Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Irena Maus

24 Insights into the Annotated Genome Sequence of Defluviitoga tunisiensis L3 Isolated from a Thermophilic Rural Biogas Producing Plant

Authors: Irena Maus, Katharina Gabriella Cibis, Andreas Bremges, Yvonne Stolze, Geizecler Tomazetto, Daniel Wibberg, Helmut König, Alfred Pühler, Andreas Schlüter

Abstract:

Within the agricultural sector, the production of biogas from organic substrates represents an economically attractive technology to generate bioenergy. Complex consortia of microorganisms are responsible for biomass decomposition and biogas production. Recently, species belonging to the phylum Thermotogae were detected in thermophilic biogas-production plants utilizing renewable primary products for biomethanation. To analyze adaptive genome features of representative Thermotogae strains, Defluviitoga tunisiensis L3 was isolated from a rural thermophilic biogas plant (54°C) and completely sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq system. Sequencing and assembly of the D. tunisiensis L3 genome yielded a circular chromosome with a size of 2,053,097 bp and a mean GC content of 31.38%. Functional annotation of the complete genome sequence revealed that the thermophilic strain L3 encodes several genes predicted to facilitate growth of this microorganism on arabinose, galactose, maltose, mannose, fructose, raffinose, ribose, cellobiose, lactose, xylose, xylan, lactate and mannitol. Acetate, hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are supposed to be end products of the fermentation process. The latter gene products are metabolites for methanogenic archaea, the key players in the final step of the anaerobic digestion process. To determine the degree of relatedness of dominant biogas community members within selected digester systems to D. tunisiensis L3, metagenome sequences from corresponding communities were mapped on the L3 genome. These fragment recruitments revealed that metagenome reads originating from a thermophilic biogas plant covered 95% of D. tunisiensis L3 genome sequence. In conclusion, availability of the D. tunisiensis L3 genome sequence and insights into its metabolic capabilities provide the basis for biotechnological exploitation of genome features involved in thermophilic fermentation processes utilizing renewable primary products.

Keywords: genome sequence, thermophilic biogas plant, Thermotogae, Defluviitoga tunisiensis

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23 Influence of Sulphur and Boron on Growth, Quality Parameters and Productivity of Soybean (Glycine Max (L.) Merrill)

Authors: Shital Bangar, G. B. Khandagale

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The experimentation was carried out to study the influence of sulphur and boron on growth parameters and productivity of soybean in kharif season of 2009-2010 at Experimental Farm, Department of Agricultural Botany, Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani (M.S.). The object was to evaluate the impact of sulphur and boron on growth, development, grain yield and physiological aspects of soybean variety MAUS-81. Nine treatments consisted of three levels of sulphur i.e. 20, 30 and 40 Kg/ha as well as three levels boron i.e.10, 15 and 20 kg boron/ha and the combinations of these two mineral elements i.e. Sulphur @30 kg/ha + Borax @15 kg/ha and Sulphur @40 kg/ha + Borax @ 20 kg/ha with one control treatment in Randomized Block Design (RBD) with three replications. The effect of sulphur and boron on various growth parameters of soybean like relative growth rate (RGR) and net assimilation rate (NAR) were remained statistically on par with each other. However, the application of higher dose of Sulphur @40 kg/ha + Borax @ 20 kg/ha enhanced significantly all the growth parameters. Application of the nutrients increased the dry matter accumulation of the crop plant and hence, other growth indices like RGR and NAR also increased significantly. RGR and NAR values were recorded highest at the initial crop growth stages and decline thereafter. The application of sulphur @40 kg/ha + Borax @ 20 kg/ha recorded significantly higher content of chlorophyll ‘a’ than rest of the treatments and chlorophyll ‘b’ observed higher in boron @15 kg/ha as well as [email protected] kg/ha, whereas total chlorophyll content was maximum in sulphur @40 kg/ha. Oil content was not influenced significantly due to above fertilization. The highest seed yield and total biological yield were obtained with combination of Sulphur @40 kg/ha + Borax @ 20 kg/ha, single sulphur and boron application also showed a significant effect on seed and biological yield.

Keywords: boron, growth, productivity, quality, soybean and sulphur

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22 Mitigating the Unwillingness of e-Forums Members to Engage in Information Exchange

Authors: Dora Triki, Irena Vida, Claude Obadia

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Social networks such as e-Forums or dating sites often face the reluctance of key members to participate. Relying on the conation theory, this study investigates this phenomenon and proposes solutions to mitigate the issue. We show that highly experienced e-Forum members refuse to share business information in a peer to peer information exchange forums. However, forums managers can mitigate this behavior by developing a sentiment of belongingness to the network. Furthermore, by selecting only elite forum participants with ample experience, they can reduce the reluctance of key information providers to engage in information exchange. Our hypotheses are tested with PLS structural equations modeling using survey data from members of a French e-Forum dedicated to the exchange of business information about exporting.

