Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: Michaela Vašková

16 Protection of the Object of the Critical Infrastructure in the Czech Republic

Authors: Michaela Vašková

Abstract:

With the increasing dependence of countries on the critical infrastructure, it increases their vulnerability. Big threat is primarily in the human factor (personnel of the critical infrastructure) and in terrorist attacks. It emphasizes the development of methodology for searching of weak points and their subsequent elimination. This article discusses methods for the analysis of safety in the objects of critical infrastructure. It also contains proposal for methodology for training employees of security services in the objects of the critical infrastructure and developing scenarios of attacks on selected objects of the critical infrastructure.

Keywords: critical infrastructure, object of critical infrastructure, protection, safety, security, security audit

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15 The Application of the Security Audit Method on the Selected Objects of Critical Infrastructure

Authors: Michaela Vašková

Abstract:

The paper is focused on the application of the security audit method on the selected objects of the critical infrastructure. The emphasis is put on security audit method to find gaps in the critical infrastructure security. The theoretical part describes objects of the critical infrastructure. The practical part describes using the security audit method. The main emphasis was put on the protection of the critical infrastructure in the Czech Republic.

Keywords: crisis management, critical infrastructure, object of critical infrastructure, security audit, extraordinary event

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14 Civil Protection in Mass Methanol Poisoning in the Czech Republic

Authors: Michaela Vašková, Jiří Barta, Otakar J. Mika, Jan Hrdlička, Josef Kellner

Abstract:

The paper is focused on the method to solutions the crisis situation in the Czech Republic associated with the mass methanol poisoning. The emphasis is put on tasks of individual state bodies and of Integrated Rescue System during the handling of the crisis. The theoretical part describes poisonings, ways of intoxication, types of intoxicants and cases of mass poisoning by dangerous substances in the world. The practical part describes the development, causes and solutions of extraordinary event, mass methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic. The main emphasis was put on the crisis management of the Czech Republic in solving this situation.

Keywords: crisis management, poisoning, methanol, hazardous substances, extraordinary event

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13 The Role of Emotion in Attention Allocation

Authors: Michaela Porubanova

Abstract:

In this exploratory study to examine the effects of emotional significance on change detection using the flicker paradigm, three different categories of scenes were randomly presented (neutral, positive and negative) in three different blocks. We hypothesized that because of the different effects on attention, performance in change detection tasks differs for scenes with different effective values. We found the greatest accuracy of change detection was for changes occurring in positive and negative scenes (compared with neutral scenes). Secondly and most importantly, changes in negative scenes (and also positive scenes, though not with statistical significance) were detected faster than changes in neutral scenes. Interestingly, women were less accurate than men in detecting changes in emotionally significant scenes (both negative and positive), i.e., women detected fewer changes in emotional scenes in the time limit of 40s. But on the other hand, women were quicker to detect changes in positive and negative images than men. The study makes important contributions to the area of the role of emotions on information processing. The role of emotion in attention will be discussed.

Keywords: attention, emotion, flicker task, IAPS

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12 Pressure Losses on Realistic Geometry of Tracheobronchial Tree

Authors: Michaela Chovancova, Jakub Elcner

Abstract:

Real bronchial tree is very complicated piping system. Analysis of flow and pressure losses in this system is very difficult. Due to the complex geometry and the very small size in the lower generations is examination by CFD possible only in the central part of bronchial tree. For specify the pressure losses of lower generations is necessary to provide a mathematical equation. Determination of mathematical formulas for calculating the pressure losses in the real lungs is due to its complexity and diversity lengthy and inefficient process. For these calculations is necessary the lungs to slightly simplify (same cross-section over the length of individual generation) or use one of the models of lungs. The simplification could cause deviations from real values. The article compares the values of pressure losses obtained from CFD simulation of air flow in the central part of the real bronchial tree with the values calculated in a slightly simplified real lungs by using a mathematical relationship derived from the Bernoulli equation and continuity equation. Then, evaluate the desirability of using this formula to determine the pressure loss across the bronchial tree.

