Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Lourdes Cabral

30 Healing in Lourdes: Qualitative Research with Pilgrims and Their Carers

Authors: Emmylou Rahtz, Sarah Goldingay, Sara Warber, Ann Arbor, Paul Dieppe


Introduction: Lourdes is a Catholic, Marian healing venue in South West France. Many miraculous cures have been attributed to visits there. In addition, many visitors seem to experience improvements in health and wellbeing, in the absence of a cure of disease. We wanted to investigate that phenomenon. Methods: We spent 10 days in Lourdes in 2017, carrying out ethnographic research, talking to many visitors, and carrying out formal, recorded interviews with several pilgrims, doctors, nurses, helpers, and priests. Results: Profound experiences and improvements in health and wellbeing were commonly reported. A number of ‘noetic’ experiences were also described. The paper will illustrate these phenomena. In addition, many participants in the research talked about why being in Lourdes was so beneficial to them. The community spirit, ethos of prayer, flow, synchronicity, and ability to find new meaning for life’s ills were cited as likely reasons. Conclusions: We believe that the ‘real miracle’ of Lourdes is the fact that of the many hundreds of thousands of people who go there each year, many find great benefit in health and wellbeing. It is likely that this is due to the ethos of the place, the community spirit, non-judgmental approach and loving acceptance of all aspects of humanity. Acknowledgments: We thank the BIAL foundation for generous funding of this research, and Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis and his team for facilitating our work, as well as all those who participated.

Keywords: healing, miracles, noetic experiences, wellbeing

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29 In vitro Bioacessibility of Phenolic Compounds from Fruit Spray Dried and Lyophilized Powder

Authors: Carolina Beres, Laurine Da Silva, Danielle Pereira, Ana Ribeiro, Renata Tonon, Caroline Mellinger-Silva, Karina Dos Santos, Flavia Gomes, Lourdes Cabral


The health benefits of bioactive compounds such as phenolics are well known. The main source of these compounds are fruits and derivates. This study had the objective to study the bioacessibility of phenolic compounds from grape pomace and juçara dried extracts. For this purpose both characterized extracts were submitted to a simulated human digestion and the total phenolic content, total anthocyanins and antioxidant scavenging capacity was determinate in digestive fractions (oral, gastric, intestinal and colonic). Juçara had a higher anthocianins bioacessibility (17.16%) when compared to grape pomace (2.08%). The opposite result was found for total phenolic compound, where the higher bioacessibility was for grape (400%). The phenolic compound increase indicates a more accessible compound in the human gut. The lyophilized process had a beneficial impact in the final accessibility of the phenolic compounds being a more promising technique.

Keywords: bioacessibility, phenolic compounds, grape, juçara

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28 Learners’ Reactions to Writing Activities in an Elementary Algebra Classroom

Authors: Early Sol A. Gadong, Lourdes C. Zamora, Jonny B. Pornel, Aurora Fe C. Bautista


Various research has shown that writing allows students to engage in metacognition and provides them with a venue to communicate their disposition towards what they are learning. However, few studies have explored students’ feelings about the incorporation of such writing activities in their mathematics classes. Through reflection sheets, group discussions, and interviews, this mixed-methods study explored students’ perceptions and insights on supplementary writing activities in their Elementary Algebra class. Findings revealed that while students generally have a positive regard for writing activities, they have conflicting views about how writing activities can help them in their learning. A big majority contend that writing activities can enhance the learning of mathematical content and attitudes towards mathematics if they allow students to explore and synthesize what they have learned and reflected on their emotional disposition towards mathematics. Also, gender does not appear to play a significant role in students’ reactions to writing activities.

Keywords: writing in math, metacognition, affective factors in learning, elementary algebra classroom

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27 Audio Information Retrieval in Mobile Environment with Fast Audio Classifier

Authors: Bruno T. Gomes, José A. Menezes, Giordano Cabral


With the popularity of smartphones, mobile apps emerge to meet the diverse needs, however the resources at the disposal are limited, either by the hardware, due to the low computing power, or the software, that does not have the same robustness of desktop environment. For example, in automatic audio classification (AC) tasks, musical information retrieval (MIR) subarea, is required a fast processing and a good success rate. However the mobile platform has limited computing power and the best AC tools are only available for desktop. To solve these problems the fast classifier suits, to mobile environments, the most widespread MIR technologies, seeking a balance in terms of speed and robustness. At the end we found that it is possible to enjoy the best of MIR for mobile environments. This paper presents the results obtained and the difficulties encountered.

Keywords: audio classification, audio extraction, environment mobile, musical information retrieval

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26 Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures for International Conflicts about Industrial Design

Authors: Moreno Liso Lourdes


The industrial design protects the appearance of part or all of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation. The industrial property offers a different answer depending on the characteristics of the shape object of protection possible, including the trademark and industrial design. There are certain cases where the trademark right invalidate the exclusive right of the industrial design. This can occur in the following situations: 1st) collected as a sign design and trademarked; and 2nd) you want to trademark and protected as a form design (either registered or unregistered). You can either get a trade mark or design right in the same sign or form, provided it meets the legal definition of brand and design and meets the requirements imposed for the protection of each of them, even able to produce an overlap of protection. However, this double protection does not have many advantages. It is, therefore, necessary to choose the best form of legal protection according to the most adequate ratios. The diversity of rights that can use the creator of an industrial design to protect your job requires you to make a proper selection to prevent others, especially their competitors, taking advantage of the exclusivity that guarantees the law. It is necessary to choose between defending the interests of the parties through a judicial or extrajudicial procedure when the conflict arises. In this paper, we opted for the defense through mediation.

