Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Norbert P. Battlori

21 Sunflower Oil as a Nutritional Strategy to Reduce the Impacts of Heat Stress on Meat Quality and Dirtiness Pigs Score

Authors: Angela Cristina Da F. De Oliveira, Salma E. Asmar, Norbert P. Battlori, Yaz Vera, Uriel R. Valencia, Tâmara D. Borges, Antoni D. Bueno, Leandro B. Costa


The present study aimed to evaluate the replacement of 5% of starch per 5% of sunflower oil (SO) on meat quality and animal welfare of growing and finishing pigs (Iberic x Duroc), exposed to a heat stress environment. The experiment lasted 90 days, and it was carried out in a randomized block design, in a 2 x 2 factorial, composed of two diets (starch or sunflower oil (with or without) and two feed intake management (ad libitum and restriction). Seventy-two crossbred males (51± 6,29 kg body weight - BW) were housed in climate-controlled rooms, in collective pens and exposed to heat stress environment (32°C; 35% to 50% humidity). The treatments studies were: 1) control diet (5% starch x 0% SO) with ad libitum intake (n = 18); 2) SO diet (replacement of 5% of starch per 5% of SO) with ad libitum intake (n = 18); 3) control diet with restriction feed intake (n = 18); or 4) SO diet with restriction feed intake (n = 18). Feed were provided in two phases, 50-100 Kg BW for growing and 100-140 Kg BW for finishing, respectively. Within welfare evaluations, dirtiness score was evaluated all morning during ninety days of the experiment. The presence of manure was individually measured based on one side of the pig´s body and scored according to: 0 (less than 20% of the body surface); 1 (more than 20% but less than 50% of the body surface); 2 (over 50% of the body surface). After the experimental period, when animals reach 130-140 kg BW, they were slaughtered using carbon dioxide (CO2) stunning. Carcass weight, leanness and fat content, measured at the last rib, were recorded within 20 min post-mortem (PM). At 24h PM, pH, electrical conductivity and color measures (L, a*, b*) were recorded in the Longissimus thoracis and Semimembranosus muscles. Data shown no interaction between diet (control x SO) and management feed intake (ad libitum x restriction) on the meat quality parameters. Animals in ad libitum management presented an increase (p < 0.05) on BW, carcass weight (CW), back fat thickness (BT), and intramuscular fat content (IM) when compared with animals in restriction management. In contrast, animals in restriction management showing a higher (p < 0.05) carcass yield, percentage of lean and loin thickness. To welfare evaluations, the interaction between diet and management feed intake did not influence the degree of dirtiness. Although, the animals that received SO diet, independently of the management, were cleaner than animals in control group (p < 0,05), which, for pigs, demonstrate an important strategy to reduce body temperature. Based in our results, the diet and management feed intake had a significant influence on meat quality and animal welfare being considered efficient nutritional strategies to reduce heat stress and improved meat quality.

Keywords: Environment, Meat, Pig, dirtiness

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20 Impact of Sunflower Oil Supplemented Diet on Performance and Hematological Stress Indicators of Growing-Finishing Pigs Exposed to Hot Environment

Authors: Angela Cristina Da F. De Oliveira, Norbert P. Battlori, Yaz Vera, Antoni D. Bueno, Salma E. Asmar, Uriel R. Valencia, Tâmara Duarte Borges, Leandro Batista Costa


As homeothermic animals, pigs manifest maximum performance when kept at comfortable temperature levels, represented by a limit where thermoregulatory processes are minimal (18 - 20°C). In a stress situation where it will have a higher energy demand for thermal maintenance, the energy contribution to the productive functions will be reduced, generating health imbalances, drop in productive rates and welfare problems. The hypothesis of this project is that 5% starch replacement per 5% sunflower oil (SO), in growing and finishing pig’s diet (Iberic x Duroc), is effective as a nutritional strategy to reduce the negative impacts of thermal stress on performance and animal welfare. Seventy-two crossbred males (51± 6,29 kg body weight- BW) were housed according to the initial BW, in climate-controlled rooms, in collective pens, and exposed to heat stress conditions (30 - 32°C; 35% to 50% humidity). The experiment lasted 90 days, and it was carried out in a randomized block design, in a 2 x 2 factorial, composed of two diets (starch or sunflower oil (with or without) and two feed intake management (ad libitum and restriction). The treatments studied were: 1) control diet (5% starch x 0% SO) with ad libitum intake (n = 18); 2) SO diet (replacement of 5% of starch per 5% SO) with ad libitum intake (n = 18); 3) control diet with restriction feed intake (n = 18); or 4) SO diet with restriction feed intake (n = 18). Feed was provided in two phases, 50–100 Kg BW for growing and 100-140 Kg BW for finishing period, respectively. Hematological, biochemical and growth performance parameters were evaluated on all animals at the beginning of the environmental treatment, on the transition of feed (growing to finishing) and in the final of experiment. After the experimental period, when animals reached a live weight of 130-140 kg, they were slaughtered by carbon dioxide (CO2) stunning. Data have shown for the growing phase no statistical interaction between diet (control x SO) and management feed intake (ad libitum x restriction) on animal performance. At finishing phase, pigs fed with SO diet with restriction feed intake had the same average daily gain (ADG) compared with pigs in control diet with ad libitum feed intake. Furthermore, animals fed with the same diet (SO), presented a better feed gain (p < 0,05) due to feed intake reduce (p < 0,05) when compared with control group. To hematological and biochemical parameters, animals under heat stress had an increase in hematocrit, corpuscular volume, urea concentration, creatinine, calcium, alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase (p < 0,05) when compared with the beginning of experiment. These parameters were efficient to characterize the heat stress, although the experimental treatments were not able to reduce the hematological and biochemical stress indicators. In addition, the inclusion of SO on pig diets improve feed gain in pigs at finishing phase, even with restriction feed intake.

