Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: Magda Gorczyca

27 Influence of the Location of Flood Embankments on the Condition of Oxbow Lakes and Riparian Forests: A Case Study of the Middle Odra River Beds on the Example of Dragonflies (Odonata), Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and Plant Communities

Authors: Magda Gorczyca, Zofia Nocoń

Abstract:

Past and current studies from different countries showed that river engineering leads to environmental degradation and extinction of many species - often those protected by local and international wildlife conservation laws. Through the years, the main focus of rivers utilization has shifted from industrial applications to recreation and wildlife preservation with a focus on keeping the biodiversity which plays a significant role in preventing climate changes. Thus an opportunity appeared to recreate flooding areas and natural habitats, which are very rare in the scale of Europe. Additionally, river restoration helps to avoid floodings and periodic droughts, which are usually very damaging to the economy. In this research, the biodiversity of dragonflies and ground beetles was analyzed in the context of plant communities and forest stands structure. Results were enriched with data from past and current literature. A comparison was made between two parts of the Odra river. A part where oxbow lake and riparian forest were separated from the river bed by embankment and a part of the river with floodplains left intact. Validity assessment of embankments relocation was made based on the research results. In the period between May and September, insects were collected, phytosociological analysis were taken, and forest stand structure properties were specified. In the part of the river not separated by the embankments, rare and protected species of plants were spotted (e.g., Trapanatans, Salvinianatans) as well as greater species and quantitive diversity of dragonfly. Ground beetles fauna, though, was richer in the area separated by the embankment. Even though the research was done during only one season and in a limited area, the results can be a starting point for further extended research and may contribute to acquiring legal wildlife protection and restoration of the researched area. During the research, the presence of invasive species Impatiens parviflora, Echinocystislobata, and Procyonlotor were observed, which may lead to loss of the natural values of the researched areas.

Keywords: carabidae, floodplains, middle Odra river, Odonata, oxbow lakes, riparian forests

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26 The Sociocultural and Critical Theories under the Empiricism of a Study Abroad Program

Authors: Magda Silva

Abstract:

This paper presents the sociocultural and critical theories used in the creation of a study abroad program in Brazil, as well as the successful results obtained in the fourteen years of experience provided by the program in distinct regions of Brazil. This program maximizes students’ acquisition of the Portuguese language, and affords them an in-depth intercultural and intracultural competence by on site studies in cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro, afro-heritage Salvador da Bahia, and Amazonian Belém do Pará. The program provides the means to acknowledge the presence, influence, similarities, and differences of Portuguese-speaking Brazil in Latin America.

Keywords: study abroad, critical thinking, sociocultural theory, foreign language, empirical, theoretical

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25 Sociocultural and Critical Approach for Summer Study Abroad Program in Higher Education

Authors: Magda Silva

Abstract:

This paper presents the empirical and the theoretical principles associated with the Duke in Brazil Summer Program. Using a sociocultural model and critical theory, this study abroad maximizes students’ ability to enrich language competence, intercultural skills, and critical thinking. The fourteen-year implementation of this project demonstrates the global importance of foreign language teaching as the program unfolds into real life scenarios within the cultures of distinct regions of Brazil; Cosmopolitan Rio, in the southeast, and rural Belém, northern Amazon region.

Keywords: study abroad, critical thinking, sociocultural theory, foreign language, empirical, theoretical

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24 The Use of Cement Dust in the Glass Industry

Authors: Magda Kosmal, Anna Kuśnierz, Joanna Rybicka-ŁAda

Abstract:

In many countries around the world, especially in highly developed countries, numerous studies on the use and recycling of various types of waste materials have been carried out for many years. While in the case of waste glass cullet, a fully functioning recycling system has been developed for individual sectors of the glass industry, recycling of quite a significant amount of cement dust encounters a number of difficulties and is carried out to a limited extent in the packaging and flat glass industry. The aim of the project was to investigate the possibility of using dust generated in cement plants in the process of melting various types of glass. Dust management has a positive effect on the aspect of environmental protection and ecology. Glassware sets were designed and the melting process parameters were optimized. Glasses were obtained with the addition of selected cement dusts on a laboratory scale, using XRD and SEM tests. Crystallization tests carried out in a gradient furnace.

Keywords: glass, cement dust, SEM, XRD

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23 The Awareness of Computer Science Students Regarding the Security of Location Based Games

Authors: Jacques Barnard, Magda Huisman, Gunther R. Drevin

Abstract:

Rapid expansion and development in die mobile technology market has created an opportunity for users to participate in location based games. As a consequence of this fast expanding market and new technology, it is important to be aware of the implications this has on security. This paper measures the impact on the security awareness of games’ participants, as well as on that of students at university level with regards to their various stages of input in years of studying and gamer classification. This serves to provide insight into the matter as to discernible differences in the awareness of the security implications concerning these technologies. The data was accumulated via a web questionnaire that was to be completed yearly by students from respective year groups. Results signify a meaningful disparity in security awareness among students completing the varying study years and research. This awareness, however, does not always impact on gamers.

Keywords: gamer classifications, location based games, location based data, security awareness

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22 Extending the Theory of Planned Behaviour to Predict Intention to Commute by Bicycle: Case Study of Mexico City

Authors: Magda Cepeda, Frances Hodgson, Ann Jopson

Abstract:

There are different barriers people face when choosing to cycle for commuting purposes. This study examined the role of psycho-social factors predicting the intention to cycle to commute in Mexico City. An extended version of the theory of planned behaviour was developed and utilized with a simple random sample of 401 road users. We applied exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and after identifying five factors, a structural equation model was estimated to find the relationships among the variables. The results indicated that cycling attributes, attitudes to cycling, social comparison and social image and prestige were the most important factors influencing intention to cycle. Although the results from this study are specific to Mexico City, they indicate areas of interest to transportation planners in other regions especially in those cities where intention to cycle its linked to its perceived image and there is political ambition to instigate positive cycling cultures. Moreover, this study contributes to the current literature developing applications of the Theory of Planned Behaviour.

