Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 50

Search results for: Ines Nitoi

50 TiO2 Solar Light Photocatalysis a Promising Treatment Method of Wastewater with Trinitrotoluene Content

Authors: Ines Nitoi, Petruta Oancea, Lucian Constantin, Laurentiu Dinu, Maria Crisan, Malina Raileanu, Ionut Cristea

Abstract:

2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is the most common pollutant identified in wastewater generated from munitions plants where this explosive is synthesized or handled (munitions load, assembly and pack operations). Due to their toxic and suspected carcinogenic characteristics, nitroaromatic compounds like TNT are included on the list of prioritary pollutants and strictly regulated in EU countries. Since their presence in water bodies is risky for human health and aquatic life, development of powerful, modern treatment methods like photocatalysis are needed in order to assures environmental pollution mitigation. The photocatalytic degradation of TNT was carried out at pH=7.8, in aqueous TiO2 based catalyst suspension, under sunlight irradiation. The enhanced photo activity of catalyst in visible domain was assured by 0.5% Fe doping. TNT degradation experiments were performed using a tubular collector type solar photoreactor (26 UV permeable silica glass tubes series connected), plug in a total recycle loops. The influence of substrate concentration and catalyst dose on the pollutant degradation and mineralization by-products (NO2-, NO3-, NH4+) formation efficiencies was studied. In order to compare the experimental results obtained in various working conditions, the pollutant and mineralization by-products measured concentrations have been considered as functions of irradiation time and cumulative photonic energy Qhν incident on the reactor surface (kJ/L). In the tested experimental conditions, at tens mg/L pollutant concentration, increase of 0,5%-TiO2 dose up to 200mg/L leads to the enhancement of CB degradation efficiency. Since, doubling of TNT content has a negative effect on pollutant degradation efficiency, in similar experimental condition, prolonged irradiation time from 360 to 480 min was necessary in order to assures the compliance of treated effluent with limits imposed by EU legislation (TNT ≤ 10µg/L).

Keywords: wastewater treatment, TNT, photocatalysis, environmental engineering

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49 COVID-19 Pandemic Influence on Toddlers and Preschoolers’ Screen Time

Authors: Juliana da Silva Cardoso, Cláudia Correia, Rita Gomes, Carolina Fraga, Inês Cascais, Sara Monteiro, Beatriz Teixeira, Sandra Ribeiro, Carolina Andrade, Cláudia Oliveira, Diana Gonzaga, Catarina Prior, Inês Vaz Matos

Abstract:

The average daily screen time (ST) has been increasing in children, even at young ages. This seems to be associated with a higher incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders, and as the time of exposure increases, the greater is the functional impact. This study aims to compare the daily ST of toddlers and preschoolers previously and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was applied by telephone to parents/caregivers of children between 1 and 5 years old, followed up at 4 primary care units belonging to the Group of Primary Health Care Centers of Western Porto, Portugal. 520 children were included: 52.9% male, mean age 39.4 ± 13.9 months. The mean age of first exposure to screens was 13.9 ± 8.0 months, and most of the children were exposed to more than one screen daily. Considering the WHO recommendations, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 385 (74.0%) and 408 (78.5%) children had excessive ST during the week and the weekend, respectively; during the lockdown, these values increased to 495 (95.2%) and 482 (92.7%). Maternal education and both the child's median age and the median age of first exposure to screens had a statistically significant association with excessive ST, with OR 0.2 (p = 0.03, CI 95% 0.07-0.86), OR 1.1 (p = 0.01, 95% CI 1.05-1.14) and OR 0.9 (p = 0.05, 95% CI 0. 87-0.98), respectively. Most children in this sample had a higher than recommended ST, which increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results are worrisome and point to the need for urgent intervention.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, preschoolers, screen time, toddlers

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48 Addressing Public Concerns about Radiation Impacts by Looking Back in Nuclear Accidents Worldwide

Authors: Du Kim, Nelson Baro

Abstract:

According to a report of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there are approximately 437 nuclear power stations are in operation in the present around the world in order to meet increasing energy demands. Indeed, nearly, a third of the world’s energy demands are met through nuclear power because it is one of the most efficient and long-lasting sources of energy. However, there are also consequences when a major event takes place at a nuclear power station. Over the past years, a few major nuclear accidents have occurred around the world. According to a report of International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), there are six nuclear accidents that are considered to be high level (risk) of the events: Fukushima Dai-chi (Level 7), Chernobyl (Level 7), Three Mile Island (Level 5), Windscale (Level 5), Kyshtym (Level 6) and Chalk River (Level 5). Today, many people still have doubt about using nuclear power. There is growing number of people who are against nuclear power after the serious accident occurred at the Fukushima Dai-chi nuclear power plant in Japan. In other words, there are public concerns about radiation impacts which emphasize Linear-No-Threshold (LNT) Issues, Radiation Health Effects, Radiation Protection and Social Impacts. This paper will address those keywords by looking back at the history of these major nuclear accidents worldwide, based on INES. This paper concludes that all major mistake from nuclear accidents are preventable due to the fact that most of them are caused by human error. In other words, the human factor has played a huge role in the malfunction and occurrence of most of those events. The correct handle of a crisis is determined, by having a good radiation protection program in place, it’s what has a big impact on society and determines how acceptable people are of nuclear.

