Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 163

Search results for: Fragmentation

163 Packet Fragmentation Caused by Encryption and Using It as a Security Method

Authors: Said Rabah Azzam, Andrew Graham

Abstract:

Fragmentation of packets caused by encryption applied on the network layer of the IOS model in Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) networks as well as the possibility of using fragmentation and Access Control Lists (ACLs) as a method of restricting network access to certain hosts or areas of a network.Using default settings, fragmentation is expected to occur and each fragment to be reassembled at the other end. If this does not occur then a high number of ICMP messages should be generated back towards the source host indicating that the packet is too large and that it needs to be made smaller. This result is also expected when the MTU is changed for certain links between devices.When using ACLs and packet fragments to restrict access to hosts or network segments it is possible that ACLs cannot be set up in this way. If ACLs cannot be setup to allow only fragments then it is a limitation of the hardware’s firmware holding back this particular method. If the ACL on the restricted switch can be set up in such a way to allow only fragments then a connection that forces packets to fragment should be allowed to pass through the ACL. This should then make a network connection to the destination machine allowing data to be sent to and from the destination machine. ICMP messages from the restricted access switch and host should also be blocked from being sent back across the link which will be shown in an SSH session into the switch.

Keywords: fragmentation, encryption, security, switch

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162 Measuring Fragmentation Index of Urban Landscape: A Case Study on Kuala Lumpur City

Authors: Shagufta Tazin Shathy, Mohammad Imam Hasan Reza

Abstract:

Fragmentation due to urbanization and agricultural expansion has become the main reason for destruction of forest area and loss of biodiversity particularly in the developing world. At present, the world is experiencing the largest wave of urban growth in human history, and it is estimated that this influx will be mainly taking place in developing world. Therefore, study on urban fragmentation is vital for a sustainable urban development. Landscape fragmentation is one of the most important conservation issues in the last few decades. Habitat fragmentation due to landscape alteration has caused habitat isolation, destruction in ecosystem pattern and processes. Thus, this research analyses the spatial and temporal extent of urban fragmentation using landscape indices in the Kuala Lumpur (KL) – the capital and most populous city in Malaysia. The objective of this study is to examine the urban fragmentation index in KL city. Fragmentation metrics used in the study are: a) Urban landscape ratio (the ratio of urban landscape area and build up area), b) Infill (development that occurred within urbanized open space), and c) Extension (development of exterior open space). After analyzing all three metrics, these are calculated for the combined urban fragmentation index (UFI). In this combined index, all three metrics are given an equal weight. Land cover/ land use maps of the year 1996 and 2005 have been developed from the Landsat TM 30 m resolution satellite image. The year 1996 is taken as a reference year to analyze the changes. The UFI calculated for the year of 1996 and2005 found that the KL city has undergone rapid landscape changes destructing forest ecosystem adversely. Increasing UFI for the year of 1996 compared to 2005 indicates that the developmental activities have been occupying open spaces and fragmenting natural lands and forest. This index can be implemented in other unplanned and rapidly urbanizing Asian cities for example Dhaka and Delhi to calculate the urban fragmentation rate. The findings from the study will help the stakeholders and urban planners for a sustainable urban management planning in this region.

Keywords: GIS, index, sustainable urban management, urbanization

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161 Fragmentation of The Multilateral Trading System: The Impact of Regionalism on WTO Law

Authors: Musa Njabulo Shongwe

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The multilateral trading system is facing a great danger of fragmentation. Its modus operandi, multilateralism, is increasingly becoming clogged by trade barriers created by the proliferation of preferential regional trading blocs. The paper explores the fragmentation of the multilateral trade regulation system (WTO law) by analysing whether and to what extent Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) have conflicted with the Multilateral Trading System. The paper examines the effects of RTA dominance in view of the WTO's quest for trade liberalization. This is an important inquiry because the proliferation of RTAs implies the erosion of the WTO law’s core principle of non-discrimination. The paper further explores how the proliferation of RTAs has endangered the coherence of the multilateral trading system. The study is carried out with the initial assumption that RTAs could be complementary and coherent with WTO law, and thus facilitate international trade and enhance development prospects. There is evidence that is tested by this study which suggests that RTAs can be divergent and hence undermine the WTO multilateral rules of regulating international trade. The paper finally recommends legal tools of regulating and managing the WTO-RTA interface, as well as other legal means of ensuring a harmonious existence between the WTO and regional trade arrangements.

Keywords: fragmentation of international trade law, regionalism, regional trade agreements, WTO law

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160 New Approach for Minimizing Wavelength Fragmentation in Wavelength-Routed WDM Networks

Authors: Sami Baraketi, Jean Marie Garcia, Olivier Brun

Abstract:

Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) is the dominant transport technology used in numerous high capacity backbone networks, based on optical infrastructures. Given the importance of costs (CapEx and OpEx) associated to these networks, resource management is becoming increasingly important, especially how the optical circuits, called “lightpaths”, are routed throughout the network. This requires the use of efficient algorithms which provide routing strategies with the lowest cost. We focus on the lightpath routing and wavelength assignment problem, known as the RWA problem, while optimizing wavelength fragmentation over the network. Wavelength fragmentation poses a serious challenge for network operators since it leads to the misuse of the wavelength spectrum, and then to the refusal of new lightpath requests. In this paper, we first establish a new Integer Linear Program (ILP) for the problem based on a node-link formulation. This formulation is based on a multilayer approach where the original network is decomposed into several network layers, each corresponding to a wavelength. Furthermore, we propose an efficient heuristic for the problem based on a greedy algorithm followed by a post-treatment procedure. The obtained results show that the optimal solution is often reached. We also compare our results with those of other RWA heuristic methods.

Keywords: WDM, lightpath, RWA, wavelength fragmentation, optimization, linear programming, heuristic

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159 Nature of Forest Fragmentation Owing to Human Population along Elevation Gradient in Different Countries in Hindu Kush Himalaya Mountains