Keywords: industrial design, ADR, Law, EUIPO

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25 Genetic Algorithms for Feature Generation in the Context of Audio Classification

Authors: José A. Menezes, Giordano Cabral, Bruno T. Gomes


Choosing good features is an essential part of machine learning. Recent techniques aim to automate this process. For instance, feature learning intends to learn the transformation of raw data into a useful representation to machine learning tasks. In automatic audio classification tasks, this is interesting since the audio, usually complex information, needs to be transformed into a computationally convenient input to process. Another technique tries to generate features by searching a feature space. Genetic algorithms, for instance, have being used to generate audio features by combining or modifying them. We find this approach particularly interesting and, despite the undeniable advances of feature learning approaches, we wanted to take a step forward in the use of genetic algorithms to find audio features, combining them with more conventional methods, like PCA, and inserting search control mechanisms, such as constraints over a confusion matrix. This work presents the results obtained on particular audio classification problems.

Keywords: feature generation, feature learning, genetic algorithm, music information retrieval

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24 Intensification of Ethyl Esters Synthesis Using a Packed-Bed Tubular Reactor at Supercritical Conditions

Authors: Camila da Silva, Simone Belorte de Andrade, Vitor Augusto dos Santos Garcia, Vladimir Ferreira Cabral, J. Vladimir Oliveira Lúcio Cardozo-Filho


In the present study, the non-catalytic transesterification of soybean oil in continuous mode using supercritical ethanol were investigated. Experiments were performed in a packed-bed tubular reactor (PBTR) and variable studied were reaction temperature (523 K to 598 K), pressure (10 MPa to 20 MPa), oil to ethanol molar ratio (1:10 to 1:40) and water concentration (0 wt% to 10 wt% in ethanol). Results showed that ethyl esters yields obtained in the PBTR were higher (> 20 wt%) than those verified in a tubular reactor (TR), due to improved mass transfer conditions attained in the PBTR. Results demonstrated that temperature, pressure, oil to ethanol molar ratio and water concentration had a positive effect on fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) production in the experimental range investigated, with appreciable reaction yields (90 wt%) achieved at 598 K, 20 MPa, oil to ethanol molar ratio of 1:40 and 10 wt% of water concentration.

Keywords: packed bed reactor, ethyl esters, continuous process, catalyst-free process

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23 Effect of Composition Fuel on Safety of Combustion Process

Authors: Lourdes I. Meriño, Viatcheslav Kafarov, Maria Gómez


Fuel gas used in the burner receives as contributors other gases from different processes and this result in variability in the composition, which may cause an incomplete combustion. The burners are designed to operate in a certain curve, the calorific power dependent on the pressure and gas burners. When deviation of propane and C5+ is huge, there is a large release of energy, which causes it to work out the curves of the burners, because less pressure is required to force curve into operation. That increases the risk of explosion in an oven, besides of a higher environmental impact. There should be flame detection systems, and instrumentation equipment, such as local pressure gauges located at the entrance of the gas burners, to permit verification by the operator. Additionally, distributed control systems must be configured with different combustion instruments associated with respective alarms, as well as its operational windows, and windows control guidelines of integrity, leaving the design information of this equipment. Therefore, it is desirable to analyze when a plant is taken out of service and make good operational analysis to determine the impact of changes in fuel gas streams contributors, by varying the calorific power. Hence, poor combustion is one of the cause instability in the flame of the burner and having a great impact on process safety, the integrity of individuals and teams and environment.

Keywords: combustion process, fuel composition, safety, fuel gas

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22 A Brief Narrative Intervention to Improve Well-being and Relational Ethics in Couples: A Mixed-Method Case Study

Authors: Kevser Cakmak, Adrián Montesano, Lourdes Artigas, Marta Salla, Clara Mateu


The main objective of this research is to explore the relational letter writing technique as an intervention in couple therapy for reconnecting couples with their values and ethical preferences. This is a recently developed therapeutic tool within the framework of Narrative Therapy that consists of two interviews and a letter writing task, in which a meta-conversation between the relationship itself, the couple members, and the therapists is fostered. Although this specific therapeutic technique can be used within the therapy process, in this case study, it is used as a brief stand-alone narrative intervention for a middle age heterosexual couple breast cancer survivor. Couple’s relational and personal wellbeing was monitored before, during, and after the intervention by means of the dyadic adjustment and the clinical outcomes in routine evaluation-outcome measure, respectively. The couple showed a significant improvement after the intervention in both levels. The content of the letter writing exercises was qualitatively analysed to explore the reconstruction of their ethical values. Results from both methods are integrated in order to get an in-depth perspective of the newly developed tool. The potential of the letter writing technique as stand-alone and as adjunct brief intervention is discussed.