Keywords: conation, e-Forum, information exchange, members participation

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21 Polyphenols from Winery Wastes as Potential Source of Antioxidants

Authors: Lucia Gharwalova, Irena Kolouchova, Jan Masak

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A large amount of waste products is generated throughout the whole winemaking process as well as during work in the vineyard. This waste is as a source of phenolic compounds, such as resveratrol and polydatin, which possess a strong antioxidant capacity. Changes in the amounts of phenols were compared depending on the growing conditions and wine variety. Wastes (grape stems, marc and shoots) from two wineries in the Czech Republic were analyzed. Phenols from these samples were extracted by 40% ethanol. The amount of polyphenols in these extracts was determined by HPLC and their antioxidant capacity by DPPH. We compared changes in the amounts of phenols depending on the type of waste and the wine variety. The most significant source of stilbenoids was waste from pruning (shoots). These results show that winery waste could be further reused thanks to their antioxidant content.

Keywords: antioxidants, polyphenols, resveratrol, winery waste

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20 Internet Purchases in European Union Countries: Multiple Linear Regression Approach

Authors: Ksenija Dumičić, Anita Čeh Časni, Irena Palić

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This paper examines economic and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development influence on recently increasing Internet purchases by individuals for European Union member states. After a growing trend for Internet purchases in EU27 was noticed, all possible regression analysis was applied using nine independent variables in 2011. Finally, two linear regression models were studied in detail. Conducted simple linear regression analysis confirmed the research hypothesis that the Internet purchases in analysed EU countries is positively correlated with statistically significant variable Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDPpc). Also, analysed multiple linear regression model with four regressors, showing ICT development level, indicates that ICT development is crucial for explaining the Internet purchases by individuals, confirming the research hypothesis.

Keywords: European union, Internet purchases, multiple linear regression model, outlier

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19 Influence Analysis of Profit Sharing Agreement and Financing Risk to Profitability in Islamic Bank of Indonesia

Authors: Irena Paramita Pramono

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Islamic bank is a financial industry with huge potential to grow in Indonesia. Profit-sharing agreement in the operations of Islamic banks distinguishes Islamic banks with conventional banks. Profit-sharing agreement allows sharing of benefits and risks between shahibul maal and mudharib in islamic bank. This study aimed to observe the patterns of influence between the risk-sharing agreement, financing risk and Profitability in Islamic banks. This research used several Islamic banks as sample and path analysis method. The empirical results of this research shows that the profit-sharing agreement in deposits structure has no direct significant effect to ROA, but it has indirect effect to ROA through profit-sharing financing. On the other hand, profit-sharing financing has direct and indirect influence to ROA through financing risk. This research shows that profit-sharing financing has a positive significant effect to the financing risk and also to the ROA. The research recommends Islamic banks to continue using and developing profit-sharing agreement in its operational activities, hence to create value.

Keywords: Islamic bank, profit-loss sharing agreement, financing risk, profitability

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18 Polyacrylates in Poly (Lactic Acid) Matrix, New Biobased Polymer Material

Authors: Irena Vuković-Kwiatkowska, Halina Kaczmarek

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Poly (lactic acid) is well known polymer, often called green material because of its origin (renewable resources) and biodegradability. This biopolymer can be used in the packaging industry very often. Poor resistance to permeation of gases is the disadvantage of poly (lactic acid). The permeability of gases and vapor through the films applied for packages and bottles generally should be very low to prolong products shelf-life. We propose innovation method of PLA gas barrier modification using electromagnetic radiation in ultraviolet range. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and multifunctional acrylate monomers were mixed in different composition. Final films were obtained by photochemical reaction (photocrosslinking). We tested permeability to water vapor and carbon dioxide through these films. Also their resistance to UV radiation was also studied. The samples were conditioned in the activated sludge and in the natural soil to test their biodegradability. An innovative method of PLA modification allows to expand its usage, and can reduce the future costs of waste management what is the result of consuming such materials like PET and HDPE. Implementation of our material for packaging will contribute to the protection of the environment from the harmful effects of extremely difficult to biodegrade materials made from PET or other plastic

Keywords: interpenetrating polymer network, packaging films, photocrosslinking, polyacrylates dipentaerythritol pentaacrylate DPEPA, poly (lactic acid), polymer biodegradation

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17 Crowdfunding in Funding Lithuanian Movies

Authors: Irena Alperyte

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Since the regaining of the Independence, the Lithuanian state has been confronting an increasingly dramatic challenge because of the lack of funding sources dedicated to the film industries. During the Soviet times, Lithuanian film was under a total supervision of the Soviet functioners. This means that the responsibility of the state to make movies was of a monopolist character. The filmmakers’ community of the newly independent state needed to learn how to develop their fundraising skills, co-production and marketing techniques. Currently, Lithuanian film is experiencing a new phase concerning its funding: it is exploring the possibilities of motivating the public to invest in entertainment via crowd funding and crowd sourcing techniques and making these activities an alternative way of funding films. The paper aims at the exploration of the existing film financing practices in Lithuania and abroad and provides recommendations on how to improve the alternative Lithuanian film financing strategy via employing new possibilities, such as crowd funding and other alternative marketing tools. Objectives: 1) To examine the theories on creative industries and possibilities for their application. 2) To analyze the current situation in the film industry Lithuania. 3) To analyze the statistical data on movie theater visitors in Lithuania. 4) To discuss alternative options for film financing system. 5) To look through the alternative funding strategies tailored for Lithuanian film industry. 6) To propose recommendations for alternative funding strategies in Lithuanian film fundraising.

