Water. The possible consequences of such mixing were precipitation and possible suspension of secondary Gypsum, as well as blooming of Dunaliella red algae. Using a comprehensive hydrodynamic-geochemical model for the Dead Sea, it was predicted that while conveying up to 400 Million Cubic Meters per year of seawater or desalination brine to the Dead Sea, the latter would not be stratified as it was until 1979; hence Gypsum precipitation and algal blooms would be neglecting. Using another hydrodynamic-biological model for the Red Sea, it was predicted the Seawater pump from the Gulf of Eilat would not harm the ecological system of the gulf (including the sensitive coral reef), giving a pump depth of 120-160 m. Based on these studies, a pipeline conveyance was recommended to convey desalination brine to the Dead Sea with the use of a hydropower plant, utilizing the elevation difference of 400 m between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. The complementary energy would come from solar panels coupled with innovative storage technology, needed to produce a continuous energy production for an appropriate function of the desalination plant. The paper will describe the proposed project as well as the feasibility study results. The possibility to utilize this water-energy-environmental project as a climate change adaptation strategy for both Israel and Jordan will also be discussed.

Keywords: Red Sea, Dead Sea, water supply, hydro-power, Gypsum, algae

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16 Planktivorous Fish Schooling Responses to Current at Natural and Artificial Reefs

Authors: Matthew Holland, Jason Everett, Martin Cox, Iain Suthers

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High spatial-resolution distribution of planktivorous reef fish can reveal behavioural adaptations to optimise the balance between feeding success and predator avoidance. We used a multi-beam echosounder to record bathymetry and the three-dimensional distribution of fish schools associated with natural and artificial reefs. We utilised generalised linear models to assess the distribution, orientation, and aggregation of fish schools relative to the structure, vertical relief, and currents. At artificial reefs, fish schooled more closely to the structure and demonstrated a preference for the windward side, particularly when exposed to strong currents. Similarly, at natural reefs fish demonstrated a preference for windward aspects of bathymetry, particularly when associated with high vertical relief. Our findings suggest that under conditions with stronger current velocity, fish can exercise their preference to remain close to structure for predator avoidance, while still receiving an adequate supply of zooplankton delivered by the current. Similarly, when current velocity is low, fish tend to disperse for better access to zooplankton. As artificial reefs are generally deployed with the goal of creating productivity rather than simply attracting fish from elsewhere, we advise that future artificial reefs be designed as semi-linear arrays perpendicular to the prevailing current, with multiple tall towers. This will facilitate the conversion of dispersed zooplankton into energy for higher trophic levels, enhancing reef productivity and fisheries.

Keywords: artificial reef, current, forage fish, multi-beam, planktivorous fish, reef fish, schooling

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15 Control of a Quadcopter Using Genetic Algorithm Methods

Authors: Mostafa Mjahed

Abstract:

This paper concerns the control of a nonlinear system using two different methods, reference model and genetic algorithm. The quadcopter is a nonlinear unstable system, which is a part of aerial robots. It is constituted by four rotors placed at the end of a cross. The center of this cross is occupied by the control circuit. Its motions are governed by six degrees of freedom: three rotations around 3 axes (roll, pitch and yaw) and the three spatial translations. The control of such system is complex, because of nonlinearity of its dynamic representation and the number of parameters, which it involves. Numerous studies have been developed to model and stabilize such systems. The classical PID and LQ correction methods are widely used. If the latter represent the advantage to be simple because they are linear, they reveal the drawback to require the presence of a linear model to synthesize. It also implies the complexity of the established laws of command because the latter must be widened on all the domain of flight of these quadcopter. Note that, if the classical design methods are widely used to control aeronautical systems, the Artificial Intelligence methods as genetic algorithms technique receives little attention. In this paper, we suggest comparing two PID design methods. Firstly, the parameters of the PID are calculated according to the reference model. In a second phase, these parameters are established using genetic algorithms. By reference model, we mean that the corrected system behaves according to a reference system, imposed by some specifications: settling time, zero overshoot etc. Inspired from the natural evolution of Darwin's theory advocating the survival of the best, John Holland developed this evolutionary algorithm. Genetic algorithm (GA) possesses three basic operators: selection, crossover and mutation. We start iterations with an initial population. Each member of this population is evaluated through a fitness function. Our purpose is to correct the behavior of the quadcopter around three axes (roll, pitch and yaw) with 3 PD controllers. For the altitude, we adopt a PID controller.