Keywords: cycling, latent variable model, perception, theory of planned behaviour

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21 Ionic Liquid Membranes for CO2 Separation

Authors: Zuzana Sedláková, Magda Kárászová, Jiří Vejražka, Lenka Morávková, Pavel Izák

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Membrane separations are mentioned frequently as a possibility for CO2 capture. Selectivity of ionic liquid membranes is strongly determined by different solubility of separated gases in ionic liquids. The solubility of separated gases usually varies over an order of magnitude, differently from diffusivity of gases in ionic liquids, which is usually of the same order of magnitude for different gases. The present work evaluates the selection of an appropriate ionic liquid for the selective membrane preparation based on the gas solubility in an ionic liquid. The current state of the art of CO2 capture patents and technologies based on the membrane separations was considered. An overview is given of the discussed transport mechanisms. Ionic liquids seem to be promising candidates thanks to their tunable properties, wide liquid range, reasonable thermal stability, and negligible vapor pressure. However, the uses of supported liquid membranes are limited by their relatively short lifetime from the industrial point of view. On the other hand, ionic liquids could overcome these problems due to their negligible vapor pressure and their tunable properties by adequate selection of the cation and anion.

Keywords: biogas upgrading, carbon dioxide separation, ionic liquid membrane, transport properties

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20 Low Intake of Aspartame Induced Weight Gain and Damage of Brain and Liver Cells in Weanling Syrian Hamsters

Authors: Magda I. Hassan

Abstract:

This paper aims to investigate the health effects of aspartame on weanling male hamsters. 20 Golden Syrian hamsters drank only water (control) or water with 6, 11, and 18 mg aspartame/kg of body weight per day for 42 days. Food intake, weight gain, glucose blood level, and lipid profile were determined at the end of the experiment. The animals were sacrificed and histopathological examination of organs (liver, brain and heart) was done. Results revealed that animals in Asp.groups consumed significantly larger amount of food than the control (13.4±5.9, 8.6±2.5 and 8.8±3.0 vs 4.2±2.5 g/day, in succession). Hamsters in the control group showed higher total cholesterol and HDL levels than hamsters in aspartame 6, 11, 18 groups (160±19 vs 101±13, 130±22, 141±15 mg/dl & 144±9 vs 120±12, 118±13, 99±17 respectively (P<0•05)). The control group showed a glucose concentration below those of aspartame groups, indicating no effect of aspartame on glucose blood level. While, there were no significant differences in the triglycerides and LDL levels between control group and Asp.groups. Histopathological changes were observed, especially in brain and liver cells. Aspartame increases appetite and weight gain of young hamsters. Therefore, FDA should reconsider the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of aspartame for children.

Keywords: aspartame, brain, food intake, hamsters

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19 Digital Privacy Legislation Awareness

Authors: Henry Foulds, Magda Huisman, Gunther R. Drevin

Abstract:

Privacy is regarded as a fundamental human right and it is clear that the study of digital privacy is an important field. Digital privacy is influenced by new and constantly evolving technologies and this continuous change makes it hard to create legislation to protect people’s privacy from being exploited by misuse of these technologies.

This study aims to benefit digital privacy legislation efforts by evaluating the awareness and perceived importance of digital privacy legislation among computer science students. The chosen fixed variables for the population are study year and gamer classification.

The use of location based services in mobile applications and games are a concern for digital privacy. For this reason the study focused on computer science students as they have a high likelihood to use and develop this type of software. Surveys were used to evaluate awareness and perceived importance of digital privacy legislation.

The results of the study show that privacy legislation and awareness of privacy legislation are important to people. The perception of the importance of privacy legislation increases with academic experience. Awareness of privacy legislation increases from non-gamers to pro gamers. 

Keywords: digital privacy, legislation awareness, gaming, privacy legislation

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18 Penalization of Transnational Crimes in the Domestic Legal Order: The Case of Poland

Authors: Magda Olesiuk-Okomska

Abstract:

The degree of international interdependence has grown significantly. Poland is a party to nearly 1000 binding multilateral treaties, including international legal instruments devoted to criminal matters and obliging the state to penalize certain crimes. The paper presents results of a theoretical research conducted as a part of doctoral research. The main hypothesis assumed that there was a separate category of crimes to penalization of which Poland was obliged under international legal instruments; that a catalogue of such crimes and a catalogue of international legal instruments providing for Poland’s international obligations had never been compiled in the domestic doctrine, thus there was no mechanism for monitoring implementation of such obligations. In the course of the research, a definition of transnational crimes was discussed and confronted with notions of international crimes, treaty crimes, as well as cross-border crimes. A list of transnational crimes penalized in the Polish Penal Code as well as in non-code criminal law regulations was compiled; international legal instruments, obliging Poland to criminalize and penalize specific conduct, were enumerated and catalogued. It enabled the determination whether Poland’s international obligations were implemented in domestic legislation, as well as the formulation of de lege lata and de lege ferenda postulates. Implemented research methods included inter alia a dogmatic and legal method, an analytical method and desk research.