Keywords: pressure gradient, airways resistance, real geometry of bronchial tree, breathing

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11 Observational Learning in Ecotourism: An Investigation into Ecotourists' Environmentally Responsible Behavioral Intentions in South Korea

Authors: Benjamin Morse, Michaela Zint, Jennifer Carman

Abstract:

This study proposes a behavioral model in which ecotourists’ level of observational learning shapes their subsequent environmentally responsible behavioral intentions through ecotourism participation. Unlike past studies that have focused on individual attributes such as attitudes, locus of control, personal responsibility, knowledge, skills or effect, this present study explores select social attributes as potential antecedents to environmentally responsible behaviors. A total of 207 completed questionnaires were obtained from ecotourists in Korea and path analyses were conducted to explore the degree in which the hypothesized model directly and indirectly explained ecotourists’ environmentally responsible behavioral intentions. Results suggest that observational learning and its associated predictors (i.e., engagement, observation, reproduction and reinforcement) are key determinants of ecotourists environmentally responsible behavioral intentions. The application of observational learning proved to be informative, and has a number of implications for improving ecotourism programs. Our model also lays out a theoretical framework for future research.

Keywords: ecotourism, observational learning, environmentally responsible behavior, social learning theory

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10 The Pressure Losses in the Model of Human Lungs

Authors: Michaela Chovancova, Pavel Niedoba

Abstract:

For the treatment of acute and chronic lung diseases it is preferred to deliver medicaments by inhalation. The drug is delivered directly to tracheobronchial tree. This way allows the given medicament to get directly into the place of action and it makes rapid onset of action and maximum efficiency. The transport of aerosol particles in the particular part of the lung is influenced by their size, anatomy of the lungs, breathing pattern and airway resistance. This article deals with calculation of airway resistance in the lung model of Horsfield. It solves the problem of determination of the pressure losses in bifurcation and thus defines the pressure drop at a given location in the bronchial tree. The obtained data will be used as boundary conditions for transport of aerosol particles in a central part of bronchial tree realized by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach. The results obtained from CFD simulation will allow us to provide information on the required particle size and optimal inhalation technique for particle transport into particular part of the lung.

Keywords: human lungs, bronchial tree, pressure losses, airways resistance, flow, breathing

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9 Blind Watermarking Using Discrete Wavelet Transform Algorithm with Patchwork

Authors: Toni Maristela C. Estabillo, Michaela V. Matienzo, Mikaela L. Sabangan, Rosette M. Tienzo, Justine L. Bahinting

Abstract:

This study is about blind watermarking on images with different categories and properties using two algorithms namely, Discrete Wavelet Transform and Patchwork Algorithm. A program is created to perform watermark embedding, extraction and evaluation. The evaluation is based on three watermarking criteria namely: image quality degradation, perceptual transparency and security. Image quality is measured by comparing the original properties with the processed one. Perceptual transparency is measured by a visual inspection on a survey. Security is measured by implementing geometrical and non-geometrical attacks through a pass or fail testing. Values used to measure the following criteria are mostly based on Mean Squared Error (MSE) and Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR). The results are based on statistical methods used to interpret and collect data such as averaging, z Test and survey. The study concluded that the combined DWT and Patchwork algorithms were less efficient and less capable of watermarking than DWT algorithm only.

Keywords: blind watermarking, discrete wavelet transform algorithm, patchwork algorithm, digital watermark

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8 The Role of Androgens in Prediction of Success in Smoking Cessation in Women

Authors: Michaela Dušková, Kateřina Šimůnková, Martin Hill, Hana Hruškovičová, Hana Pospíšilová, Eva Králíková, Luboslav Stárka

Abstract:

Smoking represents the most widespread substance dependence in the world. Several studies show the nicotine's ability to alter women hormonal homeostasis. Women smokers have higher testosterone and lower estradiol levels throughout life compared to non-smoker women. We monitored the effect of smoking discontinuation on steroid spectrum with 40 premenopausal and 60 postmenopausal women smokers. These women had been examined before they discontinued smoking and also after 6, 12, 24, and 48 weeks of abstinence. At each examination, blood was collected to determine steroid spectrum (measured by GC-MS), LH, FSH, and SHBG (measured by IRMA). Repeated measures ANOVA model was used for evaluation of the data. The study has been approved by the local Ethics Committee. Given the small number of premenopausal women who endured not to smoke, only the first 6 week period data could be analyzed. A slight increase in androgens after the smoking discontinuation occurred. In postmenopausal women, an increase in testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and other androgens occurred, too. Nicotine replacement therapy, weight changes, and age does not play any role in the androgen level increase. The higher androgens levels correlated with failure in smoking cessation. Women smokers have higher androgen levels, which might play a role in smoking dependence development. Women successful in smoking cessation, compared to the non-successful ones, have lower androgen levels initially and also after smoking discontinuation. The question is what androgen levels women have before they start smoking.