Keywords: quadcopter, genetic algorithm, PID, fitness, model, control, nonlinear system

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14 Pharmaceutical Equivalence of Some Injectable Gentamicin Generics Used in Veterinary Practice in Nigeria

Authors: F. A. Gberindyer, M. O.Abatan, A. B. Saba

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Background: Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic used in the treatment of infections caused by Gram-negative aerobic bacteria organisms in human and animals. In Nigeria, there are arrays of multisource generic versions of injectable gentamicin sulphate in the drug markets. There is a high prevalence of counterfeit and substandard drugs in the third world countries with consequent effect on their therapeutic efficacy and safety. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate pharmaceutical equivalence of some of these generics used in veterinary practice in Nigeria. Methodology: About 20 generics of injectable gentamicin sulphate were sampled randomly across Nigeria but 15 were analyzed for identity and potency. Identity test was done using Fourier transform infra red spectroscopy and the spectral for each product compared with that of the USP reference standard for similarity. Microbiological assay using agar diffusion method with E. coli as a test organism on nutrient agar was employed and the respective diameters of bacterial inhibition zones obtained after 24 hour incubation at 37°C. The percent potency for each product was thereafter calculated and compared with the official specification. Result And Discussion: None of the generics is produced in any African country. About 75 % of the products are imported from China whereas 60 % of the veterinary generics are manufactured in Holland. Absorption spectra for the reference and test samples were similar. Percent potencies of all test products were within the official specification of 95-115 %. Nigeria relies solely on imported injectable gentamicin sulphate products. All sampled generic versions passed both identity and potency tests. Clinicians should ensure that drugs are used rationally since the converse could be contributing to the therapeutic failures reported for most of these generics. Bioequivalence study is recommended to ascertain their interchangeability when parenteral extra venous routes are indicated.

Keywords: generics, gentamicin, identity, multisource, potency

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13 Visitor's Perception toward Boating in Silver River, Florida

Authors: Hoda Manafian, Stephen Holland

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Silver Springs are one of Florida's first tourist attractions. They are one of the largest artesian spring formations in the world, producing nearly 550 million gallons of crystal-clear water daily that is one of the most popular sites for water-based leisure activities. As part of managing the use of a state park, the state is interested in establishing a baseline count of number of boating users to compare this to the quality of the natural resources and environment in the park. Understanding the status of the environmental resources and also the human recreational experience is the main objective of the project. Two main goals of current study are 1) to identify the distribution of different types of watercrafts (kayak, canoe, motor boat, Jet Ski, paddleboard and pontoon). 2) To document the level of real crowdedness in the river during different seasons, months, and hours of each day based on the reliable information gained from camera versus self-reported method by tourists themselves in the past studies (the innovative achievement of this study). In line with these objectives, on-site surveys and also boat counting using a time-lapse camera at the Riverside launch was done during 12 months of 2015. 700 on-site surveys were conducted at three watercraft boat ramp sites (Rays Wayside, Riverside launch area, Ft. King Waterway) of recreational users. We used Virtualdub and ImageJ software for counting boats for meeting the first and second goals, since this two software can report even the hour of presence of watercraft in the water in addition to the number of users and the type of watercraft. The most crowded hours were between 9-11AM from February to May and kayak was the most popular watercraft. The findings of this research can make a good foundation for better management in this state park in future.

Keywords: eco-tourism, Florida state, visitors' perception, water-based recreation

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12 A Study of Career Suitability Among Medical Students

Authors: Nurul Azmawati Mohamed, Zarini Ismail, Shalinawati Ramli, Nurul Hayati Chamhuri, Nur Syahrina Rahim, K. Omar

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Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions in our life. A right career leads a person to grow with that career and achieve success through the decision. Thus, career suitability assessment is important to help individuals to understand how a variety of personal attributes can impact their potential success and satisfaction with different career options and work environments. Some career needs specific personality trait that relates to attributes of job requirements and commitments. For medicine, being caring, approachable, inquisitive, able to listen and understand patients’ pain, anxiety and sorrow are important. The aim of this study was to evaluate the career suitability of pre-clinical students. This was a cross sectional study conducted among pre-clinical medical students in Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. 'Sidek Career Interest Inventory’ was used to assess the students’ suitability for the course. This instrument had been validated locally to suit the local social and cultural context. It assessed the students’ personality trait based on Holland’s theory and their interests. For students to pursue in the medical course, two main personality trait are believed to be essential namely investigative and social trait personalities. Some of the characteristics of investigative trait are analytical, rational, intellectual and curious, while the characteristics of social trait personality include empathy, friendly, understanding and accommodating. The score for each personality trait were categorized as low (0-3.99), moderate (4-6.99) and high (7-10). A total of 81 pre-clinical medical students were included in this study. About two third (93.8%) of them were female and all of them are from 20 to 21 of age. Approximately, half of the students (47.5%) scored high and another 46.3% scored moderate for investigative trait. For social trait, only 13.8% scored high while 31.3% scored moderate. Only 12.5% (10) students had high scores for both investigative and social traits. Most of the pre-clinical medical students scored high in the investigative sections, however their social values were inadequate (low scores). For them to become good medical doctors, they should be good in both investigative and social skills to enhance their suitability for this career. Therefore, there is a need to nurture these medical students with appropriate social values and soft skills.