Keywords: linear-no-threshold (LNT) issues, radiation health effects, radiation protection, social impacts

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47 A Posteriori Analysis of the Spectral Element Discretization of Heat Equation

Authors: Chor Nejmeddine, Ines Ben Omrane, Mohamed Abdelwahed

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In this paper, we present a posteriori analysis of the discretization of the heat equation by spectral element method. We apply Euler's implicit scheme in time and spectral method in space. We propose two families of error indicators, both of which are built from the residual of the equation and we prove that they satisfy some optimal estimates. We present some numerical results which are coherent with the theoretical ones.

Keywords: heat equation, spectral elements discretization, error indicators, Euler

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46 Pervious Concrete for Road Intersection Drainage

Authors: Ivana Barišić, Ivanka Netinger Grubeša, Ines Barjaktarić

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Road performance and traffic safety are highly influenced by improper water drainage system performance, particularly within intersection areas. So, the aim of the presented paper is the evaluation of pervious concrete made with two types and two aggregate fractions for potential utilization in intersection drainage areas. Although the studied pervious concrete mixtures achieved proper drainage but lower strength characteristics, this pervious concrete has a good potential for enhancing pavement drainage systems if it is embedded on limited intersection areas.

Keywords: drainage, intersection, pervious concrete, road

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45 The Menu Planning Problem: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Dorra Kallel, Ines Kanoun, Diala Dhouib

Abstract:

This paper elaborates a Systematic Literature Review SLR) to select the most outstanding studies that address the Menu Planning Problem (MPP) and to classify them according to the to the three following criteria: the used methods, types of patients and the required constraints. At first, a set of 4165 studies was selected. After applying the SLR’s guidelines, this collection was filtered to 13 studies using specific inclusion and exclusion criteria as well as an accurate analysis of each study. Second, the selected papers were invested to answer the proposed research questions. Finally, data synthesis and new perspectives for future works are incorporated in the closing section.

Keywords: Menu Planning Problem (MPP), Systematic Literature Review (SLR), classification, exact and approaches methods

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44 The Impact of Trading Switch on Price and Liquidity

Authors: Bel Abed Ines Mariem

Abstract:

Different stock markets keep changing their exchange structure for the only purpose of improving the functioning of their markets. This paper investigates the effects of the transfer from one trading category to another in the Tunisian Stock Exchange on market price and liquidity. The sample consists of 40 securities transferred from call auction to continuous auction and conversely during the period between 2004 and 2013. The methodology used is the event study. Empirical results show an interesting phenomenon observed; stocks transferred to the call system have experienced an improvement on their price and liquidity especially for less liquid ones. However, price and liquidity for stocks transferred from call system to continuous system have decreased.

Keywords: microstructure, call auction, continuous auction, price, liquidity and event study

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43 Housing Loans Determinants before and during Financial Crisis

Authors: Josip Visković, Ana Rimac Smiljanić, Ines Ivić

Abstract:

Housing loans play an important role in CEE countries’ economies. This fact is based on their share in total loans to households and their importance for economic activity and growth in CEE countries. Therefore, it is important to find out key determinants of housing loans demand in these countries. The aim of this study is to research and analyze the determinants of the demand for housing loans in Croatia. In this regard, the effect of economic activity, loan terms and real estate prices were analyzed. Also, the aim of this study is to find out what motivates people to take housing loans. Therefore, primarily empirical study was conducted among the Croatian residents. The results show that demand for housing loans is positively affected by economic growth, higher personal income and flexible loan terms, while it is negatively affected by interest rate rise.

Keywords: CEE countries, Croatia, demand determinants, housing loans

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42 A Fast Version of the Generalized Multi-Directional Radon Transform

Authors: Ines Elouedi, Atef Hammouda

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This paper presents a new fast version of the generalized Multi-Directional Radon Transform method. The new method uses the inverse Fast Fourier Transform to lead to a faster Generalized Radon projections. We prove in this paper that the fast algorithm leads to almost the same results of the eldest one but with a considerable lower time computation cost. The projection end result of the fast method is a parameterized Radon space where a high valued pixel allows the detection of a curve from the original image. The proposed fast inversion algorithm leads to an exact reconstruction of the initial image from the Radon space. We show examples of the impact of this algorithm on the pattern recognition domain.

Keywords: fast generalized multi-directional Radon transform, curve, exact reconstruction, pattern recognition

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41 Alwadei Syndrome - A Genetic Cause Of Intellectual Disability

Authors: Mafalda Moreira, Diana Alba, Inês Paiva Ferreira, Rita Calejo, Ana Rita Soares, Leonilde Machado

Abstract:

Intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by deficits in intellectualfunctioningassociatedwithalterations in the adaptive behaviour, whose onset is inthedevelopmentalperiod. Itaffects 3% of the population, ofwhich 10% have a geneticaetiology. One of those causes isAlwadeiSyndrome, with 3 cases describedworldwide. It results from a homozygous nonsense mutation in theRUSC2 gene andisassociatedwithintellectualdisabilityanddysmorphic facialfeatures. Theauthorsreportthe case of a 5-year-old-boy, born to a healthymotherafter a full-termuneventfulpregnancy, thatwasreferred to Neurodevelopmentalconsultationdue toglobal developmentaldelay. Familyhistoryrevealedlearningdifficulties in the paternal brotherhood. Milddismorphicfeatureswereevidentsuch as darkinfraorbitalregion, low-set ears, beakednose, retrognathism, high-archedpalateandjointhyperlaxity. WechslerIntelligenceScale for Children III fullscaleIQ quoted 61. Karyotypeandchromosomalmicroarrayanalysiswerenormal, as well as the fragile X molecular study. DNA sequencingwasthenperformedandallowedtheidentificationof amutation in the RUSC2 gene. Theetiologicaldiagnosisof ID remains unknown in up to 80% of cases, creatinguncertainty in children’sfamilies. Theadvances in DNA sequencingtechnologieshaveincreasedourknowledgeofthegeneticdiseasesinvolved, as theAlwadeisyndromewasonlydescribedsince 2016. Thegeneticdiagnosisof ID allowsfamilygeneticcounselingandenablesthedevelopmentof target therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: intellectual disability, genetic aetiology, alwadei syndrome, RUSC2