Keywords: couple therapy, narrative therapy, psychotherapy tool, relational letter writing

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21 Media Regulation and Public Sphere in the Digital Age: An Analysis in the Light of Constructive Democracy

Authors: Carlos Marden Cabral Coutinho, Jose Luis Bolzan de Morais


The article proposed intends to analyze the possibility (and conditions) of a media regulation law in a democratic rule of law in the twenty-first century. To do so, will be presented initially the idea of the public sphere (by Jürgen Habermas), showing how it is presented as an interface between the citizen and the state (or the private and public) and how important is it in a deliberative democracy. Based on this paradigm, the traditional perception of the role of public information (such as system functional element) and on the possibility of media regulation will be exposed, due to the public nature of their activity. A critical argument will then be displayed from two different perspectives: a) the formal function of the current media information, considering that the digital age has fragmented the information access; b) the concept of a constructive democracy, which reduces the need for representation, changing the strategic importance of the public sphere. The question to be addressed (based on the comparative law) is if the regulation is justified in a polycentric democracy, especially when it operates under the digital age (with immediate and virtual communication). The proposal is to be presented in the sense that even in a twenty-first century the media in a democratic rule of law still has an extremely important role and may be subject to regulation, but this should be on terms very different (and narrower) from those usually defended.

Keywords: constructive democracy, media, digital age, public sphere

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20 Screening of Antioxidant Activity of Exopolysaccharides Produced by Lactic Acid Bacteria From Human Origin

Authors: Piña-Ronces Laura Gabriela, Reyes-Escogido María de Lourdes


Exist a large variability in Exopolysaccharides (EPS) produced by LAB depending on carbon source, they have multiple applications in food industry mainly, but they have become important for the health. In this study, we identified EPS-producing strains belonging to the BAL group; they were previously isolated from humans. After that, we extracted and evaluated the antioxidant activity of EPS produced by all strains. Antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH method using ascorbic acid as standard for both comparison and quantification. 31 strains (51.66 %) produced EPS at concentrations between 451 and 1.561 mg/l, 16 of EPS extracted showed antioxidant effect superior to ascorbic acid at the same concentrations. EPS-producing strains were L. plantarum, L. sp and L. fermentum corresponding to Lactobacillus genus and, E. faecium, E. durans, and E. hirae of Enterococcus genus. Antioxidant activity showed by EPS from 3 strains of L. plantarum and 3 strains of E. faecium was different into specie, while the antioxidant activity determined for EPS obtained from the other strains did not show difference at specie level, but was superior to ascorbic acid. EPS produced by L. plantarum and E. hirae had the best activity, it could be considerate for selection them as a possible new alternative for therapy or treatment of diseases related whit oxidative stress. Further studies about biological functions of EPS have to be conducted for new applications in health.

Keywords: oxidative stress, lactic acid bacteria, exopolysaccharides, antioxidant activity

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19 Obtaining Nutritive Powder from Peel of Mangifera Indica L. (Mango) as a Food Additive

Authors: Chajira Garrote, Laura Arango, Lourdes Merino


This research explains how to obtain nutritious powder from a variety of ripe mango peels Hilacha (Mangifera indica L.) to use it as a food additive. Also, this study intends to use efficiently the by-products resulting from the operations of mango pulp manufacturing process by processing companies with the aim of giving them an added value. The physical and chemical characteristics of the mango peels and the benefits that may help humans, were studied. Unit operations are explained for the processing of mango peels and the production of nutritive powder as a food additive. Emphasis is placed on the preliminary operations applied to the raw material and on the drying method, which is very important in this project to obtain the suitable characteristics of the nutritive powder. Once the powder was obtained, it was subjected to laboratory tests to determine its functional properties: water retention capacity (WRC) and oil retention capacity (ORC), also a sensory analysis for the powder was performed to determine the product profile. The nutritive powder from the ripe mango peels reported excellent WRC and ORC values: 7.236 g of water / g B.S. and 1.796 g water / g B.S. respectively and the sensory analysis defined a complete profile of color, odor and texture of the nutritive powder, which is suitable to use it in the food industry.

Keywords: mango, peel, powder, nutritive, functional properties, sensory analysis

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18 Characterization and Predictors of Paranoid Ideation in Youths

Authors: Marina Sousa, Célia Barreto Carvalho, Carolina da Motta, Joana Cabral, Vera Pereira, Suzana Nunes Caldeira, Ermelindo Peixoto


Paranoid ideation is a common thought process that constitutes a defense against perceived social threats. The current study aimed at the characterization of paranoid ideation in youths and to explore the possible predictors involved in the development of paranoid ideations. Paranoid ideation, shame, submission, early childhood memories and current depressive, anxious and stress symptomatology was assessed in a sample of 1516 Portuguese youths. Higher frequencies of paranoid ideation were observed, particularly in females and youths from lower socio-economic status. The main predictors identified relates to submissive behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, and especially to shame feelings. The current study emphasizes that the these predictors are similar to findings in adults and clinical populations, and future implications to research and clinical practice aiming at paranoid ideations are discussed, as well as the pertinence of the study of mediating factors that allow a wider understanding of this thought process in younger populations and the prevention of psychopathology in adulthood.

