Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: Pietro D'Ambrosio

14 A Data Driven Methodological Approach to Economic Pre-Evaluation of Reuse Projects of Ancient Urban Centers

Authors: Pietro D'Ambrosio, Roberta D'Ambrosio

Abstract:

The upgrading of the architectural and urban heritage of the urban historic centers almost always involves the planning for the reuse and refunctionalization of the structures. Such interventions have complexities linked to the need to take into account the urban and social context in which the structure and its intrinsic characteristics such as historical and artistic value are inserted. To these, of course, we have to add the need to make a preliminary estimate of recovery costs and more generally to assess the economic and financial sustainability of the whole project of re-socialization. Particular difficulties are encountered during the pre-assessment of costs since it is often impossible to perform analytical surveys and structural tests for both structural conditions and obvious cost and time constraints. The methodology proposed in this work, based on a multidisciplinary and data-driven approach, is aimed at obtaining, at very low cost, reasonably priced economic evaluations of the interventions to be carried out. In addition, the specific features of the approach used, derived from the predictive analysis techniques typically applied in complex IT domains (big data analytics), allow to obtain as a result indirectly the evaluation process of a shared database that can be used on a generalized basis to estimate such other projects. This makes the methodology particularly indicated in those cases where it is expected to intervene massively across entire areas of historical city centers. The methodology has been partially tested during a study aimed at assessing the feasibility of a project for the reuse of the monumental complex of San Massimo, located in the historic center of Salerno, and is being further investigated.

Keywords: Methodology, Evaluation, Restoration, reuse

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13 Islamic Finance: What is the Outlook for Italy?

Authors: Paolo Pietro Biancone

Abstract:

The spread of Islamic financial instruments is an opportunity to offer integration for the immigrant population and to attract, through the specific products, the richness of sovereign funds from the "Arab" countries. However, it is important to consider the possibility of comparing a traditional finance model, which in recent times has given rise to many doubts, with an "alternative" finance model, where the ethical aspect arising from religious principles is very important.

Keywords: Islamic Finance, Europe, banks, Italy

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12 Atomic Force Microscopy Studies of DNA Binding Properties of the Archaeal Mini Chromosome Maintenance Complex

Authors: Amna Abdalla Mohammed Khalid, Pietro Parisse, Silvia Onesti, Loredana Casalis

Abstract:

Basic cellular processes as DNA replication are crucial to cell life. Understanding at the molecular level the mechanisms that govern DNA replication in proliferating cells is fundamental to understand disease connected to genomic instabilities, as a genetic disease and cancer. A key step for DNA replication to take place, is unwinding the DNA double helix and this carried out by proteins called helicases. The archaeal MCM (minichromosome maintenance) complex from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus have being studied using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), imaging in air and liquid (Physiological environment). The accurate analysis of AFM topographic images allowed to understand the static conformations as well the interaction dynamic of MCM and DNA double helix in the present of ATP.

Keywords: Dna, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), protein-DNA interaction, MCM (mini chromosome manteinance) complex

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11 The Impact of Economic Freedom on Entrepreneurship Motivation: A Gendered Perspective on OECD Countries

Authors: Paolo Pietro Biancone, Sepideh Khavarinezhad

Abstract:

This paper sheds light on how gender entrepreneurship is influenced by economic freedom in OECD countries. Our study empirically explores the interaction of financial institutions and its effect of both motivations on total entrepreneurial activities (TEA) of women and men in these countries and to discuss the differences between women and men in this field, which is always a hot topic in entrepreneurship. Employing a dynamic method, we conducted panel data analysis in the time frame from 2012-2015. In this regard, we evaluate the relationship between the Index of Economic Freedoms and its three years, and both indicators of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) on supportive financial institutions. We investigate that economic liberalization tends to persuade men and women entrepreneurs to start their businesses or to reduce motivation entrepreneurship. In particular, our paper demonstrates that motivation entrepreneurship seems to benefit from government support and fade barriers in legal structure in business, while we expect to confirm that free trade and economic freedom stimulate the entrepreneur’s motivation and their participation to start own business.