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40 Credit Risk Assessment Using Rule Based Classifiers: A Comparative Study

Authors: Salima Smiti, Ines Gasmi, Makram Soui

Abstract:

Credit risk is the most important issue for financial institutions. Its assessment becomes an important task used to predict defaulter customers and classify customers as good or bad payers. To this objective, numerous techniques have been applied for credit risk assessment. However, to our knowledge, several evaluation techniques are black-box models such as neural networks, SVM, etc. They generate applicants’ classes without any explanation. In this paper, we propose to assess credit risk using rules classification method. Our output is a set of rules which describe and explain the decision. To this end, we will compare seven classification algorithms (JRip, Decision Table, OneR, ZeroR, Fuzzy Rule, PART and Genetic programming (GP)) where the goal is to find the best rules satisfying many criteria: accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. The obtained results confirm the efficiency of the GP algorithm for German and Australian datasets compared to other rule-based techniques to predict the credit risk.

Keywords: credit risk assessment, classification algorithms, data mining, rule extraction

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39 Credit Risk Evaluation Using Genetic Programming

Authors: Ines Gasmi, Salima Smiti, Makram Soui, Khaled Ghedira

Abstract:

Credit risk is considered as one of the important issues for financial institutions. It provokes great losses for banks. To this objective, numerous methods for credit risk evaluation have been proposed. Many evaluation methods are black box models that cannot adequately reveal information hidden in the data. However, several works have focused on building transparent rules-based models. For credit risk assessment, generated rules must be not only highly accurate, but also highly interpretable. In this paper, we aim to build both, an accurate and transparent credit risk evaluation model which proposes a set of classification rules. In fact, we consider the credit risk evaluation as an optimization problem which uses a genetic programming (GP) algorithm, where the goal is to maximize the accuracy of generated rules. We evaluate our proposed approach on the base of German and Australian credit datasets. We compared our finding with some existing works; the result shows that the proposed GP outperforms the other models.

Keywords: credit risk assessment, rule generation, genetic programming, feature selection

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38 Overcrowding and Adequate Housing: The Potential of Adaptability

Authors: Inês Ramalhete, Hugo Farias, Rui da Silva Pinto

Abstract:

Adequate housing has been a widely discussed theme in academic circles related to low-cost housing, whereas its physical features are easy to deal with, overcrowding (related to social, cultural and economic aspects) is still ambiguous, particularly regarding the set of indicators that can accurately reflect and measure it. This paper develops research on low-cost housing models for developing countries and what is the best method to embed overcrowding as an important parameter for adaptability. A critical review of international overcrowding indicators and their application in two developing countries, Cape Verde and Angola, is presented. The several rationales and the constraints for an accurate assessment of overcrowding are considered, namely baseline data (statistics), which can induce misjudgments, as well as social and cultural factors (such as personal choices of residents). This paper proposes a way to tackle overcrowding through housing adaptability, considering factors such as physical flexibility, functional ambiguity, and incremental expansion schemes. Moreover, a case-study is presented to establish a framework for the theoretical application of the proposed approach.

Keywords: adaptive housing, low cost housing, overcrowding, housing model

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37 Association between Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Breast Sarcoma: A Case Report

Authors: Ines Zemni, Maher Slimane, Jamel Ben Hassouna, Khaled Rahal

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Background: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic disease, which is associated with an increased risk of developing different malignancies including breast cancer. The association between NF1 band breast sarcoma is a rare entity. Herein we present a 25-year-old woman with NF1 who had fibrosarcoma of the left breast. Case presentation: The patient has multiple thoraco-abdominal 'café au lait' spots. Clinical examination showed a lump of the left breast measuring 9 cm of diameter, which was noticed for 6 months. There was a left inguinal mass of 6 cm of diameter. The patient underwent first a left lumpectomy. Histopathological exam revealed a high-grade fibrosarcoma of the left breast measuring 7.5 cm. Three months later, the patient underwent a left mastectomy and excision of the inguinal mass, which was a neurofibroma. An adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy were indicated, but not applied because of the timeout. The patient is now alive after a follow up of 6 years, with no loco-regional recurrence or metastasis. Conclusion: The relationship between NF1 and breast cancer need to be more clarified by further studies. Establishing a specific screening program of these patients may help to make an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer.