Authors: Pulakesh Das, Mukunda Dev Behera, Manchiraju Sri Ramachandra Murthy

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Large numbers of people living in and around the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, depends on this diverse mountainous region for ecosystem services. Following the global trend, this region also experiencing rapid population growth, and demand for timber and agriculture land. The eight countries sharing the HKH region have different forest resources utilization and conservation policies that exert varying forces in the forest ecosystem. This created a variable spatial as well altitudinal gradient in rate of deforestation and corresponding forest patch fragmentation. The quantitative relationship between fragmentation and demography has not been established before for HKH vis-à-vis along elevation gradient. This current study was carried out to attribute the overall and different nature in landscape fragmentations along the altitudinal gradient with the demography of each sharing countries. We have used the tree canopy cover data derived from Landsat data to analyze the deforestation and afforestation rate, and corresponding landscape fragmentation observed during 2000 – 2010. Area-weighted mean radius of gyration (AMN radius of gyration) was computed owing to its advantage as spatial indicator of fragmentation over non-spatial fragmentation indices. Using the subtraction method, the change in fragmentation was computed during 2000 – 2010. Using the tree canopy cover data as a surrogate of forest cover, highest forest loss was observed in Myanmar followed by China, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. However, the sequence of fragmentation was different after the maximum fragmentation observed in Myanmar followed by India, China, Bangladesh, and Bhutan; whereas increase in fragmentation was seen following the sequence of as Nepal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Using SRTM-derived DEM, we observed higher rate of fragmentation up to 2400m that corroborated with high human population for the year 2000 and 2010. To derive the nature of fragmentation along the altitudinal gradients, the Statistica software was used, where the user defined function was utilized for regression applying the Gauss-Newton estimation method with 50 iterations. We observed overall logarithmic decrease in fragmentation change (area-weighted mean radius of gyration), forest cover loss and population growth during 2000-2010 along the elevation gradient with very high R2 values (i.e., 0.889, 0.895, 0.944 respectively). The observed negative logarithmic function with the major contribution in the initial elevation gradients suggest to gap filling afforestation in the lower altitudes to enhance the forest patch connectivity. Our finding on the pattern of forest fragmentation and human population across the elevation gradient in HKH region will have policy level implication for different nations and would help in characterizing hotspots of change. Availability of free satellite derived data products on forest cover and DEM, grid-data on demography, and utility of geospatial tools helped in quick evaluation of the forest fragmentation vis-a-vis human impact pattern along the elevation gradient in HKH.

Keywords: area-weighted mean radius of gyration, fragmentation, human impact, tree canopy cover

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158 A Mixed Methodology of the Social and Spatial Fragmentation of the City of Beirut Leading to the Creation of Internal Boundaries

Authors: Hala Obeid

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Among the cities that have been touched by hard events and have been experiencing this polemic of existence, one can quote Beirut. A city that defies and confronts itself for its own existence. Beirut materialized all the social complexity; it has also preserved the memory of a society that has been able to build and reflect a certain unique identity. In spite of its glory, Lebanon’s civil war has marked a turning point in Beirut’s history. It has caused many deaths and opposed religious communities. Once this civil war has ended, the reconstruction of the city center, however, saw the spatial exclusion of manual labor, small local commerce, and middle-class residences. The urban functions that characterized the pre-war center were removed, and the city’s spontaneous evolutions were replaced by a historical urban planning, which neglected the city’s memory and identity. The social and spatial fragmentation that has erupted since the war has led to a breakdown of spatial and social boundaries within the city. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of fragmentation and boundaries on the city of Beirut in spatial, social, religious and ethnic terms. The method used in this research is what we call the mixed method which is a combination between the quantitative method and the qualitative one. These two approaches, in this case, do not oppose but complement each other in order to study the city of Beirut physically and socially. The main purpose of the qualitative approach is to describe and analyze the social phenomenon of the fragmentation of the city; this method can be summarized by the field observation and study. While the quantitative approach is based on filling out questionnaires that leads to statistics analyzes. Together, these two approaches will mark the course of the research. As a result, Beirut is not only a divided city but is fragmented spatially into many fragments and socially into many groups. This fragmentation is creating immaterial boundaries between fragments and therefore between groups. These urban and social boundaries are specifically religious and ethnic limits. As a conclusion, one of the most important and discussed boundary in Beirut is a spatial and religious boundary called ‘the green line’ or the demarcation line, a true caesura within the city. It marks the opposition of two urban groups and the aggravated fragmentation between them. This line divided Beirut into two compartments: East Beirut (for Christians) and West Beirut (for Muslims). This green line has become an urban void that holds the past in suspension. Finally, to think of Beirut as an urban unit becomes an insoluble problem.

Keywords: Beirut, boundaries, fragmentation, identity

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157 Nucleophile Mediated Addition-Fragmentation Generation of Aryl Radicals from Aryl Diazonium Salts

Authors: Elene Tatunashvili, Bun Chan, Philippe E. Nashar, Christopher S. P. McErlean

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The reduction of aryl diazonium salts is one of the most efficient ways to generate aryl radicals for use in a wide range of transformations, including Sandmeyer-type reactions, Meerwein arylations of olefins and Gomberg-Bachmann-Hey arylations of heteroaromatic systems. The aryl diazonium species can be reduced electrochemically, by UV irradiation, inner-sphere and outer-sphere single electron transfer processes (SET) from metal salts, SET from photo-excited organic catalysts or fragmentation of adducts with weak bases (acetate, hydroxide, etc.). This paper details an approach for the metal-free reduction of aryl diazonium salts, which facilitates the efficient synthesis of various aromatic compounds under exceedingly mild reaction conditions. By measuring the oxidation potential of a number of organic molecules, a series of nucleophiles were identified that reduce aryl diazonium salts via the addition-fragmentation mechanism. This approach leads to unprecedented operational simplicity: The reactions are very rapid and proceed in the open air; there is no need for external irradiation or heating, and the process is compatible with a large number of radical reactions. We illustrate these advantages by using the addition-fragmentation strategy to regioselectively arylate a series of heterocyclic compounds, to synthesize ketones by arylation of silyl enol ethers, and to synthesize benzothiophene and phenanthrene derivatives by radical annulation reactions.

Keywords: diazonium salts, hantzsch esters, oxygen, radical reactions, synthetic methods

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156 Alternative Futures for the Middle East

Authors: Dorsa Bakhshandehgeyazdi

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This paper examines elective future of security in the Middle East trying to find a way that could take the district from a shaky past to a more secure future. Taking a gander at five situations about the eventual future of world legislative issues, in particular, globalization, fragmentation, conflict of civilizations, majority rule peace and the development of a security group, the paper contends that albeit every situation has its qualities (and in addition shortcomings), it is the situation that predicts the foundation of a security group that joins a more express thought for forming a more secure future for the Middle East.