Keywords: Financial Institutions, Economic freedom, OECD countries, gender entrepreneurship

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10 Board of Directors of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Go Public: Characteristics and Moderating Factors

Authors: María-José Palacin-Sanchez, Filippo Di Pietro, Reyes Samaniego-Medina

Abstract:

This article examines, in an institutional context such as Spanish one, the corporate board structure characteristics and determinants in entrepreneurial firms to go public. Specifically, it explores these issues through all the initial public offerings in the Spanish Alternative Equity Market (MAB), which is a market segment for smaller growing companies. The results show that: a) firm size, age of the company, and the reputation of the auditor and the nominated advisor and Corporate Governance Code favour a larger and more independent board structure that enhances its monitoring functions; and b) leverage, opportunities of growth, sector risk and ownership by executive directors all lead towards a smaller broad of directors where the role of entrepreneurship provided by executive directors remains crucial. This reflects the delicate balance of power between small-business entrepreneurs and financial equity market forces, which demand more transparency and monitoring in the companies.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, SMEs, board size, board composition, IPO

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9 Modeling Bessel Beams and Their Discrete Superpositions from the Generalized Lorenz-Mie Theory to Calculate Optical Forces over Spherical Dielectric Particles

Authors: Leonardo A. Ambrosio, Carlos. H. Silva Santos, Ivan E. L. Rodrigues, Ayumi K. de Campos, Leandro A. Machado

Abstract:

In this work, we propose an algorithm developed under Python language for the modeling of ordinary scalar Bessel beams and their discrete superpositions and subsequent calculation of optical forces exerted over dielectric spherical particles. The mathematical formalism, based on the generalized Lorenz-Mie theory, is implemented in Python for its large number of free mathematical (as SciPy and NumPy), data visualization (Matplotlib and PyJamas) and multiprocessing libraries. We also propose an approach, provided by a synchronized Software as Service (SaaS) in cloud computing, to develop a user interface embedded on a mobile application, thus providing users with the necessary means to easily introduce desired unknowns and parameters and see the graphical outcomes of the simulations right at their mobile devices. Initially proposed as a free Android-based application, such an App enables data post-processing in cloud-based architectures and visualization of results, figures and numerical tables.

Keywords: Numerical Methods, Bessel Beams and Frozen Waves, Generalized Lorenz-Mie Theory, optical forces

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8 Craniopharyngiomas: Surgical Techniques: The Combined Interhemispheric Sub-Commissural Translaminaterminalis Approach to Tumors in and Around the Third Ventricle: Neurological and Functional Outcome

Authors: Pietro Mortini, Marco Losa

Abstract:

Objective: Resection of large lesions growing into the third ventricle remains a demanding surgery, sometimes at risk of severe post-operative complications. Transcallosal and transcortical routes were considered as approaches of choice to access the third ventricle, however neurological consequences like memory loss have been reported. We report clinical results of the previously described combined interhemispheric sub-commissural translaminaterminalis approach (CISTA) for the resection of large lesions located in the third ventricle. Methods: Authors conducted a retrospective analysis on 10 patients, who were operated through the CISTA, for the resection of lesions growing into the third ventricle. Results: Total resection was achieved in all cases. Cognitive worsening occurred only in one case. No perioperative deaths were recorded and, at last follow-up, all patients were alive. One year after surgery 80% of patients had an excellent outcome with a KPS 100 and Glasgow Outcome score (GOS) Conclusion: The CISTA represents a safe and effective alternative to transcallosal and transcortical routes to resect lesions growing into the third ventricle. It allows for a multiangle trajectory to access the third ventricle with a wide working area free from critical neurovascular structures, without any section of the corpus callosum, the anterior commissure and the fornix.

Keywords: Surgery, craniopharingioma, sub-commissural translaminaterminalis approach (CISTA)

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7 Experimental Simulation Set-Up for Validating Out-Of-The-Loop Mitigation when Monitoring High Levels of Automation in Air Traffic Control

Authors: Oliver Ohneiser, Francesca De Crescenzio, Gianluca Di Flumeri, Jan Kraemer, Bruno Berberian, Sara Bagassi, Nicolina Sciaraffa, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca Borghini, Fabio Babiloni

Abstract:

An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.

Keywords: Automation, Human Factors, air traffic controller, MINIMA, OOTL (Out-Of-The-Loop), EEG (Electroencephalography), HMI (Human Machine Interface)

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6 Persisting Gender Gap in the Field of Academic Entrepreneurship: The Case of Switzerland

Authors: Brigitte Liebig, Noemi Schneider, Richard Blaese, Pietro Morandi

Abstract:

While women are increasingly frequent among the founders of innovative companies and advanced researchers in many university research institutes today, they are still an exception among initiators of research-based spin-offs. This also applies to countries such as Switzerland, which does have a leading position in international innovation rankings. Starting from a gender-sensitive neo-institutionalist perspective, this paper examines formal and non-formal institutional framework conditions for academic spin-offs at Swiss universities of applied sciences. This field, which stresses vocational education and practice-oriented research, seems to conserve the gender gap in the area of establishing research-based spin-offs spin-off rates strongly. The analysis starts from a survey conducted in 2017 and 2018 at all seven public universities of applied sciences in Switzerland as well as on an evaluation of expert interviews performed with heads of start-up centers, where also spin-offs from universities of applied sciences get support. The results show the mechanisms, which contribute to gender gaps in academic entrepreneurship in higher education. University's female employees have hardly been discovered as target groups. Thus, only 10.5% of universities of applied sciences offer specific support measures for women in academia. And only 1 out of 7 universities of applied sciences offer mentoring programs for female entrepreneurs while in addition there are no financial resources available to support female founders in academia. Moreover, the awareness of the gender gap in academic entrepreneurship is low among founding commissioners. A consistent transfer strategy might be key for bringing in line the formal and non-formal preconditions relevant for the formation of research-based spin-offs and for providing an effective incentive structure to promote women.

Keywords: Gender, science-based spin-off, universities of applied sciences, knowledge transfer strategy

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5 Geosynthetic Tubes in Coastal Structures a Better Substitute for Shorter Planning Horizon: A Case Study

Authors: A. Pietro Rimoldi, B. Anilkumar Gopinath, C. Minimol Korulla

Abstract:

Coastal engineering structure is conventionally designed for a shorter planning horizon usually 20 years. These structures are subjected to different offshore climatic externalities like waves, tides, tsunamis etc. during the design life period. The probability of occurrence of these different offshore climatic externalities varies. The impact frequently caused by these externalities on the structures is of concern because it has a significant bearing on the capital /operating cost of the project. There can also be repeated short time occurrence of these externalities in the assumed planning horizon which can cause heavy damage to the conventional coastal structure which are mainly made of rock. A replacement of the damaged portion to prevent complete collapse is time consuming and expensive when dealing with hard rock structures. But if coastal structures are made of Geo-synthetic containment systems such replacement is quickly possible in the time period between two successive occurrences. In order to have a better knowledge and to enhance the predictive capacity of these occurrences, this study estimates risk of encounter within the design life period of various externalities based on the concept of exponential distribution. This gives an idea of the frequency of occurrences which in turn gives an indication of whether replacement is necessary and if so at what time interval such replacements have to be effected. To validate this theoretical finding, a pilot project has been taken up in the field so that the impact of the externalities can be studied both for a hard rock and a Geosynthetic tube structure. The paper brings out the salient feature of a case study which pertains to a project in which Geosynthetic tubes have been used for reformation of a seawall adjacent to a conventional rock structure in Alappuzha coast, Kerala, India. The effectiveness of the Geosystem in combatting the impact of the short-term externalities has been brought out.

Keywords: exponential distribution, climatic externalities, geosystems, planning horizon

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4 Managing of Cobalt and Chromium Ions by Patients with Metal-on-Metal Hip Prosthesis

Authors: Alina Beraudi, Simona Catalani, Dalila De Pasquale, Eva Bianconi, Umberto Santoro, Susanna Stea, Pietro Apostoli

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Recently the European Community, in line with the international scientific community such as with the Consensus Statement, has determined to stop the use of metal-on-metal big head stemmed hip prosthesis. Among the factors accounted as responsible for the high failure rates of these hip implants are the release and accumulation of metal ions. Many studies have correlated the presence of these ions, besides other factors, with the induction of oxidative stress response. In our study on 12 subjects, we observed the patient specific capability to eliminate metal ions after revision surgery. While for cobalt all the patients were able to completely excrete cobalt ions within 5-7 months after metal-on-metal bearing removal, for chromium ions it didn’t happen. If on the one hand the toxicokinetic differences between the two types of ions are confirmed by toxicological and occupational studies, on the other hand, this peculiar way of exposition represents a novel and important point of view. Thus, two different approaches were performed to better understand the subject specific capability to transport metal ions (albumin study) and to manage the response to them (heme-oxygenase-1 study): - a mutational screening of ALBUMIN gene was conducted in 30 MoM prosthetic patients resulting in the absence of nucleotidic changes compared with the ALB reference sequence. To this study was also added the analysis of expression of modified albumin protein; - a gene and protein expression study on 44 patients of heme-oxygenase-1, that is one of the most important antioxidant enzyme induced by metallic ions, was performed. This study resulted in no statistically significant differences in the expression of the gene and protein heme-oxygenase-1 between prosthetic and non-prosthetic patients, as well as between patients with high and low ions levels. Our results show that the protein studied (albumin and heme-oxygenase-1) seem to be not involved in determining chromium and cobalt ions level. On the other hand, achromium and cobalt elimination rates are different, but similar in all patients analyzed, suggesting that this process could be not patient-related. We support the importance of researching more about ions transport within the organism once released by hip prosthesis, about the chemical species involved, the districts where they are contained and the mechanisms of elimination, not excluding the existence of a subjective susceptibility to these metals ions.