Keywords: neurofibromatosis, breast, sarcoma, cancer

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36 Relationship between Structure of Some Nitroaromatic Pollutants and Their Degradation Kinetic Parameters in UV-VIS/TIO2 System

Authors: I. Nitoi, P. Oancea, M. Raileanu, M. Crisan, L. Constantin, I. Cristea

Abstract:

Hazardous organic compounds like nitroaromatics are frequently found in chemical and petroleum industries discharged effluents. Due to their bio-refractory character and high chemical stability cannot be efficiently removed by classical biological or physical-chemical treatment processes. In the past decades, semiconductor photocatalysis has been frequently applied for the advanced degradation of toxic pollutants. Among various semiconductors titania was a widely studied photocatalyst, due to its chemical inertness, low cost, photostability and nontoxicity. In order to improve optical absorption and photocatalytic activity of TiO2 many attempts have been made, one feasible approach consists of doping oxide semiconductor with metal. The degradation of dinitrobenzene (DNB) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) from aqueous solution under UVA-VIS irradiation using heavy metal (0.5% Fe, 1%Co, 1%Ni ) doped titania was investigated. The photodegradation experiments were carried out using a Heraeus laboratory scale UV-VIS reactor equipped with a medium-pressure mercury lamp which emits in the range: 320-500 nm. Solutions with (0.34-3.14) x 10-4 M pollutant content were photo-oxidized in the following working conditions: pH = 5-9; photocatalyst dose = 200 mg/L; irradiation time = 30 – 240 minutes. Prior to irradiation, the photocatalyst powder was added to the samples, and solutions were bubbled with air (50 L/hour), in the dark, for 30 min. Dopant type, pH, structure and initial pollutant concentration influence on the degradation efficiency were evaluated in order to set up the optimal working conditions which assure substrate advanced degradation. The kinetics of nitroaromatics degradation and organic nitrogen mineralization was assessed and pseudo-first order rate constants were calculated. Fe doped photocatalyst with lowest metal content (0.5 wt.%) showed a considerable better behaviour in respect to pollutant degradation than Co and Ni (1wt.%) doped titania catalysts. For the same working conditions, degradation efficiency was higher for DNT than DNB in accordance with their calculated adsobance constants (Kad), taking into account that degradation process occurs on catalyst surface following a Langmuir-Hinshalwood model. The presence of methyl group in the structure of DNT allows its degradation by oxidative and reductive pathways, while DNB is converted only by reductive route, which also explain the highest DNT degradation efficiency. For highest pollutant concentration tested (3 x 10-4 M), optimum working conditions (0.5 wt.% Fe doped –TiO2 loading of 200 mg/L, pH=7 and 240 min. irradiation time) assures advanced nitroaromatics degradation (ηDNB=89%, ηDNT=94%) and organic nitrogen mineralization (ηDNB=44%, ηDNT=47%).

Keywords: hazardous organic compounds, irradiation, nitroaromatics, photocatalysis

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35 Percentile Reference Values of Vertical Jumping Performances and Anthropometric Characteristics in Athletic Tunisian Children and Adolescents

Authors: Chirine Aouichaoui, Mohamed Tounsi, Ines Mrizak, Zouhair Tabka, Yassine Trabelsi

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to provide percentile values for vertical jumping performances and anthropometric characteristics for athletic Tunisian children. One thousand and fifty-five athletic Tunisian children and adolescents (643 boys and 412 girls) aged 7-18 years were randomly selected to participate in our study. They were asked to perform squat jumps and countermovement jumps. For each measurement, a least square regression model with high order polynomials was fitted to predict mean and standard deviation of vertical jumping parameters and anthropometric variables. Smoothed percentile curves and percentile values for the 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, and 95th percentiles are presented for boys and girls. In conclusion, percentiles values of vertical jumping performances and anthropometric characteristics are provided. The new Tunisian reference charts obtained can be used as a screening tool to determine growth disorders and to estimate the proportion of adolescents with high or low muscular strength levels. This study may help in verifying the effectiveness of a specific training program and detecting highly talented athletes.

Keywords: percentile values, jump height, leg muscle power, athletes, anthropometry

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34 Acclimatation of Bacterial Communities for Biohydrogen Production by Co-Digestion Process in Batch and Continuous Systems

Authors: Gómez Romero Jacob, García Peña Elvia Inés

Abstract:

The co-digestion process of crude cheese whey (CCW) with fruit vegetable waste (FVW) for biohydrogen production was investigated in batch and continuous systems, in stirred 1.8 L bioreactors at 37°C. Five different C/N ratios (7, 17, 21, 31, and 46) were tested in batch systems. While, in continuous system eight conditions were evaluated, hydraulic retention time (from 60 to 10 h) and organic load rate (from 21.96 to 155.87 g COD/L d). Data in batch tests showed a maximum specific biohydrogen production rate of 10.68 mmol H2/Lh and a biohydrogen yield of 449.84 mL H2/g COD at a C/N ratio of 21. In continuous co-digestion system, the optimum hydraulic retention time and organic loading rate were 17.5 h and 80.02 g COD/L d, respectively. Under these conditions, the highest volumetric production hydrogen rate (VPHR) and hydrogen yield were 11.02 mmol H2/L h, 800 mL H2/COD, respectively. A pyrosequencing analysis showed that the main acclimated microbial communities for co-digestion studies consisted of Bifidobacterium, with 85.4% of predominance. Hydrogen producing bacteria such as Klebsiella (9.1%), Lactobacillus (0.97%), Citrobacter (0.21%), Enterobacter (0.27%), and Clostridium (0.18%) were less abundant at this culture period. The microbial population structure was correlated with the lactate, acetate, and butyrate profiles obtained. Results demonstrated that the co-digestion of CCW with FVW improves biohydrogen production due to a better nutrient balance and improvement of the system’s buffering capacity.

