Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 101

Search results for: Johan Sebastián Lopera Valle

41 Improvement of the Quality Services of Social Robots by Understanding Requirements of People with Dementia

Authors: Konrad Rejdak, Agnieszka Korchut, Sebastian Szklener, Urszula Skrobas, Justyna Gerlowska, Katarzyna Grabowska-Aleksandrowicz, Dorota Szczesniak-Stanczyk


Introduction: Neurodegenerative diseases are frequently accompanied by loss and unwanted change in functional independence, social relationships, and economic circumstances. Currently, the achievements of social robots to date is being projected to improve multidimensional quality of life among people with cognitive impairment and others. Objectives: Identification of particular human needs in context of the changes occurring in course of neurodegenerative diseases. Methods: Based on the 110 surveys performed in Medical University of Lublin from medical staff, patients, and caregivers we made prioritization of the users' needs as: high, medium, and low. The issues included in the surveys concerned four aspects: user acceptance, functional requirements, design of the robotic assistant and preferred types of human-robot interaction. Results: We received completed questionnaires: 50 from medical staff, 30 from caregivers and 30 from potential users. Above 90% of the respondents from each of the three groups, accepted robotic assistant as a potential caregiver. High priority functional capability of assistive technology was to handle emergencies in a private home like recognizing life-threatening situations and reminding about medication intake. With reference to design of the robotic assistant, the majority of the respondent would like to have an anthropomorphic appearance with positive emotionally expressive face. The most important type of human-robot interaction was voice-operated system and by touchscreen. Conclusion: The results from our study might contribute to a better understanding of the system and users’ requirements for the development of a service robot intended to support patients with dementia.

Keywords: Dementia, Requirements, social robot, patients needs

Procedia PDF Downloads 72
40 Switching of Series-Parallel Connected Modules in an Array for Partially Shaded Conditions in a Pollution Intensive Area Using High Powered MOSFETs

Authors: Osamede Asowata, Christo Pienaar, Johan Bekker


Photovoltaic (PV) modules may become a trend for future PV systems because of their greater flexibility in distributed system expansion, easier installation due to their nature, and higher system-level energy harnessing capabilities under shaded or PV manufacturing mismatch conditions. This is as compared to the single or multi-string inverters. Novel residential scale PV arrays are commonly connected to the grid by a single DC–AC inverter connected to a series, parallel or series-parallel string of PV panels, or many small DC–AC inverters which connect one or two panels directly to the AC grid. With an increasing worldwide interest in sustainable energy production and use, there is renewed focus on the power electronic converter interface for DC energy sources. Three specific examples of such DC energy sources that will have a role in distributed generation and sustainable energy systems are the photovoltaic (PV) panel, the fuel cell stack, and batteries of various chemistries. A high-efficiency inverter using Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) for all active switches is presented for a non-isolated photovoltaic and AC-module applications. The proposed configuration features a high efficiency over a wide load range, low ground leakage current and low-output AC-current distortion with no need for split capacitors. The detailed power stage operating principles, pulse width modulation scheme, multilevel bootstrap power supply, and integrated gate drivers for the proposed inverter is described. Experimental results of a hardware prototype, show that not only are MOSFET efficient in the system, it also shows that the ground leakage current issues are alleviated in the proposed inverter and also a 98 % maximum associated driver circuit is achieved. This, in turn, provides the need for a possible photovoltaic panel switching technique. This will help to reduce the effect of cloud movements as well as improve the overall efficiency of the system.

Keywords: maximum power point tracking (mppt), grid connected photovoltaic (PV), Matlab efficiency simulation, module integrated converters (MICs), multilevel converter, series connected converter

Procedia PDF Downloads 8
39 The Impact Evaluation of the Innovation Implementation within the EU Funds on the SMEs Performance Results

Authors: Sebastian Kot, Beata Ślusarczyk


In subjective terms, Polish SME sector occupies a prominent position in the national economic development, in which planning of the management strategies should be primarily based on identifying and meeting the innovation needs. As a research sample, there is chosen a printing sector of industry. SMEs share in printing sector in Poland is estimated at the level of 81% of all enterprises. In recent years, the printing industry achieved one of the highest levels of EU support in Poland. There is a relatively high increase in the development of technological innovations in equipment and the associated significant increase in production capacity. It can be also noticed that on average, every third enterprise belonging to the printing industry has implemented innovations, but not all of them effected in better economic results. Therefore, the aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of the implementation of innovation projects financed from the EU funds for performance of SMEs in the printing industry. As the results of research of EU funds co-financing effects on the development of innovation in the printing industry, it was specified that examined SMEs prefer to implement product innovation to receive a grant to the project at a level between 40% to 60%, the remaining part of the investment is usually covered with equity. The most common type of innovation had indicated a single implementation, related only to the change in process, technology, or organization. The relationship between variables of the EU funds and management of innovative activities was verified. It has been observed that the identified variables arising from the support in a form of the EU funds had a positive effect on the level of earned revenue, the increase in margin and in increase in employment as well. It was confirmed that the implemented innovations supported by the European funds have a positive impact on the performance of the printing companies. Although there is a risk that due to the decreasing demand for printing services such a high level of funding the companies in this sector will significantly increase competition in the long term, that may also contribute to the economic problems of the enterprises belonging to the analyzed branch.

Keywords: Performance, Innovations, SMEs, results

Procedia PDF Downloads 194
38 Dose Profiler: A Tracking Device for Online Range Monitoring in Particle Therapy

Authors: V. Patera, A. Sarti, A. Sciubba, G. Traini, M. Marafini, G. Battistoni, F. Collamati, E. De Lucia, R. Faccini, C. Mancini-Terracciano, I. Mattei, S. Muraro, E. Solfaroli Camillocci, M. Toppi, S. M. Valle, C. Voena


Accelerated charged particles, mainly protons and carbon ions, are presently used in Particle Therapy (PT) to treat solid tumors. The precision of PT exploiting the charged particle high localized dose deposition in tissues and biological effectiveness in killing cancer cells demands for an online dose monitoring technique, crucial to improve the quality assurance of treatments: possible patient mis-positionings and biological changes with respect to the CT scan could negatively affect the therapy outcome. In PT the beam range confined in the irradiated target can be monitored thanks to the secondary radiation produced by the interaction of the projectiles with the patient tissue. The Dose Profiler (DP) is a novel device designed to track charged secondary particles and reconstruct their longitudinal emission distribution, correlated to the Bragg peak position. The feasibility of this approach has been demonstrated by dedicated experimental measurements. The DP has been developed in the framework of the INSIDE project, MIUR, INFN and Centro Fermi, Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche 'E. Fermi', Roma, Italy and will be tested at the Proton Therapy center of Trento (Italy) within the end of 2017. The DP combines a tracker, made of six layers of two-view scintillating fibers with square cross section (0.5 x 0.5 mm2) with two layers of two-view scintillating bars (section 12.0 x 0.6 mm2). The electronic readout is performed by silicon photomultipliers. The sensitive area of the tracking planes is 20 x 20 cm2. To optimize the detector layout, a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation based on the FLUKA code has been developed. The complete DP geometry and the track reconstruction code have been fully implemented in the MC. In this contribution, the DP hardware will be described. The expected detector performance computed using a dedicated simulation of a 220 MeV/u carbon ion beam impinging on a PMMA target will be presented, and the result will be discussed in the standard clinical application framework. A possible procedure for real-time beam range monitoring is proposed, following the expectations in actual clinical operation.

Keywords: Quality assurance, particle therapy, tracking detector, online range monitoring

Procedia PDF Downloads 103
37 Authentication and Traceability of Meat Products from South Indian Market by Species-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction

Authors: J. U. Santhosh Kumar, V. Krishna, Sebin Sebastian, G. S. Seethapathy, G. Ravikanth, R. Uma Shaanker


Food is one of the basic needs of human beings. It requires the normal function of the body part and a healthy growth. Recently, food adulteration increases day by day to increase the quantity and make more benefit. Animal source foods can provide a variety of micronutrients that are difficult to obtain in adequate quantities from plant source foods alone. Particularly in the meat industry, products from animals are susceptible targets for fraudulent labeling due to the economic profit that results from selling cheaper meat as meat from more profitable and desirable species. This work presents an overview of the main PCR-based techniques applied to date to verify the authenticity of beef meat and meat products from beef species. We were analyzed 25 market beef samples in South India. We examined PCR methods based on the sequence of the cytochrome b gene for source species identification. We found all sample were sold as beef meat as Bos Taurus. However, interestingly Male meats are more valuable high price compare to female meat, due to this reason most of the markets samples are susceptible. We were used sex determination gene of cattle like TSPY(Y-encoded, testis-specific protein TSPY is a Y-specific gene). TSPY homologs exist in several mammalian species, including humans, horses, and cattle. This gene is Y coded testis protein genes, which only amplify the male. We used multiple PCR products form species-specific “fingerprints” on gel electrophoresis, which may be useful for meat authentication. Amplicons were obtained only by the Cattle -specific PCR. We found 13 market meat samples sold as female beef samples. These results suggest that the species-specific PCR methods established in this study would be useful for simple and easy detection of adulteration of meat products.