Keywords: addiction, smoking, cessation, androgens

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7 A Tribe, a County, and a Casino: Socioeconomic Disparities between the Mohegan Tribe and New London County through Two Decades

Authors: Michaela Wang

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Since British established colonial settlements across the East Coast, Native Americans have suffered stark socio economic disparities in comparison to their neighboring communities. This paper employs the 1990, 2000, and 2010 United States Decennial Census to assess whether and to what extent the casino economy helped to close this socioeconomic gap between the Mohegan tribe and its surrounding community. These three Decennial Censuses cover two decades, from six years prior to the erection of Mohegan Sun casino to 14 years afterwards, including the Great Recession 2007-2009. Income, employment, education and housing parameters are selected as socio economic indicators. The profitable advent of the Mohegan Sun in 1996 dramatically improved the socio economic status of the Mohegan Tribe between 1990 and 2000. In fact, for most of these indicators––poverty, median household income, employment, home ownership, and car ownership––disparities shifted; tribal socioeconomic parameters improved from well below the level of New London County in 1990, to the same level or above the county rates in 2000. However, economic downturn in 2007-2009 Great Recession impacted Mohegan people remarkably. By 2010, disparities for household income, employment, home ownership, and car ownership returned. The casino bridged socio economic inequalities, but at the face of economic crises, the mono-product economy grew vulnerable.

Keywords: socio economic, indigenous, native American, disparity

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6 Measuring Quality of Participation Processes: A Literature Review and Case Study to Determine Criteria for the Influence of Digital Tools

Authors: Michaela Kaineder, Beate Bartlmae, Stefan Gaebler, Miriam Gutleder, Marlene Wuerfl

Abstract:

Digital tools and e-participation processes have seen a steady increase in popularity in recent years. While online trends come with the premise of new opportunities and easier participatory possibilities, there are still manifold challenges that smart city initiators and developers need to face. In this paper, innovative quality criteria of citizen participation processes was suggested by defining meaningful and measurable evaluation categories. Considering various developments, including the global megatrend of connectivity, a need for a fundamental examination of the basic structure of citizen participation processes was identified. To this end, the application of methods and tools through different points in the policy cycle is required. In order to provide an overview of the current challenges and problems in the field of participation, this paper analyzes those issues by carrying out a literature review that also focuses on disparities in the civic sector that might hinder residents in their desire for engagement. Additionally, a case study was chosen to demonstrate the potential that e-participation tools offer to planning experts and public authorities when integrating citizen’s creativity and experience at a large scale. This online co-creation process finally leads to offline events – such as local co-design workshops - with professional planners. The findings of this paper subsequently suggest a combination of e-participation and analogue forms to merge the benefits of both worlds, resulting in a broader audience and higher quality for participation processes.

Keywords: citizen participation, disparities, e-participation, integrated urban development, sustainable development goals, sustainable urban development

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5 Changes in Serum Hepcidin Levels in Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease during Anti-Inflammatory Treatment

Authors: Eva Karaskova, Jana Volejnikova, Dusan Holub, Maria Velganova-Veghova, Michaela Spenerova, Dagmar Pospisilova

Abstract:

Background: Hepcidin is the central regulator of iron metabolism. Its production is mainly affected by an iron deficiency and the presence of inflammatory activity in the body. The aim of this study was to compare serum hepcidin levels in paediatric patients with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease and hepcidin levels during maintenance therapy, correlate changes of serum hepcidin levels with selected markers of iron metabolism and inflammation and type of provided treatment. Methods: Children with newly diagnosed Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) were included in this prospective study. Blood and stool samples were collected before treatment (baseline). Serum hepcidin, hemoglobin levels, platelet counts, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL 6), ferritin, iron, soluble transferrin receptors, and fecal calprotectin were assessed. The same parameters were measured and compared with the baseline levels in the follow-up period, during maintenance therapy (average of 39 months after diagnosis). Results: Patients with CD (n=30) had higher serum hepcidin levels (expressed as a median and interquartile range) at diagnosis than subjects with UC (n=13). These levels significantly decreased during the follow-up (from 36.5 (11.5-79.6) ng/ml to 2.1 (0.9-6.7) ng/ml). Contrarily, no significant serum hepcidin level changes were observed in UC (from 5.4 (3.4-16.6) ng/ml to 4.8 (0.9-8.1) ng/ml). While in children with CD hepcidin level dynamics correlated with disease activity and inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP), an only correlation with serum iron levels was observed in patients with UC. Conclusion: Children with CD had higher serum hepcidin levels at diagnosis compared to subjects with UC. Decrease of serum hepcidin in the CD group during anti-inflammatory therapy has been observed, whereas low hepcidin levels in children with UC have remained unchanged. Acknowledgment: This study was supported by grant MH CZ–DRO (FNOl, 00098892).