Keywords: Middle East, Globalization, Fragmentation, Conflict of civilizations, Majority rule peace, Development of a security group

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155 Device for Mechanical Fragmentation of Organic Substrates Before Methane Fermentation

Authors: Marcin Zieliński, Marcin Dębowski, Mirosław Krzemieniewski

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This publication presents a device designed for mechanical fragmentation of plant substrate before methane fermentation. The device is equipped with a perforated rotary cylindrical drum coated with a thermal layer, connected to a substrate feeder and driven by a motoreducer. The drum contains ball- or cylinder-shaped weights of different diameters, while its interior is mounted with lateral permanent magnets with an attractive force ranging from 100 kg to 2 tonnes per m2 of the surface. Over the perforated rotary drum, an infrared radiation generator is mounted, producing 0.2 kW to 1 kW of infrared radiation per 1 m2 of the perforated drum surface. This design reduces the energy consumption required for the biomass destruction process by 10-30% in comparison to the conventional ball mill. The magnetic field generated by the permanent magnets situated within the perforated rotary drum promotes this process through generation of free radicals that act as powerful oxidants, accelerating the decomposition rate. Plant substrate shows increased susceptibility to biodegradation when subjected to magnetic conditioning, reducing the time required for biomethanation by 25%. Additionally, the electromagnetic radiation generated by the radiator improves substrate destruction by 10% and the efficiency of the process. The magnetic field and the infrared radiation contribute synergically to the increased efficiency of destruction and conversion of the substrate.

Keywords: biomass pretreatment, mechanical fragmentation, biomass, methane fermentation

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154 Cissampelos capensis Rhizome Extract Induces Intracellular ROS Production, Capacitation, and DNA Fragmentation in Human Spermatozoa

Authors: S. Shalaweh, P. Bouic, F. Weitz, R. Henkel

Abstract:

More than 3000 plants of notable phyto-therapeutic value grow in South Africa; these include Cissampelos capensis, commonly known in Afrikaans as dawidjie or dawidjiewortel. C. capensis is the most significant and popular medicinal plant used by the Khoisan as well as other rural groups in the Western region of South Africa. Its rhizomes are traditionally used to treat male fertility problems. Yet, no studies have investigated the effects of this plant or its extracts on human spermatozoa. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the effects of C. capensis rhizome extract (CRE) fractions on ejaculated human spermatozoa in vitro. Spermatozoa from a total of 77 semen samples were washed with human tubular fluid medium supplemented with bovine serum albumin (HTF-BSA) and incubated for 2 hourswith 20 µg/ml progesterone (P4) followed by incubation with different concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.5, 5, 50, 200 µg/ml) of fractionated CRE (F1=0% MeOH, F2=30% MeOH, F3=60% MeOH and F4=100% MeOH) for 1.5 hours at 37°C. A sample without addition of CRE fractions served as control. Samples were analyzed for sperm motility, reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA-fragmentation, acrosome reaction and capacitation. Results showed that F1 resulted in significantly higher values for ROS, capacitation and hyper-activation compared to F2, F3, and F4 with P4-stimulated samples generally having higher values. No significant effect was found for the other parameters. In conclusion, alkaloids present in F1 of CRE appear to have triggered sperm intrinsic ROS production leading to sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction induced by P4.

Keywords: capacitaion, acrosome reaction, DNA fragmentation, ROS

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153 Simulation of Glass Breakage Using Voronoi Random Field Tessellations

Authors: Michael A. Kraus, Navid Pourmoghaddam, Martin Botz, Jens Schneider, Geralt Siebert

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Fragmentation analysis of tempered glass gives insight into the quality of the tempering process and defines a certain degree of safety as well. Different standard such as the European EN 12150-1 or the American ASTM C 1048/CPSC 16 CFR 1201 define a minimum number of fragments required for soda-lime safety glass on the basis of fragmentation test results for classification. This work presents an approach for the glass breakage pattern prediction using a Voronoi Tesselation over Random Fields. The random Voronoi tessellation is trained with and validated against data from several breakage patterns. The fragments in observation areas of 50 mm x 50 mm were used for training and validation. All glass specimen used in this study were commercially available soda-lime glasses at three different thicknesses levels of 4 mm, 8 mm and 12 mm. The results of this work form a Bayesian framework for the training and prediction of breakage patterns of tempered soda-lime glass using a Voronoi Random Field Tesselation. Uncertainties occurring in this process can be well quantified, and several statistical measures of the pattern can be preservation with this method. Within this work it was found, that different Random Fields as basis for the Voronoi Tesselation lead to differently well fitted statistical properties of the glass breakage patterns. As the methodology is derived and kept general, the framework could be also applied to other random tesselations and crack pattern modelling purposes.

Keywords: glass breakage predicition, Voronoi Random Field Tessellation, fragmentation analysis, Bayesian parameter identification

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152 A Study of the Relationship between Habitat Patch Metrics and Landscape Connectivity with Reference to Colombo Wetlands Sri Lanka

Authors: H. E. M. W. G. M. K. Ekanayake, J. Dharmasena

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Natural Landscape fragmentation and habitat loss are emerging issues in Sri Lanka, which is due to rapid urban development and inadequate concern of managing Landscape connectivity. Urban Wetlands are the most vulnerable ecosystem effects from the fragmentation. Therefore, management of landscape connectivity with proper analysis and understanding has become a most important measure for urban wetland habitats. This study aimed to introduce spatial planning strategy to identify and locate landscape developments appropriately in order to restore landscape connectivity. Therefore, the study focuses on understanding the relationship between habitat patch metrics and landscape connectivity with reference to Colombo wetlands. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to measure the wetland patch metrics; Patch area, Total edge, Perimeter-area ratio, Core area index and Inter-patch distances. Further, GIS-enabled least-cost path tool was used to measure the Landscape connectivity and calculate the number of species flow paths per wetland patch. According to the research findings; increasing the patch area, maintaining a mean perimeter-area ratio and core area index also reducing the inter-patch distances could enhance the landscape connectivity. Further, this study introduces three patch typologies; ‘active patches,' ‘open patches’ and ‘closed patches’ that severs to landscape connectivity in different levels. In the end, the study proposes a strategy for Landscape Architects to select most suitable locations to implement ecological based landscape developments with adjacent to the existing urban habitat in order to enhance habitat patch metrics and to restore the landscape connectivity.

Keywords: landscape fragmentation, urban wetlands, landscape connectivity, patch metrics

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151 The Scale of Farms and Development Perspectives in Georgia

Authors: M. Chavleishvili, E. Kharaishvili, G. Erkomaishvili

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The article presents the development trends of farms, estimates on the optimal scope of farming, as well as the experience of local and foreign countries in this area. As well, the advantages of small and large farms are discussed; herewith, the scales of farms are compared to the local reality. The study analyzes the results of farm operations and the possibilities of diversification of farms. The indicators of an effective use of land resources and land fragmentation are measured; also, a comparative analysis with other countries is presented, in particular, the measurements of agricultural lands for farming, as well as the indicators of population ensuring. The conducted research shows that most of the farms in Georgia are small and their development is at the initial stage, which outlines that the country has a high resource potential to increase the scale of the farming industry and its full integration into market relations. On the basis of the obtained results, according to the research on the scale of farming in Georgia and the identification of hampering factors of farming development, the conclusions are presented and the relevant recommendations are suggested.