Keywords: Authentication, Meat Products, species-specific, TSPY

Procedia PDF Downloads 249
36 Enzyme Involvement in the Biosynthesis of Selenium Nanoparticles by Geobacillus wiegelii Strain GWE1 Isolated from a Drying Oven

Authors: Daniela N. Correa-Llantén, Sebastián A. Muñoz-Ibacache, Mathilde Maire, Jenny M. Blamey


The biosynthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms, on the contrary to chemical synthesis, is an environmentally-friendly process which has low energy requirements. In this investigation, we used the microorganism Geobacillus wiegelii, strain GWE1, an aerobic thermophile belonging to genus Geobacillus, isolated from a drying oven. This microorganism has the ability to reduce selenite evidenced by the change of color from colorless to red in the culture. Elemental analysis and composition of the particles were verified using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The nanoparticles have a defined spherical shape and a selenium elemental state. Previous experiments showed that the presence of the whole microorganism for the reduction of selenite was not necessary. The results strongly suggested that an intracellular NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase mediates selenium nanoparticles synthesis under aerobic conditions. The enzyme was purified and identified by mass spectroscopy MALDI-TOF TOF technique. The enzyme is a 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase. Histograms of nanoparticles sizes were obtained. Size distribution ranged from 40-160 nm, where 70% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. Spectroscopic analysis showed that the nanoparticles are composed of elemental selenium. To analyse the effect of pH in size and morphology of nanoparticles, the synthesis of them was carried out at different pHs (4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0). For thermostability studies samples were incubated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 ºC) for 1 h and 3 h. The size of all nanoparticles was less than 100 nm at pH 4.0; over 50% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm at pH 5.0; at pH 6.0 and 8.0 over 90% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. At neutral pH (7.0) nanoparticles reach a size around 120 nm and only 20% of them were less than 100 nm. When looking at temperature effect, nanoparticles did not show a significant difference in size when they were incubated between 0 and 3 h at 60 ºC. Meanwhile at 80 °C the nanoparticles suspension lost its homogeneity. A change in size was observed from 0 h of incubation at 80ºC, observing a size range between 40-160 nm, with 20% of them over 100 nm. Meanwhile after 3 h of incubation at size range changed to 60-180 nm with 50% of them over 100 nm. At 100 °C the nanoparticles aggregate forming nanorod structures. In conclusion, these results indicate that is possible to modulate size and shape of biologically synthesized nanoparticles by modulating pH and temperature.

Keywords: Biosynthesis, genus Geobacillus, NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase, selenium nanoparticles

Procedia PDF Downloads 186
35 [Keynote Talk]: Production Flow Coordination on Supply Chains: Brazilian Case Studies

Authors: Maico R. Severino, Laura G. Caixeta, Nadine M. Costa, Raísa L. T. Napoleão, Éverton F. V. Valle, Diego D. Calixto, Danielle Oliveira


One of the biggest barriers that companies find nowadays is the coordination of production flow in their Supply Chains (SC). In this study, coordination is understood as a mechanism for incorporating the entire production channel, with everyone involved focused on achieving the same goals. Sometimes, this coordination is attempted by the use of logistics practices or production plan and control methods. No papers were found in the literature that presented the combined use of logistics practices and production plan and control methods. The main objective of this paper is to propose solutions for six case studies combining logistics practices and Ordering Systems (OS). The methodology used in this study was a conceptual model of decision making. This model contains six phases: a) the analysis the types and characteristics of relationships in the SC; b) the choice of the OS; c) the choice of the logistics practices; d) the development of alternative proposals of combined use; e) the analysis of the consistency of the chosen alternative; f) the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the impact on the coordination of the production flow and the verification of applicability of the proposal in the real case. This study was conducted on six Brazilian SC of different sectors: footwear, food and beverages, garment, sugarcane, mineral and metal mechanical. The results from this study showed that there was improvement in the coordination of the production flow through the following proposals: a) for the footwear industry the use of Period Bath Control (PBC), Quick Response (QR) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP); b) for the food and beverage sector firstly the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), ERP, Continuous Replenishment (CR) and Drum-Buffer-Rope Order (DBR) (for situations in which the plants of both companies are distant), and secondly EDI, ERP, Milk-Run and Review System Continues (for situations in which the plants of both companies are close); c) for the garment industry the use of Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) and Constant Work-In-Process (CONWIP) System; d) for the sugarcane sector the use of EDI, ERP and CONWIP System; e) for the mineral processes industry the use of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), EDI and MaxMin Control System; f) for the metal mechanical sector the use of CONWIP System and Continuous Replenishment (CR). It should be emphasized that the proposals are exclusively recommended for the relationship between client and supplier studied. Therefore, it cannot be generalized to other cases. However, what can be generalized is the methodology used to choose the best practices for each case. Based on the study, it can be concluded that the combined use of OS and logistics practices enable a better coordination of flow production on SC.

Keywords: Supply Chain Management, production flow coordination, logistics practices, ordering systems

Procedia PDF Downloads 88
34 Simulation of the FDA Centrifugal Blood Pump Using High Performance Computing

Authors: Mehdi Behbahani, Sebastian Rible, Charles Moulinec, Yvan Fournier, Mike Nicolai, Paolo Crosetto


Computational Fluid Dynamics blood-flow simulations are increasingly used to develop and validate blood-contacting medical devices. This study shows that numerical simulations can provide additional and accurate estimates of relevant hemodynamic indicators (e.g., recirculation zones or wall shear stresses), which may be difficult and expensive to obtain from in-vivo or in-vitro experiments. The most recent FDA (Food and Drug Administration) benchmark consisted of a simplified centrifugal blood pump model that contains fluid flow features as they are commonly found in these devices with a clear focus on highly turbulent phenomena. The FDA centrifugal blood pump study is composed of six test cases with different volumetric flow rates ranging from 2.5 to 7.0 liters per minute, pump speeds, and Reynolds numbers ranging from 210,000 to 293,000. Within the frame of this study different turbulence models were tested including RANS models, e.g. k-omega, k-epsilon and a Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) and, LES. The partitioners Hilbert, METIS, ParMETIS and SCOTCH were used to create an unstructured mesh of 76 million elements and compared in their efficiency. Computations were performed on the JUQUEEN BG/Q architecture applying the highly parallel flow solver Code SATURNE and typically using 32768 or more processors in parallel. Visualisations were performed by means of PARAVIEW. Different turbulence models including all six flow situations could be successfully analysed and validated against analytical considerations and from comparison to other data-bases. It showed that an RSM represents an appropriate choice with respect to modeling high-Reynolds number flow cases. Especially, the Rij-SSG (Speziale, Sarkar, Gatzki) variant turned out to be a good approach. Visualisation of complex flow features could be obtained and the flow situation inside the pump could be characterized.

Keywords: High Performance Computing, Turbulence, Scalability, blood flow, centrifugal blood pump

Procedia PDF Downloads 219
33 Participatory Approach: A Tool for Improving Food Security and Empowering a Local Community in Chitima, Mozambique

Authors: Matias Hargreaves, Martin Del Valle, Diego Rodriguez, Riveros Jose Luis


Trough years, all kind of social development projects have tried to solve social problems such as hunger, poverty, malnutrition, food insecurity, among others, with poor success. Both private and state initiatives have invested resources in several countries and communities. Nevertheless, most of these initiatives are scientific or external developers-centered, with a lack of local participation. This compromises the sustainability of any intervention and also leads to a poor empowerment of local community. The participatory approach aims to rescue and enhance the local knowledge since it recognizes that this kind of problems are better known by native actors. The objective of the study was to describe the role played by the community empowerment on food security improvement in the NGO “O Viveiro” (15°43'37.77"S; 32°46'27.53"E) and Barrio Broma village (15°43'58.78"S; 32°46'7.27"E) in Chitima, Mozambique. A center for training in goat livestock and orchard was build. A community orchard was co-constructed between foreign technicians and local actors. The prototype was installed in February, 2016 by the technician team and local community with 16 m2 as a nursery garden. Two orchard workshops were conducted in order to design a sustainable productive model which mixes both local and technological approaches. Two goat meat workshops were conducted in order to describe local methods and train the community to conduce their own techniques with high sanitary and productive standards. Technician team stayed in Mozambique until May, 2016. The quorum for the orchard workshops was 20 and 14 persons respectively, which represents 100% and 70%of the total requested quorum (20). For the goat meat workshops were 4 and 5 persons, which representa80% and 100% of the total requested quorum (5). Until August, 2016, the orchard is 3.219 m2 and it grows several vegetables as beans, chili pepper, garlic, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet potato, yuca potato, cabbage, eggplant, papaya trees, mango, and cassava. The process of increasing in size and diversification of vegetables grown was led entirely by the local community. In connection with this, the local community started to harvest and began to sell the vegetable products at the local market. At the meat goat workshops, local participants rescued a local knowledge by describing and practicing a traditional way to process goat meat by drying it outdoors and then doing a smoked treatment. This information might contribute to describe the level of empowerment of this community, and thus give evidence of acceptance of foreign intervention for improving their own proceedings and traditions.