Keywords: Performance, welfare, Hematological, Pigs

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19 Friction Estimation and Compensation for Steering Angle Control for Highly Automated Driving

Authors: Marcus Walter, Dirk Odenthal, Steffen Muller, Norbert Nitzsche


This contribution presents a friction estimator for industrial purposes which identifies Coulomb friction in a steering system. The estimator only needs a few, usually known, steering system parameters. Friction occurs on almost every mechanical system and has a negative influence on high-precision position control. This is demonstrated on a steering angle controller for highly automated driving. In this steering system the friction induces limit cycles which cause oscillating vehicle movement when the vehicle follows a given reference trajectory. When compensating the friction with the introduced estimator, limit cycles can be suppressed. This is demonstrated by measurements in a series vehicle.

Keywords: friction estimation, friction compensation, steering system, lateral vehicle guidance

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18 Reclaiming the House with Use of Web 2.0 Tools: Democratic Candidates and Social Media during Midterm Elections in 2018

Authors: Norbert Tomaszewski


Modern politicians tend to resign from the traditional media as Web 2.0 tools allow them to interact with a much bigger audience while spending less money on their campaign. Current studies on this subject prove that in order to win the elections, the candidate needs to show his personal side during the campaign to appeal to the voter as an average citizen. Because of that, the internet user may engage in the politician's campaign by spreading his message along with his followers. The aim of the study is to determine how did the Democratic candidates use the Web 2.0 tools during the 2018 midterm elections campaign and whether they managed to succeed. Taking into consideration the fact that the United States as a country, has always set important milestones for the political marketing as a field of science, the result of the research can set some examples on how to manage the modern internet campaign in less developed countries.

Keywords: Social Media, web 2.0, political campaign, midterm elections

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17 Optimizing Pick and Place Operations in a Simulated Work Cell for Deformable 3D Objects

Authors: Troels Bo Jørgensen, Preben Hagh Strunge Holm, Henrik Gordon Petersen, Norbert Kruger


This paper presents a simulation framework for using machine learning techniques to determine robust robotic motions for handling deformable objects. The main focus is on applications in the meat sector, which mainly handle three-dimensional objects. In order to optimize the robotic handling, the robot motions have been parameterized in terms of grasp points, robot trajectory and robot speed. The motions are evaluated based on a dynamic simulation environment for robotic control of deformable objects. The evaluation indicates certain parameter setups, which produce robust motions in the simulated environment, and based on a visual analysis indicate satisfactory solutions for a real world system.

Keywords: Simulation, Robotic Manipulation, deformable objects, real world system

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16 Fusionopolis: The Most Decisive Economic Power Centers of the 21st Century

Authors: Norbert Csizmadia


The 21st Century's main power centers are the cities. More than 52% of the world’s population lives in cities, in particular in the megacities which have a population over 10 million people and is still growing. According to various research and forecasts, the main economic concentration will be in 40 megacities and global centers. Based on various competitiveness analyzes and indices, global city centers, and city networks are outlined, but if we look at other aspects of urban development like complexity, connectivity, creativity, technological development, viability, green cities, pedestrian and child friendly cities, creative and cultural centers, cultural spaces and knowledge centers, we get a city competitiveness index with quite new complex indicators. The research shows this result. In addition to the megacities and the global centers, with the investigation of functionality, we got 64 so-called ‘fusiononopolis’ (i.e., fusion-polis) which stand for the most decisive economic power centers of the 21st century. In this city competition Asian centers considerably rise, as the world's functional city competitiveness index is being formed.