Keywords: farm cooperatives.farms, farm scale, land fragmentation, small and large farms

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150 Determining the Threshold for Protective Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Aortic Structure in a Mouse Model of Marfan Syndrome Associated Aortic Aneurysm

Authors: Christine P. Gibson, Ramona Alex, Michael Farney, Johana Vallejo-Elias, Mitra Esfandiarei

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Aortic aneurysm is the leading cause of death in Marfan syndrome (MFS), a connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in fibrillin-1 gene (FBN1). MFS aneurysm is characterized by weakening of the aortic wall due to elastin fibers fragmentation and disorganization. The above-average height and distinct physical features make young adults with MFS desirable candidates for competitive sports; but little is known about the exercise limit at which they will be at risk for aortic rupture. On the other hand, aerobic cardiovascular exercise has been shown to have protective effects on the heart and aorta. We have previously reported that mild aerobic exercise can delay the formation of aortic aneurysm in a mouse model of MFS. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of various levels of exercise intensity on the progression of aortic aneurysm in the mouse model. Starting at 4 weeks of age, we subjected control and MFS mice to different levels of exercise intensity (8m/min, 10m/min, 15m/min, and 20m/min, corresponding to 55%, 65%, 75%, and 85% of VO2 max, respectively) on a treadmill for 30 minutes per day, five days a week for the duration of the study. At 24 weeks of age, aortic tissue were isolated and subjected to structural and functional studies using histology and wire myography in order to evaluate the effects of different exercise routines on elastin fragmentation and organization and aortic wall elasticity/stiffness. Our data shows that exercise training at the intensity levels between 55%-75% significantly reduces elastin fragmentation and disorganization, with less recovery observed in 85% MFS group. The reversibility of elasticity was also significantly restored in MFS mice subjected to 55%-75% intensity; however, the recovery was less pronounced in MFS mice subjected to 85% intensity. Furthermore, our data shows that smooth muscle cells (SMCs) contractilion in response to vasoconstrictor agent phenylephrine (100nM) is significantly reduced in MFS aorta (54.84 ± 1.63 mN/mm2) as compared to control (95.85 ± 3.04 mN/mm2). At 55% of intensity, exercise did not rescue SMCs contraction (63.45 ± 1.70 mN/mm2), while at higher intensity levels, SMCs contraction in response to phenylephrine was restored to levels similar to control aorta [65% (81.88 ± 4.57 mN/mm2), 75% (86.22 ± 3.84 mN/mm2), and 85% (83.91 ± 5.42 mN/mm2)]. This study provides the first time evidence that high intensity exercise (e.g. 85%) may not provide the most beneficial effects on aortic function (vasoconstriction) and structure (elastin fragmentation, aortic wall elasticity) during the progression of aortic aneurysm in MFS mice. On the other hand, based on our observations, medium intensity exercise (e.g. 65%) seems to provide the utmost protective effects on aortic structure and function in MFS mice. These findings provide new insights into the potential capacity, in which MFS patients could participate in various aerobic exercise routines, especially in young adults affected by cardiovascular complications particularly aortic aneurysm. This work was funded by Midwestern University Research Fund.

Keywords: aerobic exercise, aortic aneurysm, aortic wall elasticity, elastin fragmentation, Marfan syndrome

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149 Evolution Mechanism of the Formation of Rock Heap under Seismic Action and Analysis on Engineering Geological Structure

Authors: Jian-Xiu Wan, Yao Yin

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In complex terrain and poor geological conditions areas, Railway, highway and other transportation constructions are still strongly developing. However, various geological disasters happened such as landslide, rock heap and so on. According to the results of geological investigation, the form of skirt (trapezoidal), semicircle and triangle rock heaps are mainly due to complex internal force and external force, in a certain extent, which is related to the terrain, the nature of the rock mass, the supply area and the surface shape of rock heap. Combined with the above factors, discrete element numerical simulation of rock mass is established under different terrain conditions based on 3DEC, and accelerated formation process of rock heap under seismic action is simulated. The fragmentation structure supply area is calculated, in which the most dangerous area is located. At the same time, the formation mechanism and development process are studied in different terrain conditions, and the structure of rock heap is judged by section, which can provide a strong theoretical and technical support for the prevention and control of geological disasters.

Keywords: 3DEC, fragmentation structure, rock heap, slope, seismic action

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148 Quantifying Spatiotemporal Patterns of Past and Future Urbanization Trends in El Paso, Texas and Their Impact on Electricity Consumption

Authors: Joanne Moyer

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El Paso, Texas is a southwest border city that has experienced continuous growth within the last 15-years. Understanding the urban growth trends and patterns using data from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and landscape metrics, provides a quantitative description of growth. Past urban growth provided a basis to predict 2031 future land-use for El Paso using the CA-Markov model. As a consequence of growth, an increase in demand of resources follows. Using panel data analysis, an understanding of the relation between landscape metrics and electricity consumption is further analyzed. The studies’ findings indicate that past growth focused within three districts within the City of El Paso. The landscape metrics suggest as the city has grown, fragmentation has decreased. Alternatively, the landscape metrics for the projected 2031 land-use indicates possible fragmentation within one of these districts. Panel data suggests electricity consumption and mean patch area landscape metric are positively correlated. The study provides local decision makers to make informed decisions for policies and urban planning to ensure a future sustainable community.

Keywords: landscape metrics, CA-Markov, El Paso, Texas, panel data

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147 Road Systems as Environmental Barriers: An Overview of Roadways in Their Function as Fences for Wildlife Movement

Authors: Rachael Bentley, Callahan Gergen, Brodie Thiede

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Roadways have a significant impact on the environment in so far as they function as barriers to wildlife movement, both through road mortality and through resultant road avoidance. Roads have an im-mense presence worldwide, and it is predicted to increase substantially in the next thirty years. As roadways become even more common, it is important to consider their environmental impact, and to mitigate the negative effects which they have on wildlife and wildlife mobility. In a thorough analysis of several related studies, a common conclusion was that roads cause habitat fragmentation, which can lead split populations to evolve differently, for better or for worse. Though some populations adapted positively to roadways, becoming more resistant to road mortality, and more tolerant to noise and chemical contamination, many others experienced maladaptation, either due to chemical contamination in and around their environment, or because of genetic mutations from inbreeding when their population was fragmented too substantially to support a large enough group for healthy genetic exchange. Large mammals were especially susceptible to maladaptation from inbreed-ing, as they require larger areas to roam and therefore require even more space to sustain a healthy population. Regardless of whether a species evolved positively or negatively as a result of their proximity to a road, animals tended to avoid roads, making the genetic diversity from habitat fragmentation an exceedingly prevalent issue in the larger discussion of road ecology. Additionally, the consideration of solu-tions, such as overpasses and underpasses, is crucial to ensuring the long term survival of many wildlife populations. In studies addressing the effectiveness of overpasses and underpasses, it seemed as though animals adjusted well to these sorts of solutions, but strategic place-ment, as well as proper sizing, proper height, shelter from road noise, and other considerations were important in construction. When an underpass or overpass was well-built and well-shielded from human activity, animals’ usage of the structure increased significantly throughout its first five years, thus reconnecting previously divided populations. Still, these structures are costly and they are often unable to fully address certain issues such as light, noise, and contaminants from vehicles. Therefore, the need for further discussion of new, crea-tive solutions remains paramount. Roads are one of the most consistent and prominent features of today’s landscape, but their environmental impacts are largely overlooked. While roads are useful for connecting people, they divide landscapes and animal habitats. Therefore, further research and investment in possible solutions is necessary to mitigate the negative effects which roads have on wildlife mobility and to pre-vent issues from resultant habitat fragmentation.

