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

Search results for: Ira Bianca Mae G. Gesmundo

22 From a Distance: A Grounded Theory Study of Incarcerated Filipino Elderly's Separation Anxiety

Authors: Allan B. de Guzman, Rochelle Gabrielle R. Gatan, Ira Bianca Mae G. Gesmundo, Astley Justine H. Golosinda


Background: While in prison, the elderly, like the younger prisoners, face specific problems and deprivations arising directly from their imprisonment, one of which is forced separation from family and loved ones. Despite the numerous studies that examined the impact of separation and separation anxiety on the emotions and behavior of young individuals, little is known about separation anxiety in the elderly population. Objective: This grounded theory study purports to describe the process of separation anxiety among incarcerated Filipino elderly men. Method: Individual interviews and participant observations were conducted with 25 incarcerated elderly Filipino men who are first-time prisoners, sentenced to lifetime imprisonment and were analyzed using constant comparative method. Results: Following Strauss and Corbin’s protocol, a four-part process emerged to describe the studied layer of human experience. The Tectonic Model of Separation Anxiety among incarcerated Filipino elderly men comprises of four phases: Winkling, Wilting, Weeding, and Weaving. Conclusion: This study has inductively and creatively explored the process of separation anxiety among the Filipino incarcerated elderly men. Findings of this study invite nurses and other clinicians to identify developmentally appropriate strategies and interventions for this vulnerable and neglected sector of society.

Keywords: elderly, grounded theory, separation anxiety, Filipino, incarcerated

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21 A Quadcopter Stability Analysis: A Case Study Using Simulation

Authors: C. S. Bianca Sabrina, N. Egidio Raimundo, L. Alexandre Baratella, C. H. João Paulo


This paper aims to present a study, with the theoretical concepts and applications of the Quadcopter, using the MATLAB simulator. In order to use this tool, the study of the stability of the drone through a Proportional - Integral - Derivative (PID) controller will be presented. After the stability study, some tests are done on the simulator and its results will be presented. From the mathematical model, it is possible to find the Newton-Euler angles, so that it is possible to stabilize the quadcopter in a certain position in the air, starting from the ground. In order to understand the impact of the controllers gain values on the stabilization of the Euler-Newton angles, three conditions will be tested with different controller gain values.

Keywords: controllers, drones, quadcopter, stability

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20 A New Method for Estimating the Mass Recession Rate for Ablator Systems

Authors: Bianca A. Szasz, Keiichi Okuyama


As the human race will continue to explore the space by creating new space transportation means and sending them to other planets, the enhance of atmospheric reentry study is crucial. In this context, an analysis of mass recession rate of ablative materials for thermal shields of reentry spacecrafts is important to be carried out. The paper describes a new estimation method for calculating the mass recession of an ablator system, this method combining an old method with a new one, which was recently elaborated by Okuyama et al. The space mission of USERS spacecraft is taken as a case study and the possibility of implementing lighter ablative materials in future space missions is taking into consideration.

Keywords: ablator system, mass recession, reentry spacecraft, ablative materials

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19 A Photoredox (C)sp³-(C)sp² Coupling Method Comparison Study

Authors: Shasline Gedeon, Tiffany W. Ardley, Ying Wang, Nathan J. Gesmundo, Katarina A. Sarris, Ana L. Aguirre


Drug discovery and delivery involve drug targeting, an approach that helps find a drug against a chosen target through high throughput screening and other methods by way of identifying the physical properties of the potential lead compound. Physical properties of potential drug candidates have been an imperative focus since the unveiling of Lipinski's Rule of 5 for oral drugs. Throughout a compound's journey from discovery, clinical phase trials, then becoming a classified drug on the market, the desirable properties are optimized while minimizing/eliminating toxicity and undesirable properties. In the pharmaceutical industry, the ability to generate molecules in parallel with maximum efficiency is a substantial factor achieved through sp²-sp² carbon coupling reactions, e.g., Suzuki Coupling reactions. These reaction types allow for the increase of aromatic fragments onto a compound. More recent literature has found benefits to decreasing aromaticity, calling for more sp³-sp² carbon coupling reactions instead. The objective of this project is to provide a comparison between various sp³-sp² carbon coupling methods and reaction conditions, collecting data on production of the desired product. There were four different coupling methods being tested amongst three cores and 4-5 installation groups per method; each method ran under three distinct reaction conditions. The tested methods include the Photoredox Decarboxylative Coupling, the Photoredox Potassium Alkyl Trifluoroborate (BF3K) Coupling, the Photoredox Cross-Electrophile (PCE) Coupling, and the Weix Cross-Electrophile (WCE) Coupling. The results concluded that the Decarboxylative method was very difficult in yielding product despite the several literature conditions chosen. The BF3K and PCE methods produced competitive results. Amongst the two Cross-Electrophile coupling methods, the Photoredox method surpassed the Weix method on numerous accounts. The results will be used to build future libraries.