Keywords: Urbanism, Economic Geography, Human Geography, technological development

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15 Realization of Wearable Inertial Measurement Units-Sensor-Fusion Harness to Control Therapeutic Smartphone Applications

Authors: Svilen Dimitrov, Manthan Pancholi, Norbert Schmitz, Didier Stricker


This paper presents the end-to-end development of a wearable motion sensing harness consisting of computational unit and four inertial measurement units to control three smartphone therapeutic games for children. The inertial data is processed in real time to obtain lower body motion information like knee raises, feet taps and squads. By providing a Wi-Fi connection interface the sensor harness acts wireless remote control for smartphone applications. By performing various lower body movements the users provoke corresponding game state changes. In contrary to the current similar offers, like Nintendo Wii Remote, Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move, this product, consisting of the sensor harness and the applications on top of it, are fully wearable, which means they do not rely on the user to be bound to concrete soft- or hardwareequipped space.

Keywords: motion tracking, wearable harness, inertial measurement units, smartphone therapeutic games, lower-body activity monitoring

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14 In vitro Effects of Berberine on the Vitality and Oxidative Profile of Bovine Spermatozoa

Authors: Eva Tvrda, Hana Greifová, Norbert Lukáč, Peter Ivanič


The aim of this study was to evaluate the dose- and time-dependent in vitro effects of berberine (BER), a natural alkaloid with numerous biological properties on bovine spermatozoa during three time periods (0 h, 2 h, 24 h). Bovine semen samples were diluted and cultivated in physiological saline solution containing 0.5% DMSO together with 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, and 1 μmol/L BER. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the computer assisted semen analyzer. The viability of spermatozoa was assessed by the metabolic (MTT) assay, production of superoxide radicals was quantified using the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) test, and chemiluminescence was used to evaluate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Cell lysates were prepared and the extent of lipid peroxidation (LPO) was evaluated using the TBARS assay. The results of the movement activity showed a significant increase in the motility during long term cultivation in case of concentrations ranging between 1 and 10 μmol/L BER (P < 0.01; P < 0.001; 24 h). At the same time, supplementation of 1, 5 and 10 μmol/L BER led to a significant preservation of the cell viability (P < 0.001; 24 h). BER addition at a range of 1-50 μmol/L also provided a significantly higher protection against superoxide (P < 0.05) and ROS (P < 0.001; P < 0.01) overgeneration as well as LPO (P < 0.01; P<0.05) after a 24 h cultivation. We may suggest that supplementation of BER to bovine spermatozoa, particularly at concentrations ranging between 1 and 50 μmol/L, may offer protection to the motility, viability and oxidative status of the spermatozoa, particularly notable at 24 h.

Keywords: viability, spermatozoa, motility, berberine, bulls, oxidative profile

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13 The Effect of Curcumin on Cryopreserved Bovine Semen

Authors: Eva Tvrda, Marek Halenar, Hana Greifová, Alica Mackovich, Faridullah Hashim, Norbert Lukáč


Oxidative stress associated with semen cryopreservation may result in lipid peroxidation (LPO), DNA damage and apoptosis, leading to decreased sperm motility and fertilization ability. Curcumin (CUR), a natural phenol isolated from Curcuma longa Linn. has been presented as a possible supplement for a more effective semen cryopreservation because of its antioxidant properties. This study focused to evaluate the effects of CUR on selected oxidative stress parameters in cryopreserved bovine semen. 20 bovine ejaculates were split into two aliquots and diluted with a commercial semen extender containing CUR (50 μmol/L) or no supplement (control), cooled to 4 °C, frozen and kept in liquid nitrogen. Frozen straws were thawed in a water bath for subsequent experiments. Computer assisted semen analysis was used to evaluate spermatozoa motility, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was quantified by using luminometry. Superoxide generation was evaluated with the NBT test, and LPO was assessed via the TBARS assay. CUR supplementation significantly (P<0.001) increased the spermatozoa motility and provided a significantly higher protection against ROS (P<0.001) or superoxide (P<0.01) overgeneration caused by semen freezing and thawing. Furthermore, CUR administration resulted in a significantly (P<0.01) lower LPO of the experimental semen samples. In conclusion, CUR exhibits significant ROS-scavenging activities which may prevent oxidative insults to cryopreserved spermatozoa and thus may enhance the post-thaw functional activity of male gametes.