Keywords: fences, habitat fragmentation, roadways, wildlife mobility

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146 Decay Analysis of 118Xe* Nucleus Formed in 28Si Induced Reaction

Authors: Manoj K. Sharma, Neha Grover

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Dynamical cluster decay model (DCM) is applied to study the decay mechanism of 118Xe* nucleus in reference to recent data on 28Si + 90Zr → 118Xe* reaction, as an extension of our previous work on the dynamics of 112Xe* nucleus. It is relevant to mention here that DCM is based on collective clusterization approach, where emission probability of different decay paths such as evaporation residue (ER), intermediate mass fragments (IMF) and fission etc. is worked out on parallel scale. Calculations have been done over a wide range of center of mass energies with Ec.m. = 65 - 92 MeV. The evaporation residue (ER) cross-sections of 118Xe* compound nucleus are fitted in reference to available data, using spherical and quadrupole (β2) deformed choice of decaying fragments within the optimum orientations approach. It may be noted that our calculated cross-sections find decent agreement with experimental data and hence provide an opportunity to analyze the exclusive role of deformations in view of fragmentation behavior of 118Xe* nucleus. The possible contribution of IMF fragments is worked out and an extensive effort is being made to analyze the role of excitation energy, angular momentum, diffuseness parameter and level density parameter to have better understanding of the decay patterns governed in the dynamics of 28Si + 90Zr → 118Xe* reaction.

Keywords: cross-sections, deformations, fragmentation, angular momentum

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145 Transfer of Business Anti-Corruption Norms in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Vietnam

Authors: Candice Lemaitre

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During the 1990s, an alliance of international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations proposed a set of regulatory norms designed to reduce corruption. Many governments in developing countries, such as Vietnam, enacted these global anti-corruption norms into their domestic law. This article draws on empirical research to understand why these anti-corruption norms have failed to reduce corruption in Vietnam and many other developing countries. Rather than investigating state compliance with global anti-corruption provisions, a topic that has already attracted considerable attention, this article aims to explore the comparatively under-researched area of business compliance. Based on data collected from semi-structured interviews with business managers in Vietnam and archival research, this article examines how businesses in Vietnam interpret and comply with global anti-corruption norms. It investigates why different types of companies in Vietnam engage with and respond to these norms in different ways. This article suggests that global anti-corruption norms have not been effective in reducing corruption in Vietnam because there is fragmentation in the way companies in Vietnam interpret and respond to these norms. This fragmentation results from differences in the epistemic (or interpretive) communities that companies draw upon to interpret global anti-corruption norms. This article uses discourse analysis to understand how the communities interpret global anti-corruption norms. This investigation aims to generate some predictive insights into how companies are likely to respond to anti-corruption regimes based on global anti-corruption norms.

Keywords: anti-corruption, business law, legal transfer, Vietnam

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144 Induced Chemistry for Dissociative Electron Attachment to Focused Electron Beam Induced Deposition Precursors Based on Ti, Si and Fe Metal Elements

Authors: Maria Pintea, Nigel Mason

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Induced chemistry is one of the newest pathways in the nanotechnology field with applications in the focused electron beam induced processes for deposition of nm scale structures. Si(OPr)₄ and Ti(OEt)₄ are two of the precursors that have not been so extensively researched, though highly sought for semiconductor and medical applications fields, the two compounds make good candidates for FEBIP and are the subject of velocity slice map imaging analysis for deposition purposes, offering information on kinetic energies, fragmentation channels, and angular distributions. The velocity slice map imaging technique is a method used for the characterization of molecular dynamics of the molecule and the fragmentation channels as a result of induced chemistry. To support the gas-phase analysis, Meso-Bio-Nano simulations of irradiation dynamics studies are employed with final results on Fe(CO)₅ deposited on various substrates. The software is capable of running large scale simulations for complex biomolecular, nano- and mesoscopic systems with applications to thermos-mechanical DNA damage, complex materials, gases, nanoparticles for cancer research and deposition applications for nanotechnology, using a large library of classical potentials, many-body force fields, molecular force fields involved in the classical molecular dynamics.

Keywords: focused electron beam induced deposition, FEBID, induced chemistry, molecular dynamics, velocity map slice imaging

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143 Fish Scales as a Nonlethal Screening Tools for Assessing the Effects of Surface Water Contaminants in Cyprinus Carpio

Authors: Shahid Mahboob, Hafiz Muhammad Ashraf, Salma Sultana, Tayyaba Sultana, Khalid Al-Ghanim, Fahid Al-Misned, Zubair Ahmedd

Abstract:

There is an increasing need for an effective tool to estimate the risks derived from the large number of pollutants released to the environment by human activities. Typical screening procedures are highly invasive or lethal to the fish. Recent studies show that fish scales biochemically respond to a range of contaminants, including toxic metals, organic compounds, and endocrine disruptors. The present study evaluated the effects of the surface water contaminants on Cyprinus carpio in the Ravi River by comparing DNA extracted non-lethally from their scales to DNA extracted from the scales of fish collected from a controlled fish farm. A single, random sampling was conducted. Fish were broadly categorised into three weight categories (W1, W2 and W3). The experimental samples in the W1, W2 and W3 categories had an average DNA concentration (µg/µl) that was lower than the control samples. All control samples had a single DNA band; whereas the experimental samples in W1 fish had 1 to 2 bands, the experimental samples in W2 fish had two bands and the experimental samples in W3 fish had fragmentation in the form of three bands. These bands exhibit the effects of pollution on fish in the Ravi River. On the basis findings of this study, we propose that fish scales can be successfully employed as a new non-lethal tool for the evaluation of the effect of surface water contaminants.