Keywords: creative industries, film, funding, fun theory

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16 Math Word Problems: Context and Achievement

Authors: Irena Smetackova

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The important part of school mathematics are word problems which represent the connection between school knowledge and life reality. To find the reasons why students consider word problems to be difficult, it is necessary to take into consideration the motivational settings, besides mathematical knowledge and reading skills. Our goal is to identify whether the familiar or unfamiliar context of math word problem influences solving success rate and if so, whether the reasons are motivational or cognitive. For this purpose, we conducted three steps study in group of fifty pupils 9-10 years old. In the first step, we asked pupils to create ‘the best’ word problems for entered numerical formula. The set of 19 word problems with different contexts were selected. In the second step, pupils were asked to evaluate (without solving) how they like each item and how easy it is for them. The 6 word problems with low preference and low estimated success rate were selected and combined with other 6 problems with high preference and success rate. In the third step, the same pupils were asked to solve the word problems. The analysis showed that pupils attitudes and solving toward word problems varied by the context. The strong gender patterns both in preferred contexts and in estimated success rates were identified however the real success rate did not differ so strongly. The success gap between word problems with and without preferred contexts were stronger than the gap between problems with and without real experience with the context. The hypothesis that motivational factors are more important than cognitive factors was confirmed.

Keywords: mathematics, context of reality, motivation, cognition, word problems

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15 Self-Regulation in Socially Rejected Pupils

Authors: Karla Hrbackova, Irena Balaban Cakirpaloglu

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This paper is a report on self-regulation in socially rejected pupils. A certain form of social rejection can be found in almost every class within the school environment. Research shows that due to social rejection mechanisms supporting the individual´s effort of reintegration into the group are not triggered. Paradoxically the opposite tendency arises, i.e., an increase in selfish and defeating behaviour. The link between peer exposure and self-regulation is likely to vary as a function of a type and quality of peer interaction (e.g., rejection or acceptance). The paper aims to clarify the level of self-regulation related to interpersonal cognitive problem-solving within the process of social rejection in a school class. The research was done on a sample of 1,133 upper-primary school pupils using the Means-Ends Problem Solving technique (MEPS) and peer sociometric nomination. The results showed that the level of self-regulated skills is related to the status of social rejection. Socially rejected pupils achieve lower levels of self-regulation than other classmates. We found deficiency in the regulation of behaviour, emotions and the regulation of will in the peer rejected pupils with the exception of cognitive regulation in which no differences were detected between socially rejected pupils and other classmates. The results have implications for early prevention and intervention efforts to foster adaptive self-regulation and reduce the risk of later social rejection.

Keywords: interpersonal cognitive problem-solving, self-regulation, socially rejected pupils, upper-primary school pupils

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14 Constitutive Model for Analysis of Long-Term Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Settlement

Authors: Irena Basaric Ikodinovic, Dragoslav Rakic, Mirjana Vukicevic, Sanja Jockovic, Jovana Jankovic Pantic

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Large long-term settlement occurs at the municipal solid waste landfills over an extended period of time which may lead to breakage of the geomembrane, damage of the cover systems, other protective systems or facilities constructed on top of a landfill. Also, municipal solid waste is an extremely heterogeneous material and its properties vary over location and time within a landfill. These material characteristics require the formulation of a new constitutive model to predict the long-term settlement of municipal solid waste. The paper presents a new constitutive model which is formulated to describe the mechanical behavior of municipal solid waste. Model is based on Modified Cam Clay model and the critical state soil mechanics framework incorporating time-dependent components: mechanical creep and biodegradation of municipal solid waste. The formulated constitutive model is optimized and defined with eight input parameters: five Modified Cam Clay parameters, one parameter for mechanical creep and two parameters for biodegradation of municipal solid waste. Thereafter, the constitutive model is implemented in the software suite for finite element analysis (ABAQUS) and numerical analysis of the experimental landfill settlement is performed. The proposed model predicts the total settlement which is in good agreement with field measured settlement at the experimental landfill.

Keywords: constitutive model, finite element analysis, municipal solid waste, settlement

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13 Compaction of Municipal Solid Waste

Authors: Jovana Jankovic Pantic, Dragoslav Rakic, Tina Djuric, Irena Basaric Ikodinovic, Snezana Bogdanovic

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Regardless of the numerous activities undertaken to reduce municipal solid waste, its annual volumes continue to grow. In Serbia, the most common and the only one form of waste disposal is at municipal landfills with daily compaction and soil covering. Municipal waste compacting is one of the basic components of the disposal process. Well compacted waste takes up less volume and allows much safer storage. In order to better predict the behavior of municipal waste at landfills, it is necessary to define compaction parameters: the maximum dry unit weight and optimal moisture content. In current geotechnical practice, the most common method of determination compaction parameters is by the standard method (Proctor compaction test) used in soil mechanics, with an eventual reduction of compaction energy. Although this methodology is accepted in newer geotechnical scientific discipline "waste mechanics", different treatments of municipal waste at the landfill itself (including pretreatment), indicate the need to change this classical approach. The main reason for that is the simulation of the operation of compactors (hedgehogs) at the landfill. Therefore, during the research, various innovative solutions are introduced, such as changing the classic flat Proctor hammer, by adding spikes, whose function is, in addition to compaction, destruction and shredding of municipal waste. The paper presents the behavior of municipal waste for four synthetic waste samples with different waste compositions (Plandište landfill). The samples were tested in standard Proctor apparatus at the same compaction energy, but with two different hammers: standard flat hammer and hammer with spikes.