Keywords: career suitability, career interest, medical students, personality trait

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11 In vitro Characterization of Mice Bone Microstructural Changes by Low-Field and High-Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Authors: Q. Ni, J. A. Serna, D. Holland, X. Wang

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The objective of this study is to develop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques to enhance bone related research applied on normal and disuse (Biglycan knockout) mice bone in vitro by using both low-field and high-field NMR simultaneously. It is known that the total amplitude of T₂ relaxation envelopes, measured by the Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill NMR spin echo train (CPMG), is a representation of the liquid phase inside the pores. Therefore, the NMR CPMG magnetization amplitude can be transferred to the volume of water after calibration with the NMR signal amplitude of the known volume of the selected water. In this study, the distribution of mobile water, porosity that can be determined by using low-field (20 MHz) CPMG relaxation technique, and the pore size distributions can be determined by a computational inversion relaxation method. It is also known that the total proton intensity of magnetization from the NMR free induction decay (FID) signal is due to the water present inside the pores (mobile water), the water that has undergone hydration with the bone (bound water), and the protons in the collagen and mineral matter (solid-like protons). Therefore, the components of total mobile and bound water within bone that can be determined by low-field NMR free induction decay technique. Furthermore, the bound water in solid phase (mineral and organic constituents), especially, the dominated component of calcium hydroxyapatite (Ca₁₀(OH)₂(PO₄)₆) can be determined by using high-field (400 MHz) magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR. With MAS technique reducing NMR spectral linewidth inhomogeneous broadening and susceptibility broadening of liquid-solid mix, in particular, we can conduct further research into the ¹H and ³¹P elements and environments of bone materials to identify the locations of bound water such as OH- group within minerals and bone architecture. We hypothesize that with low-field and high-field magic angle spinning NMR can provide a more complete interpretation of water distribution, particularly, in bound water, and these data are important to access bone quality and predict the mechanical behavior of bone.

Keywords: bone, mice bone, NMR, water in bone

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10 Modernism’s Influence on Architect-Client Relationship: Comparative Case Studies of Schroder and Farnsworth Houses

Authors: Omneya Messallam, Sara S. Fouad

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The Modernist Movement initially flourished in France, Holland, Germany and the Soviet Union. Many architects and designers were inspired and followed its principles. Two of its most important architects (Gerrit Rietveld and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe) were introduced in this paper. Each did not follow the other’s principles and had their own particular rules; however, they shared the same features of the Modernist International Style, such as Anti-historicism, Abstraction, Technology, Function and Internationalism/ Universality. Key Modernist principles translated into high expectations, which sometimes did not meet the inhabitants’ aspirations of living comfortably; consequently, leading to a conflict and misunderstanding between the designer and their clients’ needs. Therefore, historical case studies (the Schroder and the Farnsworth houses) involving two Modernist pioneer architects have been chosen. This paper is an attempt to explore some of the influential factors affecting buildings design such as: needs, gender, and question concerning commonalities between both designers and their clients. The three aspects and two designers explored here have been chosen because they have been influenced the researchers to understand the impact of those factors on the design process, building’s performance, and the dweller’s satisfaction. This is a descriptive/ analytical research based on two historical comparative case studies that involve several steps such as: key evaluation questions (KEQs), observations, document analysis, etc. The methodology is based on data collation and finding validations. The research aims to state a manifest to regulate the relation between architects and their clients to reach the optimum building performance and functional interior design that suits their clients’ needs, reflects the architects’ character, and the school they belong to. At the end, through the investigation in this paper, the different needs between both the designers and the clients have been seen not only in the building itself but also it could convert the inhabitant’s life in various ways. Moreover, a successful relationship between the architect and their clients could play a significant role in the success of projects. In contrast, not every good design or celebrated building could end up with a successful relationship between the designer and their client or full-fill the inhabitant’s aspirations.

