Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Elzbieta Babula

11 Parameter Interactions in the Cumulative Prospect Theory: Fitting the Binary Choice Experiment Data

Authors: Elzbieta Babula, Juhyun Park


Tversky and Kahneman’s cumulative prospect theory assumes symmetric probability cumulation with regard to the reference point within decision weights. Theoretically, this model should be invariant under the change of the direction of probability cumulation. In the present study, this phenomenon is being investigated by creating a reference model that allows verifying the parameter interactions in the cumulative prospect theory specifications. The simultaneous parametric fitting of utility and weighting functions is applied to binary choice data from the experiment. The results show that the flexibility of the probability weighting function is a crucial characteristic allowing to prevent parameter interactions while estimating cumulative prospect theory.

Keywords: binary choice experiment, cumulative prospect theory, decision weights, parameter interactions

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10 DNA Methylation Changes Caused by Lawsone

Authors: Zuzana Poborilova, Anna B. Ohlsson, Torkel Berglund, Anna Vildova, Petr Babula


Lawsone is a pigment that occurs naturally in plants. It has been used as a skin and hair dye for a long time. Moreover, its different biological activities have been reported. The present study focused on the effect of lawsone on a plant cell model represented by tobacco BY-2 cell suspension culture, which is used as a model comparable with the HeLa cells. It has been shown that lawsone inhibits the cell growth in the concentration-dependent manner. In addition, changes in DNA methylation level have been determined. We observed decreasing level of DNA methylation in the presence of increasing concentrations of lawsone. These results were accompanied with overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since epigenetic modifications can be caused by different stress factors, there could be a connection between the changes in the level of DNA methylation and ROS production caused by lawsone.

Keywords: DNA methylation, lawsone, naphthoquinone, reactive oxygen species

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9 Retention Properties of the Matrix Material Fe-Mn-Cu-Sn-C in Relation to Diamond Particles

Authors: Elżbieta Cygan-Bączek, Piotr Wyżga, Sławomir Cygan


In the presented work, the main goal was to investigate the retention properties, defined as the ability of the matrix material to hold diamond particles in relation to metallized (Ti, Si, Cr, Co, Cu, Ni) and non-metallized diamond crystals. For this purpose, diamond-impregnated specimens were tested for wear rate on abrasive sandstone using a test rig specially designed to simulate tool application conditions. The tests that involved 3- and 2-body abrasion ranked the alloys in different orders. The ability of the matrix to retain diamond crystals was determined using the electron microskopy (SEM, TEM). The specimens were also characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and hardness. The conducted research has shown that Si and Ti metallized diamonds, apart from mechanical jamming in the matrix, are also connected in a metallurgical manner, ensuring the improvement of the retention properties of the matrix material.

Keywords: diamond, metallic-diamond segments, retention, abrasive wear resistance

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8 Nutrition of Preschool Children in the Aspect of Nutritional Status

Authors: Klaudia Tomala, Elzbieta Grochowska-Niedworok, Katarzyna Brukalo, Marek Kardas, Beata Calyniuk, Renata Polaniak


Background. Nutrition plays an important role in the psychophysical growth of children and has effects on their health. Providing children with the appropriate supply of macro- and micro-nutrients requires dietary diversity across every food group. Meals in kindergartens should provide 70-75% of their daily food requirement. Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the vitamin content in the food rations of children attending kindergarten in the wider aspect of nutritional status. Material and Methods. Kindergarten menus from the spring and autumn seasons of 2015 were analyzed. In these meals, fat content and levels of water-soluble vitamins were estimated. The vitamin content was evaluated using the diet calculator “Aliant”. Statistical analysis was done in MS Office Excel 2007. Results. Vitamin content in the analyzed menus in many cases is too high with reference to dietary intake, with only vitamin D intake being insufficient. Vitamin E intake was closest to the dietary reference intake. Conclusion. The results show that vitamin intake is usually too high, and menus should, therefore, be modified. Also, nutrition education among kindergarten staff is needed. The identified errors in the composition of meals will affect the nutritional status of children and their proper composition in the body.