Keywords: adolescence, early memories, paranoid ideation, parenting styles, shame, submissiveness

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17 Green Synthesis of Nano Liposomes Containing Berberine Chlorideagainst Leishmania major

Authors: Ali Fattahi Bafghi, Abolghasem Siyadatpanah, Farzaneh Mirzaei, Fahimeh Pournasir, Roghayeh Norouzi, Maria De Lourdes Pereira


Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major is one of the main infectious diseases that affect populations in developing countries around the world. We assessed the effectiveness of berberine chloride nano-liposome (BcNLs) against L. major promastigotes in vitro. Nano-liposomal berberine chloride was prepared using the thin-film hydration method and characterized based on encapsulation efficiency, size, and zeta potential. Anti-Leishmania effect of different concentrations (0.05-60 µg/ml) of BcNLs as studied in L. major [MRHO/IR/75/ER] at 24, 48, and 72 h using the hemocytometer technique. Berberine chloride was successfully loaded into nano-liposomes with an encapsulation efficiency of 85.54%. The surface charge of nanoparticles is neutral, and the morphology of nano-liposomal berberine chloride is spherical without any agglomeration. Cell viability assay was performed on the HFF cell line to show the biocompatibility of liposome nanoparticles. IC50 of BcNPs at 24, 48, and 72 h against L. major were found to be 7.6, 5.96, and 3.19 µg/ml, respectively. BcNLs showed a significant anti-Leishmania effect and induced a better and more tangible effect on the survival of L. major promastigotes and could be suitable candidates for further investigation. The results showed that the BcNLs agent is effective against L. major promastigotes and may be a promising alternative to current treatments.

Keywords: Leishmania major, berberine chloride, nano-liposomes, cutaneous leishmaniasis

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16 Creatures of the Clearing: Forests, People, and Ants in Imperial Brazil

Authors: Diogo de Carvalho Cabral


This article offers a non-declensionist account of tropical deforestation, arguing that, rather than social stamp upon the environment or ecological endgame, deforestation is part of social site-making and remaking, the process through which humans produce sociality by carrying out nature-mediated – and therefore nature-transforming – practices that inevitably reset the very conditions of those practices. Human landscape-shaping inadvertently alters other species’ habitats –most often decimating them, but sometimes improving them–, the outcomes of which always resonate back upon human inhabitation and land use. Despite the overall tendency of biotic homogenization resulting from modern deforestation processes, there are always winners, i.e., species that gain competitive advantages enabling them to thrive in the novel ecosystems. Here it is examined one such case of deforestation-boosted species, namely leafcutter ants, which wrought havoc in the rural landscapes of nineteenth-century Brazil by defoliating a wide range of crops. By combining Historical GIS analysis and qualitative interpretation, it is shown how agricultural deforestation might have changed the ant species' biogeographies, and how in turn these changes – construed as 'infestation' – stimulated social innovations and rearrangements such as technical ingenuity, legal-administrative practices, and even local electoral arenas.

Keywords: deforestation, leafcutter ants, nineteenth-century Brazil, socio-ecological change

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15 An Application for Risk of Crime Prediction Using Machine Learning

Authors: Luis Fonseca, Filipe Cabral Pinto, Susana Sargento


The increase of the world population, especially in large urban centers, has resulted in new challenges particularly with the control and optimization of public safety. Thus, in the present work, a solution is proposed for the prediction of criminal occurrences in a city based on historical data of incidents and demographic information. The entire research and implementation will be presented start with the data collection from its original source, the treatment and transformations applied to them, choice and the evaluation and implementation of the Machine Learning model up to the application layer. Classification models will be implemented to predict criminal risk for a given time interval and location. Machine Learning algorithms such as Random Forest, Neural Networks, K-Nearest Neighbors and Logistic Regression will be used to predict occurrences, and their performance will be compared according to the data processing and transformation used. The results show that the use of Machine Learning techniques helps to anticipate criminal occurrences, which contributed to the reinforcement of public security. Finally, the models were implemented on a platform that will provide an API to enable other entities to make requests for predictions in real-time. An application will also be presented where it is possible to show criminal predictions visually.

Keywords: crime prediction, machine learning, public safety, smart city

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14 Development and Validation of the Response to Stressful Situations Scale in the General Population

Authors: Célia Barreto Carvalho, Carolina da Motta, Marina Sousa, Joana Cabral, Ana Luísa Carvalho, Ermelindo Peixoto


The aim of the current study was to develop and validate a Response to Stressful Situations Scale (RSSS) for the Portuguese population. This scale assesses the degree of stress experienced in scenarios that can constitute positive, negative and more neutral stressors, and also describes the physiological, emotional and behavioral reactions to those events according to their intensity. These scenario include typical stressor scenarios relevant to patients with schizophrenia, which are currently absent from most scale, assessing specific risks that these stressors may bring on subjects, which may prove useful in non-clinical and clinical populations (i.e. patients with mood or anxiety disorders, schizophrenia). Results from Principal Components Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of on two adult samples from general population allowed to confirm a three-factor model with good fit indices: χ2 (144)= 370.211, p = 0.000; GFI = 0.928; CFI = 0.927; TLI = 0.914, RMSEA = 0.055, P( rmsea ≤ 0.005) = 0.096; PCFI = 0.781. Further data analysis on the scale revealed that RSSS is an adequate assessment tool of stress response in adults to be used in further research and clinical settings, with good psychometric characteristics, adequate divergent and convergent validity, good temporal stability and high internal consistency.

Keywords: assessment, stress events, stress response, stress vulnerability

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13 Characterization and Predictors of Community Integration of People with Psychiatric Problems: Comparisons with the General Population

Authors: J. Cabral, C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, M. Sousa


Community integration is a construct that an increasing body of research has shown to have a significant impact in well-being and recovery of people with psychiatric problems. However, there are few studies that explore which factors can be associated and predict community integration. Moreover, community integration has been mostly studied in minority groups, and currently literature on the definition and manifestation of community integration in the more general population is scarce. Thus, the current study aims to characterize community integration and explore possible predictor variables in a sample of participants with psychiatric problems (PP, N=183) and a sample of participants from the general population (GP, N=211). Results show that people with psychiatric problems present above average values of community integration, but are significantly lower than their healthy counterparts. It was also possible to observe that community integration does not vary in terms of the socio-demographic characteristics of both groups in this study. Correlation and multiple regression showed that, among several variables that literature present as relevant in the community integration process, only three variables emerged as having the most explanatory value in community integration of both groups: sense of community, basic needs satisfaction and submission. These results also shown that those variables have increased explanatory power in the PP sample, which leads us to emphasize the need to address this issue in future studies and increase the understanding of the factors that can be involved in the promotion of community integration, in order to devise more effective interventions in this field.