Keywords: compaction, hammer with spikes, landfill, municipal solid waste, proctor compaction test

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12 CD133 and CD44 - Stem Cell Markers for Prediction of Clinically Aggressive Form of Colorectal Cancer

Authors: Ognen Kostovski, Svetozar Antovic, Rubens Jovanovic, Irena Kostovska, Nikola Jankulovski

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Introduction:Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies in the world. The cancer stem cell (CSC) markers are associated with aggressive cancer types and poor prognosis. The aim of study was to determine whether the expression of colorectal cancer stem cell markers CD133 and CD44 could be significant in prediction of clinically aggressive form of CRC. Materials and methods: Our study included ninety patients (n=90) with CRC. Patients were divided into two subgroups: with metatstatic CRC and non-metastatic CRC. Tumor samples were analyzed with standard histopathological methods, than was performed immunohistochemical analysis with monoclonal antibodies against CD133 and CD44 stem cell markers. Results: High coexpression of CD133 and CD44 was observed in 71.4% of patients with metastatic disease, compared to 37.9% in patients without metastases. Discordant expression of both markers was found in 8% of the subgroup with metastatic CRC, and in 13.4% of the subgroup without metastatic CRC. Statistical analyses showed a significant association of increased expression of CD133 and CD44 with the disease stage, T - category and N - nodal status. With multiple regression analysis the stage of disease was designate as a factor with the greatest statistically significant influence on expression of CD133 (p <0.0001) and CD44 (p <0.0001). Conclusion: Our results suggest that the coexpression of CD133 and CD44 have an important role in prediction of clinically aggressive form of CRC. Both stem cell markers can be routinely implemented in standard pathohistological diagnostics and can be useful markers for pre-therapeutic oncology screening.

Keywords: colorectal carcinoma, stem cells, CD133+, CD44+

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11 Recovery of Au and Other Metals from Old Electronic Components by Leaching and Liquid Extraction Process

Authors: Tomasz Smolinski, Irena Herdzik-Koniecko, Marta Pyszynska, M. Rogowski

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Old electronic components can be easily found nowadays. Significant quantities of valuable metals such as gold, silver or copper are used for the production of advanced electronic devices. Old useless electronic device slowly became a new source of precious metals, very often more efficient than natural. For example, it is possible to recover more gold from 1-ton personal computers than seventeen tons of gold ore. It makes urban mining industry very profitable and necessary for sustainable development. For the recovery of metals from waste of electronic equipment, various treatment options based on conventional physical, hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes are available. In this group hydrometallurgy processes with their relatively low capital cost, low environmental impact, potential for high metal recoveries and suitability for small scale applications, are very promising options. Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology has great experience in hydrometallurgy processes especially focused on recovery metals from industrial and agricultural wastes. At the moment, urban mining project is carried out. The method of effective recovery of valuable metals from central processing units (CPU) components has been developed. The principal processes such as acidic leaching and solvent extraction were used for precious metals recovery from old processors and graphic cards. Electronic components were treated by acidic solution at various conditions. Optimal acid concentration, time of the process and temperature were selected. Precious metals have been extracted to the aqueous phase. At the next step, metals were selectively extracted by organic solvents such as oximes or tributyl phosphate (TBP) etc. Multistage mixer-settler equipment was used. The process was optimized.

Keywords: electronic waste, leaching, hydrometallurgy, metal recovery, solvent extraction

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10 Water Reclamation from Synthetic Winery Wastewater Using a Fertiliser Drawn Forward Osmosis System Evaluating Aquaporin-Based Biomimetic and Cellulose Triacetate Forward Osmosis Membranes

Authors: Robyn Augustine, Irena Petrinic, Claus Helix-Nielsen, Marshall S. Sheldon

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This study examined the performance of two commercial forward osmosis (FO) membranes; an aquaporin (AQP) based biomimetic membrane, and cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane in a fertiliser is drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) system for the reclamation of water from synthetic winery wastewater (SWW) operated over 24 hr. Straight, 1 M KCl and 1 M NH₄NO₃ fertiliser solutions were evaluated as draw solutions in the FDFO system. The performance of the AQP-based biomimetic and CTA FO membranes were evaluated in terms of permeate water flux (Jw), reverse solute flux (Js) and percentage water recovery (Re). The average water flux and reverse solute flux when using 1 M KCl as a draw solution against controlled feed solution, deionised (DI) water, was 11.65 L/m²h and 3.98 g/m²h (AQP) and 6.24 L/m²h and 2.89 g/m²h (CTA), respectively. Using 1 M NH₄NO₃ as a draw solution yielded average water fluxes and reverse solute fluxes of 10.73 L/m²h and 1.31 g/m²h (AQP) and 5.84 L/m²h and 1.39 g/m²h (CTA), respectively. When using SWW as the feed solution and 1 M KCl and 1 M NH₄NO₃ as draw solutions, respectively, the average water fluxes observed were 8.15 and 9.66 L/m²h (AQP) and 5.02 and 5.65 L/m²h (CTA). Membrane water flux decline was the result of a combined decrease in the effective driving force of the FDFO system, reverse solute flux and organic fouling. Permeate water flux recoveries of between 84-98%, and 83-89% were observed for the AQP-based biomimetic and CTA membrane, respectively after physical cleaning by flushing was employed. The highest water recovery rate of 49% was observed for the 1 M KCl fertiliser draw solution with AQP-based biomimetic membrane and proved superior in the reclamation of water from SWW.