Keywords: Food Security, local community, participatory approach, children malnutrition

Procedia PDF Downloads 158
32 A System Architecture for Hand Gesture Control of Robotic Technology: A Case Study Using a Myo™ Arm Band, DJI Spark™ Drone, and a Staubli™ Robotic Manipulator

Authors: Sebastian van Delden, Matthew Anuszkiewicz, Jayse White, Scott Stolarski


Industrial robotic manipulators have been commonplace in the manufacturing world since the early 1960s, and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) have only begun to realize their full potential in the service industry and the military. The omnipresence of these technologies in their respective fields will only become more potent in coming years. While these technologies have greatly evolved over the years, the typical approach to human interaction with these robots has not. In the industrial robotics realm, a manipulator is typically jogged around using a teach pendant and programmed using a networked computer or the teach pendant itself via a proprietary software development platform. Drones are typically controlled using a two-handed controller equipped with throttles, buttons, and sticks, an app that can be downloaded to one’s mobile device, or a combination of both. This application-oriented work offers a novel approach to human interaction with both unmanned aerial vehicles and industrial robotic manipulators via hand gestures and movements. Two systems have been implemented, both of which use a Myo™ armband to control either a drone (DJI Spark™) or a robotic arm (Stäubli™ TX40). The methodologies developed by this work present a mapping of armband gestures (fist, finger spread, swing hand in, swing hand out, swing arm left/up/down/right, etc.) to either drone or robot arm movements. The findings of this study present the efficacy and limitations (precision and ergonomic) of hand gesture control of two distinct types of robotic technology. All source code associated with this project will be open sourced and placed on GitHub. In conclusion, this study offers a framework that maps hand and arm gestures to drone and robot arm control. The system has been implemented using current ubiquitous technologies, and these software artifacts will be open sourced for future researchers or practitioners to use in their work.

Keywords: Robotics, Human Robot Interaction, Drones, gestures

Procedia PDF Downloads 35
31 A Prospective Study on the Pattern of Antibiotics Use and Prevalence of Multidrug Resistant Escherichia Coli in Poultry Chickens and Its Correlation with Urinary Tract Infection

Authors: Stelvin Sebastian, Andriya Annie Tom, Joyalanna Babu, Merin Joshy


Introduction: The worldwide increase in the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock industry to treat and prevent bacterial diseases and as growth promoters in feeds has led to the problem of development of antibiotic resistance both in animals and human population. Aim: To study the pattern of antibiotic use and prevalence of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli in poultry chickens in selected farms in Muvattupuzha and to compare the spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria from poultry environment to UTI patients. Methodology: Two farms from each of 6 localities in Muvattupuzha were selected. A questionnaire on the pattern of antibiotic use and various farming practices were surveyed from farms. From each farm, 60samples of fresh fecal matter, litter from inside, litter from the outside shed, agricultural soil and control soil were collected, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of E. coli was done. Antibiogram of UTI patients was collected from the secondary care hospital included in the study, and those were compared with resistance patterns of poultry samples. Results: From survey response antibiotics such as ofloxacin, enrofloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, colistin, ceftriaxone, neomycin, cephalexin, and oxytetracycline were used for treatment and prevention of infections in poultry. 31of 48 samples (51.66%) showed E. coli growth. 7 of 15 antibiotics (46.6%) showed resistance. Ampicillin, amoxicillin, meropenem, tetracycline showed 100% resistance to all samples. Statistical analysis confirmed similar resistance pattern in the poultry environment and UTI patients for antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, amikacin, and ofloxacin. Conclusion: E. coli were resistant not only to extended-spectrum beta-lactams but also to carbapenems, which may be disseminated to the environment where litter was used as manure. This may due to irrational use of antibiotics in chicken or from their use in poultry feed as growth promoters. The study concludes the presence of multidrug-resistant E.coli in poultry and its spread to environment and humans, which may cause potentially serious implications for human health.

Keywords: Urinary tract infection, Poultry, Escherichia coli, multidrug resistance

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
30 The Audiovisual Media as a Metacritical Ludicity Gesture in the Musical-Performatic and Scenic Works of Caetano Veloso and David Bowie

Authors: Paulo Da Silva Quadros


This work aims to point out comparative parameters between the artistic production of two exponents of the contemporary popular culture scene: Caetano Veloso (Brazil) and David Bowie (England). Both Caetano Veloso and David Bowie were pioneers in establishing an aesthetic game between various artistic expressions at the service of the music-visual scene, that is, the conceptual interconnections between several forms of aesthetic processes, such as fine arts, theatre, cinema, poetry, and literature. There are also correlations in their expressive attitudes of art, especially regarding the dialogue between the fields of art and politics (concern with respect to human rights, human dignity, racial issues, tolerance, gender issues, and sexuality, among others); the constant tension and cunning game between market, free expression and critical sense; the sophisticated, playful mechanisms of metalanguage and aesthetic metacritique. Fact is that both of them almost came to cooperate with each other in the 1970s when Caetano was in exile in England, and when both had at the same time the same music producer, who tried to bring them closer, noticing similar aesthetic qualities in both artistic works, which was later glimpsed by some music critics. Among many of the most influential issues in Caetano's and Bowie's game of artistic-aesthetic expression are, for example, the ideas advocated by the sensation of strangeness (Albert Camus), art as transcendence (Friedrich Nietzsche), the deconstruction and reconstruction of auratic reconfiguration of artistic signs (Walter Benjamin and Andy Warhol). For deepen more theoretical issues, the following authors will be used as supportive interpretative references: Hans-Georg Gadamer, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Johan Huizinga. In addition to the aesthetic meanings of Ars Ludens characteristics of the two artists, the following supporting references will be also added: the question of technique (Martin Heidegger), the logic of sense (Gilles Deleuze), art as an event and the sense of the gesture of art ( Maria Teresa Cruz), the society of spectacle (Guy Debord), Verarbeitung and Durcharbeitung (Sigmund Freud), the poetics of interpretation and the sign of relation (Cremilda Medina). The purpose of such interpretative references is to seek to understand, from a cultural reading perspective (cultural semiology), some significant elements in the dynamics of aesthetic and media interconnections of both artists, which made them as some of the most influential interlocutors in contemporary music aesthetic thought, as a playful vivid experience of life and art.

Keywords: Caetano Veloso, David Bowie, music aesthetics, symbolic playfulness, cultural reading

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
29 The Involvement of the Homing Receptors CCR7 and CD62L in the Pathogenesis of Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Authors: Federico Herrera, Valle Gomez García de Soria, Itxaso Portero Sainz, Carlos Fernández Arandojo, Mercedes Royg, Ana Marcos Jimenez, Anna Kreutzman, Cecilia MuñozCalleja