Keywords: community integration, mental illness, predictors, psychiatric problems

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12 Technology in the Calculation of People Health Level: Design of a Computational Tool

Authors: Sara Herrero Jaén, José María Santamaría García, María Lourdes Jiménez Rodríguez, Jorge Luis Gómez González, Adriana Cercas Duque, Alexandra González Aguna


Background: Health concept has evolved throughout history. The health level is determined by the own individual perception. It is a dynamic process over time so that you can see variations from one moment to the next. In this way, knowing the health of the patients you care for, will facilitate decision making in the treatment of care. Objective: To design a technological tool that calculates the people health level in a sequential way over time. Material and Methods: Deductive methodology through text analysis, extraction and logical knowledge formalization and education with expert group. Studying time: September 2015- actually. Results: A computational tool for the use of health personnel has been designed. It has 11 variables. Each variable can be given a value from 1 to 5, with 1 being the minimum value and 5 being the maximum value. By adding the result of the 11 variables we obtain a magnitude in a certain time, the health level of the person. The health calculator allows to represent people health level at a time, establishing temporal cuts being useful to determine the evolution of the individual over time. Conclusion: The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) allow training and help in various disciplinary areas. It is important to highlight their relevance in the field of health. Based on the health formalization, care acts can be directed towards some of the propositional elements of the concept above. The care acts will modify the people health level. The health calculator allows the prioritization and prediction of different strategies of health care in hospital units.

Keywords: calculator, care, eHealth, health

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11 Microstructural Characterization of Creep Damage Evolution in Welded Inconel 600 Superalloy

Authors: Lourdes Yareth Herrera-Chavez, Alberto Ruiz, Victor H. Lopez


Superalloys are used in components that operate at high temperatures such as pressure vessels and heat exchanger tubing. Design standards for these components must consider creep resistance among other criteria. Fusion welding processes are commonly used in the industry to join such components. Fusion processes commonly generate three distinctive zones, i.e. heat affected zone (HAZ), namely weld metal (WM) and base metal (BM). In nickel-based superalloy, the microstructure developed during fusion welding dictates the mechanical response of the welded component and it is very important to establish these effects in the mechanical response of the component. In this work, two plates of Inconel 600 superalloy were Gas Metal Arc Welded (GMAW). Creep samples were cut and milled to specifications and creep tested at a temperature (650 °C) using stress level of 350, 300, 275, 250 and 200 MPa. Microstructural analysis results showed a progressive creep damage evolution that depends on the stress levels with a preferential accumulation of creep damage at the heat affected zone where the creep rupture preferentially occurs owing to an austenitic matrix with grain boundary precipitated of the type Cr23C6. The fractured surfaces showed dimple patterns of cavity and voids. Results indicated that the damage mechanism is due to cavity growth by the combined effect of the power law and diffusion creep.

Keywords: austenitic microstructure, creep damage evolution, heat affected zone, vickers microhardness

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10 Analysis of Energy Efficiency Behavior with the Use of Train Dynamics Simulator and Statistical Tools: Case Study of Vitoria Minas Railway, Brazil

Authors: Eric Wilson Santos Cabral, Marta Monteiro Da Costa Cruz, Fabio Luis Maciel Machado, Henrique Andrade, Rodrigo Pirola Pestana, Vivian Andrea Parreira


The large variation in the price of diesel in Brazil directly affects the variable cost of companies operating in the transportation sector. In rail transport, the great challenge is to overcome the annual budget, cargo and ore transported with cost reduction in relation to previous years, becoming more efficient every year. Some effective measures are necessary to achieve the reduction of the liter ratio consumed by KTKB (Gross Ton per Kilometer multiplied by thousand). This acronym represents the indicator of energy efficiency of some railroads in the world. This study is divided into two parts: the first, to identify using statistical tools, part of the controlled variables in the railways, which have a correlation with the energy efficiency indicator, seeking to aid decision-making. The second, with the use of the train dynamics simulator, within scenarios defined in the operational reality of a railroad, seeks to optimize the train formations and the train stop model for the change of train drivers. With the completion of the study, companies in the rail sector are expected to be able to reduce some of their transportation costs.

Keywords: railway transport, railway simulation, energy efficiency, fuel consumption

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9 Co-Alignment of Comfort and Energy Saving Objectives for U.S. Office Buildings and Restaurants

Authors: Lourdes Gutierrez, Eric Williams


Post-occupancy research shows that only 11% of commercial buildings met the ASHRAE thermal comfort standard. Many buildings are too warm in winter and/or too cool in summer, wasting energy and not providing comfort. In this paper, potential energy savings in U.S. offices and restaurants if thermostat settings are calculated according the updated ASHRAE 55-2013 comfort model that accounts for outdoor temperature and clothing choice for different climate zones. eQUEST building models are calibrated to reproduce aggregate energy consumption as reported in the U.S. Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey. Changes in energy consumption due to the new settings are analyzed for 14 cities in different climate zones and then the results are extrapolated to estimate potential national savings. It is found that, depending on the climate zone, each degree increase in the summer saves 0.6 to 1.0% of total building electricity consumption. Each degree the winter setting is lowered saves 1.2% to 8.7% of total building natural gas consumption. With new thermostat settings, national savings are 2.5% of the total consumed in all office buildings and restaurants, summing up to national savings of 69.6 million GJ annually, comparable to all 2015 total solar PV generation in US. The goals of improved comfort and energy/economic savings are thus co-aligned, raising the importance of thermostat management as an energy efficiency strategy.