Keywords: international criminal law, transnational crimes, transnational criminal law, treaty crimes

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17 Indoor Microclimate in a Historic Library: Considerations on the Positive Effect of Historic Books on the Stability of Indoor Relative Humidity

Authors: Magda Posani, Maria Do Rosario Veiga, Vasco Peixoto De Freitas

Abstract:

The presented research considers the hygrothermal data acquired in the municipal library of Porto. The library is housed in an XVIII century convent and, among all the rooms in the construction, one, in particular, was chosen for the monitoring campaign because of the presence of a great number of historic books. Temperature and relative humidity, as well as CO₂ concentration, were measured for six consecutive months, in the period December 24th - June 24th. The indoor environment of the building is controlled with a heating and cooling system that is turned on only during the opening hours of the library. The ventilation rate is low because the windows are kept closed, and there is no forced ventilation. The micro-climate is analyzed in terms of users’ comfort and degradation risks for historic books and valuable building surfaces. Through a comparison between indoor and outdoor measured hygrothermal data, indoor relative humidity appears very stable. The influence of the hygroscopicity of books on the stabilization of indoor relative humidity is therefore investigated in detail. The paper finally discusses the benefits given by the presence of historic books in libraries with intermittent heating and cooling. The possibility of obtaining a comfortable and stable indoor climate with low use of HVAC systems in these conditions, while avoiding degradation risks for books and historic building components, is further debated.

Keywords: books, historic buildings, hygroscopicity, relative humidity

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16 The Notion of International Criminal Law: Between Criminal Aspects of International Law and International Aspects of Criminal Law

Authors: Magda Olesiuk-Okomska

Abstract:

Although international criminal law has grown significantly in the last decades, it still remains fragmented and lacks doctrinal cohesiveness. Its concept is described in the doctrine as highly disputable. There is no concrete definition of the term. In the domestic doctrine, the problem of criminal law issues that arise in the international setting, and international issues that arise within the national criminal law, is underdeveloped both theoretically and practically. To the best of author’s knowledge, there are no studies describing international aspects of criminal law in a comprehensive manner, taking a more expansive view of the subject. This paper presents results of a part of the doctoral research, undertaking a theoretical framework of the international criminal law. It aims at sorting out the existing terminology on international aspects of criminal law. It demonstrates differences between the notions of international criminal law, criminal law international and law international criminal. It confronts the notion of criminal law with related disciplines and shows their interplay. It specifies the scope of international criminal law. It diagnoses the current legal framework of international aspects of criminal law, referring to both criminal law issues that arise in the international setting, and international issues that arise in the context of national criminal law. Finally, de lege lata postulates were formulated and direction of changes in international criminal law was proposed. The adopted research hypothesis assumed that the notion of international criminal law was inconsistent, not understood uniformly, and there was no conformity as to its place within the system of law, objective and subjective scopes, while the domestic doctrine did not correspond with international standards and differed from the worldwide doctrine. Implemented research methods included inter alia a dogmatic and legal method, an analytical method, a comparative method, as well as desk research.

Keywords: criminal law, international crimes, international criminal law, international law

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15 Effect of Convective Dryness Combined with Osmotic Dehydration, Blanching, Microwave and Ultrasonic Treatment on Bioactive Compounds and Rehydration Capacity of Dried Plums

Authors: Elena Corina Popescu, Magda Gabriela Bratu

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Increasing interest in keeping bioactive compounds (anthocyanins, vitamin C) and dried fruit quality has motivated the researchers to investigate new combined drying technologies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of convective dryness combined with osmotic dehydration, blanching, microwave treatment and ultrasonic treatment on the quality of dried plums. Osmotic dehydration was achieved by maintaining plums for 1 h in sucrose solution (300Brix). For microwave treatment, the plums were kept at 400 W for 80 sec. For ultrasonic treatment, plums were immersed in distilled water and sonicated for 30 minutes at 40 kHz and 200 W. The blanching consists of immersing plums in hot water at 90°C for 20 seconds and cooling them rapidly. Conventional drying was carried out at 70°C for 630 minutes. Drying curves, drying rate, anthocyanin and vitamin C stability, acidity variation (expressed as malic acid), reducing sugar content, and rehydration capacity of dried plums were analyzed. Blanching led to the largest amount of evaporated water. Blanched plums have had 13.36% less water than sonicated ones. The lowest anthocyanal loss of 34.5% was obtained in osmotically dehydrated plums, and 2.93% vitamin C is found in the plums sonicated. There were no significant differences in regards acidity and reducing sugar. The plums blanched before drying have had a high capacity of rehydration.

Keywords: anthocyanin, dried plums, pretreatments, vitamin C

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14 Results of Longitudinal Assessments of Very Low Birth Weight and Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants

Authors: Anett Nagy, Anna Maria Beke, Rozsa Graf, Magda Kalmar

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Premature birth involves developmental risks – the earlier the baby is born and the lower its birth weight, the higher the risks. The developmental outcomes for immature, low birth weight infants are hard to predict. Our aim is to identify the factors influencing infant and preschool-age development in very low birth weight (VLBW) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) preterms. Sixty-one subjects participated in our longitudinal study, which consisted of thirty VLBW and thirty-one ELBW children. The psychomotor development of the infants was assessed using the Brunet-Lezine Developmental Scale at the corrected ages of one and two years; then at three years of age, they were tested with the WPPSI-IV IQ test. Birth weight, gestational age, perinatal complications, gender, and maternal education, were added to the data analysis as independent variables. According to our assessments, our subjects as a group scored in the average range in each subscale of the Brunet-Lezine Developmental Scale. The scores were the lowest in language at both measurement points. The children’s performances improved between one and two years of age, particularly in the domain of coordination. At three years of age the mean IQ test results, although still in the average range, were near the low end of it in each index. The ELBW preterms performed significantly poorer in Perceptual Reasoning Index. The developmental level at two years better predicted the IQ than that at one year. None of the measures distinguished the genders.