Keywords: Cryopreservation, Curcumin, Lipid Peroxidation, spermatozoa, reactive oxygen species, bulls

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12 Development of Sports Nation on the Way of Health Management

Authors: Beatrix Farago, Zsolt Szakaly, Agnes Kovacs Toth, Csaba Konczos, Norbert Kovacs, Zsofia Papai, Tamas Kertesz


The future of the nation is the embodiment of a healthy society. A key segment of government policy is the development of health and a health-oriented environment. As a result, sport as an activator of health is an important area for development. In Hungary, sport is a strategic sector with the aim of developing a sports nation. The function of sport in the global society is multifaceted, which is manifested in both social and economic terms. The economic importance of sport is gaining ground in the world, with implications for Central and Eastern Europe. Smaller states, such as Hungary, cannot ignore the economic effects of exploiting the effects of sport. The relationship between physical activity and health is driven by the health economy towards the nation's economic factor. In our research, we analyzed sport as a national strategy sector and its impact on age groups. By presenting the current state of health behavior, we get an idea of the directions where development opportunities require even more intervention. The foundation of the health of a nation is the young age group, whose shaping of health will shape the future generation. Our research was attended by university students from the Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences who will be experts in the field of health in the future. The other group is the elderly, who are a growing social group due to demographic change and are a key segment of the labor market and consumer society. Our study presents the health behavior of the two age groups, their differences, and similarities. The survey also identifies gaps in the development of a health management strategy that national strategies should take into account.

Keywords: Health Management, Health Behavior, Competitiveness, health economy, sports nation

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11 Constitutional Identity: The Connection between National Constitutions and EU Law

Authors: Norbert Tribl


European contemporary scientific public opinion considers the concept of constitutional identity as a highlighted issue. Some scholars interpret the matter as the manifestation of a conflict of Europe. Nevertheless, constitutional identity is a bridge between the Member States and the EU rather than a river that will wash away the achievements of the integration. In accordance with the opinion of the author, the main problem of constitutional identity in Europe is the undetermined nature: the exact concept of constitutional identity has not been defined until now. However, this should be the first step to understand and use identity as a legal institution. Having regard to this undetermined nature, the legal-theoretical examination of constitutional identity is the main purpose of this study. The concept of constitutional identity appears in the Anglo-Saxon legal systems by a different approach than in the supranational system of European Integration. While the interpretation of legal institutions in conformity with the constitution is understood under it, the European concept is applied when possible conflicts arise between the legal system of the European supranational space and certain provisions of the national constitutions of the member states. The European concept of constitutional identity intends to offer input in determining the nature of the relationship between the constitutional provisions of the member states and the legal acts of the EU integration. In the EU system of multilevel constitutionalism, a long-standing central debate on integration surrounds the conflict between EU legal acts and the constitutional provisions of the member states. In spite of the fact that the Court of Justice of the European Union stated in Costa v. E.N.E.L. that the member states cannot refer to the provisions of their respective national constitutions against the integration. Based on the experience of more than 50 years since the above decision, and also in light of the Treaty of Lisbon, we now can clearly see that EU law has itself identified an obligation for the EU to protect the fundamental constitutional features of the Member States under Article 4 (2) of Treaty on European Union, by respecting the national identities of member states. In other words, the European concept intends to offer input for the determination of the nature of the relationship between the constitutional provisions of the member states and the legal acts of the EU integration.

Keywords: EU Law, european integration, constitutional identity, supranationalism

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10 In vitro Effects of Salvia officinalis on Bovine Spermatozoa

Authors: Eva Tvrda, Marek Halenar, Norbert Lukáč, Tomáš Slanina, Boris Botman


In vitro storage and processing of animal semen represents a risk factor to spermatozoa vitality, potentially leading to reduced fertility. A variety of substances isolated from natural sources may exhibit protective or antioxidant properties on the spermatozoon, thus extending the lifespan of stored ejaculates. This study compared the ability of different concentrations of the Salvia officinalis extract on the motility, mitochondrial activity, viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by bovine spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, 6 and 24 h) of in vitro culture. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system. Cell viability was examined using the metabolic activity MTT assay, the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the sperm viability and ROS generation was quantified using luminometry. The CASA analysis revealed that the motility in the experimental groups supplemented with 0.5-2 µg/mL Salvia extract was significantly lower in comparison with the control (P<0.05; Time 24 h). At the same time, a long-term exposure of spermatozoa to concentrations ranging between 0.05 µg/mL and 2 µg/mL had a negative impact on the mitochondrial metabolism (P<0.05; Time 24 h). The viability staining revealed that 0.001-1 µg/mL Salvia extract had no effects on bovine male gametes, however 2 µg/mL Salvia had a persisting negative effect on spermatozoa (P<0.05). Furthermore 0.05-2 µg/mL Salvia exhibited an immediate ROS-promoting effect on the sperm culture (P>0.05; Time 0 h and 2 h), which remained significant throughout the entire in vitro culture (P<0.05; Time 24 h). Our results point out to the necessity to examine specific effects the biomolecules present in Salvia officinalis may have individually or collectively on the in vitro sperm vitality and oxidative profile.