Introduction: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) still remains the major complication associated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). The pathogenesis involves migration of donor naïve T-cells into recipient secondary lymphoid organs. Two molecules are important in this process: CD62L and CCR7, which are characteristically expressed in naïve/central memory T-cells. With this background, we aimed to study the influence of CCR7 and CD62L on donor lymphocytes in the development and severity of GVHD. Material and methods: This single center study included 98 donor-recipient pairs. Samples were collected prospectively from the apheresis product and phenotyped by flow cytometry. CCR7 and CD62L expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells were compared between patients who developed acute (n=40) or chronic GVHD (n=33) and those who did not (n=38). Results: The patients who developed acute GVHD were transplanted with a higher percentage of CCR7+CD4+ T-cells (p = 0.05) compared to the no GVHD group. These results were confirmed when these patients were divided in degrees according to the severity of the disease; the more severe disease, the higher percentage of CCR7+CD4+ T-cells. Conversely, chronic GVHD patients received a higher percentage of CCR7+CD8+ T-cells (p=0.02) in comparison to those who did not develop the complication. These data were also confirmed when patients were subdivided in degrees of the disease severity. A multivariable analysis confirmed that percentage of CCR7+CD4+ T-cells is a predictive factor of acute GVHD whereas the percentage of CCR7+CD8+ T-cells is a predictive factor of chronic GVHD. In vitro functional assays (migration and activation assays) supported the idea of CCR7+ T-cells were involved in the development of GVHD. As low levels of CD62L expression were detected in all apheresis products, we tested the hypothesis that CD62L was shed during apheresis procedure. Comparing CD62L surface levels in T-cells from the same donor immediately before collecting the apheresis product, and the final apheresis product we found that this process down-regulated CD62L in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (p=0.008). Interestingly, when CD62L levels were analysed in days 30 or 60 after engraftment, they recovered to baseline (p=0.008). However, to investigate the relation between CD62L expression and the development of GVHD in the recipient samples after the engraftment, no differences were observed comparing patients with GVHD to those who did not develop the disease. Discussion: Our prospective study indicates that the CCR7+ T-cells from the donor, which include naïve and central memory T-cells, contain the alloreactive cells with a high ability to mediate GVHD (in the case of both migration and activation). Therefore we suggest that the proportion and functional properties of CCR7+CD4+ and CCR7+CD8+ T-cells in the apheresis could act as a predictive biomarker to both acute and chronic GVHD respectively. Importantly, our study precludes that CD62L is lost in the apheresis and therefore it is not a reliable biomarker for the development of GVHD.

Keywords: CCR7, CD62L, GVHD, SCT

Procedia PDF Downloads 161
28 Preliminary Report on the Assessment of the Impact of the Kinesiology Taping Application versus Placebo Taping on the Knee Joint Position Sense

Authors: Sebastian Wójtowicz, Zbigniew Wroński, Anna Mosiolek, Dariusz Bialoszewski, Patryk Wąsowski, Anna Hadamus


Introduction: Kinesiology Taping is a very popular physiotherapy method, often used for healthy people, especially athletes, in order to stimulate the muscles and improve their performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the muscle application of Kinesiology Taping on the joint position sense in active motion. Material and Methods: The study involved 50 healthy people - 30 men and 20 women, mean age was 23.2 years (range 18-30 years). The exclusion criteria were injuries and operations of the knee, which could affect the test results. The participants were divided randomly into two equal groups. The first group consisted of individuals with the applied Kinesiology Taping muscle application (KT group), whereas in the rest of the individuals placebo application from red adhesive tape was used (placebo group). Both applications were to enhance the effects of quadriceps muscle activity. Joint position sense (JPS) was evaluated in this study. Error of Active Reproduction of the Joint Position (EARJP) of the knee was measured in 45° flexion. The test was performed prior to applying the patch, with the applied application, then 24 hours after wearing, and after removing the tape. The interval between trials was not less than 30 minutes. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 12.0. We calculated distribution characteristics, Wilcoxon test, Friedman‘s ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U test. Results. In the KT group and the placebo group average test score of JPS before applying application KT were 3.48° and 5.16° respectively, after its application it was 4.84° and 4.88°, then after 24 hours of experiment JPS was 5.12° and 4.96°, and after application removal we measured 3.84° and 5.12° respectively. Differences over time in any of the groups were not statistically significant. There were also no significant differences between the groups. Conclusions: 1. Applying Kinesiology Taping to quadriceps muscle had no significant effect on the knee joint proprioception. Its use in order to improve sensorimitor skills seems therefore to be unreasonable. 2. No differences between applications of KT and placebo indicates that the clinical effect of stretch tape is minimal or absent. 3. The results are the basis for the continuation of prospective, randomized trials of numerous study groups.

Keywords: knee, joint position sense, kinesiology taping, kinesiotaping

Procedia PDF Downloads 151
27 Using Two-Mode Network to Access the Connections of Film Festivals

Authors: Qiankun Zhong


In a global cultural context, film festival awards become authorities to define the aesthetic value of films. To study which genres and producing countries are valued by different film festivals and how those evaluations interact with each other, this research explored the interactions between the film festivals through their selection of movies and the factors that lead to the tendency of film festivals to nominate the same movies. To do this, the author employed a two-mode network on the movies that won the highest awards at five international film festivals with the highest attendance in the past ten years (the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival) and the film festivals that nominated those movies. The title, genre, producing country and language of 50 movies, and the range (regional, national or international) and organizing country or area of 129 film festivals were collected. These created networks connected by nominating the same films and awarding the same movies. The author then assessed the density and centrality of these networks to answer the question: What are the film festivals that tend to have more shared values with other festivals? Based on the Eigenvector centrality of the two-mode network, Palm Springs, Robert Festival, Toronto, Chicago, and San Sebastian are the festivals that tend to nominate commonly appreciated movies. In contrast, Black Movie Film Festival has the unique value of generally not sharing nominations with other film festivals. A homophily test was applied to access the clustering effects of film and film festivals. The result showed that movie genres (E-I index=0.55) and geographic location (E-I index=0.35) are possible indicators of film festival clustering. A blockmodel was also created to examine the structural roles of the film festivals and their meaning in real-world context. By analyzing the same blocks with film festival attributes, it was identified that film festivals either organized in the same area, with the same history, or with the same attitude on independent films would occupy the same structural roles in the network. Through the interpretation of the blocks, language was identified as an indicator that contributes to the role position of a film festival. Comparing the result of blockmodeling in the different periods, it is seen that international film festivals contrast with the Hollywood industry’s dominant value. The structural role dynamics provide evidence for a multi-value film festival network.

Keywords: Film Studies, Network Analysis, Media Industry Studies, film festivals

Procedia PDF Downloads 168
26 Nutritional Value Determination of Different Varieties of Oats and Barley Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Method for the Horses Nutrition

Authors: V. Viliene, A. Raceviciute-Stupeliene, V. Sasyte, R. Gruzauskas


In horse nutrition, the most suitable cereal for their rations composition could be defined as oats and barley. Oats have high nutritive value because it provides more protein, fiber, iron and zinc than other whole grains, has good taste, and an activity of stimulating metabolic changes in the body. Another cereal – barley is very similar to oats as a feed except for some characteristics that affect how it is used; however, barley is lower in fiber than oats and is classified as a "heavy" feed. The value of oats and barley grain, first of all is dependent on its composition. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been considered and used as a significant method in component and quality analysis and as an emerging technology for authenticity applications for cereal quality control. This paper presents the chemical and amino acid composition of different varieties of barley and oats, also digestible energy of different cereals for horses. Ten different spring barley (n = 5) and oats (n = 5) varieties, grown in one location in Lithuania, were assayed for their chemical composition (dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber, starch) and amino acids content, digestible amino acids and amino acids digestibility. Also, the grains digestible energy for horses was calculated. The oats and barley samples reflectance spectra were measured by means of NIRS using Foss-Tecator DS2500 equipment. The chemical components: fat, crude protein, starch and fiber differed statistically (P<0.05) between the oats and barley varieties. The highest total amino acid content between oats was determined in variety Flamingsprofi (4.56 g/kg) and the lowest – variety Circle (3.57 g/kg), and between barley - respectively in varieties Publican (3.50 g/kg) and Sebastian (3.11 g/kg). The different varieties of oats digestible amino acid content varied from 3.11 g/kg to 4.07 g/kg; barley different varieties varied from 2.59 g/kg to 2.94 g/kg. The average amino acids digestibility of oats varied from 74.4% (Liz) to 95.6% (Fen) and in barley - from 75.8 % (Tre) to 89.6% (Fen). The amount of digestible energy in the analyzed varieties of oats and barley was an average compound 13.74 MJ/kg DM and 14.85 MJ/kg DM, respectively. An analysis of the results showed that different varieties of oats compared with barley are preferable for horse nutrition according to the crude fat, crude fiber, ash and separate amino acids content, but the analyzed barley varieties dominated the higher amounts of crude protein, the digestible Liz amount and higher DE content, and thus, could be recommended for making feed formulation for horses combining oats and barley, taking into account the chemical composition of using cereal varieties.