Keywords: aquaporin biomimetic membrane, cellulose triacetate membrane, forward osmosis, reverse solute flux, synthetic winery wastewater and water flux

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9 The Impact of Selected Personality Skills on Intercultural Interaction and Communication of Students of Social Pedagogy in the Czech Republic

Authors: Irena Balaban Cakirpaloglu, Karla Hrbackova

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This paper focuses on the issue of intercultural competencies of university students who are preparing to work in assisting professions. In recent years, the Czech Republic has become a major destination for many people from different cultural environments, and there is a growing need for workers in assisting professions to be able to respond flexibly and adequately to the changing living conditions of multicultural coexistence. The main objective of this study is to analyse the preparedness of students in assisting professions in relation to intercultural competencies. Intercultural competences include several essential skills for working successfully with diversity. Taking into account the main objective of this research, a pilot study was conducted among students of Social Pedagogy at the Faculty of Humanities at Tomas Bata University in Zlin in the academic year 2017/2018. The research sample consisted of 116 students. To obtain the data, we used the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) by Kelley and Meyers. The inventory maps strengths and weaknesses in 4 skill areas: Emotional Resilience, Flexibility/Openness, Perceptual Acuity and Personal Autonomy. This inventory also examines individual ability to succeed in intercultural interaction and communication. The results obtained from the survey were statistically processed and analysed using the relevant statistical methods. The results of the survey point to the fact that students of social pedagogy achieve average to below average results in individual skill areas. At the same time, significant differences have been detected among the students with work experience in multicultural environment and those with no experience.

Keywords: cross–cultural adaptability inventory, diversity, intercultural competences, students of social pedagogy

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8 Disclosing a Patriarchal Society: A Socio-Legal Study on the Indigenous Women's Involvement in Natural Resources Management in Kasepuhan Cirompang

Authors: Irena Lucy Ishimora, Eva Maria Putri Salsabila

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The constellation on Indonesian Legal System that varies shows a structural injustice – as a result of patriarchy – exists from the biggest range as a country to the smallest such as a family. Women in their lives, carry out excessive responsibilities in the community. However, the unequal positions between men and women in the society restrain women to fulfill their constructed role. Therefore, increasing the chance for women to become the victim of structural injustice. The lack of authority given to women and its effects can be seen through a case study of the Cirompang Indigenous Women’s involvement in natural resources management. The decision to make the Mount Halimun-Salak as a National Park and the expansion itself did not involve nor consider the existence of indigenous people (Kasepuhan Ciromopang) – especially the women’s experience regarding natural resources management – has been significantly impacting the fulfillment of the indigenous women’s rights. Moreover, the adat law that still reflects patriarchy, made matters worse because women are restricted from expressing their opinion. The writers explored the experience of Cirompang indigenous women through in-depth interviews with them and analyzed it with several theories such as ecofeminism, woman’s access to land and legal pluralism. This paper is important to show how the decision and expansion of the National Park reduced the rights of access to land, natural resources, expressing an opinion, and participating in development. Reflecting on the Cirompang Indigenous Women’s conditions on natural resources management, this paper aims to present the implications of the regulations that do not acknowledge Indigenous women’s experience and the proposed solutions. First, there should be an integration between the law regarding indigenous people and traditional rights in a regulation to align the understanding of indigenous people and their rights. Secondly, Indonesia as a country that’s rich with diversity should ratify the ILO Convention no 169 to reaffirm the protection of Indigenous people’s rights. Last, considering the position of indigenous women that still experienced unjustness in the community, the government and NGOs must collaborate to provide adequate assistance for them.

Keywords: Cirompang indigenous women, indigenous women’s rights, structural injustice, women access to land

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7 Intentional Cultivation of Non-toxic Filamentous Cyanobacteria Tolypothrix as an Approach to Treat Eutrophic Waters