Keywords: Salvia officinalis, spermatozoa, reactive oxygen species, SAGE, CASA, bulls, MTT test

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9 The Association of Slope Failure and Lineament Density along the Ranau-Tambunan Road, Sabah, Malaysia

Authors: Norbert Simon, Rodeano Roslee, Abdul Ghani Rafek, Goh Thian Lai, Azimah Hussein, Lee Khai Ern


The 54 km stretch of Ranau-Tambunan (RTM) road in Sabah is subjected to slope failures almost every year. This study is focusing on identifying section of roads that are susceptible to failure based on temporal landslide density and lineament density analyses. In addition to the analyses, the rock slopes in several sections of the road were assessed using the geological strength index (GSI) technique. The analysis involved 148 landslides that were obtained in 1978, 1994, 2009 and 2011. The landslides were digitized as points and the point density was calculated based on every 1km2 of the road. The lineaments of the area was interpreted from Landsat 7 15m panchromatic band. The lineament density was later calculated based on every 1km2 of the area using similar technique with the slope failure density calculation. The landslide and lineament densities were classified into three different classes that indicate the level of susceptibility (low, moderate, high). Subsequently, the two density maps were overlap to produce the final susceptibility map. The combination of both high susceptibility classes from these maps signifies the high potential of slope failure in those locations in the future. The final susceptibility map indicates that there are 22 sections of the road that are highly susceptible. Seven rock slopes were assessed along the RTM road using the GSI technique. It was found from the assessment that rock slopes along this road are highly fractured, weathered and can be classified into fair to poor categories. The poor condition of the rock slope can be attributed to the high lineament density that presence in the study area. Six of the rock slopes are located in the high susceptibility zones. A detailed investigation on the 22 high susceptibility sections of the RTM road should be conducted due to their higher susceptibility to failure, in order to prevent untoward incident to road users in the future.

Keywords: Landslide, GSI, landslide density, landslide susceptibility, lineament density

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8 Efficient Energy Extraction Circuit for Impact Harvesting from High Impedance Sources

Authors: Sherif Keddis, Norbert Schwesinger, Mohamed Azzam


Harvesting mechanical energy from footsteps or other impacts is a possibility to enable wireless autonomous sensor nodes. These can be used for a highly efficient control of connected devices such as lights, security systems, air conditioning systems or other smart home applications. They can also be used for accurate location or occupancy monitoring. Converting the mechanical energy into useful electrical energy can be achieved using the piezoelectric effect offering simple harvesting setups and low deflections. The challenge facing piezoelectric transducers is the achievable amount of energy per impact in the lower mJ range and the management of such low energies. Simple setups for energy extraction such as a full wave bridge connected directly to a capacitor are problematic due to the mismatch between high impedance sources and low impedance storage elements. Efficient energy circuits for piezoelectric harvesters are commonly designed for vibration harvesters and require periodic input energies with predictable frequencies. Due to the sporadic nature of impact harvesters, such circuits are not well suited. This paper presents a self-powered circuit that avoids the impedance mismatch during energy extraction by disconnecting the load until the source reaches its charge peak. The switch is implemented with passive components and works independent from the input frequency. Therefore, this circuit is suited for impact harvesting and sporadic inputs. For the same input energy, this circuit stores 150% of the energy in comparison to a directly connected capacitor to a bridge rectifier. The total efficiency, defined as the ratio of stored energy on a capacitor to available energy measured across a matched resistive load, is 63%. Although the resulting energy is already sufficient to power certain autonomous applications, further optimization of the circuit are still under investigation in order to improve the overall efficiency.

Keywords: Circuit Design, Energy Management, Energy harvesting, Autonomous sensors, Piezoelectricity, impact harvester

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7 Impacts of Climate Elements on the Annual Periodic Behavior of the Shallow Groundwater Level: Case Study from Central-Eastern Europe

Authors: Tamas Garamhegyi, Jozsef Kovacs, Rita Pongracz, Peter Tanos, Balazs Trasy, Norbert Magyar, Istvan G. Hatvani


Like most environmental processes, shallow groundwater fluctuation under natural circumstances also behaves periodically. With the statistical tools at hand, it can easily be determined if a period exists in the data or not. Thus, the question may be raised: Does the estimated average period time characterize the whole time period, or not? This is especially important in the case of such complex phenomena as shallow groundwater fluctuation, driven by numerous factors. Because of the continuous changes in the oscillating components of shallow groundwater time series, the most appropriate method should be used to investigate its periodicity, this is wavelet spectrum analysis. The aims of the research were to investigate the periodic behavior of the shallow groundwater time series of an agriculturally important and drought sensitive region in Central-Eastern Europe and its relationship to the European pressure action centers. During the research ~216 shallow groundwater observation wells located in the eastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain with a temporal coverage of 50 years were scanned for periodicity. By taking the full-time interval as 100%, the presence of any period could be determined in percentages. With the complex hydrogeological/meteorological model developed in this study, non-periodic time intervals were found in the shallow groundwater levels. On the local scale, this phenomenon linked to drought conditions, and on a regional scale linked to the maxima of the regional air pressures in the Gulf of Genoa. The study documented an important link between shallow groundwater levels and climate variables/indices facilitating the necessary adaptation strategies on national and/or regional scales, which have to take into account the predictions of drought-related climatic conditions.