Keywords: acclimatation, biohydrogen, co-digestion, microbial community

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33 Influenza Vaccination Acceptance and Refusal Reasons among Tunisian Elderly

Authors: Ghassen Kharroubi, Ines Cherif, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret McCarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb

Abstract:

Influenza vaccination (IV) is recommended for elderly persons, especially those with underlying conditions. In countries where IV rates in the elderly remain unsatisfactory, exploring attitudes of older persons toward the flu vaccine could be useful to identify barriers and facilitators to IV. The aim of this study was to determine the reasons for IV acceptance or decline in the Tunisian elderly. A national cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019, among persons aged 60 years and over with chronic disease. Data were collected using a standard administered questionnaire. Of the 1191 older persons included, 19.4% received the influenza vaccine in the 2018-2019 flu season. The two main reasons that may lead to refusal of vaccination were concerns that the vaccine could cause side effects (71.5%) and a belief that the vaccine was ineffective (33.9%). The main reason that may lead to accepting vaccination was a doctor’s recommendation (41.1%). Doctors were by far the most trusted source for information regarding influenza vaccine (91.5%) followed by pharmacists (17.6%). Our results highlighted the important role that doctors could play in promoting IV among the Tunisian elderly. Physicians should correct misconceptions about adverse events and the efficiency of the vaccine. In fact, influenza vaccines are generally effective and safe among older persons.

Keywords: attitudes, influenza vaccination, older persons, Tunisia

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32 Recycling in Bogotá: A SWOT Analysis of Three Associations to Evaluate the Integrating the Informal Sector into Solid Waste Management

Authors: Clara Inés Pardo Martínez

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In emerging economies, recycling is an opportunity for the cities to increase the lifespan of sanitary landfills, reduce the costs of the solid waste management, decrease the environmental problems of the waste treatment through reincorporate waste in the productive cycle and protect and develop people’s livelihoods of informal waste pickers. However, few studies have analysed the possibilities and strategies to integrate formal and informal sectors in the solid waste management for the benefit of both. This study seek to make a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) analysis in three recycling associations of Bogotá with the aim to understand and determine the situation of recycling from perspective of informal sector in its transition to enter as authorized waste providers. Data used in the analysis are derived from multiple strategies such as literature review, the Bogota’s recycling database, focus group meetings, governmental reports, national laws and regulations and specific interviews with key stakeholders. Results of this study show as the main stakeholders of formal and informal sector of waste management can identify the internal and internal conditions of recycling in Bogotá. Several strategies were designed based on the SWOTs determined, could be useful for Bogotá to advance and promote recycling as a key strategy for integrated sustainable waste management in the city.

Keywords: Bogotá, recycling, solid waste management, SWOT analysis

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31 Prevalence and Characteristics of Consumption of Nutraceuticals: The Case Study of Undergraduate Students of Medellin- Colombia, 2013

Authors: Gloria Inés Martínez Domínguez, Lina María Martínez Sánchez, María de los Ángeles Rodríguez Gázquez, Juan Guillermo Jiménez Jiménez, Johan Sebastián Lopera Valle, Natalia Vargas Grisales, Sara Rojas Jiménez, Alejandra Uribe Ocampo, Sara Correa Pérez, Natalia Perilla Hernández, Juan Sebastián Marín Cárdenas

Abstract:

The relationship between diet and chronic or degenerative diseases has led to the development of functional foods such as nutraceuticals. Objective: To determine the prevalence and characteristics of consumption of nutraceuticals in undergraduate students. Methodology: Cross-sectional study. It was a simple random sampling with the Statcalc EpiInfo software vr 6.04. It was designed an instrument for collection of demographic data and consumption of nutraceuticals. Statistical analysis used the SPSS program. Results: 427 students, average age 20.8 years (SD 3.1), 56.1% were women. The life prevalence of nutraceuticals consumption was 66.3% and the annual 51.8%. The main reasons for consumption were as food complement 32.8% and prevent diseases 20.1%. Conclusion: The high prevalence of nutraceuticals observed is comparable to that reported in the literature, which suggests an increasing trend in the habit of consumption of dietary supplement which have a preventive or protective effect on health.

Keywords: dietary supplements, food, health, functional food, Colombia

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30 Air Pollution and Respiratory-Related Restricted Activity Days in Tunisia

Authors: Mokhtar Kouki Inès Rekik

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the assessment of the air pollution and morbidity relationship in Tunisia. Air pollution is measured by ozone air concentration and the morbidity is measured by the number of respiratory-related restricted activity days during the 2-week period prior to the interview. Socioeconomic data are also collected in order to adjust for any confounding covariates. Our sample is composed by 407 Tunisian respondents; 44.7% are women, the average age is 35.2, near 69% are living in a house built after the 1980, and 27.8% have reported at least one day of respiratory-related restricted activity. The model consists on the regression of the number of respiratory-related restricted activity days on the air quality measure and the socioeconomic covariates. In order to correct for zero-inflation and heterogeneity, we estimate several models (Poisson, Negative binomial, Zero inflated Poisson, Poisson hurdle, Negative binomial hurdle and finite mixture Poisson models). Bootstrapping and post-stratification techniques are used in order to correct for any sample bias. According to the Akaike information criteria, the hurdle negative binomial model has the greatest goodness of fit. The main result indicates that, after adjusting for socioeconomic data, the ozone concentration increases the probability of positive number of restricted activity days.