Keywords: architect’s character, building’s performance, commonalities, client’s character, gender, modernist movement, needs

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9 Technological Exploitation and User Experience in Product Innovation: The Case Study of the High-Tech Mask

Authors: Venere Ferraro, Silvia Ferraris

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We live in a world pervaded by new advanced technologies that have been changing the way we live and experience the surrounded. Besides, new technologies enable product innovation at different levels. Nevertheless, innovation does not lie just in the technological development and in its hard aspects but also in the meaningful use of it for the final user. In order to generate innovative products, a new perspective is needed: The shift from an instrument-oriented view of the technology towards a broader view that includes aspects like aesthetics, acceptance, comfort, and sociability. In many businesses, the user experience of the product is considered the key battlefield to achieve product innovation. (Holland 2011) The use of new technologies is indeed useless without paying attention to the user experience. This paper presents a workshop activity conducted at Design School of Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Chiba University and aimed at generating innovative design concepts of high-tech mask. The students were asked to design the user experience of a new mask by exploiting emerging technologies such as wearable sensors and information communication technology (ICT) for a chosen field of application: safety or sport. When it comes to the user experience, the mask is a very challenging design product, because it covers aspects of product interaction and, most important, psychological and cultural aspects related to the impact on the facial expression. Furthermore, since the mask affects the face expression quite a lot, it could be a barrier to hide with, or it could be a mean to enhance user’s communication to others. The main request for the students was to take on a user-centered approach: To go beyond the instrumental aspects of product use and usability and focus on the user experience by shaping the technology in a desirable and meaningful way for the user reasoning on the metaphorical and cultural level of the product. During the one-week workshop students were asked to face the design process through (i) the research phase: an in-deep analysis of the user and field of application (safety or sport) to set design spaces (brief) and user scenario; (ii) the idea generation, (iii) the idea development. This text will shortly go through the meaning of the product innovation, the use and application of wearable technologies and will then focus on the user experience design in contrast with the technology-driven approach in the field of product innovation. Finally authors will describe the workshop activity and the concepts developed by the students stressing the important role of the user experience design in new product development.

Keywords: product innovation, user experience, technological exploitation, wearable technologies

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8 Preserving the Cultural Values of the Mararoa River and Waipuna–Freshwater Springs, Southland New Zealand: An Integration of Traditional and Scientific Knowledge

Authors: Erine van Niekerk, Jason Holland

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In Māori culture water is considered to be the foundation of all life and has its own mana (spiritual power) and mauri (life force). Water classification for cultural values therefore includes categories like waitapu (sacred water), waimanawa-whenua (water from under the land), waipuna (freshwater springs), the relationship between water quantity and quality and the relationship between surface and groundwater. Particular rivers and lakes have special significance to iwi and hapu for their rohe (tribal areas). The Mararoa River, including its freshwater springs and wetlands, is an example of such an area. There is currently little information available about the sources, characteristics and behavior of these important water resources and this study on the water quality of the Mararoa River and adjacent freshwater springs will provide valuable information to be used in informed decisions about water management. The regional council of Southland, Environment Southland, is required to make changes under their water quality policy in order to comply with the requirements for the New National Standards for Freshwater to consult with Maori to determine strategies for decision making. This requires an approach that includes traditional knowledge combined with scientific knowledge in the decision-making process. This study provided the scientific data that can be used in future for decision making on fresh water springs combined with traditional values for this particular area. Several parameters have been tested in situ as well as in a laboratory. Parameters such as temperature, salinity, electrical conductivity, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Total Phosphorus, Total Suspended Solids, and Escherichia coli among others show that recorded values of all test parameters fall within recommended ANZECC guidelines and Environment Southland standards and do not raise any concerns for the water quality of the springs and the river at the moment. However, the destruction of natural areas, particularly due to changes in farming practices, and the changes to water quality by the introduction of Didymosphenia geminate (Didymo) means Māori have already lost many of their traditional mahinga kai (food sources). There is a major change from land use such as sheep farming to dairying in Southland which puts freshwater resources under pressure. It is, therefore, important to draw on traditional knowledge and spirituality alongside scientific knowledge to protect the waters of the Mararoa River and waipuna. This study hopes to contribute to scientific knowledge to preserve the cultural values of these significant waters.