Keywords: drug discovery, high throughput chemistry, photoredox chemistry, sp³-sp² carbon coupling methods

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18 Multimodal Discourse, Logic of the Analysis of Transmedia Strategies

Authors: Bianca Suárez Puerta


Multimodal discourse refers to a method of study the media continuum between reality, screens as a device, audience, author, and media as a production from the audience. For this study we used semantic differential, a method proposed in the sixties by Osgood, Suci and Tannenbaum, starts from the assumption that under each particular way of perceiving the world, in each singular idea, there is a common cultural meaning that organizes experiences. In relation to these shared symbolic dimension, this method has had significant results, as it focuses on breaking down the meaning of certain significant acts into series of statements that place the subjects in front of some concepts. In Colombia, in 2016, a tool was designed to measure the meaning of a multimodal production, specially the acts of sense of transmedia productions that managed to receive funds from the Ministry of ICT of Colombia, and also, to analyze predictable patterns that can be found in calls and funds aimed at the production of culture in Colombia, in the context of the peace agreement, as a request for expressions from a hegemonic place, seeking to impose a worldview.

Keywords: semantic differential, semiotics, transmedia, critical analysis of discourse

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17 Non-Contact Characterization of Standard Liquids Using Waveguide at 12.4 to18 Ghz Frequency Span

Authors: Kasra Khorsand-Kazemi, Bianca Vizcaino, Mandeep Chhajer Jain, Maryam Moradpour


This work presents an approach to characterize a non- contact microwave sensor using waveguides for different standard liquids such as ethanol, methanol and 2-propanol (Isopropyl Alcohol). Wideband waveguides operating between 12.4GHz to 18 GHz form the core of the sensing structure. Waveguides are sensitive to changes in conductivity of the sample under test (SUT), making them an ideal tool to characterize different polar liquids. As conductivity of the sample under test increase, the loss tangent of the material increase, thereby decreasing the S21 (dB) response of the waveguide. Among all the standard liquids measured, methanol exhibits the highest conductivity and 2-Propanol exhibits the lowest. The cutoff frequency measured for ethanol, 2-propanol, and methanol are 10.28 GHz, 10.32 GHz, and 10.38 GHz respectively. The measured results can be correlated with the loss tangent results of the standard liquid measured using the dielectric probe. This conclusively enables us to characterize different liquids using waveguides expanding the potential future applications in domains ranging from water quality management to bio-medical, chemistry and agriculture.

Keywords: Waveguides, , Microwave sensors, , Standard liquids characterization, Non-contact sensing

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16 Being Second Parents: A Qualitative Research on Perceptions, Emotions, and Experiences of Adolescents towards Their Siblings with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Christi Conde, Claudia Macias, Bianca Sornillo


The effects of having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) extends to the family specifically, to the typically developing siblings. Provided that Filipino values involve close family-ties and family-centeredness, this study is interested in exploring the experiences of Filipino adolescents as a sibling of those diagnosed with ASD. A total of eleven (11) Filipino individuals, 3 males and 8 females, ages 11-24 years old, participated in the study – 6 of them were interviewed while the rest partook in a ginabayang talakayan (a variation of a focus group discussion). The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results showed 5 major themes: (1) the individual has mixed emotions and perceptions towards sibling, (2) the individual experiences differential treatment from parents, (3) the individual has responsibilities towards sibling, (4) the individual experiences personal growth, and (5) the individual is adjusting to the unfavorable effects of having sibling with ASD. Another emerging theme is an interplay between acceptance of one’s sibling, and one’s emotions and perceptions. It was also observed that there were more positive changes than negative within the individual. Having a lifetime responsibility towards sibling was also evident. Differences across ages involve the depth of awareness of the sibling’s condition and its implications. Acknowledgement of future responsibilities was evident regardless of age.

Keywords: adolescents, emotions, experiences, perceptions, qualitative research, siblings with ASD

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15 The Influence of Audio on Perceived Quality of Segmentation

Authors: Silvio Ricardo Rodrigues Sanches, Bianca Cogo Barbosa, Beatriz Regina Brum, Cléber Gimenez Corrêa


To evaluate the quality of a segmentation algorithm the authors use subjective or objective metrics. Although subjective metrics are more accurate, objective metrics do not require user feedback to test an algorithm. Objective metrics require subjective experiments only during their development. Subjective experiments typically display to users some videos (generated from frames with segmentation errors) that simulate the environment of an application domain. This user feedback is the key information for metric definition. In the subjective experiments applied to develop some state-of-the-art metrics used to test segmentation algorithms, the videos displayed during the experiments did not contain audio. In applications such as videoconference and augmented reality, audio is an important component. If the audio influences the user’s perception, using only videos without audio in subjective experiments can compromise the efficiency of an objective metric generated using data from these experiments. The aim of this work is to identify if the audio influences the user’s perception of segmentation quality in background substitution applications with audio. For this, a subjective method based on formal methods of video quality assessment was applied. The results showed audio influences the quality of segmentation perceived by user.