Keywords: Climate Change, Drought, groundwater periodicity, wavelet spectrum and coherence analyses

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6 Epistemological and Ethical Dimensions of Current Concepts of Human Resilience in the Neurosciences

Authors: Norbert W. Paul


Since a number of years, scientific interest in human resilience is rapidly increasing especially in psychology and more recently and highly visible in neurobiological research. Concepts of resilience are regularly discussed in the light of liminal experiences and existential challenges in human life. Resilience research is providing both, explanatory models and strategies to promote or foster human resilience. Surprisingly, these approaches attracted little attention so far in philosophy in general and in ethics in particular. This is even more astonishing given the fact that the neurosciences as such have been and still are of major interest to philosophy and ethics and even brought about the specialized field of neuroethics, which, however, is not concerned with concepts of resilience, so far. As a result of the little attention given to the topic of resilience, the whole concept has to date been a philosophically under-theorized. This abstinence of ethics and philosophy in resilience research is lamentable because resilience as a concept as well as resilience interventions based on neurobiological findings do undoubtedly pose philosophical, social and ethical questions. In this paper, we will argue that particular notions of resilience are crossing the sometimes fine line between maintaining a person’s mental health despite the impact of severe psychological or physical adverse events and ethically more debatable discourses of enhancement. While we neither argue for or against enhancement nor re-interpret resilience research and interventions by subsuming them strategies of psychological and/or neuro-enhancement, we encourage those who see social or ethical problems with enhancement technologies should also take a closer look on resilience and the related neurobiological concepts. We will proceed in three steps. In our first step, we will describe the concept of resilience in general and its neurobiological study in particular. Here, we will point out some important differences in the way ‘resilience’ is conceptualized and how neurobiological research understands resilience. In what follows we will try to show that a one-sided concept of resilience – as it is often presented in neurobiological research on resilience – does pose social and ethical problems. Secondly, we will identify and explore the social and ethical challenges of (neurobiological) enhancement. In the last and final step of this paper, we will argue that a one-sided reading of resilience can be understood as latent form of enhancement in transition and poses ethical questions similar to those discussed in relation to other approaches to the biomedical enhancement of humans.

Keywords: bioethics, Neurosciences, Resilience, Epistemology

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5 The Examination of Parents’ Perceptions and Motivations Regarding Type 1 Diabetes Management Technologies

Authors: Maria Dora Horvath, Norbert Buzas, Zsanett Tesch


Diabetes management poses many unique challenges for children and their parents. The use of a diabetes management device should not be one of these challenges as the purpose of these devices is to make the management more convenient. The objective of our study was to examine how demographical, psychological and diabetes-related factors determine the choices parents make regarding their child’s diabetes management technologies and how they perceive advanced devices. We conducted the study using an online questionnaire with 318 parents (mostly mothers). The questions of the survey were about demographical, diabetes-related and psychological factors (diabetes management problems, diabetes management competence). In addition, we asked the parents opinions about advanced diabetes management devices. We expanded our data with semi-structured in-depth interviews. 61 % of the participants Self-Monitored Blood Glucose (SMBG), and 39 % used a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM). Considering insulin administration, 58 % used Multiple Daily Insulin Injections (MDII) and 42 % used Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII). Parents who used diverse combinations of diabetes management devices showed significant differences in age (parents’ and child’s), the monthly cost of diabetes, the duration of diabetes, the highest level of education and average monthly household income. CGM users perceived diabetes management problems significantly more severe than SMBG users and CSII users felt significantly more competent in diabetes management than MDII users. Avoiding CGM use due to lack of financial resources was determined by diagnosis duration. While avoiding its use by the cause of the child rejecting, it was determined by the child’s age and diabetes competence. Using MDII instead of CSII because of the child’s rejection was determined by the monthly cost of diabetes and child’s age. We conducted a complex empirical study in which we examined perceptions and experiences of advanced and less advanced diabetes management technologies comprehensively. Our study highlights the factors that fundamentally influence parents’ motivations and choices about diabetes management technologies. These results could contribute to developing diabetes management technologies more suitable for children living with type 1 diabetes and their parents.