Keywords: children, nutrition status, vitamins, preschool

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7 Urban Greenery in the Greatest Polish Cities: Analysis of Spatial Concentration

Authors: Elżbieta Antczak


Cities offer important opportunities for economic development and for expanding access to basic services, including health care and education, for large numbers of people. Moreover, green areas (as an integral part of sustainable urban development) present a major opportunity for improving urban environments, quality of lives and livelihoods. This paper examines, using spatial concentration and spatial taxonomic measures, regional diversification of greenery in the cities of Poland. The analysis includes location quotients, Lorenz curve, Locational Gini Index, and the synthetic index of greenery and spatial statistics tools: (1) To verify the occurrence of strong concentration or dispersion of the phenomenon in time and space depending on the variable category, and, (2) To study if the level of greenery depends on the spatial autocorrelation. The data includes the greatest Polish cities, categories of the urban greenery (parks, lawns, street greenery, and green areas on housing estates, cemeteries, and forests) and the time span 2004-2015. According to the obtained estimations, most of cites in Poland are already taking measures to become greener. However, in the country there are still many barriers to well-balanced urban greenery development (e.g. uncontrolled urban sprawl, poor management as well as lack of spatial urban planning systems).

Keywords: greenery, urban areas, regional spatial diversification and concentration, spatial taxonomic measure

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6 Adolescent-Parent Relationship as the Most Important Factor in Preventing Mood Disorders in Adolescents: An Application of Artificial Intelligence to Social Studies

Authors: Elżbieta Turska


Introduction: One of the most difficult times in a person’s life is adolescence. The experiences in this period may shape the future life of this person to a large extent. This is the reason why many young people experience sadness, dejection, hopelessness, sense of worthlessness, as well as losing interest in various activities and social relationships, all of which are often classified as mood disorders. As many as 15-40% adolescents experience depressed moods and for most of them they resolve and are not carried into adulthood. However, (5-6%) of those affected by mood disorders develop the depressive syndrome and as many as (1-3%) develop full-blown clinical depression. Materials: A large questionnaire was given to 2508 students, aged 13–16 years old, and one of its parts was the Burns checklist, i.e. the standard test for identifying depressed mood. The questionnaire asked about many aspects of the student’s life, it included a total of 53 questions, most of which had subquestions. It is important to note that the data suffered from many problems, the most important of which were missing data and collinearity. Aim: In order to identify the correlates of mood disorders we built predictive models which were then trained and validated. Our aim was not to be able to predict which students suffer from mood disorders but rather to explore the factors influencing mood disorders. Methods: The problems with data described above practically excluded using all classical statistical methods. For this reason, we attempted to use the following Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods: classification trees with surrogate variables, random forests and xgboost. All analyses were carried out with the use of the mlr package for the R programming language. Resuts: The predictive model built by classification trees algorithm outperformed the other algorithms by a large margin. As a result, we were able to rank the variables (questions and subquestions from the questionnaire) from the most to least influential as far as protection against mood disorder is concerned. Thirteen out of twenty most important variables reflect the relationships with parents. This seems to be a really significant result both from the cognitive point of view and also from the practical point of view, i.e. as far as interventions to correct mood disorders are concerned.

Keywords: mood disorders, adolescents, family, artificial intelligence

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5 Innovation in the Provision of Medical Services in the Field of Qualified Sports and Services Related to the Therapy of Metabolism Disorders and the Treatment of Obesity