Keywords: Nutritional Value, oats, barley, horses, digestive energy

Procedia PDF Downloads 81
25 Nano-Sized Iron Oxides/ZnMe Layered Double Hydroxides as Highly Efficient Fenton-Like Catalysts for Degrading Specific Pharmaceutical Agents

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Mihaela Darie, Gabriela Carja


Persistent organic pollutant discharged by various industries or urban regions into the aquatic ecosystems represent a serious threat to fauna and human health. The endocrine disrupting compounds are known to have toxic effects even at very low values of concentration. The anti-inflammatory agent Ibuprofen is an endocrine disrupting compound and is considered as model pollutant in the present study. The use of light energy to accomplish the latest requirements concerning wastewater discharge demands highly-performant and robust photo-catalysts. Many efforts have been paid to obtain efficient photo-responsive materials. Among the promising photo-catalysts, layered double hydroxides (LDHs) attracted significant consideration especially due to their composition flexibility, high surface area and tailored redox features. This work presents Fe(II) self-supported on ZnMeLDHs (Me =Al3+, Fe3+) as novel efficient photo-catalysts for Fenton-like catalysis. The co-precipitation method was used to prepare ZnAlLDH, ZnFeAlLDH and ZnCrLDH (Zn2+/Me3+ = 2 molar ratio). Fe(II) was self-supported on the LDHs matrices by using the reconstruction method, at two different values of weight concentration. X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTG), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to investigate the structural, textural, and micromorphology of the catalysts. The Fe(II)/ZnMeLDHs nano-hybrids were tested for the degradation of a model pharmaceutical agent, the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, by photocatalysis and photo-Fenton catalysis, respectively. The results point out that the embedment Fe(II) into ZnFeAlLDH and ZnCrLDH lead to a slight enhancement of ibuprofen degradation by light irradiation, whereas in case of ZnAlLDH, the degradation process is relatively low. A remarkable enhancement of ibuprofen degradation was found in the case of Fe(II)/ZnMeLDHs by photo-Fenton process. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0405.

Keywords: photocatalysis, layered double hydroxide, heterogeneous Fenton, micropollutant

Procedia PDF Downloads 135
24 Gender Construction in Contemporary Dystopian Fiction in Young Adult Literature: A South African Example

Authors: Johan Anker


The purpose of this paper is to discuss the nature of gender construction in modern dystopian fiction, the development of this genre in Young Adult Literature and reasons for the enormous appeal on the adolescent readers. A recent award winning South African text in this genre, The Mark by Edith Bullring (2014), will be used as example while also comparing this text to international bestsellers like Divergent (Roth:2011), The Hunger Games (Collins:2008) and others. Theoretical insights from critics and academics in the field of children’s literature, like Ames, Coats, Bradford, Booker, Basu, Green-Barteet, Hintz, McAlear, McCallum, Moylan, Ostry, Ryan, Stephens and Westerfield will be referred to and their insights used as part of the analysis of The Mark. The role of relevant and recurring themes in this genre, like global concerns, environmental destruction, liberty, self-determination, social and political critique, surveillance and repression by the state or other institutions will also be referred to. The paper will shortly refer to the history and emergence of dystopian literature as genre in adult and young adult literature as part of the long tradition since the publishing of Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World. Different factors appeal to adolescent readers in the modern versions of this hybrid genre for young adults: teenage protagonists who are questioning the underlying values of a flawed society like an inhuman or tyrannical government, a growing understanding of the society around them, feelings of isolation and the dynamic of relationships. This unease leads to a growing sense of the potential to act against society (rebellion), and of their role as agents in a larger community and independent decision-making abilities. This awareness also leads to a growing sense of self (identity and agency) and the development of romantic relationships. The specific modern tendency of a female protagonist as leader in the rebellion against state and state apparatus, who gains in agency and independence in this rebellion, an important part of the identification with and construction of gender, while being part of the traditional coming-of-age young adult novel will be emphasized. A comparison between the traditional themes, structures and plots of young adult literature (YAL) with adult dystopian literature and those of recent dystopian YAL will be made while the hybrid nature of this genre and the 'sense of unease' but also of hope, as an essential part of youth literature, in the closure to these novels will be discussed. Important questions about the role of the didactic nature of these texts and the political issues and the importance of the formation of agency and identity for the young adult reader, as well as identification with the protagonists in this genre, are also part of this discussion of The Mark and other YAL novels.

Keywords: Agency, dystopian literature, gender construction, young adult literature

Procedia PDF Downloads 20
23 Self-Assembled ZnFeAl Layered Double Hydroxides as Highly Efficient Fenton-Like Catalysts

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Mihaela Darie, Gabriela Carja


Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) and is among the most frequently detected pharmaceuticals in environmental samples and among the most widespread drug in the world. Its concentration in the environment is reported to be between 10 and 160 ng L-1. In order to improve the abatement efficiency of this compound for water source prevention and reclamation, the development of innovative technologies is mandatory. AOPs (advanced oxidation processes) are known as highly efficient towards the oxidation of organic pollutants. Among the promising combined treatments, photo-Fenton processes using layered double hydroxides (LDHs) attracted significant consideration especially due to their composition flexibility, high surface area and tailored redox features. This work presents the self-supported Fe, Mn or Ti on ZnFeAl LDHs obtained by co-precipitation followed by reconstruction method as novel efficient photo-catalysts for Fenton-like catalysis. Fe, Mn or Ti/ZnFeAl LDHs nano-hybrids were tested for the degradation of a model pharmaceutical agent, the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, by photocatalysis and photo-Fenton catalysis, respectively, by means of a lab-scale system consisting of a batch reactor equipped with an UV lamp (17 W). The present study presents comparatively the degradation of Ibuprofen in aqueous solution UV light irradiation using four different types of LDHs. The newly prepared Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 catalyst results in the best degradation performance. After 60 minutes of light irradiation, the Ibuprofen removal efficiency reaches 95%. The slowest degradation of Ibuprofen solution occurs in case of Fe/ZnFeAl 4:1 LDH, (67% removal efficiency after 60 minutes of process). Evolution of Ibuprofen degradation during the photo Fenton process is also studied using Ti/ZnFeAl 2:1 and 4:1 LDHs in the presence and absence of H2O2. It is found that after 60 min the use of Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 LDH in presence of 100 mg/L H2O2 leads to the fastest degradation of Ibuprofen molecule. After 120 min, both catalysts Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 and 2:1 result in the same value of removal efficiency (98%). In the absence of H2O2, Ibuprofen degradation reaches only 73% removal efficiency after 120 min of degradation process. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0405.

Keywords: layered double hydroxide, advanced oxidation process, heterogeneous Fenton, micropollutant

Procedia PDF Downloads 120
22 Design of a Human-in-the-Loop Aircraft Taxiing Optimisation System Using Autonomous Tow Trucks

Authors: Stefano Zaninotto, Geoffrey Farrugia, Johan Debattista, Jason Gauci


The need to reduce fuel and noise during taxi operations in the airports with a scenario of constantly increasing air traffic has resulted in an effort by the aerospace industry to move towards electric taxiing. In fact, this is one of the problems that is currently being addressed by SESAR JU and two main solutions are being proposed. With the first solution, electric motors are installed in the main (or nose) landing gear of the aircraft. With the second solution, manned or unmanned electric tow trucks are used to tow aircraft from the gate to the runway (or vice-versa). The presence of the tow trucks results in an increase in vehicle traffic inside the airport. Therefore, it is important to design the system in a way that the workload of Air Traffic Control (ATC) is not increased and the system assists ATC in managing all ground operations. The aim of this work is to develop an electric taxiing system, based on the use of autonomous tow trucks, which optimizes aircraft ground operations while keeping ATC in the loop. This system will consist of two components: an optimization tool and a Graphical User Interface (GUI). The optimization tool will be responsible for determining the optimal path for arriving and departing aircraft; allocating a tow truck to each taxiing aircraft; detecting conflicts between aircraft and/or tow trucks; and proposing solutions to resolve any conflicts. There are two main optimization strategies proposed in the literature. With centralized optimization, a central authority coordinates and makes the decision for all ground movements, in order to find a global optimum. With the second strategy, called decentralized optimization or multi-agent system, the decision authority is distributed among several agents. These agents could be the aircraft, the tow trucks, and taxiway or runway intersections. This approach finds local optima; however, it scales better with the number of ground movements and is more robust to external disturbances (such as taxi delays or unscheduled events). The strategy proposed in this work is a hybrid system combining aspects of these two approaches. The GUI will provide information on the movement and status of each aircraft and tow truck, and alert ATC about any impending conflicts. It will also enable ATC to give taxi clearances and to modify the routes proposed by the system. The complete system will be tested via computer simulation of various taxi scenarios at multiple airports, including Malta International Airport, a major international airport, and a fictitious airport. These tests will involve actual Air Traffic Controllers in order to evaluate the GUI and assess the impact of the system on ATC workload and situation awareness. It is expected that the proposed system will increase the efficiency of taxi operations while reducing their environmental impact. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the system will facilitate various controller tasks and improve ATC situation awareness.