Keywords: fish scales, Cyprinus carpio, heavy metals, non-invasive, DNA fragmentation

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142 Automatic Aggregation and Embedding of Microservices for Optimized Deployments

Authors: Pablo Chico De Guzman, Cesar Sanchez

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Microservices are a software development methodology in which applications are built by composing a set of independently deploy-able, small, modular services. Each service runs a unique process and it gets instantiated and deployed in one or more machines (we assume that different microservices are deployed into different machines). Microservices are becoming the de facto standard for developing distributed cloud applications due to their reduced release cycles. In principle, the responsibility of a microservice can be as simple as implementing a single function, which can lead to the following issues: - Resource fragmentation due to the virtual machine boundary. - Poor communication performance between microservices. Two composition techniques can be used to optimize resource fragmentation and communication performance: aggregation and embedding of microservices. Aggregation allows the deployment of a set of microservices on the same machine using a proxy server. Aggregation helps to reduce resource fragmentation, and is particularly useful when the aggregated services have a similar scalability behavior. Embedding deals with communication performance by deploying on the same virtual machine those microservices that require a communication channel (localhost bandwidth is reported to be about 40 times faster than cloud vendor local networks and it offers better reliability). Embedding can also reduce dependencies on load balancer services since the communication takes place on a single virtual machine. For example, assume that microservice A has two instances, a1 and a2, and it communicates with microservice B, which also has two instances, b1 and b2. One embedding can deploy a1 and b1 on machine m1, and a2 and b2 are deployed on a different machine m2. This deployment configuration allows each pair (a1-b1), (a2-b2) to communicate using the localhost interface without the need of a load balancer between microservices A and B. Aggregation and embedding techniques are complex since different microservices might have incompatible runtime dependencies which forbid them from being installed on the same machine. There is also a security concern since the attack surface between microservices can be larger. Luckily, container technology allows to run several processes on the same machine in an isolated manner, solving the incompatibility of running dependencies and the previous security concern, thus greatly simplifying aggregation/embedding implementations by just deploying a microservice container on the same machine as the aggregated/embedded microservice container. Therefore, a wide variety of deployment configurations can be described by combining aggregation and embedding to create an efficient and robust microservice architecture. This paper presents a formal method that receives a declarative definition of a microservice architecture and proposes different optimized deployment configurations by aggregating/embedding microservices. The first prototype is based on i2kit, a deployment tool also submitted to ICWS 2018. The proposed prototype optimizes the following parameters: network/system performance, resource usage, resource costs and failure tolerance.

Keywords: aggregation, deployment, embedding, resource allocation

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141 Old Swimmers Tire Quickly: The Effect of Time on Quality of Thawed versus Washed Sperm

Authors: Emily Hamilton, Adiel Kahana, Ron Hauser, Shimi Barda

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BACKGROUND: In the male fertility and sperm bank unit of Tel Aviv Sourasky medical center, women are treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI) using washed sperm from their partner or thawed sperm from a selected donor. In most cases, the women perform the IUI treatment in Sourasky, but sometimes they ask to undergo the insemination procedure in another clinic with their own fertility doctor. In these cases, the sperm sample is prepared at the Sourasky lab and the patient is inseminated after arriving to her doctor. Our laboratory has previously found that time negatively affects several parameters of thawed sperm, and we estimate that it has more severe and significant effect than on washed sperm. AIM: To examine the effect of time on the quality of washed sperm versus thawed sperm. METHODS: Sperm samples were collected from men referred for semen analysis. Each ejaculate was allowed to liquefy for at least 20 min at 37°C and analyzed for sperm motility and vitality percentage and DNA fragmentation index (Time 0). Subsequently, 1ml of the sample was divided into two parts, 1st part was washed only and the 2nd part was washed, frozen and thawed. Time 1 analysis occurred immediately after sperm washing or thawing. Time 2 analysis occurred 75 minutes after time 1. Statistical analysis was performed using Student t-test. P values<0.05 were considered significant. RESULTS: Preliminary data showed that time had a greater impact on the average percentages of sperm motility and vitality in thawed compared to washed sperm samples (26%±10% vs. 21%±10% and 21%±9% vs. 9%±10%, respectively). An additional trend towards increased average DNA fragmentation percentage in thawed samples compared to washed samples was observed (46%±18% vs. 25%±24%). CONCLUSION: Time negatively effects sperm quality. The effect is greater in thawed samples compared to fresh samples.

Keywords: ART, male fertility, sperm cryopreservation, sperm quality

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140 Coumestrol Induced Apoptosis in Breast Cancer MCF-7 Cells via Redox Cycling of Copper and ROS Generation: Implications of Copper Chelation Strategy in Cancer Treatment

Authors: Atif Zafar Khan, Swarnendra Singh, Imrana Naseem

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Breast cancer is one of the most frequent malignancies in women worldwide and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. Therefore, there is a need to identify new chemotherapeutic strategies for cancer treatment. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells contain elevated copper levels which play an integral role in angiogenesis. Copper is an important metal ion associated with the chromatin DNA, particularly with guanine. Thus, targeting copper via copper-specific chelators in cancer cells can serve as effective anticancer strategy. Keeping in view these facts, we evaluated the anticancer activity and copper-dependent cytotoxic effect of coumestrol (phytoestrogen in soybean products) in breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Coumestrol inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, which was prevented by copper chelator neocuproine and ROS scavengers. Coumestrol treatment induced ROS generation coupled to DNA fragmentation, up-regulation of p53/p21, cell cycle arrest at G1/S phase, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and caspases 9/3 activation. All these effects were suppressed by ROS scavengers and neocuproine. These results suggest that coumestrol targets elevated copper for redox cycling to generate ROS leading to DNA fragmentation. DNA damage leads to p53 up-regulation which directs the cell cycle arrest at G1/S phase and promotes caspase-dependent apoptosis of MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, coumestrol induces pro-oxidant cell death by chelating cellular copper to produce copper-coumestrol complexes that engages in redox cycling in breast cancer cells. Thus, targeting elevated copper levels might be a potential therapeutic strategy for selective cytotoxic action against malignant cells.

Keywords: apoptosis, breast cancer, copper chelation, coumestrol, reactive oxygens species, redox cycling

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139 Links and Blocks: the Role of Language in Samuel Beckett’s Selected Plays

Authors: Su-Lien Liao

Abstract:

This article explores the language in the four plays of Samuel Beckett–Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, and Footfalls. It considers the way in which Beckett uses language, especially through fragmentation utterances, repetitions, monologues, contradictions, and silence. It discusses the function of language in modern society, in the theater of the absurd, and in the plays. Paradoxically enough, his plays attempts to communicate the incommunicability of language.