Keywords: cultural values, freshwater springs, Maori, water quality

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7 Exploring Identity of Female British Pakistani Student with Shifting and Re-shifting of Cultures

Authors: Haleema Sadia

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The study is aimed at exploring the identity construction of female British born Pakistani postgraduate student who shifted to Pakistan at the age of 12, stayed there for 8 years and re-shifted to UK for Higher Education. Research questions are: 1. What is the academic and socio-cultural background of the participant prior to joining the UoM as a postgrad student? 2. How the participant talk, see herself and act in relation to cultural and social norms and practices? Participant’ identity is explored through positioning theory of Holland et al. (1998), referring to the ways people understand and enact their social positions in the figured world. The research is a case study based on narrative interview of Shabana, a British-born Pakistani female postgraduate student, who has recently joined the university of Manchester. Shabana received her primary education in UK during the first twelve years of her life. She is the youngest among the three sisters, with only one brother younger to her. Her father, although not well educated is a successful entrepreneur, maintaining offices in UK and Pakistan. Her mother is a housewife with no formal education. Shabana’s elder sister got involved in a relationship with a Pakistani boy against cultural norms of arranged marriage. Resultantly the three sisters were shifted to Pakistan to be equated with socio-religious norms. Shabana termed her first year in Pakistan as disgusting and she hated her father for the decision. However after a year’s time and shifting from an orthodox city to the provincial capital Lahore, she developed liking for the Pakistani culture. She gradually developed a new socio-religious identity during her stay, which she expressed as a turning point in her life. After completing O level Shabana returned back to UK and joined the University of Hull as undergraduate Student. At Hull she remained isolated, missed the religious environment and relished the memories of Lahore. She would visit Pakistan almost three times a year. After obtaining her BSc degree from Hull she went back to Pakistan. Soon after she decided to improve her academic qualification. She came to UK to join her parents and got admission in the MSc chemistry program at UoM. Presently Shabana talks about the dominant role of male members in the family culture in decision-making. She strongly feels to struggle hard and attain equal status with males in education, employment, earning, authority and freedom. She sees herself in a position to share the authority with her (would be) husband in important family and other matters. Shabana has developed a new identity of a mix of both Pakistani and UK culture. She is appreciative of the socio-cultural values of UK while still regarding the cultural and religious values of Pakistan in high esteem.

Keywords: postgraduate students, identity construction, cultural shifts, female british pakistani student

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6 Cereal Bioproducts Conversion to Higher Value Feed by Using Pediococcus Strains Isolated from Spontaneous Fermented Cereal, and Its Influence on Milk Production of Dairy Cattle

Authors: Vita Krungleviciute, Rasa Zelvyte, Ingrida Monkeviciene, Jone Kantautaite, Rolandas Stankevicius, Modestas Ruzauskas, Elena Bartkiene

Abstract:

The environmental impact of agricultural bioproducts from the processing of food crops is an increasing concern worldwide. Currently, cereal bran has been used as a low-value ingredient for both human consumption and animal feed. The most popular bioprocessing technologies for cereal bran nutritional and technological functionality increasing are enzymatic processing and fermentation, and the most popular starters in fermented feed production are lactic acid bacteria (LAB) including pediococci. However, the ruminant digestive system is unique, there are billions of microorganisms which help the cow to digest and utilize nutrients in the feed. To achieve efficient feed utilization and high milk yield, the microorganisms must have optimal conditions, and the disbalance of this system is highly undesirable. Pediococcus strains Pediococcus acidilactici BaltBio01 and Pediococcus pentosaceus BaltBio02 from spontaneous fermented rye were isolated (by rep – PCR method), identified, and characterized by their growth (by Thermo Bioscreen C automatic turbidometer), acidification rate (2 hours in 2.5 pH), gas production (Durham method), and carbohydrate metabolism (by API 50 CH test ). Antimicrobial activities of isolated pediococcus against variety of pathogenic and opportunistic bacterial strains previously isolated from diseased cattle, and their resistance to antibiotics were evaluated (EFSA-FEEDAP method). The isolated pediococcus strains were cultivated in barley/wheat bran (90 / 10, m / m) substrate, and developed supplements, with high content of valuable pediococcus, were used for Lithuanian black and white dairy cows feeding. In addition, the influence of supplements on milk production and composition was determined. Milk composition was evaluated by the LactoScope FTIR” FT1.0. 2001 (Delta Instruments, Holland). P. acidilactici BaltBio01 and P. pentosaceus BaltBio02 demonstrated versatile carbohydrate metabolism, grown at 30°C and 37°C temperatures, and acidic tolerance. Isolated pediococcus strains showed to be non resistant to antibiotics, and having antimicrobial activity against undesirable microorganisms. By barley/wheat bran utilisation using fermentation with selected pediococcus strains, it is possible to produce safer (reduced Enterobacteriaceae, total aerobic bacteria, yeast and mold count) feed stock with high content of pediococcus. Significantly higher milk yield (after 33 days) by using pediococcus supplements mix for dairy cows feeding could be obtained, while similar effect by using separate strains after 66 days of feeding could be achieved. It can be stated that barley/wheat bran could be used for higher value feed production in order to increase milk production. Therefore, further research is needed to identify what is the main mechanism of the positive action.