Keywords: background substitution, influence of audio, segmentation evaluation, segmentation quality

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14 The Effect of Inhalation of Ylang-ylang Aroma on the Levels of Anxiety of Parents with Hospitalized Toddlers Diagnosed with Pneumonia

Authors: Crisostomo Hart A., Cruz Anna Cecilia R., Cruz Bianca Isabelle A., Cruz John Edward Ligzurc M., Cruz Mikaela Denise P.


Aim/purpose: The researchers aimed to determine the effect of Ylang-ylang aroma in decreasing the anxiety levels of parents with hospitalized toddlers diagnosed with pneumonia. Method: Quantitative Quasi-experimental one-group pre-test post-test design was utilized in the study. The study includes a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest on the same experimental group. Participants are parents aged 20 – 35 years old with a hospitalized toddler who is diagnosed with pneumonia. Anxiety levels were measured before the intervention using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory by Spielberger. Those who scored 41-120 proceeded to receive the intervention. The intervention was a 3-day course of aromatherapy where the participants inhaled the Ylang-ylang flower at a distance of 10 – 15 cm away from the face for 10 minutes. The post-test using the same instrument measured the levels of anxiety after the 3-day aromatherapy. Paired T-test of SPSS 21.0 was used to analyze the pre-test and post-test scores. Results: Study yielded a p value of 0.047 which shows significant difference between the levels of anxiety before and after the intervention. Conclusions: Based on the data analysis, the researchers concluded that inhalation of Ylang-ylang aroma is effective in reducing the anxiety level of the parents of hospitalized toddlers diagnosed with Pneumonia.

Keywords: Ylang-ylang, Pneumonia, Toddlers, Aromatherapy

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13 Evaluation of a Potential Metabolism-Mediated Drug-Drug Interaction between Carvedilol and Fluvoxamine in Rats

Authors: Ana-Maria Gheldiu, Bianca M. Abrudan, Maria A. Neag, Laurian Vlase, Dana M. Muntean


Background information: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of multiple-dose fluvoxamine on the pharmacokinetic profile of single-dose carvedilol in rats, in order to evaluate this possible drug-drug pharmacokinetic interaction. Methods: A preclinical study, in 28 white male Wistar rats, was conducted. Each rat was cannulated on the femoral vein, prior to being connected to BASi Culex ABC®. Carvedilol was orally administrated in rats (3.57 mg/kg body mass (b.m.)) in the absence of fluvoxamine or after a pre-treatment with multiple oral doses of fluvoxamine (14.28 mg/kg b.m.). The plasma concentrations of carvedilol were estimated by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The pharmacokinetic parameters of carvedilol were analyzed by non-compartmental method. Results: After carvediol co-administration with fluvoxamine, an approximately 2-fold increase in the exposure of carvedilol was observed, considering the significantly elevated value of the total area under the concentration versus time curve (AUC₀₋∞). Moreover, an increase by approximately 145% of the peak plasma concentration was found, as well as an augmentation by approximately 230% of the half life time of carvedilol was observed. Conclusion: Fluvoxamine co-administration led to a significant alteration of carvedilol’s pharmacokinetic profile in rats, these effects could be explained by the existence of a drug-drug interaction mediated by CYP2D6 inhibition. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by CNCS Romania – project PNII-RU-TE-2014-4-0242.

Keywords: carvedilol, fluvoxamine, drug-drug pharmacokinetic interaction, rats

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12 Perceptual and Ultrasound Articulatory Training Effects on English L2 Vowels Production by Italian Learners

Authors: I. Sonia d’Apolito, Bianca Sisinni, Mirko Grimaldi, Barbara Gili Fivela


The American English contrast /ɑ-ʌ/ (cop-cup) is difficult to be produced by Italian learners since they realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively, due to differences in phonetic-phonological systems and also in grapheme-to-phoneme conversion rules. In this paper, we try to answer the following research questions: Can a short training improve the production of English /ɑ-ʌ/ by Italian learners? Is a perceptual training better than an articulatory (ultrasound - US) training? Thus, we compare a perceptual training with an US articulatory one to observe: 1) the effects of short trainings on L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ productions; 2) if the US articulatory training improves the pronunciation better than the perceptual training. In this pilot study, 9 Salento-Italian monolingual adults participated: 3 subjects performed a 1-hour perceptual training (ES-P); 3 subjects performed a 1-hour US training (ES-US); and 3 control subjects did not receive any training (CS). Verbal instructions about the phonetic properties of L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ and L1-/ɔ-a/ and their differences (representation on F1-F2 plane) were provided during both trainings. After these instructions, the ES-P group performed an identification training based on the High Variability Phonetic Training procedure, while the ES-US group performed the articulatory training, by means of US video of tongue gestures in L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ production and dynamic view of their own tongue movements and position using a probe under their chin. The acoustic data were analyzed and the first three formants were calculated. Independent t-tests were run to compare: 1) /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- vs. post-test respectively; /ɑ-ʌ/ in pre- and post-test vs. L1-/a-ɔ/ respectively. Results show that in the pre-test all speakers realize L2-/ɑ-ʌ/ as L1-/ɔ-a/ respectively. Contrary to CS and ES-P groups, the ES-US group in the post-test differentiates the L2 vowels from those produced in the pre-test as well as from the L1 vowels, although only one ES-US subject produces both L2 vowels accurately. The articulatory training seems more effective than the perceptual one since it favors the production of vowels in the correct direction of L2 vowels and differently from the similar L1 vowels.