Authors: Jerzy Slowik, Elzbieta Grochowska-Niedworok


The analysis of the market needs and trends in both treatment and prophylaxis shows the growing need to implement comprehensive solutions that would enable safe contact of the beneficiaries with the therapeutic and diagnostic support group. Based on the evaluation of the medical and sports industry services market, projects co-financed by the EFRR in the form of comprehensive care systems using IT tools for patients under treatment in the field of obesity and metabolism using the system were implemented under the Regional Operational Program of the Silesian Voivodeship for 2014-2020. SFAO 1.0 (Support for the Fight Against Obesity) number of the WND-RPSL project. 01.02.00-24-06EA / 16) as well as for competitors in qualified sports SK system (qualified sports) project number WND-RPSL. 01.02.00-24-0630 / 17-002. The service provided in accordance with SFAO 1.0 has shown a wide range of therapy possibilities - from monitoring the body's reactions during sports activities of healthy people to remote care for sick patients. As a result of the introduction of an innovative service, it was possible to increase the effectiveness of the therapy, which was manifested in the reduction of the starting doses of drugs by 10%, improvement of the efficiency of the respiratory and blood circulation system, and a 10% increase in bone density. Innovation in the provision of medical services in the field of qualified sports SK was a response to the needs of the athletes and their parents, coaches, physiotherapists, dieticians, and doctors who take care of people actively practicing qualified sports. The creation of the platform made it possible to constantly monitor the trainers necessary for both the proper training process and the control over the health of patients. Monitoring the patient's health by a specialized team in the field of various specialties allows for the proper targeting of the treatment and training process due to the increase in the availability of medical counseling. Specialists taking care of the patient can provide additional advice and modify the medical treatment of the patient on an ongoing basis, which is why we are dealing with a holistic approach.

Keywords: innovation of medical services, sport, obesity, innovation

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4 Iron-Metal-Organic Frameworks: Potential Application as Theranostics for Inhalable Therapy of Tuberculosis

Authors: Gabriela Wyszogrodzka, Przemyslaw Dorozynski, Barbara Gil, Maciej Strzempek, Bartosz Marszalek, Piotr Kulinowski, Wladyslaw Piotr Weglarz, Elzbieta Menaszek


MOFs (Metal-Organic Frameworks) belong to a new group of porous materials with a hybrid organic-inorganic construction. Their structure is a network consisting of metal cations or clusters (acting as metallic centers, nodes) and the organic linkers between nodes. The interest in MOFs is primarily associated with the use of their well-developed surface and large porous. Possibility to build MOFs of biocompatible components let to use them as potential drug carriers. Furthermore, forming MOFs structure from cations possessing paramagnetic properties (e.g. iron cations) allows to use them as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) contrast agents. The concept of formation of particles that combine the ability to transfer active substance with imaging properties has been called theranostic (from words combination therapy and diagnostics). By building MOF structure from iron cations it is possible to use them as theranostic agents and monitoring the distribution of the active substance after administration in real time. In the study iron-MOF: Fe-MIL-101-NH2 was chosen, consisting of iron cluster in nodes of the structure and amino-terephthalic acid as a linker. The aim of the study was to investigate the possibility of applying Fe-MIL-101-NH2 as inhalable theranostic particulate system for the first-line anti-tuberculosis antibiotic – isoniazid. The drug content incorporated into Fe-MIL-101-NH2 was evaluated by dissolution study using spectrophotometric method. Results showed isoniazid encapsulation efficiency – ca. 12.5% wt. Possibility of Fe-MIL-101-NH2 application as the MRI contrast agent was demonstrated by magnetic resonance tomography. FeMIL-101-NH2 effectively shortening T1 and T2 relaxation times (increasing R1 and R2 relaxation rates) linearly with the concentrations of suspended material. Images obtained using multi-echo magnetic resonance imaging sequence revealed possibility to use FeMIL-101-NH2 as positive and negative contrasts depending on applied repetition time. MOFs micronization via ultrasound was evaluated by XRD, nitrogen adsorption, FTIR, SEM imaging and did not influence their crystal shape and size. Ultrasonication let to break the aggregates and achieve very homogeneously looking SEM images. MOFs cytotoxicity was evaluated in in vitro test with a highly sensitive resazurin based reagent PrestoBlue™ on L929 fibroblast cell line. After 24h no inhibition of cell proliferation was observed. All results proved potential possibility of application of ironMOFs as an isoniazid carrier and as MRI contrast agent in inhalatory treatment of tuberculosis. Acknowledgments: Authors gratefully acknowledge the National Science Center Poland for providing financial support, grant no 2014/15/B/ST5/04498.