Keywords: Chromium, cobalt, hip prosthesis, individual susceptibility

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3 Analysis of the Relationship between Micro-Regional Human Development and Brazil's Greenhouse Gases Emission

Authors: Dênis Antônio Da Cunha, Geanderson Eduardo Ambrósio, Marcel Viana Pires

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Historically, human development has been based on economic gains associated with intensive energy activities, which often are exhaustive in the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). It requires the establishment of targets for mitigation of GHGs in order to disassociate the human development from emissions and prevent further climate change. Brazil presents itself as one of the most GHGs emitters and it is of critical importance to discuss such reductions in intra-national framework with the objective of distributional equity to explore its full mitigation potential without compromising the development of less developed societies. This research displays some incipient considerations about which Brazil’s micro-regions should reduce, when the reductions should be initiated and what its magnitude should be. We started with the methodological assumption that human development and GHGs emissions arise in the future as their behavior was observed in the past. Furthermore, we assume that once a micro-region became developed, it is able to maintain gains in human development without the need of keep growing GHGs emissions rates. The human development index and the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) were extrapolated to the year 2050, which allowed us to calculate when the micro-regions will become developed and the mass of GHG’s emitted. The results indicate that Brazil must throw 300 GT CO2e in the atmosphere between 2011 and 2050, of which only 50 GT will be issued by micro-regions before it’s develop and 250 GT will be released after development. We also determined national mitigation targets and structured reduction schemes where only the developed micro-regions would be required to reduce. The micro-region of São Paulo, the most developed of the country, should be also the one that reduces emissions at most, emitting, in 2050, 90% less than the value observed in 2010. On the other hand, less developed micro-regions will be responsible for less impactful reductions, i.e. Vale do Ipanema will issue in 2050 only 10% below the value observed in 2010. Such methodological assumption would lead the country to issue, in 2050, 56.5% lower than that observed in 2010, so that the cumulative emissions between 2011 and 2050 would reduce by 130 GT CO2e over the initial projection. The fact of associating the magnitude of the reductions to the level of human development of the micro-regions encourages the adoption of policies that favor both variables as the governmental planner will have to deal with both the increasing demand for higher standards of living and with the increasing magnitude of reducing emissions. However, if economic agents do not act proactively in local and national level, the country is closer to the scenario in which emits more than the one in which mitigates emissions. The research highlighted the importance of considering the heterogeneity in determining individual mitigation targets and also ratified the theoretical and methodological feasibility to allocate larger share of contribution for those who historically emitted more. It is understood that the proposals and discussions presented should be considered in mitigation policy formulation in Brazil regardless of the adopted reduction target.

Keywords: Mitigation, Human Development, Greenhouse gases, intensive energy activities

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2 Analyzing the Effect of Socio-Political Context on Tourism: Perceptions of Young Tourists in Greece, Portugal and Israel

Authors: Sharon Teitler-Regev, Shosh Shahrabani, Helena Desivilya Syna, Fotini Voulgaris, Evangelos Tsoukatos, Vitor Ambrosio, Sandra M. Correia Loureiro

Abstract:

International crises that affect tourism, such as terror attacks, political unrest, and economic crises have become more frequent, and their influence has become broader. The influence of such extreme events depends on their salience in the tourists' awareness. Hence, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying tourists' selection of travel destinations, especially their perceptions of crisis-related events and the impact of the sociopolitical and economic context in their countries of origin. The current study examined how the socio-political and economic context in the home countries of potential young tourists affected their selection of travel destinations. The objective was to elucidate how the salience of various crises (economic and political) in the tourists' perceptions, due to their experiences at home, color their construal of destinations affected by similar hazards and influence their travel intentions. The study focused on student tourists from Israel, Greece, and Portugal. Today about a fifth of international tourism is based on young people, especially students. These countries were chosen since Greece and Portugal are in the midst of economic crises. In addition, Greece and Portugal have experienced political instability, while Israel has security-related problems (including terrorist incidents). In 2013, a total of 648 students, responded to a questionnaire that included questions concerning attitudes and risk perceptions regarding travel to destinations with various risk hazards as well as socio-demographic details. The results indicate that over half of the Israelis intend to visit Greece or Portugal. The majority of the Portuguese intend to visit Greece, while less than a third of them intend to visit Israel. About half of the Greeks intend to visit Portugal, and most of them do not intend to visit Israel. The results indicate that greater perceived importance of economic crises mitigates the intention to travel to destinations with economic crises for tourists from origin countries that are also marked by economic crises, such as Greece and Portugal. However, for tourists from Israel, a country with a relatively stable economy, issues related to the economy barely affect their intention to travel to the other two countries. The findings also suggest that Greeks and Portuguese who are highly concerned about political unrest are unlikely to select Israel as a tourist destination. In addition, strong apprehension regarding terrorism impedes the intention to travel to destinations marked by terrorist incidents, such as Israel. The current research contributes to the existing literature by highlighting the impact of travelers' personal previous experience with crisis on their risk perceptions and in turn on their intentions to travel to countries with similar risks. Therefore, in a world where such incidents are on the rise, understanding tourists' risk perceptions and behavior and the factors influencing their destination-related decisions are crucial for countries that wish to increase the numbers of incoming tourists.

Keywords: Economic crises, Political instability, Risk Perception, young tourists

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1 Chemical and Biological Studies of Kielmeyera coriacea Mart. (Calophyllaceae) Based on Ethnobotanical Survey of Rural Community from Brazil

Authors: Vanessa G. P. Severino, Eliangela Cristina Candida Costa, Nubia Alves Mariano Teixeira Pires Gomides, Lucilia Kato, Afif Felix Monteiro, Maria Anita Lemos Vasconcelos Ambrosio, Carlos Henrique Gomes Martins

Abstract:

One of the biomes present in Brazil is known as Cerrado, which is a vast tropical savanna ecoregion, particularly in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Minas Gerais. Many species of plants are characterized as endemic and they have therapeutic value for a large part of the population, especially to the rural communities. Given that, the southeastern region of the state of Goiás contains about 21 rural communities, which present a form of organization based on the use of natural resources available. One of these rural communities is named of Coqueiros, where the knowledge about the medicinal plants was very important to this research. Thus, this study focuses on the ethnobotanical survey of this community on the use of Kielmeyera coriacea to treat diseases. From the 37 members interviewed, 76% indicated this species for the treatment of intestinal infection, leukemia, anemia, gastritis, gum pain, toothache, cavity, arthritis, arthrosis, healing, vermifuge, rheumatism, antibiotic, skin problems, mycoses and all kinds of infections. The medicinal properties attributed during the interviews were framed in the body system (disease categories), adapted from ICD 10; thus, 20 indications of use were obtained, among five body systems. Therefore, the root of this species was select to chemical and biological (antioxidant and antimicrobial) studies. From the liquid-liquid extraction of ethanolic extract of root (EER), the hexane (FH), ethyl acetate (FAE), and hydro alcoholic (FHA) fractions were obtained. The chemical profile study of these fractions was performed by LC-MS, identifying major compounds such as δ-tocotrienol, prenylated acylphoroglucinol, 2-hydroxy-1-methoxyxanthone and quercitrin. EER, FH, FAE and FHA were submitted to biological tests. FHA presented the best antioxidant action (EC50 201.53 μg mL-1). EER inhibited the bacterial growth of Streptococcus pyogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, microorganisms associated with rheumatism, at Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 6.25 μg mL-1. In addition, the FH-10 subfraction, obtained from FH fractionation, presented MIC of 1.56 μg mL-1 against S. pneumoniae; EER also inhibited the fungus Candida glabrata (MIC 7.81 μg mL- 1). The FAE-4.7.3 fraction, from the fractionation of FAE, presented MIC of 200 μg mL-1 against Lactobacillus casei, which is one of the causes of caries and oral infections. By the correlation of the chemical and biological data, it is possible to note that the FAE-4.7.3 and FH-10 are constituted 4-hydroxy-2,3-methylenedioxy xanthone, 3-hydroxy-1,2-dimethoxy xanthone, lupeol, prenylated acylphoroglucinol and quercitrin, which could be associated with the biological potential found. Therefore, this study provides an important basis for further investigations regarding the compounds present in the active fractions of K. coriacea, which will permit the establishment of a correlation between ethnobotanical survey and bioactivity.

Keywords: Biological Activity, ethnobotanical survey, Kielmeyera coriacea Mart, LC-MS profile

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