Keywords: Diabetes Management, Motivation, Parents, advanced diabetes management technologies, children living with type 1 diabetes

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4 Cultural Collisions, Ethics and HIV: On Local Values in a Globalized Medical World

Authors: Norbert W. Paul


In 1988, parts of the scientific community still heralded findings to support that AIDS was likely to remain largely a ‘gay disease’. The value-ladden terminology of some of the articles suggested that rectum and fragile urethra are not sufficiently robust to provide a barrier against infectious fluids, especially body fluids contaminated with HIV while the female vagina, would provide natural protection against injuries and trauma facilitating HIV-infection. Anal sexual intercourse was constituted not only as dangerous but also as unnatural practice, while penile-vaginal intercourse would follow natural design and thus be relatively safe practice minimizing the risk of HIV. Statements like the latter were not uncommon in the early times of HIV/AIDS and contributed to captious certainties and an underestimation of heterosexual risks. Pseudo-scientific discourses on the origin of HIV were linked to local and global health politics in the 1980ies. The pathways of infection were related to normative concepts like deviant, subcultural behavior, cultural otherness, and guilt used to target, tag and separate specific groups at risk from the ‘normal’ population. Controlling populations at risk became the top item on the agenda rather than controlling modes of transmission and the virus. Hence, the Thai strategy to cope with HIV/AIDS by acknowledging social and sexual practices as they were – not as they were imagined – has become a role model for successful prevention in the highly scandalized realm of sexually transmitted disease. By accepting the globalized character of local HIV-risk and projecting the risk onto populations which are neither particularly vocal groups nor vested with the means to strive for health and justice Thailand managed to culturally implement knowledge-based tools of prevention. This paper argues, that pertinent cultural collisions regarding our strategies to cope with HIV/AIDS are deeply rooted in misconceptions, misreadings and scandalizations brought about in the early history of HIV in the 1980ties. The Thai strategy is used to demonstrate how local values can be balanced against globalized health risk and used to effectuated prevention by which knowledge and norms are translated into local practices. Issues of global health and injustice will be addressed in the final part of the paper dealing with the achievability of health as a human right.

Keywords: Justice, bioethics, HIV, Global health

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3 Knowledge Management Barriers: A Statistical Study of Hardware Development Engineering Teams within Restricted Environments

Authors: Nicholas S. Norbert Jr., John E. Bischoff, Christopher J. Willy


Knowledge Management (KM) is globally recognized as a crucial element in securing competitive advantage through building and maintaining organizational memory, codifying and protecting intellectual capital and business intelligence, and providing mechanisms for collaboration and innovation. KM frameworks and approaches have been developed and defined identifying critical success factors for conducting KM within numerous industries ranging from scientific to business, and for ranges of organization scales from small groups to large enterprises. However, engineering and technical teams operating within restricted environments are subject to unique barriers and KM challenges which cannot be directly treated using the approaches and tools prescribed for other industries. This research identifies barriers in conducting KM within Hardware Development Engineering (HDE) teams and statistically compares significance to barriers upholding the four KM pillars of organization, technology, leadership, and learning for HDE teams. HDE teams suffer from restrictions in knowledge sharing (KS) due to classification of information (national security risks), customer proprietary restrictions (non-disclosure agreement execution for designs), types of knowledge, complexity of knowledge to be shared, and knowledge seeker expertise. As KM evolved leveraging information technology (IT) and web-based tools and approaches from Web 1.0 to Enterprise 2.0, KM may also seek to leverage emergent tools and analytics including expert locators and hybrid recommender systems to enable KS across barriers of the technical teams. The research will test hypothesis statistically evaluating if KM barriers for HDE teams affect the general set of expected benefits of a KM System identified through previous research. If correlations may be identified, then generalizations of success factors and approaches may also be garnered for HDE teams. Expert elicitation will be conducted using a questionnaire hosted on the internet and delivered to a panel of experts including engineering managers, principal and lead engineers, senior systems engineers, and knowledge management experts. The feedback to the questionnaire will be processed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) to identify and rank statistically significant barriers of HDE teams within the four KM pillars. Subsequently, KM approaches will be recommended for upholding the KM pillars within restricted environments of HDE teams.

Keywords: Engineering Management, Knowledge Management, Knowledge sharing, knowledge barriers

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2 Application of Combined Cluster and Discriminant Analysis to Make the Operation of Monitoring Networks More Economical

Authors: Tamas Garamhegyi, Jozsef Kovacs, Peter Tanos, Balazs Trasy, Norbert Magyar, Istvan Gabor Hatvani