Keywords: preterm, extremely low birth-weight, perinatal complication, psychomotor development, intelligence, follow-up

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13 Hand Gesture Recognition for Sign Language: A New Higher Order Fuzzy HMM Approach

Authors: Saad M. Darwish, Magda M. Madbouly, Murad B. Khorsheed

Abstract:

Sign Languages (SL) are the most accomplished forms of gestural communication. Therefore, their automatic analysis is a real challenge, which is interestingly implied to their lexical and syntactic organization levels. Hidden Markov models (HMM’s) have been used prominently and successfully in speech recognition and, more recently, in handwriting recognition. Consequently, they seem ideal for visual recognition of complex, structured hand gestures such as are found in sign language. In this paper, several results concerning static hand gesture recognition using an algorithm based on Type-2 Fuzzy HMM (T2FHMM) are presented. The features used as observables in the training as well as in the recognition phases are based on Singular Value Decomposition (SVD). SVD is an extension of Eigen decomposition to suit non-square matrices to reduce multi attribute hand gesture data to feature vectors. SVD optimally exposes the geometric structure of a matrix. In our approach, we replace the basic HMM arithmetic operators by some adequate Type-2 fuzzy operators that permits us to relax the additive constraint of probability measures. Therefore, T2FHMMs are able to handle both random and fuzzy uncertainties existing universally in the sequential data. Experimental results show that T2FHMMs can effectively handle noise and dialect uncertainties in hand signals besides a better classification performance than the classical HMMs. The recognition rate of the proposed system is 100% for uniform hand images and 86.21% for cluttered hand images.

Keywords: hand gesture recognition, hand detection, type-2 fuzzy logic, hidden Markov Model

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12 Optimization of the Culture Medium, Incubation Period, pH and Temperatures for Maximal Dye Bioremoval Using A. Fumigates

Authors: Wafaa M. Abd El-Rahim, Magda A. El-Meleigy, Eman Refaat

Abstract:

This study dealing with optimization the conditions affecting the formation of extracellular lignin- degrading enzymes to achieve maximal decolorization activity of Direct Violet dye by one fungal strain. In this study Aspergillus fumigates fungal strain used for production extracellular ligninolytic enzymes for removing Direct Violet dye under different conditions: culture medium, incubation period, pH and temperatures. The results indicted that the removal efficiency of A. fumigatus was enhanced by addition glucose and peptone to the culture medium. The addition of peptone and glucose was found to increase the decolorization activity of the fungal isolate from 51.38% to 93.74% after 4 days of incubation. The highest production of extracellular lignin degrading enzymes also recorded in Direct Violet dye medium supplemented with peptone and glucose. It was also found the decolorization activity of A. fumigatus was decreased gradually by increasing the incubation period up to 4 days. Also it was found that the fungal strain can grow and produce extracellular ligninolytic enzymes which accompanied by efficient removal of Direct Violet dye in a wide pH range of 4-8. The results also found that the maximal biosynthesis of ligninolytic enzymes which accompanied with maximal removal of Direct Violet dye was obtained at a temperature of 28C. This indicates that the different conditions of culture medium, incubation period, pH and temperatures are effective on dye decolorization on the fungal biomass and played a role in Direct Violet dye removal along with enzymatic activity of A. fumigatus.

Keywords: A. fumigates, extracellular lignin- degrading enzymes, textile dye, dye removing

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11 Real Time Classification of Political Tendency of Twitter Spanish Users based on Sentiment Analysis

Authors: Marc Solé, Francesc Giné, Magda Valls, Nina Bijedic

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What people say on social media has turned into a rich source of information to understand social behavior. Specifically, the growing use of Twitter social media for political communication has arisen high opportunities to know the opinion of large numbers of politically active individuals in real time and predict the global political tendencies of a specific country. It has led to an increasing body of research on this topic. The majority of these studies have been focused on polarized political contexts characterized by only two alternatives. Unlike them, this paper tackles the challenge of forecasting Spanish political trends, characterized by multiple political parties, by means of analyzing the Twitters Users political tendency. According to this, a new strategy, named Tweets Analysis Strategy (TAS), is proposed. This is based on analyzing the users tweets by means of discovering its sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) and classifying them according to the political party they support. From this individual political tendency, the global political prediction for each political party is calculated. In order to do this, two different strategies for analyzing the sentiment analysis are proposed: one is based on Positive and Negative words Matching (PNM) and the second one is based on a Neural Networks Strategy (NNS). The complete TAS strategy has been performed in a Big-Data environment. The experimental results presented in this paper reveal that NNS strategy performs much better than PNM strategy to analyze the tweet sentiment. In addition, this research analyzes the viability of the TAS strategy to obtain the global trend in a political context make up by multiple parties with an error lower than 23%.

