Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Ljiljana Gregov

8 Moral Reasoning among Croatian Adolescents with Different Levels of Education

Authors: Nataša Šimić, Ljiljana Gregov, Matilda Nikolić, Andrea Tokić, Ana Proroković


Moral development takes place in six phases which can be divided in a pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional level. Moral reasoning, as a key concept of moral development theories, involves a process of discernment/inference in doubtful situations. In research to date, education has proved to be a significant predictor of moral reasoning. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in moral reasoning and Kohlberg's phases of moral development between Croatian adolescents with different levels of education. In Study 1 comparisons between the group of secondary school students aged 17-18 (N=192) and the group of university students aged 21-25 (N=383) were made. Study 2 included comparison between university students group (N=69) and non-students group (N=43) aged from 21 to 24 (these two groups did not differ in age). In both studies, the Croatian Test of Moral Reasoning by Proroković was applied. As a measure of moral reasoning, the Index of Moral Reasoning (IMR) was calculated. This measure has some advantages compared to other measures of moral reasoning, and includes individual assessments of deviations from the ‘optimal profile’. Results of the Study 1 did not show differences in the IMR between secondary school students and university students. Both groups gave higher assessments to the arguments that correspond to higher phases of moral development. However, group differences were found for pre-conventional and conventional phases. As expected, secondary school students gave significantly higher assessments to the arguments that correspond to lower phases of moral development. Results of the Study 2 showed that university students, in relation to non-students, have higher IMR. Respecting to phases of moral development, both groups of participants gave higher assessments to the arguments that correspond to the post-conventional phase. Consistent with expectations and previous findings, results of both studies did not confirm gender differences in moral reasoning.

Keywords: education, index of moral reasoning, Kohlberg's theory of moral development, moral reasoning

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7 SMEs Access to Finance in Croatia – Model Approach

Authors: Vinko Vidučić, Ljiljana Vidučić, Damir Boras


The goals of the research include the determination of the characteristics of SMEs finance in Croatia, as well as the determination of indirect growth rates of the information model of the entrepreneurs` perception of business environment. The research results show that cost of finance and access to finance are most important constraining factor in setting up and running the business of small entrepreneurs in Croatia. Furthermore, small entrepreneurs in Croatia are significantly dissatisfied with the administrative barriers although relatively to a lesser extent than was the case in the pre-crisis time. High collateral requirement represents the main characteristic of bank lending concerning SMEs followed by long credit elaboration process. Formulated information model has defined the individual impact of indirect growth rates of the remaining variables on the model’s specific variable.

Keywords: business environment, information model, indirect growth rates, SME finance

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6 Effect of Packaging Methods and Storage Time on Oxidative Stability of Traditional Fermented Sausage

Authors: Vladimir M. Tomović, Branislav V. Šojić, Predrag M. Ikonić, Ljiljana S. Petrović, Anamarija I. Mandić, Natalija R. Džinić, Snežana B. Škaljac, Tatjana A. Tasić, Marija R. Jokanović


In this paper influence of packaging method (vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging) on lipid oxidative stability and sensory properties of odor and taste of the traditional sausage Petrovská klobása were examined. These parameters were examined during storage period (7 months). In the end of storage period, vacuum packed sausage showed better oxidative stability. Propanal content was significantly lower (P<0.05) in vacuum packed sausage compared to these values in unpacked and modified atmosphere packaging sausage. Hexanal content in vacuum packed sausage was 1.85 µg/g, in MAP sausage 2.98 µg/g and in unpacked sausage 4.94 µg/g. After 2 and 7 months of storage, sausages packed in vacuum had the highest grades for sensory properties of odor and taste.

Keywords: lipid oxidation, MAP, sensory properties, traditional sausage, vacuum

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5 Progress in Accuracy, Reliability and Safety in Firedamp Detection

Authors: José Luis Lorenzo Bayona, Ljiljana Medic-Pejic, Isabel Amez Arenillas, Blanca Castells Somoza


The communication presents the study results carried out by the Official Laboratory J. M. Madariaga (LOM) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid to analyze the reliability of methane detection systems used in underground mining. Poor firedamp control in work can cause from production stoppages to fatal accidents and since there is currently a great variety of equipment with different functional characteristics, a study is needed to indicate which measurement principles have the highest degree of confidence. For the development of the project, a series of fixed, transportable and portable methane detectors with different measurement principles have been selected to subject them to laboratory tests following the methods described in the applicable regulations. The test equipment has been the one usually used in the certification and calibration of these devices, subject to the LOM quality system, and the tests have been carried out on detectors accessible in the market. The conclusions establish the main advantages and disadvantages of the equipment according to the measurement principle used; catalytic combustion, interferometry and infrared absorption.