Keywords: energy savings quantifications, commercial building stocks, dynamic clothing insulation model, operation-focused interventions, energy management, thermal comfort, thermostat settings

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8 Scientific Production on Lean Supply Chains Published in Journals Indexed by SCOPUS and Web of Science Databases: A Bibliometric Study

Authors: T. Botelho de Sousa, F. Raphael Cabral Furtado, O. Eduardo da Silva Ferri, A. Batista, W. Augusto Varella, C. Eduardo Pinto, J. Mimar Santa Cruz Yabarrena, S. Gibran Ruwer, F. Müller Guerrini, L. Adalberto Philippsen Júnior


Lean Supply Chain Management (LSCM) is an emerging research field in Operations Management (OM). As a strategic model that focuses on reduced cost and waste with fulfilling the needs of customers, LSCM attracts great interest among researchers and practitioners. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of Lean Supply Chains literature, based on bibliometric analysis through 57 papers published in indexed journals by SCOPUS and/or Web of Science databases. The results indicate that the last three years (2015, 2016, and 2017) were the most productive on LSCM discussion, especially in Supply Chain Management and International Journal of Lean Six Sigma journals. India, USA, and UK are the most productive countries; nevertheless, cross-country studies by collaboration among researchers were detected, by social network analysis, as a research practice, appearing to play a more important role on LSCM studies. Despite existing limitation, such as limited indexed journal database, bibliometric analysis helps to enlighten ongoing efforts on LSCM researches, including most used technical procedures and collaboration network, showing important research gaps, especially, for development countries researchers.

Keywords: Lean Supply Chains, Bibliometric Study, SCOPUS, Web of Science

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7 Impact of Cd and Pb Impregnation on the Health of an Adult Population Neighbouring a Landfill

Authors: M. Cabral, A. Verdin, G. Garçon, A. Touré, C. Diop, M. Fall, S. Bouhsina, D. Dewaele, F.Cazier, A. Tall Dia, P. Shirali, A. Diouf


This case-control study dealt with the health adverse effects within the population neighboring the Mbeubeuss waste dump, which is located near the district of Malika (Diamalaye II) in Dakar (Senegal). All the household and industrial waste arising from Dakar are stored in this open landfill without being covered and are therefore possible sources of Pb and Cd contaminated air emissions and lixiviates. The objective of this study is part of improving the health of the population neighboring Mbeubeuss by determining Pb and Cd concentrations both in environment and humans, and studying possible renal function alterations within the adults. Soil and air samples were collected in the control site (Darou Salam) and the waste dump neighboring site (Diamalaye II). Control and exposed adults were recruited as living in Darou Salam (n = 52) and in Diamalaye II (n = 77). Pb and Cd concentrations in soil, air and biological samples were determined. Moreover, we were interested in analyzing some impregnation (zinc protoporphyrin, d-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase) and oxidative stress biomarkers (malonedialdehyde, gluthatione status), in addition to several nephrotoxicity parameters (creatinuria, proteinuria, lactate dehydrogenase, CC16 protein, glutathione S-transferase-alpha and retinol binding protein) in blood and/or urine. The results showed the significant Pb and Cd contamination of the soil and air samples derived from the landfill, and therefore of the neighboring population of adults. This critical exposure to environmental Pb and Cd had some harmful consequences for their health, as shown by the reported oxidative stress and nephrotoxicity signs.

Keywords: Pb and Cd environmental exposure, impregnation markers, landfill, nephrotoxicity markers

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6 Savinglife®: An Educational Technology for Basic and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

Authors: Naz Najma, Grace T. M. Dal Sasso, Maria de Lourdes de Souza


The development of information and communication technologies and the accessibility of mobile devices has increased the possibilities of the teaching and learning process anywhere and anytime. Mobile and web application allows the production of constructive teaching and learning models in various educational settings, showing the potential for active learning in nursing. The objective of this study was to present the development of an educational technology (Savinglife®, an app) for learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation and advanced cardiovascular life support training. Savinglife® is a technological production, based on the concept of virtual learning and problem-based learning approach. The study was developed from January 2016 to November 2016, using five phases (analyze, design, develop, implement, evaluate) of the instructional systems development process. The technology presented 10 scenarios and 12 simulations, covering different aspects of basic and advanced cardiac life support. The contents can be accessed in a non-linear way leaving the students free to build their knowledge based on their previous experience. Each scenario is presented through interactive tools such as scenario description, assessment, diagnose, intervention and reevaluation. Animated ECG rhythms, text documents, images and videos are provided to support procedural and active learning considering real life situation. Accessible equally on small to large devices with or without an internet connection, Savinglife® offers a dynamic, interactive and flexible tool, placing students at the center of the learning process. Savinglife® can contribute to the student’s learning in the assessment and management of basic and advanced cardiac life support in a safe and ethical way.