Keywords: political tendency, prediction, sentiment analysis, Twitter

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10 Sustainable Use of Agricultural Waste to Enhance Food Security and Conserve the Environment

Authors: M. M. Tawfik, Ezzat M. Abd El Lateef, B. B. Mekki, Amany A. Bahr, Magda H. Mohamed, Gehan S. Bakhoom

Abstract:

The rapid increase in the world’s population coupled by decrease the arable land per capita has resulted into an increased demand for food which has in turn led to the production of large amounts of agricultural wastes, both at the farmer, municipality and city levels. Agricultural wastes can be a valuable resource for improving food security. Unfortunately, agricultural wastes are likely to cause pollution to the environment or even harm to human health. This calls for increased public awareness on the benefits and potential hazards of agricultural wastes, especially in developing countries. Agricultural wastes (residual stalks, straw, leaves, roots, husks, shells etcetera) and animal waste (manures) are widely available, renewable and virtually free, hence they can be an important resource. They can be converted into heat, steam, charcoal, methanol, ethanol, bio diesel as well as raw materials (animal feed, composting, energy and biogas construction etcetera). agricultural wastes are likely to cause pollution to the environment or even harm to human health, if it is not used in a sustainable manner. Organic wastes could be considered an important source of biofertilizer for enhancing food security in the small holder farming communities that would not afford use of expensive inorganic fertilizers. Moreover, these organic wastes contain high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and organic matter important for improving nutrient status of soils in urban agriculture. Organic compost leading to improved crop yields and its nutritional values as compared with inorganic fertilization. This paper briefly reviews how agricultural wastes can be used to enhance food security and conserve the environment.

Keywords: agricultural waste, organic compost, environment, valuable resources

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9 Disaster Education and Children with Visual Impairment

Authors: Vassilis Argyropoulos, Magda Nikolaraizi, Maria Papazafiri

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This study describes a series of learning workshops, which took place within CUIDAR project. The workshops aimed to empower children to share their experiences and views in relation to natural hazards and disasters. The participants in the workshops were ten primary school students who had severe visual impairments or multiple disabilities and visual impairments (MDVI). The main objectives of the workshops were: a) to promote access of the children through the use of appropriate educational material such as texts in braille, enlarged text, tactile maps and the implementation of differentiated instruction, b) to make children aware regarding their rights to have access to information and to participate in planning and decision-making especially in relation to disaster education programs, and c) to encourage children to have an active role during the workshops through child-led and experiential learning activities. The children expressed their views regarding the meaning of hazards and disasters. Following, they discussed their experiences and emotions regarding natural hazards and disasters, and they chose to place the emphasis on a hazard, which was more pertinent to them, their community and their region, namely fires. Therefore, they recalled fires that have caused major disasters, and they discussed about the impact that these fires had on their community or on their country. Furthermore, they were encouraged to become aware regarding their own role and responsibility to prevent a fire or get prepared and know how to behave if a fire occurs. They realized that prevention and preparation are a matter of personal responsibility. They also felt the responsibility to inform their own families. Finally, they met important people involved in fire protection such as rescuers and firefighters and had the opportunity to carry dialogues. In conclusion, through child led workshops, experiential and accessible activities, the students had the opportunity to share their own experiences, to express their views and their questions, to broaden their knowledge and to realize their personal responsibility in disaster risk reduction, specifically in relation to fires.

Keywords: accessibility, children, disasters, visual impairment

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8 Yellow Necklacepod and Shih-Balady: Possible Promising Sources Against Human Coronaviruses

Authors: Howaida I. Abd-Alla, Omnia Kutkat, Yassmin Moatasim, Magda T. Ibrahim, Marwa A. Mostafa, Mohamed GabAllah, Mounir M. El-Safty

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Artemisia judaica (known shih-balady), Azadirachta indica and Sophora tomentosa (known yellow necklace pod) are members of available medicinal plants well-known for their traditional medical use in Egypt which suggests that they probably harbor broad-spectrum antiviral, immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory functions. Their ethyl acetate-dichloromethane (1:1, v/v) extracts were evaluated for the potential anti-Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (anti-MERS-CoV) activity. Their cytotoxic activity was tested in Vero-E6 cells using 3-(4,-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method with minor modification. The plot of percentage cytotoxicity for each extract concentration has calculated the concentration which exhibited 50% cytotoxic concentration (TC50). A plaque reduction assay was employed using safe dose of extract to evaluate its effect on virus propagation. The highest inhibition percentage was recorded for the yellow necklace pod, followed by Shih-balady. The possible mode of action of virus inhibition was studied at three different levels viral replication, viral adsorption and virucidal activity. The necklace pod leaves have induced virucidal effects and direct effects on the replication of virus. Phytochemical investigation of the promising necklace pod led to the isolation and structure determination of nine compounds. The structure of each compound was determined by a variety of spectroscopic methods. Compounds 4-O-methyl sorbitol 1, 8-methoxy daidzin 6 and 6-methoxy apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside 8 were isolated for the first time from the Sophora genus and the other six compounds were the first time that they were isolated from this species according to available works of literature. Generally, the highest anti-CoV 2 activity of S. tomentosa was associated with the crude ethanolic extract, indicating the possibility of synergy among the antiviral phytochemical constituents (1-9).

Keywords: coronavirus, MERS-CoV, mode of action, necklace pod, shih-balady

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7 Treatment of Premalignant Lesions: Curcumin a Promising Non-Surgical Option

Authors: Heba A. Hazzah, Ragwa M. Farid, Maha M. A. Nasra, Mennatallah Zakria, Magda A. El Massik, Ossama Y. Abdallah

Abstract:

Introduction: Curcumin (Cur) is a polyphenol derived from the herbal remedy and dietary spice turmeric. It possesses diverse anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties following oral or topical administration. The buccal delivery of curcumin can be useful for both systemic and local disease treatments such as gingivitis, periodontal diseases, oral carcinomas, and precancerous oral lesions. Despite of its high activity, it suffers a limited application due to its low oral bioavailability, poor aqueous solubility, and instability. Aim: Preparation and characterization of curcumin solid lipid nanoparticles with a high loading capacity into a mucoadhesive gel for buccal application. Methodology: Curcumin was formulated as nanoparticles using different lipids, namely Gelucire 39/01, Gelucire 50/13, Precirol, Compritol, and Polaxomer 407 as a surfactant. The SLN were dispersed in a mucoadhesive gel matrix to be applied to the buccal mucosa. All formulations were evaluated for their content, entrapment efficiency, particle size, in vitro drug dialysis, ex vivo mucoadhesion test, and ex vivo permeation study using chicken buccal mucosa. Clinical evaluation was conducted on 15 cases suffering oral erythroplakia and erosive lichen planus. Results: The results showed high entrapment efficiency reaching almost 90 % using Gelucire 50, the loaded gel with Cur-SLN showed good adhesion property and 25 minutes in vivo residence time. In addition to stability enhancement for the Cur powder. All formulae did not show any drug permeated however, a significant amount of Cur was retained within the mucosal tissue. Pain and lesion sizes were significantly reduced upon topical treatment. Complete healing was observed after 6 weeks of treatment. Conclusion: These results open a room for the pharmaceutical technology to optimize the use of this golden magical powder to get the best out of it. In addition, the lack of local anti-inflammatory compounds with reduced side effects intensifies the importance of studying natural products for this purpose.

Keywords: curcumin, erythroplakia, mucoadhesive, pain, solid lipid nanoparticles

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6 An Empirical Review of the Waqf Horizon through Fintech: The Industry 4.0 Wave

Authors: Sikiru O. Aminu, Magda Ismail Abdul Mohsin, Fauziah M. Taib

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Fund collections for Waqf projects in some Muslim countries received some boost because of the resuscitation of the cash waqf concept This study envisages that such development can improve the economic empowerment of the poor in contemporary Muslim communities given appropriate collections and effective management of the Waqf institution. Recent developments in the Financial Technology (FINTECH) space portend valuable relevance in the conduct and delivery of social charitable causes such as Waqf around the world. Particularly, emerging areas in FINTECH such as Islamic Crowdfunding (ICF) and blockchain have brought about greater efficiency and effectiveness through cost reduction, faster transactions, wider access, transparency and prompt disclosure of adequate information to relevant stakeholders. These FINTECH options of ICF and blockchain provide veritable opportunities to resuscitate, re-align, synergize and magnify the Islamic Social Finance (ISF) ecosystem of Waqf, Zakat and Sodaqah to generate positive and sustainable impact to the community, environment and the economy at large, with a view to projecting the Maqasid Shari’ah (Objective of the Law Giver). To document the effect of FINTECH on Waqf, this study examined the activities of six banks in Malaysia that signed a pact to utilize FINTECH for waqf collection towards improving the economy. Semi-structured Face to Face interviews were conducted with officers in charge of Waqf in the six banks, founder of the Islamic Crowdfunding platform and senior officers in Waqaf Selangor. Content analysis was used to analyze their responses, and the emergent themes were reported verbatim. Based on the derived themes, survey questionnaires were also administered to 300 customers with respect to the Waqf’s FINTECH functionalities of the identified banks.to further confirm and strengthen the results of the interviews. Simple descriptive analysis was performed on the result of the survey questionnaire to provide clear information on the questions raised. The findings showed a disproportionate level of readiness among the banks, where few of the banks have put structure in place to increase their Waqf collections, others are at their elementary stage. However, the commitment is high across the six banks to achieve their set goals.

Keywords: blockchain, Fintech, Islamic crowdfunding, waqf

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5 Molecular Characterization of Two Thermoplastic Biopolymer-Degrading Fungi Utilizing rRNA-Based Technology

Authors: Nuha Mansour Alhazmi, Magda Mohamed Aly, Fardus M. Bokhari, Ahmed Bahieldin, Sherif Edris

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Out of 30 fungal isolates, 2 new isolates were proven to degrade poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB). Enzyme assay for these isolates indicated the optimal environmental conditions required for depolymerase enzyme to induce the highest level of biopolymer degradation. The two isolates were basically characterized at the morphological level as Trichoderma asperellum (isolate S1), and Aspergillus fumigates (isolate S2) using standard approaches. The aim of the present study was to characterize these two isolates at the molecular level based on the highly diverged rRNA gene(s). Within this gene, two domains of the ribosome large subunit (LSU) namely internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and 26S were utilized in the analysis. The first domain comprises the ITS1/5.8S/ITS2 regions ( > 500 bp), while the second domain comprises the D1/D2/D3 regions ( > 1200 bp). Sanger sequencing was conducted at Macrogen (Inc.) for the two isolates using primers ITS1/ITS4 for the first domain, while primers LROR/LR7 for the second domain. Sizes of the first domain ranged between 594-602 bp for S1 isolate and 581-594 bp for S2 isolate, while those of the second domain ranged between 1228-1238 bp for S1 isolate and 1156-1291 for S2 isolate. BLAST analysis indicated 99% identities of the first domain of S1 isolate with T. asperellum isolates XP22 (ID: KX664456.1), CTCCSJ-G-HB40564 (ID: KY750349.1), CTCCSJ-F-ZY40590 (ID: KY750362.1) and TV (ID: KU341015.1). BLAST of the first domain of S2 isolate indicated 100% identities with A. fumigatus isolate YNCA0338 (ID: KP068684.1) and strain MEF-Cr-6 (ID: KU597198.1), while 99% identities with A. fumigatus isolate CCA101 (ID: KT877346.1) and strain CD1621 (ID: JX092088.1). Large numbers of other T. asperellum and A. fumigatus isolates and strains showed high level of identities with S1 and S2 isolates, respectively, based on the diversity of the first domain. BLAST of the second domain of S1 isolate indicated 99 and 100% identities with only two strains of T. asperellum namely TR 3 (ID: HM466685.1) and G (ID: KF723005.1), respectively. However, other T. species (ex., atroviride, hamatum, deliquescens, harzianum, etc.) also showed high level of identities. BLAST of the second domain of S2 isolate indicated 100% identities with A. fumigatus isolate YNCA0338 (ID: KP068684.1) and strain MEF-Cr-6 (ID: KU597198.1), while 99% identities with A. fumigatus isolate CCA101 (ID: KT877346.1) and strain CD1621 (ID: JX092088.1). Large numbers of other A. fumigatus isolates and strains showed high level of identities with S2 isolate. Overall, the results of molecular characterization based on rRNA diversity for the two isolates of T. asperellum and A. fumigatus matched those obtained by morphological characterization. In addition, ITS domain proved to be more sensitive than 26S domain in diversity profiling of fungi at the species level.