Keywords: L2 vowel production, perceptual training, articulatory training, ultrasound

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11 An Overview of Technology Availability to Support Remote Decentralized Clinical Trials

Authors: Simone Huber, Bianca Schnalzer, Baptiste Alcalde, Sten Hanke, Lampros Mpaltadoros, Thanos G. Stavropoulos, Spiros Nikolopoulos, Ioannis Kompatsiaris, Lina Pérez- Breva, Vallivana Rodrigo-Casares, Jaime Fons-Martínez, Jeroen de Bruin


Developing new medicine and health solutions and improving patient health currently rely on the successful execution of clinical trials, which generate relevant safety and efficacy data. For their success, recruitment and retention of participants are some of the most challenging aspects of protocol adherence. Main barriers include: i) lack of awareness of clinical trials; ii) long distance from the clinical site; iii) the burden on participants, including the duration and number of clinical visits and iv) high dropout rate. Most of these aspects could be addressed with a new paradigm, namely the Remote Decentralized Clinical Trials (RDCTs). Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted additional advantages and challenges for RDCTs in practice, allowing participants to join trials from home and not depend on site visits, etc. Nevertheless, RDCTs should follow the process and the quality assurance of conventional clinical trials, which involve several processes. For each part of the trial, the Building Blocks, existing software and technologies were assessed through a systematic search. The technology needed to perform RDCTs is widely available and validated but is yet segmented and developed in silos, as different software solutions address different parts of the trial and at various levels. The current paper is analyzing the availability of technology to perform RDCTs, identifying gaps and providing an overview of Basic Building Blocks and functionalities that need to be covered to support the described processes.

Keywords: architectures and frameworks for health informatics systems, clinical trials, information and communications technology, remote decentralized clinical trials, technology availability

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10 Influence of the Quality of the Recycled Aggregates in Concrete Pavement

Authors: Viviana Letelier, Ester Tarela, Bianca Lopez, Pedro Muñoz, Giacomo Moriconi


The environmental impact has become a global concern during the last decades. Several alternatives have been proposed and studied to minimize this impact in different areas. The reuse of aggregates from old concretes to manufacture new ones not only can reduce this impact but is also a way to optimize the resource management. The effect of the origin of the reused aggregates from two different origin materials in recycled concrete pavement is studied here. Using the dosing applied by a pavement company, coarse aggregates in the 6.3-25 mm fraction are replaced by recycled aggregates with two different origins: old concrete pavements with similar origin strength to the one of the control concrete, and precast concrete pipes with smaller strengths than the one of the control concrete. The replacement percentages tested are 30%, 40% and 50% in both cases. The compressive strength tests are performed after 7, 14, 28 and 90 curing days, the flexural strength tests and the elasticity modulus tests after 28 and 90 curing days. Results show that the influence of the quality of the origin concrete in the mechanical properties of recycled concretes is not despicable. Concretes with up to a 50% of recycled aggregates from the concrete pavement have similar compressive strengths to the ones of the control concrete and slightly smaller flexural strengths that, however, in all cases exceed the minimum of 5MPa after 28 curing days stablished by the Chilean regulation for pavement concretes. On the other hand, concretes with recycled aggregates from precast concrete pipes show significantly lower compressive strengths after 28 curing days. The differences with the compressive strength of the control concrete increase with the percentage of replacement, reaching a 13% reduction when 50% of the aggregates are replaced. The flexural strength also suffers significant reductions that increase with the percentage of replacement, only obeying the Chilean regulation when 30% of the aggregates are recycled after 28 curing days. Nevertheless, after 90 curing days, all series obey the regulation requirements. Results show, not only the importance of the quality of the origin concrete, but also the significance of the curing days, that may allow the use of less quality recycled material without important strength losses.