Keywords: barley/wheat bran, dairy cattle, fermented feed, milk, pediococcus

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5 Fake News Domination and Threats on Democratic Systems

Authors: Laura Irimies, Cosmin Irimies

Abstract:

The public space all over the world is currently confronted with the aggressive assault of fake news that have lately impacted public agenda setting, collective decisions and social attitudes. Top leaders constantly call out most mainstream news as “fake news” and the public opinion get more confused. "Fake news" are generally defined as false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting and has been declared the word of the year 2017 by Collins Dictionary and it also has been one of the most debated socio-political topics of recent years. Websites which, deliberately or not, publish misleading information are often shared on social media where they essentially increase their reach and influence. According to international reports, the exposure to fake news is an undeniable reality all over the world as the exposure to completely invented information goes up to the 31 percent in the US, and it is even bigger in Eastern Europe countries, such as Hungary (42%) and Romania (38%) or in Mediterranean countries, such as Greece (44%) or Turkey (49%), and lower in Northern and Western Europe countries – Germany (9%), Denmark (9%) or Holland (10%). While the study of fake news (mechanism and effects) is still in its infancy, it has become truly relevant as the phenomenon seems to have a growing impact on democratic systems. Studies conducted by the European Commission show that 83% of respondents out of a total of 26,576 interviewees consider the existence of news that misrepresent reality as a threat for democracy. Studies recently conducted at Arizona State University show that people with higher education can more easily spot fake headlines, but over 30 percent of them can still be trapped by fake information. If we were to refer only to some of the most recent situations in Romania, fake news issues and hidden agenda suspicions related to the massive and extremely violent public demonstrations held on August 10th, 2018 with a strong participation of the Romanian diaspora have been massively reflected by the international media and generated serious debates within the European Commission. Considering the above framework, the study raises four main research questions: 1. Is fake news a problem or just a natural consequence of mainstream media decline and the abundance of sources of information? 2. What are the implications for democracy? 3. Can fake news be controlled without restricting fundamental human rights? 4. How could the public be properly educated to detect fake news? The research uses mostly qualitative but also quantitative methods, content analysis of studies, websites and media content, official reports and interviews. The study will prove the real threat fake news represent and also the need for proper media literacy education and will draw basic guidelines for developing a new and essential skill: that of detecting fake in news in a society overwhelmed by sources of information that constantly roll massive amounts of information increasing the risk of misinformation and leading to inadequate public decisions that could affect democratic stability.

Keywords: agenda setting democracy, fake news, journalism, media literacy

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4 Sustainable Strategies for Managing Rural Tourism in Abyaneh Village, Isfahan

Authors: Hoda Manafian, Stephen Holland

Abstract:

Problem statement: Rural areas in Iran are one of the most popular tourism destinations. Abyaneh Village is one of them with a long history behind it (more than 1500 years) which is a national heritage site and also is nominated as a world heritage site in UNESCO tentative list from 2007. There is a considerable foundation of religious-cultural heritage and also agricultural history and activities. However, this heritage site suffers from mass tourism which is beyond its social and physical carrying capacity, since the annual number of tourists exceed 500,000. While there are four adjacent villages around Abyaneh which can benefit from advantages of tourism. Local managers also can at the same time prorate the tourists’ flux of Abyaneh on those other villages especially in high-season. The other villages have some cultural and natural tourism attractions as well. Goal: The main goal of this study is to identify a feasible development strategy according to the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of rural tourism in this area (Abyaneh Village and four adjacent villages). This development strategy can lead to sustainable management of these destinations. Method: To this end, we used SWOT analysis as a well-established tool for conducting a situational analysis to define a sustainable development strategy. The procedures included following steps: 1) Extracting variables of SWOT chart based on interviewing tourism experts (n=13), local elites (n=17) and personal observations of researcher. 2) Ranking the extracted variables from 1-5 by 13 tourism experts in Isfahan Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO). 3) Assigning weights to the ranked variables using Expert Choice Software and the method of Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP). 4) Defining the Total Weighted Score (TWS) for each part of SWOT chart. 5) Identifying the strategic position according to the TWS 6) Selecting the best development strategy based on the defined position using the Strategic Position and Action Evaluation (SPACE) matrix. 7) Assessing the Probability of Strategic Success (PSS) for the preferred strategy using relevant formulas. 8) Defining two feasible alternatives for sustainable development. Results and recommendations: Cultural heritage attractions were first-ranked variable in strength chart and also lack of sufficient amenities for one-day tourists (catering, restrooms, parking, and accommodation) was firs-ranked weakness. The strategic position was in ST (Strength-Threat) quadrant which is a maxi-mini position. According this position we would suggest ‘Competitive Strategy’ as a development strategy which means relying on strengths in order to neutralization threats. The result of Probability of Strategic Success assessment which was 0.6 shows that this strategy could be successful. The preferred approach for competitive strategy could be rebranding the market of tourism in this area. Rebranding the market can be achieved by two main alternatives which are based on the current strengths and threats: 1) Defining a ‘Heritage Corridor’ from first adjacent village to Abyaneh as a final destination. 2) Focus on ‘educational tourism’ versus mass tourism and also green tourism by developing agritourism in that corridor.