Keywords: Multi-Agent, Air Traffic Control, Ground Operations, Route Optimization, Graphical User Interface, electric taxiing, autonomous tow trucks

Procedia PDF Downloads 25
21 Assessment of Influence of Short-Lasting Whole-Body Vibration on the Proprioception of Lower Limbs

Authors: Anna Mosiołek, Anna Słupik, Sebastian Wójtowicz, Dariusz Białoszewski, Zbigniew Wroński


Introduction: In whole-body vibration (WBV) high-frequency mechanical stimuli is generated by a vibration plate and is transferred through bone, muscle and connective tissues to the whole body. The research has shown that the implementation of a vibration plate training over a long period of time leads to improvement of neuromuscular facilitation, especially in afferent neural pathways, which are responsible for the conduction of vibration and proprioceptive stimuli, muscle function, balance, and proprioception. The vibration stimulus is suggested to briefly inhibit the conduction of afferent signals from proprioceptors and may hinder the maintenance of body balance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the result of a single set of exercises connected with whole-body vibration on the proprioception. Material and Methods: The study enrolled 60 people aged 19-24 years. These individuals were divided into a test group (group A) and a control group (group B). Both groups consisted of 30 persons and performed the same set of exercises on a vibration plate. The following vibration parameters: frequency of 20Hz and amplitude of 3mm, were used in the group A. The vibration plate was turned off while the control group did their exercises. All participants performed six dynamic 30-seconds-long exercises with a 60-second resting period between them. Large muscle groups of the trunk, pelvis, and lower limbs were involved while taking the exercises. The results were measured before and immediately after the exercises. The proprioception of lower limbs was measured in a closed kinematic chain using a Humac 360®. Participants were instructed to perform three squats with biofeedback in a defined range of motion. Then they did three squats without biofeedback which were measured. The final result was the average of three measurements. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 10.0 PL software. Results: There were no significant differences between the groups, both before and after the exercise (p > 0.05). The proprioception did not change in both the group A and the group B. Conclusions: 1. Deterioration in proprioception was not observed immediately after the vibration stimulus. This suggests that vibration-induced blockage of proprioceptive stimuli conduction can only have a short-lasting effect occurring only in the presence of the vibration stimulus. 2. Short-term use of vibration seems to be safe for patients with proprioceptive impairment due to the fact that the treatment does not decrease proprioception. 3. There is a need for supplementing the results with evaluation of proprioception while vibration stimuli are being applied. Moreover, the effects of vibration parameters used in the exercises should be evaluated.

Keywords: Whole body vibration, squat, proprioception, joint position sense

Procedia PDF Downloads 247
20 Dietary Diversification and Nutritional Education: A Strategy to Improve Child Food Security Status in the Rural Mozambique

Authors: Riveros Jose Luis, Rodriguez Diego, Del Valle Martin, Hargreaves Matias


Nutrient deficiencies due to a diet low in quantitative and qualitative terms, are prevalent throughout the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Children and women of childbearing age are especially vulnerable. Limited availability, access and intake of animal foods at home and lack of knowledge about their value in the diet and the role they play in health, contribute to poor diet quality. Poor bioavailability of micronutrients in diets based on foods high in fiber and phytates, the low content of some micronutrients in these foods are further factors to consider. Goats are deeply embedded in almost every Sub-Saharan African rural culture, generally kept for their milk, meat, hair or leather. Goats have played an important role in African social life, especially in food security. Goat meat has good properties for human wellbeing, with a special role in lower income households. It has a high-quality protein (20 protein g/100 meat g) including all essential amino acids, good unsaturated/satured fatty acids relationship, and it is an important B-vitamin source with high micronutrients bioavailability. Mozambique has major food security problems, with poor food access and utilization, undiversified diets, chronic poverty and child malnutrition. Our objective was to design a nutritional intervention based on a dietary diversification, nutritional education, cultural beliefs and local resources, aimed to strengthen food security of children at Barrio Broma village (15°43'58.78"S; 32°46'7.27"E) in Chitima, Mozambique. Two surveys were conducted first of socio-productive local databases and then to 100 rural households about livelihoods, food diversity and anthropometric measurements in children under 5 years. Our results indicate that the main economic activity is goat production, based on a native breed with two deliveries per year in the absence of any management. Adult goats weighted 27.2±10.5 kg and raised a height of 63.5±3.8 cm. Data showed high levels of poverty, with a food diversity score of 2.3 (0-12 points), where only 30% of households consume protein and 13% iron, zinc, and B12 vitamin. The main constraints to food security were poor access to water and low income to buy food. Our dietary intervention was based on improving diet quality by increasing the access to dried goat meat, fresh vegetables, and legumes, and its utilization by a nutritional education program. This proposal was based on local culture and living conditions characterized by the absence of electricity power and drinkable water. The drying process proposed would secure the food maintenance under local conditions guaranteeing food safety for a longer period. Additionally, an ancient local drying technique was rescued and used. Moreover, this kind of dietary intervention would be the most efficient way to improve the infant nutrition by delivering macro and micronutrients on time to these vulnerable populations.

Keywords: Food Security, child malnutrition, goat meat, dietary diversification

Procedia PDF Downloads 185
19 High Performance Computing Enhancement of Agent-Based Economic Models

Authors: Amit Gill, Lalith Wijerathne, Sebastian Poledna


This research presents the details of the implementation of high performance computing (HPC) extension of agent-based economic models (ABEMs) to simulate hundreds of millions of heterogeneous agents. ABEMs offer an alternative approach to study the economy as a dynamic system of interacting heterogeneous agents, and are gaining popularity as an alternative to standard economic models. Over the last decade, ABEMs have been increasingly applied to study various problems related to monetary policy, bank regulations, etc. When it comes to predicting the effects of local economic disruptions, like major disasters, changes in policies, exogenous shocks, etc., on the economy of the country or the region, it is pertinent to study how the disruptions cascade through every single economic entity affecting its decisions and interactions, and eventually affect the economic macro parameters. However, such simulations with hundreds of millions of agents are hindered by the lack of HPC enhanced ABEMs. In order to address this, a scalable Distributed Memory Parallel (DMP) implementation of ABEMs has been developed using message passing interface (MPI). A balanced distribution of computational load among MPI-processes (i.e. CPU cores) of computer clusters while taking all the interactions among agents into account is a major challenge for scalable DMP implementations. Economic agents interact on several random graphs, some of which are centralized (e.g. credit networks, etc.) whereas others are dense with random links (e.g. consumption markets, etc.). The agents are partitioned into mutually-exclusive subsets based on a representative employer-employee interaction graph, while the remaining graphs are made available at a minimum communication cost. To minimize the number of communications among MPI processes, real-life solutions like the introduction of recruitment agencies, sales outlets, local banks, and local branches of government in each MPI-process, are adopted. Efficient communication among MPI-processes is achieved by combining MPI derived data types with the new features of the latest MPI functions. Most of the communications are overlapped with computations, thereby significantly reducing the communication overhead. The current implementation is capable of simulating a small open economy. As an example, a single time step of a 1:1 scale model of Austria (i.e. about 9 million inhabitants and 600,000 businesses) can be simulated in 15 seconds. The implementation is further being enhanced to simulate 1:1 model of Euro-zone (i.e. 322 million agents).

Keywords: High Performance Computing, agent-based economic model, MPI-communication, MPI-process

Procedia PDF Downloads 3
18 Effects of Long-Term Exposure of Cadmium to the Ovary of Lithobius forficatus (Myriapoda, Chilopoda)

Authors: Magdalena Rost-Roszkowska, Izabela Poprawa, Alina Chachulska-Zymelka, Lukasz Chajec, Grazyna Wilczek, Piotr Wilczek, Sebastian Student


Heavy metals polluting the environment, especially soil, have a harmful effect on organisms, because they can damage the organ structure, disturb their function and cause developmental disorders. They can affect not only the somatic tissues but also the germinal tissues. In the natural environment, plants and animals are exposed to short- and long-term exposure to these stressors, which have a major influence on the functioning of these organisms. Numerous animals have been treated as the bioindicators of the environment. Therefore, studies on any alterations caused by, e.g., heavy metals are in the center of interests of not only environmental but also medical and biological science. Myriapods are invertebrates which are bioindicators of the environment. One of the species which lives in the upper layers of soil, particularly under stones and rocks is Lithobius forficatus (Chilopoda), commonly known as the brown centipede or stone centipede. It is a European species of the family Lithobiidae. This centipede living in the soil is exposed to, e.g., heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic. The main goal of our project was to analyze the impact of long-term exposure to cadmium on the structure of ovary with the emphasis on the course of oogenesis. As the material for analysis of cadmium exposure to ovaries, we chose the centipede species, L. forficatus. Animals were divided into two experimental groups: C – the control group, the animals cultured in laboratory conditions in a horticultural soil; Cd2 – the animals cultured in a horticultural soil supplemented with 80 mg/kg (dry weight) of CdCl2 for 45 days – long-term exposure. Animals were fed with Acheta and Chironomus larvae maintained in tap water. The analyzes were carried out using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), flow cytometry and laser scanning (confocal) microscopy. Here we present the results of long-term exposure to cadmium concentration in soil on the organ responsible for female germ cell formation. Analysis with the use of the transmission electron microscope showed changes in the ultrastructure of both somatic and germ cells in the ovary. Moreover, quantitative analysis revealed the decrease in the percentage of cells viability, the increase in the percentage of cells with depolarized mitochondria and increasing the number of early apoptotic cells. All these changes were statistically significant compared to the control. Additionally, an increase in the ADP/ATP index was recorded. However, changes were not statistically significant to the control. Acknowledgment: The study has been financed by the National Science Centre, Poland, grant no 2017/25/B/NZ4/00420.