Keywords: ATEX standards, gas detector, methane meter, mining safety

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4 Spatial Analysis for Wind Risk Index Assessment

Authors: Ljiljana Seric, Vladimir Divic, Marin Bugaric


This paper presents methodology for spatial analysis of GIS data that is used for assessing the microlocation risk index from potential damages of high winds. The analysis is performed on freely available GIS data comprising information about wind load, terrain cover and topography of the area. The methodology utilizes the legislation of Eurocode norms for determination of wind load of buildings and constructions. The core of the methodology is adoption of the wind load parameters related to location on geographical spatial grid. Presented work is a part of the Wind Risk Project, supported by the European Commission under the Civil Protection Financial Instrument of the European Union (ECHO). The partners involved in Wind Risk project performed Wind Risk assessment and proposed action plan for three European countries – Slovenia, Croatia and Germany. The proposed method is implemented in GRASS GIS open source GIS software and demonstrated for Case study area of wider area of Split, Croatia. Obtained Wind Risk Index is visualized and correlated with critical infrastructures like buildings, roads and power lines. The results show good correlation between high Wind Risk Index with recent incidents related to wind.

Keywords: Eurocode norms, GIS, spatial analysis, wind distribution, wind risk

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3 Polyphenol-Rich Aronia Melanocarpa Juice Consumption and Line-1 Dna Methylation in a Cohort at Cardiovascular Risk

Authors: Ljiljana Stojković, Manja Zec, Maja Zivkovic, Maja Bundalo, Marija Glibetić, Dragan Alavantić, Aleksandra Stankovic


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is associated with alterations in DNA methylation, the latter modulated by dietary polyphenols. The present pilot study (part of the original clinical study registered as NCT02800967 at aimed to investigate the impact of 4-week daily consumption of polyphenol-rich Aronia melanocarpa juice on Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element-1 (LINE-1) methylation in peripheral blood leukocytes, in subjects (n=34, age of 41.1±6.6 years) at moderate CVD risk, including an increased body mass index, central obesity, high normal blood pressure and/or dyslipidemia. The goal was also to examine whether factors known to affect DNA methylation, such as folate intake levels, MTHFR C677T gene variant, as well as the anthropometric and metabolic parameters, modulated the LINE-1 methylation levels upon consumption of polyphenol-rich Aronia juice. The experimental analysis of LINE-1 methylation was done by the MethyLight method. MTHFR C677T genotypes were determined by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Folate intake was assessed by processing the data from the food frequency questionnaire and repeated 24-hour dietary recalls. Serum lipid profile was determined by using Roche Diagnostics kits. The statistical analyses were performed using the Statistica software package. In women, after vs. before the treatment period, a significant decrease in LINE-1 methylation levels was observed (97.54±1.50% vs. 98.39±0.86%, respectively; P=0.01). The change (after vs. before treatment) in LINE-1 methylation correlated directly with MTHFR 677T allele presence, average daily folate intake and the change in serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, while inversely with the change in serum triacylglycerols (R=0.72, R2=0.52, adjusted R2=0.36, P=0.03). The current results imply potential cardioprotective effects of habitual polyphenol-rich Aronia juice consumption achieved through the modifications of DNA methylation pattern in subjects at CVD risk, which should be further confirmed. Hence, the precision nutrition-driven modulations of DNA methylation may become targets for new approaches in the prevention and treatment of CVD.

Keywords: Aronia melanocarpa, cardiovascular risk, LINE-1, methylation, peripheral blood leukocytes, polyphenol

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2 Some Quality Parameters of Selected Maize Hybrids from Serbia for the Production of Starch, Bioethanol and Animal Feed

Authors: Marija Milašinović-Šeremešić, Valentina Semenčenko, Milica Radosavljević, Dušanka Terzić, Ljiljana Mojović, Ljubica Dokić


Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important cereal crops, and as such, one of the most significant naturally renewable carbohydrate raw materials for the production of energy and multitude of different products. The main goal of the present study was to investigate a suitability of selected maize hybrids of different genetic background produced in Maize Research Institute ‘Zemun Polje’, Belgrade, Serbia, for starch, bioethanol and animal feed production. All the hybrids are commercial and their detailed characterization is important for the expansion of their different uses. The starches were isolated by using a 100-g laboratory maize wet-milling procedure. Hydrolysis experiments were done in two steps (liquefaction with Termamyl SC, and saccharification with SAN Extra L). Starch hydrolysates obtained by the two-step hydrolysis of the corn flour starch were subjected to fermentation by S. cerevisiae var. ellipsoideus under semi-anaerobic conditions. The digestibility based on enzymatic solubility was performed by the Aufréré method. All investigated ZP maize hybrids had very different physical characteristics and chemical composition which could allow various possibilities of their use. The amount of hard (vitreous) and soft (floury) endosperm in kernel is considered one of the most important parameters that can influence the starch and bioethanol yields. Hybrids with a lower test weight and density and a greater proportion of soft endosperm fraction had a higher yield, recovery and purity of starch. Among the chemical composition parameters only starch content significantly affected the starch yield. Starch yields of studied maize hybrids ranged from 58.8% in ZP 633 to 69.0% in ZP 808. The lowest bioethanol yield of 7.25% w/w was obtained for hybrid ZP 611k and the highest by hybrid ZP 434 (8.96% w/w). A very significant correlation was determined between kernel starch content and the bioethanol yield, as well as volumetric productivity (48h) (r=0.66). Obtained results showed that the NDF, ADF and ADL contents in the whole maize plant of the observed ZP maize hybrids varied from 40.0% to 60.1%, 18.6% to 32.1%, and 1.4% to 3.1%, respectively. The difference in the digestibility of the dry matter of the whole plant among hybrids (ZP 735 and ZP 560) amounted to 18.1%. Moreover, the differences in the contents of the lignocelluloses fraction affected the differences in dry matter digestibility. From the results it can be concluded that genetic background of the selected maize hybrids plays an important part in estimation of the technological value of maize hybrids for various purposes. Obtained results are of an exceptional importance for the breeding programs and selection of potentially most suitable maize hybrids for starch, bioethanol and animal feed production.

Keywords: bioethanol, biomass quality, maize, starch

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1 Investigation of the Controversial Immunomodulatory Potential of Trichinella spiralis Excretory-Secretory Products versus Extracellular Vesicles Derived from These Products in vitro

Authors: Natasa Ilic, Alisa Gruden-Movsesijan, Maja Kosanovic, Sofija Glamoclija, Marina Bekic, Ljiljana Sofronic-Milosavljevic, Sergej Tomic


As a very promising candidate for modulation of immune response in the sense of biasing the inflammatory towards an anti-inflammatory type of response, Trichinella spiralis infection was shown to successfully alleviate the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model of human disease multiple sclerosis. This effect is achieved via its excretory-secretory muscle larvae (ES L1) products which affect the maturation status and function of dendritic cells (DCs) by inducing the tolerogenic status of DCs, which leads to the mitigation of the Th1 type of response and the activation of a regulatory type of immune response both in vitro and in vivo. ES L1 alone or via treated DCs successfully mitigated EAE in the same manner as the infection itself. On the other hand, it has been shown that T. spiralis infection slows down the tumour growth and significantly reduces the tumour size in the model of mouse melanoma, while ES L1 possesses a pro-apoptotic and anti-survival effect on melanoma cells in vitro. Hence, although the mechanisms still need to be revealed, T. spiralis infection and its ES L1 products have a bit of controversial potential to modulate both inflammatory diseases and malignancies. The recent discovery of T. spiralis extracellular vesicles (TsEVs) suggested that the induction of complex regulation of the immune response requires simultaneous delivery of different signals in nano-sized packages. This study aimed to explore whether TsEVs bare the similar potential as ES L1 to influence the status of DCs in initiation, progression and regulation of immune response, but also to investigate the effect of both ES L1 and TsEVs on myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC) which present the regular tumour tissue environment. TsEVs were enriched from the conditioned medium of T. spiralis muscle larvae by differential centrifugation and used for the treatment of human monocyte-derived DCs and MDSC. On DCs, TsEVs induced low expression of HLA DR and CD40, moderate CD83 and CD86, and increased expression of ILT3 and CCR7 on treated DCs, i.e., they induced tolerogenic DCs. Such DCs possess the capacity to polarize T cell immune response towards regulatory type, with an increased proportion of IL-10 and TGF-β producing cells, similarly to ES L1. These findings indicated that the ability of TsEVs to induce tolerogenic DCs favoring anti-inflammatory responses may be helpful in coping with diseases that involve Th1/Th17-, but also Th2-mediated inflammation. In MDSC in vitro model, although both ES L1 and TsEVs had the same impact on MDSC phenotype i.e., they acted suppressive, ES L1 treated MDSC, unlike TsEVs treated ones, induced T cell response characterized by the increased RoRγT and IFN-γ, while the proportion of regulatory cells was decreased followed by the decrease in IL-10 and TGF-β positive cells proportion within this population. These findings indicate the interesting ability of ES L1 to modulate T cells response via MDSC towards pro-inflamatory type, suggesting that, unlike TsEVs which consistently demonstrate the suppresive effect on inflammatory response, it could be used also for the development of new approaches aimed for the treatment of malignant diseases. Acknowledgment: This work was funded by the Promis project – Nano-MDCS-Thera, Science Fund, Republic of Serbia.

Keywords: dendritic cells, myeloid derived suppressor cells, immunomodulation, Trichinella spiralis

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