Keywords: imaging agents, metal-organic frameworks, theranostics, tuberculosis

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3 Metabolic Changes during Reprogramming of Wheat and Triticale Microspores

Authors: Natalia Hordynska, Magdalena Szechynska-Hebda, Miroslaw Sobczak, Elzbieta Rozanska, Joanna Troczynska, Zofia Banaszak, Maria Wedzony


Albinism is a common problem encountered in wheat and triticale breeding programs, which require in vitro culture steps e.g. generation of doubled haploids via androgenesis process. Genetic factor is a major determinant of albinism, however, environmental conditions such as temperature and media composition influence the frequency of albino plant formation. Cold incubation of wheat and triticale spikes induced a switch from gametophytic to sporophytic development. Further, androgenic structures formed from anthers of the genotypes susceptible to androgenesis or treated with cold stress, had a pool of structurally primitive plastids, with small starch granules or swollen thylakoids. High temperature was a factor inducing andro-genesis of wheat and triticale, but at the same time, it was a factor favoring the formation of albino plants. In genotypes susceptible to albinism or after heat stress conditions, cells formed from anthers were vacuolated, and plastids were eliminated. Partial or complete loss of chlorophyll pigments and incomplete differentiation of chloroplast membranes result in formation of tissues or whole plant unable to perform photosynthesis. Indeed, susceptibility to the andro-genesis process was associated with an increase of total concentration of photosynthetic pigments in anthers, spikes and regenerated plants. The proper balance of the synthesis of various pigments, was the starting point for their proper incorporation into photosynthetic membranes. In contrast, genotypes resistant to the androgenesis process and those treated with heat, contained 100 times lower content of photosynthetic pigments. In particular, the synthesis of violaxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll b was limited. Furthermore, deregulation of starch and lipids synthesis, which led to the formation of very complex starch granules and an increased number of oleosomes, respectively, correlated with the reduction of the efficiency of androgenesis. The content of other sugars varied depending on the genotype and the type of stress. The highest content of various sugars was found for genotypes susceptible to andro-genesis, and highly reduced for genotypes resistant to androgenesis. The most important sugars seem to be glucose and fructose. They are involved in sugar sensing and signaling pathways, which affect the expression of various genes and regulate plant development. Sucrose, on the other hand, seems to have minor effect at each stage of the androgenesis. The sugar metabolism was related to metabolic activity of microspores. The genotypes susceptible to androgenesis process had much faster mitochondrium- and chloroplast-dependent energy conversion and higher heat production by tissues. Thus, the effectiveness of metabolic processes, their balance and the flexibility under the stress was a factor determining the direction of microspore development, and in the later stages of the androgenesis process, a factor supporting the induction of androgenic structures, chloroplast formation and the regeneration of green plants. The work was financed by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development within Program: ‘Biological Progress in Plant Production’, project no

Keywords: androgenesis, chloroplast, metabolism, temperature stress

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2 Medical Decision-Making in Advanced Dementia from the Family Caregiver Perspective: A Qualitative Study

Authors: Elzbieta Sikorska-Simmons


Advanced dementia is a progressive terminal brain disease that is accompanied by a syndrome of difficult to manage symptoms and complications that eventually lead to death. The management of advanced dementia poses major challenges to family caregivers who act as patient health care proxies in making medical treatment decisions. Little is known, however, about how they manage advanced dementia and how their treatment choices influence the quality of patient life. This prospective qualitative study examines the key medical treatment decisions that family caregivers make while managing advanced dementia. The term ‘family caregiver’ refers to a relative or a friend who is primarily responsible for managing patient’s medical care needs and legally authorized to give informed consent for medical treatments. Medical decision-making implies a process of choosing between treatment options in response to patient’s medical care needs (e.g., worsening comorbid conditions, pain, infections, acute medical events). Family caregivers engage in this process when they actively seek treatments or follow recommendations by healthcare professionals. Better understanding of medical decision-making from the family caregiver perspective is needed to design interventions that maximize the quality of patient life and limit inappropriate treatments. Data were collected in three waves of semi-structured interviews with 20 family caregivers for patients with advanced dementia. A purposive sample of 20 family caregivers was recruited from a senior care center in Central Florida. The qualitative personal interviews were conducted by the author in 4-5 months intervals. The ethical approval for the study was obtained prior to the data collection. Advanced dementia was operationalized as stage five or higher on the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) (i.e., starting with the GDS score of five, patients are no longer able survive without assistance due to major cognitive and functional impairments). Information about patients’ GDS scores was obtained from the Center’s Medical Director, who had an in-depth knowledge of each patient’s health and medical treatment history. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The qualitative data analysis was conducted to answer the following research questions: 1) what treatment decisions do family caregivers make while managing the symptoms of advanced dementia and 2) how do these treatment decisions influence the quality of patient life? To validate the results, the author asked each participating family caregiver if the summarized findings accurately captured his/her experiences. The identified medical decisions ranged from seeking specialist medical care to end-of-life care. The most common decisions were related to arranging medical appointments, medication management, seeking treatments for pain and other symptoms, nursing home placement, and accessing community-based healthcare services. The most challenging and consequential decisions were related to the management of acute complications, hospitalizations, and discontinuation of treatments. Decisions that had the greatest impact on the quality of patient life and survival were triggered by traumatic falls, worsening psychiatric symptoms, and aspiration pneumonia. The study findings have important implications for geriatric nurses in the context of patient/caregiver-centered dementia care. Innovative nursing approaches are needed to support family caregivers to effectively manage medical care needs of patients with advanced dementia.