Keywords: Ultrastructure, Ovary, cadmium, centipede

Procedia PDF Downloads 4
17 Modeling of Anisotropic Hardening Based on Crystal Plasticity Theory and Virtual Experiments

Authors: Bekim Berisha, Sebastian Hirsiger, Pavel Hora


Advanced material models involving several sets of model parameters require a big experimental effort. As models are getting more and more complex like e.g. the so called “Homogeneous Anisotropic Hardening - HAH” model for description of the yielding behavior in the 2D/3D stress space, the number and complexity of the required experiments are also increasing continuously. In the context of sheet metal forming, these requirements are even more pronounced, because of the anisotropic behavior or sheet materials. In addition, some of the experiments are very difficult to perform e.g. the plane stress biaxial compression test. Accordingly, tensile tests in at least three directions, biaxial tests and tension-compression or shear-reverse shear experiments are performed to determine the parameters of the macroscopic models. Therefore, determination of the macroscopic model parameters based on virtual experiments is a very promising strategy to overcome these difficulties. For this purpose, in the framework of multiscale material modeling, a dislocation density based crystal plasticity model in combination with a FFT-based spectral solver is applied to perform virtual experiments. Modeling of the plastic behavior of metals based on crystal plasticity theory is a well-established methodology. However, in general, the computation time is very high and therefore, the computations are restricted to simplified microstructures as well as simple polycrystal models. In this study, a dislocation density based crystal plasticity model – including an implementation of the backstress – is used in a spectral solver framework to generate virtual experiments for three deep drawing materials, DC05-steel, AA6111-T4 and AA4045 aluminum alloys. For this purpose, uniaxial as well as multiaxial loading cases, including various pre-strain histories, has been computed and validated with real experiments. These investigations showed that crystal plasticity modeling in the framework of Representative Volume Elements (RVEs) can be used to replace most of the expensive real experiments. Further, model parameters of advanced macroscopic models like the HAH model can be determined from virtual experiments, even for multiaxial deformation histories. It was also found that crystal plasticity modeling can be used to model anisotropic hardening more accurately by considering the backstress, similar to well-established macroscopic kinematic hardening models. It can be concluded that an efficient coupling of crystal plasticity models and the spectral solver leads to a significant reduction of the amount of real experiments needed to calibrate macroscopic models. This advantage leads also to a significant reduction of computational effort needed for the optimization of metal forming process. Further, due to the time efficient spectral solver used in the computation of the RVE models, detailed modeling of the microstructure are possible.

Keywords: micro structure, crystal plasticity, anisotropic hardening, spectral solver

Procedia PDF Downloads 174
16 Re-Manufacturing Best Practices and Transferable Criteria for the Construction Sector

Authors: Nazly Atta, Anna Dalla Valle, Luca Macrì, Sara Ratti, Salvatore Viscuso, Marika Arena, Andrea Campioli, Carol Monticelli, Monica Lavagna, Carlo A. Vezzoli, Alessandra Zanelli, Cinzia Talamo


Re-manufacturing and Re-use represent nowadays hot topics in various sectors - such as Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, Machinery, Marine, Rail - that have already exploited its potential gaining multiple benefits in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability. These practices are significantly growing in such sectors, gaining market share, creating new jobs and sharing experiences and knowledge by creating networks and associations (e.g. European Re-manufacturing Network, Conseil Européen de Remanufacture, ReuseIt Network - RIN, Re-manufacturing Industries Council - RIC, Centre for Re-manufacturing & Re-use - CRR, etc.). However, the construction sector is still not affected by these practices, although their application nowadays represents a shared priority at European level. Indeed, the European Commission identifies the construction sector as a ‘Priority area’ which has specific challenges in the context of circular economy: according to Eurostat, construction sector produces over a third of the total waste generated by all economic activities and households, it provides 18 million direct jobs and it contributes to about 9% of the EU’s GDP. In this context, the paper introduces the main preliminary results of the research project "Re-NetTA (Re-manufacturing Networks for Tertiary Architectures). New organizational models and tools for re-manufacturing and re-using short life components coming from tertiary buildings renewal" developed at Politecnico di Milano and funded by Fondazione Cariplo. It aims to create the organizational and business conditions for activating regenerative circular processes in the field of transformation/redevelopment of buildings. In particular, it is focused on the tertiary sector, characterized by short-term cycles of renewals, with the purpose to extend the useful life of components and materials reducing the generation of waste. The paper identifies a set of operative, organizational and business models in re-manufacturing practices, derived from other sectors, and verifies their transferability to the construction sector for a subsequent definition of replicable re-manufacturing models. To this end, a multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral methodological approach is implemented involving various disciplines and scientific areas, such as Technology of Architecture and Building construction, Management and Industrial Engineering, Industrial Design and Communication, Sustainable Design and Eco-design. The findings of the preliminary phase of literature review are, as first, the identification of the most suitable applications of “re-actions” (re-manufacturing, re-condition, repurpose, re-use, and repair) categories to the construction sector. Secondly, the definition of key criteria for re-manufacturing (e.g. design rules, identification keys), including criteria for the design for disassembly, as well as the main barriers (e.g. legislative) and levers (e.g. guarantee conditions, certified environmental value, economic value) for a future implementation. The results arisen during the research represent the first crucial step towards the activation of regenerative circular processes in the construction sector, contributing to maintain over time the value of the environmental and economic resources integrated into building components. The further steps of the research will involve actions on the field and interviews with key operators, aiming at testing and validating the identified re-manufacturing models.

Keywords: construction sector, Organizational & business models, Re-manufacturing, Tertiary sector

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
15 Assessment of Influence of Short-Lasting Whole-Body Vibration on Joint Position Sense and Body Balance–A Randomised Masked Study

Authors: Sebastian Wójtowicz, Anna Slupik, Anna Mosiolek, Dariusz Bialoszewski


Introduction: Whole-body vibration (WBV) uses high frequency mechanical stimuli generated by a vibration plate and transmitted through bone, muscle and connective tissues to the whole body. Research has shown that long-term vibration-plate training improves neuromuscular facilitation, especially in afferent neural pathways, responsible for the conduction of vibration and proprioceptive stimuli, muscle function, balance and proprioception. Some researchers suggest that the vibration stimulus briefly inhibits the conduction of afferent signals from proprioceptors and can interfere with the maintenance of body balance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a single set of exercises associated with whole-body vibration on the joint position sense and body balance. Material and methods: The study enrolled 55 people aged 19-24 years. These individuals were randomly divided into a test group (30 persons) and a control group (25 persons). Both groups performed the same set of exercises on a vibration plate. The following vibration parameters: frequency of 20Hz and amplitude of 3mm, were used in the test group. The control group performed exercises on the vibration plate while it was off. All participants were instructed to perform six dynamic exercises lasting 30 seconds each with a 60-second period of rest between them. The exercises involved large muscle groups of the trunk, pelvis and lower limbs. Measurements were carried out before and immediately after exercise. Joint position sense (JPS) was measured in the knee joint for the starting position at 45° in an open kinematic chain. JPS error was measured using a digital inclinometer. Balance was assessed in a standing position with both feet on the ground with the eyes open and closed (each test lasting 30 sec). Balance was assessed using Matscan with FootMat 7.0 SAM software. The surface of the ellipse of confidence and front-back as well as right-left swing were measured to assess balance. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 10.0 PL software. Results: There were no significant differences between the groups, both before and after the exercise (p> 0.05). JPS did not change in both the test (10.7° vs. 8.4°) and control groups (9.0° vs. 8.4°). No significant differences were shown in any of the test parameters during balance tests with the eyes open or closed in both the test and control groups (p> 0.05). Conclusions. 1. Deterioration in proprioception or balance was not observed immediately after the vibration stimulus. This suggests that vibration-induced blockage of proprioceptive stimuli conduction can have only a short-lasting effect that occurs only as long as a vibration stimulus is present. 2. Short-term use of vibration in treatment does not impair proprioception and seems to be safe for patients with proprioceptive impairment. 3. These results need to be supplemented with an assessment of proprioception during the application of vibration stimuli. Additionally, the impact of vibration parameters used in the exercises should be evaluated.