Keywords: Aspergillus fumigates, Trichoderma asperellum, PHB, degradation, BLAST, ITS, 26S, rRNA

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4 Organic Farming for Sustainable Production of Some Promising Halophytic Species in Saline Environment

Authors: Medhat Tawfik, Ezzat Abd El Lateef, Bahr Amany, Mohamed Magda

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Applying organic farming systems in biosaline agriculture is unconventional approach for sustainable use of marginal soil and desert land for planting non-traditional halophytic crops such as Leptochloa fusca, Kochia indica, Sporobolus virginicus and Spartina patens. These plants are highly salt tolerant C4 halophytic forage plants grown well in coastal salt marsh. These halophytic plant will take important place in the farming system, especially in the coastal areas and salt-affected land. We can call it environmentally smart crops because they ensure food security, contribute to energy security, guarantee environmental sustainability, and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. Organic Agriculture is the most important and widely practiced agro-ecological farming system. It is claimed to be the most sustainable approach and long term adaptation strategy. It promotes soil fertility and diversity at all levels and makes soils less susceptible to erosion. It is also reported to be climate change resilience farming systems as it promotes the proper management of soil, water, biodiversity and local knowledge and provides producers with ecologically sound management decisions. A field experiment was carried out at the Model Farm of National Research Centre, El Tour, South Sinai to study the impact of (Mycorrhiza 1kg/fed., charcoal 4 tons/fed., chicken manure 5 tons/fed., in addition to control treatment) on some growth characters, photosynthetic pigments content, and some physiological aspects i.e. prolind and soluble carbohydrates content, succulence and osmotic pressure values, as well as nutritive values i.e. Crude fat (CF), Acid detergent fiber (ADF), Neutral detergent fiber (NDF), Ether extract (EE) and Nitrogen-free extract (NFE) of five halophytic plant species (Leptochloa fusca, Kochia indica, Sporobolus virginicus and Spartina patens). Our results showed that organic fertilizer treatment enhanced all the previous character as compared with control with superiority to chicken manure over the other treatments.

Keywords: organic agriculture, halophytic plants, saline environment, water security

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3 Identification of Viruses Infecting Garlic Plants in Colombia

Authors: Diana M. Torres, Anngie K. Hernandez, Andrea Villareal, Magda R. Gomez, Sadao Kobayashi

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Colombian Garlic crops exhibited mild mosaic, yellow stripes, and deformation. This group of symptoms suggested a viral infection. Several viruses belonging to the genera Potyvirus, Carlavirus and Allexivirus are known to infect garlic and lower their yield worldwide, but in Colombia, there are no studies of viral infections in this crop, only leek yellow stripe virus (LYSV) has been reported to our best knowledge. In Colombia, there are no management strategies for viral diseases in garlic because of the lack of information about viral infections on this crop, which is reflected in (i) high prevalence of viral related symptoms in garlic fields and (ii) high dispersal rate. For these reasons, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the viral status of garlic in Colombia, which can represent a major threat on garlic yield and quality for this country 55 symptomatic leaf samples were collected for virus detection by RT-PCR and mechanical inoculation. Total RNA isolated from infected samples were subjected to RT-PCR with primers 1-OYDV-G/2-OYDV-G for Onion yellow dwarf virus (OYDV) (expected size 774pb), 1LYSV/2LYSV for LYSV (expected size 1000pb), SLV 7044/SLV 8004 for Shallot latent virus (SLV) (expected size 960pb), GCL-N30/GCL-C40 for Garlic common latent virus (GCLV) (expected size 481pb) and EF1F/EF1R for internal control (expected size 358pb). GCLV, SLV, and LYSV were detected in infected samples; in 95.6% of the analyzed samples was detected at least one of the viruses. GCLV and SLV were detected in single infection with low prevalence (9.3% and 7.4%, respectively). Garlic generally becomes coinfected with several types of viruses. Four viral complexes were identified: three double infection (64% of analyzed samples) and one triple infection (15%). The most frequent viral complex was SLV + GCLV infecting 48.1% of the samples. The other double complexes identified had a prevalence of 7% (GCLV + LYSV and SLV + LYSV) and 5.6% of the samples were free from these viruses. Mechanical transmission experiments were set up using leaf tissues of collected samples from infected fields, different test plants were assessed to know the host range, but it was restricted to C. quinoa, confirming the presence of detected viruses which have limited host range and were detected in C. quinoa by RT-PCR. The results of molecular and biological tests confirm the presence of SLV, LYSV, and GCLV; this is the first report of SLV and LYSV in garlic plants in Colombia, which can represent a serious threat for this crop in this country.