Keywords: children, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, anaemia, hepcidin

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4 Tsunami Wave Height and Flow Velocity Calculations Based on Density Measurements of Boulders: Case Studies from Anegada and Pakarang Cape

Authors: Zakiul Fuady, Michaela Spiske

Abstract:

Inundation events, such as storms and tsunamis can leave onshore sedimentary evidence like sand deposits or large boulders. These deposits store indirect information on the related inundation parameters (e.g., flow velocity, flow depth, wave height). One tool to reveal these parameters are inverse models that use the physical characteristics of the deposits to refer to the magnitude of inundation. This study used boulders of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami from Thailand (Pakarang Cape) and form a historical tsunami event that inundated the outer British Virgin Islands (Anegada). For the largest boulder found in Pakarang Cape with a volume of 26.48 m³ the required tsunami wave height is 0.44 m and storm wave height are 1.75 m (for a bulk density of 1.74 g/cm³. In Pakarang Cape the highest tsunami wave height is 0.45 m and storm wave height are 1.8 m for transporting a 20.07 m³ boulder. On Anegada, the largest boulder with a diameter of 2.7 m is the asingle coral head (species Diploria sp.) with a bulk density of 1.61 g/cm³, and requires a minimum tsunami wave height of 0.31 m and storm wave height of 1.25 m. The highest required tsunami wave height on Anegada is 2.12 m for a boulder with a bulk density of 2.46 g/cm³ (volume 0.0819 m³) and the highest storm wave height is 5.48 m (volume 0.216 m³) from the same bulk density and the coral type is limestone. Generally, the higher the bulk density, volume, and weight of the boulders, the higher the minimum tsunami and storm wave heights required to initiate transport. It requires 4.05 m/s flow velocity by Nott’s equation (2003) and 3.57 m/s by Nandasena et al. (2011) to transport the largest boulder in Pakarang Cape, whereas on Anegada, it requires 3.41 m/s to transport a boulder with diameter 2.7 m for both equations. Thus, boulder equations need to be handled with caution because they make many assumptions and simplifications. Second, the physical boulder parameters, such as density and volume need to be determined carefully to minimize any errors.

Keywords: tsunami wave height, storm wave height, flow velocity, boulders, Anegada, Pakarang Cape

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3 Association of Mir-196a Expression in Esophageal Tissue with Barrett´s Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

Authors: Petra Borilova Linhartova, Michaela Ruckova, Sabina Sevcikova, Natalie Mlcuchova, Jan Bohm, Katerina Zukalova, Monika Vlachova, Jiri Dolina, Lumir Kunovsky, Radek Kroupa, Zdenek Pavlovsky, Zdenek Danek, Tereza Deissova, Lydie Izakovicova Holla, Ondrej Slaby, Zdenek Kala

Abstract:

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a highly aggressive malignancy that frequently develops from Barrett's esophagus (BE), a premalignant pathologic change occurring in the lower end of the esophagus. Specific microRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that function as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression, were repeatedly proved to play key roles in the pathogenesis of these diseases. This pilot study aimed to analyze four selected miRNAs in esophageal tissues from healthy controls (HC) and patients with reflux esophagitis (RE)/BE/EAC, as well as to compare expression at the site of Barrett's mucosa/adenocarcinoma and healthy esophageal tissue outside the area of the main pathology in patients with BE/EAC. In this pilot study, 22 individuals (3 HC, 8 RE, 5 BE, 6 EAC) were included and endoscopically examined. RNA was isolated from the fresh-frozen esophageal tissue (stored in the RNAlater™ Stabilization Solution −70°C) using the AllPrep DNA/RNA/miRNA Universal Kit. Subsequent RT-qPCR analysis was performed using selected TaqMan MicroRNA Assays for miR-21, miR-34a, miR-196a, miR-196b, and endogenous control (RNU44). While the expression of miR-21 in the esophageal tissue with the main pathology was decreased in BE and EAC patients in comparison to the group of HC and RE patients (p=0.01), the expression of miR-196a was increased in the BE and EAC patients (p<0.01). Correlations between those miRNAs expression in tissue and severity of diagnosis were observed (p<0.05). In addition, miR-196a was significantly more expressed at the site with the main pathology than in paired adjacent esophageal tissue in BE and EAC patients (p<0.01). In conclusion, our pilot results showed that miR-196a, which regulates the proliferation, invasion, and migration (and was previously associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and marked as a potential therapeutic target), could be a diagnostic tissue biomarker for BE and EAC as well.