Keywords: flexural strength of recycled concrete., mechanical properties of recycled concrete, recycled aggregates, recycled concrete pavements

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9 Evaluation of the Efficacy of Basic Life Support Teaching in Second and Third Year Medical Students

Authors: Bianca W. O. Silva, Adriana C. M. Andrade, Gustavo C. M. Lucena, Virna M. S. Lima


Introduction: Basic life support (BLS) involves the immediate recognition of cardiopulmonary arrest. Each year, 359.400 and 275.000 individuals with cardiac arrest are attended in emergency departments in USA and Europe. Brazilian data shows that 200.000 cardiac arrests occur every year, and half of them out of the hospital. Medical schools around the world teach BLS in the first years of the course, but studies show that there is a decline of the knowledge as the years go by, affecting the chain of survival. The objective was to analyze the knowledge of medical students about BLS and the retention of this learning throughout the course. Methods: This study included 150 students who were at the second and third year of a medical school in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The instrument of data collection was a structured questionnaire composed of 20 questions based on the 2015 American Heart Association guideline. The Pearson Chi-square test was used in order to study the association between previous training, sex and semester with the degree of knowledge of the students. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to evaluate the different yields obtained between the various semesters. The number of correct answers was described by average and quartiles. Results: Regarding the degree of knowledge, 19.6% of the female students reached the optimal classification, a better outcome than the achieved by the male participants. Of those with previous training, 33.33% were classified as good and optimal, none of the students reached the optimal classification and only 2.2% of them were classified as bad (those who did not have 52.6% of correct answers). The analysis of the degree of knowledge related to each semester revealed that the 5th semester had the highest outcome: 30.5%. However, the acquaintance presented by the semesters was generally unsatisfactory, since 50% of the students, or more, demonstrated knowledge levels classified as bad or regular. When confronting the different semesters and the achieved scores, the value of p was 0.831. Conclusion: It is important to focus on the training of medical professionals that are capable of facing emergency situations, improving the systematization of care, and thereby increasing the victims' possibility of survival.

Keywords: basic life support, cardiopulmonary ressucitacion, education, medical students

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8 Corporate Digital Responsibility in Construction Engineering-Construction 4.0: Ethical Guidelines for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence

Authors: Weber-Lewerenz Bianca


Digitization is developing fast and has become a powerful tool for digital planning, construction, and operations. Its transformation bears high potentials for companies, is critical for success, and thus, requires responsible handling. This study provides an assessment of calls made in the sustainable development goals by the United Nations (SDGs), White Papers on AI by international institutions, EU-Commission and German Government requesting for the consideration and protection of values and fundamental rights, the careful demarcation between machine (artificial) and human intelligence and the careful use of such technologies. The study discusses digitization and the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) in construction engineering from an ethical perspective by generating data via conducting case studies and interviewing experts as part of the qualitative method. This research evaluates critically opportunities and risks revolving around corporate digital responsibility (CDR) in the construction industry. To the author's knowledge, no study has set out to investigate how CDR in construction could be conceptualized, especially in relation to the digitization and AI, to mitigate digital transformation both in large, medium-sized, and small companies. No study addressed the key research question: Where can CDR be allocated, how shall its adequate ethical framework be designed to support digital innovations in order to make full use of the potentials of digitization and AI? Now is the right timing for constructive approaches and apply ethics-by-design in order to develop and implement a safe and efficient AI. This represents the first study in construction engineering applying a holistic, interdisciplinary, inclusive approach to provide guidelines for orientation, examine benefits of AI and define ethical principles as the key driver for success, resources-cost-time efficiency, and sustainability using digital technologies and AI in construction engineering to enhance digital transformation. Innovative corporate organizations starting new business models are more likely to succeed than those dominated by conservative, traditional attitudes.

Keywords: construction engineering, digitization, digital transformation, artificial intelligence, ethics, corporate digital responsibility, digital innovation

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7 Finding a Redefinition of the Relationship between Rural and Urban Knowledge

Authors: Bianca Maria Rulli, Lenny Valentino Schiaretti


The considerable recent urbanization has increasingly sharpened environmental and social problems all over the world. During the recent years, many answers to the alarming attitudes in modern cities have emerged: a drastic reduction in the rate of growth is becoming essential for future generations and small scale economies are considered more adaptive and sustainable. According to the concept of degrowth, cities should consider surpassing the centralization of urban living by redefining the relationship between rural and urban knowledge; growing food in cities fundamentally contributes to the increase of social and ecological resilience. Through an innovative approach, this research combines the benefits of urban agriculture (increase of biological diversity, shorter and thus more efficient supply chains, food security) and temporary land use. They stimulate collaborative practices to satisfy the changing needs of communities and stakeholders. The concept proposes a coherent strategy to create a sustainable development of urban spaces, introducing a productive green-network to link specific areas in the city. By shifting the current relationship between architecture and landscape, the former process of ground consumption is deeply revised. Temporary modules can be used as concrete tools to create temporal areas of innovation, transforming vacant or marginal spaces into potential laboratories for the development of the city. The only permanent ground traces, such as foundations, are minimized in order to allow future land re-use. The aim is to describe a new mindset regarding the quality of space in the metropolis which allows, in a completely flexible way, to bring back the green and the urban farming into the cities. The wide possibilities of the research are analyzed in two different case-studies. The first is a regeneration/connection project designated for social housing, the second concerns the use of temporary modules to answer to the potential needs of social structures. The intention of the productive green-network is to link the different vacant spaces to each other as well as to the entire urban fabric. This also generates a potential improvement of the current situation of underprivileged and disadvantaged persons.