Keywords: advanced dementia, family caregiver, medical decision-making, symptom management

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1 Research Cooperation between of Ukraine in Terms of Food Chain Safety Control in the Frame of MICRORISK Project

Authors: Kinga Wieczorek, Elzbieta Kukier, Remigiusz Pomykala, Beata Lachtara, Renata Szewczyk, Krzysztof Kwiatek, Jacek Osek


The MICRORISK project (Research cooperation in assessment of microbiological hazard and risk in the food chain) was funded by the European Commission under the FP7 PEOPLE 2012 IRSES call within the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme of Marie Curie Action and realized during years from 2014 to 2015. The main aim of the project was to establish a cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the third State in the area important from the public health point of view. The following organizations have been engaged in the activity: National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) in Pulawy, Poland (coordinator), French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) in Maisons Alfort, France, National Scientific Center Institute of Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine (NSC IECVM), Kharkov and State Scientific and Research Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Veterinary and Sanitary Expertise (SSRILDVSE) Kijev Ukraine. The results of the project showed that Ukraine used microbiological criteria in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs. Compliance concerns both the criteria applicable at the stage of food safety (retail trade), as well as evaluation criteria and process hygiene in food production. In this case, the Ukrainian legislation also provides application of the criteria that do not have counterparts in the food law of the European Union, and are based on the provisions of Ukrainian law. Partial coherence of the Ukrainian and EU legal requirements in terms of microbiological criteria for food and feed concerns microbiological parameters such as total plate count, coliforms, coagulase-positive Staphylococcus spp., including S. aureus. Analysis of laboratory methods used for microbiological hazards control in food production chain has shown that most methods used in the EU are well-known by Ukrainian partners, and many of them are routinely applied as the only standards in the laboratory practice or simultaneously used with Ukrainian methods. The area without any legislation, where the EU regulation and analytical methods should be implemented is the area of Shiga toxin producing E. coli, including E. coli O157 and staphylococcal enterotoxin detection. During the project, the analysis of the existing Ukrainian and EU data concerning the prevalence of the most important food-borne pathogens on different stages of food production chain was performed. Particularly, prevalence of Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., L. monocytogenes as well as clostridia was examined. The analysis showed that poultry meat still appears to be the most important food-borne source of Campylobacter and Salmonella in the UE. On the other hand, L. monocytogenes were seldom detected above the legal safety limit (100 cfu/g) among the EU countries. Moreover, the analysis revealed the lack of comprehensive data regarding the prevalence of the most important food-borne pathogens in Ukraine. The results of the MICRORISK project are networking activities among researches originations participating in the tasks will help with a better recognition of each other regarding very important, from the public health point of view areas such as microbiological hazards in the food production chain and finally will help to improve food quality and safety for consumers.

Keywords: cooperation, European Union, food chain safety, food law, microbiological risk, Microrisk, Poland, Ukraine

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