Authors: Simona Lucakova, Irena Branyikova

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Eutrophication, a condition when water becomes over-enriched with nutrients (P, N), can lead to undesirable excessive growth of phytoplankton, so-called algal bloom. This process results in the accumulation of toxin-producing cyanobacteria and oxygen depletion, both possibly leading to the collapse of the whole ecosystem. In real conditions, the limiting nutrient, which determines the possible growth of harmful algal bloom, is usually phosphorus. Algicides or flocculants have been applied in the eutrophicated waterbody in order to reduce the phytoplankton growth, which leads to the introduction of toxic chemicals into the water. In our laboratory, the idea of the prevention of harmful phytoplankton growth by the intentional cultivation of non-toxic cyanobacteria Tolypothrix tenuis in semi-open floating photobioreactors directly on the surface of phosphorus-rich waterbody is examined. During the process of cultivation, redundant phosphorus is incorporated into cyanobacterial biomass, which can be subsequently used for the production of biofuels, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, or biostimulants for agricultural use. To determine the ability of phosphorus incorporation, batch-cultivation of Tolypothrix biomass in media simulating eutrophic water (10% BG medium) and in effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plant, both with the initial phosphorus concentration in the range 0.5-1.0 mgP/L was performed in laboratory-scale models of floating photobioreactors. After few hours of cultivation, the phosphorus content was decreased below the target limit of 0.035 mgP/L, which was given as a borderline for the algal bloom formation. Under laboratory conditions, the effect of several parameters on the rate of phosphorus decrease was tested (illumination, temperature, stirring speed/aeration gas flow, biomass to medium ratio). Based on the obtained results, a bench-scale floating photobioreactor was designed and will be tested for Tolypothrix growth in real conditions. It was proved that intentional cultivation of cyanobacteria Tolypothrix could be a suitable approach for extracting redundant phosphorus from eutrophic waters as prevention of algal bloom formation.

Keywords: cyanobacteria, eutrophication, floating photobioreactor, Tolypothrix

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6 Coach-Created Motivational Climate and the Coach-Athlete Relationship

Authors: Kamila Irena Szpunar

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The central idea of the study is considered from two perspectives. The first perspective includes the interpersonal relationships formed by coach and athlete. Another perspective is connected with motivational environment which is created by the coach in team. This study will show the interplay between the perceived motivational climate created by the coach and the interpersonal dynamics between coaches and athletes. It is important because it will supply knowledge of the interpersonal conditions that can foster adaptive or maladaptive behavior in sport conditions. It also ensures implications for understanding how the perceived motivational atmosphere in a team is manifested at the level of coach – athlete relationship and interactions. The primary purpose of the study was to identify the association between coach-athlete relationship and athletes' perception of the motivational climate in team sports. The secondary purposes examined the differences between female and male athletes in perceiving of the motivational climate and the coach athlete-relationship. To check coach-athlete relationship Polish translation of The Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire will be used. It measures athletes' perceptions of coach- athlete relationship defined by 3+1 Cs conceptual model of the coach-athlete relationship. From this model were used three constructs such as closeness (feelings of trust, respect etc.), commitment (thoughts about the future of the relationship), and complementarity (co-operative interactions during practice sessions). To check perceived motivational climate will be used Polish translation of The Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire-2 (PMCSQ-2). PMCSQ-2 was created to assess athletes' perceptions of the motivational climates in their teams. The questionnaire includes two general dimensions, the perceived task-involving climate and the perceived ego-involving climate; each contains three subscales. To check the associations between elements the motivational climate and coach-athlete relationship was used canonical correlation analysis. Student's t-test was used to check gender differences in athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate and the coach-athlete relationship. The findings suggest that in Polish athletes' perceptions of the coach-athlete relationship have motivational significance and that there are gender differences between female and male athletes in both variables – coach-athlete relationship and kind of motivational climate. According to the author's knowledge, such kind of study has not been conducted in Polish conditions before and is the first study on the subject of the motivational climate and the coach-athlete relationship in Poland. Information from this study can be useful for the development of interventions for enhancing the quality of coach- athlete relationship and its associated outcomes connected with motivational climate.

Keywords: coach-athlete relationship, ego-involving climate, motivational climate, task-involving climate

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5 Ochratoxin-A in Traditional Meat Products from Croatian Households

Authors: Jelka Pleadin, Nina Kudumija, Ana Vulic, Manuela Zadravec, Tina Lesic, Mario Skrivanko, Irena Perkovic, Nada Vahcic

Abstract:

Products of animal origin, such as meat and meat products, can contribute to human mycotoxins’ intake coming as a result of either indirect transfer from farm animals exposed to naturally contaminated grains and feed (carry-over effects) or direct contamination with moulds or naturally contaminated spice mixtures used in meat production. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is mycotoxin considered to be of the outermost importance from the public health standpoint in connection with meat products. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of OTA in different traditional meat products circulating on Croatian markets during 2018, produced by a large number of households situated in eastern and north Croatian regions using a variety of technologies. Concentrations of OTA were determined in traditional meat products (n = 70), including dry fermented sausages (Slavonian kulen, Slavonian sausage, Istrian sausage and domestic sausage; n = 28), dry-cured meat products (pancetta, pork rack and ham; n = 22) and cooked sausages (liver sausages, black pudding sausages and pate; n = 20). OTA was analyzed by use of quantitative screening immunoassay method (ELISA) and confirmed for positive samples (higher than the limit of detection) by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Whereas the bacon samples contaminated with OTA were not found, its level in dry fermented sausages ranged from 0.22 to 2.17 µg/kg and in dry-cured meat products from 0.47 to 5.35 µg/kg, with in total 9% of positive samples. Besides possible primary contamination of these products arising due to improper manufacturing or/and storage conditions, observed OTA contamination could also be the consequence of secondary contamination that comes as a result of contaminated feed the animals were fed on. OTA levels obtained in cooked sausages ranged from 0.32 to 4.12 µg/kg (5% of positives) and could probably be linked to the contaminated raw materials (liver, kidney and spices) used in the sausages production. The results showed an occasional OTA contamination of traditional meat products, pointing that to avoid such contamination on households these products should be produced and processed under standardized and well-controlled conditions. Further investigations should be performed in order to identify mycotoxin-producing moulds on the surface of the products and to define preventative measures that can reduce the contamination of traditional meat products during their production on households and period of storage.