Keywords: degrowth, green network, land use, temporary building, urban farming

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6 Comparison of Microbiological Assessment of Non-adhesive Use and the Use of Adhesive on Complete Dentures

Authors: Hyvee Gean Cabuso, Arvin Taruc, Danielle Villanueva, Channela Anais Hipolito, Jia Bianca Alfonso


Introduction: Denture adhesive aids to provide additional retention, support and comfort for patients with loose dentures, as well as for patients who seek to achieve optimal denture adhesion. But due to its growing popularity, arising oral health issues should be considered, including its possible impact that may alter the microbiological condition of the denture. Changes as such may further resolve to denture-related oral diseases that can affect the day-to-day lives of patients. Purpose: The study aims to assess and compare the microbiological status of dentures without adhesives versus dentures when adhesives were applied. The study also intends to identify the presence of specific microorganisms, their colony concentration and their possible effects on the oral microflora. This study also aims to educate subjects by introducing an alternative denture cleaning method as well as denture and oral health care. Methodology: Edentulous subjects age 50-80 years old, both physically and medically fit, were selected to participate. Before obtaining samples for the study, the alternative cleaning method was introduced by demonstrating a step-by-step cleaning process. Samples were obtained by swabbing the intaglio surface of their upper and lower prosthesis. These swabs were placed in a thioglycollate broth, which served as a transport and enrichment medium. The swabs were then processed through bacterial culture. The colony-forming units (CFUs) were calculated on MacConkey Agar Plate (MAP) and Blood Agar Plate (BAP) in order to identify and assess the microbiological status, including species identification and microbial counting. Result: Upon evaluation and analysis of collected data, the microbiological assessment of the upper dentures with adhesives showed little to no difference compared to dentures without adhesives, but for the lower dentures, (P=0.005), which is less than α = 0.05; therefore, the researchers reject (Ho) and that there is a significant difference between the mean ranks of the lower denture without adhesive to those with, implying that there is a significant decrease in the bacterial count. Conclusion: These results findings may implicate the possibility that the addition of denture adhesives may contribute to the significant decrease of microbial colonization on the dentures.

Keywords: denture, denture adhesive, denture-related, microbiological assessment

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5 Jurisdictional Federalism and Formal Federalism: Levels of Political Centralization on American and Brazilian Models

Authors: Henrique Rangel, Alexandre Fadel, Igor De Lazari, Bianca Neri, Carlos Bolonha


This paper promotes a comparative analysis of American and Brazilian models of federalism assuming their levels of political centralization as main criterion. The central problem faced herein is the Brazilian approach of Unitarian regime. Although the hegemony of federative form after 1989, Brazil had a historical frame of political centralization that remains under the 1988 constitutional regime. Meanwhile, United States framed a federalism in which States absorb significant authorities. The hypothesis holds that the amount of alternative criteria of federalization – which can generate political centralization –, and the way they are upheld on judicial review, are crucial to understand the levels of political centralization achieved in each model. To test this hypothesis, the research is conducted by a methodology temporally delimited to 1994-2014 period. Three paradigmatic precedents of U.S. Supreme Court were selected: United States vs. Morrison (2000), on gender-motivated violence, Gonzales vs. Raich (2005), on medical use of marijuana, and United States vs. Lopez (1995), on firearm possession on scholar zones. These most relevant cases over federalism in the recent activity of Supreme Court indicates a determinant parameter of deliberation: the commerce clause. After observe the criterion used to permit or prohibit the political centralization in America, the Brazilian normative context is presented. In this sense, it is possible to identify the eventual legal treatment these controversies could receive in this Country. The decision-making reveals some deliberative parameters, which characterizes each federative model. At the end of research, the precedents of Rehnquist Court promote a broad revival of federalism debate, establishing the commerce clause as a secure criterion to uphold or not the necessity of centralization – even with decisions considered conservative. Otherwise, the Brazilian federalism solves them controversies upon in a formalist fashion, within numerous and comprehensive – sometimes casuistic too – normative devices, oriented to make an intense centralization. The aim of this work is indicate how jurisdictional federalism found in United States can preserve a consistent model with States robustly autonomous, while Brazil gives preference to normative mechanisms designed to starts from centralization.