Keywords: language, Samuel Beckett, theater of the absurd, foreign language teaching

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138 High Strain Rate Behavior of Harmonic Structure Designed Pure Nickel: Mechanical Characterization Microstructure Analysis and 3D Modelisation

Authors: D. Varadaradjou, H. Kebir, J. Mespoulet, D. Tingaud, S. Bouvier, P. Deconick, K. Ameyama, G. Dirras

Abstract:

The development of new architecture metallic alloys with controlled microstructures is one of the strategic ways for designing materials with high innovation potential and, particularly, with improved mechanical properties as required for structural materials. Indeed, unlike conventional counterparts, metallic materials having so-called harmonic structure displays strength and ductility synergy. The latter occurs due to a unique microstructure design: a coarse grain structure surrounded by a 3D continuous network of ultra-fine grain known as “core” and “shell,” respectively. In the present study, pure harmonic-structured (HS) Nickel samples were processed via controlled mechanical milling and followed by spark plasma sintering (SPS). The present work aims at characterizing the mechanical properties of HS pure Nickel under room temperature dynamic loading through a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) test and the underlying microstructure evolution. A stopper ring was used to maintain the strain at a fixed value of about 20%. Five samples (named B1 to B5) were impacted using different striker bar velocities from 14 m/s to 28 m/s, yielding strain rate in the range 4000-7000 s-1. Results were considered until a 10% deformation value, which is the deformation threshold for the constant strain rate assumption. The non-deformed (INIT – post-SPS process) and post-SHPB microstructure (B1 to B5) were investigated by EBSD. It was observed that while the strain rate is increased, the average grain size within the core decreases. An in-depth analysis of grains and grain boundaries was made to highlight the thermal (such as dynamic recrystallization) or mechanical (such as grains fragmentation by dislocation) contribution within the “core” and “shell.” One of the most widely used methods for determining the dynamic behavior of materials is the SHPB technique developed by Kolsky. A 3D simulation of the SHPB test was created through ABAQUS in dynamic explicit. This 3D simulation allows taking into account all modes of vibration. An inverse approach was used to identify the material parameters from the equation of Johnson-Cook (JC) by minimizing the difference between the numerical and experimental data. The JC’s parameters were identified using B1 and B5 samples configurations. Predictively, identified parameters of JC’s equation shows good result for the other sample configuration. Furthermore, mean rise of temperature within the harmonic Nickel sample can be obtained through ABAQUS and show an elevation of about 35°C for all fives samples. At this temperature, a thermal mechanism cannot be activated. Therefore, grains fragmentation within the core is mainly due to mechanical phenomena for a fixed final strain of 20%.

Keywords: 3D simulation, fragmentation, harmonic structure, high strain rate, Johnson-cook model, microstructure

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137 Impact of Material Chemistry and Morphology on Attrition Behavior of Excipients during Blending

Authors: Sri Sharath Kulkarni, Pauline Janssen, Alberto Berardi, Bastiaan Dickhoff, Sander van Gessel

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Blending is a common process in the production of pharmaceutical dosage forms where the high shear is used to obtain a homogenous dosage. The shear required can lead to uncontrolled attrition of excipients and affect API’s. This has an impact on the performance of the formulation as this can alter the structure of the mixture. Therefore, it is important to understand the driving mechanisms for attrition. The aim of this study was to increase the fundamental understanding of the attrition behavior of excipients. Attrition behavior of the excipients was evaluated using a high shear blender (Procept Form-8, Zele, Belgium). Twelve pure excipients are tested, with morphologies varying from crystalline (sieved), granulated to spray dried (round to fibrous). Furthermore, materials include lactose, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), di-calcium phosphate (DCP), and mannitol. The rotational speed of the blender was set at 1370 rpm to have the highest shear with a Froude (Fr) number 9. Varying blending times of 2-10 min were used. Subsequently, after blending, the excipients were analyzed for changes in particle size distribution (PSD). This was determined (n = 3) by dry laser diffraction (Helos/KR, Sympatec, Germany). Attrition was found to be a surface phenomenon which occurs in the first minutes of the high shear blending process. An increase of blending time above 2 mins showed no change in particle size distribution. Material chemistry was identified as a key driver for differences in the attrition behavior between different excipients. This is mainly related to the proneness to fragmentation, which is known to be higher for materials such as DCP and mannitol compared to lactose and MCC. Secondly, morphology also was identified as a driver of the degree of attrition. Granular products consisting of irregular surfaces showed the highest reduction in particle size. This is due to the weak solid bonds created between the primary particles during the granulation process. Granular DCP and mannitol show a reduction of 80-90% in x10(µm) compared to a 20-30% drop for granular lactose (monohydrate and anhydrous). Apart from the granular lactose, all the remaining morphologies of lactose (spray dried-round, sieved-tomahawk, milled) show little change in particle size. Similar observations have been made for spray-dried fibrous MCC. All these morphologies have little irregular or sharp surfaces and thereby are less prone to fragmentation. Therefore, products containing brittle materials such as mannitol and DCP are more prone to fragmentation when exposed to shear. Granular products with irregular surfaces lead to an increase in attrition. While spherical, crystalline, or fibrous morphologies show reduced impact during high shear blending. These changes in size will affect the functionality attributes of the formulation, such as flow, API homogeneity, tableting, formation of dust, etc. Hence it is important for formulators to fully understand the excipients to make the right choices.

Keywords: attrition, blending, continuous manufacturing, excipients, lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, shear

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136 Analysis of the Effects of Institutions on the Sub-National Distribution of Aid Using Geo-Referenced AidData

Authors: Savas Yildiz

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The article assesses the performance of international aid donors to determine the sub-national distribution of their aid projects dependent on recipient countries’ governance. The present paper extends the scope from a cross-country perspective to a more detailed analysis by looking at the effects of institutional qualities on the sub-national distribution of foreign aid. The analysis examines geo-referenced aid project in 37 countries and 404 regions at the first administrative division level in Sub-Saharan Africa from the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (ADB) that were approved between the years 2000 and 2011. To measure the influence of institutional qualities on the distribution of aid the following measures are used: control of corruption, government effectiveness, regulatory quality and rule of law from the World Governance Indicators (WGI) and the corruption perception index from Transparency International. Furthermore, to assess the importance of ethnic heterogeneity on the sub-national distribution of aid projects, the study also includes interaction terms measuring ethnic fragmentation. The regression results indicate a general skew of aid projects towards regions which hold capital cities, however, being incumbent presidents’ birth region does not increase the allocation of aid projects significantly. Nevertheless, with increasing quality of institutions aid projects are less skewed towards capital regions and the previously estimated coefficients loose significance in most cases. Higher ethnic fragmentation also seems to impede the possibility to allocate aid projects mainly in capital city regions and presidents’ birth places. Additionally, to assess the performance of the WB based on its own proclaimed goal to aim the poor in a country, the study also includes sub-national wealth data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DSH), and finds that, even with better institutional qualities, regions with a larger share from the richest quintile receive significantly more aid than regions with a larger share of poor people. With increasing ethnic diversity, the allocation of aid projects towards regions where the richest citizens reside diminishes, but still remains high and significant. However, regions with a larger share of poor people still do not receive significantly more aid. This might imply that the sub-national distribution of aid projects increases in general with higher ethnic fragmentation, independent of the diverse regional needs. The results provide evidence that institutional qualities matter to undermine the influence of incumbent presidents on the allocation of aid projects towards their birth regions and capital regions. Moreover, even for countries with better institutional qualities the WB and the ADB do not seem to be able to aim the poor in a country with their aid projects. Even, if one considers need-based variables, such as infant mortality and child mortality rates, aid projects do not seem to be allocated in districts with a larger share of people in need. Therefore, the study provides further evidence using more detailed information on the sub-national distribution of aid projects that aid is not being allocated effectively towards regions with a larger share of poor people to alleviate poverty in recipient countries directly. Institutions do not have any significant influence on the sub-national distribution of aid towards the poor.