Keywords: Whole body vibration, Balance, proprioception, joint position sense

Procedia PDF Downloads 186
14 Trainability of Executive Functions during Preschool Age Analysis of Inhibition of 5-Year-Old Children

Authors: Christian Andrä, Pauline Hähner, Sebastian Ludyga


Introduction: In the recent past, discussions on the importance of physical activity for child development have contributed to a growing interest in executive functions, which refer to cognitive processes. By controlling, modulating and coordinating sub-processes, they make it possible to achieve superior goals. Major components include working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. While executive functions can be trained easily in school children, there are still research deficits regarding the trainability during preschool age. Methodology: This quasi-experimental study with pre- and post-design analyzes 23 children [age: 5.0 (mean value) ± 0.7 (standard deviation)] from four different sports groups. The intervention group was made up of 13 children (IG: 4.9 ± 0.6), while the control group consisted of ten children (CG: 5.1 ± 0.9). Between pre-test and post-test, children from the intervention group participated special games that train executive functions (i.e., changing rules of the game, introduction of new stimuli in familiar games) for ten units of their weekly sports program. The sports program of the control group was not modified. A computer-based version of the Eriksen Flanker Task was employed in order to analyze the participants’ inhibition ability. In two rounds, the participants had to respond 50 times and as fast as possible to a certain target (direction of sight of a fish; the target was always placed in a central position between five fish). Congruent (all fish have the same direction of sight) and incongruent (central fish faces opposite direction) stimuli were used. Relevant parameters were response time and accuracy. The main objective was to investigate whether children from the intervention group show more improvement in the two parameters than the children from the control group. Major findings: The intervention group revealed significant improvements in congruent response time (pre: 1.34 s, post: 1.12 s, p<.01), while the control group did not show any statistically relevant difference (pre: 1.31 s, post: 1.24 s). Likewise, the comparison of incongruent response times indicates a comparable result (IG: pre: 1.44 s, post: 1.25 s, p<.05 vs. CG: pre: 1.38 s, post: 1.38 s). In terms of accuracy for congruent stimuli, the intervention group showed significant improvements (pre: 90.1 %, post: 95.9 %, p<.01). In contrast, no significant improvement was found for the control group (pre: 88.8 %, post: 92.9 %). Vice versa, the intervention group did not display any significant results for incongruent stimuli (pre: 74.9 %, post: 83.5 %), while the control group revealed a significant difference (pre: 68.9 %, post: 80.3 %, p<.01). The analysis of three out of four criteria demonstrates that children who took part in a special sports program improved more than children who did not. The contrary results for the last criterion could be caused by the control group’s low results from the pre-test. Conclusion: The findings illustrate that inhibition can be trained as early as in preschool age. The combination of familiar games with increased requirements for attention and control processes appears to be particularly suitable.

Keywords: Executive Functions, inhibition, preschool children, flanker task

Procedia PDF Downloads 125
13 Control of Belts for Classification of Geometric Figures by Artificial Vision

Authors: Juan Sebastian Huertas Piedrahita, Jaime Arturo Lopez Duque, Eduardo Luis Perez Londoño, Julián S. Rodríguez


The process of generating computer vision is called artificial vision. The artificial vision is a branch of artificial intelligence that allows the obtaining, processing, and analysis of any type of information especially the ones obtained through digital images. Actually the artificial vision is used in manufacturing areas for quality control and production, as these processes can be realized through counting algorithms, positioning, and recognition of objects that can be measured by a single camera (or more). On the other hand, the companies use assembly lines formed by conveyor systems with actuators on them for moving pieces from one location to another in their production. These devices must be previously programmed for their good performance and must have a programmed logic routine. Nowadays the production is the main target of every industry, quality, and the fast elaboration of the different stages and processes in the chain of production of any product or service being offered. The principal base of this project is to program a computer that recognizes geometric figures (circle, square, and triangle) through a camera, each one with a different color and link it with a group of conveyor systems to organize the mentioned figures in cubicles, which differ from one another also by having different colors. This project bases on artificial vision, therefore the methodology needed to develop this project must be strict, this one is detailed below: 1. Methodology: 1.1 The software used in this project is QT Creator which is linked with Open CV libraries. Together, these tools perform to realize the respective program to identify colors and forms directly from the camera to the computer. 1.2 Imagery acquisition: To start using the libraries of Open CV is necessary to acquire images, which can be captured by a computer’s web camera or a different specialized camera. 1.3 The recognition of RGB colors is realized by code, crossing the matrices of the captured images and comparing pixels, identifying the primary colors which are red, green, and blue. 1.4 To detect forms it is necessary to realize the segmentation of the images, so the first step is converting the image from RGB to grayscale, to work with the dark tones of the image, then the image is binarized which means having the figure of the image in a white tone with a black background. Finally, we find the contours of the figure in the image to detect the quantity of edges to identify which figure it is. 1.5 After the color and figure have been identified, the program links with the conveyor systems, which through the actuators will classify the figures in their respective cubicles. Conclusions: The Open CV library is a useful tool for projects in which an interface between a computer and the environment is required since the camera obtains external characteristics and realizes any process. With the program for this project any type of assembly line can be optimized because images from the environment can be obtained and the process would be more accurate.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Images, RGB, artificial vision, binarized, grayscale

Procedia PDF Downloads 259
12 Anti-Infective Potential of Selected Philippine Medicinal Plant Extracts against Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

Authors: Windell L. Rivera, Demetrio L. Valle Jr., Juliana Janet M. Puzon


From the various medicinal plants available in the Philippines, crude ethanol extracts of twelve (12) Philippine medicinal plants, namely: Senna alata L. Roxb. (akapulko), Psidium guajava L. (bayabas), Piper betle L. (ikmo), Vitex negundo L. (lagundi), Mitrephora lanotan (Blanco) Merr. (Lanotan), Zingiber officinale Roscoe (luya), Curcuma longa L. (Luyang dilaw), Tinospora rumphii Boerl (Makabuhay), Moringga oleifera Lam. (malunggay), Phyllanthus niruri L. (sampa-sampalukan), Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (takip kuhol), and Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam (tsaang gubat) were studied. In vitro methods of evaluation against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative multidrug-resistant (MDR), bacteria were performed on the plant extracts. Although five of the plants showed varying antagonistic activities against the test organisms, only Piper betle L. exhibited significant activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive multidrug-resistant bacteria, exhibiting wide zones of growth inhibition in the disk diffusion assay, and with the lowest concentrations of the extract required to inhibit the growth of the bacteria, as supported by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) assays. Further antibacterial studies of the Piper betle L. leaf, obtained by three extraction methods (ethanol, methanol, supercritical CO2), revealed similar inhibitory activities against a multitude of Gram-positive and Gram-negative MDR bacteria. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) assay of the leaf extract revealed a maximum of eight compounds with Rf values of 0.92, 0.86, 0.76, 0.53, 0.40, 0.25, 0.13, and 0.013, best visualized when inspected under UV-366 nm. TLC- agar overlay bioautography of the isolated compounds showed the compounds with Rf values of 0.86 and 0.13 having inhibitory activities against Gram-positive MDR bacteria (MRSA and VRE). The compound with an Rf value of 0.86 also possesses inhibitory activity against Gram-negative MDR bacteria (CRE Klebsiella pneumoniae and MBL Acinetobacter baumannii). Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was able to identify six volatile compounds, four of which are new compounds that have not been mentioned in the medical literature. The chemical compounds isolated include 4-(2-propenyl)phenol and eugenol; and the new four compounds were ethyl diazoacetate, tris(trifluoromethyl)phosphine, heptafluorobutyrate, and 3-fluoro-2-propynenitrite. Phytochemical screening and investigation of its antioxidant, cytotoxic, possible hemolytic activities, and mechanisms of antibacterial activity were also done. The results showed that the local variant of Piper betle leaf extract possesses significant antioxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties, attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds, particularly of flavonoids (condensed tannin, leucoanthocyanin, gamma benzopyrone), anthraquinones, steroids/triterpenes and 2-deoxysugars. Piper betle L. is also traditionally known to enhance wound healing, which could be primarily due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. In vivo studies on mice using 2.5% and 5% of the ethanol leaf extract cream formulations in the excised wound models significantly increased the process of wound healing in the mice subjects, the results and values of which are at par with the current antibacterial cream (Mupirocin). From the results of the series of studies, we have definitely proven the value of Piper betle L. as a source of bioactive compounds that could be developed into therapeutic agents against MDR bacteria.

Keywords: Philippine herbal medicine, multidrug-resistant bacteria, Piper betle, TLC-bioautography

Procedia PDF Downloads 535