Keywords: constitutional design, federalism, U.S. Supreme Court, legislative authority

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4 Developing a Quality Mentor Program: Creating Positive Change for Students in Enabling Programs

Authors: Bianca Price, Jennifer Stokes


Academic and social support systems are critical for students in enabling education; these support systems have the potential to enhance the student experience whilst also serving a vital role for student retention. In the context of international moves toward widening university participation, Australia has developed enabling programs designed to support underrepresented students to access to higher education. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a mentor program based within an enabling course. This study evaluates how the mentor program supports new students to develop social networks, improve retention, and increase satisfaction with the student experience. Guided by Social Learning Theory (SLT), this study highlights the benefits that can be achieved when students engage in peer-to-peer based mentoring for both social and learning support. Whilst traditional peer mentoring programs are heavily based on face-to-face contact, the present study explores the difference between mentors who provide face-to-face mentoring, in comparison with mentoring that takes place through the virtual space, specifically via a virtual community in the shape of a Facebook group. This paper explores the differences between these two methods of mentoring within an enabling program. The first method involves traditional face-to-face mentoring that is provided by alumni students who willingly return to the learning community to provide social support and guidance for new students. The second method requires alumni mentor students to voluntarily join a Facebook group that is specifically designed for enabling students. Using this virtual space, alumni students provide advice, support and social commentary on how to be successful within an enabling program. Whilst vastly different methods, both of these mentoring approaches provide students with the support tools needed to enhance their student experience and improve transition into University. To evaluate the impact of each mode, this study uses mixed methods including a focus group with mentors, in-depth interviews, as well as engaging in netnography of the Facebook group ‘Wall’. Netnography is an innovative qualitative research method used to interpret information that is available online to better understand and identify the needs and influences that affect the users of the online space. Through examining the data, this research will reflect upon best practice for engaging students in enabling programs. Findings support the applicability of having both face-to-face and online mentoring available for students to assist enabling students to make a positive transition into University undergraduate studies.

Keywords: enabling education, mentoring, netnography, social learning theory

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3 Assessment of Occupational Health and Safety Conditions of Health Care Workers in Barangay Health Centers in a Selected City in Metro Manila

Authors: Deinzel R. Uezono, Vivien Fe F. Fadrilan-Camacho, Bianca Margarita L. Medina, Antonio Domingo R. Reario, Trisha M. Salcedo, Luke Wesley P. Borromeo


The environment of health care workers is considered one of the most hazardous settings due to the nature of their work. In developing countries especially, the Philippines, this continues to be overlooked in terms of programs and services on occupational health and safety (OHS). One possible reason for this is the existing information gap on OHS which limits data comparability and impairs effective monitoring and assessment of interventions. To address this gap, there is a need to determine the current conditions of Filipino health care workers in their workplace. This descriptive cross-sectional study assessed the occupational health and safety conditions of health care workers in barangay health centers in a selected city in Metro Manila, Philippines by: (1) determining the hazards present in the workplace; (2) determining the most common self-reported medical problems; and (3) describing the elements of an OHS system based on the six building blocks of health system. Assessment was done through walkthrough survey, self-administered questionnaire, and key informant interview. Data analysis was done using Epi Info 7 and NVivo 11. Results revealed different health hazards present in the workplace particularly biological hazards (exposure to sick patients and infectious specimens), physical hazards (inadequate space and/or lighting), chemical hazards (toxic reagents and flammable chemicals), and ergonomic hazards (activities requiring repetitive motion and awkward posture). Additionally, safety hazards (improper capping of syringe and lack of fire safety provisions) were also observed. Meanwhile, the most commonly self-reported chronic diseases among health care workers (N=336) were hypertension (20.24%, n=68) and diabetes (12.50%, n=42). Top commonly self-reported symptoms were colds (66.07%, n=222), coughs (63.10%, n=212), headache (55.65%, n=187), and muscle pain (50.60%, n=170) while other diseases were influenza (16.96%, n=57) and UTI (15.48%, n=52). In terms of the elements of the OHS system, a general policy on occupational health and safety was found to be lacking and in effect, an absence of health and safety committee overseeing the implementing and monitoring of the policy. No separate budget specific for OHS programs and services was also found to be a limitation. As a result, no OHS personnel and trainings/seminar were identified. No established information system for OHS was in place. In conclusion, health and safety hazards were observed to be present across the barangay health centers visited in a selected city in Metro Manila. Medical conditions identified as most commonly self-reported were hypertension and diabetes for chronic diseases; colds, coughs, headache, and muscle pain for medical symptoms; and influenza and UTI for other diseases. As for the elements of the occupational health and safety system, there was a lack in the general components of the six building blocks of the health system.

Keywords: health hazards, occupational health and safety, occupational health and safety system, safety hazards

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2 Barriers for Sustainable Consumption of Antifouling Products in the Baltic Sea