Water is one of the most important common resources, and as a result of urbanization, agriculture, and industry it is becoming more and more exposed to potential pollutants. The prevention of the deterioration of water quality is a crucial role for environmental scientist. To achieve this aim, the operation of monitoring networks is necessary. In general, these networks have to meet many important requirements, such as representativeness and cost efficiency. However, existing monitoring networks often include sampling sites which are unnecessary. With the elimination of these sites the monitoring network can be optimized, and it can operate more economically. The aim of this study is to illustrate the applicability of the CCDA (Combined Cluster and Discriminant Analysis) to the field of water quality monitoring and optimize the monitoring networks of a river (the Danube), a wetland-lake system (Kis-Balaton & Lake Balaton), and two surface-subsurface water systems on the watershed of Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő and on the Szigetköz area over a period of approximately two decades. CCDA combines two multivariate data analysis methods: hierarchical cluster analysis and linear discriminant analysis. Its goal is to determine homogeneous groups of observations, in our case sampling sites, by comparing the goodness of preconceived classifications obtained from hierarchical cluster analysis with random classifications. The main idea behind CCDA is that if the ratio of correctly classified cases for a grouping is higher than at least 95% of the ratios for the random classifications, then at the level of significance (α=0.05) the given sampling sites don’t form a homogeneous group. Due to the fact that the sampling on the Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő was conducted at the same time at all sampling sites, it was possible to visualize the differences between the sampling sites belonging to the same or different groups on scatterplots. Based on the results, the monitoring network of the Danube yields redundant information over certain sections, so that of 12 sampling sites, 3 could be eliminated without loss of information. In the case of the wetland (Kis-Balaton) one pair of sampling sites out of 12, and in the case of Lake Balaton, 5 out of 10 could be discarded. For the groundwater system of the catchment area of Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő all 50 monitoring wells are necessary, there is no redundant information in the system. The number of the sampling sites on the Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő can decrease to approximately the half of the original number of the sites. Furthermore, neighbouring sampling sites were compared pairwise using CCDA and the results were plotted on diagrams or isoline maps showing the location of the greatest differences. These results can help researchers decide where to place new sampling sites. The application of CCDA proved to be a useful tool in the optimization of the monitoring networks regarding different types of water bodies. Based on the results obtained, the monitoring networks can be operated more economically.

Keywords: Water Quality, cost efficiency, combined cluster and discriminant analysis, monitoring network optimization

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1 Experimental Proof of Concept for Piezoelectric Flow Harvesting for In-Pipe Metering Systems

Authors: Sherif Keddis, Rafik Mitry, Norbert Schwesinger


Intelligent networking of devices has rapidly been gaining importance over the past years and with recent advances in the fields of microcontrollers, integrated circuits and wireless communication, low power applications have emerged, enabling this trend even more. Connected devices provide a much larger database thus enabling highly intelligent and accurate systems. Ensuring safe drinking water is one of the fields that require constant monitoring and can benefit from an increased accuracy. Monitoring is mainly achieved either through complex measures, such as collecting samples from the points of use, or through metering systems typically distant to the points of use which deliver less accurate assessments of the quality of water. Constant metering near the points of use is complicated due to their inaccessibility; e.g. buried water pipes, locked spaces, which makes system maintenance extremely difficult and often unviable. The research presented here attempts to overcome this challenge by providing these systems with enough energy through a flow harvester inside the pipe thus eliminating the maintenance requirements in terms of battery replacements or containment of leakage resulting from wiring such systems. The proposed flow harvester exploits the piezoelectric properties of polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) films to convert turbulence induced oscillations into electrical energy. It is intended to be used in standard water pipes with diameters between 0.5 and 1 inch. The working principle of the harvester uses a ring shaped bluff body inside the pipe to induce pressure fluctuations. Additionally the bluff body houses electronic components such as storage, circuitry and RF-unit. Placing the piezoelectric films downstream of that bluff body causes their oscillation which generates electrical charge. The PVDF-film is placed as a multilayered wrap fixed to the pipe wall leaving the top part to oscillate freely inside the flow. The warp, which allows for a larger active, consists of two layers of 30µm thick and 12mm wide PVDF layered alternately with two centered 6µm thick and 8mm wide aluminum foil electrodes. The length of the layers depends on the number of windings and is part of the investigation. Sealing the harvester against liquid penetration is achieved by wrapping it in a ring-shaped LDPE-film and welding the open ends. The fabrication of the PVDF-wraps is done by hand. After validating the working principle using a wind tunnel, experiments have been conducted in water, placing the harvester inside a 1 inch pipe at water velocities of 0.74m/s. To find a suitable placement of the wrap inside the pipe, two forms of fixation were compared regarding their power output. Further investigations regarding the number of windings required for efficient transduction were made. Best results were achieved using a wrap with 3 windings of the active layers which delivers a constant power output of 0.53µW at a 2.3MΩ load and an effective voltage of 1.1V. Considering the extremely low power requirements of sensor applications, these initial results are promising. For further investigations and optimization, machine designs are currently being developed to automate the fabrication and decrease tolerance of the prototypes.

Keywords: maintenance-free sensors, measurements at point of use, piezoelectric flow harvesting, universal micro generator, wireless metering systems

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