Keywords: bootstrapping, hurdle negbin model, overdispersion, ozone concentration, respiratory-related restricted activity days

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29 Comparison of Number of Waves Surfed and Duration Using Global Positioning System and Inertial Sensors

Authors: João Madureira, Ricardo Lagido, Inês Sousa, Fraunhofer Portugal

Abstract:

Surf is an increasingly popular sport and its performance evaluation is often qualitative. This work aims at using a smartphone to collect and analyze the GPS and inertial sensors data in order to obtain quantitative metrics of the surfing performance. Two approaches are compared for detection of wave rides, computing the number of waves rode in a surfing session, the starting time of each wave and its duration. The first approach is based on computing the velocity from the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal and finding the velocity thresholds that allow identifying the start and end of each wave ride. The second approach adds information from the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) of the smartphone, to the velocity thresholds obtained from the GPS unit, to determine the start and end of each wave ride. The two methods were evaluated using GPS and IMU data from two surfing sessions and validated with similar metrics extracted from video data collected from the beach. The second method, combining GPS and IMU data, was found to be more accurate in determining the number of waves, start time and duration. This paper shows that it is feasible to use smartphones for quantification of performance metrics during surfing. In particular, detection of the waves rode and their duration can be accurately determined using the smartphone GPS and IMU.

Keywords: inertial measurement unit (IMU), global positioning system (GPS), smartphone, surfing performance

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28 Epidemiological, Clinical and Bacteriological Profile of Human Brucellosis in the District of Tunis

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Rym mallekh, Ines Cherif, Taoufik Atawa, Kaouther Harrabech

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Brucellosis is a major worldwide zoonosis. It is a reportable condition in Tunisia where the disease remains endemic, especially in rural areas. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological, clinical, and bacteriological profile of human brucellosis cases notified in the district of Tunis. It was a retrospective descriptive study of cases reported in the district of Tunis through the national surveillance system between the 1st January and 31th December 2017. During the study period, 133 brucellosis confirmed cases were notified. The mean age was 37.5 ± 18.0 years, and 54.9% of cases were males. More than four-fifths (82.7%) of cases were reported in spring and summer with a peak in the month of May (36 cases). Fever and sweats were the most common symptoms; they occurred in 95% and 72% of cases, respectively. Osteoarticular complications occurred in 10 cases, meningitis in one case and endocarditis in one other case. Wright agglutination test and Rose Bengale test were positive in 100% and 91% of cases, respectively. While blood culture was positive in 9 cases and PCR in 2 cases. Brucella melitensis was the only identified specie (9 cases). Almost all cases (99.2%) reported the habit of consuming raw dairy products. Only 5 cases had a suspect contact with animals; among them, 3 persons were livestock breeders. The transmission was essentially due to raw dairy product consumption. It is important to enhance preventive measures to control animal Brucellosis and to educate the population regarding the risk factors of the disease.

Keywords: brucellosis, risk factors, surveillance system, Tunisia

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27 Attitude towards Doping of High-Performance Athletes in a Sports Institute of the City of Medellin, Colombia

Authors: Yuban Sebastian Cuartas-Agudelo, Sandra Marcela López-Hincapié, Vivianna Alexandra Garrido-Altamar, María de los Ángeles Rodríguez-Gázquez, Camilo Ruiz-Mejía, Lina María Martínez-Sánchez, Gloria Inés Martínez-Domínguez, Luis Eduardo Contreras, Felipe Eduardo Marino-Isaza

Abstract:

Introduction: Doping is a prohibited practice in competitive sports with potential adverse effects; therefore, it is crucial to describe the attitudes of athletes towards this behavior and to determine which o these increase the susceptibility to carry out this practice. Objective: To determine the attitude of high-performance athletes towards doping in a sports institute in the city of Medellin, Colombia. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study during 2016, with a sample taken to convenience consisting of athletes over 18 years old enrolled in a sports institute of the city of Medellin (Colombia). The athletes filled by themselves the Petroczi and Aidman questionnaire: Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale (PEAS) adapted to the Spanish language by Morente-Sánchez et al. This scale has 17 items with likert answer options, with a score ranging from 1 to 6, with a higher score indicating a stronger tendency towards doping practices. Results: 112 athletes were included with an average age of 21.6 years old, a 60% of them were male and the most frequent sports were karate 17%, judo 12.5% and athletics 9.8%. The average score of the questionnaire was 35.5 points of a 102 possible points. The lowest score was obtained in the following items: Is Doping necessary 1,4 and Doping isn’t cheating, everyone does it 1,5. Conclusion: In our population, there is a low tendency towards doping practices.