Keywords: Croatian households, ochratoxin-A, traditional cooked sausages, traditional dry-cured meat products

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4 Market Segmentation of Cruise Ship Passengers: Implications for Marketing of Local Products and Services at Destination Points

Authors: Gunnar Oskarsson, Irena Georgsdottir

Abstract:

Tourism has been growing incredibly fast during the past years, including the cruise industry, which is gaining increasing popularity among various groups of travelers. It is a challenging task for companies serving cruise ship passengers with local products and services at the point of destination to reach them in due time with information about their offerings, as well learning how to adapt their offerings and messages to the type of customers arriving on each particular occasion. Although some research has been conducted in this sphere, there is still limited knowledge about many specifics within this sector of the tourist industry. The objective of this research is to examine one of these, with the main goal of studying the segmentation of cruise passengers and to learn about marketing practices directed towards them. A qualitative research method, based on in-depth interviews, was used, as this provides an opportunity to gain insight into the participants’ perspectives. Interviews were conducted with 10 respondents from different companies in the tourist industry in Iceland, who interact with cruise passengers on a regular basis in their work environment. The main objective was to gain an understanding of what distinguishes different customer groups, or segments, in this industry, and of the marketing approaches directed towards them. The main findings reveal that participants note the strongest difference between cruise passengers of different nationalities, passengers coming on different ships (size and type), and passengers arriving at different times of the year. A drastic difference was noticed between nationalities in four main segments, American, British, Other European, and Asian customers, although some of these segments could be divided into even further sub-segments. Other important differencing factors were size and type of ships, quality or number of stars on the ship, and travelling time of the year. Companies serving cruise ship passengers, as well as the customers themselves, could benefit if the offerings of services were designed specifically for particular segments within the industry. Concerning marketing towards cruise passengers, the results indicate that it is carried out almost exclusively through the Internet using; a reliable website and, search engine optimization. Marketing is also by word-of-mouth. This research can assist practitioners by offering a deeper understanding of the approaches that may be effective in marketing local products and services to cruise ship passengers, based on their segmentation and by identifying effective ways to reach them. The research, furthermore, provides a valuable contribution to marketing knowledge for the benefit of an increasingly important market segment in a fast growing tourist industry.

Keywords: capabilities, global integration, internationalisation, SMEs

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3 A Strategic Approach for Promoting Renewable Energy Technologies in Developing Countries

Authors: Hanee Ryu

Abstract:

The supporting policies for renewable energy have been designed to deploy renewable energy technology targeting domestic market. The government encourages market creation through obligations such as FIT or RPS on an energy supplier. With these policy measures, the securing vast market needs to induce technology development. Furthermore, it is crucial that ensuring developing market can make the environment nurture the renewable energy industry. Overseas expansion to countries being in demand is essential under immature domestic market. Extending its business abroad can make the domestic company get the knowledge through learning-by-doing. Besides, operation in the countries to be rich in renewable resources such as weather conditions helps to develop proven track record required for verifying technologies. This paper figures out the factor to hamper the global market entry and build up the strategies to overcome difficulties. Survey conducted renewable energy company having overseas experiences at least once. Based on the survey we check the obstacle against exporting home goods and services. As a result, securing funds is salient fact to proceed to business. It is difficult that only private bank or investment agencies participate in the project under uncertainty which renewable energy development project bears inherently. These uncertainties need public fund such as ODA to encourage private sectors to start a business. Furthermore, international organizations such as IRENA or multilateral development banks as WBG play a role to guarantee the investment including risk insurance against uncertainty. It can also manage excavation business cooperating with developing countries and supplement inadequate government funding involved. With survey results strategies to obtain the order, the international organization places are categorized according to the type of getting a contract. This paper suggests 3 types approaching to the international organization project (going through international competitive bidding, using ODA and project financing) and specifies the role of government to support the domestic firms with running out of funds. Under renewable energy industry environment where hard to being created as a spontaneous market, government policy approach needs to motivate the actors to get into the business. It is one of the good strategies that countries with the low demand of renewable energies participate in the project international agencies order in the developing countries having abundant resources. This provides crucial guidance for the formulation of renewable energy development policy and planning with consideration of business opportunities and funding.