Keywords: SLV, GCLV, LYSV, leek yellow stripe virus, Allium sativum

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2 Influence of Disintegration of Sida hermaphrodita Silage on Methane Fermentation Efficiency

Authors: Marcin Zielinski, Marcin Debowski, Paulina Rusanowska, Magda Dudek

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As a result of sonification, the destruction of complex biomass structures results in an increase in the biogas yield from the conditioned material. First, the amount of organic matter released into the solution due to disintegration was determined. This parameter was determined by changes in the carbon content in liquid phase of the conditioned substrate. The amount of carbon in the liquid phase increased with the prolongation of the sonication time to 16 min. Further increase in the duration of sonication did not cause a statistically significant increase in the amount of organic carbon in the liquid phase. The disintegrated material was then used for respirometric measurements for determination of the impact of the conditioning process used on methane fermentation effectiveness. The relationship between the amount of energy introduced into the lignocellulosic substrate and the amount of biogas produced has been demonstrated. Statistically significant increase in the amount of biogas was observed until sonication of 16 min. Further increase in energy in the conditioning process did not significantly increase the production of biogas from the treated substrate. The biogas production from the conditioned substrate was 17% higher than from the reference biomass at that time. The ultrasonic disintegration method did not significantly affect the observed biogas composition. In all series, the methane content in the produced biogas from the conditioned substrate was similar to that obtained with the raw substrate sample (51.1%). Another method of substrate conditioning was hydrothermal depolymerization. This method consists in application of increased temperature and pressure to substrate. These phenomena destroy the structure of the processed material, the release of organic compounds to the solution, which should lead to increase the amount of produced biogas from such treated biomass. The hydrothermal depolymerization was conducted using an innovative microwave heating method. Control measurements were performed using conventional heating. The obtained results indicate the relationship between depolymerization temperature and the amount of biogas. Statistically significant value of the biogas production coefficients increased as the depolymerization temperature increased to 150°C. Further raising the depolymerization temperature to 180°C did not significantly increase the amount of produced biogas in the respirometric tests. As a result of the hydrothermal depolymerization obtained using microwave at 150°C for 20 min, the rate of biogas production from the Sida silage was 780 L/kg VS, which accounted for nearly 50% increase compared to 370 L/kg VS obtained from the same silage but not depolymerised. The study showed that by microwave heating it is possible to effectively depolymerized substrate. Significant differences occurred especially in the temperature range of 130-150ºC. The pre-treatment of Sida hermaphrodita silage (biogas substrate) did not significantly affect the quality of the biogas produced. The methane concentration was about 51.5% on average. The study was carried out in the framework of the project under program BIOSTRATEG funded by the National Centre for Research and Development No. 1/270745/2/NCBR/2015 'Dietary, power, and economic potential of Sida hermaphrodita cultivation on fallow land'.

Keywords: disintegration, biogas, methane fermentation, Virginia fanpetals, biomass

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1 Associated Factors the Safety of the Patient in Hemodialysis Clinics of a Brazilian Municipality: Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Magda Milleyde de Sousa Lima, Letícia Lima Aguiar, Marina Guerra Martins, Erika Veríssimo Dias Sousa, Lizandra Sampaio de Oliveira, Lívia Moreira Barros, Joselany Áfio Caetano

Abstract:

Patients with chronic kidney disease are vulnerable to episodes which make the safety of their health vulnerable, mainly due to the treatment process that exposes them to high rates of interventions during hemodialysis sessions. Some factors associated with health care contribute to the risk of death and complications. However, there are a small number of scientific studies evaluating the level of safety of hemodialysis clinics, and the sociodemographic characteristics of patients and professionals associated with this safety. Therefore, the present study aims to examine the level of patient safety in hemodialysis clinics in the Brazilian capital, to identify the sociodemographic and clinical factors of patients and nursing staff associated with the level of safety. This is an observational, descriptive and quantitative research conducted in three hemodialysis clinics placed in the city of Fortaleza-CE, Brazil, from September to November 2019. The sample was formed after a sample calculation for finite inhabitants of correlation with 200 chronic renal patients, 30 nursing technicians and seven nurses. Conventional sampling was used based on the inclusion criteria: being present at the hemodialysis session on the day the researcher performed the data collection and being 18 years of age or older. Participants who presented communication difficulties to listen to and/or answer the sociodemographic and clinical questionnaire were excluded. Two instruments were applied: sociodemographic and clinical characterization form and Chronic Renal Patient Safety Assessment Scale on Hemodialysis (EASPRCH). The data were analyzed using the Kruskal Walls Test for categorical variables and Spearman correlation coefficient for non-categorical variables, using the Statistical Package SPSS version 20.0. The present study respected the ethical and legal principles determined by resolution 466/2012 of the National Health Council, under the approval of the Ethics and Research Committee with an opinion number: 3,255,635. The results showed that a hemodialysis clinic presented unsafe care practices of 32 points in the EASPRCH (p=0.001). A statistical association was identified between the level of safety and the variables of the patients: level of education (p=0.018), family income (p=0.049), type of employment (p=0.012), venous access site (p=0.009), use of medication during the session (p=0.008) and time of hemodialysis (p=0.002). When evaluating the profile of nurses, a statistical association was evidenced between the level of safety with the variables: marital status (p=0.000), race (p=0.017), schooling (p= 0.000), income (p=0.013), age (p=0.000), clinic workload (p=0.000), time working with hemodialysis (p=0.000), time working in the clinic (p= 0.007) and clinic sizing (p=0.000). In order, the sociodemographic factors of nursing technicians associated with the level of patient safety were: race (p= 0.001) and weekly workload at (p=0.010). Therefore, it is concluded that there is a non-conformity in the level of patient safety in one of the clinics studied and, that sociodemographic and clinical factors of patients and health professionals corroborate the level of safety of the health unit.

Keywords: hemodialysis, nursing, patient safety, quality improvement

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