Keywords: problem-based learning, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, nursing education, advanced cardiac life support, educational technology

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5 Development and Evaluation of Dehydrated Soups with Frog Meat by Freeze Drying

Authors: Sílvia Pereira Mello, Eliane Rodrigues, Maria de Lourdes Andrade, Marcelo Pereira, Giselle Dias, Jose Seixas Filho


Frog meat is a highly digestible food and its use is recommended in diets aimed at fighting cholesterol, obesity, and arterial hypertension, as well as for treating gastrointestinal disorders. In this study, the soups were developed with frog meat in addition to other ingredients which did not present allergenic potential. The carcasses of the thawed frogs went through bleaching and deboning, and other ingredients (vegetables and condiments) were then added to the separated meat. After the process of cooking, the soups were cooled and later on frozen at -40° C for 3 hours and then taken to the LS 3000 B lyophilizer for 24 hours. The soups were submitted to microbiological analysis: enumeration of total coliforms and Bacillus cereus; identification of coagulase positive Staphylococcus; isolation and identification of Salmonella spp.; and physical-chemical analysis; application of micro-Kjeldahl method for protein, Soxhlet method for lipids, use of a heating chamber at 105ºC for moisture, incineration method (500-550°C) for ash, and Decagon's Pawkit equipment for determining water activity. Acceptance test was performed with 50 elderly people, all between 60 and 85 years of age. The degree of acceptance was demonstrated using a seven points structured hedonic scale in which the taster expressed their impression towards the product. Results of the microbiological analysis showed that all samples met the standards established by the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil (ANVISA). Results of the acceptance test indicated that all the soups were accepted considering overall impression and intended consumption. In addition to its excellent nutritional quality, the dehydrated soups made with frog meat are presented as a solution for consumers due to convenience in preparation, consumption and storage.

Keywords: bacteriological quality, lithobates catesbeianus, instant soup, proximate composition, sensory analysis

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4 Variability of Energy Efficiency with the Application of Technologies Embedded in Locomotives of a Heavy Haul Railway: Case Study of Vitoria Minas Railway, Brazil

Authors: Eric Wilson Santos Cabral, Marta Monteiro Da Costa Cruz, Rodrigo Pirola Pestana, Vivian Andréa Parreira


In the transportation sector in Brazil, there is a great challenge that is the maintenance of profit in the face of the great variation in the price of diesel. This directly affects the variable cost of transport companies. Within the railways, part of the great challenges is to overcome the annual budget, cargo and ore transported, thus reducing costs compared to previous years, becoming more efficient each year. Within this scenario, the railway companies are looking for effective measures, aiming at reducing the ratio of liter of diesel consumed by KTKB (Kilometer Gross Ton multiplied by thousand). This ratio represents the indicator of energy efficiency of some railroads in Brazil and in other countries. In this study, we sought to analyze the behavior of the energy efficiency indicator on two parts: The first, with the application of technologies used in locomotives, such as the start-stop system of the diesel engine and the system of tracking and monitoring of fuel. The second, evaluation of the behavior of the variation of the type of cargo transported (loading mix). The study focused on locomotive technology will be carried out using statistical analysis, behavioral evaluation in different operating conditions, such as maneuvers for trains, service trains and freight trains. The analysis will also cover the evaluation of the loading mix made using statistical analysis of the existing railroad database, comparing the energy efficiency per loading mine and type of product. With the completion of this study, the railway undertakings should be able to better target decision-making in order to achieve substantial reductions in transport costs.

Keywords: railway transport, energy efficiency, railway technology, fuel consumption

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3 Development of Technologies for the Treatment of Nutritional Problems in Primary Care

Authors: Marta Fernández Batalla, José María Santamaría García, Maria Lourdes Jiménez Rodríguez, Roberto Barchino Plata, Adriana Cercas Duque, Enrique Monsalvo San Macario


Background: Primary Care Nursing is taking more autonomy in clinical decisions. One of the most frequent therapies to solve is related to the problems of maintaining a sufficient supply of food. Nursing diagnoses related to food are addressed by the nurse-family and community as the first responsible. Objectives and interventions are set according to each patient. To improve the goal setting and the treatment of these care problems, a technological tool is developed to help nurses. Objective: To evaluate the computational tool developed to support the clinical decision in feeding problems. Material and methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at the Meco Health Center, Madrid, Spain. The study population consisted of four specialist nurses in primary care. These nurses tested the tool on 30 people with ‘need for nutritional therapy’. Subsequently, the usability of the tool and the satisfaction of the professional were sought. Results: A simple and convenient computational tool is designed for use. It has 3 main entrance fields: age, size, sex. The tool returns the following information: BMI (Body Mass Index) and caloric consumed by the person. The next step is the caloric calculation depending on the activity. It is possible to propose a goal of BMI or weight to achieve. With this, the amount of calories to be consumed is proposed. After using the tool, it was determined that the tool calculated the BMI and calories correctly (in 100% of clinical cases). satisfaction on nutritional assessment was ‘satisfactory’ or ‘very satisfactory’, linked to the speed of operations. As a point of improvement, the options of ‘stress factor’ linked to weekly physical activity. Conclusion: Based on the results, it is clear that the computational tools of decision support are useful in the clinic. Nurses are not only consumers of computational tools, but can develop their own tools. These technological solutions improve the effectiveness of nutrition assessment and intervention. We are currently working on improvements such as the calculation of protein percentages as a function of protein percentages as a function of stress parameters.