Keywords: aid allocation, georeferenced data, institutions, spatial analysis

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135 The Effect of Political Characteristics on the Budget Balance of Local Governments: A Dynamic System Generalized Method of Moments Data Approach

Authors: Stefanie M. Vanneste, Stijn Goeminne

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This paper studies the effect of political characteristics of 308 Flemish municipalities on their budget balance in the period 1995-2011. All local governments experience the same economic and financial setting, however some governments have high budget balances, while others have low budget balances. The aim of this paper is to explain the differences in municipal budget balances by a number of economic, socio-demographic and political variables. The economic and socio-demographic variables will be used as control variables, while the focus of this paper will be on the political variables. We test four hypotheses resulting from the literature, namely (i) the partisan hypothesis tests if left wing governments have lower budget balances, (ii) the fragmentation hypothesis stating that more fragmented governments have lower budget balances, (iii) the hypothesis regarding the power of the government, higher powered governments would resolve in higher budget balances, and (iv) the opportunistic budget cycle to test whether politicians manipulate the economic situation before elections in order to maximize their reelection possibilities and therefore have lower budget balances before elections. The contributions of our paper to the existing literature are multiple. First, we use the whole array of political variables and not just a selection of them. Second, we are dealing with a homogeneous database with the same budget and election rules, making it easier to focus on the political factors without having to control for the impact of differences in the political systems. Third, our research extends the existing literature on Flemish municipalities as this is the first dynamic research on local budget balances. We use a dynamic panel data model. Because of the two lagged dependent variables as explanatory variables, we employ the system GMM (Generalized Method of Moments) estimator. This is the best possible estimator as we are dealing with political panel data that is rather persistent. Our empirical results show that the effect of the ideological position and the power of the coalition are of less importance to explain the budget balance. The political fragmentation of the government on the other hand has a negative and significant effect on the budget balance. The more parties in a coalition the worse the budget balance is ceteris paribus. Our results also provide evidence of an opportunistic budget cycle, the budget balances are lower in pre-election years relative to the other years to try and increase the incumbents reelection possibilities. An additional finding is that the incremental effect of the budget balance is very important and should not be ignored like is being done in a lot of empirical research. The coefficients of the lagged dependent variables are always positive and very significant. This proves that the budget balance is subject to incrementalism. It is not possible to change the entire policy from one year to another so the actions taken in recent past years still have an impact on the current budget balance. Only a relatively small amount of research concerning the budget balance takes this considerable incremental effect into account. Our findings survive several robustness checks.

Keywords: budget balance, fragmentation, ideology, incrementalism, municipalities, opportunistic budget cycle, panel data, political characteristics, power, system GMM

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134 Impact of Stress and Protein Malnutrition on the Potential Role of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate in Providing Protection from Nephrotoxicity and Hepatotoxicity Induced by Aluminum in Rats

Authors: Azza A. Ali, Mona G. Khalil, Hemat A. Elariny, Shereen S. El Shaer

Abstract:

Background: Aluminium (Al) is very abundant metal in the earth’s crust. It is a constituent of cooking utensils, medicines, cosmetics, some foods and food additives. Salts of Al are widely used in the treatment of drinking water for purification purposes. Excessive and prolonged exposure to Al causes oxidative stress and impairment of many physiological functions. Its accumulation in liver and kidney causes hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Social isolation (SI) or Protein malnutrition (PM) also increases oxidative stress and may enhance the toxicity of Al as well as the degeneration in liver and kidney. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin in green tea and has strong antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory activities and can protect against oxidative stress-induced degenerations. Objective: To study the influence of stress or PM on Al-induced nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity in rats, as well as on the potential role of EGCG in providing protection. Methods: Rats received daily AlCl3 (70 mg/kg, IP) for three weeks (Al-toxicity groups) except one normal control group received saline. Al-toxicity groups were divided into four treated and four untreated groups; treated rats received EGCG (10 mg/kg, IP) together with AlCl3. One group of both treated and untreated rats served as control for each of them, and the others were subjected to either stress (mild using isolation or high using electric shock) or to PM (10% casein diet). Specimens of liver and kidney were used for assessment of levels of inflammatory mediators as TNF-α, IL6β, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), oxidative stress (MDA, SOD, TAC, NO), Caspase-3 and for DNA fragmentation as well as for histopathological examinations. Biochemical changes were also measured in the serum as total lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, proteins, bilirubin, creatinine and urea as well as the level of Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate deshydrogenase (LDH). Results: Nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity induced by Al were enhanced in rats exposed to stress and to PM. The influence of stress was more pronounced than PM. Al-toxicity was indicated by the increase in liver and kidney MDA, NO, TNF-α, IL-6β, NF-κB, caspase-3, DNA fragmentation and in ALT, AST, ALP, LDH and total lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, proteins, bilirubin, creatinine and urea levels, together with the decrease in total proteins, SOD, TAC. EGCG provided protection against hazards of Al as indicated by the decrease in MDA, NO, TNF-α, IL-6β, NF-κB, caspase-3 and DNA fragmentation as well as in levels of ALT, AST, ALP, LDH and total lipids, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, proteins, bilirubin, creatinine and urea in liver and kidney, together with the increase in total proteins, SOD, TAC and confirmed by histopathological examinations. It provided more pronounced protection in high stressful conditions than in mild one than in PM. Conclusion: Stress have a bad impact on Al-induced nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity more than PM. Thus it can clarify and maximize the role of EGCG in providing protection. Consequently, administration of EGCG is advised with excessive Al-exposure to avoid nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity especially in populations more subjected to stress or PM.

Keywords: aluminum, stress, protein malnutrition, nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, rats

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