Keywords: Abyaneh village, rural tourism, SWOT analysis, sustainable strategies

Procedia PDF Downloads 273
3 Integration of Rapid Generation Technology in Pulse Crop Breeding

Authors: Saeid H. Mobini, Monika Lulsdorf, Thomas D. Warkentin

Abstract:

The length of the breeding cycle from seed to seed is a limiting factor in the development of improved homozygous lines for breeding or recombinant inbred lines (RILs) for genetic analysis. The objective of this research was to accelerate the production of field pea RILs through application of rapid generation technology (RGT). RGT is based on the principle of growing miniature plants in an artificial medium under controlled conditions, and allowing them to produce a few flowers which develop seeds that are harvested prior to normal seed maturity. We aimed to maintain population size and genetic diversity in regeneration cycles. The effects of flurprimidol (a gibberellin synthesis inhibitor), plant density, hydroponic system, scheduled fertilizer applications, artificial light spectrum, photoperiod, and light/dark temperature were evaluated in the development of RILs from a cross between cultivars CDC Dakota and CDC Amarillo. The main goal was to accelerate flowering while reducing maintenance and space costs. In addition, embryo rescue of immature seeds was tested for shortening the seed fill period. Data collected over seven generations included plant height, the percentage of plant survival, flowering rate, seed setting rate, the number of seeds per plant, and time from seed to seed. Applying 0.6 µM flurprimidol reduced the internode length. Plant height was decreased to approximately 32 cm allowing for higher plant density without a delay in flowering and seed setting rate. The three light systems (T5 fluorescent bulbs, LEDs, and High Pressure Sodium +Metal-halide lamp) evaluated did not differ significantly in terms of flowering time in field pea. Collectively, the combination of 0.6 µM flurprimidol, 217 plant. m-2, 20 h photoperiod, 21/16 oC light/dark temperature in a hydroponic system with vermiculite substrate, applying scheduled fertilizer application based on growth stage, and 500 µmole.m-2.s-1 light intensity using T5 bulbs resulted in 100% of plants flowering within 34 ± 3 days and 96.5% of plants completed seed setting in 68.2 ± 3.6 days, i.e., 30-45 days/generation faster than conventional single seed descent (SSD) methods. These regeneration cycles were reproducible consistently. Hence, RGT could double (5.3) generations per year, using 3% occupying space, compared to SSD (2-3 generation/year). Embryo rescue of immature seeds at 7-8 mm stage, using commercial fertilizer solutions (Holland’s Secret™) showed seed setting rate of 95%, while younger embryos had lower germination rate. Mature embryos had a seed setting rate of 96.5% without either hormones or sugar added. So, considering the higher cost of embryo rescue using a procedure which requires skill, additional materials, and expenses, it could be removed from RGT with a further cost saving, and the process could be stopped between generations if required.

Keywords: field pea, flowering, rapid regeneration, recombinant inbred lines, single seed descent

Procedia PDF Downloads 299
2 Strengths Profiling: An Alternative Approach to Assessing Character Strengths Based on Personal Construct Psychology

Authors: Sam J. Cooley, Mary L. Quinton, Benjamin J. Parry, Mark J. G. Holland, Richard J. Whiting, Jennifer Cumming

Abstract:

Practitioners draw attention to people’s character strengths to promote empowerment and well-being. This paper explores the possibility that existing approaches for assessing character strengths (e.g., the Values in Action survey; VIA-IS) could be even more autonomy supportive and empowering when combined with strengths profiling, an ideographic tool informed by personal construct theory (PCT). A PCT approach ensures that: (1) knowledge is co-created (i.e., the practitioner is not seen as the ‘expert’ who leads the process); (2) individuals are not required to ‘fit’ within a prescribed list of characteristics; and (3) individuals are free to use their own terminology and interpretations. A combined Strengths Profiling and VIA approach was used in a sample of homeless youth (aged 16-25) who are commonly perceived as ‘hard-to-engage’ through traditional forms of assessment. Strengths Profiling was completed face-to-face in small groups. Participants (N = 116) began by listing a variety of personally meaningful characteristics. Participants gave each characteristic a score out of ten for how important it was to them (1 = not so important; 10 = very important), their ideal competency, and their current competency (1 = poor; 10 = excellent). A discrepancy score was calculated for each characteristic (discrepancy score = ideal score - current score x importance), whereby a lower discrepancy score indicated greater satisfaction. Strengths Profiling was used at the beginning and end of a 10-week positive youth development programme. Experiences were captured through video diary room entries made by participants and through reflective notes taken by the facilitators. Participants were also asked to complete a pre-and post-programme questionnaire, measuring perceptions of well-being, self-worth, and resilience. All of the young people who attended the strengths profiling session agreed to complete a profile, and the majority became highly engaged in the process. Strengths profiling was found to be an autonomy supportive and empowering experience, with each participant identifying an average of 10 character strengths (M = 10.27, SD = 3.23). In total, 215 different character strengths were identified, each with varying terms and definitions used, which differed greatly between participants and demonstrated the value in soliciting personal constructs. Using the participants’ definitions, 98% of characteristics were categorized deductively into the VIA framework. Bravery, perseverance, and hope were the character strengths that featured most, whilst temperance and courage received the highest discrepancy scores. Discrepancy scores were negatively correlated with well-being, self-worth, and resilience, and meaningful improvements were recorded following the intervention. These findings support the use of strengths profiling as a theoretically-driven and novel way to engage disadvantaged youth in identifying and monitoring character strengths. When young people are given the freedom to express their own characteristics, the resulting terminologies extend beyond the language used in existing frameworks. This added freedom and control over the process of strengths identification encouraged youth to take ownership over their profiles and apply their strengths. In addition, the ability to transform characteristics post hoc into the VIA framework means that strengths profiling can be used to explore aggregated/nomothetic hypotheses, whilst still benefiting from its ideographic roots.

Keywords: ideographic, nomothetic, positive youth development, VIA-IS, assessment, homeless youth

Procedia PDF Downloads 127
1 South African Breast Cancer Mutation Spectrum: Pitfalls to Copy Number Variation Detection Using Internationally Designed Multiplex Ligation-Dependent Probe Amplification and Next Generation Sequencing Panels

Authors: Jaco Oosthuizen, Nerina C. Van Der Merwe

Abstract:

The National Health Laboratory Services in Bloemfontien has been the diagnostic testing facility for 1830 patients for familial breast cancer since 1997. From the cohort, 540 were comprehensively screened using High-Resolution Melting Analysis or Next Generation Sequencing for the presence of point mutations and/or indels. Approximately 90% of these patients stil remain undiagnosed as they are BRCA1/2 negative. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification was initially added to screen for copy number variation detection, but with the introduction of next generation sequencing in 2017, was substituted and is currently used as a confirmation assay. The aim was to investigate the viability of utilizing internationally designed copy number variation detection assays based on mostly European/Caucasian genomic data for use within a South African context. The multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification technique is based on the hybridization and subsequent ligation of multiple probes to a targeted exon. The ligated probes are amplified using conventional polymerase chain reaction, followed by fragment analysis by means of capillary electrophoresis. The experimental design of the assay was performed according to the guidelines of MRC-Holland. For BRCA1 (P002-D1) and BRCA2 (P045-B3), both multiplex assays were validated, and results were confirmed using a secondary probe set for each gene. The next generation sequencing technique is based on target amplification via multiplex polymerase chain reaction, where after the amplicons are sequenced parallel on a semiconductor chip. Amplified read counts are visualized as relative copy numbers to determine the median of the absolute values of all pairwise differences. Various experimental parameters such as DNA quality, quantity, and signal intensity or read depth were verified using positive and negative patients previously tested internationally. DNA quality and quantity proved to be the critical factors during the verification of both assays. The quantity influenced the relative copy number frequency directly whereas the quality of the DNA and its salt concentration influenced denaturation consistency in both assays. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification produced false positives due to ligation failure when ligation was inhibited due to a variant present within the ligation site. Next generation sequencing produced false positives due to read dropout when primer sequences did not meet optimal multiplex binding kinetics due to population variants in the primer binding site. The analytical sensitivity and specificity for the South African population have been proven. Verification resulted in repeatable reactions with regards to the detection of relative copy number differences. Both multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and next generation sequencing multiplex panels need to be optimized to accommodate South African polymorphisms present within the genetically diverse ethnic groups to reduce the false copy number variation positive rate and increase performance efficiency.

Keywords: familial breast cancer, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, next generation sequencing, South Africa

Procedia PDF Downloads 131