Keywords: microRNA, barrett´s esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, biomarker

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2 Time's Arrow and Entropy: Violations to the Second Law of Thermodynamics Disrupt Time Perception

Authors: Jason Clarke, Michaela Porubanova, Angela Mazzoli, Gulsah Kut

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What accounts for our perception that time inexorably passes in one direction, from the past to the future, the so-called arrow of time, given that the laws of physics permit motion in one temporal direction to also happen in the reverse temporal direction? Modern physics says that the reason for time’s unidirectional physical arrow is the relationship between time and entropy, the degree of disorder in the universe, which is evolving from low entropy (high order; thermal disequilibrium) toward high entropy (high disorder; thermal equilibrium), the second law of thermodynamics. Accordingly, our perception of the direction of time, from past to future, is believed to emanate as a result of the natural evolution of entropy from low to high, with low entropy defining our notion of ‘before’ and high entropy defining our notion of ‘after’. Here we explored this proposed relationship between entropy and the perception of time’s arrow. We predicted that if the brain has some mechanism for detecting entropy, whose output feeds into processes involved in constructing our perception of the direction of time, presentation of violations to the expectation that low entropy defines ‘before’ and high entropy defines ‘after’ would alert this mechanism, leading to measurable behavioral effects, namely a disruption in duration perception. To test this hypothesis, participants were shown briefly-presented (1000 ms or 500 ms) computer-generated visual dynamic events: novel 3D shapes that were seen either to evolve from whole figures into parts (low to high entropy condition) or were seen in the reverse direction: parts that coalesced into whole figures (high to low entropy condition). On each trial, participants were instructed to reproduce the duration of their visual experience of the stimulus by pressing and releasing the space bar. To ensure that attention was being deployed to the stimuli, a secondary task was to report the direction of the visual event (forward or reverse motion). Participants completed 60 trials. As predicted, we found that duration reproduction was significantly longer for the high to low entropy condition compared to the low to high entropy condition (p=.03). This preliminary data suggests the presence of a neural mechanism that detects entropy, which is used by other processes to construct our perception of the direction of time or time’s arrow.

Keywords: time perception, entropy, temporal illusions, duration perception

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1 Walking across the Government of Egypt: A Single Country Comparative Study of the Past and Current Condition of the Government of Egypt

Authors: Homyr L. Garcia, Jr., Anne Margaret A. Rendon, Carla Michaela B. Taguinod

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Nothing is constant in this world but change. This is the reality wherein a lot of people fail to recognize and maybe, it is because of the fact that some see things that are happening with little value or no value at all until it’s gone. For the past years, Egypt was known for its stable government. It was able to withstand a lot of problems and crisis which challenged their country in ways which can never be imagined. In the present time, it seems like in just a snap of a finger, the said stability vanished and it was immediately replaced by a crisis which resulted to a failure in some parts of their government. In addition, this problem continued to worsen and the current situation of Egypt is just a reflection or a result of it. On the other hand, as the researchers continued to study the reasons why the government of Egypt is unstable, they concluded that there might be a possibility that they will be able to produce ways in which their country could be helped or improved. The instability of the government of Egypt is the product of combining all the problems which affects the lives of the people. Some of the reasons that the researchers found are the following: 1) unending doubts of the people regarding the ruling capacity of elected presidents, 2) removal of President Mohamed Morsi in position, 3) economic crisis, 4) a lot of protests and revolution happened, 5) resignation of the long term President Hosni Mubarak and 6) the office of the President is most likely available only to the chosen successor. Also, according to previous researches, there are two plausible scenarios for the instability of Egypt: 1) a military intervention specifically the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces or SCAF, resulting from a contested succession and 2) an Islamist push for political power which highlights the claim that religion is a hindrance towards the development of their country and government. From the eight possible reasons, the researchers decided that they will be focusing on economic crisis since the instability is more clearly seen in the country’s economy which directly affects the people and the government itself. In addition, they made a hypothesis which states that stable economy is a prerequisite towards a stable government. If they will be able to show how this claim is true by using the Social Autopsy Research Design for the qualitative method and Pearson’s correlation coefficient for the quantitative method, the researchers might be able to produce a proposal on how Egypt can stabilize their government and avoid such problems. Also, the hypothesis will be based from the Rational Action Theory which is a theory for understanding and modeling social and economy as well as individual behavior.

Keywords: Pearson’s correlation coefficient, rational action theory, social autopsy research design, supreme council of the armed forces (SCAF)

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