Authors: Bianca Koroschetz, Emma Mäenpää


The purpose of this paper is to study consumer practices and meanings of different antifouling methods in order to identify the main barriers for sustainable consumption of antifouling products in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is considered to be an important tourism area. More than 3.5 million leisure boaters use the sea for recreational boating. Most leisure boat owners use toxic antifouling paint to keep barnacles from attaching to the hull. Attached barnacles limit maneuverability and add drag which in turn increases fuel costs. Antifouling paint used to combat barnacles causes particular problems, as the use of these products continuously adds to the distribution of biocides in the coastal ecosystem and leads to the death of marine organisms. To keep the Baltic Sea as an attractive tourism area measures need to be undertaken to stop the pollution coming from toxic antifouling paints. The antifouling market contains a wide range of environment-friendly alternative products such as a brush wash for boats, hand scrubbing devices, hull covers and boat lifts. Unfortunately, not a lot of boat owners use these environment-friendly alternatives and instead prefer the use of the traditional toxic copper paints. We ask “Why is the unsustainable consumption of toxic paints still predominant when there is a big range of environment-friendly alternatives available? What are the barriers for sustainable consumption?” Environmental psychology has concentrated on developing models of human behavior, including the main factors that influence pro-environmental behavior. The main focus of these models was directed to the individual’s attitudes, principals, and beliefs. However, social practice theory emphasizes the importance to study practices, as they have a stronger explanatory power than attitude-behavior to explain unsustainable consumer behavior. Thus, the study focuses on describing the material, meaning and competence of antifouling practice in order to understand the social and cultural embeddedness of the practice. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with boat owners using antifouling products such as paints and alternative methods. This data collection was supplemented with participant observations in marinas. Preliminary results indicate that different factors such as costs, traditions, advertising, frequency of use, marinas and application of method impact on the consumption of antifouling products. The findings have shown that marinas have a big influence on the consumption of antifouling goods. Some marinas are very active in supporting the sustainable consumption of antifouling products as for example in Stockholm area several marinas subsidize costs for using environmental friendly alternatives or even forbid toxic paints. Furthermore the study has revealed that environmental friendly methods are very effective and do not have to be more expensive than painting with toxic paints. This study contributes to a broader understanding why the unsustainable consumption of toxic paints is still predominant when a big range of environment-friendly alternatives exist. Answers to this phenomenon will be gained by studying practices instead of attitudes offering a new perspective on environmental issues.

Keywords: antifouling paint, Baltic Sea, boat tourism, sustainable consumption

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1 Differential Expression Analysis of Busseola fusca Larval Transcriptome in Response to Cry1Ab Toxin Challenge

Authors: Bianca Peterson, Tomasz J. Sańko, Carlos C. Bezuidenhout, Johnnie Van Den Berg


Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), the maize stem borer, is a major pest in sub-Saharan Africa. It causes economic damage to maize and sorghum crops and has evolved non-recessive resistance to genetically modified (GM) maize expressing the Cry1Ab insecticidal toxin. Since B. fusca is a non-model organism, very little genomic information is publicly available, and is limited to some cytochrome c oxidase I, cytochrome b, and microsatellite data. The biology of B. fusca is well-described, but still poorly understood. This, in combination with its larval-specific behavior, may pose problems for limiting the spread of current resistant B. fusca populations or preventing resistance evolution in other susceptible populations. As part of on-going research into resistance evolution, B. fusca larvae were collected from Bt and non-Bt maize in South Africa, followed by RNA isolation (15 specimens) and sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Quality of reads was assessed with FastQC, after which Trimmomatic was used to trim adapters and remove low quality, short reads. Trinity was used for the de novo assembly, whereas TransRate was used for assembly quality assessment. Transcript identification employed BLAST (BLASTn, BLASTp, and tBLASTx comparisons), for which two libraries (nucleotide and protein) were created from 3.27 million lepidopteran sequences. Several transcripts that have previously been implicated in Cry toxin resistance was identified for B. fusca. These included aminopeptidase N, cadherin, alkaline phosphatase, ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins, and mitogen-activated protein kinase. MEGA7 was used to align these transcripts to reference sequences from Lepidoptera to detect mutations that might potentially be contributing to Cry toxin resistance in this pest. RSEM and Bioconductor were used to perform differential gene expression analysis on groups of B. fusca larvae challenged and unchallenged with the Cry1Ab toxin. Pairwise expression comparisons of transcripts that were at least 16-fold expressed at a false-discovery corrected statistical significance (p) ≤ 0.001 were extracted and visualized in a hierarchically clustered heatmap using R. A total of 329,194 transcripts with an N50 of 1,019 bp were generated from the over 167.5 million high-quality paired-end reads. Furthermore, 110 transcripts were over 10 kbp long, of which the largest one was 29,395 bp. BLAST comparisons resulted in identification of 157,099 (47.72%) transcripts, among which only 3,718 (2.37%) were identified as Cry toxin receptors from lepidopteran insects. According to transcript expression profiles, transcripts were grouped into three subclusters according to the similarity of their expression patterns. Several immune-related transcripts (pathogen recognition receptors, antimicrobial peptides, and inhibitors) were up-regulated in the larvae feeding on Bt maize, indicating an enhanced immune status in response to toxin exposure. Above all, extremely up-regulated arylphorin genes suggest that enhanced epithelial healing is one of the resistance mechanisms employed by B. fusca larvae against the Cry1Ab toxin. This study is the first to provide a resource base and some insights into a potential mechanism of Cry1Ab toxin resistance in B. fusca. Transcriptomic data generated in this study allows identification of genes that can be targeted by biotechnological improvements of GM crops.

Keywords: epithelial healing, Lepidoptera, resistance, transcriptome

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