Keywords: sports, doping in sports, athletic performance, attitude

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26 Immune Response and Histological Alteration in the Crab Carcinus aestuarii, Due to Silver Nanoparticles

Authors: Ines Kovacic, Dijana Pavicic-Hamer, Petra Buric, Maja Levak Zorinc, Daniel M. Lyons

Abstract:

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), owing to their unique physical and chemical properties, have become one of the most widely used nanoparticles in consumer products. Despite the increased use of AgNPs in science and industry over the past twenty years, only relatively recently has concern been raised over their entering brackish and marine environments. However, data on their potential impact on marine organisms, especially invertebrates are very limited. This study aimed to examine the effects of 60 nm AgNPs (10, 100, 500 and 1000 µg/l) and silver ions (100, 1000 µg/l) on the Mediterranean green crab Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1847. The crab mortality was assessed during seven days of exposure. After the exposure, total haemocytes (THC) and differential haemocytes number (DHC) were counted (immune response), in addition to histological examination of gills stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The effect of AgNPs and silver ions resulted in a dose dependent mortality and destruction of gills epithelium with haemocytes infiltration in the gills lacuna. Total haemocyte count was greater with increasing concentration of AgNPs, at concentrations from 10 to 500 µg/l. Hyalinocytes were the most common immunological cells noted in the crab hemolymph, while granulocytes and semigranulocytes were suppressed with increasing concentration of AgNPs (500 and 1000 µg/l). Thus, as crabs are filter feeders, they are susceptible to uptake of AgNPs by direct accumulation in gills mucus or indirectly via circulation of haemocytes in their open vascular system. Results of this study on crabs add to knowledge of the effects of AgNPs in the marine environment.

Keywords: crab, immune response, histological alteration, silver nanoparticles

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25 An Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach to Develop an Electronic Instrument to Study Apple Bruise Damage

Authors: Paula Pascoal-Faria, Rúben Pereira, Elodie Pinto, Miguel Belbut, Ana Rosa, Inês Sousa, Nuno Alves

Abstract:

Apple bruise damage from harvesting, handling, transporting and sorting is considered to be the major source of reduced fruit quality, resulting in loss of profits for the entire fruit industry. The three factors which can physically cause fruit bruising are vibration, compression load and impact, the latter being the most common source of bruise damage. Therefore, prediction of the level of damage, stress distribution and deformation of the fruits under external force has become a very important challenge. In this study, experimental and numerical methods were used to better understand the impact caused when an apple is dropped from different heights onto a plastic surface and a conveyor belt. Results showed that the extent of fruit damage is significantly higher for plastic surface, being dependent on the height. In order to support the development of a biomimetic electronic device for the determination of fruit damage, the mechanical properties of the apple fruit were determined using mechanical tests. Preliminary results showed different values for the Young’s modulus according to the zone of the apple tested. Along with the mechanical characterization of the apple fruit, the development of the first two prototypes is discussed and the integration of the results obtained to construct the final element model of the apple is presented. This work will help to reduce significantly the bruise damage of fruits or vegetables during the entire processing which will allow the introduction of exportation destines and consequently an increase in the economic profits in this sector.

Keywords: apple, fruit damage, impact during crop and post-crop, mechanical characterization of the apple, numerical evaluation of fruit damage, electronic device

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24 Influenza Vaccine Uptake Among Tunisian Physicians in the 2018-2019 Influenza Season

Authors: Ines Cherif, Ghassen Kharroubi, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret Mccarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb

Abstract:

Healthcare workers' flu vaccination prevents influenza disease among both patients and caregivers. We aimed in this study to assess influenza vaccine (IV) coverage in 2018-2019 among Tunisian physicians and to determine factors associated with IV receipt. A cross sectional study was carried out in Tunisian primary and secondary health care facilities in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Physicians with direct patient contact were recruited according to a self-weighted multistage sampling. Data were collected through a face to face questionnaire containing questions on knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding IV. Bivariate analysis was used in order to determine factors associated with IV receipt. A total of 167 physicians were included in the study with a mean age of 48.2 ± 7.7 years and a sex-ratio (M: F) of 0.37. Among participants, 15.1% (95% CI: [9.7%-20.3%]) were vaccinated against influenza in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Bivariate analysis revealed that previous flu immunization in the four years preceding the 2018-2019 influenza season (OR=32.3; p < 10-3), belief that vaccinating healthcare workers may reduce work absenteeism (OR=4.7, p=0.028), belief that flu vaccine should be mandatory to healthcare workers (OR=3.3, p=0.01) and high confidence towards IV efficacy in preventing influenza among caregivers (OR= 4.5, p=0.01) were associated with a higher IV receipt in 2018-2019 among physicians. Less than one fifth of Tunisian physicians were vaccinated against influenza in 2018-2019. Higher vaccine uptake was related to a higher belief in vaccine efficacy in preventing influenza disease among both patients and caregivers. This underscores the need for periodic educational campaigns to raise physicians' awareness about IV efficacy. The switch to an IV mandatory policy should also be considered.

Keywords: influenza vaccine, physicians, Tunisia, vaccination uptake

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23 Efficacy of Celecoxib Adjunct Treatment on Bipolar Disorder: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Daniela V. Bavaresco, Tamy Colonetti, Antonio Jose Grande, Francesc Colom, Joao Quevedo, Samira S. Valvassori, Maria Ines da Rosa

Abstract:

Objective: Performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluated the potential effect of the cyclo-oxygenases (Cox)-2 inhibitor Celecoxib adjunct treatment in Bipolar Disorder (BD), through of randomized controlled trials. Method: A search of the electronic databases was proceeded, on MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Biomed Central, Web of Science, IBECS, LILACS, PsycINFO (American Psychological Association), Congress Abstracts, and Grey literature (Google Scholar and the British Library) for studies published from January 1990 to February 2018. A search strategy was developed using the terms: 'Bipolar disorder' or 'Bipolar mania' or 'Bipolar depression' or 'Bipolar mixed' or 'Bipolar euthymic' and 'Celecoxib' or 'Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors' or 'Cox-2 inhibitors' as text words and Medical Subject Headings (i.e., MeSH and EMTREE) and searched. The therapeutic effects of adjunctive treatment with Celecoxib were analyzed, it was possible to carry out a meta-analysis of three studies included in the systematic review. The meta-analysis was performed including the final results of the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) at the end of randomized controlled trials (RCT). Results: Three primary studies were included in the systematic review, with a total of 121 patients. The meta-analysis had significant effect in the YMRS scores from patients with BD who used Celecoxib adjuvant treatment in comparison to placebo. The weighted mean difference was 5.54 (95%CI=3.26-7.82); p < 0.001; I2 =0%). Conclusion: The systematic review suggests that adjuvant treatment with Celecoxib improves the response of major treatments in patients with BD when compared with adjuvant placebo treatment.

Keywords: bipolar disorder, Cox-2 inhibitors, Celecoxib, systematic review, meta-analysis

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22 Use of Alternative and Complementary Therapies in Patients with Chronic Pain in a Medical Institution in Medellin, Colombia, 2014

Authors: Lina María Martínez Sánchez, Juliana Molina Valencia, Esteban Vallejo Agudelo, Daniel Gallego González, María Isabel Pérez Palacio, Juan Ricardo Gaviria García, María De Los Ángeles Rodríguez Gázquez, Gloria Inés Martínez Domínguez

Abstract:

Alternative and complementary therapies constitute a vast and complex combination of interventions, philosophies, approaches, and therapies that acquire a holistic healthcare point of view, becoming an alternative for the treatment of patients with chronic pain. Objective: determine the characteristics of the use of alternative and complementary therapies in patients with chronic pain who consulted in a medical institution. Methodology: cross-sectional and descriptive study, with a population of patients that assisted to the outpatient consultation and met the eligibility criteria. Sampling was not conducted. A form was used for the collection of demographic and clinical variables and the Holistic Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire (HCAMQ) was validated. The analysis and processing of information was carried out using the SPSS program vr.19. Results: 220 people with chronic pain were included. The average age was 54.7±16.2 years, 78.2% were women, and 75.5% belonged to the socioeconomic strata 1 to 3. Musculoskeletal pain (77.7%), migraine (15%) and neuralgia (9.1%) were the most frequently types of chronic pain. 33.6% of participants have used some kind of alternative and complementary therapy; the most frequent were: homeopathy (14.5%), phytotherapy (12.7%), and acupuncture (11.4%). The total average HCAMQ score for the study group was 30.2±7.0 points, which shows a moderate attitude toward the use of complementary and alternative medicine. The highest scores according to the type of pain were: neuralgia (32.4±5.8), musculoskeletal pain (30.5±6.7), fibromyalgia (29.6±7.3) and migraine (28.5±8.8). The reliability of the HCAMQ was acceptable (Cronbach's α: 0.6). Conclusion: it was noted that the types of chronic pain and the clinical or therapeutic management of patients correspond to the data available in current literature. Despite the moderate attitude toward the use of these alternative and complementary therapies, one of every three patients uses them.

Keywords: chronic pain, complementary therapies, homeopathy, acupuncture analgesia

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21 Role of SiOx Interlayer on Lead Oxide Electrodeposited on Stainless Steel for Promoting Electrochemical Treatment of Wastewater Containing Textile Dye

Authors: Hanene Akrout, Ines Elaissaoui, Sabrina Grassini, Daniele Fulginiti, Latifa Bousselmi

Abstract:

The main objective of this work is to investigate the efficiency of depollution power related to PbO₂ layer deposited onto a stainless steel (SS) substrate with SiOx as interlayer. The elaborated electrode was used as anode for anodic oxidation of wastewater containing Amaranth dye, as recalcitrant organic pollutant model. SiOx interlayer was performed using Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition ‘PECVD’ in plasma fed with argon, oxygen, and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS, Si precursor) in different ratios, onto the SS substrate. PbO₂ layer was produced by pulsed electrodeposition on SS/SiOx. The morphological of different surfaces are depicted with Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) and the composition of the lead oxide layer was investigated by X-Ray Diffractometry (XRD). The results showed that the SiOx interlayer with more rich oxygen content improved better the nucleation of β-PbO₂ form. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) measurements undertaken on different interfaces (at optimized conditions) revealed a decrease of Rfilm while CPE film increases for SiOx interlayer, characterized by a more inorganic nature and deposited in a plasma fed by higher O2-to-TEOS ratios. Quantitative determinations of the Amaranth dye degradation rate were performed in terms of colour and COD removals, reaching a 95% and an 80% respectively removal at pH = 2 in 300 min. Results proved the improvement of the degradation wastewater containing the amaranth dye. During the electrolysis, the Amaranth dye solution was sampled at 30 min intervals and analyzed by ‘High-performance Liquid Chromatography’ HPLC. The gradual degradation of the Amaranth dye confirmed by the decrease in UV absorption using the SS/SiOx(20:20:1)/PbO₂ anode, the reaction exhibited an apparent first-order kinetic for electrolysis time of 5 hours, with an initial rate constant of about 0.02 min⁻¹.

Keywords: electrochemical treatment, PbO₂ anodes, COD removal, plasma

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