Keywords: feeding behavior health, nutrition therapy, primary care nursing, technology assessment

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2 Assessing Online Learning Paths in an Learning Management Systems Using a Data Mining and Machine Learning Approach

Authors: Alvaro Figueira, Bruno Cabral


Nowadays, students are used to be assessed through an online platform. Educators have stepped up from a period in which they endured the transition from paper to digital. The use of a diversified set of question types that range from quizzes to open questions is currently common in most university courses. In many courses, today, the evaluation methodology also fosters the students’ online participation in forums, the download, and upload of modified files, or even the participation in group activities. At the same time, new pedagogy theories that promote the active participation of students in the learning process, and the systematic use of problem-based learning, are being adopted using an eLearning system for that purpose. However, although there can be a lot of feedback from these activities to student’s, usually it is restricted to the assessments of online well-defined tasks. In this article, we propose an automatic system that informs students of abnormal deviations of a 'correct' learning path in the course. Our approach is based on the fact that by obtaining this information earlier in the semester, may provide students and educators an opportunity to resolve an eventual problem regarding the student’s current online actions towards the course. Our goal is to prevent situations that have a significant probability to lead to a poor grade and, eventually, to failing. In the major learning management systems (LMS) currently available, the interaction between the students and the system itself is registered in log files in the form of registers that mark beginning of actions performed by the user. Our proposed system uses that logged information to derive new one: the time each student spends on each activity, the time and order of the resources used by the student and, finally, the online resource usage pattern. Then, using the grades assigned to the students in previous years, we built a learning dataset that is used to feed a machine learning meta classifier. The produced classification model is then used to predict the grades a learning path is heading to, in the current year. Not only this approach serves the teacher, but also the student to receive automatic feedback on her current situation, having past years as a perspective. Our system can be applied to online courses that integrate the use of an online platform that stores user actions in a log file, and that has access to other student’s evaluations. The system is based on a data mining process on the log files and on a self-feedback machine learning algorithm that works paired with the Moodle LMS.

Keywords: data mining, e-learning, grade prediction, machine learning, student learning path

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1 Development of Chitosan/Dextran Gelatin Methacrylate Core/Shell 3D Scaffolds and Protein/Polycaprolactone Melt Electrowriting Meshes for Tissue Regeneration Applications

Authors: J. D. Cabral, E. Murray, P. Turner, E. Hewitt, A. Ali, M. McConnell


Worldwide demand for organ replacement and tissue regeneration is progressively increasing. Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting, where a physical construct is produced using computer-aided design, is a promising tool to advance the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine fields. In this paper we describe two different approaches to developing 3D bioprinted constructs for use in tissue regeneration. Bioink development is critical in achieving the 3D biofabrication of functional, regenerative tissues. Hydrogels, cross-linked macromolecules that absorb large amounts of water, have received widespread interest as bioinks due to their relevant soft tissue mechanics, biocompatibility, and tunability. In turn, not only is bioink optimisation crucial, but the creation of vascularized tissues remains a key challenge for the successful fabrication of thicker, more clinically relevant bioengineered tissues. Among the various methodologies, cell-laden hydrogels are regarded as a favorable approach; and when combined with novel core/shell 3D bioprinting technology, an innovative strategy towards creating new vessel-like structures. In this work, we investigate this cell-based approach by using human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs) entrapped in a viscoelastic chitosan/dextran (CD)-based core hydrogel, printed simulataneously along with a gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) shell. We have expanded beyond our previously reported FDA approved, commercialised, post-surgical CD hydrogel, Chitogel®, by functionalizing it with cell adhesion and proteolytic peptides in order to promote bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (immortalized BMSC cell line, hTERT) and HUVECs growth. The biocompatibility and biodegradability of these cell lines in a 3D bioprinted construct is demonstrated. Our studies show that particular peptide combinations crosslinked within the CD hydrogel was found to increase in vitro growth of BMSCs and HUVECs by more than two-fold. These gels were then used as a core bioink combined with the more mechanically robust, UV irradiated GelMA shell bioink, to create 3D regenerative, vessel-like scaffolds with high print fidelity. As well, microporous MEW scaffolds made from milk proteins blended with PCL were found to show promising bioactivity, exhibiting a significant increase in keratinocyte (HaCaTs) and fibroblast (normal human dermal fibroblasts, NhDFs) cell migration and proliferation when compared to PCL only scaffolds. In conclusion, our studies indicate that a peptide functionalized CD hydrogel bioink reinforced with a GelMA shell is biocompatible, biodegradable, and an appropriate cell delivery vehicle in the creation of regenerative 3D constructs. In addition, a novel 3D printing technique, melt electrowriting (MEW), which allows fabrication of micrometer fibre meshes, was used to 3D print polycaprolactone (PCL) and bioactive milk protein, lactorferrin (LF) and whey protein (WP), blended scaffolds for potential skin regeneration applications. MEW milk protein/PCL scaffolds exhibited high porosity characteristics, low overall biodegradation, and rapid protein release. Human fibroblasts and keratinocyte cells were seeded on to the scaffolds. Scaffolds containing high concentrations of LF and combined proteins (LF+WP) showed improved cell viability over time as compared to PCL only scaffolds. This research highlights two scaffolds made using two different 3D printing techniques using a combination of both natural and synthetic biomaterial components in order to create regenerative constructs as potential chronic wound treatments.

Keywords: biomaterials, hydrogels, regenerative medicine, 3D bioprinting

Procedia PDF Downloads 155