Keywords: exporting strategies, multilateral development banks, promoting in developing countries, renewable energy technologies

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2 Design of a Small and Medium Enterprise Growth Prediction Model Based on Web Mining

Authors: Yiea Funk Te, Daniel Mueller, Irena Pletikosa Cvijikj

Abstract:

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the economy of many countries. When the overall world economy is considered, SMEs represent 95% of all businesses in the world, accounting for 66% of the total employment. Existing studies show that the current business environment is characterized as highly turbulent and strongly influenced by modern information and communication technologies, thus forcing SMEs to experience more severe challenges in maintaining their existence and expanding their business. To support SMEs at improving their competitiveness, researchers recently turned their focus on applying data mining techniques to build risk and growth prediction models. However, data used to assess risk and growth indicators is primarily obtained via questionnaires, which is very laborious and time-consuming, or is provided by financial institutes, thus highly sensitive to privacy issues. Recently, web mining (WM) has emerged as a new approach towards obtaining valuable insights in the business world. WM enables automatic and large scale collection and analysis of potentially valuable data from various online platforms, including companies’ websites. While WM methods have been frequently studied to anticipate growth of sales volume for e-commerce platforms, their application for assessment of SME risk and growth indicators is still scarce. Considering that a vast proportion of SMEs own a website, WM bears a great potential in revealing valuable information hidden in SME websites, which can further be used to understand SME risk and growth indicators, as well as to enhance current SME risk and growth prediction models. This study aims at developing an automated system to collect business-relevant data from the Web and predict future growth trends of SMEs by means of WM and data mining techniques. The envisioned system should serve as an 'early recognition system' for future growth opportunities. In an initial step, we examine how structured and semi-structured Web data in governmental or SME websites can be used to explain the success of SMEs. WM methods are applied to extract Web data in a form of additional input features for the growth prediction model. The data on SMEs provided by a large Swiss insurance company is used as ground truth data (i.e. growth-labeled data) to train the growth prediction model. Different machine learning classification algorithms such as the Support Vector Machine, Random Forest and Artificial Neural Network are applied and compared, with the goal to optimize the prediction performance. The results are compared to those from previous studies, in order to assess the contribution of growth indicators retrieved from the Web for increasing the predictive power of the model.

Keywords: data mining, SME growth, success factors, web mining

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1 Separation of Urinary Proteins with Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis in Patients with Secondary Nephropathies

Authors: Irena Kostovska, Katerina Tosheska Trajkovska, Svetlana Cekovska, Julijana Brezovska Kavrakova, Hristina Ampova, Sonja Topuzovska, Ognen Kostovski, Goce Spasovski, Danica Labudovic

Abstract:

Background: Proteinuria is an important feature of secondary nephropathies. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of proteinuria plays an important role in determining the types of proteinuria (glomerular, tubular and mixed), in the diagnosis and prognosis of secondary nephropathies. The damage of the glomerular basement membrane is responsible for a proteinuria characterized by the presence of large amounts of protein with high molecular weights such as albumin (69 kilo Daltons-kD), transferrin (78 kD) and immunoglobulin G (150 kD). An insufficiency of proximal tubular function is the cause of a proteinuria characterized by the presence of proteins with low molecular weight (LMW), such as retinol binding protein (21 kD) and α1-microglobulin (31 kD). In some renal diseases, a mixed glomerular and tubular proteinuria is frequently seen. Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) is the most widely used method of analyzing urine proteins for clinical purposes. The main aim of the study is to determine the type of proteinuria in the most common secondary nephropathies such as diabetic, hypertensive nephropathy and preeclampsia. Material and methods: In this study were included 90 subjects: subjects with diabetic nephropathy (n=30), subjects with hypertensive nephropahty (n=30) and pregnant women with preeclampsia (n=30). We divided all subjects according to UM/CR into three subgroups: macroalbuminuric (UM/CR >300 mg/g), microalbuminuric (UM/CR 30-300 mg/g) and normolabuminuric (UM/CR<30 mg/g). In all subjects, we measured microalbumin and creatinine in urine with standard biochemical methods. Separation of urinary proteins was performed by SDS-PAGE, in several stages: linear gel preparation (4-22%), treatment of urinary samples before their application on the gel, electrophoresis, gel fixation, coloring with Coomassie blue, and identification of the separated protein fractions based on standards with exactly known molecular weight. Results: According to urinary microalbumin/creatinin ratio in group of subject with diabetic nephropathy, nine patients were macroalbuminuric, while 21 subject were microalbuminuric. In group of subjects with hypertensive nephropathy, we found macroalbuminuria (n=4), microalbuminuria (n=20) and normoalbuminuria (n=6). All pregnant women with preeclampsia were macroalbuminuric. Electrophoretic separation of urinary proteins showed that in macroalbuminric patients with diabetic nephropathy 56% have mixed proteinuria, 22% have glomerular proteinuria and 22% have tubular proteinuria. In subgroup of subjects with diabetic nephropathy and microalbuminuria, 52% have glomerular proteinuria, 8% have tubular proteinuria, and 40% of subjects have normal electrophoretic findings. All patients with maroalbuminuria and hypertensive nephropathy have mixed proteinuria. In subgroup of patients with microalbuminuria and hypertensive nephropathy, we found: 32% with mixed proteinuria, 27% with normal findings, 23% with tubular, and 18% with glomerular proteinuria. In all normoalbuminruic patiens with hypertensive nephropathy, we detected normal electrophoretic findings. In group of subjects pregnant women with preeclampsia, we found: 81% with mixed proteinuria, 13% with glomerular, and 8% with tubular proteinuria. Conclusion: By SDS PAGE method, we detected that in patients with secondary nephropathies the most common type of proteinuria is mixed proteinuria, indicating both loss of glomerular permeability and tubular function. We can conclude that SDS PAGE is high sensitive method for detection of renal impairment in patients with secondary nephropathies.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy, preeclampsia, hypertensive nephropathy, SDS PAGE

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